The River

theguardian

I am a river flowing from God’s sea
Through devious ways. He mapped my course for me;
I cannot change it; mine alone the toil
To keep the waters free from grime and soil.
The winding river ends where it began;
And when my life has compassed its brief span
I must return to that mysterious source.
So let me gather daily on my course
The perfume from the blossoms as I pass,
Balm from the pines, and healing from the grass,
And carry down my current as I go
Not common stones but precious gems to show;
And tears (the holy water from sad eyes)
Back to God’s sea, from which all rivers rise
Let me convey, not blood from wounded hearts,
Nor poison which the upas tree imparts.
When over flowery vales I leap with joy,
Let me not devastate them, nor destroy,
But rather leave them fairer to the sight;
Mine be the lot to comfort and delight.
And if down awful chasms I needs must leap
Let me not murmur at my lot, but sweep
On bravely to the end without one fear,
Knowing that He who planned my ways stands near.
Love sent me forth, to Love I go again,
For Love is all, and over all. Amen.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

photo: theguardian.com

Ourselves and Others

We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family.

It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace.

He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord.

Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.

Matthew Henry

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  2 Corinthians 1:4

The Heavenly Bridegroom

WE may never become entirely satisfactory to ourselves in thought, word, and deed while in the flesh; and we may never, therefore, be entirely satisfactory either to others; but we can, we should, we must, and by the grace of God let us each resolve that we will, attain to all of this so far as our hearts are concerned. Nothing short of this will be satisfactory to our Lord, to whom we are “betrothed” as members of the chaste, virgin church. If we fail to come up to this reasonable, possible, standard, we will fail to make our calling and election sure to a place in the bride company. But if we do these things, if at heart we are at this standard, and are daily seeking to live it to the best of our ability, the Heavenly Bridegroom will rejoice to own us as members of his elect. Oh, how much depends upon our learning this lesson!

Manna

“Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” John 13:17

When I say…

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When I say “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I am saved.

” I’m whispering “I get lost” That is why I chose this way.

When I say “I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride.

I’m confessing that I stumble And need someone to be my guide.

When I say “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong.

I’m professing that I am weak And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success.

I’m admitting I have failed And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect.

My flaws are too visible But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain.

I have my share of heartaches Which is why I seek HIS name.

When I say “I am a Christian” I do not wish to judge.

I have no authority I only know I’m loved.

Maya Angelou

Love can…

Love Can…

Love can surely rescue
A heart in deep despair,
A heart that has given up
And no longer feels God near

Love can breathe new meaning
When there’s nothing left inside,
When there’s no feeling or emotion
Just dryness in our lives

Love can restore new hope
After it’s withered and died,
For hope is what will get us through
And love can be its guide

Love can run and embrace
The prodigal returning home
And the one that has come to the end,
Those hurting, lost and alone

For God’s love is the answer
To our broken, empty lives,
As we come with an open heart,
He can dispel all the hurt inside

And He will heal our brokenness
And lovingly, He will bind
The wounds that have left us scarred
And bring soundness to our minds

So give it over to God’s love,
Our lives, and all that we are
Then we will know and walk in His love,
For His love shall dwell in our hearts.

Bring Forth Fruit

Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding. 1 Chron, xxix. 15.

ALL life has been compared to the shadow of a smoke wreath; a gesture in the invisible air; a hier oglyph traced for an instant on the sand, and effaced a moment after by a breath of wind; an air bubble vanishing on the river. Pilgrims and sojourners, as were all our fathers such is the universal confession. But even such may do a work that will last for ages. David and the men of his time, though transitory their stay on our planet, left behind them a standing evidence that they had been here.

Our life is nothing, but it may be divine: our days are as a breath, but they may affect unborn generations: the tent of the body is laid aside, but the soul, which had dwelt in it, is immortal in its touch: it leaves traces of its own immortality behind in its works, and it lives in them. In one sense, the answer to the ancient prayer is certain: “Establish Thou the works of our hands upon us.” But we may well ask, that they may be such that we shall have no need to be ashamed of.

But, for this, God must live mightily within us. Abide in Me, said our Lord. . . . I have appointed you that ye may bring forth fruit, and that your fruit may abide. It is impossible to be in true union with Christ without feeling the pulse of his glorious life; and where it enters like a tidal river, it can have but one result it must manifest itself in fruit. It is only in proportion as our works are done in God, and God permeates our works, that they become sources of enduring blessing to coming time. Pilgrims though we be, yet, if our lives are spent before Him, we may build temples which will outlast the wreck of matter.

F.B. Meyer

Good Fight of Faith

  Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3
OUR good fight of faith consists in a considerable measure in our defense of the Word of God, which includes also our defense of the character of God. This will mean our willingness to stand for the Truth at any cost and against any number of assailants– against the creeds and theories of men, which would misrepresent the good tidings of great joy which the Lord and the apostles have announced, and which shall, thank God, yet be unto all people. As the apostle again says, “I am set for the defense of the Truth.” We can do no less than defend the Truth. The Truth is God’s representative, Christ’s representative, and hence our standard, and as true soldiers we must defend our standard, even unto death.

Daily Heavenly Manna

Daily Heavenly Manna

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
THE goodness and mercy which we anticipate beyond the veil has its beginning here already and is thus to be appreciated. Whoever knows nothing of the joys of the Lord in the present time will evidently not be prepared for the joys of the Lord in the Kingdom, whatever blessings and joys he may attain to under the administration of the Kingdom during the Millennial Age. There is then joy and rejoicing granted to the Lord’s faithful ones, not a momentary matter connected with their first acceptance of the Lord and their consecration of themselves to Him. The goodness and mercy of the Lord is not to be looked back to as a thing of the remote past, but is to be recognized and appreciated as a thing of the present. Day by day God’s goodness and mercy follow us, refresh us, strengthen us, bless us

Thanksgiving Chorus

We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies,
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendour,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling;
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And, looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labour near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox