What I Believe
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Conscience is something, in a sense, apart from man. It has been put in him by God; it is a reminder of the voice of God within him, an inward monitor, and a man cannot really manipulate his conscience. He can go against it, but that is not manipulating it. It is possible, as this Apostle says again in writing to Timothy, for the conscience to be seared “with a hot iron”. But nevertheless it is true to say that the conscience is an independent witness.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (God’s Sovereign Purpose)

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It is difficult to define Hiraeth, but to me it means the consciousness of man being out of his home area and that which is dear to him. That is why it can be felt even among a host of peoples amidst nature's beauty. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

. . like a Christian yearning for Heaven. . .

Wednesday
Jan112012

God's Minute

January 11

And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.--Deuteronomy 33:25

O LORD, our ever loving Father, we thank Thee for Thy watchful providence in the past and for the promise of Thy guidance in the days to come. As dew unto the withered flower and rain unto the parched grass, so is the knowledge of Thy presence and the assurance of Thy blessing to the weary human heart. Help us to begin the morning hours with the knowledge and this assurance so that we may be strong and courageous for whatever conflicts of the spirit it may be ours to wage today. May Thy kingdom come more perfectly in our own hearts and throughout the world this day. As we grow in years, may we grow in the beauty of holiness and may the approving smile of God atone for the passing of years. In the days of prosperity may we not forget Thee, and in the days of affliction we know that Thou wilt not forget us. Grant us grace to live the life of the righteous that we may be well assured our last end shall be like His. And when Thou dost call us home; be it in the morning, in the noon-day, or beneath the rays of the setting sun of old age, may Thy hand sustain us and comfort us and lead us through the valley of the shadow until we awaken in the splendor of Thine own everlasting morning beyond the grave. And Thine shall be the praise and the glory through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Rev. Fredrick D. Kershner,
Des Moines, Iowa

Tuesday
Jan102012

God's Minute

January 10

I will bless the Lord at all times.--Psalm 34:1

O Lord and Father of us all, we come with glad hearts to this hour of prayer. When we recall the infinity and eternity of Thy power and wisdom and goodness, we bow in reverence to Thee. Love invites imitation, and we choose Thee as our example. May Thy Spirit change us into likeness to Thyself. Love craves the privilege of service, and loving Thee we ask, "Lord, what wilt Thou have us to do?" Help us a parents to wisely order our household. May we train our children for useful lives here, and to be fitted for their true home beyond this life. As a family we are very near each other. Help us so to live that proximity may not evoke confusion and strife. May we be "kindly affectioned one to another." Grant us, O Lord, that winning gentleness which is the sweet offering of truthfulness and love.

We pray, our Father, for all who are in trouble; for the sick, the poor, the afflicted, for any good cause. Bless the lonely--those who suffer, weep, and struggle alone. Grant that they may find companionship and comfort in Thee. Since every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, we thank Thee sincerely and heartily for the good things we enjoy. May this prayer, O Lord! find acceptance with Thee, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Amen.

Charles Randall Barnes, D.D.,
Hoboken, New Jersey

Monday
Jan092012

God's Minute

January 9

Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name.--Psalm 105:1

DEAR Heavenly Father, as we gather at Thy feet today as a family, we ask Thy blessing on our home and Thy guidance to each one during the day. Help us to realize Thy nearness to us at this hour. May we realize Thy reality at this hour and be consious of the fact that Thou art not a God afar off--the Great King of Heaven, the Mighty Judge of all the earth enthroned in infinite space above us, but that we can claim Thee as our Saviour and our Friend.

Help us throughout this day to realize that Thou canst be nearer to each one of us than the nearest and dearest of friends.

Let us hear Thy voice today. Let us feel the inspiration of Thy presence, and with willing feet enable us to walk in the path on which Thy light and blessing can fall.

Give us this day some work to do for others, some kindly word to speak, some helpful unselfish deed to fulfil in Thy Name. Be with us each and every hour of this day, and may we so live that Thy will may be done and Thy Kingdom come within our hearts.

Amen.

Mrs. Maud Ballington Booth,
New York City, New York

From the hyperlinked article:

Maud Ballington Booth, Salvation Army leader, pioneer slum worker in New York, "Little Mother of the Prisons," co-founder and leader with her husband of the Volunteers of America, author, popular preacher and much-sought-after Chautauqua and Lyceum lecturer, was born and grew to adulthood in England. . .
Sunday
Jan082012

God's Minute

January 8

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength.--Psalm 18:1

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, creator and preserver of all things, we humbly bow down before Thee in worship and supplication. We come without a single plea of merit, except that we have been redeemed through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Thine only begotton Son, Jesus Christ. We thank Thee for the blessings that Thou hast bestowed on us so generously in the past, and we ask wisdom and guidance from Thee in order that each one of us may become a blessing to all with whom we come in contact. We pray for the forgiveness of our sins. We ask Thee to walk with us today; be Thou our friend, our counselor, our guide, our brother, the sure staff on which we may lean. May love for Thee and for our fellowmen always fill our hearts, and shine out of our lives so that all men may see that we have been walking with God.

Thou has never promised to supply all our wants--many of them are not for our good, but Thou hast promised to fill all needs, and we ask Thee for the gift of contentedness, of being satisfied with what Thou doth send. These, and all other things which will satisfy our souls and increase our capacity for service in the kingdom, we ask for Jesus' sake.

Amen.

William Anthony Granville, LL.D.,
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Saturday
Jan072012

God's Minute

January 7

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.--1 John 3:1

IN THEE, O God, we live, and move, and have our being. If Thou wert to withdraw Thy hand for a moment we should sink into nothingness, as when a drop of dew exhales into the air.

We thank Thee for all that makes life worth living; for home and kinship, and loving friends, for happiness, the hope and the opportunity of doing good. We thank Thee for life and immortality brought to light in the Gospel, and for a strong staff to lean on as we journey toward the immortal life.

Pardon our sins, for Jesus' sake, that we may not be dragging a hopeless chain after us. Sanctify us by Thy Spirit, that we may run in the way of Thy commandments; and enlarge our hearts that we may constantly be doing good as we have opportunity unto all men. Look graciously on the sick and suffering; and incline the hearts of those who know Thee not to come running unto Thee.

Hear and answer, Father of all mercies; not for any worth or worthiness in us, but because we ask it in the all-prevailing name of Christ, our Saviour and Thy beloved Son.

Amen.

David J.A.L. Burrell, D.D.,
New York City, New York

Friday
Jan062012

God's Minute

January 6

I thank Thee and praise Thee, O God.--Daniel 2:23

Our Father in Heaven, we approach Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour, that we may render praise and thanksgiving to Thee; and that we may seek the forgiveness of our sins, the continued manifestation of Thy favor, and guidance of the Hoy Spirit in the choices of our lives, and in the rendering of service to Thee. We realize, our Father, the shortness of our vision, the imperfection of our judgment, and the weakness of our effort, but Thou hast said, "Commit thy way unto Jehovah, trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass." It is sweet to rest upon this promise, and to feel that thus we can walk hand in hand with Thee, and that our ways shall be Thy way.

In order that we may be true to our high calling, give us the sympathetic heart, the kindly look, the golden speech, the helping hand. Make us a channel of blessing to those about us, that we may be the true children of Abraham, who was blessed that he might bless. And now, dear Lord, give us the strength for that which is immediately before us according to the promise, "As thy day is, so shalt thy strength be," and Thy name shall have the glory, through Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

J.A. Duff, D.D.,
Aspinwall, Pennsylvania

Thursday
Jan052012

God's Minute

January 5

O Lord, my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever.--Ps. 30:12

OUR Eternal FAther, we thank Thee that Thou hast brought us into the close and loving relationship of children, by the death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour, through Whom we are adopted into Thy divine family and become Thy children.

We thank Thee that Thou Who was the Creator of all men hast brought unto Thine own family those who accept the love and sacrifice of Thy dear Son. We thank Thee that Thou dost share with us not only our sorrows, but our joys; that Thou art delighted when life delights us, and when virtue and faithfulness lead us to higher levels of thought and purpose.

We thank Thee for Thy Holy Word, and pray that our faithfulness in studying it may result in spiritual growth and development. May we "hunger and thirst after righteousness" and after the food of Thy Word. May we never dare to enter upon the duties of a single day without the nourishment and support of the Word of God!

Bless, we pray Thee, all who are dear to us, and give to us all an interpretation of friendship which centers in our divine Friend and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We ask it in His Holy Name.

Amen.

John Timothy Stone, D.D.,
Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday
Jan042012

God's Minute

January 4

Keep yourselves in the love of God.--Jude 21

O THOU Eternal Love, Whom Jesus has taught us to call our Father, and in Whom we are learning to trust as our Brother, our Comrade, our Closest Friend, we are not seeking Thee, for we know that Thou art nearer to us every moment than we are to ourselves; we are only wishing and hoping that often, through this day, the thought of Thy nearness to us, of Thy presence with us, may spring into our consciousness, that we may see what Thou art showing us, and know what Thou art telling us, and be ready to take what Thou art giving us, and to do what Thou art bidding us. Help us to feel more than once today that the good thoughts and the good wishes which we find in our hearts are signs of Thy presence there; and may we learn to look for Thee thus, within our own lives, and to rejoice when we find Thee there, and so to become aware, more and more, of what we mean when we speak of the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit! We know that Thou art working in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure; and we know that Thou findest Thy good pleasure in lives made fruitful and beautiful in Thy service. So help us to work with Thee, this day and every day, though Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

Washington Gladden, D.D., LL.D.,
Columbus, Ohio

Tuesday
Jan032012

God's Minute

January 3

Make His praise glorious.--Psalm 66:2

O GOD, our gracious Father, we look to Thee now for Thy benediction. We are Thy suppliant children, who subsist under the cover of Thy patience. We praise Thee for all Thine extraordinary mercies. Thou hast made us like Thyself in the desire and in the capacity for fellowship. May fellowship with Thee be the basis and supreme blessing of our fellowship with each other. May flowers of devotion breathe their fragrance every day upon the family altar. Teach us how to be abased and how to abound. Keep our feet from unbidden paths, and our eyes from tears; or if the tears must come, let the Comforter come as well, that He may wipe them all away. Temper to us the long night watches of pain and sorrow. If weeping endure for a night, bring joy in the morning; and when the long afternoon shadows deepen toward the eventide of this earth's life, bring us very gently to the turn of the road from whence we may catch the vision of the home eternal. May this our present habitation be a promise and a foretaste of the house which has foundation whose builder and maker is God. Help us in our social joys and pleasures to remember Thee. Grant us all to face all life's tasks bravely, and perform then earnestly. And bring us in the end with joyful hearts and glad faces to abide wtih Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Charles F. Wishart, D. D.,
Chicago, Illinois

Monday
Jan022012

January Status Report

Sitting…on a hard wooden chair in my studio, poking around on Facebook.

Drinking…nothing, but a cup of green tea would be nice right about now.

Listening…Man of Constant Sorrows by the Soggy Bottom boys (found it posted on FBook)

Thinking…that I should get up and get those sample envelopes done and ready to mail.

Anticipating…jury duty which starts tomorrow. 

Also anticipating…starting my first calligraphy job of 2012. 

ReadingThe Innocence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough, Acts by James Montgomery Boice, and Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof.

Considering…what to take along with me to the courthouse tomorrow to keep me occupied during breaks—book(s), iPod Touch so I can play Nertz, client guest lists to go over, tea bags and a mug?

Avoiding…doing those sample envelopes.

Needing and wanting…a new table runner to cover up the mark that was made by hot from the microwave Easy Mac on my dining room table.

Getting up…because I need to get the sample envelopes done and mailed.

(Snagged from Rebecca at Rebecca Writes)

Monday
Jan022012

God's Minute

January 2

His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12

HEAVENLY Father, write Thy new, best name of Love upon our hearts this morning. Help us to remember Jesus Christ. During the busy hours bring Him often to our thought. When the mind is free from some set task may it revert to Him, as the needle turns to the pole. Keep us from wounding Him in thought or word. Make our communion with Him sweet. Give us of His strength, of His wisdom, of His winsomeness. Forgive the sins which have brought a reproach upon Thy church. Forgive us if we have made it difficult to distinguish between the church and the world.

Save us from the sin of despair. Light the lamp of hope in every heart. Fill us with the spirit of expectancy. Teach us that ruined lives may be rebuilt, and that in Christ is sufficiency for all our needs. We are thankful that Christ is the way to our Father's house, that there is forgiveness for all, the bread of life for all, and a welcome. Cleanse us from the defilement of the way; blot out the memories of the far country; clothe us with the garment of righteousness, and give us the joy of knowing that Thou dost own us as Thy sons and daughters.

Amen.

Frederick T. Keeney, D.D.,
Syracuse, New York

Sunday
Jan012012

Quote of the Week:  Edwards

They who are truly converted are new men, new creatures; new, not within, but without; they are sanctified throughout, in spirit, soul and body; old things are passed away, all things are become new; they have new hearts, new ears, new tongues, new hands, new feet; i.e., a new conversation and practice; they walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of life. --Jonathan Edwards

Sunday
Jan012012

God's Minute

 

 January 1, New Years Day

Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go in to them, and I will praise the Lord.--Psalm 118:19

OUR Heavenly Father, we pause at the opening of this day to place ourselves in harmony with Thy great plans. We know that it is unwise and sinful to oppose or attempt to hinder Thy purposes. Hear our humble appeal for Divine wisdom, for spiritual sensitiveness to Thy messages, for broader views of our duty, and for the peace of God which fills the soul when working in full harmony with Thee. Let each of these blessings be given to all whom we love. Incline them to stop and pray--to watch and act, under the impulses which come from Heaven. Make known Thy love and law to all people in all lands, and hasten the era when all mankind shall accept the teachings of Thy Son, and of the Holy Prophets, and thus in sincere agreement live in peace with all, and in full obedience and devotion to Thy Holy Will. We ask these great blessings in the Name of our Lord Jesus, Thy Son, and our Redeemer.

Amen.

Russell H. Conwell, D.D.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wednesday
Dec212011

Quote of the Week:  Lloyd-Jones

Conscience is something, in a sense, apart from man. It has been put in him by God; it is a reminder of the voice of God within him, an inward monitor, and a man cannot really manipulate his conscience. He can go against it, but that is not manipulating it. It is possible, as this Apostle says again in writing to Timothy, for the conscience to be seared “with a hot iron”. But nevertheless it is true to say that the conscience is an independent witness.


Martyn Lloyd-Jones (God’s Sovereign Purpose)

Monday
Dec192011

Veggie Bundles

I made these cute little veggie bundles for Sam's graduation Open House. They were a bit time consuming to assemble, but definitely worth it!  Two little bites of veggie deliciousness each.

To make them, julienne carrots, celery, red cabbage, and red and yellow peppers.  Keep these in cold water and hour or so to crisp them before assembling.  I tried to tie them up with fresh chives but fresh chives from the grocery store in December aren't so very fresh and they kept breaking when I tried to tie them off.  

I had prepped all my veggies and as julienned cabbage would not be a treat to dip, I improvised.  I had to.  I tried a couple of unsuccessful ideas and finally hit on the perfect 'string' to hold them together--the rib strings of celery.  I ended up cutting the chives to length and adding them to the bundle.  The dark green added another color and chivey goodness in every bite.  In the meantime, Tom ran to the store to look for the longest bunch of celery stalks and soon I was in business--stripping the ribs and tying up the bundles.  About half way through, I noticed that the celery strings were drying out so next time I'll put those in cold water after I pull them out.

I'll be making these again.  I'm thinking asparagus would make a great addition.  Really, any colorful veggie would do!

Sunday
Dec182011

Just that quick

Got up to pour another cup of coffee and when got back, this is what I saw--Ivy noodling around on the internet.

Sunday
Dec182011

Sunday Hymn: All my Heart this Night Rejoices

All my heart this night rejoices
As I hear
Far and near
Sweetest angel voices.
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing
Till the air
Everywhere
Now with joy is ringing.

Forth today the Conqueror goeth,
Who the foe,
Sin and woe,
Death and hell, o'erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son
Now is one
With our blood forever.

Shall we still dread God's displeasure,
Who, to save,
Freely gave
His most cherished treasure?
To redeem us, he hath given
His own Son
From the throne
Of his might in heaven.

He becomes the Lamb that taketh
Sin away
And for aye
Full atonement maketh.
For our life his own he tenders;
And our race,
By his grace,
Meet for glory renders.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
Soft and sweet,
Doth entreat:
"Flee from woe and danger,
Brethren, from all ills that grieve you
You are freed;
All you need
I will surely give you."

Come, then, banish all your sadness,
One and all,
Great and small;
Come with songs of gladness.
Love him who with love is glowing;
Hail the star,
Near and far
Light and joy bestowing.

Dearest Lord, thee will I cherish.
Though my breath
Fail in death,
Yet I shall not perish,
But with thee abide for ever
There on high,
In that joy
Which can vanish never.

Friday
Dec162011

(Belated) Thankful Thursday

My Thankful Thursday post is late this week because we're having some problems with our electronic devices talking to each other.

What I WANTED to do was simply post a photo of my youngest boy, Sam, who graduated from college last night with an Associates in Art degree.  But the photos are on Jake's iPhone and it doesn't want to send photos via email at present.

I am so thankful for Sam's accomplishments and I am looking forward to my budding film maker's next graduation from Flashpoint Academy in Chicago.

Monday
Dec122011

Quote of the Week:  Warfield

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be trust as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.

B.B. Warfield

Sunday
Dec112011

Sunday Hymn: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.

Refrain

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.

Refrain

From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.

Refrain

Fear not, then, said the angel, Let nothing you affright
This day is born a Savior of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.

Refrain

The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethl’em straightaway this blessèd Babe to find.

Refrain

But when to Bethlehem they came where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling unto the Lord did pray.

Refrain

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.

Refrain

God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near—

That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.