Posts Tagged ‘Frederick Buechner’
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . John 1:14
Frederick Buechner reflects on the Word made flesh in The Faces of Jesus:
The man on the cross was a man of flesh, but he was also the WORD made flesh, as John writes it in the great prologue to his Gospel, the Word that ‘became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.’ The Creator himself comes to dwell within his own creation, the Eternal within the temporal, the Invulnerable within the wound.
It is as if Shakespeare could somehow have entered the world of Hamlet, say, the dramatist descending from the infinite dimensions of reality into the dimensionlessness of his own drama, becoming a character in his own plot although he well knows the tragic denouement and submitting himself to all its limitations so that he can burst them asunder when the time comes and lead a tremendous exeunt by which his whole dramatis personae will become true persons at last.
Frederick Buechner, The Faces of Jesus
We love this idea. God entering the world is like a playwright entering his own play. Even knowing the outcome and the pain He would suffer, God came to live among us. Beautiful.
Betsy and Laurie
One: Gratitude shifts our focus to what is important.
When we express thanks we are focusing on the good things in our lives. We look at what is working instead of what is not working. What we have instead of what we don’t have. Who we love instead of who we don’t love. We are reminded of what is really important in our lives, our values, family, friends, goals and achievements.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
“In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.” Frederick Buechner
Focusing on the lovely, admirable things in our lives reminds us of God’s goodness.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Does gratitude make a difference in how you view your life? How you view God?
Betsy and Laurie
Day 15: Sowing in tears
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Psalm 126: 5
Somewhere, some time along our journey there are tears. Emotion overwhelms us and there is no possible response but to cry. We dab away the evidence and try to hide our red eyes. But can we embrace the tears? Are they holy?
You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you’ve never seen before. A pair of somebody’s old shoes can do it. Almost any movie made before the great sadness that came over the world after the Second World War, a horse cantering across a meadow, the high school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.
They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next. Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark
Tears are Gods way of helping us descend with the mind into the heart and there bow in perpetual adoration and worship. Richard Foster, Prayer
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” Henri Nouwen, Compassion
Can our tears draw us closer to God? What brings tears to your eyes?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Day Fourteen: Being Grateful
Then it was said among the nations,
The Lord has done great things for them.
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126: 2-3
When we look back at the journey of our lives there are things we are thankful for. Living a life in gratitude helps us notice Goodness as we encounter it and that brings joy.
In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all. — Frederick Buechner
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. — Melody Beattie
Whenever God brings His deliverances they are so supernatural that we are staggered with amazement. It is one of the most helpful spiritual exercises to reckon what God has done for us already. When God wanted to make His ancient people realize what manner of God He was, He said, “Remember the crossing of the Red Sea,” and in the New Testament Paul says, “Remember, it is God who raised Jesus from the dead.” These two things are the unit of measurement of God’s power. If I want to know what God can do, He is the God who made a way through the sea; if it is a question of power for my life, the measurement of that is the resurrection of Jesus. I call upon my soul to remember what God has done and it makes me bold to entreat Him to do it again. — Oswald Chambers, The Highest Good
Are you thankful for your journey?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Great Inspiration from Frederick Buechner.
1. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.
2. Go where your best prayers take you.
3. God himself does not give answers. He gives himself.
4. Jesus didn’t come to merely speak words that were true, He is the Word that makes us true.
5. To be wise is to be eternally curious.
6. Remember me not for the ill I’ve done but for the good I’ve dreamed.
7. … in the long run, there can be no joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all.
8. Listen to your life. All moments are key moments.
9. The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.
10. Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’ is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough.
Do you have other favorites?
Betsy and Laurie
Flower photo (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Why do we fear writing? I have a friend who writes beautiful poetry and hides it in a box under her bed. There is in each of us a desire to be known that is in conflict with a fear of being known.
I read one time that flowering in a plant is not optional. It is a survival mechanism. Plants that do not flower die without giving life.
If you are a writer you are called to share. If you are not a writer you are still called to share.
Our stories connect us and give life to the next generation.
“I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human.”
— Frederick Buechner
Be bold. Share your stories today.
What’s under your bed?
Laurie and Betsy
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5: 14-16
Where will the words come from today? What will be my inspiration? Inspire means to breathe. The inspiration that I seek, like the air that I breathe, must come from a source outside myself.
Karla M. Kincannon in Creativity and Divine Surprise writes about what happens in our work when we encounter “the creative energy of God.” “The encounter takes the artist…where she or he cannot go independently.”
“When we cooperate with the God who encounters us on the pilgrim’s journey we become servants of the Divine, doing the work of Love even as we allow it to be done in us. The end result always embodies greater significance than we could have accomplished on our own.”
Frederick Buechner writes about inspiration in The Eyes of the Heart:
“I don’t mean a truth that I thought up on my own and then put into her mouth, but a truth, instead, that came to me out of God only knows where, the way Godric came to me once, and Leo Bebb, the way all my life moments have occasionally come to me when I said more than I knew and I did better than I am.”
Inspiration from God comes when I open myself up to His creative energy and choose to cooperate with His work in the world.
This is my prayer this morning, that with God’s inspiration I may say more than I know and do better than I am.
Happy Writing, Laurie and Betsy
“In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.”
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24