cure for the hurrying and the bustling

RockingLet me counsel every true servant of Christ to “examine his own heart” frequently and carefully as to his state before God. This is a practice which is useful at all times: it is especially desirable at the present day.  When the great plague of London was at its height people [noticed] the least symptoms that appeared on their bodies in a way that they never remarked them before. A spot here, or a spot there, which in time of health men thought nothing of, received close attention when the plague was decimating families, and striking down one after another! So it ought to be with ourselves, in the times in which we live. We ought to watch our hearts with double watchfulness. We ought to give more time to meditation, self-examination, and reflection. It is a hurrying, bustling age: if we would be kept from falling, we must make time for being frequently alone with God.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

flight song (tuneful tuesday #2)

Another song for Tuesday... I believe I may have posted this before, but it still is one of my favorites. Here it is performed by the BYU Singers (Dr. Andrew Crane, conductor).

All we are we have found in song:
you have drawn this song from us.
Songs of lives unfolding flying overhead, cry overhead;
longing, rising from the song within.
Moving like the rise and fall of wings,
hands that shape our calling voice on the edge of answers you’ve heard our cry,
you’ve known our cry: music’s fierce compassion flows from you.
The night is restless with the sounds we hear,
is broken, shaken by the cries of pain:
for this is music’s inner voice,
saying yes, we hear you,
all you who cry aloud, and we will fly,
answering you: so our lives sing,
sing, wild we will fly,
wild in spirit we will fly.
Like a feather falling from the wing,
fragile as a human voice,
afraid, uncertain, alive to love,
we sing as love, afraid, uncertain,
yet our flight begins as song.

Kim André Arnesen (b. 1980)

the Word, the voice


"Why is this powerful, majestic, forest-stripping, lightning-bolt voice so hard for us to hear? How does it radically transform the environment, yet fall ever-so-subtly on our ears? Perhaps we’re listening with the wrong ears. God’s voice is an intense and immensely powerful force, rather than a series of sound waves. Perhaps He issues loud commands to nature’s obedient instruments but whispers His love and guidance to those whose spirits can choose and must relate to Him by faith. Perhaps if He dictated everything to us clearly and decisively, it would be the end of a relationship and the beginning of rote servitude  — a condition for which He did not design us. Regardless, we need to understand that the voice we strain to hear isn’t weak. Just one word from God can change any situation at any moment. He may whisper to us, gently guide us, tell us about His plans for us, and counsel us in the midst of our circumstances, but when He issues a command, it’s done. We must never mistake His quietness for reluctance or weakness. We can depend on the power of His voice  — even when we aren’t hearing it clearly."

Tiegreen, Chris (2014-09-01). The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional: 365 Days of Intimate Communication with God (p. 16). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition.

too busy...

I recently read this very interesting and entertaining article by Jason Zook -- about being too busy. He's very convicting, but in a good way.


I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person being too busy.

Let me rephrase that: I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person that I respect being too busy. The most creative people of our time are doing more things in a day than most people do in a week (or even month). But you know what you rarely hear a highly creative or successful person say? “I’m too busy.”

Continue reading "too busy..." »

Whoo hooo! It's Friday!

It's also a holiday weekend - remembering the birth of one of the United States' most influential civil rights leaders.

I don't remember much about the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement; I remember people being angry and saying hateful things. But I grew up without really considering the color of a person's skin. To me the people around me were friends and neighbors, schoolmates and playmates. People I liked and people who liked me. As I grew older I understood his wasn't always true in my country.

But Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to change that. His sermons, his non-violent disobedience, his influence brought change to this country. It's ironic that many in this country seem to desire returning to a time of separation because they don't agree with other people. In my opinion, Dr. King and others wouldn't be happy with where things are going...


the beatles

The first time I heard The Beatles was on my first trip to England with my mother and my sister -- 1961. Their music was everywhere during the 60's and to say they influenced the music for generations is an understatement. The list of their songs seems endless. The tunes are timeless. To see them age along with their music at the time is a fascinating stroll through memories of years now passed..

i believe (tuneful tuesday #1)

How's about a song on Tuesday? Here's one by one of my favorite choirs: St. Olaf College Choir (Minnesota).  This was recorded in Trondheim, Norway (2013).

I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining.

I believe in love, even when I feel it not.

I believe in God, even when He is silent.

(The words were apparently found in a concentration camp at the end of WWII.)

as if no one knows

TBTIt used to bother me...

People going through grief saying they think no one knows what they're going through.

It's not that I think people shouldn't grieve.  They most certainly should, and do. But why assume that the condition of grief is constant? Why think that things will never change? When grief is fresh, it's the same as having an ever-present paper cut or a bruise that doesn't seem to heal.

Continue reading "as if no one knows" »

happy new year!

Lord, You make all things new
You bring hope alive in our hearts
And cause our Spirits to be born again.

Thank you for this new year
For all the potential it holds.
Come and kindle in us
A mighty flame
So that in our time, many will see the wonders of God
And live forever to praise Your glorious name.


TBT - Year in Review

TBTIt was quite a year.

One job ended...another began.

I'm closing in on 5000 posts on Pilgrim Progressional.

My niece married in early June. I was honored to officiate, and blessed to be able to attend.

Some of the year's happenings are chronicled here on my blog, which is now over 10 years old. The rest is written in my private journal which I'm thinking I need to gather into one place.

One of my most memorable moments this year? The publishing of my first novel. I still am so excited and proud about the completion of this goal.

FirstnovelCreatespace - the website which was used to self-publish my novel - shows that there have only been 17 copies of the book sold. I laugh when I see it, knowing I purchased 10 of those copies and then gave them away to family and friends.

But it never changes the fact that I finished it and that it can be purchased through Amazon.

I have three additional titles in the Benjamin Sunday series. I'm hoping that in 2018 I can complete the second novel - tentatively title Benjamin Sunday and the Mayan's Viking - and publish it towards the end of the year.

I learn by doing - and I'm determined to keep learning through the new year.


o holy night

This was a Christmas day stop while I was floating around the internet enjoying a cup of tea and some toast. A magnificent tune, a beautiful voice, and a tender arrangement with some amazing visuals - a great reminder of the Gift that was given and the lesson He gives us...

"Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace."


make room

So much of the Christmas holidays are expressed in music. Some good, some horrible. (I'm NOT a fan of the John Lennon tune about Christmas -- ugh...)

This year, the song that caused me to pause what I was doing and listen to the words was one recorded by Casting Crowns. It contained one very pointed question about the condition of my heart and the place my Savior has within...

"Is there room in your heart, for God to write His story...?"


the Christmas letter

Letter1I don't know if many families still do it - send out a family update letter at Christmas each year.

It's a chance for the family to deliver news about what they did over the past year. Where they went. What they saw. Achievements. Disappointments. Changes. Anticipated events in the coming year.

Personally, I prefer regular contact as opposed to the data dump as the year turns the corner from old to new. So much of what are in those letters comes off as "old news" - and I find myself wondering why I wasn't important enough to hear about it in a more timely fashion.

Continue reading "the Christmas letter" »