Thursday, August 30, 2007

Joy and Sorrow

Our hearts and minds have been filled these days with a joyous occasion--my granddaughter's first birthday party. Then along came sorrow-the horrible news last night of the death of two beloved people whom we know. This pastor and his wife were killed (murdered) in another country and we are having loads of conflicting reports about what happened. Many of their family members are friends of ours. So the ongoing problems with finding time to post, especially the Aunt Jane's Hero one that I've been trying to get to, continue.

I appreciate your comments on my last post. They were so encouraging to me and I want you all to know that. Bear with me a bit longer and especially if I haven't been to your blog in a while. Pray for us.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance..

Ecclesiastes 3:4

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Snippet

This is something new. I've been contemplating a few things lately, especially the issue of my time. Tomorrow is the first day of our new homeschool year. I now have a high school student to look after, as we are beginning ninth grade. I wish I could say that I'm happy that summer is over and school is starting up again, but that's another story. Let's just say that I am thankful for the fact that God is still allowing us to have school here in our home. But it does mean that I may again have less time for fun things like blogging.

So back to what's new. I knew when I made the decision to take on another blog that time was an issue. But when I made the decision, one of the reasons that I thought I could do it was that this blog was to be made up of short posts of a devotional nature, as well as a forum to discuss my writing projects. Typical of the type of person that I am, I've noticed that my posts have been getting more and more wordy and some have been such that I've pondered a while on what to say, hence it gets time consuming. I'll still be doing more intensive posts from time to time, but in order to keep things flowing around here, I'll be doing this weekly feature of words from other sources, with few or none from me. At least it will insure that things aren't stagnant and also that the original intent for the blog is maintained.

With all that said (see, I even made that a long explanation), here is the first week's Sunday Snippet. We sang this as our hymn during Sunday opening time, and it touched the heart of me and another teacher as we sang it with the children.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals he's waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Oh! for the wonderful love he has promised,
Promised for you and for me;
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling,O sinner, come home!
~Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909

What a wonderful Savior who calls sinners to Himself. I hope He's your Savior.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Consolation in Suffering

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

What a God-honoring thing to see a struggling, sorrowing child of earth cleave fast to God, calmly trusting in Him, happy and at rest in the midst of storm and suffering! What a spectacle for the hosts of heaven! Now is the time for the saints to give glory to the Lord their God. Let them prize affliction as the very time and opportunity for doing so most of all. Let them use such a season well. And what consolation to think that affliction is really such a season!

Horatius Bonar
When God's Children Suffer

Sorry to have not kept my promise about the next Aunt Jane's Hero segment, but because of some events going on around me, I felt hindered. Instead, I want to once again address the trials of this life. I would recommend the above book by Mr. Bonar to anyone going through affliction or difficulties. What I wrote here was from his chapter on the consolation in suffering, found in the above verse from Romans. But there are even more reasons why we can say that it is good to be afflicted. He gives eleven, and it is from the sixth one, "Affliction is our fullest opportunity for glorifying God," that I've taken this quote.

I see some folks who are living examples of what Mr. Bonar is saying. Some are close friends; some are persecuted saints facing hatred, captivity and/or imprisonment. Some are bloggers that I don't even know. To them, and to all of us, I give the final words of the chapter:

Our joys were all of grace--pure grace--much more our sorrows.It is out of the "exceeding riches of the grace of God" that trial comes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Praise and a Prompt

I'm sure you are as thankful as I am for the release of two of the South Korean Missionaries who have been held hostage by the Taliban. Praise the Lord for His merciful dealings in the life of these two women. But this is a prompt that we not give up praying for the nineteen others still in the clutches of their captors. Yesterday's report from Citizen Link was a spur for me--to keep praying fervently for our brethren. You may or may not have the same opinion with regard to the article's position on pressuring the state department, but I'm sure you, like me, will heartily agree with this statement by the director of international government affairs for Focus on the Family:

“We need to systematically pray for them," he told Family News in Focus. "Remember, when one part of the body of Christ suffers, the entire body suffers with that part. So, their suffering is our suffering.”

So, we keep praying, friends, remembering those who suffer for the sake of a Savior who suffered. You may be familiar with the touching hymn " O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" --it grips the heart when you hear it, especially immediately prior to taking the Lord's Supper. As we sing these powerful words, how can our hearts not overflow with praise? I'll just post this one stanza of what was a VERY long poem when written, but these are words we need to remember if we are His children, and if anyone reads this who isn't, I implore you to search out what Christ accomplished for needy sinners like you and me, and you'll better understand why there are people all over the world who willingly lay down their lives for His sake. The good news of the gospel is that you can know Him too.

What thou, my Lord, hast suffered
Was all for sinners' gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me thy grace.

~ Bermard of Clairvauz, 1091-1158

(For more words and to listen to the tune, go here. Of course, it's at Cyber Hymnal also, but I prefer it played more slowly. BTW, will get to my Aunt Jane's Hero post next time.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Hello Friends. Isn't this little guy a sweetie? I just put him here to brighten the day for anyone who stops by. I haven't been around much of late, I know. There have been quite a few things going on this summer and this week it's VBS. Oppressive heat here in our area hasn't helped matters much either, so I haven't had a lot of get up and go you could say. I miss getting over to see some of you as much as I'd like, but hopefully this is temporary. Trusting you are all well.

I wanted to share something with you. I ran across a few words in my reading today that I read and reread. My husband and I have always been parents who place a high value on honesty in our children. Some of the most severe disciplines came when this virtue was violated. So this one sentence got my attention:

Our truthfulness towards our children is as high a duty as theirs towards us.
~Dr. H.W.J. Thiersch

I hope you and I will spend as much time working on this character trait in ourselves as we do in our children. And hopefully, they'll do the same and pass it on.

Talk to you soon!

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Fruit of Longsuffering

Charity suffereth long....I Corin. 13:4

Years ago at a gift exchange, I received a book that has come to be close to my heart. The book is Charity and Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards. You know how some of the old writers are, they're not always the easiest reading, at least not for me, but they usually pack in so much meaningful stuff, its worth it to dig and plow because there will certainly be a harvest in one way or another. It just takes a little time. In this work, I particularly have been ministered to by the section on longsuffering.

Our suffering is so minimal. Someone says something to offend us. Someone wrongs us in the way they treat us on a particular issue. Very little physical suffering. But think of those who are being persecuted around the world: some severely, some imprisoned, some losing their lives. Big in the news right now are the South Korean hostages being held by the Taliban. There are many more.

After giving the examples of David, Stephen, and Paul, Mr. Edwards says this:

And not only do we have these records respecting inspired men; but we have accounts in uninspired and mere human history, of the remarkable heroism and long-suffering of martyrs and other Christians, under the most unreasonable and wicked treatment and injuries received from men: all of which should lead us to the same meek and long-suffering spirit.

So, the next time we want to take offense for "wrongs" against us, let's remember these words.