31 January 2010


not by bread alone but...

O brother, pray; in spite of Satan, pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fast and lose breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper - and sleep too - than not pray. And we must not talk about prayer, we must pray in right earnest. The Lord is near. He comes softly while the virgins slumber.
A.A. Bonar

you can't find what you never lost

How did Paul find joy in prison? He didn’t. He took his joy in Christ into jail with him; therefore, joy was his continual companion. -John MacArthur

the difference

The things of this world must be known in order to be loved, but Jesus Christ must be loved in order to be known. -Blaise Pascal


“But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means that I had another smaller suit underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this under-skin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.

“Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

“Then the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know—if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”

-Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis

look in

"Most people if they really learn to look into their own heart [and that’s what I’m urging you to do right now] most people if they really learn to look into their own hearts would know that they do want and want acutely something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love or first think of some foreign country or first take up some subject that excites us are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning can ever really satisfy. I am not speaking of what would ordinarily be called unsuccessful marriages or failures of holidays and so on. I’m speaking of the very best possible ones. There is always something we have grasped at. There’s always something in that first moment of longing but fades away in the reality. The spouse may be a good spouse. The scenery has been excellent. It turned out to be a good job. But it’s evaded us."

C.S. Lewis

...and that has made all the difference.

"We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the centre: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork you must make a decision."
C.S. Lewis, Preface: The Great Divorce


"‘Make no mistake,’ He says, ‘if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, not let you rest, until you are literally perfect- until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.’"
C.S. Lewis

30 January 2010

creation cost nothing. redemption cost the cross.

“ The Cross is not simply a lovely example of sacrificial love. Throwing your life away needlessly is not admirable — it is wrong. Jesus’ death was only a good example if it was more than an example, if it was something absolutely necessary to rescue us. And it was. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us? There was a debt to be paid — God himself paid it. There was a penalty to be born — God himself bore it. Forgiveness is always a form of costly suffering. ” - Tim Keller

creation cost nothing. redemption cost the cross.

“ The Cross is not simply a lovely example of sacrificial love. Throwing your life away needlessly is not admirable — it is wrong. Jesus’ death was only a good example if it was more than an example, if it was something absolutely necessary to rescue us. And it was. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us? There was a debt to be paid — God himself paid it. There was a penalty to be born — God himself bore it. Forgiveness is always a form of costly suffering. ” - Tim Keller

Not sure thats WHY you should do it. But do it anyways.

If your enemy is hungry,
give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty,
give him water to drink.

In doing this,
you will heap burning coals on his head.
and the Lord will reward you.

-Proverbs 25:21-22

29 January 2010

Its you or Him.

This was the task set before the Baptist as he lay in prison: to become blessed by this unquestioning acceptance of God's obscure will; to reach the point of asking no further for external, visible, unequivocal clarity, but instead, of discovering God precisely in the darkness of this world and of his own life, and thus becoming profoundly blessed.

In point of fact, we cannot see God as we see an apple tree or a neon sign, that is, in a purely external way that requires no interior commitment. We can see him only by becoming like him, by reaching the level of reality on which God exists; in other words by being liberated from what is anti-divine.

John, then, even in his prison cell had to respond once again and anew to his own call for metanoia or a change of mentality, in order that he might recognize his God in the night in which all things earthly exist.

The Christian of our day, too, can be shown no other way to friendship with God than the way of ceasing to look for external clarity and beginning to turn from the visible to the invisible and thus truly finding the Lord who is the real foundation and support of our existence. Only when we act in this manner does another and doubtless the greatest saying of the Baptist reveal its full significance: He must increase, but I must decrease (Jn 3:30). We will know God to the extent that we are set free from ourselves.

Pope Benedict XVI

a simple blessing

two types

28 January 2010

hope re-turns


“Be calm, infinitely calm, both in soul and in body. Do not attempt too much, but what you do, do well and gently. … Forget yourself completely.” ~Dom Augustin Guillerand

your turn

“ The road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, ‘You must do this. I can’t.’ ” - C.S. Lewis

27 January 2010

26 January 2010

Nostaglia pt. III

You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.– Dostoyevsky.

24 January 2010

keep the faith.

“Anyone can give up; it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”

that is all...

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”

In Latin

Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!).

Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas!
(Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)

Back to Basics

“The foundation of all spiritual practice is love. That you practice this well is my only request.”

the 14th Dalai Lama

in session.

so give.

"If people who are as weak and imperfect as I am only felt what I feel, not one of them would despair of scaling the mountain of love. Jesus does not demand great deeds. All he wants is self-surrender and gratitude." -St. Therese of Lisieux

23 January 2010

From the A's to the Padres

A's Prospect Retires to Enter Priesthood

The A's have been desperate for power in the lineup, and now they are losing one of their top power prospects ... who is apparently going to follow a higher power. Grant Desme, who hit 31 homers in 2009 in Class-A, is retiring from baseball, and he plans to pursue a life in the priesthood.


18 January 2010

Nostalgia, pt II

"… And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them."
— Rainer Maria Rilke


angels are speaking His word. today.

don't tame your sin. kill it.

“Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it” (2 Samuel 23:20 -21).

“Our best days often start out as our worst days. And our greatest opportunities are often disguised as our biggest problems. You can land in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, and it will seem like the end of the road. But God is in the recycling business. He recycles past experiences and uses them to prepare us for future opportunities. That is the story of my life. And that is the story of your life. Look in the rearview mirror long enough and you’ll see that God has purposely positioned you everywhere you’ve been—even when it seemed you’d taken a wrong turn.” —Mark Batterson

16 January 2010


... for your introvert

Learn the rules. Follow the rules. Forget the rules.

Rules were meant to be broken, yes, but it feels much better if you know what the rules were in the first place. Picasso started as a realist. Once he had that down he could paint whatever he wanted. Be like Picasso.

sounds simple enough.

14 January 2010



gold in fire

“ Almost like a broken bone that needs to be reset, God breaks us where we need to be broken. He fractures the pride and lust and anger in our lives, but He does it to remodel us into His image. And once we heal, we end up stronger than we were to begin with. ” - In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day


“ What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. ” - C.S. Lewis

holy wonder

“ We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. ” - Walt Disney

His hand, not mine...

“ I want to see God do things in me and through me that I am absolutely incapable of so I can’t possibly take credit for them. ”

faith in action... or waiting...

"The Spirit that Jesus gives us empowers us to speak. Often when we are expected to speak in front of people who intimidate us, we are nervous and self-conscious. But if we live in the Spirit, we don’t have to worry about what to say. We will find ourselves ready to speak when the need is there. “When they take you before … authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say” (Luke 12:11-12).

We waste much of our time in anxious preparation. Let’s claim the truth that the Spirit that Jesus gave us will speak in us and speak convincingly.

” - Henri Nouwen

chose wisely

“ It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ” - Albus Dumbledore

what if we skip that first step?

"People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent. ” - Bob Dylan

eyes open

“ At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And its not so important happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you , and once in a while people may even take your breath away. ” - Meredith Grey

big love

Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken. ” - Rich Mullins

turtle or hare?

“Conversion for me was not a Damascus Road experience. I slowly moved into an intellectual acceptance of what my intuition had always known.”

-Madeleine L’engle


“ Jesus didn’t shed his blood so you and I could have a passport to happiness and heaven, while continuing to indulge our lust, anger, and jealousy; our addictions and critical, competitive spirits; our selfishness and pride. His death provides the motivation and the power to say ‘no’ to sin and ‘yes’ to holiness in every area of our lives. ” - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

not WWJD. Be J.

“ Let me make it quite clear that when Christians say the Christ-life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When they speak of being “in Christ” or of Christ being “in them” this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them; that the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts- that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body. ” - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The seven heavenly virtues

(with a little help from Wikipedia)

Purity- Abstaining from sexual conduct according to one’s state in life. Courage and boldness. Embracing of moral wholesomeness and achieving purity of thought through education and betterment.

Self-control- Constant mindfulness of others and one’s surroundings; practicing abstention and moderation.

Generosity- a willingness to give. A nobility in thoughts and actions.

Persistence/effort- A zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work. Decisive work ethic. Budgeting one’s time; monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness.

Peace- Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. The ability to forgive; to show mercy to sinners.

Kindness- Charity, compassion, friendliness and empathy for its own sake, without prejudice.

- Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Giving credit when credit is due; not unfairly glorifying oneself.

stand at the edge and take one more step.

“ Reason’s last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it. ” - Blaise Pascal

10 January 2010

day is done

i thirst...

real and present

“ I gave in, and admitted that God was God. ” -
C.S. Lewis

only because it is real

“ C. S. Lewis says somewhere not to believe in Christianity because it’s relevant or exciting or personally satisfying. Believe it because it’s true. And if it’s true, it eventually will be relevant, exciting, and personally satisfying. But there will be many times when it’s not relevant, exciting, and personally satisfying. To be a Christian is going to be very, very hard. So unless you come to it simply because it’s really the truth, you really won’t live the Christian life, and you won’t get to the excitement and to the relevance and all that other stuff. ” - Tim Keller

in love with the idea of love.

“ Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself. ” - Madeleine L’Engle

the heavens and the earth...

“ Out of all of the secular professional groups, do you know what professional group has the highest number of believers in God?Astronomers. Over 90% of the world’s great astronomers believe in God. Why? Because they have studied the heavens. It’s not a sign of intelligence not to believe in God. If you’re intelligent, you have to say, “Someone created all of this. ” -
Adrian Rogers

top priority.

“ The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray. ” - Samuel Chadwick

get real

“ Dear people, life is short and life is precious. Don’t waste it on superficial things. Grow deep. Get ready to die well. Give yourself unreservedly to what matters. Fling away sham. Be real with God and real with man. Cherish the eternal in everything. Take hold of life which is life indeed. Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Why should mere man choreograph your emotions? O, for more deep individuals and fewer herd people! Go deep with God. Be alone. Come forth like humble steel. There is no other way to die well. Nothing is more lonely than dying. If your life is not deep in Christ alone, death will be a terrible thing. Get ready. And in getting ready you will be the deep aroma of God in a tragically superficial world. ” - John Piper

wear sunscreen.

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young
Mary Schmich

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

and me?

“ God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. ” - Soren Kierkegaard

how long?

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13 (NIV)

it's not his fault. it's his plan. and his pleasure.

"...in whom I am well pleased!"

"If you cannot do great things...

... then do small things with great love" - Mother Teresa

downside up

“ This upside-down pattern so contradicts the thinking and practice of the world that it creates an “alternate kingdom”, an alternate reality, a counterculture among those who have been transformed by it. In this peaceable kingdom there is a reversal of the values of the world with regard to power, recognition, status, and wealth. In this new counterculture, Christians look at money as something to give away. They look at power as something to use strictly for service. Racial and class superiority, accrual of money and power at the expense of others, yearning for popularity and recognition, these normal marks of human life, are the opposite of the mindset of those who have understood and experienced the Cross. Christ creates a whole new order of life. ” - Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

the cross was a needed choice

“ Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God just forgive us?” This is what many ask, but now we can see that no one “just” forgives, if the evil is serious. Forgiveness means bearing the cost instead of making the wrongdoer do it, so you can reach out in love to see your enemy’s renewal and change. Forgiveness means absorbing the debt of the sin yourself. Everyone who forgives great evil goes through a death into resurrection, and experiences the nails, blood, sweat, and tears… everyone who forgives someone bears the other’s sins. On the Cross we see God doing visibly and cosmically what every human being must do to forgive someone, though on an infinitely greater scale. ” - Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

09 January 2010

if only I could mapquest this

incarnation v2.0

remember this...

... next time you want to complain about how hard you have it.

will this be graded?

“ The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet — that is being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God. ” - Oswald Chambers

truly. madly. deeply.

“ How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God. ” - Thomas Aquinas

come close... but not too close.

“ The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament. ” - Soren Kierkegaard, Danish Philosopher

the sparrow doesn't

“ Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own. ” - Matthew 6:34


“ The poor are the center of the Church. But who are the poor? At first we might think of people who are not like us: people who live in slums, people who go to soup kitchens, people who sleep on the streets, people in prisons, mental hospitals, and nursing homes. But the poor can be very close. They can be in our own families, churches or workplaces. Even closer, the poor can be ourselves, who feel unloved, rejected, ignored, or abused.

It is precisely when we see and experience poverty - whether far away, close by, or in our own hearts - that we need to become the Church; that is hold hands as brothers and sisters, confess our own brokenness and need, forgive one another, heal one another’s wounds, and gather around the table of Jesus for the breaking of the bread. Thus, as the poor we recognise Jesus, who became poor for us.”

- Henri Nouwen

what's in the cup?

“ We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. ” - C.S. Lewis

take off the bubble wrap

“ When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. ” - Erma Bombeck

Get yer glaces here!

that's why you're here

God doesn't give you the people you want. He gives you the people you need. To hurt you, to love you, to teach you, to break you, to turn you into the person you're supposed to be.

warm heart.

"All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within." (Horace Friess)

08 January 2010

hand us back

What is love? Perhaps we may find that love is the ability of someone to give us back to us. Maybe love is someone seeing and remembering and handing us back to ourselves just a trifle better than we had dared to hope or dream …"
— Ray Bradbury - I Sing the Body Electric

06 January 2010


"Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, 'nostalgia' literally means 'the pain from an old wound.' It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved."
-Mad Men episode 113, "The Wheel"

good friday.


and then dance!

"Go to a sepulcher, contemplate dust and worms; and sigh."-St. John Chrysostom

Sing it again...

repost for the feast:


Be bold
like the

Do not

your comfort,
but rather

set out
the star

in your
It will lead

to the place
you are

in need of
the place

God is.
And if

an angel
warns you
in a dream

not to
by the old