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Paris Through my Lense

 28.8.10

























I miss writing here, so much to share, so little time!


I just want to share a quote with you from my reading corner,
"Building a sacred history together {talking about marriage} teaches us to be persistent in doing good, even when we want to do something else."  Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage.
 Now off to enjoy this beautiful time with my family and friends.

Much love to you!

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Walking in Old Cities

 24.8.10

My dear friends, we are still in another country, and still will be here for two more weeks. We are having a beautiful time as family and are enjoying visiting with great friends who have opened their home for the six of us!

I am learning so much from the Lord in this season; He has been teaching me more about the gift of hospitality, opening our homes to the saints and being hosted with all my family. I will be sharing more about it in another article (as soon as I find more time to do so!)

Meanwhile, I would love to share with you some pictures of the beautiful cities we have visited. Hope you enjoy them.

These are some of my favorite shots of Le Puy, France.









“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” –
Robert Louis Stevenson











Have a joyous day today, discover great places in your our own home, and treasure them forever!

Under His sun and by His grace,


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Sunday's Psalm - Psalm 19-

 22.8.10




The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

  Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.




  There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.

  Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.




In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

  Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.




The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
  the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
  the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.

  More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.




Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19 ESV


 






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Lessons from a Castle

 20.8.10



When my friends inherited this castle, they inherited a treasure that in today's economy it is impossible to maintain as it was in the XII century. The colors are fading, the wood needs medicine, the roof and the chimneys need to be repaired, there is moth and rust. The piano seemed to cry at times, he looked lonely. Yet we could still see the glorious building it once was, the red carpet, the furniture, the silverwear, all wanted to raise their voice and tell a secret story.  The thick walls have kept some intruders away, but not all. The thieves have always found a way through it.



We gathered and read the Word, we meditated upon everything God has inherited to His children through His Son Jesus Christ. He has given us invaluable treasures to live by, but He has also provided the means for us to keep those treasures alive. We were not left with commands and expectations impossible to keep, He gave us, through His Son, the power to live accordingly to His will. We should not fear intruders, we should not fear thieves, we should not fear the fading away of colors and the moth and rust.

Our treasure is Him.



Meditate upon the promises of God, but not to "claim them" in order to live a better life on this world or to collect more earthly treasures that will sure fade away. “Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". Read the Word, collect promises, jot them down, meditate upon them and see how you and I as children of God can live obediently and happily under His sun and by His grace.






Pictures taken at Vaux, France 2010

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Joining the Creation in Praise



When we walk on this beautiful stage, we can fill our lungs with fresh air and breath in grace. My little girl running, the oldest children are exploring, the days are long and the wind hissing is at times the only thing we listen to.

As I stand with wide-open eyes and see how little I am, I can't do anything else but praise Him for coming towards me. For reaching me, for loving me.




I lift my voice and join the mountains and hills in praise;  the wind blows with might and I hear the trees beside me clapping their hands.

Who can resist praising God?

“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

Isaiah 55: 12


Even the lavender seems to bow down before its Creator, and I bow my head, "Lord, please, help never stop seeing Your glory in the little things surrounding my life."




The sun hides, and as I go to bed and breath out praises and thanksgiving prayers, I look outside and I am reminded...

I am truly Daily On My Way to Heaven....






Pictures taken at Vaux, France 2010

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Doctrines in the Kitchen

 17.8.10

This post was first published on my former blog on Friday, May 21, 2010




As we were drinking another cup of coffee, I said "I cannot explain you how much being a Reformed Christian has changed my whole life"

I grew up in a Christian environment, the type which never mentions words like, "religion, sin or hell, sacrament or Lord's Day" However, it included many phrases like, "give and you will be blessed", "You can do all things through Christ" - the context did not matter -, "You are more than conqueror", "You are the child of the King" -i.e live like a princess!- Now I see behind and lower my head, and bless my Redeemer.

Yes my life has changed dramatically; doctrines reached me in the kitchen, in the dining room, in my bedroom, in my backyard. The Teachings (Doctrines) of the Word have changed my worldview.
"Sovereignty, for example, has changed me tremendously." I kept saying to my friend, "Believing that God has chosen His own, and has called them to be His own changes more than my view of how God saves his people, it changes my attitude towards every single event that happens around me"
God is Sovereign. He is Sovereign when I do not understand why winters last so much, or when I see pretty and beauty all around me. God is Sovereign when I sit or when I walk. He is Sovereign.
Doctrines should change us, the body of teachings in the Bible must change us and make us more godly; if not we are in danger, we are only puffing up.

Grace meets me every day, and what I believe I must live.

The "T" in T.U.L.I.P changed me; Total Depravity still changes me; I am the daughter of a King, yes indeed! but I am much more than that, I am His. I am hidden in Him, I do not deserve being where I am, I need a Saviour but I also need a Sanctifier. I am lost without Him. Sin is real, my fights are real, but I am His!

The Five points of Calvinism, the Five Solas of the Reformation, words like Monergism or Theology would not avail much if they would not reach me in the kitchen, in how and why I cook for my family, in my marriage bed, in my conversation with my friends, in my daily life.

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Teaching Our Children God's Word and When Light Meets Daily Life -IV-

 13.8.10

Friday is here, and so is my sister. This is the second part of this series; part I is here.
So grab your cup of tea and enjoy while you read.

The images on this post are also from Claire B.
 
Light meets our Daily Life...
His perfect light meets us even in the kitchen, over some muffins,
and a godly conversation with our children.
 
*********************************************************************** 
 
 
 
 
Teaching our kids God’s Word, is a great privilege which we often take for granted; many often figure that our children's spiritual growth will come out from Sunday School and that as long as they are familiar with Bible stories (Noah’s Ark, Daniel in the lion’s den, Jonah, Adam and Eve, David and Goliath...) and have a favourite one, we are doing well. Oh! How little we value God’s Word! How little we treasure His law! And how little we fear His teachings!
 
If we could focus in teaching our kids God’s Word, read it reverently, and when we pray, pray focusing on what we are saying, studying faithfully, and asking Him to open our eyes and the eyes of our kids to understand what we read, to change our hearts, and to see Jesus Christ throughout the Bible as the only hope for us. Many read as a habit, routine or even as a hope that if I do all that I need to do, I’ll be good with God. Do we read to our kids, not just the story of Daniel as a cool story with lions in it with angels and a great miracle? But a story where we see God’s sovereign hand throughout the whole book, teaching us that God does as He pleases, and He bends the heart of whomever He wants to bend. We can see God’s character, God’s mercy, God’s providence, God’s wrath, God’s forgiveness... Much about God’s character is shown to us through each of these stories.
We see Jesus Christ, the promise the hope.

Why not teach our kids ALL about God? We are often afraid that they are too young and that they may not understand. But they understand! They need those truths now that they are young; they need to understand them now and anchor them in their hearts. We are obliged to do so if we profess to be Christian parents. They need to fear God and be wise.  We need to teach them stories written in the Bible like the one in 2 Kings 2:23-25 to understand the dangers of mocking others. We need to teach them that Jonah, was not a fantasy story, but was real, the people he was asked by God to preach to, were sinners; and we can see God’s sovereignty, God’s judgement, God’s faithfulness, His patience, His love, His wrath! God does as He pleases! We can trust this God in the Bible and teach our kids, that they too can trust Him.

We need to show them who God is in everything we do and say. We need to be a witness of Christ inside our doors, before we are a witness to the world. We need to live Christianity in the secret of our house if we want our kids to follow Christ. If the world is more persuasive than their religion, they will follow. But when they know Christ, love His laws, know the doctrine to defend their faith; then Christ, His love and His forgiveness will be far more persuasive for them than any treasure the world may offer.

That is why, for as long as we are parents, we need to bring our kids to the cross, bring them to the knowledge of Him who died for them, explaining their need and dependence in Him. Forget for once about self-esteem and teach them to find their value in God alone, in that sovereign Lord who does as He pleases. They will know who you are talking about. They will know that Lord is in control of all and their souls can rest in Him. If they are good at something is because God made them good, therefore that must use that for God’s glory. If they lack abilities, also the Sovereign God gave them that so that they will not boast in themselves, but go to Him and ask.

We need to bring them to Christ, to the cross and to their need and absolute dependence on Him every day, every hour, every minute of the day.

May God give us grace to live our lives showing all that Christ is to our family.
 
Norma.


 This is a repost from the archives.

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When Light Meets Daily Life -III- and The Bruised Reed Ch. 3

 12.8.10

The pictures on this post are from Claire B.
Aren't they great? Thank you, Claire for letting me use them.
 
This is the second Thursday I share about the book we are reading together at Challies.com The book is The Bruised Reed by the Puritan author Richard Sibbes.
My comments on chapters 1 and 2 are here.
 
 
 
 

Chapter 3. The Smoking Flax

This is not an easy chapter, this is a chapter that brought tears to my eyes. Its words are like spades, they reached deep within my soul.

Sibbes, reminded me on how my spiritual life started, with little faith, with a "small beginning of grace" . And I just can't but think how even that little portion of faith was given to me as an undeserved gift by my Father in Heaven, and was enough to save my life from an eternity far from Him.

So broken, so bruised, so dirty was my life, but He reached and gave me His saving Grace to "strive to perfection, and to keep me in a low opinion of myself"

He saw me; He reached to me, a bruised reed, and did not break me forever, He did not despise me.

Little beginnings full of grace. That is all we need.

Grace upon grace.

Grace for every day.

Small changes soaked in His grace.



Grace came and changed me, it gave me eternal life, but "grace does not do away with corruption all at once, but some is left for believers to fight with. The purest actions of the purest men need Christ to perfume them; and this is his office."

The thorns of my flesh, are there, every day, to remind me of my desperate need of Him. To remind me that I am a bruised reed , to "preserve me from those two dangerous rocks which our natures are prone to dash upon, security and pride..."

I am in a daily journey to heaven...and "even as a candle in the socket shows its light, and sometimes the show of light is lost; so sometimes "I am" well persuaded of myself, sometimes at a loss."
So here too, I see His light shining on this bruised reed, which is my own life.




A repost from the archives


 

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When Light Meets Daily Life -II-

 11.8.10

The journey continues,
and Claire B.'s pictures from her 365 light project,
are  my inspiration this week.
Remember, that Claire will be with us this coming Saturday.
Thank you, Claire!
 
 
 
Light comes in through the window and lights up our home.

The night has gone, and God has opened our eyes to a new day.

The coffee is ready and the routine is awaiting.

This is my life, our life, a routine, a circle of tasks and chores, a to do list; and night and day.

We can not evade it, there is a cycle, and we are in it.

But if I am a Christian, there is more to do this, there is Light coming into my daily life.

When I sit and open my Bible, and pray and see His light coming into my heart, I know there is a purpose in what I am doing today.

I am not only living for the moment, I am living for Him, because of Him.

I am where He wants me to be today.

When I see light coming through my window, I remember.

His light is with me, in my home, in the dining room, in my daily life.

I believe His words, He has called me, I do not walk in darkness.

His light has shone on me!
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12
 

 
 
A repost from the archives. 

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When Light Meets Daily Life

 10.8.10

A Repost from the archives.


This week I will be journeying with my friend Claire B.
I just love her photography and the project she has pursued this year
entitled,365 light project.
 
I will be writing on how light meets my daily life using her art.
 
 

Shopping carts lined up to be used, dirty wheels, and shiny metal, all look the same, all there. 

A mom comes and grabs one, her hands are holding the shopping list, again. 

Again, the toilet paper, and the cleaner, the shampoo, and the toothpaste, yes, again

There is no milk, or juice in the fridge and again rushing and running, dragging her feet, 

she is here, again.

The wheel is not working, she needs to push harder. 

Her heart is sinking, again; and again she whispers, 

"Again, again, routine again. 

Never ending, always in a circle "

The thoughts of the day, the prayers unsaid, the lump on her throat, again.

My prayer is for you today, my Christian friend; 

if it is you pushing hard the broken wheels, 

trying hard to manage your day again

that you may stop today to see His light.

I have been learning this, 

God meets me in my daily life. 

His light shines on me as I go into my chores, as I push the cart.

Is it useful to have my theology right, my doctrines right, if I can not see His light meeting me in my 

daily life?

I am still learning.

Let your light, O God, shine on me!

Let me learn again, that it is for You that I come and go.

Forgive me again, for living a life without joy.

Remind me, that it is in my daily journey, that I walk towards heaven.

Daily life matters, shine on me, 

O Lord, again!









My first post in this blog, was just about this, Rejoicing in Our Daily Tasks.

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A Prayer for Today -As We Travel-

 8.8.10

Ortelius's map of the world, from 1601



"Lord keep us in the way we should go, and let no evil thing befall us;
let us have a prosperous journey by the will of God, and with thy favour let
us be compassed wherever we go as with a shield.


Let us walk in your way safely, and let not our foot stumble or dash against a stone.


Direct our way in everything and enable us to order all our affairs  with discretion, and the Lord send us good speed, and shew kindness to us.


And the Lord watch between us when we are absent, the one from the other."


Matthew Henry, A Method of Prayer


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End of the Summer Changes

 7.8.10


 
We can start smelling the new notebooks and wooden pencils; the books with wornout pages are almost ready to be opened like treasure chests, to display magnificent worlds.

But here, in this corner of the world, we will leave all those behind as we travel for a month to visit friends in another corner of the world. We are almost ready, Sunday we will fly.



So expect some changes in this place.

I would love to tell you all about our trip, and show you great pictures daily, however, I do not know if that will be possible.

I have scheduled some entries, reposts from the archives, for you to enjoy; and remember that you can still go back to the my old place where you will find 255 entries to read!

Other good places to visit are these:

Femina
Theology for Girls
Heavenly Springs
Caffeinated Theology
Reduce Me to Love
Penned Pebbles
Tried by Fire
Raising Homemakers

May the Lord give us peace and joy as we travel to meet our very good friends on the other side of the world!

Blessings to you!





Just a note, remember that you can become a sojourner with me at the bottom of the main page, or you can subscribe to this blog via your favorite reader.

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From my Reading Corner -On Marriage-

 6.8.10




I am reading, Sacred Marriage a book by Gary Thomas; my heart is being fed and my soul challenged: What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? This is the question the author addresses through the book.

So here, I want to share some quotes with you.

"How can I tell my children that God's promise of reconciliation is secure when they see that my own promise doesn't mean a thing?" (p.35)
"If my marriage contradicts my message {of reconciliation}, I have  sabotaged the goal of my life: to be pleasing to Christ and to faithfully fulfill the ministry of reconciliation, proclaiming to the world the good news that we can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ" (p.34)
"Yes, it is difficult to love your spouse. But if you truly want to love God, look right now at the ring on your left hand, commit yourself to exploring anew what that ring represents, and love passionately, crazily, enduringly the fleshy person who put it there. 
It just may be  one of the most spiritual things you can do"         (p.51)

So I close this post here, I will now go and write my Man a letter; I want to tell him all that this ring on my left hand still means to me.

Only God can empower us to love passionately, crazily, enduringly. Only He has loved us that way!

Why not shut down your computer right now and gaze at the ring on your left hand and write a love letter to your man?

If you no longer have a ring on your hand go to Jesus and gaze at His love, and write a prayer to the One who is the author of love.

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Do you want to browse and ponder over older entries?

Click here to visit my former WordPress blog, On My Way to Heaven, there are 255 entries to read!

One day, hopefully, I will import it here!

You can subscribe to receive the almost-daily entries in your favorite reader, or you can become a sojourner; join me on this journey at the right bottom of the page, where it says "sojourners". I would love to "see" your face there.



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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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Thank you.

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