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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Oxford: A Tower of Dreams


Everything is magical in Oxford.

Obviously I think our hotel is magical, but so is the entire city and all the contents therein. These photos are from my iPhone but Haley just posted photos from the good camera on her blog. You should go immediately to look at them. They’re so great.






Today we walked around the city for a few hours, soaking in the stunning scenery, leisurely exploring as much as possible and taking approximately 9,873 photos.

We saw the Bridge of Sighs, went through the Oxford Covered Market, went through Christ Church (from which the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland came, where certain parts of Harry Potter were filmed and where John and Charles Wesley were ordained) and were dazzled by the general splendor of it all.




Pretty sure the church brings out the gold in Haley’s eyes.




By C. S. Lewis

It is well that there are palaces of peace
And discipline and dreaming and desire,
Lest we forget our heritage and cease
The Spirit’s work—to hunger and aspire:

Lest we forget that we were born divine,
Now tangled in red battle’s animal net,
Murder the work and lust the anodyne,
Pains of the beast ‘gainst bestial solace set.

But this shall never be: to us remains
One city that has nothing of the beast,
That was not built for gross, material gains,
Sharp, wolfish power or empire’s glutted feast.

We are not wholly brute. To us remains
A clean, sweet city lulled by ancient streams,
A place of visions and of loosening chains,
A refuge of the elect, a tower of dreams.

She was not builded out of common stone
But out of all men’s yearning and all prayer
That she might live, eternally our own,
The Spirit’s stronghold—barred against despair.

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She’s so cute.

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Tomorrow we go to Magdalen College and The Eagle and Child and Addison’s Walk and the botanic gardens and I’m so excited I just started crying (no joke. I grabbed Haley’s hand and started crying). I’m ready to be home but I also never want to leave this place.

“I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all—the colleges I mean—like an opera.” -William Butler Yeats

7 comments on “Oxford: A Tower of Dreams

  1. Moritz says:

    Oxford truly looks amazing, a little bit like a city out of another time 🙂

  2. Al DeFilippo says:

    Thank you for the post. For a beautiful treatment of Oxford, you need to see the book, The Inklings of Oxford: by Harry Lee Poe. The book has numerous pictures of Oxford. Thank you for your pictures.

    1. Thank you for your comment and the book suggestion! I’ll definitely add that to my list. I’m currently reading The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings ( and it’s so good! I’m not even halfway through but I definitely recommend it!

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