Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Last Shall Be First

John 20:27, "Then Jesus said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'"

Here is Jesus, raised from the dead, in his glorified body. We know that this new body is supernatural and superhuman, because just one verse before it says, "...though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them..." And yet, even in his glorified state, he instructs Thomas, "see my hands." The scars left from the nails and the spear remained in his glorified state.

This verse has helped me more than any other with regard to not only accepting, but coming to joyfully treasure the scars on my face. Christ himself, who had the power to conquer death and raise himself from the grave and walk through locked doors, kept his scars.

Another passage that has always intrigued me is Ezekiel 10. This is the eerie "whirling wheels" passage where the glory of God departs from the temple. The cherubim is very archaically described. It almost sounds...this is daring, I almost sounds like the angels are confined to wheelchairs! Listen to this description from verses 9-13:

I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like chrysolite. As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. I heard the wheels being called "the whirling wheels."

Angels confined to wheels? A Savior with scars?

I am sitting here racking my brains to come up with some sort of nice pat ending - some sort of conclusion to make sense of this, and I'm drawing a total blank. All I can really say is, I think when we get to Heaven we will all be very, very surprised by God's definition of "beautiful."

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Charles Spurgeon Quotes

Bad times are famous times for Christ.

Many of the trials which are experienced by Christians are sent as an education in the art of sympathy.

God helps those who cannot help themselves.

Everything is a trifle to a man who is a Christian except the glorifying of Christ.

Depend upon it, there is no pain in dying. The pain is in living.

Never fear dying, beloved. Dying is the last, but the least, matter that a Christian has to be anxious about. Fear living—that is a hard battle to fight, a stern discipline to endure, a rough voyage to undergo.

The Christian gains by his losses. He acquires health by his sickness. He wins friends through his bereavements, and he becomes a conqueror through his defeats. Nothing therefore, can be injurious to the Christian, when the very worst things that he has are but rough waves to wash his golden ships home to port and enrich him.

In nothing shall the glory of God be marred.

You cannot see the beauty of certain gems unless you place them on black velvet.


The Hidden Smile of God

One of my favorite quotes comes from the book, The Hidden Smile of God by John Piper. This quote is found on page 112. It was an eye-opening, convicting quote the first time I read it and it really snapped me out of my pity party once and for all.

"While I was a student at Wheaton College, a very wise and deep and happy teacher of Literature, Clyde Kilby, showed us and taught us this path to health. Once he said, 'I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.'

And then, my favorite line: Mental health is, in great measure, the gift of self-forgetfulness. The reason is that introspection destroys what matters most to us -- the authentic experience of great things outside ourselves.

I especially like that he calls self-forgetfulness a "gift" because, truly, without the grace of God, who has the power to forget the all-encompassing, ever present reality of our own existence? (And multiply that by a thousand if you are living with chronic pain or suffering of any kind)!

I think the first step to acheiving this self-forgetfullness is to immerse yourself in the moment-by-moment discipline of God-rememberance and memorizing Scripture will give you an amazing jump start.

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Hope, My Foe

This is a poem I wrote in October of 2001. I was trying to put words to the frustration when your flesh is so tired and weak and wants to give in to the pity and just give up running the race, but you can't because God won't take the hope away and even though hope is the only thing getting you through, you despise it because it means you have to keep going and at that point you just don't think it's possible. I'm not 100% sure anymore what inspired this poem, I read it now, four years later and I am very surprised by the depth of despair that the poem conveys. The point of the poem, however, is that no matter what we go through, we always have hope.

O vicious thing, this Hope
my foe
that clings like a moss
to my every woe.
A farewell kiss,
gone amiss,
for he cleaves and won’t let go.

Run as I might, he will
A night shadow the sun
cannot swallow.
Hot on my back,
loyal claque,
applauding when I wallow.

When the others –
Joy, Peace, and Glee,
go each their own way and
abandon me,
I cannot moan -
I'm not alone,
Hope stands firm and will not flee.

Walking through
a fiery trial,
Hope seems all but gone
for a little while.
But then his twin,
rushes in
and I embrace God’s smile.

Oh Sadist Hope!
You two-faced friend!
Why do you encourage me
to pretend?
Ironic joke?
You provoke
wounds that you can never mend.

Perhaps you don’t quite
or perhaps you can see
all that God has planned?
So for my sake,
give me strength so I can stand.

Navigate through this
storms of tears,
carry my cross
and face all of my fears.
I can’t let go!
Hope, my foe,
hold me until death appears!


Pray For Terri Schiavo

If you think I'm in a rut here posting several things about Terri Schiavo, let me explain. The only thing that stands between Terri Schiavo and her life is a feeding tube. I was born in 1972 - the year that abortion was legalized. After I was born the doctors and nurses were horrified. The nurses even refused to take baby pictures of me. The doctor's brilliant solution to my parent's "problem" was to offer to pull my feeding tube out. They said I'd be dead in a week or so.

I must go down a rabbit trail here and point out a glaring hypocrisy. I work for a pastor. After the tsunami hit, he got several letters from people all wanting him to defend how a "good" God could let "innocent babies die." It was interesting to me that the stumbling block behind every letter was the death of babies.

So, it causes me to wonder why it's culturally acceptable for a doctor to allow a baby in its care to slowly die a gruelingly painful death by starvation for no reason other than, "ick, she's ugly" while at the same time, an omniscient God, who for soveriegn purposes takes the life of a child, gets put on trial.

All this to say, pray for Terri and her parents -- they are up against some very heartless, illogical opposition.

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The Sin of Partiality

Four hundred million disabled people live in the world's developing countries. All too often their lives go hand in hand with poverty, isolation and despair. As the world marks the International Day of Disabled Persons today, we need to heed those who are not listened to within their societies, whose disabilities are often used against them to keep them from going to school, finding work or being visible in their own neighborhoods. A blind woman in Eastern Europe, with an unmistakable tone of hopelessness, captures the harsh reality of living with disability in this way: "We depend on everyone; no one wants us. We are like garbage that everyone wants to get rid of." (from

It may not be obvious to an American, but for anyone who has been overseas, it is devestatinglhy obvious that "disability" and "poverty" are synonymous. Which puts a whole new (but I believe, biblical) spin on James 2:1-13. I have pasted the passage below, highlighting the word "poor." As you read it, put the word "disabled" in instead of poor and keep in mind that James wrote this letter to the Church.

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

The Bible gives us several examples of blind and lame beggars. Because the poor in Jesus day were often crippled or blind or sick, then I don't think it's too much of a stretch to read into the text above that Christ is commanding us to warmly embrace the disabled into the Church. And not out of pity or obligation, but out of recognition that the Lord has a purpose for their lives and they have gifts that are a vital contribution to the Church.

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The Political Agenda

Sometimes the social implications of a current event isn’t immediately obvious, however, I noted with great interest the “irony” of three headlines all posted within near proximity of each other on the Fox News website's homepage yesterday.

The first article was a follow-up article on Terri Schiavo and her husband’s fight to have her feeding tube removed. The last sentence of the article was a quote from one of her parents speculating the FL Supreme Court was “using this case in order to promote a larger political agenda.”

Right next to that article was a headline entitled something like, “Roe appeals to Supreme Court to reverse their decision.” The Roe here is the Roe of the 1972 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision.

The common thread woven between these two articles is the courts taking advantage of defenseless women that they don’t care about in order to aggressively pursue their own liberal agendas. Never mind the fact that the end result of their legistlation will mean the savage butchering of millions of human lives.

The third link posted to Fox News yesterday within millimeters of the Schiavo and Roe v. Wade stories was a story about Cheney visiting Auschwitz. Here’s a quote from that article:

He noted that the horrors of WWII took place not in a remote section of the globe, but in the middle of the civilized world.

Hitler didn’t come right out and suggest murdering six million Jews, he started by running for a political office and then enforcing minor little laws. Those minor little laws paved the way for a tragic slaughter.

Political agendas are like seeds. They start out as tiny little things buried under the ground that no one even sees, and thirty years later, you have a vast forest of trees. But you’d think after something as shamefully horrific as the Holocaust, we’d finally have the discernment to recognize the seeds.

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Christopher Nolan

Here is some more info about Christopher Nolan (see previous post).

Here's a great article:

Here are a couple things that particularily inspired me:
  • It left his brain damaged, meaning he was unable to talk, walk or use his hands - but his intellect was unharmed.
  • Mr Nolan is able to write only with the aid of a word-processing computer and what has been described as a 'unicorn stick', strapped to his forehead. His mother, Bernadette, has to hold his head while he is writing.
  • Mr Nolan's first book of poetry won the Spastics Literary Prize.
  • He gave half the profits to a trust for the handicapped.
  • Since his Whitbread success, Christopher Nolan has written a novel, The Banyan Tree, published in 1999.
  • The book took him 12 years - and half a million strokes with his unicorn stick - to write.
I am overwhelmed by the grace of God - of which Christopher's mother is a beautiful portrait of. Can you imagine teaching a child to read and write for thirteen years without any confirmation that he is grasping or retaining any of it? And to then spend the next twelve years patiently holding your son's head still while he laboriously types half a million strokes with a sytlus strapped to his forehead? Now that is love.

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Miracle Drug

There is a song called "Miracle Drug" on the newest U2 album. The lyrics intrigued me so I went online to see if I could find any information about what the song is about. I found this quote on a U2 fan site. Apparantly, U2 sang this song at a recent concert in New York and Bono (lead singer) said the following quote by way of an introduction before they sang the song.

We come from the North side o' Dublin, went to a school called Mount Temple Comprehensive. That's where we met. When we were leaving this new student came in. He was a boy completely paralyzed, nothing moving. He was born ... w/o oxygen, but he had something in his eyes, this light in his eyes. So his mother believed in him, that he was awake, that he was conscious... So she used to read to him ... teach him. Then when he was 13 years old, they discovered this little drug which allowed him to move his neck one inch ... and with that he was able to type with this little thing they attached to his head. Turns out, he'd been writing stuff in his head for years, this poetry, beautiful poetry - put out this book called "Dam-Burst of Dreams" ... his first poem was called "I Learned To Bow" where he thanked God for the gift of science and medicine. Of course, science, medicine & God are all the same thing. They should always be the same thing. His name is Christopher Nolan, this is called "Miracle Drug..."

This is exactly why I was on a roll in Monday's blog about Mrs. Schiavo. Just because a person can't talk or eat or move doesn't mean their mind isn't brilliant. If the meaning of life, the reason we were created, was to bring glory to God (and I believe whole-heartedly that that is our purpose) then Christopher Nolan is just one of millions of examples of how we are all capable of living lives with meaning.

You can purchase Christpher Nolan's books online. Currently, Amazon has 6 used copies of Dam-Burst of Dreams (starting at $21.99).

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Monday, January 24, 2005

King David's Kindness to Mephibosheth

This paragraph is an excerpt from the Bible, 2 Samuel 9:1-13. I wonder what sort of cultural implications King David's kindnes towards a cripple had on the people ofJerusalem? I wonder what the cultural impact would be on us here in the U.S. if our high courts valued the lives of the disabled the way King David did?

David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" Now there was a servant of Saul's household named Ziba. They called him to appear before David, and the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" "Your servant," he replied. The king asked, "Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God's kindness?" Ziba answered the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet." "Where is he?" the king asked. Ziba answered, "He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar." So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel. When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, "Mephibosheth!" "Your servant," he replied. "Don't be afraid," David said to him, "for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table." Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master's grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table." (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Then Ziba said to the king, "Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do." So Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba's household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet.

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The Pauley Project

Everyone should read every document posted on this site. Its wisdom is invaluable whether you suffer a disability, parent a child with a disability, or know or interact with anyone who suffers from a disability.

I was reading the article entitled, "Diability is Normal - The Bible Tells Me So." Wow -- I wish I could have read this twenty-five years ago!

Here is an excerpt from that article:

When we assume that healing is the only option for God, or even the most preferred option, we severely limit what God may intend for people in this world.


If I were to take the space here to quote all of the pearls of truth found on the Pauley Project site, I would have to retype their entire website. Please, go and check it out!

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Florida Supreme Court

The Fox News website has an article posted today entitled: Supreme Court Clears Way to Pull Schiavo's Feeding Tube. You can read the full article here:,2933,145214,00.html

Terri Schiavo is 41-years old. Her heart stopped several years ago, causing brain damage. She can no longer speak and cannot swallow. Therefore, in order to keep her alive, a feeding tube has been inserted down her throat.

Apparantly, the Supreme Court's definition-of-the-week for "a valid human being" now includes the ability to swallow food. Frankly, if the qualifications get any more complex, we are all in danger of the Supreme Court's noose.

Maybe we should put people to death for being too feeble to wake up each morning without the aid of an alarm clock, or perhaps for being too simple-minded to be able to drive their cars without the aid of an ignition key.

My point is simply that every human being alive uses tools and technology to assist them. Not everyone can walk, talk, hear, see, or do college-level calculus. Needing a wheelchair, special computers, hearing aids, glasses, and calculators are things invented to help us, not signs of weakness. No matter how many of these aids one person needs to rely upon doesn't define or take away from the totality of their worth as a human being.

We live in a society that idolizes communication. Every new invention has to do with communication: e-mail, cell phones, computers, the Internet, video conference phones, text messaging, chat rooms, instant messengers....the list is endless. The sad thing is, we have come to worship communication so much, that we have begun to despise and look down upon people with the inability to participate.

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Sunday, January 23, 2005


I have included some links at the end of this post to a couple of websites that explain the birth defect that I was born with.

I don't really like the phrase "birth defect" - it contradicts my theology. A "defect" infers a mistake and I believe that God is sovereign. If he had the power to create the entire universe according to his exact specifications, then my face was certainly no challenge for him!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:14-16


The Scars of Christ

Isaiah 53:2-3 is one of the few passages in the Bible that describe Jesus' physical appearance. It says, "...he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

Christ is a sufficient advocate for us because he has endured all that we have and more. Christ was physically unattractive, he was later betrayed by his own friends, mocked on the cross, painfully beaten, abandoned, and then died a long, greuling, unjust death sentence. How encouraging it is to lay our burdens at the feet of a Savior who has suffered!

I used to be ashamed of my face until I realized that Christ -- after being beaten, punched, bruised, and having a sharp crown of thorns wedged deep into his forehead -- must have had a face as full of scars as I do! I feel a precious bond with my Savior knowing that of all the afflictions he could have chosen for me, he chose one so close to his own sufferings.

I don't even care if he gives me a new face when I get to Heaven. What will it matter? If I am beautiful in His eyes, what power will any mirror hold over me?

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Scripture Memory

Krista mentioned Scripture memory in her article (see previous post). I also want to attest to the power that memorizing Bible passages has had in my life. The levels of self-pity, anxiety, and depression before I started memorzing Scripture and after are unbelievable. But that is only a minor benefit in comparison to fellowshipping with God through his Word. I encourage you to start right now!

Here are some good resources:

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God Keeps His Promises

Here is an article written by my dear friend, Krista. I am posting it in hopes that it will encourage you. I hope that she writes more articles soon!

My name is Krista Horning and I am fifteen years old. I have Apert Syndrome which is a genetic birth defect. People with Apert Syndrome all have fused skull bones, a sunken midface, and fused fingers and toes. We know 10 other people in Minnesota with Apert Syndrome. We all look a lot alike, but we also have differences. Some have trouble learning, some have hydrocephalus, and some have eye or ear problems. I was born with no airway through my nose, and fused shoulders and elbows.

After I was born, one doctor told my parents that I would never be normal (my eyes would stick out like a frog’s) and that they would probably get divorced. Fifteen years later, I don’t look like a frog and my parents aren’t divorced. Sometimes my life has been hard, but God has been good to us since the day I was born.

I have had over 50 surgeries. Most of them have been on my skull, arms, and hands. When I was 4 months old, a doctor took my skull apart and put it back together a different way. Making an airway in my nose was really hard, but I can breathe a lot better than I used to. Last summer we tried a rare surgery to make an elbow in my stiff arms, but it failed.
I get pretty nervous before surgery. I don’t like being put to sleep and I know it will hurt when I wake up. Before surgery, my parents and I read through lots of Bible verses we’ve memorized, where God promises He will be with me where ever I go. That helps me not be so afraid. God even does some things to make me laugh and let me know how much He loves me. One time I had surgery at a new hospital and I was extra nervous. I love pigs, and that day they showed up everywhere. There was a pig show on TV, I got a pig shirt, and a live pig even walked into my room!

Since I don’t have elbow or shoulder joints, I can’t do many things by myself. My mom and dad have to help me take care of myself. Sometimes I fall and have gotten hurt really bad. I’d like to be able to bake cookies and pick up little babies. We’re trying to find ways to make that happen.

The thing that hurts me the most is that everywhere I go, people stare and point at me because my hands and face look different. I’ve had to pray and memorize verses like I Sam. 16:7, “People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I know my family always loves me, and the friends I do have are very special.

I like to draw, write, and make needlepoint bookmarks. That takes a lot of work since my fingers are stiff. I also really like babysitting kids in the nursery at church. I feel comfortable there because I am accepted and valuable to them. My favorite thing is when a little toddler sits in my lap and lets me read a book. Some day I’d like to work in the Children’s Ministry at my church. The people there have encouraged me a lot.

Even though my life has been difficult, I know that God loves me and created me just the way I am. He has taught me to persevere and to trust Him more than anything. Ever since I was born, a lot of people have prayed for me. That has changed my life and the lives of people around me. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I have known this verse since I was a little child. I say it to myself and know that God keeps His promises.

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

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Broken Hearts

Psalm 34:18, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

This verse has gotten me through many lonely nights and seasons of hopelessness. I always thought the verse simply meant that the Lord is sympathetic to our sorrows. He certainly is, but I got a deeper glimpse into the verse when, several months ago, my pastor quoted the verse during the Sunday morning announcements. He went on to to assume that in a congregation our size there was, no doubt, many hurting people among us that morning. And then he said a very odd thing. Addressing the brokenhearted in the crowd, he thanked them all for coming, saying, "Since the Lord has drawn near to you, your very presence has drawn us all into his presence."

Sorrow is indeed a very real, painful, heavy burden. But the Lord has promised to bear those burdens for us. "Come to me all you who are heavy-laden and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Let Him carry your load, and marvel at the fact that the dark cloaks we wear are not burdens, but coverings to protect us from the blinding glory of a Savior who dwells within us when we weep.

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When Healing Doesn't Come

Joni Earekson Tada recently spoke on Focus on the Family (James Dobson's radio program). She talks, among other things, about faith healers and when God does not answer our prayers for healing.

If you're interested in hearing the program, click on the link below and scroll down to 1/18 When Healing Doesn't Come part 1, and 1/19 When Healing Doesn't Come part 2.

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Joni & Friends Family Camp

One great way to overcome debilitating self-pity is to give yourself over to the cause of others and invest your time and experiences into encouraging and loving other people who are also suffering.

This summer, some friends of mine and I are volunteering at JAF Family Camp for a week. We will be at the camp, paired up with a disabled person and their family and we will play with them and talk with and encourage them. This camp is an awesome opportunity for those of use with perceptual disabilities to reach out to those with mental and physical disabilities. For me, there's no better cure for self-pity but to spend time with someone with more severe disabilities than mine to realize how merciful God has been in my life by witnessing first hand how merciful he has been in theirs.

For more info on volunteering at a JAF camp visit Joni's website:

For more info on Joni's ministry, click here:

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How To Fight For Joy

1. Realize that authentic joy in God is a gift.
2. Realize that joy must be fought for relentlessly.
3. Resolve to attack all known sin in your life.
4. Learn the secret of gutsy guilt - how to fight like a justified sinner.
5. Realize that the battle is primarily a fight to see God for who he is.
6. Meditate on the Word of God day and night.
7. Pray earnestly and continually for open heart-eyes and an inclination for God.
8. Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself.
9. Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight.
10. Be patient in the night of God's seeming absence.
11. Get the rest and exercise proper diet that your body was designed by God to have.
12. Make a proper use of God's revelation in nature.
13. Read great books about God and biographies of great saints.
14. Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (witness and mercy).
15. Get a global vision for the cause of Christ and pour yourself out for the unreached.

This list was recently expanded upon and made into a book entitled, "When I Don't Desire God; How To Fight For Joy." The book can be obtained through or through the ministry of it's author (John Piper) at

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Two Ways to Respond to Suffering

John Piper writes:

There are two kinds of responses to our own personal suffering: 1) We can rail against God and say, "If you are such a great and powerful and loving God, why am I in this hellish mess?" 2) Or we can acknowledge that we are sinners and don't deserve any good thing, and cry out for mercy and help in our time of desperation. The world is full of those who rail against God in their self-righteousness and presume that the creator of the universe obliged to make their life smooth. But there are only a few who own up to the fact that God owes us nothing, and that any good to come our way will be due to his mercy, not our merit. I think Luke records this text for us about the two thieves to teach us that there is great reward for responding to suffering like the first sort of person. The two thieves represent these two ways of responding to suffering and relating to Christ in suffering.

To read the rest of his article:

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Friday, January 21, 2005


This is my first post, so have mercy on me. I'm feeling the same inexplicable panic I did twenty years ago when trying to leave a message on an answering machine for the first time. The pressure!

I hope to get together some links and photos and post them by way of an introduction, not only to me, but also to some of the powerful and precious truths that I have come to hold dearly. I suffered for many years, not solely because I have a deformed face, but because of people's inability to explain a Biblical theology regarding it that satisfied my pain and sorrow without compromising the character, kindness, and power of God.

It has been a very long journey, but I have since been introduced to a theology of suffering that healed my wounds, infused me with joy, and have hope for my future - and rather than making God look cruel, ironic, or disinterested, it made him more glorious to me than I ever imagined. I hope to share these various articles, preachers, and testimonies with you in hopes that you too might experience this same radical transformation for yourself!

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