Thursday, February 28, 2008

There will be surprises

"Most of the man's psychological make-up is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or the worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises."

--C.S. Lewis,
Mere Christianity

Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers

Just finished reading: The Grand Weaver

I just finished reading The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives by Ravi Zacharias. I recommend it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Children and heirs

"Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."

--Gal. 4:6-7

Today and tonight


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Latin dancing

I started Latin dance classes tonight and again tomorrow night. So much fun! I am so glad I'm taking these classes.

What I'm learning



I love it!

Affection

"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."

--Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Arriving in Jacksonville

Off to Jacksonville

I'm off to Jacksonville, Florida, to spend the rest of the week and weekend with my aunt Janie and uncle Adam and cousins Nathan, Jordan, Morgan, and Ryan. It will be really nice to catch up with them.

Sinful but loved

"You are more sinful than you ever dared imagine and more loved than you ever dared hope."

-–Jack Miller

Far too easily pleased

"… it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

--C.S. Lewis

Stand and stare

“What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass, where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.”

William Henry Davies, 1871-1941
Welsh poet and writer

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Home

"In our society we have not only many homeless people sleeping on the streets, in shelters, or in welfare homes, but also vagabonds who are in flight, who never come home to themselves. They seek a safe place through alcohol or drugs, or security in success, competence, friends, pleasure, notoriety, knowledge, or even a little religion. They have become strangers to themselves, people who have an address but are never at home, who never hear the voice of love or experience the freedom of God’s children. To those of us in flight, who are afraid to turn around lest we run into ourselves, Jesus says: 'You have a home … I am your home … claim me as your home … you will find it to be the intimate place where I have found my home … it is right where you are … in your innermost being…in your heart.'"

--Brennan Manning

Monday, February 18, 2008

God's Own Fool by Michael Card

The Weather of the Heart

“In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended,
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I turn me to the Word to pray.
Amen.”

Madeleine L’Engle, 1918-2007
“The Weather of the Heart” (1978)

How can I tell you?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dinner with Ralph Reed

I had dinner tonight with Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition, and his wife, Joanne. I'd seen him on tv many times, but it was nice to meet him in person. They are a lovely couple, and very gracious. I'm looking forward to having them over to dinner at my house soon and getting to know them even better. It was a blessing chatting with them.

Empty by Ray LaMontagne

You are a soul

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body."

--C.S. Lewis

Together

We are not meant to live our lives alone. We are meant to eat together, work together, live together. We’re not meant to handle life on our own. We're supposed to be strong enough to handle life filled with people. Relationships are what push us forward. Intimate relationships can open and heal wounds we've hidden for years. In a close relationship, we are constantly challenged to love when we're empty, to show grace where there's none due, and to unveil the flaws we try to conceal. It’s where we learn to be good forgivers and to live out the love God has shown us.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dancing!

Tonight after church I was at a ballroom dance party all night--at the church, which was convenient--and it was so much fun! I was doing foxtrot, waltz, swing, rumba, and tango, and doing fairly well at them, too! It really does the heart good to dance. I'm taking ballroom lessons, and I'm going to be starting Latin dance classes this week as well. I can't wait! I really love it.

A capella

Tonight at church we sang this song a capella, which I love. It was a rich blessing.

------------------

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus name

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and every stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand


His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

Worshiping together

Tonight I went to my church's Saturday night service, and two rows in front of me were a young couple with a little girl, worshiping together, and it was so beautiful. When we were singing, the husband was raising his hand, and his daughter, who was sitting in his other arm, was raising her hand, too, as she sang, just like her daddy. And when the pastor prayed, the mother put her hand on her daughter, as if praying over her. It was a very beautiful sight.

Slaves of Christ

On the way to church tonight I was listening to a sermon about how we don't like to talk about being slaves to Christ. There are five or six words in Greek that can be used to talk about being a servant, but the word the New Testament uses most often is the word doulos, which is the word "slave," even though it's often translated more generically as servant.

But the word actually means "slave," and if the writers had wanted to refer more generically to servants, they had plenty of other words to pick from. But we are called "slaves" of Christ.

I am not saved so that God can fulfill all my dreams, or make my life whole--though He often does. I am called to follow and obey Him, no matter what. Christ is my master, and I am His slave.

And being His slave is better than being free in any other sense. Having Him as my master is the most liberating state possible, because I am free to be what He created me to be.

Blossom

"Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

--Anais Nin

Old picture

Good morning, sunshine!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Made perfect in weakness

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

--2 Cor. 12:9-10

Vespers sunset

Poem from Patch Adams

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly without complexities abide.
I love you because I know no other way than this.
So close that your hand, on my chest, is my hand.
So close, that when you close your eyes, I fall asleep.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

On the way to ballroom dance class tonight



Some of my favorite verses

"In great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as imposters; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything."

--2 Cor. 6:4-10

Living color



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Second Life

I became a member of the Second Life community tonight for the very first time. Very interesting! Absurdly boring!

Small blessings

Today I was able to buy a domain name I've been hoping to get for a year now.

It's a domain that's going to be integral to the set of websites for my book, and I was so grateful that the previous owner accepted my offer.

Small blessings, but when the book comes out, there will be an entourage of websites set up to back it all up and augment the experience, so it means a lot to me.


Overcast beauty (today)



Monday, February 11, 2008

Sehnsucht

“As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother’s toy garden. And every day there were what we called ‘the Green Hills’; that is, the low line of the Castlereagh Hills which we saw from the nursery windows. They were not very far off but they were, to children, quite unattainable. They taught me longing--Sehnsucht ...”

–C.S. Lewis, Yearning for Joy

Will you marry me? by John Berry

Longing for the moment

“Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend in a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment when in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.”

--Søren Kierkegaard

Is there no balm?

“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”

--Jeremiah 8:22