Thursday, July 31, 2008

A rainbow of fire and promise

After an early evening thunderstorm, a beautiful covered the lake. Here is just a fraction of the beautiful show, nature's best reflection of divine glory. :-)

In taking the photo and worshiping under the grand, vaulted canopy, storm in distance and sun in the West... clouds and rainbow fire over the lake... I was reminded of these words of God from Genesis chapter nine:

And God said,

"This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

So God said... "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

The time of destructive flood is past. Life will begin again. See the sign, and live, Live, my friend! Even now the waters recede, and you are called to your true part... sing, dance, trust!



Friday, July 25, 2008

Tony Snow: the true strength of humble virtue

Through selflessness and service...

Tony Snow has gone to his eternal reward. He has entered into divine rest, and he is sorely missed. We surely could use his character, his person, his humble virtue in our time. God grant that his memory is blessed with others who pick up his mantle.

A man is measured by his life -- and words uttered in line with that life have great power. Consider these words from Tony, and let them stir your heart to humility:

There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue -- for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do...

God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not?

Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

Let these words stir your heart to humble virtue, and thus greatness! Our world needs you to be great like this!


Hat tip to Roger for sharing these words! And the picture. Read his post here.

Related reading: The Bana Project for Lesotho, S.A.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Abba: my refuge and my home

Loving the Father as a child

by George MacDonald

How terribly, then, have the theologians misrepresented God in the measure of the low and showy, not the lofty and simple humanities! Nearly all of them represent Him as a great king on a grand throne, thinking how grand He is, and making it the business of His being and the end of His universe to keep up His glory, wielding the bolts of a Jupiter against them that take His name in vain.

They would not admit such a statement, but follow out what they say and it amounts to this.

Brothers, have you found our king? There He is, kissing little children and saying they are like God. There He is at the table with the head of a fisherman lying on His bosom, and somewhat heavy at heart that even he, the beloved disciple, cannot understand Him well. The simplest peasant who loves his children and his sheep is – no, not a “truer,” for the other is false, but – a true type of our God beside the monstrosity of a monarch that the theologians present.

Who is our God? It is He who is ever uttering himself in the changeful profusions of nature. It is He who takes millions of years to form a soul that shall understand Him and be blessed. It is He who never needs to be, and never is, in haste. It is He who welcomes the simplest thought of truth or beauty as the return for the seed he has sown upon the old fallows of eternity. It is He who rejoices in the response of a faltering moment to the age-long cry of His wisdom in the streets.

He is the God of music, of painting, of building, the Lord of Hosts, the God of mountains and oceans. It is He whose laws go forth from one unseen point of wisdom, and thither return without an atom of loss. He is the God of history working in time unto Christianity.

And this is God is the God of little children! He alone can be perfectly, abandonedly simple and devoted.

The deepest, purest love of a woman has its well-spring in Him. Our longing desires can no more exhaust the fullness of the treasures of the Godhead than our imagination can touch their measure. Of Him not a thought, not a joy, not a hope of one of His creatures can pass unseen. And while one of them remains unsatisfied, He is not Lord over all.

Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with the spirits of the just made perfect, with the little children of the kingdom, yea, with the Lord himself, and for all them that know Him not, we praise and magnify and laud His name in itself, saying, Our Father.

We do not draw back because we are unworthy, nor even because we are hardhearted and care not for the good. For it is His childlikeness that makes Him our God and Father. The perfection of His relation to us swallows up all our imperfections, all our defects, all our evils. For our childhood is born of His fatherhood.

The person is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter emptiness of feeling and desire, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, “Thou art my refuge, because thou art my home.”


George MacDonald, "The Child in the Midst," The Truth in Jesus: The Nature of Truth and How We Come to Know It, edited by Michael Phillips (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2006), 161-62

Through the vale of lamentation

If there be that skills to reckon

Words: attributed to Thomas Kempis (1379-1471); trans. John Mason Neale

If there be that skills to reckon
all the number of the blest,
he perchance can weigh the gladness
of the everlasting rest,
which, their earthly exile finished,
they by merit have possessed.

Through the vale of lamentation
happily and safely past,
now the years of their affliction
in their memory they recast,
and the end of all perfection
they can contemplate at last.

There the gifts of each and single
all in common right possess;
there each member hath his portion
in the Body's blessedness;
so that he, the least in merits,
share the guerdon none the less.

In a glass through types and riddles
dwelling here, we see alone;
then serenely, purely, clearly,
we shall know as we are known,
fixing our enlightened vision
on the glory of the throne.

There the Trinity of persons
unbeclouded shall we see;
there the Unity of essence
perfectly revealed shall be;
while we hail the threefold Godhead
and the simple Unity.

Wherefore man, take heart and courage,
whatso'er thy present pain;
such untold reward through suffering
thou may'st merit to attain:
and for ever in his glory
with the Light of light to reign!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

A joy of mountain wildflowers

Fresh to you from near Mt. Rainier! Enjoy! :-)

He doth still my trust renew

All my hope on God is founded

by Robert Bridges (1844-1930)

All my hope on God is founded;
He doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance He guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
He alone
calls my heart to be His own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray His trust;
what with care and toil He buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God's power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God's great goodness aye endureth,
deep His wisdom, passing thought:
splendor, light and life attend Him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from His store
newborn worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
His desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at His hand;
joy doth wait on His command.

Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, His Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall!


Friday, July 04, 2008

Purple mountain majesties II

Here's another shot of Rainier, just in time for the fourth of July! enjoy!

Purple mountain majesties

Here's a shot of Mt. Rainier from my recent trip to Oregon and WA -- got some great photos and breathed deeply in the mountain air! This photo, though, brings to mind the prayer of America, America... enjoy!

And sing the song, maybe hum it quietly to yourself, as you view:
O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.
O beautiful, for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!
O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
'Til all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!
O beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!


A prayer for the 4th of July

O God of earth and altar

by G.K. Chesterton

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee!


Paragraph Farmer: Standing strong on the ramparts

While I was jetting coast to coast and then driving everywhere in between [slight hyperbole, but truth in there somewhere, lol] Patrick O'Hannigan over at Paragraph Farmer was busy, penning a a gentle critique of Obama's operative hermeneutic.

If you are of an intellectual bent, and are so inclined, jump over to his blog and read the article. It won't waste your time! And definitely a patriotic thing to do today, in case you're short of ideas... :-)

Happy Fourth!