Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Every day brings me a new conundrum. Without fail, I have to ask myself this question: “What devotional should I read out of?”  Do I really have to force myself to choose between Spurgeon, Edwards, Voices From The Past, and Ryle? Well, if I have the time, I can read all of them. But believe me, in a time crunch, it’s a tough call. Today, however, is Spurgeon. (Charles, not Susannah, although I do enjoy reading her stuff.)  It’s from the “Morning and Evening” devotional. I hope it’s encouraging to you.

Be glad of heart, O believer, but take care that thy gladness has its spring in the Lord. Thou hast much cause for gladness in thy God, for thou canst sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy.” Be glad that the Lord reigneth, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits upon the throne, and ruleth all things! Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That He is wise should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty, should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness. That He is everlasting, should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That He is unchanging, should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory – all this should tend to make us glad in Him. This gladness in God is as a deep river; we have only as yet touched its brink, we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams, but onward the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy. The Christian feels that he may delight himself not only in what God is, but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were wont to think much of God’s actions, and to have a song concerning each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord! Let them tell of His mighty acts, and “sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace show itself in continued thanksgiving. Be glad ye children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tomorrow morning will find me dauntlessly arising early. It’s an occurrence I hope to make into a custom. (I’ve never managed it in the past, but the future is equal to hope, right?) I must say, I’m rather looking forward to it. There is something about walking in crisp autumn mornings that brings a decided air of optimism to my step. Of course, this being Washington, the optimism may be slightly more rainy than usual. Thankfully, I am ok with that too.
At this point, I could use a good dose of optimism. About two times a year, I find myself in a slightly blue funk, mixed with a strong desire to go on a horrendously long roadtrip. I hate to call it like it is, but I think it might be termed discontent, which is ironic, since I recently heard a rather excellent sermon on contentment. With my typical lack of originality, instead of coming up with my own zinging points of conviction to share with you all, I will simply put a link to the sermon.
That being said, I think I will skip over the details of my latest doldrums, as I blog and listen to this sermon once again.
Autumn is on my mind. It’s the gateway to winter, which happens to be my favorite season. Autumn means sweaters are my constant companion, and that I can redundantly wear bright orange scarves. It means re-arranging the living room, so the fireplace becomes the center, rather than the ugly coffee table. No excuse is needed for long walks, and coming home to a cheerful, crackling blaze. There is something about looking in my front window, seeing people relaxing with spiced cider and books, that makes me warm and happy to be home like nothing else does. Summer and spring are wonderful, but the cold seasons create a hearth-appeal like few things can. When I was younger, it meant potential days off of school, but in the last few years, it’s meant enjoying the comfy home times with no school to dread. An added, rather major, bonus is that Fall lighting is fantastic for photography.
I hate the color yellow, but in Autumn, it’s bearable. I generally don’t prefer hot drinks that aren’t caffeinated, but in Fall, I’m willing to drink cider, with no addictive stimulant benefits involved. I don’t like wearing fuzzy socks in summer (in washington, summer isn’t equated with warmth) but in October, sweatshirts and fuzzy socks are acceptable inside. I don’t like sitting for hours at the stove, but in November, it’s worth it, because I’m making caramel. Autumn is a myriad of things. Redheads are in season in the magazines, caramel goes with popcorn, cinnamon goes with pumpkins, and starbucks makes special lattes. We can burn all the spiced ginger candles we got on sale.
Wow. Two long paragraphs of oozing optimism. Maybe we can call it “gushing.” Well, I’ve gushed long enough for this night, and probably bored you out of your mind. My enthusiasm for the season would write several pages, but the late hour (and consideration for your minds….cerebral evac isn’t particularly desirable in readers) forces me to stop where I stand.
Happy Autumn. Happy Winter.