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Monday, August 31, 2015

A Lesson in Patriotism

 The day had dawned beautiful and sunny. A friend and I decided to take a hike up one of my favorite mountains in this area where I live. Prior to our trip there, I was aware that a patriotic member of my community had placed a large American flag on top of the mountain earlier this summer and that many people had made the trek up to there to see it, take a picture, or sign the wooden stake to which it was attached. I had hopes of getting to see it on my trip to the top as well. It would be a welcome reward for all of the climbing it took to get there. 
 However, part of the way up, we saw someone carrying what looked to be the flag and bringing it down the mountain. I called out to the fellow and asked him what was going on. He said it had gotten tattered, so he was going to replace it with a new flag soon. I told him that we had wanted to see the flag, and he offered to stop and let us take pictures as well as sign it if we wanted to. He mentioned that he was an Army veteran. He simply wanted to take care of the flag his buddy had put up there in the first place. No tattered flag on his watch. As I was just about to pull out my pen and sign the stake, a gust of wind blew past, unfurling the flag in all its glory. My friend, inspired by the moment, began to sing the National Anthem. I paused and joined in. The veteran joined us too. Instantly, we suddenly were brought together as we shared one short but powerful moment. The flag waved slowly in the gentle breeze. We were Americans. Strangers until that second, we seemed to now be friends. I thought of all of the sacrifices this veteran had endured. Most likely, due to his apparent age, he had probably served at least one, if not more, deployments during his time. He had potentially lost close friends who gave their all in the cause of freedom. As the last notes of the song faded, I knew what I had to sign on the stake. I wrote it clear: In memory of Michael Lasky. In memory of my friend who died in Iraq while serving this nation and this state he so loved. I signed my name and the date. The Army veteran then said, "I should sign it too." And he did.


 Just as we were about to leave, a beautiful bald eagle soared above us. It was an awesome touch from God. A reminder that freedom is always worth fighting for. As I walked away, I thought to myself, the ones who truly understand the significance of caring for the flag, of fighting for what's right, are the ones who know and have seen what it's like to lose it. Soldiers and Marines who fight in foreign lands see firsthand what tyranny is. They can see how blessed this nation really is. They return with so much to teach us about learning how to not take our liberties for granted. And yet, we rush on past them. We complain about how long the barista is taking making our coffee; or how inconvenient it is that we have to wait in line so long for the check stand at the grocery store. Never thinking about how fortunate we are to simply have a chance to live this one day well! Some people who live in countries ruled by hatred and dominated by fear, never can tell if they will live through the rest of a single day! Our military service members see this firsthand and they come home more appreciative for what they have. If we took the time to ask them to teach us, if we took the opportunity to ask them to help us understand what its like to not have freedom at all, just maybe we would become more grateful and willing to fight for the freedom that is ours already. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Counting the Grace-Filled Years

 In 1985, a young couple who had recently lost their unborn child, began to pray for the miracle of life. Their friends, who had walked through the valley of the shadow of death with them, joined them in praying for another child to come. They wanted to be parents so badly. For over three years, the prayers continued. And God's answer seemed to be nothing but - wait. Then, in early 1988, God said yes, and they found out that they were expecting once again. A few months into the pregnancy, however, complications threatened the baby's life. The parents were afraid that they would lose this child, too. But God had His hand on this baby. Thanks to His mercy (and going on bed rest for mom), the little one stayed put. Then, on August 29th at 10:24 in the morning, a newborn baby girl entered the world. She was in a great hurry to arrive - after all she came over a month early - but she was healthy and ready to take on the world! Her parents named her Katherine Grace.


 Of course, that little baby was me. As the years have gone by, I have come to understand and appreciate the name that my parents chose for me…because it is the story of my life. Katherine means "pure one." Added to my middle name, it means, "Pure one, full of grace." From the very beginning, God set me apart as an example of His grace and love. I shouldn't have made it into this world. My sibling three years prior didn't. Neither did the sibling three years younger. I was, and still am, a blessed individual. It would take years of living for me to fully appreciate this simple yet startling fact but, as I mark yet another year of life, I realize that God had big plans for me as I took my first breaths of air. I am still discovering what those plans are…but I find that, as the months tick by, I sense a growing appreciation for the gift of life, for the blessing of prayer, for grace. 
 My life began by being surrounded with grace. I regret the times that I have forgotten this truth. The times that I have lived as if my life were my own, as if I owned the rights to my own story. Over and over again, God has reminded me that I don't deserve to be here in the first place, that my life is a testimony to what He can and will do. He has continually brought me back to the realization that grace is part of my name! I am to live a life that mirrors Him. Because He is grace! I am to be set apart and pure in heart and mind because He is pure! That is my calling. Sharing the hope of Grace is my mission in this world. So many walk a dark road, unaware of the blessed reality that awaits those whose lives are open to Him. My purpose is to point them, through the story of my broken, yet redeemed life, to the One who restores.


 It's been 27 years to the day since I first took my breaths of air in this world. When I look back on these decades of life, I see God written all over. Birthdays aren't so much for celebrating a person as they are for counting the grace-filled years. For marking the many ways in which He loves and has demonstrated His favor. Looking ahead to another year of living on this earth, I pray for the daily strength to do the work I have been chosen to do. I don't ask anymore for the ability to overcome all struggles or to have final victory in every weakness for the rest of my life because I know that I will fail. I will fail daily. But I also know that He will show Himself to be everything that I am not. He will give grace for today. And that's all I need really. Just enough grace for this moment. And He will supply it to me in abundance. As I thank Him for giving me another chance to serve Him, my request is that  I can present to Him a life well lived. 


  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Prayer of the Day

"Show me my sinfulness that I may willingly confess it; reveal to me my weakness that I may know my strength in Thee."
                - from The Valley of Vision

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blessed Are The Weak Ones...


"Blessed be
The ones who know that they are weak;
They shall see
The Kingdom come to the broken ones…"
- Jason Gray


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When Our Shadow Side Gets The Better of Us

 What do you do when it seems like all others around you are falling? When it appears as though hypocrites reign large and those who preach a message are tempted right out of it and suddenly find themselves in a place they never intended to go. How do you stay the course and continue in grace when so many fall away from it? So many espouse to believe it…and to lead others toward it - but never allow it to penetrate their wounds. If grace is for the needy, the broken, the weak, I wonder why people feel it necessary to hide their pain and to avoid the one thing - the One Savior - who can deal with it!
 The more I watch of human nature, the more convinced I become of why we need a Jesus who will rescue us from ourselves. We all have a shadow side…and it's dark. Often darker than we think. And when it rears its ugly head, we come away shamed and discouraged by its ever-present activity in our lives. I find sometimes that I shock myself at how badly I can fall. But can sinners living in a world gone bad expect any different?!
I find that the older I get, the less horrified I become at how loud, how haunting, that shadow side is. Seems like I almost expect it to rise up and seek to do me harm. To lead me into paths I do not wish to tread. So how is it that one who is desiring a life abundant and full of joy can stand when others slip away? Can take heart when others are losing theirs? Can love fully in a world that screams of mis-trust, betrayal, heartache?!
 Grace. I keep coming back to that one word. That one word that gives meaning to my life. Peace to my soul. Grace isn't for the the brave, the bold, the famous, the strong, the ones who seem to "have it all together." It's for the ones who struggle, who mourn, who weep, who get angry, who want to hide, who run away from the truth, who can't live with themselves. Grace reaches down into the darkest depths and cries out, "I'm not afraid of how bad you are. I love you still!" This is the hope that tells a longing heart to believe and hold on. This is what keeps a desperate person coming back time and again to the simple message of the cross: grace is meant for those who know their own need and who cast themselves fully on an all-sufficient God whose death and subsequent resurrection gives life to dead souls. I can remain true not because I am perfect but because He is perfection for me; I can hold fast when others walk away because He is faithful when I prove faithless; I can live with full awareness of my shadow side, knowing that I am not the one to fight my battles alone - I have a God who fights for me.
 One of my favorite Christian singers puts it this way in his song, "Remind Me Who I Am:

"When I lose my way,
 And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see
Is who I don't want to be,
Remind me who I am.
In the loneliest places, 
When I can't remember what grace is...
Tell me once again who I am to You."

 The only way to keep from falling away from the message and meaning of a Grace-filled life, of a God-breathed existence, is to constantly be reminded of who we really are…and who God really is. When the ruins are all we see, we must ask Him to show us that forgiveness is a reality. That His love isn't finished speaking to us yet. We are never too healed that we cannot be healed further; we are never too "together" that we are not still in need of His strength and help; we are never so far gone that He isn't able to save us and rescue to the uttermost. As Corrie Ten Boom once put it, "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." This profound truth is what enables someone like me to not end up as the religious leaders with whom my Savior contended - the hypocrites who thank God that they're not like the poor souls who beat their chests in contrition because they realize that only God can save them from their darkness. What we really need is neediness. What we really need is Him. What you do when it seems like all others around you are falling is pray. You pray for Grace. You pray for a humble heart. And you pray for more of Him. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

All Things Sad Will Be Made Untrue

 A couple of years ago, I first heard the song, "Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue" by Jason Gray. The words echoed deep in my soul and offered me the promise of a new beginning. Using the example of the renewal of spring after the cold of winter, Jason paints a beautiful picture of hope and reminds the listener that the God who Himself rose from the dead will make all things new and alive in His time. 

"In the way the shadows hide,
When the sun begins to rise,
And in the way the world comes alive
At the first hint of spring;
The frozen rivers run,
The death of winter comes undone,
Whispers of Kingdom come
While the bluebird sings -
Everything
Everything I thought I knew
Everything
Everything sad is coming untrue."


Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote of the Day

"The God of resurrections can never be nonplussed; he that can raise the dead can conquer the greatest difficulty; he that can put life into dead men can put life into dead hopes and raise up our expectations out of the very grave of despair; that God can put life into dead bones, is a consideration able to put life into dead faith."
                               - Thomas Case



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quote of the Day

"I was trained to argue, but His breath came when I lay with nothing to say, how broken I was. I had nothing with which to entice anyone to come to my rescue. I made no argument and no fight; I wasn't budging in my own power because I had no power with which to budge…the God of the universe filled me at my lowest, my emptiest." 
                                - Amber Haines 
                                    from 'When You Have Hidden Hollow Places'
                                    (guest post on www.aholyexperience.com)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

At Our Worst

For those of us who struggle with hiding from our own neediness and darkness, former pastor Tullian Tchividjian profoundly explains why we have to be up-front with ourselves and others about our brokenness. His words resonated with me deeply in light of feelings I've had in the past, and I think that we can all relate these sentiments to our own lives in some way or another. Following a recent family tragedy, Tullian posted on Facebook: 

"…One of the big questions I've wrestled with is, how do I properly steward this glorious ruin? To be quite honest, I want to crawl into a hole and be anonymous for a long, long time. I don't want a stage, a platform, a microphone, a spotlight. I want to disappear. Nothing seems more appealing to me on most days than to simply vanish. But here's my struggle…if I only let you see me when I'm 'good'  and 'strong' and polished and 'at the top,' I undermine the very message that I claim to believe. I am tempted to hide until I'm 'shiny' again. But if I run away because I don't want you to see me broken and weak and sad and angry and struggling with fear and guilt and shame, then I fail to practice what I preach - and one of the many things I've learned is that failing to practice what you preach is destructive. The Gospel frees me to let you see me at my worst - the me that runs away, the me that doesn't want to pray, the me who gets angry at God, the me who rationalizes, the me that knows I'm solely to blame for my sinful choice but who wants to blame others. That's my shadow side. And it's dark. I knew it was bad, but I never knew I was this bad. So, if I refuse to give you a glimpse into my walk through the valley of the shadow of death, then you'll never see the grace that meets me every day at my absolute nastiest. Grace always flows to the lowest point, and while it scares me to death because I'm a lot more image conscious then I let on, I'm going to let you see me at the bottom - because that's where Jesus is."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What This World Needs

 Tears formed in my eyes as I read my friend's text. A smile crept across my face. Seven simple words that struck me with full force: "The world needs more people like you." A summer experience in Alaska had opened his life to Grace and he told me he saw it in me. I had to shake my head at the irony - that a life once darkened by selfishness and pain could now hold the Light for another. I replied to his text: "…I've had some very dark days in my life, but He has brought me to this time and place for a reason. All the glory is His." 
 Over the last several days since I received my friend's text, I have been reflecting on his statement. What is it that this world needs? It certainly doesn't need more people ignoring the wounded among us and pretending to be like those in the Samaritan parable Jesus told who "pass by on the other side" while one struggles to survive. It doesn't need more people telling those who hurt that there is no hope, that a soul dead in its own darkness cannot have renewal and be redeemed. It doesn't need more people consumed by selfishness and bitterness, only thinking of how to get even and make things better for themselves and worse for everyone else. It doesn't need more people who run their lives on hatred, putting others down in order to elevate themselves because they think certain others are inferior. 
 Situations like the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina prove that we humans can wound each other in body and soul in ways that are horrific. And often, it's when we are the hurting ourselves. Our pain leaks out to those around us and adds to their misery, too. We live in a fallen and broken world. We see evidence of this fact daily. And yet, there can be glimmers of light. Signs that hope still exists in the midst of great tragedy. Little indications that God is still doing what He does best and resurrecting life from despair. 
 At one time, all I saw was the darkness. I felt and witnessed no light…or so I thought. Consumed by my own sadness and pain, I couldn't feel the pain of others very well. Life had no future. I was lost with no sense of purpose or hope. How desperate and heavy were those days! I remember them well…and I do not want to forget them because they are the evidence of a redemption story that God has been writing on the walls of my heart for the last several years. 
 Many people may look at my life and think they see the model Christian. I am well aware of the fact that I stumble constantly. I have my struggles as much as anyone. More often than not, I find that the message of hope that I give to others is one that I must preach to myself. Otherwise I fail in my own journey toward Grace. Perhaps what this world needs are people whose lives are open to the One Who makes all things new. Maybe what it needs are individuals who aren't afraid of their own weakness, who are forever in a state of neediness and who realize that their darkest days are merely a passage into a place of hope. That suffering isn't something to run from but is a God-given blessing in disguise without which we wouldn't learn what grace really means. If people embraced their woundedness and used it in service to those around them, just maybe this world would change for the better. If people saw others as creations of God with their own light and beauty to offer the world, perhaps we might begin to view one another as our Maker views us. Truly, one cannot tread a painful path and not be changed. For the better or the worse depends on their choice but the affect is still there. How powerful though when a person decides to turn their pain into blessing, to allow the God who loves them to make something beautiful out of what is broken. 
 We can't fix the sorrow in this world. But we can make the choice to lessen it to the best of our ability. This world needs hope. This world needs light - His light! This world needs grace, and those who are aware of this and accept this need as their mission will find that God works wonders through their submitted lives. And they just might see the Light grow as a result of their humble work. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Where there is despair, just a flicker in the flame could break the veil of night."
                  - Matt Maher, singer

Monday, August 17, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Afflicted does not mean ineffective. Damaged does not mean done."
                         - Scott Sauls

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quote of the Day

"It is a merciless mistake, sometimes even of God's own children, to sit down under affliction, especially if sore and of long continuance; and conclude that God doth not love them because He doth correct them…God's love and God's rod may stand together. The truth is…that nothing can make a man miserable but sin; it is sin that poisons our afflictions…therefore let no children of God be rash, to conclude hard things against themselves, and to make evidences of wrath where God hath made none. Let Christians…look further than the affliction itself…Evidences of grace consist not in outward dispensations." 
                       - Thomas Case

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The God Who Suffers

 "Christ did not exempt His redeemed from suffering, but to sanctify their sufferings with His own blood." So said Thomas Case, a 17th century English minister whose writings I have come to know and love. It is a truth far too often rejected by both Christians and non-Christians alike - that a loving God would allow suffering in the world and would promise to redeem the suffering for a greater cause. Pain overwhelms. And in the pain, we often ignore God and how He is working. God did not say that our existence would be free from adversity. But the promise He did say was that He would be there for us in the suffering and would use it for His glory. He suffered on the cross far more pain than you or I will ever understand or acknowledge. By enduring the agony of a cruel death at the hands of the Romans, Christ identified with our sufferings and forever sealed Himself as the only God who can personally relate to the heartache we feel. As such, He is the only One we can truly call on or run to who will know how to comfort and assure us under such circumstances.
 Recently, I watched this short video put out by one of my favorite contemporary Christian speakers, Jeff Bethke, and felt it well addressed this issue of suffering. I pray that it blesses you with greater perspective as it has done for me. 



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Website Worth Visiting

Do you want to discover how a young man found hope in suffering? Check out the new blog page of my good friend AJ Derr. He's a college baseball player and passionate Christian. His blog "Refined From Sin" is new, and I want to promote his message as much as possible. I love his take on how to view adversity, and promise that your visit to his site will be well worth your time! Feel free to leave him a comment and let him know that you found out about his blog through my site! Here is the link: 


I hope and pray that you are blessed by AJ's words of hope and encouragement! 

Scripture of the Day

"The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord…For the Lord will not cast off forever; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies."
                              - Lamentations 3:25-26, 31-32
                        

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trusting


 I stand on the bridge and watch the water slip beneath it. Cemented rocks formed together to make a means by which to cross from one bank to another without falling, without getting wet. I trust it to hold me up. And then I look down…and I see it written in the rock: TRUST. 


 That is what life is all about. Like the bridge, I place faith in the ability of God to uphold me, to sustain me from one transition to another. Life can be very uncertain. Scary even! Trying to live it without God is like trying to cross the water without a bridge - it can be done but it's a whole lot more fearful…and one can be swept away in the flowing current of time. Placing faith in the hands of the Savior releases me of the need to be in control. I no longer have to navigate the uncertain waters on my own. I am freed to believe, to hope. I am enabled to thank Him in the midst of great difficulties. I am allowed to live fully - no matter how challenging situations may be. And all this is possible because God can be trusted. As I once told a friend of mine, faith is believing in a predictable God in an unpredictable world. Change is always happening. Nothing stays the same. The current is forever flowing beneath us. But there is something to stand firm on. Some One that can be counted on regardless of the circumstances. There is nothing sweeter than to trust Him. That, in the end, is all that He asks for. And that makes all the difference. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Restored

 As many of my regular viewers will notice, I have posted very little of my own thoughts during the summer so far. Responsibilities away from the blog have taken my attention, and I have had little time to post apart from the "Quote of the Day" feature that I do quite often. This week, my schedule has allowed for more reflection, and the ideas are flowing once again…partly due to something that happened the other day. 
 I have mentioned in the past that I call the beautiful state of Alaska my home. I have been blessed to grow up here my whole life, and there isn't a place I love more than this. As a writer, I find that it is the perfect location to find inspiration. It is easy to hear God here. Much of my state is untouched by the commercialism and artificial lifestyle of what Alaskans call "the lower 48." When here, one feels like they are removed from the breakneck speed of city and urban life and are able to simply take in the majestic views of nature unhurried. The mountains and lakes, woods and animals, speak of a Creator Who loves us fiercely and Who allows us a small glimpse into His glory by such breathtaking scenes as these. 


 I do find it fascinating that I almost need to be out in this wilderness from time to time in order for my creativity to stay fresh. In my busyness, I have to make time to stop the noise. When I do not, my writing suffers. I suffer. Because I cannot listen to God as well. He gets drowned out by all of the other duties, the other cares. I cannot hear what He has to say to me…through me. The Psalmist says in Psalm 23 that God leads him beside "still waters" and "restores his soul." Soul restoration does not happen in the noise. Such frantic activity drains it of its ability to respond and commune with the God who made it. King David had a point when he said that his soul would find rest beside quiet waters…in the still places. God is forever speaking. He is forever working. But we must place ourselves in a position to hear Him. To get away from the distractions and be alone with Him. 


 The other day, I went hiking. I left the business behind, and I went to a quiet place…a place beside still waters. Almost immediately, I felt peace in my heart. I could look around and see all that God has made and think, "If this beauty is so prevalent on a fallen earth, what will Heaven look like when all is made new?!" God has created this natural grandeur so that human beings will have a visible reminder of how small they are and how big He is. 
He uses what He has made to teach them about Himself. As I sat beside the glassy waters of Gold Cord Lake, all I could hear was the trickle of water from the nearby spring…and the quiet voice of God speaking in my heart. God is not found in the rapid pace of humanity and their constant rush to do more, be more. God is discovered…and we are discovered…in the silence. There, the pounding of the heart, the rushing of the mind, can be eased and we can be reminded of our true purpose on this earth: to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

God Written In Every Line

 Every human being on this earth has a story…a story whose ending is yet to be discovered. The beginning is often quite happy and blissful. But there are dark chapters too. Chapters that we often wish we could blank out of our book called life. Chapters that we sometimes wish we could erase from the pages of others' stories also. Recently, I have listened to some people share their journeys with me, and I have come to realize that there are two ways to look at our story...or someone else's:
 One can choose to say, "You poor thing! No one should have to go through what you did!" While often meant in a compassionate way, this view lacks a proper understanding of the necessity of suffering in the human experience. If we tell others (or ourselves) that they shouldn't have to endure certain adversities, then they will expect a pain-free ride through life and be cruelly taught otherwise when tough times come their way. I once heard someone put it this way: suffering is the pathway to maturity. If that is so, which I believe it to be, than the right thing to do for someone facing dark chapters in their story is to love them through it and to help them to learn the things that they must be taught through their trial. A teachable and surrendered spirit to the lessons brought about through adversity will allow an individual to arrive at a completely different place in life than someone who fights their suffering at every turn. 
 This brings me to the second way to view the human story. It comes in the form of a simple question - but one that transforms the way we deal with the elements of the story we are afraid to face: the question is: where is God? You see, God is written in every line of our story. God is forever in the business of restoring what has been lost, and repairing what was broken. It's what He does. Even in the darkest chapters of our lives or the lives of others, God is written in every line. Even when we don't know or acknowledge that He is there, He is still working good behind the scenes. So often, we face difficulties that we think are too awful for God to redeem. How could something so bad be used for good? This is the mystery of grace: we may not always see it or feel that it is there, but it has never left. God has stamped His mark on our story and called it acceptable to His plan from the beginning of time. Far beyond any knowledge that we could ever have about our lives, He has had the story written since before the world began. He stands with us in the midst of the dark chapters. He loves us even at our worst and has never allowed such trials to befall us as were necessary to us coming to that point of glorious ruin at which surrender can take place. No adversity will come our way save what is for our benefit and the benefit of others. Looking for evidences of where God is and how He is working in the midst of our life-story transforms the way we endure both the good and dark parts of our journey. After all, this isn't really our story but God's being written through us. We are only a small part of a larger story that He is unfolding in the human race…and we are each in a resurrection process that He desires to bring to fruition if we are open to Him. All of the chapters of our story - even the dark ones - are redeemable.  They aren't meant to be ignored, ripped out, destroyed. Because that defeats the purpose of God's plan. Your story - my story - is exactly how God intended it to be written. And it's special…because it was written by God through us…for us! Accepting that story in its entirety will allow us to live fully and to be thankful no matter the circumstances because…in the end, even in the dark chapters, everything is grace! 


Friday, August 7, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Battered by this world of woe, we come weak and we come scarred. Clinging to the simple truth that You will take us as we are."
                              - Unknown


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Why am I disposed to faint, or complain under many various afflictions? Because my mind is not yet cast into the mould of the gospel. Does the Scripture mean anything or does it not, when, from beginning to end, it clearly and fully speaks not only of the trials, temptations, and sufferings of God's people but of the blessedness of such as are thus tried? Nay, I know, from happy experience, that 'it is good for me that I have been afflicted.' And yet I am often ready to say, 'It is enough,' as if I were wiser than God, or as if I would be treated differently from the rest of His children, or as if the things I read of in the Bible were written as a mere history rather than as what must be wrought into my own experience. It is I, myself, that must 'count it all joy' when I 'fall into diverse temptations.' It is I that must 'reckon the sufferings of this present time as not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall follow.' It is I, along with Moses, that must 'endure, as seeing Him who is invisible' and with the very same faith as he did - substantially, actually, steadily. 'Lord, increase my faith!' Enable me to honor Thee by adding to the too few who suffer cheerfully, glorifying my Father which is in heaven. But this I can only do by the constant influences of Thy Holy Spirit."
                            - Sarah Hawkes in Seasons of the Heart

Monday, August 3, 2015

Thoughts On Adversity

Only a Christian believer is able to treat adversity with the right frame of mind. The flesh is opposed to the idea of suffering. Sin likes ease and prosperity; therefore, Christ uses this as a contrary means of purging us. The dross will be stripped away in the fire of affliction. What does not belong will be thrown to the ashes, but what remains will be a faith worth the pain that wrought it. O Jesus, perfect this work in me. If I must suffer, let me suffer cheerfully for Thee!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Quote of the Day

"It is peculiar to Christians to give thanks in adversity. To praise God for blessings, others can do, but to give thanks in danger is the highest pitch of virtue."
                      - William Cooper in Voices From the Past