“…but I have lost sight of Jesus in all this mess.”

hammerFrom Hammer of God by Bo Giertz:

Thus it came about that the city curate of Lund preached in Ödesjö church on this Sunday fifty-five years after his death. First, he pictured the Transfiguration, which had ended with the three disciples daring again to lift up their dazzled eyes to behold no one but Jesus only. Then he went on to describe how this lifting up of the eyes or lowering of them was a picture of the soul’s condition at different stages on the way of salvation. “When a sinner first has the eyes of his understanding opened, they are directed downward upon his own unblessed and lost state. The law constrains a man to look chiefly at himself, and drives him to compare his corrupted nature with the holiness of God and his guilt with the righteousness of God.”

Why, this describes my own condition, thought Fridfeldt. He read on:

“But afterward the Holy Spirit lifts the eyes of our understanding to Jesus only. It is a blessed thing when a believing soul looks in the Word for Jesus only.”

That I have not done, thought Fridfeldt. I have looked for penitence, for amendment of life. I have taken stock of my deeds, but I have lost sight of Jesus in all this mess.

“It is a blessed thing when the faithful soul in prayer fixes his uplifted eyes of faith on Jesus only; when he does not look about him to lay hold on his own scattered thoughts, nor behind him at Satan who threatens him with the thought that his prayer is in vain, nor within him at his sloth and lack of devotion; but looks up to Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God and makes intercession for us.”

Fridfeldt saw that this applied to him. To think that he had not understood this before!

 

monday miscellany

Links that have caught my eye recently:

~ Why Venezuela putting its food supply under military control is so chilling.

~ Speaking of socialism, is Obama a socialist or a fascist? Thomas Sowell:

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

~ TWA 800: The great untold story of our time

Well, I had more links, but WordPress ate them. This will have to do for now.

Happy Monday!

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“The Bible is full of logic…”

anxietyFrom John MacArthur, Jr., in Found: God’s Peace — Experiencing True Freedom From Anxiety in Every Circumstance

Recall that Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matt. 6:26). Martyn Lloyd-Jones, commenting on that verse, explained:

Faith, according to our Lord’s teaching … is primarily thinking.… We must spend more time in studying our Lord’s lessons in observation and deduction. The Bible is full of logic, and we must never think of faith as something purely mystical. We do not just sit down in an armchair and expect marvelous things to happen to us. That is not Christian faith. Christian faith is essentially thinking. Look at the birds, think about them, and draw your deductions. Look at the grass, look at the lilies of the field, consider them.… Faith, if you like, can be defined like this: It is a man insisting upon thinking when everything seems determined to bludgeon and knock him down.… The trouble with the person of little faith is that, instead of controlling his own thought, his thought is being controlled by something else, and, as we put it, he goes round and round in circles. That is the essence of worry.… That is not thought; that is the absence of thought, a failure to think.

 

saturday

~ Some reading and blogging and coffee, then a shower and a little cleaning.

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~ Breakfast with Paul.

 

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~ A birthday party for our twin baby friends.

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~ Coke icees.

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~ Laundry.

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~ Errands.

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~ Eye exams.  I need new glasses.

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~ Dinner with Paul.

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A really good day. I hope yours was, too.

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dictionary

My favorite local gift shop is closing its doors next week, and I stopped by yesterday to check out the 40% off deals. I snagged a couple of books – of course. This one is a treasure:

A 1960 unabridged Webster’s dictionary that is almost five inches thick:

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~ Just a word nerd playing with a new toy…

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random thoughts

~ Coconut milk ice cream, y’all.

~ I’m spending less and less time on Facebook these days. It’s no longer a place where friends share tidbits from their lives. It’s become a chaotic mix of links, complaints about politics, likes, “which _____ am I?” quizzes, and home-based businesses.

~ Instagram and Twitter are my favorite social media hangouts these days. Will has encouraged me to get into Snapchat, but I feel like an old lady trying to hang out with the yutes there.

~ I recently watched two good movies on Netflix: Spotlight and The Big Short.

~ We’re pretty much settled into our new house, but we still have some more boxes to retrieve from storage. Stuff is less and less appealing to me, and I’ve been quite inclined to get rid of things I haven’t used or even thought about in a long time. This past weekend, I texted photos of items to my kids and let them claim what they wanted. I’ve got two boxes in the garage all ready to take to them.

~ Speaking of our new house, I love it. Everything is easier in this space — even laundry. And everything is fresh and clean — a literal fresh start. I especially love cooking in my new kitchen.

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~ Cookin’ with gas! I made this One Pot Chicken Risotto recently, and it’s a do-over. And this Low Carb Baked Chicken and Cauliflower Rice was yummy, too. I used Trader Joe’s Organic Riced Cauliflower.

Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ Notice a little theme there? I really, really, really wish we were at the beach.

Have a good evening y’all,

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“Discerning his purposes does not require secret formulas…”

prayingFrom Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell:

Praying in accord with the will of God presumes that we are praying in Jesus’ name because we are seeking his purposes. Discerning his purposes does not require secret formulas or mystical visions but rather a growing acquaintance with God’s Word that is the expression of his character. Being guided by the Word in our prayers is Christ’s primary way of talking with us as we seek his will. The more we immerse ourselves in his Word, the more we are able to walk life’s path with Christ at our side, informing our thoughts. Through his Word he points to the flora and fauna of our circumstances as if to say, “I want you to understand this or that.” This perspective first underscores the significance of examining all of life in the light of Scripture. Second, this perspective reveals how careful reading of Scripture becomes a form of prayer in which Jesus walks with us to interpret our world.

getting my reading groove back

pagesI firmly believe that our lives have seasons, and some are busier than others. Priorities and preferences change, and we grow out of and into habits and routines. For the past few months I’ve felt like I was in a reading rut, not really enjoying the books I slogged through. But I recently got my groove back, and here’s how:

~ I moved. Now that the bulk of that torture is over and we’re getting settled into our new house, I have a little more time and energy to read — in a place I love. A comfy new chair, a new bed and bedding, and a big bathtub — all places perfect for reading!

~ I read an easy thriller that compelled me to keep reading past the four or five pages that I had been reading before bed. My brain and my eyes are usually too tired to make it through more than that.

~ I found a couple of podcasts that encourage me to read (and are a much-needed break from current events podcasts that I usually listen to on my commute):

  • From the Front Porch – the owner of an indie bookshop in Thomasville hosts this weekly podcast, and the mix of guests, book recommendations, and local flavor combine into a happy little stew of goodness. Seriously, it’s just a pleasure to listen to this.
  • What Should I Read Next – this one is very new to me, but I’ll be back for more. Lots of book talk with interesting people and just a positive, pleasant attitude. The world needs more of that, if you ask me.

~ I read a book by an author I’ve always enjoyed. It had me reading during my lunch hour, past my bedtime, and at any other spare moment I could find.

Ever get into a reading rut? What’s your strategy for pulling out of it? What are you reading now?

Happy reading!

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