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And then You are like this:
  

A small bird decorated 

With orange patches of light 

Waving your wings near my window, 

Encouraging me with all of existences’s love — 

To dance.
  

And then You are like this:
 
A cruel word that stabs me 

From the mouth of a strange costume 

You wear;
A guise You had too long tricked me into thinking 

Could be other — than You.
  

And then You are…
  

The firmament
That spins at the end of a string in Your hand 

That You offer to mine saying,
“Did you drop this — surely
This is yours.”
  

And then You are, 

O then You are:   The Beloved of every creature 

Revealed with such grandeur — bursting 

From each cell in my body,
I kneel, I laugh,
I weep, I sing,
I sing.

–Hafiz,

from Love Is A Place

Quote

The pastor more than any other individual determines the character of the church’s preaching, fellowship, worship, and service. The content and style of his preaching is critical to the church’s health and beauty. If a church is to be a learning center, the pastor must make diligent preparation so that what is delivered is biblical, balanced, relevant, and liberating. Likewise, the pastor is the key to liberating the church to be a healing communion as he gives himself to building up the body so that it moves toward health. The pastor is also the key to whether or not the church is free to worship and to respond as a family to the presence of God in its midst. Finally, the service of the church is conditioned by the pastor’s vision (or lack of it). Liberating a congregation to be God’s people in service can be threatening. It often involves a rethinking of the pastoral and leadership roles. In most cases it means seeking a lower profile and elevating the gifts and abilities of others.

awakenaslove:

Courage! for life is striding
To endless life along;
The sense in love abiding,
Grows clearer and more strong.
One day the stars, down dripping,
Shall flow in golden wine:
We, of that nectar sipping,
As living stars will shine.

Free, from the tomb emerges
Love, to die never more;
Fulfilled, life heaves and surges
A sea without a shore.
All night! all blissful leisure!
One jubilating ode!
And the sun of all our pleasure
The countenance of God.

– Novalis, Hymns to the Night (translated by George Macdonald )