Saturday, 15 April 2017

THE PATTERNS OF LOVE

'Arnold, after yawning twice, got up and went into the house. Stretched out on the bed in his room, with the Venetian blinds closed, he began to compare the life of the Talbots with his own well-ordered but childless and animalless life in town. Everywhere they go, he thought, they leave tracks behind them, like people walking in the snow. Paths crisscrossing, lines that are perpetually meeting: the mother's loving pursuit of the youngest, the man's love for his daughter, the dog's love for the man, the two boys;' preoccupation with each other. Wheels and diagrams, Arnold said to himself. The patterns of love.' 
William Maxwell, 'The Patterns of Love' in Over by the River  and Other Stories, p.81. 

TIME

'Here's how time works. When you're young, your mind is running really fast, like a camera over-cranked to produce a slow-motion film, so the days and weeks and summers seem incredibly long. When you grow old, the mind slows down, doesn't clock so much sensory stimuli, so the days and years flash by. The same of things happens in a day. Morning time seems longer because your mind is whirring. Evening times goes by faster, because you've slowed down - unless you're being stimulated by lively company at dinner.'
Roger Deakin, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, p.259.

Friday, 14 April 2017

DON'T FORGET THE MYSTERY

'Every aspect of God's reality and work, without exception, is mystery. The eternal Trinity; God's sovereignty in creation, providence, and grace; the incarnation, exaltation, present reign and approaching return of Jesus Christ; the inspiring of the Holy Scriptures; and the ministry of the Spirit in the Christian and the Church - each of these (to look no further) is a reality beyond our full fathoming, just as the cross is. And theories about any of these things which used human analogies to dispel the dimension of mystery would deserve our distrust, just as rationalistic theories about the cross do.' 
JI Packer, 'What Did the Cross Achieve?' in Celebrating the Saving Work of God, p.89. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF HISTORY IN THEOLOGY

'Every theological question has behind it a history of study, and narrow eccentricity in handling it is unavoidable unless the history is taken into account.' 
JI Packer, 'What did the Cross Achieve' in Celebrating the Saving Work of God, p.85. 

THE SAFETY NET OF GOD'S LOVE

'Perhaps the best definition of revelation is the uncovering of the truth that it is safe to love. The walls of our anxiety, our anguish, our narrowness are broken down and a wide endless horizon is shown. "We have to love, because he loved us first." It is safe to embrace in vulnerability because we both find ourselves in loving hands. It is safe to be available because someone old us that we stand on solid ground. It is safe to surrender because we will not fall into a dark pit but enter a welcoming home. It is safe to be weak because we are surrounded by a creative strength.' 
Henri JM Nouwen, Intimacy, p.36. 

SEXUAL LOVE IS FOR LIFE

'When the physical encounter of men and women in the intimate act of intercourse is not an expression of their total availability to each other, the creative fellowship of the weak is not yet reached. Every sexual relationship with built-in reservations, with mental restrictions or time limits, is still part of the taking structure. It means "I want you now, but not tomorrow. I want something from you, but I don't want you." Love is limitless. Only when mean and women give themselves to each other in total surrender, that is, with their whole person for their whole life, can the encounter bear full fruits.' 
Henri JM Nouwen, Intimacy, p.32. 

GOD AS FATHER

'Is the idea of God an infantile prolongation of our ideal father image, or is our receptivity to the child-father idea the result of our more profound and primary relationship with God? Indeed the basic criticism of Freud proposed by the German psychiatrist Binswanger is a reversal: God is not the prolongation of the child's relationship with his dad, but the child's feeling for his dad is a concretizing of an idea born of his more fundamental relation to his Creator. In others words, we couldn't love our father if God had not loved us first.'
Henri JM Nouwen, Intimacy, p.11. 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

FAIREST LORD JESUS

Fairest Lord Jesus, Lord of all creation
Jesus, of God and Man
You will I cherish, you will I honour
You are my soul’s delight and crown

Fair are the meadows, fair are the woods
Robed in the blooms of spring
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
He makes the saddest heart to sing

Fair are the flowers, fair are the children
Beautiful in all their youth
Yet is their beauty, fading and fleeting
Lord Jesus yours will never fade

Fair is the moonlight, fairer still the sunshine
Fair is the starry sky
My Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines clearer
Than all the heavenly host on high

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly
Jesus, in you is found
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer
Than you my Saviour to me bound

http://www.garagehymnal.com/albums/unity/fairest-lord-jesus/

EATING FOOD IS SELF-REPAIR

'...food marks the first and basic level at which societies engage in self-repair, and it is just where churches have most frequently expressed their ministries: soup kitchens, basement meals, celebrations, and, of course, peculiar liturgical actions.' 
Ephraim Radner, A Time to Keep, p.212. 

WORK

'Work is actually the container God gives us, as creatures, for our learning of wisdom: surviving; providing; loving; receiving; learning; listening. Toil, it turns out, is a gift of a profound kind.' 
Ephraim Radner, A Time to Keep, p.211. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

THE POWER OF PLACE

'All of us, I believe, carry about in our heads places and landscapes we shall never forget because we experienced such intensity of life there: places where, like the child that "feels its life in every limb" in Wordsworth's poem 'We are Seven,' our eyes have opened wider, and all our senses have somehow heightened. By way of returning the compliment, we accord these places that have given us such joy a special place in our memories and imaginations. They live on in us, wherever we may be, however far way from them.' 
Roger Deakin, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, p.242. 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

LOVE

'Why, Florence wondered, were people so impatient? Didn't they realize that love was slow, shy, baffled half the time by pride?' 
Victor Lodato, Edgar & Lucy, p.82. 

GRANDPARENTAL LOVE

'oh, if she could have a tall glass of this child every morning, she would live forever. Sometimes she worried that her love for Edgar was too strong, a covetous earthly love, a love against God, a love to reclaim lost things. But what love wasn't like that? What love wasn't a reward to counter an old wrong? Anyway, it wasn't something she could control. How she felt about the boy was how she felt. Love was love, and it was always a monster.' 
Victor Lodato, Edgar & Lucy, p.18. 

FRIENDSHIP & SINGLENESS

'True friendship is a treasure, often most deeply discovered by single persons, cherished, burnished, garnished, but then offered to others.' 
Ephraim Radner, A Time to Keep, p.185. 

FRIENDSHIP & FARMING

'Friendships are cultivated with all the care and dangerous fragility of any sustenance agriculture. There is the careful time of discerning and planting - and here wisdom and experience can bring only success - and not a little luck. There is the giving over of oneself in loyalty, the breaking up by betrayal, the hard and welcome corrections and growth, the difficult learning and respecting of limits as in all things, and longstanding reaping and replenishing. Friendship is a life's work.' 
Ephraim Radner, A Time to Keep. p.185. 

THE BEST FRIENDS ARE DIFFERENT

'...in all friendships of depth there is always the realization of the glorious victory of difference over likeness...'
Ephraim Radner, A Time to Keep, p.184.