The churches are not candles: Christ only is our light, and his gospel our lamp; but they receive their light from Christ and the gospel; and hold it forth to others. They are golden candlesticks, for they should be precious and pure, comparable to fine gold; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches ought to be such; their light should so shine before men as to engage others to give glory to God…he has promised to be with his churches always to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love, for he is the very animating informing soul of the church.
Matthew Henry on the Relationship Between Christ and His Church
Parents, teach your children that the behavior and attitudes you expect from them are built on something! Don’t say, “Just do it.” As they get older help them see that the standards of thought and attitude and action and entertainment and ministry and mercy are all built on the mercy of God in Christ. Help them see that Christian living is not a list of do’s and don’ts, it is a way of showing the glory of God and Christ. Help them see that Christian living—for children and teenagers and adults—is built on the gospel—on the beauty of Christ crucified and risen and reigning. The question is not mainly, “What’s wrong with this music or this movie or this party or this dress or these drugs or these friends?” The question is, How can I act and speak and feel so that I help my friends see the worth of Jesus above all music and movies and parties and friends? How can I live to show that Jesus didn’t come into the world to help me party better but to help me love better and die better?
Cultivate in your home the understanding of the word “therefore” in Romans 12:1. Help the children absorb this worldview. The Christian life has roots. It has foundation. It is built on something. -John Piper
Taken from Build Your Life on the Mercies of God
You don’t have to be ashamed of the gospel because it doesn’t just make converts; it saves those converts utterly. It brings them to final safety and ever-increasing joy in the presence of a glorious and holy God forever and ever. This is what makes us bold with the gospel – not that it can make converts; any religion can do that – but that it is the only truth in the world that can really save people forever and bring them to everlasting joy with God. – John Piper
Right now I have a head cold which includes a nasty couch that has interested my sleep the past two nights.
This is a convicting time for me because I can either lie in bed and think woe is me or I can meditate on God’s unchanging character and pray for others.
Despite not sleeping well on Monday, by the grace of God I still had energy and felt good on Tuesday. Today is a different story, but my God is still faithful and He makes me strong in my weakness.
From my sinful thoughts, my vain thoughts, my sorrowful thoughts, my griefs, my cares, my comforts, I will hasten to the Lord; He has divine comforts, and these will not only console but actually delight me. How sweet are the comforts of the Holy Spirit! Who can muse upon eternal love, immutable purposes, covenant promises, finished redemption, the risen Saviour, his union with his people, the coming glory, and such like themes, without feeling his heart leaping with joy?
-Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 94:19
The blessed Jesus, from his free grace, unsought and unasked (John19:15, 17-18, Philippians 2:6-8) became surety, not for a friend, but for a strange. Be became one with us in nature, that he might become one with us in law. He took our place under the curse of the broken law (Galatians 3:13). He put his soul in our soul’s place to the fullest extent and then in our nature paid the debt, which all the angels of heaven could never have discharged. Oh, this was suffering indeed! Sin was as thoroughly punished as it was thoroughly pardoned. So all that is left for us to do is to fall down before this grace and to spend our days, as we will spend eternity, adoring this wonderful manifestation of divine glory (Revelation 1:5-6; 5:12).
-Charles Bridges on Proverbs 11:15
The following is a prayer from Valley of Vision. Typically I may post excerpts from Valley of Vision on Facebook or Twitter, but the following is too good not to post the whole thing.
Creator and Redeemer God,
Author of all existence, source of all blessedness,
I adore thee for making me capable of knowing thee,
for giving me reason and conscience
for leading me to desire thee;
I praise thee for the revelation of thyself in the gospel
for thy heart as a dwelling place of pity,
for thy thoughts of peace towards me,
for thy patience and thy graciousness,
for thy vastness of mercy.
Thou hast moved my conscience to know how
the guilty can be pardoned,
the unholy sanctified,
the poor enriched.
May I be always amongst those who not only hear but know thee,
Who walk with and rejoice in thee,
Who take thee at thy word and find life there.
Keep me always longing for a present salvation in Holy Spirit comforts and rejoicings,
For spiritual graces and blessings,
For help to value my duties as well as my privileges.
May I cherish simplicity and godly sincerity of character.
Help me to be in reality before thee as in appearance I am before men,
To be religious before I profess religion,
To leave the world before I enter the church,
To set my affections on things above,
To shun forbidden follies and vanities,
To be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,
To be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.
O God, make me worthy of this calling,
That the name of Jesus may be glorified in me
and I in Him.
Something important we learned this year is that to film a Mother’s Day video with Miya it is essential to bribe her with a cookie. This is the end result of the video when a cookie is the incentive.
Here are the outtakes with videos that landed on the cutting room floor because Miya did not have the right incentive
Mommy the Ballerina
Once her big brother can talk scenes like this will get her out of the starring role
Put some sunglasses on her and the head shake at the beginning could make her a little Stevie Wonder
Note to self, don’t film videos like this so close to bed time. At least she starts to get it right at the 58 second mark of the video.
Currently I am studying 1 Samuel and the commentary that I am reading had this interesting tidbit about when Hannah probably weaned Samuel
Weaning in ancient Near Eastern societies took place at a much later date than it does in today’s world, particularly in the west. It would have been rare for a child to be weaned before the age of three, and a child could be five or even older before being fully weaned. Samuel was very young but had probably grown beyond the stage of being a toddler.