Friday, April 28, 2017

 "It is confessed by the anxieties of many good minds, that are ashamed of the slow fires and faint light of their faith and love; that they can spur their will, more easily than kindle their affections; and wish they were called upon only to do, and not also to feel. They cast about the vaguest and vainest efforts after deeper impressions of things holy and sublime: they wonder at the apathy with which they dwell amid the infinitude of God: they convince themselves how untrue is the state of mind which treats the "seen and temporal" as if there were no "unseen and eternal;" they assure themselves how terrible must be the disorder of that soul, whose springs of pure emotion are thus locked in death. But with all this they cannot shame, or reason, or terrify themselves into any nobler glow: the avenues of intellect, and judgment, and fear, are not those by which a new feeling is permitted to visit and refresh the heart. The ice cannot thaw itself; but must ask the warmer gales of heaven to blow, and the sun aloft to send more piercing beams. There is nothing vainer or more hopeless than the direct struggles of the mind to transform its own affections, to change by a fiat of volition the order of its tastes, and the intensity of its love. Self-inspiration is a contradiction: and to suspend, by upheaving’s of the will, the force of habitual desire, is no less impossible than by writhing’s of the muscles, to annihilate our own weight." 

  The inner spirit of the mind, which all outward action should express, is not naturally inflexible and habitual: but rather, it drifts away from its old anchorages, and gets afloat upon new tides of thought; as experience deepens, existence ceases to be the same, and the proportions in which things lie within our affections are materially changed; as the ascent of time is made, life is seen from a higher point, and fresh fields of truth and duty spread before our view. Now Habit is conservative, but faith and feeling are progressive, and unless their mutual relation is constantly re-adjusted by meditation, they will cease to correspond, and will become miserably divergent. Bare moral principle, unless it holds something more divine, has but an unsafe tenure of the wisdom and strength of life." James Martineau.

Monday, April 24, 2017

  "I say your words --- I could say other words of yours, 
For none of all your words have been more lost than 
sweet verbena, which, being brushed against, will hold you three hours after by the smell, In spite of long walks on the windy hill."
E.B. Browning.  

  The influence of some  people I know make such an influence on me, that I carry it in my soul for hours, sometimes days. This is one of the many graces of God's signature on a soul that inspires me to continue to know more of God and this penetrating love.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

   "A lady came into the office of the City Mission and wanted a few tracts. She didn't feel as if she could do very much active work for the Lord, but felt like giving away a few tracts. One day she saw a policeman taking a poor drunken woman to jail, a miserable object: ragged, dirty, with hair disordered, but the lady's heart went out in sympathy toward her. She found the woman after she came out of jail, and just went and folded her arms around her, and kissed her. The woman exclaimed, "My God, what did you do that for?" and she replied, "I don't know, but I think Jesus sent me to do it." The woman said, "Oh, don't kiss me any more, you'll break my heart. Why, nobody hasn't kissed me since my mother died." But that kiss brought the woman to the feet of the Savior, and for the last three years she has been living a godly Christian life, won to God by a kiss."
Author unknown.

   I know a story about a family from Mississippi, during the fifties. They were poor but the kids yearned for a puppy. They begged and pleaded, and finally their dad reluctantly said yes. 

 They went to the pound and there was one puppy there, not very cute, but wagged his tail and licked them into acceptance. With joy they took him home and while the novelty kept their attention they played with him. 
But before long, they lost interest and the puppy was kept in a wire kennel at the back of the house where it bordered the dusty alleyway. 
He was neglected and often a group of three kids, who used that alley as a short cut, would walk by his kennel. At first he would run to the side of the cage in great expectation of attention, but these boys, being very cruel, would taunt and tease the puppy each time they went by.

  As the months went by the puppy grew physically, but he began to cower when people came by and those three boys became more and more cruel, sometimes throwing rocks, sometimes banging on the cage but always treating him cruel. 
The puppy became more and more withdrawn and soon began to bark at strangers instead of expecting attention. He became more and more vicious, and one day, the three boys decided they would taunt him by spraying him with an ammonia solution they heard would stop the dog (the puppy had grown into a fifty pound adult dog by now,) when he charged the cage and send him howling to his corner. 

  True to form, the dog saw the boys and began to growl and bark, and when they got close, he charged the cage. They quickly fumbled their ammonia spray out and tried to spray him in the eyes, but it only enraged the dog more and he pushed his nose against a weak spot in the fence and began to plow his way out and chased the boys up a fence they jumped to for safety. 
The dog jumped up and bit the first boy in the butt, sunk his teeth in, shook his head and then let go, only to chase the second boy who was half way up the wall now, and he caught him and bit the back of the boys thigh, again, shook his head and released him, and bolted after the third boy who was at the top of the fence, but the dog jumped as high as he could and caught the third boys ankle and closed his jaws like a vice as the boy screamed and hollered. A man who happened by saw the whole thing and grabbed the dog by his collar and pulled him off the boy. 

The three boys, safe on the other side, cried out through their tears, "That is a bad dog! He is vicious!

 The man held the dog and tried to calm him. He noticed the collar was very tight, so he loosened it, and continued to stroke and pet the dog while calmly talking to him in a low affectionate voice. 
After some time, the dogs growls ceased, the hair laid down on his back, and he gained a trust in the man. The man released the dog and began to continue home, but the dog began to follow him. The man tried to discourage the dog from following him, and with some continued persistence by the man, the dog stopped. 

The next day when the man arose and went to get the morning paper, there laid the dog on his porch. Regardless of how he tried, he could never chase the dog away; so he took him in and treated him to some food, petted him affectionately, and they became friends forever. 

  That puppy was me, and that kind man was the Lord. I have never left Him nor did I forget His loving kindness to me, then, and still now. 
So, I will always try and help others find my Master, the one who rescued me.  

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Feeling neglected

"If all around thee, good and bad, neglect thy seeming merit;
No man yet deserved, who found not some to love him; 
and he, that never kept a friend, need only blame himself:
Many for unworthiness will droop and die, but all are not unworthy;
It must indeed be cold clay soil, that killeth every seed. 
Therefore, examine thy state, O self-accounted martyr of neglect, 
It may be, they merit is a cubit, and thy measure thereof a furlong."  Tupper.