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What Gratitude Won't Do In You.

 31.1.11

This week we reached counting 2000 gifts from God's hand in our family gratitude journal. I have learned so many beautiful things on this journey, things I have been sharing with you every Monday. Today, however, I want to tell you few things I have learned that having a grateful heart won't do in you or for you.

Some of my favorite things to buy are journals, so I have always loved to look through them in the shops and more than often I buy just one more. But I remember one day in one airport that I found lots of handmade gratitude journals, but no matter how pretty each one of them was I did not buy any. Why? because they were all related to the New Age movement, Yoga, Tao, and things similar to these. I realized that being grateful, that keeping a gratitude journal is not only something that we Christians do.

So, what is the difference? The difference is that we give thanks to GOD because we know that it is from His merciful hand that we receive every single thing we have and do not deserve.

But wait... there is still more. If we dig up a little bit deeper, we'll see that many  Christians think that through gratitude you can find God. Haven't you heard  something like this  before? "Count your blessings and you will see God clearly", or "Having a grateful heart is what will draw you closer to God"  I don't see in the Scriptures anything that supports this. I do believe, because it is written, that we need to come with a grateful and humble heart before God THROUGH the blood of Christ, through His saving grace. A grateful heart is what God expects from his children but it is not because we are grateful that we can come before God.

Gratitude is not The Way to the Father, only Jesus is!

So, my dear friend, if you keep a gratitude journal, don't be surprised that the pagans also do that! It will be very profitable to search our hearts and in the light of the Scriptures consider why are we doing this, and let's be sure that it won't replace our communion with God through His Word.


Lord, today I am thankful for....

1100.  The beautiful discipline we have learned while keeping a family gratitude journal.

1101. For the wind blowing with might.

1102. For godly women around me.

1103. For the song of the birds.

1104. Sunlight coming through my bedroom window.

1105. Grades, students, teachers and classes.

1106. Planning our summer.

1107. Not knowing (more than often) what is going to happen but resting in God's Sovereign will.

1108. God's promises upholding us.

1109. Knowing that our times are in His hands.... is there a better place for them to be?

1110. My little girl's grateful heart.


1111. My son... always loving much.

1112. Crepes with our friends from church.

1113. My sister's baby growing in her womb.

1114.  A simple knots that reminds me that the only one who can untie the knots of sin in my heart is God.



1115. Paper work ... and all that it means.

1116. Family in Christ in another country.

1117. Thank you, Lord.... for your sanctifying grace today!



What makes you sing for joy today? What are the words of your Grateful song today?


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Sunday's Psalm -Psalm 121-

 30.1.11



I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber

Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Amen





You may use today's image as your wallpaper for the week,  (you can find the other image  at my photography blog today.)



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A Prayer in the Evening Before the Lord's Day

 29.1.11


"Now give us to remember that tomorrow is the sabbath of the LORD, and that it is a high day, holy of the Lord and honourable, and give us grace to sanctify us ourselves, that tomorrow the Lord may do wonders among us; and to mind the work of our preparation, now the sabbath draws on.

When thous sawest every thing that thou hadst made in six days, behold all was very good, but in many things we have all offended. O that by repentance and faith in Christ's blood, we may wash not only our feet, but also our hands, and our head, and our heart, ans so may compass thine altar, O Lord.

Now give us to rest from all our own works, and to leave all our worldly cares at the bottom of the hill, while we go up to the mount to worship God, and to return again to them"

Matthew Henry, A Method for Prayer

May the Lord bless you tonight as you prepare your heart for the Lord's day!

A Prayer On The Morning of the Lord's Day (you can read it here)

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Why Does the Mexican Flag has that Particular Eagle?

Why does the Mexican Flag has that particular eagle, standing on a cactus, devouring a rattlesnake? You can read your little ones about this in this book I read to my little one this week. Yes, it is a very good, little book that my 7 yo enjoyed from the first page to the last. I really liked it because, even though it is short, it is accurate and the illustrations are beautiful.

The book is entitled The Sad Night, by Sally Shofer Matthew. 





And a little extra information for you ....

Why did the Spaniards finally conquered the Aztecs if they were outnumbered?

I have read many opinions and I have come to the conclusion that there were three important factors:

First the Aztecs had a totally different mindset when fighting. In Europe the idea was to win no matter what, in the Americas once a tribe fought and clearly won in battle that was it, it was settled who was the strongest one. However, the  Europeans were not going to be defeated like that, their interest were much more bigger than winning a one fight, than showing who was the strongest one. An Empire with many interests was behind all this. So, when the Spaniards lost this important battle (the Sad Night is the result of that loss) and they left. The Aztecs never thought that in a year they will come back with a larger army  decided to crash their civilization; that was not the way things worked on this side of the Atlantic.





The other factor was that these people, the Aztects,  lost because of all their superstitions. Moctezuma (yes, with a "c" and no with an "n" is the way we spell it in Mexico) was a great, brave warrior. He had the control over all the area (very BIG area, I have to say) No tribe was strong enough to resist the brutality of the Aztecs, however, through all this encounter with the white-bearded men  Moctezuma was paralyzed because all the time he was sure he was dealing with gods. At the end the generals and the people in general realized that gods or not they had to kill these men (gods?). Moctezuma tried to protect them 'till the end and this was his fall. People stoned him to death. (keep in mind the desperation that had to be happening here, the people "knew" that Moctezuma, their Tlatoani, was their god, so this was not an easy thing to do!)

Third, and most important, the Aztecs lost because it was written! Because God is sovereign over the nations, over the course of history, He is Lord over all, and He directs the history of mankind like the course of a river according to His infinite wisdom.

Well... I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope you get to buy this little book with a great story and full of  beautiful illustrations.

Have a blessed weekend, dear friends!


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A Borrowed Prayer... for Busy Days

 27.1.11




Busy days come and I am grateful for those too.  They teach me (mostly by force) how to manage my time more wisely and how to set priorities in order. And talking about priorities, I have been thinking that they are a little bit like my ONE drawer that for some strange reason, always falls into disorder. It is so hard for me to maintain it orderly at all times! So it is with my priorities, some are always  in its place, but some others tend to slip away with no difficulty.

Today is Thursday of Borrowed Words, and even though I have great quotes from my reading corner, I have decided to post these quotes from different prayers from The Valley of Vision, prayers that I need to mutter all day long on busy days...



"O LORD,
Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible,
order things that may neither hinder, nor discourage me,
nor prove obstacles to the progress of thy cause...

May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own;
Permit me not to labour at work which thou wilt not bless,
That I may serve thee without disgrace or debt;
Let me dwell in thy most secret place under thy shadow...
(O that I might learn no abide there no matter how busy the day might be!)

I am entirely dependent upon thee for support, counsel, consolation." 



"Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
my church the garden of the Lord,
enriched with trees of righteousness of thy planting,
for thy glory."




"O GOD, THE AUTHOR OF ALL GOOD,
I come to thee for the grace another day will require
for its duties and events.
I step out into a wicked world,
I carry about with me an evil heart,
I know that without thee I can do nothing,
that everything with which I shall be concerned,
however harmless in itself,
may prove an occasion of sin or folly,
unless I am kept by thy power.

May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore thy blessing,
and in which I cannot invite thy inspection.

Teach me how to use the world, and not abuse it,
to improve my talents,
to redeem my time, 
to walk in wisdom toward those without,
and in kindness to those within,
to do good to all men,
and especially to my fellow Christians.

And to thee be the glory."


 Amen



All pictures on today's post were taken by my beautiful daughter.

And don't forget that Thursday is a very good day to study some Systematic Theology... My friend Diane hosts Thursday Theology, A Compact Course on Systematic Theology. Today's study is found here.


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Octavius Winslow's Book -Help Heavenward-

 25.1.11

The Octavius Winslow Reading Group


Matthew Blair, the blogger behind The Octavius Winslow Archive, invited his readers to read along a great book by Winslow; Help Heavenward. We are currently talking about chapter two, Progressive Meetness for Heaven, what an incredible book is this! I encourage you to join us, there is still plenty of time; the chapters are short and you can read them on the same blog. (Chapter One,  Chapter Two, Chapter Three "due" next Monday)

I really wanted to read this book, but for the sake of time I am not blogging about my reflections, however, you can still read my comments on this second chapter here.

Have a wonderful day, my friends!


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I Am Grateful for All These...

 24.1.11

"As ingratitude is one of the basest vices, embracing almost all others, so gratitude is one of the noblest virtues, and is never found but with many others in its train. The judgment of mankind fully sustains this view. A celebrated writer says, "He that calls a man ungrateful, sums up all the evil that a man can be guilty of... A deaf mute is said to have defined it to be "the memory of the heart.

There is, on earth, no love to God without warm and lively gratitude. The unconverted rejoice in the gifts of God, and often pervert them to their carnal gratifications. Such have no genuine holy gratitude. They even despise his chief gifts, his unspeakable gift, his Son,and his precious gift of the Spirit. Holy gratitude would never leave men to such daring wickedness. It would mightily draw them to God." William S. Plumer (1)


"Where is our family gratitude journal?" I ask.

Some times it is in my children's room, sometimes it is sitting on the coffee table, some other times it is on my husband's nightstand. Sometimes it is open every day, new gifts are jotted down; but there are days (few of them) that it remains closed. Today I am grateful that one day (September 21st 2009), we started this journal and we keep filling pages with moments that we don't want to miss and make us whisper "Thank you, Lord".

Today we are at #1946... and for this I am grateful!



1085. A whole day in the Children's Museum.



1086. A nice lunch with my husband and girls.

1087. A Beautiful home.

1088. Morning light.

1089. Dolls and joys.



1090. My online  friends, so real. I Love you!

1091. Towels hanging from a clothesline.

1092. Tea for my young lady.

1093. Books and books all over the house.

1094. Watercolors,  pencils and  drawing pads ready to be used.

1095. Looking forward to a new week.

1096. Big boys and bikes and laughs.

1097. Homemade chocolate- chip cookies.

1098. A sunny Sunday.

1099. A blessed and quiet Lord's day.


What are you grateful for today, my dear friend?







Sweet Shot Day


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Praying What Jesus Asked Us to Pray

 23.1.11



Lord, I have neglected praying this prayer;

please remind me, 

through your Holy Spirit to ask you, 

Lord of the Harvest, to send laborers into your harvest.

And I pray  today  for all the laborers

that are already in the fields,

weary and tired,

that you may look at them,

and bless them, 

and renew their strength and joy;

remind them that they have been put there to the defense of the gospel.

Lord, I ask you that just as you caused the Philippians,
to grow more confident in you through

the trials and example of Paul,

I ask you, that you will make me

more bold to speak the word without fear, 

like Paul and all of those saints that today are

being persecuted  and rejoice, no matter what,

because the gospel is advancing.

This I pray  in the name

of my Saviour and King,

Jesus Christ.

Amen








If you would like to use this image as your wallpaper on your screen, please do so! Just leave  a comment so that I may know you did.

Another Scripture & Snapshot is at my photography blog, Psalm 118: 21 (You can also use that image as a wallpaper, just be sure to leave a comment telling me you did so. Thanks)


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Prokop (Progress) - P2R Week 3-

 22.1.11



I am very happy to be part of the huge number of saints memorizing Philippians (P2R). I am studying along a commentary on Philippians by MacArthur ; which has proved to be something beneficial for my soul. So just as I did last week, I will post some interesting insights I have gleaned from these verses.

Prokop is the greek word that means "progress; advance".  Definitely a key word on this week's memory verses (Philippians 1: 12- 18).

Every trial in the life of the Christian should serve to advance the gospel. "It was the progress (the advance) of the gospel for which Paul lived so passionately" (emphasis mine) It was this way of living through trials that make him write the Epistle of Joy!

"One of the surest measures of a Christian’s spiritual maturity is what it takes to rob him of his Spirit-bestowed joy. Paul’s maturity is evident in the present text as he makes it clear that difficult, unpleasant, painful, even life-threatening circumstances did not rob him of joy but rather caused it to increase."

Philippians is known as the Epistle for joy, but we know that joy is not always present in the life of the believer; why? MacArhur says,

"The only certain cause for loss of joy in a believer’s life is sin, which corrupts his fellowship with the Lord, who is the source of joy. Such sinful attitudes as dissatisfaction, bitterness, sullenness, doubt, fear, and negativism cause joy to be forfeited. Consequently, the only way to restore lost joy is to repent and return to proper worship of and obedience to God.
Any thing other than sin -no matter how difficult,  painful, or disappointing- need not to take away the believer's joy."

This is a time to stop and ask ourselves, how do we react to those hard circumstances in life that we encounter? Paul was in prison, his circumstances were terrible, however, he rejoiced because he knew that he was put there for the defense of the gospel; he knew he was in prison with a  God- glorifying purpose, the advance of the gospel.

I have friends (for example Hollie and Persis) who have gone through very harsh times and have learned to give glory to God in the midst of their circumstances and have fought against their flesh to keep their joy. This humbles me and I learn from them.

"He {Paul} did not ignore or make light of his imprisonment (cf. 1:7,14, 17; Col. 4:3, 18; Philem. 9, 13), but it was incidental to his willing, joyous, and immeasurably privileged status as a bondservant of Jesus Christ (1:1)... Everything in Paul's life had  importance only to the degree that it affected the progress (the advance) of the gospel." (Emphasis mine)

So no, we are not to "confess" the opposite of what is happening, of the reality God has brought to our lives; but we must see beyond it!

Now, what is our reaction to the trials our  brothers and sisters in Christ are walking through? Paul says that many brothers became more confident in the Lord by his imprisonment  and spoke more boldly the word without fear (v. 14). To this MacArthur says,

"His strength became their strength, as his example touched them... courage is contagious"

Isn't this a wonderful example on how all that happens to us serves to advance the gospel if we give God the glory due to His name in all? I am thinking of this, if a Christian complains all through the period of trial he has to go through, then no one around him will be encouraged to walk with confidence before a sovereign God; so next time I walk through trials, I want to be an encouragement to the saints around me, always giving God the honor and speaking boldly the word without fear.

The last quote I want to share now is this:

"Absolutely nothing could steal Paul's God-given joy. He was expandable; the gospel was not. His own privacy and freedom were incidental, and he cared nothing for personal recognition or credit. Neither the painful chains of Rome nor the even more painful criticism of fellow Christians could keep him from rejoicing, because Christ was being proclaimed and His Church was growing and maturing"

Today I am grateful for the Epistle to the Philippians. There is so much to learn.. !

May we be willing to live passionately to advance the gospel of Christ through all the circumstances we walk through.




Some friends Memorizing Philippians share their thoughts (I encourage you to visit them):

Read my friend's Anne's reflections here.
Aaron  @Blogging Theologically shares his thoughts  here. 
Leslie Wiggins' reflections are here

What have you learned through this week's verses? Any helpful tips? Any insights you want to share? 

Join the conversation!



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Friday...How it Looks Around Here

 21.1.11

Exam week is over on the home front... at least for our children; they are excited about a longer weekend and I am too! This mom, however,  still has some grading to do. (And it is OK, I am happy with that; I LOVE to see how my Spanish 1 students are already writing 250 words paragraphs and my Spanish 2 students are putting together words and sentences forming 500 words paragraphs!)

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Have you ever found something on the Internet  that you just love, a photo, a product, a painting, a book, a purse, a recipe, a cozy space, a sofa, a lamp, a journal, a notebook, a pen, a pencil.... and then you forget where it was?

Well, look at this great place I found (HT. Geninne), Pinterest. It is an online catalog in which you are the curator and you keep track of the pretty things and great ideas you find from here and there. I am just starting my own catalog but you can see what I have already pinned here (link is now working!)

View Becky...'s Pins on Pinterest


You will soon see this link on my side bar... just for fun, just so you get a better idea of what I like! :)

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And the fun part...  A craft for "Big Boys and Girls" (Note that  I say it is an activity for big boys and girls, because they will need to use pins... lots of pins!)


Palo de Lluvia, a Mayan Musical Instrument
  (sorry I don't know the name in English and couldn't find it!)




 * You need a thimble, pins, a cardboard tube (the longer the better), glue, scissors, paints, brushes, and lentils.

 * Following the spiral pattern of the cardboard press in the pins using the thimble.


* Now with some cardboard or construction paper cover one end.







* Now put about 3 spoons of lentils in the tube.




* Cover the other end and start painting it.




 * Now you are ready to make some Mayan music.





Have a most wonderful weekend!















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Persevering Prayer - Living in the Sacred-

 20.1.11

 When I wrote about my year's theme, Living in the Sacred,  a visitor left a note saying, "It will be interesting to see how you live it out and communicate it on here this year."



I don't know if you are still sojourning with me, dear visitor,  but I want to say that Living in the Sacred is real, is what we Christians do, every day, every moment. It is not something I made up; it is not something mystic, it is REAL. We live in the Sacred, because we live in Him.

"In him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17: 28

My dear friend, Living in the Sacred, living in Him, is living in prayer, in communion with Him.... always praying; praying without ceasing.  It is abiding in the Word, because it is in the Word of God where we can clearly hear His voice.

This is what I don't want to forget this year, this life I live under His sun and by His grace.

Today's borrowed words are taken from Grace Gems, (I know it is long, but I encourage you to read it all)


"The exhortation, then, of the apostle, to the Philippian Church, means, first, that prayer should be the pervading spirit of the Christian life—that it should be, as leaven, fermenting the whole substance of our moral being—a sentinel, continually keeping watch over our unguarded movements—a sanctified enclosure, fencing us round by the protection and presence of God. Like those bright and glorious orbs which revolve in the skies above us—no sounds may be uttered—but the language of the heart unceasingly ascends to the Father of spirits, and enters into the ears of the Lord God Almighty. There may be no form—no utterance of language—it may be a tear—a sigh—a wish—a hope—a desire—a groan—but the whole Christian life is pervaded by the spirit of prayer.

"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed—
The kindling of a hidden fire 
That trembles in the breast.

The formation of plans—the carrying on of daily duty—the going forth to encounter any difficulty or trial—the bearing up under reproach, injury, or wrong, are all thought of, in subjection to the will of God, in prayer. The Christian man will not absolutely say, "I will do," "I will not do," until he has thus committed the matter, in prayer, to God. It fills his heart as he opens his eyes to another day—and, a silent prayer is breathed, that its dangers may not injure his soul—that its good may be received with thankfulness, and its evils may be averted or shunned. It enters into all his hopes and desires, so that they are always, "If the Lord will." When an evil thought rushes into the Christian's heart, it finds that the spirit of prayer is there to meet it—when a subtle temptation creeps stealthily through the soul, if it has been thus exercised, there is comparatively but little upon which it can lay hold, and it retires without having drawn him into sin. It is thus that he realizes prayer as a perpetual safeguard against the attacks of the adversary; and, living under its sacred influence, he has the blessed consciousness of living near to God. God dwells in him, and he in God—the Divine image is reflected upon his soul, for "God is light, and he who dwells in light, dwells in God and God in him."

Under all circumstances and in all conditions, this spirit of silent, yet earnest, believing prayer, may have its power upon the heart. Its home is the Christian's bosom—its hallowed influence pervades the Christian's life—it brings down the happiness and peace of heaven itself into the Christian's soul, so far as these can be enjoyed in this imperfect state of being; and, it is, in truth, the most elevating, comforting, and transforming, of all the duties, in which the Christian can engage on earth. It brings him nearest to his God, and his God to him. There are no circumstances in which it can be crushed—no peculiarities of place in which it may not be indulged. In the time of adversity—when earthly blessings are removed—this spirit sustains the soul, by leading it to "cast all its care on God who cares for it." In the hour of bereavement—when the home is desolated and the heart is wrung—this spirit calls Jesus to look upon the desolated home and the torn heart, and reminds Him, that when on earth, He once shed a tear over a scene like this; and, there is no thought of a removal of the sorrow, except by the spirit of prayer, which can alone cope with the sad, desolating power of grief.


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"[W]hile the Christian may thus, in everything, hold sweet, unbroken communion with heaven—and, through all the duties and trials of daily life, may cherish and retain the spirit of prayer—he will have his special sacred times with God. Times of meditation and prayer—times which only sickness or imperative necessity will ever permit him to invade or to interrupt—times when the world and the things of the world are forgotten, and the soul draws fresh nourishment, and strength, and hope, from pouring out its desires and longings—its supplications and entreaties, at the throne of grace, and, anew, asking help against coming toils and trials, from its gracious and compassionate Heavenly Father."

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"[T]he exhortation of the apostle goes even further than this, and implies that, in every condition and circumstance of life, Divine guidance, and help, and counsel, should be sought in prayer. There are many, who flee to a Throne of Grace in times of extremity, but who are strangers to it when all is calm and tranquil—who never imagine that the help of God is needed quite as much in prosperity as in adversity—in health as in sickness. "When trouble is upon them," says Scripture, "they will pour out their souls unto God." "In their affliction they will seek me, says the Lord." Yes, they know they cannot, in such trying circumstances, bear up without the help of Heaven—they feel the utter insufficiency of human resources, and the weakness of human trust—and they cry unto the Lord for help. They pray in the tempest, but are silent in the calm—they implore deliverance from the sick-bed, but not the fear and love of God to keep and guide them in the day of health—they make their complaint under the pressure of calamity, or the burden of distress, but they ask not for a thankful spirit in the midst of their plenty and prosperity."

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"The true Christian, however, realizing his own feebleness and his entire dependence on the grace and help of God—"in everything makes known his requests unto God"—not merely in times of tribulation, when the storm has driven him to seek for shelter—not merely in days of sickness and trouble when he stands as it were on the brink of death's dark flood—but when everything is bright and prosperous, and when health and vigor animate his frame. If in sickness, he prays for patience—in health, he prays for a thankful spirit. If in adversity, he prays that God may not forget him—in prosperity, he prays that he may not forget God. He makes known his requests, not merely for spiritual, but for temporal blessings, knowing that his temporal and spiritual lot are inseparable, and that, in the arrangements of both, he cannot and ought not to rely on his own judgment and discretion, but on the gracious promise of God—"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

You can read the whole article here.

So Dear Reader, I am living out this year's theme by learning to fill my days with prayers. I am learning to "retain the spirit of prayer" in the midst of my duties and while hugging and kissing my children and husband; I am learning to have "special sacred times with God" throughout my day; times of  prayer, times of meditation on His Word while memorizing it, because I long to abide in Him all day long.

May God help us to  persevere today in prayer, to live with our heart inclined to prayer.





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Heaven and Hell by Isaac Watts

 18.1.11

My daughter and I just finished memorizing one of the poems from the book "Divine and Moral Songs for Children" by Isaac Watts (Praise for Creation and Providence), and we are now ready to start memorizing a new one. This time she was free to choose one; and this is the one she picked:





Heaven and Hell

Song X
There is beyond the sky
A heaven full of joy and love;
And holy children, when they die,
Go to that world above.

There is a dreadful hell,
And everlasting pains;
Where sinners must with devils dwell,
In darkness, fire, and chains.

Can such a wretch as I
Escape this curse end?
And may I hope, whene'er I die,
I shall to heaven ascend?

Then I for grace will pray,
While I have life and breath;
Lest I should be cut off to-day,
And sent to eternal death.



Very different than the "Veggie Tales", right?

May God help us preach the true gospel to our children and to nourish their souls with the Truth, with the Scriptures that can make them wise unto salvation.

Under His sun and by His grace,


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Monday, a Time to Give Thanks.

 17.1.11

My Daughter's picture


Paul's words keep resonating in my heart, my mind... they come out of my mouth, slowly for I don't want to trample.

Philippians is known as the Epistle of Joy, and Paul's first mention of JOY is when he says:

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy" (v.3-4 ESV)

If this is the Epistle of Joy, then I certainly want to go deeper into the meaning of such word. John MacArthur says,

"Spiritual joy is not an attitude dependent on chance or circumstances. It is the deep and abiding confidence that, regardless of one’s circumstances in life, all is well between the believer and the Lord."


He goes on and gives us several features of a biblical theology of true joy:

First, joy is a gift from God. (Psalm 4:7-8;  Psalm 16:11)

Second, God grants joy to those who believe the gospel. (Luke 10:11-12; John 15:11)

Third, joy is produced by God the Holy Spirit. “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,” Paul said, “but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). 

Fourth, joy is experienced most fully as believers receive and obey God’s Word. (Jer.15:16; 1 John 1:4)

Fifth, believers’ joy is deepened through trials. The full reality of joy is experienced when it is contrasted with sadness, sorrow, and difficulties. (I Thess. 1:6; 2 Cor. 6:10; James 1:2; I Peter 1: 3-6)

Sixth, believers' joy is made complete when they set their hope on the glory of heaven. They are always to be "rejoicing in hope" (Rom. 12:12; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 4:13; Jude 24-25)
 



And my gratitude list goes on... full of JOY!
1073.  True joy.

1074. The sun shinning through my window.

1075. Warm sweaters.

1076. Dreams


1778. Exam week.

1079. Waiting in the Lord.

1080. The precious gift of intercession.

1081. Our family Table full of Bibles.

1082. Rhythms in our daily life.



Pixels and Stories





May you have a week full of true, biblical JOY!




Under His sun and by His grace,


 

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Praying the Psalms- Psalm 90-

 16.1.11




Psalm 90

BOOK FOUR

From Everlasting to Everlasting

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.


1. Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.

Lord, remembering how your hand has been upon us all these years
should make me raise today full of faith,
knowing that YOU, You the mighty One has been our dwelling place all these years.
Where else can I be secure?
Where else but in your  dwelling place.


2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You never fail God, You never change. 
You, my dwelling place never move.
You are the same for ever and ever;
I praise You for your immutability today!


3 You return man to dust
and say, "Return, O children of man!"

You said, "Return..."
You called me by name and I could resist
Your irresistible Grace.

4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.


5You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.


Lord, you are not bound to time,
the brevity of my life is always in contrast with Your Eternal Being.
Teach me, O teach me, please,
to live beyond this timeline that frames my days,
help me remember that the squares in the calendar
should not rule my life;
help me live with my heart fixed on eternity...


7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?


Father, I bow my head now to repent for all my sins;
Forgive me for I live at times without considering Your Word;
I toil and trouble and do not take pauses to pray to You.
Forgive all those secrets sins that cannot remain hidden.
Thank you because Your Word points to my sin, 
and your Holy Spirit leads me to repentance.
Thank you, Father.


12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

Yes, O yes, Lord .
Teach me to number my days;
not to live a busy life,
not to be able to say,
"I have lived well today"
but to get a heart of wisdom;
a heart who fears You;
a heart full of your Word.


14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.


Today I come to drink at your feet, 
to eat from your hand;
satisfy my souls' deepest needs...
Let Your love be all I long for;
be your love the joy of my life.


16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Father, now I pray,  let your work, your glorious,
transforming power that is
working in me, be known in my family;
change me more into your image that they may  be able to see
those changes, 
day by day,
morning after morning.
Let your favor be upon us,
establish the work of your hands upon us, your saints;
yes, establish the work of your hands!

In Jesus' name, I pray today,

Amen





You can also see the Scripture and Snapshot of Psalm 144: 3-4 here.


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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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