Quotes


And so from the beginning, from the very first story told in Scripture, God presents life, as it is, without escape, with only Himself to cling to.

via Communiqué: An Online Literary & Arts Journal.

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Of the two daily devotionals I read fairly frequently, Elisabeth Elliot’s online daily devotional is one(find her in the blogroll to the side), and today’s I found particularly good.  I like her because she writes with terse profundity about faith.

“The God who determined the measurements of the foundations of the earth sets limitations to the scope of our work. It is always tempting to measure ourselves by one another, but this easily leads to boasting or despair. It is our business to find the sphere of service allotted to us, and do all that He has appointed us to do within that sphere, not “commending ourselves.”

Paul said, “We will keep to the limits God has apportioned us” (2 Cor 10:13 RSV). Jesus did that–willing to become a helpless, newborn baby, to be a growing child, an adolescent, a man, each stage bounded by its peculiar strictures, yet each offering adequate scope in which to glorify his Father.

Lord, glorify yourself through me and in the place You’ve set me. Let me not covet another’s place or work or glory.”

“Who has saved us and called us to a holy life” – 2 Timothy 1:9

“Those whom the Saviour saved upon the cross are in due time effectually called…God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but He called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them….Such is the believer’s privilege – a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it – a holy life“.

C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, June 12 Evening

“If we give out of love, however, there is ultimately no way in heaven or earth to avoid receiving, and receiving far more than we could possibly give.”

-Elisabeth Elliott, Love Has a Price Tag

Song of the day: Plumb- God-Shaped Hole

“…the Bible knows nothing of a God who is uninvolved or only marginally involved in sending negative circumstances into people’s lives. As far as the Bible is concerned, God makes the final decision about every situtation that enters people’s lives. God may choose to use intermediate instruments to accomplish these circumstances: other people, weather, even satanic forces. But it is God who personally designs, authorizes, and sets limits on every one of the negative circumstances that strikes people’s lives. This is the worldview of the Bible.”

-Brokenness, Lon Solomon

Song of the day: Brooke Fraser- Shadowfeet

Found something I wrote a while ago and decided to post it.

Keep writing, a friend told me lately.
🙂

I’m grateful for friends like these – for those small scraps of words we fling each other, balls of encouragement and acquaintanceship, those small things that keep us going or deepen our lives a little further.

Writing is hard. I wish I had more friends like that – wish that I was a professional writer so that I had more people to push me to do this difficult and always fearful thing. I don’t really know what this post is about. Generally, I have some overall theme – grief, or the hurt of the world, or things going on in my life lately. Not this time. So expect it to be more rambling than usual.

I’ve been thinking lately about many things – joy, grief, the satisfaction we find in God, the abandonment of God…
Marianne Moore once said

“satisfaction is a lowly thing, how pure a thing is joy.”

I wish we were more content in God. To be a Christian is not to be in a state of constant self-examination and recrimination and emotional turmoil. To be a Christian, at its best, it to live clearly and simply – and calmly – in the light of God’s love. There are endless complexities to living life as a Christian. But the love of God – like all loves, while containing all complexities within it, is at heart as simple as a child. Love is one of the simplest emotions. It simply is. We know and see it and rely on it without having to test and try it for what it is. It’s the depth of it we often don’t understand. But if we did – if we understood that, and understood the forgiveness of God, how much better and more joyful our lives as Christians would be!

Have Mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgression. –Psalm 51:1

steadfast love. and abundant mercy which blots out trangression. Love unfaltering, steady as an oak, able to weather a million storms, not because the object of its affection is strong, but because the love itself possesses that degree of strength. The steadfastness of God’s love is a testament to His character. A testament to who He is, not who we are. Steadfast love chooses who it will love – almost by chance, it seems sometimes, so indecipherable are its methods – and then loves forever, whether its object will or no. Similarly, abundant mercy blots out transgressions. We are forgiven for all eternity. Not today, not tomorrow, not this moment – forever. Christ has been teaching me the immensity and the truth of his forgiveness lately. I’ve only touched the brink – but I understand that his forgiveness, his blood, is a living thing which covers me every single day of my life – the only thing that keeps me from the brink, from falling over into hell, where I belong, where the devil would have me. And his blood is a sure thing, because it’s based on a once-for-all sacrifice. A pact sealed and set. I’m glad sometimes that I come from a third-world culture. Here in America promises don’t mean much. Pacts scarcely exist. Even business deals are constantly broken. In the culture I grew up, promises are made with blood and by the oath of family – you swear by your blood or your family or your most precious possession(usually land) – and by golly, you’d better keep that promise. Not all do, of course – but at least the idea is still there.

When God promises it’s an implacable thing.

back to my original thought – to be satisfied with God is one thing. I suspect I will strive the rest of my life for that only. And yet what God promises – and oh the glory – what we will obtain in heaven at least is joy – pure joy. Joy which in its intensity and the purity of this emotion is as far above satisfaction as the sky is above the earth. Joy. Pure, unparalleled happiness. A history professor of mine is constantly mocking the idea of heaven. “A constant Disneyland”, he cries, hopping about like a monkey and pulling mockingly excited faces. “how wonderful!” – sardonically. He underestimates God, and completely fails to have sufficient imagination to comprehend the idea of a place in which only joy exists. Joy is like love – endlessly simple and yet possessed of so many forms and derivations we can never grow tired of it. And he fails to understand – joy in its real form is such an intensely sweet and delicious emotion. In heaven, it will be complete. And it will be simple – in heaven we won’t even need all those extra forms, because it will all be centered around God.

Sometimes I try to imagine a life, a world without God. In the end, I always realize I can’t. I wonder how people who don’t believe in God can handle it. Facing a life and particularly death without God, I’d be filled with such abject despair. The world is full of such darkness already.

For you are good to me. What’s that song? Vineyard – Good to Me. God is good to me. Not all the time -not my definition of good – His rather. But still, oh, so good.

You take me as you find me. I wrote this a while ago as part of a poem. As Vivian once said, I don’t need to be more to be saved. Thank God, he is more powerful than that, and overrides all my protestations of sin and inadequacy and weakness.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; and his mercy endures forever” – Psalm 118.

“I will worship You/for You are great and gentle too/Master who sets me free/Kind Judge who gives mercy/Great God who whispers come/Into your arms I run” – more lyrics

My father once said that people try to separate out salvation – break it down into many bits, parts, particles, acts, stages – a sort of ongoing or ever-changing, undefinable process. Salvation comes in only one shining package, and once given, it’s done – for all eternity. I am saved for all eternity. It is well with my soul.

I don’t remember who said this, but someone once said –

“I really don’t want it all. I just want God in my life.”

That should be enough.

God, let it be enough.

and for some reason I felt compelled to include this last, non-christian quote(not sure why since it doesn’t even really relate…)

“Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in the world who is struggling, who’s frustrated, unsatisfied, barely getting by. That feeling is a lie. And if you just hold on, just find the courage to face it all for another day, someone or something will find you to make it all okay. Because we all need a little help sometimes. Someone to help us hear the music in the world. To remind us that it won’t always be this way. That someone is out there and that someone will find you.”
-Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill

God finds us.

Everything that one turns in the direction of God is prayer. – Ignatius of Loyola

city-of-angels-grWe know, even as we are known. This is how we pray in Jesus’ name.  – Richard J. Foster

(Above photo is called City of Angels)

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