“This of course is at the heart of the idea of redemption: to begin again. I wish to begin again on a daily basis. To be born again every day is something that I try to do. And I’m deadly serious about that.”—Bono, Bono: In Coversation with Michka Assayas
“It is a fair tale, though it is sad, as are all the tales of Middle-earth, and yet it may lift up your hearts.”—
Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
All tales are sad because either its optimism is false, or the tragedy ends without justice. Even positively, the tragedies point to a hoped for resolution, or the joyful ones are shadows of another. But there is one that is its own resolution and light itself.
“I don’t know how to say it, but after last night I feel different. I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way. I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can’t turn back…I don’t rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire. I must see it through, sir, if you understand me.”—Sam Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien.
“Lord, when I forget the gospel I become dependent on the smile and evaluation of others. I let them sit in judgment on me, and then I hear all the criticism as a condemnation of my very being. But you have said there is no condemnation for me now (Rom. 8:1). You delight and sing over me (Zeph. 3:14-17). Let me be satisfied with your love (Ps. 90:14). Please remove my idol of approval, which can never give me the approval I need.”—Timothy Keller, Gospel in Life
What a figment of the imagination human beings are!
What a novelty, what monsters!
mindless worm of the earth,
storehouse of truth,
cesspool of uncertainty and error,
glory and reject of the universe.
“Lord, I live by your sheer grace. That means though I don’t deserve to have things go right, yet I know you are working them all out for good (Rom. 8:28), because you love me in Christ. My security in life is based neither on luck not hard work, but on your gracious love for me. You have counted every hair on my head (Matt. 10:30-31) and every tear down my cheeks (Ps. 56:8). You love me far more and better than anyone else loves me, or than I love myself. Please remove my idol of security, which can never give me the security I need.”—Timothy Keller, Gospel in Life
“For we are all, like swimmers in the sea,
Pois’d on the top of a huge wave of Fate,
Which hangs uncertain to which side to fall.
And whether it will heave us up to land,
Or whether it will roll us out to sea,
we know not.”—
Matthew Arnold, from Sohrab Rustum
"We know not." There’s something disconcerting in not knowing when sometimes all you want to know is a mere ounce, a speck of what’s going to happen. It’s all we’re asking for. But though we know not, God knows. God knows the movement of the tides, the impending storms, or the grand pacific that may slowly undulate on the horizon. And it’s the God who knows that knows the storms in your own life, and sent his Son to weather the storm of sin that we could not endure. It broke him so that we could fully and genuinely know him. The one thing we are to know.
“beneath the noise
below the din
i hear your voice it’s whispering”—
u2 // miracle drug
it’s often hard to hear God when all the world around you screams and clamors for your attention. But I love how like God spoke to Elijah, not in an earthquake, or a fire, or a strong wind, but in a low whisper, that in the mist of all of this that I still hear his whisper, and that changes everything.
Over the years, I’ve been convicted by passages that describe the unity Christ wants in His church (John 17, 1 John 4, 1 Corinthians 12, Philippians 2, Acts 2…). But whenever I’ve made efforts toward bringing believers together, I run into seemingly insurmountable barriers. I don’t know how to…
I think of Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, that we are already one. Not trying to have unity, but having us realize that by Christ’s work, we already are one in him. It’s people realizing the magnitude of what Christ has accomplished for those who believe.
“And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s….You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”—The Spirit of God, 2 Chronicles 20:15,17
“Meanwhile the cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning. A cleft has opened in the pitiless walls of the world, and we are invited to follow our great Captain inside. The following Him is, of course, the essential point.”—C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
“If you continue vain and trifling, immoral or worldly-minded, and differ from the rest of your neighbors barely in going to church, or in complying with some outward performances, are you better than they? No, in no wise; you are by far much worse.”—George Whitefield, Regeneration
“Take [Jesus Christ] wholly as He is, for He will be applied wholly unto you, or else not at all. Jesus Christ must be your whole wisdom, Jesus Christ must be your whole righteousness, Jesus Christ must be your whole sanctification, or He will never be your eternal redemption.”—George Whitefield, A Penitent Heart