So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. She beat out what she had gathered, and it was about 26 quarts of barley.

Theos ... a serenade

Refiner and Purifier, eh!

He made me like a polished arrow (Isaiah 49:2).

Pebble Beach, on the California coast, has become quite famous for the beautiful pebbles found there. The raging white surf continually roars, thundering and pounding against the rocks of the shore. These stones are trapped in the arms of the merciless waves. They are tossed, rolled, rubbed together, and ground against the sharp edges of the cliffs. Both day and night, this process of grinding continues relentlessly. And what is the result?

Tourists from around the world flock there to collect the beautiful round stones. They display them in cabinets and use them to decorate their homes. Yet a little farther up the coast, just around the point of the cliff, its a quiet cove. Protected from the face of the ocean, sheltered from the storms, and always in the sun, the sands are covered with an abundance of pebbles never sought by travelers.

So why have these stones been left untouched through all the years? Simply because they have escaped all the turmoil and the grinding of the waves. The quietness and peace have left them as they've always been — rough, unpolished, and devoid of beauty — for polish is the result of difficulties.

Since God knows the niche we are to fill, let us trust Him to shape us to it. And since He knows what works we are to do, let us trust Him to grind us so we will be properly prepared.

by Oswald Chambers


"Ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

James Creelman once journeyed through the Balkans in search of Natalie, the exiled queen of Serbia. In one of his letters, he described his trip this way:

During that memorable journey, I learned that the world's supply of rose oil comes from the Balkan Mountains. The thing that interested me most was that the roses had to be gathered during the darkest hours, with the pickers starting at one o'clock and finishing by two. Initially this practice seemed to be a relic of superstition or tradition, but as I investigated further, I heard that the actual scientific tests had proved that a full forty percent of the fragrance of the roses disappeared in the light of the day.