~Trust

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I first started writing this sometime in late November or early December. I just never got around to posting it.

Oh, the questions children come up with! Recently, I had a conversation go very much like this:

Someone came up with something quite silly. I’m not sure what it was.

“Your parents trust me more than that!” I answered.

Then, one of these sweet girls replied, quite seriously, “How do you know Daddy and Mama trust you?”

How do I know they trust me?

I know they trust me, because they put their seven most precious earthly possessions in my care. They let me look after you and your brothers and sisters.

I change diapers on all three of your youngest siblings. I get to make your meals. I help several of you with your schoolwork. I’m allowed to sing you all to sleep at night, when you’re just too tired to relax and Mama or Daddy need to rest. I get to give you hugs, take you outside to do the chores, read you books, and tell you stories. They let me take care of you when they’re in the room and they leave me alone with you.

They trust me.

I know that if they had any reason to believe that I would be anything but trustworthy, I would, at the very least, be kept under close supervision. I probably wouldn’t be here at all. Your parents regard you as a precious charge, given to them by God, and they are very careful about that charge. And you know what? That makes their trust all the more valuable.

Do they know I’m not perfect? Yes. They couldn’t help but see that. They also know that no person on this earth is going to be so. But by the grace of God, I want to prove that their trust is not unfounded. That I will fulfill their expectations of faithfulness. And where I fail, they trust the LORD to still be in control.

But do you know what else? They are setting an earthly example of how I should live my spiritual life.

It’s so easy to say that I trust the LORD. Words can be easily spoken. But if I truly trust the LORD, I will show it. I’ll leave my most cherished plans in His care, knowing that, unlike me, He won’t even make a mistake. I’ll leave the care of those I hold most dear, in His loving hands, knowing, that unlike me, He won’t fail in anyway.

I might not always like it, but I need to act, when I say I’m going to trust Him. Without the action, the words are empty.

No, I didn’t say all of that to a six-year-old girl. And no, the allegory isn’t perfect. But the LORD used it and I’m thankful.

“Dear Lizzie, I know your parents trust me, because they allow me the privilege of helping to taking care of of you, your brothers, and sisters. I hope that others will be able to see that I trust the LORD even more, because I leave to Him the charge of what I hold most dear.”

To the KING be all the glory!

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~Declaring His Faithfulness…

I worked on organizing, deleting, and otherwise making my inbox usable today. You see, in December, I was blessed with a new laptop. Due to my neglect in deleting my server, my Thunderbird inbox automatically uploaded every message that I had received since July 2012. Yes, there were a lot. Thousands actually. And today, I finally got around to working on cleaning the mess up.

But this post isn’t about my inbox. No, it’s about something I found in my inbox. Or rather, the thoughts that something evoked.

You see, I get a lot of e-mail “threads”. You know, when an e-mail gets sent to multiple people and they all respond/discuss/etc… Therefore, sorting by subject was the easiest way to see what I could delete. I started to go through alphabetically and when I got to P, I realized something, “You know what, we send out a lot of prayer request e-mails!”

I got to thinking about the different socialization venues I am apart of and I further realized, that where there were Christians present, there usually are a lot of prayer requests being posted.

I’ll clarify now that I don’t think this is a bad thing. We should pray for each other. I ask for prayer myself at times. It can be one of the most comforting things in the world, to know that someone else is joining me in prayer either for myself or someone else. But, in looking at the row of prayer e-mails, I started thinking.

As much as we’re called to pray for one another, we’re also called to praise, to declare the greatness of the LORD, and to share His marvelous mercies. What if we e-mailed, posted, or spoke about a blessing of the LORD as often as we asked for prayer? What if our inboxes, our FB feeds, and any other social media were scattered with praises and blessings?

I’m not suggesting that anyone ignore the difficult situations in life. I know how difficult things can be – my heart aches for the trials I have seen those I care about go through. And they aren’t always minor. They’re horrible – truly horrible; death of loved ones, rebellious children, unfaithful spouses – the list goes on.

But we’re called to rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulation, consider it all joy when going through various trials – and He never said not to praise Him or to tell of His acts of mercy during the hard times.

Maybe I’m talking to myself more than anyone else. After all, when was the last time that I made a point of praising the LORD and sharing about His goodness – specifically when I felt like half my world was falling apart? How often do I let a simple thing such as a headache or even my recent bronchitis, make me lose sight of the mercies and blessings of a gracious Father? And when I do recognize and think about them – do I share them?

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever: with my mouth will I make known His faithfulness to all generations. So says the Psalmist.

He didn’t say, when all went well he would sing and make known – he said forever. Forever defined equals “at all times: used to indicate that something happens or is done continuously, repetitively, or on every occasion.”

Continuously singing of His mercies and making known His faithfulness.

Repetitively. And on every occasion.

To the KING be all the glory!

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Filed under By the Fireside

~I Know…

I was doing so well at posting and then… I quit. I’m not gone for good though. (LORD willing, at least!)

I have several posts in progress and several writing projects, as well as a giant reading project, to post about, so I should be back soon! Maybe even tomorrow! :)

To the KING be all the glory!

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~Tongue of Steel

Can’t anyone see, the sword that lies
So easily within their grasp?
Don’t they realize just how often,
They unsheathe and quickly clasp?

Can’t they see the blood run down
From the hearts they nimbly shred?
Instead, they sharpen blade and steel,
And plunge again instead.

Can’t they see the falling tears
That run from lid to cheek?
Instead, they wipe their blade again,
Admiring the shape so sleek.

Can’t they see the shoulders bow –
Know the searing they inflict?
Instead, they simply seem to see
Another victorious conflict.

Can’t they see – oh! can’t they see? –
The hidden, ripping pain?
When they unsheathe their tongue – their sword!
And thrust it in again!

They rip and tear, hack and saw
Without a thought or taking heed;
If only, in their bringing down,
They might happily succeed.

Don’t they realize – don’t they see? –
That they have gone too far?
There is a time to use their sword –
But in love, not just to mar!

There is a better purpose for
This intrinsic work of steel.
There are times to cause a wound,
But, oh! so many times to heal!

To help to stitch the heart in shreds
And assist to dry saddened tears;
To strengthen shoulders, easing pain,
And praying during aches and fears.

To use our swords, in love and wisdom,
Daily – can not we strive and pray?
Wounding in love, but healing more,
As we go from day to day.

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of the sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18

To the KING be all the glory!

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Filed under By the Fireside, In the Poet's Corner

~Kidnapped – A Review

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My sister really wanted me to read Robert Louis Steveson’s book, Kidnapped, so late last summer, I got it from the library. (Actually, I wrote this review months ago and just never got around to posting it!)

The Author:
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Scotland in 1850. First studying law, by 1880 Mr. Stevenson had forsaken law school and was entrenched in his writing career. Beginning with essays and pieces of non-fiction published in magazines, he didn’t publish his first novel until 1883. In 1880 Robert Louis Stevenson married an American named Fanny Osborne. He wrote a small handful of novels in his lifetime, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the well-known Treasure Island. He died in 1894, at the very young age of 44.

Technical Details:
Kidnapped was originally published in 1886. The book I read was published by Harvill. They published the book in 1994. 314 pages long, Kidnapped is divided into 30 chapters. (Note: I didn’t read this on my Kindle, I just forgot to take a picture before the book went back to the library!)

The Story:
Both of David Balfour’s parents have recently died and his father left instructions for his son, telling him to make his way to the House of Shaws. So, Davie sets out, only to arrive at the house and find the owner dead-set against him – and for reasons that he doesn’t understand.

When David starts to unravel the mystery of Shaws and further, decides to stand up to the man of the house, the unexpected happens; he gets shanghaied. And that’s only the beginning. The following months bring sickness, exile, and fear for his life. He runs, he goes hungry, he endures the cold – he suffers as a slave, fights in battles, witnesses murder, nearly sinks to his death…  David begins to wonder if he’ll ever return from the land of misery again.

The Writing Style:
I really enjoy Mr. Stevenson’s writing style. He certainly has a brilliant way with words!

I did find his character descriptions lacking feature-wise every now and then, but not enough to really hurt the story.

AS for being in first person; Mr. Stevenson carried it off very well. So well, in fact that I often forgot to even think about the form. David’s personality was portrayed in the narration to be sure, but the book was still beautifully written.

The Characters:
David Balfour was a well rounded character. Heroic, yet capable of wrong doing, he came off very realistic.

Then, there was Alan of Breck, whose actual character I will address more later. As a major secondary character, he didn’t have as much depth as David, but he was colorful and well developed.

Of all the characters, besides David, it’s one of the more minor antagonists that stand out to me the most. Mr. Stevenson described his personality and actions so well, that I can picture the man with great clarity.

Unlike Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped had a plethora of characters, some only introduced for very small sections, never to be heard from again. This added an almost whimsical touch, especially since these characters were written as brilliantly and colorfully as the main characters.

A Few More Thoughts:
Alan of Breck. He bothered me. The man was so very set on revenge! Granted, the governor who he wanted dead did commit some cruel acts. Still; “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the LORD.” (Romans 12:19)

And again: “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

David did tell Alan that his actions were unchristian, but as much as I liked that David stood up for righteous behavior, I wish that he had used Scripture and really confronted his friend.

Cautions:
Minor language is about all I can think of…

Conclusion:
I really enjoyed Kidnapped. The writing, the scenery (did I mention the setting is Scotland?!), the characters… Definitely a book I would recommend!

 To the KING be all the glory!

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