Streams in The Desert

By L. W. Cowman

I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness…And I will give her her vineyards from thence (Hosea 2:14-15).

A strange place to find vineyards–in the wilderness! And can it be that the riches which a soul needs can be obtained in the wilderness, which stands for a lonely place, out of which you can seldom find your way? It would seem so, and not only that, but the “Valley of Achor,” which means bitterness, is called a door of hope. And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth!

Yes, God knows our need of the wilderness experience. He knows where and how to bring out that which is enduring. The soul has been idolatrous, rebellious; has forgotten God, and with a perfect self-will has said, “I will follow after my lovers.” But she did not overtake them. And, when she was hopeless and forsaken, God said, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”

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What Did President Obama Say About Modern-Day Christianity That Wasn’t True?

Pat:

Oh yes the “Truth” is hard to deal with when it “Stirs Old Memories”! But the “Truth” will stand God is seeing to that!!

Originally posted on Denise Thornton:

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So-called Right-wing and the like are all up in arms about President Obama comparing Modern-Day Christianity to some Islamic dirty deeds. If the comparison is so absurd, it should be easy to explain why the president’s views are outrageous. Surely it can’t be just because he’s a Black man, audacious enough to speak his mind???

Granted, he is still the most persecuted president on earth, but this is a bit much.

What does insulting Christianity mean anyway? What Christians should be worried about is insulting God, by not being truthful about the state of modern-day Christianity, and the Sins of the fathers.

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At the end of the day it’s clear President Obama is not totally off base, but some people don’t want to deal with ugly truth, even those who profess to be Christians.

Christians are continuing a plight of creating an ugly unGodly legacy, as we speak. Trying to…

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A New Garment

“No man seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment.” – Mark 2:21
Christ did not come into this world to patch up an old religion, merely to mend a hole here, and beautify a spot there, and add a touch to this part or that; he came to make all things new. And when he saves a sinner, he does not propose merely to mend him up a little here and there, to cover over some bad spots in him, and to close up rents in his character by strong patches of the new cloth of grace. Gospel work is not patchwork. Christ does not sew on pieces; he weaves a new garment without seam throughout.

So we may try from without to make human character lovely; but there is sin in its very fiber, and the blemishes will ever work out and mar all. The only way is to have a new heart, and then the beauty will be real and will endure. A mother lost by death a lovely and precious child — her only child. To occupy her heart and hand in some way about her vanished treasure, and thus fill the empty hours, she took up a photograph of her child and began to touch it with her skillful fingers. Soon, as she wrought, the features became almost lifelike. The picture was then laid away for a few days, and when she sought it again, the eyes were dimmed and the face was marred with ugly blotches. Patiently she went over it a second time, and the bewitching beauty came again. A second time it was laid away, and again the blotches appeared. There was something wrong in the paper on which the photograph had been taken. There were chemicals lurking in it which in some way marred the delicate colors, and no amount of repainting could correct the faults. So is it in human lives. No outside reform is enough, for all the while the heart is evil within, and it sends up its pollution, staining the fairest beauty. The change that is permanent must be wrought in the heart.

Streams in The Desert

By: L. W. Cowman

The Lord hath sent strength for thee (Ps.68.28, PBV).

The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust.

“As thy days, so shall thy strength be”—strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement.

“The Lord is my strength” to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery.

“The Lord is my strength” to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.

“The Lord is my strength” to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint. I heard a man say the other day concerning his growing physical frailty, “It is the coming down that tires me!”

“The Lord is my strength” to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, “If only I could do something!”

When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength.

“The Lord is my strength!” “Our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5. from The Silver Lining

Streams in The Desert

By : L. W. Cowman

For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faithof God without effect? (Rom. 3:3).

I think that I can trace every scrap of sorrow in my life to simple unbelief. How could I be anything but quite happy if I believed always that all the past is forgiven, and all the present furnished with power, and all the future bright with hope because of the same abiding facts which do not change with my mood, do not stumble because I totter and stagger at the promise through unbelief, but stand firm and clear with their peaks of pearl cleaving the air of Eternity, and the bases of their hills rooted unfathomably in the Rock of God. Mont Blanc does not become a phantom or a mist because a climber grows dizzy on its side.
–James Smetham

Is it any wonder that, when we stagger at any promise of God through unbelief, we do not receive it? Not that faith merits an answer, or in any way earns it, or works it out; but God has made believing a condition of receiving, and the Giver has a sovereign right to choose His own terms of gift.
–Rev. Samuel Hart

Unbelief says, “How can such and such things be?” It is full of “hows”; but faith has one great answer to the ten thousand “hows,” and that answer is–GOD!
–C. H. M.

No praying man or woman accomplishes so much with so little expenditure of time as when he or she is praying.

If there should arise, it has been said–and the words are surely true to the thought of our Lord Jesus Christ in all His teaching on prayer—if there should arise ONE UTTERLY BELIEVING MAN, the history of the world might be changed.

Will YOU not be that one in the providence and guidance of God our Father?
–A. E. McAdam

Prayer without faith degenerates into objectless routine, or soulless hypocrisy. Prayer with faith brings Omnipotence to back our petitions. Better not pray unless and until your whole being responds to the efficacy of your supplication. When the true prayer is breathed, earth and heaven, the past and the future, say Amen. And Christ prayed such prayers.
–P. C. M.

Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.

Faithless Fear

“They awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” –Mark 4:38
These words imply that the disciples thought Jesus was indifferent to them in their danger — that he was neglecting them by sleeping while they were exposed to such peril. But how unjust was this reproach! They were never safer than they were that moment, in the midst of the wild tempest. The bark that bore the Lord could not sink in the sea. Faith should have trusted in the darkness.

Yet do we never, at least in our hearts, make the same complaint of our Lord? When we are in some sore trial, and the trial grows very sore, and he does not come to deliver us; when we seem about to be engulfed by the waves of adversity, and no relief comes down from him do we never say, “Jesus does not care though I perish”? When we pray long and with importunity for the lifting away of some heavy cross, or the lightening of some sore burden, and no answer comes, does the thought never arise in our minds that Jesus does not hear us, or that he does not come to us?

But such complaint is never just. Sometimes he may seem not to care. The disciples had some lessons to learn. One was, how helpless they were in themselves in the world’s dangers. Another was, that Christ alone could deliver them. They could not learn these lessons save in the storm with the Master asleep. So there are similar lessons that we never can learn until Christ withholds his help for a time. And sometimes he hides himself for a season just to teach us faith. But he is never indifferent to us. He never neglects nor forgets us. His heart ever wakes and watches, and at the right moment he comes and brings deliverance. We should learn to trust our Lord so confidently that in any hour of danger we can nestle down in his bosom, without fear or anxiety, and let him take care of us.

Repenting of Racism

Pat:

Good Post! Lord help us!

Originally posted on Revolutionary Faith:

Art on the Charleston shooting by Madeleine Schimming, age 7

When I was in college, I took a public speaking class. One of the last assignments of the semester was to make a 10-minute persuasive speech on a self-selected topic. While most other students chose to do their speeches on abortion and capital punishment, I chose the topic of “oppositional culture” in the African American community. For those of you who don’t know what that is, oppositional culture refers to the way in which black people resist conformity to many aspects of the dominant (i.e., white) culture to avoid being seen as “acting white” by their peers. It is a very controversial theory that has too often been used to overgeneralize the experience of black Americans and blame them for low social and economic achievement.

I delivered this speech to a mixed group of peers at a major…

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Dropping Seeds

“The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed… the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it… becometh a tree.” – Matthew 13:31-32
Many great histories of blessing may be traced back to a very small seed. A woman whose name is forgotten dropped a tract or little book in the way of a man named Richard Baxter. He picked it up and read it, and it led him to Christ. He became a holy Christian, and wrote a book entitled “A Call to the Unconverted,” which brought many persons to the Savior, and among others Philip Doddridge. Philip Doddridge in turn wrote “The Rise and Progress of Religion,” which led many into the kingdom of God, among them the great Wilberforce. Wilberforce wrote “A Practical View of Christianity,” which was the means of saving a multitude, among them Legh Richmond. In his turn Legh Richmond wrote the book called “The Dairyman’s Daughter,” which has been instrumental in the conversion of many thousands.

The dropping of that one little tract seemed a very small thing to do; but see what a wonderful, many-branched tree has sprung from it! This is only one illustration of marvels of grace coming from the most minute grains of the heavenly seed. One seed planted in a heart, dropped by some very humble worker, perhaps unconsciously, may not only save a soul for an eternity of blessedness, but may start a series of divine influences which shall reach thousands of other lives. A simple invitation from his brother brought Simon to Jesus; and what a tree sprang from that seed!

Let us go on, day by day, dropping seeds into as many hearts as we can. We may not always know what comes of them, but from any one of them may spring a history of blessing which shall reach thousands of souls. The branches of the tree from one seed may spread over all lands.

Streams in The Desert

By : L. W. Cowman
You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying, “This is the correct way, walk in it,” whether you are heading to the right or the left. (Isa 30:21)
When we are in doubt or difficulty, when many voices urge this course or the other, when prudence utters one advice and faithanother, then let us be still, hushing each intruder, calming ourselves in the sacred hush of God’s presence; let us study His Word in the attitude of devout attention; let us lift up our nature into the pure light of His face, eager only to know what God the Lord shall determine—and ere long a very distinct impression will be made, the unmistakable forth-telling of His secret counsel.
It is not wise in the earlier stages of Christian life to depend on this alone, but to wait for the corroboration of circumstances. But those who have had many dealings with God know well the value of secret fellowship with Him, to ascertain His will.
Are you in difficulty about your way? Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.
If you will only get alone, where the lights and shadows of earth cannot interfere, where human opinions fail to reach and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, though all around you insist on immediate decision or action—the will of God will be made clear; and you will have a new conception of God, a deeper insight into His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone a rapturous experience, to abide your precious perquisite forever, the rich guerdon of those long waiting hours.
—David
“STAND STILL,” my soul, for so thy Lord commands: 
E’en when thy way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands; 
His arm is mighty to divide the wave. 
“Stand still,” my soul, “stand still” and thou shalt see 
How God can work the “impossible” for thee, 
For with a great deliverance He doth save.
Be not impatient, but in stillness stand, 
Even when compassed ’round on every hand, 
In ways thy spirit does not comprehend. 
God cannot clear thy way till thou art still, 
That He may work in thee His blessed will, 
And all thy heart and will to Him do bend.
“BE STILL,” my soul, for just as thou art still, 
Can God reveal Himself to thee; until 
Through thee His love and light and life can freely flow; 
In stillness God can work through thee and reach 
The souls around thee. He then through thee can teach 
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.
“BE STILL”—a deeper step in faith and rest. 
“Be still and know” thy Father knoweth best 
The way to lead His child to that fair land, 
A “summer” land, where quiet waters flow; 
Where longing souls are satisfied, and “know 
Their God,” and praise for all that He has planned.
—Selected

Streams in The Desert

By: L. W. Cowman
He named the second child Ephraim, saying, “Certainly God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering. (Gen 41:52)

The summer showers are falling. The poet stands by the window watching them. They are beating and buffeting the earth with their fierce downpour. But the poet sees in his imaginings more than the showers which are falling before his eyes. He sees myriads of lovely flowers which shall be soon breaking forth from the watered earth, filling it with matchless beauty and fragrance. And so he sings:

“It isn’t raining rain for me, it’s raining daffodils; 

In every dimpling drop I see wild flowers upon the hills. 

A cloud of gray engulfs the day, and overwhelms the town; 

It isn’t raining rain for me: it’s raining roses down.”

Perchance some one of God’s chastened children is even now saying, “O God, it is raining hard for me tonight.

“Testings are raining upon me which seem beyond my power to endure. Disappointments are raining fast, to the utter defeat of all my chosen plans. Bereavements are raining into my life which are making my shrinking heart quiver in its intensity of suffering. The rain of affliction is surely beating down upon my soul these days.”

Withal, friend, you are mistaken. It isn’t raining rain for you. It’s raining blessing. For, if you will but believe your Father’s Word, under that beating rain are springing up spiritual flowers of such fragrance and beauty as never before grew in that stormless, unchastened life of yours.

You indeed see the rain. But do you see also the flowers? You are pained by the testings. But God sees the sweet flower of faith which is upspringing in your life under those very tr

You shrink from the suffering. But God sees the tender compassion for other sufferers which is finding birth in your soul.

Your heart winces under the sore bereavement. But God sees the deepening and enriching which that sorrow has brought to you.

It isn’t raining afflictions for you. It is raining tenderness, love, compassion, patience, and a thousand other flowers and fruits of the blessed Spirit, which are bringing into your life such a spiritual enrichment as all the fullness of worldly prosperity and ease was never able to beget in your innermost soul.
—J. M. McC.