Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gray hair is the Splendor of the old.

Proverbs 20:29b

They say that I am growing old; 
I've heard them say times untold,
In language plain and bold--
but I am not growing old.
This frail old shell in which I dwell 
is growing old, I know full well!
But I am not the shell.
What if my hair is turning gray; 
gray hairs are honorable they say.
What if my eyesight's growing dim; 
I still can see to follow Him
Who sacrificed His life for me--
upon the Cross at Calvary!

Why should I care if time's old plough 
has left its furrows on my brow?
Another house, not made with hands 
awaits me in the Glory Land.
What though I falter in my walk 
and though my tongue refuse to talk?
I still can tread the narrow way; 
I still can watch and praise and pray!
The robe of flesh I'll drop 
and rise to seize the everlasting prize
I'll meet you on the streets of gold 
and prove I am NOT growing old.

by Ernest Barkaway


by Dan Forrest/Dustin Battle

“How long, My God, will You neglect My prayer?
Will You forget these tears of dark despair?
Yet not My will, but Yours alone be done:
Forsake not man, but Me—Your sinless Son.
I, Christ the Son, obey Your great command,
Enduring punishment for sinful man.
As Son and silent Lamb, I choose this path:
Accept rejection to appease Your wrath.”

“O why, My God, have You forsaken Me?
Why have You now refused My final plea?
Though I cry out in sorrow, pain, and fear,
You turn Your back; in silence, disappear.
I, Christ the Son, bear all their sin alone,
Embracing judgment from Your glorious throne.
As Son and spotless Lamb, I shed My blood
To bring them boldly to Your face, My God.”


Oh, see what Christ Jesus has done to save us from our sins!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Born to set Thy people free!

       Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

        Come, thou long expected Jesus, 
born to set thy people free; 
from our fears and sins release us, 
let us find our rest in thee.  
Israel's strength and consolation, 
hope of all the earth thou art; 
dear desire of every nation, 
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, 
born a child and yet a King, 
born to reign in us forever, 
now thy gracious kingdom bring. 
By thine own eternal spirit 
rule in all our hearts alone; 
by thine all sufficient merit, 

raise us to thy glorious throne.

        by Charles Wesley


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Exchange the Meaning

an excerpt from Joni's Diamonds in the Dust devotional, for January 4:

Father, I present to You today 
the disappointing things in my life 
that hold sad or tragic meaning.  
Turn my darkness into light.  
Exchange the sadness for hope.  
Let me see these things as symbols 
of Your loving and sovereign touch. 
I will praise You, for You 
are the God who turns weeping into joy.

...God can exchange the tragic meaning behind accidents or injuries for something new and positive.  The cross is a good example.  What was once a symbol of torture and pain now represents hope and salvation! ...

What are the symbols of tragedy in your life?  A Crutch or hearing aid?  Where you live?  Your appearance or abilities?  God can exchange the meaning of the heartbreak for something hopeful and positive.  God did it at the Cross, and He can do it for you.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Winds of Fate

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
’Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tell us the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
’Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The one who is taught the word 
is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; 
for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

For the one who sows to his own flesh 
will from the flesh reap corruption, 
but the one who sows to the Spirit 
will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:6-8


Are you a witness?

I have lived many joys in my life and I have lived many sorrows.  God has been with me throughout.  

I can look back and "see" His mighty hand touching my circumstances where I gloried in His name then and now.  His hand has also been on me in the sorrows He has allowed to touch me and mine-- at times I may have groaned, "why?", but I can look now and understand how He has been with me even in my deepest agony to this day.

I contemplated all this as I was thinking of the "care takers" in our world: police, firemen, medical profession, pastors, social workers, senior care facilities, friends, neighbors...

What sorrows these people witness every day!  I am speaking beyond the physical. I am talking of what they witness in the human condition of sin, how people treat each other.  How family members mistreat each other in cruel and petty ways.  It must become overwhelming at times for them.  It certainly overwhelms me.

As for each of us in our own little world, our godly behavior in our own life matters.  No matter if we are dealing with the agonies in our own family unit or among the populace, we need to choose to respond rightly because of who we are in Christ.  

Our own family and the world watches those who claim the Name of Christ.  We must remember that we, as His children, have a perpetual "spotlight" on us, not for us to pretend to be good, but to actually live out our salvation to glorify the LORD.

How is your witness? 

"Life is tough" is an understatement!  Continue, my sisters in Christ, to live for Him in all these tough things in this life and know that the LORD God Almighty is with you!

Galatians 6:9-10
 "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

By Fanny Crosby


Monday, March 23, 2015

Horse Sense

A horse can’t pull while kicking.
This fact I merely mention.
And he can’t kick while pulling,
Which is my chief contention.

Let’s imitate the good old horse
And lead a life that’s fitting;
Just pull an honest load, and then
There’ll be no time for kicking.


Spring has begun....but.....

by Patrick McDonnell

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Spring!

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!
Psalm 150

We are called children of God!

 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, 
that we would be called children of God; 
and such we are. 
For this reason the world does not know us, 
because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1

When we claim the name of Christ it is an honor to call ourselves Christians.  

We "bear the stamp of His character and His reputation.  When people find out that you are a Christian, they should already have an idea of who you are and what you are like simply because you bear such a precious name.

If you were asked to describe yourself, what titles would be first on your list?  

That you are married or single, employed or unemployed?  

Would you then list your hair color or height? 

Or would you immediately respond, "I am a Christian...."?

I'll tell the world that I'm a Christian,
  I'm not ashamed Your name to bear.  
I'll tell the world that I'm a Christian,
  I'll take You with me anywhere. 
I'll tell the world how You have saved me, 
and how You gave me a life brand-new, 
I'll tell the world that I'm a Christian, 
eternal life I'll live with You.

by Baynard L. Fox
excerpt from Joni, Diamonds in the Dust, March 17. 

Our Lips and Ears

If you your lips would keep from slips,
Five things observe with care:
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak, 
And how and when and where.

If you your ears would save from jeers,
These things keep meekly hid:
Myself and I, and mine and my,
And how I do and did.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A significant old Puritan prayer

"There's nothing like an old Puritan prayer for true confession:

Merciful Lord, pardon all my sins of this day, week, year, all the sins of my life, sins of early, middle, and advanced years, of omission and commission, of morose, peevish and angry tempers, of lip, life and walk, of want of bold decision in the cause of Christ, of deficiency in outspoken zeal for His glory....Pardon all my sins, known and unknown, get and unfelt, confessed nd not confessed, remembered or forgotten.  Good Lord, hear; and hearing, forgive."

Bennett, Arthur, The Valley of Vision, The Banner of Truth Trust, Pennsylvania, 1975, p.87.

From Joni's Diamonds in the Dust Devotional

For those who do not drive

Calvin and Hobbes
by Waterson

Here is the Sweetness

“…here is the sweetness of my lot:  
I am a stranger with You.  
You are my co-sufferer, my fellow traveler.  
Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society!  

My heart burns within me 
when You speak with me along the way and, 
though I am a sojourner, 
I am far more blessed than those who sit on thrones, 
and far more at home 
than those who dwell under the ceilings of their houses.


“To me remains nor place, nor time:
My country is in every clime;
I cam be calm and free from care
On any shore, since 
God is there."
author unknown


“Hear my prayer, O Lord, 
and give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
A sojourner like all my fathers."
Psalm 39:12

excerpt from Morning and Evening by Spurgeon, March 16 a.m.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Tapestry Weaver

Let us take to our heart a lesson, 
no braver lesson can be,
From the ways of the tapestry weavers, 
on the other side of the sea.

Above their head the pattern hangs, 
they study it with care,
And as to and fro the shuttle leaps 
their eyes are fastened there.

They tell this curious thing besides, 
of the patient, plodding weaver;
He works on the wrong side evermore, 
but works for the right side ever.

It is only when the weaving stops, 
and the web is loosed and turned,
That he sees his real handiwork, 
that his marvelous skill is learned.

Ah, the sight of its delicate beauty! 
It pays him for all its cost.
No rarer, daintier work than his 
was ever done by the frost!

Then the Master bringeth him golden hire 
and giveth him praise as well,
And how happy the heart of the weaver is, 
no tongue but his can tell.

The years of man are the looms of God, 
let down from the place of the sun,
Wherein we all are weaving, 
till the mystic web is done.

Weaving blindly but weaving surely, 
each for himself his fate;
We may not see how the right side looks, 
we can only weave and wait.

But, looking above for the pattern, 
no weaver hath need to fear;
Only let him look clear into Heaven 
— the perfect Pattern is there.

If he keeps the face of the Saviour 
forever and always in sight,
His toil shall be sweeter than honey, 
and his weaving is sure to be right.

And when his task is ended, 
and the web is turned and shown,
He shall hear the voice of the Master; 
it shall say to him, “Well done!”

An the white-winged angels of heaven, 
to bear him thence shall come down,
And God shall give him gold for his hire 
— not coin, but a crown!

Anson G. Chester

In all that  you are doing for the Lord, dear ones...

Is this what I deserve?!

Hagar the Horrible
by Chris Browne

James 1:2-4
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 
And let endurance have its perfect result, 
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Joni shares in her March 9, 2015, Pearls of Great Price devotional:

"Christians have no reason to be miserable or pessimistic. 
There is no room for gloom and doom when you're a believer. 
If your heart is troubled by pessimism or doubts, 
repeat several times today's verse, especially the part, 
"Consider him who endured... so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." 
This is the secret to finding joy. ConsiderHim.

Lord of Joy, I delight in Your gladness today, 

and I want to honor You by taking up my cross 
and joyfully following You."

Dear ones....in this evil world....do not lose heart....you are not alone.
The Lord God is with you!

Hebrews 12:2-3
"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, 
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, 
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, 
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

God's incredible creation!

Today I watched a dear friend’s Echocardiogram (Cardiac Ultrasound).  In her frailness she lay there while the Sonographer gently performed the test.   I watched the monitor and marveled at the LORD’s design.  Amazing!   

My thoughts eventually considered our intricate brains and our marvelous minds.  All of the medical advances through time have gotten us to where this non-invasive test can help my friend.

Later I was driving home after “tucking” my friend in for the rest of the day.   Our temperatures are above freezing, and our mountains of snow are melting like rushing rapids.  Everywhere I looked along my path homeward, I saw rushing rivulets of melted snow.  Exciting!

The same God who created the heart, in all of its intricacies, created water in all of its amazing attributes.

Praising God with you!

“In the beginning God created….”

Our Creator God is able to do far more than we can imagine.  

Precious sister in Christ...if you are struggling in any way, take comfort at His feet.  He is our strength and our comfort.   Allow yourself to draw nearer to Him.  He can lift your head, He can work in your difficult situations, He can hold you through whatever you are going through.

Praise His name! and live in His joy!