Monday, October 31, 2011

Staying in the light....

lampost at night
Today I'm sharing a repost from almost two years ago. While it was originally written on the subject of praying, the reason it was on my mind and I decided to share is that today is a day where so many are celebrating darkness, so I love how in this story we are drawn to look to the light of Christ and see Him in all we are doing through the day. 








"A number of ministers were assembled in the home of one of them for the discussion of difficult questions, and it was asked how the command to “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING” could be complied with. Various suppositions were stated; and at length one of the number was appointed to write an essay upon it to be read at the next meeting; which being overheard by a plain sensible servant girl exclaimed,


 “What! a whole month waiting to tell the meaning of that text? It is one of the easiest and best texts in the Bible.

“Well, well,” said an old minister. “Mary, what can you say about it? Let us know how you understand it. Can you pray all the time?


“Oh, yes sir!”
“What, when you have so many things to do?”

“Why, sir, the more I have to do, the more I can pray”

“Indeed! Well, Mary, do let us know how it is; for most people think otherwise.”



“Why sir,” said the girl, “when I first open my eyes in the morning, I pray that the Lord open the eyes of my understanding; and while I am dressing I pray that I may be clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness; and when I have washed me, I pray for the washing of regeneration; and as I begin to work, I pray that I may have strength equal to my day; and when I begin to kindle the fire, I pray that God’s work may revive in my soul; and as I sweep out the house, I pray that my heart may be cleansed from all its impurities; and while preparing and partaking of my breakfast, I desire and pray to be fed with the hidden manna, and the sincere milk of the Word; and as I am busy with the little children, I look up to God as my reconciled Father in Christ, and pray for the Spirit of adoption that I may know myself more assuredly as His child; and so on all day; everything I do furnishes me with a thought for prayer.”


“Enough, enough!” exclaimed the old divine, “These things are revealed to babes, and often hid from the wise and prudent. Go on, Mary, pray without ceasing; and as for us, my brethren, let us bless the Lord, for this wonderful practical exposition, and remember that He has said, “The meek will he guide in judgment.”

After this, the essay was considered unnecessary."

"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18




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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Psalm 83


"Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
 Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
 Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."


Stop by and visit my friend Jenny's blog, A Mother's Heritage, where she also shares a beautiful Psalm each Lord's day.




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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Making apple butter.....

On Thursday night and Friday I joined my good friends the B family, and the Es for old fashioned apple butter making. We had so much fun working, talking, laughing, singing, and eating together!


Everyone helped peel and cut up five bushels of apples on Thursday evening.

A good time was had by all!

Friday morning - stirring the kettle of apples.

Jenny and I watching the men work! 

There was time for play as well as work....

Adding water to the cooking apples - they cooked almost all day over the open fire!

We set up an assembly line to fill the jars.

The finished product

Then we got to eat what was left on the sides of the kettle - it was so good.

Yum!

We  had apple butter with biscuits for dinner - delicious. A nice end to a fun day.
Sharing with Homemaker By Choice.


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Friday, October 28, 2011

My passion...

When I saw Young Ladies Christian Fellowship was holding a link up I definitely wanted to join in as their blog is one of my favorites of all the blogs that I follow! The topic was  -  

What is it that you love so much you’d do it regardless of whether or not it was your job?  What is your all-consuming hobby?  What is your passion? 

Out of curiosity I asked different friends what they thought my passion was and got some interesting answers. It can be fascinating to find out what others around you think you are thinking....ok, I hope you followed that last sentence! Suggestions ranged from dairy goats, to babies, to helping friends, to the Puritans, to Psalm singing. The first, goats, was a passion when I was younger and involved in breeding and showing my family's herd, but that part of my life seems to be behind me, and while all the others are important things that I love....I knew they weren't 'it.'

Another I considered was my church. It would probably be the hardest thing in my life to give up, if I had to. It's the reason I live in South Carolina  and has been such a blessing to be in a place where Christ is taught, the people love one another, and the Psalms are sung. I thank the Lord regularly for bringing me to Greenville Presbyterian!

I realized though the more I thought about it that my passion is to serve Christ and to be the woman He wants me to be. Recently in my Matthew Henry reading I came to Proverbs 31 and though I've read this chapter so many times, this time I read from a different perspective thinking about the Lord as my heavenly husband and applying it that way.


"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." 
Isaiah 54:5

Below I shared a few thoughts from my reading which were helpful to me. What Christian woman wouldn't want to be these things? I love the encouragement in the last quote I shared - nothing we do for the Lord is done in vain or will be forgotten. Remembering that and all He has done for me how can it not be my passion to serve Him?



"A virtuous woman is a woman of spirit, who has the command of her own spirit and knows how to manage other people's, one that is pious and industrious..... A virtuous woman is a woman of resolution, who, having espoused good principles, is firm and steady to them, and will not be frightened with winds and clouds from any part of her duty."


"...this is her care all the days of her life; not at first only, or now and then, when she is in a good humor, but perpetually; and she is not weary of the good offices she does him: She does him good, not only all the days of his life, but of her own too."



"She is one that takes pains in the duty of her place and takes pleasure in it. This part of her character is much enlarged upon here. She hates to sit still and do nothing: She eats not the bread of idleness."



"In her tongue is the law of grace, or mercy (so some read it), understanding it of the word and law of God, which she delights to talk of. She is full of pious religious discourse, and manages it prudently, which shows how full her heart is of another world even when her hands are most busy about this world."


"She has the comfort and satisfaction of her virtue in her own mind: Strength and honor are her clothing, in which she wraps herself, that is, enjoys herself, and in which she appears to the world, and so recommends herself. She enjoys a firmness and constancy of mind, has spirit to bear up under the many crosses and disappointments which even the wise and virtuous must expect to meet with in this world; and this is her clothing, for defense as well as decency. She deals honorably with all, and she has the pleasure of doing so, and shall rejoice in time to come; she shall reflect upon it with comfort, when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when she was young. In the day of death it will be a pleasure to her to think that she has lived to some good purpose. Nay, she shall rejoice in an eternity to come; she shall be recompensed for her goodness with fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore."

A Peek Into Your Passion at ylcf.org


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Consider the work of God....

"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

STUDY: CROOKED ROAD - BC.

"We must have an eye to God and to his hand in every thing that befals us: Consider the work of God. To silence our complaints concerning cross events, let us consider the hand of God in them and not open our mouths against that which is his doing; let us look upon the disposal of our condition and all the circumstances of it as the work of God, and consider it as the product of his eternal counsel, which is fulfilled in every thing that befals us. Consider that every work of God is wise, just, and good, and there is an admirable beauty and harmony in his works, and all will appear at last to have been for the best. Let us therefore give him the glory of all his works concerning us, and study to answer his designs in them. Consider the work of God as that which we cannot make any alteration of. Who can make that straight which he has made crooked? Who can change the nature of things from what is settled by the God of nature? If he speak trouble, who can make peace? And, if he hedge up the way with thorns, who can get forward? If desolating judgments go forth with commission, who can put a stop to them? Since therefore we cannot mend God's work, we ought to make the best of it."


"We must accommodate ourselves to the various dispensations of Providence that respect us, and do the work and duty of the day in its day, Observe, 
 How the appointments and events of Providence are counterchanged. In this world, at the same time, some are in prosperity, others are in adversity; the same persons at one time are in great prosperity, at another time in great adversity; nay, one event prosperous, and another grievous, may occur to the same person at the same time. Both come from the hand of God; out of his mouth both evil and good proceed (Isa. xiv. 7), and he has set the one over against the other, so that there is a very short and easy passage between them, and they are a foil to each other. Day and night, summer and winter, are set the one over against the other, that in prosperity we may rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and in adversity may weep as though we wept not, for we may plainly see the one from the other and quickly exchange the one for the other; and it is to the end that man may find nothing after him, that he may not be at any certainty concerning future events or the continuance of the present scene, but may live in a dependence upon Providence and be ready for whatever happens."

"How we must comply with the will of God in events of both kinds. Our religion, in general, must be the same in all conditions, but the particular instances and exercises of it must vary, as our outward condition does, that we may walk after the Lord. 
[1.] In a day of prosperity (and it is but a day), we must be joyful, be in good, be doing good, and getting good, maintain a holy cheerfulness, and serve the Lord with gladness of heart in the abundance of all things. "When the world smiles, rejoice in God, and praise him, and let the joy of the Lord be thy strength.
[2.] In a day of adversity (and that is but a day too) consider. Times of affliction are proper times for consideration, then God calls to consider (Hag. i. 5), then, if ever, we are disposed to it, and no good will be gotten by the affliction without it. We cannot answer God's end in afflicting us unless we consider why and wherefore he contends with us. And consideration is necessary also to our comfort and support under our afflictions."
Matthew Henry






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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christ and women.....


Breton, Jules (1827-1906) - 1882 End of the Working Day (Brooklyn Museum of Art, NYC)"...Gaius also proceeded, and said, I will now speak on the behalf of women, to take away their reproach. For as death and the curse came into the world by a woman, (Genesis 3), so also did life and health: God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. Yea, this sex in the Old Testament coveted children, if happily this or that woman might be the mother of the Saviour of the world. I will say again, that when the Saviour was come, women rejoiced in him, before either man or angel. (Luke 1:42-46). I read not that ever any man did give unto Christ so much as one groat; but the women followed him, and ministered to him of their substance. (Luke 8:2-3). ‘Twas a woman that washed his feet with tears, (Luke 7:37-50), and a woman that anointed his body at the burial. (John 11:2; 12:3). They were women who wept when he was going to the cross,( Luke 23:27), and women that followed him from the cross, (Matthew 27:55,56; Luke 23:55), and sat over against his sepulchre when he was buried. (Matthew 27:61). They were women that were first with him at his resurrection-morn, (Luke 24:1), and women that brought tidings first to his disciples that he was risen from the dead. (Luke 24:22,23). Women therefore are highly favored, and show by these things that they are sharers with us in the grace of life."
Pilgrims's Progress part 2
By John Bunyan



Sharing with  Far Above Rubies, A Holy Experience, LACE, Women of Noble Character, Women in the Word, Raising Homemakers. Encouraging One Another, Proverbs 31 Thursdays,  Teach Me Tuesday, and Sharing the Journey.



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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A mountain trip....

On Saturday I was able to join part of my church family for a trip into the mountains of North and South Carolina. Sometimes the Lord gives us an almost perfect day and this was one of them, gorgeous weather and scenery, good fellowship, lots of fun, no injuries.....and a delicious picnic dinner. Walking through the mountains enjoying God's beautiful creation these verses came to my mind.....and it left us thinking if God has made this kind of beauty for us here, what will heaven be like?


"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 95:3-7 


 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."
 Psalm 19:1-3

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Beka 'my little sister' and I.
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Jenny and Matthew.
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The children climbing on the huge rocks.
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Visiting the falls at Dupont Sate park in North Carolina.
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Looking down at the river.

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Looking at the falls.
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Beautiful!
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Looking out from Caesar's Head Park in South Carolina.
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Our group picture which another hiker kindly took for us.
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Grilling hot dogs for dinner - by then we were all starving.
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Ending the day with family worship around the picnic table was so nice.
      
Stop by and visit my friend Jenny's blog - A Mother's Heritage - where she also shares pictures from our mountain trip.


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Blessed are they that hunger....

Today I wanted to share our sermon from yesterday morning, and a couple thoughts from the Lord's day that encouraged me. We've reached the point in Luke now where Jesus is on the cross. Obviously there is so much to learn from this and be thankful for, but what stood out to me was how Pastor pointed out how 'others centered' Jesus was, even in his agony, and that those of us who walk in his grace should be the same way - putting others above ourselves. It really got me thinking when he talked about Jesus praying for those who were crucifying him while he was on the cross suffering. Even if we gathered up every sin done against us, all the hurts we've felt from others, it couldn't possibly compare to all the wrongs that were done to Jesus, yet he prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." May God give us all grace to forgive like that.



I was also given something to think about when Pastor talked about praying that God would give us hunger to gather for worship and prayer. It made me realize how much we take for granted - even that is a blessing that the Lord gives us. I'm so thankful that He has made me hungry! "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Psalm 82


 "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations."


Stop by and visit my friend Jenny's blog, A Mother's Heritage, where she also shares a beautiful Psalm each Lord's day.





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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Going to God's house....


 "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear..."
Ecclesiastes 5:1

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"He here sends us to the house of God, to the place of public worship....religious exercises are not vain things, but, if we mismanage them, they become vain to us. And therefore....


We must address ourselves to them with all possible seriousness and care: "Keep thy foot, not keep it back from the house of God ), nor go slowly thither, as one unwilling to draw nigh to God, but look well to thy goings, ponder the path of thy feet, lest thou take a false step. Address thyself to the worship of God with a solemn pause, and take time to compose thyself for it...Keep thy thoughts from roving and wandering from the work; keep thy affections from running out towards wrong objects, for in the business of God's house there is work enough for the whole man, and all too little to be employed." 


100_0219We must come to God's house with hearts disposed to know and do our duty. We must be ready to hear, that is,We must diligently attend to the word of God read and preached.... Hearing is often put for obeying, and that is it that is better than sacrifice,  We come in a right frame to holy duties when we come with this upon our heart, Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.



We must be very cautious and considerate in all our approaches and addresses to God: Be not rash with thy mouth, in making prayers, or protestations, or promises; let not thy heart be hasty to utter any thing before God.  When we are in the house of God, in solemn assemblies for religious worship, we are in a special manner before God and in his presence, there where he has promised to meet his people, where his eye is upon us and ours ought to be unto him. 


We have something to say, something to utter before God, when we draw nigh to him in holy duties; he is one with whom we have to do, with whom we have business of vast importance. If we come without an errand, we shall go away without any advantage.  What we utter before God must come from the heart, and therefore we must not be rash with our mouth, never let our tongue outrun our thoughts in our devotions; the words of our mouth, must always be the product of the meditation of our hearts. Thoughts are words to God....Let us speak to God, and of him, in his own words, words which the scripture teaches; and let our words, words of our own invention, be few, lest, not speaking by rule, we speak amiss." 

(some thoughts from my Matthew Henry reading on Ecclesiastes 5 that I thought would be helpful in preparing for the Lord's day tomorrow.)






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Friday, October 21, 2011

Dreaming....

Yesterday as I was trying to reorganize my books to fit in a few more I got to dreaming about libraries, and what I would want if I had a home of my own with a library to decorate.......of course that sent me to Pinterest, and I shared a couple pictures I liked. If I shared everything I liked this post would be very long......:-).



Big windows, a pretty window seat, lots of natural light, white painted shelves, books, who could ask for anything more in a library?! Love this!




This is great - passages of books...




Cool idea. I would paint the shelves though.



I need taller bookcases like this.....



I love these built in shelves!





Kind of dark, but very creative!



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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Remembering to ask....

"Ye have not, because ye ask not."
James 4:2

[057/365] Pilgrim's ProgressI was reading in Pilgrim's Progress the other night and this section below struck me and made me think about the verse from James that I shared above. How often do we not have things because we don't ask, how often do we not even know what we should ask for, or when we have 'the thing' we want, do we ask for the Lord's blessing on it, and for Him to allow us to keep it? Those of you who have read the story know that after a guide is requested, GreatHeart (who symbolizes a pastor) is sent to guide the women to the Celestial City. Have you ever prayed for a godly pastor to guide you? If you have one, do you thank the Lord for him, and pray for him?

I'm glad though that even when we fail in praying as we should that these verses from Romans are true, and to know that Jesus is praying for us. I'm also thankful that there are blessings in my life that I never thought to pray for, but the Lord was good and gave them to me. It's humbling to realize that even though we deserve nothing He gives us good gifts. As always I'm talking at myself too in this post!

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
Romans 8:26-27

"....So, after a few more words, this Reliever said as followeth: "I marveled much, when you were entertained at the gate above, seeing ye knew that ye were but weak women, that you petitioned not the Lord for a conductor; then might you have avoided these troubles and dangers; for he would have granted you one."

"Alas!" said Christiana, "we were so taken with our present blessing, that dangers to come were forgotten by us. Besides, who could have thought, that so near the King’s palace there could have lurked such naughty ones? Indeed, it had been well for us had we asked our Lord for one; but since our Lord knew it would be for our profit, I wonder he sent not one along with us."

Reliever: "It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, lest by so doing they become of little esteem; but when the want of a thing is felt, it then comes under, in the eyes of him that feels it, that estimate that properly is its due, and so consequently will be thereafter used. Had my Lord granted you a conductor, you would not either so have bewailed that oversight of yours, in not asking for one, as now you have occasion to do. So all things work for good, and tend to make you more wary."

Christiana: "Shall we go back again to my Lord, and confess our folly, and ask one?"

Reliever: "Your confession of your folly I will present him with. To go back again, you need not, for in all places where you shall come, you will find no want at all; for in every one of my Lord’s lodgings, which he has prepared for the reception of his pilgrims, there is sufficient to furnish them against all attempts whatsoever. But, as I said, He will be inquired of by them, to do it for them.  And ‘tis a poor thing that is not worth asking for. When he had thus said, he went back to his place, and the pilgrims went on their way."

"Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them."

Ezekiel 36:37a







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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trust in the Lord....

Pearls"When you consider yourselves, you find encouragement to commit everything to God. You are God's children. To whom do children commit themselves in time of fear and danger, but their own fathers?

Christian, "Thy maker is they husband." Is that not sufficient reason for you to cast yourself upon Him? Does not the child trust his father, and the wife commit herself to her husband?

You have already trusted God with a far greater matter that your estates, liberties, or lives. You have committed your souls to Him. Will we commit the jewel and not the cabinet? Will we trust Him for heaven and not for earth? You have always found Him to be faithful in whatever you have entrusted to Him. All your experiences are good grounds of confidence. Well then, resolve to trust God in everything. Leave the disposal of everything to Him. He has been with you in every strait, want, and fear. He has helped you, and will He not do so now? Trust in God's wisdom, power, and love, and lean not on your own understanding."

The fruit of such submission is peace.
"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
By John Flavel



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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