Email Updates

Archives

  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009



Feb

9

How beautiful when the LORD uses the words – written or spoken – of other believers to give insight to our journey through this life! Several months ago, I came across this brief exhortation late one evening, and it blessed and encouraged me immensely.

“…Cheer up your heart, poor, timid child of God. You may not be able to see your way on earth, but turn your eyes to heaven, and gaze long and lovingly there. You do not need to see the path down below, because He has said He will guide you, and you know the darkness and light are both alike to Him. Put your hand in His and trust Him, for ‘by His light you shall walk through darkness.’”

Susannah Spurgeon

IMG_6149-JLStudios-150725

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye… Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. Psalm 32



The Gifts He Gives

Posted by Victoria

Jan

11

Through out this Christmas season, we have seen how the Father delights to give gifts to His children – good gifts. Gifts that demonstrate how His “merciful kindness is great toward us.” (Psalm 117:2)

The first of these gifts was that three of us were able to play in an orchestra, put together to accompany a choir in a lovely Christmas cantata conducted by Dr. Tim Fisher. We know of two more souls being saved into the eternal Kingdom of Christ – for this we praise Him.

I’m sure there are many more gifts and blessings that were bestowed on us through all through last month, any one of which would be worth remembering and mentioning. However, there is one gift that stands in the forefront of all of our minds. Just a few days after Christmas, someone noticed an unknown vehicle coming in the driveway, which immediately set everyone wondering who could be coming- Mom went out first to see who it was, and one by one we each followed to see what the excitement was about. To say the very least, we were surprised… to be more descriptive, we were shocked, electrified, ecstatic, amazed, dumbfounded, nearly speechless, grateful.

We saw standing in our garage dear people who we had not seen in nearly two years, but with whom we had not extensive opportunity to visit in more than seven years. Our dearly beloved first violin teacher and her husband, who was also our music pastor several years ago, had come by to say “hello,” on their way out of town. These dear ones moved to the beautiful but too-far-away state of Wyoming nearly nine years ago, and their unexpected arrival at our home was such a blessing to us! We talked for a precious few minutes, and then saw them back on their way to the West.

IMG_0171-JLStudios-151229

Thank you Pr. Joseph & Mrs. Sarah for brightening our day, our entire Christmas season, and most importantly, our hearts. You demonstrate the beautiful love and joy of God to us. We love you, and praise the Lord for you!

IMG_0463

With a grateful heart, I lift my voice in adoration

to the Lord of earth and sky and sea.

He is Creator of all, the God who rules and reigns above.

Yet so tenderly He cares for me

With His everlasting love.

 

Boundless grace, and mercy overflowing,

Peace that floods my soul, salvation rich and free!

Joy that fills my heart, and love that knows no measure:

These are the Gifts He gives to me!

 

I am so blessed to be a Child of King.

As I follow where He leads, He makes my spirit sing!

 

Boundless grace, and mercy overflowing,

Peace that floods my soul, salvation rich and free!

Joy that fills my heart, and love that knows no measure:

These are the gifts, the precious gifts-

These are the gifts the Father gives to me!

 

The Gifts He Gives to Me, by Cindy Berry. ©2006 GlorySound.



Liberty: the Freedom to Obey

Posted by Victoria

Dec

28

When we were in Iowa for the Freedom 2015 Conference, we had the privilege of meeting Mr. W. and his dog, Freckles. What a blessing to see the way he communicates the truth of God’s Word with his pet.

Enjoy!

 



Give Me Jesus

Posted by Kathryn

Dec

22

This past weekend, while browsing through our family-favorite calendar, I was immensely blessed by one of the hymns that I saw. At first, it simply reminded me of a young choir we heard sing it once, stirring up memories of their gorgeous harmony and heart-felt expression.

But as it kept coming to mind throughout the day, I had to look it up to complete the fragments that kept ending abruptly in my brain.

It was then that I fully realized what the LORD had for me in this lovely old hymn. Among many other things, it struck me that the message communicated through the lyrics make this song very appropriate for the week of Christmas, especially having very recently walked through the passing of a dear member of our extended family. Faced again with the reality of death, the nearness of eternity, and the urgency of living each moment for the glory of our King… we are all seeing this Christmas season from a slightly different perspective. And in a society where the true meaning of the season has been belittled until, in many places, it is non-existent, this song contains much-needed truth.

 

Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
Fanny J. Crosby

Take the world, but give me Jesus, all it’s joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever, through eternal years the same.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above.

Take the world, but give me Jesus, sweetest comfort of my soul;
With my Savior watching o’er me, I can sing while billows roll.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above.

Take the world, but give me Jesus, let me view His constant smile;
Then throughout my pilgrim journey light will cheer me all the while.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above.

Take the world, but give me Jesus, in His cross my trust shall be;
Till, with clearer, brighter vision, face to face my LORD I see.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above.

 

What a JOY to be gathered with dear family to celebrate the coming of our Savior to this world. What a blessing to be able to express love to others through giving. What a treasure to be able to enjoy the sights and smells of the season. Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year, and each special moment is truly a gift of God to be enjoyed to the fullest.

But within the depths of our hearts, “take the world, but give me Jesus…” should be our cry. Emmanuel – God with us – was manifest that we might know the height and depth of His mercy, the length and breadth of His love, the fullness of His redemption, the promise of life above…

This Christmas season, may our hearts respond to this abundant, fathomless GIFT by asking for more… of Him.

IMG_0098-JLStudios-151221



Wait on the LORD

Posted by Kathryn

Dec

1

How beautiful to see the LORD bring songs in perfect timing with what the seasons through which we are passing hold for us. What mercy, what grace, what comfort!

Though I have known them for most of my life, the lyrics below have been a fresh source of encouragement and strength in recent days. I pray they will be a blessing to you as well.

 

Wait on the LORD
Joe Zichterman

Tho’ the pathway before you uncertain may be,
Trust the LORD no good thing to withhold back from thee.
He is perfect in wisdom and faithful to bless.
Trust His Word; in His time He will give you His best.

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as eagles.
They shall run and not grow weary; they’ll walk and not faint.
Wait, I say, wait on the LORD.

Be not weary in waiting, for love suffers long;
If you faint not, you’ll reap when the harvest is come.
Run with patience the race as you rest on His Word,
For your testing will teach you to wait on the LORD.

IMG_6086-JLStudios-150725

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me… when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me… he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Micah 7:7-9

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:24-26

…thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Isaiah 49:23



Nov

20

Sometimes, I need reminders that God truly does answer prayer. How quickly my faith grows weak. How easy it is, in the midst of trial, difficulty, and struggle, to doubt His promise to hear the cries of His children, and to believe that He delights in granting the desires of their hearts.

Though, as most of you who know us well already know, I am not an avid animal lover, Winking smile the beautiful testimonies the LORD has written this summer/fall through the entire puppy process we have walked through, have been almost beyond words.

Breeding our lovely German Shepherd and selling her offspring was something that was discussed at the beginning of the year, yet how to go about it all was an interesting and sometimes overwhelming perplexity. Victoria, the master of the undertaking, spent hours upon hours researching, reading, learning, and educating us with her findings. But when it came right down to it, the LORD began to show us that it was He alone Who was going to have to work everything out.

And work it out, He did!

From the research stage until the day that eight, squirmy, adorable little puppies were born (which ironically, fell exactly one year to the day after our Lab, Duke, passed on), He worked in ways that we never could have imagined. From finding the perfect stud, to the graciousness with which we were treated by the breeder, to the timing of our multitudinous travels, the arrival of a precious little nephew, and much, much more — and how all of that related to our dog and her large family, etc. etc. – we were left in awe of His infinite wisdom and goodness once again.

IMG_6342-JLStudios-150819IMG_6384-JLStudios-150819

Okay, so then we had nine dogs under our care.

Most days, this was a joyous experience… yes, even for me. Smile Watching the delight and excitement in the eyes of my dear siblings at this venture was truly a blessing. (And what better home school science project than watching the growth and development of eight wriggling creatures living right in your garage??!)

IMG_7287-JLStudios-150922IMG_7379-JLStudios-151001

IMG_7648-JLStudios-151005

But, there were other days… actually a few weeks… when most of us… even some of the most animal-affectionate ones… were downright discouraged with the whole thing. We began to question if God would really answer our prayers for loving homes for ALL of the puppies. Victoria had diligently spent hours researching advertising options, and getting numerous ads running. Someone would contact us, seem really interested, and “commit” to getting one, and then it would all fall through. This happened time and again. We had done everything within our power to sell them, and still we only had committed buyers for two of the eight.

I believe the LORD wanted us at this point. We were completely dependent upon Him, having nothing left in our own resources to resort to… and in His beautiful timing, He began to work. One sold here, another there. Then two in one day! And then another.

How foolish we were to doubt.

IMG_7709-JLStudios-151011

Finally, it came down to having only one puppy left! Our hearts were filled with gratitude.

We still wondered if the final, sweet little female had a home (other than ours Winking smile), but life had to move on, so we took this little girl to VA with us last weekend for the FEW Conference. Coming home, the LORD knew that I needed another reminder of His goodness and faithfulness.

Literally within hours of arriving home, the text came in saying that she had been claimed.

IMG_9738-JLStudios-151116

To God be praise. How mercifully kind He is, to hear and answer the prayers of even those who are so prone to disbelief. My faith – our faith – has been strengthened as a result of these little creatures; how grateful I am! May we never doubt that His Word was true when He said that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. Psalm 145: 17-19

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5

IMG_6578-JLStudios-150905



“Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God…”

Deuteronomy 8: 11-14a



Seasons of Color

Posted by Jessica

Nov

5

Living in the mountains, we get to enjoy beauty all around us, all year long. This fall, the leaves have been more colorful and vibrant than we’ve had in a long time. With changing seasons, we are reminded of beautiful truths.

 IMG_8022-JLStudios-151027

The seasons of each year come and go. Colors around us change and fade. But our Lord and His faithfulness never change. Malachi 3:6a – “I am the Lord; I change not.

IMG_8028-JLStudios-151027

Spring arrives, and with it leaves burst forth on the trees. Just a few months pass, and before we know it, those leaves are changing into varying colors, and then, one by one, they lose their grips on the branches that held them and fall quietly to the ground, arraying the grass below in stunning beauty. Life is a vapor; the days pass swiftly by. We must continually be seeking the Lord and His will for us, moment by moment. James 4:14-15 – “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

IMG_8027-JLStudios-151027

Every day is a gift from the Lord. Each day contains in it many blessings from Him. Even small gifts, like a beautiful sunset or bursts of color during autumn… each is a gift from our Lord, who created everything and allows us to enjoy it.  Psalm 96:6 – “Honour and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

IMG_8031-JLStudios-151027

Bask in the goodness of God. His love for us is unchanging. He is our Light, giving us direction and guidance to take the next step on our journey heavenward. He is our Shield, protecting us from the evil around us. He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace.

IMG_8025-JLStudios-151027



Camping Memories

Posted by Jessica

Oct

26

We have an annual camping trip tradition with a group of friends that we’ve known for 28 years. Every fall, the group gathers to enjoy sweet fellowship together in the great outdoors. This year was no exception: we enjoyed wonderful conversations and made some more hilarious memories together. As for the great outdoors… we enjoyed that too.

IMG_7692-JLStudios-151011

IMG_7684-JLStudios-151010

Camping is always fun. Sometimes we do wonder why we would want to pack up all sorts of essentials and conveniences (hot chocolate, marshmallows, etc.) to go live outside for a couple days, but, even though it’s a lot of work, we all agree that it is enjoyable and we always look forward to this annual tradition.

IMG_7682-JLStudios-151010

IMG_7709-JLStudios-151011

This year, however, there was added adventure: rain. Torrential downpours through the night, seeping into the tent from all sides. There’s nothing quite like waking up to realize that a puddle had become your bed. (Rafts may have been suitable, instead of sleeping bags.) Then to figure out just how we were going to absorb the puddles that had formed throughout our home-away-from-home with not-too-many towels to use……It was indeed a time for laughter, creativity, and….work. :-) We were rejoicing that it only rained one night, after which the Lord gave us a beautiful day. Waking in such a soggy state was humorous…..it’s not every morning that we get to wake up with bedding dripping with excess water and your pillow absorbing the local puddle that you find yourself laying in. Ahh, ‘twas a weekend for memories.

IMG_7693-JLStudios-151011IMG_7735-JLStudios-151011

IMG_7685-JLStudios-151010IMG_7687-JLStudios-151010

Sweet time together in the Word

IMG_7690-JLStudios-151010IMG_7691-JLStudios-151010

IMG_7719-JLStudios-151011IMG_7736-JLStudios-151011

IMG_7722-JLStudios-151011

In addition to the other joys of the weekend, we had the opportunity to travel with our beloved “mama dog” and the six puppies we still had at that point. Life is exciting, especially when travelling with seven dogs.

[Puppy update: praise the Lord all but two have sold!! If you’re looking for a beautiful shepherd, there are two lovable females available.]

IMG_7731-JLStudios-151011IMG_7730-JLStudios-151011

This camping tradition was started some thirty years ago, and while the group would change from year to year based on each family’s schedule, the tradition has stayed in tact. This is one example of how friendship built on the foundation of Jesus Christ can stand the test of time. The faithfulness of each couple is a beautiful testimony, too, especially in a culture that is rejecting God’s plan for the family.

IMG_7701-JLStudios-151011

Thank you, friends, for your faithfulness to the Lord through the years, and for your continued encouragement to press onward in the race for God’s glory. Looking forward to next camping trip!!

IMG_7712-JLStudios-151011



… in the night, His song…

Posted by Kathryn

Oct

13

There is a sweet elderly friend of our family who is known for perpetually having a song in his heart. You know – one of those delightful people that just exude cheerful music no matter what time of day or night it is or what is being encountered. Well, this man (we call him “Grandpa”) has a reputation far and wide for humming, singing, playing the harmonica in duo with his dear little wife, making up new words to match old tunes, or simply listening to music – constantly. “Grandpa” has been a part of lives ever since I can remember, and he is one of those that we can all say has had a tremendous influence on our walks with the LORD. One evening years ago, we sat together around our table enjoying a meal, and as always, throughout the course of the repast many topics came and went in the discussion. Even though eating together was a very common occurrence, this particular dinner stands out in my mind because of a specific challenge Grandpa gave to us young people. In essence, he exhorted us to be intentional about storing up a treasury of the rich, quality, Scripturally-sound songs and hymns that godly men and women have written, while we were young. Having entered the stage where memory is not always as clear as in earlier years, he shared the testimony that, while many things have faded from his mind, it is the songs of the faith that have remained with him, continuing to bring fresh stores of comfort and strength on his journey heavenward.

~~~~~

Throughout this year, the LORD has brought specific songs to my attention with beautifully perfect timing. Earlier this spring, one of my dear sisters spontaneously designed something which included the hymn, Jesus, Lover of My Soul. Without her even realizing it, it was just what I needed at that time. Shortly after that, another dear sister pulled an old recording from our closet and put it in, directing my attention to a lovely song titled, Fear Not, I am With You. This song spoke volumes to me, as it is an almost word-for-word musical rendition of one of my favorite verses – Isaiah 41:10. Another time God used a violin student’s assignment to remind me of All the Way My Savior Leads Me; a later one was Abide with Me.

It was not until recently, though, that the LORD opened my eyes and revealed what He has been doing. As the experiences of life have deepened, and trials, joys, tests, decisions, victories, and struggles have come and gone, it has seemed that with each new dimension, He has had a new song for me.

Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8

IMG_9678

Through the writings of many saints throughout history, the Psalms, and other passages of Scripture, God has given us a musical wealth of encouragement and blessing. He has been demonstrating to me, that, as we are faithful to learn them, He mercifully brings them back to our remembrance right when we need them most. His songs come to us “in the night” – times of darkness, doubt, decision, disappointment, and discouragement – and illuminate the shadows. How graciously kind He is!

~~~~~

A few weeks ago, I was blessedly reminded of yet another song by yet another dear sister. We’ve known this song for years, but in a passing conversation, she mentioned it; and oh! how much it has meant during this season of my life.

 

Bow the Knee
M. Harland & C. Machen

There are moments on our journey, following the Lord,
When God illumines every step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us,
As we try to understand each move He makes.
[But] when the path grows dim and our questions have no answers – turn to Him.

Bow the knee; trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee; lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One Who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of your King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall;
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel;
We are tempted to believe God does not know.
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight.

Bow the knee; trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee; lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One Who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of your King, bow the knee.

IMG_1245 

So this week, this month, this year… through whatever night you may be passing, may His song be with you.



Page 1 of 3312345...102030...Last »