Sunday, October 29, 2017
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Fight the Good Fight
Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.
Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide,
His boundless mercy will provide;
Trust, and thy trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its life and Christ its love.
Faint not nor fear, for He is near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.
John S. B. Monsell
There is much sorrow, and foolishness, and fear and trembling in the world these days. It seems more and more like the end of all things is at hand, 1 Peter 4:7. But, there is one thing we need to focus on in the midst of all this – we have a battle to fight which supersedes these things. It is not a war against flesh and blood, but it is the spiritual battle of the Christian life.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
There are so many Christians in the United States who are focused on the “right to bear arms” – to own guns. This is not the good fight of faith. Dear ones for Christ’s sake, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal because our battle is not carnal – that is to say, it is not with flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [Emphasis added]
We should not be fighting for the right to keep and use carnal weapons. Though they may serve a useful purpose (which I agree with), they are not the weapons of our warfare. They are a useful method of defending ourselves against general villainy (see Luke 22:36-28 where Jesus said that two swords were enough among 11 men!), and for hunting food. But, the weapons of our warfare must be spiritual weapons because it is a spiritual battle. The armor of God is spiritual armor.
Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
We are not defending nor establishing a physical kingdom. Jesus Christ Himself said, …My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. John 18:36 His Kingdom will not be of this world until He comes back Himself with the armies of heaven to establish it (see Rev. 19).
Our warfare is to fight the good fight – the spiritual warfare. Christ is our right. He has promised Himself to us. Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Our goal is to run the straight race through God's grace, Heb. 12:1; to lay hold on eternal life, 1 Tim. 6:12 &19; to …press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, Philippians. 3:14. We can cast the cares of this present life on the Lord, 1 Pt. 5:7; and trust in the boundless mercy of God, finding His love and life enough and totally sustaining!
“Faint not nor fear, for He is near,
He changeth not, and thou are dear...”
Perhaps these are the most beautiful words in this whole song. In a time when many are fainting (giving up the battle and giving way to worldliness and false teachings) and fearing, it is so important to …earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude vs. 3. In a time when we are being regularly bombarded with “facts” that should cause us terror about every aspect of life, with claims that we are being spied upon, poisoned, and messed with by higher powers we have no control over, it is so important that we remember that our God is near. Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
And, He changes not! This is a wonderful blessing, and when connected with His love for us it is a great comfort! Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. If the unchanging Lord so loves the sons of Jacob, we can be assured that His love for believers now will not change! In the battle of the Christian life this should be a constant point of encouragement and blessing - we, in all our unworthiness, are dear to the Almighty, Holy God who created all things!
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.
1 Timothy 1:18-19 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
We must “hold faith” lest we also make shipwreck. It is only through the power of the Lord Jesus that we can fight the good fight of faith. 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
If we do believe, we will find the great truth that Jesus Christ is all in all to us, that He is all we need, and that all the spiritual blessings God has available are available through Him. Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Like the Apostle Paul, let us strive to be able to say with him, “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.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
My blogging friend Stephanie at the Enchanting Rose made a lovely and thoughtful presentation of this hymn which you can see at here: Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might.
First published here Oct. 2012.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017
Here is a tutorial from Teela Cunningham for three interesting watercolor techniques. These would be fun to do on greeting cards, or just fun experiments for the kids to do with their watercolor paints.
NOTE: Parent supervision is advised for younger kids using the bleach method.
Also please Do Not leave your paintbrushes sitting in the saltwater or bleach water solutions! I recommend not leaving them in any water, but these solutions could cause damage to brushes. Also, I'd suggest using a cheaper or older brush for the bleach solution as it might cause some damage to the brush even if you rinse it soon afterwards.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Friday, October 20, 2017
This is a quick, neat, and easy way to make a potholder (hot mat) for you kitchen or dining table. These would make nice housewarming gifts, among other things. For the batting you can use 100% cotton batting (wadding), heatproof batting, or a 100% cotton washcloth (without rounded corners). Do not use synthetic batting as it may melt with heat. This would be a great way to use up scraps or leftover 10" squares.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
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?
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 blessèd day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.
What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.
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.
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
Friday, October 13, 2017
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.
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!
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
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.
Share (on your blog or in the comments here) some of your favorite online resources for writing helps.
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.
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!
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.
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.
So, there you are. I hope someone finds something useful here. :-)
See the other Writing Challenges.
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
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.
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.
Read more "Did You Meme That?"
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Friday, October 6, 2017
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
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
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.
Historic photo: London street orphans by G.F.A. Best