Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Treasure Within

Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11

"There is a great difference between Christians and worldlings. The worldling hath his treasure in jewels without him; the Christian hath them within. Neither indeed is there any receptacle wherein to receive and keep the word of consolation but the heart only. If thou leave it in thy mouth only, it shall be taken from thee; if thou have it in thy book only, thou shalt miss it when thou hast most to do with it; but if thou lay it up in thy heart, as Mary did the words of the angel, no enemy shall ever be able to take it from thee, and thou shalt find it a comfortable treasure in the time of thy need."
~ William Cowper

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mothering Her Savior

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1: 46-47

She had every reason to rejoice. Yes, to fear also, but this servant of the Lord was being given the highest honor that would ever be bestowed on any woman. The above drawing is a favorite of mine. Why? It's because of her hands. What other response could there be for this woman to this Child?

May we too bow to Him, now exalted, and rejoice.

Christmas blessings to any and all who may stop by. Praying that Mary's Savior is yours also.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Handel's Reflection

Think on this as we enjoy the Hallelujah chorus this Christmas season.

"What a wonderful thing it is to be sure of one's faith! How wonderful to be a member of the evangelical church, which preaches the free grace of God through Christ as the hope of sinners! If we were to rely on our works--my God, what would become of us?"

~ George Frideric Handel

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Priority

A dear man, the pastor from our "mother" church who mentored our little beginning work at its inception as well as over the years, was with us last evening to preach once again. It was so special because he and another pastor who both brought the messages the Sunday we began as a church were the same two speakers at yesterday's anniversary services. These were the two men who ordained our pastor that same day.

Pastor B. spoke to us as a congregation. He spoke in that same familiar fatherly tone which he always used in the past. He wanted to remind us of something so very important: we as a body of believers need to continue to have the same priority as we go forward that the Apostle Paul had.

A. He reminded us first of Paul's Apostolic Authority and how Jesus had appeared to him personally.

B. He reminded us most importantly that Paul's priority was the preaching of the gospel, and ours must be also.

C. He reminded us lastly exactly what the gospel message is, as outlined in I Corin. 15:3-4.

He exhorted us over and again to keep that gospel message about Jesus' death, burial and resurrection as our primary focus. I for one believe that we cannot be reminded of these things too often.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Silver" Church Anniversary

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20

Above is a drawing of the building where I worship with the fellow believers who make up our congregation. We're having a celebration tomorrow for our 25th anniversary as a body and for that I'm very thankful. I made a post about it at my other blog if anyone is interested in reading it.

To God be the glory.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Charity Vaunteth Not Itself . .

"Humility is a most essential and distinguishing trait in all true piety. It is the attendant of every grace, and in a peculiar manner tends to the purity of Christian feeling. It is the ornament of the spirit; the source of some of the sweetest exercises of Christian experience; the most acceptable sacrifice we can offer to God; the subject of the richest of his promises; the spirit with which he will dwell on earth, and which he will crown with glory in heaven hereafter."

~ Jonathan Edwards, from Charity and Its Fruits

Note: I have recently become a member of a new venture on the Internet, a fellowship group called The Reformed Quotes Fellowship, which is exciting for me because of my love for the quotes of some of the great Reformers of the past. Now I'll be connecting with others of like mind and who have that same love. They have asked that we post at least four quotes per month and that I would love to do! I've set aside Wednesday as quote day, at least to start out. I'll see how that works out. If you know me and are familiar at all with this blog, you know that's one of the primary reasons we've been here anyway, so I doubt if you'll only see quotes on Wednesdays.

Many blessings to any of my fellow "quoters" who stop by! I'll try to visit you as often as possible.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Glory to His Name!

An old gospel song from the days of my youth. The people who used to sing it had little education and probably never read a book on theology. Many of them had Bibles that were torn, worn, and falling apart. But THEY were not falling apart inasmuch as the Lord had placed the theology in their hearts.
Glory to His Name.

Down at the cross where my Savior died,
Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

I am so wondrously saved from sin,
Jesus so sweetly abides within;
There at the cross where He took me in;
Glory to His Name!

Oh, precious fountain that saves from sin,
I am so glad I have entered in;
There Jesus saves me and keeps me clean;
Glory to His Name!

Come to this fountain so rich and sweet,
Cast thy poor soul at the Savior’s feet;
Plunge in today, and be made complete;
Glory to His Name!

Glory to His Name,
glory to His Name:

There to my heart was the blood applied;

Glory to His Name!

~ Elisha A. Hoffman

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Tangled Web

My thoughts, before they are my own
Are to my God distinctly known;
He knows the words I mean to speak
Ere from my opening lips they break.
~~Isaac Watts

I have gone through many seasons of disappointment and even discouragement about my various writing projects. This work is one of them. Our Lord has made it clear to me that any thoughts of publishing the companion to Aunt Jane's Hero need to be abandoned. I realized it some time ago, but it was a difficult realization. There were several other disappointments and somehow it all got wrapped up in my neglect of this beloved blog. It has always been the favorite of all my blogs, but I suppose the state of my heart with respect to writing in general, Speakable Gifts publications in particular, somehow implicated "Scraps of Glory" in the mix. I don't believe that our Lord would have it be so. In fact, I do not believe He has been pleased with me in this.

So, I am not only picking up my dear "Scraps" again, but also my little thoughts, or notes if you would, from my companion work for this priceless Prentiss gem. None of the other issues I've been dealing with have been resolved, but the many months of delight I took in pouring my heart into Horace and Maggie and the others need not go totally to waste. I can still share bits and pieces of the fruit of those precious "labors" here.

Not too many people come here anymore. There was a time when many did. It's obviously a further proof of the often unfortunate results of neglect. That includes all types of neglect. But we won't get into that. Let's just say a few words about chapter 8 of this dear book, and pick up and go on. Let's see what God determines to do with what we do here in the days to come, if anything. Thankfully, that's His call, as is all of everything His call. As always, I don't know how often we'll make posts in this series, but we'll see.

Now to Chapter 8, very briefly. The most noticeable thing about this chapter is all of the entanglements of misconception and uncertainty. It's a chapter of high emotions, particularly on the part of Horace and Maggie, and unfortunately, these two young folks are ensnared by their own intensity of feelings. Annie is caught up in the web of confusion as well and a new primary character, Tom White, is promptly woven into the network. You enter the chapter with an array of inaccurate conclusions among the principals and when the occurrences of this segment are over, you see that everything is still quite muddled. You leave with a sense of wondering how and when it will all be unwoven. You can't wait to see how the author, as she always does, will uncover God's purposes in the lives of people, though fictional, who are so much like all of us in so many ways.

How many of us have gotten ourselves into all kinds of entanglements because of our emotions? If we're honest, we'd be willing to admit that it has been far too often. Misreading actions and words of others, drawing conclusions with little facts to support them, speculating and making presumptions about this person and that situation, and on and on. When will we learn to prayerfully leave matters to a sovereign and omniscient God? When will we learn to wait patiently for Him, trusting that in His own good time, He'll guide our steps and make His way plain?

Please, Lord, may I begin learning now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

What a blessing. All glory to our Lord in Heaven. Thanks to Johnny Farese for sending this out to many of us the other day. Oh! And don't forget to turn off the music on the sidebar when you listen. Someone suggested viewing it in full screen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Born Again

John 3:5 Jesus said “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

If you have been truly born again you have a new and holy nature, and you are no longer moved towards sinful objects as you were before. The things that you once loved you now hate, and therefore you will not run after them. You can hardly understand it but so it is, that your thoughts and tastes are radically changed. You long for that very holiness which once it was irksome to hear of; and you loathe those vain pursuits which were once your delights. The man who puts his trust in the Lord sees the pleasures of sin in a new light. For he sees the evil which follows them by noting the agonies which they brought upon our Lord when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Without faith a man says to himself, “This sin is a very pleasant thing, why should I not enjoy it? Surely I may eat this fruit, which looks so charming and is so much to be desired.” The flesh sees honey in the drink, but faith at once perceives that there is poison in the cup. Faith spies the snake in the grass and gives warning of it. Faith remembers death, judgment, the great reward, the just punishment and that dread word, eternity.

C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Real Heroes

As Mr. Chan says in this video, we're always ready to lift up those who have special talents in the church, but here we see the real heroes. (Turn off music on sidebar.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Voluntary Sufferer

The Lord Jesus was a voluntary sufferer. When He died on the cross, it was not because He had not power to prevent it. He suffered intentionally, deliberately, and of His own free-will. (John 10:18.) He knew that without shedding of His blood there could be no remission of man’s sin. He knew that He was the Lamb of God, who must die to take away the sin of the world. He knew that His death was the appointed sacrifice, which must be offered up to make reconciliation for iniquity.

Knowing all this, He went willingly to the cross. His heart was set on finishing the mighty work He came into the world to do. He was well aware that all hinged on His own death, and that, without that death, His miracles and preaching would have done comparatively nothing for the world. No wonder that three times He pressed on the attention of His disciples that He “must” die. Blessed and happy are they who know the real meaning and importance of the sufferings of Christ!

~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To be Found in Him

“And be found in Him.” Phi 3 : 9

TO be in Christ, is to be united to Him by faith and love; and it is of the utmost importance. Apart from Christ we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; united to Christ, we are immensely rich; immutably safe; exalted to the highest honour; and shall appear without a fault before the throne of God. If we are in Christ, or one with Christ, we are justified by His obedience, as the debtor is cleared by the payment made by his surety; we are sanctified through Him, as the vessel is cleansed in the fountain; we are protected by Him, as Noah was in the ark; we are preserved from judicial proceeding, as the manslayer in the city of refuge; and are exalted to honour as the BRIDE of the KING ETERNAL, Immortal, the only wise God. Well may the Apostle desire “ TO BE FOUND IN HIM.” No mind can conceive, no tongue can declare the blessedness that flows from being ONE WITH CHRIST. Let us therefore, beloved, ask, this morning, “Am I in Christ at present? Am I living with Him as His faithful bride; for Him as His devoted servant; upon Him as His dependant child? Do I renounce all for Christ? Can I say, I am crucified with Christ? The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world?”
Yes, yes, I must and will esteem
All things but loss for Jesus' sake;
Oh, may my soul be found in Him,
And of His righteousness partake.

From The Believer's Daily Remembrancer by James Smith

Friday, July 9, 2010

Knowing Christ

Knowing Christ…Personally

You may know a good deal about Christ, by a kind of head knowledge. You may know who He was, and where He was born, and what He did. You may know His miracles, His sayings, His prophecies, and His ordinances. You may know how He lived, and how He suffered, and how He died. But unless you know the power of Christ’s cross by experience—unless you know and feel within that the blood shed on that cross has washed away your own particular sins—unless you are willing to confess that your salvation depends entirely on the work that Christ did upon the cross—unless this be the case, Christ will profit you nothing. The mere knowing Christ’s name will never save you. You must know His cross, and His blood, or else you will die in your sins.

- J.C. Ryle

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Bread of Life

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. John 6: 35

With what divine and perfect wisdom this name is chosen! Bread is necessary food. We can manage tolerably well without many things on our table, but not without bread. So is it with Christ. We must have Christ, or die in our own sins.--Bread is food that suits all. Some cannot eat meat, and some cannot eat vegetables. But all like bread. It is food both for the Queen and the pauper. So it is with Christ. He is just the Saviour that meets the wants of every class.--Bread is food we need daily. Other kinds of food we take, perhaps, only occasionally. But we want bread every morning and evening in our lives. So it is with Christ. There is no day in our lives but we need His blood, His righteousness, His intercession, and His grace.--Well may He be called, "The Bread of Life."

~ J. C. Ryle

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Snippet: The Gospel

Passage: Romans 10:1-11

I thought it would be a good close of this Lord's Day to give you the three points of this morning's sermon on the above passage of Scripture. In this passage, the Apostle Paul was referring to his people, the Israelites, but as our pastor said, it would apply to the people of today as well, even people who go to church Sunday after Sunday and who consider themselves religious:

1. Problem of their misguided faith.
They didn't know about God's righteousness, but instead were trying to establish their own. As Pastor R elaborated, we can do many things and still be lost. The truth is that only God is righteous and we are sinners, unable to do any good of our own strength. It's not about ME.

2. Solution to their flawed faith.
Christ is the goal; He gives sense to the law. Christ is the answer to it all; He is the only way to salvation. It's all about Him and His righteousness; He must be our all in all. (See also Colossians 2:1-3)

3. Evidence of true saving faith.
Confession: acknowledge my sin and His Lordship. Repudiate our sin for Jesus.

A simple exposition of the gospel. We have no righteousness of our own, so there is no good we can do to be saved. We must repent and believe in Christ alone. He has suffered for us at the cross of Calvary.

The true gospel is simple, but so beautiful.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It Is Well - The Story

Please turn off the music on the sidebar before listening.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Letter from a Russian Prisoner

I meditate here on the words of Jesus: “that whoever believes in him shall . . . have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

I am among criminals. It is an understatement that men can become like animals. Animals are without sin. But the men surrounding me in jail reach depths of devilish darkness unreachable for animals.

It would be easier to live in a stable than among these criminals. Every word of theirs is filthy, every gesture repugnant. “Their throats are open graves. . . .
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
(Romans 3:13–14)

But against this background shines the extraordinary love of God. For it is true that whosoever believes—even men like these—can have eternal life. God sent me to prison to bring them this Good News.


(From a post dated today at the VOM persecution blog.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


"I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous,
and in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
Psalm 119:75

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now
I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67

God's corrections are our instructions,
His lashes are our lessons,
His scourges are our schoolmasters,
His chastisements are our admonishments.

By afflictions, troubles, distresses and dangers—the
Lord teaches His people to look upon sin as the most
loathsome thing in the world; and to look upon holiness
as the most lovely thing in the world. Sin is never so
bitter, and holiness is never so sweet—as when our
troubles are greatest and our dangers highest.

By affliction, the Lord teaches His people to sit loose
from this world, and to be prepared for eternity.

By affliction, God shows His people the vanity, vexation,
emptiness, weakness, and nothingness of all created
things; and the choiceness, preciousness and sweetness
of communion with Himself.

It has been the lot and portion of God's dearest
children, to be exercised with very great and
grievous afflictions; in order . . .
to the discovery of sin,
to the embittering of sin,
to the preventing of sin,
to the purging away of sin; and
to the discovery of grace,
to the trial of grace,
to the exercise of grace,
to the increase of grace; and
to the weaning of them from this world; and
to the ripening of them for heaven; and
to the completing of their conformity to Christ,
the captain of their salvation, "who was made
perfect through sufferings," Hebrews 2:10; and
to work in them more pity and compassion to
those who are in misery, and who sigh and
groan under their Egyptian taskmasters.

By Thomas Brooks, London, 1675

From A Word in Season to Suffering Saints

I received this in an email today from a man who knows the truth of these words. For years, Johnny Farese has been afflicted with a condition that has left him bedridden, unable to even feed himself. What a blessing this man has been to so many people, managing to minister through the computer even in affliction. What we could learn from him!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Finale and Crescendo

Our pastor has been preaching through 1 Thessalonians which, of course, brings us to the second coming of Christ. We've been looking at many Scriptures on the topic, including passages in Matthew and Revelation. I always get a little lost when the subject of eschatology comes up and our church as a whole does not focus on it, but we do know He IS coming again! And Pastor R. read this passage to conclude his sermon the last time, saying it was like the finale of a fireworks exhibition or the crescendo of a huge musical piece. When both those events happen, you know that "this is it;" this is the end and everything culminates in the majesty of it all. Can't you just here the boom, boom, boom of the sound? Don't the following words make you feel like standing and applauding, raising your arms in victory? Or do they bring fear to your heart, making you want to run away and hide? I hope the former. If not, please get that matter settled today.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. . . And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev. 19:11-13, 16.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be Ready

Excerpt from today's sermon:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

He's coming again, folks. He said that no one knows the day nor the hour. So be watchful and be ready.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yet Another Child

Katy's sister-in-law is less than delighted when Katy gives birth to yet another child. . .

"She says I shall now have one more mouth to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.

"Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one more dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!"

~ Katy, from Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Friday, January 22, 2010

Compassion in Grief

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. . .
For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
Lamentations 3:22-23; 31-32

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Suffering in Haiti

This is a photo of the presidential palace in Haiti. It is now in ruins because of a huge earthquake that occurred yesterday. There were many other photos, but they were too heart wrenching and horrible that I didn't want to post them. I felt the need, however, to say something with regard to this poor country which already suffers tremendously from poverty. We'll be getting pleas to help through various organizations and the United States government, as always, will be reaching out to this people in need. Well, we sit helplessly by while people far from us are going through such a time as this. But we can do something: We can pray for them, of course, and we can give what we can. Words from my devotions day before yesterday:

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day. Isaiah 58:10

"Dear Lord, have mercy on these poor people in their affliction and suffering. We don't understand these things, but trust in your ways even when it's difficult to do so. Help us to reach out our souls to them, and even our resources where we can. Please save sinners in Haiti, Lord, even at such a time as this. In Jesus' Name, amen."