Wednesday, March 30, 2005

give us this day our daily bread

...the nature that is temperate and content with little according to the ideas of apatheia should be made equal to the [angelic] nature that has no material needs at all...

Ask for bread because life needs it, and you owe it to the body because of your nature...[but] if the soul is perpetually occupied with [vanities] it remains atrophied itself.

St. Gregory of Nyssa.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Famous Last Words

And now, who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor?.... Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his. In that knowledge, despair and die.
The White Witch to Aslan.
C.S. Lewis. THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. The Triumph of the Witch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What Matters

To lose heart is to lose everything.
John Eldredge. THE JOURNEY OF DESIRE. Our Heart's Deepest Secret.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Teens on LSD

A friend once told me that the best way to understand teenagers was to think of them as constantly on LSD. It was good advice...
Emotions are extreme and changeable. Small events can trigger enormous reactions.
(I read it quoted in JUNIOR HIGH MINISTRY by Wayne Rice)

Monday, March 14, 2005

An Apologetic for the Learned Life

An appetite for [the pursuit of knowledge and beauty] exists in the human mind, and God makes no appetite in vain. We can therefore pursue knowledge as such, and eauty as such, in the sure confidence that by doing so we are either advancing to the vision of God ourselves or indirectly helping others do so....

If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason,because bad philosophy needs to be answered....

The learned life then is, for some, a duty.


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Just Share the Moment

As a songwriter, I've learned it's best to be yourself. Rather than focusing on trying to influence, tell and preserve the story and allow the listener to share a moment with you.

Jennifer Knapp. Biography.

On the Institution of the Church

Frederick von Hugel said the institution of the church is like the bark on the tree. There's no life in the bark. It's dead wood. But it protects the life of the tree within. And the tree grows and grows and grows and grows. If you take the bark off, it's prone to disease, dehydration, death.

So, yes, the church is dead but it protects something alive. And when you try to have a church without bark, it doesn't last long. It disappears, gets sick, and it's prone to all kinds of disease, heresy, and narcissism.
Eugene Peterson. SPIRITUALITY FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS. Christianity Today. March 2005.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

"What is it, then, to be pure in heart?"
I answer: it is not necessary to define this purity, or to have in the mind any clear form of it. For even to now perfectly what purity of heart is, were that possible, would not be the same as to be pure in heart.
"How then am I to try to seek such purity? How can I do so without even knowing what it is?"
Though you do not know any definition of purity, you know enough to begin to be pure....
You who seek purity, and would have your fellowmen also seek it, spend not your thoughts and labor on the stony ground of their intellect, endeavoring to explain what purity is. Give to their imagination a picture of the one pure man. Call up their conscience to witness against their own deeds. Urge upon them the grand resolve to be pure.
With the first endeavor of a soul towards it, purity will begin to draw nigh, calling for admittance.

George MacDonald. KNOWING THE HEART OF GOD. Seeking God.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Value of a Spiritual Discipline

The practice of a spiritual discipline makes us more sensitive to the small, gentle voice of God. The prophet Elijah did not encounter God in the mighty wind or in the earthquake or in the fire, but in the small voice (see 1 Kings 19:9-13).
Through the practice of a spiritual discipline we become attentive to that small voice and willing to respond when we hear it.

Henri Nouwen. SHOW ME THE WAY. Thursday of the Third Week in Lent.