Thursday Thoughts

This is the view from our desk where I read, study and blog on most days. I really appreciate the view. One of the books I am reading right now in my morning devotions besides the ever constant Bible is One Foundation (Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture) compiled by Grace to You. This post is for me so I don’t forget what I’ve read and want to remember.

This is a quote from Spurgeon that Steven J. Lawson shared in his essay on The Standard of Sound Words: A Mandate for the Pulpit:

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:13)

Spurgeon maintained,

Theology hath nothing new in it except that which is false. The preaching of Paul must be the preaching of the minister today. There is no advancement here. We may advance in our knowledge of it; but it stands the same, for this good reason, that it is perfect, and perfection cannot be any better. The old truth that Calvin preached, that Chrysostom preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be a liar to my conscience and my God. I can not shape the truth. I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again…For wherever there is not the old gospel we shall find “Ichabod” written upon the church walls ere long. The truth of the Covenanters, the old truth of the Puritans, the old truth of the Apostles, is the only truth that will stand the test of time, and never need to be altered to suit a wicked and ungodly generation. Christ Jesus preaches to-day the same as when he preached upon the mount; he hath not changed his doctrines; men may ridicule and laugh, but still they stand the same–semper idem* written upon every one of them. They shall not be removed or altered.

Spurgeon rightly understood the necessity of this theological continuity from one generation to the next. Cultures change. Seasons change. Fashions change. But the truth never changes.

From our house to yours, some views of our Country Bungalow yesterday when the sun was shining and the skies were blue.

And…

…so thankful for these boots that I bought at Goodwill before we moved to Colville. They were a bit pricey for Goodwill at $14.99 but I knew they were quality boots. Keen Dry boots which sell new at $100 or more. They are perfect for snow and temps below freezing. Great for snowshoeing, too.

We had a couple more inches of snow overnight.

Today is our son Dan’s birthday. We are happy and thankful to live in the same zipcode as him and his family. Happy Birthday to you dear son of ours!

We’ll be celebrating both Jamie and Dan’s birthdays tomorrow evening with a dinner here at our country bungalow.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*semper idem: always the same

Recap of 2019

This is a non-exhaustive recap of 2019 with photos, words, and many quotes that were important to me during the year.

January: 1st home purchase for Andrew and Katie, milestone birthday for Josh, Family trip to Arizona.

Journal entries to remember:

From sermons in Joshua: Wilkening

Bread of Life: The Bible has everything we need for daily nutrition of our souls.

February: Introduction to snowshoeing, Dinners, Testimonies to Deacons.

Journal Entries:

MacArthur: Christian love operates within the parameters of Biblical knowledge and spiritual discernment. 

No matter how loving an act or a word might seem, if it violates knowledge and discernment it is not Christian love.

Dorothy Sayers: It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.

March: Birthday on the Coast, Addy’s Bubble Birthday and another Milestone Birthday

Journal Entries:

Sermon from the book of Joshua: You can choose your sin, but not your consequences.

Keep growing, don’t stagnate.

Robert Bolton: He that endeavors not to be better, will by little and little grow worse.

A faith that is not changing you has not saved you. 

April: Jaymison Joshua’s birth, Andrew’s Throwing Axes party, NICU in Spokane, Vera’s first visit here.

Journal Entries:

Piper: Coasting is not discipleship. Drifting in self-contentment is not like basking in the pool of security, but like floating, fast asleep, toward the falls. “We must pay much attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

MacArthur (The Gospel According to Jesus): And any “salvation” that does not alter a lifestyle of sin and transform the heart of a sinner is not the salvation God’s Word speaks of.

May: Mother’s Day, Jaymison home again and thriving, photo shoots.

Journal Entries:

MacArthur: (TGATJ) Obedience is the inevitable manifestation of true faith.

The state of mind that refuses obedience is pure and simple unbelief.

Spurgeon: One man with God is a majority though there be a thousand on the other side.

June: Father’s Day, Anniversaries, Canada MGCC Lovella’s Birthday Brunch, Highlander.

Journal Entries:

Begg: The work of the evil one is to try to re-calibrate our thinking to the culture of the world.

From Pray Big: So Paul teaches you to ask God to open your heart-eyes to see much further and see much better, to the riches of your eternity. 

July: Family Visits, Swimming Lessons, Dan’s 30 day assignment, Summer Social.

Journal Entries:

Dwight L. Moody posed a question to a room full of children in Edinburgh, Scotland: What is prayer? He thought he would be answering that question himself but several hands went up all over the hall. He called on one young boy and this young lad with clear and confident tones said, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgement of His mercies.” Moody’s amazed response was, “Thank God, my boy, that you were born in Scotland!”

In those days in Scotland’s parents still believed it was their solemn duty to teach their children Biblical truth in the form of catechism.

August x 2: Eye surgery, Laura here for a week, Steve and Lana’s Visit, MGCC camp Weekend, Dan home

Journal Entries:

Spurgeon (A Passion for Holiness in a Believer’s Life) This is the reality of holiness: “If we believe God’s Word, we are orthodox; if we practice, we are holy.”

The Bible is the great umpire as to conduct, and not the changing moral sentiment of passing generations.

Pray to God to order your life according to His Word. To this Word we must be conformed. This is our copy to write by; this is the image to which we must be modeled. 

September: Kids to the Coast, Junk Drunk, Auger.

Journal Entries:

Piper: (Life As A Vapor):

…Don’t be duped by the gurus of the age.

…One enslaving fad follows another.

…The wisdom of this age is folly in view of eternity.

…Don’t follow a defeated foe. Follow Christ. It is costly. You will be an exile in this age. But you will be free.

October: Cousin Jim’s visit, Marcus Apple Ciderfest, Annual Family Hunting Trip, Family Baking, Pumpkin Patch, Sufficiency of Scripture Conference

Journal Entries:

Psalm 19: 7-9:

The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether:

November x 2: Vera’s 2nd Visit, Piroshky Baking day, Trip to the Coast, Sounders MLS Champions, Thanksgiving and Trusses! Hit a deer. Dan begins another 30 day assignment away from home.

Journal Entries:

An old Puritan said; “Prayer is a cannon set at the gate of heaven to burst open the gates.”

Spurgeon: You must take the city by storm if you would have it. You will not ride to heaven on a featherbed; You must go on a pilgrimage. There is no going to the land of glory while you are sound asleep; dreamy sluggards will have to wake up in hell. 

MacArthur: Fight the good fight-we are in war our whole Christian life to fight for the truth and to defend the truth. 

December x2:  Laura’s Birthday, Our Anniversary and Trip to the Coast, Canada for MGCC Christmas Party, Christmas, JJ’s First Christmas, Katie’s Birthday Party! Dan returns home.

Journal Entries:

Beware of bestsellers in the supposed “Christian” genre. Ask yourself why? Beware.

MacArthur: Mission of the Messiah (Luke 4:16-21)

Theme of the Bible is Salvation; The just payment of sin to satisfy God’s justice. God must have a substitute to die in the place of sinners. The Son of God is that substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament speaks about the one who is coming. Jesus is symbolized in all the sacrifices.

Voddie Baucham:

I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in the fulfillment of specific prophecies and claimed that their writings are divine, rather than human, in origin.

2 Peter 1:16-21

“For we do not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when we received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, we ourselves heard the voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.”

And for my last quote of the year:

Justin Peters: “If you want to hear from God, read the Bible. If you want to hear God speak, read the Bible out loud!

Beware of people who say they have heard God tell them something apart from what is already written in the Word of God.

Again this recap is for the benefit of my brain to be able to remember what happened when and what I was reading and studying that was important enough for me to write down. 

And that in a nutshell was 2019. 

 

The Prince of Preachers

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a preacher who stands out amongst many and one who I’ve enjoyed gathering books by lately. He was born in Essex, England in 1834. He was born again in 1850 at the age of fifteen. At the age of 16 he was known as “The Boy Preacher.”

He preached his first sermon at the age of sixteen. He became a pastor at the age of eighteen. In 1854 he became the pastor of New Park Street Chapel in London. He married in 1856. He had twin boys who later entered the ministry.

He often preached to congregations of more than ten thousand. The Metropolitan Tabernacle was built in 1861 to accommodate the large numbers who came to hear him preach. The Prime minister of England and members of the royal family were among those who came to hear him preach.

He went from the title of “The Boy Preacher” to be called “Prince of Preachers”.  Charles Spurgeon died in 1892 and was mourned by many.

From “A Passion for Holiness in a Believer’s Life” by Charles Spurgeon:

There is a way to God…

What that “way” is we learn from John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Believing in Jesus, we enter upon the way; receiving His Spirit into our hearts, we stand in the way; following our Redeemer’s footsteps, we walk in the way; holding fast to His leadership, we reach the end of the way. When we find Jesus, we find the way of truth, the way of life, the way of holiness. He is not only the way but also the end to all those who put their trust in Him. There is but one Christ, and therefore but one way of salvation. He is the same yesterday, today and forever; and those who pretend that He changes with the centuries talk as idle dreamers, knowing nothing of the matter. God has given us a way to Himself in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Why should he give us another? What other can there be?

Psalm 1:1-3:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season, and its leaf does not wither. In all he does, he prospers.

I took these photos of Mount Rainier in Washington State from the plane I was on traveling from Seattle to Spokane on Wednesday the 13th of November. It was nice to see this majestic (volcano) mountain clearly instead of shrouded by clouds. Rainier is a mountain in Washington state that stands out amongst the rest of the mountains so I thought it appropriate to add photos of it with this post about Spurgeon and one of his many quotes.

Here we are halfway into November. I’m getting settled back into the daily routine of country life after being exposed again to city life. I’ll have more catch up posts of my time on the “Coast”. So good to be around all our kids but one. It’s nice to have two more weekends before Thanksgiving weekend to get organized. We are not hosting on Thanksgiving Day this year. We will still make a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings on Saturday of the long weekend. Having the aromas of a traditional Thanksgiving meal in our own home is part of Thanksgiving we don’t want to miss out on. Are you hosting?

HT: The facts about Spurgeon that I shared above I read in a book I’m beginning to read (Six books in one) called Spurgeon on Prayer and Spiritual Warfare.

Changes

Time for the summer scenes to be replaced with autumn. I’ll be on the search through my plates to see if I have fall flavored plates for this section of our corner cabinet.

When we were in Spokane last week I picked up a couple new fall accents at Hobby Lobby for our bungalow and instead of packing them away until September 23rd I found good spots for them right now. This fox called to me and I thought the grands would enjoy him, too. He’s soft so when the door opens and shuts it’s not a problem.

This banner that says BLESSED was plain and I bought the package of leaves to add to it.

We bought some suspenders for Dear so he could do all his bending over and kneeling down work on his new shop in comfort instead of having to adjust his trousers constantly. He found the suspender fasteners that he could apply to his work trousers and add the suspenders when he wants. Some of the lumber deliveries have been made and our garage is full of the lumber so my car will be living outside until the building begins. Right now the corner posts marks are square and ready for the auger work to excavate and then set the posts in concrete. The type of building we are adding is called a Post Frame Building.

I’ll leave you with a Spurgeon quote. He is becoming one of my favorite preachers to quote. I’m always on the lookout for any Spurgeon books I can find in thrift stores. These next quotes are from Exploring the Mind & Heart of the Prince of Preachers Compiled by Kerry James Allen

“Every time the sheep bleats, it loses a mouthful, and every time we complain we lose a blessing.”

“We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.”

George Washington’s Prayer Journal

“O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.

Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends & kindred unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.”

I’m humbled by this prayer from the first president of the United States. I pray along with it as I ready this post.

The stained glass window with the sun streaming through casting it’s light and color onto the statue of George Washington was taken at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. in May of 2011. Dear had a conference in D.C. and I was able to tag along. The National Cathedral is a must see if you ever travel to D.C.

It is folly to say our nation was not founded on Christian principles. Some would like to blot out this part of our history and remove all evidence of our Founding Father’s faith in the one true God.

Have you ever seen or read the third verse of “The Star Spangled Banner”, our National Anthem?

 O thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, “In God is our trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Praising God this morning for preserving our nation to this point in history.

Give me this day almighty God the Spirit filled mind to serve thee in the righteousness of your dear Son, Jesus my Lord, who’s sacrifice covers my sin repented of and gives me the strength to live in your holiness.  God bless America and keep our land free to worship you in righteousness and truth.

Quotes of the Week

Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards.
Song of Songs 2:15

A little thorn can cause much suffering. A small cloud may hide the sun. Tiny foxes spoil the vineyards; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These small sins burrow in the soul and fill it with what is hateful to Christ, and thus our comfortable fellowship and communion with Him is spoiled. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable.

~Spurgeon

They are not seeking truth but seeking to put forth their own point of view ~ Linda

It cannot end there for a true believer. One with genuine faith cannot hear the Lord’s words and walk away without acting on them. The faithful will be more than shocked, more than amazed, more than admiring–they will be obedient. They are building a structure on solid rock.

* Obeying the words of Christ is equivalent to building on solid rock.

Obedience is the inevitable manifestation of true faith.

The state of mind that refuses obedience is pure and simple unbelief.

Faith obeys. Unbelief rebels.

~Excerpts from The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur

Becoming a Christian is waging a war against yourself.

Are you willing to abandon the sovereignty you exercise over your own life and confess Jesus as Lord?

~From a sermon on Matthew 7:13-17 by John MacArthur

One man with God is a majority though there be a thousand on the other side. ~ Spurgeon

All these quotes came from my readings and what I listened to these past couple weeks. They are for my own benefit and hopefully yours, too.

We drove to Spokane yesterday to do some shopping and when we arrived at the kids house to drop off their items we enjoyed quite the noisy thunderstorm. Every time the thunder rumbled, Addy asked, “What’s that?” One of the times she wanted me to hide with her on the couch with a pillow in front of our faces. It seems JJ can’t sleep well when it’s too quiet. Jamie tried to have him sleep in his own room with the monitor on. He kept waking up. She finally brought him into the living area with music going, Addy making noise and the vacuum going and he fell right to sleep and stayed asleep. Hmm.  I got some extra cuddle time with JJ while we were there, too. When we arrived home our power was out but came back on shortly after 9 PM. Glad that was a short outage. Hope you all have a good weekend.

Little brother content and asleep with all the noise a busy family produces!

 

Sunday Quote ~ Contentment

I copied this from my email inbox from Grace Gems and am sharing it in place of my Sunday Hymn this week.

A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. Grumbling, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man–as weeds are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and weeds; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. Just so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.

“Ill weeds grow quickly.” But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care.

Now, contentment is one of the flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it–then it must be cultivated, as it will not grow in us by nature. It is the new nature alone which can produce contentment–and even then we must be especially careful and watchful, that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.

Paul says, “I have learned… to be content;” as much as to say, that he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mastery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.

We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him–if we too might by any means attain unto his high degree of contentment. Do not indulge the notion that you can learn contentment without discipline. It is not an ability that may be exercised naturally–but a grace to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be–and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Contentment.