Magnificent

space-11099_1280

Lord, give us a glimpse of you
Through your Word, that Eternal Spring
You are more than we can drink
And give us a glimpse of you
Eternal past to what will be
You are greater than we think

For you are
Beyond all of us, All-Glorious
Inside of us, Victorious
Sovereign over us, Mysterious
You’re Magnificent
So Magnificent

Lord, give us a glimpse of you
Through your voice and all that was made
You are more than we can see
And give us a glimpse of you
Through many trials and suffering
You are more than we believe

Reveal yourself a little at a time
To our sinful finite minds
Until we see you as you are

Behind the lines

Ascribe to the Lord Glory – Psalm 29

Advertisements

Voices in the Sky

image

Voices in the sky, speak,
Waves from a starry sea,
Their praise will never ever cease,
As they call, “Please hear me.”

Declaring He is glorious,
He is glorious,
He is glorious,
God is glorious.

One voice rises and falls,
One voice echoes the words,
While Dawn and Dusk cry out to all,
For the glory of God.

Sing along with the sun,
Sing along with the birds,
Add to a song that’s never done,
Tell the world of His worth.

Join in the chorus,
Make your own verses,
For He is glorious,
God is glorious.

Behind the lines

Psalm 19:1-6

And I love this video…

The Prince & Poetic Effort

I recently completed John Piper’s book, Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully: The Power of Poetic Effort in the Work of George Herbert, George Whitefield, and C. S. Lewis (The Swans Are Not Silent). It’s part of The Swans Are Not Silent series and to me this is the best so far. However, I could be a bit biased as this is an area of passion for me, a passion for the Prince of Peace and the poetic effort to see and savor Him, while pointing others to do the same.

In the Introduction, Piper tackles a tremendous question and one of his biggest fears. Does poetic effort contradict Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians  1:17?  In Paul’s writing he says, “I …did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech and wisdom.”  On this topic Piper notes that, “there is a way to speak the gospel — a way of eloquence or cleverness of human wisdom — that nullifies the cross of Christ.”  He states it’s a fearful thing to run the risk of contradicting Scripture, but “the risk is unavoidable” because words are required. Piper writes:

Every person who seeks to commend Christ with words faces this issue. And we cannot do without words in commending Christ. We know him in the words of Scripture, and the Scriptures themselves teach us how indispensable words are in the Christian life.

And we cannot just quote Scripture. We must talk about it. Explain it. Exult in it. Defend it. Commend it. Herald it. Pray it.

Should I do the hard work of thinking about these things but not share it with anyone?

The effort to put the truth of God, and all his ways and works, into fresh language — something that may have never been spoken before — is a way of coming near to God.

He goes on to explain Paul’s writing and gives six reasons for defending poetic effort including examples of the use of poetry in Scripture. He then highlights the different ways Herbert, Whitefield, and Lewis modeled the use of poetic effort in their lives. It’s not just about writing poetry like Herbert did, it includes the preaching of Whitefield and “his God-given oratorical abilities”, and the prose of Lewis, whom Piper, while pointing out their theological differences, calls “a master thinker and master likener — a master of poetic effort in story and essay.”

The theme throughout each of their lives was a poetic effort of seeing and saying things for the glory of God in Christ. We may never see talent like these men again, but we have the same Christ, the same wonder, and various gifts to glorify Him in unique ways. How are you using your gifts and abilities? How can you incorporate poetic effort in service of the Lord?

In the Chapter on George Herbert, Piper writes:

The role of the poet is to be God’s echo. Or God’s secretary. To me, Herbert’s is one of the best descriptions of the Christian poet:  “Secretarie of thy praise.”

O Sacred Providence, who from end to end
Strongly and sweetly movest! shall I write,
And not of thee, through whom my fingers bend
To hold my quill? shall they not do thee right?

Of all the creatures both in the sea and land
Only to Man thou has made known thy wayes,
And put the penne alone into his hand,
And made him Secretarie of thy praise.

(From Herbert’s poem: “Providence”)

So what is poetic effort? Piper explains it several different ways:

Every Christian is called to speak of God’s excellencies.

The effort to say freshly is a way of seeing freshly. The effort to say strikingly is a way of seeing strikingly. The effort to say beautifully is a way of seeing beauty.

The effort to put the glimpse of glory into striking or moving words makes the glimpse grow.

The effort to put the excellencies into worthy words is a way of seeing the worth of the excellencies. The effort to say more about the glory than you have ever said is a way of seeing more than you have ever seen.

Poetic effort is a way — a pervasively biblical way, a historically proven way — of seeing and savoring and showing the glory of God.

Poetic effort is the effort to see and savor and speak of the wonder — the divine glory — that is present everywhere in the world.

…may he grant us a humble, Christ-exalting poetic habit of speaking his wonders…in words of seasonable joyousness, honey sweetness, golden fitness, and gracious saltiness. May he do it so that we ourselves might first taste, then tell.

 

 

New Words

typewriter-1170657_1920

What can I write about the LORD,
No one has thought or said?
There must be new words I can sleuth,
Unknown within my head.

I know the canon has been closed,
No scripture comes through me,
Yet is there more praise I can give,
Before eternity?

Spirit inspire and guide me through,
Deep mysteries divine,
Then show my hands the keys to type,
And clues I should combine.

Reveal a prayer or simple phrase,
Unused upon this earth,
Construct the pieces I must write,
In poetry and verse.

All Creation Sings

The fields wave, the waters roar,
Making joyful noises to our Lord,
The mountains rising from the sea,
And they’re pointing to His majesty.

And You have done such marvelous things.

Hallelujah, for Your glory,
All creation sings to You.
Hallelujah, for Your glory,
All creation sings to You, sings to You.

The image of a holy God,
With His fingerprints on each of us,
Created by Him, so wondrously,
And we’re pointing to His majesty.

The power of God in a glorious display
The beauty of heavens yet unseen
There’s no excuse to bring.

Our hearts of stone were dead and cold,
Until quickened by our sovereign Lord.
New life raising from sin set free,
And we’re pointing to His majesty.

Behind the lines

Co-written with David Ennis and Drew Pearce. You may listen to a sketch of the song here (Drew’s vocals).

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20 ESV)

Infinite Otherness

galaxy-2357504_1280

Before the first morning,
Before an angel could fly,
Further than the mind can go,
Further than the mind can go,
You were there, You were there,
In splendor and light.

Self-Existing, Otherness,
The Almighty, Infinite,
In Your glory, Infinite,
Infinite in holiness,
In holiness.

Long before creation,
You sang a melody unknown,
A timeless chorus of love,
A timeless chorus of love,
Filling the air, filling the air,
Around Your throne.

And when creation’s time had come,
A new song spilled from Your tongue,
Then You came, O Infinite.

Behind the lines

Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose (Isaiah 46:8–10 ESV).

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: