Category Archives: Things to Think About

Shine!

The Lesson(s) I Learned From an 8-year-old
Olivia Grace had a soccer game last night. This wasn’t just a regular soccer game either. It was a scrimmage played at halftime of the UK Women’s soccer game against Auburn. To the “Infernos,” Olivia’s team, that was a big deal! Olivia told her mom that she was excited because it was “just another platform for her to perform on.” She was thrilled to get to show off the talents God has blessed her with to a bigger crowd and on a better field.

When I heard what Miss Olivia Grace said, I couldn’t help but think of Philippians 2:14-16.

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you

shine

as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

You see, Olivia Grace realizes that each opportunity she is given is a chance to shine, not only for her family and friends, but also for her Heavenly Father.

Olivia also loves to sing. She sings at home a lot! But, when the school talent show rolled around, she used the bigger platform to shine even more!

Every time we play Scrabble, Olivia always wins (and keep in mind she’s the youngest of those playing). Who knows, she might play in the Scrabble Championships one day!

Her 65-point word!

God has given each one of us different platforms to perform on.  We have stages at work, school, at social events, church, outreach ministries and just in everyday life.  Sometimes it may be a small platform and sometimes He blesses us with a big one, but whatever kind of platform He chooses to give us, we need to use it to glorify Him.

So, thank you, Miss Olivia Grace, for reminding me to shine for Christ and always do everything for His glory!

“You could be a scientist. You could be a soccer player. It doesn’t matter as long as you do it all for the glory of God. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (Our Song from 1 Corinthians 10:31)

14, her favorite verse)!

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:14, her favorite verse)!

Something to Chew On…

I’ll leave you all a little something to chew on while I’m away for this week.
Over at GirlTalk, the Mahaney girls always have some excellent stuff to read.  This is a great reminder of how we need to be aware of sin in our lives, even when we’re on vacation!

Here’s a taste to leave you wanting more:

As my dad is in the habit of reminding people: indwelling sin doesn’t take a vacation. As long as we’re in this world, we can’t escape it. We can’t get in the car and leave it behind. We take it with us. Everywhere.

In fact, it seems to me as if new sins sneak into my luggage.

Check out the rest here.

Have a great week!  I love you all!  :o)

Lots of Things to Think About!

Have you ever had a day when it seems like everything you read ends up being something you want to share with everybody you know? Well, today is one of those days and rather than depriving you of such rich, wonderful quotes and stories, I decided to share them with you to click at your convenience! :o)

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
It Is Well With My Soul
A glimpse into the life of Horatio Spafford who wrote the famous hymn. His granddaughter-in-law just passed away in Jerusalem and her obituary is rich with history.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
C.S. Lewis Quote (that sums up the theme of Piper’s life) from Reflections on the Psalms

The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. But we shall know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. (p. 97)

And I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. (p. 95)

If it were possible for a created soul fully (I mean, up to the full measure conceivable in a finite being) to “appreciate,” that is to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme beatitude. (p. 96)

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
J.I. Packer Quote from Knowing God

God’s love is stern, for it expresses holiness in the lover and seeks holiness for the beloved. Scripture does not allow us to suppose that because God is love we may look to him to confer happiness on people who will not seek holiness, or to shield his loved ones from trouble when he knows that they need trouble to further their sanctification.

God is love” is the complete truth about God so far as the Christian is concerned… Every single thing that happens to us expresses God’s love to us, and comes to us for the furthering of God’s purpose for us. Thus, so far as we are concerned, God is love to us—holy, omnipotent love—at every moment and in every event of every day’s life. Even when we cannot see the why and the wherefore of God’s dealings, we know that there is love in and behind them, and so we can rejoice always, even when, humanly speaking, things are going wrong. We know that the true story of our life, when known, will prove to be, as the hymn says, “mercy from first to last”—and we are content.

God’s love is an exercise of his goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, he has given his Son to be their Savior, and now brings them to know and enjoy him in a covenant relation.

J. I. Packer, Knowing God, 122-123

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

C.J. Mahaney Quote from The Cross Centered Life
“To grow in your passion for what Jesus has done, increase your understanding of what He has done.

Never be content with your grasp of the gospel. The gospel is life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth. It has more facets than any diamond. Its depths man will never exhaust.”
– C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2002), 67.
[from “Of First Importance“]

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Jonathan Edwards Quote
“A spiritual application of the Word of God consists in applying it to the heart, in spiritually enlightening, sanctifying influences. A spiritual application of an invitation or offer of the gospel consists in giving the soul a spiritual sense or relish of the holy and divine blessings offered, and the sweet and wonderful grace of the Offerer in making so gracious an offer, and of his holy excellency and faithfulness to fulfill what he offers, and his glorious sufficiency for it, so leading and drawing forth the heart to embrace the offer and thus giving the man evidence of his title to the thing offered.”

Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections, page 153.
[from “Christ is Deeper Still“]
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Cuteness
This is a cute video of John Piper’s little grandson acting like his grandpa!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Highlights from Yesterday
From Dad’s Morning Sermon on 1 Peter 3:7
*Be an exemplary witness. *Be a shining light in a dark world. *There’s always room for improvement. *Make your home a godly home. *Assign value to your wife (8 cow wife!). *Encourage your wife to use her strengths to glorify God. *Live in a way of understanding your wife.
From Dad’s Evening Sermon on Exodus 19
*We need to prepare ourselves to meet God just as Israel did here. *Spiritual Preparation: Recognize the awesomeness of God; Right relationship with God; Chew on “God Chose Me!” *Mental Preparation: Must be ready to listen and hear the Word; Obey by hearing; Are you willing to obey God? *Physical Preparation: Rest; Give your best to the Master *Remember Who your Audience is!

Am I a Soldier of the Cross? (or am I just a sojourner on the earth?)

I sat down a few minutes ago to play through a few songs on the piano.  I enjoy just sitting down and playing through old hymnals.  The last song I played was one that John Piper quoted in his T4G message this year.  The second verse will still not get out of my head…it is a very haunting thought. 
Well, I came to check my e-mail and my GoogleReader, only to find a blogpost that fits very well with those words I’ve been pondering. 

Ray Ortlund just posted this today:

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3

Timothy was Paul’s son in the Lord. Paul called him “my child” (2 Timothy 2:1). How did this spiritual father raise his fine young son? Not for ease, but for hardship. And Timothy was ready to face the future, come what may.

Paul looked his beloved child right in the eyes and said, “This world is mobilized in total war against the Lord Jesus. Look around you. You see the brutality everywhere. This is why. But our Savior is committed to an all-out campaign of liberation, and we are in his army now. He will deploy you in battle. You will suffer. Don’t run from it. Accept it. When this war is finally over and we all go home, we will live on with no regrets. We will live forever with the satisfaction of having fought in the greatest conflict in the universe, and we didn’t turn tail and run. We followed orders and pleased our Commander (2 Timothy 2:4). He will be so pleased to pin those medals on your chest. He will be so pleased to toast you at his victory banquet. Think about it, son.”

On this Father’s Day, may all Christian fathers say to their sons and daughters the things that must be said, to raise up the next generation of steady, rugged, joyful soldiers for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is the song I played.  

 

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.

(You can hear the song here). 

All Creatures Great and Small (well…kind of small!)

This week, I’ve been getting to spend a lot of time with my favorite niece and nephew, Peanut Marie and Rocco Jack, while their parents are away taking long walks on the beach.  These two little critters, um…well, little is relative…are a joy to be around and I get a kick out of sending pictures of them to their parents.  So, no matter how much of a freak you think I am…I hope you enjoy these few pictures of Miss Peanut Marie and Mr. Rocco Jack having a little fun with their Aunt Sarah.  Ha ha …ahem… ha.  I know at least one person will! 

Reminding you “so whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do…do it all to the glory of God…” even if it is taking care of a friend’s dogs!  (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Rocco gives me kisses.Rocco licks me.
Click here for more pictures.  (coming soon, Brookie, I promise!)

How to Pray for the Victims of the Cyclone

Learn about the cyclone in Myanmar.   

6 Ways to React to the Cyclone

May 6, 2008  |  By: John Piper 
Category: Commentary

 As the carnage from Cyclone Nargis moves toward 50,000 dead and beyond, there is a way to pray and act:

1. Be softened to the pain nearby.

The Good Samaritan knew nothing of the calamities in first century Burma, but was commended by the Lord for mercies at hand (Luke 10:25-37).

2. Pray for the followers of Christ in Myanmar:

  • That they would be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10; 100:3).
  • That they would be awakened from the illusion that this life is long or sure or the main point of eternal existence (James 4:14).
  • That they would be given a new vision of the supreme value of Christ who promises his followers that famine, nakedness, and death will not separate them from his love (Romans 8:35).
  • That God would meet their needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, so that they might have to give to those in need (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 4:28).

3. Pray for the millions of unbelievers near the calamity and far from it:

  • That they would see the helplessness of man before the Power that rules the world and fly to Christ who alone delivers from the final cyclone of God’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
  • That they would not respond like the people in Revelation (9:20; 16:9, 11) who did not repent at the devastation but cursed God.
  • That they would hear the best news in all the world—not the news of health, wealth, and prosperity in this world, but the news that Christ became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) so that in him we can be more than conquerors in every calamity of life (Romans 8:37).

4. Pray for those of us who live in the seeming security and prosperity of America:

  • That we would see what is about to break over us in due time—either collectively as God removes the hand of his providential restraint, or individually as one by one we are whisked to the hospital, then wheeled to the nursing home, and then carried to the funeral home (Hebrews 9:27).
  • That millions would be made to see this and repent from the adultery of treasuring anything more than Christ (James 4:4).

5. Give money to replenish the coffers of compassion “since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).

6. Muster a team from your church, and when the doors are open, be ready to go.

This kind of going always has the promise of a special, “I will be with you to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Compliments of Desiring God Ministries

Welcoming the Month of May with Spurgeon

A Thought to Welcome the Month of May

I often read the “Good Morning” page on the Way of the Master website.  They have morning and evening Spurgeon devotions featured on that page from another website.  His devotionals are always thought-provoking. 

Here is the one from this morning:

“His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers.”

 Song of Solomon 5:13

Lo, the flowery month is come! March winds and April showers have done their work, and the earth is all bedecked with beauty. Come my soul, put on thine holiday attire and go forth to gather garlands of heavenly thoughts. Thou knowest whither to betake thyself, for to thee “the beds of spices” are well known, and thou hast so often smelt the perfume of “the sweet flowers,” that thou wilt go at once to thy well-beloved and find all loveliness, all joy in him. That cheek once so rudely smitten with a rod, oft bedewed with tears of sympathy and then defiled with spittle—that cheek as it smiles with mercy is as fragrant aromatic to my heart. Thou didst not hide thy face from shame and spitting, O Lord Jesus, and therefore I will find my dearest delight in praising thee. Those cheeks were furrowed by the plough of grief, and crimsoned with red lines of blood from thy thorn-crowned temples; such marks of love unbounded cannot but charm my soul far more than “pillars of perfume.” If I may not see the whole of his face I would behold his cheeks, for the least glimpse of him is exceedingly refreshing to my spiritual sense and yields a variety of delights. In Jesus I find not only fragrance, but a bed of spices; not one flower, but all manner of sweet flowers. He is to me my rose and my lily, my heart’s- ease and my cluster of camphire. When he is with me it is May all the year round, and my soul goes forth to wash her happy face in the morning-dew of his grace, and to solace herself with the singing of the birds of his promises. Precious Lord Jesus, let me in very deed know the blessedness which dwells in abiding, unbroken fellowship with thee. I am a poor worthless one, whose cheek thou hast deigned to kiss! O let me kiss thee in return with the kisses of my lips.

Compliments of CCEL

Tulip at Henry Clay\'s Home

Storing Up God’s Word in our Heart!

This is not only the cutest video you’ll probably ever see, it is also a good reminder that you’re never too young (or old!) to hide God’s Word in your heart. 

If this little girl (who is barely three!) can quote all of Psalm 23, how much more can we be storing up in our hearts?! 

This is exactly what we learned about in the kids’ class last night.  We discussed Deuteronomy 6

 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

We learned that the Jews wore phylacteries and mezuzahs, but most importantly, they hid God’s Word in their hearts!  We even stored up another verse in our hearts last night: “I have stored up Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”  [Psalm 119:11]

We should be teaching our children the importance of God’s Word.  How will they ever believe us unless we live it out ourselves and store it in our hearts first?  It is my prayer that the kids at NLBC will always have someone they can look up to who is hiding God’s Word in their heart.  I pray that we will always teach those precious words to them diligently and talk about spiritual things at home, whether while we eat, ride in the car, take a walk, go to bed or even when we visit the homes of others. 

Even though I do not have any children, I still take this verse very personally.  I believe it is my duty to help these children store up as much as they can in their little hearts and minds! 

As Corrie Ten Boom said, “Gather the riches of God’s promises.  Nobody can take away from you those texts from the Bible which you have learned by heart.” 

I hope you have started (and are continuing) with Psalm 119
Little Girl Saying Psalm 23

[I guess we can call this my once a month soapbox extravaganza!]

New Meaning to 1 Corinthians 10:31

I got this from Eric Simmons’ New Attitude Blog.  This list comes from Thomas Watson, single pastor from the 1600s.  He wrote this in his book Body of Divinity (a book Spurgeon used in his pastor’s college).  The first chapter is “How Do We Glorify God?”  The list includes 16 ways, the last three of which Simmons has not written about yet. 

How Do We Aim to Glorify God?

1. “We aim at Gods’ glory when we prefer his Glory above all other things: Above credit, above wealth, above control, above ease, pleasure and the praise of men.”

2. “We aim at God’s glory when we are content that God’s will should take place, THOUGH IT MAY CROSS OURS.”

3. “We aim at God’s glory with our life when we are CONTENT to be outshined by others in gifts and esteem so that his glory may be increased”.  [personally, my most convicting one…ouch!]
 
4. “We aim at God’s glory by an honest and sincere confession of sin.”

5. “We glorify God by believing him.”

6. “We glorify God by being fruitful.”

7.  “We Glorify God by being CONTENTED in that state in which providence has placed us.” Here’s a great quote from that section: “We give God the glory for his wisdom, when we rest satisfied with what he carves out for us.”

8. “We Glorify God by working out our salvation through the spiritual disciplines.”

9. “We glorify God by living to God–we live to God when we live to his service.” How do we serve?  “We spend ourselves and are spent that we may win souls for Christ.”

10. “We glorify God by walking cheerfully. It reflects upon a master when the servant is always moping and sad. Your serving him does not glorify Him unless it be with gladness.”

11.  “We glorify god by contending for the truth.”

12.  “We glorify God by praising him.”

13.  “We glorify God when we have an eye to God in our natural and in our civil actions; in eating, in drinking.  A grace filled person hold the golden bridle of temperance, he makes his food, not fuel for lust, but help to duty.”

If you don’t know 1 Corinthians 10:31 by heart, ask your youngster…I’m sure they could help you!  :o) 
Which one convicted you the most?!  (Leave a comment).