Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Dwelling in Peace

"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes"  
-Psalm 37:3-7
 One thing above all has enabled me to dwell at peace in the midst of trial: looking to the Lord, focusing my eyes entirely upon God and His wisdom, and love.
True freedom from our troubles is achieved when we follow the steps laid out for us in Psalm 37, when we deliberately set our emotions to delight in the Lord and give our reputation and our future entirely to Him.

As I seek to fill my mind--through Scripture, sermons, and songs--with thoughts of the Lord and who He is and what He has done and what He promises to do, I have been able to experience freedom, peace, and even joy in the midst of trials. This however, doesn't mean the pain or difficulty has gone, but that is not the main focus of my attention. It is the Lord. To Him will I look.

                                                         ~Grace~

What if, sometimes...


"What if, sometimes, there are mists and fogs so thick that I cannot see the path? ‘Tis enough that You hold my hand, and guide me in the darkness; for walking with You in the gloom–is far sweeter and safer than walking alone in the sunlight!
Dear Lord, give me grace to trust You wholly, whatever may befall; yielding myself up to Your leading, and leaning hard on You when “dangers are in the path.” Your way for me has been marked out from all eternity, and it leads directly to Yourself and home!" -Susannah Spurgeon

                                                                         ~Grace~


Real Beauity


This is me after a long, cold and miserable photo shoot. Society's beauty costs my friends! ... I think it took three cups of tea to warm me back up again.


I can conclude that almost every woman, everywhere, wants and yearns to be beautiful. And every day you’ll hear voices telling you how. “Buy these clothes! Try this diet! New creams guaranteed to make you look younger! Three easy steps to look like this season’s top actress!” 
And when you reach your goal of becoming beautiful, the voices say, you’ll be happy. Popular. Successful. Loved by everyone. But is this really what physical beauty delivers?

God delights in beauty, and he wants us to cultivate the most fulfilling and genuine kind.
 
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you"-1 Peter 1:3–4

"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God" - 1 Timothy 2:9–10, 

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." - 1 Peter 3:3-4

                                            ~Grace~

Monday, 19 December 2011

Romance

"Perhaps, after all, romance does not come into ones life with pomp and flair, like a joyful knight riding down. Perhaps it crept to ones side like an old friend through quiet ways. Perhaps it reveals itself in seeming purpose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung outward it's pages, betrayed the rhythm and the music. Perhaps...Perhaps love unfolds naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from it's green sheath."  -Anne of Green Gables
"Growing in romance should only take place only when friendship and fellowship are deepening." - Josh Harris
The essence of pure romance is a pursuit - a man revealing through his care, affection and sincere love for a woman and the woman responding in kind. 
-While romance is not the first priority in a relationship, it's still important, romantic feelings and the pure non-physical expression of those feelings are an essential part of this time in a relationship. If God is confirming the wisdom and rightness of the relationship, romantic feelings should be viewed as a good thing and a gift from God.
-Our goal during "courtship" is not to stifle our feelings of affection and love, but to submit them to God and grow in and guard them.

                                            ~Grace~

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Reflections on C.S. Lewis



C.S Lewis is one of the rarest kind of Christian apologist: both atheists and believers read his material with delight. Part of his appeal comes from the great modesty he beheld. He was not, after all, very impressed with himself. A great deal lies within his clear impatience with routine hypocrisy among Christians and his disgust with lingering Puritanism. Lewis was known to describe himself  as a "converted pagan living among apostate Puritans". Recognized as a man of great knowledge, wit, and formidable logic. Lewis has exercised a profound influence on the quality of contemporary Christian belief.  Here are a few quotes from his greatest works:

'Welcome, child,' he said.
'Alsan,' said Lucy, 'you're bigger.'
'That is because you are older, little one,' answered he.
'Not because you are?'
'I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.' 
- Prince Caspian, ch.10

"Precisely because we cannot predict the moment. we must be ready at all moments. Our Lord repeated this practical conclusion again and again; as if the promise of the Return had been made for the sake of this conclusion alone. Watch, watch, is the burden of his advice. I shall come like a thief. You will not, I most solemnly assure you, you will not, see me approaching...The point is surely simple enough. The schoolboy does not know which part of his Virgil lesson he will be made to translate: that is why he must be prepared to translate any passage. The sentry does not know what what time an enemy will attach, or an officer inspect, his post; that is why he must keep awake all the time...
Women sometimes have the problem of trying to judge by artificial light how a dress will look by daylight. That is very like the problem of all of us to dress out souls not for the electric lights of the present world but for the daylight of the next. The good dress is the one that will face that light. For that light will last longer"
- Ibid

"There is one vice of which no man in the world if free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves...The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind...
If I am a proud man, that, as long as there is one man in the whole world more powerful, or richer, or cleverer and I, he is my rival and my enemy...
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you...
The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether."
- Mere Christianity, bk 3, ch.8

"I am inclined to think a Christian would be wise to avoid, where he decently can, any meeting with people who are bullies, lascivious, cruel, dishonest, spiteful and so forth. Not because we are 'too good' for them. In a sense because we are not good enough. We are not good enough to cope with all the temptations, nor clever enough to cope with all the problems, which an evening spent in such society produces." 
- Reflections on the Psalms, ch.7

"Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less."
- Mere Christianity, bk 3, ch.9 

"The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong with sexual pleasure, any more that about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more that you ought to try ti get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again."
- Mere Christianity, bk. 3, ch.5

"We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship."
- Transpositions and Other Addresses, ch.3

Resources: A mind awake: An anthology of C.S. Lewis, Edited by Chyde S. Kilby


                                                                    ~Grace~