Thursday, December 25, 2008

Brighter Visions

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story
Now proclaim Messiah's birth.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

A merry and joy-filled Christmas to you all! He came, so that we might have LIFE, both in life and in death. Let us celebrate His coming together and never lose sight of why He came!

Monday, November 24, 2008

But Since I Know...

"The story is told of a king who went into his garden one morning and found everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was. The old oak replied that he was sick of life and was determined to die, because he was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was all out of heart because it could not bear grapes like the vine. The vine was going to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and have as fine fruit as the peach tree; and so on through the garden.

Coming to a little purple violet, the king found its bright face lifted as cheery as ever. 'Well, violet, I'm glad amidst all this discouragement to find one brave little flower. You do not seem to be the least disheartened.'

'No. I'm really not an important flower, but I believe that if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree or a lilac, you would have planted one; but since I know you wanted a violet, I am determined to be the best violet I can be.'"

—Charles Spurgeon

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Expected End

"I held something so precious in my hands. Many times I would offer it up on the altar for God, only to snatch it back soon afterwards. ...He gazed into my eyes and looked into the depths of my heart. 'My daughter, please give this to Me entirely. I want to give you that which is far above what you would expect. It may not happen how you want it to happen and it may not be that which you thought it would be, but I promise, My child, to give you nothing but My best for your life, so that you may in return glorify Me more fully. I am God alone. I can and will do that which is exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ever ask or think. This may cost you pain, but are you willing to endure even extreme pain for My sake and for My glory?" With tear stained eyes, I finally released and surrendered what I thought was so wonderful; and I got ALL of HIM in exchange."—Leah Cross

My dear friend posted that the other day, and it really struck a chord with me. Our lives seem to be strikingly parallel recently, and I am so encouraged by her sweet responses to what the Lord is bringing her through! I am so thankful for her support and inspiration as we walk this journey together. And yet, we never are alone. For even when our paths diverge... Jesus walks them both.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
And ye shall seek me, and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11,13

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kindred Spirits

My thanks to Christina for passing on this award. (Consider yourself "awarded" back!)

I would like to recognize a few other ladies for the special encouragement they are to me:


(Here are the guidelines for passing on the award.)

If you have some time and are searching for encouragement, I urge you to check out any/each of these blogs, and enjoy the other ones on my blogroll as well! Prepare to be blessed!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On Letting Go

Elisabeth Elliot wrote in a book of hers, "When the will of God crosses the will of man, one of them must die." Is it our way that is wiser, higher, kinder than our Creator's? It never can be so.
So many times I think something would bring me joy and delight, and yet, the Lord very firmly closes that door. I don't pretend to know the reasons, or understand His ways, but I do know that whatever the Lord does is right... and can only be in faithfulness, in goodness, in kindness.

Reading this week, I came across this short poem. There's so much meaning packed into that simple line: "You never did let go."
As children bring their broken toys,
With tears, for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He is my Friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him
In peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried,
"How can You be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go."

—Author Unknown

Monday, June 09, 2008

And run not before Him...

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

—William D. Longstaff

"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."
(Lamentations 3:26)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

His Way is Perfect

When my way seems dark and drear, and the future I don't know
My heart feels so empty as the tears unending flow
When my heart breaks with sorrow and a tempest fills my soul
This one thing I know for sure: My God is in control.

His way is perfect; His way is perfect
Though I don't understand His wise and loving plan
His way is perfect; His way is perfect
Take my life and make a vessel purified
God makes no mistakes— His way is best.

When the toils of life are come and my heart is worn with care,
I faint 'neath the burden of a cross I cannot bear.
When the joy has departed from my sorrow-stricken soul,
This one thing I know for sure: my God is in control.

His way is perfect; His way is perfect
Though I don't understand His wise and loving plan
His way is perfect; His way is perfect
Take my life and make a vessel purified
God makes no mistakes— His way is best.

—Betsy Kistler

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

To love Thee with all of my heart...

Set my heart, O dear Father, On Thee, and Thee only,
Give me a thirst for Thy presence divine.
Lord, keep my focus on loving Thee wholly,
Purge me from earth; Turn my heart after Thine.

A passion for Thee; O Lord,
Set a fire in my soul and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

Father fill with Thy Spirit, and fit me for service,
Let love for Christ ev'ry motive inspire,
Teach me to follow in selfless submission,
Be Thou my joy and my soul's one desire.

—Joe Zichterman

Friday, March 21, 2008

What language shall I borrow...

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favour, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

—At­trib­ut­ed to Ber­nard of Clair­vaux, translated from La­tin to Eng­lish James W. Al­ex­and­er

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Emptied that HE should fill me...

Just a song the Lord has been reminding me about. To have real joy and be used by Him, surrender is not simply an option.
Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.

Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit
Hearts that full surrender know;
That the streams of living water
From our inner man may flow.

Channels only, blessèd Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.

—Mary E. Max­well, alt.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Will is Not My Own...

How I love this song! It has inspired me countless times when I really don't feel like being "enslaved" or "resigning my crown"! But He is good, and all His judgements are right.

Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms when by myself I stand;
Imprison me within Thine arms, and strong shall be my hand.

My heart is weak and poor until it master find;
It has no spring of action sure, it varies with the wind.
It cannot freely move till Thou has wrought its chain;
Enslave it with Thy matchless love, and deathless it shall reign.

My will is not my own till Thou hast made it Thine;
If it would reach a monarch's throne, it must its crown resign.
It only stands unbent amid the clashing strife,
When on Thy bosom it has leant, and found in Thee its life.

—George Matheson

Monday, January 28, 2008

One Year Blog Anniversary!

Today is the one year anniversary for this blog. And what a year it's been!

Well, you know... blog anniversaries are supposed to be the signal for all of you readers to comment and let me get to know you a little!

So... firstly I'll be unoriginal and ask you to please comment with your name and location (as general or specific as you wish). Then I'll ask you to share a quote or Bible verse that is meaningful/encouraging to you, if you would, and I may pick a few to share on this blog!

Surely everyone has a favourite... but if you don't, please don't let that stop you from commenting with your name (and where you are from)! :)

"Thou crownest the year with thy goodness..." (Psalm 65:11)

Join me in praising the Lord, for He really has done so!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Blessing of Correction

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth." (Job 5:17)

I read the following quote on a friend's blog a little while ago. It really encouraged me, and I hope you, too, will find a blessing in it!

Happy, because the correction is designed to bring him into paths of blessedness and peace.
Happy, because there is no unnecessary severity in it.
Happy, because the chastisement is not so much against us, as against our most cruel enemies—our sins.
Happy, because we have abundant words of consolation.
Happy, because whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.
Happy, because our light affliction is but for a moment.

—George Bowen

Monday, January 21, 2008

His Eye is On the Sparrow...

As always—because I need the exhortation/encouragement myself.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

"Let not your heart be troubled," His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

I sing because I'm happy!
I sing because I'm free!
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

—Civilla D. Martin

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What the Almighty Can Do

Just one of the songs that have been on my heart lately – so good, and so helpful at putting my focus back into perspective!
Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Given thee life, and, with loving hand, guided and stayed thee;
How oft in grief hath He not brought thee relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
When, in His love, He befriends thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;

Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

—Joachim Neander; translation by Catherine Winkworth

Wherever you are in your life right now, take heart and press on... for He is GOOD, and His way is perfect.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Sacrifice

When I saw this on a friend's blog, I knew it was far too good not to pass on. It struck a chord in my heart, and I hope it may inspire someone else as well.

Laid on Thine alter, O my Lord divine,
Accept my gift this day, for Jesus' sake,
I have no jewels to adorn Thy shrine,
Nor any world-famed sacrifice to make;
But here I bring within my trembling hands,
This will of mine, a thing that seemeth small,
Yet Thou alone, O Lord, canst understand
How when I yield Thee this, I yield my all.

Hidden therein Thy searching gaze can see
Struggles of passion, visions of delight,
All that I have, or am, or fain would be,
Deep loves, fond hopes, and longings infinite;
It hath been wet with tears, and dimmed with sighs,
Clenched in my grasp, till beauty hath it none;
Now from Thy footstool, where it vanquished lies,
The prayer ascendeth, "May Thy will be done."

Take it, O Father, ere my courage fail,
And merge it so into Thine own will, that e'en
If in some desperate hour my cries prevail,
And Thou give back my gift, it may have been
So changed, so purified, so fair have grown,
So one with Thee, so filled with love divine,
I may not know or feel it as by own,
But gaining back my will, may find it Thine.

My Sacrifice, C. T. Russell

Monday, January 07, 2008

We Have Need of Patience...

"We have need of patience, and our faithful God brings us into experiences which, improved by His blessing, may cultivate us in this grace. Though we seem to be tried at times almost beyond endurance, we never find Him unable or unwilling to help and sustain us; and were our hearts entirely submissive to His will, desiring it and it only to be done, how much fewer and lighter our afflictions would seem."
—Hudson Taylor

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Earth's Dark Shadows Flee...

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvellous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, fulfils my every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

—Jean S. Pigott