Thursday, January 13, 2011

Streams in the Desert, Christina's World...

I am so enjoying the beautiful new leather bound devotional my daughter, Marianna gave me for my 50th birthday. (I can't believe I'm 50, just yesterday I was 21 with my first baby girl)

Such is life.

Speaking of life, one of my favorite things to do as a young girl was to take an armchair trip. What is an armchair trip? I would take one of our World Book encyclopedias and look up a country, state or many times take a trip right there in our fluffy recliner to the world of famous paintings, I would sit there for over an hour reading and learning and browsing...As I would browse the famous paintings, there were several that would stand out to me...I've always remembered this painting, Christina's World....

Today I feel like the 1948 painting Christina's World, oh the world we are in is just becoming incredibly cold. Incredibly cold.

Andrew Wyeth. Christina's World. 1948

The woman crawling through the tawny grass was the artist's neighbor in Maine, who, crippled by polio, "was limited physically but by no means spiritually." Wyeth further explained, "The challenge to me was to do justice to her extraordinary conquest of a life which most people would consider hopeless." He recorded the arid landscape, rural house, and shacks with great detail, painting minute blades of grass, individual strands of hair, and nuances of light and shadow. In this style of painting, known as magic realism, everyday scenes are imbued with poetic mystery.

I've seen good Christian families, families who we thought to be rock solid go off into an almost cult-like behavior worshiping some odd doctrine that doesn't even resemble our Jesus who welcomes all who will receive Him as Lord and Savior. I'm seeing the churched so cold at times, not really caring about much of anything if it doesn't bother them in their particular "colony". I see young people from other families who will ignore you as a parent one minute to turn around and smile when they need a favor. Do their parents know they do this or are do the parents also do this very same thing? I'm hearing reports of young men at Bible studies that won't even offer to give up their seat for a young lady, a young lady with a skirt on... Just this morning I donated over a dozen bags to an organization. There were several boxes, clearly filled with breakables and a lamp on it's own. One of the workers callously threw the breakables to the back of the truck football style as the items crashed into the truck... People who hurt others, slandering others over doctrine, behaving as if nothing was done wrong.

So many times these thorns can hurt us but they also make us strong and more discerning.

The devotional our daughter Marianna gave me is entitled: Streams in the Desert and it is wonderful so far. If you are looking for a time-tested devotional I would recommend this one, it really is truly wonderful in my opinion and rock solid from what I have read. It is written by L.B. Cowman and first published in 1925.

A noted scientist, observing that the early sailors believed the coral-building animals instinctively built up the great reefs of the Atoll Islands in order to protect themselves in the inner waterway, has disproved this belief. He has shown these organisms can only live and thrive facing the open ocean in the highly oxygenated foam of the combative waves. It is commonly thought that a protected and easy life is the best way to live. Yet the lives of all the noblest and strongest people prove exactly the opposite and that the endurance of hardship is the making of the person. It is the factor that distinguishes between merely existing and living a vigorous life. Hardships builds character.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
~ 2 Corinthians 2:14

Streams in the Deserty 366 Daily Devotional Readings by L.B. Cowman, updated by Jm Reimann

I also have a new series of my decluttering adventures and epiphanies on my thats-italianblogspot if you would like to join in on the fun and encouragement.


Maxine said...

Amelia, I LOVE Streams in the Desert. I get the email version daily, but it would probably be nice to have it in book form.

Oh, that painting. What can I say? It's outstanding.

Happy Birthday, Amelia. I remember it was a big deal when I turned 50 and now, this year, I'll be turning 70 and I just can't believe it.

Have I ever seen the changes in this world, and as depressing as it is reading about them in your post, unfortunately they're all too true. Sorrowful world; thankfully it's not our home.

Bless you, Amelia.

Carmen said...

Wow Mrs. Amelia. I couldn't write anything as wonderufl as Mrs Maxine. She just articulated it very well. Didn't she?

I too like the painting. It reminds me of my old Farmhouse.

Again, Happy Birthday!

Amelia said...

Maxine, I simply cannot believe you are turning 70, you do not look that age at all. It must be Godly living and the joy of the Lord! : )

Yes, it's been different lately, things have been depressing when we see what is transpiring but as you too know the Lord is Just, we can sit back and watch on some things. We are wonderfully blessed and as you said Maxine, we can keep our homes as safe havens. What a beautiful blessing!

The 50 part is odd, it slipped up on me! : )

So glad you enjoyed the painting. It's always stayed with me. Bless you Maxine

Amelia said...

Yes Carmen you are so correct! Maxine has a way with words and wisdom doesn't she?

Do you miss your farm house? Such a neat place from the pics that I remember...

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes Carmen! : )

Beautifully Veiled said...

"Been there, done that" with the cult-like behavior and strange worship.....Very little fruits of the spirit evident there. But it was "cool". I'm living proof that someone raised in the word can also be deceived. The enemy is a great deceiver. I pray for those I've left behind still in all that. It grieves me that I was ever there and that so many that I love still are.
I'm enjoying your blog. It looks like we are around the same age!