Sunday, December 31, 2017

A hard thing

After II Corinthians 2:5-11

A hard thing, to pour
yourself, and fill, then
to see the pouring
emptied on to the ground,
to pour one’s self and
receive, in turn, pain
and disdain, pain
and rejection pain
and isolation, and then
to understand that
the grief is not one’s own
but a collective grief,
a collective sorrow.
It is this sorrow, this grief,
that is forgiven, and once
forgiven, then forgotten.

Photograph by Jakob Owen via Unsplash. Used with permission.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday Good Reads

Sevan Malikyan is a British Expressionist painter with an Armenian ancestry. His work has been exhibited at several venues in Britain, including the Brick Lane Gallery, Mall Galleries, and Riverside Studios. Somehow, we became Facebook friends, and I find myself rather captivated by his art. “Five Figures in a Landscape” is one example.

Jessica Eddings-Roeser reposted an Image Journal column that has to have one of the most interesting titles I’ve seen – “The Christmas I Sat Next to a Sex Offender.” Russell Moore credits Charlie Brown with saving his ministry – twice. And Justin Taylor reminds us that a little cynicism isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to Christians (of all varieties) using hyper language, like “He’s just like Hitler!” or “If they pass that bill, it’s the apocalypse.”

Something about the Christmas holidays seems to inspire good poetry, and five good examples are linked below. Spitalfields Life has some delightful drawings of old London. Tim Good takes a photographic look at a farm. And Zak Schmoll has two of the best New Year’s resolutions I’ve seen – think more and don’t talk first.

A happy and blessed New Year!


Hope – Daniel Donaghy at Image Journal.

Arrivals – Robert Rife at Allnine.

This Morning I Wondered – Laura Boggess.

The pouring out – Chris Yokel.

Stirring – Carolyn Martin at Abstract Magazine.

Art and Photography

Five Figures in a Landscape – Sevan Malikyan via Facebook.

The Farm – Tim Good via Facebook.

British Stuff

A Walk Through Old London – Spitalfields Life.


Three Christmas Presents – John Piper.

The Christmas I Sat Next to a Sex Offender – Jessica Eddings-Roeser at Image Journal.

Why Cynicism is One of the Historian’s Great Gifts to the Church – Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition.

2017: A Christian Music Review - Jeremy Howard.

The Jealous Prayer - Bryan Bliss at Image Journal.

Life and Culture

2018 Resolutions: Think More and Don't Speak First – Zak Schmoll at Entering the Public Square.

Writing and Literature

The Radetzky March at Liberalism’s End – Rod Dreher at The American Conservative.

Rescuer – Rend Collective

Painting: Edmond Duranty Gouache, pastel by Edgar Degas (1879); The Burrell Collection, Glasgow.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A life of opposites

After II Corinthians 2

We live in affliction
we experience the comfort
we live in suffering
we experience relief
we live in pain
we experience grace
we live in darkness
we experience the light
we live in self-reliance
we experience dependence
we live in poverty
we live in ugliness
we live in hurting
we experience richness
we experience beauty
we experience healing

The life is made bearable
by the experience

Photograph by Tom Barrett via Unsplash. Used with permission.