Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Personal Challenge of the Last Few Weeks

Psalm 55:17
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud:
and He shall hear my voice."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Maiden Third

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who loved her father very much. She was a beautiful young girl with a free spirit. She was vivacious, becoming, astute, and pleasing. She was wilful and passionate, strong and affectionate.
She also had a perversity of nature that would wish to attempt a feat the moment it was forbidden.
Her father was a strong man with a will of iron. He was just, and he loved her. He held very strongly to high ideals that he could argue back to the Holy Book itself, and its inerrability was his vanguard. He was immoveable. To lower that guard was to deny the Book itself, and he held his ideals with the passion of a Crusader.
She wanted only to be free. She wanted to stretch her wings and let the current lift her. She wanted to be drawn, and not pressed; she wanted to be hungered, not harried. She wanted to be motivated by love, not duty.
As for her father, his duty was his love, and his love was his duty. He could not separate the two. They were one and the same to him.
He believed that there was enmity in the heart of every man, and that the laying down of the law would reveal the rebellion.
So he laid down the law for his daughter and unveiled her rebellion. Then he took it to task and attempted to deal with it.
She fought and refused to submit. She could not see that love could come after duty, and he refused to acknowledge love without obedience.
She fled his home and continued her life away. He watched with growing alarm as her love and her passion led her again and again to the edge of the precipice of morality.
Wild as it was, her heart was a faithful one, and she clung to the faith of her childhood. Then with all the intense passion of her heart, she fell in love with a young man that abused her trust.
In despair, her father tried again and again to redeem her from her faults. He repeatedly laid down the principles, and he continued to encounter her rebellion.
She would not trust him, and he would not relent. She felt stifled, and he desperately wanted her to see what he saw. The battle of wills was always foremost. He would not discuss or renege any of his ideals unless she submitted her will, and she would not give her will to be driven where it could have been led. Each refused to die. They disdained to lay down arms and surrender, for each held the right. They were constantly at an impasse, and finally each broke the heart of the other.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Maiden Second

This is portion of a three part series. Here follows the tale of the second maiden.

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who loved her father very much. She lived with her family in moderate circumstances in a large city. She was not pretty, in fact, she was solemn and introverted, and unless she smiled, her countenance was not a friendly one. She was strong and self-willed, and her mother was at loss how to manage her.
Thus left to herself unless giving displeasure, and disinclined by nature to perceive the needs of those around her, she grew up with scarce a word of praise, many of blame, and at last grew convinced that she was displeasing to all around her.
She buried her pains by delving into fictitious stories of her own and others’ making, and often spent all her leisure hours submersing her sorrow in this literary distraction. While she did her duty as she perceived it, she trundled on in her own world, blind to the needs and feelings of those around her.
She accepted responsibility for her faults but was helpless, in her immaturity, to correct them, and under the continuous blame and disapproval she lost all confidence in her ability to please others and pursued her way with no regard for their approbation.
She may, at this time, have been led astray but that she was removed from all her acquaintances in two circumstances. She was removed from public school to be educated at home, and her family moved to a small country town.
Her nature made her unwilling and unmotivated to seek new acquaintances, and she was now thrown wholly upon the one resource she trusted with absolute certainty – the Word of God. In the more remote location, she thrilled in His Creation, and had more opportunity for wholesome pursuits that relieved her of her need for literary escape.
Her journey was an inward one with little outward evidence. She became less tempestuous with growing maturity, and was increasingly obedient and respectful in her behaviour, but on the whole, she continued in her aloneness, improving only inwardly for One Who guided her with love for truth and the reward of achievement and did not drive her with blame or disapproval.
Inwardly strong, she set for herself a personal code of conduct, and in this manner was saved from the pitfalls that lead to rebellion. Though often appearing proud to others, she cared little for their opinion. She respected her elders because of their office, but there were very few, if any, in whom she confided with any measure of trust or deep respect. She submitted because it was required of her; seldom was it won from her.
There were only two people that drew the best from her in her early teen years. In latter years there were one or two others, but her parents resented that she should give others what they had failed to win and was due them, and feeling this, she withdrew even further and was a greater frustration to them. Her father could not articulate what was lacking, and she could not understand what he wanted.
In her later teen years, she never failed to do what was right and even excelled in it, but her parents always felt the loss of her trust, and her achievements failed to satisfy them.
She did her utmost, as she grew, to fulfil her duty to them, but could never establish the trust so lacking.
Then, in the misty once-upon-a-time, a young man saw her and took note of her. He watched her from a distance for quite some time, but finally approached her parents for permission to win her.
The girl agreed to his advances, but gave him little outward encouragement. Many wondered what he saw in her, and she wondered herself, but he persisted, and finally won her trust, then her regard, and finally her love. When she knew she could give him everything, she agreed to marry.
Within months of her impending marriage, her father made it abundantly clear to her that she had failed to give satisfaction as a daughter. Devastated at such a sentence after all her efforts, she went into her marriage with a broken heart, but little regret for what she left.
Her young husband drew the best from her, and within months she was a confident, radiant specimen of young wifehood, and her few acquaintances were only left to wonder at the mystery of it, her parents puzzled as to their failure, and even more mystified by their success.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Once Upon A Time - A Tale of Three Maidens

This is to be a three part series. Here follows the Tale of the First Maiden.

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who loved her father very much. She was sweetness itself, and her father was very fond of her. Her face was pretty, her figure pleasing, and her manners thoughtful. She was helpful and tactful by nature, and everyone was pleased with her.
She was a good girl. She obeyed her parents, she was never inclined to mischief, and she strove to please all her acquaintance. She was helpful at home, and had the ability of making all she met feel good about themselves.
As she grew from girlhood into womanhood, others began to be pleased with her looks and manners. She was sweet and cheerful, popular, thought everyone special, and cared for the feelings of all. Young men enjoyed her company. They began to seek her out.
One in particular won her compassion. He felt himself in sorry circumstances and she endeavoured to show him that he was cared for and special. In short, he began to have more than just a friendly interest in her, and he asked her out.
She was too young for this sort of attention, and she knew it. She knew she ought to refuse, but she could not bear to give disappointment. By way of escape, she promised to ask her father for permission.
She approached her father with an explanation of the circumstance, but instead of asking for permission in a straightforward manner, hesitated and gauged his reaction. Her father, instead of giving a reasoned refusal, frowned in disapproval. She immediately ventured to regain his approval by defending her reasons for going, and the young man’s reasons for asking.
There appeared to be such a lack of vice in her reason, and such sweetness in her approach, that the father relaxed his judgement, and perceived that the request was not accompanied by any motive of rebellion. However, she continued to persuade him of the evils of refusing the invitation, and partly persuaded, and partly convinced that she had so set her heart on going that refusal would lead to rebellion, he consented.
Thus she was placed in the special company of a young man, and was seen to be much with him. Others accepted the friendship, and they were established as a couple. The young man was very attentive to her, and for the first time she felt the value of the approval of a man other than her father. She was flattered and pleased by the attention, and fell into the trap of accepting it.
In vain an elder acquaintance expostulated on the harm of such attentions. The girl knew her friend was correct, but defended the goodness and motives of all parties – they were not bad, they had no intention of doing harm, they were just friends, and there was no wrong in it. Thus silencing her friend, and in part, her own conscience, she continued on her way.
When the young man’s affection ceased, another quickly took his place and began to seek her attention. By this time, her conscience smote her. The girl knew it was not wise, and when asking her father’s permission for different events, her blue eyes pleaded with him to be firm. But her father, rightly judging that she was too weak to withstand, told her she needed to learn to be strong and stand up for herself. Bereaved of his protection, the girl found herself weaker than before, and afraid of giving offence, allowed the attentions to continue.
After a time, a young man appeared who gave more concern. The young man had a heartache, and she felt for him. She encouraged him to do right, and he was benefited by her advice. He began to be a better man for her friendship. He was a seemingly upright young man who soon appeared to be head-over-heels in love with her. He was respected, of good standing, and a promising young man, and the girl admired him very much.

Her father felt some alarm when he perceived the depth of her feeling for the young man. He upbraided her and reasoned with her the folly of allowing the young man’s attentions. They were too young for the fulfilment of a relationship. It would end only in frustration or heartbreak.
She acknowledged the wisdom of his arguments. She agreed to his sentiments and won his approval for her astuteness.
However, she could not bear to pain her young friend, and continued to receive his attentions. She could not summon the strength to maintain a stand in either direction, fearing to hurt the feelings of either party, and fighting to hold the approval of both.
Thus she continued, torn between her father and the young man, her conscience and her weakness.
Neither man protected her. She loved them both, and felt herself responsible for their feelings, which she could not bear to disappoint. She strove to protect them both by playing a double position. In this way, both men allowed her to bear the burden of the contradiction, and were well on the road to ruining her disposition and her capacity for faithfulness.

These maidens are not based on any one person, but are rather drawn from my experience and observations. They are somewhat sad stories. However, they are not stories of failure and depravity. They are stories of normal struggles in normal life. I have taken one aspect out of context of their lives and expounded it. If you find yourself in one of these maidens, I can only suggest you ask God in His grace to pick up what your father drops in his humanity. God gives without reproach. A girl's heart is a fragile and intricate thing. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and reproacheth no man; and it shall be given him."

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Quote

The Prince of Preachers.

"I worship a God I never expect to comprehend."
-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Friday, July 3, 2009

Things Hard to Understand

One of the things that fascinates me is the mystical and hard-to-understand. Some people like everything described down to a t. They like their ducks in a row, they like to understand the logistics of everything.
I like things that make sense. Honestly, I do. But there is something very attractive about the Unseen, something comforting about things beyond me, something secure about things bigger than me.
Time is one of these things.
We Europeans persist in seeing time as a line. In fact, we have that word - timeline.


And yet...
We understand day and night from the sun, which is spherical. We understand months from the moon, which spherical. We understand seasons and years from the planets and stars, which are spherical. If you are like me and are one of these people that picture things and also learned time on an analogue clock, then the passing of minutes and hours is circular. The moon circles the earth. The earth circles the sun.
You may, like me, have seen a diagram like this, depicting the eternity of God.

<----Eternity Past----------------------Eternity Future---->

God's existence is a never ending line... or is it?
Hey, face the irony of it. We've put God's timelessness on a TIMELINE. We have taken an Eternal Spirit Being and subjected Him to the narrowest field a human can conceive - two dimensions. Eternity is not time without beginning or end. It is timeLESS.

Seasons repeat themselves.
History, they say, repeats itself.
Maybe time looks like this

I personally believe this is what makes questions like election and predestination such difficult ones for some people. They struggle to believe that in the past


God ordained everything that would happen to them


We live in a world of height, length, and width. Time is the fourth dimension. So, even a 3D sphere does not do it justice. And we take the eternity of God and force it to submit to a degrading two dimensional line.

Rom 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

God is my Teacher

It seems to me that God has led me the full circle.
All my life I have had pivotal verses that seemed pertinent in different seasons; verses that I have mulled over and made my own as God has taught me.
I can become very possessive of these verses. They are so personal, I view them as mine. I would be most put out if a preacher pulled one out and destroyed all the beauty and fragrance of it with a heartless dissection of its theological merits or put a different slant on it than my Lord had put on it for me!
I would like to think I have grown and matured. But now I find myself led back to verses and passages that stir memories of past lessons, and past mullings, verses that I burrowed into, that I dwelt on.
Maybe this is a recap of grade one. Maybe this is my review. Oh, how dearly I want to hold onto those precious lessons! How many have I let slip? How much I want to ascend to grade two!

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

I am awed anew at the goodness and mercy of God.

Isaiah asks pitifully, almost fearfully, “Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things (our iniquities), O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?”

The chapter ends there. The question appears unanswered. And it cannot but occur to one that He has every right to answer in the affirmative; every right to be indignant, angry, vengeful.

I have been brought back to one of the earliest of my dwelling passages, one of the ones that started me on my walk with God.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I used to pray it. Often.

I have been challenged to do so again.

What is more remarkable is that the preacher who pulled this verse out revived in me so much of the old feelings that used to surround this verse before he even mentioned it. He maintained the poignant fragrance these verses had for me.


“Search me, O God…”

How frightened I used to be of God’s relentless inspection, but how badly I wanted Him to do it! I felt like a child in a crowd of grown-ups around an important person. How I wanted Him to notice me, and how afraid I was that He would!

And now… dare I believe it? Has He seen me?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Inspired to Soar

The following is a quote that has been with me for many years now. It first jumped out at me from a collection of sayings in a quaint calligraphic hand written by an elderly lady in our church who had us round and fed us the classiest meal my ten-year-old eyes had ever seen.

I still remember her house, her little round table that crowded our family of five around it, the glass dishes with the amazing slices, the living room filled with knick-knacks that would now fill my mother-of-toddlers heart with terror.

I still remember the thrill it gave me at the time, and I copied it out... somewhere. Somewhere in my personal stationary it stayed until I came across it again, and wanting to preserve it, I wrote it in my best handwriting in the cover of my small hand Bible that I still own today.

I suspect that dear old saint has gone to her reward now, and if she has, one of her rewards will be the influence she had on inspiring the relationship of a ten-year-old with an unfathomable God.

What a small thing she did that day! She fed us a beautiful meal. She let us look through her collection of sayings. But I still remember the thrill those words gave me and the way they wrapped themselves around my heart, echoing like bells in a clear night.

It inspired me to Know Christ.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We are Wrapped in Water

Song of Solomon 4:16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Sometimes I think we can be so wrapped up in ourselves we are as a fish that doesn't even know it's wet. We flatter ourselves that Jesus died to make us comfortable in our after life. We fool ourselves into thinking that the universe revolves around us. We were so important! So important that God Himself would endure such contradiction just for us!

Hebrews 12:2 "For the joy set before Him, (He) endured the cross." What was that joy? "Well, my salvation, of course!" And wherefore? "So I wouldn't have to suffer in hell!" Subtle, isn't it? Are you wet?

An Indian had made a monk some moccasins. The good friar was trying them out, and when upbraided by the Father Superior, said, "But Father, they are very comfortable!"
"Brother! You did not join this monastery to be comfortable!"

We belittle the purpose of God by assuming our comfort to be of primary importance. God did not foreordain your comfort before the foundation of the world. It was Christ and His glory.

It is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (note: not our pleasure or comfort!). Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
We can view God like tourists view a lion in a zoo. From the safety of our own little perspective, God can seem quite safe, but we forget, He is not a tame lion. We, my friend, are of little consequence! The fruit in our lives is so that He might enjoy it, that He might consume it, for He deserves it. He is worthy.

We begin to understand when we can say, like the horse to the lion, "Sir, you are so beautiful, I'd rather be eaten by you than fed by anybody else."

Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. We are for His consumption.

Song of Solomon 5:16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Master’s Estate

In a time long ago, when lords were as powerful on their own lands as kings were in their kingdom, a lord left his one of his estates in the hands of a steward while he himself departed to attend the court of the king.

While some questioned the wisdom of the lord’s absence, the lord himself was content to leave the management and expansion of his estates in the hands of his tenants. From these he picked particular ones who were told off as stewards and overseers. Faithful service was often rewarded by a promotion of responsibilities, and as is human nature, some coveted the position but not the burden, others shouldered the burden without aspiring to the position, while many eschewed the appearance of burdens altogether. To keep himself informed of his affairs, the lord appointed a scribe who remained detached and disinterested and whose sole work was to keep an account of the day to day doings of the tenants and their overseer.

The overseer of this particular estate was a man faithful and courageous, who saw his task as his special duty, and he bore the burden with a deep sense of responsibility, oft times with toil and tears, shudderings, and a healthy fear of his master’s return. He knew he would be called in question for every deed done beneath his care.

The tenants went about their daily business, providing for themselves and their families. Strictly, they were not to leave the estate without the master’s express command to do so, but many thought light of it, and the discontents came and went, grumbling at the heavy hand of the conscientious overseer, or fighting amongst themselves. In vain the overseer remonstrated with such. He had to admit to himself that the estate was better off without dissentious, discontented tenants, but his heart ached to see them go. He knew that no master could be better than theirs, and with pain he watched them go where the oversight was lighter, but the aloof master was uncaring and unforgiving.

There were many tenants. There were those that were faithful and strove to daily improve their service for their master, there were those that did enough good as was convenient, and those that thought of little but what was good for themselves. Some excelled and were promoted to other estates of their master, and at times some were sent away in disgrace, though that was rare. Wayward tenants often left of their own accord.

There was one tenant, a poor man with a wife and children, who laboured to be faithful. This man, our friend, did not seek to rule over others, for he was a humble man, but he longed that his service might be of the measure that would give his master delight, and he longed to be worthy to do greater deeds for his lord. He was very aware of the maxim, “He that is faithful in little will also be faithful in much.” With this proverb always before him, he, with his good wife beside him, strove to be faithful in all things, with a conscientious attention to detail. Over time, this man watched many others gain promotion, attain greater responsibility, and achieve great things for the master, while he himself remained, faithful, but stationary, tilling the same field morn and night, returning to the same little cottage for his rest and meals. He, like his overseer, had an urgency driven by the expectancy of his lord’s return and the opening of the books so carefully kept by the scribe, and he strove to be in every way pleasing.

After many years, the master sent a courier to announce his imminent return. He was due the day following, and all were to appear at the manor and present themselves in the great hall.
The set day arrived, and the tenants crowded about the manor, waiting to be let in. None had seen the long awaited master. Some murmured that he had not come. Others were confident he would keep his word and was now within the hall, shortly to command the opening of the doors. Some of the tenants were trembling and eager, others outwardly confident, but inwardly quailing, some were reasoning there was no cause to fear, others justifying their neglect, and some were openly cowering.

The great doors were opened, and the tenants were bidden to enter. The tenants now became three distinct groups. There were those who hung back, wanting to escape notice, willing to merely slink into the back of the hall. There were those who hesitated, fearing the calling of the accounts, hoping they had done well, done enough to gain approval, but apprehensive of the result; they thought only of themselves. But many surged forward, regardless of their accounts, wanting only to see the face of the beloved lord for whom they had laboured so long. Indeed, so long had his absence been that many had no recollection of him whatsoever, and all they knew of him was what they read of his instructions and heard from the overseer. They crowded into the great hall before him whom having not seen, they loved.

Among these was our poor tenant and his wife, and for some time they stood utterly unconscious of all proceedings, content only to drink in the sight of the master who was seated on the raised dais. They became aware, after some time, of the motion of the master’s hand, the scribe taking up a scroll to read all that was recorded therein. The master would then pronounce judgement on the tenant thus called to account. There was praise and blame, reward and punishment, and the couple watched in awe and with a painful, growing awareness of their own lack of accomplishments.

The overseer was given gentle words of reproof for his failings and strong praise for bearing his burden well, and the weary, soul-torn man, after labouring for many years under great difficulties and handicaps was given rest, and every touch of the master’s hand, and the depth of the light in his eye, his compassion, and his gentle smiles were noted and coveted by the poor tenant and his yearning wife. How they wished they had seen the way to great deeds!
The master gestured again, and another account was unfurled, the scroll read, and the tenant was graciously given his due. This happened many times before the master’s eye fell on our friend, and the man knew his time had come.

Instead of the royal beckoning of the hand, the master rose and walked to the pile of scrolls before the scribe, and putting forth his own hand, he took one to himself.

“To whom much is given, much is required,” he said gravely. “But he that is faithful in little will also be faithful in much.”

But I have been faithful in so many little things, the man wanted to cry. How could I have missed my Much? Where was it?

Instead of resuming his seat, the regal lord took a step down closer to the crowd before him. Instead of handing the scroll to be read by the scribe, he broke the seal himself. Then with a crackle of the paper that was echoed in the gasp of the beholding tenants, he shook the scroll out into the aisle of the great hall. And before our tenant’s wondering eyes, the scroll unfurled and rolled itself down the carpeted aisle.

And it rolled, and it rolled, and it rolled. And there, before the stunned gaze of the tenantry was a record of more little things than anyone had imagined possible.

“They are little things,” the Master acknowledged. His eyes met those of his shocked tenant as he pronounced his judgement. “But they are much.”

©2008 Kim Blight