Not Even a Cup of Tea?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008  4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

William Penn, who lived from 1644-1718, wrote, “Though some men should not find it relish’d high enough for their finer wits, or warmer pallats, it will not perhaps be useless to those of lower flights.” Somehow I feel that my thoughts are those of lower flights. They are not high and lofty, but small and simple. Still, I pray that they will touch someone’s heart. Yet, sometimes as I’m flying low my heart becomes disquieted within me. Then the Lord comes softly and whispers in my ear, “Child, why art thou disquieted? Is not there blue skies after the rain, and even a rainbow to make you smile again? Is not there a flower blowing in the wind with a heavenly fragrance that you can sniff in? Is not there a bird singing somewhere to lift you spirit till you don’t have a care? Hast thou no pleasure or time to feel free, not even a cup of tea?” As I gather up all the pleasant things God has given, my soul is lifted once again and my fight soars.

Thought for Today: “He sets on high those that are low, And those who mourn are lifted to safety.” (Job 5:11).

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Drink It In

Friday, January 4, 2008   3:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I drove the car feeling empty. My soul longed to be filled with the joy of scripture. I turned on my Bible CD. It started in book of Matthew. That was okay, but it was not what my ears longed to hear. Quickly I removed that CD and put in the CD of the book of John. However, it started at the end of Luke. Frantically, I fast forwarded it to John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” I drank it in as if it were a cold drink of water satisfying my thirsty soul. I breathed a sigh of relief as one sighs after his thirst is quenched. My soul was fainting until it was revived by God’s life giving Word. That God-shaped hole in my soul was dry and only God could fill it. Finally, my soul was satisfied as I drank in the refreshing, soothing scripture.

Thought for Today: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6).

This is Life

Sunday, November 4, 2007  4:30 a.m.

Dear Diary,

We must get up, collect the manna, grind it, mix it, build a fire and bake it. Life is work – day after day, month after month, year after year. We all hate to think of “going back to the grindstone”; but this is life. We would rather stay home, but if we want to eat we have to work. We would rather do whatever we want, but we have to march to someone else’s drum and jump through someone else’s hoops. This is life. We all must eat, sleep, work and die. What matters is that we collect the manna God sends without murmuring and longing for leeks, onions and garlic. The Israelites, while wandering in the wilderness, longed for the leeks, onions and garlic of Egypt. Numbers 11:5 says, “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic…” God provided food for them everyday, but they were not content and murmured. May we not murmur, as the Israelites did, but be content with what God provides.

Thought for Today: “And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, and beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it…” (Numbers 11:8).

God’s Outlaw

Thursday, November 15, 2007   5:35 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I watched a movie about the life of William Tyndale. He lived from 1494-1536. William Tyndale’s life was as the life of an outlaw. He translated the Bible from Latin to English; but, because it was against the law to translate the Bible in those days, he had to make many daring escapes by night. Sadly, they finally caught him and burned him at the stake. When the movie was over I grabbed my Bible, ran to the bathroom holding it tight, sat on the floor and just bawled. Thank God for people like William Tyndale who gave his life in order for people, like me, to be able to read God’s Word. Here we have the Bible at our fingertips and we don’t read it, study it, and cherish it. Yet, I know, that if it were outlawed and taken away it would become precious. I sat on the bathroom floor and read from the book of Psalms. How soothing it was to me. We take the Bible so lightly, when people, like William Tyndale and others, gave their lives to bring it to us. We, also, take the privilege of attending church and the freedom to worship God lightly, when right now, people around the world are being persecuted and put to death for their faith. May we ever cherish the Word of God and hide it in our hearts.

Thought for Today: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11).

Cast Down

Monday, October 22, 2007  4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Depression is real and it comes to us all. Even David wrote, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11). David, like the rest of us, got depressed and his soul became cast down, but God was his helper. There are three things you need to do when you become cast down.

Pray – Psalm 55:16-17 says, “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, I will pray, and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice.” Prayer lifted David, and prayer shall also lift you.

Be Thankful – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Nothing happens by chance, all is of God. He is in every detail. Thank God for His ever-lasting love and mercy.

Surrender – Accept God’s will for your life. Surrender to His will. Only then will the peace of God come. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

  1. Thought for Today: Pray, be thankful and surrender, and God will comfort your soul. “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.” (Psalm 138:3).

All We Like Sheep

Tuesday, October 16, 2007   4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I heard a sermon on sheep. Jesus compares us to sheep. Sheep can not sleep standing up. They must lay down. David took care of the sheep and he knew this. That is why he wrote, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” (Psalm 23:2). There are four things that sheep must be free from in order for them to sleep.

  1. They must be free from fear. David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4).
  2. They must be free from rivalry. There is to be no fighting within the flock. David wrote, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3).
  3. They must be free from parasites, poisonous plants, and things that will make them weak. A shepherd would have to clear the field of these harmful things before he could allow the sheep to enter the field. David wrote, “They rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4).
  4. They must be free from hunger. David wrote, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies…” (Psalm 23:5).

David kept the sheep and knew all this. That is why he could write the twenty-third Psalm with the wisdom of a shepherd. We are the sheep of God’s pasture and Jesus is our Shepherd.

Thought for Today: “I am the good shepherd: and the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11).

A Stone

Saturday, October 6, 2007   7:40 p.m.

Dear Diary,

God told Joshua to have the priest carry the Ark of the Covenant to the Jordan River. When the soles of the priest’s feet were dipped into the brim of the water the waters stood and rose up, and the priest stood on dry ground. (Joshua 3:15-16). Then Joshua told each tribe to choose a man to carry stones and make two piles of stones for a memorial. One pile of twelve stones was to be left in the Jordan River, and another pile of twelve stones was to be piled on the shore where they passed over. I bet each tribe chose the strongest man and the largest stones. I can just imagine these men struggling to carry huge stones, but how important it was that they got it to the pile. That is the way our life is. We are to leave a memorial of our journey. It is to be a testimony that God helped us all the way. Is it going to be easy? No, we are going to struggle, but how important it is that we make it to the end. When the Israelite children saw the pile of twelve stones they said, “What mean ye by these stones?” (Joshua 4:6), and their father’s answered, “These stones shall be a memorial.” (Joshua 4:7). Likewise, when our children ask, “What is the meaning of your life?”, hopefully we can answer, “It is a memorial that God lead us all the way.”

Thought for Today: Joshua said, these stones remain so “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD…” (Joshua 4:24).

As a Flower Grows

Saturday, July 7, 2008   10:30 a.m.

Dear Diary,

We just came from a funeral. When one looks back at a person’s life, what does one see? What stands out? Psalm 103:15 says, “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flouisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone: and the place thereof shall know it no more.” It’s funny how we all get old and die. There are no exceptions. As the sea goes to the shore, man goes to the grave. For just a moment imagine a field covered with grass, and here and there flowers are growing. Seasons come and seasons go. With each passing season new flowers spring up. The new flowers know nothing of the old flowers that grew in their place just a season ago. All they know is their time now in which they flourish. But in reality that some patch of ground has witnessed flower after flower, season after season, and year after year. The former is forgotten and known no more. So it is with our life. Generation after generation comes, lives, and dies and they are remembered no more. Each life is as a flower growing in the grass. But a thousand years is as a day unto the Lord. One Day! A year is as a minute. How insignificant we are; and yet, God knows and remembers each one of us. It’s amazing grace. Grace flows as the wind blows on a sea of vanishing grass and flowers.

Thought for Today: “What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14).

The Donut Left in the Box

Monday, June 4, 2007  5:10 a.m.

Dear Diary,

God knows our every thought, as well as our every need, and even our secret wants. What shows God’s intimacy with us is not His great big blessings, but His little secret joys He gives us. As I was preparing to sing a solo at Keenagers in church, I saw in the box of donuts, my favorite donut. It looked so good, but I couldn’t take it because I can’t eat before I sing. So, I just secretly longed for it. After I was finished singing, I went over to the box of donuts, which had been ravished by now, excepting to find nothing left. But much to my delight, there was one donut left, and believe it or not, it was that donut I secretly longed for. God saved it just for me. I am convinced of that. God delights to give His children their secret joys. I call it the blessings of the little things. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Even if it’s as small as a donut left in the box.

Thought for Today: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).

Steps to Peace with God

Thursday, May 30, 2007  4:30 p.m.

Dear Diary,

I’ve been listening to I Thessalonians 5:14-23. It gives us instructions of how to live and steps to have peace with God. “Now we exhort you, brethren:

  1. Warn them that are unruly,
  2. Comfort the feeble-minded,
  3. Support the weak,
  4. Be patient toward all men.
  5. See that none render evil for evil unto any man.
  6. Ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
  7. Rejoice evermore.
  8. Pray without ceasing.
  9. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
  10. Quench not the Spirit.
  11. Despise not prophesyings.
  12. Prove all things;
  13. Hold fast that which is good.
  14. Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Thought for Today: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:23).