December 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
God’s glory shines in his Creation; anyone who has beheld in the wilderness a clear night sky has glimpsed that glory. The Psalmist exults: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). But nowhere is the glory of God brighter in our dark world than in Gospel, the fulfillment of God’s promise: « Read the rest of this entry »
December 21, 2016 § Leave a comment
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.–Genesis 1:1-4
God spoke—and where there was once nothing there was at once the heavens and the earth. It is must not escape our attention that the first thing God did with his creation as he began to form it was shine upon it with the light of his glory: “Let there be light.” This is not the light of the sun or stars—those were yet to be created. The Scripture tells us that God is light; not the light of luminescence, that is, the physical shining by which we see the physical things in our world, but the light by which we understand, the light that gives meaning to our world. God is with us by the light of his presence in his world.
It is God’s essence to shine his light, so that, even when sin came crashing into creation, his mercy shined a promise of redemption to those responsible for that sin. That shining promise to Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham—to all who would believe its unfolding glory—gave hope that the darkness could not overcome the light. It could not because he who is the light stepped into his creation as himself a creature. No wonder, then, he would make the promise that “the Sun of Righteousness would rise with healing in his wings”! In his becoming flesh and bone, the light of life who shines into the world, dawns.
December 21, 2016 § 2 Comments
This past Sunday the Sanctuary Choir of McIlwain Presbyterian Church presented its annual Christmas program. This year’s offering was entitled Glory to God! In addition to both classic carols and music by Keith and Kristyn Getty arranged by McIlwain Music Ministry Coordinator Donny Monk, I supplied a series of narrations designed to explore the glory of God in four progressive themes: the glory of God in creation, the glory of God in the promise of redemption, the glory of God in the Gospel, and the glory of God in the return and reign of Christ. Although these were summarized in the program, we explored the themes respectively each Sunday of Advent this year. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 4, 2016 § 5 Comments
Recently The Greenville (SC) News ran an opinion piece by Clemson University Ph.D. student William McCorkle that, as I see it, sums up rather well the assessment of many religious-minded “Never Trumpers.” McCorkle’s thesis is that Christians have either to twist or abandon what Jesus taught in order to defend their support of Donald Trump. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 5, 2016 § Leave a comment
The title says it all–except for a few necessary caveats:
- I am no singer, no matter what part I’m singing!
- No studio was involved–only the back bedroom at my in-laws, a MacBook Pro, an electric guitar and a bass guitar. Not even an external microphone
- The drum track is pretty cheesy, but I found it online.
- I have no clue about mixing…I am totally lost.
- There a few stinker moments and inaccuracies…so let’s just call this an “interpretation”!
All that said, it really was a lot of fun! Who knows what I might accomplish with some real musicians, a little more practice time and some good equipment?
January 1, 2016 § 1 Comment
I am not a believer in reinventing the wheel. What follows is my post from a year ago today. Nothing new, nothing fancy. Same charge: Read the Word!
Few things are as satisfying as a good story. From the time we incessantly begged, “Just one more before bedtime, pleeeze!” to “I think I can get this next chapter done before I have to get some sleep”—stories have captivated us. Although different people are drawn to different types of writing, the common attraction among all is, I believe, the development of the story itself. It’s what keeps us reading. Heroes in impossible predicaments, sleuths combing through the scenes of “perfect” crimes, thawing of frozen relationships, tripping through the twists and turns of international intrigue—whatever the situation, we both love the story and want to see how it ends.
Why, then, is it that we don’t approach the Bible this way? « Read the rest of this entry »
November 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
…be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)
What is it about being thankful that we don’t get that Paul finds it necessary to mention it three times in the span three verses?
Giving thanks is a simple proposition: God gives to us and we acknowledge from grateful hearts his generosity to us. « Read the rest of this entry »