Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The following piece by Jeremy Taylor, after the loss of a son, imprisoned for his theology during the turbulent times in the 1600s, where he more than once lost all, writes the following paragraph about his remaining blessings.
“I am fallen into the hands of publicans and sequestrators, and they have taken all from me; what now? Let me look about me. They have left me the sun and moon, fire and water, a loving wife, and many friends to pity me, some to relieve me, and I can still discourse; and unless I list they have not taken away my merry countenance, and my cheerful spirit, and a good conscience, they still have left me the providence of God, and all the promises of the Gospel, and my religion, and my hopes of heaven, and my charity to them too; and still I sleep and digest, I eat and drink, I read and meditate, I can walk in my neighbor’s pleasant fields, and see the varieties of natural beauties, and delight in all that in which God delights, that is, in virtue and wisdom, in the whole creation, and in God himself.
And he that hath so many causes of joy and so great, is very much in love with sorrow and peevishness, who loses all these pleasures, and chooses to sit down on his little handful of thorns.”
Saturday, August 22, 2009
In reading through a section of "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ" by Brooks, he addresses the importance of a genuine, living faith in the heart of the preacher. The entire chapter is good but I will just share a few nuggets tucked within.
"The name of a Savior is honey in the mouth, and music in the ear, and a jubilee in the heart." Saint Bernard.
I was reading some of Thomas Brooks and ran across this in his epistle dedicatory, where he gives his reasons for writing the book. As he describes his purpose I realized it is the reason we all are drawn to Christ, and it is a simple but clear description of the Gospel.
“…….You that are weak may, in this treatise, as in a glass, see your weakness, your mercies, your graces, your duties, your privileges, and your comforts. You that are weak in grace may, here find many questions answered and doubts resolved, that tend to the satisfying, quieting, settling, and establishing of your precious souls in peace, joy, and assurance. You that are weak in grace, may find here a staff to support you, a light to direct you, a sword to defend you, and a cordial to strengthen you. And you that are strong in grace, may here see what is your way, what is your work, and what at last shall be your reward. Here you will find that which tends to the discovery of spirits, the sweetening of spirits, the uniting of spirits, the healing of spirits, and the making up of breaches.”
I especially like the last line, and in particular "the discovery of spirits". I thought one application of that is as we meet people we should be on the lookout for the Godly spirits that they are graced with, so that we may better learn of Christ from them and better serve and encourage them.
I chose this delightful picture because it made me think how readily we would seek to know and learn about someone like this vibrant looking girl; so approachable, delightful and energized; but I have heard it said that, often men look upon another man they do not know as a potential threat, and I can't help but agree it is often the case.
Photo by David Larson
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
"You cannot expect that a man while he is struggling to get out of the water and on the shore, will practice a dancing master's paces."