Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Treasured Moments

"Up, Nanna," says my little toddler granddaughter as she lifts up her arms for me to pick her up. These are moments that I treasure here on this side of glory. There is no amount of money that anyone could give me in return for them. I had small children once, as many of you have now, so I know how special it is to have any of our sons or daughters (of any age, really) hold out their arms to be held in ours. But I tell you, there is something indescribable about being reached for by a grandchild. You grandparents can identify.

I need to think more about the preciousness of such moments when my heart is feeling a bit low. I need to reach up to my God at those times. He loves me even more than I love that sweet little girl, so I would imagine it would give Him pleasure. I need to regress from self-pity and gloominess and have Him lift me up. This, I'm sorry to say, is not what I do often enough. I'll try to let Selena remind me of that the next time I hear her say those wonderful words, "Up, Nanna."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Are You Rich?

Every day you hear and read of more Christians who are persecuted. Anytime you want to feel sorry for yourself and get anxious about the cares and worries of this life, just pop over to the Voice of the Martyrs site and read about what's going on around the world. Many dear saints live in huts and have to work hard in fields from morning until night for a meal of rice and beans. Some struggle with disease, tumults, and calamities. If anytime you stress over some lack or wish for something that you can't afford of this world's many goods, or struggle with a broken appliance or a physical affirmity or some petty grievance, try looking around the World Vision site for awhile. Some of us are, indeed, going through extremely difficult circumstances or life threatening illnesses ourselves. For all Christians here and abroad, under whatever condition of life, and without regard to their financial situation, I would say that if they are true saints, they are rich. This is a quote that I wish I could give to every suffering saint in the world to remind them of their true state of wealth:

When can it be said of a man, that he is rich towards God? Never till he is rich in grace, and rich in faith, and rich in good works! Never till he has applied to Jesus Christ, and bought of him gold tried in the fire. (Rev. 3:18) Never till he has a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens! Never till he has a name inscribed in the book of life, and is an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ! Such a man is truly rich. His teasure is incorruptible. His bank never breaks. His inheritance fadeth not away. Man cannot deprive him of it. Death cannot snatch it out of his hands. All things are his already,--life, death, things present, and things to come. (I Cor. 3:23) And best of all, what he has now is nothing to what he will have hereafter. ~ J.C. Ryle

Any sinner who repents and believes the gospel, trusting the Lord Jesus as Savior, can have these riches. So, are you rich?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Right Paths

Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27

This picture brought these verses to my mind. These are verses that I've often written on the greeting cards of young people, especially when they graduate from high school. Have you ever noticed how many times the words "path" or "pathway" appear in the book of Proverbs? Today I counted at least eighteen, all in the first eight chapters. And that's not counting the verses that speak about "walking in the way." Another verse many of us love is the one that says "the path of the just is like the shining sun."

But then there are the warnings. One of the devotionals in my Bright Gems book is devoted to these warnings. I called it "Turn From Evil" and in it I try to explain to children what the Bible means in Proverbs 4:14-19 when Solomon speaks to the young about not entering the "path of the wicked." In the day in which we're living, I'm sure that you'll agree with me that we should be lovingly exhorting our children about these things, especially our teens. And there are so many applications--movies, friendships, TV, books, music, etc.

But we always have to make sure we bring them to the only way that there is to walk in the way of righteousness and avoid the path of evil. It's only through and by Jesus. If we lead our children to Him, He'll lead them in the right paths by and by. Thank God for that.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunday Snippet - The Christian Family

"God honors not those who cling to their 'rights', but those who choose freely to obey Him."

This bit of truth is a quote out of a book that has been beloved in our house since early in our marriage. We have a different cover than the one shown here, but of all the books I've read on the family, this one by Larry Christenson has impacted me the most. Others of you may have a different favorite, but this one has always been mine. Believe me, it's worth having on your shelf as a reference. I love the five chapters from Part One, "God's Order for the Family" :

CHAPTER ONE: God's Order for Mates
CHAPTER TWO: God's Order for Wives
CHAPTER THREE: God's Order for Children
CHAPTER FOUR: God's Order for Parents
CHAPTER FIVE: God's Order for Husbands

I have received more help from Chapter Four than any other book I've ever read on the subject, except for a short book by J.C. Ryle, which I may talk about another time. The above quote, however, is from Chapter Two. Think about how it might be applied there, ladies.

I had a nice Lord's Day. Hope you did too.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year Greetings

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.

A blessed and happy New Year to all of you who visit. We've begun another calendar year and there will be many changes in the coming 366 days, as there have been in the 365 that we just completed. But it's good to comfort ourselves in the knowledge of our God who has been changeless from one generation to another. I hope that 2008 will draw you and me closer to Him. I'll slowly be making my rounds to my friends to give holiday greetings.

I haven't done well catching up on my writing during the break, so blogging will be sparse. Keep me in prayer as I get back to donning the various headgear that we moms need to wear, and PLEASE pray that the projects can get moving. Too much activity over the holidays!! Now maybe some time to breathe!