Thursday, August 13, 2015

All My Hope Lies in Your Great Mercy

Summer has been racing by at a rate I can't believe. Maybe its because of the phase we are in with the boys but I just can't believe its almost Fall. We still have another trip to California planned and a fun camping trip on Lake Superior in the early Fall so the fun isn't over yet. 
The boys are doing so well. Grayson is sleeping through the night consistently and it is heavenly. Liam is just a total goof ball and a typical sassy two year old but we are loving it!
Here are some recent pictures and something I have been reading over and over the past few days!

All My Hope Lies in Your Great Mercy
St. Augustine 
Where did I find you, that I came to know you? You were not within my memory before I learned of you. Where, then, did I find you before I came to know you, if not within yourself, far above me? We come to you and go from you, but no place is involved in this process. In every place, O Truth, you are present to those who seek your help, and at one and the same time you answer all, though they seek your counsel on different matters.
You respond clearly, but not everyone hears clearly. All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer they wish. Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.
Late have I loved you, O beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you; now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
When once I shall be united to you with my whole being, I shall at last be free of sorrow and toil. Then my life will be alive, filled entirely with you. When you fill someone, you relieve him of his burden, but because I am not yet filled with you, I am a burden to myself. My joy when I should be weeping struggles with my sorrows when I should be rejoicing. I know not where victory lies. Woe is me! Lord, have mercy on me! My evil sorrows and good joys are at war with one another. I know not where victory lies. Woe is me! Lord, have mercy! Woe is me! I make no effort to conceal my wounds. You are my physician, I your patient. you are merciful; I stand in need of mercy.
Is not the life of man upon earth a trial? Who would want troubles and difficulties? You command us to endure them, not to love them. No person loves what he endures, though he may love the act of enduring. For even if he is happy to endure his own burden, he would still prefer that the burden not exist. I long for prosperity in times of adversity, and I fear adversity when times are good. Yet what middle ground is there between these two extremes where the life of man would be other than trial? Pity the prosperity of this world, pity it once and again, for it corrupts joy and brings the fear of adversity. Pity the adversity of this world, pity it again, then a third time; for it fills men with a longing for prosperity, and because adversity itself is hard for them to bear and can even break their endurance. Is not the life of man upon earth a trial, a continuous trial?
All my hope lies only in your great mercy.

A New Processional Cross

I have been meaning to put this up on here but time has gotten away from me. I wrote it as a morning reflection and a sweet friend asked to read it and then sent it in to be put on our church blog. 

Our church has commissioned a new processional cross. On Sunday, July 19, after the service, in the parking lot, we got to whiteness the artist’s pouring of the brass cross. The process was such a beautiful metaphor for life and salvation. As we watched I couldn’t help but tear up a little. How beautiful that through the process of creating such a sacred item we can see a metaphor for our lives.

We arrived to the scene of the bronze being heated to extremely high temperature within a crucible. It was brought to a liquid state; in this state the impurities float to the surface and are fished out. The liquid bronze was then poured into the plaster mold to take its new shape. After a few hours, when the bronze cooled and hardened into its new shape the artist took a hammer to the plaster mould and broke free the cross! A new creation is revealed. But even after that the work is not complete. There is a fine tuning that has to take place to smooth out the rough edges. When it is finally complete it will take its rightful place behind the altar of Church of the Cross!
We, like the bronze, are molded through trials, contained in the crucible (a difficult test or challenge, a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions). But it is all for the purpose of refining. Our impurities are forced to the surface through this heat, one level of purification. The pouring of the hot liquid bronze symbolizes our transformation through salvation–our biggest transformation. We are born again, the same substance given a new shape, the image of Christ, a cross. Christ, the mold, had to be shattered and broken by the Father, the great artist, so that we could become this new creation. Now the new creation is revealed. It is beautiful! But even in its new stunning state, still there are imperfections that show and need to be smoothed out. This is life as a child of God. We are a new creation, but not complete until that final day. But on that day we will be set in a place of honor, fully complete, adored by the artist. The stunning creation, complete, rings out the praise of the creator with its beauty.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:3-5‬