It’s a CR:ISIS
I’ve never seen nothing like this
My heart’s in bits
Tears flow as I write this
Men torn from their wives and kids
Decapitated corpses dumped in ditches
Vicious violation of precious desert princesses
Snatched and stripped and sold for sex
It’s vile, it’s sick
it’s a CR:ISIS
I’m haunted by this
I got images of terrified kids
Indelibly etched on my irises
Burned on the inside of my eyelids
So every time I close my eyes I witness
The unspeakable evil of this CR:ISIS
Like the face of a boy who watched his sister get raped –
Her throat got slit before they could escape
They were gonna kill him next then the cavalry came
And he broke down and wept and wept and wept
Oh God heal his heart with grace
I still see the little boy from the Yazidi tribe
Carrying a box with a baby inside
But this was no crib, the baby had died
No time for burials when you’re running for your life
Oh Lord have mercy on this child
But there’s also images that flood my heart with hope
Like the photo of this tiny soul
A young refugee forced to flee brutality with his family
I saw a photo of him clutching his pet bird
In the face of sheer evil some innocence preserved
There is hope in the midst of this hatred
But we can’t hide from this –
It’s a CR:ISIS
Truth is I don’t know how to process
The spread of this virus of mindless violence
But I gotta confess
There’s a righteous rage
Rising up in my chest that
I’m not prepared to suppress
Cos ignorance is bliss and
I simply will not ignore this
It’s a CR:ISIS
And I defy any true disciple of Christ
To turn a blind eye
To this genocide
We can’t deny their plight and hide
Its time to arise
Turn back the tide
To fall to our knees like a warrior bride
And C-R-Y out to the most High
Cos it’s the right and righteous way to fight
Against this CR:ISIS
And I’m not placing my faith in Kings or politicians
I’m trusting the One who alone can change the hearts of men
And the direction of my intercession
Is that these terrorists will find true redemption
In the face of the Christ who gives salvation
Cos only grace can change a heart bent on sin
So the prayer I groan as I clench my fist
Is “God be glorified in this!”
This is a CR:ISIS
But my faith is in who
King Jesus Christ is.
I am seriously excited to share this post. The image above is the front cover of my first ever kids book – Eric Says Thanks.
This book has been a couple of years in the making and all came from a harvest assembly that I did at the local primary school that my kids attend. The assembly was so well received that I decided to write it up as a rhyming story. I showed it to the Good Book Company, who decided to take a punt on it and publish it! The book’s illustrations have been created by Xavier Bonet.
What’s more, TGBC have commissioned a further 2 Eric books which will also be available in due course.
Eric Says Thanks is now available for pre-order here.
Here are some of the endorsements for Eric Says Thanks:
Absolutely brilliant! I can’t wait to read it with my grandchildren!
– Rob Parsons
The Lord instructs us to teach our kids “in the way”. Get comfy, open this book with your kids and together embark on a delightful journey of discovery. It all starts with a humble piece of toast as Eric traces his way along a fun, rhyming path of thankfulness all the way to our generous God, his word – and a timely invitation for us all to join Eric in thanking God for his many good gifts. I’ve got a feeling Eric could start something quite lovely in lots of little – and big – lives!
– Colin Buchanan
Research has proven that gratitude is the healthiest human emotion. Kids who grow up grateful end up being great adults, and here’s a simple tool to teach it to your children.
– Rick Warren
A short poem that I wrote yesterday.
It’s about men and porn and Jesus and grace.
Hope it challenges / blesses / changes / encourages (delete as appropriate).
It addicts so quick
A generation trafficked with a
That smartphone’s now a siren
That tablet a temptress
It’s pixelated poison
Too many brothers now shackled in shame
Too many good men taken out of the game
Too much of the world in too much of the church
Let the Holy Spirit stir
And woo you
And renew you
And lead you to the cross
Where the Saviour was slaughtered
To redeem broken sons
And make men for our daughters
Find grace in the blood
For the murkiest soul
Come to Jesus my brothers
My very good friend and co-pastor, James Richards, has recently set up a blog called Go Faster Pastor, at which he will be posting about some of those things he’s most passionate about – faith, family, fitness and fun. It’s well worth checking out:
Before you go and check it out, why not watch the video of his testimony here:
I’m taking time off over the next few weeks to finish writing a book that has been in the pipeline for a couple of years now. I was commissioned to write The Hard Corps almost 2 years ago, but the craziness of pastoring a growing church, coupled with the arrival of the twins meant that I had to put the project on hold.
In fairness to my publisher, the Good Book Company, they have been incredibly patient with me. However, I’ve now been given the deadline of getting the manuscript finished by the end of February. I am determined to fulfil my obligations and have the book finished by then, though this naturally will require some hard graft and logistical re-jigging. What that’s going to look like over the next few weeks is A LOT of writing, coupled with A LOT of gracious help from my dad, my family and my friends – for which I’m incredibly grateful.
I’m actually really excited about this next fortnight, though a little daunted as well as I haven’t written properly for a LOOOOOONG time! Therefore I’m asking for your prayers:
1. Pray that I would get back into the flow of writing quickly.
2. Pray for Holy Spirit inspiration – that what I write would be creative, godly and beneficial to many.
3. Pray for my family that they will fly through the next few weeks with dad in writing mode and that when I put my pen down – I’ll be able to switch off from the book and enjoy quality time with them!
4. Above all pray that God would be glorified in the coming days. I’m genuinely not writing this book to be famous – I believe that I have a message from God that is timely for this generation of Christian men.
Just to let you know that while I’m in ‘book mode’ I won’t be contributing any posts to the Rant. However, I have lined up several posts written by guest authors that promise to be fantastic, so do keep checking back!! (I dare say I’ll be a lot quieter on Twitter too!!)
Thanks guys. See you when I’m done!
Today’s a bit of a crazy day because I get to sign my contract with Authentic Media for my book A Beautiful Day. Contracts freak me out at the best of times because they always have massive words in them that – and this contract is no exception! I’ve got 7 pages of ‘libelous’, ‘defamity’, ‘indemnified’, ’embellishments’, ‘solicitation’, ‘prejudicial’ and ‘purporting’ to get my aching noggin around! As I flicked through this contract it got me thinking about the Bible…
On Sunday one of the girls off the estate who has just become a Christian approached me after the service and asked me to explain to her a passage in the Bible that had been confusing her because of all the big words in it. It started me wondering if all the big words in the Bible might actually scare, or even intimidate people. The thing is I’m not arguing for simplistic translations of the Scriptures (I’m ESV all the way) as these are always fluffy in key areas. I’m all for accessible truth, but propitiation means propitiation and expiation means expiation! I guess what I’m saying is that we need to make sure that we help those who haven’t been raised with a Bible in their hands to understand the big words that they will encounter as they read it. Those with the gift of teaching have a massive responsibility in this area.
The thing is I signed this contract today without understanding all of the jargon and all of the implications in it! (Raz! I might have just signed away all the family silver!) The truth is that if I waited until I understood every last word I’d never sign it!
So why did I sign?
The reason that I signed was that I trust Jonathan my editor. I don’t know him super well, I just know that he’s a good Christian, an honourable bloke and that he wouldn’t encourage me to sign something illegal or unhelpful. Similarly, I think that we need to get to that place with the Bible too! We may not understand everything that’s written in it straight away, but we can know enough about the author (God the Holy Spirit) to know that we can trust every word and that we can subscribe to it with confidence!
Last week I was contacted by the series editor of a range of evangelistic books called Exploring Christianity, that are published by Authentic Media. Current authors for the series include Vaughan Roberts, Graham Daniels and Krish Kandiah. To my astonishment he was emailing me to ask if I would consider writing a book for the series.
After praying about it and chatting it through with Michelle, I have happily agreed to write a book based on a sermon I preached at Hill City last year called A Beautiful Day that unpacks the story of the healing of the lame beggar in Acts 3. I will have the blessing of an editor (which will be a massive help) and the advantage of having already done some research on the subject, as this passage has alway been one of my “In emergency – break glass” sermons.
Please do pray for this exciting project. Time is not something I have in abundance, but I really do believe that this is what God wants me to do, so I’m going to go for it all guns blazing.
Thanks and God bless.