keep looking


Observation - one of the three important steps in Bible study. It's one that many people neglect, but if one is to understand, one must first see completely before understanding. I have written about my experiences with Dr. Howard Hendricks and his course on Bible Study methods, but I'm finding that observation is a skill that can be constantly improved. I remember a story that Prof. Hendricks once shared with the class about the experience of a student charged with observing a fish to improve his powers of observation. Here's a video version of that story:

the missing people choir (tuneful tuesday #8)

A somber tune for a tremendous effort...

In 2017, a group of people formed a choir comprised of individuals whose loved ones have gone missing, or individuals who support the work of the group.

The choir is not only a support group. It is also a public conduit which keeps such tragedies in people's attention in the hope that maybe someone might know something and be able to help these grieving families find closure.

In some respects, we are all lost - we have left our Heavenly Father and wandered off on our own way. Like the prodigal's father (Luke 15:11-32), our Heavenly Father is awaiting our return, ready to welcome us home and forgive us all of our trespasses.

this is me (tuneful tuesday #7)

It's an unconventional musical to say the least.

P.T. Barnum. Freaks. Circus. Rich. Poor. Prejudice. Dreams. Happiness. Commitment. The Greatest Showman seems to have a little bit of everything. But most of all it has music -- at times tender, at times powerful. It may not be historically accurate - after all it IS a musical - but it is a good story and it's a good time at the movies. Some hated the movie. I thought it was well done.

"This Is Me" is features Barnum's collection of special people. They attempt to enter a room full of high society snobs during the reception of Barnum's newest "show" - the European opera singer, Jenny Lind. But he prevents them from entering on the pretense they have a show they must get ready for, attempting to cover his embarrassment of their presence during his finest entertainment moment. So he sends away the ones who gained for him his new found success; you can almost taste the disappointment. Societal station trumps friendship - and the angry entertainers leave the theater and march back to their circus proclaiming loudly and proudly that they are not ashamed of who they are.


three lessons

There are three lessons I would write, Heart
Three words, as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light,
Upon the hearts of men.

Have Hope. Though clouds environ round,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put off the shadow from thy brow:
No night but hath its morn.

Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven -
The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth -
Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,
The inhabitants of earth.

Have Love. Not love alone for one,
But man, as man, thy brother call;
And scatter, like a circling sun,
Thy charities on all.

-Frederich von Schiller

no regrets


I remember learning many years ago that every day has a lesson. It's part of the beauty of being a life-long learner; you always find there is something new to learn about myself or the world around me - IF I take the time to consider, to reflect, to ponder. It's not that hard. Keeping a journal helps. Write it down. If it is part of living, it can be part of a journal.

cure for the hurrying and the bustling

RockingLet me counsel every true servant of Christ to “examine his own heart” frequently and carefully as to his state before God. This is a practice which is useful at all times: it is especially desirable at the present day.  When the great plague of London was at its height people [noticed] the least symptoms that appeared on their bodies in a way that they never remarked them before. A spot here, or a spot there, which in time of health men thought nothing of, received close attention when the plague was decimating families, and striking down one after another! So it ought to be with ourselves, in the times in which we live. We ought to watch our hearts with double watchfulness. We ought to give more time to meditation, self-examination, and reflection. It is a hurrying, bustling age: if we would be kept from falling, we must make time for being frequently alone with God.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

flight song (tuneful tuesday #2)

Another song for Tuesday... I believe I may have posted this before, but it still is one of my favorites. Here it is performed by the BYU Singers (Dr. Andrew Crane, conductor).

All we are we have found in song:
you have drawn this song from us.
Songs of lives unfolding flying overhead, cry overhead;
longing, rising from the song within.
Moving like the rise and fall of wings,
hands that shape our calling voice on the edge of answers you’ve heard our cry,
you’ve known our cry: music’s fierce compassion flows from you.
The night is restless with the sounds we hear,
is broken, shaken by the cries of pain:
for this is music’s inner voice,
saying yes, we hear you,
all you who cry aloud, and we will fly,
answering you: so our lives sing,
sing, wild we will fly,
wild in spirit we will fly.
Like a feather falling from the wing,
fragile as a human voice,
afraid, uncertain, alive to love,
we sing as love, afraid, uncertain,
yet our flight begins as song.

Kim André Arnesen (b. 1980)

too busy...

I recently read this very interesting and entertaining article by Jason Zook -- about being too busy. He's very convicting, but in a good way.


I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person being too busy.

Let me rephrase that: I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person that I respect being too busy. The most creative people of our time are doing more things in a day than most people do in a week (or even month). But you know what you rarely hear a highly creative or successful person say? “I’m too busy.”

Continue reading "too busy..." »

i believe (tuneful tuesday #1)

How's about a song on Tuesday? Here's one by one of my favorite choirs: St. Olaf College Choir (Minnesota).  This was recorded in Trondheim, Norway (2013).

I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining.

I believe in love, even when I feel it not.

I believe in God, even when He is silent.

(The words were apparently found in a concentration camp at the end of WWII.)

missing Christmas

The holidays are hard. So many emotions. So many memories. Each year they all come flooding back...and for those who find themselves alone at Christmas it becomes particularly difficult.

I miss my Mom. I miss my Dad. I miss the friends that are no more - whether it be my fault or theirs. Some nights I sit and watch the lights on my little Christmas tree, and pray to my Savior and ask Him to help me to remember, to reflect, and to rejoice knowing that no matter what has happened or will happen, He's ever with me.

I pray the Lord will inspire you to grow closer to Him this Christmas season, and help you hold on to Him today, tomorrow, and always.

Merry Christmas my friends.