Monday, January 30, 2017

You have laid Your hand upon me.

Psalm 139

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”

Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, 
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, 
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, 
they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

He's got our backs

Rose is Rose

When we are the LORD's child He holds us in His hand.  His hand is safety to us.

" '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.’ "   Isaiah 41:10

"For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.’ " Isaiah 41:13

I once heard the analogy of a small child walking with his father holding his tiny hand. As it is with little ones, this child lost his steps, but the father held on and the child's little feet flailed in the air until they came to the pavement again, all the time safe in his earthly father''s hand.

"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;"  Isaiah 49:16a

The LORD holds us, even when we are struggling in all our ways, He never lets go. "Our feet may be flailing", but He is there with us, holding us, being with us, helping us as we continue to walk in Him.

"Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me."   Psalm 139:10

Praises to His name! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It's a Promise

by Joni Eareckson Tada

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4

Warren Wiersbe once said, "Nothing is harder to heal than a broken heart shattered by experiences that seem so meaningless.  But God's people don't live on explanations; God's people live on His promises."

A grocery list of biblical reasons explaining the whys and wherefores behind suffering doesn't always help when you're hurting.  

What does help are the promises of God.  

Even though God's promises are usually devoid of standard explanations and don't always detail the blueprint behind His plan, they do point to the loving character of our good and kind Lord.

Take Isaiah 46:4.  Even for someone bent over with old age and arthritis, God's explanation is simple and powerful, "I am He, I am He who will sustain you."  

God wants us to understand that He alone is the source of help and hope.  God owes us no explanations.  He did enough explaining on the cross to show that His love is sufficient to meet every need.

Look again at our verse for the day.  In one short sentence, God promises that He will rescue, carry, and sustain you.  How?  At least six times, God uses the personal pronoun to point to Himself.  

His promises are signed, sealed, and delivered on the basis of who He is.  

And He is faithful.  

He is loving.  

He rescues you and carries you.  It's a promise.

Lord, I don't survive because You roll out in front of me the blueprint behind my painful experiences.  I don't live on reasons why.  I live on Your promises.  Draw me to them today and help me to lean on Your loving faithfulness.  This will be enough.


Joni and Friends
Diamonds in the Dust, Januaury 28


Thursday, January 19, 2017

As political as I get: Signs

God can work in our circumstances

Exchange the Meaning

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.’ 

Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.
Exodus 14:15-16; 17:9

When God parted the Red Sea, He told Moses to “raise your staff.”  After the glorious miracle occurred, Moses was careful to refer to it as “the staff of God.”  It was just an ordinary stick of wood, but when the LORD chose it for His tool, the staff took on new ownership and meaning.

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.  My wheelchair, which once signified tragedy and confinement, is the very thing that now gives me freedom and mobility.

When God uses for His glory the most ordinary things ---- such as a staff, or a cross, or a wheel chair --- He gives each one unique and special meaning.

What are the symbols of tragedy in your life?  

A crutch? Or hearing aide?  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.

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.

Joni Eareckson Tada, Diamonds in the Dust, January 4.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What's in your mind?

Snoopy doesn't have to know anything theologically, but the LORD desires His children to know Him through His Word.

Let's get busy!

1 Peter 1:13-16
"...prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Peter 3:15
"...sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you..."

Deuteronomy 6
 "...These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sunday, January 8, 2017

When will it snow again?

I want to build a Polar Bear in my front yard, too!

Hymns that preach


**See the entire blog post.  Thank you to Hymns that Preach, Ralph M. Petersen.

The writer explains his former thoughts of this hymn and then researches:

"...Carl Gustaf Boberg, a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament, was out walking one day when a severe wind began to blow and suddenly, a fierce, crashing thunderstorm came out of nowhere.

After the storm passed, he gazed out over the beauty of the landscape and the calm, clear bay.   Then he heard a church bell in the distance and the chirping of the birds around him.  He must have sensed the power of God in that storm much the way the writer of Psalm 29 did when he wrote: "The God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.”

And with the sudden calmness and peace at the end of the storm, the words to a poem began to form in his mind....
...One of the world’s greatest hymns had a very long and difficult beginning until it was copyrighted and published by Dr. Cyrus Nelson of Gospel Light Publications, and sung, by George Beverly Shea, at Billy Graham’s London Crusade of 1954....  

...In nearly every listing of the greatest hymns ever written, the number one hymn is almost always Amazing Grace.   But, How Great Thou Art, is consistently ranked as number two -" 

**This part is so significant:

"-probably because, sadly, number one has, in many publications, become so adulterated by politically correct language that is not offensive to the egocentric sensitivities of the unregenerate masses.  

For example, the phrase, “…that saved a wretch like me,” has been changed to, “…that saved and set me free.”  Apparently, most people, today, have a hard time agreeing with God about their wretchedness.  

Amazing Grace is the secular world’s favorite hymn; it can be safely sung without any acknowledgment of sin or any reference to a specific deity.  

And besides, it sounds good when played on the bagpipes at funerals..." 

**well, this is true.  

Mr. Petersen ends concerning this hymn:

[it] " truly one of the world’s most magnificent Hymns of praise to the awesome power of our great God, and our hope in His soon return.  And right between those two themes, is the incredible Gospel message of verse three: “And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in, that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.”

Praise the LORD!

How Great Thou Art

Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed

Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art

And when I think of God,
His son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden
gladly bearing He bled and died
to take away my sin

Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art

When Christ shall come
With shout of acclamation
And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart*
Then I shall bow
With humble adoration
And then proclaim My God
How great Thou art

Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior, God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art

We used to have 2 dish washers.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Good Grief!

I never noticed these "choice" comics when Mr. Schultz was publishing them.  I suppose I was but a child, and had not lived long enough to recognize mean, controlling people. 

This comic, though, is a perfect "word picture" that can be used to explain manipulation, control, and mental abuse in a very simple way.  

Here we have Lucy relishing in the keeping of certain kinds of bugs "in their place" (where SHE believes they should be kept), but in real life each of us could easily be controlled, mentally abused, and manipulated by another person or persons for what ever their reasons by the same behavior, albeit more subtle.

Whoever we happen to be, we are all fragile human beings who need to draw closer to the LORD God in His Word, so that we know Him more and more, so that we trust Him with all of our being, and so that we will be able to have that "Uh Oh" feeling when something isn't quite right.

*So sisters in Christ let's gird up our loins, and let's get busy learning His truth!

Ephesians 6:10-18
..."Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 

Put on the full armor of God, 
so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, 
but against the rulers, against the powers, 
against the world forces of this darkness, 
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, 
so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, 
and having done everything, to stand firm. 

Stand firm therefore, 
having girded your loins with truth, 
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 
and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 
in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
And take the helmet of salvation, 
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, 
and with this in view, 
be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints"...


I need two more kitties so I can make this!

*Found this online.  Not my niece.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The LORD hears our cries

Psalm 40

"...I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, 
out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, 
a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, 
nor to those who lapse into falsehood..."

Psalm 94

"...He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?
The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath..."

Psalm 27

"...I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord."

Psalm 118

"...This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
O Lord, do save, we beseech You;
O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord..."

**Precious sisters in the LORD do not despair!  I know you suffer and I understand long standing agonies.  

Life seems too much and maybe it is too much, but do not despair! the LORD is with you!

He sees you, He knows you.  

Continue to run to Him for you will find safety and comfort in Him.  He will guide you and help you.  

Your circumstances may never change, but the LORD will be your strength!

Continually give your suffering to Him and it just may be that in the land of the living you may yet see His hand's work, but if not ~ He is still working and you will see His beautiful handwork in glory.

Meanwhile, let us give Him the glory due to His marvelous name right now while we have life!

Praise to the LORD God Almighty!

A Plugger's Memory