Monday, December 24, 2012

What about Jesus?


My mind has been swimming in a whirl of organizing, planning, writing, asking, remembering, emailing, calling...

And even yet, the pressing demands seem to never end....

But something else has changed....

Last month I organized a "Youth Sabbath" at our church,  the whole service was done by the youth. Then this month, I organized a Christmas Program at our small church. It was a totally new experience. I shed a few tears... breathed many a desperate prayer, when I thought everything looked completely impossible. He has been there for me all along, even when I was too busy to really include Him in it all.

As I sat there, on the pew, watching the weeks of planning unfold before my eyes.... Listening to the familiar words of the Christmas story I had prepared, being told. The many beautiful music pieces, the stories, the sweet little children performing their parts, the offering that was taken up for the less fortunate.... Then the ending talk... "What can I give Him?" I sat dazed, tears inside.. my throat choked up with a foreign lump that wouldn't go away...

'Have I, in my bustle, and hurry, of planning and organizing, forgotten the whole purpose of this?' I rested my weary, aching head on my Mommy's shoulder, and closed my eyes.....

'Oh Jesus, forgive me!' I cried inside.

How could I leave Him for last? Give Him only a few minutes of my time, when He has poured Himself out for me? Every hour of His life was spent for me...

In the beginning, I had thought I was spending time with Him. I mean, hadn't I been doing a work for Him after all? But, I just never seemed to have real and lasting peace of heart, and mind.  I seemed to hear His voice calling softly, at the height of my busyness  "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things..."  'You seek to serve me, and to prepare everything just right, but you forget to sit at my feet, to drink in my words, to learn of Me, to spend time with Me....  The one and only thing that really matters to Me most....

I felt the crushing weight of conviction pressing on my heart. Yes, I have been like Martha. I had forgotten Jesus. Even though I worked so hard to serve Him, (Or so I thought) Yet He missed me.... And I missed Him.

I determined in my heart to give Him the best gift this year.

My time.

To sit at His feet. Listen for His voice. To let my heart be still, and know my God...


                   ****************************************************


Tonight - Christmas eve, My family and I, along with some friends went to see Him... Hungry, cold, lonely, sad... "the least"

Photo credits to my brother :)

As each one trudged away from the table, my heart was broken for them.




"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40






My best Christmas eve ever!





Joy, beyond measure, springing up within my heart.... 'Cause I've spent time with the King!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"..and the violent take it by force."


"..the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12

I've been mulling over this verse, this past week.

Strong words, they are.

"..and the violent take it by force."

It makes me think of that Patriarch of old, Jacob. That night he wrestled with God by the river, Jabbok.

Long and hard Jacob wrestled that night.

 It wasn't till almost the break of dawn, that the mighty Angel placed His finger on the thigh of Jacob, and he was instantly crippled.

But only then it was, that Jacob was shown how weak he really was, and who it really was that he was wrestling with, that he truly be came strong, and won the battle... even over the Majesty of Heaven Himself!

"All penitent and broken, he clung to the Angel; "he wept, and made supplication" (Hosea 12:4), pleading for a blessing. He must have the assurance that his sin was pardoned. Physical pain was not sufficient to divert his mind from this object. His determination grew stronger, his faith more earnest and persevering, until the very last. The Angel tried to release Himself; He urged, "Let Me go, for the day breaketh;" but Jacob answered, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Had this been a boastful, presumptuous confidence, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his own unworthiness, yet trusts the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God."  {PP 196.3}

 "Jacob "had power over the Angel, and prevailed." Hosea 12:4. Through humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner's plea."  {PP 197.1}

I can't help but be reminded of this verse...

  "..for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 10

It is when we are at our weakest point, that we are the strongest..

And how strong is that strength! Because it's not our own...

So what does it really mean that, "..the violent take it by force."?

I'll let these words explain..

"A deep sense of our need and a great desire for the things for which we ask must characterize our prayers, else they will not be heard. But we are not to become weary and cease our petitions because the answer is not immediately received. “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The violence here meant is a holy earnestness, such as Jacob manifested. We need not try to work ourselves up into an intense feeling, but calmly, persistently, we are to press our petitions at the throne of grace. Our work is to humble our souls before God, confessing our sins, and in faith drawing nigh unto God. . . . " {OFC 136.2}

"Every faculty and feeling must be engaged. Ardor and earnest prayer must take the place of listlessness and indifference. Only by earnest, determined effort and faith in the merits of Christ can we overcome, and gain the kingdom of heaven. Our time for work is short." (YI May 24, 1900).  {1BC 1095.8}

This is what it means to wrestle in prayer my friends...

I want to have this sort of violence. 

 "...I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Genesis 32:26

I don't know about you, but I want to gain the victory in this battle!

And it's only at my weakest point that I shall... 

Yes, this battle shall only be won, on my knees! 





Thursday, November 22, 2012

Work! For the Night is Coming...


Rain pattered on the roof, and dripped from the eaves into the growing puddles below my window. Normally, I would quickly be lulled to sleep by these sounds. But there I lay, awake and restless. Thoughts going round and round in my mind.. like a song set to repeat.

I lay there awake, till the early morning hours. Till finally,  the constant sound of  dripping, prevailed upon my exhausted mind and tired body, and I drifted off to a light sleep.

Then God gave me a dream, that I have not, and won't soon be, forgotten.

Dreaming for me is not at all unusual. I dream pretty much every night. Sometimes they are dreams I can remember, but many times they are just sketchy in my mind, and not worth trying to remember anyways. I really am not a person that cares much about dreams. Although I can't help the fact that I dream all the time. And sometimes my dreams are just to funny to not share with my family! And so, I am known to my family to be a dreamer!

But this dream was just different. It was very vivid, and seemed to be reality. And has caused me to be in solemn thought all day.

This was my dream..

"I lay sleeping in my bed, when all of a sudden, I woke up. There was a very bright light shinning through my window. I jumped out of bed, and stood looking out the window, scared to death. You know that kind of scared that makes it hard to breathe. Stars were falling everywhere from the heavens, filling the air with bright streaks of light. And in my mind I said, 'Oh no! Jesus is coming, and I'm not ready. I've not surrendered everything to Him yet. I don't know Him. And I've not done the work He called me to do.' I was terrified to look upon his face. It seemed He would appear at any moment... and then my dream faded away."

The next morning (tuesday morning) as I was making my bed, I started humming a song, not even conscious of what song it was. Then it came with such a force, that I had to sing it! I sang bits and pieces of it. I couldn't even remember how it went. I have only sang it a few times at church. I then went into the living room to play it on the keyboard.  I said to my brother who was standing nearby, "This song is really in my head" He said "I know, you've put it in my head now too".  I asked Him to help me remember how the whole thing went, because I just couldn't remember. Then I told him of the dream, and the song, and said quietly, "I think God is trying to tell me something."

This is the song...

Work,  for the Night Is Coming 

Work, for the night is coming; Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling; Work 'mid springing flowers;
Work while the day grows brighter, Under the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming, when man's work is done.

Work for the night is coming; Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor, Rest comes sure and soon;
Give every flying minute Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming, When man works no more.

Work, for the night is coming; Under the sunset skies,
While their bright tints are glowing, Work for daylight flies;
Work till the last beam fadeth, Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, for the Lord is coming, When man's work is o'er.
                                                                  ~Mrs. Anna L. Coghill

I just had to share this experience with you. It has made a big impact on me. I know Jesus is trying to tell me to step into the cold waters of the "Red sea",  knowing He will part the waters for my feet, that they may tread upon dry ground. He is asking me 'What are you waiting for'? Maybe He is asking you the same things. What are we waiting for? We must move forward, and "Step into the waters".

 Jesus is coming very soon my dear Brothers and Sisters, and what will we do when we see Him coming in the clouds of glory? Will we be shaking with fear at the sight of His face? Or will we be filled with unspeakable joy, looking upon His face, saying in a confident voice, "This is my God, I have waited for Him"?



I know some things must change in my life. I so earnestly want to be ready. I so much want to fulfill His great commission. I so want to Know Him as a friend. And I so badly want each of my family and friends to be ready too. That means YOU!

What will we do?

Who will we choose?

Where will we decide to spend eternity?

Please, if you would, give this some true, solemn thought with me...

What are we waiting for?

When people all around us don't know?

Soon... It will be to late...




Monday, October 29, 2012

To Have The Faith Of A Blind Man....


I read this little story the other day, and it really spoke to my heart. Thought it might be a blessing to you too!



"A poet and an artist were once examining a painting by Pussin depicting the healing of the two blind men. The poet mentioned several remarkable things about the painting. The artist seemed unsatisfied, and pointed out something else. He said, "Do you see that discarded cane lying there by the steps of the house?"

"Yes."

"What does it mean?"

"Why, on those steps the blind man sat with his cane in his hand; but when he heard that Christ had come, he was so sure that he would be healed that he dropped his cane and rushed into the presence of the Lord. Isn't that a wonderful conception of faith?"

And it was. Too often we hold onto the old canes and crutches of self-help and of righteousness that we have done, instead of looking  wholly to Jesus."
                                                                                                               ~H.M.S. Richards



I want to drop my "crutches" and "canes" and go running to the feet of Jesus, knowing that He will heal my soul, give me a new heart, and make me completely whole!

Faith, my friends, is the ONLY thing that will bring us through to the end...

The only thing we will be able to cling to..

The "crutches" and "canes" we cling to now, will never make us whole... we must drop them, and run to the lamb of God, and plead for His mercy and grace!

"...and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beautiful Death...

 Lunch finished, barefooted, I hop off the porch, to get a couple minutes of fresh air. I just love taking deep breaths of the fresh, crisp, Autumn air. It's just so... rejuvenating!

I skipped through the lawn over to the roses. I stop to smell them every chance I get... Winter is coming so soon, and I'm taking advantage to enjoy the last of the flowers, before they are "sleeping" under a blanket of white.

As I bent to take in their sweet fragrance, and indescribable beauty, I noticed, that the little breeze earlier, had knocked all the petals off the older roses. 'Such a pity', I thought to myself, as I looked at the scattered petals at my feet, 'that these beautiful works of creation must wither and die. That they must pay the penalties of my sin, by giving themselves to die.' 'My sins cause this'... I sighed.


As I looked around me... I seemed to see death everywhere...

Golden, yellow leaves, drifted gracefully to the ground, from a tree nearby...



 The garden almost looked black. Frost had devoured the very life from it. 'So very different it looks now, from just a week ago' I thought.

Something just seemed strangely beautiful about the sightings of my stroll around the house... Yes something very strangely beautiful...

I just couldn't quite place it...

As I went about my Sabbath preparations in the house again, three words kept ringing through my head....

Death...

Sacrifice...

Beauty...

What is it Lord? I asked, as I scrubbed the dishes. 'What is it you're wanting me to see through all this death... as Beautiful?'

Ahh, yes!

I know.

You died for me.

You Sacrificed all heaven for me...

All the comfort and joy, mortal minds can't even fathom it... And you Sacrificed all of it for ME!

Ooh yes, what a beautiful sacrifice, I breathed...

But that wasn't it...

'I want YOU to die as well my child' He whispered.

Hmm...

'Yes, that's called "Death to self"' I thought.

Ahh, but Lord, it seems like nothing, compared to the death you died.

And it is.

But it's what He Sacrificed for. It's what He gave all for. It's why He was bowed down to the ground, with unutterable anguish, that dark night in Gethsemane...

For me to die too... that He might live within me...

Death to self.

An empty vessel..

All of my desires, everything that has to do with ME, is completely just not even apart of my being. Like the rose petals scattered upon the dewy ground. Yes, instead, everything is about HIM.

He rules on the throne, in every situation.

Ooh, beautiful death!

May the soft, and gentle breezes of the Holy Spirit blow upon this rose, that the old petals of self, drop to the ground, wither and die. That Christ may have the very heart of this rose... nothing preventing His entrance, and abiding presence there.



"For to me to live is Christ..

..and to die is gain."





Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Heart, Be A Son Follower...


Summer is fast fading into Autumn. The grass covered hills are turning to a dry, crunchy brown. The once green leaves, filled with life and beauty, are slowly fading into their varied colors of death. The air is filled with a  crisp coolness. My window, once open wide to the warm summer  breezes, which gave my room a sweet freshness, and tickled my face through the night, is now closed tight.

Even the golden red Mums are in full bloom.


It never ceases to amaze me, how fast the days slip away, into just  memories. Every time I pause to ponder over the events of the summer, I shake my head in unbelief that it has slipped away so incredibly fast! So many moments, are now in the safe keeping of many sweet memories.

One little highlight of the summer, was watching our garden grow. From the time the earth was broken up, the seeds planted and the the tiny little green sprouts poking their heads above the brown dirt, to gathering the harvest of many yummy veggies, and the many beautiful flowers that somehow ended up in vases on the kitchen table! :)

There are so many lessons to be learned in the garden! Every time I wandered out there to pull those persistent little weeds, the Lord always impressed upon my heart some simple, but yet profound lesson for the "garden" of my heart.

One thing I  watched, with increasing wonder in our garden this summer, was my mommy's favorite flower. I don't think she would ever plant a garden without planting some of them... Bright yellow Sunflowers!

I have to admit, after this Summer, they have become a part of my "favorites" list too! :)

Every time I jumped out of bed in the morning, to stretch, and peek out the window at the rising sun, those sunflowers up in the garden would always catch my eye. They always had their faces turned to the glory of the sunrise.

 At noon, when I was busy about my day, they would always be looking straight upward, to the height of the bright blue sky, looking straight into the face of the sunshine.

Then, when we would gather round for evening worships, to sing songs of praise, and listen to the words of the Lord, read to the hearing of all listening ears, those Sunflowers had their little faces turned to the west, as the sun drifted behind the hills.

These little sun followers have been an incredible inspiration to me, and have taught me so many beautiful lessons, that I shall never forget!

They have reminded me to ever keep my eyes focused on Him, trusting that He will carry me through each valley He permits me to travel through, for the purification of my Character... trusting He has a beautiful plan for my life, without me intervening with my ideas of how things should go...

Love this...
"We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts may turn to God as naturally as the flower turns to the sun. The sunflower keeps its face sunward. If it is turned from the light, it will twist itself on the stem, until it lifts up its petals to the bright beams of the sun. So let everyone who has given his heart to God, turn to the Sun of Righteousness, and eagerly look up to receive the bright beams of the glory that shine in the face of Jesus." ST December 16, 1889

Yes, just plain and simply trusting Him for everything! Fixing my eyes on Him, as those tall, sturdy Sunflowers do. Never taking my eyes away to look at others, myself, or disheartening circumstances.

He brings the day every morning. He causes the moon and stars to twinkle in the night sky. He holds worlds in space. He makes this tiny, insignificant heart of mine beat every second I have had life. How could the thought ever cross my mind that He cares not for me, and my life?

This is the prayer of my heart...
"....Heart, be like the Sunflower, not only open to receive God's blessings, but constant in looking to Him."  ~Richter

Yes, heart of mine, look unto Jesus constantly, and  just trust Him.

Completely...

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

So very soon....by His Grace, and through the the Faith that He has authored, and will finish in me, and because of ever looking unto Him, I shall too set down at the beautiful throne of God.. and shall recount the trails of this life with a smile, saying, it was soo worth it all!

And just perhaps, I shall have Sunflowers in my garden there too... =)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Unprofitable or Faithful


The other day, I was folding a pile of laundry on my bed, fresh from the dryer. And as they often are, my thoughts were busy as well as my hands. I was thinking about how short time is... So close we are to the gates of eternity.... I don't realize myself how close we are, and oh how many there are who don't even know this hope of eternal life exists...

And I asked myself, as I often do, 'What are YOU doing about it? 'Oh..', I sighed inwardly, '..not nearly enough..'

You see, I have an enemy, that whispers in my ear constantly, that I am not good enough to do anything for a Holy God, and that He can't use ME, because I don't have many talents, and I fail Him so often, returning to my earthly treasures... fools gold, as I call it, those things which  give nothing but even more pain and despair.

As my thoughts were running down this, "I'm no good" sort of path, God entered in.. and stoped them dead in their tracks! Praise Him!

This is what He whispered to me...

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

Ohhh Wow!

At that moment, this verse which the Lord interrupted my thoughts with, came crashing in with such force that I'm not sure what you would have seen if you were watching me at that moment... probably I was staring at the wall, my hands still holding something I was folding, totally struck by those incredible words I'd heard before, but never really considered as meant for ME.

And as if one wasn't enough He sent others crashing in right after the other. Yes, these exact words..

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.   ...for when I am weak, then am I strong. " 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand saying unto thee; fear thou not I will help thee." Isaiah 40:31

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper..." Hebrews 13:6

'So yes,' He whispered, 'you may be nothing, and are, but I am everything.. And I'm here for you. I want to hold your hand, to be your helper, to be your strength... to be your everything.'

 My heart melted within me... 'Yes Lord, You're so right, I've been all wrong, terribly wrong'.

A few mornings later, I lay in bed. I could hear morning worship taking place in the living room. Sick with whooping cough, I had gotten much less than 4 hours of sleep that night. Coughing all night, til around 3:30 in the morning, when I finally somehow collapsed in utter exhaustion...

 When I heard the voices of my family in the living room, I could hardly believe it was morning, in fact I didn't want it to be...

But I was awake now, groggy, but awake. The voice of my younger brother drifted through the kitchen, into my bedroom, to my half asleep ears. 'It must be his turn for worship this morning' I thought.

He was reading the parable about the talents, in the book of Matthew.

As I was thinking about the story in the parable, my mind turned to the servant who was only given one talent. The other two servants, the one who was given five talents, and the other who was given two, were both faithful with them, and their talents multiplied. But the servant who was only given one talent, went and dug a hole, and buried it.

 I stared out my window, as I  pondered over what this servant had done. The babble of conversation in the living room faded from my hearing, as I considered this unfaithful servant, and myself.

'Lord,' I questioned, 'Is that what I have done? Buried the talents you have given me? For surely you have at least given me one.'

My dear brothers and Sisters, and fellow servants, what are we doing with the talent(s) the Lord has given us, His servants? This is the question I had to ask myself that morning.
Have we buried them, or used them for our own self glory? Oh, I don't know about you, but I do not want the terrible fate of that unfaithful servant one day.

"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.." Matthew 25:30

So, I know I'm nothing. Weak and unworthy. And so it may be that I've been entrusted with but one talent. But I want to claim the absolutely precious promises the Lord has given us, and unbury my talent out of the dusty dirt, and let Him polish it, making it shine for His honor and glory! Oh how dare I do anything less...

How about you?

Let's just do it my friends! We've got nothing to lose. In fact, we've got everything to win!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pictures of Joy...


This story has been such a wonderful encouragement to me... Thought I'd share it with you.

"Many, walking along the path of life, dwell upon their mistakes and failures and disappointments, and their hearts are filled with grief and discouragement. While I was in Europe, a sister who had been doing this, and who was in deep distress, wrote to me, asking for some word of encouragement. The night after I had read her letter I dreamed that I was in a garden, and one who seemed to be the owner of the garden was conducting me through its paths. I was gathering the flowers and enjoying their fragrance, when this sister, who had been walking by my side, called my attention to some unsightly briers that were impeding her way.


 There she was mourning and grieving. She was not walking in the pathway, following the guide, but was walking among the briers and thorns. "Oh," she mourned, "is it not a pity that this beautiful garden is spoiled with thorns?" Then the guide said, "Let the thorns alone, for they will only wound you. Gather the roses, the lilies, and the pinks."  


     Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed with joy in response to the Spirit of God? When you look back into the chapters of your life experience do you not find some pleasant pages? Are not God's promises, like the fragrant flowers, growing beside your path on every hand? Will you not let their beauty and sweetness fill your heart with joy?
  

     The briers and thorns will only wound and grieve you; and if you gather only these things, and present them to others, are you not, besides slighting the goodness of God yourself, preventing those around you from walking in the path of life?
     It is not wise to gather together all the unpleasant recollections of a past life,--its iniquities and disappointments,--to talk over them and mourn over them until we are overwhelmed with discouragement. A discouraged soul is filled with darkness, shutting out the light of God from his own soul and casting a shadow upon the pathway of others.Thank God for the bright pictures which He has presented to us." SC 117
     .

"God is not pleased to have His people hanging dark and painful pictures in memory’s hall.



 He would have every soul plucking the roses....


and the lilies and the pinks, hanging memory’s hall with the precious promises of God blooming all over the garden of God. He would have us dwelling upon them, our senses sharp and clear, taking them in their full richness, talking of the joy that is set before us. He would have us living in the world, yet not of it, our affections taking hold of eternal things. He would have us talking of the things which He has prepared for those that love Him. This will attract our minds, awaken our hopes and expectations, and strengthen our souls to endure the conflicts and trials of this life. As we dwell on these scenes the Lord will encourage our faith and confidence. He will draw aside the veil and give us glimpses of the saints’ inheritance."—Ms 24, 1888 quoted in 3SM 163, 164.  {Hvn 174.3}

My soul desire, is to stop gathering the thorns, and hanging them, as pictures, about the halls of my mind, letting them fill my soul with doubt, and despair, But to gather the beautiful, fragrant Roses! And plaster their beautiful pictures of joy all over the halls of my mind!

God is SOO very good to us! I know that I have much....oh so much to be thankful for! I have started a little journal, that I write something I'm thankful for in, every night before I go to bed. It's been amazing! There is always so much to be thankful for!

This promise is for each one of us:

"For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."  Isaiah 51:3 

I want the Lord to fulfill this beautiful promise in my heart...

How about you?

 




                                                                         

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Faith is the Victory.... (part 2)


This is kind of a continuation of my last post....

                                                   ****************************
After Faith camp, my family and I went on a camping trip to Montana! We haven't gone camping for quite a while, so it was a real treat!

After hearing the messages the speakers had to give at faith camp, of how most of them, simple people, where called by the Lord, feeling ever so inadequate for what the Lord had called them to do, but yet how the Lord fitted them for the work that they could not do themselves. Ever since that weekend, I have been thinking a lot about the hero's of our faith.

Especially Moses has been in my thoughts....

On one of the 4 days of our camping trip, we hiked up this trail. It was a rather miserable hike to say the least! There were tons of mud holes, or you could call them, mini swamps! I finally decided to take off my flip flops, and let the cool mud squish through my toes! No sense trying to stay clean in that stuff! :) In fact, on the way back, we all ran through them, flipping mud all over each other! :) lol

And besides the mud holes, there was literally millions of blood thirsty mosquitoes! You would think they had never tasted such good stuff in all their lives! They were just swarming us. It felt like we were in a cloud of them!

So by now, I'm sure you get the point, the hike was miserable. But what was at the end... our destination point, was worth it all! It was absolutely breath taking!

This is the sight that greeted our eyes.....



I dropped the muddy flip flops I had been carrying, on a stump at the end of the trail, and continued on my barefoot way, following my energetic brothers, through the thick brush to the other side of the lake. Up and over many big boulders......



At last, I caught up with them! They had found a little spring, trickling down from a crack in a big boulder....



 ...And were thoroughly enjoying it! I more than gladly joined them! As I drank deeply of that unimaginably sweet, cool water, my mind flew back to another rock long ago, that had gushed with cool water for so many thirsty ones. And a big smile crept to my lips.....

You see, in the bustle of getting ready to go that morning, I had forgotten to fill a water bottle to take with, and after the hike, in 80 degree weather, I was really thirsty! And the Lord had just so mercifully provided for my need! :)

As I looked down on the beautiful sight below me.....




And the flowers all around....




My tongue wet with the sweet, mountain spring water.

I pondered over the story of that man of old....

Moses.

His story is growing to be a dear one to my heart.

I just can't seem to remove the image from my imagination, of him kneeling in awe and reverence before that bush aflame with the glory of God. Listening breathlessly to the voice of the almighty one.

"Come now therefore, and I will send thee ....." Exodus 3:10

And Moses answered the Lord:
"Who am I, that I should go..." (verse 11)

And the Lord answered him:
"Certainly I will be with thee;...." (verse 12)

Again later on, Moses said:
 "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." (Ch 4 Verse 10)  


And the Lord answered Him:
"..Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? (verse 11)  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." (Verse 12)

  "From the burning bush the Lord reproved Moses for unbelief when he pleaded his inability to speak. "Who hath made man's mouth?" he said, "or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." When the word of Lord came to Jeremiah, he said, "Ah, Lord God! behold, I can not speak: for I am a child." But the Lord said to him: "Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.  {par. 6}  The same God who gave his messages to Moses and Jeremiah will give his word to his witnesses in this generation. "For it is not ye that speak," Christ declares, "but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." This word of the Lord has been verified in all ages, and it will be verified to the close of time in all who hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. The most powerful testimony will be given in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. The Holy Spirit is close beside those who are called to witness for truth and righteousness. He orders the testimony that is borne before earthly authorities, that the glorious truth may appear."  {RH, May 24, 1898 par. 7}

Ahh, my friends! Faith is truly the Victory that overcomes the world! Faith that the Lord will speak His words through this stumbling mouth. Faith that He will provide for all my needs. Faith that He WILL guide my feet in the paths where He WILL call them.

I don't know what the Lord has in store for my future.  But this I know:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."  John 15:16

"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."  Isaiah 42: 6-8

"We know not what is before us, and if we did, it would not contribute to our eternal welfare. God gives us an opportunity to exercise faith and trust in the great I AM" (Lt 119, 1895).  {1BC 1099.5}

There will be many trials, no doubt. Moses had his share too. But HE has Promised this:
"...Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  Isaiah 43: 1-2

 "Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore." Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Isaiah 54:10."  {DA 483.1}

I could go on and on... But this post has become a bit long! Perhaps there will be a part three to this post. We'll see....

I just can't help sharing my thoughts on this. The Lord is doing so much in my life. Even though at times it seems nothing is happening. I know He is working, and preparing my heart to give service for Him! SOOO exciting! And I will not wait to bless the world around me, I can, through His grace, start now!

Do YOU hear Him calling to your heart as well my friend?
 
Please, will YOU answer the call?

 Don't look to me or anyone else in this world. But look up, to Him who calleth us. And holding the banner of Faith high, may we gain the victory over this world!




 



Monday, July 9, 2012

Faith is the Victory....


I had just spent a powerful weekend at Faith Camp.  I had heard the call to my heart, to give my life to Him completely....to go where He wants me to go, to do what He wants me to do, to say what He wants me to say, no matter the cost. I had risen from my seat after the Sabbath afternoon meeting, when the appeal had been made to my heart, to give Him my whole life.....EVERYTHING. I had knelt there, with the others who where making the same commitment, I had poured out my heart to Him in a prayer of consecration, and commitment, with pleas for His guiding hand, wisdom and strength.

And yet, here I sat on the edge of my bed, after everything had been unpacked and put away, and the animals and garden had been tended to, starring blankly out my window into the darkness.  I felt an overwhelming feeling of unworthiness for doing any kind of work for my Redeemer.  And an even more overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and weakness!

As I watched the lightning flash across the dark sky out my window, my thoughts turned to the great heroes of faith in bible times.

Like Moses at the burning bush, when God called Him to lead the Children of Israel  out of Egypt. He too had felt inadequate, weak and unworthy.....



 Elijah had felt all alone, discouraged, weak and afraid.....



Abraham was called to sacrifice his son of promise. My mind tried to imagine that dark, trying night.....



Oh,  there have been so many more mighty heroes, that have walked the path of faith down through the ages. but there is no room to mention them all here! Oh how honored I feel, to walk in their footsteps!





This verse has been vibrating through my mind for the past few days. Giving me, this child of weakness, and of such little faith, much encouragement!

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." John 15:16

To me, that is just a totally amazing verse!

He has chosen me, even though I hadn't chosen Him....

He has ordained me, that I may go and bring fourth beautiful fruit.....fruit that will remain.

He bids me, ask the Father, in His name, and He promises to give it me.......

WOW!

"Labor in faith and confidence; for the time will never come when I will forsake you. I will be with you always, helping you to perform your duty, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, sustaining you, giving you success in speaking words that shall draw the attention of others to heaven."{AA 29.1}

This was the theme song at faith camp this year, and I'd like to share it with you! It's powerful!
                                             
                                               Faith is the Victory!
1. Encamped along the hills of light, ye Christian soldiers, rise, And press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies. Against the foes in vails below let all our strength be hurled;   Faith is the victory we know that overcomes the world.

2. On every hand the foe we find drawn up in dread array; Let tents of ease be left behind, and onward to the fray; Salvation's helmet on each head, with truth all girt about, The earth shall tremble neath our tread, and echo with our shout.

3. To him that overcomes the foe, White raiment shall be giv'n; before the angels he shall know his name confessed in heav'n. Then onward from the hills of light, our hearts with love aflame, We'll vanquish all the host of night, in Jesus conquering name.

Refrain
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory! O, glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

Let's rise, my dear fellow Christian soldiers! Let's take hold of the banner of faith and raise it high, pressing the battle onward, with our dear redeemer at our side!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Consider the Pansies....


Those sweet little gems! I just can't stop noticing their adorable, smiling, little faces! Every time I walk by them, they just seem to shine with cheerfulness! And it makes me stop to ponder every time....



You see, last summer, Mom and I planted these adorable little pansies in our hanging baskets, and this spring, we noticed them popping up all over below where the baskets were hanging!  The ground is so hard, and there are so many weeds growing there, I'm amazed every time I see them, at how they survive it!



And that's what makes me stop and smile down at them, as their sweet little faces smile back at me through the weeds.....



WHY?....

Why do I worry so much? And so often am sad and loaded down with heavy burdens, with a look of sadness and pain written all over my face?

Why, when these are so happy and shinning with adoration to their creator?



Not a sigh they breathe, not a frown they wear, not a worry do they bear.
For they do greatly TRUST in HIS tender watch care!



I have been struggling with overcoming a bit of a depression the last few months, and I must say, these sweet little Pansies must have been placed here from the hands of the Lord, for they have been such an encouragement to me! At many a time, when all seems bleak, a faint picture of their smiling little faces passes gently through my mind. A sweet reminder to BLOOM WHERE I HAVE BEEN PLANTED.... And to smile through what ever may try to dim my view of the sunshine! :)

If you my friend have also been stumbling along with a heavy burden of care on your shoulders, and life seems a painful struggle, Consider the Lilies! And they will tell of one who makes all burdens easy, who makes life beautiful and worth living!

I know it may sound so incredibly impossible.

But it Is so possible.

Just give it ALL to Him!

And then, as those sweet little pansies, we may smile through the weeds! For as we look up, we will see the bright and glorious sunshine!

Keep looking up my friends.....He'll NEVER let us down!

Let's press on together, those pansies and us...  And let's lift a weary soul along the way,  pointing their eyes to the sunshine peeking through! :)

Oh, and by the way, as Mom and I have been transplanting these little pansies to other more beautiful places, if we to are faithful, also shall be transplanted to a much more glorious resting place, where the weeds and storms of life shall never again mar our view of the sunshine of His face! :D


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Remember My Hands....



I had tossed and and turned all night, unable to be overcome with peaceful sleep, I was bowed low under a heavy load. It was so much more than I could bear...

As I blindly washed the dirty dishes that filled the sink the next morning, hot bitter tears of utter despair, spilled down my cheeks. I just couldn't push the hurting of my heart down inside anymore, it was just too much...

I was completely frustrated with myself at my spiritual condition.....and on top of that, I was bowed down by many other unmentionables.

Life seemed so dismal, so depressing, it seemed there was no hope.

And without Him, in constant control of everything, and without possessing that blessed peace that He has promised to those who keep their minds stayed on Him, things can get pretty depressing at times!

I was at that point. Everything just seemed hopeless!

I almost felt angry..

Angry with myself...

Angry with the ruthless way life seemed to treat me...

Yes, I was totally overcome with thoughts of myself.

But even through this, my dear Heavenly Father didn't forget about His child who was bowed low, overcome in a cloud of despair.

He whispered softly, 'Remember my hands dear child!' 

Huh?

What do you mean by that Lord? I weakly questioned.

I wondered what those words could really mean.

So that evening, I did a little word search about His hands, and was filled with wonder and awe at what I found! If you don't mind, I will share a few of those passages my eyes feasted upon, and of which my troubled heart drank deeply of.

Here they are:

"We can carry all our sorrows and griefs, troubles and trials, afflictions and cares, and pour them into the ear that is open to hear, of One who is pleading before the Father the merits of his own blood. He is pleading his wounds--My hands, my hands! "I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." He offers the wounded hands to God, and his petitions are heard, and swift angels are sent to minister to fallen man, to lift up and to sustain."  {RH, January 4, 1887 par. 15}

My hands, my hands!.... 

 "What a price has been paid for us! Behold the cross, and the Victim uplifted upon it. Look at those hands, pierced with the cruel nails. Look at His feet, fastened with spikes to the tree. Christ bore our sins in His own body. That suffering, that agony, is the price of your redemption."  {AG 172.4}

All that pain and sacrifice Lord for my redemption?  How could I be worth that much Lord? I shook my head in unbelief... I mess up so much, why would you suffer so much for me? How could you love me so much? 

"I will not forget thee. I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." Graven his children with the deep prints of the nails driven through those dear hands which he presents to the Father. " RH February 26, 1880

"Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him and be overwhelmed with temptation, but Christ can never turn from one whom He has paid the ransom of His own life." Thoughts from the mount of Blessing, pg. 118 

Oh friends! I was completely overwhelmed with the awesome love of our redeemer and friend!
And he has called me to take up my cross and follow Him through the joy of sacrifice. To live as He lives...to think as He thinks....to love as He loves.

And He has promised to be there for me the whole way...and He'll still love me even if I do mess up! Oh what unutterable love!

And as I walk down this path, He wants me to take hold of His nail scarred hand that my feet will not stumble!

Those hands of His will throughout eternity bear the marks of His sacrifice for you, and for me..

"Throughout eternity he will bear in his hands the prints of the cruel nails by which he was transfixed to the cross on Calvary. These will ever bear witness to the sufferings he endured in order that penitent sinners might have life eternal." NPU Gleaner March 16, 1910



"I saw that the prints of the nails and of the spear were His glory."  {12MR 249.1}   

And so the Lord bids me take His pierced  hand, that I to may be able to say this with all honesty...


" ....Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. "
 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


My dear brothers and sisters, let us rise to this high, and privileged calling!

"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:6-8

Will we remember His hands?

He'll never forget ours...







Friday, April 27, 2012

Purity....


"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

This has been the theme of my thoughts the last couple of weeks....

purity.

It is a lost possession these days....sadly, there are very few that poses this priceless treasure.

I must admit, I struggle  with it every day.....

This week, there was something especially weighing on my heart...

Something I knew I was  not surrendered in.

So, I picked up my dearest friend off of my nightstand beside my bed....

Pulled on my worn out hiking shoes....

And set out on a walk....

Just God, my Bible and I...

As I sat on a log beside the trail, in the warm sunshine, Bible in lap, pondering the worth of holding on to this "Treasure", My eyes caught sight of two birds soaring high above me...

"Oh Lord I cried, why can't my heart be as free as those birds? I want that sort of freedom...."
'Give me your all.' He whispered. 'And then it is, your heart will know freedom.'

I looked down at my opened Bible.....

A sigh escaped my lips.....

'Ok, Lord' I breathed....'take it, for I am not strong enough to give it into your hands.'

And Oh the joy of full surrender!

 I skipped for joy down that trail!

 My heart soured like an eagle!

Let me say this though, it is not easy to let Him keep my heart...many a moment I want to take it back. Yes, to fill it with my "Treasures", that sort of gold that people call "Fools gold".

But with His strength, I will be like a water lily!



Let Mrs. White explain:

 "I have seen the water-lily growing up through mud and filth, yet putting forth pure, spotless blossoms. One day as my husband and I were on the water, we saw some of these lilies. I said to him, "Reach down, and pull up a root if you can." This he did, and we saw how the beautiful flower was joined by a channeled stem to the root. This channeled stem struck down through the weeds and rubbish to the pure sands beneath, drawing thence the nourishment that gave life to the blossoms of spotless purity.

God would have us learn lessons from the water-lily that opens its pure white blossoms upon the bosom of the lake. The flower reposes in spotless loveliness while all around it, in the water, may be unseemly and obnoxious things. The lily strikes its roots deeper and still deeper into the rich soil far beneath the surface of the lake, and, refusing everything that would taint and pollute its purity, draws to itself only those properties that will aid its development into a spotless and beautiful flower." ~Mrs.White

Only by constantly drinking at the Fountains of living water...By dwelling on the wonderful promises of God... By Striking our roots deeper and still deeper in the knowledge of God... And making a full surrender of self every moment,  Shall we ever have that true Purity as the water lily.

This world is a dreadful, filthy, muddy, pond. Filled with all sorts of debris.

But there IS hope!

Will you join me my friend, as I seek to brighten the place with a beautiful,  pure, water lily? To reject the filth of this pond, (world) and turn to the son above, that the petals of this flower may shine with the beauty of His lovely character?

Let's fill this ugly old pond with pure, beautiful water Lily's!







Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Springtime in my Heart

I've always loved  spring, ever since I was little...

The new blossoms on the trees.... I used to climb up to reach them...



The wonderful, inviting mud puddles....




The birds singing their sweet songs....


I loved watching the robins hopping about....



The rain...and the fun of using my little umbrella...



The nodding of the cheery daffodils as the rain dripped from their faces....



The new life of baby animals.....



The bright shinning colors of a beautiful rainbow after a refreshing rain....


The soft, bright new green grass...


Going on mushroom hunts....



I remember running about, finding the first little spring wildflowers and making  little bouquets and dropping  them on our doorstep, knocking, and running around the corner of the house to watch the surprised look on Mom's face! :)..... Pretty soon I got around to the whole neighbourhood..... Grandma and Grandpa, and my two Aunts.

Things haven't changed too much since then....I still love spring! I still love to pull on my rubber boots, and splash through the mud puddles....I still love to hear the sweet songs of the birds praising their creator....I still love to watch the robins hop about......I still love the fresh spring rains and the bright rainbows they bring.....I still love to drive by farms and see new little baby's frolicking about....I still love to be the first to find the little spring wildflowers! Yes, Spring has always been, and always will be my favorite time of year!

But their is something else on my mind....

something else I love about spring....

New life...

New birth...

Cleansing Rain...

Yes...Spring reminds me to let their be springtime in my heart!

To let the early rain of the Holy spirit cleanse my heart...

To LIVE a life anew with my Lord...

To have a heart that overflows with praise as the birds do...

To bloom with the Love of Jesus...

To be born again!

Oh how I long to have springtime in my heart!

And when I think about it.....

It really is up to me...

I want to truly be born again...to let springtime be all year round in my heart! :)

What about YOU?

 Will you also be born again....and let springtime abide in your heart?