Friday, February 27, 2015

"All of the past, I believe, is a part of God's story for each child of His - a mystery of love and sovereignty, written before the foundation of the world, never a hindrance to the task He has designed for us, but rather the very preparation suited to our particular personality's need."  ~ Elisabeth Elliot


Thursday, February 26, 2015

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it."
~ 1 Corinthians: 10:13 ~

"The secret is Christ in me,
not me in a different set of circumstances."
~ Elisabeth Elliot ~

"All the way my Savior leads me.
Jesus doeth all things well!"
~ Frances J. Crosby ~

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:7 ~


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Strength to Answer God's Call

I was reading an article this morning by Tricia Goyer and was very blessed by certain aspects of it.  I didn't care for everything in the article, but the overall message of the article was very good.  Those "aspects" I thought I would share with you all, bits and pieces from the article, to hopefully be an encouragement to some of you as well.  :-) ~Breanna

There is a myth today that says we must get our life organized and in order before we follow God’s call.  How can we give from a empty well? How can we spare what we don’t have: whether it be time, money or energy? 

Yet God’s call never waits for us to unclutter our lives. In fact, He usually calls us when we have nothing to spare. Why?

When we don’t have anything to give, we look to the Giver.
When we have no time, we must readjust our priorities and set things according to God’s schedule.
When we feel foolish and inadequate, we’ll look to God’s wisdom.
When we feel wrung out, we’ll look to His strength.
And in the midst of following Him, we’ll find Him.

And what have I discovered?

More time? (Not really.)
More energy? (I wish!)

Instead, I’ve discovered that when I do God’s work He takes care of mine 

There are many things that can occupy our time—there always will be. There are good things that we can devote our lives to, but the most important things are the God things.

When you do decide to step out your schedule won’t automatically clear, it never does. Instead, God will show up. He will give you extra wisdom, energy, resources and strength. But mostly He will give you Himself! And when you have Him, you have everything.
And when you give others the knowledge of Him, they can have Him, too.
And when lives around you are transformed, all the stuff you were busy with doesn’t seem as important any more.

And God is glorified, because it’ll be clear to everyone that it’s Him doing the work!
 ~Tricia Goyer

Sanctified Gladness ~ Songs of Praise

"It is always beneficial to praise the Lord;
 it cheers the day and brightens the night;
it lightens toil and softens sorrow;
and over earthly gladness it sheds a sanctifying radiance
which makes it less liable to blind us with its glare.
Have we not something to sing about at this moment?
Can we not weave a song out of our present joys,
or our past deliverances, or our future hopes?
By the love of Jesus, let us be stirred up
to close the day with a psalm of sanctified gladness."
-- Charles Spurgeon --

Monday, February 23, 2015

True Joy is Strength


Hope Thou in God

"Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.  Why art thou cast down, oh my soul?  Hope thou in God for I shall yet praise Him."
~ Psalm 27:3; 42:5 ~

Take away faith, and in vain we call to God.  There is no other road betwixt our souls and Heaven.  Blockade that road and we cannot communicate with the Great King.  Faith links us with Divinity.
An outstanding minister said that one evening he found himself staggering along under a load that was heavy enough to crush half a dozen strong men.  Out of sheer exhaustion he put it down and took a good look at it.  He found that it was all borrowed.  Part of it belonged to the following day; part of it belonged to the following week, and here he was borrowing it that it might crush him now - a very stupid but a very ancient blunder.
Never yield to gloomy anticipations.  Who told you that the night would never end in day?  Who told you that the winter of your discontent should proceed from frost to frost, from snow and ice and hail to deeper snow?  Do you not know that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter?  Place your hope and confidence in God.  He has no record of failure."
- Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
- taken from Streams in the Desert, Volume 2, December 26th


Friday, February 20, 2015

Praying, Instead of Talking

" quietness and in confidence shall be your strength."
- Isaiah 30:15 -

"Do you know what Luther said?  'Suffer and be still and tell no man thy sorrow; trust in God - His help will not fail thee.'  This is what Scripture calls keeping silent before God.  Talk much of one's sorrows makes one weak, but to tell one's sorrows to Him Who heareth in secret, makes one strong and calm."  - Tholuck

The little sharp vexations
And the briars that catch and fret,
Why not take all to the Helper
Who has never failed us yet?
Tell Him about the heartache,
And tell Him the longings, too;
Tell Him the baffled purpose
When we scarce know what to do.
Then, leaving all our weakness
With the One divinely strong,
Forget that we bore the burden,
And carry away the song.
                    ~ Margaret Sangster

- Streams in the Desert, Volume 2, February19th

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Serving God ~ With Every Capability

"Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak:
for your work shall be rewarded."
- 2 Chronicles 15:7 -

"God deserves to be served with all the energy of which we are capable.
If the service of God is worth anything, it is worth everything.
We shall find our best reward in the Lord's work
if we do it with determined diligence.
Our labor is not in vain in the Lord, and we know it.
Halfhearted work will bring no reward;
but when we throw our whole soul into the cause, we shall see prosperity."
 - Charles Spurgeon -
taken from Faith's Checkbook, February 17th


Of trials, storms and hope...

Before the winds that blow do cease,
Teach me to dwell within Thy calm;
Before the pain has passed in peace,
Give me, my God, to sing a psalm;
Let me not lose the chance to prove
The fullness of enabling love.
~Amy Carmichael

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?
Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
~Amy Carmichael

Song: He Already Sees


Friday, February 13, 2015

Song about Abortion by a precious brother

This is a song about the abortion of unborn children. I wrote it partly protest against an entire industry, fueled by human fear, unbelief, and greed, that exists to cruelly destroy the most helpless members of our society. It's also my personal attempt to somehow express a great load of grief that I feel over the loss of each of these little ones. May the Lord remember them.

This is by far the hardest song I've written; it's an attempt to capture so many thoughts and feelings that are hardly expressible. It was a weight that I couldn't get off of my chest until I finished it; I had a sense of urgency about it that pushed me through some very exhausting moments.

The tune comes from an old, old folk song called Geordie.

By:  Andrew Romanowitz

If I could sing for you my song
Some angel's tongue to borrow,
I'd sing for you the whole night long,
Sweet baby of my sorrow

For you were just a mother's child,
As fair as any other;
A friend to me you might have been,
If only to your mother

But he who tore the threads of life
That God's own hand was weaving,
He took his pay and washed his knife,
Nor for his crime was grieving

Oh, life is sweet when love is kind,
But they did not revere it;
The ground in grief and anger cried,
But heav'n alone would hear it

Too small to run, too weak to fight,
Too young to know a warning,
Like thieves they caught you in the night,
And stole away the morning

Who could conceive this dark design?
My heart, it fails within me;
I wish to God you had been mine,
If one among so many

Then sleep in silence, little one,
The morn was nearly breaking;
But cruel hands put out the sun,
And never you'll be waking

Simply By Faith on Christ

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God.”
- 1 John 3:2a -
That is easy to read, but it is not so easy to feel. 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, Morning Meditation for February 13th

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Faith that Triumphs

"We must learn to take God at His Word,
and go straight on in duty,
although we see no way in which we can go forward.
The reason we are so often balked by difficulties
is that we expect to see them removed
before we try to pass through them.

If we would move straight on in faith,
the path would be opened for us.
We stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed,
when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles."
- Evening Thoughts, taken from Streams in the Desert, Vol. 1, February 11th

"Faith that goes forward triumphs."
~ Mrs. Charles E. Cowman ~

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Years Celebration in the Alexander Home

Bringing in the new year is a special thing in our house.  It's definitely a looked-forward-to highlight each year!  This year we really tried to put forth more thought into it.  Our family loves creating new family traditions, and we sought to do this this year both in a spiritual sense and with some fun activities.  So here's a little piece of what it looked like at the Alexander home bringing in the new year for 2015.
At our house, New Years Eve isn't complete without some special favorite treats. :-)
This was something new we did this year.  Mom placed a slip of paper inside each balloon.  Then she blew them up and wrote various times of the night on each one.  At whatever time it was, each person got to pop a balloon and read the slip of paper to see what activity was next.  It was fun, especially for the kids, and helped us keep our time structured enough to get more in.
Sarah had her turn first.
Bell helped her read her slip of paper.
First up was making the food preparations.
Titus melting chocolate...
...and Sarah and Brittany blending Oreos and cream cheese.
Oreo Bon-Bons are a favorite treat here, especially for Tayte.
Elizabeth preparing our tray of cheese and crackers and salami.
Definitely a stand-by treat for special occasions.
After the food preparations, it was Esther's turn to pop her balloon.
Our snacky dinner was next.
Daddy with us kids.
We're waiting...... not everyone's here yet.
Taste-testing, just to make sure.
Yep; definitely good. :-)
The table-full of family favorites.
Now everyone's here!
Titus's turn. - Love his smile. :-)
Dad and Tayte telling a story.
I know it's a little blurry, but I love the picture.  It was such a good story. :-)
It's always fun to go back and reminisce.
Bell popping her balloon.
Next is a jelly bean game.
 The goal was to transfer all of the jelly beans from one bowl to the other using the straw.
And Dad was the winner.
Haha.  Love the look on his face. :-)
 Tayte was next.
Mom found this idea of hanging doughnuts from a string and having everyone see who could eat theirs first.  It was comical to be sure, and fun.
Ginger Bread Houses
Ginger bread houses are a New Years tradition at our house.
This year we tried something new and used graham crackers.  That worked really well.  A lot better than the huge ginger bread house kits.  And it allowed everyone to make their own small house.  It was fun to see everyone's creativity and style.
As you can see, we had a lot of fun. :-)
We played cards.
Something new Mom and Dad have taught us this year that we enjoy doing from time to time.
Sweet Mom playing "War" with the little girls.
We decided to do sparklers this year, as something different and fun for the kids.
Keeping in mind, that up north in January it's too cold to be hanging out outside with sparklers.  We had never thought of such a thing. :-)
Love Essie's face in this one. :-)
We did a few other things as well, including a balloon release and devotion time.  As we watched the balloons  up in the sky for as long as we could, Dad read from the Bible about when Christ ascended to Heaven and spoke about watching for and being ready for Christ's return.  It gave a really neat thought-provoking analogy.
We also decided to do something special for New Years Day this year.
We took a family bike trip, only the second time we'd been out on our bikes as a family since our move, so it was a real treat. :-)
The place we went was beautiful!  It was so peaceful and quiet.  Their weren't a lot of people around, and it was a perfect day to be out.
That evening Dad and Mom took us all out for dinner.
We had a wonderful dinner, which happened to be our first experience at a southern buffet :-), and had a nice time of talking and reminiscing about the past year, seeing how the Lord has worked and blessed, and discussing goals, thoughts, and hopes for the new year.
The Lord has truly blessed us very much this past year, and we are looking forward to seeing how He is going to work in this year as well.
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him"
~ Psalm 34:8 ~
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
~Isaiah 25:9 ~
"This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
~ Psalm 118:23 ~

God's Answer to our Loneliness

The answer to our loneliness is love- not our finding someone to love us, but our surrendering to the God who has always loved us with an everlasting love.  Loving Him is then expressed in a happy and full-hearted pouring out of ourselves in love to others. 
~Elisabeth Elliot, Loneliness: It can be a wilderness, it can be a pathway to God


Monday, February 2, 2015

4 Part Sermon Series on Faith by Paul Washer

The last few Sundays our family has been listening to this sermon series on Faith by Paul Washer.  We've been very blessed and challenged by them!  Very convicting and inspiring!  So worth taking the time to listen to if you can! :-)  The links take you to where you can chose to either play the messages online or download the mp3's. 

In order to believe the thing spoken, you must understand or know the character of the one who has promised it.  Faith is all about knowing what God has said and knowing who God is.  
~Paul Washer, It Comes Down To Faith sermon

It Comes Down To Faith- Part 1

God is a Rewarder of Those who Seek Him- Part 2

Faith Obeys- Part 3

Childlike Faith- Part 4