Tuesday, August 23, 2016

There is a Fountain filled with Blood

This life on this fallen world is tough to say the least.  Being sad and struggling with sadness is a part of life.  Run to the One who is your safety, and trust Him with your life.

Be encouraged by Joni and William:

Power in the Blood
by Joni Eareckson Tada

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  1 John 1:9

It bothers me when I hear people say that only the weak-minded struggle with severe depression. That's 'cause I sometimes get hit hard with more than just downhearted feelings. There are times I feel like disappearing -- I don't want to talk to anyone, and I don't want to face the world.

I'm not the only one who has days like that. I think of them as "the day of evil" spoken about in Ephesians 6. When they come, I hang on for dear life to a couple of well-worn Scriptures that assure me joy will come in the morning.

And I take encouragement that the great hymn writer, William Cowper, suffered from depression. He constantly struggled against suicide. Once he even tried to hang himself. Another time he fell on a knife but the blade broke, and at one point, he threw himself into a river hoping to drown. He had a mental breakdown and was placed in an insane asylum for eighteen months. During his detention, he read Romans 3:25, the part about the blood of Christ being so powerful as to cleanse us from all unrighteousness -- even the guilt of suicidal thoughts.

After his conversion, he became friends with John Newton, who wrote "Amazing Grace." It was just the inspiration Cowper needed to write the beautiful hymn, "There Is a Fountain."

Throughout his life, Cowper continued to be plagued by severe depression, and often he sought to end his life. His most powerful hymns were written after those times.

We may become depressed on this side of eternity, but aren't you glad that little by little, inch by inch, day by day, God renews our minds... all because there is a fountain filled with blood?

Thank You, Father, for the encouragement of past saints' lives. They remind us there is no permanent cure for our woes here on earth, which makes us long all the more for Your transforming grace and mercy.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

*
There is a Fountain Filled With Blood

  There is a fountain filled with blood,  
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in His day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away:
Washed all my sins away,
Washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more:
Are safe, to sin no more,
Are safe, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.
by William Cowper

*

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Seek First His Kingdom

We have recently been up at 8 to 6000 feet in elevation with the crisp, clean air. 

Lots of hiking with no asthma! along with no feet or leg issues! Praising the LORD!




There was also lots of driving time, with lots of time to think. 

Think. Think. Think.

My Beloved, years ago, use to call me "Worry Care", because I  tended to worry all the time about everything. He would counsel me to learn to stop this and trust the LORD.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; 
for tomorrow will care for itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34

As our travels eventually took us on the way home, I began to realize that much of my time, recently, has been full of me "pushing my agonies away".  I was truly NOT thinking of them, but this was also me NOT relying on the LORD.

This is semantics.  I was actually thinking of my sadnesses while I was "pushing" my agonizing thoughts "away", but I didn't make them go away, nor was I at the feet of the LORD giving my agonies to Him.

After this whole time traveling I was thankful to finally realize I was wrong in how I was dealing with my sadness.  I then began to handle it rightly with the LORD.

After all these years of learning to give these things to the LORD, I still need to learn more and more. I certainly easily forget.

This sadness is with us 24/7/365 for 16years.  We can not get away from it.  We can "say" we will not talk about it or bring it up, but reality happens.  

Our loss is like a double death. 

Our loss is like a double amputation.  

How can we not lament?  

How can we continue as if we still have our missing limbs?  

It is normal to remember past joys and happy times, but then the sad times mix in to this no mater how we try to keep them out.  This is where the LORD comes in.

He reminds us who we are in Him. We can trust Him, we can rely on Him, and we know we can.

Yes, these long standing agonies have come, but He shows us that we are safe in Him.   He also has shown us that as we trust in Him through these tough times, we are maturing in Him.  This is the best place to be.  

Praising Him every moment!

“For this reason I say to you, 
do not be worried about your life, 
as to what you will eat or what you will drink; 
nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 
Is not life more than food, 
and the body more than clothing? 
Look at the birds of the air, 
that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not worth much more than they? 
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 
And why are you worried about clothing? 
Observe how the lilies of the field grow; 
they do not toil nor do they spin, 
yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory 
clothed himself like one of these. 
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, 
which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, 
will He not much more clothe you? 
You of little faith! 
Do not worry then, saying, 
‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ 
or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 
For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; 
for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:25-33




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Magnificence of God's Creation




















Water Dew Drops hanging off a flower frond.  Spectacular!

Genesis 1:1-5
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, 

and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. 

And there was evening and there was morning, one day.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.



















If possible, so far as it depends on you, 
be at peace with all men. 

Romans 12

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. 

Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. 

Do not be wise in your own estimation. 

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. 

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 

“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sweetheart


The LORD is interested in our sanctification

Check out Something I Don't Understand from Stan on his Blog, Winging it, where he shares his excellent commentary on modesty, and generally, about Christians choosing poorly.

As Believers we are called to a higher standard. Our standard is from the LORD who let's us know what He expects in His Word.

"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."
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Little Hummer


From friends in Oregon

Matthew 10:29-31
 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.
*



Thursday, July 7, 2016

The God of all comfort



2 Corinthians 1:3-5
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our affliction 
so that we will be able to comfort 
those who are in any affliction 
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, 
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

*


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LORD! Set them free!

Today I was overwhelmed when I thought of all those individuals who are caught up in legalisms, abuse, drugs, sex, pride, control, greed, arrogance...

I thought of all the mothers, sisters, grandmothers, women who have shared their deepest heartaches with me over these years. 

I cried out for them and I cried out for me.  I know the LORD’s character, and so I know He hears my cries, and that He is working in all these Waywards, but that He is also working in each of us who live in anguish for them.

I thought of so many of the Waywards whom I have prayed for all these years, and I cried out to the LORD!  They are caught in webs of deception, in traps and snares of sins.

Set them free, LORD!  

Confuse their camp and set them free! 

Somehow, set them free!

Psalm 55:9-11
Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Day and night they go around her upon her walls,
And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.

Destruction is in her midst;

Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.

Proverbs 6:1-5
My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Proverbs 1
"...Wisdom shouts in the streets!...."

*

Precious mothers, sisters…..I know you are weary!  

But do not become weary, instead, look to the LORD! 

Continue to cry out to Him! He holds you, He comforts you, He sustains you!

Proverbs 15:3 
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9a
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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.

Matthew 19:26
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Psalm 73:28
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

*



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The joy of braids!


What do "Red Flags" look like?











"My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,

For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.

Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.

So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors."
Proverbs 1:10-19



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hidden Sins

“For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”
Mark 4:22

Hypocrisy is a hard game to play because it is one deceiver against many observers.  A hypocrite will always be found out.

Secret sinning, although an easier game to play, is far more deadly.  Hidden sins can be concealed, and for that reason, are far more damaging to your character.

Hidden Sins, from Diamonds in the Dust, by Joni, June 11

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Giving up is not an option

Today was a small town patriotic parade in which we were part of the Color Guard.  It has been on the calendar two months.   We knew the time to be there to meet and prepare, and we knew the time the parade would step off.  All the info we thought we needed we had.

When we arrived on time we couldn’t find the Color Guard, and the line of parade was moving up.  We only thought they were getting organized.  We parked and walked towards the beginning of the line, but the line of the parade just kept moving.  Finally we asked one participant who said the parade began at the time we were told to meet up and prepare!

What happened next is that the Piper marched fast alongside the moving parade line thinking he would catch up to the Color Guard. The Piper’s Wife walked farther and farther behind, took alleys trying to catch up to at least get one picture, and then watch the rest of the parade.

As it turned out the Piper caught up to the Color Guard right when they were ending!  

What did we learn?

In life we can be told what to do and what to expect.  (Like our parade time line)

We can make our plans and follow them through.  (Like getting there on time and then trying to catch up with the Color Guard)

Often life isn’t as easy as it has been planned for us, or what we have planned, or what we expect to happen.  We can discover times, dates, situations, people, etc. do not turn out like expected.  We can run after the “front of the parade” to catch up, but find we never do so.

As a Christian when life throws an unexpected turn into our paths, we need to assess and keep living for the LORD.  If we find ourselves just chasing after and never catching up, then we need to assess the situation and figure out what would be best to do next. 

Giving up is not an option.

14 "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:1-21

Perhaps we are struggling with our faith.  The world is “screaming” falsehoods, and maybe they make us stumble and doubt. We know God’s truth, it is in our hearts, but what about that “screaming”? ~ that sounds pretty good, huh? 

We have to preach to ourselves! Don’t “throw God away"!  Giving up is not an option!  We know the truth already! Why do we so easily faint?  

Trust in God.

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me."
John 14:1

Preaching to ourselves should be a daily thing, especially when we struggle with anything!  The world is always “screaming” and always has.  Nothing is new under the sun.

"That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun."

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Continue to the good fight.  The LORD is our strength and our shield.  This world may seem like it has it all together ~ but that is one falsehood among a myriad of falsehoods.

Seek Him!

25-26 "Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Psalm 73


She must be jealous of me.

I have known her for over 40 years.  She is just about the most bitter person I have ever known - only, unfortunately, I know three other women who top this one’s ugly bitterness.

Bitterness is an ugly, gross thing when seen in played out in a person. Avoid it. 

Fight becoming bitter.

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
Ephesians 4:31

Precious Sisters in Jesus, whatever you do, whatever you are going through, however you must handle your circumstances, control yourself! Because you do NOT want to become bitter.  It is an abhorrent trait.

"I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:14-19

"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."

Proverbs 28:13

But, with this certain bitter person, I know of her childhood, and I know how she was dealt with when she was grown up, so I have always had pity for her, prayed for her, and “given her a pass” so many times when she has been cruel to me or others.

I think she was trying to be friendly with me once when she showed me a treasured picture in her wallet.  It was of herself and her prom date at their senior prom.  The man  was NOT who she had been married to for 15 years.  I was shocked, said nothing,  and I felt sad for her to live in the past this way. Plus, I wondered how this made her husband feel.

She is a wee bit older than me so she has always felt like she could tell me what to do.  I, on the other hand, even when I was spiritually immature have tried to love her as I would want to be loved, and I love her like a sister.  I have been there for her in her agonies, and befriended her when no one else would.   As far as I have seen, though, I do not think my kindness and love has affected any change in her at all.

One solution was for me to distance myself from her. But her manipulation and cruelty towards me has reached out and has affected me greatly over these years.  One consolation, if I should call it this, is that she has chosen to pretend I do not exist any longer.  When communication was paramount, I was ignored and vilified.  When she was held accountable by those in authority she was able to continue her cruelty in secret to this day.

I have spent all these years wondering why she did not like me, and why she even hated me.  I have had to explain her behavior and choices in polite terms to those people who I have had to deal with (friends, medical professionals, social workers, nurses, etc) because she has blocked my freedoms.

I know how she has behaved as a wife and how she has parented her own children. I marvel at how God’s grace and mercy has been showered on her with her family is still intact when other precious, godly families have been torn apart by the world.  These loving families have cherished their spouses and children and have lost everything because the world captured their families. Why does it seem like the "good guys" lose?

No matter how she has hurt me, angered me, ignored me ~ I still pity her, because I know where she came from.  Strangely, just today, I realized that what may have spurred her on in her quest to destroy me was her jealously of me.  Perhaps it is because I have had parents who loved me, a husband who adores me, and children I loved and spent my quality time on. I have loved God as long as I have known her, but when my faith shown, she disliked me even more.  Jealousy, I suppose, can be ugly in itself. How pitiful to see played out.

What can we learn from our relationships?  We can not make anyone hear us, believe us, or change them.  This is not our job.  We can only do our job which is to live our lives for the LORD no matter what others do to us, or how others behave. 

Let us remove all bitterness, etc. out of our inner most beings even if it means a daily inner fight.  We are not fighting alone, for we have the LORD! 

"bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
Colossians 3:13

"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. 
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Ephesians 4:25-32