Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sweet Subduing

At some time, every wife will find herself facing the divine command to submit to her husband in battle with her desire for mastery. A certain bitterness presents itself to us in surrendering the sweetness of having our own way. But submission is sweeter still. For we have in wifely submission not only the consciousness of harmony with our Maker's design, but a better satisfaction of our desire for mastery.

In submission, we relinquish mastery of a man for the mastery of our own rebellious will, and the sense of control over self that may be ours when we yield control is a more rightful sweetness for our heart. Only our obedience must be by the power of Him who said "Not my will, but Thine be done." He has bowed lower than we ever shall, has overcome all, and is now exalted to bestow on us His Spirit. All that the crucified and exalted Christ calls us to do shall be possible, even now, even today.

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through him. 
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."
- Colossians 3:17-18 ESV

Friday, August 8, 2014

Eagerly Waiting

"Lord, give us much wisdom 
to teach our children your Word, 
so that when you come to them, 
they will be eagerly waiting."

 - Corrie Ten Boom



"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, 
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. 
So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 
-John 3:8 ESV

Monday, July 14, 2014

Out of The Mouths of Babes

Husband gone all week and then all weekend;
driving husbandless and distracted to church with baby and receiving my first traffic ticket;
roughly four hours of sleep last night;
persistent health difficulties;
surprisingly large doctor bill's in the mail;
and...a fussy baby...who came onto the kitchen rug to spit up at my feet a piece of paper that had gotten into his tummy.

I found in the next room remains of the paper he had ingested. It was a quotation from Jeremiah Burroughs: "Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, gracious frame of spirit that freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."

Out of the mouths of babes.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Little Laughing Flowers

Only two weeks remain for my husband to finish his college studies before graduation. He's been a soldier-student for all the time I've known him, and now a soldier-student-husband-father. The journey to finishing college has been long and arduous for this man of whom I am proud and for whom I pray.

Lately those prayers have been much of this one: "Lord, provide for him, provide a job, provide for us." Every time I walk outside and see the world with its trees and homes spread out beneath the sky, I remember our lives beneath God's face and I am stirred up to ask Him again for blessings. (How we need often to stand beneath the sky and remember our Creator!) But in the moment of prayer, my sense of need sometimes rises up against my sense of God and tries to rule my heart. What will we do without this thing for which I pray? How hard will it be to wait for this thing for which I pray? The worry rises  and the prayers rise back, perhaps more weakly. A fresh breezes come to my face and pass by, the grasses wave in it, humble golden dandelions blooming in squat glory near the pavement lift bold faces to the sun, new leaves bob proudly on dark twigs of trees above my head, and other trees revel in brief attire of glorious perfumey blossoms. 

All of it seems suddenly to be laughing at me. Do you not see, silly child of Eve, how well He has provided for us? Does not the spring always come for us to deck ourselves with joy and feed the air with beauty? And are not you the daughter of our Maker? Hohoho! Fret not! The breezes blow to me a dozen reassuring smiles from grass and flower, cloud and leaf. 

"How much more valuable are you than they?" So said Jesus. He wants me to look at all of it, the flowers, the sky and the birds, and to remember why they are there just so, and that I can trust their Maker to make something beautiful out of my life.

Near, by the footfall,
Springeth a joy,
Like a new-blown little flower
Growing for thee, to make thee glad.
Let thy countenance be no more sad,
But wake the voice of joy and health within thy dwelling,
And let thy tongue be ever telling,
Not of fear that lieth grey,
But of little laughing flowers beside the way.
For the Lord is always kind 
Be not blind, be not blind  
To the shining of His face,  
To the comforts of His grace.  
He hath never failed thee yet.  
Never will His love forget.  
O fret not thyself, nor let
Thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.
- Amy Carmichael




Friday, January 24, 2014

Birth

I thought this description of Dr. Zhivago's wife after she had delivered their first child was a beautiful picture of birth.

"Squirming on the palm of the nurse's hand lay a tender squealing, tiny human creature, stretching and contracting like a dark red piece of rubber....Tonia lay exhausted in the cloud of her spent pain. To Yurii Andreievich she seemed like a barque lying at rest in the middle of a harbor after putting in and being unloaded, a barque that plied between an unknown country and the continent of life across the waters of death with a cargo of immigrant new souls. One such soul had just been landed, and the ship now lay at anchor, relaxed, its flanks unburdened and empty. The whole of her was resting, her strained masts and hull, and her memory washed clean of the image of the other shore, the crossing and landing."
- from Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Baby Walter, 19 November 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Little New Year's Thought

Radio in the car on Christmas eve: "In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world..."
Me: "I'd guess that Caesar's census was about as obnoxious then as Obamacare is now."
Caleb: "Probably worse..."

But think what God did through that obnoxious census. Don't underestimate what He might do in and under our own national annoyances. 

Happy New Year wishes to all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Good Parenting Advice

"We evangelize children through the years by confronting them with the Gospel. Let them live with people whom Christ has saved, people who live Christ-centered lives. Let the children never question the power of God to change men and women. Let them hear the stories of God and Jesus in which people were saved.  Let them hear the stories of the church in mission. Let them experience failure, that they may realize that man cannot save himself.  Let them ask God for forgiveness, that they may experience the answer to their faith in God. The life of a child in a Christian home may be full of blessings such as Jesus declared in His Sermon on the Mount, full of discouraging sinning experiences, full of forgiveness, full of promises from God, and full of pulls of the Holy Spirit to take the narrow way. All these are leading the child on toward God."

- from Christian Education in the Home by Alta Mae Erb, 1963