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Category: Soul Keeping

God in Ordinary

Daily bread reminds us that God’s goodness presents itself to us in ordinary means.  Every leaf and blade of grass and fading flower glorifies Him.  This same God has established ordinary means in his Church to sustain us.  The best preparation for miracles is to learn to enjoy God’s goodness in the ordinary.

My Help

“O MOST mighty and most merciful God … without thee all health is but the fuel, and all strength but the bellows of sin…” (Donne Devotion IV) Our help does not help when it does not address the curvature of sin. It simply abets the sinner’s own bent to self-execution.  The Prodigal’s father did not spare his well-loved son the experience of envying the swine’s supper that he might “come to himself” and yearn for restoration to the Father.  Only a stay of execution will help us.  Satan is quite capable of destroying us by giving us what we want.  Help not from God is but “the bellow of sin”. But “My help cometh from the Lord…” (Psalm 121)  

Blessed Barrenness

God turned Hannah’s barrenness, in the midst of Israel’s barrenness, into blessedness (1Samuel 1:4-20) inviting us to bless God also in our barren times. Hannah’s barrenness parallels Israel’s barrenness. Judges, immediately preceding, describes a national cycle whose overall trend was down. After the people entered the Promised Land they prospered as long as they remembered how hard won were their blessings. But as soon as those died who remembered warfare, prosperity took its toll; they fell away and they brought on themselves all the curses that Moses had predicted in Deuteronomy. When judgment fell, they repented, they called on God, and God sent them a judge who freed them from their enemies. As long as that judge lived they had…

Better Reward

“…thou shalt never envy the luster and glory of the great lights of worldly men, which are great by the infirmity of others, or by their own opinion, great because others think them great, or because they think themselves so, but thou shalt find, that howsoever they magnify their lights, their wit, their learning, their industry, their fortune, their favor, and sacrifice to their own nets, yet thou shalt see,  that thou by thy small light hast gathered Pearl and Amber, and they by their great lights nothing but shells and pebbles.” (Donne)

Out of Our Hands

“So we stand in our parched and barren present, looking forward with confidence to God’s redemption. . . Sure, because of the Spirit’s presence …Our destiny is no longer in our own hands but in God’s hands, who is all powerful, loving, and whose purpose is redemption … The presence of the Spirit shows what final confirmation will be … The fact that the future is in God’s hands where we neither placed it nor from which we can take it away, Paul understands to be the basis of confidence and joy, rather than of fear and pain… because we are in God’s hands, the kind of God who sent his own Son for us (Romans 5:6-10) all things will finally…