Did your 2012 go like this……?
…or more like this??
Mine was a blur…but each day started with God’s new mercies, and ended with His great faithfulness.
That’s what reallly matters.
To me remains nor place, nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
After settling back into our non-routine routine life, I finally
found made some time to compile a little photo log of our journey over the past several weeks; or, one might call it, “really great excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging.” I think my husband’s seven-year old Kodak 612Z camera still does a pretty good job capturing and highlighting our days.
After Easter, we moved out of our cute little spot in Ottawa.
Then we stayed on the “other” side of the Ottawa River a while with friends:
and moved our “schtuff” into their basement…
Then, it was time to say “See you later” (not goodbye), to some friends…
As we headed out of town, some colourful tulips peaking through the snow caught our eye.
Then we drove south, and south, and east a bit…to enjoy an extended stay in Virginia Beach for my mom’s 80th birthday celebration, shared with our daughters and grandkids! These are just a few pics of all that were taken from our blessed time together:
After spending time with our blessings, it was time to meet the road again.
As Bilbo sang in The Hobbit,
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
So we return, for a bit, to our hollow in the hills, giving praise to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and seeking Him for whatever lies ahead.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
“tis equal joy to go or stay.
Jeanne Marie Guyon, 1722
What have you been up to lately?
Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel’s mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner’s eye should turn,
Sooner that where the stars of Bethlehem burn?
John Keble, Good Friday
As much as I LOVE Christmas, this season of Jesus’ death and resurrection brings me even greater tidings of comfort and joy! Jesus birth was a glorious and beautiful foretaste of what He actually Finished at Calvary and the surprising dawn of His Resurrection. And though there’s nothing quite like the all-cozy-inside feeling I have when I hear Christmas carols, the hymns and praise of Easter ring out assurances of Hope, Love, and eternal Life!
I serve a Risen Saviour! Christ the Lord is risen today!! Hallelujah!! Hallelujah!! Because He lives I can face tomorrow! He’s Alive! He’s Alive! Arise, My Soul, Arise!!
I shared the last song, by Charles Wesley, under a different post, melody and musicians. Today’s rendition is compliments of Sovereign Grace Music (where you can purchase their newest CD for only $5)! The tune is new, soulful, and brilliant! But the classic words and message remind us that we are ever inscribed on Christ’s hands and forever accepted in the Beloved!
by Charles Wesley
Love’s as warm as tears, Love is tears….
What special song or poem speaks to you about Christ’s love, Easter, and His Resurrection?
“Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house.” ~ Spurgeon
Jesus asked him the third time,
“Do you love me?”
“Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you!” (John 17:21)
Where are our affections? On the things the Lord provides?
Do we love the table?
Or the Host?
Do we love the cupboard…
…or the Master of the house?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life….
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” from John 6:26-35
Here’s a little Post Script to What’s Your ___ for 2012?
The Psalmist reminds us that no matter what our goals, longings, or desires are, there is something Better!
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63:1-3
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10
Happy Birthday to our wonderful youngest daughter, Grace Victoria!
Bono’s song, Grace, touches my heart on so many precious and personal levels.
First it speaks of “a girl”, not just a girl, but our lovely daughter, Grace Victoria, who turns 30 today!!
It defines her, as she “finds goodness and beauty in everything” even as Oncological Nurse, who sees pain and disappointment on a daily basis.
It addresses the very reason we gave her that name–because, God knew we were in desperate need of His Grace to ‘change our world.’
And ultimately, His Grace is what, or rather, WHO, “takes the blame…covers the shame, removes the stain.” That Grace is Jesus. Jesus is Grace, unmerited favour, an undeserved gift, full of unconditional love, Who “makes beauty out of ugly things.”
Thank you, Jesus, for Your Grace, God’s Grace, and our Grace Victoria!
Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name
Grace, it’s a name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
Grace, she’s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She’s got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma, karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear the strings
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt, what once was friction
What left a mark no longer stains
Because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace finds goodness in everything.
If you care to listen to this lovely song, just click away on the Music Box. The MP3 may be purchased Here.
A little change of pace for this week. Taking time to focus on our Lord, through creation, communion and the Cross.
John said that these butterflies literally posed for the camera! What glorious detail!
So often we are overwhelmed by the big and grand ways the Lord displays His grace towards us. But sometimes, the tiniest of flowers, a seed, or an insect, may speak of God’s wonder in a different way. May we learn that His love, compassion, and grace towards us is also found in the details.
God is for us.
And God’s Word is here to remind us too:
Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I call: This I know, that God is for me. Psalm 56:9
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:31, 32
For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Hebrews 9:24
Cast all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7
Spurgeon summarizes these verses and others, much better that I could:
It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, God is for me. He was for us before the worlds were made; He was for us, or He would not have given His well-beloved Son; He was for us when He smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of His wrath on Him; He was for us when we were rebels against Him; He was for us in many struggles…how could we have remained unharmed to this hour if He had not been for us?
Because He is for us, the voice of prayer will always ensure His help. “When I cry to Thee, then shall my enemies turn back.” This is no uncertain hope, but a well-grounded assurance – “this I know!”
If God be for us, who can be against us?!
“Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in a time of need (Heb. 4:16), knowing this, that God is for Us!
“To everything there is a season and a purpose to everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
“While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22
I find comfort in the seasons the Lord has established for us. At least for now. I suppose, being in the autumn of my life, I’m not going to relish the onset of winter. But as with every day, every season requires trust. Is God as faithful in the autumn as He was in the summer? And will He be faithful when the winter comes? I know it. But as seasons change, that’s when I really learn it.
Spurgeon assures us that God’s grace is present in every season:
Sickness may befall, but the Lord will give grace; poverty may happen to us, but grace will surely be afforded; death must come, but grace will light a candle in the darkest hour. How blessed it is as years roll around, and the leaves begin again to fall, to enjoy such an unfading promise as this, “The Lord will give grace.”
He gives grace abundantly, seasonably, constantly, readily, sovereignly.
Grace in all its forms He freely renders to His people: comforting, preserving, sanctifying, directing, instructing, assisting grace. He generously pours into their souls without ceasing, and He always will do so, whatever may occur…
I can’t stop the seasons, anymore than I can keep the leaves from changing colours, the frost chilling the night, or the grass fading. But I can trust in the Lord who is ever faithful. His grace is unfading!
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” I Corinthians 1:9
I just placed a new song in the Blue Music Box which speaks to me of God’s faithfulness through the seasons. In the song, “Show Me”, young songwriter and singer, Audrey Assad , recounts of the Lord, in His mercy, guiding her through the seasons. Here’s one portion I particularly like:
 Audrey Assad, The House You’re Building. Released, Jul 13, 2010. ℗ 2010 Sparrow Records.
To appropriately conclude this little series on the God of this City, we turn our focus to the Eternal City that God has promised to us. The magnitude of verses, songs, hymns, and spiritual songs that focus on heaven is almost innumerable. The following hymns from Spurgeon’s hymnal express all that I could ever long to say about heaven:
We’ve no abiding city here;
This may distress the worldling’s mind
But should not cost the saint a tear,
Who hopes a better rest to find.
We’ve no abiding city here;
Sad truth, were this to be our home;
But let this thought our spirits cheer,
We seek a city yet to come.
We’ve no abiding city here;
Then let us live as pilgrims do:
Let not the world our rest appear,
But let us haste from all below.
We’ve no abiding city here;
We seek a city out of sight:
Zion its name–the Lord is there:
It shines with everlasting light.
O sweet abode of peace and love,
Where pilgrims freed from toil are blest!
Had I the pinions of the dove,
I’d fly to thee, and be at rest.
But hush, my soul, nor dare repine!
The time my God appoints is best:
While here, to do His will be mine,
And His to fix my time of rest.
Thomas Kelly, 1804
I’ve shared the hymn below before, here, but it bears repeating! May we never lose our awe of God’s grace and the wonder of being invited to His bountiful, heavenly table:
How sweet and awesome is this place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!
While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?
“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”
’Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.
Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.
We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart, and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace!!
Issac Watts, 1709
If you’re still with me (I don’t make a habit of writing such lengthy posts), our Hope of a City to come is woven throughout the Word! Here’s just a taste:
“But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant… ” Hebrews 12; 22-24
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down of heaven from God, having the glory of God….” vs. 10,11
“And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it!” vs 23, 24
“And their shall no longer be any curse (!); and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bondservants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face…” Rev. 22:3, 4
“Therefore comfort one another with these words!” I Thess. 4:18
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe!” Hebrews 12:28