A Common-Place Jotting: Corrie ten Boom

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II and, by all accounts, saved nearly 800 lives in the Netherlands. They were devout Christians.

On February 28, 1944, a Dutch informant told the Nazis of the ten Booms’ activities and the Gestapo raided the home. They kept the house under surveillance, and by the end of the day 35 people, including the entire ten Boom family, were arrested, Although German soldiers thoroughly searched the house, they didn’t find the half-dozen Jews safely concealed in the hiding place. The six stayed in the cramped space for nearly three days before being rescued by the Dutch underground.

Ten Boom Museum

All ten Boom family members were incarcerated, including Corrie’s 84-year-old father, who soon died in the Scheveningen prison, located near The Hague. Corrie and her sister Betsie were remanded to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. Betsie died there on December 16, 1944. Twelve days later, Corrie was released. None of the other members of her family had survived.

In 1971, she wrote a best-selling book of her experiences during World War II, entitled The Hiding Place in which she recounts her extraordinary experiences through World War II and illustrates how Christ’s strength sustained her.

The above biography taken from biography.com.

“In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”

Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

“I have experienced His presence in the deepest hell that man can create. I have really tested the promises of the Bible, and believe me, you can count on them.”

Corrie ten Boom

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Corrie ten Boom

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.”

Corrie ten Boom
Continue reading “A Common-Place Jotting: Corrie ten Boom”

A Common-Place Jotting: Communion with God

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

John Owen (1616-1683) was a theologian and Independent minister, and one of the more prolific writers of his time. He had one of the greatest minds of the seventeenth century, and engaged in the scholarly debates then current. He was a defender of high Calvinism, a chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, and an administrator for the University of Oxford. His works were widely read in his lifetime and continue to be published today.

“The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you.”

John Owen, Communion with God (1657)

The excerpt below is from the same work by Owens, quoted in Randall J. Pederson, The Puritans Daily Readings (pp. 258-259):

“By nature, since the entrance of sin, no man has any communion with God. God is light and we are darkness; and what communion has light with darkness? He is life, we are dead; He is love, and we are enmity; and what agreement can there be between us? Men in such a condition have neither Christ, nor hope, nor God in the world, “being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them” (Eph. 4:18).

Now, two cannot walk together unless they be agreed, (Amos 3:3). While there is this distance between God and man, there is no walking together for them in any fellowship or communion. Our first interest in God was so lost by sin, as that there was left unto us (in ourselves) no possibility of a recovery. As we had deprived ourselves of all power for a returnal, so God had not revealed any way of access unto Himself; or that He could, under any consideration, be approached unto by sinners in peace. Not any work that God had made, not any attribute that He had revealed, could give the least light into such a dispensation.

The manifestation of grace and pardoning mercy, which is the only door of entrance into any such communion, is not committed unto any but unto Him alone in whom it is, by whom that grace and mercy was purchased, through whom it is dispensed, who reveals it from the bosom of the Father. Hence this communion and fellowship with God is not in express terms mentioned in the Old Testament. The thing itself is found there; but the clear light of it, and the boldness of faith in it, is discovered in the gospel, and by the Spirit administered therein. ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.’Ephesians 5:11

Communion is the mutual communication of such good things as wherein the persons holding that communion are delighted, bottomed upon some union between them. So it was with Jonathan and David; their souls clave to one another in love, (1 Sam. 20:17). There was the union of love between them; and then they really communicated all issues of love mutually. In spiritual things this is more eminent: those who enjoy this communion have the most excellent union for the foundation of it; and the issues of that union, which they mutually communicate, are the most precious and eminent…

Our communion, then, with God consists in His communication of Himself unto us, with our returnal unto Him of that which He requires and accepts, flowing from that union which in Jesus Christ we have with Him. This communion is twofold: it is perfect and complete, in the full fruition of His glory and total giving up of ourselves to Him, resting in Him as our utmost end; which we shall enjoy when we see Him as He is; and second, it is initial and incomplete, in the first-fruits and dawnings of that perfection which we have here in grace.

It is, then, I say, of that mutual communication in giving and receiving, after a most holy and spiritual manner, which is between God and the saints while they walk together in a covenant of peace, ratified in the blood of Jesus. We thus pray that the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has, of the riches of His grace, recovered us from a state of enmity into a condition of communion and fellowship with Himself, that we may have such a taste of His sweetness and excellencies as to be stirred up to a farther longing after the fullness of His salvation, and the eternal fruition of Him in glory.”

“So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more.”

John Owen, Communion with God (1657)

A Common-Place Jotting: “Lord, It Belongs Not To My Care”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

Richard Baxter was a 17th-century English theologian and Reformed pastor whose fruitfulness in ministry continues to inspire the church today. Most quoted is this advice to those in ministry which, given recent high-profile scandals, can use another dusting off:

Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach . . . and lest you famish yourselves while you prepare food for them.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor

Also a poet, Baxter summarized the manner of his preaching this way: 

I preach’d, as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men!
O how should preachers men’s repenting crave,
Who see how near the church is to the grave?

More Arms to Reach You

If I had more arms to reach You
Would that help? But You say,
Two will do now
To reach my neighbor.

Eyes upward, arms outward: Happy Lord’s Day

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12

Check out more flower photography at Cee’s FOTD challenge for April 25, 2021

Rebirth

For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. — Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”

There ought not to be anything but that my mind has ordered it so —

So I had been taught — for the mind is designer

Reality but the by-blow, bastard child that diminishes as I diminish

But that the Emperor of Ice-Cream has clay feet

Which stand on eternity’s threshold eyeing a feast.

There the bread and wine of Thy design

Grain and grape sweetly lies upon the tongue

To “taste and see the goodness of the LORD”

Yet nothing tasting if not sanctified by Thy Word

Blood spilled and body broken

Spoken gospel of love heard by a few

Who once nothing being are born in You

Till nothing become sons and daughters

Alive to You.


Laura at dVerse asks us to address paradox as a matter for today’s “Poetics” prompt, including using as a starting point and/or epigraph the above Wallace Stevens quotation. Click on Mr. Linky for more and join in!

You Have Been Good to Me, LORD

I’m loving the Psalms this morning, especially those whose words have sunk deep into my heart. Of them, Psalm 121 always comes to mind. And how it causes me to say, in the words of Psalm 13: 6, “I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 121 (ESV)
Audrey Assad, “Good To Me” (lyrics below)

Good To Me (Audrey Assad)

I put all my hope on the truth of Your promise
And I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me

And I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night – raise my head up to hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, yeah

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I will trust in Your promise

Yeah, Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I trust in Your promise

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I will trust in Your promise

Because You’ re good (You are good to me, good to me)
So good (You are good to me, good to me)
You are good to me

A Common-Place Jotting: In Dir Ist Freude

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

http://www.hymntime.com/tch

Written by Johann Lindemann in 1598, “In Dir Ist Freude” (“In Thee is Gladness”) was translated from the German by Catherine Winkworth almost three hundred years later. Winkworth was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights as well as promoting women’s higher education. Johann Lindemann was one of the signers of the Lutheran Formula of Concord, and served often as a cantor in various churches in his native Germany. The hymn is often performed using J.S. Bach’s arrangement.

In Thee is Gladness              

In thee is gladness amid all sadness,
Jesus, sunshine of my heart!
By thee are given the gifts of heaven,
thou the true redeemer art!
Our souls thou wakest, our bonds thou breakest,
who trusts thee surely hath built securely,
and stands forever: Hallelujah!
Our hearts are pining to see thy shining,
dying or living to thee are cleaving,
naught can us sever: Hallelujah!

If he is ours, we fear no powers,
nor of earth, nor sin, nor death.
He sees and blesses in worst distresses;
he can change them with a breath.
Wherefore the story, tell of his glory,
with heart and voices all heav’n rejoices
in him forever: Hallelujah!
We shout for gladness, triumph o’er sadness,
love thee and praise thee,
and still shall raise thee
glad hymns forever: Hallelujah!

Continue reading “A Common-Place Jotting: In Dir Ist Freude”

Through It All: Fruit

Prostrated by the summer’s heat, we cannot always see the fruit that is being produced on a vine. Just so, cast down by our sufferings, it’s hard to see the fruit God is producing in us. Even so, Lord God, we pray, let it all be to your glory! Amen.

Summer Berries

[Christ Jesus said:] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

John 15: 1-6
Continue reading “Through It All: Fruit”

Coaster to Coaster

Getting my coasters all lined up for a reading break.

Yesterday I was privileged to read Candace Owens’s Blackout and was impressed by this young woman’s sagacity and determination to break out of the collective mold she had been forced into by virtue of the color of her skin through the demagoguery of political leaders and educators. Her personal story was well worth reading in and of itself, apart from the views she now holds as to how best her fellow black Americans can advance their communities and enhance their lives individually.

Today, back to British historian Tom Holland’s Dominion, his most recent offering, much more of a slow read given the breadth of his subject but now that I’m more than half-way through, enjoying his take on the world-changing nature of Judaeo-Christian values which have raised the conditions of the marginalized, the poor and the helpless to a status they would never have enjoyed otherwise. By dint of his being an agnostic, Holland’s objectivity is especially impressive for its unfiltered look at the now universally-touted values of individuality, freedom, civil rights and tolerance that Christians helped advance throughout the world by their belief in the dignity of every human being made in the image of God.

All this by way of saying I’ll be on a blogging break for an indefinite time but will catch y’all back here as soon as may be.

Take care, my friends.

Joyful Dependance on God

Some of you have noticed the tagline to my site title “This Jolly Beggar”: “In Absolute Joyful, Dependance on the Grace and Love of God.” The story behind that is on my “C. S. Lewis on Jolly Beggars” page.

These Blue Stars, these Jolly Beggars

So when I saw these tiny sparkling blue flowers in an out-of-the-way patch of dirt down an alley, I recognized in them this quality of joyful dependance on God. Nothing dimmed their sparkle. And eyes that were open to their presence were blessed beyond all reason. Why? Because languishing here in this little patch where no one noticed them, these little stalks of blue stars, these jolly beggars boldly testified to God’s faithfulness.

Today I read of another “jolly beggar,” Rika Theron, who lives in South Africa. As the author of the article on Rika writes:

This. This is a life of suffering. And this is a life of breathtaking beauty. . . . .

In a world that worships fame and productivity, indulgences and self-sufficiency, Rika’s life may seem unbearably difficult. She has not enjoyed the fleeting pleasures afforded to most people and has spent her life in relative seclusion, in pain and dependent on others. Yet watching Rika live in joyful dependence on God, touching the seen and unseen world, I realize she’s changing the universe as she fights her daily battles – perhaps having a greater impact on the kingdom of God than celebrities with large ministries. In heaven, the people who have suffered alone, in a small corner of the world, will shine more brightly than we can imagine.

Vaneetha Risner, “A Remarkable Life”

Rika knows that she is seen and known and loved by God. Do you have this same knowledge and joyful dependance on the God who suffered and has offered Himself for you?

Bear pain for one moment at a time; there is patience enough in Jesus for the next moment. You cannot exhaust God; and your work is to be, not in your might or power, but by his Spirit.  — F. B. Meyer

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10: 13
Photo for Cee's Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge. Be sure to visit Cee's Photo Challenges for amazing photography and fun photo challenges.