Friday, December 31, 2010

A prayer for the year's end

   "Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away.
When the sun shines upon on me,
when the night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love Thou didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust,
Thy goodness has been with me during another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back to make sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed Pilot of my future
as of my past.
I bless Thee that thou hast veiled my eyes
to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution
and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort
or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always
for Thy use."
~ Valley Of Vision

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Matthew Henry on Elisha

Today was busy so I didn't end up bringing out my commentary until it got quiet this evening. There was so much good stuff in this chapter I decided to share a few of my favorites. I hope you all have a good night....

"What he said to him  is spoken to all the faithful servants of God, when without are fightings and within are fears: "Fear not with that fear which has torment and amazement, for those that are with us, to protect us, are more than those that are against us, to destroy us—angels unspeakably more numerous—God infinitely more powerful." When we are magnifying the causes of our fear we ought to possess ourselves with clear, and great, and high thoughts of God and the invisible world."

"Those whose faith is strong ought tenderly to consider and compassionate those who are weak and of a timorous spirit, and to do what they can to strengthen their hands."

 "The greatest kindness we can do for those that are fearful and faint-hearted is to pray for them, and so to recommend them to the mighty grace of God. The opening of our eyes will be the silencing of our fears. In the dark we are most apt to be frightened. The clearer sight we have of the sovereignty and power of heaven the less we shall fear the calamities of this earth."

"We must take heed of being made cross by afflictive providences. It rather seems to be a quieting word: "Let us be content, and make the best of our affliction, looking up to God, for, till he help us, I cannot help thee."

"Creatures are helpless things without God, for every creature is that, all that, and only that, which he makes it to be."

"What should I wait for the Lord any longer? When Eli, and David, and Job, said, It is of the Lord, they grew patient upon it, but this bad man grew outrageous upon it: "I will neither fear worse nor expect better, for worse cannot come and better never will come: we are all undone, and there is no remedy." It is an unreasonable thing to be weary of waiting for God, for he is a God of judgment, and blessed are all those that wait for him."

No Cross, No Crown

I t is tempting to the Christian to want to live a life free from cares and problems here below, but it is not realistic. Even in lands where churches are well established and Christianity is socially acceptable, the believer must expect to find himself repeatedly buffeted and pilloried as he lives to Christ and witnesses to him. If the afflictions and pains are less outward and more inward they are not the less real and lively to his experience. There is a cross to be carried which cannot be seen by any eye but God's. There is a fiery trial which still must be felt inwardly by the mind and soul. Even if does not consume the body it may consume the heart. In our tolerant democracies where there is no martyr's bonfire there may be situations which roast God's people with fiery fears and stretch them on a bed of nails. We are in the apostolic succession if we sometimes experience, 'fightings without' and 'fears within' (2 Cor 7:5).

The Christian and Christian churches are usually at their best in times of suffering. God sent afflictions have a health giving effect upon the believer's soul. They clear his eye sight so that he recognizes this world as the wicked godless place that it is. Afflictions, when blessed by God, are the medicine used to purge the soul of its worldliness and its love of life's vanities. Those who have been in the crucible have lost more of their scum. They who have been in the fire with Christ have felt the sweetness of his presence, as few others have. When we are in trouble the promises of God's Word are more precious to us than gold. So too the church's suffering times are often her golden ages.

There will to the very end be trials in this life for God's people. Our ultimate comfort lies in this, that all Christ's promises will outlive this short life: 'In this world ye shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world' (John 16:33).
~ Great God Of Wonders by Maurice Roberts


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moonless trust


"He is indeed enough. He is not all that we would ask for (if we were honest), but it is precisely when we do not have what we would ask for, and only then, that we can clearly perceive His all-sufficiency. It is when the sea is moonless that the Lord has become my light."

 ~ Elisabeth Elliot




Tuesday, December 28, 2010

There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother....

From my reading in The Art of Divine Contentment by Thomas Watson. Click here to find an online version of the book.

 "You have a friend in heaven who will never fail you; “there is a friend” — saith Solomon — “that sticketh closer than a brother:” (Proverbs 18:24) such a friend is God; he is very studious and inquisitive on our behalf; he hath a debating with himself, a consulting and projecting how he may do us good; he is the best friend which may give contentment in the midst of all discourtesies of friends.
Consider ~

(1.) He is a loving friend. “God is love;” (1 John 4;16) hence he is said sometimes to engrave us on the “palm of his hand,” (Isaiah 49:16) that we may never be out of his eye; and to carry us in his bosom, (Isaiah 40:11) near to his heart. There is no stop or stint in his love; but as the river Nile, it overflows all the banks; his love is as far beyond our thoughts, as it is above our deserts. O the infinite love of God, in giving the Son of his love to be made flesh. God in giving Christ to us gave his very heart to us: here is love penciled out in all its glory, and engraven as with the “point of a diamond.” All other love is hatred in comparison of the love of our Friend.

(2.) He is a careful friend: “He careth for you”. (1 Peter 5: 7) He minds and transacts our business as his own, he accounts his people’s interests and concernments as his interest. He provides for us, grace to enrich us, glory to ennoble us. It was David’s complaint, “no man careth for my soul:” (Psalm 142:4) a Christian hath a friend that cares for him.

(3.) He is a prudent friend. (Daniel 2:20) A friend may sometimes err through ignorance or mistake, and give his friend poison instead of sugar; but “God is wise in heart; (Job 9:4) He is skilful as well as faithful; he knows what our disease is, and what physic is most proper to apply; he knows what will do us good, and what wind will be best to carry us to heaven.

(4.) He is a faithful friend. And he is faithful in his promises; “in hope of eternal life which God that cannot lie hath promised.” (Titus 1;2) God’s people are “children that will not lie;” (Isaiah 63:8) but God is a God that cannot lie; he will not deceive the faith of his people; nay, he cannot: he is called “the Truth;” he can as well cease to be God as cease to be true.

(5.) He is a compassionate friend, hence in Scripture we read of the yearning of his bowels. (Jeremiah 31:20) God’s friendship is nothing else but compassion; for there is naturally no affection in us to desire his friendship, nor no goodness in us to deserve it; the loadstone is in himself. When we were enemies, he sent an embassage of peace; when our hearts were turned back from God, his heart was turned towards us. O the tenderness and sympathy of our Friend in heaven! We ourselves have some relentings of heart to those which are in misery; but it is God who begets all the mercies and bowels that are in us, therefore he is called “the Father of mercies.” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

(6.) He is a constant friend: “his compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:22) Friends do often in adversity drop off as leaves in autumn; these are rather flatterers than friends. Joab was for a time faithful to king David’s house; he went not after Absalom’s treason; but within a while proved false to the crown, and went after the treason of Adonijah. (1 Kings 1:7) God is a friend for ever: “having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1) What though I am despised? yet God loves me. What though my friends cast me off? yet God loves me; he loves to the end, and there is no end of that love."
~ Thomas Watson


Monday, December 27, 2010

Today's thought.....

 "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
2 Kings 2:11

Many curious questions might be asked about this matter, which could not be answered.
Let it suffice that we are here told,

What his Lord, when he came, found him doing. He was talking with Elisha, instructing and encouraging him, directing him in his work, and quickening him to it, for the good of those whom he left behind. He was not meditating nor praying, as one wholly taken up with the world he was going to, but engaged in edifying discourse, as one concerned about the kingdom of God among men. We are mistaken if we think our preparation for heaven is carried on only by contemplation and the acts of devotion. Usefulness to others will pass as well in our account as any thing. Thinking of divine things is good, but talking of them (if it come from the heart) is better, because for edification, 1 Cor.14;4. Christ ascended as he was blessing his disciples.
~ Matthew Henry

Plans Change....

I'm back! A little sooner than expected, with another update - life can change very suddenly. I had a nice couple days helping my pastor's family with their move - mainly packing books, which was kind of hard...I kept thinking, this one looks interesting, or I'd like to look at that one....but instead just put them in boxes......It was great to spend time with them, and of course with little Sammy:-) In this time while I'm single and have more freedom, I try to be available to help where I can, when I'm needed. I was telling friends last night that it's actually a good and interesting experience to stay with different Christian families and observe and learn from the way they do things. It's given me a lot to think about in how I want to raise any children that the Lord will hopefully bless me with. I also simply enjoy being a part of family life again - I miss that.

Anyway, back to the change I mentioned. I got quite a shock when I walked into church yesterday morning and saw my two brothers, Isaac and Josiah. My first thought was they were visiting - then I found out, no, they are moving in with Cephas, Joshua, and I. Wow! As I said life is changing. Now I have four brothers to care for! I'm sure it will be good though, they are definitely blessed to be able to be in such a good church, and it's always good to be with family. I was laughing yesterday because every time I look at Josiah I do a double take - when I moved out of my parents' house he wasn't much taller than me, now he's over 6 feet tall!

Other drama going on around here was that Saturday we had a snowstorm. That's a big deal in South Carolina and we wondered if were even going to be able to make it to church. Thankfully our prayers were answered and we did make it safely, though a lot of seats were empty yesterday. A lot of people decided it was safer to stay home.

Below are a few pictures from the last few days....any of my followers who happen to be from the north may be bored by my snow pictures - sorry:-)!


I think this little guy likes chocolate as much as I do. When I caught him taking a break from bringing me boxes to pack, with his hand in the chocolate bag - I grabbed the camera:-)

If you take one picture of Sammy - you're going to end up with several - he loves to pose, then check out the pics afterwords. Aren't his new glasses cute?

Snow in our front yard.

Snow!

Pretty.
I have to admit, I don't like snow. But I do love how pretty it is when all the tree branches are covered with snow or ice.

My brothers and I had a great time with friends yesterday evening, here we all are caught on camera laughing at a lame joke:-)
Cephas while visiting with the Reeders last evening.

As you can see we had a good time together - everyone is smiling, even the baby:-)

Me.

I hope everyone has a good day - I need to go get busy on mine, there's laundry to be done, and food to be cooked for all my guys who are now out helping another family in our church who is moving, and I have phone date this afternoon. I don't know what the rest of the week will hold - I'm off from my normal work while the Es are away on vacation, but I doubt it will be boring....Let me just end with a Matthew Henry quote I read today that fit in with what has been on my mind lately, and our sermon from Wednesday night which continues in the series on Providence. I hope they'll be a blessing to someone.

"Those that will not wait God's time cannot expect God's blessing."  

~ Matthew Henry 

 

www.sermonaudio.com
Robert McCurley | Greenville Presbyterian Church

 












Sunday, December 26, 2010

Psalm 43

"Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Psalm videos

I had some free time with my computer this evening so went hunting on You Tube for some new Psalm videos. Here are a couple I came across and enjoyed. If you go to their channels, I think they have more available.


Some of my favorite verses to one of my favorite tunes, Wiltshire.



We often sing Psalm 131 to this tune.



I enjoyed the way they sang this one in parts. I believe these last two were made in Australia.

An update


....you all get a quick update. I don't think I've shared one since I got back from Virginia. It seems like I hit the ground running when I got back - it has been so busy! This week I am spending the first 3 days helping the E family, then, Lord willing will be helping other friends, starting Thursday through I'm not sure when.

.....I am babysitting, doing laundry, and cooking a big family dinner for 19 people.

Since getting back I've been spending three days a week working for the E family, and the remainder of my time trying to catch up on organizing, cleaning, etc in my brother's house. Plus cooking....I think they are very happy to not be regularly eating out of cans anymore. It's been an adjustment, parts of life are very busy and can be noisy, others are well - quiet. After spending all of my life living in the midst of a big family, surrounded by children, it's a little different in my brother's house with just three adults, no children.

The best part of coming back was going home to GPC, my church. It was great to visit my brother's church and see friends up in Virginia...but there's no place like home:-). We are continuing through Luke, and Leviticus, and studying the doctrine of providence on Wednesday nights. The Lord has taught me a lot over these past few weeks which is good, but can also be hard. One thing that has been on my mind a lot is taking things one day at a time, not worrying about the future. An email I got this morning brought that home to me. A minister in our denomination is stepping down due to health problems, very sad, but it made me realize - we don't know how long the Lord is going to have us doing the work He has for us now. I don't know about you, but that thought inspires me to do the best I can today. That reminded me of something I read last winter on how well all of us would pay attention in church if we knew it was to be our last worship service. Well one of these days it will be....

Here is a quote from my reading this morning that I wanted to share, and some verses that have been on my mind ~

"We should learn to quiet ourselves, under our crosses, with the thoughts of the mercies we enjoy, especially our hopes of the kingdom." 

~ Matthew Henry

 

"And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

 ~ Deuteronomy 8:2-3


....here's a cool thing to try that I learned from my sister in law. After you cut the green top off of a green onion put what is left of it in a glass of water, on your kitchen windowsill. I did that with the one pictured at left and you can see how much it has grown in just a few days!



 ...in my spare time I've been doing some reading, Adri loaned me a stack of Elisabeth Elliots that I'm working through, and I have several new books that were birthday gifts. Of course I'm continuing to read my way through Matthew Henry - it's definitely going to take more than one year to go through all 6 volumes, I'm still in the second one! I've also been working on some knitting and crocheting projects - it seems that everyone I know is having babies......Speaking of crafts, last week I pulled out my jewelry supplies and made some new things. I used to love jewelry making when I lived at home,  often did it with my little sister and had forgotten how much fun it is to come up with new designs to wear:-). I posted a few pictures below.

In conclusion.....I'm going to be spending the next few days or so with friends who don't have wireless so I won't have my computer with me. I've pre-published a couple things, but just so you know, this blog will be quiet for the next little bit. The plan is for me to be helping with a move so should be pretty busy anyway. I hope you all have a good week, and a happy New Year filled with blessings.



Earrings I made with some pretty painted beads that I got at Jo-Anns.

I love swarovski crystals.


Four pairs of earrings I made. Earrings are fun as they are quick and easy, and only use a couple beads.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Be anxious for nothing...

This was from my reading yesterday morning.

“The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”

Proverbs 16:33

If the disposal of the lot is the Lord’s whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by him, how much more the events of our entire life—especially when we are told by our blessed Savior: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered: not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father.” It would bring a holy calm over your mind, dear friend, if you were always to remember this. It would so relieve your mind from anxiety, that you would be the better able to walk in patience, quiet, and cheerfulness as a Christian should. When a man is anxious he cannot pray with faith; when he is troubled about the world, he cannot serve his Master, his thoughts are serving himself. If you would “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” all things would then be added unto you. You are meddling with Christ’s business, and neglecting your own when you fret about your lot and circumstances. You have been trying “providing” work and forgetting that it is yours to obey. Be wise and attend to the obeying, and let Christ manage the providing. Come and survey your Father’s storehouse, and ask whether he will let you starve while he has laid up so great an abundance in his garner? Look at his heart of mercy; see if that can ever prove unkind! Look at his inscrutable wisdom; see if that will ever be at fault. Above all, look up to Jesus Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while he pleads, can your Father deal ungraciously with you? If he remembers even sparrows, will he forget one of the least of his poor children? “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Psalm 42

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Matthew Henry on Elijah

Last evening I read Matthew Henry on 1 Kings 17 and wanted to share a few quotes that stood out to me - this chapter was so good!

"If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to acquiesce; when we cannot be useful we must be patient, and when we cannot work for God we must sit still quietly for him."

"Elijah had but one meal brought him at a time, every morning and every evening, to teach him not to take thought for the morrow. Let those who have but from hand to mouth learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day in the day; thank God for bread this day, and let to-morrow bring bread with it."

"Have we experienced God's special goodness to us and ours? Let us reckon ourselves obliged thereby to be kind to those that are his, for his sake. Let us learn....To encourage ourselves in God in the greatest straits, and never to distrust him. He that could furnish a table in the wilderness, and make ravens purveyors, cooks, and servitors to his prophet, is able to supply all our need according to his riches in glory."

"God will now provide for him where he shall have some company and opportunity of usefulness, and not be, as he had been, buried alive."

".....a poor widow woman, destitute and desolate, is commanded (that is, is made both able and willing) to sustain him. It is God's way, and it is his glory, to make use of the weak and foolish things of the world and put honor upon them. He is, in a special manner, the widows' God, and feeds them, and therefore they must study what they shall render to him."

"She was very humble and industrious. He found her gathering sticks, and preparing to bake her own bread. Her mind was brought to her condition, and she complained not of the hardship she was brought to, nor quarrelled with the divine Providence for withholding rain, but accommodated herself to it as well as she could. Such as are of this temper in a day of trouble are best prepared for honour and relief from God....she had a great confidence in the word of God. It was a great trial for her faith and obedience when, having gold the prophet how low her stock of meal and oil was and that she had but just enough for herself and her son, he bade her make a cake for him, and make his first, and then prepare for herself and her son. If we consider, it will appear as great a trial as could be in so small a matter."

"A cup of cold water, though it cost us no more than the labour of fetching, shall in no wise lose its reward."

"O woman! great was thy faith; one has not found the like, no, not in Israel: all things considered, it exceeded that of the widow who, when she had but two mites, cast them into the treasury. She took the prophet's word, that she should not lose by it, but it should be repaid with interest...Those that deal with God must deal upon trust; seek first his kingdom, and then other things shall be added...Happy are those who can thus, against hope, believe and obey in hope."

"When God blesses a little, it will go a great way, even beyond expectation."

"She generously made one cake for the prophet, and was repaid with many for herself and her son. When Abraham offers his only son to God he is told he shall be the father of multitudes. What is laid out in piety or charity is let out to the best interest, upon the best securities. One poor meal's meat this poor widow gave the prophet, and, in recompence of it, she and her son did eat many days, above two years, in a time of general scarcity; and to have their food from God's special favour, and to eat it in such good company as Elijah's, made it more than doubly sweet. It is promised to those that trust in God that they shall not be ashamed in the evil time, but in the days of famine they shall be satisfied, Psalm 37:19"

Friday, December 17, 2010

The way appointed...

"It was at the supper with Jesus' disciples, on the night before He was crucified, that He told them He was going "the way appointed". That meant betrayal, by one of the very men sharing the meal with Him, and crucifixion, at the hands of others who had arranged to pay this man.Yet in and through those terrible things that were to happen to Him, Jesus never for a minute thought of Himself as solely in their hands, at their mercy. He was held in the will of the Father. There was a sovereign purpose in it all; the way He must travel was no accident. It was appointed, assigned. he accepted it as such.
What agonies we would spare ourselves if we would remember that ours, too, is a way appointed. We need not ever imagine that our circumstances are in any other hands than those that held the beloved Son obedient unto death."
~ The Music Of His Promises
Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A summary of reasons for suffering

A friend sent me this awhile ago. I keep my copy in my Bible and thought others might appreciate it too.


"For the LORD will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men."
Lamentations 3:31-33

We may group some of God's reasons into four categories. The list of references is by no means exhaustive.

First, we suffer for our own sake:

that we may learn who God is  --     Psalm 46;1,10, Danieln 4;24-37; the book of Job

that we may learn to trust --       2 Corinthians 1;8-9

that we may learn to obey    - Psalm 119:67, 71

discipline is proof of the Father's love and
of the validity of our sonship    -  - Hebrews 12:5-11

it is the condition of discipleship -- Acts 14:22, Luke 14;26-27,33

it is required of soldiers -- 2 Timothy 2:4

we are being 'pruned' that we may bear fruit --John 15:2

that we may be shaped to the image of Christ  -- Romans 8;29

to qualify us to be fellow-heirs with Christ --Romans 8;17

to qualify us for the kingdom of God -- 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5

that our faith may be strengthened -- James 1:3, Daniel 11:35, Malachi 3:2, 1 Corinthians 3:13, 1 Peter 1:7

that we may reach spiritual maturity -- James 1:4

power comes to its full strength in weakness -- 2 Corinthians 12:9

to produce in us endurance, character, hope -- Romans 5;3-4

to produce in us joy and generosity -- 2 Corinthians 8;2

   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second, we suffer for the sake of God's people:

that they may obtain salvation -- 2 Timothy 2;10

to give them courage --Philippians 1:14

that because of death working in us, life may work in them -- 2 Corinthians 4:12, Galatians 4;13, 1 John 3;16

that grace may extend to more -- 2 Corinthians 4;15

that our generosity may bless others -- 2 Corinthians 8:2

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Third, we suffer for the world's sake:

that it may be shown what love and obedience mean -- the book of Job, John 14;31, Matthew 27:40-43

that the life of Jesus may be visible in ordinary human flesh -- 2Corinthians 4:10

                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fourth, we suffer for Christ's sake:

that we may be identified with Him in His crucifixion -- Galatians 2;20

suffering is the corollary of faith ---Psalm 44;22, Acts 9;16, and 14:22, 2 Timothy 3;12, John 15:18 -21, 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and 3:4

that we may share His suffering -- 1 Peter 4;12-13, Philippians 1:29, 2;17, and 3:8,10, Colossians 1:24, 2 Timothy 1:8, Hebrews 13:13

that we may share His glory -- Romans 8:17-18, Hebrews 2:9-20, 2 Corinthians 4:17

                                      

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Valley of Vision



For my birthday I was given a gift certificate to order some books and this was one of my choices. I look forward to reading through it, and most likely sharing more on here. Watch for posts on my other new books as well:-)






"Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,

where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;

hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold

thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive,

that the valley is the place of vision.



Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

and the deeper the wells the brighter

thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

Thy life in my death,

that every good work or thought found in me

thy joy in my sorrow,

thy grace in my sin,

thy riches in my poverty

thy glory in my valley."



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Daybook


For Today - December 14th


Outside my window......it's very cold, only 17 degrees.

I am thinking...... of something I recently read on one of the blogs I follow ~
'While we often feel lost in the shuffle, He who sees a sparrow fall knows your deepest dreams, hopes, and fears; He holds gently secret tears that water your pillow at night. Your exhaustion, performance, and service, the demands, and pressure you feel does not miss His eye. He knows your cries, your loneliness, your longing to matter to those you love.......to feel that you are a blessing.'

I am thankful for.......that I have so many good books to read.

I am wearing........warm clothes - it's been freezing here.

Remembering.....my trip to Virginia - I'm so glad that worked out. 

Listening to.....the Psalm CD from the conference.

I am going.....to clean bathrooms, do laundry, iron, work on a grocery list...normal housework.

 Noticing that....I'm really enjoying my MP3  player - I'm glad I bought it. I've liked being able to listen to sermons and music while I work and find that it's helpful to be filling my mind with good things instead of just letting my thoughts wander.

I am currently reading.....my Bible, Matthew Henry's commentary on 1 Kings, and Facing Grief by John Flavel, Valley of Vision, and A Lamp For My Feet by Elisabeth Elliot.

I am hoping......in God's promises...some that are on my mind ~ 
"The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
"...a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
"I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

 On my mind......learning to hold things loosely, and other lessons I've learned, and been learning.

 Pondering these words.....a few quotes I recently read in Matthew Henry ~

"He blesses God who has given, he does not say wealth, and honour, and power, and victory, to Israel, but rest, as if that were a blessing more valuable than any of those. Let not those who have rest under-value that blessing, though they want some others."

‎"It is a great advantage to be in good families, and to have opportunity of frequent converse with those that are wise, and good, and communicative. Many have this happiness who know not how to value it. "


 ‎"The more moderate our desires are towards earthly things the better qualified we are for the enjoyment of them and the more likely to have them." 



 ‎"Those whom God hallows or sanctifies, whom he sets apart for himself, have his eye, his heart, his love and care, and this perpetually."


‎"What we over-loved we are apt to over-grieve
for: in each affection, therefore, it is wisdom to have rule over
our own spirits and to keep a strict guard upon ourselves when that
is removed from us which was very dear to us. Losers think they may
have leave to speak; but little said is soon amended. The penitent
patient sufferer sitteth alone and keepeth silence
(Lamentations 3:28), or rather,
with Job, says, Blessed be the name of the Lord.



Around the house....the washer and dryer are going, music is playing, and I'm about to end this break and get back to cleaning.

One of my favorite things~ spending time with the people I love.

A few plans for the rest of the week .....working at the Es on Wed and Fri, church on Wed, here today and Thursday, an open house at the Es on Sat......and I don't know what else.

From my photo journal ~ a collage I created with pictures I took of Sammy over the past year. Something has happened with the little guy that I always knew would happen......he's growing up and doesn't need me to hold him in church anymore. Sometimes I wish little ones could just stay little! But....
.....I have another little one that I'm able to hold which will hopefully fill his place for now - little Katie:-). Blog followers may remember her from my posts last summer. Much to my surprise she seemed to remember me instantly even though she hadn't seen me in three months!

For more Daybooks go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Serving the Master



I wanted to share our sermon from yesterday morning, on the passage below. This was so encouraging, and convicting for me as he talked about faithfully serving Christ in the small things, day in and day out carrying out our vocation in service to Christ, doing it unto the Lord with exclusive love, and by heeding his word, then about being entrusted with true riches of God. To my mind it fit in well with the devotional I read on Saturday night which is at the bottom of this post. I hope this an encouragement to someone else too!

Robert McCurley | Greenville Presbyterian Church


"And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."
Luke 16:9-17


-----------------------------

"Ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Colossians 3:24

"To what choice order of officials was this word spoken? To kings who proudly boast a right divine? Ah, no! too often do they serve themselves or Satan, and forget the God whose sufferance permits them to wear their mimic majesty for their little hour. Speaks then the apostle to those so-called “right reverend fathers in God,” the bishops, or “the venerable the archdeacons”? No, indeed, Paul knew nothing of these mere inventions of man. Not even to pastors and teachers, or to the wealthy and esteemed among believers, was this word spoken, but to servants, and to slaves. Among the toiling multitudes, the journeymen, the day labourers, the domestic servants, the drudges of the kitchen, the apostle found, as we find still, some of the Lord’s chosen, and to them he says, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” This saying ennobles the weary routine of earthly employments, and sheds a halo around the most humble occupations. To wash feet may be servile, but to wash his feet is royal work. To unloose the shoe-latchet is poor employ, but to unloose the great Master’s shoe is a princely privilege. The shop, the barn, the scullery, and the smithy become temples when men and women do all to the glory of God! Then “divine service” is not a thing of a few hours and a few places, but all life becomes holiness unto the Lord."

~ Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Psalm 41

"Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

 I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?

 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.

 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.

 An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.

 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

 But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.

 By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

 And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.

 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen."


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Memories....

Just for fun - some pictures of good memories from the past year, and a picture from one year ago of Sammy and I. 



Sammy and I - December, 2009.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Anne of Green Gables...

Today's post is a little different than usual. When I was young (or maybe I should say younger:-) I loved L.M. Montgomery's books, especially the Anne of Green Gables series. I think I own most of her books which I'll pass along to my daughter someday if God gives me one......Anyways while looking for something else I stumbled across a site full of quotes from my old favorite books so decided to take a trip down memory lane and post a few of them. Some are  meant to be encouraging, others - just for fun;-)



"Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it." 


"We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us." 


"I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them." 


"Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it." 


"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." 


"Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them." 



"Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it." 


"I doubt if I shall ever have time to read the book again -- there are too many new ones coming out all the time which I want to read. Yet an old book has something for me which no new book can ever have -- for at every reading the memories and atmosphere of other readings come back and I am reading old years as well as an old book." 


"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will." 



"In this life you've got to hope for the best, prepare for the worst and take whatever God sends." 


"They keep coming up new all the time - things to perplex you, you know. You settle one question and there's another right after. There are so many things to be thought over and decided when you're beginning to grow up. It keeps me busy all the time thinking them over and deciding what's right. It's a serious thing to grow up, isn't it, Marilla?" 


"There is another bend in the road after this.No one knows what will happen." 


"When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does." 


"I know that in everybody's life must come days of depression and discouragement when all things in life seem to lose savour. The sunniest day has its clouds;but one must not forget the sun is there all the time."


"Night is beautiful when you are happy--comforting when you are in grief--terrible when you are lonely and unhappy." 


"There isn't any such thing as an ordinary life. "


"If you can't be cheerful, be as cheerful as you can." 


"Ruby Gillis thinks of nothing but young men, and the older she gets the worse she is. Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn't do to drag them into everything, does it?" 


"After all, it was nicer to be loved than to be rich and admired and famous." 


"You were never poor as long as you had something to love." 




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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1