31 Mar 2007

Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God’s voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him.

– William Barclay

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

wander, my dreaming, to the time when time itself unfurled
when the world was merely desire, an inkling in the eye of God
what light that first light must have been, the darkness torn asunder

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

28 Mar 2007

I saw it flash in the corner of my eye, the secret message: “You are not alone.” And a feeling that I should pass it on.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Ashes to ashes, but in between is life.

Dreaming is free, never forget this.

Time should not be resisted, but coaxed.

Fire can burn you or inside you.

It’s never God’s fault: figure out whose.

Flight is more for the soul than body.

Death already wins if you don’t live.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

25 Mar 2007

He drew on himself, every day: strange symbols, lines leading nowhere, circles with no particular inclination. His pens were continually running dry of ink, and if he took a bath, the water stained a blackish tint, as if he were washing away sins. The patterns he drew were a mystery of asymmetry, an ode to chaos; these markings were a war paint to a battle long over, and he had been on the side of the the defeated. No one ever asked him why he did this — there was a certain unknowable poetry to it, and people… people don’t ask questions when they think they already know the answer: he was a sign that the universe was as odd as they imagined. But if they had asked him, “Why?”, he would have answered, “This is what the whole of the world means — this is the way I see it. Each day the pattern changes, and when the old one washes away, I draw on myself what is new… like a reflection of it all that knows what it reflects, a world rewritten in abbreviations.”

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

22 Mar 2007

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try

– John Lennon

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Gustave Moreau: The Travelling Poet

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

19 Mar 2007

i speak of love like a wind across the plain
like ashes of a dearly departed scattered upon the the earth
quiet in my brooding, to sound in joy
knowing nothing but with a promise in my heart
dreaming of possible things — this is courage
all of it rests upon the will of the believer, a calling is so
merely words carried through the mundane atmospheres
who will do what he can? this is courage
who will dare to love as it was intended of us?
not to call upon the furies, but to hold a hand
quiet in prayer that does not rely on a miracle
i speak of love like moonlight striking water
i believe. you need not ask in what, if you believe it, too

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

16 Mar 2007

Every true prayer has its background and its foreground. The foreground of prayer is the intense, immediate desire for a certain blessing which seems to be absolutely necessary for the soul to have; the background of prayer is the quiet, earnest desire that the will of God, whatever it may be, should be done. What a picture is the perfect prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane! In front burns the strong desire to escape death and to live; but behind there stands, calm and strong, the craving of the whole life for the doing of the will of God… Leave out the foreground, let there be no expression of the will of him who prays, and there is left a pure submission which is almost fatalism. Leave out the background, let there be no acceptance of the will of God, and the prayer is only an expression of self-will, a petulant claiming of the uncorrected choice of him who prays. Only when the two are there together, the special desire resting on the universal submission, the universal submission opening into the special desire, is the picture perfect and the prayer complete.

– Phillips Brooks

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:26 am

Every once in a while, a little of someone else’s world opens up, enough to take a peek in. You can see for a second a glimpse of that person’s problems, his worries, get a sense for what is important in his life, what’s pressing on his horizon, even what things he pays no attention to. You may not know this person at all, but for that little while where you look in, whether through some phrase that slips out in an email or a mention in a phone call, that person is a person, just like you. You relate. You two may be living different lives — completely different lives — but you are both living lives; you both are fully human beings. The window doesn’t stay open forever, and perhaps that’s a good thing, because I think we do not have room to live more that one life at a time.

I sometimes think about such windows when I hear about death on the news. When I hear of some number of people being killed in some sort of horrible occurrence, man-made or otherwise, I think about how all these windows have closed for good. The numbers do so little to convey that for each one of these within the statistics, there was a life there. There were years of experience, good and bad, that that person went through, digested, handled, folded and stapled. And there are years, now, that such a person would have gone through, but have no chance of doing so now. But here, too, such thinking is fleeting. We have none of us hearts large enough to handle the true total of tragedy in this world, or even that we hear about. We move on, thankful for the glimpses.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:24 am

13 Mar 2007

Night falls, rhythmless sleep come upon the door of the soul.

Night falls, time poised for the striking of the midnight hour.

Night falls, struck I am by how vast the sky is suddenly open.

Night falls, and it would seem the whole of earth floats nowhere.

Night falls, and for a moment it as if dawn will not come again.

Night falls, but we do not surrender, summon light where we can.

Night falls, but we continue, shake off the darkness, and go on.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

10 Mar 2007

Meaning is better than any pleasure.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

dreaming myself into a corner, to take wing if pressed
my destination is known only to the wind that carries me
i set my sights to land in the shadow of eternity

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

7 Mar 2007

Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high

– The Who

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Egon Schiele: Four trees

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

4 Mar 2007

Since becoming a disciple of Christ, Paul knows that all mere orthodoxy, all mere knowledge concerning God’s will, is not only nothing but less than nothing. The more knowledge, the more obligation. The maintaining of revealed doctrine becomes blasphemy if it is not borne out by the corresponding testimony of the life. He who is always appealing to the Word of God without his life and conduct corresponding to this knowledge of God, dishonors God’s name, making Him an object of mockery and hatred. It is just those who know so well how to talk about God who make His name hateful among men, because their lives darken the picture of God and turn it into a caricature. The Lord is judged by the life of His servants; this is the truer, the more zealously they appeal to Him.

– Emil Brunner

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

The sound of the river haunts my day, for it is a symbol of eternity. We are born on the banks of a flow whose source is beyond our scope, ever in the middle of all that is happening. And when we go, sink into the soil that bore us, the river will continue on, and on, with an end that does not come. The sound of the river is enlightenment to those who would listen, however much you have travelled, or have stayed put: just put your ear to the wind where it has caught the streaming rush — do you not hear it? I am at once full of fear and hope, of joy and tragedy: the river need not heed that I exist at all, that I can find meaning to it all: the way I have followed its course as far as I could go, and seen what I have seen. The sound of the river is my believing in what is greater than I am, and none can achieve light in their souls without that call. Listen.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

1 Mar 2007

There was love that came from out of nowhere: this I have experienced. Why, as Oscar Wilde said, that the mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death: why there is something instead of nothing is that love is simpler. It is that which is more real than the feeling, because not only can it move mountains, it already has. We just don’t notice these things anymore, because the miracle has happened so consistently so many myriad times. And maybe in my case, it was not that there was love from out of nothing, for there is a world ever present even when we are the most destitute, and even the lilies of the field, which own nothing, are arrayed in garments finer than Solomon’s grandest. But still, these are miracles — that our hearts can break and mend, that we can love without any reason why.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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