a new purpose – adding a new blog

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Rosa indica stelligera

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Yesterday I changed my Gravatar to show my name and began another blog. This current blog majors on difficult things, including outreach to Catholics. My new blog is for encouragement for Christians, because as we live in the world and witness to others, we are constantly exposed to folly, cruelty, and sadness.

The new blog takes its name from a place in part 1 of Pilgrim’s Progress. In it, after climbing the Hill Difficulty, Christian stays in the Palace Beautiful to rest before going on to the Celestial City. Here is a link to my new blog. I pray it brings you refreshment. 

a palace beautiful – a resting place on the narrow way

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Rosa acicularis, AKA Wild Rose, the Prickly Rose, or the Arctic Rose, Attribution I, Ravedave, 15 June 2007, Wikimedia Commons

 

Pilgrim’s Progress – an older animated film version

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Hebrews 11:9-10

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

1 Peter 2:11

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

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Pilgrim's Progress map small

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This film of Pilgrim’s Progress is short and sweet. Its visual quality isn’t top-notch but I believe you’ll enjoy it.

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The Narrow Way passes through the City of Vanity Fair, the city that…

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… never sleeps – where every day is Carnival day!

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Long ago, the city fathers dug a lake and built a boardwalk around it, where sellers’ stalls and amusement rides were set up and kept open all year –

~ The Carnival of Earthly Delights ~

The Truly Very Odd Guys, the city’s oldest civic organization, keeps the venture going, while the Faithful Remnant walks the boards, distributing tracts, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and sometimes laying down their lives for their testimony to Him.

Some of the amusements

Funhouse:  Hall of Deliberate Distortions

Fright House:  “Come one – come all! Be scared to death (for fun)! Watch predators devour one another, and people too!”

Carousel: Madcap Merry-go-round of Private Prophetical Interpretations

 

Round and round –

and up and down –

riding on to

confusion.

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Reach and reach,

but never grasp

a gilded ring that’s

merely brass.

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Rollercoasters: The Great Upside-Down Accident Waiting to Happen; the Stories-High Tragedy About to Occur; and for the children, the Kiddies’ Impending Tragedy

Public Executions: Stake, scaffold, guillotine.

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Vanity Fair boardwalk 

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Gleaming taffy stretched and folded

on shiny armatures never at rest,

Cotton Candy – sweetly spun nothingness,

Peanuts and trash – feast for gulls,

Bulging dumpsters always waiting

for a trip outside the city

to a dire mountain-in-the-making,

Drunken aftermath – shards of bottle glass,

Sand trucked in and dumped

to make a sort of beach. 

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Local attractions

Mother of Harlots Sports Bar and Grill

Daughters of the Mother Escort Service

The Lose Your Wife, House, and Custody of the Kids at A Roll of the Dice Casino

The Try Your Best to Beat the System and Fail Casino

In Vanity Fair, they’ve built replicas of many of the world’s wonders and some of the principal landmarks of its cities – from Florence to Dodge to the Great Pyramid.

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They have even engineered

gigantic wheels

to ascend the skies

and view the glittering carnage.

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They’ve been so foolish, too, as to construct a rollercoaster on the outside walls of the upper stories of a hotel. They’ve aped an Eiffel Tour and some backstreets of Paris (sort of). The lagoons of Venice and singing gondoliers? Well, I guess, we can have those too. We can have it all – all we could ever crave! The cost?

our souls

Since you must pass through Vanity Fair on the way to the Celestial City, remember that it is better to die in Vanity Fair, than to be deceived by its promises.

For Jesus said,

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Luke 12:4-5

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

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On the Narrow Way, you cross a green and flowery meadow called…

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Aster Daisies

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… the Meadow of Refreshment.

On every hand, lush grass grows, earth’s comfortable pillowing, clothed with countless flowers. The scents and sights are unimaginable! Take off your shoes for a while and carry them, for the grass is cool and tender to your feet. Soon enough, you will have to put all thoughts of comfort behind you, for you will be entering upon new difficulties. But for now…

Birdsong and chirping and the rustling of leaves is the music you’ll hear, with the playing of waters. Streams and pools abound – take a drink, dip your feet in, splash around! All of this is meant for you – the roses and the lilies, and the blooms that have no name in our world. Darting hummingbirds and thrumming bees drink up the nectar of the rich blooms of love and encouragement, hospitality and kindness. Jesus planted the Meadow, for He knows all about the flowers of the field, and all His ways are perfect.

Over your head, the sky is a blue impossible to describe, filled with clouds that are quickly sailing, hastening onward toward God’s Celestial City. Watching the clouds, you will feel as if you are flying too – completely free from every care. Sometimes rain falls, and you can tip your head back and open your mouth. 

You will cross this Meadow on a gentle incline the entire way, to show you that what you truly need – your heart’s desire – is still before you. Warning signs are posted about this:

“Hurry on!”

“Keep moving!”

“The Celestial City is straight ahead!”

It’s tempting to lay down, believing the earth to be your mother and resting upon her. But if you linger too long, laying on your back and gazing up, with a buttercup to your lips, you will fall asleep. For comfort is an extraordinarily powerful thing, and unless held lightly – like many of God’s good gifts – can cause you to forget that danger is near.

For you see, silent amid the grasses, tawny as an herb of the field, unseen and calculating, a lion lies in wait – the Enemy of God and man.

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