Tuesday, August 24, 2010

can this be redeemed...












can this, oh my Lord, be redeemed?
some things seem as though they maybe can't
but i know of Your powerful right hand
and i must put this there and learn to wait

in my unbelief will You work?
will You give me faith to believe?
i want to trust You with this oh so much
but all that is within me seems to say

that i'll not see an answer to this thing
that it is much too deep and far too long
but You see through the years don't You, Lord
and You've said NOTHING for You is too hard

reason to believe is all i need
let some word of courage lift my head
do the work in me that is required
my heart is broken, scattered on the shores

and though it seems impossible to me
put it back together as You do
this is just the place You love to be
repairing all the damage caused by man

redemption is the work You came to do
restoring us to what we're meant to be
so take this broken thing that needs Your touch
and make it whole and lovely by Your plan

*jb~sdg

Sunday, August 22, 2010

this is the gospel...









I'm reading a new book. It's called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. I just wanted to share some of what I read this morning.

"I remember sitting outside a Buddhist temple in Indonesia. Men and women filled the elaborate colorful temple grounds, where they daily performed their religious rituals. Meanwhile, I was engaged in a conversation with a Buddhist leader and a Muslim leader in their particular community. They were discussing how all religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different. "We may have different views about small issues," one of them said, "but when it comes down to essential issues, each of our religions are the same."

"I listened for a while, and then they asked me what I thought. I said, "It sounds as though you both picture God (or whatever you call god) at the top of a mountain. It seems as if you believe that we are all at the bottom of the mountain, and I may take one route up the mountain, you may take another, and in the end we will all end up in the same place."

"They smiled as I spoke. Happily they replied, "Exactly! You understand!"

"Then I leaned in and said, "Now let me ask you a question. What would you think if I told you that the God at the top of the mountain actually came down to where we are? What would you think if I told you that God doesn't wait for people to find their way to Him, but instead He comes to us?"

"They thought for a moment and the responded, "That would be great."

"I replied, "Let me introduce you to Jesus."

"This is the gospel. As long as you and I understand salvation as checking off a box to get to God, we will find ourselves in the meaningless sea of world religions that actually condemn the human race by exalting our supposed ability to get to God. On the other hand, when you and I realize that we are morally evil, dead in sin, and deserving of God's wrath with no way out on our own, we begin to discover our desperate need for Christ."

Friday, August 20, 2010

each day first and last...











give me Your perspective
as i pass through all my days
as if it were my first one
let me be amazed

help me catch the beauty
in the simplest of ways
the eyes of my children
the coolness of the shade

the colors of the rainbow
against a stormy sky
the voice of a loved one
let me not pass by

help me to take notice
of all the varied ways
You let me know You love me
each day as my first day

then help me also,Father,
to walk through time You give
as if each day's the last day
i might have to live

help me speak with kindness
to those You've given me
finding ways to show them
their preciousness i see

let me not be short
or in a hurry with my time
but give them full attention
as they share their hearts and minds

help me,Lord,to focus on
all in them that's good
stop wasting, ever wishing,
they'd be as i think they should

so each day as my first day
and each day as my last
living in the moment
not dwelling on the past

nor focused on the future
but the gift that is today
my life a living sacrifice
before You, Lord,i lay

*jb~sdg


proverbs3:27
do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

dependence...












bless our children,
Lord, we pray
as they walk
each in their way
move them each & every day
to more dependence, Lord

"more dependence?"
one might say
"that is surely
not the way!
for independence is the goal
for every self-actualized child!"

oh, my friend
but don't you see
i don't want them
to depend on me!
so everyday i'm on my knees
to pray for their dependence

"you make no sense
you silly girl!
INDEPENDENCE!"
says the world
but i know a secret
a precious pearl ~ pray for their dependence

for the dependence
that i seek
will not leave them
at home & weak
but send them soaring
on eagle's wings
dependent ONLY on Him!

*jb~sdg

isaiah 40:28-31
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

"a healthy relationship between parent & child moves from dependence to independence, but a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father moves in the opposite direction...we put so much pressure on ourselves, as if the eternal plans of almighty God are contingent upon our ability to decipher them. the truth is, God wants to reveal them more than we want to know them. and if we think one misstep can frustrate the providential plans of the Omnipotent One, then our God is way too small. not only does God want us to get where God wants us to go more than we want to get where God wants us to go, but He is awfully good at getting us there. He may not always reveal His plans how or when we want Him to, but when we chase the Wild Goose, our future becomes His responsibility. "in His heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." do me a favor. stop reading for a moment and take a deep breath. now let it out...a deep breath recalibrates us physiologically. it relaxes us. the sovereignty of God has the same effect on me spiritually. when i'm reminded that God is the one ordering my footsteps, it helps me relax. God is in the business of positioning us in the right place at the right time. and that ought to give us an unshakeable sense of destiny even when we feel disoriented." ~ mark batterson, Wild Goose Chase

Saturday, August 14, 2010

chastening...












Despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.
Heb 12:5

today's Oswald Chambers was once again so timely. how does God do that?! have someone write something so long ago and then bring that word to me today - the very day i need it - amazing!

anyway, the writing was about chastening, sanctification and not quenching the Spirit. several years ago, the Lord made pretty clear to me how to respond in one area of my life. well, i thought recently that things were changing and that it was time for a change in my response - NOPE! as i listened to a pastor speak this week , i sensed that i was being chastened and reminded that my response is still to be what He made clear previously.

"Am I prepared to let God grip me by His power and do a work in me that is worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God's idea of what He wants to do for me, and He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify my wholly." ~ Oswald Chambers


i feel so silly when i go my way
was i really thinking i knew what was best?
but God so gently chastens when i stray
and straightens out the things i've made a mess

i'll think i've so progressed beyond the need
to follow closely things revealed before
and so i go my way to check and see
if maybe there's a shortcut i'll explore

He lets me go for just a little bit
and though there's clearly tension in this way
i remain determined - my teeth i grit
until i sense His Spirit gently say

"what was it, child, I told you once before?
the good work I began, I will complete"
and i stand there rebuked, but ever sure
the place He's taking me will be so sweet


*jb~sdg

1 peter 3:4
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

terra incognita...












take me to a new place, Lord
i lose sight of the shore
take me to a place, O God
i learn to trust You more

what is it i'm asking?
do i really trust you so?
am i willing this to ask
then willing to let go?

let me not pray empty prayers
or write just pretty words
give me strength to truly trust
You'll do what's best, my Lord

for it is my surrender, God
me out of the way
the thing to which You call
each and every day

and that's the true adventure
where i'll grow and learn much more
the terra incognita
where i lose sight of the shore


*jb~sdg


In addition to Wild Goose Chase, I'm also reading a book about Columbus by George Grant...funny when things you just think you're doing somewhat randomly come together in a meaningful way...the author of WGC quoted Columbus today as he talked about the chase! ~ "It was the Lord who put it into my mind,(I could feel His hand upon me),the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with the rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures."

Batterson also quoted Andre Gide ~ "People cannot discover new lands until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore."

"The Wild Goose is calling us into terra incognita. That is where the adventure is found."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sabbath...










ahh the coolness of the breeze You send
on mornings fair
and the sunshine bright and warm
reminding me You care
daily blessings sent my way coaxing
"slow your pace"
for when i take time to be still
Your goodness i can taste
so slow me, Lord, this Sabbath day
that i may catch my breath
ready then to walk a week
until the Sabbath next

*jb~sdg


I'm reading Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. He shares that "Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit An Geadh-Glas, 'the Wild Goose.'" In the book, he tells the story of a European explorer in Africa who hired some natives to carry his equipment through the jungle. "They didn't stop for three days. At the end of the third day, the hired hands stopped and refused to move on. The explorer asked why and one of the natives said,'We have moved too quickly to reach here; now we need to wait to give our spirits time to catch up with us.'" Batterson says,"The word Sabbath means 'to catch one's breath.'...The way you chase the Wild Goose isn't by going faster and faster. The key is slowing down your pace, taking off you sandals and experiencing God right here, right now."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

call...










i hear, i hear the call of the sea
its sweet, clear voice so strong in me
bidding me come and stay awhile
walk its white shores ~ mile after mile

yet there is another voice i hear
the call of my Lord ~ ever so near
He bids me come to rest and abide
to walk in His love as i do the tide

not everyone hears the call that i do
whispering, wooing me out to the blue
and neither the other call do all hear
drawing me ever and ever more near

both of these callings speak love to me
one of the beauty and depths of the sea
the other, the stronger ~ most precious to me
constantly, quietly, gently it leads

and my part ~ to follow and visit the sea
whenever life slows and time allows me
but the other following ~ daily requires
surrender of self to His sweet desires


*jb~sdg


psalm 37:4
delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart


oswald chambers ~
the call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him...

Monday, August 2, 2010

early rising...











a dove is cooing early this clear morn
the sun shines warmly on my writing hand
the easiest of breezes stirs the air
and i sit and surrender life's demands

You bring to mind those who need a prayer
You teach me gently by Your written word
then i begin my day with all its chores
remembering the early cooing bird

some mornings more inspiring than before
the blueness of the sky or words i read
but may i never weary or grow tired
of meeting on my backporch just with Thee


*jb~sdg


psalm119:147
i rise early, before the sun is up; i cry out for help & put my hope in Your words

Sunday, August 1, 2010

travel...


This article by Dr. George Grant is the Feature Article in Veritas Press' Epistula this month...it's got me thinking!!!







Classical Education and Travel



The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.

St. Augustine



Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,

Hold me in thy sway;

Make me see, make me flee,

Unto thy rich array.

For there amidst, and there consist

The root and branch and leaf,

Of faith and hope and love persist

In this, the world of grief.

Tristan Gylberd



The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.

G.K. Chesterton



Travel's greatest purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

William Hazlitt



Life is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.

Arnold Toynbee

According to a Latin proverb, travelers may "change their climate but never their souls." While it may be admitted that such a truism is essentially true, there also can be little doubt that travelers may at least change their thinking. By virtue of seeing the world-the different sights, sounds, textures, hues, and passions of cultures different than their own-affords them with a unique perspective that militates against prejudice, parochialism, and pettiness. As Mark Twain said, travel somehow "broadens the mind and softens the heart." More often than not, travel serves to sunder our uninformed native preconceptions and to establish more mature perspectives.

For that reason, travel has always been a component part of a well rounded education. The banal prejudice and narrow presumption that inevitably accompany an unexposed, inexperienced, and undiscerning existence can often be ameliorated only by the disclosure of the habits, lifestyles, rituals, celebrations, and aspirations of the peoples beyond the confines of our limited parochialism. The great Dutch patriot Groen van Prinsterer aptly commented to his students, "See the world and you'll see it altogether differently."

As a result, in times past, travel was seen as far more significant than just fun and games. It was for more than mere rest and relaxation. It was intended to be more than simply a vacation or a getaway. Instead, it was a vital aspect of the refined instruction in art, music, literature, architecture, politics, business, science, and divinity. It was, according to Benjamin Franklin, "the laboratory where theory meets practice, where notion encounters application."

Travel has thus enlightened lives and perspectives throughout history. Some of the most famous books, some of the most influential perspectives, and some of the most remarkable social transformations have had their genesis in some great quest or expedition or journey or voyage-from Agamemnon in Troy and Caesar in Gaul to Marco Polo in China and Richard the Lionhearted in Outremer, from Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean and Cotton Mather in Massachusetts Bay to Charles Lindbergh in the Spirit of St. Louis and John Glenn in the shuttle Enterprise. Just visiting has left an indelible mark upon the human experience.

From the end of the fifteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, it was expected that all the members of high born families, aspiring artists, poets and historians, prospective members of the diplomatic corps, and young bon vivants would undertake an extended pilgrimage to the great cities of the Western world. It was considered an essential part of a well-rounded education. Indeed, in many elite circles it was believed to be the capstone of a true classical curriculum. Many of the most eminent people in history thus set out on what became known as the Grand Tour just before they entered into public life. Traveling to the great centers of culture, history, and influence, they sought to take in as much of the art, music, literature, architectural sites, historical monuments, social revelries, and culinary delights as they possibly could. Taking anywhere from just a few weeks to several months, the Grand Tour was intended to help the next generation of leaders to learn the languages, customs, and mores of far flung lands and societies. They desired to broaden their horizons, test the practicality of their book learning, and to deepen their social and academic awareness. It was to enable them to eventually do all they were called to do and be all they were called to be.

The long and varied history of the Grand Tour-which invariably began in London and ended in Rome with visits to Edinburgh, Paris, Venice, Florence, Vienna, Jerusalem, and innumerable other great cities along the way-includes amazing stories of such travelers as Queen Victoria, John Milton, John Ruskin, Percy Shelly, Anna Jameson, Lord Byron, Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Joseph Addison, Charles Dickens, William Wordsworth, Emma Hamilton, William Thackery, and Edward Lear. And the Grand Tour was not merely an English phenomenon. Americans such as Washington Irving, Julia Ward Howe, Mark Twain, Henry Adams, Stephen Crane, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Teddy Roosevelt also traveled abroad as youngsters. It was assumed that if they were to be classically educated, they would have to be classically traveled as well.

It is not surprising then that the modern recovery of classical education in the classroom and at home has inevitably led to the simultaneous recovery of classical education on the road. After all, as the contemporary poet Tristan Gylberd has asserted, "If you always go where you have always have gone and always do what you have always done, you will always be what you have always been."


George Grant