Saturday, December 31, 2011

A prayer for the year's end.....



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










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Friday, December 30, 2011

A bruised reed.....


 "A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.."
Isaiah 42:3

".....those that are weak he will be tender of; those that have but a little life, a little heat, that are weak as a reed, oppressed with doubts and fears, as a bruised reed, that are as smoking flax, as the wick of a candle newly lighted, which is ready to go out again, he will not despise them, will not plead against them with his great power, nor lay upon them more work or more suffering than they can bear, which would break and quench them, but will graciously consider their frame. More is implied than is expressed. He will not break the bruised reed, but will strengthen it, that it may become a cedar in the courts of our God. He will not quench the smoking flax, but blow it up into a flame. Note, Jesus Christ is very tender toward those that have true grace, though they are but weak in it, and accepts the willingness of the spirit, pardoning and passing by the weakness of the flesh."
Matthew Henry






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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top posts of 2011......

Today I'm looking back at all my memories of 2011 and decided to share some of my most popular posts of the year (in no particular order). Thanks to all of you who follow, read, visit.....hope you enjoy and have a blessed day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vacation thoughts.....

‎"Come ye yourselves apart....and rest a while...." 
Mark 6:31





"Christ takes cognizance of the frights of some, and the toils of others, of his disciples, and provides suitable relief for both, rest for those that are tired, and refuge for those that are terrified. With what kindness and compassion doth Christ say to them, Come, and rest!
Note, The most active servants of Christ cannot be always upon the stretch of business, but have bodies that require some relaxation, some breathing-time; we shall not be able to serve God without ceasing, day and night, till we come to heaven, where they never rest from praising him. And the Lord is for the body, considers its frame, and not only allows it time for rest, but puts it in mind of resting. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers. Return to thy rest. And those that work diligently and faithfully, may cheerfully retire to rest. The sleep of the labouring man is sweet.....He calls them only to rest awhile; they must not expect to rest long, only to get breath, and then to go to work again. There is no remaining rest for the people of God till they come to heaven."


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mount Zion.....

We sang these verses in family worship this morning which reminded me of this post I had sitting in my drafts folder so I went back and read it, then decided to share. I hope it's a comfort and blessing to you too.....


“They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abideth for ever. As the mountains are around Jerusalem so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever.” 
 Psalm 125:1-2


Rainbow Mountain, BC
 


"Throughout the Bible we often find that the Holy Spirit uses natural figures to illustrate profound spiritual truths and realities. In the words of our text the Church of God, or individual believers, are, in their faith and constancy, compared to Mount Zion, while God Himself in His nearness and protecting power, is compared to the mountains which shelter and surround Jerusalem. Let us look at these words for a moment. Let us consider:

 This trust in the Lord on the part of His people is all-inclusive. If we are of this number we commit into God’s hand not only our persons, but also our times and destiny, and all our cares within the sphere of providence. “Into thine hand I commit my spirit.” “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you.” “My times are in Thy hand.” “I have set the Lord always before me.” “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Such words as these show that they commit themselves wholly and for ever into His hand, “as into the hands of a faithful Creator.”

The trust of God’s people is preeminently in His Word or promise, for the Lord Himself is present in the Word in which they trust. God and His Word are identical. There can be no trust in the one without trust in the other. Those who are His are given “exceeding great and precious promises”, and it is of the nature of the true Christian life that God often seals His promises, both in relation to His providence and grace, on their hearts and minds. Although all the promises are the heritage of God’s elect, God often makes a personal application of His Word to their souls. And it may often happen that circumstances emerge in their life which seem to nullify His promise. David, in fear and trembling, once asked the question: “Lord, where is Thy former loving kindness which Thou swarest unto David in Thy truth?” “Hath the Lord forgotten to be gracious?” 


 But whatever clouds may overshadow our lives, God’s covenant bow of promise is never absent from our sky. How often do we tremble in our nights of trial, but “hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” And the God of yesterday is the God of today and of the future. “This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” Such a blessed assurance as this should strengthen our faith and provide us with a song in the night.



Whatever contrary storms, therefore, may break in upon their lives, God’s people “cannot be moved”. “Their heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.” Christ, their Rock and Stay, is the foundation of all their hope. And “the foundation of the Lord standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.” 




Think also of the all-availing intercession of our great High Priest which surrounds His people always. In heaven He is making continual intercession for us.....God hears Him always. On earth He prayed, “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” These words shall continue to rise, like incense before God until the last of His people arrives in His presence. His intercession is the secret of their preservation. This is what we discover in His words to Peter. “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” That prayer Peter never heard, but he knew from that hour where his safety lay. It is good to pray for one another, and to have a place in the prayers of God’s people; but the true believer rises higher than the help of mere man. He trusts in the Lord. “I have prayed for thee.” When a godly woman was once asked by her friends if they would remember her in their prayers she simply said: “Prayer is being made for me above.” She valued their prayers but her hope had risen beyond them to the very throne of God."


Sharing with Titus 2sdays, and Growing Home.




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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Why I don't celebrate christmas....

Sharing with Soli Deo Gloria.

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Psalm 91


"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."


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, December 24, 2011

On the road again...

This morning the Es and I are heading out on the first leg of the trip to Arkansas. They invited me along on their annual family trip and I'm sure it's going to be an adventure.....;-) In all seriousness I'm blessed to be included and am looking forward to a fun week with them and their family;-)


It's a lot of work getting 10 people packed up to be gone for more than a week, think packing bags, boxes, coats, shoes, diapers, cooking food, gathering snacks, and books, and Bibles - enough to keep us very busy yesterday......Ok, so the van does NOT look this bad, but when I saw this picture it made me laugh so hard that I had to share it:-)


Lord willing I'll share some real pictures next week after we arrive. Until then I hope everyone has a good day and a blessed Lord's day tomorrow.


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Friday, December 23, 2011

A thought for today....

Key
"Our Lord Jesus, having the key of the house of David, is as a nail in a sure place, and all the glory of his father's house hangs upon him, is derived from him, and depends upon him; even the meanest that belong to his church are welcome to him, and he is able to bear the stress of them all. That soul cannot perish, nor that concern fall to the ground, though ever so weighty, that is by faith hung upon Christ."
Matthew Henry on Isaiah 22








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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Comparisons....


Last Wednesday night after prayer meeting I had an experience that got me thinking, and that I couldn't get out of my head for awhile afterwards....That night a homeless man came by the church looking for help. Not an uncommon occurrence for us, but this time I was nearby and heard the conversation with him. Hearing about the way he lived made me think about the relativity of all our situations. I tend to have a very bad habit of comparing myself to others which I know is wrong, the Bible even says it is not wise. But I'll look at other women my age who have husbands, children, homes,.....and compare them to my circumstances. I don't have those things, and it gets tempting to ask, 'why?' Going down that road always leads to trouble, maybe to covertness, or fear, or complaining. It doesn't lead to thankfulness for all I have, to trusting the Lord, to depending on Him to take care of me, or most of all to the truth that He gives just what we need, what is perfect for each one of us. I'm very much writing at myself here.















Then I wondered why we I always compare myself to those better off  than myself. Unlike a  homeless person last night I slept in a real bed, in a heated house, and got up this morning to hot coffee and breakfast. I have work to do which I enjoy, and which provides my needs, I have people to love, people who love me, and most of all a Father in heaven who will never leave me. Compared to the man I saw I'm rich! That made me think of this quote I recently read in Matthew Henry:


"True religion is the true treasure of any prince or people; it denominates them rich. Those places that have plenty of Bibles, and ministers, and serious good people, are really rich; and it contributes to that which makes a nation rich in this world."


 It all depends on how you look at things, and what you consider to be riches. And I also realized there will always be somebody worse off (and for that matter, someone better off) than me, somebody that I can pray for, or maybe be a help to in some other way. But as Jesus said:


 "...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Things never happen the same way twice, dear one....

I've always liked this part of the Chronicles of Narnia, and was reminded of it recently in a conversation with friends. I love a few things in it:
1. Where Lucy comments that Aslan is bigger, and he tells her that as she grows she will find him bigger. I was thinking it is the same with us, the more faith we have, the more we grow, the more we see of the greatness of God.
2. When Lucy thinks she knows how Aslan should fix things. I do that all the time, think I know best, but the truth is that God's thoughts are so much above ours, He sees the big picture. I don't. He knows what is best and will do it.
3. Lucy messed up. She was afraid, she didn't obey, but Aslan was merciful. He didn't say, "Enough is enough," and leave her, He came back, and helped her, gave her strength to obey.
I love how this is a picture of the God we serve and love!

Aslan

"Welcome, child" he said.
"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."
For a time she was so happy that she did not want to speak. But Aslan spoke.
"Lucy," he said, "we must not lie here for long. You have work in hand, and much time has been lost today."
"Yes, wasn't it a shame?" said Lucy. "I saw you all right. They wouldn't believe me. They're all so -"
From somewhere deep inside Aslan's body there came the faintest suggestion of a growl.
"I'm sorry," said Lucy, who understood some of his moods. "I didn't mean to start slanging the others. But it wasn't my fault anyway, was it?"
The Lion looked straight into her eyes.
"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "You don't mean it was? How could I - I couldn't have left the others and come up to you alone, how could I? Don't look at me like that... oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn't have been alone, I know, not if I was with you. But what would have been the good?"
Aslan said nothing.
"You mean," said Lucy rather faintly, "that it would have turned out all right - somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?"
"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No. Nobody is ever told that."
"Oh dear," said Lucy.
"But anyone can find out what will happen," said Aslan. "If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me - what will happen? There is only one way of finding out."
"Do you mean that is what you want me to do?" gasped Lucy.
"Yes, little one," said Aslan.
"Will the others see you too?" asked Lucy.
"Certainly not at first," said Aslan. "Later on, it depends."
"But they won't believe me!" said Lucy.
"It doesn't matter," said Aslan.
"Oh dear, oh dear," said Lucy. "And I was so pleased at finding you again. And I thought you'd let me stay. And I thought you'd come roaring in and frighten all the enemies away - like last time. And now everything is going to be horrid."
"It is hard for you, little one," said Aslan. "But things never happen the same way twice, dear one. It has been hard for us all in Narnia before now."
Lucy buried her head in his mane to hide from his face. But there must have been magic in his mane. She could feel lion-strength going into her. Quite suddenly she sat up.
"I'm sorry, Aslan," she said. "I'm ready now." 




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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On my heart....


One of the things I love about blogging is that it's a place where I can share what I've been thinking, what the Lord has been teaching me. And a subject that is very much on my heart now is prayer. It's easy enough to remember and take time to pray for our own needs, for our families, those closest to us, etc, etc, but I've been reminded from the pulpit, and been shown, the great need to pray for my church, for the Lord's people, for the church in general. We all desperately need it and though I've shared so many posts on prayer in the past, I feel like I've failed in this area. I haven't taken the time that I should have to pray for all my church family, to pray specifically for people. Do you pray for your pastor, for your elders, for your deacons, for their families, for your church family? Please think about this......Below I shared some verses that were on my mind (thanks to Jenny for sharing the ones from Daniel in family worship), and a sermon that does a much better job of saying what I tried to say above. I'm thankful for the reminder here that we serve a God who is rich in mercy and ready to forgive, that we can come to Him in all of our brokenness, and ask Him for these things not because of anything we have done, but because of His great mercy.


"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."
Psalm 130


 "O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name."
 verses from Daniel 9








Sharing with  A Holy Experience Women of Noble Character, Women in the Word Proverbs 31 Thursdays,  Sharing the Journey, Encouraging One Another,  Graceful , Thought Provoking Thursday,  Homemaker by Choice, Imperfect Prose Soli Deo Gloria. Far Above Rubies,  Titus 2sdaysGrowing HomeChatting at the SkyWomen Living Well, Our Simple Country Life, and Raising Homemakers.



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Monday, December 19, 2011

Bread and water.....

 "They shall not again know the want of the means of grace,....It is supposed that they might be brought into straits and troubles after this deliverance was wrought for them. It was promised  that they should weep no more and that God would be gracious to them; and yet here it is taken for granted that God may give them the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, prisoners' fare,  coarse and sorry food, such as the poor use. When one trouble is over we know not how soon another may succeed; and we may have an interest in the favour of God, and such consolations as are sufficient to prohibit weeping, and yet may have bread of adversity given us to eat and water of affliction to drink.
 
Let us therefore not judge of love or hatred by what is before us.
It is promised that their eyes should see their teachers, that is, that they should have faithful teachers among them, and should have hearts to regard them and not slight them as they had done; and then they might the better be reconciled to the bread of adversity and the water of affliction. It was a common saying among the old Puritans,
 Brown bread and the gospel are good fare.
A famine of bread is not so great a judgment as a famine of the word of God."
Matthew Henry




Sharing with Graceful.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Psalm 90


"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it."



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, December 17, 2011

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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