The Bright Field

Autumn-sunrise-in-the-park-country-path-in-the-forest_1024x600

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was
the pearl of great price, the one field
that had treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess. Life is not hurrying on
to a receding future, nor hankering
after an imagined past.
It is the turning aside like Moises
to the miracle of the lit bush,
to a brightness that seemed transitory
as your youth once, but is the
eternity that awaits you.

–R. S. Thomas,
The Bright Field

Advertisements
Published in: on 04/21/2018 at 11:00  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Only God can Make a Tree

wallpaper-spectacular-tree

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

–Joyce Kilmer

Published in: on 01/15/2017 at 15:38  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Outbursts of Kindness

beauty-3

A Narrative Reversal

christ-1d-copyBecause the true story of the world has been lost in the seemingly endless epic of sin, Christ must retell — in the entire motion and content of his life, lived both toward the Father and for his fellows — the tale from the beginning. Says Athanasius, the Logos became flesh in order to reestablish the original pattern after which the human form was crafted in the beginning, and to impress anew upon creation the beauty of the divine image . . . It is because Christ’s life effects a narrative reversal, which unwinds the story of sin and death and reinaugurates the story that God tells from before the foundation of the world . . .

–David Bentley Hart,
The Beauty of the Infinite

All is a Miracle

Yeil_doa_gzel_manzara copy

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

–Thich Nhat Hanh

Published in: on 07/17/2016 at 13:27  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Lost in Wonder

647567_6f1fc8253a0f89107937df23814b669b_large

We must recognize the fact that true wonder is not a passing emotion or some kind of shallow excitement. It has depth to it. True wonder reaches right into your heart and mind and shakes you up. It not only has depth, it has value; it enriches your life.

Divider Transparent bkgrnd 1

Wonder is not cheap amusement that brings a smile to your face. It is an encounter with reality – with God – that brings awe to your heart. You are overwhelmed with an emotion that is a mixture of gratitude, adoration, reverence, fear, — and love. You are not looking for explanations; you are lost in the wonder of God.

–Warren Wiersbe

Published in: on 07/09/2016 at 17:55  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Delightful Repetition

daisy-wallpaper

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,
Orthodoxy

 

Published in: on 06/04/2016 at 12:33  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Missing God at every turn

181269953721781037_Dyq3asjQ_bO GOD, Immortal and Invisible, forgive the faltering faith of those whose dwelling is among the mortal and the seen. We have no sight for unseen things, and we may have missed Thee at every turn. Every common bush may flame with fire, but we have no time to turn aside, and our hardened feet do not apprehend the holy ground. The heavens may declare Thy glory, but our eyes are too earthbound to read their story of infinity and peace. Day unto day may utter speech, but our ears are deaf with inward strife, and we hearken not nor understand. We have brooded long on the pain and anguish of the world, but we can read no redemption in the cross to which humanity is nailed; we have looked into the faces of our fellows, but discern no divine impression there; we have found little to love in the brother whom we have seen, how can we hope to love the God whom we have not seen? And now the awful fear has crept upon us that we are blind.

O Lord, that we might receive our sight. Amen.

–W.E. Orchard

What makes God glorious?

7934 copy 2

“Glory” is a timeworn, many-sided, vaguely understood term of rich significance. Most importantly it has to do with God, the source and sum of it. Glory is what inspires wonder and admiration. It is manifested excellence, the outward display of beauty and goodness, the visible demonstration of greatness.

The glory of God is when
God lets us see what He’s like.

It’s when His wonderfulness goes public, His awesomeness comes into view, His splendor is sighted.

We observe the glory of God in creation—an awe-inspiring, but limited view. We get a close-up view when we contemplate Jesus, the human life of God. The knowledge of the glory of God is seen partially in nature, but fully in the face of Jesus Christ.

1287975596 space copy

Great are the mysteries of creation. Greater still is the mystery of godliness, when the Architect of the galaxies was manifested in human form. The heavens display the greatness of God’s power. The Word made flesh displays the greatness of His love.

The heavens show us God’s hand;
Jesus shows us His heart.

The heavens declare the glory of God, but Jesus of Nazareth is the glory of God. He is the brightness of God’s glory, the express image of His person.

The heavens declare the glory of God in an impersonal, distant way. Jesus brings the glory of God near in a living, breathing, loving Person.

Jesus is the glory of God made human.

And never was He so glorious as when he became horribly inglorious. It happened on a cross—where the worst and the best, the highest and the lowest collided. The crucifixion of the incarnate God did not extinguish His glory, it expanded it. At Calvary the glory of God blazed forth in volcanic abundance.

It was in the moment of greatest ugliness that His beauty shone most brightly. It was in the place of utmost shame that His splendor burst forth. Violence brought virtue to light, as the crushing of a rose releases its fragrance.

Cross copy 5B copy

Glory was nailed to a cross and lifted up for all to see. The veil in the temple was ripped open—God’s glory had been revealed. It was the glory of His irrepressible, self-giving, self-sacrificing, redeeming, restoring love. It was the glory of His grace.

The heavens declare a piece of His glory.
The cross declares it all.

Here is the final unveiling of glory. It is a revelation, an earthquake, a feast, a waterfall, a love story, a symphony, a tsunami, a game changer, a thirst quencher, an explosion of hope, a healing balm for the wounds of our broken and flawed lives.

worship-sm-300x225 copy

“Cross” and “glory” are as far apart as two words can possibly be. They are polar opposites. Crucifixion was not just about torture—it was about shame. It was the ultimate disgrace. For Hebrews it meant being cursed. No one ever dreamed a Roman cross could be glorious.

Until God got on one.

He makes all things glorious.

Even a shameful cross.

Even unworthy sinners.

Such is the greatness of His glory.

–Jurgen O. Schulz

Surrounded by glory

127

Even a bare-bones
human existence
contains enough glory
to stagger anyone of us
into bewildered awe.

–Eugene Peterson

Published in: on 03/31/2015 at 17:27  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Nothing too absurd

25-Most-Beautiful-Animals-Photography-StumbleUpon-2 copy

A thing may be too sad to be believed
or too wicked to be believed
or too good to be believed;
but it cannot be too absurd
to be believed in this planet
of frogs and elephants,
of crocodiles and cuttle-fish.

–G.K. Chesterton
The Man Who Was Orthodox

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

God’s handwriting

amazinglandscapephotographybymarconi121

Never lose an opportunity
of seeing anything that is beautiful,
for beauty is God’s handwriting–a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky,
in every flower, and thank God for it
as a cup of blessing.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803 – 1882)

It is about relationship

11584024_2339_paisaje_bellisimo_H222931_L

The . . . larger purpose of the Father, Son and Spirit for humanity is not merely the deliverance from sin and corruption (though this is critical), but our exaltation into the very trinitarian life of God.

Real relationship—shared life,
communion of the most personal
and profound order, union—
stands as the driving purpose of God
in creation and redemption.

Logically speaking, when the great apostle stated that the Father predestined us to adoption before the foundation of the world, he is setting forward the ultimate framework within which we are to understand the coming of Jesus. It is about relationship, about communion, about union with the very life of the Father, Son and Spirit.

–C. Baxter Kruger

God of the Beautiful

797b366930697dbaf7645c9148138c70

One of my greatest difficulties in consenting to think of religion was that I thought I should have to give up my beautiful thoughts and my love for the things God has made. But I find that the happiness springing from all things not in themselves sinful is much increased by religion.

PrL-WoS-divider-410px

God is the God of the Beautiful—Religion is the love of the Beautiful, and Heaven is the Home of the Beautiful—Nature is tenfold brighter in the Sun of Righteousness, and my love of Nature is more intense since I became a Christian—if indeed I am one. God has not given me such thoughts and forbidden me to enjoy them.

–George MacDonald
(1824 – 1905)

Artwork: Jim Mitchell

Published in: on 09/30/2014 at 2:22  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

The sun, planets and grapes

f5cdbfd8

The sun, with all those planets
revolving around it
and dependent upon it,
can still ripen a bunch of grapes
as it if had nothing else
in the universe to do.

–Galileo Galilei
(1564 – 1642)

Published in: on 06/11/2014 at 8:06  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Altars everywhere

yellowwood-small-rs

Earth is so thick
with divine possibility
that it is a wonder
we can walk anywhere
without cracking our shins
on altars.

–Barbara Brown Taylor
An Altar in the World

Published in: on 05/23/2014 at 17:10  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Fun and God’s will

funny_dog_picture_469

Whence comes this idea that if what we are doing is fun, it can’t be God’s will? The God who made giraffes, a baby’s fingernails, a puppy’s tail, a crooknecked squash, the bobwhite’s call, and a young girl’s giggle, has a sense of humor. Make no mistake about that.

  –Catherine Marshall
(1914 – 1983)

Published in: on 05/17/2014 at 9:33  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Inventor of pleasure

coconut-palms-1280x800

In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you, they would have not been at all.

— St. Augustine

Learning to notice

17910_d5a9e6adcfb866da81035f93d2d05da2_large copy

We are here
to abet Creation
and to witness it,
to notice each thing
so each thing gets noticed…
so that Creation
need not play to
an empty house.

–Annie Dillard
The Meaning of Life

Published in: on 03/20/2014 at 12:33  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Outrageous

Amazing tongue

The whole order of things
is as outrageous as any miracle
which could presume
to violate it.

–G. K. Chesterton

Published in: on 03/19/2014 at 11:08  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Nature grins

Insects_06

All nature
wears one
universal grin.

–Henry Fielding
(1707 – 1754)

Published in: on 03/17/2014 at 12:38  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Why did He do it?

bombay-snow-geese-sunset-3-5-09-29127

He splashed orange in the sunrise
and cast the sky in blue.
And if you love to see geese as they gather,
chances are you’ll see that too.

Did he have make the squirrel’s tail furry?
Was he obliged to make the birds sing?
And the funny way that chickens scurry
or the majesty of thunder when it rings?

Why give a flower fragrance.
Why give food its taste?
Could it be he loves to see
that look upon your face?

–Max Lucado
He Chose the Nails

Photo: Kevin Fleming

Published in: on 03/13/2014 at 18:08  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Playful universe

d559d265

The universe is not
God at work but
God at play.

–Leonard Sweet
The Well Played Life

Sillier and better fun

bear - flower

“Talking of beasts and birds…when you read a scientific account of any animal’s life, you get an impression of laborious, incessant almost rational economic activity, as if all animals were Germans. But when you study any animal you know, what strikes you is their cheerful fatuity, the pointlessness of nearly all they do. Say what you like, Barfield. The world is sillier and better fun than they make out.”

–C. S. Lewis
A letter to Owen Barfield

Published in: on 03/10/2014 at 11:40  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Lacking moderation

tumblr_mf0omyAhdx1qbzsujo1_500

God never
seems capable
of moderation.

–N. D. Wilson

Published in: on 03/03/2014 at 18:48  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Loved into existence

1287973383-BT4GL4M

God, who needs nothing,
loves into existence
wholly superfluous creatures
in order that he may love
and perfect them.

–C. S. Lewis
The Four Loves

Published in: on 01/24/2014 at 5:44  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Beauty was God’s idea

britishinteriors

One of my greatest difficulties in considering to think of religion… was that I thought I should have to give up my beautiful thoughts and my love for the things God had made. But I find that the happiness springing from all things not in themselves sinful is much increased by religion. God is the God of the beautiful, Religion the love of the Beautiful, and Heaven the House of the Beautiful—nature is tenfold brighter in the sun of righteousness, and my love of nature is more intense since I became a Christian.

–George MacDonald
(1824 – 1905)

Image: Stephen Darbishire

The amazing fact

living-on-the-edge

The probability of us
being here is so small,
you’d think the mere fact
of existing would keep us all
in a contented dazzlement
of surprise.

–C. S. Lewis

Image: Ross Catrow

Published in: on 01/04/2014 at 8:17  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

The overflow of grace

beautiful-beauty-clouds-creation-god-light-favim-com-724381

Before all time; prior to all worlds; when there was nothing “outside of” God Himself; when the Father, Son, and Spirit found eternal, absolute, and unimaginable blessing, pleasure, and joy in Their holy triunity — it was Their agreed purpose to create a world. That world would fall. But in unison — and at infinitely great cost — this glorious triune God planned to bring you (if you are a believer) grace and salvation.

–Sinclair Ferguson

%d bloggers like this: