Looking Unto Jesus

Angela's Blog

A Bit About me

Welcome to my personal weblog! I have many areas of interest as a Christian wife and home schooling mother of 6 girls: writing, poetry, website design, digital photography, a home business (sewing); however, this blog will focus more on the wonderful journey the Lord has brought our family through and what the Lord has shown me in His Holy Word.


I know that my devotionals don't often speak of specifics in our lives, but I want my readers to know that what I write comes most often from what the Lord is doing in our lives, or has done. I don't just repeat words by this preacher or that one. My devotionals are often written through a haze of tears, sometimes in grief, sometimes in peace at God's goodness for what He is doing for our good. At other times, after a flood of tears over my lack of faith in His great plan for us, especially after I've seen Heaven's gates open in another miraculous answer to prayer. What I write is what God shows me through those trials which He brings because of His great goodness as He works out His perfect plan. - Angela.


Church Membership:
People's Baptist Church
Independent,
Old Fashioned, KJB

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Angela’s Wingback Chair Slipcover

What a big job, but I think it looks so good!!! I am so thrilled. Making a slipcover for this chair and ottoman were the pre-cursor to getting  a slipcover contract with a local company. This lady is so busy with dealing with customers and designing that she’s running herself ragged trying to get the sewing done.

So here’s my first attempt at a slipcover. I would have to pick what is apparently the hardest chair to do.

Wingback Chair Front

Chair front

Chair and Ottoman

Chair Front

Chair Back

Chair back

Skirt and Inset

Chair skirt and inset

I hope this challenges you to revive some of your old furniture that just needs a new cover!

One of THOSE days….Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

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!

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Yesterday was one busy day, but then again, they always seem to be. The TSA phone (Trenholm Sew-All) rang 8 times in one hour and I had 2 customers drop off pants to hem. It was nice to have some easy work. I was in the middle of a contract job for “radio bags” for a surveyor’s blue-tooth enabled peice of equipment. I had made ten for him before, and his business is picking up, so this time I am to make 30. So, for a break, I hemmed up the pants and called the very surprised and happy customers. It’s not often anymore that I can get the jobs done the same day they are dropped off.

I will be working on our business website in the next few weeks and I hope to add a section that will show some of the things I’ve done: From a boat cover, a stuffed frog hot water bottle case, slipcovers for furniture, and even repairs to a bunny suit….LOL

Lowell was getting more office work done, and then he went to a brace fitting for his left leg. He’s had this “new” brace for over 2 years, but we just couldn’t get our act together to work with the supplier, Okaped, to get the fit just right. He’d tried wearing it a few months ago, but the padding wasn’t right and it set his leg off. Then he fell and work (with the old brace on), cracked a chip off his foot and was off work for 3 weeks. His leg/foot was so swollen that there was no point bothering to try and fit the brace. Lowell wore it last night, and I only had to reset one strap when he came home. Short pieces of velcro just don’t hold, so I replaced it with an industrial snap. It is so much lighter and he loves it. The tricky part is just getting all the padding where it needs to be so as not to set his leg off. With all the work the Naturopath, Dr. Wagstaff, has been doing on Lowell, his leg rarely sets off for no particular reason. It is usually only when he’s anoyed it somehow. This has been a huge change over 2 years ago when it hurt him 24/7.

Abigail and Melissa schooled in the sewing room so I could watch them. Sarah usually schools Melissa, but she was inputting data in our accounting software. It’s going to be hard when Sarah goes to college as she is my backup computer “geek”. I usually do it all, but now Lowell is getting into the bookwork, so it really helps. He’s finding that some of the work he’s done at Kelowna Flightcraft all these years is proving to be a definite asset in organizing the business files. What a great blessing!

I was thankful to start day off with my personal Bible reading and prayer time. It certainly makes a big difference in the day. I was reading in the New Testament, John chapters 2-3. Probably some of my favorite chapters. The Lord really impressed on me the following:

John 2:13-16 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

I had to stop and think: Have I filled my heart and mind with the things of this world? Have I turned God’s temple into “an house of merchandise?” I know I have to function in this world, but is my focus “the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) or too often, does my focus become that which profits so little in God’s Kingdom? That was hard to think about, but I know how important that even that thought be before me.

Okay, back to my day:

I put in an order to put in to one of my suppliers. I only order from them a couple times a year so it can take me a couple hours to get it all setup and faxed. I gotta try to be more efficient on that.

Suzanne from Okanagan Slipcovers (new contract work) dropped more fabric for me to cut and serge. I should get that done tonight as long as my Pfaff serger behaves. It has given me such fits lately that I just wanted to pitch it out the window! I simply cannot trust it anymore. Oh well, looks like I’ll be getting a used industrial Juki serger in a few weeks. That will speed production time up about 5 times: from 1500 stitches per minute to 7000. Pretty nifty! I’m also looking at selling the Pfaff home server privately and buying a Juki home machine. Having reliable equipment is so important. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just reliable. Fancy only has more things that can break.

So I did get 7 of the radio bags done. He wanted 10 this week, but I ran out of fabric and won’t have any till next week, but Jason will be happy to get the 7 for now.

I also fixed that “bunny suit” for a full grown lady. I look forward to adding that to our business site. There’s a cute story behind it.Sarah is just finishing her grade 11 and is working on some grade 12 subjects too. She’s hoping to be done her high school this year, then work with me for the next year to save funds for Bible college next year. Little Carolyn goes between rooms seeing who will play with her for a few minutes, or make a puzzle, read a story, work on her “schooling” sheets. She’s working on her numbers and spelling her name. She loves “schooling” like her big sisters.All the girls’ piano is going very well. It’s amazing how the older girls each have their own style. Abigail isn’t at that point yet, but she really enjoys playing, especially for the family during family devotion time. She has a few hymns she can play, then the big girls improvise by ear whatever song is requested. Very fun! Carolyn’s favorite is “Away in a Manger.”

Sarah plays the autoharp as well. She had one given to her by a very sweet lady, Laura Olfert, who willed it to Sarah the week before she died, last year. Sarah was especially fond of Mrs. Olfert, so she gave it to her as an instrument she could easily carry around as a missionary in India. She was a very special lady and we miss her. I need to get a brass plate made with a dedication text on it. We still visit her husband, who is 96 and in a nursing home.

The twins are working on classical guitar. I’ve tried to work with the flute, but it sure isn’t easy! I would pick the hardest wind instrument to learn!

Okay, so that’s the main news for yesterday, and a little catch up too. Hopefully I’ll get today’s typed in today. LOL.

 

 

Adam & Eve’s Disobedience

From a Series on “Sin” from the book: as taught by Pastor Madle, March 16th, 2006
(This is a “fill in the blanks”. Underlined words are the answers.)

I.     The Man Who Condemened The Human Race –  Romans 5:12

A. The making of Adam  –  Genesis 1:26-2:7
1. Who made Adam?  God
2. Of what was Adam made?  The dust of the ground and the breath of God

B. The meaning for Adam.  red –  ruddy

C. The model for Adam
1. Adam was designed differently than animals.
2. Adam was made in the image of God.

D. The mandate for Adam.
1. Adam’s duties
to reign and rule over the animals
be fruitful, multiply & fill the earth
subdue the earth
to dress (work) the garden
to care for the garden

2. What was Adam forbidden to do? To take of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good & evil

3. Why put such a tree in Eden? God wanted someone who would choose to serve Him.

4. What was Adam’s punishement to be if he disobeyed? “Thou shalt surely die.” – spiritually & physically. Genesis 2:17

5. Why did God place a penalty on mankind for disobedience? God is righteous & cannot look upon sin. He must punish it. He sets the rules.

II.     The Sin That Condemned The Human Race –  Genesis 3:1-7

A. The preparation for their sin.
1. Doubt –  Genesis 3:1
Satan questions God’s Word – vs.1
Satan contradicts God’s Word – vs.4, John 8:44
Satan rationalizes (uses twisted reasoning)
2. Distraction –  Genesis 3:1,5
3. Discontent –  Genesis 3:6
what Eve couldn’t have, do, be

B. The Act of Their Sin  –  1John 2:15-16, Jude 1:21
1. Unbelief – root of their sin – they stopped trusting God – Hebrews 13:5
2. Disobedience – Genesis 3:6

III. Result s of Adam & Eve’s Sin – Genesis 3:8-24

1. Adam & Eve – Genesis 3:7-8
– Tried to hide themselves from the prescence of God. Close fellowship was broken. Sin stood between them.
– Driven out of Eden

2. Eve – Genesis 3:16
– Sorrow in childbearing
– Husband would rule over her

3. The Serpent – Genesis 3:14
– Cursed above all animals
– Would now slither on the ground. Implication was he used to have legs

4. The Woman and the Serpent – Genesis 3:15
– Enmity between man & satan

5. The Ground – Genesis 3:17-19
– Ground is cursed

6. Adam – Genesis 3:19
– Will have to work very hard just to eat
– Will die (return to the ground)

7. Mankind – Romans 5:12
– All are made sinners, resulting in death

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I thought I should add some daily news now and again, so here’s how this Lord’s day unfurled.

As per the norm, church was the first major event of the day. It is wonderful to see how excited the children get as their Sunday School time draws near. I’m so pleased there is also a class for the teens and of course the adults.

Pastor Madle is working on a series from a book on sin, and this morning dealt with Adam and Eve’s disobedience. I will update this later with the outline.

I’m not sure what main service was on (since I was in the nursery), but I’ll get the CD. Oh yes, our eldest, Sarah, was the “soundwoman” this morning as Lowell stayed home recuperating from another painful night with his paralyzed leg. Apparently, Sarah is doing great.

When we got home, Lowell had managed to get stuff in the crock pot, but a little late, so it wouldn’t be ready till supper. That’s okay, as there was plenty of leftovers to be cleaned up.

Lowell spent the afternoon working on organizing our corporate financial files for Trenholm Enterprises Inc. in anticipation of the corp. taxes…ugh….Oh well, I’m just thrilled he’s taken a serious interest in the paperwork as I’m swamped with running Trenholm Sew-All.

I did a quick trip to Fabricland to find some matching fabric for some skirts I needed. I made one this afternoon (a tan and choco brown mix), one this evening, and 4 more to go. They are just simple elastic waistband skirts, but they have a nice border on the bottom to dress them up. I’ll try to take some pics and pop them in the post. It will be nice to have some “buffet” skirts as my friend Debbie calls them. Hee hee.

This evening the sermon was on “How to Start a Church in a Wicked City.” Pastor mainly used the books of Acts and I Corinthians. Definitely a good call to Christian service sermon.

When we got home, Lowell finished up some more book work, and I sewed up the second skirt, this one two shades of blue.

We watched a quick TV show, then off to bed. Nighty night!

“Fear Not”

People, especially women (me included), tend to be fretful; as irritating as that can be to ourselves and others, it is part of our sinful nature. I am one of the first to say how easy it is to forget that God is in control of EVERYTHING, especially when things are not going the way I planned. (Hindsight is 20/20…)

Like Thomas after Christ’s ressurection, it is easy to have a “show me” faith, however; the Lord does not want us to be so.

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. John 20:25

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:27-28

Our Lord is not the author of confusion or giver of fear:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

The “Christmas Story” is another perfect example of this.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18

I can’t imagine what was going on in Mary’s mind at this point. At first, I thought that she might have know she was pregnant before the angel told her, but then in the parallel passage in Luke 1, there is no indication she knew before.

Isn’t that just like our Lord?

Consider the anguish of heart and mind that He spared her had she been far enough along to realize she was pregnant and had not been told the source. It was all in God’s perfect plan and timing.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: Ec 3:11a

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 2Th 2:6

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:4-5

Recently, we found out that I am in peri-menopause, so my hormones and emotions are completely wacky. Fine one moment, crying the next, mad the next, irrational, etc. It has been difficult to say the least, especially for my family. When my emotions settle down, then comes the shame. It isn’t just the shame of what I said, or how I behaved, but knowing it didn’t have to be that way.

The world says this is normal; I just need to “get through this”, but I can’t find that in Scripture. For those who know the Scriptures, this would be one of those situations where we wish we didn’t know it so well (fleshly speaking) as the Lord doesn’t let us get away with as much.

However, unlike the world, God’s children are not alone in our daily battles. We have the precious Holy Spirit dwelling withing us who promised to guide us into all truth and never leave us alone. We have no excuse…..

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20

Even in those highly irrational moments, I could feel the Spirit of God trying to work, but I CHOSE not to let Him. I hadn’t wanted to admit it, but I made the choice to ignore that still small voice. (1Kings 19:12) That is what brought me the greatest shame. As much as I know my Bible, I convinced and deceived myself into thinking that God was not in control and could not be of me in that state. I made the choice and refused to yield. I need allow the Lord to bring His Word to rememberance, for yes, Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible.

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

Yes, the Lord gives peace to His children:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:11

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalms 119:165

“Offend” does not mean to insult, but rather “to cause to stumble”. IE, if I love God’s law, nothing shall cause me to stumble.

Do I have a real physical problem that is providing a ripe state for irrational behavior?  – Yes.

Is God, through the Holy Spirit, able to give me the power to conquer those battles by making the right choice? YES! An emphatic “YES!”

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1Corinthians 10:13

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Heb 2:18

We are taking steps to rectify this hormonal imbalance, but it will certainly be easier for all concerned if I choose to “love God’s law” the next time my emotions get wacky. Like Mary and many others throughout the Scriptures, I need to hear the angel say:

“Fear not…” Luke 1:30

and yield the the Lord’s control:

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38

Proverbs 14 – Daily Devotions

As you read the comments the Lord laid on my heart, I encourage you to see what questions the Lord has for you. There is much more that could be written.

1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Am I wise or foolish? Am I building my house or plucking it down?

2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

Do I fear the Lord? Is it evident?

3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

Is my mouth foolish and full of pride, or do my lips preserve me?

4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Sometimes messes get made, even during clean-up, but especially in the day to day runnin of the house. That’s just the way it is. Our house is not a storage silo that sees no activity. Things get messed. The is much increase by the strength of the family’s labours.

5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

Am I a faithful of false witness?

6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

Am I having a hard time finding wisdom?

7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

Who do I hang around with? Is there knowledge in my mouth and the people I fellowship with? (See my lesson on Amnon had a Friend…)

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

Am I prudent or deceitful?

9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

Do I mock sin or do I have favour?

10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

What bitterness am I hiding to others? Do I mind my own business?

11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

Have I tried to setup a house (permanent building) on earth, or have I forgotten that this is just my tabernacle (temporary dwelling place, usually a tent)?

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

How do I view my own ways: through my own eyes or the Lord’s? where is my path (way) leading?

13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

What sorrow am I hiding?

14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

Am I full of my own ways or the Lord’s? Am I satisfied with my ways?

15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Am I prudent? Do I look well to my going?

16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

Do I depart from evil? Do I rage and proud of it? How do I respond to others? To my husband? Our children?

17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Do I get angry quickly? Am I hated for wickedness?

18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

What is my inheritance? What is my crown?

19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

Am I being bowed to (show of respect) or am I doing the bowing?

20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

Where do my riches come from? How did I get them? What are they? Spiritual? Carnal?

21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Do I despise my neighbour? In what way am I merciful to the poor in spirit and the materially poor? Am I happy?

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

It’s not a matter “if” I’ve been a murderer. The question is, “How often have I been guilty of being a murderer?”

22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

Am I in error? I have often fallen on my knees in prayer for those who have attacked me, but how often have I caught myself devising evil? Perhaps to get “revenge” on those who have wronged me. Will I get mercy and truth?

23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

Too often, I am lazy and just don’t want to work, or I’d rather gab. This too is sin…

24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

What kind of crown do I have? How is it decorated if at all?

25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

When is the last time I was a true witness for my Lord? Too often, I close my mouth when it should be speaking forth His Word, or I speak of things that have no profit.

26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

How confident am I? Do I really fear the Lord? Then why don’t I witness like I ought! What kind of place am I preparing for our children?

27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

What kind of fountain do I have?

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:3

How many people have I justify in “the snares of death” because I have not witnessed to them.

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. Ezekiel 33:6

28 In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

When a soul is brought to the King, it brings Him honour. When His children do not witness, it brings the Lord shame. Do I bring my King honour or shame?

29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

Too often, I am not slow to wrath. To my shame, I have exalted folly.

30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Is my heart sound? Do I focus on what is right or are my bones filled with the rottenness of envy.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Do I have mercy on the poor or do I look down on them? How do I behave when the derelic comes to church? Do I turn away in repulsion at the dirt, smell of acohol?…..

32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

Yes! I have hope:

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5

For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven…Colossians 1:5

…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:27

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:8

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7

And so many more verses!

33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

What rests in my heart? What am I know for?

34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

The only way for a nation to be righteous is for people to be saved. The only way for them to be saved is for God’s children to witness.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

35 The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.

Am I wise or do I shame my Saviour?

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

A Christmas Letter

Hope this makes you think as much as it did me. It is written as if it were from the Lord, and I don’t normally deal with stuff like this, but as far as I can see, each point can easily be backed by Scripture. We are not called to social action, we are called as “Ambassadors for Christ.” A few areas have been re-touched for clarity and Scriptural accuracy.

Dear Children,

If you want to celebrate My birth, just get along and love one another.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were.
(If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8)

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a ‘Merry Christmas’ that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no ‘Christmas’ tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know someone like that, ask your Pastor. He probably knows someone whom you could not only share some earthly goods with, but also God’s gift of salvation. After all, he can’t take care of everyone.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember . . .

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

P.S. – Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; John 8:31

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35

Author Unknown

Proverbs 13 – Daily Devotions

December 17th 2007

1 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Do I hear the Father’s instructions or am I a scorner?

2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

What fruit does my mouth produce?

How do I eat? Do I eat violence?

3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

Do I keep my mouth? My life?

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

Or do I open wide my lips unto my own destruction?

4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

Is my soul starving or fat?

5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

Do I hate lying, or am I full of shame?

6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

Does righteousness keep me, or have I been overthrown?

7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

Am I poor or rich?

8 The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

How rich am I?

9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

Is my light rejoicing or put out?

10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Do I have contention or wisdom?

11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

How do I get riches?

12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Is my heart sick for heaven? Do I long for it so badly that I’m heart sick?

13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

Do I fear God’s Word or despise it?

14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

What kind of fountain do I have? Life? Death? Law = Word of God.

15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Do I have favour or is my way hard?

16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

Do I deal with knowledge or is m folly open to all?

17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

What kind of messenger am I? What tidings do I bring? What focus do I have? Do I bring health or disease to my hearers?

18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Do I regard or refuse rebuke? Do I have poverty? Shame? Honour?

19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Is my soul sweet or rotten?

20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

What are my companions like?

21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

Who or what runs after me?

22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

What kind of inheritance am I leaving my children or grandchildren? (See my lesson on Heirlooms of a Christian Home)

23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

I wasn’t 100% sure about the first half of the verse, so I looked up Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

23a How a small estate may be improved by industry, so that a man, by making the best of every thing, may live comfortably upon it: Much food is in the tillage of the poor, the poor farmers, that have but a little, but take pains with that little and husband it well. Many make it an excuse for their idleness that they have but a little to work on, a very little to be doing with; but the less compass the field is of the more let the skill and labour of the owner be employed about it, and it will turn to a very good account. Let him dig, and he needs not beg.

What are my farming practices for life?

23b How a great estate may be ruined by indiscretion: There is that has a great deal, but it is destroyed and brought to nothing for want of judgment, that is, prudence in the management of it. Men over-build themselves or over-buy themselves, keep greater company, or a better table, or more servants, than they can afford, suffer what they have to go to decay and do not make the most of it; by taking up money themselves, or being bound for others, their estates are sunk, their families reduced, and all for want of judgment.

What have I destroyed for lack (want) of jugement?

24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Do I love or hate my children? Am I slack in discipline or do I apply it as often as needed (betimes)?

25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.

Is my soul satisfied or spiritually starved?

Wake Up and Smell God’s Flowers!

Part I of Wake up and Smell God’s Flowers! – 3 Part Series
From my daily devotions for April 5th, 2007

Part 1 – Open Thou Mine Eyes…

Part 2 – Presumptions

Part 3 – Clearing Our Vision

Life can get so busy sometimes that we don’t take time to “stop and smell the flowers.â€? As energetic, excited, and busy our children get, they always seem to have the time. How often have we walked with our child/children and they “haveâ€? to stop to pick up some “treasureâ€? of God’s creation they have spotted while we were too wrapped up in our all too important thoughts to see what was around us.

Or have you ever taken a nature walk with your children? You think you are just leisurely walking along, taking in the beauty that God has for you. Then you hear the excited voice of your child, “Mommy, Mommy! Look what I found!â€? as they proceed to show you this “wonderful treasureâ€? that was in plain sight but you missed!

We do the same with our Heavenly Father. He wants to show us so much, but we are too wrapped up with this world, or even serving Him, that we are missing the display of His power working in our lives and the lives of others. I’m not talking about signs and wonders. God is always working around us, but too often sin and unbelief prevent us from seeing it.

I love the story of Elisha and his servant, in 2 Kings 6:14-17

14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

What an incredible display of God’s power and protection, and it was there all the time, but the servant couldn’t see it! Obviously Elisha was seeing with a heart of faith rather than a heart of disbelief.

Part II of Wake up and Smell God’s Flowers!

Part 2 – Presumptions

Part 1 – Open Thou Mine Eyes…

Part 3 – Clearing Our Vision

In 1 Samuel 4, the children of Israel were presumptuous in believing God would be with them simply because of who they were (children of Israel) and the presence of the are of the covenant (which is a symbol of God’s presence and power.) They thought they could use it as a “good luck charm,â€? even though the nation as a whole was in gross sin, idolatry and immorality. God will not be used. The battle ended as a tragic loss for Israel.

1 Samuel 4:6-10

6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp. And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp.
7 And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.
8 Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.
9 Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.
10 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

Are we guilty of that? Do we assumed just because of our status as children of God that He will bless us despite our disobedience to clear commands and holding on to our pet sin?

Did you also notice the intent of the Philistines? They realized that if the Israelites could no longer “seeâ€? the presence of the Lord, they would lose courage.

The Lord said it well in Luke 16:8 

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

Not too long ago, the Lord brought home to Him a dear Christian lady and precious friend. This was a close to middle aged lady who loved the Lord and her whole family had been serving Him faithfully for several years. At that time,  I was fighting sin in my life and God used her physical death as a means to get my attention. I got to thinking, lets say this lady was being rebellious (and I am NOT saying that she was!!!!) and God cut her life short because of her rebellion, then who am I that God should not snuff out my physical life now…  

 We need to take heed! Satan only has a few tricks, but he uses them well.

First, he will try to stop the lost from getting saved.

Having failed that, he will try to stop God’s children from being effective for the Lord. Satan knows if he can prevent us from seeing the power of the Lord in others lives and seeing and having it in our lives, we will lose courage and not have strength for the battle. It’s hard to be effective in our service to the Saviour if we can’t see Him working in our lives.

 Part 3 – Clearing Our Vision

Part III of a 3 Part Series – Wake Up and Smell God’s Flowers!

Part 1 – Open Thou Mine Eyes…

Part 2 – Presumptions

Here are some general points that I hope will help each one of us to keep our focus right and seeing what we should.

Keep your sin confessed– daily – more if you need to!

Psalms 66:18  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

Keep on your Spiritual knees“Pray without ceasing.â€?1 Thessalonians 5:17

Keep studying and meditating on the Word of God – Simply reading it is not sufficient! We are commanded  to study, memorized, hide in our heart, meditate upon the Word of God. Our Pastor uses the illustration of a cow chewing their cud all day long. This seems apt as we should not only ingest the Word of God, but continue to allow it to work on us and in us throughout the day. 

Joshua 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

2 Timothy 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

This is a side note, but did you know that kings of Israel were supposed to write out their own copy of the Books of Moses and to read therein daily? (Deut. 17:18-19)

Have a good read in Deut. chapter 11 for some wonderful instruction on dealing with God’s Word.

Keep a journal of what you gleaned. -  I suggest that you make a journal of what you gleaned in your Bible reading that day. That is how many of my devotionals and lessons started. Even if you don’t make something more out of it, reading it again now and then will be a great blessing and help and it may open your eyes to more wondrous things in the Scriptures.

Keep avoiding the evil and seeking the good:

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

1 Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1 Peter 3:11  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Proverbs 4:14-15  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Psalms 34:10  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want (lack) any good thing.

Psalms 34:14  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Amos 5:14  Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

Keep dying daily and putting on the “armour of God:

1 Corinthians 15:31  … I die daily.

Ephesians 6:11-17
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Let us not only “seek wisdom and pursue itâ€? but rather seek and keep our eyes and hearts fixed on the only one who can win our battles! Not so He will fight our battles, but because He owns us and we owe Him everything!

Psalms 119:18  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Psalm 57:7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Psalm 108:1 O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

Psalm 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

1 Corinthians 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.