Monthly Archives: October 2011

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis

The essence of this chapter is to tell us that God does not stop with just okay. As a believer in Jesus, or what has been called a Christian, God starts to make changes with you. His changes, His way. We have free will to turn away from God, or to push Him away. But, as a believer, you don’t want to do this. csLewis wants us to know the truth of being a Christian. We need to know that it will be continual change for as long as we live, not always easy and nice, the way we would like change to come, not just the stuff that what we would like to have changed, or in the time we would like change. As Lewis would put it, God gives us, in Jesus, the full treatment. And we should not be surprised if we are in for a rough time. It’s like a home remodeling project that doesn’t end…and you are the house. God comes into the house, and starts remodeling the kitchen, and just when you think He is done, He starts on the living room, then an add-on, and a few colour changes, and on it goes, until He makes you home…or takes you home…or both.

merlot and pie

.

Harvest has started. Peter drove Big Blue, our truck, down the Columbia River Gorge yesterday, spent the night with some friends and then headed for the vineyard in eastern Washington in the early morning, to be there in time to be there for the grape picking of the Merlot. The vineyard is just north a way from the river, but it’s pretty far out to the east. This Merlot is usually the first vineyard to ripen, of the vineyards that we get grapes from. The plants got frozen over the winter so it is a small crop. But, it’s a crop, and it it looks lovely. So, for anyone that likes Merlot, all is looking good.
We continue to get on and off rain. As a matter of fact, it’s raining right now. Though, the forecast, as it stands this afternoon, is looking pretty good for Friday through Wednesday.

Had a few more peaches from the farmer’s market from last week.  So i just made a peach pie.  As i have only made apple or berry pies in the past, this is my first peach pie.  I usually can’t bear to put good peaches into a pie.  Just out of the oven to cool.  I will let you know later if it was worth using the peaches or not.

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis

.

C.S. Lewis has reminded us what is the whole of our belief in Jesus. There is one thing, one purpose. Something that is not where we usually look or how we usually think.  And in this one thing, we continue to look for compromise, to hold back, and make things harder in the long run.
God wants us to give Him our whole natural self.  Your natural self and all of its desires and wants. All the ways of thinking of the old self.  All the ways of seeing of the old self.  
It is really the very simple idea of giving God our natural self, and listening to the voice of God.

A simple idea to understand how to do, that is a bit hard to remember to do, and hard to understand why it’s so important, but, it’s what God wants for us for the long run.

The compromise is to think we can keep some of our self. We do this out of fear, and not trusting that God does what is best for us.  The way our mind and heart naturally go is centered on money, pleasure and ambition, and at the same time we think we can behave honestly, chastely, and humbly.

Lewis says in this chapter, “For make no mistake: if you are really going to try to meet all the demands made on the natural self, it will not have enough left over to live on. The more you obey your conscience, the more your conscience will demand of you.  And your natural self, which is thus being starved and hampered and worried at every turn, will get angrier and angrier. In the end you will either give up trying to be good, or else become one of those people who, as they say, ‘live for others’ but always in a discontented, grumbling way–always wondering why the others do not notice it more and always making a martyr of yourself.  And once you have become that, you will be a far greater pest to anyone who has to live with you than you would have been if you had remained frankly selfish.”

Wake up and see the wishes and hopes that are yours.  Give them to Jesus.  And listen to His voice.  Take the time to listen often and throughout this day.  Breathe, listen, and do not compromise with your God. Become open to the idea of God making you into something new.  His own.
And i will say it again…
Breathe in the breath of Jesus and Live. Do not hold on to the death of what you were.  Open your eyes and see His truth, that does not deny you of life, but, gives you life, now.  Take your fears, and your fussing and worry and ask God to take it, along with all of the things that you think are good and bad…everything, every day, hand it over with an open heart, and then… listen.
Be drawn into Christ.

talk of grape harvest

.
The rains have been coming and going for several days now. Since it is not a continual rain, and the winds do come and dry the grapes a bit in between the rains, and since it is relatively cool, there is still hope for a good harvest with little rot. It drives the vineyardists and winemakers crazy in waiting. They’re all champing at the bit to get the grapes off of the vines.
Will the fruit become ripe and ready for the harvest?
It may help if the grapes were watched and taken care of,  if they were regularly sprayed with sulphur, if some of the leaves around the grapes were cleaned off, and if some of the fruit was dropped early enough.
But, mainly, it’s up to how God delivers the weather.
We just keep on tasting the grapes, measuring the sugar levels, and i imagine there have been some prayers said. I don’t know what is best to pray, so i tell Jesus what i would like, and then ask for Him to pray for what is best.

can less ever be more?

.
As much as i have depended on interaction here, it seems that my eyes are tiring of looking at a bright screen to read the posts necessary to stay in contact with others. I don’t plan to stop writing in my blog. But, i know that i will be reading less blog posts, and so you will not be getting comments from me on a regular basis.

voices and friends . poetry reading

.

Every week i am amazed that people come here and leave their gift of voice and poetry. I know, by having done it, that it takes time and effort to have a poem, arrange a place and time to record, put it on a post, and to come here and leave a link.  But, i really want the effort and time spent in enjoying the process. Because if you don’t, then forget it and do something else. Love you big time.

If you want, just click on a name below and it will take you to where you can listen to a poem being read.

Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets — Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

sunday

11aaa.JPG.
I attended the church service of the Quaker Friends this morning. There were some lovely songs to sing that i was not familiar with, but the words were put up on a screen. After the quiet time, there was a guest speaker. He was once a Presbyterian minister in another part of the country. He and his wife had moved to Newberg and started to attend the Friend’s church, and then found out that his dad’s grandmother had been a Quaker and that she was a Sunday school teacher to Herbert Hoover, and later visited Herbert at the White House. He said that knowing that his grandmother was a Quaker in the same place made him feel like he belonged where he was.
I understand him. I understand how people like to see how they are connected before they can feel like they are a part of something. But, i am not a Quaker. I could have easily taken his words and felt like i did not belong there. The thing is, that in many ways, i don’t belong there. Not as a Quaker. I belong there because it is a gathering of people that believe in Christ Jesus as the son of God, and i am a believer in that way. I belong Spiritually.
It once bothered me that it was the only way that i would ever belong to any of the churches on earth. I kept thinking that there had to be a way to belong beyond the way that i already do. ┬áTo take up one denomination and really want to belong to that one denomination. But, after a few years, i am realizing that i don’t. I really really don’t want to become a member of any one denomination. I want to be first, and only, a member of the body of Christ. And that does not require me to sign any paper. It requires my life and my heart.
So today, when i heard the speaker feeling so at home in the Quaker church, as a Quaker, it was okay. I realize that this is how it is. One way or another, people need feel that they belong.
No matter where i go, i know that i belong to Christ and to His body. I belong to God. Even though i may not feel like i belong to any group on this earth, i know that i belong completely to the one who created me.

always in the church

.

I wrote about my dream church the other day.  The fact is, i know it’s a dream.
I tire of seeing all the things that are wrong in every part of life, churches included, but, that’s the way it is, because there isn’t one person that does anything without fault.  It is a bottomless pit to go there or to point others attention toward it.  One must actually do something better than to point at it.
The better things that we can do is to encourage each believer to look for Jesus in any situation. And if we feel the need to point, we can surely point others toward Jesus. And last but not least, pray at all times and in all things.
When we point at the things that are not Jesus, we may get people’s attention, but, this only leads toward the darkness.
I understand the dream for a group of believers to be true and as one, as i would also like to see this and be a part of it. It’s just that, in this life, we can only look through our flesh. We see the brokenness of only some people and forget that everyone is broken.  Every human is broken.  Every one…every single one.
The closest we can get to this true and perfect oneness, that we desire, is for each one of us to look to Jesus and point others to Jesus, as much as we can.  Sometimes we get a glimpse of God’s Spirit working through this brokenness.  In Jesus, we are a church, part of a Spiritual Body, connected to the Truth and the Life, by the Holy Spirit.
Believers,
You are always in the church…
and you can only see it if you are looking at Jesus.

paint

.

I’m not sure where we’re headed with this, but, we are still slowly moving right along.  Acrylic is just a totally odd medium. Liquid plastic, that dries remarkably fast, and it is close to impossible to mix colours. I know it has favorable qualities, like easy clean-up. Anyway, it is what it is. At this point, i like painting to be experimental. This way i am less concerned about mistakes and more open to enjoying the process. It’s a place where mistakes are often opportunities in disguise.

words sent

.

bits of words sent
here quietly appear
letters and spaces
cast in light
wrong or right
the words don’t matter
it’s the thought
that counts

~

words sent (a rewrite)

bits of words sent
here quietly
speak truth
letters and spaces
leave no traces
of doubt
that words matter
and surely count

~
illustration . words sent . nance