Friday, August 29, 2014

A Transformed Heart

Psalm 139 is an amazing example of how God knows everything about us, and the last two verses especially are also a great example of prayers we should pray. In the following video (a short message), the Skit Guys share their thoughts on Psalm 139:23-24.

It’s long (17 minutes) but very good. Letting God into every part of our lives is hard—none of us want to be vulnerable, but that’s what God calls us to be. Different, set apart, following only Him.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I pray you’ll be encouraged as we come to the close of another week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014



None of us like to wait, especially for things that we want to happen or are looking forward to. Waiting is not an easy thing. I am reminded of this as I am waiting for something myself this week. 

I've been thinking about verses that speak of waiting. Waiting on the Lord. Patience. know what you're waiting on...meditate on these verses and "Run with patience the race that is set before us!" :-) 


But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31-

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 12:1-2-
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: -Romans 2:7-

What are some of your favorite verses on waiting? I'd like to hear them!
Press on! There a course to finish and race to win!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

News from London—part 2

Curious to know what happened last? Read part 1.

“Mary! Mary, where are you?” Striding quickly from the bright warm sunlight outside into the darker room, John looked around for his wife.

Looking up from where she sat on the bed, Mary answered, “I’m here. What is it, John?” His voice held a ring of hope in it that she hadn’t heard for quite a while. “What’s happened?”

“Mary, the post just came. You wouldn’t believe what the letter says!” She waited, tense. “You remember that a few weeks ago we received word that the pastor of the Carter’s Lane Baptist Church in London was retiring, and how I sent a letter saying that after praying about the situation I’d be interested in serving there?”

Gasping, Mary leaned forward. “You mean…?”

Opening the letter again, he scanned through it as he talked. “The letter is from a Mr. Pitts in London. He says that they have decided that they are willing to have me be their pastor. Oh, Mary! Do you know what this means? I will still be able to minister to the people, but the income will be much larger, and we won’t have to worry about the rent money anymore!”

“Oh John, that’s wonderful!” Rising to her feet, she hugged her husband tightly. “This sounds like the answer to all our prayers!”

“It is, I believe.” He said, “But Mary, would you want to move to London?”

“Why ever not, John?” She pulled back, stared into his eyes. “Why wouldn’t I? If you will be able to minister even better to people, and our family would be better able to live on the higher income, then of course I’d want to!”

“I’m glad you feel that way, dear.” He said gently, “I was just afraid you might not want to—seeing how you have so many friends here.”

“I’ll go wherever you go, John.” She said simply. “When do you think we’ll move?”

“Mr. Pitts says to come as soon as possible. They’ll help us get a wagon for our belongings, and I think it will probably take a week or so to get everything arranged.”

“I’ll be able to get everything ready by then.” Glancing around the small one-room house, she chuckled. “With as few things as we have, we’ll be ready in no time! Now—I should go check on the children. Last I knew they were outside, but it’s been quiet out there for a while so….”

“You better go look after them.” John agreed, a twinkle in his eye. “Who knows what trouble Robert could be getting into?”

…to be continued next week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tune your instrument!

"Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterward. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him."
-Hudson Taylor-

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Pot of Broth—part 1


A while ago, I heard the story behind the song “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” by John Fawcett, and it impacted me greatly. The story has always stuck with me, and I thought it would be fun to retell it my own way—trying to keep the historical facts in place, but taking liberties in recreating the story the way I thought best to portray it when there were no historical facts to give me guidance. The following is part one of four of the story I have recreated. John and Mary are real people, and what happens really did happen. All others in the story are fictitious—I do know that John and Mary had children at this time, but I haven’t been able to find their names or how many there were when this happened.

I hope you’ll be encouraged as you read.


A Pot of Broth—part 1

“John,” Mary was worried. “The rent is due any day, and the children are sick. We need to find something new—soon.” She turned from looking at the chilly, gray spring day, and closed the door firmly behind her.

“I know, Mary.” John pushed his black hair away from his forehead, resting his hand on his face for several seconds before taking it down and looking into his wife’s eyes again. “I know, dear, but we must be patient. The Lord has always provided for us before, has He not? We must trust….”

“John, look at Annie here! She badly needs broth, and there is nothing but a few shriveled onions on the shelf and some salt-pork outside the door! John, if we don’t find a parish that can pay you more than just food once in a while, I’m afraid we’ll all starve!” Bursting into tears, she covered her face with her hands for several quiet seconds.

“Mary, come here.” John stood up, and moved toward his wife. Drawing her to himself gently, he spoke softly in her ear. “I know it’s hard dear, but we need to keep trusting Him anyway. Come, let’s pray.”

Shuddering sobs still shook her body, but she stood silently and he led in prayer. “Lord, you know how we need your guidance. You know how the children are sick and we have hardly any food in the house. Please help us to find another place if it is your will, and for now please protect us with your Almighty Hand.”

“And Lord—” she knew her voice was rough with tears, but it didn’t matter. “Please, give me patience and help the children to get better.”

“In Jesus’ name,” John said. Together they breathed “Amen.”

“Mary, we must trust. Jesus said that ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.’* We must trust that He will provide.”

“I know, John. I find it hard sometimes to do that. Thank you for praying—it has made things seem better somehow.” Squaring her shoulders, she went to the bucket of water and dipped some out into a pot which she hung over the fire to boil.

Someone knocked at the door, and suddenly fear grabbed her heart. Is this the landlord? Did he come for his payment? “John?” she tremulously asked, and by his concerned face as he stepped quickly to the door, she knew he mirrored her thoughts.

Unlatching the door, he swung it wide. “Pastor John!” It was a woman’s voice, Barbara’s to be exact! Gratefully, Mary moved to stand by her husband.

“Barbara! It’s so good to see you!” Warmly, she hugged the woman and then gently took her hand. “Please come in. Would you like some tea?”

“Oh, I can’t stay long.” Barbara said, “But I thought you up here might be a needin’ somethin’ fer your family—seein’ some of your children are sick and all, so I thought I might bring a chicken and a few potatoes by.” As she spoke, she pushed a basket in Mary’s hands and handed a small sack to John.

Hearing the woman’s words, Mary’s eyes filled with tears. “Oh Barbara, thank you! God must have sent you—I was just thinking some broth would do Annie good!” She gave the woman another hug. “Thank you.”

The woman turned, and hurried down the path. As she latched the gate behind her she called, “Glad I could help! God bless ye!”

As they watched her go, John glanced at his wife. “The Lord provides.” He said confidently, clutching the sack firmly.

“He does indeed.” The tears still gently flowed down Mary’s cheeks. The departing figure turned to wave once, and she returned the gesture. “He is faithful.”

“Now, I should go take care of this chicken.” John chuckled. “I have a feeling there will be a little girl here who’d be glad for some broth.” Moving out of the doorway, he went about his task.

Mary continued to gaze at the place where she had seen the woman disappear over the hill. “He provides,” she whispered, before she stepped to the table and began cutting up some potatoes to stew with the chicken.

*John 16:23

Friday, August 15, 2014

What are Your Thoughts?

Rhoda’s family’s computer has had some problems, so she asked me to post this for her today. The following came from her blog, and you can read the original post here. I pray you will be encouraged just as I am!

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

     This brief blog post is related to last week’s. I hope and pray that you have taken up my last challenge. Be warned: this one is even harder!

     Imagine that temple or building again.
     What if all your thoughts, were up there, every one of them written on your walls?
     I don’t mean those sneaky ones that flash through and you swiftly squash. Let me rephrase this a little. What do you mostly think about?
     When this challenge was given me, I realised, to my shame, that my thoughts were primarily things like what how wedding dress would look, or exactly how my latest house design would go. This really hurt me, and almost instantly I began to spend my thoughts on the Lord.

     For me, I didn’t have to consciously try to turn my thought around. Once I had been shown my error, God was swift in changing me. Now I strive to keep my mind pure.
     Perhaps this, for you, will require more effort in the beginning, but persevere in serving God with your thoughts! The Lord is our dwelling-place, and we can rest in His mercies. Psalm 18, verses 30-31:
     “As for God, His way is perfect;
     The word of the Lord is proven;
     He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
     For who is God, except the Lord?
     And who is a rock, except our God?”


Friday, August 8, 2014

Just Obey—and Step Out (a message snippet by Eric Ludy)

I find the sermons by Eric Ludy encouraging, and since we don’t have a post for today, I thought I’d share this video with you. I hope you’re encouraged as well!

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:3-4

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps….” 1 Peter 2:21

May you be encouraged as we come to the end of another week!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Man Fell In A Hole

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one...For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." 
-Romans 3:10, 23-

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
-Romans 6:23-

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." 
-Romans 10:9, 13-


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Encouragement for the Rough Times

Rough times come. We all know that, and we’re all very thankful when we get to a time of relative peace! This morning, as I was going though some memory verses, a particular verse jumped out at me.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” —John 15:2 (emphasis mine)

The last part of that verse was very encouraging. Every branch that is bearing fruit will be “purged”. The Greek word for “purging” is kathairo, which means “to cleanse, to prune, or (figuratively) to atone”. It comes from the Greek word katharos, which means “to clean (literally or figuratively)”.

When we are following God, He tells us that we will be tested. Pruned. Cleansed. He’s making us better—better Christians, better people, drawing us closer to Himself and making us more like Him. Even though the pruning is never fun, He promises that the trial will never be too much for us (1 Corinthians 10:13).

So when the rough times come, remember this verse. Remember that He has a purpose in “purging” you, and while it may be hard to accept and keep going (I know it is for me!), He is making you able to “bring forth [even] more fruit.”

James 1:12 is a great encouragement as well,

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Keep pressing on the upward way!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Think About Such Things

What should we be thinking about?

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

These days, in our society, we are being encouraged constantly to feast our eyes and our senses upon images and ideas that are not God-honouring. They are also certainly not 'excellent or praiseworthy'! Modern society is gradually drawing more and more away from the traditional values, the Ten Commandments, the God-honouring ideas. 

What can we do in the face of such fierce opposition? How can we stand firm with our thoughts when all of the world is trying to get us to think with a completely different mindset?

We need to follow the teachings of Jesus.

Romans 12:2 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (emphasis added).

Do not allow yourself to be sucked into the worldly way of looking at life. Think on things that are pure, lovely, true, noble, right and admirable. Instead of allowing your mind to gradually drift towards the way of the world, let your mind be renewed. 

Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Blessings to you all!