Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Today is not only my birthday...but this day last year, my youngest son trusted Christ as his personal Saviour! The MOST wonderful birthday gift of my life!
We had been to a special meeting at our church and the Preacher...Brother Tom Bard spoke to his heart so deeply, it led my son to salvation. This preacher has a wonderful way of presenting soberly, the presence of GOD. My son said he felt as if he could have reached out and touched God's hand that night. The message title if I remember correctly was God Is Near.
My son had been on a path of indecision for some time.... He was born and raised in a Christian home. We faithfully had prayer and devotions. My children attended our church school. They had all the resources to take...the cup of salvation. They all made professions one time in their youth. But, some lacked that TOTAL surrender of their will..for HIS. That is true salvation.
All to Jesus, I surrender
All to HIM, I freely give.
It is a joy to think that today is my birthday...and his Spiritual birthday. He is not here for us to celebrate together; but our thoughts of thankfulness and hearts are intertwined with love for each other and the love of Christ our Saviour.
THIS IS THE DAY...
I surely count the blessings in my life. When I think upon the many years now of my life and the answers to prayer, the safety of my life and the friends God has brought into my path of life. I think upon this Psalm.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
I was saved at the young age of 19. I have known the presence of GOD ever since. I have known and continue to...have the fullness of joy as I think upon my blessed Saviour the LORD Jesus Christ. I'm grateful this day...for His Blessed WORD. My comfort and treasure.
(I'll be taking a break for a week. My daughter and grandchildren are coming to visit for a week! MORE JOY! thankful for the sweet grandchildren God has given me)
Thank you friends for your encouraging notes...and friendship.
I'm thankful that in this life...I also have met you.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
As I was reading my devotions and appreciating the wonderful joy of God's written Word...I thought about the "wordless book" Pam at Good News created with her children.
This book... just pages of color...yet told the story of the blood shed by Christ~ RED, the blackness of sin -BLACK. I began to think about our daily walk in the LORD and what people see or hear.
I then pondered the thought:
"Without words...what does my life say about my Saviour the LORD Jesus Christ?"
I began to list somethings to consider:
My APPEARANCE: dress, hairstyle, expressions,
My ACTIVITIES: homemaking, decor, hobbies,
MY APPETITE; music, entertainment,
Once I made this list..I thought?
Do Christians really take these things to heart?
We hear preaching about our walk, but do we really analyze each aspect of our walk with the LORD. We are to be ambassadors of Christ.
A representative of HIM!
Christians are "little Christ"... the disciples were the first to be called Christians.
Acts 11:26b ..And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Why? They had a distinction about them that set them apart and people knew...
THAT IS A CHRISTIAN!
Yes, there are counterfeits out there. I see them all the time...yet, something tells us there is something askew about them.
For what saith the scripture? Romans 4:3
Search the scriptures for what GOD says. Compare scripture with scripture.
Do you see a genuine wholesomeness about those who do who claim to be Christians?
Men or women!
God doesn't make cookie-cutter Christians...the Bible is full of whosoever will...but, our choices do manifest the heart's desire in doing God's will.
I wrote down "expressions" because I recently had a conversation with someone about their facial "expression" showing dissatisfaction during a choir practise! The choir director brought it to her attention. It can send signals to the entire congregation!
"oooh... did they not like how the Choir sounded? or was it the song leader? Maybe it was the piano player?"
mmmm? uh oh...sending some people into the THOUGHT zone! and away from the message of the choirs song of praise!
It doesn't even have to be in church...what about in public? Do you have a look of complaint or impatience! Patience is a virtue that is always appreciated with the public. I can't tell you how many times I have had a cashier or office worker thank me for waiting patiently, not complaining when I got to them. What a great opportunity then to give a Gospel Tract! and readily received!
I also put hairstyle..because even a hairstyle can speak too loud...taking away from the garment of Christ in you the hope of glory! He is the glory...not us! I like to look nice and presentable...but we must be careful...as with all our appearance..jewelry...makeup...perfume etc. The mirror does wonders for our spiritual check up. What you see...a wordless book...is what the world sees.
..."People will read you, before they read a Bible!"
Do your activities show your heart desire in living? Homemaking~ is it a drudgery or challenge...or is it a noble calling to be an example of Proverbs 31...married or single! Remember to do all to the Glory of GOD.
Are your activities full of time consuming things that bring in pride and competition...maybe even cause you to miss...church!
Or how about hobbies? I love to quilt and do crafts...I am very careful of how much time I give to it. Is your hobby expensive (quilting can be!) or do you limit your expenses and mindful of "missions" or the needs of your own church or others. Some hobbies can just be for enjoyment...is it wholesome, time well spent? Even blogging!
If you walk by a car or house and just hear music (no words) can you distinguish what kind it is? Does the beat or tune...appeal to your flesh (the old man)? You know when it happens..you know from your lost state versus your saved soul, what music truly would testify to others; what kind do they hear from you? Is there a difference that people know without the words?
Entertainment...DEF: an activity to give pleasure or relaxation
opera, movie, literature...sports can be but falls into the term of "recreation" which involves active participation beyond mere leisure.
Do you watch a movie or t.v. controlled by the media? Unknown commercials or movie trailers shown that you wouldn't have watched if you had the choice. YOU DO!
Can you control what you watch? Yes.
Someone recently said to me...
"if my child should not watch it..neither can I!"
That's' it in a nutshell...we are to come to God as a little child are we not?
So as a child in heart we also should be innocent and with a pure mind and heart!
We chose to get rid of our T.V. before we had children...over 34 YEARS ago! and how glad I am. I have not missed it at all. My children saw it of course at other homes...but, it did not control our home. It did not dictate our way of dress, our hours of home life and devotional times. It was not the center of the house! It was not the focus of our attention.
I grew up with T.V. we watched it in the morning before school...we watched it after school (I squeezed in homework) and we watched it DURING dinnertime! Did I have a "HOME-life" ...no.
If I still had children in my home..I would not have the Internet. I gasp at the advertisements just on email sites! and to think of all the children allowed to have email accounts! I like gmail for this very reason...no photos.
This was a good devotion for me. I am always glad to do a "check-up". I want to hear the words of my Lord one day..
I pray that the WORD of God reveals my heart over and over so that I can continue to strive to do my best...HE is so worthy and souls so precious.
I love this Hymn...
I wonder have I done my best for Jesus
Who died upon the cruel tree
To think of his great sacrifice at Calvary
I know my Lord expects the best from me.
How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained, I've helped to free?
I wonder have I done my best for Jesus,
When he has done so much for me.
Ensign Edwin Young 1895
My check ups come daily. In this New Year..I want to do better. I want to guard my eyes, my mouth, my heart...ALL. So that come the next New Year, I will be able to rejoice, I pray..in a fruitful year, because of obedience to His Word, His Will and His Ways.
My prayer this year is;
Psalm 139:23 Search me O God, and know my heart:try me and know my thoughts...
A "Winter" season in my life is passing now and I look forward to the Spring that is bringing new buds of joy into my heart. (I'll post later about the "seasons" of a Christian's life).
May I encourage you in this Scripture for 2009.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
In continuance of the previous post Great is Thy Faithfulness about a brother in Christ. I wanted to share with you a little more of his testimony.
It is all God's Grace.
How a former Pastor...family man and a born again Christian can fall into sin so far...that you find yourself.. 20 years down the road
Homeless...on drugs...seemingly helpless and hopeless
yet, the GRACE OF GOD renewed his joy of salvation and set his feet once again upon a rock and put that song back into his heart!
His warning... GUARD YOUR HEART!
Psalm 119... READ the entire chapter and write this upon the tables of your heart!
God gave us his word for this very purpose...to yield our hearts, body and mind to his will and not our own. To walk with him, to think upon his ways and to guard against the wiles of the devil.
The devil is indeed a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Never underestimate that you have a will of your own...YOU make choices that determine your life's path.
God is faithful...he is always true...always near...but, he will not override the will of man. God in his mercies lets man decide. He doesn't want a bunch of robot Christians..he wants free will choices that show your desire to do right, your love of his righteousness and your thankfulness of heart for all that he has and will do for you.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Psalm 119:2
Man...can forget...he can go astray.
Psalm 119:Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
This man testified that he began to write Bible verses on pieces of paper and kept a journal of remembering God's ways...this strengthened him and helped him. Just as the word of God says...IF YOU KEEP...HIS testimonies...if you take heed to God's word.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to they word. Psalm 119:9
He said that the t.v., advertisements in the paper and catalogs were his downfall. The exposure to lust....in day to day living...hearing and seeing their unlawful deeds.
GUARD your home..your eyes and your heart.
He began the pursuit of holiness in his life.
Everywhere you turn these things of the world are thrown in your face. You have to purposely avoid them...YOU make the choice.
Will you pursue Holiness in your life? This year.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24
As an exhortation in 2009... Dear Reader,
join me in a daily watch of our hearts and walk with the LORD! Let us walk as an example...to help others and our own selves...to give strength of hope and encouragement; that this is the good way to walk.
May God grant us the grace that was bestowed on this brother and renew in us a committed heart in the pursuit of holiness, that gives honor to the LORD Jesus Christ, edifies the church and encourages others to trust the LORD as their Saviour.
THIS IS THE DAY...I thank my GOD for his faithful WORD of truth and power that enables a man to stand up once again and testify of God's Grace and HOPE found in the LORD.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
My heart has been truly full...as I have thought upon the past year's battles and victories! Praise the LORD for his merciful kindness and long sufferings...for his wondrous works in so many lives....in my own.
We have a "watch night" service every New Year's Eve...This year's proved to be extra special: THIS IS THE DAY
I give praise and thanks, especially because I have personally listened to the testimony of a brother in Christ brought up from the miry clays of a horrible backslid condition...back to the pulpit, and giving GOD all the Praise for HIS compassion's that failed not..for his constant prodding of the Holy Spirit and the WORD that never left his heart. As a true born again Christian...he took his eyes off the Saviour and onto the world...step by step..little by little...it's grasp took hold and yet the LORD never left him nor forsook him.
He warned...it comes little by little over time...and then suddenly you have found yourself in a horrible place. Asking how in the world? Did I get here?
What a testimony! Tears streaming down...words broken...as he spoke of thinking he never again would have this opportunity...to speak boldly of God's holiness and of all his graces...in church.
In Pursuit of Holiness...
Strive because there is so much resistance in the flesh...
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witness, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Looking unto Jesus....
Satan knows exactly what button to push...
Be vigilant and watch unto prayer...don't let Satan take your joys by letting you be offended so easily and get you out of church...or for not getting recognized ...or perhaps not resting in the LORD and letting him work in not only your own life, but others! Yes, others that might be your very foe...pray for them and let God have his way with them.
Be faithful yourself and an example of pursuing holiness...turning away from worldly temptations!
Patient in the LORD and wait...
Think upon the fruitfulness that can be brought forth in this next new year...
simply by setting aside, Self...and putting the LORD first.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not:
As thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided..
Great is they faithfulness,
Lord unto me!
Hymn 1866 Thomas O. Chisholm
Happiest Of New Years to you...
I appreciate so much the encouragement you have been to me...
the wonderful friendships made in sharing the Lord's work in all our lives.
A huge world...yet so small...with friends right around the corner, no matter the distance!
Blessings to you...