Material for Sacrifice

Elisabeth Elliott in her devotional A Lamp unto My Feet says that our unfulfilled longings can be material for sacrifice.  This has provided much food for thought for me today.

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“I had been praying for something I wanted very badly. It seemed a good thing to have, a thing that would make life even more pleasant than it is, and would not in any way hinder my work. God did not give it to me. Why? I do not know all of His reasons, of course. The God who orchestrates the universe has a good many things to consider that have not occurred to me, and it is well that I leave them to Him. But one thing I do understand: He offers me holiness at the price of relinquishing my own will. 

“Do you honestly want to know Me?” He asks. I answer yes. “Then do what I say,” He replies. “Do it when you understand it; do it when you don’t understand it. Take what I give you; be willing not to have what I do not give you. The very relinquishment of this thing that you so urgently desire is a true demonstration of the sincerity of your lifelong prayer: ‘Thy will be done.’” 

So instead of hammering on heaven’s door for something which it is now quite clear God does not want me to have, I make my desire an offering. The longed-for thing is material for sacrifice. Here, Lord, it’s yours. He will, I believe, accept the offering. He will transform it into something redemptive. He may perhaps give it back as He did Isaac to Abraham, but He will know that I fully intend to obey Him.”

I Needed the Quiet

769BF4C0-E056-4AC3-9194-1F76FF411F6DI needed the quiet so He drew me aside,
Into the shadows where we could confide.
Away from the bustle where all the day long
I hurried and worried when active and strong.

I needed the quiet though at first I rebelled,
But gently, so gently, my cross He upheld,
And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things.
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of when active and gay.
He loved me so greatly He drew me away.

I needed the quiet. No prison my bed,
But a beautiful valley of blessings instead–
A place to grow richer in Jesus to hide.
I needed the quiet so He drew me aside.

~Alice Hansche Mortenson

Ponderings

“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
~Luke 2:19

I often think about the phrase, Mary “pondered them in her heart.” Sometimes I see what appears to be the Lord working and I ponder on what He may be doing. I have a sheet in my prayer notebook that I have titled “Ponderings.”  On this page I list things that I want to pray about, but don’t really know what to pray.  Those things are between me and the Lord.  I sit back and see what He will do and thank Him that He has everything under control.  As I sit here and type this out, I realize that is how I should be thinking about every area of life.  Not just the things that I don’t really know how to pray about.

Another pondering today has been about my walk with the Lord.  I was listening to a podcast on my morning walk and one of the speakers was introduced as a woman full of theology.  Then the one introducing her said “I want to be like her when I grow up.”  I want to be a woman full of theology that affects every area of my life.  I am far from perfect.  I sin.  But as I age and grow closer to my God, I pray that I will sin less and less.  The other question I ask myself is “What am I doing to become a woman full of theology?”  I have some spiritual goals and these are all good.  I need to be in the Word and I need to be in it more.  That means I will have to make some serious choices about how I spend my time.

And last on the pondering list today is this blog.  I do not plan to quit.  I am amazed that I still have an audience when I have been so sporadic with posting.  I’m glad that others can read past writings and benefit from them.  My problem is that I am completely out of inspiration.  So I am praying about what direction the Lord will take me here.  You can help!!  Is there anything you would like to hear? What are some of your favorite posts?  How can I be a blessing to you, dear reader?

until the next time…

Ponderings

USA flag

I don’t like to get involved in public political discussions.  That is not the intent of this post.  My heart has been grieved for sometime…

The Lord has given me the privilege to serve Him in a foreign land.  I have been attached to this country for some time and have learned to love the land and its people.  But my blood still flows red, white and blue.

I have stood on the island of Okinawa overlooking the Philippine Sea and recalled the tale of my uncle, who enlisted during his senior year of high school when he turned 18, standing on his PT boat in that very sea and watching a kamikaze destroy his mother ship with people he cared about on board.

I have others in my family line and friends that have served to protect the people and freedoms of the United States of America and other countries suffering from oppressive regimes.  Some lost their health and peace of mind and still others lost their very life.

When I have an occasion to stand and place my hand over my heart during the national anthem, I do so with pride and great emotion.  Gratitude swells my heart for the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy.

I see many young people that don’t know what we are supposed to do when the anthem is played.  It is my understanding that this isn’t being taught in some schools as it was when I was growing up.  Many don’t know or understand the great sacrifices that the flag and anthem represent.

I believe in free speech and I am thankful for that privilege even when someone else’s free speech opposes mine.  Lots of rhetoric has been flying around on all sides of the fence.  I am not singling out a person or persons when I say that it is my desire that those who have been able to follow their dreams and reach the heights they have would use these positions to encourage others to follow their dreams and help others not so fortunate.  They have a position of influence.  I pray that they will use it to unite rather than divide.

May God have mercy on America!

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  ~2 Chronicles 7:14

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Ponderings

I have had a fantastic time during my stay in the USA. It’s hard to believe how fast it has flown by. I will be departing for Greenville soon and the day is fast approaching when my son checks into the university. That time is on my mind more and more. While visiting a church, a pastor and I were discussing this. His first son is leaving soon for the same university. He told me to remember who my son’s real father is. This shocked me and then I realized the truth in that statement. Just as my heavenly Father watches over me, He will be watching over my son. I can trust Him to take care of J!

The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
~Psalm 33:13
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him,
upon them that hope in his mercy;
~Psalm 33:18
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their cry.
~Psalm 34:15