Thursday, November 26, 2009

Father in Heaven, We Thank Thee

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee.
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee.
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

~ Anon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Way Your Soul Shall Go

To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways and a Way.
And the High Soul climbs the High Way
And the Low Soul climbs the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way and a Low;
And every man decideth
The Way his soul shall go.

~John Oxenham

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ode to Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

~ John Keats (1795-1821)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Living House

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
~ C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There Is No Other Way

In order to get to a place called Laity Lodge in Texas you have to drive into a riverbed. The road takes you down a steep, rocky hill into a canyon and straight into the water. There is a sign at the water's edge which says, "Yes. You drive in the river."

One who has made up his mind to go to the uttermost with God will come to a place as unexpected and perhaps looking as impossible to travel as that riverbed looks. He may glance around for an alternative route, but if he wants what God promises His faithful ones, he must go straight into the danger. There is no other way.

The written word is our direction. Trust it. Obey it. Drive in the river and get to Laity Lodge. Moses said to Israel, "I offer you the choice of life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life and then you and your descendants will live; love the Lord your God, obey him, and hold fast to him: that is life for you."

When you take the risk of obedience, you find solid rock beneath you--and markers, evidence that someone has traveled this route before. "The Lord your God will cross over at your head... he will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not be discouraged or afraid" (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; 31:3, 8, NEB). It's what the old gospel song puts so simply:

"Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

--John H. Sammis

~ Elisabeth Elliot

Disclaimer: Due to the fact that I used one of their headers, I have added a link to Laity Lodge's site. I do not know of anything about Laity Lodge other than what Elizabeth Elliot has mentioned in the above. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!!!

[It] will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
~ John Adams on celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence to his wife Abigail ~

Monday, April 27, 2009

Can You Imagine?

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God, and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us, is that it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Psalm 73

1TRULY GOD is [only] good to Israel, even to those who are upright and pure in heart.

2But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped.

3For I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4For they suffer no violent pangs in their death, but their strength is firm.

5They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they smitten and plagued like other men.

6Therefore pride is about their necks like a chain; violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe].

7Their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart could wish; and the imaginations of their minds overflow [with follies].

8They scoff, and wickedly utter oppression; they speak loftily [from on high, maliciously and blasphemously].

9They set their mouths against and speak down from heaven, and their tongues swagger through the earth [invading even heaven with blasphemy and smearing earth with slanders].

10Therefore His people return here, and waters of a full cup [offered by the wicked] are [blindly] drained by them.

11And they say, How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?

12Behold, these are the ungodly, who always prosper and are at ease in the world; they increase in riches.

13Surely then in vain have I cleansed my heart and washed my hands in innocency.

14For all the day long have I been smitten and plagued, and chastened every morning.

15Had I spoken thus [and given expression to my feelings], I would have been untrue and have dealt treacherously against the generation of Your children.

16But when I considered how to understand this, it was too great an effort for me and too painful

17Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood [for I considered] their end.

18[After all] You do set the [wicked] in slippery places; You cast them down to ruin and destruction.

19How they become a desolation in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors!

20As a dream [which seems real] until one awakens, so, O Lord, when You arouse Yourself [to take note of the wicked], You will despise their outward show.

21For my heart was grieved, embittered, and in a state of ferment, and I was pricked in my heart [as with the sharp fang of an adder].

22So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.

23Nevertheless I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand.

24You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to honor and glory.

25Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.

26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever.

27For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You will destroy all who are false to You and like [spiritual] harlots depart from You.

28But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Psalm 107:28-30

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and He brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.

They were glad when it grew calm,
and He guided them to their desired haven.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christ Our Lord Is Risen Today!!!

He is Risen - Just as He said!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Wildflowers' Lesson

Much-Afraid looked at the Shepherd earnestly. 'I have often wondered about the wild does seem strange that such unnumbered multitudes should bloom in the wild places of the earth where perhaps nobody ever sees them...They have so much beauty and sweetness to give and no one on whom to lavish it, nor who will even appreciate it.'

The look the Shepherd turned on her was very beautiful. 'Nothing my Father and I have made is ever wasted...and the little wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach. They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them.....

All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at. Every inner response of the human heart to Love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of Love. Many a quiet, ordinary, and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a veritable garden in which Love's flowers and fruits have come to such perfection that it is a place of delight where the King of Love himself walks and rejoices with his friends.

Some of my servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men, but always their greatest victories are like the wild flowers, those which no one knows about.
Hannah Hurnard ~ Hind's Feet on High Places (1955)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You Must Not Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're traveling seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow;
You may succeed with yet another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit.
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

~author unknown~

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You Can If You Think You Can!

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
the man who thinks he can.
~ C. W. Longenecker ~

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Half-Hearted Hoping

God is wholly good, if good at all, and those who hope in Him will be wiser if they hope with all their hearts than if they hope with only half their hearts.

William R. Huntington

Monday, March 2, 2009

On Character

What you do when you don't have to, determines what you will be when you can no longer help it.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Discovery From Trials

"Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me."

--Job 10:2

Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star--not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of His children's graces, to make them shine the better.

It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, "Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith." Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?--for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I will sing to the Lord, for He hath dealt lovingly with me.
Psalm 13:6b

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Philippians 1:6

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

He Will Help You!

Let not your hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble.


THOU wilt be near me, Father, when I fail,
For Thou hast called me now to be Thy son,
And when the foe within me may assail,
Help me to say in Christ, "Thy will be done;"
This ever calms, this ever gives me rest;
There is no fight in which I may not stand,
When Christ doth dwell supreme within my breast,
And Thou uphold'st me with Thy mighty hand.

THOU must begin low, and be glad of a little light to travel with, and be faithful thereunto; and in faithfulness expect additions of light, and so much power as may help thee to rub on. And though thou may be long weak and little and ready to perish; yet the Father will help thee, and cause His life to shoot up in thee. Thankfully receive the smallest visitation that comes from Him to thy soul; for there is life and peace in it, and death and perplexity in turning from it.

All the evil we do not commit, all the temptations to which we do not consent or which never visit us; all our holy thoughts and good intentions, all our longings after that which is right,--are so many witnesses of His loving kindness towards us. How could He help you thus unless He cared for you?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
9 Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Submission, Not Fretting

His heart fretteth against the Lord. PROVERBS 19:3

I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. PSALMS 119:75

AND my soul complaineth not,
For no pain or fears dismay her;
Still she clings to God in faith,
Trusts Him though lie seem to slay her.
'Tis when flesh and blood repine,
Sun of joy, Thou canst not shine,

IMPATIENCE and fretting under trial does not increase our suffering, whereas meek submission sanctifies all suffering, and fills the tortured heart with peace amid its anguish. Worship Him in every sorrow; worship Him in deed and word, but still more in humble and loving acceptance of each pang and heartache. Be sure that your mere silent willing endurance is a true act of adoration; and thus, come what may, weariness, pain, desolation, destitution, loneliness, all will carry on His gracious work in you, and, amid the sharpest pressure of suffering, you will be sending up to His eternal throne the precious incense of submission and trust.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Just Shall Live by Faith

The Bible says the just shall live by faith. The "just" is not a special category of specially gifted or inspired saints. It is the people whose hearts are turned toward God. The people who know that their own righteousness doesn't count for much and who therefore have accepted God's. I belong in that category. Therefore the rule for me is the rule for all the rest: live by faith. So I have been pondering, up here in this quiet room, what it means for a writer to live by faith. It was easy enough to come up with some things it doesn't mean. It does not mean that my intellect need not be hard at work. It does not mean that I trust God to do my work for me, any more than for a housewife to live by faith means she expects God to do her dishes or make her beds. It does not mean that I have a corner on inspiration...

The great prophets of the Old Testament lived by faith, but they were certainly divinely inspired. Does this mean that God alone and not they, too--was responsible for the work they did? Even though they were acted upon in a special sense by the Spirit of God as I don't ever expect to be acted upon, they had to pay a price. Each of them had to make the individual commitment when he was called, and to offer up then and there his own plans and hopes (and surely his reputation) in order that his personality, his temperament, his intellect, his peculiar gifts and experience might be the instruments through which the Spirit did his work, or the console upon which he played. All this, even though I am no prophet, I must take seriously.

But there is one other thing that living by faith does not mean. This is the thing that makes me furrow my brow and sigh, because I can't help wishing that it did mean this. If in fact I have sided with the "just," if I am willing to work as hard as I can, if I arrange things physically to contribute to the highest concentration and if I discipline myself to sit down at the typewriter for X number of hours per day (even when the fresh perfume of the balsams comes through the windows, calling me to the woods; even when the lake glitters in the sunshine and says, "Come on!"), may I then expect that what I turn out will stop the world, bring the public panting to the bookstores, shine as the brightness of the firmament?

I may not. There are no promises to cover anything of the kind...

Then I think of Abel. And here's comfort. Abel's name is listed in the Hall of Fame of Hebrews 11. Like the others in that list (and a motley assortment it is), he is there for one thing, and only one thing: the exercise of faith. The demonstration of his faith was his offering. The thing that made his offering acceptable while Cain's was unacceptable was faith. Faith did not guarantee the "success" of the sacrifice. In human terms it was no help at all. Abel ended up dead as a result of it. But the manner in which he offered his gift--"by faith"--made it, the Bible says, "a more excellent sacrifice" than Cain's, and qualified him for the roster of Hebrews.

For me, then, for whom writing happens to be the task, living by faith means several things.

It means accepting the task from God (taking the "risk"...). Here is a thing to be done. It appears to be a thing to be done by me, so I'll do it, and I'll do it for God.

It means coming at the task trustingly. That's the way Abel brought his sacrifice, I'm sure. Not with fear, not with a false humility that it wasn't "good enough." What would ever be good enough, when it comes right down to it? "All things come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee." All that distinguishes one thing from another is the manner of its offering. I must remember that the God to whom I bring it has promised to receive. That's all I need to know.

It means doing the job with courage to face the consequences. I might, of course, write a bestseller. Most of us feel we could handle that kind of consequence. (God knows we couldn't, and doesn't suffer us to be tempted above that we are able.) On the other hand, I might fail. Abel was murdered. Jeremiah was dropped into a pit of slime. John the Baptist got his head chopped off. These were much worse fates than being delivered into the hands of one's literary critics ("Much worse?" one of my selves says, and "Oh, come now--much worse," answers another. "Come off it. You're not putting yourself in a class with those towering figures, are you?" "I guess I was for a minute there.") Is the faith that gives me the courage I need based on former literary success? Not for a moment. For each time I sit down to begin a new book I'm aware that I may have used up my allotment of creativity. It's another kind of faith I need, faith in God.

It means giving it everything I've got. Now I have to acknowledge that I've never done this. I've never finished any job in my life and been able to survey it proudly and say, "Look at that! I certainly did my best that time!" I look at the job and say, "Why didn't I do such and such? This really ought to be done over." But "giving it everything I've got" is my goal. I cannot claim to be living by faith unless I'm living in obedience. Even the miracles Jesus performed were contingent on somebody's obedience, on somebody's doing some little thing such as filling up water pots, stretching out a hand, giving up a lunch. The work I do needs to be transformed. I know that very well. But there has to be something there to be transformed. It's my responsibility to see that it's there.

~ Elizabeth Elliot

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Something to Pray About

Here is the link to Reformed Singles website.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"Ye are Christ's." --1 Corinthians 3:23

Ye are Christ's." You are His by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; His by His bloody purchase, for He counted down the price for your redemption; His by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to Him; His by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of His brethren and joint-heirs. Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, "I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ's." Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ's, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ's.

Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, "No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's. If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ's, and cannot loiter." When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, "Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ's." When the cause of God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ's. Never belie thy profession. Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Saviour's, recognizing in you His features of love and His countenance of holiness. "I am a Roman!" was of old a reason for integrity; far more, then, let it be your argument for holiness, "I am Christ's!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thou Must Give Success

AND grant me, Lord, to do,
With ready heart and willing,
Whate'er Thou shalt command,
My calling here fulfilling;
And do it when I ought,
With all my strength, and bless
The work I thus have wrought,
For Thou must give success.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Refusing to Worship

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”
C.S. Lewis

Friday, January 2, 2009

Psalm 125 (Amplified Bible)

1 THOSE WHO trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides and stands fast forever.

2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from this time forth and forever.

3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the [uncompromisingly] righteous, lest the righteous (God's people) stretch forth their hands to iniquity and apostasy.

4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are right [with You and all people] in their hearts.

5 As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways [of indifference to God], the Lord will lead them forth with the workers of iniquity. Peace be upon Israel!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Up and Be Doing

"Up and be doing," is the word that comes from God for each of us. Leave some "good work" behind you that shall not be wholly lost when you have passed away. Do something worth living for, worth dying for. Is there no want, no suffering, no sorrow that you can relieve? Is there no act of tardy justice, no deed of cheerful kindness, no long-forgotten duty that you can perform? Is there no reconciliation of some ancient quarrel, no payment of some long-outstanding debt, no courtesy, or love, or honor to be rendered to those to whom it has long been due; no charitable, humble, kind, useful deed by which you can promote the glory of God, or good will among men, or peace upon earth? If there be any such deed, in God's name, in Christ's name, go and do it.