Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Compared to What?

When my son was in elementary school, he brought home a test with a poor grade.  Before I could say anything, he started his defense.  

“If you think this is bad, you should see David’s!  He missed twice as many as I did!”

Making comparisons seems to be built into our DNA.  What better way to push the attention away from ourselves?

“You think I’m driving fast?  What about the guy who just zoomed past me?”

“You think our lawn has too many weeds?  What about the Wilsons’ yard down the street—-their lawn is like a jungle.”

“You think I’m messy?  You ought to see Nathan’s room.  He can’t even find his bed.”

All of us can find someone who has a few more faults than we do.

When it comes to our status before God, this line is so familiar:  

“I may not be perfect, but I’m no worse than the next person.”  

The idea is that if we are a half step ahead of someone else, then God will think we’re okay.  We carefully select someone with whom we can compare favorably.  

Convenient, isn't it?

God declared that there is one standard—-Jesus Christ—-and that we are to compare ourselves only to Him “who never sinned” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  

That changes the picture, doesn't it?  Honestly comparing ourselves with Jesus Christ reveals the truth—-that “we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

Realizing how inadequate we are is the first step to getting right with God.  

Only the people who make an honest appraisal of themselves and recognize their sins will seek God’s pardon.  And God “will not reject a broken and repentant heart”  (Psalm 51:17).  

Forgiveness and salvation are for those who recognize that they don't measure up.

You need only to acknowledge your sins, turn to God, and by faith, acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Savior.  

When you do, you’ll receive “the right to become children of God”  (John 1:12), with eternal life as your inheritance.

Jim Kraus, from Have a Good Day, Mt. Morris IL.

Monday, October 26, 2015

...Still hoping...

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; 
it is attained by a righteous life." 
Proverbs 16:31


"Trust is hope with gray hair.  

A little older, 

a little wiser, 

still waiting, 

still anticipating, 

still hoping -- 

but believing at the same time.  

Believing in the order and the good, even when it can't always be seen.  

Trust is the older sister of hope who lives with quiet confidence, 

standing tall in a world that she doesn't always understand.  

She teaches us to close our eyes, 

click our ruby slippers and whisper 

"there's no place like hope".

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Modern Baby

“The hand that rocks the cradle”—but there is no such hand;
It is bad to rock the baby, they would have us understand;
So the cradle’s but a relic of the former foolish days
When mothers reared their children in unscientific ways—
When they jounced them and they bounced them, 
these poor dwarfs of long ago—
The Washingtons and Jeffersons and Adamses, you know.

They warn us that the baby will possess a muddle brain

If we dandle him or rock him—we must carefully refrain;
He must lie in one position, never swayed and never swung,
Or his chance to grow to greatness will be blasted while he’s young.
Ah! To think how they were ruined by their mothers long ago—
The Franklins and the Putnams and the Hamiltons, you know.

Then we must feed the baby by the schedule that is made,

And the food that he is given must be measured out or weighed.
He may bellow to inform us that he isn’t satisfied,
But he couldn't grow to greatness if his wants were all supplied.
Think how foolish nursing stunted those poor weaklings, long ago—
The Shakespeares and the Luthers and the Buonapartes, you know.

We are given a great mission, we are here today on earth

To bring forth a race of giants, and to guard them from their birth,
To insist upon their freedom from rocking that was bad
For our parents and their parents, scrambling all the brains they had.
AH! If they’d been fed by schedule would they have been stunted so?
The Websters and the Lincolns and the Roosevelts, you know?

William Croswell Doane


Trust the LORD in THIS Day

Matthew 6:34
“So do not worry about tomorrow; 

for tomorrow will care for itself.

 Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Upgrading Your Entertainment Center

by Gary Brookins

No Wonder We are Starving!

The old hymns...we love them.  It isn't taste, and we aren't stuck in a rut, but we love the glory and adoration expressed well in the doctrinally sound words which was part of our precious worship to our great and almighty God!

But the "church" seems to think that young people can't handle the old treasured hymns. The "church" seems to think the old hymns are making the young people leave the church.  It doesn't matter what the words say; doctrine doesn't seem to matter to the "church".

I have always thought, "I was young, and I could sing them, and I liked them, and I loved them."  But the "church" does not listen to "old people"~~the young are all that matter.

So we all attend our assemblies week after week, and as the time zips by we are starving for real MEAT in our singing praise to the LORD!

Please check out T. David Gordon's article, The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship Music: 8 Reasons which expresses what has been occurring including a new trend with a swing back to the treasured words we love to sing praise to our LORD:

"...Contemporary worship music hymns not only were/are comparatively poor; they had to be. One generation cannot successfully “compete” with 50 generations of hymn-writers; such a generation would need to be fifty times as talented as all previous generations to do so. If only one-half of one percent (42 out of over 6,500) of Charles Wesley’s hymns made it even into the Methodist hymnal, it would be hubristic/arrogant to think that any contemporary hymnist is substantially better than he. Most hymnals are constituted of hymns written by people with Wesley’s unusual talent; the editors had the “pick of the litter” of almost two thousand years of hymn-writing. In English hymnals, for instance, we rarely find even ten of Paul Gerhardt’s 140 hymns, even though many musicologists regard him as one of Germany’s finest hymnwriters. Good hymnals contain, essentially, “the best of the best,” the best hymns of the best hymnwriters of all time; how could any single generation compete with that?..."

"Just speaking arithmetically, one would expect that, at best, each generation could represent itself as well as other generations, permitting hymnal editors to continue to select “the best of the best” from each generation. Were this the case, then one of every fifty hymns we sing should be from one of the fifty generations since the apostles, and, therefore, one of every fifty should be contemporary, the best of the current generation of hymnwriters. Perhaps this is what John Frame meant when, in the second paragraph of his book on CWM, he indicated that he had two goals for his book: to explain some aspects of CWM and to defend its “limited use” in public worship. Perhaps Prof. Frame thought one out of fifty constituted “limited use,” or perhaps he might have permitted as much as one out of ten, I don’t know. But our generation of hymnwriters, while talented and devout, are not more talented or more devout than all other generations, and are surely not so by a ratio of fifty-to-one..."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dried Apple Pies

I loathe, abhor, detest, despise, 
Abominate dried-apple pies.

I like good bread, I like good meat,
Or anything that’s fit to eat;
But of all poor grub beneath the skies, 
The poorest is dried apple pies.

Give me the toothache, or sore eyes,
But don’t give me dried apple pies.

The farmer takes his gnarliest fruit,
’Tis wormy, bitter, and hard, to boot;
He leaves the hulls to make us cough,
And don’t take half the peeling off.

Then on a dirty cord ’tis strung
And in a garret window hung, 
And there it serves as roost for flies,
Until it’s made up into pies.

Tread on my corns, or tell me lies,
But don’t pass me dried-apple pies.



*Also known as "C.O.L." :  "Cat on Lap". Just stating, "C.O.L." can get you out of any duty around the house.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Here's the Thing"...

...with musings from City Farmgirl, Rebekah Teal:

"Braids are always in style"

"Wear an apron with pockets and use them"

Page 96, Mary Jane Farm, Feb/Mar 2015.

Sour Cream Forever

My name is Patrick Spudnut, photographer by trade.
I've traveled this world over, some think I got it made.
But while I film the world of fashion,
I really have a secret passion.
I spend all my cash on sour cream.

Yes, while I film the world of fashion,
I really have a secret passion,
I spend all my cash on sour cream.

Sour cream forever, emblazoned on my heart
You know I can't forget you; I told you from the start.
But if I ramble now and then
You know I will return again
Because I can't forget you, sour cream.

Yes, if I ramble now and then
You know I will return again
Because I can't forget you, sour cream.

Sour cream, in salad or in soup
With you inside me I can really loop the loop the loop.
Civilization will flower
Black, brown, and white can have cow power.
When we all have plenty of sour cream.

Civilization will flower
Black, brown, and white can have cow power.
When we all have plenty of sour cream.

Pete Seeger

Friday, October 16, 2015

As political as I get---

My hope is in God. 

The God of the Bible. 

The One who sent His Son, 

the Creator of this whole universe,

including all of us.

No one through time,

besides Jesus Christ, my Savior,

could save us from ourselves.

If you choose to read the sad, but true "why" our beloved country has slipped away, 

check out Matt Walsh's commentary.  

Although the subject may be on Democrats, Republicans are a close second---I play no favorites.

Psalm 20:7
"Now I know the Lord gives victory
    to his anointed.
He will answer him from the holy heavens
    with a strong arm that brings victory.
Some rely on chariots, others on horses,
    but we on the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
    but we stand strong and firm."

Injuries Avoided!

Silly, but true!

Our ridiculous, horrendous October 2014 bike accident could have been more serious if our heads had hit the pavement--we now wear helmets!

This is your mother speaking.....wear your helmet!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Real Dignity, by Joni

"A way of promoting a culture of life"

"Choose life and not death!"
2 Kings 18:32

His name was Nathan. He was severely brain-injured, and I couldn't help but notice the way his elderly parents doted over him. While Dad pushed him around the Joni and Friends' Family Retreat, Mom constantly had her hand on Nathan's arm. They were at his side, wiping his mouth, smoothing his hair, and taking him to every Bible study and snack-shop fellowship. Nathan couldn't speak, but that didn't stop his folks from introducing him to every attendee of the retreat.

As I watched this incredible threesome, I thought, Many people would think Nathan would be better off dead than so severely disabled. They'd pity him...his elderly parents, too. That's why the physician-assisted suicide laws which are cropping up in various states are so dangerous. It's bad enough that doctors can help people with terminal illnesses commit suicide. But now, the lines between a terminal illness and a disability like Nathan's are beginning to blur. That's bad news for people like him.

No one should feel they have to die to have dignity...or die to be relieved of pain or depression...or to stop being a burden to their family or society. This is why it's so important for Christians to work to promote the gospel; 

it's a way of promoting a culture of life. 

Nathan's parents left our Family Retreat refreshed, believing God had a plan and purpose for their son's disability. This is what gives a person dignity!

Consider volunteering at a Joni and Friends' Family Retreat next year. You'll spread the love of Christ among people like Nathan, as well as lob a hand grenade into society's pity-the-poor-unfortunate mentality. You'll be obliterating fundamental fears about disability. You'll be reinforcing the God-honoring truth that people are not better off dead than disabled. Thank you for promoting a culture of life today. If he were able, Nathan would say the same.

Lord Jesus, thank You for being the Prince of Life, the Resurrection and the Life, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


Joni and Friends

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sorrow is great to suffer our slow compassion

The Sin of Omission

It isn’t the thing you do, dear, 
It’s the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
At setting of the sun.
The tender word forgotten, 
The letter you did not write,
The flowers you did not send, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother’s way;
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle, winning tone
Which you had no time nor thought for
With troubles enough of your own.

Those little acts of kindness
So easily out of mind,
Those chances to be angels
Which we poor mortals find —
They come in night and silence,
Each sad, reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging,
And a chill has fallen on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all too great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late;
And it isn’t the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of a heartache
At the setting of the sun.

Margaret E. Sangster
From The Best Loved Poems of the American People


Monday, October 12, 2015

Nothing is something when abiding in Him

"Rest is not idleness, 
and to lie sometimes on the grass 
under the trees on a summer's day, 
listening to the murmur of water, 
or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, 
is by no means a waste of time."
-John Lubbock, 1894


Sometimes, as Believers, we think we are doing nothing, as we wait for the LORD in our situations.

But waiting is something.  

It is crying out to Him, thinking on Him, His Word, and what it means to Him and then for me.

"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:1-3

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."
John 15:10

"the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked."
1 John 2:6

A Beautiful Thing


when seasoned with 

grace and godly wisdom,

is a BEAUTIFUL thing."



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dignity in Womanhood

1Peter 3:3-6
"Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 

but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 

For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Revived! Fields of Flowers!

"I will walk at liberty, in freedom, for I seek Your precepts."
Psalm 119:45

Once I was lost...but now I am saved!

Glory to God!

The Holy Spirit NEVER gives false alarms. NEVER.

Abusers ALWAYS Work to Make Us Look Bad
by Jeff Crippen

"Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: "Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Should he argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which he can do no good? But you are doing away with the fear of God and hindering meditation before God. For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you." (Job 15:1-6)

I don't know if Elphaz was an abuser as we define the abuser or not, but certainly he was abusing Job here through false accusations. At minimum he was an ally of Job's enemy (Satan) duped into thinking Job was guilty of sin and was being punished by God.  But we can learn at least two things from Eliphaz' biting words of "counsel" here:

Abusers always, always, always work to make their target look and feel guilty. Job is righteous, but Eliphaz lays it on him, heaping on load after load of accusations. "God is against you, Job. You are lying. The mess you are in is the result of your own evil doings. You are condemned by your own words."
What abusers accuse their victim of is the very evil THEY are guilty of doing. Eliphaz, not Job, is the one here whose "iniquity teaches his mouth" and who "chooses the tongue of the crafty." Eliphaz' accusations are true in an ironic way - they apply to HIM.  
Abusers want to have power and control, and they know that people who lack self-confidence and who are weighed down with guilt and blame and shame are much easier to control than someone who sees the truth clearly. So put-downs are the name of their game, the currency in which they deal.

And this can help us identify an abuser.

If you are in any kind of relationship with a person who (you have to think carefully about this to get through the fog)...with a person who regularly makes you feel guilty, shamed, and blamed, then at minimum that person is an unsafe person to relate to. At worst they are an abuser. We aren't talking about a true friend who wants to help (for your own welfare) by pointing some problem out in your character, nor are we speaking of a police officer who tells you that you are guilty of running a red light (when you did). No, the person we have in mind is the person who feigns to be a friend or who claims to be a Christian, but who (in contrast to most all the other people you know) "hits you in the gut" with his words right out of the blue with a fair degree of regularity. And you thought they were just trying to be a good Christian by telling you these things, right? So you believed them. You wore the guilt trip they wanted you to wear. You looked bad. You looked guilty.

Just what the culprit wanted.

We need to develop a kind of "wisdom radar" that alerts us to these kinds of people so that we come to understand exactly what it is they are up to. And then do whatever we can to get out of relationship with them. How many church members who claim to be Christians need to be called on the carpet here, exposed for all to see, because "the poison of asps is under their lips" as Paul says?  How much grief and trouble would be replaced by joy and peace if this kind were put out from among us?

And by the way. That "wisdom radar" really is already installed in our ROM operating system that the Lord gives EACH one of His genuine people. It is called the Spirit of God in us, the Spirit of truth exposing the spirit of error and evil. Unfortunately through false teaching and naivete, many Christians today treat the warnings of the Spirit in them pretty much like a car alarm.  "Warning, warning...beep, beep, beep....Oh, never mind, some knucklehead must have set off your car alarm. Disregard."

The Holy Spirit NEVER gives false alarms. NEVER.

*Thank you to Jeff Crippen*

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hug everybody while you can!

I will not play tug o’ war.
I’d rather play hug o’ war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, 
where everyone giggles 
and rolls on the rug,
where everyone kisses, 
and everyone grins, 
and everyone cuddles, 
and everyone wins.

Shel Silverstein

“Here’s The Thing”,
 page 96,

"Hug everybody while you can. 

squeezy hug. 

A grunty hug. 

A real hug."

 by Rebekah Teal

Monday, October 5, 2015

So, how well do you bounce?

Life is not about 
how fast you run 
or how high you climb, 
but how well you bounce.
—Tigger (A. A. Milne)


Colossians 1:15-23
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, 
visible and invisible, 
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and for Him.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

He is also head of the body, the church; 
and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, 
so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 
and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself
having made peace through the blood of His cross; 
through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

And although you were formerly alienated 
and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 
yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, 
in order to present you before Him 
holy and blameless and beyond reproach—

*if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, 
and not moved away from the hope of the gospel 
that you have heard,*

which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, 
and of which I, Paul, was made a minister."

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Let me share it with you...

This week I spent time with a precious, retired pastor and his wife who are in their 80’s. They have practically “seen it all”, but our continually, corrupting culture is wearing at them, as well as it is doing so with us.

This gentle man came out to say 'hello' to me, and then began to share that he was reading through Romans and how it struck him again how precious this book is to him.  

“Let me share it with you”,  he said, meanwhile, relaxing in his chair and closing his eyes to concentrate. 

Slowly, he “walked” through Romans with us…the necessity of the gospel of Jesus…our desperate condition showing our need of the Savior…our justification by faith in Jesus…our victory over sin because of the Savior.  It was all the doctrines of the Christian faith.

I was relaxed and mesmerized by the familiar words and his gentle way of preaching.  It was a 'break' from the chaos of this world which is all around us.  He reminded himself, plus his lovely wife and I, of what our reality is in Christ, even though we are living in the craziness of this world until He returns.

Praises to our God and King!

"This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has revived me!"
Psalm 119:50

Let's keep reminding ourselves and each other while it is still today.

"But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."
Hebrews 3:13

Revived! Sunsets!

My soul cleaves to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.

Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me through Your righteousness.
Psalm 119: 25,40

A Universal Language

"Kindness is the language

which the deaf can hear 

and the blind can see."
Samuel Clemens

A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!
Proverbs 15:23