Monday, December 26, 2011

yet they remained.

"the history of abraham's people is, of course, one of unfaithfulness as well as faithfulness, yet they remained faithful enough so that they might be truthful about their unfaithfulness."



sometimes i feel the only good and valuable thing i have to offer is my honesty, my vulnerability, my truth.

and perhaps that is enough.


Friday, December 23, 2011

in every detail, worthy.

the geneology and the virgin birth show that the King is legally qualified to reign. at the baptism Jesus received divine approval. now the King is proven as to His moral character through the temptations.

matthew has carefully presented the legal geneology of the King, His supernatural birth in fulfillment of prophecy, His confirmation of prophecy by His childhood, His forerunner, His baptism, and His temptation.

in every detail the King is qualified - legally, scripturally, and morally.

all is now in readiness for the presentation of the Messiah to israel.

-stanley toussaint.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the heart of Jesus.

"simon, simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. but I have prayed for you, simon, that your faith may not fail. and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

-rabbi Jesus to peter, after he denied him.


stunning and beautiful. Jesus prays for us and over our mistakes through his lens of grace even before we sin, and continues to believe in us despite of it.

"and when you have turned back..."

and his mighty vision of grace whispers in this passage;

I know your heart. you will fail and you will sin and you will hurt people, BUT,

you remain what I name you to be. you are still mine.


and then use the experience of the grace i offer you to encourage your brothers who will do the same.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

the God who has called us.

"growth in the christian life is not required only because we are morally deficient, but also because the God who has called us is infinitely rich. therefore, conversion denotes the necessity of a turning of the self that is so fundamental that the self is placed on a path of growth for which there is no end."

-stanley hauerwas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

unbroken, and constant.

"read as a particularly clear example psalm 5: repeatedly there are two voices, bringing the same concern to God. is this not a hint that one who prays never prays alone? always there must be a second person, another, a member of the fellowship, the body of Messiah, indeed, Jesus himself, praying with him, in order that the prayer of the individual may be true prayer. is there not in these repetitions of the same thought, which in psalm 119 rise to the point where it seems that it would never end, the tremendous suggestion that every word of prayer must penetrate to a depth of the heart that can be reached only by unceasing iteration? is this not an indication that prayer is not a matter of pouring out the human heart once and for all in need or joy, but of an unbroken, constant learning, accepting, and impressing upon the mind of God's will in Jesus Messiah?

-dietrich bonhoeffer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


sometimes the worst thing for faith is our ideals.

the beauty of following Jesus does not grow from His removal of life's messiness;

the weight and the power and the glory of following Jesus manifests in the fact that amongst all of life's chaos and failure and struggle and tension,

the power of the resurrection, the living Word, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the gentle One, Victor and Shepherd and Defender, King of all kings,


resides with us in the midst of it,

and breathes, speaks, creates,

new life.


i will wake the dawn.

my heart is fixed, O Lord;
my heart is firm;

i will sing, i will chant a hymn.

awake, oh my soul!

i will wake the dawn.

i will praise You among the peoples, O Lord;
i will sing a new song to You among the nations;

for Your loyalty is as high as heaven,
Your forebearance reaches to the sky.

-psalm 57.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the one and only vital thing.

"our community with one another consists solely in what Jesus Messiah has done to both of us. this is true not merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. i have community with others and i shall continue to have it only through Jesus Messiah. the more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Messiah and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. we have one another only through Jesus, but through Jesus we do have one another, wholly, and for all eternity."

-dietrich bonhoeffer.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

new dimensions.

"a purely ethical monotheism in which God, the guardian of moral order, keeps the world subject to the law, would restrict the scope of God's knowledge and concern to what is of ethical signifigance. God's relation to man would, in general, run along the lines of a universal principle. the divine pathos alone is able to break through this rigidity and create new dimensions for the unique, the specific, and the particular.

it is not law and order itself, but the living God who created the universe and established its law and order, that stands supreme in Biblical thought.

before the Torah, the covenant was.

prophecy is a reminder that what obtains between God and man is not a contract but a covenant. anterior to the covenant is love, the love of the fathers, and what obtains between God and israel must be understood, not as legal, but as a personal relationship, as participation, involvement, tension. God's life interacts with the life of the people. to live in the covenant is to partake of the fellowship of God and His people. Biblical religion is not what man does with his solitariness, but rather what man does with God's concern for all men.

the gulf that separates man from God is transcended by His pathos."

-abraham joshua heschel, excerpts.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"then he turned toward the woman and said to simon, 'do you see this woman? I came into your house. you did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. you did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time that I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. you did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven - as her great love has shown. but whoever has been forgiven little loves little." -Messiah Jesus, luke 7.


"but to me this is a slight matter, that i am judged by you or by any man. i do not even judge myself." -brother paul.


"be strong in the grace of Jesus." -brother paul.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

and yet.

"man is rebellious and full of iniquity, and yet so cherished is he that God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is saddened when forsaken by him. profound and intimate is God's love for man, and yet harsh and dreadful can be His wrath. of what paltry worth is human might - yet human compassion is divinely precious. ugly though the behavior of man is, yet may man's return to God make of his way a highway of God."

-abraham joshua heschel.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a great effort.

"it requires a great effort to realize before Whom we stand, for such realization is more than having a thought in one's mind. it is knowledge in which the whole person is involved; the mind, the heart, body, and soul.

to know is to forget everything else.

what then is left for us to do except to pray for the ability to pray, to bewail our ignorance of living in His presence? and even if such prayer is tainted with vanity, His mercy accepts and redeems our feeble efforts."

-abraham joshua heschel.


oh L-rd, purify our hearts so that we may worship You in honesty. -sabbath liturgy.