Monday, December 29, 2014

chasing after what is cheap

"Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap." 
[Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn]

Sunday, December 28, 2014

a slave into a child

To see the law of Christ fulfilled
And hear his pard'ning voice
Transforms a slave into a child
And duty into choice. 
[William Cowper]

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

no mode of victory but by flight

In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant. Who would wantonly enter the leper's prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.
This day I may be exposed to great peril, let me have the serpent's wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me today than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. The devil I am to resist and he will flee from me, but the lusts of the flesh, I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness preserve thy Josephs, that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil, never overcome us! 
[Charles Spurgeon]

Saturday, December 06, 2014

we can go on to peaceableness

"We must set our faces like flints against everything which is contrary to God and His holiness: purity being in our souls a settled matter, we can go on to peaceableness."
 [Charles Spurgeon]

lest that day come upon you suddenly like a trap

"But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
[Luke 21:34-36]

Saturday, November 29, 2014

the race that long in darkness pined has seen a glorious light

The race that long in darkness pined
has seen a glorious light;
the people dwell in day, who dwelt
in death's surrounding night. 
To hail thy rise, thou better Sun,
the gathering nations come,
joyous as when the reapers bear
the harvest-treasures home. 
To us a Child of hope is born,
To us a Son is given;
him shall the tribes of earth obey,
him all the hosts of heaven. 
His name shall be the Prince of Peace
for evermore adored,
the Wonderful, the Counsellor,
the great and mighty Lord. 
His power increasing still shall spread,
his reign no end shall know;
justice shall guard his throne above
and peace abound below.
[John Morison, 1781]

but why were they on his property

by David Berman

Walking through a field with my little brother Seth

I pointed to a place where kids had made angels in the snow.
For some reason, I told him that a troop of angels
had been shot and dissolved when they hit the ground.

He asked who had shot them and I said a farmer.

Then we were on the roof of the lake.
The ice looked like a photograph of water.

Why he asked. Why did he shoot them.

I didn't know where I was going with this.

They were on his property, I said.

When it's snowing, the outdoors seem like a room.

Today I traded hellos with my neighbor.
Our voices hung close in the new acoustics.
A room with the walls blasted to shreds and falling.

We returned to our shoveling, working side by side in silence.

But why were they on his property, he asked.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

in every way sufficient

"Jesus Christ is in every way sufficient to the vast desires of the human soul." 
[John Flavel]

Monday, November 24, 2014

it is folded, and folded, and folded

There is something in me maybe someday
to be written; now it is folded, and folded,
and folded, like a note in school.

[Sharon Olds]

Sunday, November 23, 2014

laundry list of attributes women must have

“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”

[Tina Fey, Bossy Pants]

Friday, November 21, 2014

dispel with glorious splendour the darkness everywhere

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

[Theodore Baker, 1894]

the outflowing stream of intelligence

"The mouth was equipped by our makers for its office with teeth, tongue, and lips arranged as now, for the sake at once of what is necessary and what is best. They devised it as the passage whereby necessary things might enter and the best things pass out; for all that comes in to give sustenance to the body is necessary; but the outflowing stream of discourse, ministering to intelligence, is of all streams the best and noblest." 
[Timaeus in Plato's Timaeus, 75e, Translator Francis M. Cornford]

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Happy Winter. Listening to this everyday until winter is over.

[Vivaldi, Concerto No.4 in F minor, Op.8, RV 297, " L'inverno", Allegro Non Molto]

Monday, November 17, 2014

i felt a cleaving in my mind

The Lost Thought

I felt a cleaving in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.

[Emily Dickinson]

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

the cure for apathy

"Apathy is one of the characteristic responses of any living organism when it is subjected to stimuli too intense or too complicated to cope with. The cure for apathy is comprehension."
[John Dos Passos]

Sunday, November 09, 2014

i am not afraid of the truth

"There is probably no point of view possible to a sane man but contains some truth and, in the true connection, might be profitable to the race. I am not afraid of the truth, if any one could tell it me, but I am afraid of parts of it impertinently uttered."
[Robert Louis Stevenson, Learning to Write 134 (1888; repr. 1920).]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

no matter how many waverings you may have

“Trust him. And when you have done that, you are living the life of grace. No matter what happens to you in the course of that trusting - no matter how many waverings you may have, no matter how many suspicions that you have bought a poke with no pig in it, no matter how much heaviness and sadness your lapses, vices, indispositions, and bratty whining may cause you - you believe simply that Somebody Else, by his death and resurrection, has made it all right, and you just say thank you and shut up. The whole slop-closet full of mildewed performances (which is all you have to offer) is simply your death; it is Jesus who is your life. If he refused to condemn you because your works were rotten, he certainly isn't going to flunk you because your faith isn't so hot. You can fail utterly, therefore, and still live the life of grace. You can fold up spiritually, morally, or intellectually and still be safe. Because at the very worst, all you can be is dead - and for him who is the Resurrection and the Life, that just makes you his cup of tea.” 
[Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace]

cast your deadly doing down

Weary, working, burdened one,
Wherefore toil you so?
Cease your doing; all was done
Long, long ago.
Till to Jesus’ work you cling
By a simple faith,
“Doing” is a deadly thing—
“Doing” ends in death.
Cast your deadly “doing” down—
Down at Jesus’ feet;
Stand in Him, in Him alone,
Gloriously complete. 
[James Proctor]

crucial eccentricity

"A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There's nothing you have to do.  There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do." 
[Frederick Buechner]

she must and shall go free

Mercy speaks by Jesus' blood
Hear and sing, ye sons of God
Justice satisfied indeed
Christ has full atonement made
Jesus' blood speaks loud and sweet
Here all deity can meet
And without a jarring voice
Welcome Zion to rejoice
All her debts were cast on me
And she must and shall go free
Peace of conscience, peace with God
We obtain through Jesus' blood
Jesus' blood speaks solid rest
We believe and we are blessed
All her debts were cast on me
And she must and shall go free
Should the law against her roar
Jesus' blood still speaks with power
All her debts were cast on me
And she must and shall go free
All her debts were cast on me
And she must and shall go free

[Derek Webb, "Mercy Speaks"]

Monday, October 27, 2014

no maverick molecule

"There is no maverick molecule meandering outside God's control anywhere in the universe..." 
[from Proof: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace by Daniel Montgomery & Timothy Paul Jones]

unforgiving, unforgiven

"An unforgiving heart is an unforgiven heart." 
[Timothy Keller]

Sunday, October 26, 2014

idolorum fabricam

"Hominis ingenium perpetuam, ut ita loquar, esse idolorum fabricam."

"Human nature is, so to speak, a workshop that's continually crafting idols."

[John Calvin, Institutio Christianae Religionis, 1:11:8)

Friday, October 24, 2014

do you think that i count the days?

"Do you think that I count the days? There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk." 
Jean-Paul Sartre

Friday, October 17, 2014

never finished

"A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say." 
[Italo Calvino]

Sunday, October 12, 2014

comforting judgment

Q&A 52 from the Heidelberg Catechism

Q. How does Christ's return "to judge the living and the dead" comfort you?
A. In all distress and persecution, with uplifted head I confidently await the very judge who has already offered himself to the judgment of God in my place and removed the whole curse from me.

1 Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:22-25; Phil. 3:20-21; Titus 2:13-14

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

absorbing and voluptuous

"In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves, and rise from the perusal, our mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dance of images, incapable of sleep or of continuous thought." 
[Robert Louis Stevenson, "A Gossip on Romance", 1882]

Monday, September 08, 2014

To breathe freely in the open air! Oh, what joy!

This one song from Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, makes it worth it.

"To breathe freely in the open air!
Oh, what joy!
Up here, up here alone is life;
the dungeon is a tomb."

Saturday, September 06, 2014

everyone who believes thinks

“No one believes anything unless one first thought it believable… Everything that is believed is believed after being preceded by thought…. Not everyone who thinks believes, since many think in order not to believe; but everyone who believes thinks, thinks in believing and believes in thinking.” 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

no corrupting talk

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  
[Ephesians 4:29]

Thursday, August 28, 2014

to speak a few reasonable words

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

[Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

the overflow of joy

"Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others."  
[John Piper, Desiring God]

Sunday, August 17, 2014

making mud pies in a slum

"If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and to earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I suggest that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around 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 in a 1941 sermon]

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

when i think i might fall apart

But Frank put it best when he said,
"You can't plan on the heart"
Those words keep me on my feet
when I think I might just fall apart

Oh, there's nothing more to it
I just get through it

[First Aid Kit, "To a Poet"]

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

gifted or insane

"Hence, the poetic art belongs either to a naturally gifted person or an insane one..."

[Aristotle, Poetics, Chapter 17, Section 1455a]

some infinitely gentle infinitely suffering thing

"I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing."

[T.S. Eliot, "Preludes IV"]

Sunday, August 03, 2014

it's a question of making your fortune in this world, or in the next

"If you dream of paying court to men of power, your eternal damnation is guaranteed. You could make a fortune, but you'd have to tread on the poor, flatter the deputy governor of the district, and the mayor, and all other men of substance, and assist them in their passions. For a layman, such conduct, which the world calls knowing how to live, is not incompatible with salvation. But with the likes of us, a choice has to be made: it's a question of making your fortune in this world, or in the next. There's no middle ground."
[Father Chélan in The Red and the Black]

you yourself

"It is a painful thing
to look at your own trouble and known
that you yourself and no one else has made it."

[Tecmessa in Sophocles' Ajax]

Friday, August 01, 2014

you can never please a false god

"You can never please a false god."

[Timothy Keller from "The Church Before the Watching World" sermon]

and that's a bad thing?

"'Really,' [Father Pirard] thought, 'here is exactly that fatal tendency to Protestantism, for which I've always scolded Chélan: deep, deep knowledge --almost too deep -- of the Scriptures.'"

[from Stendhal's The Red and the Black]

boredom grows and grows

"Boredom grows and grows. The only pleasures left are reading and farming."

[Stendhal, The Red and the Black]

prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love."

[Robert Robinson, "Come Thou Fount"]

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

which one among our men are fakes?

"O Zeus, you've given us the clear criteria to test
if gold is counterfeit: so why is there no stamp of guarantee
marked on the human body to discriminate which ones
among our men are fakes?"

[Medea in Euripides' Medea]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the turbid ebb and flow of human misery

In tutorial class today we spent about an hour discussing this poem, dissecting it. I fell in 
love with it.

Now, back to Stendhal and a margarita.


"Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

rather in things done

"It is not in words
that I should wish my life to be distinguished,
but rather in things done." 
[Theseus to Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus]

no old age for a man's anger

"There is no old age for a man's anger."

[Creon to Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus in Colonus]

Monday, July 21, 2014

sing, o barren one, who did not bear

"Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married," says the LORD...
Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
The God of the whole earth he is called.
For the LORD has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,"
says the LORD, your Redeemer. 
[from Isaiah 54]

arctic swell

I shall have to try this in August. I jokes...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

i rest my weary soul in Thee

O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

nothing almost sees miracles but misery

"Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery."  
[Kent in King Lear, Act II, Scene 2]

Sunday, July 13, 2014

love, and be silent

George William Joy's Cordelia
"What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent."

[Cordelia in Shakespeare's King Lear]

Saturday, July 12, 2014

you have overstepped your bounds

"O law! You would climb up into the kingdom of my conscience, and there reign and condemn me for sin, and would take from me the joy of my heart which I have by faith in Christ, and drive me to desperation, that I might be without hope. You have overstepped your bounds. Know your place! You are a guide for my behavior, but you are not Savior and Lord of my heart. For I am baptized, and through the Gospel am called to receive righteousness and eternal life…So trouble me not! For I will not allow you, so intolerable a tyrant and tormentor, to reign in my heart and conscience—for they are the seat and temple of Christ the Son of God, who is the king of righteousness and peace, and my most sweet savior and mediator. He shall keep my conscience joyful and quiet in the sound and pure doctrine of the Gospel, through the knowledge of this passive and heavenly righteousness." 
[Martin Luther]

this persuasion is not from him who calls you

"You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you."  
[Galatians 5:7-8]

Thursday, July 10, 2014

well! I've got to dance.

"Since I'm a mere woman, no different from the others, well! I've got to dance." 
[the character Mathilde de La Mole in Stendhal's The Red and the Black]

Monday, July 07, 2014

beat at this gate

"O Lear, Lear, Lear!
(strikes his head)
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in
And thy dear judgment out!"
[King Lear in Shakespeare's King Lear, Act I, Scene 4]

Sunday, July 06, 2014

love creates equalities

"Love creates equalities; it doesn't search for them."
[Corneille, as quoted in Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Part I, Chapter 14]

for such as we are made of

"Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we:
For such as we are made of, such we be." 
[Shakespeare, Twelfth Night]

woe to anyone who touches it

"The present age, oh Lord! It's like the Ark of the Covenant. Woe to anyone who touches it."  
[Diderot, as quoted in Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Part I, Chapter 27]

nothing but itself

"Real passion always thinks of nothing but itself."  
[from Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Part II, Chapter 1]

Monday, June 30, 2014

change into a tree

"Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone." 
[Czesław Miłosz]

freends everych oother moot obeye, if they wol longe holden compaignye

"For o thyng, sires, saufly dar I seye,
That freendes everych oother moot (must) obeye,
If they wol longe holden compaignye.
Love wol nat been constreyned by maistrye.
Whan maistrie comth, the God of Love anon
Beteth his wynges, and farewel, he is gon!
Love is a thyng as any spirit free.
Wommen, of kynde, desiren libertee,
And nat to been constreyned as a thral (slave);
And so doon men, if I sooth seyen shal.
Looke who that is moost pacient in love,
He is at his avantage al above.
Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn,
For it venquysseth, as thise clerkes seyn,
Thynges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.
For every word men may nat chide or pleyne.
Lerneth to suffre, or elles, so moot I goon (I swear),
Ye shul it lerne, wher so ye wole or noon;
For in this world, certein, ther no wight is
That he ne dooth or seith somtyme amys.
Ire, siknesse, or constellacioun,
Wyn, wo, or chaungynge of complexioun
Causeth ful ofte to doon amys or speken.
On every wrong a man may nat be wreken (avenged).
After the tyme moste be temperaunce
To every wight (person) that kan on governaunce (knows about governance)."

[from Chaucher's The Canterbury Tales, The Franklin's Tale)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The tongue of man is a twisty thing

But come, let us know longer stand here talking of these things like children, here in the space between the advancing armies. For there are harsh things enough that could be spoken against us both, a ship of hundred locks could not carry the burden. The tongue of man is a twisty thing, there are plenty of words there of every kind, the range of words is wide and their variance. The sort of thing you say is the thing that will be said to you. 

[Aineias to Achilleus in The Iliad by Homer]

Friday, June 20, 2014

when two go together

"When two go together, one of them at least looks forward
to see what is best; a man by himself, though he be careful, 
still has less mind in him than two, and his wits have less weight."

[from Homer's The Iliad, Diomedes speaks about the need for a co-spy in his  assigned task / Book X, lines 224-226]

Friday, June 06, 2014

expose thyself to feel what wretches feel

During a storm, King Lear: 
"This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in...
Poor naked wretches, whereso'ever you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness defend you
From such seasons as these? O, I have ta'en
Too little care of this. Take physic, pomp.
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou may's shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just." 
[from Shakespeare's King Lear, Act III, Lines 27-41]

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

the generation of leaves on the ground

"As is the generation of leaves on the ground, so is that of humanity." 
[Glaukos to Diomedes on the battlefield near Troy, from Homer's The Iliad, Book VI, Line 146]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

licking honey off a thorn

“My grandfather always said that living is like licking honey off a thorn.”

[Louis Adamic]

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

the reader's soul

"A novel is like a bow, and the violin that produces the sounds is the reader's soul."

[Marie-Henri Beyle / Stendahl]

Saturday, May 24, 2014

brief and bitter / few and evil

"Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father and stood him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Jacob, "how many are the days of the years of your life?" And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life..." 
[Genesis 47:7-9]
"Thetis answered [Apollo] then letting the tears fall: "Ah me, my child. Your birth was bitterness. Why did I raise you? If only you could sit by your ships untroubled, not weeping, since indeed your lifetime is to be short, of no length. Now it has befallen that your life must be brief and bitter beyond all men's." 
[from The Iliad by Homer (Book I:413-418)]

breaks the spirit

"A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." 
[Proverbs 15:4]

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

to gray hairs I will carry you

"In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory...
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been born by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save." 
[Isaiah 45:25; 46:3-4]

Monday, May 12, 2014

to win us to our harm

"And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths..."

[Lord Banquo in Shakespeare's Macbeth]

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Biscuit by Jane Kenyon

The dog has cleaned his bowl
and his reward is a biscuit,
which I put in his mouth
like a priest offering the host.

I can't bear that trusting face!
He asks for bread, expects
bread, and I in my power
might have given him a stone.

[Jane Kenyon]

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

it's worse to judge

"In our day it’s worse to judge evil than to do evil." (Os Guinness)

Monday, May 05, 2014

anything less

"O my soul, thou art capable of enjoying God; woe to thee if thou art contented with anything less than God."  
[Frances de Sales]

a divine choice

"Gratitude is the most fruitful way of deepening your consciousness that you are...a divine choice."  
[Henry Nouwen]

Saturday, April 26, 2014

become smaller

How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it!"

[G.K. Chesterton]

Friday, April 25, 2014

more outstanding, more praised

"If you want to experience the flow of love as never before, the next time you are in a competitive situation, pray that the others around you will be more outstanding, more praised, and more used of God than yourself." 
[Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines]

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

carrying on with your conspiracies, filling the room with a sense of unease

If you come to find me affable
Build a replica for me
Would the idea to you be laughable
Of a pale facsimile?

So will you come to burn an effigy?
It should keep the flies away
And when you long to burn this effigy
It should be of the hours that slip away, slip away

It could be you, it could be me
Working the door, drinking for free
Carrying on with your conspiracies
Filling the room with a sense of unease

Fake conversations on a nonexistent telephone
Like the words of a man who's spent a little too much time alone
When one has spent too much time alone

So will you come to burn my effigy?
It should keep the flies away
If you long to burn an effigy
It should be of a man whose has lost his way, slips away

It could be you, it could be me
Working the door, drinking for free
Carrying on with your conspiracies
Filling the room with a sense of unease

Fake conversations on a nonexistent telephone
Like the words of a man who's spent a little too much time alone
When one has spent too much time alone

[Andrew Bird, "Effigy"]

Monday, April 21, 2014

like waifs clustering around a blazing fire

"Like waifs clustered around a blazing fire, we gathered about [the Bible], holding out our hearts to its warmth and light. The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God." 
[Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place]

Friday, April 18, 2014

Christ in the parent, in the child

"Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child..." - Ann Voskamp

Saturday, April 12, 2014

what you do with your solitude

"Your religion is what you do with your solitude." 
[William Temple]

Monday, March 10, 2014

it's either a reality or a sham

"How can you cope with the end a world and the beginning of another one? How can you put an earthquake into a test-tube, or the sea into a bottle? How can you live with the terrifying thought that the hurricane has become human, that the fire has become flesh, that life itself came to life and walked in our midst? Christianity either means that, or it means nothing. It is either the more devastating disclosure of the deepest reality in the world, or it’s a sham, a nonsense, a bit of deceitful play-acting. Most of us, unable to cope with saying either of those things, condemn ourselves to live in the shallow world in between..."

- N.T. Wright

Saturday, February 22, 2014

a sprinting, shoving age

"Our age is not the age of the meditative man. It's a sprinting, shoving age. Daily, new antidotes for contemplation spring into being and leap out from store counters."  
[Norman Cousins]

Saturday, February 15, 2014

but behold, bloodshed

"For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
and he looked for justice,
but behold, bloodshed;
for righteousness,
but behold, an outcry!"

Isaiah 5:7

Sunday, January 19, 2014

act as if you are living in a temple

"To be reverent is to act as if you are living in a temple."

Friday, January 03, 2014

good in conversation

"If you want to become brilliant in prayer, you have to become really good in conversation with people. You have to care about people. You have to chat to people. You have to connect with people in the messy place where their life is. And it's in those times when you give yourself to those conversations that compassion can rise up and take hold of you, and your compassion will cause you to pray properly over someone."
[Graham Cooke]