Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hymns and Songs: A Mighty Fortress

A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing
Our Helper He amidst the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing

God is a mighty fortress for those who stand behind his impenetrable walls. Do not stand behind the rickety wooden fence of possessions, people, pride in your own skills and power of your own efforts.

In His grace He has shown us the place to stand, behind the mighty, unshakable stone walls that will not be compromised -- no, not even chipped or burned, never trembling in the slightest -- by the floods or arrows or cannons or even bombs of persecution, distress, tribulation, famine, nakedness, peril or sword. Not a one will pierce the mighty bulwark of our God. His everlasting love which stands around you and which is tender and strong, knowing and forgiving, and long and wide and high and deep. Ephesians 3:17-21

Pray for Chase

I would like to make an earnest plea for prayers for a little boy named Chase and his family, who are friends of mine. They are missionaries in a remote region of Africa (I have quoted them before on this site) heading back post-haste to the US to see doctors. Eight-month old Chase is demonstrating significant developmental delays that are of great concern and resemble symptoms of cerebral palsy. Chase has two older brothers, one of whom was born without thumbs and who therefore has undergone significant surgical work to his two little arms and hands.

Please intercede for this courageous and sacrificial family, for all of their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs to be met here and on the way to the US, and for Chase's condition to end up not being serious. It will take you a minute or two to pray for him, and please consider also putting him on your regular prayer lists. Please pray for God's comforting hand to be with them and to protect this little one.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

C.S. Lewis on Pain, Adversity

David sent me another great quote today (I am not sure of the paragraph divisions):

"If the first and lowest operation of pain shatters the illusion that all is well, the second shatters the illusion that what we have, whether good or bad in itself, is our own and enough for us.

Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us. We 'have all we want' is a terrible saying when 'all' does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St. Augustine says somewhere, 'God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full--there's nowhere for Him to put it.' Or as a friend of mine said, 'We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies but he hopes he'll never have to use it.'

Now God who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as He leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for. While what we call 'our own life' remains agreeable, we will not surrender it to Him. What then can God do in our interests but make 'our own life' less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible sources of false happiness?"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Quotes: How Firm A Foundation

Author unknown

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.