Monday, September 29, 2008

Miscellaneous Details

I'm feeling unwell; I hope I'm not getting sick, though I fear I may be. Not something I can afford at the moment. If God allows me to become ill, however, I know He will supply all the grace and strength that I require.


I proposed to Jaimie Dawn three weeks and two days ago.

This is the first time I've had a chance to post pictures, but they're here now!

It's the most incredible thing in the world (slight case of hyperbole; that honor actually belongs to salvation and the opportunity to glorify Christ with our lives) to be engaged to this wonderful woman. She blesses me, encourages me, challenges me. And she's incredibly beautiful, and one fantastic kisser!


God is challenging me and growing me in ways that are unexpected. Which was expected. I am increasingly coming to appreciate the ways He works, and to simply relax and go as He leads instead of focusing on my own wisdom and plans. Too often my wisdom and plans fail because they lead away from Him and His ways.


Classes this semester are good and challenging in new and interesting ways. I'm taking my capstone, which is research - continuing the project I started this summer - and a Quantum Mechanics class, which are my only forays into the world of physics this semester. On top of that I'm taking music composition lessons (huzzah!) in which I'm working on an orchestra piece for the first time in several years, which is incredibly fun and exciting. (I'll post a sample or even the whole thing when I'm done with it.) I'm also taking a World War II history class, which is incredibly interesting - indeed, fascinating. Last but not least, I'm taking Introductory Greek (that is, of the classical variety), and that's easily my favorite class. There's something incredibly elegant and beautiful about the structure, word construction, and general flow of the language. Far more so than English. Trust me, you'll be hearing a lot more about this over the coming semester! (Along the way, I picked up a classical Greek keyboard, set; hopefully this'll show up properly for you: βίος τὸς κάλος. [Life is good/beautiful.])


I'm attempting to memorize the book of Hebrews this year. I'm crazy excited. It's easily one of my favorite books in the Bible; the picture it presents of Christ is incredible and I love reading it. Having it memorized would be hugely exciting and immensely helpful. It's also going to be pretty challenging... and I like challenges.


This whole post feels rather thoroughly incoherent. That's okay. I just needed to get it out, to get an update out, to have the keys under my fingers again. Eventually the feel of writing will return to me properly, but it's going to take some time.

God bless you all; may His grace and peace keep you!

- Chris

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Meditation on Sin and on Christ

I sit here and I do not know what to write. It is as though, having failed to exercise for a month, one attempts to run again and finds that much of one's endurance has faded. Like the body, the mind requires exercise. And mine has been exercised much, of late, about many things, but it has not gotten much exercise at all when it comes to writing. Much as I have longed to write, the time has simply escaped me. And I can feel it: I can feel the ways in which my mind, now a bit unused to creating with words in the same fashion, has altered, step by step and day by day.

And I see in that truth a metaphor for a greater truth. So it is with our walk with Christ, as much and more as it is so with our physical bodies and with our minds. We can so easily let our spirit atrophy, let our pursuit of Christ falter... and it is a slow creeping thing. The backsliding that we tragically see occur even in strong members of the body of Christ is never an instantaneous event: it is the consequence of a long and slow, a terrible and tragic slide that begins with one seemingly-small choice. The moment we choose to ignore a sin, to let it slide - the very moment that we have decided that one sin, no matter how seemingly trivial, is inconsequential or irrelevant or even simply not that important: that is the moment in which we begin a terrible fall.

If we do not repent of our sin, if we think it a light thing, if we call the destruction of it a pursuit for some other time, we fail to recognize sin for it actually is. The simplest "white lie" or the most heinous of human butchery alike defile the image of God in us; alike in kind though not in order, every varied kind of sin has at its heart - indeed, is at its heart - the disregarding of God himself, the failure to count him as being as worthy as he is. Each time we who are believers refuse to seek the active destruction of sin in our lives, we devalue the work of Christ on the cross; we devalue Christ himself, for it was his worth, not the cross itself, which makes his sacrifice so powerful. And to be scorning that sacrifice in any measure, no matter how - to human eyes - great or small is to be scorning Christ himself, to be calling him of little worth, to call the temporary pleasures of sin as being greater than the worth of God himself.

And this is a heinous crime. The worth of God is infinite, the worth of Christ, the image of the invisible God, is infinite, the worth of the Holy Spirit who has come from the Father to teach us all things is infinite; we scorn all three when we do not take deadly seriously sin itself - not merely its effects or consequences in our lives, but the sin itself. For we defile the image of God and refuse him the glory he is due for our lives; and we desecrate the worth of Christ as displayed in the incarnation, his life, and ultimately his death and resurrection; and we reject the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, without whom we would be blind to our sin and dead in our trespasses. It is no small thing to be grief to the God of all, the one who made all things and for whom all things were made, in whom all things find their purpose and their end.

So we dare not let sin take hold, we dare not let it have an inch. As the Puritan theologian John Owen wrote, centuries ago, if we are not killing sin, it is winning. That is - or certainly should be! - a truly horrifying thought. If every moment we are not vigilant and on guard against that insidious creeping, if we are not ever standing firm in the Lord and the power of his might, fully armored with the tools he has given us for the overcoming of sin, we will fall and fail. And it will be an invisible thing until the day in which we see that thing which we have coddled, nurtured, or simply ignored come bursting forth in all its terrible horror - and the ruin of our lives will be not merely consequence but also picture of the magnitude of the grievance that is sin. The destruction of our lives is not the reason we ought to fear and avoid sin: sin itself is the reason we ought to flee it. Its consequences in our lives are but the shadow of the great evil that it is - an evil so great that the only remedy was the death of one person of the Trinity. Sin is infinitely evil, for only a sacrifice of infinite worth could destroy it.

But praise be to God! We are not left to ourselves or our own devices, and we are not condemned to lives utterly foreign to their original design. We may be restored to grace: we may be restored to our purpose: we may bring glory to God in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Father in Heaven has sent his only Son in human form to redeem for himself a people, and that Son took on flesh and counted the humiliation as nothing and obeyed the Father even to the point of death, and in His resurrection he purchased our souls with his own blood. And now we are being made again in his image, the dragon-scales being ripped from us by lion-claws as the Holy Spirit penetrates our hearts and minds and sets us free from the overwhelming power of sin.

Rejoice, oh you who believe! You have been set free from the bondage of sin and death. No more are you a slave to the sins that you have committed; no more do you wear the shackles of your great shame. Christ has come and now lives forevermore, making intercession before the throne of God on our behalf! The Holy Spirit now indwells you, fills you, makes you increasingly like Christ so that you may rightly be a mirror of the light of God in this world. You have been chosen and saved to be a part of bringing the Kingdom of God into a world that has known only hell, to be an agent of the coming of light into a place of utter and grievous darkness, to be an ambassador of the King to a world that has rejected him. And by the power of the Holy Spirit you can and will cast aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles you and run so as to win the prize that awaits you: the prize of the upward calling on your life of Christ Jesus! You have been redeemed, bought with a price incomparable, and now give glory to your God and King! Be holy, as he is holy, not of your own power or ability but by the power of God in you, as the Holy Spirit sanctifies you and sets you apart. Be obedient, for to believe in Christ is to obey him. Love one another, for in this the world knows that we are his disciples.

And praise Him every day, every hour, every moment: with your words, with your thoughts, with your deeds, with your life. Praise him for all he has done. Praise him for all he is doing. Praise him for all he will do. Praise him most of all for who he is: the righteous and mighty God is does save, the wrathful judge and merciful redeemer, the humble brother and the great king!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The One (He'd Prayed For)

He spent the better part of twenty years alone
He spent the better part of twenty years waiting for her
But when she walked up that day
He had no way to know
That when she walked away
She'd be taking his heart

Though every day he doubted it could be
Though every day he doubted, still he dared to hope
When he asked her on a date
He was trembling inside
And as he wondered what she'd say
He knew deep in his heart

She was the girl of his dreams
She was the one he'd prayed for
And he fell to his knees
He got down on the floor
And he started to pray
With tears in his eyes
Could she be the one?
Lord help me tonight!

Many months went by and they started to date
Many months went by and he knew for true
That he wanted to spend
The rest of his days
To walk on to the end
With her by his side

Though there were many days they made mistakes
Still there were many days they got it right
And they quickly came to find
They were deeply in love
And when they kissed the first time
He knew with all of his heart

She was the girl of his dreams
She was the one he'd prayed for
And he fell to his knees
He got down on the floor
Every night he would pray
With hope in his heart
Let us be as one
Let us never part

The day finally came and he knew it was time
He'd ask her tonight to be his bride
All his waiting was done
So with tears in his eyes
He sang

You're the girl of my dreams
You're the one I've prayed for
And I fall to my knees
I get down on the floor
One question remains
One thing left to say
Will you stay with me,
To the end of our days?


She said yes.