Monday, March 31, 2014

God's Perfect Way

"As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried:
He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him"
(2 Samuel 22:31)
Sweet Rose II by Nicole Katano
Sweet Rose II

One of the most common excuses given by men for rejecting the God of the Bible is their opinion that His ways are unfair. Even Christians are prone to complain at the way God deals with them. But the fact that we may not understand God's ways hardly gives us the right to pass judgment on them. He often reminds us in His word that His way is perfect and his word has been tried and proved, again and again.

"For the word of the Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth"
(Psalm 33:4)

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul"

(Psalm 19:7)

We need to settle it in our hearts that, whether we understand them or not, God's ways are always perfect. What He does is right, and whatever He says must be true by definition. His ways are always in the context of eternity, but we leap to judgment in terms of present inconvenience.

His perfect way is seen most fully in Christ, and His truth is heard most clearly in Christ, for "I am the Way." He said, and "I am the truth" (John 14:6). Yet Christ's way was through the cross, and His truth was opposed by the father of lies (John 8:44).
  • God's way for us may also lead us into suffering and great opposition, but His way is always perfect and His word is tried and true. If we trust Him through it all He will be our buckler as He was for David.

"Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him" (Proverbs 30:5).
Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.

Lighthouse: Dusk by T. C. Chiu
Lighthouse: Dusk

pictures courtesy of all posters

Love, Mimi

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When Our Confidence is Shaken

When our confidence is shaken
In beliefs we thought secure,
When the spirit in its sickness
Seeks but cannot find a cure,
God is active in the tensions
Of a faith not yet mature.

Solar systems, void of meaning,
Freeze the spirit into stone'
Always our researches lead us
To the ultimate unknown.

Faith must die, or come full circle
To its source in God along.
In the discipline of praying,
When it's hardest to believe;

In the drudgery of caring,
When it's not enough to grieve;
Faith, maturing, learns acceptance
Of the insight we receive.

God is love, and thus redeems us
In the Christ we crucify;
This is God's eternal answer
To the world's eternal why.

May we in this faith maturing
Be content to live and die!
Fred Pratt Green

images courtesy of all posters

Fred Pratt Green, A Methodist pastor, started writing plays and poetry when he was in college, publishing three collections of poems. He started writing hymns in his mid-sixties, many of which have been collected in The Hymns and Ballads of Fred Pratt Green.


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Doubter's Prayer

Eternal power, of earth and air!
Unseen, yet seen in all around;
Storm Clouds Over Mountains and Trees, Grand Teton National Park, USA by Carol Polich
Storm Clouds Over Mountains and Trees, Grand Teton National Park, USA

Remote, but swelling everywhere;
Though silent heard in every sound;

If e'er thine ear in Mercy lent,
When wretched mortals cried to Thee,
And if indeed, Thy Son was sent,
To save lost sinners such as me:

Then hear me now, while kneeling here,
I lift to Thee my heart and eye,
Child Kneels in Prayer at Its Mother's Knee
Child Kneels in Prayer at Its Mother's Knee
And all my soul ascends in prayer,
Oh, give me--Give me Faith! I cry.

While Faith is with me, I am blest;
It turns my darkest night to day;
But while I clasp it to my breast,
I often feel it slide away.

Anne Bronte

Anne Bronte (1820-1849), like her more famous sisters, Emily and Charlotte, was a successful writer of fiction. The youngest child in the Bronte family, Anne was educated mainly at the parsonage in Haworth, England. She is best remembered for her novels "Agnes Grey" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall".images courtesy of AllPosters


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Lost Library

Little Boy Looking Rows of Books on Library Shelves
Little Boy Looking Rows of Books on Library Shelves

When my daughters were little one of our favorite things to do was go to the library...
I still enjoy a trip to the library with my grandkids every time I travel up to see them...
Little Boy Reading Book Beside Library Shelf
Little Boy Reading Book Beside Library Shelf

My favorite section is the historical novels and classics.

What about you?

Imagine if one day you showed up at the library, only to find your favorite books reduced to a pile of ashes.

Centuries ago, that is what happened when thousands of books at the library of Alexandria caught fire. Alexandria was the place to do research in the ancient world. On a fateful day in 47 BC, Julius Caesar set fire to his ships in the Alexandrian harbor to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. The fire soon spread to the docks and the naval arsenal, ultimately destroying 400,000 of the library's precious scrolls.

Such a tragedy shows just how perishable written materials can be. This makes the preservation of our Bible such a marvel.

The Bible: Still Life by Vincent van Gogh
The Bible: Still Life

The Word of God has survived book-burnings, riots, revolutions, persecutions, and catastrophes. Yet scholars tell us that the manuscripts have been accurately preserved through millennia of copying.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16) God inspired the writing of Scripture, and has promised to preserve it through the centuries. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8)
Next time you open your Bible, take a moment to reflect on how precious it is, and thank God for keeping it safe for you.-- Dennis Fisher

Thank you, Lord, for Your precious Word,
And for its message I have heard;
No other book do I revere,
No other counsel hold so dear. -- Clair Hess


Referrences:Our daily bread, allposters

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Two Lovers

There came from Normandy an old story that was often told
Of how because two children tried to win the right to love, they died.
A Breton lay preserves their fame;
"The Two Lovers is it's name."

To the Mountain by Alan Giana

As proof of the story, you can see in the country we call Normandy, A mountain marvelously high, on top of which the children lie.

Close to the mountain, on one side, there is a city, once the pride of Pitre, named as was that land, by the king whose wise command had built it. Honoring his will, the city is called Pitre still, and people even now are living in the dominions of that king. The valley of Pitre that we know remains as it was so long ago.

The king had just one child, a daughter Gentle and fair; He turned to her for comfort when her mother died,
Alice Gamby In The Garden, Young Girl Sitting In The Grass, 1891 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

And kept her always at his side. People began to be aware that the king might never have an heir; To hear them openly complain caused him to suffer bitter pain.
With craft to meet his need he planned how none should win his daughter's hand, and yet the king be free from blame. He ordered heralds to proclaim near and far to everyone how the princess could be won. The king would let his child be married, but first the princess must be carried up the high mountain near the town before her suitor set her down.
As soon as they heard about the test, suitors hastened to request a chance to win the promised bride. But none, no matter how he tried, could ever get beyond half way before exhaustion made him lay his burden and his hopes to rest; All were defeated in their quest. The princess found herself a prize to which no one dared lift his eyes.

In that country lived a youth, The son of a count, and in all truth Noble, courteous, and fair.
To be the best knight anywhere was what he wanted most to do.

Tronie' of a Young Man with Gorget and Beret, circa 1639 by Rembrandt van Rijn
Tronie' of a Young Man with Gorget and Beret, circa 1639

Living much at court, he knew and loved the princess. Eloquent, he tried to make her heart consent to trust his own, to have her learn from love to love him in return. She knew his valor, his gentle ways, and that he had won her father's praise. And so she said that she would be his love, for which he thanked her humbly.

Often they would talk together, taking great care, although they were so much in love, never to show their feelings, and let no one know. But having to hide their love, they grieved. The boy was prudent; he believed whatever the cost, they must refuse to venture all too soon and lose. But very great was his distress.

One day it drove him to confess how much he suffered to his friend, pleading with her to put an end to their unhappiness, and run away with him. That seemed the one way possible-- he could no longer live in torment there with her. But surely, if he asked for her hand in marriage, the king's love would stand between them; he would not agree to lose his daughter willingly unless the suitor, to win his bride , carried her up the mountainside.

To the Mountain by Alan Giana

"I know too well," she said, "dear friend, how that trial would have to end--You are not strong enough to win. But there is no good either in running away. I couldn't forgive myself if I should ever give my father such good cause to grieve. I love him too much, I couldn't leave, knowing his rage and suffering. I think there is only one thing to do: I have an aunt I know could help, but you would have to go to Salerno -- she has lived there more than thirty years.
Classical Style Urn Against an Orange Painted Wall in a Small Town Garden, Bristol by Mark Bolton
Classical Style Urn Against an Orange Painted Wall in a Small Town Garden, Bristol

She is famous for her learning, and rich; for every kind of sickness she knows how to find medicine in roots and plants; Surely this is our only chance. If you agree I'll write a letter for you to take and give to her, and you can tell our story too. She will know how to counsel you, and give you some kind of medicine to make you strong enough to win. Then you can come back to this land, and ask my father for my hand.

He'll say that you are young and foolish, and that he will grant your wish, according to his own decree, only if you can carry me all the way up to the top of the mountain, and you do not stop."

For the prudent counsel that he heard, the boy gave joyful thanks, and answered that he would, that very day, with her consent, be on his way.
He went to his own home, and hurried to assemble all that he would need,

Adare cottage by Timothy O'Keefe
Adare cottage

Gold enough and fine clothing, pack horses, palfreys, summoning those of his men he trusted most to travel with him to the coast.
Once in Salerno, he visited the princess' aunt; when she had read the letter from beginning to end, she decided first to recommend that he stay with her a while. And so she learned all that there was to know. She gave him medicines to build his strength, and by her arts distilled a philter that would meet his need.
As soon as he drank it, however wearied he might be, no matter how great his burden, he would not feel the weight because of the power that had flown from his lips to veins and bone.
She sent him back then to his trial; He carried the philter in a phial.

When he reached his home, the boy, confident and full of joy, wasted no time at all, but went to ask the king if he'd consent to give him the princess for his bride, when he carried her up the mountainside.
The King felt no need to refuse; He thought the boy would surely lose, that it was madness to imagine someone of his age could win, where so many wise and valiant men had tried and every one was beaten.
The king then willingly proclaimed the contest would be held, and named a date. He summoned every friend, every vassal to attend the ceremony. At his command they gathered from throughout the land to see the youth put to the trial of climbing up the mountain while holding in his arms the princess.
She, by eating less and less, prepared in the most useful way she could for the appointed day.

Finally, when everyone arrived, the contest was begun. In a meadow near the Seine, first the boy appeared, and then the King, who led his daughter through the crowd assembled there to do them honor. The young princess wore only a shift and nothing more.

Young Girl Carrying a Basket of Flowers by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Young Girl Carrying a Basket of Flowers

Holding her in his arms, the boy believed that nothing could destroy their hopes; he had the little phial which she would carry for a while.

However sure the outcome seems, I fear he'll go to such extremes that the medicine will go to waste.

He reached the halfway point in haste, far too happy to remember more than that he was close to her.
She felt his strength would not allow much more. "Please drink the philter now!" she said, "Dear friend, you cannot hide your weariness!" The boy replied, "Dearest, my heart is very strong; I will not stop to drink as long as I can manage three steps more -- Nothing can change my mind before! We would be seen by all the crowd, and, if they should shout aloud, I'd lose my balance. They're too near; I won't take time to drink right here."

Two thirds of the way to to the top, He stumbled, and nearly let her drop. Time and again the girl would plead, "Here is the medicine you need!" But trying, in pain, to reach the peak, he didn't even hear her speak.
Exhausted, he went on until He fell at the top, and then lay still; His heart cracked open in his breast. Thinking him worn out by his conquest, the maiden came to kneel beside her friend, and once again she tried to bring him comfort with the philter. But now he could not answer her.

Thus, as I have told, he died there upon the mountainside. Crying aloud her grief, the girl picked up the phial again to hurl the philter down. And it was worth much to that well watered earth, and to the region all around, for afterwards the people found powerful herbs that flourished there.

The maiden, in her great despair, lay down beside her friend, alone with sorrow she had never known, now that he was lost forever.

So she held him close to her, tightly in her arms, and still kissing his eyes and mouth until her grief became a sword inside her heart. And so the maiden died who was so lovely, and so wise.

Those waiting began to realize the children should long since have returned. When they climbed the peak, and learned the truth, the King, in horror, fainted. When he could speak, he mourned the dead, and all the people shared his sorrow. They did not let the children go for three days. A marble coffin holding them both bas buried in the place that would forever tell the story.
Then they said farewell.

"Two Lovers" is the name they gave the mountain that was now a grave.
It all happened just this way in truth and in a Breton lay.

To the Mountain by Alan Giana
To the Mountain

Marie de France

Marie de France (ca. 1155-1189) wrote in the second half of the twelfth century, this is all we know for certain. The dates usually given refer to the ascension to the throne of Henry II, to whom she addressed her poems. She was perhaps the daughter of Geoffrey Plantagenet and therefore half-sister to Henry II. Although born in France, she probably did all her writing in England, where she was Abbess of Shaftesbury. Marie de France is the greatest woman poet of medieval Europe. She wrote lais, narrative poems of love and adventure, using prevalent medieval legends as her source. Although the poems are narrative, the lines read with the grace and lyrical flow of skillful song. She takes advantage of narrative technique in order to create suspense, drama, and often exquisitely poignant climatic scenes.

This Narrative Poem is posted for my grand daughters Brittany and Bridget...
This was my literature lesson for today

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hide Me in Your Safety Harbor

The sea of life is often stormy,
perils rise on every side,
unless you're anchored to the Saviour
there is no place to hide.
In the midst of rolling thunder
precious Lord hear my cry,
hide me in your Safety Harbor
until the storm passes by.

Don't forget weary seaman,
the storms not here to do you harm,
it is here to make you stronger
in the quiet of the calm.
So keep your eyes upon Jesus,
the guiding light of all the years,
and He will guide you safely over
to where the storms never near.

When the billows have subsided,
and the sea is calm again,
don't forget the Savior held you
in the palm of His hand.
So tell the world of your experience,
and pray they'll understand,
The Saviour's love will lead them to Him,
If they will yield to His command.

Until the storm passes over,
until the sea billows die,
Hide me in your safety harbor
until the storm passes by.

words and music by

Joe Nelson Copyright© 1999

There is a small quaint town near where we live called "Safety Harbor".

My husband, inspired by the name of the town, wrote this song.
I just wish I had the capability of putting the music on here as well..
He sings it with very soft guitar music...

Blessings, Mimi

Monday, March 10, 2014

You Said You Were the Way

Now, when we dream dreams
Or puzzle over the future;
Now, when our ideals are challenged
And the second best becomes attractive,

You are there....
Upsetting our easiness,
Contradicting our compromises,

Replacing our narrow vision
With the sight and sound and taste of a better life,
Picking up the loose stitches of our devotion,
Kitten Playing with Balls of Yarn by David Davis
Kitten Playing with Balls of Yarn

Turning the random into the real,
And for this we praise you.

And it always will be so.
For you did not say you were the answer,
you said you were the way;You did not ask us to succeed,
you asked us to be faithful;You did not promise us paradise tomorrow,
You said you would be with us to the end of the world,
Turning the random into the real.

And for all this we praise you,
now and forever.
Iona Community

The Scottish island of Iona is the geographical heart of this community, founded by George MacLeod in 1938. The community also has members in various urban centers where they seek to live their common life in the midst of violence. This excerpt is an appending of a larger prayer written by John L. Bell.