Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Let us sing Psalms to Him with grace and make a joyful noise.....

 ......I wanted to share another sermon with you all......I had the opportunity to hear Pastor Beers preach at the FCC Conference in 2009 (a sermon series on Christ on the Cross, that has stayed with me since then and I think I've shared it on here in the past), so I was happy to see this sermon preached by him,  first shared on facebook, then on my church's sermonaudio site, and blessed to hear it. I think most of my followers know I'm a Psalm singer - I love singing the Psalms, I consider it to be such a blessing to have God's word to sing......and have discovered that after nearly 22 years of singing them (I won't say how old I was when I began, but I was a child:-) that I have most of the words memorized - without trying. ("Thy word have I hid in mine heart." Psalm 119:11). It was great to hear a sermon preached on this subject, and to hear it explained so well. I hope everyone will be able to listen to it.

Gavin Beers | Greenville Presbyterian Church

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand." 
~ Psalm 95:1-7

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Daybook

For Today - Monday, November 29th


Outside my window......it's only 23 degrees and everything is covered in a thick frost. Winter seems to be here. I just checked the weather at home in SC and discovered it is 20 degrees warmer there!



I am thinking......that sometimes it is good to look at things from a distance or different perspective.


I am thankful for.......all the dear friends God has given me who are like family.


I am wearing......pants and a shirt -I haven't dressed yet....


Remembering..... what a nice time I had visiting with people at church yesterday, then lunch with friends afterwords.


Listening to.....a sermon - see below.


I am going..... to have a quiet day. I want to write some emails, I might go to the library, and then do whatever else needs doing.


Noticing that....my knee has flared up and I'm limping again. I'm learning to be thankful for every pain free day.


I am currently reading.....my Bible, Matthew Henry's commentary on 2 Kings, Preparing To Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl ( and had some good talks with Adri who is also reading this one), keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Eliot, and Hind's Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The last is really good - I want to get my own copy.

Pondering these words....In Hannah Hurnard’s allegory, the shepherdess Much-Afraid earnestly wanted to go to the High Places, but she also battled fear:
“I am afraid,” she said. “I have been told that if you really love someone you give that loved one the power to hurt and pain you in a way nothing else can.”
“That is true,” agreed the Shepherd. “To love does mean to put your self into the power of the loved one and to become very vulnerable to pain, and you are very much-afraid of pain, are you not?”

I am hoping...... that Adri will feel better this week.


On my mind.....this sermon I just listened to -  it's amazing - and it answered the question  I asked weeks ago, "Where do you find Christ in the parable of the Prodigal Son?" The answer may surprise you....
Robert McCurley | Greenville Presbyterian Church


Around the house....it's very quiet.


One of my favorite things~ coffee. Yesterday when we had lunch with friends their coffeemaker died resulting in none of us getting coffee....I was told maybe it was a sign, but I replied that I chose not to take it that way:-)

A few plans for the rest of the week .....I think it will be a quiet week. We have plans to visit with a friend on Wednesday, then with family on Saturday. Lord willing, I'll head back to SC on Saturday afternoon.


From my photo journal ~  the group photo of everyone who attended the Conference last summer.


For more Daybooks go the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Psalm 39

"I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today's thought....

"...Do the thing you are sure God wants you to do today. It wastes energy to direct your energy past the simple duties of today and start worrying about tomorrow. Do you have a huge decision that you are worried about? Leave it in God's hands, and go about your ordinary duties, trusting that as you are faithful in doing the work He has given you today, your decision will be perfectly clear when the time comes. Leave the littlest matters in His hands as well."
~ Elisabeth Elliot



Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday shopping

I just got back from Black Friday shopping, an event I always look forward to. This year's expedition was with my brother Caleb, I got up at 5:15, and we were out the door at 5:30. Though normally I prefer to shop in uncrowded stores.....there's something fun about all the energy and excitement of all the crowds looking for deals:-). Speaking of deals, I got some  good ones this year. We hit Walmart, Michaels, JoAnns, Lowes, Super Shoes,  and Harbor Freight....and I was able to get a bunch of yarn on sale, 3 calenders, a big one for the kitchen, a daily planner, and a purse sized one - all 3 together for $1.50, and my favorite thing - an mp3 player. I've been wanting one for awhile, all last year I used to listen to sermons, but this year has just been so busy, it's hard to find time to sit at the computer for the length of a sermon, and if I am sitting there that long then it's hard not to start working on emails, or...I admit it, this blog:-). That does not make for good concentration! So now I can multitask (one of my favorite activities:-) and listen while I take my morning walk. Of course I plan to put lots of music on it too. That was one of Walmart's special deals today so I was glad I got there early enough to get one. On the other hand we were not early enough to get one of their laptops, that was on sale, for my brother....and we arrived only about half an hour into the six hour sale! I found out that I can reuse the JoAnns' coupons I have, so may hit that again later with Adri.....

Now it's time to relax and enjoy some coffee and leftover pie! I hope everyone has a good day:-)


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are some lovely pictures (thanks Ariel!) from a special Thanksgiving day in Basset.  I love this one of Adri and I.

Adri, Caleb, and I.

Owen and Caleb.

Adri and Caleb.

Sisters.

Me, Ariel, and Adri.

Me.

Caleb carving the turkey, which by the way was wonderful. My first deep fried turkey, so much better than roasted!

Dinner time. We look so happy - so much to be thankful for....especially all the family the Lord has give me...."my cup runneth over."

Good food, conversation, and laughter....

......with loved ones made for a very special day..."O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good."


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful day with friends and family. I wish there was some way to get all my loved ones in one place....but I think part of growing up is everyone going their separate ways, and choosing where to go for Thanksgiving.. This year I am spending it with my brother and sister in law's family whom I consider to be adopted family. I know it will be a special time with them and I'll try to share some pictures with you all later.

On another note, I thought today was the perfect time to share this chapter on thankful prayer that I recently read. I hope you all have a blessed day.

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever" 
Psalm 136:1 

T he expression "thankful prayer" may sound strange. Prayer and thankfulness, however, always go together, not only because answered prayer requires thankfulness, but because we must acknowledge God's mercy toward unworthy sinners.
...........Whether or not we can point to answered prayers, we owe God thankfulness. Every day we receive much for which we didn't even ask. Even if we cannot point to any specific answers to prayer, we have reason to acknowledge the Lord for everything we are and have.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Here we are reminded that there is more than enough to be thankful for. If we would only recognize that everything we receive more than death is grace. ..........The goodness of the Lord ought to break and humble us, and turn us to Him......... Thankfulness begins with a broken and contrite heart.
......... True thankfulness begins by recognizing our weakness. It ends in praising God, glorifying His Name, and praising His attributes in love. A mark of true thankfulness is that we love the giver more than the gifts. When God's creatures return to Him, there in His presence His goodness is experienced.
If we possess this love we always have something to be thankful for. If we are poor, we can be thankful for health. If we are sick, we can be thankful for the care we receive. If we have a cross, we can be thankful for what we still have.
"In everything give thanks." In everything? Yes, in everything - even in adversity. How is that possible? Paul understood this seeming impossibility when he was in prison with Silas and had his feet bound in stocks and his back cut open by the lashes he had received. He sang praises to God in the night. Paul knew that it is better to have adversity with God's presence, than prosperity without God's presence.
Thankfulness in adversity doesn't mean that we are indifferent to our suffering, that we don't feel our grief and have no sorrow. Thankfulness does not wipe out grief; that would be unnatural. But in sorrow God's sufficiency is felt and therefore, where there is grief, there may also be joy............
The deepest trials often produce the greatest gratitude. The soul knows that these are God's personal dealings with him and that in this way gold is purified...... There is a reason for thankfulness, despite the pain of the pruning knife. When Jacob said, "All these things are against me," he should have said, "All these things are for me," because God was at work taking care of him. Blessed are they who believe without seeing. They shall glorify God, even though they don't know what the outcome will be.
~ Frans Bakker


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

David's Song

 I just read this passage on David's Song of Thanksgiving in 2 Samuel 22 in my Matthew Henry reading. I thought it was beautiful, encouraging, and comforting so wanted to share. I hope it is a blessing to someone else today! I decided not to include the passage here to keep this post from getting too long, but here  (2 Samuel 22)  is a link to read it for yourself.

"Let us observe, in this song of praise,

I. How David adores God, and gives him the glory of his infinite perfections. There is none like him, nor any to be compared with him (For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God ? verse 32) All others that are adored as deities are counterfeits and pretenders. None is to be relied on but he. Who is a rock, save our God? They are dead, but the Lord liveth. They disappoint their worshipers when they most need them. But as for God his way is perfect, (verse. 31). Men begin in kindness, but end not,-promise, but perform not; but God will finish his work, and his word is tried, and what we may trust.

II. How he triumphs in the interest he has in this God, and his relation to him, which he lays down as the foundation of all the benefits he has received from him: He is my God; as such he cries to him (In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. Verse 31), and cleaves to him (For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. Verse 22 ); "and, if my God, then my rock" (verse 2), that is, "my strength and my power (verse 33), the rock under which I take shelter (he who is to me as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land), the rock on which I build my hope,"( verse 3). Whatever is my strength and support, it is the God of my rock that makes it so; nay, he is the God of the rock of my salvation (verse 47): my saving strength is in him and from him. David often hid himself in a rock (1 Sam. xxiv. 2), but God was his chief hiding-place. "He is my fortress, in which I am safe and think myself so—my high tower, or stronghold, in which I am out of the reach of real evils—the tower of salvation (verse 51), which can never be sealed nor battered, nor undermined. Salvation itself saves me. Am I in distress? he is my deliverer—struck at, shot at? he is my shield—pursued? he is my refuge—oppressed? He is my Savior, that rescues me out of the hand of those that seek my ruin.  "Am I burdened, and ready to sink? The Lord is my stay (verse 19), by whom I am supported. Am I in the dark, benighted, at a loss? Thou art my lamp, O Lord! to show me my way, and thou wilt dispel my darkness," (For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. ( verse 29). If we sincerely take the Lord for our God, all this, and much more, he will be to us, all we need and can desire."
~ Matthew Henry

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sacrifices of Thanksgiving

 I know I've mentioned this before....but I have been struck recently at how often the Bible refers to thankfulness and praise being a sacrifice on our part. I guess that it is not always easy to feel that way, but we can choose to be thankful to the Lord for whatever he gives us and that is a sacrifice that pleases Him. Below are some verses I've come across recently on this subject.




"Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD."  
Psalm 27:6

"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God."
Psalm 69:30-32

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing."
Psalm 107:21-22


 "I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD." 
Psalm 116:17


 "Again there shall be heard in this place....the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD."
Jeremiah 33:10-11


"But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."
Jonah 2:9


"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
Hebrews 13:15-16


Monday, November 22, 2010

Visiting Granddad....

Yesterday, after church, Caleb, Adri, and I went to Granddad's for lunch. Three of my aunts, and one cousin joined us - it was so good to see them all:-)

Adri, Caleb, Aunt Alice, and I.

The same group as above - but in color!

Granddad, Aunt Amy, Adri, Caleb, Aunt Alice, and me.

My little 8 year old cousin Teresa and me. This was the first time I had met her and I couldn't believe how much she is like my little sister Hannah. Their voices, mannerisms, and looks are so similar....and both of them are crazy about cats and Taylor Swift. Everyone commented on how much she looks like me.

Adri, Teresa, and I. You might be interested to know that my parents came very close to naming me Teresa, lol. I had forgotten that till yesterday.

I wasn't expecting a birthday cake this year ......and I got three! Wow! This is the remains of the yummy chocolate cake that Caleb and I shared. Yes, we share a birthday, Caleb was born on my 5th birthday!


My daybook

For Today - Monday, November 22nd


Outside my window......cold and sunny. Inside- I'm in a nice basement apartment at my brother's house which will be home for the next two weeks. My own bedroom, with not one, but two closets (!), living room, kitchen, and bathroom:-) Very nice - I appreciate them giving me a place to stay!


I am thinking...... about this quote I recently read,
"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 (Lam. iii. 28), or rather, with Job, say, Blessed be the name of the Lord."  Matthew Henry on 2 Samuel 18


I am thankful for.......family, blood, and adopted.


I am wearing....I must confess I haven't gotten dressed yet, black pants and a gray shirt, bare feet. But I am on vacation!


From the learning room...I've learned to always check whether I have taken the emergency brake off before I drive - yes, I learned that one the hard way:-(


Remembering.....what a nice day we had yesterday. I went to church with friends in VA, then had lunch with my Granddad, three of my aunts, and one cousin. It was so good to spend time with them. (I'll post pictures later).

 
Listening to.....the heat running. Later, Lord willing I plan to listen to the sermons I missed yesterday. I've got to keep up with my church:-)


I am going..... to enjoy a quiet day. It feels so strange having no one needing me to do anything...yesterday morning just getting myself ready for church.....I like being needed and helpful, but  a break is nice:-)


Noticing that....this internet I am using is very sloooow.



I am currently reading.....my Bible, Matthew Henry's commentary on 2 Samuel, and Preparing To Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl.


I am hoping...... that this time away won't simply be two weeks vacation, but a real time of rest, and of seeking the Lord's will. That He will bless this time.
"And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." Exodus 33:14


On my mind...... something I recently heard said on a video about an abortion survivor talking about her life, being rejected by parents....she said, "I'm the Lord's girl - so you better not mess with me!" I liked that!
"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." John 14;18

Pondering these words...this quote a friend recently posted on facebook ~
"What unthankfulness is it to forget our consolations,
and to look only upon matter of grievance;
...to think so much upon two or three crosses
as to forget a hundred blessings!"
~Richard Sibbes

Around the house....painting projects!

One of my favorite things~time with friends and family.

A few plans for the rest of the week .....reading, relaxing, talking, painting, shopping, Thanksgiving at Adri's parents, Black Friday shopping....I have some emails I need to reply to, a whole bunch of pictures I want to put up on facebook, and some on here.

 From my photo journal ~ a picture of some of my church family at the Conference last summer.


For more Daybooks go to the Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Psalm 38

"O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.

For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.

Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A couple Conference pictures....

Hello from Virginia! I got my disk of Conference pictures in the mail yesterday and Lord willing I'll post most, probably in a video soon, but for now wanted to share a couple favorites:-)

Caleb, Adri, Tara, Seth, and I.

The E family and I.

Brothers and sisters.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank you!

I feel so blessed, loved, and thankful for all that everyone did yesterday to give me such a special birthday and wanted to say thank you to all of you!

Yesterday was our first reasonably quiet day since we have moved, pretty much all the boxes are unpacked, and most things are settled.....I actually had time to take a walk (it was so good to get some fresh air:-), and even pull out Matthew Henry who has been sadly neglected over the past couple weeks. Dozens of birthday greetings on facebook, cards, and chocolate:-) also made the day special.

In the evening the Es and I joined friends for dinner who surprised me with a delicious chocolate cake. My birthday evening was spent at church - it happened to be the date of our Quinquennial Visit, a Free Church tradition where the Presbytery visits the church every five years, kind of like a pastoral home visit to the whole congregation. Along with a question/answer time of discussion, we were blessed by an excellent sermon from Pastor Gardner on,

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. "
John 13:34-35

He spoke on loving one another, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep, 'putting feet' on our love as Jesus did, serving one another, helping when there are needs... One thing he brought out that I had never noticed...normally I think of the verse where we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves, but this command is different, and far more difficult. To love others as Jesus loves us! Now that is a challenge. Anyway it was a very convicting sermon that gave me a lot to think about, and showed me that I have a long ways to go in loving others the way I should.

Also during the evening was a time of fellowship, and Jenny, her mom, and a couple other friends surprised me with birthday gifts - thank you all so much! When we got home I told Jenny that I felt very loved - the mark of a perfect birthday.

This evening my brothers are taking me out for a birthday dinner, then tonight I leave on the train for a two week vacation with family in Virginia. I'm going to miss everyone here a lot, but am excited about my trip too:-)

I hope everyone has a great day!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reflections...

It's my birthday and I tend to find myself feeling reflective every year on this day.....Thinking back on the year, all that happened, the things I've learned, what I hope to change in the year ahead.......Most of all thinking of all the Lord has done in for me in the past year, and being thankful to Him for giving me another year. I'm realizing more and more as I get older that He is the one thing in life that I can always depend on. A comforting thought! That being said, I'm also thankful that he has given me friends and family as well to love. So my desire in the year ahead is to glorify God wherever He puts me, whether it's doing laundry, babysitting, housecleaning, cooking,  posting on this blog, or whatever other work He gives me - I hope I can be a blessing to those around me.

This quote from Matthew Henry has been on my mind lately, on one of my favorite verses from Psalm 71 -


"I will go in the strength of the Lord God, not sit down in despair, but stir up myself to and exert myself in my work, will go forth and go on, not in any strength of my own, but in God's strength—disclaiming my own sufficiency and depending on him only as all-sufficient—in the strength of his providence and in the strength of his grace." We must always go about God's work in his strength, having our eyes up unto him to work in us both to will and to do. "
~ Matthew Henry

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 
 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


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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