Friday, February 28, 2014

Stepping Heavenward





I purchased this book for my daughter 2 years ago for Christmas and decided to read it for myself about a week ago.  What a gem of a book!! Once I began reading, I couldn't put it down. I was so sad to see it come to an end.  There were so many words of wisdom that I thought I would share with you.  If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the book Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss. 
On doubting salvation:
The question is not whether you ever gave yourself to God, but whether you are His now.”

On the blessing of having children:
“She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.
Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!”

On obedience to the Lord:
“You cannot prove to yourself that you love God by examining your feelings toward Him. They are indefinite and they fluctuate. But just as far as you obey Him, just so far, depend upon it; you love Him. It is not natural to us sinful, ungrateful beings to prefer His pleasure to our own or to follow His way instead of our own way, and nothing, nothing but love of Him can or does make us obedient to Him.”

On training children:
“People ask me how it happens that my children are all so promptly obedient and so happy. As if it chanced that some parents have such children or chanced that some have not! I am afraid it is only too true, as someone has remarked, that "this is the age of obedient parents!" What then will be the future of their children? How can they yield to God who have never been taught to yield to human authority? And how well fitted will they be to rule their own households who have never learned to rule themselves?”

On facing trials:
“There is no wilderness so dreary but that His love can illuminate it, no desolation so desolate but that He can sweeten it. I know what I am saying. It is no delusion. I believe the highest, purest happiness is known only to those who have learned Christ in sickrooms, in poverty, in racking suspense and anxiety, amid hardships, and at the open grave.” “Yes, the radiant face, worn by sickness and suffering but radiant still, said in language yet more unspeakably impressive, “To learn Christ, this is life!”

On holy living:
“You think then,” I said while my heart died within me, “that husband and children are obstacles in our way and hinder our getting near Christ?” “Oh, no!” she cried. “God never gives us hindrances. On the contrary, He means, in making us wives and mothers, to put us into the very conditions of holy living. But if we abuse His gifts by letting them take His place in our hearts, it is an act of love on His part to take them away or to destroy our pleasure in them.”

 
On the blessings of children once again:
“I want to see little children adorning every home as flowers adorn every meadow and every wayside. I want to see them welcomed to the homes they enter, to see their parents grow less and less selfish and more and more loving because they have come. I want to see God’s precious gifts accepted, not frowned upon and refused.”
 A reminder that every day is an act of worship when living for Christ:
Instead of fancying that our ordinary daily work was one thing and our religion quite another thing, we should transmute our drudgery into acts of worship. Instead of going to prayer meetings to get into a 'good frame,' we should live in a good frame from morning till night, from night till morning; and prayer and praise would be only another form for expressing the love and faith and obedience we had been exercising amid the pressure of business."

When your in a busy season that doesn't allow you to spend the time you wish in devotion/prayer time:
"I only wish I had understood this years ago," I said. "I have made prayer too much of a luxury and have often inwardly chafed and fretted when the care of my children, at times, made it utterly impossible to leave them for private devotion--when they have been sick, for instance, or in other like emergencies. I reasoned this way: 'Here is a special demand on my patience, and I am naturally impatient. I must have time to go away and entreat the Lord to equip me for this conflict.' But I see now that the simple act of cheerful acceptance of the duty imposed and the solace and support withdrawn would have united me more fully to Christ than the highest enjoyment of His presence in prayer could."
"Yes, every act of obedience is an act of worship," he said.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

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