Jan 282009
 

by Jean Sibelius

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior;
Where Christ is head and counselor and guide;
Where every child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified;
How sweet to know that tho his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!

O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each find joy in serving others,
And love still shines tho days be dark and grim.

O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master;
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where prayer comes first in peace or in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to every tongue;
Where mountains move before a faith that’s vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young.

O Lord, our God, our homes are thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If thou art always Lord and Master there;
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor
Be Thou our guest, our hearts and homes to share.

Jan 182009
 

by John Newton

“What think ye of Christ?” is the test
To try both your state and your scheme;
You cannot be right in the rest
Unless you think rightly of Him.
As Jesus appears in your view-
As He is beloved or not-
So God is disposed to you,
And mercy or wrath is your lot.

Some take Him a creature to be-
A man, or an angel at most;
But they have not feelings like me,
Nor know themselves wretched and lost;
So guilty, so helpless am I,
I durst not confide in His blood
Nor on His protection rely,
Unless I were sure He is God.

Some call Him a Saviour in word,
But mix their own works with His plan;
And hope He His help will afford
When they have done all that they can:
If doings prove rather too light
(Admitting their efforts may fail),
They purpose to make up full weight
By casting His name in the scale.

Some call Him “the pearl of great price”
And say He’s the fountain of joys;
Yet feed upon folly and vice,
And cleave to the world and its toys;
Like Judas the Saviour they kiss,
And while they salute Him betray;
O what will profession like this
Avail in His terrible day?

If asked what of Jesus I think,
Tho’ still my best thoughts are but poor,
I’ll say He’s my meat and my drink
My life, and my strength, and my store!
My husband, my trust and my friend,
My Saviour from sin and death’s fall,
My hope from beginning to end,
My portion, my Lord, and my all.

Jan 022009
 

Why do we make New Year’s resolutions?  I wonder where the tradition comes from?  The perfectionist in me really loves the New Year.  It’s like a completely clean slate. A fresh start.  A brand new year that I haven’t messed up yet.  Wow.  Maybe this year I’ll be able to do everything perfectly.

Nope. I know I won’t be able to do everything perfectly, so maybe I shouldn’t make any resolutions.  I’m just going to be disappointed right?

This is the kind of thinking that I am sometimes plagued with. My pastor’s wife uses a little phrase that I’d like to borrow.  She says that we need to preach ourselves a little sermon.  So, I just entered "perfect" into the search bar in Blue Letter Bible.  What a wonderful reminder of God’s grace that I got as I read the verses.

Who is perfect?

[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. (Deut. 32:4)

[As for] God, his way [is] perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he [is] a buckler to all those that trust in him.  (Ps. 18:30)

How am I made perfect?

God [is] my strength [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect. (2 Sam. 22:33)

[It is] God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.  (Ps. 18:32)

The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. (Ps. 19:7)

The LORD will perfect [that which] concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, [endureth] for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. (Ps. 138:8)

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?  (Gal. 3:3)

I know that God alone is perfect.  I know that I have been given Christ’s perfect righteousness through His shed blood.  I know that He is sanctifying me. I can rest in His perfection and don’t have to try to be perfect in my own strength!

Nov 172008
 

I was in tears last night as we sang this song in church.  I have been going through some time of sorrow that is continuing. It is very likely that I will lose my grandmother within the next couple of weeks.  I thought I would share because I know that there are a lot of churches that don’t regularly sing hymns anymore and this is such a blessing.  I was especially touched by the fourth verse.


How Firm a Foundation
 
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

 

In every condition in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home or abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not dessert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Apr 092008
 

Throughout the Bible there are instances of God’s children questioning him.  I do believe in the sovereignty of God, but there are definitely times when I’ve thought, “Lord, what are you doing here? This would really not be my choice.” (I may not have thought it so nicely either.) A friend of mine has been through an almost comical series of trials with her van.  Most recently, her new (to her) van that still had the temporary tags on it, was stolen.  She was in Atlanta (a good 5 hours away) with her 5 children (under 8) without her husband.  I won’t go into the details, but you can imagine what a difficult experience this would be. As I was talking to her about it, she said, “Is this going to be a Job day or a Jonah day?”

We have a choice in our ultimate response to our trials.  We can respond like Job and say “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15 or we can be like Jonah and say  “Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for [it is] better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:3.  What a difference of a response to bad circumstances.

I pray that God gives me the grace to respond like Job, the next time I’m faced with a difficult trial.

Nov 012007
 

The following is a quote from the book Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen, copyright 1923.  This section is from page 176 and it is a summary of the things that needed to happen to fix the trend toward liberalism in the church.

In the fourth place – the most important thing of all- there must be a renewal of Christian education.  The rejection of Christianity is due to various causes.  But a very potent cause is simple ignorance.  In countless cases, Chritianity is rejected simply because men have not the slightest notion of what Christianity is.  An outstanding fact of recent Church history is the appalling growth of ignorance in the Church.  Various causes, no doubt, can be assigned for this lamentable development.  The development is due partly to the general decline of education – at least so far as literature and history are concerned.  The schools of the present day are being ruined by the absurd notion that education should follow the line of least resistance, and that something can be “drawn out” of the mind before anything is put in.  They are also being ruined by an exaggerated emphasis on methodology at the expense of content and on what is materially useful at the expense of the high spiritual heritage of mankind.  These lamentable tendencies, moreover, are in danger of being made permanent through the sinister extension of state control.

This just blew me away.  To think this was written over 80 years ago.