My script of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.
~Frank W. Boreham
Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
The breath-taking wonder of the God With Us - our Guide, our Shepherd, our Protector, our Love, all the days of our pilgrim journey.
Emptied of his Majesty,
...Knees and Hearts to Him we bow;
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
There were times you made me crazy and times I wanted to throttle you. You were a son, after all.
But those times can perhaps be compared to the pains of child birth, you remember they occurred but over time they recede and blur.
And over time, that which is joyous burbles to memory's surface and there remains.
Memories are personal things and private.
Some are to be shared, some to be kept near the heart. All to be treasured.
Remembered and shared this day:
- my delight in hearing your first sermon on the 23rd Psalm and this before you became 'family'
- the seriousness with which you proclaimed your marriage vows
- the awe with which you held your first born
- our quiet conversation in the snow under an Alaskan sky waiting for an Aurora Borealis light show (the show never came but the conversation is etched on the heart)
- the silly times when your quirky humor came out
- the time you brought down the house with your Belle of Belfast
We remember you this day with grateful hearts.
We think of you every day.
We miss you but we would not call you back from the unspeakable joys you now enjoy.
We do not grieve for you but for our loss of you and we grieve for ourselves being left behind.
Dale Alan Valovich
Monday, December 13, 2010
A fruit of holy obedience is simplicity, simplicity of the trusting child.
it walks in time with the joy and assurance of Eternity....
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
"Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guide posts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went." So says the prophet Jeremiah and so has been the course of my pilgrimage. The turning points in my history can be traced through hymns and scriptures given and claimed in time of crises and great need.
These, my waymarkers.
God's people have always traveled in this manner, sometimes setting up alters, stones, waymarkers under His instruction. Sometimes on their own like Jacob and Bethel, Samuel and Ebenezer, Joshua and his men at the crossing of the sea. Like Joshua, some of those monuments are visible "so that when the children ask what do these stones mean," the story of God's Sovereignty can be told. Sometimes stones are set up and then covered over, hidden by the waters. These are known only to the child and his God.
But all are for remembrance, remembering the ways in which God has faithfully led and guided, warned and protected, soothed and comforted.
It happened again in a recent situation. I shall spare your, Dear Reader, the grizzly details. Just know it was a soul shattering, spirit disturbing, physically affecting occurrences. Blindly I went to the only source I know of true comfort. Even in that, the easy road was taken, i.e. the Psalter portion for the day. There the Lord met and supplied giving brilliant light to a familiar Psalm read through and passed over so many times before.
Psalm 27 "The Lord is my Light and my Salvation - whom shall I fear or dread?"
[Both fear and dread were present.] "The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?"...
"Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, in this will I be confident." Here my thoughts immediately ran to a scripture taught at mother's knee, the remembrance of another encampment promised, that of the angel of the Lord that surrounds those that fear Him. A strong and comforting arsenal, that.
There are many more riches in this Psalm, but for me, for now the best is in verse 5, and this is where Mr. Spurgeon called back down the trail of time and strengthened my heart.
"For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His pavilion" [KJV here]
The Lord, says Mr. Spurgeon, will give me the best of shelter in the worst of danger. The royal pavilion was in the center of the army, and round it all the mighty men kept guard round the clock. Thus in that position of divine sovereignty which almighty power is sworn to maintain, we are hidden hospitably by the King'
"In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me." Sacrifice aids sovereignty in screening the child from harm. No one of old dared to enter the most holy place on pain of death. And if the Lord has hidden his child there, who could dare enter?
"He shall set me up upon a rock." Immutability, eternity and infinite power join sovereignty and sacrifice.
"How blessed is the standing of the one whom God himself sets high, protected from his enemies, upon an impregnable rock which never can be stormed!"
In the days following the 'incident', these eternal truths have been pondered, rehearsed, remembered. You can be certain that a very deep hole has been dug in the dull clay of the heart to secure a most important sign post.
Photo courtesy of Robert Moseley and BBC news service
Spurgeon's thoughts and insight from The Treasury of David.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Funny how we are repeaters of what we hear. We pick up accents, catch phrases, words we enjoy and make them our own.
Our present life lesson of this is heard continually as our little great-grand-lad goes through his day. He repeats it all, whatever he hears, from all he hears, whether folk of flesh and blood, or his newest friends Pooh and Tigger. It is charming, really while at the same time making one conscious of what and how one speaks!
In today's reading, I came across, in the midst of the familiar something not seen before. Again a phrase heard and claimed. And later on repeated. This time by the apostle John. John chapter 13 gives us the picture. The one whom Jesus loved is leaning back against Jesus, or so reads the ESV, and he hears Jesus calling his men "little children".
So it came to pass, in his writings, John repeats and makes this phrase his own referring to his beloved ones as "my little children".
All this warms the heart, doesn't it? A wise lesson too.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Peter and John before the the great and powerful men of their day, with their activities called into question, preached. The great and powerful recognized two things: that they were common men and uneducated, and "that they had been with Jesus".
The powerful, confronted with Power, became powerless. So they threatened.
Peter and John return to the fellowship. They did not return hand-wringing, nor did they rehearse the threats given them. No. They rehearsed the Sovereignty of God in prayer.
Rehearsing and remembering, beginning with the created acts of universe construction. Then remembering the ancient words of David as well as the acts of the victorious, overcoming Lord Jesus.
Their prayer ended with an "oh by the way, Lord". "Now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your words with all boldness."
An amazing record, this. It becomes our example when we are up against it - whatever "it" may be. It is "Looking away from all that distracts to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."
It is seen in Marting Luther's stand when threatened by the pope's man. Martin was asked "and when all your supporters desert you, where will you be then? And our dear Dr. Luther replied: "Then as now, in the hands of God."
So for today, my goal is to rehearse and remember, to practice the Sovereignty of my God lest fear and bleakness gain a foothold.
And may any watching know that I have been with Jesus.
[For scripture reference, see Acts 4. 23-31]
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
And there were always crises about. There, at all times was at least one whose days were smooth flowing.
At that same time I learned something far greater in value, that my part was to commit and entrust to Clearer Eyes and Stronger Hands these my darlings.
Such is our family's reality just now. While there are not any situations which could be labeled crisis, as such, still there are many grievous challenges, hurts and disappointments, longings, and physical issues that cause concern. These can weigh like mighty stones on a mother's heart.
So my thoughts go back to the early days and lessons.
To commit is to consign for preservation, for safe keeping.
To entrust in this case is not the dictionary's example of "entrusting ones life to a frayed rope" but rather to One who is a strong cable and a steadfast anchor.
The scripture from which all this springs? The promised preservation and safe keeping of my beloveds?