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Archive for August, 2009

Softly and Tenderly

The morning radio program from Joni and Friends encouraged me so much today!  I wanted to share part of it with you, and I hope that it encourages you as well……

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, Jesus, let us hold fast our profession of faith.  For we do not have a High Priest that has not been touched with infirmities, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin, so let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.   Heb 4:14-16

“That’s me.  That’s what I want.  That’s where I need to be… coming to Jesus.  When sleep doesn’t arrive or when pain does not lighten, when my quadriplegia becomes a weight, or my paralysis feels overwhelming, I must not try to escape, bury my head or plow through it just to get out of it quick, just to get over it.  Rather, may I come to Jesus, may I wait on the Lord, for He’s the one who pours out grace at our faintest call.”   

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me.

See on the portals He’s waiting and watching, He’s watching for you and for me

Come home, come home; Ye who are weary come home.

Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling, calling O sinner come home.

 

“I tell you, friend, this is something I really need to remember when I am hit with a trial… come home to Jesus.  So often I waste trials.  Sometimes a particular misery hits me and my first thought is just to “get through it… just plow through it and help me get to the other side,” with no thought as to coming to Jesus, just come softly and tenderly to Jesus.  Finding out what He wants to show me or teach me about Himself, or where He wants to take me, or what He wants me to learn through it.  It’s a tragedy to suffer and not realize God’s full purpose in it.   God bless you, friends.  Jesus is waiting softly and tenderly.”    (from Joni and Friends)

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Blessed Assurance

On Sunday morning at our church, we sang one of the most well known hymns of all time, “Blessed Assurance”.   This beautiful hymn was written in 1873 (100 years before I was born), by blind hymn writer, Fanny J. Crosby.  

My first memories of this song was when I was a young girl.   Since I was the youngest of four children, when my siblings were in school,  I got the privilege of going with my Mother and a group of church ladies, to the local nursing home to sing.   As a little blond hair, brown eyed girl (and one of the few brave children to visit the nursing home), the residents often scared me, and I sadly associated this song with that place.

But Sunday when we sang this song, it had new meaning to me.   Last week we received sad news regarding a family member dealing with health issues.  The words just jumped off the screen and ministered to my soul!

Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Refrain

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Refrain

 

For those of you who don’t know Jesus personally, and don’t have this blessed assurance, please feel free to talk with someone who can help you.  Don’t go another day with making the most important decision of your life!    Life is too short and too precious!

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This afternoon, as I went to tend to a task upstairs, I asked one of my children to gather the ingredients for Baked Oatmeal, and when I came down stairs later, I would put them together and bake it.   A couple minutes later, all was too quiet.  When I looked into the kitchen, there gathered not only all the ingredients, but also my 3 darling children.   They were being so helpful……. they had decided to make the Baked Oatmeal to surprise me.   Unfortunately, the recipe didn’t get followed exactlytsp got mixed up with Tbsp, “sugar OR honey” got translated into “sugar AND honey”.   Oh well, too late now…… we’re crunched for time, so we’ll quickly bake it.

Needless to say, I didn’t handle the situation very well (did you read my previous post on “evil thoughts and actions”?)!   Just when you think you have something conquered…. Satan throws you a curve ball!    Some wonderful advice from my Mother (after complaining about the expensive, wasted ingredients), “People are more important than things“.  Yikes!

Later Landon came to me, and read to me from his “Keys for Kids”.  It was about the Collie dog being man’s best friend.  It was describing the many attributes of a Collie dog, one of them being that they are highly sensitive.  “If they have done anything wrong, it isn’t necessary to do a lot of scolding; they just need to be shown gently what they were supposed to do, and they will understand”.  

Don’t misunderstand me, there is a time and a place for punishment.  But I’m also a firm believer that the punishment should fit the crime.   Hmmmm, maybe, just maybe, I over reacted to the messed-up oatmeal?   So instead of punishment, the kids got a gentle reminder of what can happen when we run ahead and don’t wait for instruction.   Not a new concept, after all the Bible is full of examples of people who didn’t wait for God (Abraham, Jacob, David, Moses,……), but the blessing comes when we wait for instructions, and follow them.

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As I was struggling to understand the rules and rituals of other religions (and even the ones in my own life), I came across this verse in Colossians 2:23, it says, “These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline.  But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires.”

Not that rules and discipline are wrong, they are indeed very effective, but if you’re trusting in them to save you, you’re being misled.  I Samuel 16:7 “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”    It was a huge challenge to me, that although I may be going through the “motions” of being a Christian, God is the One who truly sees my heart, and if I can’t conquer my evil thoughts and desires,…. all else is “sinking sand”.   One of my favorite hymns, (and if you know me, you know there are many) is, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

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

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

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