“We have celebrities but not saints”

Eugene Peterson wrote in 1983, before the Internet and smartphones: “The puzzle is why so many people live so badly.  Not so wickedly, but so inanely.  Not so cruelly, but so stupidly.  There is little to admire and less to imitate in the people who are prominent in our culture.  We have celebrities but not saints. Famous entertainers amuse a nation of bored insomniacs.  In famous criminals act out the […]

25 Years a Widower

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his godly ones” (Ps 116.15). Mom died 25 years ago today.  It was a remarkably Christian death.  She died well. Painfully, but well. We buried her across the street from the Itta Bena cotton field in which she was born.  Under the magnolia next to her dad, her sister and her infant son.  It was brutally hot that day […]

For My Queen on Her Birthday

Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house; then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him (Ps 45:10-11). Psalm 45 was a song written for the king’s wedding.  Israel’s handsome, valiant and humble king was joined to a radiant woman who “is all glorious within” (v13).  In vv10-11, the the bride’s father gave her […]

Is Today the Day the Lord Has Made? (What Children’s Choir Didn’t Teach Us)

“This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118.24) Many a church kid memorized Psalm 118.24 in children’s choir.  It was a catchy tune that still causes foot-tapping.  God be praised for those children’s workers who helped seal Scripture in our minds and hearts (even if I scowled my way through it).  As we get older we cannot help but wake […]

The Sacrament of Sunrise

The sun rose beautifully on Memphis today.  And when the sun rose the gospel rose with it. I wonder if we might overplay our hand when we make the creation accounts in Gen 1-2 merely about, well, creation.  Is God merely trying to explain how things came to be, the science of origins? Or is God weaving in the created order the very fabric of the gospel he will work […]

The Son of Man & the Psalms of Men

“O God, arrogant men have risen up against me, and a band of violent men have sought my life, and they have not set You before them.  But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth” (Ps 86.14-15). In God’s magnificent creativity and grace he created us to be both historians and poets.  Tacticians and dreamers.  We report and reflect.  We […]

Christians Get Frustrated Too

God can be very frustrating. There. I said it. We like neat categories where every situation has a clear explanation. God is doing this for that reason. A friend insists on a destructive lifestyle because he is clearly unregenerate, and sin is what the unregenerate do. One plus one equals two. Another friend seems never to suffer anything wrong. She always smiles and raises her hands in church because that […]

THE Day the Lord has Made (or What Children’s Choir Didn’t Teach Us)

“This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118.24) Many of us memorized Psalm 118.24 in children’s choir.  It was a catchy tune that is hardly forgettable.  God be praised for those children’s workers who helped seal Scripture in our minds and hearts.  As we get older we cannot help but wake up applying Psalm 18.24 to the day. But […]

Jesus is Her King (For My Queen, on Her Birthday)

Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house; then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him (Ps 45:10-11). Psalm 45 was a song written for the king’s wedding.  Israel’s handsome, valiant and humble king was joined to a radiant woman who “is all glorious within” (v13).  In vv10-11, we hear the bride’s father giving […]