Monday, January 31, 2011

Tuesday cat

The rainy weather makes it so hard to get out of bed.

Did a little bit of writing today - it's been a long time since I've written anything. There are times I wonder if it dries up (like a raisin in the sun?).

Good extracts from J I Packer (Knowing God and A Quest for Godliness):

"Christians are independent folks for they use the word of God as a touchstone by which to test the various views that are put to them and they will not touch anything which they are not sure that Scripture sanctions"


"Whereas to the Puritans communion with God was a great thing, to evangelicals today it is a comparatively small thing.

The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way that we are not.

The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it.

When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology—but rarely of their daily experience of God.

Modern Christian books and magazines contain much about Christian doctrine, Christian standards, problems of Christian conduct, techniques of Christian service—but little about the inner realities of fellowship with God. Our sermons contain much sound doctrine—but little relating to the converse between the soul and the Saviour.

We do not spend much time, alone or together, in dwelling on the wonder of the fact that God and sinners have communion at all; no, we just take that for granted, and give our minds to other matters.

Thus we make it plain that communion with God is a small thing to us.

But how different were the Puritans! The whole aim of their ‘practical and experimental’ preaching and writing was to explore the reaches of the doctrine and practice of man’s communion with God."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the remembrance of sins past

I know one of the promises of the bible is that God will remove them from you, that he will remember your sins no more.

But today I read some things that reminded me of my sins - past and present - and peeled me out of that smug self satisfied middle class life. It reminded me of where (and what) exactly I'd come from, what it had cost God to bring me here and how very very little I deserve what I have now.

Days like this, I stare out into the rain and wonder how I could forget. The remembrance of sins past used to drive me to my knees; there is such a visceral quality to the understanding of his grace when you are conscious of your depravity.

Maybe it is when you remember your sins that you understand the greatness behind the promise:

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:10-12

I will remember my own sins if only it will help me remember what grace it is that He has agreed to forget.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

monday cat

This cat reminded me of the one I saw on one of my morning runs. It was early, 6:45 a.m. and around me, the houses were quiet.

I huffed and puffed up a hill on my way home and then I saw this huge grey cat. It was lying on its back, looking like a majestic grey porpoise and it was definitely awake. As I ran past its house (which the human occupants probably think they own), its eyes tracked my movements and its mouth curled into a distinct look of scorn and disbelief. In that moment, I believed all the stories I'd ever read about animals being able to communicate with their eyes.

"Stupid crazy girl, running around at this time in the morning .... "

I started laughing as I ran away. It wasn't good for my morale but really, it was nice to know that even cats think that waking up at 6 a.m. to run is crazy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

bear it out to the edge of doom


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

- Shakespeare


It's odd how people find Shakespeare dry or difficult. Came across this and I was just thinking how modern it sounded to my ears.

But then I'm in love with the Bard and I find these lines - as I have found so much of his other work - so beautiful that time seems to stop as I read.

'Bear with me please' is a refrain we hear when people are about to launch into a lengthy explanation (or diatribe). But here it reminds us that love asks you to bear with another to the edge of doom.

Because when evening comes and the drafts of the day have been handed in, what else is there?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My favourite blog of 2010 was this one: Pray for ian

I've written about it before but I guess what I wanted to write about today is why I like it so much.

In the past, I read all kinds of blogs. Blogs of people I knew, fashion ones, design ones, blogs devoted to poetry and literature.. all sorts. But this one gives me perspective on my life like never before. For those who didn't read my previous post, this blog is about the life and progress of Ian Murphy, an exceptional guy who was in a terrible car accident some years ago. He survived his accident, spent a long time in coma, came out of it and last summer, he married his long time love, Larissa. He's still suffering terribly from the injuries to his brain but he's recovered a lot.

The honesty of the people who have posted on this blog makes me cry and ultimately inspires me to go on clinging to God in hope.

I know I only seem to post happy things: pretty photos, hopeful music and poetry. But the reality is that in the past year or so, I've struggled with putting my anger or unhappiness out there. I felt that I needed to learn to guard my tongue and be very very careful about what I say. I don't want to write or blog in a manner that would stumble someone else or that would cause other people to feel miserable too. But I sometimes wonder if its an excuse to be disingenous. I don't want to pull people down but I also want to be honest.

It's humbling to watch people walk through terrible, life altering circumstances. It's staggering that they have come out of it praising God and in the process they have shown us what it is to work out your faith with fear and trembling.

The truth is that I've had a pretty awful week and today I got some pretty bad news that made me feel angry, sad and tearful all at once. I hated myself for making a stupid mistake, my throat was still sore from flu and I was so depressed I treated myself to a cab ride home because I didn't have the energy to take the train.

I'm still pretty down and angry at myself. But I'm glad I flipped open my browser and had a look at the prayforian blog again. Because it puts my problems into perspective and it reminds me that the God who did not spare His own Son will make all things work together for good. I may not see it right now, but maybe He'll use my misery and my mistakes and use it to glorify himself. After all, if anything, my mistakes have served to remind me of my own feet of clay.

I'll be happy if I could come out of every circumstance convicted of the twin truths that God is good and faithful and that I am a sinner.


In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I get this all the time


rough translation of fernweh (Ger):
the opposite of homesickness.

Imagine a love turned out
as bread best cast

to the rivers, feedings
for smaller, far-flung things—

fire-flights of stillness,
forms alighting, then airborne,

until the breeze begins
to feel like hunger,

the wayward sweep of desire—
for the holy wheel

rotating foot, breath, and earth,
the pilgrim's chaff,

frayed and heliocentric,
in need of distance

as a horizon of prayer
to both call and receive.

-- Megan Harlan

You've got mail!

I got another postcard from the sister. A dreamy view of Prague, bridges, city spires rising in a haze.

I'll take a photo and post it later but for now, here's a snippet from one of my all time favourite movies - You've Got Mail.

It's such a whimsical, nonsense little film. No deep meanings, it's not indie and its definitely not arthouse.

But. It has NY looking delightful in four seasons. It mentions some of my favourite childhood reads - Noel Streatfeild's Shoe books - and it's about little bookstores and romance.

Yes, romance. That rose pink haze of courtship and dating that usually precedes wild and abandoned sex which seems to be what most rom-coms are about these days. I miss romantic films - I mean, this one was a hit and it doesn't have a single sex scene. Instead it has sharp lines, twirling and a boy who brings a girl flowers when she's sick.