Saturday, September 29, 2007

One By One He Took Them From Me

One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most.
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.

Then I walked earth's highway grieving,
In my rags and poverty;
'Til I heard His voice inviting:
Lift your empty hands to me.

So I held my hands toward Heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
'Til they could contain no more.

Then at last I comprehended
With my stupid mind and dull,
That God could not pour out His riches
Into hands already full.

~By William Cowper~
(I am unsure of the actual title of this poem.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Answers Why

The Answers Why

I asked the Lord one day why there were so many mountains in my life,
So much grief and heartache, so much trouble and strife?
I read His Word very carefully, looking for the answers why,
And deep within my soul, I heard His Spirit reply.

I am working all things out for your good;
Removing the debris that shouldn't be there.
There is so much damage that sin has done,
There is so much I need to repair.
There are works that I am doing - if you could only understand -
I am fulfilling all My promises according to My Plan.

The mountains are for reminding you of My goodness and My love,
The weakness is to cause you to lean upon My arms above.
Rest upon My provision, and trust that I will guide you along Life's way,
And rejoice in My grace and mercy that will lead you safely Home one day.

There's a work I am doing inside your very heart,
So one day up in glory, My likeness to you I will impart;
So don't fret about the things that you don't understand,
Just trust my eternal wisdom, and know it's all according to My Plan.

December 20th, 2002
Jerry Bouey

Being confident of this very thing,
that He which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 1:6

According to the eternal purpose
which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Ephesians 3:11

He Goes Before

Dark is the sky! and veiled the unknown morrow!
Dark is life's way, for night is not yet o'er;
The longed-for glimpse I may not meanwhile borrow;
But, this I know and trust, HE GOES BEFORE.

Dangers are near! and fears my mind are shaking;
Heart seems to dread what life may hold in store;
But I am His - He knows the way I'm taking,
More blessed even still - HE GOES BEFORE.

Doubts cast their weird, unwelcome shadows o'er me,
Doubts that life's best - life's choicest things are o'er;
What but His Word can strengthen, can restore me,
And this blest fact; that still HE GOES BEFORE.

HE GOES BEFORE! Be this my consolation!
He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!
He goes before! This guarantees salvation!
HE GOES BEFORE! And therefore all is well.

J. Danson Smith

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

My Hiding Place

My Hiding Place

Lord, You are my hiding place
through life's stormy gale;
You are my fount of grace
when my strength begins to fail.

Chorus:
Lord, You are my hiding place,
Standing strong and sure,
My refuge in the storms of life,
A fortress that will endure.

You are my hiding place
though enemies surround;
You fill my heart with Your peace -
peace that always abounds.

When my sins come back to haunt me
and I need a hiding place,
You shelter me under Your wings,
and remove all of sin's trace.

Lord, You are my hiding place –
Whom shall I fear?
Why should my soul be cast down
When You are always near?

You are my hiding place -
You took in this lonely waif -
In Jesus, I know I am secure,
I know I'm forever safe.

When the tempests come -
their winds and waves crash over me,
You are my hiding place -
the only place I long to be.

December 25th/02
Jerry Bouey

Thou art my hiding place;
Thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
Thou shalt compass me about
with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalm 32:7

Call Back

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back­;
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky,­
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back,­
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.

- Selected
(Quoted in Streams In The Desert devotional)

Unfolding The Rose

Unfolding The Rose

A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was inquiring of the older preacher. The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the WILL OF GOD for his life and for his ministry. Because of his high respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact... It wasn't long before he realized how impossible it was to do so.

Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older preacher began to recite the following poem...

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
God opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

~© Bryan T. Burgess ~