timely visit

when we receive every one that comes into
our lives,
even just for the briefest of moments,
as divine visitors sent from God –
whether they bring joy or sorrow,
laughter or pain,
they still likewise carry messages
from Him
for us

Lord, thank You
for opening my heart once again
to desire to love and give generously,
though the price may be high

Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except a corn of wheat
fall into the ground and die,
it abideth alone:
but if it die,
it bringeth forth much fruit.

(John 12:24)

Lord, thank You
for spurring me on the path of godliness,
for reminding me that
a quiet, godly life
on this earth is not useless –
You will take this sacrifice,
if I offer it with the fulness of trust –
and multiply it

Wherefore seeing we also are
compassed about with
so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,

(Hebrews 12:1)

The testimony You have
drawn my attention to
moved me so,
that I renew my resolve
to surrender this life I have
into Your hands.

the wider life

an excerpt by J.R. Miller –

We should never be content with a narrow life. We are made for breadth and fullness, and we rob God when we fail to reach our best. 

Some people assert that Christianity’s ideal for life, is narrow. They say it cramps and limits us. It has no place, for example, for physical or intellectual development. It says nothing about art, music, science, or the many phases of human activity. It presents only the moral side—conscience, obedience to heavenly laws, spiritual attainments and achievements.

The answer is that while Christianity may not definitely name the things of the intellect, or distinctly call men to noble achievements in art, in exploration, in invention, in research, in the culture of the beautiful, it really includes in its range everything that will add to the fullness and completeness of life and character. It excludes nothing but what is sinful: disobedience to law, impurity, selfishness, uncharity, and these only narrow and debase, do not broaden and enrich life.”

on hardship and ease

Shatter the myth that easy is good,
and hard is bad

we all want a comfortable life,
bathing in ease and luxury.
at least, that is what we think we want.
if comfort and pleasure is the main (unspoken) aim
of life –
to enjoy nice things and to not have to worry about anything –
then we would be Epicureans.

and then when we finally have all these
material possessions that we want,
we wonder why we are not happy,
and feel a certain void within,
a certain meaninglessness.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity

we were not made just to pursue
a comfortable existence,
but for God our Creator.

The persecuted Christians
who had nothing,
and really nothing,
no savings, no house, no future –
landed up and died in jail –
those that ‘wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins;
being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

know more about solid joys
and lasting pleasures
than men whose main aim
is to live as comfortably as
they possibly can on this earth.

if we try to insulate ourselves
from the vissicitudes of life –
“bubble-wrapping” –
however well-intentioned these efforts may be,
we will never develop true
strength, courage, grit.

it is the hardship and the pain
that forges our character:
why do we try our best to avoid
any form of pain and discomfort?

but if we have a purpose
that extends beyond just eating and drinking
before we die –
and we do –
comfort is not a priority.

Ease is not good,
and hard is not bad

floral reflections

I love, no,
I love love flowers.

Maybe because they’re fragile, easily blown away by the wind –
and I empathize with them.

Maybe because they’re beautiful –
and I appreciate beauty.

But on a deeper level,
their very existence shows that while not useful
in the strictly utilitarian sense
(unlike corn and wheat),
these fragile beauties occupy a place in God’s creation:
a reminder that things need not be purely practical.
Beauty’s not a waste – not if it comes from the Source of all beauty.

conquering self-will

As self-will is the root of all sin and misery, so whatever cherishes this in children ensures their wretchedness and irreligion: whatever checks and mortifies it, promotes their future happiness and piety. 

This is still more evident if we farther consider that religion is nothing else than doing the will of God and not our own; that the one grand impediment to our temporal and eternal happiness being this self-will, no indulgence of it can be trivial, no denial unprofitable.

Heaven or hell depends on this alone. 

– Susannah Wesley