I’m Just Excited – To Be Excited!

“And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.” II Chronicles 15:9

I read the above verse this morning and, in my Bible, the last half is underlined.

This morning, as we gather together in a little while, I’m thankful to go to a church where the Spirit of the Lord is welcome!

This morning, I’m just excited to be excited!!  🙂

“…We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:23

Bird Pic – Anna

Ok folks…I’m about to reveal my lack of bird knowledge here. Yesterday afternoon, while Anna was taking a break from some yard work, she became interested in watching a couple birds chattering back and forth. Now, what do you think I did when she told me about them? I handed her my camera, of course, and asked her to see if she could get a few good close up pictures for me. 😉

As she showed me what she was able to capture, I was very impressed with some of them especially! Last evening, I asked her to pick out one of her best, edit it and then add one of my favorite quotes.

As I sat down a bit ago to post her “cardinal” picture, I thought, “I’d better make sure this is indeed a cardinal”. You know what? I don’t think it is. And to think that all these years, I’ve just assumed that every red bird I ever saw was a cardinal! Oh well…we learn something new every day, right? 🙂

Anyway, here’s her finished product on what I THINK is actually a “Summer Tanager” (you’ll notice I chose not to be too specific on the title of this post 😉 ). Whatever it is, I think she did an AMAZING job!!

Have You Ever Been Lost?

Today is my mom’s birthday and, Lord willing, the girls and I are heading up to WV in a little while to help Mom celebrate her special day! (shhhhhhh…it’s a surprise)

I had Mom on my mind a lot yesterday – not just because of her birthday, but because of what the Lord did in our Sunday morning service.

As our pastor started to tell us where to turn in our Bibles, an individual stood up and began to testify and thank God for saving them. When they sat down, another person stood up to do the same thing…followed by another, and another, and another, etc. Our morning service consisted of many testimonies – most of them simply sharing once again of the grace of God in their lives. As I listened to each of their testimonies, although they certainly varied in WHERE they were saved and the AGE they were saved, they all had one thing in common. Each person had to first admit they were a sinner in need of a Saviour.

I have heard Mom say something many times – especially in the last few years:

“I had to get lost before I could be saved.”

I am very thankful to say that, for well over 60 years, Mom’s salvation has not “worn off”. In other words, when she finally “got lost” and admitted she was a sinner – she then put her complete trust in Christ to save her. And it has been my privilege to witness her love for the Lord all of my years. THAT is what happens when a person is truly saved.

This morning, in honor of Mom’s 94th birthday, I would like to ask a question:

“Have you ever been lost?”

My friend, if you profess to be saved yet have never realized you were lost to begin with, from what did Christ save you? Only sinners need a Saviour. Yes, we are ALL sinners but the question is, have YOU ever humbled yourself and admitted that YOU are a sinner in need of a Saviour?

“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:10-14 

 

A Girl And Her Feathered Friends

So far, so good! Our reinforced chicken/duck coop seems to be doing its job and we are very thankful! This year we bought 2 each of 5 different breeds. Here’s one of our Buff Orpington chicks – they are all getting big!

When I was growing up, I had a couple ducks – just the white pekin variety – so I reckon I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for them. 😉  This is our second year to have the Khaki Campbell breed and we really like them! They are supposed to be good layers…we will see…and they are just fun to watch.

They love for Anna to feed them grass. (When it comes to ducks, I’m thinking she might be a little like her Momma…) Once we figured out that we had 2 males and 2 females, Anna was quick to give them names. Meet Rascal, Ruffles, Dixie and Daisy!  😉

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:4 

I Saw Jesus In You

Before going to bed last night, I heard the following song and was reminded of it again this morning. Today, wherever we go…whatever we say…whatever we do, will others see Christ in us?

When I enter heaven’s glory
And I see my Saviour’s face,
I will offer Him ten thousand years of praise.
Then I’ll find that special one
In whose life I saw God’s Son,
And through tears of joy with trembling lips these words I’ll say:

I saw Jesus in you
I saw Jesus in you
I could hear His voice
In the words you said
I saw Jesus in you
In your eyes I saw His care
I could see His love was there
You were faithful
And I saw Jesus in you

When I stand before my Father
To receive my life’s reward,
And my soul is bathed in God’s eternal day
When this race on earth is run,
And God sees the works I’ve done,
More than anything I long to hear my Father say:

I saw Jesus in you
I saw Jesus in you
I could hear His voice
In the words you said
I saw Jesus in you
In your eyes I saw His care
I could see His love was there
You were faithful
And I saw Jesus in you

(Ron and Shelly Hamilton)

Worry

Just a few weeks ago, our church had its annual Bible conference. I am so thankful to our pastor for the burden he has for his flock – to the point of not only preaching what “thus saith the Lord” but going beyond that by having special meetings such as these.

We were certainly blessed by all the preaching those few days but this morning I was reminded of one message in particular. Br. Chad Bailey preached a message entitled “The Darkness of Worry” which really gave perspective on this topic. A few thoughts from the message:

  • “When we worry, we are acting like God is not our Father.”
  • “God gives us strength for THIS DAY only.” – “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deut. 33:25
  • God’s name is “I am”…not “I was” or “I will be”. Live in TODAY.

This morning, on KNVBC, I heard today’s devotional taken from Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon. I thought it was EXCELLENT on this very topic so I found it online in order to share it here on the blog. I hope it will be a blessing to someone this evening.

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“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee…” Psalm 55:22

Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into his place to do for him that which he has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to think of that which we fancy he will forget; we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if he were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to his plain precept, this unbelief in his Word, this presumption in intruding upon his province, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God’s hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the “broken cistern” instead of to the “fountain;” a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God’s lovingkindness, and thus our love to him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from him; but if through simple faith in his promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon him, and are “careful for nothing” because he undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to him, and strengthen us against much temptation. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

While You Wait…

The month of May is, for many, a time to celebrate graduation! This special time in one’s life signifies the closing of one chapter in order to enter a new chapter.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my children. In the midst of our talk, this child said something like:

“Mom, a few years ago I THOUGHT I was ready for __________ (the next “chapter” in their life). I now realize I was NOT ready at all!”

They continued to explain their reason for saying this – their spiritual and mental immaturity would have lead them in making some serious mistakes. Although this child was not saying they felt “ready” now, they had come to realize an important truth. GOD knows! God knows when each of us are ready to “graduate” and enter that next season of our life – whatever that may be.

That conversation left me thinking back on times in my own life – times when I was anxiously…and even impatiently waiting to begin a new season. Can you relate? Does today find you anticipating the next chapter? Can I assure you that God knows when you are ready? Please don’t get ahead of Him by barreling through “closed doors”. Please don’t begin to ignore Biblical guidelines while leaning on your own understanding. God knows us much better than we know ourselves. His reasons for what we perceive as delays may be a variety of things. We may still have some growing up to do. We may have issues in our hearts that need resolved. We may just need to be brought through some hardships that will cause us to appreciate the next chapter – instead of taking it for granted.

Today, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…”  Psalm 37:7 Did you see that? Our waiting time should be restful. There should be a peace and contentment in our hearts – knowing we can completely trust the Lord with our future. If there is anything else in our hearts – restlessness, impatience, discontentment, even bitterness – then we are not waiting patiently, are we?

Then, as we patiently wait for the Lord to turn the page, we must remember that God has not closed the current chapter we are in. Let’s stay busy! No matter what season, we must continue to grow in our walk with the Lord as we serve Him in whatever areas He allows. Luke 19:13 reminds us, “Occupy till I come”.

We may even ask the Lord if WE are the reason for the delay. Is God simply waiting for us to take a step of obedience? Have we pushed aside an issue that the Holy Spirit has brought to our attention? Maybe our prayer should be, “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” Job 6:24

Resting in the Lord; occupying in His work and our walk; obeying the Holy Spirit – that should be our desire no matter what season of life!

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“Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.” ~ G. Campbell Morgan

“If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” ~ Jim Elliot

Fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav’n can boast.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine.