Saturday, August 30, 2008

New every morning is the love

New every morning is the love

Words: John Keble, 1822
Music: Kedron

New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.

New mercies, each returning day,
hover around us while we pray;
new perils past, new sins forgiven,
new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

If on our daily course our mind
be set to hallow all we find,
new treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
as more of heaven in each we see;
some softening gleam of love and prayer
shall dawn on every cross and care.

The trivial round, the common task,
will furnish all we ought to ask:
room to deny ourselves; a road
to bring us daily nearer God.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love,
fit us for perfect rest above;
and help us, this and every day,
to live more nearly as we pray!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Lover of souls brings rose from brier

Lover of souls, Thee have I heard

Lover of souls, Thee have I heard,
Thee will I sing, for sing I must;
Thy good and comfortable word
Hath raised my spirit from the dust.

In dusty ways my feet had strayed,
And foolish fears laid hold on me,
Until what time I was afraid
I suddenly remembered Thee.

Remembering Thee, I straight forgot
What other while had troubled me;
It was as though it all were not;
I only was aware of Thee.

Of Thee, of Thee alone, aware,
I rested me, I held me still;
The blessed thought of Thee, most Fair,
Dispelled the brooding sense of ill.

Then quietness around me fell,
And Thou didst speak; my spirit heard.
I worshiped and rejoiced, for well
I knew Thy comfortable word.

Whoso hath known that comforting,
The inward touch that maketh whole,
How can she ever choose but sing,
To Thee, O Lover of my soul!

Rose from brier

“I have no desire that my imprisonment should end before the right time; I love my chains. My senses, indeed, have not any relish for such things, but my heart is separated from them and borne over them.”

Madam Guyon said that. I cannot say that I love my chains in any literal sense whatever, nor do I believe that we are meant to do so. Our Lord did not tell the woman who was bound to love the cords that bound her. But in the sense that Madam Guyon meant the words [indeed, she said her senses had no relish for such things!] I believe that He can give us grace to find something truly lovable in that which [while He allows it to continue] is His will for us.

Disappointments, for example; in a quiet procession these weary little things have entered this room. After the foot began to mend other troubles came, one after the other, pulling me up just when it seemed as though I might soon begin to walk. As each corner was turned we thought it would be the last, but there was always another.

But one of the first of these disappointments was lighted by something so sweet and dear that I knew at once it could not be only for me, but must be for you – you who know so much about these matters of continuing trial and pain!

One of our Fellowship was at home on furlough, and he was to return to us on February 25; I had set my heart on being up and ready to meet him and the new brother whom he was bringing with him. I was sure I would be at the Welcoming Service to sing the welcome song, and for a month or so before that date it seemed as if I would indeed be there… Then all hope gradually faded. I was still in bed when they came – not even in a chair.

That morning of the Welcoming Service, while the chiming bells were ringing from the tower, in spirit I was far more in the midst of that beloved crowd in the House of Prayer than in my room. And I ached to be there really, not just in spirit – I ached until all of me was one ache; and then, each word as clear as though it slid down the clear chiming bells, deep within my heart, this little song within me:

Thou hast not that, My child, but thou hast Me,
And am not I alone enough for thee?
I know it all, know how thy heart was set
Upon this joy which is not given yet.

And well I know how through the wistful days
Thou walkest all the dear familiar ways,
As unregarded as a breath of air,
But there in love and longing, always there!

I know it all; but from thy brier shall blow
A rose for others. If it were not so
I would have told thee. Come then, say to Me:
My Lord, my Love, I am content with Thee.

“From thy brier shall blow a rose for others.” In the hills of South India there are tall and beautiful bushes of wild roses. The roses are larger than ours at home and of an unforgettable sweetness. But they were not called to mind by these words. I saw rather a little, low, very prickly bush in an old-fashioned English garden; it was covered with inconspicuous pink roses. But the wonder of the bush was its all-pervading fragrance, for it was a sweetbrier. And I saw One who has been long in the land where no thorns grow, cutting a spray from the bush, stripping the thorns off and giving it to me. And may those who walk the road and street, as unregarded as a breath of air, but there in love and longing, always there… may they find a rose from my brier caused to grow – and may they find no prickling thorn on the stem of this rose from my brier!

I think that when He whom our soul loveth comes so near to us, and so gently helps our human weakness, then what Madam Guyon wrote nearly three hundred years ago becomes a present truth. We are borne over the oppression that would hold us down, we mount up on wings, we find a secret sweetness in our brier. But it is not of us. It is Love that lifts us up. It is Love that is the sweetness!

Is the one who reads this in great weariness, or the exhaustion that follows a sore hurt, or in the terrible grasp of pain? He who loves as no one else can love, who understands to the uttermost, is not far away. He wants us to say, He can give it to us to say, “My Lord, my Love, I am content with Thee.”



Amy Carmichael, Rose from Brier, 50-53.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A song like the sound of the sea

A song like the sound of the sea

There is a song like the sound of the sea
The thrilling waves rush over me
And draw me back again to see


The blue of the sky and the new born sea

Sing first creation day to me

And cause my deepest heart to see


The sand and shell and the foaming sea

Sing hope and life and joy to me --

They bless my eyes again to see

True beauty!

The pull of the tide and the roar of the sea

Sweep peace and calling over me:

In sense and sound and heart I see



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thine own before thy feet we lay

All things are thine; no gift have we

Words: John Greenleaf Whittier, 1872
Music: Herr Jesu Christ

All things are thine; no gift have we,
Lord of all gifts, to offer thee:
and hence with grateful hearts today
thine own before thy feet we lay.

Thy will was in the builders' thought;
thy hand unseen amidst us wrought;
through mortal motive, scheme and plan,
thy wise eternal purpose ran.

In weakness and in want we call
on thee for whom the heavens are small;
thy glory is thy children's good,
thy joy thy tender Fatherhood.

O Father, deign these walls to bless;
fill with thy love their emptiness;
and let their door a gateway be
to lead us from ourselves to thee!


Monday, August 18, 2008

The journey is too great for thee -- but wait!

An angel touched me in the journey

An angel touched me, and he said to me,
“The journey, pilgrim, is too great for thee;
But rise and eat and drink;
Thy food is here,
Thy Bread of Life,
Thy cruse of Water clear,
Drawn from the brook that doth as yesterday
Flow by the way.

“And thou shalt go in strength of that pure food
Made thine by virtue of the sacred Rood,
Unto the Mount of God,
Where thy Lord’s face
Shall shine on thee,
On thee in thy low place,
Down at His feet, who was thy Strength and Stay
Through all the way.”

O Cake of Bread, baken on coals of fire –
Sharp fires of pain;
O Water turned to Wine –
The word is true: this food is daily mine.
Then never, never can the journey be
Too great for me!



The Angel of the Lord came again the second time

But there were hours when I could not bear to hear the song of the mountaineer sung by the group of loving singers who so often sang to me, because I did not feel that I had attained, and I feared very much what is termed tongue-grace and paper-grace. All these letters are written from the lower slopes of the mountain...

I have told how it came to be a custom to share my pot of manna in the form of a short note… To turn over the leaves of such a notebook [journal] is like turning back the weeks and months and looking at past days again. This is what I find soon after the comforting assurance came, “Upon thy brier shall bloom a rose for others.”

1 Kings 19:7 – And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

Is it not good and comforting to know that the angel of the Lord came again the second time? We never reach the place where we pass beyond the compassion of our God: His compassions fail not; they are new every morning, never tiring of us, always strong for our help.

There have been times for nearly all of us when we have felt the truth of the angel’s word, ‘The journey is too great for thee’ – but have we not always found the Bread of Life and the Water of Life ready for our sustenance? And in the strength of that meat we have gone on, and shall go on, even to the Mountain of God.

But the perplexing thing is that even after we have been comforted and strengthened we can feel quite weak and tired again, just as though we had never been fed on the blessed Cake of Bread, the Water turned to Wine. It is consoling to find that we are not alone there. That heavenly minded book, Revelations of Divine Love, which has opened to me more than ever during these months, is refreshingly candid. After the anchoress Julian of Norwich had seen the fifteen “Shewings” that had fair and steadily gladdened her heart, each following the other, she wrote:

“And at the end all was closed, and I saw no more. And soon I felt that I should live and languish; and anon my sickness came again: first in my head with a sound and din, and suddenly my whole body was fulfilled with sickness like it was before. And I was barren and as dry as if I never had comfort but little. And as a wretched creature I moaned and cried for feeling of my bodily pains and for failing of comfort, spirit and body.”

But her courteous Lord did not leave her; the words of solace follow a little later: Thou shalt not be overcome was said full clearly and full mightily, for assuredness and comfort against all tribulations that may come. He said not: Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be afflicted; but He said: Thou shalt not be overcome. God willeth that we take heed to these words, and that we be ever strong in sure trust, in weal and woe. For He loveth and enjoyeth us, and so willeth He that we love and enjoy Him and mightily trust in Him; and all shall be well.

Blessed be the patience of our Lord, our dear-worthy Redeemer. The angel of the Lord came again the second time!



Amy Carmichael, Rose from Brier, 71-73.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A rainstorm on the Florida prairie

I really love the Florida scenes of weather... here, at twilight, a rainstorm rolls across the prairie, billowing clouds dropping down sheeted blue rain, pink sky glowing like distant fire underneath and beyond the storm. Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A word for the day: discipline, perseverance, trust, blessing

Trust, persevere in the fear of the Lord

Readings from Ecclesiasticus 2

My child, when you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for testing.
Set your heart right and be steadfast,
and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
Cling to Him and do not depart,
so that your last days may be prosperous.
Accept whatever befalls you,
and in times of humiliation be patient.
For gold is tested in the fire,
and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust in Him, and He will help you;
make your ways straight, and hope in Him.

You who fear the Lord, wait for His mercy;
do not stray, or else you may fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust in Him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the Lord, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
Consider the generations of old and see:
has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?
Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
Or has anyone called upon Him and been neglected?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful;
He forgives sins and saves in time of distress.

Delight yourself in the LORD!

Readings from Psalm 37

Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him and He will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy great peace.

If the LORD delights in a man's way,
He makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with His hand.
I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.
Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever!

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
He is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in Him.



While I am a pilgrim here

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare

Words: John Newton, 1780
Tune: Song 13

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare:
Jesus loves to answer prayer;
He himself has bid thee pray,
therefore will not say thee nay.

Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring;
for His grace and power are such,
none can ever ask too much.

With my burden I begin:
Lord, remove this load of sin;
let thy blood, for sinners spilt,
set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord, I come to thee for rest,
take possession of my breast;
there thy blood bought right maintain,
and without a rival reign.

Show me what I have to do,
every hour my strength renew:
let me live a life of faith,
let me die thy people's death.

While I am a pilgrim here,
let thy love my spirit cheer;
as my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,
lead me to my journey's end!


Friday, August 15, 2008

A stormy show over the Kissimmee

This was quite a show, the pink of the sky and the shaded blues of the storm, the rain, lightning and weather... there appeared to be a small funnel in these distant clouds, which added to the scene. It was a very active and picturesque storm! Enjoy!

A word for the day: God will make good His purpose for me

Before the gods I will praise the true God

Psalm 138

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I will sing your praise.
I will bow down towards your holy temple
and praise your name,
because of your love and faithfulness;
For you have glorified your name
and your word above all things.
When I called, you answered me;
you increased my strength within me.
All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord,
when they have heard the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord,
that great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord be high, He cares for the lowly;
He perceives the haughty from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you keep me safe;
you stretch forth your hand
against the fury of my enemies;
your right hand shall save me.
The Lord will make good His purpose for me;
O Lord, your love endures for ever;
do not abandon the works of your hands!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

A word for the day: Joy is strength!

The joy of the Lord is our strength

The joy of the Lord is your strength.

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! for the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted. — “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” — The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him. — My soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. — We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. — I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Neh. 8:10; Isa. 49:13; Isa. 12:2; Ps. 28:7; Isa. 61:10; Rom. 15:17; Rom. 5:11; Hab. 3:18


Monday, August 11, 2008

Thoughts between daughter and Father IX


Her thoughts said, “How can I know that it is the time to move?”

Her Father said,

“And it shall be when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle. Thou shalt certainly hear that sound. There will be a quiet sense of sureness and a sense of peace.”

The daughter said, “If another also heard that sound it would be easier.”

Her Father said,

That may not always be. The sound of going is like the voice of the shepherd that the sheep know, but how they know they could not tell, knowing only to follow.”


The daughter said, “But how can I be sure?”

Her Father said,

When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him; for they know His voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. Therein lies the token. Thou wilt recognize the Voice of the Shepherd. The voice of the stranger will be nothing to thee.”


Her thoughts said, “I wish that the sea might be made into dry land and the waters divide – then all would understand that Thou art leading me.”

Her Father said,

That crossing of the sea was the first and the easier obedience. The crossing of the river later on asked for a more daring faith. The way did not open in Jordan until the feet of the priests were dipped in the water. But it did open then. Rivers turn to roads, mountains become valleys, when He who is named Remover of Hindrances goeth before. Then no one can forbid. No power can bar the way.”


The daughter thought of Absalom, who dwelt two full years in Jerusalem and say not the King’s face. What if she be like Absalom?

And she remembered Bartimaeus, and how, casting away his garment, he sprang up and came to the Lord Jesus. Was there a garment that she had not cast away?

Her Father said,

“O foolish and blind, if there be any hindering thing known to thee, cast it away now; if such there be and thou dost not know it, I will reveal it to thee. Be not anxious even about that. Dost thou not love? I know that thou lovest. Love and thou comest. Love and thou seest.”

Love and thou seest!



Dear God of my rivers and deserts, help me today to serve you in faithful obedience. Help me to hear the sound of moving in the mulberry trees of the spirit, and then to move... holding nothing back, casting away the garments that have held me and framed me in lesser things, I spring up to follow you. Then others who do not hear the sound of moving may see it in my life, and be blessed. Then will they understand, according to your will -- yet may I not use that lack of understanding as a garment crutch! May I be to you today as Abraham and Sarah, who journeyed across the wilderness in faith, to the land of promise. May I be today as the priests who walked into the river, and found it a road!

Today, Father, I claim the promise that at your right hand are pleasures forevermore, and you know best, far and away, what is best for me! Today I will sing and wait for you, causing you the delight of those who bring you pleasure by waiting on you, as though the promise had already arrived!

Thank you that you are working in me -- this day -- both to will and do your good pleasure. I wait for you and give you my praise! Grant a new filling of the Spirit in my life to fulfill this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.


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 glimpse into that prayer life. May it bless you today!

A word for the day: a new heart, God's chosen

I will sprinkle clean water upon you

Ezekiel 36:24-26, 28

I will take you from the nations,
and gather you from all the countries.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you,
and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses.
A new heart I will give you,
and put a new spirit within you,
And I will remove from your body the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God!


Friday, August 08, 2008

A word for the day: *Hesed -- covenant love

The healing *Hesed of God

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits.
He forgives all your sins
and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave
and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;
He satisfies you with good things,
and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness
and judgment for all who are oppressed.
He made His ways known to Moses
and His works to the children of Israel.


The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,
nor will He keep His anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so is His mercy great upon those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children,
so does the Lord care for those who fear Him.
For He himself knows whereof we are made;
Hremembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass;
we flourish like a flower of the field;
When the wind goes over it, it is gone,
and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord
endures for ever on those who fear Him,
and His righteousness on children's children;
On those who keep His covenant
and remember His commandments and do them.
The Lord has set His throne in heaven,
and His kingship has dominion over all.
Bless the Lord, you angels of His,
you mighty ones who do His bidding,
and hearken to the voice of His word.
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
you ministers of His who do His will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
in all places of His dominion;
bless the Lord, O my soul!



Thursday, August 07, 2008

A word for the day: constancy

I will stand at my watch-post

Habakkuk 2:1-4

I will stand at my watch-post,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what He will say to me,
and what He will answer concerning my complaint.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.
Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faith!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Come to Me," saith One

Art thou weary, art thou languid?

Words: John Mason Neale, 1862
Tune: Cuttle Mills

Art thou weary, art thou languid,
art thou sore distressed?
"Come to Me," saith One, "and coming,
be at rest. "

Hath He marks to lead me to Him,
if He be my guide?
In His feet and hands are wound prints
and His side.

Is there diadem, as monarch,
that His brow adorns?
Yes, a crown in very surety,
but of thorns.

If I find Him, if I follow,
what His guerdon here?
Many a sorrow, many a labor,
many a tear.

If I still hold closely to Him,
what hath He at last?
Sorrow vanquished, labor ended,
Jordan passed.

If I ask Him to receive me,
will He say me nay?
Not till earth and not till heaven
pass away.

Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,
answer, yes!



Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Still will we trust

Still will we trust, though earth seem dark and dreary
Words: Words: William Henry Burleigh (1812-1871)
Music: Stanstead

Still will we trust, though earth seem dark and dreary,
and the heart faint beneath his chastening rod;
though rough and steep our pathway, worn and weary,
still will we trust in God!

Our eyes see dimly till by faith anointed,
and our blind choosing brings us grief and pain;
through him alone who hath our way appointed,
we find our peace again.

Choose for us, God! Nor let our weak preferring
cheat our poor souls of good thou has designed;
choose for us, God! Thy wisdom is unerring,
and we are fools and blind.

So from our sky the night shall furl her shadows,
and day pour gladness through his golden gates,
our rough path lead to flower-enameled meadows,
where joy our coming waits.

Let us press on, in patient self denial,
accept the hardship, shrink not from the loss;
our portion lies beyond the hour of trial,
our crown beyond the cross!