Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Whatever happened to spelling and grammar in this country? I have noticed that spelling seems to be on its way out, and this is prevalent on facebook. It seems that every other word in people’s posts is misspelled, missing letters, or has extra letters. I can understand the occasional typo or misspelling, I do it a lot as well, but really, it seems as though in some people’s posts its every other word! Also people seem to substitute words for other words that don’t make any sense! For instance, a family friend of ours died recently, and someone (name shall be omitted) posted a message on this person’s facebook page saying goodbye. This was very nice, and would have come across endearing, except this person, instead of saying “you will be missed,” said “you will be mist.” So instead of saying that their absence will be noticed and would be missed, this person said that they would be water vapor. For real? All of this stuff just makes people look unintelligent, and I know they are not, well, I hope they are not.
imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. at first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. but presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. what on earth is He up to? the explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. you thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.
Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love.
Don’t say you’re too busy to reblog this.
Okay whoever wrote that little girl back is my new hero.
The other day I was watching the “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.” The Chronicles of Narnia is one of my favorite book series. When I was a little kid I used to read through them (all 7 of them) at least once a year. I would imagine myself as High King Peter, battling with the White Witch; or as Prince Caspian or Eustace or any number of the characters going on all of the various adventures which take place throughout the series. I would check closets and wardrobes and other various locations always hoping that Narnia was real and that I could get there. Now, having grown up, I am aware that Narnia is not a real place, and that the various characters are completely fiction. However I also now more fully understand the nuances and parallels of the story.
You see the Chronicles, and various other books and series, were written by a man named C.S. Lewis. And Lewis was part of a group of other authors at Oxford called the “Inklings,” another famous member of this group was J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” series. Originally an Atheist from the age of 15, through his dealings with J.R.R. Tolkien and other various authors and books, he slowly rediscovered Christianity. And so in most of his books Lewis uses Christian Allegory.
So anyway, back to “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I was watching it, and remembering all of the analogies to Christianity and Christ. Of course Aslan is the Narnian equivalent of Christ, and the White Witch is the equivalent of Satan and evil. The eternal winter represents the state of being in sin, and the return of spring represents salvation. I had always noticed the parallels between Aslan’s sacrifice and that of Christ’s; Aslan’s on the stone table and Christ’s on the cross, but it wasn’t until this viewing of the movie that I made yet another connection.
You see, when Edmond first entered into Narnia, before Peter or Susan had entered, he had lost his way and been found by the White Witch. She had enticed him to come again, this time with his brother and two sisters. Edmond believed that she would make him a king, and that his siblings would be his servants. He would rule over all of them, and all of Narnia as well. Now Aslan had different plans for the four Pevensies; he wanted to make all four of them Kings and Queens in Narnia. But Edmond, having been deceived by the White Witch, betrayed Aslan and his siblings. He tried to hand them over to the White Witch, but was unable to, and she betrayed him as well, essentially making him a prisoner and a slave.
You see, the White Witch knew the prophecy, that two sons of Adam, and two daughters of Eve, would sit on the throne and rule over Narnia, and her powers would be abolished. And so she had hoped that by destroying Edmond and his siblings, this prophecy would be undone and she would hold power forever. And she also knew the “deep magic” that the blood of a traitor belonged to her. And so essentially Edmond was hers because he had betrayed his siblings and Aslan and the whole of Narnia.
Isn’t this how the devil works in our lives too? I mean he knows that God has plans to prosper us, he knows that God wants to make us like Christ and to give us life. And so he tries to entice us. He promises us prosperity, and godlikeness (Genesis 3:5)! The only problem is, that, like the White Witch he wants us to do it for our own benefit, in a different way than what God has for us. And for a while it may work out, you may live like a king, you may have all the Turkish Delight that you want. But eventually it all breaks down. You no longer live like a king, you have become a slave and a prisoner to sin and death. Then you belong to Satan; the deep magic says that all traitors, all sinners belong to him.
But then the cool thing is Aslan steps in. He meets with the White Witch, and substitutes himself, his own life, for Edmond. Edmond is no longer the property of the Witch, he is free, and rejoins his brother and sisters, and begins to prepare for the battle that is soon to take place. Aslan is now in Edmond’s place, he is now at the mercy of the White Witch and her minions, and he goes to meet them at the stone table.
This is exactly what Christ has done for us! We have all sinned and all are deserving of the punishment of death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). But Christ took our place; he substituted his own life for ours. We are free of the bondage to Satan and death if we choose to accept it. Christ humbled himself and became obedient to Satan and death on the cross (Philippians 2:8).
Now the part that really stood out to me while I was watching the movie this time was the celebration of the White Witch and her minions as they bound Aslan. I was disgusted by their arrogance and jubilation. They acted like they had defeated Aslan of their own power and might. They acted as if they had fought a long battle and had emerged victorious. But the truth is, the only power they had over Aslan was what power he allowed them to have. At any moment he could have thrown off his bonds and destroyed them all. He gave himself up willingly. They did not defeat him; he allowed himself to be taken. And they behaved as if all of this was by their own might and by their own power.
In the same way, though it is not written in Scripture, I can imagine that on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ Satan and his minions were celebrating and rejoicing just like the White Witch and her lackeys. It has been visualized through plays and songs and books, how Satan and his demons might have celebrated their “victory” over God on that night. But the thing is, Christ had not been defeated. Satan, and his demons, and the Jews and Romans and whoever else was there at that time had only the power over Christ that he allowed them to have (John 19:11). At any moment Christ could have been finished with the trials and beatings; at any time he could have ended it, but instead he remained. Satan did not defeat him; he allowed himself to be taken. And Satan behaved as if all of this was by his own might and by his own power.
But the “defeat” over Aslan/Christ is the definition of a Pyhrric victory. You see, in Lewis’ story the White Witch believed that she was smarter than Aslan. She made a deal that she would kill Aslan but not the humans and Narnians; but she planned on betraying Aslan and killing all, and reclaiming power for herself. She believed that she would win by destroying the one thing that could defeat her; Aslan. However; she did not know the deeper magic which was written before the deep magic that she knew. The deeper magic said that when the blood if an innocent exchanged his life for that of another death will be reversed. And so, by sacrificing Aslan, the White Witch essentially defeats herself.
In the same way Christ exchanged his own life for ours. Now as I said before we are all deserving of the punishment of death. Now this death is not just a simple death, this death is an eternal death is a real place called hell. And it would take all of eternity for us to pay this debt; this punishment that we owe, that we have earned. But Christ, being in very nature God, who is an eternal, infinite being, was able to take this eternal punishment upon himself, for all of mankind, and pay for it all. This Deeper Magic, Christ’s death and resurrection, is what has broken our bonds to sin and death and the grave, and opened us up to new life and right relationship with Christ. By “defeating” Christ on the Cross, Satan essentially defeated himself. We no longer need be bound by him, but we can be alive in Christ!!!
It was nothing that Edmond did that freed him. It is nothing that we do that frees us from the wages of sin. It was only by Aslan’s sacrifice that Edmond was freed, and only by Christ’s death and resurrection are we able to have victory. But just as the story didn’t end there for Edmond and the Pevensies and the Narnians, so the story doesn’t end there for us. Just as Peter and Susan and Edmond and Lucy and those that came after him had to continue on the journey so do we. We must continue to grow and learn; we must continue to seek after Christ and to live for him.
Someday we will face the Last Battle. I don’t know if I’ll be around on this earth to see it, or if I’ll have gone home to be with God before then. But I know that at some point in the future, there will be a final battle. The outcome of this battle has already been decided, even though it has not yet been fully engaged. Christ has overcome and Satan and death have been overwhelmed!!! So go and live like it!!
Pardon me, but your epidermis is showing. Yes sir, I couldn’t help but note your shade of melanin. I tip my hat to the colorful arrangement cause I see the beauty in the tones of our skin.