Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lord, I stand in awe of you

Lord, today I am thinking of You and Your majesty. Recognizing how You are a sovereign God. I am remembering Your providences upon me with praise and thanksgiving. The mercies you have bestowed upon me are innumerable. The grace You have shown unmeasurable. You are so good and wonderful. You prove Your faithfulness over and over (and over and over).

Lord, I know of Your incredible love and know you only want the best for me. You always watch over me. . .protect me. . .care for me. You know the number of hairs on my head. You were here before the mountains were brought forth and will be here long after the earth has fallen away. You always were and always will be.

The heavens show your glory, power and majesty. They are glorious examples of your handiwork. The mountains quake before You. I wonder at your power, wisdom and infinitude. You have control over everything. Everything I have done and everything I will do are known by you. I have been saved by Your grace.

I give You the glory for releasing me from my prison cell of sin. I find great joy and peace in the power of The Gospel. Your love never fails. Your love forgives. In my natural state I do not seek you, I do not love you and I don't desire you. You sought me out and brought me to You. Your grace is abundant and your mercy is overflowing.

Lord, You are holy. You are righteous. You are perfect. You are just. I know You demonstrate Your love daily in my life. I give You all the glory for everything You have provided for me, even for every breath I take. You are faithful.

Your wisdom is profound. There is none wiser than you. You have an infinite tenderness. You know what I need and what is best for me even when I don't know.

I am taking time to observe and meditate on the workings of providence. Everything is ordered by You. It would be an incredible sight if I could see the whole design of Providence at one long look - it's incomprehensible what You have ordered and arranged. My view is so short and imperfect, yet I see how excellent and sweet your Will is.

I recognize and acknowledge Your sovereignty and marvel at Your nature. I see Your Hand in everything. You sovereignly ordain everything that comes to pass; there is nothing that happens outside of Your sovereign will. In Ephesians 1:11 you tell us that our inheritance has been predestined and You work all things according to the counsel of Your will.

"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2)

Even though so much of your sovereign will remains hidden, I know that your revealed will is perfect.

As I immerse myself in Your Word, I see Your glory shine through.

I recognize Your attributes. You are strong. You are divine. You are the Most High. You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are omnipotent. You are an Almighty God and an Everlasting Father. Your kingdom will last forever.

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." (Psalm 42:1-2a)

You ARE my Lord and my God. You are my Saviour. I praise You with all my heart and soul. I long to serve You and glorify you all my life. I lift my hands and eyes to the heavens to worship You.

Lord, please let me continually have joy and show praise for You. Remind me always how in Your righteousness You delivered me and You rescued me. You are my rock and my fortress. Please help me to proclaim Your wondrous deeds. Show me how I can better praise You. Let me praise You more and more. Let me continually seek Your face. Please let me enjoy You.

"Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again." (Psalm 71:19 - 20)

Lord, please remind me often of these truths. Keep me ever looking upward.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What I'm reading. . .

I know that a few months ago I listed what I was listening to and meant to list what I was reading. That was over a dozen books ago. I need to remember to update this from time to time. It's always interesting to look back and remember what I was reading.

Currently I'm reading these:

The Supremacists / Phyllis Schlafly Note to me: find something else she has written - I'm enjoying her writing style
Future Grace / John Piper Note to me: This is only the 2nd book by him I've read - keep more books by him on my list - very easy reading style
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment / Tim Challies
The Truth of the Cross / R. C. Sproul
Jesus the Evangelist / Richard Phillips
The Bruised Reed / Richard Sibbes Note to me: download a few more of the Puritan authors from

Pilgrim's Progress

Well. . .I'm getting ready to start a re-read of Pilgrim's Progress. I was thumbing through the book and can't remember some of the parts - this tells me it's time to read it again. I have never read the second part - Christiana's Story - so I think it's high time to read it now. Note to me: Make sure I have the second part by the time I finish the first part. Check the bookshelves - I may already have a copy that has both parts.

My Soul Is Sad and Much Dismayed

It is interesting learning old hymns. The words for this one were written in 1779.


My soul is sad and much dismayed;
See, Lord, what legions of my foes,
With fierce Apollyon at their head,
My heav’nly pilgrimage oppose!

See, from the over-burning lake
How like a smoky cloud they rise!
With horrid blasts my soul they shake,
With storms of blasphemies and lies.

Their fiery arrows reach the mark,
My throbbing heart with anguish tear;
Each lights upon a kindred spark,
And finds abundant fuel there.

I hate the thought that wrongs the Lord;
O, I would drive it from my breast,
With Thy own sharp two-edged sword,
Far as the east is from the west!

Come then, and chase the cruel host,
Heal the deep wounds I have received!
Nor let the pow’rs of darkness boast
That I am foiled, and Thou art grieved!

Words: Will­iam Cow­per, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779).
Music: Ab­bots­ford, Ca­thol­ische Geist­liche Ge­sänge (An­der­nach, Ger­ma­ny: 1608)

Help keep me from doing and saying foolish things

Lord, I ask you today to help keep me from doing and saying foolish things. Sometimes I do things on impulse and when I do I usually regret having done them.

Please help me learn that it is usually better to not say anything at all, and at the minimum I should learn to hold my tongue (or my fingers when typing) for some time in order to take the time to sit back and reevaluate everything before I say or do anything.

Please help me to do more listening than talking.

Proverbs 21:23 "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles." (NKJV)

fool·ish (fōō'lĭsh) adj.

1. Lacking or exhibiting a lack of good sense or judgment; silly: foolish remarks
2. Resulting from stupidity or misinformation; unwise: a foolish decision.
3. Arousing laughter; absurd or ridiculous: a foolish grin.
4. Immoderate or stubborn; unreasonable: foolish pride; foolish love.
5. Embarrassed; abashed: I feel foolish telling you this
6. Insignificant; trivial: spent all their money on foolish little knickknacks

stu·pid (stōō'pĭd, styōō'-) adj.

1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.

n. A stupid or foolish person.

[Latin stupidus, from stupēre, to be stunned.]

American Heritage Dictionary

I think the first and second definitions of “foolish” fit me as well as the second (and probably also the first and third) definition of “stupid” and seem to have defined my life lately. In the infamous words of Forrest Gump: "stupid is, as stupid does".

Proverbs has several chapters about the stupidity of pursuing man's wisdom over God's. Any time I turn to my own understanding and neglect to seek God, I get in trouble. I want to seek Your wisdom but then I keep doing and saying things where I decide to pursue my own wisdom in situations.

So many times lately I have silently told myself "shut up, stupid" (and oh, how many times I have ignored myself!!). I want to choose the path of wisdom, not stupidity. Please help guide me in this path.

Remembering an old comedy sketch. . .I think it was a Bob Newhart episode - or maybe it was Bob Newhart on Saturday Night Live, maybe it was someone else. . .I really can’t remember, but if I recall the episode, a person came in for counseling where there was a 2 minute consultation for $5 and after that it was free. He heard the problem without interrupting. Since he didn’t want to continue the counseling session after the 2 minutes (because he wouldn't get paid for it), he gave his professional response which was “STOP THAT”. Lord, please remind me to “STOP THAT”! Edit: In rethinking this, I think the sage advice he gave was "DON'T DO THAT!".

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I stand ready for reproof and correction. . .

Give me Your mercy, I pray, for the times when I have foolishly disregarded Your guidance.

Please grant me patience, love and understanding. I desire to know and live according to the will of God as revealed in the Scripture, which can be summarized best as “be holy for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

I am trying to immerse myself in the written Word of God, saturating my mind with it. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will transform me through the renewing of my mind, so that the result is what is good, acceptable and perfect - the will of God. Please help guide me.

Please also help me get some sleep. It has been so illusive lately. An hour or so and I wake up. I have so many thoughts going through my head that I can't get any rest. Thank you, though, for the extra time it has provided for prayer.

Thank you also for giving me peace about some things that have been going on in my life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WW II Pics - In library book! Wow!

I guess I have been noticing WWII pics since Phil went to Germany and sought out old WWII locations from pictures he studied. This is a great find! Who would ever have imagined that you could find something like this at a library book sale!

WWII photos found at a library sale

Woohoo! I figured out how to put a description to a link on this site! So easy - how could I have missed it?!

Young Eagles

I keep forgetting about the Young Eagles program. I guess if I list it here I'm more likely to remember. The website is Mark keeps asking but I keep forgetting. . .

Reminder to me. . .call Richard at
(941) 575-2446 to confirm the March program - make sure it is still on the second Saturday of the month. Also get pass code again for the security area at the airport to watch the guys build their experimental aircraft and confirm that they are still there Monday - Friday from 8:00 - noon.

I guess this online journal is a good way for me to keep a "virtual memory" for ongoing programs! LOL!

Giant Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

Okay. . .this one's especially for Alyssa. The Today Show today featured this recipe so I had to go to to get it. Reminder to me. . .pick up the ingredients so I can have them on hand to surprise her when she's been behaving (actually I guess I only need the chocolate). Second reminder to me. . . mill some extra amaranth and freeze it to have on hand for this recipe.

Giant Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
(5) 1/4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2-1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes.

I wonder if this would be a good freezable recipe to do as a monthly cooking recipe. . .

"God, that comforteth those that are cast down"

Talk about timely. I have found that it is amazing how many times these daily thoughts are just what I need to read. . .

I just felt I had to copy this. . .I know that this is one thought that I will want to come back to. I know that if I don't list this here I won't remember what day it is from (to enable me to go back to this calendar day to review the thought).

February 20
Morning Verse
"God, that comforteth those that are cast down." 2Corinthians 7:6

And who comforteth like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing--

"'Tis paradise, if thou art here; If thou depart, 'tis hell?"

You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; "He is the God of all comfort." There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvellous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the goldbeater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask Him to give thee consolation. Thou art a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in thy heart, and then thy joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job's comforters after all; but go first and foremost to thy "God, that comforteth those that are cast down," and you will soon say, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul."

—Morning and Evening

Thinking about the "do not go to earthly acquaintances" part. . . I know that going before the Lord is where I have been turning and generally I have been resistant and uncomfortable talking with others (although I know that sometimes lately that somehow I haven't been able to help myself and said things I regretted later). I know that sometimes I should talk with others but need to know when it is appropriate. "Go first and foremost to thy God . . .. In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul."

Thank you Lord, for letting me read this today. I am going to You and asking for You to give me consolation and comfort.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Help me in my confusion and desperation

My prayer today, Lord, is that you'll help me in my confusion and desperation. It seems like everything is tumbling down around me. It also seems like the closer my walk is with you, the more things are falling apart in my personal life.

You are The Creator of the universe, a just and sovereign God. One who shows mercy and grace when it is not warranted or deserved. The Alpha and Omega. I know that You are faithful and true. Please help me keep the truths I know about you to sustain me.

I am so grateful that you have shown me changes I can make with our family devotions and how my son is embracing those changes. We are getting so much more out of Your Word and our knowledge of You with these changes. It's good for both of us.

I regularly find myself reduced to tears because of situations that have been coming up that I am seemingly powerless to do anything about. I generally have thought of myself as a strong and independent person - one who can easily handle things that come my way. I now find myself prostrate before you - a weak person totally dependent on you. I hate feeling needy - but I am.

Please help me to find strength each day to do what I need to do.

Thank you for helping me to continue with my reading through the Bible. This is the first time I have been so consistent and not gotten distracted and off track. If I continue, I'll be done in less than a year - ahead of my original schedule.

Thank you for the wealth of books you have brought my way in recent months. The titles you have shown me have been so timely and the content so helpful. Thank you for bringing me back and reminding me of my love of reading.

You know what my difficulties are and what matters are coming before me.

I know you want us to be filled with joy and praise (Philippians 4:4 and Romans 15:11 come to mind). It is not so easy. I know that through you I can attain it. I need to make a conscious effort to not be so absorbed in myself, but rather take the focus off myself and put it on You and others. I know that the sin that remains in me tries to keep me so self-absorbed; please help me fight against it.

In Philippians 4:6 you say "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." I am humbly coming before you praying for your help. You know the problems I am having with my children and with my finances, not to mention the dozens of other things that just seem to keep coming my way.

I want so much to have my children have a love and appreciation for you, to know Your splendor, and that they will be convicted of their need of Your saving mercy on their souls. They need to realize that they are sinners in need of a Saviour. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a proper understanding of Your love is the only true cure. Please reveal Yourself to them and help them seek your love and forgiveness. Please also help me know what to do during this time of their rebellion. Please help me make good decisions when they are testing me. They may hurt me and disappoint me, but somehow I cannot stop loving them. I also can't live their lives for them. My strength and hope has to come from You. Please keep me strong and hopeful. Please keep reminding me of the power of The Gospel.

Please help me stay in The Word - thank you that this has been the one thing that I continually look forward to each day. I know that emotions can lead me astray, but Your Word stands firm and unchanging. I know that I'm holding even tighter to you because of these trials and temptations that I am undergoing.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I know that through Your strength, I will be able to bear whatever comes my way. Please keep reminding me of this promise and of Your faithfulness.

In reading Psalm 90, I am reminded of how short our days are and how we waste them. Please help me to make the most of each and every day.

Prayer is a powerful weapon. Please help me continually pray for my children. Please give me peace about them. Continuing in Philippians 4 in verse 7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Please also help me always keep these verses in mind: John 14:13-14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. " and 1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

Lord, you have a purpose for everything that happens. Even when these things come my way, please help me remember that and keep me from the sadness and frustration that so often has been coming my way.