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Friday, November 24, 2017

A walk on Thanksgiving Day 2017

 November Sunsets


           A tree in our back garden. It always turns this beautiful red in the autumn.





My sisters have been feeding this kitten that was abandoned by its mother. Every three hours it needs to be fed.


I took these next pictures on a walk around the neighborhood.


Redbud leaf 



           A plane in the sky above a beautiful Thanksgiving sunset. I wonder where they are going?

A sliver of a moon





Friday, March 17, 2017

"Joy of the Lord" Christian Missions Press Tract

To order paper versions of this tract write to:
Christian Missions Press
P.O. Box 2222 Oklahoma City, OK 73101    

or go to: http://www.lifehouse.org/cmp/index.htm


"Joy of the Lord" by Tommy Steele Sr.

It was my privilege recently to sit under the ministry of a man of God who was a missionary in a  foreign land for sixty-one years. During those three score years he swallowed the Bible by degrees.
It was obvious from his speaking that he was familiar with all sixty-six books! His years of meditating in the Word of God has fastened the glory of the Lord upon his countenance. Despite the fact of his more than eighty years, all who are acquainted with him are inspired by his exuberance. He has experienced trials like all the rest of us but nothing is permitted to rob him of his joy in the Lord. This verse of Scripture has liberally been fulfilled in his life,....
with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians  3:18).

Joy Depleted 

Why can't all of us wear unbroken testimony to the glory of the Lord as does this dear servant of the Lord? Instead of getting under the circumstances why don't we, with the Lord's help, stay on top of the circumstances? We need to remind our hearts of what Jesus said in John 16:33, In the world ye shall have tribulation: be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Since He has overcome the world for us, why should we permit the world to overcome us?

When tribulation comes, why give up our peace when our peace is in Him and He is our peace? For He is our peace... (Ephesians 2:14). Why do we go down in defeat before an already defeated foe? Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that has the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14). Why should we be victimized by the works of the devil when the Son of God, our Savior, has already destroyed his works?... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). 

Really now, aren't we without excuse in permitting our joy to flee from us, or even in allowing it to subside in the least degree, regardless of what happens? We cannot put on and take off our garments of salvation - our robe of righteousness - so why remove our ornaments or our jewels?
Beloved, do not allow Satan to bankrupt your spiritual legacy. Make the determination stated in Isaiah 61:10, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom docket himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

Joy's Challenge 

These goals I am setting forth are of tremendous stature. From my observations, victorious, cheerful Christians are in the minority, the sad minority. This lack of joy does not honor our Lord. It does not prove that He is as great as faithful as we declare Him to be. We are not demonstrating what He is doing for us - what we tell others He can do for them.

Believe me, I do not read Ann Lander's column. But when she and her husband separated a while back, I read in a news report that she said the advice she gave to others had not worked for her. God forbid that we ever have to make such a confession regarding our preaching and our witnessing concerning what our Lord Jesus Christ is able to do! The Apostle Paul gives us a picture of His almightiness, Now unto Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to His power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20).

Joy's Expanse

A careful and prayerful reading of the book of Nehemiah would help us realize the possibility of victory in any kind of situation. Nehemiah heard of the distress of the remnant of the children of Israel in Jerusalem, and of the reproach of the broken - down wall of the Lord's chosen city. He became burdened about it. After praying about the matter, confessing his sins and the sins of the children of Israel, he sought the Lord's permission and help to do something about it.

God granted Nehemiah's request and he set out to correct an untenable situation. From the very beginning of the job to rebuild the wall to the Holy City, he met with opposition of every type. There was opposition by ridicule, conspiracy, and threats. Some of his teammates became discouraged, some became greedy. His enemies accused him of being personally ambitious. Nehemiah kept on praying and working and the wall was finished.

Joy's Authority 

After the working on the wall was completed, Nehemiah directed the attention of the people to the law of God. So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading (Nehemiah 8:8). What a daily schedule! They stood and read the law of God for three hours and another three hours they confessed and worshipped the Lord, their God (Nehemiah 9:3). Their repentance for breaking the law brought restoration. The Word of God was a source of spiritual refreshment to the people of God. Nehemiah states it graphically, Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord. Neither be ye grieved; for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Transforming Joy

The secret of Nehemiah's success was, I believe, his tremendous realization that THE JOY OF THE LORD is strength. It was Nehemiah's strength. It can be your strength. It can be my strength. God grant that it be so. The acceptance of this truth, acting upon faith, will change any forlorn Christian into a cheerful Christian, a defeated Christian into a victorious one, a gloomy countenance into a glowing countenance. The Holy Spirit will help you fi you will call Him in to furnish the wisdom and power you need to rejoice in the Lord.

Maintain the glow, beloved! The world needs to see radiant Christians. Let your light shine. Be an exhibit of the fruit of the Spirit- JOY. It has transforming power. The fragrance of joyful Christians is a wonderful therapy for a sick world.














Photos from China


The West Lake in Hangzhou, China.  January 2011. 
Photos taken by Elizabeth 






"Shadow of the Silk Road" book excerpt and my thoughts..

Note: I have a curious habit of starting blog posts and then not finishing them until later.... This post below has been waiting patiently as a draft since September 2012!  

I read a very interesting book about China. The author recounts his experiences as he journeyed along the Silk Road, starting in Xian, China and traveling west all the way to Antioch, Turkey. Mr. Thubron is an excellent writer and I have enjoyed his attention to detail and his beautiful depictions of people and places. Here is an excerpt from the book: "Shadow of the Silk Road" by Colin Thubron.

'We are not like our parents. We have no time and security. You say we walk differently from the old, well that is why. It's something nervous.'
   He seemed to wince across the restaurant table: a young man, barely twenty-three, with a pale, heart-shaped face. 'Our parents' world was safer: state pensions, assured jobs, and housing. And they want to go on as before, cautiously, preserving. 
But my generation - our world depends on us.'
   He looked at once anxious and excited. This was the sea-change that was transforming China. All at once the future had grown more potent than the past. Change was rendering things obsolete. You could see this where high-rise apartment blocks barged into the old suburbs, bulldozing the clustered generations of the communal courtyard and banking up tiers of nuclear families in their place. Whole regions of the city had become unrecognizable, the man said. And of course it was not merely buildings that were being exchanged, it was the values they fostered.
  'I spent my childhood in those old hutong courtyards. Relationships were warmer then.' His mouth puckered, as if hunting a lost taste. I wondered if he were not simply regretting being adult. 'Now we live on the fourteenth floor of a skyscaper, and whenever we go we lock an iron door behind us.'
   He was the awkward by-product of this changed world. He loved animals and green spaces - in childhood he had longed hopelessly for a dog - and was studying ecology with a tinge of despair at his country's ruthlessness. He was an only child. 'Most of my friends are outcomes of the One Child policy, state birth control. They call us "little emperors." Parents and relatives all dote on these single children.....
(pages 11-12)

....For a while he picked delicately at the chicken in front of him, sometimes dabbing the corners of his mouth with his sleeve. Then he said with the sudden, paradoxical spareness of his people:  I'm afraid of death. And loneliness. When I close my eyes, I go cold. I think: death is like this. Blackness, where there's no feel or taste. Many young people are afraid of it, I think. Old people can look back on rich lives, perhaps, and are not afraid...'
  I thought: everything was always assured to them.
'...But we young people are unfulfilled, and afraid. Some of my friends go to the Buddhist temple, but only because they want something. I don't believe in that. For us, after death, there's nothing.'
(page 13) 
From "Shadow of the Silk Road" by Colin Thubron. (emphasis mine)

Isn't that sad? "For us, after death, there's nothing" in the words of this Chinese man, after you die there is nothing. Blackness. Silence. Nothingness. How sad! For us as believers, we know this is not true. There are two destinations: Heaven and Hell. How horrible to die and find out too late that you are in hell! 

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."

Titus 2:11-14

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 
John 11:25-26

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  
1 Peter 1:3-5

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 
Romans 1:16-17 

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

What wonderful news this is! We have a sobering responsibility and amazing privilege - the opportunity to tell others of this free gift of life. It is available to anyone. No matter how old or young you are.  Whatever language you speak. Whatever lifestyle you come from, The Lord Jesus is able to deliver you from spiritual death and darkness. God's gift of salvation is free and available to anyone who believes in the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Do we realize what a blessing we have here in North America? Most people here have heard the gospel many times since their childhood, and there are church buildings on most street corners. But in many parts of China, there are people who have yet to meet a Christian, or hear the true, vibrant, gospel message. May we pray for searching souls all over the world who are missing something in their life and don't know what. Or others, hardened to the gospel, ignore the truth of the Bible. 

You have two choices. You can either accept Jesus Christ's gift of salvation or reject it. 

Please take time to consider your eternal destiny. 

-Elizabeth


Be strong in the Lord

I found this post that I wrote a few months ago and had not posted yet. 

I have been noticing a word in my Bible reading lately, the word is: strong.


When the world talks about being strong it talks along the theme of, "depend on yourself" or being "self reliant." But when God tells us to be strong, we are to be strong through His strength.


In 2 Chronicles 15:7 it says this: "But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!"

Later on in 2 Chronicles 16:9, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."


"My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God."
Psalm 62:5-7


"Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgements with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed."
1 Chronicles 22:13  


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Brief recap of 2016

Happy 2017! I have not completely abandoned this blog I promise. I have been working on an associates degree in English, so I wrote papers for class, but not necessarily for the blog. 

Winter is not my favorite season of the year, but I am thankful for all the blessings the Lord has given me. I am glad I have a warm home when it is cold outside and do not live in a tent. (like refugees in Turkey and other places) 
I am reading in Psalms, Song of Solomon, Matthew and Acts.
I am continually reminded of how the Lord forgives and has compassion on us when we fail Him. The verses below stood out to me as I was reading. 


Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth,
And they lied to Him with their tongue;
 
For their heart was not steadfast with Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
 
But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
 
For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.

Psalm 78: 36-39

Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, 
they were multiplied.  
Acts 9:31 

I am re-reading "Secret Believers" by Brother Andrew. I just finished reading "The Journals of Jim Elliot." I found a book at the library called "Funny in Farsi; a Memoir of growing up Iranian in America" by Firoozeh Dumas. It helped me learn more about the Iranian culture. 


 Last year, another volunteer and I went to a Thunder basketball game with a group of children from the Novo Bible club.  January 2016 

     
     
      Please pray that these children will continue to read the Bible and learn more about the Lord. Pray for their families as well. Pray for their salvations. 


I cut my long hair short last April and am on the journey of growing it out again. I have been visiting other blogs about how to grow out short hair. It is a new experience for me! 

A dear friend I met this year. She is a lovely sister in the Lord. August 2016.

                     Holding a friend's cute baby. October 2016 

          At our new coffeeshop, "The Last Drop."        November 2016 

                   Gus, adopted from a rescue shelter this summer. He is spoiled as you can see. 
                     (He is an outdoor cat, but he sneaks in the house)


         Some sweet Iranian friends we met this year. 

           Some friends and my sisters went ice skating.                               January 2017 

Beautiful sunset over snow! January 2017.