Dinah ~ Triumph through Tragedy

pink-rose

Dinah’s story is very sad. To be honest, when I came to her, at first I wondered what I was going to write about. What can I say about Dinah? Should I skip her and move on to someone else? But then I thought, No, her story is here for a reason. Let’s find out what God wants us to learn. Continue reading

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Standing on the Promises

couple-mountain-overlook

by R. Kelso Carter

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Thro’ eternal ages let his praises ring,
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God

CHORUS:
Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior,
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

❧      ❧      ❧

Russell Kelso Carter was born in 1849 to godly Christian parents and received Christ as Savior at the age of fifteen. However, as is the case with so many young people, Carter lived for the Lord in his own strength, desiring to enjoy the benefits of salvation without completely selling out for Christ. As a result, spiritually he was up and down quite a lot during these years. He had been athletic in his youth, but in the summer of his thirtieth year, he developed a heart condition that the doctors could not cure. He became weaker and weaker despite medical treatment and even the therapy of life as a rancher. Finally he became so weak that he thought death might be imminent.

Carter had heard of the prayer of faith that heals the sick, but he felt guilty asking God to heal him when he did not intend to serve Him whole-heartedly. His condition worsened still. Finally, Carter surrendered to the Lord, kneeling in his mother’s room in Baltimore. He says, “A quietness came over me and I found the Bible wonderfully open and marvelously satisfying, as it had never been before.” He asked a Boston preacher to anoint him with oil according to the teaching of the Bible, and in three days, he returned “walking by faith, and not by feeling,” resumed his college work that fall.

Carter lived 49 more years after that, and the Lord used him in many and varied ways: as a Methodist minister, professor, textbook publisher, and also as a practicing physician. He wrote several hymns in addition to “Standing on the Promises,” and he assisted in compiling a hymnal in 1891 entitled Hymns for the Christian Life for the Christian Missionary Alliance.

The phrase “fear not” appears in the Bible 365 times, enough for every day of the year! We can—and should—stand on the promises of God every single day of our lives. When we stand on our own strength, as Mr. Carter did in his early years, we will inevitably fall. But when we stand on the strength of the Lord, we cannot fall because they cannot fail.

1 Kings 8:56  Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise….

1 Corinthians 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Sources:

Morgan, Robert J. Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2003. pp. 214-215.

Osbeck, Kenneth W. Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids, 1990. p. 85.

Photo taken on Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2014.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rounded

Cats (2)

Browsing through my photo collection, I saw quite a few rounded things, but this cat took first place today, not because it’s my favorite photo, but simply because it’s nearly Halloween and his chair happened to be decorated for the occasion. Below is the same cat curled up on a lovely bench and enjoying an afternoon nap in the sun. Even the bench features a fair amount of rounded shapes.

Cats (1)

Changing gears just a bit, I’d like to continue with the rounded theme, but show it with food rather than cats. Several years ago I made a cake for my daughter which featured a character from her favorite anime, Fruits Basket. I painted the girl onto the fondant-covered cake using food coloring. The birds, flowers, and leaves were made from fondant with a mold. I enjoyed the challenge, but not the cost, and have never again made such an expensive cake. But this one was fun.

Mary's birthday cake

Last year’s mincemeat pie, made at Thanksgiving, afforded me an opportunity to get creative with the top crust.

Food, Mincemeat pie 02

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The cat in the photos above is resting, with not a care in the world. Our God gives us that kind of peace too—when we ask for it, that is. Troubles will come, that is certain. But we can choose to worry, or we can choose to rest in the Lord.

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.

I cannot look at these photos without thinking about Psalm 4:8.

Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for You, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.

What is your sleep like? Are you able to drift right off, entrusting your cares to the God who loves you and cares for you? That’s what Peter meant, you know, when he said to cast your cares on the Lord.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.

God is not sitting in heaven, cold and distant, heartless and unconcerned with the affairs of men. Oh no! He cares about each and every one of us. He created us! Jesus Christ gave His life for us so that He could redeem us from sin and destruction. Of course He cares. And He alone has the strength and grace sufficient to sustain us in our cares. He bears our burdens with us, making them bearable.

Knowing I am not alone in my burdens makes it easy for me to sleep each night. How about you?

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Leah ~ Learning to Be Content

seagull-at-rest

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 

Last week we got a good look at the love and beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ through the life of Leah, but I wanted to spend one more week here with Leah because I also saw in her life an excellent opportunity to talk about contentment. Oh, what a hot topic that is! And especially as we get ready to enter the Christmas shopping season, when so many people are thinking about what they want for Christmas, although they would be hard pressed to remember what they received last year.

Leah loved much, and her heart always cried out to receive love to the degree that she gave it. She yearned for the affection of her husband, but she would never be his first love, and that was that. Jacob loved her, and that was the best he could do. He loved Rachel more. Even after she gave him several children, Jacob’s heart was still firmly knit with Rachel, and it always would be. Was Leah destined to be unfulfilled all her days? Or was there hope for her to find contentment? Continue reading

Is Anything Impossible

new-life-from-death

Is anything
Impossible with God?
Ask David with stone and sling,
Or Moses fetching water with his rod
From out of rock,
The widow pouring oil
All afternoon from empty crock,
The Jews whose Sabbath manna did not spoil.
There’s nothing, it is true,
Our Father cannot do.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Continue reading

The Solid Rock

standing-on-the-solid-rockby Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

CHORUS:
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest in His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support in the ‘whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

❧      ❧      ❧

Deuteronomy 32:4  He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

I memorized this verse when I was in grade school, my children memorized it in home school, and I hope you will memorize it as well. You will certainly see it often enough, if you keep reading my posts, for I use it almost as often as I talk about rocks. For some reason this verse never left me after I first learned it in school. Perhaps it’s because the truth is stated so dogmatically, so assuredly, so emphatically that I cannot help but embrace it, especially when so much of life seems so uncertain.

Yes, dear reader, friends and family members will let you down, money will fail you, health will not last, nor can religion save you. Only faith in Christ has any merit, for as the songwriter said, all other ground is sinking sand. But when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, you have every assurance that He will keep you safe and secure.

Many of us have trusted Jesus for salvation, but the day-to-day life is another matter altogether. When the storms of life send the waves crashing around you, what do you need to make you feel secure? Consider the next three verses….

Psalm 27:1  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 18:2  The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Hebrews 6:19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast….

In the midst of my storm, Jesus Christ is the light shining out into the darkness, He is the lighthouse from which I see the light, He is the rock on which the lighthouse stands, and He is the anchor that holds onto the rock. In other words, Jesus Christ is all I need.

Are you standing on the solid rock of Jesus Christ?

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Credits:

Information from hymnary.org and TimelessTruths.org

Photo taken at Stone Mountain, North Carolina, 2008.