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Monday, April 28, 2014

Content to Wait



Content to linger, content to rest -

content to wait for Your very best.

And though it seems You tarry long,

In the night You give a song

And whisper, "Wait, be still."


Content to linger, content to stay

Content to wait for Your perfect way.

Knowing You are in conrol,

I rest the keeping of my soul

Upon Your loving will.


-AMP

..for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.
Isaiah 49:23

What rest, what peace there is in surrendering our way and will to our all-knowing, wise and loving Father. What assurance there is in knowing that He truly cares for His own and will not subject us to unnecessary pain or waiting. The path He chooses is for good, and so we are able to rest in His leading, be it slow, or perhaps a path we might not necessarily have chosen for ourselves, but as Mrs. Charles Spurgeon once said, "It is a mercy that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us; else we might sometimes turn away from our best blessings, and put away from us the choicest and loveliest gifts of His providence."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theft-Resistant Trucks

Here are the top 10 reasons farm and ranch trucks are rarely stolen.

10. They only have a range of 20 miles before they break down or run out of gas.

9. Only the owner knows how to operate the broken door latch to get in or out.

8. It's hard to drive fast with all the fencing tools, ropes, chains and loose paper flying around the cab.

7. It's hard to see through the cloud of smoke coming through the floor board.

6. The dog on the tool box looks mean.

5. They're too easy to spot. A police description would sound something like: "The driver's side door is primer red, the right front fender is gray..."

4. The big round bale in the bed makes it hard to tell if you're being chased.

3. Top speed is 45 mph.

2. Who wants a truck that needs U-joints, $5,000 in body work, a new windshield...

And the number 1 reason farm trucks are rarely stolen: It's hard to commit a crime when everyone you drive past waves at you.

So if you ever get to feeling down that your vehicle is in pretty rough shape, look at the positive side...at least it's more theft-resistant!! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Book Nook



Evidence Not Seen. Darlene Deibler Rose recounts her four years in a Japanese prison camp in the jungles of New Guinea during World II as a young, newlywed missionary. Here is an amazing story of unshakeable faith in her Lord in the midst of terror and persecution. She shares many stories of God's faithfulness and miraculous provision during the dark days of prison life. A book I would encourage anyone to read. Your faith will be strengthened as you do.

Find her book @ http://www.christianbook.com/apps/product?item_no=70207&event=ESRCN|M  or I also have a copy I would be happy to lend to friends.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Mercy Seat

From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat;
Tis found beneath the mercy seat.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads,
A place that all besides more sweet;
It is the blood-bought mercy seat.

There is a scene where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
Tho' sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.

Ah! Whither could we flee for aid,
When tempted, desolate, dismayed;
Or how the hosts of hell defeat,
Had suffering saints no mercy seat?

There, there on eagles wings we soar,
And sin and sense molest no more;
And heaven comes down our souls to greet,
While glory crowns the mercy seat.

- Hugh Stowell

Praise God for the mercy seat!  I am so thankful for that calm and sure retreat, a place to find renewment and strength in Christ to meet the storms of life. A place to flee from the pressures of the world around me. A place to cry my heart out, to find healing, to find comfort, and to find joy and gladness. A place where friend holds fellowship with friend, and though miles may span the distance, their spirits still blend. A place of peace, a place of rest, and a place of drinking deeply of the Living Water that gives life to the weary and fainting heart - the blood-bought mercy seat!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Power of Example

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. -Albert Schweitzer

My sister, Hannah, recently reminded Wendy and I of a time 7 or 8 years ago when we were preparing for company. Our uncle and aunt were coming from out of state and Wendy was busy in the kitchen making bread and I was down scrubbing the dining room floor on my hands and knees.

It was a day that had faded into our memories, but for Hannah, it was one that left its mark on her young mind. Only about 8 years old, yet she was watching and relayed to us recently that she told herself that day that that was the kind of woman she wanted to grow up to be - one that bakes bread and scrubs the floor. True to her resolve, Hannah has become just that and more...she rolls up her sleeves and goes to work with earnest zeal baking bread, scrubbing floors, and numerous other household tasks and chores. Whatever she puts her hand to, she does it wholeheartedly.

Wendy and I were somewhat taken back that such common household work had impressed her mind in such a way to mold her into the young lady she is today. Then as we were considering it, we wondered, "could it be she sensed our passion for what we were doing?" Instead of finding baking bread or scrubbing floors to be drudgery, we rather kind of revelled in what we were doing. (Anyone who knows me, knows that I nearly disdain mopping; in my experience, it's nearly impossible to get the floor clean with a mop - it just smears the dirt, while on the other hand, it comes up sparkling clean after a good scrubbing the old fashion way! And anyone who knows Wendy, knows she loves baking bread!)

Often times, I fall lethargic to the reality of the influence I have on others, and that little incident was a wake up call to me. If I was an influence in what seemed to be a menial household task, in what other ways am I impacting my younger siblings or those I come in contact with? Am I a positive influence or negative? What other little eyes may be watching unbeknownst to me? Am I setting forth an example for others to follow in? What do people see me to be passionate about - is my zeal in Christ or in the common things of life such as volleyball games, chasing dreams and making money? Do I put as much passion into studying the Word and prayer as I do in other things? What about serving others, giving to the poor and helping the needy? Is my love for the Lord evident for all to see? These are areas I'm challenged in.

Just as we worked and had no idea that we were impacting an eight year old who was watching on that day, we never know what time, place or person we might be impacting in our day to day lives. A sobering thought for sure. May we be "an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Blessings to each one,
Jen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prayer - The Christian's Weapon

The following is taken from Andrew Murray's book, "The Prayer Life:"

The Storm Center on the Battlefield

Mention was made in the conference of the expression "stratigic position" used so often in reference to the great strife between the kingdom of heaven and the powers of darkness.

When a general chooses the place from which he intends to strike the enemy, he pays closest attention to those points which he thinks are the most important in the fight. Thus there was on the battlefield of Waterloo a farmhouse which Wellington immediately saw as the key to the situation. He did not spare his troops in his endeavor to bold that point: the victory depended on it. So it actually happened. It is the same in the conflict between the believer and the powers of darkness. The inner chamber is the place where the decisive victory is obtained.

The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian, and above all the minister to neglect prayer. He knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however attractive the service, however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom if prayer is neglected. When the Church shuts herself up to the power of the inner chamber, and the soldiers of the Lord have received on their knees "power from on high," then the powers of darkness will be shaken and souls delivered. In the Church, on the mission field, with the minister and his congregation, everything depends on the faithful exercise of the power of prayer...

...Two persons quarrel over a certain point. We call them Christian and Apollyon. Apollyon notices that Christian has a certain weapon which would give him a sure victory. They meet in deadly strife, and Apollyon resolves to take away the weapon from his opponent and destroy it. For the moment the main cause of the strife has become subordinate; the great point now is who shall get possession of the weapon on which everthing depends? It is of vital importance to get hold of that.

So it is in the conflict between Satan and the believer. God's child can conquer everything by prayer. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the Christian, or to hinder him in the use of it?

How now does Satan hinder prayer? By temptation to postpone or curtail it, by bringing in wandering thoughts and all sorts of distractions, or through unbelief and hopelessness. Happy is the prayer hero who, who through it all, takes care to hold fast and use his weapon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Tonic

A Lighter Look at Life

An elderly couple was sitting out on the porch enjoying a lovely evening, when the man said to his wife, "I think I'm going to go in and get a big dish of ice cream. Would you like one, too?"
"Yes I would, but I'd like only one scoop, and I'd like chocolate syrup on it. You better write that down, because you know how forgetful you are."
"I don't need to write it down. I've got it. One scoop and chocolate syrup. "
"Yes. And put some nuts on it, too. Can you remember that?"
"Of course I can remember that - one scoop, chocolate syrup and nuts."
"And put a cherry on top of that. Now, can you remember all that - you know how forgetful you're getting!"
I've got it, Martha! I've got it!"
For the next ten minutes, she heard him rummaging around the kitchen, banging pots and pans and whatnot. Finally he showed up with two plates of scrambled eggs and bacon.
"See, what did I tell you?" she said, throwing up her hands. "You didn't write it down, and now you forgot the toast!"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

That They May Be One

I was encouraged and convicted the other day when I sat through a message concerning God's heart for His people. Afterwards, I was prompted to take a deeper look into the subject of unity. Here are some things I've been thinking about since the message:

Jesus' prayer for you and I who name the name of Christ is that we may be one.

"That all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." (John17:21)

As I read further, I noticed Jesus prayed that prayer "to be one" three times.

"To be one" speaks to me of being one in heart and one in spirit. It's more than just a common interest that brings us together....that happens all over - bikers, crafters, chess players, homeschoolers, etc., will travel miles to come together or will meet over internet websites because they have common interest. But for us, it goes much deeper than having some common interest that brings us together - we have "the Spirit of adoption." We have been made the children of God, ...."and if children heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." (Romans 8:15-17) " We have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all." As we are one body, we are to "endeavor to keep the unity in the bond of peace, (Eph. 4:3-6) so that the world may believe.

If we proclaim Christ, but cannot dwell together in unity, how will the world believe? We offer no more than what they already have as far as the world is concerned.

This got me to pondering key elements of being one and dwelling together in unity.

▪ Grace and Humility
Paul beseeches us to walk worthy of this vocation that we are called to "with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love." Here I see a call to grace, humility, and understanding. We come from many different backgrounds, each with different experiences and stories, and so we have various perspectives. Not one of us is at the same level of spirituality. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and where we may have grown in truth in one area, there may be another area of truth that we are blind to....this challenges me to have grace and understanding for those who do not see things the same as I do and humility in realizing a difference in perspective could be my blind spot. It also makes me think to be appreciative of my brother's differences, outlooks and perspectives as we can always learn from eachother.

▪ Communication
Paul exhorts us to "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying..." (Eph 4:29) Negativity and critisism will tear people apart. Paul warns: "If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another." (Gal 5:15) This causes me to ponder and evaluate what I communicate - is it negative talk or is it positive, encouraging and edifying?

▪ Forgiveness
We are all fallen men, and we will fail eachother at one time or another....count on it! The only one who will never fail us is God. My dad has reminded me that over and over. Since we will at one time or another experience offences, it is important to keep a heart of forgiveness and not allow bitterness to take root - to let the past be the past, to let go of the offence, and embrace the offender with love and forgiveness, and move on.

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." Same is true if we can't forgive.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. " (Eph 4:32)

▪ Prayer

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Eph 6:18)

This is an area I want and need to grow in.

Do we take time, real time, lifting eachother up before tbe throne of grace? Do we take time to hear eachothers burdens, cares and struggles so we can better pray for them? Do we communicate our own burdens, needs and weaknesses so that our brother may know how to pray?

We are not all called to preach, teach or evangelize, etc., but we can all pray!!

I believe the more we hold eachother up in prayer, the more we'll be united in spirit and the more God can do through His people.

▪ Abide in Christ

It is of utmost importance!

"Abide in Me , and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. (John 15:4)

We cannot truly love our brother until the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. We cannot give what we do not have. To do these things in our strength will result in utter failure. Only as we abide in Christ will we be able to become one with Him and one with eachother.

As I've pondered this whole subject, I've come away with a fresh perspective of the Church and renewed desire to actively be one in heart and spirit with the brethren God has placed me with!

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fitly Spoken


The real secret of an unsatisfied life
lies too often in an unsurrendered will.

- J. Hudson Taylor

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Family Economy


Reestablishing the Family Economy - A Biblical Imperative
Thought I'd share this link to a chapter on family economy from the book "The Deliberate Agrarian." The author is a family friend of ours, Herrick Kimball. Here is a call to step back from the industrial revolution that is tearing down families and to begin pursuing a family based economy as was designed from the beginning. As Herrick says, it's not something most of us can just up and do overnight, but it is something a person or family can take steps toward, even if it is in small ways.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poured Out Wine



If we are not in full , consious allegiance to our Lord it has nothing to do with our personal salvation with this broken bread and poured out wine aspect of life. God can never make me wine if I object to the fingers He uses to crush me. If God would only crush me with His own fingers, and say, "Now My son, I am going to make you broken bread and poured out wine in a particular way and everyone will know what I am doing." But when He uses someone who is not a Christian, or someone I particularly don't like, or some set of circumstances which I said I would never submit to, and begins to make these the crushers, I object.

I must never choose the scene of my own martyrdom, nor must I choose the things God will use in order to make me broken bread and poured out wine. His own Son did not choose. God chose for His Son that He should have a devil in His company for three years. We say, "I want angels; I want people better than myself; I want everything to be significantly from God, otherwise I cannot live the life, or do the thing properly; I always want to be gilt-edged." Let God do as He likes. If you are ever going to be wine to drink, you must be crushed. Grapes cannot be drunk; grapes are only wine when they have been crushed. I wonder what kind of coarse finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine that came out would have been remarkably bitter. Let God go on with His crushing, because it will work His purpose in the end.

- Oswald Chambers


"God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever"

- Vance Havner

I think of the lives of Corrie Ten Boon, Darlene Deibler Rose (missionary and POW during WW2), Joseph Scriven (who wrote the hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus), and many others who have lost loved ones, suffered long term illnesses, or experienced a series of unfortunate events, and that have been crushed through very difficult, and even horrific circumstances.
They knew their Lord and rather than becoming bitter, they recognized that their trials and sufferings were from His hand, refining and making them vessels for His glory, and thus became sweet wine. Some of the sweetest people I have talked with are the ones who have suffered much. It is so beautiful to hear their stories end with "God is so good." I recently talked to a woman that lost her husband a few years ago unexpectedly. She had the sweetest spirit and repeatedly expressed how blessed she was despite her suffering. It is men and women like these whose lives portray the God that is bigger than any circumstance.

I look at my own life and my own sufferings, which are small in comparison to many, and realize that I am many times like the hard marble. If I am not in concious alliegance to the Lord and the things He is using to crush me with, then I miss out on the opportunity of becoming more like Christ, of letting God accomplish what He wants to do in my life, of knowing Jesus more intimantly, and of glorifying my Father.

Oh, that I would be broken bread and poured out wine. I would hope that through whatever trials I may suffer, that my life would be as the broken alabaster box, giving forth a sweet perfume to those around me.

...That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11