For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. ~Psalms 36:9

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.

-Dorothy Law Nolte

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Learning to Sing ~ Finding Joy and Peace

Art thou weary, tender heart?
Be glad of pain!
In sorrow sweetest things will grow,
As flowers in rain.
God watches; thou wilt have the sun,
When clouds their perfect work have done.
- Adelaide Procter

"It is the life closest to the "Man of Sorrows"
who was Himself acquainted with grief
that can bring blossoms of joy and peace.
If His joy is in us, our joy is made full."
- Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

The song I sing is faint and sad,
Yet 'tis of love I'm singing;
And soon it shall be strong and glad
Through realms of glory ringing.

A song of love and sighs today,
Of love and joy tomorrow,
To Him Who poured His life away
Upon the tree of sorrow.
- Anonymous.

"We must learn to sing - to sing as we enter the valleys of shadow.
We sing as we work.  We sing as we rejoice.
Can we sing as we suffer?
How difficult it is to sing when you cannot see beyond affliction.
But the secret is to look beyond the immediate circumstance
and behold the reward in glory."
- Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

~Brittany

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Love in action

Wonderful little reminder!  Whether you're married or not, this applies in any relationship.
"Charity...seeketh not her own..."
~Breanna 

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There’s a story I heard about a counselor talking to a woman who was determined to get a divorce. He advised her that before she do so, she take 30 days and treat her husband as wonderfully as she could. Say nice things to him. Be affectionate. Shower him with blessings. And then, at the end of the 30 days, she could tell him she was leaving him.

That sounded like a great idea, she thought. It would be so perfect–like a whammy he’d never expect. She’d lull him into believing everything was alright, and then she’d leave. It would be so devastating, like an extra punishment.

So she did it. She was sweet. She was affectionate. She brought him coffee.

And when 30 days was up, she went to see the counselor. He asked if she was ready to tell him, and she said, “No way! A funny thing happened this month. I think I fell in love with him again!”

As she was nice to him, he was nice to her. And they found a new balance in their marriage that was actually quite fun. But it happened because she started ACTING love out, not because she started FEELING.

Our feelings normally follow our actions, not the other way around. Try acting out love, and you may find that your heart softens.
~Sheila Gregoire

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Love...

I've been reading through "The Greatest Thing in the World", a small book by Henry Drummond on love and 1 Corinthians 13.  To say that I have been challenged by it would be an understatement! I have realized how little I truly know about biblical love and how much selfishness I have in me that yet needs to be gotten rid of.   Below are some of his concluding thoughts on love that so challenged me and I hope will bless and challenge you as well.  BTW, if you are interested in reading the entire book, they have it online for free reading and downloading here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16739/16739-h/16739-h.htm
~Breanna

So much for the analysis of Love. Now the business of our lives is to have these things fitted into our characters. That is the supreme work to which we need to address ourselves in this world, to learn Love. Is life not full of opportunities for learning Love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And
THE ONE ETERNAL LESSON
for us all is how better we can love.
What makes a man a good cricketer? Practice. What makes a man a good artist, a good sculptor, a good musician? Practice. What makes a man a good linguist, a good stenographer? Practice. What makes a man a good man? Practice. Nothing else. There is nothing capricious about religion. We do not get the soul in different ways, under different laws, from those in which we get the body and the mind. If a man does not exercise his arm he develops no biceps muscle; and if a man does not exercise his soul, he acquires no muscle in his soul, no strength of character, no vigor of moral fibre, no beauty of spiritual growth. Love is not a thing of enthusiastic emotion. It is a rich, strong, manly, vigorous expression of the whole round Christian character—the Christlike nature in its fullest development. And the constituents of this great character are only to be built up by
CEASELESS PRACTICE.
What was Christ doing in the carpenter's shop? Practising. Though perfect, we read that He learned obedience, and grew in wisdom and in favor with God. Do not quarrel, therefore, with your lot in life. Do not complain of its never-ceasing cares, its petty environment, the vexations you have to stand, the small and sordid souls you have to live and work with. Above all, do not resent temptation; do not be perplexed because it seems to thicken round you more and more, and ceases neither for effort nor for agony nor prayer. That is your practice. That is the practice which God appoints you; and it is having its work in making you patient, and humble, and generous, and unselfish, and kind, and courteous. Do not grudge the hand that is moulding the still too shapeless image within you. It is growing more beautiful, though you see it not; and every touch of temptation may add to its perfection. Therefore keep in the midst of life. Do not isolate yourself. Be among men and among things, and among troubles, and difficulties, and obstacles. You remember Goethe's words: "Talent develops itself in solitude; character in the stream of life." Talent develops itself in solitude—the talent of prayer, of faith, of meditation, of seeing the unseen; character grows in the stream of the world's life. That chiefly is where men are to learn love.

How? Now, how? To make it easier, I have named a few of the elements of love. But these are only elements. Love itself can never be defined. Light is a something more than the sum of its ingredients—a glowing, dazzling, tremulous ether. And love is something more than all its elements—a palpitating, quivering, sensitive, living thing. By synthesis of all the colors, men can make whiteness, they cannot make light. By synthesis of all the virtues, men can make virtue, they cannot make love. How then are we to have this transcendent living whole conveyed into our souls? We brace our wills to secure it. We try to copy those who have it. We lay down rules about it. We watch. We pray. But these things alone will not bring love into our nature. Love is an effect. And only as we fulfill the right condition can we have the effect produced. Shall I tell you what the cause is?

If you turn to the Revised Version of the First Epistle of John you find these words: "We love because He first loved us." "We love," not "We love Him." That is the way the old version has it, and it is quite wrong. "We love—because He first loved us." Look at that word "because." It is the cause of which I have spoken. "Because He first loved us," the effect follows that we love, we love Him, we love all men. We cannot help it. Because He loved us, we love, we love everybody. Our heart is slowly changed. Contemplate the love of Christ, and you will love. Stand before that mirror, reflect Christ's character, and you will be changed into the same image from tenderness to tenderness. There is no other way. You cannot love to order. You can only look at the lovely object, and fall in love with it, and grow into likeness to it. And so look at this Perfect Character, this Perfect Life. Look at
THE GREAT SACRIFICE
as He laid down Himself, all through life, and upon the Cross of Calvary; and you must love Him. And loving Him, you must become like Him. Love begets love. It is a process of induction. Put a piece of iron in the presence of an electrified body, and that piece of iron for a time becomes electrified. It is changed into a temporary magnet in the mere presence of a permanent magnet, and as long as you leave the two side by side, they are both magnets alike. Remain side by side with Him who loved us, and
GAVE HIMSELF FOR US,
and you, too, will become a permanent magnet, a permanently attractive force; and like Him you will draw all men unto you, like Him you will be drawn unto all men. That is the inevitable effect of Love. Any man who fulfills that cause must have that effect produced in him.

Try to give up the idea that religion comes to us by chance, or by mystery, or by caprice. It comes to us by natural law, or by supernatural law, for all law is Divine.
~Henry Drummond

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Inspiring Story

Our dear little Esther was ill today, so Sarah and I stayed home with her while the others went to church.  We are so very blessed by the church body God has given to us and very much missed the blessing of being there today.  God is so good and blessed us in other little ways throughout this day.  This movie, sharing the life of Samuel Morris was one of them.  We hope that it will encourage you in your relationship and faith in the Lord, as it did us.  If God lays it on your heart to pray for Esther we would greatly appreciate it.  What a delight the Lord's Day is!  


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Motherhood: What Every Woman on a Mission Should Know


To especially encourage the mamma's!  :-)  But also for any gal, big sister, etc., busy in her home and serving her family, these are great reminders and encouragements from one of my favorite authors, Lisa Jacobson.  :-)
~Breanna
Motherhood - What Every Woman on a Mission Should Know

The Lord has given me a calling.
 
A high calling, really.
A high calling that requires a woman to stoop low.
To scoop up babies, to pick up toys and to clean up messes.
To wipe runny noses and patch up scratched knees.

It’s known as Motherhood and there are times when it doesn’t feel like all that grand or glorious of a calling.

And there are times when it does.
Like when the little ones snuggle into my arms, or the older ones look to me for answers. When I’m needed to comfort their hearts or speak truth into their young lives.
Then it’s nearly breath-taking.
All this because God has made me their mother.

He has put these children – and these challenges – in my life as part of what He is doing in this world.

Rather amazing.
So when I consider the wonderful privilege of motherhood, I feel blessed beyond words. And I know you do too.
But when I don’t stop to consider?
That’s when I can feel overwhelmed by its dailyness and the seemingly smallness.
Then I experience frustration. Defeat and discouragement.
On those days it feels like we’re going nowhere.

I have to stop and remember I’m a woman on a mission.

And as a mission-minded woman I want to be prepared for the important work that’s before me.
It’s not enough to merely muddle-through motherhood, I want to embrace it and make the most of it.
As do you.


Embracing the Mission of Motherhood

 

Scripture-Filled.

When a mother is pouring out all day, she needs to be filled up too. Spending time in His Word is essential. If hours of uninterrupted time aren’t available (right!), try posting Bible verses throughout the house – in the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom and other popular places – to memorize and meditate on throughout the day.

Sift Through Priorities.

One of the challenges of motherhood? EVERYTHING is  important. Meals, cleaning, organizing, driving . . . Oh yes, and caring for their hearts. But there are times when we have to let go of good things, in order to get best things done. We might have scrambled eggs for dinner because I spent the afternoon helping two sisters learn to love each other. No need to be hard on myself – I’ve chosen the better part.

Seasons of Life.

Much frustration can come from bucking up against this reality of life. A new baby puts us in survival mode. Sleep, food, and basic hygiene is often all that can be achieved in such a season. Sickness can be a similar experience. A loss or a move can set us back for months. But if this is what The Lord has brought into our lives? Then this is what He intends for us.

And so . . . .

 

Soften Your Heart.

To the lessons the Lord has for you and your family. Don’t merely try to “get through it”, but desire all that He wants to do through your circumstances and trials. Then you’ll grow – and your children will grow right along with you. Much is gained, even if little is accomplished.

Stop Sighing.

It’s so easy to slip into the unconscious habit of sighing. A small set-back. Sigh. More work to be done. Sigh. So much training left to do. Sigh. Not only does this defeat your spirit, but that quiet sigh communicates your discontent to your children far too loudly.

Instead . . . .

 

Savor the Sweetness.

Of this precious time. Look for and enjoy the bright moments. Laugh at the funny antics of your children. Listen to their creative ideas. Kiss their darling cheeks and help them see God in the small things. Pour His love into their lives while you have the chance.

Let’s set our sight on this high calling.

It’s when we get to looking down at all the sticky spots and work left undone that we get discouraged. So let’s keep looking up.  Looking up to the God who gave us this beautiful gift called motherhood.
Yes, we are truly blessed with a high calling.
Women with a mission.

Her children rise up and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).

In His grace,
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Charles Spurgeon on What Hinders Us From Enjoying Our Savior's Presence

During a recent road trip, we took the time as a family to listen to the unabridged and amplified Pilgrim's Progress Part 1.  It is always such an encouragement to us spiritually, and it was nice to be able to listen to it again.  Between Pilgrims Progress and some recent passages I have been reading in Luke during my personal devotions, I've been thinking a good bit on the lives we as Christians should be living.  Our lives are not to be ones of seeking pleasure and giving in to our flesh and the world, but ones of seriousness, devotion, and striving to be Christ like, pleasing to Him, serving Him, and unstained.  When I read these devotionals by Charles Spurgeon yesterday, they went right along with many of the thoughts and impressions that have been on my heart this past week.  I hope they will be an encouragement to some of you.  May we each, by His grace, keep pressing toward our Savior and not grow cold!



Morning
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.”
- Song of Solomon 2:15
A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that he will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with his people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” Some Christians very seldom enjoy their Saviour’s presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Art thou a child of God, and yet satisfied to go on without seeing thy Father’s face? What! thou the spouse of Christ, and yet content without his company! Surely, thou hast fallen into a sad state, for the chaste spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate, when he has left her. Ask, then, the question, what has driven Christ from thee? He hides his face behind the wall of thy sins. That wall may be built up of little pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: and the sea which divides thee from Christ may be filled with the drops of thy little sins; and the rock which has well nigh wrecked thy barque, may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of thy little sins. If thou wouldst live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ, take heed of “the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Jesus invites you to go with him and take them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with him to the hunting.

Evening
“That henceforth we should not serve sin.”
- Romans 6:6
Christian, what hast thou to do with sin? Hath it not cost thee enough already? Burnt child, wilt thou play with the fire? What! when thou hast already been between the jaws of the lion, wilt thou step a second time into his den? Hast thou not had enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all thy veins once, and wilt thou play upon the hole of the asp, and put thy hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time? Oh, be not so mad! so foolish! Did sin ever yield thee real pleasure? Didst thou find solid satisfaction in it? If so, go back to thine old drudgery, and wear the chain again, if it delight thee. But inasmuch as sin did never give thee what it promised to bestow, but deluded thee with lies, be not a second time snared by the old fowler- be free, and let the remembrance of thy ancient bondage forbid thee to enter the net again! It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to thy purity and holiness; therefore run not counter to the purposes of thy Lord. Another thought should restrain thee from sin. Christians can never sin cheaply; they pay a heavy price for iniquity. Transgression destroys peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders prayer, brings darkness over the soul; therefore be not the serf and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time you “serve sin” you have “Crucified the Lord afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Can you bear that thought? Oh! if you have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be my Master has sent this admonition this evening, to bring you back before you have backslidden very far. Turn thee to Jesus anew; he has not forgotten his love to thee; his grace is still the same. With weeping and repentance, come thou to his footstool, and thou shalt be once more received into his heart; thou shalt be set upon a rock again, and thy goings shall be established.

- Charles Spurgeon's Meditations for May 30th

~Brittany