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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Short Thought – Free To Serve



The past week has been a rather difficult one. I apologize for the lack of posts lately as I was not diligent enough in getting things planned ahead. I had not scheduled all the posts through this time period so, there was nothing to fall back on except the Saturday evening music posts, which were the only ones scheduled. Hopefully this week will be more normal and productive, although I am still recovering from an emergency root canal and infection (too much to tell briefly!).

This post from March 2011 originally was published as a "Breakfast Rambling" - a category that I have somehow left behind. :-)
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Psalm 105:43-45 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:  And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.

After recounting so much of Israel’s history as a nation, particularly the deliverance from Egypt, the writer gives the purpose that God did this for them (plural) as opposed to the fact that He did it for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (vs. 6, 9-10, 42) individually (so to speak).  God delivered them from bondage so that they could observe his statutes, and keep his laws.” 

When the Lord delivers us from the bondage of sin and the devil it is so that we may serve Him with reverence and godly fear.  It is so that we can obey His word in the church age context.

Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

When we don’t obey we tend toward the same problems Israel had – a lust for the old “pleasures” and a return to bondage, both old and new.  The “freedom indeed” that we have in Christ is not freedom to do our own thing, but freedom from bondage so that we might serve God acceptably.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another… 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Evening Song - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


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.



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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Evening Song - A World We Never Touch


Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.




Wednesday, August 7, 2019

FREE Poem Graphic - Annie Johnson Flint - God's Great Grace





Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. The original came from somewhere online. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality. You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.)

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.

[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.] :-)

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Thoughts from the Past – But They Are so Wicked! How Can They Be Saved?




Jan. 11, 2006 [edited]
But They Are So Wicked!

Last fall I was visiting a neighbor of ours who was concerned because a relative of hers was about to die and she was not confident of his salvation. He had made a profession of salvation in his youth, but he never lived like a saved man. I mentioned the verse ...by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20 She agreed, but pointed out that the Bible also says that some will be saved yet as by fire. (1 Corinthains 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)

I think that sometimes we are too quick to judge someone's salvation. We see some things or hear some things and we assume, "That person can't be saved."

In my evening Bible reading I recently came across this passage, which caused me to stop and think:
Psalm 78:34-39 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. 35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. 36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. 37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. 38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. 39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

This Psalm recounts God's dealings with Israel. First of all, we see that God did chasten them. Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. So, we know that if a professing Christian is never chastened they are not truly God's child.

But, notice that even though they returned to God for a time, Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. Also, ...their heart was not right with him...
When we see a professing Christian living like the devil or totally engrossed in the traditions of man or cares of this life, we are sometimes inclined to think, "How can they be saved?" Yet here we see under the Old Testament covenant that God chastened His children, yes, and they returned to Him; but they then proceeded to lie to Him, and their heart was not right with Him! Could this not happen under the New Testament covenant as well?

In these days of jackboot preachers, compromisers, those sunken in defeat, and other assorted doubtful characters who profess Christ, we can easily tend to question other's salvation. After all, how many have proven to be liars and flatters to God (saying they put Him first in their lives, when it's plain to see they have not). To assume that they are unsaved because they receive no more immediate punishment may not be appropriate. Asaph tells us that God was full of compassion. He forgave and destroyed not. He turned away His anger. He remembered they were but flesh (Ps. 103:13-17).

If God, in His great mercy, does not see fit to give these people the chastisement we think they deserve, that does not mean they are not saved. Yes, they will have chastening, as Hebrews tells us, but they may not get what we think "they have coming." The Lord has the right to decide to turn away His full wrath. We would all be in trouble if God stirred up all of His wrath, for none of us deserve anything good (Isa. 64:6).

Psalm 78 continues, 40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! 41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Far from justifying their waywardness and lies, the Lord is provoked and grieved by them. Still, they may actually be His children. But, how sad in the final analyses - they tempted God (to show His holiness) and limited Him! By following man's traditions, by abusing the saints, by walking disorderly, by disobeying His word (and so many other things) these people limit God from what He could have done - for them, for their children, and for others. If you stop and ponder that you will be able to think of a lot of ways that works itself out.

In the end, we must let God be God. If He chooses to show compassion to sinners, who are we to question Him? And, where would we ourselves be without His mercy? While we may be forced to mark and avoid some believers according to New Testament teaching (Rom. 16:17-18, 1 Cor. 5:11-13), it still behooves us to remember Paul's comment in Galatians 2:6 ...(whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:)... In some cases we really cannot know if a person is saved till we get to heaven. Yes, there are many who are not truly saved, but after all - we look on the outward appearance, only God looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). 1 Kings 8:39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) [Emphasis added.]

I am reminded of a small incident from my dad's youth. He was complaining to an older brother in the Lord about some lady missionary whom he had seen really misbehaving. The man called him up short with this comment: "Just imagine what she would like if she wasn't saved!" Hm.....food for thought.

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First published here Nov. 2012.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Evening Song - You Are My Hiding Place


Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. 

Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. 


The John Marshall Family.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sew Happy Wednesday - Easier Granny Square Qtuilt


Just a friendly reminder that I'm only posting three days a week right now, so I've made this a Wednesday post instead of the previous "Sew Happy Friday."
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Jenny Doan of the Missiouri Star Quilt Co. shows an easier way to make the Granny Square Quilt.

Note: I don't recommend buying lottery tickets - even if you're having a "lucky day."  :-)



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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Thy Way, not Mine, O Lord - A Poem by Horatius Bonar




Psalm 23:2-3 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

Thy Way, not Mine, O Lord


Thy way, not mine, O Lord!
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be, or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it matters not,
It leads me to Thy rest...

Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Evening Song - He Leadeth Me


John 10:3-4 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

Psalm 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.



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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Photo and Scripture - The Lilies of the Field




Luke 12:27-32 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

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Day lilies, Tennessee.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Worth Reading - Two Churches that Went Astray




Today I have decided to post a couple links to thought provoking items here for you to consider. I hope you find something that will be useful to you or to someone you know.

[Disclaimer on Bible versions of than the KJV and possibly some other content.]

Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 


This short letter offers some telling observations about the Southern Baptist Convention and its decline from biblical truth.

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This article deals with some other issues of importance, but notice that some of the things this man points out can also be applied to other groups besides the one he is dealing with in the article. The abuse from the pulpit, greed for "spiritual gifts," and lording it over the flock of God is present in all denominations and independent groups. Beware.

Apostasy: Broken Lives and Shattered Faith Versus Those Who Resist


The closer we approach to the end of this age the more urgent it becomes to steadfastly resist the devil and his wiles and to earnestly contend for the faith.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Evening Song - Take Time to Be Holy


Matthew 11:29 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. 

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 


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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Worth Repeating - A Bit of Humor





Here are some fun food related quotes I posted in 2010. I added the images from my collection. :-)
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"The thought of two thousand people crunching celery at the same time horrified me." - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950). Explaining why he had turned down an invitation to a vegetarian gala dinner.

Have you heard of the garlic diet?
You don't lose much weight, but from a distance your friends think you look thinner.

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. – Fran L.

The West wasn’t won on salad.
- North Dakota Beef Council advertisement, 1990

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. ~Jim Davis
“I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o'clock in the morning.” ~John B.

“It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat.” Robert Fuoss
My favorite animal is steak. ~Fran L.

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. ~Calvin Trillin

A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat. ~Old New York Proverb

And I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven't yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food? ~Bill B.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Thousand Word Project - One White Star


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

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


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Shut In - Poem by Annie Johnson Flint



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

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

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


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

Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Evening Song - Day by Day


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



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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Worth Repeating – Are You Glad Today?




Here is something that I posted on July 4th 2011. It's a good reminder. I have edited it slightly.
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This item comes from my Bible journal from some years back, but it seemed appropriate for this day, with a few additions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Thoughts from the Past - Immediate Results






June 27, 2007 [edited]

Immediate Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Ogden

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first posted 9/2012



Saturday, June 29, 2019

Evening Song - Blessed Assurance


Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 

Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

FREE Scripture Graphic - Rejoice Evermore.




Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original graphic somewhere online. I made some changes and added the verse. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality.  You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.)

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.

[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.]

Enjoy!  :-)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Worth Repeating - The Good Shepherd




Jesus said,

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep...14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Sometimes we feel lonely, afraid, weary, and more.  Our Good Shepherd will supply our needs.  Here is a poem that I wrote about this in 2005. [It was written before I was married, but I updated the name on it. :-) ]

The Good Shepherd

A favorite poem by Isaac Watts:

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

You can listen to the music to go with this poem here.  (I don’t know anything about these musicians except that they do a good job on this arrangement.)


A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Illustration based on painting by Henry A. Harper

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First published here Feb. 2013
Top image - source unknown.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Evening Song – Beside the Still Waters of Peace


Psalms 23:1-2  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.


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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Guest Post - A Short Thought on Depression



About twelve or thirteen years ago my dad had started through a time of really serious health problems which triggered a deep depression that lasted several years. This seemed like a topic that I wanted to address today instead of the usual celebrations of the day (Father's Day in the U.S.). Maybe someone needs it.

Psalm 142:5-7 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

This is written by Craig Edwards, a pastor whose Facebook page I read sometimes. I appreciate his ministry on Facebook very much and have found much there that was thought provoking and encouraging. This particular one is an important reminder that depression is not a sin. While I do believe in a few instances it can be caused by devil possession, as in the case of King Saul in the Bible, there are many people who are suffering for other reasons.
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I feel very strong about the post I'm about to make, and it's about DEPRESSION. Depression is the most disabling disease in all of North America, and second in the world.........and its growing. A couple of overwhelming symptoms are: 1. Detachment - from family, friends, and everyone else. You can be in a crowd, and still feel alone. 2. Guilt- you feel no one really loves you, and no one cares, and the world would better place if you were not in it. You feel like a burden to your family, and you feel like you're making their lives miserable!!! Remember, depression is a sickness. It's not being demon possessed or crazy, but a disease. If you handle it recklessly, or ARE HANDLED recklessly, it makes it worse. I know [because] I live it, and I'm GLAD!!!! I've been able to reach out to, and help people that, according to their own words, wouldn't be here today. God has allowed me to suffer from depression for a purpose, that's far bigger than myself. I've been able to show, and teach others that there is LIFE and HOPE , after and during depression. The fulfillment I've experienced, by being able to help others, is worth the criticism. Others don't get it.....and you know what......I hope they never have to learn the hard way!!!!! God bless you all!!! I love all y'all !!!

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My thought:

Whenever I hear someone say that Christians shouldn't be depressed or have anxiety and/or that they shouldn't need any medication for it, that all they need is the Bible, I feel sick. It scares me for them because I know how God chose to teach me the hard way, and it has been the hardest and longest lesson I probably ever had to learn. When I was young I had the idea that only people who weren't "right with God" had depression or things like that. I was very self-righteous about it. But the Lord took me through some very hard times to show me the folly and vanity of my thinking. These times sometimes recur for me because it's a lifelong illness for me.

Friend, please don't judge others in things you don't understand like this. If God decides to make you go through it in order to correct your puffed up thinking, you will suffer things you really don't want to suffer. I say that with deep personal conviction because He did it to me. I don't wish that lesson on anyone. I would much rather that Christians show compassion and kindness to one another, even in things hard to understand.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another...

If you are dealing with depression or an anxiety disorder, I really encourage you, as always, to get help. Ask God to lead you to people who will help you, not hinder you, in learning how to live through and beyond these difficult health problems. You need encouragement, not judgment. You very likely need a doctor. Remember Matthew 9:12, But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. There are many causes for both depression and anxiety and related conditions. With time and effort and the leading of the Lord, you will find ways to help yourself - and others, as Bro. Edwards talks about - because we don't live unto ourselves as Christians.

Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 

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Painting by Edmund Charles Tarbell.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Evening Song - Till the Storm Passes By


Matthew 14:25-27 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 

Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Random Questions - How Well Do You Know Your Dad?


My dad loved to play with his kids on the floor when we were little.
My two younger brothers and my sister are with him here.


How well do you know your dad? 


He is sitting in front of the TV, what is he watching? Probably a documentary, something about trains or something about another country.

Usually, what dressing does he eat on his salad? Something he concocted himself with pickle brine and herbs.

Name something he hates? Traffic

You go out to eat, what does he order to Drink? Decaf coffee, sweet tea or water.

Favorite music to listen to? Old hymns, YouTube videos of churches that use the Red Backed Hymn Book.

What is his nickname for you? When I was very little - Mary Sunshine.

When he's being sentimental it's about? My mom or something from his past.

What is something he likes to collect? Heirloom seeds and seed catalogs, true accounts of explorers from history.

What would he NEVER wear? A muscle shirt, anything effeminate.

What is his favorite sports team? Rocky and Bullwinkle.

You bake him a cake for his birthday, what flavor is it? Pineapple Upside-down Cake.

What is his favorite animal? I'm not sure there's one that qualifies, but probably something from East Africa.

What could he spend all day doing? Working in his garden, writing, doing stuff on the computer, reading.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

This Thing Is from Me




1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

This Thing Is from Me

This thing is from Me, came His whisper of love
That today you do not understand,
When farther along, you shall look back and see,
That it came from thy dear Master’s hand.
This thing, that has troubled and caused thee such pain,
Loss of what you held precious and dear,
When the fire has refined thee, the dross is all gone,
Then the reason, My child, will be clear.

Continue Reading.

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Painting by Childe Hassam

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Evening Song - Be Still My Soul


Psalm 4:3-4 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.


Acapeldridge.com

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Worth Repeating - How to Make Ends Meet


This post was first published here in August 2011. I thought it might be helpful to someone again. :-) I added some vintage photos just for interest.
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Here is a good blog post on How to Make Ends Meet.  


Please read the comments too. At the time that I linked to this there were a few that really added to the article itself.

By the way, this is something that all of us need to think about and there are things that all can put into practice, even those who don’t have such a limited budget at the moment. If you don’t see the need for that you must not know what is going on in the world or are willfully ignorant of it. As it says in Proverbs 23:5, Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.



Saving bacon grease for future use.
My mother used to do this. In fact, she still has a bacon grease tin as far as I know. :-)

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Source of photos unknown.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Thoughts from the Past - What About the Rapture?




Here is an article on the rapture of the church that I posted in March 2013.

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Some time back our [former] pastor preached a message on the subject of why we believe in the rapture of the church.  In scripture it is referred to specifically as our gathering unto him (Jesus Christ).  Having run across some odd claims in that regard, I had already been thinking about writing an article on the subject.  It’s taken too long, but I hope that it will be a blessing and/or a help to someone.

Why We Believe In Our Gathering unto Christ, also Called the Rapture

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

There has been a good deal of discussion about the doctrine of the rapture of the Lord's church in recent times.  Many mockers have been encouraged by the foolish predictions of Harold Camping.  The Emergent Church movement has pushed the idea that we should not be divisive and that we should just not talk about things we don't agree on.  They imply by this that many things in scripture are really not important.  Some people have gone so far as to conclude that belief in our gathering unto Christ is heresy, even "doctrines of devils".  These last are strong accusations!

First of all, it is important to establish the fact that having a perfect understanding of end time events is nowhere said in scripture to be essential for salvation… 

Continue reading.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Evening Song - In My Heart There Rings A Melody


Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 



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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Thoughts from the Past - Follow Your Heart?




Sept. 14, 2006 [edited]

Follow Your Heart?

"Follow your heart," the world tells us. "If you follow it you can't go wrong. Your heart will always lead you right."

God has a different thought on that -- as is usual where the world's philosophies are concerned. (By the way, a research on Google showed that this phrase is popular with New Age type people. That should tell us something.)

Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

You might want to read that again. That first part is a strong statement, and there's no getting around it. If you "follow your heart" you are a fool. God said so.
Why would the Lord God say a thing like that?

The answer: Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Our hearts are deceitful above all things. There is nothing more deceitful than the heart. Wow. That's a pretty amazing statement, and yet history has proved it absolutely true. I am not an exception. You are not an exception. (And, your wonderful boyfriend or darling son/daughter is not an exception either, by the way.) We are all sinners, and our hearts are not trustworthy.

My grandpa used to say that our hearts are so deceitful we can deceive ourselves and not know it, even when the people around us do know we are deceiving ourselves. Scary, but true.
God has a solution, though. He always does. (That is one of the proofs that He is God Almighty.)

Psalm 119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.


Now, we might ask, "Since our heart is not trustworthy, how can we trust in the Lord this way or keep our hearts for Him?"

1 John 3:18-21 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

God is greater than our heart! What a wonderful comfort that is! Even if our heart condemns us unjustly, God is bigger and stronger, and He cannot lie! (Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;) The Lord knows if we are saved, if our real desire is to follow Him, and even if we are deceiving ourselves. There is no problem in our heart that is too big for Him!

To "follow your heart" then, is truly folly. We can only be safe in following our Lord, for only He knows and understands our hearts.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1 Peter 2:21-25 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

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First posted here Sept. 2012

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Evening Song - What A Lovely Name


Philippians 2:9-10 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;


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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Photo and Poem - Faith



Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries, "It shall be done!"

- Charles Wesley

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Threefold Work - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint


1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.


The Threefold Work

Three things the Master hath to do,
And we who serve Him here below
And long to see His kingdom come,
May pray or give or go.

He needs them all - the open hand,
The willing feet, the asking heart -
To work together and to weave
The threefold cord that shall not part.

Nor shall the giver count his gift
As greater than the worker’s need,
Nor he in turn his service boast
Above the prayers that voice his need.

Not all can go, nor all can give
To arm the other for the fray;
But young or old or rich or poor,
Or strong or weak - we all can pray.

Pray that the full hands open wide
To speed the message on its way,
That those who hear the call may go
And pray - that other hearts may pray.

- Annie Johnson Flint -

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Evening Song - He Hideth My Soul


Exodus 33:21-22 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Looking Back - Favorite Kitchen Things – Electric Egg Cooker

I am going to try cutting back on my posts here at least for awhile. Because of that I will be trying to post my mid-week posts all on Wednesday and they will vary widely. There will still be photo posts but not every week any more, but they will be interspersed with other things. We have had a lot of thunder storm days this spring when I am off the computer entirely. This may not continue, but at present responsibilities with my parents and other things we desire to do means that I have more things to think about and juggle. For today I'm reposting a review of a kitchen gadget. :-)

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Five years on and I'm still using this same cooker. I have looked at buying a stainless steel model for health purposes (no plastic leaching), but so far have not done that. It is perhaps not quite as accurate as it used to be, but I can still guess on the water amounts close enough. :-)
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This little electric egg cooker was given to me by my Texas sister-in-law.  This one is called an EggGenie™.  It is very handy and since it uses a minimal amount of water for cooking boiled eggs (really steamed), it also does not waste water – something we think about quite a bit in Texas these days (and should think of more).

Although I’m not exactly thrilled to cook my eggs in a plastic cooker, this is still one of my favorite kitchen appliances.  The electric egg cookers my mom had when I was growing up all involved aluminum in their construction – something I want to avoid.  This one is plastic and stainless steel.  I don’t make boiled eggs terribly often, so it isn’t like I use it all the time.

It can cook up to 7 eggs at once.  The measuring cup that came with it gives exact amounts of water for the level of done-ness for various numbers of eggs.  It’s pretty accurate if you don’t leave the eggs sitting in the cooker too long after turning it off.  Ahem! :-)



Also, before cooking the eggs, you have to poke a little hole in the large end of each egg.  There is a sharp pin inside the cooker for this purpose.  It usually works fine, but occasionally there is that weak shelled egg or something goes wrong and then there’s an clean up job to deal with. :-/  The purpose in the hole is to allow the air to escape from the little sealed chamber at the large end of the egg.  If you don’t do this the egg can crack and even leak during cooking.  Apparently this is more of a problem when steaming eggs.

One complaint with this model is that it doesn’t have an on/off switch.  When you plug it in, it’s on.  So, I have to remember not to plug it in before it’s ready to go – something I forget regularly.  It also doesn’t have a very loud buzzer to let you know when it’s done, and it does not go off till you come and unplug it – really Not Good!

Nevertheless, I’ve used it and found it very handy since I can get the eggs cooking and then tend to other things without giving them much more thought – except to turn them off and rather promptly remove them. :-)

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First published in March 2014.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mothers, Teach Your Children




Over at The Home Maker's Corner I wrote a message encouraging Christian mothers to teach their children. I hope it will encourage someone today. :-)
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Proverbs 6:20-22 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

One of the greatest things a Christian mother can do for her children is to teach them things they need to know about life and how to live it. This can be done in a lot of different ways, but I was thinking recently about a couple of specific ways my mother did this for my sister and me.

When I was in my teens my dad was pastoring a small church in western Michigan. Often while we were working in the kitchen we listened to a radio station called Blue Lake Public Radio. Sometimes we were listening to music. Often in the evenings when we were cooking dinner we heard one or two programs from NPR (National Public Radio). It covered a wide variety of topics. Some were more interesting than others. Sometimes we learned interesting things. Sometimes we were so disgusted with what they were talking about we just turned it off. But, the thing that influenced me the most without me even knowing it was that we often made comments to each other about what we heard and sometimes we even had discussions. My mom taught me a lot through that. Many things I'm sure have influenced me over the course of my life and instructed or altered my thinking even though I can't remember a lot of specific details now.

Please Continue Reading here.


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Art work by I. Lovering?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Evening Song - No Night There - and a bit of church history


Revelation 21:1-4 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 


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My understanding is that this is a very old Waldensian hymn. The Waldenses, a Christian group long before the Protestant Reformation in Europe, were originally in Italy and were persecuted severely for not following the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. I believe the book that I read was The History of the Waldenses by J . A. Wylie. I first read Paula the Waldensian by Eva LeComte years ago - a book I recommend.

Disclaimer on the website at the end of the video. I do not know this person and so cannot say one way or another as to his reliability. Use your own discretion.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Random List - May 2019



Matthew 6:33-34 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 


Lately I have been…

Making: messes. I can't seem to stop leaving stuff lying around and then I have to backtrack later to tidy it all up.

Cooking: less variety due to my very limited diet for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) combine with my food intolerances. It's a frustration sometimes.

Reading: Just finished a novella by Chautona Havig yesterday. Various and sundry other things. Proverbs.

Wanting: to get our master suite more thoroughly cleaned.

Looking: for athletic shoes that are in my size, not ugly, and feel comfortable for daily wear.

Playing: a word game on my phone. A little with paper crafting stuff.

Learning: the challenges of helping aging parents with the complications of health problems and life.

Deciding: some hard things.

Wishing: I could eat some things that I used to be able to eat without any trouble. Ho hum. Also that I would get more done some days.

Enjoying: time out and about with my husband.

Laughing: at our silly cat and my husband's ridiculous humor. :-)



Waiting: for my digestive issues to improve?

Liking: photographing wildflowers.

Wondering: when life will calm down a little, and how bad the next set of thunderstorms will be.

Loving: hot showers, my husband's helpfulness, the extra green spring we're having, our cats being social.

Pondering: whether it's time to transition into a somewhat different ministry phase - at least for the time being.

Watching: my parents struggle with the limitations of aging. (Very sad.)

Hoping: we can do more in the way of hospitality; that some things become more clear soon.

Marveling: at the variety of wildflowers we've had this spring. It has been a delight from the Lord.

Needing: to take on new challenges, to allow things to be out of control when there's nothing I can do about it, and to rest in the knowledge that the Lord knows all about it.

Smelling: mold. We've had a lot of rain this spring.

Considering: what "wishful projects" I could let go of to stream line my hobbies and art into a more productive direction, and whether a better organizing system would make me more productive too.

Wearing: loose fitting t-shirt dresses that are cooler and more comfortable.

Buying: shoes that don't fit. Argh. Did you know that women are punished in America for having wide feet? Look at the very limited choices in shoe stores. It's discouraging. Maybe it's just where we live?

Noticing: that I'm struggling to keep up with the online writing and ministry.

Knowing: (or trying to know) that the Lord is growing me in ways that may not be entirely apparent or understood at the present, and that He is already in the future that feels so uncertain to me and knows exactly what I will need when I get there.

Thinking: out story plots for books I'll probably never write. Sigh.

Feeling: like life is out of control, and I'm not keeping up.

Admiring: My husband's persistence. My dad's care for my mom. My mom's determination to remain cheerful in the midst of her health struggles. My mom's beautiful red rose bush.



Saturday, May 4, 2019

Evening Song - What A Prayer Can Do


James 5:16-18 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 


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Friday, May 3, 2019

FREE Vintage Scripture Graphic - Pray without Ceasing





Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original graphic from the Old Design Shop. I made some changes and added the verse. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality.  You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.)

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.

Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media. :-)

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Thoughts from the Past -- Strength Only God Can Give




June 8, 2008

Strength Only God Can Give

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Not long ago, while going through a time when I was feeling quite strained in some ways, the Lord brought this verse to my attention. I "happened" to be reading Colossians 1 starting into a week when I really needed this verse. Isn't it amazing, even a luxurious comfort, to see how the Lord does this kind of thing for us? He truly is a kind and careful father. (Psalm 103:13-14)

The thing that particularly impressed me is that strengthening with all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness can only come from the Lord. There are people who are what we would call naturally strong or patient or longsuffering. But this goes beyond that. It is all patience. Wow, how tough is that? Humanly, it's impossible. And, it's all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness! This kind of strengthening can only come from God's glorious power! Human power has too many limits to produce such amazing results.

True, this is hard to live by. I don't know anyone who has this mastered completely, and some of us struggle with it much more than others. But, through our relationship to God in Christ Jesus, this kind of strength is available, and Paul was bold to request it on behalf of the Colossians. What a great thing to pray for our fellow believers, especially when they are going through a hard time. What a great thing to pray for ourselves! But, most of all, what a great and wonderful Father we have who can and will provide such miraculous ability to His own children!

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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First published here May 2012.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Evening Song - The Sweet By and By on Guitar





A self-taught left-handed guitarist, Cotten developed her own original style. She played a guitar strung for a right-handed player, but played it upside down, as she was left-handed.[2] This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb. Her signature alternating bass style has become known as "Cotten picking". [Source]

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

May Joy Be Thine – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint




The Springtime joy be thine:---
Joy of the wind across vast spaces sweeping
And like a giant on the forest leaping;
Joy of the trees from slumber rudely shaken,
From dreams of living unto life to waken;
Joy of the little bird that flies and sings
For very rapture of its song and wings;
Joy of the stream, whose penthouse roof of snow
Muffles no more its glad, impetuous flow;
Joy of the silver showers that gleam and pass
And leave a trail of green o'er tree and grass;
Joy of the mounting sap, the bursting seed,
The joy of life from death's dominion freed;---
    This joy be thine.

    The [Resurrection] joy be thine:---
The joy of those who, weeping
Because their dead, in straitened chambers sleeping,
    Have left them for a while,
Yet know, that loosed from all earth's tribulations
They have passed on to heavenly habitations,
  To Life eternal and the Father's smile;
    The joy of those who hear
    Beyond all doubt and fear,
Through jarring echoes of discordant strife,
    That one Voice sounding clear:---
"I am the Resurrection and the Life;
    They who believe on Me
    From death's dark thrall I free;
I drank that bitter cup, I passed that gloomy door,
Through that lone valley I have gone before,
Because I live, they live for evermore."
    This joy be thine.

- Annie Johnson Flint [altered]

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?




Cades Cove, Tenn. (Great Smoky Mts.)

First published here 4/12.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Evening Song - Thine Be The Glory


Luke 24:5-6 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.