longing for a home

On my 15 hour trip across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, I finally had time to process Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo. The lyrics to the new Matthew Perryman Jones song, "O Theo" have accompanied many of my night runs, but I hadn't realized they were so old. They date back to intimate correspondence between Van Gogh and his brother and one such letter inspired this especially earnest and confessional song. There's something magnetic about the words - something that pulls you in and makes you listen to what was painfully penned from a brother to a brother of a dreadful waywardness.

Under the silence of water, Into a sky full of birds Out from the land of our fathers, I am falling on your words, Oh...

Dark as the night of a preacher, I made a bed out of hay They paid me a handful of money, I gave it all away... All away...

And the righteous raised their stones And the devil threw his arrow That was longing for a home With nowhere to go, Oh, Theo...

In the half-life of the city, She took off all of her clothes I flew from the height of the mountains Into a valley of dry bones All alone

Then my heart was still unknown I was drunk and full of sorrows I was longing for a home With nowhere to go, Oh, Theo...

So, I set fires of starlight, To burn up against the despair I was caught in the tangles of midnight's Long, unanswered prayer: 'Are you there?'

And the light of morning grows On a field of fallen sparrows I was longing for a home With nowhere to go, Oh, Theo...

Are you pulled in to Van Gogh's plea for a home? Does something deep inside turn over when you read about his waywardness?

Van Gogh describes his desperate and failed attempts to cure himself of loneliness. He reaches out and lays all things bare, longing for a home.

In a phone conversation the other night, I heard the same longing - a beautiful soul captured by grace who longed for the security of "home" without the fear of abandonment. I heard her confession of sin and her fragile hope of new life. I heard fear drip from every excuse as she listed reasons why now is a hard time to turn from sin.

And right there we called spades "spades." We agreed about her sin and the fear that made her cling to it. We agreed that her life looked like Jesus hadn't accomplished anything on the cross - that He wasn't capable of holding her up when her world crashed.

We agreed that Jesus wanted a complete turn from sin so that she could look Him fully in the face and hear the words, "Child, you are mine."

I remember sitting on my friend's porch a cool, August night in high school. I remember trying desperately to convince my friend that I had sin to deal with. I remember my friend saying, "That's it?"

We all get desperate and blinded by sin. The only hope of redemption we have is to believe that Christ willingly stood in the place of that sin (because it is sin) and continually sits at the right hand of God interceding for us, not that we would continue in sin but that we would enjoy the freedom that comes through repentance.

And it is with this honest, repentant heart that we do find a home that is secure.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XQGU0LMJLQ]

truth has no genre

It's such a 'hip' thing to say, "I like all kinds of music." I just read a great post by Brett McCracken where he explains the Coldplay Effect. Hipsters and indies liked Coldplay when they were obscure, claiming they "just liked good music." But when Coldplay got big, they dumped them for artists less well-known. It's just a funny little cycle and McCracken turns it inside out in a way that makes so much sense. I'm really not trying to be hip when I say I like a lot of different styles, because I'll add that there is definitely music I don't like. I try to be indifferent about whether it is popular or not. It just seems like once music gets popular it all starts to sound the same. (Yikes, I hope I'm not a hipster in denial!) Today, I decided to download music from iTunes.

This is worth sharing only because I never do. I am a pretty good internet sleuth for free (legal) music. Artists are sharing their music in return for our free publicity. This situation works out well for me, unless someone asks me to make a mix for a party... I don't have what runs on the radios these days. So, I really can't remember the last time I used my iTunes account.

That's the first reason I mention I downloaded music from iTunes.

The second reason is the dissimilarity in the two albums.

The first is from a rap/hip hop artist who has gained crazy popularity with people like John Piper, CJ Mahaney, and Randy Alcorn. I love what Shai Linne said about the album in an interview when asked why rap is a good platform for his message,

"In many ways, I think hip-hop is actually an ideal genre for a project like this, because the format allows for so many more words to be used than in other genres. Because of this, the potential for transfer of ideas is much greater. Hip-hop lends itself to exposition. The challenge was finding suitable musical backdrops to properly convey the emotional depth of such a glorious topic."

I like rap. I like to rap freestyle and roll out someone else's rhythm. This kind of rap, though, the kind expositing Truth, has got me like a cup of hot coffee on the first day of snow (today).

The second comes from the guy who wrote, "How He Loves," which you might know from several other artists who have recorded since. I like the way this guy thinks. "Genuine" is one of those terms people like to manipulate these days, but I believe John Mark McMillan. I'm a person who likes poetry and beauty and simplicity and purpose... and revealing a stronger, redemptive thread running through the tapestry of tragedy.

I'm so glad Truth has no genre.

My heart is happy that God created us in His image with a desire to create beautiful things. My heart is even more happy when people do this and it inspires me to return to my First Love.

It is TRUTH that allows us to

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

this & that

This will be a day for this equation: music+words=happy Monday! Enjoy these links and pass them along, if your little hearts desires. But most of all and as always
let LOVE fly like cRaZy
even if you aren't dressing up or filling candy bowls for festivities tonight, there are ALL kinds of opportunities and I know you know it.
  • Are you a fan of Jars of Clay? Please check this out!
  • If Jars of Clay isn't your cup 'o tea, you should definitely check out Neulore. I became familiar with this band and frontman Adam Agin through Brite Revolution, in its earlier days. You've GOT to check out this album right now! Here's one of the songs:  [bandcamp track=3936819340 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]
  •  Let's see... something to read. Well, on a recent road trip with a very special high schooler, she asked me, "What's this 'Lamb of God' stuff about? I mean I hear it a lot and it's in songs and I'm just wondering is it a real lamb?" LOVED the question and LOVED the fact that we had several hours to sort it out. At the end, I said, "I know I'm getting worked up about this, but it's only the beginning - there are SO many ways the Bible speaks that we gloss over! There are all sorts of prophecies in the OT that are later fulfilled in the NT that are simply MARVELOUS. Here is a great list from Peter Cockrell's blog (he actually got it from Dane Ortlund if you want to re-trace the internet steps). CHECK IT OUT!
  • Have you ever heard of International Justice Mission? Well, you should hear about them. Here is an interview from Qideas, "An Apologetic for Justice." That's a good place to start.
  • And Can it Be? Truth, friends. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oc3y07FWEAE#!]
  • I think I've already posted this once, but I ALWAYS need the reminder. What is God sovereign over? A few countries? The weather? My family? Friends? Jobs? The beginning? The end? Evil? Good? Check out this post by Justin Taylor.
Okay, that's it for now. Enjoy!

fighting temptations

I'm probably on my way to Colorado by the time you read this - kind of last minute. I'm off to see some family and spend some beautiful time with one of my past Honduran students. If I was writing with my true excitement, it'd be in all caps, but because people usually read those in a scream, I'll refrain. Last week, I posted this link to a blog by Dane Ortlund in my this & that post. During a conversation I had tonight about Christian perfection and sanctification and temptation, I read it again.

It's still amazing.

I love that we find this little Clive Staples gem tucked away in correspondence he was writing to a friend who had some questions about evil. Oh! If my correspondence were only half as significant!

So, if you missed it, here it is (I just took this straight from Ortlund's blog, so go check it out his stuff!):

On September 12, 1933, 35-year-old Clive Staples Lewis wrote a letter to his dear friend Arthur Greeves. The letter is located in the Wade Center at Wheaton College--just down the street from where I am typing right now.

Greeves had written to Lewis asking about the degree to which we can speak, if at all, of God understanding evil in any kind of experiential way--as Greeves had put it, 'sharing' in our evil actions.

Lewis begins with an analogy (all emphases original)--

Supposing you are taking a dog on a lead past a post. You know what happens. . . . He tries to go the wrong side and gets his head looped round the post. You see that he can't do it, and therefore pull him back. You pull him back because you want to enable him to go forward. He wants exactly the same thing--namely to go forward: for that very reason he resists your pull back, or, if he is an obedient dog, yields to it reluctantly as a matter of duty which seems to him to be quite in opposition to his own will: tho' in factit is only by yielding to you that he will ever succeed in getting where he wants.

Now if the dog were a theologian he would regard his own will as a sin to which he was tempted, and therefore an evil: and he might go on to ask whether you understand and 'contained' his evil. If he did you could only reply 'My dear dog, if by your will you mean what you really want to do, namely, to get forward along this road, I not only understand this desire butshare it. Forward is exactly where I want you to go. If by your will, on the other hand, you mean your will to pull against the collar and try to force yourself in a direction which is no use--why I understand it of course: but just because I understand it (and the whole situation, which you don'tunderstand) I cannot possibly share it. In fact the more I sympathise with your real wish--that is, the wish to get on--the less can I sympathise (in the sense of 'share' or 'agree with') your resistance to the collar: for I see that this is actually rendering the attainment of your real wish impossible.'

Lewis then goes back to the original question to bring his analogy home:

I don't know if you will agree at once that this is a parallel to the situation between God and man: but I will work it out on the assumption that you do. Let us go back to the original question--whether and, if so in what sense God contains, say, my evil will--or 'understands' it. The answer is God not only understands but shares the desire which is at the root of all my evil--the desire for complete and ecstatic happiness. He made me for no other purpose than to enjoy it. But He knows, and I do not, how it can be really and permanently attained. He knows that most of my personal attempts to reach it are actually putting it further and further out of my reach. With these therefore He cannot sympathise or 'agree.'

Lewis then relates his point to how we think about past sins, and then how we think about future sins (temptation).

I may always feel looking back on any past sin that in the very heart of my evil passion there was something that God approves and wants me to feel not less but more. Take a sin of Lust. The overwhelming thirst for rapture was good and even divine: it has not got to be unsaid (so to speak) and recanted. But it will never be quenched as I tried to quench it. If I refrain--if I submit to the collar and come round the right side of the lamp-post--God will be guiding me as quickly as He can to where I shall get what I really wanted all the time. It will not be very like what I now think I want: but it will be more like it than some suppose. In any case it will be the real thing, but a consolation prize or substitute. If I had it I should not need to fight against sensuality as something impure: rather I should spontaneously turn away from it as something cold, abstract, and artificial. This, I think, is how the doctrine applies to past sins.

On the other hand, when we are thinking of a sin in the future, i.e. when we are tempted, we must remember that just because God wants for us what we really want and knows the only way to get it, therefore He must, in a sense, be quite ruthless towards sin. He is not like a human authority who can be begged off or caught in an indulgent mood. The more He loves you the more determined He must be to pull you back from your way which leads nowhere into His way which leads where you want to go. Hence MacDonald's words 'The all-punishing, all-pardoning Father.' You may go the wrong way again, and again He may forgive you: as the dog's master may extricate the dog after he has tied the whole leash around the lamp-post. But there is no hope in the end of getting where you want to go except by going God's way. . . .

And in a final, powerful, delightful reminder--

I think one may be quite rid of the old haunting suspicion--it raises its head in every temptation--that there is something else than God--some other country into which He forbids us to trespass--some kind of delight which He 'doesn't appreciate' or just chooses to forbid, but which would be real delight if only we were allowed to get it. The thing just isn't there. Whatever we desire is either what God is trying to give us as quickly as He can, or else a false picture of what He is trying to give us--a false picture which would not attract us for a moment if we saw the real thing.

--Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume 2: Books, Broadcasts, and the War, 1931-1949 (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 122-24

this & that

Here's another batch of links that wouldn't be a waste of time (in my opinion).

  • If you're like me, you've wondered a time or two if there is a way to discern what to do or not do in the next phase of your life... and what God wants you to do and how you can find that out. Well, here's a good start. "How to know the will of God" by Tim Challies is actually part of a series that you should definitely read.
  • So, apparently the new iphone is CRAZY awesome. So much so that movies (REAL movies) are 'bout to be made with it. Check out the comparison of the new iphone with a Canon 5D MKII (a really good camera).

http://vimeo.com/30606785

  • I always like to give musical suggestions and I don't mind if you don't share my taste. Take it or leave it, I've been enjoying the The Steel Wheels recently and think you might too. You can get an album for free at Noisetrade!
  • Are you into watercolor? Or maybe you just know good art when you see it? You should check out my good friend Natalie Groves. She writes a blog on the painting process and you can see some of her pieces. If you liked the movie Miss Potter, you'll LOVE her style and stories! Here's one of my faves:
  • If you're getting stuck when you start thinking about what you could make for Christmas gifts, here's a good place to start: Pinterest. Check out this list for Christmas DIY.
  • I read an article awhile back, an interview actually with Alisa Harris, author of the recent book, "Raised Right." She grew up in a very fundamental Christian home and the book is about her journey untangling her faith from politics as she grew older. She is now married on the East Coast and still holds to her Christian values without being ultra-conservative like her parents. Of course, I haven't read it but I would be so interested to see what she has to say.
  • This article by Paul David Tripp seems especially poignant in my current life phase. Read, "5 Reasons God Calls us to Wait" and let me know if you think the reasons are good enough to put us through the waiting ringer. :)
  • This link is the ultimate downer, so be prepared. The Atlantic published the article "World War II: The Holocaust" and with it a collection of photos. As hard as it is to view, it's a reminder of human depravity and despair.
  • I don't have children yet, but when I do they will NOT have a TV in their bedroom. "In the Danger Zone: Raising our Children in the Age of the Screen" is an article from Albert Mohler that should scare us out of the nasty habit of having the television on.
  • And last, because I want to end on a funny note, check out this Rowan Atkinson skit. It's hilarious. Good, old fashioned comedy right there.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sf_pogZ8jE?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]
Happy Monday, folks!

this & that

As promised, I'm going to just blast you with links and sites and books and articles. Any and all responses/thoughts will add to the discussion already going on in my head, so thanks in advance!

  • This is a review for the film Tree of Life written by Roger Ebert. This film by Terrence Malick is undeniably spiritual and I can't believe I still haven't seen it. For all the reviews and trailers and background information, it's already gained my loyalty. If you've seen it, what do you think? If you haven't, will you? [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXRYA1dxP_0]
  • I follow a few blogs (okay, quite a few) sporadically and I always like to look up the "about" page. Partly because I'm just a curious person and partly because looking at "normal" people making it big in the blog world makes me think I could, too. Anyway, a couple of these creative bloggers are Mormons. In addition to the massive commercial campaign to make us think Mormon is as normal as bread and butter, there was also the smash Broadway hit, "The Book of Mormon" recently. If you've got some questions, Kevin DeYoung's article, "Mormonism 101" is a good place to start.
  • With the GOP debates in full swing, I appreciated this article over at WORLD magazine on the war on terror. We must always, always remember where our true allegiance lies.  “Woe to those who . . . rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!” (Isaiah 31:1)
  • I just love the words of this old hymn I found on Trevin Wax's blog. We used to sing it in the Lutheran church and it is so rich! Read the lyrics to "If God Himself be for me" below and listen to the organ play it here. If God Himself be for me, I may a host defy, For when I pray, before me my foes confounded fly. If Christ, the Head, befriend me, if God be my support, The mischief they intend me shall quickly come to naught.I build on this foundation, that Jesus and His blood Alone are my salvation, the true eternal good; Without Him, all that pleases is valueless on earth: The gifts I owe to Jesus alone my love are worth.His Holy Spirit dwelleth within my willing heart, Tames it when it rebelleth, and soothes the keenest smart. He crowns His work with blessing, and helpeth me to cry “My Father!” without ceasing to Him Who reigns on high.

    To mine His Spirit speaketh sweet words of soothing power, How God to Him that seeketh for rest, hath rest in store; How God Himself prepareth my heritage and lot, And though my body weareth, my Heav’n shall fail me not.

    - Paul Gerhardt, 1656

  • Are you fighting temptation? Well, welcome to the party. Gosh, I'd be worried if I was the only one! It makes me feel even BETTER when I read an analogy from someone like C.S. Lewis (whom I admire like crazy) about past sins and future temptations and it makes sense! This excerpt is taken out of a collection of his letters and is SO spot on and encouraging!
  • You may not share my musical tastes (and that is completely fine), but I completely enjoyed the live performances of Feist and Bon Iver on the Jools Holland show. Watch them HERE. Both are so clever with instrumentation and ... well, I just appreciate their musical style and creativity.
  • If you're not a fan of that music, try this out - Keith and Kristyn Getty made this song FREE in anticipation of their Christmas album. It's a beautiful song to get "stuck" in your soul. You can listen/download it here: [soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/25833738"]
Okay... there is more to come. What news have you worth sharing?
let LOVE fly like cRaZy

this & that

Roman and italic ampersands. Based on plain an...

I like ampersands. I know - I'm probably behind on this trendy little piece of typographical genius, but I really do like how they look and what they do. Ampersands connect things. There's even a blog dedicated to finding one for each day of the year: 300&65 Ampersands.

Anyway, since I've been away for awhile, you can imagine the backlog of links and suggestions I have! I'll try to not overwhelm you ... but I'm going to start publishing them under the "this & that" tag, so you can search 'em all if you like.

  • I appreciate Makoto Fujimara so much for his art, but also for his boldness in suggesting art and Christianity can very much be topics in the same conversation (in fact, should be). Here is a recent clip for Qideas where he talks about Beauty and Culture.
  • The Justice Conference has got some crazy big names all over it. What do you think about this buzzwordy gathering?
  • My friend Jace Yarbrough just starting writing over at Humane Pursuits and I'm sure you'll appreciate his bright mind as you read through his thoughts on work in his article, "Work, Part I: In Defense of Brass Polishing"
  • Generous Justice - an idea from a guy I really admire (Tim Keller) - was one of the post-conference topics at the Gospel Coalition this year. I think he hits on a pretty difficult dichotomy we've created within Christianity today. Watch this video where he explains.
  • I'm a fan of this list that reminds us about what is done (indicatives) and what there is to do (imperatives) from Galatians. Take a look and be refreshed and motivated!Well, there's that - now throw some this & that my way from your own reserves!

I think I like ampersands because something has got to come after every one.

Links for your Saturday

Here is a smattering of things I've been collecting recently and wanting to share. Thoughts on discernment, illustrated fiction, and philosophy. I hope your Saturday is of the MOST beautiful variety! This book is more than interesting to me. Has anyone else heard about it?

This media guide looks like something every family should have in their home.

This article by Andree Seu is just the right amount of uncomfortable in its discussion of Song of Solomon and our hesitancy to embrace it.

The unfortunate demise of the young mind, as illustrated by this comic.

This clip from D.A. Carson on the intolerance of post-modern tolerance is exactly the words I wish I could articulate.

This is a video clip from Fox News interview with Tim Keller talking about his new book King's Cross. How encouraging to see someone speak so clearly on the indisputable Gospel - manifest in the life of Christ.

This is a book called Intentional Parenting, about family discipleship, that looks REAL good!

"The Church in a post-feminist world" ... doesn't the title just make you want to read it??

I LOVE this video!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoQVa86EvPA]

This is a random mind buster that will stretch your mind, if you can figure it out! :)

reasons to shout hooray!

reason #1Tonight I screamed my lungs out on the soccer sidelines in a wave of green and white. Rumor says it has been 20 years since the boys soccer team at my school has gone on to the finals in San Pedro, so tonight was one for the history books and I tried my darndest to yell even louder than those blaring blowhorns (sidenote: I definitely prefer human cheering). I could get all deep about it, but there is something really special and being with a crowd of people all hoping for the same thing. I had flashbacks to my own high school athletics days... and I remember cheering in the stands or on the sidelines was almost always just as fun as being in the game. I like that about sports. I like it and I wonder about it, too.

reason #2 Last night Louis (my lovely, wonderful, strangely Herbie-like car) helped someone ELSE! For all his random quirks, he finally got to lend a helping hand last night when a friend needed his battery jumped. I couldn't run out the door fast enough! The idea of Louis GIVING battery power to another car was such an exciting thought... and then it worked! I could barely sleep I was so excited!

reason #3 Today, I handed out invitations to the senior girls for my almostFAVORITE holiday - SWEET DINNER! I loveLOVELOVE everything about this dinner, which is exclusively for my Bible study girls and ALL about recognizing the way God has beautifully created each of them. Even making the invitations filled me with joy - just thinking about the many blessings He has hidden inside each beautiful girl!

reason #4 I like things that make me think. This quote, thanks to twitter, inspired a bit of benevolent banter today and is still making me think hours later.

‎"The only way to dispossess the heart of an old affection, is by the expulsive power of a new one." - Thomas Chalmers

Here's some heavier reading to dig through if you're interested.

reason #5 My cousin Bret and Katie had their baby this morning and she is BEAUTIFUL and her name is Mollie Avonell! I LOVE the beauty of new life!

reason #6 I am going to round out these reasons to shout hooray with one very close to home... I mean literally close to my hometown. Doc Swanson is what we call him, actually what people across the state of Iowa probably call him. When my friend sent me this link tonight I couldn't believe someone had finally overturned the stone covering this hidden local hero. He's 78 years old, but decided retiring as a doctor was too boring (who wouldn't!?). So he opened a FREE clinic in the itty-bitty town in Southwest Iowa and he is pretty much always busy.

Take THAT health care crisis! I love what he says at the end of the interview,

"The fun of life is giving, and most people miss the fun of life," Swanson said. "Money is the least important thing. If people would forget about money, and provide service, it would be a wonderful world."

If he wasn't STILL my doctor, I'd probably suggest he run for president or something.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy!

 

Friday Recommendations...

Things you should check out: I saw this video over at Challies blog the other day and it just so well depicts my generation I couldn't pass it up. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7VgNQbZdaw&feature=player_embedded]

I also wanted to repost the link I mentioned last night at the end of my blog. Basically, when asked if women have a place in leadership in the church, a woman (chair of inter-church leadership board) said, "...I did not ask to be on this committee, and I wish that the men in the world would not abdicate their responsibility so much. I came onto this committee because men were not doing it. And I did not ask to chair this committee. I chair this committee because men are not doing it, and someone has to." Read the full article here.

Here's a sweet post on the fifty fruits of pride that I should probably read a hundred times.

And... last but not least - the book that is a great source of encouragement to me right now (for which I have my Dad's amazing thrift store sleuthing to thank) by Joni Eareckson Tada, "The God I Love." What an amazing testimony to God's presence in her life! I am enjoying every honest page!

tonight find a way to let LOVE fly like CRAZY

Monday Madness

WEEKEND fun

[slideshow]

Monday LINKAGE

Enjoy this list of wonderful things (arts, crafts, music, and generally things that have inspired in the past couple days).

  1. Sleeping at Last new music
  2. Slothpop new music
  3. beautiful mess blog
  4. inkismyfavorite blog
  5. Oh Joy blog
  6. Friends of the Challies blog
  7. this sermon by John Piper
  8. paper lanterns
  9. recycled fabrics
  10. Dr. Seahorse new cd you can download for FREE

Yes, folks. My post today is mostly pointing to inspiration instead of giving any, but there are more important matters... like planning for this weekend's SLEEPOUT event to raise money for the Micah Project and cleaning up after a crazy weekend.... and enjoying many uninterrupted cups of coffee, accompanied by Miike Snow, Joy Williams, and Brooke Fraser.

I guess my stories about changing a car battery, learning to jerk in my living room, and making sushi at 4 am will have to wait for another day very soon!

music+memorization=GENIUS

 

Psalm-Justus-Jonas

 

Lately, I've been working on study skills workshops for several classes. Our students struggle to manage time, organize their materials, and (most importantly) recall the information they cram into their brains the night before a test.

I think these things are universal, but my job is not to figure out how similar are the struggles... I want to encourage the students to push through! In the process of all my searching (I didn't have all those education courses, so it's all new to me), I found some amazing resources.

I got so excited about this "Periodic Table of Elements" song that I showed it to everyone who came into my office (and some who happened to be standing outside!). Then, I started to look up more about this man, Tom Lehrer, who set all kinds of information to music. Two things made me love this: 1) learning happens 2) music happens.

After all my rambling about the beautiful gift and calling to THINK, I've been more aware of how thinking happens around me. How do the students think? How does the staff think? How do I think? What is my purpose, my methods, my result?

As I watched this video, I couldn't help but make connections. We are made with minds to think and to seek knowledge. This, from the recent Desiring God National Conference,

"Knowledge that is loveless is not true knowledge. It’s imaginary knowledge, no matter how factual it is: 'If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God' (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)

Knowing as we ought to know is a knowing for the sake of loving. Loving God and loving people." -J. Piper

So, if our knowledge - the true kind - has something other than empirical (numbers and words on pages with red grades glaring up top) implications, then maybe our 'knowing' must come about in a way that remains in our life after gradebooks close.

And for this reason, I love that our "knowing for the sake of loving" can come about as it did for David... through music. He wasn't memorizing God's attributes on a list so he could spit them out at the end of the week and move on to the list of God's commands. No, as David was singing and playing and creating, he was hiding God's Word in his heart.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.  With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!  With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.  In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.  I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:9-16 ESV)

I love this.

I love that even the process we choose to seek after knowledge can reflect our love for the Lord and can more firmly set the knowledge into our hearts. How many times have you praised God through the words in Psalms? When we set out to find our very strength in the Word, it becomes more than just memorization. It becomes bread.

Here's a little example of Tom Lehrer in action.