The Value of Broken Things

Blogger Gems (2)

He allows my heart to be broken so that love and compassion can flow freely into the lives of those around me.

via The Value of Broken Things — Dark Side of the Moon

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

It’s hard to believe December is already here! You are reading this on December 2nd, but I’m writing it on December 1st. Already this morning I have initialed and dated school assignments for my daughter and was mildly alarmed at the fact that I was writing 12/1/17 on the page. Where has the year gone? Before we know it, this month will end and a new year will begin.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle that is typical of the Christmas season, I am thankful for the theme for this week’s photo challenge. It’s good to pause, breathe, and remember the serene moments of life before returning to the busy schedule on the calendar.

What is more serene than a quiet afternoon on the porch swing with Grandpa and Puppy Love?

swinging with grandpa

“Princess” Alysa with Grandpa and Puppy Love

Continue reading

Bernice ~ Beautiful Bones

 

whitened-sepulchers

A Little History

Acts 25:13  And after some days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to greet Festus.

Bernice was the sister of King Agrippa (Herod Agrippa II), who was the son of Herod Agrippa I, and the great grandson of Herod the Great. Bernice had been married to Herod, king of Chalcis, her paternal uncle. After his death, she told Polemon, king of Pontus and Cilicia, that she would marry him if he would be circumcised. He complied, and she married him, but she did not stay with him long. When she left him, she moved in with her brother and lived incestuously with him, according to both Josephus and Juvenal. She later became mistress to Titus Vespasian, who grew deeply in love with her and wished to make her his empress, but the Roman citizens dissented, so the marriage was not pursued.  Continue reading

Holy, Holy, Holy

 

1833 SR 92

lyrics by Reginald Heber (1826)
music by John B. Dykes (pub. 1861)

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

❧      ❧      ❧

All this month, in honor of Thanksgiving, we will be featuring songs and hymns that give praise to God. This first one, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” is a great place to start. All this month, in honor of Thanksgiving, we will be featuring songs and hymns that give praise to God. This first one, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” is a great place to start.

Reginald Heber studied poetry at Oxford University and became good friends with Sir Walter Scott. After graduation, he returned to his birthplace, the English village of Hodnet, and assumed the role of vicar in succession to his father. His dream was to publish a collection of high-quality hymns corresponding to the church calendar to be sung in liturgical churches, but the Bishop of London rejected the idea. Undaunted, Reginald Heber wrote fifty-seven hymns during his time as vicar at Hodnet and used them in the worship of his own small congregation. In 1822, he was appointed to oversee the Church of England’s ministries in India. The hymns were set aside, and Heber devoted the remainder of his life to missionary work. After his death in 1826, Heber’s wife found the manuscripts to the hymns and had them published.

The inspiration for this particular hymn came from Revelation 4:8-11, which says,

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”

God alone is worthy of our praise and worship. The angels in heaven worship God, but not just the angels. All those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will worship Him in heaven one day, but let’s not wait until then. Let’s give Him glory today!

Sources:

hymnary.org

timelesstruths.org

Morgan, Robert J. Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2003. pp. 98-99.

Photo taken near Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2014.

 

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.

 

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

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?

℘      ℘      ℘

Credits:

Information from hymnary.org and TimelessTruths.org

Photo taken at Stone Mountain, North Carolina, 2008.

 

Leah’s Love/Hate Relationship

 

Love-Hate Relationship

Leah and Rachel were two women who shared both a father and a husband, but they did not share their husband’s love. And yet even this tragic love triangle is going to show us something beautiful about the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look.

Genesis 29:16-18  And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender-eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well-favored. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, “I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.”

Commentators do not agree on the interpretation of “tender-eyed,” but one thing we know for sure: Leah’s physical appearance was unimpressive, especially compared to her stunning sister Rachel, so it’s no small wonder that Jacob was attracted to the younger sister.

Love vs. Hate

There is evidence in Scripture which suggests Leah had fallen in love with Jacob. After all, he had already lived with the family for seven years. She had been around him, had seen him at work and at play. Perhaps she had prepared meals for him and had delivered them out to the field. To him it was merely an act of sisterly kindness, but to her it was an act of love.  Continue reading