Subscribe: reforMaiden
http://reformaiden.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
christmas  day  don  family  favorite  gift  god  good  holiday  life  love  new  poetry  read  reading  story  time  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: reforMaiden

reforMaiden





Updated: 2018-02-18T06:48:13.562-06:00

 



On Being (Still) Single

2015-03-04T17:47:33.812-06:00

I have some thoughts on singleness that I have been ruminating on lately. I've had a lot of time to reflect upon being single because I am still single, much to the chagrin of the people who know me and have been praying these many years for me. And while I haven't seen the fulfillment of their pleas in the form of a husband, I have seen answers in the form of an all-encompassing peace in my status. It is not where I had ever thought I'd be at this age, but it's far from the visions I'd once had of being an old-maid. Perhaps the greatest gift I've received from remaining single is the knowledge that God can redeem anything for His purposes (singleness or marriage!), and that whatever His ultimate plan for my life may involve (I must confess that I do hope it will involve marriage), I know that He gives me grace for each and every day, that He fulfills me far more than any husband ever could, and that He is not a predicable God, but one who orders this world in ways that we cannot think or imagine. He calls some to marriage, some to singleness, and some to temporary singleness before marriage. The thing I've had to learn to accept is that I can never know God's will in advance and can only live within the day that He gives me. I can't know the next minute or hour or day. I may be married next year. Then again, I may still be single. I can only rest in the knowledge that whatever the future holds, I serve a God who loves me and orders my days according to His plans. I must believe (and I do believe) that those plans are nothing but good. If I remain single, it is good and God is still good. If I marry, it is good and God is still good. Because of this, I no longer have to fear not getting what I want, because God is changing me to want Him, and that is something I can never lose. One can lose singleness and one can lose marriage. But one can never lose God, because He has promised to never lose or forsake us.





An Update (yes, really!)

2015-01-19T19:33:39.771-06:00

It's been awhile. Quite a long while, in fact. In the 2+ years since my last post, I have had adventures, life changes, and fun. Of course there were sorrows and trials mixed with the joys, but then, when are they not?At the Vatican following a lovely trip to Europe. It's not if but when I go back to visit...I have ruminated often over the many themes that have come to shape and describe my life and hope to share them here soon. In fact, I have so many thoughts that I could probably write a book filled with them. But that's too lengthy; I much prefer the short and sweet confines of a blog post.I often ruminate over pastries and lattes. They are the food for thinking over thoughts, in my own humble opinion.Where was I? Oh yes, I was updating you...I am currently 1) a student working on my degree while working as a tutor to elementary-aged children. Seeing God's provision for work and meeting my financial needs has been nothing less than astounding. I'll be sharing more on this in the future. 2) I am still single. And joyful in my status. In no way does this mean that I don't long to be married, but it does mean that God has graciously granted me peace and happiness in the today. More on this later, too. 3) I have traveled. Far and wide. But not nearly far enough or wide enough. The more that I see of this world, the more I am able to grasp its immensity, enormity, and complexity. I long to probe more into the life that dominates this planet. Yes, more on this also at some future day. 4) I am doing more Bible study than I ever have. And realizing that in all my years as a Christian, I have only begun to discover the depths of this book. It astounds me. And humbles me. But of course, more on this later...Books. Many books have been acquired in the last 2 years.I hope to be a more faithful chronicler of life as it happens to me, and of my thoughts as they occur to me. Not because they are so life-changing or important. Au contraire, my friends. Only because I want to harness the abstract threads and weave them into the narrative that God has given me. Nothing is random or unplanned, yet sometimes it can seem as though things happen without forethought. It is only because I don't have the ability to see the big picture that God is creating. I can only see the strokes of His brush in the present, but one day I hope to look back and see the whole picture: the (hopeful) growth towards and the nearness of God in my life and all the ways that He has arranged and placed the happenings of my days, hours, minutes. Even more importantly, I want to chronicle the faithfulness of my Creator because, sinful and forgetful as I am, there are days when I don't remember. And I need to.p.s. you will notice that I have cleaned up this blog. About time! A new year, a new blog (practically). Hope you enjoy![...]



In The Bleak Midwinter

2012-12-18T18:44:33.362-06:00

It is the last lines which are famous, but I think Christina Rossetti's genius is in the stark simplicity, artful contrasts and melodic timing of the entire poem. One of my favorite Christmas carols, for both lyrics and music. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,In the bleak midwinter, long ago.Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficedThe Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,The ox and ass and camel which adore.Angels and archangels may have gathered there,Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.What can I give Him, poor as I am?If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.[...]



Gone With The Wind

2012-09-08T20:07:07.582-05:00

Gone With the Wind has been on my to-read list for many years now. I'm finally reading it, and except for a 6 week break while I crammed in a summer semester of biology, I haven't been able to put it down. It's a shame Margaret Mitchell only created one book, but what a masterpiece she left to her world. One thinks primarily of the movie, and of the relationship between Rhett and Scarlett mostly, but the 1939 epic fails to capture the complexities of the Civil War South, its aftermath and the effect it has on the novel's two primary characters. Ms. Mitchell's story leads to an exploring of the societal bonds and rituals that were simultaneously held dear and hated by an old, genteel class of Southerners. They are elite, ignorant, optimistic, and eventually crushed by a rising tide of time and modernity that they cannot stop. Within a generation, the Southern culture they took for granted is gone, their traditions face extinction, and they must survive in the newly established world of the post-Civil War era, with its new hierarchy and class system. The book's characters are left reeling, saddened, and uncomprehending. They cannot understand the changes that encompass them and they are left to be broken or made in the new era. Yes, the book is appallingly factual with all its depicted brutality of land and families torn apart by war; the white, Southern contemptuous attitudes towards black people and cringe-inducing (and politically incorrect) grammar; all the sad details of a hate-filled and near disastrous Reconstruction-era, with all the rage, greed and social-climbing ambitions portrayed so accurately - and yet this book is fascinating. Perhaps it is the way the author propels us into a story of weak vs. strong, leading us to believe Scarlett, with all her might, strength, and beauty, is the protagonist. It is only towards the story's end that we learn otherwise as Ms. Mitchell questions our notions of strength and weakness. Perhaps it is the way controversial elements are handled; presented with little commentary from the author (Ms. Mitchell preserves her opinions for descriptions of the Yankee army's pillage of her beloved South), she tells us a story based on a monumental historical event which ushered in the light beginnings of the modern era, and we are left to draw our own conclusions from its consequences.  “Perhaps - I want the old days back again and they'll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears. ”- Gone With The WindThere are many reasons to like or dislike this book, per your feelings of the South - and many reasons to probe it and ask ourselves the questions whose answers eluded even its author. Perhaps I find myself drawn in because, like Ms. Mitchell's characters, I love the traditions and established lifestyles of the past but am finding that I cannot refuse the siren song of the new, exciting, modern times we live in. Technology, medical advances, global traversing, and all the ethical dilemmas they present are something I struggle to reconcile while using the advantages they offer. Maybe one day someone will write about the paradoxes of our age; the disappearance of the still, quiet, uncomplicated lifestyles that we traded in for convenience and connectivity; the generations before us who paved the way with their inventions and scientific discoveries (probably never guessing what we have ended up with!) and the dilemmas we eschew for the sake of convenience, tolerance, and guilt-free lifestyles... Maybe, one day, someone will probe fully the complexities of our era. For now, I'm content to probe the complexities of another, past.[...]



In Praise of Simple Things

2012-05-16T17:24:20.154-05:00

(image) Books
Homemade cherry limeade
Gardens releasing their many scents
Dragonflies
Birds who perform acrobatic feats as if it were nothing
Butterflies
Paper and pencil
Stillness



Of Poems and Prose

2012-01-06T17:08:22.901-06:00

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” - Leonardo da Vinci

Poetry. Most people think primarily of rhyme when poetry is mentioned. I know I used to. When I was a little girl, my idea of fun was creating poetry with (what I thought were) clever rhyming words. I remember learning about the haiku in my grade school years. It didn't matter what my English workbook said, I didn't think that the haiku could possibly be real poetry because it didn't rhyme. I've grown since then, and learned an awful lot more besides. I now know that poetry is more than getting words to rhyme on every other line while still making sense. In fact, poetry isn't really about rhyme at all. It is about imagery, prose, elusive expressions that we must decipher and words painting pictures on our brains. Sometimes these elements come together in a rhyming way within a poem. Sometimes it is free form, without rhyme. Sometimes there is slant rhyme, internal slant rhyme, or some other clever device that a poet will use within his poem to add depth or dimension. Above all, poetry is art, created and used by God. His Word is full of poetry in song, psalms, and prose that is thrilling and unrivaled. Poetry is not something you can simply pick up and read unless you are open to using your imagination to picture words, and using your mind to sort out the nuances of language and form. But don't be put off by the challenges of poetry; the rewards of reading it far outweigh the effort. And don't just read popular offerings (even if they may be good ones), unless you mean to get your feet wet by it; but then delve deeper, find authors that you like, and sort out the type of poetry you are drawn to. Also, don't give up on a poem if you don't understand it, keep reading it until you do, and by all means, just read poetry.
Resources
A good place to start is Poets.org. I also credit The Oxford Book of Children's Verse for renewing my interest in poetry. And don't let the title fool you, there's some serious poetry in there, as well as some genuinely funny and imaginative verses. Finally, listening to poetry is a good way to get started, as sometimes it can be ponderous trying to figure out how to read a poem. I loved hearing Dylan Thomas read his poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night". His voice lends a sombre and reflective tone to his work, and is a good introduction to hearing poetry read. Read the backstory to the recording and then listen to it.



New Year, New Intentions (and, incidentally, new blog design!)

2012-01-02T15:27:44.080-06:00

I haven't been a faithful writer, I'll admit. But I've missed writing. I love chronicling my thoughts, adventures, books I'm reading, and the life I'm living. I hope to be more faithful in 2012. To begin the year, I redesigned this blog for a simpler look - in a way, it represents my hope for a simpler year. I don't believe in making resolutions that you can't keep, such as impossible expectations for what you may/may not actually be able to accomplish. But there are good sorts of resolutions that can and ought to be made, not just at the beginning of a new year but all through it. I prefer to think of such resolutions more as purposeful intentions. What do you intend to change in your life this year? Here are a few of my intentions for 2012...

(image) Redeem the time. I'm in my late twenties. Time is beginning to look more like a luxury and less like an everyday commodity. Make every day count, especially for an eternal value.

Read more on paper, less on a screen. Read more purposefully. Read more poetry. Read things that make me think.
(image)
Save money. Pay off credit card debt. Pay for my courses at the local college with cash only.

Write more.

Be content. I enjoyed this post by Nancy Wilson. I need to practice contentment and gratitude, instead of constantly looking at other people's lives (what they have, where they live, what they do) and comparing them to mine.

Be a better daughter, sister, aunt, friend. Listen more, talk less, encourage others.

Read the Bible with diligent purpose and intent. Pray often. Praise God when he answers with a no. Praise him when he answers with a yes. Talk more about him. Love him more.



Ducks' Ditty

2012-12-15T00:10:44.829-06:00

I found this poem by Kenneth Grahame in a children's poetry collection and combined it with some great duck pictures that Landon took, which seemed to fit the text nicely. I have to admit that I do enjoy the simplicity of children's stories and poems..All along the backwater,Through the rushes tall,Ducks are a-dabbling,Up tails all!Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,Yellow feet a-quiver,Yellow bills all out of sight,Busy in the river!Slushy green undergrowthWhere the roach swim--Here we keep our larder,Cool and full and dim.Every one for what he likes!We like to beHeads down, tails up,Dabbling free!High in the blue aboveSwifts whirl and call--We are down a-dabbling,Up tails all!by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)all photos by Landon[...]



Knock, Knock...

2011-05-21T13:21:02.984-05:00

anyone there? It's been awhile, yes, but summer is around the corner and I'm eager to catch up on my blog! Rather than list what I've been up to this spring (work, study, work, work, work), I thought it would be fun to profile the books I have managed to read lately, few though they are.(finished at last! Reading the Puritans, and most especially Owens, takes dedication and a commitment to finishing, no matter how deep it gets!)I'm currently reading:yes, still reading it! I anticipate a summer finish, though[...]



Christmas Carols

2010-12-24T14:20:08.596-06:00

(image) My favorite music at Christmas are the traditional carols and hymns that have been sung for hundreds of years . They impart a timeless joy and hope during this season of anticipation, and breathe a peace, solemnity, and cheer that transcends generations. Some carols speak of goodwill to others (such as Good King Wenceslas), but most are of Christ and his birth. Penned ages ago, in a time that knew great illiteracy, suffering, and loss, these songs impart the gospel and speak of hope and redemption in a simple way but it is their very simplicity makes them complex and enduring. And though we continue to hear them today, we often forget to listen to what the carols are saying to us. I would encourage anyone reading this blog to read the history and lyrics of songs that you may have heard a hundred times already this Christmas season, to reflect on their words, and then to listen once again and see if you haven't gained a new appreciation for them. :)

The 12th century Wexford Carol (lyrics here), performed beautifully by Alison Krauss and accompanied by YoYo Ma

Ding Dong! Merrily on High (lyrics here) and In the Bleak Midwinter (lyrics here), both performed by King's College Choir

French carol circa 1553, Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella (lyrics here); musical version by Fernando Ortega

Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is a 4th or 5th c. chant, whose present day text is based on the liturgy of Saint James. Unlike other carols, this one speaks not just of the Incarnation of Christ, but of his anticipated redemption and of his eternal reign. One of my favorite versions is performed simply but beautifully by Fernando Ortega.



Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special

2010-12-14T17:25:08.503-06:00

(image) Picking a favorite Christmas movie is much like picking a favorite Christmas book - it's just so hard to not like them all equally! The movies I enjoy watching every year vary from classics like Christmas in Connecticut, The Shop Around the Corner, and White Christmas to The Muppet Christmas Carol (am I the only one who thinks that Michael Cain is the best Scrooge ever, bar none?!), the Poirot Christmas episode (can't remember the exact title offhand), and The Chronicles of Narnia (even though it isn't exactly a Christmas movie, I think of it as such).



Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

2010-12-14T17:14:34.488-06:00

(image) I wish that I had some knowledge to impart about this subject but sadly, I don't have any beyond what I stated already on the Black Friday note. :) I know that I've found that sometimes driving all over town to get a deal is not worth the time ("time is money", or so they say!), especially if it's only $10 off of $30, or 15% off of $50, or what-have-you deals that show up around Christmas. For myself, I discovered that I actually save money by just buying what I need when I need it, or, if I don't need it immediately, waiting for it to go on sale. I also save money by staying out of stores who are having huge sales all the time because I'm usually tempted to spend money on things I don't necessarily need because it's "a good deal". I try not to get caught up in the "gotta get it now because it's going fast and it's soooo cheap" shopping frenzies because then I end up buying something I didn't plan for and I end up feeling that I have to give it to someone in order to justify the purchase. Silly, I know - but there you are. :)



Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received

2010-12-14T17:11:57.254-06:00

After 20+ years of gift receiving, it's so hard to remember which gifts were most meaningful. I've loved every gift I've ever received (okay, except some thoughtless gifts from parents who had obviously thrown whatever was handy into a gift bag for their child's teacher :) ). Gifts don't have to be expensive or a "hot item" to be appreciated - I know that I love the gifts that are thoughtful, handmade, relate to something I enjoy doing or are little luxuries that I don't often buy for myself. I think what makes Christmas gifts unique, special, or meaningful is not just the gift itself, but the intentions and thoughtfulness of the giver behind it.



Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

2010-12-11T12:05:16.482-06:00

I've tried deal-finding on Black Friday but never have much success. I think if you're planned and can map out the deals on BF, then it must be a great way to knock out your Christmas shopping at once and enjoy the season without feeling that you have to shop every day for someone. As for myself, I don't enjoy the feel of rushed, frenzied shopping - it feels so chaotic and cheerless. I love spending time looking for gifts that are meaningful and will please the person I'm giving it to. If I can save money, I do, but not if it ultimately is inconvenient or stressful trying to get a deal on it. I use sales if they're convenient, or just purchase at places where I can get a discount, such as Target (I save 5% with the debit card), Barnes and Noble (members get 10% off every day), or amazon.com (students get a free year of Prime membership). This year my sister and I are making some of our gifts in an effort to have a more hands-on, meaningful Christmas.



Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions

2010-12-11T12:05:30.082-06:00

(image) I don't have my own family yet, so I'm not sure what traditions I will incorporate one day when I do. The traditions that I remember and still love are the ones that my family has created over the years. Looking at Christmas lights with my family - as we've gotten older, it's not only become more enjoyable, but often hilarious. Making shortbread from an old family recipe. Drinking peppermint mochas. Watching favorite Christmas movies. Listening to holiday music. Getting my yearly ornament (my mom gives ornaments every year to her children and grandchildren - she spends a lot of time finding ornaments that relate to something specific that we have enjoyed during the year, or is just something that we like (mine is usually espresso related). The Christmas Eve party at my grandmother's and then the midnight Christmas Eve candlelight service at my church - a beautiful and hushed way to welcome Christmas Day every year.



The 12 Days of Christmas

2010-12-08T15:30:14.360-06:00

(image)
Some friends have been doing this on facebook for the past week and while I was a little skeptical at first about joining in, I finally gave in after deciding that it looked enjoyable and easy enough since you write only one a day. For 12 days you write your answers to the topic of the day. It's simple, fun, and a great way to share some special things one enjoys about Christmas. I have decided to also post them here, in addition to facebook, for anyone's enjoyment. :)

The 12 topics:

Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions

Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special

Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want? We all have family/friends reading our blogs...so let them know!)

Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY (If you don't make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)

Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays

Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe

Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles

Day 11: Favorite Cookie Recipe

Day 12: Oprah's Favorite Things: What item(s) would you want if you were in the audience? (have decided to skip this question on the blog - any suggestions for a replacement question? :) )




November

2010-11-24T23:11:17.108-06:00

Hard to believe, but the month that took so long to arrive (for me, anyway) is nearly over. I love this time of year, when fall finally arrives in Texas. Only recently have we been able to enjoy our typical fall sights and sounds - everything from burnt red, orange, and yellow leaves that permeate the air as they flutter from trees, the early morning dew that glistens on the still-green grass, the crisp air, and the growing anticipation of the winter months to come (which, for us, are January-March). Even nature becomes more active at this time of year, and below are some photos that my photog brother, Landon, took recently. Enjoy!
(image)

(image)
(image)

(image)



Introducing

2010-09-28T17:14:40.204-05:00

my newest niece, Kristyn!
(image) She decided to come while her Mimi, aunts, and Uncle Landon were in Boston. We were sad to miss her birth, but so delighted for her safe arrival.


(image)
(image)
(image)



Mystic

2010-07-20T16:43:07.095-05:00

This small town on the Mystic River (which runs out to Long Island Sound) was teeming with small-town Americana, historical buildings, summertime visitors (including us), and friendly locals. My cousin and her family are moving there next month, so I anticipate more visits in the future to this cozy little town.Mystic River dockthe bridge that connects the two parts of Mysticthe bridge going upboats sail throughlovely old church that anchors the downtown main streetMystic/Noank librarythe docks were perfect for jellyfish and crab watchingthe small, pleasant beach in nearby Stoningtonit felt even older and smaller than Mysticcheck out the narrow street - it can only hold one car at a timewe couldn't believe the vibrant hydrangeas that were everywherethe pictures fail to do them justiceI fell in love with the old homes in Stoningtonour inn at duskthe everlastingly busy snack place across the street. Not just any snack place, they've apparently been featured in the Boston Globe the old part of our innthe gardensit was very peaceful and still heregarden pondand waterfallMystic shipyard and harbor[...]



Why, Hello There...

2010-07-20T16:09:39.618-05:00

I'm alive - really, I am. I know that by the looks of the old post below you might think differently, but I'm happy to announce that I'm still around. I've been much quieter due to a very, very busy spring and summer. I have managed to squeeze in some reading nonetheless (I would sooner stop breathing than not be able to read) and even some traveling. In June I went to Florida with my wonderful friend from North Carolina. It was a time of much-needed refreshment and fellowship. Unfortunately, I was too busy to take pictures - and there wasn't really much to photograph anyway.

In July, Ashley and I went to the East Coast for an extended 4th of July weekend with our cousin and her family. The weather was beautiful for the first two days we were there and then the heat that had followed us from Texas showed up and managed to scorch the otherwise cool Connecticut shoreline for the remainder of our stay. One advantage Connecticut has over Texas when heat waves show up is that no matter how hot the temps are during daytime, it will without fail cool down at night. Below is a photo of the Mystic river at sunset. More pictures to follow!

(image)



Shirley

2010-05-24T23:13:21.626-05:00

(image) I just finished this lovely story by Charlotte Bronte. Not easy to follow along at first, it grows interest and depth as it plods on until you are caught up in the remaining chapters, eager to know how in the world it can take someone so long to propose to the girl he loves?! It lacks the poetic, gripping style of Jane Eyre and the powerful message of the epic Villette, but it is a lightheartedly romantic story with a sweet ending - this from a Bronte is novelty enough to induce an interest if you've always thought of them as storytellers of dark, depressing romances. You would be right, by the way, but you would have to exclude this story from that label, for it stands on its own - if not for the narrative, then assuredly for its testament that Charlotte Bronte was indeed capable of writing outside of her genre.



This Was Grace.

2010-04-23T12:18:00.320-05:00

As someone who works in a church, I am always amazed at how deeply our culture has penetrated the family of God with its worldview that human life, if less than perfect, is not worth living. And while my coworkers would claim a "pro-life" stance, their attitudes towards disabled babies, and the horror of having more than three kids, speaks loud and clear of their paradoxical stance regarding the value of human life.

I believe that we, as Christians, have to speak up for the rights of the unborn. I believe that we have to educate Christians on the difference between God's values and the world's values. I believe that rampant abortion is a judgment on society; that we have been allowed to kill innocent human beings for so long now, without consequence, seems to signify (to me anyway) that God has withdrawn his hand of mercy from us.

Thankfully, some Christians are fighting for people with disabilities, like this family, who share their story in this video. What a beautiful testimony...

(object) (embed)



Ah Holy Jesus

2010-04-03T11:04:51.315-05:00

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty- Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
'Twas I, Lord, Jesus, I it was denied Thee!
I crucified Thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life's oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For our atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

music and story here.




Not My Deserving

2010-04-03T11:01:16.909-05:00

I meant to post this yesterday for Good Friday, but obviously I didn't. Here are my reflections from this week:

Another year, another Holy Week, another time to reflect and ponder the story of atonement and redemption. Last year I journaled my way through Lent, writing my thoughts, poetry, and certain hymns or Bible verses that impressed me during that time. This year I prepared for Easter week by beginning a fast on Ash Wednesday, seeking to abstain from a pleasure in order to exercise self-control and to prove that there is nothing earthly that I can't give up for my Savior, or that can give me greater pleasure than He, His divine and Holy Being.

Being reflective during Easter time (or Christmas, or anytime, for that matter) is difficult in our culture. We like noise, we like being busy, we like saying that we don't have time for anything, all the while being busy with the things we want to be busy with. In this way, we distract ourselves from disturbing thoughts, like our part in the story of the cross, and so manage to sanitize the Easter story not just for children, but for ourselves as well. The fact is, the story is not sanitary; it is full of wickedness, depravity, and rebellion against a Holy God. Yes, it's about you and me. That's our part in the story. It is so easy to think that because we haven't murdered, or stolen, or insert-bad-thing-here, that we are good people. I have never known anyone to actually admit that, yet how often is that inner thought exhibited in our lackadaisical approach to Easter, or to worship anytime throughout the year? I am grateful that in my church, a large emphasis is placed on reminding us that we were dead people - dead. I need that reminder. I forget all too easily my desperate need for a Savior. I need my pastor telling me that I was lost in sin but Christ, in His mercy and love, offers redemption through his atoning work on the cross. I believe that we cannot fully understand grace unless we first understand the depths of our sin. If we think that God didn't save us from much, then His grace will only mean that to you. If you understand that your sin nailed Him to that cross, that you cried out with the scoffers that day, that your voice called for His crucifixion when He had done no wrong, then His mercy will mean the world to you, and you will be forever transformed.

If you didn't this year, make next year's season of Lent an opportunity to be still, to put away something that distracts you from reflecting on God's mercy and grace, and His love unswerving - not our deserving.





0 Comments

2010-03-12T12:29:38.760-06:00

(image) I couldn't resist posting this WPA poster from the Library of Congress after seeing it on another blog. Read about its history here. Then go and read the books you've always meant to read...