No, I haven't abandoned Shizuka Blog. I actually have plenty of ideas for this space and the other three sites I write for; I'm just lacking the time and focus to write them. I've promised my agent another manuscript in January, and since I'm only three chapters into my current project, the vast majority of my writing time in December will be spent by Novelist Jared (as opposed to Blogger Jared).
I'm sure I'll post a few things here in that time, though, as I consider this space important, and I don't want it to languish.

Thanks to all who keep stopping by even though they keep finding the updates less and less frequent.


Wisdom the Way

"The measure in which I have trusted Jehovah, and acknowledged him, has been the measure of walking in the paths of real life. Doubt of God, pride of intellect, and independence in volition, these are the things which blight and blast. Paths chosen for us by God all lead onward and upward, even when they seem to us to turn about in extricable confusion, and to move downward to the valleys of humiliation and suffering. He is the All-Wise, and to him, wisdom is the way by which Love gains his victory."

-- from G. Campbell Morgan


The Father's Voice

This morning I began reading The Theology of the First Christians by Walter Schmithals. Macy climbed up into my chair, squeezed in next to me, and asked me to read it to her.

I thought she'd get tired of it after the first paragraph, but she sat there quietly and listened to almost three pages. Three pages of sentences like this one:
Although in principle he presented Jesus as an apocalyptist, he held to the liberal idea of the "kingdom of God" as it had been worked out by Ritschl in relation to Kant and Enlightenment theology, because it was best suited "for bringing the Christian religion to our race and, properly understood and expressed, to awakening and cultivating a healthy and vigorous religious life, which we need today."
And this one:
In spite of such consolations and over against them, the most influential consequence of the discovery of Jesus' apocalyptic message was the overcoming of ethicizing liberal theology, in whose bosom that discovery had been unwillingly made; this happened at first through parts of the developing history-of-religions school and then definitively through dialectical theology.

It's dense stuff even for me.
But she listened for a long while before calmly saying "I'm done" and scampering off to play.

I wondered why she would sit for so long. She obviously couldn't have understood it. My guess is that there was something enjoyable about just sitting next to her Dada and listening to his voice. Perhaps there was a momentary curiosity about "Dada's books," a slight entrance into Dada's world that held some mystery.

A lesson in that guess hit me quickly. Sometimes -- oftentimes -- what God is saying to me in his written Word and through my circumstances is uncomfortable and confusing, but maybe I should take comfort and find enlightenment in the fact that he is speaking in the first place. I may frequently be confused by what the Father is saying to me, but in the midst of my confusion perhaps I can find peace and pleasure simply in hearing his voice.


Election: That I May Live Always Near the Cross

I don't want to inundate the site with The Valley of Vision excerpts, so this one will be the last for a while. But I had to share this prayer titled "Election" in its entirety; it ministered well to me yesterday.
Holy Trinity,
All praise to thee for electing me to salvation,
by foreknowledge of God the Father,
through sanctification of the Spirit,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus;
I adore the wonders of thy condescending love,
marvel at the true believer's high privilege
within whom all heaven comes to dwell,
abiding in God and God in him;
I believe it, help me experience it to the full.

Continue to teach me that Christ's righteousness
satisfies justice and evidences thy love;
Help me to make use of it by faith as the ground of my peace
and of they favour and acceptance,
so that I may live always near the cross.

It is not feeling the Spirit that proves my saved state
but the truth of what Christ did perfectly for me;
All holiness in him is by faith made mine,
as if I had done it;
Therefore I see the use of his righteousness,
for satisfaction to divine justice and making me righteous.
It is not inner sensation that makes Christ's death mine
for that may be delusion, being without the Word,
but his death apprehended by my faith,
and so testified by Word and Spirit.

I bless thee for these lively exercises of faith,
for the righteousness that is mine in Jesus,
for grace to resign my will to thee;
I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,
and I love to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise,
and all I can do is to adore and love thee.
I want not the favour of man to lean upon,
for I know that thy electing grace is infinitely better.