Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Sunday in Advent - Waiting

"The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction."
Henri Nouwen
Watch for the Light


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Morning Coffee

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  Luke 1:37
“Face it out to the end, cast away every shadow of hope on the human side as an absolute hindrance to the Divine, heap up all the difficulties together recklessly, and pile as many more on as you can find; you cannot get beyond the blessed climax of impossibility.  Let faith swing out to Him.  He is the God of the impossible.   -Selected

Streams in the Desert
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman
I believe I’ll have another cup of coffee and focus on improving my swing!!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
~ W. T. Purkiser


Monday, November 22, 2010

Poetry Book Request

We selected an ornament from the Ronald McDonald tree at our favorite McDonald's.  I loved this young 18 year old's  request for a poetry book.  However now that I have the ornament home and need to pick something out for her, I don't have a clue what to look for.  I was never much of a literature student; math and science were more my thing so I am really at a loss as to what would be a great choice for an 18 year old.  Any suggestions from you writers and English teachers  - or anyone who has a favorite?? (I hate to admit it but I do believe the only poetry book I own is Where the Sidewalk Ends!)


Morning Coffee

Why are some Christians so anxious, so fearful? Evidently because they have not left their way with the Lord. They took it to Him, but brought it away with them again. --Selected
Streams in the Desert
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman

It's time to pour another cup of coffee and consider all of the "ways" that I continue to hold on to.  Completely letting go is so darn difficult!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Morning Coffee

"There is always a smooth piece in every skein, however tangled."
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman

This one thought caught my attention during devotions this morning.  As a novice knitter, a tangled skein is a familiar predicament.  And I am learning - both in my knitting and in my daily life - that the best way to work through a tangled mess, is to do so gently.  Yanking and pulling (and cussing) does no good!!  It only serves to tighten the tangled mess making it harder to overcome.  And life is the same way.  The harder we fight against a knot, the tighter it holds us.

Instead, work gently with the treads, even giving them their way sometimes, and somehow in an often unexplained way, the tangled mess falls apart and the skein becomes smooth again.

I think I'll have a second cup of coffee and gently plan my day!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blessed is he -

“Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”  Luke 7:23
“It is sometimes very difficult not to be offended in Jesus Christ. 
The offenses may be circumstantial.  I find myself in a prison-house – a narrow sphere, a sick chamber, an unpopular position – when I had hoped for wide opportunities.  Yes, but He knows what is best for me.  My environment is of His determining.  He means it to intensify my faith, to draw me into nearer communion with Himself, to ripen my power.  In the dungeon my soul should prosper.

The offense may be mental.  I am haunted by perplexities, questions, which I cannot solve.  I had hoped that, when I gave myself to Him, my sky would always be clear; but often it is overspread by mist and cloud.  Yet let me believe that, if difficulties remain, it is that I may learn to trust Him all the more implicitly – to trust and not be afraid.  Yes, and by my intellectual conflicts, I am trained to be a tutor to other storm-driven men.

The offense may be spiritual.  I had fancied that within His fold I should never feel the biting winds of temptation; but it is best as it is.  His grace is magnified.  My own character is matured.  His heaven is sweeter at the close of the day.  There I shall look back on the turnings and trials of the way, and shall sing the praises of my Guide.  So, let come what will come, His will is welcome; and I shall refuse to be offended in my loving Lord.
– Alexander Smellie

Streams in the Desert
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman


Monday, November 15, 2010

Morning Coffee

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."
~Eleanor Roosevelt

And the realization that the possibilities are endless!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where is your Olivet?

“If I have found grace in thy sight, show me thy glory.” Exodus 33:13

"Who has not in moments of meditation and prayer caught a glimpse of opening gates? Who has not in the secret place of holy communion felt the rush of some white surging wave of emotion – a foretaste of the joy of the blessed?

"The Master had times and places for quiet converse with His disciples, once on the peak of Hermon, but oftener on the sacred slopes of Olivet. Every Christian should have his Olivet. Most of us, especially in the cities and towns, live at high pressure. From early morning until bedtime we are exposed to the whirl. Amid all this maelstrom how little chance for quiet thought, for God’s Word, for prayer and heart fellowship!"

Streams in the Desert
By Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman

I have a chair that has become my Olivet. Early each morning I sit there and enjoy my first cups of coffee. I read the morning paper – and then I read a devotional, pray and write. Over time, this chair has grown to symbolize “quiet time”. Amidst the business of the day, I can take a cup of coffee – and often a piece of chocolate - and sit in this chair and immediately feel a sense of calm and restoration; my whole outlook seems to change. Some might think it just the coffee and chocolate -- but I know it is so much more than that!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Morning Coffee in November

"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air."      


Monday, November 8, 2010

Beginning to Prepare

It’s hard not to begin to plan for the upcoming Christmas season; the stores have been sporting decorations for weeks and retail radio and TV ads already have a decidedly Holiday theme. So I’m sure I’m not alone in my beginning to prepare.  This past week I found two things to use during this season of Christmas. The first is book for Advent devotions - Watch for the Light.

This is the Product Description:
“From Johann Christoph Arnold to Dorothy Day, from Madeline L'Engle to Karl Barth, from Saint Thomas Aquinas to Meister Eckhart, this unparalleled anthology offers wisdom beauty and spiritual nourishment from a wide spectrum of classic and contemporary sources.”
“Containing a selection for each day of the Christmas season, from the last week of November through the first week of January, Watch for the Light can be read through times of leisure or as a guide to daily devotions. Either way it will give new meaning to the phrase ‘holiday preparations.’"
I’m really looking forward to reading and meditating on these various writings and writers.

Secondly, a visit to our favorite thrift store yielded this little treasure. I already have several of these small plastic ornaments from the sixties. So it was fun to find another for my collection. I love the little details – right down to the “Gloria” banner held by the angel.

I think it might be time to bring out the others to enjoy, too.
Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Morning Coffee - Savoring Fellowships

On the last page of the devotional, Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman is an invitation to join the “Streams in the Desert Prayer Fellowship”.

The reader of the book is invited to send her name and address to a "Los Angeles" address and in return she will receive a Membership card “admitting [her] into a fellowship with thousands of readers who pray daily for one another”. She will also receive each issue of the Streams in the Desert Fellowship Letter. (Don’t you wish you could read one of those letters? Can’t you just imagine the excitement on the day the letter arrives in her mailbox?)

This is such a good reminder of how lucky we are today to have the internet and all it provides for us; all of the wonderful blogs, websites and connections that sit at our finger tips just waiting to encourage, inspire or entertain us.

But I wonder who savors their “fellowship” more – Mrs. Cowman’s friend who waits patiently and expectantly for her monthly letter to arrive or someone like me who grabs a few minutes of reading time whenever I pass by my computer; Mrs. Cowman’s friend who, when her fellowship letter does arrive, reads and rereads it (many times I suspect) or someone like me who flits from piece to post, barely staying put for more than a minute or two.

This will be interesting food for thought over my coffee today!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

But Prayer...

November 2
“But prayer…” (Acts 12:5)

"Beware in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ; and expect great things."
Andrew Murray

Streams in the Desert
By Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman


Monday, November 1, 2010

Morning Coffee - Investing pennies

"Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back."
~Thomas Sowell

I believe that while I enjoy my second cup of coffee, I'll consider all of the ways I can invest pennies today!