Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I love both of these paintings; the one above by Adolf Echtler, the rich colors; the joy in the child and delight of the scene. 
And the bottom one by Nutrendo Agnelli, just captures the joy of children on the farm. 

The following quote is about sacrificing love, and when it is done in love it is no burden.

   " Go into a home where a child lies sick, one of a joyous family where often merry voices ring from morn to night. But now silence, the unconscious forerunner of death, flits through the house, touching with her seal the lips even of the gayest little prattler living there; and when the faint cry of feverish waking frets forth from the pillow, how swift the answer to the call! How soft the mother's cheerful words from out of her anguished heart! How prompt the father's hand with the cup of cold water to cool the parched tongue. Every selfish concern is discarded as soon as formed, swift messengers glide to and fro to gratify the sick child; every burst of impatience falls softly and without recoil on playmates who have never been wounded so before. No despot was ever so obeyed, as this little child, whose will is now the sole domestic law: for despots acquire no such title to command. But this title, recorded in God's handwriting of love, on the tablets of our humanity, we must recognize and obey. The terms of it proclaim, in defiance to the claims of self-will, that the service of others is our divinest freedom; and that the law, which rules us, becomes the charter that becomes our freedom. Nay, to work patiently in faith and love, to do, not what we like, but what we revere, confers not only liberty but also power."

  When we become involved with someone who is taken sick by sin: be it addiction to drugs, alcohol, lust or some other oppression of the soul, we become overshadowed with God's abiding presence and with the consoling love of Christ, and each fevered cry of the diseased soul becomes our delight to soothe and encourage. Our selfish concerns are left by the wayside as we attend to the wounded, and it is no sacrifice but a joy. 
Painting by Sir Luke Fildes, quote by James Martineau. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

  Woe to you, teachers of the Bible and Christians, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your pay, taxes and bonuses. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. For I am hungry, I am thirsty, I am a stranger, I need clothes, and I am in prison. Jesus.   

Mt. 23:23 Is. 1:17, Ps. 82:3,4, Mt. 25:35

Saturday, March 26, 2016

  I tend to be more of a melancholy than sanguine, so this quote serves as a good reminder for me.

  "No one in life occupies a position so humble, be it in the smallest hamlet or the largest city, that he cannot manifest his moral strength and exercise it. There is none so obscure that he cannot make the lives of those around him marvelously changed, brightened and inspired if he would merely progressively live up to his expanding possibilities in the way of kindness, thoughtfulness, cheer, good-will, influence and optimism.

  Better by far is it for the individual to be a live coal, radiating light and heat for a day, than to be an icicle for a century. It is better to be an oasis of freshness and inspiration, if the oasis is no larger even than a table-cloth, than a desert of dreariness -- larger than the Sahara. We can all be intensive, even if we cannot yet be extensive; deep, if we cannot be wide; concentrated, if we cannot be diffused. The smallest pool of water can mirror the sun; it does not require an ocean. Let us live up to our possibilities for a single day, and we will not have to die to get to heaven; we will be making heaven for ourselves and for others right here -- today on this little spinning globe we call the earth."  William George Jordan.
In Luke 14: 16 Jesus describes a large dinner and many guests were invited; here's the menu ---
The wine - the cup is filled to the brim with the blood of Christ, for the forgiveness of sin offered to each guest.
The bread is Jesus, " Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger " Jn. 6:35
The greens," Are the green pastures he leads us in, to lie down in peace.
Water - The Spirit, "which is in our soul a river of living water, and he who believes in him will never thirst."
Honey - His teachings, sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Flavor -"O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him! Ps. 34:8
"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Ro.l4: 17

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"A lady, observing the loss from her ring of a small but valuable stone, told her servant, who immediately said she would look for it, and left the room; she quickly returned with a lighted oil lamp, a dust pan and broom. She began sweeping the room all over most diligently; and looking by the light of the lamp carefully through the dust, she soon produced the tiny but precious stone. The eyes of the poor woman brightened when she discovered and restored it; and then, going to the veranda, she told the rest of the servants how she had found the stone which had been lost."  Anon. 

  "Bishop Hutton was traveling between Wensleydale and Ingleton, when he dismounted and retired to a particular spot, where he knelt down and continued some time in prayer. On his return, one of his attendants inquired his reason for this act. The bishop informed him, that when he was a poor boy, he traveled over that cold and bleak mountain without shoes or stockings, and that he remembered disturbing a cow on the identical spot where he prayed, that he might warm his feet and legs on the place where she had lain. His feelings of gratitude would not allow him to pass the place without presenting his thanksgivings to God for his mercies to him." Author unknown. 

"I hope my younger brethren in the ministry will pardon me if I ask for their particular attention to this admonition -- not to give the main part of their time to the curiosities of learning and only a few fragments of it to their great work, the cure of souls, lest they see cause in their last moments on earth to adopt the same words as the dying Grotius, "I have lost a life in busy trifling."     Dr. Doddridge.