Transcendence

Beauty….


what do you think of when you think of beauty?

art?

architecture?

music?

nature?

literature?

film?

something clicks within us when we behold beauty.  the things that capture our eye and heart transcend to our souls.

C.S. Lewis says it like this:

“The book or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing…..They are not the thing itself; they are only a scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”

what is pointing you towards true beauty today?

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repost…i have a question for you…


about your church…  the one you attend…if you attend one…or if you don’t…

( i pulled these words and concepts from Chasing Francis by Morgan Ian Cron.  i added some of my own questions as well.)

is your church transcendent? do people encounter the one true living God there.  or are knowledge and theology the centerpieces of your faith?  are people simply reading about Him are they actually being changed by their encounters with The Word?

does your church value community? and i mean real authentic community, not a potluck every now and then or a monthly party .  do you carry each other’s burdens? bind up the broken hearted? have a genuine concern for one another? what does community look like in your church?

does your church value beauty? does it embrace those things that are beautiful even though they may be broken? does it value artists and art? do the people of your church trust the simple power of beauty to point people to God, rather than “Christian art” that’s consciously propagandistic?

does your church help value and help restore people’s dignity? is everyone welcome regardless of race, age, socio-economic status?  Jesus set the bar in this.  His whole life was about ministering to those who were despised and rejected by society.  by reaching out to them, He restored their humanity and gave them dignity.  is your church seeking to be like Jesus, or is it just a comfortable place that would get along just fine without Him showing up?  Making dignity important is much more than hospitality, it means fighting against the things that rob people of their dignity!

and finally, does your church have meaning?  people are meaning-seekers.  we want to be part of something larger than ourselves. “The significance–and ultimately the quality–of the work we do is determined by our understanding of the story in which we are taking part” Wendell Berry.  what is your church doing to help those who are hungry and searching to find meaning in their lives, to help them find their part in the story?

i wrote those down again to remind me of what i want church to look like.  how we flesh that out is up to us.

i was reading posts at my old blog…


and thought i would repost this.  i struck me as being altogether transcendent, beautiful and meaningful.  that post yesterday is how i intend to live my life.

When Jesus forgave us of our sins, it was not just for our personal salvation or for heaven.  He turned us into salt and light;  we are transformed.  we no longer have the same, bland taste of everyone and everything else in the world, instead, we are salty people who bring the flavor and spice of Jesus to our relationships and daily life.  we don’t sneak around in the dark anymore, but we walk in the light.  so why do we so often “taste” like the world and our light is so faint?

even though we have been transformed into Salt and Light, we can choose to live a life contrary to who we actually are.  we can dilute  the taste by filling it with the flavor of the world.  we can stick our light in a closet.  it’s like living as a homeless person when i actually have a home.  it is a denial of who we really are!  so be salty, let your light shine.  people will see you being salty and shiny and glorify God.

but beware, because people love the darkness and do not want you spicing up their lives, some will insult and make life hard for you. don’t be sad, be joyful in your suffering, and continue to produce salty, shiny fruit.

paraphrase of Mike Stroope from All Peoples

I have some questions…


about your church…  the one you attend…if you attend one…or if you don’t…

( i pulled these words and concepts from Chasing Francis by Morgan Ian Cron.  i added some of my own questions as well.)

is your church transcendent? do people encounter the one true living God there.  or are knowledge and theology the centerpieces of your faith?  are people simply reading about Him are they actually being changed by their encounters with The Word?

does your church value community? and i mean real authentic community, not a potluck every now and then or a monthly party .  do you carry each other’s burdens? bind up the broken hearted? have a genuine concern for one another? what does community look like in your church?

does your church value beauty? does it embrace those things that are beautiful even though they may be broken? does it value artists and art? do the people of your church trust the simple power of beauty to point people to God, rather than “Christian art” that’s consciously propagandistic?

does your church help value and help restore people’s dignity? is everyone welcome regardless of race, age, socio-economic status?  Jesus set the bar in this.  His whole life was about ministering to those who were despised and rejected by society.  by reaching out to them, He restored their humanity and gave them dignity.  is your church seeking to be like Jesus, or is it just a comfortable place that would get along just fine without Him showing up?  Making dignity important is much more than hospitality, it means fighting against the things that rob people of their dignity!

and finally, does your church have meaning? people are meaning-seekers.  we want to be part of something larger than ourselves. “The significance–and ultimately the quality–of the work we do is determined by our understanding of the story in which we are taking part” Wendell Berry.  what is your church doing to help those who are hungry and searching to find meaning in their lives, to help them find their part in the story?

in parting remember this…

“God is the one whose Center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” Ian Cron