“Oh For The Clean Clothes Airing In The Cupboard
I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious, provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience, etc. don’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence.”
“What would it be to taste at the fountainhead that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us. The whole man is to drink joy from the fountain of joy.”
"Await The Fulfillment"
Be patient, my soul; await the fulfillment of God's promise, and you shall enjoy the abundance of His goodness in Heaven.
Thomas a Kempis
“Not Merely Pitied, But Delighted In”
“Glory means...not fame conferred by our fellow creatures—fame with God, approval or (I might say) “appreciation” by God. And then, when I had thought it over, I saw that this view was scriptural; nothing can eliminate from the parable the divine accolade, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” With that, a good deal of what I had been thinking all my life fell down like a house of cards. I suddenly remembered that no one can enter heaven except as a child; and nothing is so obvious in a child—as its great and undisguised pleasure in being praised...And that is enough to raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please... To please God...to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness...to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”
“I Was Made for Another World”
“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 really satisfy...Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for whose desires exist...If I find in myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world...Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing...I must keep alive in myself the desire of my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”
"Destined To Become A Land Animal"
"... we are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it. ‘My, how he’s grown,’ we exclaim, or, ‘How time flies,’ as though the universal form of our experience were again and again a novelty. It is as strange as if a fish were repeatedly surprised at the wetness of water. And that would be strange indeed; unless of course the fish were destined, one day, to become a land animal.”
"If The Echo Be This Beautiful, How Much More The Voice"
I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country...
"To Be At Last Summoned Inside"
Apparently, then, our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both glory and honour beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache.
"Your First Love"
Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you. The mould in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. For it is not humanity in the abstract that is to be saved, but you - you, the individual reader, John Stubbs or Janet Smith. Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another's. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction. The Brocken spectre* 'looked to every man like his first love', because she was a cheat. But God will look to every soul like it's first love because He is its first love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it - made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.
"Only The Scent Of The Flower"
The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of the tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.
"Joy: The Serious Business Of Heaven"
Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we were placed here to live. But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of Heaven.
“A Clear Eye”
Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in His sight is what you are and nothing more.
Francis of Assisi
"From Vapor to Eternal Glory"
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.
"So That You Will Not Grieve As Do The Rest Who Have No Hope"
Then Aslan turned to them and said: '... you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning...' And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
"Where's The Glory?"
...glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.
"Just A Temporary Assignment"
Ask God to help you see life on earth as He sees it…your homeland is heaven. When you grasp this truth, you will stop worrying about “having it all” on earth… it’s easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about. Realizing life on earth is just a temporary assignment should radically alter your values. Eternal truths, not temporal ones, should become the deciding factors for your decisions...In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life- longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of eternity…You will never feel completely satisfied on earth, because you were made for more.
"One Way Ticket, Please"
After our ages-long journey from savagery to civility, let's hope we haven't bought a round-trip ticket
"Dressing Our Souls For The Daylight Of The Next"
It will be infallible judgment. If it is favourable we shall have no fear, if unfavourable, no hope, that it is wrong. We shall not only believe, we shall know, know beyond doubt in every fibre of our appalled or delighted being, that as the Judge has said, so we are: neither more nor less nor other. We shall perhaps even realize that in some dim fashion we could have known it all along. We shall know and all creation will know too: our ancestors, our parents, our wives or husbands, our children. The unanswerable and (by then) self-evident truth about each will be known to all. I do not find that pictures of physical catastrophe - that sign in the clouds, those heavens rolled up like a scroll - help one so much as the naked idea of Judgment. We cannot always be excited. We can, perhaps, train ourselves to ask more and more often how the thing which we are saying or doing (or failing to do) at each moment will look when the irresistible light streams in upon. it; that light which is so different from the light of this world - and yet, even now, we know just enough of it to take it into account. Women sometimes have the problem of trying to judge by artificial light how a dress will look by daylight. That is very like the problem of all of us: to dress our souls not for the electric lights of the present world but for the daylight of the next. The good dress is the one that will face that light. For that light will last longer.
"May He Smile Upon You"
In the end that Face which is the delight or the terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other, either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised.
"My Soul, Find Yourself in Jesus and Be Free"
Jesus met a woman at the well who had had five husbands. I would guess she had Self issues. I would say she was a hollow in search of filling. Jesus wanted to fill her. He said, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
Perhaps all lusts are corruptions of good desires. Before "sin, the flesh, and the devil" got a hold of us in Eden, we desired (and we had) sweet intimacy with the Lord—and because of that, with each other. His love, and the assurance of it, were the wellspring from which to bathe our neighbors in nurturing, the hub of a solid soul from which spokes of ministry and not manipulation emanated.
Intimacy is not a secondary agenda of the Incarnation and Passion of Christ. The salvation these wrought were a salvation into the sweet lovemaking of the eternal Trinity. Being somebody, being affirmed, delighted in, held in close embrace, are where reality began and where it all goes to.
Acceptance is tendered: "I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it" (Revelation 2:17). My soul, find yourself in Jesus and be free.
"A Quiet Place To Lay Your Head"
Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart has no rest till it comes to Thee
"In The King's Stables: This Perishable Shall Put On Imperishable."
There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room (more room than most of us like) for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, ‘Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot be trusted even with that which perishes?’ Who will trust me with a spiritual body if I cannot control even an earthly body? These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may someday be free of horses altogether but that someday we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world-shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King’s stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else – since He has retained His own charger – should we accompany Him? C.S. Lewis
" He Is Calling Us Into That Summer"
The miracles that have already happened are, of course, as Scripture so often says, the first fruits of that cosmic summer which is presently coming on. Christ has risen, and so we shall rise. St Peter for a few seconds walked on the water; and the day will come when there will be a re-made universe, infinitely obedient to the will of glorified and obedient men...To be sure, it feels wintry enough still: but often in the very early spring it feels like that. Two thousand years are only a day or two by this scale. A man really ought to say, 'The Resurrection happened two thousand years ago' in the same spirit in which he says, 'I saw a crocus yesterday.' Because we know what is coming behind the crocus. The spring comes slowly down this way; but the great thing is that the corner has been turned. There is, of course, this difference, that in the natural spring the crocus cannot choose whether it will respond or not. We can. We have the power either of withstanding the spring, and sinking back into the cosmic winter, or of going on into those 'high mid-summer pomps' in which our Leader, the Son of Man, already dwells, and to which He is calling us. It remains with us to follow or not, to die in this winter, or to go on into that spring and that summer.
"Let In The Blaze of The Risen Sun"
Let us picture a woman thrown into a dungeon. There she bears and rears a son. He grows up seeing nothing but the dungeon walls, the straw on the floor, and a lit patch of the sky seen through the grating, which is too high up to show anything except sky. This unfortunate woman was an artist, and when they imprisoned her she managed to bring with her a drawing pad and a box of pencils. As she never loses the hope of deliverance she is constantly teaching her son about that outer world which he has never seen. She does it very largely by drawing him pictures. With her pencil she attempts to show him what fields, rivers, mountains, cities and waves on a beach are like. He is a dutiful boy and he does his best to believe her when she tells him that that outer world is far more interesting and glorious than anything in the dungeon...So with us. 'We know now what we shall be'; but we may be sure we shall be more, not less, than we were on earth. Our natural experiences (sensory, emotional, imaginative) are only like the drawing, like penciled lines on flat paper. If they vanish in the risen life, they will vanish only as pencil lines vanish from the real landscape, not as a candle flame that is put out but as a candle flame which becomes invisible because someone has pulled up the blind, thrown open the shutters, and let in the blaze of the risen sun.
"Eternal Love Embodies Love Himself"
In Heaven I suspect, a love that had never embodied Love Himself would be equally irrelevant. For Nature has passed away. All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
"Awaiting The Commander To Sound The Horn To End All Horns"
We recall the reason for Israel’s detainment of 40 years in a desert that should have taken two weeks to walk; it was because of her chronic murmuring, whining, complaining, negativity, faithless talk, and “bad reports” (Numbers 13:32). The tongue is a very consequential organ, leading the whole body either into the paths of victory or defeat in the spiritual realms, releasing the power of God or inviting Satan by agreement. It is as if Joshua... said, OK, this time around, let’s not sabotage our venture with loose lips. Let’s keep our mouths zipped so as not to risk breathing a word of unbelief.
Until the blowing of the trumpets! And then shout for all you’re worth!
All blowing of trumpets in the Bible reminds us of the final blowing of trumpets. There are 7 in Revelation, chapters 8-11, these horns to end all horns. And as here on the shores of the Jordan, they announce judgment of God’s enemies, all the Jerichos and Babylons that ever raised their fists against the Almighty.
Then suddenly there is Jesus, the selfsame “Angel of the Lord” who had startled Joshua 5:13-15 when he announced himself as the commander of the armies of God. “And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses” (Revelation 19:14).
“Oh For The Clean Clothes Airing In The Cupboard