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Archive for August, 2008

  DISAPPOINTING DISCOVERY
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 14:1–22

Will it be well when God examines your life, or will it be a disappointing discovery? I can’t speak for you because I have no idea. But I do know “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Is that going to be a disappointing discovery, or will it be well with you? Probing thought, which is why I’ve urged you to give these questions such serious consideration.

Look at Job 14:14: “If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes.”

Here’s what I’d like you to think about: When you die, where will you live again? Will it be with the Lord or away from His presence forever? The choices are heaven or hell. Will it be eternal bliss filled with joy and relief and the rewards awaiting God’s people? Or eternal judgment, away from God and all those things you hold dear? Only you can determine which.

C. S. Lewis wrote this:

There’s no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than the doctrine of hell, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and especially of our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom and it has the support of reason.

C. S. Lewis was no intellectual pushover. His words deserve serious consideration. Problems have a way of multiplying. The good news is—that’s true only in this life—“How frail . . . how few our years . . . how full of trouble.” But once we’re in our Lord’s presence, all that changes.

However, should you choose to ignore this opportunity to secure such hope, the alternative results will be dreadful beyond imagination. Come to think of it, that kind of future would make Job’s trials seem like a piece of cake. Who wants a destiny like that? Don’t go there!

 

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Clutter-Free

Well, I’m sorry you didn’t see this space before I de-cluttered my sewing area! But believe me, this is a huge improvement thanks to Jim for building those shelves. Now I have a neat place to cut out my pillows and I can see all of my buttons at a glance! Plus my ribbons are finally out in the open ready to use. It sure makes me feel good and energized. I guess because things are in order and not so chaotic. This shop is only 400 sq feet so when one little thing is out of place, everything looks out of place!

It’s like our lives too, I think. When one thing is out of place in my life….it affects my whole life. For example. There are times when I am so busy out here in the work shop, that sometimes I forget I am married to a wonderful guy!! Sounds impossible? No…because I get everything out of perspective, you know, all out of whack and don’t spend enough time with him. My relationship with the Lord is the same. I don’t start the day off the right way. I may sleep late and then race in the shower to make sure I am out in the workshop by 9am….not saving or making time to spend in quietness with the Lord and His word. We always make time for breakfast..or at least the health books say we should. Breakfast feeds our bodies physically…..but what feeds us spiritually? God and His word.

This clutter-free project reminds me to make sure I de-clutter my life in more ways than cleaning off my sewing table and putting up shelves. Feeding my soul is the answer to a chaotic free day.

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge….” Psalm 73:28

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Jim’s Dulcijo

I realized that the picture of Jim’s Dulcijo wasn’t really much of a picture! So here it is:

By the way, that Dulcimer next to the Dulcijo is an instrument that Jim made in a class!

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I have spent many years forming this dream of mine. I have heard the music in my heart from this instrument. I told my husband that I was sure I could play it if given the chance. I close my eyes, imagining me playing and enjoying this gorgeous stringed beauty.

Yes, yes!!! I finally have purchased a cello!! I am so excited as I start cello lessons in September. But now, I have been playing it….mostly by ear. I did purchase a book and have been learning the notes. Since I also play piano, it has been a little easier learning the notes….But oh my….I need so much instruction about 1. How to hold the bow 2. How to place my left fingers on the strings 3. How to only play on one string at a time!! 4. And I could go on and on….but I have been so enjoying it.

You can see Jim’s Dulcimer and Dulcijo hanging on the wall. Dulcijo?? Yes, it is a cross between a Banjo and a Dulcimer made by a man here in Hickory, NC. Anyway, I tell you this because Jim and I have been having some jam sessions with my Cello and his Dulcijo! It’s been so much fun! Especially since I am not sure what I am doing!! I’ve heard that adults learn better when they are older, because they are more motivated….I believe it, because I so want to learn to play this Cello!!!

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Nothing but Butterflies!

My husband, Jim, took these pictures of the wonderful butterflies outside our dining room window…they were all over our butterfly bush…a fitting name! We are going nuts over taking pictures ourselves and getting them enlarged from this company Winkflash. We have been very pleased with the results! Instead of buying prints of things to hang on our walls, we will hang our own “art”!

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 Job does not deserve even the suggestion of mistreatment. He has walked faithfully with God, certainly in his adult years. He is now the best of the best, “greatest of all the men of the east.” On top of all that, he is a humble servant of God. But none of that impresses Satan. Evil suspicions prompt his insidious plot: “You want to know what he’s really made of, remove all that indulged treatment and pervasive protection. Strip away the veneer of the man’s comfort, and You’ll see right away, he’ll turn on You. ‘He will surely curse You to Your face’ ” (Job 1:11). His point is clear: Job is worshiping God because of what he gets out of it, not because the Lord is truly first in his life.

There is an enemy who we encounter that we cannot see, but he is real. We have a supernatural enemy, and we encounter him or one of his emissaries regularly. And never doubt it—all of that is real. He hopes that his deceptive strategy will play tricks on your mind and will weaken you and ultimately bring you down. The Accuser’s desire is to ruin your testimony as he destroys your life. In the process, if it means ruining your family relationships, he’ll go there. If it takes tempting you to secretly cut a few corners in your business, which you would not have done in earlier days, he’ll go there. Whatever it takes to bring you down, he will try. Because we have an enemy we cannot see does not mean he is not real.

There are trials we endure that we don’t deserve, but they are permitted. You read that correctly. Life includes trials that we do not deserve, but they must, nevertheless, be endured. In the mystery of God’s unfathomable will, there are elements we can never explain or fully understand. Don’t try to grasp each thread of His profound plan. If you resist my counsel here, you’ll become increasingly more confused, ultimately resentful, and finally bitter. At that point, Satan will have won the day. Accept it. Endure the trial that has been permitted by God. Nothing touches your life that has not first passed through the hands of God. He is in full control, and because He is, He has the sovereign right to permit trials that we don’t deserve.

We do have an unseen enemy, but we have an even more powerful, unseen Defender.

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