Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reformed worship..

We will not have Jesus Christ at the center of our church services if we do not have His Word at the center." "If we are not interested in the Word of God, can we really be interested in God?" Thus, in our worship services we must read, preach, pray, sing, and see in the sacraments the Word.

Our worship is biblical because of the way in which we determine what we do in worship. This is not determined by "what works" in getting vast numbers of people through the door, or what is enjoyable, or even what we may or may not like. Instead, the Bible regulates our worship.

Reformed worship is biblical because we believe God Himself gives us the particular things we are to do in public worship (the "elements" of worship). We call this the "regulative principle of worship." This means that God regulates how we are to worship Him in His Word. God is jealous for His Name to be revered and hallowed (Ex. 20:7, 34:13-14; Deut. 4:24; Matt. 6:9
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 110), and when we are jealous for His glory by worshipping Him how He deserves and desires we "serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). After all, God is God, which means how He is worshipped is His right to demand.

Where do we find this principle taught in God's Word? There are many places in Scripture, but we will focus in on a few examples. In the first Commandment the one true God who has redeemed us to be a worshipping people, a "kingdom of priests" (Ex. 19:6; 1 Pet. 2:9), commands us to worship him alone:

"You shall have no other gods before Me." In the second Commandment this one true God tells us the way we are to worship Him negatively by saying how we are not to worship Him: "You shall not make for yourself a carved image" ( Deut. 4:15-19). Positively, this teaches that we are to worship God only according to His word.

We see this in the very words of the second Commandment where the "steadfast love" of the LORD is towards those who "love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:6). Intricately linked with the prohibition of images of the LORD is the language of doing what the LORD says in His word.

The book of Leviticus, as well, expresses this positive aspect as it mentions repeatedly that worship is "according to the rule" (e.g., Lev. 9:16cf. Lev. 10:1; Deut. 12:29-32). Thus, all worship not "according to Scripture," is what the Paul calls "will worship" (Col 2:23; ASV).

At the end of the Ten Commandments, this matter is stated in an unforgettable way: "If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it" (Ex. 20:25). If the ancient Israelite would think that he could improve upon the worship commanded of God by carving a more beautiful altar, he was to know that even one mark added by the hand of man to that commanded by God was a complete contamination as far as God was concerned. When men try to improve the worship of God, they ruin that worship, rather than improve it.

This Commandment is impressed upon the people of God with the injunction that the LORD is a "jealous" God. This is the language of marriage. The LORD has forsaken all others for His bride, Israel, and He loves and desires her only. When it comes to worship, then, He expects and desires Israel to respond with the same zeal for Him that He has for her.

In the familiar, yet fearful, story of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 we recall that they offered "unauthorized fire before the LORD" (v.1). In the preceding verses, we read that Aaron, Nadab and Abihu's father, had offered the first sacrifices in the liturgical life of Israel. In Aaron's case "fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering..." (Lev. 9:24), yet in Nadab and Abihu's case "fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them" (Lev. 10:2).

But this is all Old Testament teaching," you might be thinking. Yet Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). Is the solemn requirement that the Church teach all things that Christ has commanded not at the same time a solemn prohibition against teaching anything that He has not commanded? If, in the worship of God, we observe all that Christ has commanded, ought we not also to scrupulously avoid anything and everything that He has not commanded?

In Romans 1:21-25 the Apostle Paul condemns every false kind of worship invented by men. He also reveals the source of such false worship. Men become "vain in their imagination," he says. They invent what they vainly imagine to be "good ways" to worship. They worship as they will, not as God commands. But when they do this, they really "worship and serve the creature more than the Creator," says Paul, and for this reason "they are without excuse." They are without excuse because there is no excuse for departing from the rule, which says "we must not worship God in any other way than He has commanded in His Word."

Rev D Hyde

2# loss

I suppose I should have mentioned that Wendell's doctor appointment last week went well.. and he's lost another 2# !!! Atta boy Wendell.. keep up the good work!

Submission.. women under the authority of men

Ephesians 5:21-32
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;
26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 because we are members of His body.
 31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.

Interestingly, the husband has the harder duties.. the wife is never commanded to LOVE her husband, but to respect him.  The husband has the major part of the duties.
Being submissive is not being a slave.. we are equal spiritually , but woman was made as a helpmeet for the man, so says the Genesis account. 
Submission is not a bad thing.. it gives a woman freedom
My Professor Horner Bible reading program has taken hold of me in a big way.  As I read the instructions several months ago when I thought I'd give it a shot, I noted that he says that I should not be concerned if there are passages that I don't understand- especially at first.  He says you just keep up the routine readings and wait for the Holy Spirit to tell you what he wants you to know in His time.  It is effectual.  Downright awesome if you really want to know.  I'd been struggling a bit with understanding the whole of Isaiah, but it was I Corinthians that screamed out at me that I was missing something.  So I ignored it.  But it kept bothering me and coming back on my mind for over a week.  It was the 11th chapter that talks about propriety in worship.  Specifically, head coverings.  I struggled with this and asked Wendell what he thought about it.  He said he didn't think it was an issue and he didn't care whether I wore a head covering when I attended worship or not.  Still, it nagged at me.  I started looking it up on the internet and found a Reformed Presbyterian site (later found to be that of Reg Barrow and not our RPCNA)  which addressed it but not really.  There was another site that was from a former RP pastor that sounded like pure legalism and he'd make sure all the women wore head coverings - or else.
I was turned off by this one big time.  I read many articles trying to see if head coverings were commanded or just suggested for women.  I finally made an appointment with our pastor to come to our home and discuss these things, answer questions, make his own suggestions if need be.
Our meeting was very positive.  We did discuss the fact that our church does not really take a position on head coverings, but that it was a matter of individual conscience.
So why wear a head covering then?  It is an outward sign that I am under authority. 
In our small  congregation, there are a majority of women who subscribe to the head covering.  It has not been introduced nor pushed by the pastor or elders.  It's been a matter of individual conviction of the women involved.  I've lived 64 years without covering my head at worship, but suddenly I'm burdened with this idea.. so I went shopping that same day as when the pastor visited and bought various scarves at the thrift store and today I was wearing my first head covering during the worship service. 
I want to add that our pastor simply asked me how I interpretted that passage.. and I said I  felt strongly compelled to cover my head.
He left that up to me.. but I believe I made the right decision for me.
I Corinthians 14:34,35

34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 Corinthians 11

1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

On Covering the Head in Worship

2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.
3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.
5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved.
6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.

vs 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Often not conscious of their offense..Jeremiah

It was the prophet Jeremiah who said, "The heart is deceitful above all things.  And desperately wicked;  Who can know it?"  Nowhere is this desperate deceitfulness so evident than in matters of worship.

God is jealous for His glory, while man's heart continually clamors for his own satisfaction.  The deceitful heart of man therefore deterines to gradually enhance God's worship with elements that appeal to human emotion.  In doing so, God's glory is displaced by man's and the pure worship of God is tainted and ruined.

~Doug Comin

Worship in Jeremiah~ Doug Comin

The Great Contest: God's prescribed worship vs mans inventions.  (Jeremiah 7:21-31;18:11-16)

The indictment of Jeremiah against Judah makes it quite plain that God rejected Judah's worship because the people followed the dictates of their own evil hearts instead of walking in the ways that He  had commanded them.
This is always the contest: God's commanded worship or man's invention.  John Owen summed up the matter well when he wrote: "Such is the corrupt nature of man, that there is scarce anything whereabout men have been more apt to contend with God from the foundation of the world.  That their will and wisdom may have a share (some at least) in the ordering of His worship, is that which of all things they seem to desire".

They thought God was pleased by their embellishments of worship.  Instead, God says that he does not even recognize their sacrifices as those that He instituted.  Calvin drew a conclusion for his generation which rings no less true today in light of the countless inventions introduced into worship which have no warrant in God's Word: "Now, this passage contains a very useful doctrine, which ought the more to be observed by us, as the neglect of it introduces dreadful darkness. They under the papacy think that God is duly and in the best manner worshipped, when they accumulate many pompous exhibitions of ceremonies; nor can  they be persuaded that all this is altogether frivolous.  How so?  Because they think of God according to their own fancies and disposition.  And yet all the Papal ceremonies are the inventions of men: for they derive no authoruity either from the Law or from the Gospel.  And since God has so severely reprobated ceremonies, which yet he had appointed for a purpose which was overlooked, what can be thought at this day of foolish inventions of men, when there is the same impiety in the people as was formerly in the Jews?  For when the Papists perform their trumperies, when the monks and the sacrificing priests fill the churches with their noises, when they practice their childish mummeries, and when they delight themselves with music and incense, they think that God is satisfied, however full of obscenities and filthiness their whole life may be: they are hardened in that false confidence, by which the Jews were inebriated.  We ought, therefore , with special care, to notice this doctrine, - that God so approves of spiritual worship, that he esteems all other things as nothing;  that is, when unconnected with sincerity of heart."

As if to underline this important truth God condemns the child sacrifices of Tophet especially for this express reason: "I did not command it, nor did it come into My heart."
Owen writes in this connection: "Moreover to testify what weight He laid on the observance of these general prohibitions, when men found out other ways of worship than what He had appointed, though the particulars were such as fell under other special interdictions, yet the Lord was pleased to place the great aggravation of their  sin in teh contempt of those general rules mentioned.  This is that which He urges them with, that they did things by Him not appointed; of not observing anything in religion but what He requires, that He presses them with.  The command is general.
"Ye shall add nothing to what I have instituted."
And the aggravation of the sin pressed by Him relates not to the specfic nature of it (child sacrifice), but to the general command or prohibition, 'ye have done what I commanded you not'.  That the particular evil condemned was also against other commands of God, is merely accidental to the general nature of the crime they were urged withal.  And whereas God  has given out these general rules and precepts, 'you shall do whatever I command you, and according as I command you; therefrom', can the transgression of this rule be any otherwise expressed but this, "They did the thing which He commanded them not, nor did it ever come into His heart?"'

We are prone to regard the offering of child sacrifice as objectionable from a human-centered perspective.  It is horrible because it needlessly deprives an innocent child of life.  But God shows us here that He regarded this sin among His people from an entirely different, and infinitely higher perspective - one that was God-centered.  The child sacrifices of Judah were abominable because they evidenced a disdain for the living God by offering to Him what He had never commanded.."
Wendell has a doctor appointment today.  It's a weigh-in for him and to discuss his meds again.  Wondering if his GI upset is caused by the new BP med he is on.. Has been taking it for a month.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What God says about singing the Psalms

This is a portion of Doug Comin's book 'Worship From Genesis to Revelation".. the portion I have chosen is from the book of Ephesians.
" God's inspired songs are the expression of our covenant union.  (Ephesians 5:15-21)
Having admonished the Ephesians to 'walk in love' and to 'walk as children of light,' Paul now urges them to 'walk in wisdom'.  he lays great stress upon 'redeeming the time' in order to underscore the urgency of capturing every moment and conforming every activity to the service of the Lord.  We are not to waste our time in the pursuit which profits us nothing, but to 'understand what the will of the Lord is' and to do it.
The only way to understand what the will of the Lord is, of course, is to consult His written Word.  It is in this context that Paul commands the Ephesians to 'be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord'. (vs 19)
Many have appealed to this verse as a justification for the composition of 'hymns' and 'songs' in addition to the Psalms of the Bible for use in the worship of the Church.  Others have suggested that this passage has nothing to do with the formal worship assemblies of the Church, and therefore has no bearing upon the question of appropriate worship songs.
The first argument is easily refuted by two considerations.  First, we must not interpret Biblical terms according to our modern conceptions, but understand what they meant in their historical context.  We cannot take our modern conception of the word 'hymn' for example and read it back into the text of Scripture to justify a current practice.  Biblical words must be understood in the context of their use during the time in which they were written.  This is a basic principle of sound Biblical interpretation which is not followed by those who latch on to the word 'hymn' and conclude: Paul authorizes us in this passage to use our modern hymnals in worship.  Here is the plain fact of the matter:  The terms of psalms, hymns and songs were understood in Paul's day to the synonyms for the compositions of the Hebrew Psalter. 
Michael Bushnell writes: "It almost goes without saying that these three  musical terms did not necessarily mean the same thing to Paul and his readers as they do to us now.  Their meaning here must be determined by an examination of their use in New Testament times as well as  from the contextual considerations of the passage before us.  The meanings of the religious terms used in the New Testament were conditioned to a  large extent by the usage of  those terms  in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the old Testament in common use at that time.  The three terms psalmos, odee, and humnos are used very infrequently in the New Testament, and much of the time the content of the songs referred to is not determinable from the context.  This makes the study of the use of these terms in the Septuagint all the more important for the determination  of how the original readers of the New Testament would have understood them."
When we turn to the Septuagint, what do we find?
Psalmos occurs some 87 times in the Septuagint, some 78 of which are in the Psalms themselves, and 67 times in the Psalm titles.  Humnos occurs some 17 times in the Septuagint, 13 of which are in the Psalms, 6 times in the titles.  Odee occurs some 80 times in the Septuagint, 45 of which are in the Psalms, 36 in the Psalm titles.  All three of these terms are used frequently in various combinations by the Biblical writers as well as post-Apostolic sources to refer to the Biblical Psalms.  among the Psalm headings in the Septuagint the terms psalms and odee occur togethr 12 times in a variety of formats:'a psalm of David, a song', a 'a psalm of a song', and 'a song of a psalm'.  Psalmos and humnos appear  conjoined twice as ' a psalm of David among the hymns'.  Psalm 75 contains all three terms together.  The heading for that Psalm reads: 'For the end, among the hymns, a psalm for Asaph, a song for the Assyrian'."

"In light of the clear use of the terms psalms, hymns, and songs in the Septuagint version of the Psalter, it would appear most likely that Paul is using these terms synonymously in Ephesians 5:19 to express the fullness of the praise that is offered to God when His word is sung to His praise and the edification of the Church.
The word 'spiritual' means 'inspired' and modifies all three terms.  The most accurate rendering of the verse would therefore read, 'speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and songs spiritual, singing and making melody with  your heart to the Lord.'  There is no justification here for the composition of uninspired songs for use in worship.
Concerning the second argument, Michael Bushell writes: 'It would seem apparent that some form of gathering for worship is in view simply from the fact that mutual or corporate edification in the singing of praise to God is at the heart of the passage'.  But even if more 'casual' gatherings are intende, an argument from the lesser to the greater is valid.
Thus John Murray and William Young wrote: 'This consideration does not remove these texts from relevancy to the question of the public worship of God.  For, if Paul specifies psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as the media through wihch believers may mutually promote the glory of God and one another's edification in those more generic Christian exercises, this fact has very close bearing upon the question of the apostolically sanctioned and authorized media of Praise to God in the more specific worship of the sanctuary.  In other words, if the apostolically enjoined media or materials of song in the more generic exercises of worship are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs,  then nothing inferior to psalms, hymns and spritual sons would be enjoined for use in teh more specific exercises of worship in the assemblies of the church.'
Paul's point is that edification in the Spirit comes through the singing of His inspired songs of praise.  These 'spiritual songs' are the glorious inheritance of the Gentile converts for the magnification of God's manifold wisdom."
It's Monday.. it rained early this morning and was glorious.. I loved watching the hummers come for a drink in the rain and cooler weather.  Today I have errands to run including the post office, library, and the pharmacy..oh, and the grocery to get more cantaloupe as bait for our groundhogs.. I give them the rind and the guts.. we eat the flesh!  YUMMY!! 
My blood sugar was 202 this morning.. can't figure that one out except when I got home from church yesterday I had a horrific GI upset and decided to hit the BRAT diet.. ate rice and toast and banana.. then feeling exhausted, layed down at 3pm and woke up at midnight despite the screamer that was set for 2 hours.  UGH.   So I skipped my metformin and ate a little more rice.. that was around 1am.. and then went to bed around 3am.. woke up at 7am and tested my glucose.  Horrors!!!  I've been good for the past few weeks- running under 100.  This is shocking, but I'll make sure my diet is better today.. even if I have a GI upset again..
Men think that they are to be saved by keeping God’s commandments. They are to do their best, and they conceive that their sincere endeavors will be accepted, and they will thus save themselves. This self-righteous idea is diametrically opposed to the whole spirit of the gospel. The gospel is not for you who can save yourselves, but for those who are lost. If you can save yourselves, go and do it, and do not mock the Savior with your hypocritical prayers. Go and stumble among the tombs of ancient Israel, and perish as they did in the wilderness, for into rest Moses and the law can never lead you.

The gospel is for sinners who cannot keep the law for themselves, who have broken it, and incurred its penalty, who know that they have done so, and confess it. For such, a living Savior has come that he may blot out their transgressions. Seek not salvation by the works of the law, for by them shall no flesh living be justified. By the law is the knowledge of sin, and nothing more, but righteousness, peace, life, salvation, come by faith in the living Lord Jesus Christ, and by no other means. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;” but if thou goest about to establish thine own righteousness, thou shalt surely perish, because thou hast rejected the righteousness of Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lord Is Risen Indeed," delivered April 13, 1873.
Have just now finished Doug Comin's book "Worship From Genesis to Revelation".. AWESOME!!!  I'll be putting some of his quotes here soon.
Resolved: to be thankful and rejoice in the blessings I have been given *today* and not be fretful regarding the future. To fear, while resting in the arms of a Sovereign God is quite irrational.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Am within 40 pages of finishing Doug Comin's book on worship.. I'll be putting some exerpts here this week before I return the book.  I may buy my own copy.. it's THAT good!  It's a quiet Sabbath here..
"It is not sufficient to have the Bible. We must actually read it, and pray over it ourselves. It will do us no good, if it only lies still in our house." ~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good morning all.. it'll be noon soon, but I've been up since 8am.. It feels like a good day on the horizon.  The temperature is at 81*, though the heat index says 85*.. it's still better than the 107* of yesterday before the thunderstorm hit.  It is just plain damp outdoors, but a glorious day anyway.
I saw Thomas, our silly cat, laying in the wet grass this morning.  It has to be hard for him in this weather, as his fur coat is black and absorbs heat a lot more than anyone else.  Poor thing.
Wendell noted yesterday that we now have 4 female hummingbirds coming to the feeder.  We can tell some apart from the others, but when they all appeared together yesterday afternoon, we knew for certain that there are 4.  This morning Wendell noted that one of them only has 1 leg.. I did see that.. interesting.  She still is able to perch, but I'd bet it's a lot harder for her than the 2 legged ones.
It's Saturday and I have some bills that need paid today- Gotta get a move on....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Professor Horner's Bible Reading Program

Each day you will read one chapter from each list, in order.  That's right-- *10 chapters per day*!  You can use 10 bookmarks or as I do, use the Bible Gateway's audio Bible.  Remember, your Bible is the only thing on Earth that, as you wear it out, will actually work better and better.

The 10 lists:

1) Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

2)Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

3)Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Hebrews

4)I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, I & II Peter, I & II & III John, Jude, Revelation

5)Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

6) Psalms

7) Proverbs

8) Joshua, Judges, Ruth I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

9) Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

10) Acts
"You have been called to suffer so that you would experience God's comfort. You have have experienced God's comfort so that you can comfort others. As they receive God's comfort through you, they can bring that comfort to others. Our suffering is not a gap in God's love, as if the Devil crept in while the Lord's head was turned. Peter says it this way, 'Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.' (I P 4.12-13) Suffering does not mean that God's plan has failed. It is the plan. Suffering is a sign that we are in the family of Christ and the army of the kingdom. We suffer because we carry his name. We suffer so that we may know him more deeply and appreciate his grace more fully. We suffer so that we may be part of the good he does in the lives of others."

-Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, p.153.


Thank you , Lord, for the beautiful weather, for our covered deck, for the awesome wildlife we admire every day, and for air conditioning so  we don't totally melt indoors.   We are blessed.


It's 82* at 11am today.. and muggy!  There is no sign of snow or ice, however, for which I am grateful and thankful.  The rain we had earlier this week lingers on the grass which need mowed desperately, but it's not clean air out there, so it'll continue to grow and flourish for the moment at least.
Yesterday we ran a couple of errands and then when we got home, we stayed inside for the most part and just rested.  It took a lot out of us to just pick up some necessities at the grocery store.  But now that we have those things, we are good for another 2 weeks or so ..
Bills need paid today.. I'll be doing that later in the day.. laundry and general cleaning are on my agenda..
I'll be in and out today computer wise..
We must not always reckon to see nations converted the moment the gospel is preached to them; and especially where new ground has been broken up, where countries have just received the gospel message, we must not be disappointed if neither to-day nor tomorrow we are rewarded with abundant results. God’s plan involves ploughing, sowing, and waiting, and after these the up-springing and the harvest. “Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Spring," delivered March 30, 1873

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why we love the back deck..

Feeling frustrated that I  can't get my hummingbird video to play for me.  I got it going once, and then it seems to be just gone..  nuts!
Maybe I'll try again... by itself.
Another AQA day today.. and tomorrow too.  It's my shopping day today and I don't think I'll be going much of anywhere.
Eyes sting, and nose is stuffy... just oppressive outside.   But there is no snow.. I keep reminding myself of that detail.
I'm so very thankful for our deck in back with the roof over us.. it's such a blessing!!!
And.. so very grateful and thankful for the AC too.. we'd melt without it..

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another word from Spurgeon..

...“The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Concerning such a sentence I will venture to say every single syllable in the verse is worth more than whole volumes about heaven might have been, though the Spirit of God might have inspired them - worth more for present and practical purpose to us who are yet among the sons of men. Are there any dear brethren who understand the Book of Revelation, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel? I am pleased to hear it. But if the Lord will help me to understand Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I shall be perfectly satisfied to go on preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, for I think I shall get up to them by and by in their knowledge of prophecy and mystery, when I come into clearer light and see the Master face to face.

Meanwhile, there are sinners to be saved. We must go about doing this soul-saving business in his name, with the simple means put before us in the gospels and epistles, which we are enabled to understand by the Spirit of God through our own personal experience of the truth revealed.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Royal Homage

Hot and humid..

It's been an interesting morning.  I had set my groundhog trap yesterday morning.. using what is absolutely THE ULTIMATE bait ever- cantaloupe guts and rind.  Before we left on our trip to Valentines, Wendell and I took out 3 groundhogs in one afternoon.  Thanks, John, for taking care of the one.  Wendell shot one from the back deck- and I got another in a trap earlier.  Well.. you'd think that since cats are carnivorous, they wouldn't bother the melon in the trap, but apparently I was wrong.   This morning I had been watching the trap about every 15 minutes from the living room window.. and suddenly Wendell yelled 'Marilyn!  you got something in your trap.. you better come quick!'..   So I did and when I looked, I said 'Hey.. that's definitely NOT a groundhog.. looks more like a silly black cat.'   'That's what I think too'  says Wendell. 
Yeah.. and next time we looked, we couldn't see him because he had layed himself flat out and took a nap in the trap.  I tried calling his name, but he just layed there.. so I took the above photos as I approached the trap figuring he'd be antsy to get out of confinement.. but he didn't move.  I had to lift the trap up a bit to make him move away from the opening in the trap to set him free.  Goofy cat!  He just took his good old time ambling out of the trap and not looking back at me as he walked slowly back to the house.. I called him and he looked back over his shoulder and then continued on his way.  When I got back to the house, he was all stretched out on the back deck and purring like a Mack truck.  What a silly boy!
The hummingbirds are really active too.  We definitely have identified 3 females and we have a male too.. maybe more, but we can't differentiate them if so.  They have a steady battle going on and dive bomb us as we watch them feed.. I've got photos of them on here too.. I hope they have come out well and you can appreciate why we love our back deck.
The rain has been so wonderful and all the plants seem to be very happy.  I had to set up my beefsteak tomato planter.. It gets top heavy every so often when it rains hard.  The glads are gorgeous, but some are laying on the landscape cloth having been knocked down by the storm yesterday. 
I picked about a cup of sugar snap peas and we'll have them in a stirfry tonite.  I got about 2 cups of Tall Telephone Pole peas.. they are very sweet- we tried them yesterday morning raw. 
Lawn needs mowed and garden needs a bit of weeding- it's not hard when it's mulched as well as it is.  I wish I could tolerate going out to the potatoes and hoe-ing them.  I just can't make it in the heat and muggy weather.
Hip and hamstring are still very sore as a result of emptying the clothes dryer 2 weeks ago.. Hamstrings don't heal as fast as other muscle injuries.. or so it seems.
I'm really excited to have our pastor Vince coming on Friday to talk about head coverings, foot washing , and greeting the brethren with a holy kiss.. things I just don't understand and wonder about.. I've been doing my homework, so hopefully won't sound completely stupid.
Gotta get moving here.. missing the grandkids- ALL of them..

From the pen of CH Spurgeon

The Lord shuts us up to hopelessness and helplessness in order that he may come, as a God of grace, and display his abounding mercy. All our hope lies in him, and all other hopes are delusions. The great work in conversion is not to make people better, so that they may come to God on a good footing, it is to strip them completely and lay them low, so that God may come to them when they are on a bad footing, or rather on no footing at all, but down in the dust at his feet. The Son of man is come to seek and to cave that which is lost, but it wants* God himself to convince men that they are lost; and the Spirit’s work of soul-humbling is just this - to get man to feel so diseased that he will accept the physician; to get him to feel so poor that he will accept the charity of heaven; to get him to know that he is so stripped, that he will no longer be proud of his fig leaves, but will be willing to take the robe of righteousness which Christ has wrought out.

Conviction is sent to kill the man, to break him in pieces, to bury him, to let him know his own corruption; and all this as a preliminary to his quickening and restoration. We must see the bones in the valley to be dead and dry, or we shall not hear the voice out of the excellent glory, saying, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Ye dry bones live!’” May God in his mercy teach us what all this means, and may we all experience an old-fashioned conversion.

* - that is, it requires

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "An Old-Fashioned Conversation," delivered March 16, 1873

Sunday, July 17, 2011

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It was a long day.... waiting for cake and ice cream...
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Esther's choice for cake was ice cream sundaes from Pop's Sugar Shack... Very very good choice...
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Cookie Monster cake..
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Gayle's cake was a pair of flipflops on a beach.. WOW!!! nice job again, Wendy..
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Wendy made a Cookie Monster cake for Asher.. it was a hit!!
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Eli and Asher have fun in the sun...
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Part of the Vulhop/grandparent gift for Gayle was Barbie and Ken set..
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I'm impressed with Esther's skill at the piano!!
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Isaac working on a Lego project..
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Asher in the playroom..
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Eli and Wendy...
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Eli got a Webkinz with some of the birthday cash.. he LOVED it and wanted to play the game all the time..
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FRom the moment I arrived, I was dubbed 'Baba' by Asher.. here we are having pizza.. plastic, of course.. :)
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Isaac's Lego project...
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