Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday's Quote: ETERNAL Rest


I'm still working my way through Richard Baxter's Everlasting Rest, and I thought I would share another couple of quotes with you.  
The last jewel of our crown is, that it will be an everlasting rest. Without this all were comparatively nothing. The very thought of leaving it would embitter all our joys. It would be a hell in heaven, to think of once losing heaven.
Just think, if we could leave or lose Heaven once we had gained it, what would that do to us?  As Baxter says, it would turn Heaven into Hell.  Leaving the glory of Heaven and the wonder of true fellowship with God would be hell.
What kind of men, dost thou think, would Christians be in their lives and duties, if they had still this glory fresh in their thoughts? what frame would their spirits be in, if their thoughts of heaven were lively and believing? Would their hearts be so heavy; their countenances so sad? or would they have need to take up their comforts from below? Would they be so loth to suffer; so afraid to die? or would they not think every day a year till they enjoy it? May the Lord heal our carnal hearts, lest we "enter not into this rest because of unbelief."
If we had the eternal joy of Heaven to look forward to, how would that change our lives?  Because we have that certain hope, how should our lives be changed?  Should we go through lives with dour expressions, or should we be happy and lively because we know what comes next?  Shouldn't our very demeanors be such that people are drawn to us and to our Savior?  Have you heard the saying that some people have just enough Christianity to makes themselves miserable?  Is that how we live? Shouldn't we live differently in light of the joy that is coming to us?

Do you think often of Heaven?  Do you wonder at the wonderful reward that Jesus is preparing for us and how wonderful it will be to have sweet fellowship with Him all of the time with no taint of sin?  How do you think that should affect the way we live now, today?

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Reading


Three books that I read this month were really good, and I highly recommend them.  The fourth book was good, too, and I recommend it, just not as much.  Let's see if you can figure which one that one is.  ;)
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.  This book contains excellent teaching for studying the Bible and actually getting something out of it.  I cannot recommend this book enough!  Read it!
  • Wings of Refuge by Lynn Austin.  When Abby takes a trip to Israel to help with an archaeological dig, she hopes to leave behind her hurt and anger.  Instead she finds a way to work through her pain and find healing and restoration through Jesus Christ.  I really enjoyed how Austin weaved the stories of Leah (a first century Jewish Christian) and Hannah (the expedition's leader) with Abby's to make a wonderful book.  Thanks, Tracey, for the recommendation!
  • Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl.  Wynter's brother was kidnapped several years ago, and when she sees a picture of a boy who might be her brother, she has to investigate.  Along the way, she discovers a lot about herself and her parents, and she even finds her way back to God. I enjoyed reading this book while walking on my treadmill; it made the time seem much shorter.
  • Fierce Convictions:  The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More -- Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior.  In the late 1700's and early 1800's, women weren't able to do much to change society, but Hannah More was able to accomplish much using the gifts that God gave her.  What William Wilberforce did through politics to end the slave trade, More accomplished socially, bringing attention of the plight of African slaves to the British people, most of whom had never seen one.  More also started Sunday schools where the poor learned to read, and she worked toward curbing cruelty to animals.  This book was a neat look into More's life and the times in which she lived. 
  • The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting.  This book about a doctor, who can talk to animals, was our read aloud book this month, and my children loved it!
If you guessed Gathering Shadows was the one that wasn't quite as good as the rest, you guessed correctly!

What have you read lately?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Are There Such Things as Dragons?


No, of course, not!

But were there once maybe?

Maybe?

I have to admit that I hope that dragons existed at one time.  They seem like such neat animals...as long as you didn't get too close.  Since so many ancient cultures have stories about dragons, I don't think it's farfetched to think that God did make dragons and that they just died off with the dinosaurs.

Listen to what God says in Job 41 about Leviathan:
Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?  (v.1)  Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?  Lay your hand on him; remember the battle - never do it again!  Indeed any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?  (v.7 - 9)  I will not conceal his limbs, his mighty power, or his graceful proportions.  (v. 12)  Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around?  His rows of scales are his pride, shut up tightly as with a seal; one is so near another that no air can come between them.... (v. 14-16)  His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.  Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out.  Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.  His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.  Strength dwells in his neck, and sorrow dances before him.  (v. 18-22)
Did you catch that part about breathing fire?  Maybe Leviathan didn't fly, but there were dinosaurs that did.  When I read about this fearsome beast, I am glad that I wasn't around to see one when they existed!  But...here's another reason I look forward to Heaven:  seeing if dragons did exist at some time and maybe getting to see one there.  Wouldn't that be neat?!

I don't know for sure that there will be animals in Heaven, but I don't see why not.  And I realize that they won't necessarily be as tame and gentle as our domesticated animals.  But I do know that they won't be afraid of us, and we won't need to be afraid of them even if they don't act like pets.  And I can't wait to see what dinosaurs really looked like, and maybe even dragons!

Have you ever thought about dragons being in Heaven?  What type of animals do you hope to see?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday's Quote: Everlasting Rest, What a Glorious Thought!


I've been working my way through The Saints' Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, and I have to admit that it is work since it was written over three hundred years ago.  But what I'm gleaning from this piece of literature is worth every minute!  I discovered this gem through reading Randy Alcorn's book Heaven, and I'm so glad that I did!

When we Christians die and arrive in Heaven, we will have rest from our earthly labors.  Isn't that a glorious thought?

The things contained in heavenly rest are such as these: a ceasing from means of grace; a perfect freedom from all evils; the highest degree of the saints' personal perfection, both of body and soul; the nearest enjoyment of God, the chief good and a sweet and constant action of all the powers of body and soul in this enjoyment of God.
Read that paragraph again?  Doesn't that sound wonderful?  To be perfected in body and soul, to be free from all evils, and to have continuous, sin-free interaction with God?!
Still more, this rest will be absolutely perfect. We shall then have joy without sorrow, and rest without weariness. There is no mixture of corruption with our graces, nor of suffering with our comfort. There are none of those waves in that harbor, which now so toss us up and down. Today we are well, tomorrow sick; today in esteem, tomorrow in disgrace; today we have friends, tomorrow none; nay, we have wine and vinegar in the same cup.
Everything good will be untainted by anything bad!  This thought is so wonderful that I can't even imagine it!
We shall also rest from all the toils of duties. The conscientious magistrate, parent and minister cries out, "O the burden that lieth upon me!" Every relation, state, age hath variety of duties; so that every conscientious Christian cries out, "O the burden! O my weakness, that makes it burdensome!" But our remaining rest will ease us of the burdens.
And we will get to lay aside our burdens and responsibilities.  As a homemaker, I feel like my job is never done:  there is always laundry to do, meals to make, dishes to wash.  There will be work in Heaven, I'm sure of it, but it will be without any of the burdens that our work here has.

As I continue reading this book, it makes me long more and more for my "everlasting rest."  To God alone be the glory!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thankful Friday


Once again, I'm a day late with my "Thankful Thursday" post.  Oh, well.  I'm going to blame it on not being home two afternoons in a row when we are home almost every afternoon.

First we stayed the afternoon at CC, seeing what Essentials is all about since Sarah Beth will do that next year.  So far, we've just gone to CC in the morning, so next year is going to be a change.  We also enjoyed homeschool story time at the library and had such a good time that we stayed longer than usual, visiting with friends.  So Mary missed her nap twice in a row, and I missed my quiet time.

Here are a few things for which I'm thankful this week:
  • fourteen years of marriage to a wonderful man
  • and a nice dinner out tomorrow night along with maybe some shooting practice
  • nice weather again this week after a yucky beginning
  • homeschool story time
  • spending time with friends
  • the way that CC challenges my children and will continue to challenge them as they learn and mature
For what are you thankful this week?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fourteen Years

We were so young!

Fourteen years ago today, John and I were married.  Our journey together has been filled with lots of love, some tears, and much joy.  Since our wedding day, we have moved several times, added four children to our family, and experienced one miscarriage.  It's been a long road, although at times it has seemed very short.  While I don't know exactly what God has planned for us in the upcoming years, I know that it will be for His glory and our good.  I feel blessed that God gave me to John fourteen years ago.

Book Review: The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb


The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb is packed full of useful information about gardening in a small space.  From planning and setting up a small garden to reaping the harvest, almost everything one would need to know is contained in this book.  There is even a chapter about heirloom varieties, and a section in the back listing reputable sellers.

I enjoyed reading through this book and learning how diverse a small garden can be.  The author makes it seem so simple and easy, enough to make anyone able to have a postage stamp-sized garden.  I've even been inspired to get some vegetables planted this spring.

If you want a productive vegetable garden but don't have much room, you ought to read this book!

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.