Last November I blogged on my son Karsten Piper's poetry. I celebrated some of his awards and ended by saying "Perhaps we will post a few more of Karsten’s poems in the coming months."
Well, now that the winter issue of Rock and Sling: A Journal of Literature, Art, and Faith has appeared I am able to post one of the best poems I have ever read on a Biblical text.
I promise you it is not what you expect.
It’s called “Luke 18.25” and it won the Virginia Brendemuehl Poetry Contest from Rock and Sling.
by Karsten Piper
He spread his blanket on the sand,
kneeled and arranged his bowls and tools:
hook, mallet, clamp, chisel, rasp, razor. …
The humble are happy when they see other people boasting in the Lord.
“My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad” (Psalm 34:2).
The humble are happy when other people magnify the Lord with thanksgiving.
“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. . . . When the humble see it they will be glad” (Psalm 69:30, 32).
Why are the humble happy when others boast in the Lord and magnify the Lord with thanksgiving?
Because humility is most fundamentally a trembling love for the majesty of God and secondarily a trembling sense of our sin and smallness and dependence.
Abraham Lincoln, who was born on this day 199 years ago, remained skeptical, and at times even cynical, about religion into his forties. So the most striking thing about Marvin Olasky’s recent article about Lincoln in World Magazine is to see how personal and national suffering drew Lincoln into the reality of God, rather than pushing him away.
In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 years old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington. Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided th…
A couple weeks ago, we posted John Piper's thoughts on the Yale response to "A Common Word." A few days later, we posted some thoughts from Rick Love, one of the signatories of Yale's Christian response. Then last week, in the Q&A session of our pastors conference, we got a chance to hear from Greg Livingstone who also signed it.
You can listen to his answer or read the following (mildly edited) transcript:
Greg, can you address your signing of the Yale response to "A Common Word"? And maybe for those of us who are unfamiliar with it, you could give us a little background.
Greg Livingstone: Very quickly, 138 big names in Islam made an initiative calle…
Was the carnage of this past week in the USA extraordinary? These things came at us so fast that we did not click on them. Only when someone assembles them do they take our breath away.
Consider this from AP National Writer Ted Anthony:
Ugly things. Violent things. Elemental things. Epic things. The forces of nature and human anger unleashed in concentrated form across the land. Water and fire, gun and sky, bringing destruction, death and misery. And tears.
America's body count for the week from Feb. 2 to Saturday tops four score. Fifty-nine dead from the tornadoes in the South. Five dead after Edwin Rivera opened fire on his family and a SWAT officer in Los …
When I have to speak in front of a lot of people, I feel the way I imagine I would if I were jumping out of a helicopter. It's just not natural—at least that's what my body tells me. Nonetheless, when Scott Anderson asked me a couple months ago if I would introduce my dad at this year's pastors conference, I said yes. (And for four days leading up to it, I questioned the sanity of my decision.)
But I'm glad I did it. I love my dad a lot, and it was an honor to get to say a few things before he spoke on Tuesday.
Below is the text for my intro. (I'm only mildly embarassed to say I had it prepared 5 weeks early.) If you want to see it, it's the first 5 minutes of the video of my dad's …
The pastors’ conference has become a tradition in the Piper family. Back in the days when the conference was small enough to be held in the Bethlehem church building, the sons who were homeschooled loved to hang out there. It didn’t take them long to figure out who the pastors were that enjoyed talking with kids and playing basketball during break. Oh yes, and there were killer snacks.
The big family event during conference is Tuesday evening when the speakers and their wives are invited to dinner at our house before the evening session. We’ve done this since the very first conference, because we wanted to give the speakers one time during the conference when they could visit with each …
When we knew Alex and Brett Harris would be in town for the DG Pastors’ Conference, we wanted to catch them for an interview. Who better to interview two popular young bloggers than another young person? The guys were glad to sit down with Talitha Piper, 12, and answer her questions.
The message of the 19-year-old twins is, “Do hard things.” That’s also the title of their book, available in April.
They are high school grads, homeschooled all the way, and applying now to colleges for the fall or spring. In the meantime, this year is filled with writing, organizing Rebelution conferences (4 in 2007; 7 in 2008) and answering the emails they receive through their website.
Al Qaida has moved another step toward western standards of abortion barbarity in using Down Syndrome women to blow boys and girls to pieces. The news is that this was not suicide bombing, but the detonation of retarded girls at a distance.
The disgust one feels for the kind of heart that does this could reveal to England and America how we should feel when we screen for Down Syndrome babies and then kill them. Compare the stories:
Story One: al Qaida
At Breitbart.com (and most news sources), it is reported that yesterday al Qaida used two women with Down Syndrome to bear the explosives under their clothes and then were detonated remotely killing over 70 people.
There are as many answers to this question as there are ways to do good and not wrong. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10). “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Here are some things that, it seems to me, need to be emphasized in our day.
- Pray the fullest blessing of Christ on them whether they love you or not.
- Do good to them in practical ways that meet physical needs.
- Do not retaliate when personally wronged.
- Live peaceably with them as much as it depends on you.
- Pursue their joyful freedom from sin and from condemnation by telling them the truth…