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Category Archives: Christianity

Old MacDonald had some rhymes

But Thou art making me, I thank Thee, sire.

What Thou hast done and doest, Thou know’st well,

And I will help Thee- gently in Thy fire

I will lie burning; I will whirl patient

Though my brain should reel:

Thy grace shall be enough, the grief to quell

And growing strength perfect through weakness dire

-George MacDonald

Something good about April 15th:

Corrie ten Boom was born on this day in 1892.  Corrie’s life was a gift to the world- courageous and grace-drenched, beautifully human in the face of inhumanity.  And in a symmetry that seems particularly fitting to this sensible Dutch heroine, that life ended (or we could say, it began in earnest) on her 91st birthday.  It’s a great day to continue her legacy with an act of compassion or forgiveness or simply fortitude.  The world needs more like her.

Rutherford, again

I am grateful for the way this man makes me love this Man more.  A couple more thoughts from him:

Believe God’s word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but the sea.

Grace tried is better than grace, and more than grace; it is glory in its infancy.

And now, for something completely different

I once met a man whose son’s birth certificate read, “First: Samuel.  Middle: Rutherford.” I’m beginning to understand why.

If you’re new to SR, here are the vitals: born around 1600, Presbyterian minister, controversial writer.  He often gets called a Puritan, and perhaps there’s no one better to debunk the idea that Puritans were joyless, cold, and hateful.  His writings pulse with joy and warmth and pastoral care (also, the man knew how to turn a phrase).  I haven’t read his political works (see above: controversial).  But his letters are, well, just listen:

Your afflictions are not eternal, time will end them, and so shall ye at length see the Lord’s salvation; His love sleepeth not, is still in working for you; His salvation will not tarry nor linger; and suffering for Him is the noblest cross out of heaven. Your Lord hath the choice of ten thousand other crosses, beside this, to exercise you withal; but His wisdom and His love choosed out this for you, beside them all; and take it as a choice one, and make use of it. Let the Lord absolutely have the ordering of your evils and troubles, and put them off you, by recommending your cross and your furnace to Him, who hath skill to melt His own metal, and knoweth well what to do with His furnace. . .

I urge upon you communion with Christ; a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn aside in Christ that we never saw, and newfoldings of love in him. I despair that I shall ever win to the far end of that love, there are so many aspects to it. Therefore dig deep, and sweat and labor and take pains for him, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can. We will be won in the labor.

And in case you’ve bought the “Puritans were boring folks just waiting for Heaven” idea, I offer you this:

I perceive we postpone all our joys of Christ, till He and we be in our own house above, thinking that there is nothing of it here to be sought or found, but only hope and fair promises; and that Christ will give us nothing here but tears, sadness, crosses; and that we shall never feel the smell of the flowers of that high garden of paradise above, till we come there. Nay, but I find it possible to find young glory, and a young green paradise of joy even here. We dream of hunger in Christ’s house, while we are here, although He alloweth feasts to all the bairns within God’s household.

(I don’t even know if there was such a thing as bolding in the 17th century- I’m responsible for that.  But the use of bairns is all Sam.)

Free, rich music

Now and Not Yet is the soundtrack my soul needs right now: good poetry, drawn from a good book, simply and skillfully set to guitar.  Maybe you’re into Psalms and acoustic music, and your soul could use some balm, too.  Here’s a link to download the whole album for free during November.

A better miracle

Our own diminishments, in God’s sovereign ordering of all things for His glory and our good, are not only the prerequisites to our own joy, but may also be the means of enriching the lives of others. . .Not the miracle of an instant change of feelings, but the miracle of life out of death. . .Love, it seems, creates good- by drawing good out of any situation through suffering.  The suffering itself thereby becomes a pathway to holiness. (Elisabeth Elliot, the Path of Loneliness, pp.172-173)

Are you tired of these what-I’m-re-reading posts? I’m not.

Because our physical and emotional hungers are so strong, we easily imagine them to be our deepest hungers- until they are met, at which point we know that there is a bottomless one. (p. 144)

We picture God as a spoilsport, when in fact His Spirit contends against the sin in us which will prevent our ever having what will bring us the greatest happiness. (p. 147)

Make a habit of consciously putting your mind on what Christ has done for you, not on what you’ve done. (p. 150)

(Elisabeth Elliot, The Path of Loneliness)