He Did Know Jack!

C. S. Lewis was the focus of much of the late Earl Palmer’s research and ministry

If you knew Earl,
then you knew Jack
Two brilliant men who had a knack
for dusting for God’s fingerprints
and pointing us to grace.

And in the process joy found them
and guided these two godly men
along a path that led to truth
they longed so much to find.

Jack Lewis and Earl Palmer knew
that faith’s a journey ’til life’s through
and in the shadowlands we learn
the elements of trust.

Pain is God’s megaphone they found
that suff’ring becomes holy ground,
that coffins are not just a box.
They’re wardrobes in disguise.

Mere Christianity? Perhaps!
Two mirrored lives (without relapse)
who call us to reflect the light
they gave us through the years.

* Earl Palmer passed away on April 25, 2023 at the age of 91.


A Wardrobe in Disguise

C. S. Lewis wardrobe housed at The Wade Center of Wheaton College

A Wardrobe in Disguise

“It won’t be long now,”
you said with a smile
your emotions under control.
And I marveled at your calm.
But when you got that call that said
all had been done (and all was not enough),
didn’t it take a while for your ready smile
to find your face again?

You are never quite ready
for the end to come, are you?
Even when you’ve had wind of the end
for a while.

When you finally face that familiar face
inside that greedy box,
your resignation to what you thought
you were prepared for
quickly bolts out the door,
leaving you alone with the lonely truth
that life will never, ever, really be the same.

But as Paul Harvey was wont to say…
“And now for the rest of the story!”

Death’s only glory is that overpriced coffin
in which it thinks it’s sealed our fate
(and that of those we loved).
But Death forgets its box is but a wardrobe.
through which the Risen Lion leads us
(and all those with faith)
into the Land of Narnia
where Death
(even if it could be remembered)
would only be a bad dream.

Long live, Aslan!
Deep be Your peace!

Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed!

In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the author invites us to enter the land of Narnia through an old-fashioned bedroom wardrobe. That standing wooden box is the means by a new world is experienced. Have you ever thought of a casket as a wardrobe? For the Christian, a simple pine box is a time-capsule to eternal life. If you have never read this classic story by C. S. Lewis, why not commit to reading it this year?

The above post is an excerpt from When God Speaks by Greg Asimakoupoulos. It was written for a friend whose father died after an extended illness.

A Man Called Otto (Revisited)

It’s an unforgettable film with a timeless message

If your first name is Otto,
if the world thinks you’re strange,
can you hope for redemption?
Can your selfish ways change?

Can the losses you’ve suffered
create space in your heart
for the lost and the lonely
who are God’s work of art?

Though your life’s not worth living
(or so it may seem),
can you find renewed purpose
in a dying friend’s dream?

Can a cause to believe in
find you reborn within
though your past has been littered
by anger and sin?

Can your first love be kindled
though you grieve for what’s gone?
Can God’s grace and forgiveness
find you singing a song?

While your days may be numbered
and the end is at hand,
can you serve where you’re needed
as the Good Lord has planned?

That’s my prayer for you, Otto.
That you live while you can.
That you seize what you’re given
and die a loved man.

View a trailer of A Man Called Otto here:

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.

A Jack of All Trades

Pastor Jack Hayford died on January 8, 2023 at the age of eighty-eight

Jack Hayford was a preacher.
Just to hear him speak you’d think
you were standing in the presence of a king.
And when Jack would lead the hymns he wrote
we’d stand with upraised hands
and worship Christ the Savior as we’d sing.

Jack Hayford was an author.
Truths he’d gleaned within The Book
were planted first then watered on each page.
Jack helped us see our kinship
as the family of God
regardless of our gender or our age.

Jack Hayford was the leader
of the Foursquare Church at-large.
To the church of Aimee Semple he brought cred.
Jack helped show that Pentecostals
weren’t just feelings focused folk.
He was thoughtful in the things he wrote and read.

And Jack Hayford gave us Majesty.
I love that worship song.
In his lyrics he sees Christ upon the throne.
As His subjects we give honor
as we pay Him homage due
for the glories of His grace He has made known.  

Peace to his memory!