Monday, June 27, 2016

Will his love change me?



Today I have monthly maintenance - hair maintenance that is.  ;-)

It's a day I look forward to each month!  Not just to be pampered, but because my hairdresser has become a dear friend over the years.

Tracey and I have been together through heartaches and joys.

Our favorite thing to do together is LAUGH!  Inevitably, every visit, we both end up laughing so hard our stomach's hurt.

We are similar in a lot of ways too.  One such way is our overwhelming need to eat when we are hungry.  I understand this about her and she understands this about me.  lol.

We share with each other stories of our Faith, encouraging one another.

I also always get excited about having a fresh cut and color.  I like to change things up often, so I am always pouring over Pinterest to get ideas, and inevitably, I explain, as feebly as I can, the desired look I am going for, and Tracey listens attentively and always produces exactly what I tried to convey.

I think you would all agree that when you go to the hairdresser, you have a desire, expectation and even excitement about your fresh cut and/or color, knowing that you will leave the hairdresser changed, and feeling good about your new cut and/or color.

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How often do we come into God's presence with a desire and expectation to be changed as a result?

I confess that I don't...

I am a checklist kind of person.  Whether it be for a vacation packing list or mentally ticking off things I've already accomplished in a day.  This seems to carry over into my Bible reading...

Currently, I am using my time in the Word to ask the Holy Spirit to lead me in prayer while I read the Scriptures.  I then record those prayers in a notebook.  It has been fascinating to see how much He is showing me the areas I need to work on spiritually.

You might say, well that sounds like you are coming to the Word expecting to be changed.  But sadly, I am not, as those thoughts aren't even occurring to me.   Because I am writing out my prayer, I am focusing on writing instead of spending time in deep groaning prayer, beseeching the Lord to change me.  A beseeching that would show evidence of a desire and expectation.

The Christian life truly is a learning process.  What works for others may not work for you OR may be a spiritual discipline to be developed.

It's almost as if we need to have an understanding of our learning style and how God has mentally wired us.

And Who knows best what our learning style is and how we are mentally wired?  Our Great God and Maker.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

We go to the hairdresser with a desire for a change and expect that we will leave with a whole new look.

How much more should we come to our Heavenly Father with a desire to be changed into the likeness of Christ and the expectation that He will!

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled
 to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19

His Love can fill us to overflowing with the fullness of God, changing our behaviors and attitudes to be like Him.

He is our Friend...

We can look forward to our time with Him with the clear expectation that He sympathizes with our weaknesses and rejoices over us in full Joy; weeping with us and laughing with us...

He listens to us attentively and understands our thoughts before we think them and knows our words before we speak them.  When we share our desire with Him to be transformed through the renewing of our minds and expect that He will transform us, He most assuredly will...

Jesus is our Great Encourager.   Come into His presence expecting to be filled up with Loving encouragement...

Our Heavenly Father understands our true hunger and need for His Word, manna from Heaven.  He is always ready to fill us with the fullness of God through His Wonderful Words of Life; Words that reiterate over and over His great Love for us...  We need only come to the supper table with desire and expectation... Desire and expectation born out of the knowledge that we are loved and that His Love will change us...

How many of us  truly  comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of His Love.

I believe that obedience is spurred on by love.  You see it between husbands and wives, and between children and parents.  When we are encouraged in loving ways and feel that unconditional love, we naturally choose to obey.

But too often, I don't think that we, as believers, always truly comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the Father's Love, and as a result, hinders Christ-like change in us.

To truly know someone and to understand and feel their love, you would have spent lots of time with them.

Could it be that because we don't spend a lot of time with our Heavenly Father that is what prevents us from feeling and understanding His great love for us, and for allowing that great Love to change us?


Let us seek our Heavenly Father throughout the day with our whole heart, soul and minds, in prayer, the Word, memorization of Scripture, and putting feet to our Faith.

Let us allow ourselves to be Loved by Him.

Let us come to Him with the desire to be changed and the expectation that He will.

Let us walk out from His presence, with a fresh, changed look, so that all will know that we have been with Him, and are eternally Loved by Him.


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bridezilla of Christ or the Bride of Christ




We've all heard stories and maybe even experienced someone who took on the demeanor of a Bridezilla.

One Urban Dictionary entry describes Bridezilla as "a woman who thinks that all things related to her wedding MUST be controlled by her because she is under the premise that the wedding is "her" day. In planning weddings, her attitude ranges from very difficult to impossible. Can be nasty, snippy, rude, belligerent, caustic, aggressive and demeaning when others get involved in planning "her" day.

In looking back at my own wedding, I didn't fall into the category of Bridezilla, thankfully. However, I was a Bride who was consumed by the "worries of this world".  Many major life changes,  including a new marriage, were going to commence right after the honeymoon - moving to a new state four hours away from family, and starting a new job. As a result, I didn't focus much on myself.

You might say, "well, what is wrong with that??"

Most brides go through extra effort for their soon to be husbands to look extra special on their extra special day.   Brides will have their hair professionally done.  They have manicures, pedicures, and pay extra attention to having their make-up just so, maybe even by a professional.

I didn't do any of those things.  I didn't prepare myself in a special way for my soon to be husband, but basically just donned a wedding gown.

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We as Believers are the Bride of Christ, but how often do we act like the Bridezilla of Christ...

We want to control and be in control of everything that happens in our lives.  Living for self and not allowing Jesus to be the true Lord of our lives.

Too often, I am only living for Karen.  

I was faced with this ugly truth recently while listening to a sermon by my Pastor on the following verse:

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things, 
know that it is near—at the doors!  Assuredly, I say to you, this generation 
will by no means pass away till all these things take place.  Heaven and 
earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Matthew 24:32-35

The Pastor asked, "Are you prepared in heart, soul and mind for Jesus' return?"  

He went on to say that a Bride, on her wedding day, prepares herself in special ways for her Groom. She doesn't put on old clothes, but her best.

As I reflected on the Pastor's words, I realized that I keep putting the "old man" back on. I am not walking in the "new man".

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, 
which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God 
has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Ephesians 4:22-24


 How am I putting on the old man, by not walking in the works the Lord had planned for me before the worlds began.

Just last night I was murmuring to myself "How am I going to fit in church ministry work when I am so busy?" 

To be totally transparent, lately I am putting off Bible reading and prayer time for sleep.  And, of course, we know how that goes...  Busyness takes over and at the end of the day, we have forsaken spending time with the Lord.   I am also finding myself resentful when participating in blog link-ups trying to be the old me "Miss Goody Two-Shoes" and dutifully reading the required blog posts for the link-up.  First of all, I should be happy to participate and follow the rules of the blog hop. And secondly, if blog hops are too much on a given busy day, then I just shouldn't participate in the link-up.  And finally, as if this all wasn't enough, it has been years since we have attended a church that faithfully had Sunday School and evening Bible study and prayer time, which is what I found so refreshing about our new church.  Yet, now that I am working and wear many other hats, I am finding myself complaining about being too spent and murmuring about going to evening Bible study, and complaining about how will I find time to serve in the church.

Me, me, me, me, me.  

Hello, my name is Karen, and sadly, I am a Bridezilla of Christ.



Some of us may fall into the category of the type of young bride I was concerning the Christian life, one who does not go out of her way to prepare herself, but has allowed the worries of this world to consume her and to snatch away the joy of what it means to be the Bride of Christ, and all the blessings that come from walking in obedience under the Lordship of the King of Kings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
 and his Bride has made herself ready;
 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—
 for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints
And the angel said to me, 
“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” 
And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.
Revelation 19:7-9

Let me preface this by saying that I understand that there is nothing that I can do to earn my way into Heaven.  Jesus' death on the cross paid for my sins past, present and future, when I repented and trusted in Him as my Lord and Savior.

Yet are we forgetting that He is our Lord, the Lord of our lives?  

Are we so consumed with our daily lives, that we have put our Lord at the bottom of our priority list?

Our sole purpose on this earth is to Glorify God. 

Are we bringing Glory to God by being a Bridezilla of Christ, one who wants the world to revolve around her?

Are we bringing Glory to God not living in the full joy of a Bride on her wedding day by allowing the worries and cares of this world to render us paralyzed to prepare for the Lord's marriage supper?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Preparation for the Lord's return looks different for everyone.  

Those with young children and families, this is your main ministry.  Prepare yourself for the Lord's return by raising your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall 
teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts 
of your house and on your gates,…
Deuteronomy 11:19

Those who are caring for the sick or aged, this is your main ministry.  Prepare yourself for the Lord's return by being the hands and feet of Christ bringing comfort to those in your care.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35

The above ministries may make it difficult to serve outside of the home, but there is a way to serve outside of the home inside your home, through intercessory prayer.  Seek out your church's prayer chain.  

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:16


Those who work outside of the home, prepare yourself for the Lord's return by bringing God Glory through your testimony with co-workers. Let your behavior indicate that you are the Bride of Christ. That without question, your co-workers would know you are different by your love and good deeds.

The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
1 John 2:10

Those of you who fall into my category of working, babysitting grandchildren, and blogging, we prepare ourselves for the Lord's return by diligently seeking His wisdom every morning for the day ahead allowing Him to order our steps in all of our ministries, through our testimony, our legacy and our sharing Christ with others.

Speaking specifically to blogger preparation for the Lord's return, we can fall into the category of the Pastor who is so busy preparing sermons, but doesn't make time for personal Bible study.

It is so very important to spend time in the Word and in prayer before striking a key for a blog post or linking up to a blog hop.  {Preaching to myself here...}

And finally and most importantly, prepare yourself for the Lord's return by being a vital member of your church body.  Seek the Lord for where He would have you serve.  He knows your circumstances and your schedules.  He will lead you in the best way that you can serve in your local church. 

There are so many opportunities individually and through the local church body to be the Bride of Christ to a dying world around us.

Are you ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb?


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Sabbath - Strength for the Week

My husband and I recently returned from a vacation to the Berkshires - our new favorite place!

I tend to be a nostalgic sort and there are so many memories of vacations when my children were young to our old favorite places like Vermont and New Hampshire that well, can make me sad - sad because I miss those times and inevitably miss my children.

So it was nice to go to a place we had not visited with the children before and to create new memories as almost empty nesters.

My husband received a great deal through Travel Zoo where we got a nice low nightly rate for a deluxe room with a balcony that overlooked a lake.

This was our view...


I loved sitting outside in the mornings looking out at the crystal clear lake.  To me, being on a lake is sooo relaxing.  I love the sound of the lapping water, the birds singing in the trees and the lake breeze carrying all those sounds to ears that savor every bit of it.

The day we arrived in the Berkshires, we went on a little hike near the Church on the Hill, a beautiful old church with a peaceful graveyard where gravestones dotted the hill.

The hike took us through the woods on a steady incline that yielded a wonderful reward!  This beautiful vista complete with majestic stormy clouds and thunder in the distance...



We hurried back down the hill as the thunder claps were getting louder and louder.  We met a couple just ascending the mountain.  We lightheartedly greeted them with "a storm's coming", to which they replied, "We know.", and went on their way.

Back at the hotel, my husband and I sat on our balcony watching the severe thunderstorm roll in...


We were concerned about the couple that we met who were heading up the mountain and whether they were able to seek shelter in time before the dangerous storm blew through.

Soon big, cold raindrops ushered us back into the safety of our room.  My husband stood by the slider window and I sat in a chair nearby to watch the storm.  The rain was coming down horizontally, pushing waves along the lake.  Suddenly, a thunderbolt crashed right across the lake from us, mere feet away!

Needless to say, that made for some excitement on our first day of vacation.

As storms always do, the following morning yielded bright, clear sunny skies and a freshness in the air.  My husband and I were heading to Botanical Gardens in the Town of  Stockbridge which had been hit pretty hard by the storm.  There were big, old beautiful trees toppled over in several areas.  Maybe a microburst had gone through.  Even the Botanical Gardens were not unscathed by the previous night's storm as some of the paths were washed out.

We were still able to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the gardens...


I think the tree of the Berkshires must be the Crimson King because there were so many of these beauties all around the area.

In an effort to save money, my husband and I grilled two of the nights.  On one particular night, we found a gazebo with a picnic table in the middle of town and made some kielbasa.  Afterwards, my husband noticed there was a river right behind the gazebo which was shielded by the trees - the Housatonic River to be exact. Being the fisherman that my husband is, of course, he had his fishing pole in the car and proceeded on down the embankment to throw a few casts.  Well that's all it took as he managed to catch a small mouth.  He was quite pleased!

At this stage of our lives, my husband and I have learned not to have a rigid vacation schedule, but to go with the flow, doing whatever moves us on a given day.  This approach has served us well, yielding more blessings, and making for a more relaxed vacation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people,
 and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 
Mark 2:27 

During our Sunday service introduction, the Pastor made the simplest statement that caused me to reflect...

"God set aside the first day of the week for the Sabbath, to spend time at the feet of Jesus, so that we will be carried through the rest of the week..."

As I thought about this, I realized the profoundness of  his words.  Yes, we are called to spend time at the feet of Jesus every day, but the Sabbath is a special day that God created for us to rest from our labors and solely dedicate to renewing our bodies and minds in Christ Jesus.

 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 
 Leviticus 23:3

...It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 

I felt like I read those words for the first time with new insight...  

We are to honor the Sabbath during our Worship services, but most especially in our dwelling places so that we will be "carried through the rest of the week"...  

The Sabbath was made for man...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When my husband and I arrived in the Berkshires that very first day, our surroundings made for immediate decompression and relaxation.  

We all seem to do that, don't we?  Immediately wanting to turn vacation mode on, leaving all the stress behind, clearing our minds to enjoy our vacation to the fullest.

Jesus can provide that vacation mode for us on the Sabbath - we simply need to come to Him to find our true rest...

We don't know what our upcoming week might bring.   

We could experience an ascent to a mountaintop with vistas looking out to an approaching storm...

We could have opportunity to warn someone who is heading toward the eternal storm to seek shelter in the loving arms of Jesus...

We could enjoy beautiful days, after the storm, in the courts of the Lord - God's beautiful creation - praising and thanking Him...

We could be fishers of men, for God's Kingdom, catching someone at a God-ordained random time, in a God-ordained random place...

Enjoying the leading of the Holy Spirit, to go with the flow, in obedience to God's Kingdom work and His working in us, as He carries us through our week.

As our minds and hearts are focused on the Lord of the Sabbath on the Sabbath, we allow God to work in us, to prepare us for all that He has planned that we might accomplish in His name during the upcoming week by a refilling of Peace through rest as we set out in His strength, His Wisdom, and His Love.


Father, Thank you for creating the Sabbath for me!  That you would set aside a day to find my rest in You speaks of Your great care and love for me.  

Oh what rest we find in you!

Please help me to enjoy the Sabbath as You intended, with a Sabbath keeping heart motivated to be Your Kingdom servant throughout the week with the knowledge that I am Your dearly loved child who is kept in Your constant care.

In Jesus Precious Name, Amen



You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday

Monday, June 6, 2016

Grace Beneath the Ice



My husband has caught the fishing bug - from my son-in-law.  lol.

Years ago, my husband used to go fishing every once in a while and that would be enough, but now he is ALL ABOUT fishing - even ice fishing!  Something I never thought he would have been interested in, and I'm not sure he thought he would be either.  lol

But it turns out, my husband catches more fish through the ice than on any perfect summer fishing day.

It doesn't make sense really.  In the summer you have access to all areas of a pond or lake - the shores, the inlets, or out in the middle.  You can cast virtually anywhere on the waters with the hope that your hook will find a fish.

But then again it is that hope that keeps one fishing.  lol.

Many a time my husband or son-in-law have come back from a summer fishing trip and said they got skunked.  {Translation - no fish were caught.}

I remember one time fishing with my son-in-law who happened to be catching fish left and right.  We could literally see the fish swimming all around the canoe, yet I could not catch one single fish!

And then there is the phenomenon of ice fishing.  Several holes dug through at least six inches of ice; sitting in the freezing cold with a little pole, bobbing in one small area, and many fish are caught - as was the case for my husband the past two winters.

It's really quite amazing when you look below the surface of ice whether on a pond or especially a river.  You can still see all the life teaming and active below.

Yet these fish, seek out the few random ice fishing holes to snatch up the morsel that is dangling through...

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And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:16

There are times in our spiritual journey when we feel like a river covered in a thick blanket of ice, spiritually hardened...

But the current of God's grace is still moving below, it's just hidden by the icyness of our hearts...

What causes our hearts to ice over...

Disobedience and sin...

Guilt, feeling unworthy of God's love.  {Satan, the father of lies, MO.}

Trials...   

Whether it be consequences of sin or trials, our Heavenly Father uses these spiritually icy times to work in us to be like those hungry fish to search for breaks in the ice to find Him and feed on Him once again... 


And then out of His fullness, by His grace upon grace, we will move in the swiftness of a current that breaks apart the remaining ice and allows all the life that grace imparts to move and have it's way in us once again.

God's grace is like a rushing water.  No sin or trial can keep the Grace of God from bursting forth through the iciness of a hardened or weary heart, when we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.   


And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6


How do we prevent a thick layer of ice from forming over our hearts?  How do we continually live in the grace we have received?

"...through the continuous flow from the inexhaustible Source. ‘Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.’

The word ‘for’ is a little singular. Of course it means instead of, in exchange for; and the Evangelist’s idea seems to be that as one supply of grace is given and used, it is, as it were, given back to the Bestower, who substitutes for it a fresh and unused vessel, filled with new grace. He might have said, grace upon grace; one supply being piled upon the other. But his notion is, rather, one supply given in substitution for the other, ‘new lamps for old ones.’

Just as a careful gardener will stand over a plant that needs water, and will pour the water on the surface until the earth has drunk it up, and then add a little more; so He gives step by step, grace for grace, an uninterrupted bestowal, yet regulated according to the absorbing power of the heart that receives it. Underlying that great thought are two things: the continuous communication of grace, and the progressive communication of grace. We have here the continuous communication of grace. God is always pouring Himself out upon us in Christ. There is a perpetual out flow from Him to us: if there is not a perpetual inflow into us from Him it is our fault, and not His. He is always giving, and His intention is that our lives shall be a continual reception. Are they? How many Christian men there are whose Christian lives at the best are like some of those Australian or Siberian rivers; in the dry season, a pond here, a stretch of sand, waterless and barren there, then another place with a drop of muddy water in some hollow, and then another stretch of sand, and so on. Why should not the ponds be linked together by a flashing stream? God is always pouring Himself out; why do we not always take Him in?

There is but one answer, and the answer is, that we do not fulfil the condition, which condition is simple faith. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God; even to them that believed on His name.’ Faith is the condition of receiving, and wherever there is a continuous trust there will be an unbroken grace; and wherever there are interrupted gifts it is because there has been an intermitted trust in Him. Do not let your lives be like some dimly lighted road, with a lamp here, and a stretch of darkness, and then another twinkling light; let the light run all along the side of your path, because at every moment your heart is turning to Christ with trust. Make your faith continuous, and God will make His grace incessant, and out of His fulness you will draw continual supplies of needed strength.

But not only have we here the notion of continuous, but also, as it seems to me, of progressive gifts. Each measure of Christ received, if we use it aright, makes us capable of possessing more of Christ. And the measure of our capacity is the measure of His gift, and the more we can hold the more we shall get. The walls of our hearts are elastic, the vessel expands by being filled out; it throbs itself wider by desire and faith. The wider we open our mouths the larger will be the gift that God puts into them. Each measure and stage of grace utilised and honestly employed will make us capable and desirous, and, therefore, possessors, of more and more of the grace that He gives. So the ideal of the Christian life, and God’s intention concerning us, is not only that we should have an uninterrupted, but a growing possession, of Christ and of His grace.


Is that the case with you, my friend? Can you hold more of God than you could twenty years ago? Is there any more capacity in your soul for more of Christ than there was long, long ago?"
MacLaren's Expositions

Heavenly Father, O what amazing love you have bestowed on me.  Out of your fullness you give me grace upon grace.  Please help me to continually trust you with my whole heart, soul and mind.  Holy Spirit let my faith be unbroken no matter the difficulties in life.   Open my mouth wide to receive your grace every second of every day.  Help me to grow in my possession of Christ and His grace, and to show that grace upon grace to others.  In Jesus Precious Name, Amen



Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Julia H. Johnston

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Refrain

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Refrain

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Refrain

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Refrain


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday