Sunday, 13 March 2016
Food for the soul . . .
This morning I wanted to share with you some things I discovered over this past week which made me think or made my heart sing. I hope you will indulge me and that perhaps they might make your heart think or sing also!
The Lily of the Valley
(An old Hymn)
I’ve found a friend in Jesus,
He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley,
in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort,
in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley,
the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tow’r;
I’ve all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His pow’r.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.
He’ll never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face,
Where rivers of delight shall ever roll.
A friend posted this hymn on facebook and it made my heart flutter. This is how I feel about the Saviour. He is the Lily of the Valley to me.
Speaking of Lily of the Valley. I love them. I have never had success at planting them and having them grow for me. Any suggestions?
As you know I've been reading the book entitled "The God Who Weeps," by Terry and Fiona Givens. I read this earlier this week: (I am paraphrasing it)
If vulnerability and pain are the price of love, then joy is its reward . . . In the Garden story, good and evil are found on the same tree, not in separate orchards. Good and evil give meaning and definition to each other. If God, like us, is susceptible to immense pain, He is, like us, the greater in His capacity for happiness. The presence of such pain serves the larger purposes of God's master plan, which is to maximize the human capacity for joy . . . "
I must have read the bible a bazillion times in my life time and it was not until I read this passage in The God Who Weeps that it dawned on me that Good and Evil both existed in the Garden of Eden and on the same tree. And I realized that it is the presence of evil which makes actually good even better . . . which gives it (All things good) much more meaning and worth. Does that make sense? It was an aha moment for me.
"All that exists in our world of meaning must exist in paired opposition."
I saw this and thought to myself, YES! I would rather stand with God and be judge by the world. It's like when I first joined this church, I lost a lot of my friends, well . . . actually all of my friends and some of my family were very disappointed in me as well. But I knew that I had received a Testimony of the truthfulness of it, even if they hadn't and that I had to stand by what I knew in my heart to be true . . . for to do otherwise would mean me being a hypocrite. I had received this testimony and I knew I had received it and what's more HE knew I had received it. And at the end of the day it meant more for me to please God than it did for me to please the world.
You must always stand by what you know to be true.
I found this most wonderful pattern and tutorial for making these beautiful little Panama Hats for girls. I think I may make one of these. They are so pretty. And I know just the little girl I want to make one for. She finally did get her Birthday present. I was upset thinking that it had gone astray. I will never figure the post out. How something which is mailed a week later can actually arrive a week earlier than something else which was mailed sooner. It makes no sense.
Oh well, the important thing is it got there in the end. I would have loved to see how she enjoyed it. I sent Maryn a little purse filled with girlie goodies for her Birthday. I reckoned at the age of five a girl needed a purse.
I love the artwork of Greg Olsen. I have had a few of his calendars in my lifetime, of his paintings of the Saviour and they fill my heart with joy, so much so that we have actually framed a few of the paintings from the calendar to hang up in our home. I loved this picture when I saw it . . . . because that is the key to my happiness in life and that is in simply being grateful . . . and then in expressing that gratitude in whatever way that I can, and then most especially in prayers of thankfulness to that from whom all blessings flow.
An attitude of gratitude. It's the best. What are you grateful for this week? I am grateful for a kind and caring nurse at the hospital who, without knowing that she was doing it, was able to quell some of my fears over this week's upcoming colonoscopy. I was also particularly grateful for Jose and Ariana stopping by one day earlier in the week when I was feeling really ill. Their little visit really sparked my joy. It was so very nice to see them.
Sunny days and windows that sparkle. Our window cleaner had not been in a while and I had really noticed his absence. We sent him a message earlier this week and yesterday he came to clean our windows and they are all sparkling again. There is nothing like clean windows to put a smile on the face! He has a power spray window cleaner that he uses that does a fabulous job. I remember the Window Cleaner who used to come and do the windows at the Manor. It took him several days to do them all. There was ever such a lot of windows to do and a lot of them were old fashioned leaded glass with diamond or small square panes. You could not have paid me enough to want to do those and he did them inside and out. There was the Manor along with it's conservatory, the green houses, the guest house and the gym . . . such a LOT of windows. I reckon he earned his money!
The memory of the arrival of this beautiful painting which was done by a friend of mine. It arrived on the 9th of March in 2012, which was the second anniversary of our losing Jess to the day. And then on the 9th of Marxh this year, it showed up on my facebook page as a memory. I don't know about you, but seeing this memory again was like a "God" incidence to me . . . not by chance . . . reminding me of a dog which we loved dearly and who brought us a lot of joy . . . but also of a time in our lives when we were feeling quite devastated and broken, having lost our job and home and Jess . . . and how very good God was and is. We got through that tunnel of darkness and there was light at the end of it. His love was real then and it is real now. And I think He just wanted me to know that.
Whatever it is . . . life is good. We may not always have the things we want to have, or be able to accomplish all that we want to accomplish . . . but life with all of its ups and downs is very, very good. Someone was saying on the telly yesterday that the difference between a man and a woman is this . . . that when a man looks back on his life he thinks about all things he didn't get to do, whereas a woman thinks about things she would have done differently given the chance to do them again.
What do you think?
And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . .
"All unrest is but the struggle
of the soul to reassure herself
or her inborn immortality,
her discomfort reveals . . .
her loss of the divine presence."
~Amos Bronson Alcott
In The English Kitchen today . . . the very naughty, but tasty Chocolate and Caramel Stuffed Croissants.
May your Sunday be truly blessed. Don't forget!
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And I do too!