Friday, September 28, 2012

A Tale of Three Kings

PRAYER REQUEST: Kim goes in for her PET scan today to see if she is still in remission. If you would please remember to lift up a prayer for her we'd appreciate it! We'll find out the results next week.
I read through a short little book this past summer called "A Tale of Three Kings" by Gene Edwards. If you've ever felt broken or lonely than this book is for you. It's amazing how the Psalms can bring such comfort when you are being crushed under the weight of your circumstances. When we walked through the darkest moments of our cancer trial more people quoted the Psalms to us than from any other far. The Psalms were written by someone who not only understood brokenness but who endured it. I've pulled an excerpt from the book below which spoke to me. Suffering is difficult but it does serve a purpose in God's grand design. We need look no further than the Son of David who was the Suffering Servant and who can sympathize with those who suffer...

Caves are not the ideal place for morale building. There is a certain sameness to them all, no matter how many you have lived in. Dark. Wet. Cold. Stale. A cave becomes even worse when you are its sole inhabitant...and in the distance you can hear the dogs baying.

But sometimes, when the dogs and hunters were not near, the hunted sang. He started low, then lifted his voice and sang the song the little lamb had taught him. The cavern walls echoed each note just as the mountains had once done. The music rolled down into deep cavern darkness that soon became an echoing choir singing back to him. 

He had less not hen when he was a shepherd, for now he had no lyre, no sun, not even the company of sheep. The memories of the court had faded. David's greatest ambition now reached no higher than a shepherd's staff. Everything was being crushed out of him. 

He sang a great deal. 
And matched each note with a tear.
How strange, is it not, what suffering begets? 

There in those caves, drowned in the sorrow of his song and in the song of his sorrow, David became the greatest hymn writer and the greatest comforter of broken hearts this world shall ever know.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Seeing Jesus in the Proverbs

If any of you would like to donate to Joe's "Light the Night Walk" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of his son Andrew Park please click HERE and read about it HERE. There are so many out there, like Connor, who still need your help and so any prayers and support you could offer would be much appreciated! Thanks.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! -Proverbs 30:4

This incredible verse is straight from the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament and written many centuries before the New Testament. The rhetorical questions penned by the wise man Agur find their unequivocal answer in the Gospels:

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. -John 3:13

He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. -Ephesians 4:10

They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" -Mark 4:41

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. -Colossians 1:16

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." -Matthew 1:21

In this election season we can debate ad nauseum about who is the better presidential candidate but our longing for a true, just and perfect leader will not ultimately be satisfied until Jesus returns. He is the fulfillment of the Proverbs. He is the wisest king and the King of Kings. He is greater than Solomon and everything Solomon was not.

...and now one greater than Solomon is here. -Matthew 12:42b

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Seeing Jesus in the Arts

The BBC video below is one of the most thought-provoking commentaries on art that I've ever seen with a great soundtrack to boot. It's an hour long but if you have any interest in the arts I think it's well worth your time.

Introduction: "Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives. In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert. Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the centre of our civilisation." 

I kept thinking of a quote from Cheryl Forbes as I watched this video: 
"God gave each of us a desire for beauty; it is part of our desire for him, who is loveliness incarnate."

I'm not sure if the narrator is a Christian but I think he hits the nail on the head. One of my favorite quotes in the entire video is found at 43:30: "Art has the ability to redeem life by finding beauty even in the worst aspect of things." 
 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  -Ecclesiastes 3:11