Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Onward and upward

I find that my so-called "idle" moments are when most of the groundwork for my next steps are laid. I was taking an introvert break from a party at church, and found a couple of books in the church library that are proving very timely.

One was the biography of Amy Carmichael by Frank Houghton, where I found a very remarkable item from this woman who became a mother to many. In her words:
You may hear of a bad night, and of a very difficult thing that has to be done today--something that will call for spiritual energy, for the human will be useless.  I want you to know that if this has to be so, all is well.  For many years I have almost every morning "remembered His death"--a morsel of bread, a few drops of water (He still turns water into wine)--and something happens.  I can't say more, only I am conscious of life received....I have marked this letter "private", as to talk of it, even to write of it, is rather like pulling the petals off a flower.
The other was a book by Catherine Marshall, Meeting God at Every Turn, that I first read several years ago. This reading gave me a straight answer to a spiritual question that I've been chewing on for a while. A helpful quote on another topic:
Reckon without God?  We'd better not, not in any area of life, if we are serous about knowing reality and about achieving our full potential.  For our God never considers our work as merely a way to earn a living--so much an hour, so much a year.  He has given each of us the gift of life with a specific purpose in view.  To Him work is a sacrament, even what we consider unimportant, mundane work.  When done "as unto the Lord," it can have eternal significance.
It is therefore important to Him that we discover what our particular aptitudes and talents are; then that we use those talents to His glory and their maximum potential during our all-too-brief time on earth.  
Catherine Marshall also had a lot to teach about hearing and following the Holy Spirit; our church small group is working through a book on the Spirit.

In more practically-oriented news, I was going to use a piece of scrap pine to make a row of coat hooks by the front door. But then I was inspired to think of a wrought iron rack, which would fit in better with the decor...and I realized that I didn't have to make one, we actually had a small one already, in the garage. (Well, fake wrought iron; cast iron from the Seventies.) It took only a few minutes to put it up with wall anchors and screws.

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