Saturday, November 12, 2011

Practicing Forgiveness

"True sorrow leads to repentance and the changing of ones ways."

Its not too uncommon to hear some such admonishment. And it's needed -- we ought to truly be sorry, instead of just apologizing because it's expected. It seems, though, that instead of only encouraging people to truly be repentant of their actions, we should also be fostering within people true forgiveness.

Just as people say "sorry" out of obligation, so do people say "I forgive you" "'sok" "no worries" or some other nice-ity.

First, "'sok" and "no worries" do not even begin to constitute verbal forgiveness. It's merely a polite way to respond to an apology of sorts (regardless of sincerity).

Second, just because the words "I forgive" exit your mouth does not mean you truly forgive the offender. Forgiveness is not merely words.

Forgiveness is commonly defined as granting pardon or remission. I don't think most people even begin to comprehend what that means, but another accepted definition is to quit feeling resentment. That's right, forgiveness is more than words, it's an emotion -- one that we, most likely, have to cultivate.

How do we cultivate forgiveness? How do we shed feelings of cold shoulder, revenge, spite, or just simply a hurt that you hold against someone? Aren't some things just too big to forgive?

Forgiveness is active. It's alright if, after initially granting forgiveness to someone, you find yourself struggling. This is where we must practice forgiveness. We must seize these hurt-filled moments and consciously decide to forgive - to not hold the offense against the offender. And we must do this until we teach ourselves, cultivate within ourselves forgiveness.

This can be a process, as every situation requiring forgiveness varies. And while it may feel as if some hurts are too great to forgive: say "I forgive you" and actively forgive whenever you have the chance.

After all, Jesus has forgiven all of us of every single wrong thing we have done -- and all those things we ever have or should have said "sorry" for was ultimately directed at him. He no longer holds our offenses against us if we accept him for who he is - our king.

If he can forgive everyone of wrongs done against him (which, since he king, is treason and rightly punishable by death) then how much more, especially after receiving such a forgiveness, should we willingly and gladly give forgiveness to others.

To give completely. That is what forgiveness originally meant, and it still holds true. Forgiveness is to completely give away resentment against another. It is not something we merely say to appease. Forgiveness is something we must practice, and, in Jesus, we have a great example to follow.

original image source

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friendly Reminder: Holidays Approaching

image from
Not to freak anyone out, but Thanksgiving is a mere 21 days away. Here are some things that, if you haven't, you should go ahead and try to do sooner than later. Planning in advance saves you time -- especially in the grocery stores as you try to buy all of the ingredients you need for your feast! Not to mention you'll be much less stressed the day - or even week - of Thanksgiving.
  • Plan on where you want to eat for Thanksgiving, and who you want invited. Go ahead and send invitations so your (hopeful) guests can make their Thanksgiving plans.
  • Make your menu and start looking for deals in the grocery store. Websites such as Money Saving Mom and Faithful Provisions have great posts that both give recipie ideas as well as where to get those deals.
  • Decide: do you want to decorate? If you do, do you already have everything you need, or will you have to run out to the store to buy decorations or craft supplies? Go ahead and set up what you want displayed for Thanksgiving. That way it's already done, and if you realize you're missing something you have time to go the store without a huge headache. Enjoy a few weeks of fall colors and reminders to be thankful, that certainly never hurt anyone. :-)
And, as we all know, Christmas comes on the heels of Thanksgiving. I know, some stores have had their decor out since August, but just because you've been blocking it out (I'm right there with you!) doesn't mean that you shouldn't start planning. I know for many, the day after Thanksgiving ("Black Friday") is the official start of the Christmas season. It is for me. Its the day we always do our big push to get our house and yard decorated for Christmas!

It is not the day I start looking for presents. I received an email today "I know it's a little early to be thinking about Christmas presents..." it began. Too early? I'm just under 3/4ths of the way finished! My personal goal is to be finished by Thanksgiving. I don't always succeed, but I usually come close. That is a totally unrealistic goal for some people, but it doesn't hurt to go ahead and start Christmas shopping.

Here are some ideas for you to go ahead and start:
  • Make a list of who you need/want to buy presents for. When possible, right down specific items you want to buy for them.Write down your budget for each person, and stick to it (if you love giving gifts, like I do, this is the hardest part).
  • Compare prices online. Often you can see both online and in store prices. Don't just check the stores and their websites, check to see if Amazon or Ebay (or similar store) has what you are looking for. There is quite a lot you can find at deep discounts on those sites ... and all without the hassle of shopping in an over crowded store and being overwhelmed by the noise, commercialism, and attention-grabbing signs and displays designed to make you spend more. Note: Don't forget to add in shipping to the cost of the gift. Some websites are offering free shipping on all orders during this season, just check and make sure you'll still be getting a better deal/that you're staying in budget before you buy!
  • Leave room on your list to fill in what you've bought each person and how much left you have in your budget. Those sites I mentioned above for Thanksgiving help? They're useful in finding good deals on gifts too, especially making good use of those coupons (which they'll often link to :-) ).
  • Buy (or make!) some inexpensive, more generic gifts that you can use in case of emergency (you forgot about someone and realize it last minute, like your child's teacher or your work's Secret Santa) or for people you want to remember but but can't drop a ton of money on.
My recommendation with Christmas shopping is to do it year round. I realize it's a little late the throw that idea out there now, but, truly, there is next year you can do that, and it's never too early to begin shopping. Year-round Christmas (birthday, anniversary, etc) shopping not only saves time, but also allows you to get better deals and not feel rushed into making a decision. Of course, all of this leads to less stress which means a more enjoyable Christmas season!

Those are some of my tips to help you have a less stressful Thanksgiving and Christmas. So what do you do to prepare for the holidays? What traditions are you looking forward to? And what do you do to figure out how to buy for those difficult people on your list (in my case, the men in my life)?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicken Run {Movie Review}

"Mrs. Tweedy! The Chickens are Revolting!"

"Finally, something we agree on."

In spite of being a little too environmental for my tastes, and having part of the plot being completely foreseeable from near the beginning of the movie, I would still say this is a movie worth watching.

Clay-mation always amazed me. The effort that goes into every second of the film is utterly astounding. Clay-mation is definitely not what I am cut out for; I'm just not that patient!, but I enjoy watching it.

It was amusing in scenes where The Great Escape was parodied; I just am not particularly keen on comparing what happened in a WWII prison camp to chickens on a chicken farm. (admittedly, Mrs. Tweedy's farm is a little over-the-top).

Chicken Run is still an amusing little movie, and all ages should enjoy watching it.

2 out of 5 stars.
Before I had seen The Great Escape I gave it 1 star.

(I'd personally give the movie a PG rating, not the G rating it has.)

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flawless {Movie Review}

I must say I was quite impressed with this movie. Excellent acting, filming, directing, script, wonderfully executed, and you are completely taken in. I love a movie that makes you think. This one did. At least, it made me think. It is, however, rated PG-13 for brief strong language for a reason. I believe they cursed two or three times in the entire movie, every time was strong. If it was not for the language it could easily be PG.

While the plot itself was wonderful the best part came at the very end of the movie. I was, to be completely honest, shocked at the final message the movie sent to its viewers (mentioned below under "spoilers"). I absolutely recommend seeing this movie.


The final message of the movie shocked me because the entire film had, in a sense, been about a woman making it in a man's world. At the end of the film we hear that the woman actually never discovered herself until after she got out of the business world and stopped trying to "prove" herself to herself and others. She discovered who she was by helping others outside of "work." It was a refreshing message, and to have that delivered after such a great plot and story was very memorable and impacting.

4 out of 5 stars.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Politically Correct Torture

I know this is dealing with a policy that is not currently being discussed, but the article has applicability beyond the one policy.

Politically Correct Torture

Is waterboarding torture?  If it is, we've been torturing our service members for years.  As a United States Naval Aviator, I attended SERE school in the California desert in 1985.  SERE (which stands for Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) prepares combatants for the possibility that they might be taken prisoners of war.
While many aspects of the training remain classified, I can say that we received treatment far more challenging and uncomfortable than anything the terrorists ever experienced at Gitmo or Abu Grab.  As has been reported elsewhere, waterboarding was common at SERE school as it was in my class.  It was done to help us resist giving up sensitive information in the event we were interrogated by the enemy.  SERE is probably the most impactful training I've ever experienced.
Now, despite decades of its use on American service members, President Obama declares that waterboarding is torture when used on terrorists.  Is it?  Reasonable people cannot disagree whether scalding a person's skin, dismembering him, or beheading him constitutes torture.  Those are undeniably torturous acts that our enemies have inflicted on Americans.  But since waterboarding leaves no permanent physical damage, reasonable people can disagree over whether or not it's actually torture and should be used on terrorists.  I'll address that question in a future column.
What I'd like to address in this column is the shocking inconsistency of the President's position.  Despite being against waterboarding, President Obama does not seem to think that scalding, dismembering, or beheading is torture in all circumstances.  In some circumstances, the President actually approves of such treatment, so much so that he is now exporting it to other countries with our tax dollars.  He's even thinking of forcing certain Americans to inflict it on the innocent.
In fact, the President along with most in his party and some in the Republican Party, think that such brutality is a Constitutional right, which they cleverly disguise with the word "choice."  Choice in these circumstances actually means scalding, dismembering, or de-braining a living human being—which is literally what saline, D&C, and partial birth abortions respectively accomplish.  (Before anyone labels me an "extremist" for making this point, realize that I'm just factually describing what these procedures literally do.  In my opinion, the "extremists" are those who deny these verifiable truths.)
The President might say that the comparison doesn't work because we're not sure about the humanity of the unborn.  He said as much in the Rick Warren debate when he declared that the question of life's beginning was "above his pay grade."  Well, if there's any doubt about when life begins, shouldn't you err on the side of caution and protect what may be a human being?  If you're not sure whether the rustling in the bushes is a deer or your daughter, won't you get a certain ID before shooting?
Actually, there is no doubt about the humanity of the unborn.  We are sure that an unborn child is a human being, and we know this not by religion, but by hard scientific data.  The President knows this.  If embryonic life is not human, then why does he insist on using taxpayer dollars to harvest embryonic cells?  Answer:  because they are human.  Moreover, human bodies and body parts are extracted from the womb by abortion, not just "tissue." Finally, it's a scientific fact that at the moment of conception a new genetically unique human being exists.  You haven't received any new genetic information since the moment you were conceived.  Only four things separated you from adulthood—time, air, water and food.  Those are the same four things that separate a two-year old from adulthood.  We don't allow the killing of two-year old humans; why should we allow the killing of humans just a little bit younger who happen to be in a womb—especially those at full term?
But the legality of abortion is not the main point here.  That's bad enough, but the President is advocating something even worse.  He isn't just allowing abortion to continue, he seeks to promote and subsidize it through the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).  That deceptively-named bill will end the choice of certain doctors to conscientiously refuse to do abortions, and it will end the choices millions of Americans have made to restrict abortion through parental notification laws, informed consent laws, and even bans on partial birth abortion.  All of those restrictions freely chosen by the people of this country will be invalidated by FOCA.  The President also wants to force taxpayers to pay for abortions right here in America.
Why does he want to do this?  Doesn't he know what goes on in an abortion?  I have to assume yes.  He's a very intelligent man.  That leaves us with one of two possibilities, neither of which is good. Either he really believes that scalding, dismembering, and de-braining ought to subsidized and increased, or he is willing to champion these things to please his base for his own political gain.  The former is madness.  The latter is an example of "the ends justifying the means," which leads us back to waterboarding.
Questions for the President:
Why do the ends justify the means if they protect you with your base, but the ends don't justify the means if they protect the American People?
Why do you think that waterboarding the guilty is immoral, but subsidizing the killing of the innocent is the right thing to do?
I'm not intending to be uncharitable, and I hope I am mistaken.  But it appears to me that this President is willing to subsidize the killing of the innocent to potentially save himself, but is unwilling to simulate drowning on the guilty to potentially save thousands or millions of Americans—a simulation that we have performed on our own servicemen for decades.
original image source

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Silent and Sounding

When I can't feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you, I know you still hear every word I pray

The experience of God's presence should not be confused with the existence of his presence. Unfortunately, this confusion is all too often the case.

When we don't "feel" God, we wonder what is wrong. I think this is normal, but it is something we should work to correct within ourselves. God does not change with our mutability. He is constant. He never leaves.

By him, all is. He holds everything together. He sustains the universe.

He is there, and he is not silent.

Even when we don't have the experience of his presence, it is still present.

I think Michael Ward's explanation of silence in his book Planet Narnia nicely relates to the silence we often feel occurs with God:

"For Lewis there were two kinds of silence, the good and the bad. The bad kind features in the title of the first volume of his Ransom Trilogy (1938-1945), Out of the Silent Planet. The silent planet is Earth, out of which comes the hero of the trilogy, Dr Elwin Ransom, on a journey to Mars. He discovers that, in the language of Mars, Planet Earth is know as thulcandra. Earth is thulc ('silent') because she does not join in the music of the spheres. Earth's presiding 'the Bent One' who has nothing to say or sing to the other planetary angels. Earth's silence is a dumb silence, a dead silence.

"Mars and all the other planets are also silent, as far as the inhabitants of Earth are concerned, but for a different reason. It is not because these other planets are sullenly mute that they are not heard. On the contrary, they are not heard because their singing in is perpetual. As Lewis explained in an address entitled 'Imagination and Thought in the Middle Ages':

[The music of the spheres] is the only sound which has never for one split second ceased in any part of the universe; with this positive we have no negative to contrast. Presumably if (per impossible) it ever did stop, then with terror and dismay, with a dislocation of our whole auditory life, we should feel that the bottom had dropped out of our lives. But it never does. The music which is too familiar to be heard enfolds us day and night and in all ages.
"In the pre-Copernican model of the cosmos the planets were silent and sounding at the same time: their music was not heard on earth because it was always heard. And it is this sort of silence, a pregnant silence, resonant with significance," that I believe God's presence is to us. Unlike the singing of the planets, however, sometimes God allows us to "feel" him in a more experimental way than normal life accustoms us to. These times should be cherished, but we should not think we are less spiritual when we only have his perpetual, sustaining presence in our lives - what an undeserved blessing and magnanimous gift!

Song lyrics from Brooke Fraser's Faithful
Michael Ward, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis, (Oxford: Oxford Press, 2008), 21-22.

original image source

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Friday, September 30, 2011


Always be about the work of the Kingdom. Do not live Christ when it is convenient; mold your life around Christ. When He is the focus and the joy and the subsistence of your life you will be more effective for Him on accident than you ever would before on purpose.

I feel so inadequate to say that, but it is true. Do I model it in my own life? Do people really see Christ in me? Some say they do, but is it because they know what to look for? Do the spiritually dead see a difference? Some do, but do they know the source of the difference? What needs to change in my so I can really be effective for God? How can I share Him effectively now? These thoughts and the like have been ravaging me. There are so many points of improvement I ought to make. So what if I know more than "average" about the Bible? What does it matter in the end?

St. Francis is credited with saying "Preach all the time, when necessary, use words." That phrase (taken out of context, I am told) has been the cry of the American church. I don't need to tell my friends about Christ, they'll just see I'm different. Maybe not, but maybe so. But what good will it do them? Actions speak louder than words, but some need words in order for the significance of the action(s) to be realized.

We need to tell people, not just live it. We must do both -- Show and Tell -- Christ to the world. Aye, we need to go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel. We need to tell the unreached people groups about the Messiah. But as we are going, we need to tell those around us. We mustn't neglect our co-worker because we are going to Latvia, we mustn't neglect our neighbor because we are going to Chaz, and we mustn't neglect the annoying person beside us on the flight because we're on our way to Siberia. Every person is equally valuable to God.

I have recently realized what a poor, wretched worm I am. Why should God care about me? Why should He save me? Why should He love me? His love itself is an act of mercy. He knows that we cannot do anything of significance on our own. He has compassion for us. What a just, kind, merciful, Judge He is! Perfectly holy, perfectly pure, perfectly ... perfect. Yet He chooses to use us.

I once had a mental picture put in my brain. It was of the ittiest inch-worm in a little glass container on a stick with a few leaves about. There was a ginormous hand - much, much bigger than the glass container (think Gulliver's Travels big) outside the container, providing what was necessary to sustain the little worm. The hand is God, the worm, myself. I'm a peon. Nothing. But He still cares for me.

We are such fickle creatures. We go from Cloud 9 to the depths of loneliness in the passing of a cloud over the sun. Sad to glad because someone smiled at us. Contemplative to rompings because of a hint of a thought that passed us by. I realized as I saw that inch-worm with the ginormous hand's provision that what rocks my world is inconsequential to God. It's okay; He's still going to provide. I read once that we need to stop telling God how big our storms are, and start telling our storms how big our God is. Such is truth. Why the fickleness? Why the drastic changes in perspective? I think a lot of it is due to a lack of faith in God. Our actions show our faith.

So why don't we tell our friends and family about Jesus? We are afraid of offending them. We don't want to cause a rift in the family. All of these are legitimate concerns. From our viewpoint. I wonder what God thinks. I imagine that sometimes He's going - just tell them, stop worrying. I'll take care of the rest; just trust me. Trust my Word.

I know I have a ways a to go. It's easy to become discouraged because of the sin in your life that you just discovered, or that you never really realized was a problem before. Awhile back I had this thought, which occurred recently again to me - instead of being discouraged by noticing sin in our life, we should rejoice! Be encouraged! It means we are still sensitive to the Holy Spirit; God is working on us. We are getting closer to Him! If we weren't, we would think everything was fine and nothing really needed cleaning up in our act. So I encourage both you and myself to walk the walk. Be like Christ. Imitate Him in all you do, but talk the talk too. No, not Christanese. Talk in relate-able, understandable language. Share Christ, share the gospel, give Him glory. For He has done it.

original image source

Friday, September 23, 2011

Like the Waves to the Sand

... people come and go in life. The important thing is the impression they leave behind.

Some friends are like foam - you see them for a time, and then they're gone forever.
Others like the constant wave - being brought back into your life at the proper moment.
Some are like the thin sheet of water that moves up and down on the beach - never completely leaving at all.
Others like the current - never actually physically reaching you, but impacting you anyway.
Some friends are tidal waves - drastically changing your outlook.
Others a gallimaufry of these - constantly helping you sort through yourself and helping you define who you are.
Who am I to you?
Who are you to me?
Only time can tell - for its only through time that the art of the sand that the waves has helped create under the hand of the master is seen.

original image source

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dream Big, Fly High...and Always Remember: You are Your Own Worst Enemy.

God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, pg 27

Wait, that can't be right. Aren't we told to pursue our dreams? Aren't we supposed to dream big and have visionary, innovate solutions and ideas? Aren't we...

No. And, for the record, yes.

No to our typical thinking, but yes if and only if it is a dream God has given us. But even then we must be willing to sacrifice it if he asks it of us, for if our dream is not of him it will be taken away, and for the good. If, however, our dream is of him, he will give it back, in due time, and it will likewise be for the good.

We must sift our dreams, weigh and measure them. "It's all about the call [of God]" - how many time have you heard that? "I've got to find the will of God for my life" - another common phrase. Well think on this: the will of God for your life is not lost and you do not need to go searching the depths of the earth for it. It's right in his Word.

And that's where my trouble lies. Yes, I believe God can and sometimes chooses to direct people in direct, cut-and-dry ways. But that is not normal. The will of God for your life is simple and profound: whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. That is the will of God for my life, for your life.

If we simply did everything for God's glory would we struggle so much with our "life's purpose?" Would we worry so much about the future? If we always choose to do what is most glorifying to God then of course we will be in the center of "his will for our life."

Do you think God will call you to do something you utterly abhor? I, for one, do not believe this. It seems to me that God will not "call you" to be an artist if you have no such ability. God has given each of us particular gifts and abilities to use for his purpose and glory. We need not wonder if we are to be an engineer if math is not your game.

But we should and ought to realize that doing what we are talented at doing for God's glory is not going to come without cost. While I do believe that doing what we are good at for God's glory will be pure joy in many ways, I also believe it will be quite painful. For it is seen throughout the pages of Scripture that he doesn't just desire glory, he desires (and deserves!) all the glory, and the most glory that can possibly be given from any particular situation.

Thus, you will be pruned. You will be broken. You will be grafted and be grafted into. What are the things that you have a desire to do for God's glory? Now, of those things, what do you think, knowing your weaknesses and strengths, would be the hardest for you to do? That, I think, is what God is "calling" you to do.

Why? because it is not easy for us to deny our flesh, so God gets the glory when the flesh is denied. Because it requires refining, and people don't choose to go through fire for the fun of it -- so God gets the glory. Whatever you have a passion for doing that would cause you to bend over backwards to rely on God and deny yourself is, I believe, the call of God. You are your own worst enemy, for as much as you desire to succeed in this role, you also desire to fail and cave into fleshly desires.

But when you follow God and wait on him, he will bear you up high, and you fly. Your dreams will soar. But sometime we take our eyes off of God and start looking around, we fly too high on the wings of selfish ambition, and, like Icarus, we fall. But, unlike Icarus, God catches us. We all fail, sometimes, but that's okay. Because we also know what it's like to leave the ground.

My prayer is that I will follow God's leading and choose to do what gives him the most glory, every time. That I will be able to focus on him in this present he's given me, and not get so caught up in the future I forget that I'm making it, and not get so caught up in the past that I forget to redeem the time. And I pray that God will take me home to be with him when my death will glorify him more than my life.

original image source

Sunday, September 11, 2011


There's been a ladybug on a wall in the red bathroom for weeks now, maybe longer. I think it's dead. It hasn't moved at all since I first noticed it in place.

It doesn't really fit. The ladybug is more orange than red, so it doesn't match the wall color. I keep thinking I should go over and see if it's alive, but surely it couldn't last that long without motion – without food – without water? And besides, what if I knocked it off the wall? It may not fit in the bathroom, but I now visit the same stall everytime I visit this bathroom. 

What if it's moved? What if it's gone? What would it mean? How did the ladybug arrive there anyway? And long has it been there? And how did it die (if it's really dead) stuck to wall of the cinnamon scented bathroom? 

And how does life leave anyway – and how can the dead be beautiful?

I cannot see the lifeless seashells and seastars and not admire their beauty. I love looking for shells at the shore – I love hunting through a broken graveyard. 

People bury and cry over their dead dog and kitten. But we don't shed a tear for a woman murdered in cold blood, or the child that died of abuse. We don't even cry for the man who died in his sleep if we don't know him. 

Isn't there something terribly wrong about that? That we would grieve over a critter, but not over a fellow member of humankind? Are we not worth more than the animals? 

It's a bit morbid of me, I suppose, to have these queries, but isn't it natural to fascinated by that which is unnatural? Shouldn't we live forever?

image from

Monday, August 29, 2011

For This Reason the Gospel is Preached to the Dead

As I read 1 Peter, I came once again to this passage.

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. (4:3-6)

In this past I have always read this as meaning the gospel was preached to both the physically living and the physically dead. It didn't make much sense to me that way, but I never thought to question my initial reading from years ago, and I've never spent much time on this passage anyway. The middle part of chapter one has seized my attention, however, so I decided to read the entire book in one sitting.

When I came to the above passage it struck me: is it really talking about the physically dead? What good does the gospel do them? I realized in context of this passage, and the larger NT (and probably even OT) narrative I think it's talking about the spiritually dead.

We all once were dead if we are not still dead now.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world... (Eph 2:1-2)

...Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be the God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!... (Rom 7:24-25)

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; (Rom 8:6)

For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in spirit the way God does. (1 Peter 4:6, em)

Salvation is truly amazing. As my former youth pastor once said, "When we accept Jesus, it's not adding Jesus to an already busy life; it's a whole new life!" But its more than that. Before you were dead, yet physically going through the motions of life. Now you're really alive.

I stand with Cassie Bernall who wrote in her journal a few days before she was shot to death for believing in God:

So whatever it takes I will be the one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.

original image source 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lord Tennyson

I reckon the bottom line is British poetry has some fantastic lines contained in it. Here are some (mostly) from Tennyson.

"I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch where though
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move." -- Ulysses, Lord Tennyson

"How dull it is to pause, to make an end
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life!..." -- Ulysses, Lord Tennyson

"...Come, my friends
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world." -- Ulysses, Lord Tennyson

image from
"We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." -- Ulysses, Lord Tennyson

"Twilight and evening bell,
___And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell
___When I embark;" -- Crossing the Bar, Lord Tennyson 

"But it is over as the tale once told." -- Dead Before Death, C. Rossetti

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Percy Shelley

I must really like Shelley because here are some more quotes I found that I saved especial!

"Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream." -- Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Percy Shelley

"Thou -- that to human thought art nourishment,
___Like darkness to a dying flame!
___Depart not as they shadow came
___Depart not - lest the grave should be
Like life and fear, a dark reality." -- Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Percy Shelley

"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away." -- Ozymandias, Percy Shelley

"Oh wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing." -- Ode to the West Wind, Percy Shelley

"Of the dying year, the which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all they congragrated might" -- Ode to the West Wind, Percy Shelley

"And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
... All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them!" -- Ode to the West Wind, Percy Shelley

"Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withering leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
...Be thourgh my lips to unawakened Earth

...Oh Wind,
If Winter, comes, can Spring be far behind?" -- Ode to the West Wind, Percy Shelley

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Byron and Shelley

This batch of quotations I like comes from Lord Byron and Percy Shelley.

"Ambition was my idol, which was broken." -- Don Juan, Lord Byron

"What is the end of fame? 'tis but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper:" -- Don Juan, Lord Byron

"But I, being fond of true philosophy,
___Say very often to myself, "Alas!"
All things that have been born were born to die,
___And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass,
You've pass'd your youth not so unpleasantly,
___And if you had it o'er again - 'twould pass -
So thank your stars that matters are no worse,
And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse." -- Don Juan, Lord Byron

"Go, little book, from this my solitude!
___I cast thee on the waters, go thy ways!
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
___The world will find thee after many days." -- Don Juan, Lord Byron

"A dream has power to poison sleep;
... One wandering thought pollutes the day;" -- Mutability, Percy Shelley

"Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;" -- Mutability, Percy Shelley

"A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there" -- Mont Blanc, Percy Shelley

"This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
___Ask why the sunlight not forever
___Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain river," -- Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Percy Shelley

"Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
___... From all we hear and all we see,
___Doubt, chance, and mutability." -- Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Percy Shelley

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Friday, August 12, 2011

William Blake

I was looking through various quotes that I wrote down because they caught my eye and thought I would share some of them here. This bunch is mostly from William Blake.

"Oh, say what stranger cause, yet unexplored,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord?" -- Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope

"Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate." -- Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope

"Because I was happy upon the hearth,
And smil'd among the winter's snow;
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe." -- The Chimney Sweeper, William Blake

"And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy." -- The Sick Rose, William Blake

"And her thorns were my only delight." -- My Pretty Rose Tree, William Blake

"And binding with briars my joys and desires." -- The Garden of Love, William Blake

"How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls." -- London, William Blake

"Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth
Must be Consumed with the Earth" -- To Tirzah, William Blake

"But Mercy changed Death into sleep," -- To Tirzah, William Blake

"Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay
And me to mortal Life betray." -- To Tirzah, William Blake

"Inaudible as dreams!" -- Frost at Midnight, Samuel Coleridge

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I am fed up with love.

Ok so that's rather a shocking statement not meant to be taken literally. I am tired of all of the hype about looove and falling in love and whose dating whom etc. Why is our culture so big on "finding your soulmate?" Why do we want a fairy tale ending to our stories? Why are we so adamant about nothing but the deepest of love ever inducing us to matrimony? Okay, so I know the answer to all of the above, but it frustrates me.

Has anyone wondered why our ancestors had a better rate for successful marriage than we do? Has anyone thought that perhaps marriage isn't all about love (as in warm fuzzy feelings)? That maybe, just maybe, you should marry someone because they have the same principles and values of you; because you see eye-to-eye on raising children, and their education, and how the family is to be run; because your personalities are compatible, and your religious beliefs are the same (both generally and in essential particulars). Has anyone ever thought that commitment based on the facts just might be a better reason to say "I do" than the feelings you get on a cool night with the stars reflected in his/her eyes?

No, I'm not discounting the lovey-dovey feelings. I recognize that there should be a legitimate place for those, but I think waaayy too much emphasis is put on that to the ultimate exclusion of anything else. Then we wonder why we are so messed up and why we aren't happy. Maybe we should marry more for all of those other reasons I mentioned. Maybe our homes would be more stable and our lives more fulfilled and happy. Marry for love. But please, please make sure it is a stable, steadfast love. Not the fly-by-night ushy-gushy feelings incorrectly called love.

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