Wednesday, August 31, 2016

He Satisfies

"The Lord sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.

You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing."
Psalm 145:14-16

The world is full of many different kinds of "fru-fraw" which is suppose to satisfy each of us. Of course, any of this "fru-fraw" never satisfies us completely, and much of it never satisfies us.

The LORD is who gives us true satisfaction, that which will stay with us through thick and thin. Through Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross for us, we can truly be satisfied.  We can trust Him, we can be safe in Him, we can know that He understands every joy and every sorrow we have, and He will help us through all of it.

Well of water ever spring,
    Bread of life, so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faith,
    My Redeemer is to me.
Hallelujah! I have found Him
    whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings ---
    thru His blood I now am saved.

Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.

“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.

“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit.
Jeremiah 17:5-8

Parts taken from Joni's Diamonds in the Dust, August 5

There is hope for the future!

We can trust in the LORD, especially when things are tough.

Proverbs 3:1-12
"My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
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 the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,

Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights."

Monday, August 29, 2016

What people think

Baby Blues

Oh, LORD, help us to keep our eyes on You!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, 
let us also lay aside every encumbrance 
and the sin which so easily entangles us, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 

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.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tomorrow may be too late

"We will have all of eternity to celebrate the victories and only a few hours before sunset in which to win them."

--Amy Carmichael speaks of the small victories of living our lives for the LORD and sharing our faith when we have opportunities before it is too late.

Live for the LORD now.  

Allow Him to shine through you now.

Be His hands and feet to others now.

Speak of Him to others now.

"Be very careful, then how you live ---not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Feminization of Christianity

After decades of attending congregations across America, and watching the Church systematically falling away from the Word of God, we can actually put our finger on certain reasons (besides the Times we are in).

See the Watchman's Bagpipes to find the link to an excellent article on The Feminization of Christianity 

Those were the days!

Friday, August 26, 2016

I feel gloomy today

"This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

The Pernicious, Evil Art of Manipulation

Midwest Christian Outreach recently wrote a very good article on how certain people can control and manipulate other people (or the masses) in "The Art of Manipulation", August 11, 2016.

I have written in this blog many times on control, manipulation, "Manipulators", Red Flags, legalisms, etc. and so I have aptly titled my own post on MCO's post, "The Pernicious, Evil Art of Manipulation" because I have witnessed it personally way too often, and I know the horrific dangers.

*Thank you to Don and Joy Veinot for their excellent blog post. 

Please read these snippets below, but go to MCO's own article to get the whole picture, and to educate yourselves, plus watch the video on the simple experiment of manipulation.

"Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you behave the way you behave? Peer pressure has a dramatic impact on social conformity. Human beings are quite susceptible to “group behavior,” and have an almost overwhelming desire to imitate the group they are a part of without even questioning why…..

…Peer pressure conformity is not always a bad thing. Moral and ethical behavior is often taught and reinforced in this way. However, our minds should be involved in the process as well. When Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matt. 22:37) He gave us the responsibility to make rational decisions in how we live our lives, which precludes a mindless unquestioning conformity….

…There is today a great push to conform – not only in culture but in the church – to accept, validate and embrace behaviors and ideas which are antithetical to sound biblical teaching….

…Scripture is not opposed to conforming, per se, and in fact, urges Christians to be conformed to the image of Christ. Yet we are warned to use our minds to carefully discern what it is we should be conformed to:

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

The Apostle Peter makes a similar statement:
"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…" (1 Pet. 1:13-15)…

the experiment


I can do this. He has made my feet like hind's feet.

"I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble.

Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,

And makes me walk on my high places."

Habakkuk 3:16-19

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Flying Fingers"

You were a happy, imaginative thing as you grew.  When we were blessed with a piano your talent in music began to shine as it was from the LORD. 

Soon enough you were far beyond my teachings.  Eventually you branched out to violin, viola, and hammered Dulcimer, and you excelled in your musical gifts.

You were unique ---  with your own style.  You played beautifully, although we and your instructor were forever reminding you to "slow down".

As life flew by we realized why the LORD gave you "flying fingers" as fiddle music became your love and expertise.

Recently, at a lodge, a young man performed piano and violin from the balcony during the evening hours.  It was lovely to hear his music floating down as we relaxed in this common area.  He played beautifully, one tune after another, as we enjoyed him.   After he had played many tunes very well, although faster than they had been written, he began a series of fiddle tunes and I was literally stopped. He had "flying fingers".  He was also made to play fiddle music as you were.

I heard your style and my heart ached.  

I longed to see you again, to touch your hand, to embrace you as before.  We miss you so much.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

There is a Fountain filled with Blood

This life on this fallen world is tough to say the least.  Being sad and struggling with sadness is a part of life.  Run to the One who is your safety, and trust Him with your life.

Be encouraged by Joni and William

Power in the Bloodby Joni Eareckson Tada

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  1 John 1:9

It bothers me when I hear people say that only the weak-minded struggle with severe depression. That's 'cause I sometimes get hit hard with more than just downhearted feelings. There are times I feel like disappearing -- I don't want to talk to anyone, and I don't want to face the world.

I'm not the only one who has days like that. I think of them as "the day of evil" spoken about in Ephesians 6. When they come, I hang on for dear life to a couple of well-worn Scriptures that assure me joy will come in the morning.

And I take encouragement that the great hymn writer, William Cowper, suffered from depression. He constantly struggled against suicide. Once he even tried to hang himself. Another time he fell on a knife but the blade broke, and at one point, he threw himself into a river hoping to drown. He had a mental breakdown and was placed in an insane asylum for eighteen months. During his detention, he read Romans 3:25, the part about the blood of Christ being so powerful as to cleanse us from all unrighteousness -- even the guilt of suicidal thoughts.

After his conversion, he became friends with John Newton, who wrote "Amazing Grace." It was just the inspiration Cowper needed to write the beautiful hymn, "There Is a Fountain."

Throughout his life, Cowper continued to be plagued by severe depression, and often he sought to end his life. His most powerful hymns were written after those times.

We may become depressed on this side of eternity, but aren't you glad that little by little, inch by inch, day by day, God renews our minds... all because there is a fountain filled with blood?

Thank You, Father, for the encouragement of past saints' lives. They remind us there is no permanent cure for our woes here on earth, which makes us long all the more for Your transforming grace and mercy.


Joni and Friends

There is a Fountain Filled With Blood

  There is a fountain filled with blood,  
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in His day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away:
Washed all my sins away,
Washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more:
Are safe, to sin no more,
Are safe, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.
by William Cowper


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Seek First His Kingdom

We have recently been up at 6- to-8000 feet in elevation with the crisp, clean air. 

Lots of hiking with no asthma! along with no feet or leg issues! Praising the LORD!

There was also lots of driving time, with lots of time to think. 

Think. Think. Think.

My Beloved, years ago, use to call me "Worry Care", because I tended to worry all the time about everything. He would counsel me to learn to stop this and trust the LORD.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; 
for tomorrow will care for itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34

As our travels eventually took us on the way home I began to realize that much of my time, recently, has been full of me "pushing my agonies away".  I was truly NOT thinking of them, but this was also me NOT relying on the LORD.

This is semantics.  I was actually thinking of my sadnesses while I was "pushing" my agonizing thoughts "away," but I didn't make them go away, nor was I at the feet of the LORD giving my agonies to Him.

After this whole time traveling I was thankful to finally realize I was wrong in how I was dealing with my sadness.  I then began to handle it rightly with the LORD.

After all these years of learning to give these things to the LORD, I still need to learn more and more. I certainly easily forget.

This sadness is with us 24/7/365 for 16years.  We can not get away from it.  We can "say" we will not talk about it or bring it up, but reality happens.  

Our loss is like a double death. 

Our loss is like a double amputation.  

How can we not lament?  

How can we continue as if we still have our missing limbs?  

It is normal to remember past joys and happy times, but then the sad times mix in to this no matter how we try to keep them out.  This is where the LORD comes in.

He reminds us who we are in Him. We can trust Him, we can rely on Him, and we know we can.

Yes, these long-standing agonies have come, but He shows us that we are safe in Him.   He also has shown us that as we trust in Him through these tough times, we are maturing in Him.  This is the best place to be.  

Praising Him every moment!

“For this reason I say to you, 
do not be worried about your life, 
as to what you will eat or what you will drink; 
nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 
Is not life more than food, 
and the body more than clothing? 
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? 
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 
And why are you worried about clothing? 
Observe how the lilies of the field grow; 
they do not toil nor do they spin, 
yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory 
clothed himself like one of these. 
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, 
which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, 
will He not much more clothe you? 
You of little faith! 
Do not worry then, saying, 
‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ 
or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 
For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; 
for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:25-33