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A Sunday Meditation

We have a national leading music in our services now.  It is such a blessing.  Today we sang a song I did not know, so I looked up the English lyrics.  I hope it will bless your heart as it has mine.

Lake Nojiri

Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.

IMG_0129Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
The solemn hush of nature newly born;
Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

Fall PA 2013-81As in the dawning, o’er the waveless ocean,
The image of the morning star doth rest,
So in this stillness Thou beholdest only
Thine image in the waters of my breast.

IMG_0183Still, still with Thee, as to each newborn morning,
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
So does this blessèd consciousness, awaking,
Breathe each day nearness unto Thee and Heaven.

IMG_1764When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eye looks up to Thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose, beneath Thy wings o’ershadowing,
But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.

Isleofpalms1715So shall it be at last, in that bright morning
When the soul waketh, and life’s shadows flee;
Oh, in that hour, fairer than daylight’s dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought, I am with Thee!

~Harriet Beecher Stowe

*The pictures in this post are of some of my favorite places on earth.  

Today we welcome a new daughter into our family.  Pardon me as I take a break to absorb all the memories.  I will share pictures from the grand event soon.

Happy 4th

Happy-4th-of-July

photo credit:  google images

In Review

I have enjoyed participating in two 31 Days series in recent years.  Here is the link to each.  I hope you will peruse and that they will be a blessing to you.

31 Days of Scripture Memory

31 Days of Knowing God

Dealing with cultural issues…If you are living in a country that is not your own, you will deal with these from time to time.  These issues can be very irritating. I describe them as pebbles in your shoe: small, but terribly annoying, even painful.

Let me give you a little background information. This is our second term in this country. We spent 3 years in another city, 3 years stateside and we are finishing our 4th year in this city. There are some things that contribute to the irritations that I face. One is my age. No matter how willing I am, I find that change becomes more difficult the older that I become. A second factor is that I am the “new kid on the block.” My husband’s parents and brother’s family are nearby. My hubby is a missionary kid from this country. It is his home. My husband’s parents have been here over 35 years. His brother’s family has been here over 20 years. They are all very comfortable here, but I am in the adjustment period. I struggle with this very difficult language. I can sit in a meeting for 2 hours and understand very little. Each city in this country is different. Each has some unique twists in the culture and even has its own slang language. I’m not saying this to make you feel sorry for me, just to help you know where I am coming from.

Last Tuesday, we had the ladies Bible study. My hubby teaches it. I was quite clueless for most of it, so had my own little study. The Lord has ministered to my culture shocked soul in the past from the fruits of the Spirit. That day, He did it again. I have a study Bible that I love. The notes are thorough and often instruct me. Such was the case that day.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”~Galatians 5:2-23

Joy-“…the sense of well being experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the Lord (I Pet. 1:8). Joy is not the result of favorable circumstances, and even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe (John 16:20-22). Joy is a gift from God, and as such, believers are not to manufacture it but to delight in the blessing they already possess (Rom. 14:17; Phil. 4:4).”

Peace-“The inner calm that results from confidence in one’s saving relationship with Christ. The verb form denotes binding together and is reflected in the expression ‘having it all together.’ Like joy, peace is not related to one’s circumstances.”

Longsuffering-“…the willingness to accept irritating or painful situations (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; I Tim. 1:15-16).”

Gentleness(meekness)-“It is a humble and gentle attitude that is patiently submissive in every offense, while having no desire for revenge or retribution.” Three necessary attitudes are mentioned: submission to the will of God (Col. 3:12), teachability (James 1:21), and consideration of others (Eph. 4:2).

These fruits are something we acquire as we grow in our knowledge of God (2 Pet. 1:2). I am so thankful that I don’t have to conjure up these fruits. All I have to do is continue in God’s Word and He will give me these fruits.

I will close with something that a friend wrote in a farewell card to me over 10 years ago.

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
~Psalm 61:2

“He who communes with God is always at home.” ~C.H. Spurgeon

~Notes are taken from the MacArthur Study Bible

~Repost

Dream Car

This is a very old picture of my husband.  He is now half the man he used to be.  ;)  We had a lot of that day, especially trying to imagine him getting in and out of this car.  =)

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. – Ecclesiastes 7:2-4

“Funerals are more instructive than parties, according to the wisest king,  for a funeral will cause a man to consider his own end—the end of every man.”
-Jim Berg, Changed Into His Image, pg. 289

I have had several opportunities in my life to visit the house of mourning.  Perhaps none has had such a profound effect as the death of a dear high school friend of mine.  She was 41 years old at the time.  Her concern was not for herself, but for her unsaved husband and her 4 children.  She was ready to meet her Saviour.

I graduated from a small Christian high school in the hills of Pennsylvania.  There were 17 of us in that graduating class of 1980.  We have all scattered.  I have lost touch with most.  Two from that class died within months of each other.  One suddenly of a heart-attack and my friend with cancer.  My friend thought she was one of the blessed ones.  She was given a glimpse into her future.  Although she did not know the exact day she would die, she knew it would be soon.  She was given time to “put her affairs in order.”  She had the opportunity to teach her children what was really important about living and dying.

I know in her flesh she must have struggled at times with what was to be.  Those of us who were able to spend any time with her never saw this.  Her words were full of trust in her God.  She left a letter for her husband that was full of love for him and the truths she was learning about God in this circumstance.  She knew that God’s way was best.  He had all the wisdom, knowledge and love.   He would take care of her family after she was gone.

As she went through that trial,  I thought about her and her response to her struggles and I was instructed.  Recently, I heard of another friend’s passing into eternity and those lessons were reviewed in my mind.  Do I spend the time I have left doing what is truly important or do I fill it up with meaningless activities?  I know that God gives grace when we need it for the great trials of life, but what about now?  Do I call on that same grace for the “little” trials that plague me daily?  Am I teaching my children what is truly important about living and dying?

None of us know when we will leave this earth.  Some of us may get notice.  Many of us will not.  It is my prayer that I will live each day as if it might be my last.

Some of you who are reading this article may not have made that one most important decision in life that my friend made.  It is not the good deeds we do or the church that we attend that allows us into heaven.  It is our decision to trust Christ as “the way, the truth, and the life,” (John 14:6).  He alone can grant us forgiveness of sins and give us eternal life in heaven.  He is longing to do this, because of His great love for each one of us.  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

Many of my friends and loved ones are now in the presence of the Lord singing in the heavenly choir.  Sometimes when sitting in stillness, I can almost hear the song, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing,” (Rev. 5:12).  Some day I will join their song!

~Repost