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              “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us! God is love.”
                                                      (1 John 4:16)

The sweeter the truth–the more backward we often are to receive and believe it. Therefore it must be presented to us again and again. What is more pleasant, than the fact that “God is love”?

Yet so quickly we doubt it, or forget it, or fail to realize it. Therefore the Gospel presents it to us again and again, and in almost every possible form. Twice within the scope of a few verses, John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16).

Belief in this portrayal of God lies at the root of our holiness, happiness, and peace. To the extent that we believe that “God is love”–we will . . .
consecrate ourselves to His service,
enjoy peace in our consciences,
and be happy in His ways.

God loves us, and therefore He planned our salvation, sending His one and only Son to take away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself. He also sent His Holy Spirit to teach us our need of Christ and lead us to Him. And, finally, He has put His blessed Word in our hands so that through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope.

God loves us–and therefore He . . .
chastens us,
strips us, and
empties us.
He will not let us live satisfied without Himself.

God is love–therefore He has provided an atonement for all our sins. His justice is satisfied, and Heaven is prepared for us!

Yes, though we were sinners by nature, and deeply feel it–though we are not all that we wish to be, and deeply deplore it–yet God loves us!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, who in His love and in His pity has redeemed me!

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!”
                                              (1 John 4:10)

~James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”

HT: Grace Gems



It is astonishing that such a worm should be 
so favored with discoveries of His beauty–whom 
glorified saints and angels gaze with ineffable
delight. But, after all, I know not a thousandth
part of what He is, and what I have in Him. 

Surely Christ is all! 

How little, how verily nothing, am I.

Oh! that my lips, my life, and every action– 
might speak His praise and glorify His name, 
who is a Heaven to me! 


~Ruth Bryan, ‘Gleanings from the Inner Life”

HT: Grace Gems

God approves and honors heart-religion in the present life. He looks down from Heaven, and reads the hearts of all people. Wherever He sees . . .

   heart-repentance for sin,

   heart-faith in Christ,

   heart-holiness of life,

   heart-love to His Son,

   His law, His will, and His word

   . . . wherever God sees these things, He is well pleased.

~ J.C. Ryle, ‘Formal Religion

HT: Grace Gems


 “Make Your way straight before my face.”

Psalm 5:8

Dear Father, this cry is going up to You this morning, from many a tried and perplexed soul, who is fearing to “wander in the wilderness, in a pathless wasteland.” Will You graciously bend down Your ear, and listen to their prayer, and grant the desired direction and guidance?

“Make Your way straight.” Dear Lord, it is not that Your ways are ever crooked or deviating, but that my eyes are bent on seeing pleasant little bypaths, where the road is not so rough, or the walking so toilsome–as on the King’s highway! My way looks so enticing, so easy, so agreeable to the flesh. Your way means self-denial, taking up the cross, and the relinquishment of much that my carnal heart desires.

Now, dear Lord, hear my cry, “Make Your way straight before my face!” Compel me, by the power of Your love and Your example–to go in the narrowroad! “Hedge up my way with thorns”–rather than that I should take a step out of the way which You have laid down for me.

What if, sometimes, there are mists and fogs so thick that I cannot see the path? ‘Tis enough that You hold my hand, and guide me in the darkness; for walking with You in the gloom–is far sweeter and safer than walking alone in the sunlight!

Dear Lord, give me grace to trust You wholly, whatever may befall; yielding myself up to Your leading, and leaning hard on You when “dangers are in the path.” Your way for me has been marked out from all eternity, and it leads directly to Yourself and home! Help me to keep my eyes fixed on the joy that is set before me, and deliver me from the very faintest desire to turn aside, and linger in the flowery meadows which have so often lured the feet of poor pilgrims into danger and distress!

Father, You have said, “My ways are not your ways, neither are My thoughts your thoughts.” True, dear Lord; but then You can uplift my thoughts to Yours, and exalt my ways until they reach the mountain-top of obedience to Your blessed will. Work this miracle for me this day, O Lord; use thatsweet compulsion which will delight my heart, while it directs my steps! Make me to run in the way of Your commandments, and I shall run gladly, with the blessed certainty that I shall reach the goal at last! Have You not given me a monitor within, which strikes a gentle warning note, when my feet turn but an instant from the straight way?

But, best of all, dearest Lord, may You Yourself come with me along life’s road, today and every day! Let the abiding of my soul in You be so real and constant, so true and tender–that I may always be aware of Your sweet presence, and never take a single step, apart from Your supporting and delivering hand!

~Susannah Spurgeon, “Free Grace and Dying Love!”

HT: Grace Gems





~from J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890

“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same–will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:19

A great many people are careful about breaking large commandments and committing heinous sins–while they commit “little sins” continually and without scruple.

They would not tell a direct lie for the world–but their speech is full of little falsehoods!

They would not steal money from the purse or drawer of another–and yet they continually commit small thefts! For example, by mistake the grocer gives them a penny too much change–and they do not think of returning it. Through the carelessness of a postal worker, the postage stamp on a letter is left uncancelled–and they take it off and use it a second time.

They would not purposely try to blacken a neighbor’s name or destroy his character–and yet they repeat to others the evil whispers about him which they have heard, and thus soil his reputation.

They would not swear or curse in the coarse way of the ungodly–but they are continually using such minced oaths such as, Gosh! Gees! Heck! and other mild, timid substitutes for overt swearing.

They would not do flagrant acts of wickedness to disgrace themselves–but their lives are honeycombed with all kinds of little meannesses, impurities, selfishnesses, and bad tempers.

We need to remember, that little disobediences–harm our witness for the kingdom of Heaven.

Little sins–mar the beauty of our character.

Then, little sins are sure to grow! The trickling leak in the dike–becomes a torrent deluging vast plains!

Ofttimes, too, little sins are infinite in their consequences.

We ought never to indulge even the smallest faults or evil habits–but should aim always at perfection of character, and perfection is made up of ‘littles’.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Editor’s note: Minced oaths are used to avoid swearing, when expressing surprise or annoyance.

Minced oaths are usually, although not exclusively, religious in nature, and date from the days when it was irreverent and unacceptable to use the name of GodJesus, or other sacred words in everyday speech. To mince your words, means to choose words so as not to offend anyone–except for God, who sees them as sacrilege (the sin of profaning sacred things).

Here are a few examples:
Bejabbers — By Jesus
By George — By God
By golly — By God
By gosh — By God
Chrissakes — For Christ’s sake
Christmas — Christ
Criminy — Christ
Cripes — Christ
Dad gum — God damn
Dagnabbit — God damn it
Dagnammit — God damn it
Dang — Damn
Darn — Damn
Darnation — Damnation
Doggone — God damn
Gee whizz — Jesus
Good grief — Good God
Goodness gracious — Good God
Gosh — God
Gosh darned — God damned
Heck — Hell
Jeepers Creepers — Jesus Christ
Jeez — Jesus
Jiminy Christmas — Jesus Christ
My goodness — My God
My gosh — My God
Tarnation — Damnation

 HT: Grace Gems

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21

a verse from Scripture~
“Your glorying is not good.  Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?  Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.  For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
1 Corinthians 5: 6-8

gardening * plumbing * worshiping * welcoming a son home

a view beyond the front porch~
a bright, cheery spring morning * birds singing

from the garden~
seeds to plant * tomatoes to transfer * watering system to finish

around the kitchen~
meatballs to make * English Toasting bread * steak quesadillas

school notes~
back to week 1 * papers to grade * college finals

currently reading~
quarterly newsletter from Mike Gendron’s Proclaiming the Gospel ministry

at the morning watch~
more dangerous stuff from Tim Keller 

thinking about the week ahead~

bills to pay * some spring cleaning * coffee with a friend * tour of Stratford Hall * movie with Grandma

one of my favorite things~
puppy tails wagging in welcome each morning


Praise the LORD for He is good!

Happy 17th BabyGirl!

a verse from Scripture~
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Psalm 127:3

family gathering in Pittsburgh * ice hockey win * home school Spring Formal * yard work * Sunday dinner with family

a view beyond the front porch~
tulips ready to bloom * violas * wild dogwoods dotting the forest

from the garden~
herb plot planted * Brussels sprouts & black-eyed peas in * three more beds to go

around the kitchen~
meals to plan * dishes to wash * a puppy patiently waiting for her chow

school notes~
off week * lots of ‘Home Ecc’ projects * field trip to FBI Academy

currently reading~
Slave by John MacArthur

at the morning watch~
JMac:  Islam and the 7 year Tribulation

thinking about the week ahead~
tidy desk * rainy days ~ get back to parlor prep * sunny days ~ work in veggie garden beds

one of my favorite things~
seeing something I’ve planted actually survive and thrive  =)


Have a lovely week!




a verse from Scripture~
“And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur.  And the LORD shall be King over all the earth.  In that day it shall be–‘The LORD is one,’ and His name one.”
Zechariah 14:8-9


date night with Hubby * a four-course, birthday dinner from daughter * son struggling with strep throat


a view beyond the front porch~
the first blooms of spring


from the garden~
tomato seeds planted


around the kitchen~
chicken soup to sooth sore throats * cheese burger bread roll


school notes~
starting Algebra 2 * last week before daughter’s well-deserved Spring Break * finish driver’s ed


currently reading~
how-t0 manual for new smart-phone


lessons learned from the Labs~
lying in the sun all day is a good thing


at the morning watch~
another warning about American Girl dolls


thinking about the week ahead~
more cleaning in parlor * get peas and spinach planted * home school board meeting


one of my favorite things~
Nutella on a cinnamon bagel with a hot cup of coffee


Have a blessed week!



meditating on ~
“…be imitators of God as dear children.”  Ephesians 5:1

remembering ~
a fun evening with friends

beyond the front porch ~
the puppy barking to come inside ~ a balmy, spring-like morning ~ blooming snowdrops

from the garden~
wooden pallets ready to start composting area ~ pea seeds for planting

around the kitchen~
leftover blackberry cobbler ~ bread baking day

school notes~
algebra 1 finished!

currently reading~
the latest ‘Living’ magazine looking for gardening tips

lessons learned from the Labs~
free toys can be found in the woods

at the morning watch~
Rob Bell’s new book comes out next month.  Does he believe that Hell is empty?

thinking about the week ahead~
parlor clean-up ~ errands Tuesday ~ an entire week with my husband not on travel

one of my favorite things~
playing games with my family

Serve your King today!