Tag Archive | psalms

Kodak Moments

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:

with dear friend, Elaine!

and moved our “schtuff” into their basement…

Guess I got a little too comfortable in their basement!

Then, it was time to say “See you later” (not goodbye), to some friends…

With Mitch at the Coffee House (JRCM)

Dave speaking at Jericho Road Coffee House

Kim’s surprise party was a success!! ♪ Happy 50th Birthday dear Friend ♪ !!

Last day–Brunch with Mack, Ray, Gloria, JL, and Charlene (taking the pic)

As we headed out of town, some colourful tulips peaking through the snow caught our eye.

At Dow’s Lake, these early blooms held up well to the late snow

Delicate, but tough

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:

With my beautiful mom. Willa

With my mom, Hope (& her baby-to-be), and Gracey!

Joy, my mom, Grace with Eva, and moi

All smiles with Gracey and Joy (and her baby-to-be)

Sisters with child(ren)

Say Cheese!! Grace, Joy, Steve, and Eva!

Cousins get reacquainted

Protected and Protector

On stage at the Kid’s Place

Eva is a star too!!

Busch Gardens with Hope, Jon and Andrew

Joy and Eva are not persuaded that the ponies are entirely safe at the Petting Zoo 🙂

John Deere meets John and Jon!

Wrapping up a morning at the Petting Zoo

Time for piggies in the sand!

The whole world’s a Beach for Poppop and Jonathan

Eva’s beach time with Pop-Pop

A few minutes of relaxin’ for lovely Nurse Grace

All done….

After spending time with our blessings, it was time to meet the road again.

highway to the hills

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.

Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. Psalm 119:5

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?

Even better…

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

 

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What’s your _____ for 2012?

“The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.”  Eccl.1:8

What’s your _____??

I’m wondering what you think will make you happier in 2012 than in 2011?

You say, I will be happy if _____.

I’ll be content if I can accomplish _____.

If I can have ____, then life is GOOD!

~~

We all have something we think will make us happy, fully satisfied and will fill that BLANK if our lives.  “If I just had a bit more money in the bank….”  “If only my spouse would go to church, show me more consideration, or love me more….” “If I could just have that gorgeous person in my life….” “Once I have the latest iPhone/Pod/Pad then….”  “If only I could be healed from….”

But, even IF we could have all those things and more, there’s something else to long for just around the corner.  More money, more fun, a sexier man/woman, newer car, greater security… Where does it end?

Jesus told a woman in a dusty little village that if she drank water from their earthly well, she would thirst again.  That’s our human predicament.  We thirst again, lust again, covet again, and WANT again.  Otherwise, why would children want more toys after a bountiful Christmas?  Or, if you can handle it, my husband says it this way:

“Why publish monthly issues of Penthouse? Shouldn’t one suffice?”

What/who can ever satisfy our parched thirst for more, and more, and more??

Christ alone.

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again…

…but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life!

If the Lord isn’t our BLANK, our One Thing, we will keep coming up empty, thirsty, and dissatisfied.

…your one thing will control your heart, and whatever controls your heart will exercise inescapable influence over your words, choices, and actions.  Your one thing will become that which shapes and directs your responses to the situations and relationships of your daily life.  If the Lord isn’t your one thing, the thing that is your one thing will be your lord!”  Paul Tripp, A Shelter in a Time of Storm, page 38.

I fall prey to the illusive concept of satisfaction, even as life’s decades pile high.  I need to be reminded that my blanks will never be filled in adequately apart from Christ–I will thirst again, want new toys, *need* new things.

May we be more like David, when he prayed in Psalm 27:

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

Be THOU my Vision, Oh Lord. 

Jesus alone satisfies and He will never disappoint!

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.   Romans 5:5

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O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 80:14

~~~

[Check out my post, Enough, for more encouragement on this subject.]

A Psalm for this New Year

 In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 

Psalm 139:1

Psalm 139 is where I head for New Years, birthdays, and any day I need a reminder that someone Greater than I is ordering my life!

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Psalm 139 

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 

 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 

 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 

 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 

 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 

 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 

 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.a Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!

They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain!b

Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?

I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

~~~

Scales of Suffering?

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
Psalm 30:1

Do you think God won’t help you find your keys because it’s not a big enough concern?  There are more important things to Him, such as feeding the poor, defeating the Taliban, hovering over cancer wards, or preparing the world for Jesus’ return, right?  So why would He bother to help find those keys?

Or maybe, when a migraine, cold, fever, or a yucky flu bug brings you down,  do you silently doubt that God will answer your prayer for healing, because, after all, “it’s not cancer”?

If so, welcome to my world!

I constantly gauge my needs, pain, or “suffering” by other’s.  In fact, I even had a hard time writing the word “suffering” because I don’t really think I know what it is—in comparison to rest of the world.  If you’re like me, you may be encouraged by reading this article, No More Minimizing Pain, by Ed Welch of Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF):

“There is no suffering gauge in Scripture, as if being burned at the stake scores a 100, Stage IV cancer is an 85, a broken friendship is a 50 and uncomfortable shoes are a 5.  If there were such a system, a person whose suffering topped out at 80 would have to defer to the one who measures 81.   The one with the less severe suffering would have to suffer in silence. He or she would have no right to seek the comfort of others or God.  To do so would be hogging time that could be better used by more qualified sufferers.  
Dr. Ed Welch, CCEF

I wish I had written this!  But I couldn’t, because I live in the comparison world of meters, gauges, and deference.  I question if my suffering is even on the charts!! Maybe a .003 on the scale of world-wide problems.  Those lost keys, forget about them.  And no hope for my headache as long as a thousands of parents are visiting their children in Pediatric Cancer wards.  But, Dr. Welch goes on to say,

“The danger in establishing a pecking order within suffering is that you feel authorized to call out to the Lord when things are really bad, but you remain isolated and silent if your pain is below the national average.”

So the biggest fault, or sin, of minimizing pain and suffering is that it keeps us from calling on the Lord. And, for me, this attitude creates a dangerously false god, who doesn’t want me to bother Him unless it’s really Bad…somewhere between 75-100.

What a dreadful trap to fall into, even though it appears rather noble.  It reveals my lack of understanding of God’s love and unbounded mercy.

“..when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”
2 Corinthians 10:12

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The entire article may be found HERE.   Thank you, Dr. Welch!

Timely Word for the Journey

My favourite Christian author, preacher, writer, and teacher is Charles H. Spurgeon.  Anyone who’s read my blog for even a week has probably figured that one out!  The devotional I’ve worn out for the past 7 years is Morning by Morning.  Each page offers insight, encouragement, and Scriptures that always point to Jesus.  His daily meditations have never ceased to offer timely words for my journey.

Sometimes I share little blurbs, other time composites of Spurgeon thought, but today I must share the devotional in its entirety.  It’s That good!  May it connect with someone’s heart and need today, and lift up a weary pilgrim along the way:

“He led them forth by the right way.”  Psalm 107:9

Changing circumstances often causes the anxious believer to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” I looked for light, but darkness came; for peace, but faced trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain stands firm, I shall never be moved.  Lord, You hide Your face, and I am troubled. Only yesterday I could read my title clearly; but today my evidences are blurred, and my hopes are clouded.  Yesterday I could climb the mountain and view the landscape and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; today my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but great distress.

Is this part of God’s plan for me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven?

Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope–all these things are just parts of God’s method of making you ready for the great inheritance, which you will soon enjoy.

These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith–they are waves that wash you further upon the rock–they are winds that steer your ship more quickly toward the desired haven. What David wrote then will be true of you: “He brought them to their desired haven” (verse 30). By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace–by all these things your spiritual life is maintained, and by each of these you are helped on your way.

Do not think, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom.” Learn, then, to “count it all joy . . . when you meet trials of various kinds.”

O let my trembling soul be still,
And trust Thy wise, Thy holy will!
I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by Thee.

~~~

If you would like some daily encouragement from Spurgeon, you can buy his devotionals HERE, or read it online HERE.

This is My Father’s House

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.    Psalm 91:5, 6

I scoured the list of verses on fear today, for a very needful, personal touch.  Because, in all actuality, I write for me.  And if anyone else benefits by it, then God truly receives the glory, and the fruit is His.

My fear-battle this week:  What began in our little house as a roof repair, is quickly morphing into a “project.”  A project with lots of hidden, unforeseen costs and damages lying, literally, within the walls of our house.   Talk about “destruction that lays waste at noon!”  And the further we get into it, the more we find!  So, as I stared blankly at my Bible and my computer, the Lord spoke through my husband.   He said, ‘I’ve had this song on my heart all morning, and I think the Lord wants to remind us of something.’  The song:

This is My Father’s World

He elaborated.  This world is His, we are merely pilgrims.  Therefore, this humble house that we call home is His, not ours.  Even with all its damage and flaws.  And more importantly, we are His, with all our imperfections, weaknesses, and hidden flaws.   Everything is His. 

So, now I’m encouraged! I want to write so much about this.  About the Lord building the house.   About Nehemiah and the Lord’s faithfulness and protection as the walls of Jerusalem were restored.  About Him working in our spiritual “houses” both to will and do of His good pleasure.  And about our life, a building, a work in progress by the Lord.  But as this Fearless Friday comes to a close, I’m just going to share the words of the song that the Lord gave my husband–to encourage myself, and perhaps, you.

This is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres. 
This is my Father’s world: 
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise. 
This is my Father’s world: 
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. 
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet. 
This is my Father’s world: 
why should my heart be sad? 
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! 
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

 

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him.  I will be with him in trouble;  I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him see My salvation.    Psalm 91: 14-16

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Dear Lord, We surrender our ‘houses’ to you–our bodies, our dwellings, and, most importantly, our very lives.  Take our burdens and fears.  You can handle it.  You own the cattle.  You hold all things together.  This is your world.  It’s not perfect.  But You are.  And let us look with great hope to the day when we will dwell with You forever, in the perfect house You’ve prepared just for us.   Because of Jesus, Amen! 

~~~

A beautiful rendition of this song by 2nd Chapter of Acts, from their Hymns II CD, is uploaded in the Music Box!  Enjoy!