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Archive for the 'Tidbits' Category

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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



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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sweet time together in the Word

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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.]

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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.

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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!!

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… 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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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



YES

Posted by Kathryn

Sep

17

Oh what a wealth of strength and encouragement there is to be had in learning from and sharing with other dear believers within the body of Christ! In talking with a sweet friend recently, who is potentially facing some major changes in her life, I came away tremendously blessed with her testimony of what it means to discern, and follow, the will of God. In essence, she summed it all up in one word: YES. Since our heavenly Father has promised to lead, guide, and direct His children, she shared that her decision lay more in saying YES to what she knew He would reveal – difficult and uncomfortable as that may sometimes be – than it did in attempting to figure out exactly what the future would look like and choosing between different options.

It was such a simple thought, yet one that really resonated with me.

All throughout our lives, we are called to discern God’s will. Some decisions are simple, some are complicated. Some are joyous, some are painful. Some seem to have very little ongoing effect, and others are pivotal in deciding the destiny of not only ourselves but those around us.

There is certainly much need for fervent prayer, for diligently seeking the LORD for His way, for crying out for wisdom and direction. This is crucial. Scripture is packed full of commands to seek, and promises for those who will do so while trusting and waiting with patience. But when faced with such a decision, I am beginning to see that half the battle is won when we reach the point that we have no will of our own, and can – trustingly, submissively – say YES.

No matter what that entails.

There is true rest when our hearts are in such a state.

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May God give each of us grace to say YES.



With Gratitude to the LORD…

Posted by The Neely Team

Sep

11

… for a dear brother!

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“Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour…” Psalm 112

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We are unspeakably grateful to the LORD for you, Matthew! May His richest blessings continue to rest upon you.