He Still Gives This Gift

In His great mercy and kindness, God led us to a church where we have been welcomed warmly and where Emily’s educational needs have been met for school.  I marvel at how God works, and often in the 11th hour!

In the physical body, long term stress can cause something called Adrenal Fatigue.   A human body, long over-taxed, simply can’t keep up with the demands  placed on it. The same, I believe, is true spiritually. You can grow ill from the demands of circumstances that dismay, disillusion, and exhaust–circumstances that never seem to end in a good outcome.

Thankfully, the Great Physician is aware of this. In His time and way, He ministers to his ill sheep. I have personally experienced this, and I want to point those who are hurting to the goodness of the LORD.

When you have been ill a long time, eating food of any kind can be a difficult thing. Doctors will have you start with the mildest and easiest of foods until you can build up your strength for more.

When spiritually ill and suffering, the same thing happens. In recent years, the heavy books that are on my shelf, the deeper devotionals, the books on theology and such went untouched. I developed almost an aversion to them, like a physically unwell person would look at a plate of steak and vegetables. This is not a time to bash yourself for your lack of spirituality or appetite for these things. Realize you have been under tremendous strain that has real consequences. Then, have faith in the One who can restore you to health.

Physically, as recovery begins, a slight appetite emerges.  Strength slowly returns. Simple food is once again attractive. The same is true in our spiritual lives.

The good news is that spiritually, as with our human bodies, the basics are still essential building blocks. We need them. God uses them to rebuild and strengthen us.

Our daughter Emily is the blessed recipient of much good basic doctrinal teaching. Sunday school at our church is not a Chuck E. Cheese-style, high octane, fun for the kiddies experience.  It ‘s purpose is to inculcate sound Scriptural knowledge. The stories from the Bible are fascinating and ever new. Each one instructs us of basic truths about God and His attributes, and also His enduring love for us.

I was moved to tears this last week as the Sunday School at our church began anew for the school year.  I picked up the paper that Emily brought home that  summed up the lesson they had been taught. She talked about the story of Solomon’s wisdom in the case of the two mothers arguing over the surviving baby,  a story that showcases the amazing wisdom of King Solomon.

The paper she brought home was so rich in teaching, I wanted to share some of the pages with you. I was making coffee this morning, and the thought hit me again forcefully. Solomon asked for wisdom and received it. God is STILL granting wisdom. His Word that doesn’t change promises that He will if we ask. (See the book of James, Chapter 1 vs. 5, Proverbs 1:6, Col. 2:3)

Whatever your perplexity or concern, we are told very clearly—If ANYONE lacks wisdom, let them ask of God, who gives to all without reproach. What a marvelous thing that is! We can have wisdom and make wise choices, because God has promised his children that gift.

I praise and thank the LORD for this truth and for His wisdom which stands in stark relief against the foolishness and despair of our times. I also praise and thank God for His provision for our needs spiritually and educationally. What a joyful thing to realize He cares for the sheep of His flock.

P.S. As a bonus, this week Emily’s school has, as hymn of the week, Take My Life and Let it Be, by Frances Ridley Havergal. Emily’s middle name, Frances, is in honor of that long ago hymn writer and poet who gave us so many hymns and devotional writings! She plans on telling the teacher this little  fact  today!  You can read about the hymn and its author here. 



Advice from an Old Farmer

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

~ unknown



To a Son Turning 16

Years ago, I read books by an author of published letters to his daughter on spiritual and life themes. It touched me deeply. I share this note I wrote to Will because it echoes the hearts of Christian mothers everywhere who see their sons and daughters growing up in these fearsome times. As the time with our children wanes, there is a sense of urgency. Have I conveyed these truths that need to be taught? What wisdom our sons need as they come of age and face life decisions! These are my thoughts.

Dear William,

Happy birthday, son! 16 years ago, God rescued both of us in what could have been a disaster. He saved our lives through the timing of one doctor appointment, and you are here today by God’s direct intervention.

We are here at His decree, and our lives are His to command. Recognizing this or failing to recognize this will determine the outcome of your life here and in the life to come.

You have heard much discussion in our household of the extraordinary times in which we live. You are coming of age at a time when institutions that have stood for generations are falling. The foundations of social order are heaving. Marriage, family, individual freedom, Christianity, all of it.

But this is the time God chose for you to enter manhood. He wants you here, now. I want to share this counsel with you, and I pray you will listen.

Life is not about acquiring stuff.

Life is not about pleasure as an end in itself.

Your character is the most important thing in the world.

The world and all that it offers is dying and passing away, but your soul is forever.

The very traits that can make you a success and let you achieve great things can become your achilles heel. Strength of personality, drive, ambition – all of these are valued in our society. But unbridled ambition and all the rest can make you a monster if they are not under the power and control of the Holy Spirit.

We are living in an age when womanhood has been so debased and degraded as to make true femininity a scarce thing. Women themselves are responsible for this downfall. Godly womanhood is  like a priceless pearl. Rare. Very, very rare. But if you seek such a woman for your life’s partner and commit to settling for nothing less, it will be the most precious gift, after salvation, that you can have in this life.

You are choosing the mother of your children when you choose a wife. Her influence, as does yours, will have generational consequences. Think about that when you are attracted to physical beauty alone. Take the long view, son. What will the character traits you see in a woman mean in a marriage? You’ve seen all that Dad and I have had to contend with through the years. Life can bring great blessing, but it also brings great pain at times. If a woman has no faith or a superficial faith in God, how will she endure?

Don’t trifle with a girl’s heart. Treat every young lady as you would want your beloved sister Emily treated–with kindness and respect. The term “love” needs to be reserved for one that you truly love, not thrown around cheaply as it so often is today. Don’t buy “promise rings” and such. Your promise comes with engagement and marriage, and until you can support a wife, don’t promise things you can’t fulfill.

Shield your eyes and guard your heart. You are growing up in a modern day Sodom. Commit to put nothing evil in front of your eyes. Don’t tolerate it even for a moment in anything you watch.

There is so much I want to say, but I want to conclude with this. There is a spirit of spiritual error and deception and seduction that is growing worse and worse. I have watched it worsen dramatically just in the last couple of years. Those who once stood for the Lord Jesus Christ are falling in unbelievable ways. There is not one of us who is incapable of falling from the truth, either in doctrine or in practice in our lives. Ephesians 6 gives direct instructions about putting on the full Armor of God. Failure to do this will render you a prime target of the enemy.

Steep yourself in the Word of God. You cannot obey God’s commands if you aren’t hearing and reading them. We are renewed in our minds and hearts by the Word. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word. Not just for salvation, but for the ongoing sanctification by the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Self-righteousness is our great enemy. Good kids have their own set of challenges. We need to remember Jeremiah 17:9 where we are told that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The only cure for a heart like that is to be washed in the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. We daily sin much, as Luther stated. The only thing we can plead before God’s  throne is the pure righteousness of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We have nothing in ourselves that will stand before our Holy God. Cling to that truth, and remind yourself of it daily.

Pray for a tender conscience. Don’t let the sins of other professing Christians around you make you jaded and cynical. Don’t believe that their sin gives you an excuse to not believe. We are all accountable to God. We will all give an answer.

I know this is long, but as a mother, I wanted to say these things.

As long as God gives me a heartbeat, I am here for you and all my children.  As you know, so is your loving Dad.

You are here, right now, to fulfill a Divine purpose. Whatever you do, do with all your might, but in humility, giving God the glory. If you do that, you will shine like the sun in the middle of this very dark generation. (Matthew 13:43)

Remember these verses:

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

~ Malachi 3:16-18

Love always,