Five and a half years ago an incident occurred. Pastor Jason Meyer (the man who replaced John Piper as lead preaching pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church) told us about it (in two different sermons): he and Pastor John, on a missions trip, had faced down some eagles who were diving at them and others while they were eating lunch. So when he picked up a rock to throw at them, Pastor John told him he’d pay money if he actually hit one. I’m not going to tell you now the rest of the story, because I deemed that this story should have an ode or a ballad written about it, so this heroic story could be handed down through the generations into legend. This I have done.

Now Pastor Jason wasn’t very forthcoming with details about the incident (perhaps out of modesty?), so I had to fill in some of the particulars as best I could. He humbly made light of what had happened, telling it as a humorous anecdote, but I dare to suggest that it was more … dramatic. This poem uses the story telling technique and poetic style of Pastor Piper’s advent poems.

In his description of the event, Pastor Jason “speculated that the story could grow over time.” I can confirm: It has grown. But the way this poem presents the throw of the stone, the results of the stone’s throw, as well as the resolution of the wager, including what Pastor John wrote about this resolution (a poem within this poem, if you will), is really, actually, factually true.

I’m posting it today on the seven year anniversary of the day that Pastor Jason took over as lead pastor.

The Piper and The Meyer
A Legendary Epic Ballad by Scott Jamison

~~~ The Place of The Danger ~~~
Consider now this thrilling scene:
An outdoor café, valley green.
The luncheon had been pleasant, ‘till
They heard the screeches, harsh and shrill.

The men cried out, the children screamed,
The once bright sun no longer gleamed,
Blacked out by circling eagles high,
And here and there some dropping nigh,
Too close with threats of fearful death
From sharpened talons, flaming breath.*
Folks threw themselves, in great fear, flat,
For who could stand upright to that?

Yea, some fell down, but not The Two.
The Two stood tall, strong, brave and true.
They did what all good
heroes would.
The Piper and The Meyer stood.

They waved, they yelled defiant words
Exclaimed against the evil birds.
The thwarted eagles turned away,
Away from all their erstwhile prey.

“Now run!” The Two exclaimed to all,
“And if you can’t, then walk, or crawl.
To safety we must all now flee.
A home or store’s where we must be!”
(For there was still a strong concern
The dreaded raptors would return.
Reorganized they might come back
And, more determined, re-attack.)

And flee all did, from old to youth.
They knew The Two now spoke the truth.
They ran t’ward shelter, home and booth.
(Too bad that none there were named Ruth.)

And back they came, the eagles now,
Far sooner than they’d feared. So how
Could fleers hope to get away?
All hope was lost, as was the day.

But as the eagles, down, they went,
The Piper saw The Meyer bent
To pick up hard, round, solid rock,
Much like a shepherd for his flock.
The Piper saw The Meyer’s plan.
He smiled at his Succession Man
And inspiration to invoke
The Piper to The Meyer spoke:

~~~ The Words of The Piper ~~~
“Yea, hurl the stone, it is God’s will
(Both ‘perfect’ and ‘prescriptive’ will.)
I say again, it is God’s will
For you to use your throwing skill
To save the fleeing innocent,
(But still depraved – that’s what I meant
Of course they are not without sin.)”
(Thus context won the day again.)

(There was no time, the Piper knew
To more completely walk them through
The full Five Points* or to discuss
How God e’er works his will through us.)

(Or how through good deeds we don’t earn
Salvation, but let’s now return
To this dark tale of fear and dread.)
He, pointing to Lead Eagle, said,

“Yes, hurl the stone, and bring it down
For all our good and God’s renown.
A dollar I’ll pay if you do.
Nay, ten … times ten! So throw it true!
Don’t waste your … eagle! Here’s a chance
To highlight God’s preeminence.
And show this: God is sovereign o’er
These birds of prey who bring us war.
Desiring God’s good words – “Well done!”
Throw! Let the day for Him be won.”

Though sharp beaks might have pierced them through.
The Two stood tall, strong, brave and true.
They did what all good
pastors would.
The Piper and The Meyer stood.


~~~ The Acts of The Meyer ~~~

The Meyer gave a knowing nod.
He needed now no further prod.
And then he like young David stood,
Faced his Goliath, out for blood.
As always, his two eyes were shown,
Two ditches***, so he fell in none.
Intent on striking eagle’s bone
And knowing he was not alone,
For God is always on the throne,
And with The Piper near, not prone
The Meyer, with a mighty groan,
He raised up his Redemption Stone.

The stone, released. The stone, it flies!
And flies! It flies and flies and flies!
And lo, it did not take two tries!
Lead Eagle’s hit between the eyes!
It falls, to other eagles’ cries.

Though flesh wounds they both might accrue,
The Two stood tall, strong, brave and true.
They did what all good
shepherds would.
The Piper and The Meyer stood.

~~~ The Ends of The Matter ~~~
The other eagles flew away.
They knew that they had lost the day.
They knew the Lord was not with them.
They flew from Thrower, fell and grim.
They rue the day. The day, they rue.
Why did they test The Two so true?
And there were other stones, they knew,
So, each to his own home they flew.
Our mighty haven’t fallen yet,
So yes, the eagles feel regret.

Don’t doubt The Piper’s debt was paid.
It took a bit, but it was paid!
(Though for a time it was mislaid.)
He sent The Marshal in his stead
and, to The Meyer, paying, said,
(More accur’tely, The Piper wrote-
He put his thoughts down in a note.
He wrote this poem which I now quote:)
“Consider pledge or flying stone.
Consider vow or diving bird.
Let it be marked, let it be known:
John Piper keeps his every word.”****
(Were nobler couplets ever heard?)

What we have heard, so have we seen,
This outdoor café, valley green.
Far countries and near nations spanned
– Oh, let the reader understand –
The danger fields aren’t all unmanned.
They know this, th’eagles from that land:
With one sure voice and one sure hand
As God from the beginning planned,
And always at the Lord’s command,
The Piper and the Meyer stand.

* The author has determined that they weren’t literally fire-breathing eagles.
** of Calvinism
*** Pastor Meyer often uses a ‘two ditches’ metaphor in his sermons
**** “Payment Poem” writing credit: John Piper, Author

I’ve started posting a series of stories for parents to read to their children highlighting the love of God. Please go take a look.

And if you’d like to see my other Attempts at humor, please click here.

Advertisements

Is this song a little cheesy? It is!

There is a difference between the statement “I’m glad you did that” and “I respect you more because you did that.”

Sometimes it’s very pleasurable to go from Bad to Normal

… when giving advice.

Avert

Seven Additional Thoughts:

– I’m not a hundred percent serious about this. Maybe 75 percent?

– Any grid which generalizes everything down to four situation is going to have counter-exceptions. In this case, so many counter-exceptions.

– Anyone giving advice will have more success if the advice has been asked for. This is certainly the case here.

– Certainly the advice given doesn’t apply to all men or all women.

– Other words considered (in place of avert): discourage, prevent, deter, avoid. None are perfect.

– I am aware that some people don’t feel there is a need to avert lust. This grid would still be true.

– I am aware the some people don’t feel it’s a woman’s responsibility to avert lust. This grid would still be generally true.

– Obviously, giving advice is only one step.

Your Thoughts?

I don’t go to church regularly (or read the Bible, or pray) so it will make me a better (more spiritual, more Godly, more living-in-line-with-the-Gospel) Christian than other people. I do these things so it will make me a better Christian than I would be otherwise.

It’s been a long time, (perhaps a decade) since I’ve tasted alcohol. And it’s possible that tomorrow I’ll be in a situation where I decide it’s a wise choice to drink something with alcohol in it, but this, I’m guessing, is quite unlikely.

This is not because I think it’s a sin, so this is another issue where I don’t encourage people to be like me. But I do have reasons for not drinking that are less morality-based. Here are eight. I should say that there are a few that I’m not proud of, like the first one.

  1. It doesn’t taste good to me.

This one falls under the “I’m a big baby” category. People talk about acquired tastes about many things, but I’ve never acquired a taste for anything and that includes wine, champagne, and beer. And from the expressions on people faces when I see them drink harder liquors, I’m pretty sure I would dislike them even more.

  1. I’m a volumes guy.

I see people on TV pouring themselves a glass of whiskey and it’s always very small and I ask – what’s the point of that? If I want to drink something, I want to be able to safely drink a lot. When I drink liquids I want to quench my thirst, not sip.

  1. It’s expensive.

Even if you buy the big cheap bottles, pretty much any kind of alcohol is the most expensive way to get fluids into your body. Why would I spent five dollars at a restaurant to get one glass of wine when a (to my mind) much better tasting bottomless Cherry Pepsi is $2.50? (And ice water is free!)

  1. It’s possible I’m a lightweight.

The last time I drank, I had a glass and a half of wine (or less). I felt it. I think I got a little dizzy. I don’t want to pursue that.

  1. The Bible

There is a fair amount in Scripture that warns against over-drinking. Choosing to completely abstain make this a total non-issue.

  1. Everyone should have something

I think there is some wisdom in having something you totally forgo.

  1. Holding down one end of the spectrum

If there are people in the world (or at any given adult gathering) who drink too much, it seems like there should be someone who doesn’t drink at all, perhaps to help other people who don’t want to drink feel more comfortable. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

  1. Minding my words.

My whole life I have done my best to attempt (with an imperfect success rate, as some of you can attest) to keep myself from saying stupid things. It is my guess that my stupid-things-said-by-me to things-said-by-me ratio would increase exponentially (yes, I’m mixing my math metaphors) if I drank alcohol. I fear this. I fear this to the degree that I have difficulty understanding why other people don’t fear this.

Those are my reasons. I hope they make sense, and maybe these thoughts help you understand others you know who are like me.

==

Here is my post linking to all the posts in this “Why I do/don’t do this” series of posts.

To write a good story, it’s often helpful or necessary to describe what’s in the mind of a character. An author can do this with perfect certainty. A journalist can’t. Any time a news story makes assumptions about what is in the mind of one of the people in their narrative it is deceptive journalism. Beware.

If your child directly disobeys you and I see you calmly take your child to another room to spank them and talk about their disobedience, I will gain (not lose) respect for you as a parent.

Last week, for Pastor John’s birthday, I put up this post over at the Fighter Verse Song Blog. Challies linked to it, and the video now has more than 2800 views.  Thanks, Tim!

I thought I’d link to the video here. You know, for completeness sake.

I’d also like to state that I find it cool that of all the random combinations of letters that could have been chosen for the link for this video about John Piper, youtube’s link-generating algorithm chose one that ended with “luvjoy”.

One of the biggest lies that Satan says to you when he is tempting you to do a sin is this: “You have the right.”

Every decision you make is made at least partially out of fear.

I just saw this online ad, and my first thought was, “well, I’d also like them to remove my amateur and recreational mold, were I to hire them.”

Professional Mold

IMG_1980 - Copy

Every time you sin, it is an act of …
1. Disobedience – God made a command and you went against it
2. Pride – You decided you knew better than God
3. Selfishness – You put yourself first
4. Distancing – You have put space between you and God
5. Embracing – You have brought yourself closer to the will of Satan
6. Foolishness – You acted contrary to the will of the wisest person in the universe.

And for a Christian – it’s worse, because for a person in Christ, every sin is an act of …
1. Betrayal – You acted against your previous commitments to your Lord and Savior
2. Hypocrisy – You say you are a Christian, but you’re not acting like one.

You should remember these things when you confess your sins. And then remember – he is faithful and just and will forgive you your sins. And make them white as snow.

Every time you’re tempted to sin and resist it, it is an act of …
1. Obedience – God made a command and you did it
2. Humility – You decided you (or at least your sinful self) didn’t know best
3. Submission – You put God’s will before your will
4. Distancing – You have put space between you and Satan
5. Embracing – You have brought yourself closer to the will of God
6. Wisdom – You acted in accordance to the will of the wisest person in the universe.

And for a Christian – it’s better, because for a person in Christ, every resisted temptation is an act of …
1. Loyalty – You acted in accordance your commitments to your Lord and Savior
2. Genuineness – You say you are a Christian, and you’re acting like one.
3. Sanctification – God is making you more like His son.
4. Sovereignty – God is ordaining his perfect and prescriptive will through you.

You should thank God that he is working out his salvation in you, for his good pleasure and your good.

 

All sameness comes with a cost.

All change comes with a cost.

Dads, here are …
14 Ways To Show Your Wife and Kids You’re the Most Important Person in the Family

1. Dominate mealtime discussion
They already know what happened to themselves today. They should be forced to hear how yours went. At length.

2. Expensive hobbies
… that don’t involve them. It shows them “Hey, I’ve got a life outside this family!”

3. Don’t be a part of meal cleanup.
You have better things to do.

4. Angry outbursts
They always succeed in quelling the whining you shouldn’t have to listen to.

5. Don’t let them in on decision-making about what your family does.
Your family isn’t a democracy.

6. Extensive me-time.
Disappear for hours.

7. Erratic behavior.
Too much predictability will make them complacent.

8. Don’t allow foods to be served that you don’t like.
You have a discerning pallet and those who disagree with you are lying to themselves.

9. Be very stingy with compliments or grace or mercy.
You don’t want them to get big heads, do you?

10. … And also gratefulness.
If you can’t take your family’s good behavior for granted, who can you?

11. Let them know every bad thing about your church.
Because you have a discerning pallet with spiritual stuff too. They need to know this, and anyway they shouldn’t get joy from what’s not perfect.

12. Use scripture to keep them in their place.
Remember: Context is overrated.

13. Never admit failure.
… moral or otherwise. Once they see vulnerability from you, you’ll never hear the end of it.

14. Treat your wife like your children.
There can only be one on top.

Obligatory Bible Passage: “Something something God wants bla bla bla men should rule the home something” – Somewhere in the third chapter of some place in the New Testament, probably – maybe in an epistle or therefore.

==

Did I miss any?

If by any chance you don’t think you’re the most important person, then by all means, don’t do any of these.

Also, some might be wondering how a Wife/Mom could show how she’s the most important. I’ll leave that for a lady to write. How would I know? But I suspect there might be some similar items.

It’s my fear that many chiastic structures found by readers/media viewers weren’t intended by the authors/media creators.

If your negative thoughts about a person involves making assumptions about their mindset by reading their minds, you’re probably sinfully judging.

One factor you should use in choosing a home is: Is it close to my church?

My Wife’s Blog

My State Park Blog

Promotion – Songs To Help Families Memorize Scripture

I’m on Twitter

To Subscribe

Archives

Categories

July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Advertisements