But for right now . . .

I Corinthians 13:4-7, 13

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

But for right now,
until that completeness,
we have three things to do
to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.
The Message

Today

Published in: on February 14, 2018 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Blessed Are the Merciful

I gathered these pretties yesterday.

from my morning Bible reading:

Mercy – compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone
whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

Luke 6:36
Be ye therefore merciful,
as your Father also is merciful.

A merciful or compassionate man easily forgets injuries;
pardons them without being solicited;
and does not permit repeated returns of ingratitude
to deter him from doing good,
even to the unthankful and the unholy.
Clarke’s Commentary

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.

“The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed;
It blesseth him who gives, and him who takes::
Portia in William Shakespeare’s
The Merchant of Venice

Luke 6:36 Amplified Bible
So be merciful
(sympathetic, tender,
responsive and compassionate)
even as your Father is [all these.]

Today . . . Help me exercise Mercy, Lord.

When Thou Prayest

from my Bible reading:

Matthew 6:5-8
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:
for they love to pray standing in the synagogues
and in the corners of the streets,
that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
and when thou hast shut thy door,
pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:
for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them:
for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,
before ye ask him.

A proper idea of prayer is,
pouring out of the soul unto God,
as a free-will offering,
solemnly and eternally dedicated to him,
accompanied with the most earnest desire
that it may know, love, and serve him alone.
Clarke’s Commentary

What is Prayer?
Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Unuttered or expressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast:
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward gleaming of an eye,
When none but God is near
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high:
Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watch-word at the gates of death,
He enters heaven by prayer
Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And say, Behold he prays!
The saints in prayer appear as one,
In word, in deed, in mind,
When with the Father and the Son
Their fellowship they find
Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
The Holy Spirit pleads;
And Jesus, on th’ eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes
“O Thou, by whom we come to God!
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer thyself hast trod,
Lord, teach us how to pray!”
Montgomery

Pray . . . . Today

Published in: on January 30, 2018 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Quench Not the Holy Spirit

from my Bible reading:

Quench not the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19

The Holy Spirit is represented as a fire,
because it is his province to
enlighten and quicken the soul;
and to purge, purify, and refine it.
This Spirit is represented as being quenched
when any act is done, word spoken, or temper indulged,
contrary to its dictates.
It is the Spirit of love,
and therefore anger, malice, revenge,
or any unkind or unholy temper,
will quench it so that it will withdraw its influences;
and then the heart is left
in a state of hardness and darkness.
It has been observed that fire may be quenched
as well by heaping earth on it as by throwing water on it;
and so the love of the world
will as effectually grieve and quench the Spirit
as any ordinary act of transgression.
Clarke’s Commentary

John 2:15
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.

Matthew 6:24
No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one,
and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Mammon may therefore be considered
any thing a man confides in.
Clarke’s Commentary

 

Sow in Tears, Reap in Joy

Psalms 126:6
He that goeth forth and weepeth,
bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him.

A poor farmer has had a very bad harvest:
a very scanty portion of grain and
food has been gathered from the earth.
The seed time is now come,
and is very unpromising.
Out of the famine a little seed
has been saved to be sown,
in hopes of another crop;
but the badness of the present season
almost precludes the entertainment of hope.
But he must sow,
or else despair and perish.
He carries his all,
his precious seed,
with him in his seed basket;
and with a sorrowful heart commits it
to the furrow,
watering it in effect with his tears,
and earnestly imploring the blessing of God upon it.
God hears;
the season becomes mild;
he beholds successively the blade,
the ear,
and the full corn in the ear.
The appointed weeks of harvest come,
and the grain is very productive.
He fills his arms,
his carriages,
with the sheaves and shocks;
and returns to his large expecting family in triumph,
praising God for the wonders he has wrought.
~~Clarke’s Commentary

So we must take our seed,
even though in our eyes,
it is pitiful,
small,
and of little worth.
We bravely sow it
in our patch of influence.
Our tears and our intercessions then flow
before the only One
who put life in the seed and
who knows the time of the harvest.
For we do not know
the times and the seasons of seeds,
the long waitings and the quiet watchings,
the sudden fears and the lonely nights,
but we, in spite of all,
‘against hope believed in hope’,
because with our little mustard seed of faith
we believed as Paul said,
‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’

And again we weep,
but now with joy.

Today . . . continue to sow.

Scripture references
Romans 4:18
1 Corinthians 3:6

Sower photo – Jeremy Sams

Published in: on January 28, 2018 at 3:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Song of Moses, Victory at the Red Sea

Exodus 15:1-4

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel
this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying,
I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and song,
and he is become my salvation:
he is my God,
and I will prepare him an habitation;
my father’s God,
and I will exalt him.
The LORD is a man of war:
the LORD is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea:
his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea

from Clarke’s Commentary:
Dr. Kennicott’s translation and arrangement of the song of Moses.

“I shall now give what appears to me to be an exact translation of this whole song: –

Moses. Part I
1. I will sing to Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously;
The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
2. My strength and my song is Jehovah;
And he is become to me for salvation:
This is my God, and I will celebrate him;
The God of my father, and I will exalt him.
3. (Perhaps a chorus sung by the men)
Jehovah is mighty in battle
Jehovah is his name!

(Chorus, by Miriam and the women.
Perhaps sung first in this place. )
O sing ye to Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Moses. Part II
4. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea;
And his chosen captains are drowned in the Red Sea.
5. The depths have covered them, they went down;
(They sank) to the bottom as a stone.
6. Thy right hand, Jehovah, is become glorious in power;
Thy right hand, Jehovah, dasheth in pieces the enemy.
7. And in the greatness of thine excellence thou overthrowest them that rise against thee.
Thou sendest forth thy wrath, which consumeth them as stubble.
8. Even at the blast of thy displeasure the waters are gathered together;
The floods stand upright as a heap,
Congealed are the depths in the very heart of the sea.

O sing ye to Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea
Chorus by the women.

Moses. Part III
9. The enemy said: ‘I will pursue, I shall overtake;
I shall divide the spoil, my soul shall be satiated with them;
I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them;
They sank as lead in the mighty waters.
11. Who is like thee among the gods, O Jehovah?
Who is like thee, glorious in holiness!
12. Fearful in praises; performing wonders!
Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth swalloweth them!
13. Thou in thy mercy leadest the people whom thou hast redeemed;
Thou in thy strength guidest to the habitation of thy holiness!

O sing ye to Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
Chorus by the women.

Moses. Part IV
14. The nations have heard, and are afraid;
Sorrow hath seized the inhabitants of Palestine.
15. Already are the dukes of Edom in consternation,
And the mighty men of Moab, trembling hath seized them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan do faint.
16. Fear and dread shall fall upon them;
Through the greatness of thine arm they shall be still as a stone.
17. Till thy people, Jehovah, pass over [Jordan];
Till the people pass over whom thou hast redeemed.
18. Thou shalt bring them and plant them in the mount of thine inheritance:
The place for thy rest which thou, Jehovah, hast made;
The sanctuary, Jehovah, which thy hands have established.

Grand Chorus by All.
Jehovah for ever and ever shall reign.”

Psalm 118:6
The LORD is on my side;
I will not fear:
what can man do unto me?

Fear Not . . . Today

Having Done All, Stand


from my Bible Reading today:

Ephesians 6:13
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all,
to stand.

Clarke’s Commentary

Wherefore – Because ye have such enemies to contend with,

That ye may be able to withstand
That ye may not only stand fast in the liberty
wherewith Christ hath made you free,
but also discomfit all your spiritual foes;
and continuing in your ranks,
maintain your ground against them,
never putting off your armor,
but standing always ready prepared to repel any new attack.

And having done all, to stand
And having conquered all, stand

Stand . . . Today

Published in: on January 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A New Year Before Me . . .

As I wrote this title the cliques started running through my head

a clean slate
a new beginning
no footprints in the snow
365 opportunities.

Really, isn’t today just the day that followed yesterday
Wasn’t yesterday just as new as today?

Each day is new

a clean slate
a new beginning
no footprints in the snow
1 more opportunity.

If I wasn’t a good steward of yesterday
what guarantee do I have that I will do better today.

A new number is no guarantee.

2018 doesn’t change a thing personally for me,
except as something to remember when I need to know the date.

As we have been told over and over:
only by changing what you have been doing can change take place.

My pastor challenged us Thursday evening,
examine yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Is there room for improvement?

What choices can you make,
one choice at a time,
that will improve your usefulness and well being for God’s service?

Most of the time there is not a lot we can do about our circumstances,
but if we change our attitudes, our viewpoints, our desires
and acknowledge the choices we have everyday
and determine which is a better choice.

Then be brave enough to make the better choice.
Will it be scary? Yes
Will it feel uncomfortable? Yes
Will it seem like everyone is watching you? Yes

But that is what courage is;
knowing something is scary, uncomfortable and lonely
doing it anyway.

—————————

brutally honest now

I have written these words
hearing these words
knowing there is truth in these words
wanting something different
yet making the same poorer decisions this morning.

Why?

Could it be the results of making better choices
and the consequences of poorer choices
take a long time to be seen?

Emily says
“Be Calm and Ask for Grace”

Lamentations 3:21-23
This I recall to my mind,
therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD’S mercies
that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.

 

Choose Better . . . Today

Thank you for your patient following and finding nothing.

I suffered blog burn out from 70+ days of continual blogging here: Topcrain Jorney2

 

Picture: A section of the Chilisuagi Trail by Panoramio

Tell Me of God’s Love for You

In Him we live, and move, and have our being.–ACTS 17:28.

Where then is our God?
You say, He is everywhere:
then show me anywhere that you have met Him.
You declare Him everlasting:
then tell me any moment that He has been with you.
You believe Him ready to succor them that are tempted,
and to lift those that are bowed down:
then in what passionate hour did you subside into His calm grace?
in what sorrow lose yourself in His “more exceeding” joy?
These are the testing questions by which we may learn whether
we too have raised our altar to an “unknown God”
and pay the worship of the blind;
or whether we commune with Him
“in whom we live,
and move,
and have our being.”
J. MARTINEAU.

Published in: on November 11, 2017 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ask for the Old Paths

from my Bible reading this morning:

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD,
Stand ye in the ways, and see,
and ask for the old paths,
where is the good way,
and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls.
But they said, We will not walk therein.

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see
Let us observe the metaphor.
A traveler is going to a particular city;
he comes to a place where the road divides into several paths,
he is afraid of going astray;
he stops short, – endeavors to find out the right path:
he cannot fix his choice.
At last he sees another traveler;
he inquires of him, gets proper directions –
proceeds on his journey –
arrives at the desired place –
and reposes after his fatigue.
. . .

The soul needs rest;
it can only find this by walking in the good way.
The good way is that which has been trodden
by the saints from the beginning:
it is the old way,
the way of faith and holiness.
Believe,
Love,
Obey;
be holy,
and be happy.
This is the way;
let us inquire for it,
and walk in it.

But these bad people said,
We will not walk in it.
Then they took another way,
walked over the precipice,
and fell into the bottomless pit;
where, instead of rest,
they find: –
– a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulfur, unconsumed.
Clarke’s Commentary

Published in: on October 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Having God for my Rock Equals . . .

Psalms 62:1-2
Truly my soul waiteth upon God:
from him cometh my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
he is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.

Just reading these words this morning brought peace and assurance to my heart.
I cam depend on the Rock, Christ Jesus.
He is unmovable and always listen for my cry.

Clarke’s Commentary gives this thought:
Having God for my rock – strong fortified place,
for my salvation – continual safety,
and my defense – my elevated tower,
which places me out of the reach of my enemies;
I shall not be greatly moved –
I may be shaken, but cannot be cast down.

Can I hear an AMEN?

Rest on your rock, Today.

In Times Like These . . .Yet I Will Rejoice

Our fig tree, taken January, 2011

I am so thankful for hope and confidence in a Living Lord.
Many times our way looks bleak and with little to inspire hope.
But we are not looking to our way for our assurance,
but to the God who directs our steps,
one step, one pause at a time.

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labour of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk saw that evil was at hand, and unavoidable,
he submitted to the dispensation of God,
whose Spirit enabled him to paint it
in all its calamitous circumstances.
He knew that God was merciful and gracious.
He trusted to his promise,
though all appearances were against its fulfillment;
for he knew that the word of Jehovah could not fail,
and therefore his confidence is unshaken.
Clarke’s Commentary

God is Concerned with My Cares

Volunteer Zinnias since the Farmer wasn’t here to plant them.

Ephesians 4:32
And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The many troubles in your household
will tend to your edification,
if you strive to bear them all
in gentleness, patience, and kindness.
Keep this ever before you,
and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes
are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations,
watching whether you take them as He would desire.
Offer up all such occasions to Him,
and if sometimes you are put out,
and give way to impatience,
do not be discouraged,
but make haste to regain your lost composure.
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.

Casting all your care – Your anxiety, your distracting care, on him, for he careth for you, for he meddles or concerns himself, with the things that interest you. Clarke’s Commentary

I’ll cast my cares on Him . . . Today

Are We Without Excuse?

Niagara Falls, June, 2017

 

And that which fell among thorns are they,
which, when they have heard,
go forth, and are choked with cares,
and riches and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit to perfection.
Luke 8:14

Anything allowed in the heart
which is contrary to the will of God,
let it seem ever so insignificant,
or be ever so deeply hidden,
will cause us to fall before our enemies.
Any root of bitterness cherished towards another,
any self-seeking, any harsh judgments indulged in,
any slackness in obeying the voice of the Lord,
any doubtful habits or surroundings,
any one of these things will effectually cripple
and paralyze our spiritual life.

I believe our blessed Guide,
the indwelling Holy Spirit,
is always secretly discovering these things to us
by continual little twinges and pangs of conscience,
so that we are left without excuse.
H. W. SMITH.

Today’s Thought – Let Love Shine

 

John 13:34.
A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another;
as I have loved you,
that ye also love one another.

 

Let love through all my conduct shine,
An image fair, though faint, of Thine;
Thus let me His disciple prove,
Who came to manifest Thy love.
Simon Browne.

When the world looks at me do they see Jesus ? . . . Today