Pleasure Was God’s Idea

standing on beach

Pleasure is designed to
raise our sense of God’s goodness,
deepen our gratitude to him,
and strengthen our hope of
richer pleasures to come.

–J. I. Packer

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On the Path of Life

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Published in: on 01/13/2017 at 9:39  Leave a Comment  
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Outbursts of Kindness

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Celebrating God’s Goodness

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Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God’s goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new-created upon your account: and under the sense of so great a blessing, let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a Creator.

–William Law (1686-1761),
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Where Generosity Goes Wild

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Patches of Godlight

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Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.

–C. S. Lewis,
Letters to Malcolm

Not just survival

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It is worth mentioning . . .
that this God . . .
is the one who created kites,
and sex, and good wine,
and spring flowers,
and children’s eyes.
Coming home to him
will not just be survival—
it could turn out to be
an awful lot of fun.

–Adrian Plass
When You Walk

More to come

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We long for more
and God’s promise is
that there is more awaiting us.
More to delight us than
we will ever exhaust.

–C. S. Lewis

Abundant supply

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“Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up
for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared
for those who trust in You…”

–Psalm 31:19 (NKJV)

Two lessons to learn

Stephen Darbishire 1940 - British Interiors and Landscape painter - Tutt'Art@ (18)

There are but two lessons
for the Christian to learn:
the one is to enjoy
God in everything;
the other is to enjoy
everything in God.

–Charles Simeon
(1759–1836)

Artwork: Stephen Darbishire

Start living now

bodegones-ventanas-flores-oleos copy 2Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.

–Mary Manin Morrissey

 

Artwork: Stephen Darbishire

 

Reason to rejoice

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God is the one
who helps us, who accepts us,
who brings us holiness
in our unholiness.
In this God we may and can
and must rejoice.

–Karl Barth

Art: Stephen Darbishire

Published in: on 11/26/2014 at 2:18  Leave a Comment  
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Gifts from God

b90d9ba1a77ae29c06ff29319f31edd7Only those
who give thanks
are able to rejoice,
for only they
are conscious
that life, freedom
and well-being
are not rights
but gifts.

–Roger Scruton

 

 

Artwork: Lynne Henderson

Looking to the Source

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There is but one good;
that is God.
Everything else is good
when it looks to Him
and bad when it turns
from Him.

–C. S. Lewis

The Giver of gladness

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Every spring-fountain of gladness about us is his making and his delight. He tends us and cares for us; he is close to us, breathing into our nostrils the breath of life, and breathing into our spirit this thought and that thought to make us look up and recognize the love and the care around us. . . . To recognize and know this loving-kindness, and to stand up in it strong and glad; this is the ministration of God unto us.

–George MacDonald
(1824 – 1905)

Image: Henri Martin

We change, He is the same

Free and happy

The God who looked on you with joy when you were small and racing across His gift of green grass on His gift of feet beneath His gift of sky watched by His gift of a mother with His gift of love in His gift of her eyes, is the same God who will look on you as that race finally ends. He is the same, but we have changed, between our opening lines and our final page.

― N. D. Wilson 
Death By Living

Published in: on 05/14/2014 at 19:03  Leave a Comment  
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When blessing runs wild

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When the camel you’re riding runs wild, nothing will stop it. You cling to its neck. You wrench at its beard and long lip. You cry into its soft ear for mercy. You threaten vengeance. Either you hurl yourself to death from its pitching back or you ride out its madness to the end. It was not I who ran off with my father’s blessing. It was my father’s blessing that ran off with me. Often since then I have cried for mercy with sand in my teeth…The blessing will take me where it will take me. It is beautiful and it is appalling. It races through the barren hills to an end of its own.

–Frederick Buechner
The Son of Laughter

Easy to live with

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Unfortunately, many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God, and these notions poison their hearts and destroy their inward freedom . . . Their idea of God rules out the possibility of His being happy in His people, and they attribute the singing and shouting to sheer fanaticism. Unhappy sods, these, doomed to go heavily on their melancholy way, grimly determined to do right if the heavens fall and to be on the winning side in the day of judgment.

How good it would be if we could learn
that God is easy to live with.

He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.

–A. W. Tozer
The Root of the Righteous

The problem of good

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We have spent centuries of philosophy trying to solve “the problem of evil,” yet I believe the much more confounding and astounding issue is the “problem of good.” How do we account for so much gratuitous and sheer goodness in this world? Tackling this problem would achieve much better results.

–Richard Rohr
Immortal Diamond

 

Lacking moderation

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God never
seems capable
of moderation.

–N. D. Wilson

Published in: on 03/03/2014 at 18:48  Leave a Comment  
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Wider and vaster

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Narrow is the gate
that leads to heaven,
and so shall it always be,
but wide are God’s mercies,
so much wider and vaster
and more appalling
than ever I knew.

–Leslie Leyland Fields

The best is yet to come

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“You have kept the good wine until now” (Jn. 2:10).

In this world the best comes first. The wonder of childhood vanishes before the harsh realities of adulthood. The vigor of youth gives way to the feebleness of old age. Sin’s pleasure is followed by regret and remorse, dreams turn into illusions, and hope frequently gets reduced to cynicism. In a very short time the latest cutting edge innovation becomes outdated and obsolete.

We live on a planet where magnificence
quickly turns to monotony.

In Christ it works the other way. The best comes last. His love gets sweeter, his grace grows richer, his presence more comforting. The road that starts narrow keeps getting wider, the good news of the gospel continually shines brighter. The end is better than the beginning.

And when we finally get to the other side, we will discover that everything is more wonderful than we ever dreamed—and it will keep on getting better! In Christ we are involved in an everlasting process of going higher, an unending experience of “grace upon grace,” an eternal increase of goodness.

The phrase: “It doesn’t get any better than this”—is not applicable in God’s kingdom. However good it gets—the best wine is yet to come.

–Jurgen Schulz

Photo: Marek Jedzer

Taking nothing for granted

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To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us–and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful man knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

–Thomas Merton
Thoughts in Solitude

Image: Stephen Darbishire

 

New beginnings

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God is for ever and for ever
getting new mornings
out of old nights,
fair beginnings out of
dismal endings.

–F. W. Boreham

Published in: on 12/30/2013 at 1:53  Leave a Comment  
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Truth that liberates

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This [is] . . . the most liberating declaration ever uttered: “If you abide in My word,” said Jesus, “You are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:31-32). Free from narrow-mindedness and parochial bias; free from denominational supposition; free from received opinions and traditional ignorance; free from shackles restraining redeemed intellectual curiosity and redeemed imagination; free from cant and shibboleth and prescribed terms of speech. Free to begin thinking like a Christian!

Free to enter wholly
into all those good things
that the loving heavenly Father
welcomes believers to enjoy.

Free to become conscious, thankful recipients of God’s bounteous grace, wherever one finds it and however it may be mediated to him: as courtesy from a stranger, hospitality from mere acquaintances, civility from a bureaucrat, sportsmanship from a golfing partner, compassion from an emergency-room nurse, diligence from an auto assembly-line worker, not to mention all the other elements of God’s common grace poured out through the blessings of friendship, the immeasurable wealth of love, as well as the restraining power of God that holds back evil’s worst assaults.

–D. Bruce Lockerbie

Image: hpizka

Only God is good

Sunflowers-2-891487

There is but one good;
that is God.
Everything else is good
when it looks to Him
and bad when it turns
from Him.

–C. S. Lewis

He seeks to be found

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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
(1863-1948)

His will means life

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God is not concerned about you doing his will because he wants to be obeyed. He is concerned about you—about making you blessed with his blessedness. He is not thinking about himself, but about you.

–George MacDonald
(paraphrased)

Image: Nelleke Pieters

Blind to the blessing

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It is generally true that
all that is required to make people 
unmindful of what they owe God
for any blessing is that they
should receive that blessing
often and regularly.

–Richard Whately
(1787 – 1863)

Image: Frederick G. Cotman

Fountain of rich grace

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Men are afraid to have good thoughts of God. They think it is a boldness to eye God as good, gracious, tender, kind, loving. I speak of saints. They can judge him hard, austere, severe, almost implacable, and fierce (the very worst affections of the very worst of men, and most hated by God). Is not this soul-deceit from Satan? Was it not his design from the beginning to inject such thoughts of God?

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Assure yourself, then, there is nothing more acceptable to the Father than for us to keep up our hearts unto him as the eternal fountain of all that rich grace which flows out to sinners in the blood of Jesus.

–John Owen
(1616 – 1683)

Image: Joseph Boltrukiewicz

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