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Archive for the 'Timeless Reminders' Category

Immanuel

Posted by The Neely Team

Dec

21

When once I mourned a load of sin,
When conscience felt a wound within,
When all my works were thrown away,
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel!

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,
When waves of care around me roll,
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,
That word, Thy name, Immanuel!

When for the truth I suffer shame,
When foes pour scandal on my name,
When cruel taunts and jeers abound,
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell,
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel!

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,
When Satan stops my path before,
When fiends rejoice and wait my end,
When legion’d hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel!

When down the hill of life I go,
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,
When in the deep’ning flood I sink,
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell,
Thy lovely name, Immanuel!

When tears are banished from mine eye,
When fairer worlds than these are nigh,
When Heaven shall fill my ravish’d sight,
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel!

by Charles H. Spurgeon

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God’s Protection

Posted by Darlene

Oct

3

This story begins weeks before when we heard an unusual and loud noise while driving back from Greenville in the “Big Van”… our beloved, white, fifteen-passenger “Grizzly.” A couple of weeks go by, and “the noise” comes and goes…

On Monday last week, Jessica and Victoria took the “Grizzly” to town to get the oil changed while they were running another errand. When they left home, the van was making “the noise” quite loudly, and so they called Patrick… they called him again as they continued to drive when they noticed that the battery light had come on.

He called them (third phone call) to check on them… and as they approached the intersection to turn into town, Jessica realized she had no brakes or steering! … But at least the noise was gone! Winking smile

God turned the red light to a green arrow so Jessi was able to make the necessary right-hand turn into town (by “man-handling” the van). She then was able to get into the left turn lane, and because God cleared the traffic (again), she was able to once again man-handle the van into the NAPA parking lot and get it stopped. The NAPA store was the original destination!

Praise the Lord – for safety for the girls as they lost all brakes and steering! That the belt broke (yes, that was the problem!) at the very intersection where the auto shop was that was going to change the oil; that we didn’t lose the steering or brakes as we came over the mountains on our way back from Greenville… the place where the noise first happened. Praise the Lord it happened in our own town with “our mechanic” there to repair it!; and that it happened “at home,” not en route to Texas, the 1600+ mile trip we left for three days later.

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What an amazing evidence of God’s provision, protection, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, and grace.

How I praise Him.



Little Specks of Pollen

Posted by Jessica

Apr

28

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It’s spring time. The mountains are bursting out in new, vibrant color; blossoms are on the trees; flowers are making their appearance around the yard. With all the beauty of spring also comes pollen. In some areas of the country, cars will turn a greenish-hue as the little particles gather on them. Our porch was getting this way, and needed a good sweeping. With each brush of the broom a little cloud of pollen rose and vanished. I couldn’t help but think about the effects the pollen might have on me if I wasn’t careful….sneezing, watery eyes, and other undesirable reactions. It’s so small – just little bits of pollen. But if in the wrong place it can be very irritating.

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I thought about how inconvenient and unwanted pollen-provoked allergies can be. Miserable, at times. But, more repulsive than pollen in my eyes is sin in the eyes of the just, holy God. To me, it might seem but a small sin, but to God, it is sin. Sin that is repulsive. Sin that made the Father turn His back on His Son. Sin that sent Jesus to the cross.

Makes my heart cry: “…Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:12b-14

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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



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



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.

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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??!)

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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.

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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.

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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

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“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.

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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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