Saturday, May 23, 2009
When we moved to Apple Valley, our neighbor Eric told us that we had some Creeping Charlie edging into our yard from another yard. "Put some vinegar on it," he said, " or it will be all over your yard." Well, there was school to do, jeans to wash, floors to mop, visits to make, hair to braid and granola to bake. And the Creeping Charlie crept quietly into the yard, inch by inch. This spring a fine network of roots supported lush, generous, stubborn patches of the weed. It has taken over half of the garden, and I despair of planting anything.
So is the potency and subtly of sin. We excuse little sins, not realizing they are the nose of the camel in the door of the tent. All sin is vile and against our good. The Banner of Truth Trust has published a pocket booklet called Impure Lust by John Flavel (a puritan). One of the directions Flavel gives for staying out of the pit of impure lust is to eat moderately. What? Yes. "Fullness of bread and idleness were the sins of Sodom that occasioned such an exuberancy of lust. 'They are like fed horses, every one neighing after his neighbour's wife. When I fed them to the full, then they committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.' (Jer.5:7-8)
Let's not fool ourselves into thinking that some sin is of no consequence. I thought that of a few shoots of Creeping Charlie. And I often think that of overeating. May God give us repentance and grace to choose to suffer rather than sin.
All of us have our imbalances. If one of yours is a tendency to tend to other's interests to the neglect of your own, you will appreciate Robert E. Lee's advice:
"You must be aware of one thing, that those you deal with will consider their advantage and not yours. So, while being fair and just, you must not neglect your interests."
"It is the part of benevolence to aid all we can and sympathize with all who are in need; it is the part of wisdom to attend to our own affairs."
This agrees with Paul who says "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Paul assumes we will look to our own interests.
Just be careful to keep the balance.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
A Red Sea Place
Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul "Go on."
And His hand will lead you through - clear through -
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dryshod
In the path that your Lord will make.
In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea,
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall no more be afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.
Annie Johnson Flint
I am so glad to find this poem on line. It is an old favorite that I lost. Pictures are helpful. This picture has been a sweet comfort to me more than once.