Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spiritual Lessons

His Life

Life is such a gift!  He promises never to give more than we can handle...and He knows my limits.  I'm quite the wimp actually.  :)  My ultrasound came back with clear results other than a little cyst.  The Doctors are looking into it and I will know next Tuesday what they believe I need to do about it.  But for now, I am concentrating on my inflammation and my diet.  As far as we know, all the "scary" possibilities have been ruled out.  No more talk of Lymphoma.  :)  

You know...going through hardships often can bring an attitude of --  "Lord, please help me...give me strength so I can go on." 
 I've realized recently that that isn't what He expects at all!  I am learning to say -- "Lord, please live Your life through me.  You are my strength."  What a difference! 

He does not lift me up and empower me to stand.  I lift Him up with my praise and with Him living His life through me He accomplishes the tasks set before me.  And consequently He receives the glory.  This is where the "lose your life...and you will find it" comes in.  (Matt.16:25)  We are supposed to lose our life for His sake.  At salvation I exchanged my life for His life.  Does this mean that I lose my rights to myself?  Absolutely.  Does that mean when trials come they are allowed by affect my life?  Yes.
Any good, any blessing, is an added benefit He gives in His loving kindness.  

We are ether living our life...or His.  And as a Christian that isn't even true.  We are either allowing Him to live His life, or, we are living His life the way we want to run it  No man can serve two masters. (Matt 6:24)  We live for us, or for Him.  It's impossible to serve both. Just as we are stewards of the earth, the animals, "our" money, etc. we are only stewards of "our" life.  He should be our master.  

We may think it's easy to want to be like Christ -- to take on His life.  Sometimes we go into this exchanged life thinking that the putting on of Christ will mean we get to exchange our evil character traits for His good traits (Love, grace...even power, etc.) But we forget that with His life also came crucifixion.  He doesn't need us to keep our good and add Himself to our life.  Even our good is as filthy rags.  We exchange lives. And what an exchange!  Of course trials and crosses come.  But what did we expect?  It's a Christ life.  Of course we have crosses.  

( "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. "1 Peter 4:12-13).

But we can take comfort -- with Christ all things are possible!  (Philippians 4:13)   

Are the lost exempt from trials?  Hardly.  But with Christ we Christians are promised that our trials will work together for good (Romans 8:28) and that He will be our hedge to make sure that nothing more than we can bear will touch us.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Suddenly crosses are seen in a while new light.  They are a "cost" of being His. (Luke 14:28-30).  I've counted the cost and -- I'm convinced He is worth every cost.  I am not responsible for the outcome of His life.  My perfect, infinite, omniscient God is responsible for "my" life....because it's His.  

With His life I am promised eternity with Him.  With His life I am given a comforter forever.  With His life I am given a purpose, true love for others...real peace.  Let the crosses come.  He can bear them.  I'm thankful for His life. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles." Isaiah 40:31 

"Is there no way of escape for us when in trouble or distress? Must we just plod wearily through it all, and look for no relief? I rejoice to answer that there is a glorious way of escape for every one of us, if we will but mount up on wings, and fly away from it all to God. All creatures that have wings can escape from every snare that is set for them, if only they will fly high enough; and the soul that uses its wings can always find a sure 'way to escape' from all that can hurt or trouble it. What then are these wings? Their secret is contained in the words 'They that wait upon the Lord.' The soul that waits upon the Lord is the soul that is entirely surrendered to Him, ant hat trusts Him perfectly. Therefore we might name our wings the wings of Surrender and of Trust. If we will only surrender ourselves utterly to the Lord, and will trust Him perfectly, we shall find our souls 'mounting up with wings as eagles' to the 'heavenly places' in Christ Jesus, where earthly annoyances or sorrows have no power to disturb us." (By Hannah Whitall Smith - Joy and Strength P. 117)

Monday, April 28, 2014


Spiritual Lessons

Encouragement and Temptations 

I thought I would like to share a snippet I wrote for my book "Maid Arise!"  I hope it is an encouragement to you single ladies/girls that follow this blog.

I'd like to offer a little encouragement. In this singlehood “stage” of life, no matter how temporary it is, we will run into temptations. Whether they come in the form of a circumstance, opportunity or an actual man they will come. Very often they are harmless or even good things/people. But as my Dad has advised me, good is not good enough. The Lord has the best planned for us.

This temptation of ours may actually be something/someone He plans to give us in the future. But it's not ours until He gives. Wait, He knows best. But here's the encouragement – Temptation is not sin. Christ was tempted. We girls carry this needless guilt when we are attracted to someone. It's very human to admire someone.

We often try hard to not be attracted to that someone. We tell ourselves we really aren't attracted to them or try to find reasons not to be. Resolving to never think about him, scolding and bearing this “dark secret” doesn't do any good. Maybe for a while we will succeed but how much greater the guilt when we fail!

God is there to hear all about it and to take care of our temptation. If this guy is meant to be, then He will work out all the details for us. No scheming or planning on our part is necessary. We can let Him take our thoughts and orchestrate everything. We must focus on what He has already given, and be faithful in our duties. If we do the battling, then our victory is questionable. Our God is sure to win.

He can satisfy our needs and longings to be wanted or admired. He is and always will be our best lover. He will perfect that which concerneth you. Psalm 138:8

Our feelings are so fickle aren't they? But He is trustworthy! He loves us and our future man. He knows best. He is interested in our journey before marriage, in the details of our every day in our “single” years.
Pining away for someone isn't healthy. We must seek Him first. He is the source of contentment. Every time our thought goes to that temptation, we must give it to Him. He doesn't want us to fight it. It is much easier and sweeter to give it up than to battle it. We aren't responsible for waiting for that someone to “move”. Really we aren't supposed to be holding our breath for the Lord to act either. We can sit still, confident in the knowledge that He will do the work. We just faithfully continue in what He has given us to do. Our man is safe in His hands.

This temptation will teach us dependence on Christ if we let it. I know, for I have been here. Times where someone has asked for me, or I am strongly attracted towards someone. It is innate human nature to desire to be held and wanted and protected. It's okay. He gave us that need. It's where we find fulfillment that we need to be careful. He wants us to want, He wants us to need – because He has all that we want and need. We and the Savior are a perfect match! He enjoys holding and protecting. He understands our temptation better than any human being ever could.

Be a faithful daughter and sister. He will bring us to the next stage when it is best. He assures me of this all the time and proves Himself in other areas in my life.

This time of temptation is not a waste. It is growing us. Embrace it. If we fear failing, we are almost sure to fail. We must put our confidence in Him cheerfully, accept our weakness and let Him be our strength. It works every time.

Our discouragement over the temptation is far worse than having the temptation. Simply, without beating ourselves up or examining our soul over and over and dwelling on our temptation and our guilt, we can commit ourselves and our thoughts to Him. There is liberty in being captured by Christ. Such peace. Where He calls, He enables. He knew that we would be tempted, and He allowed it. It can actually become a joy to have something to offer Him. We can become His handmaiden “Acceptance with Joy”. Guilt is needless. And that is encouraging. 

Portion taken out of Chapter 5 "Our Knights" from Maid Arise! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sourdough Bread...Gluten-Free and on a Shoestring!

Practical Homemaking/Recipes 

Before I became really sick and was able to eat most gluten-free foods I tried out this gluten free Sourdough bread and really liked it. Sourdough is such a healthy bread and I really missed it on my Gluten free diet.  
 The older the starter the better it tastes!  I knew I just had to share.  So here you are:  

Sourdough Starter

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk (raw)
1 cup white rice flour
1 teaspoon sugar

  1. In a 1-2 quart glass jar (NOT plastic or metal), dissolve the yeast in the milk by stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the rice flour and sugar and mix to combine well. Cover the jar loosely and allow it to set at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Remember that the milk must be at room temperature for it to activate the yeast.
  2. The mixture should bubble and appear pock-marked on the surface. It will also likely develop a thin liquid along the top. Stir to incorporate that back into the mixture. Cover the jar again loosely and allow it to sit out on the counter overnight.
  3. Repeat the procedure in Step 2 for the next two days, stiffing to combine, loosely covering, and then stiffing again the next day, all the while leaving the jar of starter out on the counter at room temperature.
  4. If you do not plan to use the starter soon, place it loosely covered in the refrigerator. You will need to “feed” it before you use it.

                               How to “Feed” Your Sourdough Starter

  1. When you know that you want to use your sourdough starter, you will need to plan at least 4 hours ahead.
  2. Remove the starter from the fridge, uncover it, and stir it until smooth with a wooden spoon. Remove one cup of starter and donate it to a friend to create another starter.
  3. Add ½ cup warm water (about 100 degrees) and 1 cup white rice flour to the starter. Stir to combine. Allow the starter to sit out at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight, loosely covered. The stater should be bubbling and thick. It is now “fed”.
  4. Use the amount of starter your recipe calls for, the replenish the starter by feeding it again with ½ cup warm water and 1 cup white rice flour, stiffing to combine, cover loosely, and return to the refrigerator.

                                                  Sourdough Bread
                                                            1 loaf

3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Mamma's Almond Blend)
2 teaspoons organic xanthum gum
¼ teaspoon cream of tar tar (I used baking powder)
¼ cup sugar 
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt fine ground
1 cup “fed” Sourdough starter
3 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups warm milk 
  1. Grease well a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, xanthum gum, cream of tar tar, sugar, salt, and yeast to combine. Add the sourdough stater and butter and mix to combine.
  3. With the mixer on low, pour the milk in a slow steady stream. Once the flour has begun to incorporate the liquids, beat the ingredients on the least medium speed for 4 to 6 minutes. The dough will be pretty sticky – thicker than cake batter, not quite as thick as cookie dough. Scrape the dough into the greased loaf pan and smooth the top with wet hands. (Sounds weird, but it really works!)
  4. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, damp place for 20-45 minutes or until doubled in size. (On the stove with a wet towel over it really works!). Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Bake the loaf in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a nice golden brown crust has formed on top.

From “Gluten-Free on a Shoestring” by Nicole Hunn

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

I haven't posted much detail about my health here on the blog... but today at 2:00 I am going in to the Doctor's for a pretty big test.  The Doctor's are concerned about a few things and want to rule out some possibilities that could be rather serious.  

Because of my health issues, struggles, pain and sickness has been on my mind lately.  

Christianity doesn't make life a bed of roses.  Actually Christians and the lost suffer many of the same hardships.  Christianity does not save us Christians from sufferings, and taking on Christ does not automatically guarantee prosperity.  Hardships do come to the Christian.  Yet, hardships do not come because God is a severe God, but in His loving kindness He allows deep wounds so He may bestow that much more of Himself.  Of course it is hard.  Of course it still hurts.  

Although, I have it easier than the lost.  When I hurt I have Someone to hold onto, when I cry I have Someone who comforts me, when I despair I have Someone who is Hope and Peace. The lost doesn't. He is the only reason life is good.  He is the only reason life is worth living.  God is there in every season of my life...when it's hard, when it hurts, when I'm happy.  All of it.  Through hardships He draws me closer.  Because of Him, hardships are a good thing.  With Christ I don't receive a guarantee from trials but a present help in those trials.    

"The truth is that His care is infinitely superior.  He takes note of the minutest matters that can affect the lives of His children and regulates them all according to His own perfect will, let their origins be what they may."  -- Hannah Whitall Smith, Christians Secret of a Happy Life, 48 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Here's another recipe I really want to share with you.  Several weeks ago I was inspired to do a GAP'S legal bread that I could eat and so I went to my newest heroine's website :  This is the domain of blogger Caroline, who, like me, deals with digestive health issues.  She also has a love for health, kitchen creating, and eating yummy food.  No wonder I love her!  And so while perusing her glorious selection of mouth watering recipes I found a recipe for flatbread.  I thought I would give it a try.  I didn't have coconut flour on hand so I thought I would substitute it with almond flour...and it worked!  So here is my variation of gutsy flatbread.  

For Caroline's version click here The Gutsy Coconut Flatbread

My GAPS Legal/Gluten Free Almond Flatbread 

1-2 cups almond flour
3 eggs
1 cup coconut milk (or raw milk if not allergic!)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp oregano


1/2 basil 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
drizzle of organic extra virgin olive oil
I also added celery, sweet peppers and tomatoes chopped...but you would have to make sure you weren't allergic to any of these first...


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix together flour and herbs in a bowl.
Whisk milk and eggs in a separate bowl and then add.
Stir until it makes a thick paste.  Let it sit in order to allow the flour to soak in the wet ingredients.  
Brush olive oil onto cookie sheet.  Spread dough evenly onto cookie sheet.
Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cut into squares and enjoy!

Visit Caroline at 

Quote of the Day

"It is sometimes a small matter that hindereth and hideth grace from us; at least if anything can be called small, and not rather a weighty matter, which obstructeth so great a good. And, if thou remove this, be it great or small, and perfectly overcome it, thou wilt have thy desire. For immediately, as soon as thou givest thyself to God from thy whole heart, and seekest neither this nor that, according to thine own pleasure or will, but settlest thyself wholly in Him, thou shalt find thyself united and at peace; for nothing can afford so sweet a relish, nothing be so delightful, as the good pleasure of the Divine Will." 
(By Thomas A. Kempis in the book Joy and Strength P.115)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.  Psalm 46:1-3

Selah oh my Soul
God is my refuge
Sing oh my soul
God never leaves you

Roar on mighty sea
I refuse to fear
Shake mountains shake
His voice I can hear

Oh sing a glad song
Whatever the cost
Praise His sweet name
Whatever my loss

Whatever You sing
Whatever You will
I will accept
I will sing still


It is not of God's severity that He requires much from man; it is of His great kindness that He will have the soul to open herself wider, to be able to receive much, that He may bestow much upon her.  Let no one think that it is hard to attain thereunto.  Although it sound hard, and is hard at first, as when one has reached this state, no life can be easier, or sweeter, or fuller of pleasures; for God is right diligent to be with us at all seasons, and to teach us, that He may bring us to Himself, when we are like to go astray.  None of us ever desired anything more ardently than God desires to bring men to the knowledge of Himself.  

-- J. Tauler Joy and Strength, 112 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Practical Homemaking 
Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins 

Here is a recipe I have to share with you.  These Blueberry muffins are a creation of my mom's...and they are so yum!  A friend gave me the recipe after she realized that I had eaten four of them in one sitting.  (She made a bunch of little ones!).  And so I brought it home and told mom she had to try it.  And mom (the Gluten-free snob) liked them!  I consider any GF recipe that passes mom's elite palette a success. :) So here you are, the best GF Blueberry Muffins we've found yet! 


2 cups GFM's Rice Almond blend flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. Xanthan gum

¼ tsp. Salt

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 egg

1 tsp. Vanilla

¼ cup raw milk

2 cups blueberries

2 Tbsp. Sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tins. Measure out blueberries & set aside. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients and lightly whisk with a fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add yogurt, egg, vanilla and milk. Mix until well combined. Add dry mixture a little at a time to your wet ingredients just until flour is mixed in, but do not over mix batter. Carefully fold in blueberries. Fill muffin tins to top with muffin batter. Lightly sprinkle tops of muffins with sugar. Bake for 25-­30 minutes. 

Please visit Mom's blog at 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Say not you cannot gladden, elevate, and set free; that you have nothing of the grace of influence; that all you have to give is at the most only common bread and water.  Give yourself to your Lord for the service of men with what you have.  Cannot He change water into wine?  Cannot He make stammering words to be instinct with saving power?  Cannot He change trembling efforts to help into deeds of strength?  Cannot He still, as of old, enable you in all your personal poverty "to make you rich?"  God has need of thee for the service of thy fellow men.  He has a work for thee to do. ...'Whatever He saith unto you, do it.'"  -- George Body Daily Strength for Daily Needs, 110

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life's Musical Road

Spiritual Issues 

Did you read yesterday's “Quote of the Day”?

What a thought – that our life consists of a song.
Music has been such a part of my life. Ever since I was a baby I've been surrounded by music. My mom loves to sing, she was part of the choir, she taught her Sunday school class to sing, she taught my siblings and I to sing rounds. We learned memory verses, definitions, history facts, multiplication, all by putting them to a tune. Classical music or hymns was the background of my childhood. Music was part of church, part of school, part of nap time, after dinner... Life and music held no separation. As I grew up music was part of my existence. It helped me through highschool, we sang during chores, my siblings made a CD, we were asked to sing during community events. It's still part of my life...I sing in the shower, I hum when I drive, I dance to Scottish Highland music, I teach Sign Language with it, I sing when I'm sad, when I am happy...when I pray. I can relate to music... My life being one long song just makes sense.

He creates an unique symphony for each of us. I think of the personalities I am surrounded with and it makes me smile. Some lives are filled with crescendos and trills...others are steady rhythms, deep and calm.

I think everyone would like to imagine that their life is the most unique of all. There's something special about being different than everyone else. But I think my song is rather common. He sings a simple song that I can follow. I'm okay with that.

Although, recently, my song has turned darker. Quietly He has added minor chords and I falter in my harmony. I have found I cannot dictate the arrangement to my liking. He has set the melody. I am allowed the choice to sing harmony or clash in discontented notes of complaint. Singing my own tune get's me nowhere.

Sometimes I try to sing my own melody. If I concentrate really hard I can hear it...I think it sounds beautiful. Have you ever accidentally played two music tracks at once? It doesn't matter how beautifully mastered they are as separate tracks...playing together it's just disconnected noise. That's what happens when I sing my own tune. It clashes with His melody and all I create is noise. It's noticeable to everyone I'm around.

I can't change the minors. My circumstances, my health, my relationships are all notes He sings. Sometimes obedience is a hard tune to learn. Trusting Him and just following His choice in melody is difficult. Suffering seems to clash with what I expected Him to sing. But through the dark minors of suffering I have learned to obey. And obedience is the “rhythm of two wills...that blends their action into rarest harmony”. Christ too, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) Is it possible that He has chosen to add a stanza of His own life into my simple little song? If that is how He learned to harmonize than why should I scoff?

It was no relief from temporal evils that the Apostle promised. ...No; the mercy of God might send them to the stake, or the lions; it was still His mercy; if it but kept them 'unspotted by the world.' It might expose them to insult, calumny, and wrong; they received it still as mercy, if it 'established them in every good work...'. O brethren! How many of you are content with such faithfulness as this on the part of our heavenly Father? Is this, indeed, the tone and tenor of your prayers? – W.M. Archer Butler

What is the tone and tenor of my prayers? Surely while He sings His ear must strain to hear my harmony. When pain comes it is but a chance to learn harmony. Suddenly I pause to hear what He is singing. “Evil” circumstances give me a desire to listen more carefully.

This is an odd road of music He has given me. But I am thankful. Maybe one day I will be able to hear the whole song from start to finish and it will all make sense. But for now, I'm willing to simply follow His melody and sing harmony the best I know how. Sing soul, sing!  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Do you know how the wind blows through the trees on the steep mountain side, and will make music in your heart, if your heart is tuned to its music, even while you are pushing your way through thorny tanglewood and undergrowth?  ...Obedience is the rhythm of two wills, that blends their action into rarest harmony.  Some of us need his tuning-fork, so as to enjoy the music of the road." 
 -- S.D. Gordon Quiet Talks, 54

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spiritual Lessons


Yesterday's quote made me stop and think.

God works all things together for good to them that love Him. (Romans 8:28). The good that God gives, naturally seems good...they are undeserved blessings or things we've wished for, or things that appeal to us. Or the inevitable evils that are stayed by His hand – these seem like Him working all things for good because it is the desired outcome.

But what about the evils that do come and are allowed to dwell in our midst? What about the hurts that are experienced, the losses, disappointments, needs? How do these things fit into the “good” category?

My tenuous personal example is my health. My health is definitely not what most people consider good. In fact, not only does it not reach ideal, but it's sick, broken, bad...evil. If God is good, if He works all things together for good, than why this allowed evil?

Evils in our lives, and the lives around us, cannot be ignored. There is no sand pit deep enough in which to hide our heads. Our world is too full of sin.

Why all of this evil?

Well, for one, I know a world of sin wasn't His choice, it was ours. Adam chose evil for human-kind and so evil is inherently ours. Not to mention, thousands of years later, we still choose the same evil. But God in His great love for us chose to save us from this evil. So He paid sin's debt on the cross.

But, as a child of God, even after accepting His salvation, evil still affects me. Why? I can't escape it until I get out of this world...but there's still the settling of the claim that “all things work together for good”.

Over the past 4 years I have been amazed at this lesson. I've learned that the “evil” that reaches me actually is good. My greatest “evil” is pain. I have learned to accept that pain isn't proof that He doesn't exist, or worse, that He doesn't care – it's part of life; the believer's life as well as the lost's. Anytime I have experienced pain He was there. No, He didn't make it go away. But He made sure it wasn't more than I could handle. He stood there and held my hand. He made sure it didn't last longer than it had to. Who chooses pain's intensity and length of time? We certainly don't. If it were up to us, we would have none at all. Satan, on the other hand, would have it last an eternity. But thank God He is all-powerful and loves us enough to allow pain's benefits while making a way of escape. (1 Corinthians 10:13).

He takes the evils of this sin-sick world and changes it for my good. I wouldn't trade pain for anything; it has been my sweetest experiences of Him. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

Through my weaknesses and pain I have learned the secret source of perfect strength: God. “...Mostly gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Only God could bring healing through hurt. Only He could make tears cleansing and sorrow a song. There is peace in allowing Him to sing and just following his strange melody.

I wrote this while experiencing horrible pain:

Sing soul, sing
Yet when I try
a lilt of pain
Is all I cry

Sing soul, sing
I pause to hear
the tune He sings
Fills me with fear

Sing soul, sing
He sings a tune
Of unknowns dark
and gaping wound

Sing soul, sing
Oh follow me
Must dare to try
Dark harmony

Sing soul, sing
My dry lips part
It hurts, it hurts
This bleeding heart”

Sing soul, sing
Through gritted teeth
Fear not” He says
Oh God” I breathe

Sing soul sing
Praise Him and dare
To thank Hi for
All that's unfair

Sing soul, sing
I dare believe
that He knows best
And best for me

Sing soul, sing
A song of pain
A healing hurt
A hum of rain

Sing soul, sing
Until He's done
Sing on sing on
...I've finally sung.

To refine something doesn't mean to punish it, but only to purify it. Could it be that I am being purified?

Man has a claim on God, a Divine claim for any pain, want, disappointment, or misery that will help to make him what he ought to be. He has a claim to be ...spared not one pang that may urge him to be hedged in on every thwart him in any desire, foil him in any plan, frustrate him of any hope, until he comes to see at length that nothing will ease his pain, nothing make life a thing worth having, but the presence of the living God.” 
 – George MacDonald

I can claim pain as my bridge to His presence. Of course He is always there, pain or not, but in pain I need Him and through this dependence I learn who He is. I can accept pain as a way of life. There is peace in acceptance.

What is:
Freedom from disturbances
Freedom from war
Freedom from internal commotion
Freedom from agitation or disturbance of the passions, as from fear, terror, anxiety or the like; quietness of mind; tranquility, calmness; quiet or conscience.

That is Webster's definition of peace. Peace is not an absence of these disturbances but a freedom from them. In acceptance I find peace, a freedom from my pain.

Job had every earthly right to wonder at the pain God allowed in his life. And he asks over and over – “Why?” But when God shows Himself to Job, Job has no thought of his pain but on God's greatness. Job didn't have to understand anything else. He didn't need the answer to his “why”, Job could accept God as enough.

I recently read C.S. Lewis' “A Grief Observed” and something Lewis pointed out comforted me:

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of 'No answer'. It is not a locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, 'Peace child; you don't understand.'
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask – half our great theological and metaphysical problems – are like that.” (69)

Why do I hurt? Why is this evil allowed? Could these questions actually be like asking if yellow is square or round? Most likely. It is not disinterest in me that He is often silent, but His infinite understanding matched to my ignorant questions. Love often allows His loved ones to hurt. But only for a time...and only for their good. I have found peace in acceptance without my circumstances changing. Only God.

How hard to hold a hurt
But sweet to take and trust
Bloody, blind in my unknowns
But held by One who loves

Sleep my be coveted
But this He chose for me
There's peace in acceptance
That's all the rest I need

This sweet kind of sunshine
Is high above my fears
A Presence with a name
A warmth that drys my tears

Pain may come and impale
Emotions surge or cease
But with Him a call away
I can go on – I'm free.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

"To those who know [God], all things work together for good, and all things seem to be, as they are to them, good.  The goods which God gives seem 'very good,' and God Himself in them, because they know that the deserve them not.  The evils which God allows and overrules seem also 'very good,' because they see in them His loving hand, put forth to heal them of what shuts out God from the soul.  They love God intensely, in that He is so good to them in each, and every, the least good, because it is more than they deserve: how much more in the greatest!  They love God for every, and each, the very greatest of what seem evils, knowing them to be, from His love, real goods.  for He by whom 'all the hairs of our head are numbered,' and who 'knoweth whereof we are made,' directs everything which befalls us in life, in perfect wisdom and love, to the well-being of our souls."  -- E.B. Pusey Daily Strength for Daily Needs, 112

Monday, April 14, 2014

Political/World Issues 

Christians have been persecuted for over 2000 years.  Persecution and martyrdom may bring to mind the time of Roman Emperor Nero, or perhaps the days of European crusades, or the past centuries when Christians were burned at the stake.  But, persecution is not only a thing or yesteryear for Christians but something quite real for our modern day.  In the Foxe's Book of Martyrs it is stated that "During  [the 20th century] alone, more Christians have been killed for their faith than in all the previous centuries combined." (323) *  What a statement!  And if you are familiar with the Voice of Martyrs you know that statement to be true.  The Modern Christian Church is persecuted in more than 40 nations around the world.  In many of these nations it is illegal to own a Bible, to share Christ, to teach your children of your faith.  Many Christians all over the world are, right now, facing arrest, torture and even death.  As a whole American's seem to be in total ignorance of these facts.  Some of these nations include:


prisonerJust a while ago Prisoner Alert sent me an update on Alireza Seyyedian.  
This man was sentenced to the infamous Tehran's Evin prison in March of 2012.  Recently he was allowed a short parole home and his family was shocked at his health condition.  They described him as having a "blank state, trembling hands and symptoms of psychosis."; plus he also started vomiting and having seizures.  Slireza is serving a six-year prison sentence for one thing: for converting to Christianity. 

Just yesterday at church we were visted by a sweet man named Seth Samuel from India. He and his family have been teaching Christ to the Hindu people for 14 years on $50 a month.  He mentioned that he and other have had their Christian literature taken from them by force and burned.

So why talk about all of this negativity?  Because there is something we can do about it.
We can write letters to prisoners, or to the government officials responsible for holding these Christian prisoners.  We can share their stores through social media, we can stay informed, inform our friends and we can pray.  Hebrews 13:3 commands "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body." 
Several ministries that have made this extremely simple are:  (You can have your letters tranlated easily with this site)   (Stay informed and sign up for a free monthly newsletter)

H.E.L.P. Ministries                     (This is the ministry that sent Seth Samuel to us)

Foxe's Book of Martyrs 

*Foxe, John, rewritten and updated by Harold J. Chadwick The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Gainesville, Bridge Logos Publishers 2001 Print click here to view