Sunday, July 31, 2011

Latest Pictures of the Boys

The boys LOVE being pulled in the wagon.  Summer finally arrived here in the Pacific Northwest and we spent a fun morning yesterday riding all over our property and the neighborhood.  

We didn't know the neighbor next door was having a sale...

The boys made out pretty good, wouldn't you say?

Woke up to drizzle this morning...we sure enjoyed our one day of summer!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oh the Depth, of God - 4

"From him and through him and to him are all things."

God is the source and origin of our existence.  We have no life apart from Him.  All things were created by Him.  That means that every circumstance that touches your life and mine, including even severe loss and testing, comes into our lives through the filter of His sovereign hand.

He is also the Sustainer.

He is our supreme purpose.  He is our goal.  He created all things...for Himself and His pleasure.  

God is the sovereign Lord and Director of all things.  Nothing is beyond His ability to control, to transform, and to use for His glory and your good.

And what is our response?

"To him be glory forever.  Amen."  Romans 11:36

The appropriate response to the fathomless depths of God's wisdom and ways is to step out of the spotlight and turn the spotlight on Him.  It is to say, Amen!-wholeheartedly affirming our agreement with the Word of God.  We believe that our bottomless, unsearchable, all-encompassing Lord is the sum and the whole point of everything there is.  Therefore, we submit our entires lives to His holy, eternal purposes.  Amen.  
Let it be so!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh the Depth, of God - 3

"Oh, the depth of the riches...of God"

"God will never experience economic collapse 
or even the slightest wave or bobble of uncertainty."
Nancy Leigh DeMoss

 America is in a huge deficit.

That is never so with God.

The riches of God's kindness and forbearance
and patience and mercy and grace towards us,
is limitless and inexhaustible.  

It's the same with His glory, too.       

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oh the Depth, of God - 2

"Though we can never reach the bottom of God's unfathomable ways, we do know what it's like to reach the bottom of our own strength.  Perhaps you've been there-perhaps you are there-down where life drags the floor of all human abilities, where everything feels hopeless and pointless and impossible to handle.  This is where many women give up and call it quits, or slink away into a pit of bitterness, or turn their frustrations on those nearest them...The true woman knows that deeper than her own limitations and problems, is the bedrock of God's riches, wisdom, and knowledge.  His unseen yet sovereign, eternal purposes are underneath it all, holding it all together...Your problems may be deeper than ever.  Your issues and challenges may never before have reached such depths as you're experiencing now.  But no matter how low they've taken you, there is something-Someone-who is deeper still."  Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms."  Deuteronomy 33:27

Be in the Word with consistency.  Let it dwell deep down inside, richly, so when the trial comes, it is where you automatically's the best place to go and stay when the pressure hits.  You can have success in the crisis, if you have success in the process.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oh the Depth, of God

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?  Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?  For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be glory forever.  Amen."  Romans 11:33-36

The latest book I am reading is "Voices of the True Woman Movement" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  Chapter two is a treasure trove of nuggets.  Nancy pulls out truth after truth about God from this passage in Romans.  She explains how Paul, in the first eleven chapters of Romans, lays out the "what" of the gospel, and then the last part of Romans the "so what" - how we are to live in light of the great truths Paul has just given.  The doxology of Romans 11:33-36 bridges the gap.

Nancy points out in chapters 9-11, Paul explores the mysteries of God's sovereign, electing grace, God's plan for redeeming both Jews and Gentiles.  He explains how in God's sovereignty, the Jews' rejection of Christ is actually the means by which Gentiles have come to accept Him as Savior.  Then he writes about how in God's great mercy He will still fulfill His plan for Israel in spite of their rejection.  As Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, begins writing these truths and as he scales higher and higher through the astounding mysteries of God, he is suddenly struck speechless at the majesty of God - and His wisdom - it is beyond comprehension.  All he can do is break out into a hymn of praise.   Nancy says this hymn of praise provides a framework and context for our lives.  This passage gives us a fixed reference point for our hearts.  It secures us to God's ultimate, eternal purposes.  It gives us perspective, a grid, for responding to His sovereign choices in our lives, especially those we cannot understand or explain.

I want to take the next several posts to give you some of Nancy's nuggets from this chapter.  I came away with my view of God enlarged even greater.  Everything...absolutely everything, finds its true meaning and purpose in God's meaning and purpose.  That is what the last part of Paul's hymn is saying.  When we are not willing to make God the center of everything, our lives will be drifting on a sea of changing emotions and incorrect and wayward ways of thinking.  We will be prone to depression and anger.  We are tempting bitterness and confusion.  We are fueling a mindset that will stay in constant disarray, with no reference point to provide any kind of stability.  We need to be here:  "For from him and through him and to him are all things."  When we are not there, we miss the whole point of our existence.

I have learned that when we pursue the unfathomable greatness and majesty and glory of God, we experience inexpressible joy.  Just as we cannot find words to adequately describe Him, we cannot fully find words to express our joy in Him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Evidences of Salvation

"...Faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."  James 2:17

These works that evidence salvation go to the "heart" of the issue, not just actions...

  • Sincere love for the Lord
  • Repentance and a hatred for sin
  • A humble heart
  • Fruit of the Spirit
  • An active prayer life
  • Selfless love for others
  • Separation from the world
  • A holy (set apart) existence
  • Spiritual growth
  • Obedient living
  • The discipline of the Lord in our lives
Our works don't earn salvation - they evidence salvation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daniel and the Big Trains

Tim really enjoys trains and he is passing that enjoyment for trains on to our grandson Daniel.   

Our granddaughter Daisy arrived back home today, by train, after a visit with a friend in Portland, Oregon.  Daniel loved seeing the big trains.  

 When you ask Daniel what a train says, 
he responds with, "Boop, boop!"  It's so cute the way he says it - his little mouth forms the shape of an "o" and his eyes start to twinkle.  Daisy bought Daniel a book as a "sprize" while she was in Oregon.  She read it to him on the way home.  It was about the sounds that animals make.  At the end of the book, the author asks the question to the reader, "What do you say?"  Daniel's response was, "Peas."  (Please.) We all laughed.  You have taught him well, Annie!

Daniel, I pray that you will love the Lord and His Word too, just like Grandpa.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A List of Blessings from Romans 8

No condemnation,  for those in Christ Jesus, because God's wrath was poured out on the sinless flesh of Jesus

Set free from death to life

Requirement of the Law, perfection, fulfilled in us, through Jesus

Given a spiritual mindset, that pleases the Lord

Promise of resurrection - eternal life for our mortal bodies

Indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Empowering us to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord)

Led by the Spirit

Adopted as God's children

Heirs of God

Fellows heirs with Christ

A coming glory that will be revealed to us that will make our sufferings now seem like nothing

Spirit's help with our weak prayers

Spirit intercedes for us according to God's will

God causes everything to work for our benefit

We will be completely transformed into the image of Christ someday - it's guaranteed through His foreknowledge of us, His predestination of us, His calling us, His justifying us, His glorifying us.

From God's perspective, we are already in our glorified state.  It is a done deal in His mind.

Because God is for us, NO ONE can be against stopping this from happening

When God declares someone righteous, it can't be undone - no one can bring a charge against us so that our declaration of a right standing before God can be reversed

Jesus is interceding for us

Nothing will ever, ever stop Jesus from loving us, or separate us from His love.  Nothing.

We overwhelming conquer any tribulation, any distress, any persecution, any famine, any peril, any sword - because of His love.

So many blessings but do you see the recurring theme blessing, that builds from verse one?  We cannot lose our salvation!

These blessings are ours because of what Jesus did at the cross.  Let's take this right standing, this love poured out on us, this security, and respond today with hearts filled with praise and lives that walk in joyful obedience.  Love on your husband, share Christ with that co-worker, pray for that friend, get that project accomplished that brings blessing to your family, read that chapter in your Bible and then take some time to meditate on it...what could you stop doing, and then start doing in its place?  Remember that the doing of good things doesn't earn God's favor, Jesus did that for us.  The doing of good things is out of love for what Jesus did and continues to do for us!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Joy of the Lord | Salvation

The joy of the Lord, the joy of salvation, comes from knowing how huge the gap is between us and Jesus.

It's a canyon.

Jesus has bridged the chasm between our sin and His holiness and brought us into His family.  He's given us His love letter.  Everything we need to know about Him is in it.  We should want to know all about this Savior who put on human flesh and has given us this love letter.  We should want to know everything about this God who loved us so much that He put on human flesh and suffered and died so that we could be in His family.

Do you want to know all about Him?  We should want to know what makes Him happy.  We should want to do the things that make Him happy.  We should want to know what makes Him angry so we won't do the things that make Him angry.  We need to question our love for the Lord if we don't want to devour His Word so we can be just like Him.   We should want to be just like Him.  Our hearts should be to know the Lord, love the Lord, and please the Lord.

The joy of the Lord, the joy of salvation, begins with an understanding that Jesus has bridged the gap between us and God, and grows as we understand Him more and more, when we pursue Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Someday... will be sight.  But for now, faith walks by truth, the truth of God's Word.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Isaiah 66:1-3

 Thus says the LORD,
   “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?
 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD.
“But to this one I will look, 
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

As Creator, God is sovereign over all things.  Because of His majesty no one can build a house for Him in which to dwell.  This passage tells us what the One who created us values.  The Lord values people who are humble and contrite and who follow His word.  The Sovereign, Majestic, Creator of the Universe comes to rest and dwell in the hearts of those who acknowledge and bow to His majesty and Lordship, who acknowledge and mourn over their sin, who fear and obey His word.   

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Gift of Friendship

Here's a new angle on what God could be doing during a trial.  This was taken from Kevin DeYoung's Blog at The Gospel Coalition.  He just completed a four part series entitled "The Gift of Friendship and the Godliness of Good Friends."  I tried to post a link to Kevin's blog itself, but the link wouldn't work.  You can find his blog from The Gospel Coalition's website.  Just click on the "BLOGS" tab at the top of the page.  It's a great series.  

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). The next time you are in the midst of suffering and ask God, “What possible reason can there be for this trial?” Consider one thing He may be up to is making your friendships sweeter and stronger...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

God's love...

...reaches farther than we can ever run and nothing will be able to separate us from it.

Need Motivation?

Ask yourself, why am I doing this?

The correct answer:

Because I love my Savior with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and more than anything I long to offer Him my love as a humble response to His great gift of salvation.