Category Archives: faith thoughts

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis

In this chapter, Mr. Lewis is speaking about the fact that everyone needs to be saved.  People often try and judge the realness of Christ (as well as the realness of a person’s belief) by judging the natural gifts of certain people.  We can not see the heart and soul of anyone as God can see these things.  
People have no spiritual basis for judging another person’s spiritual life.  It is in the gift of free will, for each person to be able to choose who they will believe and follow, and where they are in that belief and following.  This is one of the main places where all people can keep their pointing finger aimed at their own heart.
If you want to know the realness of Christ, look to and talk to Christ.
If you must judge a person’s realness of belief, look at your self.

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If you are a believer in Jesus, the Son of God,
take a gander at  Matthew 7:1-3.

Putting your trust in God, not in man…
You can look it up in God’s Word and read about it at Bible Gateway.

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Jason’s post, and more book reading links on this chapter, can be found at his blog.

the real thing

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Loving God opens your heart to Him.
Love God.

Real Love starts with God.
And if our giving of love doesn’t start with loving God,
then it just makes everything a lot harder.

Thankfulness to God is part of Loving God.
Speak thankfulness to God throughout your day.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  

In God’s Spirit

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I know that there are two ways of looking at things. I can look at the world through the eyes of the world or through the eyes of God. I have a very hard time if i am not paying attention to the Holy Spirit speaking to me, if my heart is not listening.  If i do not listen to the Holy Spirit of God, my heart can become hardened to Him. Making it even harder to listen to God. A vicious cycle.
Too often i forget. And in this forgetting, i am not allowing God to speak to me, or to others through me. Also, it leaves His shield down and His helmet off. It leaves me vulnerable to the influence of the voice of evil.
I forget that to remain in God requires a continual spiritual relationship in Jesus. And that is the battle…just to remember…that in all…i relate with God and He with me. It is Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit, it is the Father that i am to relate with, and He with…and through me. It’s God’s armor and God’s power…bam!…not mine.
“Remember” to open your heart to God… and relate with His Spirit in all things.
Bible reading… Romans 8.
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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.

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis

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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.

sunday

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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.  To 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

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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.

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis

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If you are a believer in Christ, or even if you don’t believe in God at all, there is no reason to expect a believer to be this perfectly kind and understanding person that does and says everything that Christ would say or do.  
Even though the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is still a sinful human, the same, in that way, as everyone.

God’s power works within and through weakness and brokenness. God’s Holy Spirit makes quiet changes within the heart and mind, like the changing of a season that happens slowly and is eventually noticed. Yes, we are still broken, but sometimes we see God’s light shining through that brokenness.

To believe, is to realize my need for Jesus as well as His Love for me.

He is always waiting for the heart that turns to Him.
And that person will receive God’s Love in relationship with the living Spirit of God and His gift of grace and mercy, all of this, through the Son of God.

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wednesday post for the reading of “mere christianity”. by csLewis
photograph “Light in the brokenness” ~ nance