God is King

“God is king over the whole earth” (Zechariah 14:9; Psalm 47:7)

God is King
with

A kingdom without natural border in the universe
A domain relished the hearts of Your subjects
A duration without conception or culmination
A reign characterized by justice and righteousness

God is King
by

A dominance unshakeable, regal and kind
A vaunted power above all nations and people
A Name renown throughout all generations
All praise is due him. My lips declare it.

God is King
but

Peoples and the leaders oppose You
You laugh at it, yet your heart breaks
You press forward without wavering Your hope
Honoring the High King of heaven, a Son.

God is King
and

The Hope of Nations you endowed.
A priceless inheritance beyond the grave.
The Rock that will shatter every empire
Until every one of them returns to dust.

God is King
yet

You are sent a Suffering Servant.
A Sovereign who can turn the soul homeward.
Whether king or subject You humble .
Worship the King in reverence and awe.

God is King

May I cease rejoicing in my feeble feats
Take the crown from my grip.
For I revel in Your glorious deeds.
Now and Forevermore.

“Your God reigns” (Isaiah 52:7)

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kneel to appeal

How I wonder, where I wonder
Is a place so far away
A place I wish to stay
And sin never causes sway.

Help me show and don’t say No
To life ever happy
Living without tragedy
And alone designed for me.

Does it exist beyond our bliss
Of reality this afternoon?
My nativity’s evil gloom
And worldly sorrowful tune.

Now is the time to find
Light in darkness’s way.
How beautifully shone today
As knees bend and tongues pray.

The fight is won, glory to the Son
To whom all is given fully
The Sacrifice nailed to a tree
and painfully done for me.

 

Revised from a poem I wrote on October 7, 1999
Source: Philippians 2:1-11

 

Do I feel a lack?

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 10.02.45 AM

This post is from my thoughtful and beautiful wife, Sarah.

Do I feel a lack?  Yes, I do.  A lack that is blessed by the God of the universe.  He blesses it because He gave His Son this lack as well.  This is a lack of total goodness.  I have many good things, but all things that I have are not good. Yet.  I have many friends, but not all are near to me. Yet.  I have food and rest, but I am not totally filled or perfectly rested. Yet.

I am waiting.  Waiting for my Savior.  He is coming without delay.  “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”

How can I glory in this lack?  How can I despise the shame and take up my cross?  I cannot with these hands.  These hands want security and comfort.  They want pleasure and entertainment.  I must instead pour out my soul and entrust it to my Creator. I must ask God for strength to lay down my life.  I must remember Jesus.  My God, grow this in me.

My Savior is walking with me.
It doesn’t matter how far I walk.
My Savior is speaking to me.
It doesn’t matter how fast I talk.
My Savior is out to heal others.
In places that I cannot see.
My Savior is sleeping through wind storms.
I wonder if He’s in the boat with me?

My Savior is praying on mountains.
I whisper a thanks for my food.
My Savior is playing with children.
But I’m really not in the mood.
My Savior is feeding the thousands.
Did I grudge just one boy a meal?
My Savior is eating with sinners.
Do I care how others would feel?

But wait! Now my Savior is bleeding!
Do I share the pain of His gaze?
He is mocked and betrayed by those closest.
And my want is to slip by – ungrazed?
Will I give Him what never had value?
Will I fling at His feet “all the rest?”
Or die with my Savior on Calvary
And hourly give Him my best?

who?

Who?
Who made the flowers white – more white than morning snow?
Who made the sound of water and the fireflies to glow?
Who put the brightness in the sun and made the moon to shine?
Who put the faith that saved my soul into this heart of mine?
Who shakes the mountains? Who quiets the seas?
Who whispers tales to tall, shivering trees?
It is my Jesus – strong and meek.
The One who washed disciples feet.

Poem by my wife, Sarah Hutts

Artwork used with permission from Calvin Carter Art.

Jesus is

He is.
Jesus holds me closer than a friend.
He is my defender – Whose love will never end.
He is all my smiles.  He is all my tears.
Jesus is the truth that swallows all my fears.
Jesus is my light. Jesus is my path.
He it is Who carries me and pacifies God’s wrath.
Jesus is the merciful. Jesus is the law.
Both now and through eternity, He remains my All.

by my wife, Sarah

I’m pressed like a grape

from a good friend Hugo Butts

 

I’m pressed like a grape

Not crushed like a stone;

 

I’m perplexed like the Sphinx

Not in despair like grief

 

I’m persecuted like Jesus

Not abandoned like an orphan

 

I am struck to my knees

But my head is not hacked off

 

Life and death both live in me

But the life of Christ will win;

 

I believe therefore I have;

I pray because I believed

 

He will present me perfect before You

In a crowd that will bring glory

 

Grace in great quantity

Piled up glowing as in gold and precious stones.

 

An eternal thanksgiving where

The outer person is destroyed

And the inner person renewed

 

Light afflictions producing

An eternal weight of glory

As I worship the Unseen.

 

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to 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.

 

a concise theology of art

Art moves. Art has the innate ability to captivate your thoughts and stir your emotions. Art encompasses all of your life and the world in which you live. You cannot step outside your home or inside your home without taking in some kind of artistic expression. What is art? What is good art? What is the origin of art?

creativity and beauty is in the eye of the Beholder

Have you ever thought about art being a biblical concept? Have you thought about art origins being God—the first artist? And His Creation and created beings reflect His creativeness? God is an artistic God. He has created a wonder of colorful marvel. From the tiny microbe to the massive mountain ranges to the myriads of stars that glitter the night sky, God is a masterfully skilled artisan. Creativity and beauty reflects your Creator. Art in the Bible can be any creative medium to express God’s character: music, songs, poetry, prose, dance, fashion, sculpting, architecture, interior design, graphic design, drawing, carpentry, even teaching and preaching.

I would define art simple as creating beauty for God’s glory. Man has the ability to create and be creative because he mimics his Creator. The Creator has given His creation the ability to create. Creating for the glory of God is art at its chief and highest purpose.

Francis Schaeffer, the apologist and cultural critic, says art is a reflection of God. He believed that Christian art had a minor theme–the abnormality of the revolting world—and a major theme—the meaningfulness and purposefulness of life. By this definition an artist doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christian in order to produce “Christian art.”

twisted creativity and beauty

“GOD was pleased to make man, and GOD made man with creative capacities. Apart from GOD, man would not be, nor would man have any artistic, creative ability. Therefore, to engage in any artistic expression of man as being apart from GOD, is to both dishonor GOD, the Author of man and artistic expression, and to deny ourselves the full pleasures that GOD has intended for our enjoyment in art; culminating in our enjoyment in Him, through JESUS CHRIST.” – Artist’s Creed

God defines artistic beauty and creativity, but man has perverted and distorted art through sinful intentions and expressions. Any art that does not adhere to biblical guidelines is not for the glory of God. Here are four examples of sinful art.

First, graffiti without permission is lawless. Law considers defacing public property with graffiti vandalism. Now I have seen a lot of graffiti that makes an ugly wall beautiful, but without adhering to the law it is still sinful. Get permission before you paint graffiti.

Second, pornography is not biblical art. There are numerous rationalizations for nakedness being a genuine art form. Yes, man once walked naked in the Garden of Eden, but since the fall of mankind nakedness was synonymous with shamefulness. God, as the first fashion designer, made man clothing to cover their nakedness and shame. What is beautiful about nakedness according to the Bible is sexual intimacy in the context of committed marriage. For more on this check out a great article called, “Art, Nakedness and Redemption”.

Third, blaspheming God in art is more than irreverent it’s unregenerate. Can artists go too far? Absolutely, creating blasphemous or ironic religious imagery crosses biblical standards. In the Law of God given to Moses it says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.” [Exodus 20:4-5] Then Leviticus 26:1, goes on to say, ”You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God.” What is being forbidden is not the creation of all representational art, but what is forbidden is the worship and praise of graven images. When God commanding Moses to create the tabernacle and decorate it with imagery it included representations of “anything that is in heaven” [i.e. cherubim] and of that which is “in the earth beneath” [i.e. flowers and pomegranates). If God were prohibiting the creation of all representational art He would order Moses to disobey his command.

Fourth, artists do not create the rules. The underlying assumption in modern art is that artists are allowed to “create their own rules.” It is a common standard in Western culture that the artist, as an individual creative genius, stands apart from or outside of culture. In other words, the artist has taken the role once reserved for the prophet. However, according to the Scripture we are not autonomous individuals, but persons bound in community. God’s Word is not a private message given to us as individuals to interpret as we choose. It is a guiding text that is given to the church in order that we may live, work, and breathe as the beautiful Bride of Christ. The artist is in the same position as teachers and preachers, who are held to a higher standard because they are entrusted with communicating the truth.

Sin has a tendency of distorting really good things that God intends for His glory. All art must have a biblical standard and framework. This does not mean all art must have be pictures of Jesus or clouds with rainbows, but art must reflect the redemptive purpose of Christ and the creative glory of God [Romans 11:36]. All people should be encouraged to create art that is creative, beautiful, displaying truth. Just as all truth is God’s truth, all beauty is God’s beauty.

“The artist is called and gifted by God—who loves all kinds of art; who maintains high aesthetic standards for goodness, truth, and beauty; and whose glory is art’s highest goal. We accept these principles because they are biblical, and also because they are true to God’s character. What we believe about art is based on what we believe about God. Art is what it is because God is who He is.” – Philip Ryken

creating beauty for the glory of God

Since, a child I have loved art. I learned a lot about art from watching my dad paint and carve wood. My favorite classes in school were art, not because it was an easy A. Even now, I enjoy drawing in my idea book, make a hobby out of writing, dabble in graphic design, and marvel at architecture and nature when I travel. I love to dance, and am moved when I hear my wife sing or play the guitar. Art moves me.

For all eternity, we will be awed by the creative genius’ God has displayed in His creation. I still think the best is yet to come. God will reveal to us the beauty and creativity of the heavens, which captivates our imaginations. God has wired us to enjoy creativity and beauty.

BOOKS ON ART FOR GOD’S GLORY:

ARTICLES ON ART FOR GOD’S GLORY:

SERMONS ON ART FOR GOD’S GLORY

spreading His fame

All praise to the name of the savior who reigns.
He’s taken our blame, embraced all our shame,
He’s raised from the grave so his fame we proclaim.
Salvation by grace through faith in his name.
Jesus, the beautiful and blessed Son,
Immutable, majestic one
Who was resurrected from the grave
for the depraved.
He paved the path for some
Place faith in His passion, son
Be saved from the wrath to come.
He’s fabulous, His status is immaculate
I’m lacking the vernacular to adequately capture His glory.
Incomparable, unconquerable, all powerful, unstoppable
Absolutely phenomenal.
No obstacle He can’t navigate.
He’s God and so He fascinates.
With Him it’s impossible to exaggerate.
Lord of all continents,
Source of all consciousness,
His compliments are the consequence of His accomplishments
Every sphere of life, He’s the Lord of it
And every other power is either fraudulent or subordinate.
At first we snubbed Him,
Now His vessels of mercy love Him.
Your highest thought is infinitely unworthy of Him.
Beyond vocabulary His actions vary,
His wrath is scary
All His adversaries are imaginary.
He has no competitors.
Ask Nebuchadnezzar, bro
He’ll mess you up, have you eating grass,
You can bet He’s amazing.
He takes in blatant, flagrant vagrants, breaks them, remakes them, and shapes them
to hate sin.
Jesus!
There’s no better name!
That’ll never change and He’ll forever reign while we spread His fame.
All praise to the name of the Savior who reigns
He’s taken our blame
Embraced all our shame
He’s raised from the grave so His fame we proclaim
Salvation by grace through faith in His name!

By Shai Linn

changing tracks

Changing Tracks

Having no emotion,
What notion?
Being stagnant as a rusted locomotion!
Stationed

Don’t know why?
As I try,
That desert tear ducts lack cry
Electrified

A build up,
Trained playing pup.
The water to the brim of a cup.
Dumped

My hair falls out,
Then I pout.
Attitude, behavior, character drought.
Clouted

Want to sleep,
No past to keep.
Still can’t get into the deep.
Weeped

In whisper voice,
Uplifted praise.
Honest prayer to Lord Jesus raised.
Rejoiced

Unrepentant sin,
World crashing in.
No matter what, Satan can’t win.
Grinned

Calling above,
Hearts shove.
Curvy, hilly highway–minds drove.
Loved

Now is emotion,
Great notion!
Moving swift as a shiny locomotion.
Restationed

What is so good about Good Friday?

“What is so good about Good Friday?” asked a girl with a quizzical look. When we scan the surface of the events surrounding Good Friday they do not seem so good, in fact, they appear grotesque. How could the horrific death of the Jesus be so good, when a bloody and baffling execution appears so bad? This question begs another:

What if Jesus never came?
Or instead, accepted immediate fame?
What if He never walked this earth?
And purposed to die from birth?

What if Jesus never willfully died?
And lived a ludicrous lie?
What if He never became the sinless sacrifice?
And tumbled in temptations vices?

What if Jesus never bore God’s wrath?
And became righteousness on my behalf?
What if He complained and moaned?
And left my sin unatoned?

What if Jesus copped out of the crucifixion?
And put a pause on propitiation?
What if to Him redemption did not matter?
Or withheld glory from His Father?

What if Jesus decided not to save?
Or remained hidden in the grave?
What if He failed to rise again?
Or reconcile mankind from within?

I thank God that He did die that day,
Demonstrating and redefining a Good Friday.
Amidst sorrow and melancholy mood,
I can confidently say, “We got IT good.”

prayer for Chile

This is a prayer for all the people of Chile follow the aftermath of an earthquake that rocked their country:

My great I AM,

Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at the thought of a Being

with whom one day is as a thousand years,

and a thousand years as one day,

A mighty God, who, amidst the lapse of worlds,

And the fall of empires,

Feels no variableness,

But is glorious in destruction.

May I rejoice that, while men die, the Lord lives;

That, while all creatures are broken reeds,

Empty cisterns,

Fading flowers,

Withering grass,

He is the Rock of Ages, the Fountain of living waters.

Turn my heart from vanity,

From distractions,

From uncertainties of the present state,

To an eternal interest in Christ.

Let me remember that life is short and unforeseen,

And is only an opportunity for unsefulness;

Give me a holy avarice to redeem the time,

To awake at every call to charity and piety,

So that I may feed the hungry,

Clothe the naked,

Instruct the ignorant,

Reclaim the vicious,

Forgive the offender,

Diffuse the gospel,

Show neighborly love to all.

Let me live a life of self-distrust,

Dependence on myself,

Mortification,

Crucifixion,

Prayer.

A Puritan Prayer taken from The Valley of Vision [104]

sin is more than

I gathered at the Communion Table like never seen before. On Sunday, I was faced with the reality of my sin as Pastor Kenny preached on the reality of the cross from the perspective of our sin and the wrath of God.  For a majority of the service I was confronted by my darkness that once separated me from the Light. It is my sin that nailed Christ to the cross, but it is also the cross of Christ that frees me from the bondage of sin. The Gospel is so good! By the end of the service, I had my head in my hands praising a God of grace.

I went home that night and wrote a poem reflecting the passage below:

“And you who were dead in your sins…God made alive together with Him, having forgiven all our sins, but canceling the certificate of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 

 

sin is more than blood and gore
more than neglecting the poor
more than sleeping with a whore
more than being wicked to the core

sin is more than a binge on gin and rum
more than forsaking the lowly bum
more than pretending to be blind, deaf or dumb
more than being compassionately numb

sin is more than committing a vile crime
more than stealing a nickel or dime
more than a mind filled with grime
more than wasting away valuable time

sin is more than one night before the ring
more than an extra-marital fling
more than putting an enemy in a sling
more than having no offering to bring

Sin is slapping a Holy God in the face
defaming the name of His glory and grace
facing a judgement without a case
separating all from His eternal place

 

Sin is recorded on a certificate of debt,
punishable by death; an infinite loss
but Christ has taken the the dirty note
and nailed it to the splintered cross

 

less IS more

less of me

less trash, more treasure

less luxuries, more necessities

less on my looks, more looking to Him

less performance, more praise

less whining, more shining

less wishing, more waiting

less scandalizing, more sacredness

less selfishness, more selflessness

less darkness, more light

less being served, more being served

less fence riding, more boldness

less grudges, more grace

less pity parties, more praying

less duty, more delight

less stalling, more doing

more of GOD

memorial tears

Memorial Tears

I possess a tear; it is one of many.
Added to oceans of tears in memory.
Looking deep within, reflecting off the surface,
I see what is inside floating, and ponder. 
 
Of all remembrances is the foregoing sin
Causing agony from within to without. 
I deserve the furthest destructive damnation,
In relation to my foolishness and shame.
 
Yet I stumble in and drown in the shadowy depths;
I was miraculously saved and placed upright. 
Breathed in with new life, without strife 
Engrossed in the creation of all that is.
 
Talk of no fairytale in paradise lost,
But obligation to worship and adorn thy name.
Swimming in the vast tears of memory
And gather together the heart of my present being.
 
Am I frozen? Or too cold and unbearable? 
I am compelled to stoke the fire to boil a pleasing aroma.
Professing to confess out to the outstretched arm
Wanting security from the memory of tears.
 
Justin Thomas Hutts
Copyright ©2006 Justin Thomas Hutts  

Psalm 27:14 in a Poem

Wait

by Russell Kelfer 

 Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried; 

Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied. 

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . . 

And the Master so gently said, “Wait.” 

“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply. 

“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!

Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?

By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word. 

“My future and all to which I relate 

Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?  

I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign, 

Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign. 

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe, 

We need but to ask, and we shall receive. 

And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:

I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.” 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate, 

As my Master replied again, “Wait.” 

So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut, 

And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?” 

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . . 

and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign. 

I could shake the heavens and darken the sun. 

I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be. 

You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me. 

You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint. 

You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;

You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.

You’d not know the joy of resting in Me

When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love

When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.

You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,

But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,

The faith that I give when you walk without sight.

The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask

From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,

What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.

Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,

But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see

That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.

And though oft My answers seem terribly late,

My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”