Choose! Life or Limbs?

Noel Piper

If you have two functional legs, imagine life without them.... Imagine life without them.... Imagine that your legs are gone so that you can have life.

That’s the story of my cousin, Mal. He was in a coma, almost dead, and his sons and daughter agreed to the one medication that might save his life, knowing that the loss of fingers or feet was a likely side effect.

Noel Piper's cousin MalDespite weeks of therapy, he did lose both legs below the knee. He says, “You would thinkthatI would be angry and bitter.I... Continue Reading

The Wickedness of Bribery and the Hope of the Gospel

John Piper

Last Thursday two judges pleaded guilty in Philadelphia to accepting more than $2.6 million from a private youth detention center in return for giving hundreds of youths and teenagers long sentences.

Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan admitted that for three years they took payoffs from two penal childcare institutions.

In this we move not just beyond the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21), and not just beyond the law of Moses (Exodus 23:21), but... Continue Reading

A Love Poem of Hope

John Piper

A Love Poem of Hope
in Seven Languages
for my wife Noël

Valentines Day, 2009

My love, come listen as I seek
With seven tongues, and hope, on your
Sweet soul to let our Sovereign speak:
Je suis avec vous tous les jours.

He bids us come and learn to rest
Beneath his feather burden. Come feel,
He says, how light, how sweet, how blessed,
Porque me yugo es facil.

And if we fear what yet will be,
He tells us what we yet will see:
’al tiyra’ kiy ‘imkah aniy
temaktiykah biymiyn tsadkiy.

If darkness lingers... Continue Reading

Valentines from Jonathan Edwards and Martyn Lloyd-Jones

John Piper

My favorite love letter (besides the ones I write for Noël and she for me) is from the 19-year-old Jonathan Edwards to the girl he was falling in love with in the summer of 1723. On the front page of his Greek grammar he wrote the only kind of love song his heart was capable of. Take a deep breath.

They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is beloved of that great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which... Continue Reading

Admiring and Disillusioned, I Turn from Lincoln to Jesus

John Piper

This is a word of thanks for Abraham Lincoln in spite and because of his imperfections on his 200th birthday.

Two years before Lincoln became our 16th President he debated Stephen Douglas in pursuit of the Illinois U. S. Senate seat. Lincoln lost. He was too progressive on the issue of slavery for a state that made it a crime to bring into its boundaries “a person having in him one-fourth Negro blood, whether free or slave.”

But the debates did bring... Continue Reading

Thank You, Yale, For This Gift

John Piper

Today, 280 years ago, Solomon Stoddard, Jonathan Edwards’ grandfather, died. He had been pastor of the church in Northampton, MA for 60 years.

Jonathan had been his assistant for two years. Now he was the sole pastor. From this position, and later from Stockbridge, CT would emerge the greatest writing from any pastor America has ever produced.

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University has fulfilled a dream I did not expect to see. With the 26 volumes of the Yale paper... Continue Reading

Your Father Knows What You Need

John Piper

Jesus wants his followers to be free from worry. In Matthew 6:25-34 he gives at least seven arguments designed to take away our anxiety.

One of them lists food and drink and clothing, and then says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:32).

Do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (vv.... Continue Reading

7 Potential Writing Projects

John Piper

The Elders at Bethlehem have graciously given me an 8-week writingleave that starts today, Thursday, February 5, 2009. I like to think ofit as a “writing assignment.” It is part of my calling as an elder atBethlehem. I am working—probably harder and longer hours than when I amnot on writing leave.

At this point, I am still praying about what projects to make apriority. There are so many things I want to write! Below are thepossible projects. Prioritizing requires some extended... Continue Reading

Dwight L. Moody Turns 172

John Piper

Today is Dwight L. Moody’s birthday, the man who (according to Christian History)

  • without higher education, founded three schools;
  • without theological training, reshaped Victorian Christianity;
  • without radio or television reached 100 million people.

In honor of the Christ who saved him and the Spirit who empowered him, here is his testimony of a mighty work of God in his life.

In the summer of 1871, two women of Dwight L. Moody's congregation felt an unusual burden to pray for him... Continue Reading

The Black Poet as Prophet

John Piper

Today is Langston Hughes's Birthday (1902-1967). He was one of the 20th century’s most notable African-American poets.

These two poems seem to catch the pilgrimage that has led to the White House. If he could have lived to see what the line would mean: “I too am America”!

Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
Bare.
But all the time
I'se... Continue Reading