Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reformation Day

Alright, I suppose I should post something about my character for the day. :)  

 I am Marion Braidfoot Wallace for the day, as her story has made a major impact on me.

 Some would not classify her as a Reformer, as she lived in the 1200's and not much is known about her. 
 But I would assert that she was indeed a Reformer, in that she supported her husband in his endeavors, and thereby preserved to us one of the greatest Christians to grace this earth.

 Marion knew God's Word, and she knew her husband (William Wallace) would follow the laws of his God, and Country at all costs. 
 When his life was threatened, she; being called upon to reveal his hiding place; refused to say. And was herself murdered in his place. 

 Unlike the way these people were portrayed in the movie Braveheart, they were Godly, virtuous people, and worthy to be emulated. :) 

 Lady Wallace was indeed Proverbs 31 woman. She reached out to all around her, from her home at Ellerslie. 

 An excerpt from my favorite book - 

 "Ellerslie was the refuge of the friendless, and the comfort of the unhappy.  Wherever Lady Wallace moved, --- whether looking out from her window on the accidental passenger, or taking her moonlight walks through the glen, leaning on the arm of her husband, --- she had the rapture of hearing his steps greeted and followed by the blessing of the poor destitute, and the prayers of them who were ready to perish.  It was then that this happy woman would raise her husband's hand to her lips, and, in silent adoration, thank God for blessing her with e being made so truly in His own image."

 After Wallace had taken up arms, and rescued a fellow Scot (Lord Donald Mar) from the tyranny of the English governor of Lanark, and in the contest had killed the governors nephew: English troops were sent to Ellerslie to kill him.  Marion knew her husband so well, and trusted him, because he trusted God; that she made these answers to the officer of the English troops which has come.

 In reference to the soldiers who were sent into the house to find Wallace...
 "They obeyed; but others, who had gained admittance to the tower through
the now forced gates, soon ran to him with information that the
murderer could nowhere be found.

"But here is a gay ladie," cried one; "perhaps she can tell of his
hiding-place." And at moment Marion, with Halbert, (Halbert was the faithful servant) appeared amongst a
band of men.  The lighted torches which the soldiers held, shone full on her face.  Though pale as monumental marble, the exquisite beauty of
her features, and the calm dignity which commanded from her eyes, awed
the officer into respect and admiration.

"Soldiers, stand back!" cried he, advancing to Lady Wallace.  "Fear
not, madam."  As the words passed his lips, a flight of arrows flew
into the bosom of the tree.  A piercing shriek from Marion was her only
answer.  "Hah! my lady's falcon!" cried Halbert alarmed, doubly, for
the fate of his master.  A sudden agitation of the branches having
excited an indefinite suspicion in a body of archers who stood near,
with one impulse they had discharged their arrows to the spot.
Halbert's ready excuse, both for the disturbance in the tree and his
lady's shriek, was prompted and warranted true by the appearance of a
large bird, which the rushing of the arrows had frighted from her nest;
she rose suddenly from amongst the branches, and soared away, far to
the east, with loud screams.  (Wallace was hiding in the tree)

 All being again still, Marion hoped that her husband had escaped any
serious injury from the arrows; and turning with recovered composure to
the officer, heard him, with a glow of comfort, reprimand his men for
daring to draw their bows without his orders.  Then addressing her, "I
beg your pardon, madam," said he, "both for the alarm these hot-headed
men have occasioned you, and for the violence they have committed in
forcing one of your sex and beauty before me.  Had I expected to have
found a lady here, I should have issued orders to have prevented this
outrage; but I am sent hither in quest of Sir William Wallace, who, by
a mortal attack made on the person of the Governor of Lanark's nephew,
has forfeited his life.  The scabbard of his sword, found beside the
murdered Heselrigge, is an undeniable proof of his guilt.  Direct us to
find him, and not only your release, but the favor of the English
monarch will await your allegiance.

 "I am Sir William Wallace's wife," returned the gentle Marion, in a
firm tone; "and by what authority you seek him thus, and presume to
call him guilty, I cannot understand."
"By the authority of the laws, madam, which he has violated."
"What laws?" rejoined she; "Sir William Wallace acknowledges none but
those of God and his country.  Neither of these has he transgressed."

 The officer replied, "This night he assassinated Arthur Heselrigge in
the streets of Lanark; and that condemns him, by the last declaration
of King Edward: Whatever Scot maltreats any one of the English
soldiers, or civil officers garrisoned in the towns of Scotland, shall
thereby forfeit his life, as the penalty of his crime."
"A tyrant's law, sir, to which no freeborn Scot will submit!  But even
were it allowed by my countrymen, in this case it can have no hold on
my husband.  That he is a Scot, he glories: and not that he maltreated
any Englishman in the streets of Lanark, do I glory; but because, when
he saw two defenseless men borne down by a band of armed soldiers, he
exposed his unshielded breast in their defense; one of the two died,
covered with wounds.  That the governor's nephew also fell, was a just
retribution for his heading so unequal a contest, and no crime in Sir
William Wallace; for he slew him to preserve a feeble old man, who had
a hundred English swords leveled at his life."

 The officer paused for a moment, and then, ordering his soldiers to
fall further back, when they were at a sufficient distance, he offered
to take Lady Wallace's hand.  She withstood his motion with a reserved
air, and said, "Speak, sir, what you would say, or allow me to retire."
"I mean not to offend you, noble lady," continued he; "had I a wife
lovely as yourself, and I in like circumstances, I hope in the like
manner would defend my life and honor.  I knew not the particulars of
the affair in which Arthur Heselrigge fell, till I heard it from your
lips.  I can easily credit them, for I know his unmanly character.
Wallace is a Scot, and acted in Scotland as Gilbert Hambledon would
have done in England, were it possible for any vile foreigner to there
put his foot upon the neck of a countryman of mine. Wherever you have
concealed your husband, let it be a distant asylum.  At present no
tract within the jurisdiction of Lanark will be left unsearched by the
governor's indefatigable revenge."

 After this Hambledon left.  But Heselrigge came himself later, and confronted Marion. 

 "Woman!" cried he, "I am the Governor of Lanark.  You now stand before
the representative of the great King Edward, and on your allegiance to
him, and on the peril of your life, I command you to answer me three
questions.  Where is Sir William Wallace, the murderer of my nephew?
Who is that old Scot, for whom my nephew was slain?  He and his whole
family shall meet my vengeance!  And tell me where is that box of
treasure which your husband stole from Douglas Castle?  Answer me these
questions on your life."

 Lady Wallace remained silent.

"Speak, woman," demanded the governor.  "If fear cannot move you, know
that I can reward as well as avenge.  I will endow you richly, if you
declare the truth.  If you persist to refuse, you die."
"Then I die," replied she, scarcely opening her half-closed eyes, as
she leaned, fainting and motionless, against the soldier who held her.

 "What?" cried the governor, stifling his rage, in hopes to gain by
persuasion on a spirit he found threats could not intimidate; "can so
gentle a lady reject the favor of England, large grants in this
country, and perhaps a fine English knight for a husband, when you
might have all for the trifling service of giving up a traitor to his
liege lord, and confessing where his robberies lie concealed?  Speak,
fair dame; give me this information, and the lands of the wounded
chieftain whom Wallace brought here, with the hand of the handsome Sir
Gilbert Hambledon, shall be your reward.  Rich, and a beauty in
Edward's court!  Lady, can you now refuse to purchase all, by declaring
the hiding place of the traitor Wallace?"

"It is easier to die!"

"Fool!" cried Heselrigge, driven from his assumed temper by her steady
denial.  "What? is it easier for these dainty limbs to be hacked to
pieces by my soldiers' axes?  Is it easier for that fair bosom to be
trodden underfoot by my horse's hoofs, and for that beauteous head of
thine to decorate my lance?  Is all this easier than to tell me where
to find a murderer and his gold?"

Lady Wallace shuddered; she stretched her hands to heaven.

 "Speak once for all!" cried the enraged governor, drawing his sword; "I
am no waxen-hearted Hambledon, to be cajoled by your beauty.  Declare
where Wallace is concealed, or dread my vengeance."
The horrid steel gleamed across the eyes of the unhappy Marion; unable
to sustain herself, she sunk to the ground.

"Kneel not to me for mercy!" cried the fierce wretch; "I grant none,
unless you confess your husband's hiding-place."

A momentary strength darted from the heart of Lady Wallace to her
voice, "I kneel to Heaven alone, and may it ever preserve my Wallace
from the fangs of Edward and his tyrants!"

 "Blasphemous wretch!" cried the infuriated Heselrigge; and in that
moment he plunged his sword into her defenseless breast. "

 "There sleeps the pride and hope of Ellerslie, the mother with her
child!  O my master, my widowed master," cried he, "what will comfort

 If Marion had not taken the word the Lord seriously, and obey them; if she had not been in support of her husband, and been willing to shield him with her life... one of the greatest Christian's in history would have died before he had completed the work God had for him. 

 The story of Wallace yet inspires others to emulate Christ, as he did.  But we wouldn't have his story, if it hadn't been for Marion. 

 Women played a large role in the reformation.... through being in support of their husbands. 

 "Scotsmen!" cried Wallace, waving the fatal sword, which blazed in the
glare of these northern lights like a flaming brand, "behold how the
heavens cry aloud to you!  I come, in the midst of their fires, to call
you to vengeance.  I come in the name of all ye hold dear, of the wives
of you bosoms, and the children in their arms, to tell you the poniard
of England is unsheathed-innocence and age and infancy fall before it.
With this sword, last night, did Heselrigge, the English tyrant of
Lanark, break into my house, and murder my wife!"

 This is what was said of Marion, even when not mush is known of her...

 "Many tears followed his (Halbert's) recital; not one of his auditors was an
indifferent listener; all had individually or in persons dear to them,
partaken of the tender Marion's benevolence.  Their sick beds had been
comforted by her charity; her voice had often administered consolation
to their sorrows; her hand had smoothed their pillows, and placed the
crucifix before their dying eyes.  Some had recovered to bless her, and
some had departed to record her virtues in heaven." 

 We women can emulate Marion, in that she emulated Christ.  She was willing to lay down her life, in obedience to Christ.  We can do the same. 

 Marion was a reformer, in that she challenges the conventional idea of what it is to be a woman. And how we, as women, can obey God, and let Him do a work in us, from our own domains... the home. 

 *Quotes taken from the book Scottish Chiefs by Miss Jane Porter
The book may be found here...

 I will hopefully be posting more about Marion in the near future.

   In the service of my Father

Friday, October 19, 2012

That Haunting Loneliness

 Dealing with loneliness is hard.

 We have all heard "Christ is all you need, there's no need to be lonely" and while that's true... there's still that longing for human affection, beyond that of a friend.  Nothing will change that.  There is no getting rid of it. There is only commiting it to Christ to be used for His glory.  And yes, He can use it for His glory. :)

 It seems we treat loneliness as a sin, and something to be shunned.  Really it's an emotion God has given to help us feel our need for each other.

 We all need friends.  But this need is something beyond that of normal friendship.  Something that most want.

 There are some that abhore the idea of every marrying.

 There are some that have just gone out and married the first one that came along. And are now regretting it.

 There are still others that found the right one quickly; married and setteled down long ago.

 Then there are those who have waited forever, and have seen their friends all around, married, and happy with their families. While those of us who have waited for the right one are sitting here wondering will it ever happen?

 We look around on our happy friends, and their families; then we look up and say "God, when is it my turn? What about me? Isn't there someone for me?"

 Yes, there is.  If God gave the desire to marry, He has a reason for doing so.

 It seems all we do is wait, and nothing happens.

 God has not forgotten us.  He's testing to see if we will remain faithful to Him.

 It's so easy to just walk away from the way He has us in, and go the way of the world, just to find someone.   But that's a false love, and will not, cannot last.

 The real test is... will we stay with Christ through it all?  Will we turn our back on the world and say, in spite of our feelings - Not my will, but Thine be done! Wether together with the one I love; or wether I'm solitary, I will serve You.  No. Matter. What. - ?  Do we have the courage to say that? and to live it?

 Yes, God made us to be with other people. Yes God made us to want to be married.  But are we willing to go with Him even if He sees fit for us to be single always?

 We all may think it's a long time to wait.  We all know (or think) that we're ready: but it hasn't come.

 Let's not worry about if it will ever happen. Let's not worry about wether the "one" knows if we're ready.  Let's spend this time in prayer, and study for the future.

 God only gives the trials He knows we can handle.  It's just we don't know that yet ;)   He'll never give us more than can be endured.  He will give us more than we can handle alone, so we will be reminded of our need for Him.

 That lonely, hollow feeling won't go away until we're married.  We don't have to "get rid of it", we do't have to hide it.  We have to trust it to Him, and make sure our hearts are full of His love, so we're ready for the other kind when it comes.

 But while we're waiting for the right one, while we're getting ready for the right one; let's be careful who we are interested in.

 It's so easy to think "oh, well they're nice, we get along alright, they're a Christian and all" and we lose sight of the true purpose of marriage.

 If we see someone we think we like, or maybe love; we need to examine why we love them.  What is the reason we are interested in them?   Is it because they look good? or because they love God?  Is it because they are smart? or because they know what they believe, and are ready to die for those beliefs?   Is it because they know how to talk well, and can keep up an interesting conversation? or is it because they can talk freely with God, and can truely pray without ceasing?   Do we love them based on virtue? or based on lust?  Do we have the same beliefs? the same goals? or are they just nice, and we can put up with differences because we'll never find "Mr. or Mrs. Perfect"?

 There are so many reasons we can love someone.  And I'm sure we'd all be amazed at our real reasons for "loving" someone, if we just examined them.

 If  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is the only person I could ever be comfortable around; the only person I could love in this way; the only person I would willingly, and gladly marry - chances are it's the right one.  Then just wait for God's timing.

 But if we think we love one person, and want to marry them; but can still look at others as a possibility: it's not right.

 If we can't be faithful to the one in our thoughts, then we won't be faithful in reality.   If we don't keep our hearts now; we'll never do it then either.

 Proverbs 4:23
 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

 God gave us hearts to be given to one person. We need to keep it pure.  Not giving out little pieces to this one and that one until the right one comes and there is nothing left.  Keep it pure; keep it locked up in the chest of God's wisdom, and when the right one comes, God will give them the key needed to access it. :)

  So there was my preaching at myself to get past todays lonely. ;P

      In the service of my Father

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Complete Surrender

 When people talk about fully submitting to God, I always think, "well, that can't be too hard" HA! 

 It seems so simple that God should ask something of us, and we would just say yes, and do it.  

 God says to Trust and Obey... in those two words He gives us more than we can handle. Which causes us to run to Him for strength, and courage.  That's His purpose. That's what He's wanting us to do.  Will we do it? 

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we'll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

 Some of us take more trials than others. 
 We all look at others and think they have it easier. Well, they don't. 
 Some can internalize it, to where it doesn't look like they have struggles.  But they have just as hard of trials as the rest of us.  And some have harder; that's why they pull inside.  

 The other day I was praying over my trials.  Asking for strength to give up my dreams... then it hit me.
 I'm hanging on to other peoples dreams.  I'm willing to let go of mine; but am I willing to let go of theirs? 
 I can't live someone else's dream. I can't revive their dream for them.  I have to let it go.

 Then this song comes to mind. 

by Rev Carey Landry

The Love I have for you my Lord
is only a shadow of your love for me
Only a shadow of your love for me
Your deep and abiding love.

My own belief in you my Lord
is only a shadow of your faith in me
Only a shadow of your faith in me
your deep and lasting faith.

My life is in your hands my Lord
My life is in your hands my lord
My love for you will grow my God
Your light in me will always shine

The dream I have today my lord
Is only a shadow of your dreams my Lord for me
Only a shadow of all that will be
if I but follow you Lord.

The joy I feel today my lord
Is only a shadow of your Joys for me.
Only a shadows of your joys for me
when we meet face to face. 

 When I prayed for the strength to give up those dreams, God asked me to give up not only the dreams, but the person they belong to... I said I would. 

 Then He showed me how I had not given without reserve... He started asking me if I would be willing to go on without those dreams.  If I would be willing to let God do whatever He saw fit, through them.  I said I would. 

 Then He asked me if He were to take them away, and the person with them... in the way He did Wallace? ... and shame to me... I told Him no! I said He couldn't do that.

 Then He said... "But you just gave them to me. What makes you think it's your choice? Did you give them unreservedly?"
 I had to say "no" again... I hadn't. 

 Yes, maybe it all was a test. Yes, maybe He isn't going to take them in that way. Maybe He isn't going to use them for the kind of mighty work He did in Wallace... but whatever He plans, am I standing in the way? 
 Yes, I have been. 

 And who's to say He won't do those things?  Maybe He will... but I have to be willing to follow Him no matter the outcome. 

 He asked complete surrender.  I thought I knew what that was... until I experienced it.  

 There is no way to describe complete surrender.  One has to experience it for themselves.  But are we standing in the way of that experience? 

 When God asks something of us, do we do lip service, and say we will do it; but inwardly are we keeping it tucked away in hopes of it reviving? 

 I was. I was hanging on to those dreams... in hopes that one day they would come to pass. 

 I finally gave in, and gave up... He has been bringing me to this point for years... and I was fighting Him.  I was determined to win, or to die trying. 
 Well, the other day I laid down my arms and surrendered.  
 But I will still die trying... I will die to self, trying to follow Him.   That's been His goal for me all along. I saw it; I said I was doing it... but I was still fighting. 

 God won.  And oh! the peace that came to me, after so long of struggling. After so long of trying to measure up, and trying to "fit in" and "make something of myself" I gave up.  
 Now there is a peace that passes understanding.  A peace the world never gave, and the world cannot take away. 

 He's been asking me if I could trust Him.  Yes. I can. We all can. 

 Now He's asking us to really do it... not just know that He's trustworthy; but to really trust Him. 

 God never moves without purpose or plan
 When trying His servant, and molding a man.
 Give thanks to the Lord, tho' your testing seems long 
 In darkness He giveth a song. 

 I could not see through the shadows ahead
 So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead. 
 I bowed to the will of the Master that day,
Then peace came, and tears fled away.

 Now I can see, testing comes from above
 God strengthens His children, and purges in love.
 My Father knows best, and I trust in His care
 Through purging more fruit I will bear.

 Oh rejoice in the Lord
 He makes no mistake
 He knoweth the end of each path that I take
 For when I am tried, and purified
 I shall come forth as gold. 

 Rejoice in the trials. They're meant for our good.  

 No, we may not see the reason for them.  We may never know the reason until we pass from this world to the next.  
 But He will see us through every one of them.  He has a plan in every one of them that is beyond our imagination. 

 Hang in there.  Trust Him.  Obey Him.  Surrender, stop fighting.  Give in, and give up.  And see what He does through you. 

 Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You.” (Psalm 84:11-12) 

  In the service of my Father.