Friday, October 29, 2010
We believe that God is present everywhere, and the eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the good and the bad.... We must therefore consider how we should behave in the sight of Divine Majesty, and as we sing our psalms let us see to it that our mind is in harmony with our voice. ...Benedict of Nursia image
David B. Hart
Autumn is the most beautiful and most mysterious of the seasons, at least to me, just as twilight is the most beautiful and mysterious part of the day. There is something so hypnotically uncanny about these liminal times—between summer and winter, between day and night—partly because of the obliging softness of the light, which lends such depth and subtlety to the world’s colors, and partly because of the strange feeling of suspense that pervades them.
Everything seems to hover tremulously in a state of pure transformation, slowly passing from one fixed condition to another—from seething torpor to icy dormancy, from light to darkness. There is a haunting sense that everything has been briefly displaced from any proper order, that almost anything might happen, that strange, lovely, and mighty forms are moving just behind the surface of reality. These are the times when one is most immediately aware of the numinous within nature.
This, at any rate, was what I said to my son—in very different terms—as we stood there looking down over the lake, and he agreed with me heartily. Then he observed that a forest is always a mysterious place, no matter what the season, and I had to concede the point, with a discreet thrill of paternal pride. But then he remarked that this must be why people used to believe there were spirits of the trees and streams, before science discovered that there are no such beings.
I was stunned; his words pierced me to the core. Where on earth, I wondered, had he acquired this dreadful superstition? Who had corrupted his eleven-year-old mind with the abominable nonsense that science had somehow “discovered” the nonexistence of nature spirits, or that modern empirical method could ever possibly be competent to do such a thing? Suppressing my alarm as best I could, I quickly interrogated him, and within a few moments had learned the title of the offending school text...Full essay image by fesoj
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Why exactly do we want to make a difference in the world?
...the search for significance, especially if it requires changing the world, can blind us to the everyday tasks, the mundane duties, and the dirty work that is part and parcel of the life of discipleship.
I have a good friend who has been caring for his elderly mother. She sits in a wheel chair, complains a lot, and requires constant attention — to the point of cleaning her up after regular bouts of diarrhea. What my friend and his wife are doing is heroic, virtue with a capital V. But it is hard to see how it is "world changing" as we normally think about such things. Such an act doesn't even change the mother's life, only makes it less miserable. It's not even "significant," by our usual calculation, but "merely" an act of love.
When we think of making a difference, we think about making the world a better place for the next generation, not taking care of people who have no future. This is one reason we are quick to push the incontinent into "managed care" staffed with "skilled nurses." No question that this is indeed a necessary move for many families—I had to do it with my own father, sad to say. But let's face it. A fair amount of our motive is mixed. How much skill does it take to clean up excrement from an elderly body? Mostly it takes forbearance—and a willingness to give oneself night and day to something that, according to our usual reckoning, is not all that significant. the rest
image by Derrick Tyson
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
We don't know where the wind comes from or where it goes. But we can and do feel it. And it can wreck old patterns of living. A storm of wind is the same thing as a meeting with the Holy Spirit of God. You don't sit down and negotiate with either: you get blown about or blown up, and in that way you make progress and change. So will the explosion come in Church affairs. The Lord will get fed up with his children's foolishness and will bring about change. It will amount to a spiritual explosion. Paul experienced one. ...Cyril Brooks image
Saturday, October 16, 2010
God delights to plan for His children. No human father ever experienced such joy in planning for his child as God experiences as He plans for you. He does not want you to miss any part of His beautiful purpose for you. His plans are filled with details of blessing, joy, and wonderful surprises. David said, "The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare" ...Wesley L. Duewel image by Julian Povey
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
We cannot control His working; He is most sovereign in all His operations, but are we sufficiently anxious to obtain His help, or sufficiently watchful lest we provoke Him to withdraw His aid? Without Him we can do nothing, but by His almighty energy the most extraordinary results can be produced: everything depends upon his manifesting or concealing His power. Do we always look up to Him both for our inner life and our outward service with the respectful dependence which is fitting? Do we not too often run before His call and act independently of His aid? Let us humble ourselves this evening for past neglects, and now entreat the heavenly dew to rest upon us, the sacred oil to anoint us, the celestial flame to burn within us. ...CH Spurgeon image by Kevin Dooley
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
(Click on pictures to enlarge.)
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Consider Jesus. Know Jesus. Learn what kind of Person it is you say you trust and love and worship. Soak in the shadow of Jesus. Saturate your soul with the ways of Jesus. Watch Him. Listen to Him. Stand in awe of Him. Let Him overwhelm you with the way He is. ...John Piper
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Saviour.