Sunday, February 28, 2016

IF




Amy Wilson Carmichael (1867-1951) was a missionary in India who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur.  She served in India for 55 years and wrote many books about the missionary work there.

One of the little books she wrote is in my possession, and it has come to be a book that I read quite often in my devotional time with the Lord.  It is not a book to pick up read once, and put back on your shelf.  It is a book you can read a little tidbit of every day.



IF (link here).

IF is a little book with a huge impact about how Calvary love can be found in our daily lives.

In this book, Amy speaks deep into your heart with questions that start with If... and the answers to these questions she asks will illuminate what is living deep within your heart.

 Some of the questions in this little booklet will prick your heart deeply...



 If I wonder why something trying is allowed, 
and press for prayer that it may be removed; 
if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, 
and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, 
then I know nothing of Calvary's love. 



If I ask to be delivered from trial rather than for deliverance out of it, 
to the praise of His glory; 
if I forget that the way of the cross leads to the cross and not to a bank of flowers; 
if I regulate my life on these lines, or even unconsciously my thinking, 
so that I am surprised when the way is rough, and think it strange, 
though the word is, "Think it not strange," "Count it all joy", 
then I know nothing of Calvary's love.



If, when an answer I did not expect comes 
to a prayer which I believed I truly meant, 
I shrink back from it; 
if the burden my Lord asks me to bear 
be not the burden of my heart's choice, 
and I fret inwardly and do not welcome His will, 
then I know nothing of Calvary's love.  



If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone
making myself the first necessity to a soul 
instead of leading it to fasten upon Him,
then I know nothing of Calvary love. 



If there be any reserve in my giving to Him
who so loved that He gave His dearest for me;
if there be a secret "but" in my prayer,
"anything but that Lord"
then I know nothing of Calvary's love. 


Has your heart been pricked reading these little thoughts?  A tiny book, just a few pages long... but its impact upon the heart mighty.

May we seek to love even as Christ our Lord loved us... a task sometimes that seems quite impossible... but we have been gifted by the Lord with power that He bought for us at Calvary... and loving as He loved... a calling for all of us who have answered the call to follow Christ, at any cost.  

This scripture often speaks to my heart and perhaps sums up the message of this little book so well...

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, 
if ye have love one to another. 
John 13:35 


Oh the love of God! How unspeakable are its reaches, its depths unknown!

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, 

that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 
Ephesians 3:19 


A promise given to us... that we can be FILLED with all the fulness of God when we know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.

That is my hope, my desire, my longing today... to know the love of Christ in such a way that I would be filled with all the fulness that God has to offer.

A little book with a profound message. IF.... it is a book that probes deep into the dark spaces of your heart, and cause you to think, even as you go about your day... do I know Calvary's love?

On this beautiful Lord's Day, I pray that the love of Christ will be shed abroad in our hearts in a greater and mightier way than ever before. This dark world needs to know about the love of Christ, and we need to be ambassadors of His love in all we do.




May the light of the love of God be in all you do today.  :)












Friday, February 26, 2016

Spring is Coming!

I heard spring in the happy clucks of my sweet girls and rowdy Rudy when the snow had melted enough for them to get out of their coop.


"Happy, happy, happy" they were saying through their little chortles of glee as they eagerly searched the ground for tidbits to munch on.


As the snow began to melt quickly, the ground underneath was still frozen, so a lot of water and mud were in the yard.  Poor Goldie looks like she fell into the mud puddle!


They were quite thrilled with finding new things to explore again, instead of being confined to tight quarters.





This was our driveway as the melt began in earnest... a nasty mess for sure!


A neighbor invited me to walk with her and her sweet dog,  Neecha.  Neecha is a sweet girl, but she and Annie don't get along.  So Annie didn't get to walk with us.


It was a rather gray day as we walked, but the mountains in their stately blue glory under the dark cloud cover were lovely.


Another neighbor's horses came out to greet us as we passed by.  These are her "babies" ... foals and colts born last year.


They were starting to shed their winter coats... and were kicking up their heels in joy about it all!


The neighbor keeps treats in her pockets for them, and so we got to pet them as they came to the fence to get their treats.


They didn't stay at the fence long.  A treat or two, some petting, and then it was off to the races again!


The snow is fading fast from the fields and valleys, but the mountains hopefully will keep their snow for a while yet!



Neecha enjoyed her walk and looked at me sadly when we parted ways.  What a sweet girl she is!


Back home, this one was dreaming of spring too.  But since he doesn't like mud and water, he was staying warm and dry inside for now.


And nothing speaks louder about spring than tulips!


Bright, and beautiful, and full of hope!


I picked these up at the store.  I don't have tulips planted yet here.





There is hope in my heart.  Spring is coming!

I may be sharing this post with: 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Be Still and Know That I am God

I remember as a child being told by my parents that in church we must sit very still.  As a very young child I have memories of my father holding me on his knee at home and having us practice sitting very still and quiet so that we would know when we got to church that it was not a time to romp and play, but to sit still and listen.  I remember being upset at having to learn to sit still, but my father persisted because he knew there was a valuable life lesson that he was endeavoring to teach us, regardless of our dislike of the lesson!

And throughout my life I have had to learn the lesson of sitting still over and over again.  Being still when the very thing you want to do, is to do something, anything - anything would be better than simply sitting still and waiting!

Have you ever struggled with sitting still?  Being quiet, having a thousand things you would rather be doing, but instead.... it was not the time for busy, it was the time to be still!

I again experienced the painful lesson this past weekend about being still.


Be still and know that I am God.  

My husband was hurt and in pain several thousand miles away, and there was NOTHING I could do... but pray!  (See my post here if you have not read it.) Oh the agony of it all was quite hard for both of us.  He wanted me there, and I wanted nothing more than to be there for him.  But I was miles away, and all we could do was be still and wait.  He was waiting in the Emergency Room, alone... and I was waiting to hear what the outcome of his burn would be.

Then I remembered this scripture...


Psalms 121
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. 
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, 
and even for evermore.

And so Annie and I went on a long walk and I lifted up mine eyes unto the hills... 


from whence cometh my help.


 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.



 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:



 he that keepeth thee will not slumber.



Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep



 The LORD is thy keeper: 


 the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. 




The sun shall not smite thee by day



nor the moon by night 


The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil


 he shall preserve thy soul.



The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth,






 and even for evermore.



As Annie and I walked and walked ... 
and I talked to the Lord, 
the beautiful sunshine gradually faded from the sky, 
its vibrant colors mixed with the darkening shades of night 
in a glorious fashion. 


Be still my soul, indeed!!!  
In the gentle grandeur of the setting sun and the rising moonlight... 
my soul was quieted and rested in the hope 
found in the wonder of our Lord's creation. 

As we walked several wild creatures stopped
and gazed upon us as we walked.  
I have not had that many wildlife encounters in a while. 

The Lord knew I needed to see the beauty of His creation
In all its glory. 
Being still. 


The stillness of the waiting period became quite glorious.  


As the shadows of darkness lingered and 
gently pushed the last fingers of light from the sky... 
I was still and yet finding myself full of hope, 
Full of peace, and knowing.... 


All was well!  The God of Israel who never slumbers or sleeps was doing more for this situation than I could do... and it was well with my soul.  

Much later that evening, while the sun was in bed and the  moon's light still glistening, my husband was sent home from the Emergency Room with a good report - all would be well!  

Being still is not always a bad thing, I learned, once again.  

Thank you Dad for teaching me that lesson many years ago.  The lesson learned well then, applied again today.... being still and resting in the arms of our loving Heavenly Father is a beautiful thing.