"I need oil," said an ancient monk; so he planted an olive sapling. "Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers. "Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray Thee." And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. "Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues," cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.
Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange
experience. "I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! it
thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows
better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed
not ways or means. 'Lord, send what it needs,' I prayed, 'storm or
sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.'"
- taken from Streams in the Desert, Vol. 1, March 29th
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
“A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.' 'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
Think on this:
~ Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
~ Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
~ Am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you, dear homemaker, handle adversity?
~ Author Unknown—shared with you at The Homemaker’s Society
Sunday, March 27, 2016
"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
- John 12:24-25 -
"Unbroken and unbruised men are of little use. Life is one constant battle after another in which the good triumphs over the bad, the spirit over the flesh. We have not begun to live until we cease to live for self. True living is dying.
When the law of self-sacrifice has become the principle of the heart, then one's life becomes a rich full blessing to others. Until we have learned this lesson, we cannot be truly useful to those around us."
-M.Taylor, taken from Streams in the Desert, Vol.2
This is a favorite passage of mine, and this quote expresses it's thought so well. We were created to die in order to live, to sacrifice in order to bless, to subdue and conquer our flesh in order to have joy and peace in our spirit.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Lord, break the chains that hold me to myself; free me to be your happy slave - that is, to be the happy foot-washer of anyone today who needs his feet washed, his supper cooked, his faults overlooked, his work commended, his failure forgiven, his griefs consoled, or his button sewed on. Let me not imagine that my love for You is very great if I am unwilling to do for a human being something very small.
~Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp For My Feet
~Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp For My Feet
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain:
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
- Poem by William Cowper, 1731-1800