Stranded at World’s End

Stranded at World’s End

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“How wonderful to find Him always there, when we have unexpected need of Him! That living touch with Him is so precious; it makes Him so real; it obliterates the line between the earthly and heavenly; it is so humbling to find Him waiting there.”

“There are many apparently needless trials in life, but the Lord stands with us through all of them.  ‘May you lose nothing in the furnace but your dross,’ said Samuel Rutherford.  The Lord will preserve everything else for us.”

“Stranded at world’s end?  Maybe. But if we lean back we will find ourselves on the bosom of Christ—sweet, familiar place.

Sometimes on the Rock I tremble,
Faint of heart and weak of knee;
But the steadfast Rock of Ages
Never trembles under me!”

~from pages 78-80 of In the Arena by Isobel Kuhn

Discouraged??

2020 Flower Park 2FB

I failed to keep my commitment to post in June (at In Her Shoes) and for that I am sorry.  There are times when it is difficult to find the words to say.  Now is one of those times.  There is so much going on in the world.  From corona virus to quarantines to travel bans to protests and violence, if you watch the news at all it will make your head spin.  

I know many missionaries are discouraged.  Some are stuck on their field of service and had to cancel furloughs and other travel  plans.  Some are stuck in their home country and cannot return to their field of service.  Being confined to your house for weeks and months on end adds its own kind of discouragement. 

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Broken Bones

There are times in life when God is working in your heart and showing you things about Himself from His Word that are too personal to share with others.  Not because you don’t want to be transparent and open, but because it loses something when shared with others. It is an intimate time between you and your God.

Since my return to Japan the end of February, I have had some of those moments.  During my recent time as an invalid, I have had more of those moments.  God has been my refuge during this time of quarantine from corona virus and now another type of quarantine of being confined to my chair.

My devotional this year is New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.  The author had no way of knowing what would be going on in my life the year I chose to read his book.  He had no way of knowing what I would be enduring on a daily basis as I read his entry for that day. But God knew.  I have no doubt this year was the year God wanted me to read this devotional.  The entry for June 1st cemented that for me.  God is faithful.  He knows our need.  He plans in advance to meet those needs before we are aware we will have them.


God’s care comes in many forms. He cares enough to break your bones in order to capture your heart.

I wish your care was always easy, predictable, safe—
a cool drink
a soft pillow—
but you are too wise,
too loving,
too committed to your work of
transforming grace.
So your gracious care comes to me
in uncomfortable forms:
the redeeming care of
disappointment,
the unexpected
trial,
suffering, loss.
These things don’t tell me you’re
cold-hearted,
absent,
uninvolved.
No, each is a sign of
zealous grace,
redeeming love.
I struggle to grasp how much you
care,
so I struggle to rest in that
care.
You care enough to give me what I
need,
not what I want.
You care enough to break my bones
in order
to recapture my heart.

For further study and encouragement: Psalm 51 (especially v. 8)

“Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

Tripp, Paul David. New Morning Mercies . Crossway. Kindle Edition.

 

Psalm 91

The group memorizing Psalm 91 at Do Not Depart is finished according to the schedule.  I am still working on it.  I’ve been struggling with the last few verses.  I’ve also been struggling with the meaning behind some of the verses.  We know that God allows pain and suffering to those who love Him, so what does He mean when He says, “No evil shall come nigh thy dwelling.”  I have done some study on my own, read my study Bible notes and notes in a commentary.

You may remember that I have been pretty much confined to a chair due to a recent injury.  Today I took the time to go back and read the posts that were written about each week’s memory verses.  I would encourage you to do that even if you didn’t memorize the chapter.  They were such a blessing to me and gave me much to think about.  We live in such tumultuous times.  God is our peace.  It is my prayer that we will all run to Him for protection.

Here are a few of the most thought-provoking statements in those blog posts to me.  I wanted to write them out for my future reference and thought I would share them with you.  If you read the posts or have been meditating on Psalm 91, please share some of your thoughts in the comments so we can encourage one another.  I linked to each post in the Bible reference.

Psalm 91:1-2, “Regardless of the devastation that the coronavirus threatens us with, we can rest assured that if we stay in our shelter, once the storm passes, our souls will have survived.

And we will still be with God. Together.

He’ll help us pick up the pieces and put our lives back together. Then, as now, He will remain our refuge, our fortress, our God.

In Him we can trust.”

Psalm 91:3-4, “The mouse had taken the bait. And lost his battle.

We, however, don’t have to take the bait of worrying, of panicking, of complaining. We can go higher. Call for help. Avoid the traps.

God knows where our traps have been set, and if we’ll shelter in His nest, we will be safe. He’s got this. Let’s let him fight this one for us.

Count on His faithfulness.
Trust His goodness.
Rest in His love.”

Psalm 91:5-6, “We have a safe place in Jesus, despite our vulnerability in the world.

Ultimately, vulnerability isn’t our weakness. It’s our opportunity—to run to safe refuge in God.

It’s in God’s shelter that we are finally safe.”

Psalm 91:7-8, “While our bodies are just as susceptible to destruction as any other, our souls are not as susceptible. They are protected.

Our immunity doesn’t rest in the physical (although God can still perform miracles there also). Our advantage comes in the peace of God’s presence in us and around us.”

Psalm 91:9-10, “By trusting in God as our refuge, we not only are protecting ourselves, we’re also protecting those ‘near our tent.’

God’s protection ripples out.

When you stay close to God, others around you also benefit by His shade.”

Psalm 91:11-12, ” He doesn’t always stop the catastrophe from happening to us in the physical realm…Even when we can’t see God, He sees us. We are always on His mind and always in His works.”

Psalm 91:13-14, “Getting to know God more doesn’t have to be complicated. But you do need to consciously choose it.

Loving God more means spending more time with Him, being more aware of His presence, learning more who He is, talking with others about Him, talking more in person with Him.

The more you know God, the more you’ll love God. You’ll then hold on to Him in love because you want to, not from guilt or fear or obligation.

You’ll know Him by name.”

Psalm 91:15-16, “We often don’t see the gifts. Our blindness causes us to miss out on God’s good gifts.”

I think, perhaps, the fact of God’s presence is the dearest truth to me next to His love.  It is something that I dwell on continually. God reminds me of it when I don’t. This psalm is full of reminders of His presence.

Thank you, Lisa, for allowing the Lord to use you in this way.  The time spent in this psalm was exactly what my sore, anxious, weary heart needed.

Dread Disease

I have read many books that have been a blessing to me in my journey as a missionary wife.  When we were on deputation for Japan, I read a few books by Isobel Kuhn.  I think that perhaps she is my favorite missionary author.  I gleaned so much from her.  During this time of coronavirus and lockdowns, it is natural to have a dread of what might happen should we get the virus.  Maybe some are even thinking what it will be like when we meet the Lord.  That reminded me of this short passage from In the Arena.

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Good News and Some Bad…

It looks like my summer plans are going to be different than I thought. Last week on Friday, I had quite a fall off of our deck. I hurt my left ankle and my right knee. Today I had an MRI to determine the damage. The good news is at this point no surgery is necessary. Also I didn’t do any real damage to my left ankle so even though it’s swollen and black and blue, I can put some weight on it to get around. The bad news is I have a fractured kneecap, a fractured tibia, and a damaged Vastis Lateralis muscle. Due to the severity of the injury, I am in a cast. The doctor felt like the brace was not supporting it enough and if I had any further injury it would mean surgery. That means I am in a cast for 4 weeks and then I can go back to the brace. I would appreciate your prayers.

Waiting for my MRI.

My sweet hubby went through the drive-through at Starbucks since they opened today after our lock down.

I’m back home in my husband’s recliner.

I have been working on lots of projects, but most of them are finished.  The ones that aren’t will have to be on hold.  I do have some projects that involve sitting so I hope to whittle away at some of those during this recovery time.  I have some studying I would like to do, so I will definitely be making time for that as well.  

One of my projects involves doing some spring cleaning here at the blog.  I’ve already started on it and it seems to be helping with some of the issues I’ve been having.  I’m also going to need to learn a new program for my photos that I keep putting off.  I guess now is the time.  I appreciate your patience until I get some of these issues resolved and can get into a regular posting schedule.

Thank you for your prayers.  They mean more than I can say.

The Gentle Shepherd

I love music and the Lord has used many songs that teach His Word to speak to my heart. Psalm 23 is one that we all learn as children. I have to confess that I always quoted it lightly. Then I read A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 and I never quoted it lightly again. I gained a new understanding of what it means to have the Lord as my Shepherd.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

~~~~~

 “…the staggering fact remains that Christ the Creator of such an enormous universe of overwhelming magnitude, deigns to call Himself my Shepherd and invites me to consider myself His sheep–His special object of affection and attention. Who better could care for me?” ~Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

Gentle Shepherd

Oh, the Lord is my Gentle Shepherd showing me the way.
Through the darkness, through the sunshine,
He will never lead astray.
He is with me ev’ry moment, He’s in my heart to stay.
Oh I feel His arms around me, and I hear Him gently say:

~~~~~

I am the Gentle Shepherd watching over you.
I am the Gentle Shepherd and I’ll surely see you through.
I have been where you’re going and I know what you have to do.
Oh, I am the Gentle Shepherd, and I gave my life for you.
~~~~~

If you’re looking for a Saviour, looking for a friend,
Oh let Jesus be your Shepherd, He will love you till the end.
The door is always open, come now and don’t delay.
And He’ll be your loving Shepherd; He will guide you all the way.

~~~~~

He is the Gentle Shepherd, watching over you.
He is the Gentle Shepherd, and He’ll surely see you through.
He has been where you’re going, and he knows what you have to do.
Oh, He is the Gentle Shepherd, and He gave His life for you.

He is the Gentle Shepherd.
~~~~~

words by Duane Nichols, music by Duane Nichols and Mary Lynn Van Gelderen

recorded on Come and Singby the Stouffer Men

 

 

Scripture Memory Thoughts

There has been one good thing about this whole lockdown due to Covid-19.  Well, I can actually think of several good things, but there is one in particular that I want to  talk with you about.  I have been diligently working at Scripture memory.  During furlough, I have to confess that I was a little lax.  If I’m totally, 100% honest, I’ve been lax for sometime.  I am always working at it, but there are times when I am more diligent than others.

As I age, my brain doesn’t seem to retain things as it did before.  I used to be able to go a work meeting, jot down a few notes, return to my desk and type out verbatim what was said and who said it.  Not any more.

Recently as I was struggling with a chapter that I was reviewing, I was getting pretty frustrated with myself.  I had worked so hard to memorize that chapter, but I just couldn’t retain it and the new chapter that I was learning.  I could say it with first letter prompts, but saying it without that was impossible.  Then something dawned on me.

If I do the work of memorizing, God is able to bring it to my remembrance when I need it.  I’ve seen Him do it in the past and I know that He can do it again.  John 14:26 says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”  I know the context is not Scripture memory, but Jesus is saying that the Comforter will bring His words back to our minds.

This is such a comfort to me.  So I keep plugging away and do my best to hide God’s Word in my heart.  I will depend on Him to bring it to my mind when I need it to be there.  He is able.

Issues

I am having some big issues with my blog.  I’m not sure what is going on.  I don’t know if wordpress has updated and I’m out of the loop or if it is just my lack of technical know-how.  I’ll try to post again soon.