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I invested a lot in those roses. I built them a home. I watered and fed them. I pruned them. As they slowly grew, I would stop to actually smell the roses and examine their progress as I came home from work each day. To see them grow and blossom was a source of joy for this novice rosarian. As autumn wound to a close, I researched how to winterize my roses. I knew that I couldn’t simply expose these young flowers to the elements, but they needed some shelter. So that’s what I did. And while my Floribunda and Hybrid Tea sat under their Styrofoam cones, I dreamed of spring and what it would be like for my roses to come back another year stronger.

So, I’m watching it snow

Recently our family took a trip to Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium. As parents, we’ve come to learn that we need to be intentional about when we reveal surprises to our kids. If we do it too early, we’re going to get asked the same question endlessly for weeks on end. This time we didn’t tell the kids until we had them safely strapped in the van. Suzanne and I were convinced that the kids would be thrilled by our surprise. “Guys! We’re going to Chicago to visit an Aquarium!”

A few weeks ago, I had one of those “The Lord spoke to me” experiences. I know, it sounds charismatic, but the experience was thoroughly biblical. For the past several months I’ve had a growing sense of anxiety and, yes, even fear. There is no denying that our culture is becoming increasingly aggressive in its hatred of Christ. A new religion called social justice is sweeping the land with a vigor unmatched since the Great Awakening. This new religion is impervious to reason and will not tolerate dissent. Whether the issue is LGBTQ+ or race or ‘climate justice’, you will find that those who worship at the altar of ideological social justice are not interested in debate. They are interested only in conformity and compliance. And that’s been on my mind.

On this Good Friday, I thought I’d share one of my favorite hymns. It was written in 1664 by Samuel Crossman, a Puritan minister who (along with 2000 clergy) was expelled from the Church of England for opposing its Act of Uniformity (1662). Many years later the hymn fell into obscurity, but in 1925 English composer John Ireland recast the hymn into a tune of his own.