Friday, June 21, 2013

You are always a role model to somebody #2

You are the light of the world. 
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, 
but on the lampstand, 
and it gives light to all who are in the house. 
Let your light shine before men in such a way 
that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Monday, June 17, 2013

Out in the Fields

by Joni

"Your eyes will see the King in his beauty 
and view a land that stretches afar."    
Isaiah 33:17

My favorite paintings and poems are about fields. Perhaps it's because my favorite childhood memories are of running through the huge alfalfa field across the dirt road from our farmhouse. The field was broad and rolling and uncluttered by bushes or trees. I loved to ride my pony across it, especially when the wind would whip thunderheads over its horizon. Its wide expanse made me feel so small, as if the entire alfalfa field could fit into my heart.

Do you recall the feeling of wide-open freedom? Summery, blustery days spent by an open field will do it to you. So will this poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

The little cares which fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fear of what might happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born-
Out in the fields with God.

Pack a picnic this weekend and ask a friend to join you for a jaunt to the country. Find a country road, look for a large field, pull over to the side, and spread your blanket under the shade of a tree (Ken and I did that last summer and ended up inviting a passerby to lunch). Let the sun and the wind and the field -- the bigger the field, the better -- remind you of the wide-opened spaciousness, the broad big freedom we have in Christ.  

I see You, the King in all Your beauty, and heaven, like a land stretching afar. Thank You for such a bright, happy perspective today.


Joni and Friends

Compiled by: Grant, Myrna Reid, Poems for a good and happy life CrossAmerica Books, Garden City, New York, USA, 1997, p.158)

Taken from More Precious Than Silver.  Copyright © 1998 by Joni Eareckson Tada.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bird Watching

Matthew 6:26
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? 

Encouragement to read the Word...

Check out Do you read your Bible?  over at The Watchman's Bagpipes:                             

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Strawberry Harvest

Our best strawberry harvest ever!  This is our second day of picking with many more to come. The berries have never been so sweet or big.

I heard a devotion years ago where the woman expressed how the LORD provides no matter what.  She said, "Pumpkins or peaches".  You may have a bumper crop from pumpkins or peaches, but the LORD will watch over His people.

 Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride... 
...The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold... 
...“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, 
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You are always a role model to somebody

This is a recent New York Life advertisement.  This picture speaks volumes.  What a wonderful idea for them to use for their business as it encourages thinking -- and they hope it is especially about them.

I love this picture but what it makes me think of is how others of any age are watching, learning, and being encouraged by our walk with God.  In the future I will be posting pictures until the someday comes when I run out.

As Christians we are watched by a world  which is sliding fast into a pit far from God.  

Many people throughout time have not known or understood who God really is and what the gospel really means to each of us --  Believer and unbeliever. 

It is pretty easy to realize that your husband watches you and that your children and grandchildren watch you as you live for the LORD.  Family can be very impressionable so we must choose to be persistent in our walk, seeking His face and being obedient to Him.

Out in the world you may live your life for the LORD and yet not realize that you are being watched by people.   They have seen hypocrisy and they have been injured by religions and, sadly, injured by many people in Christianity.  

We have many things which happen in our lives to which we respond.  It is from these responses that the world watches and sees in us who we really are in Christ -- thus who Jesus really is.  

Let God shine through you in the good times and in the bad.  People see the true God when we choose to live our lives consistently for Him.  

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:12

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lifting up my soul to God

The purpose of this list is to intentionally place the focus of our minds and hearts upon that which is true, honorable, upright, etc (Philippians 4:8). 

Psalm 25:   the qualities and attributes of God 


trustworthy (v. 1)

the rewarder of those who wait for Him (v. 3)

faithful to guide His own (vv. 4-5, 10, 12)

the God of my salvation (v. 5b)


filled with lovingkindness (grace) (v. 6)

forgiving…He remembers me, but not my sin!! (vv. 7, 11, 18)

good (v. 8)

upright (v. 8)

the instructor of sinners (v. 8)

provider of justice for the humble (v. 9)

teacher of the humble (v. 9)

companion of the lonely (v. 16)

caretaker of the afflicted (v. 16)

guardian and deliverer (v. 20)

a refuge (v. 20)

Redeemer (v. 22)

What an incredible Psalm! I encourage you to spend  your own time meditating on the attributes of God revealed in Psalm 25 and begin your own “My God Is…” list.

from Paul Tautges, June 7, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Forget None of His Benefits

by Paul Tauges, Counseling One Another,4-3-13.

Deliberately remember these truths from Psalm 103.

He pardons all your iniquities.

He heals all your diseases (if not immediately, He will when He returns).

He redeems your life—not only your soul—from the pit (of destruction and hopelessness).

He loves you, is kind to you, and feels compassion toward you.

He fills you to full with good things.

He renews your strength, causing you to soar like the eagle.

He acts in righteousness and justice toward the oppressed (v. 7 illustrates this).

He is compassionate.

He is gracious.

He is slow to anger, not short-fused.

He abounds in lovingkindness, pours it out, not in trickles.

He will not hold on to His anger against you (that has already been propitiated in Jesus).

He has not treated you as your sins deserve.

His lovingkindness is great toward those who continue to fear Him.

He has removed your transgressions, and their punishments, far from you.

He has compassion on your frail, weakened frame.

His lovingkindness is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting.

His righteousness is to children’s children, i.e. He will be faithful to His promises toward you.

His sovereign rule remains over all, which includes every detail of your life.

Bookends of Praise: Before and after these “benefits,” the psalmist tells himself to Bless the Lord, O my soul!

*Let us do the same.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Joy that seeks me through pain

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that foll'west all my way,
I yield my flick'ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow thru the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go by George Matheson

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

He picks us up in His arms

We spent the evening recently in a public park area.  We were busy talking with different people throughout the night, but as the evening wore on I was captivated by watching the fathers I would see as they walked through the area with their little ones.

I would watch one father after another just walking with their children - one or more children - and then, effortlessly, with no advanced change in pace, various fathers would reach down and lift up one of his little children with his strong arms.  He would lift them to his shoulders, or another would lift them high and then to the ground again.   I saw one father interacting with his little one who was looking up into the tall trees.  The father then gently swooped the child up and onto a tree branch, safely holding on as the child looked around in awe at where he was.  None of the children were surprised or frightened.  They behaved naturally as they were use to being lifted and carried by their fathers in these many different ways.

All of these children and the children through time have been lifted up with the strong arms of there fathers.  None of us probably ever had a thought of how our fathers were so strong to be able to lift us up, we just enjoyed it all in the safety of his arms, and loved him for it.

In the same way, but so much more majestic and awesome is how our Heavenly Father lifts us up. His arms are strong and He can carry us no matter how heavy our burden is.  We can cry out to Him or He can, without warning, swoop us up to a place that is higher than we and there we experience His peace even among the chaos of our lives in this fallen world.  We can know and trust Him in all things even when there seems to be no way in our circumstances.  His arms are stronger and we can rest safely and be in awe of Him---our Heavenly Father.

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Psalm 37:17
For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the Lord sustains  (upholds) the righteous.

Psalm 37:23-24
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

Psalm 41:12
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain (uphold) me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 61:2
From the end of the earth I call to You
when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 63:8
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 119:116-117
Sustain me according to Your word,
that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Uphold me that I may be safe,
That I may have regard for Your statutes continually.

Psalm 145:14
The Lord sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Singing for joy!

The Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
Let the godly one exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming!

One day when Heaven
was filled with His praises
One day when sin was
as black as could be
Jesus came forth to
be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men,
my example is He
Word became flesh and
the light shined among us
His glory revealed

One day they led Him
up Calvary s mountain
One day they nailed Him
to die on a tree
Suffering anguish,
despised and rejected
Bearing our sins,
my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations,
stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could
contain Him no longer
One day the stone rolled
away from the door
Then He arose, over
death He had conquered
Now He's ascended,
my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him,
the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will
sound for His coming
One day the skies with
His glories will shine
Wonderful day,
My Beloved One bringing
My Savior,
Jesus is mine

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried
my sins far away
Rising, He justified
freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day,

Oh glorious day –
Glorious day!

O Glorious Day by John Chapman

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!