To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
I recently read the book Stormie – A Story of Forgiveness and Healing by Stormie Omartian.
In the book Stormie describes her troubled childhood, being brought up by an abusive Mother who would keep her locked in a closet & the cruel taunts, verbal abuse she endured all through her childhood, even into adulthood.
This is the moving account of her battle with depression, the occult, alcohol & drugs that were a part of her life as a young artist in Hollywood, often performing on the Glen Campbell Show. With a miserable first marriage that followed, which made a bad situation infinitely worse, the anxiety attacks & recurring depression…hers was a tragic life to say the least.
Stormie’s mentally ill Mother was later diagnosed with schizophrenia; the book painfully describes a mind that had simply become sick. Amazing is the steadfastness of her Father, who refused to have his wife committed & endured her insults & insane behaviour till the very end.
What comes out so powerfully is God’s deliverance of a life that was hurtling down the cliffs of destruction. It is a story of such amazing power – the incredible intervention of Jesus Christ as He entered the scene of a devastated life, how He delivered her & restored her to fullness…eventually. Jesus built something beautiful out of a life that was in ruins. It’s awesome what the Master Potter can do!
He has made all things beautiful in its time (Eccl 3:11)
Powerful & inspiring, this is one book which is a must read.
For more information visit her website.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~
photo-effects courtesy – Pixlr
Persepolis is a brilliant illustrated autobiography by Marjane Satrapi.
Deep in its message yet wonderfully depicted through illustration, this is a must read. The author captures her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in a most endearing style. I am a fan of Marjane Satrapi & would highly recommend this book, which is sheer talent with a story.
Persepolis has also been adapted into a film but nothing like getting hold of the book!
India is a country of incredible diversity, a land where ancient customs, cultures & religions co-exist.
The strength of the fabric lies in the mutual tolerance woven in with threads of diverse cultures, religions & viewpoints.
These are just some of my favourite flavours of India.
It lies in the simple & ordinary everyday life.
* * * * *
The shout of the fruit & vegetable vendors hollering from the gate, calling out to the only person they deal with in the house.
Jasmine, marigold garlands & other beautiful flowers heaped in baskets as you pass by market streets or temples.
The haunting strain of MS Subbulakshmi singing Suprabhatam in the early morning quiet playing from some remote house far away.
The sombre sound of a cock crowing in recognition of a new day. In urban cities it is a rarity to have one in the neighborhood.
The watchman’s transistor radio belting some seedy movie mix in the park.
The cry of the Rangoli seller as she makes her way through the streets with the basket on her head.
The aroma & taste of pure filter coffee which you get in a tumbler when visiting South Indian families & experience simple hospitality.
The fast disappearing sight of the salt seller as he pulls his cart of rock salt through the streets calling to whoever will hear & respond.
The symbols of so many religions & cultures amongst my fellow Indians as we go through everyday life.
This is so distinctly India.
God says –
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
– Isaiah 55:8,9 –
I happened to stumble upon this song & love it.
This song beautifully depicts the love of Jesus & how He sees us while we may hang on to the negatives, shame & failures.
“I see your story, I see My name
Written on every beautiful page
You see the struggle, you see the shame
I see the reason I came.
I came for your story I came for your wounds
To show you what Love sees when I see you”
One of the most powerful & inspirational messages that I’ve listened to. Riveting.
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls –
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Let All Things Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!