pink roses

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Selections from
William Cowper

No friendship will abide the test,
That stands on sordid interest,
Or mean self-love erected;
Nor such as may awhile subsist

and in friendship to swift enlist
For vicious ends connected.

Who seek a friend should come dispos’d
To exhibit, in full bloom disclos’d,
The graces and the beauties
That form the character he seeks,
For ‘tis a union that bespeaks
Reciprocated duties.

But will sincerity suffice?
It is indeed above all price,
And must be made the basis;
But every virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whole,
All shining in their places.

A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,
By ceaseless sharp corrosion;
A temper passionate and fierce
May suddenly your joys disperse
At one immense explosion.

Sometimes the fault is all our own,
Some blemish in due time made known
By trespass or omission;
Sometimes occasion brings to light
Our friend’s defect, long hid from sight,
And even from suspicion.

Then judge yourself, and prove your man
As circumspectly as you can,
And, having made election,
Beware no negligence of yours,
Such as a friend but ill endures,
Enfeeble his affection.

That secrets are a sacred trust,
friends should be sincere and just,
That constancy befits them,
Are observations on the case,
That savor much of commonplace,
And all the world admits them.

But ‘tis not timber, lead, and stone,
An architect requires alone
To finish a fine building—
The palace were but half complete,
If he could possibly forget
The carving and the gilding.

Pursue the search, and you will find
Good sense and knowledge of mankind
To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast
A principal ingredient.

The noblest Friendship ever shown
The Saviour’s history makes known,
Though some have turn’d and spurn’d it;
And, whether being crazed or blind,
Or seeking with a biass’d mind,
Have not, it seems, discern’d it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Beau-Tea [Part 1]

We all wish we had it,
try to get it, 
and move mountains 
to preserve 
what we think 
we have of it, 
but what is beauty? 

It has been redefined over and over throughout the centuries and across continents. I still chuckle a little at the chieftains Mary Slessor worked with in Calabar, Africa who fattened their wives to make them beautiful. Why do we laugh? It's not our culture. American culture tells us skinny is much more desirable than fat.
     And we believe it.
     We girls seem to be born with a compulsive attraction to beauty... many of us could lisp 'pwetty' before we could toddle.
     As Christian girls, we either shrug our shoulders and defy the cultural definition altogether, or agree with, wish we were like, and skimp and primp to match the cultural ideal.
    Have you ever asked yourself "Why do I put myself through this 'beauty making process' anyway?" 
"Am I truly beautiful after all of that?" or even "Is it ok to want to be beautiful?"

 Who's definition of beauty are we fighting to be anyway?
I did some hunting the other day, and my search began with a couple dictionary definitions:
 : the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit:.
:the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations such as shape, color, and soundmeaningful design or pattern, or something else such as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest.:.
And I found some interesting surveys which stated that America has changed it's mind again on what it thinks is beautiful... America has traded in the flawless skinned, perfect make-up, unproportionate, blond n' blue eyed Barbie for the provocative, reclusive, sarcastic, athletic, even less clothed, dark haired, dark eyed, 'babe'.
This is how our culture describes beauty. But what does our source of Truth and Right say?

What is  scriptural beauty?
Why does it magnetize,
Invigorate, and frustrate
all of Womankind?

PART 1-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Psalm 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

God made you in His image, to look like Him!  And God doesn't make junk! Every person is unique and you are his perfect "masterpiece." He wants you to "know that full well."
When your emotions are falling apart, you still are wonderfully made.
When you're criticized, God loves you just the way you are.
When your hair gets cut funny... God still loves you and always will.
God cares when you get hurt. But he allows it, not to be mean, but to make you beautiful in attitude, spirit and heart.
The bigger the struggle, the more beautifully Jesus will shine through you when He's done!
He wants to make you beautiful where it counts for all eternity, not just this year's fashion.
And then, sometimes, God gives us a choice... if we would let Him do it the easy way, we wouldn't have to do it the hard way.

Don't waste your struggles girls! Let God teach you now!

You are a work of art,
The child of His heart,
He made each part
Of you.

God's not 'mean' to do so. No.
He plans good not woe,
Through this trouble will flow

Though you can't see it now
If only you will allow,
Through this He'll show you how
to help others 

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Hear My Cry

     "Oh righteous and holy Sovereign, in whose hand is my life and whose are all my ways,
keep me from fluttering about religion. Fix me firm in it for I am wavering; my decisions are smoke and vapor, and I do not glorify You or behave according to Your will. Do not cut me off before my thoughts grow to be responses, for You are forbearing and good, patient and kind.
     Save me from myself, from the artifices and deceits of sin, from the treachery of my perverse nature, from denying your charges against my offences. Save me from a life in continual rebellion against You and from wrong principles, views, and ends, for I know that all my thoughts, affections, desires and pursuits are alienated from You. 
     I have acted as if I hate You, though You are Love itself. I have contrived to tempt You to the uttermost to wear out Your patience. I have lived evilly in word and action. Had I been a prince, I would have long ago crushed such a rebel. Had I been a father, I would have long since rejected such a child.
     Oh Father of my spirit, King of my life, do not cast me into destruction or drive me from your presence, but wound my heart that it may be healed; break it with your own hand that you may make it whole." [Puritan Prayers and Devotions]

How do you describe the yearning of a soul?
I wish I had the desires and heart to pen these words!
God give me a love for you!
Burn your passion inside me.
Give me an unquenchable, unsquelchable, untiring, undiscourageable desire to know You.
To be known by You.
To be yours.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013


There was a quote in my inbox today from Oswald Chambers, a man whose journal was compiled into the devotional 'My Utmost for His Highest.'
 “I was doing Christian work and winning souls for Christ, but I had no conscious communion with Him. The Bible was the dullest, most uninteresting book in existence. I knew that if what I had was all the Christianity there was, the whole thing was a fraud.”
During a Christian gathering, Oswald Chambers stood up and admitted before the group that he desperately needed a real encounter with God. He had finally stopped fighting, stood still, and realized that all the Christian training, spiritual leadership, and religious activities he was involved in did not equal a living, passionate, power-filled relationship with Jesus. He recognized that he was faking, and his show of Christianity... wasn't as good as the real deal. If there was one. So Mr. Chambers started pursuing something more. He set out to find the real Jesus.
So I sat down to take a good look.
Am I pretending?
Am I a "Hi how are you? Fine how are you?" talking the talk on Sunday Christian?
Am I just playing at being a Christian, and wanting the appearance, but not the real thing?
Am I just floating along with the flow of family and expediencies and friends and just doing what is expected of me without actually fighting for my own, real relationship with Jesus?

Am I satisfied to "live a good life" be a "good girl" and make better choices than those around me?
Do I want/need something more?

Do I have a passionate relationship with Jesus?
How do I get one?
Do I even want one?

Am I pursuing my relationship with Jesus the way I should?
How bad do I want one? Is God testing me to see if I really want this?
Am I content to stop where I am and say "I can't have a better relationship with God than this... and anybody who looks like they do is obviously putting on a show, or is an exception."

Why am I stopping pursuing and seeking Him?

Is there a relationship, hobby/spare time filler, thought pattern, object, something I want to do, an interest, or a job opportunity that I'm not willing to give up?

Is there something I don't want to do? An attitude I don't want to change, a place I don't want to go, someone I don't want to speak to, or fear of what someone will think that is keeping me back?

Do I trust Him enough to look out for and take care of 'me' if I turn and focus on serving Him and others?

Do I know what Christianity looks like? Have I bought the wrong brand? Am I working and re-arranging situations, setting up 'coincidences', and manipulating appearances to make me look like I am 'as wise, mature, and godly as So n' So.'

Am I following after, struggling toward, or imitating a person, not the Lord Jesus?

Am I looking to God and to His Word to:
Fix my problems
Satisfy my longings for a heart to heart friendship
Always be there for me
Advise me
Teach me
Tell me when I'm wrong
Protect me
Keep me from worrying
Give me everything that I need
Justify me
and more?

 Am I comfortable with the fact that I have problems,  but don't think God can give me victory over my problems?
 Is God big enough and strong enough for my problems, or only the problems of others?

Subconsciously, have I been thinking that I don't have much sin?
That the sin I do have isn't that bad?
Am I allowing sin to grow and infiltrate and take over?
Am I treating my sin like sin?

Have I climbed back on the throne of my life, and made my wants and desires ruler over me instead of God's righteousness?

Have I figured out my own set of rules that make being a christian uncomplicated, easy, and 'do-able' without God?

Does my Christianity match up with Jesus's [since He came to show us how to 'do it right' and make it possible]?

Where have I gone wrong?

Are you asking these questions with me? Of yourself, not those around you?
Grab a journal or a scrap piece of paper and put in writing what God wants you to change.
Take it to Him in prayer.
Struggle and wrestle over it with Him, if You haven't given in to His plans yet, but give those areas to Him. [Experience speaking : Its easier to give it now than to wait!]
Ask God to show you want He wants you to STOP doing,
and what He wants you to START doing  in those areas.
Make a commitment to do it till it becomes habit.
This is a promise to GOD.
Don't take it lightly.
God won't.
Write it in your journal... and personally... its easier to actually do, not just plan to do, if you sit down and brain storm a list of how you could do it... this afternoon... and how it could fit in tomorrows schedule... and how you could do it in a week or so when you're getting better at it... and what it'll probably look like when you are good at it. That way you have an idea of where you are going.
Final job: Find someone to hold you accountable AND/you don't see this word [or] take a bunch of sticky notes or 3x5's and write reminders and hide them in your dresser, and shoes, and favorite books, and pencil drawer, and anywhere you'll run into them often, to remind you throughout the day.

God wants you to do this.

He loves His children.

He's waiting to bless you

He wants to show Himself to you

He just asks that you prove that you want Him.

Are you willing?

Me too.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013


There is no power like that of prevailing prayer – of Abraham pleading for
Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the
breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse
and grief, Jesus in sweat of blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary
mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain.
It brings life. It brings God.
Samuel Chadwick

Prayer in its highest form of faith is that prayer which carries the whole
man as a sacrificial offering. Thus devoting the whole man himself, and
his all, to God in a definite, intelligent vow, never to be broken, in a
quenchless and impassioned desire for heaven.
E.M. Bounds (p498 TCW)

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have
pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible
that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which
concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle
with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should be
non-suited in Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each
occasion no word was spoken but "Go again." We must not dream of
unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends
expectant hope to look from Carmel's brow, and if nothing is beheld, she
sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated
disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God.
She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings
more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would
be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but
believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait
for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching
itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are
thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed.
The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Reader,
do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the
little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so
with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a
prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of
like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If
his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious
blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to
your desire.
Charles H. Spurgeon

He prays not at all who does not press his plea. Our praying needs to be
pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which
will not be denied, and a courage that never fails.
E.M. Bounds

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Give me a Love like this [Guest Post]

By Amy Carmichael

Many crowd the Savior's Kingdom,
Few receive His Cross,
Many seek His consolation,
Few will suffer loss
For the dear sake of the Master,
Counting all but dross.

Many sit at Jesus' table,
Few will fast with Him
When the sorrow-cup of anguish
Trembles to the brim.
Few watch with Him in the garden
Who have sung the hymn.

Many will confess His wisdom.
Few embrace his shame,
Many, should He smile upon them,
Will His praise proclaim;
Then, if for a while He leave them,
They desert his Name.

But the souls who love Him truly
In woe or in sweet bliss,
These will count their truest heart's blood
Not their own, but His;
Savior, Thou Who thus hast loved me,
Give me love like this.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

In Acceptance Lieth Peace [Guest Post]

Some of you asked for the whole poem:
In Acceptance Lieth Peace"
By Amy Carmichael
Here it is!

He said, ‘I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavour lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life’s riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will submit; I am defeated.
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain.’
Then did the turmoil deep within me cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in Acceptance lieth peace.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hast Thou No Scar? [Guest post]

Amy Carmichael
India, 1912

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star:
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.
Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yes, as the master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole. Can he have followed far
Who has no wound? No scar?

Might I add:

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on brow, or back, or heart?
A wound for taking up My part?
Hast thou faced ridicule for me?
How doth the world in name blight thee?
Hast thou no scar?
No wound?
Yes, as the master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But are mine whole? Examine me!
Where is my courage in foll'wing Thee?
Can it be, I've followed as I ought,
With no scar of battles fought?

[Don't worry, this is not an extinct verse you've never heard before, I added it ;) ]

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

I wish Thy way ,
But when in me myself would  rise'
and long for something otherwise,
Then, Holy One, take sword and spear,
And slay.
Amy Carmichael ]

Lord all my little well made plans
Have turned to vapor dust,
I would like to give them to You,
And, in fact, I must!

But... I want what I want, and I want it my way!

I want to finagle one more thing,
Try it one more way,
Do my own planning.
I'm never defeated, Ok?

But... I want what I want, and I want it my way!

Help me to give all to you on this day,
And practice submission to Your will.
I say that I listen and do things your way,
But it seems that I fight You still!

Help me to want what You want and to want it Your way!
[Beth Hubbard]

How are things going for you today?

Me? My attitude is awful.

I went to bed complaining at God for the way life runs from one thing to the next... and forgot to thank Him for a quiet, restful Sunday afternoon.
This morning I woke up with the same grumbles rumbling around. "I don't want to start another week!"
Then God did some prompting:
"What story did you tell Sarah at bed time? Uh huh, the one about the Isrealites grumbling in the desert. That one. And you told Sarah how I felt about their grumbling, right? Hm... and what was the Israelite's punishment? Wandering in the desert until they died? Don't you think I take this one seriously? Remember what you told Sarah, "God hates the little sins just as much as the big ones, they're all the same size to God."

Sometimes I like to grumble and complain.... It helps me to justify my "God owes me something good, since He has put me through all this"  attitude. That's a sin too. Why is it so awfully humbling to be convicted out of your own mouth? And guess what! Grumbling is a sin!

Wisdom is seeing sin and going the other way.

Now, I'm not facing issues like some of you are, like an unfulfilling or low paying job... singleness beyond middle life... the inability to bear children... an unhappy marriage... physical disabilities... continual poor health... or a spouse/loved one in danger [military, police, fireman, in another country, or even a dangerous neighborhood].  But we still have a choice.

This choice is our inheritance as His children: the ability to actually CHOOSE whether we are going to do what's right or not. Without Jesus's righteousness given to us, we don't have a choice. We have to sin.
This choice is such a precious treasure!
What am I going to do with it?
Am I going to use it?
Am I going to choose to sing a hymn, change my attitude, and find things in this busy life to be thankful  for?
[Would I really give up any of these things? Isn't there a reason I'm doing them?]
Am I going to choose wrongly, suffer the consequences, have a miserable day, and ruin the rest of the week until I get it right with God?
Is a pity party worth the cost?
Do I really think that God doesn't know what is best for me, that my plans would be better, that He is cheating me from the life I could have, and that He is holding out on me? Or that He is laughing at my frantic attempts at life and teasingly dangling it just out of my reach with a 'nah, nah, nah nah, nah!' ?

This is not the God of the Bible!

God promises that He does not change.
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
His plans are always in our best interest.
  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

God has the power to use any situation for our good, even when we don't see it.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
When I am making God the focus of my life, then God teaches me what desires are right and pure, and wholesome and what I want begins to line up with what God wants... and He is more than willing to give it to me! in fact, He wants to open the windows of heaven and pour! If I focus on Him, and pleasing Him first!

Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
 And when I am putting Him first, and focusing on Him, there is no room for grumbling!

There is a quote on my wall :

Attitude is more important than facts,
It is more important than the past,
Than education, money, circumstances,
Than failures or success,
Than what other people think, say or do.

It is more important than ability or skill.
It will make or break a business,
A home, or a friendship.
The remarkable thing is,
I have a choice every day
 of what my attitude will be.

I cannot change my past,
I cannot change the actions of others,
I cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing I can change is my attitude.

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease,
Not vain the word; not vain:
For in Acceptance lieth peace.
(Amy Carmichael, "In Acceptance lieth Peace," vs. 5)

Lord, I am willing to-
Receive what you give,
Lack what you withhold,
Relinquish what you take.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Flame of God, [Guest post]

Amy Carmichael

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

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