Light in a dark place

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

–J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

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Published in: on 10/30/2010 at 18:17  Leave a Comment  

We shall have spring again

Wrong will be right when Aslan comes in sight,

At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death

And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

Who’s Aslan? Why, don’t you know? He’s the King—the King of the whole wood, and the Son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. He’s wild, you know. If there’s anyone who can appear before him without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly. He isn’t safe… But he is good. He’ll often drop in, only you musn’t press him to stay. He’s not like a tame lion. Yes, Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.

-C. S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

Published in: on 10/29/2010 at 14:02  Leave a Comment  

Our only glory

The tale that Christianity tells is the tale of a sinless life given away, in love, to make up in some unfathomable way for all that we mean by our sin, to give us life in place of all that we mean by death. The greatest miracle that Christianity has to proclaim is that the love that suffered agonies on that hill outside the city walls was the love of God himself, the love of God for his creation, which is a love that has no limit, not even the limit of death. And for us the meaning of that love is that we can now raise our own shrill voices from the hills of our own suffering and say some such words as these:

There is little we can point to in our lives as deserving anything but God’s wrath. Our best moments have been mostly grotesque parodies. Our best loves have been almost always blurred with selfishness and deceit. But there is something to which we can point. Not anything that we ever did or were, but something that was done for us by another. Not our own lives, but the life of one who died in our behalf and yet is still alive. This is our only glory and our only hope. And the sound that it makes is the sound of excitement and gladness and laughter that floats through the night air from a great banquet. It is what Christians mean by salvation…

–Frederick Buechner

Published in: on 10/28/2010 at 16:01  Leave a Comment  

Forgiven

The most amazing fact in the world,
if it is really true, is the
redeeming pardon of God.

–J. S. Whale

Published in: on 10/27/2010 at 16:13  Leave a Comment  
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Dare to be a sinner

It is the grace of the gospel which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great and desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. ‘My son, give me your heart’ (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth . . . You do not have to go on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Published in: on 10/26/2010 at 17:17  Leave a Comment  

Too easily pleased

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 10/26/2010 at 16:40  Leave a Comment  

Excessive grace

Real grace is simply inexplicable, inappropriate, out of the box, out of bounds, offensive, excessive, too much, given to the wrong people and all those things.

–Michael Spencer

Published in: on 10/23/2010 at 17:02  Leave a Comment  

Faith, hope, love

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Published in: on 10/23/2010 at 2:03  Leave a Comment  
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Pettiness

The problem with the church today is not corruption.  It is not institutionalism.  No, the problem is far more serious than something like the minister running away with the organist.  The problem is pettiness.  Blatant pettiness.

–Mike Yaconelli

Published in: on 10/22/2010 at 15:56  Leave a Comment  

Bigger than our words

The trouble with “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” interpreters is that they contend for their interpretation as “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” They confound the Incarnation with their interpretation of it. They have the Incarnation neatly tied up in a package of statements about it and they contend for that package. They feel thay have caught the Word in a web of their own words. But Jesus may have stepped out beyond the web of their own words long ago. The Word is always bigger than our words. Paul calls Jesus the “unspeakable gift”—you can’t speak Him completely. In the end you have to kneel in adoration at the Wonder of the Word.

–E. Stanley Jones

Published in: on 10/21/2010 at 14:52  Leave a Comment  

Eternal appetite of infancy

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again’, and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun, and every evening, “Do it again”, to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical Encore!

–G. K. Chesterton

Published in: on 10/20/2010 at 16:30  Leave a Comment  

Flowers spring up

Legend says that where Jesus walked, flowers sprang up in His footprints. That is legend, but the moral and spiritual equivalent of that does happen. Barrenness breaks into bloom; dead sticks, like Aaron’s rod, begin to bud. The nobodies becomes somebodies; the ordinary become the extraordinary—life begins to live. Dead harps feel the sweep of a Hand and sleeping music is awakened.

-E. Stanley Jones

Published in: on 10/19/2010 at 14:51  Leave a Comment  

The real story

“… but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And . . . we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning chapter on of the great story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

–C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Published in: on 10/15/2010 at 19:26  Leave a Comment  

Melody in “F”

(The Prodigal Son)
Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the farthings, and flew far to foreign fields and fabulously frittered his fortune with faithless friends. Fleeced by his fellows in folly, and facing famine, he found himself a feed-flinger in a filthy farmyard. Farily famishing, he faine would’ve filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments. “Fooey, my father’s flunkies fare far finer, “The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled, frankly facing facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled with foreboding, he fled forthwith to his family. Falling at his father’s feet, he forlornly fumbled, “Father, I’ve flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited family fellowship favor. “The far-sighted father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies. “Fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast. “The fugitive’s fault-finding brother frowned on fickle forgiveness of former folderol. But the faithful father figured, “Filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found! What forbids fervent festivity? Let flags be unfurled! Let fanfares flare!” Father’s forgiveness formed the foundation for the former fugitive’s future fortitude!

-Autor unknown

Published in: on 10/14/2010 at 18:17  Leave a Comment  
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Driving a stake

There are times when a stake needs to be driven into the ground to establish a fact, to make a statement. It becomes a tangible marker that clarifies an issue—that ends discussion. It makes the verbal visible. It is something we can point to and come back to. When the Maker of the planet purposed to confirm to us the reality of His unrelenting love, He was kind enough to place the matter beyond dispute. He hammered into the soil an enormous wooden stake. It left no room for doubt. He made His point painfully clear. And it had the unmistakable resemblance to a cross.

-Jurgen Schulz

Published in: on 10/14/2010 at 14:07  Leave a Comment  

Not alone

If Christ is risen from the dead, it means that it is possible for the Christian to live every moment of every day in the presence and the fellowship of the living Christ. It means that the Christian approaches no tasks alone, bears no sorrow alone, attacks no problem alone, faces no demand alone, endures no temptation alone… To Paul the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was neither simply a fact in history nor a theological dogma. It was the supreme fact of experience. It meant that all life is lived in the presence of the love and of the power of Jesus Christ.

–William Barclay

Published in: on 10/13/2010 at 4:55  Leave a Comment  

More like rafting

It makes more than a few people angry to hear that following Jesus

is less like math and more like white water rafting.

–Michael Spencer

Published in: on 10/13/2010 at 4:53  Leave a Comment  

Found by God

It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone… An “impersonal God” – well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our won heads – better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap – best of all. But God Himself, alve, pulling a the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband – that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (Man’s Search for God!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He found us?

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 10/12/2010 at 17:07  Leave a Comment  

Life at its highest

[Jesus Christ] is tender without being weak, strong without being coarse, lowly without being servile. He has conviction without intolerance, enthusiasm without fanaticism, holiness without Pharisaism, passion without prejudice. This man alone never made a false step, never struck a jarring note. His life alone moved on those high levels where local limitations are transcended and the absolute Law of Moral Beauty prevails. It was life at its Highest.

–Thomas Watson

Published in: on 10/11/2010 at 16:19  Leave a Comment  

That is not enough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get out the old hymns, get out the new

Tell of His deeds in the past and what He’s doing today

Sing with reverence; sing with exhuberance

Lift up your voice; lift up your hands.

Let solos, duos, quartets and choirs

Make His praise glorious.

But He deserves much more.

Bring out the guitars, and set up the keyboards

Let drums and tamborines

Make a joyful noise.

 

He is worthy to be praised—

But that is not enough.

 

 

Assemble an orquestra and let His praise go higher

Strings, woodwind, brass and percussion

Let all be employed to the honor of His Name.

Call in a symphony and let it be heard

Bring in a thousand symphonies

And may they all celebrate His greatness

Let the praises of our King fill the land

With one majestic anthem of glory.

 

He is worthy to be praised—

But that is not enough.

 

 

May different arts forms be called in.

May painters and sculptors and weavers

Join in the declaration of His worth.

May poetry, pottery, tapestry, and prose

Be employed to make His wonders known

Lift His Name high through ballet, and drama and dance.

May artisans delight to bring Him honor

Using marble, and brass and leather and wood

May the arts in unison proclaim His glory.

 

He is worthy to be praised—

But that is not enough.

 

 

May creation join this anthem of worship.

The meadows, the thunder, the surf, and the dew

Let them proclaim His excellent greatness

Waterfalls and whales, rainbows and robins

Starfields and starfish, exalting His Name.

May all things created applaud their Maker

And together make the chorus resound.

 

He is worthy to be praised—

But that is not enough.

 

 

Let us praise him in the congregation.

Let us praise him in our homes.

Let us praise him on the highways,

Let us praise him in the marketplace.

Pilots and doctors, mechanics, and cooks

May their work become an offering of worship

In offices, stores, fishboats and farms.

May labor be done for the glory of Jesus.

 

He is worthy to be praised—

But that is not enough.

 

 

Charles Wesley said, “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing”

“My great Redeemer’s praise.”

But He deserves more that that.

Make that ten thousand.

Make that ten thousand times ten thousand!

Make that everyone who lives in heaven!

Make that everyone who lives on earth!

Make that everyone who lives under the earth!

 

He is worthy to be praised—

But that is not enough.

 

 

Let the song go up today and tomorrow

Let it rise up for the next thousand years

Then let it continue for ages and ages

And echo through the entire universe.

And even though everyone who has breath

Picks up the strain and joins the song—

That is not enough.

 

He is worthy to be praised like that—forever and ever

AND THAT STILL WON’T BE ENOUGH!

 

 

–Jurgen Schulz

 

 

 

Published in: on 10/09/2010 at 22:36  Leave a Comment  

Forgiven

The old baloney about heaven being for good guys and hell for bad guys is dead wrong. Heaven is populated entirely by forgiven sinners… and hell is populated entirely by forgiven sinners. The only difference between the two groups is that those in heaven accept the forgiveness and those in hell reject it.

-Robert Farrar Capon

Published in: on 10/07/2010 at 15:21  Leave a Comment  

Not prepared

 

People are prepared for everything except for the fact that beyond the darkness of their blindness there is a great light. They are prepared to go on breaking their backs plowing the same old field until the cows come home without seeing, until they stub their toes on it, that there is a treasure buried in that field rich enough to buy Texas. They are prepared for a God who strikes hard bargains but not for a God who gives as much for an hour’s work as for a day’s. They are prepared for a mustard-seed kingdom of God no bigger than the eye of a newt but not for the great banyan it becomes with birds in its branches singing Mozart. They are prepared for the potluck supper at First Presbyterian but not for the marriage supper of the lamb.

-Frederick Buechner

Can’t hear the music

There are deaf people

who think that people who dance are crazy

because they can’t hear the music.

Published in: on 10/06/2010 at 20:47  Leave a Comment  

Need to see Jesus

Today the need is not primarily for the recovery of doctrine and truth. There may be a need in a large area for the restoration of fundamental truth and doctrine to its right place, but when you have it, when you have exact doctrine, you have no assurance of having life. It is possible to be exact and correct in your doctrine and to be perfectly dead. Whatever may be the need of the recovery of lost truth, the need over all, greater than all, is the recovery of spiritual revelation as to the Lord Jesus, to see Him anew.

-T. Austin Sparks

Published in: on 10/06/2010 at 18:06  Leave a Comment  

Looking unto Jesus

The moment . . . we look away from Christ our experience of His fulness ceases. There is no power to overcome. Things become important to us which, seen in the light of eternity, are of no consequence. Then the deceiving power of sin bewitches us… We are easily hurt, become loveless, are filled with an earthly mind, or become fretful and anxious. We have lost our sense of proportion because of not looking unto Christ. The centre of gravity has been changed and is no longer in God but in ourselves. We have lost our way because we have lost our sense of direction in Christ.

–Eric Sauer

Published in: on 10/06/2010 at 6:03  Leave a Comment  

Truth is a Person

Sad, indeed, would the whole matter be if the Bible had told us everything God meant us to believe. But herein is the Bible greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever-unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” not the Bible, save as leading to Him.  –George MacDonald
Published in: on 10/04/2010 at 16:36  Leave a Comment  

Silent witnesses

The reason we can hope to find God is that He is here, engaged all the time in finding us. Every gleam of beauty is a pull toward Him. Every pulse of love is a tendril that draws us in His direction. Every verification of truth links the finite mind up into a Foundational Mind that undergirds us. Every deed of good will points toward a consummate Goodness which fulfills all our tiny adventures in faith. We can find Him because in Him we live and move and have our being.  –Rufus. M. Jones
Published in: on 10/04/2010 at 3:02  Leave a Comment  

The divine dance

And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama.  Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.

-C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 10/01/2010 at 16:09  Leave a Comment  
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