Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It's been a while again... longer than I wanted. These are thoughts, moments, images of me, right now, right here, where I am. God is bigger than where I am.


I'm in a strange place emotionally right now. I'm enjoying life immensely, blessed by all that God has done and is doing. But I'm also not. I don't know how to describe this. It's not like a year ago, when I was struggling with some very big hurts in my life, and some terribly damaging gripping sins, and all of that being compounded by deep depression. None of those things are the case; the depression is long since gone. As I said, I'm enjoying life immensely. I have certain areas where I'm struggling emotionally - of course, as we all do at nearly every point in our life. Moments of unadulterated joy, uncompromised emotional stability, are rare indeed in this fallen and broken world. There are personal hurts, and I miss the deep, rich community from Focus on the Family Institute, and the incredible people who made my life so full in those blessed 7 weeks and 5 days. Yet overall my life remains blessed, full - and I have great joy in all of it, in the work I am doing, in the people in my life...

But somehow this great joy is mingled with sorrow, at what I'm not entirely sure, and with a very deep sense of aimlessness. Not for my life as a whole, just for this season right here and now. I feel useless. Insignificant. Purposeless. As though I'm not making a difference in any aspect of my life - from my church to my job to my classes to my ministry commitments. What am I doing? I question whether I am where I ought to be, doing what I ought to be. I believe fervently, wholeheartedly, that God has led me to these places, that this is divinely appointed. He is sovereign, and He is good. He has perfect plans.

But I do not see the purpose of this. I do not see how I am being used. No one has come to the kingdom of God because of me. I do not see any significant changes in people's lives because of me. Even my first floor activity was a failure in every way that I can see. Am I failing, not following God as I ought? Or has He ordained this season for His purposes, inscrutable though they be to me for now? What good am I doing in the world around me? What ways am I bringing glory to His name?


I am struggling. The passion is fading in the face of the daily grind. That makes me sad, and it makes me angry. God has not called us to a mediocrity, to a place of being so caught up in our daily lives that we have not time to pursue Him with a great and terrible hunger and thirst. I've misplaced that terrible thirst, that sense of panting like a deer after water for Him. It is not lost - my hunger for that thirst tells me as much - but I want it back, and richer than it was before.

And it is affecting many things... my writing, my relationships, my work, my school... I do them, and I do them well, but from a sense of obligation, not of great joy and delight in doing what God has called me to. I want to do them because my heart rejoices to be doing the will of God, not because I feel some terrible sense of duty to accomplish the tasks set before me. This walk with God is not merely a set of tasks to be accomplished: It is a great and terrible journey, and it is a deepening relationship with God Almighty (impossible! incomprehensible! TRUE!), but it is not merely some set of tasks that we must accomplish before we die. Many other religions are that, but this relationship is not that.

So I look up to the heavens and call out, Forge in me again that passion, oh God on high! Rekindle the flame that once burned so brightly! Fan into flame my love for You; let no dullness of life come and quench it. May I never forsake Your ways, and may I always run after You with all the strength that is in me. Be the center of my existence, the fullness of my joy, the delight of my eyes and my heart. Let Your glory come and transform me. Make me like You, that I may know You as You truly are!


I wrote a chapter of my book the other night. I enjoyed it. I also didn't sleep much that night. I watched a lunar eclipse, saw that lesser light be covered up in dark shadow, marveled at how it is completely occluded by the earth, caught in shadow, and yet light still shines upon it, refracted through the earth's atmosphere, turning the moon itself a dusky shade of red for the self-same reason that a sunset is often red. I spent time with friends that night, on top of a parking garage late in the night (or perhaps more properly, early before the morning). It was a blessing. I was incredibly tired, but it was more than worth it.


This is a strange year. I'm able to be close friends with less than half the people I was close to last year. I don't quite know what to do with that. In an odd way, I feel much as I did when I first started college - displaced, unsure of my place in the world, though I know myself especially I know God far better than I did. It's different, too, in that I have many friends here... but that nagging sense remains. I have many acquaintances, and am close to almost no one, much as was the case two years ago. My classes this year are going to be hard, but not in any way that surprises me. It is not for nothing that they call the set of classes most people are taking in the physics department this semester the "Trifecta of Doom." I am barely involved in the music department, and indeed in music in general, for the first time since I came to college. I miss playing piano for the worship team, especially as some of my friends are having the opportunity to do precisely that. It is not envy, but rather simply that I miss the chance to worship God that way. I miss having time to play the piano in general, for it eludes me at the moment.

These are not a bad things.

Indeed, I am confident that God has allowed - even ordained - this season for His purposes in my life, though I may not understand them. I am excited about what this year will hold.

I just miss my friends...


I come back again to where I began. I don't know where my place in the world is right now. And that's okay. As I've written before, it's no bad thing to not know; to the contrary it can be one of the most effective tools for change in our lives, and God seems to use it often in mine.

Oddly, I have a greater sense of where I'm going than where I am. That, too, is no bad thing. Though I haven't any specifics on what that future looks like, I know the general outlines - a life dedicated to discipleship, to proclaiming to anyone who will listen the greatness of the glory of God and this magnificent narrative that we get to be a part of, the good news that sets us free from the sin that entangles us... It's the here and now that I'm unsure of.

Perhaps it will become clear in time. Perhaps it won't. It doesn't matter: God is God, and that is enough. He is in control. There is a time and season for everything, and there is nothing new under the sun. All of this is under the Son. I will rest secure in Him, confident in His supremacy over history, over eternity and over this immediacy we call the present


God bless you all. May His peace be with you. I love you...

- Chris

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's been a while

I'm still here, still alive, and still posting. Hopefully I'll be able to do some good blogging this weekend.

In short, the last weeks have been good, and filled with pictures of God's grace, His strength, and His majesty. I honestly couldn't pick out a specific moment to exemplify any of those at the moment, but I know that I can see them. It has also been a time of conviction. The Spirit has been gracious enough to open my eyes to places where I still fall so short - and to catch me when I start to slip back into old, familiar patterns of sin that have been broken but which remain so close at hand. His faithfulness is beyond compare.

I am reminded of Psalm 119:50: "This is my comfort in my affliction, / for Your word has given me life." This is the truth. The days when I have not spent time in the Scriptures - for tiredness, busyness, what have you - have been days that have been wearying, and without any strength. The days when I have spent time, but not dedicated myself to the Word have been better, but still missing the full power of God. The days when I have spent deep, concentrated time meditating on His truth, praying, considering, memorizing... those days, no matter how hard, have been full of the riches of His grace.

Our strength can never suffice. We must, before we begin any venture, come to Him, prostrate and abject - convinced utterly of our own ability to contribute anything at all; for indeed even the strengths we possess were given us by Him in the first place, and only He can use them fully.

There is much more I would write, but I haven't the time at the moment. Grace and peace be with you; and may the glory of God shine upon you this day, filling your life as it will one day fill the new Jerusalem!

- Chris

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Heavens Declare

I got this in the midst of some prayer and consideration while on the trip to Yellowstone. It's not finished, not by a long shot. Perhaps I'll post a link to a demo-style recording when I come up with one. In the meantime, I pray you are blessed by the words and the idea.

Piano intro

Verse 1:
As the world turns round
lost and lonely in the dark and cold
With no idea what road they'[re even on
They hunger for something greater than themselves
Something or one to live for
But still the rocks cry out

The heavens declare the glory of the Lord
The earth proclaims His name in majesty
Praise and honor to Him who made all
And for whom and by whom all was made
The angels shout strength and power to
The King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods
And with creation let all humanity cry out
Cry out "Glory!" in the temple of the Lord

Verse 2:
As I walk down this road
Wand'ring forward with a goal in mind
But unsure of the path that will take me there
i hunger for something greater than myself
Something or one to live for
I lift my voice to say

The heavens declare the glory of the Lord
The earth proclaims His name in majesty
Praise and honor to Him who made all
And for whom and by whom all was made
The angels shout strength and power to
The King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods
And with creation let all humanity cry out
Cry out "Glory!" in the temple of the Lord

Bridge 1:
And what is there in history
But Your will and Your glory
And what is all creation
But the revelation of Your majesty

Interlude (piano, guitar)

Bridge 2:
our lives were made for You
our every moment every breath
Every sweet, sweet breath
Exists to bring You glory
Life not with You in view in mind in goal
Is no life at all

The heavens declare the glory of the Lord
The earth proclaims His name in majesty
Praise and honor to Him who made all
And for whom and by whom all was made
The angels shout strength and power to
The King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods
And with creation let all humanity cry out
Cry out "Glory!" in the temple of the Lord

God bless you all; may you rest in His peace as you seek His face tonight.

- Chris

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Prayer need

Please pray for Will. He needs it. Pray for his whole family, too, though - not just him.

- Chris

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Grand Weaver Review

I just finished The Grand Weaver, Ravi Zacharias' newest book. Subtitled, "How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives," the book is a theological and philosophical examination of precisely that topic: the ways in which God uses the happenings of our lives to conform us to His image, to make us holy as He is holy. Published by Zondervan in July, the book is Zacharias' answer to the question posed on the back cover: "Are the threads of our lives accidentally tangled or intentionally arranged?"

The book consists of an introduction, eight chapters each approximately twenty pages long, and a brief epilogue summing up the thoughts Zacharias has just walked through. He begins with a few stories illustrating both the need for an answer to the questions we all struggle with - of meaning and purpose for the seemingly random events of our lives - and with a Scriptural basis for his answer to these questions. He then moves through the remainder of the book slowly expanding on this theme both from Scripture and from various experiences (both his own and others'). His message can be summed up with the notion that your life experiences matter; indeed, each chapter is titled in precisely that way: "Your DNA Matters," "Your Morality Matters," and so on. God's actions in our lives are not purposeless, nor are any events in our lives. Each has meaning and fits as part of the pattern being woven by the Grand Weaver referenced by the title: the merciful, loving, and ultimately sovereign God of Christianity who ensures that "all things work together for the good of those who love [Him], to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Zacharias approaches the book much he would an address to a crowd. Despite its deep theological and philosophical underpinnings, the text is easy to read and extremely well written (as I have come to expect from anything written by him). Despite addressing complex topics with great acuity, Zacharias never strays into language that is overly complex, though he is not afraid to use a higher vocabulary than is common in most of today's texts. He writes succinctly but forcefully, much as he speaks. The text reads like a series of well-constructed sermons, moving from the basis of his argument through the outworkings of that argument in various aspects of our lives. Various examples are scattered throughout, and he skillfully uses the same example multiple times to elucidate various aspects of the same point. His style is significantly more mature than Bill Hybels, whose book I recently reviewed, though not necessarily more formal. He simply speaks with great eloquence but in a manner that excises some of the verbiage normally associated therewith, leaving the text with a great deal of force and cogency.

The merits of the book are its clear address of both the theological question of God's sovereign hand in every aspect of our lives and the practical consequences of that answer; and Zacharias' effective writing. Because he clearly addresses the theological question 9and its philosophical implications) early on and gently reminds the reader of them throughout the text, as well as slowly building on that early foundation, Zacharias brings an important theological point into focus - but he does so in a way that makes it easy for any reader to understand. Moreover, he brings home the reality of that point by demonstrating both in theory and practice (by means of examples of actual circumstances) how our response to God's hand working our lives should look. Without the theological foundation, the practical demonstration would lack any reason for application; and without the corresponding practicalities the abstractions of the theology would lack their potentially life-altering impact. Zacharias' writing, as discussed above, is immensely powerful and deeply communicative.

There are two demerits to the book. First is that Zacharias fails to elaborate on some of the examples to a fulfilling extent, leaving the reader dangling somewhat and hungry for more details. This is probably a necessary compromise for a book of this length, which brings me to the second demerit: the brevity of the text. This is very much more a gray area. I would have enjoyed it greatly had he taken the time to further elaborate on the notions he introduced theologically and to further fill out the stories he was sharing. However, at some level this is a merit of the book as well: someone less inclined towards reading or towards deeper theological treatments of subjects such as this than myself will be far more likely to pick up and read this book through than he or she would have had the book been a lengthier and weightier tome. While I believe Zacharias had much more to say on the subject that would have been of value, it might not have gotten heard by so broad an audience as this book may had it been any longer.

I highly recommend the book as generally good reading. I particularly recommend it for younger believers, for whom much of the information might be newer and the various explanations encouraging. As a relatively short, extremely clear, and well-written text, the book lends itself well for reading together in a small group setting or as friends on a road trip.

God bless you all and keep you in His perfect peace.

- Chris

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

God of Glory

God of Glory
Vanguard (Chris Krycho and Jamin Jeffers)
July 31-August 1, 2007 A.D.

Basis texts:
Psalm 29
Isaiah 6:1-7
Ezekiel 1 (esp. v. 28b), 3:12-15, 22-23, 43:1-3, 44:4
Revelation 21:9-27 (esp. vv. 22-26), 22:1-5

After you've read the texts, I pray you are blessed by the words of the song that God gave us after much prayer and as we pursued Him and meditated on His word:

Holy, holy God
You are King
You are holy

You are the God of glory
Your voice full of majesty and power
How holy are You, Adonai, Redeemer of teh nations
All creations cries out "Glory! Glory! (Glory! Glory!)"
You sent the Lamb, the Light of the world
King over the waters
The Lord who reigns on high

We sought our pleasures not Your face
Running after lies instead of truth
We have grown accustomed to the darkness
Fearful of Your holy light
Oh Father forgive us and break our hearts
Teach us to hunger for You

Holy, holy God
You are King
You are holy

Let us gaze upon Your face
And boldly approach Your throne
Falling on our knees as we behold
The truth of who You are
Transform us make us new
Sanctified and holy
One purpose for our lives
Bringing glory to Your name

You are the God of glory
your voice full of majesty and power
How holy are You, Adonai, Redeemer of the nations
All creation cries out "Glory! Glory! (Glory! Glory!)"
You sent the Lamb, the Light of the world
King over the waters
The Lord who reigns on high
you reign on high
You reign on high

May His glory shine in your hearts; may He give you strength and peace. I pray you will be transformed as you are led to a fuller knowledge of His glory - of the fullness of His nature and the brightness of who He is.

- Chris

Monday, August 6, 2007

Multivaried notions

I'm in Oklahoma now... I've been back here for three days. I drove from Colorado Springs to Norman in almost exactly 10 hours, including rest stops and gasoline stops. I'm glad to be back. It's not as hot as I expected, though it is much hotter and more humid than Colorado, of course.

Yellowstone was beautiful. Hopefully I'll have pictures up within the next week or so... sorting through the 1600+ pictures my dad and I took will take some time, though.

It's funny how much growth occurs out of conflict.

Drives are great times to meditate on the character and nature of God.

When I miss even just a few days of my consistent Bible study, I miss it - and it really affects my heart and spirit in deep ways.

Sin is best confronted by active, aggressive action taken to turn one's heart back toward God - toward desiring His best and His glory, and then actually acting in ways to glorify Him. When we are actively glorifying God, when we are delighting in doing things that are revelatory of His nature and being in its fullness to those around us and to our own hearts, there is no room for any enjoyment of sin. Even the temptation is beaten when we focus on Christ instead of on the temptation to sin.

How beautiful it is for brothers to pursue God together, to dwell in His word and delight in praying to Him together! I've rarely been so blessed as in the two hours of prayer I spent with Jamin last week; and the only thing that compares is the experience of spending another six hours meditating on God's word, praying, and writing a song together...

I love my family. We butt heads sometimes, but always all of us are seeking God's will and the very best, and wherever we make mistakes, the Spirit faithfully brings correction and draws us closer to Him - and to each other.

I'm so incredibly excited for my sisters this year, to see how God moves in their lives. One going into her sophomore year of high school, and she will change that school. The other beginning her freshman year of college, and she will make a difference in many lives around her. They both bless me immensely.

I love writing letters. I'm probably going to try to write one Wednesday night to a friend from FFI. I miss the people at FFI, and I miss the community we shared, though of course it's clear that we are all to be right where we are at this very moment.

A workplace where people truly love God is an incredible place to be. I'm looking forward to being back at this Mardel.

RA Training may not be the most exciting phase of this job - though it's definitely one of the busiest - but it is a very great blessing, and I'm enjoying it thus far. I know that I have definitely been placed with this team for this time for a very specific purpose. And I love the team of people I'm working with this semester.

It's hard to find time to write a book in the midst of all of this. But the time is there; I simply must be disciplined, exercise my will as I surrender to Christ, and walk forward as He calls.

I may be doing less this semester than I thought. And God has a funny way of opening our eyes to places we called something His wisdom when it was really our own. I am slowly learning to presume less that I know exactly what the future holds. (It's interesting... I don't plan things out precisely; I just expect them to go the way I imagine they will. Amusing, especially to Him who holds all things in His hands, I've no doubt.)

I'm going on a blind date with a friend of a friend, along with the friend who's setting this whole thing up and her boyfriend. I'm not really expecting anything in particular out of this; I anticipate an enjoyable evening and no more... yet if God should move to create a good friendship (or even more) who am I to argue with Him? At the very least the evening should prove entertaining.

And all of this comes together in my heart to simply shout out with all my strength, "May God be glorified in my words, in my thoughts, in my deeds!"

I love you all... but far more importantly, our Father in Heaven loves you deeply, passionately, with an abandon that exceeds our ability to comprehend. Walk in the assurance of His plan for your life, in whatever pain or joy you find yourself. May His peace surround you.

- Chris

Thursday, August 2, 2007

In wake of tragedy

In light of recent events, I thought it fitting to post Pastor John Piper's thoughts on the tragedy in Minneapolis (copied here in their entirety):


At about 6 PM tonight the bridge of Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. I am writing this about three hours after the bridge fell. The bridge is located within sight of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Most of us who minister at the church cross this bridge several times a week. At this point I don’t know if any staff was on the bridge. Desiring God offices are about a mile from the bridge.

There are no firm facts at this point about the total number of injuries and fatalities. When we crossed the bridge Tuesday on our way out of town, there was extensive repair work happening on the surface of the bridge with single lane traffic. One speculates about the unusual stresses on the bridge with jackhammers and other surface replacement equipment. This was the fortieth anniversary of the bridge.

Tonight for our family devotions our appointed reading was Luke 13:1-9. It was not my choice. This is surely no coincidence. O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1-5. People came to Jesus with heart-wrenching news about the slaughter of worshipers by Pilate. Here is what he said.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.

All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.

The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.

We prayed during our family devotions. Talitha (11 years old) and Noel and I prayed earnestly for the families affected by the calamity and for the others in our city. Talitha prayed “Please don’t let anyone blame God for this but give thanks that they were saved.” When I sat on her bed and tucked her in and blessed her and sang over her a few minutes ago, I said, “You know, Talitha, that was a good prayer, because when people ‘blame’ God for something, they are angry with him, and they are saying that he has done something wrong. That’s what “blame” means: accuse somebody of wrongdoing. But you and I know that God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand.” Talitha said, “With his pinky.” “Yes,” I said, “with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.”

Talitha said, “Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.” “Yes, Talitha,” I said, “I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall.”

I sang to her the song I always sing,

Come rest your head and nestle gently
And do not fear the dark of night.
Almighty God keeps watch intently,
And guards your life with all his might.
Doubt not his love, nor power to keep,
He never fails, nor does he sleep.

I said, “You know, Talitha, that is true whether you die in a bridge collapse, or in a car accident, or from cancer, or terrorism, or old age. God always keeps you, even when you die. So you don’t need to be afraid, do you.” “No,” she shook her head. I leaned down and kissed her. “Good night. I love you.”

Tonight across the Twin Cities families are wondering if they will ever kiss a loved one good night again. Some will not. I am praying that they will find Jesus Christ to be their Rock and Refuge in these agonizing hours of uncertainty and even loss.

The word “bridge” does not occur in the Bible. There may be two reasons. One is that God doesn’t build bridges, he divides seas. The other is that usually his people must pass through the deadly currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:2). They may drown you. But I will be with you in life and death.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-38)

Killed all day long. But not separated from Christ. We go through the river. Not over it. He went before us, crucified. He came out on the other side. He knows the way through. With him we will make it. That is the message we have for the precious sinners in the Twin Cities. He died for your sins. He rose again. He saves all who trust him. We die, but because of him, we do not die.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)

Talitha is sleeping now. But one day she will die. I teach her this. I will not always be there to bless her. But Jesus is alive and is the same yesterday today and forever. He will be with her because she trusts him. And she will make it through the river.

Weeping with those who weep, and those who should,

Pastor John

Psalm 71:20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again.


God bless you all... peace be on your hearts.
- Chris

Sourced: Boundless Line