August 30, 2013

if

I cannot in honest happiness take the
       second place
   (or the twentieth);
if I cannot take the first without
         making a fuss about my
         unworthiness,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                    Amy Carmichael


August 26, 2013

You are Beloved...

Charles Spurgeon speaks of Daniel in his fifth chapter of The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life.

How Daniel studied the book of Jeremiah, how he sought its prophetic meaning and how Daniel devoted himself to prayer.

Then Spurgeon shares some points on how Daniel prayed:


-Daniel felt deeply the misery of the people for who he pleaded.

-Daniel was ready to receive the blessing because he felt deeply his own unworthiness of it.

-Daniel had a clear conviction of God's power to help his people in their distress.


He then talks of how beloved Daniel was of God and how God answered Daniel's prayers swiftly.

I love these next few passages, which I found encouraging. Hope they encourage you too.

"You may perhaps say, 'It is easy to understand that God should send so swift an answer to Daniel because Daniel was greatly beloved.'

Has your unbelief made you forget that you are greatly beloved, too? 

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you will not be at all presumptuous if you apply to yourself the title of 'greatly beloved.' Must have you not been greatly beloved to have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot?

When God spared not His own Son but gave Him up for you, must you not have been greatly beloved? 

You were called by grace, led to a Savior, and made a child of God and an heir of heaven. That proves, does it not, a very great and superabounding love? That time, whether your path has been rough with troubles or smooth with goodness, I have no doubt it has been full of proofs that you are greatly beloved."

Spurgeon continues:

"When I look back upon my own life, I must confess my unworthiness and acknowledge my sin most sincerely, and yet I dare to feel and to say that I am a man greatly beloved of my God. He has given me such distinguished mercies to enjoy, when I have served not even the least of them, that I cannot help saying, 'Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies'(Psalm 103:4). 

I make my boast in the tender mercy of my God all the more freely because I am sure that you are also specially beloved of heaven. 

The more unworthy you feel yourself to be, the more evidence you have that nothing but unspeakable love could have led the Lord Jesus to save such a soul as yours. The more unworthiness the saint feels, the more proof of the great love of God in having chosen him and called him and made him an heir of bliss.

If there is such love between God and us, let us pray very boldly. 

Do not let us go to God as though we were strangers or as though He were unwilling to give - we are greatly beloved. 'He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.' (Romans 8:32). 

Come boldly, for despite the whispering of Satan and the doubting of your own heart, you are greatly beloved. Jesus said, 'If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it' (John 14:14). Who will refuse to ask when such encouragements are suggested to us minds?"


August 16, 2013

if

I am perturbed by the reproach and
       misunderstanding that may
       follow action taken for the good
       of souls for whom I must give
       account;
if I cannot commit the matter and go
      on in peace and in silence,
   remembering Gethsemane and the
      cross,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                       Amy Carmichael


August 12, 2013

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

Wow...loved this book based on the great novelist Charlotte Bronte!

There is just something different about reading someone's life story in novel form, rather then as a biography. The people just seem to come alive in a well written novel.

And this was a well written novel as well as a captivating read that I didn't want to put down.

Charlotte's book 'Jane Eyre' is one of my all time favorites. I also loved Anne's book 'Anges Grey' as well as Emily's book 'Wuthering Heights,' but I have to admit I didn't know much about the lives of these lovely sisters.

But now that's changed.

In this novel...

I found myself so excited for Charlotte and her sisters as they find out their writings are going to be accepted for publication.

Then felt heart-broken as one tragedy after the other befalls this family.

Charlotte was born the third child of six to her Irish clergyman father, Patrick, and his English wife, Maria. Their six children consisted of sisters Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and a brother Branwell.

This book takes your back to the village of Haworth, England, during the mid 1800's, and immerses you into the lives of this family.

Throughout this novel you are carried through their ups and downs. From losing their mother at a young age, to the older sisters sudden passings, to the three younger daughters successes, and their brothers descent into drugs and alcohol.

But among all these tragedies is a extraordinary love story between Charlotte and their fathers curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls. A relationship which started out with a distaste, but through the years turned into a great love. It was truly beautiful to read.

I loved that the author, Syrie James, kept close to the truth about this family.

She says here:

 "The novel is based almost entirely on fact. All the details of Charlotte's family life, her experiences at school, her friendship with Ellen, her feelings for Monsieur Heger, the evolution of her writing career, and her relationship with her publisher, George Smith, are all true and based on information from her letters and biographies."

If you are a fan of the Bronte sisters you will thoroughly enjoy this novel, I certainly did!


Buy it HERE on Amazon



August 9, 2013

if

I take offense easily;
if I am content to continue in a
       cool unfriendliness, though
       friendship be possible,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                     Amy Carmichael

August 6, 2013

No Greater Love

Last fall my daughter sat on a wooden bench in an African tent church that was built on a street of brothels. Children of prostitutes were running in and out as their mothers sat down to listen.

Most of the sermons were in the African language of the people but that night a missionary from America came to speak. My daughter was refreshed by his sermon. Mainly because it was in English and she could understand it. : )

She was encouraged by his words that night.


...About a month ago we were in our local book store and she thought this book, No Greater Love, sounded interesting because it was set in Ethiopia. I bought it for her and we headed home.

Once she began to read she realized this author was the speaker at that little tent church in Africa. This was exciting so I had to read this book too!

And what a beautiful book it is.

Not because this missionary and his wife are perfect people but because they were not only open to sharing their successes, but also sharing their failures.

It all started with a short term missions trip.

This led Levi to children who were being rescued from certain death due to a superstition among the tribal people of Ethiopia. A superstition known as 'mingi.' If a child had any sort of defeat when born, it was considered cursed and had to be killed, often by their own parents.

Levi's heart broke for these children who needed some one to care for them.

The tribal people would let the children go as long as they were never returned. God called Levi and his family to do this.

I really appreciated Levi's honesty in this book. The hardships and questions. It felt real. God never seems to do things the way we plan them. But He always does them according to His perfect plan.

I love what he says in the introduction:

"...the truth remains: God needs no heroes to work for Him. He chooses the broken, the weary, the torn apart, the weak. If our family accomplished good, it wasn't because of us - it was because of Him."

And here he says of their journey:

"When I think back to this time in our family's life - the drastic transitions, the mistakes, the frustrating unknowns - I see only one constant: God. He was always there - covering mistakes, holding our hands, forgiving blunders, reaching deep into our hearts and healing. And for that, I am thankful."

Levi, his wife Jessie and their children are living in Ethiopia today and helping many children.

Please pray for them.

Here is their website: Bring Love In

Watch the video about the book:



Buy it HERE on Amazon



August 2, 2013

if

I hold on to choices of any kind,
       just because they are my choices;
if I give any room to my private likes
       and dislikes,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                      Amy Carmichael

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