The Greatest Honour
Before I get into this devotional, I want to make it clear that our family does not follow most of what is on the TV. Besides an occasional history show and well screened movie, we usually only watch conservative commentators, reporters, etc. The following thought came to me as I heard the tail end of a news report about a contestant of a very popular secular British TV show, Britain’s Got Talent. I guess it is the British equivalent of American Idol (another show we avoid.) It was the voice of Susan Boyle that stunned me into following her story.
Susan Boyle was basically a nobody. She is past middle-age, worked in her church, but was currently unemployed, and as I found out later has a learning disability due to oxygen deprivation during birth. She is not particularly pretty, but has a grandmotherly quality about her. She is someone you would easily pass by on the street without even noticing her. Please understand, I am NOT being critical, but rather making the observation that she is just the “average Jane”.
As she walked on stage and spoke of her ambitions of becoming famous as a singer, the audience laughed her to scorn while the judges tried not to snicker. But when she opened her mouth to sing, out came what I consider to be one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard! The audience and judges obviously held a similar view as the applause and chears roared. She won that competition and the “hearts of the world” and had an album deal signed within a few weeks. She performed for the Britain’s Got Talent grand final, which she lost.
One of the honours she would have gotten upon winning the final contest was to sing before the Queen of England. For Americans, that would be like singing before the President, or Canadians – the Prime Minister. Now that’s quite an honour, I thought, but when I realized the following I was humbled and awed.
As children of God, we realize we really are no one special: nobodys. Just like Susan ,we have done nothing worthy to stand before a monarch, yet we have the highest honour and priviledge of singing for and speaking with and about the King of kings and Lord of lords any time! We have complete unfettered access to The Mighty God of all creation day and night, any moment of the day! We can sing for him, and no matter how poor our voice sounds, He is ALWAYS pleased and to hear from a humble heart.
We “Get to” come before Him!
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalms 95:2
Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Ps 66:1
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Ps 81:1
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Ps 95:1
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Ps 95:2
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Ps 98:4
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Ps 98:6
A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Ps 100:1
Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Ps 66:2
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Ps 71:8
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Ps 34:18
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Ps 51:17
LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: Psalms 10:17
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
I don’t know if Susan Boyle can claim that great honour, and that grieves me greatly. She was not doing well emotionally before the final and had an “emotional breakdown” after and had to be hospitalized for possibly several weeks to recover. I kept thinking, what if she dies? Where will she go?
If you are a born again child of God, won’t you join me in praying for Susan that she might gain the highest honour of all: having the honour and privilege to humbly stand before the King of kings and Lord of lords as His child.
If you do not know what it means or what it takes to be God’s child, please read THIS
June 3rd, 2009
I have read Psalm 126 yearly for the last 15 years, but it was only this morning that I realized that the order of events are actually reversed.
Psalms 126:1-6 A Song of degrees. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, 3 The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. 4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. 5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
In Ps. 126:5-6 the psalmist is saying that while they were in captivity, they sowed in tears. Now that the Lord turned again thee captivity of Zion (126:1) they were reaping joy.
There’s several applications for people today:1
1. The Lost: Those whithout Christ are kept captive by the devil.
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:26
And it is only through a humble heart filled with repentance and faith that they can be set free.
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21
A) Everyday life: Just like the children of Israel were in physical captivity, Christians can be in captivity spiritually. The only way to have our captivity turned is through a humble heart and repentance towards the Lord.
Ps. 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
B) Soulwinners: Likewise, for the soulwinner, the only way to reach the lost is to show them that we really do care. We MUST go forward with a weaping heart, and sometimes with tears!
If the child of God does not go soulwinning with a heart full of concern for souls, how will the lost world even consider what we are saying. The words will be as “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”1Cor. 13:1We MUST go forward with a weaping heart, and sometimes with tears!
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1
In other words, it will just be a lot of confusing noise that has no application to the heart.
Do people see we care?
How can we reach a world we never touch?
How Can We Reach a World We Never Touch?
The John Marshall Family
As I was reading about Missionaries John and Betty Stam, this quote reminded me that when I hold on to that which is not important, God is not able to place in my hands that which is of eternal value. – Angela
“When we consecrate ourselves to God, we think we are making a great sacrifice, and doing lots for Him, when really we are only letting go some little bitsey trinkets we have been grabbing, and when our hands are empty, He fills them full of His treasures.”
Missionary to China
Martyred for Christ in China along with her husband, John Stam
December 8th, 1934 by the incoming communists
Just thought I’d remind everyon to have a look at the links on the sidebar. I’ve just added a great surfing companion – Old Christian Radio. You will be able to listen to wonderful, old fashioned Christian music while surfing!
With the Christmas season upon us, I just wanted to post some reminders about what it is all about:
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Revelation 1:5 ….Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Acts 20:21 … repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Let us NEVER forget that it’s ALL about HIM!
Sitting at my laptop with barely enough energy to type (from low blood sugar), I feel quite useless as the rest of the family buzzes around getting things done. Our youngest doll – Carolyn – piggy tails and all, was first doing a puzzle and chattering away, but now is helping Abigail and Melissa with the laundry, folding tea towels and such; Cynthia and Sarah took over from me making lunch; and Brianna is practicing guitar. It just seems the norm lately: doing a few hours work then having no energy for the rest of the day. It has been very frustrating. We start the school year on Monday; I resume sewing for customers the following week, and I honestly have no idea how I am going to get everything done like I did before.
Still, in the midst of all this frustration and seemingly impossible schedule, I have a peace knowing that my Saviour is my all sufficiency. He will get me through, as long as I remember to lean on Him. I know I cannot do all that needs done without Him, and it may mean re-organizing our squedule and/or eliminating some things, but I also know He is always faithful to help me.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 2 Corinthians 3:5
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Did you ever have that nagging feeling the Lord is trying to tell you you shouldn’t do something, or maybe it was a case of all doors being closed to a particular event happening. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t, but praise the Lord we listened this time!
For a week or so, we’d heard an odd “bang” in the back end of the 15 passenger van. We just figured it was something loose on the muffler, tail pipe, etc. or something loosed under a seat. However, the light “bang” turned into a full blown “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang” on Monday. It raised Lowell’s alarm bells so heavily that he brought it right into Okanagan Engine Rebuilders, and put a major hold on our planned trip with Grandpa into the mountains to Trail, BC, till we knew what happened.
Issue #1 – Lowell was very concerned there was some kind of tranny issue, and there was. Although minor, if it had been left, it could have torn the tranny apart.
Issue #2 was where it was made abundantly clear that God either did not want us going on this trip or wanted it postponed: We had less than 40% of our brakes left! Not a good thing for going up and down the Canadian Rockies!!!! Wake up call!!!!
We needed to leave this morning to make this trip work, but we only got the van back mid-day today.
Okay, Lord, we are really awake now !!!
Issue #3 – As I drove it, the brakes felt very soft, but I forgot to tell Lowell as he had to go to a meeting using the car. When he drove the van this afternoon, he brought it back to the shop only to find out the master brake cylinder was failing. The old brake fluid was about the only thing keeping it together, but when new stuff was put in, it started to fall apart. That would have been really bad in the Rockies!
So, OKER replaced it in about an hour, even with the time it took to speed ship the cylinder from a local supplier. Thanks guys!!!!
So, all that to say:
Praise the Lord for reviving “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang!”
The Lord used that to most likely save our lives.
Pet Peaves… we all have them, and they can be VERY frustrating.
Over the years, I realized what really makes something a “Pet Peave” is MY attitude towards what that person is doing, or not doing. Usually, it is something that causes inconvenience to me. It’s not typically sin on the other person’s part, but my attitude can become sin, so I’ve tried to figure out how to deal with my attitude in this area.
In order to avoid sin on my part, this is my solution: I look at the “flip-side”.
Here’s an illustration I have heard, but has NO pertinence to me.
Example: “Doesn’t my husband know I can’t stand picking up his stinky socks!!!!”
Flip-side: “No, he probably doesn’t even think about it. He’s so burnt out from putting up with the world all day that when he makes it to the bed, he’s not thinking about his socks, stinky or otherwise. He’s so tired he may even barely manage to get them off.
Solution: “In honour, preferring one another….. ” Cut him some slack and just pick them up. Praise the Lord you have a husband, stinky socks and all.
I’m not saying you couldn’t nicely ask him to pick them up himself, but it really isn’t a big deal. It’s just an incovenience to you.
Changing our attitudes towards “Pet Peaves” is critical so as not to have them become sin to us. If they have become sin, then of course that should be privately confessed to the Lord, but why let it go that far.
I hope this will be a help in conquering those “Pet Peaves”.
Oh, I should also point out that I have NOT arrived! I can’t always see the flip-side, and I fall, but I’m trying.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-13
Let’s face it, one of the hardest things to do sometimes is to just “zip our lips.” How “satisfying it would be just to give so and so an “piece of our mind….”
In sermons, our Pastor says something to the effect of, “Don’t give away what you don’t have….” or “Keep what you have. There might not be much left.”
Holding my peace, as the Bible says, has been one of my greatest challenges, and I feel I have a long way to go, but the Lord has been so good to help me. The changes He has accomplished in me, and continues to work on, amaze me.
For some time now, I have been dealing with this area in a partular struggle in my life. The flesh wants to speak out, but the Spirit of God keeps saying no. This morning, I was reminded of the following verses:
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14
I also searched out a few more verses to help me out:
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14
I have lost count how many times I have quoted this last verse to myself to keep my mouth, mind and heart on track.
But like all struggles, I know God’s promises hold true:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
When I keep my focus on Whom it needs to be, maintain my prayer and Bible time, and continue to remind myself of God’s ways, life just goes on a whole lot easier, and I am able to “hold my peace.”
We’ve all had “one of THOSE days”, and it just seemed like this last week was one of them. Ugh….4 major items breaking in one day, or within a couple days of eachother; children sick; major migraine; but it all came to a head on Tuesday.
As I mentioned in the last post, my Pfaff serger was giving me enough grief that I wanted to pitch it out the window. This happened on Friday, and I wanted to bring it to the repair shop on Saturday, but I was in bed most of the day with a migraine, and not too sparky the rest of the day.
Well, come Monday, Lowell brings it in to the shop on his way to work, but then he calls me to let me know it might not be ready till Wednesday. Not good since I have a big job of serging waiting for Okanagan Slipcovers.
So now we are in to Tuesday and I go to pick up our computer’s external drive which was being swapped out under warranty, but we’d been waiting for this for 3 months. I had files on three different computers, including website and business files, and it would take to long to move them around by burning CD’s. It was important I get it done as I have lots of work to perform relating to those files. Well, I get to the computer shop and it’s not ready (this is the third time we’ve tried to pick it up)….wait….for an extra hour, take it home, and it doesn’t work! I go back to the shop, it works there, but then won’t work at home!!!! Take it to piano with my laptop, and it still doesn’t work! Ugh….again.
I do other computer work while Cynthia and Abigail have their piano lesson.
We get into the van to leave, and it won’t start!!!! Long story, but it has done this to me 6 times over the winter, 3 of which have been at the piano teacher’s house. Praise the Lord, she didn’t have a student at that time, so she boosts the van and we go to drop it off at the repari shop and meet Lowell, then drive him to work. He picks up the “fixed” serger on the way in to meet us. That was a big help!
The girls and I drop Lowell off at work, go to Costco, and at this point my right thigh starts to really hurt. I have no idea why. We are only in Costco a half hour, but by the time we leave, I can hardly walk. We make it home, and I almost have to drag myself up the stairs as it feels like someone is trying to rip my leg off. Not fun.
After a while, I manage to get to the sewing room and have a look at the serger. I can’t believe what I see.The sample that the shop stitched looked horrible! I run the machine and it does exactly what one of the reasons were for bringing it in: it unthreads itself! I spend five minutes rethreading the machine and adjust the tensions so it looks the way it should. I then walk up the stairs only using one leg, as the other one was too painful to move, then I rest for the remainder of the evening.
I had had enough!!!! Or had I?
The truth is, although all these things were annoying, it just wasn’t that bad. I consider what happened inconveniences, not catastrophes. I purposely wrote this story in such a manner that it looked like I was overwhelmed, but I was not. I have so much to be thankful for!
Everything that happened, happened to “things”, not what was really important, like my family.
I’m so thankful the Lord helped me keep my perspective. I know of several families that are in a REAL mess right now. One man’s wife was in the hospital last week and the docs didn’t know if she was going to make it; another man’s wife is divorcing him; another man’s daughter has been missing for a week; I know of wives who’ve left their husbands over adultery or for him molesting the children. Now there’s items we could perhaps consider to be overwhelming, yet then again I many precious promises:
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:27-28
I don’t deserve the least of His mercies, yet He blesses me abundantly!
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think… Ephesians 3:20
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (Note that God didn’t say all things would BE good, but rather “work together FOR good…”
and one of my most favorite verses:
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23
I have nothing to whine about! God is good all the time!