Beyond all expectation

Heaven, shores

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

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Published in: on 02/14/2015 at 8:24  Leave a Comment  
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Did the Lamb succeed?

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Try this one on for size..read all of it. Under the old covenant when a man sinned he could have his sins taken care of by taking a lamb to the temple to be sacrificed. The priest representing God would inspect the lamb to make sure it was spotless and without fault. HE WOULD NEVER EXAMINE OR SCRUTINIZE THE SINNER ONLY THE LAMB.

If the lamb was perfect it would be sacrificed in place of the sinner to pay for the sin of the man who was guilty. The man would go away from God with a clear conscience….In the book of John, JESUS IS CALLED THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD. I guess the only question that remains is: did the Lamb do what He was sent to do or did He fail?

–Don Keathley

A New Epicenter

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At the Sea of Galilee, Christ called to the disciples to follow him. And they did so, leaving behind their boats and businesses. They were so taken with Christ that they never felt the cost of their renunciation. They walked in the epicenter of a new adoration that had silently slain their old affections. Renunciation that is self-aware is mere asceticism, subtly boasting its own magnificent sacrifice.

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The apostles came to Christ, having surrendered the possessions that stood between them and the will of God. Even so, we do not remember them because they chose poverty, but because they adored Christ. If we too are spellbound by His excellence, relinquishment will be more a byproduct of devotion than a prerequisite of it.

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True lovers of Christ can stand in the pain of self denial . . . The glory of the Spirit blinds them to the showy temporal treasures of earth. They see only the Host. His hands are bruised and scarred; his once broken fingers now break the loaf.

–Calvin Miller
Table of Inwardness

The goal is to love

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To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished.

Our goal was never to live;
our goal is to love.

It is the goal of all noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your life itself.

–N. D. Wilson
Empire of Bones

Published in: on 01/11/2014 at 3:48  Leave a Comment  
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A magnificent obsession

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There is a magnificent insanity about the parable that [Jesus told in Mt. 13:45]. It has to do with a pearl freak—a merchant whose hobby was pearls. One day he evidently came across a pearl to end all pearls. You can imagine the quick intake of his breath, his staring eyes, the licking of his dry lips, the anxious inquiry about price, the haggling, the pondering of the tremendous cost of the pearl. You can also imagine him returning home and looking over the rest of his pearl collection. With shaking hands he would pick them up one by one and drop them into a soft leather pouch. Not only the pearls but house, slaves, everything went so that the one pearl might be his.

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And then, bereft of everything but a big pearl—what would the food do? You can’t eat pearls. In my mind is a picture of a crazy merchant sitting in a miserable hovel, his glowing eyes feasting on his pearl and his fingers gently caressing it. Crazy? Perhaps he is the one sane person among us.

It all depends on whether the pearl was worth it. We see at once that treasure in heaven would be worth it. Why are we so quick to opt for earthly treasure and so slow to be obsessed with the heavenly? Perhaps it is because we do not believe in heavenly realities. They represent a celestial cliché in our minds, but no more. Basically you see, it is faith that makes us step lightheartedly along the Way of the Cross—not a spirit of sacrifice but faith that the next life is important…

The Way of the Cross is a magnificent obsession with a heavenly pearl, beside which everything else in life has no value.

–John White
The Cost of Commitment

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