Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Glimpse from Family Worship Tonight

This has been one of Seth and I's favorite parenting verses for years . . .

Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
(Pro 14:4)

Seth has been leading us through a study of the book of Proverbs for our family worship time each evening since the fall.  He is using Kevin Swanson's excellent study guide 

I remember when Tayte was just a little guy and every day Seth would sit down with him and they would read and talk about a chapter in Proverbs.  For years we use to read a chapter of Proverbs everyday as part of our schooling.  What fond sweet memories that book has in our family; not to mention the wisdom it contains!!!  Oh dear I digressed there . . . so very many memories.  :-)

Well over the years we have laughed, meditated, clung to, and lived by the above verse. 
Proverbs 14:4 
I am sure any mother or father can find application.  lol

I thought something that Mr. Swanson said was quite profound.  From Part 84 page 188 Book 1
 "God is good.  He does really well with big messes, but He doesn't do as much with those who are so neatly put together.  What really matters in your life are the risks you take for God, the sacrifices, the heart molding, and the willingness to uncover the mess and remove the layers of hypocrisy and white-coated plaster.  If you try risking your furniture, your relationships, and your otherwise neat life for Jesus, and bring the whole mess to the cross, you will find great blessing indeed."  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

House For Sale

Click to view pictures and more information

Salvation is of the Lord

May this be true and truly recognized in each of our hearts!

"Salvation is of the Lord."—Jonah 2:9.
Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul "dead in trespasses and sins," and it is He also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both "Alpha and Omega." "Salvation is of the Lord." If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God's gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely. If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord's strength nerved my arm. Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who liveth in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God's Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God's chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it. Do I live on the manna which comes down from heaven? What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help cometh from heaven's hills: without Jesus I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in Him. What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: "Salvation is of the Lord."
-Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation, February 26th
Posted by: Brittany

Monday, February 25, 2013

Excellent Paul Washer Quotes

"Even our failures can bring forth good if they crush our independence, drive us closer to Christ, and make us more aware of our need of grace. The greatest need of true saints is a greater revelation of the love of God in Christ."  -Paul Washer

"Since you and I are pitiful, we should not find it difficult to show pity. Our shared weaknesses should unite us in tender fellowship." - Paul Washer

Random Pictures

This was too precious!  One night Tayte needed to work on his bosses spreader and needed help and sweet Brittany graciously volunteered to go stand outside in the freezing cold and help her brother.  I was watching out the window at the one point and was so blessed I actually got my coat on and went out in that freezing cold to snap a couple of pictures.  They had been out there for several hours and when I went out here was Tayte was under the spreader and Brittany was at the side handing him whatever he asked for with the cheerful and pleasant attitude.  I stood in awe as that is so her!  Tayte is such a hard worker I so admire him for his diligence and servants heart which is always willing to give of himself for others too.   I could not help but to smile and feel so blessed as I see the precious adults they have become.  

 It is totally official with a sign and everything!  Could the Alexander's really become Southerners??!!!

 A creative and tasty love note!
It was so beautiful here this past Lord's Day that we went for a walk in the late afternoon even though it was really not all that warm.  The sunshine was truly a breath of fresh air.  Don't tell anyone but the little girls have Tayte wrapped around his little finger.  :-)  So sweet!!!  Of course the story does go deeper as last night Seth asked the older girls why they cater to him so much and make him bedtime snacks. . .   what a blessing it is to see the love that there is between all of the children!   :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Praising & Thanking the Lord for His Mighty Hand this Week

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”  - 1 Peter 4:12-13

“Prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”  -Malachi 3:10b

I cannot even begin to express the joy, peace, and blessing I feel while writing this.  The Lord is mightily at work in our family.  He is so good, so gracious, so loving, so powerful!  There have been many trials in our lives of late that the Lord has used to grow our faith.  Right now we are seeking His direction in some specific ways.  This week He has shown Himself mighty on our behalf, and this I must share with you all.

The Lord has been teaching me so much about faith lately.  Seeing, submitting to, and rejoicing in His perfect will; unconditional love; and being more Spirit led in prayer.  On this journey of faith, I came to somewhat of a standstill, afraid to really trust God and ask for what seems to be the impossible.  The Lord is so good to teach us each lesson He has for us to learn, and He has certainly grown my faith this week.

In order to walk down the path in which we feel the Lord is directing our family, we are needing to sell several things.  We are all earnestly praying over these things as family.  I decided to take a leap of faith and ask specifically for the Lord to sell one thing last week.  That seems small, I know, but for me it was big.  The Lord is so gracious!  He grew my doubtful faith so that I could ask expecting His answer.  On Saturday afternoon a man came and bought a piece of equipment.  I was so overwhelmed by the Lord’s hand!  He is so powerful!  He answered my prayer!  As I went and was thanking the Lord for working, I began asking Him to sell something else this week as well.  When we got home from church this afternoon, there was a message on our answering machine; someone wanting to ask some questions about another piece of equipment we have for sale.  The Lord is at work, and I am so grateful for Him revealing His mighty hand!  His tender love to even the weakest of His children is amazing.

I hope this is a blessing to each of you who read it.  The Lord is faithful!  We can ask in faith and trust that He will work.  So have faith, and believe that He is at work in your life, for the glory and honor of His great name.  We must each ask Him to work in our lives and lead, direct, and grow in the way He has for us, so that His name will be magnified.  That truly is our purpose on this earth.  May He be with each of you, drawing you closer to Himself and using you for His glory and honor!
Praise Him!  May He bless each of you!
Posted by Brittany

Friday, February 22, 2013

Every Promise of Your Word- Powerful song by Keith and Kristyn Getty

This song is so neat~ "so I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word" is the key throughout this whole song.  In the "He hath said", as Brittany had shared in the last post, we find strength and help for every need.  In Him, we have everything!  So let us seek out and and stand on every promise of God that He has given us!  I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged as you listen!

Posted By Breanna

Build on the Rock and Cling to His Promises

“He hath said.”  -Hebrews 13:5

If we can only grasp these words by faith, we have an all-conquering weapon in our hand. What doubt will not be slain by this two-edged sword? What fear is there which shall not fall smitten with a deadly wound before this arrow from the bow of God’s covenant? Will not the distresses of life and the pangs of death; will not the corruptions within, and the snares without; will not the trials from above, and the temptations from beneath, all seem but light afflictions, when we can hide ourselves beneath the bulwark of “He hath said”? Yes; whether for delight in our quietude, or for strength in our conflict, “He hath said” must be our daily resort. And this may teach us the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore you miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it, you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is so near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopoeia of Scripture, and you may yet continue sick unless you will examine and search the Scriptures to discover what “He hath said.” Should you not, besides reading the Bible, store your memories richly with the promises of God? You can recollect the sayings of great men; you treasure up the verses of renowned poets; ought you not to be profound in your knowledge of the words of God, so that you may be able to quote them readily when you would solve a difficulty, or overthrow a doubt? Since “He hath said” is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort, let it dwell in you richly, as “A well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.” So shall you grow healthy, strong, and happy in the divine life.
-Charles Spurgeon's morning meditation, February 21st

This devotional is from yesterday, but Breanna said it was very good so I read it this morning.  I was very blessed.  If we want to stand on faith, we must know what we are standing on.  We stand on the Word of God; what "He hath said."  As I was thinking on this principle, I was prompted to search the Scripture for what "He hath said" in regard to some circumstances in our family's life right now.  God is so good!  He brought a specific passage to mind without me even opening my Bible.  

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”  -Matthew 7:24-25

If we are building on the foundation of Christ and His Word, we can rest assured that He will build the house.  Though rain, floods, and winds come to destroy, He will keep it because it was build of the true rock - Jesus Christ.  So inspect.  Are you building upon the firm foundation?  If you are, then take courage that He will keep that which is built upon Him.
Posted by Brittany

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Prayer & Faith

“And Jesus said unto them, …verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  - Matthew 17:20 

You shall not only be able to perform such a wonderful action as this, were it necessary, but any, and everything else, that will make for the glory of God, the enlargement of my [Christ’s] kingdom and interest, the confirmation of truth, and the good of mankind.  -John Gill

“…if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.”
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (KJV) 
“And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth.” (ASV)
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
 -Mark 9:22b-24

As the man put an "if" on the power of Christ, Christ puts an "if" on the faith of the man; and tacitly suggests, that power was not wanting in himself, but faith in him; and should that cure not be performed, it would not be owing to any inability in him, but to his own incredulity. The Arabic version renders it, "what is this thy: saying, if thou canst do any thing?" What dost thou mean by it? Thou oughtest not to doubt of my power; there is no reason for it, after so many miracles wrought; upbraiding the man with his unbelief; and the Ethiopic version renders it thus, "because thou sayest, if thou canst": wherefore to show that power was not wanting in him, provided he had but faith, it follows, “ all things are possible to him that believeth”; that is, "to be done" to him, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions supply: for all things are not possible to be done by the believer himself, but all things are possible to be done for him, by God.  –John Gill

Two things the Lord has really been challenging me with lately are prayer and faith.  Oh, do these two coincide!  It is hard to pray if you don’t have faith.

I had really been struggling yesterday to truly put my faith in God, ask for the impossible, and trust that He will work.  It is much easier to simply trust that He has a perfect plan for our lives than it is to ask Him for specific things and then wait for and expect His answer.  A question I’ve had in my mind is that I want to be careful that I am not asking for something that may not be God’s will, or just asking selfishly.  We do want to be careful of these things; to be sure.   Last night Mom and I had a very good conversation about these things, and the Lord has been confirming those thoughts again this morning.
When we are desiring and asking for things that the Lord has shown us in His Word to be good and right, we can and should confidently ask Him for them.  If He has laid something on our hearts we should not ignore it.  We should lay before God the things that He Himself has said and promised.  I was very encouraged by reading John Gill’s comments on the above passages.  If we are asking for things that will honor His name and build His kingdom then we should ask in faith; nothing wavering.  He says He will work.

 I love the example of this feeble man that the Lord gives us.  So doubtful and weak in faith, but asking none the less.  Christ challenges his lack of faith by speaking the truth of His power.  And then the man’s pitiful plea, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  Our Lord promises that even if our faith is as small as the smallest seed, it is faith and He will bless it.  That’s a promise!  May we say with the apostles in Luke 17:5 Lord, “increase our faith.”  Let us walk in faith, believing that He is faithful and will get glory for His name in and through us, and then watch Him work. 

Posted by Brittany

Faith in Action

I have been reading different biographies to the younger children this year as part of our home education.  Currently we are reading about George Mueller.  Our schedule has been off a bit this week due to a scouting trip that Seth, Titus, Esther and I took to Georgia this past weekend.  So instead of reading today I found this hour long video on YouTube and we watched it while the children worked on making paper dolls and ate popcorn.  Truly home schooling at its finest!  :-) 

What an inspiring, faith building testimony!  God's timing is always so good.  Our family has been so drawn to deeper and more faith building prayer over the last year.  This testimony only served to strengthen those of us that could watch it.  I hope that it will be a source of encouragement to you as well! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is it wrong to ask for the impossible and desire to see the power of Christ?

This morning Mom, Britt and I were talking about prayer...when is it presumptuous and wrong to ask the Lord for something specific, especially when it seems like you're asking for something that's impossible?  We know that He is able to do all things; nothing is beyond His power.  But would it be presumptuous to ask the Lord to do specific things, even though the heart of your prayer is that God's power would be shown and His name magnified and glorified?  What if He doesn't answer how or when we asked Him to?  What then?  Earlier this morning as I was on my knees in prayer, the Lord reminded me of Peter.  The Lord made the passage in Matthew 14 come alive to me this morning in a new way.  I will attempt to share it below.

Peter was afraid...the storm was terrible, they were being tossed about on the sea, and here comes what they believe to be a spirit walking on the water.  Jesus speaks to them and tells them not to be afraid because it is Him.  Peter then does something that we would say was pretty presumptuous- he calls out and in essence says, "Lord, if it's really You, show me Your power so that I know it's truly You.  Tell me to come walking to You on this raging water."  Jesus says, "Come".  Christ is always ready to show us His power and the reality of who He is!  So Peter gets out of the boat and in faith and the power of Christ comes, walking on the water.  Peter took that leap of faith to believe Jesus- with Him all things are possible.  But then as Peter is walking, he gets scared when he sees the boisterous wind, the waves that look like they're going to pull him under and destroy him.  He starts to sink.   Because of his lack of faith, he deserves to sink, right?  No, never; we serve a merciful and compassionate Savior!  Peter cries out as he's sinking in fear, "Lord, save me!"  And Jesus is mighty to save...He is only an arm length away and He stretches out His hand and caught Peter, saving him from the watery grave that was about to destroy him because of his unbelief.  Christ asks him, "Why did you doubt?".   It was like, "Peter, you started this whole thing out desiring to see my power, the reality of who I am...why then did you doubt Me?  Why did you take your eyes off of Me and stop believing?"  They get back to the ship and they all worship Christ..."Of a truth, thou art the Son of God."  Jesus Christ was glorified and magnified as He revealed His amazing and limitless power!  They were in awe of who He was! 

I find so much comfort in this whole picture!  Here's Peter, desiring to see the power of the Lord in his life in reality.  He asks God for the impossible. He believes Christ and takes the leap of faith to get out of the boat and come walking to Him on the water.  He gets scared, stops believing, lacks faith, and begins to drown.  He cries out to Christ, who he knows is the only One who can save him, and Christ catches him and pulls him up.  Christ rebukes Peter's lack of faith.  And in the end Christ is magnified for His power and the reality of His strength and all things being possible to the one who believes.  Peter didn't have perfect faith, in fact, his faith was pretty weak.  Peter didn't believe God perfectly, in fact, he stopped believing when he was so close to Christ that Jesus could reach out His arm and pull Peter back up.  But Peter had good desires.  He had a heart that desired more of a reality of Christ in his life and desired to believe Christ to the fullest and walk by faith. Peter desired to see the power of Christ at work in his life.

Oh what comfort is in that!  I'm not perfect and neither are you...but as we take the leap of faith, believing in the name of Jesus, no matter how weak and small that faith is, Christ will be faithful to answer us and show us His awesome and limitless power!  Believe Him with me, and let us not be afraid to ask of Christ the impossible that His power would be shown and His name glorified.  Christ will honor that request and show us His limitless power and unending faithfulness!  Oh He is so worthy of all of our trust!  Trust Him, just trust Him and ask for the impossible that you might see and believe His power! And then stand still and watch Him work!

And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
(Matthew 14:26-33)
~Posted By Breanna

See After Thine Own ~ Evangelism at Home

Often it is deemed a most holy thing to go far away to evangelize for Christ.  We are called to preach unto all nations and should pray for and support those whom God has called away from their homes.  However, He has probably placed most of us exactly where He wants us to minister.  It is no less glorious or spiritual to speak Christ to your own family, church, town, and coworkers than it is to be on the mission field.  Never take lightly the calling God has given to you.  It may seem small and look insignificant, but if God has called you to it, you can be assured that He has every intention of using it to glorify and honor His name.  May we each be faithful with what the Lord has given and called us to. 
Posted by: Brittany

“He first findeth his own brother Simon.”  - John 1:41
This case is an excellent pattern of all cases where spiritual life is vigorous. As soon as a man has found Christ, he begins to find others. I will not believe that thou hast tasted of the honey of the gospel if thou canst eat it all thyself. True grace puts an end to all spiritual monopoly. Andrew first found his own brother Simon, and then others. Relationship has a very strong demand upon our first individual efforts. Andrew, thou didst well to begin with Simon. I doubt whether there are not some Christians giving away tracts at other people’s houses who would do well to give away a tract at their own-whether there are not some engaged in works of usefulness abroad who are neglecting their special sphere of usefulness at home. Thou mayst or thou mayst not be called to evangelize the people in any particular locality, but certainly thou art called to see after thine own servants, thine own kinsfolk and acquaintance. Let thy religion begin at home. Many tradesmen export their best commodities-the Christian should not. He should have all his conversation everywhere of the best savour; but let him have a care to put forth the sweetest fruit of spiritual life and testimony in his own family. When Andrew went to find his brother, he little imagined how eminent Simon would become. Simon Peter was worth ten Andrews so far as we can gather from sacred history, and yet Andrew was instrumental in bringing him to Jesus. You may be very deficient in talent yourself, and yet you may be the means of drawing to Christ one who shall become eminent in grace and service. Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you. You may but speak a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian church in years to come. Andrew has only two talents, but he finds Peter. Go thou and do likewise.
-Charles Spurgeon's Evening Meditation, from February 19th

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All Things Are Possible!!!!!!!

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: 
for with God all things are possible.
(Mark 10:27)

This song speaks such incredible truth and was ministering to me this afternoon as I listened and thought on that all things are possible with God...even when it looks impossible!  God is so faithful...oh for grace to trust Him more and simply take the leap of faith!  May we be driven to pray, pray and pray, believing that anything is possible with God!  Do we truly believe God when He said that "ALL" things are possible?  I love this quote~ "The condition for a miracle is difficulty. ... The condition for a great miracle is impossibility."  And our God loves what we call impossible...because He then shows us just how awesome, powerful and able He is!  I hope you enjoy listening to the song!

Prayer ~ The Shadow of Mercy and Blessing

"Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them."—Ezekiel 36:37.

Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Turn to sacred history, and you will find that scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded by supplication. You have found this true in your own personal experience. God has given you many an unsolicited favour, but still great prayer has always been the prelude of great mercy with you. When you first found peace through the blood of the cross, you had been praying much, and earnestly interceding with God that He would remove your doubts, and deliver you from your distresses. Your assurance was the result of prayer. When at any time you have had high and rapturous joys, you have been obliged to look upon them as answers to your prayers. When you have had great deliverances out of sore troubles, and mighty helps in great dangers, you have been able to say, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Prayer is always the preface to blessing. It goes before the blessing as the blessing's shadow. When the sunlight of God's mercies rises upon our necessities, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain. Or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies, He Himself shines behind them, and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy. Prayer is thus connected with the blessing to show us the value of it. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly.
"Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw;
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faith and love;
Brings every blessing from above."

~Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation, February 19th
Posted by: Brittany

Sunday, February 17, 2013

God Makes Evil and Sin the Slaves of His Mercy

By Jon Bloom

The old hymn says it beautifully: “Grace, grace, God’s grace; grace that is greater than all my sin.”

But the grace of God is not only great enough to “pardon and cleanse within.” It is so powerful, as Joseph’s older brothers learned in Genesis 45, that it can turn the most horrible sin you have ever committed against another, or has ever been committed against you, and make it the slave of his mercy.

What Joseph’s ten older brothers did to him was heinous. They made him the merchandise of international human trafficking. They subjected him to slavery and sexual abuse. With no rights or defense, he was thrown into prison to rot. These likely left Joseph with life-long scars.

But note Joseph’s words: “it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:8). Neither treacherous siblings nor a woman’s lust nor the shame of prison nor a cupbearer’s neglect could thwart the purpose of God (Job 42:2) in preserving God’s people (Genesis 45:7) and fulfilling a prophecy given to Abraham (Genesis 15:13). God made evil the slave of his grace.

And he’s doing the same for you. God is doing more good than you can imagine through the most painful experiences of your life.

If you’ve sinned against someone else, do everything in your power to make things right. But know this: your sin is no match for God’s grace.

And if you find yourself in a place you do not want to be as a result of someone else’s sin, take heart. God knows, and he knows what he’s doing. Stay faithful. In time he will show you that he sent you for redemptive reasons you would have never guessed.

To read the entire article, click here
Posted by Breanna

Have Faith in God's Future Grace

Sometimes faithfulness to God and his word sets us on a course where circumstances get worse, not better. 
It is then that knowing God’s promises and his ways are crucial. Faith in God’s future grace for us is what sustains us in those desperate moments.
-Jon Bloom

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Learning How to Talk (to Yourself)

by: Ryan Griffith
Do you talk to yourself?

I don’t mean when you’re wrestling through your taxes or walking through your to-do list. But do you talk yourself, really? When you are fearful, do you command your soul to trust in the Lord? When your affections are low, do you command your heart to bless the Lord? As Paul Tripp is fond of saying, “No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.”

In the particularly difficult moments of the day, how do you talk to yourself? How do you specifically exhort yourself to hope in God?

Psalm 103 has been immensely helpful for me as a pattern for commanding my soul in seasons of low affection. The Psalm begins (Psalm 103:1–2) and ends (Psalm 103:20–22) with David’s exhortation to his own soul to bless the Lord.

When you’re talking to yourself, are you reminding yourself of what God has done for you in Christ Jesus? Do you have specific texts with which you exhort your soul? When the days are darkest, don’t let your soul take command. Summon your soul to bless the Lord. Find specific texts by which you can fight the fight of faith — perhaps some short ones like these: Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5–6; Isaiah 41:10) and long ones (Romans 8:26–39; John 10:7–18; Psalm 103.

“May the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16).

Click here to read full and original article posted at Desiring God
Posted by Breanna

Bible Reading Questions Answered by John Piper

 My goal in reading the Bible is namely, become a kind of person.
Don't amass a long list.
~John Piper

Meditating on truth shapes the soul.
~John Piper

Is it okay to come away from Bible reading without a life principle or a specific point of application? Or, must we come away from our Bible reading with an application principle every time? Pastor John Piper answers these questions and brings out the goal and heart in Bible reading in 5 1/2 minutes.

~Posted by Breanna

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Powerful Piece by Spurgeon

This really spoke to me this morning.  Oh, to glorify Him more!  I fall so short!  May it be the prayer of all of our hearts that the Lord would use our lives to truly glorify His name!

"Believer, you are anticipating the time when you shall join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying Him now? The apostle's words are, "To Him be glory both now and for ever." Will you not this day make it your prayer? "Lord, help me to glorify Thee; I am poor, help me to glorify Thee by contentment; I am sick, help me to give Thee honour by patience; I have talents, help me to extol Thee by spending them for Thee; I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee; I have a heart to feel, Lord, let that heart feel no love but Thine, and glow with no flame but affection for Thee; I have a head to think, Lord, help me to think of Thee and for Thee; Thou hast put me in this world for something, Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life-purpose: I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into Thy treasury; I am all Thine; take me, and enable me to glorify Thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.""
-Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Curlies :-)

Sweet Sarah's hair did not turn out to well.  All of her little rags fell out but one.  But boy oh boy did she enjoy her one curl!  :-)  They were like little princesses this morning.  It was so fun to watch them.  Cherished little memories!

God's Plan for the Nations

I can not tell you how blessed I feel to be married to Seth!  I could share so many wonderful things that I admire about my husband.  He of course would tell me as he has MANY times how unworthy he would be of my praise but I assure you that is NOT how I nor the children see it.  I so appreciate my husbands leadership of our family.  This year he has taken over guiding Tayte's education.  Oh I can not tell you how wonderful that has been for all of us!  Boys need their dads!!!!  Seth has thoroughly been inspired by the task as well.  This year they have worked through a book by Stephen McDowell called God's Providential History.  Seth took the time to compile the high lights of their learning this year for ease of reference.  We hope that it will serve to bring you hope and Biblical guidance in these most turbulent days that we find our selves in and facing.  We are not defeated foes!  God's Word has the answers that we need.  We must be willing to search them out as for hidden treasure!    
Seth doing catechism with the little ones.  He prays, sings hymns, works on Bible memory and teaches them through the shorter catechism each morning. 

God’s Plan for the Nations

The Need For World Reformation (Romans 8:19,21)
God created man responsible to rule over His created earth (Genesis 1:28)
God has commissioned His followers to make disciples of the nations (Matthew 28:19)
Christians are to judge and govern the world (1 Corinthians 6:2)
The Lord taught us to pray “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10)

Origins of Liberty

God ordained Civil government to punish the evil doers and protect the innocent (1 Peter 2:13-14); (Romans 13:1,3,4)
God formed a republic with Biblical Civil Laws (Exodus 20)

Guidelines for Resistance to Tyranny

Protest and legal action (Mt. 27:14; Luke 13:31-32; Luke 10:11; Acts 13:51; Acts 16:37; Acts 24-26)
A time for flight (Mt. 10:23; Mt. 24:15-18; Acts 8:1-4)
A time for force in self-defence (Old Test Israel everywhere; Luke 22:36,38; Luke 22:49; Mt. 26:52;

Restoration of Biblical Church Government

A covenant commitment (Col 2:19; 3:14)
A plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5; 1 Tim. 3:1-5; Prov. 11:14)
Senior elders (Acts 12:17; 15:13,19; 21:18: Gal. 2:12)


Colossians 2:8
Disciple the nations (Mt. 28:19-20)
Pastors and teachers to educate in Christian principles

God’s Defense of Christian Liberty

American Revolution
Many examples with Israel

Building a Christian Nation

God holds Christians responsible (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Christians must rebuild the foundations (Psalm 11:3; Rom. 10:14; 1 Tim. 3:15)
Christians must teach:
1)      Creation - God made the world
2)      Lordship - God is Lord of heaven and earth
3)      Providence – God Himself gives to all life and breath and all things… for in him we live and move and exist
4)      Sovereignty – God made… every nation… having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation
Jesus Christ is the ruler of the earth (1 Tim. 6:16; Heb. 2:14)
Satan is a defeated foe (John 12:3; Col. 2:15)
Christians must provide and teach society to provide for the poor throught the tithe (Deut. 14:27-29)
As Christians commit themselves once again to being the salt of the earth, corruption shall subside, the righteous will be in authority, and the people will rejoice (Prov 29:2; 14:34)

Principles of Liberty

1) The Principle of Power and Form (the power which is internal precedes the form, which is external)
2) God’s principle of individuality
3) The Christian principle of self-government (1 Tim. 3:5)
4) The principle of Christian character (Rom. 8:29)
5) The principle of Christian union (the Church)
6) The principle of Christian education (we reap what we sew; Mark 4)
7) The principle of Christian economics, or of property (stewardship)

A Checklist For Reforming America

Personal and Family

( ) I will acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus in my life
( ) I will remember God and His Providential hand in history
( ) I purpose to implant the Principles of Liberty in my heart
( ) I purpose to be self-governed in the use of the property God has given me by tithing to my local church and supporting ministries and those in need as God directs.
( ) I will take responsibility in education my children in the Biblical principles of liberty, effectively communicating the vision to them.


( ) I will continually receive instruction from my pastor on applying God’s Word to every aspect of life.
( ) I will support my church in fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all the nations.


( ) Since the education of my children is my responsibility, I will carefully choose who I delegate that responsibility to, and to what schools my children go.
( ) I will become aware of who is on the school board in my community and will work to replace those who do no act in accordance with Godly principles.
( ) I will work to educate my neighbor in Biblical principles.
( ) I will work to see that our public schools and universities begin operating on the Biblical base which was their foundation.
( ) I will work to establish a media with a biblical worldview

Civil Government

( ) I will take responsibility for choosing and instructing those who stand in my place in every area of civil government
( ) I will register to vote
( ) I will participate regularly in a political party on the local level
( ) I will keep informed on political issues affecting myself, my community, my state, and my nation 

For the Valentine-less Young Ladies this Valentine's Day


Guest Post by: Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
originally shared on

Valentine’s Day may be a happy time for couples, but it’s often a painful reminder for single Christian women of what they’re still praying for, hoping for, and – sigh – waiting for. Many of us don’t have a valentine this year because we’ve been holding out for someone special. We have high standards, and we’ve stuck to them, and now we’re having to eat the fruits of this resolve (instead of Godiva chocolates).

High standards and faithful perseverance are noble things. But sometimes we need to re-examine the honesty of our standards, and the whole spirit in which we devise them.

Some of us, whether we know it or not, have made lists of suitor-requirements that look like this:
Dear God,
I have been very good this year, and I would really like it if you would bring me a husband who:
Is working to become just like Christ
Will love me just the way I am
Speaks several languages and plays several instruments
Will look past my inadequacies to see only my inner qualities
Is handsome
Will not be so carnally minded that he will care about the way I look
Isn’t interested in money
Can support me in the style I would like to be accustomed to
Is completely sold out for God
Will let me be myself

I know these are very righteous things to desire, and I have been patiently waiting and have not compromised my standards, so can you please reward my faithfulness now? Thank you.
Love, Janey
It’s good to develop noble standards for the kind of man we want to marry, but simply having a preference for good men doesn’t make us worthy of them. We often have lofty demands for suitors (well, not that lofty – just that they have Jim Elliot’s heart, C. S. Lewis’s mind, William Wallace’s courage, Clark Gable’s face, Cary Grant’s clothes, Josh Groban’s voice…), but we want them to love us just the way we are. So the men we want to marry often don’t really exist – and if they did… well… why would they want to marry us?

Janey apparently hopes that her paragon of glowing character and accomplishments won’t mind that she is (apparently) shallow and materialistic, has qualities buried so deep there’s no danger of anyone ever finding them, is not-quite-sold-out for Christ herself… and is not interested in changing. But then, we don’t really want what we deserve, do we?

So, we make our wish lists and pray that we get Missionary Martyr Malibu Ken for Christmas. But what will we have to offer him? How are we preparing to be what he might need in a wife? How long are our lists of standards and requirements for ourselves?

Our aspirations to be married to fine husbands are good; but then, that’s an aspiration that the Cinderellas and the ugly stepsisters of the world have always had in common. We need to step outside of our imaginary roles as the heroines of our own personal fairy tales, and ask ourselves: Which one am I? Why would the prince choose me?

The bad news is, none of us are naturally likeable, desirable, or eligible. Because of sin, we all start out as ugly stepsisters, and we don’t automatically become Cinderella upon reaching marriageable age. The good news is, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” (1 Pet. 2:24) And the rest of the good news is, if you find yourself Valentine-less this Valentine’s Day, that means the Lord is giving you more time to die to sin and live to righteousness, more time to make yourself ready, more time to become a better gift.

Ladies, let’s decide to do our (future) husbands good on this day (Prov. 31:12), instead of moping about the good they’re not here to do for us. On a day when women all over the world will be thinking about what they want to get from a man, let’s think instead about we’re preparing to give to one.
(With excerpts from It’s (Not That) Complicated)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Making of Girlies in Curlies

Oh . . .  what fun these little girlies are.  Although as Brittany and I were putting the little girls rags in she said that maybe she should hope for a house full of boys as she does not thing she is very good with hair.  LOL  The Lord must have known how she would be as He gave her all that beautiful curly no fuss hair.  :-) The little girls were so excited to be getting their hair put up in rags so that they could have curly hair like Brittany.

I'll post what they look like after the rags come out in the morning.  Beauty in the making!

Correction and the Love of God

Posted by: Brittany

“When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth:  surely every man is vanity.”  -Psalm 39:11

“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”  -Proverbs 3:11,12

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”  -Hebrews 12: 5-13

“How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the lowest depths of sorrow? Does corruption rise within your spirit, and grace seem like a poor spark trampled under foot? Does your faith almost fail you? Fear not, it is neither your graces nor feelings on which you are to live: you must live simply by faith on Christ. With all these things against us, now—in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be—now, as much in the valley as on the mountain, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." "Ah, but," you say, "see how I am arrayed! my graces are not bright; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory." But read the next: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him." The Holy Spirit shall purify our minds, and divine power shall refine our bodies, then shall we see Him as He is.
-Charles Spurgeon

In order for us to be filled with the righteousness and beauty of Christ, the Lord will first strip of us our own goodness, and show us our total worthlessness and helplessness.  Until we see this, we cannot experience the grace and freedom of Christ.
I truly believe that the Lord brings us to the point of failure and humiliation to show us how worthless we are in ourselves, and how utterly dependent we are on Him.  He does not want us walking in our strength to be the good and upright person we know we should be, and even desire to be.  If we are doing that, He will bring us down.  I struggled for years, wanting to be someone and something I knew deep down I was not.  God had to bring me to a breaking point.
He wants it to be His righteous goodness that shines forth in our lives.  That only comes as we surrender in utter helplessness to Him; seeking His forgiveness for the sinful creatures we really are deep down that no one else sees, and asking Him to change us and fill us with Christ. Then He has created a vessel that He can use to honor Him!
So if you feel that you are being severely chastened by the Lord, take joy!  He is purging the dross from your life, so that He can fill you with Christ!  You are His beloved child.  He will not leave you to struggle on your own in your own efforts.  He wants to empty you of self and fill you with Christ.  The purging process is not enjoyable at the moment, but when we come to see it for what it truly is –the love of our Father at work in us- it will bring us comfort and courage, and more quickly bring us to the point of being empty vessels before Him.
There is an initial breaking point, but this process is life long.  Every rod and trial is a blessing and instrument of love from our Lord.  He will be faithful to complete the good work He has begun in each of us.  He will fill us with Christ.  He will use us for His glory.
Is He truly our master?  Are we trying to walk in ourselves or are we on our knees in His loving, molding hand?  He will direct the paths of His children.  He will continue to purge us.  And as He does His transforming work in us, He will show us how to serve and love Him by serving and loving those He places around us.  Then we will shine as lights before men, and they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.  

 “..out of weakness were made strong…”  -Hebrews 11:34

“Now when they saw… and perceived… they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  -Acts 4:13

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  -Matthew 7:7,8

God is Love...Dare to Believe It!

Every time we dare to affirm that, notwithstanding appearances, God is Love; every time that we evince that love to others, even though our own heart is breaking; every time we say No to self and Yes to God, we make further progress into His Love. Dare to believe in the love of God, even when the darkness seems to veil it. Dare to believe that it is over all, and through all, and in all.
-F.B. Meyer

Posted by Breanna

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Inexpensive Ways to Say I Love You

Guest post from Kathi Lipp of
One of the most frequent questions I get is “I know you leave a lot of notes for your husband, but how do you do it?” It seems some women are intimidated by leaving little, encouraging notes for their man – as if they aren’t going to do it “right”.
So here are a few fun, creative, and inexpensive ways to leave a note of encouragement for your man to get you started:

1. Use Post-it Notes.

As a certified “Office Supply Junkie” I always have a variety of Post-it Notes at my disposal. I leave love notes in his car, in our bathroom, on the fridge, and in his lunch. Anywhere that I can “plant” it in advance for him to find at a later date.

2. Write in Lipstick on Your Bathroom Mirror.

3. Spell “I Love You” With Hershey’s Syrup on a Plate.

Add vanilla ice cream and strawberries for an elegant and tasty add-on.

4. Send A Banana-gram.

When silliness is called for, nothing brings it on like a banana. Just use a Marks-a-lot maker and get creative.

5. Leave Chocolate and a Note on His Pillow.

6. Create a Background On His Computer That Says “I Love You!”

7. Leave a Love Note in His Jacket Pocket.

8. Text Him a Love Note While He’s at Work.

9. Send a Note to His Work Address.

Don’t send a big red envelope with hearts and flowers all over it (unless he enjoys being the center of attention!) but a plain white envelope with some sweet nothings tucked inside would be a welcome break from him day to day work routine.

10. I Love You Because… Mailbox

Come up with your own list of why you love your husband, and then create little messages for each of those reasons. I bought the mailbox in the Dollar Bin at Target and cut up some festive scrapbook paper to create the little notes.

11. Spell it Out on a Scrabble Board or With Pepperoni on a Homemade Pizza.

Great Hearts can only be made by Great Troubles

I was so blessed by reading this this morning.  I know it's truth because the Lord has been doing this refining work in my life of late.  Trials draw us closer to our Savior, bring deeper surrender in our lives, make us more fervent in prayer, and more transformed for His service.

"For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."—2 Corinthians 1:5.
There is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales—in this side He puts His people's trials, and in that He puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to His crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart—He finds it full—He begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this—then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour Jehovah. "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord." There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, fret not over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.
--Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation, February 12th