L'Abri Journals...ACGray

January 2004
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A New Page for a New Year

So we must daily keep things wound:  that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust;  we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy, when our bodies are in pain.  We may not always be able to make our clock run correctly, but at least we can keep it wound so that it will not forget.If we allow our high creativity to remain alive, we will never be bored.  We can pray, standing in line at the supermarket.  Or we can be lost in awe at all the people around us, their lives full of glory and tragedy, and suddenly we will have the beginnings of a painting, a story, a song.      Madeleine LEngle, Walking on Water


Chalet LAbri, January 2, 2004

A page from my journalacg

            A new year begins.  How true the observation that as one grows older, the days, weeks, and months rush by more speedily.  All the more reason to savor each moment, simplify, get ones life and relationships in order.  A new page, clean and receptive for worthwhile words.  I pray for wisdom to share only the meaningful.

From my Christmas mail came this from Ravi Zacharias:   The Book of Hebrews begins with the best word in any language, God.  It continues with the best news, ..Who at sundry times and in diverse manners has spoken to us through His prophets, in these last days has spoken to us through His Son.   God stepped into history two thousand years ago in the person of His Son.  Now as we look at the pitiful condition of our world, we are reminded that it was a dark and dismal time that His Son came.Our delight is that we are valuable to Him and that He takes a step toward us, even in our sin, to draw us close to Himself.  That is our message.  That is our hope.  And we will carry that message all over the world as we enter this new year.  Uncertain though the times may be, we are certain of His sovereign presence.Helpless though at times we may seem, we are confident that He hears us.  Charles Stanley in a recent sermon challenged Christians to have a passion about telling this good news.  And so it is out of the oil of gladness about which the writer of Hebrews speaks, and with this hope that I resolve to celebrate Christmas every day of this new year.

            A Christmas present to myself, the birds and the squirrels was a new bird feeder.  Although it has a baffle, I know from long experience that somehow the squirrels will find a way.  Installed now in my backyard, come spring I will move it to my front yard just outside my study window, from whence I might better observe the birds antics.  Ill watch their multi-act play on a stage set with a backdrop of mountains etched on the eastern horizon.  Woodpeckers, sparrows, chickadees, and wrens seem to be my most frequent visitors these somewhat mild winter days.  But soon springs winged migration will unfold with towhees, redpolls, robins, larks, finches, and orioles stopping by to refuel.  This year I want to be more in accord with the natural world.  John Burroughs, wrote a century ago that for the naturalist, birds can never interest us like the thrush the farm boy heard singing in the cedars at twilight as he drove the cows to pasture or like the swallow that flew gleefully in the air above him as he picked stones from the early May meadows.  Edwin Way Teale in his book North With the Spring, told about seeing a boy come trudging down the dusty road near his Virginia cabin some years ago.  Bird voices seemed to accompany him as he advanced.  The boy was whistling to himself, imitating robins, cardinals, orioles, bobwhites, meadowlarks.  Wrote Teale, This country boy was more alert, more observant, more richly alive than most of those around him. 


When a soul is taken possession of by the purifying and inspiring purpose of God Himself, then for the first time that soul finds for itself an immense and joyous freedom.  It is lifted up above the plane of mean entanglements, like a bird launched from the earth into the sky.  That was what Jesus came to make men understand.  Only when they give their imaginations and wills in glad surrender to the service of Gods kingdom will all the glorious possibilities within them be released.    

William Russell Bowie


Thanks for reading these pages.  Sign the guest register on my home page to get on my mailing list.  My current email address is arbreux @ hotmail.com.  Current mailing address is 395 Flower Drive, McGaheysville, VA  22840.  I welcome correspondence....acg