Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Psalm for the Lord's Day....


"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.


But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.



And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.



The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away



Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.



For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."

Psalm 1


Most of you all know I love the Psalms, they are comforting, and encouraging, and it seems no matter what you are going through there is a Psalm that applies to the situation. As John Calvin said, "They are the anatomy of the soul." Anyway I thought it would be nice to share my reading and try to post a Psalm every week (of course I'll have to break up some of the longer ones!). I hope you all have a blessed Lord's day!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Happiness and Privileges of the True Believer....

This is from my reading, last evening, in A Door Opening Into Everlasting Life that I wanted to share. It brought to mind a conversation on prayer I recently had.....this is really good. To read the rest of it click here.

"A true believer hath free access to God. He may go with boldness to the throne of grace (Eph. 3:12). The word rendered “access” hath an allusion to the courts of princes, where petitioners are admitted unto access to their prince. How hard is it to have access to an earthly king? To speak with such is a favour not easily obtained. Oh but God, though He is endued with infinite majesty and glory, yet He is always prepared every hour and moment to admit believers into His presence."

"They that are in Christ may boldly approach before God. They may come securely into His presence, “for through Him we both have an access, by one Spirit, unto the Father” (Eph. 2:18). Here “both” means both Jews and Gentiles that believe. In all their troubles they may run with confidence to their heavenly Father, and pour out their complaints and grievances into His hand. Oh glorious and comfortable privilege! Is it a great privilege to have an affectionate wife, or sympathizing friend, to whom we may pour forth our hearts? What a privilege is it then for God’s children, when their spirits are oppressed, to have a gracious God to run to by prayer in secret! He is able to do exceeding abundantly for them, above what they can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). If to be admitted into the presence chamber of princes is accounted a great honour, what a privilege is it to be admitted into the holy of holies, to converse and commune with God from day to day? Oh prize and improve this privilege, ye servants of the most high God. Be not strangers to the throne of grace, but have recourse to it continually. Daily renew and increase your fellowship and communion with God, till ye at last be presented perfect in Christ Jesus."

"This is the common privilege of all the saints by Jesus Christ: their prayers are heard, and they have welcome audience at the throne of grace continually. God hath not said to the seed of Jacob, “seek ye Me in vain.” He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious fruit (this precious fruit, the prayer of faith) shall doubtless come again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. His showery seed time shall be blessed with a fruitful and plentiful harvest. God will so hear his prayers as to supply his wants, and give him what he prays for. Oh wonderful condescension and unspeakable mercy to have the ear of the great Jehovah! What greater worldly privilege than to have the ear of those who are greatest in the world? What a privilege then is it to have the ear of God, to have audience in the court of heaven? And this is the saint’s privilege by Jesus Christ. As soon as the poor believer calls, God is ready to answer, “Here I am. Be it unto thee, even as thou wilt.” God indeed sometimes delays to answer the prayers of believers, but then He supports them in the exercise of grace, and the performance of their duties till the answer comes. He enables them to find out some answer, some encouragement in His very refusal. “But He answered and said, it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to the dogs. And she said, truth Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Mt. 15:26-27). Here was encouragement in discouragement. God’s dealings toward His people seem sometimes to cross His promises. Oh but when He gives them no visible answer, He gives them invisible strength, to persevere till answered. Thus the woman of Canaan persevered prayingly when she was rebuked and answered roughly."


Friday, February 26, 2010

The Characters of a True Believer

Here are some excerpts from my reading in Andrew Gray's A Door Opening Into Everlasting Life - an excellent book! I just found all the sermons in this book online, click here to read the rest of the sermon.

" A true believer is deeply and dearly enamored of Jesus Christ. He advances Him highest in his thoughts as the only jewel and joy of his heart, without whom he accounts all he hath worth nothing at all. All his knowledge is brutishness, all his hope is presumption, and all his happiness is misery without Jesus Christ; He prefers and prizes Christ far above the riches, pleasures, and the glory of the whole earth. Many esteem Him not; they value a good farm, a fair house, etc., more than Jesus Christ. With the Gadarenes, they esteem their swine above the Saviour of the world. But to the true believer, Christ is better than all and infinitely more than all. He chooseth Christ rather than all, or any other thing whatsoever. He would rather possess Christ than all things else. He prefers the poorest condition with Christ above the highest condition without Christ. He can take joyfully the spoiling of his goods, rather than to be deprived of Jesus Christ. He so remembers, so esteems, and so longs after Christ that he remembers, prizes, and desires nothing in comparison to Christ, be it otherwise never so dear or precious."

"A true believer delights in Christ. He delights in the person of Christ; in His incomparable beauty, "who is fairer than the children of men," clothed with all spiritual excellencies, the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His Person (Cant. 2:3). He delights in the offices of Christ. Christ is become his Prophet, effectually to enlighten the eyes of his soul, and to instruct him in heavenly and divine mysteries. Christ is become his Priest, to purge away his sins, to reconcile him to God, and to make continual intercession for him. Christ is become his King, to rule in his heart by His grace, and to subdue all his enemies, both inward and outward. He delights in the ordinances, to see the King in His beauty in His sanctuary. He delights in His answers of prayer, and in all the disclosures of His love and power. His heart is warmed with heavenly joy, when in his private meditations he recounts with himself what great things Christ hath done, and will do for his soul. He is warmed with heavenly joy when he thinks how mightily Christ wrought in him by His Spirit to make him alive, when once dead in trespasses and sins. He delights when he thinks what happiness he has in his favor for the present, and what happiness He will one day bring him unto, when He shall make him like Himself, most glorious in his body, most righteous in his soul, most blissful in all, and that forever. In a word, he so delights in Christ that he looks and longs for more of Christ every day."

"A true believer accounts his life to be in God's favour. He saith with the Psalmist, "In Thy favour is life." His life is not so much in what he hath received from God, as in what he is in God's favour. Hypocrites desires are only for the enjoyment of mercies, and if they enjoy what they desire they are contented, though they have no presence of God in them at all. If they enjoy health, strength, peace, and plenty, then the enjoyment of God's favour they regard not. But the true believer is not contented with the most precious mercies without the favour of God with them. If he have health from God, but lacks a warm heart to God, if he have peace among men, and not peace with God, it does not satisfy him. His cry is, as in Psalm 4:6-7, "Lord, lift thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us..." The light of God's countenance is more to him than the plentiful affluence of corn, and wine, and oil. If he have abundance of creature-comforts, but see not the light of God's countenance with them, they cannot cheer his soul. But if he have God's countenance, he can be cheerful without them. "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls. Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. 3:17-18). A true believer looks upon religion, not as a burden which he must be forced to endure, but as a privilege which it is his happiness to enjoy. There is nothing in the world which he more passionately desires than that he could live exactly and precisely according to the excellent precepts of religion. The holy ordinances and exercises of religion (which unto an ungodly man are tedious, dry, unsavoury things), to a good man are very pleasant and satisfactory He is not forced to his duty, but does willingly delight in it and in that law that prescribes it. "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23 12) He knows the Word doth maintain a more noble life than that which is maintained by bodily food and is more necessary and sweet than any creature-comforts. He knows it will sweeten all other smart and cold entertainments, and therefore he prizes it more than his daily bread. He prefers a day spent in the courts and service of God before a thousand employed in balls or plays, or any other of the toys and trifles of human life. A true believer is adorned with a meek and quiet spirit. He sits down with a becalmed spirit amidst crosses of all sorts. "He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him; he putteth his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope" (Lam. 3:28-29). His boisterous passions are soon laid aside. Excessive heats either rise not or are easily cooled. He commits himself to God's supreme sovereignty, to will or to nill at God's pleasure. "If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again, and shew me both it, and His habitation: but if He thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him" (2 Sam. 15:25-26). "Let God lift me up," saith he, "or cast me down; let Him tread me to death, or write my name in the dust, if He will. I refer myself to His wisdom." Just as he can endure patiently what the hand of God more immediately lays upon him, so he can suffer wrongfully at the hands of men. He can do well, and suffer for it when he has done it. He can cleave to Christ, notwithstanding all the hard usage, all the evil entreatings and cruelties of the world. As Christ suffered for him, so he is resolved to suffer with Christ, to take his lot as it falls, to follow Christ through rivers and flames, to mortify, deny, and renounce self, and to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.The true believer is known in the day of adversity by three characters. First, he is content under every affliction; let it be fashioned for nature, measure, time, continuance, as God will. He welcomes the cross and embraces it. If God suffers the spiteful tongues of graceless persons to slay his good name with slander, if the Lord break him with breach upon breach, and his children and friends die one after another, he sits down and says as old Eli in I Samuel 3:18, "It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good." He will sooner die than blame God. Yea, if his affliction be lined with pain, and overlaid with shame, "yet he endureth the cross, and despiseth the shame" (Heb. 12:2). Secondly, he rejoicingly thanks God for afflictions, as in Job 1:21, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord." Thirdly, he reveals as little of his sufferings by his expressions, or his actions, as he can. He would gladly swallow down God's medicines, without making any noise. Indeed in some cases it is lawful to reveal one's grief, as when it glorifies God's justice for some scandalous sin or when a poor Christian stands in great need of counsel and advice. Oh, but there are some who tell almost everyone they meet of their weary nights and sore pains. All their discourse, from first to last, is most commonly spent in the history of their sufferings, which is not to be approved of. If this be by way of complaint, then it is rank impatience. If it be out of a secret desire to show how patient and calm their spirits lie under it, is it not horrible pride? And so food becomes Poison, and that which should humble them puffs them up."


"A true believer seeks to enjoy God in His ordinances. It is not the empty formality in ordinances which he prizes, but to meet with God (Ps. 63:2). The profane, blind world neither careth for ordinances, nor God in ordinances. The formal hypocritical part of the world rests satisfied with the bare ordinances, but the sincere Christian seeks to find God, and His lively operations upon his heart there. It is Christ in a sermon that the spiritual soul feeds on. Some are taken with rich, magnificent, painted, and pompous words, with that art, learning, and elegancy of style with which sermons are compounded, but yet they neglect Christ. This is like children feeding on ashes. As a morsel of gold will not satisfy an hungry stomach, no notion in a sermon will (unless accompanied with the power and Spirit of Christ) stay the appetite of the soul. Oh, but Christ is savoury meat, such as the gracious soul loves to feed upon. Nothing without this can give contentment. Absalom thought it a small thing that he lived at Jerusalem. Nay, he esteemed his life as nothing, unless he might see the king's face. So the true believer esteems it a small thing to live at Jerusalem, that is, to enjoy all God's ordinances, unless he enjoys the face of Christ with them. His very life without this seems but a burden. When the face of God shines, there is exceeding joy and rejoicing, but when the face of God is hid there is a cry with much mourning and lamentation."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you..

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.....And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
~Luke 12:6-8, 22-32

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"But I with expectation will hope continually..." Ps 71:14

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
~ Romans 8:24-25

Monday, February 22, 2010

Princess Party


For Hannah's 4th birthday she requested a princess party.....like most little girls she loves princess stuff. This brought back some memories of my little sister Hannah - I remember the summer she was four she spent most of it wearing construction paper crowns she had decorated for herself, playing princess:-) I wish I had a picture of that to post here......

Anyway we went all out for her party, the girls (and, yes, some of the adults:-) had fun dressing up, and she had a beautiful princess cake.

Pictured above is Hannah in her princess dress - she was adorable!


The decorated table and cake.

A close up of the cake.

Princesses dancing with the birthday girl's grandfather.

Little Princesses - they had so much fun dressing up.

A princess in waiting...

Gifts!

Sharing the fun.....

Princess play.



The cake.


An inevitable end to the party.....



My Daybook

For Today - February 22nd

Outside my window...cloudy and cold. The rain seems to have stopped.

I am thinking... of these verses, "And they from strength unwearied go still forward unto strength, until in Zion they appear before the Lord at length." Psalm 84;7,
"And I will constantly go on in strength of God the Lord..." Psalm 71:16


I am thankful for.....that God continues to provide, and that I was given a new job on Saturday.

I am wearing......a new denim skirt and black shirt.



I am remembering....my busy weekend. It began on Sat with catching up at home on cooking and housework, then I ran errands with Joshua, packed my bag (I think I can probably pack a bag faster than anyone with all the practice I have had lately), then Hannah's princess birthday party, preparing for Mr E's parent's visit, church, and helping with food, etc during the visit.



Listening to...the sound of a busy house, children playing with their grandparents, happy sounds:-)


I am going... to work at the Es today, but take off a bit early, rush home, and clean up my house before guests arrive (I haven't been home since Sat morning, so I know there is a lot to do!) This evening we have a pastoral visit....tomorrow - sleep all day! Just kidding:-)



I am currently reading...... my Bible, Matthew Henry's Commentary on Exodus (I'm loving having my own copies of these!), and A Door Opening Into Everlasting Life by Andrew Gray.



I am hoping... that I will get a good report....



On my mind......conversation I hope to have later.




Noticing that......life just gets busier....




Pondering these words... "Until we are tested we think that we are living on our own strength. It is, however, God alone who keeps us from falling by His preventing grace. We might say, "All men may do this or that, but we will not!" When the trial comes, however, we quickly see that only God's preservation upholds us. God also reveals His renewing grace through our testings. Paul in his prayer for deliverance from his thorn in the flesh, found God's sufficiency and renewing grace (2 Cor 12:90. We do not realize the power and strength that God puts forth on our behalf, and the sufficiency of His grace, until we compare our trials with our weaknesses. God's power and graces are then seen clearly in our lives. The effectiveness of an antidote is not realized until one has been exposed to the poison. The preciousness of a medicine is revealed by the presence of the disease. We will not know the power of grace until we feel the power of testing. We must be tried, to realize the glory of being preserved." ~John Owen
(I got this quote from yesterday's bulletin - thought it was really good.)



From the kitchen.. I made scrambled eggs, biscuits and oranges for breakfast, and have a pork roast in the crock pot for dinner.



Around the house...boxes of stuff to be gone through, plus all the normal Monday work to be done, laundry.....


One of my favorite things~ quiet time with a good book.



A few plans for the rest of the week.....work here today, tonight is our Pastoral visit, tomorrow catch up at home, then watch Olympics with Jenny, Wed - work day and church, Thur - home, then shopping with Jenny in the evening, Fri is a work day, and I'll probably be cleaning a house on Saturday.


From my picture journal......remembering our Valentines Day Dinner, we had such a nice time together:-)








To see more Daybooks go to Peggy's Blog!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Christ Among Thieves"

"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Luke 23:39-43

This was my favorite sermon from the conference last summer, and has to be the best presentation of the gospel that I have ever heard. You could have heard a pin drop when this was preached - I think everyone was paying attention! I wish I could get everyone I know to watch, or listen to it.



Friday, February 19, 2010

Today's quote...

"Whatever we want, it is God that withholds it, a sovereign Lord, most wise, holy, and just, that may do what he will with his own, and is debtor to no man, that never did, nor ever can do, any wrong to any of his creatures. The keys of the clouds, of the heart, of the grave, and of the womb, are four keys which God has in his hand"
~ Matthew Henry

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Last night's prayer meeting had to be the most interesting church service I have ever attended! When we arrived only about half the lights were working, someone made a joke about only half of the power bill being paid, then we went on to start the service......then half way through the first prayer everything shut down, the room was black!

When the prayer was over Pastor McCurley told us that we would continue worshiping undeterred....he was given a flashlight and went on to do the scripture readings by that light.... I said it was interesting! In the meantime some of the men were working on finding a solution, and someone who lived nearby went and got us a lamp to put by the pulpit which helped a lot.

In God's providence the sermon was on not walking by sight - we had that clearly illustrated for us! About halfway through the sermon the lights came on - I know we were all grateful to be able to see. Things like this are a good reminder to be grateful for the many blessings (such as light!) we take for granted.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Verses for today ~

"Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness..... my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate...Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble."
~ from Psalm 143

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines.....

I haven't celebrated Valentines Day since I was a little girl........This year, however, I was invited to join the E family, on the 15th, for their family party. We had a fun time together, a special meal, chocolates, and gifts for the children.

They surprised me with these gifts and cards from the Es, the children, and Mr. E's parents! It was so nice of them to remember me.



My gifts, a tiny rose bush, and chocolates:-)

The children gave me this sweet card.

:-)


Thoughts from Jonah

I decided to take a break after finishing Genesis in my Matthew Henry reading, before going on to Exodus, wanting to learn more about Jonah since we are going through this book on Lord's day afternoons at church. I never realized there was so much good stuff in this little book! Here are a few quotes copied from my reading -

"While there is still life there is hope, and while there is hope there is room for prayer. He suggested also that it was God only that could effect their deliverance, and it must come from his power and his pity. "If he think upon us, and act for us, we may yet be saved." And therefore to him we must look, and in him we must put our trust, when the danger is ever so imminent."

"We are but the instruments of Providence, and it is sorely against our will that we do it; but we must say, The will of the Lord be done." Note, When we are manifestly led by Providence to do things contrary to our own inclinations, and quite beyond our own intentions, it will be some satisfaction to us to be able to say, Thou, O Lord! has done as it pleased thee. And, if God please himself, we ought to be satisfied though he do not please us."

"When we are in affliction we must pray; then we have occasion to pray, then we have errands at the throne of grace and business there; then, if ever, we shall have a disposition to pray, when the heart is humbled, and softened, and made serious; then God expects it (in their affliction they will seek me early, seek me earnestly); and, though we bring our afflictions upon ourselves by our sins, yet, if we pray in humility and godly sincerity, we shall be welcome to the throne of grace, as Jonah was. Then when he was in a hopeful way of deliverance, being preserved alive by miracle, a plain indication that he was reserved for further mercy, then he prayed. An apprehension of God's good-will to us, notwithstanding our offences, gives us boldness of access to him, and opens the lips in prayer which were closed with the sense of guilt and dread of wrath."

"For the reconciling of ourselves to our afflictions, it is good to search precedents, that we may find there has no temptation taken us but such as is common to men. If ever any man's case was singular, and not to be paralleled, surely Jonah's was, and yet, to his great satisfaction, he finds even the man after God's own heart making the same complaint of God's waves and billows going over him that he has now occasion to make. When God performs the thing that is appointed for us we shall find that many such things are with him, that even our path of trouble is no untrodden path, and that God deals with us no otherwise than as he uses to deal with those that love his name. And therefore for our assistance in our addresses to God, when we are in trouble, it is good to make use of the complaints and prayers which the saints that have been before us made use of in the like case. See how good it is to be ready in the scriptures."

"When Jonah would say the worst he could of his case he says this, I am cast out of thy sight; those, and those only, are miserable, whom God has cast out of his sight, whom he will no longer own and favor. What is the misery of the damned in hell but this, that they are cast out of God's sight? For what is the happiness of heaven but the vision and fruition of God?"

"Yet he recovered himself from sinking into despair, with some comfortable prospects of deliverance. Faith corrected and controlled the surmises of fear and distrust. Here was a fierce struggle between sense and faith, but faith had the last word and came off a conqueror. In trying times, the issue will be good at last, providing our faith do not fail; it was therefore the continuance of that in its vigour that Christ secured to Peter. I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, Luke xxii. 32. David would have fainted if he had not believed, Ps. xxvii. 13. Jonah's faith said, Yet I will look again towards thy holy temple. Thus, though he was perplexed, yet not in despair; in the depth of the sea he had this hope in him, as an anchor of the soul, sure and stedfast. That which he supports himself with the hope of is that he shall yet look again towards God's holy temple."

"Remembering God, he made his addresses to him: "My prayer came in unto thee; I sent it in, and expected to receive an answer to it." Our afflictions should put us in mind of God, and thereby put us upon prayer to him. When our souls faint we must remember God; and, when we remember God, we must send up a prayer to him, when we think on his name we should call on his name."


"God's servants must go where he sends them, come when he calls them, and do what he bids them; whatever appears to be the word of the Lord we must conscientiously do according to it."

"And observe what great faith God can work by very small, weak, and unlikely means; he can bring even Ninevites by a few threatening words to be obedient to the faith."

"
But melancholy men (and such a one Jonah seems to have been) are apt to make themselves uneasy by fancying evils to themselves that are not, nor are ever likely to be. Most of our frets, as well as our frights, are owing to the power of imagination; and those are to be pitied as perfect bond-slaves that are under the power of such a tyrant."

"See how tender God is of his people in their afflictions, yea, though they are foolish and froward, nor is he extreme to mark what they do amiss. God had before prepared a great fish to secure Jonah from the injuries of the water, and here a great gourd to secure him from the injuries of the air; for he is the protector of his people against evils of every kind, has the command of plants as well as animals, and can soon prepare them, to make them serve his purposes, can make their growth sudden, which, in a course of nature, is slow and gradual. A gourd, one would think, was but a slender fortification at the best, yet Jonah was exceedingly glad of the gourd; for, 1. It was really at that time a great comfort to him. A thing in itself small and inconsiderable, yet, coming seasonably, may be to us a very valuable blessing. A gourd in the right place may do us more service than a cedar. The least creatures may be great plagues (as flies and lice were to Pharaoh) or great comforts (as the gourd to Jonah), according as God is pleased to make them."

"...The withering of a gourd is a thing which it does not become us to be angry at. When afflicting providences deprive us of our relations, possessions, and enjoyments, we must bear it patiently, must not be angry at God, must not be angry for the gourd. It is comparatively but a small loss, the loss of a shadow; that is the most we can make of it. It was a gourd, a withering thing; we could expect no other than that it should wither. Our being angry for the withering of it will not recover it; we ourselves shall shortly wither like it. If one gourd be withered, another gourd may spring up in the room of it; but that which should especially silence our discontent is that though our gourd be gone our God is not gone, and there is enough in him to make up all our losses."



Monday, February 15, 2010

My Daybook

For Today

Outside my window...
cold, dark, with a little bit of snow left. I hear we may get more today - I hope not! Last week must have been a record with 49 of the 50 states being covered in snow. Someone said that God is going to keep sending the snow till Al Gore cries, "uncle", all I can say is I hope that happens soon, I am so ready for spring:-)

I am thinking... about all that I need to do this week.
I am thankful for..... the many blessings God has given me.

I am wearing...... a brown shirt and denim skirt.

I am remembering... two conversations over this weekend that got me thinking...

Listening to... the heat running.
I am going... to work at the Es today, will be cooking, doing laundry, helping with the children, etc.

I am currently reading...... my Bible (Ezekiel and John), The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes, and Matthew Henry's Commentary on Jonah.
I am hoping... that a crazy idea I had yesterday will work out!
On my mind... these words that I read on Saturday from Matthew Henry -"See how tender God is of his people in their afflictions, yea, though they are foolish and froward, nor is he extreme to mark what they do amiss. God had before prepared a great fish to secure Jonah from the injuries of the water, and here a great gourd to secure him from the injuries of the air; for he is the protector of his people against evils of every kind, has the command of plants as well as animals, and can soon prepare them, to make them serve his purposes, can make their growth sudden, which, in a course of nature, is slow and gradual. A gourd, one would think, was but a slender fortification at the best, yet Jonah was exceedingly glad of the gourd; for, 1. It was really at that time a great comfort to him. A thing in itself small and inconsiderable, yet, coming seasonably, may be to us a very valuable blessing. A gourd in the right place may do us more service than a cedar. The least creatures may be great plagues (as flies and lice were to Pharaoh) or great comforts (as the gourd to Jonah), according as God is pleased to make them."

Noticing that... I'm tired...
Pondering these words... "Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him." Psalm 45: 10-11. I was reminded of these verses in a conversation yesterday.

From the kitchen... the washer and dryer going, later I'll fix bagels and yogurt for breakfast....not sure what I'll be making for the other meals.

Around the house... Quiet, everyone else is still sleeping.

One of my favorite things~ this is going to make some people laugh - but the Psalm tune Hamilton! Our church learned it back in July and I loved it, since then we have sung it once in church, but I ask for it sometimes at family worship, or when we get together to sing.

A few plans for the rest of the week..... it will most likely be a normal week, on my regular schedule, but who knows?
From my picture journal...... I am tired of being cold so I decided to share a picture from last summer:-) This is my friend Karen and I resting on the plantation house porch at Stone Mountain, Georgia.


Go to Peggy's Blog for more daybooks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Weekend.....

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved pancakes......Hannah looks forward to me making her pancakes every week:-)

A big smile - for pancakes!

I was in the mood to bake, so I baked bread to go with the lasagna I made for dinner.

Around the time I was cooking dinner the snow began falling....I ended up getting snowed in overnight at the Es.

Snow! The children were thrilled:-)

Moby buried in snow!


It's so pretty!

The early morning light was beautiful.


It looks very different now that the sun is fully up.

A lovely winter scene....


The front yard.

I made oatmeal for breakfast.

Daniel smiling at the breakfast table:-)


I took this picture of the Es while out playing in the snow.


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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