seasons of life

When summer brings
the temperature to a boil,
look not for winter,
long not for cold weather,
but bask in the sun –
run, swim, go out to play!

When winter encroaches onto fall,
and the temperatures plummet,
look not for summer,
long not for warm weather,
but watch the snowflakes’ dainty descent –
and catch one in your hand.

the Lord our portion

Be persuaded, that God in Christ is the only good. Seek the discovery of the glory of God in Christ. Persons may harangue ever so long about the world’s emptiness and vanity; but they will never part with it until they get something better in the place of it. Something the man must have to set his heart upon. 

Therefore, until the unsearchable riches of Christ are revealed to the soul, so as your soul’s desire run out after him — the husks of the world will be your portion. 

People may think it is their principle, that the world is but vanity; yet still they are taken up with the vanity thereof, until they see the glory of God. The Lord is a full and sufficient good — he is a proportionate good, suiting the soul: he is an everlasting good, suiting the immortal soul.

-Ralph Erskine

eating

There were many times
I must admit,
especially when I no longer
come home to home cooked food,
that I find eating a hassle.

I was guilty of wishing
I didn’t have to eat
(there’s just so many things to be done!)
Not that I don’t enjoy good food,
but when there’s work to do,
I have a desire to just keep at it
until it’s finished.

I disliked the gnawing hunger pangs
and even more disliked the gastric pains
which prompted me to have my meals
like clockwork.

But
reading a book changed my
entire perspective
on eating.

Edith Schaeffer in her book, 
The Hidden Art of Homemaking, 
makes it clear that

food is not just food,
but it involves
relaxation,
communication,
and a sense of beauty and pleasure.

She stressed that even if
one is eating alone,
he must know that
he has the LORD for company.

This reminded me to cultivate
a very thankful spirit 
whenever I partake in food,
even when I am alone,
which would be the norm till
mummy comes back.

Not “huh, after a few hours
I must eat again” –
but thank You LORD,
my gracious Provider,
for giving me this day my daily bread.

I shall eat
not with drudgery,
but with much joy.

Whether therefore ye eat,
or drink,
or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

a new chapter

Have faith,
like the flowers,
to let the old things go.
-Lilias Trotter

The old must be purged
before the new can come.

And life
will spring forth
from death.

All these little dyings
will surely bear fruit.

Blessed is the man
that trusteth in the LORD,
and whose hope the LORD is.

Jeremiah 17:7

only one life

Amongst all my Christian books, no page thereof is dog-eared, except for one which contains the quote that has so often jolted me out of lethargy and monotony:

The important thing is to receive this moment’s experience with both hands. Don’t waste it. “Wherever you are, be all there,” Jim once wrote. “Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

I have a tendency to be future-oriented, and to wonder what the future will hold in store, but I have realised especially with recent experiences that the future is not in my hands. Tomorrow is God’s, and I shall leave tomorrow to Him.

It is Biblical, for Jesus said, ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.‘ (Matthew 6:34) If I do not do the duties given to me this present day well, what makes me think I will do the duty of tomorrow well? It is just deceiving myself to think that I can perform a duty still yet in the future well when I persistently neglect today’s duty. The only real proof of one’s faithfulness is not in mere profession, but his or her actions now.

Joseph was appointed to God to high estate (as a governor of Egypt), only because he faithfully performed whatever he was given in the fear of God at that present moment. He wasn’t dreaming up something in idleness, but was working hard in Potiphar’s house and subsequently, in the prison. 

This takes a long time to internalise. I can say for a fact it took me years to truly learn just this one lesson. But with it, comes tremendous freedom.

Freedom to serve God with what He has given me, and not worry about what I’ll be doing in the future –
Freedom to smile and laugh and trill merrily, because I am still a youthful girl and I needn’t act older than my age –
Freedom to receive the experiences Providence brings to me with both hands, as Jim Elliot said –

Whether it be going to work or
Playing with some lovely children.

(,:

Heart Religion

An excerpt from J.C. Ryle:

The heart is the spring of true holiness and steady continuance in well doing. 

“True Christians are holy, because their hearts are renewed. They obey from the heart. They do the will of God from the heart. Weak, and feeble, and imperfect as all their doings are — they please God, because they are done from a loving heart. He who commended the widow’s mite more than all the offerings of the wealthy Jews — regards quality far more than quantity. What He likes to see is, a thing done from an honest and good heart. There is no real holiness without a right heart.

Reader, the things I am saying may sound strange. Perhaps they run counter to all your notions. Perhaps you have thought that if a man’s religion is correct outwardly — he must be one with whom God is well pleased. You are completely mistaken! You are rejecting the whole tenor of Bible teaching. Outward correctness, without a right heart — is neither more nor less than Phariseeism! The outward things of Christianity — baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Church-membership, alms-giving, and the like — will never take any man’s soul to Heaven, unless his heart is right. There must be inward things, as well as outward — and it is on the inward things, that God’s eyes are chiefly fixed.”