Saturday, March 31, 2007

My steadfast love shall not depart

Isaiah 54:9-10

This is like the days of Noah to me:
Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Thoughts between daughter and Father V


The daughter asked for the grace of continuance:

Her Father showed her a waterfall fed from unseen fountains.

The river of God is full of water, was His word then.

The daughter feared the chilly influences of life.

Her Father showed her an altar. All night unto morning the fire burned there.

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”

Then the daughter remembered that as the waterfall was fed by Water from above, so the fire of the altar was lighted by Fire that came from before the Lord.


The daughter asked, “What is the secret of continued endurance?”

Her Father answered,

“It is found in seeing Him who is invisible. It is found in looking at the joy that is set before thee. It is found in considering Him who endured.

It is found in taking for thine own the words of one who was tempted to wax faint: ‘In the day when I cried you strengthened me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.’

It is found in staking thine all upon the lightest word of the Lord, thy Redeemer.

It is found in loyalty. It is found in love.”


Note: More thoughts from the private conversation of Amy Carmichael, as she talked to her Father about the issues of life and personal challenges around her. God used her to rescue many young girls from ritual Hindu temple prostitution, and wrought miracles through her prayer life. Here is another glimpse into that prayer life. May it bless you today!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My heart will trust

I'll walk closer now
On the higher way…
Through the darkest night
Will You hold my hand?
Jesus guide my way

O You mourn with me
And You dance with me
For my heart of hearts
Is bound to you…

Though I walk through valleys low
I'll fear no evil –
By the waters still my soul,
My heart will trust in You!

My heart will trust in You
O You counsel me and You comfort me
When I cannot see You light my path…

My heart will trust in You, Lord!

My heart will trust in You!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

God works the night shift

Aren't you glad God works the night shift? No matter when we call, He hears...

And, conversely, as His children, are we ready to hear the midnight cry for help?

Here, in an evocative painting titled "3 a.m.", artist Lloyd Marcus captures the sense of divine faithfulness at point of need -- God's loyal servants, hearing a late, desperate cry. Ironically, this masterful piece was considered "too religious" by the town gatekeepers of Deltona, FL. They asked Lloyd for 3 paintings for Black History Month, and then banned his paintings whenever they saw them...

Interesting, no?

Such a state of affairs makes our service for the least of these that much more crucial in this generation...

btw, if you're looking for art that makes a difference, click on the link and buy the set! :-)

This evening the clouds lay low on the mountains

The Lord reigns forever…
and the righteous stand firm forever…
and the fruit of righteousness will be peace; and the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

Psalm 9:7; Proverbs 10:25; Isaiah 32:17


Amy Carmichael

This evening the clouds lay low on the mountains, so that sometimes we could hardly see the familiar peaks. Sometimes the stars, too, were nearly all covered. But always, just when it seemed as though the mountains were going to be quite lost in the mist, the higher peaks pushed out, and whereas the dimmer stars were veiled, the brighter ones shone through.

Even supposing the clouds had wholly covered the face of the mountains, and not a star shone through the piled up masses, the mountains would still have stood steadfast and the stars would not have ceased to shine. I thought of this, and found it very comforting, simple as it is.

Our feelings do not affect God’s facts. They may blow up, like clouds, and cover the eternal things that we do most truly believe. We may not see the shining of the promises – but still they shine! And the strength of the hills that is His also, is not for one most less because of our human weakness.

Heaven is no dream. Feelings go and come, like clouds. But the “hills and stars” abide!


My Father, I will anchor my self, my thoughts and my will, in these facts:

You are.

You rule in heaven and on the earth.

You call me “righteous” because I am in Jesus, your Son.

No matter what it may seem, I will stand firm forever.


Amy Carmichael, Edges of His Ways: March 27 journal.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

She of whom God thinks, lives

He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him. Luke 20:38

In Luke chapter 20, some Sadducees confront Jesus on the doctrine of resurrection. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, so they tried to trap Jesus with a trick scenario. They presented Jesus with a far-out story about seven brothers: the first brother married a good wife, then died; so the second brother married her in turn, then he died. This happened until each of the brothers married the same woman after the preceding brother died [one supposes they were good guys, but not too smart! brother six or seven should have questioned the math, at least, lol!]. Anyway, humor aside, the Sadducees told this story and then asked Jesus a question [drum roll]: “Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

One can imagine Jesus easily shrugging, by the way He answered. He simply hinted that they didn’t understand the category of resurrection at all, then He preceded to crush their underlying issue of non-belief with these words:

In the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive."

Take a moment and get your mind around these words. They are the words of Christ Jesus. Let them echo in your consciousness. Here is the meaning of the universe in two sentences: unity, relation, destiny, eternity in a moment…

If you don’t love Jesus after listening to words like these, your heart is different from mine! :-) But the point is taken: Jesus taught the resurrection unequivocally, as a self-evident fact of divine relation.

Tonight I was deeply moved by a sermon from George MacDonald on this text. MacDonald presents the doctrine of resurrection inherent in the words of Christ, and ascends to the pinnacle of human thought – following into divine thought – on this subject. One senses the very mind of Christ in these words:

What Godlike relation can the ever-living, life-giving, changeless God hold to creatures who partake not of His life, who have death at the very core of their being, are not worth their Maker's keeping alive? To let His creatures die would be to change, to abjure His Godhood, to cease to be that which He had made himself… But our Lord says, “All live unto Him.” With Him death is not…

Thy life sees our life, O Lord. All of whom all can be said, are present to thee. Thou thinkest about us, eternally more than we think about thee. The little life that burns within the body of this death, glows unquenchable in thy true-seeing eyes. If thou didst forget us for a moment then indeed death would be. But unto thee we live…

S/he of whom God thinks, lives. S/he takes to him or herself the name of Their God. The Living One cannot name himself after the dead; when the very Godhead lies in the giving of life. Therefore they must be alive.

Are you thrilled yet? :-) Either way, here is an excerpt of MacDonald’s sermon. Oh for more preaching like this! Read and be blessed!


The God of the living

George MacDonald

It is a recurring cause of perplexity in our Lord's teaching, that He is too simple for us; that while we are questioning with ourselves about the design of Solomon's carving upon some gold-plated door of the temple, He is speaking about the foundations of Mount Zion, yea, of the earth itself, upon which it stands. If the reader of the Gospel supposes that our Lord was here using a verbal argument with the Sadducees, namely, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; therefore they are,” he will be astonished that no Sadducee was found with courage enough to reply: “All that God meant was to introduce himself to Moses as the same God who had aided and protected his fathers while they were alive, saying, I am he that was the God of thy fathers. They found me faithful. Thou, therefore, listen to me, and thou too shalt find me faithful unto the death.”

But no such reply suggested itself even to the Sadducees of that day, for their eastern nature could see argument beyond logic. Shall God call himself the God of the dead, of those who were alive once, but whom He either could not or would not keep alive? Is that the Godhood, and its relation to those who worship it? The changeless God of an ever-born and ever-perishing torrent of life; of which each atom cries with burning heart, My God! and straightway passes into the Godless cold! “Trust in me, for I took care of your fathers once upon a time, though they are gone now. Worship and obey me, for I will be good to you for threescore years and ten, or thereabouts; and after that, when you are not, and the world goes on all the same without you, I will call myself your God still.” God changes not. Once God He is always God! If He has once said to a man, “I am thy God, and that man has died the death of the Sadducee's creed,” then we have a right to say that God is the God of the dead.

“And wherefore should He not be so far the God of the dead, if during the time allotted to them here, He was the faithful God of the living?” What Godlike relation can the ever-living, life-giving, changeless God hold to creatures who partake not of His life, who have death at the very core of their being, are not worth their Maker's keeping alive? To let His creatures die would be to change, to abjure His Godhood, to cease to be that which He had made himself. If they are not worth keeping alive, then His creating is a poor thing, and He is not so great, nor so divine as even the poor thoughts of those His dying creatures have been able to imagine Him. But our Lord says, “All live unto Him.” With Him death is not.

Thy life sees our life, O Lord. All of whom all can be said, are present to thee. Thou thinkest about us, eternally more than we think about thee. The little life that burns within the body of this death, glows unquenchable in thy true-seeing eyes. If thou didst forget us for a moment then indeed death would be. But unto thee we live. The beloved pass from our sight, but they pass not from thine. This that we call death is but a form in the eyes of men. It looks something final, an awful cessation, an utter change. It seems not probable that there is anything beyond. But if God could see us before we were, and make us after His ideal, that we shall have passed from the eyes of our friends can be no argument that He beholds us no longer. “All live unto Him.”

Let the change be ever so great, ever so imposing; let the unseen life be ever so vague to our conception, it is not against reason to hope that God could see Abraham, after his Isaac had ceased to see him; saw Isaac after Jacob ceased to see him; saw Jacob after some of the Sadducees had begun to doubt whether there ever had been a Jacob at all. He remembers them; that is, He carries them in His mind: s/he of whom God thinks, lives. S/he takes to him or herself the name of Their God. The Living One cannot name himself after the dead; when the very Godhead lies in the giving of life.

Therefore they must be alive.


Monday, March 19, 2007

The glorious difficulty of walking with God

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:20-21

One step at a time

Amy Carmichael

I believe that, in guiding us, God deals with us as He dealt with the Israelites as He led them out of the Egypt.

The first crossing of the sea was made very easy. The guidance could not have been simpler. The east wind blew and divided the sea before the people had to cross. Not so much as a foot was wet, except perhaps by a wind-driven spray. Moreover, it was impossible, as it were, to disobey, since they were pursued by Pharaoh’s chariots and horsemen [Exodus 14].

But how different it was on second occasion!

The priests had to walk into the strong current of a flooded river and stand still there. What an order to scoff at, and what it sight it would pose to other men! But it was not until they obeyed – without a particle of visible proof that they were doing right – and carried the ark right into the river, that the water rolled back before them [Joshua 3].

So it may be for us, as we go on with God.

You and I may be called again and again to walk right into our own ‘rivers,’ whatever they may be – to wet our feet in them. We may be called to do what nobody understands except those to whom the word of guidance is given – and with it, His promise too.

But understand this: The word must come first, and also His promise. You and I must be sure of what we are called to do, and with an inward conviction that absolutely nothing can shake. In my own case, again and again, I have had to wet my feet in the water… Only God and those who have to walk in that path know how hard this kind of faith-life can be. But He does know. And when the people around us don’t hear the words and voice we have heard, and only say, “It thunders…,” then He comes near and we know Him as we never knew Him before…

If only the next step is clear, then the one thing to do is take it! Don’t pledge your Lord or yourself to any steps beyond what you know. You don’t see them yet.

Once when I was climbing at night, in a forest before there was a made path, I learned what was meant by the words of Psalm 119:105:
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.

I had only a lantern, and I had to hold it very low or I would certainly have slipped on those rough rocks.

We don’t walk spiritually by electric light, but by a hand-held lantern. And a lantern shows only the next step – not several steps ahead.


My Father, there are so many paths I could walk – so many ways to choose. And there are certain decisions I must make that lead me around and around, until my heart is in confusion.

Today, I will fix my heart on this truth:

When I feel confused, there will always come a light, held low so that my feet won’t stumble – a sure light that will shine on each step of my path.

Thank you, Father, that you will speak the counsels of your word to me.


Amy Carmichael, Candles in the Dark, pp. 41-43.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another scene from a glorious walk

This heavenly beauty demands to be shared, so enjoy! Here again, the scene is almost Narnian! :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A scene from a glorious walk

I often leave my camera when I'm on a nature walk, simply because a camera can sometimes steal the glory of a moment... but on this walk, I'm glad the camera was along, lol. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An enduring line of love and war

Sometimes I see a comic or pic that just makes me laugh, and I have to post it. Here's one that brought a big smile when I saw it today -- Inigo Montoya lives! beware, foul scoundrels of lesser kind, fell carrion of evil provenance -- step back! six-fingered Count Rugen, you are doomed! lol :-)

He is sovereign over even this!

Who is this? He commands even the winds and water and they obey Him?

Luke 8:25

Even this…

Amy Carmichael

Is there something you are facing – whether in your outer circumstances or in your inner character – that seems impossible to command? Something that has baffled you and outwitted you a thousand times, and appears that it will win over you in the end? Some as deaf to your command as the wind, or wild waters?

Don’t despair. Don’t shrug and give up.

Our Lord – your Lord and mine – can command even the most difficult, unruly thing that seems as if it will never be commanded.

Let His word “even” be a comfort to you. He who commands even the winds and water [and they must obey Him] – He can say to that “even” of yours, “Peace, be still…”

And there will come for you “a great calm” [Mark 4:39].

Remember… there is nothing you are asked to do in your own strength. Not the least thing, nor the greatest.

God, who is all the while supplying the impulse [to obey and overcome], giving you the power of inner resolve [to see it through to victory], is also giving you the strength to perform [under pressure] and to carry out his good pleasure. [Philippians 2:13, Way’s translation]

All the tremendous forces of nature – weather and politics and human nature too – are at the beck and call of our God. Each has only a faint shadow of the spiritual power that is His, and that He is ready to send forth for us.

Isn’t that amazing?

How utterly foolish it is to plead weakness when we – even you and I – may move into the stream of that power. If only we will…


My Father, I choose your strength over my weakness!

For today, I will step out of the role of Lord and Judge… and I’ll strike the word ‘impossible’ from my thoughts!


Amy Carmichael, Thou Givest – They Gather, pp. 19-20.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I always wondered what this can looked like!

At long last, a mystery solved!

I always heard people talk about this can of special soup, but never could find it in any of the stores I shopped in. I looked and looked but no luck! the store managers always looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for this special can -- I told them I had it on good authority that such a can existed -- after all, some people were always threatening to open it! -- and I even promised that I'd be good: I said I wouldn't open it in the store if they showed it to me... but, no deal. They acted like they didn't appreciate me asking. Imagine that! And, still I couldn't find the secret can!

So you can imagine my relief when I finally found this rare can of gourmet soup!

mmm! Can't wait to try this one out!

Reading the ingredients, it sounds like it's plenty spicy, lol.

Now if I can just find a can opener...

lol! :-)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The signpost of God’s laughter

In a sure sign of spring, the trees are sprouting purple knit gloves, kid size! I spotted this scene on a woodland walk, and laughed… just had to capture the moment. The gloves sign out spring, pointing the way down the trail…

Much like the laughter of God!

In considering the words of George MacDonald on the childlike nature of God, the simple tenderness and providence of God for us, a friend shared a question with me: “When is the last time you had fun with God?”

“When is the last time you just enjoyed being around God, like a child, two friends, frolicking in life?”

It is a serious question. It goes to the heart of our view of self, and our view of God…

Can you laugh with God? Can you laugh with yourself? Laughter from the heart, to the heart… laughter of the essence of life, childlike, distilled love in a moment of joy?

Or, in your mind, is God someone who doesn’t laugh, who doesn’t have time for those time-wasting things like laughter and joy… In your view of God, would He ever throw back His head and laugh from the heart, would He ever dance, eyes full of light, brimming with humor, pure joy?

Have you ever felt God take your hand and run through the fields, laughing like a son or daughter, dancing down woodland paths, skipping stones in the lake and chasing fish down the stream? Have you recently sensed God sitting beside you as you basked in wonder at His good creation, bathed in the light of amber sun, watching deer frolic and eagles soar, personally owned by the One who gives all life, who is life?

It is a serious question.

And I ask it of you, daughter, son… for it relates to your healing, your life, your destiny! A sign, a guiding light...

Are you living now, in this present moment, with the voice of God in your ears: "You are my beloved daughter, you are my beloved son…?"

This is your birthright, you know! To know this love, to share this laughter, is to receive a signpost of destiny: it will light the way for you, signing out the path that you should take, entered by your true self, your true child, in the childlike God -- surety of family and calling.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

A place God waits for us to sit awhile with Him

Then they heard the sound of the LORD God as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees...

But the LORD God called, "Where are you?"

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

“For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.

“I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the one against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Gen. 3:8, 9; Isa. 38:17; Mic. 7:18, 19; Isa. 54:7, 8; Jer. 31:34; Ps. 32:1, 2; 1 John 1:7

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

God the child: He has not two thoughts about us...

And He came to Capernaum: and, being in the house, He asked them, ‘What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?’ But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be the greatest. And He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, ‘If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ And He took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when He had taken him in His arms, He said unto them, ‘Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but Him that sent me.’ Mark 9:33-37

In one of his boldest and most challenging assertions, George MacDonald takes Jesus’ words on children and declares: God is a child. The essence of childlikeness is God-likeness, and to love a child in Jesus’ name is to love God himself.

MacDonald makes several very provocative points in this regard, claims which are still obscure to me, and yet which thrill me. He claims that not every child is childlike, for some have loved the world, and the love of the Father is not in them [think of Susan in Chronicles of Narnia, who comes back from Narnia, falls in love with ‘society’ and worldly things, and loses her belief in Narnia]. These children are the ones who lose their inner beauty, their destined birthright; whereas, other children, even handicapped or physically marred, still childlike, represent the very beauty of Jesus.

Here MacDonald asserts that to love this childlike child, one of the 'least of these,' is to love Jesus, to love God himself. The implication is that we encounter God in this childlike love, not just in ethereal or illustrative form, but in actuality, touching and entering the love of God.

Here my mind went to those who love orphans and outcasts, like Hopegivers and Logos Global, those who give their self and substance in a direction of childlike love – whether that child be seen as unlovable, outcaste or deformed: in this is the love of the Father known.

All this MacDonald asserts, yet he goes higher still, claiming that we actually ‘receive of God in the child,’ and that in our own childlikeness is God revealed. The hint is of the true self, that true self declared by creation of God before the world began, this true self is the inner boy or girl, lost in wonder and love with the childlike in God – the God who has not two thoughts for us, but one, in simplicity of love, our perfection!

There are some tough, bracing assertions in this theology: one must be a true man or woman to even think about them deeply; and yet, along the way, MacDonald soars into some of the highest claims of divine beauty and sovereignty that I have ever heard. He sings the truth that “Life is no series of chances with a few providences sprinkled between, but one providence of God…” and that God is

Grand and strong beyond all that human imagination can conceive of poet-thinking and kingly action, He is delicate beyond all that human tenderness can conceive of husband or wife, homely beyond all that human heart can conceive of father or mother. He has not two thoughts about us. With Him all is simplicity of purpose and meaning and effort and goal…

And this is the childlike God!

Can your mind conceive of these words? Those who love children, hear these words! Those who struggle with the love of Abba, hear these words! “For it is His childlikeness that makes Him our God and Father.”

The words are stirring and almost beyond comprehension, but here, for you, to encourage your heart today, are some words of God the child!

His childlikeness makes Him our God and Father

George MacDonald

But [let us] advance now to the highest point of this teaching of our Lord: “He that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” To receive a child in the name of God is to receive God himself. How to receive him? As alone He can be received,—by knowing Him as He is. To know Him is to have Him in us. And that we may know Him, let us now receive this revelation of Him, in the words of our Lord himself. Here is the argument of highest import founded upon the teaching of our Master in the utterance before us.

God is represented in Jesus, for that God is like Jesus: Jesus is represented in the child, for that Jesus is like the child. Therefore God is represented in the child, for that He is like the child. God is child-like. In the true vision of this fact lies the receiving of God in the child.

Having reached this point, I have nothing more to do with the argument; for if the Lord meant this—that is, if this be a truth, he that is able to receive it will receive it: he that hath ears to hear it will hear it. For our Lord’s arguments are for the presentation of the truth, and the truth carries its own conviction to him who is able to receive it.

But the word of one who has seen this truth may help the dawn of a like perception in those who keep their faces turned towards the east and its aurora; for men may have eyes, and, seeing dimly, want to see more. Therefore let us brood a little over the idea itself, and see whether it will not come forth so as to commend itself to that spirit, which, one with the human spirit where it dwells, searches the deep things of God. For, although the true heart may at first be shocked at the truth, as Peter was shocked when he said, “That be far from thee, Lord,” yet will it, after a season, receive it and rejoice in it.

Let me then ask, do you believe in the Incarnation? And if you do, let me ask further, Was Jesus ever less divine than God? I answer for you, Never. He was lower, but never less divine. Was He not a child then? You answer, “Yes, but not like other children.” I ask, “Did He not look like other children?” If He looked like them and was not like them, the whole was a deception, a masquerade at best. I say He was a child, whatever more He might be. God is man, and infinitely more. Our Lord became flesh, but did not become man. He took on him the form of man: He was man already. And He was, is, and ever shall be divinely childlike. He could never have been a child if He would ever have ceased to be a child, for in Him the transient found nothing. Childhood belongs to the divine nature. Obedience, then, is as divine as Will, Service as divine as Rule. How? Because they are one in their nature; they are both a doing of the truth. The love in them is the same. The Fatherhood and the Sonship are one, save that the Fatherhood looks down lovingly, and the Sonship looks up lovingly. Love is all. And God is all in all. He is ever seeking to get down to us—to be the divine man to us. And we are ever saying, “That be far from thee, Lord!” We are careful, in our unbelief, over the divine dignity, of which He is too grand to think. Better pleasing to God, it needs little daring to say, is the audacity of Job, who, rushing into His presence, and flinging the door of his presence—chamber to the wall, like a troubled, it may be angry, but yet faithful child, calls aloud in the ear of him whose perfect Fatherhood he has yet to learn: “Am I a sea or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?”

Let us dare, then, to climb the height of divine truth to which this utterance of our Lord would lead us.

Does it not lead us up hither: that the devotion of God to His creatures is perfect? that He does not think about himself but about them? that He wants nothing for himself, but finds His blessedness in the outgoing of blessedness.

Ah! it is a terrible—shall it be a lonely glory this? We will draw near with our human response, our abandonment of self in the faith of Jesus. He gives himself to us—shall not we give ourselves to him? Shall we not give ourselves to each other whom he loves?

For when is the child the ideal child in our eyes and to our hearts? Is it not when with gentle hand he takes his father by the beard, and turns that father’s face up to his brothers and sisters to kiss? when even the lovely selfishness of love-seeking has vanished, and the heart is absorbed in loving?

In this, then, is God like the child: that He is simply and altogether our friend, our father—our more than friend, father, and mother—our infinite love-perfect God. Grand and strong beyond all that human imagination can conceive of poet-thinking and kingly action, He is delicate beyond all that human tenderness can conceive of husband or wife, homely beyond all that human heart can conceive of father or mother. He has not two thoughts about us. With Him all is simplicity of purpose and meaning and effort and end—namely, that we should be as He is, think the same thoughts, mean the same things, possess the same blessedness. It is so plain that any one may see it, every one ought to see it, every one shall see it. It must be so. He is utterly true and good to us, nor shall anything withstand His will.

How terribly, then, have the theologians misrepresented God in the measures of the low and showy, not the lofty and simple humanities! Nearly all of them represent Him as a great King on a grand throne, thinking how grand He is, and making it the business of His being and the end of His universe to keep up His glory, wielding the bolts of a Jupiter against them that take His name in vain. They would not allow this, but follow out what they say, and it comes much to this. Brothers, have you found our king? There He is, kissing little children and saying they are like God. There He is at table with the head of a fisherman lying on his bosom, and somewhat heavy at heart that even He, the beloved disciple, cannot yet understand Him well. The simplest peasant who loves his children and his sheep were—no, not a truer, for the other is false, but—a true type of our God beside that monstrosity of a monarch.

The God who is ever uttering himself in the changeful profusions of nature; who takes millions of years to form a soul that shall understand Him and be blessed; who never needs to be, and never is, in haste; who welcomes the simplest thought of truth or beauty as the return for seed He has sown upon the old fallows of eternity; who rejoices in the response of a faltering moment to the age-long cry of His wisdom in the streets; the God of music, of painting, of building, the Lord of Hosts, the God of mountains and oceans; whose laws go forth from one unseen point of wisdom, and thither return without an atom of loss; the God of history working in time unto Christianity; this God is the God of little children, and He alone can be perfectly, abandonedly simple and devoted. The deepest, purest love of a woman has its well-spring in him. Our longing desires can no more exhaust the fullness of the treasures of the Godhead, than our imagination can touch their measure. Of Him not a thought, not a joy, not a hope of one of His creatures can pass unseen; and while one of them remains unsatisfied, He is not Lord over all.

Therefore, with angels and with archangels, with the spirits of the just made perfect, with the little children of the kingdom, yea, with the Lord himself, and for all them that know Him not, we praise and magnify and laud His name in itself, saying Our Father. We do not draw back for that we are unworthy, nor even for that we are hard-hearted and care not for the good. For it is His childlikeness that makes Him our God and Father. The perfection of His relation to us swallows up all our imperfections, all our defects, all our evils; for our childhood is born of His fatherhood. That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and his desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to him, “Thou art my refuge, because thou art my home.”

Such a faith will not lead to presumption. The man who can pray such a prayer will know better than another, that God is not mocked; that He is not a man that He should repent; that tears and entreaties will not work on Him to the breach of one of his laws; that for God to give a man because he asked for it that which was not in harmony with His laws of truth and right, would be to damn him—to cast him into the outer darkness. And he knows that out of that prison the childlike, imperturbable God will let no man come till he has paid the uttermost farthing.

And if he should forget this, the God to whom he belongs does not forget it, does not forget him. Life is no series of chances with a few providences sprinkled between to keep up a justly failing belief, but one providence of God; and the man shall not live long before life itself shall remind him, it may be in agony of soul, of that which he has forgotten. When he prays for comfort, the answer may come in dismay and terror and the turning aside of the Father’s countenance; for love itself will, for love’s sake, turn the countenance away from that which is not lovely; and he will have to read, written upon the dark wall of his imprisoned conscience, the words, awful and glorious, Our God is a consuming fire.


George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons Series One: The Child in the Midst.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A March of clouds

Here's another scene from Friday's glory: the sun and clouds create painted scenes of mottled light and dark -- such visuals that cannot be recreated, only enjoyed. So... enjoy! :-) On some days I walk a fine line between Pennsylvania and Narnia, lol.

A heavenly declaration of March

Friday's scenery was simply incredible. These pics capture only a small sense of the beauty... I was awed and overwhelmed at the sights -- seeing the clouds, earth, sun and sky as if a child: in wonder and amazement and worship! Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A straight path in March

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

“If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”

Prov. 3:5, 6; Ps. 62:8; Ps. 32:8-10; Isa. 30:21; Ex. 33:15-16

Friday, March 02, 2007

Thy offering still continues new

O thou, before the world began

Words: John and Charles Wesley, 1745

Tune: Das neugeborne Kindelein

O thou, before the world began,
ordained a sacrifice for man,
and by the eternal Spirit made
an offering in the sinner's stead;
our everlasting Priest art thou,
pleading thy death for sinners now.

Thy offering still continues new
before the righteous Father's view;
thyself the Lamb forever slain;
thy priesthood doth unchanged remain;
thy years, O God, can never fail,
nor thy blest work within the veil.

O that our faith may never move,
but stand unshaken as thy love,
sure evidence of things unseen;
now let it pass the years between
and view thee bleeding on the tree:
my Lord, my God, who dies for me.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Falling into Narnia

A February day in PA... keep in mind the wonder of what you might find: a sudden snow, frosted spruce and pine, calling winter fields, a fall into Narnia! Here the scene is so Narnian that it begs for talking beavers and the roar of Aslan! but be careful on your exploration: always remember the lamppost direction! :-)