Monday, November 28, 2005

The Garden




In the tradition of Dante's Divine Comedy and C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce another author wrote a story about a journey through the afterlife. This author is the Micheal Phillips, an evangelical Christian and his book is called The Garden on the Edge of Beyond. It is in the context of a dream that he had that this takes place. It is a journey through a flower garden to see the different people who would be met there to help him be able to see God more fully. For him this takes place in a flower garden, since he has a great love of flowers and all growing things. He finds that each new and unique bloom that he finds is the work he has done for Christ in his life. How each soul reacts to him shows itself in a particular bloom some beautyiful to look at and smell as a rose is. But others are hideous in look and smell as a skunk weed is to most people, these are his sins. Each part of the garden will react differently to the person present in it. In one section the ground becomes as waves in the ocean crashing onto the shore, this is due to his guide. His guide is none other then C.S. Lewis. He also finds out that for Lewis this place was not a garden but a library filled with books each needing to be read and opened to find what was there. Just as each flower needs to be smelled in order to undergo the change that the bloom represnts, so his soul may become more wholly real. It is the process of becoming real that is important. A work that can be begun in the world through how we live and the honor we do to God. But this work will never be complete here, only after our life is ended can we find ourself totally. We must work towards it, so we can see God quickly after we die. What will your garden look like? What smells will be there? Will it be pleasent to be in or will it be bleek and dark as the world of Mordor? Start planting the seeds now and they will bloom in eternity. Live for Christ and be a light to the world. A beautiful fragrance to all who come across your path.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

In fear of purity...

Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Mt. 5:8, RSV). There is a conviction in the idea that it is possible to see God at all. The fallen nature prevents us from seeing the face of our Maker or even to realize that He exists. But when we search our heart we come to realize that we do not know who we are. We hide from ourself in all the escapse we build into our daily life. They range from video games, to ads, to pointless books that do not add to our growth, to TV and in the end all of them are to keep us from knowing God.

In knowing ourselves we will find ourselves longing for something deeper. Finding that we cannot know ourselves fully. There is a peice missing that we cannot find in this world. We can try to put anything we want into it; drink, sex, drugs of verious kinds, money, games, TV or whatever else. But nothing at all will fill the void in our life. So is it worth the bother to even avoid these things? Yes, by far it is; because it is in comming to know oneself that we become free. So to fight for purity is one of the first steps in finding out who we are. So blessed are those people who have never had to struggle with it. They are at such an advantage over those who struggle with these lusts. In the end purity will lead us to know that God is there and give us courage to come before God seeking Him. In seeking Him we find that He is the only one that will fill our heart and show us who we are. Christ is after all the one true man in history. God will show us our face so that we may see His face. His face will purify us totally. The most we can do is search, all of the rest is in God's grace. Grace is always available to us, so the choice is ours to seek Him out. Let's get started. Let us go and seek God our King and Maker.

this is fun....is it true of your loved one?

Monday, November 14, 2005

In fear of grace...

We are but mere slikworms, crawling through the world. Fattening ourselves up on worldly things. We fear building a cacoon because we do not know the change that will cause in us. The cacoon of penence, love, obedeince, spiritual readings and anything else that will lead us to God. Within these sliken strands God works His merciful grace on the soul. We fear this because once the change occurs in us then things can never be the same. The ugly worm can never again be a worm because it has become something much greater and more beautiful. Even if the thransformation in the soul is ony for a brief time then it is never able to remain as it was. The will of many who this grace has been given is to hide the change that has occured. But then has the change really occured? Yes it has, it's beauty cannot be hidden in a real sense. The grace given by penence and the transformation of the soul will forever be shinning through the defense erected. As William Law put it in A Serious Call, "The only reason that we are not saints is that we do not fully want to be." We do not want to become butterflies in God's creation, calling others to become as He intends us to be. God wants us to become saints who shine for the world, so lets get on with it and do what must be done in our souls. To give ones' self fully to God is the scariest thing in the world, because He will take it all and change it. We are afraid of Him, because what is said of Aslan is true of God. "He is not a tame lion but a wild lion who goes about as He will." A wild lion who will do with us as He pleases when we give ourself over to Him. So let us enter into the cacoon and die to ourself, so we may live for the King.