Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Reading Challenge book list and Announcment for Reading Challenge 2011!

  • Ready to Answer - Joe Engelkemier 158 pages
  • A Trip into the Supernatural - Roger J. Morneau 125 pages.
  • Rungs For Life's Ladder - W.B. Ochs 224 pages.
  • So Much More - Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin 333 pages.
  • Feminine By Design - Scott T. Brown 85 pages.
  • Testimonies for the Church Volume 1 - Ellen G. White 758 pages.
  • Letters from Mother Naomi - Answers to Questions Girls Ask 128 pages.
  • His Robe or Mine - Frank Phillips 158 pages.
  • Pastor Bob's Confession - Bob Habenicht 80 + pages.
True life, missionary stories

  • Taught By a Tiger - Norma R. Youngberg 111 pages.
  • Nyla and the White Crocodile - Norma R. Youngberg 128 pages
  • Clever Queen - Eric B. Hare 100 pages.
  • In Step With Christ - James J. Aitken 84 pages
  • Pioneers Together - Josephine Cunnington Edwards 238 pages.
  • Heartwarming Stories of Adventist Pioneers - Norma J. Collins 188 pages.
  • Lotus Blossom Returns - Sandy Zaugg 191 pages.
  • Singing Tree and Laughing Water - Sylvia Hardwick 128 pages.
  • Tiger of Biter Valley - By Norma R. Youngberg over 100 pages.

I was going to rate my list, but I decided not to as each book was really worth reading. They each have blessed me and impacted me in a special way.

Lest you think I don't read my Bible, that is part of my daily life and it is so much more than other books that I didn't list it. :-)

I am looking forward to joining in the 2011 reading challenge, it sounds like it will be wonderful and I'm sure there is a blessing in store. Check it out by clicking on the Reading Challenge 2011 banner above or visit: Please join us if you'd like! :-)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is It Possible?

...When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few--this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason...
~ E.G.W (5T 136)

Is it possible?

Is it possible to gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason?

By God's grace you can, I can. It is when it's the darkest that you can see the light and in the cold that you can feel the warmth.

When you feel the most alone, dejected, unloved, uncared for by humans, it is then that God is the closest to you. He hurts with you, He holds you, He comforts you, He understands you, He strengthens you, He protects you, and greatest of all He LOVES YOU!

As I look back over some of the circumstances of my life, from the time I was born till now I am awed to see that every time God was there for me. Recently, when I felt alone in my convictions, He sent someone to encourage me in a quiet, unspoken way. Only God knows how much it blessed me and how much it encouraged me and it was only He who would have planned that. Over and over again, in little things as well as large things I have seen God's hand and God's love and care in ways I imagined and in ways I never dreamed. There have been so many times, so many circumstances especially in the last several months that have showed me that yes, it is possible to gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason.

God is a friend that I do not want to lose.

I am decided. He is the One I want to love, He is the One I want to serve, He is the Friend I want to have, He is the One I want to stand up for, He is the One I want to be willing to die for. Why? Because He first loved me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thoughts of a Overwhelmed Aunt

I talked and prayed about wanting a niece.
A family had to have one girl at least!
There's one thing I know without a doubt.
'Cause there are things I know about.
God truly had a miracle in His hands.
A baby girl was in His plans.

He picked a time not easy,
But He chose the best time really:
Because He sees all, and knew what was best.
With a precious baby they were blessed.

I have a darling niece!
The awesomeness of it doesn't cease.
We feared throughout too, it'd be another boy,
But with this little one,
He's filled our hearts with joy.
God's wonders are so beautiful, they stun.

Thank-You Father, for dear Hannah-Joy Jana!
She truly is, Your Gracious Gift.

P.S. I love you Hannah!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Camp

Bethany and Ben went to America a few years back, and went to a family camp. The Nebbletts were one of the speaking families there. Bethany sent back a music cd of their's. It's beautiful! We've gotten to more know more about them ever since. And now I've met them.
What were the blessings from family camp? I'll tell you...

  • Ways to have an alive Bible reading time.
  • An evening in the kitchen with young people, gave me new friends. Fun memories and stretched my cooking skills.
  • Hilariously engaing true stories told and re-enacted by the Nebblett youth. Along with back-to-back mystery drawings, (ask me to explain if you want.) A treasure hunt. Hearty singing. A wonderful children's meeting.
  • Tips for a more peaceful, happier home.
  • Got hot. Family freeze tag. Catching, running and being caught - that was exhaustingly fun! "All in denim to this side. Beware of the others! You're their targets." Or "Those born from January down to June, go to the right of the field. Chase anyone who runs away!" Slipping, sliding, rolling, running. Solid recreation.
  • Answers to questions. That was youth forum.
  • Kings and queens, defeat and victory. Combining secular and Biblical history. The inside story about Queen Esther. The miraculous survival of newborn Cyrus the Great. Delivered through a chain of events from a jealous and murderous grandfather. God had an amazing plan for him. He even named him over 100 years before his birth!
  • To be a good soldier. What devastation happens when I only serve God half-heartedly. To take heaven by violence. The rewards are so huge!
  • Songs ranging from a bell orchestra to a youth chior I was part of.
  • Fresh ideas for family traditions. Such as all sleeping outside, the night after the first frost. (That way the mozzies are all dead.)
  • Watching love. Cherith and her Ben.
All-in-all, camp was amazing! I wouldn't have traded it for anything. If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of them - go! and you won't regret it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Comforter

"I'll see you when you get back from the goats. Mum'll be waiting for you there." my visiting sister and I parted after having fun on the swing.
Confidently, I found the nearly-hidden-by-the-flash-flood-waters, stepping stones over the creek. So cold and fast! Tracking through the mud I soon got in sight of the pines and shed. No car. And no Mother. Oh well, I'll check the goats. I peaked my head inside the door. All inside! Back outside, I wondered what to do. Wait? Pray! Perfect alone time. I leaned against a solid pine tree. My talk with God was quickly interrupted. Ouch! Slap! The mosquitoes had taken advantage of my inactivity. I headed on back to the house. I'd see where Mum was.
I resumed my conversation. My thoughts recounted my blessings....
"Thank-You Father. I'm so grateful for what You are teaching me. Particularly yesterday, when I felt so hurt. Discussing it with Mum didn't help. It was too painful. I felt like I had to talk to someone else. I thought of calling my big sister. That's when I felt it. Tugging. I remembered. That You're the best to talk to. I wanted to rationalize the situation. Deal with it in myself. But You reminded me.... 'give it to Me.' I left it with You. And that's what amazes me.
Next thing I knew, I had peace. And happiness! I wasn't even so happy before I'd found out. But You changed it all. My disappointment and sadness, You replaced completely with a song and smile that I couldn't hold back! Only You could do that. I didn't realize what joy comes from surrender. And now I've learned too... in a tangible way - that You are my Comforter."

Friday, November 26, 2010

How Can I Say Thanks?

As I was thinking about and writing out the things I was thankful for, I decided it was hopeless to try to put on paper even a few of them! If I should write out all the blessings of God and what He's done for me, not even the seas or the skies would be able to contain them.

This beautiful song speaks the language of my heart so well.

How can I say thanks for the things
You have done for me?
Things so undeserved, yet You gave
To prove Your love for me;
The voices of a million Angels
Could not express my gratitude.
All that I am, and ever hope to be;
I owe it all to Thee.

To God be the glory, to God be the glory,
To God be the glory for the things he has done.
With his blood He has saved me;
With his power He has raised me;
To God be the glory for the things He has done.
Just let me live my life;
Let it be pleasing Lord to Thee.
And if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary.
With His blood He has saved me;
With His power He has raised me;
To God be the glory for the things He has done.
~ Andrae Crouch

I am thankful for all that God has brought me through. God has been so good to me and I can see His hand at work in every circumstance of my life. Through sunshine, joy and peace, and through rain, sadness and pain, He has always been there for me!

Thank you is so inadequate, but I don't know what else I can say, so I will say it from the bottom of my heart and may my life show my love and gratitude for my good and Almighty God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

As Thanksgiving day draws nearer, I find my excitement mounting! It is a special day.

Thanksgiving means mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all the other thanksgiving delicacies.

It means family and friends and traditions.

It is a day to remember the story behind thanksgiving and to be grateful for what our forefathers endured to make America.

It is a special day to count our many blessings, naming them one by one and seeing what the Lord hath done.

It is a day to spend some time "smelling the roses", being still, knowing that He is God.

It is a day to set our priorities straight if they aren't already, to do the best things first and the good things second.

It is a day to put the worries and stresses of life away and just reflect, relax and enjoy.

And so much more!

As a special treat, the 1789 Thanksgiving Proclomation by one of my favorite Presidents of the United States of America, President George Washington!
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
~October 1789

May you each one have a most wonderful Thanksgiving day! After thanksgiving, I'll do a post on some of the things that I am thankful for this year.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Pulse

"One, two, three, four, five, six," my piano teacher clapped in time. She stopped, waiting for me to repeat the phrase correctly on the piano.
I was flustered. It wasn't happening. It was simply wrong timing.
She noticed the crest-fallen look. "Don't you feel the pulse?"
I shook my head sadly. How could I ever dream of being a piano teacher if I didn't nderstand timing?!

Months later I was again sitting on that stool beside my teacher. I'd been away visiting my big sister for a few months. Daily practice and regular lessons. It paid off. I was back. I played the now-mastered pieces.
"You feel the pulse!" there was excitement in her voice.
I nodded. Now, I really could!

Head on my pillow, relaxed, I began daydreaming. Only, it was night and I was awake. I shut my eyes and I see heaven. Jesus is there holding the dazzling golden gate, wide open. I see Him clearly in the distance. He's greeting all the saved. Finally, I'm almost there. The excitement explodes. I can't wait. He bends down and I throw my arms around His strong neck.
With overwhelming love in His voice He whispers loudly.
"I've waited so long for you, Christella! You made it!" He twirls me around. We laugh with pure joy. I release my grip as He puts me down gently.
A songs escapes my lips. And the realization floods me. The hard desicions on this earth - every one of them were worth it, for just this moment.
I find myself in a huge crowd inside the gate. Jesus is with us. Oh, how I want to spend some time with just him. For Him to tell me how His plan in my life. His workings. How He felt. But the others! What about them? They must all want the same.

How will He do it, I can only imagine.

The days - so beautiful. Words can't express it. I climb the two trees that are really one. Lions lick my hands. I go for a horse ride to visit a friend. Then one day it happens.
My bright guardian angel comes with a message. He knows me well. "Christella! King Jesus wants to see you! Come with me, He's waiting for you!"


We're on the walk. Jesus and I. There are others too. He's talked to one of the others. Now it's my turn. My heart thrills with every word of the amazing story He's telling. We all to get to have what we so wanted. Together. And it's perfect.

The pulse of heaven. There is no wrong timing.

The curtain drops. I fall asleep.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Glorious Sunsets & Eternity

I am thankful for glorious sunsets!

They remind me that God is real, and that He is alive for who could paint such beauty on clouds and skies and hills but God and God alone?

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives."
~ Bill & Gloria Gaither

They remind me that we are living in the sunset hours of earths history and that is leading to the dawn of eternity. Eternity! Which eternity are you striving for? Oh, how I pray you will strive with me for eternity with God!

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalms 84:11)

“..Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

There's the wonder of sunset at evening,
The wonder as sunrise I see;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is the wonder that God loves me.
~ George Beverly Shea

Never give up, it will be worth it all and He will never ever forsake you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

That Which Will Endure Forever

The pleasure of self-indulgence will perish as stubble, while the gold of steadfast principle, maintained at any cost, will endure forever. - RH, Dec 11, 1900

Friday, November 5, 2010

Matchless Love

I may not understand or be able to empathize with you in your trials and you may not be able to do that for me but there is one who can.

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5)

Those verses really spoke to my heart this evening, not only because it tells me that Jesus understands me and can empathize with me in my trials when no one else can, but oh the matchless love! It cuts my heart to think that it was my sins that He had to go through so much and it breaks my heart to think of the times when I have hid my face from Him, despised His will for me, doubted Him and wounded Him. Oh! How could I have done it? How could I have been so cruel to someone who only has showed me love?!

Thinking about the matchless love of Jesus and what He went through for me, has touched my heart and put things in perspective. I want the sufferings and love of Jesus to be forever ingrained in my heart that I will ever only desire to please and serve Him and in a tiny way repay Him for what He has done. I want to be His now and for eternity, do you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Why I 'love' Friday!

After a long busy day... All is clean

Things have been picked up and placed where they be long

The clean fresh clothes have been folded and put away.

The cabinets seem to shine a little more.

The floor seems to sparkle a bit.

It is now I can file away all my to-do-lists in the "to take care of later" folder of my mind, the worries and cares of every day life can be put away for later too. But it is now that I can relax.

It is a time I can play and sing my heart out.

It is a time I can curl up with a book or my computer to read or to write.

It is a time to pray and to talk to my God and heavenly Father.

It is a time to meditate and ponder the wonderful things of God and what He has done for me...

And so much more!

This is why I love Friday evenings! I love the opening hours of the Sabbath and I am so thankful that God set a special time in the week - the Sabbath, for us. It is such a blessed time to rejuvenate physically, mentally and spiritually. I am so thankful for it!

I hope you enjoy the Sabbath hours as much as I do!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Great Gain

Looking at the pictures. Sweet, perfect, innocent faces are infront of me. My brothers, sisters and I. But that was yesterday. How I wished I could go back in time. Be that care-free little girl again. Not a teenager.
I flick through the photos. Now they're more recent. Only last year. Only a few spots are noticeable. I come back to now... and wince. Now, I feel like a pimple farmer. Why? How I wish my face was clear. Perfect. Like it used to be. Or even like it was last year! Longing for what is now out of my hands. Time, back then.

Next... I'm in the garden. Mentioning these older pictures. Discussing it with Mum.
"You know what it teaches you, don't you? Contentment."
Huh? "I don't get it!"
Mum changed topics, like the goats change there coat. Rapidly, almost unnoticeable.
There was a distraction, and I was left alone. What was Mum talking about? Contentment? With what? A red and sometimes painful, face?
Then I realize. The light flashes on. Today. It's a day of it's own. I can't replay it. Can't go back. It has it's own joys. One day, I may have many more responsibilities, than I do now. Life might be alot different. Then, will I look back and wish for today?
By God's grace, I won't. Today, is special. Not to be taken for granted.
I'm grasping what Solomon said. Godly contentment is great gain.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Complete Dedication

"How much has Christ given for you? How much has Jesus held back from you in the plan of Salvation?..." The pastor asked in earnest tones. "Nothing", I answered silently as the weight of it's reality sank deeper and deeper into my soul. Really, God held back nothing for our salvation and neither did His Son, Jesus Christ! God gave all that He could possibly give and Jesus was willing to give His all and endure anything for us too, even if it cost not only his earthly life, but eternal life also. Oh, the depth of love no mortal can fully comprehend!

The pastor continued " ...Beloved, we can not take a gamble on the degree of our dedication. We must give ourselves wholly to the Lord." It is full surrender, total dedication to the Lord that will open the portals of heaven and allow us to enter and dwell with our God and Saviour forever. Are you willing? Willing to dedicate your life fully to the Lord? I entreat you to ask yourself "How much has Christ given for me? How much has Jesus held back from me in the plan of Salvation?" and then ask yourself "Am I willing and will I hold back nothing for my Saviour too?" If you haven't already committed your life to God, and surrendered your all to Him, please don't put it off. Please don't wait to make your decision for we don't know what may happen in the future. I write this as much to myself as to anyone. Oh dear friends, may it not be said of you or I, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Joy at the End of the Road - Part 3

On the third day out, at the little camp of Tempele, I had one of the sweetest experiences I have ever had in my life. It was an awful day, for, counting evacues and coolies, there were about two hundred people in our group, but there was only enough water for eighty. As we came down the side of the hill toward the little leaf and bamboo sheds, the captain shouted: “No washing even your face or your teeth here! Drink as little as you possibly can, for there is only water enough for eighty, and we have more than two hundred here!” When the good ones got into camp they formed lines by the five gallon cans of chlorinated water, each waiting patiently for his turn to get a drink, but the selfish ones did not wait inline. They pushed and pulled and fought and quarreled and soon the water was all drunk up.

Then we went to the spring, where a little trickle of water as big as your little finger was coming out of the rock. A line of forty people was waiting, but the bad ones couldn't wait. They pushed and pulled and yelled and shouted to get a drink of water. I saw strong men snatch water from women and children, and I just couldn't watch it. For aught we knew we were all standing on the brink of eternity, and nobody knew what might happen before tomorrow. I said in my heart, “If I die of thirst, I'm not going to look upon such selfishness as that. I will get my drink tonight.” So I went back to camp. “Someone will have to make fires,” I thought, and began gathering an armload of sticks. But when I got back the camp fires were already lighted. I looked to see who was preparing to do the cooking. Can you guess who they were? Yes, it was the people who sang every night, “Lead, Kindly Light,” “Under His wings.” That's where I belong! They are the people I love to associate with, and I gladly took my turn stirring the soup and poking the fire.

I wish you could have been there when the dinner bell rang. The selfish ones who had not gathered a stick could not wait to eat. It is hard work to cook over a wood fire in a kerosene can, and I will admit that the soup was burned on the bottom and smoked on the top, but when the selfish ones tasted it they spat it out and began grumbling and growling, “Rotten old camp! Rotten old soup! Rotten old government.” But you should have seen the good ones eating that same soup. To be sure, they had to swallow twice on the same mouthful to get it down, but they smiled and said, “Well, it is not very wonderful, is it? But it will keep the sides of our stomach from rubbing together during the night, and maybe in the morning it won't be quite so bad.” They are the people I like! That is the kind of people I want to be with. They are the ones I am going to be with all along life's highway, and by the grace of God I am going to be there with the same kind of people at the right hand of God when I come to the end of the road.

After we lay down to sleep that night, H. Baird and I said to Brother Meleen, Brother Wyman, and Brother Christensen, who were quite exhausted after the day's march, “WE are going for water now. Don't you bother to come, we can carry three waterpots as easily as one.” So off we went. Brother Baird had heard that there was another spring, and went off to explore with his flashlight, while I took my place at the camp spring, waiting behind six Indians. After a while the man at the spring, having filled his can, moved away and walked back to camp. As he passed me he saw that I was a white man, and said, “Don't wait here, sahib. You are a white man, move up to the head of the line. They will let you; they are only coolies.” I couldn't speak very much Hindustani, but I could speak enough to say, “Not tonight! Tonight there are no sahibs and coolies! Tonight we are just men. We are all tired and thirsty, and I can wait my turn like a man.” He walked on muttering to himself about the queer white man who refused to push himself ahead of the coolies.

After he left, the next five men began to chatter. Oh how they chattered! But I could not understand what they were saying. I listened, but it was not Burmese or Hindustani or English or American, and I couldn't understand a thing till the man just in front of me lifted his hand, and wriggled his fingers up and down said, “Da Da Da Da Da Da.” Then I knew they had recognized me as the man who played the trumpet around the campfire, and they were talking about me! Oh, how good it felt to be recognized as one of the good people! In the darkness by strangers!

My heart leaped within me, and just then the next man at the spring moved away, and we all moved up one place. He put his can down near me, and I thought he was about to make a head pad. You know in India where they carry so much on their heads, they take a cloth and twist it up into a circular pad and put that on their heads, and I thought he was doing that. Then I heard the sound of flowing water, and I looked, and what do you think I saw? He was filling my waterpots from his can of water! As soon as he had filled them he pointed with a trembling finger right to my heart and lisped in broken English, “You Clistian.” “Then he pointed to his heart and said, “Me Clistian.” I was overwhelmed with delight! I tried to talk with him in English, but he shook his head. He did not know any more English. I tried Hindustani, Burmese, Karen, but he shook his head. The only words we had in common were those simple words, “You Clistian, me Clistian.” And there in the darkness of no man's land I put my arm around his shoulders and patted his back as I said, “You Clistian, me Clistian,” and he returned the embrace and said again, “You Clistian, me Clistian.”

I never expect to hear sweeter words than those as long as I live. You can have your power, position, and fame. I want only to be known as a Christian. It is the sweetest joy I have ever heard. As I went back to camp with my three waterpots filled with “Clistian” water, I rededicated my life to God. “O Lord,” I said, “Help me to live every night and every day so that everybody will always know that Eric B. Hare is a Christian,” and I intend by the grace of God to be that very thing until Jesus comes.

I saw something else in my preview of the end of the world. I saw the punishment of the wicked. No, I didn't see them burning in fire, but I saw the smoke of their torment ascending up and up. It was after we reached the beginning of the Indian road, and were taken to the beautiful evacuation camp of Imphal. We had beautiful bamboo barracks, and hot water to bathe with! Think of it! But again I noticed the good ones went to one end, and the bad went to the other. The good ones at once began to clean up and shave, and what fun it was introducing ourselves to one another while waiting for dinner. But at the other end of the barracks the bad ones were not cleaning up! The only thing they thought about was liquor. They inquired where the liquor shops were, and men and women went off together. When you come to the end of the way it doesn't matter any more whether you are a man or a woman. If you are a good woman, you go among the good people; and if you are a bad woman, you go among the bad people. And there is nothing worse than a bad woman.

These men and women drank all the liquor they could hold; then they carried back all the liquor they could carry. And that night while we were having our usual singing service, they had a drunken brawl at their end of the barracks. This is not what I mean by the punishment of the wicked. I'll be explainign that farther on.

The next morning while we were having breakfast the captain came in, and clapping his hands to call us to attention he called, “Everybody be ready at eight-thirty! Busses and trucks will be here to take you 104 miles to Dimapur Railway station. There you wil be given free tickets to any part of India you want to go to. Everybody be ready at eight-thirty!” It didn't take us long to close our one suitcase and tie a string around our one blanket, and long before eight-thirty we were ready, standing on the side of the road that went through our camp. But again I noticed that the good ones were at this end, and the bad ones at that end. While waiting I couldn't help hearing what the people round me were saying. At this end they were counting their blessings. They were telling of the wonderful dinner they had had last night, and the wonderful breakfast and the clean bamboo platform we could sleep on, and the train we were going to ride on! Suddenly something seemed to tell me to go to the other end of the line and see what they were talking about. I sauntered along casually, but saw not a smile in the whole group there; they had the worst hang-over you could ever imagine. They were grumbling and growling, with the corners of their mouths drawn down: “Rotten old government. Rotten old camp. Couldn't sleep for mosquitoes. Why couldn't the trucks come earlier?” And I went back to my end of the line as fast as I could. You couldn't pay me enough money to spend one unnecessary minute in the company of such people. Back I came to the people who were counting their blessings. That's where I like to be, and I prayed that god would search my heart for the roots of bitterness and criticism, and that He would deliver me from these fearful habits, for I know where grumbling and murmuring and criticizing is going to place you at the end of the road, and I don't want to be there!

It seemed a very little while until we heard a rattle and a clatter, and two tea wagons-something like military trucks-came to the camp. They had canvas roofs and half walls, but no seats inside of them at all. As these tea wagons came in, those at the other end of the line yelled, “These are ours; we were waiting first. There are others coming; you wait for them.”

We just said, “That's all right, you go ahead,” but to ourselves we said, “You couldn't pay us enough money to ride in the same trucks with you.” We watched them loading up. They threw in their boxes and bundles, and as they did so they were fighting, quarreling, cursing, pushing, poking, and knocking people off. At last, squeezed in like sardines, swearing at their drivers, they started off. As they disappeared around the corner one of our group said, “Good riddance. If we never see you again any more, it will be too soon.” And I know five good preachers who said “Amen.” It was not very long before we heard the clattering of more vehicles, and there came into our camp compound three elegant passenger busses with padded seats and padded back rests, and there were no more selfish people to quarrel and fight. We put the weaker ones on a whole seat with a pillow under their heads, we put the womenfolk near the windows, we stacked the luggage carefully, and we checked each buss to make sure that everyone was comfortable. Then with a smile on our faces, we said to the drivers, “All right, let's be going,” and away we went.

Five miles down the road, we passed the first two tea wagons, and that's where I saw the punishment of the wicked. For just a moment we saw them screw their noses into the air as they decided not to notice us while we went by, but they couldn't help it. There they were jammed in like sardines in a can, and there we were driving along in elegance and comfort, with padded seats and back rests, and they couldn't keep quiet. They poked their heads out and began to wave their hands up and down and rave and curse. They yelled to our drivers that it was time to change, or put all the baggage in the tea wagons and let all the people ride in the busses, but our drivers gave them no heed. They drove on, and as we passed them I saw something I will never forget if I live to be a hundred. I saw their arms waving. I could see their lips forming curses and blasphemies, and I will always declare I had that day a little preview of the smoke of their torment ascending up forever and ever. The Good Book truly says, “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” Matt 20:16.

We learned afterward that the government arranged that transportation that way on purpose. They found out from experience that human nature generally reacts the same way, and they deliberately segregated the evacues that way, but those selfish people got into the trucks themselves. The first came last, and those who were last came first. We got our tickets and had found our seats on the train two hours before the others came, and in a few more days we were reunited with our loved ones.

I know now that I don't mind being last for a few days in this world. I don't mind letting others go first, as long as I can be among those who go through the pearly gates.

Dear young people, this is what I saw when I came to the end of the road, and again I say, God gave me a preview of the end of the world and the day of judgment. Ever since that experience, as I have driven from one town to another, even the highway signs preach to me and remind me of the reconsecration that I made to god at that time. Everywhere little signs say, “Keep to the right.” When I go to altimore I see them: “Keep to the right.” In Los Angeles I see them: “Keep to the right.” Everywhere I see them, and every time I see one of those signs I rededicate my life to the Lord, and I say, “That is just exactly what I am going to do-keep to the right-for that is where I want to be when the Lord Jesus comes.”

Sometimes the boys and girls embarrass me with their questions about the places of amusement that are to near the middle of the road, if not on the wrong side. They ask, “Isn't it all right to go to a newsreel theater?” “When we hire a skating rink only for Adventists, isn't that all right?”

I do not want to condemn any who do not realize yet that some things that are lawful may not be expedient (1 Cor 10:23), but all I can answer is that I don't go because I want to be away over on the right side of the road, and I'm afraid of some of those places that are to near the middle of the road.

Sometimes I am called an old fogy, but I don't mind. If I am an old fogy, I am a very, very happy one. I just want to make sure that I am away over on the right side of the road, because I want to be at God's right hand when He comes.

I like the way the editor of the Free Methodist expressed it a few years ago in an editorial. He said: “At the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago some years ago several hundred persons lost their lives. But I was not there.

“At the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston a few years ago (1942), 488 persons were burned or trampled to death. But I was not there.

“A the barn dance fire in Newfoundland, December 13, 104 were killed and 130 injured. But I was not there!”

I was not at any of those places either, and I don't ever expect any boys and girls to pick up any newspaper anywhere, and read that some roadhouse or some theater has burned down, and that Eric B. Hare's charred carcass was found among the dead. No! Because I'm going to keep far, far away from those places, so far that it will always be safe for boys and girls to be where I am.

Soon Jesus is coming. Soon the voice from the heavens will say, “It is done.” And what then? Where will you be then, on the right hand or on the left? I can hear your hearts answering. I know the only place where you and I can be happy. You can be there; I can be there. The way is plain. It is marked, “Keep to the right.”

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

The End of the Road

When I come to the end of the long, long road,
The shadows will flee away,
And I'll stand in the glorious light of God,
Where dwelleth eternal day.

Looking back o'er the years that were hard and drear,
The hand of the Christ I'll see;
While my heart will go forth with a song of praise,
because of His love for me.

When I come to the end of the long, long road,
And trials will all be past,
I shall look in the face of my dearest Friend,
Safe home in His heav'n at last.

When I come to the end, the end of the road,
To the land of eternity,
When I come to the end of life's long road,
The face of my Lord I'll see.
-Lizzie De Armond

A Chapter from the book "Fullness of Joy" by Eric B. Hare

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Joy at the End of the Road - Part 2

I was in our beautiful church on the morning that we escaped for our lives. It was my privilege to play the organ for the last time. Little did I realize that that was the last hymn that organ would ever play. A few days later the Japanese soldiers used our church as a barracks and broke the organ up and used it for firewood. I was there when E. M. Meleen read from the dear old Book and closed the Bible on the pulpit for the last, last time. It fell to my lot to turn the key in the door when the pews were all eptied of me. I was there; I saw it. I know what happens then. And I am going to tell you what happens, and can speak with a note of confidence, for in what happened in Rangoon God gave me a preview of the end of the world and the day of judgment.

In the little ditty, in which there may be more truth than poetry, I found a line or two that describes the situation well:

“Mr. Meant-to has a comrade,
And his name is Didn't Do;
Have you ever chanced to meet them?
Did they ever call on you?
These two fellows live together
In a house of Never-Win,
And I'm told that it is haunted
By the ghost of Might-Have-Been.”

Yes, that's what happens at the end of the road; that's what happens when you come to the day that has no morrow-you are “haunted by the ghost of Might-Have-Been.”

Just two days before we escaped, I was packing away some of our most valuable articles in the closet under the staircase, when a well-to-do woman came into the mission headquarters and asked for the superintendent. I pointed to his office and assured her that he was in. She knocked on the door. Mr. Meleen came out, and though I didn't mean to eavesdrop, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation. The woman said, “O Mr. Meleen, I have to go, and I can't take anything with me except a little suitcase and a rug for the journey. You may not know me, but I know you. I live in that grand home just a few blocks away where the coconut palms and the big mango trees are, and now I have to go and leave my lovely home behind. I hate to think of the thieves breaking in to steal and loot and plunder; won't you mission people go over and take all my lovely furniture. Take my beds and my tables and my chairs and my beautiful rugs. I will feel so much happier if I know you mission people can use them.”

And I heard Mr. Meleen say, “Oh Mrs.---, it is too late now. We are all packing up. We will be leaving any moment ourselves. We have been waiting to evacuate our church members, and when they are out we will be going too, with only a suitcase each. If we could have had some of those things three months ago when were outfitting our clinic, we could have used every bed and chair and table. But now it is too late-too late!”

I saw the tears come to that poor woman's eyes. “Too late?” she groaned, as if she couldn't believe it. “You are going too?” And as she turned to leave she threw her shawl over her face to hide her grief, and from her lips came the heartbreaking cry, “Oh, how I wish--” Then emotion choked her words, and she left us to fill in the blanks, but I knew what she wished. Yes, I knew. That's what I call being “haunted by the ghost of Might-Have-Been.” As we talked over this sad experience we tried to remember if that well-to-do woman, just two blocks away, had ever helped out in the clinic program or the Ingathering program, but we couldn't think of a single occasion on which that poor rich woman had done anything for humanity. And now that it was too late, she had to leave everything behind, and oh, how she wished! And the only picture that will burn itself into her memory is a picture of thieves breaking into her lovely house to burn, break, loot, and steal. I have seen these, and I have seen others “Haunted by the Ghost of Might-Have-Been.”

Some days later as we were leaving the little town of Pakokku, just after crossing the Irrawaddy River, in our escape into India, W. W. Christensen waved us to stop at the side of the road. We pulled up behind him, got out of our cars, and walked up to see what was the matter. We found him in conversation with a well-to-do Indian woman. She was saying, “O Pastor Christensen, this is just like the end of the world. Oh, I wish I could get baptized now. Isn't there time to come back to the river and baptize me? No one can tell what is going to happen tomorrow, and if I were only baptized, I would feel it was all right with my soul.”

And I heard Pastor Christensen say: “It is too late now, Mrs.--. Can't you remember six weeks ago I was kneeling in your home with you and your children, pleading that the Spirit of God would help you to make a decision then? We are fleeing for our lives now, and we must be on our way. We pray that God will bring you safely to into India, so that we can study together and get ready for baptism then.” And I saw the well-to-do, well-dressed Indian woman sink to the ground and cover her face with her sari as she sobbed, “Too late! Too late! Oh, why didn't I get baptized six weeks ago? There was time then. I could have done it then, but now it is too late. It is too late.” It is impossible to forget things like that. But I was there, I saw people “haunted by the ghost of Might-Have-Been,” and I have to tell you what I saw.

I want to change the picture, for I want to assure you that everybody is not “haunted by the ghost of Might-Have-Been.” Some people come to the end of the road conscious that they have served God with all their heart, and soul, and strength; and though they are not perfect, they have given the Lord the best they had, and when they come into tight places and difficult circumstances, there is a smile of triumph on their countenances. After escaping from Rangoon we hoped to establish our headquarters at Maymyo in north Burma. One day as F. A. Wyman and I were walking along the road to town we saw a stranger approaching. We stepped to one side to let him pass, but he stepped to the same side. We stepped back again, and so did he. We thought how strange it was, and so we stepped back again. Then as he did likewise for the third time, he extended his hand. We did not mind shaking hands, but we did not recognize him till he spoke. It was Brother Johns, one of our deacons in the Rangoon church. He had on dark spectacles and was dressed in clothes we had never seen him wear before. He was thinner than usual, but there was a smile on his face.

“O brethren,” he said, “I've been praying that I could meet some of the workers. You know, I was one of the E-men, and I couldn't leave the city until the demolition squads had done their work. I had to walk along the railway line by night and hide in the bushes by day. It took me five days to reach the Irrawaddy River, and the steamer was so crowded that there was not a bite to eat for five more days, and every time I wanted a drink I had to pay sixteen cents for a glass of water, but I am so glad to see you.”

He pulled out his pocketbook, opened it, and said, “I was paid my last money two days before I escaped from Rangoon. It may be the last money I will have on this earth, but I folded away my tithe, because I want the Lord to have His share, and I was afraid I might never see another worker to pay my tithe to. Now here you are, and I want to pay my tithe.”

He handed his tithe to me, but I did not feel worthy to take the last money a man might ever have. So I said, “No! No! Brother Wyman is the elder of the church; give it to him.”

But Brother Wyman did not feel worthy, and he said, “No! No! Brother Hare is the union mission department secretary; give it to him.”

But I insisted, “No, no! Give it to Brother Wyman.”

Then Deacon Johns took Brother Wyman's hand and put his tithe in it, and while his face shone with a halo of triumph and joy he said, “Brethren, don't worry about me: I have known the Lord too long to fear that He will forget me now.” And with that he took another folded bill from his pocket and pressed it into my hands. “This is my Sabbath school offering,” he said; “I want the Lord to have part of my last money.” Then he said, “O brethren, I don't know where my wife and my children are. The Government promised to fly them out three weeks ago. Have you heard anything about my family?”

We had heard, and we were able to tell him that his wife and little ones were at Lashio, just seventy miles away, expecting to be flown out any time. We told him that if he caught the next train, he might get there in time to fly out with them. He ran to the depot, caught the train, arrived in Lashio half an hour before the plane came in, and flew out with his wife and family. His God did not forget him.

When we got into India we met Deacon Johns again in Calcutta, his face still beaming in triumph, and I will never forget it as long as I live. When we live up to all the light we have, and serve God with all our heart, and soul, and strength, we can approach the end of the road in confidence and joy. When at last I come to the end of the way, I want my face to light up with confidence and joy as did Deacon Johns' did that day, don't you?

But I saw more than that when I came to the end of the road. I saw the division between those at the right hand and those at the left. All the way from Rangoon we traveled with every kind of person imaginable-the rich, and the poor, the great and the small, the bond and the free, and the colored and the white. I saw the rich with their servants, their folded beds, their folded chairs, and their folded tables, and they camped at the side of the road in luxury. I saw the poor in their poverty sitting in the dust eating a handful of rice they had half-boiled, half-roasted in a joint bamboo. I saw men with hundred-dollar uniforms walking by in their greatness and little men with fifty-cent loincloths around their waists walking along in their humility. I saw every kind of person imaginable, until we got to the end of the road, and then something happened. I twas just as if a magic general had waved a magic wand, and all the camouflage of life was taken away. The rich had to leave their automobiles and servants behind, and they had to walk out of the country on foot, with no more than sixty pounds of luggage. The poor also walked out on foot with a similar load of luggage, if they had that much. The great and the small walked out on foo, but none was allowed more than sixty pounds of luggage.

And when we all got down on our own feet, there was no longer any difference between the rich and the poor, or between the great and the small. Everybody slept on the bamboo floor or on the ground. There was not enough water to bathe, and no one shaved, and in just a day or two you could scarcely tell the difference between the white and the colored any more. They were all only people. It didn't matter any more what kind of car you used to drive, or what kind of house you used to live in. Nothing mattered then but what you were. And in every camp I saw two distinct groups of people. It was just as though someone had built a fence in every camp in no man's land. It was just as though someone had built a wall, and an unseen general had stood at the entrance of each camp and said, “You to the right, and you to the left. You stay over here, and you stay over there.” But they were not the rich and the poor; they were the good and the bad. They were not the great and the small; they were the kind and the unkind. They were not the bond and free; they were the selfless and the selfish. They were not the white and the colored; they were those that sang praise to the name of Christ and those who cursed and blasphemed that holy name. I was there. I saw it.

When I was a boy I thought when I read the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew that Christ would cause the nations to march toward Him, and like a majestic drillmaster He would pint, “You to the right,” and “You to the left,” but I have changed my ideas. I know now how the division is made. I saw no one dividing them, and heard no one say, “You to the right, and you to the left.” I saw that the good ones went over to the right because they were good, and that was where they belonged. They had been singing long, long before they had come to the end of the road. They went where people were speaking kindly, because that was the way they had been speaking long, long before. They did not wait until they came to the end of the road to determine whether they would be among the ones who cursed or those who sang. Those who blasphemed went among the blasphemers, because they had been doing that all the way. The unkind and the selfish went with the unkind and selfish, because they had always been selfish. Thus when we came to the end of the road, just as naturally as water and oil separate after they have been shaken together, the good went to one place in the camp, and the bad went to the other. Even boys and girls know that if oil and water are shaken together, we don't have to say, “Water go to the bottom; and, oil, you go to the top,” to separate them again. Oil always goes to the top, because it is oil. It always was oil. And as soon as it comes to rest it just naturally goes to the place where it belongs. The water had always been water, so the water just naturally went where water belongs. That is the way the good and bad are going to be separated in that great day when Christ comes. If you and I want to be at the right hand of God then, we had better get to the right of God now, and we had better stay there today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and every day till Jesus comes. That's the only way we can be sure of being at His right hand.

I discovered something else in that wartime experience too. I discovered that those who belonged over on one side were most unhappy if they happened to get over on the other side, and those in one group couldn't be hired to eat or associate with other group. It was just as different as that. One evening they said to me, “O Mr. Hare, won't you play your trumpet for us?”

I asked, “What shall I play?”

They said, “Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe.” I pulled out my old trumpet, for I still had it with me. I had left my motion pictures and everything else behind, and I had brought just enough clothes to wear. But the old trumpet-I had to bring it with me. I threw away the case the the extra mouthpiece, but I brought the trumpet. I wrapped it in my blanket, and was so happy to play it every night of that march into India. So I began to play the hymn they requested. Having just finished our supper, one man who belonged to the other side was still sitting on a rock below me. When he heard me he listened for a moment to see whether I would be playing “Roll Out the Barrel” or something like that; but when he recognized that I was playing hymns he clapped his hands over his ears and ran to the other side of the camp, saying, “I don't belong here. I don't belong here. Let me get out of here quick,” and you couldn't stop him. He belonged with those who cursed and swore, and it was punishment to him to be over where people sang, “Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe.”

My dear young people, if you want to make certain that you will be among those who are singing and praising God at His right hand when He comes, you had better go where people sing praise to Him now. Go to Sabbath school and to prayer meeting, where people become familiar with their heavenly Father now. Then when you come to the end of the road, you will naturally be among the good ones at the right hand of God.

To be continued... Read Part 1 here.... Read Part 3 here
A Chapter from the book "Fullness of Joy" by Eric B. Hare

Friday, October 15, 2010

Joy at the End of the Road - Part 1

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

On the mount of transfiguration Peter, James, and John were given a preview of the glorious second coming of Christ. It was only a preview, but what courage and boldness it gave to Peter as he later wrote of the Second Advent, for he could say, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2Peter 1:16.

Even So during the years of the past world war God has given to thousands of us a preview of the end of the world, a preview of the day of judgment, and many of us have been eyewitnesses of the things that happen when we come to the end of the road, when we come to the last, last day-the day that has no morrow.

Turning to the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, we read, beginning with the thirty-first verse: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” As we read on, we recognize these good people as the same to whom He says in the twenty-first verse: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” But of the others we read verse 41: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

During the ministry of the Lord Jesus, He was very, very anxious to keep the eyes of His disciples on this great day. By many parables He opened unto them an understanding of the day of judgment, and the time when Christ should come and set up His kingdom. Repeatedly He tried to take their minds from the temporal kingdom that they had in their hearts to the kingdom that would be His in the day that He would come in His power. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:24,33

He knew there was a danger of waiting until the time would pass away before we made a choice of the kingdom of God. He knew that there was a danger of people waiting until they came to the end of the road before they made their decision as to whether they would be found among those on the right hand of God or those at His left, and in many and varied parables He taught them the necessity of making their choice now.

I would like to tell you about the great day when the good and bad shall be divided, and I woull not talk to you in cunningly devised fables, for I was an eyewitness of the things that I have seen. God gave me a preview of that day, and I know how the good and the bad are separated. I was there; I know the joy that belongs to those on the right hand of God. I have seen the weeping and the wailing and the gnashing of teeth of those who have waited until it is too late.

I have always carried with me a little poem entitled “What Then?” that I prize very highly. It is from the pen of J. Whitfield Green:

What Then?

“When the great plants of our cities
Have turned out their last finished work-
When the merchant has sold his last yard of silk
And dismissed his last tired clerk-
When the banks have rolled in their last dollar,
And paid out their last dividend-
And the Judge of the world says,
'Close for the night' and calls for a balance-
What then?

“When the choir has sung its last anthem,
And the preacher has said his last prayer-
When the organ has pealed its last echo,
And its sound has died out of the air-
When the Bible has closed on the altar,
And the pews are all empty of men-
And each soul stands facing his record,
What then?

“When the actor has played his last drama,
And the mimic has made his last fun-
When the movie has flashed its last pictures,
And the billboards displayed their last run-
And gone out into the darkness again-
And a world that rejected its Saviour,
Is asked for a reason-
What then?

“When the bugle dies out in the silence,
And the long marching columns are still,
When the millions of earth are gathered
From ocean and valley and hill-
When the Day that has no marrow
Has come to the last, last end,
And the voice of God from the Heavens,
Says, 'It is done,'-
What then?

-J. Whitfield Green

That poem always inspired me, but now that I know the answers to all those questions, it means so much more to me. I was in Rangoon when the merchants closed their shops and dismissed their tired clerks. I saw them fleeing for their lives. I saw the banks close their doors, and the bankers flee for their lives. I saw the post office close, and the post office workers flee for their lives. I was in Rangoon when the doctors and nurses in the general hospital put their weak, sick patients out on the sidewalks, and then fled for their lives. The Japanese Army was within seventy-five miles of the city, and our last supply line had been cut. Out at the zoo the keepers of the animals shot the lions and the tigers to keep them from starving to death, then they fled for their lives. Out at the leper and insane asylums the warders opened the doors and let the loathsome and unfortunate people come into town, while they too fled for their lives. And out at the jail, just three miles from our mission station, the prison doors were opened, and three thousand criminals came walking into town, while the keepers of the jail and the policemen fled for their lives, I was there; I saw it. I saw the last boat leave for India; I saw the last train leave the depot. I saw the government headquarters move out of the city. I saw the military headquarters move out, and I know what happens then.

To be continued... Read Part 2 here.... Read Part 3 here
A Chapter from the book "Fullness of Joy" by Eric B. Hare

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Bit of Encouragement

"For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received.

"We need look for no outward evidence of the blessing. The gift is in the promise, and we may go about our work assured that what God has promised He is able to perform, and that the gift, which we already possess, will be realized when we need it most.

"To live thus by the word of God means the surrender to Him of the whole life. There will be felt a continual sense of need and dependence, a drawing out of the heart after God. Prayer is a necessity; for it is the life of the soul. Family prayer, public prayer, have their place; but it is secret communion with God that sustains the soul life." ~ (Education p. 258)

The rest of it is good too, but this is a part that especially spoke to my heart.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I grew up in a big family. It was full of adventure and I was proud of it. But I was second youngest.... so I never knew how it had been for my elder siblings. Until recently. My sister told me a different story. Not quite so cheery. People had looked down on our growing family.... five, six, seven, EIGHT?! It was an interesting conversation. It made me more aware of what others think. I hadn't known.

Pegging up clothes on my sister's clothesline, I pondered it. Why would they see it so negatively? The previous evening replayed.
I put my precious nephews to sleep. After singing through all the scripture songs that I remembered falling asleep to myself... lullabies popped into my head. Memories flitted back to when the music disk had arrived in the mail, as a five year old. My favorite song from back then came into my mind. "Children are a gift from the Lord, babies are his reward, children are a gift from the Lord."

I'm hanging up the last few garments. Everything was so innocent back then. But now that I realized the common opinion, I queried that Bible verse. Were children really that special? a gift from the Lord?

My precious little sister. Jana. Number eight. God's gracious gift. That's what her name means. Then I came to see it. What if my parents were sterile, infertile? They weren't, but what if she had been miscarried. She almost did. My dear sister- almost died. But she survived. She could've had complications... or even been stillborn. But she lived. What if her plight had been the same as my dear nephew, Samuel's? Who had a cot death at three months. Or if, as an infant she caught a virus or disease, we would've lost her? When she fell from the tree at six, her arms hit the logs below, instead of her head. But it could've been the end. I was finished now. The washing. I stared into the sky, grasping the awesome reality. The odds were so high, for losing my sister. But God decided to bless us with....
.........a precious gift.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

For When I am Weak, Then am I Strong

It is in our strength that Satan finds our weakness. It is in our weakness that Christ finds our strength.

It is when I am lifted up in myself like Peter on the water; when I think I am strong enough to do it on my own. It is then Satan finds my weakness, and it is then I fail and I fall. But when I realize my weakness; when I realize I am not strong in and of myself and that I am but nothing. When I realize my need, it is then in my weakness that Christ finds my strength. It is then when Christ becomes my strength that I am made strong! “And he [Christ] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2Co 12:9) “for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2Co 12:10)

What a glorious thought!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who’ll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar," then, two! Only two?
"Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three . . . "But no,
From the room, far back, a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;
And going and gone," said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master’s hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A 'mess of potage,' a glass of wine;
A game, and he travels on.
He is 'going' once, and 'going' twice,
He’s 'going' and almost 'gone'.
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

~ Myra Brooks Welch

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knowing about God Versus Knowing God

A man once said to a pastor "I know about God" and the pastor said "Well that's great but there is something much better then that. That is knowing God." It's true. We can know all about God but it won't change us and neither will it save us. It is knowing Him that will make all the difference.

These words from a song express how feel so well. "Oh, I want to know You more, deep within my heart I want to know You..." I am thankful that we can not only know about God but we can know Him personally and our relationship with Him can grow deeper and stronger. It is my prayer and my hearts desire to know God and continue to know Him better and I hope and pray that it is your hearts desire also.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

...... "All the beauty that I seek for, every treasure I would own,
Thou art these in rich completeness, they are found in Thee alone;
All the loveliness I long for, all the best that I would be,
I can never find them elsewhere than in Thee, Lord, just in Thee.

"Empty me of all my glory, all my boasting, all my pride;
Let my righteousness, my wisdom, on Thy cross be crucified;
Fill me, then, with all Thy fullness, all Thy will work Thou for me;
In Thyself is nothing lacking; make me, Lord, complete in Thee."
~Annie Johnson Flint

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just a Letter

I'd been anticipating it for a long time. Well, at least it felt like it. An update from little sis at home, started that protracted waiting.
"You got a letter!" she announced. This was different! I rarely got letters. But she assured me it was true. I wanted to read it right away, but I couldn't.
"Do you think you can redirect it?"
That was Sunday though; so yes - but no. A few days later it was sent. Every business day I tried to always get the mail from the post office picked up.
No, I didn't check the mail - seeings my eldest sister and her husband were the drivers; not me. But this day, I got to check. My sister waited in the car with my nephews while I ran and checked. With mounting excitement I opened the lock with the large key. It only took a second to recognize the letter amid the junk mail... it was not mine.
Disappointed, I returned to the car. Just hoping it would come the next day. I knew it would. It had to! It'd been over a week since it had been posted.
When my eldest sister got back from town the following day, I'd already gotten over my disappointment.
That was until I saw her face. That look - the cheeky grin, sent that tingle of anticipation down my spine.
"I've got a few surprises for you!" she stated jubilantly. And I knew. Reaching out, she passed the pretty envelope into my hands. After checking out the other surprises (one of which was a postcard from our brother in Croatia;) I sat down to read the letter.
"Dear Stella..." the letter began. It told of camp-meetings, an accident, and Fiji. Every bit was friendly and full of cheer.
She asked me what I was reading for my quiet time. That stopped me for a moment, but then I continued reading. She told me what she'd read in hers. It was about doing the little things for Him. A game too, she mentioned. One that her family played while doing jobs around the home. The idea was to think of a Bible story or lesson to go with whatever they were working on. This game appealed to me.
I read on. On a closing note my friend encouraged me to stay close to God and NEVER let go if His hand.
Like swarms of bees; thoughts came tumbling in. Was I holding His hand anyway? Instantly, a desire swelled up inside to live - on fire for God. To do what was right. And to love everybody.
I'm reconnecting with God, thanking Him, and learning never to underestimate... just a letter.

In Our Streets

"Have you read it?" my brother-in-law asked.
We weren't sure. He'd recited a quote.
"Tell us about it then."
"No way!" he responded enthusiastically, "I'll read it to you!"
"It's Gospel Workers page 479," he added.
Then he read it. And it shook me to my core.
We'd been discussing complaining. Nathan had been pointing out that that telling someone a problem wouldn't help solve it at all. Unless the listener was the person involved.
That's when he brought up that quote. It left us silent. Pondering the power of what it said.
"When tempted to complain of what some one has said or done, praise something in that person's life or character.... The very act of looking for evil in others develops evil in those who look. By dwelling upon the faults of others, we are changed into the same image."
My mind started ticking. There were people I'd found fault with. 'I don't like this,' I thought, 'and I need to change it. I want to think well of everybody.' And I didn't want to be evil or unkind. But there was more than that. There was a promise too! "But by beholding Jesus, talking of His love and perfection of character, we become changed into His image."
The conversation dwindled down, and I trailed off to bed. Deep in thought. I talked to God and lay down.
Ten positives. The idea hit me and I liked it. Thinking of a few people, I picked one after another out.... and began counting their good points. I went to sleep with more friends that night. And a grudge-free conscious.
" complaining in our streets. Happy is that people that is in such a case, yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord!" Psalm 144:14

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The question...

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me..... And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:21, 29)

IF we leave all, IF we forsake all and follow Him.. IF we are willing.. we shall have everlasting life. This is the question. Are we willing? Am I willing?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Feminity and Dress

I was reading a little and browsing through some things on femininity and dress. It brought to mind an experience I had at one point.

I grew up dressing modestly and in skirts and dresses. And now that I'm older, I could choose to dress differently. However, from my own study and convictions, I choose to dress in the best way I feel God would be honored and I love my skirts and dresses. It's not a drudgery nor is it prohibiting to wear them.

This isn't an article on what you should or should not wear, but it's just a simple experience I had.

For a couple or three months I worked with my father and brother on a couple construction sights where we were finishing one house and doing electrical on the other. As I worked, I noticed that from the very start, all the men treated me differently then they treated the other girls who would come from time to time. They would kindly greet me when I came in the morning. If they were headed out the door and I started coming towards the door too, they would quickly move out of the way and say “You first” or “ladies first”. If there was a door, they would would open doors for me. If they started to say a bad word and I showed up they would promptly stop! There were so many things that they did to treat me and respect me like a lady. I wondered why I was treated so different then the other girls. I was treated like a lady, they like men!! I felt bad for them because I thought “This isn't fare!”. I wasn't any more special then the others. One day one of the men said something like this (I can't remember his exact words) “It's so nice to see you come in to work every day with your pretty skirts...” I didn't wear anything really nice per-say , I was working so I went to work with my denim work skirts but anyhow.. I finally realized that I was treated differently because of the way I dressed and the way I acted. I'm not saying that I was perfect, I know that there were times when I could have done far better, acted in a different and far better way then I did. There were times when I failed in being a true christian young lady and I ask God's forgiveness. But the point I want to bring out is that if you wonder why you aren't being respected or treated as a girl perhaps it's because of you! The feminist movement, and society has trained our thinking that we must be like the men! We must dress like them, act like them, do all the things they do. We must do everything better then them. Practically we must be the leaders and they the followers. We have made men the way they are!

I have come to conclude that if we want to be respected and treated like ladies, then we must act like ladies and respect and treat men as men.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

That Hug

Little fingers wrapped around my thumb. I can almost feel the heartbeat of the boy beside me. My nephew, Caleb's. I am putting my favorite two-year-old to bed. The porta-cot is small, but I hop in and lay down beside him. It is more comfortable than leaning down, into it. I lay there thinking. Remembering the past. Experiences and memories flitter through my mind. I think about the day, today - that's over now.
Soon I am silently praying. "Father, please help me to overcome being selfish. Keep my heart pure for the man you have for me, in Your time... and Father, if that's according to Your will." I start thinking again. What if Jesus should come before then. Do I want Him to wait, until I can get married first? I ponder it. ...and decide, no.
I imagine the first time I see Him, or maybe when we get there and He is letting us in at the gate. I feel my heart beating with anticipation. Almost bursting. I run, and it feels like I'm flying. I jump up into His arms. Wrap my arms around his neck and wish I could stay there forever. "Yes, Jesus, hugging You, being with You: will be better than anything I can imagine on this earth. Please prepare me and others.... and come quickly. So I can hug You."
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