Windows Down, Stars in the Sky

Windows down. Stars in the sky. 

I find it incredible that those six words can affect my heart and soul so much. They fill my imagination with graduer. Something in me just wants to slip outside into the quiet, warm darkness. Pretend to be quiet as the car dings and my keys jingle.

Then crank it up. Turn down the radio. Windows down. Stars in the sky. 

Soft on the gas. Gentle on the turns. Hair blowing. Deep breathing. Amazing sights.

G.K. Chesterton once said:

“I do not think there is anyone who takes such a fierce pleasure in things being themselves as I do. The startling wetness of water excites and intoxicates me: the fieriness of fire, the steeliness of steel, the unutterable muddiness of mud.”

Do you see the glory in the created things around you that the Lord has made?

I do.

I drink deeply of the coolness of water. The juicy steak. The hickory smoked almonds. Smell deeply the scent of old books. Let the gentle breeze whisk along my legs and arms.

I think we flash by this amazing world in a bustle and hurry. We get so caught up staring at our bright screens or attached to our communication devices we have lost sight of the greatness of the simple, yet complex, things around us.

Open your eyes to the deep beauty that points to an even deeper Beauty.

Love Her Invisible Pearls

My good friend Sean Perron has some wise words over on his blog about loving your wife (or in his case, his future wife).

I have been greatly helped by both his and Spencer Harmon’s writings on their blog, and this is no exception. We are to remain true and faithful in loving our wives who are beautiful because they have been made in the image of God, and because of that inner beauty we can see as she grows in true and lasting beauty as she becomes more like Christ.

#1. Remind her that she is beautiful because she is made in the image of God. 

Before brushing over this, we must let this reality sink in. God does not make trash. If you scoff at his art, you insult him. This truth is not just a nice saying to make unattractive people feel better about themselves. God says he created man in his image and this reality is not to become trite in our minds. There is a real, holy, stunning level in which your fiancee is unwaveringly beautiful because she reflects God. Even if she is marred by third degree burns or ransacked by acne, this reality does not move. Every day her image pours forth speech of the handiwork of God. Christ has made a personal claim regarding the incredible crafting of his creation.

#2. Remind yourself of the hidden image of God made possible in Christ. 
It is good to tell your fiancee that she is pretty, but do not miss out on the thrill of praising her hidden person. Physical appearance is fleeting but there is an imperishable beauty that only gets better. If she is growing in faith, fearlessness, gentleness, holy submission, and compassion, make it a point to praise these ornaments. The fruit of the Spirit has a sweetness that will never sour. Dwell on her godly character and attach your heart to it!  Ask the Lord to give you eyes to behold true beauty. Beg him to give you grace to truly appreciate the grace he has given her. Make it top priority to value, treasure, and be drawn to her godly character. Her inner heart is a gorgeous glimpse of God.

You can read the rest over at the Unspoken Blog. 

New Article: Faithful to the End

My latest article from Boundless is now online:

Sitting across the table from my 96-year-old great-grandmother is always a joy. It doesn’t take long to realize she was once a fiery redhead, even beneath the faded beauty.

She smiles wide when I tell her that I’ve decided to be a pastor. I smile back.

See, my great-grandma grew up in a small town in Illinois, went to Bible school and married a pastor. She and my great-grandfather served in churches from Mississippi to Maryland. Her stories range from the hilarious to the somber and depressing.

I took a sip of my tea as she told me another funny story with that twinkle in her eye.

When she finished her story, I couldn’t help but ask her about the hard times. Her face darkened as the months and years of difficulty and sorrow flashed through her mind. Their house had burned after a church service. I could imagine my great-grandmother being dragged away from the wreckage as she watched through tears all that she owned burn to the ground.

“But you know what, Tim? It couldn’t have been better for us,” she told me. “We kept serving, and that tragedy brought us closer to the community. We ended up in an even better house.”

Hardly anyone knows my great-grandmother. She does not command attention when she enters a room. She is frail and forgetful. But I wouldn’t dare for a moment say that this woman was not used by the Lord in incredible ways.

She stands as a spiritual giant in my mind, despite her lacking résumé and speaking schedule.

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.”

Read the rest here.

Parental Amnesia

I would never claim to be an expert on parenting, but this blog post struck me as not only telling of many Christian parents, but us as human beings. C.S. Lewis, in his famous sermon “The Weight of Glory,” said ““There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.” It is to easy to lose sight of the fact that we are parenting, befriending, and speaking to souls, not just mortal flesh.

Here are the words from Gloria Furman (via Justin Taylor):

Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.

First, we forget that Lord-willing our children will grow up to be adults. I have a hard time imagining my 5-year-old as a 35-year-old or a 65-year-old. Her big goals right now are waiting patiently for her first loose tooth and learning to tell what time it is. Sometimes I think she’ll be five forever and do five-year-old things forever.

Second, we forget that our children are more than just potential adults. They are people made in God’s image and they have eternal souls. When the mundane looms larger than eternal life we forget who God is, who we are, and who our children are.

We tend to forget about tomorrow and eternity when our day is filled with the tyranny of the urgent. Do you ever feel like that ball in the arcade game that ricochets off the walls? Supervise homework while diverting toddlers from swishing their arms in the toilet! Hand down verdicts in Mother’s Court about whose toy it really is! No wonder it’s hard to keep an eternal perspective.

For me, parental amnesia settles like a fog in the morning hours. If I don’t renew my mind through the truths in God’s word then the fog doesn’t burn off and let light of the gospel shine in. By the end of the day I am lost in a cloud of discouragement that doesn’t lift.

It’s easy to let our perspective get buried in an avalanche of cotton blends at Mount Laundry. Even so, we must make an effort to remember that our job is more than feeding, bathing, clothing, and educating our children.

You can read the rest here at Desiring God.