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Monday, December 28, 2020

FREE Vintage Scripture Graphic - John 14:27


Here is another vintage graphic edited by yours truly. 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 for printing purposes if you go and download it here. (Use the download button on the left.) 

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, December 27, 2020

The Wall and the Hedge - by Annie Johnson Flint

The Wall and the Hedge

Hast not thou made an hedge about him...on every side?...
Job 1:10

"The devil may wall you around, but he cannot roof you in."
Dan Crawford

The devil may wall you round
But he cannot roof you in;
He may fetter your feet and tie your hands
And strive to hamper your soul with bands
As his way has always been;
But he cannot hide the face of God,
And the Lord shall be your Light,
And your eyes and your thoughts can rise to the sky,
Where His clouds and His winds and His birds go by,
And His stars shine out at night.

The devil may wall you round;
He may rob you of all things dear...

First published here in 2017.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Evening Song - Sunshine In My Soul

Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 

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Friday, December 25, 2020

Jesus Knows Thy Sorrow


This may be a repeat post here, but it is a good poem for this time of year. There are usually a lot of hurting hearts around this season, but this year is especially so. Jesus knows and understands if you are hurting right now. Take your burdens and struggles to Him.

Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Jesus Knows Thy Sorrow

Jesus knows thy sorrow,
Knows thine every care;
Knows thy deep contrition,
Hears thy feeblest prayer;
Do not fear to trust Him --
Tell Him all thy grief;
Cast on Him thy burden,
He will bring relief.
Trust the heart of Jesus,
Thou art precious there;
Surely He would shield thee
From the tempter's snare;
Safely He would lead thee,
By His own sweet way,
Out into the glory
Of a brighter day.
Jesus knows thy conflict,
Hears thy burdened sigh;
When thy heart is wounded,
Hears thy plaintive cry;
He thy soul will strengthen,
Overcome thy fears;
He will send thee comfort,
Wipe away thy tears.
--Rev. W.O Cushing

Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Painting by Childe Hasam

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Songs of Comfort and Peace

There are a lot of sad and lonely people right now for various reasons. This is a common time of year for some people to feel alone or depressed. Most of all this has been a very hard year for a lot of us. Here is a collection of hymns and spiritual songs to lift you heart and mind up in the name of the Lord.

Psalm 42:6-11 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Letters to My Friend - Thoughts On the Need for Entertainment


Dear Friend, 

Just some rambling thoughts this time.

I was talking to a friend recently and I mentioned something that stuck with me, namely that I think one of the problems we're having with people going a bit crazy over COVID is that so many people in the U.S. (and other countries, I'm sure) are addicted to entertainment. It is actually "the drug of choice" for many people. I admit that I have to examine myself when I say this because I enjoy a good read and some videos myself at times. These are things that are available at home as much as anywhere. But there are many people who feel compelled to go out somewhere to do something to be entertained. Whether it's eating out, going to a movie, participating in sports, shopping, going to a specific place to be seen, or whatever else, there are many ways people seek entertainment outside their homes.

When my grandpa was a boy their neighbors would sometimes sneak up to their back door, open it, and push a large tub of pop corn through. Then they would walk around to the front door and knock. When someone answered the door they would say they had come over to play games. They knew my grandpa's family was poor (his father was dead) and so they thoughtfully made sure to provide the "refreshments" for the evening. My grandpa remembered those times with genuine fondness. I wonder how many people sit down with neighbors to play games now - not their own specific friends, but their neighbors. A few, I'm sure. But, the need for something more exciting is there for a lot of people. This would be far too tame and "boring."

Continue Reading.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Evening Song - How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours

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. 

How tedious and tasteless the hours
When Jesus no longer I see!
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flow'rs,
Have all lost their sweetness to me.
The midsummer sun shines but dim;
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
December's as pleasant as May.

His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice;
I should, were He always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal so happy as I;
My summer would last all the year.

Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned,
No changes of seasons or place
Would make any change in my mind.
While blest with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.

Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my sun and my song,
Say, why do I languish and pine?
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from my sky;
Thy soul-cheering presence restore,
Or take me unto Thee on high,
Where winters and clouds are no more.

- John Newton

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Tennessee Memories - One Frosty Morning


Psalm 147:17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? 

All photos taken near Kingston, Tenn. These ice formations were on the windows of my dad's truck.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Harden not Your Heart

Hebrews 4:6-10 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Harden not Your Heart

There is a time, I know not when,
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men
To heaven or despair.

There is a line by us not seen
Which crosses every path,
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Evening Song - Have You Counted the Cost?

Romans 1:20-32 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

 Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 

Note: This song mentions exhausting the love you God. Yon can't exhaust the love of God (Romans 8). But it is possible to sin away the day of grace and reject God's truth repeatedly to the point where He gives one over to a reprobate mind.

There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting the Lord,
Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng—
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

Have you counted the cost if your soul should be lost,
Though you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed—
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

You may barter your hope of eternity’s morn
For a moment of joy at the most,
For the glitter of sin and the things it will win—
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

While the door of His mercy is open to you,
Ere the depth of His love you exhaust,
Won’t you come and be healed, won’t you whisper, “I yield—
I have counted, I have counted the cost.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tiny Watercolor Vignettes Tutorial

Here is a tutorial from Ellen Crimi-Trent for some cute little watercolor vignettes. These are quite easy to do and they would be nice for adding to a greeting card or scrapbook or other paper craft. Use your imagination.

Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Is It Our Christian Duty to Wear A Mask?

This article has not been easy to write. It is one that I have been hesitating over for awhile. I have tried to be reasonably straightforward without being too harsh. Please know that I have tried to restrain my feelings quite a bit in order to hopefully make this more useful. This is a subject which I'm actually feel very deeply because it affects so many of us in ways that it ought not. I have seen few, if any, churches that take this seriously and require masks for services regardless of what the local laws say. This makes me sad because it keeps some of us from the fellowship of the believers that we otherwise might enjoy. Please prayerfully consider what I have to say.


Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

In the book of Genesis after Cain killed his brother Abel, we read, "And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" Genesis 4:9 In verse 10 the Lord answers him, "...What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."

One of the outstanding and well known facets of Christianity is that we are supposed to be our brother's keeper. In addition, we are meant to do good to those who are not even of the household of faith. That was the point of the story of the Good Samaritan, wasn't it? And yet, we hear people regularly making excuse for disregarding the basic kindnesses that will help to stop the spread of a terrible sickness. Worse, there are too many who are denying the seriousness of it, mocking those who do the responsible thing, and even claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax and doesn't exist. (Some of those people are ending up in the hospital now terribly sick and confused how it could happen to them since it wasn't even "real." Yeah, true story.)

The thing that eats at me and gives me grief is how people who profess to love God and His word have strayed so far from it in the matter of basic Christian love and kindness. I know, you have your rights - maybe your "American rights" - to do what you want to do and no government can stop you. But what if Someone higher than the national or local government has spoken to this issue? Because He has, and it is dumbfounding how quickly and completely so many have turned their backs on Him and sought their own way and will (Prv. 14:12).

Continue Reading.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Evening Song - I Would Love to Tell You What I Think of Jesus

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

Romans 8:38-39 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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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Benefits of Fewer Toys for Children

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. 

We don't have kids, but as I've looked sometimes at the possessions of other people's children, I've felt that there was a serious problem with how many toys they own. This video makes a lot of sense to me. I had quite a bit as a kid, from my perspective, but compared to some kids now my family didn't have a lot and we were told "no" on a regular basis. We were also encouraged to think long term as we got older. We were told to think about saving for something more expensive rather than spending our little money on cheap junk. We were encouraged to ask for gifts that would last us into our teens and possibly beyond rather than age-limited play toys.  That might be something you could add to your thoughts, if you haven't already. 

And kudos for the point about parents dealing with their own clutter first. The best way to lead is by example. Child hearts need a leader, not someone who just wants to throw out their stuff because they're in charge. My grandmother was pretty much scarred for life by parents who threw away all her stuff except one doll every time they moved - and they moved often.