God’s creation

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.”

We former pluckers need to be busy helping others see!

(And then we can enjoy blackberry pies together!)

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Tendencies

Jim Elliot wrote in his journal:

“Consider the call from the Throne above, ‘Go ye,’ and from round about, ‘Come over and help us,’ and even the call from the damned souls below, ‘Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.’ Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”

Sad to report that these same tendencies are appearing in Eastern Europe. Are missionaries adding to these tendencies? Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?

Unfixed in good

“Oh, what a shame it is that the wicked should be fixed in evil and we unfixed in good, that they should be more constant in the devil’s service than we are in Christ’s!” Thomas Watson (First published 1666)

Ouch!

First published in 1666, but could just have easily been written today.

Preach it

So says John Bunyan:

“It is far better that thou do judge thyself, even by preaching plainly unto others, than that thou, to save thyself, imprison the truth in righteousness.”

He wrote these words when he felt tempted to not preach on some difficult issues because he himself was also struggling with these issues. He wasn’t sure that others would hear and/or heed his words if he were not without fault in said areas of life.

He determined that it would be better to die “rather than deal corruptly with the blessed word of God.”

(Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners)

Prosperity and the World

A quote worth considering:

RT @cslewisdaily: Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels he’s finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.

That he is

“What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Freedom

“Freedom is not more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the blood stream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and grandchildren what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Ronald Reagan

Be influential

“As Christians we are not only to know the right world view … but consciously to act upon that world view so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life, as much as we can to the extent of our individual and collective ability.”

Francis A. Schaeffer

I have a dream

We just watched this speech in its entirety on CNNInternational…this is just an excerpt:

“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Still a powerful message.

Behind us, before us, within us

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us”. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Search my heart, O God.