Thursday, August 14, 2014

My two dead friends

Because it’s Read from the Great’s Thursday….(If you are thinking I just made that up…you are right…and you should stop being so cynical)

I wanted to recommend 2 ladies who would be my very best friends.  Who would sit and talk for hours over a hot cup of coffee or a delicious glass of Red with me.  Who would laugh at all of my funny jokes (cause they are Hil-AR-i-ous…to my mother and myself), and who would undoubtedly want to do brunch…every Thursday.  These two ladies would do all of this with me…if they weren’t dead.  Having dead friends is hard, and could get you a very special bed in a very special closed-off wing of a mental hospital.  So…here are two dead ladies that still have the power to move my spirit and bring me to the deeper places of life where God’s mysteries are found. 

The FIRST lady in my dead best friends club is Amy Carmichael.   Amy was born in 1867 in Ireland.  She lived her entire life as a servant in India.  She  worked for 55 years in the trenches without any furloughs.  She was a woman who followed God into her calling without anyone behind or beside her.  She lived her last days after a terrible fall in immense pain, but choose to write and glorify the Lord during that time as well.  She rescued women and children from temple prostitution in India; she fed the poor and loved the least of these.  This woman had grit and perseverance.  I like a woman who gets her hands dirty and sees her hands better for it.   

 Here are some of my favorite quotes from this amazing woman.

“We profess to be strangers and pilgrims, seeking after a country of our own, yet we settle down in the most un-stranger-like fashion, exactly as if we were quite at home and meant to stay as long as we could. I don't wonder apostolic miracles have died. Apostolic living certainly has.”

“God’s way of passing by, of letting His “hem” come near us, is to take some single word in His Book and make it breathe spirit and life to us.”

“Have you lost your reputation?  To lost it—and to keep on being willing to lost it daily for His sake and for the sake of those for whom He died—means this: To take up your cross daily.”

“A crucified life cannot be self-assertive.  It cannot protect itself.  It cannot be startled into resentful words.  The cup that is full of sweet water cannot spill bitter-tasting drops, however sharply it is knocked.”

Her Books:

I Come Quietly to Meet You  (excellent collection of her writings put into a daily devotional…good meat for breakfast)

IF (will ROCK your world)

Plowed Under

Candles in the Dark

(any many many more!!!  Go look her up online)

SECONDLY, I want to introduce you to my dead friend, who seems so alive on paper that she might just jump up and slap yo’ grandma.  Not really…she was a nun…so she probably didn’t slap a lot of people.  Spiritually, yes she still slaps me each time I read her.  

            Meet St.Teresa of Avila.  Born in 1515 in Goturrendura, Spain, she was committed to nunnery after a scandalous relationship with her cousin.  Which could have been scandalous or could have been as innocent as talking without a proper escort around.  Praise the Lord for women’s freedom in America.  I would have been put in a nunnery by the time I was five with all my sassiness. 
            Teresa, (we are on a first name basis), not only flourishes in the nunnery she does something amazing.  She finds and cultivates a relationship with the Lord that is so deep, so inspiring, that the Spanish Inquisition could not kill and time cannot weaken.  In her book, The Interior Castle, she paints a picture of the soul which longs for the Lord so eloquently that the words I read hold on long after I have put the book down.  She writes of prayer.  How to break through the ease of prayer and get into the seven dwellings of meditation, transformation and the very presence of God. 

“Be assured that the more progress you make in loving your neighbor, the greater will be your love for God. “

“Humility is the ointment for our wounds.  If we are truly humble, then God, the great physician, will eventually come to heal us.”

“Remember: all you have to do as you begin to cultivate the practice of prayer is to prepare yourself with sincere effort and intent to bring your will into harmony with the will of God.”

“The soul in the state of prayer is like the silk worm, it dies to the world and emerges a little white butterfly.”

She has spunk and her personality can be found between the lines of the pages.  She writes such things as, Have I already told you about this thing?  Well, I am old and cannot remember everything, so I will just talk about it again.

And she does.  And it is awesome.  Her book opens a door to a disciplined prayer life which walks you into the depths of God. 
The Interior Castle by St.Teresa of Avila
These are two women who can inspire us today, just as if they were here to talk over a cup of coffee.  So, for Read from the Great’s Thursday….Amy Carmichael and St. Teresa of Avila. 

Let me know if they are in your best-friend club as well….or share other names you have in your club!

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