But wisdom is so much more than knowledge, even Bible knowledge.
It is knowing God, maturing in our relationship with him and walking with him
so closely and perceptively that we are enabled to develop a godly character,
live thoughtfully and make proper choices in life.
To embrace God is to allow his desires to rule in our hearts.
To know God is to share his joy and therefore also his grief. If any person is
to love God, he or she must be prepared to grieve over the things that grieve
God. To come to God is to have our hearts broken by God’s sadness, not only for
the world he loves but also for us. To be embraced by God is to be shattered by
the revelation of all that grieves God in our lives. It is to be devastated by
the reality that we are the cause of the greatest suffering in the
universe: the suffering of God.
We’ve built our modern churches on the assumption that God works through a few talented, impressive, and wealthy people. And we give all the other people comfortable seats from which they can be blessed by what God does through these leaders and influencers.
I honestly believe we in the American Church need to get on our knees and repent of our condescending attitudes toward God’s Holy Spirit. We have read Scripture’s clear statements about the Spirit manifesting Himself through every Christian, but we’ve decided we know better, these people aren’t ready for anything serious, and it will be more effective if the talented few do all the heavy lifting.
For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has
appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in
spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is
simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can
never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in peace of
mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in
such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather
it is a privilege.
Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with
a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us
pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink, but let this only
be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall
hereafter be revealed in and for us.
I never made a sacrifice.
David Livingstone (1813-1873), Pioneer missionary to Africa.
Beauty Beyond Bones is a blog site I have been following for a few years now. This is a young woman who is a strong Catholic, loves Jesus and is a recovered(recovering) victim of an eating disorder. Her thoughts on how to handle pride month are very well thought out.
When the pessimist looks at any infamy, it is to him, after all, only a repetition of the infamy of existence. The Court of Chancery is indefensible—like mankind. The Inquisition is abominable—like the universe. But the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action. The pessimist can be enraged at wrong; bust only the optimist can be surprised at it.
G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, pages 33-34.
A secular Jew, [David] Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought. An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences, he turns the scientific community’s cherished skepticism back on itself, daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions:
Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close.
Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close.
Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close.
Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.
Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough.
Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good? Not even close to being close.
Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences? Close enough.
Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ballpark.
Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.
David, Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions,
My friend and I stuck my sister in a garbage can. When crabs were biting my other sister’s feet in the bay and she was crying for help, rather than lend her a hand I sat on the dock and laughed. Both times they looked at me shocked that I could turn on them like that, and I was a little shocked too, and the fact that I’m writing about it now shows that I still carry the regret. But growing up is an ugly endeavor at times and we can only try to be good when we know how awful it feels to be bad.
We can’t see light itself. We can see only what light lights up, like the little circle of night where the candle flickers—a sheen of mahogany, a wineglass, a face leaning toward us out of the shadows.
When Jesus says that he is the Light of the World (John 8:12), maybe something like that is part of what he is saying. He himself is beyond our seeing, but in the darkness where we stand, we see, thanks to him, something of the path that stretches out from the door, something of whatever it is that keeps us trying more or less to follow the path even when we can hardly believe that it goes anywhere worth going or that we have what it takes to go there, something of whoever it is that every once in a while seems to lean toward us out of the shadows.
Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words