God’s Grace and Glory (2015)

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”

Psalm 71:18

It has been a blessing these last four years to share online the immeasurable gift of God’s grace ~ grace that abounds toward us in wisdom and prudence; and redounds in thanksgiving to His glory. Praise the Lord for His abundant life given through His Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. “O, that men might praise the Lord for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men.”

 After seventy-five years each moment, hour, and day is counted as His blessing. Twenty more years would not be enough time for me to express all the grace and goodness He has shown to Jerry and me. I understand what John meant when he said, Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25

My main role is still as wife/caregiver for my husband of fifty-three years, and as a keeper at home; but the Lord blesses in a few minutes here and there to write about Him. In this fifth year of blogging there are still many things on the back burner waiting for me to finish. Books that were begun years ago are being completed. It seems that the shorter articles that come day by day posted on this blog are the overflow of this river of living water. The Lord moves in mysterious ways according to His own will, and this is the beautiful part of our relationship with Him; to experience His working above, in and through our own. The series of Little Books About the Magnitude of God* are developing more and more; the most recent one, What Is God Doing in Your Life?

This series was developed due to the content of my writing. Most are longer that an article and shorter than a regular sized book. Each one is more exciting for me that the last. I can’t seem to finish one before the Lord gives another, but He has given the assurance that He is able to complete what He begins. Then, there is the music file; trying to include Scripture Tunes ~ Have This Mind Among Yourselves, God’s Word put to music; a recent new hymn, plus recordings of Hymns and Psalms that have been lost in the last generation. So I would ask that you, the reader, pray for His working in me for obedience of faith, so that He can continue to pour forth through my heart that river of living water by His Holy Spirit.

This blog serves as an archive in which to store this legacy for my family in future generations. Publishing the books may come after my demise. On this site my desire is not for followers or “likes” but for sisters and brothers in Christ to come along side, living and walking by the Spirit, to support by prayer the work that He is completing in my last days here. My promise for you is not that I will follow, but that you know I am striving side by side with you for the faith of the gospel. I enjoy reading other blogs and my prayers are for you to witness of God’s working of His grace in your life.

My books are unpublished. If you are interested in reading, proofing, reviewing or editing any of these please let me know.
The Lord bless you and keep you by His grace, for His own glory.

*Series of Little Books About the Magnitude of God
**Finished Manuscripts

**Two Full Plates ~ Learning to be a Caregiver
**Prayers That Brought Down the House
**The Purpose and Delight of Bible Study0001Mj_2
**Waiting is Not a Game
**Child Keeping ~ The Blessing to Parents
**One Month to Live ~ A Father’s Last Words
**A Study of Light in God’s Word
**A Study of God’s Word in God’s Word
**A Study of Life in God’s Word
**God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory
**Short Stories of God’s Grace
**Poems of God’s Grace
**A Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
**Notes on Paul’s Letter to the Romans
What Is God Doing in Your Life?
God Is Our Goal
Husband, Cherish and Preserve Your Bride
Focus, Balance and Order
Rejoice, Request, Rest, and Remember
Three Facets of God’s Glory That Every Christian Needs to See
God’s Grace in Times of Grief
Legacy of the Seven Psalms + One
Filled With Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory

 Other Books:

**Journal Through Hebrews
**The S.S. Perspective (middle school curriculum for Bible Study)
**Summer of Psalms (workbooks for the seven Psalms)
**Where Do I Fit?  (Study of Ephesians for Youth Discipleship)
Worship That Springs From the Heart of God ~ A Sheep’s View
The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ
In Prayer and In Touch ~ The Ministry of Intercession
Growing Up and Growing Old, Gracefully
Words of Life ~ From A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian
The Words of Christ
Red Clover and Silver Tap Shoes ~ Autobiography

Music:
Have This Mind ~ Scripture Tunes
God Be Merciful to Me a Sinner (new hymn)

Movement

Activity is a manifestation of life. Activity is movement, or motion—the opposite of stillness. imagesActivity is movement in a certain direction, for a specific purpose.   This movement is a result of the act of God as He breathed His own Spirit into a form, which He made from the dust of the earth. The soul, or the being, called man, is the result—God’s act of creation. His Spirit, His breath, breathed into man from the beginning, has continued throughout the generation of man; although the guidance that came with it—the wisdom—of His Spirit was taken away in Adam’s willful disobedience to God. Non-the-less, the power of life—activity—remains with man.

In the deception of sin that comes with every life born into this world—that “lies in wickedness”—man is unaware that the life within is guided to move in a certain direction. Unregenerate man, unknowingly, moves in the direction of destruction. The spirit of man, without the wisdom of the Creator, has no Life force within him. All that is left to Adam’s generation is the motion toward death.

The guiding force of the Creator within man is always moving forward and upward, toward heaven, toward Himself, bringing those who have been regenerated with His Spirit closer and closer to Him, WHO IS LIFE, and the giver of life, the sustainer and nourisher of Life.

“Ye must be born again,” are the words of Jesus Christ—“the wisdom and knowledge of God”–speaking to man, to turn us back to God, so that He can give us His Spirit, His Life-force that turns us from the direction that our sinful nature is taking us—from death. Our spirits are regenerated; our eyes are opened to see the cliff that looms ahead in our path; our ears hear the words, “Stop.” “No,” “Turn around,” “Look at Me,” “Come toward Me, and Live.” Our direction is changed, for He reveals Himself in Christ, as everlasting Life, generated by an everlasting Love, moving us ever and always by His Spirit that dwells within, through Christ—–into a body of believers, His church, the “body of Christ.” It is here that the Word of God, in power, is given in His “grace and knowledge” in the “measure of faith” to each one who comes in obedience to His Word. It is here that the heavenly Father meets the needs of all His children. Without each other we will still be going in the wrong direction. With each other—“members one of another”—is the safety the Father gives us here on the earth. It is in the family environment, as His people, that He pours down the blessings that He has “prepared for those who love Him.”  F.R. 2/01

Dear Father, continue to move us, by your newborn Spirit within us, toward Christ and you, to accomplish all for which you created and redeemed us.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Staying In The Ship

“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”   Acts 27:31
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Paul’s last voyage was not a pleasant one. From Caesarea he was being sent to Rome as a prisoner to be tried before Caesar. The storm they encountered was causing the ship to break apart as it ran upon the rocks near the beach of Malta. Before this final running aground where the bow stuck and the stem was being broken by the surf there was an opportunity for the prisoners to escape by throwing out the anchor and letting down the lifeboat. This could have been Paul’s chance to avoid being carried to Rome. But, he knew that what was happening was within the realm of God’s plans for him.

The following night, after Paul had been arrested, “the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11

Then, during the storm Paul stands to encourage all who are in the ship, “Take heart for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, Do not be afraid Paul, your must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you. So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.” Acts 27:22-26

Paul trusted God’s plan for him; he trusted His Word; and he was obedient to the will of God. His was the example of the obedience of faith that he preached through the gospel to the Roman Christians.

God’s plans for us may be that we go through the storms and waves of this world. The relationship we are in may break up and seemingly all hope is lost, but in faith we must stay in the ship. Our relationship with God may encounter upheavals; our fellowship with other believers may run aground, but we are called to obedience to stay in the ship and endure through the entire course, even if that means that we are heading toward the final end of this life. Paul endured his last voyage with other prisoners and soldiers; undoubtedly they were non-believers, not knowing the promises or power of God to save His people. Paul is the example for us, even in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation to shine as lights in the darkness.

Cutting Away the Lifeboat

“Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.”  Acts 27:32

God is able: and He promises in His Word never to leave us, nor forsake us. At times He may have to cut away the ropes of anything that might help us to abandon ship. His church is that great ship that has often been run aground, but He has not forsaken her. Many leave the ship, and often have a difficult time finding it again.

Marriage and family are ships that have to bear the storms, many find these relationships on the rocks; but when we rely on God promises, His presence and power as Paul did, we will experience His working through the upheavals to restore these ships, sometimes to better relationships than they were before.

We may be the only one with faith, courage, and perseverance to stay with the ship, knowing the God to whom we belong and worship. We may be the only light that God chooses to save a whole family from darkness and disaster. This is a reality that is accepted with humility, not pride. It can be a heavy burden for us, but in time it will produce the joy that He intends for us. Wherever we are is where God places us; to testify of Him.


Sheet Music: Be Still My Soul
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Experiencing the New Birth ~ Part 2

Proof of New Birth
A newborn baby once delivered is given to its parents by the hands of the doctor, a midwife, or a nurse. You would not see this done by only one hand. Similarly, the new birth is not a one-handed event. The two hands of faith and repentance bring the new life to its parents for feeding and care.photolibrary_rf_photo_of_parents_with_newborn

We are brought to the new mother, heaven, the new Jerusalem, who is free; (Galatians 4:16) and to the heavenly Father who sired us; and to the milk of His word, whereby we grow. (1 Peter 2:2)

We are never the same after the new birth, but in repentance and faith turn from our former way of life, continuing to pray, read, study, memorize and meditate on the truths of God’s Word. We are continually growing closer to God, being transformed by the renewing of our minds as He, through His Word and Spirit, conforms us to the image of Christ, His Son. (Romans 12:1-2 and 8:29) We desire to know and love Him more; to please Him in all things; we love the things He loves; we serve and worship Him above all things.

Proof of a new birth will be seen as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Physical life does not stop after we are born. We are not left in a crib the rest of our lives. We are fed, and we grow and develop into adulthood. And so, our new birth in Christ will show the signs of the nature and disposition of Christ in us as we grow in our relationship with Him. The love of God, by which He brings regeneration, is the same love that keeps us, and continues to grow in and through us. The love that is spread abroad in our hearts is the love by which we love Him and others. We could not love God and others before this new birth. John speaks plainly in his letters of this love.

Love Begets Love
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”  1 John 4:7

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:14,16

Love takes on a different meaning in our new birth. Love for the things of God displace our love for the world.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

Some Christians say that they cannot tell you the day or time of their new birth; but, they know that their life was changed; that as God brought them in faith and repentance to Christ He has kept them by His power to persevere and to be victorious over sin. They have not turned back, but have continued to walk with Him and to grow in their relationship with Him.

 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:2

The new birth, with the new heart, keeps us to God’s Word for the instructions that He has set forth for His people and His kingdom. Our applying ourselves to know, believe and obey is part of His work in us, for our pattern of life so that we can say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

(From The Purpose and Delight of Bible Study)
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Experiencing the New Birth

A newborn infant cannot in this life rejoice in the experience of its physical birth; neither can it at any time remember that day or time. The record of a baby’s birth is filed in the county and country in which it is born. The parents and others who love this child will remember its birth in years to come.

24900590Jesus told Nicodemus, a religious leader of His day, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5

When we read and study the third chapter of John we come upon truth that was spoken by Jesus Christ to one who knew the law, who taught the Scriptures from the Old Testament, yet he was no better off than the newborn infant. We are born blind and cannot see spiritual things. We cannot understand this life, nor any that is to come. We are deaf and helpless to know the things of God. We do not understand truth because it comes from God only through the revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ.  In truth, we enter this world under the sentence of death.

When Jesus prefaced His statements with the words truly, truly (verily, verily, in the KJV), He was bringing attention to the truth that followed, though Nicodemus could not understand it; and he had been brought up with the Law and the Prophets. He knew of Ezekiel 36:26 where God promised to take away the stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh.

The writer of Hebrews quoted the promise, “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God,
 and they shall be my people” (8:10). When He puts within us the new heart and spirit He has a new tablet on which to write and record His law and promises, so that they will not be forgotten, and through which His Spirit can speak and work the truth. We are given new eyes to see the kingdom of God and to live in light of His truth. We have His Spirit that brings us into His kingdom, so that we may live in proclamation of our new birth.

The Secret of New Birth
Jesus told the Jews who believed in Him, “If you abide (continue) in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Their faith was not a saving faith, (the power of the new birth). They were still blind to the truth that was in Jesus. They would know the truth and be set free from their blindness and the power of sin if they continued in the truth that Jesus was speaking to them. We cannot have true faith in something we do not know. We cannot truly know Jesus Christ, who came to bear witness of the truth unless we continue in God’s Word.

“And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole 
heart” Jeremiah 24:7

He has graciously provided and preserved the truth through The Holy Bible for centuries for us to know the truth; for those who are His people to be set free from blindness and sin; that they may see and enter into the glory of His kingdom.

 If we continue in God’s Word the Spirit of truth will convict us of our sin, enable us to see our blindness, our helplessness; and the need for salvation. The power of the gospel will work in this new heart and spirit for our regeneration; so that we are enabled in faith to turn in repentance from our darkness and the old life of sin and misery, to Christ.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

A Conception of Love
We cannot speak of new birth ~ a spiritual birth that is wrought in the hearts of men ~ as a work that man can claim as any of his own. Just as we cannot conceive or birth ourselves to this human life, neither can we conceive of a new life spiritually. It must be a supernatural act of God and only in God’s power. Just as the first creation was by God’s Word only so is the new creation in us.

But, more importantly, we must see it as an act of God’s love. It is a father whose seed is planted that sires a natural child. It is the heavenly Father who plants the seed of His own Word, His divine word of Christ into the hearts of His own children. Let’s look at this work of His own love working through His Word and Spirit to produce this new birth.

A Penetrating Love
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks of the power of God’s Word; living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) Here is the penetrating power of God’s love (the seed of His Word) that He alone can plant wherever He wants it. “The wind blows where it wishes (where God wishes) and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

A Love That Permeates and Reshapes the Heart
Where it penetrates, it permeates, saturates, and reshapes, “because God’s love has been poured into (spread abroad in KJV) our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

“God shows us His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

A Perpetuating Love
The love of God penetrates, permeates and perpetuates His Word in and through us forever. Neither he, nor anyone else will stop this love, or take it away. (Romans 8:38)

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4-5

“According to his great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

 “You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;…. for the word of God remains forever.” 1 Peter 1:23, 25

We continue in His Word that has given us new life. The same word and power that gives us new life is the same truth that sustains us and enables us to grow and mature. From our justification in Christ we continue in sanctification until we are fully glorified in the day of redemption.

Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.” 1 John 4:10

Unlike our physical birth, the experience of our new birth is something that we cannot forget, but we continue to speak of it. It is the beginning of being set apart for Him for sanctification; and His witness through us of the proclamation of His kingdom here on earth. Through our witness God brings others to His Word and freedom in the truth of Christ. Those who love us, others who are born of His Spirit, rejoice with us. We love to hear their experiences of new life and living by the Spirit. We rejoice together and worship the heavenly Father who desired us and sired us through His Spirit and His Word. He keeps us and teaches us, in and of His kingdom here, preparing us to share His glory in eternity.

(Next: Part 2  ~ Proof of the New Birth)
Excerpt from The Purpose and Delight of Bible Study

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TRUE LIFE

True Life
Is not a matter of
Who or where I am;
What I am; or what I do;
What I think or what I say;
What I have or haven’t done;
What I should or shouldn’t do; or
What I plan to do.
 True Life
 Is a matter of
 Who God the Creator is;
 Where He is and What He does;
 What He thinks, and what He says;
 What He has and hasn't done;
 What He is doing; and
 What He plans to do.

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