It’s a busy time for us. My thoughts have been scattered. So, I thought I would share some of the things that have been floating around in my head the last few mornings.
Every once in awhile, I pull out my old Keith Green records, (in reality, they are on my husband’s ipod, but I still think of them as records… showing my age, I know) turn up the volume, and sing the words right out loud. The Lord saved me in 1981 and Keith Green’s music was a great encouragement to me as a new Christian. Here are a couple of lines from his song, Until That Final Day:
My flesh is tired of seeking God, but on my knees I’ll stay…
Those words made me think about how much prayer is connected to the idea of denying one’s own flesh. If we get up early or stay up late to pray, we are denying ourselves sleep. (Think of the Jesus’ disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.) If we fast and pray, we deny ourselves food. Even taking a few moments to pray before a meal keeps us from immediately satisfying the desires of our flesh. Setting aside time to pray denies us the time we could be doing something else. I concluded that to pray is to be “in denial.” So, maybe being “in denial” is not such a bad thing to be.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
THE GOODNESS OF GOD’S WORD
I recently listened to a sermon, “How to Think and Feel About the Word of God, Psalm 119:1-176,” by Kevin DeYoung out of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. In it he brings out the point that although we have people in our lives who may desire to help and want to give us the right words of wisdom, they do not have the capacity to always get it right. But, God not only loves us and wants what is best for us, but His wisdom is always right and good and proper and well…perfect! The Lord used this sermon to stir up my love for His Word. By the way, if you are interested you can download the University Reformed Church App on your mobile device and listen to lots of great sermons. The app also links to Pastor DeYoung’s blog, information about events at URC, and a cool Bible reading plan.
Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. Ps. 119:24
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MOMS
Kimm Crandall, a fellow blogger I follow, tweeted these words recently: “Don’t believe the lie that you are not the mother your kids need. He has given you the exact kids you need and the exact mother they need.” Although Kimm and I are in different seasons as far as motherhood goes, she continues to be an encouragement to me. My kids are all grown up, but there are still times I look back and wish I’d been a different kind of mom. Done things differently. I suppose it comes with the territory, but I’m convinced that Mommy Guilt is the worst there is. Kimm’s tweet was timely and appreciated. I’m thankful for people like her, and all of you, who are part of my “Gospel Inheritance.” You can read Kimm’s blog “Christ in the Chaos” by clicking here.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11
SURPRISED BY SIN
Recently, I read that artist Thomas Kinkade’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. I’m ashamed to admit that my first thoughts upon reading the news were both harsh and judgmental. Something along the lines of: “Hmmph! And he called himself a Christian!” I was surprised at the vehemence of my response, but I should not have been. Yes, by God’s grace I am growing in my sanctification, but the ugliness of sin still surfaces. Thankfully, the Lord was faithful to convict me right away for my arrogant attitude.
I understand that as Christians our lives are to reflect Christ and be marked by godly obedience and love for God and others. But, on the other hand, I realized pretty quickly that to mete out justice is God’s place, not mine.
If Mr. Kinkade was a Christian, how sad is it that the end of his life would represent the antithesis to the hope and joy found in Christ? And if Mr. Kinkade was not a Christian, how terrible that the man known as the painter of light would die in such darkness.
Therefore, do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. 1 Cor. 4:5
And then, there’s the wedding. My oldest son, Joshua, will be married on June 29th. We are thrilled and excited for him and our future daughter-in-law, Sarah. Wonderful! It’s been a joy to watch their Gospel-centric relationship blossom and grow.
Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:24
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
I will leave you with a quote from Charles Spurgeon:
[God’s] “Providence is a soft pillow for anxious heads, an anodyne for care, a grave for despair.”
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel