June 22, 2010
Well, it's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since my first posting
on Transfigurations. At the time, though I barely knew what a blog was, and was woefully ignorant of computers (still am), I felt very strongly I was to do this. I was fascinated by this new media and was constantly reading TitusOneNine, the Web Elf Report, Stand Firm, MCJ, Lent and Beyond and other Anglican blogs.
So, after prayer and encouragement by husband Raymond, I decided to launch out. My son Ryan was a trooper and helped me get started and with (mostly) great patience taught me enough to get by. (It didn't help when one of his friends said to me: "I can't believe Ryan's mother
has a blog!"). I learned to post pictures and videos and to manipulate the html a bit. What came easily to others was a struggle for me, however.
I am very grateful of the support of many people and new friends that I've made through this blog. Transfigurations is a very little fish amongst the bigger ones and from time to time I ask the Lord if I am to continue-it does take a chunk of time out of my day and similar stories get posted elsewhere to greater effect and readership.
I have posted a few of my favorite devotionals below, although I had a hard time picking. The devotionals are my favorite part and I love trying to match an image to emphasize the word picture. Many of them give voice to something going on in my spiritual life or, for that matter, in my everyday life in general, (should be the same thing). I find needed encouragement and I hope that others find them a blessing too.
Thanks to all who stop in from time to time! -Pat DagueIs He not following thee with daily mercies, moving upon thy soul, providing for thy body, preserving both? Doth He not bear thee continually in the arms of His love, and promise that all things shall work together for thy good, and suit all His dealings to thy greatest advantage, and give His angels charge over thee? And canst thou be taken up with the joys below and forget thy Lord Who forgets not thee? ...Richard Baxter image The human race-every one of us-is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; he cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to his feet and abandons the glory of heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the cross. He takes it upon his shoulders and carries our humanity; he carries us all-he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. ...Benedict XVI image"And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision." 1 Samuel 3:15
God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?
Get into the habit of saying, "Speak, Lord," and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, "Speak, Lord"; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, "Speak, Lord." Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23;? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.
Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences - I must shield "Eli," the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli;" but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.
Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan. "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood." ...Oswald Chambers imageIn this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: Within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities... They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. ...AW Tozer image
O Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.
Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
From crowding things of sense I flee, and in Thee hide,
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;
What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord,
And bless with peace.Content yourself with leading a simple life according to your circumstances. For the rest, obey the Lord and bear your little daily crosses. You need them, and God gives them to you only out of pure mercy. The great thing is to make light of yourself sincerely, and to consent to be made light of by others if God permits it. Nourish yourself with him alone. ...Francois Fenelon image
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive
that the valley is the place of vision.
LORD, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
Valley of Vision photo