Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Exposé of Psalms 119:97-105

I was blessed and challenged by this exposé written by a family friend of ours.

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding : therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalms 105:97-105

Do you truly love the law of the Lord? Does your heart beat after him as the deer after the water? Does he consume your thoughts? Do you delight yourself in him as a young man delights himself in his new wife? Do you spend time with God the way you spend time with your favorite hobby or pastime?
Sadly, if you and I are honest, we do not. The psalmist says he delights himself in God's precepts. Truthfully, it is sad to say but, we do not have Christ and his law as our first love. He does not reign supreme in our lives as he ought.
 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, do you fear your God? Sure I know that the word can also mean reverence but should you not stand in awe and be amazed that the hands that hold the universe were nailed to a tree for you? For your sin, and for mine. The voice so terrible as to make the Hebrew people shrink back in terror at mount Sinai, the God of glory thundereth!!! That same voice calls gently and softly to each of us with a love that will not let us go. The righteous Judge of all the earth who's eye never sleepeth and who's hand is never slack, the God who destroys nations, raises kings and throws down others is the same who has redeemed and ransomed us from sin. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Yet, to the repentant he has promised to in no wise cast them out when they come. This is the God I fear.
The wisdom of God brings us understanding. Knowledge puffeth up. Having knowledge is not having wisdom. Without wisdom there is no understanding and without understanding, knowledge is useless. The reason why the verses above say that, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. “ is because that God's law teaches us three things. One, what evil looks like. Two, what its consequences are. Three, the way of escape.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” In this world of sin and darkness the light of Christ is a dire necessity. And as the allegory so blatantly presents the Word of God should guide our every step. As in a room that is dark save a single light we must be close to the light to be able to perceive detail so must we be close to the Word of God to discern truth.
Let us serve our master well because of the price he has paid for us and because he deserves our love and obedience. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Jesus says to each of us, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Let him be your guide, follow him into green pasture, feed on his word, and take every thought captive to the Word of God.
- Thomas Smith -


Monday, September 29, 2014

New Favorites!

Recently the Lord brought across my path a couple of new resources that have become a real blessing and encouragement to me.
Streams in the Desert is a wonderful devotional that hits the practical heart dealings of life and points to our only one true source of strength - Jesus Christ.
I have been blessed over the past couple of years by the Daily Light on the Daily Path devotional,which is simply a collection of various Scripture passages pulled together into one thought.  My only disappointment has been that it was not in the KJV.  While listening to a teaching tape by Elisabeth Elliot the other day she mentioned reading this in the KJV.  So, I had to look, and was very blessed to find Daily Light on the Daily Path in the KJV!
These are now in the left hand column under our Favorite Websites.  I hope that maybe these, along with the others listed there, can be a blessing and a tool to encourage and to point you to Christ.

Peace in the Heart ~ The Music of Life

In me... peace (John 16:33).
There is a vast difference between happiness and blessedness. Paul had imprisonments and pains, sacrifice and suffering up to the very limit; but in the midst of it all, he was blessed. All the beatitudes came into his heart and life in the midst of those very conditions.
Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one. He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it, but discovered that some one had stolen his and left that old second-hand one in its place.
He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul." And he played as he had never played before; and out of that second-hand instrument, the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that music was not in the machine but in his own soul.
It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all earth and Heaven that the music is not in conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life is in your own soul.
If peace be in the heart,
The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
The midnight flash but shows the path of duty,
Each living creature tells some new and joyous story,
The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory,
If peace be in the heart.

--Charles Francis Richardson

-Streams in the Desert, for September 28th

What are you doing?

Do nothing that you would not like God to see.
Say nothing that you would not like God to hear.
Write nothing that you would not like God to read.
Go no place, where you would not like God to find you.
Read no book, of which you would not like God to say, "Show it to Me!"
Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like
to have God say,"What are you doing?"
- J.C. Ryle -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peace through Christ


Take My Life and Let It Be . . . Song and history

Take My Life and Let it Be, the Song and the Story

Composer Francis Ridley Havergal Writes Take My Life and Let it Be

During her relatively short life of 46 years, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and memorized the Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and most of the New Testament. She published four books, and composed more than 80 hymns, including I Gave My Life for Thee and God Will Take Care of You.

In 1873, Francis had a dramatic personal spiritual experience in which she realized the importance of complete surrender to God. Soon thereafter, she was visiting a home in which 10 people lived. Several of the 10 were unconverted; the others were uncommitted Christians. Frances, who was staying in the home for an extended visit, prayed "Lord, give me all this house." Before her stay had ended, all 10 members of the household had committed their lives completely to Jesus. On the last night of her visit Francis was too excited to sleep - It was then and there she wrote the lyrics to the beautiful Take My Life and Let it Be.

This hymn has stirred many hearts towards a deeper commitment to Christ. Even as she was writing the words, Francis herself was motivated to submit more to her Lord. As she wrote the words Take my voice and let me sing..., she made a decision to give up her career as a concert soloist, and sing only for Him. As she wrote the words Take my silver and my gold..., she made a choice to donate her considerable jewelry collection for the sake of missions.

No less than seven melodies have been written to accompany Take My Life and Let it Be. The one most commonly seen in contemporary hymnbooks, was written in 1827, by Henri A. Cesar Malan (1787-1864), who was one of the men responsible for the hymn movement within the French Reformed Church.

Take My Life and Let it Be

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1) 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Valleys turned upside down become . . .

" and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way."  Numbers 21:4
When the children of Israel left Egypt, they were sighing.  Satan has stolen their song.  When difficult times came, they took their eyes off God and saw only the difficult.

Am I speaking to someone who has fallen into that trap?  The blessings of God are falling like raindrops around you, but you're so busy counting your problems that you forgot to count your blessings.  Did you know that God inhabits the praises of His people?  In Psalms 22:3 David said: "but thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."  In Psalms 16:11 we read, "in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

The point of it all, dear Christian, is this, we need to be quite careful not to become a reflection of our problems.  Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there!  And when the way is difficult and discouraging, keep your eyes on Him.  He is as worthy of our praise when we're in the valleys as when we're on the mountain. God made the valleys just like He did the peaks.  If you'll offer up your praises in the valley, He just may very well turn that valley upside down and change it into a mountain!

Taken from the August 31,2014 Wheeler Grove Baptist Church bulletin.  Written by their pastor Brother Kara in the Pastor's Corner section. What a blessing to worship with them that day while we were up visiting Seth's Dad.

You Do Not Walk Alone

Oh be encouraged dear ones!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Elisabeth Elliot talks about "What Does It Mean to Be Holy?"

There is an active practice of holiness as we carry out, for the glory of God, the ordinary duties of each day, faithfully fulfilling the responsibilities given us. The passive practice consists in loving acceptance of the unexpected, be it welcome or unwelcome, remembering that we have a wise and sovereign Lord who works in mysterious ways and is never taken by surprise. Which of these two requirements of holiness (active or passive) is beyond our strength? Remember the words of the apostle Paul, and the conditions (he was in prison) under which he wrote them: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12,13). This is all that God demands of us in His work of sanctification. He demands it from the high and the low, from the strong and the weak; in a word, from all, always and everywhere. A promise to which I have clung for many years is the prophetic word in Isaiah 50:7, “The Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded, therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” Perfection does not consist in understanding God’s designs but in submitting to them, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Sometimes the explanation of his purpose (Romans 8:29) is overlooked: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” God works in the soul to make it holy—to make it, finally, like Himself. The whole essence of the spiritual life consists in recognizing the designs of God for us at the present moment.
~Elisabeth Elliot from portions in her July/August 1999 newsletter

The pathway to holiness is located right where you are. In those circumstances, in those relationships, in that tiredness, in that challenge. The grace of God to make you holy is
right there.
~Elisabeth Elliot
Posted by~Breanna

Serving Makes Full

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his inner being shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).
Some of us are shivering and wondering why the Holy Spirit does not fill us. We have plenty coming in, but we do not give it out. Give out the blessing that you have, start larger plans for service and blessing, and you will soon find that the Holy Ghost is before you, and He will present you with blessings for service, and give you all that He can trust you to give away to others.
There is a beautiful fact in nature which has its spiritual parallels. There is no music so heavenly as an Aeolian harp, and the Aeolian harp is nothing but a set of musical chords arranged in harmony, and then left to be touched by the unseen fingers of the wandering winds. And as the breath of heaven floats over the chords, it is said that notes almost Divine float out upon the air, as if a choir of angels were wandering around and touching the strings.
And so it is possible to keep our hearts so open to the touch of the Holy Spirit that He can play upon them at will, as we quietly wait in the pathway of His service.
--Days of Heaven upon Earth
When the apostles received the baptism with the Holy Ghost they did not rent the upper room and stay there to hold holiness meetings, but went everywhere preaching the gospel.
--Will Huff
"If I have eaten my morsel alone,"
The patriarch spoke with scorn;
What would he think of the Church were he shown
Heathendom-huge, forlorn,
Godless, Christless, with soul unfed,
While the Church's ailment is fullness of bread,
Eating her morsel alone?
"Freely ye have received, so give,"
He bade, who hath given us all.
How shall the soul in us longer live
Deaf to their starving call,
For whom the blood of the Lord was shed,
And His body broken to give them. bread,
If we eat our morsel alone!"

--Archbishop Alexander
"Where is Abel thy brother?" (Gen. 4:9).

- Streams in the Desert, for September 23rd, by Mrs. Charles Cowman

Monday, September 15, 2014

This picture was done per special request by Mom.  When some dear friends came to visit, they brought us this apple tree to plant in our orchard.  Every time we see it, it makes us think of them.  One day last month we were amazed to discover that it had a blossom on it!  Incredible!  So, Mom asked if I would try to get a picture of it and asked if I could put a verse with it about God doing the impossible.  We never know how He is working, but we do know that He works all things for the good of His children and for His glory.  So we can rest assured that, however difficult or impossible it may seem to get to the point of good and glory, nothing is impossible for Him and He is doing His perfect work!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

All the Way My Savior Leads Me ~ Jesus Doeth All Things Well!

I was blessed by a very precious time with the Lord this morning.  He has been showing me so clearly His love, guidance, care, and perfect control the past couple of days.  Why do I every doubt Him?!  The Lord brought this song to mind this morning after I had been reading some beautiful passages in Psalms.  I hope the words to this song, and the music are a blessing to some of you as they were to me.  May you have a blessed and spiritually refreshing weekend!

All the Way My Savior Leads Me
by Frances J. Crosby

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

Friday, September 12, 2014

“What do you think especially gives me comfort at this time?
The creation!
I ask myself, “Did Jehovah create the world or did I?”
He did!
Now if He made the world and all the rolling spheres of the universe,
He certainly can take care of me.
Into Jesus’ hands I can safely commit my spirit!”
-- Charles Simeon --

"Holy fear looks not only before it leaps, but even before it moves.
It is afraid of error, afraid of neglecting duty, afraid of committing sin.
It fears ill company, loose talk, and questionable policy.
Fear of the very appearance of evil is a purifying principle,
which enables a man, through the power of the Holy Spirit,
to keep his garments unspotted from the world."
- Charles Spurgeon, Faith's Checkbook for September 9th -

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Powerful Choice of Submission


It’s the dirty little word that packs a powerful punch in 21st Century Christian religion.
“Everyone knows the Apostle Paul was a male chauvinist PIG!”
Person: Senior Editor
Place: Major conservative evangelical Christian publisher
Editorial Dept. discussion of marriage manuscript from international speaker/author (not long ago)

A moment of (stunned) silence followed.

Much emotional pain, anger, and damage has been done to many women by the misuse and abuse and unbalanced emphasis of the Scriptures by overbearing pastors and sinful husbands.

But, there’s also rebellion of one’s flesh against what the Bible does teach. God ‘tempers the wind to the shorn lamb’ and ‘the bruised reed he will not break’ but, our personal pain does not negate what the Scriptures teach.

The very idea of yielding one’s will to the oversight, direction, or decisions of another is antithetical to everything taught by the current religious spirit of the age . . . actually, to the spirit of any age.

Unless Jesus is involved . . .

Then the adoration and praise songs about his sovereignty, authority, might, power, lordship are endless.

Submit to Him? We’ll check that box on the multiple-choice exam. No problem (we say). He’s good, righteous, just, merciful, and possesses all power and authority. There’s no qualification to be placed on the authority of Jesus and the Bride’s, the Church’s, responsibility to submit to Him.

But then there’s the ‘S’ word directed to wives about their own husbands.
Submit to him? Not so fast.

Some wives have legitimate reasons not to submit to the men they are married to but, biblically speaking, these are exceptions, not the norm . . . and that’s the critical issue.
What is normal for biblical order in Christian marriage? When it comes to reading your own mail – the parts of the Bible directed to you – do you have a normal Christian marriage?

Ephesians 5:22 could hardly be clearer. In Christian marriage, a wife submitted to her husband is normal.

Never has a simple, straightforward passage of Scripture engendered so much anger and acrimony in so many.

Which makes sense.

Nobody’s flesh is going down without a fight.

Lisa and I went to hear Elisabeth Elliot speak a few years back. To the horror of many present, she put it like this:

“I don’t submit to my husband because I want to.  I don’t want to.
I don’t submit to my husband because I like to.  I don’t like to.
I don’t submit to my husband because it makes me feel good.  It doesn’t make me feel good.
I submit to my husband because the Scriptures command me to.  I do it out of obedience to Christ.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot
Biblical submission isn’t yielding to your husband’s will. It’s embracing the order Christ established and submitting to Him.

That’s what the phrase, as unto the Lord, in Ephesians 5:22 means. Embracing biblical order in marriage is service to Christ, not subservience to your husband.

If we Christian men walked more consistently in holiness, it would be easier for wives to embrace this Scripture. In my experience many (most?) Christian men often make this passage of Scripture a miserable experience for their wives. But, even if men were perfect, it wouldn’t change everything.

Jesus is the perfect Head of the Church, His bride. Does His perfection make the Church’s response to Him consistently holy, right, and yielded? No, because despite His perfection, we all still struggle against our flesh.

And so it is in marriage. Having the perfect husband will not make you the perfect wife. God gave Lisa an imperfect husband and yet still calls her to obedience in the matter of embracing biblical order.

She is not a weak woman. Submitting to us less than ideal husbands isn’t weakness. It’s an exercise of your power to choose obedience and service to Jesus Christ.
Normal biblical marriage is a radical departure from what our flesh naturally wants and what the world says is healthy. There are many stripes, brands, and flavors of Christian-like religion to identify with. For those who aspire to normal, biblical Christian marriage, it’s not complicated, and not particularly sophisticated.
Exercise your power. Submit to your own husband (not men, just your husband) as unto the Lord – as your service to Jesus Christ.
~Matthew Jacobson matthewljacobson.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Patience Makes Perfect

"Possess your souls with patience.
Never complain.  Never murmur.
Never feel sorry for yourself."
- Brother Chris Pappas -

We were very blessed this past Lord's Day to make one of our semi-frequent visits to a church body we have come to love and appreciate very much.  Pastor Pappas's messages were such a blessing to our family that day, (as they always are!) and the fellowship was sweet and encouraging.  Towards the end of his message for second service he stated the above quote.  It really spoke to me as I feel the Lord has been teaching me much about patience (and many other things) over the past couple of years.  The Lord brought this message just when I needed it and I wrote it down in my journal so I wouldn't forget.  It brings to mind the following passages:
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
~  Romans 5:3-5 ~

"But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing."
~ James 1:4 ~
Patience is such an important lesson to learn.  We must have hope and be patient.  The Lord is doing His perfect work.  We must just simply, quietly trust and wait on Him.  I hope this is a blessing to some of you as well.  May the Lord bless and guide the rest of your week.
After I had finished writing this, I was trying to decide what to title the post when the thought struck me - patience makes perfect (from the above verse).  We've all heard the saying "Practice makes perfect", but what a neat spiritual thought that "patience makes perfect!"  Wow!  The Lord is so good!  His Word is always fresh and bringing new encouragement! :-)

Can we say with the hymn writer, "It is Well With My Soul"?-Song and story behind the hymn

This hymn was written after traumatic events in Horatio Spafford’s life. The first was the death of their only son from Scarlet Fever in 1870. Second was the 1871 Great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago which was decimated by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873 at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.[3

~All information taken from Wikipedia 
Sung by Chris Rice  

It Is Well With My Soul
(Original lyrics)[1]

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
 It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin — oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! —
My sin — not in part but the whole, —
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!

"know" (at the end of the third line) was changed to "say".
  "A song in the night, oh my soul" (last line)
was changed to "Even so, it is well with my soul".
~Taken from Wikipedia


Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Strong Heart

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

Wait! Wait! Let your waiting be on the Lord! He is worth waiting for. He never disappoints the waiting soul.
While waiting keep up your spirits, Expect a great deliverance, and be ready to praise God for it.
The promise which should cheer you is in the middle of the verse—"He shall strengthen thine heart." This goes at once to the place where you need help. If the heart be sound, all the rest of the system will work well. The heart wants calming and cheering, and both of these will come if it be strengthened. A forceful heart rests and rejoices and throbs force into the whole man.
No one else can get at that secret urn of life, the heart, so as to pour strength into it. He alone who made it can make it strong. God is full of strength, and, therefore, He can impart it to those who need it. Oh, be brave; for the Lord will impart His strength to you, and you shall be calm in tempest and glad in sorrow.
He who penned these lines can write as David did—"Wait, I say, on the Lord." I do, indeed, say it. I know by long and deep experience that it is good for me to wait upon the Lord.
- Charles Spurgeon, Faith's Checkbook for September 6th

Friday, September 5, 2014

"The Lord will be with you."
(2 Chronicles 20:17)
"If the Lord be with me, it matters little who may desert me.
If the Lord be with me, I shall conquer in the battle of life,
and the greater my trials the more glorious will be my victory."
- Charles Spurgeon -
(Faith's Checkbook for September 5th)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Waiting and Understanding

I was blessed this evening as I read these portions of Scripture.  I always love taking multiple portions of Scripture and putting them together for a bigger thought.  Though not done in a version our family would prefer, Daily Light on the Daily Path is an excellent way of getting that!  I hope this is a blessing to some of you as well.
Ruth 3:18; Isa. 7:4; Ps. 46:10; John 11:40; Isa. 2:17; Luke 10:39, 42; Isa. 30:15; Ps. 4:4; Ps. 37:7; Ps. 112:7, 8; Isa. 28:16

“Wait, my daughter.”

“Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint.”—“Be still, and know that I am God.”—“Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”—The haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
Mary… sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching…. “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”—“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”—Ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady.—“Whoever believes will not be in haste.”
John 13:7; Deut. 8:2; Ezek. 16:8; Heb. 12:6; 1 Pet. 4:12, 13; 2 Cor. 4:17, 18

“What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

“You shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love;… I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.”—“The Lord disciplines the one he loves.”
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.—This slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.

5 Good Reasons Why Cleaning (yes, cleaning) Actually Matters

Wow, what a great reminder shared on Club 31 Women website!  Keep up the good work ladies...your daily endeavors count for eternity and DO make a difference!
My hands were black with dirt as I came in from the garage, and I headed straight for the shower, after telling my son I was sure there were 10 spiders in my hair. 

Perhaps an exaggeration, but I couldn’t help but have the creepy-crawlies after sweeping that many spider webs out of the corners.

The garage had been driving me crazy for months, so I tackled it. In several hours of hard work, I had the freezer defrosted, a huge mound of stuff taken to the church garage sale, shelves tidied, and floor swept.
As I swept the last pile of dirt into the dustpan, my thoughts went to the comments of two women I had heard from the day before.

One was a young mom almost despairing of what possible good purpose wiping snotty noses and mopping the floor could be doing in this dark world.
One was an empty nest mom who was struggling to find the why in doing housework without the children around.

I had been trying to find ways to encourage these two friends but was having trouble.
Why clean?

Why toilets and sweeping and laundry and dishes –the same day after day?

Looking around at my now gloriously clean garage, I thought of the expression, Cleanliness is next to godliness, but this time I gave it serious consideration.

Is cleanliness next to godliness? If so, why?

Will you allow me to entertain a yes to that question and throw out some reasons why the job of keeping things clean is a holy activity?

Five Reasons Why Cleaning Matters:

1.     The good news of Christ is that the dirty can be made spotless. The black-as-night heart can be made white as snow. Every time we clean our homes we show ourselves and our families and every guest that redemption is a possibility.
2.     The good news of Christ is that chaos can be brought into order. Our lives were a disaster until Christ came in and swept out the corners and sets things right. Every time we neatly put things away in a cupboard or fold a towel with corners matching we mimic what God can do in the human heart.
3.     The good news of Christ is that we are invited into the kingdom of light. Every time we dust an end table we admit that light reveals everything. Every time we clean a window we express an awareness of the goodness and warmth that light brings.
4.     The good news of Christ is that he came to serve us, to give us life. Every time we clean we serve those who enter our homes. We demonstrate how important they are to us.
5.     The good news of Christ is that our troubled hearts can find peace in him. Every time we clean we create an environment of comfort and peacefulness, a refuge from a messy world. We say, as Christ did to us, Come. Rest.

Keeping a shiny home is mundane work that seldom receives accolades, but it is important for more than just meeting health department standards or for gaining your mamma’s approval.
A clean house preaches a sermon of hope.

So grab a broom, sister. It matters.

As for me, I have a smelly toilet ring to tackle.

 Christy Fitzwater

Embrace Your Marriage: A Virtual Marriage Retreat...enjoy for free from your home!

I am so excited about this series!  6 bloggers, including one of my all time favorites Lisa Jacobson, joined together to do a Marriage Retreat to encourage women in their marriages every Monday of each of the 5 weeks in the month of September.  Total there will be 30 posts this month on marriage on these 6 ladies blogs. 

Every Monday in September, each of the following blogs will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage.
And here’s what you have to look forward to!
  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship  
To read week one posts, click on the links to the 6 bloggers websites.  :-)

Sorry that I'm getting this out late...I just read the post this morning and then read all of week one's posts.  I hope you'll be blessed and encouraged!   And for the young single gals like me...we can consider it part of our learning and preparation for our, Lord willing, future marriages.  :-)  And actually, when you look at what the heart of what these ladies are saying, the focus is really to become more Christ-like, and one of the big ways that the Lord sanctifies us is through relationships, whether it be a spouse, siblings, or even a friend.  When developing more Christ-like character is the focus, there's something for all of us to learn from it!  So I hope you find that true of these posts.  :-)  A word of caution for the singles...Shelia Gregoire of ToLoveHonorandVacuum tends to be very frank and open and not as discreet in what she shares, so you may want to be careful there.   Happy reading!