Writing that Makes Me Want to Give Thanks

One of my best friends died 5 months after I was born.  He has made me laugh, entertained me for hours upon hours with his stories, and opened my eyes to mysteries in ways that are marvelous to me.  Every time I think of him I am thankful that he shared his thoughts with me, and none more than these thoughts that inspire me and fill me with hope:

“And this brings me to the other sense of glory—glory as brightness, splendour, luminosity. We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning Star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings if you get up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more—something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have Door_Knobpeopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves that, though we cannot, yet these projections can, enjoy in themselves that beauty grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face; but it won’t. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world,
the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. For you must not think that I am putting forward any heathen fancy of being absorbed into Nature. Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects.” – C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

A Working Definition of Love

There are so many ways to look at love because it is a transfinite concept.  It belongs here and now but we sense it is not contained in space and time.  Love is both static and dynamic.  Love is unreachably distant and compelling and it is utterly accessible and simple.  The Bible says God is love.  This explains a lot.  Why it is so…mystically normal.  I add this thought about love because I’ve looked at God for a long time and I’ve found a working definition of love.  In other words, in light of who God is, what God says, and what God does, this definition of love works for me.  It helps me to glorify God.

Love = an absolute commitment to the absolute best interests of someone or something other than the self.

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Does this Work?

“When faced with wonderful theory, good-sounding teaching, laws prohibiting, or innovative frames of reference, I believe that we rarely ask ourselves the question, “Does this work?” We are so miserable in our present condition that we are willing to listen to anything that promises a quick remedy. At various times I have been told that Christians are not to own televisions, radios, open-toed shoes, wire-rimmed glasses, brightly colored clothing, or an organ in the church building. But in the ranks of the legalists have been found the grossest of immoralities. It must not work!” – Mike Wells, Sidetracked in the Wilderness

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Prayer Pictures

The Psalms are the prayer book of the Bible.  The Psalms are poetry, full of images intended to stand out of the text and in our minds like structures in pop-up books.  Towers and birds and trees and rivers.  Grasp these images and let your mind hold them all day long.  Meditate over them.  Meditation is a word best described as what a lion does over its prey.  It is a deep growling, chewing, grasping.download

Aftertaste

This morning I asked Tina what she thought of Gravity.  She said, “I liked it.  We talked

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about this last night.”  I said, “Movies are like eating a meal for me.  There are times when I’m eating and I think I like the taste of the food, but later on the aftertaste isn’t so good.”

Anyone feel that way?  Ever taken something into your mind and later discovered that it left a bad taste in your soul?  Ever found an image coming back up like indigestion?  We are free to eat what we want, but some things are better left out of our spirit’s diet. Jesus said God’s words were always good and life giving.  God’s words can actually work the other way.  They can be bitter in my mouth, but afterwards are sweet in my soul.

In the case of Gravity, it still tastes good today.  I think I may even go back for seconds.