The Serpent Crusher

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Scripture tells us the story of how a Garden is transformed into a Garden City, but only after a serpent had turned that Garden into a howling wilderness… which lasted until an appointed warrior came to slay the serpent, giving up his life in the process, but with his blood effecting the transfor-mation of the wilderness into the Garden City.

–Doug Wilson
The Bible in One Sentence

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Getting his family back

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In a nutshell,
the Bible from Genesis 3
to Revelation 22
tells the story of a God
reckless with desire
to get his family back.

–Philip Yancey

Beauty, love and shampoo

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The goal of all marketing is the reduction of a big desire to a small desire. In other words, you long for beauty, love, friendship, wisdom, and it is the job of the marketer to convince you that the way you will achieve these desires is to purchase a certain brand of shampoo.

–Kimberly Shankman

No such corner

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They [human beings] wanted, as we say, to “call their souls their own.” But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, “This is our business, not yours.” But there is no such corner.

–C. S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain

Published in: on 09/12/2013 at 4:21  Leave a Comment  
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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

The deep desire

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If we will listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our heart every moment of our lives. It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love.

We’ve heard it in our favorite music,
sensed it at the birth of our first child,
been drawn to it while watching
the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean.

The Romance is even present in times of great personal suffering: the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend. Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, and adventure.

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This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality. It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for a sense of being truly alive. However we may describe this deep desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life. And the voice that calls to us in this place is none other than the voice of God.

-Brent Curtis & John Eldredge
The Sacred Romance
(emphasis added)

Creation restored

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The cross of Christ is first and centrally God’s means of reconciling sinful people to his sinless self. But it is bigger than that too. From the ground we see the cross as our bridge to God. From the air, the cross is our bridge to the restoration of all things.

The cross of the battered Son of God
is the battering ram through
the blockade into Eden.

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It is our key into a better Eden, into the wonders of the new-covenant kingdom, of which the old was just a shadow. The cross is the linchpin in God’s plan to restore all creation. Is it any wonder, then, that the empty tomb opened out into a garden?”

–Matt Chandler
The Explicit Gospel
(emphasis added)

Foretaste of the future

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Jesus’ miracles are not just
a challenge to our minds,
but a promise to our hearts,
that the world we all want is coming.

–Timothy Keller

More than a dream

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Faith is the assurance
that the best and holiest dream
is true after all.

–Frederick Buechner

Published in: on 05/01/2013 at 4:58  Leave a Comment  
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Original glory

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Earlier in the Story, back in the beginning of our time on earth, a great glory was bestowed upon us. All of us—men and women—were created in the image of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made, as the saying goes. Living icons of the living God. Those who have ever stood before him fall to their knees without even thinking, as you find yourself breathless before the Grand Canyon, a sunrise, the cliffs by the sea. That glory was shared with us; we were in Chesterton’s phrase, “statues of God walking about in a Garden,” endowed with strength and beauty all our own. All that you ever wished you could be, you were—and more. We were glorious.

When I look at the night sky 
and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you have set in place—
what are mortals that you should think of us, 
mere humans that you should care for us?
For you have made us only a little lower than God, 
and you crowned us with glory and with honor.
(Psa. 8:3-5 NLT)

I daresay we’ve heard a little about original sin, 
but not nearly enough about original glory, 
which come before sin and is 
much deeper to our nature.

We were crowned with glory and with honor. Why does a woman long to be beautiful? How does a man hope to be found brave? Because we remember, if only faintly, that we were once more than we are now.

–John Eldredege
Epic
(emphasis added)

Myths, legends and the gospel

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On the evening of September 19, 1931, Lewis had a long discussion with one of his closest friends, J. R. R. Tolkien . . .

Lewis said that he could not see what meaning Christ’s life, death and resurrection could possibly have for him living 1900 years after the events. Tolkien replied that the gospel works in the same way that myths work. Lewis had no problem in being moved by myths and legends – they gave him a sense of joy and touched a chord of longing in his heart. But, ‘they are lies breathed through silver’ Lewis replied.

No, said Tolkien, they are not completely lies – rather, myths have elements of the truth within the distortions and unworthy outer husk they often wear.

Myths, said Tolkien, are echoes
or memories of the truth
that God had originally made known
to Adam and Eve, the ancestors
of the whole human race.

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There are in myths, memories of the un-fallen world, memories of paradise when the world was not stained by human rebellion but was characterized only by goodness and joy in all of life; there is a sense of the shame and tragedy of the brokenness of our present life; and there are hints of the promise and hope of redemption, of the setting right of all things. The Gospel is the true myth, the great fairy story.

In the Gospel of Christ
all the elements of truth in the pagan myths
find their fulfillment.

This conversation (it went on till 3:00 am) was a very significant turning point in Lewis’ conversion, for just a few days afterwards Lewis came to faith in Christ.

Jerram Barrs
Echoes of Eden
(emphasis added)

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