Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amy Carmichael on Doing Hard Things

This last week I have been needing motivation and encouragement for my "journey," as I like to call life. This morning I pulled a new-to-me book from my book self, one I had not had the time nor desire to venture into until now. I was pleased to find that there was an assigned passage for each day of the year and after reading the short preface flipped to the reading for today. Below I have quoted the message that I know God knew I needed today. I could have not decided to pick up this book until tomorrow, and then I would have missed it. Again God has been faithful, giving me just the food for thought that I so needed at just the right time. I hope that it may speak to the hearts of you, my readers as well.

"I have often noticed that any one, who has been asked to do a difficult thing for the sake of the Lord Jesus, does it and does it heartily, that one seems almost at once to gain a new power of joy and a wonderful new liberty. Sometimes a shy reserve that covered the soul like a thin sheet of ice melts, and there is a freedom to share things and help others; sometimes a dullness that was there before just disappears. To see it do so is like watching a mist dissolve in sunlight. In my reading this morning I came upon the reason for this happy fact. 'Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows' (Psalm 45:7). Our Lord Jesus did the will of His Father with delight, He hated that iniquity which so often tries to dominate us--selfishness, surrender to the easy, and so on. Therefore He was the gladdest of all the sons of men. The same law applies to His followers. Who among us can be counted on for happiness? It is those who never take self into consideration at all. By the grace of the Lord they honestly hate iniquity even the iniquity of self-pleasing, and delight to do the will of their God. They are the happy ones of the family." ~ Amy Carmichael Edges of His Ways

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Years and Counting

I can hardly believe that today is my two-year blogging anniversary! It seems like just yesterday that my heart was burning with passion to share God's love with others on a blog of my very own. I remember asking my parents what they thought. I remember the delight with which I first wrote. How I planned out each week with care making sure that not one went by without my writing.

Since then I have ups and downs in my blogging adventure, I have had weeks where I could not stop writing and others where I did not write at all. My faith has been tested more then a time or two since I first launched this site, and each time God has been faithful to see me through, and I guess that is why I am here writing today. I have nothing really special to say, these last few days have been tough. Apathy towards that which I once was so passionate about has lulled me to sleep, realizing this has "rocked my world" in the quietest sense.

I needed today, I needed this review of the last two years, I needed to remember that God has always been faithful and cling to the fact that He will continue to be as I wind my way through new and difficult paths.

If I could have looked ahead to today two years ago, somehow I doubt I would have even guessed where I would be and what all would happened. I had a different set of fears then, yet, would I have changed a thing? Yes, I have had times that were less then thrilling, some down right hard, but looking back I can see God's hand so clearly in it all. What I might have thought then were just senseless troubles I can see now were used to grow me and prepare me for today. No, I do not think I would changed things that much. I would have liked to have been more faithful with the time the Lord has given me. I would have liked to have loved more fully. Yes, I would have changed some of the ways in which I handled life, but not what happened in my life.

So, what have your last few years looked like? How have you seen God's hand in your life? Taking a minute to go over what has happened is sometimes a good way to remind us to try harder, do better, and it especially has a way of making us praise God all the more for His rich blessings.

"Sometimes God brings us to the place where

we are between the Rock and the hard place to show us that

He is the Rock that is breaking us and making us more

Christlike, that He is the Rock that we are

pressed up against." ~ Unknown

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Joy, Even at All Hours of the Morning

I am probably about to break some type of record. Two post in less then twenty-four hours. All kidding aside though, something happened that has been so amazing that I could not help but take a minute to share it with you.
The night before last I woke up at 3:30 (And yes, I mean AM!) and drifted in and out of a restless sleep until 7:00. At that time I was like, "Forget this trying to sleep. I'm getting up. I've had more then enough." Suffice to say, by 10:00 PM last night, I was more than ready for bed! I went to bed praying for a restful nights sleep. Guess what? At 4:47 AM I woke up... I was less than thrilled, but was not ready to get up for the day, so I put on some music and tried to fall back to sleep. But did not. People in need of prayer drifted into my mind and I began to pray. After a few hours I drifted off and caught one last hour of sleep which I was so grateful for. I got up, but as I thought about complaining to my sister about my lack of sleep I laughed. Complain? How could I? The sleepless nights were a very interesting answer to my prayers. Really!
Last weekend I asked God to do what it took, to basically "break me and make me" drawing me closer to Himself. I said, "Whatever it takes, Lord, I just want to be closer to You."
Sleepless nights pushed me to pray, drawing my heart one step closer to my Father. It wasn't the answer to prayer I was looking for, but it was an answer to prayer. My heart is singing praises to the Lord...for sleepless nights. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whispers About Prayer

"He who kneels most stands best." ~ D. L. Moody

I am quite sure I have used this quote before, but the truth is it needs to be repeated again and again, remembered every single day of our lives. I am not just saying this because it sounds good. I am saying it because I know it to be true. I had a heart aching revelation a few days ago, I was more the center of my life than God was. As I began to sift through all my emotions I began to see that it all had not happened over night. It never does. Has it ever happened to you? God is your everything, your every other thought is a whispered prayer of praise. You get busy, you get distracted, you get tired. Before you know it you are now the center of your own life. God is somewhere on the outskirts whispering to get your attention, to reclaim your loving devotion. You sing your own praises, troubles, and "wisdom" so loud that you block out His still small voice. You do not even realize it. One day you wake up and all that you truly loved about your existence lies in crumbled ruins at your feet. When you are here, what do you do?

Through the wispy cool of a spring morning, with the sunbeams hazily swirling their magic touch around her willowy figure, wrapped in a soft white dress, her head bowed low in shame the young woman wound her way slowly down a winding path through the garden. Roses blossomed sending their sweet fragrance to mingle the the air around her golden-brown curls, their dewy faces lifted with wide smiles. Yet, the young maiden saw them not. Her face showed signs of reluctance in her journey, yet a wistfulness too.

"He will be so terribly disappointed in me. How could I have been so foolish. Why was I so blind! How can I face Him?" the rush of sorrowful thoughts tumbled through her brain. "Oh, but I do want to be able to look into His face again. Feel Him so near. Hear Him call me His child in His tones so tender and loving."

She does not even notice how her feet move faster, her pace doubles. Thoughts full of longing for her Father continue and her longing to stand before Him grows stronger with each second. Suddenly she rounds the bend and there He is, seated upon His throne. She throws herself at His feet.

"Father, I was such a fool! Can You ever forgive me?" Tears stream down her once rosy cheeks, now pale from her lack of time spent in the Son.

I glance away, my eyes misty, as the Father of all creation takes His wayward child into His arms and holds her close. Because that child has been me more times than I wish to remember.

How easily we forget. How easily we stray. How I thank my Lord for His mercy and grace. For His patience with His foolish daughter.

Pray always. Every minute, every hour, every day, always. If you want to stand well and on firm ground through all of life then don't stop. D. L. Moody's words are so true! Prayer is the cement that holds our solid foundation together. We must treasure it. Always.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Take All To Jesus

Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
Oh, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

Oh, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
~ Chris Rice

This is one of those songs that always speaks to my heart. I am a sinner who wonders around in this world of sin, sometimes is an lost and aimless fashion. I am one in need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I seek Him, I run to Him, I dance with Him. Maybe you needed these worlds today like I did. If so, this is for you.