Sunday May 28th, 2023, 4:12 am
Having guests for the weekend, I’ve opted to remain home this Sunday morning. Typically, this Memorial Day weekend is often spent alone. And an honored time when supreme rest and thankfulness of those who came before me comes easily. Although I’ve had many topics of interest placed before me, the scheduled bandwidth given to me this month has not offered much room to write. But this very early Sunday, I decided, was a good moment, over any other.
I woke up thinking, this season in Colorado is truly wonderful. Cooler nights and mornings, sunny days, and a thunderstorm or two in the afternoons. As I was making fresh cheese early one morning last week, I heard a radio personality say, ‘we are highly blessed and favored to live here, especially when Spring comes.’ My heart replied, ‘I agree.’
Because I have biscuits and more fresh cheese to make, to accompany breakfast, I won’t be here too long. However, I’ll just share another thing I have been up to.
A childhood friend who lives in Scotland contacted me recently. We’d lost touch for a while now. I was overjoyed I remembered her family from some parts of my childhood. I recollect her father as a knowledgeable person who encouraged me to read as much as I could. My friend’s father was quite a down-to-earth intellectual, and I credited a lot of my own willingness to learn as much as I can, to his guidance. My friend’s father left a good impression. But most importantly, he was deeply devoted to God. And one impression of my friend is that she is too!
In our occasional communications via email, we discuss the works of Spurgeon, Edwards, Flavell, Newton, Burroughs, Edwards, Bunyan, and many other preachers of the old. If you are not too familiar with these last names, please reach out, and I’ll be happy to share some of their profound works with you.
I find such delight in these communications.
Like this one:
“The devote soul and body, every talent, power, and faculty, to the service of His cause and will; to let our light shine (in our several situations) to the praise of His grace; to place our highest joy in the contemplation of His adorable perfections; to rejoice even in tribulations, and distresses, in reproaches and infirmities, if thereby the power of Christ may rest upon us and be magnified in us; to be content, yea, glad to be nothing that He may be all in all; to obey Him in opposition to the threats or solicitations of men; to trust Him, though all outward appearances, seem against us; to rejoice in Him, though we should (as will sooner or later be the case) have nothing else to rejoice in; to live above the world and to have our conversations in heaven; to be like the angels, finding our own pleasure in performing His-this, my Lord, is the prize, the mark of our high calling, to which we are encouraged with a holy ambition to continue to aspire.”
–John Newton (1772)
When this was received via email. I was astonished, inspired, reflective, purposeful, dubious (based on my own thoughts and doings. Do I measure up? I asked myself), and consultative (with friends). I’ve even expanded my creativity, by designing cards for National Creativity Day, offering this quote reminder. As an annual mid-year check-in, I’ll mail each card to close friends.
Reader, I have discussed in each reflection on this website, microscopic elements of our most wonderful and glorious God. He is so great that I cannot even fathom or even attempt to write everything about Him. That would be impossible to do! However, it is in these gestures that I encourage, share the only truth I know, respond to your questions, speak my heart, and worship our Lord. No matter what’s happening in our lives, let’s do our utmost best to praise Him, and Him alone.
So, as we stroll into the remainder of this weekend, let’s enjoy family, remember those who are no longer with us, reach out to dear friends and thank them for being a friend, and pray for those who continue to persecute us (Matt. 5 v. 44). Now, I know this last suggestion is tough at times, but to ease our hearts, it is a necessary step to contentment.
In his letter of 1772, Newton continued to say.
“It is true, we shall still fall short; we shall find that, when we would do good, evil will be present with us. But the attempt is glorious, and shall not be wholly in vain. He who gives us thus to desire, will enable us to perform with growing success, and teach us to profit, even by our mistakes and imperfections.” (See: 1 Corinthians 10 v. 13, too)
Newton, J. (1772). What Christians ought to be. John Newton Letters