Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thinking "Gross about God"

I wanted to take up John Piper's challenge to read through John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion in one year (one of the most significant books ever, an explanation of Protestant theology addressed to the King of France, Francis I, written when Protestants were being killed by the thousands), but it felt a little ambitious.
Instead I have a book called 365 Days with Calvin. Calvin was an incredibly clear thinker and communicator, deeply and passionately committed to God's Word, and a lover of the church. Here is a short excerpt from yesterday's reading to whet your appetite: "'To lift up prayer,' therefore, is to pray in such a manner that our hearts do not grovel on the earth or think anything earthly or gross about God but rather ascribe to him what is suitable to his majesty."
Consider the Greeks with their wicked gods. One can live quite comfortably with that kind. But in Psalm 50 God rebukes the wicked who "thought that I was one like yourself." If you find yourself defaulting to an earthly view of God, you may want to be especially careful to begin prayer with some acknowledgment of God as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, majestic, holy, and Almighty. It fits the model for prayer that Jesus gave.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Haiku for Grant

Mark and Tami Pehrson made a strong pro-life statement when they held a funeral for their baby Grant who died in the womb. It was touching to see the small coffin. After, I wrote this poem:


See, one pall bearer
The knitting is unfinished
in divine wisdom

If you love haiku poetry, Canon Press sells a book called breathmarks by Gary Hotham. Lovely.
Here is one of the ones I love:

music two centuries old ---
the color flows
out of the tea bag

Monday, April 13, 2009

An emerald in Job

Eight years ago the Bahia Emerald, worth $400 million, was found in Brazil.
Last week I found an emerald in Job 5:8,9: "As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number."
No price can be put on that gem.