Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Past and the Present

I know, it's another poem. . . that's the only way to do this thought justice.

The Past and the Present met on the road today,
And I shuddered to hear the words they did say!
The Past had no strength to move, bend, or change,
But oh, he had strength the present to arrange!

And the Future seems to shudder through the misty clouded veil,
As though afraid that like Past she must also fail,
But she cannot be seen and who knows whether she smiles
At tomorrow’s joys or bears it’s trials. 

The Present quavered and the Future shook,
As the unmoving Past, my way overtook,
Then Grace appeared and forgave my Past,
Though the consequences still their shadow cast,
But the present though shaken seems to break free,
Bearing consequences cheerfully,
And leaves the Past bond by new chains,
And free and joyous victory gains,
And smiles through the rain of sorrow,
 And looks with new hope towards tomorrow.

The cross came between Past and Present today,
And tomorrow sleeps sweetly, hidden away,
Through mists of mystery, and curtains of trust,
For God is merciful as He is just. 

I am thankful for grace, that yesterday's chain's need not bind, burn, or bruise.  I am thankful for my Savior, my eternal Friend and Lover, and the bright hope I have for a future with Him. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Wish I Could Tell You

There are no words for this, no picture can capture it, no song express it, but I wanted to share it. . . how? 

For a long time my blog has sat silent because I could not express this, so why am I trying now when I am so busy?  It is because I am thinking about someone.  I don't know your name, and you may not be any of the people who visit my blog, but I am thinking about you.  You have in your heart a longing to be loved.  You dream of a prince who will satisfy your every desire and make you complete.  You look at the available guys around you and try to find a fit.  Maybe you give one of them your heart, your soul, everything you have to give, and still you can't find it.  Maybe you wait. . . for what you don't know, maybe you think it is time to give up.  Maybe you feel God has forgotten you.  Maybe it seems your longing for a man who will love you as Christ loves His church is hopeless idealism.  Maybe you don't think there is a beautiful story for you.  Maybe God is asking you to give up a relationship or a dream that means everything to you.  Maybe you hesitate. . .

That's why I am writing to you.  I have to tell you that it is possible.  I have to tell you that nothing can compare with God's plan.  I have to tell you that the man you desire is Jesus.  I have to tell you that He knows too your need of a man you can see and feel.  I have to tell you that He writes love stories that are beyond compare.  I long to communicate to you that if you will let your plans go, your daydreams, your attachments that are not His will, He will surprise you.  I know.

This spring I was swept off my feet. . . by Jesus.  I could not believe that when He asked me to make Him the center of my life and to really seek holiness in my relationships with young men that He could make me so happy.  I could not believe He really was satisfying me.

Then, I could not believe that the dreams I had surrendered to Him were being fulfilled.  I could not believe His plan was so beautiful.  I could not believe He was giving me Stephen Leach.  Me? 

I laughed tears, I cried tears, all happy ones.  My only regret is that I didn't believe it sooner.  My mind flew to the first years of college when I noticed him for the first time.  His depth; his convictions- so balanced and practical, so uncompromising; his kindness; his enthusiasm; his interests so much like my own; his love for his church, his family, his God.  I remembered my desire to be with him, to work with him, to talk to him.  I remembered my determination not to get my hopes up.  I remembered the conviction that I should wait on God's timing, I remembered the struggle to do it.  I remembered the gradual resignation to let it all go.

I breathed a pray of thankfulness to God.  Thankfulness that I had allowed Him to take my dreams at last and replace them with His vision for me.  Thankfulness for the principles in His messages to His people that counseled me to put my education above a relationship.  Thankfulness for a family that was able to support me and point me higher.  Thankfulness for the gift that I do not deserve.

There is so much more I want to write, my friend.  I am still thinking of you.  I would like to sit down, you and he and I and tell you the story in detail.  I would like to go for a walk or sit on the swing and share our hearts.  I would like to tell you how beautiful this thing is. . . not just the beautiful story that is unfolding between Stephen and I, but the beautiful peace of knowing that God is directing it.  I would like to look in your eyes and tell you the glory of God's way and the joy of following it.

I know it sounds to good to be true.  I know I can't see past the stars in my eyes.  I know you don't think it can happen to you.  Just try it.   Try surrendering your life to God and seeing what He can do with it.  Wait, trust, surrender, and let Him surprise you.

Your friend,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How Sweet the Sound

She was wheeled to the front in her wheelchair this morning, violin in hand.  She had been brought across the parking lot from the nursing home to attend church and was scheduled to play special music.  While she tuned up with the piano, the Sabbath School superintendent exampled that this sister had been unable to use her right hand not very long ago and that she was going to play this morning.

The piano played an introduction and she began. . . halting, shaking, stumbling.  It seemed she knew how to play and was frustrated at her inability.  Yet after the first few notes, I began to see a beauty in this special music that was greater than many well trained and talented able bodied musicians I have heard perform. 

The notes shook from the strings as they sang feebly. . ."Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. . ."  In that instant I realized the message of the song.  Amazing grace, not given to the strong but to the weak, not to the deserving, but to the undeserving.  Not given to those who excel, but to those who by sin have been crippled, broken, and disabled, those who will never measure up.  The notes of need arise from just such as these and are mingled with the perfect righteousness of Christ.  The sweetness of the sound is not the sweetness of the nice little Christian who has got this thing figured out; it is the sweetness of the voice of the Son as He pleads, "My blood Father,"  It is the sweetness of the voice of the Father as He declares the sinner justified.  The beauty of this sound over the with the trembling broken strains of our clumsy fingers on the strings of our lives, covering, changing, strengthening, perfecting. . .How sweet the sound!

To use the weak things to confound the mighty. . .Beauty for ashes. . .excellence out of disability. . . Amazing Grace. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Vine

A vision.

There was once a clinging vine upon a circle of trees,
Forming an arbor as it grasped with its tendrils their twigs and leaves,

Contented was the lovely vine, supported by  these trees,
Beautiful, graceful, surely this was as the vine was meant to be.

But then the trees began to shake with a strong and rushing wind,
The vine was shaken to the ground but clung to a few of the lower limbs.

A few tendrils still held to the only support they had known,
As though they would climb again just like the wind had never blown.

But even this tenacious attempt was met with utter defeat,
Man came and pulled down the last stands of the vine and it lay broken at their feet.

No longer did the fair vine grow up the trees to the sky,
It seemed all happy days were gone; the vine must surely die.

Many travelers past that way; they saw the vine would they lend a hand?
No, none raised it up or helped it grow, Does anyone understand?

Presently an angel came and stood next to the deserted vine,
He raised the vine up in his arms, all was part of a larger design.

He pointed it upright saying, "Stand toward the sky and leave the sod,
Stretch heavenward and let thy tendrils entwine about God.

"Thou art shaken from earthly support but thou canst stand in the strength of God,
And flourish without it-Rest thou only on Thy God.

"Lean on Him, thy God alone and Thou shalt never lean in vain
Or be shaken therefrom, and there's peace you can't explain."

"I felt inexpressible relief, amounting to joy, as I saw the neglected vine cared for. I turned to the angel and inquired what these things meant. Said he: "Thou art this vine. All this thou wilt experience, and then, when these things occur, thou shalt fully understand the figure of the vine. God will be to thee a present help in time of trouble."    

Partly quoted from Testimonies to the Church, Volume 1, p. 584. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Peace, Be Still

Oh crashing waves of fear and strife,
Why should I tremble at your will,
My Savior guards over my life,

Peace, be still.

Oh fitful waves of changing moods,
Why should I let you have my will?
Faith sees past the clear or clouds,
Peace, be still.

Oh glass topped waves of tempting things,
All my need my Savior fills,
Why should I give Him up for Thee?
Peace, be still.

In my boat the Master sleeps,
But still he His vigil keeps,
And not a drop of guilt or fear,
Not a tremor nor a tear,
No temptation, not a cloud,
Not a clap of thunder loud,
Come, but He can hold me fast,
Till the morning comes at last.

So come whatever may and will,
Jesus whispers, "Peace, be still."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sobering Quote

     "It is our privilege to obtain clearer and more distinct views of the goodness and mercy of God; and why do we remain in a cold and spiritless condition? Why do we seem to be incapable of manifesting tender love and sympathy for one another? Why do we not speak forth the praises of Him who has given his life that we might have salvation? Let us offer to him continually the sacrifices of praise. Satan is always ready to discourage. He will help those whom he has discouraged to gather still more doubt and unbelief to their souls. He will make you believe that you are having a very hard time in the service of Christ, when it is not so at all. He will encourage you to think that your feelings and fancies are facts, that God is a hard master, and he will lead you, by your attitude of despondency, to misrepresent to the world the character of God, and the nature of his service. We should fix our eye upon Jesus our Saviour. We should be continually growing up into Christ our living head. We want more knowledge, more grace. New affections should be planted in our hearts to expel the old affections. Divine power must substitute high and holy motives for those that were selfish and unholy. We must follow on to know the Lord. We should educate the mind to dwell on heavenly things. We should accustom the heart to dwell in a frame of gratitude and praise. The more we praise God, the more we shall have to praise him for, and our hearts will become attuned to his praise.  {RH, May 28, 1889 par. 4} 
     "We have altogether too much familiar intercourse with Satan. We argue with him. We enter right into conversation with him, and treat him as a guest, coming into agreement with him. It is in this way that he presents the faults of our brethren to us, and magnifies them until we can see nothing good in their characters. Some imagine that they have a wonderful zeal for God, that they are inspired to set things in order, that they have a spirit of discernment, when it is really an inspiration that Satan has imparted to them. They are possessed of a cold, unsympathetic, unforgiving, critical spirit, that is not of God at all. 
     "We should look tenderly upon our brethren, who are encompassed with human infirmities as we are. When your brother does wrong, you have directions from your Master as to what you should do. You should go right to him in meekness and love, and make him feel that you regard him as precious in the sight of God. God holds you responsible for the treatment of your brother. If you are unkind, unforgiving, God cannot forgive you. You should be more pitiful and tender toward the erring. You should have hearts from which will flow compassion and love toward others. You should not only seek out those whom your taste would lead you to prefer, those who echo your opinions and sentiments, but you should also go to those who really need Christ-like pity and forbearance. Did Christ turn away from those who were defiled with sin, who came to him for pardon? 
     "At one time Jesus sat in Simon's house, and a woman who was a sinner came in with an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and she broke her box and poured out the ointment on the head of Jesus. Simon criticised Jesus because he did not rebuke the woman. He thought, "This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner." Jesus turned to Simon, and said, "Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owned five hundred pence, and other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most, and he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged." Those who have lived in rebellion against God, when they do repent and turn to the Lord, are most fervent in their love. They give better service to God than those who have grown cold in his service, who have for years professed to be his children and loyal to his law. A wonderful change takes place in a truly converted soul. The old imperfections that made them uncourteous and forbidding are not manifested. They love Jesus, and those for whom he died. How do you know when you turn away from those who do not seem desirable, but that you are turning away from those for whom Jesus is seeking? Perhaps, at the very moment that you turn from them, they are in the greatest need of your tenderness and compassion. There is too much of this critical spirit, of standing back in indifference to the welfare of others. We need Christian love. We need to learn meekness and lowliness of heart in the school of Christ. We should be filled with the spirit of the message of warning and mercy which we are to bear to a dying world. We have only begun to drink of the fountain of life. As we follow on to know the Lord, increasing light will shine upon us, and our path will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. 
     "We should study more earnestly the character of our Saviour. We should imitate the lovely Pattern that God has given us. We should dwell upon the matchless charms of Jesus until there will be nothing satisfying in this perishing world. We should desire to reflect his image in kindness, in courtesy, in gentleness, and love, then "when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." In a little while every one who is a child of God will have his seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads! Who can endure the thought of being passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads? 
    " If Christ can plead for us in the heavenly sanctuary, if our works are wrought in him, if we have brought his grace and truth into our character-building, we shall be recognized by the Lord as the subjects of his kingdom. If we are the children of God, we shall love one another as Christ has loved us. This cold sternness that makes us unapproachable is not of Christ, but of Satan. Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Those who open the door of the heart that Jesus may come in, will be filled with love and gratitude. They will not desire to shut up the light God has given them. They will gather up the rays of divine glory, and flash them athwart the pathway of others."  Review and Herald 5-28-1889

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sacrifice?  What is an acceptable sacrifice?
 Is it the giving of my foolishness, my brokenness, my gruesome wounds, my joys that leave me miserable, my food that leaves me hungry, my drink that leaves me thirsty?  Is the renouncing of sin sacrifice?  Never! 
To call giving up our poison to the One who gave up all to drink it sacrifice shows that we have no true understanding of sin not love for God.
What is sacrifice?
Is requires the giving of something good.  Something that would be worthwhile to retain.  A sacrifice must be something that we have every right to keep.  If it is sinful to keep losing it wouldn't be sacrifice, it would be salvation.
Yet even the good things we halfheartedly give, looking over our shoulder to see if anyone saw. . . are they really sacrifice?  What if He asks for the best? Is even my best sacrifice? 
And what about being a living sacrifice.  If I am to be a living sacrifice, I must be perfected by another sacrifice.  The perfect life of Jesus must make my life an acceptable sacrifice.
What is sacrifice?  Look at Calvary. . . what else?  

Monday, February 7, 2011

To the (former) Superteacher

They need you,
They cling to you,
They reach for you,

You love them,
You pity them,
You long to help them,
You wish you could save them,
But you can't.

It's too big,
It will not shrink,
And you'll never grow into it,
It grows with you.

You stress over it,

You just can't do it.
You work for it,
You give it everything,
Tomorrow you'll do it,
But you don't.

You have to do it!
You want to do it!
They need you to do it!
But they don't.

They need more than a teacher,
They need a Savior,
They need more than a friend,
They need a Father.
Just give up.

And now that you've done that,
Look at your Savior,
They aren't the only ones who need Him you know.

He can fill their need,
You can only feel it,
He can actually change them,
You can only modify them

So let Him.

Pray, trust, pray, trust, work
Work how?  He'll show you. 
He's the teacher now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Home is. . .

. . . where the magabooks are.  (Warning:  What follows is an extremely sentimental tribute to OHC canvassing programs.  Non canvassers read at your own risk.) 

The rain is falling around me as I search the edge of the street for something that looks familiar.  A few wrong turns, a quick consultation with Google Maps, and (gasp) a phone call for better directions and I am finally on the right road.  I am searching for home.  I can't stand not being home on Friday night.  I am looking for home in an unfamiliar city in Northern Georgia. 

I think of the Facebook message that lead me here and the drive down from Tennessee in the sunset and first hours of the Sabbath.  Mostly I think of me hope of spending at least a few hours with old friends (I don't even know for sure which ones) who share my love of souls, scripture, and spiritual consecration.  Finally I can make out the words "Seventh-day Adventist Church" on the glowing sign next to a dark driveway.  Within seconds I was parked next to a familiar looking gray fifteen passenger van with an Arkansas license plate.   Through the window I could see familiar faces gathered in little groups in the fellowship hall, some talking, some reading Bibles, one strumming a guitar.  How many Friday evenings have I spent like this! 

I run to the door and knock.  Within minutes I am surrounded by fellow OHC canvassers.  Heidi Hunt is thrilled (my surprise worked!)  Excitedly I begin catching my brothers and sisters up on the last events in my life.  In the middle of my speech/conversation James Prest enters the room.  He walks up and shakes my hand.  "I heard your voice from the other room,"  he says, "And the first thing I thought was 'Hot Dog!"  (You may have to know James to completely understand.)  Everyone laughs.  Ace laughs so hard he falls off his chair.  (You may have to know Ace to completely understand.)  No doubt about it, I am home. 

Everything about this setting says OHC canvassing program.  From the magabook boxes lined up along the wall, to the piles of fruit and bread on the corner table, to the radios plugged in to every socket in the room, to a Privett brother or two playing "Come Thou Fount" on the guitar," this was the environment that did so much to shape the last four and a half years of my life.  This is the environment where my faith was tested to the max.  This is where I have gotten discouraged, nearly quite, and been inspired to try again.  I laughingly think that I am as at home in a sleeping bag on the floor of an Adventist church in a strange city as I am in my own bed.  I drop my bags in the mother's room next to Heidi and Natalie and try to sleep.   (Yeah right, I have barely talked to Heidi in two months and we are supposed to be quiet and go to sleep?  Girls will be girls. . . not an excuse just a statement.) 

Morning comes early.  I turn over and consider sleeping in but am overwhelmed by a burden on my heart.  The excitement of last night is overshadowed by the burdens of student teaching.  Heidi turns and notices my tears.  Gently she draws me to explain what is wrong and points me back to Jesus.  We grab our laptops and go to the fellowship hall.  Together we read a passage that so completely addressed the issues I was facing that I was stunned. (Read "A Lively Hope" on your EGW CD-ROM).   Heidi too was blessed and we read until breakfast. 

The day passes much to quickly, filled with get acquainted chats with church members, an uplifting church service, a hike in nature, and what I was most hungry for: deep Bible conversations with people who understand it, understand the times we are living in, and understand my purpose in such conversations. All of my friends seem to be on fire about the sanctuary message they heard from Pastor Baute last weekend.  I am envious, but drink in whatever blessings they are willing to share. 

Toward evening I sit in a chair in the foyer and studied the Bible with a friend.  We look at passages in the Psalms that speak about the sanctuary.  Passage after passage seem to be saying something profound to me.  As Jensen point out that Isaiah 2 is about the sanctuary I think of Psalm 46.  That takes us to Psalms 27, 23, 91, 61, and other passages that all seem to be saying that the sanctuary is the refuge for God's people during the time of trouble.  I am struck with the thought that the sanctuary is home for God's people.  Psalm 84, my favorite Psalm suddenly becomes far more meaningful.  It is then that I realize that I have found home.  Not OHC, not my friends, not the familiar floor of an unfamiliar building, not any of these, no.  I have found a home in the Sanctuary.  I wish to abide there all the time. 

Suddenly it all falls into place.  OHC is not my sanctuary.  It can not protect me and save, it can only point me to the true sanctuary.  The close fellowship of a canvassing program is a blessing, but only as it leads me to closer fellowship with Christ and a deeper earnestness to save souls.  I return home with a song of thankfulness in my heart for the blessing of Jesus. 

Maybe home isn't always where the magabooks are, or even where the people I care about most are, the ones I didn't see this weekend.  Maybe it is wherever Jesus is.  Right now that is the Most Holy Place.  By faith I can live there!  Oh to understand this better!  To take it in and make it a part of me.  To dwell in Him so closely that I am never moved away!  This is home. . . thanks for reminding me guys. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Repentance a Gift of God

    "Repentance, as well as forgiveness, is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of sin and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of God that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us.  
    "Some who come to God by repentance and confession, and even believe that their sins are forgiven, still fail of claiming, as they should, the promises of God. They do not see that Jesus is an ever-present Saviour; and they are not ready to commit the keeping of their souls to Him, relying upon Him to perfect the work of grace begun in their hearts. While they think they are committing themselves to God, there is a great deal of self-dependence. There are conscientious souls that trust partly to God and partly to themselves. They do not look to God, to be kept by His power, but depend upon watchfulness against temptation and the performance of certain duties for acceptance with Him. There are no victories in this kind of faith. Such persons toil to no purpose; their souls are in continual bondage, and they find no rest until their burdens are laid at the feet of Jesus. 
     "There is need of constant watchfulness and of earnest, loving devotion, but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power of God through faith. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to commend ourselves to divine favor. We must not trust at all to ourselves or to our good works; but when as erring, sinful beings we come to Christ, we may find rest in His love. God will accept every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified Saviour. Love springs up in the heart. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there is an abiding, peaceful trust. Every burden is light; for the yoke which Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light."  
Faith and Works p. 38, 39

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ready for Either

I stand as the property of my Lord,
Before a heavy plow,
Ready to serve in any field,
Where He may send me now.

I stand as the property of my Lord,
Before an altar made of stone,
Ready to bleed and give me life,
And the choice is His alone.

The field is hard and full of stones,
But I’ll go in this my might,
For I am yoked up with my Lord,
It’s easy, the burden is light.
A life of service, whatever the toil,
On stony, hard, or thorny soil,
To go wherever Jesus leads,
However and with whoever,
In whatever way that He sees fit,
He’ll be with me forever.

The altar is bloody, it may mean,
A death to all my cherished dreams,
Or pain with all its dread and fear,
But in the east, morning beams.
And all the weeping of the night
Cannot endure the morning light,
And pain, and sacrifice and death,
The loss of the last thing I have left,
Mean nothing, when by faith I behold
The glitter of the streets of gold.

I stand as the property of my Lord,
Facing altar or plow, fearing neither,
For He Himself has gone before,
So I am ready for either. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Characters:  An all powerful yet helpless Father; a rebellious, defiant child

"Even though it hurts that you don't like me, I am more concerned with your bad attitude.  What is making you act this way?"  Nothing, I don't have to be acting the way I am.  
"Then why are you doing it?"  Because I don't like you. 
"But it is hurting you not me!  You won't be able to hold a job, have a happy home, or make lasting friendships with an attitude like that.  The other children are annoyed by your attitude.  You can't ever be happy this way!"  (Defiant smile, challenging eyes,  silence.) 
"Child?"  (more silence.)
"I care about you.  Please. . . "(no answer, same eyes.)
(Noise, other people show up, other distractions)
The child retreats into the relative comfort of isolation from the Father. . .  The Father cries.
Will she ever understand?  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Against the Whole World: Me or Jesus?

I was struck this evening with the thought that I am contending with great powers for the minds, hearts, and souls of my students.  Everything in the world is calculated to tear down the principles that I am trying to build up for the foundation can even be laid.  One little teacher with a bunch of lesson plans and a big smile isn’t going to be able to do anything against the media, the lack of family strength, and the materialism that attacks these kids.  Only the power of God will make my students into powerful men and women of God.  I can never take the credit for anything good.  Even if I become the best teacher in the world I will still be helpless against the world, but Jesus is strong!  I pray that He will live in me, love through me, and teach through me. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts on Contentment

“I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.”

Contentment is not the passive lack of motivation and desire.  Contentment is not complacency. 
Contentment strives for improvement, but it does so by clinging to the only true source of improvement and clinging when all else would seem to entice it away.  Contentment hopes, but it hopes confidently, resting in the promises that cannot fail.  Contentment desires, but it trusts those desires to God. 
The contented man isn’t blind.  He knows full well that there are plenty of worthwhile things he doesn’t possess.  He simply prizes contentment over these.  He realizes that he may lack something, but at least he has contentment.  The discontented man possesses neither thing.  Contentment is knowing there is something you do not have and trusting God to get it for you or to make you complete without it.  Contentment is hoping for heaven while rejoicing in the heaven God creates today in your heart. 
Contentment does not ask, “What do I need to make me happy.”  It has that already. 
Contentment does not come from having all of your needs met; it comes from having all of your God.  It is not the product of luxury, abundance, comfort, or ease; it is the product of the presence of God. 
“For He Himself has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” 

Contentment will not be anchored to earth by fears however legitimate and logical they may be but will soar on eagle’s wings to heights that the all the frantic flapping chickens will never reach.  Contentment isn’t for chickens.
The beauty of contentment lies in its ability to transform time into treasure, poverty into plenty, loneliness into loving service, and pressure into peace. 
Contentment gets its smooth, calm, stillness from the dam that keeps the little blessings of today from rushing downstream.  It gets its sparkling clearness from its ability to let the little trials of today sink to the bottom or wash away.  The muddy trials of tomorrow are allowed to stay upstream.  
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”