Thursday, March 27, 2014

As Clay

As clay within the potter's hands,
Lord, help me to be be;
Pliant, humble, unresisting,
Yielded unto Thee;
So that Thou canst form and fashion,
In Thy perfect way,
Just the vessel that Thou needest
For Thy work today.

Shape and pattern, style or color,
Are not mine to choose;
And a place of lowly service,
I may not refuse.
Only let me know dear Father,
Thou dost guide the wheel,
And the closeness of Thy fingers,
Daily let me feel.

Then although the process lengthen,
Or unpleasant grow,
All who view the polished vessel,
Shall its Maker know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Goodly Heritage

Today was my mom and dad's 36th wedding anniversary.

I feel so blessed to have parents who stepped beyond the norm of today's casual Christianity to give us children so much more, even though it meant going in a different direction of friends and family, leaving behind the American dream, and being dubbed as legalistic for following the truths and commandments of God's Word.

As I look back at the decisions my parents made and the flack they received for the direction God led them in, I am so grateful they stood firm in their convictions.
Had they chose to follow the American ideal of only having one or two children, I would not be here, along with my four younger siblings. But rather, they chose to see children as a blessing and allow God to determine the size of their family.

I'm thankful for their decision to homeschool us when homeschooling was almost unheard of; sheltering us from worldy philosophies, temptations, and peer pressure.

Removing television from the home and giving us much reading material, outdoor activities, and animals, not to mention teaching us not only how to work, but also to love work, they gave us a full and never boring life!

I am so thankful for all the teaching they poured into our lives through family devotions, character-building reading material, and sound, biblical teaching and preaching of the Word.
They taught us the way of holiness; to deny worldy lusts, and to pursue radical Christianity.

What more could we ask for?? !!!

When I consider all they have given me, this song comes to mind:

I may not have riches as some others may,
But I have a mother who knows how to pray.
And maybe there's some things I missed in my youth,
But I have a father who stands for the truth.

I have a goodly heritage. I'm blessed with things you can't see.
 I have a goodly heritage, and that's worth far more to me.

And if in the future, my parents pass on,
To dwell in the City we've come to call Home.
They may not leave me the goods of this world,
but I have accepted their God and His Word.

I have a goodly heritage. I'm blessed with things you can't see.
I have everything, all that I need, all that I need, treasures unseen,

(I wish I could have actually shared a link to hear this sung, but couldn't find a good rendition)

Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, for all you've poured into our lives.
Happy Anniversary!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sewing Days

Had our friend, Casey, over three different days and the three of us went all out sewing! Lots of good laughs, sewing frustrations, and seam ripping, but perseverance prevails and our projects are coming together!!

Everything is Funner with Friends!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Transplanting Frenzy

Had two full days of transplanting with my friend, Laura. Together, we put out these 3000+ plants! Talk about a real transplanting frenzy!!

Fitly Spoken

A little thing is a little thing.
But faithfulness in a little thing
is a great thing.

-J.Hudson Taylor

He that is faihful in that which is least is faithful
also in much...    Luke 16:10

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Goodness of God Surrounding Me

Been thinking of the phrase in the song I posted the other day, "The goodness that's surrounding me from the heart of God so kind." I started thinking of all the things God has blessed me with, and how I so often take those things for granted. I was then inspired to make a list in my journal of several things I am truly blessed with:

• God's love for me, His redeeming power and the blood that cleanses me from all sin.

• Not only saved, but also adopted; a daughter of the King of kings. I can call out, Abba, Father!

• He has given me all things that pertain unto life and godliness.

• He sustains my very life, my every heartbeat.

• I am richly blessed with loving family, godly parents, and siblings that make the bestest of friends.

• I have been given a goodly heritage; parents who chose to take the less traveled road, follow after holiness, and strove to give us a Godly upbringing.

• I'm blessed with the best dad ever! Blessed to have a dad that prays for me, that understands me, that loves me, that protects me, and that desires the very best for me.

• I'm blessed with the dearest mom! Blessed to have a mom that also loves me and prays for me. Blessed to have a mom that sacrificed her job to come home to be with us children, who gave her time to homeschooling, and also desires the best for us.

• I am richly blessed with friends who accept me for who I am with all my quirks and flaws. :) Blessed with friends with whom to share a laugh, bear each other's burdens, inspire, encourage, hold one another in prayer, and walk together in the narrow way.

• I am blessed to have the Word of God in my own language and freedom to carry it, read it, and study it when so many are without.

• I have been blessed to sit under sound, biblical teaching. Teaching that calls me to pursue radical Christianity in today's world.

• I am blessed with good health.

• I have never known hunger.

• I am surrounded with the beauty of nature and the handiwork of my Creator.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Providential History

For those of you who like history! I've always enjoyed history, especially accounts where God's hand was clearly seen in orchestrating certain events and outcomes throughout time. Here is one I think you'll find quite interesting described by Victor Hugo concerning Napoleon and the battle of Waterloo:

On the morning of the battle, the little dictator stood gazing upon the field of battle as he described to his commanding officer his stragedy for that day's campaign.

"We will put the the infantry here, the calvary there, the artillery here. At the end of the day England will be at the feet of France and Wellington will be prisoner of Napoleon."

After a pause the commanding officer said, "But we must not forget that man proposes but God disposes."

With arrogant pride, the little dictator stretched his body to full height and replied, "I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes."

From that moment, Waterloo was lost, for God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he had planned, and on the night of the battle it was Napoleon who was the prisoner of Wellington, and France at the feet of England.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Overcoming Discouragement

I was thinking of discouragement today and ways to overcome it. The last few months have brought about various circumstances that have given room for discouragement to pop up, and this morning was one of those times. I have to admit that patience is not my strong point in life. It's one of those things that I'm slow in learning. I like to see things happen and if it's not happening I want to jump in and do what I can to make it happen! Unfortunately, there are some things in life that are out of my element to do anything about, but sit back and wait. Waiting of course involves patience, so that's another one of my weak points! It's probably a really good thing that I'm not able to take everything into my own hands tho, cause I'd probably make a big mess of things! :) Anyways, discouragement popped it's head up this morning when I started thinking of my car that's been parked in the driveway the last several weeks after a road trip accident that left it possibly unrepairable. It's kinda out of my realm to find out what can actually be done for it, who can do it, get an estimate on repair costs, and what not. I've been pretty anxious to see what can be done about it, especially as the weeks continue to slip by. Needless to say, I was feeling prettty discouraged, wondering if we'll ever get back on the road. Sometimes questions flood my mind "why the accident?" Certainly God could have prevented it. But then I'm called to bear in mind God's loving mercy in sparing our lives. It's not for me to question the "why" about it, but rather offer back to Him a life of praise and worship for His loving kindness and tender mercies, and to try to learn from the lessons God had for me through the accident - a new understanding that He sustaines every breath I breathe; that He is in ultimate control of my life, my hopes, my dreams, my future, my all; that I can fully trust Him when things in life are totally out of my control, to stop fighting the wheel and to trust Him to land me safely, as I did that night when the car was spinning uncontrollably.
As I've been faced with discouragement, not just in the area of my car, but also other various trials throughout life - when things press against my will, a struggle in a relationship, a spiritual attack from the enemy, or simply having to wait in darkness, I've learned, and am still learning, to recognize it is from God. He allows these things to come into our lives to refine and purify us for His glory. It's hard for discouragement to grow when we recognize that whatever situation or trial we face is from His loving hand.
Secondly, I've learned to thank Him in the trials. Discouragement cannot grow in a thankful heart. Even when we can't see the reason behind the trial, we can thank God for the things we don't see as yet. The following song from the cd, Adopted, has become very precious to me as I've gone through various night seasons in life.

Thank you, Father, for the night time,
for the promise of the day.
Thank you for your mercies
and the truth of all you say.
Thank you for the grace you give
to strengthen me in faith,
And countless helps you send along the way.


I can't wait to thank you
for the things I haven't seen as yet;
the way your hand has guided me
to keep me out of Satan's net.
The things I thought were hurting me
were turned into my good.
How can I ever thank you as I should?

Thank you for the ones I love,
The blessings of my life,
The goodness that's surrounding me
from the heart of God so kind.
Thank you that you're holding me
today and everyday,
and countless helps you send along the way.

Lastly, I was thinking how discouragement crumbles when we put our faith in God. When I am down and feeling more than discouraged; when everything seems totally hopeless, I find that just going to the Word and dwelling on His promises, He renews my strength, my hope is restored, and I am able to go on with peace, even through the darkness, trusting His guiding hand. I love the verse in Psalms: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? 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." (42:11) God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think, He is able to make all grace abound toward you, He is able to keep you from falling, He will never leave you or forsake you, He knoweth the way you take, and He makes all things beautiful in His time...and so many more precious promises.
In some ways, I feel my trials right now are minuscule compared to what some of you are going through and the trials you're facing, but I do know what deep discouragement is from the past and my prayers are with you. May you find hope and encouragement as you continue to let God perfect His purpose in these things, and in knowing that with God all things are possible!

Blessings on your day,

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Weight of the Cross

The crowd pressed in to see this Man
Who stood condemned to die,
A Man they once proclaimed as King,
They now would crucify.
They laid a cross upon His back,
And pushed Him up the road.
The path would lead to Calvary,
He fell beneath the load.
And as I watched I understood
The burden that He bore
Was more than just a heavy tree;
The weight was so much more.

The weight of the cross was the weight of my sin,
Not the weight of the tree that was carried by Him.
My guilt and disgrace Jesus bore in my place.
On Calvary's road, 'neath he weight of the cross.

His face was scarred, His body bruised,
His head was crowned with thorns.
The crowd now jeered and cursed His name the object of their scorn.
He never spoke a word to them the silent Lamb of God.
This Man of sorrow bore the cross; He chose to carry on.
But somehow in His eyes I saw a love beyond the pain.
As if He knew His sacrifice would be my gain.


On which the Prince of Glory died.

- Christopher Machen

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Set A Watch

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the doors of my lips. Psalms141:3

I've been thinking a lot over the last few months about words, conversation, and the things I say, especially when it comes to speaking to and of others. Words really do have power - they can uplift and they can destroy, and once spoken, can never be retrieved. I've learned some lessons the difficult way when it comes to the area of the tongue. Through deep repentance and striving to master my words, I have been driven to seek out verses and such like about the tongue - a sobering search. Here I'll share some of what has really spoken to me.
 James describes the tongue as a fire, a world of unruly evil, full of deadly poison.(Jam. 3:6+8) and Solomon compares it to the piercings of a sword. (Prov.12:18) Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Prov 18:21) What words do we speak to others? Are we giving life or are we causing death by the things we say? When upset or angry, do we lash out what comes first to our minds? Someone once said, "Speak when you're angry, and you'll give the biggest speech you'll ever regret." Are we busy running around learning and spreading all the knewest, juiciest news to be had? Paul gives firm admonishings about being busybodies. Do we ever wonder why there is so much trouble in the Church today? It seems that someone always has something to say about the other. Are we careful to keep that which someone has told us in confidence? "A talebearer revealeth secrets, but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth a matter. (Prov.11:13) And just because we know something, doesn't mean it's always wise to share it. "A prudent man concealeth knowledge." (Prov. 12:23) and "He that hath knowledge spareth his words.."(Prov. 17:27)

  Do we consider how we might be hurting someone by what say either to them or about them? Are we careful not to slander another's name or reputation? Are we careful not to put another down in order to raise ourselves up? Edward Paxton Hood states: "When we advance a little in life, we find that the tongue of man creates nearly all the mischief in the world." I believe we can safely say that that is true. May we heed Paul's words, "to study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands." (1Thess. 4:11) May we remember that "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. (Prov.18:19)  And may we endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace," (Eph.4:3)..."to walk in love (Eph.5:1)...and that our "speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt." (Col. 4:6)
May God bless,

Fitly Spoken

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's the Life!