Monday, December 31, 2012

everything good comes from You, Father of Lights

Love has a voice.
Love has a name.

["Father of Lights," Jesus Culture]

a society that deserves to be put to the sword

"A society that replaces seven-tier wedding cakes with lo-fat cupcakes is a society that deserves to be put to the sword."

[Joe Queenan, source]

have not seen and yet have believed

Victor by Sybille Peretti
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
[John 20:29] 

Friday, December 28, 2012

a domesticated, harmless Christ

Sayaka Ganz, Emergence 
"One of these days lightning is going to fill the sky from the rising of the sun to its setting, and there is going to appear in the clouds one like a son of man with his mighty angels in flaming fire. And we will see him clearly. And whether from terror or sheer excitement, we will tremble and we will wonder how, how we ever lived so long with such a domesticated, harmless Christ." 
{John Piper, Good News of Great Joy]

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

in love with the events that are dragging them downward

Without Your eye I wander hopelessly
through my soul like a wayfarer in the night,
in the night’s indistinguishable gloom. 
And the wayfarer in the night falls and picks himself up, 
and what he encounters along the way he calls “events.”

You are the only event of my life, O lamp of my soul.
When a child scurries to the arms of his mother, 
events do not exist for him.
When a bride races to meet her bridegroom,
she does not see the flowers in the meadow, 
nor does she hear the rumbling of the storm, 
nor does she smell the fragrance of the cypresses
or sense the mood of the wild animals–
she sees only the face of her bridegroom; 
she hears only the music from his lips; 
she smells only his soul. 
When love goes to meet love, no events befall it.
Time and space make way for love.

Aimless wanderers and loveless people have events and have history. 
Love has no history, and history has no love.

When someone makes their way down a mountain
or climbs up a mountain without knowing where he is going, 
events are imposed upon him as though they were the aim of his journey. 

Truly, events are the aim of the aimless and the history of the pathless.

Therefore the aimless and the pathless are blocked 
by events and squabble with events. 
But I tranquilly hasten to You, 
both up the mountain and down the mountain, 
and despicable events angrily move out of the way of my footsteps.

If I were a stone and were rolling down a mountain, 
I would not think about the stones against which I was banging, 
but about the abyss at the bottom of the steep slope.

If I were a mountain stream, 
I would not be thinking about my uneven course, 
but about the lake that awaited me.

Truly terrifying is the abyss of those who are in love
with the events that are dragging them downward..."

[from Nikolaj Velimirović's Prayers by the Lake]

Monday, December 24, 2012

completely honest before God

"Take heed how you hear the Gospel. It seems that the Lord wants to say that we hear with our hearts rather than our ears, and that the inner life affects the word of God, either killing it, or making it live and thrive. So whoever wants to hear the word well, understand it, and hold it fast in an honest and good heart should prepare his heart inwardly so that the word may safely take root there, finding in his heart faithfulness to God and truthfulness in word and promise. It is absolutely impossible that anyone should understand what he hears of the word of God, if he is not completely honest before God and has not determined to surrender his life, his responsibilities, his interests, his money, his future, and his own honor and lay them at God’s feet." 
[Fr. Matta El Meskeen, Coptic Orthodox monk]

Thursday, December 20, 2012


[Andrew Bird, "Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses"]

no more bondage to anxiety

Christmas is for freedom. Freedom from the fear of death. He took our nature in Bethlehem, to die our death in Jerusalem, that we might be fearless in Minneapolis. Yes, fearless. Because if the biggest threat to my joy is gone, then why should I fret over the little ones? How can you say (really!), “Well, I’m not afraid to die but I’m afraid to lose my job”? No. No. Think! If death (I said, death!—no pulse, cold, gone!)—if death is no longer a fear, we’re free, really free. Free to take any risk under the sun for Christ and for love. No more bondage to anxiety. If the Son has set you free, you shall be free, indeed!
- John Piper from "Freed by Christmas and Calvary"

Monday, December 17, 2012

gentle and humble = victory

"Jesus said, 'I am gentle and humble.' Those are the two characteristics that always cause us to walk in victory, because they’re the two characteristics the enemy can never possess." - Graham Cooke

Saturday, December 08, 2012

where shall wisdom be found?

“But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its worth,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be bought for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.

“From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all living
and concealed from the birds of the air.
Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

“God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure,
when he made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Job 28:12-28

Thursday, December 06, 2012

bind up these broken bones

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in a battle
Put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die

Set me like a star before the morning
Like a song that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
Oh, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

- Audrey Assad, "Show Me"

Wednesday, December 05, 2012