Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

The Winner of Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards has a title worth pondering

Everything, everywhere, all at once
is crashing in on me.
My world is spinning out of control.
I’ve lost my grasp.
I’ve lost my confidence.
Hope is slipping away.

To quote the psalmist
(just like Jesus did),
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

In this chaotic universe,
cursed by sin
and broken by self-destructive choices,
everything, everywhere, all at once
derails my dreams,
drains my energy
and robs me of my faith.

Still I will cling to You.
I will cast myself upon You.
With what little faith I have left
I will leap into arms I cannot see
but trust are there.

Lord, You are my everything.
You are everywhere all at once.
There is nowhere where You are not.
You are ever-present.
You are all-knowing.
Nothing escapes Your watchful eye.
You are all-powerful.
Nothing is too hard for You.

Because you are my everything,
everywhere all at once,
you know what I need.
You know what I lack.
You know what I long for.

Carry me, Father in Your everlasting arms.
Hold me close to Your beating heart
that I might hear the pulsating reminder
of Your never-ending love.

Longing for the Good Old Days!

A vintage photo of Wenatchee, Washington (my hometown)

The way it was is gone for good,
but it sure was good back then.
No wonder we are always quick
to ask “Remember when?”

We savored life. We thanked the Lord,
even though those times were tough.
We didn’t have what we have now,
but we sure had enough.

We scrimped and saved to get ahead,
but mostly stayed behind.
Still, neighbors knew when we had needs
and helped us in a bind.

The good old days found us in church.
We made sure we were there.
We were one nation under God.
So we took time for prayer.

But now it seems we’re backwards prone.
We are wealthy, but we’re poor.
We’ve little time for those we love,
while jobs we hate take more.

But since we can’t rewind the tape
to days of yesteryear,
let’s make the most of time God gives
and cherish those we’re near.

A Time for Jesus

The cover of Time magazine for June 21, 1971

Time was when Jesus got top-billing.
The headlines were unmistakable.
In cover-story proportions,
God got our attention
(or at least attempted to).

And time and time again,
God’s Spirit manifests itself
in life altering ways.
Be it at an altar near the front of a church
or in an outdoor sanctuary
in a baptistry of ocean waves,
faith is celebrated
in never-to-be-forgotten ways.

But sadly, given the times we live in today,
too many have forgotten
what God has done
and what He has promised to do.

It’s time to be reminded.
It’s time to be revived.
It’s time for God to restore
the years that the locusts have destroyed.
It’s time Jesus gets top-billing once again.

Hugh Steven (my father-in-law) wrote The Reproducers in 1972. It is the original history chronicling the early days of Pastor Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. You can read the entire book online by going to…

Check out this trailer to the movie Jesus Revolution

Take Up Your Cross: An Ash Wednesday Reflection

A lesser known painting by Warner Sallman pictures Jesus walking with his disciples

“Take up your cross and follow me
along the road of suffering
where selfish pride is crucified,
where faith takes root and grows.

“From dust you’ve come and shall return,
but in the meantime try to learn
how self-denial leads to trust
and patience proves God’s grace.”

“Come walk with me,” I hear him say.
“Beware of bandits on the way
that trip you up and steal your joy
and rob you of your worth.

“But as we journey side-by-side,
I’ll keep you safe if you’ll abide
in who I am and what I say.
My love will lead you home!”

A more well-known painting of Jesus by Warner Sallman is simply known as Sallman’s Head of Christ. https://covchurch.org/2016/02/08/a-head-of-his-time/

The Winds of Wilmore

The recent revival at Asbury University is drawing international attention

Will the winds of Wilmore (gale force strong)
blow nationwide before too long?
The breezes of God’s Spirit are past due.
We need a Great Awakening,
where elders dream and young folks sing
of what the Lord in our day may yet do.

We need a mighty move of God.
And though the critics think it odd,
a touch of the Divine means “Listen up!”
to what the King of Kings demands
as kneeling subjects lift their hands
confessing ways our culture’s been corrupt.

And may our hearts be strangely warmed
as faith (on fire) is reborn.
Revive Your people, Holy God, we pray!
Breathe life and love within our souls.
Restore our hope and make us whole.
O Sovereign Lord, we’re willing! Have Your way!