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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Sunday, May 19, 2013

In Life's Storms, [Guest Post]

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?”
- Amy Carmichael

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013


By William Cowper

To keep the lamp alive, 
With oil we fill the bowl; 
'Tis water makes the willow thrive, 
And grace that feeds the soul. 

The Lord's unsparing hand 
Supplies the living stream; 
It is not at our own command, 
But still derived from Him. 

Beware of Peter's word, 
Nor confidently say, 
"I never will deny Thee, Lord," -- 
But, -- "Grant I never may." 

Man's wisdom is to seek 
His strength in God alone; 
And e'en an angel would be weak, 
Who trusted in his own. 

Retreat beneath his wings, 
And in His grace confide! 
This more exalts the King of kings 
Than all your works beside. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


(Phillipians, iv.11) By William Cowper

Fierce passions discompose the mind, 
As tempests vex the sea, 
But calm, content and peace we find, 
When, Lord, we turn to Thee. 

In vain by reason and by rule 
We try to bend the will; 
For none but in the Saviour's school 
Can learn the heavenly skill. 

Since at His feet my soul has sate, 
His gracious words to hear, 
Contented with my present state, 
I cast on Him my care. 

"Art thou a sinner, soul?" He said, 
"Then how canst thou complain? 
How light thy troubles here, if weigh'd 
With everlasting pain! 

"If thou of murmuring wouldst be cured, 
Compare thy griefs with mine! 
Think what my love for thee endured, 
And thou wilt not repine. 

"'Tis I appoint thy daily lot, 
And I do all things well; 
Thou soon shalt leave this wretched spot, 
And rise with me to dwell. 

"In life my grace shall strength supply, 
Proportion'd to thy day; 
At death thou still shalt find me nigh, 
To wipe thy tears away." 

Thus I, who once my wretched days 
In vain repinings spent, 
Taught in my Saviour's school of grace, 
Have learnt to be content. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


By William Cowper
All are indebted much to thee,
But I far more than all,
From many a deadly snare set free,
And raised from many a fall.
Overwhelm me, from above,
Daily, with thy boundless love.

What bonds of gratitude I feel
No language can declare;
Beneath the oppressive weight I reel,
'Tis more than I can bear:
When shall I that blessing prove,
To return thee love for love?

Spirit of charity, dispense
Thy grace to every heart;
Expel all other spirits thence,
Drive self from every part;
Charity divine, draw nigh,
Break the chains in which we lie!

All selfish souls, whate'er they feign,
Have still a slavish lot;
They boast of liberty in vain,
Of love, and feel it not.
He whose bosom glows with thee,
He, and he alone, is free.

Oh blessedness, all bliss above,
When thy pure fires prevail!
Love only teaches what is love:
All other lessons fail:
We learn its name, but not its powers,
Experience only makes it ours. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"I will praise the Lord at all times."

By William Cowper

Winter has a joy for me, 
While the Saviour's charms I red, Lowly, meek, from blemish free, In the snowdrop's pensive head. 

Spring returns, and brings along 
Life-invigorating suns:
Hark! the turtle's plaintive song
Seems to speak His dying groans!

Summer has a thousand charms,
All expressive of His worth;
'Tis His sun that lights and warms,
His the air the cools the earth.

What! has autumn left to say
Nothing of a Saviour's grace?
Yes, the beams of milder day
Tell me of his smiling face.

Light appears with early dawn,
While the sun makes haste to rise;
See His bleeding beauties drawn
On the blushes of the skies.

Evening with a silent pace,
Slowly moving in the west,
Shews an emblem of His grace,
Points to an eternal rest. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To Prayer!

By William Cowper

What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy-seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of pray'r,
But wishes to be often there?

Pray'r makes the dark'ned cloud withdraw,
Pray'r climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings ev'ry blessing from above.

Restraining pray'r, we cease to fight;
Pray'r makes the Christian's armour bright;
And Satan trembles, when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.

While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel's side;
But when thro' weariness they fail'd,
That moment Amalek prevail'd.

Have you no words! Ah, think again,
Words flow apace when you complain;
And fill your fellow-creature's ear
With the sad tale of all your care.

Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
To heav'n in supplication sent;
Your cheerful song would oft'ner be,
"Hear what the LORD has done for me!"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

[Guest Poem] Kindness

— • —
I am stuck on a conundrum, and it’s making me reflect,
About a troubling weakness, and a character defect.
It’s one that often plagues me, and it plagues some friends of mine,
I’m speaking of the painful message sent when we’re not kind.
The greatest act of kindness in all of history
Was modeled by the Savior while hanging from a tree:
“Forgive them Father,” was His cry, “they know not what they do.”
In those few words He demonstrated kindness pure and true.
He could have said, “Forgive them,” and then let the matter stand.
He could have just ignored them, as He hung there by His hands.
But instead He showed them kindness, by taking up the case
Of wretched hypocrites and fools who merited disgrace.
It’s easy to show kindness when there’s nothing on the line.
It’s easy to be generous to those who treat you kind.
It’s easy to be kindly to the beautiful and handsome;
It’s easy to think kind thoughts when invited to a mansion.
But when you can show kindness to those who want your hide,
Or those have betrayed you to save themselves, then lied,
Or if your act of kindness gets you nothing but a loss,
Then you’ve an inclination of Christ’s wording on the Cross.
Kindness is how and why you love your drooling little brother.
Kindness is the way you sit beside your aged mother.
Kindness is showing mercy on a loved one in despair.
Kindness is forgetting your own hurts, to show them that you care.
There are some folks who act kindly, when they have something to gain.
There are others who feign kindness, when hiding their own blame.
There are some who are selective in the kindness that they show.
And others who are only kind to certain folks that they know.
There’s something very ugly when a good man acts unkind;
But before you judge him harshly, keep this one thing in mind:
You too have been quite unloving, unthoughtful, maybe cruel,
And if you hope for mercy, don’t forget the golden rule.
Yes, there’s been enough unkindness on everybody’s part,
That now would be the perfect time to call for a fresh start.
It’s time to think right kindly of the loved ones you call friend,
The way you hope they think of you when you’re feeling at the end.
’Cause the precious few who treasure kindness deep within their heart.
And even when they are hurt by others, always play the part
Of being so truly, deeply wholly, passionately kind,
Are the folks that touch your heartstrings and are always in your mind.
You will meet with many prophets, and with mercies not a few,
You will walk with those hospitable, and charitable too.
You will learn from the diligent, and from some humility,
But to meet a truly kind man, is to glimpse eternity.
— • —
By Doug Phillips

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Your Duty" [guest poet]

When little children try to shirk
From doing any honest work,
And always have a good excuse
If asked to be of any use,
They'll find the lazy habit grow
As nearly all the elders know,
And very likely, hard to break
Though one may lots of trouble take;
So start today and do your bit,
I'm sure you will be glad of it.
Fanny Allen

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Joy in Believing."

 by John Newton

Sometimes a light surprises
       The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
       With healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining,
       He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
       To cheer it after rain.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Within Thine House, a Sabbath Prayer."

By William Cowper

Jesus, where'er thy people meet,
There they behold thy mercy-seat;
Where'er they seek Thee Thou art found,
And ev'ry place is hallow'd ground.
For thou, within no walls confin'd,
Inhabitest the humble mind;
Such ever bring Thee, where they come,
And going, take Thee to their home.
Dear Shepherd of Thy chosen few!
Thy former mercies here renew;
Here, to our waiting hearts, proclaim
The sweetness of Thy saving Name.
Here may we prove the pow'r of pray'r,
To strengthen faith, and sweeten care;
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all heav'n before our eyes.
Behold! At thy commanding Word,
We stretch the curtain and the cord;
Come Thou, and fill this wider space,
And help us with a large increase.
Lord, we are few, but Thou art near;
Nor short Thine arm, nor deaf Thine ear;
Oh rend the heav'ns, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts thine own! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Answered By Crosses"

 By John Newton

 I ask'd the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and ev'ry grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

'Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust has answer'd pray'r;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

 I hop'd that in some favour'd hour,
At once he'd answer my request:
And by his love's constraining pow'r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow'rs of hell
Assault my soul in ev'ry part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seem'd 
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Cross'd all the fair designs I schem'd,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cry'd,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
"'Tis in this way," the Lord reply'd,
"I answer pray'r for grace and faith.

"These inward trials I employ,
"From self and pride to set thee free;
"And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
"That thou mayst seek thy all in me."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

All Praise to Him who reigns above."

By William Cowper

Almighty King! whose wond'rous hand
Supports the weight of sea and land;
Whose grace is such a boundless store,
No heart shall break that sighs for more;
Thy Providence supplies my food,
And 'tis thy blessing makes it good;
My soul is nourish'd by thy word,
Let soul and body praise the LORD.
My streams of outward comfort came
From him, who built this earthly frame;
Whate'er I want his bounty gives,
By whom my soul forever lives.
Either his hand preserves from pain,
Or, if I feel it, heals again;
From Satan's malice shields my breast,
Or overrules it for the best.
Forgive the song that falls so low
Beneath the gratitude I owe!
It means thy praise, however poor,
An angel's song can do no more.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Attitude

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
It's how did you fight --  and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

Edgar Vance Cooke

About the Author:

Edmund Vance Cooke was born on June 5th 1866, in Port Denver, Ontario, Canada. His first job after leaving school was in a Sewing Machine Factory. In 1893, he left that job to earn a living as a poet, writer, and public speaker. He published his first book of poems, "A Patch of Pansies," in 1894 and went on to publish a further 15 books of poetry and several books for children.He married Lilith Castleberry in 1898 and they were blessed with five children. He became a broadcaster on station, WWJ in Detroit broadcasting his poems live to thousands of listeners.Cooke died in Cleveland, Ohio on December 18th 1932.