I love old books. And I’ve been collecting them for years now. They’re beautiful. They have character. And most of the time, what’s inside is really worth reading…most of the time…
Once upon a time, Mitzi would buy a book if it was:
3- Had character
4- It would go with the stack of old books I already had (sometimes I like to “color scheme my books” 😉 )
Until one day, when I brought home a book…and when my husband flipped through it he asked that I only pick up “good” old books! oh. ok. (what in the world was in the book anyway? I have no idea!)
So now I have requirement #5…
They have to be good, old, pretty, charactered, right color books, Mitzi! ok.
So through the years I’ve continued to pick up old books here and there (good ones, mind you), never paying much for them, and adding them to my collection. I especially love walking in the door and watching the look on Joe’s face when I bring home a real “gem.” Ahhhh. It just don’t get no better. (I know that sentence has a double negative…its for my kids…they’ll get it. 😉 ) Some end up in Joe’s collection…why? because I’m super sweet and I really do love my husband!! 🙂
But I have a problem. Yes, I have problem.
You see, my girls love old books now, and its almost a fight between us, when we arrive at a thrift store, to see who will get to the books first…grrrr!! (Do you think someone will call me in if they see me tie my girls hands behind their back before we rush into a thrift store?? Please say its ok!)
An old book that one of my daughters found recently…I know, I know! I wasn’t with her, or I would have gotten there first and the book would have been in my hands, and not hers! sigh. Anyway, I do have to admit, she found a real gem. This book fits all the requirements and especially the “good” one. Well, actually this book is excellent! (Maybe that makes up for the few “bad” ones I brought into the house years ago??) Its so excellent that we have looked online and ordered more of them. A real keeper.
So, said book, is now on my desk. How? Because my daughter loves me (big smile)…and she’s ordering herself another one. How sweet is that?!
So this morning I was reading the March 7th entry…I know, I’m behind…but it blessed my heart so much, that I was glad I was behind…I needed this one today.
Too much of the time I have the wrong perspective of my Lord and I needed this sweet reminder that He is a Friend. MY Friend! And oh, what a Friend!
Hope it blesses you as much as it did me…(its written in an older English style…a little different than what we’re used to nowadays…just keep reading! Its a blessing!!)
March 7. — “I have called you friends.” John 15:15.
What condescension, and kindness, and grace are here! For these must be the principle of this friendship, whether we consider His greatness, or our meanness and unworthiness. Lord, what is man, that thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Yet He is mindful of us; He does visit us — yea, He calls us His friends. And names and things, professions and realities, are the same with Him. If He calls us friends, He will treat us accordingly, and we may expect from Him whatever the most perfect friendship can ensure.
For instance. He will honour us with His confidence; the very thing He here mentions, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” A servant is interested, not with secrets, but orders, and he is seldom informed the reasons, even of these. Turning him into a confidant, is one of the ways to exemplify Solomon’s observation: “He that delicately bringeth up a servant, shall have him for his son at length;” and he will take greater liberties than a child. There is, indeed, respect due to a servant; but it is respect of another kind. We do not like a master or mistress, who is above speaking to a domestic, unless in the language of menace or authority. Good sense will find out a happy medium between distance and fondness; between haughtiness, and a familiarity that inspires no deference. But unreserved confidence is for friends. Nothing is concealed between them. Abraham is called the friend of God: and, says God, “Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I shall do?” How did our Lord unbosom Himself to His disciples? To you, said, He, is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. When He was alone He expounded all things unto them; He manifested Himself to them, and not unto the world. And so now; the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.
If He calls us His friends, He will give us freedom of access to Him. The distance and ceremonies which may be necessary to regulate the approach of others, are laid aside with a friend; the heart, the arms, the house, are all open to him. And does the Lord keep us at a distance? His language is invitation. “Come unto me.” He allows us to come even to His seat, and to enter the secret of His pavilion. He permits us, at all times, to spread our most minute affairs before Him; yea, He indulges us to live in His house, to sit at His table, to walk with Him, to lean upon His bosom. Such honour have all His saints.
If He calls us friends He will reprove us. Whenever friendship is founded on proper principle, reproof will be found one of its chief duties, and privileges too. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; and so David valued them. “Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil which shall not break my head; for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.” Moses makes the omission the proof of hatred, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thous shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and to suffer sin upon him.” But the Savior will never incur this reproach: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.
If He calls us friends He will counsel us. There are passages in the life of every man sufficient to confound a single understanding. But how pleasing is it, in doubts and perplexities, to fetch in aid from the judgment or experience of another, and who we know is concerned for our welfare? But He is “The Counsellor.” “Counsel, “says He, “is mine, and sound wisdom.” He is a light to them that sit in darkness; a dissolver of doubts. The meek will He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach his way, and they that follow it will find it to be pleasantness and peace.
If He calls us friends He will sympathize with us. There is no true friendship, unless we make the pleasures and pains of our connections our own, rejoicing when they rejoice, and weeping when they weep. To him that is afflicted, pity should be showed from his friend. The natural language of the sufferer is, “Pity me, pity me, O ye my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me!” Hence the complaint of the Savior, “I looked for some to take pity, and there was none; and for comforters, but I found none,” for even all the disciples forsook Him and fled. But He will never inflict what He endured. In all our affliction He is afflicted. To exemplify this He assumed our nature. He became a man to be a friend. For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able also to succour those that are tempted; and, therefore through He is passed into the heavens, we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmity. Yea, “He that toucheth them, toucheth the apple of His eye.”
If He calls us friends He will afford us assistance and succour. And this is the grand test of friendship. A friend loveth at all times; but is born for adversity; and he has forfeited all claim to the character, who says, in the hour of application, Go in peace; be ye warmed, and be ye filled, while he gives not the things that are needful! Yet, how often is this the case; and the words of Solomon verified, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in the time of trouble, is like a broken tooth, or a foot out of joint.” Many are very friendly when you want not their aid, especially while you are imparting instead of receiving. You are their garden; they walk in you in summer, but abandon you in winter — then you have no flowers or fruits. You are their scaffold; they build with you, but the work done, they take you down, and lay you aside. But though the Savior will never leave us not forsake us, He has emphatically said, “I will by with you in trouble.” And His people have always found Him a present help, when every other resource has failed. Some may really feel for us, but be unable to help us. But nothing is too hard for the Lord. Even in death He will be the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever.
Thus He treats His friends. How do they treat Him? Have we never given Him cause to say, “Is this thy kindness to thy friend?” Have we never betrayed a want of confidence in Him? Have we never been ashamed of Him? Never denied Him before men? Have we not often preferred our own ease and honour to His cause and glory? We can never make Him adequate returns for His goodness, but have we made Him suitable returns? Rather will not an honest review of our temper and conduct constrain us to blush and say,
“O were not I so vile and base,
I could not thus my friend requite;
And were not He the God of grace,
He’d frown and spurn me from Him sight.”
The author (William Jay) lived in the 1800’s and we wonder where his writings have been and why people weren’t talking about them. He has really blessed and encouraged our family, and we’re so glad we “found” him.
Have a great week!