Sunday, 23 March 2014

Someone to Sing About

I'm reading a book of meditations on the Psalms by Sam Storms, and he has this catchy quote that is helping me find freedom from my sin and joy in my God! He says that to resist the power of temptation, "simply saying 'No! No! No!' won't suffice. We must learn to say 'Oh! Oh! Oh!'" Delight beats duty in the fight for victory!

Oh! Oh! Oh! Indeed, the only right response before our oh-so-great-God! 

The bad news: We have a problem. A big problem that has made our world so small. A heart problem that has minimized the Magnificent and magnified the man. What is it? We play the fool by exalting ourselves, and instead of shutting up as the Proverbs advise, we allow for arrogance. Sure, we may not boast aloud, and we don't actually pat ourselves on the back or strut around with our chin out. But does not this peacock problem run wild in our minds at times? We indulge in our own ideas, congratulate our clever thoughts, laugh at our own jokes, compliment our accomplishments, even admire our acts of service and sing our own song. And this is wrong because we can't even make our own hearts beat. And though our physical hearts are beating, we are not truly alive. "She who is self-indulgent is dead even though she lives." (1 Timothy 5:6) So here we are drugged on self and dead.

The good news: This problem can be fixed. Our big God came to this world to give us a new heart, and by beholding Him we are changed. Only by beholding Him, we are changed. He selflessly laid down His life for our selfishness. He gloriously gave His life for our redemption. His death on the cross reversed the curse of sin and death for us! His resurrection sealed the deal! He is in the business of mending when we are in the habit of rending ourselves to Him. He has shown us His glory in the world, the Word, and the Word become flesh, and tHis glory opens our eyes to the One Who has won all things to Himself. "All is from Him, through Him, and to Him! To Him be the glory!" He is our Source, Saviour, and Sustainer. He is the exalted One! He is alive and to be adored!

So, enough of this undue worship of creation and creatures! Enough of this silly self-preoccupation! Enough of our dead-end dramas! Enough of our stupid egos and vain thoughts! Enough of this slavery to self! Enough of this small living! Enough of this claustrophobic individuality! Enough of this Reality reducing and self seducing lie that we are self-sufficient and worthy of praise. There is nothing farther from the truth.

It's time for a bigger, better, truer, sweeter celebration! It's time to worship the Creator! It's time for freedom and fullness! It's time to share a glory story that never ends! It's time for purpose and pleasure that continue forever! It's time to join hands in song and service with fellow creatures. It's time to acknowledge the only Original One. It's time to really live! It's time to give! Jesus is the truth that sets us free!

So how do we move from the dead-end of self to the unending, shared joy of God? How do we decrease? By increasingly beholding Him, and in so doing we find ourselves humbled and happy.

The totality of His truth
The vitality of His voice
The authority of His authorship
The justice of His jealously
The bigness of His beauty
The entirety of His eternity
The expanse of His excellence
The pervasiveness of His power
The persistence of His patience
The span of His splendor
The stretch of His strength
The intricacies of His imagination
The orbit of His originality
The thoroughness of His thoughtfulness
The range of His radiance
The weight of His whispers
The height of His holiness
The depth of His delight
The breadth of His breath in us
The craft of His creativity with dust
The width of His wisdom
The hugeness of His humility
The magnitude of His miracles
The wonder of His ways
The supremacy of His sacrifice
The completeness of His cry
The reality of His resurrection
The perfection of His provision
The mystery of His mercy
The greatness of His grace
The largeness of His love
The sufficiency of His Scripture
The constancy of His care
The reach of His reign
The fullness of His freedom
The song of His salvation!

So considering Who He is, let's be wise. Let's quit our silly songs about self and crank the volume of our voice to sing about Him! After all, this is the anthem hitherto and henceforth.

P.S. Yes, I am aware that I got carried away with some "alliterated" praise. And still these words are feeble offerings. He is beyond our ability to capture with the written letter, but we better do our best because He's worthy of WONDERful words. Yet, do we live wonder-filled lives?

Saturday, 1 March 2014


We are experiencing our first real rainfall of the year. Hallelujah! Ah, the cloudy, dripping skies are wonderful for so many reasons; aren't they? Girls get to sport their patterned rain boots, children break out their quirky umbrellas, and we all get to puddle jump and pretend we're in the beloved musical, "Singin' in the Rain." We turn off the music to hear the raindrops tap dance on the roof, and we open the blinds to see the raindrops splatter across and streak down the window glass. We go outside to breathe in the fresh air and watch the ground drink up every drop. We laugh at our fellow West Coasters awkwardly handle these contraptions called umbrellas and do our best not to poke somebody's eye out. We frantically try to remember how to operate our windshield wipers and drive at granny-speeds. We even plan a day to enjoy a day at home, complete with cozy socks and vegetable soup.

What's not to love, right? But you know what we should love most of all? Hosea's ancient but true words - "He comes to us like rain!" So refreshing, so He is! And even when this rain storm passes through our state, He reigns over all still. So we really do have a reason to sing in the rain, sing under His reign!