Author: Beth
•Monday, August 29, 2011
May we all start off this new week with words such as these ringing in our hearts and envigorating our steps. Happy Monday, friends!

Lord of the cloud and fire,
I am a stranger, with a stranger's indifference;
My hands hold a pilgrim staff, My march is Zionward,
My eyes are toward the coming of the Lord,

My heart is in Thy hands without reserve.

Thou hast created it,
redeemed it,
renewed it,
captured it,
conquered it.
Keep it from every opposing foe,
crush in it every rebel lust,
mortify every treacherous passion,
annihilate every earthborn desire.

All faculties of my being vibrate to Thy touch;
I love Thee with soul, mind, body, strength,
might, spirit, affection, will,
desire, intellect, understanding.

Thou art the very perfection of all perfections;
All intellect derived from Thee;
My scanty rivulets flow from Thy unfathomable fountain.

Compared with Thee, the sun is darkness,
All beauty deformity,
All wisdom folly,
The best goodness faulty.

Thou art worthy of an adoration greater than my dull heart can yield;

Invigorate my love that it may rise worthily to Thee,
tightly entwine itself round Thee,
be allured by Thee.

Then shall my walk be endless praise.

~The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers

Author: Beth
•Saturday, August 20, 2011

It’s days like today that make me realize what I’m made of.

Slightly on the warm side, but if I breathe deeply with just enough imagination, I can grasp just a hint of autumn change. The few brave flowers that have withstood the summer’s heat stand stoic and upright, almost oblivious that their brilliant colors stand only in competition with the occasional sun beam that peaks through the overcast sky.

Days like today, when life seems to pause – almost trembling - as if the slight breeze that shakes an occasional leaf brings the whisper that fall is coming. Hard to imagine that this scene of summer couldn’t just go on forever and ever. Hard to imagine that life will follow the inevitable.

Days like today, when the fresh memory of wrinkled hands grasping my own still linger. When I see the pained look in the sharp blue eyes, knowing that fall has come, and that change is a hard season when you’re just looking forward to the glorious bliss of the hereafter. When the life-long friends, with faltering steps and silvery white hair, laugh together at the memories gone by – each with an empty chair beside them.

Was it hard for them to imagine too?

Days like today, when the restless side gives way to reflection. The hopes that have been disappointed even in the youth of life. The wrestling with the darkness of soul and the sky-searching for the light of truth. The painful uprooting of lingering sin that cannot be ignored any longer. The youthful vigor and excitement of life take a meaningful pause, when I remember what still must die inside.

The radio croons out the old lyrics of “Young at Heart.” The web ad flashes “Forever 21.” The old man waiting for the elevator makes a wistful comment about the years gone by.

I look in the mirror and almost ache for this little heart – with all its vain passions and deceits – to be old. In fact, to remember that it is already dead. The battle that was won for my heart years ago still needs to be reminded of victory. To give up on its frivolous pursuits and realize what is really important.

I want to stop just thinking about summer and breathe in the smells of autumn. I want to visit the cemetery of my soul often, just so I can read the tombstones and remember from where I came from.

Then, I want to go out and dance in the sunshine of my Savior’s grace. Oh, such grace! Fill my lungs with the pure and sweet summer air of His everlasting peace for the rest of this life.

And sing my heart out.

A heart that has died and been resurrected anew. A heart that pumps to the rhythm of an eternal song.

Yes, days like today are good for my soul


to know what it means to really live.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

||Gal. 2:20