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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Thousand Word Project - One White Star

Song of Solomon 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. 

Rose of Sharon
An appropriate image from the state of Texas. :-)

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Shut In - Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

People are shut in for a variety of reasons. Some places have times when the weather keeps us shut in more. In colder climates that will happen in winter. In Texas and other warm climates it often happens in summer. However, the most common reason to be shut in long term is probably from health difficulties. For some of us the weather combines with the health problems to make it necessary to stay inside. It's good to remember that the Lord is with us. But, if you know someone who is a shut in it's a good idea to check in on them from time to time, especially in their harder seasons - call, stop by, drop off something useful or cheering, send a text message.

Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

Hebrews 13:5 ...he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Shut In

Shut in - shut in from the ceaseless din
Of the restless world, and its' wants and sin;
Shut in from its' turmoil, care and strife
And all the wearisome round of life.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Evening Song - Day by Day

Deuteronomy 33:25 ...as thy days, so shall thy strength be

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Worth Repeating – Are You Glad Today?

Here is something that I posted on July 4th 2011. It's a good reminder. I have edited it slightly.

This item comes from my Bible journal from some years back, but it seemed appropriate for this day, with a few additions.

Psalm 4:6-7 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

Too many American Christians get their heads so full of politics and conspiracies they echo this cry, “Who will shew us any good?” They forget that our hope and source of good and gladness is the Lord, not the restoration of the United States, and not the preservation of our liberties! Our hope is not in some man (or woman) who is a “conservative” politician with a promise that they can “fix” this country or "make it great again."

The increase of corn and wine (prosperity) makes them (the worldlings) glad. We should have even more gladness of heart from the Lord and the blessing of the light of His countenance, which is not dependent on outward comforts or man-made documents such as the Constitution.

As Independence Day is celebrated across the U.S.A. today, what are you dependent upon for your gladness? Does it come from a feeling of prosperity, or a hope in man’s feeble abilities to “restore” this country? Or maybe you are discouraged and asking how anything good can possibly happen. The only safe place to find true and abiding gladness and goodness is in the light of God’s countenance!

there is none good but one, that is, God.  Mark 10:18

Psalm 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Thoughts from the Past - Immediate Results

June 27, 2007 [edited]

Immediate Results

The following passage is the explanation from the parable of the sower. Note how often the word "immediately" appears:

Mark 4:15-20 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. (Emphasis added.)

We live in a time when so much happens so quickly that patience in the Lord's work has become "outdated." People want immediate results. They want to "see souls saved" and "the altar filled;" they want to see the pews filled, but they chafe that it doesn't happen sooner. They have no desire to "get their hands dirty" in the work of cultivation or tending young plants. Many in the Lord's church today are "outcome based." Some might deny this, but it comes through in their talk and writing in spite of themselves. They are "result oriented" and even "seeker sensitive." Some have rightly referred to this as "microwave Christianity." "They want what they want when they want it", to paraphrase an old song.

Notice first in the passage that Satan immediately taketh away the word that is sown in the hearts of the people by the wayside. There is someone who works immediately in this parable, and it isn't the sower, nor the seed. Remember that!

Next, notice that it is the ones in stony ground who immediately receive the word with gladness. There are those who will seem extremely glad to hear the truth, and yet they have no root. They are not connected to anything that will support growth and fruit - they are not true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often these people are grabbed by the "soul winners" to set forth as proof that God is "using them" (meaning the soul winner). The new “convert” may be rushed into baptism and church membership, but sadly they only endure for a time. As soon as affliction or persecution comes in relation to the word of God, these people are immediately offended. Then the preacher or "soul winner" blames the person, frets and stews and is frustrated; OR they ignore the fact and go charging on in their numbers game of "who can win the most." (You can't stop counting the ones who "don't stick," you know, or you'll start falling behind.)

Now notice how the ones that are sown among thorns go. They become unfruitful through the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things. They are choked by the thorns. This is a slower process. The unfruitfulness is not noticeable for a while, so the "quick results" seekers would be even more deceived in this matter, and possibly more disappointed later.

But, last of all, notice those in good ground. These hear the word, receive it, and bring forth fruit. This does not happen at microwave speed, friends. Grain grows slowly. The crop is not ready two days after planting. It takes time for the seed to sprout, to grow good roots to support the plant, to shoot forth, and finally to bear fruit.

Notice also that the amount of fruit is not the issue. It comes in varying amounts - some thrityfold, some sixty and some an hundred. Those who bring forth thrityfold are not condemned and those who bring forth an hundredfold are not exalted above the others. They all bore fruit! This is the point.

Finally, we must remember Who is in charge of "results" in the first place.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (Emphasis added.)

It is not our responsibility to "get results." It is especially not our responsibility to get them immediately. It is not our place to even be claiming "results." God giveth the increase. We don't need to be, and should not be, fretting over the results or how soon they come.

The East Africans have a saying: "Hurry, hurry has no blessing." In this case it applies well. You can't see quick results where growth is required to produce fruit.

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Let's not be carried away with the "hurry up" attitude that is so preeminent today. Plant where you can. Water where you can. Be faithful and patient and let God bring forth fruit to His glory in His time.

Scattering precious seed, doubting never,
Scattering precious seed, trusting ever;
Sowing the word with prayer and endeavor,
Trusting the Lord for growth and for yield.

William Ogden

first posted 9/2012