Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For the Beauty of the Earth

We have moved to Nashville, we have heard Luke praying for a backyard and we have witness the childish faith as the seed moving a mountain, from start to finish, one week and a half. So as we settle down, we are grateful for so many blessings and beauty, and all the glory be His.



For the Beauty of the Earth
by Folliot S. Pierpoint



For the beauty of the earth



For the glory of the skies;



For the love which from our birth, 
Over and around us lies;



Lord of all to Thee we raise,
This, our hymn of grateful praise.



For the wonder of each hour,



Of the day and of the night;



Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,



Sun and moon and stars of light;



Lord of all to Thee we raise,
This, our hymn of grateful praise.



For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all to Thee we raise,
This, our hymn of grateful praise.



For Thyself, best gift Divine,
For the world so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in heaven.
Lord of all to Thee we raise,
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A home after all


Hanging on the wall, next to a picture of my other half and I, the text says, "Home is wherever I am with you." Love that binds, love that builds, love that abides: Home.

Romantic thoughts aside, the text carries some truth to it. A familiar one brings connection to a building, like if wood, bricks and nails were filled with more than just dead matter, and a house becomes a home.  The cold structure warmed with laughter, memories and aromas that captures me to its inside.

A verse comes to mind, "In My Father's house are many mansions..." (John 14:2) Mansions? Doesn't that sound attractive? However, am I solely running towards the mansions? Is that what keeps me going when pain sets in, when dispair arrives, when darkness swallows glimpses of glory? The structure, the glamour and the ultimate imaginary retirement paradise? Is that what Christianity is all about? Running towards the streets of gold?

Yet, I keep reading... "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:2,3) No, Jesus is not the way to the mansions, He is the way to the Father, I learn. The mansions are only the detail. And I remember the text hanging on the wall... It is not about the house, it is about who makes it home. "I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:3) Comes to the Father. Comes. "I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)

"At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." (Jo 14:20) Doesn't that make you shout with joy? The separation teared apart leading to full communion as intended to be? How can a broken person like me enjoy such closeness to the Almighty God? At last a home for broken people! However I remember... Why to wait? Why not to rejoice full communion while here? Could I experience home while stepping on foreign ground?

"Abide in Me". As in reside in Me. "Make Me your home." Life may take me far, close, bless or curse, yet there is always home available, a place to Abide in, a person to Abide in, a familiar person to Abide in: Home. The ultimate love that binds, that builds, that abides in me. "Abide in Me, and I in you." (Jo 15:4)

Can you touch his garments? Can you step closer? Shout with joy that the Son of God crossed the valley of darkness to bring you home? Home!! A home after all!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What it takes to succeed


In an empty world, sound does not matter, no ears to hear annules musical beauty, because if the waves of different heights and widths only hit the rock, how could they be measured by how much they soften hearts?

In an empty world, beauty does not matter, no eyebrows to raise, colors to gather light and run after retinas, art hanging on walls that don't move souls. How to appreciate what cannot be seen?

In an empty world, taste does not matter, no explosion of sweet, sour, spicy and bitter, lips far from opening, loneliness of ingredients sorrowing the lack of licking fingers. How to have fond memories of tastes never touched?

In an overcrowded world, I won't matter when I don't soften hearts and create found memories in other cores. It does not matter how much sound I can make, how much beauty I can fake or how much taste I can recreate. If such creations aimed my sole self, in an overcrowded world I am empty.

As empty as in an empty world. Because to succeed in life means to thrive, prosper and grow. But it won't matter if it happens in an empty world. If the sound waves, the light beams and the taste forces go untouched by others, if success only brings me forward, to an empty world, leaving the overcrowded one behind, is it to succeed?

How to succeed and yet not towards emptiness but towards fullness? How to achieve the kind of success that matters because of how much it touches and not by how much it withholds?

To succeed also means to follow or replace another, to come after and take the place of, to keep touching lives as much as the one before. Christ achieved the highest success in the history of the world because being the fullest He chose emptiness so that being empty we can choose fullness. To succeed means to follow. Why not follow the most successful one?

And yet contrary to following dead ones after they finish their legacy, to follow Christ means to follow the alive one. And yet contrary to following the talents, philosophies or work of the important one, to follow Christ means to let Him work through me His talents, His philosophies and His work.

It only happens when I let go of my talents, my philosophies and my work ready to be filled by His. It only happens when I stop focusing on talents, philosophies and work and focus solely on Him.

It only happens when my highest desire in life is to be so close to Him that I start hearing His music, seeing His beauty and tasting His love and grace. From being an empty world to Him, I become an overcrowded one where everything He says matters, everything He is matters and everything He does matters.

And one day without realizing, my success in life will have shifted from living for my empty individual world, to letting Him use me for an overcrowded one.

That is what it takes to succeed.
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