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“But they aren’t distinguished — no more than anyone else. Don’t you understand? The Glory flows into everyone, and back from everyone: like light and mirrors. But the light’s the thing.”

“Do you mean there are no famous men?”

“They are all famous. They are all known, remembered, recognized by the only Mind that can give a perfect judgement.”

C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

At 6:15 on Tuesday, November 13, 2013, Vicki Sweetman stepped from life into eternity.

When I wrote my article “No Little People,” there were few people on this earth that influenced me more than my Great-Grandmother. That influence came because of the way that she had surrendered totally and completely to be used by the Lord.

Life isn’t over for Vicky Sweetman. Her life has just begun. 

Below is the prayer I prayed at her funeral just a few weeks ago. 

Father,

We come to you today standing in the face of our dreaded and devastating enemy, Death.  We are reminded and humbled today by the reality that our days, although they may seem long, are but a breath in the wind.

Yet Lord, we also today find ourselves not grieving as those with no hope. Instead, Lord, we realize this morning that this woman was yours – she belongs to you. You, in your grace rescued her through Christ and You love her even more than we do. We know today that she is even now rejoicing in the presence of her Savior.

It is because of the Gospel that we can today celebrate her earthly life. Christ has declared clearly victory and dominion over both sin and death. It was that message of Good News that my Great-Grandmother looked to and believed. It was the message that she lived out day by day through her life and her ministry. And it is the Truth that she is celebrating today and will be celebrating for eternity.

And Lord, it is Your glorious gospel that encourages us even today. Christ is not just for this temporary and earthly life.  Christ has died. Christ has risen. And Christ will come again.

Lord, let these truths prompt us today to realize the gravity and urgency of our own lives. Let it force us to examine our hearts and to embrace the truth of the gospel – that we too were lost in sin, deserving of death and punishment, yet you have provided a perfect sacrifice for us in Christ.

And Lord, let it encourage us that this life is not all there is. Eternity awaits.

“For this light and momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen – are eternal.” – 1 Corinthians 4:17-18

 

A Pastor’s Priorities For Day One

Ran Ortner Trailer (documentary in process) from Todd Holland on Vimeo.

“Art is not a cleverness contest…it is really a honesty contest.”

HT: Emil Handke

Do small things really matter?

“A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.”

- Dr. Keith Ablow

Insignificance Subdued

Hannah Farver has published an excellent piece dealing with that feeling we’ve all had: incredible smallness.

I’ve never looked at Facebook before and felt small. Bored, annoyed, intrigued—yes. Never small. But as a couple hundred diverse lives updated their statuses on my feed, I suddenly felt, working from my couch, that my life was very unimportant.
Businessmen in Korea are signing deals in right now. Children in Saudi Arabia are scurrying to school, as some hikers are probably lost in the woods somewhere in Wyoming, and some boat is probably taking on too much water while tuna-fishing in the Bering Sea.

The world is like one gigantic beehive, with all our lives crammed together, humming away. I sit here, simply breathing, as lights flicker on And I am very, very small.

It’s not so bad. I don’t mind being small. The whole spinning universe looks all the more magnificent when you know you’re an unnecessary part.

But there’s the catch. Knowing we’re unnecessary doesn’t exactly give the warm fuzzies.

This is well worth taking the time to read as you consider the difficulty of “being small” in such a large world.

// Read “At Once I Knew” Here //

Top Posts of 2012

January 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

It’s always good to look back on 2012. There are great gains to be had and exciting things ahead for 2013. Here were my top five blog posts from 2012. Apparently we’re all into reading, iPhones, and gender roles. Don’t worry, we won’t stop talking about those things in the coming year.

1. Essential Books for High School Seniors

Absolutely one of the most popular blog posts I’ve ever posted on the blog. I’ll try to update the list over time, especially after some fantastic new books that have come out in the past year.

2. I Learned Feminism From Jesus

It’s worth the read. There should be many more blog posts this coming year dealing with gender roles and human sexuality.

3. My Favorite iPhone Apps and Why I Use Them

I love my iPhone and I love my apps. My phone has changed dramatically from the time I wrote that post, but there are some great iPhone apps listed there.

4. My Summer Reading List 

Because I love reading. Made it through most of those books and more!

5. Challies’ Disagrees with Piper about Christianity’s “Masculine Feel”

A short post that highlighted a disagreement “in the ranks.” I added some of my favorite responses.

I may regret posting this tomorrow morning, but here are some wise words from Kevin DeYoung:

I’m thankful for the Electoral College. You may not agree, especially if you live in Texas or California or Alabama or Vermont. There’s no “Christian position” on the Electoral College. But I’m grateful that our presidents have to go to every little hamlet in Ohio and Iowa. I’m glad that the election does not come down to voter turnout in the same megacities every four years. I’m glad that because of our confusing process, the most powerful man in the world has to make inroads with people from all over the country. He can’t simply be a regional candidate who promises the Northeast lots of goodies at the expense of the South. He can’t win the White House by racking up 80% of the vote in a handful of states. The President has to be attuned to the needs and desires of the most politically diverse places, not the most politically homogenous. This seems like a good thing to me.

If the Moon Landing Had Failed