Sunday, July 26, 2009

Only If it Gets There in Time

I came across the video on Facebook a few days ago. Wow. It's worth loading, even when it takes half a day on dial-up!

"The gospel is only the good news if it gets there in time. . ." keeps ringing in my ears.

For practical ways to reach Asia with the Good News in time, check out Gospel for Asia:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If We Are in the Boat With Thee. . .

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

- Amy Carmichael, Toward Jerusalem

At this season of my life, I find myself amidst the tossing waves and rocking boat, turning again and again to the Face of Jesus... and again and again He asks, "Why are you troubled?"

The question always brings me to my senses. . . Why? How foolish of me!
With Jesus in the boat, I wait. In peace and calm.


"Epaphras. . . a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. . ." Colossians 4:12-13

How many of us have an Epaphras in our lives?

How many of us are Epaphras towards others with "great zeal" to see our brothers and sisters in Christ stand perfect and complete in the will of God?

How many of us labor fervently in prayer for more than our own needs?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fill My Life... In Every Part With Praise

Fill Thou my life, O Lord, my God, In every part with praise,

That my whole being may proclaim Thy being and Thy ways;

.... I ask but for a life made up of praise in every part.

- Horatius Bonar

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Update on Life

The past week was a whirlwind of traveling - first to Arkansas for a wedding, then back for local stuff near home and then off to Birmingham, AL for a midwifery conference. I arrived home yesterday afternoon, just in time to head off to church with my family. :)

And now... I'm spending the next week holed up in a house in the woods a couple miles from where my family lives. I have the delightful job of house-sitting at such a time as this - when I need to study during every spare second. It's just me... and a very annoying Schnauzer who believes that he must sit beside me on the couch, stand beside me in the kitchen, and try to climb in bed with me at night! (I never did like dogs that much... and I really don't like them in the house!)

Today was the first day in quite a while that was dedicated to my stack of textbooks that must be read by mid-August.
But most of the day was spent fixing a flat tire, and running errands, and re-scheduling appointments for tomorrow. My little sisters, Ruth and Joanna, are spending the night with me tonight. I will take them home early in the morning and then head off to my appointments. Tomorrow afternoon looks as though it holds a few hours for study. We shall see if that happens.

If things happen the way I want them to, you won't be hearing much from me for a bit and I'll be deep in Varney and Frye....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Week of First Lady Fashion

I love Melissa's style. It's nice. It's classy. It's modest. It's feminine. It doesn't cost a lot. It's just what I like! She's always this classy and pretty in real life, too! :)

Check out her blog of her "Week of Style":

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Writing Too Much?

My office is lined with bookcases. Some of the books I have read; many of the books I want to read someday. I found another one in a thrift store yesterday for $0.25 and added it to the must-read pile.

Then I debated putting it somewhere else. Packing it away. I certainly must read this one someday. But when? I remembered the other 20 or so on the shelf that have been in the process of being read for well over a year.

Suddenly I stopped myself. How on earth is it that I simply cannot seem to find time to read??
I used to manage to read a lot.

The answer was so obvious, clear... it was hard to believe that I hadn't thought of it before.

I write too much! That's it! I really don't ever have time to read anything (other than the Bible), because I'm constantly writing....

It has me re-considering. Maybe I should stop running my mouth (er, pen.. keyboard... whatever!) so much, and start putting some wisdom IN to my head!

Any suggestions on how to do that? I suppose I could just pick up a book the next time I'm tempted to start blogging...

The only thing is, reading only benefits me...
I try to blog to benefit you.
Whether I do or not is another topic!

Still thinking...

The Value of Five Minutes

"The reason I beat the Austrians is,

they did not know the value of five minutes."


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Restoration of My Wretched Heart

'Twas yesterday that I pondered on another.
Their sin, their pride. . . their wretched heart.
As I thought of my response,
How to restore. . .
The Finger of God pointed at my heart:
"Thou art that person!"
I was smitten, ashamed.
I saw the filth, the pride, the rebellion
Within myself.
'Tis I who needs restoration.

I see my sin.
I feel my guilt.
I bow my head.
Words... they do not come.
Brokenness I need - that I know.
But tears, where are tears?
My heart is cold and stale and limp.

I want to push this back inside the closet
. . . Rest.
This confusing, jumbled mess.
I hate it, but not enough.
The nudging of a still, small Voice at night. . .
How I hate this, nagging when I want to rest.
And yet - and yet - I fear it ceasing.
I am terrified of growing comfortable with this.

Plowing of my crusted, hardened heart
Will not be easy, quick.
That I know.
I dread the agony, the pain,
The bitterness of yielding up my will. . .
And yet, I cannot be right and whole
Until I have given all again and hold no claims to Self.

I know that I should care enough to change.
But tonight my heart seems far away.
I sort of care.
For I hate the person I've become.
In retrospect, I see the hardening of my heart,
The numbing of my conscience. . .
As time has passed
As days and weeks and months have marched on.
I am me, but I am not the person I once was.

People used to call me that.
In truth,
I may still look like that.
But I am not.
I know the motives of my heart.
I never saw them clearer than when God pointed His finger yesterday.
Ugh. Why did I have to get here?
Its too hard to go back. . .

It scares me to see that I AM this.
Not, I might become.
But I am.
But it terrifies me most to know
That I am too tired, too lazy to change tonight.
I'm not happy with this mediocre plane
And yet I don't hate it enough to do what it takes
To purge the sin from my heart.

I'm not broken enough by the hardness of my own heart. . .
If I cared, I would be sobbing.

Instead, I sit here numbly, staring at the stars,
Fingering my worn Bible.
Waiting for repentance to well up,
But finding none.

Instead of weeping, broken,
I mourn the loss of purity of heart.
I mourn as though staring at my neighbor's casket.
Numbly, sadly, regretfully. . .
But not desperately.

Am I resigned?
What once was mine no longer is?
Never will be mine again?
Oh, Dear God! No!

I do not as the broken mother does. . .
Clutch the stiff, cold body of her baby.
Sob, and writhe and pull away from those who love her most.
Refuse, refuse to let her baby go.
. . . Hold its now empty body to herself as if
Her heart-wrenched groans could bring him back. . .
Wail into the night. . .
Refuse to think of better days,
Because this, her treasure, her light is gone.

I have bit adieu to my once-pure heart?
I have let it go?
Oh, God! What have I become?
All these years of fighting what Self wanted,
Of yielding to Your Will. . .
I will give it up for this?
I say the effort is too much?
I choose the easy road. . . now?

"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. . ."
The words of haunting melodies come floating back.
I have wandered.
I feel it.
I see it.
This ugly path where walking is easy.

Why would a man yield his soul
To gain the world of Self?
And yet I have.
O foolish, hardened one!
And then the words,
"Pray when you don't feel like praying,
And pray til you feel like praying. . ."
Prompt me.
And so, I kneel
Beside this bed and try to pray.

The still, small Voice, it prompts again.
"Are you willing to yield anything?"
My heart - it clutches - rags of
My reputation -
Oh, spare deep embarrassment, Dear God!

I clench. . . and then, slowly, let go.
I drop those worthless bits that mean so much to me.
"Yes, Lord, it is Yours.
I am Yours, if only
You will bring repentance. . .
Clear the mess,
Restore my tender heart."

I hold my breath,
Tremble. . .
I have given God my reputation in this?
To take all I love
To smash my idols
To break me through and through
To make me whole?

I swallow hard.
. . . And wait.

I've yielded, given God
The keys to hopes and dreams.
But, still, repentance real, where?
My eyes fall
Upon the well-worn book of Genesis.

If I like Jacob, wrestle and take hold
And clench the hem of garments white
And cry,
"I will not, will not let Thee go,
Until I am right with Thee!"

If I wrestle with my God til morning light
And will not let Him go 'til dawn breaks through
And I am whole again,

Can God, my Father refuse and turn away?

A broken, contrite spirit draws His gaze,
A desperate heart - His hand.
My Savior's Blood -
It pleads before the Mercy seat.

And as I cry,
"God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
I am whole again.
The clouds have lifted.
I have battled with my foolish heart.
But GOD has conquered ME!

The grace of God has reached e'en here.
And washed with fresh floods of repentance
O'er this dry and barren ground.

I am whole and live again!

~ Mary,
May 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Men Show Their Character...

Men show their character in nothing more clearly
than by what they think laughable.
- Unknown