Well, another year has gone by in a flash and here we are on the threshold of 2019. It's all spread out before us with all its joys and sorrows. All its successes and all it failures. With its good times and bad times. We have to take the bad with the good ... Such is life!
I always find the last hours of a year and the beginning of the next to be soul searching. Partying would be the very last thing on my mind at such a time as this. I don't wish to be somber but I am in a deep reflective mood at such a time as this as I look back on the past twelve months and examine what, if anything has been accomplished.
There have been loses and will never be regained, and precious things learned that will never be forgotten. Thankfully with the Lord I can say that His people never enter a New Year alone. Faithful is He who promised to always be with, and never forsake His people for whom He went to great lengths to purchase.
Just a few days ago my husband was reading something about James Lovell, former Astronaut and one of the very first visitors to the moon. He described his feelings about earth, our home as viewed from the desolate moon as he watched our beautiful blue planet rise up over the horizon. This is what he said:
"God has given us a stage ... upon which to perform, and how the play turns out is really up to us."
We are born, we live, and we die - here! Everything with which we are familiar, and all that we do, takes place - here. That which is of lasting value and that of no value at all takes place - here. Our stage is .... here! But when we leave the 'stage', where will we go?
We occupy a tiny window of time in which we play out our lives, and hopefully make an impact for good in the lives of others. As children we were subject to the influence of our parents or guardians, now we get to be the influencers!
What have we learned? What are we passing on?
It doesn't matter how long we live our lives, we have an opportunity every day to live for the benefit of someone else and ultimately for the glory and pleasure of God our loving heavenly Father.
Some folks within their very short lives have influenced and impacted more lives than perhaps others who have lived a long while. What is the secret to what would be considered a fulfilled life like this?
I know of a precious Person who lived here for only a very short period of time. The Bible tells us that:
"He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
These words tell us that He died before one would naturally produce offspring! And yet the life of this precious Man made the greatest impact an individual has ever done before. His name is Jesus!
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son ..."
The stage was set for Him, and when He came to earth, He came in the most unique way - via a virgin womb. All that He was and all He did was unique. His childhood was unique, His earlier years were remarkable, and leading up to the moment when He was to branch out to "seek and to save that which was lost", His life was impeccable. All of His ways, both public and private declared for all to see just what God is like - in a human body! He was, and still is worthy of everyone's complete trust and obedience. Those who chose to do so were truly blessed in their day and are still benefitting eternally with His blessing and favour. But sadly those who foolishly refused His Lordship in their lives and are paying for their foolishness for eternity.
So He lived a life this world has never seen before because He was sinless, and He died like no one has ever died before because the sinless One was bearing our sin and the punishment we deserve instead of us bearing it ourselves. Why would He do such an astounding thing? The Bible tells us it is because of love! Love we cannot fathom or never deserve. The Love of God to people like you and me!
Thanks be unto God that the One who died on that cruel cross one day long ago arose from among the dead and lives in the power of an endless life. He is a real Man alive in heaven ... now, right NOW! That ought to get the attention of my reader.
The stage was set for Him and He played out His life in all its fullness and sweet perfection. Before the known world of that day He openly declared the Love of God in the giving of Himself. The Bible tells us that: "... This thing was not done in a corner ..." Acts 26: 26. We can read about His live today to the blessing of our own souls in the Bible.
Now it is our turn! The stage is set for us. Here is the place, and now is the time!
We have all the information and qualifications we need in order to do the wisest thing each day as we 'perform' our everyday lives. Although James Lovell was just a man at best, his words as quoted above are certainly inspiring and even challenging to me and maybe to you also.
You see, as this little excerpt from C.T. Studd's poem so eloquently puts it:
'Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
We find ourselves challenged to address what our lives are really amounting to, and we see that only a life lived in and for Christ is a life that really matters in the long run. God is a perfect Gentleman and will never force people into trusting, following and living for Him. He wants us to decide to do that for ourselves. Those who choose to do so will be blessed indeed.
Here we are on the threshold of a brand New Year. What better opportunity to begin a walk with God that will take us right into His very presence one soon day?
The rest of your life is spread before you - God has given to you a stage ... upon which to perform, how the play turns out is really up to you!
I pray that you will you be truly blessed in
especially if you make the wise decision to bow the knee before the Sovereign Saviour who
>> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below! ♥
My apologies if you are familiar with this little thought. If you are on my mailing list this will have arrived via 'Snail Mail' a week or two ago, but for the sake of my Rest a While friends and family I thought this might be a little thought you might value.
For a large proportion of the year my mind has been occupied with the mighty subject of the Sovereignty of our great God. After all, such a High and Lofty One warrants our attention and sincere homage. Think of it, the One with whom we are acquainted is indeed the mighty Maker of the universes! The human mind cannot comprehend the total sum of them - but stars, comments, galaxies, and black holes are a 'piece of cake' to Him! He specialises in impossibilities and in things that cannot be comprehended.
Now let's come home to earth where we are in more familiar surroundings. Our beautiful little blue planet suspended in space is the perfect home for a diversity of life including ours. To this place long ago God visited in the form of a human being. For thirty years He lived His life in obscurity and then when the time was right He began His ministry which lasted for a mere three and a half years before He did what He ultimately came to do when alone on the cross He died to put away sin once for all.
But look what happened when the Sovereign came to live on earth. There were a few people whose lives were changed quite possibly forever. The blind were made to see, the deaf to hear, the diseased where healed by the mere touch of His hand. Some came into blessing by the command the of His voice when demoniacs were liberated, raging storms were stilled and the dead were raised to life again.
At last, here was the answer to all human suffering and need, but alas when the question was raised by Pilate: "Who will you that I release and who will I deliver to be crucified?" To his dismay the gathered multitude cried out for the blood of Jesus when they said: "Let Him be crucified".(Matthew 27: 17-22.) How could this be? Humanity had never seen such a wonderful Man before! But the crowd being stirred up by the religious leaders of that day rejected Him and sadly got what they asked for instead! In effect they said: "We will not have this man to reign over us."(Luke 19: 14.)
And the world wonders why there is such suffering at every turn, could this be the reason why? They rejected the One with all the answers, and sadly, if Jesus was to live on earth again as He did back then, the human race would do the very same thing. It's in our nature!
However, there are still a few folks around who are prepared to reverse the cry of the world that has rejected Him. They call for Him to reign over them as their Lord and Saviour. We are among those folks, and it is possible to know the sunshine of His love upon us every day because we have trusted Him with our souls and with our lives.
One day He will reign as Sovereign but it will be different then. He will reign with a rod of iron every inhabitant on earth whether they want Him to rule or not; for the Bible tells us that:
"Every knee shall bow,
and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2: 10-11.
But the question is, "what about us?" It is truly wonderful to have a saved soul and to know that we have a home awaiting us in heaven, but do we have 'a saved life'? One which has been subjected to the Lordship of the One who is able to turn fear to joy, darkness to light, beauty out of ashes and the oil of joy for the spirit of mourning.
May each of us be able to truly say of our beloved Lord Jesus that as well as being our Saviour, that He is our Lord and lover of our souls, and .... our Sovereign!
It may be of interest to you that my latest song called 'Sovereign' and a video to go with it has been created about this very subject and I am hoping to publish it before the New Year. It will be posted in my next blog on the last day of this year if all is well.
Now may I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a lovely Christmas and very much blessing for the year to come.
See you in the next blog ... next week :)
A little personal and seasonal greeting from me to you
with a little bit of news about my next video
>> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below! ♥
A few weeks ago while walking to work on a cool crisp November morning I saw a large flock of starlings flying this way and that, finally coming to settle in an old Virginian creeper overhanging the partition wall between the house I was going to and the busy road.
I crossed the road and as I walked around the wall into the driveway I disturbed the starlings which took flight in a panic all at the same time circling me for a moment of time before rising upwards into the sky.
The whole thing was surreal, I felt like I was in the film set of Albert Hitchcock's movie: 'The Birds' I even felt the movements of some of them in my face, they were that close!
A couple of hours later as I was walking back I was aware of an unsettled feeling all around me. Everywhere I could see there were starlings chirping and squabbling together. Every now and then they rose up simultaneously and then came to settle again in the trees around me. I felt like they were waiting for something!
They were getting ready to move on to warmer climates and were waiting for the signal, whatever that signal is to rise up and be gone.
Once in a while as I walked they put on a show for me as they all took flight and created great shadow formations in the sky .... what a spectacular sight!
Within the next day or two they would all be gone until spring time next year.
But the unsettled feeling that filled the air that day is still around today! Those of us who are God's people are waiting for something spectacular to happen. It could happen very soon ... Perhaps Today!
We have a longing in our inmost being for a fairer place where weeping and suffering will be no more. We long for the warmer and less hostile clime of the heavenly realm. This is not our home, we are only passing through it on our journey through life! We long to see with our own eyes the One who loved us while we were in an unfit state for such a place as His heavenly home, which has been affectionately called 'Immanuel's Land'. (YouTube Video)
While we were yet sinners He came into the world to ultimately go to a cruel Roman cross to suffer, bleed and die to take away the sin that has separated all of us from God and His eternal love.
He has placed something within every one of us,
and it comes in the form of a void that only He can fill.
Some become dissatisfied with the world and what it has to offer and find in Christ all we could ever long for. The Bible says it like this:
"He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."
Psalm 107: 9
While others sadly spend a lifetime striving to find purpose in their lives apart from the living God, and that can never be achieved - it was never meant to; for the only one who can ever satisfy the heart is the One who made it!
The place that each of God's people were created for is almost ready and soon we will hear the call to 'arise, my love, my fair one, and come away'. It will be the voice of our Beloved One heralding a brand new era. The time and place which the ancient people of God looked forward to, and died with this hope in their breast.
Are they any the less blessed than we will be if our beloved Lord was to come today as opposed to not coming many centuries earlier? No, indeed not! Even as I write these words, they are in the very presence of God our Father waiting for the moment when all who are alive and remain at His coming will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.
Can you feel it? That uneasy feeling like something big is about to happen. There is an anticipation that is filling the air all around us and God doesn't want you to miss out on one of the most exciting prophetic events to ever take place. None of us know when this event is going to happen but we do know that it is going to take place very soon, and you need to make sure that you are ready!
Well, all the starlings have gone now - I hope they all made it to where they were going! One thing is sure, all those who have trusted in the One who is soon to come and take us on an upward journey to Immanuel's Land is sure to come, as He promised He would. And not one of His people will be left behind or be lost on the journey.
The questions I put to you is ... will you be among those for whom the Lord has prepared a place? Are you among those who will hear His voice calling your name? Will you be among those who will be whisked away out of this sad old world 'to be 'with Christ, which is far better'?
If you have any questions or uncertainties, please feel free to Get in Touch. I'll be glad to help point you in the right direction :)
Here's Something New For You
This is one of my favourite hymns which expresses
the longing to be there and to see face to face
"the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me".
Galatians 2: 20
I look forward to meeting you there as well.
The question is ... will you be there?
I am sure most people irrespective of their beliefs assume and hope that when all is said and done, at the end of life's journey, to end up in heaven. I'm sure everyone in their right mind would love to go to there, but I wonder if anyone has ever stopped to think about what this place is like.
Of course everyone who is 'born of God' has the assurance that we will be there because all God's people have been given a promise which can never be broken because He who made it can never lie!
Jesus said to His disciples or followers:
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
John 14: 2-3
Think of this ... the Bible tells us that when God created the heavens and the earth it took Him 6 days to do it!!! It all came into wonderful existence with just the spoken word!
Now take a look at the earth we know today, although with the passing of time it has been spoiled to a certain degree it is still so very beautiful to our eyes.
If it took God six days to create the beauty we can appreciate all around us, and Jesus has been gone for over 2,000 years preparing a place for His people - what kind of a place is heaven really like?
I know that I am going to be there one day, and I'm sure you look forward to going there as well. But here is one thing for certain, God wants you to be there and He's done everything possible ... and impossible in order that you can know that for sure this is your destination.
The Bible tells us that is only God that can provide the way. Without Him to do this for you and me, we would have no hope!
Whatever we try to do to find a place there will be wasted effort because we have a heart condition that has separated us from Him, and that condition is called sin!! We MUST trust in the only remedy God has provided for this condition to be assured that we will have a home in heaven to look forward to.
The condition of sin from which we suffer not only separates us from Him but also diminishes any desire in our hearts to have anything to do with Him in the first place, which makes somewhat of barrier for God to break through. So why would God do something like this for people like you and me? It is simply, and yet profoundly because He loves us!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3: 16
We cannot any longer assume that heaven is where we are going to be when we die if we do not want anything to do with God in our lives before we leave.
If we want to go to heaven we MUST do what God tells us to do - and that is we MUST believe in Him. We MUST trust Him with every ounce of our being and let God do the rest. In fact ... He already has! The work, all of it is done! That's why the Bible tells us that just before Jesus died on the cross in our place He lifted up His voice and with one triumphant cry He said 'It is finished!' Then He bowed His head and died.
Everyone in heaven today knows that they are there because of what Jesus did on the cross. All of us who know we will be there one day soon know that we have this assurance because of what Jesus did on the cross.
God is not some unreachable being that wants nothing to do with us miserable disappointments like we are. He desires a living and loving relationship with people like you and me. This in effect is the greatest love story ever told, and what He did on the cross was the greatest demonstration of love ever expressed - And He did all this to make us His own.
"God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5: 8
But all that is to be found in Christ by far exceeds a 'ticket to heaven' as it were.
The Bible tells us that Jesus our beloved Lord and Saviour who entered into death to take away our sin rose from among the dead three days after He died. Because He is alive, He is - our dearest friend, our protector, our comforter, our rest, our peace, our joy The list is almost endless because all that we could ever long for is found in Him, and in Him alone.
"For he satisfieth the longing soul,
and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."
Psalm 107: 9
He is sufficient and able to meet us in all our needs, make all grace abound toward us, give assistance to those who are going through trials or temptations, and so much more.
He has promised His people: "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Hebrews 13: 5. If all that we could ever discover of His wonderful character here is enough to blow our minds - what is it going to be like to be with Him? All that we know is but a minute fraction of all that there is to learn - there's so much more to come for everyone who trusts fully in Him.
Heaven may mean different things to different people. For some it means being reunited with loved ones who have gone before. Oh, how we miss them! For others it means no more suffering, no more heartache, no more sickness, no more burdens to bear!But having read all of the above I'm hoping that you are beginning to understand that although heaven may be an unspeakably wonderful place, with those pearly gates and streets of gold etc., I believe the most important thing about heaven is the One who is the centre of it!
"Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty:
they shall behold the land that is very far off."
Isaiah 33: 17
So it seems to me that as wonderful as heaven is going to be, it is He who is the centre of heaven who will be the One who will captivate our hearts.The Bible tells us:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
1 John 3: 8
Whatever He is like, we shall be like Him! Our eyes are going to see the King in all His beauty ..." Isaiah 33: 17. And upon seeing Him we will be filled with joy the likes of which we could never know here on earth. He will be the One with whom we will be gladly occupied in that day and for eternity.
In that day Jesus, 'the Lamb of God', will fill heaven and thrill our souls. All that our hearts could ever imagine about heaven will pale into insignificance in the light of His glorious presence.
I don't know about you but I can't wait to be there. And I look forward to finding you there as well.
The bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom's face
I will not gaze at glory but on the King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land."
Anne R. Cousin
Here's Something New For You
"A Few Simple Thoughts About Heaven"
Heaven is a place where we all hope to go to at the end of life's journey
But what does heaven really mean to you and how can you be assured of getting there?
Here's a few simple thoughts about this wonderful place
and God's desire for you to know this is your eternal destination.
I wonder, when you read the Bible, what you expect to find there?
Perhaps you have approached it with a certain amount of scepticism. Some say its full of contradictions and you might be looking into it to see if you can find some of your own. I wonder if I might save you the hassle - you won't find any! Very few who have made such claims have never taken the time to read this precious book for themselves.
To someone who is truly searching for whatever they are looking for God is going to reveal Himself in such a way that the reader will not be able to resist such grace and love declared in its sacred pages. If they are stubborn enough to resist, they are foolish to the point of extremity.
Perhaps you are a brand new Christian and you are holding in your hands a treasure store of spiritual wealth, yours for the receiving with prayerful watchfulness. You are not going to be disappointed :)
Perhaps you are a weary hearted Christian who is trying one last ditch attempt to find comfort, hope or something to make sense out of this crazy thing we call life. Search with a sincere heart and you will find the comfort your heart is longing for.
Or perhaps you have been on the Christian journey for a while and have learned a thing or two along the way that has caused you to more deeply appreciate the wonders of the Person of the Son of God, then you know how much of a treasure the Word of God really is.
No matter who you are, or what your circumstances, our attitude towards this wonderful Book determines what we are going to find there and how the things we will find will affect us.
There is one thing for sure, the Bible is full of treasures ... old and new!
Although the writings are ancient, they are right up to the minute and relevant for the very day in which we live. It contains accounts of great adventures and battles fought and won. It contains love stories, the greatest of which was the demonstration of the love of God towards the likes of us in our unworthy condition.
"God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5: 8
It gives clear instruction as to how to come into the benefit of such love, and what look forward to in the future. All that and so much more, all contained in that precious Book which can be acquired by anyone anywhere, even Online :)
Well, everyone has their own idea of what treasures might be. Some would consider being wealthy a treasure, others might consider being successful at business or sport or craft a treasure. Others consider their spouse or their family treasures. And I expect that all these things are treasures in their right perspective.
However, sadly none of us can guarantee to acquire treasures like this, but even if we were possible to have one of these treasures or even all of them, it is certain that we will never be able to keep them. When life's journey is over we must let go and leave without them! How sad and unfortunate this is, expending all it takes to gain a treasure like this to have to let it go in the end.
Instead, the Bible tells us to not waste our time and energy on things that are not going to last forever but rather: "... Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven ..." Matthew 6: 20.
Make eternal investments ...
Instead of investing time in the 'here and now', why not think about the 'there and then'.
Jesus, the Son of God thought you were worth the price He paid to bring to you the assurance of a home in heaven. He must have treasured the thought of you and I being with Him one day because out of love, pure love He went to the cross to bear the punishment for the sin that separates us from God and causes us to not see or want the treasure there is in Him.
The Bible from cover to cover declares in its various forms the wonders of this precious Man who came into the world long ago 'to save sinners' I Timothy 1: 15. Open up the sacred pages and you will begin to see what a treasure He is. If God declares His delight in His beloved Son, then we can easily find all our delight in Him also; for the Bible tells us:
"In [Him] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Colossians 2: 3.
And if this is true, and so it is, then we need to look no further. Why not start today to discover treasures old and new you never knew were there before.
Yours to call your very own, now and forever!
Related Link - 'The Bible'
Here's Something New For You
"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"
This video was created by special request from one of my YouTube Subscribers
and it was a pleasure to be able to do this.
If you would like to request a song or hymn to be featured on video
please feel free to get in touch, and I will see what I can do :)
The song in this video is featured on my album "A String of Pearls"
More information about it is found here and where it is available for purchase.