Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Not What My Hands Have Done

Not what my hands have done
Can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne
Can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears
Can bear my awful load.

Thy work alone, O Christ,
Can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God,
Can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God,
Not mine, O Lord to thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest
And set my spirit free.

Thy grace alone, O God,
To me can pardon speak;
Thy pow'r alone, O Son of God,
Can this sore bondage break.
No other work, save thine,
No other blood will do;
No strength, save that which is divine,
Can bear me safely through.

I bless the Christ of God;
I rest on love divine;
And with unfalt'ring lip and heart
I call this Saviour mine.
This cross dispels each doubt;
I bury in his tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear,
Each ling'ring shade of gloom.

I praise the God of grace;
I trust his truth and might;
He calls me his, I call him mine,
My God, my joy, my light.
'Tis he who saveth me,
And freely pardon gives;
I love because he loveth me,
I live because he lives.

by Horatius Bonar

Monday, February 19, 2018

Decision making technique

by Brian Crane

"Faith is like radar that sees through the fog"

In 1974 Corrie ten Boom wrote in her book, Tramp for the Lord:

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you."
Psalm 32:8

"The school of life offers some difficult courses, but it is in the difficult class that one learns the most ---- especially when your teacher is the Lord Jesus Himself."

"God has plans --- not problems ---- for our lives."

"The life of a Christian is an eduction for higher service.  No Athlete complains when the training is hard. He thinks of the game, or the race.  As the apostle Paul wrote:

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."
 Romans 8:18-23

"Looking back across the years of my life, I can see the working of a divine pattern, which is the way of God with His children.  When I was in a prison camp is Holland during the war  [World War 2] , I often prayed,

"Lord, never let the enemy put me in a German concentration camp." 

God answered no to that prayer. Yet in the German camp, with all its horror, I found many prisoners who had never heard of Jesus Christ.  If God had not used my sister Betsie and me to being them to Him, they would never have heard of Him.  Many died, or were killed, but many died with the name of Jesus on their lips.  They were well worth all our suffering.  

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog --- the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see."

"My life is but a weaving,
between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors,
He worketh, steadily,
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
and I in foolish pride, 
Forget He sees the upper,
and I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent,
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful 
in the skillful Weaver's hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned."
"Although the threads of my life have often seemed knotted, I know, by faith, that on the other side of the embroidery there is a crown."

From Tramp for the Lord, by Corrie Ten Boom, Introduction, excerpted from pages 14-16.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The LORD is on His throne

Why can't I do this right? 

Nothing is new. Everything is the same. Life goes on. 

Even so, I have been wondering why I can’t “do this” better.  

For me, "this" concerns living for the LORD, trusting Him no matter what, and just abiding in Him through each and every storm, loss, trauma, agony, sadness...  

January has marked just another year going by like a fog, a mist. I blink and it is February. Tomorrow it will be March... and so on.

I have felt frustrated throughout these years even as I have been living for the LORD, and I find myself at least thinking, if not saying, that "I must be doing this wrong."

I walk each day with the LORD, I trust Him with all of my being, but I still greatly struggle with such grief and agonies too huge for words.  I suppose I have expected some kind of relief, but this world is not my home and the LORD will not make anyone behave.  He has given us free will, free choice, and as we all have experienced, we can only control our own self.

All these years I have been praying to "do this rightly" and, yet, still feeling like a failure. Recently a precious thing happened when I was waking up in prayer. I then laid thinking, "how can I do all this better?

How kind the LORD has been to me all these years and how precious He has been.  He has held me every moment, and even when I did not "feel" Him holding me, I knew He was doing so. I know I have never been alone as He has gently held me through all of my agonies.

It was then I felt such a beautiful peace come over me. What a gift!

Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication 
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

In Him I have been doing "this" rightly!  

For all these years I have allowed Him to be my great God. I have come to Him constantly in the deep sufferings and in the simple joys. I have constantly trusted Him through the great agonies and horrible grievings.  Doing this with Him -is- "doing this rightly"!

All these years I unrealistically expected the pain to be lessened or wiped away, but how can such loss and unresolved agonies ever leave us? 

What we can expect from our great loving God is that He will be with us, He will carry us, He will help us through each new day. Our choice needs to be a constant willingness to trust Him even when everything is falling around you.  He is still on His throne and He loves His own.

Psalm 90:14
"O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,

That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."

The LORD is on His throne!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The LORD comforts us so we learn to be a comfort others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our affliction 
so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction 
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, 
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 
But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; 
or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective 
in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 
and our hope for you is firmly grounded, 
knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, 
so also you are sharers of our comfort."


Saturday, February 3, 2018

"You are servants of Christ. Act and dress like it."

Excerpt from BARBWIRE:

"The Apostle Paul told women in I Tim. 2:9, 

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” 

That passage teaches women to dress appropriately without any excesses that would attract unwarranted attention to them...

...that it is not good for Christian ladies to pay such attention to their hair as the heathen do... 

...All dress for both genders should be suitable for the place, time, and occasion... 

...that women should pay attention to themselves because neglect is just as wrong as the other extreme... 

...not be an offense to any class of people...

...He is not saying that the use of gold and silver is wrong, only the excessive use is wrong. 

He is saying, “... You are servants of Christ. Act and dress like it.”

In ancient Greece, the wife of Phocion, a illustrious Athenian general, had a visit from a rich lady who was elegantly adorned with gold and jewels, and her hair festooned with pearls. 

The visitor took occasion to call attention to the elegance and costliness of her dress but her host replied, 

“My ornament is my husband, now for the twentieth year general of the Athenians.” 

...She valued her longtime marriage more than gold, silver, and pearls; she did not feel a need to use gold and silver to establish her person, her prestige or her place in the world.

Both men and women should err on the side of caution. It is better to be too narrow than too broad. 

Women’s dress should be modest (not frumpy) and men should keep their eyes on her elbows–and their hands to themselves..."

*please see the whole article called, "Does immodest dress cause sexual attacks?"  When you do so you will know what "keep their eyes on her elbows" is about.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

In Biblical Christianity who is Jesus?

“Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity.  

As God the Son, he has always existed and was never created.  

He is fully God and fully man (the two natures joined, not mixed).  

As the second person of the Trinity, he is coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

In becoming man, he was begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  

Jesus is the only way to the Father, salvation, and eternal life.  

He died on a cross according to God’s plan, as the full sacrifice and payment for our sins.  

He rose from the dead on the third day, spiritually and physically immortal. 

For the next 40 days he was seen by more than 500 eyewitnesses. 

His wounds were touched and he ate meals. 

He physically ascended to heaven.  

Jesus will come again visibly and physically at the end of the world to establish God’s kingdom and judge the world.”

Quoted from "Christianity, Cults, and Religions" Pamphlet, Rose Publishing