Brian LaLonde here. I haven’t posted in a while since Laba has been keeping us in touch with Belfast. Thanks Brian! But now Laba’s back and I’m ready to start posting a few things.
This one kicks off what I hope to be a collection of inspiring quotes. I like to put a quote at the bottom of my emails. Usually I just stick them there, but now I’ll post them here, too, with a tiny explanation every time I change my email footer (bi-monthly?).
Here’s one by a guy named Charles Finney (1792-1872).
“If you have once known the blessedness of spiritual life, and your heart has been molded into the image of the heavenly, you can no longer return to the miserable flesh-pots of Egypt. There is no longer any possibility of your enjoying earthly things as the portion of your soul. Let that be considered settled. Abandon at once and forever all further thought of finding your joys in worldly, selfish indulgences.”
It comes from his sermon “On Self Denial“.
I like this quote right now because we’re just finishing the 50 days of Easter. For these 50 days, Christians are supposed to have been celebrating (one of the first things that comes to mind is “no fasting”). Sustained celebration for 50 days is tough! There’s a temptation to return to the “flesh-pots of Egypt”!
A particular focus for me has been just trying to live the new life I have in Christ. Instead of celebrating through letting go of all restraint, I’ve been trying to stay focused on the joy of resurrection life. This has been true as I try to serve in UCO and during our Gold Rush vacation.
Although I haven’t been perfect in doing this (imagine too many chocolate peanut butter eggs or falling back into gray patterns that I tried to shirk during Lent), it’s certainly easier when I remember, as Finney says, “the blessedness of spiritual life”.
Happy Pentecost! Come Holy Spirit!