Monday, December 22, 2014

Thankful List

I was going to post photos of the things we bought at the book store and thrift store, and I will if anyone's interested . . . but I read this verse recently and have been musing over how much I enjoy "things," getting more excited over them than perhaps the Word of God or glorying in Him.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” - Luke 12:15

And though I can be thankful for earthly gifts, they shouldn't be my focus, or they at least should be directed in praise toward God.  Also, are the underlying reasons for posting pics of things really to help others be thankful, or to boast in my own "good fortune"?  And might that not make others covetous, or eager to go out and get their own bargains, when they should be focused on the blessings they already have?

So, I think instead of posting pics (at least for now), I'll post a list of blessings, and hopefully it will inspire your own list, not lust. Though we may not have all the same gifts, we all have things for which to be thankful.

1. Salvation in Jesus Christ!
2. An inheritance incorruptible, reserved in heaven for us.
3. Peace which passes all understanding.  Really.
4. A giving and forgiving family.
5. Sweet and godly friends, who gift us unexpectedly, but most of all who laugh with and love us.
6. Music - from Christian hymns, songs, and spiritual songs, to Classical melodies that give joy.
7. Food, and the ability to taste.
8. Good books - above all, the Word of God, without which we would be quite clueless!
9. Good preachers and sermons which encourage and instruct.
10. Sight, and the beauty still left in the world, of which we are not worthy.
11. Scent, which also helps in taste.
12. Warmth in a cold climate (heaters, tea, etc).
13. A/C for the hot months.
14. Animals, which add sweet companionship and beauty to life.
15. Plants & trees to shade and beautify.
16. Memory and the ability to think.
17. A roof over my head.
18. Land and water.
19. Air to breathe (mostly fresh air)! :)
20. Correction and forgiveness from the Lord, day by day.
21. Work and occasional money for it.
22. Light / the sun.
23. Joy and laughter.
24. Times of darkness and illness to help draw us to the Lord and empathize with others.
25. Clocks to keep us on time and remind us life is fleeting.

I could go on. What would you add?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Scriptures of Encouragement

Here's my list of verses (NKJV) I've collected so far to help me out when I fear or am tempted to sin.  The Bible is full of encouragement not to fear--I just did a search for "fear not" and other things on biblegateway. And we can all use encouragement!  Yes, some of it was specifically for Israel, but I believe can also be applied to Christians. Do you have any verses to add? ~

You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you. -Deuteronomy 3:22

Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.  And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” - Deuteronomy 31:7-8

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  - Joshua 1:9

Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed. -1 Chronicles 22:13

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. -2 Chronicles 32:7

Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. -1 Sam. 12:20

God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect. -2 Sam. 22:33

It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. -Psalm 18:32

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1 . . . and the whole chapter!

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! -Psalm 34:8

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah -Psalm 46:1-3 . . . and the whole chapter!

Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me? -Psalm 56:3-4 . . . and the whole chapter!

I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me? -Psalm 118:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. -Proverbs 3:7

He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. -Proverbs 4:4

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;

Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,

And health to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all diligence,

For out of it spring the issues of life.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth,

And put perverse lips far from you.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,

And your eyelids look right before you.
Ponder the path of your feet,

And let all your ways be established.
Do not turn to the right or the left;

Remove your foot from evil. -Proverbs 4:20-27

The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. -Proverbs 19:23

Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off. -Proverbs 23:17-18

For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’
Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy,
Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. -Isaiah 8:11-12

Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” -Isaiah 35:4

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
-Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’” -Isaiah 44:8

“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool;
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation.” -Isaiah 51:7-8

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth. -Isaiah 54:4-5

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit. -Jeremiah 17:7-8

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  - Jeremiah 29:11

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. -Daniel 10:12

Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the Lord has done marvelous things! -Joel 2:21

In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.” -Zephaniah 3:16-17

Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts.  ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ -Haggai 2:4-5

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. -Matthew 10:28

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. -Matthew 10:30-31

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” -Mark 10:27

“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. . . ." - Luke 12:32

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." -John 14:27

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” -Romans 8:14-15

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

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  -Hebrews 4:14-16

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?” -Hebrews 13:5-6

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. -1 Cor. 10:13

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.  -2 Cor. 11:2

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  -2 Cor. 12:9

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  -1 John 4:4

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. -1 John 4:18

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. -Revelation 2:10

Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.” -Revelation 15:4

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quotes from The Treasury of David - Psalm 56

Psalm 56. Verse 1.--"He fighting daily."  There is no morning on which we can arise and go forth into the world, and say, "No enemy will come out against me to-day."  There is no night in which we can retire from that world, and think to find safety in the solitude of our own chambers, and say, "No evil can enter here." -- Barton Bouchier, in Manna in the Heart," 1855.

Verse 3.--"What time I am afraid," etc.  A divine spark may live in a smoke of doubts without a speedy rising into a flame.  When grace is at the bottom of doubting, there will be reliance on Christ and lively petitions to him.  Peter's faith staggers when he began to sink, but he casts a look and sends forth a cry to the Saviour, acknowledging his sufficiency;  Matt. xiv. 30, "Lord, save me."  Sometimes those doubtings strengthen our trust and make us take hold faster on God.  Ps. lvi. 3, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."  This was a fear of himself or others, rather than a jealousy of God.  Had he had unworthy suspicions of him, he would not have trusted him; he would not have run for remedy to the object of his fear.  The waverings where faith is, are like the tossings of a ship fast at anchor (still there is a relying upon God), not like a boat carried by the waves of those doubtings, it is not an evil heart of unbelief.  Such doubtings consist with the indwelling of the Spirit, who is in the heart, to perform the office of a Comforter against such fears and to expel those thick fumes of nature. --Stephen Charnock.

Verse 4.--"I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."  Fear not man, he is but flesh.  Thou needest not, thou oughtest not to fear. . . . Flesh can only wound flesh; he may kill thee, but not hurt thee.  Why shouldest thou fear to be stripped of that which thou hast resigned already to Christ?  It is the first lesson thou learnest, if a Christian, to deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow thy master; so that the enemy comes too late; thou hast no life to lose, because thou hast given it already to Christ; nor can man take away that without God's leave; all thou hast is insured; and though God hath not promised thee immunity from suffering tin this kind, yet he hath undertaken to bear the loss, yea, to pay thee a hundredfold, and thou shalt not stay for it till another world. . . . God feels himself reproached when his children fear a sorry man; therefore we are bid sanctify the Lord, not to fear their fear. --William Gurnall.

Verse 4.--(last clause).--Fear of man--grim idol, bloody mouthed; many souls has he devoured and trampled down into hell!  His eyes are full of hatred to Christ's disciples.  Scoffs and jeers lurk in his eye.  The laugh of the scorner growls in his throat.  Cast down this idol.  This keeps some of you from secret prayer, from worshipping God in your family, from going to lay your case before ministers, from openly confessing Christ.  You that have felt God's love and Spirit, dash this idol to pieces.  "Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die?"  "Fear not, thou worm Jacob."  "What have I to do any more with idols?" --Robert Murray M'Cheyne, 1813-1843.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homestead Blessings - Books, Music, and More!

We are blessed to know the West family, a creative, homesteading family.  Please check out their new blog and their website. It's full of photos of the country life, book reviews, and more.  I really enjoy their products.  Their DVDs are inspiring and fun, their books and cards are charming, and their music uplifting!  I especially like "Green Beans in the Garden" and "Rainfalls," from the first CD, and "Farmer's Daughter" and "Be Thou My Vision" from the second CD.  The DVDs cover many practical and unique things, such as sewing, cooking, and candle-making. They are on sale right now--excellent value!

I'm not just saying these things because they're my friends, but because they truly have worthwhile products.  They are just as sweet and hard-working as in their DVDs, and I recommend that you buy their products. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Giveaway for Hand-Painted Item!

Looking for a unique gift or decoration?  Here's your chance to win one!  I'll be choosing one random winner from all the entrants combined from here and from my other social media.  Click HERE for more details.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Biblical Portraits of Creation - Book Review, Part 1

I have been reading Biblical Portraits of Creation by Walter Kaiser, Jr., and am enjoying it.  Each chapter is a mini message about a certain Bible passage, with notes that include word meanings, related passages, and study questions.  The beauty of creation is laid out, as well as reasons for believing the earth was created in six literal days, not on top of an evolving past.  I look forward to finishing the book, as I am only about half-way through. This month has been a busy one for me!  I appreciate that each chapter is quite short, and has smaller sections dividing them.

Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for giving me a copy to review!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Starting at the Finish Line - Book Review

This may be a good book for the Mormon or anyone who trusts in his own "good works," or those who wish to understand and witness to Mormons.

With Bible verses, illustrative stories, and his own experiences in Mormonism, Mr. Wallace shows that salvation is ALL of grace, of Jesus, not Jesus plus anything else.  The only things I found confusing at times were his thoughts about the Old Testament laws vs. NT grace (p. 121 in particular), but I think he does believe as I do about people be saved the same way in Old Testament days and new--by faith, as he mentioned the example of Abraham.  I think there was also a bit of Arminian doctrine, as in God loves/died for everyone, and some confusion on whether you can lose your salvation or not. But I liked that the author loves the Mormon people, and it's overall a pretty good book that hopefully will reach a lot of Mormons.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gospel Assurance and Warnings by Paul Washer - Book Review

There are many important warnings and tests in this book, on target, and with hope for the struggling.  Nevertheless, it was not an easy read for me.  My sins were called out in detail, and I could hardly determine whether I have the love and faith of God in me.  Yet in the end I was encouraged, though convicted, and more concerned for the lost.  This is a book everyone should read.  Was it perfect? Probably not, as humans never are, but much of it was directly from God's Word, and thus to be carefully, seriously considered. The part about striving for God (or the violent taking it by force) was, in my mind, a somewhat questionable interpretation, but in general I think true.  There are various cases in which God has worked on a person suddenly (like the apostle Paul), and the author admitted that, but this part seemed to deny the sudden, unsought conversion (probably unintentionally). Overall it was very good.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Treasury of David Quotes

Psalm 45 

Verse 13.--"The king's daughter is all glorious within," etc. When the children of God recollect their glorious and heavenly pedigree, they endeavour to excel others, both in the beautiful disposition of soul, and manner of life.  "The king's daughter," that is, the daughter of the heavenly Father, who is also the bride of the king's Son; every believing soul "is all glorious," adorned with a holiness not only glorious to herself, but also to the Father and the Bridegroom, and is the beginning of a heavenly glory; and that chiefly "within," not only when she appears abroad, and presents herself to the view of men, but also when she sits in the inner bed-chamber in the secret exercises of religion, in which she in private pleases the Father and the Bridegroom, who having a regard to the inward man, she above all endeavours to keep that pure and chaste.  - Hermann Witsius. 1636-1708.

Verse 15.--"They shall be brought." Reader! do not fail to observe the manner of expression, the church is brought, she doth not come of herself.  No, she must be convinced, converted, made willing.  No one can come to Christ, except the Father, who hath sent Christ, draw Him.  John vi. 44.--Robert Hawker, D.D.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Prophet on the Run - Book Review

This is an excellent book about the prophet, Jonah.  The author's unique insight into the Hebrew text makes this extra special.  He brings out things I had hardly considered before in the account of Jonah, and speaks to the heart of the reader.  We are all like Jonah from time to time, and yet there is God's amazing grace.  Mr. Maoz doesn't skip over the wrath and judgment of God, either, but tells of that in light of God's grace.  I quite highly recommend this book. It is scholarly, yet an easy read. 4.5 stars

I received this free from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest review.