Monthly Archives: July 2015

Swaying Grasses

Devil lurking in grasses

No matter how young or old we are, no matter how few or many years we have walked with God, we are prey for the Lion. The Apostle Peter said “Be alert! The devil prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Too often, we do not recognize the swish of the tail swaying the high grasses of our life until the lion is mauling us. Jesus warned us to always “Be on guard. Be alert! Watch!”

Take time to STOP! Look for the slight movement that is disturbing the peace and joy of your life. Don’t wait until the lion pounces and you are fighting to survive. What temptation, what worry, what obsession, what habit, what person, what activity and what love is making your peace and joy waver?

We cannot ignore the lion that lurks in the grasses. We cannot put off dealing with the lion. We must deal with the lion when we first recognize its presence, and before it goes into full-attack mode. Peter said, “Resist the lion. Stand firm in the faith.” (Mark 13:33,37; I Peter 5:8-9)

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015
Photo: Shutterstock

More than My Utmost …

Daily Thoughts

Oswald Chambers is best known for My Utmost for His Highness. Those daily devotionals, though, are a small portion of Chambers’ sayings, teachings, and sermons that his wife recorded (shorthand) verbatim and published. The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers fill almost 1500 double-column pages of an 8 x 10 ½ book. Included in those writings are short sentences or daily thoughts that he posted on a notice board for soldiers who camped in the desert outside Cairo, Egypt. Although written and posted 100 years ago (1915-1917) many of those sayings and other Chambers quotations are still relevant today.

  • Don’t let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.
  • Measure your growth in grace by your sensitiveness to sin.
  • There is a purpose in every life that is in God’s keeping of which we know little, but which He will fulfil if we let Him rightly relate us to Himself.
  • Worry is nothing in the world but personal irritation with God because I cannot see what He is after—only I don’t call it that, I talk about “an overwhelming burden of care.”
  • We can choke God’s word with a yawn; we can hinder the time that should be spent with God by remembering we have other things to do. “I haven’t time!” Of course you have time! Take time, strangle some other interests and make time to realize that the center of power in your life is the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
  • God rarely rebukes us for our impulsive plans because those plans work their own distress.
  • Whenever you come in contact with the great destructive sins in other lives, be reverent with what you don’t understand. There are facts in each life you know nothing about and God says: “Leave him to Me.”
  • It is easier to stand true to a testimony which is moldy with age because it has the dogmatic ring about it that people agree with, than to talk from your last moment of contact with God.
  • Our Lord was never impatient. He simply planted seed thoughts in the disciples’ minds and surrounded them with the atmosphere of His own life. We get impatient and take men by the scruff of the neck and say: “You must believe this and that.” You cannot make a man see moral truth by persuading his intellect. “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth.”
  • Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty . Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.
  • A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the out-flow— “This is the work of God that ye believe. . . .” God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.*

*This material came from The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers (Oswald Chambers Publications Association, Limited; 2000.  Available at

Cover portrait and design by Jim Connelly Studios, ©2000.

Martha Hawn VanCise ©2015


The Evil One

Deliver us from the Evil One

The Evil One

My daily prayer is that God will build a high hedge around those I love that will keep  happiness—destroying intruders out. My prayer is, “Keep them from accidents, wrong choices, and disappointments.” I will always pray this way, BUT that is not the way Jesus taught us to pray. In his pattern for our prayers, he said “deliver us from the evil one.” In the last instructions to his disciples (John 17:15) he said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

The evil one has one purpose – to separate us from God. Satan rips at the prayer-planted hedges that surround us and our loved ones in order to destroy our faith in a loving, caring, faithful good God. Satan will use good times as well as bad times  to separate us from God.

God’s concern is not about the security of the hedge, but protecting us from the evil one.

I will keep praying that the hedge of protection from the temptations, trials and consequences of a fallen world  stay high around those I love, but more than that, I will pray that wherever the hedge thins or comes down, they will reach their hand through the gap and grip God’s hand even tighter.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Painting—Albrecht Dürer circa 1508.

Martha Hawn VanCise©2015