Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Benefits of Prayer

 Painting: George Lambert

       The benefits of prayer

        Prayer carries every burden to the Lord — -and leaves it there.
        Prayer goes to the Lord . . .
          with every need — to have it supplied;
          with every enemy — to have it conquered;
          with every corruption — to have it subdued;
          with every trouble — to have it sanctified,
          and with every promise — to have it fulfilled.
        Prayer . . .
          affects God's heart with a groan,
          opens God's hand with a cry, and
          obtains the most costly blessings with a tear!
        While a man can pray . . .
          he can never sink,
          he can never be wretched,
          he can never perish!

        Reader, get and maintain a spirit of prayer; it will . . .
          ease your mind,
          quell your fears, and
          fortify your soul against the sorest trials!

              ~ James Smith (1802—1862

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Duties of Parents

  "The Lord teach you all how precious Christ is, and what a mighty and complete work He hath done for our salvation. Then, I feel confident you will use every means to bring your children to Jesus, that they may live through Him." ~ J.C. Ryle

From the series on Mr. Ryle's book "The Duties of Parents" at the Helping Children Grow blog.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Do All the Good You Can

By Pilipchik Boris

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

~ John Wesley

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


“Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
- Nathaniel Hawthorne 

I liked this quote so much I thought I'd put it here to remember. People no doubt apply it different ways, but we all should remember it whether we're writing a book, a blog post, an article in a magazine, or an email or handwritten letter. Oh may I use words for good and to glorify my Lord and Savior. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Watch Against Pride

"Let us watch against pride in every shape – pride of intellect, pride of wealth, pride of our own goodness. Nothing is so likely to keep a person out of heaven, and prevent them from seeing Christ, as pride. So long as we think we are something we shall never be saved. Let us pray for and cultivate humility; let us seek to know ourselves correctly, and to find out our place in the sight of a holy God." ~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Center of Sin and Pride

Oh how true. Food for thought and prayer. Posted from The Narrow Gate on Facebook.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Author and Finisher

 (Photo by Letoirina)

"We often forget that the author of our faith must be the finisher of it also."

~ C. H. Spurgeon

Thursday, July 25, 2013

“HENCEFORTH—Not unto Themselves”

Oh, the bitter shame and sorrow,
That a time could ever be,
When I let the SAVIOUR’S pity
Plead in vain, and proudly answered:
‘All of self, and none of Thee.’

Yet He found me: I beheld Him
Bleeding on the accursed tree,
Heard Him pray: ‘Forgive them, Father;’
And my wistful heart said faintly:
‘Some of self, and some of Thee.’

Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and ah! so patient,
Brought me lower, while I whispered:
‘Less of self, and more of Thee.’

Higher than the highest heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
LORD, Thy love at last hath conquered;
Grant me now my supplication:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our God

"He [God] is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him." ~ A. W. Pink

Monday, July 1, 2013

Building Material

"Every day brings its own duty and its own discipline. How is it that I make such slow progress while this is the case? It is a marvel to me why God allows characters like mine to defile His Church. I can only account for it with the thought that if I ever am perfected, I shall be a great honor to His name for surely worse material for building up a temple of the Holy Ghost was never gathered together before. The time may come when those who know me now, crude, childish, incomplete, will look upon me with amazement, saying, 'What hath God wrought!' . . ."

~ Katherine Elliott, January 1, 1841, Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Look Up and Take Comfort

Art painting by Cornacchia

"O Christian, look up and take comfort. Jesus has prepared a place for you, and those who follow Him shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of His hands." ~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, May 27, 2013

God Created

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Gen. 1:1

This is God's "deed" for the whole creation; it is a statement of ownership. The whole of the first chapter tells us how He did it, but this one verse is an absolute statement of truth. It is a grand summary statement that stands independent of all the others and introduces all the teaching on creation. [Synopsis of sermon by Pastor R. yesterday.]

A few other truths from the sermon:

1. Everything we have, know and are had a beginning.

2. God had no beginning. He is eternal.

3. The eternal God brought the heavens and earth into existence out of nothing.

4. The earth is the exclusive distinct object of His purposes. He distinguishes earth from all the others.

Now you have to agree we have a mighty God. Does He not have the right to have the final say about what His creation can and cannot do?

Monday, May 20, 2013

What I Remember

Poster borrowed from Truth for Life Facebook photos. Just such a wonderful truth, especially for those of us who are older.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Message to Mothers, C.H. Spurgeon

"Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty. Christian women, by teaching children the Holy Scriptures, are as much fulfilling their part for the Lord, as Moses in judging Israel, or Solomon in building the temple."  ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A wonderful and touching message to mothers from Mr. Spurgeon. I know it's a day late, but this message is for any day of the year, and ALL days of the year. Read the rest of it here, at Raising Godly Children.

Monday, April 29, 2013

"Lovest Thou Me?

"Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?". . .

Yesterday's morning and evening messages were both from the short passage found in 21:15-17, and were accompanied by really profound applications on the subject of love for Christ. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was impacted. Pastor C., our guest speaker, finished in the evening with the following words, penned by our beloved Elizabeth Pentriss, and what a perfect conclusion, since these words were being played out in our hearts already:

More love to thee, O Christ, More love to thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make On bended knee:
This is my earnest plea, More love, O Christ to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee!

~ E Prentiss

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prayer on Suffering

 (Painting by Joseph DeCamp)

From Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, we read in Katherine's journal entry for January 15, 1832:

"January 15. I have come to another birthday. I am seventeen. Mother has celebrated it just as usual, though I know all these anniversaries which used to be so pleasant must be sad days to her now that my dear father has gone. She has been cheerful and loving, and entered into all my pleasures exactly as if nothing had happened." 

I was reading Elisabeth Eliott's comments on this entry. She made these comments on her "Gateway to Joy" radio broadcast some years ago, but they're ever profound:

"Entered into all my pleasures as if nothing had happened." That's unselfishness. That is the new self. That's not natural for the old self. What can we learn from that mother's example of joy in sorrow? Joy is not incompatible with sorrow. We can be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. What was the secret of her strength? I believe it was a pure heart. A heart given to God, resting in Him and therefore a heart able to give herself in love to her daughter, rather than giving way selfishly to her own sorrows

She also read a prayer that was written by someone else, as follows:

"Dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I hold up all my weakness to Your strength, my failure to Your faithfulness, my sinfulness to Your perfection, my loneliness to Your compassion, my little pains to Your great agony on the cross. I pray that You will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as You would have it lived, without cowardice and for You alone. Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition and true love. Amen."

Something for us all to consider no matter what we're going through.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Cottage

A cottage will not hold the bulky furniture and sumptuous accommodations of a mansion; but if God be there, a cottage will hold as much happiness as might stock a palace.

~ Dr. James Hamilton

Friday, March 29, 2013

Christ Exalted

"In this also Christ appeared gloriously above the guilt of men. For he offered a sacrifice that was sufficient to do away all the guilt of the whole world. Though the guilt of man was like the great mountains, whose heads are lifted up to the heavens; yet his dying love, and his merits, appeared as a mighty deluge that overflowed the highest mountains, or like a boundless ocean that swallows them up, or like an immense fountain of light that with the fullness and redundancy of its brightness, swallows up men’s greatest sins, as little motes are swallowed up and hidden in the disk of the sun.

"In this Christ appeared above all the corruption of man, in that hereby he purchased holiness for the chief of sinners. And Christ in undergoing such extreme affliction, got the victory over all misery; and laid a foundation for its being utterly abolished, with respect to his elect. In dying he became the plague and destruction of death. When death slew him, it slew itself. For Christ, through death, destroyed him that had the power of death, even the devil (Heb. 2:14). By this he laid the foundation of the glorious resurrection of all his people to an immortal life."

~ From "Christ Exalted" by Jonathan Edwards 

Hallelujah. Meditate on this during this holy weekend.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Jewels

"Shall I hold them back--my jewels?
Time has traveled many a day
Since I laid them by forever,
Safely locking them away;
And I thought them yielded wholly,
When I dared no longer wear
Gems contrasting, oh, so sadly!
With the adorning I would wear.

"Shall I keep them still--my jewels?
Shall I, can I, yet withhold
From that living, loving Saviour
Aught of silver or of gold?
Gold so needed, that His gospel
May resound from sea to sea;
Can I know Christ's service lacketh
Yet forget His 'unto Me?'

"No; I lay them down--my jewels,
Truly on the altar now
Stay! I see a vision passing
Of a gem-encircled brow.
Heavenly treasure worn by Jesus,
Souls won through my gift outpoured;
Freely, gladly I will offer
Jewels thus to crown my Lord."

~ From Woman's Work.

(copied from Kept for the Master's Use
Frances R. Havergal

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Katy the Young Bride

I enjoyed  Elisabeth Elliot's radio broadcast "Gateway to Joy" and have a few of the transcripts bookmarked on my computer, most connected with some of her readings from the book Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. The reading on one particular day was from some of the thoughts Katy had when she was first married. Or may I say struggles Katy had. Katy was married on January 16, 1837, the day after her birthday. Her wedding day reflections were pretty good ones, I rather think:

"Yesterday was my birthday and today is my wedding day. We meant to celebrate the one with the other, but Sunday would come this year on the 15th! I am dressed and have turned everybody out of this room, where I have suffered so much mortification and experienced so much joy, that before I give myself to Earnest and before I leave home forever, I may once more give away myself to God. I have been much too absorbed in my earthly love and am shocked to find how it fills my thoughts, but I do want to belong to God. I will begin my married life in His fear, depending on Him to make me an unselfish, devoted wife."

But then, after having been back from the honeymoon for just a short while, we see a regression. On February 16th she writes:

"Our honeymoon ends today. There hasn't been quite as much honey in it as I expected. I supposed that Earnest would be home every evening at least, and that he would read aloud and have me play and sing and that we should have delightful times together. But now he has got me, he seems satisfied and goes about his business as if he had been married 100 years. "

After some more unfortunate reflections and a less than pleasant confrontation with her new husband, she wrote this on February 17th:

"February 17. Mrs. Embury has been here today. I longed to compare notes with her and find out whether it really is my fault that I'm not quite happy, but I could not bear to open my heart to her on so sacred a subject. We had some general conversation, however, which did me good for the time at least. She said she thought one of the first lessons a wife should learn is self-forgetfulness. I should like to know if there is any reason on earth why a woman should learn self-forgetfulness, that does not apply to a man."  

Mrs. Elliot made some good points on this that I wanted to pass on. Quoting Colossians 3:12-21, she mentions that as a good passage for parents to pass on to their children who are leaving home to be married: "And for a recipe for a happy marriage and a peaceful home, a passage that I often give to young couples when they are getting married is in Colossians 3. If any couple would take this passage for their rule of life, I don't think there would ever be a divorce."

You know, I would agree with Mrs. Elliot. And I do believe Katy learned this as the years went by. And one many of us continue to learn.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Focus John 3:16

(Photo by Olga Novikova)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

"A more wonderful verse in the Bible cannot be found." ~ J.C. Ryle

And last evening's sermon was focused squarely on this wonderful verse, which indeed I would agree, Mr. Ryle, there is none more so. The young man who often comes to share the Word with us, came again to minister and as he never fails to give us solid food for the soul, this sermon was no exception. He had four points, and we were fed:

1. The Fountain of Love is God
Here he talked about the love of God in all of its beauty and wonder. 

2. The Flow of His Love Directed Toward the World
 Here he talked about what is meant by “the world”  and after much discussion he settled on the fact that God’s love in this instance is directed towards all nations, not just the Jews. Both Jews and Gentiles are included.

3. The Fact of God’s Love
He gave His Son, the One with whom He had the most special and unique relationship. He gave Him to die. He gave Him to die for sinners. He gave Him who also was divine like Himself to die a cruel death on the cross for the sins of others.

4. The Fruit of His Love
Whoever will, whoever believes in His Son and what He accomplished there on the cross won’t have to perish. They can have eternal life. They can be saved from the wrath to come.

This is the essence of the gospel. It’s difficult for a child of God like me not to be refreshed and encouraged hearing the precious gospel laid out before me once again. And indeed I was refreshed and encouraged. Ready to press on in the faith. Only seeing Jesus before me does that.

If you’ve happened to stop by this blog and read this post I hope it makes you think. You may have seen references to John 3:16 before. Are you included in the “whosoever?” If not, or if you’re not sure, I implore you to find a Bible and read this verse and pray for God to reveal Himself to you and to save you. Read the entire third chapter of the Book of John. Indeed it would be even better if you read the whole Book of John and then go on from there, praying for God’s help all the while. And may He use this to give you the salvation that’s been talked about here.