Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Being Thankful

Just a thought today. I know that God has done so much more for me and given me so much more than I can ever realize. Sadly, knowing that I'll never be able to thank God fully can sometimes lead to a tendency of not wanting to try.

That's so bogus. If this is your temptation too, don't buy into it. Throw yourself into the infinite pool of God's mercies this Thanksgiving Day. After all, if it's something so wonderful that the human mind can't grasp it, I'd say it's worth a try to at least start grasping some of it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some more poetry, this time a dramatic monologue

From East of Nineveh

There’s nothing for me, a broken prophet

To whom death appears much better than life.

Heading to Tarshish or a desert tomb

Is where I’d rather be, instead of spared

To see this city repentant and free.

Perish the thought that I should run from God

That I should try to flee Your sovereign gaze

I knew that You would never turn away

A penitent people, if they sought You

Away at sea You sent a violent gale

My stick came up short, they tossed me over,

And it would have all ended back then

Sinking into the depths, light growing dim

Until your mercy found me in the sea

When the leviathan swallowed me whole

For three days I lay there, as in a grave

In the reeking darkness, weeds, and bones

From the belly I began to suspect

That I might live on. I prayed and confessed

“Your hand is mighty to pull me away

From the errant paths, far outside Your will,”

But these Assyrians, though on their knees

Should drink the bitter cup they themselves brewed.

I’ll freely warn them if they’re to be damned

See why I turned west? I cannot bear it.

How could this great blackened bastion of hate

And violence, greed, lust, stinking things

Find a welcome heart and forgotten crimes.

They, heartless, who would skin me alive,

Men, women, and children alike have died

At the hands of these fell barbarians.

You were supposed to stay with my people

Remember the covenant that you gave?

You once brought we Hebrews out of Egypt

Into fertile lands of milk and honey.

We who offered up sacrifices, true

To you year after year, and kept every

Perfect statute You gave. Can You, in truth,

Compare our worth with those uncircumcised?

So you see why I am angry; I have

All the right to pity this shriveled vine,

Small but beautiful tower of green life,

That once protected me as I waited

Waited for your mighty hand of judgment.

Fire and brimstone would have done the job,

Or the sword of an avenging angel.

There’s nothing for me, a broken prophet

To whom death appears much better than life.

Heading to Tarshish or a desert tomb

Is where I’d rather be, instead of spared

To see this city repentant and free.

I care naught for this senseless deliverance.

Maybe in Sheol I will forget this mess.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The college experience is huge, there are so many things going on at TMC, so much to learn, and so much to experience. These are all good things. Chapel is great, fellowship is great, the local church is beautiful.

But at times like these, when I sit down at my computer to type out whatever is on my mind--whatever I want to write about, there just might be one weakness to The Master's College (besides the pathetic lower-caf hours). It lacks a creative output and an emphasis on creativity in general. We all want to be orthodox. We want to be spot on theologically. We're trying to understand the church, to shun what is bad and emulate what is good. We get involved in activities and try to keep the tradition and truths continuing through the generations. We try to be like Christ, which is a radical self-denial that seeks to copy someone else.

All of these things are good, to be sure, and ought to be pursued. Obviously we should want to be like Christ and want to figure out what He has said in His word. However, I can't help but think that we should be little creators as well. I want to be a writer--an artist. I want to be original and brilliant in my writing for the glory of God. Sometimes, this whole cycle of taking tests, talking about classes, and reading scripture suffocates any thinking beyond a certain point. It doesn't take me to new places or new ideas like it probably should. I've had some great experiences, but praying with a bunch of guys on a whim outside your dorm room isn't exactly an event to build a story around. It's nice to write about theology and the things going on in my mind, but there are men here many times more godly and qualified than I who are already doing that...and doing it very well.

To be sure, there is a certain element of art that Christians (particularly those in charge of institutions, like John MacArthur) fear, and they are right to do so. Trace the arts back in time, and you arrive at the pagan theater of ancient Greece. There's no getting around this, the arts of western civilization may very well have their roots in demonic activities. Why? Because art is magic. It stirs something within our souls. Far from being a mere escape, it makes us feel things. Art possesses a great amount of power in this regard, power to influence people. Through it one is capable of working great evil, or great good. That's where the danger lies. That's why art can be risky.

I know why I'm not seeing a ton of true creativity happening here at TMC. Even though it's certainly not what it could be, it's better than an out-of-whack liberal dump of tolerance and free expression. I love the place, but there are few here that I would describe as genuinely creative. Either that, or perhaps it is a weakness I've created for myself. After all, the college certainly isn't keeping me from writing the next Chronicles of Narnia. It's my own idiocy and naivete.

Perhaps that's really what I need to work to overcome.