Monday, November 30, 2009

The Secret to Thanksgiving........And Everything Else!!!

   In our family devotions we have started reading about Job. In the first chapter, the Lord gives Satan permission to strike all that Job has. His cattle, oxen, donkeys, camels, servants, and children were all destroyed. Here was a man that in our eyes would have nothing to be thankful for. Yet what did he say?
  "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed by the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong."  (Job 1:20-22, emphasis added)

 Yesterday at church, Dad preached out of Phillipians. When Paul was writing this book he was in prison, chained between two guards. We already know what he has suffered for the sake of Christ:
"Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from the Gentiles, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and in hardship, through many sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. ( 2 Corinthians 11:24-27)
   After having experienced all of this, was Paul bitter? In the language of Paul: By no means! On the contray, Phillipians is full of Paul's rejoicings:

 "Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me." (Philippians 2:17-18)

 "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I will say, not be anxious about anything but in everything in  prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
(Philippians 4:4,6)

 "...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13)

What was it that caused these two men to glorify and praise God even when severe adversity struck them? I believe it is because they understood and rested in the nature of God and His perfect soverignty. They knew and understood that everything that happens (whether good or bad), happens because it fulfills God's wonderful plan to glorify Himself:

"Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.....With God are wisdom and might; He has counsel and understanding. If He tears down, none can rebuild; if He shuts a man in, none can open. If He witholds the waters, they dry up; if He sends them out, they overwhelm the land. With Him are strength and sound wisdom; the decieved and the deciever are His. He leads counselors away stripped, and judges He makes fools. He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips. He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty.....He makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations, and leads them away. (Job 12:9-10, 13-19, 23)

"In Him we have obtained an inheritance having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will...... ( Ephesians 1:11)

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forevermore. Amen. (Romans 11:36)

 I believe that when we embrace this doctrine, it reduces us to nothing and causes us to glorify God more; not to become arrogant (contrary to popular belief.)

 " How can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to contend with Him, one could not answer Him once in a thousand times. He is wise in heart and mighty in strength--who has hardened himself against Him and succeeded? (Job 9:2-4)

"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you; therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2-6)

"Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make know the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy which He has prepared beforehand for glory---even us whom He has called..." (Romans 9:20-24a)

This doctine gives us such a security and hope in Him that we can say:
"Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." (Job 10:14)

With all this in mind, it bothers me when some say that this doctrine is not important or practical. On the contrary, it is the foundation upon which everything else is placed. It is the glasses through which we view every aspect of life, the armour with which we face every challenge, and the hope to which all else clings!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Remember, O My Soul,
 It is thy duty and priviledge to rejoice in God:
 He requires it of thee for all His favours of grace.
 Rejoice then in the Giver and His goodness,
 Be happy in Him, O my heart, and in nothing but God,
 for whatever a man trusts in,
 from that he expects happiness"

from "A Colloquy on Rejoicing" The Valley of Vision

"Thou Great and Only Potentate,
Thou hast made summer and winter, day and night;
each of these revolutions serves our welfare
and is full of Thy care and kindness.
Thy bounty is seen in the relations that train us,
The laws that defend us,
the homes that shelter us,
the food that builds us,
the raiment that comforts us,
the continuance of our health, members, senses, understading, memory, affection, will.
But as stars fade before the rising sun,
Thou hast eclipsed all these benefits
in the wisdom and grace that purposed
redemption by Jesus Thy Son.
Blessed be Thy mercy that laid help on
    one that si mighty and willing,
   one that is able to save to the uttermost.
Make us deeply sensible of our need of His saving grace,
          of the blood that cleanses,
          of the rest He has promised."

from "Bounty" Valley of Vision

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ten Favorite Scripture Passages

As part of the tag/award, I am supposed to share ten of my favorite scripture passages. I did not realize how hard this would be. I have so many favorites that it is difficult to narrow it down. I will try and do my best though. Here they are (simply in chronological order)

 "I will sprinkle dlean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
 Ezekiel 36:25-27

 " The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul:
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and drippins of the honeycomg. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
  Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptible in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:7-14

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it----the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness because in His divinge forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time that He might be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh could not do. By sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteouss requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died---more than that, who was raised---who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
 'For Your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.'
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neighter death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:31-39

"I have been crucifed with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Galatians 2:20

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth."
Ephesians 1:3-10

" And you were dead in trepasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience---among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh , carring out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath , like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ---by grace you have been saved----and raised un up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works. so that no one may boast."
Ephesians 2:1-9

 "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ......And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righeousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
Phillipians 1:6, 9-11

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneratioin and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Titus 3:3-7

I've Been Awarded!!!

My friend Jessica has just awarded me the Favorite Blog Award!!!!!
This award includes a tag as well:
            1. Do a post about the person who awarded you, and their blog.
            2. Give an award to 5 of your favorite blogs, give a reason, and leave a comment telling them why they have been rewarded
            3.Give us ten scripture verses/passages that are expecially dear to you
            4. Have fun!

Jessica:  Where do I begin? Jessica and her sister Rebekah are two of the closest friends I have. Jessica is such a godly young lady, full of creativity and fun.  She is always ready to assist me in whatever sewing endeavor I hurl myself into! Thanks for everything you do Jess! I love you.

Jessica, Me, and Rebekah

Actually, I think it would be pretty pointless to describe Jessica's blog since most of you who read my blog have found me through her. But for those of you who don't know, Why don't you check it our for yourself?

Now to pass this on, I would like to award the following people:

Rebekah at Bekah's Musings
 Rebekah is such a dear friend to me. I love spending time with her and Jessica. I hope that this award will spur her on to blog more often :)

       I do not know Brittany as well as I would like, but I do know that she is a very godly young woman. Her blog has been an encouragement to me and to others young ladies as well!

 I love going over to Meredith's blog! Her posts are always interesting, as well as being uplifting and edifying

  This is truly one of my favorite blogs to visit. I love her posts about costume dramas literature (particularly because it seems that our tastes are a lot alike:)

Amanda Beth at AmandaBeth Online
 I never tire of going to Amanda Beth's blog and looking at what's in fashion these days. I also especially enjoy reading about fashion in the old days as well!

Since this post is getting rather long, I think I'll save the Scripture part for another post!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Giveway

Taylor, at  Proverbs 3....In Training is having a giveaway on her blog. Go Check it Out!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Jesus My Glory"

"O Lord God,
Thou hast commanded me to believe in Jesus;
  and I would flee to no other refuge,
            wash in no other fountain,
            build on no other foundation,
            receive from no other fulness,
            rest in no other relief.
His waterand blood were not severed in their flow at the cross,
   may they never be separated in my creed and experiences;
May I be equally convinced of the guilt and pollution of sin,
            feel my need of a prince and savior,
            implore of Him repentence as well as forgiveness,
            love holiness, and be pure in heart,
            have the mind of Jesus, and tread in His steps.
Let me not be at my own disposal,
 but rejoice that I am under the care of One who is too wise to err,
            too kind to injure,
            too tender to crush.
May I scandalized none by my temper and conduct, but
   recommend and endear Christ to all around,
   bestow good on every one as circumstances permit,
  and decline no opportunity of usefulness.
Grant that I may value my substance,
  not as the medium of pride and luxury,
  but as the means of my support and stewardship.
Help me to guide my affections with discretion,
to owe no man anything,
       to be able to give to him that needeth,
       to feel it my duty and pleasure to be merciful and forgiving,
        to show to the world the likeness of Jesus."

Valley of Vision

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Feelin' Feminine Day Six

I don't think I have much to say so I guess I'll just post the pictures :)

Once again, it was necessary to layer so I put on a little jacket:

What I'm Wearing:
Turquoise Blue sweater,
Tan Skirt
Tan Blazer
Multicolor Scarf to match
Cranberry shoes
Matching Earrings

Here is how my mom did my hair:

I absolutely love it!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feelin' Feminine Day Five

Today, I decided to go slightly more casual:

What I'm Wearing:
White 3/4 sleeve shirt
Blue Jean Skirt
Pink and White Scarf
White Jewelry
White Flat Shoes

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Feelin' Feminine Day Four

Today we planned to play volleyball with our dear friends the Courters. So I needed something that was feminine, yet also easy to move in. Here is a picture of us girls:

What I'm Wearing:
Brown Plain Shirt
Multicolor Skirt (too many colors to list :)
Brown Flats
Chunky Long Necklace
Hair: Down with sides up

Monday, November 2, 2009

Feelin' Feminine Day 3

For some reason, I had a hard time deciding today what to wear. Here is what I finally decided on:

What I'm wearing:
Purple shirt from Kohls
Brown linen skirt
Multicolor scarf to match
Xhilaration burgundy flats

My Mom did my hair (I'm not exactly for sure what to call it:)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Feelin Feminine Day Two

It is such a warm and beautiful Sunday that I needed to find something that was appropriate for fall and yet still cool. Here is what I came up with:

What I'm Wearing:
Amy Byer Tan Sweater
Express Tan and black plaid skirt
A black headband (a.k.a ribbon)
Croft and Barrow black shoes