“Forgive Us For Using You”

“Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of Armies, the commander of the universe. Though we belong to you we confess that we often have cold, hard hearts toward you.

We know your voice, yet we often fail to obey it, preferring to go our own way. We serve you with mixed motives, secretly hoping that our obedience will purchase your favor, and that it will motivate you to serve us as we think you should.

We don’t see our hearts clearly until we ask for things and you do not give us what we want: when we suffer and you won’t take the pain away; when we’re scared and you don’t remove those feelings; when we’re depressed and anxious and the black despair won’t depart.

Then we get confused and think our circumstances reveal how you feel about us. We spin off into sinful patterns of escape, hopelessness and revenge. Father, forgive us for using you and for failing to listen to your voice.”

Christ Presbyterian Church, Prayer of Confession, 4/23/17

Write

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“There are many good reasons for writing that have nothing to do with being published. Writing is a powerful search mechanism, and one of its satisfactions is to come to terms with your life narrative. Another is to work through some of life’s hardest knocks – loss, grief, illness, addiction, disappointment, failure – and to find understanding and solace.”

– Willliam Zinsser, On Writing Well (New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2006), 283.

“If our hearts need to be broken…”

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“We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1960), 170.

I Could Not See God for His Creature

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“Jane herself in a fateful, self-reflective moment prior to the disastrous wedding ceremony observes:

My future husband was becoming to me my whole world; and more than the world: almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol. (Bronte 274)

This could almost be a classic illustration taken from a theological textbook to exemplify the sin of idolatry…”

– Alison Searle, “An Idolatrous Imagination? Biblical Theology and Romanticism in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre,” in Christianity and Literature 56, No. 1 (Fall 2006): 42-43.

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