Tuesday, December 25, 2012

~Merry Christmas~

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." ~Luke 2:11-14~  

This month has been filled with many sweet moments throughout thus far! From concluding a busy yet fun semester to a Christmas social with dancing and parlor games to Christmas caroling, playing my very first violin duet, singing with a friend at a candlelight service, enjoying sweet fellowship with friends and family and more! It's been a very sweet and special time, sweet memories have certainly been made! Here's a small glimpse into our family's Christmas dinner today. As you can see through the window, we were blessed with snow this year! Such a pretty gift!

We decided to decorate our table and make personal name cards for each family member. We enjoyed Christmas music and baking. Some of our festive foods included cinnamon bread and I even tried a few new recipes such as gingerbread cookies and Christmas rolls which proved to be a fun addition to our meal. :)

We had enough gingerbread to make a gingerbread house as well...though it didn't stand very long! lol! :P Perhaps we'll strive to perfect our technique next year! ;)

Just as our gingerbread house needed a stronger foundation to continue to stand, so must we! lol! :P And our  firm foundation is the Lord, Jesus Christ. He is our rock and all other ground is sinking sand but He is able to make us stand and hold fast! He is our Maker and Builder, our Creator and in Him we may have life and have it abundantly. Without Him, as with our house, without the necessary supports and a firm foundation in Him, we are headed for destruction. However, through God's tremendous love and sacrifice in sending His precious Son, Jesus, the most AMAZING gift, He opened a door for us that through Him we might have the hope of life and the redemption from sin and death! What an INCREDIBLE God we serve!

May the Lord richly bless you all this Christmas season and may you continue to grow closer to Him each day! To Him be all glory honor and praise forever and ever!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
~Is. 9:6~

Saturday, November 03, 2012

~Reflecting the Glory of the Lord!~

"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." 2 Corinthians 3:18

Reflect means to throw or bend back (light, for example) from a surface, to give back or show an image of (an object); mirror, to make apparent; express or manifest, to bring as a consequence, to bend back, to be bent or thrown back, to give something back, as light or sound, to give evidence of the characteristics or qualities of someone or something 

So, to reflect the glory of the Lord we must be bent back. Without Christ we are bent out of shape, crooked perhaps, (crooked= bent; curved; curving; winding, winding in moral conduct; devious; froward; perverse; going out of the path of rectitude; given to obliquity or wandering from duty.) but when we come into contact with Christ, He has the power to bend us, shape us, mold us or throw us back in the right direction. The story of Paul comes to mind and His encounter with the Light. When we are walking in Him, we can be filled with His light and that Light can shine in and through us.

...that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world...” Philippians 2:15

And we are not our own, to do and live as we please...we should live our lives in such a way so as to glorify the Lord and to give our lives back to Him! God made the ultimate sacrifice of sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sin...and yours...the very least we could do is give our lives to Him!

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1

And if we are to reflect Christ, we must show an image of Him, to mirror Him. 

"For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” John 13:15

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1,2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

We should also strive to give evidence of the characteristics or qualities of our Lord and Savior. If you were to look into a mirror at yourself, you would be a little surprised if you saw something completely different...wouldn't you? Just as a mirror gives a true reflection of us, we too, should be striving to give a true reflection of our Savior. We must allow Him to come into our lives and let Him daily knock off the rough edges, cleanse us from our sin, and allow Him to shape and mold our attitudes, thoughts and actions...our every part...all the way to the core, so that we are constantly being made into a clearer reflection of Him and what He is all about. Complete abandonment of our sinful ways and selfish desires and yielding our all entirely to Him, so that we too can truly say "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20

Lord, help me to completely, surrender my all to you, that in doing so, You would be what others see and that you would be glorified in and through me! In Jesus' precious Name, Amen.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Philippians 3:12

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2

Let's reflect the Light of the Son!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Come After Me..."

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." ~Matthew 16:24~ 

come= to move towards; to advance near, to draw nigh; to approach; to arrive; to be present, to advance or move into view; to appear, to sprout, as plants; to spring.

deny= to contradict; to gainsay, to refuse to grant, not to afford; to withhold, to disown; to refuse or neglect to acknowledge; not to confess.  

follow= to go after or behind; to walk, ride or move behind, but in the same direction, to pursue; to chase, to accompany; to attend in a journey, to imitate; to copy; as, to follow a pattern or model; to follow fashion, to embrace; to adopt and maintain; to have or entertain like opinions; to think or believe like another; as, to follow the opinions and tenets of a philosophic sect, to obey; to observe; to practice; to act in conformity to, to pursue as an object of desire; to endeavor to obtain, to use; to practice; to make the chief business, to adhere to; to side with, to be led or guided by, to move on in the same course or direction; to be guided by; as, to follow a track or course.

If it is our desire to come unto Jesus, to draw nigh unto Him (James 4:8a), to approach and advance or to move into view of Him....if we desire to sprout, as plants and spring up in Him by bearing much fruit (John 15, Gal. 5:22,23) we must deny ourselves, to contradict, to refuse to grant, to disown our sinful nature and we must take up our cross and follow, to go after, to pursue and chase and accompany Him. We must learn to imitate Christ and to follow the pattern and model He has set before us. We must adopt, maintain and entertain His opinions. We should obey and observe His commands and practice in conformity to His will. He should be our Chief business and the One by which we are led and guided, that we might follow in His footsteps and that we might walk in the light just as He is in the light. (1 John 1:7)

 John 13:15-17 says, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." 

Lord, I desire to come after You...please help me to truly deny myself, to take up my cross and follow You! Lord, may there be less of me and more of You!

"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.  For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." ~Rom. 6:5-14~

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age..." ~Titus 2:11,12~

Monday, July 02, 2012

~Summertime Blessings!~

 Hello all! Lately, we have been enjoying the many tasty delights that come along with summer! ;) The other day my dad brought home a HUGE watermelon from a local orchard! (It filled 4 gallon zip lock bags!) Such a yummy treat! :D

We also had some of our very own garden produce coming off such as green beans, squash and today we had corn! 

Here my dad and younger brother were diligently shucking the corn. :)

I suppose you could call this next one a rather corny picture. :P

I remembered that we had a small book about crafts that were made in Laura Ingalls day that had instructions on how to make a corn husk doll...so my younger brother put his creative flair to use and made one. I thought it turned out quite well! ;)

In addition to growing edible things, we have also had some very pretty flowers growing in our pasture! One evening my younger brothers were sweet to join me in picking some. :)

Just as God created all these beautiful things for us to watch grow and to enjoy the good fruit of the plants, we too, should strive to grow daily in Christ and to yield good fruit in Him!

"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church."
~Eph. 4:15~

"...like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation..."

~1 Peter 2:2~

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."
~Luke 2:52~

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen."
~2 Peter 3:18~

We can grow in Christ by seeking Him and reading His Word and through prayer. In order to grow in Christ we must abide in Him. 

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

~John 15:5~

Some of the definitions of abide are...to rest, or dwell or to continue permanently or in the same state; to be firm and immovable. 

That's my desire, to rest, dwell and continually remain in Christ! 

"In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers."
~1 Tim. 4:6-10~

Just as plants need good soil and nourishment to grow we need to find our nourishment in Christ and His word! Psalm 1:2 and 3 says,

 "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Some of the fruit we should strive to cultivate in our own lives and allow the Lord to produce in us are mentioned in the following verse.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
~Gal. 5:22,23~

And as we well know, gardens must not only be watered, ("...so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word..." ~Eph. 5:26~) and nourished, but they also have to be tended to and weeds must be plucked out. When the water of the word comes into our lives, our hearts can be softened toward the things of God and He can help us to overcome sin in our lives and can cause us to be producers of good fruit, useful and ready to be used by Him! What a wonderful Savior we serve! May we all choose to yield our entire lives to Him to be transformed by Him and conformed to His perfect image!

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may  prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

~Rom. 12:1,2~

 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children...for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light  (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
~Eph. 5:1a, 8-10~

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..."
~1 Cor. 13:4-8~

I'm SO grateful for a God who loves me enough to lay down His life for me, that through Him I can have the hope of eternal life! I'm thankful to have been placed in a loving family that shows and teaches me Christ's love and that I have the opportunity to share that love with others! I'm thankful that God loves me in such a way that He doesn't want to leave me dying in sin but instructs and corrects me so that I might have true life and freedom from it!

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." ~John 15:13~

Blessings to you all!
~Chloe~ :)