The Deceitfulness of Sin

Taken from graphicsfairy.blogspot.com.
Thank you! 🙂

Greetings in the saving name of Jesus! I just began a one year Bible reading plan and I’m starting in Genesis. Genesis, particularly the creation story, is one of my favorite Bible passages. I love learning of how God created this world, of how He thought that “it was good,” of where He first placed man, and how He created Adam and then Eve. I also enjoy reading that God knew “It is not good that the man should be alone,” but that he needed an help-meet. I love learning of my specific purpose of being a woman.

I also catch a glimpse of God’s true and sacrificial love while dealing with the deceitfulness of sin. Oh, dear Adam and Eve, caught in the moment of pleasing God or pleasing self. Sometimes we can be tempted to think that we would never fall for Satan’s trick, yet, I propose that we do every day. My Bible’s profile note on Eve reads, “Eve was approached by Satan in the Garden of Eden, where she and Adam lived. He questioned her contentment. How could she be happy when she was not allowed to eat from one of the fruit trees? Satan helped Eve shift her focus from all that God had done and given to the one thing he had withheld. And Eve was willing to accept Satan’s viewpoint without checking with God.” Oh, how many times have I myself fallen for the old trick of discontentment?! Far too many, unfortunately. My Bible also has this really neat chart which I would like to share with you. 

“Satan’s Plan”
Doubt Make you question God’s Word and his goodness
Discouragement Makes you look at your problems rather than at God
Diversion Makes the wrong things seem attractive so that you will want them more than the right things
Defeat Makes you feel like a failure so that you don’t even try
Delay Makes you put off doing something so that it never gets done
Now, of course, this is just a chart but it really helps me see some of the lies I have been believing lately. Are any of you like me? I often get stuck in my Christian life (mostly due to sin); instead of looking to the mercy and cross of Jesus I look inward–and looking inward only makes me depressed. Then, once again, instead of looking to Jesus I recount my failures which in turn makes me even more depressed and ineffective in the kingdom of God. Ah, what an ugly cycle. Dear friends, if any of you are like me, let us turn to Jesus. Let’s not allow our feelings of defeat and laziness to postpone our repentance and walk with Christ. Instead, let us tell Jesus our problems, our struggles–He already knows them any ways! :o) Instead of walking around like senseless mummies naming the name of Christ, let us walk in the light and life Jesus gives! Let us live in the reality of the Living God, Jehovah!   

God bless you as you go throughout your week! With much love from your sister in Christ,

P.S. Photos of the house are coming! :o)

Being Single

   Greetings friends! I hope this finds each of you very well and rejoicing in the Lord; “For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Much has been going on lately, but I wanted to share a story with you. I hope that you are blessed. 🙂

Abigail Henry eagerly opened the letter her brother brought home; she loved receiving letters from her dearest friend Lacy. Often the treasured notes held bits of godly encouragement and humor as the two early-twenty cousins shared stories about home, siblings, missions, sewing, and other girlish adventures. With vigor Abigail flipped open the floral stationary and began to read. But today Abigail’s brown eyes came across something different, something delightful … Lacy was beginning a courtship with a godly young man in her church!

Emotions of joy and excitement bubbled up inside Abigail’s heart, yet another emotion also rose to the surface–sadness. But before she could address this unwanted feeling Abigail quickly left her room to share Lacy’s good news with the rest of the family.

The next morning, beautiful with sunny skies and spring temperatures, found Abigail spending most of her time serving around the house. But while the day spoke of joy, Abigail’s heart ached with sorrow. It was not until she jumped into her little car and left for an errand that Abigail began to discuss her troubles with the Lord, something she often did in the privacy of her own car. Out loud, the young woman shared her heart ache with her loving Saviour and Creator.

“Lord, you know I am excited for Lacy … she deserves a godly husband and the blessing of having her own family. She will be a wonderful wife–but, Lord, why is it that I am still single? Why is it that no one has asked for my hand? Father, am I even worthy of love? Will anyone ever find me lovely and worthy enough to be his wife? Jesus, I feel passed over and forgotten. Am I?”

Dejectedly, Abigail let out a loud and helpless sigh. At that moment, her Lord began to speak to her heart. And Jesus said, “My dearest daughter, I love you (Rom. 5:6-8). I find you beautiful; I hand-made each of your freckles, every strand of your hair, and I chose even the features you dislike so that you may know and love me and that I may be glorified (Ps. 139:16,17). These hands of mine formed you in the womb, they stretched the heavens, and bled on Calvary so that you may have life … and these very hands hold you safely now (Ps. 104:2, John 3:16). I know you feel forgotten but I have a perfect plan for you, a plan which will bring so much beauty and joy from your life (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28). A plan which will bring others to Christ and glorify my Father’s name–if you will only accept it (Isa. 49:5). Abigail, part of that plan is for you to be single right now. I know you want to be a wife and mother, but Dearest, if you cannot cheerfully and obediently accept my the plan I have for you now you will struggle to accept it later. Remember, being single is a gift from God; it is a time for you to ‘care for the things of the Lord, that you may be holy both in body and in spirit: (1 Cor. 7:34) . It is a time in which you can have the freedom to serve others … do not waste it pining over day-dreams and in self-pity. Only after you accept single-hood as a gift will you be able to truly enjoy and fulfill the calling of marriage. Daughter, remember that I am the Giver of Good Gifts (James 1:17). I have given you the time of being single, therefore, this time is a good gift; I would not give it to you otherwise. And finally, my Beloved, know that you are loved; draw nearer to me and you will realize that I can meet your every need (Ps. 37:4).”

A few moments silently passed as Abigail took in all her Saviour had spoken. It was difficult for her to accept the idea that being single equated a gift. And yet, the teary eyed girl knew her Father was right.

Later that night, Abigail sat nestled in the couch across from her dear parents. The three were spending a few moments before bed visiting and sharing the events of the day. After gathering her bravery, Abigail spilt her tale to her wise counselors. She shared the sorrow that came from Lacy’s jubilant letter, the discouragement that over-whelmed her in the car, and the sweet response the Savior gave. Smiling, Mrs. Henry spoke, “Abigail, your desires for marriage and motherhood are good desires … something for which you ought to be thankful. But you are right in that they must be met in God’s timing and way. Trust in Christ to meet your every need. Resting in Christ will not always be easy and you will still struggle with feelings of sadness and loneliness. When those times come, turn to Jesus and know that your obedience will help change your emotions.” “Remember,’ spoke Mr. Henry, ‘to allow Jesus to fill your heart with joy over Lacy’s happiness. Your contentment in being single will enable you to bless and encourage others.”

As Abigail climbed into bed that night, she thoughtfully recalled all that she had happened that day. Quietly she prayed, “Dearest Lord, by your grace I want to accept and delight in the gift of being single. Be my Joy and Companion and according to Your will prepare me for all that you have planned … whether that be marriage or not, I will delight in you.” 

Dear friends, if you are a boy reading this {I congratulate you!} you may not relate to the main character of this story. If you are a girl, I believe you may have understood  some of the fears and doubts which went through Abigail’s heart. Sisters, let us learn to be content in the here and now; let us allow Christ the righful place in our live’s and He will ease the pangs of lonliness and worry. 

May the Heavenly Father bless you as you press heavenward!

The Cross He Gave May be Heavy

Greetings friends! I hope you are well and joyfully resting in the power and love of Jesus Christ. I hope you all have been having a good week . . . even if you are going through great difficulties, it is my prayer that you are finding strength to continue pressing heavenward. I am well; life has been quite busy lately since I started school again. Something I believe Momma taught while home-schooling is a love for learning. I do love challenging my mind and figuring out things; after taking a break from school (of which I am very thankful for), I am more than ready to tackle some brain-challenging subject. :o) 
Today, I came across a hymn written by Ballington Booth. “The Cross He Gave May be Heavy” is very neat (pardon my understatement!). It was quite convicting and encouraging. Convicting in that the trials I often claim are so small and pitiful compared to the trials, burdens, and sufferings Christ bore for me. Encouraging because the sufferings and toil we endure bring others to Christ and bring us, if we let them, closer to our Heavenly Father. Truly, the Christian life is a blessed one. I hope you are blessed and encouraged! If you would like to hear the tune of this hymn, please click on this link.
The cross that He gave may be heavy,
  But it ne’er outweighs His grace;
The storm that I feared may surround me,
  But it ne’er excludes His face.
Chorus:
The cross is not greater than His grace,
The storm cannot hide His blessed face;
  I am satisfied to know
  That with Jesus here below,
    I can conquer every foe.
The thorns in my path are not sharper
  Than composed His crown for me;
The cup that I drink not more bitter
  Than He drank in Gethsemane.
The light of His love shineth brighter,
  As it falls on paths of woe;
The toil of my work groweth lighter,
  As I stoop to raise the low.
His will I have joy in fulfilling,
  As I’m walking in His sight;
My trials more blessings are bringing,
  Christ in them is my delight.
death-swallowed
May the Savior bless you as you endevour to follow Him! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light!!
Your sister in Christ,
Frannie
Clipart: antiqueclipart.com

Walking with Vision

Greetings dear brothers and sisters in Christ! :o) I was truly blessed by the below verses and also the quote given by our pastor. In some ways the verses relate with our new year; in order to succeed this coming year we need a vision. To gain a vision we must look to Christ and accept His vision for us and then trust Him to help us walk accordingly. . .and then we must follow.DobsonFull
“And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight,
and they followed him.”
Matthew 20:29-34
“Without their vision they cried out to Him, With their vision they followed Him.What do we do?”
–A Paraphrase of Pastor Paul Hamm
May Jesus bless you as you use this new year to draw closer to Him! With love,
Frannie
P.S. “Light on the Word” was painted Henry John Dobson. It was found at this link.

Preparing for Jesus

Greetings dear sisters in Christ! I hope this finds you all well.
Today has been a blessed day for me. I was running an errand when I bumped into a dear friend working across the street. After many smiles, a hug, and friendly conversation we agreed that she and her family would try to stop by after work. As I walked toward my car I felt a skip in my step, a joyous energy. . .company was coming! Once home I knew I had to get the house in order, pull the fall decorations out, and make cookies. I flew about the home setting fall knick knacks here, swiffering dust bunnies there, and lighting candles. Even though my guests would not see the laundry room, I worked on flipping loads. I worked with fervor all the while keeping one eye on the window; are they here yet? :o) Perhaps you too know this joyous feeling of waiting and preparing for someone you enjoy? Needless to say, we had a pleasant and good visit and I was so thankful for their time! Spring_Cleaning_1950s
 While preparing for my guests, I wondered if I would act the same if I ever had a “Jim dear” coming home to me. Will I anxiously prepare for my husband and lovingly bring him into a clean, orderly, and pretty home? Will I sweep away cob webs and fetch my decorations from the spider-infested garage without complaint all to please my home-coming prince? I then wondered if this is what Christ intends in my life, both physically and spiritually.   1 John 3:2-3 reads, 

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Christ gives hope (hope of eternal love and life, forgiveness, victory and power, the hope to be holy and to be the sons of God, and so much more!). Because we have hope we are to purify ourselves. Webster’s 1828 dictionary has a very interesting definition of the word purify.
PU”RIFY, v.t. [L. purifico; purus, pure, and facio, to make.]

1. To make pure or clear; to free from extraneous admixture; as, to purify liquors or metals; to purify the blood; to purify the air.
2. To free from pollution ceremonially; to remove whatever renders unclean and unfit for sacred services.
Purify yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day purify all your raiment. Num.31.
3. To free from guilt or the defilement of sin; as, to purify the heart.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Tit.2.
4. To clear form improprieties or barbarisms; as, to purify a language.
PU”RIFY, v.i. To grow or become pure or clear. Liquors will gradually purify.

Interesting, eh? To purify means to make clean, to prepare. This is similar to the preparation frenzy which occurred earlier today; I swept away the old because of the hope of fellowship, friendship, and company. In my Christian life I also need to prepare myself. Is my thought life lovely, pure, and pleasing to God? Am I seeking the lost knowing that their time is short? Do I really love my neighbor? Is my future laid before the Lord? Am a truly following Christ? To prepare for Christ means so much for the Christian. Let us seek His will and lay our lives fully in His awesome and capable hands!
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Corinthians 7:1
Oh, I have so much to learn! I am so thankful the Lord gave me a glimpse at what I need to be doing. . .by His grace, may He find me faithfully preparing myself for His coming!! :o)
“The king’s daughter [is] all glorious within:” Psalms 45:13
May the Lord richly bless you sisters! Thank you to all who visit my blog, I hope that I may be a blessing and light in your busy day!
With much love,
Frannie