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Friday, November 27, 2020

Planning NOT to Buy Too Much

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

This is an interesting video that explains what is called "the Diderot Effect." This is the odd tendency that people have that leads to chain purchase. By that I mean, you buy something and then need something else to go with it, and something else to go with that, and so forth till you've made a whole string of purchases based on that first purchase. The first purchase may actually be needed, but often the following purchases are not. At the end, Becker suggests that instead of trying to impress people with things, you should try to impress them with how you live. I understand why he says that, but in the biblical worldview that isn't what Christians should be trying to do either. We should be living to glorify God. Keeping the excessive and unnecessary consumption and purchase of things under control is one way that we can glorify God. Learning to be content with what God has given us is one way to achieve that.

It seemed especially appropriate to post this now as so many people are focusing on buying at this time of year. Please consider your purchases prayerfully. Truthfully, folks, using Jesus' birth as an excuse to fill your homes (or "stockings") with junk is at the very least tacky. At worst it is dishonoring to the name that you claim to honor. Don't let yourself be caught up in the covetousness and hyper-consumerism of the season.  [For further reading: Spend Less, Don't Buy Stuff, Plan Ahead]


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Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Blessed Thanksgiving!



Psalm 107:21-22 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. 

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 


How blessèd to enjoy the gift,
To taste of mercy here below;
In humble thankfulness to lift
Our hearts to Him whom now we know.
To know His love, how great it is,
To own and feel that we are His.

T. Kelly


Lord of glory, we adore Thee!
Christ of God, ascended high!
Heart and soul we bow before Thee,
Glorious now beyond the sky:
Thee we worship,
Thee we praise—
Excellent in all Thy ways.

Richard Holden

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Worth Repeating - A Thanksgiving Meditation by Martha Snell Nicholson





THANKSGIVING MEDITATION

Since man apart from God is but an abnormal creature, our greatest joys, our deepest satisfactions, come in our relationship to Him. So I thank Him this Thanksgiving season for sins forgiven, for a great High Priest touched with a feeling of my infirmities, for the privilege of being a tool in His mighty hand, for His guidance, for His ear that hears my prayers, for His arm on which to lean, for His precious Word in which He speaks to us explicitly, and for the blessed, blessed hope of His soon coming!

I thank Him, more than all else, for utter safety. In the past I have known what it was to be afraid, but now I know that I am entirely and perfectly secure. I feel that I have come into a safe harbor. Nothing, absolutely nothing, not my own deeds nor those of others, not the works of devils, not circumstances, not so-called fate -- nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. Pain, sorrow and bereavement can come, shattered nerves and body can be my lot, death can even put my body in the grave; but whatever comes, it passes first through His tender hands, and so I can love it because it comes from Him!

Nothing can keep me out of heaven. I am as safe now as though I were already there. Just these few hard years to live, these few burdens to bear, and then to be forever with Him, our daily portion glory beyond infinite glory! Thankful? My cheeks are wet with happy tears. Why He gives all this to a poor creature like me I do not know -- but I know that I shall need all eternity in which to thank Him for it!

by Martha Snell Nicholson 

Romans 8:35-39  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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First published here Nov. 2015



Saturday, November 21, 2020

Evening Song - I Just Want to Thank You, Lord


Psalm 75:1
Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. 

Psalm 107:1-2 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Autumn Roses, A Poem, and Some Thoughts on Quietness

 



Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. 

Psalm 4:4-5 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

Isaiah 32:18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; 
 
2 Thessalonians 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 

Sometimes in a world where there is so much noise, so much talking, so much activity, so much commenting, and so very many opinions it can be hard to find quiet let alone appreciate it. We can become accustomed to the clatter and chatter and forget the value of quiet. Yet, it is spoken of a number of times in scripture as a good thing. I find it curious in these present times that so many people are resentful and angry about having to physically "sit down and be quiet" - so to speak. This is especially disappointing coming from Christians who claim to know the word of God. When we fail to value quietness, we are failing to value something that God likes, that He has spoken well of, and that He has even commanded at times and in places.

Did you ever stop to think that one of the outstanding aspects of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on this earth and of the new heaven and new earth is that we will dwell quietly? As I consider how many Christians, especially in America, complain and chafe against living a quiet life with less excitements and external activities, I can't help but think how much they are going to have to be changed in the resurrection in order to enjoy the quiet God has in store for us. And I would say that most of us are affected by the allure of activity and the busy life to some degree. But should the thought of a quiet life be so shocking?

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 

What does a godly, quiet, contented life look like? How can we live a quiet life today that glorifies God and rests in His strength? How can we alter our thinking and our expectations so that we can be content with less excitement and entertainment, so that we can appreciate the enforced quietness that we find ourselves in sometimes?

Jesus! I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For, by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

Oh, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea:
Oh, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart,
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings,
Thine is love indeed.

Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

- Jean Sophia Pigott

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Walk Through the Michigan Woods In November


painting by Childe Hassam


Another great walk through the woods in Michigan, this time in November of this year when the colors were gorgeous. [I used a painting illustration because I couldn't share any of her photos. :-) ]

Fall Color at Ottawa County Parks November 2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Court of the King - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

 



The Court of the King

With the staff that had failed in my need
Where the road had been stony and steep;
With the lamp that was smoking and dim,
Though the darkness was growing more deep;
Weary, too weary to pray
And too heavy-hearted to sing,
Faint with the toils of the way
I came to the court of the King.

There where the fountains fall cool,
Their waters unfailing and pure;
There where the ministering palms
Stand like His promises sure,
Oh! there was peace in its shade,
Oh! there was rest in its calm;
And its sweet silences lay
On my bruised spirit like balm.

Long did I kneel in His court,
And walk in His garden so fair;
All I had lost or had lacked
I found in His treasuries there;
Oil to replenish my lamp,
His kindness a crown for my head,
For the staff that had wounded my hand
The rod of His mercy instead.

A garment of praises I found
For the sullen, dark garb I had worn,
And sandals of peace for the feet
That the rocks and the briers had torn;
Joy for my mourning He gave,
Making my spirit to sing,
And, girded with gladness and strength,
I passed from the court of the King.

Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psalm 23:6 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.

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painting by Abbott Fuller Graves

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Evening Song - In the Garden

John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 

John 20:11-18 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.




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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Aged Hot Pepper Sauce Recipe from Sister in the Mid-west

Peppers grown by my dad in Tennessee.

 
Sister in the Mid-west at Simple Inspirations posted a recipe recently for aged or fermented hot pepper sauce. My dad loves this kind of sauce and he recently figured out how to make his own using Tabasco peppers that he grew. I don't know if he has a recipe or not as he tends to "fly by the seat of his pants" when cooking. (Yeah, that's partly where I got it.) This recipe sounds similar to what my dad probably did, so I thought it would be interesting to share it. I'll ask my dad about his recipe later, if I remember. :-)

My Aged Pepper Hot Sauce "Recipe"


Please let her know if you try her recipe. :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Thoughts from the Past - A Song of Death and Life - A Poem and A Thought

Photo taken in Cade's Cove, Tennessee, 2003.

A Song of Death and Life


Death is the breaking of a fragile cup
Filled with God-given life. -- A passing song
Borne on the breeze of Time across the wave
That laps the shore of long eternity,
And echoes endlessly in Heaven or Hell --
Such is our Life. -- How oft we long for Death
With its sweet promise of oblivious rest!
We turn from Life, heart-sickened by its woe
Forgetting why that Life was give us;
God gave us Life that we might learn to die --
And makes our Death an entrance into Life --
Not the Life-ending that we vainly seek,
Weeping and wailing that we find it not.
We long to end our troubled round of toil
And cease for ever from our love and hate:
Peace for our struggling hearts, and calm after tears;
If Death but bring us this -- then welcome Death!
Oh! poor, weak, human longing! Satisfied
In God's deep pitying love, far otherwise.
Rest can be found in Death's great Conqueror,
Deep calm of soul in His unchanging Light,
Peace for a troubled heart upon His breast,
And Lethe's draught in His sweet stream of love.
Come Life, come Death, the soul that trusts in Him
Cares not -- for endless, higher life is his --
It matters not what changes shake the soul
For Christ's redeemed are immortal men!
Seek not to die, but seek to live alway,
Begin on earth the long, sweet task of Heaven;
Fill well thy fragile cup that when it breaks
Life's golden stream may flow eternally.

Eva Travers Poole

People will sometimes say when some suffering person has died that they are now "better off", and they find comfort in that thought.  The truth is, though, that they are only better off if they put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and drank of His living waters before they died.  If they did not, they cannot and will not have eternal life, and it can never be "better" for them once they have passed the dread portals of Death.  Only those who have made peace with God through Jesus, the Conqueror of Death and Hell, will find a "better place" beyond that point.

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.

Only the One who liveth and was dead and is alive forever more and who holds the keys of hell and death can give eternal life!  There is no other Way, no other Truth, no other Life.  Anything less than salvation through Jesus Christ will leave a person without hope and without Life after they have fallen to Death.

John 3:16-18  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

How is it with you?  Do you have the Life of the Son of God in you?  Do you have that eternal life that only comes through believing on the the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again, triumphant over Death?

What about your friend, your loved one, your neighbor?  Do they have a knowledge of the great Life-Giver that they might have the opportunity to believe and Live also?

God grant us to be attentive to the need around us that we might focus on those things that pertain to eternal Life and not be so focused on this world that we forget that it is only a vapor that passes away. May we be faithful to speak of that Life in Jesus before we and others step into that vast thing called Eternity - an eternity of either eternal Life or eternal Death.

John 7:37-39   In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Revelation 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


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Originally published here Aug. 2016

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Evening Song - How Can I Keep from Singing?


Psalm 96:1-13 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. 


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Monday, November 2, 2020

Letters to My Friend - Your Conscience, Not Someone Else's

 


Dear Friend,

Things have been tense lately as election day approaches in the U.S. Emotions are running high. People have been pressured and even attacked by their family, church family, and friends in ways that feel invasive and lacking in Christian grace. I find it all rather appalling and overwhelming at times.

I was lying in bed thinking about something I had seen myself and just feeling kind of sad and lost in the maze of unkind assertions, when a portion of a verse came to mind.

"the answer of a good conscience toward God"

And something that I already knew in theory struck me more fully, namely this: that my conscience is meant to answer to God, not another Christian. To God. No one else.

Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Evening Song - O Listen to Our Wondrous Story

 
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 



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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Tennessee Memories - Color Tour


Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength...








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All these photos were taken in or near Kingston, Tenn.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Unfruitful Works of Darkness



An Australian friend of mine brought this statistic to my attention recently. Americans are expected to spend $8,000,000,000 on Halloween this year. Yes. That says 8 Billion dollars. Think: enough money to put a big dent in involuntary homelessness if it were donated appropriately.

I also found this:

Percentage of Americans who plan to decorate their homes for Halloween: 53%.

Those who plan to dress up (in spite of Covid limitations): 46%.

Are you getting a picture here? There is no remorse or repentance going on due to the COVID19 drama this year. Based on those numbers, I would guess that very few of the Christians who celebrate Halloween have even bothered to re-evaluate their behavior and make changes that honor Christ. This despite all the calls for us to follow 2 Chronicles 7:14 (If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Do you know what true repentance looks like? It looks like turning from wicked ways. It looks like renouncing evil deeds and discarding the works of darkness.

Acts 19:17-20 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. 

Just to be clear, fifty thousand pieces of silver in that ancient economy was a tremendous amount of money, each piece of silver representing a day's wage. Based on an average day's wage today of $247 that comes to about $12,350,000. Definitely not pocket change. Yet they willingly burned those things for the glory of God. They cleared themselves from their previous involvement in Satanic arts and practices. 2 Corinthians 7:11  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 

By the way, this is the New Testament church equivalent of the 2 Chronicles passage, but the two are not exactly the same thing. 2 Chronicles was written to the Jewish nation. We, the church, don't seek to heal our land. We strive now to show ourselves approved unto God. It isn't the same thing.

But, I digress.

For years and years now there have been people crying out against the Satanic history of Halloween. My own parents were confronted with it when I was a child and made the choice to leave it behind. Many of their generation would not make that choice.

Yet here we stand, in 2020, with nation in decay and Christians of various persuasions calling for America to turn back to God and become a "righteous nation," but so few who are willing to give up the works of darkness and lead the way by example.

And it isn't just Halloween. I poke around the web. I see and hear things. People often tell you a lot more about themselves than they probably wanted you to know.

For example, there are professing Christians who claim they are not bothered by the violent sex scenes in shows like "Game of Thrones." Really? That makes me wonder what sort of stuff they watch that has anesthetized them to such vile filth. I guarantee you that it isn't the Holy Spirit doing this, who guides us into all truth (Jn. 16:13-14) and glorifies Jesus Christ. Jesus is not making them comfortable with scenes of rape and sex that are so disturbing even one of the actresses is reported to have been bothered by it. No, I've never watched it. I don't have to. There is plenty to read about it without filling one's mind with the visual depravity of it. And, may I just say? I'm not really that keen on having men (or women) like that being "on my team" in allegedly bringing the U.S. to a righteous place. In fact, to be blunt: it isn't possible for people with those proclivities to bring anything or anyone to the righteousness of God because they don't understand it themselves.

Many Christians have embraced the adventures and wizardry of Harry Potter and justify it as good reading for kids because "good wins out over evil in the end." But it isn't God's good winning over Satan's evil, no, it's Satan's good wining over Satan's evil. Much as in the Star Wars movies. 

Oops. Did I just say that? Yes, at the risk of being told I'm no fun and too picky. It is definitely not popular to say this among today's Christians, and yet it's still true. The golden calf of Star Wars is a shrine at which many bow. But have you ever considered that the "the Force" can be used for both good and evil? That both good and evil are supposed to be different sides of the same entity? That isn't God. That is Satan. That is the basic principle of so-called "white" and "black" magic or witchcraft. It all goes back to the same "source," and that is the devil. So, yeah, Harry Potter and Star Wars are Satanic at the most basic level. How can I say that?

How can I not?

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 

Psalm 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 

Any entity or power that has "two sides" - both dark and light - isn't God. Never has been. Never will be.

And while I'm on this little jaunt, may I bring up the subject of Superheroes? Especially Thor? Oh, yeah. The  heathen god of thunder from Germanic mythology who has become a Marvel superhero. And, to be clear, all of the superheroes portray god/goddess-like attributes that remind one of the idols of various religions - counterfeits of the one true God and Jesus Christ, His Son. Isaiah 42:8  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Now I understand that it can be easy to pick up something not realizing the origins or connections it may have. I have learned the hard way to check the other books of authors that are new to me to see what other types of books they may be writing. Sometimes we may accept something that seems innocent only to find out later that it has evil connections.

But how hard is it so figure out that Harry Potter is about witchcraft and is essentially dark in its origins? How hard is it to realize that Thor is a heathen god? Or to figure out that Game of Thrones is a vile show? Or that Halloween is a festival of death and darkness? Not that hard, really.

Ok, I'm done venting. But, just let me finish with this. I find it very strange to hear and see Christians talking about turning the U.S. around for God and making it a God-fearing nation again, a righteous nation, when they aren't willing to give up the patently evil things in their very own lives. Halloween is just one of many.

Hosea 10:12  Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Ephesians 5:8-11  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.



Saturday, October 24, 2020

Evening Song - Fear Not Tomorrow


Psalm 32:7-11 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. 

John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 




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Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Thousand Word Project - Liquid Jewels



Proverbs 3:19-20 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

In A Garden - A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson



In A Garden

God walks in my garden
In the early dawn,
But when I rise to greet
Him He is always gone,

Though I can trace His footprints
In beds of violet,
And in a lily's perfume
His presence lingers yet.

Hush, my soul, be patient
For yet a little space --
Some day you will see Him,
Will meet Him face to face;

Some day, earth forgotten,
You will fare abroad,
And in heaven's gardens
You will walk with God.

Martha Snell Nicholson


Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 

Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Evening Song - Praise the Lord


Psalm 150:1-6 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. 




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Acapeldridge.com

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Threefold Work - by Annie Johnson Flint





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...

Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Evening Song - Seeking the Lost

Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Thousand Word Project - Grass



1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:







Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Turkey Ham Special


This is an original recipe of my own as far as I know. I started making it years ago. You can make changes according to your preferences as it's very easy to make and switch up for variety or personal taste. You could use avocado or pickled beetroot in place of the tomato. You could also pop it into a bun or pita bread and eat it as a sandwich. 

This dish can be used for a quick lunch or for the meat dish of the main meal. If you use it for the main meal, you could slice the turkey ham a little thicker than you would for a lunch. Also feel free to change up the meat. It could also be made with sliced turkey or ham or roast beef or chicken breast. Just be sure it is fully cooked before hand. (Maybe a new use for leftovers?)

You will need:

Sliced turkey ham (or other meat)
Sliced tomatoes 
Sliced cheddar or cheese of your choice
Onion and garlic powder (optional).

Place a slice of turkey ham on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle lightly with the onion and garlic powder if you are using them. Place slices of tomato on top of this, and top with slices of cheese. Cook in microwave till the cheese is melted to your satisfaction. This is one serving. Repeat until you have a serving for each person being served.

If you don't use a microwave this could be done in a frying pan on the stovetop with just a little water and oil in the pan and a close fitting lid to hold in the steam. It will take a little longer than the microwave. 

If you are making this for a larger family you may want to try laying the turkey ham slices, etc. in a greased baking dish or pan, and baking it in a conventional oven. I have not tried this so, you will have to experiment. You probably should put the cheese on after the turkey ham and tomatoes are partially cooked.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

What If God Meant COVID for Good?

 


It's a curious thing, but Romans 8:28 gets taken out of context a lot and used by itself. This isn't necessarily bad, but I think sometimes we fail to appreciate its context in the passage. As we are living through such a strange time right now, it might be a good idea to consider how and why God might be using the coronavirus and the disruptions of life for good to His children.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

We often don't know what to pray for as we should. We don't always know what God would have for us. But, His Spirit does. This is a very comforting thought if we remember that He's working for our good. It can be quite frightening when we start to question if God's intentions are good, or if we are afraid that what He thinks is good for us is something we don't want to experience. (Ouch.)


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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Evening Song - The Lord's My Shepherd


Psalm 23:1-6 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. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Just for Fun - Write Gooder




This humorous list has made its rounds on the internet for quite a few years. I'm sorry to say that I don't know who the original author is. I may have added one or two items myself. I can't remember now. :-)

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1. Avoid alliteration always.

2. Prepositions are no words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid clichés like the plague.

4. Employ the vernacular ad nauseam.

5. Eschew ampersands & abbrev., etc.

6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

Continue Reading. 



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artist unknown

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Evening Song - What Kind of Man?


2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 



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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Hard Questions - Is It Your Christian Duty to Vote?




This article was first posted in 2016. I had planned something else for today, but after revisiting this it seemed like maybe it was time to put it up again since the elections in the U.S. are fast approaching again. I edited it and made a few changes.
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Is It Your Christian Duty to Vote?

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

This was an article that I wasn't sure I wanted to write this year (2016). There has been so much said by so many that I hesitated to add my thoughts as it seemed like there was too much already. The thing that made me reconsider is all the drama I've seen and heard about how it is supposedly the American Christians' duty before God to vote. The misuse of scripture in some instances has bothered me. Added to this is the overwhelming pressure that various Christian people and groups are putting on others to try to force them to vote for the person they deem to be "the right one." In the hopes of helping a few people get a little peace about this, I decided to venture forth into a topic that is generally odious to me. So, here we go.

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American Christians have been told for years that it is their "duty to vote." The preachers, pastors, and evangelists have stomped up and down this country in and out of election years, telling people that if they don't vote for  the "right" candidate (meaning the one of that man's choice) or for a specific issue then it will be their fault when this country goes to the devil. Prohibition was passed largely based on this type of pulpit politics, and after some years and total failure, it was repealed and, strangely enough, we are not all drunkards now. (Yeah, the nation is a mess, but you can't honestly blame all of this on alcohol.)

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Evening Song - Piano Music, Fanny J. Crosby Pt. 2


Psalm 150:2-3 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Temple Grandin Talking About Autism


Temple Grandin, the lady famous for being one of the first diagnosed with autism and then going on to become a well-educated, functioning, contributing person, talks here about autism and things that can be done to help children who have it. As a person who is highly artistic and also suffers from an anxiety disorder, I feel very strongly about art and hands on creative things being removed from school curriculum. I also hope this gives someone a better understanding about helping children and adults with autism and related disorders.

God allows some things for reasons that we do not understand. Through history, many of the great artists and highly skilled people in special areas such as mathematics, linguistics, music, technology, and other things have been or are somewhere on the autism spectrum. Helping children with autism find the things they are good at and helping them increase those skills is very important. For Christian parents, you may help them find that one thing or those few things that they can do that will be truly productive to God's glory and give them a sense of being useful in this life. This is important for everyone.

Also, as a side note, I agree with Ms. Grandin that it is wrong to breed animals for food or our enjoyment in such a way that they suffer or have problems. Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

I do not remember there being any profanity or using of God's name in vain in this video. If I have missed something I apologize. Please leave a comment.


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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Home - A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson




2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Home


Our earthly homes are simple things
Of plaster and of board;
Sometimes as humble as the nest
Built by a wildwood bird.

And yet through all our lives our hearts
Cling to the childhood home
Of hallowed, precious memories -
No matter where we roam.

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Evening Song - I Am Sure that He Loves Even Me


John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. 




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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Kielbasa Stove Top Casserole


Ingredients:
1 lb. kielbasa (or any) sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can of mushroom soup - undiluted
3/4 cups of water
1 tbs butter or margarine
3/4 cups of long grain rice
1 pk a frozen peas (10 oz.)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
In a deep pan, combine soup, water, and butter; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add kielbasa and rice; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 min.(or until rice is almost tender) stirring occasionally. Add liquid if required. Stir in peas; cover and simmer an additional 10-15 min. or until rice is soft and peas are cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover till melted makes 4-6 servings

Note: If you double up on the recipe you have a terrific dish for any group gathering.

-- Thanks to Yvonne
[edited]

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Editor's Note: There is organic cream of mushroom soup available now that has better ingredients than the usual varieties. Having several family members with MSG intolerance, this is a big deal for us.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

It Is not Death to Die




It Is not Death to Die 


It is not death to die,
To leave this weary road,
And, 'midst the brotherhood on high,
To be at home with God.

It is not death to close
The eye long dimm'd by tears,
And wake in glorious repose
To spend eternal years.

It is not death to fling
Aside this sinful dust,
And rise, on strong exulting wing,
To live among the just.

Jesus, Thou Prince of life!
Thy chosen cannot die;
Like Thee, they conquer in the strife,
To reign with Thee on high.

Translated from the French;
George W. Bethune,1847

Philippians 1:21-24 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Evening Song - Piano Music, Fanny J. Crosby Pt. 1


Psalm 71:22-23 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

Please enjoy singing along too if you like. :-)


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Tired of the Abuse and the Cover-ups


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

In December 2018 I posted the article "Warn, Report, Resist" on the subject of sexual abuse and cover ups in the church. If you haven't read it, please do.

I referenced Pastor Stacey Shiflett's video in that article as he dealt with the Cameron Giovanelli situation (see update on that case here). This more recent video by Brother Shiflett deals with the way too many have responded to this situation - justifying the wicked; covering for Giovanelli; attacking the victim and Calvary Baptist Church of Dundalk, Maryland; and denying the truth even when it was confirmed. [The video link will ask you to go to YouTube to view the video. This is because Brother Shiftlett has set up his account to prevent people from embedding his videos on their pages. I'm not sure why, but judging by the way he has been attacked, I can't blame him. Please click the "Watch this video on YouTube" link to see the video. Or click here.]

Please know that there are people in churches who are tired of the evil and are standing for the truth, and be willing to stand with them. This wickedness cannot be covered and denied if the Lord's church wants to maintain a good testimony, regardless of "denomination," but it starts by dealing with it on the local level in individual churches. As long as people esteem the approval of men and acceptance into certain circles more than they desire to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, this wickedness will increase and destroy lives and testimonies. People talk a good deal sometimes about being a voice for the voiceless in relationship to abortion. There is another area where we need to be doing this, and that is in regard to sexual abuse of minors within the church and spiritual or sexual abuse of adults by their leaders.

Matthew 18:6-7 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 



Saturday, August 29, 2020

Evening Song - Eyes Off the Waves


Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 




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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Thoughts from the Past – Who Do You Sound Like?



Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. 

Written April 13, 2008 (edited Aug. 2020)
 
Who Do You Sound Like?

My parents ate breakfast yesterday at a local cafe, or perhaps more accurately, a "greasy spoon." One of the patrons was a local sports coach who was holding court with anyone who would talk with him. Plenty of people knew him and he was having a grand time shining on the willing audience.
My parents were listening to other people's conversations (a great way to pick up the local "news") and couldn't help hearing the coach's chatter as he held forth, no doubt on his favorite subject. My dad particularly noticed that the man's favorite source to quote was himself.

We've all heard people like this I suppose. Their conversation is peppered with remarks like, "I always say,..."; "As I told so-and-so,..."; "I always tell them..."; and so forth. To hear them tell it, you would think that they are the most useful and reliable sources of information.

Our family once saw a series of historical documentaries done by the droll Englishman, Alistair Cooke. In one of those films he made this clever witticism (clever for an Englishman, that is), "Someone once said, and it might have been me..." and thus imparted some appropriate quote upon the subject. This is unfortunately how some people seem to think, only they really mean it.  It isn’t a joke to them.

I was just thinking the other day that anyone who knew my Gramma Hoover very well would recognize that I had spent quite a bit of time with her by hearing me talk. I use her expressions and words, and no doubt use her manner of speech enough to betray the fact that we were close relatives as well as close friends.

In the gospel of Matthew we read that when Peter was warming himself beside the fire in the high priest's palace, the others there were accusing him of being with Christ. He denied it, but they could not believe him. Matthew 26:73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Peter's speech had betrayed him. Whether it was his Galilean accent or some other clue of his speech I don't know for sure, but he gave himself away with his mouth.

Later, after the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost at the day of Pentecost, Peter and John were arrested and stood before the spiritual leaders of Israel (including some of the same men who had officiated at the trial of Christ). When Peter answered the men boldly in the power of the Holy Ghost, we are told in Acts 4:13, Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Their speech showed that they had been with Jesus. They were not naturally men of this sort of boldness, speech and wisdom. If they had not listened, had not believed and had not desired to follow Christ, their speech would not have reflected His influence on them.

Our speech shows who we have been spending time with, who our companions have been. The coach mentioned above shows by his speech who he thinks is important and who is an excellent source of knowledge or wisdom - himself. My own expressions and some of my mannerisms reflect a person with whom I spent much time and who was a great influence on me - my grandmother. Many people are quick to quote their pastor or some other expert or "guru" whom they consider to be a "great source" of wisdom.  When some question or issue comes up, they will inform you, "Well, Pastor ________, says thus and so," as if he was a final authority. If you ask some people why they do such and such, they won't give you scripture, they will quote Michael Pearl, Jack Hyles, Bill Gothard, Elizabeth Elliot, Francis Chan, Paul Washer or whoever their favorite expert is.

What a wonderful thing, though, it would be to have it said of us that others knew we had been with Jesus because of our speech and our manner! I think there are few witnesses of His power in our lives that should be so sweet and so desired as this one. People strive for notice in soul-winning, in works of many kinds, in being noted for their "great deeds for Christ", in having a "deep spiritual life" and many such things. But, if we have spent so much time with Christ, hearing His words and listening to Him, that people can readily recognize it because our speech and our behavior is different, any other truly spiritual accomplishments should naturally, or rather supernaturally, follow.

A number of years ago my dad and a friend of ours had the distinct privilege of meeting a man who "had been with Jesus." He had obviously saturated his soul with the word of God, for his speech betrayed him. My dad and his friend were traveling from Canada back into the U.S. They had a large load of scripture plaques and there was some question as to whether they would be charged duty at the border. Since they were not prepared to pay a large amount of money for this, there was some concern about it. Before they left this brother from whom they had received the plaques, he  wanted to pray with them. As he prayed my dad and our friend came into genuine awe. The man's manner of praying was to quote passages of scripture easily and fluently, working them into his prayer without any strain to do so and talking as if it were the most natural way in the world to talk to God. And perhaps it is. It was not a stilted or forced thing, but simple expressions and requests regarding the trip and the need at hand. It was not pompous or puffed up, but sincere and as a man would talk to his friend. The man's normal speech had been well salted, but his manner of prayer made them realize that they had been visiting with a man who had spent much time with the Lord reading and absorbing His word. (Incidentally, though significantly, this man had also had a truly heart breaking experience which had changed the whole course of his life.)

[By the way, they got through the border without paying any customs because the inspector declared the plaques "religious icons" - though all that was on them were scripture verses. :-) ]

There are many Christians who live in fear or suspense about the coming of persecution to the USA.  There are many professing believers whose mouths are full of political ideologies, conspiracies, health dangers, the praise of man, the world, etc.  Would to God that if we are ever called upon to answer before a court of man for our behavior and speech that our testimony before men would be that they would take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus!

Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom...

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This item was first posted here in June 2012.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Evening Song - Send the Light


Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 



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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Reader Comments - Dealing with Laziness and Low Motivation




Reader's Question:

I’ve been reading your blog and I currently work part time, but because of the virus, I am not technically working right now and this time has made me realize how lazy I am. I don’t want to be this way and I’m trying to change, but I feel the saying is true that old habits die hard. Do you have any tips on how to stop being lazy and get down to homemaking? Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer:

I struggle with the issue of laziness in a somewhat different way because I have some chronic health issues that affect my stamina and ability to accomplish things. In my situation I tend to feel like I'm not accomplishing enough, but when I push myself too hard I often end up with a temporary injury, a migraine or abnormal exhaustion which then forces me to slow down or even stop for a day or more. Sometimes for weeks. Finding the right balance for not feeling lazy and also not overdoing things is challenging sometimes. This is very frustrating, but it also gives me a somewhat different set of issues to deal with. For that reason, I asked my friend, Elisabeth M. to answer this question because her experience comes from a healthy person perspective. :-) I think her advice can be used by all of us in whatever situation we find ourselves battling laziness, lethargy or lack of motivation. (I'll add some more observations farther on.)

Here's what she wrote:

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