Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Love that Redeems With A Price

photo © kari mcgrath photography 2009

"The cry of a man's anguish went up to God,
'Lord, take away pain:
The shadow that darkens the world Thou hast made,
The close-coiling chain
That strangles the heart, the burden that weighs
On the wings that would soar,
Lord, take away pain from the world Thou hast made,
That it love Thee the more.'

Then answered the Lord to the cry of His world:
'Shall I take away pain,
And with it the power of the soul to endure,
Made strong by the strain?
Shall I take away pity, that knits heart to heart
And sacrifice high?
Will ye lose all your heroes that lift from the fire
White brows to the sky?
Shall I take away love that redeems with a price
And smiles at its loss?
Can ye spare from your lives that would climb to Me
The Christ on His cross?' "

(from Streams In The Desert)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

photo © kari mcgrath 2010

Well, I've been meaning to blog lately, but have been so busy with our move to the farmhouse. I'll post about that soon! I'm so thankful today to be living in America. With all its faults, we are blessed. I was talking to some friends from Mexico yesterday, and they reminded me how good we have it here-how secure we are, how wealthy we are, how blessed we are. So, today, I'm greatful to God, and I'm so thankful to all those who serve our great country to keep us safe. My family is full of past and present military personnel. So, thank you to: Grandpa Kidwell, Uncle Joe, my cousin Nathan, his wife Tonya, my cousin Shane, my dad Gary. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. Thank you for your sacrifices, for your service. And, thank you, God, for the many blessings we are surrounded with here that we daily take for granted.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

C.H. Spurgeon's Mother (repost)

C.H. Spurgeon, "the prince among preachers", is one of my favorites! I love reading his sermons-I am always inspired, convicted, and encouraged. I will always remember what he wrote about his mother in the first volume of his autobiography, in the chapter entitled, "Early Religious Impression." We can certainly learn from her example:

"..I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scriptures to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading...and the question was asked, how long would it be before we would think about our state, how long before we seek the Lord. Then came a mother's prayer, and some of the words of that prayer we shall never forget, even when our hair is grey. I remember on one occassion, her praying thus: 'Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgement if they lay not hold of Christ.' That thought of a mother's bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart....

Fathers and mothers are the most natural agents for God to use in the salvation of their children. I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother; neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the young heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring. A man with a soul so dead as not to be moved by the sacred name 'mother' is creation's blot. Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother. Certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed upon me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me. How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come?...How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee, and with her arms about my neck, prayed, 'Oh, that my son might live before Thee!' Nor can her frown be effaced from my memory-that solemn, loving frown, when she rebuked my budding iniquities; and her smiles have never faded from my recollections-the beaming of her countenance when she rejoiced to see some good thing in me towards the Lord God of Israel."

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

He Will Deliver

"And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered." (Joel 2:32)

"...I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word 'whosoever' is a very wide and comprehensive one. Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God. I will therefore follow the leading of the text, and at once call upon the glorious Lord who has made so large a promise.

My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant; not His solicitor. I call upon Him, and He will deliver." (C.H. Spurgeon)