Wednesday, April 08, 2009


And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means place of the skull). Mark 15:22

How the darkness reigns;
His words fell heavily to the ground.
We were quick to speak, but slow to hear.
Now by candlelight we are oppressed by the night.

How the darkness reigns;
Words softly spoken,
"Eat this bread," "Drink this cup."
We jostled for position.
Now no-one wants to lead, aimlessly we wander through the night.

How the darkness reigns;
In shame I wept as my tears
Fell upon his sacred head.
Crying at the thought of his holy hands caressing my soiled feet.
Now, silently his touch is mourned on this cold lonely night.

How the darkness reigns;
"Could you not but watch and pray
for a little while"?
"Prayer was never our strength," we said.
Now we are at a loss for words as hope fades into the night.

How the darkness reigns;
He saw me by the firelight.
A shameless gaze,
In abject horror I looked away.
Now, his face haunts me all through the night.

How the darkness reigns;
I hear his cry, "It is finished"
I sense his pain, "Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani"
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Now, I am alone for the light has slipped into the night.

(We hold our breath and pray for morning light)

Sola Gracia, WHB

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


"Global warming.....It is the greatest scam in history." John Coleman (Founder of the Weather Channel)

News flash**** the cross is not green. Paul warned us about this kind of stuff. He called it "false doctrine." Things that were not true yet touted as such which served to undermine the "faith once given to the saints" (read 1 Timothy 1:3-7). It would seem that the evangelical community is growing increasingly concerned about the environment. In the 80's evangelicalism was associated with Reaganomics and called the "moral majority." In the 21st century the cross is now green and evangelicalism is on a quest to save mother earth.

Truly "we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now" (Romans 8:22). Such is some of the biblical justification for the fabricated reality of global warming and other environmentalist propoganda. The fact of the matter is none of the biblical authors were remotely thinking about the health of the earth from an environmental perspective. Without doubt the earth has been affected by the Fall, we have corrupted (polluted) it because of sin and it does wait for our redemption because with our redemption comes its own (Romans 8). This is an eschatological expectation which can only be resolved by Jesus and his return. Without doubt we are stewards of the planet (and poor ones at that) and there is place for "conservation." But the full-blown environmentalist agenda is a major diversion from God's mission for his church.

Consider the following:Global warming is a fallacy and the data supporting it is conjured up by similar means used by "science fictionists" to promote and propagate evolution. It's just more bad science promoted by the Discovery Channel. There are a slew of scientists contradicting this myth who go largely ignored by the leftist media (for that matter since when do evangelicals trust the media?). Secondly, the environmentalist movement is spurred largely by idolatrous earth worshippers, has the christian community forgotten Romans 1? I find it disturbing that evangelicalism is so willing to marry itself off to those who have been "given up by God" (Romans 1:22-32). Third, the global warming, anti-drilling crowd are the ultimate hypocrites. It is western arrogance at its worst and liberal fascism at its height. America exports its pollution, its poverty and its exploitation of the rest of the world. That is the real environmentalist agenda. Don't dare drill here (America) but who cares if we drill in Nigeria; encourage civil war, pollution and child labor in the process. And don't try to sell me on that, "we have to start somewhere" rot. Most Americans (including environmentalists) have never even heard of Nigeria or know where it is.

Then there is the cross of Christ. It's red I tell you with his blood shed for our sin. Including the sin of being led astray into delusional doctrine which only saps the resources and energy of the church on a quest for some "holy grail." I anticipate that the "green gospel" will be a new dividing line within the christian community. Those who preach we must save mother earth and those who preach "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son........... Sola Scriptura, WHB

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lost in the Land of Oz

"The whole land is made desolate, because no one takes it to heart." Jeremiah 12:11b

A sea of green loomed before him. Like an old friend the ocean of grass waved at him. And yet the movement of the wind only served to stir the uneasiness in his heart. Despite the fact that he belonged, one might even say he "owned" the land. He never felt that it was his. Some things you can tell a person a thousand times and the truth of it continues to elude them. As if a veil hangs over their heart. Fear has a way of thriving in the darkness.

One has to wonder what Jacob was thinking about when he made his way back to Canaan. It had been so long. Would anything be the same? For that matter did he want it to be the same as it ever was? Was his perception of the land and its hazards really just an expression of the hazards of his own heart? The land would in no way betray him. But would he betray his own heart. Jacob seemed plagued with relational conflict; Esau, his two wives and then those malcontented children who could barely get along with themselves let alone the surrounding population.

Today the land is desolate. A thousand battles have been fought over it. A thousand more may be yet to come. The way Jeremiah speaks of the land one would think he believed the land could feel the pain. Land meant to be lived in had become uninhabitable because no one took it to heart.

The most important question is "what 'it' is?" Is "it" the land (which would be the nearest referent). Or is it something more? In which respect the land would be a poetic metaphor veiling a more complex idea. And whose land is this anyway? Is it Jeremiah's land or is this God's land we speak of? Contextually speaking Jeremiah seems to be lamenting his loss. The land is a loss. To his people and therefore to him as well. The land is larger than geography (though it is all that). The land is all that constitutes the hopes and dreams of a redeemed people. A redemption they failed to live up to.

And so the land is lost. How much is lost to us because we fail to live up to our redemption? Are we to believe that God is without expectation? That he is some gray old man hiding behind a curtain with an intimidating voice encountered by Dorothy in the Land of Oz. So we follow our own yellow brick roads in hopes of finding our way home. God forbid all he is can be hidden behind a large curtain and a booming voice. We are in need of a stouter God than that. A God who once he finds us, knows what to do with us. A God who knows not only how to save us, but how to change us. How to make us livable again. Sola Gracia -WHB

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Think I'm In A Tragedy

"Now Cain rose up and killed his brother Abel." Genesis 4:8

He never knew what hit him. In regards to plot lines the hero always dies in a tragedy. There is something disturbing about this read. Abel is almost sublime. He barely emerges from the text. One might say he was "average." Like any man you might pass on the street, minding his business and following his God. Cain on the other hand is unforgettable. It is almost as if he lives now. His large form looming over his victim intent upon striking him down. Abel seem easily forgotten but Cain is a name that just doesn't want to go away.

Cain's flight was a descent away from the presence of God. His banishment further demonstration of God's repugnance of sin. And yet Cain is almost child-like. As if he fails to grasp the full implications of his actions. In a grotesque rage he mourns his own burden and has no thought for his fallen brother. As if he could wash the thought of his brother away as easily as he washed the blood off of his hands. And so sin reigned. That is the problem with this story. The hero dies and there seems to be no justice. While Cain is banished he still manages to thrive. And like the psalmist we are left to ponder, "Why do the wicked prosper?"

But that is the way of the tragedy. The hero alway dies in the end. Try as you may, there is no stopping it. It is as if any attempt to stop it only hastens it. And the more you love him the more you hate the fact that you have to turn the next page. Knowing that with each flip you bring our hero one step closer to his demise.

Maybe Cain didn't have it so good after all. He bore his guilt the rest of his days. I expect there was little rest for him in this life or the one to come. And with the turning of each page it dawns upon us that in many ways we are more like Cain than his sublime brother. Our sin has a way of haunting us. Blood stains.

We need a hero. As meek as Abel, acquainted with sin (having been bruised by it) but able to rise from the grave. A hero who can turn tragedy into triumph. His name is Jesus and he alone can save Cain. Sola Gracia -WHB

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Searchers

"I (GOD) will open rivers on the barren heights, and springs in the middle of the plains. I will turn the desert into a pool of water and dry land into springs of water." Isaiah 41:18

He walked on. Out of the city and into the desert. He passed right through two-bit towns and quaint little villages. He walked out of their lives forever. The memories fade. The sands of time seem to have blurred his vision of the past, faces he can't see and names he can't remember. He tried but failure haunted him at every corner. Old ways just didn't want to pass away. He had given up on the man he would never be. He'd spent most of his life second-guessing himself. Surrounded by could've, would've, should'ves. He'd learned that no matter how right he could be there was always something wrong. He was wrong, and had been for too long.

I wonder if Moses remembered Egypt? Or perhaps I should say, "How did he remember it?" Living in the desert, isolated from the world at large. Did his mind take him back to his former life? Did he hit the rewind button on that fateful day and try to make things turn out different. Did the word "murderer" haunt him in the desert?

The desert is haunted. Spend enough time out there and you will dine with demons and spirits by firelight. Dancing on the edge, casting their own deformed shadow of reality. They are intimidating, one should not wander off in the dark.

Still he walked on, into the desert and the dark. It enveloped him and soon he was just a whisper on the wind. Lost in an ocean of sand with no apparent way out. His tracks had long since been blown in, not that he would have followed them anyway. It was as if being lost was the only thing he was good at. He had finally found something at which he could succeed. And success was bittersweet.

It has been said there are streams in the desert. That Jesus walks around out there. He's made a way. He can even bring water from a rock. So, the man walks on. He'll stare at the stars and dream of better days. Tomorrow the search will go on. Sola Fide, WHB

Monday, January 21, 2008


“If you purify your soul of attachment to and desire for things, you will understand them spiritually. If you deny your appetite for them, you will enjoy their truth, understanding what is certain in them.” St. John of the Cross

"You know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. That though he was rich he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9

The poverty of Jesus. It almost sounds unchristian. Which tells you just how far Christianity has strayed from Christ and his word. The poverty of Jesus is the grace of God. We are debtors without it; poor, wretched and naked. Shame veils our face. These words haunt me. For the desert is becoming a place of prosperity and self-gratification. Jesus is on sale at Walmart, with a variety of styles to fit your preference. He comes complete with accessories to fashion him as you like.

God have mercy on our souls. Vegas you know is in the desert. Why did we have to go off and stink up the desert. At times I feel my only recourse is to wander deeper into the darkness. Take some old trail and walk till I forget how to get back. To do so means to forsake community. My God does not allow that. He insists I live in community. But Vegas Jesus? Does it have to be Vegas? I know, I know. Israel had to live in Babylon, Jesus went down to Egypt. I have to walk the streets of Vegas.

Father forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us. Forgive us for greed and covetousness. Forgive us for extravagant living. Forgive us for judging the poor and needy. Forgive us for giving you what's left instead what's best. Forgive us for being ashamed to say, "God owns the cattle on a 1000 hills," and that includes yours. Forgive us for thinking we can't make a difference, when you are the difference. Through the poverty of Jesus we have become rich. And so many don't even see it. They are too busy playing with their action-figure Jesus. Sola Gracia, WHB

Thursday, December 20, 2007


"This song is over, I'm left with only tears. I must remember even if it takes a million years." - The Who

"Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel before him" (1 Kings 16:33). For the prophet life was bittersweet. On the surface they often appear as vengeful men longing for God to rain down fire from heaven upon every malcontent they laid their judgmental eyes on. This of course is a gross misunderstanding of their character and emotional make up. They loved God and they loved God's people. Yet they themselves were often unloved. They insisted Israel return to a YHWH and his ways. Kings of course have a habit of creating their own systems and becoming a god unto themselves. Let's face it. There's only room for one king/god in the kingdom.

The land was in turmoil. It groaned under the weight of idolatry. In its polluted state it had become a fruitless wasteland. The prophet preached and prayed, from the temple, from the synagogue, on the rooftop. He lived in the shadow of ridicule and scorn, for kings have a way of raising up their own prophets and priests to function like puppets on a string. Then it happened one day. Like all kings they fade away. Sometimes quietly and others rather violently. The prophet contemplates tomorrow. He hopes in God and is wary of the political landscape. Yet in some way he can breathe again. Even if but for a moment. It is not a sigh of relief but a breath of hope that you hear if you are close enough to him.

For the prophet life is bittersweet. There is no joy in the failure of kings. God will not be mocked. So in humility the prophet meditates upon the future king, the King of kings. For he can not put his trust in chariots or horses. Rather the word of the Lord is a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path. A new day comes and with a new opportunity for those within the land to live out the redemptive story. And is that not the prophets responsibility? To live that life and preach that story. To be a window into an alternative reality. To go beyond prophetic imagination but practice obedient prophetic anticipation. Sola Fide -WHB