Sunday, December 2, 2012

Joy needs a Vacuum

"Live in a constant state of confidence in our God!" ~Eric Ludy

That is what it's about, isn't it?
Joy is the absence of certain things.  Fear.  Doubt.  Anxiety.  Pride. Self-protection.
It isn't just the absence of these things.
Yet, these things must be rooted out, denied, abandoned to give space for joy.
A vacuum must be created, so joy can flourish.

May God grant that I not only talk about joy
but live it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Commanded to Praise, Kirk Cameron

"...when the scriptures state “Praise God”, it is not an option to consider whether one feels like singing praise songs. It is a command to remember and relate the praiseworthy deeds of God to ourselves and others. Just as “love your neighbor as yourself” is a command, so is “praise God” a command."

Read more:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Walking Psalm-like through Difficulty

Rejoicing doesn't ignore the pain.  It is not plastic.  It is not inhuman.  Those "plastic people" that I so despised in high school which said all was well but were torn to a million sheds inside.

But it does hope in God.
And He is big enough.  He can handle our doubts, our fears, the fact we just plain loathe the circumstances.  He can handle our questions, even if voiced to others would sound so.....profane.

There is a pattern in Psalms.
Expression of who God is.
Reaffirmation of the character of God and His working in our lives.

Try to follow that pattern when coming to Him with your deepest hurts, regrets, frustrations.

He loves you and understands.

And try out Sons of Korah, signing the Psalms.  These young men surely will help your hope in God to be renewed.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What if's

Today I have been given permission to repost a phenomenal meditation:

What if…
…things don’t change,
…you don’t feel better,
…the person who hurt you never apologizes,
…your dream doesn’t come true,
…people don’t understand you,
…you feel like you haven’t been successful,
…hard work doesn’t pay off,
…your family isn’t your closest ally,
…you feel unprepared for current circumstances,
…your loved ones reject Christ,
…your heart gets broken,
…life’s harder than you thought it would be.
You can choose to respond in Truth:
see the entire entry here

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"You don't know what it is to rejoice in the Lord unless you are suffering"

I was listening to this little video while I checked this and that on the computer.
This literally stopped me in my tracks:

"I tell you you don't know what it is to rejoice in the Lord unless you are suffering....put your roots down in a way that you haven't done before....... Not the lack of pain, not the lack of grief, but the overwhelming glory and joy that comes up.  His hand upholds me....... its not about controlling your enviroment.  It's about controlling your allegiances."  Tim Keller

You see, I'd been experiencing some pain.  That internal type.  And while I am cognizant of this lesson the Father is teaching me on rejoicing, I'm barely crawling when it comes to practicing it.  And somehow, I was thinking that my pain immobilized my rejoicing.  Truly, it ought to mobilize it!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Jaunt into Sadness

So when things are dark.  It may be circumstances.  It may be hormones, or mental illness.  It may be that time of the year that brings darkness to your heart.

Recently, I was sad.  I didn't know why, then was reminded of the significance of that date.  But it spiraled from there.  Someone in my life didn't respond as I'd hoped, and I was left feeling deserted.  sad. alone. and like the circumstances were hopeless.

I've been a believer for a long time.  I know better.  My inbox was inundated with encouraging posts and blogs.  I knew they were true.  I reread  things on  this blog!  But my heart remained torn, the tears kept coming.  The pain beyond tears tore my heart for a week.   And worse yet, a situation that I had looked forward to and longed for was tainted by unexpected obligations and duties that others should have carried out, but didn't.

Truly, I tried to surround myself with music and words from the Word.  My heart cried out to God in psalm-like fashion.  But the sadness would not leave.

Then the lifting came-in  sharing the joy of others, listening to others that I loved laugh.  And smiling to myself.  And remembering the work that God was doing in their lives to bring about such a delightful sound.

Remember.  God tells us to remember.  He tells us to rejoice.  I failed in this this go-round, but I suspect that unless the Father calls me home, I will have another opportunity and soon. So I need to ask forgiveness, and purpose in my heart to, by grace, be obedient next time.

What has helped rise your heart when walking through darkness?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Whenever We Need Help

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavensJesus the Son of Godlet us hold fast to our confession.4:15 For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknessesbut one who has been tempted in every way just as we are,yet without sin. 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. 15 

In listening to a message recently the last part of verse 16 grabbed me. ...   "to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help."  whenever we need help.

We need help continually.  Sometimes we are more aware than usual that our heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and that outside of Christ, no truly good thing dwells in us.  Oh, but we so hope we actually deserve kindness!  The closer we draw to the Light, the more we see, and are horrified, by our own wickedness.  The more we fail, the more we see our need . We can try to ignore it or cover it up.  Then we do not increase in godliness, we are not more like Him, we are simply better actors.  But when, by God's grace we persist in acknowledging the awful truth. we find, truly, we need Him every hour, every minute, every second, every circumstance.

The help does not come grudgingly.  The verses before this tell us our great High Priest has been tempted in every way and sympathizes with us!  The definition of "every way" means "some of every kind".  He gets it.  He's been there, done that.  He remembers we are but dust.  While the Lord Jesus Christ is King  of the Universe, He feels sympathy for us.  Not only does He experience sympathy for us, but He grants grace, whenever we need it (continually).  He does not give grudgingly, but eagerly.

Oh that our failings, or even our desires to do good would drive us to dwell in his unfailing, unending mercy.  And thankfully experiencing that mercy, we may rejoice in Him!

1) grace 1a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech 2) good will, loving-kindness, favour 2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues 3) what is due to grace 3a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace 3b) the token or proof of grace, benefit 3b1) a gift of grace 3b2) benefit, bounty 4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):-acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy). see GREEK for 5463

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Relationships that hinder joy

I had promised a revisit two posts ago, and here it is.

How can we be unruffled when there are schedules to keep, money problems, world terrors?  There is so much to derail us!~  Today, we will deal with our relationships to others.

Self-seeking, pride and fear cause trouble in our relationships (James 4:1-3).

This happens on a personal level.  We give to children, friends, our spouse, and friends, and they don't respond in thankfulness, but rather despise or gift or take advantage of it.  We are doing battle financially, in the limits of time, in relationships ,to protect and provide for our loved ones.  We are focus on making sure they have what they need in abundance.  And somehow it's hard to discern that it is all about them...or all about us.

 And even those we are trying to benefit don't cooperate.  In fact, they seem to sabotage our efforts.  We are afraid that our husbands won't be respected, our children won't be accepted, we won't be successful. In this day, we are vaguely afraid that somehow we will be the next homeless statistic standing in the food pantry line. 

Those we love cross us, mess up our agendas, have expectations we didn't figure in.  We want our time, our stuff and our reputations protected and promoted.  And when our desires for pleasure, whether they are in terms of pleasures that appeal to our physical senses, or things  which are a little less defined as our reputations, recognition, appreciation, or  sense of accomplishment are hindered or  damaged, we react in harshness.  Many times, honestly, out of fear.  We believe if we do not have these things, we will feel lost, hopeless and worthless.  Our idols again revealed.  They must be crushed, discarded.  And our true God trusted.

  Eric Ludy suggests that
"Gentleness is softness when struck with hardness, mildness with hit with harshness, and a gentle word when belted with a spiteful word.  Gentleness is the divine control and governance over  the inner man, holding the flesh in check that it not be given voice or strength in the matter..." 

Mr. Ludy admits that, outside of Christ we cannot respond like this.

This time paraphrasing Eric Ludy:

We seek God's mercy and kindness but we are unwilling to show mercy and grace to others.   Who is the worse perpetrator...ours to God or theirs to us?  We deserve hell.  They deserve a slap on the wrist, yet we will hold back gentleness and mercy from them.We will judge them and condemn them.   We will expect gentleness and mercy of God.  To the same measure you are willing to be a flow-through channel for the behavior of the Father and the grace of God that is bequeathed to you God responds to you    I desire my God to be gentle with me  and long suffering and gentle with me. Which demands the I become a flow-through channel of his gentleness and mercy to others. 

Other times we are cruelly attacked, lied about, or ignored.  Yet we are to respond, as Eric Ludy says, with the "featherduster" of gentleness.  In truth, this gentleness,which Jesus exhibited, is great strength.

How.  The horrible, demanding question.

We trust.  In God.  No matter the circumstances, we trust His character when the circumstances are painful, unclear, even unimaginable occurs, we know we can trust Him.  It is essential that we and our children are grounded firmly in His character, so whether the trial is great or small, our hope is truly in Him.

Also with Elyse Fitzpatrick, we recognize that:
"We are more sinful and flawed that we ever dared believe; we are more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope. In light of this, we're to put off all the unbelief and self-love that motivated our former identity."

And we can rejoice.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Loved Not By Our Own Merit

"We are more sinful and flawed that we ever dared believe; we are more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope.  In light of this, we're to put off all the unbelief and self-love that motivated our former identity."
                                         -Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick

The old man, sinful and self-serving, sought to console itself in finding it's worth in something outside itself.  It would seek to bring something in, without giving more than necessary,  like a parasite.  Fame, money, praise, accomplishment, affection were all sought as a balm for our desperate souls.  

Now, we are loved completely.  Not the way we were, but how we are now-in Christ.  Not because of what we have done, but because of His choice (agape) and His righteousness (Christ's atonement for our sin).  

But too often we behave as if the transaction has not taken place, and then wonder where our joy, our security, our peace has gone.  Sometimes,while we search elsewhere,  we even dare to suggest God isn't keeping His promises. His promises are not to keep us from trails, temptations, bad days or even awful years.  His promise is His presence, His transforming power.  He is more interested in making us more like His Son than making the day flow smoothly for us.  Each occasion is an opportunity to grow in righteousness.  But this even is not in our power.  It's is through Him.  Ephesians 2:6, "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it[b] with thanksgiving."

Yes, there it is again, that thanksgiving word. It's intertwined with joy.  Again, it's having our hearts and minds transformed.  It's grace, His power to live and move.  His righteousness to live out.  His love to revel in.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rejoicing, Relationships and Trust

Philipians 4:4-7
Be glad, be delighted in the Lord, I repeat be glad and delighted!
Let your moderation, gentleness be known by everyone around.
Your master is near by.
Do not be concerned about things, but contrariwise in every situation, through public and private petitioning of God, with thankfulness and gratitude. make your requests to God.
And the superior tranquility from God that is above understanding will protect your heart and mind (intellect, purpose, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors ) because of the anointed Messiah, Jesus.
( taken from greek definitons as found on

Before the command, yes -note that command- to rejoice, Paul urges for peace between two particular believers.
Discord between believers -within the same home or in the local body- disrupts our desire and ability to delight in the Lord.

Psalm 24:3-4

24:3 Who is allowed to ascend 4  the mountain of the Lord? 5 
Who may go up to his holy dwelling place?
24:4 The one whose deeds are blameless
and whose motives are pure, 6 
who does not lie, 7 
or make promises with no intention of keeping them. 8 

Self-seeking, pride and fear cause trouble in our relationships (James 4:1-3).  In contrast, the gentleness we are to display means essentially to be unruffled.  How can we be unruffled when there are schedules to keep, money problems, world terrors?  

The answer is in the next verses of Philippians:

4:8 Finallybrothers and sisters, 6  whatever is truewhatever is worthyof respect, whatever is justwhatever is purewhatever is lovely,whatever is commendableif something is excellent or praiseworthy,think about these things. 4:9 And what you learned and received andheard and saw in medo these thingsAnd the God of peace will be withyou.

More thoughts on that next time!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

After quoting many notables from Augustine to C.S. Lewis on the subject of Christian joy, John Piper in His book The Dangerous Duty of Delight asks:

"So if Christian Hedonism (the pursuit of joy) is old-fashioned, why is it so controversial?   One reason is that it insists that joy is not just the spin-off of obedience to God, but part of obedience.  It seems as though people are willing to let joy be a by-product of our relationship to God, but not an essential part of it.  People are uncomfortable saying that we are duty-bound to pursue joy."......."joy is an act of obedience"

.  Is this as foreign to you as to me?  Seeking joy has not been on my radar.  It's not been on my wish-list.  Gentleness and  kindness, but not joy.

It's an act of obedience.  Of course we are all familiar with the "Rejoice in the Lord" commands scattered throughout the Word.  But it seems so.....vague.  Of course when our feelings hit us right, when circumstances are good or we experience God's working, we can be glad and rejoice.  But this is commanded.

Those disciples in prison.  The martyrs of history.  Those Singing through the Night   even now know that this command is not a passive matter.  Rejoicing, being glad is not something that happens to us.

This is foreign.  How do I "glad"? tell me that "rejoice" as s "a primary verb; to be "cheer"ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; "

That leads me to think about the "gentle and quiet spirit" I spent so much time studying and dreaming  I would posses.  Gentleness came from confidence in the Lord, and it means to be "unruffled".  

I guess there is food for thought for another time.  But I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Waiting and Joy by Spurgeon

C.H. Spurgeon
"Wait on the Lord."—Psalm 27:14.

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what sha
ll it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower."

Thanks to my friend for posting on fb! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

short and sweet today

"God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”
 (C. S. Lewis)
Thank's to Kim Sharp's fb page!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pain is not the Opposite of Joy

Knowing that some may be coming to visit me for the first time from Raising Arrows,  I am re-posting what I consider to be one of the essential posts.  
To give you a summary, I have always found the subject of joy a bit scary.  I figured there were be corresponding lows to any high.  Joy was fragile.  Joy was something that enabled one to endure in a godly manner, but too often I was caught up in dealing with the problem in my life or that of someone else.  Joy, for me, I finally realized, is a matter of trusting the Father completely.  If there is a corresponding low to a felt joy,  is He able to see me through it?  Of  course.  Furthermore, it finally, finally hit me that rejoicing (root word being joy!) is a command.  I don't have a choice about this.  It is not a luxury I can simply pass on.  

I invite, encourage, urge and plea for your input on this subject!  I'm sure many understand and live this more fully than my toddling steps and look forward to your insights!

Pain is not the opposite of joy. Pleasure is the opposite of pain.
My friend who lived in a non-western country during her growing up years told me that we in the west view pain very differently than much of the rest of the world, and sometimes to our detriment. Pain is an expected part of life in much of the world where they do not have the luxuries we take for granted. While I'm not ready to forego pain relief after surgery, nor do I think it's advisable, I am willing to consider that we come to fear pain to the point we don't see it's benefits. And fear is turning away from trust in the Father. If our minds are not stayed on Christ, there is no perfect peace. (Is 26:3).
I believe it was in the book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, that the author explained how victims of leprosy loose limbs not due to the disease, but due to the lack of pain. They endanger their limbs and bodies in general because things simply do not hurt. This leads to damage, and eventually the loss of limbs. Pain alerts us to the fact something is wrong. Pain can protect us.
Pain may also cleanse us. Are we in pain because our selfish desires are not met or our reputation upheld? Maybe it needs to be purged. Are we in pain because we are not experiencing the pleasure we craved, maybe our appetities need retrained.
I don't want to write about physical pain. So many have suffered so much for the sake of Christ. It is an area I loathe to consider. I confess I'm not eager to join their exalted ranks . (Rev 12:11) But Paul said our example is Christ, who for the joy set before Him endured.....Hebrews 12:2-3
Wait. For the joy, He endured. Consider Him. Consider Him so you don't grow weary or loose heart. Endure for the joy set before .
C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce, beautifully portrays how this earth is such a shadow, it is not true Reality. What is above is Really Real!
May the Father increase our love of Him so that we can endure for the joy that is set before us!

Monday, May 7, 2012

"Only a deep appreciation of all he has done for us in Christ will motivate us to pursue true happiness, to put off all our shabby attempts to make our mud pies a little more tasty, and to see the One who loves us more than we'll ever comprehend." Because He loves Us, Elyse Fitzpatrick, 

Only such a deep appreciation of Christ will help us to distinguish between the Truth, and  the self-sufficient counterfeits we create.  We were made to worship, so find fulfillment in doing what we were created to do.  But when we think we cannot live, or be fulfilled without a particular circumstance, a person or an object, a position, or some other measure of success it only shows us for the idolaters we are.  God is a jealous God.  Not because he is arrogant, but because He knows what we were created for...and who He is!

Maybe that is why God was always telling the Israelites to recall what He had done for them.  That was the whole point of all those feasts.  Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, told them to remember what was about to happen with the bread and wine.

Ann Vos Kamp challenges us to remember...more than that to see  grace in our everyday lives.  To identify it and respond with gratitude.

This is not an escapist "everything is fine" attitude.  It is truth.  Yes, there is pain here.  Yes, there is ugliness here.  Yes, there are lives ruined by brutality. But this is only a reflection.  This is not real reality.  But what we see, feel, and hear is only a small part of reality,a nd it is often tainted.  When we renew our minds to think as He thinks, we can have joy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. .....Even angels long to look into these things.  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 1 Peter 1:8, 12b-13.

The root of joy is again revealed to be Christ himself.  Not simple joy, but that which is inexpressible and glorious!  Because of the unchangeable God granting us all we need to believe, we see beyond now.  

In C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, the characters from hell find their day in heaven unendurable because the reality is so real.  The grass hurts their feet, because they are only used to a shadow of reality.  What we have here appears so solid, so real.  But in truth, Real Reality is much for real.  Our  joy is altered when we loose sight of what, and Who, is real.

The word used for glory (referring to our joy) is defined in Strong's dictionary for Greek words as:
  1. to think, suppose, be of opinion
  2. to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate
  3. to honour, do honour to, hold in honour
  4. to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendour
    1. to impart glory to something, render it excellent
    2. to make renowned, render illustrious
      1. to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged

The emphasis is mine, but I think that considering the context,these words are most appropriate.  Our salvation, a gift, gives us something to celebrate!  He is giving us something excellent.  And the here and now cannot dampen the joy of what truly is.

We are privileged to be granted these things that the angels year to comprehend.  Not because we are worthy.  Because He has chosen.

This joy is not self absorbed-seeking it's own happiness, making itself happy and wallowing in it's own hard -won feeling of satisfaction.  This joy is a result of the gracious gift of salvation from our Creator and Redeemer. And it spurs us to obedience and holiness.  Our joy starts in Him.  And our joy is not about us, it's about Him.

This is essential.  The pursuit of joy, in my mind, was so "self".  But joy is not a pursuit, it's a result of a gift.  Joy is not a lake with no out-flowing streams.  It's a "state of being" transformation that results in action, in purfication, in obedience.  Not a begrudging following of rules, but a glorious enabling to do what we have created to be and do.  

Romans 6:17-18NIV
17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today, I'm referring you to another blog for some good thoughts on joy!
Read the April 25, 2012 blog on Meet Me in the Meadow

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Learning...a little

The goal of blogging twice a week was waylaid by my health.  But it's good to be back.
In pondering a post for today, I thought of how one needs to apply what is learned.  
One aspect that I am learning is resting in the Lord.
During these times when the Lyme disease disables me, there has been a strange peace.  At first, I thought it was solely because I really couldn't do anything about it.   I began to see mercies- knowing that I can't do much, has kept me from things that would distract me from my purpose.  There is no sense of "ought" because it is simply out of the question.   
Entrusting people and situations to the Lord has become more of a reality as I realize-even more- that there are things I cannot do.  Ok, those who know me personally now have tears running down their faces from laughter.  Really, finally, I'm coming to understand.  Not only in a head way, but a real was...not just gnosis, but epignosis. Joy proceeds out of knowing He is kind, He is king.
So, what about joy have you been learning these days?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More from Webster's 1828 Dictionary:

VEN'TURE, v.i.
1. To dare; to have courage or presumption to do, undertake or say. A man ventures to mount a ladder; he ventures into battle; he ventures to assert things which he does not know.
2. To run a hazard or risk.

On my own, joy seems such a venture.  But joy, rested in Christ, is not uncertain in it's success.  The joy of the Lord is our Strength.  And He never changes.

Rest well, in that knowledge!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Precarious Joy

My joy is precarious!


PRECA'RIOUS, a. [L. precarius, from precor, to pray or entreat; primarily, depending on request, or on the will of another.

1. Depending on the will or pleasure of another; held by courtesy liable to be changed or lost at the pleasure of another. A privilege depending on another's will is precarious, or held by a precarious tenure.

Well, according to the 1812 Websters Dictionary definition!  

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
By: Edward Mote
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteous;
No merit of my own I claim
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and story gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Sustain me in the raging flood;
When all supports are washed away,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in him be found,
Clothed in his righteousness alone,
Redeemed to stand before the throne!

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Hymn # 368 from Lutheran Worship
Author: John Stainer
Tune: Magdalen
1st Published in: 1836

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not exactly my way

When we know our Father is in charge, that the maker of the universe knows, cares and has a plan bigger and higher than ours......

This week I face a dream come true.  The details have not worked out the way I had dreamed for a decade.  Yet, I anticipate that that was of the Father's hand to answer another heart-cry.  Then illness threatened the whole thing for us.  Enemy attack or part of His plan?  Either way, my trust is in Him.

  What does the Father have in mind for this?  I do not know...yet.  Truth be told, I may not understand "why".  I do know that the God of the universe has given me a heart's desire, that I do not deserve, cannot earn, and cannot make happen myself.  So while it is dressed in clothes other than my choosing, I will be thankful, and by His grace, choose to believe it is His will, His best.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mary, journeyed to the New World as a Pilgrim.  In the fictional account, Mary recalls the words of her mother after her father passes away before setting foot in their much-longed for home...

"'Tis far easier to embrace sadness than to reach for joy."  Her mother spoke truth.  From now on, I shall work to take to joy over sadness, Mary decided, as God is my strength."

Wendy Lawton's work Almost Home may be a work of historical fiction.  The truth is not.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In my last post, I stated that:

'"A dear godly woman taught me-think of the worst outcome of the situation you are facing or the most troubling fear you have.  
Now, is God big enough?"

That is trust in HIM, who He is, His character, our relationship in Christ.
And that is the soil of joy."'

We are back to relationship.  When we marry, we do so "for better or worse, richer or poorer".  We commit to loving the other one even if age makes them less attractive, or if disease renders them helpless.  We marry them, by God's grace, committing to seek their best-not what we get out of it.

Our relationship as believers, the church, is a Bride to Christ.  
No other relationship requires more trust than a marriage.
No other relationship requires more vunerability than a marriage.
No other relationship demands as much determined faithfulness as a marriage.

In looking at the Bibical  role of the wife, we can examine godly women who were married to imprefect men.  It strikes me that godly Abraham, as Ben Patterson stated, endangers his wife and gets a lecture in ethics from a godless pharoah!

 Yet, in the end, he is called the father of a nation and is an example of faith in Hebrews 11.  Isn't grace great?

Sarai had to put her trust in God to protect her against the selfish decision of her husband.

But we are not so wed.We are betrothed to one who cannot lie for He is Truth.
He can not grow weak, as He sustains all things by His powerful Word.     
His love endures forever.
He is without shadow or turning. 
He is the same yesterday, today and forever. 

No, stop, don't tune out.  I know it may sound cliche, but consider the full implications of each of those for your life!  Secure?
When we rooted in His love, we can be "more happy, but not more secure than the souls of the blessed in heav'n!" ( A Debtor to Mercy Alone)

Are we rooted and grounded in His love?

Ephesians 3:14-21, from,

:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[c] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

Oddly, I could not find the hymn lyrics online for "A Debtor to Mercy Alone" that had the same last line as in our Hymns for Worship and Remembrance. A nice recording of this hymn even though the last line differs can be found at

Ben Patterson's book can be found here: