Thursday, July 28, 2011

In the house of seven mothers (an interview with John.)

We had a conversation the other day about John, our five year old, being the only boy in the house and how it must feel to live with six older sisters and Mom. We came up with the line "Living in the house of seven mothers." Which proves all too true much of the time... =) So we decided we'd interview him and see how he felt about life in the house of seven mothers.

Hey John how does it feel to live in the house of seven mothers? Not very good

What would you say is the biggest drawback to all the mothers? They won’t let me have food when I want it and need it (between meals.) But only sometimes do they smother me with all their mothering.

What is the biggest advantage to having all these sisters and being the only boy? Cause they make me my food. :)

Do you enjoy all the mothering? Sometimes

What would you change if you could change anything? I would change to having a house with one mother.

Do you feel more spoiled or henpecked? Spoiled

Do you think all this mothering will help you to grow up happier? No

Do you think all the mothering will help you grow up to be a better person in the end? Yeah probably.

Do you still feel pretty thankful for all your sisters even though they mother you sometimes? A very positive yes..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

As the sand of the sea...

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:17-18

Have you ever realized the beauty in those millions of little grains of sand? Go to the link below and stand in awe again at the beauty and intricacy of our Father's world!

Tiny Treasures...

His thoughts about us are more in number than all these tiny treasures -- who can comprehend such detailed, tender, attentive, personal, love and care?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Priceless moments and precious memories...

Bristol - our little princess... 
And our chubby little man...
Story time with Grandma was a favorite...
And yes, we had LOTS of FUN! =)
We built lots of block towers -- and knocked them down...
And we couldn't forget nap time...
Brother and Sissy are best friends already...
Lots of special memories...
And priceless moments.  
We love you Weston and Bristol!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Joys

From the early morning sunlight...

To the dew upon the grass...
Lacey Wings...
And Dappled Shadow...
Child's find behind the glass

Harvest sheaves for farmer's winter...
Skies of blue and country roads...
And bluebells blooming
Richest blessings all bestowed...
By the hand of God our Father...
Who desires us for His own...
May we ever humbly worship...

 Thank and praise before His throne.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What are we living for?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

      The atmosphere was tense with expectation. The call had been given. The young man struggled inwardly. His sweaty hands shook. Should he go? The battle in his soul was real as he glanced quickly into the faces of his godly parents. His mother head was bowed in prayer. How long had she prayed for him faithfully? Daily? His father's eyes met his just as he dropped his head and he read a pleading in their depths that he could hardly resist. Yet the cost. Was it worth the cost? But really what cost? The misery of his condition weighed on his heart. His chest felt heavy, and his breathing stifled. What pleasure had his sinful lifestyle really afforded him anyway?
     For an instant he seemed to see the Savior with the same pleading look in His eyes as his own father's.  He couldn't resist any longer. Getting to his feet he stumbled toward the front of the church. As he knelt he noticed that his older sister had joined him. She too had long prayed for this moment. Soon he felt his Father's arm around his shoulders as he too knelt beside his son. Together they sought God's face. And the wonder of God broke through. The radiance on that face. The peace. The joy! Set free! He'd been set free!
     Most of us have witnessed one of these moments sometime in our lives. The birth of a soul into the Kingdom  of God. Nothing can compare to the joy and excitement of those moments. Nothing in all the world. And how well we remember our own joy in that moment of newness of life. Yet in the warfare that is raging it is far too easy to lose sight of the joy that is set before us. Far to easy to let the vision for souls smolder and die out as we busy ourselves in the day to day duties of life. And far too easy to let the fear of man and what they will think dull the urgency of the message the souls around us so desperately need to hear.
    As I ponder these truths tonight I grapple with honest questions. Why don't we see more souls coming into the Kingdom? Why aren't we more bold? What is our part in bringing these souls into the kingdom? And as I ponder I am aware of the truth that just because we are faithful witnesses for Christ does not guarantee that we will see fruit.  Still the love of Christ constrains us. Has He not died that all might have life? And was not His last charge to His followers before He left this earth, to take the gospel into all the world? I wonder, am I being faithful to that charge?
     As I ponder on the life and ministry of Christ I am reminded that though He was faithful many did not believe Him. Even His own family rejected His message and He was the Son of God. Yet, He did not give up. Nor should I. When the going gets rough, when the persecution comes, when yet another walks away from the faith, from what they've known as the truth. Will I remain faithful? Will I continue to love and pray for that wandering soul? Will I be bold to speak the truth and stand for it even when this means ridicule and rejection?
     I must grapple with the reality that this is war! It is a bloody battle field. I will be wounded in the conquest. I may find that those I counted comrades in the fight have deserted.This great commission is not without a cost.
     And in the midst of the fight when we are wounded and battle weary we raise our hearts cry, "LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee."  II Chronicles 14:11
     And above all the noise of battle in the tumult of the fray a voice full of strength, vibrant in power rings out . "...Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's." (II Chronicles 20:15) A raising of the banner. A rallying cry. The stakes are high, but can we not pay the price in time for the dividends of eternal glory? Will it not be worth it all? We must fight if we would win. Run if we would attain. But is it not a glorious privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ who suffered so much for me? Should I not count all but loss if I can but gain Him?
     "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.      But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
    We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
     For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4)
     Let us run with patience looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Not by might, not by power, but by His spirit, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us. Let not the vision die but raise the banner high. There are souls still lost in darkness that our Jesus longs to win. We will follow on to Victory as we follow Christ our King!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Eternal Years

     "How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in His heart. For Him time does not pass, it remains; God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. To know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves."                                                                                      A. W. Tozer

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Is There Oil In Your Lamp?

     " and pray: for ye know not when the time is..." Matthew 33:13

     The last light of sunset had long since faded, draping the city in cool darkness. Dalia contemplated her surroundings drowsily. Mara and Talitha lay asleep their bundled veils serving as pillows Others reclined against the stone wall behind them. The glow of the lamps thres small circles of light on the cobbles. Gently she stroked the dark locks of the drowsy head resting in her lap. Rebecca was the youngest of the ten virgins being not yet twelve years old. Although a cousin, she was like a sister to Dalia. Glancing at her lamp Dalia saw that the oil burned low. It couldn't be long now till the bridegroom arrived. How glad she was she brought extra oil!

Photo by Gavin Finley

     The time dragged. Slowly her eyelids drooped and her dark laghes rested on her olive cheeks. Her body sank wearily to the cobbles and she slept.
      With a start she awoke.

     "The bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him!" The cry arose from the dark street. Hastily she woke Rebecca, then taking her lamp she trimmed it as did four others.
     Suddenly, from behind her Reba grasped her arm desperatly. "Give me, I pray thee, some of thy oil, for my lamp burns low. Behold it is going out." Dalia heard others begging for a bit of oil from those around her.
     "Nay," she replied sadly, "There isn't enough for you  and I, go and purchase some from them that sell." With much protest the five girls set off to buy oil from whom they might.
     Dalia turned to Rebecca and noticed the rosiness of her cheeks and the sparkle in her lovely dark eyes. "Are you excited?" She whispered and smiled down at her. Rebecca smiled back as they made their way out at the gate and into the street. With their lights shining brightly they escorted him to the home of the bride and then joined the long merry procession back to the bridegroom's house and the wedding feast.
     Some time later as the party sat relishing the rich foods a knock sounded at the door and a clamor of girlish voices was heard. "Sir, Sir, let us in."
     Suddenly all was still as the bridegroom called out "I know you not. Go and bother me no more! It is my wedding night." Dalia's heart went out to her friends as she pictured them turning away in the darkness. Sobered she realized that it was their own foolish choices that had barred them from the joys she now enjoyed. If only they had been prepared! But now it was too late.
                                                                                 Based on Matthew 25 - Parable of the ten virgins

Friday, July 1, 2011

There we saw giants!

“There we saw the giants” (Num. 13:33).
Yes, they saw the giants, but Caleb and Joshua saw God! Those who doubt say, “We be not able to go up.” Those who believe say, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able.”
Giants stand for great difficulties; and giants are stalking everywhere. They are in our families, in our churches, in our social life, in our own hearts; and we must overcome them or they will eat us up, as these men of old said of the giants of Canaan.
The men of faith said, “They are bread for us; we will eat them up.” In other words,
“We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to overcome.”
Now the fact is, unless we have the overcoming faith we shall be eaten up, consumed by the giants in our path. Let us have the spirit of faith that these men of faith had, and see God, and He will take care of the difficulties. –Selected

It is when we are in the way of duty that we find giants. It was when Israel was going forward that the, giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.
There is a prevalent idea that the power of God in a human life should lift us above all trials and conflicts. The fact is, the power of God always brings a conflict and a struggle. One would have thought that on his great missionary journey to Rome, Paul would have been carried by some mighty providence above the power of storms and tempests and enemies. But, on the contrary, it was one long, hard fight with persecuting Jews, with wild tempests, with venomous vipers and all the powers of earth and hell, and at last he was saved, as it seemed, by the narrowest margin, and had to swim ashore at Malta on a piece of wreckage and barely escape a watery grave.
Was that like a God of infinite power? Yes, just like Him. And so Paul tells us that when he took the Lord Jesus Christ as the life of his body, a severe conflict immediately came; indeed, a conflict that never ended, a pressure that was persistent, but out of which he always emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.
The language in which he describes this is most graphic. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body.”
What a ceaseless, strenuous struggle! It is impossible to express in English the forcible language of the original. There are five pictures in succession. In the first, the idea is crowding enemies pressing in from every side, and yet not crushing him because the police of heaven cleared the way just wide enough for him to get through. The literal translation would be, “We are crowded on every side, but not crushed.”
The second picture is that of one whose way seems utterly closed and yet he has pressed through; there is light enough to show him the next step. The Revised Version translates it, “Perplexed but not unto despair.” Rotherham still more literally renders it, “Without a way, but not without a by-way.”
The third figure is that of an enemy in hot pursuit while the divine Defender still stands by, and he is not left alone. Again we adopt the fine rendering of Rotherham,
“Pursued but not abandoned.”
The fourth figure is still more vivid and dramatic. The enemy has overtaken him, has struck him, has knocked him down. But it is not a fatal blow; he is able to rise again. It might be translated, “Overthrown but not overcome.”
Once more the figure advances, and now it seems to be even death itself, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” But he does not die, for “the life also of Jesus” now comes to his aid and he lives in the life of another until his life work is done.
The reason so many fail in this experience of divine healing is because they expect to have it all without a struggle, and when the conflict comes and the battle wages long, they become discouraged and surrender. God has nothing worth having that is easy. There are no cheap goods in the heavenly market. Our redemption cost all that God had to give, and everything worth having is expensive. Hard places are the very school of faith and character, and if we are to rise over mere human strength and prove the power of life divine in these mortal bodies, it must be through a process of conflict that may well be called the birth travail of a new life. It is the old figure of the bush that burned, but was not consumed, or of the Vision in the house of the Interpreter of the flame that would not expire, notwithstanding the fact that the demon ceaselessly poured water on it, because in the background stood an angel ever pouring oil and keeping the flame aglow.
No, dear suffering child of God, you cannot fail if only you dare to believe, to stand fast and refuse to be overcome.                         
                                                                                                              -Streams in the desert June 29