Monday, December 23, 2013

Real Progress

". . . I do not understand how a Christian can make such slow progress as I do and how old faults can hang on so.

If I had made any real progress, should I not be sensible of it?

I have been reading over the early part of this journal, and when I came to the conversation I had with Mrs. Cabot, in which I made a list of wants, I was astonished that I could ever have had such contemptible ones. Let me think what I really and truly most want now.

First of all, then, if God should speak to me at this moment and offer to give just one thing and that alone, I should say without hesitation, Love to Thee, O my Master!

Next to that, if I could have one thing more, I would choose to be a thoroughly unselfish, devoted wife. Down in my secret heart I know there lurks another wish, which I am ashamed of. It is that in some way or other, some right way, I could be delivered from Martha and her father. I shall never be any better while they are here to tempt me!" ~ From Stepping Heavenward, (entry on her first wedding anniversary, dated January 16, 1838.)

[We see, though, that actually she had made real progress, based on what she wanted at this point in time. Of course, she was wrong about the last one. I do believe dealing with Martha and Father had a good deal to do with her growth in Christ. ` mr]

Note: This is a repeat of a post made May, 2011.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hiding in Him

I have seen the time when I could hide myself in Him as a little child hides in its mother's arms, and so have thousands of aching hearts.~ EP

[And oh how true. ~ mr]

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Wish

Oh that with ready grace my heart could give
What God requires;
That there within it lived no grasping will
No fond desires.

It grieves, it pains me that I do not fly
O Christ, to Thee,
To lay this treasure at Thy feet, with sweet

Yet take it from me; if I love it much
I love Thee more,--
But pity, as Thou takest, for it leaves
my heart so sore!

~ From Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life.

Friday, November 1, 2013

So Be It

So be it; 'tis Thy plan not mine,
And being Thine is good;
And God, my will shall yield to Thine
Ere it is understood.

So be it; I a child of dust
Will not oppose Thy way,
Move on, mysterious Will, I trust,
I love, and will obey.

So be it; and do Thou, my heart,
No childish questions ask,
Thou in God's counsels hast no part,
Crave not so hard a task.
So be it; yes, so be it, Lord,
No word have I to say--
O be Thy gracious Name adored--
I love and will obey.

~ From  Golden Hours, Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mrs. Love, Mr. Pain,and Miss Joy

But it was only a few days after this that she [Little Lucy] went to the fireplace and filled her clean white apron with coals and ashes. Her mamma took them away from her, and shook her head, and said: "No, no!" again and again. But as soon as Susy had another clean apron put on, she ran again to the fire and began to fill it with coals, and no matter how often her mamma said No, no! she would keep doing it over and over. Then Mrs. Love said to her mamma: "If we let Susy do so, some day she will get burned. We ought to punish her, so that she will mind when she is spoken to."

"Yes, I think so, too," said her mamma.

So Mrs. Love called Mr. Pain and told him to slap Susy's little arm if she disobeyed again. It was not long before he had to come; and as soon as she saw him, Miss Joy, who had been frolicking with Susy a whole year, and never before had been absent from her--poor Miss Joy ran away and hid. As soon as Susy felt the slaps on her arm she let the coals drop and began to cry. She looked at her arm, which bore the red marks of Mr. Pain's hand, and pitied it very much. But the slap did her good. It taught her to obey her mamma about the fire, and saved her from being burned up, as she certainly would have been if she had kept on playing with the coals.

Mr Pain soon went away, and he had hardly turned his back when Miss Joy peeped out of the closet where she had been hiding, and made such a funny Face that Susy could not help laughing, and her face was both wet with tears and shining with smiles. She kissed her mamma and put her arms around her neck, and her mamma kissed her and said: "Susy won't be naughty any more." And Susy smiled and said: "No, No.!"~ From Little Susy's Six Teachers, 1856

[A lesson for the modern day philosophies on child rearing. ~ mr]

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Day of Small Things

I have learned, at last, not to despise the day of small things, to cherish the tenderest blossom, and to expect my dear ones to be imperfect before they become perfect. ~ Katy, Stepping Heavenward.

[An important lesson for us all. ~ mr]

Friday, September 20, 2013

Christ is Heaven

"Maggie knew that it would be of no use to argue this question. Annie was too far behind her in the Christian life to comprehend what she and Aunt Jane so well understood: that heaven is Christ, that Christ is heaven; that that city hath no need of sun, or moon, or human food, or earthly tie, because the Lord Himself doth lighten it." ~ from Aunt Jane's Hero.

[May we all comprehend]

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mrs. Campbell's Summons

"This had been a Sunday to be held in long remembrance. We were summoned early this morning to Mrs. Campbell and have seen her joyful release from the fetters that have bound her so long. Her loss to me is irreparable. But I can truly thank God that one more 'tired traveler' has had a sweet 'welcome home.' I can minister no longer to her bodily wants and listen to her councils no more, but she has entered as an inspiration into my life, and through all eternity I shall bless God that He gave me that faithful, praying friend." ~ Katy, Stepping Heavenward, May 13,[1852] entry. 

[Oh to have a Mrs. Campbell in our lives. On a personal note, Mrs. Campbell, though fictional, was a great blessing in my life. ~ mr]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Forever With the Lord

Mrs. Prentiss went to be forever with the Lord on the evening of August 13, 1878. It was a Tuesday, same as today. Her family was gathered around her:

"Although the chamber of death, it was the chamber of peace, and a light not of earth shone down upon us all. He who was seen walking, unhurt, in the midst of the fire and whose form was like the Son of God, seemed to overshadow us with His presence." ~ From More Love to Thee, The Life & Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss, by G.L. Prentiss.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Complete in Him

"Ye are complete in Him." Col. 2:10

Complete in Him! oh, Lord, I flee,
Laden with this great thought, to Thee,
With tears and smiles contending, cry,
Are words like these for such as I?

Complete in Him! No word of mine
Is needed, Lord, to perfect Thine;
Wise Master-Builder, let Thy hand
Fashion the fabric Thou hast planned.

Complete in Him! I nothing bring,
Am an imperfect, useless thing;
But human eyes shall joy to see
What God’s dear hand shall add to me.

Complete in Him! Oh, longed-for day,
When my poor, sinful heart can say,
Naught in myself, for ruin meet,
In Jesus Christ I stand complete.

~ From Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns for the Christian Life

Monday, July 1, 2013

Building Material

"Every day brings its own duty and its own discipline. How is it that I make such slow progress while this is the case? It is a marvel to me why God allows characters like mine to defile His Church. I can only account for it with the thought that if I ever am perfected, I shall be a great honor to His name for surely worse material for building up a temple of the Holy Ghost was never gathered together before. The time may come when those who know me now, crude, childish, incomplete, will look upon me with amazement, saying, 'What hath God wrought!' . . ."

~ Katherine Elliott,  January 1, 1841 entry, Stepping Heavenward.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The School

We are scholars, nothing but scholars,
Little children at school,
Learning our daily lessons,
Subject to law and rule.

Life is the School, and the Master
Is the Man Jesus Christ;
We are His charity scholars,
His the teaching unpriced.
Slowly we learn all His patience
Is hourly put to the test:
But often the slowest and dullest,
He pities, and loves the best.
Still, we sit at the feet of our Master,
Very low at His feet,
Study the lessons He sets us,
Sometimes lessons repeat.
Some of the lessons are pleasant,
Pleasant and easy to learn;
The page of our task-book simple,
Simple and easy to turn.
But anon the reading is painful,
Studied ‘mid sighing and tears;
We stammer and falter over it,
Do not learn it for years.

Yet that is no fault of the Master;
All His lessons are good;
Only our childish folly
Leaves them misunderstood.

And still we go on, learning,
And learning to love our school;
Learning to love our Master,
Learning to love His rule.

And by and by, we children
Shall grow into perfect men,
And the loving, patient Master
From school will dismiss us then.

No more tedious lessons,
No more sighing and tears,
But a bound into home immortal,
And blessed, blessed years!

~ From Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life

[Apparently the closing lines to this poem are found on Mrs. Prentiss' tombstone. ~mr]

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Religion and Love Both

"We women are exacting creatures; and you can not please us unless we have the whole of you. Oh, if you knew the sacredness, the beauty, the sweetness of married life, as I do, you would as soon think of entering heaven without a wedding garment, as of venturing on its outskirts even, save by the force of a passionate, overwhelming power that is stronger than death itself!" ~ written to a young friend whom she feared was marrying for reasons other than love.

[Said of Mrs. P in More Love to Thee, the Life & Letters of Mrs. Prentiss: "She placed religion and love alike at the foundation of a true home; the one to connect it with heaven above, the other to make it a heaven upon earth." I think that's so nice to know. ~ mr]

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Is it Well With Thee?

Yes, it is well! For while with anguish wild
I gave to God who asked him, my child,
He gave to me strong faith, and peace and joy;
Gave me these blessings when He took my boy.
He gave Himself to me; in boundless grace
Within my deepest depths He took His place;
Made heaven look home-like, made my bleeding heart
In all the grief of other hearts take part;
Brought down my pride, burnt up my hidden dross,
Made me fling down the world and clasp the cross.
Ah, how my inmost soul doth in me swell,
When I declare that all with me is well!

~ from Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life

Saturday, May 25, 2013


So war came to our hero, or should we say he went to war, and it made him a hero and better man indeed. . .

"'Captain Wheeler of the New York 82d, missing.' She had not heard of Horace's promotion, and at first hoped this might not be he. But a little reflection showed her that it was. She felt sick and faint for a moment, for what horrors might not this word "Missing" conceal? And then she began to pray for him mightily--no other word can do justice to the strength with which this woman laid hold on the Divine promises. She asked that if he lay wounded and over-looked upon the battle field, aid might speedily be sent him; if taken captive that he might be rescued, and spared the wasting terrors of imprisonment. And then she waited patiently to see what God would Do, and this is what she afterwards heard He did." ~ from Aunt Jane's Hero

[To find out what God did, you have to read the book, of course. This part is written here in honor of those soldiers who have given themselves for our protection and the well being of our nation down through the years. May we keep them always in prayer ~mr]

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Little Busy Bee

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour;
And gather honey all the day,
From every opening flower!

How skillfully she builds her cell,
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labor or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still,
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed;
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

~ From "Little Susy's Little Servants"

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Being a Mother

"Being a mother is an awesome responsibility. It requires spiritual discipline, self-sacrifice, and flexibility. But as a mother, I do not carry this responsibility alone, for God works with me, giving me His strength and compassion when I am weak and tired, blessing both my children and myself. Motherhood may be a demanding life, it is true--but it is also one of great delight, and opportunity to experience God's grace and joy." ~ from Stepping Heavenward

[Dedicated, of course, to all mothers everywhere. And to those who have or have had mothers, and those who desire to be mothers. A blessed Mother's Day to all. ~ mr]

Thursday, May 9, 2013

He Leads Perfectly

"You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act." ~ from Stepping Heavenward

Friday, May 3, 2013

Safe on the Rock

I am not sure that it is best for us, once safe and secure on the Rock
of Ages, to ask ourselves too closely, what this and that experience may
signify. Is it not better to be thinking of the Rock, not of the feet that stand
upon it? It seems to me that we ought to be unconscious of ourselves, and
that the nearer we get to Christ the more we shall be taken up with Him.
We shall be like a sick man who, after he gets well, forgets all the
symptoms he used to think so much of, and stops feeling his pulse, and
just enjoys his health, only pointing out his physician to all who are
diseased. E.P.

[Not sure where and when this was written, but the thoughts are so lovely. ~ mr]

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lovest Thou Me?

 Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?
More love to thee, O Christ, More love to thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make On bended knee:
This is my earnest plea, More love, O Christ to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee!
[A perfect medication for any day of our lives, but a particularly appropriate one for me after our sermon from John 21:15-17 yesterday. ~ mr]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Example on Suffering

(Painting by Joseph DeCamp)

"January 15. I have come to another birthday. I am seventeen. Mother has celebrated it just as usual, though I know all these anniversaries which used to be so pleasant must be sad days to her now that my dear father has gone. She has been cheerful and loving, and entered into all my pleasures exactly as if nothing had happened." ~  Katy's journal entry January 15, 1832, Stepping Heavenward

Another example from Katy's mom. More on this at the Scraps of Glory blog.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

To Be Like Thee

Oh Jesus Christ, in self-despair
I come to Thee! Hear Thou the prayer
Laid at Thy feet; I leave it there--
To be like Thee!

Turn out the darling bosom sin,
The love of self that rules within,
My earnest longing let me win--
To be like Thee!

O let me see Thy lovely face,
O let me hear Thy words of grace,
In Thine own image grow apace--
To be like Thee!

O Gentle, Sinless, Undefiled,
Ev'n in Thy Justice meek and mild,
Help me, Thy loving, longing child--
To be like Thee!

~ From Golden Hours, Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Little Preacher

"I wish you would go to bed, mother. You know I cannot. Tell me once more, mother, are you sure God is good?" Again thus solemnly adjured, the poor feeble mother burst into tears. She held out her arms, and Doris ran into their shelter, just as she had done when a child, "Whatever He does, He is good," said the mother. ~ from The Little Preacher.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

God is For Me

"When I cry unto Thee then shall mine enemies turn back: 
This I know: for God is for me." -- Psalm 56:9

Turn back, mine enemy, unmoved
Thy wiles, thy snares I see;
Turn back, for when I cry to God
I know He is for me.

Thy day is over; I no more
Thy willing slave can be,
For I have learned to cry to God;
I know He is for me.

Hence with thy strong delusions, hence,
I parley not with thee,
But mid thy temptings cry to God,
I know He is for me.

Ah, if thou knewest as I know
The God to whom I flee,
Thou wouldst not think to gain mine ear;
I know He is for me!

~ From Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life

Monday, March 18, 2013

Katy's Summer With Mother

"I have had a charming summer with dear Mother; and now I have the great joy, so long deferred, of having her in my own home. Ernest has been very cordial about it, and James has settled up all her worldly affairs so that she has nothing to do now but to love us and let us love her. It is a pleasant picture to see her with my little darlings about her, telling the old sweet story she told me so often and making God and Heaven and Christ such blissful realities. As I listen, I realize that it is to her I owe that early, deep-seated longing to please the Lord Jesus, which I never remember as having a beginning or an ending, though it did have its fluctuations." An excerpt from Katy's journal entry of October 1, 1843, Stepping Heavenward.

[What a beautiful testimony of a mother. Katy's mother often puts us to shame. ~ mr]

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Make Me Smaller and Smaller


"I have just finished a short story called 'Gentleman Jim,"' she tells a correspondent under date of January 20, 1878. Then after mentioning a letter-- "the most discriminating I ever received -- about Greylock " -- she gives us the key to the singular equanimity with which she sustained the praises of her writings. " After the first rush of pleasure, the Evil One troubled me off and on for two or three hours, but at last I reminded him that I long ago chose to cast in my lot with the people of God, and so be off the line of human notice or applause." 

In her answer to the appreciative reader (Mr. J. Cleaveland Cady, the popular architect) she strikes the same chord more strongly. "I am not sorry that I chose the path in life I did choose. A woman should not live for, or even desire fame. . . . If I had not steadily suppressed all such ambition I might have become a sour, disappointed woman, seeing my best work unrecognized. . . . God has only taken me at my word. I have asked Him a thousand times to make me smaller and smaller, and crowd the self out of me by taking up all the room Himself." 

[A little insight as to what was in the heart of this woman and why her writings had and have the impact that they do. ~ mr]

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Katy the Young Bride

I posted a  meditation on the young married days of Stepping Heavenward's Katy at Scraps of Glory. It seemed fitting to put it there today. I want a wide variety of godly influence there, and Mrs. Prentiss is always an integral part of that. Hope you enjoy.

~ mr

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Go and Tell Jesus

Oh, aching heart, oh, restless brain,
Go and tell Jesus of thy pain;
He knows thee, loves thee, and His eye
Beams with divinest sympathy.

Go and tell Jesus; human ear
Thy mournful story may not hear;
Keep nothing back, for thee He cares,
His patient heart thy burden bears.

Go and tell Jesus; well He knows
The human heart; its pangs, its throes;
He will not fail thee, He will be
Friend, Comforter, and Peace to thee.
Go and tell Jesus; never yet
Did He a breaking heart forget;
Press closely to His bleeding side,
There, there thou shalt be satisfied.

~From Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two Other Sisters

There were two contemporaries of Mrs. Prentiss, both women who loved Christ and loved to write about Him, both who touched the hearts of many as she did. Frances Havergal and Fanny Crosby never met, but each was an admirer of the other. I ran across a lovely verse that Miss Havergal wrote in a letter to her "blind sister over the sea." It's so beautiful and seemed very appropriate to copy here, on this blog dedicated to another woman of their era who was so like them:

Dear blind sister over the sea--
An English heart goes forth to thee.
We are linked by a cable of faith and song,
Flashing bright sympathy swift along
One in the East and one in the West,
Singing for Him whom our souls love best.
Singing for Jesus! Telling His love
All the way to our home above,
Where the severing sea, with its restless tide
Never shall hinder and never divide.
Sister, what shall our meeting soon be
When our hearts shall sing and our eyes shall see?

[How sweet is this? Surely it touches your heart as it does mine. ~ mr]

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Afraid of Love

I was interrupted last night by the arrival of G.L.P., after his four months' absence in Mississippi, improved in health, and in looks, and in spirits, and quite as glad to see me, I believe, as even you, in your goodness of heart, say my lover ought to be. But I will tell you the truth, my dear cousin, I am afraid of love. There is no other medium, save that of the happiness of loving and being loved, by which my affections could be effectually turned from divine to earthly things. Am I not then on dangerous ground? Yet God mercifully shows me that it is so, and when I think how He has saved me hitherto through sharp temptations, it seems wicked distrust of Him, not to feel that He will save me through those to come. ~ from a letter to her cousin, March 22, 1844

[It's actually good to know that she had such a love for her future husband. Surely this was a good thing, even though she worried it might turn her heart away from the heavenly. By God's grace, it's obvious that it didn't.  ~ mr

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Only Jesus

Jesus, Jesus, only Jesus,
Shall become my wish and aim;
Now I make a sacred promise
That our wills shall be the same;
For my heart in sweet accord,
Cries, "Thy will be done," dear Lord.

There is One whom I am loving,
Loving early, loving late;
He o me my all has given,
All to Him I consecrate,
Thou Thy blood on me hast poured,
Let Thy will be done, dear Lord!

If what seems to be a blessing
Is not chosen, planned by Thee,
Oh deprive me of it, rather
Give me what is good for me;
Still Thy name shall be adored,
Where Thy will despoils me, Lord!

Let Thy will be done within me,
Through me, by me, ever done,
Done in life, in joy, in sorrow,
Till the victory is won,
Dying be in me restored,
When, how, where Thou wilt, dear Lord!

~ From Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life