Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Charming and Beautiful

Happy Birthday, Magpie!










"Charm is deceptive [deceitful: American Standard Version],
and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord
is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

Charm: That which has power to subdue opposition, and gain the affections; that which can please irresistible; that which delights and attracts the heart;








Deceptive: Tending to deceive; having power to mislead, or impress false opinions; as a deceptive countenance or appearance.

Vain: Empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance.

(Definitions from Noah Webster's 1838 Dictionary)


You probably wonder what the picture of my granddaughter has to do with this passage of Scripture today. Well, it's not only her birthday, but she is a woman (I know, a very little woman), but she will grow up to be one nonetheless, Lord willing. And she is a good example of the point of these verses.

This little gal is charming. Oh my goodness, she can twirl one around her finger without the slightest effort. All the teenage boys at church stand in line for her affections. Those big blue eyes and captivating smile can melt one's heart. Her cute little sashay around the room, or her, "Wook at me!" turns heads every time. She already knows how to use that charm to try to get herself out of trouble. Her charm is deceptive.

Oh, and is she beautiful! Her hair curls around her face, her eyes light up like Christmas trees, and her smile is a million dollar one. She's a beauty alright! Just "wook" at her! It is difficult to see at this point how it has no substance, worth or importance. That certainly is not how the world sees beauty. Magazines don't stop at just putting pictures of beautiful people on their covers; they then airbrush out any physical flaws. Beauty contests don't begin with Miss America; they begin with babies!

"Beauty is vain?"

It seems that this verse has it all wrong. It seems that beauty takes the stage

Until

Sickness enters the body. Beauty can't give cheer or hope. It is useless, worthless in the event of sickness.

One needs counsel. How many times have you looked for a beautiful person when you have sought comfort or counsel?

An accident occurs and mars that beauty. Something else must take over, something deeper and more lasting.

One gets old. It is so easy to see how the fleeting beauty of youth has no real bearing on what is important when old age takes over and the skin sags and the body is no longer attractive. (I am just about there; I should know!)

Wow! How depressing! From my granddaughter's birthday to old age! The good part is, we don't have to rely on charm and beauty to take us through life.

"The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

My heartfelt desire for you, my little Magpie, is that you will grow up to be a woman who fears the Lord. Then you will be praised by your husband, your children, and your God. What a delightful child you are, and I pray that you will continue to give your parents delight as they watch you grow into mature womanhood.

As we seek the inner beauty of the heart,
Gloria

Monday, May 30, 2011

What Does the Rock Badger Have to Do with Me?

"The rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs."
Proverbs 30:26

"The rock badger is a rare little animal that resides in parts of Southern Africa and the extreme southwestern part of Asia. The South Africans refer to him as the rock "˜dassie', a word which comes from the Dutch for badger.

The rock badger is a curious little creature that has features that are a mixture of other animals. It has the incisors of a rodent, the molars of a rhino, the vascular system of a whale and the feet of an elephant.

The rock badger makes his home in crags and crevices of rocky outcrops and cliffs. Such a home is ideal for him. As he is slow moving he is a natural target for predators. His inhospitable environment, however, ensures that enemies keep their distance. The home of the rock badger also provides ideal protection from wind and rain. For these reasons the badger spends most of his time in his rocky home. The only time he will venture forth is when he goes out looking for food ."
http://www.essortment.com/rock-badger-63977.html

"Hyraxes [rock badgers] typically live in groups of 10–80 animals, and forage as a group. Their most striking behaviour is the use of sentries: one or more animals take up position on a vantage point and issue alarm calls on the approach of predators."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Hyrax

I couldn't find a picture that wasn't copyrighted, but you may look at an adorable picture of a rock badger at http://www.flickr.com/photos/60133763@N05/5758023342/.

Isn't it so interesting how God paints such beautiful word pictures for us? And isn't it interesting also, that many times it takes more than just a quick reading of the Scriptures to understand what He is trying to tell us? Many verses in Proverbs 30 are just such verses for me. And yet a second look, a dig (or sometimes an excavation!) will bring to light a gem of truth that we can hold dear to us. Now what does this little creature have to do with me?

He makes his home in the rocks.

So must I.

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock,
in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Psalm 18:2

His home is ideal protection from his enemies.

So is my Stronghold for me.

"Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident."
Psalm 27:3

His stronghold protects him from the wind and rain.

When the storms of life assail me, I can be confident that my Rock
will protect me through those storms.
(Notice that I did not say, "From those storms!" Oh, they come, alright!)


"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall,
because it had been founded on the rock."

Matthew 7:24-25

He finds protection and sustenance in a group of like kind.

As a child of God, it is very important to spend quality
and quantity time with those of like mind.

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:24-25

Isn't it wonderful what that little verse has to say to us? I'm sure that it says much more, but like the rock badger, I'm pretty slow.......

Hiding in the Rock of Ages,
Gloria




Sunday, May 29, 2011

Snares Along the Way

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe."
Proverbs 29:25

I have to admit that my nature is to be a fearful person. I guess the funniest story of my fearfulness goes back to when I was a young bride. My husband was in pilot's school with the air force in Selma, Alabama. We had just married, and I have to admit that I had never spent a night alone previous to our marriage. His schedule included his having to be at work in the wee hours of the morning, long before daylight.

Our bedroom faced the street, and one morning after he left, I looked at the wall opposite the street, and the street lights cast the shadow of a man walking past. I was [almost] paralyzed with fear! I jumped up, found the gun and put it under my pillow, and then proceeded to look for something to secure the windows with. I pounded golf tees--yes, golf tees--into the window sill and put all my husband's sports trophies in the windows so that when someone tried to get in, they would fall and waken me. As though I would go back to sleep! I'm surprised that I didn't shoot myself by accident!

Some people have arachnophobia (a fear of spiders), or Francophobia (a fear of France--not me!), or geliophobia (a fear of laughter--I'm kidding, right?) If you think you have a phobia, or are just curious as to how many are named, look at http://www.phobia-fear-release.com/phobia-list-definitions.html. It's alarming!

Well, I think that I had a touch of androphobia--the fear of man. I had laid a snare for myself. It kept me from peaceful rest and from living life to the fullest. I feared what might happen in the future to myself or others I loved. How many of our irrational fears ever come about, and how much did fearing ever solve a perceived problem?

When we lived in Taiwan I was alone much of the time. It was during the Vietnam war, and my husband flew into Vietnam, Cambodia, and various other places for weeks at a time. My favorite verse, one that I memorized and quoted over and over, was

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 21:10

I must say with the Psalmist,
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6

Oh, I know that man can do much harm to man. But Jesus said,
"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

There is One we are to fear in such a way that it draws us to Him--the God who will bring us to salvation if we give our lives to Him. I can't say that I never fear, but I can say that I know my Living Redeemer and the One who holds me in His righteous right hand. Praise God!

What are your fears? There is an answer in God's Word. Seek Him daily!

Fearing that you'll laugh at me (Just kidding! Sort of!),
Gloria

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grabbing a Passing Dog by the Ears


“Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who
takes a passing dog by the ears.”
Proverbs 17:17

Once we were visiting someone very dear to us. My husband’s mom and dad were there also, and we entered into a conversation about television. We didn’t have one, for obvious reasons to us, and we were discussing it with Mom. She felt that we were withholding a real pleasure from the children. [After all, she was their grandmother!] Being the feisty sort of family that my husband’s side is, they were quite intense in their own defense, both with pretty good arguments.

Until another family member entered the fray it was promising to end on a friendly note. But the moment the third person, who had heard very little of the conversation, threw his opinion into it, things got red hot. So hot, in fact, that my husband gathered up his little crew and left. On the way out, Dad, always the peacemaker, said, “You are right, you know.”

Sweet Dad

But that didn’t do anything to quiet the storm. Someone had grabbed a passing dog by the ears!

That part of the verse has a few implications:

First, the dog was “passing by.” He was likely an unknown or stray dog.

My husband’s argument with his mom was unknown by the third party. He had no idea how the conversation had begun or continued. It was just “passing by” his ears.

Second, the dog was grabbed in a very vulnerable spot.

This person may as well have grabbed my husband by the ears. Not having a television at the time was a real conviction on our part, not just a preference. The comments hurt!

Third, the person who grabbed that dog by the ears most likely got bitten.

My husband bit hard and we left. [Not literally, but he admits that his response may have been a little harsh. This was many years ago.]

I can joyfully say that all is well, our relationship with this person is secure, and we have all but forgotten it. [Of course I haven’t forgotten it; I’m writing about it!]

The moral of the story?

Don’t grab a passing dog by the ears,
and
don’t meddle in a quarrel not your own!
You might get bitten,
and the ending may not be as good as this one was.

As we mind our own business [in a good way!],
Gloria

Friday, May 27, 2011

Instant Reward?

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

Proverbs 25:21-22

I don’t know if you have ever had an enemy, but I did a really good job of obtaining one when my children were small. One day I walked outside and my 6 year old daughter and the little boy next door were getting into some mischief. I sent her inside to deal with her personally and sent the little boy home with a brief reprimand.

The next thing I knew his mom, who lived across the street from us, was at my front door. She gave me a very good tongue lashing and proceeded to inform me that her son didn’t get into mischief and it was likely my daughter’s fault. She stormed away in wrath.

I had made an enemy!

Being the peace-at-all costs kind of gal that I was, I began to pray about how I could renew a relationship with this hotheaded woman. I knew the only way we could talk this out was to establish some kind of speaking terms.

I made her a gift.

She refused it

I left it with her.

She probably threw it away.

What to do?

I decided to give her “food to eat.” But I knew that she wouldn’t receive it face to face, so I began to look for times when she would be gone and left it on her doorstep (well covered from the elements and the ants!)

In the remaining two years that we lived in Florida, she never spoke to me again. So what happened?

1. I heaped “burning coals” on her head.

"It is clear that the 'coals of fire' which are to be heaped on the head are meant to melt and soften the heart, and cause it to glow with love. There may be also included the burning pangs of shame felt by a man whose evil is answered by good. But these are secondary and auxiliary to the true end of kindling the fire of love in his alienated heart" (Maclaren, p. 302-303).

2. I trust that the Lord rewarded me.

God’s favor is our great reward. What an incredible blessing!

As we seek His favor,

Gloria

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Standing Before Kings

" Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men."
Proverbs 22:29


Before we retired from the United States Air Force many years ago, we had the privilege of serving in the United Arab Emirates. My husband worked at the American Embassy as an officer and attache' of sorts. He had the honor of standing before the ruler, Sheik Zayed. He also worked with his son, Sheik Mohammed.

Impressed?

Well, probably not! Most of us have never heard of these men and won't ever have the opportunity to meet them. Although they rule over one of the wealthiest little countries in the world, my husband and I are really no better off for him having "stood before" him.

I always speak of myself as a "Jack of all trades and master of none." I do many things--sing, paint, garden, write, sew--but none of them to the point of standing before kings. And my tea parties with the granddaughters won't take me to tea before a ruler, I can promise you. So how in the world do I apply this to my life? I can almost guarantee that I will never be skillful enough in any of those to stand before kings.

I'm just not good enough.

But someday I will stand before the King!

"After this I looked, and behold, there was a great multitude
that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes
and peoples and languages, standing before the throne
and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes
with palm branches in their hands."

Revelation 7:9

I will be a part of that throng who is standing before the throne of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But I said that I am not good enough.

So how do I know that I, the Jack of all trades and master of none,
will stand before the King?


Because through the shed blood of that very King, the Lord Jesus Christ, I have the privilege of being counted worthy. Praise God!

If you do not know the King of Kings, I encourage you to get your Bible down and begin to read the gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. None of us are worthy to stand before Him without His salvation.

I encourage all of you who know Him to listen to this audio tape of "Hell's Best Kept Secret." Or you can read it on the same website. It just may change your life!

http://www.livingwaters.com/helps/HellsBestKeptSecret.pdf

As we look expectantly for the day we stand before the King,
Gloria

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Best Man for the Job

"The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever he will."
Proverbs 21:1

When a new president is chosen, does the thought come to your mind, "He is a good man. He will make things better for our country now," or "We are going to fall apart now because he was elected to office?" We fight for the man that we believe is best for the job, and that's okay. We need to vote, to express our opinion about the needs of our nation and who we think will do the best job. But what do we do then if "our man" is not elected?

We consider that God doesn't make mistakes!

He knew from before the foundation of the world who would administrate the country. God knows everything! And what's more, He holds everything and everyone in His powerful hand.

"The heart of the king is like a stream of water in the hand of the Lord..." Who directs the streams and lakes and rivers and oceans? God does!

"He turns it wherever He will." Have you ever considered that most rivers run north to south? Not the Nile River nor the St.Johns River in Florida. They run south to north! Even though an unrighteous king (or president) goes against the flow of popular opinion, he is still in God's hands, being directed as He wills.

Does that give you great comfort? It does me. Now, I don't think for a minute that it means that God is going to make everything right and good. His will may be to punish a people, to show them that they have made wrong decisions and gone astray from the Sovereign Lord. And yet we can rest assured that our God is in control.

So what is our responsibility once a president is elected,
whether we approve of him or not?


"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life,
godly and dignified in every way."
1 Timothy 2:1-2


We are to pray for him diligently. For our sakes as well as his. Whether we like him or not. Whether we agree with his policies or not. Whether we voted for him or not.


Hmm....it doesn't say a thing about criticizing or ridiculing him.
Just praying..............


So whatever we think of the present leader of our country or of any in the future, we should remember:

"No wisdom, no understanding, nor counsel can avail against the Lord. The horse [or fighter plane] is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord."
Proverbs 21:30-31


Praying together for our president,
Gloria

Friday, May 20, 2011

That illusive word: Peace

"Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace."
Psalm 37:37

I tend to be a "peace at all costs" kind of girl. To a fault. I hate strife--in the home, in the church, in the world. I can remember once in college being asked the question, "If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?" My answer: peace among all people. I think at the time it sounded pompous to say that when I could have said any frivolous thing that a typical college student might say. In fact, I was almost laughed at! But that just shows the extent to which I hate strife.

Yet the Scriptures say much about seeking peace:

"Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it."

Psalm 34:19
"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy."
Proverbs 12:20

Peace, on the surface seems so illusive:

We are to seek peace
but
in this world there is no peace.
"In this world you shall have tribulation..."
(John 16:33)

Peacemakers are happy
"Blessed are the peacemakers"
(Matthew 5:9)
but
"There is no peace"
Ezekial 13:10

Jesus is the "Prince of Peace"
Isaiah 9:6
but
He said, "I did not come to bring peace, but the sword"
Matthew 10:34

Yet
Jesus gives us peace
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."

How then, can we be peacemakers? How do we pursue peace? How do we know peace in a fallen world that will never know peace until the return of our Lord?

Know the fruit of the Spirit in our lives:
"The fruit of the Spirit is peace." Galatians 5:22

Give everything to God in prayer.
"And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

Do good.
"There will be...glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good."
Romans 2:10

Be ready always to share the gospel.
"And having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
Ephesians 6:15

Know intimately the God of Peace.
"For He Himself is our peace"
Ephesians 2:15

Our quest for peace is impossible without the Prince of Peace. I pray that you know Him.

As we seek the peace that passes all understanding,
Gloria


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cease and Stray

"Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge."

Proverbs 19:27

Several years ago we received a call from a dear friend. Her husband of many years had just left her for another woman. We had only been to see them a few months before, and outwardly everything seemed fine. She had no idea at the time.

This man was chairman of their church's elder board, the one who stepped in for the pastor when he was away, the one who preached while they were searching for a new pastor. This was a great guy!

Until he ceased to listen to instruction.

We wrote to him (they lived in another country). We begged him to reconsider, that not only was he indulging in sinful pleasure, but that he was abandoning his wife, his grown children, and his grandchildren. We said he was deserting the God of his youth by doing this terrible thing. He humbly[?] agreed--and left anyway. He now has no relationship with his grandchildren, and it took years for his wife to adjust to living alone. She has never "gotten over" it.

He strayed from the words of knowledge.

The only way that we can be assured of our next step is to embrace the Word of God fully.
Job said,
"I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food."
Job 23:12

The Psalmist said,
"Your Word have I hid in my heart,
that I might not sin against you."
Psalm 119:11


I won't dwell on my friend and his sin.
But how does this apply to me?
Surely I would never do anything like that!

"Cease to hear instruction, my [daughter],
and you will stray from the words of knowledge."
Proverbs 19:27

Oh, how I fear what might happen if God's Word
is not hidden in my heart!
I MUST NEVER fail to hear His instruction!


My children, my grandchildren, I beg you not to forsake the instruction of the Lord!

"For with You is the fountain of life;
in Your light do we see light."

Psalm 36:9

As we heed the instruction of His Word,
and long for the light of His continual presence,
Gloria


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Hundred Blows

"A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding that a hundred blows into a fool."
Proverbs 17:10

As an air force wife, I moved numerous times. My oldest daughter said that she had counted up the schools she attended and they were 9! That probably doesn't even count her year of home schooling.

I remember one particular move when I began teaching a ladies' Bible study. I had taught for a number of years and had just left a very successful four years of leading a study. I guess I thought I knew how to do it right! Just like the other one, right?

Wrong!

After the first meeting two ladies came to me and said, "You are going about this all wrong," and proceeded to tell me why.

Oh, I was offended!

What had been so successful in the past, they were now telling me was not appropriate for the particular ladies who had attended this one. And I didn't like the way they said it; they were from a different country and very direct and (it seemed to me at the time) much too harsh in their criticism. And they were younger than I was! (I was all of 37.) And we had only had one class so far! How did they know what would work? How could they be so hard on me?

I was a fool.
They may as well have given me 100 blows.

This meeting affected my ministry for 3 years. I finished out the study I had begun and then quit. Gave up. Finished. At least for those 3 years. No more listening to that kind of stuff.!

Years later I was encouraged by the Lord to write to the woman who had led the two to my home. I was forced to humble myself and tell her that yes, she was right after all. I asked her forgiveness for being foolish and not heeding good advice, counsel and rebuke. This woman that I had considered so harsh was so very gracious, and I don't think she even remembered the occasion. But I surely did!

I may have led successful Bible studies, but I had not yet become a woman of understanding. How important it is that we listen to rebuke and consider whether it is of value rather than being offended by the method in which it was delivered ,or the fact that it was delivered at all. A rebuke can go deep into a person of understanding. A rebuke that is warranted can go a long way in helping to develop wisdom.

As we take rebuke graciously,
Gloria

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Edwardian Tea Party

There's nothing like a tea party to get the girls excited about being girls! Our May tea party hosted our 2nd annual Mother/Daughter tea. Oh, it was fun! We made it an Edwardian tea party. Everyone was encouraged to make hats; some even wore costume!
I love tea parties!
The girls and moms had so much fun making their hats.
Some wore Edwardian fascinators. If you don't know
what that is, google Edwardian fascinators!
(I didn't know what they were until my daughter told me.)


The weather was absolutely beautiful. White table linens
adorned the (Sam's Club folding) tables.


We didn't get the delicious lemon pound cake on the table
before the picture was shot. The strawberries and cream
were the accompaniment to the cake.


Moms and daughters

More moms and daughters (and Grandmother )

More moms and daughters.......

The youngest Edwardian lady sporting her fascinator

The loveliest of hats and another fascinator

All but 3 of the young ladies.
(The 3 youngest had already escaped to the play yard!)


Cute, huh?

Sweet girls

Fresh roses on this hat

Fascinating!

And at the close of the tea party, a young Edwardian lady sitting on the lawn sipping her (iced?) tea!

After a devotional (see yesterday's post), cleaning up the kitchen, and seeing the girls off, it was nap time--Big Time!

I'm posting with:
http://silkenpurse.blogspot.com/2011/05/55th-teapot-and-tea-things-tuesday.html
http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/2011/05/65th-table-top-tuesday.html
http://theplumedpen.blogspot.com/2011/05/83rd-tuesday-tea-for-two.html


Who Is Your Walking Partner ?

"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm."
Proverbs 13:20


This devotional was one that I did for my granddaughters at the last tea party (see tomorrow's post). We have talked much about wisdom--seeing life from God's point of view. So I began to look up passages that described the foolish person, and they are abundant.

Here are a few of the characteristics of the fool:

1. The fool says or lives as if there is no God. (Psalm 14:1)
2. When he should go to the right, he goes to the left instead. (Eccl.10:2)
3. He lacks sense and shows stupidity. (Eccl. 10:3)
4. She despises wisdom and instruction. (Prov.1:7)
5. She spreads slander. (Prov.10:18)
6. He finds pleasure in evil conduct. (Prov.10:23)
7. She is easily annoyed. (Prov.12:16)
8. He is hotheaded and reckless. (Prov.14:16)
9. She spurns her father's discipline. (Prov.15:5)
10. He feeds on foolish things. (Proverbs 15:14)
11. He is arrogant. (Prov.17:7)
12. She spends her money unwisely. (Prov.17:16)
13. He has "wandering" eyes. (Prov.17:24)
14. He scorns understanding. (Prov.18:2)
15. Her speech is unbecoming. (Prov.19:1)
16. She is quick to quarrel. (Prov.20:3)
17. She has no wisdom, and no honor. (Prov.24:7, 26:1)
18. He keeps doing the same foolish things over and over. (Prov.26:11)
19. He trusts in himself rather than God. (Prov.28:26)
20. She is an angry person and a scoffer. (Prov.29:9,11)

Little children (and big ones, too), our walking partners should be those who help us to grow in wisdom. Too much time spent with the foolish will certainly rub off on us.

I leave you today with this thought:

There are times when a fool's folly must be addressed:

"Answer a fool according to his folly
lest he be wise in his own eyes."
Prov.26:5


It surely takes great wisdom on the part of him who answers. But the Scripture seems clear about who our walking partner should not be:


"Do not speak to a fool, because
he will scorn the wisdom of your words."
(Prov.23:9)


"Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself."
(Proverbs 26:4)


Be very careful as you choose your "walking partners!"


As we share the Word of God with all, and as we walk with the wise,
Gloria

Thursday, May 12, 2011

His hand, His voice, and His face

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I
may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.
Psalm 27:4

In verse 4 of Psalm 27 David asked to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. Verse 5 tells us why he wanted to dwell there.
He was seeking God's hand!

"For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock."
Psalm 27:5

David needed help from the Lord, the Hand of protection. He had no qualms about asking God for help--over and over and over again.
That encourages me and gives me hope for my own needy life!

The king also sought to hear His voice.

"Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!"
Psalm 27:7

First he cried out to God. Before we hear His answer we must ask the question. Have you ever been so desperate to hear God's voice (the still, small voice that shouts words of comfort or answers a prayer)? It is imperative that we pray--and then listen. God speaks to us through His Word and through the inner promptings of His Holy Spirit that resides in us, His temple. Don't EVER expect His answer to be different from what He has already said in His Word!

King David was diligent to seek God's face.

"You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face,
Lord, do I seek.' Hide not your face from me.'
Psalm 27:8-9a

I so desire for God to smile on me. That's okay; so did David. Oh, that my life may be pure and free from perpetual sin so that God will continually smile on me. How glorious to think that we may have the smile of our Father!

The Psalmist then waited.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart
take courage; wait for the Lord!"
Psalm 27:14

We don't always see the Lord's hand immediately. Sometimes we have to wait......
We don't always hear His voice as soon as we ask. Sometimes we have to wait......
Sometimes His smile seems obscured by the cares of this life. Sometimes we have to wait......

Believing that "I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,"
Gloria

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Loving His House

"O Lord, I love the habitation of your house,
and the place where your glory dwells."

Psalm 26:8

"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple."
Psalm 27:4

Do you just love to go to church? I do, and I hope that you are in a church that draws you there each service. Ours is a small, intimate fellowship of folks who love God's Word, are concerned about the lost, diligent to care for their own, and always ready for fellowship. There are usually many people still hovering around and visiting with one another for an hour or more after a service. The kids play volleyball (or some other crazy game) while the grownups sit and talk or go outside and play with them. We just love one another.

King David felt that way about the tabernacle where God dwelt.

But the earthly tabernacle is gone.

We can love going to church, but God doesn't dwell in that building anymore. [It's a good thing; our building isn't a very pretty for a place for God to dwell.]

Which gets me to my point--finally!

Do you love the habitation of God's house, the place where His glory dwells? That brought trepidation to my soul as I read the passage in Psalm 26. My body is God's house! My body is the place where His glory dwells!

"Do you not know that you are a temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
1 Corinthians 3:16


If I am God's temple and His Spirit resides in me, then my first question to myself is, "What is your responsibility as the dwelling place of God?" Oh, my goodness, I cannot take the time today to write all that God tells me, His home, that I am to do. But two passages say much to me about my duty.

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"I urge you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual service of worship."

Romans 12:1


What this says to me:

1. I don't belong to me; I belong to God.

2.
I am not free to do what I will with my body; it is God's temple, and I am responsible to glorify Him in my body.

3. I am to sacrifice my body to His service. It is the way I worship Him.

I don't think I need to tell you all of the problems that may present themselves as a roadblock to others seeing the Spirit of God in me, or the lack of care that I often take of the temple of God.

I would encourage you to take the time to read "My Heart Christ's Home", a wonderful old article that has spoken great conviction to my heart:

http://mckeesportalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/My-Heart-Christs-Home.pdf

Can we say as David did, "I love the habitation of your house, the place where your glory dwells."?

As we seek to glorify Him in our bodies, His temple,
Gloria



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh, His Goodness!

"Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!"
Psalm 25:7

"For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great."
Psalm 25:11


Don't you just love it when you discover the little golden nuggets of truth found in God's Word? Yesterday we talked about how God, for His name's sake, cares for us. As I read Psalm 25 this morning, I was amazed (as I am over and over again) with the consistency of His Holy Scriptures.

The Psalmist cries out to God for the sake of His goodness and for His name's sake! Even the forgiveness of our sins is for the sake of HIS goodness and for HIS name's sake. And yet He was willing to give up His only Son, God incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ, for a sinful woman like me. God cares about His name, His reputation. Do we care enough to live a life of dedication so that we are not a hindrance to His reputation? This old gospel hymn says it all:

He Paid the Debt I Did Not Owe

VERSE 1: There was a time in my life when I longed for peace of mind
I never pondered sin's price that must be paid
This life sin took its toll in wasted years, still un-resigned,
But on Jesus, at the cross, my sin was laid
CHORUS: He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay,
I needed someone to wash my sin away
And now I sing that brand new song: Amazing Grace
For Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay

VERSE 2: And then one day Jesus touched me
And I knew his life divine
Now he leads me down the path that's filled with His love.
No more alone, I'll sing His praise
for I feel Him deep inside
Just knowing Jesus is worth more than anything

CHORUS: He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay,
I needed someone to wash my sin away
And now I sing that brand new song: Amazing Grace
For Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay

TAG: And now I sing that brand new song:
Amazing Grace
all day long
My Jesus Paid a Debt that I could never pay.




Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For His Name's Sake

"He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
Psalm 23:3

Have you ever taken your children somewhere public and been totally embarrassed by their actions? (I know, I know......I'm the only one who has ever experienced that! :o( ) If you are like me, at the time you were not really thinking about their future and the great people that you desire them to be; you were thinking about how very embarrassed you are that those little buggers would act like that. You were thinking about what everyone else was thinking about your mothering skills. You were thinking that if you could just find a place to make yourself invisible, you would. You were thinking............very unpleasant thoughts!

I know that Psalm 23:3 is probably not an epiphany to you and that you have noticed it many times. You, as I have, quote this Psalm from memory, and have done so often. But this morning I noticed something that has never stood out to me before (I'm a bit slow), but I believe it is so very important.

"For His name's sake"

Why is the Lord my Shepherd? For His name's sake. I don't deserve to be a part of His pasture.

Why do I not lack any good thing? For His name's sake. What provision!

Why does He lead me to green pastures? For His name's sake. He has chosen to love me.

Why does He lead me beside waters of rest? For His name's sake. Without Him I would be drowning in the flood of sin and despair.

Why does He restore my soul? For His name's sake. He makes me into His sheep.

Why does He lead me in paths of righteousness? For His name's sake! Me, a naughty child, often embarrassing to my Father. Through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, He has declared me righteousness. All for His glory.

"For our sake He make Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that
in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

2 Corinthians 5:21

"But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we
were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8


Undeserving as I am, He has chosen to use me for His glory. Wow! What a desire that places in my sinful heart to live for Him in such a way that His name, His reputation, is honored.

"For his name's sake. Seeing he hath taken upon him the name of a "Good Shepherd", he will discharge his part, whatever his sheep be. It is not their being bad sheep that can make him leave being a "Good Shepherd", but he will be "good", and maintain the credit of "his name" in spite of all their badness; and though no benefit come to them of it, yet there shall glory accrue to him by it, and "his name" shall nevertheless be magnified and extolled."
Sir Richard Baker.

As we live to bring Him glory,
Gloria