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"With God nothing shall be impossible!" Luke 1:37
Let us mark the mighty principle which the angel Gabriel lays down to silence all objections about the incarnation: "With God nothing shall be impossible."
A hearty reception of this great principle is of immense importance to our own inward peace. Questions and doubts will often arise in men's minds about many subjects in religion. They are the natural result of our fallen estate of soul.
Our faith at the best is very feeble. Our knowledge at its highest is clouded with much infirmity. And among many antidotes to a doubting, anxious, questioning state of mind, few will be found more useful than that before us now--a thorough conviction of God's omnipotence. With Him who called the world into being and formed it out of nothing--everything is possible. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
Let principles like these be continually before our minds. The angel's maxim is an invaluable remedy. Faith never rests so calmly and peacefully--as when it lays its head on the pillow of God's omnipotence!
(J.C. Ryle via Grace Gems)
If I am not hopeful in the little things, like a rocky friendship, or laziness, or thoughtlessness, or self-aggrandizement, then I cannot be hopeful in the big things that touch the lives of those around me, like terminal cancer, crime, oppression, alcoholism, same sex attraction, divorce, prodigal children, teen pregnancies, death . . . the list goes on.
“I am hopeful,” I said. “I really am,” I added when my friend looked at me somewhat skeptically. We’d been discussing a challenging situation we were both trying to process biblically. We had neither of us evidence to believe things were going to change, so it was no wonder I received this hesitant look from her.
“I have no choice but to be hopeful,” I thought later after I received word of a heartbreaking moral failing from someone close to me.
Although we reside in the Lord's garden, the inclination of our still-fleshly lives is to choose our own path for growth. We strive for reproduction of ourselves, more of me! more of me! But God has a way to strengthen and beautify us, drawing forth applause and glory---more of Him! more of Him! And as happens in the cycle of growth, that often involves deadheading and affliction. (Scroll down or click Read more.)
I was so excited to send the photo I'd just taken to my daughter.
Just three days before, these flowers were freebies at the local garden center. They were wilted and straggly, with droopy, dead and shriveled up blossoms and overgrown rootballs. I wish I'd taken a "before" picture so you could see how hopeless they looked. Still, Joy begged me to take some home.
He didn't resort to the socially-correct construct of letting people make their own decisions, no matter how unwise or deadly they may be; he insisted she was wrong about her condition and pressed in when she would have him abandon her to her fate. He held on to her, relying on strength and compassion and human warmth and moral conviction. (Scroll down or click Read more.)
Here in Pittsburgh, it's not unusual to read a story about a save -- they're regularly in the sports section during the months of October through June when the Penguins play hockey. But yesterday (June 28) a sports-connected story appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (by Stephen J. Nesbitt and Steph Chambers) about a whole other kind of save.
by J.R. Miller, published 1913
The plates, cups, and vases we use in our homes lay once as clay in the earth, quiet and restful. Then men came with picks, and the clay was crudely torn out and beaten and ground in the mill, and pressed under weights, then shaped by the potter's hand, then put into the furnace and burned, at last coming forth in beauty — to begin a history of usefulness. If the clay could speak, it might cry out, but the end proves that what seemed destruction — was its making into beauty and value. (Scroll down or click Read more.)
Someone has been making a little calculation which is interesting. A bar of iron of a certain size, in its rough state, is worth five dollars. If it be made into horseshoes, it is worth twelve dollars. When it has been put through certain processes and then made into needles, instead of horseshoes, its value is increased to three hundred and fifty dollars. The same piece of iron, however, made into knife blades, becomes worth three thousand dollars; and made into balance springs for watches, is increased in value to the enormous sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. These figures are not perfect, but it is no doubt true, that a bar of iron is capable of becoming worth a great deal more than in its rough state which it would bring in the market.
It's easy to get weary of pouring out into others' lives when our vision is marred by a distorted view of ourselves. But as Elisabeth stated in that last quote I provided above, "We receive His poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others." (Scroll down or click Read more.)
The sage wisdom of Elisabeth Elliot, who died two years ago yesterday, is resonating with power and grace through the lives of thousands of women she touched in her lifetime, and still to today through countless resources. She spoke with clarity and passion about everyday moments lived through the filter of surrender to Christ. She was masterful at weaving into anecdotes the concepts of God's sovereignty, Christian contentment, courageous living in Christ, and joyful suffering through human affliction, making doctrine more accessible for many women who had grown up in the church but never considered theology an attractive pursuit.
My shriveled little heart was pricked by conviction in the past week. It was ugly, let me tell you. The bottom line: I have treasured an idol fashioned out of my ability to presume others' guilt and perceived hypocrisy. I have forgotten--nay, dismissed as folly--the supernatural work of spiritual rebirth, done God's way, in God's methods, with his timing, and under his direction.
We've done some room arranging here at #thereyougothinkingagain. I hope it will make it easier to find specific articles or posts of a particular genre.
Until recently, most of the writing on this blog was driven by Bible studies, conversations, observations, and meditations on Christian life. As I've ventured into contributing pieces for other platforms or publications as well as produce some very genre-specific writing, it just seems to make sense to categorize those posts into separate pages here.
"A Child is in the Well!", by James Smith, was written in 1860. Grace Gems shared it about 6 years ago, and because I shared it on social media, it ended up in my throwback feed. Enjoy.
by James Smith, 1860
My brother sometimes sends me a subject for my pen, and a letter just received from him contains the following account:
"A child is in the well! A child is in the well!"
It is now more than fifty years since I heard that cry. It was a terrible scream, and it is as fresh in my memory, as when it was first uttered by that affrighted woman
Laura Miller aka mrsdkmiller
Looking for a list of articles published around the web?
Looking for posts written in response to 5-Minute Friday prompts? Click here:
Her March Isn't Over
Across the River
When God Pries My Fingers Off My Children
Life's Defining Moments
To the Christian Wife Who Berated Her Husband in Front of My Daughter
Zeal and Grace in France
An Unconventional Love Story
Seeing What's in Front of Our Eyes
Remembering Why I Called You Hannah
Love Your Sister.
Because He Came Home
Go Valiantly! A Prayer for New Homeschooling Moms
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
2015-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to #thereyougothinkingagain, lauraenglandmiller, or Laura E Miller with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.