Monday, October 31, 2011


"no other area of observance required such strict adherence to formalities as the ritual at the temple in Jerusalem. the description of the rules and customs according to which the ceremonies of sacrifice were conducted occupies almost a whole section of the mishnah. significantly, however, the two main tractates of that section begin with a statement about the inner attitude of the priest, stressing the principle that the validity of the ceremony depends first of all upon what goes on in the mind of the priest. having set forth all the minutiae of the priest's performance, the editor of the mishnah resumes the original principle and concludes the second tractate with a statement that almost sounds like a proclamation:

'it amounts to the same, whether one offers much or little - provided one directs his heart to heaven.'"

-abraham joshua heschel.

Friday, October 28, 2011


as prophets,

we are overwhelmed by our sympathy for God,
we are burdened by our sympathy for man.

as prophets,

we stand before the people and plead for God,
we stand before God and plead for the people.

as prophets,

we are wearied by the heaviness of sin,
we are carried by the force of this mighty Love.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"then i saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. i saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. and i heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new!' then he said, write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'

He said to me: 'it is done. I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. to him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life."

-revelation 21.

this moment.

"it was the eve of the Sabbath when they left the cave, and as they came out they saw an old man carrying two bundles of myrtle in his hand, a sweet-smelling herb having the perfume of paradise.
-what are these for, they asked him.
-they are in honor of the Sabbath, the old man replied.
said Rabbi Shimeon to his son:
-behold and see how dear God's commands are to Israel...

at that moment they both found tranquility of soul."

-abraham joshua heschel.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


"He shall not grow dim or be bruised until He has established the true way on earth..."

-isaiah 42.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jesus mean and wild.

"in the end, the lover of truth and the doer of love will sometimes, like Jesus, be both mean and wild - mean with righteous anger, and wild with inconsolable grief: "jerusalem, jerusalem!"


the heart of God.

"A precious vineyard - sing to it!
I, the Lord, am its keeper;
Every moment I water it.
Lest any one harm it,
I guard it night and day;
I have no wrath.

Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
I would set out against them,
I would burn them up together.
Or let them lay hold of My protection.

Let them make peace with Me,
Let them make peace with Me."

-isaiah 27.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"How shall I surrender you, O Israel!

My heart is turned within Me,
My compassion grows like a flame.
I will not execute My fierce anger,
I will not again destroy Ephraim;

For I am God and not man,
The Holy One in your midst,
And I will not come to destroy."

-the Lord, Hosea 11.


"I will be as the dew to Israel;
He shall blossom as the lily,
His shoots shall spread out;
His beauty shall be like the olive..."

Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.

For He has torn, that He may heal us;
He has stricken, and He will bind us up.

let us know, let us press on to know the Lord."

-excerpts, hosea.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand."

-c.s. lewis.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


to make alive.

"I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is broken in spirit, to make alive the heart of the crushed." -the Lord, isaiah 57.

כִּי כֹה אָמַר רָם וְנִשָּׂא, שֹׁכֵן עַד וְקָדוֹשׁ שְׁמוֹ--מָרוֹם וְקָדוֹשׁ, אֶשְׁכּוֹן; וְאֶת-דַּכָּא, וּשְׁפַל-רוּחַ, לְהַחֲיוֹת רוּחַ שְׁפָלִים, וּלְהַחֲיוֹת לֵב נִדְכָּאִים.

Blessed are You, Oh LORD our God, Master and King of the Universe, for You keep faith with those who sleep in the dust. (amen).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"What the rabbis were doing in their painstaking way was trying to see how the will of God could be discovered in every detail of life. It was because they believed that the love of God was so wide that they appear so narrow - the divine interest descends even to pots and pans, just as Jesus believed the very hairs of our head are numbered. The fact that the rabbis minded - and mind - about meat, wineskins, square holes and round holes, should not allow Gentiles in their loftiness to suppose that devout Jews were or are little better than the inhabitants of Swift's Lilliput debating whether to eat boiled eggs from the Big or the Little End. These debates are not the core of the rabbi's religious faith. They are the consequence that grows out from the fundamental faith, which is found in the Torah and in the Prophets, the belief that the Universal Creator and Lawgiver had revealed himself to mankind, and called mankind to himself to worship Him and serve Him. To judge Judaism by these obscure passages in the Mishnah would be like judging Christianity by the petty rules pinned to a convent notice-board about when the novices should do the laundry. The universalist faith of the 104th Psalm where God is seen animating, informing, enlivening and enriching all forms of terrestrial life, birds, trees, seas, land, men and mountains, underlies the apparently bizarre belief that He is fascinated with the details of domestic trivia. There are many ways in which the later teaching of Paul diverges from that of the Pharisees; so much so, that - as we have stated - some scholars would altogether dispute his claim to have been taught by the Pharisees. But it would be a travesty of the Pharisaic and rabbinic teaching to suppose that Paul abandoned it - still more that he abandoned Judaism, which he never did! - on the grounds that it was too 'petty' and that he wished to set out on his own. His cavalier attitude to the details of Pharisaic teaching did not derive from a 'modern' notion that such things do not matter; and of his surviving writings, a substantial part is in fact devoted to questions such as eating, drinking, haircuts, head-covering and sexual intercourse - humdrum or private matters for the rest of the human race, but very much up the street of the rabbis."

-a.n. wilson.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"but now comes the greatest wonder that the world has ever known. in the very place where we have fallen away from God, where we have become dead and unreceptive to God, in our guilt, God's goodness searches us out, and is revealed to us again as the eternal promise of God, in Jesus Messiah, which far surpasses all guilt and all life. only the person who, in the darkness of guilt, of unfaithfulness, of enmity towards God, has felt himself or herself touched by the love which never ceases, which forgives everything, and which points beyond all misery to the world of God, only such a person really knows what God's goodness means."

-dietrich bonhoeffer.


as God slowly leads me away from my murky fog of guilt into the piercing and gentle light of Jesus, my soul begins to live and move and find its being in His atmosphere of goodness.

and my heart beats, He is good, He is good, He is good.


Monday, October 3, 2011

"Guilt - it’s usually a lie satan is whispering in our ears, wanting to distract us from experiencing God. God desires our time + words + hearts, but He isn’t the God of guilt trips. He’s just not that passive-aggressive. That is what we put on Him, but it’s not His heart. He started telling my heart that guilt is not what that feeling is, change the way of your thinking and realize that that guilt is actually a DESIRE for more of Him. don’t let satan trick you into thinking your desire for God is a bad thing… let the Spirit reveal your heart to you and share it with God."

-mp thomas.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Spirit of the garden,

teach us to care and not to care,
teach us to sit still.

even among these rocks
our peace in His will.

(and even among these rocks)
suffer me not to be separated

and let my cry come unto Thee."

-t.s. eliot.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


"creation sent to me the centipede to witness the complexity of one hundred legs that were moving unexpectedly, ironically, just as they were meant to be, they're fearfully and wonderfully made; an organism praised in circadian rhythms: the sun will rise and then the sun will set, and then the sun will rise again, so lift up your head!

this is life: not a static object preserved and displayed like a relic from the dead. you are not a fruitless tree with a rootless disease growing in a bucket in a rich man's home next to the tv, tamed and alone, learning to lust for the things you don't own, like an armchair warrior who's been dethroned, declawed and fixed, fighting for your life with unattended slit wrists.

don't let your name get intermingled with a number 'cause it's time to awake from the devilish slumber, to freely follow the Forerunner to the fatherland and rally round the Renaissance Man and the wisdom of His ways and all the works of His hands, catch come as catch can, concentrating on the good words of the Son of Man,

the plan is to withstand the demands of a confused oppressor: a wolf in sheep's clothes, with monotonous lectures and questionable gestures, unequal measures, cultural pressures and synthetic textures, force fed instead of the most beautiful architecture of our long-lost forgotten origins: unseen fiber in the blood of my King, and that old rock where we confessed our sins.

oh, my God, fellow man, in this land they all cry out for full restoration, and this will take patience and this will take the tribes and the tongues of all the nations and all of creation groans in anticipation, waiting for the Son of God to be manifest, i can feel it burning in my chest, the liberation of the oppressed!

and it's beautiful like the feet that bring news, it's beautiful like this freedom tune. it's beautiful like the power to change, beautiful like the long-awaited rain, beautiful like these healing pains, beautiful like the holy flames, coming down.

all creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing!

oh praise Him!
oh praise Him!


-josh garrels.