Monthly Archives: March 2015

No License To Kill

Faith does not kill

A Faded Signpost

The faculty of faith is not meant to kill the faculty of criticism and the instinct of curiosity, but rather to keep them keen and alive, and prevent them dying of despair.  Faith is the mark of those who seek and keep on seeking, who ask and keep on asking, who knock and keep on knocking until the door is opened.

The passive, weak-kneed taking of everything on trust — which is often presented as faith — is a travesty of its truth.  True faith is the most active, positive, and powerful of all virtues.

It means that a [person], having come into spiritual communion with that great personal Spirit who lives and works behind the universe, can trust Him, and, trusting Him, can use all [his/her] powers of body, mind, and spirit to cooperate with Him in the great purpose of perfection.

It means that the person of faith will be the person of science in its deepest, truest sense, and will never cease from asking questions — never cease from seeking for the reason that lies behind all mysteries.
… G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Hardest Part

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:20-22)

… in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Colossians 2:3)

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015







A Silver Spoon …

Born into wealth

Born With A Silver Spoon …

People who are born into families of wealth and privilege are said to be “born with a silver spoon in their mouth.”  I was not born into such a family – I don’t personally know such a person.

At high-noon on Monday, March 9, 2015, my first great-granddaughter was born.  As I anxiously awaited a text message announcing her arrival, I thought of the family she would enter. Blake Addison VanMeter was born into a family of six generations of women who loved Jesus. My great-grandmother, my grandmothers, my mother, I myself, my daughter, and my granddaughter were and are Jesus-lovers. Blake is surrounded by other great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who are Jesus-lovers.

Blake for BLOG

Blake was born into a family of spiritual wealth. We—great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles are responsible to pass that wealth on to her. Our prayer is that Blake Addison will accept the treasures we hand to her and choose to become a seventh generation Jesus-lover.

“Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.” (Deuteronomy 4:9 MSG)

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015

Timpani and Triangles

We play triangles

I first heard a live performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony when I was in college.  The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel produced a memorable experience.

Yes, the violinists were impressive, but I was mesmerized by the timpani player. Before his entry, he would slip from a high stool and with a flip of tuxedo tails lift the mallets in preparation for his part. With blurred hands, he made Beethoven’s storm come alive with the thundering timpani.

When I looked ahead at the part I hoped to play in God’s plan for my life,  I had in mind a timpani part. I wanted to shake my world and make people feel the sense of God’s power. I knew I fell short of ability to be a first violinist, but perhaps I could make the world take notice with a missionary career or a Christian best-seller – all for God’s glory of course.

God, though, had another instrument in mind for me – the triangle. The triangle seldom appears in classical or even contemporary symphonies. The player of the triangle must often wait through many movements of a symphony before playing a single solitary note, but following the director and coming in on the right beat is essential for a well-performed concert.

Most of us are triangle players.

Sometimes we feel as if we wait forever to make a difference in our world. We must stay alert, though, for our part and pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Our note may be to stop what we are doing and take time to pray for someone that God brings to mind. It may mean sending a card, an email, a text message, making a phone call, taking time from our schedule to visit someone, handing a $20 bill to someone in the supermarket, or giving someone a homemade glass of strawberry jam.

Every note, played in God’s time and for his glory, contributes to   God’s great symphony of love to this world. Stay alert to that subtle move of the Conductor’s hand that signals

“It’s time for you to play your note.”

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015