Archive for the Tim Keller Category

John Coltrane and Ecclesiastes

Posted in Ecclesiastes, Grace, John Coltrane, Music, Tim Keller, Work on October 17, 2013 by kevinwilkening

John ColtraneEarly today, October 17, I posted on Twitter the following: “When Tennessee Ford’s 1955 hit & The Vogue’s 1965 hit make your Ecclesiastes 2:12-26 sermon I am reminded that musicians often speak truth.”

Here is another example of a musician speaking truth. This is an excerpt from John Coltrane’s liner notes inside his 1957 album entitled, “A Love Supreme.” (I have been listening to it all day).

During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which as to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At the time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music. I feel this has been granted through His grace. ALL PRAISE TO GOD …

This album is a humble offering to Him. An attempt to say “THANK YOU GOD” through our work, even as we do in our hearts and with our tongues. May He help and strengthen all men in every good endeavor.

— John Coltrane

*(quote taken from Tim Keller’s book entitled, “Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work”)*

Ecclesiastes 2:24–25 (ESV) — There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

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Work As Worship

Posted in Aaron Armstrong, Books, Discipleship, Tim Keller, Vocation, Work, Worship on December 11, 2012 by kevinwilkening

every-good-endeavorAaron Armstrong is currently reading Tim Keller’s book, Every Good Endeavor. His teaser made me want to read the book. Maybe you will want to read it too. Here is a snippet. Armstrong writes:

He [Keller] reminds us that work is “one of the ways we discover who we are, because it is through work that we come to understand our distinct abilities and gifts, a major component in our identities” (p. 38).

So author Dorothy Sayers could write, “What is the Christian understanding of work?. . . [It] is that work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties . . the medium in which he offers himself to God.”

In other words, a Christian understanding of work leads you to see your work as an act of worship.

Armstrong then ask, “How might our weeks look different if we grasped that concept? That rather than being a drudgery or a necessary evil, work is one of our chief expressions of worship and imaging our Creator?”

Counterfeit Gods

Posted in Discipleship, Idols, John Newton, Tim Keller on December 23, 2009 by kevinwilkening

I was given the book Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller on Sunday, December 20, 2009.  I finished it today.  It is a PHENOMENAL book on idols in our lives!  This is a must read!  So, I am going to give you just a small taste of the conclusion of the book.  This excerpt is from the Epilogue: Finding and Replacing Your Idols.

“Rejoicing and repentance must go together.  Repentance without rejoicing will lead to despair.  Rejoicing without repentance is shallow and will only provide passing inspiration instead of deep change . . .”

“To rejoice is to treasure a thing, to assess its value to you, to reflect on its beauty and importance until your heart rests in it and tastes the sweetness of it.  ‘Rejoicing’ is a way of praising God until the heart is sweetened and rested, and until it relaxes its grip on anything else it thinks that it needs.”

“This takes what are called ‘the spiritual disciplines,’ such as private prayer, corporate worship, and meditation.  The disciplines take cognitive knowledge and make it a life-shaping reality in our hearts and imaginations.  Spiritual disciplines are basically forms of worship, and it is worship that is the final way to replace the idols of your heart.  You cannot get relief simply by figuring out your idols intellectually.  You have to actually get the peace that Jesus gives, and that only comes as you worship.  Analysis can help you discover truths, but then you need to ‘pray them in’ to your heart.  That takes time.  It is a process about which there is much to say . . . I believe the process will take our entires lives.”

Keller, speaking of repeatedly driving a highway in Pennsylvania on family vacations over the years said, “For years the highway remained uncompleted in one spot, where there was a particularly nasty swamp.  On at least one occasion, construction workers parked a bulldozer overnight on what seemed to be solid ground.  However, by morning they discovered that it has sunk.  Often when they put down pilings in the attempt to find bedrock, the pilings disappeared.”

“Our hearts are like that. We think we’ve learned about grace, set our idols aside, and reached a place where we’re serving God not for what we’re going to get from him but for who he is.  There’s a certain sense in which we spend our entire lives thinking we’ve reached the bottom of our hearts and finding it is a false bottom.  Mature Christians are not people who have completely hit the bedrock.  I do not believe that is possible in this life.  Rather, they are people who know how to keep drilling and are getting closer and closer.”

“The great pastor and hymn-writer John Newton once wrote about this struggle:

‘If I may speak of my own experience, I find that to keep my eye simply on Christ, as my peace and my life, is by far the hardest part of my calling . . . It seems easier to deny self in a thousand instances of outward conduct, than in its ceaseless endeavors to act as a principle of righteousness and power.'”

“The man or woman who knows the difference that Newton refer to–the difference between obeying rules of outward conduct rather than setting your heart on Christ as your peace and your life–is on the road to freedom from the counterfeit gods that control us.”

~Counterfeit God, by Tim Keller (excerpts from pages 172 – 177)~

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