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Daily Thoughts for January

1 Jan

Isabella Alden strongly believed in spending a few minutes with the Bible every morning; and that even one verse, thoughtfully read, helped fortify and strengthen Believers in their daily walk with God.

Several of her novels were based on that premise, including:

Frank Hudson’s Hedge Fence

Her Mother’s Bible

The Exact Truth

We Twelve Girls

In each story, the main characters committed to memory and relied upon a single verse of scripture every day to help them in their daily lives. She called these stories “Golden Text” novels.

Isabella brought the same concept to The Pansy magazine. In 1895 she began publishing a regular monthly feature in The Pansy called “Daily Thoughts.”

“Daily Thoughts” was printed on the first day of each month, and consisted of a list of Bible verses meant to be read individually, one each day.

She chose each verse carefully, with the prayerful hope that each one would inspire her readers to live their lives for Jesus’ sake.

With each verse she offered a brief comment or question to help her readers better understand the text.

Her verses for January 1895 all came from the book of Psalms. You’ll notice she didn’t print the actual verse, but only gave the citation. She hoped doing so would encourage readers to open their Bibles each day and look up the verses for themselves.

You can click here to open a full-size PDF version of Isabella’s Daily Thoughts for January, which you can use, print, save and share with others.

Or click here to download a simplified Word version.

Please join us again next month to see Isabella’s “Daily Thoughts” for the month of February.

If you’d like to know more about Isabella’s novels mentioned in this post, click on the any of the book covers to learn more:

     

     

 

 

What Have You Learned?

31 Dec

At the end of every year, instead of writing about resolutions and goals for the new year, Isabella always posed an important question to readers of The Pansy magazine:

What lesson did you learn from the past year?

Isabella wrote:

I know a boy who has learned during the past year that he can forgive another boy who has done him a great wrong; that he can be pleasant to him, and even help him over a hard place in his school work. I think that is a grand thing to have learned.

I know a girl who has learned by sad experience during the past year that she cannot play with temptation without getting hurt. Seven times she did what she knew mother, and teacher, and friend did not want her to do, without any harm coming from it; but the eighth time—Oh, dear! I will not tell that sad story. I only hint at it to remind you that there are sad ways of learning, as well as pleasant ones.

Well, I could tell you of dozens of others whom I have watched during the year, and of the lessons they have learned, but all that might not help you.

The important question is, What have you learned?

Will you think it over? Let everyone who reads this get pencil and paper and sit down alone to a careful study of the year. You might make two columns, headed:

If you find you have learned you are a bit selfish in your plans, when you did not suspect it, put down the word “Selfishness” in good honest letters in the “Avoid” column. You will understand what it means, and nobody else need know about it.

If you find that you are inclined to be persistent in trifles which have no moral character, give it the true name and write “Obstinacy” in the right column.

If you find that by taking a little care, you have made sunshine in your home, or some other home, print the word “Care” under “Lessons to Practice.”

What interesting columns they will be after you have carefully filled them!

I should like to see the record, but of course, you will not let me. All that will be between you and your best friend, Jesus.

Isabella’s question— What lesson did you learn from the past year?—became an annual question she posed to her readers. And every year she received letters from hundreds of readers, eager to share their lessons learned with their beloved Pansy.

What do you think of this idea?

Do you think adults can benefit from reviewing lessons learned just as much as children can?

Do you make a list of lessons learned or do you make resolutions for the new year? Or both?

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A Christmas Quotable

19 Dec

Pansies for Thoughts

20 Sep

Yesterday you read a lovely letter Isabella wrote to the students of an elementary school, thanking them for planting a tree in her honor.

Isabella’s writings—her books, stories, letters, and lessons—are filled with quote-worthy lines. Here’s an example from her novel, Tip Lewis and His Lamp:

In the story, The Reverend Mr. Holbrook asked that question of young Tip Lewis to help him realize that his resentment toward another boy was jeopardizing his own standing with God.

It was Isabella’s way of illustrating the Bible verse: “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

That was Isabella’s genius: she had a talent for explaining the Bible in terms anyone—young or old—could understand.

One of the greatest admirers of Isabella’s talent was her niece, Grace Livingston Hill. When Grace was twenty-three years old, she was the newly published author of her first book, A Chautauqua Idyll. And she was ready for her next project.

Grace turned her attention to her Aunt Isabella’s books. She combed through them, selected inspiring quotes, and organized them into a daily devotional, with each quote accompanied by an applicable verse from the Bible.

The result of Grace’s efforts was called Pansies for Thoughts, and it became her second published book.

The original cover for Grace’s 1888 devotional, Pansies for Thoughts.

Isabella wrote a brief Preface for the book, with a prayer that . . .

The Holy Spirit would use these pages in a way to lead some souls daily higher, and higher, even into the “shining light” of the “perfect day.”

Pansies for Thoughts is a wonderful daily devotional, and you can read the book for free! Click here to download the e-book version for your Kindle, Nook, or tablet. Or you can download a PDF version to print or read on your computer.


This post is part of our Blogiversary Celebration! Leave a comment below or on Isabella’s Facebook page to be entered in a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card! We’ll announce the winner on Friday morning, September 21!

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Quotable

23 Feb

Evil habits are webs which are too light to be noticed until they are too strong to be broken.

Quotable

3 Oct

Suppose Christ should forgive only those who had treated him well. Would you be forgiven today? From Tip Lewis and His Lamp by Isabella Alden.

 

 

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Quotable

21 Apr

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Quotable

9 Nov

Quotable

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Quotable

20 Oct

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Quotable

15 Sep

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