Hymn: “God Himself is With Us”

The next entry in my series on great, old, hymns is one I think of as an “introit,” i.e. a hymn for the opening of worship (though one less specific to that purpose than, say, “Open now thy gates of beauty”). Continue reading “Hymn: “God Himself is With Us””


Dust I am, and to dust I shall return.

Not that this is by any means news. My life is but as a vapor, a breath (and quite literally is a breath that God chose to breathe into me).

And as for my works … In the end toward which my life, like all of history and the rest of the cosmos, is moving, I will have to give an account for every thought, word, and deed. Everything I have ever created, everything I have ever done, will be fire-tested, and everything that I did—everything but any good works God prepared in advance for me to do, any fruit of the Christ living in me—will fail the test and be consumed like a blade of grass dropped into a furnace.

And so much of what I have done has already fallen to pieces around me.

I am not my own. Not only by virtue of creation, by which he rightly claims and rules over each and every square inch of the entire universe, but by purchase and redemption, I belong to Jesus Christ.

And my life should reflect that fact. So may these weeks leading up to the yearly reminder of his triumph see all in my life that is unfitting for a possession of Jesus laid aside and put to (spiritual) death, and the life he has planted in me grow.

Shine Cycle Online: The Decade(+) that Was; What’s To Come

This blog, which I titled “The Shine Cycle Online,” nominally began in the closing days of 2018, but after I mass-imported my Facebook Notes (in retrospect I should have backdated them instead of reposting them “new”) it sat mostly-idle until late in 2019. In the decade and a bit since then, I’ve written a lot of posts (over 1200). I “reintroduced myself” back in 2011, and perhaps ought to write another such post again soon. But here are some highlights from the past decade(ish), and my thoughts on where the blog may go in the future. Continue reading “Shine Cycle Online: The Decade(+) that Was; What’s To Come”

2019 Goals Review, 2020 Goals

This year, instead of setting goals for the whole year and then checking up on them periodically, I decided to set goals quarter-by-quarter. When God upended my plans for the year, that proved to have been a good decision. It’s now time to see how I stand in reference to my goals for the fourth quarter; to get a full picture of the year, you can see the first-, second-, and third-quarter reviews.

After reviewing my previous goals, I’ll explain my next set of goals going forward. As I’ll explain in more detail below, in 2020 I plan to adjust and check my goals on a monthly basis. Continue reading “2019 Goals Review, 2020 Goals”