Sunday, 25 April 2010


If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

God does not ask us to leap by the Spirit, or sprint by the Spirit. He asks us to walk by the Spirit. Walking is a moment to moment thing, which is why I love this particular translation: let us keep in step with the Spirit, whether they be big or little steps.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

stop supposin'

It's funny how it's the little stories that are most helpful, most of the time. It's the simple stories that contain the most profound advice. And it's ordinary people, just like you and me, that God uses in great ways. For me, the anonymous woman of this story, who was just an ordinary woman of her time, has blessed me in extraordinary ways at this time; and she doesn't even know it. Praise the Lord for how He is using her legacy to teach me to trust Him now.

I once met a poor woman, who earned a precarious living by hard daily labour; but who was a joyous triumphant Christian. "Ah, Nancy," said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, "It is well enough to be happy now; but I should think the thoughts of your future would sober you. Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness, and be unable to work; or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do; or suppose...”
“Stop!!” cried Nancy, “I never supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I knows I shall not want. And, Honey,” she added to her gloomy friend, “It’s all dem supposes as is makin’ you so miserable. You’d better give dem all up, and just trust de Lord.

Friday, 23 April 2010

looking unto Jesus

It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, 'Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.' All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that 'Christ is all in all.' Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee – it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee – it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument – it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by 'looking unto Jesus.' Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.”

I cannot tell you how these words of Spurgeon ministered to my soul tonight, except to say, praise the Lord! praise the Lord!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


I am so glad that God invented colours. Aren’t you? They make the world so beautiful.

Today, I found a new favourite, in a bunch of roses. It was sort of like fuchsia, but brighter, almost like magenta, but better. Honestly, I can’t really describe it; you just have to take my word for it.

it.was.absolutely.incredible. Actually, it was so vibrant that I stopped right then and there, and celebrated God for His creativity.

Have you celebrated Him lately?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

joyful surrender

"As I read Job 12:10 again, 'In His hand is the life of every living thing,' I recognized that all I am and have is the Almighty's. Job is a lesson in acceptance, not of blind resignation, but of believing acceptance, that what God does is well done. So, Father, with happy committal I give you my life again this morning - not for anything special, simply to let you know that I regard it as Your's. Do with it as it pleases You, only give me great grace to do for the glory of Christ Jesus whatever comes to me."

I'm reading Shadow of the Almighty. It's a collection of Jim Elliot's journals, and I can't get enough. It's funny to me that these thoughts from decades ago ring just as true today. And this prayer is just as relevant now, as it was then.

Monday, 19 April 2010

no worries, mate!

The birds just keep on singing these days,
their same sweet song,
reminding me
that I've got nothing to worry about,
nothing at all.

His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.

Really, I should be singing along with the birds.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

follow Me,

and My goodness will follow you, promises God.

I had high hopes for this afternoon; at least half of my to-do list was going to get done. However, that goal went right out the window, the moment I looked out the window. I grabbed my Bible and ventured outside.

A butterfly kept me company on my walk. In fact, it wouldn’t leave me alone. It was nice though, watching its vibrant orange wings dance around me, rising and falling with the breeze.

I thought of something a friend of mine once said to me, and it hasn't escaped me yet, and that is – it’s powerful to be out in God’s general revelation (His creation) reading His special revelation (His Word). Yes. Yes, it is.

And today, as I enjoyed that powerful combination, the Holy Spirit was ministering something mighty to my soul. With graduation just around the corner, the whole thought of ‘after college’ is on my mind. And even when I try and forget it, I can count on getting asked that question. You know the one. “So, how are you feeling about graduation?”

Well, now I feel great, because today the Lord quieted me with Psalm 23:6 in a very special way. “How do I feel?” you ask. Well, “surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me; so I feel good.” Who knows, I might even break out in that James Brown song of one these times. Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now I feel good, I knew that I would. So good, so good, I got... and here I would make a lyrical change... I got Him!

I am happy to have that promise.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

psalm 31:15a

my times are in Your hands.

It's amazing how drastically different life is, when I put on the glasses of God's sovereignty. People and places become exciting because I see that God has purposed these specific things for this particular time. There's no desire to fiddle with His clock, when I believe that its hands are positioned by His hand in the correct place. There's no reason to worry, when God assures me that this season is timely and good. There's no wearisome striving for something, other than this moment, because this moment is chosen for me by God. My prayer is to use it, and to see every day (wherever I may be and whomever I am with) as a God-ordained gift. With God in the picture, nothing is ever a waste, and nothing is ever random.

That is exhilarating.

So, no more of this nail-biting, knee-knocking, or twiddling of the thumbs. It's time to enjoy and employ the moment. Here I go.

Friday, 16 April 2010

laughs at words

Steadfast is a beautiful word, perhaps one of the most beautiful. (definitely on my top-ten list of favourite adjectives!) So, my handy-dandy thesaurus came up with these words to describe this word. loyal. steady. faithful. firm. stable. dependable. unfailing. Still, all of this vocabulary cannot communicate what it really means, for it is deeper than we can comprehend, and so different from what we know on this earth.

This word belongs to God alone, for only He is truly steadfast. {Yet it is something I endeavour to be, because it reflects well my God.}

I find it interesting that steadfast nearly always accompanies love in the Psalms, and in so doing describes what God’s love is like.

And the realization of this kind of love causes such emotions to well up in my soul that there are no words worthy to explain it. As Amy Carmichael so well put, “Can words tell the joy buried deep within? Mine cannot. It laughs at words."

enough said.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

mind your manners

My parents take the whole idea of gratitude very seriously, and I’m glad they do. From the time I was just a wee girl in Northern Ireland, they have instilled in me the importance of expressing thanks to both God and people. I remember always thanking God for our food. And, I remember the infamous question that was inevitable upon leaving somebody’s house, “Now, what do you say, Angela?” As I got older, instead of asking me the question, they would just give me the eyes, which did the trick just fine. I remember, on birthdays and at Christmastime, receiving nice gifts from people. As I tore into these presents, paper in a flurry, my mum would be sitting with a pen in hand, keeping a list of what gift was from which person, so that I could properly thank them.

Before I knew it, saying thank you was routine (automatic, if you will). It wasn’t an empty habit though, nor did it feel like a duty. It wasn’t done for manners’ sake, and my parents certainly were not in the business of creating polite robots. Rather, they showed me that gratitude should be the way of life for the Christian. (This is the Lord’s grace, for sure.)

Now I’m twenty-one years of age, and becoming more and more independent with each passing year. I no longer have my parents reminding me to say thank you; it’s up to me now. And I want to continue in this grateful way of life – not because that’s how I was raised, not because it’s the nice thing to do, not even because it’s the right thing to do – but because of God. I cannot realize the magnitude of His blessings, and not respond in thanks. Doesn’t the Psalmist say, “How can I repay the LORD for all His goodness to me?” A few verses later, he says, “I will sacrifice a thank offering to You.” Psalm 116

When is the last time that you, or I, thanked the custodian? the cafeteria worker? the gardener? a pastor? a friend? a family member? and really meant it?

Thanksgiving should be a year-round holiday for the child of God, starting with today. Let’s appreciate people more, and God the most. Let’s get those two little words back into our daily vocabulary again. Let’s not underestimate the blessing of a sincere thank you.

for more on gratitude, see:

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

we need piloting

My brother, Spurgeon, had a way with words. That's obvious. But that's not why I love his writings. I love them so much because they contain precious gems of truth about my God. Every sentence is inspired by Scripture. This one especially, the Lord has used time and time again, to return my soul to its rest.

“When my heart is overwhelmed,
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 61:2

"Most of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart. Discoveries of inward corruption will do this, if the Lord permits the great deep of our depravity to become troubled and cast up mire and dirt. Disappointments and heart-breaks will do this when billow after billow falls over us, and we are like a broken shell hurled to and fro by the surf. Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient solace, our God is the harbour of weather-beaten sails, the hospice of forlorn pilgrims. Higher than we are, is He, His mercy higher than our sins, His love higher than our thoughts. It is pitiful to see men putting their trust in something lower than themselves; but our confidence is fixed upon an exceeding higher and glorious Lord. A Rock He is since He changes not, and a high Rock, because the tempests which overwhelm us roll far beneath at His feet; He is not disturbed by them, but rules them at His will. If we get under the shelter of this lofty Rock we may defy the hurricane; all is calm under the lee of that towering cliff. Alas! Such is the confusion in which the troubled mind is often cast, that we need piloting to this Divine Shelter.
Hence the prayer of the text. O Lord, our God, by Thy Holy Spirit, teach us the way of faith, lead us into Thy rest. The wind blows us out to sea, the helm answers not to our puny hand; Thou, Thou alone can steer us over the bar between yon sunken rocks, safe into the fair haven.
How dependent we are upon Thee – we need Thee to bring us to Thee.
To be wisely directed and steered into safety and peace is Thy gift, and Thine alone."

Monday, 5 April 2010


Car rides at nighttime are the best. especially in the rain. especially with friends. Conversation is bound to be good in those conditions.

Tonight a friend and I chatted about loving Jesus. We talked about what it looks like to dream big for Him, but be faithful in the small things of today. We spoke about accomplishing things for Him, not for us. And all the while, I think He was speaking to us both, reminding us that we are alive for the joyful purpose of loving Him. Dreams, and service, and accomplishments are just meant to be the natural overflow of that. Jesus first.

We want to be about truth and love. not one at the expense of the other. not one without the other. But, both. Because Jesus Himself was and is both - perfect truth and perfect love.

God help us!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Oh, the selfless love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today at our Good Friday service at church, my dad spoke on one of Jesus' cries from the cross. However, it wasn't the typical favourite, "It is finished!" cry that we talked about today. Nor was it the next-most-popular "Father, forgive them" one. To be honest, I was a bit surprised at his choice, but pleasantly so. It turns out I needed it, badly.

"When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to his mother, 'Dear woman, behold your son,' and to the disciple, 'Behold your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her into his home."

Time out! Jesus was in complete agony at this point, beyond my imagination. Yet still, He took thought of the welfare of Mary, telling the disciple to take care of her?!?! The answer is clear. Yes.

During the biggest event of history, planned from eternity past, Jesus wasn't too busy to consider something so seemingly small, as Mary's physical and emotional well-being. At the same time, He was taking care of her greatest need, which was spiritual, the payment of her sins.

Jesus was thoughtful of others in the middle of dying. And I can hardly think of others in the middle of living. That's why I need His redemption. I need Him to change me from a selfish idolater, to God-fearing, Christ adoring, Spirit-empowered servant.

The last thing Christians should be is selfish.