Monday, November 28, 2016

Another life lesson learned: Homemaking 101

I have been vacuuming for over 40 years, but I certainly learned something this weekend I will not ever forget.  

You may need to pay attention also: 

Homemaking 101:  Never bend over with your long pony tail hanging by the vacuum because your tresses may be sucked into the Impeller Wheel!

So here I was bent over to attach the extender when my pony tail was sucked into the sucky, twirly thing (the impeller wheel).   At first I thought my hair was just sucked into the inhaling pipe, but no, it was completely stuck and I could only reach the off switch in an awkward twist of the wrist.

Thankfully, my Beloved was home so I called to him for help! The only solution was scissors.  On the plus side: I already have a trim scheduled this week.

Praising the LORD that not much hair needed to be cut off to remove me from the dreaded machine!




Therefore, we do not lose heart...








2 Corinthians 4
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.


Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

*Wormwood; Revelation 8:11
"The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The LORD satisfies


We Gather Together

Thank you to Hymns that Preach:

“WE GATHER TOGETHER” is listed as a Thanksgiving hymn in most modern hymnals but its origin predates our first American Thanksgiving.  It began as a Dutch folk song and was crafted into a celebration hymn of petition and praise to God for His guidance and deliverance through times of religious persecution in 1597. 

Some of the political overtones in this hymn are apparent. For example, the phrase, “The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,” is an allusion to the persecution of Christians under the policies of Spain.  The Dutch Protestants struggled against Spain for their political independence, and against the Catholic Church for their religious freedom.   Thousands had been massacred and hundreds of homes burned by the Spanish in 1576 during the siege of Antwerp.

In 1597, in the Battle of Turnhout, Prince Maurice of Orange defeated the Spanish occupiers of a town in, what is now, the Netherlands. 

Prior to that battle, they had been prohibited from worshiping under the Spanish king, Phillip II.   The Dutch Christians celebrated the victory by borrowing a familiar folk melody and giving it new words.  The very first line, “We Gather Together” was a bold, political declaration of their new freedom to worship together. The hymn first appeared in print in a 1626 collection of Dutch patriotic songs.

Had Prince William of Orange, the brother of Maurice, not led the Dutch to throw off King Phillip’s rule, there, likely, would not have been any safe haven for English, Welsh, and Scottish Protestants who had fled from persecutions under the Roman Catholic and the Anglican national leadership.  

Some of those Dutch Christians were the Puritan Pilgrims.  They brought the hymn with them to the New World in 1620. 

The thanksgiving feast held at the Plymouth Bay Colony might never have occurred had there not been victories like the one this hymn celebrates.

Dutch Christians rarely sang anything, in their church services, that was not directly from the pages of Scripture (primarily the Psalms).  But in 1937, the Christian Reformed Church made a controversial decision to permit other hymns to be sung in church.  “We Gather Together” was chosen as the first entry in their new hymnal.

Today, even though much of our nation has turned away from God, our “gathering together” in the name of the Lord still stands as a remembrance of those times of oppression, persecution, and death, in Scotland and England.  And, so we give thanks to God for His protection, for His providential care, and for His abundant blessings.


He is with us always no matter what comes! 

Praising the LORD!  Glory to His name!



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thankful for sparkling moisture!

















After a spring and summer of much rain and even flooding we have had almost a month with no rain at all until our misty rain yesterday and today.  It has been so gently and quietly falling.

As I looked out front in this overcast morning I saw little "orange" jewels sparkling in our flowering crab tree as the moisture hung on each berry which was left from the foraging of the Robins and Cedar Wax Wings earlier this autumn.  It was lovely and I was so thankful to enjoy it!



Who can clean up that mess?










MUTTS

Psalm 34:4
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hope, not a false hope






































Psalm 42

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

See what a great love!





























1 John 3:1-3
"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. 

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. 

We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.


Monday, November 21, 2016

This is the will of God, your sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

"Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 

For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 

So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you."


Friday, November 18, 2016

So blessed!























Even when we think we have nothing, we are so blessed by God.

*

"You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me."
Psalm 3:3-5
*

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The LORD hears His child's cry








































Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

When all has been heard

Fear God, and your enemies will fear you.
--Benjamin Franklin

*

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14


Thursday, November 10, 2016

With the tears from mothers' eyes

The Unknown Soldier
[Referencing  World War I]

There’s a graveyard near the White House
Where the Unknown Solder lies,
And the flowers there are sprinkled
With the tears from mothers’ eyes.

I stood there not so long ago
With roses for the brave,
And suddenly I heard a voice
Speak from out the grave:

“I am the Unknown Soldier,”
The spirit voice began,
“And I think I have the right
To ask some questions man to man.

“Are my buddies taken care of?
Was their victory so sweet?
Is that big reward you offered
Selling pencils on the street?

“Did they really win the freedom
They battled to achieve?
Do you still respect that Croix de Guerre
Above that empty sleeve?

“Does a gold star in the window
Now mean anything at all?
I wonder how my old girl feels
When she hears a bugle call?

“And that baby who sang
‘Hello, Central, give me no man’s land’—
Can they replace her daddy
With a military band?

“I wonder if the profiteers
Have satisfied their greed?
I wonder if a soldier’s mother
Ever is in need?

I wonder if the kings, who planned it all
Are really satisfied?
They played their game of checkers
And eleven million died.

“I am the Unknown Soldier
And maybe I died in vain,
But if I were alive and my country called,
I’d do it all over again.”

Billy Rose



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Loyalty, Patriotism, and choosing to serve the One and Only

This year we attended a Veteran’s Honor Flight as they returned to the celebration at the airport, and also the next Honor Flight’s Orientation day which was a month from their flight.  Both of these events were very well done and quite honoring to Veterans and their families.

While we sat before the orientation I would say that most people could probably not truly explain the emotions they would go through as we all watched the slide show of the Veterans from World War 2 through Vietnam, and also listen to the patriotic music which was popular during those eras.

Watching the Veterans who are excited and honored to go on a flight to Washington D.C., watching their happy families with ages from newborns to older than the veterans, seeing the Volunteers doing everything to honor the Veterans and their families, to even the skirl of the Bag Pipes is very special, all of which is full of a range of emotions for those of us “on the outside looking in”.

It is truly difficult to express the depths of emotions, the patriotism, and the loyalty to our nation.

But this is only a shadow, a faded picture of the people whose love, devotion , and honor they choose to give to the One and Only God for the rest of their lives for His marvelous grace through Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins.  The LORD now calls us His children.  We were bought with a price, Jesus blood!

The joy I have witnessed this year on the Veterans’ faces, the Guardians, all the families who love their Vet, and the Volunteers - even the other passengers who are just waiting for their own flights who are at the Airport and are surprised and touched by the reception and comradery for the Vets, this joy is truly indescribable.

Even so, our joy as Believers of the God of the Universe is far beyond what I have experienced.

When we meet up with another Believer we haven’t seen for a while, when we meet a Believer we have never met, or when we meet a Believer we just saw yesterday, we find such unexplainable joy!  It is because we are connected to the LORD, we are related, we understand where each of us have come from, where we are in life, where we will be in life when Jesus returns. Our eternal hope!

Veterans are connected to other Veterans no matter which war or whatever age, but Believers have ties to each other that will last an eternity.  Our “family” is the Body of Believers.  When our human family denies us, we can count on the Body to still be our family, to love and encourage us.

Most of all we have an Awesome God who gave us life - life eternal with Him!  This is such a beautiful connection we have in each other. We are safe together no matter where we are in this world.  On this earth we have begun our eternal life with Him, but the best is yet to be with Him in glory!

Patriotism in the USA in these last generations is many times “tied”  or “woven” into our Christian faith.  It was how our culture use to be. Sadly, this has been fading as our culture has turned away from God.

As the LORD’s child  we are far and above more blessed.  We can praise the LORD for our country which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but we can praise Him even more for His grace and mercies which He showers on those of us who choose Him!

Who will you choose today?

Joshua 24:14-15
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Parenting









ROSE is ROSE

Even so, I will exult in the LORD!





















I made your world famous gingersnaps yesterday.  It brought back all those happy, joyful memories.

Soon enough I remembered your eventual entrapment, but this did not take away the truth.  The truth is these were real memories, and they were happy, joyful times even if you deny them now because of your own choices.

My agonies are beyond any words. The LORD is the only One who knows and comprehends my pain.

I am in His hands.  He lifts my head.  He reminds me who I am in Him. He carries me in the storms.

Well, it is not about me, and so I was once again reminded that the LORD also holds you in His hands.  He is the Hound of Heaven and I can trust Him with your life.  

His name is glorified during this storm, and I am trusting that somehow, someday His name will be glorified when it is all over.

*
"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 hind's feet,
and makes me walk on my high places."
Habakkuk 3:17-19



Tuesday, November 1, 2016