Friday, November 21, 2014

The true owner










Rose is Rose
by Pat Brady


The Anvil — God’s Word

Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then, with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”

And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed — the hammers gone.


Unknown

*

For the word of God is living and active 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, 
and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, 
of both joints and marrow,
and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

*

Happy Autumn!


























Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In your own words











Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Waterson


An Arrow



Thinking of you, 
my precious son, 
and praising the LORD 
for our time with you.






















The LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.  
The LORD has heard my supplication, 
the LORD receives my prayer.
Psalm 6:8b-9


How Did You Die?

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth?  Well, well, what’s that!
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there — that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts;
It’s how did you fight — and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men, 
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?



Edmund Vance Cooke
From The Best Loved Poems of the American People


Tell them how I loved Jesus!

Today we attended a funeral in a mainline denomination church, where my Piper played Amazing Grace.   

The 84 year old man had lived a wonderful, productive life.  He had been a beautiful person and did many things in the church during his life.  We heard about his jobs, his hobbies, his failings, and we heard about his fears, but we never heard about his faith, his trusting faith.

How I longed to hear his triumphs in the LORD, but they were never spoken.

I ached over this while we sat there in the funeral.  He was a wonderful person, he attended a church where you can find the gospel, if you search for it, but I do not know if this man was saved by the blood of Jesus.   

After a while I turned to my Beloved and mouthed my plea.  He understood and motioned it for him also.  We both grieved over this man.

*

Now, if I die here on earth, please tell them how I loved Jesus!  Let them hear the gospel!  And let this be the main theme of my service!

Okay, so you can spend a moment on me, but please let that be so short!  

Tell them how I loved the LORD, that I lived for Him!  Tell them that I praised Him in my happy times and even in my sorrows!  When my sorrows overshadowed my days, tell them that I remembered Him and trusted Him even more!  Please let them know that the reason I could smile in my agonies was because of Him in me! 

The joy of the LORD is my strength!

This world is not my home.  I long to see His face and someday, in His time, I will.  And when that time comes...don't waste their time on me...

Tell them how I loved Jesus!

*

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice! 
Shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart!

You, LORD, are my hiding place!  
You preserve me from trouble! 
You surround me with shouts of deliverance!
Psalm 32:11, 7

*

Praise the LORD!!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Life could be worse











Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Waterson


The Hound of Heaven

by Francis Thompson (1859-1907)
  
I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;

  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
        
      Up vistaed hopes I sped;

      And shot, precipitated,

Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,

  From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

      But with unhurrying chase,
       
      And unperturbèd pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

      They beat—and a Voice beat

      More instant than the Feet—

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’


          I pleaded, outlaw-wise,

By many a hearted casement, curtained red,

  Trellised with intertwining charities;

(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,

        Yet was I sore adread

Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).

But, if one little casement parted wide,

  The gust of His approach would clash it to.

  Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.

Across the margent of the world I fled,

  And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,

  Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;

        Fretted to dulcet jars

And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.

I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;

  With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over

        From this tremendous Lover—

Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!

  I tempted all His servitors, but to find

My own betrayal in their constancy,

In faith to Him their fickleness to me,

  Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.

To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;

  Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.

      But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,

    The long savannahs of the blue;

        Or whether, Thunder-driven,

    They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,

Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—

  Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.

      Still with unhurrying chase,

      And unperturbèd pace,

    Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

      Came on the following Feet,

      And a Voice above their beat—

    ‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’


I sought no more that after which I strayed

  In face of man or maid;

But still within the little children’s eyes

  Seems something, something that replies,

They at least are for me, surely for me!

I turned me to them very wistfully;

But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair

  With dawning answers there,

Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.

‘Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share

With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;

  Let me greet you lip to lip,

  Let me twine with you caresses,

    Wantoning

  With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,

    Banqueting

  With her in her wind-walled palace,

  Underneath her azured daïs,

  Quaffing, as your taintless way is,

    From a chalice

Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’

    So it was done:

I in their delicate fellowship was one—

Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.

  I knew all the swift importings

  On the wilful face of skies;

  I knew how the clouds arise

  Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;

    All that’s born or dies

  Rose and drooped with; made them shapers

Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;

  With them joyed and was bereaven.

  I was heavy with the even,

  When she lit her glimmering tapers

  Round the day’s dead sanctities.

  I laughed in the morning’s eyes.

I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,

  Heaven and I wept together,

And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;

Against the red throb of its sunset-heart

    I laid my own to beat,

    And share commingling heat;

But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.

In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.

For ah! we know not what each other says,

  These things and I; in sound I speak—

Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.

Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;

  Let her, if she would owe me,

Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me

  The breasts o’ her tenderness:

Never did any milk of hers once bless

    My thirsting mouth.

    Nigh and nigh draws the chase,

    With unperturbèd pace,

  Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;

    And past those noisèd Feet

    A voice comes yet more fleet—

  ‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me!’

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!

My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,

    And smitten me to my knee;

  I am defenceless utterly.

  I slept, methinks, and woke,
  
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.

In the rash lustihead of my young powers,

  I shook the pillaring hours

And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,

I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—
  
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.

My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,

Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.

  Yea, faileth now even dream

The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;

Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist

I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,

Are yielding; cords of all too weak account

For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.

  Ah! is Thy love indeed

A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,

Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?

  Ah! must—

  Designer infinite!—

Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?

My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;

And now my heart is as a broken fount,

Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever

  From the dank thoughts that shiver

Upon the sighful branches of my mind.

  Such is; what is to be?

The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?

I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;

Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds

From the hid battlements of Eternity;

Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then

Round the half-glimpsèd turrets slowly wash again.

  But not ere him who summoneth

  I first have seen, enwound

With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;

His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.

Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields

 Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields

  Be dunged with rotten death?


      Now of that long pursuit
      
    Comes on at hand the bruit;

  That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:

    ‘And is thy earth so marred,

    Shattered in shard on shard?

  Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!

  Strange, piteous, futile thing!

Wherefore should any set thee love apart?

Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),

‘And human love needs human meriting:

  How hast thou merited—

Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?

  Alack, thou knowest not

How little worthy of any love thou art!

Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,

  Save Me, save only Me?

All which I took from thee I did but take,

  Not for thy harms,

But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.

  All which thy child’s mistake

Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:

  Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’

  Halts by me that footfall:

  Is my gloom, after all,

Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?

  ‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,

  I am He Whom thou seekest!

Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’


Explanation of the poem, The Hound of Heaven

I am about to post the poem, The Hound of Heaven, and so before I do this, I wanted to have some background of this famous writing.  

This information may help readers to understand why this poem can be an encouragement to those of us who are fervently praying for their wayward family and friends.

The LORD God Almighty is my Hound of Heaven as I wait for waywards to hear His voice.  
Even if you do not understand this writing, you can get the gist of it:  

The LORD never gives up on sinners.

Read on....

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:


The "Hound of Heaven" is a 182-line poem written 
by English poet Francis Thompson (1859-1907). 
The poem became famous and was the source of much of 
Thompson's posthumous reputation. 
The poem was first published in 
Thompson's first volume of poems in 1893.
It was also an influence on J. R. R. Tolkien
who read it a few years before it was published in 1917.

One of the most loved and possibly one of the more 
difficult Christian poems to read and appreciate, 
"The Hound of Heaven" has been loved for over a century. 
It is not, however, a poem that most people 
cannot read without some background. ... 
Do not be dissuaded from reading it.

The following explanation is offered below:

"The name is strange. 
It startles one at first. 
It is so bold, so new, so fearless. 
It does not attract, rather the reverse. 
But when one reads the poem this strangeness disappears. 
The meaning is understood. 
As the hound follows the hare, never ceasing in its running, 
ever drawing nearer in the chase, with unhurrying and imperturbed pace, 
so does God follow the fleeing soul by His Divine grace. 
And though in sin or in human love, away from God it seeks to hide itself, 
Divine grace follows after, 
unwearyingly follows ever after, 
till the soul feels its pressure forcing it to turn to Him alone 
in that never ending pursuit." 
The Neumann Press Book of Verse, 1988


Thursday, October 23, 2014

On another matter….



You know, I am a sinner.  So when I am accused, I can acknowledge it.



There are those times when the evil one accuses. The accusations may be true, but I am saved by the blood of the Lamb of God. I have been set free. Jesus’ sacrifice paid in full my sins, past, present and future. 
 

What beautiful grace and mercies He showers on me!



There are also those people in my life who are completely consumed with the manipulation, control, and abuse of others, who often accuse me. Their false accusations are long standing with absolutely no grace or mercy shown, even though they claim Jesus as their Savior.
 

After years and years of these types of accusations, I often find myself forgetting how this all happened.  After all, I sometimes think, "I am a sinner, maybe it was my fault". At times, I find myself trying to figure out the “whys” and “wherefores” of what on earth has happened, for why our relationship is so horribly broken.



Days may go by while I contemplate this icky subject or maybe just minutes before I am reminded by the peace that passes all understanding


During all these horrible years, the LORD has showered me with His grace and mercy in my agonies, as I wait for these people to come to their senses.  Meanwhile, I am humbled by my sinful state, even if I am not guilty of what the controlled people accuse me. I know I am a sinner saved by His marvelous grace and I am blessed to know my Savior.



I understand about cults and abusers. The evil one is not imaginative. The same dynamics for control is used by abusing men (or women), and any kind of cult (religious or social). 


The abuse begins with manipulation which must be used to gain and keep control of the person or people. Once under control the person or people, who may very well be intelligent, Christian, and “know better”, can be used and abused and they can wreak havoc in the lives of family members. 


 The time it takes to control someone’s thinking varies. How ever long it takes, the abused person or people are now invested in the wrong thinking.



This is called Deception by Investment. Whatever time a person’s life has been involved with the deception, whatever amount of money has been spent, whatever kind of personal relationship has been formed, makes the abused caught in a web of wrong thinking which keeps them caught in the control of the abuser.



It seems hopeless. It seems never ending when loved ones are the people who are caught up with an abuser.



We have a great God, though. An Almighty God who is NOT surprised at the latest trouble the abused or abuser has caused. He knew it before we did. The LORD God is NOT wringing His hands in fear with what to do next, as we do when another painful thing comes from our controlled people.
 

The truth is that controlled, manipulated, abused person is not in control at all. 


The LORD is in control. He is the One who is allowing it, and He is the One who will only let it go so far. This is the LORD who showers us with His compassions everyday. He is working in us, if we allow it, and He is working in the controlled, if they allow it.



Now, our biggest agony comes with our loved ones who continue to NOT listen to the LORD, but this doesn’t negate our LORD God Almighty in His work. He never stops working on wayward people. We can rest our hope in Him, the author perfecter of our faith.


Precious women, if you are weary in your agony and your waiting for your waywards to turn around, do not give up your hope in God!  He is at work even if we can not see it.  He does wonderful work in wayward people, mostly in private where we can not see.


Waiting with you, while living for the LORD and praising His Name even through tears!