Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

October 17, 2003

I received an email from Mike Todd today, who is the mind behind Waving or Drowning? He welcomes me to the blogging world, and says thanks for linking to his blog. My pleasure, Mike. And since you seem to be a Cubs fan, and as I am a Red Sox fan, I just want you to know that today I definitely feel your pain!

This is probably a good time to explain those brief lists of links to the right of the screen. I'm just beginning to sift through the blogging world, at least the Christian blogging world, and when I find something I really like, something that really stimulates and encourages and is not merely chatter (in my opinion) and is not merely theological debating, well then I might add it to my "Blogs of Note" list. Same with the websites list and the articles list. These will grow with time, but don't expect any long lists like those you find on some other blogs. It's just a selection of things that have caught my attention and that my many readers (yuk! yuk!) might also find interesting.

Small group went really well last night. We talked about forgiveness. How it's hard sometimes to forgive, very hard. Nevertheless, the grace of God begins just here, I think. This is all a matter of the Cross, of course. Through faith we receive the forgiveness that Jesus bought for us there. And when we do, when we know and experience the lifting of the burden of condemnation and death, we are standing in grace. We are for the first time really alive. And we can, for the first time, begin to forgive others.

This is, well, massive. This is comforting others with the comfort with which God has comforted us. This is the transforming power of the Gospel as a "hands on" experience. This is walking out the grace of God in the day to day, "between the stop signs," as Phil Strout used to say. This is even, I would say, the "obligation" (NIV) or "debt" (NKJV) that Paul speaks of in Romans 8:12. This is how we live the gospel. There is more, of course, than forgiveness, much more, but I don't believe any of the rest will follow unless forgiveness is the starting place. It was our starting place wiht God, and He calls us to make it the starting place, the foundation, of all our other relationships. That's what I think, anyway.

The quote of the day comes from Brennan Manning: The splendor of a human heart that trusts and is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh's Sunflowers, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.

Wow! That is just so cool!


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