TJTalks

TJ Talks and writes and paints and cooks and dreams...

8 notes &

You are Christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in, so long as you emphasize the need for conversion both for yourself and for the world, so long as you in no way let yourself become established in a situation of seeming calm, so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come. You are Christian only when you believe that you have a role to play in the realization of this new kingdom, and when you urge everyone you meet with a holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled. So long as you live as a Christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life.
Henri J. M. Nouwen (via facinghome)

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47 notes &

He who dismisses with contempt what men regard as sacred becomes their law-giver, who dares more than anyone is more right than anyone.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment.

(via bustakay)

I want to ponder this…I don’t understand the second part but the first part is speaking to me. 

(via dostoyevsky)

16 notes &

We mostly spend [life] conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have and to Do. Craving, clutching and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual, even on the religious plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of the spiritual life.
Evelyn Underhill (via denisehess)

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34 notes &

at once he instinctively said to himself: ‘I want to live for immortality and I will accept no compromise.’ In the same way, if he had decided that God and immortality did not exist, he would at once have become and atheist and a socialist. For socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form of atheism today, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. Alyosha would have found it strange and impossible to go on living as before. It is written: ‘Give all that thou hast to the poor and follow Me, if thou wouldst be perfect’
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov p. 11 (via post-makhno)

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1 note &

Believe

We believe what we want to believe. 

I want redemption. 

I want to believe the pain, loss and ugliness will be used for good and turned to beauty.

I want there to be a happy ending, where it all makes sense and nothing is wasted. 

0 notes &

I woke up this morning with this song and video on my mind. “It’s the  sound of the forgiven….It’s all God’s children singing, ‘Glory, glory, He reigns, He reigns!’

Yesterday was our second Easter Sunday here in Yokohama, Japan. It was such a rich, full day.

We started with a small but diverse group at Yokohama Union Church having a pretty typical Presbyterian like church service. My husband and I walked to get a quick lunch and shared coffee afterwards with a Singaporean woman who also attends our church. 

As we walked back to church for the afternoon concert she told us how she searched for God in a private High School in Malaysia starting her journey to follow Christ.

The concert had stringed instruments and classical music sung in Latin with English and Japanese translations in our printed program.

After a short break our church choir (with additional singers from the Anglican and Catholic Churches nearby) sang along with the instruments. 

The name of the musical was “The Lord of the Dance” with the story of Jesus’ resurrection woven together with traditional hymns. We watched and listened as people from China, Japan, England, Holland and the USA (and probably more) all praised God for the amazing gift of His Son Jesus as our redeemer. 

From there the choir went on to their ‘after’ party and my husband and I went to a small local wine bar that had a friend’s band doing their unplugged thing on a smaller scale. This band also has people from many different countries and the small place was packed with beautifully different colored skins and accents. Conversations could be overheard flowing from English to Japanese and a strong Cockney influence from one end of the bar. 

Three of our friends from the church choir joined us for one last glass of wine and then we walked home, chatting along the way and stopping at one of the train stations to hug and say “Mata ne.” (see you) before heading home. 

This was the first Christian Easter for one of my dear Japanese friends. She was full of joy and overflowing. The other friend was enjoying her second Easter but with a richer connection….she didn’t want the day to end and walked out of her way to stay with us a little longer. 

And then this morning, one of the first thoughts in my mind was this song…”…The song of Asian believers filled with God’s Holy fire….”

"Glory, glory, He reigns, He reigns!"

4 notes &

…The single most important thing to know about prayer right now is that Jesus prays, is praying right now, and for you. The large, revealed fact that Jesus prays is the reality in which you and I learn to do our praying. My life of prayer is not primarily a matter of what I do or don’t do, but of what Jesus does - is doing, “at the right hand of God the Father.”

Here’s my suggestion: Read and ponder John 17 and Hebrews 7:24-25 for the next two or three weeks. Jesus is praying. Live meditatively in this reality: “Jesus is praying - for me.” Relax. Don’t be anxious about getting better at prayer. Jesus is on the job and he’s not going to get tired or bored and quit on you.

After you have had some time to accommodate your imagination to this huge fact, we can begin talking about your part in it. But take your time - this is going to take a while.

The peace of the Lord, Eugene

The Wisdom of Each Other by Eugene H. Peterson

Filed under prayer eugene peterson

1 note &

Be Kind

kind

adjective, kind·er, kind·est.

1. of a good or benevolent nature or dispositionas a person: a kind and loving person.
2. having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words.
3. indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane (often followed by to  ): to be kind to animals.
4. mild; gentle; clement: kind weather.
5. British Dialect loving; affectionate.
Someone recently said I have kind eyes. 
That felt good. 
I like the word ‘kind’. 
I want to be a kind person. Not always nice necessarily, in a people pleasing sort of pressured way, but kind. 
If the eyes are windows into the soul maybe some kindness is seeping through. Maybe internal transformation is happening. This is an encouraging thought.
As I looked up the definition I was reminded of an interaction with a therapist many years ago. I had been in counseling alone for a few session then my husband joined in and we continued for many months. We struggled through difficult conversations and faced uncomfortable truths about ourselves.
One day I told the counselor that I thought my husband was threatened by him (by his ability to help me). Then I asked ‘What should I do?’ His response, was ‘I think you should be kind.’
It’s so interesting which words I remember and which words I forget, from all those hours of discussion. The thought of choosing to be kind was something I hadn’t thought of in that situation. And now I think in most situations kindness is probably a good response. 
”..proceeding from benevolence..”
I just looked up benevolence and was struck by the synonyms (my favorites are in bold): 
kindness, kind-heartedness, big-heartedness, goodness, goodwill, benignity, compassion, consideration, thoughtfulness, decency, public-spiritedness, social conscience, charity, charitableness, altruism, humanity, humanitarianism, philanthropism, generosity, magnanimity, mangnamimousness, munificence, unselfishness, open-handedness, free-handedness, largesse, lavishness, liberality, beneficence, indulgence
Big-hearted, compassionate, considerate, charitable, open-handed, indulgent - that’s the kind of person I want to be. That is the way God is with me. 

Filed under kindness benevolence