Friday, October 24, 2008

In the Court of Glory

The innocent cloak of gray was rent asunder, giving view to the fiery waters beneath. Inch by inch, flames reach to encircle the dome; beyond where they touch, the mantle is a pale, ethereal blue. Ribbons of fire ripple across the space where it was hottest; only there was no heat. As in relief I breathe the delicious air in long sighs, the aspect changes. It is no longer a river of threatening waters. In one place all the power seems to be collected; concentrated, but so strong that even the mountains are kissed with rose. I would call it Glory. The shimmering light seems to form a gateway; open, but my eyes have not the strength to see beyond. Through such intensity of beauty I almost expected to see "a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (Rev 6:2) It was, to my earthly mind, fit for such an entrance. But soon, this too faded and just before the sun rose, all was serene. Only a gentle blush remained, as though the Painter's hand had calmed the storm of color, and He had said, "Peace, be still".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Late night Philosophy

Fuming destroys: not only happiness, but also the soul. Likewise, the sooner you forgive, the sooner you can live again; for harbored anger develops into bitterness; bitterness separates us from the love of God, and with out that Perfect Love, we cannot have joy, peace, strength, rest. And we cannot love. (Just what I happened to be thinking about at midnight while listening to Christmas carols in October. :P )

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Challenge to love

Many places in the Bible are pretty straight forward in what our duties to the body are. Such as Matt. 5-7, 1Thess 5, which have long been some of my favorites. Now also Romans 12; especially the end of verse 8 and beginning of 9. "...He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation..."
When we do our charity, so often it is because of selfish reasons; such as pride. We would not want to be seen as stingy. Or out of necessity, because we are commanded to take care of the helpless. Or we do it to be thanked, to feed our ego. I have heard many times of the joys of anonymous giving, though I have not done it in a personal way. When I say "anonymous giving", I do not mean through an organisation, for while it is helpful, it can just be a way to skirt around the pain and time and sacrifice it may take to really help someone.

And the second part; " Let love be without dissimulation".
DISSIMULATION, n. The act of dissembling; a hiding under a false appearance; a feigning; false pretension; hypocrisy. Dissimulation may be simply concealment of the opinions, sentiments or purpose; but it includes also the assuming of a false or counterfeit appearance which conceals the real opinions or purpose.

In that word is some very strong language. We are not to be showing love without truly and sincerely loving. Oh, how easy it is to just spit out the words, or go through the motions. So often, if I am somewhat preoccupied, I will just say "I love you" at the end of a phone call or as I say good bye, and It won't even register that I have said it! (can be very embarrassing.) :}

How do we love without dissimulation? Again, the Bible has it clearly mapped out. 1Cor. 13 is the first that comes to mind; very explanatory.
But also an important thought is why we should love as well as how.
"Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," ~John 15:13

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down His live for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." ~1John 3:16

"A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity."
~Proverbs 17:17

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
~1John 4:11

(So, in an attempt to wrap up such a deep and broad topic in one small post...) I offer a challenge to any who read this (and in the case that no one does, to myself) to be genuine in the love of the brethren, of their families, and ultimately their love of God. If it cause pain, to bare it willingly. If it cause sacrifice, to give all joyfully. In the day to day life, and even unto death.

In Christ alone,