Monday, February 28, 2011

My daybook

For Today - Monday February 28th

Outside my window......it's a warm day, very windy, looks like it could storm anytime.

I am thinking..... about an interesting movie quote on communication - "60% of all human communication is non verbal, it's body language, 30% is your tone, so that means that 90% of what you're saying isn't coming out of your mouth." I've been discussing communication some with friends recently - it's discouraging to realize how often we misunderstand one another.

I am thankful for.......that my brother lets me use his car. It's so great having the freedom to go where I want, when I want - no more arranging schedules around when it is convenient for someone to pick me up, no more waiting for someone to take me to the bank, library, Walmart.....I love it:-)

I am wearing....a jean skirt, and blue, green and white striped shirt.

Remembering.....two years ago today I came to SC to meet the E family and check out GPC to decide whether I wanted to move here! I was so nervous... The rest is history...

Listening to.....it's actually pretty quiet right now.

I am going.....I'm at the Es and am taking a break waiting on the dryer to finish up, I'll head back to my brothers later this afternoon.

Noticing that...how many visitors this blog gets from overseas, lots from Scotland, Ireland, etc, then a few from Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, France, and more.....ya'll are welcome, I love lots of visitors, but wonder what brings people here to my blog of all places?!

I am currently reading.....my Bible, Matthew Henry's commentary on 2 Chronicles, and The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall

I am hoping......for answers to prayer.


On my mind.....yesterday's sermon on the beginning of Luke 18, about the widow who wouldn't give up. I've been looking forward to reaching this passage and was not disappointed. These verses have encouraged me in continuing to pray for things that look hopeless for years now.
www.sermonaudio.com
Robert McCurley | Greenville Presbyterian Church

Pondering these words....that were read in church yesterday. Comforting.

 "Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Isaiah 56:3-7

Creating..... headbands. I'm hoping to list some in an Etsy store, once I get some good pictures I'll post them on here.

Around the house....which house?

One of my favorite things~ my mp3 player.
A few plans for the rest of the week .....house work, helping at the Es, some craft projects, a trip to the library, a movie night,  maybe spending the weekend with friends if we can work out all the details, and tasting Mr. E's wine which he just dug up:-) Remember my post on picking the grapes last fall? Well now they have turned into wine....


From my photo journal ~ I took this picture of Sammy napping in one of the pews yesterday. Is there anything cuter than a sleeping little one?
For more Daybooks go here.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Psalm 52

"Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.

Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.

God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.

The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:

Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints."

(for anyone who might be interested - we've been chronologically working our way through the Psalms for just over a year now.)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. ...

I know I already posted today, but I wanted to share something more. This afternoon while taking a walk, I listened to Pastor McCurley's sermon Lessons From The Life of David Brainerd  (for more on David Brainerd go here ). After a second listening, I found myself this time, interested in learning more about Jerusha Edwards, the young woman who nursed him when he was dying. I came across this article  on her which is what I was wanting to share. Imagine leaving this as your legacy?!


She was a person of much the same spirit with David Brainerd.  She had constantly taken care of, and tended him in his sickness, for nineteen weeks before his death; devoting herself to it with great delight, because she looked on him as an eminent servant of Jesus Christ.  In this time he had much conversation with her on things of religion; and in his dying state, often expressed to us, her parents, his great satisfaction concerning her true piety, and his confidence that he would meet her in heaven; and his high opinion of her, not only as a true Christian, but a very eminent saint; one whose soul was uncommonly fed and entertained with things that appertain to the most spiritual, experimental, and distinguishing parts of religion; and one who by the temper of her mind was fitted to deny herself for God, and to do good, beyond any young woman whatsoever that he knew of.  She had manifested a heart uncommonly devoted to God, in the course of her life, many years before her death; and said on her deathbed that she had not seen one minute for several years wherein she desired  to live one minute longer for the sake of any other good in life but doing good, living to God, and doing what might be for his glory.

He put a new song in my mouth....



     He took me from a fearful pit,
       and from the miry clay,
      And on a rock he set my feet,
     establishing my way.
 
      He put a new song in my mouth,
     our God to magnify:
         Many shall see it, and shall fear,
     and on the Lord rely.
 
         O blessed is the man whose trust
     upon the Lord relies;
         Respecting not the proud, nor such
     as turn aside to lies.
 
   

Friday, February 25, 2011

Temporary Home



I heard this song driving home this morning and was reminded of how much I like it. It's a good reminder for me because what I want more than any one thing in this world is to have a place where I really belong, a real home, a family......Sometimes I have to laugh at myself, two years ago I was living with my parents and had no idea what I was in for when I moved on. The Lord took away my structured settled life that was so very important to me, and while I've never gone without anything I need, life has been anything but settled, I often live out of a bag, seems like it is rare for me to sleep in the same bed every night, I'm on the go a lot, and when I am home I share a house with four guys (my brothers) which is kind of a crazy existence in itself! So I remind myself this is temporary, try to make the best of wherever I am at the time, thank the Lord that He has put me with people I love, and continue to pray that maybe someday the Lord will give me the home and family I desire.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A blank paper....

You all may remember that I posted on providence about a week ago, including a couple quotes on the subject from Samuel Rutherford. Since then I was sent the quote mentioned in the sermon from that post so wanted to put it up on here as well. Thanks to Pastor McCurley for sharing this!

T he submission of faith subscribeth a blank paper, let the Lord write in what he pleaseth....
Samuel Rutherford 


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

W e must therefore trust in the Lord with all our hearts; we must believe that he is able to do what he will, wise to do what is best, and good, according to his promise, to do what is best for us, if we love him, and serve him. We must, with an entire submission and satisfaction, depend upon him to perform all things for us, and not lean to our own understanding, as if we could, by any forecast of our own, without God, help ourselves, and bring our affairs to a good issue. Those who know themselves cannot but find their own understanding to be a broken reed, which, if they lean to, will certainly fail them. In all our conduct we must be diffident of our own judgment, and confident of God's wisdom, power, and goodness, and therefore must follow Providence and not force it. That often proves best which was least our own doing.

In all thy ways acknowledge God. We must not only in our judgment believe that there is an over-ruling hand of God ordering and disposing of us and all our affairs, but we must solemnly own it, and address ourselves to him accordingly. We must ask his leave, and not design any thing but what we are sure is lawful. We must ask his advice and beg direction from him, not only when the case is difficult (when we know not what to do, no thanks to us that we have our eyes up to him), but in every case, be it ever so plain, We must ask success of him, as those who know the race is not to the swift. We must refer ourselves to him as one from whom our judgment proceeds, and patiently, and wait his award.

In all our ways that prove direct, and fair, and pleasant, in which we gain our point to our satisfaction, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that prove cross and uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge God with submission. Our eye must be ever towards God; to him we must, in every thing, make our requests known. For our encouragement to do this, it is promised, "He shall direct thy paths, so that thy way shall be safe and good and the issue happy at last." Those that put themselves under a divine guidance shall always have the benefit of it. God will give them that wisdom which is profitable to direct, so that they shall not turn aside into the by-paths of sin, and then will himself so wisely order the event that it shall be to their mind, or (which is equivalent) for their good. Those that faithfully follow the pillar of cloud and fire shall find that though it may lead them about it leads them the right way and will bring them to Canaan at last.
~ Matthew Henry




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Randomness...

Yesterday I said my goodbyes to Katie and her family - please pray for them as they fly back home today. This picture is one I took last summer - I'm really, really going to miss this little girl....

....and this is a more recent picture, taken last week. She's modeling a hat I made for her:-). I'm thankful for all the children that are in my life, but sometimes think that is very hard getting so attached to other people's children - there comes a time where one of you has to move on.....:-(




Here is a slide show of pictures from most of the Keepers at Home events this past year. A lot of these are pictures I took and I realized afterwords that maybe I was just a little biased in my subjects;-). Enjoy!



Keepers at Home 2011 from Jim Moline on Vimeo.


I also wanted to share a quote from my reading this morning,

"They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy."
 Psalm 78:42
"That which occasioned their limiting God for the future was their forgetting his former favours: They remembered not his hand, how strong it is and how it had been stretched out for them, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy, Pharaoh, that great enemy who sought their ruin. There are some days made remarkable by signal deliverances, which ought never to be forgotten; for the remembrance of them would encourage us in our greatest straits."
Matthew Henry 

I hope everyone is having a good day. Mine is a 'catch up day', it's my first day at home in awhile and there's plenty to do! It's absolutely gorgeous out, 70 and sunny, I have all the windows open and am going to pull out my flip flops. It's too warm for shoes! Later on are errands to be run, a visit with a friend, and hopefully some reading....I just started The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall and Lord willing will be sharing some of that on here later. Goodbye for now...



Monday, February 21, 2011

Joseph movie



Over the last two Lord's day evenings I watched this long movie with the Es. Overall it was very good, stuck to the Biblical account and we all enjoyed it. I think watching movies of the Bible stories makes me better able to imagine the character's day to day lives - often I just tend to think of the major events they went through rather than thinking of them as real people with real jobs, problems, fears, etc, etc. The story of Joseph is one of my favorites - I find it encouraging when I look at how awful things must have seemed to him, yet knowing that God was working good in it for him, and for his people even in the very darkest times. One aspect that the movie brought out that I had never thought of was when Joseph was telling his wife about his brothers coming to Egypt. She expressed a wish to thank them - if they hadn't done what they did, she would not have been blessed by being given Joseph for a husband! That was a neat thought....and one that had never occurred to me. The Lord really does work all things for good to those that love Him, and this story is such a good reminder of that. Below are two of my favorite verses from the story of Joseph.
(the episode above is actually part 7 of the movie - for some reason the embedding code was disabled in the first 6, but if you go to the link you'll easily be able to find the beginning of the movie).


"Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.”
Genesis 41:51

"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. 
Genesis 50:20-21



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Psalm 51

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Today's thought.....

This is here called a service [singing the praises of God], and the persons employed in it workmen. Not but that it is the greatest liberty and pleasure to be employed in praising God: what is heaven but that? But it intimates that it is our duty to make a business of it, and stir up all that is within us to it; and that, in our present state of corruption and infirmity, it will not be done as it should be done without labor and struggle. We must take pains with our hearts to bring them, and keep them, to this work, and to engage all that is within us."
 Matthew Henry on 1 Chronicles 25


Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Hannah is 5 years old today (which btw is hard to believe, it seems like she was just 3!). When I'm here on the children's birthdays I make them a special pancake for breakfast:-)

I used Hershey kisses to make a face - it's not often that Hannah gets chocolate for breakfast!

Hannah and I.



Thursday, February 17, 2011

God's providence

"He hath made all His promises good to me and hath filled up all the blanks with His own hand."
Samuel Rutherford

Last night we finished a series of sermons on the doctrine of providence that we've been studying for the past few months. This series was such a blessing for me and very timely as there have been plenty of times I've wanted to ask why over the past few months. It's so comforting to remember the Lord has planned everything, and is behind everything that is happening to us, sickness, difficult people, disappointments... Knowing nothing is a mistake, and it's all for good takes away fear and uncertainty. I shared the picture above because of something Pastor said last night, that we should be willing to let our lives be as a blank piece of paper for the Lord to write on, rather than what we tend to do, which is give Him a list of just the way we think things should be. Very true, for me at least! And now I should get back to the work that providentially is mine today... whether I'm cooking, doing laundry, spending time with a little one, helping a little friend, or packing suitcases....it's good to know I'm doing what the Lord has planned for me.


Living in Light of Providence
www.sermonaudio.com
Robert McCurley | Greenville Presbyterian Church

"Providence hath a thousand keys to open a thousand sundry doors for the deliverance of His own....let us be faithful and care for our own part, which is to do and suffer for Him, and lay Christ's part on Himself, and leave it there; duties are ours, events are the Lord's."
Samuel Rutherford


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I believe, help Thou mine unbelief....

Working in us that which is pleasing in His sight.
Hebrews 13:21

Satan is a troubler of our souls. He will test you as to your fear of the future: 'What will become of you if God should bring you into such and such affliction or trial, when you must burn at the stake or deny the Lord, or when all your outward estate is torn from you, and there is no money in your purse? Do you dare to think that your faith will hold out in such an hour of temptation?'

He is tossing you a snare. He is seeking by the fear of future troubles to get you to neglect your present duty, and then be unprepared for your future trials when they come. If a man has a great amount of business to do the next day, he needs to put out of his mind the night before, to get the rest he needs to be prepared for the next day. The less rest the soul has in God now, the less strength he will find to bear trials when the pinch comes. Comfort your soul with three plain conclusions:

1. Every event is the product of God's providence; not a sparrow, much less a saint falls to the ground by poverty, sickness, or persecution, but the hand of God is in it.

2.God has promised, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you' Hebrews 13:5 God will teach His servants all they need to know. At the first moment of your spiritual life suffering grace was infused into you as well as praying grace.

3. God in wisdom conceals the comforts He intends to give you at the various stages of your life, so that He may encourage your heart to full dependence upon His faithful promises now. Thus to try the metal of Abraham's faith, He let him go on till his hand was stretched forth to slay Isaac, and then He came to his rescue. Christ sent His disciples to sea, but stayed behind Himself, with the design to test their faith, and show His love. Comfort yourself with this: though you do not see God in the way, yet you will find Him in the end."
~ Voices From The Past (William Gurnall)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love...


"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." 
~ Augustine 


"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a



Monday, February 14, 2011

An update......

A quick update for my friends and family - I hope everyone is doing well. We are mostly finally over all our sickness, (and what a winter for sickness it has been!), I'm still dealing with a sore throat that I can't seem to get rid of, but overall am much better. Today has been a gorgeous springlike day in the 60s, the children took their sandwiches outside and enjoyed a picnic lunch - I'm so ready for spring and glad I live far south enough that it isn't too far away:-) Right now I'm babysitting, sitting in the living room with the children and typing  while they watch a movie. Tomorrow I get my own movie night with a friend, then will spend a couple days packing with a friend, before coming back to the Es. It looks to be a busy week, as have been the past few days. Pictured at left is a memory from last year at this time - Valentines day dinner with the Es in 2010. I was invited to join them again this year and was commenting to Jenny that I've been here long enough that I'm doing things for the second time with the family and starting to share memories with them. I'm thankful for all these special times:-)

  
I was reminded today of one reason why I love children. Standing in the next room folding laundry, I overheard a conversation (no names to spare future embarrassment:-).
Child #1, "My navel is getting dry,"
Child #2 "what is a navel?"
Child #1 "I don't know, I just liked the word and wanted to use it."
I laughed out loud, children can be so hilarious! 


I had hoped to share our sermon from yesterday morning in this post, but as I go to publish it's still not up on sermonaudio, I'm sure it will be up sometime soon, so click on the link if you want to find it later. It was on the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17, and gave me a lot to think about, thankfulness, going to Christ, and most of all what Pastor said at the end....that probably the leper who had been healed thanked God that he had been a leper  because it brought him to Christ. Wow! Can you think about your 'leprosy' that way?



Below is a link from one of the blogs I follow for any of my single sisters who might be reading this and need some encouragement. It's true, life can turn out very differently than we expect, but I'm learning to try to make the best of where God has me. For tonight I'll enjoy my time with the children and try trust the Lord with tomorrow.... 
                            ylcf.org
Where you are this day may be drastically different than visions of your younger self, but I pray you continue to put your faith in Him who died for you, and the truths found in His Word.





Last of all a few pictures that I just took off of my camera.

Here are a couple pictures of some flowers I was recently given - I had fun taking and editing....

....I love the soft look in this picture.

The most recent knitting project I completed.

This is my favorite baby pattern.

In honor of today I'll end with this potato we found in the pantry.....have a good night everyone.



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Psalm 50

"The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God."


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stepping Heavenward

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss is a favorite book of mine - the book is the journal-like account of a 19th century girl who learns, on the path to womanhood, that true happiness can be found in giving oneself for others, and shares her Christian experiences. My favorite part of the book is the section I shared below, the letter her pastor writes her. I know this is a long post, but I didn't want to break this up, and couldn't find any part I wanted to cut out!

"Today Dr. Cabot has sent me some directions for which I have been begging him a long time. Lest I should wear out this precious letter by reading it over, I will copy it here. After alluding to my complaint that I still "saw men as trees walking," he says :

"Yet he who first uttered this complaint had had his eyes opened by the Son of God, and so have you. Now He never leaves His work incomplete, and He will gradually lead you into clear and open vision, if you will allow Him to do it. I say gradually because I believe this to be His usual method, while I do not deny that there are cases where light suddenly bursts in like a flood. To return to the blind man. When Jesus found that his cure was not complete. He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up ; and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. Now this must be done for you ; and in order to have it done you must go to Christ Himself, not to one of His servants. Make your complaint, tell Him how obscure everything still looks to you, and beg Him to complete your cure. He may see fit to try your faith and patience by delaying this completion; but meanwhile you are safe in His presence, and while led by His hand. He will excuse the mistakes you make, and pity your falls. But you will imagine that it is best that He should at once enable you to see clearly. If it is, you may be sure He will do it. He never makes mistakes. But He often deals far differently with His disciples. He lets them grope their way in the dark until they fully learn how blind they are, how helpless, how absolutely in need of Him.

      What His methods will be with you I cannot foretell. But you may be sure that He never works  in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act.

       I am afraid that you are in danger of falling into an error only too common among young Christians. You acknowledge that there has been enmity towards God in your secret soul, and that one of the first steps towards peace is to become reconciled to Him and to have your sins forgiven for Christ's sake. This done, you settle down with the feeling that the great work of life is done, and that your salvation is sure. Or, if not sure, that your whole business is to study your own case to see whether you are really in a state of grace. Many persons never get beyond this point. They spend their whole time in asking the question :

       "Do I love the Lord or no ? Am I His or am I not?" I beg you, my dear child, if you are doing this aimless, useless work, to stop short at once. Life is too precious to spend in a tread-mill. Having been pardoned by your God and Savior, the next thing you have to do is to show your gratitude for this infinite favor by consecrating yourself entirely to Him, body, soul, and spirit. This is the least you can do. He has bought you with a price, and you are no longer your own. 

"But," you may reply, "this is contrary to my nature. I love my own way. I desire ease and pleasure; I desire to go to heaven, but I want to be carried thither on a bed of flowers. Can I not give myself so far to God as to feel a sweet sense of peace with Him, and be sure of final salvation, and yet, to a certain extent, indulge and gratify myself ? If I give myself entirely away to Him, and lose all ownership in myself. He may deny me many things I greatly desire. He may make my life hard and wearisome, depriving me of all that now makes it agreeable?"
"But," I reply, "this is no matter of parley and discussion ; it is not optional with God's children whether they will pay Him a part of the price they owe Him, and keep back the rest. He asks, and He has a right to ask, for all you have and all you are. And if you shrink from what is involved in such a surrender, you should fly to Him at once and never rest till He has conquered this secret disinclination to give to Him as freely and as fully as He has given to you. It is true that such an act of consecration on your part may involve no little future discipline and correction. As soon as you become the Lord's by your own deliberate and conscious act, He will begin that process of sanctification which is to make you holy as He is holy, perfect as He is perfect. He becomes at once your Physician as well as your dearest and best Friend, but He will use no painful remedy that can be avoided. Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified, and that the work of making you holy is His, not yours. At the same time you are not to sit with folded hands, waiting for this blessing. You are to avoid laying hindrances in His way, and you are to exercise faith in Him as just as able and just as willing to give you sanctification as He was to give you redemption. And now if you ask how you may know that you have truly consecrated yourself to Him, I reply, observe every indication of His will concerning you, no matter how trivial, and see whether you at once close in with that will. Lay down this principle as a law as God does nothing arbitrary. If He takes away your health, for instance, it is because He has some reason for doing so; and this is true of everything you value ; and if you have real faith in Him you will not insist on knowing this reason. If you find, in the course of daily events, that your self-consecration was not perfect as that is, that your will revolts at His will  do not be discouraged, but fly to your Savior and stay in His presence till you obtain the spirit in which He cried in His hour of anguish, 'Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me : nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.' Every time you do this it will be easier to do it; every such consent to suffer will bring you nearer and nearer to Him ; and in this nearness to Him you will find such peace, such blessed, sweet peace, as will make your life infinitely happy, no matter what may be its mere outside conditions. Just think, my dear Katy, of the honor and the joy of having your will one with the Divine will, and so becoming changed into Christ's image from glory to glory!"

But I cannot say, in a letter, the tithe of what I want to say. Listen to my sermons from week to week, and glean from them all the instruction you can, remembering that they are preached to you.
      "In reading the Bible I advise you to choose detached passages, or even one verse a day, rather than whole chapters. Study every word, ponder and pray over it till you have got out of it all the truth it contains."
     
"As to the other devotional reading, it is better to settle down on a few favorite authors, and read their works over and over and over until you have digested their thoughts and made them your own."

      " It has been said * that a fixed, inflexible will is a great assistance in a holy life.
You can will to choose for your associates those who are most devout and holy."

      "You can will to read books that will stimulate you in your Christian life, rather than those that merely amuse. "

      "You can will to use every means of grace appointed by God."

      "You can will to spend much time in prayer, with- out regard to your frame at the moment.

      "You can will to prefer a religion of principle to one of mere feeling ; in other words, to obey the will of God when no comfortable glow of emotion accompanies your obedience."

      "You cannot will to possess the spirit of Christ ; that must come as His gift; but you can choose to study His life, and to imitate it. This will infallibly lead to such self-denying work as visiting the poor, nursing the sick, giving of your time and money to the needy, and the like."

 "If the thought of such self-denial is repugnant to you, remember that it is enough for the disciple to be as his Lord. And let me assure you that as you penetrate the labyrinth of life in pursuit of Christian duty, you will often be surprised and charmed by meeting your Master Himself amid its windings and turnings, and receive His soul-inspiring smile. Or, I should rather say, you will always meet Him wherever you go."

      I have read this letter again and again. It has taken such hold of me that I can think of nothing else. The idea of seeking holiness had never so much as crossed my mind. And even now it seems like presumption for such a one as I to utter so sacred a word. And I shrink from committing myself to such a pursuit, lest after a time I should fall back into the old routine. And I have an undefined, wicked dread of being singular, as well as a certain terror of self-denial and loss of all liberty. But no choice seems left to me. Now that my duty has been clearly pointed out to me, I do not stand where I did before. And I feel, mingled with my indolence and love of ease and pleasure, some drawings towards a higher and better life. There is one thing I can do, and that is to pray that Jesus would do for me what He did for the blind man put His hands yet again upon my eyes and make me to see clearly. And I will."

If you've made it this far:-) and want to know the rest of the story -
you can read it online here.
Enjoy, and have a good day!




Friday, February 11, 2011

Please pray...

I don't normally do this, in fact I don't think I've ever done this. But  this heartbreaking story, about a friend of a friend, left me wanting to do something......this little guy has 4 older siblings,  and no one realized when his mom went to the hospital to give birth that what should have been a joyful occasion would turn to tragedy. He's in the hospital now, and below is a link to a blog his father is keeping of his progress. Back to do doing something.......I realized one thing we can do is pray, and I could share the story so more people would know about it to pray.
calum-mackenzie.blogspot.com
Calum Mackenzie was born at 1.59am on the 4th February 2011. His mother Margaret died just over four hours later at 6.20am. She was 37 years old. She was my wife for just over 12 years. Calum suffered severe oxygen starvation and it was touch and go whether he would survive. This blog will record his progress. The funeral of his mother is due to be held in Struan on the Isle of Skye, but as yet we have no date for it. As soon as I have a date I will post it on this blog.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Consider the work of God...

   Our sermon at prayer meeting last night reminded me of this post from Elisabeth Elliot that I had sitting in my drafts folder (yes, whenever I read something I good I stick it in my folder to eventually publish...that's why I never run out of stuff to say:-). Anyways I really appreciated the reminder to study and see God's hand in everything that happens to us, and what I shared below particularly reminded me of what we were taught last night about reading providence backwards. Listen to the sermon for more....

Studying Providence, Pt 2
www.sermonaudio.com
Robert McCurley | Greenville Presbyterian Church  


 
 
"Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him." 
Ecclesiastes 7:13-14


W hen trouble comes we are tempted to think that God has forgotten us. He never forgets. He keeps faith - that is he keeps His promises, is faithful to His word, even when it appears that we are forsaken.
Joseph suffered one disaster after another. When because of the vicious lie of a rejected woman he was put in prison, the Lord was with him there, keeping faith (But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy..Genesis 39:11). Perhaps Joseph wondered why Almighty God could not have prevented the woman's triumphing over him - or prevented his ever having been victimized by his brothers in the first place and thus being at this woman's mercy. But we are given the complete picture which Joseph did not have while he was in prison - the amazing purpose of God for His chosen people, Jacob and all his family, who because of Joseph's long-drawn-out-sufferings, were saved. God keeps faith - He has a perfect blueprint, and He is building according to His specifications.
~ A Lamp For My Feet by Elisabeth Elliot



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vintage Verses

This afternoon I wanted to share some artwork I just ordered off of Etsy. You may remember me sharing Lady Jane Gray's Prayer last month, and I liked it so much that I was happy to be able to get a copy of it to hang in my room:-). Check out Vintage Verses shop on Etsy - she has beautiful scripture to frame at very inexpensive prices.




Happy Birthday!

Today my little sister Hannah is on my mind - it's her 12th birthday. I remember so well the day she was born; I was so excited to have another little girl after so many brothers! Remembering holding her as a newborn, having fun dressing her up, and fixing her hair, when she got a bit older, scrapbooking, and beading together, sharing my old favorite childhood books......where did the time go? I miss you, Hannah and hope your day is special.

Below in honor of her birthday, I shared Hannah's favorite Psalm, which she has always had framed on her bedroom wall.



 "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.
 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.
 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him."
Psalm 67




Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Little Things

 I was recently given a copy of this favorite book by a friend - thanks! Flipping through it, I came across this part and wanted to share it because I appreciated the reminder that everything we do counts for eternity.  It's true of course, we all know that, but when so much of life is spent doing the same jobs over and over again, and often it seems like so little is being accomplished.....it's easy to get discouraged, and good to be reminded that our work does count. This also reminded me of a quote I recently read in Matthew Henry ~ 

"Charity begins at home."

"...Then, dear Katy, suppose your first act of heroism to-morrow should be the gratifying your mother in these little things, little though they are. Surely your first duty, next to pleasing God, is to please your mother, and in every possible way to sweeten and beautify her life. You may depend upon it that a life of real heroism and self-sacrifice must begin and lay its foundation in this little world, wherein it learns its first lesson and takes its first steps."

" And do you really think that God notices such little things?"

"My dear child, what a question! If there is any one truth I would gladly impress on the mind of a young Christian, it is just this, that God notices the most trivial act, accepts the poorest, most threadbare little service, listens to the coldest, feeblest petition, and gathers up with parental fondness all our fragmentary desires and attempts at good works. Oh, if we could only begin to conceive how He loves us, what different creatures we should be!"
~ Elizabeth Prentiss
(Stepping Heavenward)

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in......And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:35,40


For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Mark 9:41


"I think it is more important to do God's plan right now....This is what He has called you to do. All of us would like to believe that we could accomplish one brave selfless act for God and for his kingdom. But it takes greater courage to faithfully accomplish the daily, thankless tasks of every day life for Him."
Lynn Austin
(Chronicles Of The Kings)


Sharing with Biblical Womanhood,
and Titus 2 Days.



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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