Saturday, February 26, 2011

“A true Christian will readily grant that his God is a good God, and that Jesus Christ is the chiefest of ten thousand, and that the gospel is a glorious gospel, and that the promises are precious promises, and that the ordinances are blessed ordinances, and that the lively communion of saints is the sweetest communion in all the world. But yet he will also say, I have such a proud heart, such a hard heart, such a slight heart, such a carnal heart etc., and I am so vexed and molested with sinful notions, and with sinful imaginations, and with sinful inclinations, and with atheistical risings, and with private murmurings, and with secret unbelieving, and that in despite of all my conflictings, and strivings, and prayings, and mournings, and sighings, and groanings, and complaining, that I am oftentimes even weary of my life. And if this does not speak out of Christ within, and grace within, and the Spirit within such a soul, I know of nothing that does. O friends! Remember this once and for all, viz., that the main battle, the main warfare of a Christian lies not in the open field, it lies not in the visible skirmishes; but his main quarrels and conflicts are most within, and his worst and greatest enemies are of his own house, they are them of his own heart.

A little grace at fist conversion may reform an ill life, but it must be a great deal of grace that must reform an ill heart. A little grace may make a man victorious over outward gross sins, but it must be a great deal of grace that must make a man victorious over inward sins, secret sins, spiritual sins, heart sins, yea, a thorough conquest of these sins will hold a man in play all the days of his life.”

Thomas Brooks, photo by Stephane Le Gal

Monday, February 21, 2011

I returned from Thailand on Sunday and after a wonderful visit with my son, daughter-in-law and two wonderful grandchildren, I began thinking about memorable moments during the trip.
I took this photo in a remote Hmong hill tribe village. This woman was weaving on what seemed like an ancient implement. During the flight over I had read from Timothy Titcomb and he included the following quote -- "Get thy spindle and thy distaff ready, and God will send thee flax." After looking up "distaff" which is simply a staff where the flax, wool, cotton etc. is put on waiting to be spun; I began ruminating on the applications for the quote. My mind during this time of my life seems to run first to the Teen Challenge Center and the men there. This is a time in most of the men's life when they have no flax, in fact they have in many cases lost all: worldly goods, faith, hope and often even a bed to sleep on. But we serve a God of might and miracles and he bids us to prepare; get out the spindle and distaff, open the Bible, attend with anticipation the services and see if God will not bring thee flax! May I always be greedy to see God fill the distaffs with flax overflowing! Grown, hardened, abandoned, often hated and rejected men, brought to humility, to a place of brokenness where God's resources are brought to be woven into useful materials. Homes to be restored, restitution to be made, character to be built, and hope in God to abound.
I watched this woman's hands and feet busy at the spindle; may I do the same.