February 26, 2012

Set your affections on things above

It's Sunday.

We are home from church.

The sun is shining! I am so thankful for it's happy rays. Sophia and Noah are outside in their coats (still winter) reading a funny chapter book about a boy trying to become a knight.  They are sucking on caramel apple lollipops and the chickens have decided to sit with them to enjoy the story too.  It is quite a picture.  

Little Naomi has been acting silly and wild lately; so much so that Mr. Santos accused me of raising "silly children."  I calmly (be proud of me) explained that she was trying to get his attention.

He has taken her on a little date to get a cookie and visit the book store.

And me? 

I am enjoying the warm house, the view of the children, and pondering the questions our pastor put before us in today's sermon.

What makes you want to worship?




What makes you feel secure?
What makes you feel happy?

When are you at peace?
What do you rest in for your good health?

What does your future hope lie in?
Where do you go for counsel and wisdom?
What about strength? Where do you get your strength?

What is your Trust in?


To be honest, I have a lot of answers for these questions. What makes me want to worship? I want to worship God when good things happen, when I see something beautiful!

What makes me feel secure? A lot of money.  A running car and a good job for my husband.

What makes me happy? Lots! Good food, good friends, crisp stationery, a clean house.

I'm at peace when everyone around me is at peace.  I trust in good nutrition and exercise for my health.

Yet all of these things are temporal.  They can easily be removed and then what? Is God only to be worshiped in the good times?  Job said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

We were considering the text in Hebrews 12:26-28. See that you do not refuse him that speaks, whose voice shook the earth.  One day it will not only shake the earth, but the heavens also.  "And this word, yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made that those things WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN may remain."

Sometimes God shakes things up a bit in our lives.  We feel insecure, afraid.  Our health deteriorates.  The car breaks down and the bank account is empty.

Yet through it all...it is well with our soul.  Especially if Jesus Christ is the Solid Rock on which we stand.


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Psalm 46:1-3

February 21, 2012

Where do I live?

There's this place that few people ever go.  It's far.  It's high. It's deep.  It's hard to get there.  It's God's will that we would go and live there, but few of us ever do.  We are content to see it in the distance.  I am.  It looks wonderful from my comfortable spot over here.  Yes, over there looks quite nice from here.  I can see it and tell others about it.

"Look! Look everyone! Isn't that a wonderful place? You should go there! God wants you to. There are abundant blessings there! Go!"

They look at my life and wonder, "Have you ever been there?"

"Uh, I, well, it's far.  It's high.  It's deep.  It's hard to get there. No, not really."

"What sort of place is it?  Why is it so wonderful?"

I have seen the place from afar and so I answer confidently, "It's a place where we are grateful, even when all seems lost or dark.  It's a place of peace, even in the midst of a storm.  It's a place where we love and forgive even our enemies."

~oOo~

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18

God's will for me is to give thanks in every thing...not just when things are wonderful and bright.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

God wants me to be of good cheer in the midst of tribulation...

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

What? Fear NOT them which kill the body?  But...they scare me!

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:31,33

~oOo~

God has been calling me to go to that place - that far, high, deep, place.

Life has not been going my way.  What I have asked for time and time again I have not received.  Will I be grateful? I hear His voice "Come away with me, trust me." 

Conflict arises on every side.  Will I forgive? Again, His voice, "I forgave you while you were still my enemy.  I want you to do the same."

Physical needs come up.  I start to plan and scheme how I will meet those needs.  "Will you be content with just Me?  What if you don't get those "needs" met?  I know what you need. Trust me."

I answer back. "But Lord, it's like you want me to live in a different world!"

"Yes, my child. It's my world. It's my kingdom." 

February 19, 2012

Sunday musings



(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


FOR TODAY

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Outside our window...

Biscuit and Penny (our pet chickens) are digging to China

I am thankful...


for a quiet day of rest.
for an edifying message at church.

for the hymn "Be thou my vision." ~ my favorite.

I am wearing...

A beige knee length skirt with great big pockets! (love pockets) an ivory colored turtle-neck sweater and a cranberry red scarf to match my cranberry red shoes.

From the kitchen...

Homemade chicken and dumpling soup...very satisfying.

Hot tea and cookies.

I am learning...


That the more I get to know God, through Jesus Christ, the bigger He becomes.  The bigger He becomes, the more insignificant I become.  The less significant I become, the easier it is to obey Him.  The more I obey Him, the more wonderful life becomes...the more ABUNDANT it becomes, and yet...

the more persecution there is.

I am creating...


I DID create (yesterday)...The girls and I, little bouquets for the ladies and girls at church.  Each bouquet had a note attached, "We thank God upon every remembrance of you."  I hope they were enjoyed.  We sure enjoyed giving them.

"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

I am going...

To send a small gift to my grandmother.  She had her birthday this month and requested doll making supplies.  I am blessed to still have my grandmother alive.

I am remembering...

That the "carpet man" will be here tomorrow to replace the damage caused by the fire.

I am reading...

Missionary stories and more of T. Austin-Sparks.

"you — with us — should examine your foundation to be sure that it is the Lord Himself Who is your life and Everything, and not Christianity in any one or more of its mere externals." ~ T.A.S.

I am hoping...


for healing.  God knows the details.


Around the house...

Mr. Santos napping, children outside playing, laundry spinning, house in order...a day of quiet grey.

One of my favorite things...

presents! I received a gift from my "Secret Sister" today.  What a happy thing. I do love presents all wrapped up and that wonderful thought, "what is it?"

A few plans for the week:

Map making with the children,
Violin practice for a coming concert,
finish some projects that Mr. Santos has assigned to me
Friends coming for dinner at the end of the week
(How to fit 12 people in this tiny cottage comfortably?~this is always the question. Somehow, we manage.)


Here are some picture thoughts to share...


Some of the Valentine chocolates Mr. Santos brought home for us.


Our hand written notes to the lovely ladies of our church.


These are the paper cones we put the flowers in. 


Some of our mess and the flowers


Sophia holding the finished product.  The bouquet  hangs nicely on a door knob or hook.

February 14, 2012

True Love Takes

Sure, to give speaks Love, but, so does taking.  Taking can speak love just as much, if not more.  Jesus showed his love by giving.  He gave us eternal life.  But also, he showed us love by taking from us.  He took away our sin.

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  John 1:29

The children and I were just reading the Old Testament story of the Passover Lamb.  Do you remember it?  Here is the story...


"Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you."  Exodus 12:21-23


WOW! Have you taken time to consider this lately?

They killed the lamb, a perfect lamb, an innocent lamb.

They put the blood of the lamb on the doorpost. That was it.

When the Lord "seeth the blood...the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the DESTROYER to come in unto your houses to smite you."

Amazing.

Just the blood.  Only the blood.  The blood of the lamb.

The Lord did not pass over the houses and say "Well they are modest and they home school their children."  He did not pass over because the people were rich or smart or beautiful.  He did not pass over because they were good.  He only passed over if he saw the blood.

On the other hand, He didn't say "The blood is not good enough for those people."  What if those inside that house, under the cover of the blood were theives? Murderers?  Adulterers?  The blood was good enough for them.

Jesus.  Precious Jesus. Our Passover Lamb.  He has taken away our sin and the Lord passes over us that we would not be consumed.  That is Love.

February 10, 2012

Headlines and Tea


I am having...

Green tea. It is late Friday night (8 p.m.) Hey, that's late when you're tired! But I so wanted to take a break with you.  I haven't really been blogging much lately--So much drama at the times.  Here are some of the headlines.

Neighbor boy shot in the eye with arrow by Santos child. Requires laser surgery.
(accidentally during target practice)


Electric Fire erupts in Santos Cottage.

Mice found living in shed at Santos Cottage.
Major clean-up underway.

Mrs. Santos reading missionary stories - unable to pull away from books for blogging.

I am feeling...

Glad. HE has made me glad. So much in this world to disappoint, yet he never disappoints.  Even when He is shrouded in mystery, He satisfies.  He is my satisfaction. He is my overwhelming satisfaction.  Do you know Jesus?



On my mind...

In my hearts desire to develop Godly character in my children I have turned into quite a nag.  God is showing me through many ways that I need to be more than tell.

This requires more work, but somehow it is so much less draining...and less disappointing.

For example, I want my children to be thorough in their work...no work left undone.  No sloppiness allowed. So I call them back to the job and together we finish cheerfully.  No more finger pointing, tongue wagging, complaining.  Pray for me! It is so easy to slip back into old habits.  I am trying to make new habits that will help my children and honor the Lord.



A quote to share...

"Good is good, but it is not enough; it must be God." ~ Mary Slessor, missionary to Africa

Some pictures from recent 'headlines'


 This lamp looks harmless enough...but wait till you see what a faulty lamp can do! Beware!



This is the damage after much clean-up.  The wall was all black but has been scrubbed.  We will replace the carpet this week.  So thankful that we are safe.  The Lord is good.  He is always good.

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

February 07, 2012

Thankful Tuesday



I am thankful ~  

For the many days of sunshine we have enjoyed lately.

I am thankful ~ 

That our neighbor boy will be alright.  Standing behind the target (why oh why?) He was struck in the eye with an arrow from Noah's bow. Yes, Noah was the shooter. Poor boy. Noah was sure that he had killed him and that the world had ended. We are thankful that after many exams and a quick laser surgery, our neighbor is fine.

I am thankful ~ 

For my children. There are days when I would like to ship them all off to El Salvador.  Mr. Santos is welcome to go with them.  But, my oh my, God teaches me so much through them.  What a wonderful parent God the Father is to me, so patient, so willing to forgive.  If I could only do for my children what my Father in heaven does for me!

I am thankful ~ 

For Mr. Santos.  It's been so many years together and yet we still struggle to find our stride.  Something always comes up to throw us off balance, as if we are running in a blindfolded three-legged race.  But I am thankful that we are still connected...determined to figure it out.  I have a feeling we would do it sooner if I was a better follower and not always so eager to lead.  

I am thankful ~ 

For my little cottage.  I enjoy being here, especially when the floors are vacuumed and the pillows are straightened.  The table has a fresh tablecloth and the windows are washed.  Everything is in it's place and the children are running around outside laughing.  

I am thankful ~ 

For God's provision.  We always have food to eat, and not just food, but, good food.  Pleasant and healthy food.  We have heat when it is cold.  We enjoy a breeze when it is hot.  We have a solid roof when it rains.  We have running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, transportation and even access to the world via the internet.  At night, my children snuggle under warm blankets and we do not fear police or war or  criminals to attack us.  God has provided mightily for us!

I am thankful ~ 

For friends.  How rich life is with friends! A shoulder to cry on, a help in time of need, a source of laughter, fun, wisdom.  Friends make life so full.

I am thankful ~ 

For my family.  Sisters, Mother, Don, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins, Grandma, In-laws, Nieces, Nephews.  I am just one little branch of a very large tree, each of us bearing fruit.  It is my prayer that we would grow fruit that blesses, that feeds, that honors the Lord.

I am thankful ~ 

For blogging.  Without it, I think the last three years of my life would have gone by with no recordings.  I am so glad to go back to earlier posts and laugh or wonder or remember what was going on at The Times.  I am thankful for you and your comments that make it so much more wonderful.

I am thankful ~ 

For so much more...

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