Monday, February 27, 2012

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!!

He Giveth More Grace
by Annie J. Flint
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I don't know if this bothers you....

While shopping at a local store yesterday, a cashier took our twenty dollar bills and made a comment about how crisp and new they were.

Not surprisingly, my Beloved answered by saying, “Yes, and this will be the norm as along as the government continues to print them out without any backing.”

To our surprise her reply was, “Keep them coming, as long as I get some, suggesting that people ~her~ deserve something for nothing.

We were incredulous at her logic, which in reality is illogic. 

Our final response brought up a little history lesson for her, explaining Germany's economy after WWI when literally a wheel barrow full of money would buy only one loaf of bread.

Perhaps this little bit of truth will eventually sink in to her young mind because….

Her last response was eye rolling.

I don't know if it bothers you, but it sure bothers me.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
Psalm 20:7

Monday, February 20, 2012

A pauper, I walk with a King


Unworthy am I of the grace that He gave-
Unworthy to hold to His hand.
Amazed that a King would reach down to a slave,
This I can not understand.

Unworthy, unworthy, a beggar in bondage and alone
But He made me worthy and now by His grace,
His mercy has made me His own.

My sorrow and sickness laid stripes on His back-
My sins caused the blood that was shed.
My faults and my failures have woven a crown of thorns
That He wore on His head.

Unworthy, unworthy, a beggar in bondage and alone
But He made me worthy and now by His grace,
His mercy has made me His own.

Unworthy am I of the glory to come
Unworthy with angels to sing
I thrill just to know that He loved me so much
A pauper, I walk with a King.

Unworthy, unworthy, a beggar in bondage and alone
But He made me worthy and now by His grace,
His mercy has made me His own.

By Ira Stamphill

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love is Kind

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

Kindness is love in action.  

If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. 

Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing.  

One is preventive, the other is proactive.  These two sides of love are the cornerstones on which many [other attributes are built.]

Love makes you kind.  And kindness makes you likable.  When you're kind, people want to be around you.  They see you as being good to them and good for them.

The Bible keys in on the importance of kindness:   "Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good repute in sight of God and man" (Proverbs 3:3-4).  Kind people simply find favor wherever they go.  Even at home.  But "kindness" can feel a little generic when you try defining it, much less living it.  So let's break kindness down into four basic ingredients:

When you're operating from kindness, you're careful how you treat your spouse, never being unnecessarily harsh.  You're sensitive.  Tender.  Even if you need to say hard things, you'll bend over backwards to make your rebuke or challenge as easy to hear as possible.  You speak truth in love.

Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment.  If it's housework, you get busy.  A listening ear?   You give it.  Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights.  Kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, then motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met---even if his are put on hold.

Kindness inspires you to be agreeable.  Instead of being obstinate, reluctant, or stubborn, you cooperate, you stay flexible.  Rather than complaining and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate.  A kind husband ends thousands of potential arguments by his willingness to listen first rather than demand his way.

Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step.  It doesn't sit around waiting to be prompted or coerced before getting off the couch.  The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles firsts, serves first, and forgives first.  They don't require the other to get his or her act together before showing love.  When acting from kindness, you see the need, then make your move first.

Jesus creatively described the kindness of love in His parable of the Good Samaritan, found in the Bible---Luke, chapter 10.  A Jewish man attacked by robbers is left for dead on a remote road.  Two religious leaders, respected among their people, walk by without choosing to stop.  Too busy.  Too important.  Too fond of clean hands.  But a common man of another race---the hated Samaritans, whose dislike for the Jews was both bitter and mutual---sees this stranger in need and is moved with compassion.  Crossing all cultural boundaries and risking ridicule, he stops to help the man.  Bandaging his wounds and putting him on his own donkey, he carries him to safety and pays all his medical expenses out of his own pocket.

Where years of racism had caused strife and division, one act of kindness brought two enemies together,  Gently.  Helpfully.  Willingly.  Taking the initiative, this man demonstrated true kindness in every way.

Wasn't kindness one of the key things that drew you and your spouse together in the first place?  When you married, weren't you expecting to enjoy his or her kindness for the rest of your life?  Didn't your mate feel the same way about you?  Even though the years can take the edge off that desire, your enjoyment in marriage is still linked to the daily level of kindness expressed.

 The Bible describes a woman whose husband and children bless and praise her.  Among her noble attributes are these: "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" (Proverbs 31:26).  How about you?  How would your husband or wife describe you on the kindness meter?  How harsh are you?  How gentle and helpful?  Do you wait to be asked, or do you take the initiative to help? Don't wait for your spouse to be kind first.

It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation.  But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. 

Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. 

You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.

From The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick, day 2, emphasis mine.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love is Patient

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Love works.  It is life's most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize.  It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems.  We are born with a lifelong thirst for love.  Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen.  Love changes our motivation for living.  Relationships become meaningful with it.  No marriage is successful without it.

Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is.  Those pillars are patience and kindness.  All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes. ... 

Love will inspire you to become a patient person.  When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation.  You are slow to anger.  You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper.  Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you.  Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.

No one likes to be around an impatient person.  It causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways.  The irony of anger toward a wrongful action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own.  Anger almost never makes things better.  In fact, it usually generates additional problems.  But patience stops problems in their tracks.  More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath.  It clears the air.  It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room.  It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.

If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control?  Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly?  If so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.

Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief.  You don't get what you want and you start heating up inside.  It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives.

Patience, however, makes us wise.  It doesn't rush to judgement but listens to what the other person is saying.  Patience stands in the doorway where anger is clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgement.  The Bible says, "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29).

As sure as a lack of patience will turn your home into a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet.  "A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute" (Proverbs 15:18).  Statements like these from the Bible book of Proverbs are clear principles with timeless relevance.  Patience is where love meets wisdom.  And every marriage needs that combination to stay healthy.

Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human.  It understands that everyone fails.  When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it.  It gives you the ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under pressure.

But can your spouse count on having a patient wife or husband to deal with?  Can she know that locking her keys in the car will be met by your understanding rather than a demeaning lecture that makes her feel like a child?  Can he know that cheering during the last seconds of a football game won't invite a loud-mouthed laundry list of ways he should be spending his time?  It turns out that few people are as hard to live with as an impatient person.

What would the tone and volume of your home be like if you tried this biblical approach: "See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another" (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally.  But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationships.  That's a good starting point to demonstrate true love.

[Learning patience is a process which you need to think of] as a marathon, not a sprint.  But it's a race worth running."

From The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick, day 1, emphasis mine

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Better Than A Hallelujah

God loves a lullaby In a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

God loves the drunkard's cry
The soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Songwriters: Hart, Sarah; Hartford, Chapin;

Our Victory in Christ

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
 1 Peter 5:5-7

In the same way 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.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:26-28

Monday, February 6, 2012

How should we respond?

Wouldn't life be wonderful and rather "easy" if our life's troubles all worked out like in the Christian movies*?  In the movies as soon as you become a Believer everything turns out well.   But in real life there are many hard and difficult things that can occur which may never be resolved, and as His children it is how we respond to these things that matters the most.

What is your response?

As a new creation I have the Holy Spirit living in me.  God works in and through me with His Holy Spirit.  I have Him helping me through every trial~~~if I allow it.  Through Him I can let go of all the things I desperately hold on to (because I think I can control them).  And as we all eventually learn---we really have no control.   Sometimes "life" just happens.

I don't have to respond to any trial in sin.   I don't have to allow sin to rule in my life.   I can let the Holy Spirit rule.  As I allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life and I deal with each issue, I draw closer to God.  As I draw closer to God I am pressed into His image. 


When it all comes down to it, drawing nearer to God is really what we want. We desire to follow Him, obey Him, and glorify Him.

As a very dear friend has said to me,

"The only thing we can control is how much we allow ourselves to draw near to God."

This world is not our home.  It is sin filled and bad things occur.  We are surrounded in this fallen world.  The greatest factor of all is our God.  He will be with us through all of our storms.  He will give us wisdom and strength as we draw near to Him and learn to be more like Him.

Let's get back into real life and respond rightly for Him!

*About Christian movies: I love Fly Wheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous... They inspire and encourage us, but in real life we can not always expect complete recovery - that only happens in fiction. Sometimes God does work lots of tough things out, so continue to live trusting Him and with anticipation of how He will work.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Hunchback

B-17 Bomber Bird

I grew up in a family who loved birds.  We enjoyed feeding them and observing them.  When I became a Believer I began to truly marvel at how God created so many kinds of birds.  It is really awesome when you contemplate these things. 

One of my favorite birds since childhood has been the Mourning Dove.  Years ago, after I met my husband who loves military aircraft, I surprised him when I likened the Mourning Dove to a World War 2 B-17 Bomber.  There is just something about the Dove; how it flys in for a landing, just how it sits around or waddles about.  Just thinking of all of this makes me smile.

This autumn I noticed only one Dove at a time at our feeder.  It became a pattern to only see one; every time, just one.  I did not begin to see more than one at a time until mid-January.   Then that sinking feeling came over me and I realized things have definitely changed.

Our state has had a controversy for years about people wanting to be able to hunt the Mourning Dove.  I think this law passed for this last year's hunting season.  I suppose I knew it was inevitable, so the "sting" was lessened - but not my sadness for the seemingly needless loss of beauty.

Across our state you can now lay bait to hunt these beautiful birds from one half hour before sunrise until sunset, from September 1 through November 9, with your daily limit of only 15 birds.

I suppose you would need that many Mourning Doves to feed a family of four for one meal.   Sorry, not facts, just sarcasm.

I know the "powers that be" study all of this for every animal and bird that is to be hunted so they have enough for years to come.  As for the Mourning Dove, I understand people love the challenge of hunting~~~even for a little bird that pretty much just sits there as an easy target - especially when food is laid out for it.  People probably think that doves really taste good and I am okay with that.  It is just difficult for me to know that a beautiful bird at my feeder is on the hunted list.  

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining about hunting or guns or hunters.  I think all of that is fine.  I'm just a city girl who likes to purchase her birds at the meat counter of Fareway, and so all of this makes me completely look forward to glory where the lion will lay down with the lamb and the birds of the air just proclaim the work of His hands.

So please don't tell me you love to hunt my beautiful, bomber bird.  And if you are having us over for dinner serving Mourning Dove---I think I'll pass. Meanwhile, it is SANCTUARY* for all doves in my yard!

*Sanctuary!   Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939

Saturday, February 4, 2012


It has been said,

"Common Sense is no longer common".

I have wondered if this is a new phenomenon or have people
always been this way.  What I have learned from speaking with
people at large is that thinking logically seems to be gone.  For
generations now our culture has taught that individual thinking
is wrong.  In general, the popular thought is that we must think
and do as the media and elite proclaim.

But we are new creations in Jesus and His desire is that we use
wisdom as we think, contemplate, discern.  We are to use
common sense and logic as we live each day.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another,
just as you also are doing.

But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those
who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you
in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem
them very highly in love because of their work.

Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren,
admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the
weak, be patient with everyone.

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always
seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
abstain from every form of evil.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;
and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete,
without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-24 

Friday, February 3, 2012


It says in Ephesians 4:11-13 that Jesus gave some
as apostles, as prophets, as evangelists, as pastors
and teachers. 

 The reason was to prepare and equip fellow
Christians to be able to work for the LORD in His
truth and to encourage each other in Jesus.

We are to do this to acheive the unity of
the faith, understanding the knowledge of the
Son of God, and to a mature in the fullness of

This is the result of contemplating on wisdom as we think
and discern these things:

As a result, we are no longer to be children,
tossed here and there by waves and carried
about by every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, by craftiness in
deceitful scheming;
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow
up in all aspects into Him who is the head,
even Christ,
from whom the whole body, being fitted and
held together by what every joint supplies,
according to the proper working of each
individual part, causes the growth of the body
for the building up of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:14-16

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Clear thinking and discernment in our culture seem to have been pitched out the window.  Have you noticed in conversations with people that it doesn't take long to realize how many have been deceived into the lies that permeate our society, and even the world.

As new creations in the salvation Jesus Christ gave us, we need to think and discern Biblically with all that we see and hear.  Don't just believe what you hear~~~check it out logically and in God's truth, and then take action.  In your sphere of influence share God's truth in whatever the subject matter is.   Your gentle conversations may be what other people need to hear to be set free from deception's web of destruction.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted
and now being built up in Him and established
in your faith, just as you were instructed,
and overflowing with gratitude.
See to it that no one takes you captive
through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the tradition of men,
according to the elementary principles of the world,
rather than according to Christ.
Colossians 2:6-8

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Real thinking is nothing without wisdom.  If we are new creations in Jesus then our wisdom must not come from the world.  Our wisdom must be from the God of the Bible. This is where we think Biblically.

Wisdom Warns:

Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

“Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
“They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
“So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
“But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
Proverbs 1:20-33