Excerpts from "Heart Breathings"

By Paul Ravenhill

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      "Heart Breathings" is a fitting title for a book where words are only the vessel that somehow endeavors to hold, and show forth, the breathings of the spirit that is not flesh. There is a frustration when yearnings beyond words find themselves clothed in the only medium that can cause them to be tangible to others. These poems are the roarings and sighings and longings of the inarticulate soul trying to create a substance through which to transmit its feelings to others.

      To my father, religion was of the heart - the realm of the Spirit's quickening life. Other sources failed to satisfy, and produced within him a hurt, a scorn, a weariness. For him, the heart was supremely important, and he saw that the only source of ministry to the heart was the Spirit of God - all else is at enmity. All the limits that reason, or society, or human frailty would interpose, were to be attacked without mercy. Any failure in Christians to give their all in response to God came under the same attack.

      The mind has its measures and gives itself to the object of its thoughts in the degree that corresponds to its reasoning. The heart has no measures; with the heart it is either "yes" or "no, " and the object that calls forth a "yes" is worthy of everything. The object that elicits a "no" is worthy of nothing. It is here where many misunderstood my father - they could never see, with him, that in the spiritual realm everything that is man-generated is absolutely valueless. His life and ministry were a passionate protest against the religion of the twentieth century in which man has made his image of God, not graven in stone but rather graven in words, and then set this up saying, "This is your God, worship Him."

      My father saw God as infinitely beyond man's endeavors to explain Him, infinitely beyond man's efforts to serve Him. He saw God as an eternal fire of Infinite Life and Infinite Holiness - to be known in the total surrender of ourselves. He saw God as bringing us into an awareness of His limitless world where His holiness and mercy meet in a glory that transforms all it touches. God was to be known not by the mind but by the heart...

Paul Ravenhill
March 1995

     Excerpts taken from "Heart Breathings"
     by Leonard Ravenhill.
     Used by permission.
      Copyright 1995 by
     Harvey Christian Publishers, L.L.P.

     United States Address:
     Harvey Christian Publishers, L.L.P.
     3107 Hwy 321
     Hampton, TN 37658
     Tel / Fax (423) 768 2297
     E-Mail Harveycp@psknet.com

     British Address:
     Harvey Christian Publishers, L.L.P.
     PO Box 510, Cheadle
     Stoke-on-Trent, ST10 2NQ
     Tel / Fax (01538) 756391
     E-Mail jjcook@mac.com

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