Monday, March 7, 2011

Morning from Valley of Vision

Compassionate Lord,
thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day,
vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace,
increase in knowledge,
ripen for spiritual harvest.
Let me this day know thee as thou art,
love thee supremely,
serve thee wholly,
admire thee fully....

O ever watchful Shepherd,
lead, guide, tend me this day;
without thy restraining rod I err and stray;
hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure,
and drink its poisonous streams;
Direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares,
nor fall into his hidden traps.....

Come with almighty power amd cast him out, pierce him to death,
and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.

From Valley of Vision - A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I believe there are many ignored sins that "clutter" our Christian lives. My last post was on discontentment, which is one of those sins. Another is self-righteousness. Matthew 23 talks of the Pharisees and how they do things to be seen by others. "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matt. 23:12). Christ goes on to tell us in verse 25 that hypocrites "clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence." This is a perfect definition of self-righteousness, that we make sure what others see is pleasing and possibly worth coveting, and yet what Christ sees is filthy, dirty unrighteousness.

After considering these things in my own life, I believe this is a sinful trap that a lot of Christian women fall into. We induce self-righteousness by comparing ourselves to others, worrying how others view us, and making sure we look like we have it all together. Forms of legalism can creep in here as we convince ourselves that the way we do things is the only way. We model our lives after what we see on the media and among Christians. I see this among Christian women's blogs. Some use it as an opportunity to boast in themselves, their children, their homemaking skills causing many who read it to feel that's what the Christian life looks like. If you have a platform to speak, let it be to make much of Him and less of you. Share your suggestions and thoughts on the home and raising children but ultimately, let God be glorified and exalted.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Philippians 4:11-13 says, "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have leaned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

In the country of America, we can ironically face much discontentment. We are discontent with material things such as houses, cars, clothing, finances, etc. We are discontent with personal relationships such as spouses, children, friends, parents. We are discontent with our circumstances, our careers or lack of, our insignificance, lack of recognition, etc. Discontentment shows that you don't trust God, you don't believe He knows what's best for you, you are self-centered and ungrateful. Ouch! I see it at times in my own heart and as a mother, I see how my self-centeredness and ungratefulness is cultivating the same in my children.

I encourage you today to mediatate on this passage. Confess any discontentment you may have in your heart and repent of the sin of self-centeredness. Paul had much more to complain about then we do and yet he rejoiced in God who gives him strength. Living life abundantly requires rejoicing instead of complaining. May you rejoice in the Lord today!

Friday, August 27, 2010


James 5:1-6

Compared to some in the world, I am rich. And compared to others, I am poor. It depends upon where you live in this world as to whether you are considered rich or poor. In reality, we are rich if we have more than we need. And let's face it....most of us have more than we need. But when I read this passage in James, I am most convicted, not about the amount of money I have or don't have, but the level of importance I put on it. Verse 5 says, "You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter." Of course, immediately my mind goes to how many Christian Americans live self-indulgent lives. But God's Word is a light to my path and when the light of this verse is shone on my path, what is revealed? I pray you will consider the same. "A life without self-denial is a life that soon runs out of control in every area," quoted John MacArthur in one of his sermons on this passage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What is shaping you?

It is inevitable that you will be shaped by what you are most influenced by; that could be the world but I pray it is God's Word. The world will shape you in such a way that God and His Word will look boring to you. How can it be that the God of the universe, who created all things and by whom all things are held together, the One who knows the very details of every living creature great and small, the One who controls every act of nature from the things you see to the depths of the ocean where you cannot see, who has spoken to us and given us His written word, be boring? It must be that you have left His word sitting on the shelf thinking that it is not relevant for your present day life. John Piper says it best, "Without Bible reading, meditating, memorizing, you starve the grace that God puts in you designed to thrive on the Word of God." I encourage you this week to hold fast to the Word of God. Do not absorb more from the world than the Word. Instead, fix your attention on Him.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions by Edwards

One of my favorite preachers and authors is Jonathan Edwards. When he was 20 years old, he wrote, over a period of several months, 69 resolutions. I love to read these over for they remind me how temporal things are around me and they encourage me to be more heavenly minded. One of my favorites is #53 and it says,

"Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him, that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer." July 8, 1723

As the new year begins, may you set your mind on heavenly matters and let the distractions of this world pass you by.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I am too busy!

I have come to despise the word "busy". And it is at this time of the year that I seem to hear it and say it the most. What am I truly busy with? I ask myself, not just have I forgotten the reason for Christmas, but more.....have I forgotten the purpose for which I am created? I am created to bring glory to God and not to myself. I have to wonder if all the things that I am busy with are truly for His glory or mine? I can't help but think of Mary and Joseph and the fact that there was no room for them....or for Christ, the Savior of the world. Were the citizens of the town so busy that they did not notice the baby to be born that night in Bethlehem? Forbid that I would be like them! As Spurgeon said, "Oh! sinner, if thou hast room for him let him be born in thy soul today." Consider your busyness and who is it for. Contemplate Christmas and the treasure of Christ dwelling among us.