Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Praying for Our Children


I came along this chart in a blog called, A Path Made Straight.

I thought I would pass it along to any who might stumble upon it here.



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Peace




"For he himself is our peace,
who has made us both one and has broken down
in his flesh
the dividing wall of hostility."
by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances,
that he might create
in himself
one new man in place of the two,
so making peace,

and might reconcile us both to God in
one body
through the cross,

thereby killing the hostility.
(Ephesians 2:14-16)


Peace . . . the harmonized relationships between God and man.

He Himself . . . Jesus alone through His blood was able to bring me, a Gentile, into this precious position . . . now in Christ Jesus. Once I was far off, but now have been brought near.

The barrier . . . the dividing wall of hostility . . . the middle wall . . . has been broken down . . . destroyed . . . in His flesh!

We are now a new man . . . the Church . . . the mystery! Created in Himself!

He preached peace to those who were far off . . . not only to those who were near.

For through him we have both access by one Spirit to the Father.
(Ephesians 2:18)


Without the cross I would not be able to claim this truth.

Now, if only I could understand what this truly means!

Lord, please teach me your truth.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Learning . . .


Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
(Psalms 86:11)

In our days of schooling I often find myself wondering how I can motivate my six year old to 'want' to learn. When the subject is difficult she gets discouraged and life seems to get unpleasant.

How true in my life as well. I want to learn the truths of God, but at times it is hard to learn His lessons. We are all learning on this road of life. Our Heavenly Father is so patient with us as we fumble around.

"Teach me" here means to point the way. We have been given God's Word to learn God's truths. He has given us His Spirit to guide and instruct us. He points us in the way.


In the calm

In the calm of Your presence
I am listening, Lord
I am still, I am quiet
I am Yours

Let Your Word speak to me
Let Your Spirit draw near
I will obey
The truth that I hear

There's a thirst in my soul
For Your wisdom divine
I long for the peace
And life that I find

I am still, I am quiet
I am Yours

Performed by Jennifer Deibler of FFH

Written by Scott Krippayne, Tony Wood

photo: bookshelves in our schoolroom


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary


Today, I think of my parents. Thirty-six years! Happy Anniversary!

As I have been thinking about marriage I am reminded of how God has used marriage as a symbol to represent Christ and His bride.

" . . . as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her . . . " (Ephesians 5:25b)

What an example we have to look to . . . a perfect love . . .


Nothing is sweeter than love,

Nothing stronger,

Nothing higher,

Nothing wider,

Nothing more pleasant,

Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.

Thomas a Kempis (1379-1471)


photo: red rose growing in our garden


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Surprise!



The first things she said as she buckled herself into her booster seat tonight was, "So what did you guys do?" My reply was, "Oh, I'm not telling, you will have to wait and see." She turned to her brother, who is still learning to talk, and tried to figure out what had gone on at home in her absence. She rhymed off some typical activities that take place in our home, but I assured her I was not telling!

She loves surprises so I continued with, "It's a surprise!" Now she really wanted to unravel the mystery of what had taken place in our home while she was at gymnastics. I could not see her as I was focused on the road ahead, but I could hear the smile in her voice as she exclaimed, "You were baking! No wait, Nana is here. Is Nana hear? Did Nana come early?"

As we turned onto our street, she looked for Nana's car, but none was to be found. Although she had just been so excited at the thought of seeing her Nana, I could hear disappointment in her sigh as she realized that was not the surprise.

Yet, she could hardly wait to see if her first guess was true. She ran inside our warm house and straight into the kitchen where she could smell and see the cookies that had come out of the oven not long before.

I could see the joy that such a simple surprise had brought to her. I could see her contentment in the fact that her Mommy had made her a yummy surprise. Such a small thing, but she was so delighted.

It is not as though baking is never had in this home. It was the coming home to love, family and small surprises.

After she was tucked into bed, I reflected on the feeling that I had as I provided the surprise. Such a joy to see our children rest in our provisions and love and surprises.

I thought of all the blessings our Heavenly Father brings into our lives. At times we are looking for one thing, expectantly, but He provides with another blessing. He is our Provider, our Comforter. We may not know the 'surprises' ahead, but our all-knowing Father knows the road ahead.

Oh, that I would learn to be content in all that my Heavenly Father has given me! To delight in all of His provisions. Not to take what He has given me for granted, but to enjoy them!

photo: cookies fresh from the oven

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Gift



Last evening a few of my friends were over for a Bible Study. We have been going through the book of Ephesians. We have had such wonderful times reflecting on God's Word and examaning the Scriptures together. We have challenged each other to commit the verses to memory as we study through the book. What a blessing that has been!

Last night we were looking at Epehsians 2:8-12. These are well known and loved verses, but it was so good to remember again what we have been given.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)

The previous verses remind the reader that " . . . you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked . . . " We were without hope . . .

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us . . . made us alive together with Christ . . . "

We have been raised up . . . we have been seated with Him . . . and by His grace we have been saved!

There was nothing I could do or can do. It is all Christ!

It is a gift - not something I can earn or pay for!

My salvation was given to me by God's Grace!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Transition


" . . . Children are a gift of the LORD . . . " (Psalm 127:3)

It has been a week of transition for us. We decided it was time to put our 'baby' in a big bed. He was so confused when he watched Daddy take down his bed, but he seems delighted with his new bed.
He has done so well . . . so far!

It is just hard for me . . . mom . . . to let go of my 'baby'. He looks so small in the big bed and yet he looked so big in his crib! Each night I have gone in to check him before I go to bed I have been thinking how fast he is growing up. This is all part, I guess, of preparing myself to let go. It is such a joy to watch our children grow up and yet it somehow it is so hard to let go of these years.

I am so thankful for my blessings! I just wish these growing up years could slow down a little!

At least now I can reach down and give him one more kiss before I settle . . . the crib was always in the way!

photo: our little one in his big bed


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

God Provides


And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided." (Genesis 22:13-14)

God told Abraham to take his own son and offer him as a burnt offering. God's intention was to test his love and his faith. Did he love God more than his own son? And did he have faith in His promise concerning his descendants? Abraham ascended Mount Moriah in full obedience and faith. His love for his God was greater than his own son! His faith in God was strong!

I was reading this passage in my Bible reading today. As I was reflecting on it I thought of Abraham's love, faith, and sacrifice and God's provision. Abraham loved God more than his own son and was willing to sacrifice him. Would I be able to be so obedient if God put me to that test?
And yet, here we see a picture of how God gave His own Son as a sacrifice too. The ram that God provided in this sacrifice illustrates the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

"' . . . Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" John 1:29
.

God loved me enough he gave His Son!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting live." John 3:16

Yahweh Yireh . . . Jehovah Jireh . . . the LORD will see to it.

This Abr’am found: he raised the knife;
God saw, and said, “Forbear!
Yon ram shall yield his meaner life;
Behold the victim there.
William Cowper (1731-1800)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Secure


For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

We were helping at our Chapel's youth retreat this past weekend. Although we did not get very much sleep it was a privilege to help and get to know our young people a bit more. We had some time as a family to enjoy God's creation as well.

The speaker was challenging the young people to be prepared to give and answer when they are challenged regarding things of the Bible. Is God real? Creation. Our eternal security.

He suggested one cannot prove that God is real scientifically (the speaker is a scientist) but when one knows Christ as Lord and Saviour, it cannot be denied that God is real! People deny God is real because they do not want to face the reality of what it means if God is real! We are all created with that desire to worship - if we do not worship God we will worship something.

He reminded the young people of our eternal security if we have accepted Christ as our Personal Lord and Saviour. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. His gift of salvation is a gift He does not take back. We have no fear of losing our salvation if we are truly saved.

What a salvation is given to me!

Lord, thank you that nothing will separate me from your love.

Neither Height, nor Depth, nor Breadth
The chords of love bind me above
To One who never changes;
Nor time, nor space can e’er efface,
His boundless love for me.
Neither height, nor depth, nor breadth, shall separate me
From the love of Him who shed His precious blood;
Neither height, nor depth, nor breadth, shall separate me
From the love of God.
The price He gave, my soul to save,
Upon the cross of anguish;
The shame and woe, O who can know,
How much He cared for me.
His love complete, with joys replete,
Supplies my every longing;
It brings no pain, no loss, but gain,
The love He gives to me.
Helen Virginia Armacost (1886-1950)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Time


So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

I have been thinking a lot about my time this week as have many others, I am sure. At the beginning of the new year I am determined to get back into regular habits. I am guilty of wasting my time.

My husband gave a devotional at the Chapel we attend this past Sunday. His topic was: Time. His thoughts have challenged me to think more about how I spend my time. He presented the word 'time' to us in the following way:

Take toll and keep track of it

Invest it wisely in what really matters

Manage it effectively and well

Evaluate it, learning, growing, and pressing on for His name’s sake.

We have been blessed with this new year and new day. We must not let the time slip from our hands without accomplishing that which is most important. In order to do that we need to prioritize the 'big' things.

I know I can do so much more with the time given me and I am thankful for these times when I can evaluate how I spend my time and try to get back on track once again!

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, (redeeming the time) because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

My Times are in Thy Hand

My times are in Thy hand;
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand;
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to Thee.

My times are in Thy hand;
Why should I doubt or fear?
My Father’s hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in Thy hand,
Jesus, the crucified!
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced
Are now my guard and guide.

William Freeman Lloyd (1791-1853)


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Word of God


For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

God has spoken to us through His Son- The Word and He has given us the Word of God!

Here we are at the beginning of the new year with ambitious thoughts of being more faithful in reading and meditating and knowing the word of God. Do we forget that the Word of God is living and active? No matter how much we bite off and chew each day, let the Word of God penetrate us completely.


The Word of God

The Word of God is like a light
That shines serenely thro’ the night;
Its rays will light my weary way
To the realms of a fair, unending day.

The Word of God is like a sword
That pierces hearts, thus saith the Lord;
And like a hammer, weighty, strong,
That can break up the rocks of sin and wrong.

The Word of God is like the bread
On which the hosts of old were fed;
From Heav’n it came to fill our need,
Hungry hearts it will satisfy indeed.

The Word of God is like a fire,
It kindles in our hearts desire
To see its Author face to face
And to know all the fullness of His grace.

Haldor Lillenas (1885-1959)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Spoken to Us


Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
(Heb 1:1-3)

As we are on this side of the Christmas season, is it easy to get back into routine, keeping busy with the daily activities that consume our time? Let us not forget the most important things! We have been given the greatest gift! God has spoken to us by His Son! Elijah heard the soft gentle voice of Jehovah; we have the incarnate, preeminent One.

I am challenged to learn more of God's revelation to us. I am challenged to use my time more wisely to meditate more on the One who "is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature". God has revealed Himself in His Son. He is Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer. He is my Lord and Saviour.




God, Who in Various Methods Told

God, who in various methods told
His mind and will to saints of old,
Sent down His Son, with truth and grace,
To teach us in these latter days.

God’s kindest thoughts are here expressed,
Able to make us wise and bless’d;
The doctrines are divinely true,
Fit for reproof and comfort, too.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Listening



And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before Jehovah. And behold, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Jehovah: Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice.
(1Ki 19:11-12)


As 2008 begins I have been reflecting on how God spoke to Elijah. We do not need to look for the spectacular, but listen for God in the quietness. He has given us His Word and it is my prayer that I will listen more faithfully to Him this coming year.

Elijah was spent. He was in the cave and God brought him out in humility not with wind, or an earthquake, or fire, but with a soft gentle voice. He told Elijah what he wanted him to do and Elijah obeyed.



SPEAK, LORD, IN THE STILLNESS

Speak, Lord, in the stillness
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen,
In expectancy.

Speak, O bless├Ęd Master,
In this quiet hour,
Let me see Thy face, Lord,
Feel Thy touch of power.

For the words Thou speakest,
“They are life” indeed;
Living Bread from Heaven,
Now my spirit feed!

All to Thee is yielded,
I am not my own;
Blissful, glad surrender,
I am Thine alone.

Fill me with the knowledge
Of Thy glorious will;
All Thine own good pleasure
In my life fulfill.

Like “a watered garden”
Full of fragrance rare,
Ling’ring in Thy presence
Let my life appear.

Emily May Grimes (1868-1927)


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