Saturday, September 25, 2010

build on calvary

"O Young man, build your studio on Calvary! there raise your
observatory, and scan by faith the lofty things of nature. Take a
recluse's cell in the garden of Gethsemane, and wash your face
with the waters of Siloam. Let the Bible be your standard classic, your
last appeal in matters of contention. Let its light be your
illumination, and you will become more wise than Plato, more
truly learned than the seven sages of antiquity." - Spurgeon

Monday, September 20, 2010

saturday, sunday, monday

Saturday night I was up until 4am. Midnight brought the call you hope to never receive. "You're where? On a bridge and going to jump? Don't! I'll be right there."

Sunday afternoon I went to a going away party for a friend. She is leaving to study at the Mayo clinic in Arizona for a year. The party was hosted at her boyfriends house. The design of the house was creative. It was built rustic and livable with plenty of exposed beams and three decks. There was enough bushes and trees around the property, which is placed next to duplex-ville in Bremerton, to make it feel country. It was fall. The air had the lingering touch of morning dew and the sun shared space with the chill. It seemed very removed from the night before.

In the last three days I have finished Lewis's book The Great Divorce. Besides having an unfortunate name I can say that his writing has finally spilled over my trenches. That is to say, I admire him. You see, I have not wanted to. It seems like everyone defaults to Lewis. I will say that one of the most brilliant things about Lewis is that God gave him the ability to see outside of himself and to appreciate all of creation. His book Surprised By Joy tells of his early desires to try to capture joy when he felt it most profoundly. He tried to feel it to the greatest extent and to hold himself there (or hold joy to himself) as if to fulfill the wish of Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration. To his disappointment he could not hold joy (I believe that joy in The Great Divorce is tied inextricably to "Reality", and thus he could not hold the realest reality). Joy was not that moment or that feeling. The substance is in the object of desire. "Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life!" Understanding can be tested by action.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


It does not good to try to catch-up when you have fallen behind blogging--life cannot be related that easily--so I will tell you about the last two days. Last night we had two boys stay at our house. One was 19 and the other 24. Both homeless. One dressed smartly with a vest, tie, and button up shirt. He likes to ballroom dance. The other has visible scars on face and arms to mark the battles he that his life has been. Both slept on a blow-up mattress that we have ready in expectation of having weekly guests. One upstairs and one downstairs. I am reminded as I go to bed that I cannot be a child anymore. I wake up with mouths to feed and a concern for their daily schedule. But I do not think this responsibility is the crown of moving into adulthood. There is no trumpet cry, cymbal clash, or cheering crowd to welcome you into eldership. For many it is actually marked by decline or disappointment. It is marked by loneliness and unattainable expectation. A child is taught to pray, "Dear Lord, help me be small well and grow up strong." The adult is expected to learn from experience. If you adult were to pray, "Dear Lord, help me be big well," what do you think the response would be? Listen. Perhaps Jesus is asking you to come to the garden and simply be with him for a time. Perhaps the stress of attainment or responsibility is too much for you alone. Let us not forget that we can learn and listen again that He ready to help the humble and willing...even grown-ups.

Friday, September 3, 2010

helpful words

I found Oswald Chambers very helpful today:

"He would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord —2 Samuel 23:16"

"What has been like “water from the well of Bethlehem” to you recently— love, friendship, or maybe some spiritual blessing ( 2 Samuel 23:16 )? Have you taken whatever it may be, even at the risk of damaging your own soul, simply to satisfy yourself? If you have, then you cannot pour it out “to the Lord.” You can never set apart for God something that you desire for yourself to achieve your own satisfaction. If you try to satisfy yourself with a blessing from God, it will corrupt you. You must sacrifice it, pouring it out to God— something that your common sense says is an absurd waste.

How can I pour out “to the Lord” natural love and spiritual blessings? There is only one way— I must make a determination in my mind to do so. There are certain things other people do that could never be received by someone who does not know God, because it is humanly impossible to repay them. As soon as I realize that something is too wonderful for me, that I am not worthy to receive it, and that it is not meant for a human being at all, I must pour it out “to the Lord.” Then these very things that have come to me will be poured out as “rivers of living water” all around me ( John 7:38 ). And until I pour these things out to God, they actually endanger those I love, as well as myself, because they will be turned into lust. Yes, we can be lustful in things that are not sordid and vile. Even love must be transformed by being poured out “to the Lord.”

If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when God gave you a blessing you hoarded it. Yet if you had poured it out to Him, you would have been the sweetest person on earth. If you are always keeping blessings to yourself and never learning to pour out anything “to the Lord,” other people will never have their vision of God expanded through you."