the screwtape letters
"no man who says 'i'm as good as you' believes it. he would not say it if he did. the st. bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain. the claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. what it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.
and therefore resents. yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority.... 'here's a fellow who says he doesn't like hot dogs - thinks himself too good for them, no doubt.... if they were honest-to-God all-right joes they'd be like me. they've no business to be different. it's undemocratic.'"
"in the long run either our father or the Enemy will say 'mine' of each thing that exists, and specially of each man."
"as one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. the more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel."
"do not be decieved, wormwood. our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."
"provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusade, matter more to him than the prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours - and the more 'religious' (on those terms) the more securely ours. i could show you a pretty cageful down here."
"don't forget to use the 'heads i win, tails you lose' argument. if the thing he prays for doesn't happen, then that is one more proof that petitionary prayers don't work; if it does happen, he will, of course, be able to see some of the physical causes which led up to it, and 'therefore it would have happened anyway', and thus a granted prayer becomes just as good a proof as a denied one that prayers are ineffective."
"you must therefore conceal from the patient the true end of humility. let him think of it not as self-forgetfulness but as a certain kind of opinion (namely, a low opinion) of his own talents and character. some talents, i gather, he really has. fix in his mind the idea that humility consists in trying to believe those talents to be less valuable than he believes them to be."
"but we want a man hag-ridden by the future - haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth....
we want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy NOW, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the present."
"he made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabed us to produce one. all we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. an ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula."
"he saw not only them; he saw Him. this animal, this thing begotten in a bed, could look on Him. what is blinding, suffocating fire to you, is now cool light to him, is clarity itself, and wears the form of a man."
"the general rule which we now have pretty well established among them is that in all experiences which can make them happier or better only the physical facts are 'real' while the spiritual elements are 'subjective'.... your patient, properly handled, will have no difficulty in regarding his emotion at the sight of human entrails as a revelation of reality and his emotion at the sight of happy children or fair weather as mere sentiment."
"the value we have given to that word ['puritanism'] is one of the really solid triumphs of the last hundred years? by it we rescue annually thousands of humans from temperance, chastity, and sobriety of life."
"nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar."
Merry Christmas everyone! May God bless you all this Christmas season. And may we never forget what Christmas is all about! God sending His own Son to be born on this earth. The divine and the human in one person. Completely God. Completely man. Christ had to become like us so that He could redeem us and be the perfect and acceptable sacrifice. What amazing love!
John 1:14 - and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
2 Corinthians 8:9 - for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Thou who was rich beyond all splendour, all for love's sake becamest poor. Thrones for a manger didst surrender, sapphire-paved courts for stable floor! Thou who art God beyond all praising all for love's sake becamest man. Stooping so low, but sinners raising heavenwards by thine eternal plan. Thou who art love beyond all telling, Savior and King we worship thee. Emmanuel, within us dwelling, make us what thou wouldst have us be!! --frank houghton
Come let us adore the newborn King!
Let us worship Emmanuel, God with us!
lo, how a rose e'er blooming
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.
Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.
The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.
This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.
O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!
My favorite Christmas hymn. :)
Three in One, One in Three,
God of My Salvation,
Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,
I adore thee as one Being, one Essence,
one God in three distinct Persons,
for bringing sinners to thy knowledge and to thy kingdom.
O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;
O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,
shed thine own blood to wash away my sins,
wrought righteousness to cover my unworthiness;
O Holy Spirit, thou hast loved me and entered my heart,
implanted there eternal life,
revealed to me the glories of Jesus.
Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise thee,
for love so unmerited, so unspeakable,
so wondrous, so mighty to save the lost
and raise them to glory.
O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me Jesus, to be his sheep, jewel, portion;
O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;
O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of grace thou hast
exhibited Jesus as my salvation,
implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him for ever.
O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,
O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my petitions,
O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my infirmities.
to show me my need,
to supply words, to pray within me,
to strengthen me that I faint not in supplication.
O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,
thou hast commanded me to ask for those things
that concern thy kingdom and my soul.
Let me live and pray as one baptized into the threefold Name.
from the Valley of Vision
five year goal
i recently completed an assignment for one of my classes, child development. the assignment was called a personal development portfolio. part of the portfolio consisted of four essays. one of the essays was to be called "five year goal". it was to be about what we hope to have accomplished and where we hope to be five years from now. i wanted to share my five year goal essay with all of you. enjoy.
Five years from now, I will be 23 years old. Many people would expect me to say that my five year goal should be graduate from college and maybe get married. But honestly, I cannot say for sure what I hope to accomplish in the next five years. Whatever happens, I know that God is in control and that he already has my life planned out perfectly. I hope that everything I do will be to give Him glory. Of course, I do have my own plans and ideas of what I want to do, but God could have something entirely different planned for me and I am extremely thankful for that. He is infinitely wise and all things that He ordains are for my good and His glory.
One of my goals for the next five years is to have graduated from college with a degree in music. I know that studying music is a great challenge, but I am up for it. I love music and desire to excel in my musical studies so that I may honor God with my talent. I play the piano and a little bit of guitar, but lately I have been too busy to practice. I look forward to studying music with more intensity than I ever have before. I also hope to gain a greater appreciation for music in all of its different forms. I am still unsure as to which college I will attend to accomplish this goal. My ideal college to attend would be a Christian college that offers degrees in music. I may have to move quite a distance from home to attend such a college if I cannot find one that is fairly close.
Another dream that I have, also related to music, is one day playing in a band. My sister is an excellent guitarist, and some of our friends can play different instruments as well. Another friend of ours enjoys writing song lyrics. I think it would be amazing if we could all get together, write songs, and make music.
My goal for my job in the next five years is also one that I have no idea about. I will probably not be living around Dover five years from now. I currently work at Chick-fil-a. It is a job that I enjoy and love. I will probably continue working with this company for a little while longer. However, even though I love my job, I don’t see myself working there five years from now. Chick-fil-a is a great place to work when you are young and in school. It’s a wonderful job to help you prepare for whatever your field of work may be later on in life. Wherever I am working in five years, I hope to be working hard, and doing my best to serve God and others.
As for marriage, that is completely and totally in God’s hands, as is every aspect of my life. If I am to be married one day, God has already chosen a man for me. I do not want to spend these next few years dating around, trying to find that person on my own. As of now, I have never been on a date. I have been asked out several times, but I have never said yes. I take dating very seriously and I think that its purpose should be to determine if it is God’s will that two people should marry, not to just “go out and have a good time”. None of the young men who have asked me out have any idea of the seriousness of dating. Nor do they desire to honor God with their relationships and to save themselves for their future wives. This is not the type of man I want to marry. I want to marry a man who saves his love just for me, and who serves the Lord with all that is in him. I trust that God will bring us together in His time. It is our job to wait patiently and to trust Him. But until then, I want to save all of my heart for my future husband and not give any part of it to anyone else. I hope and pray that he will do the same. So it really does not matter if I am married or not five years from know. It ultimately does not even matter if I have graduated from college and secured a steady, well-paying job. What matters is if I am honoring, trusting, and living for God in all that I do.
soli deo gloria
the ten marks of a flesh-pleaser
by richard baxter
the signs of a flesh-pleaser or sensualist are these:
1. when a man in his desire to please his apetite, does not do it with a view to a higher end, that is to say to the preparing himself for the service of God; but does it only for the delight itself. (of course no one does every action consciously with a view to the service of God. nevertheless, the general manner or habit of a life spent in the service of God is absent for the flesh-pleaser).
2. when he looks more eagerly and industriously after the prosperity of his body than of his soul.
3. when he will not refrain from his pleasure, when God forbids them, or when they hurt his soul, or when the necessities of his soul call him away from them. but he must have his delight whatever it costs him, and is so set upon it, that he cannot deny it to himself.
4. when the pleasures of his flesh exceed his delights in God, and his holy word and ways, and the expectations of endless pleasure. and this not only in the passon, but in the estimation, choice, and action. when he had rather be at a play, or feast, or other entertainment, or getting good bargains or profits in the world, than to live in the life of faith and love, which would be a holy and heavenly way of living.
5. when men set their minds to scheme and study to make provision for the pleasures of the flesh; and this is the first and sweetest in their thoughts.
6. when they had rather talk, or hear, or read of fleshly pleasures, than of spiritual and heavenly delights.
7. when they love the company of merry sensualists, better than the communion of saints, in which they may be exercised in the praises of their Maker.
8. when they consider that the best place to live and work is where they have the pleasure of the flesh. they would rather be where they have things easy, and lack nothing for the body, rather than where they have far btter help and provision for the soul, though the flesh be pinched for it.
9. when he will be more eager to spend money to please his flesh than to please God.
10. when he will believe or like no doctrine but "easy-believism", and hate mortification as too strict "legalism." by these, and similar signs, sensuality may easily be known; indeed, by the main bent of the life.
Wow it's been quite awhile since I have posted on here! I guess I could use the excuse of being too busy. Which I pretty much am, what with all my school work and work work. But basically it just comes down to: i am lazy.
Anyway, since I last posted, my sister Emily and I have been baptized and became members of our church. It was such a wonderful experience and I am so thankful for our church and the fellowship of believers. And even more so for God's amazing gift of salvation. "Great God of wonders, all Thy ways, are matchless, Godlike, and divine. But the fair glories of Thy grace more Godlike and unrivaled shine. Who is a pardoning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free?"
These past few months have also been extremely busy like I already mentioned. School sometimes overwhelms me, but I am thankful that I have made it this far and that I only have a few more weeks to go before I am done. It's been a good experience for me and I have learned so much but I'm not going to continue in this major with this school. I'll be taking next semester off and I would like to choose a different school I can go to where I can study music! But God may have a different and better plan, so may His sovereign and perfect will be done. May He subdue my will to His.
I have also been learning a great deal about trusting in Christ. I am finding out that sanctification is a very long and very difficult process. Praise God that His grace is sufficient for our every need!
Well farewell for now. Who knows when I'll get back on here to post again. I love comments. And e-mail. And your prayers. And all of you... <333
In Christ Alone,