Friday, June 1, 2012

Memories, what do you do with them?

Spurgeon, Evening, 28th May

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.Lamentations 3:21
Memory is frequently the bond slave of despondency. Dispairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in Jeremiah's experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul: "My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me;" and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope." Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime. Be it ours to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to rehearse his deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, "the bosom-spring of joy," and when the Divine Comforter bends it to his service, it may be chief among earthly comforters.

Trials and sorrows (James Smith, "Comfort for Christians!")

From Grace Gems:

"In the world, you will have many trials and sorrows." John 16:33

To be forewarned--is to be forearmed! Our divine Lord here assures His disciples that they will be tried, and teaches them that they must not expect a very smooth path.

The road to the kingdom, will always be more or less a rough road. Almost every day something or other will happen to . . .
  try our tempers,
  exercise our graces,
  or distress our minds.

At times, we shall have many trials and sorrows:
Within--a violent conflict between the flesh and the spirit.
Without--vexations, disappointments, heavy losses, or rugged crosses.
In the body--weakness and pain.
In the soul--temptation and a thousand fears.
In the church--much to depress, discourage, and cast us down.
In the world--enough to make us weep day and night.

If it were not for . . .
  the comforts of the Holy Spirit,
  the fullness of the Lord Jesus,
  the throne of grace, and
  the prospect of perfect peace and rest in our Father's house
--we would be of all men, the most miserable.

But as it is, we make some progress on the rough road. Though we may often sigh--we also raise a song, and rejoice in the persuasion that all will end well. When we reach the kingdom--all trials and sorrows will cease--and all will be holy and peaceful forever.

Heavenly Father, take me to Your house--where there are no more foes, no more fears, no more privations; and, best of all, where there is no more sin or temptation!

"They strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God!" Acts 14:22

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We have published an outstanding two page article by James Smith, "The True Grace of God". Must reading.

I have hope....(Lamentations 3, NKJ)

21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Do we have too much?

A little ditty/song came to mind today as I was thinking of my beloved Africa ... . We are so caught up with our 'Western Problems', we are so prone to 'Western' idol worship - self worship! We forget so easily that life here is so easy, too easy, so full of blessings - so much so that we forget we are blessed. We have so much we never even thank God for, so much as we don't even realise how much we have .... 'Oh forgive us Lord, help us to better love and care for our Brethren who suffer around the world, out of our luxurious existence here'

Take a moment to count your many blessings! Also take a look at this work in Zambia and take time to pray for these dear people....I was thrilled to spend time today looking at this RB work in Zambi...

And of course if you are looking at Zambia, don't forget my old favourite Zambian blogs ....

I remember years ago working out that our 'tissue budget' for the year was the same as the average Zambian total income! (I have written about it before ) Okay, we did live in New Zealand back then, so the kids were little and we were more prone to getting sick during the long cold winters, but for real - could we ever survive on such a tiny income?

Why do we worry so about our circumstances so much, when we have so much? Perhaps we loose perspective of what life is really all about with all the clutter of having 'to much'. Time we sorted out having too much of one thing and not enough of another :-)