An Irish blessing

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May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again, May God hold you
In the palm of his hand.

–Irish Blessing

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Published in: on 06/30/2013 at 16:53  Leave a Comment  
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Forgiving the inexcusable

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To be a Christian means
to forgive the inexcusable
because God has forgiven
the inexcusable in you.

–C. S. Lewis

Not a mild benevolence

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The love of God
is not a mild benevolence;
it is a consuming fire.
To those who resist it
it becomes an eternal torment.
To those who are willing
to face its demands,
it becomes a fire
that cleanses and purifies…

–Bede Griffiths
The Golden String

Joy and danger

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Forgiveness of sins,
ought to make you rejoice;
this is the very heart of Christianity,
and yet it is a mighty dangerous
thing to preach.

–Martin Luther
Table Talk

Something to forgive

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Martin Luther’s close friend was Philipp Melanchthon, author of the Augsburg Confession. Melanchthon was a cool man where Luther was fervid, a scholar as opposed to a doer, and he continued to live like a monk even after he had joined the German Reformation . . . One day Luther lost patience with Melanchthon’s virtuous reserve. “For heaven’s sake,” he roared, “why don’t you go out and sin a little? God deserves to have something to forgive you for!”

–Phyliss McGinley

Fabulous forgiveness

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[God’s forgiveness] is neither a response to a suitable worthy confession, nor the acceptance of a reasonable apology. Absolvere in Latin means not only to loosen, to free, to acquit; it also means to dispose of, to complete, to finish. When God pardons, therefore, he does not say he understands our weaknesses or makes allowances for our errors; rather he disposes of, he finishes with, the whole of our dead life and raises us up with a new one. He does not so much deal with our derelictions as he does drop them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. He forgets our sins in the darkness of Jesus’ expiration. He finds us, in short, in the desert of death, not in the garden of improvement; and in the power of Jesus resurrection, he puts us on his shoulders rejoicing and brings us home.

–Robert Farrar Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

Incomparable goodness

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“The Word became flesh” . . . His words and his deeds blended like the words and music of a song. He was so truthful that He was truth, so loving that He was love, so good that He was goodness, so morally beautiful that He was beauty, so living that He was life, so godlike that he was God.

–E. Stanley Jones

He never forgot who He was

 

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“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17, NJKV).

These were the words of God Himself, and though only a handful, they were the most important words that Jesus would ever hear. These words were spoken before the oppressed and diseased were healed. They were spoken before He preached the Sermon on the Mount. They were spoken before He turned water into win or walked on water . . .

The trajectory of Jesus’ life and
(in a real sense) the fate of the world
hung on those few words.

They were not the words of a Father celebrating the good things His Son had done, because hadn’t really done anything yet. Even though Jesus was perfect, it wasn’t His perfection that brought the Father such delight. It was His very existence.

The language of God’s passion litters the pages of the Old Testament – the word beloved is scattered through the stories of my human lives. But now, for the first time in human history, a man had come who really believed that He was the beloved of God, one who would always remember and would make every decision of His life based on the truth of those words.

Jesus was like us in many ways. Scripture says He was “in all points tempted as we are.” But of all the ways He was different from us, perhaps this is the most crucial one: Jesus never forgot who He was.

–Jonathan Martin
Prototype

Satisfied and wanting more

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“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more. The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life” (John 4:14 NEB).

Everyone who drinks this water, the waters of the world, “will be thirsty again.” The waters of this world – sex, money, pleasure, fame – have the doom of thirst upon them. You get them and then you know that they are not what you really want. “But whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more.”

“Never suffer thirst”  – 
that is literally true.
For the inner being and Christ
are made for each other,
and when you find him you find yourself.
The soul cries “This is it,”
and you never thirst again.

But a strange thing happens: “The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life.” The gift, “the water that I shall give,” will become “an inner spring,” become an inner spontaneity. The gift creates spontaneity. That is a miracle, for gifts usually create dependence and weakness. This creates independence and strength, “an inner spring.” Another strange thing happens: The person who drinks of the water which Jesus gives “will never suffer thirst anymore” – he will be forever satisfied, and yet that water becomes “an inner spring always welling up for eternal life.” That satisfaction becomes not a dissatisfaction, but an unsatisfaction for more; it becomes something “always welling up for eternal life,” always crying for more of this eternal life. A paradox, but a blessed paradox. I had what I wanted and I wanted more.

–E. Stanley Jones
A Song of Ascents

Listening for His voice

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The Christian’s interest in Scripture
has always been in hearing God speak,
not in analyzing moral memos.

–Eugene Peterson

A new beginning

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Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world . . .  That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God’s new world, which he has thrown open before us.

–N.T. Wright

He gives a Song

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Life to me has not been a struggle. It has been, and is, a Song. The struggle has been only when I have departed from His Way. Only when I have jumped the rails of his Way and have bumped along the ties of my own self-will, tearing myself and my situation to pieces, have I had a struggle, a struggle to get back on the rails, to get back on the Way to live – his will.

When I am in his will,
life is not a struggle;
it is a Song.

And it is a Song, not a song, a ditty to divert you from reality, but a Song which has behind it the “music of the spheres”; the sum total of reality is behind your Song. You have something to sing about. You sing the song that the “morning stars sang” and when “all the sons of God shouted for joy” – that strain is in it. You have cosmic backing. You sing because you can’t help it. It’s the only method of expression . . .

But my Song will not be primarily about special events, but about the special event, about Jesus Christ. I have something to sing about – and the something is a Someone.

–E. Stanley Jones
A Song of Ascents

Longing for Home

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Maybe at the heart
of all our traveling
is the dream of someday,
somehow, getting Home.

–Frederick Buechner

Image by AJ Gonfiantini

Nothing to prove

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When we know we are loved by God,
we don’t have to prove
anything to anyone.
There is nothing we can do
to make ourselves more beloved
than we are.

–Jonathan Martin
Prototype

Faithing storms

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Faith does not lie in trusting God
to stop the storm, but in trusting Him
to enable us to walk through the storm.

–Jill Briscoe

Image by Craig Stevens

Published in: on 06/14/2013 at 7:11  Leave a Comment  
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More than enough

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There is more than enough grace
for yesterday’s faux pas,
today’s challenges,
and tomorrow’s unknowns.

–Scotty Smith ‏

Published in: on 06/13/2013 at 3:52  Leave a Comment  
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Extreme mercy

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There is more mercy
in Christ than
sin in us.

—Richard Sibbes
(1577–1635)

Published in: on 06/12/2013 at 5:17  Leave a Comment  
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Irreversible

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The sad thing about time
is that it flows in one direction
and there are no do-overs.
That’s why God invented
FORGIVENESS.

–Gregory Boyd ‏

Published in: on 06/11/2013 at 6:13  Leave a Comment  
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Loved

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In his love he wraps and holds us.
He enfolds us for love,
and he will never let us go.

–Julian of Norwich
(1342 – c. 1416)

Published in: on 06/09/2013 at 14:21  Leave a Comment  
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It’s all about Him

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Jesus isn’t the vital piece
of the puzzle.
He’s the picture.

–Glen Scrivener

Published in: on 06/08/2013 at 16:11  Leave a Comment  
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Face-to-face fellowship

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The eternal purpose of the Father is to bring us into existence, and not just into existence but into His house. And not just into His house but to His table, and not just to his table but to His right hand. And not just to His right hand but into conversation with Him, and not just into conversation with Him, but into face-to-face fellowship with God the Father Himself.

–C. Baxter Kruger

Published in: on 06/07/2013 at 5:09  Leave a Comment  
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The first law of life

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For the first law of life is this; You must lose your life to find it. If you find it by centering on yourself, in no matter how religious a way, you will lose it. It will disintegrate through conflict. You are an off-centered person—“ecc-centric.” The universe doesn’t back that way of life. Hence you always are “up against it.” But when to decide “to belong”—to surrender to Christ and make Him the center—then you are not up against it”; you’re “with it”; the sum total of reality works with you and not against you. You are aligned.

When you belong to Jesus Christ,
“then everything belongs to you”—
everything works with you and for you.

Only evil, which is “live” spelled backwards, works against you.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Way to Power and Poise

Coming home

Glory of Morning

The soul of man
can finally shout
“Home, sweet home,”
when it has found its true rest
in the will of God.

–Fuchsia Pickett

Published in: on 06/05/2013 at 6:20  Leave a Comment  
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This is the way!

Road Shafts of Autumn Sunlight

Sin is “novel,” goodness is natural. The truly Christian person is the truly natural person. He is not living against the grain of the universe, but with it. He is not barking his shins on the system of things. He knows his way about in a universe of this kind—he knows how to live. I know exactly how I feel when I sin—I am orphaned, estranged, and everything within me cries, “This is not the way.” I also know exactly how I feel when I live the Christian way—I am universalized, at home. Everything within me cries, “This is the way!” His way is my way.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Word Became Flesh

Unlimited access

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There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal.

The Christian does not go to the temple to worship.
The Christian takes the temple with him or her.

Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us.

–Ravi Zacharias
Jesus Among Other Gods

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