Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oswald Chambers

My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow.  Our Lord received himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.
We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and w have to receive ourselves in its fires.  If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish.  Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrows ought not to be.  Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.
Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better.  Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys my self. You cannot receive your self in success, you lose your head; you cannot receive your self in monotony, you grouse.  The way to find your self is in the fires of sorrow.  Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience.  You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you.  If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous,  has no time for you.  If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Emptiness Sings ~Christa Wells

A new-er-ish favorite of mine:
Click on the title to go listen to it. Also, there are more of her songs on the right sidebar. 
My other favorite is "All That You Need"


Brother, he’s suffered like a tree taken down
Wept as he witnessed his dreams carved out
And how can a man just keep walking around
With his heart full of holes

But ooh,
His bow is on the strings
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:

Glory to God, Glory to God!
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song,
My life for the glory of God.
Hmm, hmmm

Sister carries her loneliness
In a hidden hollow inside her chest
And sometimes all that she wants is an end
To the long, long night

But ooh,
Her bow is on the strings,
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:

Glory to God, Glory to God!
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song,
My life for the glory of God.
Hmm, hmmm

I haven’t been asked yet to walk the hard roads
Still there’s a sense of deep loss in my soul
In the middle of a party, I’ll just want to go

But ooh,
My bow is on the strings,
I’m beginning to learn where to find the words
To the song that emptiness sings
Ooh, bow is on the strings:

Glory to God! Glory to God!
This is how emptiness sings, oh,
This is how emptiness sings
Hmmm, hmmm

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cool Summer Drink

Sparkling Lemonade Floats

  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (1/2 for tart, 3/4 for sweet)*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon peel strips (from 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • vanilla ice cream
  • club soda or sparkling wine {I used Sierra Mist}, chilled
  1. Stir together sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir in lemon strips. Simmer for five minutes. Allow to cool. Stir in lemon juice. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove strips and pulp. Stir in 1 cup cold water. Refrigerate to cool completely.
  2. To make floats: Scoop ice cream into glasses. Pour lemonade 1/2 to 3/4 full. Top with club soda. Garnish with lemon slices if desired. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4-6 (depending on glass size)
*For this recipe I definitely prefer the lemonade on the tarter side because you’ll be adding more sweetness with the ice cream. But it really depends on your personal preference.


I found the recipe here at Kitchen Simplicity...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pride vs. Humility

“Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christianity.  It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment.  It is the main source of all the mischief the devil introduces, to clog and hinder a work of God.
Spiritual pride tends to speak of other persons’ sins with bitterness or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt.  But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity.  Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself.  He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart.  The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies.  But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.  He is apt to esteem others better than himself.”

~Jonathan Edwards~

Monday, June 20, 2011

Audrey Assad, Show Me

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in a battle
Put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die

Set me like a star before the morning
Like a song that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
Oh, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting There

[P]ride is the deification of self, and this today in some of us is not of the order of the Pharisee, but of the publican.  To say "Oh, I'm no saint," is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God.  It literally means that you defy God to make you a saint, "I am much too weak and hopeless. "  Humility before men may be unconscious blasphemy before God.  Why are you not a saint? It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe God can make you one.  It would be all right, you say, if God saved you and took you straight to heaven.  That is just what He will do! "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him."  Make no conditions, let Jesus be everything, and He will take you home with Him not only for a day, but forever.
{Oswald Chambers }

Get A Move On

"And beside this... add...."
2 Peter 1:5

In the Matter of Drudgery. You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (v. 4), now screw your attention down and form habits, give diligence, concentrate.  "Add" means all that character means.  No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, he has to make character.  Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put unto us.  We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God.  Drudgery is the touchstone of character.  The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. "Jesus took a towel... and began to wash the disciples' feet."
     There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task.  Routine is God's way of saving us between our times of inspiration.  Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.
     It is the "adding" that is difficult.  We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we did! The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it.  If I do my duty, not for duty's sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Under the Willows

     Between willow-fringed banks of softest green, and under the bluest of summer skies, the little river took its lazy Southern way.  Tall blue lobelias and golden flags played hide-and-seek in the reflections of the gentle stream, and an occasional spray of goldenrod, advance-guard of the autumn, stood apart, a silent warning to the summer idlers.
     Somewhere overhead a vireo, dainty poet of bird-land, proclaimed his love to the wide world; while below, another child of nature, no less impassioned, no less aching to give vent to the joy that was bursting his being, sat silent in a canoe that swung softly with the pulsing of the stream.
     For Sandy had followed the highroad that led straight into the Land of Enchantment.  No more wanderings by intricate byways up golden hills to golden castles;  the Love Road had led him at last to the real world of King Arthur days-- the world that was lighted by a strange and wondrous light of romance, wherein he dwelt, a knight, waiting and longing to prove his valor in the eyes of his lady fair.
     Burning deeds of prowess rioted in his brain.  Oh for dungeons and towers and forbidding battlements!  Any danger was welcome from which he might rescue her.  Fire, flood, or bandits-- he would brave them all.  Meanwhile he sat in the prow of the boat, his hands clasped about his knees, utterly powerless to break the spell of awkward silence that seemed to posses him. 


     Ruth sat with her chin in her hands and gazed absently out of the window.  She remembered when that yard was to her as the garden of Eden.  As a child she had been brought here, a delicate, faded little hothouse plant, and for three wonderful years and been allowed to grow and blossom at will in the freedom of outdoor life.  The glamour of those old days still clung to the place, and made her love everything connected with it.  The front gate, with its wide white posts, still held the records of her growth, for each year her grandfather had stood her against it and marked her progress.  The huge green tub holding the crapemyrtle was once a park where she and Annette had played dolls, and once it had served as a burying-ground when Carter's sling brought down a sparrow.  The ice house, with its steep roof, recalled a thrilling tobogganing experience when she was six.  Grandfather had laughed over the torn gown, and bade her do it again.
     It was all the trees, though, that she loved best of all; for they were friendly old poplar-trees on which the bark formed itself into all sorts of curious eyes.  One was a wicked old stepfather eye with a heavy lid; she remembered how she used to tiptoe past it and pretend to be afraid.  Beyond, by the arbor, were two smaller trees, where a coquettish eye on one looked up to an adoring eye on the other.  She had often built a romance about them as she watched them peeping at each other through the leaves.
     Down behind the house the waving fields of blue-grass rippled away to the little river, where weeping willows hung their heads above the lazy water, and ferns reached up the banks to catch the flowers.  And the fields and the river and the house and the trees were hers,-- hers and Carter's, -- and neither could sell without the consent of the other.  She took a deep breath of satisfaction.  The prospect of living alone in the old homestead failed to appal her.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bible Reading

I recently came across some very good blog posts about creating and nurturing your Bible reading time. I have really been struggling with this for a while now and I've been praying that God would open my eyes and show me how to understand and treasure His Word. These posts do just that for me. I pray that they would do the same for you...

I can relate to this post because we do the same thing at home. We pray at the beginning of every meal and we end the meal with the reading of the Word.

I thought this one was so good because it is an excellent example of what the Spirit can do in your heart through the Word. 

Ah, another from Ann. Reading the posts above brought some thoughts into my mind and Ann pretty much sorted through them and brought reasoning to it all. So nurturing!

Reading, as it were, puts the solid food into our mouths, meditation chews it and breaks it down, prayer obtains the flavor of it and contemplation is the very sweetness which makes us glad and refreshes us.” ~Guigo

This is excellent! This gives a couple helpful steps on how to learn Scripture, rereading it over and over and over until it is a part of you...

I pray that the Lord would use these in your lives as He has in mine. So often we become sidetracked with the daily duties in life that we don't read what is truly important. We put aside what will give us strength and hope and what will get us through the tough days and we do what "has" to be done.  But, what really needs to be done is for us to take time in the Scriptures. Time to calm our hearts before plunging into the day.  Time to become closer to the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.
Time with our Heavenly Father.
Pray that the Lord would create a desire for His Word in your heart and listen to the Holy Spirit's answer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  • Refrain:
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul. 
--Horatio G. Spafford Peace--

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy (late) Memorial Day


I haven't the foggiest idea where I got this or when I got it, I just found it in my drawer the other day and re-fell in love with it.  It must have been love-at-first-sight when I got it to begin with (whenever that was), so I think it's safe to say that it was "love-at-second-sight" when I discovered it in my jewelry drawer the other day....

Photography Interview

I was recently interviewed by our local newspaper for an online story that they wanted to do about my photography.  The lady that interviewed me was so very sweet!  They posted to the story today...