Hold On

In my previous post, I reviewed the movie, Harriet.  This was one of the spirituals used in the film that spoke strongly to me.  I couldn’t find out anything about the origin of this specific song.  However, we have all experienced the necessity of “holding on” through difficult circumstances.  It would have been particularly meaningful to those who were enslaved.

And why do we hold on?

“… I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  Phil. 1:6

What could be more consoling?

 

Who Will Play With Me by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

In size, illustration and presentation, Who Will Play with Me? reminds me of the many Dr. Suess books my children loved as preschoolers.  It’s just the right length for a read aloud book for this age group, and the winsome characters (Slug and Bug) will inspire interest and amusement.

Not overtly Christian, the story encourages children to be kind and put others first.  It also points how our diversity as individuals helps us to accomplish more together.  All of our traits are worthy and useful in different situations.   The book ends with a quote from Philippians 2:3:

“In humility, value others above yourselves.”

The author, Randall Goodgame is the well-known creator of Slugs and Bugs music and you can visit SlugsandBugs.com to find more of his products.

VERDICT:  Overall, this looks like a fun, cute book for young children.  My only criticism is the rhyming dialog seemed a bit forced, and lacked bounce.  I give it a 4.

Want to order the book?  Click on the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/who-will-play-with-me-P005811096

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

Advice From E. B. Pusey

E. B. Pusey was an Anglican churchman whom I’ve quoted before.  Today in my morning devotions, I read his advice on how to lead a contented life:

If we wished to gain contentment, we might try such rules as theses:

  1. Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even the weather
  2. Never picture thyself under any circumstances in which thou art not
  3. Never compare thine own lot with that of another
  4. Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or were, otherwise than it was, or is.  God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than thou dost thyself.
  5. Never dwell on the morrow.  Remember that it is God’s not thine.  The heaviest  part of sorrow is to look forward to it.  “The Lord will provide.”

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”  Philippians 4:11

“To Die is Gain.”

Once upon a time . . .

when humanity was young, and quite innocent; they lived in a place of unimaginable beauty and endless possibility. And then humanity was deceived. We failed to trust our creator, and though the lie was not ours, the doubt and greed fully belong to us. The rejection was not of the place, the food, or the vast kingdom that in inheritance belonged to us as well. The rejection was power and love our Father and Lord possessed. We rejected Him.

What was not known in the dawn of time was that with the failure of trust, blinded by greed and naivety, revelations would be made. The tree of knowledge of Good, and Evil. The name says as much as it implies. Before what would they have known? Neither good nor Evil. The infinite wisdom of God would be too much for them to bear. A better way is to slowly introduce information, to take eternity and explain and teach. God wanted to show us the universe while building a relationship.

From the very beginning it was Him who loved us more.  Suddenly, too suddenly, we knew what worse than bad was. We knew shame, and embarrassment, and lust. We knew regret, and sadness, and fear. We were overwhelmed.

Still God our Father loved us. For our own sakes, he removed us from Heaven. People without self-discipline tend to ruin good things. Not to mention Everlasting Life (The tree of Life) combined with Irrational, self-destructive sin would be disastrous. Therefore, we were separated. How painful that was. Not only for us, but for God. The Alpha and Omega that feels anguish as well as joy. Can you imagine first being rejected by your children, and then having to remove them from the situation to protect them? Maybe some can, because all this resulted in a broken world. A world that for our own sakes requires a barrier of sorts.

Luke 16:26 “And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

Not only between heaven and hell, but between heaven and earth. It’s a burden we must bear. Although Christ came so that we can eventually see our heavenly home, we mustn’t risk it with open borders. Narrow is the road. While we have hope of seeing not only our loved ones but also our merciful Savior, there’s still a gap. A lonely realization that we are to suffer here till our time comes. As Christians, it’s not that we don’t believe in a better, very real, life that exists beyond our reach; it’s that we cannot follow where they go. It’s the harsh separation that stares us in the face. Our despair comes with the knowledge that these bodies we inhabit must endure here for a time.

Philippians 1:21&22 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose?  I do not know. I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

The End?