Thursday, April 13, 2017
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I cannot honestly deny,
My sweet and gentle dreaming,
Attended with a sigh.
How delicately I paint it,
This little house, so fair,
But still, I tread it lightly,
Neither too much thought I dare.
A light and dancing hope,
To wispy for much use,
Yet, its little strain of life,
It does not quickly loose.
But a stronger dream still
Resides within my soul.
Tis one I'm not ashamed,
To let fill my heart up whole.
It is that my little home,
Whether cottage, hut, or tent,
Be in anothers eye, a mighty fortress strong
By which knees to Jesus are bent.
A refuge, a noble castle, seen with the eternal eye.
A victorious battleground,
Where enemies of the gospel die.
A small kingdom of honor and praise,
Directed toward our King.
A place where glory, and love are given voices to sing.
They will call it 'Triumph',
Jesus attaining it's name,
It's memory giving hope, to the spiritually lame.
Able to be quiet and still,
Able to rise up and fight.
Filled to the sky and bursting
With God's heavenly light.
It's knights, and noble maidens,
Resting at Jesus' feet,
Showing the world that is where,
Joy and the human soul meet.
The Dwelling of servant-warriors.
That's what I want it to be.
And I hope such you will find it,
If ever my home, do you see.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Recently, I went with my family and church group to a nursing home. It was the first time I had been in one since my Grandma died when I was 6. I smiled with awkward eagerness as they wheeled in a handful of 'grandmas and grandpas' to sing hymns with us, listen to a sermon, and visit.
I've read stories in the past about nursing homes, and how there is always that one woman there who is still so radiant, so in love with Jesus Christ, that you can't conceive an angel more beautiful. So, somewhere lingering in the back of my mind was an expectation to see her. I imagined she would have a multitude of Christ-following adventures to share, and her testimony would greatly strengthen my faith.
I did see her. But she was not the most beautiful one in the room. In fact, she was probably the least. Her face was greatly wrinkled and her teeth had almost all fallen out. She didn't open her mouth to speak forth the glories of Christ she had seen in her life. Her mind wasn't even entirely there, and she was easily confused, seeming to think her earthly father was coming to see her soon. Her name is Miss Virginia.
At first, Miss Virginia didn't capture my attention more than any of the others in the room, except that she seemed more tangible feeble than the others and I pitied her, and my mom was sitting next to her. She joined in the hymns with rest of us, and seemed to know them all by heart. But when all the children began to sing 'Jesus Loves Me', Miss Virginia began weeping. I looked over. She was absolutely bawling. My mom reached out and took her hand, her own eyes filling with tears. Somehow, even though she couldn't tell us, we all knew what she was weeping for.
Miss Virginia's life is nearly spent. I believe that Jesus Christ stands at her side, and is holding her hand, pointing into eternity, and with a smile, whispering "My child, that's for you!". With all the eagerness and trust of a child, she delights in it! You can see it in her eyes that her joy could not be doused, though all the forces of Hell were to rail against her! When the children began to sing, every tear she shed testified to the truth proved through her whole life, that truly, Jesus had loved and continues to love her. I could see dancing in every single tear that streamed down her cheek, the glorious jewels of Christ's faithfulness to her. And as the children sang, she was thinking of all the wonders that Jesus would do in each of their little lives, just as he had done in hers. The earthly testimony of her Lord's faithfulness in her own life is drawing to it's finish, and is therefore as great as any person living can boast. No one can take that from her. She is living in the time of life that people dread to think of, let alone live. The waning years of life seem so hopeless, that we avoid thinking of them if we can. But hers are radiant, because I believe that in her spirit, she is consumed with memories of her Lord. She is the most fragile woman I have ever seen in my life, and yet the most victorious. Truly Jesus Christ has overcome the world!
Let youth fade and beauty flee,
Only let me draw nearer to eternity.
Hinder me not, trouble and strife,
As though weighty in this brief life.
My dawn draws near, the night is near spent.
Oh dust, receive back the little you lent.
To the glorious heavens quickly I go,
How mighty the land I henceforth shall know,
And if lingered a thought of the life that I leave,
It dropped when I saw Him, arms open to receive!!!!!!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Fast forward a few years, and I can now look back at my royal fallacies with a fond shake of the head and an embarrassed chuckle. But recently they have struck me as more than an amusing child's daydream, but as a root of selfishness that has continued far longer than I suspected.
Christian young women are often told that they are princesses, because they are the daughters of the King of Kings. That seems logical. It also seems to identify with the deep need within us to be a princess. We all want to be beautiful, we want to have fine things, and most of all, we want to have someone to selflessly love and adore us, some one who would charge the mighty dragon, considering us worth every wound and scar, if only they might obtain us as their treasure. These things in the physical can be good, and our heavenly Father delights to give us good things, but these things in an earthly sense pale in comparison to these things in a spiritual sense. I want to be beautiful, Christ within me can make me beautiful. I want fine things; what better things can I obtain than the things of heaven? And I know that it is God's pattern for my husband to courageously love me as a knight does a maiden because Jesus Christ himself laid the foundation, doing all these things for me. It's not wrong to want to be a princess. But I see an attitude rising up unchecked in Christian young women. I call it the “Princess of Princesses Syndrome”, and I have it too.
There are two kinds of princesses in stories: First, there is the humble, sweet princess, who always looks around her, feeling it is an honor and a privilege to care for the needs of others. She has a decorum and duty that she soberly feels and seeks to accomplish at all times. In sharp contrast, there is the second kind of princess. This princess is just as beautiful as the first, but she views her position through the lens of entitlement rather than responsibility. The world is there to serve her, to make her feel more beautiful, more special, more anything she craves at the moment. She is selfish and cranky, a constant drain on those around her, and yet she never knows a bit of it. In fact, in order to keep comfortable, she mentally turns all the complaints of those she is hurting into the big, bad dragon that her prince will save her from. Poor, poor princess, she has no more obtained the beauty and love she craves than the dragon itself.
Maybe you've heard the feminist phrase, “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!”. I'm afraid that all to often, we cry “I am Princess, Hear Me Roar!”. Now I believe we are to be princesses. But not in that others are forced to feel it. I have seen many times in young women, and catch frequently in myself, that we desire so much to be a princess, that we think all about us must feel it in order for it to be so. “You can't treat me that way, I'm a princess!”, I proclaim teasingly (or sometimes not so teasingly) to my 15 year old brother, only to go away and realize, to my horror, than rather than uphold God's pattern of how we should treat one another, as I thought my assertion did, I was placing myself in His throne! Why do we treat each other with honor and decorum? Why are we to be gentlemen and ladies to one another? It is to glorify Christ. And He is only glorified when self is denied. He called me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him. Was it denying myself to tell my brother how or how not to treat me? I had told myself that I was just helping him to become a Christ-like gentleman. But what was uppermost in my mind was how he was going to treat me. If I wanted to express true selflessness, Jesus showed me, I will encourage my brother to be chivalrous, but in the interest of others, not myself.
My adoptive father is the King of Kings, and I am His daughter, but I am not his only daughter. I must wish that my Father be honored and delighted in me, rather than being delighted in myself, and He is delighted when I lose sight of myself and look instead to my fellow princesses and princes, seeing how I can honor them, and then look to the broken, poor and hungry beyond the castle gate, and with the humility of Christ, go among them as a servant.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant...”
This “Princess of Princesses Syndrome” is nothing new. It's just another bud on the tree of selfishness. And praise God, Jesus is an expert at dealing with selfishness. He was is the true heroic knight, and He will, and has, saved us from the wicked dragon of self, that we might become, for His sake, humble, servant-hearted princesses. All glory be to him forever and ever!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
How many times can our opinions on dating go out the window when it comes to Jesus? It's not like we don't want a relationship with him, we do! We realize that spiritually, he is all we want in a husband, but we still want to be free to date around and see other people. We want to be able to "date" movies, popularity, and other friendships at our leisure. We don't want to be married to Jesus, because then we have to fully pledge our life to him. No husband would be happy if his wife dated around, even if it was casual "friend" dates, and rightly so. So, to keep control of our life and our time, we are content to merely date Jesus.
But he's not content just to date us!
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."