Friday, March 28, 2014

Thoughts on teaching children

Titus had fallen asleep one evening during family worship and I thought it was just such a precious sight.

Parenting Thought of the Day: 
In order for children to become successful at the three ―R‘s of reading, ‗riting, and ‗rithmetic, parents must first teach them the Three R‘s of Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness. 
These, not high IQ, define the educable child. - 
John Rosemond

Mozambique Africa

Dear friends of ours, who are missionaries in Mozambique Africa and their team, made this video about Mozambique and the needs and work that is going on there.  It is very inspiring and very touching!  It is so exciting to see the Lord at work in every part of this world, drawing hearts to Him, getting glory for His name through the service of His humble, but willing servants.  Please take a few minutes to watch this short video.  And if the Lord lays it on your hearts, please pray for these dear servants of His that are serving there in Moz. and for the work and people there.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jim Elliot Quotes

 As I have been reading several Elizabeth Elliot books recently, I've been struck by a quote by her first husband, Jim, that she shares a few times.

That is such a challenging thought!  One well worth meditating on and seeking to apply to my life!
As I was looking for the quote online, I came across a few others that were equally as good.  So I thought I would share them here to, hopefully, be a blessing to you all as well. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"People fall in private,
long before they fall in public."
J.C. Ryle
"Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice,
And whoso suffers most hath most to give."
- Ugo Bassi -

Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't Forfeit Your Peace

Don’t Forfeit Your Peace

It would not be possible to exaggerate the importance hymns and spiritual songs have played in my spiritual growth.  One of the latter, familiar to most of you, has this line: “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer” (Joseph Scriven).  Prayerlessness is one of many ways by which we can easily forfeit the peace God wants us to have.  I’ve been thinking of some other ways.  Here’s a sampling:
  1. Resent God’s ways.
  2. Worry as much as possible.
  3. Pray only about things you can’t manage by yourself.
  4. Refuse to accept what God gives.
  5. Look for peace elsewhere than in Him.
  6. Try to rule your own life.
  7. Doubt God’s word.
  8. Carry all your cares.
 If you’d rather not forfeit your peace, here are eight ways to find it (antidotes to the above eight):
  1. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165 KVJ).  “Circumstances are the expression of God’s will,” wrote Bishop Handley Moule.
  2. “Don’t worry about anything whatever” (Philippians 4:6, Phillips).
  3. “In everything make your requests known to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving.  Then the peace of God … will guard your hearts” (Philippians 4:6-7, NEB).
  4. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me … and you will find rest” (Matthew 11:29, NIV).
  5. “Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give” (John 14:27, NEB).
  6. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15, NIV).
  7. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13, KJV).
  8. “Cast all your cares on him for you are his charge” (1 Peter 5:7, NEB).
 “Grant, O Lord my God, that I may never fall away in success or in failure; that I may not be prideful in prosperity nor dejected in adversity.  Let me rejoice only in what unites us and sorrow only in what separates us.  May I strive to please no one or fear to displease anyone except Yourself.  May I seek always the things that are eternal and never those that are only temporal.  May I shun any joy that is without You and never seek any that is beside You.  O Lord, may I delight in any work I do for You and tire of any rest that is apart from You.  My God, let me direct my heart towards You, and in my failings, always repent with a purpose of amendment.”  - St. Thomas Aquinas

~Keep A Quiet Heart, by Elisabeth Elliot 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How Can We Doubt?

How can we doubt?

When I think of all God hath said
How can I doubt this path I tread?
If I should doubt, then is He wrong?
Or do I think that He's not strong?
Forbid it Lord and let me know
To Thee all praise and honor owe

I think sometimes I know the way
And then get caught amidst the fray
Sometimes God gives me many pains
So I would let Him have the reins
Sometimes my Jesus hides His face
So I can see 'tis by His grace

He's always there whate're I think
And He will never let me sink
When by His grace He sees me through
And bids to all my fears "adieu"
What glorious day when I am done
And then I'll see Him, Christ the Son

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart
And don't trust yourself to start
Don't on your understanding lean
But unto Him who is unseen
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will keep you from your sin.
- S.J.L. -

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pearl Necklace

A precious sister in the Lord shared this story with Brittany at church a few weeks ago.  It has blessed and ministered to her so much I wanted to find the actual story so she would have a written copy of it.  Since it encouraged her so much and it is such a neat story, I thought I would share it with our readers as well.  

pearl necklace photo: fashion White_pearl_necklace.jpg

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh mommy please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five, that's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma. "As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. James if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.

One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite."
"That's okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night."
And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper." "That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy; this is for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is, with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things that God wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities that you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go?

Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing. God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. The greatest gifts happen when you share love & touch others. NOT to DECIDE is to DECIDE.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Keep Making Me

I am always amazed when the Lord seems to bring something to you unexpectedly, but at just the right moment.  He is SOOO good!  This song is one of those mercies of the Lord.  Yesterday when I had gotten on youtube for a specific purpose, somehow or another I ended up coming across this precious song.  I fully believe it was the Lord guiding me to it to minister to me and my family.  It is the currently most played song here today.  :-)   May it be our hearts desire that the Lord be everything in our lives -our desires, love, breath, being, hopes and dreams.  Lord, keep making us, no matter what it takes! He is worth it and worthy of everything we can give Him and far more!  Strip us of everything until we desire no one and nothing but You, oh Lord! 


Learning the Father's Love

 "When my brother Dave was very small, we spent a week at the seaside in Belmar, New Jersey.  In vain my father tried to persuade the little boy to come into the waves with him and jump, promising to hold him safely and now allow the waves to sweep over his head.  He took me (only a year older) into the ocean and showed Dave how much fun it would be.  Nothing doing.  The ocean was terrifying.  Dave was sure it would mean certain disaster, and he could not trust his father.  On the last day of our vacation he gave in.  He was not swept away, his father held him as promised, and he had far more fun than he could have imagined, whereupon he burst in to tears and wailed, "Why didn't you make me go in?"
An early lesson in prayer often comes through an ordeal fo fear.  We face impending adversity and we doubt the love, wisdom and power of our Father in heaven.  Wev'e tried everything else and in our desperation we turn to prayer--of the primitive sort: Somebody who's reputed to be able to do anything.  The great question is, can I get Him to do what I want?  How do I twist His arm, how persuade a remote and reluctant deity to change His mind?
When the people of Israel were encamped in Pi-hahiroth and saw the Egyptians coming after them, they felt they were looking death in the face and it was all Moses' fault--"as if there weren't enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to die!"
"Don't be afraid," said Moses.  "Stand by.  The Lord will fight for you if you'll just be quiet."
You know the story of deliverance--the sea was rolled back, Israel marched through it dry shod, and when the Egyptians pursued them the sea swamped their horses, their chariots,a nd the whole army.  "Not even one of them remained."  The song of victory Moses and Israel sang reveals their recognition not only of the strength, majesty and wonder-working of the Lord, but of His loving-kindness, immeasurably beyond anything they had dared to hope.
Poor Dave!  His father could have forced him to come into the water, but he could not have forced him to relax and enjoy it.  As long as the child insisted on protecting himself, saving the life he was sure he would lose, he could not trust the strong love of his father.  He refused to surrender.  In this simple story we hear echoes of the most ancient story, of the two who, distrusting the word of their Father, fearing that obedience to Him would ultimately bar them from happiness, chose to repudiate their dependance on Him.  Sin, death, destruction for the whole race were the result.
Learning to pray is learning to trust the wisdom, the power, and the love of our Heavenly Father, always so far beyond our dreams.  He knows our need and knows ways to meet it that have never entered our heads.  Things we feel sure we need for happiness may often lead to our ruin.  Things we think will ruin us (the chariots of Egypt, the waters of the sea, or the little waves in Belmar!), if we believe what the Father tells us and surrender ourselves into His strong arms, bring us deliverance and joy.
The only escape from self-live is self-surrender.  "Whoever loses his life for Me wil find it" (Matthew 16:25, NIV).  "Dwell in my love.  If you heed my commands, you will dwell in my love, as I have heeded my Father's commands and dwell in His love.  I have spoken thus to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy complete" (John 15:9-11, NEB).  My father knew far better than his small, fearful, stubborn son what would give him joy.  So does our Heavenly Father.  Whenever I have resisted Him, I have cheated myself, as my little brother did.  Whenever I have yielded, I have found joy."
~taken from Keep A Quiet Heart, by Elisabeth Elliot

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sufficiency of Scripture Conference (free download)

Several years ago, we had the blessing of attending this conference.  It has probably been the most influential conference our family has ever participated in.   This was the conference that we first heard Paul Washer speak.  God used that vessel to help us understand the gospel in a much deeper way. It changed the way that we would parent our younger children in regard to seeking to lead them to Christ.  For the first time in our Christian walk, we understood relying and depending on the Spirit of God to do what we could not truly do ourselves.  How can a dead man do anything?  We as parents, as much as we love our children, do not have the ability either to give life to them. 

This past weekend, we had the privilege of  spending two days with several other families that challenged and refreshed our souls.  It is so good to be with brothers and sisters in the Lord!   We are still talking, gleaning and praying over things from this weekend.  As several shared how God had worked in their lives to bring them to Him, we were challenged to pray over  several people that we know that are still relying on the strength of their flesh to walk out the Christian life.  As we were praying this morning, the Lord brought this conference to mind and particularly one of the messages by Paul Washer; The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel.  

How excited I was to find that the whole conference can now be downloaded for free.  There are literally hours of spiritual encouragement here.  They all are worth listening to, but if you can only listen to one, make it The Sufficiency of the Scripture and the Gospel by Paul Washer. 

Here is the link to the entire download of the conference.

Here is a link to the message by Mr. Washer; The Sufficiency of the Scripture and the Gospel

We are looking forward to relistening to this today ourselves.   :-)  Hope you will be very blessed and encouraged by all that you hear.

Soli Deo Gloria (Latin term for Glory to God alone.)

Monday, March 3, 2014

"The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is not true faith present. To attempt the impossible God must give faith or there will be none, and He gives faith to the obedient heart only. Where real repentance is, there is obedience; for repentance is not only sorrow for past failures and sins, it is a determination to begin now to do the will of God as He reveals it to us."  - A. W. Tozer
This quote really hit home with me tonight.  Oh to have enough faith to obey in what seems the impossible!  My heart's cry is, "Lord, I believe!  Help Thou mine unbelief!"