Archives For Christ

Hank Williams, Sr. once wrote:

‘You’ve never walked in that man’s shoes or saw things through his eyes Or stood and watched with helpless hands while the heart inside you dies. Some were poor some were kings and some were masters of the arts.But in their shame they’re all the same, these men with broken hearts. So help your brother along the road no matter where he starts. For the God that made you, made them too. These men with broken hearts!

Hank Williams may have written, but it was Elvis who took these words to a whole new level.

For me brokenness and worship are intertwined.  These places of brokenness bring us to the cross and push us towards resurrection. This is because ‘we do not raise ourselves; we are raised’ (Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. 2005:231). 

I’m not sure why these particular words affect me the way they do. It’s probably because I understand, to some degree, the deep well from which these words are drawn.

In recognising that we are undone (Isaiah 6:5), the pride within us can no longer be an enemy to the gracious “Yes” of God, in Christ (Jn.15), which stands for us, and the shadow of His “no”, which exists for our sake. (Karl Barth/St. Francis of Assisi/ Lk.10:25).

May it be so.


Video: Elvis Presley, Lost ”that the way it is” (August, 1970 – Midnight show. Lyrics and song, Joe South

Poem: Hank Williams, ‘Men with broken hearts

Originally published, 27th May 2013.

Statue of St. Patrick in Aughagower, County Mayo

Statue of St. Patrick in Aughagower, County Mayo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May Christ guide and protect you, through and from, the things that set out to destroy you.


The Lorica [Armour] of St. Patrick

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop deck

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me,

I bind to myself today
The strong invocation of the Trinity,

I Believe in the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

– Patrick of Ireland, 493 A.D, ‘Celtic  Prayer: Lorica of St. Patrick [St. Patrick’s  Breast-Plate]’ (Abridged; FULL version)



Catholic Encylcopedia St. Patrick sourced 2011 from

Once again

August 24, 2013 — Leave a comment

Theological thoughts and some exegetical notes from this morning’s timeout.

Psalm 103:1-6

Bless my soul

1. Forget not all
2. His benefits

B1: forgives all iniquity
B2: Redeems life
B3: Heals all
B4: redeems life – from the pit (of despair?, hades?, overt uneasiness?, uncertainty?, hopelessness?, the seduction of cynicism?)
B5:  heals all
B6: satisfies (purpose) with good (instrument of possibility)
B7: youth renewed (cause & effect)
B8: Lord works

3. righteousness and justice
4. for all who are oppressed.


We have His permission to fly like an eagle, what may be pinning us to the ground is our resistance, our cynicism and our despair.

What might be helpful is if we allowed God His freedom. If we could only just sit in that moment of time where we allow God to realize in us our true freedom. A freedom that exists in limitation (Karl Barth) but rests on the tension between His words ”yes you can and no you must not”.

It is here that humanity may finally be able to see that a life rested in Father, Son and Spirit proves to be one that has so much more to it than could ever have imagined.

The quest for absolute certainty, as Jean Bethke Elshtain puts it (1981, Public man Private woman), is only a quest to satisfy our ego. This is a journey towards absolute arrogance, one absent of faith and gratitude. A pathway that is inevitability self-defeating because it is drains us of that hoped for encounter with truth and light.

As it turns out this road, in truth, is paved with oppression as our own pride brings us to a counter-to-Christ point of impact, where the seduction of ignorance, spite, resentment and hate are all too easily consumed and reproduced. Consequently our wings are clipped – our creativity stifled – our energy, and passion for others, for life – becomes almost non-existent.

Father, may we fly as you have decreed it. May we see what you see, as you see fit to show us. May we rest in the knowledge that hope is within our grasp because by your Spirit and through your son, you are its anchor, its author and once again, we, I,  acknowledge your gift of life. 

May it be so.