Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? - the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. - Psalm 18:31-36
The goodness of God is stamped all over Scripture. Psalm 27:13 says, "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (NASB). I love David's honesty. Here was the only man called "a man after [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14), anointed by Samuel to be king of Israel, a giant-slayer, but no stranger to suffering, saying, "I would have lost it; I would have melted down if I had not believed..."
Despair is a place that you don't want anyone to go. People who go there often don't come back. Despair is an utterly dark place. You're deep down, down, down, in a damp, dark cave. No light. No air. No hope. Nobody wants to go to despair.
The dictionary defines despair as "destitute of positive expectations." If you're in despair, you can't see anything good in your future.
You have no idea how life could improve.
You have no words to pray.
You can't return to a better time because there isn't one. The place is gone.
You can't remove the circumstances because the opportunity is gone.
You can't retrieve any level of relationship because the person is gone.
You can't do it over because the time has passed.
If you focus on the dark and the deep and the damp, you're going into despair.
Picture a blinking, neon warning light here. If you find yourself dwelling on some painful or difficult thing that happened to you in the past to the point that it's the only thing you can think about—please, stop! You're headed straight for despair. Second Corinthians 10:5 says that we are to "take every thought captive to obey Christ." You can choose where you allow your thoughts to go. David did.
David knew the damp, dark desperation of the land of despair. The enemy called out to him, Come over here, David. Go to the bottom. Give it up. David said, "I heard a voice tempting me to go to despair." He felt its breath hot on his neck, chasing his hope away. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy the faithful follower of Christ. You'll hear that voice too. Learn to recognize it and turn around. ~ James MacDonald "The Weekly Walk"
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Why? because it turned out!... ta da :)
You want a bite, don't you?
Well, I say "Stand back!" No snitching !
(Go ahead click on the picture...he, he)
(although I think it should be called chiffon!)
Monday, February 23, 2009
Outside my window... the sun plays "peek-a-boo" but is so lovely.
I am thinking...random thoughts, and how nice it will be to hear Keriann sing on Sunday!
I am thankful for... God's mercies which are new each morning.
From the kitchen...I can see my scottie napping.
I am wearing...yoga grey pants and a navy long sleeve tee.
I am creating...nothing just now.
I am going...maybe to Keri's later.
I am reading...Fearlessly Feminine
I am hoping... to get reasonably good news about my dog.
I am hearing...Keri tell me about her new sofa!
Around the house ...it is quiet, and I love it :)
A few plans for the rest of the week...taking my dog to a surgical specialist :(
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...I caught site of Kaitlyn in the mirror and thought this would make an interesting picture.
To join in the fellowship of The Simple Woman's Day Book click here.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I had some time alone to sit and have a cup of tea (Vanilla Chai :) and I decided to visit Stacy McDonald's "Your Sacred Calling" and read her latest post "The Myth of the Perfect Family".
I found this post particularly interesting as the result of looking at other families can be such a tremendous stumbling block. I say this from an experiential standpoint. It is a good thing to be encouraged by others, it is another to make them the standard. I agree with Stacey that for the most part people don't want to be the standard for someone else. Personally the thought of it makes me weak. Others desire to be. Regardless, the Word of God is clear...he who compares Himself to others is unwise ... The last word in that sentence makes it clear; unwise means lacking wisdom. The verb is present tense, presently without wisdom...(I hate when I find myself there, as is sometime the case.)
It seems that women can be especially vulnerable to this kind of deceit, we love to look ways of improvement, whether it be improving our home, our appearance, our family life. The intention is without fault. Setting others as an example, or comparing ourselves becomes the fault. I personally need to be on guard that in wanting to attain higher ground for my family I do not allow the devil to set this stumbling block of discouragement, and for me that is what it is.
I am thankful to Stacey for reminding me to keep my eyes on Jesus and to be ever thankful for the tremendous grace of God in my life. I encourage you to read both articles, you will have to come away blessed!
"...The life of Joshua tells us, no matter what we’re facing, to be strong, be courageous. Over the coming days on Revive Our Hearts, I hope you’ll take a careful look at the life of Joshua with me. His example is going to help you deal with troubled finances, with family stress and with anything else that may be causing you to be fearful..."
..."How many of you have more problems now, in some ways—or bigger problems—than you had before you became a Christian? You have one significant problem less, and that is that you’ve got your eternal salvation established. But in terms of temporal issues, you may be feeling, “I’ve got bigger problems now,” whether it’s your health, family issues, financial issues or relational challenges."
“Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.” The children of Israel needed to remember, and we need to remember, how they got to Rephidim. How did they get there? Well, in verse 1, which we didn’t look at, when they first went to Rephidim, it says they went “according to the commandment of the LORD.” Why were they there in this place where the enemy could come and attack them? Because God had led them there. They were in a place of obedience. ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss
I was visiting "Loving Hearts at Home", and saw that Keriann was posting on this new series that Nancy Leigh DeMoss is presently doing on Joshua. It was such an encouragement to me I thought I would spread "the goodness" :D ...Don't miss out!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I hide from Your presence?
Search me, O God, and know my heart:try me, and know my anxious thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me. ~Psalm 139: 1,7,23
The truth is, living in agreement with God will bring His conviction when we are disobedient. Conviction may feel like a negative thing, but it's just as much a part of God as His smile. He is committed to making our lives work in Him, and He will use the strength and power of His conviction to let us know when we are outside His will. It may feel bad, but conviction is God at work in us. ~ David Edwards ( "The God of Yes")
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I hope you will find the following quotes of Mr. Adams inspiring and thought provoking.
* The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.
o Letter to Abigail Adams (July 3, 1776)
* A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
o Letter to Abigail Adams (July 17, 1775
* I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all.
o Letter to Horatio Gates (March 23, 1776)
* Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, "that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."
o Letter to Abigail Adams (July 3, 1776)
* Virtue is not always amiable.
o Diary (February 9, 1779)
* In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
* Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.
* I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.
* My country has contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
o On the Vice-Presidency
* Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
* The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.
* The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
Monday, February 16, 2009
My Simple Woman's Day Book for 2/16/09
Outside my window...the ice and snow are finally gone :D
I am thinking...of what to have for dinner this evening.
I am thankful for...my wonderful husband and all of his care.
From the kitchen...it's quiet and a pot of Carmel tea waits for me mmmm...
I am wearing...yoga pants and a tee.
I am creating...a quilt I hope to finish soon.
I am going...to the gym shortly.
I am reading...Fearlessly Feminine
I am hoping...my mother and father-in-law had a lovely 51st Anniversary !
I am hearing...Kaitlyn playing something lovely on the piano.
Around the house...things are straightened, and peaceful.
One of my favorite things...is my little Scottie dog, Biddy!
A few plans for the rest of the week:Helping Frank with the remodeling of a bedroom,
simple running around errands, and maybe some painting.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...of my Biddy, my Scott in her winter fashions :D
To join in the fellowship of The Simple Woman's Day Book click here.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Frank is the World's Greatest Uncle to be sure, he has such a way with the children, and they just love him. A blessing to be sure.
(If you listen carefully, in the background you will hear my Seamus crying because it's time to leave, and Declan running around, just being "D", and I love it all!)
Friday, February 13, 2009
“A good wife is Heaven’s last, best gift to man, his angel and minister of graces innumerable, his gem of many virtues; her voice his sweetest music, her smiles his brightest day, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the sure balsam of his life; her industry his surest wealth, her economy his safest steward, her lips his faithful counselor, her bosom the softest pillow of his cares, and her prayers the ablest advocate of Heaven’s blessing on his head.” ~J.R. Miller, Home Making
"Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To painful labor, both by sea and land;
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience-
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And no obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I asham’d that women are so simple
‘To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions, and our hearts,
Should well agree with our external parts?"
-Kate, “The Taming of the Shrew"
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay.
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persevere
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for "In him we live and move and have our being." - Acts 17:24-28
I got a great e-mail from my dad today. At the end he wrote, "Will be in unceasing prayer for you and yours on every front known to me and of course through other fronts that I know little or nothing of, but God my Father knows in full detail and has under His sovereign control." He then adds, "I've been in Psalm 103 all this week. Love and kisses, Dad."
My dad is a great believer. He knows all about the sovereignty of God. If you want to comfort your heart and have something to give to another believer, you've got to understand the biblical doctrine of the sovereignty of God. No matter what happens or comes our way, we have a God who is in complete control.
God never overpromises and under-delivers. Why? Because there is nothing too hard for Him. He can do anything . . . and everything. He is in complete control.
You say, control of what? What do you mean by 'everything'? That's sort of a crazy question, but I'll expound on it a little bit for you. In Acts 17, Paul was preaching; in verse 24 he said, "The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man . . . He doesn't needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything."
Take a deep breath right now. In . . . and out. . . . The capacity to take that breath is a gift from God. Continuing, verse 28 says, "In him we live and move and have our being." We are reliant upon Him for every breath.
God is so in control that He rules the universe with His feet up. He's not stressed or strained in any way. He could have made the universe a billion times more complex than it is. He's God and He is sovereign.
This truth lies behind every one of God's promises. The reason why He can be present with us is because He's sovereign. The reason why He can listen to all of our prayers at the same time is because He is sovereign. How many hundreds of people were out of bed and on their knees last night, calling out to God - and He hears every one of us at the same time. Why? Because He's God and He's sovereign.
Action item: Take a step back from your life and look at the world from a broader perspective. Thank God for His masterful control of all the things that work together to keep our world together - from the spinning of the Solar System to the next breath you take. Acknowledge God's sovereignty. Thank Him for His gracious control.