Thursday, July 11, 2013

keep your heart and mind open

...reposted from jim's blog :

 We are given minds and imaginations that can freely tread into heavenly matters. The desire to see God seems to be set upon our hearts no matter the culture or creed we are raised with. “Show me your glory,” Moses implored of God. “Show us the Father,” the disciples pled with Jesus. But we cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end anymore than we can fathom God, and for this God seems to remind us of our limitations.  
We will be shown the Father; we are shown God’s glory; we are continually given glimpses of a self-revealing God. And yet we are warned not to make any of it into an idol lest we miss God in the midst of it. In a letter to a younger colleague, poet and professor Stanley Wiersma advised, “When you are too sure about God and faith, you are sure of something other than God: of dogma, of the church, of a particular interpretation of the Bible. But God cannot be pigeonholed. We must press toward certainty, but be suspicious when it comes too glibly.” 
“Show us the Father” is a hope our hearts were meant to utter (Moses cried out for it, so did the apostles) and it is also a longing God has promised will be answered—from cultures and ages past to our own today: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. - Thoughtful Idols 

It is so easy for us to “pigeonhole” God, but it’s important to remember that “we believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe he will yet reveal many great and important things.” We need to be open to change when He does.

Monday, July 8, 2013


"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"   --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

fortune cookies

My roommate loves fortune cookies. Anytime we go to a restaurant that gives them out at the end of the meal, she has a little ritual of divining who each cookie, and therefor the accompanying fortune, truly belongs to. It's funny and fun -- and makes the fortune experience a little more mystical :)

One of the reasons I love fortune cookies, and along those same lines, horoscopes and other types of sign reading, is because they are short and specific enough to give me something to think about, while remaining vague and "catch-all" enough that I can contextualize them with whatever I want from my own life. I know that's why many people say they are ridiculous, that anyone can make them true anytime, but for me, that's what makes them legit for me. Yes I can apply whatever I want, but it gives me a framework to consider them in.

"Knock and your dreams will be answered" can apply to anyone and anything -- but specific to me right now I can apply it to one thing that I really want. And it gets me thinking about it, and how I CAN do things -- I can knock -- in order to achieve what I desire. Maybe getting a boost of motivation from a cookie is silly, but as humans it is in our nature of our basic psychology to make connections, and in a way there is a kind of power in even the smallest perception... You kinda just have to be open to it.

If you think about it... isn't this what the scriptures and words of the prophets are supposed to do? I'm not trying to demean the scriptures, there is more power in them than in all the fortune cookies in the world, but the idea of how they work within us is very similar... I mean really -- short and sweet nuggets of gospel wisdom actually do the same thing as a fortune, just in a much more real (meaningful, faith promoting, empowering) way because there is a depth and resonance to gospel truths that fortunes/predictions don't have, especially with the backing confirmation of the Spirit. They still maintain the necessary space for anyone to "fill in the blanks" as to how it can apply to their particular life but they can give a framework for making choices. It is fun to read "knock and your dreams will be answered," and it's something I can believe in, but there is something much more faith-promoting to read the Lord himself say "knock and it shall be opened unto you." The premise may be similar, and whatever it is in my life that I need a boost in order to "knock on" could be the same in either situation, but my faith -- and thereby the accompanying power -- is going to rest in my confidence in the Lord, not just in the words/ideas, but in Him, His character and promises. And that is why I see this as a type of grace, an enabling power we can tap into to accomplish what we might not otherwise be able to do if left to our own means. It's one thing to believe in an idea, it's another to believe in, and trust, the author.

(What do you think?)