My Heart Is Fixed

Psalm 57:7  “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.”

 
     The Christian life is not guesswork, or maybe so, or hope so.  It is a sure life and an immovable life, because it is built on the Rock, Christ Jesus.  The world is floundering, aimlessly seeking this and seeking that, running here and running there, trying this and trying that.  Nothing— I say— nothing works for them, because they do not have a Sure Foundation.  True Christians know what they believe and can back up what they believe because God’s Word is infallible. There is no new revelation.  God’s Word is complete.  He has spoken “unto us by His Son.”  Hebrews 1:2  “The Word of our God shall stand forever.”  Isaiah 40:8b
     How wonderful this fact is: to know what we believe and to believe it.  There is no guesswork, or making of excuses or trying to figure out an explanation. The Truth is all right there in God’s Word.  I recently heard a group of scientists theorizing about evolution, trying to explain our existence.  These men actually thought they were expounding some great knowledge.  If only they could hear how absurd all their rhetoric sounded.  All the knowledge of our mind is but a dot compared to the mind of God.  Our minds are finite, but God is infinite.  Our minds are limited to a beginning and an end and cannot comprehend “always has been,” and “always will be.”
 In Proverbs 9:10a we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  As a child of God, I remember back before God saved me; my mind was closed and limited and was not able to understand and grow.  But since He saved me, I can say like the songwriter, John Newton,  “I once was blind, but now I see.”  It was then that I began to learn; then my mind opened up and I could receive the things of Christ; then was the beginning of wisdom.  And since the Bible is the “Living Word of God,” each time I read It the Holy Spirit reveals some new understanding, so the Bible never gets stale or grows old; therefore I am always growing and learning.
      Now God’s Word provides a sure footing, a strong footing, and I am not moved or swayed when people disagree with me.  And it is by the wonderful Grace of God that I, too, can say with the Psalmist, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.”
 
Theme: The Better Way: A Believing Heart Is Good: A Fixed Heart Is Even Better
 
See also:  Self-Discipline
 
 
  
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A Father’s Day Letter From His 2nd Son

Happy Father’s Day to my dad!  So thankful to have a father who loved me, provided for me and taught me lots of things most important of which was loving Jesus Christ.

He is an amazingly gifted man with so many talents.  He can build or fix just about anything.  I only tinker with woodworking, but learned pretty much everything that I know from him.  He loves good books, and is well-read.  He loves the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.  I have many great memories of standing out at night looking at the stars.  He can make you laugh and do silly, fun things with the best of them, but will be the first one to pray for you and show sincere compassion and care when you’re going through trial.  He’s faithful and steady in his love and care for our family.  So thankful for him this day.   Love, Thomas

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A Father’s Day Letter From His Daughter

None of the cards in the stores ever seem to say the right things  So I thought I’d write one myself. There are many thing I realize I never say “Thank you” for. Sometimes we just assume parents know we are thankful for these thing. But just in case you don’t know, I thought I’d tell you.

Thank you for being a good provider.  You’ve always had a home for us with plenty to eat and good clothes to wear.

 

Thank you for teaching me how to work.  There were many mornings I didn’t want to go pick peas or pull weeds in the in the garden or feed the chickens. But I’m thankful now that I was taught to do these things.

 Thank you for teaching me about the Lord and having family devotions.  I still remember kneeling at the couch and praying when I was 5 years old.  
Thank you for being a faithful husband to your wife.  Many men aren’t and families are divided.
Thank you for saying “no” to things I wanted to do when I wish you would have said “yes.” At the time I thought you were just too rough on me, but you’ll never know how much I’m thankful for those “no’s” now.

 

Thank you for all the times you said, “You be a good girl.”  Some words ring in your ears at just the right moment. 

 I’m thankful for all the principles and values you taught me.  It was not just by speaking them but living them before me that has made me who I am today.
And most of all, I’m thankful you are my father.
Love always, Beth
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A Letter To A Father From His Son

For This I Am Proud of You 

 
The Lord Jesus said we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
This I have seen with my childhood family on our knees around an old footrest.
This I have seen as I rode to work with you in your pickup truck many summer mornings
This I have been blessed to see in numerous Bible studies since Katrina.
You have held dear this greatest of commandments in too many ways to mention here.
Daddy, I am proud of you for this.
 
The Lord Jesus said we are to love others.
This I have seen in your friendliness and honest desires to connect with all people.
This I have seen in your sincere strivings to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.”
This I have been blessed to see my entire life in your empathy for the elderly.
Your have held dear this second greatest commandment in so many other ways.
Daddy, I am proud of you for this.
 
A Psalm asks, “Who can find a faithful man?”
This I have seen my whole life in your commitment to God, Country and Family.
This I have been blessed to see in your persistent actions as well as heard in your consistent words.
This I have seen in you as a dependable and reliable construction worker (has to be a rare find),
     your constant & unfailing dedication to family and your steady & unswerving desire to do right.
For this your faithfulness, reliability, and trustworthiness, I am proud of you.
Daddy, you are that faithful man.
 
A Proverb encourages a man to walk in integrity.
This I have seen in the method you taught us to accurately weigh a bushel of purple hull peas.
This I have seen (and I believe the example very fitting) in your careful and meticulous craftsmanship.
This I have seen more clearly than most because integrity in little things is not usually seen by the world.
For this your integrity, sincerity and uprightness of heart, I am proud of you.
Daddy, I am sure the Lord will say, “Well done.”
 
The Lord requires much of those who are given much.
I have received so much in the example of a true father, that my only option is to beg for mercy.
Because of unpleasant experiences, many people cannot associate God’s love with a father’s love.
I have never had this problem.
This fantastic mixture of consistent firmness and immense compassion, I have seen in you.
For this, I am proud of you.
 
With all love and respect, Carlos Jr to my dad, Carlos Sr


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Go And Make Disciples

 

 

Matthew 28:19 ” Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

 
Early one cool fresh morning, I went out into the back yard and was greeted by some of God’s beautiful creation—the blooms of the elegant Easter Lily. 
Four years ago in 2009, my sweet husband gave me an Easter Lily.  At that time there was only one plant and 4 blooms.  When the blooms were gone, I wondered if the plant could be preserved for next year.  Doing some research, I read that it could be planted outside in the ground.  Well, that winter we had an unusual cold spell of three nights in a row in the low 20’s.  Many of our plants here in the South did not survive.  But that Spring, in 2010, much to my delight, up sprouted the Easter Lily, and now there were two plants and eight gorgeous blooms. Again in 2011, two beautiful blooming plants came up, but now, what is even more exciting,  there were also four smaller plants. Although these smaller ones did not bloom, I’ll be looking forward to next year when they do. Update: In 2012 there was again eight gorgeous blooms, but this time the number of plants had increased from four plants to eight plants. Update: In 2013 there was 12 beautiful blooms and twelve plants.

As I watched this one plant grow and reproduce, my thoughts turned toward God’s Word.  Jesus Christ’s last words of instruction to His followers (and which are for us also) before He ascended into heaven was “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…..”  As we “Go” about our daily lives we are to be living, speaking witnesses for Jesus Christ.  First and most importantly, in our homes before our husbands, our children and our family, our lives, in word and action, should reflect Jesus Christ; then to our friends and fellow Christians, then to our neighbors and those we meet daily; then to the city where we live; then to our own country; then to the world as we give and pray and perhaps are even called by God to go to some foreign land.

 

As we follow Christ’s command to “Go” and labor, we are not left without encouragement for we have the wonderful promise in 

I Corinthians 3:6, “…God gave the increase.”  As the Easter Lily has grown from one to twelve plants, so God will bless our commitment and witness for Him.  Therefore, boldly let us “Go.”

 

The Better Way: Like Ezra, Let Us Prepare Our Hearts To “Seek The Law Of The Lord, To Do It (Obey) And To Teach.” Ezra 7:10

 

Read also: Self-Discipline

Read also: The Whole Duty Of Man

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Five Minute Friday: pause

Between Blue Rocks

In Marilynn Robinson’s beautiful novel Gilead, Reverend John Ames remarks, “I don’t know why solitude would be a balm for loneliness, but that is how it always was for me in those days.”

These days seem harried and hectic, and solitude is an elusive gift, but I’ve found a slice of it this afternoon, a place to pause in, just myself. I’m thankful. Strange how one who is never alone can ache sometimes with loneliness. How being alone can soothe and refresh.

When the word is “pause,” I’m thankful for a pause today, an hour before diving back into the breathless rush of life: the crayon to clean off the back of the door, coffee to scrub out of the carpet, small mouths to feed and bodies to love, and always more than you can do no matter how much you do.

The Lord at whose voice the earth melts…

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Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s Grandmother and Mother

Paul wrote to Timothy in II Timothy 1:5 “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and you mother Eunice and I am sure that it is in you as well.”

 
     Oh, how I love to read and study mothers, in the Bible, and in this case grandmothers, too, which I joyfully am also.  We have here the continuity of “sincere faith” passed down from grandmother to mother to son, and what a wonderful son this brought forth. 
      Paul wrote to Timothy in I Timothy 3:15, “And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 
Here we see that Lois and Eunice had taught Timothy the Scriptures, the Bible, the Word of God.  When?  Certainly not after he was grown, but “from childhood.”  He grew up hearing, reading, talking about and obeying the Word of God.  Early training secures lifelong habits.
      Following the instruction of God’s Word, Timothy was not only taught and instructed in God’s Word, but disciplined. 
 
 Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.”
 
Proverbs 13:24 “He who withholds his correction hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
 
     Teaching God’s Word and enforcing it with loving discipline consistently throughout a child’s upbringing results in the fulfillment of this wonderful promise:  “Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.” Proverbs 29:17  I have found this promise to be true in my life!
 
   Obeying God’s Word “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6, Lois and Eunice were rewarded with a grandson/son who followed the Lord and brought them much joy.  Let us faithfully and eagerly follow their examples that our children and grandchildren will follow the Lord also.
 
The Better Way: Loving Our Children Is Good; Loving Our Children Enough To Train And Discipline Them Is Better
 
Help teach your children Bible verses using songs:
Read Also: Training Children
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The Mother of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s Wife

Genesis 7:13 “On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark.”
 
   While writing the devotion, The Rainbow Promise, I began to reflect on another faithful wife and mother in the Bible, Noah’s wife, the mother of Shem, Ham and Japheth.  What an excellent example she is for us women today. Many of the following thoughts are not mentioned in the Bible specifically, but are assumptions made by me and should be read as such.
       First, she showed great obedience to God in her honor and obedience to her husband.  During those many many years of building the ark, she must have also suffered great ridicule and loneliness, yet she showed herself to be a woman of strength, resolutely standing faithfully by Noah’s side, supporting him and trusting him and following his leadership as he obeyed God’s will.  “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time, Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9 “Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.” Genesis 6:22.  Noah was also called a “preacher of righteousness.” II Peter 2:5
     As a mother, she was also a a great example to her sons and her daughters-in-law.  As objects of ridicule also, they saw and followed her diligent example of trust in God.  Noah’s wife must also have created a strong bond of togetherness and been a source of strength and refuge during their long and lonely time on the ark. Here they were as a family, the only people left on the earth, terrible storms going on outside for 40 days, and then many more days (335 to be exact) on the ark as the waters subsided and yet they were bound together as a family with Noah as the righteous head and his wife faithfully gathering the family together under his leadership, finding refuge and solace in each other.
     The mother of Shem, Ham and Japheth was also an industrious woman.  There was much to work to be done during their time on the ark in caring for the animals, preparing food for themselves, and keeping things clean and orderly and she set an example of hard work and diligence.  
     Then she was also a woman of wisdom. The time they spent working together was also a time spent in sharing, laughing, and creating a bond that kept them close.  Any differences between them must have been carefully averted by Noah’s wife, as she wisely spoke words of edification and not division.  ” Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
     Let us spend some time considering this special wife and mother in the Bible, as we build our homes and families and seek to daily walk in God’s will.
     
The Better Way: Being An Example Of Obedience, Diligence, Industriousness and Wisdom is the Better Way
 
Help children memorize Bible verses through song:
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Mary Magdalene

Luke 8: 2-3  “Mary Magdalene out of whom seven demons were cast out.”

Mary Magdalene and others had followed Jesus Christ around and supported His ministry.  They had also been present at the crucifixion and now were also at the burial.  After placing the large stone over the opening, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat down opposite the now closed opening for a little while and then went home.

The Sabbath Day had ended with sundown on Saturday night.  So it was early the next morning, soon after the sun had risen that Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and John,  and Salome were on their way to the tomb with sweet smelling spices to anoint Jesus’ body.  They were discussing how they were going to move the extremely large stone placed in front of the opening of the tomb.

Upon arriving at the tomb, the women were shocked and surprised to find the stone already rolled away.  Looking inside they saw two angels in dazzling clothing.  Trembling with astonishment and fear they did not know what to think.

Mary Magdalene and the other  women bowed themselves before these angels who said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, He has risen as He told you.  Go and tell Peter and the other disciples.”  Peter and John did not believe either and ran to the tomb themselves.  They left in bewilderment not knowing what was happening.

This was His first appearance!  Mary Magdalene was now back at the tomb weeping and saw a man she thought was a gardener, but was actually Jesus Christ. ” 11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in [a]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I \ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.”

Jesus Christ’s second appearance was to the women on the road going away from the sepulcher.  He greeted them saying “Do not be afraid! ”  With great joy they took hold of Jesus’ feet and worshipped Him.  (Matthew 28:9-10)

The Scriptures do not tell us what seven demons Mary Magdalene had, but we do know that she proved her gratefulness to Jesus Christ for casting out the demons by staying close to Him no matter where He was.   She had told the man she thought was the gardener ” tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” John 20:15  She also wanted to express her heartfelt gratitude that no matter where Jesus was she was going to live for Him the rest of her life.

The Better Way:  Let’s follow Mary Magdalene’s example and live for Jesus Christ for the rest of our lives!

 

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Apple of God’s Eye

Zechariah 2:8b “….for He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.”

 
     A round shiny apple!  Doesn’t it make you smile just picturing a little boy proudly presenting such a gift to his favorite teacher?  The apple is so perfectly polished that it creates a glint in the eye of the beholder; thus a look in his eye that says. “you are so remarkable to me that I want to give you this special apple.”  
     We see that same look in the eye of a mother and father as they behold their children.  Each child is special and raises a feeling of pride.   As we look upon each child there’s a certain glint in our eye that says, “You are significant, you are precious to me; I will always cherish you.”  Such is the comparison God’s Word makes for each child of God: “the apple of His eye.”  How special we must be to Him; how precious we must be to Him.  What a wonderful position we hold in our Heavenly Father’s eye.  This thought should bring great security because we know we will always be cared for.
     Dear Christian woman, wife, or mother, are you carrying a heavy burden?  Do you feel lonely? unloved? uncared for?  Well then—-look up!  There you will behold that glint in your Heavenly Father’s eye, and when you see that, your burdened spirit will be lifted.  Then you will realize that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  Now our wishes and desires are not concentrated on self but on pleasing the One to whom we are so special.  Oh, how I desire to be so careful to please my Lord, that I never cause that special look to dim or become saddened.
      But perhaps the reader is not “in Christ” and you are saying to yourself.  “I want to hold such a special position in God’s eye.”  Well, come to Christ, repenting of your sin and believing that He died on the cross for you, for He says ” I will in no wise cast out.”  John 6:37.
 
The Better Way: Always Seek To Please God First
 
Read Also:  A Thankful Heart
 
Posted in Assurance, Encouragement, Guidance, Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Wives, Guidance for Women | 1 Comment

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

As we continue to celebrate with joy the resurrection of Jesus Christ each and every day, please enjoy the following song:
Because He Lives


God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

Words: Bill & Gloria Gaither

He Is Risen!!  Matthew 28:6, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:6

 

 
The Better Way: Living For Jesus Is The Only Way

Also Read: Builded On The Rock

Also Read: Rising Up Again

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The Cross of Jesus Christ

 

Galatians 6:14 “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 
I saw one hanging on a tree in agony and blood
 He cast His languid eyes on me
As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never, till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke.
A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive:
This blood is for thy ransom paid.
I die that thou may’st live.”
copied

As we think about Jesus Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross, let’s meditate on the words as we listen to these beautiful hymns.

 

http://youtu.be/qr7_i8HJ-Jo

Beneath The Cross of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand;
The shadow of a mighty rock, within a weary land.
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.
 
Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess;
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.
 
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
words by Elizabeth Clephane 1868
music by Fredrick Maker 1881 
 
 
 
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
 
 
                                                  
                                   When I survey the wondrous cross,
                                                    On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

words by Isaac Watts 1707
music by Lowell Mason 1824

 

The Better Way: Glorying In The Cross Is The Only Way

Read also: Upheld By God’s Hand

Read also: God’s Promises, Under His Wings

 

 

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“Open Thy Mouth Wide”

“Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10b

As I watched these newly hatched baby birds, I smiled and thought of the verse quoted above.  That verse has always been such an encouragement to me in my prayer life, because I knew I could bring many many prayer requests to the Lord and He would graciously hear and answer each one according to His Will.  ” For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9
But something else happened as I began studying and referencing this verse.  I found that opening my mouth wide did not only mean “asking,” but also meant “giving.”  Giving what?  Let’s see what God’s Word says:
Psalm 107: 1 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness.”
Psalm 107:22b Tell of His works with joyful singing.”
Psalm 108:1b “Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good.”
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord.”
Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Psalm 44:8 “In God we have boasted all day long.”
Psalm 34:9 “O fear the Lord, you His saints, For to those who fear Him there is no want.”
It’s obvious that first and foremost, with our mouths wide open we should be praising, thanking, delighting, tasting, blessing, boasting (in God), fearing (with reverence and awe), joyfully singing, and telling others about our Mighty God.  For when we do these things, our hearts are uplifted and our wills are conformed to the will of our Sovereign God and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is then that we are made humble and submissive and our spirit gently yields to God’s answer to our prayers AND our mouths are filled as His Word says!
 
The Better Way: Glorifying God With All Our Hearts Should Be Our First Desire
 
Read Also:  When You Pray
Posted in Encouragement, Godly Living, Prayer, Thankfulness | 6 Comments

A Journey of God’s Faithfulness

Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the LORD.”

It was four years ago today, February 20, 2014 that my special Journey of God’s Faithfulness began. Being a rather healthy person, thoughts of any serious medical problems rarely entered my mind.

Then suddenly and without warning at the young age (what I consider young) of sixty-six, I had a brain bleed, a hemorrhagic stroke and I learned “How frail I am.” Psalm 39:4 It affected the right side of my body leaving me 90% helpless and numb, unlike some strokes which cause paralysis. Now starts the thanksgiving part. Unlike some strokes——-since all strokes are not the same and all strokes affect different parts of the body, I can thankfully say that my speech, swallowing and facial muscles were not affected. Psalm 63:3 “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”

During these past years I have felt God’s presence and peace carry me through therapies that taught me how to walk again, (God made our brains so they can learn a new path) a precious husband and family who stood faithfully by my side, lovingly caring for me, and a church family and friends who visited, provided food and prayed for us. Psalm 71:16 “ I will go in the strength of the Lord God.”

I have also seen God open doors for my husband and I to witness to others about Jesus Christ —-people that we would never have met otherwise. It’s such a joy to be used by the Lord. God’s plans are always good and right. Isaiah 58:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

And so on this special day, since God allowed me not only to live but restored me almost to my former health, I want to remember all His goodness, declare it to others and praise Him for all He has done and is doing in the lives of my husband and myself. Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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Teach Them Diligently

Deuteronomy 6:6-9  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

 
     Have you ever watched a spider spin a web?  She produces a small thin seemingly very insignificant threadlike substance.  At first she starts with a few main anchor lines, from perhaps a porch ceiling, and runs them to lower places such as the posts.  This allows for a triangle area in which to work her creation.  The threadlike substance appears to be very fragile, as if it could be easily broken, but when you pluck it with your finger, you’ll find it to be very strong and elastic and sticky.  As the spider works diligently she begins to join together piece after piece until her web becomes a large masterpiece of strength and beauty.
     In our Scripture verse for today, God’s first command is to have the Word of God in our hearts.  In other words: to be sure that we know Jesus Christ  as our Lord and Savior.  Once He has an established place in our heart this verse instructs us to be very diligent to set forth the Lord Jesus Christ before our family.  Like the spider weaving her web, God’s Word should be emitted from our lives as we sit, as we walk, as we lie down and as we rise up.  Do you see how our path crisscrosses each other day after day?  “For precept must be upon precept; precept upon precept: line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”  Isaiah 28:10  What a web of strength is built for our children, our family, our friends and even strangers to see as we go about our daily lives!
    We are also to wrap these Truths around us.  Strong’s concordance says the word “bind” means to “tie, join  together, knit in love.” Likewise, they are to be in conspicuous places upon our hands and between our eyes; even to the “doorposts” and “gates” of our houses.  Then to our children and those people who come in contact with us, who see us and know us, it will be obvious that we know the Lord.  Our lives will then be a wonderful witness and will bring much honor to God.
     Dear Lord, forgive me for my slackness and carelessness.  May I be diligent to live as these Words command.
 
Theme: The Better Way: Training our Children is Good: Teaching God’s Word and Being a Daily Living Witness is Better
 
Here’s a link to help them learn Bible verses through song:
 
Posted in Encouragement, Guidance for mothers, Raising Children | 2 Comments

Preparing Your Heart For The New Year

Ezra 7:10  “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

What type of person are you?  What makes you feel best about yourself?

Since sin is in our lives it’s not possible to have order in all areas of our lives all the time, but there are some things that make us feel more orderly and in control if they are complete.

Some women like a well-made bed, others prefer their floors being swept or toys picked up or the laundry folded or their desk organized or their kitchen/dishes cleaned up etc.

My “thing” is having the dishwasher emptied before I cook another meal, having some make-up on and having my hair combed.  I function better if these three things are done.

But most importantly, I also function better if I start my day having spent some time alone with the Lord even if it means getting up early. Mark 1:35 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”

Creation is a perfect example of God’s order.  All things are set in place to perfectly move in harmony with all other things.  Not one alignment or molecule is out of place, otherwise there would be chaos. I Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Colossians 2:5 ” Though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”

Good discipline (good order), the stability of your faith in Christ are all military terms meaning a solid rank of soldiers drawn up for battle.  Sounds like battle, right?  Colossians 2:6 “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Your walk, your daily conduct, is a life patterned after Jesus Christl

It’s good to be focused, but focused on what? Getting what you want, what you think is best?  That creates a negative atmosphere. Lay aside these desires and fill yourself with the Word, so that what comes from us is the love of Christ, encouragement and support. We can’t make someone do something or think like we want them to think or act.  It has to come from the heart and only God can change the heart!

The Better Way:  Purpose and Discipline=Structure and Order=Rest and Strength and Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ

 

 

 

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A New Year, A New Purpose

Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”
Psalm 119:105  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
 
God’s Word is precious, and in this constantly changing fast paced world, it is encouraging to know that we do have access to something that is unchanging–the Word of God, the Holy Bible, the Scriptures, the Truth.  Malachi 3:6 “For I Am the Lord, I change not.”  God is immutable.  
Time is valuable for all of us and yet we need to take time to read God’s word and pray every day.  To do this requires that we must, like Daniel (Daniel 1:8) “purpose in our hearts” and discipline ourselves to this “purpose.” Such purpose and discipline is valuable because it gives us structure and order in our often hectic and chaotic lives and structure and order gives strength and rest. So the formula is: 
 Purpose and Discipline=Structure and Order=Strength and Rest
How do we go about finding help to read God’s Word daily?
There are many Bible Reading plans–one year, two year, three year etc. In the past, I followed a two year Read Through the Bible Program which had me read some of each of the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs and the New Testament everyday except Sunday.  I enjoyed the pace of this plan. 
 But for those of you who might find that program too aggressive, especially you moms with small children, I found a 4 year plan (see link below) that has you reading some of the New Testament and Psalms more than once, but if you follow it diligently you will read through the entire Bible in just 4 years!  The passages are not lengthy, so even if you miss a day or two you can easily “catch-up.”  As you complete the reading of a passage of God’s Word each day, just put a check in the little box and you will find you have a feeling of satisfaction that you have completed this worthwhile privilege.  May the Lord lead you and bless you as you seek Him through His word.
 
Print this out and cut it in bookmark size strips to place in your Bible.  Store the other 3 years in another pocket of your Bible.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly 4 years pass by
The Better Way: Seeking God daily through His Word is the Better Way.
See also: Joy In Purpose
 
See also: Self-Discipline
Posted in Bible Study, Guidance for mothers, Spiritual Dryness | 2 Comments

Pressing Forward In The New Year

Philippians 3:13-14 “Forgetting those things which are behind….I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

 
      A New Year.  A Fresh Start.  Paul tells us in the above verse how to start fresh…“forgetting those things which are behind.”  Our mistakes and failures of the past often remain with us and become a weight that prevents us from moving forward.  Are you in Christ?  Are your sins forgiven?  Are they covered under the blood?  Then rise up!  Go forward! Our past failures should be remembered only to encourage us to learn from them and not give up.
      Many trials and troubles, worries and discouragement’s face us in the coming year.  Likewise, many doors will open with challenges and opportunities.  We have much to face, both good and bad, happy and sad, but remember God has called us.  The Word of God calls it a “high calling.  Not only does that word invoke thoughts of challenge and honor but also directs our minds toward where we should look to seek our direction—-UP—up toward our Heavenly Father.
      Let’s purpose then, to gather our heart, mind, soul and body together this new year, not crawling on our hands and knees in discouragement and fear (for then the pace is slow and it’s almost impossible to look up), but upright on our feet, in eager anticipation, with our whole eye on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
Theme: The Better way: A Fresh Start is Good: A Fresh Start with our whole eye on Jesus Christ is Better
 
Read also  My Heart Is Fixed
Posted in Encouragement | 2 Comments

Commitment For The New Year

Daniel 1:8 “Daniel purposed in his heart….

 Five years ago I made a two year commitment to read through the Bible using a Two Year Bible Reading Plan.  When I started, two years seemed like a long time but now it has already come to a close. Just think, if you had purposed to follow a three year Bible reading plan, you would already be completed, and if you had purposed to follow a four year plan you would now also be through.  
     Time has a way of passing more quickly than you think.  Don’t waste it saying “Later, Later.”  Purpose in your heart to make a commitment to start January 1st, 2018 to follow some type of daily Bible reading, making yourself accountable.  Checking off a list kept me on track and kept me from getting too far behind. (Yes, I was not always on track !)
    Two years was just right for this grandma/great-grandma, but a three or four year plan will probably be better for you very busy moms with children. Reading the Bible should not cause stress and make you frustrated. Here is a link to one of those plans: http://www.esv.org/assets/pdfs/rp.esv.study.bible.pdf
Print this out and cut it in bookmark size strips to place in your Bible.  Store the other 3 years in another pocket of your Bible.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly 4 years pass by 
If this plan does not fit your desires, many more plans are available, through other sites on the internet. The MacArthur Daily Bible at http://www.gty.org (read through the Bible in a year) is good.  Remember, if you overcommit, you might fail and feel guilty.  Be sensible and prudent.  It’s better to read a little of the Bible than not to read anything at all. 

 

What are a few of the blessings?
1. The joy of watching God’s great plan of salvation unfold from Genesis to Revelations.
2. Reading books of the Bible I might not have read, or don’t read much. These books were a blessing and I found passages of Scripture to underline in each one.
3. Learning more and more how much God cares for us as individuals.
4. Being reminded that God uses all types and kind of people.
5. Seeing the longsuffering of God.
6. Seeing the judgement of God.
 
     Remember, every book in the Bible was written by the inspiration of God and has a purpose and reason for being in the Bible.  
Perhaps you have just finished reading through the Bible, then set for yourself a new goal, a new plan, a new purpose and commit to staying with it.  This year I’m ready to embark on another adventurous journey in God’s Word  as I commit to memorize passages of the Bible. I have already started this commitment and have received much joy and  just like reading the Bible is an attainable goal, so memorizing is also a goal which can be achieved.  Let’s ask the Lord to bless our commitment and He will give us the strength and time to fulfill it.
Purpose and Discipline=Structure and Order= Rest and Strength
 The Better Way: Reading The Bible Is Always Good, Reading The Bible With A Plan, Purpose And Commitment Is The Better Way
 
See Also:  Joy In Purpose
Posted in Bible Study, Guidance for mothers, Guidance for Women | 9 Comments