Tag Archives | Life Purpose

More Than Music & Bread

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me: Your mercy, O Lord, endures for ever:
forsake not the works of your own hands.” Psalm 138:8

I sit here to write with a grateful heart and find it hard to put words to my thoughts.
The Lord is faithful to continue His work in me. His mercy does endure!
And no, He never does forsake His people, the work of His hands.

*****

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“When all is written and sung,
When all is sung or said,
It is only God who is really food,
It is only Love that is bread!”
~Ruby Weyburn Tobias

This month Phil and I celebrated seven years of marriage!
We were able to spend a long afternoon and evening
out doing a variety of fun and necessary things,
thanks to his mom offering to keep our children.

Everything we did was great,
but what impressed me most about the day had more to do with who I was with,
and how much fun it was to have fun together and to be in love with him! :)

Without making it sound like we’ve had major marriage issues (because we haven’t),
I’d just say that the year of building a house, career changes and holding two jobs,
and sometimes just becoming too weary or selfish in our own interests
to pursue and serve each other as we should . . .
results in less than you’d hope for in the day to day
of being married to the love of your life.

{Please tell me I’m not the only one who knows what I’m talking about,
’cause I feel a little vulnerable putting this out there . . . }

And I don’t know how it is exactly that you get through
to the other side of a dry spell
and can experience grace and mercy
and love and friendship
and romance and fun better than ever before,
but I suspect it’s the Lord and His work in us . . .
mostly that of reminding this wife to lighten up a little
and have fun and to smile and laugh,
(Thank you, Debi Pearl~again)
and to be her man’s greatest cheerleader,
even if and especially when circumstances and schedules
and things beyond our control are not exactly perfect.

 img_0196{Dinner at Annie Bailey’s in Lancaster.
Our first time there, but hopefully not our last.
Excellent, excellent food.}
img_0191{Perfect summer night at a favorite cafe for dessert & coffee,
and interestingly enough, established the year we were married.}

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“Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.”
~Conrad Aiken

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So to say that I’m thankful for this man,
our marriage, our children,
and the life He has given us,
is really an understatement.

We are living rich and full days now . . .
they seem like the best days of our lives in many ways!
But as one Christian speaker recently said,
Because of Jesus in our lives, and the hope He gives,
Our best days are never behind us . . .
With Him at the center of our lives,
unity and oneness in marriage continue to deepen.
We can look optimistically into the future,
and believe with confidence
that the best days and years of our lives are still ahead! :)

And that is a beautiful thing.

 

Snow Falling. Prayers Rising.

Outside the sky is dark & gloomy.
But it’s not the sky that worries me.
It’s the dark and gloomy attitudes
right here within that trouble me most.

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The predicted storm has some in a stir,
but all I want it to be stirred to love Him more.
To see the selfish and sinful in my heart
blown away by a mighty rushing wind!

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And though nature around me
speaks of cold winds
and harsh existence
and things that have died
and covered over,
I know that life,
though dormant now,
lies just beneath that layer of cold.

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So I hold to that knowledge
and hold to the hope
that just beneath the layer
of hard cold in my life,
there is a heart He is waiting to revive.

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Nature has to wait for Spring,
But I can, right now,
turn to the only Life that I know . . .

I pick up the Word,
allowing ancient words to speak for this day.
I rehearse again the Roman words
I’m attempting to hide in my heart.
And we sing the faith in beautiful hymns . . .
and hold on to the hope
that He who promised is Faithful . . .
That His words never fail,
That He will perfect the things that concern us,
That even in my imperfection, He will shine through.
To my neighbors, my friends, and miracle of miracles,
perhaps even to my own family!


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So I whisper to Him this morning . . .
“Father,
My eyes are dry
My faith is old
My heart is hard
My prayers are cold.

And I know how
I ought to be
Alive to You
and dead to me.

Oh what can be done
to an old heart like mine?
Soften it up
with oil and wine.

The oil is You,
Your Spirit of Love.
Please wash me anew
in the wine of your blood.”

*****

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do want the fresh faith,
the deep desire for His presence,
the soft heart that He can use to love
the ones around me,
especially the ones I step on
and trip over every day
because they’re literally hanging out
so close to me!!

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He is the Source. And so I ask Him.
How glorious it would be to
really see His light blazing through my life today!

As my friend Barb so often quotes
from one of her sources,
“CHRISTIANS ADVERTISE DEITY”

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Advertise Deity.

What a thought.
What a sobering thought!
What a goal for this day!
To know that my little ones,
and my neighbor,
might not bump into Christ
in any other way,
except when they are with me.

Am I a good advertisement for Deity?

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These are a few of the truth words
that align my heart with His today,
that thaw out the cold
and allow His warmth to shine through.

“Set your mind on things above,

not on things on the earth.”

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth no rust destroys
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.”

“We walk by faith, not by sight.”

“We do not lose heart.
Even though our outward man is perishing,
yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

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“For our light affliction, which is
but for a moment,
is working for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory,
while we do not look at the things
which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen.

For the things which are seen are temporary,
but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

“An inheritance incorruptible and undefiled
and that does not fade away is reserved in heaven for you.”

*****

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Last month during those beautiful snow days that we had back to back,
I was again amazed at the mystery and quiet and beauty of snow.
A couple of “snow” verses from Scripture came to mind,
and I wondered how many times snow is mentioned in Scripture.

Quite a few times, actually!
And not only is it mentioned,
but like most everything,
God uses the various aspects of His creation
as symbolism and word pictures
for greater truths He wants us to remember.

This link had a list of all the verses.
And here are just a few thoughts that I want to share
from christianshepherd.org

*****

HAST THOU ENTERED INTO THE TREASURES OF THE SNOW?
(Job 38:22)

As a symbol snow in scripture seems to speak of “whiteness” and “purity”.
In this way it is used  to describe the raiment of the Lord at His transfiguration (only in Mark 9:3),
the hair and the garment of  Him as a Judge in Dan. 7:9 and Rev. 1:14,
as well as the raiment of the angel at His resurrection (only in Matt. 28:3).

It is used, also, to show His cleansed people as pure and white when
their sins are washed in Jesus’ precious blood. (Isa. 1:18, Eph. 5:27, Rev. 1:5)

When we think of snow, it falls from Heaven pure and white (our new life).
There are no two flakes alike (like our fingerprints or D N A)
but they are all six sided figures or hexagons (six symbolizes man at his best).
A snowflake starts by forming on a piece of dust in the air and once it becomes heavy
enough it falls to the ground. When the snowflake melts the dust is left on the ground
and the ice evaporates into the atmosphere. Does this not make us think of ourselves?
Our Adam nature was created by God from dust and it will return to dust (Gen. 3:19),
but our new nature is eternal and we will all be changed at the rapture (I Cor. 15:51-55).

When snowflakes land on the earth,
they become one and form a blanket of snow (the one 
body, the church).
After snow settles on the ground it becomes contaminated and loses its whiteness.
It 
becomes contaminated both from above and below [wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12)
and the 
Church taking the character of the world (Rev. 2:13)].
Today the church has settled down and is not in 
keeping with its Heavenly character,
but in the end both His Heavenly and Earthly people will be made 
spotless. (Eph. 5:27) 

Would this be a little of what scripture means by the treasures of snow? Is it another part of
creation that is a pattern of Heavenly things (Rom. 1:20)?

~Christianshepherd.org~

*****

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O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer;
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
.
O to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinners to find.
.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer, others to save.
.
O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming,
Now to receive th’ anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing;
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.
.
O to be like Thee! While I am pleading
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love.
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit for a life which Thou wouldst approve.
.

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 This is my prayer ascending today.
To love Him and to be like Him.
Amen.

Done With Downton

Last week after the Superbowl I read articles like this one and many more sentiments like it that were decidedly “done” with the evil they were exposed to during commercials, and also done with supporting those businesses who flaunted that evil . . .

I didn’t watch the Superbowl, but this week I had my own moment of being done. Some of you will perhaps wonder why I ever watched Downton Abbey in the first place, as it might have been beneath your personal standards even in previous episodes. Some of you will not agree with me even now in my decision to not continue on with finishing the story . . .

But for what it’s worth, I feel compelled to write it down.

I love the time period of the story. I am swept away into another world of lords & ladies, of loyal {and not-so-loyal} servants, palaces & pretty dresses, the “propriety” and grace of everyday life in an English household.

But if the time comes when a great story and a beautiful time period are so overshadowed by an “agenda” of making good evil and evil good, than I must stop to reconsider! Rather, I must simply STOP.

After watching an agenda-filled episode {and might I add, a completely unnecessary element to the overall story}of conjuring sympathy for the lifestyles of those living in sodomy or adultery {not shown, but implied}, and people of {former} noble character defending these things and even lying to protect them . . . I told my husband, “That’s it for Downton. I’m done.”

Maybe I should have been done before this. I’m not proud to broadcast the fact that I watched something that was less than excellent the way through anyways. And neither am I proud of the fact that I’m quitting now. Sometimes you just {finally} suddenly see things crystal clear. And you know what you have to do.

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It’s not funny the way these things tend to “sneak” up on you. Whether it’s in books or movies or music or other types of media and print. Pastor Spence called it “acceptable immorality” yesterday, I believe. The way that we excuse away sin in the things we see and hear . . . because it’s not “real” and because it’s so rampant in our culture, it begins to wear on us. It wears on our souls and our spirits, sometimes before we even realize to what extent.

 

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I was affirmed in my decision {and smitten in my heart} this morning when I read this.

 

“‘Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity,
and revive me in Your ways.
Behold, I long for Your precepts;
revive me through Your righteousness.’

“Do you ever just get tired of all the worldly,
vain things we see all around us?
Do you ever feel like the Spirit of God within you cries,
‘Enough! You’ve seen enough of this world’s junk!’

“The psalmist sure seemed to feel that way;
and he didn’t live in a culture filled with TV and internet
[or a jillion other things we are bombarded with in our age, I might add].
Longing for the truth of God’s precepts,
he cried out for a righteous God to revive him,
giving him the grace to see his worldly ways changed into God’s ways.

“Let’s join the Psalmist today!
Let’s cry out for God to change our ways
in that which we allow our eyes to see.
Let’s decide now to spend more time looking at Jesus!”

~a message from OneCry Movement~

 

It’s that last line, especially that grabbed my attention. Because it’s not even so much about what I shouldn’t do or watch or give my attention to, although that is mentioned often in Scripture and very important. But the real change in my heart and the desires of my heart, and everything about me will be clarified and purified and “beautified” in the gazing at and the beholding of Jesus Christ.

So I’m done with Downton.

But isn’t it wonderful? That’s a little more time freed up for LINGERING with Him and people and better things.

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Which, really, is my goal and overriding desire. Things just get a little messy and muddled sometimes. I’m so thankful for the Word of God that is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)!

And how grateful I am that HE isn’t done with ME.

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