March 30, 2011

You may have my mouth

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

How do we present our bodies as living sacrifices?  I love it when scripture answers scripture. 

Do you have a question about the Bible?  Then the Bible will answer all your questions.  It is a Living Book. 

Well, I was asking myself, how do I present my body as a living sacrifice?  Here was my answer:

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  Romans 6:13

"Members" is body parts.  Yield my body parts as an instrument of righteousness.

The first "member" that comes to my mind is the MOUTH.

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God to present your "Mouth" a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.

I can hardly type that sentence without being pricked in the heart with conviction.

The yucky things I yield my mouth to:

Pointing out faults ~ I justify this with "speak the truth in love"

Criticizing bad decisions ~ They won't know it was a bad decision if I don't make it clear

Complaining ~ I'm not happy and I'm sure all my loved ones want to know about it.

Explaining why I am provoked ~ Just gently and humbly letting people know how they can avoid provoking me in the future.

How am I being an instrument of righteousness?  I'm not.  I'm puffing myself up and promoting my prideful motives.

With my mouth I may:

Point out accomplishments.
Encourage.
Call names:  You are COURAGEOUS.  You are BEAUTIFUL.  You are a HARD WORKER.
Speak thanks. 
When provoked, be patient.  Endure.  Pray.

~oOo~

I used to tease my children when they were toddlers.  If they walked about with a scowl on their face I would ask them "Where is your smile?"  Rebellious, they would stomp their little chubby foot and present me with a deeper scowl.

I would reach out my hand to look in their pocket or behind their ear.  Then I'd pull "something" out.

"Here it is! Your smile was hiding! Do you want to put it on?" 

Stubborn unhappiness would continue.

"No?  Well, If you don't want it, I'll take it!" I would wipe my lips as if I put on their smile then start laughing as hysterically as I could.  "Oh, your smile is making me laugh!  It feels so good to wear it.  I don't think I will ever give it back."

This usually worked to help them change their attitude.  I tried this the other day with my husband.



He said something especially hurtful.  A smart retort was on the tip of my tongue.  I so desperately wanted to come back with a comment that would show how hurt I was and at the same time put him "in his place."

Instead, I looked around the table as if I had lost something.  I lifted the plates and cups.  I dug around in my pockets.  I looked under the table searching.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Oh, nothing, just looking for something."

"What?"

"Here it is. Good.  I don't want to lose that."

Acting like I found it, I wiped my hand across my mouth and smiled as genuinely as I could.  I kissed his cheek and left the table.  I did not tell him that he hurt me.

Offering our bodies as living sacrifices is a reasonable service.  It is reasonable to do this.  Not extraordinary.  Not awesome and too much to ask.  Reasonable.  God has given us a free gift of salvation, it is reasonable to offer him our bodies.  Will I give him my MOUTH today?

March 29, 2011

Quotes

The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings whom God hath anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honoured. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us up. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him."  Spurgeon

March 24, 2011

Eight Years Old!

At one year old.

 Five years old.


Three years old.

My Naomi Baloney!

How we love you, our little bird.

Roses are red,
Pink, yellow, and white.

They smell divine
and are quite a sight.

But nothing compares to a day with you!
My Naomi Baloney, My Bugaboo!

God bless you, Sweet Girl.

Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of caring for and loving this, your little girl.  She has been a delight and blessing to us.  Lord, please help me to be the best mom I can be.  Give me patience and wisdom to guide her in the way she should go.


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:14-18

March 23, 2011

Wednesday

Outside the sun is shining.  The warmth is cheerful and welcome after such a long and grey winter.  We are, however, inside sick and suffering.

Each Santos member, weak with fever and stomach cramps,  has claimed a spot in the living room to enjoy the sunshine pouring in through the windows. 

We sip our vitamins and minerals while listening to Adventures in Odyssey .


~oOo~

Do you ever borrow magazines from the library?  I do.  Birds and Blooms is one of my favorites.  Stuck inside with the children, I can still enjoy God's beautiful creation.





And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  Genesis 1:20



And as soon as the children are better, God willing,  we will be daily at the farm selling daffodils.  Mr. Santos has given us permission to spend any profits for FUN. We are excited ~ the beginning of a bike fund. 

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Matthew 6:30

All the new life and freshness naturally brings thoughts of the coming Resurrection Celebration.

He is risen, He is risen indeed!



What else am I looking forward to?  My red tulip blooms! Soon!  Not soon enough!

March 20, 2011

Don't need to know everything.

I just love to go to church.  "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1  I love the hymns we sing.  I love the young people playing their violins and cellos.  I love the sound of the piano during "meditation."

And then to be TAUGHT.  It is such a privelege, such a delight, such a FEAST.  I sometimes think of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have to hide to worship ~ Fearing real persecution perhaps even death.  Thank you, Lord, for the freedom I have to worship you!

Today, we were studying in Revelation, the section where the Son of God, with eyes as fire and feet as brass, (I love that part) is talking to the church of Thyatira.

The pastor made many points - but one point that stuck with me was on how easy it is to be deceived.  Sometimes we want the WHOLE picture before we will obey God.  How's it all gonna turn out?  Will I be o.k.? Will I be blessed?  Will I suffer? and how much?  Will it be worth it?

God gives us a command and we have a choice.  We are either for God or against Him. 

Adam and Eve did not know what death was when they were given the command.  "Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or thou shalt surely die."  They didn't know what death was because nothing had yet died. 

They did not know the big picture.  But they understood the command.  "Do not eat." 

Food for thought, on this happy day.

March 17, 2011

Tea Time

Thank you for joining me for tea.  I thought I would share some pictures of the very first Tea Party my daughters "hosted" years ago.  I am reminiscing as I look forward to a special Tea  Party I am hosting in the month of May.


Naomi @ 2 years old and Sophia @ 4 years old. I can't remember why Sophia is making that face. 4 year olds like to make funny faces. LOL. They decorated their hats with flowers from
the Camellia tree in our back yard.


Their tea table complete with heart shaped cakes, and a lollipop on each plate.

 Here are a few of the sweet little guests and some sandwiches with apples to fill them up.


A little box decorating for fun after all the treats.  Do you have any childhood tea party memories or dreams?


I am having...

Jasmine Tea that my Sophia served me in a large mug.  She will be TEN years old soon.  How time flies!
I am feeling...

Glad.  I got most of "the list" checked off today and feel content.  Just being faithful to move on to the next thing happily makes the day successful, even if the list goes unchecked.  I was also blessed with a lengthy conversation with an older woman.  She imparted some much needed wisdom in my life.

I am feeling Glad.

On my mind...

My next post.  My friend, Lady Rose, asked me to share what I am learning from my study of Revelation. 
I think it will be fun to do that.

A quote to share...

"Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness."


— George MacDonald



Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

March 13, 2011

Daybook



(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


FOR TODAY

Sunday, March 13, 2010
Outside my window...

Grey Drizzly day ~ but everything is in order.  No chaos, no debris, no flooding nor fire, nor fear.

I am thankful for...

Safety. Everything.  Oh how my heart breaks for Japan!

I am learning...

That there is a difference between living by principles and living a life of loving forgiveness. 
It is easy to look good on the outside and be bitter on the inside.
From the kitchen...

The smell of pancakes we ate for breakfast with honey butter and green tea.
I am wearing...

My "uniform."  A black and white dress that I seem to wear ALL the time. It is warm and easy to put on.  It also goes well with a pair of cozy black tights.  I think my family would like to see me wear something else.  When the weather warms up...
I am creating...

a few "tunes" to some scripture.  We just came up with a great tune for the entire Psalm 23.  A gift from God, really.  Been humming it for a few days now.  If anyone reading this would like a copy of our families CD recording of scripture songs, we would be happy to send you a copy ~ free ~ just e-mail me your address.
I am going...

to listen to Adrian Rogers preach this morning.  We missed church today.  The children enjoy his preaching  because he speaks so clearly and simply.

I am remembering...

The people of Japan.  It makes my little inconveniences and striving seem so trivial.  And they are aren't they?  In the light of eternity?  In the light of such suffering?  I pray that through this devastation, somehow, people would turn to God and find Him.  The end is near.

I am reading...
among other things, The Gerson Therapy.  Such a good book.  It is confirming so many things I've learned and offering natural solutions to our main health problems ~ deficiency and toxicity.

I am hoping...

to go to California this Spring.

I am hearing...

Quiet.  Little Naomi is braiding her doll's hair and the rest of the family has gone out on an errand.

Around the house...

Everything is in order.  How quickly that order can be turned to chaos. We have had constant conversation about the suddenness of earthquakes.

Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
One of my favorite things...

how my sweet girl gets so involved in little tasks ~ embroidery, organizing her play things, braiding her doll's hair.  I bet she would enjoy knitting. Perhaps, we can learn together.
A few plans for the rest of the week:

A visit with a special lady, organize my closet, a wedding reception.  I promise to wear a different dress for the reception.  Maybe even something in *GASP* a pastel? pink?

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...


Last year, at this time we were busy selling flowers.   This year, the blooms are not out yet.
So much of farming is waiting on the Lord and His timing.

March 09, 2011

Soul Talk


My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.  Psalm 62:5

~oOo~

When I am lonely, You, O God, are my expectation. I will wait upon you. Thank you for being intimately acquainted with all my ways. You are a True Friend.

When it's not working out, I will wait upon you, Lord.  You are my expectation. Maybe it's not supposed to work out? I will trust you. Should I keep trying? Should I give it up?  I trust that you will make it clear.

When I want new clothes or furniture I will wait upon you, God. Thank you for providing for all my needs. 

When I am tired my expectation is from you.  You will give me the strength to do your will.  I know that your strength is made perfect in weakness.

When it hurts I wait thou only upon you.  Help me Lord to remember that you are right here with me. I offer my body as a living sacrifice which is my reasonable service. 

When I am glad you are my expectation.  Lord, You make me glad! You are so good, I love to sing your praises. Thank you!

When it feels like it will never end I wait upon you.  It will end. My life is as a vapor and nothing compares to the glory that awaits me when I am at home with you.

When it all seems to be falling apart my expectation is from you.  Perhaps it is really falling into place?  Thank you Lord, that you work all things together for my good.

When it is so loud and busy I wait upon you.  Even in the noise and activity I can be still and know that you are God.  You hold it all together.  You still the wind and the waves and quiet my soul.

~oOo~

My soul, wait thou only upon God.  Don't wait for the things, the person, the gifts.  Don't wait for the quiet, the relief, the sleep.  God is your expectation.  He is all and in all and wants to fill you with His Fullness.  It is worth waiting for. 

... know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:19 

March 07, 2011

We'll Always have Banana Bread

My Dearest Mr. Santos, My Precious Lovies~

You can count on me.  You can count on me to...

~ Keep our home clean and neat.

~ To listen

~ To bake something yummy every week.

~ To make sure you've taken your Body Balance

~ To give you the first and biggest piece

~ To love all your artwork

~ To pray for you every day

~ To be on your side

~ To protect you at all costs

~ To point you to Jesus

~ To have the coffee and tea ready

~ To encourage you to be your best

From this day forward I want you to trust me.  To know that I will

~ not complain

~ I will smile in your face my love for you

~ I will wait patiently

~ I will speak kindly

~ I will be willing

I love you.  You can count on me.

March 04, 2011

Growing Sweet Peace

Once upon a time, in the soil of a girls heart, a seed was planted.  What sort of plant would this be?  What kind of fruit would it yield?  The seed opened up and started to take root.  For a long time the roots went down, down, down ~ deep into her heart.  It was the girls thoughts and habits that fed the seed all that it needed in order to grow strong.

One day, after the roots had spread deep and wide, a small blade popped up in this beautiful heart.  It seemed like breaking the surface imparted energy to the plant.  It grew and grew.  At the first, it was straight and tall and strong.  Buds began to form on its branches and there promised to be much fruit.

~oOo~

What if this is your story?  A seed has been planted in your heart and all your thoughts and habits have fed the little plant.  It has taken root and is bearing fruit.

How would the story end?

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:18

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;  lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Hebrews 12:15


~oOo~

I've heard it said once that "A bitter person is like a porcupine: She may have a lot of good points, but you can't get near her."

I like this quote because sometimes we don't recognize bitterness in our life.  But we can tell by our relationships.  What do the people in my life gain by knowing me?

Joy?  Help?  Encouragement?

or is it Pain? Worry?  Heavy Burdens?

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 7:16-18 

~oOo~

I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

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