Thursday, 30 April 2015

On glory

I've been thinking about glory lately. Thinking about how as a Christian, I've sort of got a good working definition of grace and mercy and love and obedience and discipline (I've been quoting my discipline one to myself a bit lately-discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don't feel like doing it), but I don't have a good working definition of glory. What is glory anyway?

Possibly I got on to this from deciding to listen to Keith Green. Yes I know, I am late to everything, including experiencing Keith Green. I only finished Pride and Prejudice for the first time this year. So what. Anyway, I recognised a song from my childhood, with the line 'and when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown, for my reward is giving glory to you'.

We're agreed that his hair was a wonder, right?

So there's phrases like 'glory to God in the highest'. And in the book of John, Jesus talks about people seeking personal glory, not like it's a good thing. And then says "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My father, who you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me'. So I guess you can't glorify yourself?

And then Jesus says "This is to my father's glory, that you bear fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples" (that's John too). And (to God) "I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do". So glory is something achieved by actions?

And then, there's Stephen in Acts, who, filled with the Holy Spirit, looks up and sees the glory of God, and Jesus at his right hand. How do you see the glory of God? Is that just a way of saying he saw 'glorious God'? Can you describe what glorious looks like?

Romans says 'we glory in our sufferings'. And that we glory in Christ Jesus.

Glory is mentioned a whole lot in the bible, for something I haven't managed to wrap my head around yet.
But it looks like we give glory to God and do things for his glory. Glory belongs to God.

Which I guess leads me to my working definition. All my definitions are works in progress, by the way, because I keep learning, and because a quick bible search shows me that on the subject of glory, I have a lot more paying attention to do. Don't hold me to anything (except truth); I'm not trying to be ultimately definitive here. Just helpful to my brain.

Still, a working definition is necessary and helpful, because it helps me to apply meaning to 'glory' when reading about it, and helps me to apply an action to it. Until now 'glory' has sort of held a vague-mystical-holy-heavenly meaning. But now I think, glory is when God gets what is due to him.

Which I think is most interesting, because my faith in Jesus is chiefly (at least initially) about avoiding what is due to me. It's why I had a working meaning for grace and mercy quite early on.
But glory-that's when God gets what is due to him. Praise to God. Obedience to God. Trust in God. All of that is glory to God.

Which is why the quote attributed to St. Iranaeus (though apparently the original Latin is slightly different but let's not make things more complicated than they need to be for now) 'the glory of God is man fully alive' might not be a bad guide, if man fully alive, is man in line with God. The glory of God is man giving God his due.

So it turns out Keith Green was on to something. Giving glory to God is rewarding, because (in my experience) when I give God what is due to him, obey him, trust him, praise him, I benefit, in all the ways that seem a bit bewildering and limitedly-explainable to someone who hasn't believed like I do-the peace, the assurance, the direction, the connection. All a bit vague and mystical, like I thought glory was. It turns out these things are worth exploring.

Note: I am totally not a theologian. I just think, and I thought that writing my thoughts down would prove, at least to myself, that my mind is not entirely vacuous. Although mostly it is. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

I'm all good!

I'm fine, I just don't really enjoy blogging. I feel narcissistic. I really appreciate reading the blogs of others and am really well blessed by some of them. I don't think they're narcissistic. I enjoy writing. I think deeply a lot. I just don't like blogging. *shrug* Oh well.

You can find me at if you ever need me. =) I love hearing from you guys, praying for you and chit chattering. Maybe I'll pop in occasionally, or maybe one day I'll be meant to be a Blogger and then I'll blog.

This is a bit old, crazy people on the beach in Winter,
and it's warm Spring now.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Love is...

Love is supporting your husband through his mini identity crisis when your mum calls your sister's boyfriend for tech support instead of your husband.

And also helping husband trouble shoot the problem so he can call his mother in law with the solution and receive a text message (from newly sorted out phone) that says 'you're my favourite son in law'.

And refraining from commenting '…for now' about the message.

Also, the eldest quoted a newly learned (abridged) bible verse:
'Love is kind, it is not rude bum'.
We'll work on the application I suppose.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sweet dreams, little people.

We're hopefully going to Ikea tomorrow. "Is Ikea on our island?" (Riv)

"I wish I would get married"
"I will surprise you, when I get married!" (Si)

Someone was rather chatty tonight, and he's always contagious so we talked in hushed tones about what was on the boys' minds. But enough was enough, and rather than growling, I took this little guy with me and settled him on the couch with me while I played iPad. Seems to have worked...

Pic taken with iPad, not greatest quality.

Lowie, as usual, went down without a peep. I can only say this on my blog, because my real life friends might punch me for having yet another great sleeper. I figure that God sees the haphazard chaos that is my parenting and homemaking, and figures giving me easy sleepers is the least he can do. I'm very thankful.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Always grace.

I just lost a massive thoughtful post due to the pictured child. He was sitting at the desk with me and mucking about with my big heavy how-to-look-super-spiro study bibles (which I was referencing for the post).


Undeserved favour, that I live in a country where I have access to bibles in my own language, for study.

Grace that I have a computer to type on, and access insights into God through others' blogs.

Grace that God has been working in my heart, so that all I said was 'Oh Silas!' and looked sadly at him.

And grace that you don't have to marathon through my ramblings (trust me, and thank God), but I still got the opportunity to preach to myself.

Butter wouldn't melt hey...
Trying to take opportunities to turn errands into dates. This was a petrol & slurpee date (no he didn't drink ALL of that).
Linking up with Gracelaced again. Monday, Tuesday, whatever.
Grace Laced Mondays

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Underwear and Underbreathprayer

The 5 year old was having a pre-bedtime 'moment'* because when he tried to pull his shorts off, his undies came with them.

The 3-almost-4 year old was cheery but lacked undies altogether because they were somewhat besmirched, and also, he needed to finish off the bottom-wiping that led to aforementioned besmirching.

I finished changing the almost-6 month old's nappy, and as I lay her down in her cot, prayed under my breath that she would settle easily so that I could deal with her brothers patiently.

Not a peep out of her. Thanks God. Sometimes it's the little things I can appreciate the most.

*Our understated term for hysterically losing self control and being almost impossible to reason with.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Labour Day Grace.

It's Tuesday afternoon here. Will this blogging rebellion ever end?

Yesterday was Labour Day.
A slow and sunny labour day, spent with family (who fed us roast and desserts).
Rans didn't have to work yesterday.

I realised I had no idea what Labour Day is about, so I looked it up!
It's celebrating the establishment of decent working hours.
Apparently, not even so long ago, many workers were required to work 10-12 hour days, six days a week. And if you ever see 888 on public buildings (I'll keep an eye out now!) it represents the ideology of a British socialist named Robert Owen who, among others, believed we should have 8 hours working, 8 hours playing, 8 hours sleeping.

So on Labour Day we celebrate some people who campaigned on our behalf to win us good working conditions.

Pic found here

There is so much that has been done for me, by people, even those I don't know, to win me favour I never even asked for. People campaigning, wars fought in, sleep missed, sacrifices made, offences overlooked. 
I never asked my Pa to fight in the war, but I'm glad he did.

Which consequently turns my mind to thinking:
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)

I never asked Jesus to die for me. I don't even fully know what it cost him, or what happened. I don't always think about it, or appreciate it. But in spite of that, before I was a twinkle in my great x500 grandparents eye, God was working to win me (any anyone who believes it) a future  where I never have to be separated from him.
I never asked Jesus to die for me, but I'm glad he did.

On a separate note, I'm feeling amused because I just had to explain to Silas that River's bravery does not, in fact, immunise him against getting sunburnt. Tee hee.

(Linking up with Graced Laced 'Mondays' again.)

Grace Laced Mondays