“Give Me This Mountain”

I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me…. Now therefore give me this mountain. Joshua 14:11, 12.
Before the distribution of the land had been entered upon, Caleb, accompanied by the heads of his tribe, came forward with a special claim. Except Joshua, Caleb was now the oldest man in Israel. Caleb and Joshua were the only ones among the spies who had brought a good report of the Land of Promise, encouraging the people to go up and possess it in the name of the Lord. Caleb now reminded Joshua of the promise then made, as the reward of his faithfulness: “The land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s forever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord.” He therefore presented a request that Hebron be given him for a possession…. His claim was immediately granted. To none could the conquest of this giant stronghold be more safely entrusted….
Caleb’s faith now was just what it was when his testimony had contradicted the evil report of the spies. He had believed God’s promise that He would put His people in possession of Canaan, and in this he had followed the Lord fully. He had endured with his people the long wandering in the wilderness, thus sharing the disappointments and burdens of the guilty; yet he made no complaint of this, but exalted the mercy of God that had preserved him in the wilderness when his brethren were cut off…. The brave old warrior was desirous of giving to the people an example that would honor God, and encourage the tribes fully to subdue the land which their fathers had deemed unconquerable. Caleb obtained the inheritance upon which his heart had been set for forty years, and, trusting in God to be with him, he “drove thence the three sons of Anak.” …
The cowards and rebels had perished in the wilderness, but the righteous spies ate of the grapes of Eshcol. To each was given according to his faith. The unbelieving had seen their fears fulfilled. Notwithstanding God’s promise, they had declared that it was impossible to inherit Canaan, and they did not possess it. But those who trusted in God, looking not so much to the difficulties to be encountered as to the strength of their Almighty Helper, entered the goodly land.
Conflict and Courage p. 123
Prayer Requests
—–Things are going from bad to worse. We are thinking of finding a place in the country. Pray we can find something we can afford. L
—–I need wisdom and blessings for something I am about to do. Eileen
Dear Friends,

From the time she was a girl, my grandmother had collected beautiful ornaments to one day decorate her Christmas tree when she would have a home of her own. Throughout her life, she had added to that collection. As her collection grew, her relatives shared some of their decorations until by the time she was married, she had a collection well worth showing.

As a child, I always looked forward to the week before Christmas when my mother, my aunt, and I would walk to town, purchase a tree, and then drag it the mile back home. My mother, being an artist, always picked out the most symmetrical tree that was available. She was the one to decorate it. I followed her up the stairs to the attic and watched as she opened one of the dusty, old trunks that held those precious ornaments. I was never allowed to touch them as they were very delicate, but I could look to my heart’s content.

When the tree was completely decorated, it was truly a work of art. I have never seen any tree since that time that could rival any that my mother decorated. From the week before Christmas until New Years Day, most of my time was spent examining each item on that tree. In my mind’s eye, I can still see them.

We have a treasure available to us that is worth far more valuable than my grandmother’s ornaments. This treasure is worth everything. Our Dear Saviour tells us, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Matt 13:52,44-46

In God’s Holy Word is a storehouse of treasures awaiting our discovery. On its pages are the instructions that we need for every aspect our life. Its words show us the path to Heaven. “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb 4:12

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Ps 119:9-11,1:1-3,19:7-11

Paul tells us that the “holy scriptures, are able to make [us] wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 3:15-17,2:15

May we daily study our Great Creator’s Instruction Manual, meditating upon His precepts so that the evil one cannot get a foothold within our mind. May we value God’s Great Gift by adding to our knowledge each day the treasures He has for us in His Word. May we put away all of the distractions that would keep us from obtaining the Pearl of Great Price is my prayer.

The Price of a Lie

Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:22.
From Shechem the Israelites returned to their encampment at Gilgal. Here they were soon after visited by a strange deputation, who desired to enter into treaty with them. The ambassadors represented that they had come from a distant country, and this seemed to be confirmed by their appearance. Their clothing was old and worn, their sandals were patched, their provisions moldy, and the skins that served them for wine bottles were rent and bound up, as if hastily repaired on the journey….These representations prevailed…. “And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.” Thus the treaty was entered into….
But it would have fared better with the Gibeonites had they dealt honestly with Israel. While their submission to Jehovah secured the preservation of their lives, their deception brought them only disgrace and servitude.
God had made provision that all who would renounce heathenism, and connect themselves with Israel, should share the blessings of the covenant. They were included under the term, “the stranger that sojourneth among you,” and with few exceptions this class were to enjoy equal favors and privileges with Israel. The Lord’s direction was—“If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself” (Leviticus 19:33, 34)….
Such was the footing on which the Gibeonites might have been received, but for the deception to which they had resorted. It was no light humiliation to those citizens of a “royal city,” “all the men whereof were mighty,” to be made hewers of wood and drawers of water throughout their generations. But they had adopted the garb of poverty for the purpose of deception, and it was fastened upon them as a badge of perpetual servitude. Thus through all their generations their servile condition would testify to God’s hatred of falsehood
Conflict and Courage p. 122
Prayer Requests
—–Please pray for our family’s situation. Buck
Dear Friends,
Some years ago, as we were coming home from church on a hot summer day, we saw a lady standing beside her car which was pulled alongside of the highway right by our exit. Seeing children in the car, Ron stopped about half-way down the exit ramp, and he and Eileen walked back up to see if they could help. I drove our car back onto the highway and pulled in behind her. During the time that I was driving the mile to the next exit and doubling back, another man also had stopped. When I saw this man, I immediately wondered if he was stopping to help or if he had other ideas. He looked as if he belonged to a motorcycle gang—bandana tied around his head, tattoos covering his bulging muscles, dirty clothes, very tough looking. A tinge of fear crept, uninvited, up my spine. As I sat there watching them, I was glad that I had a cell phone just in case. Soon, it became apparent that he had only stopped to help, and I relaxed. The contrast between the two “good Samaritans” was rather amusing—Ron in white shirt and tie—the other man in “grubbies.”
Prejudices—so easy to have—so hard to get rid of. So often we categorize someone by the way they are dressed, the color of their skin, their customs, where they live, the roughness of their speech, etc., without getting to know that person’s heart. Praise God! Our Great Redeemer is not prejudiced! He looks at us differently than we look at one another. He takes into account all of the opportunities that we have had or have not had, the trials we have experienced, the environment in which we have been raised, all of the aspects of our life. He tells us, “the LORD seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7
Our Dear Saviour shows His love to all of His creatures. “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt 5:45 It took the disciples a long time to exemplify this same love. They had been raised with many prejudices and wrong ideas. They had been taught from infancy that the Gentiles, the poor, the sick, the injured were under the curse of God. Jesus often went out of His way to correct these views. One time, He took His disciples into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. As the disciples followed Him to this foreign land, they looked upon the inhabitants with disdain. They were about to learn a valuable lesson. “A certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation, and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children\’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children\’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way, the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed. And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.” Mark 7:25-31
The disciples felt repulsed that Jesus was even in a heathen area. Now He was conversing with one of “them” and a woman at that! Yet, they could not help but see her faith and persistence even under the unmerited rebuke by the only One Who could help her. After the lesson was learned, our Loving Saviour granted this Syrophenician lady her request. I am sure every time she looked at her daughter, she was forever grateful to Jesus for His great love and healing power. I am sure that she did not keep this blessing to herself but told those around her. This was one step among many that Jesus used to break down the preconceived ideas of His followers.
Think of it! Our Dear Saviour knew this lady so well, that He was sure that her faith in Him would be strong even though He treated her so coolly. He knew that He would be able to use her as His lesson-book, teaching His followers a lesson while developing her faith at the same time. He could say to her, as he said to the Centurion, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matt 8:10 How careful we must be in our dealings with others. How careful we should be not to judge them by the way that they look or act or talk. How kind and tenderhearted we should be to all we meet. How our Loving Redeemer yearns for us to be a channel through which His love can flow, but how often we wrap our “righteous robes” about us as did the disciples and look upon them with the same disdain that they showed.
Let us lay all of our preconceived ideas and prejudices at the foot of the cross. Let us be diligent to point those about us to their Only Helper. “Let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.”


Too Late!

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13.
Achan acknowledged his guilt, but when it was too late for the confession to benefit himself. He had seen the armies of Israel return from Ai defeated and disheartened; yet he did not come forward and confess his sin. He had seen Joshua and the elders of Israel bowed to the earth in grief too great for words. Had he then made confession, he would have given some proof of true penitence; but he still kept silence. He had listened to the proclamation that a great crime had been committed, and had even heard its character definitely stated. But his lips were sealed. Then came the solemn investigation. How his soul thrilled with terror as he saw his tribe pointed out, then his family and his household! But still he uttered no confession, until the finger of God was placed upon him. Then, when his sin could no longer be concealed, he admitted the truth. How often are similar confessions made. There is a vast difference between admitting facts after they have been proved and confessing sins known only to ourselves and to God. Achan would not have confessed had he not hoped by so doing to avert the consequences of his crime. But his confession only served to show that his punishment was just. There was no genuine repentance for sin, no contrition, no change of purpose, no abhorrence of evil.
So confessions will be made by the guilty when they stand before the bar of God, after every case has been decided for life or death…. When the records of heaven shall be opened, the Judge will not in words declare to man his guilt, but will cast one penetrating, convicting glance, and every deed, every transaction of life, will be vividly impressed upon the memory of the wrongdoer. The person will not … need to be hunted out … but his own lips will confess his shame. The sins hidden from the knowledge of men will then be proclaimed to the whole world.
If you have sins to confess, lose no time. These moments are golden. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
Conflict and Courage p. 121
Prayer Requests
—– Buddy had his lower GI studies and once again they did not find any causative factor. This does not cover the small bowel which is still suspect. They released him to home yesterday immediately after the recovery period from the test and directly from SICU which is unusual. The cause of the loss of blood is still not known and may possibly recur. He is awaiting insurance approval for further testing. He is not out of the woods yet so please continue to remember him in your prayers. Donna
—–Please continue to pray for our family. L
Dear Friends,

Some years ago, a friend was telling me how she was being criticized for how she was handling a certain situation. She made the comment that this person just didn’t understand because she had not “walked in her shoes.” This made me think of the many times I and my family members had been misunderstood and criticized and the affect that had had upon us. It made me wonder what would have happened if there instead of criticism there had been understanding. Then I began to realize how many times I have done the same.

How often we lack understanding in our dealing with others. How many times we think that someone should be acting a certain way or doing certain things, but we don’t really realize what they are going through. If we were to live in the same circumstances, we might discover that we are doing as they do, or we might become overwhelmed and unable to bear their burdens.

Praise God! Our Loving Creator never misjudges us! How kind and tender He is toward us! He understands what we are going through, for He left all of the glories of Heaven to dwell with us, to live as we live, to walk as we walk. Isaiah says of Him, “He [was] despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa 53:3-5

David assures us “The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.” Ps 87:6 When He looks at our life, He takes into consideration our background, all that we have gone through in the past, what we are going through in the present, the opportunities that we have had, the sorrows, the cares, the burdens we bare, and judges us accordingly. Wonderful Saviour!

He, Who sacrificed all for us, warns us, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. . . . And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” Luke 6:37-42,11:46

James tells us, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. . . . who art thou that judgest another?” James 4:11, 12 Paul adds, “thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself, for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” Rom 2:1-3

May we “put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful.” Col 3:12-15


No Hiding from God

Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Joshua 7:12.
The sin of one man caused Israel to be beaten before the enemy. Something more than prayer was required. They were to get up and cleanse the camp of Israel.
Have you considered why it was that all who were connected with Achan were also subjects of the punishment of God? It was because they had not been trained and educated according to the directions given them in the great standard of the law of God. Achan’s parents had educated their son in such a way that he felt free to disobey the Word of the Lord; the principles inculcated in his life led him to deal with his children in such a way that they also were corrupted…. The punishment … reveals the fact that all were involved in the transgression.3
The history of Achan teaches the solemn lesson that for one man’s sin the displeasure of God will rest upon a people or a nation till the transgression is searched out and punished. Sin is corrupting in its nature. One man infected with its deadly leprosy may communicate the taint to thousands. Those who occupy responsible positions as guardians of the people are false to their trust if they do not faithfully search out and reprove sin….The love of God will never lead to the belittling of sin; it will never cover or excuse an unconfessed wrong….
It has to do with all our acts and thoughts and feelings. It follows us, and reaches every secret spring of action. By indulgence in sin, men are led to lightly regard the law of God. Many conceal their transgressions from their fellow men, and flatter themselves that God will not be strict to mark iniquity. But His law is the great standard of right, and with it every act of life must be compared in that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Purity of heart will lead to purity of life. All excuses for sin are vain. Who can plead for the sinner when God testifies against him?
Conflict and Courage p. 120
Prayer Requests
—–We are in need of better housing. Please pray that God will lead us in what we should do and where we should go. Only He knows the future. L
—–Please pray for my brother-in-law Will who will be having surgery tomorrow to remove an old Shunt that has been causing a lot of grief. And for my sister Becky and their kids. Karen
Dear Friends,
Some years ago, I attended some meetings that were very spiritual and uplifted Jesus and His great forgiveness. The speaker spoke of how at the last supper when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He washed Judas’ feet as well.
Then he brought out a point that we had never thought of. He reminded us that there were no chapters and verses in the original. Therefore John 14:1 is a continuation of the thought in the last verse of chapter 13. “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father?s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 13:33-14:6 In those famous verses of 14:1-3, Jesus was saying to Peter and the rest of the disciples, ?You will deny me this very night, but let not your heart be troubled. You will repent and I will forgive you and someday you will be with me in my Father’s house.? Precious thought!
The forgiveness that Jesus gives to us, we must give to others. In fact, the only part of the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus commented upon was this very point. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matt 6:9:-15
Although the speaker did not use this parable, it illustrates the Great King of the Universe’s desire that we forgive others. “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” Matt 18:23-35
May we, from our heart, forgive others that we may be forgiven. May we heed the words of Peter when we or someone we love is wronged, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” 1 Peter 2:19-23 May we live out the words of Paul, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom 12:19-21

One Man’s Sin

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have. Hebrews 13:5, R.S.V.
Achan had fostered covetousness and deception in his heart, until his perceptions of sin had become blunted, and he fell an easy prey to temptation. Those who venture to indulge in a known sin will be more readily overcome the second time. The first transgression opens the door to the tempter, and he gradually breaks down all resistance and takes full possession of the citadel of the soul. Achan had listened to oft-repeated warnings against the sin of covetousness. The law of God, pointed and positive, had forbidden stealing and all deception, but he continued to cherish sin. As he was not detected and openly rebuked, he grew bolder; warnings had less and less effect upon him, until his soul was bound in chains of darkness.
Shame, defeat, and death were brought upon Israel by one man’s sin. That protection which had covered their heads in the time of battle was withdrawn. Various sins that are cherished and practiced by professed Christians bring the frown of God upon the church….
The influence most to be feared by the church is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones who keep back the blessing of the God of Israel and bring weakness upon the church, a reproach that is not easily wiped away….
Christianity is not to be merely paraded on the Sabbath and displayed in the sanctuary; it is for every day in the week and for every place. Its claims must be recognized and obeyed in the workshop, at home, and in business transactions with brethren and with the world….
It is better to die than to sin; better to want than to defraud; better to hunger than to lie. Let all who are tempted meet Satan with the words: “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee”
Conflict and Courage p.119
Prayer Requests
—–Please pray for Eric and all of the other policemen in this time of unrest and violence. Ron
—–Please pray for B who has a job possibility that if it is the Lord’s will, he will get it. L

Dear Friends,
In the 1980’s, my mother’s friends, Mary Esther and Ray, were going to drive from Florida to Michigan to visit their relatives and asked my mother if she’d like to ride alone. My mother was happy for the chance to see her sister. Auntie Joyce was also happy that my mother was coming to stay for a week or two. The two women had a wonderful visit together. They fed the ducks in a nearby pond, went to the park, talked over “old times,” and just enjoyed being together. While Joyce was showing her flower garden to my mother, she noticed a pansy growing through a crack in the sidewalk. Instead of taking a picture of the pansies in the garden, my mother took a picture of this little pansy who brought beauty in spite of its hard surroundings.

The harsh environment where that little, yellow pansy grew, caused it to stand out, to be recognized as something special. Just as that pansy grew beautiful amidst difficult circumstances, so our Great Creator bids us to “be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, [ shining] as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life” for all around to see. Phil 2:15,16 We must, before this harsh and evil world, develop a character like that of our Saviour, Who tells us, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:14-16

In order to shine brightly, our Great Redeemer allows unpleasant circumstances to “polish” us. If we will cooperate with His polishing process, we will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of [our] Father.” Matt 13:43 Polishing is not always pleasant and it takes a struggle to yield to the Master’s Hand, yet it is necessary. Paul speaks of this process,” My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. 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.” Heb 12:5-15

May we allow Jesus to “will and to do of His good pleasure” that we may reflect His image is my prayer. Phil 2:13


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