Outrageous Grace

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When people realize that they have received a gift they can never repay, they notify their faces and their actions, and the tenor of their lives becomes one of humble and joyful thanksgiving. They simply rejoice in the gift. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love is everlasting” (Ps. 107:1).

–Brennan Manning,
Ruthless Trust

Published in: on 05/30/2017 at 16:59  Leave a Comment  
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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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Made to Run on Divine Fuel

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God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.

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That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

–C. S. Lewis,
Mere Christianity

Choosing Joy

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Published in: on 10/21/2016 at 9:22  Leave a Comment  
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Not Wild Enough

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Published in: on 06/18/2016 at 16:48  Leave a Comment  
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Our True Home and Happiness

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When you have learned
that your only home
is God’s presence,
and your only happiness
is in doing God’s will,
there is nothing more
that I can teach you.

–Edward Dennet
(1831-1914)

Published in: on 04/10/2016 at 5:39  Leave a Comment  
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Redemptively invaded

earth 22 copy 2The Gospel is not an academic discussion of truth—a set of doctrines about life, but an interpretation of “things” (Lk. 1:1) . . . Some “things” had happened on this earth that had never happened before—our planet has been invaded by God—redemptively invaded. That is the biggest and most decisive “thing” that has ever happened or can happen on this planet. . . .

This is cosmic news—the Good News, that will make every planet, every cell, every thing dance with joy at the wonder of it.

Of all the things that have happened, or could happen this is the thing . . . the Central Cosmic Fact: God appeared on a little planet to take us by the hand and put us back on the Way. This is news—Good News—comparatively speaking, the only Good News that ever reached our planet.

-–E. Stanley Jones

Future fulfillment

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There is no inborn longing
that shall not be fulfilled.
I think that is as certain as 
the forgiveness of sins.

–George MacDonald

Published in: on 10/14/2015 at 11:34  Leave a Comment  
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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

Reverence and Rejoicing

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It is fascinating to notice how Scripture often combines “furious opposites.” The psalm, for instance, that says, “The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble” is found right alongside another that declares, “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth” (Psa. 99:1; 100:1). This God evokes both holy trembling and happy shouting. He inspires dread and delight (Psa. 2:11). In his presence we are constrained not only to bow down but also to dance, to be awestruck and joy-filled. It makes for a great mix. Here is worship that motivates holiness and happiness. It frees us from the extremes of frivolity and frigidity, of emotionalism and formalism. Neither reverence or rejoicing should be absent. A fascinating and powerful combination.

–Jurgen O. Schulz

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

In contact with Life

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Christ’s communion with His Father was the life-center, the point of contact with Eternity, whence radiated the joy and the power of the primitive Christian flock… When the young man with great possessions asked Jesus, “What shall I do to be saved?” Jesus replied in effect, “Put aside all lesser interests, strip off unrealities, and come, give yourself the chance of catching the infection of holiness from Me!”

–Evelyn Underhill

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

Pleasure and Pain

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Pleasure and pain are, in a word, the positive and negative poles between which flow the currents of human life. Detach one pole, and this life will cease. People who ask for a painless world don’t truly know what they are asking for.

–Dallas Willard
The Allure of Gentleness

Published in: on 04/23/2015 at 21:50  Leave a Comment  
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The Dance Begins

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Now is the shining fabric of our day
Turn open, flung apart, rent wide by love.
Never again the tight, enclosing sky,
The blue bowl or the star-illumined tent.
We are laid open to infinity,
For Easter love has burst His tomb and ours.
Now nothing shelters us from God’s desire‚
Not flesh, not sky, not stars, not even sin.
Now glory waits so He can enter in.
Now does the dance begin.

–Elizabeth Rooney

The secret of His beauty

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The triunity of God
is the secret
of his beauty.
If we deny this,
we have a God
without radiance,
without joy,
without humor.

–Karl Barth

Brokenness, hope and joy

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Brokenness is realizing
Jesus is all we have.
Hope is realizing
He is all we need.
Joy is realizing
He is all we want.

–Larry Crabb

Published in: on 03/02/2015 at 17:09  Leave a Comment  
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Beyond all expectation

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I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he has abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in ‘the High Countries.’

–C. S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Artwork: Freydoon Rassouli

Published in: on 02/14/2015 at 8:24  Leave a Comment  
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The sin of not rejoicing

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I think we all sin
by needlessly disobeying
the apostolic injunction
to ‘rejoice’ as much as
by anything else.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 01/29/2015 at 3:19  Leave a Comment  
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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

 

Three things promised

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Jesus promised
the disciples three things–
that they would be
completely fearless,
absurdly happy and
in constant trouble.

—G. K. Chesterton

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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Burdensome faith

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If my religion is not based
on a personal history with Jesus
it becomes something
I suffer from, not a joyous thing,
but something that keeps me
from doing what I want to.

–Oswald Chambers
(1874–1917)

The speed of humor

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Common sense
and a sense of humor
are the same thing,
moving at different speeds.
A sense of humor is just
common sense,
dancing.

–William James

The serious business of joy

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Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we are placed here to live. But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest (most like) that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of heaven.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 10/30/2014 at 4:21  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

Holiness is a flood

green - waterfallWe should strive for holiness, but holiness is a flood, not an absence. Are you the kind of parent who can create joys for your children that they never imagined wanting? Does your sun shine, warming the faces of others? Does your rain green the world around you? Do you end your days with anything resembling a sunset? Do you begin with a dawn?

We say that we would like to be more like God. So be more thrilled with moonlight. And babies. And what makes them. And holding on to one lover until you’ve both been aged to wine, ready to pour. Holiness is nothing like a building code. Holiness is 80-year-old hands crafting an apple pie for others, again. It is aspen trees in a backlit breeze. It is fire on the mountain.

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Speak your joy. Mean it. Sing it. Do it. Push it down into your bones. Let it overflow your banks and flood the lives of others.

At his right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. When we are truly like him, the same will be said of us.

–N. D. Wilson
Lighten Up, Christians

Published in: on 09/21/2014 at 5:37  Leave a Comment  
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Calling forth joy

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To know that God is your Father and that he loves you, his adopted child, no less than he loves his only begotten Son and to know that enjoyment of God’s love and glory for all eternity are pledged to you brings inward delight that is sometimes over-whelming; and this also is the Spirit’s doing. For the “joy in the Holy Spirit,” in terms of which Paul defines the kingdom of God in Romans 14:17, is the “rejoicing in God” spoken of in Romans 5:2,11, and it is the Spirit’s witness to God’s love for us that calls forth this joy.

-James I. Packer
Keep in Step with the Spirit

Retaining the wonder

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Let us remember one thing: the worst thing that can happen to our Christianity is to let it become a thing taken for granted . . . The marvel of God’s gracious act upon our life never really dawns upon us unless we render thanks to him every day. Only the man who gives thanks retains the wonder of God’s fatherly love in his thoughts. But the one who has this wonder in his thoughts keeps the very spring and freshness of his Christianity. He holds on daily and nightly, to a living joy in his Lord and Saviour.

–Helmut Thielicke
The Waiting Father

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