Dark and misty.
An effervescent wine.
Martin Luther (Germany/1483—1546):
God's love gives in such a way that it flows from a Father's heart; the well-spring of all good. The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious; as among ourselves we say of even a trifling gift, "It comes from a hand we love," and look not so much at the gift as at the heart.
Augustine of Hippo (Algeria/354—430):
Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
O Lord, my God,
Grant us your peace; already, indeed,
you have made us rich in all things!
Give us that peace of being at rest,
that Sabbath peace,
the peace which knows no end.
The church as a whole is an icon of God the Trinity, reproducing on earth the mystery of unity in diversity. Human beings are called to reproduce on earth the mystery of mutual love that the Trinity lives in heaven.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.
...In spite of the tears and pain and death we believe that the God who made us is infinitely wise and good. As Abraham staggered not at the promises of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving the glory to God, and was fully persuaded that what He had promised He was able to perform, so do we base our hope in God alone and hope against hope till the day breaks. We rest in what God is. I believe that this alone is true faith. Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith...
The testimony of faith is that, no matter how things look in this fallen world, all God's acts are wrought in perfect wisdom...
It is vitally important that we hold the truth of God's infinite wisdom as a tenet of our creed, but this is not enough. We must by the exercise of faith and by prayer bring it into the practical world of our day-by-day experience.
To believe actively that our Heavenly Father constantly spreads around us providential circumstances that work for our present good and our everlasting well-being brings to the soul a veritable benediction. Many of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, hoping but never being quite certain of anything, and always secretly afraid that we will miss the way. This is a tragic waste of truth and never gives rest to the heart.
There is a better way. It is to repudiate our own wisdom and take instead the infinite wisdom of God. Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress. God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him. Here is His promise: 'And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them. and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.'
God constantly encourages us to trust Him in the dark. 'I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; and I will gee thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.'
In is heartening to learn how many of God's mighty deeds were done in secret, away from the prying eyes of men or angels . When God created the heavens and the earth, darkness was upon the face of the deep. When the Eternal Son became flesh, He was carried for a time in the darkness of the sweet virgin's womb. When He died for the life of the world, it was in the darkness, seen by no one at the last. When He arose from the dead, it was 'very early in the morning.' No one saw Him rise. It is as if God were saying, "What I am is all that need matter to you, for there lie your hope and your peace. I will do what I will do, and it sill all come to light at last, but how I do it is My secret. Trust Me, and be not afraid.'
With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures."
Sermon Snips: from the current series "The Gospel of Grace and Peace" by Dr. Josh Moody, Sr. Pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL—September 27, 2009—Galatians 4: 17—20
Fiction Book Review: Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum
The review from Publisher’s Weekly:
Blum, who worked for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, takes a direct, unsentimental look at the Holocaust in her first novel. The narrative alternates between the present-day story of Trudy, a history professor at a Minneapolis university collecting oral histories of WWII survivors (both German and Jewish), and that of her aged but once beautiful German mother, Anna, who left her country when she married an American soldier. Interspersed with Trudy's interviews with German immigrants, many of whom reveal unabashed anti-Semitism, Anna's story flashes back to her hometown of Weimar. As Nazi anti-Jewish edicts intensify in the 1930s, Anna hides her love affair with a Jewish doctor, Max Stern. When Max is interned at nearby Buchenwald and Anna's father dies, Anna, carrying Max's child, goes to live with a baker who smuggles bread to prisoners at the camp. Anna assists with the smuggling after Trudy's birth until the baker is caught and executed. Then Anna catches the eye of the Obersturmführer, a high-ranking Nazi officer at Buchenwald, who suspects her of also supplying the inmates with bread. He coerces her into a torrid, abusive affair, in which she remains complicit to ensure her survival and that of her baby daughter. Blum paints a subtle, nuanced portrait of the Obersturmführer, complicating his sordid cruelty with more delicate facets of his personality. Ultimately, present and past overlap with a shocking yet believable coincidence. Blum's spare imagery is nightmarish and intimate, imbuing familiar panoramas of Nazi atrocity with stark new power. This is a poised, hair-raising debut.
Scripture: Psalm 139