Thank You, Father, for the Old Testament

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I’ve been recently musing on my growing affection for that 75% of our Bibles we call the “OT.” The more time I spend in the Old Testament, the more I am convinced of its incalculable profit to my soul. The diversity of topics, situations, people, and emotions addressed there offers an expansively wide-scope view of God, his world, and his people; and that view ballasts this blade of grass in the twenty-first century. What’s more, that view includes the cross, the resurrection, and eternal life, for I see, more than ever, Jesus in the Old Testament.

There is still so much of the Old Testament that I do not understand, but one thing is clear—like a message written in huge letters across billboards posted every few miles: God is intent on redeeming a sinful people and making them his own through the strength and righteousness of his own hand so that his people might sing and live in humble, delighted praise of his glorious grace, forever. And, he’s done it—is doing it—through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Father, for the Old Testament.

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Early Will I Seek You

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.”
– Psalm 143:8

I couldn’t get back to sleep this morning. I had gotten up to use the bathroom (a regular routine at this point in my pregnancy), and on returning to bed, busy thoughts and a busy baby conspired together to keep me up while the faint light of early dawn became a “you-may-as-well-get-up” kind of light.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’ve always struggled with setting aside the first part of my day to meet alone with God – to meditate on His Word and seek His presence in prayer. I’ve questioned many times whether or not it really matters when I do my devotions during the day, and of course, there is a sense in which it doesn’t matter. I don’t earn my acceptance with God by a daily routine; I receive it by trusting the work of Christ on my behalf. However, there is another sense in which it really does matter how I structure my day. Of itself, turning to the Bible and prayer first thing in the morning does not please God, for that activity can be done without accompanying faith. But, turning early to the means we have for knowledge of God and fellowship with Him can be the expression of a heart priority that greatly honors God. The expression itself can honor God as an act of faith. What’s more, not only can the act honor God, it can also be a means of further shaping the heart priorities of the one acting. Diligence in morning devotions can be a faithful preaching to yourself with your actions that every day, God is the most important reality in the universe, and that therefore, every day, seeking Him is the most important thing you can do.

Amidst my busy thoughts in bed this morning was the recollection of a poem I wrote over three years ago about turning early to God’s Word and abiding therein throughout the day. It was inspired by Psalm 1, which is about the “blessed” man who delights in and meditates on the law of the Lord day and night. Remembering that poem helped me resist the temptations to not turn first to my Bible reading when I ended up getting out of bed at 6:00am. It is a happy humbling when God uses His past grace in my life to provide me with grace for the present. And it’s my hope now that the poem blesses your heart as it has mine this Monday morning.

Blessed
by Christina Faye Soukup
(April, 2012)

When dawn, with “rose-red fingers,”*
arouses sleeping trees,
an evil whisper rises –
a traitor with a tease.

Our roots will look for water
and if we don’t act fast,
the whisper takes them to the well
they’ve drunk from in the past.

Flee quickly to the words of God
and quench your thirst therein!
For drink held in the scoffer’s cup
induces trees to sin.

How I love Your law, O Lord!
What comfort it provides!
What joy I find when in Your Word
my fears and doubts subside.

The sun is hot this afternoon
and leaves begin to curl
on trees who, hopeful, long to feel
their leaves and buds unfurl.

Stay yet longing – deeper plunge
your roots into the stream
of living water, fresh and cool –
of water wholly clean.

Abide therein and soon you’ll find
sweet fruit comes in its season.
But sweeter is the stream itself –
the trees who drink have reason…

…to love Your law, O Lord our God,
to in Your Word find rest,
as day by day we grow in strength
and live the life called “blessed.”

*a favorite phrase of Homer’s in The Odyssey

– Christina

Learning to Read the “Creature”

I’m learning to read all over again. Phonics, syllabification, accenting – the whole nine yards. For my purposes, learning the Greek language means, primarily, learning to read the Greek language. That’s because I don’t plan on having casual conversations in outdated Koine Greek. Rather, I’m learning Greek in order to read that collection of New Testament books originally written in Greek.

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And so, I practice my reading. Slowly, clumsily, I sound out my words. I feel like a little child. Whatever proficiency I have in reading English seems to have courteously stepped aside in silence, leaving me to engage this unfamiliar “Creature” alone. And the Creature appears to me massive, while full of intricacies: like a living basilica. It is always making sounds, and somehow, though slightly intimidating, the sounds are inviting. They are distinguishable and always attended by a sense of intentionality, but I only partly understand their meanings. I already know enough of the Creature to know it doesn’t mind my current ignorance. It seems happy that I’ve decided to stay and listen.

A friend in my Greek class on Monday told me that he finds such joy in his Greek homework because “it’s the language of the Bible.” He said this with such a sense of wonder, that my inward skeptic, perhaps from nervousness, chuckled a little at what bore the semblance of superstition. But ultimately, his eagerness warmed my heart and drove me to ask myself, “Well, why am I learning this language?” Do I not also believe that there is great value in entering into the original language of the God-breathed text? While meaning can be translated and English Bibles are in a large sense just as much God’s Word, do I not also desire nearer and fresher insights into the minds of the biblical authors by way of the unique flavor of the words in which they penned their inspired thoughts?* Of course I do. And isn’t this vision enough to stir in my heart joyful anticipation as I study vocabulary and countless paradigms? Of course it is. My classmate’s wonder is in fact the very thing I must sustain in myself if I am to succeed in learning Greek this year. Oh Lord, please help me to do so.

The Creature is wild, and largely unknown. But there is nothing to fear. I am loved by the One who spoke it into existence, and though He uses it to speak of His fullness, He is much, much bigger than it.

*I’m still working toward a solid understanding of the doctrine of Scripture (inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy, sufficiency, etc.), especially as it relates to later manuscripts and translations of the Bible. I am aware that my articulation of it here is somewhat vague. I have tried my best to at least keep it from being misleading.

Labeled: “The Wind and I” (Part Two)

I have two wonderful grandmothers. One lives in northern Minnesota on a beautiful little lake on a bay covered with lily pads. The other, my namesake, passed away over a year and a half ago. She, Grandma Faye, was the sort of woman who could do anything she set her mind to. When I was young, I slept under the quilt she made for me, a quilt covered with brightly-colored stars. She baked and knitted, sewed and beaded, went camping and downhill skied. She told us stories of her nursing days as a young woman and of learning to dance on her dad’s wood floor as an even younger woman. And whatever projects she had underway when we were around, she shared them with us. We got to be part of her world, and a colorful world it was.

Only a handful of years before she died, Grandma Faye decided she wanted to try her hand at poetry. I remember listening to her read her first short poems to us. Anyone could tell she was proud of her work and excited to share it. One poem was about a dog; another, about going for a walk. The poems were story-like, with familiar content told in her own sing-song way. And, though she never explained exactly why, she always signed her poems, “The Wind and I.” I liked that my 80-year-old grandmother had a slightly mysterious side to her.

As a Christian, Grandma Faye pursued God with her characteristic vigor. But God was not just another one of her “projects.” She loved studying the Bible and memorizing verses, especially God’s promises (I remember printing off Bible verses in large print for her when she began to lose her eyesight later in life), but Grandma Faye was only able to walk by faith in God because she had been born of the Spirit of God. The Greek word for “spirit” is pneuma and can also be translated “wind.” I like to think that her signature, “The Wind and I,” was her self-conscious witness to the work of God in her life. In John 3:8, Jesus says…

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Just before Grandma Faye died in February of 2011, I wrote her a poem for her 87th birthday and called it “At Grandma’s House.” It was an attempt to capture my childhood perspective of this wonderful woman.

Even though I can’t bake dinner rolls with Grandma Faye anymore, she still lives, and she lives as much more than a shadow in my memory. Heaven is not just a “nice idea” to help people cope with losing their loved ones. Hell is just as real, and eternal life with God is secure only for those who have been “born of the Spirit” and walk by faith in the sure promises of God.

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling … so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

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Grandma Faye with me and Jessimine

“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 4-9).

And that is the story behind the label for my poetry posts here.

Making it my aim to please Him, just like Grandma Faye did,

Christina Faye

Labeled: “The Wind and I” (Part One)

With my studies at BCS presently revolving around Dante, Petrarch, Beroul and Donne, I figure it is as good a time as any to write about poetry on the blog. Add to this the fact that Pastor Piper gave a sermon on poetry (his craft of 50 years) in chapel at school this afternoon, and I feel ready to spill a few words on the subject. My aim in this post is to more-or-less distill Piper’s message in my own cursory defense of poetry. In another post, I’ll give you the story behind the curious phrase, “The Wind and I.”

Poetry is a way of seeing. More than that, it is a way of experiencing. It is description (often praise), ordered in a special way to both awaken and intensify an experience of (often a delight in) whatever the poem is about. Good poets carefully employ the tools of metaphor, assonance, rhyme, meter and the like in an often-laborious effort to move their readers. We might say that the most exquisite prose has an effect like poetry precisely because poetry, more than prose, has a unique capacity to help us see and savor — to help us gut-level experience — the world as it is in all its fullness.

Life really is wondrous. God is not only present in our world; He is active and Self-revealing. The Old Testament psalmist poetically says that the heavens “declare” the glory of God, adding that “in them [God] has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy” (Psalm 19:4-5). Can you picture this? The brilliant, dawning sun, joyfully racing across the sky in pull-out-all-the-stops, Eric Liddell fashion? Perhaps the sun, as much as that Scottish missionary, believes that it too was made for a purpose. Perhaps it feels God’s pleasure when it shines. I don’t know. I mean, the sun is just a burning ball of gas, right?

While the sun is as much a burning ball of gas for today’s heliologist as it was for David, it isn’t “just” anything. The sun is simply incredible, and poetry will tend to say so. As far as ascribing a strict personality to the sun goes, I think Ra and Apollo have run their measly pagan courses (easy pun intended). Nevertheless, I think the poetry of Psalm 19 should influence our view, our experience, of the sunrise. The wonders of solar chemistry need not outshine the wonders of solar allegory. It seems that the sun, as well as other poetic features in nature, exists in part to instruct and encourage the people of God. The sun is like a joyful bridegroom. Jesus, as our Bridegroom, endured the cross “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). He is like the sun. Or, the sun is like Jesus. When Hebrews 12 admonishes us to lay aside every weight and sin and “run with endurance the race that is set before us,” we may each think to ourselves, —like the sun, who is strong and joyful, expectant in the hope of the heavenly Marriage awaiting him.

I speak of joy, and in my own poetry, this feeling is a common thread. But life is not always joyful. More often than not, it is confusing and pitiful. We could complain with the poet Job: “One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure, his pails full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them” (Job 21:23-26). Things are not as they should be…or as they will be. For believers, “we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly…” (Romans 8:22-23). Just as poetry intensifies our experience of good things, poetry intensifies our experience of evil things. And this is valuable. For what great effect can the cross of Christ, that result of inestimable evil and fount of inestimable good, have on us if we do not deeply and truly experience both?

There is more to be said, as always, but I hope this flavors a foundation for the poetry you’ll find on this blog.

Labeled: “Books Without Dust Covers”

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*This is the first of my introductory posts for my seven blog categories. Hopefully, these foundational posts will give you a sense what I aim to build on in each category.

One of my lifelong goals is to read widely and read well. By “widely” I mean across genres, cultures and ages. There are a lot of books I will never read. There are a lot of books I don’t care to read. But there is a lot of literary wealth out there I want to work on getting. In the words of Francis Bacon…

“Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”

And in my own words, I want to do the sort of reading that respects, realizes and reveals the author. (1) Respecting the author means giving them the benefit of the doubt. I figure it is reasonable for me to assume that an author knows more on his book subject than I do. He has, after all, published a book on it, and this process alone has required him do do at least a little research and thinking. (That may sound cynical, but I say it in light of the many ridiculous books in circulation; once you have critically chosen a book to read, give the author a little grace.)

With this attitude in place, my second goal is to (2) realize the author, that is, to correctly understand him in his context. This can be tricky depending on at least two things: 1. the complexity of the work and 2. the number of differences between the author’s context and my own…

  1. Varying complexity is found in things like sentence structure, vocabulary and content. Compare these examples from children’s literature:
    1. “In ran Jimmy John” (Rozek, Tinker’s Rescue).
    2. “Edward Bear, known to his friends as Winnie-the-Pooh, or Pooh for short, was walking through the forest one day…” (Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh).
    • As far as complexity goes, Milne has the obvious edge (though, by the wayside, “Tinker” is almost as endearing a teddy bear as Pooh and worth meeting if you haven’t already).
  2. The differences between an author’s context and my own are found in such things as his use of vocabulary (what he means by certain words), cultural or literary references, the time period from which he writes, and even the style in which he writes. These are good things to keep in mind when trying to realize (understand) an author.
    • Semi-tangent warning: Understanding a certain author is not necessarily helped by an admiration for or agreement with that author. For example, it is easier for me to follow the thought process of atheist Richard Dawkins in his discussion of genes and memes than it is for me to figure out St. Augustine’s view on the nature of the regeneration of the soul, even though my mind and heart more closely align with Augustine.

The last step in reading well, as I currently think about it, is (3) revealing the author. It is one thing to respect and understand someone. It is quite another to reveal him, that is, to evaluate him. This step requires intimate involvement on the part of the reader. For, in order to evaluate the validity, strengths and weaknesses of an author’s views, the reader must form (or refine) and expose his own views. This requires both work and courage. But while this step is often difficult (intensely difficult with the “great” books), it is the step that is the most rewarding. If you approach books this way, they will begin to shape you. They will help you grow by changing or refining your views. Books will become your friends, and the best of books, your friends for keeps. You will begin to choose books because you think they will help you grow, and not because you want to read someone who thinks and feels exactly like you do. And when you begin to realize, in the process of reading a book, that it is not helping you to grow in a significant way, you will have the simple sense to put it down. After all, books are not gods; rather, authors are not gods, with one Exception. It’s not a crime to shelve (or toss) a partly-read book. Also, speaking of the one “Exception,” I have found it crucial in this process of revealing an author (and myself in light of that author) to repeatedly turn to the Author of my life and faith in both prayer and Bible-reading/study. I am easily swayed by “innocent” human voices (my own included) from God’s own words of life and truth. There is a spiritual aspect to all reading.

Okay, I know this is getting long, but I have another stone to lay in this foundational post. I’ve explained to you my goal (to read widely and well), but I haven’t given you my motivations. Here are two of them…

One, I really want to think on things that are true and just, pure and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). In order to do this, I need to know what is true and just, pure and praiseworthy. But how can I ever really know these things, which often seem “too wonderful for me” (Job 42:3)? And yet, while I think there is a sort of knowledge that will always be “too wonderful” and too “high” for me to attain (Psalm 139:6), there is another sort of knowledge that God intends and desires for me to have; I don’t think He would have given me a brain otherwise. Of course, I want more than knowledge; I want wisdom, and simply having a brain is not enough. In his letter to Timothy, Paul instructs his young apprentice to wrestle with his [Paul’s] message in a spirit of dependence on God. “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7). I want to approach every book I read in this way, and I want to read widely and well because I want to hone my skill in discerning truth from error, what is pure from what is sullied.

And two, I want to be better prepared to “make a defense to anyone who asks [me] for a reason for the hope that is in [me]…” (1 Peter 3:15). It is true that the ultimate reason for my hope can be given in a word: Jesus. But in my everyday encounters with people (believing or not), making a defense and giving a reason requires many more words than one. Peter continues, “yet do it with gentleness and resepct.” This set me to thinking…. Consider how merciful, patient and creative the God of the universe is in revealing Himself to us. He has preserved for us the richest tome on earth; the Bible is riddled with content in every genre and flavored with delightful and contrasting literary styles. Likewise, our individual life experiences (which God ordains) are uniquely and even pedagogically layered in order for us to know and experience God in new and deeper ways. Surely, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and it is true that we don’t always see His mercy, but it is there. And it is blatant. If, then, our Father in heaven reveals Himself to us in gentle and respectful ways, should we not also reveal Him to the world in these ways? I see reading widely and reading well (which for me, practically, will involve writing well) as a way to practice revealing my God in ways that are merciful, patient and creative.

That’s all for now. I hope you are motivated to crack open a good book sometime soon. Let’s respect, realize and reveal the authors we meet, and in so doing, may we meet ourselves and that first and best Author in new and deeper ways.

The Lingering Fledgling (Part 2)

Writing is a contested thing. Some people say it helps the brain relax or organize. Others find it stressful or un-necessary. Ernest Hemingway said, “The writer must write what he has to say. Not speak it.” I am not that kind of writer, but I do find myself tending toward writing in the exercise of my mind and the expression of my heart.

So here we go with Fledgling Fear #2:

If my first reason for reluctance to begin this blog was the threat of becoming prideful, my second reason was the fear of coming off as prideful. Who am I, after all, to be publishing my thoughts? What are my credentials? If this were merely an online diary for friends, these questions aren’t important. But this blog is intended to be more than a subjective and personal account of my little world. Don’t get me wrong. It will (and must) be a more or less subjective account (I haven’t yet found a way not to see things from my vantage point). And, I hope that it will also be increasingly personal. But of my little world? I feel like singing with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, “I want much more than this provincial life!”

Douglas Wilson, a pastor and writer from Idaho, recently made the following remarks. “We are living in a time when to speak a sure word, based on what God has said, is thought to be arrogant.” On the other hand, “to shrug your shoulders and make your own doubts, your own skepticism, your own questions the center of the universe is thought to be humble.” Many blogs on the web today, even many Christian blogs, are nauseating slues of self-centeredness. As if everything were new under the sun, bloggers trumpet their “novel” thoughts and, more importantly it seems, themselves as novelties for considering such thoughts. I pray this blog will be decidedly different. I pray it will be a happy source of sure words – words that are rooted in Scripture and typed in sincere, brotherly love. Sure words will doubtless sound high-handed to some (I can assure you they will not often, if ever, be novel), but in my own experience, it has been the sure, old word that brings sweet conviction and leads to life. I want this blog to serve and bless you, the reader, and this is the best way I know how.

Of course, by “sure words,” I do not mean that I intend to post only about things I think I understand completely (this would be a very empty blog in that case). I mean that I want to shy away from fruitless questionings and speculations that leave you (and me) without solid food for thought and a God-ward trajectory.

I begin my sophomore year at Bethlehem College (BCS) in less than 7 hours. I will be devoting much of my time over these next months to reading some of the most prominent thinkers in history. Some were godless, some were saints. All (except the prominent thinker, Jesus) were sinners like me. I’ve found there is much to learn from sinners.

“We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” – John of Salisbury

I know I am not a giant. I stand on the shoulders of great men like Plato and Augustine (whom I’m reading at BCS) and my Papa (whom I’ve “read” since infancy). These men have helped equip me to think and speak and write.

And yet, though these men have equipped me, they have not compelled me to write about so “much more than this provincial life.” For this, I have read and am still reading the Bible, where I am told what I was made for.

“Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!'” – Isaiah 40:9

The Lingering Fledgling (Part 1)

“‘Extra, extra!’ My dear friends, I submit to you the fledgling project my tedious mind’s eye has watched lose its fuzz for pin-feathers and linger in the nest. Yes, this feels overdue in many ways…”

Welcome to [From the Inkwell]. At last. I’ve decided to start by sharing a little more about my reluctance to push this “fledgling” out of the nest. But first, what exactly is this project? To cut to the chase (and you can expect more on this later), Christ is my only hope in everything I do. Not only is He my only hope for this blog being anything worth reading, He is my ultimate hope for bothering to write at all. I earnestly desire to gain more of Christ for myself and for you, reader, through taking the time to think and write clearly, truthfully, and beautifully.

As far as I can tell, my wariness to begin a blog of this nature was rooted in two fears. I’ll tackle the first one in this post and write about the second in “The Lingering Fledgling (Part 2)” another day. So, here is Fledgling Fear #1: I am afraid of that incapacitating strain of pride commonly known as “perfectionism.”

Frankly, my inborn perfectionism will threaten the fruitfulness of my time spent writing here. People have told me that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” I usually need to hear this; I know what they are driving at. But surely there are clearer ways of talking about “the perfect…”

Once upon a time I strove for perfection, not caring what it cost me. Then I despaired, learning that the cost of “the perfect” would always be beyond what I could muster to pay. Whoever thinks he is perfect has yet to feel the warmth of the sun on his proud brow. Then, I rejoiced, for I learned that “the Perfect” has come and has paid what it costs to be found in me. And now, being found in Him, I strive for Perfection, not caring what it costs me.

For me, overcoming the fear of perfectionism often starts with simply remembering that pride (the root of perfectionism) is a universal heart disease, with its only cure the gospel. Perfectionism is not a neutral “personality type.” My fears related to perfectionism, whether I realize it or not, are always due to something gone sour in my relationship with God. I fear when I am not trusting Jesus and resting in the fullness of the gospel.

Dear Soul: God is perfect, and  you are made in His image for fellowship with Him. Your first parents set the course of drastic deviation from the perfection God originally created. In your pride, you are dead-set on recovering the lost ground on your own. Wake up! You are delusional. You have forgotten God’s promise that in the day Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they would surely die. Fool! Instead of trusting God’s word, you continue to believe Satan’s primal garden lie. “You, my charming friend, will be like God.”

Self-exalting perfectionism. Oh, what a morbid enemy of the soul!

Back to the lingering fledgling. For years I have known, correctly, that pride is a miserable companion. However, to avoid its suffocating presence, I have sometimes gone to confused extremes. I love to write. Thanks to Mom, I started keeping a journal in kindergarten, and ever since, I have scribbled ideas for essays, novels, poems and songs. Fiction, non-fiction; words for adults, words for children. I’m better at some of it, but I like all of it. Some of my scribblings have become completed works. The feeling of having written a complete piece (and yes, I am the one who defines “complete,” until my critics take over, of course) – this is one of the best feelings in the world. I am so thankful for the creativity and determination God has inspired in my mind and heart over the years. I don’t want to neglect to say this here, because I’m going to say something rather discouraging next. I am easily smitten with my own work. More to the point, I am easily smitten with “Christina, the writer.” I mean sinfully smitten, of course.

Many times over the past several years when I would begin to write about something, the nausea of pride would loom in my consciousness and appear to me as the inescapable outcome of continuing. It was probably a correct premonition at times, but instead of focussing my attention on fighting the darkness in my heart with prayer and the truth of the gospel, I would usually just stop writing. How silly, and how sad! Think about it. Joy perishes in the heart long before a joyless pen can bear joyless words. Words, after all, are the overflow of the heart, and the threat of pride (and its attendant misery) is as present for the human heart today as it was in the Garden of Eden. Laying aside the pen brought me no hope, let alone victory and joy. Only Christ brings my heart hope and the strengthening vision to fight for joy in Him.

I really hope you enjoy [From the Inkwell], dear reader. I’m looking forward to writing on many things, LORD-willing. There are so many deep and wide truths to think on and affirm, over and over and from different angles. There are, as well, so many sweet and whimsical truths to weave into minds and hearts with words as choice as the finest honey. I pray that through this blog, where writing features, you may yet know “Christina, follower of Christ” far better and more fondly than you know “Christina, the writer.”

With thankfulness on this sunny Monday,

Christina Faye Hall

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Psalm 30:11-12