diapsalmata navbrand

Articles

The Grief of Parents
Luther wrote, "There are very great and intense emotions that God has... implanted in parents. And if at any time their hearts are wounded by grief or sorrow on account of a misfortune suffered by children, this is a very real plague and a poison for their lives."
John Owen on the subject of divorce
John Owen wrote, "The apostle Paul expressly sets the party at liberty to marry who is maliciously and obstinately deserted, affirming that the Christian religion doth not prejudice the natural right and privilege of men in such cases: 1 Cor. vii. 15, "If the unbelieving depart, let him depart."
Sinning with the Saints
In the wake of the latest celebrity scandal, this one involving the late Ravi Zacharias, one of the more social media common refrains has been, “but David!” The reasoning goes something like this: If David could catastrophically sin, so could Zacharias. If David could be forgiven, so too could Zacharias. If David, sinner that he […]
seven marks of false teachers
I spent some time this week, revisiting Thomas Brooks’s invaluable book, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices. Over the years it has become a favorite of mine—one that I’ve recommended more than any other except perhaps Richard Sibbes’s “The Bruised Reed.” Toward the end of the book, Brooks touches on the topic of false teachers and […]
slavery puts men in competition with God
I bought male and female slaves, and I had slaves born at home. I also possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. I also amassed for myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers, and the pleasures of mankind: […]
the grace of disillusion
In reading a portion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's wonderful book Life Together, I came across this passage. Such a powerful notion, this idea that disillusion may be tool in the hand of the Master, shaping and molding His people and His church. Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from […]
trouble exceeded (part 4)
In our continuing series on Parents' Groans Over Their Ungodly Children, the author endeavors to “show the greatness of this calamity, by comparing it with other troubles and showing how this exceeds them.” Under usual circumstances, “my sorrow is worse than yours” isn’t something I normally recommend. It can be divisive, harsh, and needlessly antagonistic. […]
warning to a would be balaam
In this, the final part of this series, we see that William Gurnall provides a word of caution to any would-be Balaams lingering among his readership. If you recall, Balaam was a prophet—ostensibly a genuine prophet of God—who was subsequently hired by the wicked king Balak to curse Moses and the Israelites. But Balak erred […]
Guardrails Against Wrongful Use of the Imprecatory Psalms
Concerning the use of imprecatory Psalms prayers, Gurnall issued these warnings: Do Not Pray Against Our Own Particular Enemies Take heed thou dost not make thy private particular enemies the object of thy imprecation: we have no warrant, when any wrong us, to go and call fire from heaven upon them. We are bid indeed […]
imprecatory prayers
“And thus I clothe my naked villany With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”[1] Lately Twitter has buzzed with talk of imprecations—that is, the usefulness of modern believers praying imprecatory prayers over the deeds and lives of our enemies. Some of it is […]
a greater calamity
The word “calamity” is a strong word. Very strong. It is defined as: Any great misfortune or cause of misery; in general, any event or disaster which produces extensive evils, as loss of crops, earthquakes, etc., but also applied to any misfortune which brings great distress upon a single person; misfortune; distress; adversity; an event […]
parents can have ungodly children
In the second part of our series on Parents’ Groans Over Their Ungodly Children, Lawrence begins laying the groundwork with this: it is ordinary for Christian parents to beget unregenerate children. He supports his belief via three premises: Character qualities of godly parents Character qualities of ungodly children Other instances Character Qualities of Godly Parents […]
Christian Parents Can Have Ungodly Children
In part two in our series on the book, Parents' Groans Over Their Ungodly Children (available on Amazon here), Lawrence begins by laying the groundwork for his conclusion that "it is ordinary for Christian parents to beget unregenerate children." He supports his conclusion via three primary angles: Character qualities of godly parents Character qualities of […]
Parents Groans Over Their Ungodly Children
The Christian community, especially the Reformed and Particular Baptist communities, have a dearth of books devoted to certain difficult subjects; domestic violence is one, rebellious children is another. I’m not exactly sure why this is so, but it’s true. It seems like Reformed and Particular Baptist believers should be the primary sources on hard subjects, […]
Benjamin Warfield and the Question of Christ's Subordination
The subject of the Trinity has been a continual point of contention for some years now. To further complicate matters, many complementarians have made Christ's subordination a sort of ground zero of orthodoxy. In other words, believe in the authority of God the Father and the eternal submission of the Son, or you can't be […]
Behold the Father's Tolerance of Us
In re-reading Sinclair Ferguson's fantastic book, "The Whole Christ", I stumbled upon the following fantastic passage. This is such an important point, especially as it pertains to the debate over Eternal Submission of the Son (ESS) or as some call it, the Eternal Functional Subordination of the Son (EFS). The Father's will is not distinct […]
John Owen on Divorce
I'm pretty staunch in my adherence to a Baptistic view of doctrine, specifically, the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Yes, I've studied Presbyterian ecclesiology, however I find its claims lacking Scriptural evidence. Having said that, the authors of 1689 LBC, for whatever reason, chose to omit the Westminster’s clear response to the issue of […]
Baffled to Fight Better: Job on the Dunghill
In my study time this morning I came across some reading notes from the book Baffled to Fight Better: Job and the Problem of Suffering by Oswald Chambers. Now, I've taken a good deal of flak concerning Chambers, especially from my Reformed friends. I'm ok with that. After all, it's a hard thing to fault […]
Anfechtung: Faith to Doubt
Some people assume that the words doubt and skepticism are interchangeable, and I suppose that in some respects they are. But there is a deeper, more profound rubric for doubt, one that is not skeptical; one that is not a lack of faith but is (ironically enough) rooted in profound depths of faith-full-ness. What are […]
diapsalmata brandmark
From the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith—remarkable insight and pastoral concern for those struggling in the wake of domestic abuse. The following quotes have been pulled from a helpful study published by the Presbyterian Church of America. William Ames Perhaps best known for his book “The Marrow of Divinity”, Ames is an excellent […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Life is stressful. It just is. Maybe not for you, maybe not at this time, but for me right now, it is. And in common practice with the tired, poor, and huddled masses, my great dream these days is escape. But that's not the way sanctification works, is it? Nope. Instead, it would appear that […]
the circular structure of redemption
Best friends Ben Feltner and Thad Coulter were residents of a close knit farming community in 1912. For years their kin had tilled the soil together, cultivating the sort of togetherness that's hard to come by. Generation gave way to generation; each one pinning its faith upon its successor. Thad's son was one of the […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Last week Doug Wilson posted an article about Potiphar's wife. With typical flair, he imagined her as a modern-day feminist who, though classically maligned, awakens to the realization that she was the victim instead if Joseph. Outfitted with counseling sessions, jargon, and a therapeutic blog, she informs readers that Joseph had "groomed" her for his […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.' When Herod the king […]
diapsalmata brandmark
The wit of CS Lewis was both humorous and razor-sharp. In the following bit he poked fun at some of our favorite (and most exasperating) Christmas traditions. Enjoy. "And beyond this there lies in the ocean, turned towards the west and north, the island of Niatirb which Hecataeus indeed declares to be the same size […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Another thought-provoking post from pastor Tim Keller, this one borrowed from The Gospel Coalition. So what can we say when we are called upon to present the reasons why we believe? First, I try to show that it takes faith to doubt Christianity, because any worldview (including secularism or skepticism) is based on assumptions. For […]
diapsalmata brandmark
  Unless God has become a concrete reality in Jesus Christ, He has no meaning for us at all. Jesus nowhere said, “He that hath seen man hath seen the Father”: He emphatically states that He is the only medium God has for revealing Himself. The trend of thought at the heart of all the […]
the ininuating handkerchief
A little insinuation and the culmination of circumstances were all it took to seal her death. And a handkerchief. That’s what did it. The handkerchief. In Shakespeare’s classic telling of Othello, a Moorish general of Venice fell prey to the doubtful suggestions of his unknown enemy, Iago. The claim was that Othello’s wife Desdemona was […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Some have questioned—quite wisely, I would add—as to why I would author a website devoted to “living between doxology and doubt.” After all, isn’t doubt a sin? For them, the oft quoted James 1:6–8 appears to answer the issue. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Desiring God has released a free e-book on disability. "Disabilities break into life in various forms: as the product of genetic misalignments in the womb, as the result of tragic and regrettable accidents, as the byproducts of infectious disease, and from the degenerative effects of old age. They affect joints, bones, nervous systems, lungs, hearts, and brains. And even in […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Some things have a way of forcing the issue; of thrusting the truth before my heart—the truth that I should have known all along. Or perhaps I did know and simply chose to ignore it. Pride is stubborn that way. This truth in this piece by Petra Hefner made me want to weep. "Lord be […]
diapsalmata brandmark
The problem with waiting is that the only part we seem to care about (perhaps because it's the only part that directly concerns us) is the human perspective. Job went faithfully about his life as a slanderous tongue spoke above him (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-4). Elisha's servant was blind to the hosts (2 Kings 6:15-17) just […]
diapsalmata brandmark
For everyone who has ever doubted the force of His love, this is for you. Very few things have ever really "changed my life." This is one of them. From a sermon on Communion, this is Kierkegaard: "'Love (Christ's love) covers a multitude of sins.' "And is it not true that you have felt that, […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"Vietnam was full of strange stories, some improbable, some well beyond that, but the stories that will last forever are those that swirl back and forth across the border between trivia and bedlam, the mad and the mundane." Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried Author Tim O'Brien was young when he went to war; "twenty-one […]
diapsalmata brandmark
The room opened to the excited smiles of the ladies in my special needs Sunday school class. Turning to close the door behind me, I heard one of them say, I'm so happy she's here! I just love Dawn!" My heart leapt at her words. Love is a thing that always astonishes me; theirs not […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Two women. Two days. But the story is the same. Somehow it’s always the same. The first I met one day at the pregnancy resource center where I volunteer. She sat before me, quiet, beautiful, embarrassed. Tears fell from eyes that, Eve-like were open to a truth she'd rather forget. She had known better. Of […]
diapsalmata brandmark
In June, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force drafted a recommendation that “clinicians screen women of childbearing age for intimate partner violence (IPV), such as domestic violence, and provide or refer women who screen positive to intervention services,” extending the call to include even those “women who do not have signs or symptoms of abuse.”[1] […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Yesterday, I posted an article on the newest phenomenon in the publishing world. Today I want to explore the reasons fueling the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, and examine why we as believers should be concerned with the foothold it occupies in the American psyche. This is Part Two, "Fifty Shades of Grace." Tomorrow […]
diapsalmata brandmark
“I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you…” Granted, it’s not the traditional way Prince Charming wooed his lady; but then, fairytales didn’t typically include rape, bondage and written contracts of non-disclosure. That is, until now. Fifty Shades of Grey From humble roots as a homespun […]
laughter of the gods
The Ancient Greeks told the story of a man who had lost the ability to laugh. Parmeniscus consulted the oracle on this subject, the Pythian priestess replied to him, "You're asking me, you laugh-less man, about the power to laugh again. Your mother will give it you at home, if you with reverence to her come." So, on this, he hoped that when he returned to his country he should be able to laugh again.
diapsalmata brandmark
"He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city" (Psalm 31:21) We are not always cognizant of the marvels of His lovingkindness. In a city besieged, we are apt to keep our eyes at ground-level, narrowly focused on the evil and the machinations of war. We see nothing of the glories, nothing […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Two weeks ago my hands raced ahead of my thoughts, trying to prepare for vacation. The kids were going to camp and my husband and I, alone for the first time in seventeen years, had decided to take a trip. Plans were duly laid and tasks were soon assigned. Then came a rash of irritations […]
diapsalmata brandmark
“Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” ” (Genesis 41:51–52, ESV) Yesterday we went for a walk through […]
diapsalmata brandmark
O what transcendent subjects doth Providence daily present you with, to take up your discourses! How many experiences of extraordinary mercies and preservations have you to relate to one another, and bless the Lord for!” [1] Vanitypress. A colleague of mine had used the term to describe a self-absorbed segment of internet population—one to which […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Communication is a frustrating bit of work—laborious and (at times) vexing. Each time I try, I find myself slogging through, encumbered by words and phrases that (at best) can only graze my meaning. After all, how can one encapsulate the infinite (Romans 11:33; Ecclesiastes 3:14, 8:17)? How can frailty face the weightiness of praise (Romans […]
diapsalmata brandmark
A couple of excellent articles I've recently come across: Grief: An Apologetic of Grief and The Crushing Weight of Glory. Below is an excerpt from latter. I love this... W.A. Criswell was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas for 50 years. He told the story of taking a flight to go and speak at […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Best definition of joy I've found thus far. Read, re-read, and let its truth soak into your soul. "What then is joy? One begins to suspect that for most of [the New Testament and Early Church writers] joy was more than a happy feeling, a pleasing mood or a sense of overflowing jubilation, although it […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I never knew joy could be so difficult. But it is. Consider the following account. "The two venerable Martyrs, Ridley and Latimer, had both been brought before the same Commission on the charge of heresy… [Ridley] maintained his noble bearing to the end. He was adjudged “an obstinate and incurable heretic,” and condemned to the […]
cost of ordinary
There is no such thing as ordinary. Not really. Every movement of the clock and of the sun and of the lung is a circular motion of His grace; everything—all of life—begins and ends at the goodness of His will (Romans 8:28-30). Joy and laughter—even sanctified pain and sorrow—all were made possible, all were purchased […]
tyranny of joy
Fresh from the gate of my newborn pursuit of joy and I'm still wobbly on my feet, holding clinging to the Father's hand as I lurch between momentary victories and backward tumbles of un-faith. Clumsy. Ungraceful. Baby steps, you might say. (Proverbs 24:16) Still, learning to rejoice has its rewards. And in the midst of […]
diapsalmata brandmark
The other day a phenomenal article came across my reader. I loved it for so many reasons—not the least for it honesty. The Life of Faith in a Life in Crisis I love candor. I love transparency; that sort of no-holds-barred-this-is-who-I-am-in-light-of-His-love glimpse that is so rare among us today. It’s ragged. Real. And yes, sometimes it’s […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Last week I felt an upward tug on my heart. (Not, I say, at the corners of my mouth.) As I prayed about my next in-depth study of Scripture, I sensed a pull in the direction of Philippians. I will confess that I did not feel a particular kinship to the Apostle and his message […]
diapsalmata brandmark
As finals (finally) wind down, I'm peeping over the top of my textbooks to gaze at the prospect of a long list of summer reading. There are of course, the books I must read for the sake of review; then there are the books I must read for the sake of my soul. This is […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Mrs. Turpin and Mary Grace sat opposite one another there in the doctor’s office. Grace wore her wounds upon her face while Mrs. Turpin's demeanor announced the complacent wholeness of her entire being. As the wife of a well-to-do hog farmer, Mrs. Turpin did not normally keep company with the sick and infirm, but her […]
diapsalmata brandmark
As a seminary student withering beneath the hot breath of year-end finals, it's easy to get lost in the haze. Topics flood like tides, roll across my tongue and my mind, coming to invade even my sleeping self. Historical criticism and its impact on the destabilization of faith, the "unlimited plurality of hypotheses" leading to […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"Our life is nothing but as it were a web woven with interminglings of wants and favours, crosses and blessings, standings and fallings, combat and victory, therefore there should be a perpetual intercourse of praying and praising in our hearts. There is always a ground of communion with God in one of these kinds, till […]
diapsalmata brandmark
From my friend Petra at This Good Steward, a link  to an incredible message by Ligon Duncan. For anyone who (like me) has experienced darkness and doubt -- sheer depression and the "why God?!" that billows from an overtaxed soul, there is comfort (and hope!) for you. The Underestimated God : Together for the Gospel […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I love, love, love this poem from Petra at The Good Steward... Undress Me Undress me, remove my pretending reveal the real me the worm though wee in appearance is bigger even than Goliath and fiercer than a thousand restless winds when it's left alone with its sins its petty sins its pretty sins its spectacular […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Intoxicated

Sometimes when the longing strikes and the words refuse to come, I grab my camera and the nearest willing model and try to capture my heart with my lens. Here two of my favorites -- my younger daughter and my favorite poet -- do their utmost to help me.

diapsalmata brandmark
I am not a morning person. Never have been. But some days are easier than others. Some mornings I am warmed by Scriptures and the sun and the homespun sounds slipping under my door; my daughter making coffee, my son washing up breakfast dishes. But other days my heart does not rise to greet the […]
Savage Pilgrimage
DH Lawrence and thousands like him, climbed from the trenches of World War One, slipped off their uniforms, and stepped into civilian life. But the landscape was different now, irrevocably altered. As were they.
diapsalmata brandmark
"Your fear is what cripples you." His words cut through the night that lay at the end of what seemed an endless day. I burrowed deeper into the darkness that blanketed us, avoiding his meaning. Just beyond, a light calmly glimmered on the wall, as if to nod in electronic confirmation. My computer, now in […]
diapsalmata brandmark
For those whose hearts have quailed in the black night of abandonment, for the souls who've stood -- humiliated and ashamed, beneath the cast-off banner of rejection, for those of us who've wondered if God will someday do the same: healing words from Spurgeon. “Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” — […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Pyramids attest to great men and annals belong to kings but most of us common folk will simply make due with gravestones. Yet there remains a still more excellent way, a deeper legacy, a richer inheritance for those who follow -- a legacy not etched in stone, but in that indestructible substance: love. The following […]
diapsalmata brandmark
In what may be one of my absolute favorite themes of the book, the author underscores the idea of what he calls “every member ministry.” Boldly he asserts, “It is my conviction that God has all the necessary gifts of leadership within each congregation, if only those people could be recognized and encouraged to contribute […]
diapsalmata brandmark
A simple review of a fabulous book: Michael Green's, Thirty Years That Changed the World: The Book of Acts for Today, (2ndedition) By Michael Green. Erdmans, 2004. 250 pages. Christian apologist and British theologian Michael Green is the prolific author of more than fifty books. A quick survey of his works reveals a passionate concern […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I cannot make myself happy, but I can remind myself to believe. I can say, "Whether I feel it or not, I believe the Scriptures."
diapsalmata brandmark
The way in which a person listens to his pastor is, I believe, a brand of spiritual stethoscope; a sort of finger upon the pulse of the individual soul. Each week, God opens His mouth through the voices of His ministers; He bids His children to draw near and draw in precious, soul-sanctifying truth. But […]
an almost love story
“I was once in love with a girl; she became a theologian…”[1] So began the account of an almost love story, penned by the hand of the famed martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. By all accounts an intense and solitary man[2] the Bonhoeffer of younger years appears to have opened his heart to only her and in […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I love this article from The Gospel Coalition. God Himself, unafraid of our misery, boldly entered the scene of our inmost suffering and extended nail-scarred hands to ease our pain. What a magnificent truth! What a glorious Savior! Should not our songs celebrate that same grace the Scriptures reflect?
diapsalmata brandmark
Amid the siren call of retailers and the chaos of the calendar comes the still, small voice of an Infant newly born. I love David Schrovk's post on the broken beauty of the manger.
diapsalmata brandmark
Abraham Kuyper. His very name causes our faith to stand a little taller. Professor Kuyper. Kuyper the writer, philosopher, and sometime statesman; Kuyper the historian and theologian extraordinaire. Yet as the fires of his greatest trial burned away the accolades, the ashes revealed a heart that cherished one designation above all else-- the simple name […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives."
diapsalmata brandmark
Humbling words from Calvin (here quoted by Spurgeon). Despite our proud resistance of the fact, God does not need us; but in His grace, He allows us to play a small part in His grand and continuing storyline of redemption. "It is of the utmost importance to us to be kept humble. Consciousness of self-importance […]
diapsalmata brandmark
The Valley of Vision Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Greg Lucas has a humbling post on the true hope of every believer. All of this separation, heartbreak and uncertainty continually reminds us of of one thing--our desperate and absolute dependence on the One who cares for our son better than we could ever care for him ourselves. God has proven one thing to us […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Excellent advice for students of the Word! "For he is the best student who does not read his thoughts into the book, but lets it reveal its own; who draws from it its sense, and does not import his own into it, nor force upon its words a meaning which he had determined was the […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Earlier this year I was asked to review the highly anticipated book by Tim Challies. Originally, I had no intention of publishing my opinion; however, as I put together a list of recommended books I see I simply must include "The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion" as part of my collection. My […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Piling into the car the other day, my daughter reached for the dial on the radio. Tuning to one of her favorite radio stations, she began to sing along. Admittedly, I am not particularly fond of most of what passes for Christian music these days, but this time I was struck by the repeated references […]
diapsalmata brandmark
In 1237 Jeanne, Countess of Flanders, founded a hospital to provide for the needs of the sick and wayfaring. The result was a healing convergence of beauty and the most advanced palliative care. Today Jeanne's legacy lingers with us, clothed in the form of one of the most beautiful buildings in all of northern France. […]
diapsalmata brandmark
On hymns and song-writing -- I love this post by Sarah Sanchez over at Fernando Ortega's blog. "I am drawn to the specificity of [Come Down, O Love Divine]. It’s about something. It’s about a specific event in the Christian narrative. The humble stance, the plaintive tone; it’s a perfect hymn about God pouring out […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"A grander figure never stood out even against the Old Testament sky than that of Elijah. As Israel’s apostasy had reached its highest point in the time of Ahab, so the Old Testament antagonism to it in the person and mission of Elijah. The analogy and parallelism between his history and that of Moses, even […]
diapsalmata brandmark
It is a comfort to the wrestling heart, to gaze at the Word; to trace the outlines of those who have gone before, those who have struggled before—men like Elijah, who, with voice rising above the din of Baal-ish prophets, bids us understand the redemptive message of his life. The Scriptures carry all the weight […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Resurgence writer Zack Eswine has penned a humbling article on the particular weakness of one of the greats... Flashback can dizzy us. Day-dreams can shiver muscle and bone. These ghosts and chains clank and warble with no sense of propriety. They care little that we stand with a Bible in our hands, a sermon on our lips, […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I am somehow always grieved at the end of all my writing. I long to write what I can never express; thoughts and emotions too great, or perhaps too infinitesimal. I can only stare, lost in wonder and the silence of the impotent word. True, some one or other fancy, fact, or opinion might blot […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Between the blinding bliss of day-span And sightless doom of night Comes the mingling hours. When the soul, mellowed by eventide aspect Looks upon life in the still half light Where extremity cowers. Where, gone from the glare of over-sated mirth And midnight dearth of dark dismay, The soul beholds the sketch of the day […]
diapsalmata brandmark
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:1, ESV) I find this bit of Calvin […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I am always a little comforted to find that sometimes even scholars don't know what to do with certain passages of Scripture. Such it seems is the case with the somewhat uncomfortable account recorded in Genesis 38. In one particular school assignment, I came across a number of commentators who deemed these accounts disjointed, calling […]
diapsalmata brandmark
A balm for blank despair, for the shamed face covered in the dust of another weary defeat. There is grace for the soul that gasps, “Lord I believe! Please help mine unbelief!” (see Mark 9:24). On days like today I am so grateful for Spurgeon — and others like him — who grasp me by […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Prayer described. PRAYER is the soul’s sincere desire, Utter’d or unexpress’d; The motion of a hidden fire, That trembles in the breast. Prayer is the burden of a sigh, The falling of a tear; The upward glancing of an eye, When none but God is near. Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant […]
diapsalmata brandmark
About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along. —W.H. Auden, “Musée des Beaux Arts” Pain—has an Element of Blank— It cannot recollect When it begun—or if there were A […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"Jesus Christ is no dead Christ who is to be remembered only. He is a living Christ who, at this moment, is all that He ever was, and is doing in loftier fashion all the gracious things that He did upon earth. That pause of the King is repeated now, and the quick ear which […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Lord, the dust on Your feet mingled with the oil from the jar, and the hard heart of humanity scowled at it all. You were here with us, one of us; majesty mingled with mud. ‘Twas mercy called You hence — yes and justice that answered. For, marred in the deadly grapple with sin, the […]
diapsalmata brandmark
What he saw in her face would remain with him forever. It was pity, but it was more than that. It was hurt love that seemed to include entirely the hurt man.
diapsalmata brandmark
“When God is about to do any of His great works, He first silently prepares all for it. Not only the good seed to be scattered, but the breaking up of the soil for its reception is His. Instrumentalities, unrecognized at the time, are silently at work; and, together with the good gift to be […]
diapsalmata brandmark
It is a difficult thing, you know, to rejoice with those who rejoice. Perhaps for some, it is not; for me it is. To lay aside my own perspective and enter fully into the experience of another is a vulnerable thing, a frightening thing. And what if I am asked to celebrate a blessing bestowed […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Marie Magdalene. When blessed Marie wip’d her Saviours feet, Whose precepts she had trampled on before And wore them for a jewell on her head, Shewing his steps should be the street, Wherein she thenceforth evermore With pensive humblenesse would live and tread: She being stain’d her self, why did she strive To make him […]
transient tears
The lifeless body of Lazarus. The accusing glances of the crowd. The anguished faith of Martha. The cold despair of Mary. And the silent question of them all, "Lord, if You had only come..." Christ, standing on the verge of Lazarus's tomb and resurrection, wept with the tears He would later shed at the brink […]
diapsalmata brandmark
A word from Tim Keller: Why is it that some Christians who claim to believe in grace turn out to be angry, sarcastic, and reactionary? Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan, NY, provides an answer: There are two basic narrative identities at work among professing Christians. The first is what I will call […]
all things for good... even depression
From the great Spurgeon. Timely words on God’s sovereignty in the midst of debilitating depression– “MY DEAR BRETHREN,—I greatly value your prayers, and I feel intensely grateful for that Benjamin’s share in them which is ever my portion. I never consciously needed your intercessions more than I do just now, for I may say with […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Today my daughter and I visited a nursing home. To say that it was pleasant is to tell an untruth. The place was, to all of my senses, detestable. Smelly, noisy, and full of hopeless inactivity to be sure; but it was the lifeless despair which most characterized the inmates of that place. My heart […]
diapsalmata brandmark
This morning I was brought to worship at the Throne of grace, and a little child led me there.
diapsalmata brandmark
Father, the fields are white unto harvest and You have mercifully appointed laborers. I thank You for granting them strength—for judging them faithful workmen and appointing them to Your service (1 Timothy 1:12). Prepare therefore, I pray, the place of their service; cause the Word of the Lord to speed ahead and be honored (1 […]
diapsalmata brandmark
One of the most shallow petty things that can be said is that “every cloud has a silver lining.” There are some clouds that are black all through.
diapsalmata brandmark
And Jesus said to him, ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, I believe; help my unbelief!' Mark 9:24, ESV Sometimes I think that I've reached a stage in my walk at which I never doubt His ability to do. Rather, […]
diapsalmata brandmark
"The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life." The tyranny of illusion. Is any of us truly free from it? Intelligent minds shun the notion -- or at least they say they do. But the truth lies at the base of the meteoric rise of entertainment and […]
The Grand Inquisitor
Some quotes garnered from my reading of chapter five of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevski. Here he wrestles with universal themes of suffering and faith, of doubt and the goodness of God. It really is quite remarkable. 'Even this must have a preface- that is, a literary preface,' laughed Ivan, "and I am a poor […]
diapsalmata brandmark
You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or covetous person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a such a person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world." Ephesians 5:5 Puritan David Clarkson penned a fabulously helpful treatise called Soul Idolatry Excludes Men From Heaven. "Every reigning […]
diapsalmata brandmark
Someone drew an analogy between the local bar and the church, “The neighborhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit there is to the fellowship Christ wants to give to the Church. It’s an imitation, dispensing liquor instead of grace, escape rather than reality, but it is a permissive, accepting, and inclusive fellowship. It is unshockable. […]
diapsalmata brandmark
“The parable of the Good Samaritan is nothing if not provocative.”[1] So says the prologue to the book, Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road. Notably, a similar sentiment is often expressed concerning the book’s author himself, Timothy Keller. A graduate and later adjunct professor of Westminster Theological Seminary, he has been dubbed […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I’ve been studying a great deal lately. This morning I was in Isaiah 65:10 and saw there a reference to “Achor.” When I looked up Achor, I found it to mean a place of “trouble.” As far as I could tell, it is mentioned three times in Scripture. You might remember, Achor was the scene […]
diapsalmata brandmark
I love the Psalms. I love the language. I love the majesty. But mostly I love the gritty reality; the real and living emotion they embody.  I love the heart of the God Who was not afraid to record the angry dismay of His saints -- the ones who brokenly asked "why". No, nor was […]