Tuesday, October 25, 2011

O How Often!

"How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37b)

I know I will never be able to understand the way a parent feels when their child is rebelling unless I become a parent. But I have recently seen some of the burdens placed on my parents for their children. It's consuming. Constantly worrying, and hoping that that child's heart will change. We probably don't even come close to comprehending the ache Christ feels for us each time we stray away.

When I was younger I decided to read through the entire Bible a few hundred times before I died. At least one hundred times before I became a mom. (I'm a very proud and naive person... I know.) And one of the first times I read through most of the OT all on my own, I was shocked to see the way the children of Israel behaved. The couldn't be happy for freedom out of Egypt! The weren't thankful for manna (which sounded like delicious food to me)! They weren't grateful the promised land but coward at the giants! The continually went to idols and false Gods! I couldn't believe them! I always felt happy with myself after reading about them, thinking, "If I had lived back then I would be one of the few smarter ones who were faithful to God." Oh how blind I was! (And still am.)

Constantly, constantly, I am live out those same attributes possessed by Israelites that I looked down upon so much. In Psalm 78:41 David says of the Israelites, "Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel."

Again and again I limit what the Lord would do in my life if only I obeyed.

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

I am saved from ultimate punishment for my sins, and always I will be. But I do not want to waist my time here on earth. “Let me see what I have that will ‘abide the fire.’” – Susannah Spurgeon

Those works are some times compared to fruit on a tree; good fruit, good tree, or bad fruit, bad tree. Psalm 1 says that those who delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that giving fruit in it's season, it's leaf shall not wither, and whatever it does shall prosper!

When we plant ourselves close to the Living Water we will grow, and flourish. Just as He wills for us to do.

"Jesus died as He had lived–praying, forgiving, loving, sacrificing, trusting, quoting Scripture. If I die as I have lived, how will I die?" – Nancy Leigh DeMoss
(On a total different note -though it still is about plants- there is a seed give away going on that you might like. Gotta blog about it to enter so sorry for the randomness. =)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Planned Neglect

I've read this on two different blogs this year and have been trying (on and off) to be more dillegent in "planne neglect". It helps me greatly, when I follow through with it. Hope you can find it useful.

"The more you study the Word of God, the more it saturates your mind and life. Someone is reported to have asked a concert violinist in New York's Carnegie Hall how she became so skilled. She said that it was by "planned neglect". She planned to neglect everything that was not related to her goal. Some less important things in your life could stand some planned neglect so that you might give yourself to studying the Word of God. Do you know what would happen? The more you would study the Word of God, the more your mind would be saturated with it. It would be no problem then for you to think of Christ. You won't be able to stop thinking of Him. To be Spirit filled is to live a Christ-conscious life, and there is no shortcut to that. You can't go and get yourself super-dedicated to live a Christ-conscious life. The only way you can be saturated with the thoughts of Christ is to saturate yourself with the Book that is all about Him. And this is God's will, that you not only be saved but that you also be Spirit-filled."
-John MacArthur

Anything you could omit from your life and replace with something more Christ-centered?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nothing Much, Or Something Great?

'I want to do something great for God! But day after day goes by, and what am I accomplishing for my King?' Have you ever thought something like that. I have.

You can serve Him now, you don't have to waist your life in thinking of what you intend to do tomorrow as if that could make up for the nothingness of today.

God doesn't see little jobs and big jobs. He sees the heart of the worker. Jesus said, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much" (Luke 16:10)

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." -Colossians 3:17

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.' ” -Martin Luther King Jr.

What are you called to be doing?
Washing laundry? Cleaning windows? Studying? Planning dinner for your family?
Glorify God through your day-to-day, doesn't-really-matter jobs. Because they do matter.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might." -Ecc. 9:10

You don't have to wait for grand opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but simply doing the little jobs we have to do each day. Don't wait until you're a more experienced Christian to attempt to serve God. Serve God now, and "do it with your might." Put your whole heart into it!

"Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to Him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of His redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for Him? I'm not referring to works which could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things - things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to Him." -Oswald Chambers

When we do our "little jobs" with our might it is not in our own self, But through Christ! Our "might" in the Lord of Heaven and Earth!

May we each day seek His help. Through prayer and faith, and when go though each day doing things for His glory and with all our might, then may we wait upon the Lord for His blessing.

When we serve Christ with our all nothing is done in vain!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dancing with Orphans

I don't know anything about the organization associated at the end of the video. I just heard the song and thought I'd share it. I hope you enjoyed it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Guest Post by Miss Rachel

 Rachel is the type of girl who doesn't have to tell you that she loves Christ- it shows. I hope you enjoy reading this girl's post as much as I did. Her life shows that she is not just a Christian by word only, but by deed and truth. She is a young women ever striving to glorify her Saviour and King.

Here is what she wrote:

Why I Believe Emotional Purity Is Important

I think emotional purity is something a lot of girls may shrug off. Physical purity is probably a given for many of us ~ it's like of course we're saving ourselves for marriage! Not even something we have to think about, right? But what about the other side of purity, the emotional side of it? Unfortunately I think this aspect of purity gets ignored just a bit because no one can see it. Physical purity is visible to the eye; others can see if you're practicing it or not. If you're being immodest or flirting with a guy, others can see that. But thoughts? Dreams? Ideas? Our thoughts are something that only God can see....so we may be more likely to ignore how pure they are, or at least put the issue on the back burner. "It's not like I'm actually doing / saying that, right?" Mmmm, true, but remember what Proverbs 23:7 says? "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Although we may excuse our slightly impure thought life with "I would never actually do / say that"......the simple fact is that the way we think is who we are. Our thoughts reflect our attitudes, our priorities. And eventually, what we think is what will come out of our mouths. (Luke 6:45)

Do you plan on being faithful to your husband once you marry him? I do! But what many of us fail to realize is that faithfulness starts now. Once you're married isn't the time to start practicing this. It's now. I can't stress how important this is. What we are doing right now, as single young ladies, is laying the foundation for our futures. This goes for all areas of life, really ~ what we're currently doing with our time, how we're treating our family, the choices we make, the education we pursue, all of that is laying a foundation for the rest of our lives. And so it is with our thoughts. If you're planning on being a faithful wife, intent on respecting your husband and sticking by his side, that habit starts now. So, even though we may not be married right now, we need to realize that if God wills us to marry, our future husbands are out there right now! They exist! And hopefully they are waiting faithfully for us, as well. It's our duty, as future wives, to honor our future husbands even before we meet them. And yes, this totally applies to our thought life. Instead of dwelling on things that we know are inappropriate, or "trying out" different guys in our minds, we must keep our focus on staying faithful. On being pure - inside and out.

Practical Ways to Keep From Awakening Love Before It's Time

I think it's easy to say all this stuff ~ but the application is always so much more difficult. Especially when it comes to our thoughts. Sometimes it's nearly impossible to just stop thinking about something. My grandpa used to say that 99% of our problems are from the neck up. :-) I have found this to be very true. Our minds are a powerful thing, and for Christians, it's a battlefield. We need to keep in mind that we are in a war; invisible though it may be. We do have an enemy, and he is totally against purity. That's why all the "good" things are so difficult to cultivate; it's because we're meeting resistance from Satan himself. Thankfully, Jesus has already won the victory for us so we know we are fighting an already-defeated-enemy! I once heard it said that we shouldn't fight for victory, but from victory.

I think one totally practical way to keep our minds focused on pure things is prayer. The instant an impure or un-godly thought enters our minds, instead of dwelling on it, first turn it over to God. Then, began actively praying for your future husband. Pray that he would be pure, that God would prepare him to be a mature and godly husband for you, that he would be passionate about God's Word, etc. I've found this to be pretty effective! If Satan knows that an impure thought will start you praying for your future husband, I guarantee you those thoughts will begin to decrease!

Another way to stay emotionally pure is to make sure you're setting your mind on "things above, not earthly things". (Colossians 3:2) What you feed your mind is what it will automatically think about. You know how, if you're thinking about something really hard, you dream about it? It's just like that - if you are reading or watching things that arrouse impure thoughts, that is what is going to be sitting in your mind. Read things that inspire you to become the woman God wants you to be.

Make sure you're actively investing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I think we have a warped view of the way God sees us. I used to think that if I wanted something really bad, God would be crossing His arms with a frown and saying, "You think you want that? Hah! Well, you're going to learn to be content instead!" That is just so wrong! In the area of romance, we need to remember that God is the Author of romance; He's the One who created it in the first place and put the desire for marriage in your heart. And if it's His will, He's the One who will fulfill that desire - in His time. Meanwhile, as we wait, we need to be focusing on our relationship with God. I really think that the best way to stay emotionally pure is to keep looking towards Jesus. Stay so completely focused on Him that you really don't have time to be dwelling on a certain guy, real or imagined. And you know what? As I've delved into God's Word and learned more and more about how much He loves me, I've been more than satisfied! That doesn't mean I don't want to get married. (FAR from true!) However, my craving and desire for affirmation, love, security, and protection is fulfilled in my relationship with Jesus. I am happy! I am content! I am in love with my Saviour! Until we learn to love Jesus with all we are, I don't think we are truly ready for romance.

And I'm preaching that to myself.

"May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)

Emotional purity isn't easy - and it won't happen overnight. But it's vitally important and I think it is greatly pleasing to God. He knows our heart's desires; and He has an incredible plan for your life. Give Him control - total control - and you will find Him to be more than enough!

If You Had One Piece Of Advice For Young Ladies, What Would It Be?

I really only have one thing of true importance to say to young ladies ~ pursue Jesus. Fall in love with Him. Follow hard after God; He is truly the only One Who matters in life! I've been a "Christian" since I was two or three....but my relationship with Christ really began to blossom a few years ago. Even in the last year I've discovered more of God that I didn't before realize. I've learned to trust Him because He is good and so compassionate. Because He has my best interest at heart.

There is a huge difference between just saying you're a Christian, verses really being one. An authentic relationship with God is so much more than just rote Bible reading and memorized prayers. In fact, that is what it is not! I've come to understand that Jesus is not a frowning God with arms crossed and toes tapping. He's not a God with a mile long list of rules and regulations. Jesus Christ is the incredible and powerful God Who died for you ~ who took all the punishment on Himself that should have been for you. He's merciful and kind ~ He is for you and not against you. He loves you more than you will ever be able to understand....it just blows me away when I try to comprehend all He's done for me. He's incredible!

It's because of Jesus that I am who I am. It's because of Him that I have a purpose in life!

I would implore you, if you're a Christian but have never really experienced a deep and abiding relationship with God, start now. The advice I would give is to really get into God's Word, perhaps like never before, and start discovering how much God cares about you! Passionately pursue Him and seek Him. "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you...." (James 4:8a) Follow Him and love Him, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It's the adventure of a lifetime!

You'll never regret it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

O Jesus, I Have Promised

O Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end;
be thou forever near me,
my Master and my friend.

I shall not fear the battle
if thou art by my side,
nor wander from the pathway
if thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
the tempting sounds I hear;

My foes are ever near me,
around me and within;
but Jesus, draw thou nearer,
and shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear thee speaking
in accents clear and still,
above the storms of passion,
the murmurs of self-will.

O speak to reassure me,
to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, thou hast promised
to all who follow thee
that where thou art in glory
there shall thy servant be.
And Jesus, I have promised
to serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
my Master and my Friend.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wilt Love Me? Trust Me? Praise Me? by Amy Carmichael

O thou beloved child of My desire,
Whether I lead thee through green valleys,
By still waters,
Or through fire,
Or lay thee down in silence under snow,
Through any weather, and whatever
Cloud may gather,
Wind may blow—
Wilt love Me? trust Me? praise Me?
No gallant bird, O dearest Lord, am I,
That anywhere, in any weather,
Rising singeth;
Low I lie.
And yet I cannot fear, for I shall soar;
Thy love shall wing me, blessed Saviour.
So I answer:
I adore;
I love Thee, trust Thee, praise Thee.