Monday, January 31, 2011

Susannah Spurgeon: The Gift of God

The Gift of God

If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.  (John 4:10)

O weary Man, footsore and sorrowful, sitting thus on the well, asking for a draught of water at the hands of a poor sinful woman – you are my Lord and my Redeemer; I believe in you, I love you, I worship you!

Nearly two thousand years have passed since you spoke the sweet words which are now comforting my heart, yet with what power and solace, and blessing, do they come to me at this moment!

If thou knewest’. Lord, you have told me who you are, you have in mercy revealed yourself to me, I know you to be that blessed ‘gift of God’’ which alone can save and satisfy my soul. The depth and compass of heavenly love are manifested in you, and you have shown me, not my need only, but the sufficiency of your grace and power to meet it.

I am an empty sinner, you are a full Christ!

Thou wouldest have asked’. This, too, O blessed One, you have taught me and enabled me to do; and my heart’s constant cry, ‘Lord, give me this living water’, is familiar to your listening ears! It is yourself I want; Lord, ‘My soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.’

Not your gifts, nor your grace nor even your glory, could satisfy the desire of a soul which you have made to long for yourself. You, the giver of all other precious things, are yourself the choicest, the ‘unspeakable’ gift! Lord, into the thirst of my empty heart pour the full stream of your living love! Give me yourself, or I die!

And having asked, I believe you do give, for your own lips have said it, ‘He would have given’, and I whisper softly to myself the blessed words, ‘Who loved me, and gave himself for me’, realizing the sacred, overflowing joy of pardoned sin, and peace with God, filling and satisfying my soul.

So, dear Lord, my spirit, like a weary bird, folds her wings beside this sweet well-spring of comfort, creeps into this blessed ‘cleft of the rock’, and is at rest.

From “Morning Devotions by Susannah Spurgeon: Free Grace and Dying Love”

I don't know what your day will be like today. I don't even know what my day will be like yet today (here on the west coast, it is only just 7:15 am). But I'm confident that all of us will find in our paths today lots of longings . . . longing for quiet, longing for noise, longing for health, longing for friends and activity, diversion or time to sit and breathe, longing for love or acceptance or praise, longing for help or relief or strengthening. Whatever longings you find your heart chasing after today, may you also find the grace to remember the One who satisfies all of our longings . . . completely. Won't you stand humbly with me, before that mirror of grace? And as we do, may we find much joy and peace in believing and may we find rest for our souls in the midst of our day, whatever it will hold.

We are empty sinners, but He is a full Christ. Amen!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mt. Baldy Video

Here is some video that we took last Friday during our time up at Mt. Baldy. It was very windy, so you'll hear background noise. I began the video, but soon turned the job over to Emily so I could take photos.

Monday, January 17, 2011

He will not withhold . . .

any good thing.
We are trusting God for that promise and for His timing.

This past Saturday,
our family had to say goodbye to Scout,
our puppy that we had come to love over the last 3 months.
We had invested much time, energy, and finances,
and our hearts were fully embedded in this dog.

But she began to exhibit some aggressive tendencies that Earl and I had been on the watch for from the beginning and had agreed that no matter how much we had grown to love her, if we ever at any time felt like she was a danger to our children or anyone, we would take her back
(we signed a contract saying that we would return her if we decided not to keep her).

We hired a trainer and tried to diligently and consistently work with Scout.
But her issues began to escalate this past week.
We returned her Saturday morning,
after a very emotional Friday evening.
We were all heart-broken,
but even the children realized that it was not safe
to have her in the
home any longer.

We are not giving up on finding the perfect dog for our family.
We are trusting the Lord to bring him/her to us in His timing.
Right now, we are enjoying the freedom from the intense work that Scout required and we are thinking and talking about all that we've learned.

This has been a learning time for all of us.
Earl and I couldn't be more proud of the children and of how
well they shouldered much of the responsibility for Scout's care.
And they worked with her in training, both practical and for fun.
They really "stepped up to the plate" so to speak,
and we are so proud of them.
We have all cried more tears than we knew we had,
and it has been good to have that freedom to do so.

Now we are moving on,
and are stronger for the experience.

We have seen God's hand of protection,
and we have continued to find Him faithful throughout these last 3 months.
When things don't go our way or according to our desires,
it doesn't mean that God has failed us.
It just serves to remind us that we live in a "fallen" world,
and that this isn't heaven.
But . . .
. . ..
one day,
we shall live in a redeemed and renewed world,
where the dog will lie down with the child . . .

and neither shall be afraid.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mount Baldy

On Friday,
Earl turned 49 years old!
We just had to celebrate and do something FUN.
So . . .
he worked that morning,
the kids and I did school,
and then we loaded up everyone in the van and headed north toward Mount Baldy - supposedly only an hour from our home!

We stopped for lunch and it was sooooo hot.
(Nice for a change!)
20 minutes later and we were up in the mountains
with the wind blowing wildly
and the air frigid.

But we found snow!
We weren't holding our breath, just looking for whatever we could find -
even if it was only a beautiful day of driving and getting out of the house (We did listen to some Lamplighter Theater and that was a treat too).

We brought heavy jackets, just in case, and some dry socks, but that was all.
So we bundled up and headed over to play.

Earl and I enjoyed watching all of our kids who have not yet really gotten to play in the snow, but it was especially fun watching Jonathan who just had no fear,
and obviously was not bothered by the FREEZING COLD.

We even brought Scout with us, but since she has not yet had her rabies shot,
we kept her close by.

David found a broken sled-thing and we gave him the go-ahead to use it.
That proved to be great fun!
He'll tell you though that I did not give very sound advice.
He found what he thought looked like a good place to give it a go
and when he asked me how to stop, I told him, just dig in your feet (I think that's what I remember doing . . . hahaha . . . it's been sooooo long . . . . too long . . . . )
Well, he followed my advice,
and flew right over a stump,
but considerably "rumpled in spirit". Hahaha!

Even Jonathan gave it a go,
and Earl caught him before he flew over the stump.

Then we found a better spot, and Jonathan, Molly and David all had several runs.
Here is Earl trying to ski in his shoes.
Silly guy.

We finally headed back to the warm van,
and were just full of thankfulness for such an unexpectedly fun time!

As I said, it was VERY windy,
but here is one last shot.

We had a lovely drive back down the mountain,
and our hearts and spirits were full of thanksgiving!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Susannah Spurgeon

Earl bought me this book for Christmas
(I've been asking for it).

It includes a biography of Susannah Spurgeon that I read years ago but was out of print.
And it also contains
"Morning Devotions by Susannah Spurgeon".

It has been wonderful!
Not one reading has yet left me unaffected.

So, I want to share.

I will be posting periodic quotes from my reading.

"What is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe
(Ephesians 1:19)"

"Come, my heart, satisfy and delight yourself, this morning, with the thought of what your mighty God can do for you - the grace he is able to give you now - the glory he is reserving for you - the uplifting, upholding, strengthening, and preserving power which is all invested in his loving hands on your behalf. Here is a storehouse of riches on which your largest demands can make no perceptible diminishment, and all this is yours!"

Oh, dear Christian,
may your heart,
as mine has,
be refreshed and encouraged!

Scout's Dog House - Finished!

Well, David learned so much being able to work with Scott on this project.
He enjoyed the fun parts - getting to use the power tools,
and he learned that the tedious parts - like sanding -
are just part of the process of creating something you can really be proud of.

When I picked David up each time, I had to refrain from asking,
"So . . . when do you think it will be done?"
(I was DYING to see the final product! It was just looking better and better
each time I saw it.)

After "Day 4", I walked away figuring that it would be sometime in January.
No problem.
I could wait.
I was a big girl.

Then . . .

Christmas day there was a knock on our front door.

Scott and Linda came by and delivered the finished crate!
It was beautiful!
I couldn't have been more pleased and excited and overwhelmed, etc. etc.

And now Scout loves it too!
It is big and roomy for her and gives her a nice place to go and hide from the craziness this family has to offer all day.

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