Lord’s Day Hymn

A song written by a brother many, many years ago – over three hundred years ago – that the Lord blessed me to learn in 2006.
He brought it to memory and blessed me tremendously late last week, and continues to use its words to bless me as we begin this week before us and I feel and see the Lord Jesus’ Hand at work in my life personally, and in my family.

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If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Be patient and await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure
And His discerning love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost want are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

God knows full well when time of gladness
Shall be the needful thing for thee.
When He has tried thy soul with sadness
And from all guile has found thee free,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the fiery trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred.
Time passes and much change doth bring
And set a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest:
’Tis easy for our God, We know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low.
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Perform thy duties faithfully,
And trust His Word: though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

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And more trouble

I wonder sometimes why The Lord allows such problems.
My mother, sister, and I are now stuck at an O’Reilly’s Automotive with engine trouble on the family van, and Daddy’s trying to find us after taking the work van to try to get tires (not completed yet).
And we’re here now with crippled vehicles, 1/2 hour from home, exhausted, with more work than we can handle pressing on us each day, and chores still waiting at home.

And what’s the reason?

A satanic attack, maybe? A trial from The Lord?

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A Trouble

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The story of yesterday – told shortly because I have fallen victim to one of those ever-so-often splitting headaches and am still trying to trudge through the day’s work.

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As Carra and I made it home yesterday evening and tended the herd and our little garden, Mama called us up – very anxious – and talked to Carra.
All I could hear was, “Oh no!!” and, “Do you want us to come pick you up?”
Carra was on the phone sometime before I finally found out that the work van – already a not-too-reliable vehicle and packed to the hips with tools and other things I know in general as “junk” ( 🙂 ) – had blown a flat on a busy part of I-77 and Daddy hadn’t been able to pull the van off the road far enough.
They were changing the tire anyway – thank Jesus for whoever came up with the idea for spares! – and we prayed (and sent word to friends who also prayed!) and Mama told us to go on with chores (and I wonder go easily she thought we could do that with her scared and crying over a half hour away?).

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But Jesus is so good.
This is what I was trying to say yesterday; that if we trust Him for everything, even in to most simple things in life He will protect us and guide us.
If our minds are stayed on Him.

If we get all caught up with ourselves, our individuality, our personal “rights”, then there is no room in our hearts for Jesus – even if we believe in Him – and no room in our lives for His Guidance and Protection, as He knows we feel we can “handle” the situation without Him – even if we don’t confess that.

Well, back to work with me.
Praying you all enjoy this Thursday – and hopefully without a headache!! 🙂

Blessed Hour of Prayer

I rarely write multiple posts in one day. Sometimes I will feel like writing a lot and will have a spell of two posts a day, but rarely – perhaps even never – three.
Well, here’s my third post for the day.
I have been praying much about sharing another, but felt very impressed in my spirit to do so.
Again on the subject of prayer – or rather, on talking to The Lord Jesus; keeping up a communion with Him through out the day.
The Lord is truly impressing on my spirit how important to the Christian’s daily life a constant communion with Him is. It’s like feeding our own natural bodies. We would never starve ourselves, but so often we starve our spirits by not feeding ourselves on our Heavenly Bread, the Life of Jesus.

Fanny J. Crosby’s beautiful hymn, written so many years ago, speak my feelings so perfectly. It’s one of my favorite songs.

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when our hearts lowly bend,
And we gather to Jesus, our Savior and Friend;
If we come to Him in faith, His protection to share,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the Savior draws near,
With a tender compassion His children to hear;
When He tells us we may cast at His feet every care,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the tempted and tried
To the Savior Who loves them their sorrow confide;
With a sympathizing heart He removes every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

At the blessèd hour of prayer, trusting Him, we believe
That the blessing we’re needing we’ll surely receive;
In the fullness of the trust we shall lose every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there.

Refrain

Blessèd hour of prayer, blessèd hour of prayer,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

To be in constant communion with Jesus is not an unnatural feat. It’s something that should come very easily to even the youngest of believers.

To know Him, talk to Him, rely on Him – as the source of our lives, happiness, safety, and future day by day enables us, as believers, to live above the trials and troubles – no matter how big or how small – that He places in our circumstances.

Such as the trouble that came our family’s way tonight.
It wasn’t huge or harmful, though it could have been very easily.

Lordwilling, I’ll share that little story tomorrow.
I think I’ve written enough today. 🙂

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A Song from Sunday

I have heard this song many times over the course of my romance with the family music tradition of bluegrass gospel. I had no idea it was in our hymnal all that time!
I played it at least three times and sang it yesterday, and also played it for our evening worship service.
Oh that Jesus would grant us stars in our crowns!

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I am thinking today of that beautiful land
I shall reach when the sun goeth down;
When through wonderful grace by my Savior I stand,
Will there be any stars in my crown?

In the strength of the Lord let me labor and pray,
Let me watch as a winner of souls,
That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day,
When His praise like the sea billow rolls.

O what joy it will be when His face I behold,
Living gems at his feet to lay down!
It would sweeten my bliss in the city of gold,
Should there be any stars in my crown.

Refrain

Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown
When at evening the sun goeth down?
When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest
Will there be any stars in my crown?

Elizabeth E. Hewitt 1897

Special Saturday with Friends

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

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After many days of preparation, the day of the big visit finally came. 🙂

Our friends, the H. Family came to spend the day with us yesterday, make bread, cheese, pizza, cookies, soap, and spend some time with the goats.

It was a full, busy day – but full of laughs and the love of Jesus. It was a beautiful day, in short, and we all enjoyed it…all….ten of us.

Doesn’t sound like a large crowd to most of you, I know. 🙂 But ten is a lot people to have at the Lyons’ house at one time! 😀

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The first thing we did was make mozzarella cheese – from two gallons of milk. One turned out well the other didn’t but we used it all on pizza later that evening! 🙂

We used the whey to make up a batch of 8 loaves of bread, and also used like three loaves worth of dough for the pizza crust.

We had plenty of little hands to help out. 🙂 The H. Family has a set of triplets and a little one not yet a year old. Having the sound of children in the house was very different for us four, but a refreshing change from the solemnity of the Lyons’ home and so much fun.

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We loved holding the littlest H. baby. ❤ Carra and I couldn’t get our fill of him even if our not-used-to-children-arms were sore! 🙂

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Half way through the day the little H. girls knocked off as we say, and took a nap. I think the day was a full one for them! 🙂 They helped with the bread dough, made miniature pizza crusts, tasted the cheese and mushrooms and bell peppers, and walked all the way to the barn (we carried them back 🙂 ), and rolled around in the den with their triplet brother playing…whatever games little three year old minds can imagine to play!

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We went down to the barn and visited the goats. Mama H. worked on milking again – this is the family that bought little Mercy and Tot at the beginning of the month. Mama H. wants to learn to milk so that when the girls have freshened she’ll be able to get fresh milk for her sweet family. She’s getting the hang of it too!

Watching her, I remembered a lot of our own adventure in learning how to milk. It makes me so thankful to the Lord that we had our Daisy back then. She was so patient and let us work with her for what seemed like hours. Rosie (the doe Mama H. is milking here) is just like Daisy; very patient.

Its amazing the things we put animals through for our own use….

but I’m off the subject. 🙂

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Dad H. finished up the milking; he’s had practice before on goats some years ago.

I think both of them working together they’ll have a home dairy in no time when their little ones freshen. 🙂

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I don’t think I got any pictures of our cookie making. Or maybe I did but not on my phone….

Well, after the cookie making and the trip to the barn we put the sauce together and fixed the pizzas then all sat down to a hearty meal – which was lovely. 🙂

Daddy had been mowing for most of this time while we showed the Hs. our kitchen work, but the men enjoyed conversation over supper and afterwards took the triplets out and planted tomato plants.

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After supper, when all the kids were outside, we mixed up a batch of Lilac and Lilies soap with Mama H. for the family to take home.

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By this time it was getting late, and after a good long chat and packing the H. Family car we saw our friends off.

It was a lovely day, and we’re already thinking of some way to get them back here again! 😀

I am thankful for the dear friends the Lord Jesus brings into our lives – in the most unusual of ways, such as our goats. 🙂

And I’m thankful for the special bond that forms between those who are truly seeking to serve and honor Him. The bond of His love and life.

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(A sign done for our family by sweet Mama H. ❤ Thank you, dear friend!)

May Jesus always be our lives and may He shine forth through us in everything we do, say, and share.

Thankful Thursday – with a few words on how unthankful I am.

“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.”

Psalm 69:1-3

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I was going to write a post about our soapmaking this morning, as we unmolded our first designed soaps last night and Carra and I are so excited about them, but I just couldn’t get the words to come.

I kept remembering today was Thursday, and generally the day for my Thankful Thursday posts if I’m keeping up with my blog as I ought, and I feel the Lord is impressing on me to write one, especially because this week in particular has been so hard for me – for us all, but I speak for myself.

Everyday this week has dealt our family a new struggle of some sort, and as we’ve drudged through each day I’ve felt there is little in my life to cause me joy or to be thankful for – I wonder often what it feel like to be truly happy again.

But whenever – well, usually… – I write to my silent friend, or I scribble on this blog it makes me feel so much better as I find myself seeking the Lord to guide me in my writing – and my words to my silent friend often become written prayers.

I leave my writing feeling refreshed, renewed, and closer to my Jesus.

Because, through my writing, I have been seeking Him.

What if I were to seek Him so everyday, through the difficulties and troubles – not just the good moments and easy times – and truly seek His Word and seek His Face, not rely on my own strength and ability to handle a situation?

If I were to do this with my everyday life as well as I do it with my pen, how much more joy would be mine – in Him. For in Him are all things good, and in Him is Life bound up. If we don’t seek Him – every moment of every day – we are seeking of ourselves to live life by our own methods and natural ability. Thus, we fall into traps, we trip over rough places, and we become disillusioned by the difficulties when we find ourselves bogged down in the mire of this world.

This week I have so much truly to be thankful for.

Even if I haven’t known it or claimed any of it.

  • The right to come before my Jesus, to seek Him as I would seek an earthly friend, to trust Him as my Beloved – my Protector, my Guide.
  • His Ability to be with me, to instruct and guide me each moment; to protect me and be my Joy and Grace – despite what my flesh tells me is wrong or is right.
  • My life. The fact that I’m actually living and breathing – all by His Will! If He did not desire it, I wouldn’t even be here writing this today.
  • My family. We are all healthy and well, still able to work with our hands.
  • Our farm. Its still here! We can spend time with our animals, and are refreshed each time we visit the barn.

The Lord Jesus knows what is best for us – way before we even see things coming.

He knows how He will deal with problems before they even arise in the dimmest of our imaginations.

If Jesus can raise a man from the dead, if He can still storms – if He can protect people when terrific, deadly tornadoes rip through entire hospitals and schools and homes – why can’t He deal with our little problems day to day?

He can!

But only if we believe.

Jesus in Mine

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Fade, fade each earthly joy;
Jesus is mine.
Break every tender tie;
Jesus is mine.
Dark is the wilderness,
Earth has no resting place,
Jesus alone can bless;
Jesus is mine.

Tempt not my soul away;
Jesus is mine.
Here would I ever stay;
Jesus is mine.
Perishing things of clay,
Born but for one brief day,
Pass from my heart away;
Jesus is mine.

Farewell, ye dreams of night;
Jesus is mine.
Lost in this dawning bright;
Jesus is mine.
All that my soul has tried
Left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied;
Jesus is mine.

Farewell, mortality;
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, eternity;
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, O Loved and Blest,
Welcome, sweet scenes of rest,
Welcome, my Savior’s breast;
Jesus is mine.

Charlotte Elliot

A Look Back, So We Can Look Ahead

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but them shall I know even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

I Corinthians 13:12-13

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Going through pictures yesterday, I was reminded of how things change.

I guess everyone is inclined to do that when they look through pictures – even if their not really old, per se.

I was looking through pictures of a couple years ago. 2011.

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Carra was 18, I was 19, going to turn 19 and 20 later on in the year.

Daddy had taken a day job in town for the first time in our memories, and us girls were at home most of the time; cooking, canning, and doing things we later would come to love (though at the time it was mainly work).

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 This was the year we began doing some outside jobs; four or five in this year actually.

Daddy had begun working on getting his GC license again and we were picking up a few small jobs for individuals.

Earlier in the year we had traveled so far as Statesville NC to work.

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It was also the year of the big snow (something very rare for South Carolina!).

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That was the last time I remember sledding – and the first time I remember sledding since 2003 when we had a huge snow over in Gaffney, SC.

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Our herd of goats was still small; Daisy, her two daughters Joy and Princess, and our buck Silver. We had scores of chickens though! And we loved every minute of chores. 🙂 I don’t think the goats liked the snow as much as we did though! 😀

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It was the first year we had more than one goat give birth at once (and the last year that kidding season was not so exhausting). It was also the year our little Rosie was born. 🙂

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We would take long walks on the dam behind our house, Carra and I together, and K would read to me.

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We had a special mothers’ day – of course, this was before we knew how much we would need to use that grill when a huge storm came through shortly afterwards and took away our electricity for two or three days! 😀

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Things were changing in our family; so slowly, but they were.

We weren’t always happy with the changes, but come they would, and the things that went on in this year, and the years before that, the Lord put within our lives to change us into better servants for Him.

Of course we didn’t know it at the time, and still are not often aware of it when He is working.

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I could go on and on about the changes of 2011. The things we went through; all the learning we did – a lot of it in cooking and canning! We had tons of pickles that year and preserves.

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Carra, I’m sure you’ll remember this blurry picture!

We thought this was the very pits of life, didn’t we? The month or more we spent at this home, working – and learning so much about our work!

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Glazing windows.

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And painting them – then trying to get them unstuck! 😀

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We thought this was just the worst part of our lives that could be imagined.

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It was the first time in 11 years that my sister and I ventured to have separate rooms.

And it worked.

Mainly because one sister was on the computer a lot at the time, while the other wanted to sleep!!

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And though we thought we were so, so unhappy….

We can look back now and see the joy that’s hidden in these pictures; the joy we didn’t really know that we had.

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It was a year of learning; of doing things we’d never done before, of experiencing changes we never imagined would come, and of touching new relationships that for a while seemed to send our family on rollercoasters – when really all the were doing was showing us hills and valleys that weren’t really all that deep or tall.

If only we could have seen this then.

If only we could have seen the Lord’s Hand in our circumstances, and learned then to love everyday as if it were our last, and to put our most into each moment for the glory of our Lord Jesus and the love of each other.

If only we could have seen this then.

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And today; as we work…trudging through hours of labor we outright despise, having no time at home as we think we ought, and struggling with relationships – within our family and without – as well as laboring in our own personal relationships with our Jesus….

If today we would just look up.

If we would take a lesson from our past.

All those hours we could have enjoyed and rejoiced in, even in trials and trouble, if only we would have seen Jesus’ working.

And what of today?

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In the simple things in life – and the most difficult – He is still here, still working.

Why can’t we just trust Him?

Why don’t we ever learn this lesson?

Instead of being downcast and depressed and drug down because of tribulation and struggles? Why can’t we embrace these hardships and hold onto Christ, knowing His is always a better plan?