Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pray For Your Enemies

Here is another excerpt from Chaplain Patrick Mclaughlin's book, "No Atheists In Foxholes" that I love reading in.

- But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. -Luke 6:35, The Bible -

I have seen firsthand what our enemies can do and are willing to do. I have visited the injured, prayed with the dying, and conducted memorial services for those who have been killed. And yet I am called to pray for my enemies.
When civilians are purposefully chosen as targets in order to send a message of terror, when innocent women and children are killed, I am still called to pray for my enemies.
Day after day the wounded pass through the doors of ( ) where I am stationed, and still I am called to pray for my enemies.
I cry out to God, "How long, O Lord? How long?"
I wear a cross on my uniform to work every day. I am the person in the midst of these warriors who represents this radical gospel ethic. There are times when I question God...There are doubts and frustrations.
Praying for our enemies takes more strength than cursing them does. Preaching to a military congregation about praying for our enemies during times of war is much harder than offering a sermon on the noble virtues of a warrior. Yet this is part of the gospel, a command of Christ, that runs contrary to the values and desires of the world.
But I cannot-WE cannot- ignore our duty to pray for our enemies. If we do not pray for them, who will? If we harbor only hatred for our enemies, what becomes of our hearts?
Pray for your enemies especially when it confounds you. Double your prayer efforts when such prayer becomes difficult or painful. Triple your efforts when someone close to you is killed in war and you curse the war and those who brought grievous heartache into your life.
Evil cannot be overcome by evil. Only love can overcome evil, and by loving we show that we are children of God.
Pray for your enemies...especially when you feel you cannot.



 - Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. -Matthew 5:43-45

O God,
I pray for my enemies.
I do not want to be filled with hatred
and hardness of heart.
I pray for my enemies.
I can find no other way to heal the wounds
in my soul caused by war.
I pray for my enemies.
Doing so can run counter to the mission
of the military that I work with.
I pray for my enemies.
Bombs and bullets have not made them go away...
I pray for my enemies.
I do not want to, but I must...
Grant me courage and strength, O God.
I pray for my enemies-
so that we might live in peace.

So be it and amen.


Chaplain Patrick Mclaughlin, CDR, USN


Thank you, Chaplain, for a beautiful and heartfelt meditation.

(all photos in my blog article are from Google Images)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In Praise of Women

Here's an ancient poem to try to decipher in today's English! See if you can figure it out!

-by Robert Mannyng of Brunne
(1288-1338)
No thyng is to man so dere
As wommanys love in gode manere.
A gode womman is mannys blyss,
There here love right and stedfast is.
There is no solace under heavene,
Of all that a man may nevene,
That shuld a man do so muche glew
As a gode womman that loveth trew.
Ne dearer is none in Goddys hurde
Than a chaste womman with lovely worde.




                    (Some hints: nevene means name, glew means gladness, hurde means flock...)




Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Thorn

The little sin that seems too small and slight
to trouble us at all,
which no one knows of, or CAN know,
--Except that Blessed One above,
who yearns toward us with tender love
that strive against our flesh below;
It may not be so great a sin
as that which drove the sharp nails in...
(In pitying love His eyes looked down)
...Or spear with which His side was torn...
But it may be another thorn -
A thorn in His empurpled crown.








Saturday, July 24, 2010

Divine Music

Besides theology,
music is the only art capable
of affording peace and joy of the heart
like that induced by the study of the science of divinity.
The proof of this is
that the devil, the originator of sorrowful anxieties
and restless troubles,
flees before the sound of music
almost as much as he does
before the Word of God.
This is why the prophets preferred music
before all the other arts,
proclaiming the Word in psalms and hymns.
My heart,
which is full to overflowing,
has been often solaced and refreshed
by music
when sick and weary.
-Martin Luther












Friday, July 23, 2010

A Brave Song

God gave me a little light
To carry as I go;
Bade me keep it clean and bright,
Shining high and low:
Bear it steadfast, without fear,
Shed its radiance far and near,
Make the path before me clear
With its friendly glow.


God gave me a little song
To sing upon my way;
Rough may be the road, and long,
Dark may be the day;
Yet a little bird can wing,
Yet a little flower can spring,
Yet a little child can sing-
make its own world gay.


God gave me a little heart
To love whatever He made;
Gave me strength to bear my part,
Glad and unafraid.
Through Thy world, so fair and bright,
Father, guide my steps aright,
Thou my song, and Thou my light,
So my trust is stayed.

-Childrens' Missionary Magazine




(all photos from Google Images)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

First Week In New Home

We have now "owned" our  new place for one week! Here are some pictures to share - God has been so gracious to us to allow us to find and purchase this place. There are some great details to this story that I cannot make so public, but it is really true that God worked in our situation, and that without His favor and His moving on the hearts of others with more financial resources than ourselves, we would not be in this beautiful new location. We are so grateful to Him... and when people congratulate us our hearts swell with praise to God for His goodness to us. Just making it plain that we are here because He allowed and ordered it!!! GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!!!

Our property starts at the white fence corner
10 acres in the country


a front view, right after we closed last Thursday

this is a very large apple tree, loaded with apples
(don't know what kind yet)
in the front side yard close to the road

this is the back of the house,
with a rainbow above!
there is a very large storm cellar close to the house

I stood on our neighbor's property to take this picture- looking toward the back of our house, you can see the detached garage/shop building on the left, and on the right is the barn.
We will have propane heat again...
Here's a good shot of the barn with its several pens
(or whatever they're called...)
(I've been away from the country for 10 years!)

Sitting on the kitchen floor unpacking my china and glassware

We still have LOADS of things to move; we haven't really moved very much at all yet. Last night (Wednesday) I cooked my first meal on the new cooktop...we are sleeping on mattresses on the floor...we are using a little dorm- sized refrigerator right now since we haven't got our big one here yet...Several of Galen's family have volunteered to help us get going on our moving, but since this week has been our national campmeeting for our church, all wanted to wait til that is over. We attended the first weekend and will probably go back this one, also...Lots to do but it's happy stuff! It's great to know you are in God's will and that He will bring everything together!
"O magnify the Lord with me
and let us exalt His name together!"
Psalm 34:3



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Opportunity

Master of human destinies am I;
Fame, love and fortune
on my footsteps wait;
Cities and fields I walk;
I penetrate deserts and seas remote,
and passing by hovel and mart and palace,
soon or late I knock unbidden
once
at every gate!
If sleeping,
awake!
If resting, rise!
before I turn away.
It is the hour of Fate,
and they who follow me
reach every state mortals desire,
and conquer every foe
save death;
but those who doubt or hesitate,
condemned to failure, misery, and woe,
seek me in vain,
and uselessly implore.
I answer not,
and I return no more.

-J.I.Ingalls







Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A King's Message

This message was written on the flyleaf of a Bible by King George V, who reigned as King of England through World War I .....
"The secret of happiness is not to do what you like to do,
but to learn to like what you have to do."







Saturday, July 17, 2010

God Forgive Me When I Whine

Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair.
I envied her- she seemed so gay-
and wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she arose to leave,
I saw the cruel braces as she hobbled down the aisle;
a victim of polio was she.
But as she passed - a smile!
O God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two straight feet.
The world is mine!

And then I stopped to buy some sweets.
The lad who sold them had such charm.
I talked with him.
He said to me, "It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see", he said, "I'm blind."
O God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes-
The world is mine!

Then walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
It seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped a moment, then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word,
and then I knew he could not hear.
O God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears-
The world is mine!

With feet to take me where I'd go,
with eyes to see the sunset's glow,
with ears to hear what I would know -
O God, forgive me when I whine.
I'm blessed indeed!
The world is mine!

-author unknown



Friday, July 16, 2010

First Load

Hey Hey hey!!! Our closing was finalized yesterday afternoon(Thursday) and we now have a great new home in Ponca City, Oklahoma!(Not newly built - new to us!) We are all so happy- it's the property we fell for from the first and God GRACIOUSLY worked all the details out for us! We took a load of boxes up today when we met for the closing, and I enjoyed unpacking my china in our new kitchen as Galen and the children enjoyed inspecting the outbuildings - a barn and detached garage/shop building. I DID NOT BREAK ONE THING!! LOL
Galen keeps so busy with his oilfield work that our move won't happen in one fell swoop...it will probably take numerous little trips. Our national church campmeeting starts this weekend also, so we plan to take a little time out for that... school starts in LESS THAN A MONTH! This is going to be a busy last few weeks of summer vacation! But we are happy about it all and the busyness doesn't worry me...I shall enjoy it all! We are so happy and thankful to our Heavenly Father for "reserving" this property for us. Part of our prayers about this were, "Lord, You said you know what we have need of (your father in heaven knoweth ye have need of these things...) and this place seems to meet all 'these things', so may we please have it?" God tied up all the loose ends SO nicely - I am FILLED with gratitude...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Was It YOU?

Someone started the whole day wrong!
Was it YOU?
Someone robbed the day of its song-
Was it you?
Early this morning someone frowned;
Someone sulked until others scrowled,
And soon harsh words were passed around-
Was it you?

Someone started the day aright-
Was it you?
Someone made it happy and bright-
Was it you?
Early this morning, we are told,
Someone smiled, and all through the day,
This smile encouraged young and old-
Was it you?
-from 'Exchange'

(I got this from an old scrapbook published in 1938
that my mother had before her marriage in 1945)


(These smiles provided by
Crest Whitening Strips!!)









(all photos from Google Images)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lost and Found


Here is an excerpt from a book that my husband and I stumbled across many years ago, written by Don Ian Smith. He has since passed to his heavenly reward and the heirs have given me permission to post things from his writings here on my blog. All pictures used in my post today are from Google Images. Enjoy!




- Quite a few years ago two elk hunters were lost in the wilderness on the north slope of the Salmon River canyon. The stream they were hunting on goes from an elevation of about nine thousand feet down to about thirty-five hundred feet. From the point where the hunters became lost they could have gone uphill and found the forest service road, or they could have gone downhill and found the trail along the river. But for five days they were lost! Concerned outdoorsmen joined in the search. The weather was cold; there were snowstorms. Each day the searchers found abandoned campfires and tracks in the snow, but for five days, in their frantic efforts to save themselves, the lost men eluded the search parties. After the search was officially abandoned, one dedicated Ranger continued the effort and finally came upon the lost men. Except for his dedication, the hunters would have perished.
  Asked why they had continued to wander when a definite effort going uphill would have taken them to the road, or a long walk downhill would have taken them to the trail, they said they had made a practice of going uphill half a day and downhill half a day.This answer seems so foolish that it seems impossible, but frightened people do foolish things. The fear of death by exposure can bring on a panic which can upset all reason.
It is a common saying among us who enjoy the mountains that no man is lost until he has lost his head. Real lostness is a frame of mind, not a physical situation.
  The interesting part of this incident is the fact that the confused, frantic effort of the lost hunters to save themselves was the very factor that made it impossible for the searchers to find them. Had they stayed by their campfire, they would have been found soon after the official search was organized.
  There are many different kinds of "lostness" in our time, the least of them being literally lost in the wilderness. What person does not find, in some area of his life, a sense of lostness in terms of finding meaning, or relating to other people, or in facing up to great problems? We read the wonderful story that Jesus told about finding a lost sheep, and think of ourselves as among the ninety-nine that were safe. But Jesus wasn't talking about the ninety-nine...the lost sheep is every man.
  The wonder of the Gospel is the news that we have a Shepherd who will not give up the search until the lost is found. The sad part for many is that we, either in panic or overconfidence in our ability to save ourselves, keep running frantically, up for half a day and down for half a day, never waiting in simple trust long enough to give the One who knows the way a chance to find us. OURS IS NOT A HIDDEN GOD WHO MUST BE DISCOVERED BY OUR HUMAN QUESTING.  OURS IS A FATHER WHO YEARNS FOR HIS ALIENATED SON, A SHEPHERD WHO NEVER GIVES UP HIS SEARCH FOR THE SHEEP THAT IS LOST, AND REJOICES WHEN HE FINDS IT. -
 
(from the book 'Wild Rivers and Mountain Trails')
Thank you, Don Ian Smith, for this Meditation From The High Country





Sunday, July 11, 2010

Olive Wood Ballad

Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent;
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to Him,
The little gray leaves were kind to Him,
The thorn tree had a mind to Him,
When into the woods He came.

Out of the woods my Master went,
And He was well content;
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame,
When death and shame would woo Him at last,
From under the trees they drew Him at last
'Twas on a tree they slew Him at last,
When out of the woods He came.

- Sidney Lanier




This is an ancient olive tree in Israel
reputed to be over 2000 years old.



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Take Good Aim

Life is too short
to waste in critic peep
or cynic bark,
Quarrel,
or reprimand;
'Twill soon be dark-
Up!
Mind thine own aim!
and
God save the mark!
-Ralph Waldo Emerson







Friday, July 9, 2010

Morning Star

You who are
the Bright and Morning Star,
Come in radiant splendor
and flood each shadowed crevice
of my sullen heart
Until the world shall know
I've touched a Star.
-Ruth Harms Calkin


"He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, ...
I will give him the morning star."
-Jesus

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things
in the churches.
I am the root and the offspring of David,
and
THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR"
Revelation 22:16


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Second Casualty



Well, our move is moving forward apace! Closing should happen this Monday, July 12!!! Woohoo!! I am packing away in my kitchen...and wouldn't you know I had to break another treasure! This time it is a crystal iced tea glass from our wedding pattern, Julliard by Longchamps. I kept this safe for 25 years and now... Julia says it will still work- stand up by itself- but the jagged edge is dangerous. Oh well, I figured something like this would happen. Who knows what will break in transit! I'm not going to cry over this!






Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It Used To Be Self-Evident

Townhall Magazine has a great article in the July 2010 issue about President Calvin Coolidge, and has excerpts of his speech on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 5, 1926 which I MUST SHARE PARTS OF HERE!

"We meet to celebrate the birthday of America...We are obliged to conclude that the Declaration of Independence represented the movement of a people...It was in no sense a rising of the oppressed and downtrodden. It brought no scum to the surface, for the reason that colonial society had developed no scum...The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights...It was the result of seasoned and deliberate thought...It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on NEW PRINCIPLES, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history...No one can examine this record and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles, The Declaration was the result of the religious teachings of the preceding period...They are found in the texts, the sermons, the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live. They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image...These great truths were in the air that our people breathed. Whatever else we may say of it, the Declaration was profoundly AMERICAN...In its main features it is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. (These ideals) have their source and their roots in religious convictions...The real heart of American government depends upon the heart of the people...No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people."

Much applause, President Coolidge!! Where are some men like you nowadays?!!!! God help this great country of America- I pray for you every day ....