Sunday, February 28, 2010

a mind vacation

Check out this editorial on the Coffee Oasis in the most recent Kitsap Sun:

I cannot remember a weekend like this one: My mind seemed to be taking a vacation most of the time! It was extremely restful. I Plotted the course for next weekends "Redeeming Manhood" event (it is a secret), watched the first season of a Robin Hood program on a two week free NetFlix trial (Robin Hood is a childhood hero for me), hit rocks with with a metal bat into the sunset spanning across the Hood Canal at a friends house, and preached on Colossians 2:1-5.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the story of severe mercy

Hello! The days have been full. I hope to share more soon. For now I will tell a quick story of severe mercy (not unlike the book, which fills me with one of the strongest experiences of sentiment that I have ever felt).

Am I sustained? Yes.

I would like to curb a few rumours concerning pastors and Christian leaders. People gasp when they hear about sins that remain in the lives of Christians and their mortal leaders. Our cholesterol-thick blood boils when we hear the unchecked, unbridled, and often unkind remarks of Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Mark Driscoll or whomever wears the jersey of another churches softball team.

Tonight I reflected on this driving home.

There are a foolish amount of people that do not think that I, Daniel Frederick, have bad thoughts or sinful urges or any number of shameful things of which the Bible bears black ink warning me against.

I do not say this lightly or in mock defiance. I am ashamed.

I will also admit--to my shame--that I am not always ashamed by this even though I should be.

When I was younger sometimes I had to sit in my room for several hours before I realized that it was bad to talk back to my parents. By mercy my salvation is not based up the durability of my desire and God did not wait for me to eventually "come to my senses." Isaiah 59 and Romans 3 tell us about God understanding what we never would admit, that without him we could never be right.

I thank God that the Bible does not tell me that God loves me only when I desire him with virginal purity and wild affection.

Jesus came for me--sick, hopeful, sinful, desiring, needy, wandering, wondering, full of questions, passionate me (Galatians 2:20).

He redeemed this broken child who longs for home.

Salvation happens and the story continues though. The theme of the continuing story is called sanctification. (Regretfully we are not swept off in flaming chatiots at the moment of salvation!) Many of us spend many years asking "how long, O Lord, must I wait of perfection/completion?" Kind David asked that too. However, I would not recommend wandering too long in the playfield of those unanswered questions. It is much like playing duck-duck-goose in a minefield.

The skeptic and agnostic of the age runs straight in like a maniac with no thought of coming out alive.

The Bible promises to be a sure guide to those that use it to light their way.

The Bible will lead us ONLY to Christ.

While this may be the expected answer, the "I've-heard-that-before," why then are so many stunned to find a cross? Why are we so surprised that so many things must die in our lives? It is as though we have expected salvation to open a door which reveals a shortcut to paradise.

On the contrary!

"I have been crucified with Christ..." and "whatever was to my benefit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ...!"

So why or how can a Christian and still experience imperfection, frustration, and/or depression?

First reflect that you and I are still growing up as a children of God! Even the spiritual fathers of this generation, who lead the church, will always and only be sheep of Christ, children of the Father and clay vessels molded by the Spirit. While they are called to be men above reproach, pray for them! They have not been yet made perfect, but, like you, press on to take hold of the prize that awaits all those who long for Christ (Philippians 3). I believe part of that longing comes not only from tiredness of separation, but also tiredness of frailty of the flesh.

Secondly, reflect on the longing that will only be fully satisfied in heaven when you are perfected. I believe this will deepen our worshipful reflection both on the character of God and the way he has made the world. God has left so many things to wet our appetite for heaven's fullness; many thing, I should say, that can be redeemed here on earth. Marriage love, mountains grandeur, children's laughter, and the greenness of green grass all are made for us marvel--echoing glory to Glory--and worship Him who gave them as appetizers for the wedding feast of Christ and his church.

Thirdly, remember while you are here that when we meet Christ at the cross we are not asked to only look at the world through the lens of these springtime events. Jesus asked his disciples what they expected the world to do to them since it treated him so poorly. The death of each of these things that embody life for us--marriage love, mountain grandeur, children's laughter, and the greenness of green grass--can also cause the greatest questioning in the world of our minds and hearts. Who could categorize and file away love grown cold, the falling of a mountain, the death of a child, or draught in a fertile country? God himself does not ask you to discard these fearful and trembling matters so lightly. It is only a faith coming by way of the cross that understands that this very impermanent world, that still claims so much of our joy and sorrow, did not recognize, but rather rejected and crucified, its own God. Being rejected, He tasted death for all (Hebrews 2:9), and became their Savior. "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53). Oh we have received a tender, severe mercy!

"Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God." - Luther

Monday, February 15, 2010


"I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened." - Dostoevsky

A friend found out that she only has a certain number of years to live. Eternity makes a bold claim. Eternity claims all of us. All truth will there be told. And eternity will at that point not appear long enough to hear the words that come from the mouth that speaks only Truth. Paul writes, "if we only hope in this life, we are to be the most pitied men." Do not pity me. I believe that one day the sun that sets in this world will not rise. It will be replaced by Him who is light. All darkness will flee. There will be no need for metaphor or imagery. All will be real. The songs that we have only heard distant strains of, as if always coming from behind a far off hill, will erupt and be in full view. This future glory has not diminished my joy now or made me "otherworldly" in the pitiful definition of the term. I am only otherworldly in the extent that I really am otherworldly. One old writer wrote that physical hunger reveals that we are a race of people that repairs itself by eating. This does not guarantee that we will have food, but that we need it. Lewis called this his "inconsolable longing" or "joy." Joy is not always gratified, but it is the desire that lies in the deepest churning of our existence. Earth promises no completion, and in heaven we find consummation. Indeed what keeps my feet most firmly planted on this earthen surface is the anchoring "weight of glory" that only increases as the day approaches that all will be revealed. In Romans 8 we see all creation in expectations. Wait too. Be still, and know that He is God. Worship. This is our present joy and our eternal glory. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive glory, honor, power, and praise forever!"

Spent the day in Bainbridge Island with a few friends today. Running in parks, eating beside the water, taking every advantage of a sunny Presidents Day. Applied for Fuller Theological Seminary (Northwest Campus). Cooked dinner for the parents. Prayer.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may He cause His face to shine upon you...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

hope arrayed in hymnody

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood, From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure, Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Not the labours of my hands, Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears for ever flow,
All for sin could not atone: Thou must save,
and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Saviour, or I die. - Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778

grace--timeless in nature, being in the very heart of God--was given to us right on time today in the form of a much needed grant from Boeing.  Last month we had a month that "you cannot have too many of if you want to stay in business," as our fearly executive director said.  As we expand the need only grows: people, funds, faith.  "Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee."

I am in the process of planning a public forum with Campus Crusade for Christ and the Olympic College Atheist and Agnostic Club.  If all goes as planned I will be sitting on a panel with one of the members of the Atheist and Agnostic Club answer three questions: 1) how did life begin? 2) what is the meaning of life? and 3) what is the fate of humanity?  Please pray for strength, wisdom, and humility as we cohost the event with these school clubs and speak into a world that yells at God with plugged ears, upward shaking fist, and downcast eyes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Titus is going to have a brother.  It is official that Rebekah and Brian are expecting another BOY.  Danny and Ashley had their first last week.

Started reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and find her writing delightful.

Took a group of boys hiking today on the first monthly "Redeem Manhood Day."  We hiked, plunged into a swimming hole beneath a cascading waterfall, and returned to my apartment for a breakfast of biscuits and gravy.  "Blessed is the man who swears to his own hurt and does not change." Psalm 15.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Tonight I watched the movie "Saved." It is not the spiritual heartwarmer that one might expect from the title. I enjoyed it like I might enjoy being slapped in the face--twice--for be uncaring and condescending. The movie was fictional, but carried a non-fiction tone. I do not advise watching the movie with kids, and be prepared to think, blush, and grieve. If you would like to talk more about the move you can email me @

You might ask why I watched the movie. I understand why someone would ask me that question. It is because I don't want to be fake. Life is to short to live unchallenged and safely kept within my own feelings. That is what faith is for many people--feelings and rules. It is not the foundation of the faith I have. It is also not the faith of the God of the Bible. What the movie pointed at and laughed at is what many rightly laugh at about Christians (i.e. the violent hand-raising, militant evangelism, and boring purity). If you read the New Testament Jesus is very different than the hollywood-styled churches of today. First of all people liked Jesus. People liked him at their parties. He did not follow the pattern of the religious folk, nor did he follow the pattern of the secular folk. He had a different set of rules. He "delighted to do the will of the Father." It was a relationship with God that he enjoyed as he walked on this earth. O this little earth, so loved by God. After watching this movie I realized how silly and trivial and offensive it can sound to people when I tell them that I will pray for them (this does not mean I will stop, though I might explain better in the future what it means). It is a tragedy when people hear they are being prayed for and they think " I'm this guys project!" It is not like that at all. Neither is it a form of judgement. C.S. Lewis once said, "I do not pray because it changes God, only because it changes me." Admittedly there is more to it than that, however he is onto something special here. We need to be changed and when we go to God in prayer it is beseeching the help of one who is already filled with mercy. His heart does not need to be changed. Jesus did not die expecting that after you were saved you would never hurt him again. It is the beauty of the plan and price of salvation--He did it in full understanding of our present and future unworthiness. That is the Gospel: He makes us worthy to be called...children of God.

Do I think the movie was completely correct? No. Still, Christians must admit it hit a bulls-eye too many time for us to finish unashamed of how we have misrepresented the name of Jesus.

I spent the morning talking to a coalition of business women and the afternoon playing volleyball with kids at Discovery Alternative High School.