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Like the children of Israel in today’s Bible reading, Hannah Hurnard, author of Hinds’ Feet on High Places, was once paralyzed by fear. Then she heard a sermon on scarecrows that challenged her to turn her fear into faith.
The preacher said, "A wise bird knows that a scarecrow is simply an advertisement. It announces that some very juicy and delicious fruit is to be had for the picking. There are scarecrows in all the best gardens...If I am wise, I too shall treat the scarecrow as though it were an invitation. Every giant in the way which makes me feel like a grasshopper is only a scarecrow beckoning me to God’s richest blessings." He concluded, "Faith is a bird which loves to perch on scarecrows. All our fears are groundless."
Our Daily Bread, April 6, 1995
A WARNING CALL
Are you hearing one? Are you sending one?
A group of 49 students and staff from Royd’s Comprehensive Middle School in England went on a week-long outdoor trip. One morning, a teacher took a small group on a river walk. She had never seen the water higher, so she led the kids through the dangerous river, instead of walking behind as usual. One of the boys slipped while trying to cross the swollen river, and needed help to get out.
Later that day another group and another teacher go on the same walk. This time, Rochelle and Hannah, two 13 year old girls, are swept away to their deaths in the flooded stream. One of the girls laughed as she slipped in the water. She thought she looked silly--her friends laughed with her. She had no idea of the danger she was really in.
Ms. Nicholson was asked why she had not warned the later groups. Her answer: She didn’t think anyone would answer the phone at the youth hostel where they were staying. She didn’t think anyone would listen.
“And so you became a model to all believers…The Lord’s message rang out from you… You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thess. 1:7-10).
SOURCE: SermonCentral staff. Citation: Stokes, Paul. River Fear Not Passed on by Walk Teacher. UK Telegraph, Feb 21,2002. http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2
The mother eagle teaches her little ones to fly by making their nest so uncomfortable that they are forced to leave it and commit themselves to the unknown world of air outside. And just so does our God to us. He stirs up our comfortable nests, and pushes us over the edge of them, and we are forced to use our wings to save ourselves from fatal falling. Read your trials in this light, and see if you cannot begin to get a glimpse of their meaning. Your wings are being developed. -- Hannah Whitall Smith
It's one thing for those young eagles to flap their wings in the security of their down-filled home. It's quite another for them to move to the edge, look over, and imagine stepping out on nothing!
John Williams III
I once read a story about a mother whose love went the distance for her child. The mother in this story went to help out during harvest time. She took her child with her. She was following the custom of harvest time in Scotland, where the women would help. She placed her child in reach. But, as everyone got busy, an eagle came by and snatched the baby in order to make that baby a meal for her eaglets. The eagle took the baby all the way back to its nest. Many of the men made a valiant effort top climb the vertical wall of rock. There was a sailor who then succeeded to ascend to the top of the cliff but to no avail. Finally, the mother Hannah Lamond, herself began that same endeavor against impossible odds. But, she succeeded in getting to the top of that cliff. She got her child while the eagle was trying to beat Hannah back. But, the eagle’s efforts were not as strong as the mother’s desire. When everything else failed, it was her love that found a way to rescue her child. The crowd...
Hannah W. Smith wrote: "He goes before to open the way and we are to follow. It is never a sign of Divine leading when we insist on running rough shod over all opposing things." A.W. Tozer asked, “Is it forced? Or does it flow?” Now, this doesn’t mean we sit back and wait for God to show us the door, turn the door knob for us and then drag us in. We still apply some effort. Send out resumes, have interviews, make phone calls, consider options. God wants us to use the common sense He has given us. But if the doors do not open by natural means, forcing our way through them may mean we are rationalizing to get our own way.
It is in the hours of loneliness that God does some of His greatest works.
It was in the lonely dejection of Elijah that he heard God’s voice.
It was in the wearying lonely path of faith that God came again to Abraham.
It was in the lonely hours following failure that Peter found God.
It was in the lonely midnight hours that Jacob had his wrestling match with God.
It was in the loneliness of the mountain that Moses would get the Law from God.
It was in the loneliness of her barrenness that Hannah prevailed.
It was in the loneliness of her burden that forced Esther to approach Ahaserus.
It was in loneliness that Daniel received his great vision from God.
It was in the loneliness of the pit that Jeremiah found a renewed burden for the people.
It was in the loneliness of the pit and prison that Joseph felt God continuing to forecast his dreams.
It was in the loneliness of prayer at Gethsemane that the Lord labored, just a stone’s cast away from the disciples but it may as well have been a million miles that separated them.
Loneliness marked Mary in Bethlehem’s stable. Loneliness marked her again as she stood at Golgotha.
John Hannah, Research Professor of Theological Studies and Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary said, “No one who is ever in hell will be able to say to God, ‘You put me here,’ and no one who is in heaven will ever be able to say, ‘I put myself here.’”
“Another aspect of a fully surrendered life is trust. Abraham followed God’s leading without knowing where it would take him. Hannah waited for God’s perfect timing without knowing when. Mary expected a miracle without knowing how. Joseph trusted God’s purpose without kn...
We owe a lot to our grandparents. They have the warmth of a parent; the wisdom of the sages; and the heart of a child. And over five million American children live with their grandparents. Here are some wonderful grandparent quotes to remind us of these unsung heroes.
The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.
When a child is born, so are grandmothers.
If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.
Hannah Whithall Smith
If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one.
Florence King, Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye
"The proliferation of support groups suggests that too many Americans are growing up in homes that do not contain a grandmother."
Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.
ILLUSTRATION: Yesterday when I was on the snowhill sledding with my kids, they were playing a game called ‘war’ where they would try to knock each other off of their sleds before they reached the bottom of the hill. My youngest daughter Hannah wanted me to ride on the sled with her because if I was with her, the other kids couldn’t knock her off. This is what it’s like with the Good Shepherd on the sled of our lives: “We fear no evil when He is with us.”