The Need to Read

I love books and I love reading. My Granny use to say, “A good book is like a friend.” My Mum says I am a lot like her and it is lovely to know I share the passion for books with my Grandmother. A good book is very good company indeed.

The Bible is more than good company, God speaks to us through it. His Holy Spirit enlightens us to His scriptures. It guides us through life to be the person God created us to be and it helps us to truly know Him and His will for our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is the only self-help book you will ever need. His word completes us, it equips us, it teaches us and corrects us. Every word of the Bible is meant to be there, that is why it says that all scripture is God breathed. Every single word has a purpose.

God’s word is powerful!

The Bible reveals the condition of our hearts. It reveals our need for a Savior. When Jesus walked the earth and taught the people he said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31)

Reading this book sets us free! Once we realize the condition of our hearts and ask the Lord Jesus to be our Savior, we are set free from sin and death.

My parents used to sing a Christian children’s song to me and my sisters, which included the words “the best book to read is the Bible.” And it is a fact. The best book, that will change your life, is the Bible.

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Seriously!

One of my seven little darlings is the serious type. He matter of factly states the truth and because he is only four, he is just adorable. Recently, one of his older brothers got baptized and while we were talking about that event coming up, the four year old says, “You know mom, he is going to need a towel and a change of clothes.” I hadn’t even thought that far at the time, but leave it to him to state the orderly facts. 

There are things in life that are very serious. You know, in an instant we could be standing before God giving an account for our life here on earth. That is so serious our eternity is at stake. For those who have not said yes to Jesus, it is very scary. Some people think its so scary they refuse to talk about it and try to push it out of their minds. 

“But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5).

Two serious facts stand before us, we are either going to die or Christ is going to return for us. 

“The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers”  (1 Peter 4:7).

Some things we need to take seriously.

If you haven’t made the choice to give Him your life, where you are at right now, thank Him for dying for you and tell Him you want to live for Him. In a moment, we will be standing face to face with God. If you have the hope of salvation it’ll be seriously glorious.

He Is Faithful

My husband and I look forward to our annual state fair trek coming up this week. We relish our time together. It’s always a fun filled day. We delight in seeing the beautiful New England foliage and chatting about everything under the sun along the way. God is so good to us!

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

At the fair we feast on all the junk food we can manage to eat. We walk through the barns of sheep, work horses, chickens, rabbits and hogs. We visit each exhibit of quilts or baked goods we pass by. We get a kick out of listening to a fella sing that can sound just like Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash. and any number of other country singers from the past.

The fair is a celebration for us. We reminisce about past visits from when our children were still children and those times with loved ones who have since gone on to heaven. The fair is like a marker that aids our memories. It also helps us to be grateful for all the blessings that we have today.

In the Old Testament the people of God participated in different annual celebrations and festivals. During these events there were times set aside for feasting, music, laughter and dancing. These celebrations were commanded by God. They were to remind everyone who participated just how truly amazing God is. These events were meant for rejoicing.

Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shoot of joy. Psalm 33:2-3

Because life can get very tough at times it can be easy to forget to celebrate God’s goodness. We need reminders that God’s love is always lavished on us no matter what we might be facing. These special fun filled times remind us of Gods unending love over past years. They give us hope for the coming year and help us to see the many blessings that are ours today.

For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4

A Cradled Love

She is at it again. Sacrificing, pouring everything she has out, giving people her all. I continue to watch her in wonder, twenty seven years and counting, as she tackles and addresses the known needs around her.

People are relieved because of her. Weights are lifted. Even when she has but little to give, she will faithfully extend herself for the gain of someone else.

She is a burden bearer.

She is my mother.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

This is genuine. This is love.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Difficult for our human nature, essential when one’s heart is turned towards Christ.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)

I am thankful for this model, of a heart reclaimed by Jesus. The plethora of ways she assists people, I know full well, is a cherished gift to many.

I aspire to be like my Mama. No longer am I nestled in her arms of love, but instead in her faithful adoration to Jesus. This is cradled in my heart.

Dear Heavy-Hearted: God’s Love is Enough

Dear Heavy-Hearted,

I know you’re feeling all sorts of emotions right now. You feel unloved. You feel alone. You feel worthless.

Please don’t listen to your feelings, friend. Feelings are the most convincing kind of liars. Feelings are not rooted in truth. They are rooted in hearts. Hearts that are desperately wicked and plagued by sin. Hearts that strive to rule us.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it_

Heavy-Hearted, don’t you know how deeply and powerfully loved you are? Loved by a Savior. A king.

People in this life will always let you down. They have sickly, fickle hearts too. Hearts in need of the transforming power that only comes from a blood stained savior who bled His own heart out so that our hearts might beat in the rhythm of mercy and grace.

Oh dear Heavy-Hearted, please don’t believe your importance and worth is dependent on how many people make you feel loved. You have something much greater than fickle emotions that change as quickly as the wind’s direction. You are a child of God, bought with the blood of Jesus. You were given life and purpose. Called by the creator of the world to shine His light of love on this broken and sad place we inhabit.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of self, dear one. We are all guilty. But it’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. God’s love is enough. Everything else is just bonus. This world owes us nothing, but we owe Jesus everything.

Loving like Jesus means dying. Picking up crosses. It’s not suppose to feel warm and fuzzy all the time. Sometimes, it’s suppose to hurt. It’s God refining and changing us. Maybe these feelings you are having aren’t meant to make you feel lonely, but rather to look up and realize you’re never alone.

Remember to Whom you belong to. Press in firmly to the roots of your salvation. Take comfort in knowing that there is nothing you can do to separate yourself from the deep and wide love that comes from our heavenly Father. Trust the one who is the Truth and change your perspective. Look outward and upward, not inward. Don’t let your feelings control you. You have work to do, people to love and seeds to water. I can’t wait to see all that God does through you!

Sincerely,

Your sister and friend

mother

It’s okay to be Shy

We have all been made intricately and uniquely. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” He created us for a purpose and each one of us has our unique gifts that he has blessed us with.

I have learnt that the Lord has called me to build friendships individually, getting to know people one at a time. I am shy, I use to have a big problem with it. I used to think that shy = boring. I used to be so insulted when someone would say, “you’re so quiet!”

I really wanted to be an extrovert, I wanted to be the loudest most popular and entertaining person in the room. People love those people! I wanted to be just like them. But, after my first year at University, where I was meeting new people all the time, I realized that I cannot keep up the pretense that I am confident in a crowd and getting to know people all at once.

I reacted physically to the stress of constantly meeting people and talking to them, I came out in big dry patches on my skin that looked to me like some sort of disease and when checked over, it was identified as stress. Since then, I’ve realized that it’s best I do not try to stretch my limitations.

God has taught me something beautiful about resting in the person He created me to be and that for me it is being shy. When resting in this knowledge, I strangely have more confidence, I’m not self-conscious about being quiet and worrying what people think of me.

I know that my strength is in individual conversations, building up friendships individually. It takes me a while to make friends, but it’s amazing how a smile and a listening ear goes a long way.

In our service to the Lord, we are all unique, we all have different gifts that work towards the same purpose, to give glory to God. I love extroverts, they keep me calm when I am around them because they talk and do not mind being the center of attention. Those who share the gospel to crowds of people are amazing to me.

I want to encourage those who are shy that sharing God’s love does not have to be to a crowd, individually is necessary too and needed. If we were all the same, we would be so limited to who we can reach, but together we can shine our beautiful lights for the Lord and share His word throughout the world.

Happy 17 Years, Hun. Love, Carter.

Ever since I can remember, my hunny has occasionally called me “Carter.” He is a silly, fun guy. He is a man who I look up to, who takes care of me and our seven children well, is selfless and hardworking, and who I love being with. Thinking about how God made him who he is, makes me tear up.

Each year on our anniversary, I think about God’s redemption. My hunny and I know about redemption and brokenness, because we come from a long line of it. We don’t claim to have it altogether, that is for sure. There is no such thing as a long line full of the straight and narrow anyway. Sinners abide in loving, God-centered homes too. We all have brokenness, it’s just a part of life on earth.

As Believers, we know what Christ did for us though. We have acknowledged His sacrifice and have given our lives over to the One Who gave the ultimate sacrifice. We have the Holy Spirit in us and we are on this walk of sanctification. At times it is so difficult, dealing with my own heart issues especially, but I love being on this walk with my hunny.

Here, Jesus goes in and shines a light in the brokenness. He places love where love belongs and breaks up the darkness. He redeems the long lines of junk, the sad things, and replaces them with joy and peace and a lightness that makes life, LIFE.

We know this. Where we come from, satan has tried to keep the darkness covering over the people. But, all it takes is a little flicker and the whole room is lit.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

He has called us out of the darkness and into His marvelous light.

Lord, let our flickers be abundantly filled with Your grace, Your love, and Your hope. Help us to care to be obedient to You, with a holy fear that shows a serious commitment to follow You. Help us to flicker brightly, so that Your marvelous light is shone in the lives of those who haven’t seen what it is like to walk in Your light. Thank You for Your redemption in our lives, for redeeming our brokenness and replacing it with love, where love belongs.

Happy 17 Years, Christopher. Love, Carter.