My distress is great and unknown to men.
They are cruel to me, for they wish to dissuade me
From all that the forces of Love urge me to.
They do not understand it, and I cannot explain it to them.
I must then live out what I am;
What love counsels my spirit,
In this is my being: for this reason I will do my best.
Whatever vicissitudes men lead me through for Love's sake
I wish to stand firm and take no harm from them.
For I understand from the nobility of my soul
That in suffering for sublime Love, I conquer.
I will therefore gladly surrender myself
In pain, in repose, in dying, in living,
For I know the command of lofty fidelity.
I do not complain of suffering for Love:
It becomes me to always submit to her,
Whether she commands in storm or in stillness.
One can know her only in herself.
This is an unconceivable wonder,
Which thus has filled my heart
And makes me stray in a wild desert.
In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth life again ,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads
In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift silken wings,
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing too,
In time of silver rain when spring
A seed falls on hardened ground
Will it wither and die or by a crow be found
Or will the rain come, bringing new life
Fate balancing on the edge of a knife
If the rain comes; the need appeased
Is the balance of life set at ease
And if by chance the seed should grow
Would fate then come in the form of snow
Time after time seeds laid low
Yet in the spring you'll see it grow
When life seems hard no hope is found
Just remember the rain will come to soften the ground
Courage isn't a brilliant dash,
A daring deed in a moment's flash;
It isn't an instantaneous thing
Born of despair with a sudden spring
It isn't a creature of flickered hope
Or the final tug at a slipping rope;
But it's something deep in the soul of a man
That is always working to serve some plan.
Courage isn't the last resort
In the work of life or the game of sport;
It isn't a thing that a man can call
At some future time when he's apt to fall;
If he hasn't it now, he will have it not
When the strain is great and the pace is hot.
For who would strive for a distant goal
Must always have courage within his soul.
Courage isn't a dazzling light
That flashes and passes away from sight;
It is a slow, unwavering, ingrained trait
With the patience to work and the strength to wait.
It's part of a man when his skies are blue,
It's part of him when he has work to do.
The brave man is never freed of it.
He has it when there is no need of it.
Courage was never destined to show;
It isn't a thing that can come and go;
It's written in victory and defeat
And every trial a man may meet.
It's part of his hours, his days and his years,
Back of his smiles and behind his tears.
Courage is more than a daring deed:
It's the breath of life and a strong man's creed.
Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
Why lament at all?
Life's sunny hours filt by,
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times step in
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'oer hope, a heavy sway?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!
Oh, the kindness of a Holy Lord, poured on those on earth below,
As His gracious help is implored, by those here who need Him so,
And by others, God goes ignored, for the Lord they do not know,
But even these men cannot afford, to continue in the way they go.
God's goodness extends to everyone, wherever we are in this life,
Through His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Available to all men under the sun, to deal with their toil and strife,
His kindness follows as they run, the race that leads to eternal life.
It was God who made a sacrifice, by sending His Son the the cross,
Paying for all men an eternal price, while making a way for the lost,
By that cleansing work of Christ, to purge all sinners of their dross,
Preparing for believers a paradise, when life's final river they cross.
The Lord is the Creator of us all, Maker of all creatures on the earth,
Every creature, great and small, and He knew you before your birth,
Although we are cursed by the fall, God places on man much worth,
And all who here the trumpet call, Christ shall rapture from the earth.
Extended to each and all of us, is God's goodness and much more,
Saving men from a grave of dust, when they came to Christ as Lord,
Extending to Him a simply trust, and God opens up the eternal door,
As belief in Christ is the only must, to live with our God forever more.
I have in my hand two boxes
Which God gave me to hold
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I store
But though the gold box became heavier each day
The black was as light as before.
With curiosity I opened the black
I wanted to find out why
And I saw, the base of box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by
I showed the whole to God, and mused aloud,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."
He smiled a gentle smile at me.
"My child, they are all here with me."
I asked God, "Why give me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?"
"M child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."
Deal only with the present -
Never step into tomorrow,
For God asks us just to trust Him
And to never borrow sorrow,
For the future is not ours to know,
And it may never be,
So let us live and give our best
And give it lavishly . . .
For to meet tomorrow's troubles
Before they are even ours
Is to anticipate the Savior
And to doubt His all - wise powers,
So let us be content to solve
Our problems one by one,
Asking nothing of tomorrow
Except "Thy will be done."
Helen Steiner Rice
"Never Borrow Sorrow"
May 16, 2012 A.D,
There is a brokenness
Out of which comes the unbroken,
A shattered-ness out
Of which blooms the un-shatterable
There is a sorrow
Beyond all grief that leads to joy
And a fragility
Out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
Too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss,
Out of whose darkness
We are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart
As we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable
While learning to sing.
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius.
Commanders of the armies of the North, general of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance in this life, or the next.
About a trillion centuries Before the world was made, and seas Of deep and empty space were not Yet there to make an endless spot For nothingness, nor Gabriel, Nor Lucifer, nor flames of hell, Nor beasts and elders round the throne, But only God the Lord alone— No element of any kind, Nor measurement, but only Mind— Ages before the Lord employed His sovereign power to make a void Beside the vastness of his will, When there was only God to fill The mind of God with joy and He Was Life, and absolutely free...
The Father fixed his gaze on me, Foreknew my soul that I should be At first ashamed before his face, And then a vessel for his grace; And in the Holy Trinity Engaged a glad conspiracy Of love that all the energy Of God should be employed to see That I, when all his work is done, Would bear the image of his Son.
And I indeed have been ashamed For awesome things that I have named A sham. Once in Ms. Clanton's class A group of us with ample brass Announced our sure and reasoned scheme: "Predestination is a dream Of Presbyterians misled By Calvin who had lost his head And killed a man for heresy Back in the sixteenth century." And I pursued their praise with zest . . .
. . . As though a bird should curse the air Beneath its wing, and fish compare The ocean to a grave, the ant Should lift its mighty voice and rant Against the earth with pride obsessed, And infants rail against the breast.
And O, the shame, the shame of those Presumptuous years to one who knows Far better now. Had not the gaze Of God affixed itself with rays Of mercy on my unborn soul, And burned my name into the scroll Of life, there would have been no cause That all my proud and ugly flaws Should be pursued with mercy all My days.
O God of great and small, O God of free and sovereign grace, How great and wonderful your ways, Ordaining all before its days! To you alone be endless praise! Come, meet us in this season bright! We glorify your holy might, And give the name to candle one: Foreknown and destined in the Son.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! The arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
The thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fund we had.
If I could relive yesterday
Just ever for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven's gates
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you.
Today your life on earth is past
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way,
There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?"
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.
You have searched me, Lord,
And You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all of my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
And You lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
Too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from Your spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the Heavens, You are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
And the light become night around me,"
Even the darkness will not be dark to You;
The night will shine like the day,
For darkness is as light to You.
For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in the secret place,
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
Before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
They would number the grains of the sand -
When I awake, I am still with You.
If only You, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of You with evil intent;
Your adversaries misuse Your name.
Do I not hate those that hate You, Lord,
And abhor those who are in rebellion against You?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, oh God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
And lead me in the way of everlasting.
Science! thou mirror of celestial type Wherein e'en mortals may discerning see, If they with steady perseverance seek, The will and purpose of Deity.
By the effulgence of Thy affluent light Men learn the hidden mysteries of earth, Unlock the secrets of the starry heavens And solve the problem of each dewdrop's birth.
Thou art the magic key that opens wide Sources of knowledge, beauty, wealth and grace, Which teach man how to help his brother man, And benefit and elevate the race.
Beneath thy guidance men have found the stone Philosophers long sought but rarely found, Whose lesson is that the Great God helps those Who feel to help themselves and others bound.
What blest results are following in thy train, To physical as well as mental wealth, Through sanitation, in its myriad forms, By which it now promotes the nation's health.
Well regulated physical as mental work Opens rich sources of enjoyment sweet; And mind and body strengthened, thus delight New difficulties to withstand and greet.
Few know how strengthening is resisting power, In mind and body as in physics too, And what accumulating force it lends To man his life work daily to renew.
The richest happiness comes from within, From duties well accomplished blessings flow, And precious fruits of action, thought and deed That will not give rude switch grass place to grow. Thou teachest that a form to be a square Must have its lines of length, breadth, depth, exact, Without the least divergence right or left, And with its due proportions clear, compact.
What helpful lessons might not this form teach, If testing thus the lines of motives, thought, Which make the sum of action square or false, Each would discern the application taught.
When truth as the soul's standard is set up, Making the inner life exact and square, With love to God producing love, to all, What will not man for man and duty dare?
True brotherhood consists in making each, As far as may be, just another self; The priceless sequence of such action would Exceed the greatest riches men call wealth.
Then might the blest commandment, do to all As to ourselves we would that they should do, Flow as a natural sequence, and such act Would bring its own reward and comfort, too.
For truest happiness is known to those Who learn to know themselves through struggles brave. Such conquerors steer serenely o'er the calm, Clear sea of life, as o'er its troubled wave.
Knowing that the Great Father wills that man Should, through much strife and suffering win that prize, Whose precious fruits of knowledge wait for all Who use full well each moment as it flies.
Then let us strive to form each thought, word, deed, On the exact, undeviating square, Seeking to learn and discipline ourselves, And win rewards which all who will may share.
Crossing the infinite length of the moorland,
Here comes the wind,
The wind with its trumpet that Heralds November;
Endless and infinite, crossing the downs,
Here comes the wind
That teareth himself and doth fiercely dismember;
Which heavy breath turbulent smiting the towns,
The savage wind comes, the fierce wind of November.
Each bucket of iron at the wells of the farmyard,
Each bucket and pulley, it creaks and wails;
By cisterns of farmyards, the pulleys and pails
They creak and they cry,
The whole of sad death in their melancholy.
The wind, it sends scuddling dead leaves from the birches
Along o'er the water, the wind of November,
The savage fierce wind;
The boughs of the trees for the birds' nests it searches,
To bind them and grind.
The wind, as though rasping down iron, grates past,
And furious and fast, from afar combs the cold
And white avalanches of winter the old.
The savage wind combs them, so furious and fast.
The wind of November.
From each miserable shed
The patched garret - windows wave wild overhead
Their foolish, poor tatters of paper and glass
As the savage fierce wind of November doth pass!
And there on its hill
Of dingy and dun - colored turf, the black mill,
Swift up from below, through the empty air slashing,
Swift down form above, like a lightning - stroke flashing,
The black mill, so sinister, moweth the wind.
The savage, fierce wind of November.
The old, ragged thatches that squat round their steeple,
Are raised on their roof poles and fall with a clap,
In the wind, the old thatches and penthouses flap,
In the wind of November, so savage and hard.
The crosses -- and they are the arms of the dead people --
The crosses that stand in the narrow church yard
Fall prone on the sod
Like some great flight of black, in the acre of God.
The wind of November.
Have you met him, the savage wind, do you remember?
Did he pass you so fleet,
-- Where yon at the cross, the three hundred roads meet --
With distressfulness panting, and wailing with a cold?
Yea, he breeds fears and puts all things to flight,
Did you see him, that night
When the moon he o'erthrew, when the villages, old
In their rot and decay, past endurance and spent,
Cried, wailing like beasts, 'neath the hurricane bent?
Here comes the wind howling, that heralds dark weather,
The wind blowing infinite over the heather.
The wind with its trumpets that Harold November.
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is evergreen;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum;
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come.
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But, once again I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hand and praise the God that gives
And takes away
And I will praise you in this storm
And I will raise my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
And You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find you
Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, a taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he's lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul.
Christ has no body but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good
Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet
Yours are the eyes, you are His body
Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on this Earth but yours
Who shall separate you from the love of Christ? What are you afraid of?
Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of Christ?
Are you afraid that your inadequacies can separate you from the love of Christ?
Are you afraid that your inner poverty could separate you from the love of Christ?
Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children's future?
Negative self image?
Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime?
Persecution by authorities, going to jail?
Mistake, fears, uncertainties?
The gospel of grace calls out: nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Jesus Christ our Lord. You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away, but the love of Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever. In the end, it is the one things you can hang on to.
" The Christianity Lewis espouses is humane, but not easy: it asks us to recognize that the great religious struggle is not fought on a spectacular battleground, but within the ordinary human heart, when every morning we wake and feel the pressures of the day crowding in on us, and we must decide what sort of immortals we wish to be. Perhaps it helps us, as surely as it helped the way-weary British people who first heard these talks, to remember that God plays a great joke on those who seek after power at any cost. As Lewis reminds us with his customary humor and wit, 'How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different the saints.'"
is a miscellany? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this word
a plural: separate writings
collected in one volume
a collection of writing on various subjects
mixture of various things
a modification of french miscellanées,
plural, from Latin miscellanea
However miscellanies are more than a collection or assortment of literary pieces. Though they are an assemblage of literary texts, they are also a rare and unique treasure, reflecting and telling the lives of the person who put it all together. And this is exactly what this miscellany is, a treasure unique to me.