Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today my mom, sister, friend, and I are at the St. Joseph County Library in South Bend, Indiana. My mom is looking up information on our family history so we are here passing time. I am very grateful for my laptop! :-) While looking at old newspapers from Mishawaka, my mom came across this poem. I thought it was pretty good, so I decided to share it with you.
Against vile slander there is no defence,
Save in the arm of strong Omnipotence;
Mankind cannot deplore so fell a foe,
Exultingly it gives the fatal blow.
'Tis like the fearful pestilential tide,
Spreading its dread contagion far and wide;
The dark assassins midnight work of death
Cannot compare with Slander's blighting breath:
The man, the wretch, who would traduce your name,
Who tells his tale of scandal, and of shame,
To a cold-hearted world, ahs made you feel
A deeper wound than time can ever heal!
You might as well recall the winds that blow,
Or quench the stars, in the blue heavens that glow,
As seek a shelter from the withering blight
Of his aspersions, his envenomed spite!
The slanderer would blight the fairest flower
Of innocence, that blooms in truth's own bower;
He would demolish human purity,
And place his boradest stamp of infamy,
On holiest servants of the living God,
And still would greet them with a friendly nod;
His hellish malice hopes bright flowrets crush!
He murders innocence without a blush;
And often causes bitter tears of woe
Down the fair cheek of Honesty to flow.
Mourn not, thou injurned one, pass meekly by
The world's contempt, the cold averted eye:
O heed them not; there is a home for thee,
At God's right hand, a blest Eternity;
There's a rich heritage beyond the tomb,
And there shall truth in living beauty bloom!
Let not your life to tears of grief be given,
Present your cause to the high court of Heaven.
When the great day of recompense shall come,
No liar then shall speak, the slanderer shall be dumb!
Then shall the righteous Judge pronounce your name
Before assembled worlds, devoid of shame.
Then shall you walk among the Sons of Light,
Clad in a spotless robe of purest white;
The crown is yours, and yours the golden lyre,
Join your glad voice with Heaven's angelic choir!
Imagine finding that in a newspaper today! :-) How interesting that even the public newspapers would include writings that pointed the reader towards a heavenly focus, rather than an earthly one.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Once to Every Man and Nation

"Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good and evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
Off'ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
'Twixt the darkness and that light.

"Then to side with truth is noble,
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And 'tis prosp'rous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
While the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they have denied.

"By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever
With the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
Time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.

"Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong,
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above His own."

-James R. Lowell, 1845

Find the history of this hymn here.

P.S. I know I already posted something for you to think on, but I was playing the piano tonight and came across this hymn and thought I would post it too. The style is almost hard to understand, it is so poetic; but if you read it carefully and think about it, you'll find it a blessing, I think. Remember who is in control of all history, no matter how prosperous and widespread evil may seem to be. This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially as the presidential election is approaching us so quickly!

"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men" (Psalm 11:4)

Adios, Amigos! (for a week)

This next week (Saturday through next Sunday) we Anderson ladies will be out of town. Lord willing, however, I may be able to post sometime during the week, if I can get to the internet. Until then, here is something to chew on:


"[God's] work from the very beginning has been revelation-- a throwing aside of veil after veil, a showing to men of truth after deeper truth. On and on, from fact to fact, He advances, until at length in His Son Jesus He unveils His very face and character. When he is fully known, we shall know the Father also. The whole of creation, its growth, its history, the gathering of all human existence, is an unveiling of the Father.

He loves light and not darkness. Therefore He shines, reveals. There are infinite gulfs in Him into which our small vision cannot see. But they are gulfs of light, and the truths there are only invisible through excess o their own clarity."

-Thomas Wingfold's sermon, The Lady's Confession, George MacDonald, Chapter 24, page 141

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faithful Meets "Adam the First" and "Moses"

This year I am going through a course on Pilgrim's Progress for Literature. Below is part of the section I read today. Adam the First represents our sinful nature, which continues to plague us even after salvation. However, we now have the power not to listen to and obey him; and, though the Law (Moses) would catch up with us and condemn us, we have a faithful intercessor in Jesus Christ, who "bids him forbear". Praise God!


FAITHFUL. "When I came to the foot of the hill called Difficulty, I met with a very aged man, who asked me what I was, and whither bound. I told him that I am a pilgrim, going to the Celestial City. Then said the old man, 'Thou lookest like an honest fellow; wilt thou be content to dwell with me for the wages that I shall give thee?' Then I asked him his name, and where he dwelt. He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit. I asked him then, what was his work, and what the wages that he would give. He told me, that his work was many delights; and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I further asked him, what house he kept, and what other servants he had. So he told me, that his house was maintained with all the dainties in the world; and that his servants were those of his own begetting. Then I asked if he had any children. He said that he had but three daughters; the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, and that I should marry them all if I would. Then I asked how long time he would have me live with him? And he told me, As long as he lived himself.

CHRISTIAN. "Well, and what conclusion came the old man and you to, at last?"

FAITHFUL. "Why, at first, I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with the man, for I thought he spake very fair; but looking in his forehead, as I talked with him, I saw there written, 'Put off the old man with his deeds.'"

CHRISTIAN. "And how then?"

FAITHFUL. "Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a slave. So I bid him forbear to talk, for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me, that he would send such a one after me, that should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned to go away from him; but just as I turned myself to go thence, I felt him take hold of my flesh, and give me such a deadly twitch back, that I thought he had pulled part of me after himself. This made me cry, 'O wretched man!' So I went on my way up the hill.

"Now when I had got about half way up, I looked behind, and saw one coming after me, swift as the wind; so he overtook me just about the place where the settle stands...So soon as the man overtook me, he was but a word and a blow, for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead. But when I was a little come to myself again, I asked him wherefore he served me so. He said, because of my secret inclining to Adam the First: and with that he struck me another deadly blow on the breast, and beat me down backward; so I lay at his foot as dead as before. So, when I came to myself again, I cried him mercy; but he said, 'I know not how to show mercy'; and with that knocked me down again. He had doubtless made an end of me, but that One came by, and bid him forbear."

CHRISTIAN. "Who was that that bid him forbear?"

FAITHFUL. "I did not know Him at first, but as He went by, I perceived the holes in His hands, and in His side; then I concluded that He was our Lord. So I went up the hill."

CHRISTIAN. "That man that overtook you was Moses. He spareth none, neither knoweth he how to show mercy to those that transgress his law."

FAITHFUL. "I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met with me. It was he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and that told me he would burn my house over my head, if I stayed there."


"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:19-26)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Calico Captive

Calico Captive is a historical fiction novel written by Elizabeth George Speare and published in 1957. While classified as a book for children, it is an excellent book for any girl wishing to curl up on a rainy day and be transported hundreds of years back in time into the life of a girl not so different from herself.

Calico Captive was based off true events of a family living in New Hampshire in 1754. Susanna Johnson recorded her experiences in a book Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson, and the book is built on the events recorded therein.

The main character is Miriam Willard, the younger sister of young wife and mother, Susanna Johnson. Miriam lived with Susanna's family just outside the town of Charlestown, New Hampshire. One day, Miriam's life is full of hope and promise of happiness. But the next day, her hopes are dashed, and she and Susanna's family are trailing bound through the woods, looking forward to nothing but possible death or slavery. Bound by Indian captors and facing near starvation and difficult terrain, Miriam struggles with hateful feelings towards the strange enemy people, anxiety for her expectant sister, and fear of what might lay ahead.

After the Johnsons and Miriam reach the notorious St. Francis, things seem to take a turn-- rather for the worse-- as the family is broken up bit by bit. Miriam, her brother-in-law, and two of Susanna's four children, are taken to Montreal, where they are further split up, and Miriam is sent to work for a well-to-do family as a servant. A whirlwind of events work to change her from the frontier girl she had always been. Will her family ever be together again? Will she ever again see the man she left her heart behind with, or does Montreal hold other plans for her?

While the book is not written from a particularly Christian perspective (though Christianity mentioned in a historical way), the reader of Calico Captive still gleans much of both the early history of our nation and also the close bonds of the family and the nature of true love and friendship. The writer does an excellent job in catching the reader up in the adventures; while reading it, the reader can feel Miriam's loneliness, confusion, and struggles with pride, fear, and anger. The reader's heart aches with hers as her family is torn apart and rejoices with her as she discovers the qualities of life that really matter--and that people are the same, whatever their nationality, and that honesty, goodness, and love are far more important than any of the riches and prosperity the world may have to offer. Calico Captive is an excellent companion to learning early United States history and a fun candidate for a rainy-day quick-read to any who enjoy a good history and romance!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

"If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing about Calvary love.
For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted."

-Amy Carmichael, If

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" (Luke 6:45).

Thursday, October 16, 2008


"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

God desires us to be holy, as He is holy (Leviticus 11:45); we are to be sanctified by His Spirit; a clean and beautiful sanctuary that He may dwell in (1 Corinthians 7:19,20). This may seem like a major, unattainable requirement, but if we dwell in Christ, and Him in us, all things are possible. As He who is holy dwells in our hearts, we cannot help but be changed by it.
God gives us specifics for sanctified living. If we are truly His, these will be ever increasing in our lives.
"Rejoice everymore." This doesn't mean we'll always be having a party. It does mean we will have a constant joy and peace from having Christ in our hearts, satisfaction, and a trust in His will that gives hope and vanquishes despair. "For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice!"
"Pray without ceasing." As children of God, we should have a consistent relationship with Him-- not just praying only at set intervals like mealtime or bedtime, but constantly walking with Him, talking to Him, and listening for Him. We "ought always to pray and not to faint" (Luke 18:1).
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." We shouldn't grumble and complain about the things God allows in our lives. As we grow in Christlikeness, circumstances should not greatly affect our inner peace in Christ. We must remember that each circumstance in our lives comes from God; He rules over all, and He will never alow anything that will harm you, but only will draw you closer to Himself. We can give thanks for that!
"Quench not the Spirit." We must not try to drown out the Spirit's voice of conviction in our hearts by trying to keep busy and distracted by events, music, movies, people, or anything else. Neither should we try to quench it by doing the same wrong thing over and over again until our consciences are "seared". If we belong to God, we will have a willing heart to hear and obey all He would tell us. We will be quick to confess and forsake sin before God and live a life to please Him instead.
"Despise not prophesyings." Rather we should take the Word of God that we hear, and live it. We should not reject it because it doesn't make us comfortable, but embrace it because it will lead us to fuller life in Christ.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." We must be like the Bereans, who "searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11). We must prove all things by God's revealed Word, making that our standard, and then hold fast to it, refusing to be swayed by what the world and the devil have to offer. We must, like Martin Luther, boldly proclaim, "My conscience is captive to the Word of God... Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise."
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." We will not allow sin to have control of our lives; neither will we put ourselves in a position to be tempted; even further, we will not put ourselves in a situation where what we're doing even looks like sin, if we can help it. A true Christian will live up to his name (Christ's people), and do right, no matter what. We will not even let the slighest evil taint the reputation of Christ that is given us to defend.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sometimes a Light Surprises

"Sometimes a light surprises a Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season a clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

"In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue The theme of God's salvation and find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.

"It can bring with it nothing but He will bear us through:
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people too:
Beneath the spreading heavens no creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens will give His children bread.

"Though vine nor fig tree neither their wanted fruit should bear,
Though all the fields should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet, God the same abidng, His praise shall tune my voice;
For, while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice."

-William Cowper (1731-1800)

This is one of my favorite songs!! It is an old hymn, but I came to know it through SoundForth's CD "A Quiet Heart", and by a newer tune by Craig Courtney. This song has really blessed my heart as it causes me to reflect on the beauty and constancy of the Lord, and that, no matter what is going on around me, I can rest and trust in Him. Isn't our Lord wonderful!? In Him, "I cannot but rejoice!"

Listen to an audio clip of this song and others from the CD "A Quiet Heart" here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Difficulties afford a platform upon which He [God] can show Himself. Without them, we could never know how tender, faithful, and Almighty our God is."
-J. Hudson Taylor

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Writing Update!

I thought I would update my readers on my writing these days. I had been in such a rut for a while, not having a lot of "inspiration" to write, until recently, and it is so much fun to be back to it!
  • Airborne. I actually wrote Airborne a couple years ago, but left so much of it incomplete because I had to do so much study for it. The story is about a young man named Jeff Scharlacken whose dreams are to go to college and to become a pilot. His dreams seem dashed to pieces when his guardian dies and he is sent to help missionaries deep in the jungles of Colombia, where his parents had once ministered before they were killed in the midst of guerilla warfare. Here on the mission, he is caught in between two choices: to follow his own ideas for his life, or to surrender his will to God and make Christ his All. God has to use dramatic circumstances-- like attacks from surrounding guerilla groups-- to bring him to a point of decision. Because this story happens in Colombia, it has been kind of hard to write, because, until recently, I knew very little about Colombia. It's kind of hard to try to describe a place you know so little about! So recently I got in contact with a missionary lady who grew up as an MK in Colombia, and so they are helping me to learn about missionary life, native cultures, and such. I am planning on beginning revisions very soon. I'm already amazed at how much needs changed in it as it is. I think I'm going to have fun with this!

  • My 17th century England story that has no title. I mentioned in a post last month. I was able to scrounge up some books at our puny library in town and study those a little, but it was somewhat of a challenge, because my story is supposed to be about true Christians in the midst of religious and political chaos, but the books I got were from a secular viewpoint and so what they had to say on the different religious sects was tainted or uninformed. Today, however, I finally got my hands on a Christian, historical fiction novel set in that era and am looking forward to reading it and seeing what I might learn. Anyway, as I continue to study, I'm going to do with this what I did with Airborne: go ahead and start writing it, and fill in miscellaneous historical and cultural details as I learn. I am trying to at least get the story down now. So far I am on page 9, and it still has barely begun. It starts with the father of the main character Ann (who, by the way, is just a baby at the beginning), harboring an illegal Dissenter preacher at his home. This leads to the father's imprisonment, and the preacher and his son come up later on in the story and play a significant role. I'm having so much fun with this story!! Again, if any of you know anywhere else where I might get a good, detailed, Christian history of this era, please let me know!! :-D

So that's the progress of the pen these days!

"My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45:1b)

Jesus Is... (Part 2)

~Psalm 23~
"The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

Jesus is the Good Shepherd. I am His sheep. Sheep are very silly creatures. They cannot take care of themselves, as much as they'd like to think they can. If left to themselves, they would get lost, sick, malnourished, or attacked by wolves or other animals. They need someone to lead them and take care of them and bring them to better pastures. They are desperately in need of a shepherd. And we have a Shepherd in Jesus Christ our Lord! He is loving, gentle, and wise. He knows where the verdant meadows are. He knows all the safeties and dangers of the path that leads thereto, as He has been up it before, and He will take care of us as we travel it. He would not lead us that way if He knew the struggle would be too great for us. He knows how to take care of our smallest and our greatest needs. He protects us from our enemies. He knows what is best for us, and lovingly supplies it. As we know the character of our Good Shepherd, we sheep should have no problem being under His care. Rather, we will flee to Him, and desire to be as near to Him as we possibly can. In Mr. Stauffer's message on this topic last night in church, he made the point that the sheep far away from the shepherd are more susceptible to the enemies around. The safest place for me to be is right beside my Shepherd.

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." (John 10:14)

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
Psalm 23, Paraphrased by Isaac Watts

"My Shepherd will supply my need; Jehovah is His name:
In pastures fresh He makes me feed, beside the living stream.
He brings my wand'ring spirit back when I forsake His ways;
And leads me, for His mercy's sake, in paths of truth and grace.

"When I walk through shades of death Thy presence is my stay;
One word of Thy supporting breath drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes, doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows, Thine oil anoints my head.

"The sure provisions of my God attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my above, and all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest, while others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest, but like a child at home. Amen."
Graphics in this article are taken from

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wingfold Trilogy ~ Three Books in One

As far as I can find, the three books The Curate's Awakening, The Lady's Confession, and The Baron's Apprenticeship are no longer in print as separate novels but can now be bought here as a three-in-one volume entitled The Curate of Glaston.
Find out more about George MacDonald and his various works at!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Baron's Apprenticeship

The Baron's Apprenticeship is the third and final book in the Thomas Wingfold trilogy. It was originally titled There and Back, published in 1891, and was edited by Michael Phillips and republished by Bethany House Publishers in 1986.

In The Baron's Apprenticeship, we again meet Thomas Wingfold, the former curate of Glaston. It is now twelve years after the end of The Lady's Confession, and Thomas, Helen, and their young child are living and serving in a parish not too far from London. While not as prominent in this book as they were in the first two, they still play a quiet yet important role as spiritual mentors to others as Polwarth was once to them.

The story centers around a young man called Richard Tuke. He has grown up near London learning bookbinding from his father. Growing up, Richard came to reject the form of God that his mother seemed to believe in-- a harsh, uncaring God whose goal must be to make men miserable. Instead, he tries to find answers in books, reason, and science. When he is around eighteen years of age, he is hired by the son of the baron of Mortgrange to repair old books in the libary, unwittingly finding himself uncovering the shrouded mysteries of his past-- which could change his life forever!

While at Mortgrange, Richard meets a sweet young lady named Barbara, called by editor Michael Phillips "one of MacDonald's strongest fictional women." Barbara grew up in a difficult family situation in the colony of New Zealand. Now back in England, she spends her days tearing across the countryside on her horse, Miss Brown, or talking with Richard as he works in the library. The death of a pigeon prompts her to search for God and for truth, as she is not able to believe Richard's statements about "no life beyond death". In her honest, open nature, she challenges Richard with the question, "Tell me honestly... are you sure there is no God? Have you gone through all the universe looking for Him and failed to find him? Is there no possible chance that there may be a God?" Her budding friendship with the Wingfolds continues to foster her growing faith and her simple love for truth and life.

Richard's incredible journey to both spiritual understanding and to a knowledge of his own history is wrapped up in a fast-paced, intriguing plot. Who is Richard's real family? Can the wrong in his past be righted? Will he bring himself to see the truth of Jesus Christ, not as a domineering, hard-hearted ruler but as a wise, loving, and caring Creator?

The Baron's Apprenticeship is an excellent sequel to the trilogy of the curate, Thomas Wingfold. Targeted to people who consider themselves to be moral and good, it reveals the truth of God's nature and our own need to respond to Him. MacDonald writes, "One of four gates stands open to us: to deny the existence of God; to acknowledge His existence but say He is not good; to say, 'I wish there was a God,' and be miserable because there is none; or to say 'There is a God, and He must be perfect in goodness or he could not be,' and thus give ourselves to Him heart and soul" (page 69). While the characters of the story must each make this choice for themselves, so are we called to do, as the readers. Adventure, romance, mystery, and deep, thought-provoking truth, come packed together in an excellent novel you won't soon forget...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Joyful News!

I usually don't like email forwards, but this is one that really ministered to my heart, especially as yesterday I suddenly realized the Election Day is only one month away and was beginning to worry myself over it. Take time to let these truths sink in (BTW, I edited it slightly):

  • The Bible will still have all the answers.
  • Prayer will still work.
  • The Holy Spirit will still move.
  • God will still dwell in the hearts of His people.
  • There will still be spiritual teaching and healing.
  • There will still be singing of praise to God.
  • God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
  • There will still be room at the Cross.
  • Jesus will still love you.
  • Jesus will still save the lost.



"But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him" (Habbakuk 2:20).

Jesus Is... (Part 1)

Hello, Blog World! I am thinking about starting a little series on the character of Jesus Christ, and how He is revealed in the Scriptures. Sometimes we need to just quiet our hearts, still our minds, and just praise Him for WHO HE IS. Jim Berg (Bob Jones University) says, when you read the Scriptures, ask yourself, "What does this passage reveal about Jesus Christ?" So this is what I am trying to do, and I hope it will be as encouraging to you as it is to me. Try looking for descriptions on the character of Jesus as you read the Bible, and maybe you can keep track of your own findings about the character of Jesus in a journal or notebook. You'll be amazed how encouraging it is!!
"In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually" (Jeremiah 33:15-18).

I read this passage in Jeremiah this morning and was very encouraged and blessed by what I found. Here are some thoughts I had on the passage above.
  • Jesus is our Righteous Judge. "He shall execute judgment [justice] and righteousness in the land." Jesus governs righteously. He judges sin and blesses righteousness. He calls people to holiness.
  • Jesus is our Savior. "In those days shall Judah be saved." This could be talking about the earthly salvation of Israel eventually; it also could mean that He is the Savior of our hearts. He saves us not only from the consequences of our sin (death and hell), but, more importantly, He saves us from the power of sin. He unshackles us from sin's power and gives us freedom to live in the Spirit.
  • Jesus is our Security. "Jerusalem shall dwell safely." In Christ we need fear nothing-- whether it be external or internal foes. He delivers us from evil and will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him. He will not lose us and will cannot lose Him; we are safe in His arms.
  • Jesus is our Righteousness. "The Lord our Righteousness." Jesus takes our sin upon Himself and clothes us with the robes of righteousness. It is through Him that we stand before the Father clean and whole and righteous.
  • Jesus is our King. "David shall never want [lack] a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel." Jesus was in the line of David, and He is the eternal King. He reigns now in our hearts; one day He will rule the world. We live according to His laws, we walk according to His statutes, we look to Him to guide us and to lead us into battle against the enemy, we serve Him wholeheartedly as humble servants.
  • Jesus is our High Priest. "Neither shall the priests the Levites want [lack] a man bfeore me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually." The priests' job was to make atonement for the people. Jesus has done this by offering up Himself-- the spotless Lamb, the final sacrifice-- and He daily stands before the Father making intercession for us.

What a wonderful, glorious God we serve!! He truly is worthy of our praise and devotion!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Christian at the Cross

Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.

He ran thus till be came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.

Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, "He hath given me rest by His sorrow, and life by His death." Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold three Shining Ones came to him and saluted him with "Peace be to thee." So the first said to him, "Thy sins be forgiven thee": the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him "with change of raiment"; the third also set a mark in his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it, which he bade him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate. So they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing-

Thus far I did come laden with my sin;
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in
Till I came hither: What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be
The man that there was put to shame for me!
-John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress