Being – Doing, J. R. Miller

There is a silent personal influence, like a shadow, that goes out from everyone, and this influence is always leaving results and impressions wherever it touches. You cannot live a day and not touch some other life. Wherever you go your shadow falls on others, and they are either better or worse for your presence. Our influence depends upon what we are more than upon what we do. It is by living a beautiful life that we bless the world. I do not under-estimate holy activities. Good deeds must characterize every true life. Our hands must do mighty works. But if the life itself is noble, beautiful, holy, Christ-like, one that is itself a benediction, an inspiration, the worth of the influence is many times multiplied.

In Green Pastures

My prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, Please let the shadow that I cast upon my husband and children be one of thankfulness, joy, contentment —  and a reflection of You.  Amen.

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view-from-jerusalem-2I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;

He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
 

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night;
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
Psalm 121

lock-and-key1

(William Secker, “The Consistent Christian” 1660)

He who is Omniscient–to know your needs,
is also Omnipotent–to grant your requests.

“Ask, and receive–that your joy may be full.”

Spiritual supplication is the channel to consolation.

Now none are more fruitful in divine labor–than
those who are most joyful under a sense of the
divine favor.

Death shortens our way to heaven–but
prayer sweetens our way to heaven.

There never was one new-born soul–who was still-born.

The prayerless soul–is a fruitless soul. The waters of life
are sweet–and it is blessed to bring the vessels of prayer
to these wells. It matters not, how often you carry your
empty pitcher–to so full a river!

Christians will never lack a praying time–if they possess
a praying frame. In the morning, prayer is a golden key
–to open the heart for God’s service; and in the evening,
prayer is an iron lock–to guard the heart against sin.

Grace Gems

victorian-quiltPrior to Thanksgiving, I was prepared to quote the Scripture below on Thanksgiving Day. Funny, that I thought there would be time to post! However; this is Sunday, the other end of the holiday, and after absorbing the Scripture; I confess that I don’t pray for my family with the same passion that overflowed from Paul’s heart.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:3-6

I could list a multitude of “things” for which I am thankful — yet; today, in the reflective peace and quiet I find that I am most thankful for the God of the Universe . . .

who has given me a faith big enough to love each member of my family,

who gently nudges me to pray for my family, and

who assures me that He controls their journey and their destiny.

His Thanksgiving gift to me is a renewed spirit to pray for my family {in specific ways} as it grows and expands to include sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews, brother-in-laws, and a son-in-law.

with a very thankful heart, 

 . . . continued from Part One and  Part Two

In an effort to drive Habakkuk’s truth into our hearts . . .

Did the prophet still experience anxiety and fear of the imminent invasion of the Chaldeans?

Was everything in Habakkuk’s world turned upside down?

Scripture says, absolutely YES to both questions! BUT . . .

God’s response to Habakkuk’s perplexities not only promised divine wrath but also provided assurance of divine favor and hope.

1.  Security and hope are not based on temporal blessings — prosperity of our retirement funds, reasonably priced fuel for our cars and to heat our homes, peace among the nations, or surviving an economic recession.

Security and Hope are based on the Lord Himself. This is the essence of “the righteous will live by his faith.”

2. Just as the sure-footed hind (deer) scales narrow and dangerous mountain heights without slipping, so Habakkuk’s faith in the Lord enabled him to endure the hardship and very real danger of the imminent invasion, and all of his confusing questions.

Our continuing, daily faith does not eliminate hardship, a terrorist attack, economic collapse, or even persecution. What it does do, is provide endurance, perseverence, and divine hope and assurance —

By faith, we will endure the storm.
By faith, we will persevere during the turbulent times in which we live.

Fill your mind with Habakkuk’s words and rest in the assurance of divine favor & safety. Anything else is simply destructive unbelief.

Yet I will exult in the Lord
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

 

 

Inspired by Generation Cedar as she looks to Nehemiah; Habakkuk came to my mind. Reading the Old Testament prophets who were so burdened by the sin in their nations provides a deeply satisfying context for our own anxiety, righteous anger, and confusion that many of us are feeling today.

The elections in the United States adds additional chaos to the unstable economy, the delicate balance of nations, the wars, the nuclear threats, and heaven-only-knows the other threats to security and safety of which we do not have high enough clearance to be told.

Are you asking, “Has the world gone crazy?”

Habakkuk was searching for answers as well. It was the late 600’s B.C. and he could not imagine that God seemed to be ignoring the injustices, violence and pervasive wickedness.

The prophet cried out to God,

Why are you ignoring the righteous?

Why are you letting this happen?

Why don’t you DO something?

Sound familiar? Are these your thoughts? Have you asked these questions? God seems to respond in silence as uncertainty and anxiety escalates, doesn’t He?  Habakkuk thought so too.

However, in verse 5 & 6, God does answer but not with the answer Habakkuk desired.

Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days– You would not believe if you were told.

For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans . . .

To an astonished, faithful prophet; God answered Habakkuk’s fervent appeal  — not promising a revival in the land but wrathful judgement by the hands of “fierce and impetuous people . . . who are dreaded and feared . . .”

Please know, I don’t pretend to have some inside track to what God is going to do in our Land & in our day. I am not suggesting that God is going to send His wrath instead of a sweeping revival.  What comforts me is {God’s reminder and promise of divine favor to His People.}

God does not forget them, He does not want to harm them; in fact, the Chaldeans, God’s instrument of judgement, will also be destroyed becausee they are an evil people who God also judged to be guilty.

God tells Habakkuk to record this vision:

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. (verse 2:3)

My study notes indicate that the prophecy had lasting relevance and thus had to be preserved. Although a period of time would occur before its fulfillment, all were to know that it would occur at God’s appointed time. The Chaldeans (Babylon) fell to the Medo-Persian kingdom of Cyrus in 539 B.C.

I cannot imagine a conversation with God, promising an imminent, harsh judgement in the form of an invasion of wicked people. God continues:

Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Here is the beautiful balance provided by a loving God: a glimmer of HOPE and its requirements:

“the righteous will live by his faith”

 

These 7 words are the precious jewels to be mined and claimed from Habakkuk. The righteous “will live”. How? by the continuity of faith. Not the one time act of faith but a way of life, faith. The true believer, declared righteous by God, will persevere in faith as the pattern of his life. (MacArthur, study notes)

To be continued . . .

There are many examples in Scripture of the Lord’s people praying and fasting in distressing times,

 while searching for direction,

 and when convicted of sin.

The United States is experiencing distressful times, searching for direction, and many are feeling the conviction of sin. Sin of greed, lust, selfishness, arrogance, and unbelief (to list just a few). While I don’t believe the United States is a Christian nation, it is the home of thousands of Christian men, women, and children. 

We love our God and we love our Country.

 

The best action in the next 15 days is to be on our knees in fervent prayer.

Nehemiah 1:3-6

They said to me “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.”

“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven, I said, “I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.”

Kelly’s church at Generation Cedar suggested Wednesdays as a day of voluntary prayer and fasting. That gives us 2 Wednesdays before the election. I am suggesting that we extend the prayer and fasting days to include Monday and Election Day (November 3 & 4). 

Please join us and invite others. Leave a comment of encouragement. It will be awesome to know that you are joining us!