Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where are you going in 2012?

He cares for the birds of the air, how much more does He care for us. In Him there is a hope that never dies.

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light 

Words: Kristyn Getty
Traditional Melody arranged Rob Mathes

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul
And from his scars poured mercy that would plead for me
That I might live and in his name be known

So I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him

What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me
Beneath his wings my wakened soul may soar
All fear can flee for death's dark night is overcome
My Saviour lives and reigns forevermore

So I will go wherever He is calling me … 

Speak, o Lord by Keith Getty

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow'r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

O God beyond all praising

O God beyond all praising,
we worship you today
and sing the love amazing
that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder
at every gift you send,
at blessings without number
and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before you
and wait upon your word,
we honor and adore you,
our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Savior,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor
may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we'II triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty
and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty
our sacrifice of praise.

Words: Michael Perry (1942-1996)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


As we 'feast' and celebrate at Christmas time and for New Year's celebrations remember...

Psalm 34:8 (NKJ) 
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
         Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

As we give and receive gifts and watch the joy of children giving and receiving, let us remember that....
James 1:17 (NKJ) 
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
And best of all let us remember the greatest gift of them all....

John 3: 16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The perfect husband

(James Smith, "The Glories of Christ!" 1864)

There is but one object that can be presented to a sinner's mind, which contains all that is needful for him, and all that is delightful to him--and that is JESUS! In Jesus, he finds an infinite variety which is always pleasing and profitable! The more he knows of the person, perfections, and works of Immanuel--the more happy, holy, and useful he will be.  Unbounded kindness, unparalleled meekness, and exquisite tenderness--shine in all His dealings with His people! He has never left room for one to doubt . . .
  the kindness of His heart,
  the power of His arm, or
  the faithfulness of His Word.

Jesus loved, labored, suffered, bled, died, rose, ascended, and intercedes--to save His people from their sins! He is the perfect husband who . . .
  brings us into marriage-union with Himself,
  provides for all our necessities, and
  assures us of His unalterable love!
He gives us . . .
  His arm to support us,
  His fullness to supply us,
  His name to entitle us,
  His robe to cover us,
  His angels to guard us,
  His Word to assure us, and
  His Heaven to be our habitation at last!

To know Christ--is true wisdom;
to love Him--is the evidence of grace; and
to walk with Him--is the highest honor that can be put upon a sinful creature!

It is the delight of a truly spiritual mind to think of Jesus, feed on Him, and rejoice in Him. There is nothing in Christ--but what is precious to him. Christ is the object of his faith, love, and desire; and the subject of his meditation, boast, and song in the house of his pilgrimage. To a Christian, Christ is ALL!

The believer is knit to Jesus, walks in fellowship with Him, and desires above all things to exalt and glorify Him. Jesus is just suited to the believer, and he thinks on Him with great delight and satisfaction!

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Be sure to read James Smith's choice 2 page article,
"The Glories of Christ!"
   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blessings to you all at Christmas Time:

Luke 2: 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Matthew 2: 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

May our worship be as theirs, God bless you all, Joy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How do we worship?

And when they were come into the house, 
they saw the young child with Mary his mother, 
and fell down
and worshipped him
and when they had opened their treasures
they presented unto him gifts
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 

Matthew 2:11

Monday, December 19, 2011

Divine Sympathy! (by John MacDuff) "I know their sorrows!" Exodus 3:7

From Grace Gems
These are God's own words! Man cannot say so. There are many sensitive fibers in the soul, which the best and tenderest human sympathy cannot touch. But the Prince of Sufferers, He who led the way in the path of sorrow, "knows our frame."
When crushing bereavement lies like ice on the heart--when the dearest earthly friend cannot enter into the peculiarities of our grief--Jesus can! Jesus does! He who once bore my sins--also carried my sorrows. That eye, now on the throne--was once dim with weeping!
Israel had long groaned under bondage. God appeared not to know it--or, if He did know it--not to care. He seemed, like Baal, to be "asleep". Yet at that very moment--His pitying eye was yearningly beholding His enslaved people. It was then that He said, "I know their sorrows!"
Just so, He may seem at times thus to forget and forsake us--leaving us to utter the plaintive cry, "Has God forgotten to be gracious?" When all the while, He is bending over us in tenderest love. He often allows our needs to reach their extremity--that He may stretch forth His supporting hand, and reveal the plenitude of His grace! "You can see how the Lord was kind to Job at the end--for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy!" James 5:11
And God fully "knowing" our sorrows--is a blessed guarantee that none will be sent, but those which He sees to be needful. "I will not," says He, "make a full end of you--but I will correct you in measure." Jeremiah 30:11
All the trials which He sends--are precisely meted out--and wisely apportioned. There is nothing accidental or random or unnecessary--no excess thorn--no superfluous pang!
"You keep track of all my sorrows! You have collected all my tears in Your bottle! You have recorded each one in Your book!" Psalm 56:8. Each one is counted and recorded--drop by drop--tear by tear! Tears are sacred things among the treasures of God!
Suffering believer, the iron may have entered deeply into your soul; yet rejoice! Jesus, a sorrowing, sympathizing Jesus--"knows" your aching pangs and burning tears, and He will "come down to deliver you!"
And of this divine sympathy, we are also assured in the New Testament, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tested in every way, just as we are!" Hebrews 4:15. What an elevating truth! We have the Sympathy of the God-Man-Mediator in our sorrows! What a source of exalted joy, to the stripped and desolate heart! What a green pasture to lie down upon, amid the windy storm and tempest, or in the dark and cloudy day!
The sympathy of man is cheering and comforting; but "thus far shall you go, and no farther." Man's sympathy is finite--limited--and often selfish! There are nameless and numberless sorrows on earth, which are far beyond the reach of all human alleviation!
The sympathy of Jesus alone, is . . .
removed from all taint of selfishness!
Jesus has Himself passed through every experience of woe. There are no depths of sorrow or anguish into which I can be plunged--but His everlasting arms are lower still! He has been called "The great sympathetic nerve of His Church, over which the afflictions and oppressions, and sufferings of His people continually pass!"
Child of Sorrow! A human heart beats on Heaven's Throne--and He has your name written on that heart! He cares for you as if no other claimed His regard--as if you were the only object of His care!
He "has been tested in every way, just as we are!" Blessed assurance! I never can know a sorrow into which the "Man of Sorrow" cannot enter. Ah rather, in the midst of earth's most lacerating trials--let me listen to the unanswerable challenge from the lips of a suffering Savior, "Was there ever any sorrow, like unto My sorrow!" Yet He willingly drank the cup of wrath! He did not shrink back from the appointed cross! And even when He hung upon the bitter tree--He refused the sour wine which would have assuaged the rage of thirst and mitigated physical suffering.
Are we tempted at times to murmur under God's afflicting hand? "Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart!" Shall we hesitate to bear any cross which our Lord and Master sees fit to lay upon us--when we think of the infinitely weightier Cross He so meekly and willingly carried for us?
Jesus has some wise and gracious purpose in every mysterious chastisement. His language is, "Hear the rod--and Him who has appointed it!" Micah 6:9. He has too kind and loving a heart--to cause us one needless or superfluous pang!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (4)

Psalm 40: 2
He drew me up from the pit of destruction
(a horrible pit, NKJV, a pit of despair NLT),
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (3)

 You may wonder where an 'old lady' like me has experience of climbing up a rock 'higher than I' a young adult I went hiking in the Gamsaskloof Mountains, South Africa. There, there is a rock that ever person who goes there must climb, a rock much, much 'higher than I'.

It is buried deep in the deepest, steepest gorge I have ever climbed; down in this gorge which we
called by the local name, 'De Hell'; it is a rock 'higher than I'. (This rock is in actual fact dwarfed by the magnificent gorge it sits in and so in a sense it looks small by comparison.). One must swim across a large mountain rock pool, until you come to this towering rock. The reward here is not so much the view, but the reward of a massive dive into the icy water below. 

Do you know how I know that it is harder to go backwards down, rather than forwards up a rock? I got to the top of that rock and could not get myself to dive, so I cambered all the way back down instead. We had no safety ropes, no safety nets. 

I notice that there are no photographs on the Internet that show this actual gorge. And I wonder if it is now closed  to the public. We knew the name of this gorge as De Hell. Now it seems that the general area is called by this name. Maybe one day if the Lord so blesses me, I will go back there and see for myself. I wonder if I would attempt to climb that rock again? I know I will go down for a swim in the magnificent gorge if I can. There are other gruelling hikes in that area, with magnificent views at the end of the effort as your reward. And I know I would take on this challenge for I know that the view is worth the agony, even for an 'old lady' like me.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (2)

 Have you ever clamoured up a massive rock higher than you? It can be a gruelling, excruciatingly painful, sweaty experience, full of hardship. You can be pushed to your furthest physical capacity, to the point where you feel as if you just have to, 'let go', to give up. Why? Because you are shaking in the agony of the strain..."how can I ever be strong enough not to go plummeting to death?" you wonder...and yet our Lord is our safety net or the safety rope that keeps us anchored and ensures that if we fall, we will not be smashed on the ground below. As one clamours up a gruelling challenging rock you wonder...."How can I overcome such weakness? How could I ever have thought of myself as fit and healthy and full of strength before this?" There is a realistic realisation of how pathetically weak we are; of our utter dependence on God for our safety and ability to carry on. There is a deep desire to 'give up' to go backwards, and yet going backwards is always harder than going forwards.

And yet when we reach the top there is a euphoric exhilaration....the exhilaration of a job finally 'well done'. There is a feeling that all the enduring hardship being a worthwhile the effort; an immense feeling of freedom, freedom from pain, freedom from the burden of hardship of getting there. It is a time to exult in the beautiful reward as you drink in the 360 degree view, the splendid beauty we behold. Our focus shifts from gripping and staring at the rock face in front of you, to the splendid view around and about - our look becomes outward.

If God leads us and we let Him lead us up the rock 'higher than I', there will be no going backwards because we took the wrong path; no retracing of our steps, no going backwards to go forwards, no unnecessary pain. There is joy and peace in his gentle leading, no matter how hard the gruelling uphill clamour.

Psalm 18: 35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.

Do you realise too that our Lord himself is our Rock of Ages, our fortress, our place of safety!
Isaiah 26:3 

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (1)

Psalm 61: 2 reads, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" 
in the context of

1. Hear my cry, O God,

listen to my prayer;

from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

This has been a good verse to meditate on over past weeks. To remember that the Lord will lead us to a place 'higher than I', if we keep crying out to Him. The week before last we went to Currumbin Beach the mouth of the river between the river and the sea is a massive rock, much 'higher than I'; the wind blew stinging sand and the tide was coming in. How I wished we could clamber up this rock, but there was no way up that I could see. 

God will keep us safe from the 'stinging sand' in life, and protect us from the swirling sucking currents, from dangerous waters. He will also give us a magnificent view of our surroundings, 360 degrees; a view of life from His perspective if we let him lead us to a rock 'higher than I'. How good that He takes us beyond our usual pathways....that we might learn to follow, that we may know His safety and protection, and that we can see life a little better from His viewpoint. I look at Google maps now and Currumbin Beach's massive rock looks so puny, so miniscule. In reality it is less than a pin prick in the whole universe, and yet it is a rock 'higher than I'. So too no doubt is our view/perspective on life. What grace that He leads us to a rock, 'higher than I’. What joy will be ours when we finally reach heaven and gain an even better perspective on life and for an eternity. What peace to know His loving arms around us, to know we are safe, even now, for 'He leads us to a rock higher than I'.

Psalm 27:5b says, He shall lift me high upon a rock. What a beloved 'day by day' Saviour/Rescuer we have, who takes us daily to higher ground.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Favourite verse...

Right now my favourite verse is 
Psalm 27: 13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
         That I would see the goodness of the LORD
         In the land of the living.

But take a look at the next verse too do we have hope in trials? Through the Lord's strengthening and just plain old 'waiting'!
 14 Wait on the LORD;
         Be of good courage,
         And He shall strengthen your heart;
         Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Do not Fret....

Our trials are designed to wean us off fretting as we rest in the Lord....

 Psalm 37 (NKJ)

A Psalm of David.
 1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
         Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
         And wither as the green herb.
 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
         Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
         And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
 5 Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him,

         And He shall bring it to pass.
 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
         And your justice as the noonday.
 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
         Do not fret
because of him who prospers in his way,
         Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
         Do not fret—it only causes harm.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"O that I knew where I might find him!"

Evening, November 19

   "O that I knew where I might find him!"
  Job 23:3

   In Job's uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The longing
   desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see his Father's
   face. His first prayer is not "O that I might be healed of the disease
   which now festers in every part of my body!" nor even "O that I might
   see my children restored from the jaws of the grave, and my property
   once more brought from the hand of the spoiler!" but the first and
   uppermost cry is, "O that I knew where I might find Him, who is my God!
   that I might come even to his seat!" God's children run home when the
   storm comes on. It is the heaven-born instinct of a gracious soul to
   seek shelter from all ills beneath the wings of Jehovah. "He that hath
   made his refuge God," might serve as the title of a true believer. A
   hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the infliction, and, like a
   slave, would run from the Master who has scourged him; but not so the
   true heir of heaven, he kisses the hand which smote him, and seeks
   shelter from the rod in the bosom of the God who frowned upon him.
   Job's desire to commune with God was intensified by the failure of all
   other sources of consolation. The patriarch turned away from his sorry
   friends, and looked up to the celestial throne, just as a traveller
   turns from his empty skin bottle, and betakes himself with all speed to
   the well. He bids farewell to earth-born hopes, and cries, "O that I
   knew where I might find my God!" Nothing teaches us so much the
   preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all
   besides. Turning away with bitter scorn from earth's hives, where we
   find no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in him whose faithful
   word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. In every trouble we should
   first seek to realize God's presence with us. Only let us enjoy his
   smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing heart for his
   dear sake.