Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sometimes He lets us stay broken

Sometimes He gives us what we need rather than what we want.

Sometimes He lets us stay broken in ways we may not feel comfortable or what we expect, as He uses us as broken vessels so His light can beam through us.

from Laura Story

her offering in song, Blessings

Run to the Strong Tower of the LORD our God

                                                                  by Charles Schultz

Monday, August 22, 2011

There is a Hope

"There is a hope that lifts my weary head,
A consolation strong against despair,
That when the world has plunged me in it's deepest pit,
I find the Savior there!
Through present sufferings, future's fears,
He whispers, "Courage!" in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms,
and they will lead me home."

verse 2, by Stuart Townsend and Mark Edwards

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don’t miss the Grace of God

I know what it is to be so very, very hurt.  It is easy to be angry at certain people and also everyone else----and sinfully angry at God for not stopping it or saving you out of this pain.  I also I know what it is like to be jealous or even worse----the feelings of hatred because people have what you desire because it was truly yours before it was stolen.

I recently heard a Christian radio lesson in which I am so thankful.  The message dealt with this very issue (jealousy, anger, hatred in the situation of being wrongly slighted to whatever degree).

These are two parts which I remember:

1) Comparing ourselves to others:  Read John 21.  Peter was at the beach with our resurrected Jesus.  In verses 18-22 Jesus has just finished asking Peter if he loves Him.  Jesus then tells Peter pretty much what will happen and even how eventually he will die.  Peter begins comparing himself to John.  "What about that guy?"  Peter wanted to know if John was going to have the same thing happen. 

(After all it won't be fair-----I can certainly see myself asking this question)

Jesus' answer is profound,  "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow Me!" John 21:22

In other words~~~~it isn't any of our business.

We know that John did not remain on earth until Jesus' second return.  But this wasn't the point.  The point was that it wasn't Peter's job to know about John's future and to compare himself to John.  Peter's job was to FOLLOW JESUS.

And this is our job: to follow Jesus.

Life has not been fair to most of us, but our job remains the same----to FOLLOW JESUS. Thankfully, we are not the same as other people, and so we should never compare ourselves to others no matter what the circumstances or no matter how difficult it is for us to control our thoughts.

To follow Jesus we need to keep our eyes on Him (PRAY and READ HIS WORD ) and do what He wants us to do no matter what anyone else has of ours or does to us.

2) Capturing our thoughts:  God doesn't want us to be going down wrong roads of thinking, especially if these thoughts are feeding our desire to hate, become more jealous and go deeper into anger.  If we do not stop ourselves now when the pain is so very great--------then when we are finally blessed with a solution from the LORD, we will just continue with that ugly sin cropping up EVEN when we finally get the blessing of what we have  really desired.  This ugly sin will overshadow our joy in some way----because we will have fed this sin over time, practicing it so very often that it has become an incredibly ugly habit.

Let's choose not do this any more.

"Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy."
Proverbs 14:10

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."
Hebrews 12:15

".....taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

As handmaidens of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit in you to help you choose the right response to whatever happens in your life.  Some of our hurts are true agonies, and it will not be an easy road for us to choose rightly because the pain is so great~~the loss is so profound, but your efforts with the Spirit will glorify God when you begin to capture your thoughts and Follow Jesus.

May you see the incredible blessings as you choose rightly.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Beauty of Home Education:

Snow days:  you can still learn no matter what the weather 

Gym class:  no stress

Extracurricular activities:  use your imagination; the sky is the limit!

Calmness at home:  worth more than pure gold

Father’s work schedule:  schooling and family time can make a better fit

No deprograming time:  you will notice the difference!

Spending as much time as possible on what counts

Great field trips to interesting places anytime of the year

Reading good books which are also are good for you

Learning true history

Melding a family together

Learning to be cohesive with all ages

No school food

Learning how to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner

The family pet sits with you while you do your work

Everyone receives more in all the learning

No government indoctrination

Vacations anytime of the year

The principal, dad, puts the kabosh on any disrespect to the teacher, mom or dad, in a timely manner

Imagination is cultivated

Individual curriculum tailored to each student

Do you have any ideas to add to the list?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Joy comes in the morning

Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5b

"Til the Storm Passes By

In the dark of the midnight
Have I oft hid my face,
While the storm howls above me,
And there's no hiding place.
'Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry,
"Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by"

  'Til the storm passes over,
  'Til the thunder sounds no more,
  'Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
  Hold me fast
  let me stand
  In the hollow of Thy hand;
  Keep me safe
  'til the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispered,
"There is no need to try,
For there's no end of sorrow;
There's no hope by and by."
But I know Thou art with me,
And tomorrow I'll rise
Where the storm never darkens the skies.

When the long night has ended,
And the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence
On that bright, peaceful shore.
In that land where the tempest
Never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

by Mosie Lister

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How many times should we say "no"?

As mothers we need to say "no" a lot.  There are many safety issues we must deal with, and many things that the answer must just be, "no".

Our world is crazy and kooky and just down-right fallen.  Life is not like when we grew up or even like when my own children grew up. 

Still~~~~we want to allow childhood to be as free and open as possible.  Sometimes we need to think creatively at what can be safe and fun for our little ones where the answer to the question, "can we...?"  will be a "YES!".

Years ago we lived on a fairly quiet street.  Not much traffic, no side walks or curbs, although there was the grassy indent next to the road which filled with rain with any downpours.  My children were little, but not toddlers.  They were not allowed to play near the road.  They knew the trees they could not go past which would put them in the "no" zone.  I would sit on the concrete steps of the house and they would play happily.  

One day we had a big downpour, the indent was filled and I was asked if they could play in the "lake" by the road.  My son had just received a simple wooden sail boat that year and they wanted to let it sail!  The answer was "no," but as I contemplated how it would be so fun for them, I brought them back and talked about how the "lake" is by the road where they can not play.  I then explained the new special rules of playing in the "lake".
Those days will never be forgotten by me.  They played so joyously, as well as followed every rule.  It is good to say , "yes" at times.

Five years later we were in another home, this time on a hill with curbs.  They were now older, the move had been okay, and the season very hot and dry.   The summer days were full of fun at the new home.  Then the day came when we had a wonderful thunderstorm.  It rained and rained as we watched from the windows.  After a while the thunder stopped, but the rain continued.  I said "get your flip flops on!"  as I ran to get the big umbrella.  They walked and stomped up and down the road along the curbs, with rain gushing down the gutters.  Eventually the umbrella was just a prop as they were as wet as their feet.  So many laughs and giggles.  I am sure the neighbors wondered about us, but another memory was made that will never be forgotten.

As mothers we can be creative to be able to say, "yes" more often even if it is not what they expect.  Life is full of "no," so let's keep thinking how we can make memories with "yes".

He Is the Light

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchased of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission---all is at rest,
 I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915)

He giveth me songs in the night.

Fanny Crosby began writing hymns to glorify God when she turned forty.  She had been blinded in infancy by a doctor's error, but in her hymns she showed no bitterness only joy. 

"Redeemed and so happy in Jesus" is not just a line that sounds good in a hymn, it is the story of Fanny's life.  She was blinded to the light in this world, but had the light of Jesus in her soul.

Love is also a major topic in her work where she regularly marvels at God's love.  A beautiful example for each of us to mirror.

Fanny wrote thousands of hymns in her life time.  In the year 1873, Phoebe Palmer Knapp, the wife of the founder of Metropolitian Life Insurance Company, composed a tune and played it for Fanny asking, "What does this tune say?"

When Phoebe turned around she saw Fanny kneeling in prayer so she continued to play.  Afterwards Fanny responded "That says, 'Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine!'" 

Adapted from the April 25 and May 1 devotions of the book, The One Year Book of Hymns


Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever I am.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed and so happy in Jesus,
No laughing my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.

I think of my blesssed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.

Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915)