How Could They? (An Ode to the Reformation)

How could they give all?
How could they lay it down?
Was it for crimes that they had done
~~~ or was it for a crown?

How could they die, so firm and sure
~~~ without a shade of doubt?
Was it for show or spectacle?
Was their faith that stout?

How could they stand ~~~ enduring flame?
How could they face the sword?
Were they unfeeling, so reserved?
Were they of another world?

If we but seek to truly know,
If, as they, we see and hear
The Savior, as He died for us ~~~
Is there anything we cannot bear?
Fran ~ 2010

(In praise to God, our Father; and in memory of those who died that we might have the Word of God, His truth, and the great salvation given through Jesus Christ, our Lord.)
The following is an audio sermon on 2 Thessalonians from a church in Northern Ireland about how the Word of God was the most important part in the Reformation.


Be Thou My Vision Ancient Irish poem,  8th Cen. David Evans 1927

PRAYERS That Bring the House Down

It is a delight to share our newest book.
PRAYERS That Bring the House Down is the eighth blessing (akin to having more grandchildren) God has given in answer to our heart’s desire to preserve what He is still teaching us of His goodness, grace and glory.
Father and Family Books are specifically published for our children, grandchildren and future generations to know of the legacy of our Father’s kingdom, and available on Amazon to all who are interested in how He has been working in this seventy-eight year old heart and life. We receive no benefits from sales, even if we ever recoup our expenses. Priced very reasonably, any profits are designated for missions and charity. Fran

“Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18

Joy and Contentment

How can I experience joy and contentment during these grueling times? How do I write about joy and contentment in the middle of uncertainty? I don’t know how, but I must. It is part of our work for Christ and His kingdom. It is during these times that He proves His joy in us.

He teaches, and by working His will in us by the power of His Holy Spirit we live, not according to our circumstances, but by our focus upon Him and His calling on our lives. There would never be true joy or contentment if we did not know Him, but Christ in us is the reason for our joy and contentment, no matter how difficult our days.

It has been this Year of Contentment (2017) that He chose to prove an even greater working than before with more trials. Without them we would never know how precious and powerful is His presence with us. His Word is not only powerful and active but also filling and fruitful in the worst of times. From these thoughts we venture to share what His Word says about joy. Please take time to read and meditate on these truths and let them settle in your heart. They will mean more to us than our comments. His Word is truly a lamp to our feet and a light to our path of joy through this wilderness. It is His joy that keeps us content even through the worst of times.

We started this series on contentment stating that all contentment is a gift from God and His Spirit working in us. Joy begins with Him, as with all that describes His kingdom and our relationship with Him, He rejoices over us with joy.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

Even as He initiates joy, there is no true joy apart from Him. Our joy is in Him.

“neither be ye grieved; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.Isaiah 29:19

Jesus speaks of the “good and faithful servant: who will enter into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.” Psalm 43:4

“for the Lord had made them joyful
(Ezra 6:22).

“Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.” Psalm 149:2

Joy in Our Salvation

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

We have joy in God “through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:11

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9

 Joy of the Holy Ghost
Joy is fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17

The God of hope fills with all joy and peace through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).

The Joy of Christ is a Full Joy

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
John 16:22

“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Joy Through God’s Word

Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: Jeremiah 15:16

Paul’s joy would not be abated during his last days of persecution, but it would carry him through the remainder of His ministry for the gospel.

 “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

Suffering and Temptation

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3

Paul spoke of exceeding joy in tribulation.
2 Corinthians 7:4

He prayed for the Colossian church that they may be “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” Colossians 1:11

Simon Peter wrote, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:13

James wrote about “joy through various trials (James 1:2).

Our Joy Is an Unspeakable, Everlasting, and Exceeding Joy

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1 Peter 1:8

Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for your joy that is ours through your Son, Jesus Christ, Fill us more and more with your Spirit of joy that cannot be taken from us, no matter the circumstances of this life. Enable us to meditate on your Word, to hide your Word and your joy in our hearts and to live content within your Word, your promises and the great salvation that is ours for eternity. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Where Is My Joy?
Lucy Anne Adams
based on Psalm 42

Where is my joy when all around is sorrow?
Where is my light when night is all I see?
Why is my soul in agony despairing,
Where is my hope, my song of victory?

My joy is in the God of my salvation.
His Word will light the shadows of my heart.
So I will hope in God who is my comfort,
Who gives a song of joy when sorrows start.

When I get permission I will post the other four verses of this beautiful song.

Google images

The Power of One Man

There are some mornings I cannot get out of bed. My first prayers have been offered up, meditations to begin the day have strengthened my heart, and yet God, our Father holds me and will not let me go.

Monday was such a morning.

Jerry is usually up first, checking the news and weather. He came to tell me of the one-man massacre the night before. (I only know what he tells me. I do not go to the media for more details. I learned years ago that I cannot immerse myself in the news of this world). With such news, my heart melts and I draw close to the throne of grace to know what my Father and my Lord want to say.

He is the God of all comfort and He knows how much we need Him. In times like these, He knows I need this extra time with Him before we begin our day together and to know how to answer others.

Many things, thoughts of this man and all the people he destroyed and injured, news and details of the event, rummaged through my mind. My heart cried out to the living God, who created life in His image, breathed into us His breath of life with the plan through His Spirit to sustain that life in His creatures.

At other times when the world has been in chaos He has drawn me close and given me the hope that He desires to share with His people.

Is Anyone Safe
People wonder if there is safety anywhere. The imaginations run to and fro as we continue to experience the evil heart of man.

We wonder how one man has the power over so many others. Our Lord reminds us that the enemy, the god of this world, is able to deceive, capable of giving his power to man.

He is the same enemy that deceived the one man God created for His own. By one man (Adam) sin came into the world and death by sin (Romans 5:12, 15).

In Watchman Nee’s book The Latent Power of the Soul, he speaks of the power God gave Adam when He put him in charge of His creation. He reminds us that God did not take away these powers, but we see how Satan continues to harness this power through man for His evil deeds.

Safety in the Power of One Man

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

We are amazed when one man has the power of death over others. Let us be in awe of the power of the one man Jesus Christ, who has the power to give life for eternity to those who come to God through Him.

Our only safety in this world and the next is in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was sent from the Father to save His people. Our only hope for now and the future is the steadfast hope that He alone gives.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

He came to destroy the one who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Where will all this end? ~ at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
Then we shall see the power of the resurrected Christ, the Son of God, the one man with power to rule over all things and all people and put away evil forever.

In the meantime let us all draw near to the throne of grace, keep our lights burning bright with the oil of hope and gladness, continually praising our Lord for His power to save His people from the evil one, bringing hope to others who do not yet know Him. It is during these times that people may be open to the truth of the gospel of grace and hope.Gracious Father, our hearts cry out to you for mercy for this nation and the world. We need to see the power of our Lord Jesus Christ in the lives of your people who as your children without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation hold fast to the word of Life. Shine the light of Christ through us that draws others to Him. Fill us with the power of your Spirit of grace, love, joy and peace. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Image: Google

The Lens of Contentment

Most people see contentment in good health, relationships, possessions, fashions, the cars we drive and the homes in which we live, many of these indicating the measure of our personal success.

God’s people are given a means of seeing what is different from the world. The new heart and new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3) given by God our Father, come with a lens that changes our focus from the world and our dependency on what we can achieve. Our view is upward, brought to see Him as the giver and supplier of all that we need. We see beyond the world’s offerings to the special blessings that are ours through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The writer of the book of Hebrews leaves an exhortation to God’s people in the last chapter:
“Keep your life free from the love of money.

The world trains our children to seek contentment through what our money can buy.
The followers of Christ are trained to “be content with what you have.”

Why can we be content with less than what the world offers?
~ “for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (13:5)

The giver of all things is more precious than all the money we could accrue in this world.
His presence is greater that any relationship, entertainment or possession offered in this generation.
His love and grace is of more value that anything money could buy.
His blessings are infinite and eternally ours, while the temporal things of this world will either be lost or fade away.
Nothing of this world can compare to what we experience in His supply of all things .

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” 2 Peter 1:3-4

There are those who are suffering physically and financially from attempting to keep up with greater expectations than they are able. When they learn of life in Christ, they can let go of the world’s offerings and enjoy Him and what He gives.

But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

It was the apostle Paul who said, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11). He rolled with the pushes, at the same time rejoicing and praising the Lord because He had experienced the presence and power of God. In His calling, devotion and service he was given “visions and revelations” of the Lord (2 Corinthians 12:1). As an evangelist/tentmaker he knew the God “who supplies all our needs” (Philippians 4:19). He lived with a “thorn in the flesh” ~ the buffeting of Satan through the religious and government leaders, living the last part of his life in prison because he was content with the Lord’s calling and promises of the gospel. Oh, that we might all say as he did, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

Gracious heavenly Father, creator and supplier of all things, open our eyes, turn them upward to see heaven opened as you pour out all that you have prepared for us in and through Jesus our Lord. Let the world see our contentment with you and all that you desire for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Related Post: A Year for Contentment ~ Continued
image: Google

Holding On and Letting Go

Since August 29, 1992, the Lord has led me in a different path than the former years ~ with a new heart, new spirit and new life.

We have together chronicled this path, leaving traces, patterns, and clues on the way. We have filled notebooks and file boxes, written letters, emails, blog posts and books with what He has been teaching me.

Celebrating these last twenty-five years has been a joyful experience as we continue through this wilderness in the power of His promises; in faith and the strength of His will to reach that eternal destiny to which He has called us.

At the age of seventy-eight I am near the riverside, having seen and tasted the glory of the Lord through His gift of grace. Through this pilgrimage, we come to a point where we no longer look back but toward the horizon to where He waits for us.

The Lord has these years in His service, been holding me and teaching me to hold to Him and all that He has given. He has shown me His plans for me, and with it the direction and wisdom in which to go, with the assurance to be with me all the way.

These last six months it seems that we have not gone forward but waiting for His instructions. During this time, we have been able to write sparingly through these blog posts. We have enjoyed being a part of the WordPress Christian Community, caught up with reading and commenting on other blog posts.

As Jerry’s appointments have lessened, though his foot is still not healed, we are now formatting and getting PRAYERS That Brought the House Down ready for publication. Thriving Under Oppression is the next project to finish ~ a continual work for the last three years. Our major work is not to promote and sell but to write and publish what we have already written, and finish others that we have started.

All are witness to God’s grace and His Glory in proclamation of the legacy of His kingdom. Under the name of Father and Family Books, these are the testimony of “laying hold of eternal life” to which He calls us. To continue on we must let go some of the things we have been doing these last six months. We cannot keep up the pace of reading and responding to other blog posts if we are to hold on and continue the work God has for us. I have read more blogs than I have written. We will visit as often as we can, but not on a daily basis as we have been this year.

Holding on means with both hands, eyes and face forward to the upward call. Letting go means not spending as much time where we have been.

We will still post occasionally and we are committed to finish our series on Contentment as the Lord leads.

My main role is as Jerry’s full-time caregiver. The Lord provides the time between our duties for writing and publishing. Please pray for the Lord’s leading and His holy will for all that we do in the service of His kingdom. Our books are Christian non-fiction, except for one book of short stories. They are for encouragement for Christian living and spiritual growth as we look to the hope that is set before us. We will post updates as often as possible.

If you are interested in any of our books on Amazon (one is free), remember that profits are designated for missions and charity. The Lord has provided for all our needs so that all our work is for His kingdom and glory.

Gracious Father, thank you for the precious friends you have given us here. I pray for your guidance for us all to continue holding to what you have given us; to let go the things of this world that would hinder our growth and continued progress in the way of your kingdom and eternal life. Show us your ways , O Lord, teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth and teach us. For you are the God of our salvation. On you do we wait all the day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.  

Related article: Laying Hold of Eternal Life

Which is the True Image?

When I saw the picture on the right posted as “The Best Image of Eclipse 2017” on Facebook Wednesday, I was impressed. When I went back to share it on Thursday, it was no longer there. When I searched Google, I understood why.

Neither of these are a true image of the 2017 eclipse. Brandon, the designer created his own image in 2011 and posted on Devianart. Someone copied the image and turned it so that the light appeared as a cross and posted it on Facebook.

True Image of Christ
This reminded me of all the images of Christ that have appeared throughout many generations. Yet, none of them are the same. Some are embarrassing and blasphemous. There are none that I care to look at. He remains but a silhouette until I see Him face to face.There were no paintings of Him by anyone who saw Him in the flesh. There were no cameras.

Who has a true image of Jesus Christ?

There are as many images conjured up in our own minds as there are painted.

How do we know a true Christian when we see one?

Paul speaks to the church in Corinth of false apostles.

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”  2 Corinthians 11:12-15

There are those who have claimed to be Christ. Jesus warned His disciples that there would be false prophets.

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look,
here is the Christ!’or
‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
Matthew 24:23

Dear Father in heaven, give us wisdom to know you and your Son as our Lord and Savior. Keep us from those who are impostors. So fill us with your Spirit and your Word that we can recognize the false images of Christ. Make us true image bearers. Enable us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ so as to share His true image with others ~ for your glory. In His name, I pray. Amen.