Category Archives: Devotions

Pulling Up the Buttercups

Today I saw some buttercups blooming in our front lawn.  Though I think that the flower of this weed is lovely, nevertheless it is a weed and will quickly take over the lawn if left to its own.  Several weeks ago I sprayed as many as I could find with weed killer but I didn’t spray the whole plant and so they continued to grow.  But today when I saw them blooming I went outside, gathered up a lid to put them in, and a gardening tool to dig them up.  It didn’t take too long, the mature plant which produced the flower was easy to dig up.

This little moment of daily life really reminded me of the parable of the wheat and the tares, (Matthew 13:24-30).  In this parable a farmer sows good seed in his field but while men slept the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. Tares could quite possibly have been Darnel.  Darnel is a weed grass that looks very much like wheat until it is mature.  The farmer knew that an enemy had done this and because of the similarity in appearance, the workers were told to let both wheat and tares grow together until the harvest when the tares would be bound for burning but the wheat would be gathered into the farmer’s barn.

What could tares in a church be?  I think it is deception that is taking hold in churches everywhere.  It is very scary really to see how churches who were previously sound are compromising and giving up the “old paths” to try to attract new people but they are failing because new people, and children who have grown up in a previously sound church but are now of an age to choose for themselves, are choosing to attend churches who offer entertainment instead.  As someone told me, “I don’t want to hear about fire and brimstone, I want to be entertained.  And so what is the future of these poor deceived people?  I pray that the good Lord opens their eyes to the truth of what is going on, and takes them out of these churches and into a church strong in the faith with good leadership and holding to the “old paths”.  There are still a few of these churches around because God always has his remnant.

But as for the rest, they will go blindly on and, except they repent and receive the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, they will be like the tares and will not see heaven.  It is very sad.

As for the buttercups, I plan on digging up every new one I see when it begins to bloom.  Beautiful or not, they are weeds.

Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow together until the  harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”

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How Does One Have Inner Peace?

Our neighbours have just listed their house for sale.  They have lived here for less than two years but they have never seemed to be at peace.  I don’t think that a change of housing is going to bring them peace because as far as I know they are not Christians.

What does the bible say on the subject of inner peace? The section below is from Got Questions.org

The Bible has a lot to say about peace. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Paul refers to “the God of all peace” (Romans 15:13, 33; Galatians 6:16). The term peace is often used as a greeting and a benediction (see Luke 24:36). So what exactly is peace, and how can we have “inner peace”?

A word often translated “peace” in the Bible actually means “to tie together as a whole, when all essential parts are joined together.” Inner peace, then, is a wholeness of mind and spirit, a whole heart at rest. Inner peace has little to do with external surroundings. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” He had also told His followers that “in this world you will have many troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the presence of God.

The sentence bolded really spoke to me because it confirms that external surroundings have little to do with inner peace.  A Christian should have inner peace in the midst of turmoil because they are trusting in the Lord to carry them through.
here is the link to the rest of the article at Got Questions.org

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep..

Now I lay me down to sleep…  that is the beginning of a prayer I used to say as a little girl.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

I was not a Christian nor were my mother or father and yet my mother had me say this prayer every night.  Those words were meaningless to me at the time except for making me wonder if I would live to see morning.  In this prayer the reference is to “the Lord”..  not personal as in “my Lord”.  In Psalm 23:1 David speaks of “the Lord” but he qualifies it by adding “is my Shepherd”..  David’s faith is personal.

I didn’t think about this prayer for a very long time but now I am a Christian and  lately it has come back to me. When I go to bed I pray “Now I lay me down to sleep, I ask you Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I ask you Lord my soul to take.”  Addressing him personally and trusting that I am in his hands.

Who knows what the day will bring?

Trusting in Him..

Are You Watching for Jesus? An Airport Lesson

When my granddaughter was 5 years old my daughter-in-law went to Japan for a week. For the last three days she was away, I went to their house very early in the morning to babysit my granddaughter. It had been arranged in advance that my son would take time off of work to be home to look after her for the first four days, followed by myself. I told my granddaughter that on the day that I came, it would be a very short time before her mother came home. “two more sleeps, and mama will be home.”

Needless to say, on the day before, my granddaughter got up pretty early and asked if mama would be home, so I told her one more sleep. The next morning she was up at 6:30 am asking if it was time to go to the airport. She was so excited, she had a bath, washed her hair, brushed her teeth, picked out a pretty dress, and soon it was time to head for the airport. On the way she saw a plane in the sky and remarked that we must be getting close to the airport.

As we entered the International Arrival section, there was a large crowd of people gathered to meet loved ones. Everyone arriving had to come through customs, which took at least a 1/2 hour after the plane touched down. They had to pick up their baggage, and then they came through doors and down a narrow, enclosed passageway to the opening where finally, there were greetings with embraces, flowers, what have you. A lot of people were looking at the monitors that had been set up so they could see their loved one entering through the doors that were quite a distance away..

We had arrived at the time the plane touched down, and we were first sitting in chairs, and then standing at the railing separating us from the passageway. It seemed a very long time that we stood there, and my granddaughter was getting discouraged, asking “where is mama?” and I kept telling her that soon her mama would be there. At first I was aware of all the people waiting, but as time passed, it was like they disappeared, and my granddaughter and I were the only ones there, so focused were we waiting for her mother.

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Fly Away

This past summer we drove to the town of Chemainus, down to the beach where there was a lovely breeze and an outgoing tide. In the Cowichan Valley where we live it was very hot, almost 90 degrees, and so this breeze was very welcome. We sat on a log which was shaded by a large tree, enjoying the relief from the oppressive heat back home.

Offshore there is a lighthouse on a rocky knoll and we watched as a group of people set out to walk to it. If it was an incoming tide, this would have been a very dangerous thing to do as they had small children with them who could walk most of the way but had to be carried the rest of the way. Had the tide been incoming, they would have been trapped. One of the men was carrying what looked like a large blow-up chair and husband and I assumed that they were going to set out blankets and spend some time on the rocks which had no shade at all. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Not long after they all reached the rocks and had gathered together, we saw a huge dragon-fly climbing up in the sky and we thought it was a kite, because one of the men appeared to be holding a large container where the string would be. But then the dragon-fly got too far away to be a kite, and we saw that it was a helium balloon shaped like a dragon-fly. It flew higher, over the trees and towards the town of Chemainus. Then the container turned out to be a large red heart-shaped helium balloon which climbed into the sky and followed after the dragon-fly. There was another balloon as well, but it was smaller and darker, I don’t know what it was.

After the balloons were released, the group of adults and children made their way back to the shore and husband and I left the beach and drove home. I wondered what this balloon-releasing meant. That was certainly the intention of their trip out to the lighthouse, it seemed rather a long way to walk to entertain children, and it was the adults that released the balloons, not the children. I came to the conclusion that it was a memorial to someone who had recently passed away, or perhaps a memorial to someone who had passed away years ago. At any rate, when I got home I looked up “fly away” at Blue Letter Bible and settled on Psalm 90:10 “The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

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What is a Smile?

What is a smile? It is very common these days to see celebrities or political figures who smile on demand, looking this way and that, wherever the camera is. But for most of them, it seems to be part of the job, and they smile with their mouth but not with their eyes. It is also common to watch television news and see the journalists with this same smile, with their mouth but not with their eyes. I often wonder if this constant smiling is part of the job description.

There are many types of smiles, a pet dog’s goofy, toothy grin (any dog owner will attest to the fact that their dog does indeed smile.) There is a child’s innocent, joyful smile; or the sad smile of a person who has lost a loved one and has family and friends around them,  where the mouth is smiling, but the eyes tell a different story. There is the brave smile that one sees when a person who has been through a natural disaster is interviewed, in this case the eyes have a resigned or shocked appearance while the mouth smiles, depending on how long ago the disaster happened. There is the deceptive smile of a flatterer. I know a flatterer and to see this smile is to see a deceitful, subtle and somewhat evil expression in the eyes. Notice that in most of these examples, there is a difference between the eyes and the mouth when smiling.

I would like to post about a subject that is rather difficult to put into words, but it has been on my heart for years, that being the subject of the smile, and particularly, the Christian lady who believes it is necessary for her to smile all the time. I say lady because I have never seen Christian men be part of this seeming need.

I have known many sincere, lovely, mostly elderly Christian ladies whose smiles made them look as though they were lit from within, full of joy and peace and these are wonderful to behold. On the other hand, I have known ladies who are smiling all the time, as though they get up in the morning, put on the smile and go about their day. Whether shopping in a mall, or out for a walk, or going to garage sales, that smile never leaves the face, but again, the smile is with the mouth and not with the eyes.

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The Next Seat…

This devotion will surely touch your heart.
Right before the jetway door closed, I scrambled aboard the plane going from LA to Chicago, lugging my laptop and overstuffed briefcase. It was the first leg of an important business trip a few weeks before Christmas, and I was running late. I had a ton of work to catch up on, half wishing, half praying I muttered, “Please God, do me a favor; let there be an empty seat next to mine, I don’t need any distractions.”
I was on the aisle in a two seat row. Across sat a businesswoman with her nose buried in a newspaper. No problem. But in the seat beside mine, next to the window, was a young boy wearing a big red tag around his neck: Minor Traveling Unattended. The kid sat perfectly still, hands in his lap, eyes straight ahead. He’d probably been told never to talk to strangers. Good, I thought.
Then the flight attendant came by. “Michael, I have to sit down because we’re about to take off,” she said to the little boy. “This nice man will answer any of your questions, okay?” Did I have a choice? I offered my hand, and Michael shook it twice, straight up and down. “Hi, I’m Jerry,” I said. “You must be about 7 years old.” “I’ll bet you don’t have any kids,” he responded. “Why do you think that? Sure I do.” I took out my wallet to show him pictures.
“Because I’m six.”
“I was way off, huh?”
The captains’ voice came over the speakers: “Flight attendants, prepare for takeoff.” Michaelpulled his seat belt tighter and gripped the armrests as the jet engines roared. I leaned over and said, “Right about now, I usually say a prayer. I ask God to keep the plane safe and to send angels to protect us.”
“Amen,” he said, then added, “but I’m not afraid of dying. I’m not afraid because my mama’s already in heaven.”

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Without Spot: Forgiveness and Cleansing

What is the difference between forgiveness and cleansing? We know that initially our sins are forgiven on that wonderful day when we have heard the gospel, when we believe the truth, that we are sinners, separated from God and bound for a lost eternity. But we have repented, and believed the gospel, that the Lord Jesus Christ shed his precious blood, and taken upon himself the penalty for sin. That he became the perfect sacrifice for us.. We trust in Him as our Saviour, and by this trusting, we are saved by faith, “not by works that any man should boast.”

But what after this? Romans 6 and 7 tell us that we are no longer slaves to sin, in bondage to sin, and because of the Spirit within, we have the power to overcome sin. Yet, because we are still in this body, Paul says in Romans 7 “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which would not, that I do… I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin”.. not that we willfully sin as we did before we were saved, but because we are not yet in our resurrection bodies, and perfected we still do sin.

So then cleansing comes in.. though we are forgiven and heaven bound, we still need cleansing.. not for salvation, but for close fellowship with the Lord. David is our example.. and Psalm 51 was written after his sin with Bathsheba. Psalm 51 1-2 “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” V12 ‘restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

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Follow the Path: a Devotion of the Christian’s Life Journey


Before husband I moved to Vancouver Island, we went on a little journey to North Vancouver. On the way back, we stopped at a place called Lighthouse Park where he had never been and I had only been once many years before.

We parked the car and the path led into a deep forest for about a mile, with large cedar trees, lots of ferns, you couldn’t see the sky it was so dense. But the path was well-marked, even though it led uphill and downhill, sometimes easy, sometimes hard. Along the way a trail left the main path and turned to the left.  We watched a girl turn into that trail by herself and thought that quite foolish. The way things are these days, a woman walking alone is not a good thing, but I digress.  A little further along we could hear the sound of laughter to the right, and wondered who was there. All along the way there were benches where one could rest on their journey. As we neared the end we could see bright sunlight and the ocean, and then finally, a beautiful lighthouse guarded by a house where gardens bloomed and vegetables grew in the strong sunlight. The difference in the light and temperature were amazing.

Thinking back on our little walk I thought of how much this path is like the Christian’s journey to being with the Lord. There are hills to climb, and valleys we go down into, trials to go through along our way.  We may, no doubt will, face illness, and the death of loved ones.  But along our journey sometimes the path is peaceful and easy. The benches are like our times of rest the Lord gives us along our path to eternity.  The girl going off by herself was like the person who gives in to temptation and goes off on their own, with no doubt, consequences to bear. The laughter was like the world, enticing us, but by His strength, we continue on our journey. Reaching the sunshine, the gardens and the lighthouse, was like reaching our heavenly home, the glory of the Son and the riches of heaven, just waiting for us.

One thing I thought was really neat was when we started our journey, husband was carrying a big stick.  There are bears in the area, and old memories of our bear encounters still haunted him. But about halfway to the lighthouse he threw the stick away and continued on. To me that was like our apprehensions and perhaps our fears as we journey on our Christian walk, and then finally we trust the Lord to protect us along the way, knowing as we walk with Him, He will bring us home.

Psalm 23 is the Christian’s life journey:

V1-4 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.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. V6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Jeremiah 6:16: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

vcg

Thoughts on a Gathering Storm

I wrote this piece in 2003 but as we on Vancouver Island await landfall of the remnants of Typhoon Songda, and not knowing exactly where it will land, this piece is something to dwell upon.

The Gathering Storm

Psalm 32:7 “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.”

Isaiah 25:4 “For thou hast been …a refuge from the storm…”

In 2003 one of my husband’s brothers died, and for the memorial we traveled to the city where he lived, a city known for terrific thunderstorms and for traffic problems. We chose not to stay in the city, but in a small motel an hour away. We also wanted to avoid the heavy traffic of the city, so we went to the memorial by a quieter route that took us through the outskirts. We took our little dog with us, and so I waited outside the funeral home with the dog while my husband and his other brothers were attending the memorial. It was a very hot day, and I watched the sky as the thunder clouds gathered and began to spread. The sky grew black, it was clear that there was a big storm brewing.

Just at that moment, my husband came out from the memorial reception and said that his other brothers were going to stay longer, so we left the same way we came, back along the quiet route, pausing only to video the storm about to let loose. I wanted to stay and watch the storm, but my husband thought it wise to avoid the driving rain that was sure to begin shortly. As we drove away the rain started, and some small hail, and I was thankful to be heading of harm’s way.  Along the road we stopped at a gas station and the thunder and lightning were very intense but there was no hail, just heavy driving rain.  We made it back to the motel with no problems.

My husband’s two brothers left the reception in the midst of the storm. They took a wrong turn, and ended up in the middle of the city, in the middle of a very bad hail storm. They were stuck in traffic for hours but eventually they made their way back to the motel where we were all staying, their car showing damage from the hail.

In thinking about it now, it occurred to me that as believers when we see a storm of life, or a literal storm gathering, we can do either of two things. If a literal storm, we can prepare as best we can, and trust the Lord for His protection, that he will shelter us from it, or we can ignore the warnings and be caught unprepared and fearful for the intensity of it. For a storm of life, we can leave the matter in the Lord’s hands and trust him to carry us through.  For those Christians who pray for the Lord’s protection and trust in Him, the Lord, in his grace and mercy, will surely carry us through because we are His children, saved by grace through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Psalm 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him”

The aftermath of the storm brings different outcomes, depending on our choice when the storm was brewing. Did we run to the Lord as our refuge and come through an overcomer? or did we ignore the danger when trouble was brewing,  and come through sadder, wiser and perhaps with consequences?

Happy are they who run to the Lord, who put their trust in Him.

Stand Still and See

This is a beautiful poem. I’ve carried it around with me for at least 16 years, having read the biography of missionaries John and Betty Stam. I hope that it is not a copyright infringement to post it on this blog, if it is let me know and I will remove it.

STAND STILL AND SEE

a Poem by Betty Stam, martyred with her husband in China, December 8, 1934.

I’m standing, Lord
There is a mist that blinds my sight.
Sharp jagged rocks, front, left, and right.
Hover, dim, gigantic in the night.
Where is the way?

I’m standing, Lord.
The black rock hems me in behind
Above my head a moaning wind
Chills and oppresses heart and mind.
I am afraid!

I’m standing, Lord.
The rock is hard beneath my feet.
I nearly slipped Lord on the sleet.
So weary, Lord and where a seat?
Still must I stand?

He answered me, and on His face
A look ineffable of grace,
Of perfect, understanding love,
Which all my murmuring did remove.

I’m standing, Lord.
Since Thou hast spoken, Lord I see
Thou hast beset; these rocks are Thee;
And since Thy love encloses me,
I stand and sing.

Incident at Robson Ranch

Incident at Robson Ranch

Do you think that the Lord would send a dog for a Christian’s protection? This incident happened a few years ago, but it is still fresh in my mind.

Robson Ranch is located in Mount Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia. To get to the ranch, one has to drive up a long and winding road quite far into the mountains. The ranch has large fields in front of the ranch house, and to the east is a small campground where the different sites are set into the forest. At the ranch lived a large dog, which resembled a Malemute.

Husband and I pulled into our campsite and decided not to pitch our tent on the gravel.. we chose instead to pitch it in the forest where it was surrounded by berry bushes. Not the brightest thing to do.  During the day, we wandered around, looked at the various activities that were offered to us, and then went back to our campsite later in the afternoon. Shortly after we got back, the ranch dog came to the campground, and lay down on the road at the entrance to our campsite where he stayed the rest of the afternoon and into the night. We thought that it was strange that he did not move from his chosen spot.

I can still remember being awakened by a loud snap of twigs, and the sound of a large animal moving slowly through the bushes and closer to our campsite. I was convinced that it was a bear and became concerned about being right in the middle of berry bushes. This was in late August when bears were looking to fatten up on any and all berries that they could find.

As the animal came closer, the dog (who was still in front of our site) began barking; a very loud, threatening bark.. he continued until I could hear the animal turn and go in the opposite direction.

The next morning the dog had left his spot in front of our site, and we heard later in the day that a bear had gone into the farm-house yard and eaten all of their berries.

I have always been convinced that the Lord sent that dog to our site to protect us. We did not know the dog, nor was he particularly friendly. It was like he had a job to do, which he did very well. And I am thankful.

vcg

The Great Magnet

I have kept this devotion with me for years, I hope it is a blessing.

THE GREAT MAGNET

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”

When a great magnet approaches a lot of little bits of steel and iron filings in a box of sand, they become agitated, and a quivering movement is seen along the whole line. They almost seem to be conscious of something in the air attracting them upwards, and when the magnet comes a little nearer, they just leap to meet it and cling to it by the subtle attraction of the magnet.

And so, as the Lord’s coming draws nearer, the hearts of His people will become strangely conscious that the Bridegroom is at hand, and they will be drawn out to expect Him and prepare for Him in a manner which they may not understand.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28).

“Ah Tom, your kite’s gone!” said the boys to a little fellow who was standing on the common, holding hard to a string which reached somewhere up into the sky. “She’s gone this time, sure. We can’t see a speck of her”! “No she ain’t neither!” said Tom “My kite’s all right. I can’t see it it’s so high, but I can feel it pull!”

Ah friends, can we feel the pull? Things may look dark and strange outside and on every side, but there is a cord within, the other end of which is bound to His Heart-string, and whose every sympathetic fibre responds to His purpose and His approach. It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory…” (Col. 1:27)

A.B. Simpson

The Blackness of Darkness

Jude 13 “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”  Living in a populated area one does not often see true darkness because of city lights brightening the sky. Where we used to live you could hardly see the stars because of city lights. Now our home is in the country, night skies are darker, the stars are more visible. When there is a full moon the glow lightens the land even more. It is beautiful, and the blackness of darkness is not experienced here either.

Two times in my life I have experienced this extreme darkness. Once years ago we visited the Lewis & Clark Caverns in Montana. The way through the cave had electricity, but at one point the guide turned out the lights and the black cloak of darkness fell. Literally like a cloak that you could feel. It was not a welcome feeling and I was very happy when the lights went back on.
Last summer we were camped at a Provincial campground called French Beach. The sites are situated in a deep evergreen forest. Mostly shady, it is lovely in the daytime. We sleep in our van and can see through the tinted windows. As night settles in the forest becomes darker and then sleep comes and you are not aware. However, it was my misfortune to wake up in the middle of the night and realize that the blackness of darkness was here as it was in the cave those years ago. I was shocked to find out that it was as though I was blind, could not see my hand in front of my face, could not see anything at all. I tried to go back to sleep but mostly lay awake and waited for morning light to come..

But these experiences make me very thankful that I am a Christian. What a fearful thought, a lost soul experiencing the blackness of darkness for ever.  But for one who has believed the gospel, and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, no eternity of blackness of darkness. Only the light of Heaven.

Where would you rather be?

Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Acts 16: 30,31 “….Sirs, what must I do to be saved? ….Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

vcg

A Spider and Its Web

spider-web

This is a devotion I wrote years ago but it came to mind early this morning when I was photographing the spider web above in a Lion’s Head Maple tree.

A Spider and its Web

Matthew 13:8 “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

One morning, where we used to live, it was the routine to take our dog out to our back yard. On this day I noticed a large spider’s web on the side of the apple tree. I then noticed that the beginning of the web was in a fir tree some six feet away. I wondered how that spider (which I did not see) spun that web from tree to tree. Then on my way back from walking the dog there was another web at the side of an arbor. It was also large and this web was strung from arbor to arbor, a distance of at least 10 feet. I thought that must be some spider to spin a web a distance like that, and how on earth do they string the holding threads of their web over a distance up in the air? The web itself was very beautiful, and perfect with its circles upon circles. I was in awe at the ability our Lord graciously gave this spider to create such a masterpiece.

And then the builder appeared on the scene. It was the tiniest little spider, no more than 1/4 inch long, but it went about its work, crawling along the length of the span between the arbors. I was absolutely amazed at the size of it, yet its ability to build this web.

And so my thoughts went to the gifts the Lord has graciously given to each Christian and wondered, are we using to the fullest extent that which the Lord has given us? Are we following the Lord’s leading in the gift or gifts we are given? Or do we desire to accomplish something we are not gifted for? Do we set out each day committing it to Him and then listening for that still small voice to lead us or show us what the Lord would have us do or teach us this day?

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Psalm 33 – Reasons to Praise the Lord

Psalm 33

Reasons why we should praise the Lord.

1. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, for praise is proper for those who are honest and just.

2. Praise the LORD with the harp: sing to him with the psaltery, and an instrument of ten strings.

3. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully and with a loud noise.

4. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

5. He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

6. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made; and everything in them by the breath of his mouth.

7. He gathers the waters of the sea all together: and he makes the depth of them.

8. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let everyone who lives in the world stand in awe of him.

9. For he spoke, and it was done. He commanded and it stood fast..

10. The LORD brings the plans of those who do not believe in him to nothing: he makes the plans of those people to no effect.

11. The instruction of the LORD stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

12. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people who he has chosen for his own inheritance.

13. The LORD looks from heaven; he sees all the sons of men.

14. From the place where he lives he looks on everyone who lives on the earth.

15. He forms their hearts, he examines all the things that they do.

16. There is no king that is saved by a great army:: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

17. A horse cannot be counted on to save: and he will not deliver any by his great strength.

18. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.

19. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in time of famine.

20. Our soul waits for the LORD, he is our help and our shield.

21. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

22. Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, even while we hope in you.

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In this Psalm, we are taught that we who trust in the Lord and are following him, should rejoice in Him. We should praise him with music, and with songs, sung boldly and to the best of our ability. I believe that even if we haven’t been blessed with a great singing voice, we should still joyfully sing songs to the Lord because we love him. And if he has given us talent and opportunity to learn a musical instrument, we should play it to bring glory to His name.

We learn that the word of God – the Holy Bible, is right. and all his works, the creation and everything in it, is done in truth. All the earth is full of His goodness. By His word the heavens and the earth were made. Everyone in the earth should fear Him and be in awe of him. Fear does not mean being frightened as being scared by something, but a great respect, knowing that the Lord is all powerful, and over all, a reverential fear for who God is.

This psalm tells us that the LORD is in control of the people who do not believe in him, he brings their plans to nothing. His instructions stand for ever, and for all the people who have lived, or who will live. The nation is blessed whose God is the LORD, and so are the people who he has chosen.

The LORD looks from heaven on everyone in the earth, he sees everything they do. He knows that no one is saved by their own strength, and they cannot count on anything else to save them. His eye is on those that fear him and upon those that hope in his mercy to deliver them from death, and to keep them alive in time of famine..this can mean a famine of the Word of God, something which is happening more and more in this world of compromise in the church.

We who trust in the LORD wait for him, he is our help and our protector. Our hearts will rejoice in him because we have trusted in his holy name.

And finally, the psalmist prays for the LORD to let his mercy be upon us, even as we hope in him.

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The above psalm and explanation were originally written for my former children’s ministry called Little Lambs Ministry based on the King James Version.  It is now found on my WordPress children’s bible site called Free Bible Stories for Children. I am posting it here, adding more explanation for V19,  hoping that it will reach adults as well because we all need to know some of the reasons why we should praise the Lord on a daily basis.

vcg

The Kite and Its String

A lesson for Christians who wish to do their own thing in this poem by John Newton written so long ago.  John Newton also wrote the beautiful hymn Amazing Grace.

The Kite and Its String

Once on a time a paper kite
Was mounted to a wondrous height,
Where, giddy with its elevation,
It thus expressed self-admiration:

“See how the crowds of gazing people
Admire my flight above the steeple;
How would they wonder if they knew
All that a kite like me can do!

Were I but free, I’d take a flight,
And pierce the clouds beyond their sight;
But, ah! like a poor prisoner bound,
My string confines me near the ground.

I’d brave the eagle’s towering wing,
Might I but fly without a string”
It tugged and pulled, while thus it spoke,
To break the string – at last it broke.

Deprived at once of all its stay,
In vain it tried to soar away:
Unable its own weight to bear,
It fluttered downward through the air.

Unable its own course to guide,
The wind soon plunged it to the tide.
Ah, foolish kite, you had no wing:
How could you fly without a string?

My heart replied, “O Lord, I see
How much this kite resembles me
Forgetful that by Thee I stand,
Impatient of Thy ruling hand;
How oft I’ve wished to break the lines
Thy wisdom for my lot assigns?

How oft indulged a vain desire
For something more, or something higher,
And, but for grace and love divine,
A fall thus dreadful had been mine.

John Newton

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

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