Monday, April 23, 2012

Hope for him of weak grace

  God may communicate the less of his assisting strength, so that He may show the more of his supporting strength, in upholding him of weak grace. 
We do not wonder when we see a man of strong constitution, that eats his bread heartily and sleeps soundly, live. But for a crazy body, full of ails and infirmities, to be so patched and shored up by the physician’s art that he lives to old age, this begets some wonder in the beholders. It may be thou art a poor trembling soul, thy faith is weak, and thy assaults from Satan strong, thy corruptions stirring and active, and thy mortifying strength little, so that in thy opinion they rather gain ground on thy grace, rather than give ground to it. Ever and anon thou art ready to think thou shalt be cast as a wreck on the devil’s shore; and yet to this day thy grace lives, though full of leaks. Now is it not worth the stepping aside to see this strange sight?
A broken ship with masts and hull rent and torn, thus towed along by almighty power through an angry sea, and armadas of sins and devils, safely into it harbor. In a word, to see a weak stripling in grace held up in God’s arms till he beats the devil craven! This God is doing in upholding thee. Thou art one of those babes, out of whose mouth God is perfecting praise, by ordaining such strength for thee, that thou, a babe in grace, shalt yet foil a giant in wrath and power.”

This word of encouragement is from William Gurnall’s book titled the Christian in Complete Armour. Charles Spurgeon recommends this book be in every Christian’s library and David Wilkerson blesses the day he found this book and says it breathes holiness on every page.
Not a bad recommendation. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

There is a Jewish tradition concerning Moses……….That the great prophet, it is said, was called up by a voice from heaven to the top of a mountain, where in a conference with the Supreme being, he was permitted to propose to God some questions concerning His administration of the universe.

In the midst of this Divine conference he was commanded to look down on the plain below. At the foot of the mountain there issued out a clear spring of water, at which a soldier alighted from his horse to drink. He was no sooner gone than a little boy came to the same place, and finding a purse of gold, which the soldier had dropped, took it up and went away with it. Immediately after this came an infirm old man, weary with age and travelling, and having quenched his thirst, sat down to rest himself by the side of the spring. The soldier, missing his purse, returns to search for it, and demands it of the old man, who affirms he had not seen it, and appeals to Heaven in witness of his innocence. The soldier, not believing his protestations, kills him.

Moses fell on his face with horror and amazement, when the Divine Voice thus prevented his expostulation, ‘Be not surprised, Moses, nor ask why the Judge of the whole earth hath suffered this thing to come to pass; the child is the occasion that the blood of the old man is spilt; but know, that the old man whom thou sawest was the murderer of that child’s father’. Joseph Addison from The Spectator.

“We know in part and see through a glass dimly”.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Life plant

"There is a plant in Jamaica called the Life-plant, because it is almost impossible to kill it or any portion of it. When a leaf is cut off and hung up by a string, it sends out white thread-like shoots,
gathers moisture from the air, and begins to grow new leaves. Even when pressed and packed away in a botanist's herbarium, it has been known to grow out beyond the leaves of the book in which it is pressed. You can kill it by the heat of a hot iron, by boiling water, or by mashing it to pulp, but by no gentler means."

This little piece comes from Orison Swett Marden's book titled "The Secret of Achievement".
This comes from the chapter on the power of habit.

Rise in me

"Perish policy and cunning!
Perish all that fears the light!"

Ah, God! for a man of heart and hand,
Like some of the simple great ones gone
forever and forever by;
One still strong man in a blatant land,
Whatever they call him, what care I? ---
Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat, --- what care I? ---
One who can rule and dare not lie:
And ah, for a man to rise in me,
That the man I am may cease to be. ---- Tennyson


Human nature appears a very deformed, or a very beautiful object, according to the different lights in which its viewed. When we see men of inflamed passions, or of wicked designs, tearing one another to pieces by open violence, or undermining each other by secret treachery; when we observe base and narrow ends pursued by ignominious and dishonest means; when we behold men mixed in society as if it were for the destruction of it; we are even ashamed of our species.....

I read this the morning after I watched "Black Hawk Down", for the second or third time. This time I was so grieved by the violence and lack of concern that the warlords displayed. I went to bed feeling so "ashamed of our species", but didn't have the words for it. When I read this piece the next morning it put words to my emotions and strengthened my resolve to be part of the beautiful in the world and do all I can to overturn the evil.

Old ways

Well, it finally happened, one of the students went on a pass home and on the night before he returned he ran across some of his old drug friends and they had some heroin. He fell to the temptation and shot up the way he had done some thousand times before, but of course, this time he had been clean from the drug for months and his tolerance had reduced, so what was once a normal dose now became lethal; he died Sunday night of an overdose. It has been a sad time at the center as we all process his death in our individual ways.