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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Is Your All on the Altar?

When I woke up this morning and was thinking on a difficult situation, this old favorite hymn came to mind.  It’s been a while since we’ve sung it, and I was amazed as I read the words.  I guess the Lord wanted me to hear this message this morning.  It is my hope that this song will minister to some of you as well.  May the Lord bless, and guide, and strengthen you, and may He help us each to lay all things on the altar so that He can fulfill His perfect will in our lives.  I know someday we will see the bigger picture.

Is Your All on the Altar?

You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest
Or be perfectly blest
Until all on the altar is laid.

Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment always,
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.

Oh, we never can know what the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart, does the Spirit control?
You can only be blessed
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Strong-Hearted Women and the Men Who Love Them

This blessed me beyond words!  ~Karen

Strong Hearted Women and the Men Who Love Them
I’m not sure what started it.
But I suspect it had something to do with this one book I’d read a few years back. I’m not saying the author intended to communicate this message, but it’s certainly what I concluded.
If I wanted to be a a good wife – a biblical wife? Then I needed to tone it down a bit.
Okay, a lot.
I needed to swallow it, hold it back, and keep it down. I was far too intense for my own good. Or at least for my husband’s good.
So I started this new, radical campaign. I didn’t even tell my husband what I was up to, but decided that from then on, I was going to mellow out. Keep it quiet.
Now for those of you who know me, you probably find that rather funny. You can’t even hardly picture it.
But I really did try.
And I kept it going fairly well . . . until one day when we were discussing a certain subject while standing by the piano—a subject that I felt, ahem, passionate about. And suddenly, I couldn’t take it any longer.
I nearly shouted, “I JUST CAN’T DO THIS.”
Do what??” his eyebrows raised.
“I can’t simply keep my mouth shut and not express all that I’m thinking or feeling!” I was practically shaking with frustration.
Then – being the sensitive soul that he is – he burst out laughing.
I resisted the temptation of throwing the old red hymnal at him. But only barely.
I’m glad I did though, because I might have missed what he said next . . . .
“But, Baby, I don’t want you to ‘zip it’. I married you because I appreciate your strong mind and passionate heart. Don’t you see? I love that about you.”
Oh. You do?
And at last I was able to reconcile being a strong-hearted woman and being a biblical wife.
Now some of you might not see the struggle here. What? What’s the issue?
Well, the “issue” is that Scripture talks about the “beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (I Pet. 3:4) and I truly wanted to fit that description. But I wasn’t so sure that I did.
So maybe you’re a strong-hearted woman too. You don’t give up, you’re willing to stand up for what you believe is right, and you’re passionate about your family and the world you live in.
Boy! do I get that.
And guess what? It’s okay.
So all my strong-hearted friends, be encouraged.  Here are some  beautiful truths for you:
A Strong-Hearted Woman can keep a quiet heart. She’s not agitated in her spirit, yet remains strong in her convictions. A lovely example of this is Elisabeth Elliot – one of the strongest women of my acquaintance and also the author of Keep a Quiet Heart.
A Strong-Hearted Woman draws her strength from Christ – not from herself. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).  Always remember the true Source of your strength.
A Strong-Hearted Woman readily respects her husband. She uses her strength to support her husband. Not to go up against him (Eph. 5:33).  (More here: The Highly-Rated Habit of Respecting Him)
A Strong-Hearted Woman cultivates a sweet spirit. Sweetness and strength are not opposites. These two qualities actually can - and should - go hand-in-hand.
A Strong-Hearted Woman walks in humility. She knows that just because she might feel more strongly about something doesn’t necessarily make her right (and you know what I”m talking about!).  Don’t let your intensity triumph over all.
God gave you that wonderful, passionate heart and, as long as you’re submitted to Him, then you’re right where He wants you to be. Not only that, you’re right where your husband  wants you to be.
Yes, your man loves that about you.
In His grace,
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The Blood of Jesus

"We are come to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."—Hebrews 12:24.
Reader, have you come to the blood of sprinkling? The question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form of experience, but have you come to the blood of Jesus? The blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness. If you have truly come to Jesus, we know how you came—the Holy Spirit sweetly brought you there. You came to the blood of sprinkling with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! The dropping of His blood is as the music of heaven to the penitent sons of earth. We are full of sin, but the Saviour bids us lift our eyes to Him, and as we gaze upon His streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, "It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness." Oh! sweet language of the precious blood of Jesus! If you have come to that blood once, you will come to it constantly. Your life will be "Looking unto Jesus." Your whole conduct will be epitomized in this—"To whom coming." Not to whom I have come, but to whom I am always coming. If thou hast ever come to the blood of sprinkling, thou wilt feel thy need of coming to it every day. He who does not desire to wash in it every day, has never washed in it at all. The believer ever feels it to be his joy and privilege that there is still a fountain opened. Past experiences are doubtful food for Christians; a present coming to Christ alone can give us joy and comfort. This morning let us sprinkle our door-post fresh with blood, and then feast upon the Lamb, assured that the destroying angel must pass us by.
-Charles Spurgeon, Morning Meditation, April 17th

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An interesting thought to ponder....

The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.
~Elisabeth Elliot
Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim,
for God's eye is still the same.
- Charles Spurgeon -

Monday, April 14, 2014

God Gives the Very Best

I was very blessed by this poem this evening. 

 "Life is but a Weaving"
(the Tapestry Poem)

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
~Corrie ten Boom~ 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The believers only hope and greatest joy: In Christ alone

A foundational truth of biblical Christianity is that the believer has a right standing before God in the gospel-in Christ alone.  The psalms of David confront us with man's greatest dilemma: "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully."  Any man who entertains even the remotest possibility that there is a personal and moral God must tremble at David's question.  Unless he is an imbecile or his conscience has been seared beyond use, he must recognize that he does not possess the necessary qualifications to stand approved before the Judge of all the earth.  The Scriptures tell us that if he looks within, he will find that his heart is more deceitful than all else and is wicked beyond comprehension.  If he turns to consider his own mind, he will find that there are wicked thoughts lodged within.  If he listens intently to  his speech, he will become aware that it is full of deceit, cursing, and bitterness.  If he gazes upon his hands, he will see that they are stained with the residue of countless misdeeds.  If in desperation he seeks to cover his shame by dressing himself in his most righteous deeds, he will find that he is clothed in the filthy rot of  a leper.  Although he washes himself with lye and uses much soap, the stain of his iniquity remains.  Everywhere he turns, he finds himself accused, condemned, and without hope.  It is in this moment of absolute helplessness and final resignation that the illumined and regenerate sinner looks to Christ and finds his hope in Him.  Turning from self-righteousness, he believes and is justified by grace alone through faith alone.  From that moment on, he bears the twin marks of a Christian: he glories in Christ Jesus and puts no confidence in the flesh.  He has entered into that great company of saints who believed God and it was reckoned to them as righteousness.  He has cast himself upon Christ and clings to Him with a strength multiplied by the terror of what would have befallen him if he had been left to fend for himself.  He stands upon Christ alone and will not venture from Him.  He is convinced that he can ascend into the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place only by virtue of the person and merit of Christ.  To paraphrase the old hymn writer: "His hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.  He dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.  On Christ the solid Rock he stands, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand."  
~Paul Washer in his book The Gospel's Power & Message, chapter 2 pages 13-14


Monday, April 7, 2014

Praying for Your Husband - Present or Future :-)

I was encouraged by this article as I read it this evening.  Even though I'm not married yet, I do seek to be faithful to pray for my future husband.  That is something Mom has always really encouraged we girls to do.  It's part of doing him good all the days of our lives as Proverbs 31 women.  Sometimes it's a hard thing to do when you can't see the results of your prayers, but we know that the Lord does hear and use our prayers, and tells us to pray, so we must just be faithful.  It is amazing looking around at our world today.  Having a dad and brother, I know there are so many terrible things surrounding our men as they go out into the world.  They so need our prayers!  I thought this article presented some excellent ways to pray for our men - whether it's our dad, brother, husband, or future husband!  I hope some of you are encouraged by it as well.

 5 Hard Things To Pray For Your Husband
Almost from the beginning of our marriage I prayed that my husband would become interested in being healthy. I wanted him around a long time. Well, I prayed for almost 9 years before he decided to try running. He fell in love with it, lost a lot of weight, strengthened his heart and was all around a much healthier and happier man.  Prayer works!
I am thankful for the number of good blogs, books, and conferences that are encouraging wives to serve their husbands according the Scripture with their unique gifts and callings and to pray for them regularly.  But this is not always easy work. In fact, some of the things we must pray for our husbands are hard in and of themselves.
Your husband doesn’t only need you to pray that he has a good day, is successful, and walks with Jesus. These are not bad requests, but are rather generic prayers that have too little specific direction behind them. What our husbands need from us are specific prayers, hard prayers, for their growth in godliness. I love my husband and I want what is best for him. And the best thing for him is to be a man who who lives for the glory of God.
Here are five hard prayers I pray for my husband, and would encourage you to pray for yours.
1. Conviction of Sin
I pray that the Holy Spirit would never allow my husband to become numb to the sin in his life, but that he would convict him of his sin and remind him of his need for ongoing repentance and spiritual reformation. A convicted man will never be a proud man. A convicted man who finds God’s grace in Jesus will remain a thankful man. Pray that God continues to press in on the heart of your husband so that he remains sensitive to sin and the Spirit and continues in the way of godliness.
2. Humility of Heart
A proud man thinks too highly of himself, too little of everyone else, and has lost sight of God. A proud husband will not be open to necessary rebuke or correction, and will put himself first before others. But a humble man is teachable who, regardless of his temperament, will submit himself to the word of God. I pray that my husband will only continue to grow in humility as he follows Jesus, and that this would be one of the dominant marks of Christ in him.
3. Patience in Life
My husband wouldn’t mind me telling you that he is not naturally a patient man. But the lack of patience in a man is the marring of the image of God in him. God is patient with us in all our weakness and obstinacy, and we should all live lives that reflect this attribute of our Maker and Redeemer. And this is important because an impatient man is quick to complain, quick to become angry, and is therefore more likely to blame others, and even God, for what disturbs them. While my husband doesn’t get to that place, one of his greatest needs is to learn patience in life. Not just because God commands it, but because the kids (and I) need him to be patient. A patient husband is a man who knows he has received much more than he deserves, has been the recipient of God’s patience throughout his life, and who finds great joy in suffering well both the big things and the little things in life.
4. Love for God
I want my husband to love God more than he loves me or our children. Why? Because if he loved us more than God we would serve as his idols, and would eventually let him down. We are not good gods. But a husband who loves God above all other people in his life will treasure God and his good gifts. A man like that knows that outside of Jesus Christ his greatest earthly treasures are found in his home, in the life of his youth and the children given to him by the Lord. I pray that my husband would love me less than he loves the Lord, and that his love for God would be intense and endless. I know if he loves God first, he will love me better than I can imagine.
5. Discipline from God
Do you ever feel like your husband is not walking on the right path? And I don’t mean you have to keep reminding him to pick his clothes up off the bathroom floor (Annoying, but not a crisis.). But there will be times when husbands, just like their wives, begin to drift in their affection, focus, and carefulness in their Christian walk. There will be times when we need God to intervene and discipline our husbands to get their attention, show them the danger of their sin, and rescue from the potential danger ahead of them.
When our husbands are doing well we should praise God but we should also pray that God would do whatever is necessary in order to keep the heart of our men focused on himself.
There is so much more than can be said of how we should be praying for our husbands, but let’s begin by committing ourselves to pray hard prayers for them. I hope my husband prays hard prayers for me as well.

Friday, April 4, 2014

What does it mean and how do we run to Christ?

"Many people hear the phrases 'Run to Christ,' 'Look to Christ,' 'Come to Christ,' and they get worn out trying to run, look, and come. Instead they still find themselves lost and without rest. So what does it mean to 'Run to Christ'? Tim goes to Romans 10 to give an answer."
I was very blessed as I listened to this message yesterday.  It is so worth listening to, especially for those of you who want to be saved, but don't feel like you're getting any where or that feel like God's not saving you even though you're asking Him to.  A powerful message by pastor Tim Conway on how to run to Christ!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Love divine has seen and counted
Every tear it caused to fall,
And the storm which Love appointed
Was its choicest gift of all.