Tag Archives: God

Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is
the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this:
Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us,
glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus.

And the quote of the day (Spurgeon)

Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing.  Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labors which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

What comfort it is to dwell in God's promises!

A promise is only as good as the one who makes it...and yet, when we are brought to Christ, when we are called, we are also called to a mission.  To fail to do that mission is to misuse the grace of Christ.

Listening to Driscoll

Reading Riddlebarger

Reading Hebrews 4


Please, Lord, let this be the day. Let this be the day that time ends.

My Bible fell open to Isaiah 40

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and cry to her

that her warfare is ended,

that her iniquity is pardoned,

that she has received from the LORD's hand

double for all her sins.

I don't remember if it was Spurgeon or Chandler or Lewis...or maybe a combination.

Scripture gives us many promises, but those promises are only as good as the God who makes them.  I can cling to the promises of Scripture, but ultimately my faith is in God, not the promises.

Because my faith is in God, the promises are true.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

We should enjoy the blessing that God gives us - and God has given us much (I'm thinking in the Western mindset in the United States.)

We are privileged here and there is no reason that we should not enjoy the blessing that have been given us - but there are dangers and drawbacks to those blessings.

When we forget that they are blessings, and not entitlements, we become less grateful.
When we lose sight of those who do not have these blessings, we become self-centered.
We we believe the blessings are entitlements, we become selfish.

I was just on my facebook page...

At the same time I was updating my bike ride, a co-worker was giving us an update on another co-worker who has suffered a stroke

The health that I have is a blessing that others may not have. I am grateful to God that I have the means to become more healthy, while others are in hospital beds recovering.

As a co-worker was describing his delightful day on the warm, (relatively) clean beach of Lake Michgan, a missionary we support was telling us that 30 Karamong in a swamp.

The clean water that we enjoy is a blessing that some others in the world do not have.

Some of my friends are golfing, the Sliedricht family is visiting mass graves in Obalanga.

We have land that spreads out to enjoy life; in other countries there is so much death they do not even dig individual graves.

I have the summer off, the Sliedrichts are working with people in poverty.

Just saying.

Two pursuits, yet very similar.

Jerry Bridges wrote two books, "The Pursuit of Holiness" and "The Practice of Godliness".

Holiness and Godliness are two callings of a Christian; similar, but Bridges makes a distinction.  In the book on holiness, he talks about putting off the old man, Godliness is about putting on the new man.

Neither one of these works unless you include a generous sprinking of the Gospel.  Unless we have a full understanding that we are called to be perfect, but the only perfection we can rely on is the perfection of Christ, we will run into deep anger and dispair at the failure of our efforts.  If we don't understand that we cannot to it on our own, we run into deep pride.

And still, we are called to holiness, Godliness; we are called to be perfect, for the Lord our God is perfect.

What does it mean to be "holy"?  We turn away from that which is sin.  We love what is good and we hate what is evil.

What makes God angry also makes us angry.

In the call to holiness and Godliness, we strive (with the Spirit's sanctification) to become more like Christ.

What made Christ angry?  Those religious people who took what was evil and called it "good".

Immediately, Gene Robinson comes to mind.  Those religous people who look at abortion and call it a good, human right.

Those who look at women and call them inferior, denying them an education and a voice.  Men who abuse their wives and call it "leadership".

You see, there are extremes on either side.  To examine the extreme on one side without examining the log on your own side...

If favorite books in the Bible can be judged by the amount of underlining, highlighting and note-taking, mine is Philippians.

The first thing I have underlined is v.1:6 -

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The note that I have in the margin reminds me that Paul was in prison when he wrote this - and still he wrote of peace and joy, surety and grace.

I am reminded that for the "remnant", persecution brings strength. There are places in this world where Christians are truly persecuted - tortured and killed; fired from their jobs. They watch their families tormented.

And still they praise our God. May we remember the persecuted church; pray for them daily - pray for strength and courage, pray that God will change the hearts of those to hate them. Pray that God will be glorified in all.

Another Pair of Hands Poem

The skills of the hands used in a gesture of love
Sends receiver and giver blessings from above
For the nature of hands outstretched holds within such a power
They console and comfort at each and every hour

Through hunger, thirst, discomfort and pain
Another Pair of Hands helps share the strain
Of the misery and woe man inflicts on another
Held gently in Prayer the hands find our Father

And it is he who teaches, instructs and guides
He who calls us to explore the treasures we hold inside
Called to release our love like an ever-flowing stream
To elevate others to achieve their dreams

And so as His foot-soldiers we wait and accept God’s call
To out-stretch our hands to one and all.

From "A Defense of Calvinism" by Charles Spurgeon

Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought, if God had left me alone, and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner I should have been! I should have run to the utmost lengths of sin, dived into the very depths of evil, nor should I have stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me. I feel that I should have been a very king of sinners, if God had let me alone. I cannot understand the reason why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace. If I am not at this moment without Christ, it is only because Christ Jesus would have His will with me, and that will was that I should be with Him where He is, and should share His glory. I can put the crown nowhere but upon the head of Him whose mighty grace has saved me from going down into the pit. Looking back on my past life, I can see that the dawning of it all was of God; of God effectively. I took no torch with which to light the sun, but the sun enlightened me. I did not commence my spiritual life—no, I rather kicked, and struggled against the things of the Spirit: when He drew me, for a time I did not run after Him: there was a natural hatred in my soul of everything holy and good.

The "T" of Tulip...

Total depravity of man.

It is not that each person is as utterly evil as they could be, it is that each person is born with a sin nature that touches every part of their being. With totality, it is impossible for them to reach out to God, unless the Spirit touches them first. Unless they are called, nobody seeks God.

  • Romans 7:18 - For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
  • Romans 3:10-11 - as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
  • Psalm 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
  • (from) Genesis 8:21 - for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth...

Westminster Confession of Faith:

Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?

A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam's first sin,[93] the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually;[94] which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.[95]

I (Ellen) can say that I know that without God speaking to me, I would not run after Him.


Here's how it goes - The first five people that reply gets to answer 5 questions (asked by me) on their own blog and then the whole process gets repeated there!

Here are the questions Shrode asked me over at Thinklings.

How did you meet Tom? Who is he?
I had him...Tom is my son, oldest child - according to a five year old we know, "The pokey haired dude"

2. How many children do you have? What is special about each one of them?
Two, both of them brilliant, if somewhat unmotivated.

The boy is 18 - starting college for some kind of (TBA) computer science thing. Tom, for the first time this year, was able to verbalize that good came out of his dad's death - We had a kid living with us in a very bad situation that felt that "everything is random". Tom would reply, "nothing is random, we belong to a God who is in control of the universe." He went on to list the good things that have happened since Art died, that would not have happened if Art had lived. To me, that is special - not many kids could lose their dad at age 14 and be able to see good in it.

The girl-child is younger and just got her first job! She doesn't like pink - in fact she appears to have some kind of pathalogical thing against the color. It's unfortunate that her first job is in a very pink store. She's adventurous. She just pulled herself out of public school and is homeschooling for the first time as a junior, dual-enrolled at 16 in our local community college. She also has her nose pierced...

3. How and when did you first become a teacher? What's the best part about being a teacher? The worst? Why are you in between jobs right now? How's the job hunt going?

Well...I'm not exactly a teacher, but not a para-pro either. The district that I work for has a rather unique position about half-way inbetween (child care worker or non-certified teacher). We work with severely impaired students, physically or mentally - and child care workers are the "second" staff in classrooms for students with autism. That's what I've been doing for almost 8 years.

I first started subbing because I wanted a job where could pick and choose what days I worked and right after I started I was put into a long-term position with a first-grader in a wheelchair (spina bifida). After that, I was offered another long term position (they liked me) in a room with students with autism. Having watched "Rainman", I was a little nervous, but I ended up really liking these special people. When the job was offered to be permentantly, I took it.

The best part of my job are the "breakthroughs"; getting a student to learn his colors in sign language, etc. The job I'm leaving now, the focus for most of the students was life skills - so I went on a lot of job sites - restaurants, grocery stores, retailers. I also got to play floor hockey.

The job I'm leaving now - I think maybe the worst part is having people not see the value in what I do. For some people, severe mental impairments are scary and they don't see the value in getting these kids out into the community - and the extra expense for the district is not worth it (I've heard, "spend the money on somebody who will make something of themselves"). I also have a very hard time when I see impaired students targetted because they can't defend themselves.

I'm not exactly in-between jobs - I'm bidding out of one job in my district and bidding on another one - so my job will be the same, but in a different school with different kids (and a different age group). I have teenagers at home, teenagers at church and teenagers at work - I want to be with little kids...and may be making a switch from students with autism to students with severe emotional impairments. If I could put my finger on why I feel the desire to do that, I'd be able to verbalize it, but I can't. A very dear friend reminds me that kids like we're talking about need Christian teachers.

4. Why did you decide to have a tatoo? What does your family think about it? What is it?

My tattoo is a week old today! I recently took stock of where I am, what I've done and how I've changed and/or grown. And something that might seem out of character underscores the change. This tattoo is a celtic-style cross, only instead of knot work on the crossbar, there are Greek letters, Christos - Christ on the cross. For me, in my Reformation from Arminianism, Christ alone on the cross means that there is no room there for my works, my filthy rags (righteousness). It's all Christ on there. My son designed it (so it's not exactly professional, but I'll probably end up going back to have it shaded later) and the letters are in Greek because Manda and I are taking a Greek class together. So both my kids are "in" the design.

My family...both my kids watched while I was getting it - Tom will likely end up getting one similar (he's already designed it) and Manda wants a tattoo, but a "cute" one - she's looking at a lily (Christ's "lilies of the field")

My "big family" will probably give me "the look" but be okay with it - except my mom...she doesn't know yet...but we have a big family wedding next weekend, so I'll show and tell then.

5. What's the worst movie you ever saw? The worst song you ever heard? The worst book you ever read? The worst meal you ever ate?
Movie: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Song: Muskrat Love
Book: There have been a few that I just put away - the last one that I hated was my Spanish textbook, but that was me, not the book.
Meal: I cooked it - it ended up being "scrambled pancakes" when camping - something bad happened...

6. What one quality of Jesus's do you wish you had more of?
(these all go together) The courage to speak when I should and the wisdom to shut up when I should. The ability to know when to "shake the dust off my feet" and move on.