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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thoughts from the Past -- Sins of the Youth

Oct. 27, 2006 Sins of the Youth Edited 2012 and '18. 
Jeremiah 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.

I came across this passage not long ago and was struck by a couple of different things in it. namely, the the progression of it and how that brings us to bemoan the sins of our youth.

We are born wanting our own way. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way... Isaiah 53:6 Our parents start training us, hopefully from an early age, that we cannot have our own way in all things. We are unaccustomed to this yoke and chastisement. We have to be turned into an orderly and appropriate way. Eventually, many of us come to see how things we thought we wanted in our youth or thought we just "had to have" were not good for us or would have had very unpleasant results. Too often we learn by personal experience.

In a way, the same thing happens spiritually when we are saved. The Lord chastises us to bring us into ways that are right and pleasing to Him (Heb. 12). At first we are very happy to be saved, but as the Lord grows us we begin to experience things that we are unaccustomed to it at first.  Christ Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30), but we still sometimes resist it. We are turned into His paths and ways and are instructed by the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth (John 16:13) (which is through the word of God, by the way, John 17:17). Through this we repent and turn from our foolish habits and sins.

But, we come to a point where we are ashamed of the sins of our youth. For the Christian there are often things that we are greatly ashamed of, or even confounded by from the sins of our youth. Some things may never be erased from our minds in this life.  Some things cannot be retrieved and we must take responsibility for them or deal with the scars for the rest of our lives.

David prayed, Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD. Psalm 25:6-7

David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), and yet he had sins of his youth which reproached him. His desire was that God would not remember those sins and that He would instead remember him in His mercy for His goodness' sake. Sweet and precious thought for us, for none of us are better than David. Yet, we too can pray this of God, and we can do so through Jesus Christ!

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. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

(Also see the article: Forgiven.)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The New Prayer - Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

The New Prayer

Long have I prayed this prayer to Thee -
According to my need, give me
A little strength from day to day,
A little light along the way,
A little trust when fears are nigh,
A little peace when waves run high,
And with Thy love and joy fill up
The blessing in my little cup.

So have I prayed for long, but now -
According to Thy grace, give Thou!
Of my small measure take no heed,
Above, around my puny need
Pour out the treasures of Thy good,
Let Thy great goodness, like a flood,
My meager life fill and o'erflow
Till I unto Thy gifts shall grow,
Give joy exceeding all I sought,
And love beyond mine utmost thought;
Thy riches for my poverty,
According to Thy grace, give me.

Annie Johnson Flint

Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Evening Song - Sweet Hour of Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sew Happy Friday - Vintage Doilies Made into a Banner or Garland - Tutorial

Do you have vintage doilies that you like but don't enjoy having them out because they make extra work for you? Here is a clever way to make them into a banner that can be hung up for decoration. You could use this all the time, or you could use it for parties or celebrations. Do be sure to sew the cut edges very well so they don't come apart. :-)

Vintage Doily Banner

Thanks to Lauren at My Wonderfully Made for this pretty project.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Temporary Splendor

Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What Is Your Excuse?

The excuse: "I am not so bad."
God's Answer: Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 

The excuse: "I have never hurt anyone in my whole life."
God's answer: James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body...James 3:6-8 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

The excuse: "I mean well. I'm really good at heart."
God's answer: Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

The excuse: "I am as good as a lot of Christians and church members I know."
God's answer: Psalm 14:2-3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

The excuse: "I am a member of such-and-such church. God and I have an understanding."
God's answer: John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

The excuse: "I will live the way I want to now and take my chances later."
God's answer: Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 

The excuse: "I want to be saved, but not today."
God's answer: Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The excuse: "I would like to be saved, but I don't know how."
God's answer: Romans 10:8-11 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 

- Original idea copied. Edited.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Evening Song - Blessed Name of Jesus

Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The John Marshall Family

Sunday, July 8, 2018

That will Be Heaven for Me - A Poem

That Will Be Heaven for Me

I know not the hour when my Lord will come
To take me away to His own dear home;
But I know that His presence will lighten the gloom,
And that will be glory for me.

I know not the song that the angels sing,
I know not the sound of the harps' glad ring;
But I know there'll be mention of Jesus our King,
And that will be music for me.

I know not the form of my mansion fair,
I know not the name that I then shall bear;
But I know that my Saviour will welcome me there,
And that will be heaven for me.

By J. McGranahan

1 Peter 1:7-8 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 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: 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Evening Song - I'll Live In Glory

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Golden Glory

Psalms 84:11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Signs that You Are No Longer A Kid

The artist's family in the garden. Claude Monet


You're asleep, but others worry that you're dead.

Your back goes out more than you do.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in.

You buy a GPS for the dash of your car.

You have an opinion on Home Owner's Associations.

You are proud of your lawn mower.

You sing along with the elevator music.

You would rather go to work than stay home sick.

You constantly talk about the price of healthcare or polotics.

You enjoy hearing about other people's operations or birthings.

You consider coffee one of the most important things in life.

You make an appointment to see the dentist.

You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

You know what time the garbage truck and the mail comes.

Neighbors borrow your tools or books.

People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"

You answer a question with, "because I said so!"

You take a metal detector to the beach.

You wear socks with sandals.

You know what the word "equity" means.

You can't remember the last time you laid on the floor.

Your ears are hairier than your head.

You get into a heated discussion about Health Savings Accounts.

You got cable for the weather channel.

You got on the internet so you could share photos of your kids or see photos of your grandchildren.

-- Original author unknown. Edited.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book Review: For One Moment

Art by James Archer.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

Partial spoiler alert. This summary of the plot does not spoil the whole story by any means, but it may remove some of the surprises for you.

For One Moment

By Christmas Carol Kauffman

Rated: Hard to put down. Highly recommended

This book is based upon the true life story of Herbe Englehardt, a German who grew up in the Weimer Republic and cast his lot with the Nazis when they came to power. Through the confusion of his father's divorce (when it was still a great shame), rejection by his stepmother, unhappiness, the deep sorrow of death and separation from those he loved, he arrived at the beginning of the Nazi era with a great need for something to hold on to. A patriotic zeal for Hitler and Nazism answered this deep longing. Hitler virtually became his god. When the Nazis fell Herbe's life was shattered.

This story clearly shows the tender leading by God of a soul from darkness to the glorious light of Jesus Christ. This eventually brings joy, triumph over old hurts, and healing to other hearts as well.

One of the amazing aspects of this story is how the Lord protected Herbe through his life till he was able to hear, understand, and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It argues a good case for predestination and free will at the same time.

Another thing that encouraged me in this story was one of the couples who witnessed to Herbe. They were Christians, Lutherans, who survived the dangerous Nazi regime while still quietly sharing their faith, belief of the Bible, and love for God. This book is an encouragement in a time when so much uncertainty about the future faces many believers. God is able to keep His children. We must trust His wisdom to determine how to best use us in these perilous times. Many Christians died at the hands of the Nazis and others. Many did not. This book gives a small glimpse of how life was for the Christian survivors.

The verse for this book might be: Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

This book may be purchased here.
[Not an affiliate link.]

Comments on the author:

Mrs. Kauffman was a Mennonite writer. She chronicled several true life stories of people who eventually became Mennonites and also wrote some fiction along those lines. However, for the most part I have not found her strongly promoting Mennonite doctrines in general, which makes her books much more useful to the church in general.

She is a good writer and we have had more than one person tell us, "I couldn't put the book down."

Note: Though the stories are gripping, there are no overly gruesome scenes that I recall. She had a good sense of what was appropriate.