Friday, February 25, 2011


The other day I recommended Paul Tripp's book of meditations on Psalm 27, called A Shelter in the Time of Storm. Here's a sampling, a reflection based on verse 5, "He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble."

I know it's not Scripture, but this might be worth committing to memory, or at least reading on a daily basis. I know my "prone to wander" heart is certainly in constant need of these reminders:

I am safe,
not because I have no

or because I never experience
I am safe,

not because people affirm
or my plans always
work out.

I am safe,
not because I am immune
or free of the potential for
I am safe,

not because I am protected from

or separated from this

fallen world.

I am safe,

not because I am

or strong.
I am safe,
not because I deserve

comfort or have earned my


I am safe,

not because of


or power,
or position,
or intellect,
or who I know,
or where I live.

I am safe because of the glorious mystery of

I am safe because of the presence of
boundless love.
I am safe because of

divine mercy,

divine wisdom,
divine power,
and divine grace.
I am safe,
not because I never face
but because You are
with me in it.
You have not given me
a ticket out of danger.

You have not promised me

a life of ease.
You have chosen to place me
a fallen world.
I am safe
because You have given me

the one thing

that is the

only thing

that will ever keep me safe.

You have given me


I am safe

from my evil heart

and this shattered world,

not because I can escape
them both,
but because in the middle of
temptation and trial,
danger and disappointment,

sickness and want,

You give me everything

I need to
fight temptation

and avoid defeat
and to point others
to the safety

that can be found only

in You.

So, I will wake up tomorrow

and face the anxiety

of not knowing,
the fear of my own weakness,

and the reality of the fall.

I will live with

and hope.

And when danger comes,
and it will,
I will whisper to
my weakening heart,

"Emmanuel is your shelter;
you are safe."

For reflection:
1. Where in your life is God exposing the inadequacy and unreliability of the places to which you have looked for safety?
2. Humbly consider if there is a person or thing that you would rather have in your life than the security the Lord has promised you in his care.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Checklist When You Sin

From Fitzpatrick and Johnson's book, Counsel from the Cross:

1. Confess our sins to God (openly and freely), while praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit to strive against them.

2. Thank God for our ongoing struggle with sin because, when rightly viewed, it makes us love and appreciate Jesus Christ more.

3. Strive to put off our sin and obey all the moral law in the light of God's ongoing forgiveness, love, and grace.

Do you, like me, find it much easier to practice points 1 & 3 than point 2?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Shelter in the Storm

Over the past month I've posted a few meditations from Paul's Tripp's book Whiter than Snow, a book of 52 meditations on Psalm 51.

I enjoyed that book so much that I picked up a copy of Tripp's other similar book of meditations on Psalm 27, titled A Shelter in the Time of Storm. Here's a book trailer:

I'm almost halfway through the book, and I'm also finding this one encouraging, penetrating and insightful. Highly recommended!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fuel for a Preacher's Heart

On average, I probably spend 20 hours preparing for a typical sermon. Last year I preached 32 times. My plan, if the Lord wills, is to do that for the flock of Joy Community Fellowship for around 25 more years, if they'll have me.

That totals 16,000 hours of my time devoted to preparing to preach God's Word. That's a lot of hours. This blog post from Trevin Wax provided some rich encouragement to me that all those hours are a worthwhile investment of time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gospel Glimpses

A couple of weeks ago I posted the Youtube clip of Nadin Khoury meeting DeSean Jackson of the Eagles on the view. Today I read this article from Rick Reilly, and especially this quote helped me to grasp why I love this story:

I keep thinking about why I cried that day. I think it's that when the biggest and fiercest and most famous of us takes time to stand up for the smallest of us, it makes me proud to be a sportswriter, proud to cover these athletes, these men.

Who could be the biggest, fiercest, most famous hero than the Creator of the universe, Jesus Christ? And who could be more small and defenseless than people like you and me?

DeSean Jackson came and stood up for this young man, and in it we see just a little picture of the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ, standing up for us as our Advocate.

That's why that little clip on Youtube brings tears to my eyes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lord, Break My Heart

Another meditation from Tripp's Whiter than Snow. This one comes from Psalm 51:17, "A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise":

I am too satisfied
with the things I say
the things I do
the attitudes
of heart
that shape my reactions
after day.
I too easily
quick assessments
of my own righteousness
in situations
where I have been
anything but
I am too skilled
at mounting
plausible arguments
to make me feel okay
about what I think
what I desire
what I say
what I do.
I am too defensive
when a loved one
makes an attempt
to call me out
and suggest
for a moment
that what I
have decided
or done
is less than
I am too
with the state of things
You and me
too relaxed
with the nature
of my love for You
too able to
my need for Your
In the recesses
of my private
there is so much
that is wrong
that I am able
to convince myself
is right.
There are attitudes there
that should not be.
There are words there
that should not be.
There are thoughts
that do not agree
with Your view
of me
and mine.
There are desires
that take me in a
different direction
than what You have planned
for me.
I make decisions
based more on what
I want
than on what
You will.
So I am hoping
wise eyes
that are able
to see through
the cloud of
and see myself
as I actually
I am praying
wise ears
that are able
to hear through
the background noise of
well-used platitudes
and hear myself
with clarity.
And I am longing
a humble spirit
that is willing
accept and confess
what You reveal
as You break through
my defenses
and show me
to me.
I am hoping
a broken heart.

Better than any Punt Return

I don't think I ever imagined posting a clip from The View on this blog!

(Read more about the story here).