Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Great Weekend of Thanksgiving

Well, we had a wonderful weekend...Thursday was Thanksgiving dinner at our house with all the family...Friday was decorating for Christmas...Saturday was a visit with extended family in Portland, Oregon, where Charlie met two of the three sets of great, great uncles and aunts on my mom's side of the family...Sunday was church with family, including my mom! 

Here's an album of our visit with my uncles and aunts and mom in Oregon.

Giving thanks is something that should just naturally fall from our lips to our Heavenly Father, every day.  If our minds are set on the things above and we know from what state we have been saved out of, how can we not help but be thankful?  I've taken the letters for THANKSGIVING and made an acrostic (well, sort of) out of them with some of our blessings listed in Ephesians.  We can never be over thankful because His blessings are limitless!

                          witThout blame
                  predestiNed to adoption
                        His Kindness
                              Sealed with the Holy Spirit
                        His Grace
                          aliVe with Christ
                          raiIsed up                          
                 brought Near                                
              praise the Glory of His grace for eternity

None of these blessings would be ours without the sacrificial love of Jesus.  Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast as an ocean...in its fullness, over us.  May it cause great waves of Thanksgiving in our lives.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This is what you get with some Christmas music,
fabulous turkey soup made by your very excited daughter-in-law
who has never celebrated Christmas in America,
and a goofy teenage granddaughter:

All decorated for Christmas now!

Thanks for the help, Mai and Daisy, so much fun!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

From Our House to Yours...

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Psalm 92:1-4

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD
         And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
    To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
         And Your faithfulness by night,
    With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp,
         With resounding music upon the lyre.
    For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done,
         I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

John 1:16

"For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace."

   May those words fill your heart to overflowing, with thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Power and Praise of God

We had a bit of a windstorm Monday night.  When we woke up Tuesday morning there were branches and needles everywhere. 

This tree fell across our neighbor's driveway.

Annie and Ruh lost power, almost as soon as the storm began.  Since we have a wood stove they made their way over to our place, very carefully, as the roads were slick from the snow that fell during the day.  We thought for sure our power would go out.  As the wind howled throughout the evening, the lights flickered, but we never lost our electricity.  The wind was still blowing when we went to bed.  At the back of our 2 acre parcel of property we have about thirty 100 foot tall Douglas Fir trees.  From my bedroom window I could see them bowing to the force of what were probably 75 mph wind gusts. 

I loved watching it all.

In Psalm 148, all of creation is invoked to praise the LORD, even the stormy wind which fulfills His word.  Every tree that is uprooted is uprooted according to God's plan and purpose.  Those mighty Douglas Firs sure were praising the LORD last night, and I can't help but think that some ended up falling prostrate before Him!  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Heart Melters

Check out Annie's blog for a short video of my precious boys!

How Can It Be Said Then?

This morning, on my way to Annie's to get Daniel, the moon was shining through the clouds.  You couldn't see it, but you could tell it was there.  It made me think of the burden I have that Christians know and understand the truths regarding the Lord's return.  He never told us His return could happen at any moment.  I cannot find a passage anywhere which clearly states this.  You will find passages however which clearly state certain things must take place first before He returns.

I can remember as a child, and even just up to a few years ago, when I saw sun rays shining through brilliant, white, puffy, marshmallowy clouds, I would just stare at those clouds, yearning with all my heart for the Lord to appear right then and there.  I would pray, "Lord, come right now!"  I would imagine Him suddenly before me and then sweeping me up to Himself.  In Acts 1:10 we find the disciples gazing into heaven, probably much like I would gaze at those clouds.  They had just witnessed the Father taking Jesus back up into heaven where a cloud received Him out of their sight.  Two angels ask them why they are standing there gazing up into heaven.  The angels tell them that Jesus will come in the same manner that they saw Him go into heaven.

There is much more recorded in Scripture regarding the Lord's return.

It tells us in Mark 13 that He will come with His angels, sending them forth to gather from the earth and the sky His chosen.  (Paul said the Lord would bring with Him, those who had fallen asleep in Jesus.)

How can it be said then that this is the gathering back to the land, of Israel, on foot?

From Revelation 1:7 we know that every eye will see Him when He comes in the clouds.  Mt. 24:30,31 says that when He appears and gathers the elect, all the tribes of the earth will see Him and mourn.

How can it be said then to be a secret rapture?

In 2 Thessalonians 2 it tells us that before He comes and gathers us, a man is going to come on the scene, displaying himself as God in the temple, opposing every so called god or object of worship.  That passage also tells us he will amaze the world with power given to him by Satan, doing great signs and wonders.  Watchful followers of Christ will totally get where his power comes from and will know exactly who he really is.  For those who don't love the truth, the true God will send a deluding influence on them.  They will fall for this self-exalting, false god's schemes and give themselves over to him.  Then, from Revelation 12 and 13 and Matthew 24, we know this man is going to go on a world wide killing spree before the Lord returns, requiring the blood of those who do not worship him.  Watchful followers of Jesus will see many who called themselves believers fall away from the faith.  Family members will turn on family members before the Lord returns.  It cannot be overstated that it is going to get really really ugly for those who name the name of Christ, before He returns.  Jesus said that if He didn't cut this killing spree short with His return, all of His chosen ones would perish.

How can it be said then that the church will escape the great tribulation?

Praise God that it can be said that through Him we will be overcomers, even in death!  Praise God that it can be said that through Him, we overwhelmingly conquer!

So now, when I see those brilliant clouds, I no longer expect Him to appear and sweep me out of this sin-encrusted world.  I know certain things will occur first, and I want you to know them too, if you don't already.  But don't just take my word for it.  Get busy, dig into the Word, study it, and see it for yourself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thought Provoking Words by Russel Kelfer

A friend recently emailed me these thought provoking words by Russel Kelfer that I want to pass along to you:

"Having been born into the kingdom of God, I do hereby acknowledge that God's purchase of my life included all the rights and control of that life for all eternity.
I do further acknowledge that He has not guaranteed me to be free from pain or to have success or prosperity.  He has not guaranteed my perfect health.  He has not guaranteed me perfect parents.  He has not guaranteed me perfect children.  He has not guaranteed me the absence of pressures, trials, misunderstandings, or persecution.   What He has promised me is eternal life.  What He has promised me is abundant life.  What He has promised me is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, and self-control.  He has given me all of Himself in exchange for the rights to my life. Therefore I acknowledge this day the relinquishment of all my rights and expectations, and humbly ask Him by His grace to replace these with a grateful spirit, for whatever in His wisdom He deems to allow for my life."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Daniel and Charlie

Daniel turned seventeen months old today...we celebrated with his first new pair of slippers.  He won't keep socks on but he loved these slippers and left them on the whole time his was at grandma's!  (Well, all except for the one time he crawled out of them...)

Click here to enjoy the entire album.

Charlie turned two months old on Wednesday.  He LOVES bath time.

Click here for a smile or two!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So They May Learn to Fear Me

"Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children' " - Deuteronomy 4:10.

These words were directed at Moses in regards to the nation of Israel but they have application to us as well.  Some observations regarding the fear of the LORD from this verse:

1)  Holding the LORD in the proper reverence and awe due Him is something we learn to do.
2)  There is no learning the fear of the LORD apart from His Word because that is where He has revealed the truth of Himself.  It is there where we come to comprehend His greatness and majesty.

3)  We are to respect His sovereignty, feel wonder at His majesty, and fear offending Him until we take our last breath.

4)  Learning to honor the LORD and hold Him in high esteem is to be passed down from one generation to the next generation.  

The Lord has been calling out a people to fear Him ever since the Fall.  Lest we think that God is self-serving and only interested in benefiting Himself by demanding our respect and worship, we need  to remember that He has revealed to us in His Word that He is perfect and holy, without sin.  He abhors evil.  Therefore anything that He does and anything that He commands is good and will result in the benefit and blessing of those who obey. 

A question for you - Who created us with the capacity to experience joy?  It is the very God who demands that we fear Him.  When we don't take the time to understand who He is in His Word and to give Him the honor that is due Him we dwell in the shallow end of the pool of joy.  Fullness of joy comes from being in the presence of the one and only true God.  Teaching our children then to fear the Lord is to set them on the greatest path to joy.

So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Free Will But in Who's Realm?

We are not born God-seekers.  We are born self-indulgers and flesh-pleasers.  The only freedom one has who is dead in their trespasses and sins is found in Satan's realm.

Ephesians 2:1-3 - "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind..." 

Our drive towards sinfulness and self-indulgence takes an intervention by the Holy Spirit and God's Word to breath God's eternal life into us, transferring us from Satan's kingdom into God's kingdom.

Someone illustrated spiritual rebirth for me like this one time.  God takes our lifeless, dead hands in His.  He wraps our hands around His gift of faith and salvation, and breaths eternal life into our souls.

The death-grip of sin over us is then broken.  Our wills are free from complete bondage to the prince of the power of the air and are now under the influence of the Holy Spirit.  We go from choosing how far we desire to delve into sin to choosing how much we will bring pleasure to our Creator.  Spiritual rebirth gives us the ability to choose to live for God's glory.

I have a question for you regarding free will to choose God for salvation.  Does it make any sense that God gives us just enough spiritual life to give us the ability to choose Him and then if we don't want Him, we fall back into spiritual death?

To say we have free will to choose God for salvation makes as much sense as to say a dead body can reach out for a defibrillator and shock one's own heart into beating.

"In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth" - James 1:18.

"Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more" - 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

Our salvation is according to God's will, we then have the choice to excel in our pleasing Him.  Let's be all about that, for His glory!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

As You Launch

Wishing Dave and Kristen Wisen and all those at Harvest Bible Chapel, Spring Lake, a blessed and joyous first Sunday.  May many lives be changed for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Friday, November 5, 2010


I've spent the last two days reading through Deuteronomy.  I probably haven't read through Deuteronomy since my college days, a long, long, time ago.  It was enthralling to say the least.

Deuteronomy is a series of speeches by Moses, which consist of divine revelation to the children of Israel.  In these speeches, the character and the attributes of God are put on display.  Your heart will surge with joy as you read through it, seeing that God is faithful, glorious, jealous, just, loving, merciful, powerful, compassionate, a promise keeper, righteous, true, unequaled, wise, and wrathful. You will also gain a clear picture of how we are so not God.

Israel is encamped on the plains of Moab, getting ready to go in and conquer the promised land as Moses gives these addresses.  In the first address to the children of Israel, Moses reviews their wanderings.  He reminds them of their rebelliousness and lack of faith which brought devastating consequences.  The first generation died off, not living to see the promised land.  He also reminds them of how God went before them, putting dread and fear into the hearts of different people as they traveled, how God delivered the two kings of the Amorites, Sihon and Og into their hand, so they utterly destroyed them and their people.

Moses then tells Israel to listen to the statutes and judgments which he was going to teach them.  God commands that they hear His words, and fear Him.  His desire was that they walk in His ways, that they love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.  Moses explains the law to them.  They were then to take what Moses taught them and pass it on to their children.  God's desire was that His people be set apart to Him.  If His people choose obedience, they would receive great blessing and experience great joy.  If they choose to not walk in His ways, they would experience great suffering. This is something Moses repeats, over and over again. 

Moses not only looked back, but he also looked ahead.  God revealed to him that Israel would fail in the future.  This failure to obey God and to follow after other gods, to not walk in His ways only, would kindle God's anger against Israel and Israel would be scattered among the nations.  Moses was commanded to write and teach Israel a song regarding this rebellion.  The song would be a witness for God against Israel for their future failure.

The final address is the blessing with which Moses blessed Israel before his death and before they entered the land to conquer it.  The Lord shows Moses from Mt. Nebo all the promised land.  Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died.  He could still clearly see and his death was not due to physical weakness. The Lord simply took him because his work was done.

If you've never read through Deuteronomy, let me encourage you to take the time.  What a fantastic book to spend time in enlarging your view of God, and gaining a much needed, more humble perspective of ourselves.

(Did you know that Moses pleaded with God to let him cross over the Jordon?  This was God's answer, "Enough!  Speak to Me no more of this matter."  Deut. 3:23-29)

The Lord commands the obedience of His children.  There are consequences when His children do not walk in His ways.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Rock!

"For I proclaim the name of the LORD; 
     Ascribe greatness to our God!   
The Rock!   
     His work is perfect, 
For all His ways are just; 
     A God of faithfulness and without injustice, 
Righteous and upright is He" - Deuteronomy 32:3,4.

If anyone had a proper view of God, it was Moses.  Moses spoke these words to all of Israel as he was passing the torch of leadership to Joshua.  That Moses called God "The Rock" lept off the page at me as I was thinking on his words. Remember, Moses broke faith with God right in front of all Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, by striking the rock instead of speaking to the rock.  Moses did not treat God as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel.  This great sin was an affront to a holy God.  God could have struck Moses right then and there for doing such a thing, for not treating Him as holy in the sight of all Israel.  Instead, God showed Moses mercy.  Moses sin did cost him the privilege of leading the Israelites into the promised land, but in His mercy, the Lord allowed him to see it.  

I wonder if Moses was thinking about the time when he struck the rock, when he called God "The Rock."  Was he thinking that he had struck at God Himself, this One who is a refuge for frail and sinful men?  Of course we don't know, but just as Moses hit the rock, instead of speaking to it, isn't our sin like slapping God in the face?  Just typing that brings grief to my heart.  God is righteous and upright.  Everything He does is perfect, without flaw.  He is holy, holy, holy!  He is utterly and completely without sin.  All His ways are just.  Moses never questions God's punishment for His sin.  Instead, he acribes greatness to God and declares that God is a God of faithfulness and His ways are just.   

Oh that we would always view our sin as slapping God in the face!  Lord, help us to hate our sin and all sin as much as You do!  Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy!  Lord, You are exceedingly great, You are exceedingly holy, You are exceedingly just, righteous, and upright, in all Your ways!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Do You Value?

Christ is honored in us when He is shown to be magnificent...The unwasted life is the life that puts Christ on display as extremely valuable. 

Live Christ.