Friday, December 2, 2016

Of Rats and Spiders

Hagar the Horrible

Our Salvation and our Security is a beautiful thing!

Our Security is in Jesus

We have an unconditional guarantee that once a person has been genuinely saved, they will never lose their relationship with God and will be preserved unto eternal life.

Our Salvation and our security is a beautiful thing!

Unconditional promises:
John 3:9-21 “…For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life…”

John 5:19-29 “…Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life…”

God’s keeping power:
John 10: 22-30 “…My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand…”

Romans 8:31-39  “…But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord…”

1 Peter 1-9  “…you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time…”

Jesus’ substitutionary death:
Romans 8:1  “…Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”

1 John 2:1-2  “…He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world…”

Jesus’ present intercession:
Romans 8:28-39   “…God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us…”

The Holy Spirit’s indwelling forever as a deposit:
John 14:11-17  I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever…”

Ephesians 1:3-14  “…In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

The Holy Spirit’s sealing unto the day of redemption:
Ephesians 1:13  “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise”

Assurance of our hope in our salvation in Christ Jesus:
Hebrews 6:1-20  “…And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end…This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast …”

Hebrews 10:18-25   “…let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful..."

Our security is perfect because it comes from Jesus’ complete sacrifice!

Sources of Assurance:

God’s WORD
1 John 5:1-15  “…the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life…”

We will strengthen our assurance of salvation by studying the WORD of God regularly. 

The Holy Spirit
Romans 8: 1- 17  “…For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…”

In our daily lives we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us when we focus on the LORD. 

When life is too much to handle and you become afraid or fearful, run to the LORD, cry out to Him, read His WORD, and then you will remember who He is and who you are in Him:

Matthew 10:29-30   “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Praise God!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Choose to live in His joy

Philippians  2:12-18
"So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 

You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Another life lesson learned: Homemaking 101

I have been vacuuming for over 40 years, but I certainly learned something this weekend I will not ever forget.  

You may need to pay attention also: 

Homemaking 101:  Never bend over with your long pony tail hanging by the vacuum because your tresses may be sucked into the Impeller Wheel!

So here I was bent over to attach the extender when my pony tail was sucked into the sucky, twirly thing (the impeller wheel).   At first I thought my hair was just sucked into the inhaling pipe, but no, it was completely stuck and I could only reach the off switch in an awkward twist of the wrist.

Thankfully, my Beloved was home so I called to him for help! The only solution was scissors.  On the plus side: I already have a trim scheduled this week.

Praising the LORD that not much hair needed to be cut off to remove me from the dreaded machine!

Therefore, we do not lose heart...

2 Corinthians 4
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

*Wormwood; Revelation 8:11
"The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The LORD satisfies

We Gather Together

Thank you to Hymns that Preach:

“WE GATHER TOGETHER” is listed as a Thanksgiving hymn in most modern hymnals but its origin predates our first American Thanksgiving.  It began as a Dutch folk song and was crafted into a celebration hymn of petition and praise to God for His guidance and deliverance through times of religious persecution in 1597. 

Some of the political overtones in this hymn are apparent. For example, the phrase, “The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,” is an allusion to the persecution of Christians under the policies of Spain.  The Dutch Protestants struggled against Spain for their political independence, and against the Catholic Church for their religious freedom.   Thousands had been massacred and hundreds of homes burned by the Spanish in 1576 during the siege of Antwerp.

In 1597, in the Battle of Turnhout, Prince Maurice of Orange defeated the Spanish occupiers of a town in, what is now, the Netherlands. 

Prior to that battle, they had been prohibited from worshiping under the Spanish king, Phillip II.   The Dutch Christians celebrated the victory by borrowing a familiar folk melody and giving it new words.  The very first line, “We Gather Together” was a bold, political declaration of their new freedom to worship together. The hymn first appeared in print in a 1626 collection of Dutch patriotic songs.

Had Prince William of Orange, the brother of Maurice, not led the Dutch to throw off King Phillip’s rule, there, likely, would not have been any safe haven for English, Welsh, and Scottish Protestants who had fled from persecutions under the Roman Catholic and the Anglican national leadership.  

Some of those Dutch Christians were the Puritan Pilgrims.  They brought the hymn with them to the New World in 1620. 

The thanksgiving feast held at the Plymouth Bay Colony might never have occurred had there not been victories like the one this hymn celebrates.

Dutch Christians rarely sang anything, in their church services, that was not directly from the pages of Scripture (primarily the Psalms).  But in 1937, the Christian Reformed Church made a controversial decision to permit other hymns to be sung in church.  “We Gather Together” was chosen as the first entry in their new hymnal.

Today, even though much of our nation has turned away from God, our “gathering together” in the name of the Lord still stands as a remembrance of those times of oppression, persecution, and death, in Scotland and England.  And, so we give thanks to God for His protection, for His providential care, and for His abundant blessings.

He is with us always no matter what comes! 

Praising the LORD!  Glory to His name!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thankful for sparkling moisture!

After a spring and summer of much rain and even flooding we have had almost a month with no rain at all until our misty rain yesterday and today.  It has been so gently and quietly falling.

As I looked out front in this overcast morning I saw little "orange" jewels sparkling in our flowering crab tree as the moisture hung on each berry which was left from the foraging of the Robins and Cedar Wax Wings earlier this autumn.  It was lovely and I was so thankful to enjoy it!

Who can clean up that mess?


Psalm 34:4
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hope, not a false hope

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

See what a great love!

1 John 3:1-3
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. 

For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. 

We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Monday, November 21, 2016

This is the will of God, your sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

"Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 

For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 

So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you."

Friday, November 18, 2016

So blessed!

Even when we think we have nothing, we are so blessed by God.


"You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me."
Psalm 3:3-5

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The LORD hears His child's cry

Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

When all has been heard

Fear God, and your enemies will fear you.
--Benjamin Franklin


"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Thursday, November 10, 2016

With the tears from mothers' eyes

The Unknown Soldier
[Referencing  World War I]

There’s a graveyard near the White House
Where the Unknown Solder lies,
And the flowers there are sprinkled
With the tears from mothers’ eyes.

I stood there not so long ago
With roses for the brave,
And suddenly I heard a voice
Speak from out the grave:

“I am the Unknown Soldier,”
The spirit voice began,
“And I think I have the right
To ask some questions man to man.

“Are my buddies taken care of?
Was their victory so sweet?
Is that big reward you offered
Selling pencils on the street?

“Did they really win the freedom
They battled to achieve?
Do you still respect that Croix de Guerre
Above that empty sleeve?

“Does a gold star in the window
Now mean anything at all?
I wonder how my old girl feels
When she hears a bugle call?

“And that baby who sang
‘Hello, Central, give me no man’s land’—
Can they replace her daddy
With a military band?

“I wonder if the profiteers
Have satisfied their greed?
I wonder if a soldier’s mother
Ever is in need?

I wonder if the kings, who planned it all
Are really satisfied?
They played their game of checkers
And eleven million died.

“I am the Unknown Soldier
And maybe I died in vain,
But if I were alive and my country called,
I’d do it all over again.”

Billy Rose

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Loyalty, Patriotism, and choosing to serve the One and Only

This year we attended a Veteran’s Honor Flight as they returned to the celebration at the airport, and also the next Honor Flight’s Orientation day which was a month from their flight.  Both of these events were very well done and quite honoring to Veterans and their families.

While we sat before the orientation I would say that most people could probably not truly explain the emotions they would go through as we all watched the slide show of the Veterans from World War 2 through Vietnam, and also listen to the patriotic music which was popular during those eras.

Watching the Veterans who are excited and honored to go on a flight to Washington D.C., watching their happy families with ages from newborns to older than the veterans, seeing the Volunteers doing everything to honor the Veterans and their families, to even the skirl of the Bag Pipes is very special, all of which is full of a range of emotions for those of us “on the outside looking in”.

It is truly difficult to express the depths of emotions, the patriotism, and the loyalty to our nation.

But this is only a shadow, a faded picture of the people whose love, devotion , and honor they choose to give to the One and Only God for the rest of their lives for His marvelous grace through Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins.  The LORD now calls us His children.  We were bought with a price, Jesus blood!

The joy I have witnessed this year on the Veterans’ faces, the Guardians, all the families who love their Vet, and the Volunteers - even the other passengers who are just waiting for their own flights who are at the Airport and are surprised and touched by the reception and comradery for the Vets, this joy is truly indescribable.

Even so, our joy as Believers of the God of the Universe is far beyond what I have experienced.

When we meet up with another Believer we haven’t seen for a while, when we meet a Believer we have never met, or when we meet a Believer we just saw yesterday, we find such unexplainable joy!  It is because we are connected to the LORD, we are related, we understand where each of us have come from, where we are in life, where we will be in life when Jesus returns. Our eternal hope!

Veterans are connected to other Veterans no matter which war or whatever age, but Believers have ties to each other that will last an eternity.  Our “family” is the Body of Believers.  When our human family denies us, we can count on the Body to still be our family, to love and encourage us.

Most of all we have an Awesome God who gave us life - life eternal with Him!  This is such a beautiful connection we have in each other. We are safe together no matter where we are in this world.  On this earth we have begun our eternal life with Him, but the best is yet to be with Him in glory!

Patriotism in the USA in these last generations is many times “tied”  or “woven” into our Christian faith.  It was how our culture use to be. Sadly, this has been fading as our culture has turned away from God.

As the LORD’s child  we are far and above more blessed.  We can praise the LORD for our country which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but we can praise Him even more for His grace and mercies which He showers on those of us who choose Him!

Who will you choose today?

Joshua 24:14-15
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016



Even so, I will exult in the LORD!

I made your world famous gingersnaps yesterday.  It brought back all those happy, joyful memories.

Soon enough I remembered your eventual entrapment, but this did not take away the truth.  The truth is these were real memories, and they were happy, joyful times even if you deny them now because of your own choices.

My agonies are beyond any words. The LORD is the only One who knows and comprehends my pain.

I am in His hands.  He lifts my head.  He reminds me who I am in Him. He carries me in the storms.

Well, it is not about me, and so I was once again reminded that the LORD also holds you in His hands.  He is the Hound of Heaven and I can trust Him with your life.  

His name is glorified during this storm, and I am trusting that somehow, someday His name will be glorified when it is all over.

"Though the fig tree should not blossom
and there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
and the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
and there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation,
The LORD God is my strength,
and He has made my feet like hind's feet,
and makes me walk on my high places."
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Who can save us?!


"Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
John 14:6

"He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:11-12

Thursday, October 27, 2016

God's creation in action: dew on Ladybug

This wonderful photo is not my own, but I had to share it.

In the past we have purchased live Ladybugs to release in our yard.  The fruit is that I often see them in our yard now.  The joy to see His creation up close and personal is indescribable.  No matter what I am doing, I stop and enjoy this special insect.

Some day, in glory, what extraordinary beauty will we see?!

Praising the LORD!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The definition of a Humdinger and a Smidgen

Rose is Rose

God's grace is not flippant!

A grateful thank you to Ralph M. Peterson at Hymns that Preach for this excellent post:


"Last week I was irritated by a post, on a Christian internet site, from a guy who was arrogant and boastful in his sin.  I don’t have time to read it all but here are a few brief excerpts:

“I am a very unconventional, yet very classical and traditional, Christian. What I don't understand is how the Church can be so legalistic.  …The gospel is free grace, extended to sinners.  (Our) righteousness comes from Jesus… with (His) invitation to ‘Come as you are!’

“I do not live by a strict set of rules…and you may find me cussing, smoking cigarettes, and laughing at cruel (or dirty) jokes.  I live with my pregnant girlfriend, unmarried, and I stumble in how I walk with the Lord.  I also live by faith in Jesus Christ and trust that His promises will be fulfilled in my life.

“The Father loves us unconditionally; because Christ fulfilled all the requirements to be satisfied on my behalf.  His free grace covers and cleanses me from all unrighteousness.”

That young man is confused as to the nature of the gospel.  He holds to a common and dangerous heresy called Free Grace.  He claims to have received the free, gift of God’s grace, yet he shows no remorse for his sin, nor a need to repent.  He acts like, just because he once “accepted Jesus,” God is okay with it. 

Well, guess what?   God is NOT okay with it.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul asked a rhetorical question, “Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his WONDERFUL GRACE?  

And then he answers with the obvious- OF COURSE NOT!  Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”

And later he leaves them with a command, “Do NOT let sin control the way you live; do NOT give in to sinful desires.”    (Rom. 6:1,2,12)

It is true that God’s grace is freely bestowed on all those He saves but grace isn’t something trivial.  In fact, in most of our hymns about God’s grace, it is almost always described with superlative adjectives like Amazing, Marvelous, Infinite, Matchless, Magnificent, and Wonderful.  That kind of grace is not cheap; it comes at a great cost.  If we’ve never been grieved or tormented by the magnitude and consequences of our sin against God, then we can’t understand just how great His grace really is.

The Song, WONDERFUL GRACE OF JESUS, might seem like a fun, frolicking little praise song but the author, Haldor Lillenas, captured the awesome greatness of God’s grace with phrases like "broader than the scope of my transgressions,” and "greater far than all my sin and shame."

That’s the kind of Grace we need; not just some flippant sort of favor from a warm and fluffy god who, with a wink and a nod, accepts us the way we are.  God’s grace is effective; when He saves us, He begins to clean us up.

*That kind of grace is inexhaustible; it reaches to “all the lost.”  And it’s “all-sufficient;” it’s enough for all our needs.  

*It is even sufficient for “the most defiled,” and, in the words of the songwriter, it is sufficient for even me, and believe me, I am especially thankful for that because my sin was so great that the Son of God suffered and died on the cross so that I could be pardoned.   

*He took the burden and the penalty of my sin on Himself and He covered me in His righteousness.  That is the WONDERFUL GRACE OF JESUS.
Praise the LORD!

His grace is matchless!


It is deeper!


All sufficient!


Broader than any sin!

Greater than any shame!

Let us magnify the precious name of Jesus!


Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Wonderful Grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free;
O the Wonderful Grace of Jesus reaches me!

Wonderful the matchless Grace of Jesus,
the matchless Grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
the rolling sea;
Wonderful Grace, all sufficient for me, for even me
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient Grace for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
sing it!
Greater far than all my sin and shame
my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus,

Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost;
By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost.
Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty;
O the Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaches me!

Wonderful the matchless Grace of Jesus,
the matchless Grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
the rolling sea;
Wonderful Grace, all sufficient for me, for even me
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient Grace for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
sing it!
Greater far than all my sin and shame
my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus,

Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaching the most defiled;
By its transforming power, 
Making me God's dear child,
Purchasing peace and Heaven, for all eternity;
And the Wonderful Grace of Jesus, reaches me!

Wonderful the matchless Grace of Jesus,
the matchless Grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
the rolling sea;
Wonderful Grace, all sufficient for me, for even me
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient Grace for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
sing it!
Greater far than all my sin and shame
my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious name of Jesus,

written by,  H. Lillenas / Lari Goss