Hope Rising

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good word.

Salvation is not merely a matter of eternity, getting to heaven, "getting saved" from eternal separation from God; it is a way of life in community.  The "saved" are those we deal with, give leadership to, these baptized, image-of-God men, women, and children.  We are "a chosen people, eager to do good." Salvation is not just a matter between the soul and God; it is the soul and God and house and kids and work and play--the works.  The saved life is a way of life in which God is both the present and the eternal substructure.

Eugene Peterson
in The Unnecessary Pastor

The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness.  God's life in us expresses itself as God's life, not as human life trying to be Godly.

Oswald Chambers
My Utmost, June 28

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prayer of Self-Dedication from the Book of Common Prayer

Praying this prayer today...

Almighty and Eternal God,

So draw our hearts to Thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly Thine, utterly dedicated  unto Thee; and then use us, we pray Thee as Thou wilt, and always to Thy glory and the welfare of Thy people, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


I know the language is old, but there is something powerful about praying a prayer of surrender to God that so many have prayed before us.  Love the heart of this prayer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry.

And the parched ground shall become a pool. 
Isaiah 35:7

We always have visions, before a thing is made real.  When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on.  Instead of the vision becoming real, there has become the valley of humiliation.

...God gave us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way.  Every vision will be made real if we have patience.  Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry.  We are always in such a frantic hurry.  In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality.  Ever since we had the vision, God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.

The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be.  Let the Potter put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision.  Don't lose heart in the process.  If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.
Oswald Chambers
My Utmost, July 6 Reading
as quoted by Jan Karon in A Continual Feast

Monday, July 18, 2011

Faith is armor upon armor, a grace that preserves all other graces.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD , you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11,12 (NIV)

I was reading Psalm 5 last night, and these two verses spoke to me.  As I studied them this morning, I came across a description of what was meant by a shield in the time that these words were written.  I had heard it before, but it spoke to me in a new way this morning.  

The shield was a large piece that was as tall as a man.  It not only covered the length of his body, but it was able to be moved in order to protect the warrior from an incoming blow of a sword or an arrow.  This part struck me this morning:  if the warrior was in battle, his armor was not just the shield--he  was in full armor, from head to toe, and his shield was used as further protection.  

Charles Spurgeon quotes William Gurnall in his Treasury of David:  
The shield doth not only defend the whole body, but it is a defense to the soldier's armor also; it keeps the arrow from the helmet as well as head, from the breast and breastplate also. Thus faith, it is armor upon armor, a grace that preserves all the other graces.

Again, note that as we take refuge in him, he protects us with armor upon armor, and a grace that preserves all the other graces. 

Father, today and every day, help me faithfully take refuge in You alone--whose favor is my protection and my shield.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


An evening of good things...

Good: My little guy building soldiers in the sand to guard the castle we just made together.

Good: Watching him face big waves with reckless abandon. 

Good: Capturing a look of trust and love that only a child can give you. 

Good: watching my "all-boy" boy smash his sand castle moments after building it.

In each of these precious moments with my son, my heart rests in knowing that our heavenly Father is with us.

That He is for us.

That He loves us
That His timing is perfect.

That He will do what's best for us. 
Thou hast given me so much...give me one thing more, a grateful heart.
George Herbert

A song that has been on repeat in my house and car this weekend: You Have Been So Good to Me (Paul Baloche)