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Our Marriage, Our Dance

 31.7.10

Sometimes the rhythms of life are soft and easy, the moon is full and the stars shine over us with gladness; it seems that holding hands is the easiest thing to do, and we found a place to give us long kisses; but there are times when the rhythms of life are not easy to follow; the clouds seem to hide the moon's brightness and the stars seem to be too dim; we don't feel the music, we cannot even hear it, and our skins barely touch each other's.

Yet, we must learn to follow this rhythm too because it is part of our life.

When you don't feel like dancing, light a candle, find his skin, start the dance, give your man good and reach for his hand.

Marriage is learning how to dance the different rhythms of life. Take off your shoes and dare to dance no matter where you are.












Related posts:
Marriage and Wine
One + One = One

Recommended reads around the corner: 

Needy Women by Nancy Wilson (Read if you have said..."My husband doesn't meet my needs")
Marriage, Christ, and Covenant: One Flesh for the Glory of God at Desiring God
Three Rules for a Happy Marriage by J.C Ryle
The Wedded Life by Miller

Thank you, Emily, for posting the video which inspired me to write today's post.

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Thoughts On Prayer -and some Quotes-

 30.7.10

 Today I am very happy and grateful to my friend Lisa, for being willing to write in this space. She is the kind of friend who is always encouraging me to live a godly life, a life of prayer.





About ten years ago I read a sermon by 18th century theologian Jonathan Edwards, whom many people consider one of the greatest minds America has ever had, called “Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer”. Since my prayer life as a young mother of three was not consistent, I read attentively, questioning whether I was a hypocrite. Since then I have sought to become more faithful to my Lord in prayer. I have considered the words of those mature Christians whom I respect to help me focus on becoming more engaged in prayer. Over the past year I have begun to see that prayerlessness is really a lack of belief in my Lord Jesus and His Word. Do I really believe He hears me? Do I really believe the prayer of the righteous man has great power as it is working (James 5:16)? If I do, then I will pray. As Wayne Grudem says in Systematic Theology,“If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplished that much at all.”

So, I often say, “Lord, I believe… help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)


Some quotes that have helped me:

"Your Father sees... what is done in secret... He will reward you" Matthew 6

"One essential thing to grow in grace is diligence in the use of private means of grace: private prayer private reading of the Scriptures, and private meditation and self-examination. Here are the roots of true Christianity. Wrong here, a man is wrong all the way through!
There is another thing which is absolutely essential:that is, regular and habitual communion with the Lord Jesus… which can only be carried on by faith, prayer and meditation. We must seek to have personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus, and to deal with Him as a man deals with a loving friend. We must realize what it is to turn to Him first in every need, to talk to Him about every difficulty, to consult Him about every step, to spread before Him all our sorrows, to get Him to share in all our joys, to do all as in His sight, and to go through every day learning on and looking to Him. “To me to live is Christ” Phil. 1:21"                 J.C. Ryle, Holiness (pgs. 110, 113)


"Prayer is the most important action any of us can take for the cause of Christ in this world".                                                                                                                          Franklin Graham

"Prayer is not about getting God to do my bidding, but the shaping and bending of my will until it aligns with His"                                                                                                      Barbara Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Woman


"Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness" William Carey

"Are you a hypocrite? (Matt 6:5) One way to tell is to compare the amount of time you spend in private prayer to the amount you spend in public prayer. As D.A. Carson rightly observes: ‘The person who prays more in public than in private reveals he is less interested in God’s approval than human praise. Not piety, but a reputation for piety is his concern." Philip Ryken, When You Pray


"If there are no set and disciplined times of Bible reading and meditation and memorization, the spontaneity and communion with God by His Word (as stated in Psalm 1) will dry up.You must have disciplined, regular meeting with God for prayer. Early-morning prayer is decisively important (Mark 1:35). Win that victory the night before. The discipline to rise early is not as difficult as going to bed early the night before"                   John Piper,When I Don’t Desire God, How to Fight for Joy

"She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household… Proverbs 31:15 , in conjunction with John 6:27 : Do not labor for the that perishes, but for the foodthat endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man willgive to you….and John 4:34: My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work"

"Prayer is a weapon. Paul speaks of the “weapons we wield” in II Cor. 10:4-5 “They are not merely human, but divinely potent to demolish strongholds.” The source of my doubts about the potency of prayer is not from the Holy Spirit. It is from the unholy spirit, the Destroyer Himself, urging me to quit using the weapon he fears so intensely".
Elisabeth Elliot, Keep A Quiet Heart

Finally, one of the most powerful biographies I’ve read has moved me to consider who Jesus is and how He meets us in prayer. This excert is taken both from his book and John Piper’s Sermon: You Will Be Eaten by Cannibals! Lessons from the Life of John G. Paton

Courage in the Cause of Missions2000 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors

The promise had been given precisely in the context of the Great Commission: "Go and make disciples of all nations . . . and Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" Matthew 28:19-20. More than any other promise, this one brought Jesus close and real to John Paton in all his dangers. After the measles epidemic that killed thousands on the islands, and for which the missionaries were blamed, he wrote: "During the crisis, I felt generally calm, and firm of soul, standing erect and with my whole weight on the promise, 'Lo! I am with you always.' Precious promise! How often I adore Jesus for it, and rejoice in it! Blessed be his name" (p. 154).

The power this promise had to make Christ real to Paton in hours of crisis was unlike any other Scripture or prayer:

Without that abiding consciousness of the presence and power of my dear Lord and Savior, nothing else in all the world could have preserved me from losing my reason and perishing miserably. In his words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," became to me so real that it would not have startled me to behold Him, as Stephen did, gazing down upon the scene. I felt His supporting power. . . . It is the sober truth, and it comes back to me sweetly after 20 years, that I had my nearest and dearest glimpses of the face and smiles of my blessed Lord in those dread moments when musket, club, or spear was being leveled at my life. Oh the bliss of living and enduring, as seeing "Him who is invisible"! (p. 117)

One of the most powerful paragraphs in his Autobiography describes his experience of hiding in a tree, at the mercy of an unreliable chief, as hundreds of angry natives hunted him for his life. What he experienced there was the deepest source of Paton's joy and courage. In fact, I would dare to say that to share this experience and call others to enjoy it was the reason that he wrote the story of his life. with the words, "What I write here is for the glory of God" (p. 2). That is true. But God gets glory when his Son is exalted. And his Son his exalted when we cherish him above all things. That is what this story is about.

Being entirely at the mercy of such doubtful and vacillating friends, I, though perplexed, felt it best to obey. I climbed into the tree and was left there alone in the bush. The hours I spent there live all before me as if it were but of yesterday. I heard the frequent discharging of muskets, and the yells of the Savages. Yet I sat there among the branches, as safe as in the arms of Jesus. Never, in all my sorrows, did my Lord draw nearer to me, and speak more soothingly in my soul, than when the moonlight flickered among those chestnut leaves, and the night air played on my throbbing brow, as I told all my heart to Jesus. Alone, yet not alone! If it be to glorify my God, I will not grudge to spend many nights alone in such a tree, to feel again my Savior's spiritual presence, to enjoy His consoling fellowship. If thus thrown back upon your own soul, alone, all alone, in the midnight, in the bush, in the very embrace of death itself, have you a Friend that will not fail you then? (p. 200)

Lisa.

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On Prayer and C.H Spurgeon

 29.7.10

I have been reading Spurgeon; A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore, as a response to an invitation by Challies.

C.H. Spurgeon, by Robert Bucknell


It has been a great thing to read this book, because even though, I have always read Spurgeon's sermons, this is the first time I am reading about his life.

If you have been following this blog, you know that we have been studying about prayer in our home during this summer, and reading this book has challenged my prayer life in so many ways.

Spurgeon's childhood was full of memories of his mom praying for him. He knew his mom was praying for him at all times, and  she was a great influence in his spiritual life; now the question is, do my children know I am fervently praying for them?; am I doing so?

We, moms, need not to forget our duties before the Lord. He listens to our prayers, let's come before the Throne of Grace and bring our children daily before the only One who can take care of their souls.

As he grew up, his life as a minister was  deeply rooted in a life of prayer. Dallimore says, "In view of the spiritual warfare in which the Christian is placed, he was concerned first of all that his people learn truly to pray"

Let us not forget to teach our children how to pray, praying will be an anchor to their souls when storms come; let us not forget to teach them the riches hidden in the prayer closet. Let us never start our day without a family prayer. We cannot call ourselves Christians if we do not live by prayer.

A minister once said of Spurgeon's prayer life, "Prayer was the instinct of his soul and the atmosphere of his life. It was his 'vital breath' and 'native air'. He sped on eagle's wings into the heaven of God". If we truly are on our way to Heaven, prayer should be our 'vital breath'; either we live by prayer in communion with God, or we are fooling ourselves and are not on our way to Heaven.






Tomorrow my friend, Lisa, will be my guest blogger. Every time I sit and listen to her, my  heart is filled and she always encourages me to grow in my prayer life. She is a woman of prayer. I have stayed as a guest in her home and in there you can breath the 'native air' of the Christian.

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Opening Your Home and Heart

 28.7.10

The way the Lord plans all things is beautiful. He is sovereign and we can see how He, as if working in a magnificent play, arranges all things for His glory and the good of our souls.





My sister sent me an email few months ago saying that a friend of her from the Netherlands was coming to Mexico, she asked me to host her friend for a night or two. What a great privilege for me it was to be able to host my sister's friend; we agreed and started to email back and forth. To make this story short in a moment I was also emailing back and forth with the tour guide of the group (15 Reformed Christian backpackers), they wanted to join us for our Church service on Sunday and were looking for a hotel near to our home...





We had to have a "meeting", so we sat at the Family Table one night and talked about the possibility of hosting them all. "They are backpackers, so we need not to worry about beds, they have their sleeping bags, and we have enough floor space for all of them", we reasoned, and by opening our home to them we would be able to bless them. We all voted yes.





They came in Saturday night driving one big van and one car; it was night and it was raining, but  our home was warm, and the tables were set. Pasta night was awaiting.

They stayed with us until Tuesday morning; we thought we were going to bless them with a place to sleep, yet they blessed us greatly.




Every morning and evening we read the Scripture; English was the language where we met in every conversation; at nights we sang hymns and Psalms in Dutch, Spanish and English. Our home was filled with the sound of a beautiful choir, and every room with glorious praises.
 
We thought we were opening our home to them, but really, can you open your home without opening your heart?




We felt sad as they left, but we know that every Lord's Day we will be singing to our God who has brought people from every tribe and nation to worship Him, until the day we will see Him face to face and again feast at the Family Table with Him.

May you open your home and heart to many this season... you will find blessings you never expected, and your heart will overflow with joy.










Today I am playing with my true photographer friends Kelly and Claire. I could not choose only one picture and I know these are not the best pics at all (it is hard to be the hostess of so many and still try to take good pics.) but they surely tell a lot about how our home in Mexico looked this past weekend.



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39 Years... Gratitude Overflows.

 26.7.10

t's late, however, laughs are still filling our home, the sound of many voices are still on the air. I am tired, I am listening from afar, but I do not want to let this day go by without recording my favorite list, a gratitude list.

669. One more year to live in Him.
670. A house full of brothers and sisters in Christ from the Netherlands.
671. Hymns on a Sunday evening, all sung in three different languages.
672. Lots of bread.
673. Counting 58 eggs for breakfast.
674. My sister, having her so close...
675. Saying "yes to the mess..."
676. My friend Ann who taught me how to live 675.
677. Rain on my birthday.
678. Friends caring.
679. My children's letters.
680. My birthday present.
681. Lots of clean towels.
682. Lots of blankets.
683. Smiles.
684. Muddy faces.
685. Rain boots and a happy girl.
686. Nohemi.
687. People who has worked very hard to complete the translation of the Bible to so many languages.
688. This place.
689. My bed.

Dear friends, I owe you the pictures of this day; right now, I am very tired and ready to jump into my bed!



Have you seen the new page on this blog, Are You On Your Way to Heaven?



Image: Thanks to Karen for allowing the use of her images freely.

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Daily on My Way to Heaven

 25.7.10



O Lord, that I may have 
eyes to to see what it really means 
to be on my way to Heaven

O Lord, that I may have
eyes to see that this
earth and all on it
will pass away.

O Lord, that I may have 
eyes to see that Heaven 
is where I should lay upon
treasures that will last.

O Lord, that I may have
eyes to see beyond
the clock and the calendar
and up to eternity.

O Lord, that I may long
for Heaven,
that I may diligently
pursue the things from above.

O Lord, that I may have
eyes to see what it really means
to be on my way to Heaven.

O Lord, that I may live
aiming at Heaven
longing for home,
eyes fixed on Jesus,
and only on Him.

Daily.

Daily On My Way to Heaven



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On Prayer -From my Reading Corner-

 24.7.10

 


I am reading a great book by John Bunyan, Prayer; and I  would like to share with you some of the lines that must be written down, and remembered, and lived.


"With God is plenty of grace, even as in a river there is plenty of water. 

A pond, a pool, a cistern, will hold much, but a river will hold more. 

From this throne {of grace} come rivers and streams of water of life, 

to satisfy those that come for life to the throne of God. 

Further, as by a river is showed what abundance of grace proceeds from God through Christ, 

so it shows the unsatiable thirst and desire of one that comes indeed aright to the throne of grace for mercy. 

Nothing but rivers will satisfy such a soul; 

ponds, pools, and cisterns, will do nothing...

They that are saved, are saved to receive abundance of grace; 

'They which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, 

shall reign in life by One, 

Jesus Christ'-

Rom 5:7"



And he continues saying,


"What comes from this throne of grace is pure grace, 

and nothing else; 

clear grace, free grace, grace that is not mixed, 

nor need be mixed with works of righteousness which we have done; 

it is of itself sufficient to answer all our wants, 

to heal all our diseases, and to help us at a time of need. 

It is grace that chooses, 

it is grace that calls, 

it is grace that preserves, 

and it is grace that brings to glory: 

even the grace that like a river of water of life proceeds from this throne. 

And hence it is that, 

from first to last, 

we must cry, 

'Grace, grace unto it!' 

(Zec 4:7)"


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The Secret of the Believers Boldness

 23.7.10

Today I am so grateful and happy to have as a guest blogger, my friend Christina; you can find her at Heavenly Springs. Christina has a passion for Jesus and loves the body of Christ. 

I encourage you, grab your journal and be ready to jot down some notes! You will not regret it.

Christina at Heavenly Springs

 The Secret of the Believers Boldness

Among the many strategies that Satan uses to keep the saints from entering into the holy of holies is accusation. Revelation 12:10 depicts Satan as “the accuser of our brothers…who accuses them day and night before our God.”  In fact, the Greek word for devil is “diabolos” which means slanderer.  False accuser.

I can tell you from experience that a guilty and compromised conscience is no match for this kind of power. Many times I have been silenced in prayer by the “accuser’s” malice. Standing at my right hand, he reminds me of all that I am apart from Christ, which is totally and irreparably depraved!  I cannot argue!

Our fallen nature and sins make us so vulnerable to Satan’s accusations. But, there is a secret to the believers boldness in prayer!

Under the Old Covenant, priests were considered to be God’s mediators.  Their job was to bring men and women into the prescence of God. The only way to do this was to present a blood sacrfice. So, day after day, month after month, and year after the priests offered the blood of animals to atone for the sins of the people. But, at the cucifixion of Jesus, something happened that would forever change this pattern. The curtain of the Temple was rent in two and now, anyone could enter into the presence of God – but only through Jesus Christ, His Son. John MacArthur explains this well,

“In one perfect act of sacrifice, Jesus Christ accomplished what thousands upon thousands of sacrifices by a multitude of priests never accomplished.  He opened the way to God permanently, so that any man at any time by faith in Christ might enter into God’s presence.”

Did you get that?  Any man.  Any time. By faith in Christ. So now, I am learning, when Satan points an accusing finger at me, I point him to Christ.  No, I am not here of my own merit.  I don’t have any.  No, I haven’t any righteousness of my own either. I am guilty of many wicked and evil things, too many to count! But my righteousness is "that which comes through faith in Christ". (Philippians 3:9). I am saved, not because of the righteous things I have done but because of his mercy. (Titus 3:5)

J.C. Ryle tells us in his book, “Old Paths” what the reason for our confidence is. He tells the secret! 

“Would you know the secret of the believer’s boldness in prayer? It is a marvel how a man that feels his sin so deeply as the believer does, can speak with the confidence the believer frequently does. How one that acknowledges he is “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked,” ruined, undone—who often does what he ought not to do, and leaves undone what he ought to do, and finds no spiritual health in him—how such a one as this can go before God with confidence, pour out his heart before Him freely, ask from Him what he requires day after day and not feel afraid—this is wonderful indeed. What is the secret of it? It is the intercession of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whereby the true Christian knows his prayers are made acceptable, and received in the court of heaven.” 

 Christina



**************************

A little note...just so you know: I made a mistake and hit "publish" instead of "schedule"! This post should have appeared on Friday the 23th. 


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My Birthday Present

 22.7.10

What do you think of this BEAUTIFUL blog design? I love it! and soon you will see some changes in my Spanish blog too...

And I am thankful to my Beloved husband and children for giving me this gift!

Lena, at Premades For a Purpose designed it, and I am so thankful to her too. She is an incredible person to work with; you can also find her here. (note: be sure to check her websites she even has some freebies ready for you! )

Also, I want to stop and thank my friend Lisa, for sending me a beautiful gift, a book, Heaven by Randy Alcorn. She thought I should read it, because I am ...On My Way to Heaven... So, expect some posts about Heaven soon!


Tomorrow, remember to come to this place, Christina will be sharing more about Prayer. Believe me you do not want to miss it!

Much love to you all!







P.S. My birthday is this coming Sunday... I am so grateful!

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Reformed People in a Catholic Cathedral

 21.7.10




We have a friend visiting from another country, and if you know us, we love to have people over and show them the city we live in.

Today the tour was to visit downtown and the huge Cathedral in it.

As you walk inside the massive building with three different architectural styles (it took three centuries to build it) it is mostly dark, the smell is peculiar, and your eyes are immediately forced to look at the altars.



The altars (the Altar of Forgiveness and the Altar of the Kings, in the main nave)  are covered with gold, lots of gold. Many people are in there, tourists, children, workers; three nuns and a priest found their way through the people; some devouts were kneeling before the so many images found in the sixteen chapels, two men were in solitude contemplation were sitting on the benches. Others were giving alms, and a lady was pouring holy water on her wallet.

There are as many images of different saints as you can imagine; and as many  different "Virgin Mary" as you could think of, one for each need. There are all kind of "Christs", there is even one called "The Black Christ", and another one called "The Lord of Cacao Beans".


"Our God is in the heavens;
    he does all that he pleases.
 Their idols are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
   eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
   noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
   feet, but do not walk;
   and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
   so do all who trust in them."

Psalm 115: 3-8

What do we learn?

The heaviness over our spirit to see all this idolatry breaks our heart, but there has to be a lesson for us to learn.

What about the idols of the heart that we have and cannot be seen?

They are as terrible and as abominable before God as these wooden idols whom our eyes saw with such indignation.

Let us examine our hearts and search them lest we had already made ourselves some idols.

God mocks the idol makers and idol worshippers, making them just as the idols they build for themselves,

 " All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing?  Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth.
They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house.  He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, "Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!" And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!"

 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, "Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?"  He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" 
Isaiah 44: 9-20

May God grant us a repentant heart.






My two three recommendations for today:
If you want to learn more about about how idolatry destroys our life, consider reading, We Become What We Worship, A Biblical Theology of Idolatry, by G.K Beale or Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, by Timothy Keller
Again, Diane has a great article worth reading, Repent or Perish! John H. Gerstner.
Petra gives moms great encouragement, In the Arms of Faith

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Living a Simple Life

 20.7.10



It was a windy, sunny day, just  perfect. We stood on the top of a pyramid built around 700 BC, and we enjoyed the view. My little girl picked some wild flowers,while  the rest climbed a tree.

We lived a simple day...



When simple, beautiful days like this one happen, I often think on how we started it, and how we continued through it.

I woke up early had my devotions, made breakfast, {still thinking about the Bible verses I read}, had coffee and a biscotti, took the book we are reading at the family table. We read, we talked about it, we prayed.

And we stood up, and off we went.

How we start our day means a lot, but that is not all.

My prayer lately has been, "Lord, as I leave my quiet morning and devotions at the family table, help me live a life of prayer; let all I do bring glory to your name; let all my words be spoken with the certainty that you hear me always, let me not do my labor without consciously living  for you. I am so prone to wander"




Just as the wind blows over our faces, let us be aware of your presence all day long, let us draw near to you, O Lord.

But for me it is good to be near God

Psalm 73: 28


How can we draw near to Him all day every day?

How can we enjoy His presence all day and not be terrified by it?

It is because of Jesus, our Mediator. Jesus opened the way for us to the Kingdom of Heaven through His incarnation, through His death, through His resurrection.

Peace, true peace has a price, and Jesus paid for it with His blood. (Col 1:20)

How can I not love my Saviour?

How can I not long to draw nearer to Him everyday?

If I can enjoy simple days like this one, is because of His grace.




Well said:

A great sermon by Thomas Watson, The Happiness of Drawing Near to God. I recommend it to you!

If you love Church History, read about this wonderful woman, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) over at my friend Diane's place, Theology For Girls

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Prayer and Gratitude

 19.7.10




Diane said it well, we are so self-absorbed at times, that we should examine our prayers for the sake of our souls! Do we start and end our prayers with ourselves? or do we start and end giving glory to God?

Do it intentionally this week, examine your prayers...listen to them.

Gratitude is a way we glorify God.

A grateful heart recognizes that ALL good gifts come from God.

A grateful heart recognizes that ALL good in us -if there is such- comes from God.

Spurgeon says,

"Our errand at the throne of grace is not only to seek the favour of God, 
but to give Him the glory due to his name, 
and that not only by an aweful adoration of his infinite perfections, 
but by a grateful acknowledgment of his goodness to us, 
which cannot indeed add any thing to his glory, 
but he is pleased to accept of it, 
and to reckon himself glorified by it, 
if it comes from a heart 
that is humbly sensible of its own unworthiness 
to receive any favour from God, 
that values the gifts, 
and loves the giver of them." (1)


Let us stir our hearts to give thanks to the only One who deserves all the glory.

Let us stir our hearts to praise our God, let us today not ask Him for more, but thank Him for how much He has already given us.

Let us stir each other to live wearing every day a beautiful garment of gratitude.


652. A friend visiting from another country!

653. Long conversations in the kitchen.

654. Gifts in a brown paper bag...Love it!



655. Delicious fruit, the redness, the sweetness, the beauty.




657. Green pastures. A place to rest. Your hand leading me there.





658. Harsh words...turned into forgiveness.

659. A six years old girl living so fully.



660. My Mom and Dad.

661. Wombs with babies.

662. Piano lessons.

663. Your Sovereign will.

664. Your Providence.

665. My times in your hands.

666. Saturday pancakes.

667. The Confession of Faith

668.  You, who follow along.



Is your heart swallowed with gratitude today?









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A Prayer for Today

 18.7.10






The Lord's Supper

God of all good,
I bless thee for the means of grace;
teach me to see in them thy loving purposes
and the joy and strength of my soul.

Thou hast prepared for me a feast;
and though I am unworthy to sit down as guest,
I wholly rest on the merits of Jesus,
and hide myself beneath his righteousness;
When I hear his tender invitation
and see His wondrous grace,
I cannot hesitate, but must come to Thee in love.

By Thy Spirit enliven my faith rightly to discern
and spiritually to apprehend the Saviour.




While I gaze upon the emblems of my Saviour's death,
may I ponder why He died, and hear him say,
"I gave my life to purchase yours,
presented myself as offering to expiate your sin,
shed my blood to blot out your guilt,
opened my side to make you clean, 
endured your curses to set you free,
bore your condemnation to satisfy divine justice"

O may I rightly grasp the breadth and length of this design,
draw near, obey, extend the hand, take the bread,
receive the cup, eat and drink,
testify before all men that I do for myself,
gladly, in faith, reverence and love, receive my Lord,
to be my life, strength, nourishment, joy, delight.



In the supper I remember his eternal love, boundless grace,
infinite compassion, agony, cross, redemption,,
and receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life, glory.

As outward elements nourish my body,
so may thy indwelling Spirit invigorate my soul,
until that day when I hunger and thirst no more,
and sit with Jesus at His heavenly feast.

The Valley Of Vision


Have a most blessed Lord's Day!


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What About Some Coffee Punch?

 17.7.10

It has happened to me more than once: too much coffee left in the coffee maker!

But from now on things will take a different turn, now I know what to do with that leftover coffee; I am so happy Nancy shared this delicious recipe, Coffee Punch; we just tried it, and let me tell you, we loved it!

What you Need:

Left over coffee....just pour it over ice trays and freeze it. (later move the coffee cubes into zip locks)
8 cups of cold coffee. I made it in the morning and then let it cool all day. 
1 1/2 cup of milk (I used skimmed milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla, if you can find Mexican vanilla, it will definitely taste better... 
3/4 tsp nutmeg ( I used allspice because my little daughter could not find the nutmeg) 
1 cup of whipping cream (whipped, of course)
Several coffee ice cubes.
A pint of your favorite vanilla ice cream









How To:

1. Combine the blue ingredients and set aside.
2. Scoop out the vanilla ice cream in a punch bowl.
3. Pour out the coffee mixture over it.
4. Add about two trays of coffee ice cubes.
5. Top it with the dollops of whipping cream.

Enjoy today with your family, and have a most blessed weekend!

Again, thank you, Nancy,  for sharing this recipe!


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Lord, Teach us to Pray

 16.7.10

My dear sister in the Lord, Diane from Theology for Girls, is here today to share with us about prayer.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Diane!






When Becky blessed me with the honor of writing today’s blog for Daily on My Way To Heaven on the subject of prayer, I began contemplating the various elements involved in prayer. As well, the pattern or structure of how we ought to commune with God should be considered. Truly, volumes have been written on both counts.

Certainly, when we think of an appropriate blueprint for prayer, our usual consideration draws us to the greatest model set forth in Scripture by our Lord when he instructed his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6. A second important example would be Christ’s high priestly prayer with the Father in John 17.

As I compared both of these passages I noticed that the predominant themes were exaltation of God the Father and the Son. These prayers also reflect the Psalms which are replete with the adoration of God. In both prayers our Lord begins by addressing God as Father. In Matthew, Christ emphasizes the holiness of God’s name and in John He emphasis the glorification of Himself by the Father. Both prayers close with a focus on the glory of God the Father (Mt) and of God the Son. (Jn).

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Matthew 6:9


“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”


Matthew 6:13


“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

CHRIST’S HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER

John 17:1


"Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,”


John 17:14,26


"Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (vs 24)

Requests on our behalf for our spiritual and temporal needs are sandwiched between these magnifications of God’s glory and holiness. When we shift gears in prayer from our adoration of God to confession, thanksgiving, and supplication we understand that God intimately cares for us as a loving heavenly Father. He has instructed us how to pray about our needs, yet we must keep in mind that God’s glory should be foremost in our petitions for ourselves and for others.

The church today has been swallowed up by self-absorption. An Arminian view of Scripture saturating our theology for more than a hundred years has resulted in an approach to God that has become increasingly man centered. Our prayer and worship has become more self gratifying than God glorifying which is reflected in the way we pray and also in much of our modern Christian music. We hardly know how to sing or speak to God without using the word “I” in every phrase. Just by way of exercise, we might want to try praying for 30 minutes without using the words “I, me, or my”.

Furthermore, the name of Jesus Christ has been denigrated not only by those outside the church but by those within. A Google search of “Jesus Is My Homeboy” pulled up more than 98,000 hits, many titles being so blasphemous I was sorry I had clicked on it.

The proper use of and reverence for God’s holy name is so important that the 3rd commandment warns,

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

Ezekiel prophesied:

"I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst." Ez 6:23

Such little reverence is given to the proper use of the name of Jesus Christ that many in the church no longer end their prayers “In Jesus Name”. Our Lord placed great emphasis on this by saying: “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.”


In conclusion, when we come to our great God in prayer, let us first address Him as Father with adoration for His Holy name. We must not come to Him with an attitude of improper familiarity. He is our Friend but He not our “buddy”. He is our Holy Father and we are indeed privileged to address him as such. We should passionately pray that His will would be accomplished and His glory pronounced. Let us bring our petitions to Him with boldness bathed in humility. Finally, we should conclude our special time of communion by invoking the precious name of Jesus.

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Planning Ahead -More about Homeschool-

 15.7.10



We know those days will certainly come, those days where you are sick, or one of your children needs to be taken to a doctor's appointment, or your husband asks you to go with him somewhere in the middle of the day, or your parents visit you from out of town.  (Hopefully those days do not happen very often!)

So here is one idea, as you plan ahead your school year...

Plan ahead which subjects can't be put off, what is priority for you.

Math has always been for me a priority because I do not like it, (and my children do not love it either). They had to work Math 5 days a week if one week day was missing they had to work on Saturdays.

What about reading? Children can keep up with their reading even in those days, maybe you will let them not write an essay about it, but the reading must be completed.



With little ones, specially, it is very important to keep up doing math and reviewing their memory work during summer, so what I am doing this summer vacation, (in August we will be out of our country for  a month) I will be taking her review math cards, for Math and Bible, it will take us only ten minutes per day to do this, and it will be a good thing to do.

Another note about Math. Consider extending your Math work all year round, extend their math through the summer, this will  help them keep up with all they have learned. Three month without math is way too much. You will certainly feel frustrated at the beginning of the new school year as you find out that they forgot their multiplication tables!



I remember, with sadness, that at a certain point in our homeschool, when my older children were all in grammar stage, I put aside some times our early morning devotions, at least I would make them shorter, because there was so much to do. The Lord was merciful and chastened me, and since that day, giving  preeminence to God's Word has been on my top list of priorities. I do not want them to learn that they can put away, or make shorter, their devotions because of time. If something needed to be changed, then it was the waking up time, not the length of our Bible reading and praying every morning. (If you are wondering where is my husband in all this...he leaves home very, very early)



If you want to do a nice Home Planning Notebook, visit this place. I think I would love to have one!  (but to be true, I am not doing it, I am all happy and settled with my journal!)

Well, I am off  to finish (hopefully today) rearranging some book shelves.

*********************************************************************************
Tomorrow, don't miss visiting this place, my friend Diane who blogs at Theology for Girls, will be my guest blogger. She is a lovely lady with a passion for our Lord and sound doctrine. I am very happy and humbled that she accepted my invitation. She will be sharing about prayer. (Summer has been all about prayer in our home)

And for the next coming Fridays, I will have a different guest sharing about prayer, as well.

**********************************************************************************

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Our Homeschooling Goals

 14.7.10

 This time of the year is planning time for Moms who homeschool, but most of all, I think Summer should be a time for us to make an effort to examine our motives, (obviously this is best when done with your husband, the headmaster of your homeschool!)

Why are we homeschooling our children?

What keeps me up and going every day?  


There is one book in particular that I have read many, many times now, always in the summer, and it helps me focus on what I believe is the heart of homeschooling, it is entitled When You Rise Up. a Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling, by Dr. R.C Sproul Jr.


If you are homeschooling and haven't read this book, I would love to encourage you to read it, it will be like honey to your soul.

Besides reading and searching my heart, and praying, and organizing shelves with books  and shopping online for more, and register my children for new online classes, I take the time to go through the goals our husband and I  have set  for our homeschool.

So here they are, from the archives (September 17, 2009) some have been added later.

****************************************************************************



My husband and I drafted some of these goals in the year 2006, we have been updating them since then; now I want to share them with you.

Maybe you are thinking about starting to homeschool, or maybe you are weary after some years of doing it and need to be reminded of all the goals, that I am sure , you set before your eyes one day. I am sure I will come back many a  days to add more goals as my children keep on growing.

May God help us achieve them!

1. Raise men and women who honor God and fear his commandments.

2. Raise men and women with godly character qualities, virtue, honor, responsibility, truth, love, faithfulness, honesty, hard workers, merciful, generous.

3. Raise men and women who will know by heart the Scriptures, that can make them wise unto salvation.

4. Raise men and women prepared to make right  decisions and stand firm on them.

5. Raise men and women who marry Christians, and build godly families.

6. Raise men and women who  love to study, read, learn; capable of teaching.

7. Raise men and women able to love and appreciate aesthetics; music, arts, literature.

8. Raise men and women capable of expressing clearly  their thoughts and defend their beliefs, both, verbally and  written.

9. Raise men and women who will leave a heritage of godly principles to their children and   grandchildren.

10. Raise men and women who’d love their Mom and Dad until the day they’d be taken away to their home in Heaven.

11. Raise men and women who will be able to understand that God’s Sovereignty has shaped our world and our history up to this day.

12. Raise men and women able to communicate in more than two languages, to be able to share the gospel in different places, and different circumstances.

13. Raise men and women willing to serve others, willing  to live with open hands, always ready to give.

14. Teach our children that their best friends will always be at home.

15. Teach them to be godly fathers and mothers. Our young men need to be taught how to be providers and our women need to be taught how to be homekeepers.

16. Love the elderly and come to them. Be wise enough to listen to them and take their advice.

17. Do not walk in the way of the sinners.

18. Be able to discern sound doctrine from false teaching.

19...


 What are some of your main goals when raising your children? 

Please share!

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Who is Becky?

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Becky
If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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