Monday, April 27, 2009

Verse of the Week

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
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.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek." Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
~Psalm 27

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sweet Passage...

Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
~Psalm 113

Monday, April 20, 2009

Verse of the Week

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

~Romans 9:14-24

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Encouraging Read

I am a creative type of person. I am always interested in learning new uses for old things and different ways to decorate anything.
God made me to see a rusty can as a flower vase and an old crochet tablecloth as a curtain.
Sometimes it can look a bit odd, but effort does count for something, right?

Before reading The Hidden Art of Homemaking. by Edith Schaeffer, I greatly doubted the real importance of my artistic side.
Some people just can't see the beauty in pressed rose petals glued with pressed Queen Anne's Lace, I can't imagine why. You see, most of the time fresh flowers and wrapping paper are not viewed to be very significant. I could go on with other examples but I think you understand the general idea.

Last year my Mom purchased this book for our library and I loved reading it.
Mrs. Schaeffer has a very unique writing style; each chapter has something encouraging to say to the reader. Music, drama, gardening, books, and flower arranging are a few of the areas to which she dedicates chapters. They are written to the people gifted in the specific area, and she gives very insightful and inspiring words to each one.

Because these seemingly frivolous things really are important in creating a peaceful and homey atmosphere. And although I don't think one should spend exuberant amounts of time on it, I do think that one should make an effort in picking a posy for the dinner table or lighting a candle in the guestroom.

Please don't think that simply because you are not inclined to this sort of thing that this does not apply to you. Here is a quote from Mrs. Schaeffer's book:

“I would define ‘hidden art’ as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life.
Each person has, I believe, some talent which is unfulfilled in some area of hidden area of his being –
a talent which could be expressed and developed.”
So you see, you don't have to be an expert to do well in this.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hymn of the Month~April

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, see Him dying on the tree.
'Tis the Christ by man rejected; yes, my soul, 'tis He, 'tis He.
'Tis the long expected Prophet, David's Son, yet David's Lord;
By His Son, God now has spoken; 'tis the true and faithful Word.

Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning, was there ever grief like His?
Friends thro' fear His cause disowning, foes insulting His distress;
Many hands were raised to wound Him, none would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him was the stroke that Justice gave.

Ye who think of sin but lightly nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed, see who bears the awful load;
'Tis the Word, the Lord's Anointed, Son of Man and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation, here the refuge of the lost;
Christ's the Rock of our salvation, His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded, sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded who on Him their hope have built!

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted was written by Thomas Kelly, an author of over 760 hymns. Thomas Kelly was born on July 13, 1769 in Ireland and died on May 14, 1855. Planning to be a lawyer, he attended Trinity College and got his BA in 1789. After his conversion to Christ, he changed plans and became in Anglican priest in 1792.
This hymn was written based on Isaiah 53:4 which says, "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted."

In Christ,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

For Young Women Seeking to Be Wise

Today I was greatly encouraged to read the blog post of my dear friend Jasmine. It was concerning the "Proverbs 15 Woman" and I would highly encourage you to read this excellent post!
Here is a small exert that caught my attention:

"I don't think you can be an effective "Proverbs 31" woman if you are not, first, a wise woman, one who strives to increase their understanding of the statues of the Lord."
This is very true and I hope that those who read the post will study Proverbs 15 and take to heart all that is said.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A true philosopher

"I may add that,
since divine truth and scripture clearly teach us that God,
the creator of all things,
is Wisdom,
a true philosopher will be a lover of God."
~St. Augustine, City Of God

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Verse of the...

Well, I've gotten very behind in the "Verse of the Day" posts. It has gotten hard to post something everyday, even scripture. And so I've decided to post a verse of the week instead.

I had been using the Psalms of the Day approach to my posts. Last May my family and I attended a conference hosted by our church with Donald Whitney as our guest speaker. He introduced an old/new approach to prayer. He said the common problem with prayer is that, "We say the same old things about the same old things." But the solution is quite simple: when you pray, pray through a passage of Scripture, especially a Psalm.

"Simply go through the passage, line-by-line, praying what you find in the text or what it brings to mind. If nothing comes to mind, or if you don't understand the verse, go to the next."
"One approach to choosing a Psalm to pray through is the 'Psalms of the Day' approach. This divides 150 Psalms into 5 Psalms for each of 30 days in a month. Take the day of the month as your first Psalm. Then keep adding 30 to that number until you get 5 Psalms. So on the 15th of the month, your first Psalm is Psalm 15. To Psalm 15, add 30 to get to the next one, Psalm 45. Those would be followed by Psalm 75, 105, and 135."

I found this very helpful in prayer life; it truly puts the focus on God. The Psalms are devoted to God and His glory; they were inspired by God for the purpose of being reflected in song back to God. I hope you will try this method.

In Christ,
Through a series of events, a new friend of ours has very been gracious in loaning me his cello.

For over a year I have been interested in learning to play the cello; I think it was when I heard Bach's cello concerto in G major and when I saw the movie Master and Commander.
I was excited to receive it and I am starting my first lesson on Thursday with a sweet, retired orchestra director!

I know it will take time to play anything worth listening, but I feel very blessed to have such generous and warm friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Caro!!!

Happy Birthday to my youngest sister Caro! I know this is kind of a late post but I just wanted to say how much you mean to me. I watched you being born 13 years ago. How time flies and things change. You have blossomed from a pampered princess to a wonderful and sweet young lady. It has been a privelege watching your transformation. I hope you realize how blessed you are to be under the guidance and protection of God-fearing parents. Though I have teased you, I love you very dearly. Thank you for being you. Love, your sister- Nicole
PS- I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to say a quick encouragement for Caro.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Battle of the Food

So for anyone who knows my family, you know Sophia is the pickiest child in the world. I (unfortunately) have never really addressed this issue until recently. I realized how hindering and sometimes rude it is for her to always want her way when it comes to what goes in her tummy. I finally put my foot down this past Monday. I made her some cheese and chicken quesadillas for dinner. However, the chicken was gross (her words) and she didn't feel like eating it. So I laid down my new rule. If she didn't eat it then, she would have the meal served to her every other meal until she ate it. Not a hard concept. However, the last time I tried this, I caved before she did. Bad idea. So Tuesday, she chose to eat nothing all day. Well, this morning she wakes me up early and is begging for a banana. The conversation goes as follows:

Sophie: "Mommy I am really hungry. Please can I have a banana? "

Mommy: "No Sophie. You need to eat the food Mommy makes for you. I would be a bad mommy if I didn't."

S: "No, mommy. You will still be a good mommy if you just throw it away!"

And to complete the image, add a pouty lip, crocodile tears, and lots of whining. And finally, after many tears, begging, and spankings, she caved!!!!! I won! She ate the food without complaining.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Be Thou My Vision

Everyone in my family loves to sing and I especially love to sing around the house. Mica and I enjoy learning the harmony to different songs or trying to imitate a certain singer (Think "Maria" from The Sound of Music or Ella Fitgerald, yes I did use the word imitate)
Last year I had taken to singing mostly songs from musicals and the like.
Then I began to consider: if this is something I do for the majority of my day, then ought I to sing more glorifying songs instead of say "Singin in the Rain"?
Not to say that all musical songs are wrong to sing, but if I invest so much time in something then it really ought to be for a greater purpose than simply "filling my time".
All this to say that I have found great satisfaction in learning and singing hymns and some contempory worship songs. I really like the music put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries; and recently I have become attached to In the Valley.
This hymn has served as a sweet reminder to me and a prayer put to music:
Be Thou My Vision
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Verse of the Day-21

men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
~Psalm 4
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
~Proverbs 4

Friday, April 3, 2009

Verse of the Day-20

Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people!
~Psalm 3
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
~Proverbs 3

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,but it will not come near you.

You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place the Most High, who is my refuge, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
Last night we read this during family devotions and I found it to be very encouraging and insightful in two specific ways.
First, that we can have great peace and ease knowing that Our Father is protecting and always watching over us. We can have no need for fear or anxiety in light of this passage and ones like it.
The Psalms are full of chapters and verses telling of God's protection over our lives.
Secondly, on closer inspection I saw that there is a reason for His protection:

"You will not fear the terror of the night...
the arrow that flies by day...
the pestilence that stalks in darkness...
the destruction that wastes at noonday..."
So, like it says in James 1, "...when you meet trials of various kinds..." Not if but when.

Verse of the Day-19

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
~Psalm 2
...making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
~Proverbs 2

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Verse of the Day-18

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
~Psalm 1
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
~Proverbs 1


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