“It doesn’t matter really how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord–then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.” (Hudson Taylor)
“If you feel that you are sinful and weak, you have a special right to Jesus’ arms because He is the Good Shepherd, who looks for lost sheep and those who are weak and helpless and who can’t keep up with the flock. Allow Jesus to take you upon His shoulders. Allow Him to love. Believe in His love.” (Tadeusz Dacjzer)
“Twenty years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron discovered that four minutes of looking into each other’s eyes can bring people closer. Using this discovery, Amnesty International Poland decided to carry out a simple experiment where refugees and Europeans sat opposite each other and looked into each other’s eyes.”
Take time to do this with Jesus today or sometime soon . . .
This is absolutely fascinating and an excellent and true image of how God is with us.
In 1999 I traveled to Japan to participate in several exhibitions hosted by my dear friend Mr. Shiho Kanzaki. I arrived with gifts for all the many people that were required to make this amazing opportunity a reality for me.
After I arrived and was unpacking, I discovered that 4 of the side-fired cups that I’d brought as gifts had been broken by the baggage-handling process. Without a thought I dumped them into the waste basket in my room. Sometime later that week, someone came to my room and took out the trash.
After a remarkable 6 weeks in Shigaraki, two exhibitions, travel, fine food, new friends…my visit came to an end.
As often happens there were some “parting gifts” given by me to my hosts; and some gifts were given to me by my hosts. Among the parting gifts I received, I discovered the 4 cups….but they were all reassembled and mended with silver.
I was rather astonished, as I’d thought that putting them in the waste basket was the last I’d ever see of them. Mr. Kanzaki laughed, as he noticed my incredulity, and said: “Now, even better than when you brought them!” Remarkable: gifting back to me, the cups I’d brought as gifts…only now more valuable than they originally were.
The Japanese have a long tradition of repairing pots with gold; it’s called “kintsugi” or “kintsukuroi”. Curtis Benzele tells it this way: “The story of Kintsugi may have begun in the late 15th century, when the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China to be fixed. It returned held together with ugly metal staples, launching Japanese craftsmen on a quest for a new form of repair that could make a broken piece look as good as new, or better. Japanese collectors developed such a taste for kintsugi that some were accused of deliberately breaking prized ceramics, just to have them mended in gold.
Something to remember today on 9/11:
“Contrary to the predisposition to believe more easily in evil than in good, Mary bore witness to the truth that God is the good Father in whom each one can put his trust.” (Simone Trois & Christiana Paccini from Chiara Corbella Petrillo, A Witness to Joy)
Just discovered this book, Run with the Horses (Eugene H. Peterson). Wow. You’re going to be reading some selections from it these next few posts. If you’re someone who battles with a bad father image. Here’s some ammunition.
Before Jeremiah knew God, God knew Jeremiah: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” This turns everything we ever thought about God around. We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence about God.
But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know.
This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops.