Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If our lives were as good as our prayers

If we only tried seriously to live up to our praying—it would have a powerful effect upon our character and conduct!

There is no prayer that most Christians make oftener—than that they may be made like Christ. It is a most fitting prayer, and one that we should never cease to make. But if we very earnestly wish to be transformed into Christ's likeness—we will find the desire growing into great intensity in our daily lives, and transforming them. It will affect every phase of our behavior and conduct. It will hold before us continually, the image of our Lord, and will keep ever in our vision—a new standard . . .of thought, of feeling, of desire, of act, of speech.

It will keep us asking all the while, such questions as these, "How would Jesus feel about this—if He were personally in my circumstances? What would Jesus do—if He were here today where I am?"

There is always danger of mockeries and insincerities in our praying for spiritual blessings. The desires are to be commended. God approves of them and will gladly bestow upon us the more grace we ask for: the increase in love, the greater faith, the purer heart, the new advance in holiness.

But these are attainments which are not bestowed upon us directly, as gifts from heaven. We have much to do in securing them. When we ask for spiritual blessings or favors, the Master asks, "Are you able to pay the price, to make the self-denial, to give up the things you love—in order to reach these attainments in holiness, in grace, in spiritual beauty?"

If our lives were as good as our prayers, we would be saint-like in character.

If we find that our prayers are beyond our living, our duty is not to lower them to suit the tenor of our living—but to bring our lives up to the higher standard of our praying!

 -  J. R. Miller, "Living up to our Prayers" 1905

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Request to A Wife

Dear Wife, I need adoring looks
The Kind I read about in books
I want esteem, I want affection
Please, darling, beam in my direction

Don't, dearest, frown and squint your eyes
Don't cut me down to proper size
Oh, do not fear and do not doubt me.
I want to hear the good about me

So, if you'd be in married clover,
Make over me.
Don't make me over

 -Richard Armour

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Faults and Friends

"Every man should have a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends."
- Henry Brooks Adams

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The best recipe for cheerfulness

(J. C. Ryle)

Some without doubt, have a larger cup of sorrow to drink than others. But few are to be found who live long without sorrows or cares of one sort or another.  Our bodies, our property, our families, our children, our relations, our servants, our friends, our neighbors, our worldly callings, each and all of these are foundations of care.  

Sicknesses, deaths, losses, disappointments, partings, separations, ingratitude, slander, all these are common things.  We cannot get through life without them.  Some day or other they find us out.

The greater are our affections, the deeper are our afflictions.  The more we love, the more we have to weep.  What is the best recipe for cheerfulness in such a world as this? How shall we get through this valley of tears with least pain?  I know no better recipe than the habit of taking everything to God in prayer.