Thursday, January 30, 2014

“The Word of Life Manifested”


Our pastor has begun preaching through I John. This week he covered I John 1: 1-4. Each word of the sermon was of such a wonderful nature that I was scribbling madly during the entire length of it, so that at the end of it my sheet of paper, which at the beginning had been white and blank, was laced with spidery confused sentences. And yet I hope the truth and beauty of the words will shine through the choppy sentences and plain words and bring a brightness to your week.

“That which was from the beginning” references both the beginning of creation and also the new beginning when Christ came to earth. In Greek to “look upon” something means not only to glance at something, but to observe and examine it closely. The apostles were official witnesses to the fact that Jesus really came in the flesh. Most of the things we believe to be true are based upon the testimony of others. The disciples go from a group of frightened men hidden together in an upper room fearing for their own lives to a group of fearless apostles, proclaiming what had happened despite the threat of death, and, indeed, most of them did die for their testimony. This was certainly not a group of men doing things for their own advantage.

Christian fellowship is not a type of school or club in which we share ideas, instead we share a bond through our connection to the living Christ and through Him to the Father. It is easy to avoid an invisible God, but if we wish to have fellowship with Him, it is easy as well. All we must do is seek Jesus. We can only have this fellowship with the Father if Jesus came in the flesh. This is not dry theology, it is a fact that should make a difference in the way we live. John is writing this epistle that we might always have the inextinguishable joy spoken of in John 16:22. To most of us joy is something that comes and goes, however instead it should be a constant spring for the life of Christ is always flowing. So as we have constant access to the life of Christ, our lives ought always to be overflowing with joy. This state of joyfulness does not mean that you are always 'happy', however it should mean that you always have a deep feeling of satisfaction and thankfulness for what God has done and is doing in the world. Our joy does not depend upon that which is going on around us, rather it is based upon what we share in God through Christ. And nothing can steal that, unless you allow it to. 
(The photo credits go to my father who took them while on a recent trip back to Seattle.)




Monday, January 13, 2014

Of Pastries & Guests




Chatterbox is a monthly event and link-up hosted by Miss Rachel Heffington at The Inkpen Authoress. Each month has a different word or subject on which you write a piece of dialogue. Very simple and very fun! January's subject is food. My entry for this month is from my story, “Doctors & Daughters”.

  Evelyn searched through every portion of the house in which Maria was inclined to hide away before she found her. Though Evelyn could not long be vexed with the Maria who met her look–eyes glowing, cheeks to which clung wisps of hair flushed, silk skirts enveloped in a voluminous apron.
Nevertheless her tone was still mildly chiding as she addressed Maria, asking had she truly been down here the whole morning?
  “Yes, Evelyn.” Maria answered. “I could not take Lady Bramble out in this weather so I came down here.”
  “Maria you should have come up to do your embroidery with Margaret and I,” Evelyn said, lowering her voice. “It would have been much better for you to have done so. The servants can do the cooking.”
  “Indeed, Evelyn, I believe we are commanded to do so in the Bible–or somewhere. You know, 'He who does not cook shall not eat', or some such thing.”
  “Oh, do not be ridiculous, Maria! That verse is speaking of all work–not specifically cooking.”
   “I prefer to error on the side of caution. And Evelyn–imagine this–” Maria said, extending her floury hands, her voice low and thrilling, “Cook has gone out in the morning to pay a visit to a sick niece, leaving us to the tender mercies of Martha's pastries. It is nearly time for tea–and what is this? It is the sound of carriage wheels upon the gravel. You hasten to the window to peek out and see whom it may be–”
  “But Maria, I would do no such thing,” Evelyn interposed.
  “No matter–Margaret would–and if not the servant would soon announce the name. Lo, it is Lady Warren and Lady Anneliese! You long to invite them so stay for tea–yet the thought of Martha's pasties lying in the kitchen weigh upon your spirits. Now would it not bring you peace to know that you have a sister who can secretly abscond to the kitchen, weigh and pour and mix, so that at the time to ring, not dull heavy patties of dough will meet your eye upon the tray, but things of fresh and delicate beauty?” Her eyes were full of demure merriment as she turned to her sister, knowing her cause was won.
  “Very well,” Evelyn laughed. “But why do you so wish to cook? I inquire since I know there must be more than a wish to preserve your sister in such a time of desperate need as you spoke of.”
  “I do not wish to cook for cookery's sake,” Maria said, pausing in her mixing, her expression earnest and somewhat wistful as she looked at her sister, “but I must have something to do and on rainy days when I cannot be without doors I cannot spend all my time reading and in the stable. Then the house becomes so utterly still and silent, except for the dull thud of the rain, I feel as if I must do something else I will smash something, so I like to come down here and clatter about as much as I like.”
  And so Evelyn left her, humming contentedly as she mixed up a cake. Closing the door she said to herself, “I would talk to Dr. Owen about her nervousness except that he would most probably simply tell me that that type of occupation is exactly what she needs.”

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Snippets of Story - December Edition


Here is my first Snippets of Story! An excerpt from my work-in-progress:"Doctors and Daughters".

(referring to a third party)
   “In his stuck up bigotry,” Dr. Owen said, “he refuses to give honor due, shrouding mercy and care–virtues bestowed by a Being far greater than himself–in a stale mode of words, speaking of them as 'instinct' and 'the natural behavior of the unsoiled man' instead of admitting that he is under complete obligation to his Creator.”
   “You prefer to name yourself a worm and a fool then, instead of merely saying that indeed it is natural instinct that makes you feel in your heart a compassion for your fellow creatures?” Sir Anthony countered.
    “If–as you say I should–I did act at all times merely upon what my instinct dictates, I would indeed be a most deplorable being. But I prefer not to stalk about in a pride built on a system of lies that when torn away would leave me standing in front of all eyes a puffed-up fool. In place of such a state I prefer to live a simple man knowing his own weakness and acknowledging all goodness to his God.”
    “All of that in place of 'foolish myths', as you term my belief in the inherent nobleness of man. I make no claims to the knowledge of the ages and still you say I am filled with a foolish pride.”
   “I, too, make no claims to the knowledge of the ages, I merely say there is one who does, and that the little shard of knowledge which the mind of any man can discover has been bestowed purely from Him. And that which which our human minds cannot grasp I do not believe is 'simply non-existent', but that there are things which are too great for mortal intellect and were we to know them our minds might explode in the glory. Much as there is to be discovered in the history that spans behind us, not all is hidden in the pale mists of the ages, some is hidden in a dazzling cloud of glory–yet to be disclosed.”

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrating the Eighth Day of Christmas... and a Happy New Year!

"The Christmas Tree Fairy" by Cecily Mary Barker

"And the Word became flesh and
dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

                                                


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