Friday, November 30, 2012

Do I have the Faith?



Do I have the faith to walk in obedience to the Lord when nothing makes sense?  He is working out His will; will I trust that?
"The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.'  Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living.  Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child.  And God spoke to this effect--that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years.  'But I will judge the nation that they serve,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.'  -Acts 7:2b-7

God is in the front line....press onward!


The Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

In the presence of a great work or a great warfare, here is a text which should help us to buckle on our harness. If Jehovah Himself goes before us, it must be safe to follow. Who can obstruct our progress if the Lord Himself is in the van? Come, brother soldiers, let us make a prompt advance! Why do we hesitate to pass on to victory?

Nor is the Lord before us only; He is with us. Above, beneath, around, within is the omnipotent, omnipresent One. In all time, even to eternity, He will be with us even as He has been. How this should nerve our arm! Dash at it boldly, ye soldiers of the cross, for the Lord of hosts is with us!

Being before us and with us, He will never withdraw His help. He cannot fail in Himself, and He will not fail toward us. He will continue to help us according to our need, even to the end. As He cannot fail us, so He will not forsake us. He will always be both able and willing to grant us strength and succor till fighting days are gone.

Let us not fear nor be dismayed; for the Lord of hosts will go down to the battle with us, will bear the brunt of the fight, and give us the victory.

-Charles Spurgeon, Faith's Check Book

2 Peter 1:5-7 Word Study



And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
(2Pe 1:5-7)

And beside this, giving all diligence
Diligence
DILIGENCE, n. [L., to love earnestly; to choose.]

1. Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth; due attention; industry; assiduity.

add to your faith
Faith
FAITH, n. [L. fides, fido, to trust; Gr. to persuade, to draw towards any thing, to conciliate; to believe, to obey. In the Greek Lexicon of Hederic it is said, the primitive signification of the verb is to bind and draw or lead, as signifies a rope or cable. But this remark is a little incorrect. The sense of the verb, from which that of rope and binding is derived, is to strain, to draw, and thus to bind or make fast. A rope or cable is that which makes fast. Heb.]

Virtue
Virtue
VIRTUE, n. vur'tu. [L. virtus, from vireo, or its root. See Worth.] The radical sense is strength, from straining, stretching, extending. This is the primary sense of L. vir, a man.]


3. Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. In this sense, virtue may be, and in many instances must be, distinguished from religion. The practice of moral duties merely from motives of convenience, or from compulsion, or from regard to reputation, is virtue, as distinct from religion. The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws, is virtue and religion. In this sense it is true,


and to virtue knowledge
Knowledge
KNOWL'EDGE, n. nol'lej.

1. A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas.

We can have no knowledge of that which does not exist. God has a perfect knowledge of all his works. Human knowledge is very limited, and is mostly gained by observation and experience.

2. Learning; illumination of mind.

And to knowledge temperance
Temperance
TEM'PERANCE, n. [L. temperantia, from tempero.]

1. Moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; as temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or mirth. Temperance in eating and drinking is opposed to gluttony and drunkenness, and in other indulgences, to excess.


and to temperance patience
Patience
PATIENCE, n. pa'shens. [L. patientia, from patior, to suffer.]

1. The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will.

and to patience godliness
Godliness
GOD'LINESS, n. [from godly.] Piety; belief in God, and reverence for his character and laws.

1. A religious life; a careful observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, proceeding from love and reverence for the divine character and commands; christian obedience.

And to godliness brotherly kindness
Brotherly
BROTH'ERLY, a. Pertaining to brothers; such as is natural for brothers; becoming brothers; kind; affectionate; as brotherly love.

Kindness
KINDNESS, n. [from kind, the adjective.]

1. Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature. Kindness ever accompanies love.

and to brotherly kindness charity
Charity
CHARITY, n.

1. In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.

1 Cor 8. Col 3. 1 Tim 1.

2. In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.

 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
(2Pe 1:5-7) ESV




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Powerful, Sobering Quote



This is a powerful, sobering quote from Charles Spurgeon's book The Soulwinner :

I have heard of a man who was dying, and he sent for the minister to come and see him.  When the minister came in, the dying man said to him, "Do you remember a young man walking with you one evening, some years ago, when you were going out to preach?" 
He said, he did not. 
"I recollect it very well," replied the other.  "Do you not remember preaching at such-and-such a village, from such-and-such a text, and after the service a young man walked home with you?" 
"Oh yes, I remember that very well!" 
"Well, I am the young man who walked home with you that night;  I remember your sermon, I shall never forget it." 
"Thank God for that," said the preacher.
"No,” answered the dying man, "you will not thank God when you have heard all I have to say.  I walked with you to the village, but you did not say much to me on the way there, for you were thinking over your sermon; you deeply impressed me while you were preaching, and I was led to think about giving my heart to Christ.  I wanted to speak to you about my soul on the way home; but the moment you got out you cracked a joke, and all the way back you made such fun upon serious subjects, that I could not say anything about what I felt, and it thoroughly disgusted me with religion, and all who professed it, and now I am going to be damned, and my blood will lie at your door, as sure as you are alive."  And so he passed out of the world. 
One would not like anything of that sort to happen to himself; therefore, take heed, brethren, that you give no occasion for it.  There must be a prevailing seriousness about our whole lives, otherwise we cannot hope to lead other men to Christ.

C. H. Spurgeon

Ever Doubt Your Salvation?


Monday, November 26, 2012

My eyes are always on the Lord!



(James Smith, "Comfort for Christians!")

"My eyes are always on the Lord!" Psalm 25:15

The Lord directs us to look to Him for all that we need--and look away from all that we fear and all that troubles us. Looking to man dishonors the Lord--and ends in disappointment. Looking to ourselves fills us with gloom, sadness, doubts, and fears. It was wise, therefore, of the Psalmist to keep his eyes fixed steadily and habitually on the Lord.

Beloved! In all your sufferings, let your eyes be ever on the Lord. Look to Him . . .
  for ease in pain,
  for strength in weakness,
  for comfort in sorrow,
  and for relief in distress.
Keep your eye fixed on Him as your Father and your God--who has pledged in His Word to do you good.

Friends may fail you, relatives may neglect or be unkind to you, and those you love most may be unable to help you--but look to the Lord! He will never fail you or neglect you. He will prove Himself both able and willing to help you.

Let nothing divert your attention, then, from the Lord--but carry everything to Him and exercise implicit confidence in Him.

Cast on Him every care,
commit to Him every work,
lay before Him every difficulty.
You will prove that He is not only able, but also willing to do "infinitely more than we might ask or think!" Ephesians 3:20.

Whenever Satan tempts you, or guilty fears torment you--turn your eyes to Calvary and see Jesus, your Savior--suffering, bleeding, and dying for you--and so you will enjoy peace.

Lord, help me to look to You for all my direction in life, so that I might not be led astray by my deceitful heart. Let me praise You and bring glory to Your Name every moment of my life!

"My eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord!" Psalm 141:8

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!...So what is today about?



 Dad will be sharing this devotional today as we are gathered together with family and friends for this Thanksgiving holiday, taking the time to ponder on why we are gathering and how much we have to be thankful for.  
I hope you are blessed by it and Happy Thanksgiving!


What is the holiday, Thanksgiving to you?
Family tradition of fellowship, food and football?  A long weekend with no school?

What is it truly?
William Bradford said “"All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings."

It is an American, Christian tradition instituted in the year 1623 by the English Puritan Separatists we know as “The Pilgrims”. 


Who were the Pilgrims and where did they come from:
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Puritan-leaning religious opinions were generally tolerated, but when King James came to power in 1604 the Church of England again began to root out, prosecute, and jail those who openly believed the Church needed to be purified of its false ceremonies, non-Scriptural teachings, and superstitious rituals.  Across England, small groups began to separate themselves from their persecuting Churches, to form their own secret congregations.  One such group was centered not too far from Sherwood Forest, in a small village in Nottinghamshire named Scrooby.  Led by Richard Clyfton, John Robinson, and William Brewster, by 1606 the group was secretly holding meetings in Scrooby Manor, where Brewster was employed as the postmaster.  It was not long, however, before the authorities were onto them.  The group made the decision to flee England to Holland, where they had heard they could practice their religion without the threat of jail, punishments, and fines.  After several failed attempts in 1607, they all managed to make it to Amsterdam in 1608, and later migrated en masse to Leiden, Holland in early 1609.

Why did the Pilgrims leave Holland?
Reasons for departure are suggested by Bradford, when he notes the "discouragements" of the hard life they had in the Netherlands, and the hope of attracting others by finding "a better, and easier place of living"; the "children" of the group being "drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses"; the "great hope, for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world."


History / derivatives of the holiday:

Henry Laurens on Thanksgiving

This is the origin of our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration.
Congress of the United States has proclaimed National Days
of Thanksgiving to Almighty God many times throughout the
following years. On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress,
the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed,
and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental
Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus
officially set aside:

"…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with
one heart and one voice the good people may
express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and
consecrate themselves to the service of their
Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and
earnest supplication that it may please God,
through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to
forgive and blot them (their manifold sins) out of
remembrance… That it may please Him… to take
schools and seminaries of education, so necessary
for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue
and piety under His nurturing hand, and to prosper
the means of religion for the promotion and
enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth of
'righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost'…"


George Washington on Thanksgiving

On January 1, 1795, our first
United States President, George Washington,
wrote his famed National Thanksgiving
Proclamation, in which he says that it is…

"…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and
affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many
and great obligations to Almighty God, and to
implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people,
with devout reverence and affectionate
gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great
obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him
to continue and confirm the blessings we
experienced…"

Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1795 was thus set
aside by George Washington as a National Day of
Thanksgiving.


Abraham Lincoln on Thanksgiving

On October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of
Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving "on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." In this Thanksgiving proclamation, our 16th President says that it is…

"…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by
all history, that those nations are blessed whose
God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which
preserved us in peace and multiplied and
enriched and strengthened us, and we have
vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our
hearts, that all these blessings were produced
by some superior wisdom and virtue of our
own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that
God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully
acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice,
by the whole American people…"


Franklin D. Roosevelt on Thanksgiving

On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. Two years earlier, Roosevelt had used a presidential proclamation to try to achieve this change, reasoning that earlier celebration of the holiday would give the country an economic boost.


Why were the Pilgrims thankful?
They had ability to practice religious freedom
God’s provisional blessings


God Commands our thankfulness:

Psalms 100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  KJV

Col. 3:15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  ESV

There are some 95 verses in the Bible that exhort us to “give thanks” to God.
What are we thankful for?  To whom are we thankful? 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!


For the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. We should even be thankful in the midst of problems. The Apostle Paul said, "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4). He knew that God was working all things together for his good, even though he was going through trials (Romans 8:28).

Problems will come your way. God will see to it personally that you grow as a Christian. He will allow the storms, to send your roots deep into the soil of His Word. We pray more in the midst of problems, but it's been well said that you will see more from your knees, than you will on your tip toes.

A man once watched a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. In an effort to help it, he took a razor blade, and carefully slit the edge of the cocoon. The butterfly escaped from its problem . . . and immediately died.

It is God's way to have the butterfly struggle. It is the struggle that causes its tiny heart to beat fast, and send the life's blood into its wings.

Trials have their purpose. They make us struggle -- they bring us to our knees. They are the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is there that the life's blood of faith in God helps us spread our wings.

Faith and thanksgiving are close friends. If you have faith in God, you will be thankful because you know His loving hand is upon you, even though you are in a lion's den. That will give you a deep sense of joy, and joy is the barometer of the depth of faith you have in God. Let me give you an example. Imagine if I said I would give you one million dollars if you sent me an email. Of course, you don't believe that I would do that. But imagine if you did. Imagine if you had knowledge of more than 1,000 people who had sent me an email, and every one received their million dollars -- no strings attached. More than that. You had actually called me, and I had assured you personally that I would keep my word. If you believed me, wouldn't you have joy? If you didn't believe me -- no joy. The amount of joy you have would be a barometer as to how much you believed my promise.

We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us "exceeding great and precious promises" that are "more to be desired than gold." Do yourself a big favor -- believe those promises, thank God continually for them, and "let your joy be full."

An old farmer once had an ungodly relative visit him. After the farmer had bowed his head and thanked God for the food they were about to eat, the relative rudely said, "What did you do that for? There's no God. We live in an age of enlightenment." The old farmer smiled and said, "There is one on the farm who doesn't thank God before he eats." The relative sat up and said, "Who is this enlightened one?" To which the farmer quietly replied, "My pig."

~Posted on Desiring God blog

The Thanksgiving Battery

Of all the things to be thankful for, a BATTERY?

Well. . . kind of.  Here it is the night before Thanksgiving Day.  Everyone is coming to our house for dinner tomorrow.  The girls and I are  preparing food for the next day, setting the tables, finishing up the Wednesday prep list for the big day.  Seth and Tayte were out doing chores and the little ones were already tucked in bed.  

Things were going well.  


And then it happened.  

Here comes all three of the little girls down the steps.  Elizabeth says, "Mommy, Esther swallowed something silver and now her stomach hurts."  Oh dear!  Whatever could she have swallowed.  Long story made short the little stinker had swallowed a button battery.  This was a first time experience for us.  What to do?  

Calm Esther
Pray 
Google (whatever did we do without it?)

We ended up calling the poison control center or somewhere like that to get some counsel.  Of course the response is always to take them in.  Both Seth and I were praying asking God for wisdom.  It was so strange, Esther's back hurt then it moved to her stomach.  How did this connect with the battery?  We were bewildered.  

Crying out to God for wisdom, we were just about at the point of taking her in.  Things were getting worse and we had no clue how to help her.  Breanna was sitting with her while Seth and I were figuring out if we should take her in.  All of a sudden she sits up, vomits and out comes the battery.  Her stomach quit hurting and she said, "Can I go to bed, I'm tired".  She felt great!  The trial was past.

We spent the rest of the night thanking the Lord and speaking of His goodness to us.  

God is so worthy of our praise, our trust, our all! 
Sometimes it is only in the trials that we realize just how faithful and loving He is to us.  

What a great way to begin this Thanksgiving Day 2012!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Challenge and Encouragement - New Every Morning



Just as the sun rise is new every morning, so is the Lord’s faithfulness, love, forgiveness, and strength!

This morning, after waking to a breathtaking sunrise, the Lord really challenged me in some areas.

Using my time in a truly profitable way is often a challenge for me, and wasting that precious time often results in a lack spiritually.  This doesn’t just effect me; it effects all those around me!

I would like to share briefly with you the things that the Lord showed me this morning through His Word, in hopes that it will be a benefit and encouragement to you as well as it was to me.

“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.   For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”   –Philemon 1:4-7

Philemon’s love and faith brought about much joy and comfort to Paul, and was a refreshment to the saints.  Take note that Philemon was sharing his faith!  When we are about worthy spiritual pursuits, we will incur the prayers and support of the body of Christ.

“Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.”   –Philemon 1:20

We should be of benefit and refreshment to the body of Christ.  This only happens when our focus is right.

“Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.”   –Philemon 1:21

Can the same be said of me?  Will I truly obey the voice of the Lord, or do I just slide back into the easy path?  Will I walk in faith and love and zeal for my Lord and for those He has placed around me?

This following quote by Charles Spurgeon, which I also read this morning, fit so well with everything else the Lord showed me.

“If we observe the apostle’s precept (Titus 3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.”
-Charles Spurgeon’s Morning Meditation, November 19th

We each know the areas in which we fail, and those things that distract us from serving our Lord as we ought.  But there is no room for defeat.  His mercy is always there, and with it He provides new strength.  May we each press on to walk steadfastly in the calling that we have received from the Lord!

~Post shared by Brittany

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Fall Recipe!!!!~ Irresistible Iced Pumpkin Cookies

We found this recipe recently and the whole family LOVES it!  Definitely planing on making these for Thanksgiving dinner this year!  I hope you and your family enjoy them too!  :-)




Irresistible Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:
~2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
~1 tsp. baking powder
~1 tsp. baking soda
~2 tsp. ground cinnamon
~1/2 tsp.  ground nutmeg
~1/2 tsp. ground cloves
~1/2 tsp. salt
~1/2 cup butter, softened
~1 1/2 cups evaporated cane sugar or white sugar
~1 cup pumpkin puree
~1 egg
~1 tsp. vanilla extract
Icing Ingredients:
~2 cups confectioners sugar
~3 Tb. milk
~1 Tb. melted butter
~1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
3.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then spread glaze on cookies.
4.  To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, but I changed the name, used whole wheat flour and evaporated cane to make it a bit more healthy, and lessened the baking time.  This recipe had 2,266 reviews and a 4 and 1/2 star rating!  When I saw that....I knew we had to try this one!  :-)  With a few modifications...they were awesome!  :-)  To view the original recipe on allrecipes.com,  CLICK HERE.

God, Your Only Object


"To whom be glory for ever. Amen"—Romans 11:36.
To whom be glory for ever." This should be the single desire of the Christian. All other wishes must be subservient and tributary to this one. The Christian may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this—"To Him be glory for ever." He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be that "To Him may be glory for ever." You are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than a single eye to your Lord's glory. As a Christian, you are "of God, and through God," then live "to God." Let nothing ever set your heart beating so mightily as love to Him. Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive whenever your zeal would grow chill; make God your only object. Depend upon it, where self begins sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only object,

"To me 'tis equal whether love ordain
My life or death—appoint me ease or pain."

Let your desire for God's glory be a growing desire. You blessed Him in your youth, do not be content with such praises as you gave Him then. Has God prospered you in business? Give Him more as He has given you more. Has God given you experience? Praise Him by stronger faith than you exercised at first. Does your knowledge grow? Then sing more sweetly. Do you enjoy happier times than you once had? Have you been restored from sickness, and has your sorrow been turned into peace and joy? Then give Him more music; put more coals and more sweet frankincense into the censer of your praise. Practically in your life give Him honour, putting the "Amen" to this doxology to your great and gracious Lord, by your own individual service and increasing holiness.

-Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation, November 17th

All Through the Journey of Life!



The following is an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:

June 29, 1857.
Through this month, I have been much employed in preaching the Word, and endeavoring to spread the fame of Jesus. O to exalt His dear name more and more!

I have been much tried by the instability of some from whom I expected better things. One thing is certain--the Lord will overrule all for His own glory, and the good of His cause. O to look away from the creature--to the Lord Jesus Christ alone!

May I seek all my happiness in Christ--and all my supplies from Christ. May I . . .
  look to Him,
  lean on Him,
  and walk with Him--
all through the journey of life! Then, when my journey ends, may I pass the Jordan under a sense of His love, and enter into the promised land!

O for more grace!
O for more conformity to Jesus!
O for more fellowship with Jesus!

I find more and more, that it does not do to look to creatures at all. I must . . .
  look to Christ,
  expect from Christ, and
  seek in all things to honor Christ.
May I labor for Christ alone, and expect my reward from His blessed hands.

As Jesus lived for me--so I would live for Him!
As Jesus suffered for me--so I would suffer for Him!
As Jesus died for me--so I am willing to die for Him, if He required it at my hands.

"For to me, to live is Christ--and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21

(James Smith's autobiography, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Take Time to Say THANK YOU This Thanksgiving~free downloadable thank you/witnessing card!


Living Waters ministry has made available to us this November a new and free thank you card called, "A Debt of Gratitude" that includes a gospel presentation to give to those that serve us publicly, such as law enforcements officers, fire fighters and others.  Please consider taking the time to say thank you to those who serve us and make sacrifices for us!  It is an excellent opportunity to share the good new of Jesus Christ with those that serve in your community while at the same time showing appreciation for them in what they do!  



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who Are You Inviting to Thanksgiving Dinner?

 


In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we need to know whom Jesus wants us to invite to our Thanksgiving dinner.
John Piper said these words in 1980 when the fourth Thursday of November was right around the corner. As a new pastor wanting to lead his people to obey all of Jesus's commands, he opened to Luke 14:12–14.
[Jesus] said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
At this point — as you read this — an old sermon that's rooted in an even older text reaches into our present and waves us down. We should listen. The words of Jesus in Luke 14, after all, are for his church with transhistorical power. Right now in 2012, with the fourth Thursday of November a week away, Piper's 32-year-old exposition offers two points to keep in mind as you invite folks to gather around Thanksgiving dinner next week.

First, beware the law of reciprocity.

Piper explains,
There is in every human heart a terrible and powerful tendency to live by the law of earthly repayment, the law of reciprocity. There is a subtle and relentless inclination in our flesh to do what will make life as comfortable as possible and to avoid what will inconvenience us or agitate our placid routine or add the least bit of tension to our Thanksgiving dinner. The most sanctified people among us must do battle every day so as not to be enslaved by the universal tendency to always act for the greatest earthly payoff.
The people who lightly dismiss [Luke 14:12–14] as a rhetorical overstatement are probably blind to the impossibility of overstating the corruption of the human heart and its deceptive power to make us think all is well when we are enslaved to the law of reciprocity, the law which says: always do what will pay off in convenience, undisturbed pleasures, domestic comfort, and social tranquility. Jesus's words are radical because our sin is radical. He waves a red flag because there is destruction ahead for people governed by the law of reciprocity.

Second, Thanksgiving dinner helps reveal our treasure.

Why does it make such an eternal difference whom you invite to Thanksgiving dinner? It is not so much that this one afternoon is all-determining. The reason it makes an eternal difference is that it, along with many other occasions, reveals where our treasure is. Is Jesus, with his commands and promises, more valuable to us than tradition and convenience and earthly comfort? Is he our treasure or is the world?
That question is not decided during an invitation at church. It is decided at Thanksgiving dinner, and hour by hour every day, by whether we are willing to inconvenience ourselves for those who can't repay, or whether we avoid them and so preserve our placid routine.
It matters whom you invite to Thanksgiving dinner because it matters where your treasure is.
Excerpts from "Who Should We Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?" (1980)
~John Piper on Desiring God blog

Ron Paul's Farewell Speech to Congress

This is a must hear even if you are not a Ron Paul fan.  
Just for the record, the Alexander's ARE big Ron Paul fans!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cut it off!

"If your hand or your foot causes you to sin--cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled--than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire!" Matthew 18:8

Our life is so full of temptation and peril--that even its best things may become stumbling-blocks. Our very qualities of strength--may become fatal forces driving us to eternal ruin.

Human beauty
is a blessing from God--and yet beauty has proved a snare to many a woman, drawing her away from God.

Ability to make money
is a perilous gift--which has led many a man to spiritual ruin. It is better to altogether throw away the money-making ability, and go poor through life with the talent wasted and shriveled, and reach Heaven--than to exercise the ability and grow rich, and be lost forever! These are illustrations of our Lord's meaning when He speaks of 'cutting off' the hand or the foot which causes us to sin.

The appetites, desires, and affections--are part of the glory of humanity; and yet, when they are unbridled--they have whirled many a noble life to eternal destruction!

A steam-boat came into port which had long been out on the sea. An accident had happened which caused delay. The coal gave out; then all that would burn--cargo, stores, furniture--had to be burned up, in order to bring the vessel home. At last she gained the shore--but stripped of everything of value. Yet it was better to burn up all her cargo and stores--than perish at sea.

Just so, some men can get to Heaven--only by sacrificing every earthly pleasure and crucifying every sinful desire; but who will say that the prize is not worth the sacrifice? The hand would be better chopped off--than steal or strike down another. The foot would be better cut off--than carry one into crime or sin. The eye would be better plucked-out--than by its lustful gazing set the soul on fire. A man on a wrecked vessel had better throw his bags of gold into the sea and have his life saved--than hold on to the gold and sink into the waves!

(J.R. Miller, "Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)

Limitless Riches



 My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
Paul's God is our God and will supply all our need. Paul felt sure of this in reference to the Philippians, and we feel sure of it as to ourselves. God will do it, for it is like Him: He loves us, He delights to bless us, and it will glorify Him to do so. His pity, His power, His love, His faithfulness, all work together that we be not famished.
What a measure doth the Lord go by: "According to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." The riches of His grace are large, but what shall we say of the riches of His glory? His "riches of glory by Christ Jesus"-who shall form an estimate of this? According to this immeasurable measure will God fill up the immense abyss of our necessities. He makes the Lord Jesus the receptacle and the channel of His fullness, and then He imparts to us His wealth of love in its highest form. Hallelujah!
The writer knows what it is to be tried in the work of the Lord. Fidelity has been recompensed with anger, and liberal givers have stopped their subscriptions; but he whom they sought to oppress has not been one penny the ~ nay, rather he has been the richer; for this promise has been true, "My God shall supply all your need." God's supplies are surer than any bank.
-Charles Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook, November 15th

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Name to Use






If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14)

What a wide promise! Anything! Whether large or small, all my needs are covered by that word anything. Come, my soul, be free at the mercy seat, and hear thy Lord saying to thee, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it."
What a wise promise! We are always to ask in the name of Jesus. While this encourages us, it also honors Him. This is a constant plea. Occasionally every other plea is darkened, especially such as we could draw from our own relation to God or our experience of His grace; but at such times the name of Jesus is as mighty at the throne as ever, and we may plead it with full assurance.
What an instructive prayer! I may not ask for anything to which I cannot put Christ's hand and seal. I dare not use my Lord's name to a selfish or willful petition. I may only use my Lord's name to prayers which He would Himself pray if He were in my case. It is a high privilege to be authorized to ask in the name of Jesus as if Jesus Himself asked; but our love to Him will never allow us to set that name where He would not have set it.
Am I asking for that which Jesus approves? Dare I put His seal to my prayer? Then I have that which I seek of the Father.
-Charles Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook, November 14th