Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Days

A meadow not far from home

These summer days, I awaken every morning with excitement. The girls are home. Need I say more?

Most mornings we are up early to walk or run before the sun starts to bear down. After our time on the track, we come home to enjoy a cup of iced coffee along with a refreshing breakfast. Curt is soon off to the office, and before long somebody is teaching, somebody cleaning, weeding, or scoring music, somebody practicing, reading, or writing.

Because we start early, the day seems luxuriously long. It's so good to live with people who are being made into the image of Jesus.
"Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~ Henry James
I trust your summer days are filled with joy as are mine!

With a grateful heart,

Monday, July 18, 2016

LaRae's new blog - Like A Pleasant Thought

LaRae visiting Cambridge
before heading home this summer
LaRae has started her own blog, so her Master's Monday posts will no longer be posted in full on fergyfamforum. If you'd like to continue reading her posts, here is the link.

It's so good to have her home
for at least a couple of months.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Master’s Monday: A Real and Costly Love

Cambridge, England

 Dear all,

            I’ve been thinking again about that whole “speaking the truth in love” admonition that I’ve written about before. What does it really mean to love someone when speaking the truth to them?

            At first, it may seem like a no-brainer. If you love someone, you have no reason to lie to them. Of course we are honest with our loved ones. We want them to be honest with us, right?

            But what about when the truth (at least as best as we can perceive it) hurts? What about when it is scary? When it might damage the relationship or bring pain to another or destabilize one’s confidence and sense of self-worth? What does it mean to love then?

            At its simplest, love is about caring. Caring about another person, one of God’s beloved. Some of us find it easy to care about another’s feelings, his emotions, experiences, and history. We tend to shy away from saying anything that might cause pain in the present moment. And that is certainly a component of what it means to care about another person.

            But the other side of Christlike care, which I often find harder to act upon, is that which recognizes every moment of an individual’s life as part of a much larger trajectory. It is the kind of care that gives thought not only to who a person is at this particular moment, but also who that person is becoming. The care that feels the heavy responsibility of human interaction; that considers carefully how every action and reaction leaves a mark on two or three or infinitely many pliable human souls; that sees upon each man and woman’s shoulders the weight of eternal destiny, and bears that burden with them in a heart filled with Christlike sympathy.

            As per usual, C. S. Lewis puts it much better than I can: “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.”

            These are weighty words. Lord, help me strive this week to embrace the “real and costly love” of Christ, to refuse to allow my feeling for others to remain at a merely superficial level, but to care deeply and lastingly about my fellow immortal creatures.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jesus, priceless Treasure

By Johann Franck, 1618-1677

1. Jesus, priceless Treasure,
Fount of purest pleasure,
Truest Friend to me.
Ah, how long in anguish
Shall my spirit languish,
Yearning, Lord, for Thee?
Thou art mine, O Lamb divine!
I will suffer naught to hide Thee,
Naught I ask beside Thee.

2. In Thine arms I rest me;
Foes who would molest me
Cannot reach me here.
Though the earth be shaking,
Every heart be quaking,
Jesus calms my fear.
Lightnings flash And thunders crash;
Yet, though sin and hell assail me,
Jesus will not fail me.

3. Satan, I defy thee;
Death, I now decry thee;
Fear, I bid thee cease.
World, thou shalt not harm me
Nor thy threats alarm me
While I sing of peace.
God's great power Guards every hour;
Earth and all its depths adore Him,
Silent bow before Him.

4. Hence, all earthly treasure!
Jesus is my Pleasure,
Jesus is my Choice.
Hence, all empty glory!
Naught to me thy story
Told with tempting voice.
Pain or loss, Or shame or cross,
Shall not from my Savior move me
Since He deigns to love me.

5. Evil world, I leave thee;
Thou canst not deceive me,
Thine appeal is vain.
Sin that once did blind me,
Get thee far behind me,
Come not forth again.
Past thy hour, O pride and power;
Sinful life, thy bonds I sever,
Leave thee now forever.

6. Hence, all fear and sadness!
For the Lord of gladness,
Jesus, enters in.
Those who love the Father,
Though the storms may gather,
Still have peace within.
Yea, whate'er I here must bear,
Thou art still my purest Pleasure,
Jesus, priceless Treasure!