a wedding at calvary

There is a love letter inked in the blood of a Prince. It tells the story of His faithful devotion to His bride. He loved her at her worst and never stopped pursuing her. He pursued her to the point of death and pursued her still. The grave could not keep Him from the love of His life.

It tells of the sacrifice He made for her sake. For her, He relinquished His throne to become as common as she, clothing Himself in the rags of flesh and bone to meet her where she stood.

And still she ran from Him. His love was dangerous – it demanded her life and the whole of her broken heart.

And still He pursued her, relentless in His purpose to make her a worthy bride. His love was dangerous – it demanded His life and the whole of His broken heart.

He gave His life for a wedding at Calvary, where He reconciled her to Himself and made her His forever. For her, He died her death that she may never need to experience it.

His love.

His bride.

This love story is as brutal as it is beautiful, as real as it is fantastical. It is stained with blood and washed with forgiveness.

Rejoice, for the Prince has won His bride.

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cosmic fantasy

I am convinced that stars were born in dreams.

One of my favorite things to do is stargaze. Stars speak to me in ways people can’t. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a relationship with the night sky, and as with any relationship, it grew and changed through time and work. Then, the stars were pretty and sparkly, and they taught me that beautiful things exist in the dark. Now, they humble me and remind me how small I am, and they give me hope because if they can keep burning and shining for so long, I can keep living for so short in comparison.

With each twinkle, stars whisper secrets to each other, and whoever’s listening is graced to hear as well. With each whisper, stars give praise to the God of creation.

I am convinced that stars were born in dreams.

Only one imagination is brilliant enough to turn trillions of gaseous balls billions of years apart from each other and from me into works of art. How much dreaming did God do before He created stars? How did He decide on a canvas? How did He decide on the hues? How did He decide on their placement? How did He decide to create them?

I think God dreamed up stars knowing that someone(s) will look up at them and think of Him and smile. God made stars for kids like me to have something to praise Him for.

And for me to know that beautiful things exist in the darkest times.

I am convinced that stars were born in the dreams of one gracious, imaginative Dreamer.

And He’s not finished dreaming yet.

excerpt from Ruthless Trust

Fourteenth-century theologian and mystic John Tauler prayed for eight years that God would send him a person who would teach him the true way of perfection. One day, while at prayer, he heard a voice from within telling him to go outside to the steps of the church, and there he would meet his mentor. He obeyed without hesitation. On the church steps Tauler found a barefoot ragamuffin in rags, wounded and caked in blood.

 
Tauler greeted the man cordially: “Good morning, dear brother. May God give you a good day and grant you a happy life.”
 
“Sir,” replied the ragamuffin, “I do not remember ever having had a bad day.”
 
Stunned, Tauler asked him how that was possible since sadness and grief are part of the human condition.
 
The beggar explained, “You wished me a good day, and I replied that I cannot recall ever having spent a bad day. You see, whether my stomach is full or I am famished with hunger, I praise God equally; when I am rebuffed and despised, I still thank God. My trust in God’s providence and his plan for my life is absolute, so there is no such thing as a bad day.”
 
He continued, “Sir, you also wished me a happy life. I must insist that I am always happy for it would be untruthful to state otherwise. My experience of God has taught me that whatever He does must of necessity be good (emphasis mine). Thus, everything that I receive from his loving hand or whatever He permits me to receive from the hands of others – be it in prosperity or adversity, sweet or bitter – I accept with joy and see it as a sign of his favor. For many, many years now, my first resolution each morning is to attach myself to nothing but the will of God alone. I have learned that the will of God is the love of God. And by the outpouring of His grace, I have so merged my will with His that whatever He wills, I will too. Therefore, I have always been happy.”
 
~*~*~*~*~*~
 
If you haven’t read this book yet, go get it now.
Manning, Brennan. Ruthless Trust, the Ragamuffin’s Path to God. New York: HarperOne, 2009. print.

urban lullaby

When a city closes its eyes at the end of the day, I wonder, does it dream? Do the thoughts and conversations of the previous hours marinate in the deepest part of its mind before blossoming into life as the imagination awakens to a world of possibilities? Sleep shakes off the weariness of the day and dreams the dreams not dared dreamed when the sun still ruled the sky.

What does it dream about? The complications of managing it? The people pushing it toward what they believe it should be? The policies and rules surrounding its operation? Maybe. On a bad night. Those are what we call nightmares.

On any other given night, I think it dreams the dreams of the common. It dreams of music, of poetry, of art. It dreams of deep meaningful conversations shared over tea, of friendships birthed and friendships matured. It dreams of walks in the park, of hikes in the mountains.

It dreams of dreams.

When a city closes its eyes at night, I’d like to see the dreams it dreams.