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Welcome! This blog is an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. Here I share thoughts, Bible studies, recipes, music, photography, art, home decor, crafts, and more. I hope you enjoy it!
All photos used on this blog are taken by me or my family unless otherwise noted. Regarding use of content: please see "the fine print" at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Just for Fun - "Classical Ukulele" Music


Here's an example of the ukulele being played in a way that is quite different from what people often think of when the ukulele is mentioned. Enjoy! :-)





Sunday, October 15, 2017

Reader Comments - Face to Face by Carrie E. Breck




After seeing the poem "Face to Face" by Martha Snell Nicholson a few weeks ago, a reader asked about this hymn, so I looked it up and thought it would be interesting to post it. This is an old familiar hymn to me, but some people may not have heard it before, or just need to be reminded because of the great message.

1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

John 14:2-3  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Face to Face


Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ Who died for me?

Refrain

Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a bless├Ęd day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.

Refrain

What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.

Refrain

Face to face—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.

Refrain

by Carrie E. Breck

Cyberhymnal.org tells us this about Mrs. Breck -

"Carrie’s family moved from Vermont to Vineland, New Jersey, and she spent most of her life in southern New Jersey. She married Frank Breck, and they moved to Oregon between 1910 and 1920. A devout Christian, she was devoted to her husband and five daughters. She had no sense of pitch, and could not carry a tune, but she had the gift of poetic rhythm, and wrote more than 2,000 poems. She was not particularly robust in health, and had to take frequent rests while doing chores. At such times, she would sit in her favorite rocking chair, take up a notebook, and write poetry, often with a baby on her knee, or playing at her feet."

Being a person myself who is "not particularly robust in health" and has to take breaks often between things, this was very encouraging and inspiring. It reminds us that we can use those many bits of time some of us are forced to take in order to keep going and use them for the glory of God. It may not be in writing. It might be in praying or in reading to the children or in communicating with other believers in the body of Christ or any number of other things. Sometimes it must be to simply rest, but not always.

Ephesians 5:15-17  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

It is also interesting to see that she could write such good poetry although she had no musical ability. This is a reminder that just because our area of ability is not the same as someone else's we should not feel deficient. The gift or talent that God has given to each of us is meant to be used for His glory in the way He intended. Comparing one ability to another is pointless and unwise.

2 Corinthians 10:12  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Evening Song - Near to the Heart of God


Psalms 73:28  But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cheap, Pretty, and Good - Tea Cup Candles


Do you have some cute or pretty tea cups you inherited that aren't worth all that much and you don't know what to do with them? Let's face it, some tea cups are pretty, but they aren't necessarily worth much, and if you don't use them or you have too many, they can become clutter. This tutorial shows how to make them into pretty candles so that they can actually serve a useful purpose and add ambiance to your home as well.


Photograph property of Rhiannon Bosse.


I know, someone will probably object to this, saying that tea cups ought not to be "ruined" this way. Well, there are a lot of china tea cups floating around second hand stores because someone didn't have any use for them and donated them. If someone can find a use for their grandmother's tea cups as candles, why not? And, the tea cups don't necessarily have to be ruined by this usage either. Oh, another thought - these would make cute gifts too, and if you don't have tea cups, you could probably find some at the second hand shops I mentioned. :-)

Also, note that these candles could be useful during a power outage since they are easy to carry.

NOTE: Do not use plastic or melamine tea cups for this project!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Writing Challenge # 9




Are you ready for a new writing challenge?

This month it will be a little different. Instead of actually writing, we're going to share information.

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Share (on your blog or in the comments here) some of your favorite online resources for writing helps.

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This could be a fairly wide variety of resources - anything from online classes you recommend to dictionaries and things like that.

Here is a list of some of mine:

These are actually on my tool bar at the top of my browser for easy access.

Thesaurus.com - This is helpful when you want to say a certain thing but you're looking for a better word or a word that you haven't already used but means the same thing.

A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson - This dictionary compiled by Johnson in the 1700s is a tool that I have used in an abridged form (in print) for years. I was happy to learn that they are putting it online, and I have used it here as well.

KJV Dictionary - This is helpful for those of us who use the KJV. It gives the definitions of over 11,000 words found in the King James Version of the Bible as taken from Webster's 1828 dictionary of English.

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Of course, Google is always helpful for doing research. I use it often for simple definitions of words and concepts - whether to check my usage or to provide my readers with a more concise explanation of the meaning. Type in the search box the word or phrase you are looking up with "definition" after it. Example: "persecution complex definition"
I also use it a lot for random research purposes on many varied subjects. For writing it can be very valuable. User discretion required. :-)

Wikipedia can be useful for some research, but on more sensitive subjects or things that have controversial aspects, it is not always completely reliable since the content can be biased by the contributors. Keep this in mind as you use it.

Another source for information can be Facebook if it is used wisely. If you want to know what the people of a specific group think, searching for their Facebook pages that are public can give you a lot of insight as to how they actually are thinking and arguing their own position. It is important to remember when using this source that the main perspective is that of the individual(s) who moderate the page, so don't assume that it is what all _________ think on a given subject. You will definitely find the opinions of the "common man and woman" in abundance!

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These sites are useful for working on poetry.

Rhymezone.com - This tool offers help with rhyming words and phrases, but it also gives a lot of other helps in the drop down box on the right. Click the little down arrow for a long list of ways to use this tool.

Rhymer.com - This page has some interesting technical options, along with an explanation on how to use it.

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One of the quote sites that I have liked and used the most is AZQuotes.com. They even have a way to make your own memes with many of the quotes offered there. Also there are many by known Christians, which is useful.

I strongly encourage discretion in using quotes. There are many people who have said interesting or even true things who are of dubious reputation, and some should not be used at all in most instances. It always bothers me to see someone quote a person who was known for their godless life on subjects where we should be sticking strictly to those who are had in honor for wisdom and godliness.

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So, there you are. I hope someone finds something useful here. :-)

See the other Writing Challenges.

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Photo in title - unknown source. This probably came from an advertisement since it was said to be a Smith-Corona that the lady is typing on. I learned to type a later model, portable Smith-Corona, so I liked this picture for that reason as well as the historical content and the way it was setup by the photographer. :-)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Did You Meme That? - Proud to Be A Christian?


Proverbs 16:18-19  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Occasionally I poke around on Facebook looking at things. I don't remember exactly where I got this particular meme, but I thought it would be worth talking about because it brings up an important subject - pride.


Meme reads: "I AM PROUD TO BE A CHILD OF GOD
Type "YES" if you are" [sic]

I always get uncomfortable when someone talks about being proud in a "Christian" context. Whether it's talking about the accomplishments of Sunday School students, the teens who went to camp, graduates, or whatever it may be, when someone starts in on being "proud of" anyone or anything and it's supposed to be a godly subject, I get rumpled in my spirit. It's even worse when someone says, "I know God is proud of you." Ugh!

The main reason it goes all the the wrong way in my mind is because I cannot think of one place in the Bible where pride is ever said the be "good." I know some people believe in a "good kind of pride", but biblically it does not exist.

The secondary reason that it bothers me so much is that I don't want to be tempted to do things to make some human "proud," and I dislike seeing other people tempted that way as well. There is a certain seduction in hearing someone say, "I'm proud of you." It makes us feel good about ourselves. The problem with that is that we are not supposed to be men-pleasers in our Christian walk. We are supposed to please God. If we do something that is right and good according to God's word, then some encouragement may be in order, but when someone says, "I'm proud of you," they are in effect bringing our focus to them and their approval when it should be on the Lord and His pleasure and praise.

Let's just talk about the meme here for a moment. If anyone is truly "a child of God," they would know what a tremendous price was paid to make that happen. They would know how unworthy they are in themselves of that name and the salvation that brought it about. They would be humble, not proud. They would feel blessed and privileged, they would feel thankful. But, to say "I'm proud to be a child of God," flies all in the face of everything that it took for that to happen in the first place!

We are told to humble ourselves before the Lord.

James 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1 Peter 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

We are told that God resists proud.

1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

One of the proudest men who ever lived, who suffered greatly because of his pride, was king Nebuchadnezzar whose story is told in the book of Daniel. After experiencing what God would do to the proud in bringing him down from his own high place he wrote this:

Daniel 4:37  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Please notice that the opposite of his former pride here is that he now praises and extols and honors God. We should not be "proud to be a child of God" as if we did something to deserve it or were worthy of it. We should praise and honor God that He did provide a way to make us His children through the tremendous price of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.

I would also like to mention that it is cheap to say, "I am proud to be a child of God. Type 'Yes' if you agree." Anyone can post or share this meme, and their lives may not measure up to it in way. The person posting it might not even really be a child of God. Inviting others to participate in this manner is an even worse cheapening of the very sacred and glorious privilege of being God's child.

Let's use better words instead of using "pride" so loosely. We can say we are pleased with other people instead of proud of them. We can say that we are blessed that someone did this or that because it was glorifying to God. This puts the focus on Him instead of us. We can say we are thankful or privileged to be a child of God, because that is a more accurate way of speaking.

Matthew 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

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Read more "Did You Meme That?"

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Evening Song - Tell Me the Old, Old Story


Galatians 6:14  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Painting with Leaves Tutorial


Here is a tutorial from Jay Lee showing how to paint using leaves. This technique is obviously more difficult and may not be suitable for young children as it looks like it would be a challenge to keep one's fingers from leaving smudges. You could use tweezers to lift the leaves to help with that. Also, I'd probably wipe off the aluminum foil periodically in order to reduce the amount that gets on the backs of the leaves and could then be smudged on to the paper more easily. He says to use washable paints. I think you could use craft acrylic paints or poster paints for this. It looks like fun. I might try it with watercolors just for fun. These would be great for greeting cards as well as Fall or Thanksgiving decor.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Preparing for Flight


Ecclesiastes 3:11  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.





There are treasures rich and rare,
There's a fragrance in the air,
When the autumn leaves of life are turned to gold.

- Eschol Cosby

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Difficult Thoughts On Abortion and Child Abuse



In June a tragic thing happened in San Antonio, Texas. A teenage mother, one Amanda Hawkins, left her two small children, ages 1 and 2, in a car overnight while she was in a house partying. They were left there till about noon the next day when the outside temperature had risen to 85F. Although she tried to cover up the fact by taking care of the children later when they are said to have already been unconscious, she was eventually convinced to take them to ER. There she lied about what happened. They died later that day from the effects of the heat and neglect they had suffered. [Information Source]

During the course of this event one teenage boy went and slept in the car with the children for a period of time in the night. Also, some of her friends heard the children crying in the car and tried to convince the mother to bring them inside, which she refused to do.

This particular situation brings up several points to ponder.

First of all, I want to discuss the issue of what the friends did or didn't do.

Continue Reading.



Historic photo: London street orphans by G.F.A. Best

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Evening Song - He Knows


Proverbs 15:3  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Job 23:10  But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sew Happy Friday - Tutorial for Burp Cloths


Here is a tutorial at the Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth blog for making easy burp cloths for babies. These are really easy to make and would make a fun gift done in pretty or cute flannel fabrics (as shown). Please leave a comment for JES if you like the idea. :-)



P.S. These aren't just for moms. Anyone who helps burp the baby can use these. :-)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Face to Face - A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson




1 Peter 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

FACE TO FACE

I had a friend whose face I had not seen,
Although I knew her heart, for we had been
Exchanging letters for so many years.
She told me all her joys and hopes and fears,

And I told mine, and so we felt that we
Were just as close an any friends could be.
And then one day my friend came through the door!
And I have learned that there was something more

I had not known about her - how her face
lights up, a certain dignity and grace,
Her quick responsiveness, her tender smile,
Though tears were shining in her eyes the while,

Her sensitiveness - this I understand
Since I have felt her touch upon my hand.
I find that I had never dreamed nor guessed
How much of soul and spirit is expressed.

By this strange envelope of flesh we wear,
So will it be when I am standing there
Before the throne of Him I love so much,
It may be I shall never feel His touch,

Lest I should swoon before His very feet;
But through my blinding tears my eyes shall meet
My SAVIOUR's eyes - deep wells of tenderness
Which court my heart and all my soul possess.

And I shall hear His voice, as of a bell;
And listening, its every tone will tell
The glory of His love; and I shall see
Those scars which He will bear eternally.

And written there upon His lovely face,
In plainest print, the story of His grace
Which was so dear within His written Word,
But now, the living Word Himself, the Lord!

O ye who wait with longing hearts, shall not the Bride,
When she beholds her Bridegroom's face, be satisfied?

by Martha Snell Nicholson

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Painting: "Summer Evening" by Childe Hassam

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Evening Song - Softly and Tenderly (Jesus Is Calling)


Matthew 11:28-30  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Re-purposing Less than Great Watercolor Paintings


This tutorial from Sandy Allnock shows how to use watercolor practice paintings or "strays" for other projects. She demonstrates making them into bookmarks, but this method could easily be done for making smaller pieces for adding to homemade greeting cards or for scrap books or journals.

One thought that occurred to me is that you could have you children paint some fun watercolor washes and then use them to make other projects. This would be a fun way to work together to make some pretty gifts or cards.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Fruitful




Psalms 92:13-15  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Photos taken at Shangri La Botanical Gardens, Orange, Texas.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thoughts on Discipline and Purpose




Luke 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Jesus called us to be His disciples because we need discipline. Having a "purpose" may sound good, but it won't get the job done without discipline to follow through. Discipline is what it takes to do things when you're excited or when you're not, when you are motivated or when you're not, when you're full of purpose or when you're not. Discipline is what it takes to live day in and day out for the Lord. It's what is needed to overcome the hard things, to walk in victory, to walk after the Spirit.

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Excitement, enthusiasm, and "revival" wear off. The meetings end and we go back to every day life. The trip to camp is over and after a few weeks it isn't as fresh and meaningful as it was when we were sitting there. The thrill of "conviction" and the emotion of the invitation doesn't go with us through the weeks and months that follow. These are not the things that make us strong to LIVE daily in the Spirit, to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Discipline is a way of living that reaches to every hour of every day. It is a way of life.

I am not talking about the so-called "spiritual disciplines." Those have their roots in mysticism and monasticism. They have more to do with the denying of the flesh which has a show of wisdom, but is not real. Colossians 2:20-23  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

We need to get under our bodies and bring them into subjection to Christ so that we can be doers of the word and not just hearers only (James 1:22). It is the thing that will carry us through the times when we are weary in well doing and all the enthusiasm, excitement, purpose, willingness, revival, etc. have died or lost their shine.

Someone once said something like this to me, "I don't want to have to have revival to live for the Lord. I don't want to get all excited and be up here and then it wears off and I'm down here. I want to live steadily for the Lord all the time." This is what we should want. The roller coaster of experience based Christianity will never truly satisfy or bring consistent progress in following Christ because it is a closed circuit and only repeats itself over and over - euphoric highs and miserable lows followed by sluggish climbs back to the highs.

To be Jesus' disciples we need to follow His example. Sitting at His feet, reading His word and learning of Him. Walking in truth. Being edified among the saints. Looking beyond this life to that blessed hope and not being bogged down in the moment, while still dealing with it.

Philippians 3:12-14  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

We should never think that we have "arrived." We should be continually pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Pressing requires consistent action. Discipline. It means pressing steadily through the things that make us want to quit, without the artificial stimulant of excitement, enthusiasm, etc.

A perseverance driven life is what we should be looking for, not just a purpose. One may acknowledge a purpose and yet not follow through in doing it, but if one is disciplined to persevere there will be a faithful forward movement over all in the Christian life regardless of circumstances or the struggles with the flesh. We will find Jesus Christ delivering us from the body of this death even when we feel like we are doing more that we don't want to do than what we want to do.

Romans 7:19-25  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

While having a purpose is a good thing, one also might find that the purpose one chose to follow was not a God-given purpose. There are so many apparently good "purposes" that are available today in Christendom - fighting abortion, political activism, exposing "conspiracies", caring for the homeless or suffering, and much more. If these things are not done with eternity and salvation in view, they can  be and often are nothing more than a good purpose in an earthly sense. Whatever good they accomplish is "under the sun." It is not the gold, silver, and precious stones that will stand the fire at the judgment seat of Christ. There are many ways that people waste their lives doing "good works" that aren't really eternal in the economy of God. They tend more toward laying up treasure on earth than treasure in heaven.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

Then there are the "purposes" of "following your dreams" and "doing what you love" and many similar worldly philosophies. These also are not things of eternal value unless it is something that we are told to do in scripture.

1 Peter 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Strive to be a faithful and disciplined disciple of Jesus Christ and you will be one who more consistently walks after the Spirit and not after the flesh. When we follow his steps we can know that we are walking in purposes that are glorifying to God. All the rest of life will fall into order and take care of itself when we discipline ourselves do this.

Acts 4:13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

When we obey Christ and walk in the ways He has showed us, when we sit at His feet and hear His word (Luke 10:39 and 8:35), our lives will show that we are His disciples. But, it is something for which we must strive, and it requires discipline and perseverance. A quiet consistent life governed by discipline will go farther than one swayed by emotions and Christian fads.

Let's run the race before us with patience (Hebrews 12:1), and be temperate (not given to extremes) in all things (1 Corinthians 9:25), showing that discipline that is necessary fight a good fight and finish our course to the glory of God.

2 Timothy 4:7-8  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Evening Song - Covered by the Blood


Hebrews 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Pink Wood Sorrel


Wood sorrel or Oxalis

The winds of heaven gathered there as pure and cold as dew;
Wood-sorrel and wild violets along the hedgerows grew,
The blossom on the pear-trees was as white as flakes of foam
In the orchard 'neath the shadow of those distant hills of home.

From "The Hills of Home" by Malcolm Humphrey

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Autumn Tea Cup and Mug Exchange


Photo property of Stephanie Dunsdon at The Enchanting Rose.

The September Tea Cup and Mug Exchange starts today over at Stephanie's web site, The Enchanting Rose. If you want to sign up, go on over and look over the rules and sign up. It is a very enjoyable exchange to participate in. I will be sitting this one out because of some extra busy-ness this Fall, but I would normally have enjoyed it. I hope some of you will if you can.

Please know that it is not for the U.S. only, so you can participate if you live in another country. Also, it is not necessary to have a blog in order to participate.

Click Here to Sign Up.


Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Day to Remember


 

It might come as a surprise to some of my readers when I say that today is quite probably the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ. I base this statement on an extensive research that was done some years back at the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy in California. You may read the full article on this research by Dr. Craig Chester to learn more about it

With modern science it is now possible to use a computer to display the night sky from any location at any time in past known history. Out of curiosity a group of astronomers decided to set their machine to demonstrate what the night sky would have looked like to the wise men from the East and on their journey to Israel during the time frame of Christ’s birth (approximately 3 B.C., due to corrupting of the calendar). What Dr. Chester and his fellow astronomers learned by viewing the movement of the stars, sun, moon, and planets during that period of time was that there was in fact an amazing series of events in the night sky that the wise men, being proficient in reading the heavens, would have been able read. From this they were able to learn that there was indeed a great King born in Bethlehem. Interestingly enough, the date that He was most likely born was September 11th.
“September 11, 3 B.C., is perhaps the most interesting date of all. Not only was Jupiter very close to Regulus in the first of their conjunctions, but the sun was in the constellation of Virgo (of obvious symbolism- the Virgin), together with the new moon (a Jewish symbolic event), in a configuration that fits a plausible interpretation of a passage in the Book of Revelation describing the birth of a male child who is to be the ruler of the universe. Significantly, September 11, 3 B.C., also marked the beginning of the Jewish New Year, traditionally regarded as the anniversary of Noah's landing after the Great Flood.
By studying the course of Abia (Luke 1:5-8), some have concluded that it is pretty certain that Christ was born in the spring or fall – not on December 25th. However, with the star research now available, it seems safe to say that it was most likely in September, and probably the 11th.

A Different Perspective

Isaiah 5:20-23  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!  Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

There has been a lot of speculation about the World Trade debacle and a lot of accusations regarding conspiracies. It certainly was a conspiracy, but whether it was solely the work of Muslim zealots, whether other entities were involved, and whether the U.S. government was apprised of the impending disaster is up for some debate – or maybe I should say a lot of debate. 

My perspective personally is that it doesn’t matter a whole lot what was going on “behind the scenes," there is nothing I can do about it now no matter what the scenario. I know that there have been situations in past history where the leaders of a country decided not to heed a warning or allowed a dangerous situation to occur because they needed an “event” to justify going to war. On the other hand, there have also been significant sabotage events that were a complete surprise to the powers that be. It really doesn’t matter that much how it all came about since the event is over and there is nothing truly constructive we can do about the conspiracy involved. (Note: Please see my previous post on how we can remember 9-11 and turn the evil intentions to good: Overcoming Evil with Good.) God is the righteous judge and only He can mete justice where it is truly deserved.  Romans 12:19  …Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Regardless of what the conspiracies of men may be, you can count on there having been one conspirator who was orchestrating the whole thing from start to finish, and that is Satan, the roaring lion who seeks to devour. 1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The fact that the date he chose was September 11 makes me wonder. I’m inclined to think that he knew full well what he was doing. The father of lies (John 8:44), who has convinced the world to celebrate “Christ’s birth” on December 25th, one of his own particular unholy days, certainly is aware of the actual day that Jesus Christ was born. And, look at the evil that has been caused by the September 11th event: thousands of people died (including Jews); Israel has been blamed for the attack and singled out to suffer for it; Islam has been both blamed and “nice-ified” and re-characterized as “peaceful” and “good” (an up-side-down response from our politically correct society); more war and violence has been justified; and, significantly to the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), Christians have been encouraged and inspired to bow more zealously to the golden calf of patriotism and militarism. [Disclaimer – some content and I do not agree with all of this author’s viewpoint.]

Could all this be a mere accident? I think not. In the big scheme of things, there is altogether too much “coincidence” to make this an accident.

What Are We Doing?

I have lamented before, and probably will again, that more Christians don’t see the point in observing the birth of Jesus Christ at the time it was most likely to have happened. We’re told repeatedly by our fellow believers that they are observing “Christmas” in December to honor Christ’s birth. How much more would it honor Him if the church separated from the carnal activities of December and had its celebrations at a totally different time of the year – a more appropriate time? (Read more.)

I would not object to observing Jesus’ birth in September, but it is not something that the church is commanded to do and we have not felt compelled to do so privately. But, I have to say that in April this year when we, the church of the Lord, were observing the resurrection of Christ it grieved my heart when I stopped to think about how a whole month of the year is preoccupied with allegedly celebrating His birth, while we generally give less than a week to the remembrance of His death, burial and resurrection. Can this please God?

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

1 Corinthians 15:13-20 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

While the birth of Jesus Christ is important and a very precious and wonderful thing, it is His death and resurrection that are the central point of all history. How is it that the Lord’s church celebrates the first to such extremes and the second so little? But, I digress.

In Conclusion

I think there was a lot more at stake the day the World Trade Center was destroyed. This should not be a surprise to Christians. The book of Daniel tells us a little about the tremendous spiritual battle that is going on unknown by us. We catch small glimpses of it at times in different ways. When anything as significant as that event happens, it is a given that great spiritual forces of evil were at work one way or another. If this day truly was the day the Prince of Peace was born in Bethlehem we can hardly wonder that it would be chosen for such an event. But, as the servants of the Prince of Peace - the ultimate Victor in the end - how should we be remembering that day? We should be living in His peace and striving to pass it on to others. This is the way to honor the Lord not only on the probable day of His birth, but every day that He gives us upon this earth.

Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.


Romans 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Evening Song - I Am Bound for the Promised Land


John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Friday, September 8, 2017

FREE Scripture Graphic - Rejoice In the Lord - Card Making, Printable


Here is another scripture graphic for you to save and use. Click here, then click on the download button in the lower right corner to save this to your computer. You may simply click on the graphic below and download it as well, but I'm not sure if the size is reduced for the blog. (Please do not link to this graphic here. It is free for the taking, so please save it to your computer and upload it to your own source if you wish to use it online. No credit is necessary unless you wish to give it.)

This graphic in its original form came from The Old Design Shop.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tennessee Memories - Late Summer



Genesis 8:22  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It Is Jesus - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint




Matthew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

There is a Voice through Earth's wild clamor calling,
To all the heavy laden and oppressed,
Sweet as the cooling dew at even falling;
"Come unto Me and rest."

It is the voice of Jesus still entreating,
To all the comfortless and all the sad;
Day after day His tender call repeating,
"Come unto Me and I will make you glad."

Continue Reading.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Evening Song - I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say


Matthew 11:28-30  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.



I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water, thirsty one,
stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
look unto me; your morn shall rise,
and all your day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk
till traveling days are done.

- Horatius Bonar

Friday, September 1, 2017

Writing Challenge #8




Well, as you no doubt know if you've been around here any length of time, I love poetry. So, it would hardly be acceptable for me not to include some challenges relating to poetry. Since I consider nature one of the easier subjects to address, we'll start here.

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Write a poem about something in nature.

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It can be anything in nature.

It can be as short as you like.

It doesn't have to rhyme.

Personally I prefer rhyming poetry for the most part, but it is up to you in this case since it is your poem and this isn't school. :-)

Here is an example of a poem I wrote on something in nature: The Reflecting Tree.

I will try to do this challenge this month also, but I wanted to include this example now. Please don't assume this will be easy for me. I tend to only write poetry when the right mood hits me, so it's uncertain if I'll be able to work myself into that mood for this challenge or not. haha

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Painting in logo: Faraway Thoughts by Langley Walters



Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - A Friend's Colorado Mountain Adventure


Photo property of Stephanie Dunsdon, The Enchanting Rose.

Here is a great post by my blogging friend, Stephanie, at The Enchanting Rose. She shared a Jeep trip into the Colorado mountains with us in photographs that are truly worth a thousand words! Enjoy, and please leave her a comment if you have the time. :-)

Let's Go on A Jeep Adventure


Habakkuk 3:19  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Random Thoughts and Update on the Hurricane


Well Hurricane Harvey turned out to be a much bigger event than was anticipated. For our own part, we had very little storm here. We were on a the northwest side on the very edge of the storm. We only had 3" of rain and some gusty winds. We lost one fair sized branch from a sick tree. That was it. We are very thankful to the Lord for this! Thank you to those who were praying for us.

In less than 48 hours this storm went from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So much can be said about something as tragic as this. So much has been said and is being said. My thoughts don't amount to much, being an infinitely small drop in a storm surge of words and opinions. But, for whatever it's worth...

Here are some more random thoughts.

First of all, there are other disasters going on that should also be noted and prayed for. While I'm happy that people are doing so much to help the flood victims here, there have been terrible catastrophes in other places where there have extensive deaths and severe damages. Even in the U.S. there are places having bad wildfires at present (Montana, Oregon and Idaho) and they should not be ignored. But, our zeal shouldn't all be for America (or wealthy nations). Please also pray for the people suffering from floods and mud slides in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone. Read about it here.

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Some people are apparently rather angry at Houston for not evacuating their people ahead of time. There are several things to take into account on that. (By the way, Houston is not the only affected area. There are numerous other towns and cities and areas that are in dire trouble from the flood waters.)

1. The national media and many people were completely obsessed about the eclipse during the first part of the week. Very few people were paying attention to what was going on in the Gulf of Mexico. The media is responsible for ignoring or downplaying a significant threat that likely should have been noted sooner.

2. Houston was not expected to be the hardest hit city. It is over a hundred miles from Corpus Christi which was supposed to be the hardest hit. It wasn't an easy call to make that this storm would be so big and cause devastation over such a widespread area. No one could anticipate that 50+ inches of water would fall in some areas of south Texas.

3. Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. (not including its suburbs). The only cities larger are NYC, L.A., and Chicago. Imagine evacuating one of these cities with less than 48 hours notice. It couldn't be done, even with a great road system. Furthermore, the whole larger metro area has a population of some 6 million people. You don't evacuate 6 million people easily or quickly.

4. Many in Houston did try to evacuate for Hurricane Rita in 2005. What happened is that they were stuck in traffic for 20+ hours in hot weather and over 100 people died from the heat and traffic problems. People understandably didn't want a rerun. The confirmed death numbers from Harvey have not yet reached the traffic and heat related deaths from Rita at the time of this post.

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Another thing I've seen is people blaming this event on "geo engineering," in other words, the government or other conspirators who are allegedly meddling with the weather. This is laughable when we consider that one of the worst hurricanes to hit Texas happened in 1900, long before this so-called government interference of "chemtrails" and HARP and whatever else they claim. Also, that was long before global warming or climate change were invented. I'm amused and disgusted that humans are so easily made to believe that "we" are powerful enough to cause things like this. Truly, they still are drunk on the "ye shall be as gods" line that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:5)

After all that Job had said in his own defense, the Lord came to him and asked him a lot of questions that put Job in his proper place before God - as a mere human. Among a lot of other things, He said this, "Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?  Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,  When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?" Job 38:34-38 

Man likes to think man has a lot of power over creation. In reality, he doesn't have nearly as much as he thinks he does.  [If you are interested, here is a post I wrote about conspiracies awhile back.]

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There have been lots of encouraging stories coming out of this situation. I've seen comments regarding the noble rescue work and help that is being done in south Texas. Some of the heroic stories are moving and really wonderful. But, one thing that kind of bothers me is the comments that this is the "real America" while it's put forth that the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia was allegedly not. This is a false impression and it also downplays another tragic event. What happened in Charlottesville is sadly also "the real America."

This is the paradox of this country and it has been since its foundation: that while some people in one area may be showing kindness (some early Europeans here did), others are taking what they want by force - whether land (from the Indians) or rights (as with the white supremacists and those who fight violence with violence). We can't claim that one is "real" and the other is not. Whatever the miserable reasons, the hate is just as real as the kindness. Be thankful there is still kindness and that people are willing to show it, but don't use that to claim that the hate doesn't count or isn't "real."

Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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Finally, if there is something you can do to help in addition to praying, please do - for Texas, for the people where there are wildfires, for India or Nepal or Bangladesh or Sierra Leone. Give through reputable organizations if you are able.

Acts 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Galatians 2:10  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thoughts from the Past - Two Kinds of Trees



Roane County Park, Tennessee


Two Kinds of Trees

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

A pastor friend of ours preached at both a funeral and a wedding on one weekend. He was highly praised by various people after both events. This is not because he's some kind of Baptist wonder boy or the next John MacArthur. His strength is only in the fact that he trusts and hopes in the LORD, so he has access to the water. He strives to be faithful in giving God's word to saints and sinners because of that.

Those flatterers - and it was nothing but flattery, for as he put it, "somewhat less than one" of them showed up Sunday at the church fellowship he pastors - but, those flatterers' problem is that they trust in man and the arm of flesh, and have departed from God. They are in a desert spiritually. They get all excited when someone passes by and spills some water on them from his full bucket, but the next day or so they've forgotten all about it.

Now if you ever tried to water plants in a desert area you know how that works. Parched ground in a desert place can absorb water with great speed and require more again tomorrow or it "forgets" it had any. And, when a large amount is dumped on it at one time, it often runs off at a fierce rate and leaves little lasting benefit.

Proverbs 30:15 …There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

So it is with those who trust in man. They recognize the water when it comes near them, but no lasting benefit comes from it. Their roots are in parched places. They seem to drink it up but in a day or two they're as dry as ever. (By the way, there a lot of people like this, and they are not all in dead beat churches!) 

[As a side note:  God’s word does not return unto Him void, Isaiah 55:11.  It will accomplish something for Him.  Maybe some of these people will one day have a desperate need and will remember where the water is, or perhaps it will serve for “evidence for the prosecution” when they stand in judgment before God.]

In the Arizona desert south of Tucson there are many mesquite trees. They are usually rather runted as trees go. They are scrubby and not usually well developed. They survive in that dry, hard soil and they are better than nothing, but they aren't much either. They provide a little shade and a little food for animals.

My parents, though, once had the opportunity to see what mesquite trees could do when planted by water. They found a spot where the trees are growing right by a river where many gallons of water must be available to their roots. Never had they seen such mesquite trees as those! Big, huge trees like oaks - well developed and beautiful. Obviously they never suffer from drought.

The trees up on the desert plain have no idea what good things an abundance of water would do for them. The ones in the river bed have no concept of drought. The ones in the desert are small and emaciated both to preserve water and from the lack thereof. The ones by the waters know not heat nor drought. They flourish.

And so it is with people. Those who have walked away from the Lord, His word and His ways and are trusting in man and the flesh, live in a barren wilderness but cannot realize it. Those who trust and hope in the Lord find continual water to bear fruit and green leaves even in these days when spiritual drought has covered the globe! May God grant us the strength to follow hard after Him, to hope and trust in Him, that we may be among those who do not feel the heat or drought of these times!

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water... 13 ...Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

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Written Sept. 5, 2006; edited Sept. 2012.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Evening Song - Great Is Thy Faithfulness


Lamentations 3:22-24  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We Interrupt this Broadcast....to Request Prayer



1 Thessalonians 5:25  Brethren, pray for us.

Proverbs 21:31 ...safety is of the LORD.

As some of my readers know, we live in Texas. Tonight, as many know, there is a category 4 hurricane making landfall on our coast. We ourselves are many miles from it, although depending on which way it goes and how long it stalls, we could see some heavy rains here along with wind gusts. But on the coast and inland from it, things are looking really bad.

I decided to break my usual schedule and ask my readers to pray for the parts of Texas that are being so heavily affected by this hurricane. A Cat 4 hurricane is a bad one, so there will be significant damage. Also, since the whole thing came up rather suddenly and it increased in strength at the last moment, so to speak, there were probably a lot more people that decided to stay than there should have been.

Also, please pray for our area and Austin as there could be significant winds and rain, especially in the Austin area. Where we live we are under a Flood Watch. (A Flood Watch is less than a Warning, and we ourselves live above a fair sized ridge and valley, so we are not in any personal danger from flooding.) Since we are so far from the coast, there are no doubt more houses and other things that are not made to withstand hurricane winds. Some people may have problems due to this if the winds prove to be strong. Heavy rains pose their own set of problems no matter where they fall.

This event will continue throughout the weekend and probably longer. (I have pre-scheduled posts through next week, so even if we lose power there should be posts here.)

Thank you for praying with us.

Isaiah 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Meanwhile Elsewhere - The Elephants that Came to Dinner


Psalms 104:24  O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Creatures Great and Small - Take It Easy



Cat Kisses

Sandpaper kisses
On a cheek or a chin -
That is the way
for a day to begin!

Sandpaper kisses
A cuddle and a purr.
I have an alarm clock
That's covered in fur!

Author Unknown

This picture is one of my brother's cats. The poem does not apply to our cat, but I thought it was cute.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Old New Thoughts – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint



Ecclesiastes 1:9  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

I first posted this in 2012, but I felt it would be good to repeat it now. There has been a lot said recently about the Charlottsville, Virginia event and the removal of statues and people's opinions of those. In watching reruns of history playing themselves out, I thought about writing something, but I remembered this poem and after revisiting it, I decided that this was going to be my comment on those subjects. I think it is enough at this point.

The Old New Thoughts

“New thoughts for old,” the eager world is crying,
That ever seeks to tell or hear the new,
Though in its haste to change it grasps too often
Mad thoughts for sane, and false thoughts for the true.

All vanity—its seeking and its finding;
The thing that is, is that which hath been done.
False gods, false science, aye, and false religion,—
There is naught new beneath the ancient sun.

And these are old—the thoughts that loud world blazons,
The sons of Adam walk in circles still;
Old as the world, as man and man’s first sinning,
Old as the Demon pride that said, “I will.”

It is not new—the superman excelling
Who dares with impious foot the height supreme;
“Ye shall be gods, both good and evil knowing,”—
This is but Eden’s unforgotten dream.

Some few, bewildered with Earth’s many voices,
Grown weary of the circles where they plod,—
This modern Babel, clamorous, confusing,—
Some few there be who seek the thoughts of God.

High as the heavens above the earth outspreading,
Wide as His vast creation’s utmost span,
As countless as the stars the heavens filling,
The thought of good that God has thought for man.

And once—a shout through dreary silence ringing,
A star of hope above the world’s black night—
God’s oldest, greatest thought of all was spoken
In one clear Word of love and life and light.

Against that Word of glory and of power
Man’s frothy babblings pour themselves in vain.
His bubble thoughts in nothingness shall vanish;
God’s everlasting thoughts, unchanged, remain.

- Annie Johnson Flint

Psalms 94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Evening Song - Until Then


1 John 3:1-3  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Creatures Great and Small - Dragonfly



Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Monday, August 14, 2017

Writing Challenge #7





Some of you may possibly have noticed that I haven't done a writing challenge for awhile. I took July off intentionally, but August has just gotten away from me. Due to the fact that the month is half over at this point, I'm going to give what will hopefully be an easier challenge. It was for me, at any rate.

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Find something you wrote three or more years ago and edit it or rewrite it.

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It's always interesting to me how many mistakes I find in things I've written when I go back to read them. I also usually notice ways I could improve them, and sometimes I even have more information to add that will be helpful or important to the subject. Sometimes it's just a pleasure to clean up and tighten the wording or thoughts.

This doesn't have to be something you wrote online. It could be an old journal entry or a poem you wrote. Whatever you like, and however private you want it to be. :-)

My effort is the article I posted Sunday, although I have been working on other things along this line as well in recent months, this one is actually completed and reposted in its improved form.
Jacob - Family Troubles.

[Photo by Rudolf Duhrkoop, 1909.]

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jacob - Family Troubles


This article is part of a series of articles I started some years ago on various Bible characters who suffered from depression, anxiety, or something similar. I re-worked it and am now posting it for the first time on the blog.

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Family troubles can be so discouraging and painful, triggering depression and anxiety. They can also cause eating disorders.

Jacob had family troubles from the day of his first wedding when Laban tricked him into marrying Leah instead of Rachel. He eventually was the head of a large family that caused him much trouble at various times. Leah and Rachel fought among themselves to gain his attention - and more children. His daughter, Dinah, went out "to see the daughters of the land" (Gen. 34) and ended up in fornication or raped (depending on your interpretation). Two of his sons used the occasion to kill a whole city of men, thus causing Jacob to fear for his family's safety. Jacob's sons were also less than shining examples of godliness in other incidents.

Joseph, his favorite wife's first son, was Jacob's favorite and Jacob did not hide it. Because of this and several things that had happened, Joseph's brothers had become bitterly jealous of him. Genesis 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Jacob's sons were herdsmen by trade. At one time when they were keeping his flocks in a place away from the central home, Jacob decided to send Joseph out to check on their welfare. Genesis 37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Joseph finally located them, but as he was approaching them, they recognized him. Their hatred for him was so intense that before he got near some of them conspired to kill him. Now Reuben, being the oldest and no doubt feeling his sense of responsibility to his father, interceded for him and suggested they throw him into a pit instead of murdering him outright. His intention was to rescue Joseph later and restore him to his father.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Evening Song - The Stranger of Galilee


Matthew 4:23  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thoughts from the Past - The Perfection of God’s Word



photo credit below

Psalms 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

One of the old time preachers once said something to effect that God’s word is like a bed that is so big you can stretch out on it and not feel the edge in any direction. I’ve thought about this so many times. It is impossible to exhaust the word of God.

[Now when I speak of the perfection of God’s written word, I’m speaking of the Authorized King James Version for English speaking people. The reason I clarify this is that some of the modern translations and paraphrases are no doubt exhaustible.]

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that we can never outgrow it. We can never learn all that is there. Even if we start reading it and studying it from our youth we will never get it all, we will never understand it all, we will never get beyond it – if we are honest.

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that no matter what subject we can come up with there is always something that will answer it. God was not shortsighted when He gave His revelation. I have been amazed in my finite mind at things written in God’s word that answer so perfectly and directly some issue that has come up so many thousands of years after the scriptures were complete, as if the verses had been written for that very question – and perhaps they were. The broadness of this perfection is marvelous.

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it can give milk to the unskillful and meat to the those of full age.

Hebrews 5:13-14  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil
It can take a new born Christian and feed him with milk (yes, even with the “hard words” of the King James Bible, it can feed and instruct him at a level he can grasp; and don’t worry about those “hard words”, he’s supposed to be unskillful!). Yet, it can challenge the saint who has walked with God for many years and exercise him with the strong meat that will keep him growing. Such broadness of spiritual diet all from the same book is stunning, especially when one compares this to the writings of other religions.
The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it can divide the soul and spirit, discern the thoughts and intents of the heart and also divide the joints from the marrow. This, of course, is rather mind boggling because it speaks of both spiritual and physical actions from His word. I think that we may not fully understand the dividing of the joints and marrow till we see Jesus Christ smite the nations with the rod of His mouth.

Revelation 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

The perfection of God’s word is so broad that it upholds all things. Yes, ALL things.

Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

And, speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, another amazing broadness of the word of God is that it can be an abstract – a thought or idea; a concrete – a book we can hold in our hands; and a person – the Lord Jesus Christ; all at the same time. John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth

Somehow I doubt that we can get our minds around this last thought.  It is too big and broad to fit inside our tiny brains and thought processes.

Speaking of which, if there are things in the word of God that we cannot understand nor explain, and there are, this does not make God’s word too hard nor too complicated, nor does it mean that we are too stupid and shouldn’t bother with it. It simply proves that it is God’s word. Were it not broader, bigger, mightier and beyond the scope of our human thoughts, it wouldn’t be the word of God. Anything less couldn’t be trusted. 

Isaiah 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Does this mean we should give up trying to understand and grasp more of this great thing called scripture? Not at all! What it means is that we can dive into it without fear of hitting bottom. We can devour it without fear of running out of food. We can mine it for jewels and treasures without fear of exhausting its resources. We can share it without fear of lack to ourselves.

We can stretch out on it without the slightest fear of ever falling off the edge! :-)

Praise GOD!

Jeremiah 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.


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Photo taken in Tanzania by my grandfather, Glenn Hoover, sometime in the '50s or '60s.
This post was originally published here in June 2012. Edited.