Friday, October 30, 2009

Calvary Love

Here are some words that stirred and broke my heart today. From "IF" by Amy Carmichael. There are a number of areas in my heart and various situations where these apply...ouch.

If I do not feel far more for the grieved Saviour than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If in dealing with one who does not respond, I weary of the strain, and slip from under the burden, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, "You do not understand," or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying "Peace, peace," where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word, "Let love be without dissimulation" and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I fear to hold another to the highest goal because it is so much easier to avoid doing so, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choice; if I give any room to my private likes and dislikes, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I put my own happiness before the well-being of the work entrusted to me; if, though I have this ministry and have received much mercy, I faint, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold, I do not shut the door, and in the power of Him who works in us to will and to do, keep that door shut, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not give a friend "the benefit of the doubt," but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I take offense easily; if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I say, "Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget," as though the God, who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of all the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If monotony tries me, and I cannot stand drudgery; if stupid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge; if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I want to be known as the doer of something that has proved the right thing, or as the one who suggested that it should be done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I avoid being "ploughed under," with all that such ploughing entails of rough handling, isolation, uncongenial situations, strange tests, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the love that "alone maketh light of every heavy thing, and beareth evenly every uneven thing" is not my heart's desire, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Wisdom from Storytime!

Sometimes, when we least expect it, God shows up in a fresh way. On Tuesday night, as we were waiting for everyone to arrive for Bible Study, the students and I decided to have "Storytime". Those who were there ran around the kids' section at Barnes and Noble and found their favorite books. We read, "Brown, Bear, Brown Bear", "The Giving Tree", "Goodnight Moon", and "The Angry Ladybug". Then, Laura-girl, brought over a book called "Incredible You". In a move only God could make, this story became our lesson for the evening. It may have been one of the more memorable lessons for this group! (Which proves it's about what GOD's doing...not what I am teaching!!!)

I wanted to share the questions in the back of the book and see what your responses may be. Some of them were easy, some deep, and others difficult to answer. Here they are...let me know what you think!

1. Do you dream of doing something adventurous like taming lions? Or something that seems a little safer, like being a veterinarian? Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing it. What is that dream?

2. If someone or something makes you feel sad, embarassed, or angry, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

3. What makes you feel scared or worried? What are some positive, strong words that you can say to yourself to overcome your fear?

4. Everyone needs to be alone sometimes. Where do you go if you feel like being by yourself? To your room? Up in a tree? Or in a nice, comfy chair?

5. If you have a problem or something is bothering you, who do you talk to? Your Mom or Dad? Your dog? Your teacher?

6. It's important to make time for the things you love. Do you have a passion? Something you love to do more than anything else?

7. What are some things you have done that make you great? Have you ever drawn an awesome picture that made you really proud? Have you ever won a medal or an award?

8. Everyone is special and one-of-a-kind. What are some things you love about yourself, and how do you share that love with others? DO you bake cookies for your friends or pick flowers for your mom?

9. The kids in the book set up a stand to raise money for the animal shelter. What helpful ideas do you have inside your mind, and what can you do to share them with the world?

10. Some people feel a loving Spririt around them. Some feel it in a church, a place of worship, or in nature. Do you feel this mysterious love that conncets us all? Where?

I'd like to add one more that has come up as I've talked about this lesson with my friends:

11. We are all created to reflect God in unique ways. We all carry the mark of our Creator in a way that is different from others. How were you made to reflect God? In what ways are you being Jesus to those around you?

OK...I look forward to your answers! If you want to check out the book you can click the link below.