Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It has been a great book to read for me right now and here are some of his quotes:
"To be broken is the beginning of revival, it is painful, it is humiliating but it is the only way."
"Grace is not God's gift to the faithful, it is his gift for the empty and the feeble and the failing."
"Jesus gets his glory not in the number of good Christians he pats on the back, but the failures he restores."
"Revival is not a green valley getting greener, but a valley full of dry bones being made to live again."
"The only beautiful thing about the Christian is Jesus Christ."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Not words that inspire or draw others to your cause, not words spoken from an oasis, but utterances from a soul desperate for peace. A broken hearts cry for solace spoken through cracked lips from a long thirsty walk in the wrong direction. A walk discovered to be a wandering of chaos and destruction. A man shaken by the realization that the footprints he just discovered in the sand are his own.
“I am here again” falls from broken, bleeding lips.
The carcass of rotting flesh has drawn me. The bloated hearts craving has steered the ship aground on the jagged rocks of its own embrace.
Can enough condensation gather on the wool to drip the shattering wave of grace again?
Is there one more measure of mercy to sing to this numb heart?
Is God’s grace gone a distant echo heard only by ears long since silenced? A nice theory painted on stony walls?
Surely not words voiced by a scarred wanderer, to him they are mere whispers of fantasy encased in turbulent seas. Yet the powerful voice that calmed the storm declares with redemptive authority their truth. Thirst speaks its need loud and very clear. Hunger displays the utter weakness of the human condition. Blind from desert wanderings we are led by the hand to the well, ushered there to be brought back to life, to see again, to hear the birds song in the trees at the oasis of mercy.
There is not but a drip of grace but alas, an endless ocean where wave after wave of unmerited acceptance fall upon the shores of our lives. The hideous disfigured wandering soul, unrecognizable to those closest, is there at the waters edge, beautiful. Favored and rescued he lay, having traveled through the barren inner lands now recognizing those fruitless attempts at peace, only and finally covered and free, there at the sea.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Exhaustion has invaded my mind and travelled my veins
Dark thoughts invade my sanity stirring a cocktail of despair
The shell that used to be me paces in circles unable to eat or think
I am the leper on the street and alone in my stone cold bed
As this dark winter embraces me my heart loses all hope
Lips all around me speak of life, my ears are deaf to their bleating
I am the leper waiting for crumbs to fall from hopes table
Crashing and dying I spill my blood on this page
If I had the strength deep within lays a smoldering rage
But I am the leper again and no ear hears this pain
My body heaves with waves of grief pounding
My head constantly throbs as anguish makes its home
I am the leper again and this stain is on my shirt.
Pieces fall off of me out on the open road
Dogs eat my rotten flesh in the gathering place
What hope lies in this leper’s fate?
Its only when the incarnate One touches me again.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I don’t even know what set me off. I was furious. I jumped on this guy, I’m not sure the button that got pushed even existed before it was done and like toothpaste out of the tube what was done could not be undone. If I remember correctly it was a warm fall day with the sounds of crinkling leaves beneath your feet. As we walked along, a group of us stomping home together, we noticed some other kids behind us, also on their way home from Angell Elementary School. What happens next is very cloudy in my mind and I am not sure if what I am remembering is what really happened or what I think really happened. I remember some pushing and shoving, but not the reason behind it all. I kind of think Will’s younger brother, Eddie, started running his mouth. I didn’t know these kids, they were obviously outsiders to my second grade world but I was determined not to let Eddie but in on my turf, except his older brother Will, who was in the same grade as I was, stepped in and was not going to let me have my way with his younger sibling.
I don’t get this part. I was never an outwardly aggressive person nor have I ever been. I mean sure my buttons have gotten pushed a few times and I have had some fist fights along the way growing up, but none were like this when Will and I squared off on the corner of Wiltshire and Elwood on that autumn day. I think it may have been a combination of me feeling pretty confident that I had two older brothers, Jeff in seventh grade and Mark in ninth grade at the time. Will, well he was the oldest child in his family and besides I am sure my dad could easily take his dad! So a confident new school year buoyed by the fact that my two older brothers had started taking Korean Karate lessons, I was the master of this little universe.
It wasn’t much of a fight really; no little kids fights really are, thank God. I think in less than a minute I had knocked Will to the ground and punched him three or four times in the face. Game over. The new flyweight champ of the corner of Wiltshire and Elwood, was me Craig Coon! I whooped it up all the way home with my friends and little Will and Eddie ran home to their momma!
I was greeted at the door with the obligatory “How was your day?” every schoolboy just loves to hear from their overprotective stay-at-home mothers! I am certain I must have responded with a “Great!” on this particular day. Then came an odd question from my mother:
“Do you know who Will Weckwert is?” Gulp.
“Umm, I think he’s a kid at school, why, why do you ask?”
“His mother just called and said that you beat him up today on the way home from school, is that true Craig?”
Man that was quick! I am certain that an entire litany of excuses proceeded from my lips trying to leverage against any sort of punishment, to no avail. My mom wasn’t buying any of it.
“I want you to go over to his house right now and apologize to him and his mother!”
What? Could anything be worse that? Didn’t she know that I was the new flyweight champ of the street corner of Wiltshire and Elwood? Hadn’t anybody told her of the “street cred” that I earned that day? Oh wait; “street cred” wasn’t even invented yet and I lived in the suburbs of Detroit.
So I made the long humiliating walk around the block and met Mrs. Weckwert that day and told Will that I was sorry for hurting him. His mom wasn’t very impressed with me then, but the funny thing is, Will Weckwert and I were best friends for the rest of our tenure at Angell Elementary School.
“At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility is our greatest friend.” John Stott
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Man I miss you Ryan. I just can’t believe that you are gone. There are days when it seems like everything is the way that it had always been. I go through my day subconsciously believing that real soon you’d come home smelling like pizza and asking me to crack your back. I loved giving you those great big bear hugs, even though in these last few years it was getting harder and harder to reach around you’re broad shoulders to do it. It was during this time of year we would start throwing the football around, talking about if the Lions would ever win anything again, since Barry retired. Or how we would do everything we could to get the TV remote and then crash on the floor after church on Sundays to watch the game, often wrestling around at halftime for control of the couch.
This is a really weird time for me. It’s a special bond that a man has with his children. I know that I won’t do it justice by the words that I birth on this page. Sons and daughters are so different. Daughters steal your heart away on the first hug and never give it back again and sons, well sons, are like a little pieces of you walking around that you hope and pray will “do” life more “right” than you did. I think that is why dads can be hard on their sons when they are growing up. I pray that God gives you many sons and daughters in your life. You need to have a lot of kids, you will be great with them Ryan.
I am so proud of you and I know beyond knowing this is exactly where you need to be, and that this separation isn’t the end of the story, but I still cry for the way it used to be. Tears roll down my face today, because while you were here, I acted like it would never end, never considering these days of separation that are now upon us. I long for your call as I never have before and that is a harsh and sad reality.
“Wherever you are be all there.” Jim Elliot.
Friday, August 22, 2008
It’s been a long blogging absence for me and I am going to try and rectify that a bit. As many of you know our oldest son Matthew recently got married and moved out and then nine days after that our youngest son, Ryan, left for two years on the mission field with Operation Mobilization, to be serving on their newest ship the “Logos Hope.” That coupled with a few other changes in my life: My dog died unexpectedly while I was in Mexico, my long-time assistant Emily took a teaching job down in the Detroit area, Peter my friend, and ministry partner is on sabbatical and in a couple of months Matthew and his wife Kenisha are moving to California. This has proved to be quite the season of loss and change for Connie and I. Many moments are filled with warm tears streaming down my face. It’s not like I don’t think that all of the before mentioned things are good, right and salutary (except Samson the mutt dying) they are, and God’s hand was in all of them. It just seems like his hand was on the grenade that blew up in the face of my life. then during a walk a couple of days ago I was meditating on this verse from John:
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1:4
color: rgb(153, 153, 0);So that beget the question: where is my source of life really from? I am trusting Jesus in all of these things and I feel pain. I know that God’s hand is in this and I don’t like the separation. I do trust you Lord, help me in my days where that trust is lacking!
Friday, July 25, 2008
While I was reading this morning in Psalm 20 a random thought passed through the confines of my brain. The verse reads “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” 20:7
And reading the text note I saw that this was a confession of an army not to trust in there finest weapon of the day with the realization that the power for victory is in the name of the LORD our God.
Which took me back to the movie, The Raiders Of The Lost Ark because of the desire of the Nazi’s to possess the relic, the actual Ark of the Covenant that contained the set of stone tablets that God had written for Moses on Mount Sinai. They wanted the Ark to be taken into battle with their army to empower it to be unstoppable, undefeatable. They were dead set to use the things of God to justify their conquests. Where they erred in judgement was they wanted the power of without the presence of God. They wanted the things of God with out wanting God himself!
We do the same stupid things! We want the results of knowing God with out knowing him. We want peace, prosperity, hope, health and so we put an icthus on our cars so we can have great parking opportunities. Let us run away from the apperarance of Godliness with out Savior at the center of it all and let us run the desperate race to the cross yearning for Him above everything.
posted by C.M. Coon at Monday, December 06, 2004