..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Psalm 84: How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place O Lord of Hosts!

How lovely is your dwelling place,

O Lord of hosts!

2 My soul longs, yes, faints

for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and flesh sing for joy

to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young,

at your altars, O Lord of hosts,

my King and my God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,

ever singing your praise!

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,

in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca

they make it a place of springs;

the early rain also covers it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength;

each one appears before God in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;

give ear, O God of Jacob!

9 Behold our shield, O God;

look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better

than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

the Lord bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does he withhold

from those who walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts,

blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Psalm 84

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Rest Jesus Gives

At that time, Jesus answered, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight. All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Matthew 11:25-30

"Swan at rest" photo taken at Bowness on Windermere, Uk

Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean

Here is love, vast as the ocean, Lovingkindness as the flood,
then the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?

He can never be forgotten,

Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,

And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;

Thou alone shalt be my glory,
nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

--Welsh Hymn, sung
at the Welsh Revival, 1904

photo taken at Bowness on Windermere,
United Kingdom

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Hymn: How Good It Is to Thank the Lord

How good it is to thank the Lord,

Give praise to You, Most High, accord,

To show Your love with morning light,

And tell Your faithful love each night;

Yes, good it is God's  praise to sing,

And all our sweetest music bring.

O Lord, with joy my heart expands,

Before the wonders of Your hands;

Great works, Dear God, You have wrought,

Exceeding deep Thine every thought;

A foolish man knows not their worth,

Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

When as the grass the wicked grow,

When sinners flourish here below,

Then is their endless ruin nigh,

But You, O Lord, art throned on high;

Your enemies shall fall before Thy might,

The evil shall be put to flight.

Thou, Lord, hast blessed me

With royal strength and dignity;

With Your anointing I am blest,

Your grace and favor on me rest;

I thus exult o’er all my foes,

O’er all that would my cause oppose.

The righteous man shall flourish well,

And in the house of God shall dwell;

He shall be like a goodly tree,

And all his life shall fruitful be;

For righteous is the Lord and just,

He is my Rock, in Him I trust.

--Thanksgiving Hymn

Monday, November 15, 2010

You know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the prize, don't you? You must run in such a way that you may be victorious.

1 Corinthians 9:4
photo taken at the Highland Games in Ceres, Scotland, UK

Friday, November 12, 2010

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. --Phillippians 4:7

photo taken in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some things are too beautiful for words,
the evening sky at dusk,
the call of geese upon the sky,
the sound of crickets deep in the night;

Some things are too holy for words,
the way of God in the affairs of man,
the love that fills a child's heart,
the peace that passes understanding;

Some things are too wonderful to ponder,
the light of day breaking forth
from the darkness,
the eyes of God, running to and fro on the earth
searching for those who look for Him,
the knowledge deep within that
God is love and in Him
is no darkness at all.

Some things are too beautiful,
some things are too holy,
some things are too wonderful,

for words.

photo taken in Feeding Hills, MA

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” --Jeremiah 29:11

photo of  Sparky

Sunday, November 07, 2010

 All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well

--Julian of Norwich

photo taken in Hadley, MA

Saturday, November 06, 2010

When my body is pained, it is not wrong to wish for relief. When

overtaken by sickness, it is not wrong to send for the physician.

You may call this selfishness, which He who made us what we are,

and who gave us these instincts, expects us to act upon; and in

acting on which, we may count upon his blessing, not his rebuke. It

is not wrong to dread hell, to desire heaven, to flee from

torments, to long for blessedness, to shun condemnation, and to

desire pardon.

- Horatius Bonar

photo taken in Edinburgh, Scotland

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time of
waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In God's
Holy Name let us arise and build! 'The God of Heaven, He will fight
for us', as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the
bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell
shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the
world, yes, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby
Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our
all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it
with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a
thousand times sooner die trusting only our God, than live trusting in
man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and
the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real
Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and
pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring
faith and works for Jesus Christ."
- CT Studd

photo taken in Agawam, MA

Monday, November 01, 2010

From the crude cry which we have so often heard during the
war years: "If there is a God, why doesn't He stop Hitler?," to
the unspoken questioning in many a Christian heart when a
devoted servant of Christ dies from accident or disease at what
seems to us a most inopportune moment, there is this universal
longing for God to intervene, to show His hand, to vindicate
His purpose. I do not pretend to understand the ways of God any
more than the next man; but it is surely more fitting as well
as more sensible for us to study what God does do and what He
does not do as He works in and through the complex fabric of
this disintegrated world, than to postulate what we think God
ought to do and then feel demoralized and bitterly disappointed
because He fails to fulfill what we expect of Him.

... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole