Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A rough German peasant perhaps.
A tormented monk, to be sure but one with a heart desperately seeking God and God's Truth.

He was changed through a scripture text.
Martin Luther didn't meet words when he opened the scripture to the book of Romans, he met the Living Word!

"The just shall live by faith...."  That was the text branded on his heart.

God through His Word changed the man Luther and the man Luther changed the course of the Church and the history of the world.

He gave the Word of God in the common language for common folk.
He stood before Pope and Emperor alike defending his right to do so.

Luther gave song to the church, singable hymns loaded with doctrine.
And so much more.

If we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus it is He,
Lord Sabaoth His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

That was Luther's message, Christ The Man and He our salvation 
by Faith alone, Grace alone, through Scripture alone.

Happy Reformation Day, Dear Reader!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Does life never frighten you with its bleakness, Anne Shirley?

This line from Kevin Sullivan's movie masterpiece often comes to mind when Life crowds in with things heart-rendingly woeful.  Such events so often come in groups swiftly causing our focus to slip from the True.

Of late, there have been several of immense proportions touching the life of our family.  Among them  are those much loved who have chosen to leave the Excellent Way and make shipwreck of their lives leaving incalculable devastation in their wake.  While others find a valiant and productive life of one much beloved slipping from their grasp in a way beyond human control while they can only sit by in bewilderment.

Add to these the daily disappointments and other small-potato losses of the Ordinary and I find myself falling to my knees and pushing my little boat into the stream of scripture.  

Gone are the days when I spin in the why cycle.  "Why" doesn't enter in to the equation.  Whys were settled before the Throne in other such times. But the patchwork cloak of bafflement and the heaviness it brings envelop. Emotion broadsides bringing tears and grief brings on a slowness of pace and thought.
There is also a return to the well remembered pain of yet another great family loss but a few short years ago.

Then, as is always the way of Mercy,  glory visits.  For us this season, it is the bringing yet another new little lad into our clan circle.  Babies are always the perfect reminder that there is a Time for all things under Heaven and a continuum and purpose to the days we are given.

Too, there is the reminder that bleakness may seem our lot here in the Shadowland.  Yet the reminder comes that we walk through the Valley of the Shadow.  We are not pitching our tent there. Praise Him.

The eternal God is  [our] refuge and dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms....

No matter how low the spirits, how deep the despair, underneath even those are the strong arms of the Eternal God, unseen and perhaps even unfelt, yet there.  Always there.  Count on it.  

Again and again, praise Him!


Anne of Green Gables, the Continuing Story
Deuteronomy 33.27, Amp.
Image of a Jewish cemetery in Prague by Lynnette Austin McMinn