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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

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity–and cleanse me from my sin!” 
Psalm 51:2

Sin is spiritual filthiness.

Sin . . .
defiles the conscience,
corrupts the imagination,
depraves the heart,
perverts the will,
pollutes the mind,
sets the tongue on fire by hell,
stains the life, and
renders the man totally and eternally unfit for Heaven!

It is God’s work to cleanse a sinner. No one else can. The sinner cannot cleanse himself–he is without the means, the will, or the power! But God in mercy does, and He does it . . .
by His Son, atoning;
by His Spirit, renewing;
by His Providence, working;
and by His Truth, purifying.

The passage contains the believer’s prayer:
Wash me.”
“Wash me thoroughly.” 
It is from “my iniquity–my sin.”

Wash me, for . . .
I have discovered my filthiness;
I loathe myself on account of it;
and I long to be delivered from it!

Wash me thoroughly:
take out every stain,
erase every impression,
make me whiter than snow!

Sin always pollutes and defiles. A believer cannot rest in pollution, and therefore prays, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity–and cleanse me from my sin!”

~James Smith, “Daily Bible Readings for the Lord’s Household”

HT: Grace Gems 

 

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My daughter took this picture when Grandma met her first great-granddaughter.

 

 

 

“Behold! I have engraved you on the palms of My hands!”
Isaiah 49:16

 

“Behold,” says Immutable One, “I have engraved you on the palms of My hands!”
Not on the mountains, as colossal as they are–for they shall depart;
on no page of nature’s vast volume–for the last fires shall scorch them;
not on blazing sun–for he shall grow dim with age;
not on glorious heavens–for they shall be folded together as a scroll.
But on . . .
the hands of might and love
,
the hands which made the worlds,
the hands which were transfixed on Calvary,
–I have engraved you there!

No corroding power can efface the writing, or obliterate your name!

You are Mine now–and Mine forever!

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of My hand!”
John 10:28

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HT: Grace Gems

from J.R. Miller’s Our New Edens–

Parents are the custodians of their children’s lives. If they would meet their responsibility and be able to look God and their children in the face at the judgment, they must make their homes as nearly ‘gardens of Eden’ as possible.

The way to save your children from the temptations of the streets–is to make your home so bright, so sweet, so beautiful, so happy, so full of love, joy and prayer–that the streets will have no attractiveness for them–no power to win them away. “Do not be overcome by evil–but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

The place of the home-life among the influences which mold and shape character, is supreme in its importance. Our children are given to us in tender infancy–to teach them and train them for holy, worthy, beautiful living.

It is not enough to have an opulent house to live in! It is not enough to have fine foods, and luxurious furniture, and expensive entertainments! Most of the world’s worthiest men and women, those who have blessed the world the most–were brought up in plain homes, without any luxury!

It is the tone of the home-life, that is important. We should make it pure, elevating, refining, inspiring. The books we bring in, the papers and magazines, the guests we have at our tables and admit to our firesides, the home conversation, the pictures we hang on our walls–all these are educational. As in everything, LOVE is the great master-secret of home happiness.

The religious influences are also vitally important. In that first ‘garden home’, the Lord came and went as a familiar friend. Christ must be our guest–if our home is to be a fit place either for our children or for ourselves. If there is no sincere prayer in it, it is not a true home at all–it is only a heathen lodging-place!

How can we make ‘new Edens’ of our homes? What are some of the secrets of home happiness? I might gather them all into one word and say–CHRIST! If we have Christ as our guest–our home will be happy! He must be welcomed into all our life. He must be in each heart. He must sit at our tables and mingle with us in all our family interaction. Christ can bless our home, only through the lives of those who make the home circle.

Make your home so sweet, so heavenly, with love and prayer and song and holy living–that all through it, there shall be the fragrance of the heart of Christ!

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HT: Grace Gems

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Hosted by Peggy @ http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/
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For today…October 5, 2009

From my comfy chair…a quiet morning * an autumn sunrise on the horizon * sleepy children

I am thankful for…early morning devotions * a life full of loving family & friends * peaceful night’s sleep

I am hearing…the house beginning to wake up

Around the house…boxes from hubby’s old office * hunting gear * lots of laundry to put away

Memories from last week…grandma flying home * black-tie banquet with hubby & farewell luncheon with his co-workers * success for daughter at sewing expo

I am looking forward to…normal school routine * finishing the  painting on the garden shed * our local Fall Festival this weekend

From the kitchen…veggie soup * Irish Soda Bread * salads made with lettuce from the garden

I am reading…’The Quarterly Journal’ from Personal Freedom Outreach

Some GrifNet humor…Husband says: When I get mad at you, you never fight back. How do you take
out your frustration and control your anger. 

 Wife says: I clean the toilet. 

Husband says: How does that help? 

Wife says: I use your Toothbrush.   😉

One of my favorite things…watching my son play with his dog

I am hoping…to find time to work on some crafting projects

Pondering thoughts on…how Jesus is refining His Church in these last days

A Scripture thought to share…”For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…”  Colossians 2:9

A lovely start to the day

autumn-sunrise-james-jones

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Blessings!

 

 

“There is no other solution to the marvellous mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial Death but this: Christ has loved us.

There is not a circumstance of our Lord’s history which is not another form or manifestation of love.

His incarnation is love stooping.
His sympathy is love weeping.
His compassion is love supporting.
His grace is love acting.
His teaching is the voice of love.
His silence is the repose of love.
His patience is the restraint of love.
His obedience is the labor of love.
His suffering is the travail of love.
His cross is the altar of love.
His death is the burnt offering of love.
His resurrection is the triumph of love.
His ascension into heaven is the enthronement of love.
His sitting down at the right hand of God is the intercession of love.

Such is the deep, the vast, the boundless ocean of Christ’s love!”

~Octavius Winslow

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HT: Of First Importance 

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Hosted by Peggy @ http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com
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For today…May 11, 2009

From my comfy chair…a still, overcast day has begun with birds singing and the promise of spring rain in the air.

I am thankful for…my husband and children, who loved me all through the weekend * God’s mercy and grace * someone who volunteered to take over my co-op board position

I am hearing…my cat, Sam, purring softly next to me * my son sniffling from a cold * lots of birds outside 

I am hoping…for safe travels for my husband this week * to remember everything on my ‘honey-do’ list that hasn’t been written down *  to stay focused on my priorities this week

Around the house…backpacks & bike helmets from our family bike ride yesterday * a tidy house thanks to my kind husband & children * gardening supplies on the front porch from our weekend yardwork  

From the learning rooms…week 3 of our 6-week period, which will most likely be more like 8 weeks considering our camping plans * used curriculum sale preparation * catching up with record keeping

From the kitchen…ham & chicken casserole * bread to bake * menu planning for the rest of the week * I need to scrub the floor and windows, too

I am creating…a vegetable garden–that takes up all my creative effort these days!

A few plans for the rest of the week…finishing up my co-op responsibilities * a couple of spring cleaning projects * homeschool convention registration * swim team sign ups

One of my favorite things…meeting a friend for coffee & a chat

Some Scripture passages on which to meditate…”Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).  Since these [sins] have been forgiven, there is not further offering for sin (Hebrews 10:18).

A picture thought to share

 

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Hope you have a glorious week!

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“Bring him unto Me!”   Mark 9:19

Despairingly the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples, to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed–but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one, when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus’ word, “Bring him unto Me!”

Your children are a precious gift from God–but much anxiety comes with them. They may be a great joy–or a great bitterness to their parents. They may be filled with the Spirit of God–or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one recipe for the curing of all their ills, “Bring them unto Me!”

O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf, while they are yet babes. Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it.

In the days of their youth we shall see sad tokens of that dumb and deaf spirit, which will neither pray aright, nor hear the voice of God in the soul–but Jesus still commands, “Bring them unto Me!”

When they are grown up, they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God! Then, when our hearts are breaking–we should remember the great Physician’s words, “Bring them unto Me!” Never must we cease to pray for them–until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless–while Jesus lives.

The Lord sometimes allows His people to be driven into a corner–that they may experimentally know how necessary He is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts–drive us to flee to the Strong One for strength–and this is a great blessing to us!

Whatever this day’s need may be, let it like a strong current–bear us to the ocean of divine love! Jesus can soon remove our sorrow. He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him–while He waits to meet us!

~Charles Spurgeon  (Grace Gems)

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Hosted by Peggy @ http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com/
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For today…April 20, 2009

Outside the kitchen window
a still, cool morning with a hint of welcomed rain in the air.

I am hearing
the birds singing * the coffee pot * the whirr of the refrigerator

I am remembering
the tears of a pastor as he recounted a memory of the Lord teaching him about the resurrection * lots of 9 year old girls enjoying horseback riding * kind words from a neighbor * a hard-working mother * long phone conversations with my husband

I am thankful for
God’s grace and mercy during difficult times * 8 hours of sleep

I am hoping
for safe travels for my husband who is flying to Arizona today.  He is struggling with a spring cold and is exhausted from carrying the load of two people at home.

From the learning rooms
life lessons in godly character * reflecting the Grace of God to others 

Around the house
packed suitcases * stacks of files * bills to mail * dirty sneakers * sleeping dogs * hand-me-down stuff from my dad

One of my favorite things
singing songs of praise to Christ Jesus

A few plans for the rest of the week…lunch with my aunt & cousin today * dropping off children with Grandma * clothing donations to church ministry * finalizing issues with my dad’s estate * alone time with my mom before heading home

My prayer for today
that the Lord will open the eyes of His people to the deception in the church today. 

A picture thought to share
the beauty of God’s Creation.

 dogwoods

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May the Lord bless you with His Joy this week.