Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pierce The Veil

The act of suicide has perplexed me. The unanswered question in my mind has been how could someone be in such a bad circumstance that the only hope they had left was to end their life. I have stood on the doorsteps of houses or made phone calls to parents, children, and family members, giving them the news they do not want to hear. I’ve seen blank faces, watched tears roll, and heard shrieks that will echo in my memory forever.

As I looked at another dead young man, the question came to my mind again. He had dressed himself in his suit, sat down on a chair next to the fire pit in his backyard, and shot himself. His roommate had found him that morning. The entire look and feel of a suicide scene is cold and hopeless.

As I walked through his room, I found the artwork of an album cover leaning up against the wall on the floor. The image on the album had a house collapsing in on itself. The walls were crumbling in and the roof was falling down. Above the house there was the image of a woman. It looked like she was coming up through the roof and ascending into the sky. Finally, in bold, capital letters at the top of the picture was the phrase “PIERCE THE VEIL.”

That image helped me understand the mindset of a suicidal person more clearly. The hope that he had was that by pulling a trigger, he would escape the veil that had been covering him, restraining him, holding him down. Maybe he didn’t kill himself mainly because he was hopeless, because he had a hope in piercing the veil.

I felt the heaviness of that. I wished I could have been able to talk to him 24 hours ago. He didn’t need to pull a trigger to pierce the veil. He only need to turn his heart to Jesus Christ who removes the veil. His freedom didn’t lay on the other side of this life. His freedom could be in Christ.

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed…And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being  transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this come from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:16, 18)

Jesus was the one that pierced the veil of sin and removed the judgement of sin and hell. Our biggest problems are solved at the cross, through the gospel.


The Cops You Don’t Read About

This is a quote from Bob Schieffer, the former host of Face The Nation on CBS, who worked part of his career as a beat cop reporter.

I want to add a paragraph or two to the rash of stories lately about cops gone wrong. This is not about them. This is about all the cops you don’t read about. They deal much of the time with the dregs of our society. The schemers, the murderers, those who prey on the weak. And most of the time, the police deal with them humanely, and as they should.

“What we overlook is just how difficult that can be sometimes. It’s not easy to remain passive when a child-beater looks you in the eye and tells you–you have to understand, the kid was keeping him awake. It takes a lot of professional training and strong character not to respond in anger. I know, because I spent my early years [on the police beat] listening to some of these awful people. Sometimes I wanted to hit them myself. I didn’t, but it helped me understand how hard it is to do a cop’s job right. As hard as it is, the great majority of our cops still do just that.


The Art of Manliness had a good blog post on fighting recently. Here is an excerpt from Thomas Hughes written in 1857.

After all, what would life be without fighting, I should like to know? From the cradle to the grave, fighting, rightly understood, is the business, the real, highest, honestest business of every son of man. Every one who is worth his salt has his enemies, who must be beaten, be they evil thoughts and habits in himself or spiritual wickedness in high places, or Russians, or Border-ruffians, or Bill, Tom, or Harry, who will not let him live his life in quiet till he has thrashed them.

It is no good for Quakers, or any other body of men, to uplift their voices against fighting. Human nature is too strong for them, and they don’t follow their own precepts. Every soul of them is doing his own piece of fighting, somehow and somewhere. The world might be a better world without fighting, for anything I know, but it wouldn’t be our world; and therefore I am dead against crying peace when there is no peace, and isn’t meant to be. I’m as sorry as any man to see folk fighting the wrong people and the wrong things, but I’d a deal sooner see them doing that, than that they should have no fight in them.

Planet Earth

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,the world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

I found out that Planet Earth is on sale at for $19.99 and bought it for my son’s Christmas present. Two thousand days of filming, over five years with 40 cameramen and an unprecedented budget. The DVD box says, “Planet Earth is the ultimate portrait of our planet.” And I would add that it will be a stunningly awe-inspiring moment of worship to the Creator and Sustainer of our planet as I watch it with Jack.

The Heavens Declare Atheism is Wrong

To watch this video and still say that a Designer did not put this into motion is to reject reality.

Five Thoughts on Five Years of Marriage

1. I heard someone refer to marriage once as velvet steel. The covenant-keeping of marriage should be more important that the affections of being in love. The first three months of marriage were hard for Johanna and I. We had our worst fights within that period and they all had to do with money. There were days where I’m sure both of us didn’t feel “in love” with each other as we tried to figure out every day life together. Yet those times brought a kind of steel to our marriage that was soon lined by velvet. Five years later I am a more generous person because of Johanna. God has used her more than anything or anyone else to teach me to hold money loosely and give generously.

2. Being married to Johanna has directly resulted in deeper, more satisfying faith in Jesus. I can’t really explain the how and why. Maybe it is a realization that I need to lead well that makes me utterly dependent on God. If I am supposed to love her as Christ loved the church I desperately need the Holy Spirit’s help to do that.

3. She has become my best friend. I would rather shop, hike, exercise, pray, read, eat, laugh, cry, vacation, or work with her more than anyone else. Yes, she is my wife, but she is also my best friend.

4. She still smiles at me when I walk in the door or wake up in the morning. She answers my phone calls with a sweet voice. My wife exudes happiness and joy and it is one of the things I find most attractive about her (it is right up there with her crystal blue eyes and long brown hair). She quickly forgives me when I sin against her and shows me grace upon grace that I do not deserve.

5. I would not trade the experience of our five years of marriage for any money or any possession. Our marriage has become velvet steel. A diamond-solid commitment to each other until death do us part gives a soft comfort to me knowing that we will never leave each other or forsake each other. Some may say that it is impossible to know that. I disagree.

The culture we live in does not advocate very strongly for marriage. It is a hook up, shack up, break up society where the most important thing is whatever makes you happy. I love telling people that I love being married. Even on the worst days of our marriage, it is worth it. The hard times have produced a softer heart in me. I want our marriage to testify to the glory of God as two sinners do life together on a daily basis, desperately needing Jesus to be at the center.

Johanna; I love you. And I will continue to love you until the last breath that this body has to give. Thank you for saying “I do” on September 30, 2006.

This song was played at our wedding at it is 1,000 times more true today than it was then.

There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart and our dreams
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs with sepia-tone lovin’
Love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? and where do we go? and how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing
It’s always better when we’re togetherMmmm it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, we’ll look at them stars and we’re together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together
And all of these moments just might find
Their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they’ll be gone when the morning light sings
Or brings new things
For tomorrow night you see that they’ll be gone too
Too many things I have to do
But if all of these dreams might find their way
Into my day to day scene
I’d be under the impression I was somewhere in between
With only two, just me and you
Not so many things we got to do
Or places we got to be
We’ll sit beneath the mango tree now

Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together
Mmmm we’re somewhere in between together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together

I believe in memories
They look so, so pretty when I sleep
Hey now and, and when I wake up
You look so pretty sleeping next to me
But there is not enough time
And there is no, no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We’re Better together

The Crooked Works of God

I have been thoroughly enjoying and benefiting from Pastor Daniel’s exegetical preaching through the book of Ecclesiastes. Yesterday he preached on chapter 7 verses 13-18. His main point was:

We are to take a close and honest look at the ways of God and respond with reverent trust.

He said that God draws straight with crooked lines. He is working his sovereign good in the midst of pain. God makes things crooked and we can’t undo them. He brings about crooked and straigth lines into our lives and from our perspective the distribution of these may seem unfair.

In response to this we can try and manipulate God, ignore God or humbly fear God.  He cited Thomas Boston’s 7 reasons why God gives us crooked, or afflicted, portions.

  1. To test if we are truly Christians.
  2. To detach us from seeking our happiness in anything but God.
  3. To convict us of a sin that we are in.
  4. To correct or discipline us.
  5. To prevent sin in our lives.
  6. To reveal a hidden or under-the-surface sin (or sins).
  7. To grow his work of grace in our lives- grow in godliness.

Number 2 and 6 were heavy for me. Grace Church is a group of people that I love dearly. Sunday mornings are filled with joyful singing, tearful rejoicing and Jesus-centered preaching. If you live in the Forest Lake/ Wyoming area and are interested in trying a church that may be different from anything you are used to, check it out.