Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Their Faith Be Their Own…

We have sweet friends, the Twogoods, who leave tomorrow for Taiwan to pick up their new sweet boy, Jack! Our prayers go with them all the way across the Pacific!!

Well, Gretchen (the Mom), taught Sam & Elle’s Sunday School class on Sunday and we were talking about their discussion – Sam said, “We really study the Bible, and I like that, but I like to know what can do!” Isn’t that so American-Christian! Well, I was thinking about it later and I reminded Sam and Elle that the disciples spent three years with Jesus teaching them before they were commissioned to go out on their own. We have to teach our children God’s Word so they know what they believe, so their faith is their own and not just an extension of our faith! God can do this work, just as He did in the lives of the disciples. And our children will know, just as Peter did, that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

Oh Lord, that our children’s
Faith be their own
That they, Father learn
To trust You alone

While they are young
Draw them to Yourself
Their hope resting in You
Truly heartfelt

You know Your plans
To send their roots down deep
So when challenges come
It is You they will seek

Help us to guide them
In the ways that we can
But may they find strength
In Your mighty right hand

Capture their hearts
And fan into flames
The gifts that You’ve given
Always You may they claim

May they be found pure
And ready to use
For every good work
However You choose

And when a little older
Our safe home they leave
Send their roots even deeper
As they find they believe

In a God who is personal
Who is wholly their own
Who if they ask for bread
Would not give them a stone

Let them rely
And rest in Your care
Extending great grace
And Your mercy share

And one day when they come
And stand before You
May others be there
For our children, they knew

*jb*

2 Timothy 1:6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…
2 Timothy 2:21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Monday, March 30, 2009

John Piper says it so well ~

from:Desiring_God@crosswalkmail.com
Week of March 30
Let the River Run Deep
John Piper


Imagine a man's response when he first hears that his wife and children have been taken captive by the enemy and slaughtered. He throws himself to the ground, cries out in torment, rips his clothes, and rubs his head in ashes, until his energy ebbs into a pitiable "No, no, no." Here is utter spontaneity, utterly real emotion, no studied design, no conscious constraints.

But picture this man a week later, when the services are over and the friends have departed, and he is alone with the weight of his loss. The excruciating pain of the first blast is gone, and now there is the throb and ache of an amputated soul. What does he do to express this deep and settling grief? Between the periodic heaving sobs he reaches for a form and begins to make his lamentation.

Studied, crafted, pondered, full of power. When the time comes, he will read or recite this lamentation. But no one will say of this formed grief: "It is canned." On the contrary, it will strike deeper than the sobs. It will show more of what he has brought up from the depths.

Emotions are like a river flowing out of one's heart. Form is like the riverbanks. Without them the river runs shallow and dissipates on the plain. But banks make the river run deep. Why else have humans for centuries reached for poetry when we have deep affections to express? The creation of a form happens because someone feels a passion. How ironic, then, that we often fault form when the real evil is a dry spring.

...Why this struggle? Why does the poet bind his heart with such a severe discipline of form? Why strain to give shape to suffering? Because Reality has contours. God is who He is, not what we wish or try to make Him be. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the great granite Fact. His hard sacrifice makes it evident that our spontaneity needs Calvarylike discipline.

...Brothers, we must let the river run deep. This is a plea for passion in the pulpit, passion in prayer, passion in conversation. It is not a plea for thin, whipped-up emotionalism. ("Let's all stand up and smile!") It is a plea for deep feelings in worthy forms from Godbesotted
hearts and minds.


gontinuing to pray for CJ & Renee...

Friday, March 27, 2009

precious time...

We were talking the other night about our love languages. Tommy's is "words of encouragement", mine~ typical of lots of mom's is "acts of service", Elle's we decided is "receiving gifts" with "quality time" in there too, and Sam's is "quality time" ~ a friend whose son is away from home for his freshman year of college was sharing with me how much they are missing him. I am so thankful to have so much time with our children right now. I pray we will treasure these days. That we will love them, teach them, enjoy them and train them up in the way that they should go. What a blessing our sweet angels...each moment precious!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This Calling…

I read this morning the March 26 entry in Streams in the Desert. It confirmed my calling to keep following hard after God!

"No desire will ever be placed in you by the Holy Spirit unless he intends to fulfill it. So let your faith rise up and soar away to claim all the land you
can discover." (S.A. Keen)

"Everything you can comprehend through faith's vision belongs to you...All you long to be as a Christian (is) within the possibilities of faith...And He who breathes heavenly hope into our hearts will not deceive or fail us when we press forward toward its realization." ~Streams in the Desert



I sense You calling, calling me onward
Onward, yes onward still
“Don’t grow weary in your pursuing
Though times you sense you’re going uphill”

It is He who is whispering, drawing
“There’s more, more,” He says
“Don’t give up or grow faint in this calling
I’m after your heart not your head”

“I am pulling, pulling you closer
I, whose will can resist?
Follow, follow Me further
The place we’re going, you don’t want to miss!”

So I breathe in and breathe out and keep running
Chasing this desire that He gives
He wouldn't call me to keep on going
If this hope didn’t really exist

He calls sparrows to warmth in the winter
And back to the coolness in spring
Caring tenderly for them in their calling
How much more does He care for me!

How I long to run after this wooing
Though the way, at times, clouded may be
Tune my ear to Your sweet voice, Jesus
Til Your love overflows in me


*jb*



Matthew 10:29-31
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Philippians 4:13
I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Monday, March 23, 2009

for Titus

Tonight I attended the memorial service for Titus Solomon. How bittersweet. They gave out little cards for us to write notes to CJ & Renee. This is what the Lord laid on my heart...



hold him close, Father
until we all get there

there are no better arms
to trust for his care

although we longed, God
to hold him in our own

we surrender him to You
for Your glory alone

yea though we walk
through this valley so dark

we see in the distance
hope's tiny spark

that You would use this son
others to draw

leaves us, our God,
in a place of humble awe

You, our sweet Father,
this precious offering receive

seeing humble surrender
may others come to believe



*jb*
3/23/09


He gives and takes away
My heart will choose to say,
"Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Pure Joy!












O Lord, fill me with that joy
That draws others to Thee

As I react to what comes my way
Let them my thankfulness see

In Your Word You promise that trials
Surely my way will come

My place? To count it pure joy
As I face each one

Fill my heart with thankfulness
Let it, Lord, overflow

So when others see my day to day
You, they will want to know

So deep this level of joy
It can only come from You

Well it up within me
Bursting forth from a heart made new


*jb*

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

obedience is better ~










help me, Lord, obedient to be
even when i don’t understand
help me, Lord, obedient to be
trusting that You have a plan

the hurt i feel at the moment
tempts me not to obey
but obedience is better than sacrifice
these are the words that You say

focusing on my circumstance
leads only to despair
trusting in Your promises*
reminds me that You care

You’re familiar with my sorrows
been wounded in all the same ways
and You, without sin, my example
always surrendered come what may

so help me to be obedient
the plan i don’t have to see
just step by step lead me onward
trusting the end to Thee

*jb*



*For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Monday, March 16, 2009

hintings of spring…














chirping of birds
breeze in leaves
clean rain scent
hintings of spring

dew on grass
cool morning air
big fluffy clouds
hintings of spring

windows left open
budding of trees
fresh potting soil
hintings of spring

pink and yellow
orange and green
blue and white
hintings of spring


*jb*

we're taking our spring break this week - no plans really - just relaxing, reading & spending time together. i love spring time...such a time of hopefulness as we look forward to the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord - and to the day when He will say, "Look, I am making all things new!"

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the place He prepares for me…







a little, white cottage by the sea
is where i long to dwell
hammocks, porches, squeaky screen doors
the fresh salt air i smell

warmth of the sun, cool ocean breeze
i close my eyes & dream
this special place i picture
it’s almost real it seems

i venture down hot wooden steps
now sand between my toes
throw out a quilt, favorite book in hand
slather lotion on my nose

lie down, close my eyes, just listen
every sound a symphony
today this lovely music
written, it seems, just for me

i go to this place quite often
though now existing only in my mind
it’s my sweet place of resting
i relax…breathe…unwind

do you think it might be possible
the place He’s preparing for me
might just be a little, white cottage?
a cottage by the sea…


*jb*

Sunday, March 8, 2009

considering…

when thinking of next year
what you want us to do
Lord I give it up
I surrender it to You

You have been so faithful
as I’ve trusted in the past
Father lead me further
show me again the path

I trust You have a plan
who You want them to be
let me do the part
you have planned for me

give me Father wisdom
their bents to fully know
plant our lives in places
where You want us to grow

relationships with others
that draw us close to Thee
blessing upon blessing
we would seek to be


*jb*

Psalm 23:1-3
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.


*photograph courtesy of jeremy ginsberg (dogmouth.net)

Friday, March 6, 2009

out of the white…









I sit before a paper white
waiting for colors to see

what will the waiting produce
what will this plainness soon be

what holds me back
what stops my hand

the fear of mistakes
the fear of man

but He asks me
whom have I to fear

His sweet voice
the one I long to hear

help me step out
help me to risk

what some may think foolish
I see as bliss

let me sense Your delight
lest me rest in the knowing

Your plan for me is
that my heart be showing

remove any hedges
You don’t want there

let me be real
my self let me share

trusting I’ll see
Your plan some day

I pick up the brush
the colors to lay

out of the white
the colors, they mingle

my focus to please
now more single

free to let the colors flow
let them Your heart and my heart show…



*jb*

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

the Deeper place...













with my parents visiting, it's hard sometimes to find that quiet time alone - they are early risers too! - but the Lord is still there waiting and I want so much to stay close, even when the busyness of life attempts to distract...



when the mornings are smooth as sea glass
when my times with You slowly pass

i sense You speaking love to me
i sit at the edge of a calm, glassy sea

such a peace is mine, such easy delight
like warm, morning sun, clear and bright



but when the distractions of the day
fight to steal my focus away

some things good, some, not so much
oh, how I long to feel Your touch

it’s like i’ve entered into the sea
the breakers threaten to overtake me

stop, breathe, listen to see
will i still hear You in the midst of the sea

i enter with trepidation, for sure
but i sense You calling me from the shore

and at first it is rough, tries to knock me down
hard to find footing on shifting ground

but oh the Deep that’s calling to me
that’s the place i long to be

“come, enter in, come out to the Deep
rest in the blueness of the sea”



my feet no longer can touch the ground
water up to my neck moves me around

i’ve moved now to the Deeper place
it requires focus, constant seeking Your face

watch and wait, the waves still will come
but now in this place we move as one

i relax, i trust, each wave lifting me
up, up, closer to Thee

and quiet, so quiet, this Deeper place
i hear more clearly, i see Your face


*jb*