“Praise is the rehearsal of our eternal song. By grace we learn to sing, and in glory we continue to sing. What will some of you do when you get to heaven, if you go on grumbling all the way? Do not hope to get to heaven in that style. But now begin to bless the name of the Lord.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
“The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon
This photograph, taken amid the glorious trees of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is part of Sunday Trees.
Yesterday was a “glitchy” day. Anyone who uses technology, whether it is a computer, cell phone, tablet, etc., has had a day when you suddenly hit a technological brick wall. I walked away, eventually resetting my computer. Thankfully, I don’t think I lost any of my files.
In the midst of the computer aggravation, and the setting to right of the house and kitchen after the holiday feasts; I found myself at a loss for a Sabbath Day post. I gazed out the back window at the dreary weather and spied this little Junco perched in the wind-swept branches of a backyard pine, at rest, regardless of the strong winds wildly swaying the boughs. His stance was the perfect object lesson for my moment of turmoil. I’ve made up my mind, that today, and hopefully in the next few weeks too, I’m going to be as serene as that small bird no matter what blows my way.
A perfect reminder for finding rest is in this wise quote of C.H. Spurgeon, a well-known preacher in the 1800’s. Here is his quote again, a little easier to make out than craning one’s neck to read the words around the photograph.
“Rest time is not waste time.
It is economy to gather fresh strength…
It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.
In the long run,
we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon
Christmas day is a week away. If you are like me, most of your shopping is complete, but perhaps you also suffer from the disease that takes hold of me at this time of year, “The Second-Guessing of Gift Choices,” disease.
“Will so-and-so like this color? Will this gift seem too thoughtless? Should I have given a ‘real’ gift instead of a gift card?”
I’m sorry to say that sometimes I give into the agonizing thoughts and run out to buy “Just One More Perfect Thing!”
This is the time of year when it is hard to maintain a gracious demeanor and mindset: terrible traffic, lack of parking spaces, rude and pushy shoppers, endless spending, too many cookies to bake, too many cookies begging you to eat them. (Did you know home-baked cookies are delicious even when eaten right out of the freezer?) This year, I’m going to audibly remind myself to be gracious and repeat the word ‘Grace’ until I can maintain it in the midst of stressful situations, even if I have to growl a little bit first: “Grrrrrrace! I think I can…I think I can…I think I can!
Here are a few wise words from Charles Spurgeon on grace towards other Christians, but we can easily substitute grace toward all mankind.
““We shall, as we ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians. Bitter-spirited Christians may know a great deal, but they are immature. Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart.
He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it.
~ C.H. Spurgeon
It’s growing colder here in the Mid-Atlantic states. We’ve had several weeks of very brisk and breezy weather. The northern portion of our area has already received a good amount of snow. The little squirrel who lives in our oak tree has already had enough of the early winter. He left his cozy nest of leaves one day to escape the pelting rain. An old bird house, remodeled by the incisors of several generations of squirrels, was the perfect shelter in the wintry rainstorm.
Feeling at a loss today as I wrote a post that I hoped would be uplifting on the Sabbath day, I said to my husband, “Think of something inspirational I can say in my blog post.” He didn’t even think about the request. After spending hours raking up many piles of fallen leaves, he said, “Finally the last of the leaves!”
In a lifetime, we go through many seasons. Some enjoyable, some not so much, but like the little squirrel, we all need to find a place of solace and comfort in the storms. I like these wise words of Charles Spurgeon on where to turn when life drenches you in the freezing rain of earthly trials and tribulations.
“You may readily judge whether you are a child of God or a hypocrite by seeing in what direction your soul turns in seasons of severe trial. The hypocrite flies to the world and finds a sort of comfort there. But the child of God runs to his Father and expects consolation only from the Lord’s hand.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
May you find joy on this Sabbath day, but if it is one of those drear times that drench your spirit in trouble and trials, find solace in the shelter of the Heavenly Father’s love.
Photo courtesy of morguefile.com
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)
A terrific quote to remember in any age.
“No one knows who is listening, say nothing you would not wish put in the newspapers.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)
If C.H. Spurgeon had lived in our time I am sure he would have included the Internet in his sermon about what to say or not say.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
Old Bohemia Church Warwick, Maryland
Christ Jesus might come today, he could come tomorrow…or it could be many, many years before He comes again. The Bible is clear that no one knows the timing but God the Father.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
Though no one knows the exact day or moment, so many signs of our time seem to be pointing to His arrival. Prophecies are being fulfilled on earth and in the heavens. Each day brings us closer to his coming. When he comes I will meet him in the air, rising from my place of rest if I have passed on, or taken suddenly from this earth in less time than it takes for an eye to twinkle.
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51-52
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
Are you ready for Christ’s coming? If not, will you ask Him to save you from your sins today? It is as simple as this…”Yes, Lord Jesus…come into my heart. I repent of my sins. I am yours, you are mine.” Believe in him and you will dwell with him for all eternity.
A few words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Christ’s relationship to his bride; we are that bride, we who have opened our hearts to Him are his church.
“Art thou, beloved one, with Christ Jesus? Does a vital union knit thee to Him?
… Come, my soul, if thou art indeed His own beloved, thou canst not be far from Him.
If His friends and His neighbours are called together to see His glory, what thinkest thou if thou art married to Him? Shalt thou be distant?
Though it be a day of judgment, yet thou canst not be far from that heart which, having admitted angels into intimacy, has admitted thee into union.
Has He not said to thee, O my soul, “I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness?”
Have not His own lips said it, “I am married unto thee, and My delight is in thee?” If the angels, who are but friends and neighbours, shall be with Him, it is abundantly certain that His own beloved Hephzibah, in whom is all His delight, shall be near to Him, and sit at His right hand.
Here is a morning star of hope for thee, of such exceeding brilliance, that it may well light up the darkest and most desolate experience.”