Monday, April 30, 2007


I was stunned by the outcome of the Outstanding Graduate and Servant Towel Award portions of the banquet. I had expected to be stunned by the beauty of my brothers and sisters and I had expected to stun people with my karaoke "skills" but that I did not expect.

Chip said that I had spent a lot of time in the hospital this semester. As I was driving around earlier this evening, I found myself in the St. Matthews area, near Breckinridge Lane (and Baptist East), and I could not help but think about that turbulent week, that week that a new phase of testing began for a brother, and many other brothers and the sisters jumped into the fire with him to keep him company. I think of that and I wonder at how they did that all in love for God and for their neighbor and how I was just a part of that. My meditations required the quick shedding of a tear or two, for I remembered just a bit of that pain I felt and how much more pain I saw. My trip today took me to Frankfort Starbucks, and during that week, I was there often, because they were brewing Gold Coast Blend, my favorite. (This was before I became a regular customer.) Just being near that Starbucks brought me back to the Wednesday of that week, a day on which I picked up some coffee on my way to church/the hospital. I walked toward where the cream/sugar area was and didn't notice that they had moved it. There was a table there in its place and at that table sat Lauren Farmer, who I barely knew at the time. I couldn't help but convey my weariness to her, because the week was pushing me out onto a ledge of ministry I had never been, even though this was not the first time a friend lay in a hospital gurney. If I had not had God's grace that week, I would not have been able to bear up under the emotional pain.

Looking back on that week of turbulence, I type this as one who just came off a week of joy, one of the best of my life. All I can think of is the verse in 2 Corinthians (4 I think, I'm too tired to find it), a verse in which the Apostle says "We have these treasures in jars of clay that the surpassing greatness might be from God, and not ourselves." I feel like a jar of clay right now, once again. Oh brothers and sisters, the surpassing greatness is from God and God alone. There is nothing else.

During that week of testing, I found myself stunned by the power of Christ. May he continue to do so.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Press On

"Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth."
Hosea 6:1-3

Lord willing, I will graduate Boyce in 29 days, and I am learning spiritual things now that I wish I had learned when I first got here. I can only imagine how different things might have been, how much better, how much more meaningful. I look back on the hours and days that I have wasted, and know that I can only look at them under the shadow of the Cross, for may it be anathema to me to consider my sin apart from it.

During my first semester at Boyce, I was given a small "Prayer of Jabez sized" book called The Cross Centered Life, written by C.J. Mahaney. Today, I finally read it, and oh how I wish I had read it when I first received it. It might have made things so much better.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to post spiritual confessions, detailing what God is teaching me. More or less, these will culminate when, Lord willing, I speak to my brothers and sisters at Boyce at the Dorm Meeting of 4/23/07. To suffice what I have learned from C.J.'s book, I have come to the realization that I yet struggle with legalism and condemnation, and that my struggling spiritual life has not been helped by either. I hope that these coming days will be spent to his glory and that somehow, I might encourage brothers, sisters, and friends to trust Christ more. He has done great things and may he receive glory for them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Do Confess

The past few days have been rich. Good Friday gave me a fresh perspective on Christ's sacrifice, as the dazzling white dress Stacey Franklin wore and the vows she and Jon shared made Ephesians chapter five jump out to me. The wedding reception was a special time as well, as conversations with dear friends made the sweetness of the wedding cake seem bland.

Resurrection Sunday (commonly called Easter) was glorious as well. Despite getting off to a rough start (thanks to alarm clock malfunctions), the morning of worship at Springdale was phenomenal. Pastor David preached from Acts 17 and 1 Cor. 15, emphasizing the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus, and oh what delight and force was in his words. What glory is there in the resurrection! The afternoon was equally wonderful, as I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time at the home of Mike and Amy Hilliard, and fellowship with them and other friends.

I spent today with my dear friend and future roommate, Josh Pigg. As we drove around Louisville doing errands, we listened primarily to Red Mountain Church's album Depth of Mercy, and we kept coming back to their rendition of Derek Webb's song "Wedding Dress." The song reminded me over and over again that on my own, as a natural man, I am nothing short of and in no way different from a whore. Oh how I seek the things of this world and not the Kingdom of Christ! Oh how I put emphasis where it should not be, how I let my sin tangle me up.

I know the depth of my sin, but it is amazing to see things come full circle to Good Friday. Just as Jon overflows with love for Stacey, so Jesus overflows with love for me, and though I have fled from him time and time again, yet does he pursue me. It is nothing short of amazing, that I, though an adulterous whore, have been shown the love of God. In this reality, the meaning of Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday, and every new day I live are bound together, for I have been saved, am being saved, and will be saved.

Like I said, these past few days have been rich