Monday, December 13, 2010

Tupperware Christianity

I like what David Robinson says in "Ancient Paths"

"Many people have a "Tupperware" understanding of the spiritual life. In this view, faith and religion are kept in plastic containers with sealed lids. Our faith seldom mixes with the rest of our lives. Such people tend to ignore God at their workplace, in a restaurant, or while making love, or knitting a scarf. Those realms are in their own separate plastic containers called Career, Food, Sex, and Hobbies. Religion is just one more container. Benedict saw the Christian life differently. Spirituality is more like the coolant in the refrigerator. It infuses every container, moving right through the plastic lids and containers, keeping everything fresh and new. The ladder of humility moves us away from a compartmentalized approach to God. We begin to allow God into every aspect of our life, infusing our life with freshness."

Monday, November 8, 2010


A quote from St. Francis de Sales:

"Considered in themselves, trials certainly cannot be loved, but looked at in their origin--that is, in God's Providence and ordaining will--they are worthy of unlimited love.......Tribulations considered in themselves are dreadful things; looked at in God's will , they are things of love and delight. Often have we felt disgust for remedies and medicines when a doctor or apothecary gives them to us, but when offered to us by some loved hand love conquers our loathing and we take them with joy. In fact, love either removes the harsh character of suffering or makes pleasant our experience of it."

"........Afflictions are like that. If we look at them apart from God's will, they are naturally bitter. If we consider them in that eternal good pleasure, we find them all gold and more lovely and precious than can be described."

Well, this is something to think is easier when I look back on a trial than when I am in one, however!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spiritual insight by the wee grandkids?

My daughter told us about the conversations of her two kiddies above. One is 4 and one is 2. Rhianwen is the 4 year old girl:

Funny conversation:
Rhianwen to Alden about if God is here with us: "Do you know how to obey without Him?"
Alden: silent
Rhianwen: "Ok, then, He's here!"
Take that, atheists ;0) From the mouth of babes...

Alden to mommy: "Is there food in heaven?"
Mommy: "The Bible says that there's a banquet, so I think so."
Alden: "I like God."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What the miners shirts said!!!

Did you know that one of the first things the miners asked for after they were first found was Bibles. Now look at this video and find out what their shirts said as they came out of the mines!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blogging Break


I have been on a break in the Mountains. I will return at some point and catch up with you all!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When we suffer

This below was helpful to me. It is a quote from Jared Wilson's blog found here:

How to Carry the Death of Jesus in Our Bodies When We Suffer
2 Corinthians 4:6-12

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

This is a beautiful, confounding passage. The image at work is the frailty of a clay vessel concealing a priceless treasure ("the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"). It is something eternally valuable placed inside something with an expiration date. We are dime store piggy banks holding within us the Hope Diamond. What Paul is getting at with this imagery is that when the jar is broken, as in suffering, the treasure becomes visible.

When we suffer, we show what we're really made of.

The purpose of suffering for the believer, then, is to reveal this light of Christ, to reveal the image of Christ, and we do this first by suffering as he suffered, by being conformed to the image of the crucified Savior. But how do we do that? How can we actively engage, in the midst of our hurts and brokenness, in carrying the death of Jesus in our bodies so that the life of Jesus is visible in our bodies?

I look to the actual dying of Jesus for help. In his words from the cross, I see the means of dying and dying to myself in a cross-centered way.

1. Be Honest with God

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Jesus is here quoting Psalm 22, and as I have argued in Your Jesus is Too Safe, I don't believe God actually forsook Jesus on the cross, as Psalm 22 is not about being forsaken by God at all, but actually about God not forsaking his children. But the opening of Psalm 22 and Jesus' words here are certainly about feeling forsaken. And in this we find the okay to be honest with God. Many times, either out of fear of the pain of further vulnerability or out of bad theology that tells us to put on a happy face or God won't like us, we hold back from God, thinking we may leverage his healing or his comfort or his approval by sucking it up and pretending we aren't hurting. But the psalmists don't do this. The prophets don't do this. And Jesus didn't do this. You can't hide anything from God anyway. He sees you're hurting. Be honest with him. He can take it. Being honest with God is the way of holding no part ourselves back, the way of laying it all on the altar for his dealing. This is precisely what Jesus did, even in his anguish. We show that Jesus was real, in more ways than one, when we agree to expose all to God.

2. Forgive

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

One ironic way to embrace the power of God in the midst of hurt is to forgive those who have hurt you. Unforgiveness brews bitterness, which does not alleviate pain but exacerbates it. When we forgive our enemies and bless those who persecute us, we glorify God by acknowledging he is the sovereign Judge over all and that vengeance is his. And we highlight the treasure of Christ, who forgave all the way to death those who hate him.

3. Submit to God's Sovereignty

"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

This is the dying man's way of saying "Not my will, but yours be done." We may not know all the why's of our suffering, but as Rich Mullins sang, "It would not hurt any less, even if it could be explained." As Christians, what we can know is that God has purposed pain to remind us that the world and those of us who live in it are broken, fallen because of sin. We can know that "pain is God's megaphone," as C.S. Lewis reminds us, to wake up to the reality that something is wrong, that we are in need of a Fixer. And we can know, thanks to the revelation of God that is his written word, that the grand purpose of suffering for the Christian is to be conformed to the image of Christ. We can commit our spirit into the Father's hands by ditching our pleas for fairness and trusting that God is revealing the treasure of Christ in our bodies through our bodies' very decay. Let us look forward to the resurrection, when we will have new eternal bodies, powered by the Spirit and awash in the glory of the risen Son. Let us amen Job's oath: "Though you slay me, yet will I trust you." The sufferer who is able to say this makes Christ look big.

4. Center on the Gospel of Jesus Christ

"It is finished."

The work is done. This is the great message of the good news: he has done it! (Also the final cry of Psalm 22.) We can hope in our suffering, then, that the finished work of Christ, when believed with our hearts, is a down payment on the work begun in us. The gospel tells us that we are forgiven from sin, that we stand under grace, that we have the blessed hope of Christ's return, that we will be resurrected as he was, and that we stand to receive the inheritance of Christ's rich presence in the new heavens and the new earth. The gospel tells us that God will be faithful to finish the work he started. So the fragility of our jars of clay is not just our winding down for the grave, but our winding up for eternity. When we center on the gospel as we suffer, we communicate as dying men to dying men that there is real hope for real people. We make Christ manifest in this witness. With Job we can declare, "Though worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh I will see God. My eyes will behold him." And: "I know my redeemer lives and in the end he will stand upon the earth."

If we can apply these words from the cross in our times of suffering, we can carry the cross-shaped death of Jesus in our bodies, thereby revealing that he who is the life everlasting is our true treasure.
Posted by Jared at 8:30 AM 3 comments

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cruciform love--more about it in marriage

I have gotten back to Paul Tripp's book called What did you Expect??Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. He talks about cruciform love and its context in marriage. He wants to tell us how Christlike love thinks and acts in marriage. Since this is helpful to me, I want to place some of his descriptive points down here. These are QUOTES:

1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.

2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer and excuse or shift the blame.

6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.

10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.

12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse's character or assault his or her intelligence.

14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

15. Love is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning, and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.

16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.

17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.

18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn't seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.

19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.

20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

22. Love is daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God's protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering is fundamentally deeper and more active than some warm, romantic, feeling.....No, love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person's good in view.

"This comprehensive, lifelong relationship is a tool in the hands of God to expose our delusions of wisdom, righteousness, and strength and to mobilize us to seek help. And there is help, wonderful and sufficient help, for all who seek it."

His book fleshes all of these points out in more detail in just one of the chapters. This is helpful to me---it is a goal to look toward and a key help in examining my love.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A sobering quote from Ryle

In Ryle's book on Holiness he says,

"A single day in hell will be worse than a whole life spent in carrying the cross."

I need to meditate on this one.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sweet Lamb of God

-Sweet Lamb of God

I also had a song my a very young child singing Amazing Grace but the link doesn't work any more so deleted it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Orthodoxy and what it should mean to us from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo. This is a quote from Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. The book sounds interesting and he allows us to read a chapter from his book if you go to his blog here:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unexpected help-How God can supply all of our needs

Cindy at asked us to share about how someone helped me when I least expected it. There will be a link up at her blog this Friday-Sunday.

This is a story that took place early on in our marriage.[I love how God does things in our lives to teach us principles that impact us for the rest of our days!]
We had recently moved from CT to Oklahoma and we were basically broke financially. We had one child, who had not turned one and another on the way.

We believed that the minimum God required of us as for financially supporting our church was the ten percent tithe. One week we just did not have the money. We really desired to give him the ten percent, not out of legalism, but just because we loved Him and wanted to do this. As we looked at what we owned, we realized that we had our high school class rings that were worth some money for the gold with which they were made. These rings were rings we did not wear, and really did not need. So we pawned them and recieved 90 dollars which would cover the tithe (I can't remember if this was for one week or two?).

On Sunday we gave the money to the church. Later in the week, it may have been Monday, we recieved the exact 90 dollars in the mail from my brother who lived in Texas. He had written a note saying that God had really layed it on his heart to give us this money and this amount. He said it was such a conviction by the Holy Spirit he had to do it. This had never occured with my brother and us and never has occurred again in our relationship (over 30 years ago, now!). My brother knew nothing of our struggles or our needs.

God was using this to teach both my brother and ourselves that He will provide our needs even when we are broke and that when we give to Him he will do as Malachi says--in 3: 10 and following: "Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And therby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. ...."

I want to testify that God has always done this. He has enabled us to be debt free--we owe no money on our home or cars. Our three children graduated from college debt free, including my daughter who received her doctorate. This was not due to our salary, but to God giving money from different sources. He is amazing. He is faithful. He even provided socks for me at one point when I just could not afford to buy them, but that is another story.

I am so thankful for the way that God provides. He has often provided above what we ever expected. We have gone through times of real need, with no job....but even then God provided a shelter, food, clothes, and family. He constantly amazes me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Part of a letter I don't want to loose on perseverance of the saints

In answer to a question about Hebrews 6 . What are verses that deal with not loosing your salvation:

As far as verses about not loosing your salvation, scripture has to agree with scripture. I have basically seen the Hebrew passages [such as Hebrews 6--there are more than one) as examples of Matt 13:1-9 which is the parable of the sower. Jesus talks about the seeds in verse 5 -"Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold.....etc . I think as in Hebrews 6 it is possible to have a taste of the Holy Spirit working, and to be enlightened and to taste the goodness of the word etc, and not to be saved. You can be sitting under the preaching of the word and be enlightened by the Spirit and taste him, but not be saved. True Christians who have experienced salvation by the indwelling Spirit of God will be those in verse 8 of the parable.

Here are some verses about not loosing salvation:

John 316--that whoever believes in him should not perish but HAVE ETERNAL Life.

John 5:24--Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS ETERNAL LIFE. He does not come into judgment , BUT HAS PASSED from death to life.

John 6:47--Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes HAS ETERNAL LIFE.

John 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood HAS eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

**John 10:27 and following is powerful: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I GIVE them ETERNAL LIFE, and NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and NO ONE is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.

I believe all of this has to do with the perseverance of the saints. True believers will persevere in their belief. Heb 3 :14 "for we SHARE in Christ, IF INDEED we hold our original confidence firm to the end." Those that fall away really did not SHARE IN CHrist.

Philippianns 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Matt 18:14: So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."

Ephesians 1: 3 and following 3"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even AS HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for ADOPTION through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, WITH WHICH HE HAS BLESSED us IN THE BELOVED. 7 IN him we HAVE REDEMPTION through HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR TRESPASSES, according to the riches of his grace, 8 WHICH HE LAVISHED upon us, in all wisdom and insight, 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ ......

{notice adoption couldn't be reversed in Roman times--also notice the tense of the verbs)


verse 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, WERE SEALED with the promised HOLY Spirit, 14 who is the GUARANTEE of our INHERITANCE until we acquire posession of it, to the praise of his glory."

[We have been chosen before the foundation of the world and SEALED and as John said earlier--no one can snatch us out of his hands]

Ephesians 2 :1 said we were once "DEAD in the trepasses and sins in which you once walked......"

BUT verse 4 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the GREAT LOVE with which HE LOVED US, 5 EVEN WHEN we were DEAD in our trespasses, MADE US ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST--by grace YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED--6 and RAISED us up with him and SEATED us with hiim IN THE HEAVENLY places IN Christ JESUS, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the IMMEASURABLE RICHES OF THIS GRACE IN KINDNESS toward us in CHRIST JESUS. 8 FOR BY GRACE you HAVE BEEN SAVED through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God 9 NOT A RESULT of WORks so that no one may boast. 10 For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED in Christ Jesus for good works, which GOD PREPARED bEFOREHAND, that we should walk in them."

[note--we were once dead in our sins but now are alive. by grace you HAVE BEEN SAVED--past tense--done deal. EVen our raising and seating in the heavenly places is past tense--done deal. pretty wonderful stuff here in Ephesians! yippppppeeee!---so a person who is in Christ who has passed from death to life will persevere in belief because of God's power, grace, towards us}

II Thes 3:3 'But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one."

Romans 8:35-39--nothing shall separate us from the love of God--not death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, .......etc.

As one guy put it--"The moment one believes, eternal life becomes a reality, a present possession, and not merely a conditional gift of the future. " John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever." As this commentator put it" He does not say that we have to eat many times, but that if we eat at all, we shall live for ever." Also "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life"--John 4:14.

1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God GAVE US ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever HAS the SON HAS LIFE; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. "

Heb 10:14 "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."

II Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom...."

Romans 8: 29-30 "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whhom he justified he also glorified."

As one guy has put it : "Christ makes intercession for His people (Rom.8:34; Heb 7:25), and we are told that the Father hears Him always (John 11:42). Hence the Arminian, holding that Christians may fall away must deny either the passages which declare that Christ does make intercession for His people, or he must deny those which declare that His prayers are always heard. Let us consider here how well protected we are: Christ is at the right hand of God pleading for us, and in addition to that , the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Romans 8:26."

Here are some more references: Jer. 32:40, Ezek 11:19-20. I peter 1:5, II Cor 9:8, Romans 14:4, II Tim 2:19, Luke 10:20, Phil 4:3, Rev 3:5, 13:8 17:8, 20:12-15; 21:27 (These last passages refer to the lamb's book of life--one guy says, "basically the names of the righteous are found there;but the names of those who perish have never been written there from the foundation of the world {read those passages]. God does not make the mistake of writing in the book of life a name which He will later have to blot out. Hence none of the Lord's own ever perish. Jesus told His disciples to find their chief joy in the fact that their names were written in heaven, Luke 1020; yet there would have been small grounds for joy in this respect if their names written in heaven one day could have been blotted out the next."

There is a good reference to the perseverence of the saints on page 1627 in the Reformation study Bible (esv). I like this paragraph, "In declaring the eternal security of God's people it is perhaps clearer to speak of their preservation than, as is usually done, of their perseverance. Perseverance means continued adherence to a belief despite discouragement and opposition. The reason that believers persevere in faith and obedience, however, is not the strength of their own commitment, but that Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit preserves them. "

It gives a whole bunch of references in this place on page 1627. It does not mean that all who ever professed to be Christians will be saved....nor those who try to live a Christian life in their own abilities...some will say Lord, Lord Matt 7:21-23......but it is those who have truly believed and been regenerated by God. These true believers, may backslide...but the Holy Spirit will not leave them alone--he will convict, and compel them to repent and be restored.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A favorite verse this week

Cindy at is doing a linky with our favorite verse this Friday.(I am also participating in WOW-see sidebar) I think I will change this up a bit and share the verses which God is using this week in my life. It actually is 2 verses:

Is 58:10-11

10. if you pour yourself out for the
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you
and satisfy your desire in scorched
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail

I just finished reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I want to search my life. I want to think about what it means to do what this verse 10 says--pouring yourself out for the hungry....the afflicted. It is a challenge. As I think about how most people in the world live (in much poverty) and as I think about how we are to love others the way Christ loves us, I am challenged to apply this verse 10. Already He has been providing extra money to give. But this verse goes way beyond this. I need to pray, seek, and do.

MY PRAYER for MYSELF: "O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The coolest dance and song

See side bar -the Hungarian Ressurrection Day song.
My Son sent me this; it is fantastic--the dancing, and the words together! This is what it says about it:

On April 4, 2010, over 1,300 young people, all of them members of Faith Church celebrated Resurrection Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.

Music: Ferenc Balogh Jr.
Lyrics: Shelly Matos, based on the Hungarian text by Tamas Pajor (Tompage)
Producer: Ákos Nemes
Art Producer: Tamás Pajor (Tompage)
Dear Friends,

Thank you for your interest and for all your kind words! We are glad to inform you that we will start a new webpage soon called where you will find other materials in connection with the dance video (e.g. a Trainer Video and The Making of the Dance). We also make arrangements with similarly high quality intellectual products: musics, flash mobs, actions, etc. These products will be also available on our webpage. Please visit us after one or one and a half month.
Till then please send our link to your friends!
We are also waiting for your comments, then we can send you advice notes about our new actions!

Best wishes,
The Resurrection Sunday Dance Team

Friday, July 9, 2010

the long Goodnight by matthew smith

The Long Goodnight by Matthew Smith - Joshua Harris

I love the song and the words--a good reminder when our loved ones in Christ die. Click the l above hear the music! Josh put this on his blog because his mom was dying. She died on the 4th. She was a vibrant Christian--

I journey forth rejoicing
From this dark vale of tears,
To heavenly joy and freedom,
From earthly bonds and fears;
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!

Why thus so sadly weeping,
Beloved ones of my heart?
The Lord is good and gracious,
Though now He bids us part.
Oft have we met in gladness.
And we shall meet again,
All sorrow left behind us.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!

I go to see His glory,
Whom we have loved below:
I go, the blessed angels,
The holy saints to know.
Our lovely ones departed,
I go to find again,
And wait for you to join us.
Goodnight, goodnight till then

I hear the Saviour calling,
The joyful hour has come:
The angel guards are ready
To guide me to our home,
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Relationships in Marriage = love barometer

I like this quote from Paul Tripp in his book--"What did you Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage" ----

Based on 1 John 4 and especially verse 20("If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen"), Tripp states:

"Your love for your husband or wife is a very accurate barometer of your true love for God."

Now this is something to think about! For other intersesting quotes this week go here to the Monday post about a "Week in Words:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cruciform love

I have been reading Paul Tripp's book called--What Did You Expect??Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.

In this book he gives a definition of what he feels cruciform love is: "Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving."

I like this definition and it is good to think on. He says we get our" best definition of love from the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ's sacrifice of love is the ultimate definition of what love is and what love does. In this passage John is calling us to cruciform love, that is love that shapes itself to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (cruci = 'cross' and form = "in the shape of' ). "

He was applying some of I John 4. I felt this was good to think about and reflect on.

I think I will link this to Barbara's The week in words

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walking as Jesus Walked

I have been thinking about this. In my devotions today I John 2:6 , "whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked" .

I have been reading a book by Andrew Murry called, "With Christ in the School of Prayer." One of the things he says is this:

"And of all the traits of a life like Christ there is none higher and more glorious than conformity to Him in the work that now engages Him without ceasing in the Father's presence--His all-prevailing intercession. the more we abide in Him, and grow unto His likeness, will His priestly life work in us mightily, and our life become what His is, a life that ever pleads and prevails for men."

Hebrews 7:25 says, "Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them."

I am so thankful for His continuous intercession.....I need to do this too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thanks again

God, I am so thankful for your intimate care. I think you for the God Wink you gave us this week. You gave us this verse , "Be still, and know that I am God", along with the Netherlands type picture. You gave us this just when my husband's company had been purchased by a group from the Netherlands. Thank you for reminding us that we can trust in what you have in store for us. Thank you for the way you then turned this around for some rich blessings. What a gracious God you have us beyond what we could hope or think. You are full of surprises. You give us beyond what we deserve. You shower us with blessings and with the glory of your intimacy. You delight to show yourself powerful. I give you thanks for your mercy, your grace, your self-revealing love, your joyful giving nature, your Fatherhood. Praise you from whom all blessings flow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Images and symbols in worship

I found this discussion on Images, signs and symbols here: I wanted to post it here so I could think about what is said. I have been changing my views a bit on this subject. I don't agree with everything in this article--but it gives me something to think on and search the scriptures in this area. The tabernacle was full of symbolism because it was a shadow that points to Christ and to things in the heavenly places. Can we still have things that point to our great redeemer---I now think so. Here is the article

"The use of Images, Signs, and Symbols in Anglican Worship

The concept of using images in worship finds its origins in the Old Testament. The Temple contained numerous visual images, including the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. The Temple Solomon built for the Lord contained many carvings of trees, gourds, flowers, and angels (1 Kings 6). It is clear that God did not forbid images used in the Sanctuary to glorify God.

What about symbols? In reading the Bible we discover that God uses tangible signs and symbols throughout the Scriptures as a way of communicating to God’s people. Often God’s people are instructed to make use of such signs and symbols to help them understand or remember what God is teaching them. :

· God’s use of the rainbow as the sign of God’s covenant to humankind never again to destroy the earth by a flood (Gen.9:13)
· the use unleavened bread by the Israelites as a symbol of their hurried flight out of Egypt
· the use of the blood of the lambs on their doorposts during the Passover as a symbol of their faith
· the use of animals upon the altar for ritual sacrifices to symbolize their sin and atonement
· the image of the bronze serpent Moses used as a symbol of God’s healing (Num. 21:9)
· the use of oil to anoint Israel’s Kings as symbolic of God’s setting them apart
· the placement of the twelve stones in the River Jordan to remind the Israelites of the crossing God had provided for them “as a sign” and “memorial” (Joshua 4:3-7)
· the building of stone altars by the Old Testament patriarchs including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, and David as a symbols and acts of worship to God
· and the numerous symbolic acts carried out by the OT prophets (such as Jeremiah burying a loin cloth to demonstrate Israel’s ruin in Jer.13:4ff).

The examples are nearly limitless. In the New Testament God uses powerful symbols such as:

· the star of Bethlehem to signify the birth of Christ
· the dove to signify the Holy Spirit’s presence at Jesus’ baptism (John 1:32)
· water to signify one’s commitment to Christ at baptism
· bread and wine to signify Jesus’ body and blood.
· And the earliest church usage of the cross and empty tomb as signs and symbols of our faith
· the enduring marks in Jesus’ hands as symbolic of his sacrifice
· the symbol of a lamb to represent Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God

In addition, the Scriptures themselves paint vivid images for us of God in Divine glory. See Isaiah 6 where God is seated on the throne with God’s robes overflowing the Temple, or Daniel 7:9ff where Daniel has a vision the Ancient One with clothes white as snow and hair like pure wool on his throne of fiery flames, or in Revelation with its numerous images and symbols of God, Jesus Christ, and his Kingdom (too many to recount here).

In addition, signs and symbols are used by all of us today to communicate important truths of significance such as wedding rings, birthday cakes, birth stones, red roses, monograms, etc. It is natural way of communicating significant meaning.

The Greatest Sign: The Incarnation

Another important point which must be mentioned is the significance of God taking human form in the person of Jesus Christ. This has powerful ramifications for our worship and the use of images. Now that God has been revealed in a tangible, physical, material way through Jesus Christ (the Word became flesh and dwelt among us), we can now image or imagine God in the form of Jesus Christ. Now that God has taken physical human form, God has given us an image of God in Jesus Christ: the God-Man. It is now possible to use symbolic pictures and images of Christ in his humanity to aid us in our devotion to God and cause us to continually recall and remember the work God has done in Jesus Christ. This is the main reason why early Christians began painting pictures of Jesus, demonstrating the different offices and attributes of Christ, in their places of worship. Soon these simple paintings became beautiful icons whose purpose was educational and devotional. Icons of Jesus and Biblical figures teach us about God and the Bible and cause us to lift our hearts in gratitude to our Creator. There is tremendous historical precedent for their use in worship and in individual devotion. The Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Church upheld the tradition of the use of images in the worship as consistent with the orthodox Christian faith in 787.

What is forbidden to us however, is to make images and symbols which become objects of worship in themselves. We are never to offer worship to anything created; worship is meant for God alone. Images and symbols are meant to aid us in our worship and understanding of God and to bring glory to God. They are merely guideposts which always point us back to the Creator. Symbols and images are good in and of themselves, especially when used to bring glory to God, but it is humans which corrupt them. One common solution to this human error is to disallow all images and symbols. This is the situation in some churches following the Reformation. But this is again a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The Bible is rich and full of many symbols and imagery; it is a gift of God to aid us. If God deigned to take on human flesh in all its particularity, we no longer need to fear particular symbols. Rather, we ought to make proper use of the gifts God has given us and educate ourselves and others as to their appropriate uses.

The Gnostic philosophers of Greece believed that only the spiritual was good, and all matter (or material things) were evil. We have inherited this dangerous Gnostic tendency in our western society that causes us to be overly suspicious of the material. In our Gnostic tendencies, we feel that the physical and material are more prone to corruption. We have too often thrown out the tangible, material forms of worship, as modeled in Scripture, in place of an immaterial form of worship. But God desires that we worship God both spiritually and physically as demonstrated in the Scriptural models of worship."

I am not sure about this take on the pictures, statues of Jesus. But I need to think about it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010



It is weekend of worship at Where we can link up with a prayer or poem --ect of worhship to God. So I thought I would participate in this first one ;-) It seems a little awkward to put a prayer of our own up on a post----but perhaps it is good for me to do at times.

Father, I want to lift my hands in thanks to you today for the blessing of blogging friends. Their creative spirit is such a reflection of all that you are as Creator. I love the way that you have filled the world with such a huge amount of variety. It always astounds me as I look around me at all the colors , shapes, sizes in flowers, birds, stars, trees, leaves ; I could go on and on. I love the way that women reflect this in the ways they decorate their homes, their blogs, their clothes, their hair, etc! I love the fact that you have stamped them with the image of God---that we were made in your image. What a wonderous Being you are. Thank you for making our lives so rich and for the blessing of knowing such a God. Thank you that we are constantly learning new things about you and your creation. Thank you for creating us as social beings who interact with you and each other. Thank you for these rich blessings!

Friday, April 16, 2010

God's timing

I was reading today in Esther. It was really amazing to see how God timed the edict to destroy, to kill, to annihilate the Jews. The edict was written on the 13 day of Nisan (the first month). It would have started to be sent out on the 14 which was the Jewish day of Passover. It would have been a reminder to the Jews of God's great ability to deliver. It would give them hope that God could have a huge deliverance planned . The edict was not to be carried out until the 12 month so the Jews would have time to pray, etc.

I love how God ordered the timing of this.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Self examination help from Mark Lawrence (Bishop sc)

Something to do during lent

"These steps are part of the process of self-examination and repentance. As St. Paul counsels in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves...." There are two fundamental sources of help for practicing self-examination. The first and most important help, which seems almost superfluous to mention, is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit indwells us as believers. The Holy Spirit knows us thoroughly and searches the deep things of our lives. (Read for instance such passages as Psalm 139, John 7:37-39, John 14:16-26, Romans 8:26-27). To invite Him to search your heart is an invitation not merely to compile a list of sins to be gotten through; it is an opportunity for growth, learning, discovery, making new connections, receiving insight and to seek His help in putting things in order. The second help for self-examination is a written list to be worked through with self-honesty. Some people use the Seven Deadly Sins--(Pride, Envy/Jealousy, Anger, Sloth/Melancholy, Greed, Gluttony and Lust), others, the Ten Commandments, or the Litany of Penitence in the Ash Wednesday Liturgy (BCP, p. 267). One possibility that is often forgotten is to use not those lists that accentuate the negative dimensions of our lives but to ask the question about the place and pursuit of virtue. After all we have spent, as a culture and Church, far too much time with the clarification of values and given too little attention to the cultivation of virtue. So to take the Beatitudes, or the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:19-26, or even Seven Saving Virtues (Justice, Courage/Fortitude, Prudence/Wisdom, Temperance, Faith, Hope and Love) as the focus, after scrutinizing our sins of omission, can be a profitable exercise indeed. Such written forms might nudge us into areas we might be unconsciously avoiding and yet towards that which God would have us go. "