"We never should have known Christ’s love in all its heights and depths if He had not died; nor could we guess the Father’s deep affection if He had not given His Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears, whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion. He who would know love, let him retire to Calvary and see the Man of sorrows die."

— Charles Spurgeon, “Morning and Evening”

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"Get thee up into the high mountain."—Isa 40:9

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, “I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation.” Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting grey-haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with greater emphasis than we can, “I know whom I have believed,” for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Get thee up, dear friend, into the high mountain.

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— Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

"A few years back, three questions rocked my world. They came from different people in the span of a month. Question 1: Had you been a German Christian during World War II, would you have taken a stand against Hitler? Question 2: Had you lived in the South during the civil rights conflict, would you have taken a stand against racism? Question 3: When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day in which 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response?"

— Max Lucado — /Outlive Your Life/

"But this much is clear: the storehouse is stocked. The problem is not in the supply; the problem is in the distribution. God has given this generation, our generation, everything we need to alter the course of human suffering."

— Max Lucado — /Outlive Your Life/

"I love you"

no expression of my love for my wife or kids could ever truly reflect the reality of that love. saying the words, serving them, hugging them, providing for them, giving gifts, sticking with them no matter what, even facing danger in their stead - all these things fail to accurately represent the depth and intensity of my feelings and will toward them.

that said, I am a flawed, very imperfect and limited human being: how much more God’s love for us.

"Desmond Tutu, a South African bishop and leader in the movement to end apartheid, said, “I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, ‘Now is that political or social?’. He said, ‘I feed you.’ Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”"

Do. Love. Walk.: The true Gospel 

mikeclevenger:

‎”As long as there is one man who should be free, as long as slums and ghettos exist, as long as any person goes to bed hungry at night, as long as the color of a man’s skin is his prison, there must be a divine discontent. We Christians have no right to be content until the principles of Christ are applied to all men.”

- Billy Graham

Christmas Beyond the Pattern

mikeclevenger:

 

One of the hardest things for me to process regarding the Christmas season is that we can exist in a world where thousands are stressed looking for gifts for people who don’t need them; and exist in a world where thousands are without food and basic necessities, many of them, in our own communities.

Last weekend, I went to the mall—which I’m becoming to despise more and more as of lately, but that’s for another post.  I went with two of my friends, let’s call them Matt and Mary, (since there are people who read this blog that I know in real life).  Matt and Mary love Jesus and are siblings and I was with them while they were getting some Christmas shopping done for their dad.  While looking at Ralph Lauren polos, Mary told me that it’s difficult to shop for their dad, and that he literally has over 100 polos but they don’t know what else he would like.  A few emotions went in me as I thought about the words of Jesus, early church fathers, Momma T, and more contemporary ragamuffins.  I thought of the words of Basal the great who said, 

“When someone steals a persons clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to the one who could clothe the naked, and doesn’t? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry, the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to those who need it, the shoes rotting in your closet belongs to those who have no shoes, and the money which you’ve hoard up belongs to the poor.”

How could we, I’m speaking of the American Western church as well as myself, have come so far from the teachings of Jesus?

As we head into this Christmas season friends, remember our brothers and sisters that are poor and in need, and act*.

I’ll leave you with the words of my friend Brandt,

“Its strange that death by starvation and ‘food coma’s’ exist in the same world. Its even stranger that we celebrate the birth of our homeless, refugee Messiah by spending tons of money purchasing things for people who already have far more than they need. I long for the Kingdom to come. A time when “The valleys will be filled and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth.” Captivate our spirit, God. Forgive us, Father, for we know not what we do.”

*perfect opportunity:  Today (December 15th), is the last day you can purchase an “Aftercare Package” for a survivor of Sex Trafficking through International Justice Mission for $30.  The Aftercare Packages include items like: clothing; toiletries and hair accessories; bedding; bag, stationary and gum; and stuffed animal, for younger survivors.  Here are the details, Aftercare Package.

(via kateoplis)

wellthatsadorable:

If there’s anything good to come out of Hurricane Irene barreling my way, it’s that there’s a chance I’ll get to see adorable sea creatures smooching right outside my window!
Jokes aside, everything else about it looks awful. Be prepared and be safe, friends.
(Thanks for the pic, Celeste!)

wellthatsadorable:

If there’s anything good to come out of Hurricane Irene barreling my way, it’s that there’s a chance I’ll get to see adorable sea creatures smooching right outside my window!

Jokes aside, everything else about it looks awful. Be prepared and be safe, friends.

(Thanks for the pic, Celeste!)