Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day By Day...Another Day Given by the LORD!!

I am thankful today because it was such a wonderfully beautiful fall day!! It was sunny with colored dried leaves blowing through the air as we drove under their cloud. Glorious!! 

I am thankful for good news!! My friend who has cancer, still has cancer, but it isn't near as bad as at first thought. It isn't in her lymph nodes, nor is it throughout all her other organs. It is contained and the doctors believe that she will pull through just fine.  

I am thankful for the time I spent with my husband today!! He took the time off from work for a 'procedure. Now, you have to understand one thing...I don't go to the doctor much. IF I do go, the only thing I will do is figure out how to take care of the issue naturally. Rarely, will I even swallow a pill. UGH!! So, afterwards, we stopped for something to eat (I got soup and a salad), and then we drove home on a beautiful scenic route that winds across the ridge of a mountain (I mean it WINDS) along a cliff that drops off to a river far below. On the other side is the state (not the state of confusion) that we live in (and on the side we drive on is the state we lived in for years...I won't tell you how many, so you think I am merely in my 20s ;-) After enjoying the beautiful drive along the cliffs, we crossed the river to 'our' side of the river. We continued to wind up the mountain (we live 1300 feet above sea level....we won't flood!!) where he took me up a long dirt road that connects to the road we live off of. It wound through the wooded mountain, along a pond, and back to our little town. We live in a very small town with no stores, just a post office, ambulance, and not much else!!

I haven't done anything much today but I had a very rare and restful day. I do things all day, so this is rare...so why on earth did I name my blog..."The Haven of Rest?" I suppose that is what I desire our home to be for all who live here and all who enter here. 

How much do I really trust the Lord?! Too many moments I am filled with trials, worry, fears, cares, pain, tribulation, toil, and trouble. Whether self-induced or not; these are real in each of our lives. Jesus knows and He reminds me (and you) through this song about His strength, kindness, mercy, peace, rest, love, cheer, counseling, power, sweet consolation, and so forth as is sung below:

1.     Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

     2.     Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

     3.     Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All Things Work Together for Good

My friend just found out she has cancer. It is very serious and we are all praying for her.  This selection reminded me of all the things you and I are 'going through' as we follow   our Savior down the less traveled road. For my friend it is cancer. For you it might be your babies and toddlers, for another it may be a prodigal son or daughter, for someone else it might be finances, or any number of things. I found this at www.gracegems.org where they have old books from old authors. They encourage circulating their material as they have no copyright. Whatever it is in your life...be encouraged as you read this. ~Judith~ 

(Thomas Brooks, "Holiness, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

All the afflictions, and
all the temptations, and
all the oppressions, and
all the oppositions, and
all the persecutions —
which befall a godly man,
shall work for his good.

Every cross, and
every loss, and
every disease —
which befall the holy man,
shall work for his good.

Every device,
every snare,
every deceit,
every stratagem,
and every enterprise of Satan against
the holy man, shall work for his good.

They shall all help to make him . . .
 more humble,
 more holy,
 more heavenly,
 more spiritual,
 more faithful,
 more fruitful,
 more watchful.

Every prosperity and every adversity;
every storm and every calm;
every bitter and every sweet;
every cross and every comfort —
shall work for the holy man's good.

When God gives a mercy —
 that shall work for his good.
When God takes away a mercy —
 that shall work for his good.

Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of
the saints
 shall work for their good. Oh . . .
 the care,
 the fear,
 the watchfulness,
 the tenderness,
 the zeal —
which God raises in the souls of His saints by their
very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the
detestation — which God raises in the hearts of His
children against sin — by their very falling into sin!

Oh what love to Christ,
what thankfulness for Christ,
what admiration of Christ,
what cleaving to Christ,
what exalting of Christ,
what drawings from Christ's grace —
are saints led to, by their very falls!

It is the glory of God's holiness, that . . .
 He can turn spiritual diseases — into holy remedies!
 He can turn soul poisons — into heavenly cordials!
 He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!

O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you,
what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you,
what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you,
what though men rage, and devils roar against you,
what though sickness is devastating your family,
what though death stands every day at your elbow —
yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because
all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is
wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing in all the afflictions
and tribulations which come upon you — considering that
they shall all work for your good.

O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid — that you do not
run so often as you should — to the breasts of this promise,
nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would
yield, and that your several cases may require. "We know
that all things work together for good, to those who love
God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I
have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition
of God's people calls for the strongest cordials, and the
choicest and the sweetest comforts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I absolutely love to make cheesecakes!! I brought four to a church Christmas dinner last year. Each of the four were a different kind. 

Here is a Pumpkin Cheesecake that I found recently when I didn't have all the ingredients for a pumpkin pie. I took this to a baby shower for our pastor's daughter with a theme of "A Pumpkin Is On Its Way!" The cream cheese gives this a milder taste for those not crazy about pumpkin. Yummy!! I wish I had a piece to have with my tea right now!! 
The fellowship was great, and the food was scrumptious!!
On the tables are mason jars with cute little ties around the rim made out of different types of ribbons. The ora
nge and red
 is food coloring with little taper candles floating in the water. So pretty!

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

I haven't posted in quite a while....I keep thinking of things to post but life has been so full that there really hasn't been time. Time. Such a fleeting thing time is!! We assume to get up each morning to a new day...how short life is!! When I pull up the shades each morning, I often reflect on how many times I have done this simple task and looked out on a new day.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 
James 4:14

We usually start our day by singing a song around the breakfast table. Lest you think how spiritual we are, we don't always 'want' to sing so early in the day, nor does my voice sound so great...it is actually rather croaky!! I always try to remember how verse after verse in Psalms tells of the importance of raising our voices in praise to the LORD. Often, we find a song where my children sound so nice together, and on other days...well...we just sing anyways knowing that a joyful noise still brings praise to God.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, 
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise; 
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! 
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me
'Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I'm so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o're and o're!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

I love hymns!! They are full of theology. Comforting theology that can comfort the soul or send a thrill through the heart to uplift and encourage a person to look to Jesus. Lately it seems, there have been so many concerns in my life, and those of others that are my friends, and those that I have never met. Serious concerns. We were never promised that our lives would be easy or filled with what we would say was 'good', yet, the LORD is good and in His Sovereign will, what He sees fit for our lives or those of our friends is good. Good in a way that we cannot always comprehend because His thoughts are not our thoughts.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" 
Isaiah 55:8

For the past couple weekends, we have had the privilege of having Bro. Roy Daniel speak at our church. He spoke a series of messages on witnessing to the lost. This challenged many in our church to be more effective and to take the time to get out there on the streets or in our local neighborhoods and share the gospel. We went downtown in the city nearest our church. My daughter and I were approached by some "J.W." women who were on their lunch-break. They began to try to 'convert' us as much as we were trying to open up their hearts to the gospel.  Soon into the conversation, it started to pouring so hard we were drenched to the skin. One person took shelter under the umbrella of a man selling hot dogs and bought a hot dog and witnessed to the salesman. Others took cover under the eve of a building and talked with people there. We all learned how important it is to study our Bibles and learn a little of how the lost think so we may thoughtfully share how sweet it is to trust in Jesus.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hold the Ropes!!

This story is an excerpt from the book, "Goforth of China" by Rosalind Goforth. 

One story was told at that farewell meeting (of Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth) which made a deep impression on all present and touched a note which sounded through the Goforth's whole after career! The story was of a young couple, when bidding farewell to their home country church as they were about to leave for an African field, known as The White Man's Grave. The husband said, "My wife and I have a strange dread in going. We feel much as if we were going down into a pit. We are willing to take the risk and go if you, our home circle, will promise to hold the ropes." One and all promised.''

Less than two years passed when the wife and the little one God had given them, succumbed to the dreaded fever. Soon the husband realized his days too were numbered. Not waiting to send word home of his coming, he started back at once and arrived at the hour of the Wednesday prayer-meeting. He slipped in unnoticed, taking a back seat. At the close of the meeting he went forward. An awe came over the people, for death was written on his face. He said:

"I am your missionary. My wife and child are burried in Africa and I have come home to die. This evening I listened anxiously, as you prayed, for some mention of your missionary to see if you were keeping your promise, but in vain! You prayed for everything connected with yourselves and your home church, but you forgot your missionary. It is  because you have failed to hold the ropes!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nearer, Still Nearer

Many people do not know hymns anymore.  Short choruses with little meaning, often replace hymns that hold numerous biblical truths within its words. When my children were young, I realized that they did not even know 'Trust and Obey!!' I found a couple hymn books and we began learning hymns together. Hymns are comforting and uplifting to the spirit as we bring a sacrifice of praise unto the LORD.

 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"  (Ephesians 5:19)

The hymn, 'Nearer, Still Nearer' by Leila N. Moris is and example.

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior, so precious Thou art;
Fold me, O fold me close to Thy breast,
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest,"
Shelter me safe in that "Haven of Rest."

Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an offering to Jesus my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine,
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign;
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.

Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Thro' endless ages, ever to be,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee,
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee.

Leila Naylor Morris was the author and composer of this hymn. As a child, she lived in Ohio where with her mother and sister, she operated a millinery shop for many years. In 1881, she married Charles H. Morris. She was active in the Methodist Episcopal church and   in holiness camp meetings.  She was an amazing woman who wrote more than 1000 gospel hymn and continued writing even after her eyesight started to fail. Her son built a 28-foot blackboard with over-sized staff lines, so she could continue to compose. This hymn was first published in 1898 in the Pentecostal Praises Hymnal. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In All You Do Acknowledge Him

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Thoughts from my notes from church this morning.

God is incomprehensible!!

That is something to just think on, just ponder!!

I just thought that I would impress just this one thought from today . . ."In all thy ways acknowledge him . . ."

Most of what I do is mundane and ordinary. The things that I do are not earthshattering by any means, yet, I pray that what I have been doing for the past many years will shatter the world for the Lord Jesus Christ, through my life and my children. In the course of a day: I  teach my children, I will clean up the kitchen, wash a bathroom, cook a meal, wash laundry and iron, and when I get tired . . . play an instrument, transcribe a sermon, type a diary from a missionary to China, and spend time with my sweet husband and children. None of these things make me famous, none of these things are overly different from other mothers, and yet, as I have said for years, the mundane is what makes life full!

"In all thy ways..." Do I acknowledge God in "all my ways..."?? Do you?? Did I today?? Did you?? In every one of 'thy' ways....'every one' of them...did I acknowledge God today?? How did I talk to my husband? How did I talk to my children? It doesn't matter if you or I intentionally decide to say something wrong to those dear around us or said something wrong UNintentionally.  I have often said something meaning to encourage my children and heard the tone in their response and realized that they 'took' me wrong. Most moms have good intentions for their children. They want good things for their children. It is good to consider throughout the day, not waiting until the day ended, what we are saying and how we are coming across. If we are to be growing as a Titus Two woman until we are 90, then sometimes it is painful. Remember the growing pains you had a youngster? Who said that the Christian life is pain-free?! If we are to be growing closer to Christ, we will have pain as he prunes us into a woman who glorifies Him.

There were several things that were listed off this morning to consider. The one that was impressed on me most was 'thought patterns' but you can place in the blank the activity that the Lord impresses on your heart. During the past week, I have been more aware of my 'thoughts' and how much they can affect my responses. If I am tired, my thoughts can be reflected in just a sigh. How much this can become an attitude!! How much I can become 'weary in well doing' and totally ruin anything I am trying to do for others, not to mention for the Lord!! If I want to do something for myself, lets say, like reading a book or a blog, can I ruin the servant heart I might hope to have by rushing through the job, or thinking I should have help, or impatiently asking for help instead of coming along-side?? Hmmmmm!!

In everything, EVERYTHING...."In ALL thy ways....acknowledge him!!" Whether cleaning the house, homeschooling on a day that no one is listening to you, everyone has problems with math simultaneously, when all five of your youngest children are all throwing up (these are real examples), and your tire went flat in the rain coming home on a dark night from church, or Mount Never-Rest is heaped as high as the ceiling (the laundry, that is) . . . In all these types of happenings, think thoughts that are glorifying and thankful to God...check the complaining spirit inside of you which will spill out in your tone or spirit towards your husband or children. You might find it easy to 'be nice' to those outside of your home, but who you are at home, is where your testimony either shines the loudest or sounds the siren!! Communicate with those you live with in such a way that reflects Christ. Ask Jesus daily to be glorified in all that you say and do. Ask Him  to indwell you. Read John 15 often.

Acknowledge also means to confess. Confess your sins and take responsibility for your mistakes and sin.  Are you making Jesus known in your life? Not by putting a bumper sticker on your car but by doing something with your life and your mouth. God is wanting us to confess Him in all that you (or I) do. Give out a track and be ready to give a testimony through your words and even silently through your actions. Sometimes I have had someone come up to me and ask if I was a Christian. Do people identify you with Christ without or before you say a word? That is what God wants.

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths."

*All the credit and glory go to the Lord Jesus Christ and my pastor because his message gave the spring-board for my thoughts in this post. ~Judith~

The Peace of God which Passeth All Understanding

Jenny Daniel is one of my favorite poets. She is the wife of evangelist, Bro. Keith Daniel, from South Africa. They have been a wonderful encouragement to our family (and church family) during the past seven years. Hope you are blessed by this poem and others I will  type out as time allows.

Philippians 4:7
By Jenifer Rene Daniel
(Posted by permission)

Not a glimpse of reason
Never knowing why!
Despite my prayers and seeking
Closed the Heavenly sky!

Questioning His dealings
Dark my present path!
Thwarted expectations
Scorners point and laugh!

As Thy child -- I'll conquer
all the foe would do!
Peace--'not understanding'
has filled my heart anew.

Not as the world expecteth
when all seems lost and wrong
Peace -'past understanding'
has changed my sob to song!

We have not been promised that everything would always go 'right' and it may often seem that everything is going 'wrong.' In these times, isn't it good to read a poem like this and know the peace that God gives is 'past understanding'?? ~Judith~


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