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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. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Evening Song - His Robes for Mine

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. 

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Bit of Red to Remember

The Maker of the universe, as man for man was made a curse.
The claims of law which He had made, unto the uttermost He paid.
His holy fingers made the bough which grew the thorns that crowned His brow.
The nails that pierced His hands were mined in secret places He designed.
He made the forest whence there sprung the tree on which His body hung.
He died upon a cross of wood, yet made the hill on which it stood.
The sky that darkened o’er His head, by Him above the earth was spread.
The sun that hid Him from God’s face, by His decree was poised in space.
The spear which spilled His precious blood was tempered in the fires of God.
The grave in which His form was laid was hewn in rocks His hands had made.
The throne on which He now appears was His from everlasting years.
But a new glory crowns His brow, and every knee to Him shall bow.
       –F.W. Pitt

Red Honeysuckle 


Revelation 1:4-6 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Thinking On God's Deep Love - A Musical Meditation

Ephesians 3:17-21 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 

1 Peter 1:7-9 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

From Mom's Collection - Behold Your King Cometh...

Here is a selection that is appropriate to this day. This comes from my mom's collection of bits and pieces and I have added some thoughts of my own.

Matthew 21:5-11 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Characteristic of many of the mighty rulers of history have been their pride and arrogance, their ostentatious display of power and riches. As a consequence they were generally more feared than loved by the rank and file of their subjects.

In sharp contrast to such sovereigns of the world stands the Ruler of them all, the King of kings and Lord of lords...

Continue Reading.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Evening Song - So High the Price

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 

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. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Short Thoughts - Courageous vs. Gorgeous

Sometime back I was looking for a mug to send to a lady who happens to have lupus. I have known someone personally who has lupus and I know it's a tough illness to deal with. Many days are an uphill battle all day. There is pain and suffering and medications that make life hard at times, and there is depression from the constant struggle. The spiritual battle must be immense.

I was browsing on Amazon looking for something to send this lady when I misread a mug that said "Hello, Gorgeous."  I thought it read, "Hello, Courageous." When I realized my mistake I wondered, "Well, why not courageous?" I would rather be more courageous than gorgeous.

Why is it that women seem to need to be told they're beautiful or "sexy" so much? Why not remind a lady who has a hard fight every day of her life that she is courageous? Because, you know she has to be or she wouldn't have made it this far. Why don't we encourage attitudes and actions of real value instead of vain things like beauty and external attributes? Physical strength, beauty, attractiveness - they are all so temporary.

God put this in His word for our learning and use: Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 

True strength and courage come from the Lord.

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 

Beauty and external charms all perish along the road of life at some point. It is the hidden man that is renewed day by day and it is the adornments of that inner man that are of value in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Truehearted, wholehearted, faithful and loyal,
King of our lives, by Thy grace we will be;
Under the standard exalted and royal,
Strong in Thy strength we will battle for Thee.
-- Frances R. Havergal

Painting by Childe Hassam

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Evening Song - Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

Romans 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

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Friday, April 5, 2019

FREE Scripture Graphic - Faithful and Vintage Flowers

Here is another vintage graphic that I found somewhere online. I made some changes and added the verse - a hobby that I enjoy very much. :-) 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 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.] :-)


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Evening Song - I'm Adopted

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Worth Repeating: It Passeth Knowledge – A Poem

(Photo by my brother and sister-in-law, 2012 – Australia)

It Passeth Knowledge

It passeth knowledge, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Saviour; yet this soul of mine
Would of Thy love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
Know more and more.

It passeth telling, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Saviour; yet these lips of mine
Would fain proclaim to sinners far and near
A love which can remove all guilty fear,
And love beget.

It passeth praises, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Saviour; yet this heart of mine
Would sing that love, so rich, so full, so free,
Which brings a rebel sinner, such as me,
Nigh unto God.

But though I cannot sing, or tell, or know
The fullness of Thy love, while here below,
My empty vessel I may freely bring:
O Thou, who art of love the living spring,
My vessel fill.

I am an empty vessel - not one thought,
Or look of love, I ever to Thee brought;
Yet I may come, and come again to Thee,
With this, the empty sinner's only plea -
Thou lovest me.

Oh, fill me, Jesus, Saviour, with Thy love!
Lead, lead me to the living fount above;
Thither may I, in simple faith, draw nigh,
And never to another fountain fly,
But unto Thee.

And when my Jesus face to face I see,
When at His lofty throne I bow my knee,
Then of His love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
My soul shall sing.

Mary Shekleton

Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Originally published here March 2013.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Evening Song - Nearer, My God, to Thee

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

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Did You Meme That? #8 - Love IS Hard Sometimes

Quote reads: "Fall in love with someone who doesn't make you think love is hard."

We could start out talking about the problem with that phrase "fall in love" because it has its own set of issues. But, maybe that would be quibbling over something unimportant.

So first of all, I want to state right up front and center that there are people in this world who make love hard because they are not worthy of your romantic love. Yes, you can love them with the love of Christ, but after all, Jesus told us to love our enemies, and obviously you shouldn't be "falling in love" with or marrying your enemy.

Matthew 5:43-44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 

What we're talking about here is romantic love, marriage love, love between a man and a woman.

Mark 10:6-8 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Furthermore, this post is NOT about abusive relationships. Abusive relationships are hard - no question about that. In some situations the wife should leave if her husband is abusing her, and likewise the husband leave the wife if she is abusing him (less common, but it does happen). This isn't about those situations either.

This is about the love that grows between two people when they are on their way towards a marriage relationship.

So here it is: You aren't going to find someone who never makes you think love is hard. Yup. True story. Welcome to planet earth.

Before you or your friend or child heads down the primrose path to "love and marriage" it's good to remember this. If you're already married it's good to remember this. There isn't anyone who makes love seem easy all of the time - not that guy at school or college; not the wonderful guy you met at church; not the man who has the six digit income and a nice house and car; not the leader at church who is still unattached, not the handsome and dashing hero in that romantic movie or book (Oh, snap!). Not you and not me, dear friend. Not one person on this earth.

Why would I be sayin' such inflammatory stuffs? Well...

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 

Sin does make love seem hard sometimes.

That man, guy, husband of yours is a sinner and he will do and say things that will provoke you and cause anger. He isn't going to do something you expected him to, and he is going to do something that hurts you or that is inappropriate. He's going to be there with too little too late when you needed him to be there with a lot and on time. He's going to fail you when you were hoping for something better. The best of men are still sinners, and there will always be something at some point in your relationship that will cause disappointment, frustration, or even anger.

But then, you're going to treat him to the same exact difficulties. You are going to make love hard sometimes too. Oh yes. Let's own up, ladies. We certainly have our bad days and there are times when we are less than lovable. If we're honest with ourselves and the loves of our respective lives, we make love seem hard sometimes too!

Things will happen even when you're both trying to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, because we are not perfect yet. We strive against sin (hopefully), but we are not like Jesus yet because we haven't seen Him yet.

Paul summed it up for us in Romans 7:14-25,  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

There are other aspects of life that make love seem like hard work sometimes too.

Some kinds of health problems can be very challenging to deal with and may cause the well spouse to feel like staying "in love" is hard. Sometimes the one who suffers the health problems has a hard time feeling "in love" because the challenges of just living are so immense. Yes, there will be good times when you both appreciate each other immensely, but there will be difficult times when something is just wrong and there doesn't seem to be a way to make it right again.

Sometimes other trials of life can cause similar challenges - sick children, rebellious and troublesome children, death in the family, severe financial strains, natural disasters, the necessity of being apart for some reason for a prolonged period, etc. You get the picture. Many aspects of life can challenge our ability to love one another as we should.

I don't appreciate the teaching that is popular in some circles that love is a choice and not a feeling. While it is certain that love is not just a feeling, I personally believe the Bible teaches it is both a feeling and a choice. Read Song of Solomon (and set aside the overworked idea that it's about Christ and the church, which the Bible never says it is, by they way). There are plenty of feelings of love there. It isn't just about a choice. But, by the same token, the Bible also commands us to love our spouses. If it were not a choice, as the world often enough implies, we couldn't be commanded to do it, now could we?

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Love is hard sometimes. Let's not fool ourselves with some unrealistic imagination of how the world too often presents it. Let's dig in and do the hard thing. Because that is what we are commanded to do in scripture - not just Christian love for our enemies, but romantic love each one for our respective spouses.

And for those who are not married, as well as the married, let's not measure the quality of that "special someone" by his failure to make our experience "in love" perfect. When you stop and think about it, that idea is ultimately selfish, isn't it? It says, "If you make me think love is hard, you are failing me and are therefore not a worthy person." The fact is that each of us will inevitably make love feel hard for the other also, and therefore qualify for the same harsh judgment.

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. 

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. 

For more in this series: Did You Meme That?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Evening Song - Beulah Land

Isaiah 62:4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 

Philippians 1:23-24 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.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Random Questions - Relationships with Others

Here is a short list of questions from my collection.


Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words?

I think that something in between is the most useful. In Ephesians 4:14-15 we read,  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Some people will speak the truth without love. This is destructive and can cause serious damage. Some people try to speak in love, but they don't pay enough attention to truth. This is unhelpful and can be destructive in a different way. A combination of both is necessary for true usefulness and this is what I like to find in others. It is what I want to do myself.

What are three qualities that draw you to someone new?

This is hard to answer. At the Lord's prompting, I have been trying over the last few years to broaden my friendships and include people who might not have been too high on my list of "perfect friends" in the past. So, I actually try not to allow myself to be overly influenced by my personal preferences. Obviously, I want to be drawn to people who are born again and have a sincere love for the Lord. I also want to appreciate the things God has placed in His children for the help of other Christians, including me.

I do find myself not enjoying interactions with people who are overbearing or always pushing for answers or trying to make you a more spiritual person. Asking hard questions is a useful thing when it is done appropriately, but it is exhausting when someone does it almost constantly. It makes it hard to relax in that person's presence. The first thing that attracted me to my husband was that I realized I was comfortable talking with him and didn't feel tense around him. I don't do well with high tension. :-)

When do you immediately click with someone you just met?

I occasionally find a connection with someone because they "speak my language." This means to me that I don't have to stop and explain every other idea (or comment) that I bring out and I can see that they are grasping my thoughts with understanding even as I speak them. This doesn't apparently have to do with background or geographic location as one might think. I have experienced this with ladies from very different places and also upbringings. It doesn't happen very often, though.

Are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?

I would say yes, but "really disliked" is too strongly put. I do have a few what I would call close friends whom I didn't appreciate much at all when I first got to know them. However, for one reason or another we've grown in our friendships, either from necessity or for other reasons, and we've been able to be of mutual service to each other in the Lord.

There are also people whom I thought I liked when I first got to know them, some even contributed some truly useful things to my life, but then later I found them to be problematic or even really unbiblical in their attitudes or behavior. I suppose this is more common than the other in some ways.

How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?

It depends on the offense, doesn't it? Some things are much harder to let go of than others. But, I have learned that forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation, and in that there is a certain amount of freedom. This was a realization that transformed my thinking.

We can forgive someone, but if the offense is so great or such an affront to righteousness that an apology is necessary for any relationship to exist, then we cannot reconcile with them until they see their offense for what it really is. This is true of those whom Jesus asked the Father to forgive when He was on the cross. Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. God might forgive them that particular sin, but He could not have a relationship with them until they wanted reconciliation and were repentant (saying the saying the same thing about their sin that God says).

Who is the person who has been the most supportive in your life?

My husband.

There have been many others over the years too, both family and friends. I am very thankful for the supportive people God has placed in my life.

Painting by Edmund Charles Tarbell

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Pilgrims In the Wilderness

By Camille Corot - The Agustan Bridge at Narni - 1826.

Pilgrims In the Wilderness

We're pilgrims in the wilderness;
Our dwelling  is a camp;
Created things, though pleasant,
Now bear to us death's stamp.
But onward we are speeding,
Though often let and tried;
The Holy Ghost is leading
Home to the Lamb, His bride.

With fellow pilgrims meeting,
As through the waste we roam,
'Tis sweet to sing together,
"We are not far from home!"
And when we've learned our lesson,
Our work, in suffering, done,
Our ever loving Father
Will welcome every one.

We look to meet our brethren
From every distant  shore;
Not one will seem a stranger,
Though  never seen before:
With angel hosts attending,
In myriads, through the sky;
Yet 'midst them all Thou only,
O Lord, wilt fix the eye!

Lord, since we sing as pilgrims,
O give us pilgrims' ways!
Low thoughts of self, befitting
Proclaimers of Thy praise;
O make us each more holy,
In spirit, pure and meek:
More like to heavenly citizens,
As more of Thee we speak.

By Mary Bowley Peters, altered
No. 231 in Hymns for The Little Flock

Hebrews 11:13-14 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Evening Song - All I Ever Want to Be

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

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Thousand Word Project - Warm and Bright

Roses are red,
No, wait, they're yellow,
Violets are...uh...purple,
Who wrote this, fellow?

Sunday, March 3, 2019

From Mom's Collection - Thoughts on the Coming of the Lord

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

There are two ways of looking at the Lord's Coming. There is a looking for, and there is a looking at it. It is possible to look at it with a keen intellect and profound interest, and yet have it mean nothing to us personally. 
It is possible to know but little of the theology and exegesis of the subject, and yet have a deep and holy longing for our Lord to appear. When a wedding is about to occur, the public are looking at it, but the bride is looking for it. Oh, that this great theme may not only be our study, but also our personal hope; foe "unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28).   -- Dr. A. B. Simpson

Continue Reading.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Evening Song - Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

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. 

Psalm 61:2-3 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

O Love of God, How Strong and True! by Horatius Bonar

2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. 

O Love of God, How Strong and True!

O love of God, how strong and true!
Eternal, and yet ever new;
Uncomprehended and unbought,
Beyond all knowledge and all thought.

O love of God, how deep and great!
Far deeper than man's deepest hate;
Self fed, self kindled, like the light,
Changeless, eternal, infinite.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Evening Song - It Is Well with My Soul

Matthew 28:20b ...and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Evening Song - Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

Ephesians 5:18-19 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; 

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

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Texas Memory - Winter Sky

Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Evening Song - And Can It Be that I Should Gain

 Acts 20:28 ...feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 

Jude 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

FREE Scripture Graphic Printable - Isaiah 32:18

Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original at 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 of that page.)

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.] :-)


Sunday, February 3, 2019

But God - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


I know not, but God knows;
Oh, blessed rest from fear!
All my unfolding days
To Him are plain and clear.

Each anxious, puzzled "Why?"
From doubt or dread that grows,
Finds answer in this thought;
I know not, but He knows.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Evening Song - Out of the Ivory Palaces

Psalm 45:8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Thousand Word Project - Tiny Feet

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Simple Raisin Tarts

I first published this recipe here in March of 2012. These are really easy to make and I hope someone enjoys them! :-) There is no added sugar, but they are very sweet because of the raisins.

These raisin tarts are one of my dad’s favorite “cookies.” My Gramma Hoover used to make them for him as a special favor. Since she is no longer here to do this, I have done it for him a few times (not nearly enough). I made a batch for his birthday this past February (2012). :-)

These are super easy to make. So much so that we have no recipe. We just make them. One thing that you will need is a tart pan or a Madeleine pan, however, it is possible that a muffin/cupcake pan might work if you only press the dough into the lower part of the cups. I used a Madeleine type pan for these since our tart pans had to be discarded a few years ago. (My Madeleine pan makes round shells.)

Simple Raisin Tarts

Make up a single or double pie crust recipe of your choice. (I made these with a whole wheat – all purpose flour mixture I think.) Cut into small pieces and press into the tart pan.

Bake till just slightly browned around the edges. Do not over bake (especially if you use whole wheat flour). Allow to cool slightly in the pans and then remove gently to a rack to cool.

In a sauce pan place a generous portion of raisins – 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Barely cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer till quite soft, adding water as necessary to prevent burning. You may like to add a bit of cinnamon, or at the end you may add some orange flavoring.

When the shells and filling are both cool, spoon the filling into the shells. They are ready to serve!

NOTE: If you end up with too much raisin filling, use it as a spread on graham crackers or toast. If you don’t have enough for your number of shells, simply fill the extras with a little jam or jelly.  We never used a recipe, we just “winged it” with the extra or lack thereof. :-)

By the way, if you don’t want raisin tarts, just make the shells and fill them with jam or jelly to start with. Delicious! :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Thoughts from the Past –– Stranger Voices

(History repeats itself – here is a stylized photo of my brother calling his small son. :-) I was trying to take their photo when the little guy started running in the wrong direction.)

Feb. 1, 2010

Stranger Voices

I remembered something the other day that made me think. It was a parable I saw in action years ago.

When my youngest brother, Dan, was about 5 or 6 years old we had some friends come and stay with us for a while. This other family had two kids. The father's method of raising his kids was quite different from my dad's in some ways. Some I would say were not bad, just different. However, this family had a bad habit of being late for things - quite late. Now I know a lot of families struggle with this at times, we certainly did, but in this case it was pretty predictable, and as this story will show, it was probably with good reason.

Some or all of us were going away on the particular day in question. My brother, then "Danny," was having some trouble getting ready on time. I have this distinct memory of him struggling down the stairs. My dad may have already hollered at him once to come - probably he had. Now somehow the fathers from both families had ended up standing at the bottom of the stairs at the same time - probably calling their respective sons, and at this point Danny started down. I don't remember if he was trying to get his shoes on or a jacket or what, but as he fiddled around making his way down my dad called out, "Hurry up!" At the same time, or slightly afterward, the other father called out, "Take your time. Take your time." Two totally different commands and two totally different perspectives. It was so striking that it stuck in my mind.

My brother wisely chose to listen to his own father. He knew what would happen if he didn't!

This makes me think, though, about the voices that call to us. So often when we are struggling along in life, striving to do the right thing, voices call out to us. So many of them are voices that should be "strange" to us.

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. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

The most difficult part is that the "stranger voices" are almost always saying something that is more appealing than the voice of our Shepherd, of our God and Father. They are telling us things that are more comfortable to the flesh or that will distract us into wasteful pursuits. For example, it would have been much more comfortable for my brother to "take his time" than to "hurry up."

Sometimes they are calling us away to extra effort that is wasteful or unnecessary. Sometimes it is a call to spin our wheels in useless things that keep us from following the Shepherd and obeying our heavenly Father. How similar is the experience for all of us, and how important it is to ignore the strange voices and obey only the Father's voice!

These voices call to us from so many directions that sometimes it can be confusing. As with the case of my brother, sometimes the voice that should be strange to us comes from a friend and fellow Christian - someone we respect, even. Sometimes the voices come from people who are highly admired and acclaimed among our fellow believers - the "experts." Sometimes it is our own deceitful heart (Jer. 17:9) that is desiring us to do that which is not of God.

How do we tell the difference? The same way my young brother did at that time - the stranger's message contradicted the message of his father so it must be ignored! So simple, and yet how we do struggle with discerning it sometimes!

A simple question to ask ourselves is, "What does the Bible, God's word to us, say?" Another might be, "How will this glorify God?"

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Proverbs 23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

Ultimately we have to choose which voice we will listen to. Sometimes God's voice is loud and clear as it was to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6). Other times it is a still, small voice as it was for Elijah (1 Kings 19:12-13). But, the point is, it is our job to listen and to discern what God is saying to us, and to "tune out" the strange voices that are calling something else.

There are so many examples in scripture of people either ignoring or listening to stranger voices that I could write a considerable amount on it, but that is not my objective at the moment. I simply want us all, myself included and maybe especially, to think on this "sermon" that I saw and heard so long ago.

1Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

First published here April 2012.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Evening Song - What A Lovely Name

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sew Happy Friday - Disappearing Pinwheel Tutorial

Here's another fun quilt tutorial from Jenny Doan at The Missiouri Star Quilt Co. You could use this pattern to make a very scrappy quilt with leftover 10" squares.

Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Tennessee Memories - Glass and Crystal

Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Short Thoughts On Marriage

Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 

Here is a collection of short thoughts about marriage at The Home Maker's Corner. I hope that they will be a blessing and help to you and also make you think.

Short Thoughts On Marriage

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Evening Song - Holy, Holy, Holy

Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Homemade Hairspray - Link

Here is short tutorial for making your own homemade hairspray. I have not tried it yet, but I think it is very interesting and something worth considering. For those who have allergies to fragrances and perfumes and certain ingredients in things like hairspray, this is a possibly alternative. My friend Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose shared this great idea. :-)

Citrus Hairspray

By the way, I use clear aloe vera gel instead of hair gel. Mine still has some questionable ingredients, but it is much better than the usual ingredients in many hair products. It provides a gentle hold but, for me, it is sufficient for most days just to keep my hair a little neater.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Come unto Me, Ye Weary

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

Come unto Me, Ye Weary

"Come unto me, ye weary, and I will give you rest."
O blessed voice of Jesus which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of benediction, of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending, of love which cannot cease.

"Come unto me, dear children, and I will give you light."
O loving voice of Jesus which comes to cheer the night!
Our hearts were filled with sadness, and we had lost our way;
But morning brings us gladness, and songs the break of day.

"Come unto me, ye fainting, and I will give you life."
O peaceful voice of Jesus which comes to end our strife!
The foe is stern and eager, the fight is fierce and long;
But Thou hast made us mighty, and stronger than the strong.

"And whomsoever cometh, I will not cast him out."
O patient love of Jesus which drives away our doubt;
Which calls us, very sinners, unworthy though we be
Of love so free and boundless, to come, dear Lord to Thee!

William Dix

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 

John 7:37-38 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. 

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Evening Song - Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Psalm 107:8-9 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 

Psalm 117:1-2 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Friday, January 11, 2019

FREE Scripture Graphic - Snowy Cottage Scene, Isaiah 32:17

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.] :-)


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Short Thoughts - One Stick At A Time

African woman carrying load of sticks.

Here is a short quote that really spoke to me. How often we hold onto things that we were not meant to carry! As we continue through this year let us remember to not carry more than the Lord would give us each day.

Matthew 6:34 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. 

“I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of the year to a great bundle of sticks, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today, and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow, and so on. This we might easily manage, if we would only take the burden appointed for us each day; but we choose to increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's stick over again today, and adding tomorrow's burden to our load, before we are required to bear it."
- John Newton


This poem goes well with this thought:

The Heaviest Cross - by Annie Johnson Flint

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 

Original photo by my grandfather, Glenn Hoover.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Evening Song - One Hour of Hymns on Piano

Here is an hour of restful piano hymns for you to enjoy. :-) (Please remember I don't have control over commercials, ads, or the videos displayed at the end.)

Friday, January 4, 2019

Loaded Chips and Cheese

You can make chips and cheese into a fully balanced meal! This is one of the great things about it – that and melted cheese. What cheese lover can resist that? :-)  (Note of our foreign friends – the kind of chips used for this are corn tortilla chips, just in case you don’t know that.)

To make the loaded chips and cheese pictured above I fully cooked some chicken breast strips and seasoned them with Mexican type seasoning (garlic, onion, red pepper, cumin, oregano) and salt.

Then, after spreading the corn chips on a baking sheet, I added the chicken, sliced black olives and grated cheese.  I added some more spices to make the entire batch more flavorful. I baked it in the oven (350F-375F)  just till the cheese melted and then sprinkled it with fresh, diced tomatoes before serving it. Supper in one pan! :-)

Pinto or black beans from a can or precooked (rinsed and well drained) could be used here in place of the chicken meat, or added to it to “stretch” it. You could also use cooked, drained ground beef.

Other toppings you could use to make a complete meal of it:

- mozzarella; pepperoni; fully cooked, crumbled sausage (drained and patted dry with paper towel); mushrooms; olives and other pizza toppings (use the sauce for dip if you want it, or sprinkle basil, garlic and oregano on top of the cheese before baking).

- good melting cheese of your choice, thin sliced steak (fully cooked); chopped, canned artichoke hearts (well drained and patted dry); and sautéed garlic cloves (drained). Add fresh chopped tomatoes after removing it from the oven. Season with herbs of your choice – maybe fresh, chopped basil? Mmmm.

- fully cooked, drained ground beef (drain on paper towel); garbanzo beans; pitted kalamata olives; lightly sautéed garlic; crumbled feta cheese.  (You could use mozzarella with this as well.)  Top this with fresh, shredded lettuce, chopped cucumber, and/or tomatoes.  You could also spray the top lightly with olive oil before to add flavor.

- cheddar cheese; cooked, drained ground beef; and finely chopped dill pickles. Add chopped, diced tomatoes; shredded lettuce; and diced onion or chopped green onions after it is finished baking. "Sprinkle" ketchup and mustard over it. (This is for a cheese burger type taste.) :-)


Obviously all the cheese needs to be grated, or in the case of feta crumbled, before use.

You could use leftover meat for this such as shredded chicken, turkey, beef, or pork.

Anything you want fresh needs to be added after removing from the oven.

I have not tried all these toppings. I’m just thinking these through as I write. Be adventuresome and think up some of your own that sound good to you. Just remember not to use anything very wet or oily or the chips may get soggy.

Also, using safe cheese and other ingredients, this recipe can be made gluten free.

First published here 1/2011. Edited.