Sunday, January 26, 2020

A lovely snowy landscape















This wintery, snowy landscape is a photo of a recent snow fall which was caught up in between my storm window and the screen. The "star" is the flash of the camera. A landscape in miniature like a terrarium.

I thought is was quite amazing, and I praised the LORD for the beauty in His creation. 


Saturday, January 18, 2020

Longing for spring in a winter wonderland





























-Mary Engelbreit, Kitty in Window

Isaiah 1:16-18
“Wash yourselves, 
make yourselves clean;

Remove the evil of your 
deeds from My sight.


Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;

Seek justice,

Reprove the ruthless,

Defend the orphan,

Plead for the widow.

“Come now, and let us 
reason together,”

Says the Lord,

“Though your sins 
are as scarlet,

They will be as white as snow;

Though they are red like crimson,

They will be like wool."
*

Friday, January 17, 2020

Jesus is Our Source of Every Good







 Lord, we adore thy boundless grace,

The heights and depths unknown,

Of pardon, life, and joy, and peace,

In thy beloved Son.

Come, all ye pining, hungry poor,

The Saviour’s bounty taste;

Behold a never-failing store

For every willing guest.

O wondrous gifts of love divine,

Dear Source of every good;

Jesus, in thee what glories shine!

How rich thy flowing blood!

Come, all ye pining, hungry poor,

The Saviour’s bounty taste;

Behold a never-failing store

For every willing guest.

Here shall your numerous wants receive

A free, a full supply;

He has unmeasured bliss to give,
And joys that never die.

Come, all ye pining, hungry poor,

The Saviour’s bounty taste;

Behold a never-failing store

For every willing guest.

-Anne Steele
*

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Pride, the Most Dangerous: Humility vs Sinning

James 4:5-17

"...do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose:   
“He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, 
“God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Submit therefore to God. 
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; 
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Be miserable and mourn and weep;
let your laughter be turned into mourning 
and your joy to gloom.

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord,
and He will exalt you.

Do not speak against one another, brethren. 
He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, 
speaks against the law and judges the law; 
but if you judge the law, 
you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, 
the One who is able to save and to destroy; 
but who are you who judge your neighbor?

Come now, you who say, 
“Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, 
and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. 

You are just a vapor that appears for a little while
and then vanishes away.

Instead, you ought to say, 
“If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

But as it is, 
you boast in your arrogance; 
all such boasting is evil.

Therefore, 
to one who knows the right thing to do 
and does not do it, 
to him it is sin.
*

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Seeking Only Thee to Know




Jesus cast a look on me,

Give me sweet simplicity

Make me poor and keep me low,

Seeking only Thee to know

All that feeds my busy pride,

Cast it evermore aside

Bid my will to Thine submit,

Lay me humbly at Thy feet

Make me like a little child,

Of my strength and wisdom spoiled

Seeing only in Thy light,

Walking only in Thy might

Leaning on Thy loving breast,

Where a weary soul can rest

Feeling well the peace of God,

Flowing from His precious blood

In this posture let me live,

And hosannas daily give

In this temper let me die,

And hosannas ever cry!
-John Berridge
*

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Kindness, Tenderness, Forgiveness







































-Mary Engelbreit


Ephesians 4:22-32
 "...22in reference to your former manner of life, 
you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted 
in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be 
renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, 
which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness 
and holiness of the truth.

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.

32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, 
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
*

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Holding fast to the confession of our hope





Hebrews 10:19-31

"...Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 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; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God..."






Friday, January 10, 2020

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus!
















Philippians 1:3-11
 "...3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,
in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

For I am confident of this very thing, 
that He who began a good work in you will perfect it 
until the day of Christ Jesus.

For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, 
because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment 
and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, 
you all are partakers of grace with me.

For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the 
affection of Christ Jesus.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more 
in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may 
approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere 
and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with 
the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, 
to the glory and praise of God.

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances 
have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,
so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become 
well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to 
everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord 
because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak 
the word of God without fear...

...18Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for 
my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit 
of Jesus Christ,  according to my earnest expectation and hope, 
that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, 
Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life 
or by death.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; 
and I do not know which to choose.

But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart 
and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the 
flesh is more necessary for your sake.

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all 
for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me 
may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, 
so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you 
that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together 
for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which 
is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, 
from God.

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, 
but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you
saw in me, and now hear to be in me."
*

You are not a "lost cause"! 

People are praying for you!

Don't despair!

Cry out to God for He hears you!

Psalms 34:15
"The eyes of the Lord 
are toward the righteous
And His ears are open 
to their cry."
*
Be Humble,

Repent,

Relax,

and talk with the LORD.

*You are not a "lost cause".



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Monday, January 6, 2020

Grieving, Mourning, and Dancing














































How completely appropriate. 

My precious grandparents now with the LORD for decades were separated by death for a small handful of years. My grandmother carried on in her life, but she greatly missed her beloved.  She successfully lived on in their home, and eventually to an assisted living.

Several times during these years she was found in the early evening (dark) wearing Grandpa's wool sweater sitting in his recliner. I remember the "uproar" some family members gave over this strange behavior.

Strange? Strange?

At the time I was a young wife with little children, but I could understand Grandma's grief and the comforts she chose during parts of the day. I loved her and I learned from her.

When Grandma went to be with the LORD the only thing I asked for was Grandpa's sweater.

Grieving, agonies, sadnesses----Pain is pain. Sometimes it will be a lifetime of dealing with the grief. 

If you are struggling with sorrows then allow yourself time to grieve, find your appropriate comforts, and then carry on with your life for the LORD.

Life is full of agonies. It is the LORD who helps us through life as we look forward to Glory when there will be no more tears.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is an appointed time for everything. 
And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;

A time to plant and 
a time to uproot what is planted.

A time to kill and a time to heal;

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

A time to search and a time to give up as lost;

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear apart and 
a time to sew together;

A time to be silent and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
*

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Weary Place

Wartime Christmas

Led by a star, a golden star,
The youngest star, an olden star,
Here the kings and the shepherds are,
A-kneeling on the ground.
What did they come to the inn to see?
God in the highest, and this is He,
A baby asleep on His mother's knee
And with her kisses crowned.

Now is the earth a dreary place,
A troubled place, a weary place.
Peace has hidden her lovely face
And turned in tears away.
Yet the sun, through the war-cloud, sees
Babies asleep on their mother's knees.
While there are love and home--and these--
There shall be Christmas Day.

-by Alfred Joyce Kilmer, 1886-1918

Kilmer once wrote, "At present, I am a poet trying to be a soldier."
All the ugliness he witnesses on the battlefields of the First World War 
never shook his faith in God or his belief in the beauty and goodness of 
life. Kilmer was killed fighting in France in 1918.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Wars, politics, terrorists, hatred, abuse, injustice...
continue a hundred years later...

We who love and live for Jesus as our Savior wait for 
His victorious return. While we remain we live in 
His strength to do next things for Him even when 
the world is at its ugliest.
*


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

He who trusts in the LORD is on wings of eagles




“Comfort, 
O comfort My people,” 
says your God...

...A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;

Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed...

...The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever...

...Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes...

...Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth...

...Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, 
the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might 
He increases power.

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary."
*
This is me. This is who I am. 
Everyday, all day.

When I was young I did not understand.
I thought I lived in my strength 
until my own strength 
was stripped from me.

I then learned 
that I have no strength.
It is His strength in me.
I can do nothing without the LORD God Almighty.

And so I continue to learn to wait on Him,
and I gain new strength 
to last each day-
not tomorrow, 
but today.

Sometimes I think, 
I feel, 
and I believe 
that it is not enough!

But then He gently holds me,
He reminds me,
and He shows me 
as He inclines to me
and hears my groans 
and comforts me in His mighty strength.

Glory to God in the Highest!
*

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Tears of a Mother: groanings too deep for words


Psalm 88:1-3a

"O Lord, the God of my salvation,
I have cried out by day 
and in the night before You.

Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry!

For my soul has had enough troubles,"
*
He Inclines His Ear
-Joni

Today’s Scripture declares that “the Lord hears the needy.” 

When we bring our concerns and anxieties to God in prayer, He gives us His complete attention. 

How does He do that? How does He keep stars burning and galaxies spinning, while at the same time listening to the prayers of billions of people? 

We may not understand it, but it’s true. When we pray, He “inclines His ear” 
(Psalm 40:1; 71:2; 88:2, NASB)

He gets down close to hear every word, 
every inflection, 
and even the words you can’t even formulate.
(Groaning too deep for words, Romans 8:26-27)

He isn’t distracted by events in the Middle East, 
an urgent prayer from a mom in Indiana,
or volcanic eruptions on Venus. 

He isn’t wishing you would “wrap it up,
isn’t put off by repetition, 
and isn’t looking for holes in your logic. 

That’s because He loves you, 
cares deeply about your welfare, 
and actually looks forward to your company.

Father, I know how much I want to be near You and hear Your voice speak to me. 
But it staggers my faith to think You would want to walk closely to me, 
that You desire my company, and that You—to put it in human terms—
actually cup Your ear and lean over to hear my words. 
What a wonder You are, God!

Joni Eareckson Tada,  A Spectacle of Glory
------------------------------------------------------------
Romans 8:26-27
"...the Spirit also helps our weakness; 
for we do not know how to pray as we should, 
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us 
with groanings too deep for words;
and He who searches the hearts 
knows what the mind of the Spirit is, 
because He intercedes for the saints 
according to the will of God."

Glory to His Name!
*

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Miraculous Inflight Refueling from the LORD
























Convair UC-880 refueling a F/A-18 Hornet

"...the nearness of God is my good..."

Refueling
As Christians we sometimes become all spent.  Life has worn on us. We can continue to keep going, living for the LORD, but the weariness of our bodies and souls begins to hang on us like cold, rain drenched clothing. It becomes difficult to persevere even though we are trusting the LORD with all of our being.

The answer to all of this is the reading of His Word. 

Open the Word, find His truths in there! 
Bring to mind His word which is already in your heart!

He has wisdom, eye opening truths, and so much comfort in there to fill us up to be able to continue living vibrantly! 

Don't run on empty! 

Fill 'er Up! 

His peace is beyond understanding. 

It will guard your heart and mind in Jesus! 

Psalm 73

"Surely God is good to Israel,

To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,

For I was envious of the arrogant

As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no pains in their death,

And their body is fat.
They are not in trouble as other men,

Nor are they plagued like mankind.

Therefore pride is their necklace;

The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.

They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;

They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth against the heavens,

And their tongue parades through the earth.

Therefore his people return to this place,

And waters of abundance are drunk by them.
They say, “How does God know?

And is there knowledge with the Most High?”

Behold, these are the wicked;

And always at ease, 
they have increased in wealth.

Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure

And washed my hands in innocence;
For I have been stricken all day long

And chastened every morning.

If I had said, 
“I will speak thus,”

Behold, 
I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

When I pondered to understand this,

It was troublesome in my sight

Until I came into the sanctuary of God;

Then I perceived their end.

Surely You set them in slippery places;

You cast them down to destruction.

How they are destroyed in a moment!

They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, 
when aroused, You will despise their form.

When my heart was embittered

And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;

I was like a beast before You.

Nevertheless I am continually with You;

You have taken hold of my right hand.

With Your counsel You will guide me,

And afterward receive me to glory.

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.

For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;

You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good
I have made the Lord God my ref"
*