Have Faith

 

“Have faith in God.”—Mark 11:22.

AITH is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could not have fought “Apollyon;” it needed “Christian” to do that. Poor Little-faith could not have slain “Giant Despair;” it required “Great-heart’s” arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nut-shell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little-faith says, “It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;” but Great-faith remembers the promise, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:” and so she boldly ventures. Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great-faith sings, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:” and she fords the stream at once. Would you be comfortable and happy? Would you enjoy religion? Would you have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom? Then “have faith in God.” If you love darkness, and are satisfied to dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith; but if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing, covet earnestly this best gift, “great faith.” C. H. Spurgeon

 

Life of Faith

“The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.”—Galatians 2:20.

HEN the Lord in mercy passed by and saw us in our blood, He first of all said, “Live”; and this He did first, because life is one of the absolutely essential things in spiritual matters, and until it be bestowed we are incapable of partaking in the things of the kingdom. Now the life which grace confers upon the saints at the moment of their quickening is none other than the life of Christ, which, like the sap from the stem, runs into us, the branches, and establishes a living connection between our souls and Jesus. Faith is the grace which perceives this union, having proceeded from it as its firstfruit. It is the neck which joins the body of the Church to its all-glorious Head.

“Oh Faith! thou bond of union with the Lord,
Is not this office thine? and thy fit name,
In the economy of gospel types,
And symbols apposite—the Church’s neck;
Identifying her in will and work
With Him ascended?”
Faith lays hold upon the Lord Jesus with a firm and determined grasp. She knows His excellence and worth, and no temptation can induce her to repose her trust elsewhere; and Christ Jesus is so delighted with this heavenly grace, that He never ceases to strengthen and sustain her by the loving embrace and all-sufficient support of His eternal arms. Here, then, is established a living, sensible, and delightful union which casts forth streams of love, confidence, sympathy, complacency, and joy, whereof both the bride and bridegroom love to drink. When the soul can evidently perceive this oneness between itself and Christ, the pulse may be felt as beating for both, and the one blood as flowing through the veins of each. Then is the heart as near heaven as it can be on earth, and is prepared for the enjoyment of the most sublime and spiritual kind of fellowship.

Meditation by Charles H. Spurgeon

Can You See Him?

“But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him.”—Luke 24:16.

HE disciples ought to have known Jesus, they had heard His voice so often, and gazed upon that marred face so frequently, that it is wonderful they did not discover Him. Yet is it not so with you also? You have not seen Jesus lately. You have been to His table, and you have not met Him there. You are in a dark trouble this evening, and though He plainly says, “It is I, be not afraid,” yet you cannot discern Him. Alas! our eyes are holden.

We know His voice; we have looked into His face; we have leaned our head upon His bosom, and yet, though Christ is very near us, we are saying “O that I knew where I might find Him!” We should know Jesus, for we have the Scriptures to reflect His image, and yet how possible it is for us to open that precious book and have no glimpse of the Well-beloved! Dear child of God, are you in that state?

Jesus feedeth among the lilies of the word, and you walk among those lilies, and yet you behold Him not. He is accustomed to walk through the glades of Scripture, and to commune with His people, as the Father did with Adam in the cool of the day, and yet you are in the garden of Scripture, but cannot see Him, though He is always there. And why do we not see Him?

It must be ascribed in our case, as in the disciples’, to unbelief. They evidently did not expect to see Jesus, and therefore they did not know Him. To a great extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord. Faith alone can bring us to see Jesus. Make it your prayer, “Lord, open Thou mine eyes, that I may see my Saviour present with me.” It is a blessed thing to want to see Him; but oh! it is better far to gaze upon Him.

To those who seek Him He is kind; but to those who find Him, beyond expression is He dear!

Monday 4-14-14

Blessings to you.

Holy Week has begun, and it will culminate with Easter/Resurrection Sunday and Passover being celebrated on the same day.  This amazing time will never happen again in our lifetime.  It is truly remarkable that God would allow us this time in history to embrace and recognize our spiritual heritage and roots of faith.   Reflecting on this, I noted today’s date of 4-14-14.  This date will never occur again in history.  I wondered if what I would find if I went to the New Testament and look for 4-14-14.  The fourth book of the New Testament is the gospel of John.  In the 14th chapter and 14th verse Jesus said, “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (NLT)  Jesus was explaining to his disciples that God the Father and Jesus were one.  He wanted to let them know that if they truly believed in Him they would perform greater works because of His relationship with the Father, and His immediate departure.  He wanted them to understand that everything had been arranged for the continuation of the divine mission, and nothing was left to chance.  He was leaving them with everything needed to accomplish their tasks, with one stipulation – “Ask.”   Knowing what lay ahead for each of them, the master wanted them to know He had matters well in hand.  A somber and sobering conversation mingled with hope.

As I completed my prayers, this same verse came up strong in my spirit. I was feeling the heaviness of many tasks before me, and wondered if I could rise up to the challenge.   I had also been praying for peace, and light as well as physical healing for myself and others in my community.   Thoughts of the tragic shooting in which three Jewish people were killed in Overland Park, Kansas. And thoughts of those families are still mourning the loss of those young people killed in FedEx crash, and of course there is the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing were very much on my mind.  However, Jesus offers all of Christendom the opportunity to approach Him and ask Him for provision, and the promise of new life.  So despite all to contrary, there is still hope on this day, and the opportunity to display in His love and light to those whose lives are in the shadows, because our blessed redeemer lives.  Ask for His peace, love and light to fill you, and let it carry you right up to Easter/Resurrection Sunday and Passover.

This moment lifted my spirits. There is hope because our redeemer lives and everything needed to perform, our Advocate, our strong tower, Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords shall supply.  We need only ASK.
Jesus

 

Celebration of our son

I celebrated the life of our dear son Shawn who passed away on March 17, 1998. What a tremendous joy he was to so many. And he left a legacy of life and love that Michael and I cherish to this day. 

Thank you God for Shawn, his sons Mavrick, Jordan and for the awesome circles of family and friends you gave him and us. O Lord, you have blessed us beyond measure.  Thank you for to his sister Coquese, and brother Paul and those who, still to this day, remain part of this endless circle of love. These young men and women (adopted brothers and sisters) who came to us through their relationship with Shawn have enriched our lives. They have never left us, and have kept their promise to make positive life changes.  We and the greater community have benefited from their commitment and their deep and abiding love.  So out of tragedy came “a family and a community united by God’s love.”   As a result Shawn’s light still shines bright.  

It is with deep appreciation that Michael and I extend our thanks and gratitude to all who loved him, and to those who continue to demonstrate their love for us, for his family and for the community.

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My Friend is Gone

My day began with sadness, as a community recalled the life and legacy of Jean Fonville.  A woman of tremendous faith who devoted all she had to her husband, family, church and to her God. Her best friend of 45 years, and Godmother to her daughter said sadly, “My friend is gone.” Her gentle conversation mingled with tears, sorrow and disbelief spoke volumes of a relationship that span not only years, but every connected moment. Moments built on joys, challenges, and the inevitable cycles of life cemented in their love for one another. The statement, which briefly sounded so final, open the door to a moment of realization, as she said one day we will see each other again. Losing a loved one is never easy. Thoughts of past experiences enjoyed gives way to the knowledge that those moments, or others like them, are forever lost. But as her friend said to me with complete confidence, I know I will see her and the next time will be different for both of us.

As I ponder her comments, and those of my dear friend of many years, I wrote in my journal, ” The legacy of lives brought together by a single act or [encounter] forged a bond that is broken [momentarily] by death. The next time Jean and her friend see each other it will be like the ending of the story of the prodigal son, what was lost is now found.  Her dear friend is gone, but oh what a glorious reunion awaits them.  Rest in peace Jean.
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Plant Good Seeds

Yesterday, we received news one of our dear friends’ cancer had returned.  As she related the information about the treatment plan, there was an undeniable peace within her voice.  How grateful she was for the excellent clinicians, support network, and medical facilities.  She blessed God for his goodness, grace and for allowing her to survived two previous bouts.   Her confidence in His goodness was evident.  Our conversation was one of joy and hope from a beautiful woman who knows and loves the Lord.

Hosea 10:12, “I said, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love.  Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”

Our friend planted good seeds for years.  We’ve witnessed her faithfulness, compassion, joy and the harvest of love.  I have no doubt God will continue to reward this remarkable woman.

Prayer of Saint Francis

During these 22 days of praise, let this beautiful prayer of Saint Francis remind us of our holy calling.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

Blessings.

Confession of Hope

Hebrews 10: 23-24 (NKJV)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

My husband and I just finished a whirlwind trip through two states seeing family and friends. At every encounter, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness, and provision, particularly during some of the most difficult periods in our lives. His grace markers were evident as I held hands with our first grandson, looked into the faces of family and friends, and saw the delight in their eyes. God has so blessed us. He has been faithful through all the trials and tribulations, and all the wrong decisions made. Through the Prophet Isaiah God said, “…Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me, Hear and your soul shall live;…(Isaiah 55:2b-3a). God promised his plans for us would give us a future and a hope. God promised to never leave us nor forsake us. God promised us to give us the desires of our hearts. These promises and more are a testament to the faithfulness of our Lord. His promises are true; because God does not lie. His grace is sufficient. Hold fast to your hope for our God is faithful. Listen carefully to Him.  Incline yourself to His word. Trust Him. Pursue Him with your whole heart, and encourage others to taste and see that the Lord is good.  For we have a hope, a magnificent hope.

Trust in God’s Faithfulness

We’ve been studying Genesis for the past several weeks.  Each time I read the accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah and Abraham I see God’s hand miraculously working.  I see the promises, the covenants, and the fulfillment of those promises, and it gives me hope, even when I’m feeling hopeless.   So, despite a world fraught with tragedy, natural disasters, economic upheavals, constant concerns, you and I can exercise faith in God when all seems to be against us. The Bible constantly reminds us that God uses difficult circumstances to show Himself faithful.  Abraham and Sarah are listed in Hebrews Chapter 11 as members of the elite group of faith believers who trusted in the word of the Lord.  Theirs is one of the “trust standards” for us to learn from and to follow.  Just as He promised Abraham and Sarah that they would conceived the “child of promise” in their old age, God is able to do all things according to His divine plan.  He knows the thoughts He has towards us, thoughts of good and not evil, to bring us to an expected end. (Jeremiah 29-11-13 paraphrased).    He promised Noah he would never again destroy the earth with a flood.  He promised Abraham land, nations, a promised child, and blessings.   He promised us a Savior.  Although, today you and I might be struggling with the cares of this world, God is not.  He knows us, and the plans He has for us.  He is the Lord our shepherd, and He makes us to lie down in green pastures; besides the still waters, and He will restore our souls.   Is there anything too hard for God? God asked Sarah this question when she laughed at the thought of her situation.  Has your situation blinded you to the omnipotent, omnipresence, omniscience of God?

Don’t despair.  Don’t doubt even for a moment.  There is nothing in heaven or on this earth that is too hard for our God.  Today, my brothers and sisters trust in the faithfulness of God.

Psalm 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”