Sunshine and Shadows

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:

20160529_140713

cone flowers in the sunshine

20160524_203428 cone flowers in the shadows

 

HE IS WITH ME STILL
Though I walk in ways unknown,
I am never left alone;
For the Lord will not forsake me while I do His will;
But whatever may betide,
He is walking by my side,
And by this I know He loves me still.

Refrain:
He is with me still,
He is with me still;
In the sunshine or the shadow,
He is with me still.

When the raging storm winds blow,
And the clouds are hanging low,
When the waves are beating on me, and the night is chill;
Then His presence in the storm
Quiets all my soul’s alarm,
And I know that He is with me still.

’Mid the busy cares of life,
In the battle’s raging strife,
When around my soul are gathered all the hosts of ill;
Then a voice so sweet and clear
Whispers words of love and cheer,
And I know that He is with me still.
Charles W. Naylor

Sing to Him!

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Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well, sing to it! (Num 21:17)

This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the desert’s barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:

“Gather the people together, and I will give them water,” and this is how it came.

They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earth and as they dug, they sang,

“Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it,” and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.

When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.

How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.

How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.

Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come?
—Selected

Published in: on May 28, 2016 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Guided Steps

nov23 010

Psalm 37:23-24
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall,
he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

You may be trying to go faster than He is moving. Wait till He comes up and then the way will no longer lie in darkness. He has left footprints for us to follow.

Make no footprints of thine own!

Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God and wait:
Although He linger long
He never comes too late.

Until He cometh, rest
Nor grudge the hours that roll,
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal

Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained by speed
Then hold thee still, my heart
For I shall wait His lead.
Bayard Taylor

Published in: on May 26, 2016 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Secret Place

images.foldedhandsjpg

Psalm 91:1
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

There are times in every man’s life when he wants no comrade on the road with him. It is in secret that we learn the secret of the Lord

It was in the errie solitude of Bethel , and in the gray dawn by the ford Jabbok that Jacob was granted visions of God.

It was when he was alone in the silent desert that Moses was shown the burning bush, and received the Divine commission.

It was when Joshua walked unattended under the stars by the wall of Jericho that the Captian of the Lord’s host stood before him.

It was when Isaiah was alone in the Temple that a live coal touched his lips.

It was when Mary was alone that the angel brought to her the message of the Lord.

It was when Elisha was plowing his lonely furrow that the prophet’s mantle fell upon his shoulders.

Noah built and voyaged alone. His neighbors laughed at his strangeness and perished.

Abraham wandered and worshiped alone; Sodomites smiled at the simple sheherd, followed the fashion and fed the flames.

Daniel dined and prayed alone.

Jesus lived and died alone.

Paul ‘minding himself to go afoot’. Acts 20:13

It is good to be “minded . . .to go afoot” sometimes;
when even our nearest and dearest go by another road.
For when we are alone we have a better chance of One joining us,
and making our hearts burn while He talks with us by the way
Madame Guyon,edited

Luke 24:32
And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Published in: on May 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Finish Thy Work

labor

Luke 22:41-43
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast,
and kneeled down,
and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing,
remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will,
but thine,
be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him
from heaven,
strengthening him.

There is a story of a woman who had had many sorrows;
parents, husband, children, wealth, all were gone.
In her great grief she prayed for death
but death would not come.
She would not take up any of her wonted work for Christ.

One night she had a dream,
she thought she had gone to heaven.
She saw her husband and ran to him with eager joy,
expecting a glad welcome.
but, strange to say,
no answering joy shone on his face–
only surprise and displeasure.
“How did you come here?” he asked,
“They did not say that you were to be sent for today,
I did not expect you for a long time yet.”
With a bitter cry she turned from him to seek her parents.
But instead of the tender love
for which her heart was longing
she met from them only the same amazement
and the same surprised questions.
“I’ll go to my Saviooor,” she cried,
“He will welcome me if no one else does.”
When she saw Christ,
there was infinite love in His look,
but His words throbbed with sorrow as He said;
“Child, child, who is doing your work down there?”

At last she understood;
she had no right yet to be in heaven;
her work was not finished;
she had fled away from her duty.

This is one of the dangers of sorrow;
that in our grief for those who are gone
we lose our interest in those who are living,
and slacken our zeal in the work which is allotted to us.

However great our bereavements
we may not drop our tasks
until the Master calls us away.
J. R. Miller

Finish thy work, then go in peace,
Life’s battle fought and won;
Hear from the throne the Master’s voice,
“Well done! Well done!”

Published in: on May 24, 2016 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Heart ‘Housekeeping’

th

Sunday evening message was on cleaning your ‘heart house’.
Sometimes we overlook dusty corners.
Sometimes we forget to pick up all the trash.
Sometimes we get lazy and think ‘I’ll get around to it later.’

In 2 Chronicles 29:5, 18
King Hezekiah said,
“Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves,
and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers,
and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.”

Then they (the priests) went in to Hezekiah the king, and said,
We have cleansed all the house of the Lord,
and the altar of burnt offering,
with all the vessels thereof,
and the shewbread table,
with all the vessels thereof.

A cleaning had to be done before
the people could worship God acceptably.

A Devotional by Stacey Edwards

“There are different levels of cleaning the home. There’s the kind of cleaning you do on a regular basis: wash the dishes, do the laundry, make the beds, reewash the laundry that sat in the machine over night. Then there’s the quick cleaning you do for unexpected company. (This is when you shove toys into closets, light a candle, and close all the bedroom doors!)

During a certain time of year, however, cleaning takes on a whole new meaning. There’s no specific date on the calendar for this chore, you just wake up one morning and you it’s spring cleaning time. It’s time to begin to deal with all those tasks that you’ve been ignoring for too long.

During this deep cleaning, ceiling fans are finally dusted, curtains are taken down and washed, the windows are opened to allow the breeze to blow through your home. Closets get reorganized and furniture gets rearranged. Long neglected tasks are completed, and the entire home seems fresh and new.

When it comes to our spiritual lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day kind of cleaning. We do just what is necessary for the immediate maintenance of our faith. If we aren’t careful, however, we let some tasks go undone. Dust bunnines begin to accumulate. We need a spiritual spring cleaning.”

Today we need to be willing to ask God to search our hearts

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting..

Published in: on May 23, 2016 at 3:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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Today’s thought – Go the Distance

a_woman_climbing_a_mountainKeep walking.

Our walk with God is a walk by faith.
When we begin our walk,
we don’t know how many days the  walk it will be.
We don’t know the terrain,
how many mountains,
how many valleys,
how many deserts or
how many swamps.
We don’t know what the weather will be;
Sun, rain, sleet or snow.
We don’t know who will walk with us;
who will start and stay the whole course,
who will start and give up and start again,
who will start and quit or
who will never start despite our many prayers.
We are promised
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me,
for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
I will never leave you ar forsake you.
I am the Lord your God, I change not.
Ask and ye shall receive.
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
Cast your burdens upon the Lord, for he careth for you.
He knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
I will prepare a place for you.

Place it all on a balance
on one side my fears, my wearines, my humanity;
on the other side all God’s promises.
See how light and vain I am.
See how strong God is.
Cast me off the scale
and place my grain of mustard seed faith
with my prayer, ‘Help thou my unbelief’
on the scale instead
and watch all things balance out for God’s glory.

Go the distance,
endure until the end,
fight a good fight,
cleave to the Lord,
lean not to your own understanding,
keep the faith.
Go the distance.

Distance
An Acrostic Poem

Days, weeks, months, years, the hours, the minutes, the seconds and the miles
I n between where we are, where we were and where we hope to be
S ometimes the distance is short and sometimes the distance is long
T ime spans all distances, moving us closer together and further apart, all at the same time
A s we traverse life’s ever winding highway, family and friends are found and lost along the way
N ot knowing when we’ll meet again, we hold them in our hearts, shrinking the distance as we
C atch the memories shared and use them to propel us forward, pressing on in our journey, inching
E ver closer to eternity, with every step, every breath and every moment in this crazy, beautiful life.

by: Michelle McCarty

Isaiah 40:28-31
Hast thou not known?
hast thou not heard,
that the everlasting God, the LORD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
fainteth not, neither is weary?
there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might
he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
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.

Published in: on May 20, 2016 at 7:39 pm  Comments (1)  
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. . . Before he had done speaking

20160517_110824We can rest on the promise that God hears our prayers
as easily as this kitty rests on this pillow.

And it came to pass, before he had done speaking…and he said,
Blessed be Jehovah…who hath not forsaken his lovingkindness and his truth” Genesis 24:15, 27

Every right prayer is answered
before the prayer itself is finished–
before we have “done speaking.”
This is because God has pledged His Word
to us that whatsoever we ask in Christ’s name
(that is, in oneness with Christ and His will)
and in faith,
shall be done.

As God’s Word cannot fail,
whenever we meet those simple conditions in prayer,
the answer to our prayer has been granted
and completed in Heaven as we pray,
even though its showing forth on earth
may not occur until long afterward.

So it is well to close every prayer
with praise to God for the answer
that He has already granted;
He who never forsakes His loving-kindness and His truth.
–Messages for the Morning Watch

Daniel 9:20-23
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying,
and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel,
and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God
for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel,
whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning,
being caused to fly swiftly,
touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said,
O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth,
and I am come to shew thee;
for thou art greatly beloved:
therefore understand the matter,
and consider the vision.

Daniel 10:12
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel:
for from the first day
that thou didst set thine heart to understand,
and to chasten thyself before thy God,
thy words were heard,
and I am come for thy words.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

dec8 clif's 005Oak tree growing where the Master Gardener
planted the acorn in my brother’s backyard.

 

“I am writing to the exiles scattered to the four winds.
Not one is missing, not one forgotten.” 1Peter 1:1, The Message

In this Scripture we have a new point of view
set forth for our consideration.
From one point of view we see a national disaster —
for hundreds of thousands of citizens have been uprooted
from their homes by an occupying army,
and driven like cattle into the highways and byways;
scattered to the four winds,
and now known only as exiles.

That’s a rather bleak picture.

But from another point of view
we see something altogether glorious.
The word for scattered in the Greek New Testament
actually means “to be sown as seed.”
In other words, while they may be viewed by man
as exiles from their country;
they were seen by God as seeds planted in new fields of glory.

If we would learn to always see our shifting circumstances
from God’s point of view,
we would not be caught up in the shift
and drift of a culture that stirs up strife
and debate over things that inconvenience us.
Rather, we would live as thankful people,
praising God for His faithfulness in all things at all times —
and we would bloom where we are planted.

God knows who you are,
where you are,
and what His plans for you are.

If you will but humbly acknowledge that He is in control,
a shift will occur in your heart and in your outlook —
sunshine will break through the dark clouds,
and your life will sprout with new purpose and great effectiveness.

You will bloom where you are planted —
and may thus discover that God has in fact brought you
to where you have always wanted to be!

Published in: on May 17, 2016 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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See Deeper and Deeper

cactus
the Farmer’s cactus abloom.

Good Afternoon

Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: …
let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.–Psalm 5:11

What inexpressible joy for me,
to look up through the apple-blossoms and the fluttering leaves,
and to see God’s love there;
to listen to the thrush that has built his nest among them,
and to feel God’s love,
who cares for the birds,
in every note that swells his little throat;
to look beyond to the bright blue depths of the sky,
and feel they are a canopy of blessing,
–the roof of the house of my Father;
that if clouds pass over it,
it is the unchangeable light they veil;
that, even when the day itself passes,
I shall see that the night itself only unveils new worlds of light;
and to know that if I could unwrap fold after fold of God’s universe,
I should only unfold more and more blessing,
and see deeper and deeper
into the love which is at the heart of all.
ELIZABETH CHARLES

See God’s Love . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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He Never Slumbers or Sleeps

snapSpring Snapdragons

Good Afternoon

Psalm 121
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even for evermore.

 

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
The storms are raging on God’s deep—
God’s deep, not thine; be still and sleep.

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God’s hands shall still the tempter’s sweep
God’s hands, not thine; be still and sleep.

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God’s love is strong while night hours
God’s love, not thine; be still and sleep
.

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God’s heaven will comfort those who weep—
God’s heaven, not thine; be still and sleep.”
–Madame Guyon

Be still and sleep . . . Tonight
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on June 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Keep On!

March 16 005Finished!

Oh, how this scripture spoken encouragement to my soul!

Matthew 7:7-11
Keep on asking and it will be given you;
keep on seeking and you will find;
keep on knocking [reverently] and
[the door] will be opened to you.
For everyone who keeps on asking receives;
and he who keeps on seeking finds;
and to him who keeps on knocking,
[the door] will be opened.
Or what man is there of you,
if his son asks him for a loaf of bread,
will hand him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish,
will hand him a serpent?
If you then, evil as you are,
know how to give good
and advantageous gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father
Who is in heaven
[perfect as He is]
give good and advantageous things
to those who keep on asking Him!

from Clark’s Commentary
Prayer is the appointed means for obtaining what we need.
Pray; pray often; make a business of prayer,
and be serious and earnest in it.
Ask, as a beggar asks alms.
Ask, as a traveller asks the way.
Seek, as for a thing of value that we have lost;
or as the merchantman that seeks goodly pearls.
Knock, as he that desires to enter
into the house knocks at the door.
Sin has shut and barred the door against us;
by prayer we knock.
Whatever you pray for,
according to the promise,
shall be given you,
if God see it fit for you,
and what would you have more?
This is made to apply to all that pray aright;
every one that asketh receiveth,
whether Jew or Gentile,
young or old,
rich or poor,
high or low,
master or servant,
learned or unlearned,
all are alike welcome to the throne of grace,
if they come in faith.
It is explained by a comparison taken from earthly parents,
and their readiness to give their children what they ask.
Parents are often foolishly fond,
but God is all-wise;
he knows what we need,
what we desire,
and what is fit for us.
Let us never suppose our heavenly Father would bid us pray,
and then refuse to hear,
or give us what would be hurtful.
Amen

Published in: on March 31, 2015 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Surely Goodness and Mercy Have Followed Me

Feb 24 catch up 032Lenten Rose blooming in March.

Good Morning

Thou shall guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.–Psalm 73:24. 

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
–Hebrews 4: 9.

Go forth to meet the solemnities
and to conquer the trials of existence,
believing in a Shepherd of your souls.
Then in Him will support you in duty,
and duty firmly done will strengthen faith;
till at last, when all is over here,
and the noise and strife of the earthly battle
fades upon your dying ear, and you hear,
instead thereof,
the deep and musical sound of the ocean of eternity,
and see the lights of heaven
shining on its waters still and fair in their radiant rest,
your faith will raise the song of conquest,
and in its retrospect of the life which has ended,
and its forward glance upon the life to come,
take up the poetic inspiration of the Hebrew king,
“Surely goodness and mercy
have followed me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
STOPFORD A. BROOKE.

Go forth . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Today’s thought – Every Day

Good Morning

Five years ago – a season of many changes, my whole life seemed to be turned upside down. My financial foundation crumbled, almost everything we had worked for gone, March 12, 3010 felt like a funeral had taken place.

Even so:

Every day I wake up and I have these treasures:

EVERY DAY: I will load thee with benefits Psalms 68:19

EVERY DAY: I will hold your right hand Isaiah 41:13

EVERY DAY: The Lord is my Shepherd Psalms 23

EVERY DAY: I will send a comforter John 14:16

EVERY DAY: My peace I will leave with you John 14:27

EVERY DAY: Let not your heart be troubled John 14:1

EVERY DAY: My GRACE is sufficient 2Corinthians 12:9

EVERY DAY: Fear not! Isaiah 41:10

EVERY EVENING: I will never slumber or sleep Psalms 121:4

Thank you, Father . . . Every Day
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on March 25, 2015 at 5:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Hidden in the Cleft of the Rock

Good Morning

Could it be that the darkest places in our lives are when God puts us in the cleft of the rock and then He passes by to do the work that needs to be done and when se come out of the cleft we see how abundantly above He answered our prayers and worked things together in a way so ‘much higher’ than our thoughts?

Yes, the cleft is a hard place, it is rock. It is dark. It is a dead end place we cannot see what is ahead. It is also a place of shelter. A place of refuge, A place of safety, A place of protection. It is a place by God. It is a place whose foundation is a rock. It is a place where God’s hand supports my leaning weak frame. It is the center of God’s will.

And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
(God)And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
(Moses)And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
(Moses)And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
(God)And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. Exodus 33:12-23

Close To Him
God never would send you the darkness,
If He felt you could bear the light;
But you would not cling to His guiding hand
If the way were always bright;
And you would not care to walk by faith
Could you always walk by sight.

So He sends you the blinding darkness,
And the furnace of sevenfold heat;
‘Tis the only way, believe me,
To keep you close to His feet;
For ’tis always so easy to wander
When our lives are glad and sweet.

Then nestle your hand in your Father’s,
And sing, if you can, as you go;
Your song may cheer someone behind you
Whose courage is sinking low.

Hide close to God . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

(picture – http://acts2gathering.com/sos-final/rock-cleft )

Published in: on March 23, 2015 at 5:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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