The Chair and the Desk, 10/20/15

From the chair:

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

-Psalm 46:1-3

I naturally worry. As child, I worried about being drafted into the army; I worried about getting beheaded during 7 years of tribulation (thanks a lot, Jerry B. Jenkins). That has all settled a bit, but even last night I tossed and turned because I couldn’t settle on the least-stressful way to get into NYC tonight.

What we see in Psalm 46:1-3 is a classic worst-case scenario, a real Dennis Quaid, “Day After Tomorrow” sort of situation. When the mountains crumble into the heart of the sea, it sure seems like all bets would be off. Yet, even if that happened today, the people of God would not need to fear, and we need not fear the things going on at work, in our home, with our health, with our bills, in our nation, in our world.

God is our refuge. God is our strength. God is our very present help. Therefore, we will not fear.


From the desk:

“In the black church, however, the deductive, three-point sermon simply did not have the same disastrous effects it apparently had in some white congregations. This idea of a boring preacher or an overly authoritarian preacher thundering broadsides to a disconnected, discontented audience is not what the three-point sermon wrought in the best of black preaching. Not then, not now. The three-point sermon in the black church is clothed in imagination, humor, playful engagement, running narrative, picturesque speech, and audible participation on the part of the congregation. Thus, it is not the three-point sermon that is out; instead it is the boring three-point sermon that must go. Should blacks be exposed to other forms of peaching? Of course! But must we throw the three-point baby out with the bath in order to achieve this? I think not.”

-Cleophus LaRue, I Believe I’ll Testify, p.24

This is one of the quotes from fall that alerted me to the fact that it’d be great to study with Dr. LaRue. It’s also an attitude that I’ve enjoyed so far this fall: No particular interest in rejecting whole schools of thought just to reject whole schools of thought, but a deep desire for us all to grow in our preaching of the Word of God, for the sake of the Church.


“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

Leave a Reply