Saturday, August 30, 2008

English Roadtrip - July 2008 - The Pride & Prejudice and Spiritual Renewal Tour I

After such a disastrous day, that night, I was quite upset, disappointed, frustrated, angry... but after coming down from all of that, I was humbled. I felt like I had to be broken down... through my pride (of *my* vacation and schedule and ways), through my prejudices (of my family or other things that can be "blamed")... and be brought back to my bareness and depravity, coming back into the hand of God, which does not happen unless I relinquish my life. I am thankful that Alison was there for prayer, so that we could come back to such spiritual matters that are of utmost importance. Nothing else compares.

The next morning, we departed from York and rerouted our journey. Though it was a day late, we came to Fountains Abbey. This is/was Britain's largest abbey. Through the ruins, the visitor may imagine how great this abbey may have been in its heyday in the 13th to 14th centuries. Ironically, it is despite its "greatness"; its spirituality is what undergirded the institution.

After coming to this point, spiritually, I was truly looking forward to enjoying the open air, sitting around the ruins, and reading and meditating through the Bible. It is only when I recognize my place before God that everything starts to make sense again. And in his Word, I find joy in praising Him and peace in contemplating his design. The monks during that time would have read through the book of Psalms in under a week. And so, I thoroughly enjoyed the day of spiritual renewal in the Word. [Plus, ruins are like a "playground for adults", it was fun to explore the area!]

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

-- Psalms 8:1,3,4

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it
-- Isaiah 55:10-11

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

-- Psalm 121:1-4

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
-- Psalm 84:1,2,10

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

-- Psalm 95:1-6

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever present help in time of trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear,
though the mountains be moved into the herat of the sea,
though the waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
-- Psalm 46:1-3

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
-- Psalm 136:1-3

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