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Archive for August, 2012

Reminders for hard times

REMINDERS FOR HARD TIMES

Traveling on the road of life we will hit many of the bumps and pot holes along the way. When these difficult times occur we need to find encouragement and hope. The following poem, hymns and Scripture passages have met that need over the years. It is my hope that they will meet that need for others.

     MY FATHER’S WAY

My Father’s way may twist and turn;    My heart may throb and ache;                                                                                                 But in my soul I’m glad I know,   He maketh no mistake.                                                                                                                          My cherished plans may go astray.   My hopes may fade away;                                                                                                             But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead,       For He doth know the way.                                                                                                         Tho’ night be dark and it may seem,   That day will never break;                                                                                                             I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him,              He maketh no mistake.                                                                                                        There’s so much now I cannot see,        My eyesight’s far too dim;                                                                                                        But come what may,   I’ll simply trust,   And leave it all to him.                                                                                                             For by and by the mist will lift,       And plain it all He’ll make;                                                                                                             Thought all the way, tho’ dark to me;   He made not one mistake.

     A.M. Overton

 

BLESSED ASSURANCE

1       Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!      Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God,     Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

 2       Perfect submission, perfect delight,   Visions of rapture now burst on my sight: Angels descending bring from above   Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

 3       Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest: Watching and waiting, looking above,   Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

      This is my story, this is my song,  Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song,             Praising my Savior all the day long

 

GOD LEADS US ALONG 

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet, God leads His dear children along;

 Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,

God leads His dear children along.  Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so

bright,  God leads His dear children along;  Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,

God leads His dear children along.   Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,  God

leads His dear children along;  Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,  God

leads His dear children along.

Away from the mire, and away from the clay,  God leads His dear children along;

Away up in glory, eternity’s day,    God leads His dear children along

Some through the waters, some through the flood,  Some through the fire, but all through the blood;  Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song, In the night season and all the day long.

HIGHER GROUND

I’m pressing on the upward way,  New heights I’m gaining every day; Still praying as I’m onward bound,  “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” My heart has no desire to stay  Where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where those abound,  My prayer, my aim, is higher ground. I want to live above the world,  Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled; For faith has caught the joyful sound,  The song of saints on higher ground. I want to scale the utmost height  And catch a gleam of glory bright; But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,  “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” Lord, lift me up and let me stand,  By faith, on Heaven’s table land, A higher plane than I have found;  Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

 How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of he Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word. What more can He say than to you He hath said To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with thee  O be not dismayed, For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen thee , help thee, and cause thee to stand, Up held by my gracious omnipotent hand.

When thru the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow; For I‘ll be with thee thy troubles to bless, And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When thru fiery trials thy path way shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not hurt thee I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to his foes; That soul, tho all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never no never no never forsake.

Scripture

Rom 8:28-29 And we know that all thing work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren.   

2 Cor 4:8-9 We are troubled on every side, yet no distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; Cast down, but not destroyed;

    Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

ISA 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

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                                                            THOUGHTS FROM THE HYMNS

 Three hymns that carry a lot of meaning for our life time on the earth. I will share their meaning and importance is to me.              

 Just as I am– a reminder of the truth of the Scriptures that I have nothing to offer to God in payment for forgiveness of my sin.

Room at the Cross– a reminder of God’s love and mercy and of the open invitation that there’s always room for one more.

God’s Final Call a reminder of the limited time and opportunities to receive God’s gift and to serve him on this earth.

 JUST AS I AM :

Just as I am without one plea. A plea is the defense ‘s answer to the charges against him. These words remind me of my quilt and that I have nothing to offer in my defense. My only plea is guilty as charged.  Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” . Which carries the death penalty Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus  Christ our Lord.

 JUST AS I AM

 Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot, To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 Just as I am, Thy love unknown  Has broken ev’ry barrier down; Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,  O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 Just as I am, tho’ tossed about   With many a conflict, many a doubt, Fightings and fears within, without,   O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind— Sight, riches, healing of the mind, Yea, all I need in Thee to find— O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,   Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve, Because Thy promise I believe,   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

 Just as I am thou will receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse relieve. I am guilty and left without excuse  Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,  being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse.

 The next hymn brings us our hope, God has made a plan to deal with my guilt. Room At The Cross is the hymn of our hope. When Jesus came to earth there was no room at the Inn for the Saviour of the world to be born. When He left He left room at the cross for any and all. A door open for forgiveness of sin and a relationship and fellowship to the one Holy God. A door open to heaven an unimaginable glorious place for all eternity. The cross demonstrated God’s love for the man created in innocence. But through his rebellion and disobedience became sinful and separated from the one who loved him. The gospel is simple, one just needs to believe the promises of God. 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”. God made it simple for men, just give up and accept His gift.   I Timothy 2:4-6  “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time”.  2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 ROOM AT THE CROSS

The cross upon which Jesus died,   Is a shelter in which we can hide; And its grace so free is sufficient for me,  And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea Tho millions have found Him a friend,  And have turned from the sins they have sinned, The Savior still waits to open the gates,  And welcomes a sinner before it’s too late. The hand of my Savior is strong,  And the love of my Savior is long; Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,  The blood flows from Calvary to cleanse every stain.

There’s room at the cross for you,  There’s room at the cross for you, Tho millions have come, There’s still room for one Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.

 We now come to the last of the three of the hymns, God’s Final Call. Some day you’ll hear God’s final call. In life there are many final calls, when traveling at airports the last call to board before the door to the plane is shut. On trains it’s all aboard, then the train leaves the depot. You are either on board or left behind the last opportunity has come. One day we all will hear God’s final call to us either by death or the Rapture of Believers. The hymn serves as a reminder of the limited time and opportunity to receive God’s gift and to serve Him on this earth.

 No more time to repent and be saved

No more time to make things right with God and others

No more time to tell others of God’s gift to you

No time to serve Christ in thanksgiving for His love to you

Now is the day of salvation there’s no promise of tomorrow.

  Mt 24:42-44  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  But know this,  that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

 Mt 25:10-13  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 2 Thess 2:8-9   And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 Romans 13:11-14   And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.   But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

  

God’s Final Call

Some day you’ll hear God’s final call to you    To take His offer of salvation true—This could be it my friend if you but knew.    God’s final call,  God’s final call.

How can you live another day,    Thinking some day with Christ you will begin?   O will you hear above the word’s loud din,       God’s final call,  God’s final call.

If you reject God’s final call of grace,    You’ll have no chance your footsteps to retrace                All hope will then be gone, and doom you’ll face;    O hear His call!  O hear His call!

 Today this moment is all we have for sure.

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Food for thought.

1.Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 2.Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

 3.Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

 4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

 5.Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

6.Thou shalt not kill.

7.Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8.Thou shalt not steal.

9.Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10.Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy  neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

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Truth Tellers

This was so good I wanted to share it and recommend the excellent book “The greatest Life of All Jesus” by Charles R. Swindoll, page168                                                                             ENDURING LESSONS FOR TRUTH TELLERS

Few weapons against evil can rival the sword of truth. Though readily available to anyone brave enough to hold it, few will. And it’s little wonder. The privi­lege of wielding so powerful a tool comes at great cost—misunderstandings, false accusations, broken relationships, loneliness, frustration. Furthermore, standing for what’s right frequently involves terrifying bouts with self doubts and even self-recrimination. Sometimes the choice to take truth by the handle results in glorious victory, but more often the counterstrike of evil comes with  startling ferocity and lasting devastation. For those who are called to grip the sword of truth, I offer four lessons from the example of Jesus.

First, knowing your mission will help you stay focused on the goal. Jesus clearly understood the reason for His coming to earth and never allowed popularity, success, opposition, threats, or even dissention within His ranks to distract Him. He remained steadfastly focused on that mission not though without due care for those around Him. He worked hard to make the truth plain. He often repeated the invitation to embrace the truth. But never allowed the failure of others to pull Him off course.

Second, encountering evil requires confrontation. Few people enjoy confrontation, but standing for the truth against evil will inevitably require it. And sometimes what must be said will be difficult to say as well asdifficult for others to hear. Only rarely—perhaps once in a life time — will confrontation require the kind of severe rebuke Jesus brought against the Pharisees. The greater the evil, the stronger must be the confrontation . In general, I advise kindness unless a kind approach is irresponsible, but never kindness at the expense of plain talk. Be prepared to state the truth plainly.

Third, boldness in the course of a noble fight is worth the risk. Standing for truth requires boldness. Some will be offended by it, so expect to be criticized for style when the opposition can find no fault with content. Furthermore, boldness may require strong action to accompany strong speech. You may have to quit a job, end a relationship, confront a powerful opponent, cope with a fear, deal with threats, perhaps even face certain defeat. Don’t back down. If you stand on truth, you’ll only regret timidity later, but you’ll never regret being bold.

Fourth, truth telling offers no guarantee of victory. We live in world that does not operate according to God’s rules.  The present world system punishes good deeds and rewards those who choose evil. In the words of James Russel Lowell, “Truth forever on the scaffold; wrong forever on the throne. And, unfortunately, truth tellers often find themselves on the receiving end of the most outrageous abuse imaginable. So be realistic. Take courage. Your stand on truth will not likely be vindicated anytime soon or even in your lifetime. To finish Lowell’s line: “Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”

A two-fisted grip on the sword of truth, while sacrificial, does offer great reward.  Truth grants freedom from guilt and shame. Truth breeds content­ment, instills confidence, stimulates creativity, fosters intimacy, encourages honesty, inspires courage, and sets people free. But, most importantly, it puts us on God’s side of the issue. We have His promise that He will amply reward any sacrifice that truth demands, if not in this life, then certainly the next.

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