Thursday, January 31, 2008

Andrew Murray's Formula for Trials

1. Say, "He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place and in that fact I will rest."

2. He will keep me here in His love and give me grace to behave as His child.

3. Then he will make the trial a  blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends for me to learn.

4. In His good time He can bring me out again - how and when He knows.

So let me say, I am (1) here by God's appointment; (2) in His keeping; (3) under His training; and (4) for His time.

-Andrew Murray 
Quoted in 'Green Leaf in Drought' by Isobel Kuhn

Monday, January 28, 2008

Smiles!

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..." Proverbs 17:22

If happiness equals health, there were five amazingly healthy girls last week. From the moment I hopped into my little green car to brave the snowstrom, to the hours spent driving home three days later with Handel's Messiah blaring from my speakers, my heart was simply soaring. For God to direct a trip so clearly, and be present during the minutest details of it all was absolutely thrilling to my heart.

An opportunity to assist some friends of mine last week found me south about four hours. Every minute of it was a testimony to me of God's love and care for the little details and joys of life.

Want a peek.....?? :-)



Fancy clothes.....

...plus fancy food....

...equals a tea party!

As hard as you try to be prim and proper...

Sometimes it just doesn't work!!

A rare reflective moment for Faith. Watching the birds perhaps?

Chore time became an event there. Bitterly cold weather, topped with several inches of fluffy, recent snowfall made ours times outside very interesting. Nothing felt much better than getting your frozen hands on a delightfully warm, soft goat's udder. The mewing cats, the girly giggles, and the early morning or late night light filtering through the cracks in the barn made this a memorable time. All the best talks somehow came in the barn. Such a blessing....






Sweet Eva and Sunflower...










"Now peanut butter, you are mine, and you have to sit still on my lap!"






We even braved the elements one day and went sledding!

In a dash out to the mailbox the evening before I left, this gorgeous sunset left me reflective and so grateful for the Lord's guidance every step.

Driving home the next evening, in an equally beautiful sunset, the words of that famous choral work made me feel like my car could take right off with the swelling orchestral strains of the Scriptural music.

"I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth"
Job 19:25

"But thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
II Corinthians 15:57

"If God be for us, who can be against us?"
Romans 8:31

"Hallelujah! Thou Lord God omnipotent reigneth!!
And HE shall reign forever and ever!"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Number Four...

Four days at a little yellow house...

Four plus inches of snow in a snowstorm...


Four girls....

Home again. Tired, busy, rejoicing in the goodness of God. 

Details will be forthcoming!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Quotes and Such...

My absence of "fresh" posting lately (in other-words, new and original writings) has a two-fold reason.

#1. I've hardly been home, and will be leaving yet again for an internet-less four days. :-)

#2. I've been reading and reading and reading every spare moment I have, and am brimming so full of inspirational quotes and writings that I could keep this blog up with just them for the next three months. :-) I recently discovered that I am officially hooked on Elizabeth Elliot's books. God has brought some extremely timely writings of hers into my life.

All that said, if you're wishing more a more personal glimpse, for right now, you're just going to have to look beyond the quotes and such, and imagine the rest. I truly never post something that hasn't impacted me personally, and in a way that isn't, Lord willing, life-shaping and changing in my day to day life..

So...hopefully next week sometime you'll be hearing a bit more of the practical, day to day things the Lord is bringing my way. Maybe I'll even splurge and treat you with some "kiddo" pictures! :-) Life certainly holds delights and surprises!

For now, though, I take my leave for several days with, can you guess?.........

Elizabeth Elliot! :-D

I wait.
Dear Lord, Thy ways
Are past finding out,
Thy love too high..
O hold me still
Beneath Thy shadow
It is enough that Thou
Lift up the light
Of Thy countenance.
I wait -
Because I am commanded
So to do. My mind
Is filled with wonderings,
My soul asks, "Why?"
But then the quiet word,
"Wait thou only
Upon God."
And so, not even for the light
To show a step ahead,
But for Thee, dear Lord,
I wait.
-Elizabeth Elliot

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In the Center of the Circle...


In the Center of the Circle

In the center of the circle of the will of God I stand,
As I launch from sheltering harbor to obey His last command.
What though waves o'erwhelm my vessel, and grim fears my faith assail
Still I'll stay upon His promise, for that cannot,
WILL NOT fail.

In the center of the circle of the will of God I stand,
Where the warfare wages fiercest, 'tis the place that He has planned.
Though dread foes may storm my castle, and the battle seem but lost,
I Will claim in Him the victory, and hold on whate'er the cost.

In the center of the circle of the will of God I stand
There can be no second causes, all must come from His own hand,
When dark clouds obscure my vision, and the way I may not see,
I will trust Him in the darkness, for I know He pilots me.

In the center of the circle of the will of God I stand,
Though the circumstances round me show small trace of His skilled hand,
Yet in darkness as in daylight, in the gloom as sunshine fair,
I will trust Him for His presence, for I know He's always there.
-Arthur Mathews


From the book 'Green Leaf In Drought' by Isobel Kuhn. She is one of my all-time favorite authors. See side bar for book link.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Call of God

"I hear the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me' " Isaiah 6:8

God did not direct His call to Isaiah - Isaiah overheard God saying, "...who will go for Us?" The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God's call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.

God doesn't single out someone and say, "Now, you go." He did not force His will on Isaiah. Isaiah was in the presence of God, and he overheard the call. His response, performed in complete freedom, could only be to say, "Here am I! Send me!"
-Oswald Chambers
Wow - what more can I add? May my heart always be tuned in to hear that Voice, and my life ready to follow whatever the cost may be!

Friday, January 11, 2008

My New Year's Gift

My Sacrifice
C. T. Russell

Laid on Thine altar, O my Lord divine,
Accept my gift this day, for Jesus' sake,
I have no jewels to adorn Thy shrine,
Nor any world-famed sacrifice to make;
But here I bring within my trembling hands,
This will of mine, a thing that seemeth small,
Yet Thou alone, O Lord, canst understand
How when I yield Thee this, I yield my all.

Hidden therein Thy searching gaze can see
Struggles of passion, visions of delight,
All that I have, or am, or fain would be,
Deep loves, fond hopes, and longings infinite;
It hath been wet with tears, and dimmed with sighs,
Clenched in my grasp, till beauty hath it none;
Now from Thy footstool, where it vanquished lies,
The prayer ascendeth, "May Thy will be done."

Take it, O Father, ere my courage fail,
And merge it so into Thine own will, that e'en
If in some desperate hour my cries prevail,
And Thou give back my gift, it may have been
So changed, so purified, so fair have grown,
So one with Thee, so filled with love divine,
I may not know or feel it as my own,
But gaining back my will, may find it Thine.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

God's Leading


And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

"I have not the foggiest idea how or where God will lead you. Of this I am sure. He will lead you and not let you miss your signs. Rest in this - it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call, or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you.

This will sound meaningless to you, unconvincing and 'old stuff,' and that is what it should sound, for it is only a man's counsel. The sound of 'gentle stillness' after all the thunder and wind have passed will be the ultimate Word from God. Tarry long for it"
~Jim Elliot

Friday, January 04, 2008

Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

My mind has been consumed lately with the ever-increasing realization of my need to trust the Lord in every detail of my life. Sometime I examine this 'school of trust' the Lord is bringing me through, and wonder when I'll finally learn this lesson, and the Lord won't deem it necessary to have me go through so many hard tests! Will I ever come to the place where I am faced with yet another uncertainty, and I won't struggle anymore with resting in the Lord and committing it all in His capable hands?

I was so blessed last night when reading in Oswald Chambers devotional, 'My Utmost for His Highest.' I was catching up from the last few days of neglect, and the entry on January 2nd page challenged me immensely.

"He went out, not knowing where he was going" Hebrews 11:8

Have you ever "gone out" in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult answer in Christian work is, "What do you expect to do?" You don't know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to "go out" in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keep you in constant wonder, because you don't know what God is going to do next.

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do - He reveals to you WHO He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you "go out" in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?
May I be always willing to go forward in faith as Abraham did, my only certainty being the Lord's clear leading. Away questions! Away doubts! Away fears! Trust God who has promised to guide! Stay thy soul upon thy God! Cling to His promises!

May we truly live by faith, where miracles come as no surprise!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Morn' Reflections


It's 12:35am, January 1st, 2008. I really wasn't planning on being up at this hour, much less blogging. No, I haven't been drinking coffee, I just had a wonderful evening with my family that I'm bubbly and happy over. Caffeine.....excitement....yup, does the same thing to me! :-) Something about sitting around together, eating snacks, laughing together until we cry, watching old classic videos, and just plain enjoying each other is priceless. Family is priceless. Wow - I feel so blessed!

New Year's often holds resolutions, plans, dreams, and hopes. It begs questions, as we ponder what experiences the next year may hold. It may hold fear, excitement, apprehension, or a combination of all three. For me personally, it is a time of great uncertainty. I don't ever recall another year starting with as many unknown questions staring me in the face as they do now.

Tonight, I was reminded, though, not so much of the many questions spinning around in my own brain, but of the purpose I'm living for. Today was special. Many memories will be held close. One which has started my train of thought this evening sprang from a special gift I received in the mail today. Popping the cd in my computer, my mind started contemplating the message that was coming forth. One phrase in particular jumped out at me...

"We're living for a purpose that so far exceeds our plans..."

How can the purpose we're living for be bigger than the conscious knowledge of what our goals are? Because our purpose for living, our very reason for breathing, is Jesus Christ, and HE is bigger than any dream or plan we could imagine up. If our trust is placed in Him, life becomes an exciting adventure. Difficulties turn into opportunities for the Lord to show Himself strong. Hardships become avenues to be drawn closer to the Lord. Wow - the fact that God can turn life's lemons into sweet lemonade is amazing!

I don't claim to have a long list of New Year's resolutions. One thing, though, has been pressed upon my heart as a reality I want to live out in 2008. It is summed up perfectly in the triumphant chorus of the previously mentioned song.

I believe to see the goodness of the Lord
I believe the promises He gave us in His word
I don't need to know the outcome of His plan
I will trust His ways, though I can't see His hand.

Ponder a few of these promises from the book of Isaiah.

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, or to the left." Isa. 30:21

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Isa. 49:15-16

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isa. 55:8-9

Another 366 days to live, (remember the leap year!) follow the Lord, and  look for His goodness and leading in each new step. A life of faith, "where miracles come as no surprise..."All because we can "rest upon the Faithful One, the keeper of our souls...."