Maranatha and Art

January 3, 2011

I was reading some in A Layman’s Guide to Protestant Theology tonight when I came across this sentence:

“Compared to the medieval preoccupation with life after death, the Renaissance was relatively uninterested in the subject.”

The first place my mind went after reading this was Christians and the arts. There is a fundamental problem when we get so caught up in the things of this life – even beautiful things – that we forget to think with an eternal perspective. Whether you are a full-fledged Christian artist or casual movie viewer, we must look at art through the lens of eternity. No matter how beautiful any work of art may be, it is not better than what awaits us.

The Renaissance may have been uninterested in life after death, but confidence in the resurrection and an imminent expectation of the return of Christ helped the early church turn the world upside down.

“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13 ESV)

His glorious appearing is our hope.

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I Don’t Have Time to Read

December 31, 2008

Once again, it’s that time of year when people frantically bust out a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a list of resolutions for the new year. One rather common resolution is quite simple: read more. I know this has been a goal of mine in the past. However, this lofty aspiration eventually becomes a victim of this daunting creed:

I don’t have time to read.

Enter this article a couple of days ago. On New Year’s Eve three years ago, Karl Rove decided it was time to read more. (His original goal was a book a week.) He told this to the President, who joined in the resolution and effectively turned it into a contest between the two. The totals for 2006? Rove: 110; Bush: 95. They repeated the contest over the last two years, and Bush read 51 and 40 books. For those of you keeping score, he has read an average of 60 books a year over the last three years. Not too shabby for the leader of the free world.

I like to think of myself as a busy guy, but I cannot bring myself to say that I am busier than the President of the United States. I feel as if my “I don’t have time to read” mantra has been incontravertibly refuted.

So as my white flag of surrender, I am going to resolve to read more in 2009. A book a week seems a bit ambitious, unrealistic, and probably a set-up for failure. So I think I’m going to start out with a goal of reading 20 books in 2009. (Baby steps, right?)

Who’s with me?

Happy New Year, everyone!

Another Summer Mix

June 20, 2007

I have definitely enjoyed listening to my summer mix so far this summer. Whether I am working around the house, writing a blog, cleaning a parking lot, or cruising through town on a sunny day, those tunes just seem to hit the spot every time. If I had to add one more song to the mix right now, I would probably add “Dance Tonight”—the new song from Paul McCartney. Lyrically and musically this song is so simple, but it will have you dancing around your house tonight before you know it.

Speaking of songs for the summer, I have recently started going through another set that I am enjoying immensely. This year I have been reading through the Bible with a reading plan from Compass Bible Church. By following this plan, I will spend most of the summer reading through the book of Psalms—a collection of 150 amazing, God-entranced songs. Check out some of the greatest hits.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Psalm 1:1-2

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16:11

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 23:1

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
Psalm 34:8,10

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
Psalm 63:1,3

“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
Psalm 73:28

“For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”
Psalm 92:4

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Psalm 136:1

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Psalm 150:6

Whether you were planning on it or not, you should go through Psalms this summer. Even if you already have a reading plan, try adding one Psalm into the mix each day. Or even choose a Psalm for the week, read it each day, and meditate on it throughout your week.

Some Psalms may be short, but they are loaded. I spent a whole semester trying to wrap my head around Psalm 131, and it’s only three verse long.

Meditate on the word this summer, remembering what the first Psalm says about the man who does this: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”