Monday, December 29, 2008

Very Interesting...

Brought to my attention by
Guy Muse
via You Tube (of course).

Perfected by Him

Here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.

John Henry Newman

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Joy

Wishing all the Joy exhibited by this little one....my newest grandson, Carson! What a great picture, eh?

So In Love - Jeremy Camp

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

To all my visitors



In the last year these are the numbers of visitors from Canada and other countries that come to my blog. I am overwhelmed that you took the time.....for those who just accidentally stopped in....sorry for your luck...:) May you all have a blessed Christmas. Enjoy Him and His Life within you if you are already there and if you are not....come on and join in His Family. The Party is always starting now and it is never too late. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, ever ever ever.


Canada (CA) 1,648
United States (US) 1,539
United Kingdom (GB) 71
Australia (AU) 42
South Africa (ZA) 33
Philippines (PH) 30
Ecuador (EC) 29
Germany (DE) 29
Netherlands (NL) 25
India (IN) 22
Singapore (SG) 22
Brazil (BR) 16
Malaysia (MY) 14
Spain (ES) 12
France (FR) 11
New Zealand (NZ) 11
Europe (EU) 11
Jamaica (JM) 8
Switzerland (CH) 7
Korea, Republic of (KR) 6
Poland (PL) 5
Mexico (MX) 5
Denmark (DK) 5
Sweden (SE) 5
Norway (NO) 5
Ireland (IE) 5
Kenya (KE) 5
Uganda (UG) 4
Saudi Arabia (SA) 4
Taiwan (TW) 4
Turkey (TR) 4
Chile (CL) 3
Egypt (EG) 3
Romania (RO) 3
Portugal (PT) 3
Nigeria (NG) 3
Indonesia (ID) 3
Italy (IT) 3
Uruguay (UY) 2
Albania (AL) 2
United Arab Emirates (AE) 2
Asia/Pacific Region (AP) 2
Slovakia (SK) 2
Argentina (AR) 2
Finland (FI) 2
Honduras (HN) 2
Cyprus (CY) 2
Thailand (TH) 2
Pakistan (PK) 2
Barbados (BB) 2
Japan (JP) 1
Croatia (HR) 1
Ukraine (UA) 1
Belgium (BE) 1
Greece (GR) 1
Hungary (HU) 1
Latvia (LV) 1
Estonia (EE) 1
Andorra (AD) 1
Vietnam (VN) 1
Guyana (GY) 1
Ghana (GH) 1
Sri Lanka (LK) 1
Panama (PA) 1
Costa Rica (CR) 1
Cote D'Ivoire (CI) 1
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the (CD) 1
Namibia (NA) 1
Swaziland (SZ) 1
American Samoa (AS) 1
Bolivia (BO) 1
Peru (PE) 1
Trinidad and Tobago (TT) 1
Colombia (CO) 1
Bahrain (BH) 1
Hong Kong (HK) 1
Kuwait (KW) 1
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR) 1
Israel (IL) 1
Anguilla (AI) 1
Lao People's Democratic Republic (LA) 1
Nicaragua (NI) 1
Guam (GU) 1
Guatemala (GT) 1
Saint Kitts and Nevis (KN) 1
Tunisia (TN) 1

Nobody but Jesus - Vanessa Bell

Just an extra treat....found on my search for Christmas music....that's right, sing it out sister!

White Christmas - The Drifters

Awesome version!

White Christmas - Bing and Marjorie Reynolds

White being the operative word here....my maiden name.

Trent Austin - Emmanuel

Amazing things you find when you go looking!

Maiden Austin "Christmas Canon"

I like this....in going with the trend in blogland at present....it really has nothing to do with me, other than my last name, and this by marriage alone (I add). However check out my maiden name entry....classic for sure.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Joy

"Joy is the echo of God’s life within us."

Joseph Marmion

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Then Shall Live

Posted before but as I was going through some older posts in regards to my sister's progress through her journey of cancer, I found this gem again. He is Faithful. He is Power! He is Comfort! He is Love! He is my Life! It is only through His strength and through His Spirit that we communicate effectively to others. He is a relational God! We must be relational it is His Nature.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Wondering.....

I have totally been thinking of getting an Interlinear Bible.....any thoughts?

Totally me

Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

Unknown

From Greg at "This Day's Thought"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

...and they are still being sent...Remembrance Day 2008




Denying self or Self-denial ?

Based on the teaching of Ray Stedman in a devotional form.

There is a difference between self-denial and denying self. Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). That is denying self. But that is easily confused with self-denial, which says, "I will give up this thing or that thing. I want to gain a special mark of favor before God, and I want to influence God to do something for me in return." When our motivation ultimately is to achieve something for ourselves by our actions, we are no longer denying self but practicing self-denial.

How subtle the differences are! Self-denial is an attempt to earn favor apart from faith in the gift of righteousness which makes us wholly acceptable before God right at the very beginning of our Christian life; denying self is a refusal to heed those silken arguments of the inner ego that appeal to us to show how good we are by giving up something.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ever Being Born, Ever Dying

We are ever being born, or dying, and the thrill of choosing which is ours. Only once must we be born without our own consent. Only once must we die without our own permission.

Calvin Miller

Friday, October 31, 2008

Always and Everywhere

From This Day's Thought

In the days of His earthly ministry, only those could speak to Him who came where He was. If He was in Galilee, men could not find Him in Jerusalem; if He was in Jerusalem, men could not find Him in Galilee. But His Ascension means that He is perfectly united with God; we are with Him wherever we are present to God; and this is everywhere and always.

William Temple

Listen Up!

Devotional based on the teaching of Ray Stedman...

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . . (Psalm 95:7b-8a).

God speaks to us in this Psalm to tell us what it is that He essentially wants in worship, what makes worship true worship. It is that today we would listen to His voice! That is what He wants. He wants us to heed his voice--not just come together.

It is commendable for people to come to a church service, but the value of it soon vanishes if all we do is sit while our thoughts are elsewhere. The central fact of worship is to listen to the Word of God, the voice of God. That is why the exposition of Scripture must be the central thing in public worship. Those churches that have departed from this are making a travesty of worship. Worship must include listening to the voice of God, hearing what He has to say, and letting His Word correct our attitudes and our reactions. I wish it were possible for each of you to watch people during the hour of worship. Externally it looks as though you are all paying attention. You sit there quietly, with rapt, turned-up faces, your eyes open and staring straight ahead, apparently attracted by what the Word of God is saying. But having sat there myself, I know it is not always true. Some of you are playing golf. Others of you are rehearsing a business deal. Some of you are planning a trip. Some are going over a conversation you had two days ago. It would be fascinating at the end of a service to know where everybody has been! But God is desirous that whatever else you may do in a service, when His Word is speaking, listen! And not only listen, hearken! Hearken means to heed the Word, to do something about it, to let it really change you.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where You Go I Go

The best sounding version of this song so far. I love it!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Food for Thought

To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.

J. Churton Collins

All Things

To forsake Christ for the world is to leave a treasure for a trifle, eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow, all things for nothing.

William Jenkyn

At Home

God's thoughts, his will, his love, his judgments are all man's home. To think his thoughts, to choose his will, to love his loves, to judge his judgments, and thus to know that he is in us, is to be at home.

George Macdonald

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Grandsons (two of the three)

Their first school picture. Junior Kindergarten. What trouble they have been giving the teachers. They aren't always into the rules etc. Sounds like their Grandma is rubbing off on them. Pray for them and little Carson, who looks like he is joining this family very soon. And, he is 17 months already. Does it sound like dysfunction to you. I thought so for a while but now....sounds like family in the process to me. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"God Loves You"

From Alan Knox through Guy Muse....Thanks

I have a message for all brothers and sisters in Christ...

To those who did not want to paste a fake smile on your face and act like everything is fine... God loves you!

To those who did not sign up to help in the new "ministry program" even though you felt pressured and made to feel less spiritual... God loves you!

To those who did not feel like sitting through another mini-concert and lecture that did not apply to you... God loves you!

To those who struggle with sins that are not the kinds of sins other believers accept... God loves you!

To those who have been called uncommitted because they do not attend every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, and special event... God loves you!

To those who have struggled with their relationship with God and have been instructed that the answer is to get more involved with programs... God loves you!

To those whose children do not memorize all their Bible verses or cannot find every book of the Bible within 2.7 seconds... God loves you!

To those who do not work in the nursery, even after being guilted and given dirty looks... God loves you!

To those who choose not to bow your head and close your eyes... God loves you!

To those who feel they can never be good enough, can never do enough, can never look good enough, can never say the right things... God loves you!

To those who have had their questions, struggles, and pains all too easily brushed aside or fixed... God loves you!

To those who can't live up to the obligations and expectations that others have placed on them... God loves you!

To those who ask the wrong questions... God loves you!

To those who are ridiculed for being different and who stopped trying to look and act like everyone else... God loves you!

To those who have nothing to put into the offering plate... God loves you!

To those who would prefer not to sing in public... God loves you!

To those who fell asleep before the closing illustration of the third subpoint of the second section of the sermon from Leviticus... God loves you!

To those who like their tattoos, piercings, and long hair... God loves you!

To those who do not get excited about the latest publication by Rick Warren, Beverly Lewis, Max Lucado, Gary Chapman, or even D.A. Carson... God loves you!

To those whose children are not little angels... God loves you!

To those who are ignored or shunned or maligned by leadership... God loves you!

To those who have not memorized the books of the Bible, don't know where Nineveh is located, and can't pronounce the name Melchizedek... God loves you!

To those who have children but no spouse, a spouse but no children, or neither spouse nor children... God loves you!

To those who need a listening ear instead of a lecture, a friend with a helping hand instead of a ministry project coordinator, or someone with a gentle tongue instead of wrath and rhetoric... God loves you!

To those who are afraid to trust, afraid to care, afraid to love, or afraid to try... God loves you!

To those who want to follow God, but don't fit any of the ministry categories... God loves you!

To those who missed "church" four weeks in a row and no one noticed... God loves you!

To those who need five hours of baby sitting instead of a 5 second hug or handshake... God loves you!

To those whose "Sunday best" includes tank tops, ripped jeans, and flip flops... God loves you!

To those who would prefer to have someone show them how to live faithfully instead of tell them to live faithfully... God loves you!

To those who feel burdened by those around them and are not allowed to rest in Christ... God loves you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hmmm

One-half of the ills of life come because men are unwilling to sit down quietly for thirty minutes to think through all the possible consequences of their acts.

Blaise Pascal

Bebo on Britney et al

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New From Brian Doerksen

Check out this new title and video by probably my favourite all-time Christian artist...master of worship and song-writer extraordinaire.....a real man of God....and speaks so eloquently of the Love of God and His Faithfulness.


When in the fire....

Friday, October 17, 2008

His Light


I live and love in God's peculiar light.

Michelangelo

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rob Bell's new video

Check out Bell's new Nooma video "She". If you are a mother or ever had one, you will understand.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Spent an enjoyable Sunday with family and friends. Went down to a local apple orchard and the grandkids ran and just ate apples off the trees....and had a great time. Big Turkey and Ham Feasting afterwards with all the trimmings.....family is a joy....at times tiring and unbelievable difficult and frustrating, but today and everyday, I thank God for those He has put into my life as my family and my friends. He overwhelmed me today with bountiful blessings. Missing some of the family that no longer can enjoy these times, and maybe never did.....it is more than I can understand. Family is important. We must hold tight to each other. God honours this, I think.

I Can't Get This Song To Stop Playing.....


Check out this 2 C.D. compilation -Deeper 2 Hours of Deep Worship For Prayer and Intercession - features this song as well as many other great ones....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Unqualified acceptance

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever (Psalm 107:1).

This is the recurrent theme of Psalm 107. The psalmist speaks of the steadfast love of God. In Hebrew, the word means "an eager and ardent desire" and refers to the fact that God's love never gives up. We sing about it in the hymn,

O Love that wilt not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in Thee.

The thing that finally gets to us, breaks the back of our rebellion, and sets us free from our emotional hang-ups is the unqualified love of God, which never lets us go. We might use a term that is more easily understood in our day. Instead of "steadfast love," read "unqualified acceptance." That is what God's love does. It accepts us without reserve.


From Ray Stedman

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hmmmm

Stewardship is more than setting up soup kitchens and overnight shelters. It is good and right that we reach into the river of despair and rescue people who are drowning. But it is time to move upstream and see who's throwing them in.



Edmond Browning

Folk Songs of Faith

Ray Stedman devotion based on his teaching.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

(Psalm 73:2-3)


One of the great values of the Psalms is how these wonderful folk songs of faith reflect our own experience. They are an enactment of what most of us are going through, have gone through, or will go through in the walk of faith. There have been many Christians troubled like this. They have been swayed by the seeming logic of the argument of the infidel or atheist. They say, "How can your God be both a God of love and power? If He's a God of power, as you Christians say He is and can do all things, then He cannot be a God of love, or He would do something to correct injustices." Christians are often tremendously affected by this argument and become discouraged and frightened as they face the seeming logic of it. How can God be both a God of love and power and yet allow His own to suffer so terribly at times while the unrighteous seem to prosper and everything goes well with them? That was the problem this man was facing.

Lord, help me to trust, despite what I often see around me, that You are a God of both infinite power and infinite love.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My favourite scene...

Paul Newman - 1925 - 2008

There it is!

Were it not for the consciousness of Christ as my life, hour by hour, I could not go on. But He is teaching me the glorious lessons of His sufficiency, and each day I am carried onward with no feeling of strain or fear of collapse.

J. Hudson Taylor

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's it all really about?





So many thoughts and books and opinions and labels and factions. I am overwhelmed today by this and am feeling that we are all being deceived by a great and amazing deceiver. Religion, Churchianity, Theology, and the Lot have become gods......

Maybe it is because of where I work, what I see, and what I hear?

I continue on my journey of faith undaunted but disheartened. What a bunch of hooey out there and we fight....for that hooey to continue. Wasted time. We are here for a moment.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Communication and Inclusion

Again a devotional based on the teaching of Ray Stedman.
Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide (2 Corinthians 6-11 RSV).

Paul loved these people in Corinth, and he has manifested that love in various ways toward them. He has demonstrated it, as he says here, by two special things. "Our mouth is open to you," he says. That means he communicated with them; he told them what was going on in his own life; he shared with them his feelings, struggles, failures, pressures, and problems, and he let them know how he coped with them. That is always a mark of love. To open up to others is to love them. Conversely, to close up and not communicate is to violate love.

This is a frequent problem in churches today. Christians actually think it is right for them to be closed in on themselves, to be private persons, unwilling to communicate who they are and how they feel and where they are in their lives. That, of course, is the way of the world. The world teaches us to let no one see who we are. But we need to understand that when we become Christians, we must learn to open up to one another.

"Our heart is wide," he says. He means there is no favoritism; he includes the whole congregation. He did not merely love the "nice people" among them. He loved them all: the difficult ones, the ones who were struggling, and the hard-to-get-along-with ones as well. There were no preconditions that he demanded before he would love somebody in the congregation either. He accepted them as people. Though he knew their struggles, their weaknesses, their heartaches, their failures, and their resistance, he loved them.

The problem was that they did not love him in return. This is the problem in churches, in individual lives, in homes, in families, and in marriages today. It is a failure to understand the reciprocal nature of love. Love is a two-way street. It always is; it is inherently so. Love requires a response. Paul was loving them, but they were not loving him back. They were closed; they were unresponsive; they were coldly self-contained toward him. And the result? Paul puts it in one word: They were "restricted" (2 Corinthians 6:12 RSV). What does that mean? It means they were limited; they were imprisoned within the narrow boundaries of their own selfish lives.

That is why Paul pleads here with these Corinthians: "Oh! Corinthians, widen your hearts unto us. You are not restricted by us. You are restricted by yourselves, in your own affections. If you really want to experience the richness of love, then love back when you are loved." This is one of the most important lessons we can ever learn in life. Love must respond. When you are loved, what do you do? Do you love back, or do you say, "What a wonderful feeling! I hope they will keep that up?" Do you expect it all to come to you without a reciprocal response from you? No, that is impossible. Love must respond.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sensible Fanaticism

From a devotional based on the teaching of Ray Stedman. (Some of us are imposters and untrue and etc., etc. .... of course, we know this and yet....)

We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:8b-10 RSV).

As the apostle Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire, we learn from Scripture that he was frequently accused of being crazy. People heard his testimony of his remarkable experience on the Damascus road. They saw his dedication and his commitment to life, which took him away from comforts and pleasures, and they said he was crazy. In fact, Festus, a Roman governor in the book of Acts, said to Paul's face one day, "You are out of your mind, Paul! . . . Your great learning is driving you insane" (Acts 26:24). But the apostle did not seem to mind this.

We seem generously supplied today with a variety of steely-eyed fanatics who are quick to point their fingers and are full of passionate speeches. Since many of them claim to be Christians, it raises the question of whether the early Christians really were like that. Do you have to be a fanatic to be a Christian? Listen to the apostle Paul's description of his own life and how he describes his own sense of dedication:

Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on (2 Corinthians 6:4-8a).

Is that fanaticism? If it is, I feel like the great English preacher Charles Spurgeon, who, when he was told that Paul's conversion on the Damascus road was really caused by a fit of epilepsy, said, "Oh, blessed epilepsy! Would that every man in London could experience epilepsy like that!" So if this is fanaticism, then I say, "Would that every one of us were fanatics like this!" What a magnificent description of a God-honoring life! What a marvelous pattern is held before us. Here is what the "ministry of reconciliation" will really look like when it is lived out to the full. You and I may fall far short of a description like this. I feel I do. But though we may not equal in degree the way the apostle lived, we are all called to be like this in kind.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the witness of this record of the great apostle as he lived through the pressures and the calamities of his own time. Grant to me, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same sensible fanaticism as Paul.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday's Treasured Song.....

Thanks to rjw for bringing this song to light on their blog. It blesses me more than they could ever have realized. Deepest gratitude that blogging can connect us to that One Thing. Praise God that we can recognize the larger picture that we are a family of brothers and sisters in Christ and the more we seek Him the more that desire to know Him more, becomes a passion, a love and it's source? Him alone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Together Again

Discussion on "The Shack", at Kelly's on Tuesday September 23/08. If you are up for a bonfire and some good fellowship around the fire based on the Word.....come on out. If you don't know where......give me a shout out and I will let you know.

Some are fearful.....some are critical.....we just want to talk about it and share what touched us, ticked us off, or whatever, in a non-judgmental, non-threatening environment. It is a book, just that. Fear not.

Jesus, There's Something About That Name

This Beautiful Republic - "Right Now"






You want a change, it's written on your face
You feel alone, a little out of place
You hide away the scars and the mistakes
You've been tired, uninspired, something's going to give

Right now
He knows who you are
The light and the dark
He picks up your broken heart
Right now
He's telling the truth
That you will make it through
His love can rescue you
Right now
Right now

We've all been there, we're walking down the same road
So don't be scared, you're not out there on your own
Just take a breath and shut out the madness
Letting go is beautiful
There's so much more
Just waiting there for you

This is your life
The giving and the taking
A journey in the making
This is your life
The fighting and the kneeling
The hurting and the healing
Don't throw it all away...

Prayer for everyday

Speak O Lord Keith and Kristyn Getty

Psalm 33:20 There is a Hope


Stuart Townend

There is a hope that burns within my heart,
That gives me strength for every passing day;
a glimpse of glory now revealed in meager part,
Yet drives all doubt away:
I stand in Christ, with sins forgiven;
and Christ in me, the hope of heaven!
My highest calling and my deepest joy,
to make His will my home.

There is a hope that lifts my weary head,
A consolation strong against despair,
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit,
I find the Savior there!
Through present sufferings, future's fear,
He whispers, "Courage!" in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms,
And they will lead me home.

There is a hope that stands the test of time,
That lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave,
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine
When I behold His face!
When sufferings cease and sorrows die,
and every longing satisfied,
then joy unspeakable will flood my soul,
For I am truly home.



Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's all right there...in the Book

Unequally Yoked - A devotion based on the teachings of Ray Stedman.


Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women? (Nehemiah 13:27).

The nations among whom Israel was called to live were unusually degenerate. They practiced public lewdness. Their immorality had spread diseases among their people. They killed their children by throwing them alive into furnaces of fire in worship to their god Molech. To protect the Israelites from these dangerous practices, God had told them not to intermarry with these peoples. Though intermarriage might look right and proper to us, it would introduce to the Israelites attitudes and concepts that would ultimately undermine their faith and destroy them and their nation. This is what happened. Though Solomon, David's own son, was said to be the wisest man who ever lived, he contracted over a thousand marriages with foreign women who brought their gods with them and eventually introduced pagan practices into the worship of Israel. By the time Solomon's son came to the throne, the nation was so divided it could no longer exist as one but was separated into two. So this was a very wise pledge to make.

This command is actually repeated in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, not concerning racial distinctions, but religious. He says, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). Many Christians have ignored that to their own detriment by intermarrying with others of a different faith. They have thereby so undermined their own faith that evil in many ways has ultimately crept in and destroyed their marriages. There is no guarantee that if you marry a Christian you are going to have a happy marriage, because there are other principles involved. But it is much more likely that two Christians will be happy together because there are principles and practices taught to us in the Word that make for happiness in marriage. It is certain that if you disobey this command, however, you are opening the door to much heartache, struggle, and misery. There are passages designed to help people who have disobeyed this principle because God is very practical and merciful. He recognizes that for various reasons, intermarriage may occur. There are guidelines to help handle those situations. But by and large this is practical wisdom that needs to be adhered to today. Marry those who share the same faith you have, because faith is the basis for all of life.

He leads us because He loves us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This is our God

This beautiful lady had just lost a baby prior to this project's release. So many stories involved in this undertaking. Despite the storms - they continue to praise the God who is always there whether we feel Him or not.

This is our God - opening prayer

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

There you go...

A victorious Christian life is not a superior brand of Christianity reserved for the elite of the elect. It is the normal Christian life for every Christian.

Ronald Dunn

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It takes a long time to become young.

Pablo Picasso

Monday, August 18, 2008

For a time....

A portion from a devotion from Ray Stedman.

".... the truth that will deliver us from the pressures of the times. We must hold things lightly. We must not think that houses, cars, money, and material gain are all that important. Even if we lack these things, the great treasures of our life remain untouched. To strive constantly to gain what everyone else has is a mistake. God teaches us to hold these things lightly. We must never forget that we are in the world but not of it. We are never to settle down here for good. I love the way C. S. Lewis has put it: "Our kind heavenly Father has provided many wonderful inns for us along our journey, but he takes special care to see that we never mistake any of them for home." We are pilgrims and strangers, passing through this world. We are involved in it, deeply sometimes, but we are never to see ourselves as a part of it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

locking it up?

From The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Drumbeat


Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden Pond, "If I seem not to keep step with others, it is because I am listening to another drumbeat."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Passing Along a Good Word

Ministry is...


Giving when you feel like keeping
Praying for others when you need prayer
Feeding others when your soul is hungry
Hurting with others when your own hurt can't be spoken
Keeping your word when it is not convenient
Being faithful when your soul wants to run away


~Author Unknown

Brought to my attention by Guy at the M Blog and found here by him.

That's Incredible....and yet....

"The Christian believes that in Christ he has died, yet he is more alive than before and he fully expects to live forever. He walks on earth while seated in heaven and though born on earth he finds that after his conversion he is not at home here. Like the nighthawk, which in the air is the essence of grace and beauty but on the ground is awkward and ugly, so the Christian appears at his best in the heavenly places but does not fit well into the ways of the very society into which he was born.

The Christian soon learns that if he would be victorious as a son of heaven among men on earth he must not follow the common pattern of mankind, but rather the contrary. That he may be safe he puts himself in jeopardy; he loses his life to save it and is in danger of losing it if he attempts to preserve it. He goes down to get up. If he refuses to go down he is already down, but when he starts down he is on his way up.

He is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strong. Though poor he has the power to make others rich but when he becomes rich his ability to enrich others vanishes. He has most after he has given most away and has least when he possesses most.

He may be and often is highest when he feels lowest and most sinless when he is most conscious of sin. He is wisest when he knows that he knows not and knows least when he has acquired the greatest amount of knowledge. He sometimes does most by doing nothing and goes furtherest when standing still. In heaviness he manages to rejoice and keeps his heart glad even in sorrow.

He believes he is saved now, nevertheless he expects to be saved later and looks forward joyfully to complete salvation. He fears God but is not afraid of Him. In God's presence he feels overwhelmed and undone, yet there is nowhere he would rather be than in that presence. He knows that he has been cleansed from his sin, yet he is painfully conscious that in his flesh dwells no good thing.

He loves supremely One whom he has never seen, and though himself poor and lowly he talks familiarly with the One who is King of all kinds and Lord of all lord, and is aware of no incongruity in doing so. He feels he is in his own right altogether less than nothing, yet he believes without question that he is the apple of God's eye and that for him the Eternal Son became flesh and died on the cross of shame."

from the writings of A.W. Tozer in his timely classic, THAT INCREDIBLE CHRISTIAN

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Needtobreathe - Washed By The Water

Love this one!



Daddy was a preacher
She was his wife
Just tryin to make the world a little better
You know, shine a light
People started talking
Just to hear their own voice
Those people tried to accuse my father
Said he made the wrong choice
Though it might be painful
You know that time will always tell
Those people have long since gone
My father never failed

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the Water

Even if the Earth crumbles under my feet
Even if the ones I love turn around and crucify me
I won’t never ever let You down
I won’t fall
I won’t fall
I won’t fall as long as You’re around me

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the Water

Slow Fade - Casting Crowns

Giving in to Something Heavenly - Sanctus Real

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rob Bell - Hip, relevant, does he speak Truth....into my life that is Jesus, in a word .....Yes and Amen.

An excerpt from "The Gods Aren't Angry" by Rob Bell.
I watched this video last night. Not one of his 10 minute Nooma videos. It made me weep at the end. It has good insights into our way of trying to do for God instead of doing from Him.

I really enjoyed his other video (besides Nooma videos , which can be awesome in a small group setting). "Everything is spiritual".

A man with many critics. All I know is that after asking God to reveal something about Himself to me through these videos..... He did. Check them out. Can be found at your local Gospel Lighthouse. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Peace!

Ray Stedman's teaching. Be encouraged.

John 16:25-33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

The security of these disciples rested on the ability they thought they had to understand what Jesus was saying to them. They wanted to know, and then they thought they would feel at peace. "Now we know," they said. "Now we understand." Jesus had been speaking to them in figures--the foot washing, the vine and the branches, and the woman in childbirth. "But now you're speaking to us plainly. Now we know and understand that you are indeed from God." They felt a sense of security because they understood that.


This is so like us! We think that God has to explain what we're going through and that then we'll feel secure. Our peace wants to rest upon a certain knowledge of what is happening. But our Lord is very careful to point out that this kind of peace is very insecure indeed. "Within an hour you will be running like a bunch of frightened sheep. You say you know who I am. You say you understand that I came from God and that I know all things. Do you know that within an hour's time you will be so confused and so uncertain of what is happening you will run away and leave Me alone? Rather than trusting Me to work things out, you'll forsake Me and not want to be identified with Me. And yet I'll not be alone. My security won't be threatened in that hour, for the Father is with Me. And I say this to you in order that you might know the kind of peace I have. It is not based on what happens, or even on my understanding of what happens, but upon a trust in the One who controls what happens. I say this to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you're going to have nothing but trouble--trouble at work, trouble at school, trouble in your home, trouble in your family. You'll have nothing but trouble, because that is the way this world is. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."


Isn't that an encouraging word? I have gone through times of great personal stress and deep sorrow, times of uncertainty and lack of understanding, not knowing what God was working out, perceiving Him to be working in ways that I have thought were utterly wrong, thinking He had no business doing things like this to me. And I've had to rest back upon these tremendous revelations of His Word. "You can have my peace," Jesus says, "My sense of security," which rests not in the circumstances, not in the understanding of the circumstances that we so crave, but in a confidence that the One who is guiding the circumstances knows what He is doing. That is where peace comes from.


Lord, grant that I learn to make You my source of peace rather than seeking peace from my circumstances or even my understanding of what You are doing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back on the Mount #4


From "The Beginner's Guide to Intercessory Prayer" by Dutch Sheets.

"Fourth, a Hebron lifestyle will give you the ability to walk in great authority. King David was anointed to be king over Judah at Hebron, and he ruled from there for seven years. ......

Satan, sin, our flesh, and negative circumstances want to rule our lives, but God wants us to rule over these things....Romans 5:17 says, "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."

"God wants to crown us, like David, with the authority to rule in ungodly situations. Intercessors rule from Hebron."


God knows, we need to let our grace and righteousness given to us reign in ungodly situations. Unless you live in a perfect world.....I don't.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Time with Him.....


I do love Sundays!

Back to Hebron - #3



From The Beginner's Guide to Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets.


"....intimacy with God - living at Hebron - will cause your intercession to defeat the giants in your life and others' loves. Hebron was formerly ruled by Arba, the greatest of all the giants in the land of Canaan, and had been named after him. Caleb defeated this giant, took the mountain, and renamed it Hebron (see Josh. 14:14-15). Your Father wants you to be an overcoming intercessor, able to defeat every giant that comes your way. Like Caleb, you, too, can live on this mountain representing dead giants, fulfilled destinies, and friendship with God."


Seems a little better than a cave to me....(sometimes).

His love in me flowing to others.....

Ray Stedman.....again.

John 15:12-17

12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

14 "You are My friends if you do what I command you.
15 "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.


This section begins and ends with the command of Jesus: "I command you to love one another." The fact that this is put in the imperative mode means it is not an option in our life. It is not something we do if we feel like it. It is to be a deliberate response to another person whom we know to be in the family of God, regardless of how we feel toward that person.


Many people struggle at this point. They say, "How can you command love? Love is a feeling, and if you don't love somebody, you can't help it. Love is our master; we do not master it." Those who say these things reveal that they have a very serious misconception of love. Unfortunately, we are victims of Hollywood in this respect. We think of love as a feeling we have of affection toward another.


But love, as Jesus speaks of it here, is far different. We can be sure of one thing: He would never command us to do what is impossible for us to do. The secret, of course, is that we are to love, He says, "as I have loved you." This kind of love is to arise out of the same kind of relationship that He has with the Father that made it possible for Him to love us. In this same manner, and from the same source, we are to love one another with the same quality of love. He loved us because God is love, and He was indwelt by the Father. He was in the Father, and the Father in Him. As He yielded to that relationship, love flowed out. It could not help it--God is love. Since God is love, as we yield to that relationship to the Son, love flows from us. And it will have the qualities that His love has. He goes on to define for us the aspects of love that mark the quality of His love for us, which we also are to show to one another.


The first is given in the words, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Love lays down its life for another. We all know how fully Jesus Himself exemplified this. His is the greatest love that anyone can demonstrate toward friends. Obviously this means more than simply dying physically for them. If it meant only that, there would be very few of is who could or would ever fulfill this, largely because we would lack the opportunity to do so. And, of course, one could do so only once! But our Lord is commanding us to do this repeatedly. So He means by this that we are to give ourselves up for one another. When you go out of your way to meet a friend's need, when you are willing to spend time with someone who is a Christian just because that one is a Christian--not necessarily because you are drawn to that person--and you are willing to go out of your way and to give yourself up for him or her, you are laying down your life, a part of it at least, for that person. This is what Jesus had in mind.

Lord, You have loved me with this kind of love. Now I pray that this same love would flow through me to others in the body of Christ

Once it was....

HIMSELF

Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone.

Once 'twas painful trying, now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, now my anchor's cast.

Once 'twas busy planning, now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, now 'tis ceaseless praise.

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, now the mighty One;
Once for self I labored, now for Him alone.

Once I hoped in Jesus, now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, safe within the veil.

A. B. Simpson

Friday, July 18, 2008

Of the Vine

Ray Stedman....again.




John 15:1-3

1. I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.

2. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

3. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].

His beautiful analogy has helped many Christians understand the relationship God wants them to know. When He said, "I am the true vine," He did not mean true in contrast with something false, but rather real, genuine, as opposed to the mere copy or symbol. As He held this vine and its branches in His hand, He indicated that this was the copy. He was the true vine from which true life is received.


The figure of the vine is used many times in the Scriptures. The disciples would immediately think of several places where it was used. One is in Isaiah 5: "The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel" (Isaiah 5:7a). Israel was that vine. As Isaiah tells us, God cleared out the rocks in His vineyard and hedged it about. He built a tower; He protected the vineyard and cared for it. He did everything possible to cause it to produce grapes. But when He came into His vineyard and looked for grapes, He found instead sour, tasteless grapes. Isaiah tells us what that represents in verse 7: "The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress" (Isaiah 5:7).


God came looking for justice and righteousness; instead, He found oppression, cruelty, exploitation, and indifference to the needs of others. It is evident from this parable that the fruit that God expects of the vine is moral character or, as described in Galatians, the fruit of the Spirit. The life that is in the vine produces fruit that Paul describes in Galatians 5 as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. The fruit, in other words, is Christlikeness. And our Lord is indicating that the very purpose of the vine is to produce such fruit.


Lord, teach me to abide in You so that I can bear the fruit of Christlikeness.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tender Warrior

"Tender Warrior" - Stu Weber

A book for men....mentioned to me quite a while ago by a wonderful and ripened woman of God. I see it has been revised and put back out in print.

My last post reminded me of this.

Despite this wonderful woman being promoted....she still influences my daily life.

Check it out.

Living at Hebron (2)

..."Hebron became the home of Caleb, one of the greatest warriors of Israel. Friendship with our Father makes us powerful overcomers. Caleb, the faith-filled spy and great Israeli conqueror, asked God for Hebron, the "mountain of friendship," as his inheritance. God granted his request and Hebron, the place of friendship, became the "mountain of the conquering warrior." A warrior heart and a tender heart aren't conflicting. To the contrary, I believe Caleb was a great warrior because of his relationship with God. God, your Father and Friend, wants you, also, to be a conquering intercessor living at Hebron. Out of your relationship with Him, you, too, will be a great overcomer.....

....God will give us victory in every situation as we partner with Him."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From Today's Thought

"He who loves the coming of the Lord is not he who affirms it is far off, nor is it he who says it is near. It is he who, whether it be far or near, awaits it with sincere faith, steadfast hope and fervent love."

Augustine

Monday, July 14, 2008

Living at Hebron

From "The Beginner's Guide to Intercessory Prayer" by Dutch Sheets.


....Our friendship with God is pictured in the Scriptures by a famous mountain in Israel. Its name, Hebron, actually means "friendship, fellowship, or communion." ...


Being the highest point in Israel, Hebron teaches us that the highlight of the Christian life and the pinnacle from which all else should flow is friendship with the Almighty. It is only from there, as we look down on all of life, that the correct perspective can be obtained.

...David explains what eliminated his confusion about the prosperity of the wicked...

Until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end...For, behold, those who are far from Thee will perish; thou hast destroyed all those who are unfaithful to Thee. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Thy works (Ps 73:17,27-28)


Like David, we must take our perspective on life from God's viewpoint. One of the most important things you'll learn as God's friend is to intercede from His perspective. Living at Hebron, the high place of friendship, makes this possible. As you spend time with God, you'll begin to think like Him, which will allow you to pray according to His heart and will..... As you live at Hebron, you will increasingly care about what is on God's heart, just as He cares what is on yours. This partnership is glorious."

Him in me, I in Him.

Another wonderful devotional from the teachings of Ray Stedman.

John 14:8-11

Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work (John 14:10).

In this part of the passage, our Lord is dealing with the secret of His own being. In some ways this is the most profound revelation that we have of the nature of the Lord in His relationship with the Father, and it is absolutely fundamental. This is what He meant when He said to His disciples at the beginning of this chapter, "Trust in God; trust also in me." That is, "Understand there is a unique relationship that is the secret of My life and that will be the secret of your life, too. You must understand that I have not come here simply to demonstrate how God works, how God looks, how God acts; I have come to demonstrate how a person acts who is in right relationship with God, who is filled with God. The Father dwells in Me, and He does the works. I do them, but I do them by a secret relationship, so that though I perform them--my mind thinks, my hands work, and my body acts--it nevertheless is really the Father who is doing all this through Me. I live in Him; He lives in Me."

"And if you want proof of this," He says to Philip, "look at two things: My words and My works. My words prove that I am in the Father. I could never say what I say if I were not in the Father, for what I say is truth. It is reality. It is the way things are. And My works prove that the Father is in Me. A human could never do what I do, but God can. And you must understand this, Philip. Otherwise you will have no understanding of the secret of your own life." For in verse 20 He goes onto say, "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20). That is, "The relationship that I have with the Father is the pattern that I will have with you. Just as I live by means of the Father at work in Me, so you will live by means of Me at work in you. I will come to you. I will live in you. I will work through you. And you can face every problem of life on that basis. I will be adequate to handle anything that comes your way, on that basis. Whatever life throws at you of fear, of upset, of discouragement, of disappointment--whatever its nature may be--you can handle it in the same way that I have handled life: You in Me and I in you, as the Father is in Me, and I am in Him."

There is much more that our Lord went on to say that relates to the handling of the difficulties of life, but it all grows out of His wonderful explanation to the disciples, in answer to the cry of Philip, that they might know the secret of His being: "I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, just as I will be in you and you will be in Me."

Lord, I desire to learn to live on the same basis that You lived. May I live each day remembering that it is You in me and I in You. I want that to be the secret of my being as it was Yours.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Steve Green - Enter In (questionable fashion statement...avoid looking at the suit)



"Nothing chills the heart of man like passing through death's gate,
Yet to him who enters daily, death's a glorious fate.
Dearly beloved we have gathered here to be a holy bride
And to daily cross death's threshold to the holy life inside.

Enter in, enter in
Surrender to the Spirit's call to die and enter in.
Enter in, find peace within,
The holy life awaits you, enter in.

The conflict still continues, raging deep within my soul,
The Spirit wars against my flesh in a struggle for control.
My only hope is full surrender, so with each borrowed breath,
I inhale the Spirit's will for me to die a deeper death.

If mourners should lament, then let them weep for those alive,
For only when self-will is killed can my soul survive.

Enter in, enter in,
Surrender to the Spirit's call to die and enter in.
Enter in, find peace within,
The holy life awaits you, abundant life is waiting for you,
The holy life awaits you,--
Enter in, enter in."

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Washing each other's feet



From the devotional based on the teachings of Ray Stedman.


John 13:14


What does Jesus mean when He says that we ought to wash one another's feet? Some Christians have taken this very literally and have thought that our Lord was here instituting another sacrament.

Jesus is not giving us another sacrament to follow here. But what He means is that just as we need the cleansing and forgiveness of our Lord to maintain the sense of unity and refreshment of spirit in our Christian life, so we need to extend to one another free forgiveness for guilt and for the injury that we may do to one another. We are to be, in the words of Paul, "kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).

He knows that it is difficult sometimes to forgive, that the flesh within cries out for revenge. And often we love the feeling of carrying a grudge or of resisting the overtures of other people. But Jesus says that when we are doing that, we are doing what He would not do. We are demanding our rights. And we are forgetting that our Lord and Master humbled Himself, though He was rightfully the Lord of glory, the one with every right to claim the worship of people. Nevertheless, He laid it all aside. He washed the feet of His own disciples.

No Christian has any right to sit in self-righteous judgment upon another. We may bring others under the searching light of the Word of God. We may, out of concern and compassion for their welfare, expose to them what they are doing. But in no sense are we to do so with self-righteousness, with the suggestion that we would never do a thing like that. Our Lord insists that we wash one another's feet in love.

Dr. H. A. Ironside pointed out how wise it is to be concerned about the temperature of the water when we wash one another's feet. An angry person will be so distracted by what has happened that he or she will use boiling water, but people don't want their feet washed in boiling water. Some come with a holier-than-thou attitude and attempt to use freezing-cold water to wash another's feet. No one will allow it under those conditions. Others attempt to wash people's feet with no water at all. They tear into another, attempting to scrape away the dirt, and the skin along with it. What they say may be true, but it is offered up with no love at all. But our Lord insists that we wash one another's feet in love.

Help me, Lord, to so love my brothers and sisters in Christ that I am willing to wash their feet and am willing to allow them to wash mine. May I do so in tenderness and warmth, knowing how gentle You are with me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Holding Out For A Hero - Bonnie Tyler

I don't think Bonnie Tyler's hero and mine are quite the same.....but this is a great (and hilarious) video about what that means. A prelude if you will to the following story. First some laughter and then some tears.





Not one to comment on societal affairs, usually, as I believe this sin-cursed world is past the point of my understanding and I leave a lot of things in far more capable Hands. This bit of news today though, I couldn't help but comment on. What hope in this world system is there when the good guys (supposed), are really the bad guys. Deception at its finest. May God save us all from those who swear to protect and serve and do just the opposite. (Understand that I am not naive to the corruption of any organization including the men in blue....but discouraged and disgusted at times with blatant immorality.

In the news today.......

Two Toronto police officers and three corrections officers are among 20 people charged in a large-scale marijuana drug trafficking operation in the Greater Toronto Area.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said officers made the arrests after executing 63 search warrants throughout the region early Thursday morning.
Blair said evidence from earlier marijuana grow-op busts in York region allegedly linked the Toronto officers to a larger criminal network.
"The primary purpose (of the organization) was the production and distribution of marijuana, the distribution of other drugs and the laundering of the proceeds of their criminal enterprise," Blair said at a press conference late Thursday afternoon.
The chief said officers conducted months of surveillance during an "exhaustive and lengthy investigation."
The majority of the alleged criminal activity occurred in York.
Thursday's pre-dawn raids, which were carried out at homes and businesses, netted 17 pounds of marijuana and $60,000 in cash, said Supt. Jim Ramer.
Ecstasy and steroids were also allegedly being distributed. Ramer said officers seized a large amount of drug-making equipment.
Police aren't yet releasing the value of the drugs and the total figure of the drug operation.
The two officers charged have been identified as Const. Kevin Bourne, a nine-year veteran, and Const. Patrick Lee, an eight-year veteran. They have both been suspended with pay.
The officers face numerous charges, including production of a controlled substance, trafficking a controlled substance, obstruction of justice and breach of trust.
Blair said this is the first time his officers have been linked to a grow-op.
Seventeen other adults, including three corrections officers, and one youth, have been charged in the investigation. They are scheduled to appear in a Newmarket court on Friday.
The jail guards were employed at the Toronto West Detention Centre in Rexdale, and the investigation probed whether drugs were making their way to inmates, CTV News has learned.
Police expect to release more details and the names of the other accused on Friday.