Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Q & A (Matthew 16:13-20)

when it shows up
on the test
('who do you say I am?')
i quickly flip open the book
and copy out the answers . . .

'Son of the living God'
has become a research paper
(hopefully expanding into
a dissertation)
with experts, writing
in several languages,
quoted to support my view,
but a real Person:
calling me to follow;
willing to open my shut mind;
hoping to send me out
to confront the powers
in my corner of the world?

i have said
so many times
that i have lost count,
but the instances
i have (actually,
willingly, eagerly)
given you control of my life?
even if i include the
thumb on my counting hand,
i still have several fingers
left over . . .

so maybe i need
to close the book,
and open my self
to you.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

You are known. I know you. I created you. I am still creating you. And I have loved you from your mother’s womb. You have fled - as you now know - from my love; but I love you nevertheless and not-the-less, and however far you flee, it is I who sustain your very power of fleeing; and I will never finally let you go. I accept you as you are. You are beloved, and you are forgiven. I know all your personal sufferings. I have always known them. For beyond your understanding, when you suffer, I suffer as well. I also know all the little tricks by which you try to hide - from yourself and others - the ugliness you have made of your life. But know that, from my view, you are beautiful, more deeply within than you can see. You are beautiful because you yourself, in the unique person that only you are, reflect already something of the beauty of my holiness in a way which shall never end. And I, perhaps I alone, truly see the beauty that you shall become. Through the transforming power of my love, which is made perfect in humility and weakness, you shall become perfectly beautiful - in a unique and irreplaceable way, which neither you nor I will work out alone, for we shall work it out together.
-Charles Robinson-

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sanctus Real

If weakness is a wound that no one wants to speak of
Then "cool" is just how far we have to fall
I am not immune, I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall

Can I lose my need impress?
If you want the truth I need to confess

I'm not alright, I'm broken inside
And all I go through, it leads me to you

Burn away the pride
Bring me to my weakness
Until everything I hide behind is gone
And when I'm open wide with nothing left to cling to
Only you are there to lead me on.

Honestly, I'm not that strong.

I'm not alright... that's why I need you.

- Sanctus Real

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Flame


(lyrics by Joe Henry, sung by Trisha Yearwood
at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympics)

Oh come ye now unto the flame: keep it through the night
Nourish it and share its warmth and spend its precious light
The torch is passed among us all to help us understand
A covenant of brotherhood that joins our open hands

We are standing at the edge faced with just one choice
Help each other to be kind and let our hearts rejoice
As different as we seem to be, we are still the same
Divided by our separate walls, but joined before the flame

Oh come ye now unto the flame: keep it through the night
Shelter and embrace its warmth and spread its precious light
The darkness makes us all afraid, but we are not alone
The beacon of our common love will guide our journey home

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Spirituality of the Cellphone

On the 30 March 2008 Shane Hipps did a talk at Mars Hill on The Spirituality of the Cellphone. It is really amazing. You can download it here and I would highly recommend that you do - it is well worth the listen.

It's actually more about the spirituality of the electronic age in general and speaks about how electronics disconnects us as much as it connects us. There is no substitute for physical presence.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. And so,


No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.


I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.


I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.


I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Rather than complaining that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.


I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone, kind to the rich, for they are afraid, and kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.


I will go without a Rand before I take a dishonest one. I will see the good in others when it is hard to find. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.


Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My spouse will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their parents will forget them.


Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.


I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control.


The Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek God's face. When this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.