All is a Miracle

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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

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Published in: on 07/17/2016 at 13:27  Leave a Comment  
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Lost in Wonder

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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.

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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  
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Growing into Wonder

2eb4a860001a17954de660ffWe mature as wonder expands.
We grow up as we become
as little children.
–Peter Leithart

Published in: on 04/06/2016 at 19:04  Leave a Comment  
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What makes God glorious?

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

Lacking wonder

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We are perishing
for want of wonder,
not for want
of wonders.

–G. K. Chesterton

Surrounded by glory

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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  
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The need to worship

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I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a Big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation.

I need to worship because
without it I lose a sense of wonder
and gratitude and plod through life
with blinders on.

I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.

― John Ortberg

Two ways to live

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There are only
two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing
is a miracle.
The other is as though
everything is.

–Albert Einstein
(1879-1955)

Published in: on 11/11/2014 at 3:13  Leave a Comment  
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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

The need to worship

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I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a Big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.

–John Ortberg

Published in: on 06/27/2014 at 11:56  Leave a Comment  
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Altars everywhere

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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  
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The value of the ordinary

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Do not forget that
the value and interest of life
is not so much to do
with conspicuous things . . .
as to do ordinary things
with the perception of
their enormous value.

–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Worship and wonder

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Wonder is a deep, profound experience. The typical secular education of our day makes us suspicious or callous to wonder. It seems so unscientific, so unsophisticated, and ultimately, so seemingly unnecessary. So they say. But to lose the sense of wonder is to lose one of the great beauties of life. Worship, on the other hand, exercises our sense of wonder. It helps us see things and hear things and feel things, that not everyone recognizes. Worship, in essence, is wonderful.

–Hughes Oliphant Old

Published in: on 01/22/2014 at 19:39  Leave a Comment  
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The amazing fact

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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  
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The best things

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The best things are nearest:
breath in your nostrils,
light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet,
duties at your hand,
the path of God
just before you.

–Robert Louis Stevenson

When we cease to believe

Bello y maravilloso!!!

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.

–Dag Hammarskjold
(1905 – 1961)

Published in: on 02/09/2013 at 3:10  Leave a Comment  
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Childlike faith

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Faith cannot be intellectually defined;
faith is the inborn capacity to see God
behind everything, the wonder that
keeps you an eternal child.

–Oswald Chambers

Published in: on 01/29/2013 at 2:16  Leave a Comment  
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The rare moment

The rare moment
is not the moment when
there is something worth looking at,
but the moment when
we are capable of seeing.

— Joseph Wood Krutch

Published in: on 09/13/2012 at 8:16  Leave a Comment  
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Try to be there

It’s all a matter of keeping my eyes open. Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is to try to be there . . . so creation need not play to an empty house.

–Annie Dillard

Saturated with grace

Our world is saturated with grace, and the lurking presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter—in a deer leaping across a meadow, in the flight of an eagle, in fire and water, in a rainbow after a summer storm, in a gentle doe streaking through a forest, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in a child licking a chocolate ice cream cone, in a woman with windblown hair. God intended for us to discover His loving presence in the world around us.

–Brennan Manning

The miracle

The miracle is not . . .
to cast out demons, heal the sick
and turn multitudes to the faith.
The miracle is to be loved, forgiven,
and accepted by God.

The miracle

The miracle is not . . .
having wealth or fame.
The miracle is having toes
and a tongue and fingers
and knees and a nose.

The miracle

The miracle is not . . .
walking on water.
It is walking on a planet
where there are blackberries,
waterfalls, sunsets,
hummingbirds, rainbows,
butterflies and penguins. 

God’s art gallery

Thank God I have seen
an orange sky with purple clouds.
How easy it is to forget that
we have the privilege of living
in God’s art gallery.

–Erica Goros

Putting away childish things

When I was 10, I read fairy stories in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am 50, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

–C. S. Lewis
(1898 – 1963)

A world of wonder

Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing.  The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.

–Eugene Ionesco
(1912 – 1994)

Rethinking the Seven Wonders

Nothing but wonders

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only does wondrous things! –Psalm 72:18

God never works anything but wonders. That is His nature… Take the simplest things, a blade of grass, or a worm, or a flower. What wonders men of science tells us about them!

–Andrew Murray (1828 – 1917)

Published in: on 08/24/2012 at 9:02  Leave a Comment  
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The sublime wonder of living

The surest way to suppress
our ability to understand
the meaning of God
and the importance of worship
is to take things for granted.
Indifference to
the sublime wonder of living
is the root of sin.

–Abraham Joshua Heschel
(1907 – 1972)

When did you lose your wonder?

 

Imagine the most beautiful scenes you have ever known on this earth—rain forests, the prairie in full bloom, storm clouds over the African savanna, the Alps under a winter snow. Then imagine it all on the day it was born…

Into this world God opens his hand, and the animals spring forth. Myriads of birds, in every shape and size and song, take wing—hawks, herons, warblers. All the creatures of the sea leap into it—whales, dolphins, fish of a thousand colors and designs. Thundering across the plains race immense herds of horses, gazelles, buffalo, running like the wind. It is more astonishing than we could possibly imagine. No wonder “the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:7. A great hurrah goes up from the heavens!

We have grown dull toward this world in which we live; we have forgotten that it is not normal or scientific in any sense of the word. It is fantastic. It is fairy tale through and through. Really now. Elephants? Caterpillars. Snow? At what point did you lose your wonder of it all?

Even so, once in a while something will come along and shock us right out of our dullness and resignation.

We come round a corner, and there before us is a cricket, a peacock, a stag with horns as big as he. Perhaps we come upon a waterfall, the clouds have made a rainbow in a circle round the sun, or a mouse scampers across the counter, pauses for a moment to twitch his whiskers at you, and disappears into the cupboard. And for a moment we realize we were born into a world astonishing as any fairy tale.

A world made for romance.

–John Eldredge

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