Thursday, December 31, 2009

Forever love

"'The question is asked, "Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?" And the answer is given. "Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped; their faces are seamed, but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.'"

--Author unknown.
The people believed. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, they bowed low and worshipped.

--Ex. 4:31

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

--Ps. 37:4

Vivaldo winter video

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“If once God’s electing love rises upon the soul, it never sets.”

--Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Contentment, then, is the product of a heart resting in God. It is the soul’s enjoyment of that peace that passes all understanding. It is the outcome of my will being brought into subjection to the Divine will. It is the blessed assurance that God does all things well, and is, even now, making all things work together for my ultimate good."

--A.W. Pink

Sunday, December 27, 2009

There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—
My Champion, my Friend,
while I'm weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.

--Job 16:19-21, The Message

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We should be thinking about and describing God in the ways that reflect who He really is what He has actually gone through. He is a musician and an artist. He is a dancer. He is a dreamer extraordinaire. He is an erotic God and a true hedonist (obviously: He created human sexuality). He is an extremely romantic God (Song of Solomon). He is a divorced God (He begged Israel to be His bride, but when she would not come back to Him, He eventually found another bride, the Church). He is a jealous God. He is a broken-hearted God who still loves immensely, who longs for fellowship and intimacy. All this is not to anthropomorphize God, but to admit both how He has revealed Himself and to connect the dots of how He created us, in His image; how He created mankind in the Garden was a direct reflection of His own nature. Anything good, beautiful, and splendid about us or about our desires comes because we are children of our Father.

Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette

The Known Universe

"We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end."

--The Nicene Creed

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"So I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him."

--Kristyn Getty

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The moment it all happened

"Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy?"

--Madeleine L'Engle
"Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection."

- John Calvin

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

God made you special and He loves you very much.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Philippians 2:3-4

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

--Galatians 1:10

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There is so much inside the heart yearning to be free that providence is almost bound to bring to pass a time of restitution when all wrongs will be made right and love will be requited. The dreams that put a sparkle in the eyes of a child and hope in a young man or woman in looking to the future are reflections of the place where humanity began--in Paradise, a utopic garden where God and man walked side-by-side, where shame did not exist, and where love flourished. While Eden cannot be regained, in Christ there is the hope of a return to that state of life, but not just in heaven. In the context of a man and a woman, a day can arrive when the lovers face each other--perhaps disillusioned, with all masks removed--and there find that the love of God has renewed all things: that while hope deferred had made their hearts sick, their desire fulfilled has become a tree of life. Because of trust, they can relinquish their fears and simply plunge into love as if purposefully falling backwards off of a high cliff, dropping into love itself, and finding the paradox that what others have tried to do to their demise, these lovers do, and for the first time in their lives, truly live. That is the nourishing of the soul and the rapturous requiting of love.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. . . . There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal."

--C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A wise man once wrote that "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." To live with dreams of what life could be and never see those dreams fulfilled creates emptiness and despair, because our lives are meant to be filled to overflowing with intimacy, romance, beauty, laughter, and joy.

Yet, many of us find ourselves ignoring our desires so we can ease the pain of our broken hearts and unfulfilled dreams. We tell ourselves the lie that it's all right for others to trample on what means the most to us. But if we're honest with ourselves, and if we truly have hope, we eventually admit the reason we protect our hearts so little is that we really don't think we're worth much at all. That admission is merely the first step to the healing and love that we desperately need.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to help you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future . . ."

--Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Your priorities must be God first, God second, and God third, until your life is continually face to face with God and no one else is taken into account whatsoever. Your prayer will then be, "In all the world there is no one but You, dear God; there is no one but You."

--Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"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

Friday, December 11, 2009

"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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trailer for the movie Babies

"… 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

Monday, December 7, 2009

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

-–Jack Miller

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Excerpt from sermon on the Judgment Seat of Christ by Leonard Ravenhill

Awesome quote on why we write

"I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent.

I write to remember. I write to forget. I write to the music that opens my heart. I write to quell the pain. I write to migrating birds with the hubris of language. I write to a form of translation. I write with the patience of melancholy in winter. I write because it allows me to confront that which I do not know. I write as an act of faith. I write as an act of slowness. I write to record what I love in the face of loss. I write because it makes me less fearful of death. I write as an exercise in pure joy. I write as one who walks on the surface of a frozen river beginning to melt. I write out of my anger and into my passion. I write from the stillness of night anticipating–always anticipating.

I write to listen. I write out of silence. I write to soothe the voices shouting inside me, outside me, all around. I write because of the humor of our condition as humans. I write because I believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness. I write because as a child I spoke a different language. I write with a knife carving each word through the generosity of trees.

I write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine. I write by grace and grit. I write out of indigestion. I write because I am starving. I write because I am full. I write to the dead. I write out of the body. I write to put food on the table. I write to the other side of procrastination. I write for the children we never had. I write for the love of ideas. I write for the surprise of a beautiful sentence. I write with the belief of alchemists. I write knowing I will always fail. I write knowing words always fall short. I write knowing I can be killed by my own words, stabbed by syntax, crucified by both understanding and misunderstanding. I write out of ignorance. I write by accident. I write past the embarrassment of exposure.

I keep writing and suddenly, I am overcome by the sheer indulgence, the madness, the meaninglessness, the ridiculousness of this list. I trust nothing, especially myself, and slide headfirst into the familiar abyss of doubt and humiliation and threaten to push the delete button on my way down, or madly erase each line, pick up the paper and rip it to shreds–and then I realize, it doesn’t matter, words are always a gamble, words are the splinters of cut glass. I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love."

--Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert.
"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

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"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

Friday, December 4, 2009

"I led them with chords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them."

--Hosea 11:4

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sharing the love of Christ

Tonight I have invited a homeless man that I just met into my home and gave him a place to spend the night. We talked about his story, and shared food together. And I prayed for him and for his next steps in life. While we talked this evening, I saw tears in his eyes as he recounted his story, and I gave him a hug, and shared the love of Christ with him. I would work night and day for a year if only to get to a night like this where the doors open up for God to use me, a beggar, to show another beggar where to find the bread! God, open doors for us to share your love with those in need!
"I'll tell you what it really means to worship the LORD. Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly. Free those who are abused! Share your food with everyone who is hungry; share your home with the poor and homeless.  Give clothes to those in need; don't turn away your relatives.  Then your light will shine like the dawning sun, and you will quickly be healed. Your honesty will protect you as you advance, and the glory of the LORD will defend you from behind."

--Is. 58:6-8

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Milonga del Adios by Pablo Ziegler played by Meral Guneyman

How Can I Tell You by Cat Stevens

Beauty and sweetness

"Our summer was over. It had been a beautiful one. We had known the sweetness of common joys, the delight of dawns, the dream and glamour of noontides, the long, purple peace of carefree nights. We had had the pleasure of bird song, of silver rain on greening fields, of storm among the trees, of blossoming meadows, and of the converse of whispering leaves. We had had brotherhood with wind and star, with books and tales, and hearth fires of autumn. Ours had been the little, loving tasks of every day, blithe companionship, shared thoughts, and adventuring. Rich were we in the memory of those opulent months that had gone from us–richer than we then knew or suspected. And before us was the dream of spring. It is always safe to dream of spring. For it is sure to come; and if it be not just as we have pictured it, it will be infinitely sweeter."

--Lucy Maud Montgomery,
The Story Girl
"Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until He comes and showers righteousness upon you."

--Hosea 10:12

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing ... to find the place where all the beauty came from."

--C.S. Lewis