Friday, July 17, 2009

Whispers of His Power: God's Strength

Amy Carmichael's love for the Lord and whole-hearted service are an inspiration to me. I've been reading Whispers of His Power, a daily devotional book, and these two devotionals were a help to me recently.
July 7
Psalm 39:13 - O spare me, that I may recover strength (Kay): That I may smile again.
Amos 8:8-9 - The Lord . . . that strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
According to Young, the Hebrew word balag used in these two verses means "to brighten up, encourage, comfort." It is a lovely prayer to use when we feel weary and dull. "Lord, brighten me up; encourage me."
All of us who are fighting the Lord's battles know only too well what it is to appear as the spoiled before the strong. Here is His promise for us then. The Lord will strengthen us so that the fortress will be taken and the Lord Himself will triumph. What more could we want?
July 15
Proverbs 8:14 - Counsel is Mine and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
Job 28:23 - God understandeth the way thereof and He knoweth the place thereof.
God understands. There are no ways and no places that He does not understand.
Have you ever thought what a tremendous difference it would make to our lives if this were not true? Imagine the feelings of a soldier if he had good reason to doubt that his commanding officer understood the situation. We are soldiers. Our Commander understands. His understanding is infinite (Ps. 147:5). Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident (Ps. 27:3).
Because of His infinite understanding, God knows that we want to be sure that the One who says He understands has been through the mill Himself. And so we have this wonderful touch of His special understanding in Proverbs 8, where it is clear that the speaker is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I am Understanding. I, the Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief, I who was tempted in all points just as you are, I am Understanding.
It is restful to be understood, to be with one who never misjudges. Let us rest in His presence today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Books I read in June 2009

Well, now that we're half way through August, I figured I'd better at least briefly mention the books I read in June and July. I was on vacation during those months, so I was able to read significantly more than normal. I haven't read nearly as much since starting in-service at the beginning of August. Christian Living: Safely Home by Randy Alcorn This is a novel, but I put it under Christian Living because it definitely wasn't "fun" to read. I profited greatly from reading this fictionalized account of the underground church in China. I highly recommend this book! Let Me be a Woman by Elizabeth Elliot Written as letters or essays to her daughter during her engagement to Walter, this book had an intimate feel to it. I'll probably reread this book someday if I ever get married because a lot of the book applies to married women. There were a couple of gems of chapters for single women. A Chance to Die by Elizabeth Elliot Incredible book! When my roommate finishes reading it, I'm going to read it again. This book has provided much food for thought over the last few weeks and spurred me on to read as much by and about Amy Carmichael as possible. I've mentioned before that I read her collection of devotional thoughts, Whispers of His Power, every morning and this week Pastor gave me a collection of her poems, Toward Jerusalem, to read.
Professional Development Grammar Girl by Mignon Fogarty
This book provides quick answers to some of the most common and most difficult grammar questions you'll face. Mignon Fogarty writes with a light-hearted style that is fun and easy to understand and remember. I also read the Grammar Girl's newsletter and listen to her podcast.
Fun: My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber Short, funny book. These chapters could be easily cut for humorous interp speeches. I love the story "The Night the Bed Fell" and "The Day the Dam Broke." Thurber is such a great author. Redwall by Brian Jacques I wish I had read this book about 15 years ago; I think I would have read the whole series! I probably won't now, but I really enjoyed this book. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman I cannot recommend this book. At first, I thought, "Why was there so much controversy about this series?" And then I got within a few pages of the end and was greatly dismayed by the blasphemy!
I'd write more, but I really want to get this posted. There is no way in the world I'd ever give this book to a child to read. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card I really enjoyed this book. So far, I've liked everything I've read in the Ender series.
I reread: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23