Sunday, December 29, 2013

Beautiful and powerful wedding prayer!

This amazing prayer was prayed at the beautiful and God-honoring wedding we were at Saturday of Gracie and David Powell!  There is so much truth to meditate on in this prayer!
~Posted By Breanna

O God of love, you have established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Yours was the plan, and only with you can we work it out with joy. You have said, “it is not good for a man to live alone. . . . I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now our joys are doubled, since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other; our burdens are halved, since, when we share them, we divide the load.

Bless this husband. Bless him as provider for the needs of those he loves. Sustain him in all his struggles in the contest of life. May his strength be her protection, his character be her joy and assurance. May he so live that she may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.

Bless this loving wife. Give her a tenderness that makes her great . . . a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that he may be pleased always to reverence and adore her.

May they never make the mistake of merely living for each other. Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two uniting and joining hands to serve You, the living God. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first the kingdom that is yours, and its righteousness, so that all other things may be added unto them. Loving you best, they shall love each other all the more. And faithful unto You, faithful unto each other they will remain.

May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs alone to You. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths and beauty, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Give them a little something to forgive each day, that they may grow in the grace of long-suffering and love. And may they be forbearing with each other’s omissions and commissions as You are with theirs. Make such assignments to them according to Your will as will bless them and develop their character as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough success to make them sure they belong to You. May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: “Out of all this world, you have chosen me!” Then when life is done, and the sun is setting, may they be found, then as now, still hand in hand, still so proud, thanking you so very much for each other. May they serve You happily, faithfully, together, until at least one shall lay the other in Your arms. This we ask through Jesus Christ, great lover of souls. Amen.
A wedding prayer as adapted by Dr. Ric Cannada, Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary. Another form of this prayer was published in Decision Magazine sometime before June 1971 and was attributed to Dr. Lewis Evans.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Absolute Assurance

He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)
Several times in the Scriptures the Lord hath said this. He has often repeated it to make our assurance doubly sure. Let us never harbor a doubt about it. In itself the promise is specially emphatic. In the Greek it has five negatives, each one definitely shutting out the possibility of the Lord's ever leaving one of His people so that he can justly feel forsaken of his God. This priceless Scripture does not promise us exemption from trouble, but it does secure us against desertion. We may be called to traverse strange ways, but we shall always have our Lord's company, assistance, and provision. We need not covet money, for we shall always have our God, and God is better than gold; His favor is better than fortune.
We ought surely to be content with such things as we have, for he who has God has more than all the world besides. What can we have beyond the Infinite? What more can we desire than almighty Goodness.
Come, my heart; if God says He will never leave thee nor forsake thee, be thou much in prayer for grace that thou mayest never leave thy Lord, nor even for a moment forsake His ways.
- Charles Spurgeon, Faith's Checkbook, December 28th

Friday, December 20, 2013

Randomness from this week :-)

"You are God alone, from before time began You were on Your throne, You are God alone. And right now, in the good times and bad You are on Your throne, You are God alone."  The Lord is so faithful and so good to our family!  What a praise and mercy it is that He is on His throne, in control of and working in amazing ways in each of our lives!  One of the verses that I've been meditating on lately is Psalm 138:8a "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever." What a comforting thought to think that the Lord WILL fulfill His purposes for us!  So as I've been praying over different situations, I've been asking God to fulfill His purpose in it, whatever it may be, because it is best and should be our only hearts desire.  What an amazingly awesome and faithful God we serve, so worthy of all of our trust.  Life is good when the Lord is the One who is running it!  :-)  And as I look at my precious family, I see sooo much to thank God for every single day!  Here are some random pics from this week....

 Bell and Sarah sweetly at work with crayons, pens and paper.  
It has been a blessing to see Bell's heart to invest in and love on her younger siblings!
Bell loves to write and spends a good deal of time writing in her journal, writing letters or writing stories.  

 Beautiful Esther!  It 's been precious and exciting as we've been watching the Lord begin working in her heart lately.  Truly, there is no greater joy than to see their hearts being awakened to spiritual truths and to the Lord Himself.

 Three precious gals!  Brittany has such a tender heart for the little ones and serves them in such amazing ways!  Though perhaps not always noticed, she pours herself out in serving her family, exemplifying her beautiful heart.  She is my best friend in the truest sense and in every way!  I thank God for her!  And those little girlies melt our hearts... you can see and tell why!  :D  This is what we like to call "Kissing Time!" And they're giving "double kisses", with one on each side!  LOL!  Yep, we definitely like our kisses!

 These, my friends, are fresh flowers that we picked and brought in.  And yes, it is December.  :-)  It truly has been different living here in Georgia, but this is certainly an enjoyable part of it.  We've enjoyed seeing the many wild beauties that just grow everywhere and in random places.  Truly, the earth displays the glory of the Lord!  May it's beauty point us to Him to praise His name and admire His beauty which is far greater than anything else imaginable!

Mama, Essie bear and me.  I am SOOO blessed!!!!

 Daddy and Ti hard at it! Titus LOVES to be with Dad!  As soon as Dad's home from work, Ti is his little sidekick.  I so love to see Titus just being with Dad, observing his godly character and example.  
Dad is an awesome example for any guy to observe! 
 I am so thankful for his wisdom and faithfulness in guiding our family!  

 A precious (and very cute) couple in red....

 and a precious (and also very cute) couple in black! :-)  Love them both!

"Faithful, forever You are faithful
Shelter for the fragile soul
You lift us up, You hold us all together
You are faithful, God

And I will sing to the maker of Heaven and Earth
God, You reign forever and Your love will endure
Faithful and true is the name of the Lord
You are faithful, God

You are there in every season of my soul
You are there, You're the anchor that will hold
You are there in the valley of the shadows
You are faithful, God"
~Faithful lyrics by Chris Tomlin

Amen and amen!

~Posted By Breanna

Psalm 127

Elizabeth singing Psalm 127.
 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows:
for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
(Psa 127:1-5)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thoughts at 21 . . .

This was the hymn that Breanna woke up with in her mind on her 21st birthday. 

Another Year is Dawning
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.


Monday, December 16, 2013

I just took this picture the other evening.  This passage was one that stood out to me this morning, and one that we've talked about before as a family.  We must be earnest in prayer and must have the faith and patience to wait for the Lord to reveal His hand as He promises to.

Sure Victory

Divine Expulsion

Thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong. (Joshua 17:18)

It is a great encouragement to valor to be assured of victory, for then a man goes forth to war in confidence and ventures where else he had been afraid to go. Our warfare is with evil within us and around us, and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to get the victory and that we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are not riding for a fall, but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God in its omnipotence is put forth for the overflow of evil in every form: hence the certainty of triumph.
Certain of our sins find chariots of iron in our constitution, our former habits, our associations, and our occupations. Nevertheless we must overcome them. They are very strong, and in reference to them we are very weak; yet in the name of God we must master them, and we will. If one sin has dominion of us we are not the Lord's free men. A man who is held by only one chain is still a captive. There is no going to heaven with one sin ruling within us, for of the saints it is said, "Sin shall not have dominion over you." Up, then, and slay every Canaanite, and break to shivers every chariot of iron! The Lord of hosts is with us, and who shall resist His sin-destroying power?
- Charles Spurgeon, Faith's Checkbook, December 16th

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Encouraging Paul Washer Quotes

Paul Washer posted these two tweets on twitter today that blessed and encouraged me.  I hope you will be blessed as well by these godly reminders!

~The days are quickly passing. While it is day and while we have strength, let us give ourselves
 (heart, soul, mind, & strength) to His will! 

~All our trials have an eternal purpose.  The obstacles in our lives do not restrict us, they recreate us into the image of Christ

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

101 Household Tips for Every Room in your Home

This article was sooo neat!  Loved some of the ideas!  Here are a few of our favorites that they shared, but you'll definitely want to click the link to read them all!  :-)
~Brittany and Breanna :-)

Install a regular coat rack low down the wall to store shoes safely of the floor.

Repurpose a cereal canister as a trash can for the car.

Use a magnetic strip to store bobby pins on inside of a cupboard.

Cover paint trays with aluminium foil to make cleaning up afterwards a breeze.

Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard-boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off.

When hanging a picture frame, put a dab of toothpaste on the frame where you need the nails to be. Then simply press against the wall to leave marks (which can later be wiped) as guides for hammering in.

Re-purpose an old CD spindle to make a pretty small cake/biscuit holder.

To decorate a chocolate beautifully, lay a piece of lace over the cake and sprinkle icing sugar over the top.

To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper.

Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and access.

Place a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube of a toilet roll to make your bathroom smell wonderful.

A genius tip to help prevent paint spillage!

Use a rubber band to rescue a stripped screw.

Store matches in a mason jar and add a disc of sandpaper to the lid on which to strike them.

Yet another use for drinks can ringpulls! Use to create a hanging loop for picture frames by screwing into the back.

A life laid down..Ronnie Smith

This was truly a precious and touching story of a man who recently died, leaving a legacy of love and a life poured out for the good of others and the glory of Christ, shining His light where God had him.  Grieving for his wife and son, and yet rejoicing in the legacy he left behind him.  May we all live our lives with an urgent desire to touch the lives of those around us with the light of Christ wherever we are and with whomever we come in contact with!
Ronnie Smith

WORLD article: Here's the link to the article-

Hours after assailants gunned down American teacher Ronnie Smith during his morning jog near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday, grieving friends on opposite sides of the globe remembered Smith, 33, as a devoted teacher, family man, and Christian.

Monday, December 9, 2013

It was a pleasant day in south Georgia today.  The high was 81 and the low is only suppose to be 64.  That is really different for us north Ohio folks. :-)  The "winter" down here is definitely pleasant. We are however, very much looking forward to going back up north to see some snow too. :-)

We've been busy with many different projects, but I'll save the details until we can post some pictures to make it more interesting. :-)

One thing I did want to share though is a picture that I took this afternoon...
It's not as close as I would have liked to get, but I could not resist grabbing the camera when I was out at the clothes line today.  The first time I saw these cows was just the other day.  Evening was coming on and I was walking back toward the house when I looked over and saw this large herd of cows coming around the corner of a field that we can see from our back yard.  Truly, it was one of the most beautiful, refreshing sights to me!  Our family was so use to living in our very rural, quiet area.  There wasn't much traffic, and in the evenings you could hear the quiet clip-clop of horses coming down the road from a mile away.  Now we live on a busy highway. :-)  The Lord was so gracious in giving us a beautiful view from our back yard though.  It is very peaceful.  You can watch the sun rise from the kitchen and dining room windows over a beautiful country field, which was filled with cotton this year.  When you're out back, the beauty somehow seems to block out the noise from the front yard.  We haven't seen a lot of animals out on pasture down here yet, so when I saw these cows the other day it gave me a serge of joy and peacefulness and I have been enjoying them ever since.  Maybe that sounds simple, but it was very significant to me.  Nature is such a beautiful thing; landscape and creatures alike.  The Lord's handiwork is truly amazing!

“He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength…Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.”  – Job 9:4a,10
 “Marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  – Psalm 139:14b

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scowling at the Angel~ A precious and inspiring story about true love and grace

Whether you're married or not, this story is so inspiring to have true love and to have Christ-like grace.  Though a little longer, it is well worth the read!

Scowling at the Angel

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." —Galatians 5:22-23
We sat together, just the two of us. The sun would be coming up any minute. We didn't say much. We couldn't. We were on the verge of bursting into tears, but neither did. What we did say was mostly of a lighthearted nature.
It was our 18th anniversary.
"In sickness and health," I joked.
"Yeah, well," she said, "it's only fair. You stuck with me through four labors and deliveries. It's the least I can do."
A man wearing black scrubs and carrying a clipboard entered the waiting area and barked, "Ramsey. Ramsey."
Together we stood and made our way to the shouting man who led us to the elevator.
"I'll be right out here," my wife said. "I'll see you just as soon as they're done."
I squeezed her hand, gave her a kiss, handed her my wedding ring, and then stepped into the elevator as it closed and carried me up and away.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Precious Blessings of Singing

Music is a powerful thing.  A precious brother and sister in the Lord, Thomas and Emily Smith; invited us to spend a weekend with them and go to their church with them a month or so ago.  What a blessing our time with them was; from the fellowship at their home, to visiting church with them.

Our family has always really enjoyed singing Psalms using the Psalter.  We have spent several years memorizing Psalm 119 using Susie Kimball's excellent arrangement that she did.   We have enjoyed Steve Green's scripture songs and learning many hymns over the years. 

As much as we have enjoyed singing God's Word through various ways, a few years ago we began to compromise in the music that we allowed to come into our home.  We thought we were being careful of content but when you hear your precious little ones singing lyrics to "clean" secular music, it does something to a parents heart.

The Lord gently continued to convict our hearts and also brought in some precious brothers and sisters that He also used to cause us to further be pricked in our hearts about the choices that we were allowing in our home.

How grateful we were when Uncle Thomas and Aunt Emily shared a CD of the scripture songs that they sing at their church.  For us, it was the concept of putting off and putting on.  We decided to put off the music that we had allowed to slowly creep in and put on singing the Word of God.

I can not tell you how blessed we are each time we hear little Sarah or Esther singing "wisdom is the principle thing" .  Pastor Lederman encouraged us several years ago to set a watch in areas that we are prone to fall in.  So we are seeking to learn a new scripture song each week as a family and I am using the songs as part of our schooling each week in the way of handwriting.  Then at the end of the week I am going to record the children and shared them on the blog as a little encouragement to the children and also as a bit of accountability for me. 

Hope you are encouraged by these sweet voices.  :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Another new picture.  This is an old photo from our home back in Ohio.  The Lord blessed us with a perfect view of His amazing sunsets.  I could have sat and watched the process from start to finish in complete awe.  This verse holds such promise.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I just did this picture this evening.  This passage has stood out to me for years.  As long as we know our vision we can run forward in faith, even though we don't know how the Lord is going to get us there.  As we take hold on the promises in His Word and stand on them in simple trust His strength is given and joy and peace are received.  May we each live by faith as we look to the vision of our Lord through His promises.
These verses spoke to me so much some time ago, and they still have very deep meaning each time I see this picture on my desktop.  My first scripture picture taken since our move to Georgia.  This summer it was such a peaceful delight getting to watch the sun rise through the fog over the cotton field out our kitchen and dining room windows.  To me, the verses could not have fit better with the mood of this sunrise.