Monday, June 28, 2010

An Ancient Prayer

The morning breaks,
I place my hand in Thine,
My God, 'tis Thine to lead; to follow, mine.
No word deceitful shall I speak the while,
Nor shall I stain my hand with action vile.

Thine be the day with worthy labor filled;
Strong would I stand to do the duty willed;
Nor swayed by restless passions let me be
That I may give the offering pure to Thee.

Else were I shamed when hoary age I see,
Shamed were this heart that bears Thy gifts to me.
Mine is the impulse- O my Christ, I pray
Be Thou Thyself to me the Blessed Way.

-Gregory of Nazianzus
circa 329-390
(also known as the Trinitarian Theologian)

Jesus spake unto them, saying,
"I am the light of the world.
 He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life." 

John 8:12, The Holy Bible

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pray Hard, Work Hard, Trust God

To talk with God no breath is lost,
Talk on, talk on;
To walk with God no strength is lost,
Walk on, walk on;
To grind the axe no work is lost,
Grind on, grind on;
The work is quicker, better done,
Nor needing half the strength laid on -
Grind on, grind on.
Martha stood, but Mary sat;
Martha murmured much at that,
Martha cared, but Mary heard,
Listening to the Master's Word,
And the Lord her choice preferred -
Sit on, Hear on;
Work without God is labor lost,
Work on, work on;
Full soon you'll learn it to your cost,
Toil on, toil on.

Little is much when God is in it,
Much is little everywhere.
Man's busiest day is not worth God's minute,
If God the labor does not share.
Go work with God, and nothing's lost -
Who works with Him does best and most;
Work on, work on.
-author unknown

(all photos from Google Images)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spirit Of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling;
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame:
The baptism of the heaven-descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

-George Croly, Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, London 1854

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Children In Heaven

They scarcely waked before they slept,
They scarcely wept before they laughed.
They drank indeed death's bitterest draught,
but all its bitterest dregs were kept
And drained by mothers while they wept.

From Heaven the speechless infants speak:
"Weep not" they say "our mothers dear,
For swords nor sorrows come not here.
Now we are strong who were so weak
And all is ours we could not seek.

"We bloom among the blooming flowers
We sing among the singing birds;
Wisdom we have who wanted words...
Here morning knows not evening hours.
All's rainbow here without its showers.

"And softer than our mother's breast,
And closer than our mother's arm
Is here the love that keeps us warm
And broods above our happy nest.
Dear mothers, come, for heaven is best."

- by Christina Rossetti

I'm sure this was written about babies that had been born only to die shortly thereafter, but I was thinking about the millions of aborted babies when I read this through...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

God's Prayer Reminder

I cannot tell why there should come to me
A thought of someone
miles and years away,
In swift insistence on the memory,
there be a need that I should pray.

We are too busy even to spare a thought for days together
of some friends away;
Perhaps God does it for us -
and we ought to read His signal
as a sign to pray.

Perhaps just then
my friend has fiercer fight,
A more appalling weakness,
A decay of courage,
Some lost sense of light.
And so in case he needs my prayer,
I pray.

Dear,do the same for me!
If I intrude unasked upon you on some crowded day,
Give me a moment's prayer,
as interlude;
Be very sure I need it!
Therefore, pray.

-Marianne Farningham

Prayers being lifted Pictures, Images and Photos

Brethren, pray for us!
II Thessalonians 3:1

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spiritual Fitness

" Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit. Bodily fitness has a limited value, but spiritual fitness is of unlimited value, for it holds promise both for this present life and for the life to come. There is no doubt about this at all; it is a truth that you can accept completely. It is because we realise the paramount importance of the spiritual that we labor and struggle. We place all our hopes upon the living God, the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe in Him. " - 1Timothy 4: 8-10 (Phillips)

I found some fun pictures of brides running and just had to post them here... Remember we are the Bride of Christ and should try to be in the best shape possible for the Great Wedding Day!!!

Get your exercise shoes on!
(all photos from Google Images)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Be My Guest

Lord Christ,
beneath Thy starry dome
we light this flickering lamp of home,
And where bewildering shadows throng
uplift our prayer and evensong.
Dost Thou,
with heaven in Thy ken
Seek still a dwelling place with men,
Wandering the world in ceaseless quest?
O Man of Nazareth,
be our guest!
Lord Christ,
the bird his nest has found,
the fox is sheltered in his ground,
But dost Thou still this dark earth tread
And have no place to lay Thy head?
Shepherd of mortals,
here behold a little flock,
a wayside fold
that waits Thy Presence to be blessed -
O Man of Nazareth,
be our guest!
-Daniel Henderson

(all photos from Google Images)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An Intercessory Prayer

Be merciful, be gracious, spare him, Lord!
Be merciful, be gracious, Lord, deliver him.
From the sins that are past:
From Thy frown and Thine ire,
From the perils of dying,
From any complying
with sin, or denying
his God, or relying
on self at the last.

From the nethermost fire,
from all that is evil,
from the power of the devil,
this loved one deliver
for once and forever.

By Thy birth and by Thy cross
rescue him from endless loss,
By Thy death and burial,
save him from a final fall.

By Thy rising from the tomb,
by Thy mounting up above,
By Thy Spirit's gracious love,
Save him in the day of doom.

-J.H. Newman

My brothers, if any of you should wander away from the truth and another should turn him back on to the right path, then the latter may be sure that in turning a man back from his wandering course he has rescued a soul from death, and in so doing will "cover a multitude of sins". -James 5:19,20

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Prayer For The Road

God of our life,
there are days when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders
and weigh us down...
when the road seams dreary and endless,
the skies grey and threatening;
when our lives have no music in them
and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage.

Flood the path with light! we beseech Thee,
turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship
with heroes and saints
and the common folk of every age
and of our own time;
and so quicken our spirit that we may be able
to encourage the souls of all
 who journey with us on the road of life,
to Thy honor and glory.
-from Acts of Devotion

(all photos from Google Images)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Casualty

In preparation for our upcoming move, I have begun to box up things I know I will not use in our everyday life over the summer. I have never been called 'graceful' - - I am always breaking glasses in my kitchen. Kind of a joke between my husband and me... Every now and then I lose one of my treasures when my klutzitis breaks out. I believe during our last move some ten years ago, I broke a Precious Moments figurine Galen gave me while we were dating...

This was so cute - on the bottom it said "Thee I Love". I really felt bad when this happened but what can you do? I don't want to replace it because a new one wouldn't be the one HE gave me!

So now my malady erupted again as I was packing up my special plates that I only use for Occasions... I dropped and broke a hand-painted plate that an old family friend had given us on our marriage. We got married 4 days after Christmas, and so this plate has a Holiday theme, along with our names and the date...
Why did I have to break the things that are irreplaceable?!
I was able to get a "life lesson" from this though - - I want to be laying up Treasures in Heaven where..."neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, " and where klutzes do not drop and break them.

Morning Prayers

We pray Thee, Master,
for power to deny ourselves,
to lay down our lives for Thee.
Purge away our weakness,
our timidity,
our sloth;
Set in us hearts gallant and high,
hearts that yearn for the God-given hour
when life may be yielded,
death conquered,
immortality put on,
through faithful following of Thyself...
Show us Thy truth,
that life must be always laid down
if we would live,
but that the highest glory and joy
of Thy chosen valiant souls
is to bear Thy Cross of self-giving,
even to death.
- J.S.Hoyland

Grant to us, Lord,
we beseech Thee,
the spirit to think and do always
such things as are right;
that we, who cannot do anything that is good without Thee,
may by Thee be enabled to live
according to Thy will.
Grant us, O Lord,
not to mind earthly things;
but to love things heavenly;
and even now,
while we are placed among things
that are passing away,
to cleave to those that shall abide.
Be present to our prayers,
and protect us by day as well as by night,
that in all successive changes of time
we may ever be strengthened
by Thine unchangeableness.
-from a seventh century manuscript

"My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning..."
-Psalm 5:3

(all photos from Google Images)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer for Peace

O Lord,
support us all the day long,
until the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.

Then, Lord,
in Your mercy
grant us safe lodging,
and a holy rest,
and peace at the last;
through Jesus Christ
our Lord.

-John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

(Photo from Google Images)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Muddy Water

Very often as we deal with the problems that confront us, it seems that life is like a bucket of muddy water. The harder we strive the more we stir things up. Many of life's most difficult problems are made worse by our frantic, hurried efforts to solve them with our own limited means; sometimes our misguided efforts actually cause the problems we are trying to escape.

A long time ago, I learned an important lesson. When I dipped up a bucket of slightly muddy water, there was nothing at all that I could do to clear it up. Pouring it carefully from bucket to bucket, stirring it, and even boiling it would not rid it of the unwanted particles. But if I would fill my buckets at night, and just let them sit still till morning, I could then carefully dip out some very clear water. I could see the mud sitting quietly on the bottom of the bucket. I could never do this by myself no matter how hard I worked at it. In fact, the harder I worked at it the more I muddied the water. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" Isaiah 40:31.

Looking back on my own life from the perspective of age, I recall too many times when my own impatience and hurry to solve problems has only made them worse or created new ones. The solution to many problems is like the process of healing a wound. It simply takes time, and the most important thing we can do is leave it alone- picking at it only delays the healing. 

I remember a fine horse that suffered a serious leg injury. Friends told me there was nothing I could do for it; I would simply have to put her down. About one thing they were right: I could do nothing for her. But it was wonderful what the natural processes of healing did for her. I simply turned her out to pasture with good food and rest, and in several months she was completely restored.

The writer of the fortieth Psalm says: "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Possibly the most important word here is 'patiently'. Sometimes it takes a while for muddy water to clear. And sometimes we are so concerned with making things happen that we have a hard time waiting patiently while we let things happen. God is busy even when we are not. God's action in our lives can be like seed that is planted in the ground, that can sprout and grow and mature even while we sleep and go about our daily tasks, although we do not know how God does it.

Often a troubled person coming into my office with a problem will begin by saying, "I'm all mixed up." That is a good description of a troubled spirit and confused goals in life. It is amazing what God can do with a little time of stillness. We are the ones who do the stirring and mixing. God's power can work in ways quite different from our ways. Sometimes just overnight He can settle out the mud and let the water of our lives come clear again.

-from The Open Gate, by Don Ian Smith (used by permission of the heirs)

(Photo from Google Images)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The ocean is so big and my ship is so small...

O God,
whose eternal providence
has embarked our souls in our bodies,
not to expect any port of anchorage
on the sea of this world,
but to steer directly through it
to Your glorious kingdom - -
Preserve us from the dangers that on all sides assault us
and keep our affections still fitly disposed
to receive Your holy inspirations,
that being carried strongly forward
by Your Holy Spirit
we may happily arrive at last
in the haven of our eternal salvation.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ,

John Wesley

(picture from Google Images)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Faith Equals Action

Now, what use is it, my brothers, for a man to say he has faith, if his actions do not correspond with it? Could that sort of faith save anyone's soul? If a fellow man or woman has no clothes to wear and nothing to eat, and one of you say, "Good luck to you- I hope you'll keep warm and find enough to eat...", and yet give them nothing to meet their physical needs, what on earth is the good of that? Yet that is exactly what a bare faith without a corresponding life is like - quite dead. A man could challenge us by saying, "You have faith and I have merely good actions. Well, all you can do is to show me a faith without corresponding actions, but I can show you by my actions that I have faith as well."

So, you believe that there is one God? That's FINE. So do all the devils in hell, and shudder in terror! For, my dear short-sighted man, can't you see far enough to realise that faith without the right actions is dead and useless? Think of Abraham, our ancestor. Wasn't it his action which really justified him in God's sight when his faith led him to offer his son Isaac on the altar? Can't you see that his faith and his actions were, so to speak, partners - that his faith was implemented by his deed?  That is what the scripture means when it says, 'And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God.'

A man is justified before God by what he does as well as by what he believes. Rahab, who was a prostitute, has been quoted as an example of faith, yet surely it was her action that pleased God, when she welcomed Joshua's reconnoitring party and sent them safely back by a different route. Yes, faith without action is as dead as a body without a soul.

-- from the book of James, chapter 2, verses 14-26, Phillips translation, Holy Bible

My preacher grandfather used to say, in explaining the scripture about "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved",  ..."It means BELIEVING INTO Christ!" He that believeth INTO - to the point of action!