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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Love of God

The temperature when we left for church was 39.  Jessica said that was to be the high for the day!  We did see a little bit of snow this afternoon!  Fortunately, just a few sprinkles and no accumulation!

The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman, 1917
v. 3 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, 1050
v. 3 tr. by Anonymous/Unknown

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Frederick Lehman tells us that verse 3 “had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave.” While it is only supposition that he was the one who adapted the Jewish author’s poem to leave us these well-known lines, if the account is true it shows in any case that he highly esteemed the message.

I would add to this that anyone who wrote V. 3 could NOT have been insane!  That was Tim's favorite verse!

Jessica's pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Lancaster, OH, Brother Matthew Nihiser, preached today on the love we are to have for and give to one another from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
4 ¶ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 ¶ Charity never faileth: .......

The love that is spoken of here is Agape love or divine love.  It is the kind of love God had for us sinners.  He gave knowing He would get nothing in return.  But, even more than that, He gave without expecting anything in return.  He gave out of love.

I give love, sometimes, because I want or expect something in return.  I don't always know that is what I'm doing, but I'm sure it happens.  That is not God's kind of love.  Verse 4 explains what love is and the rest of verse 4 through verse 6 explains what love isn't.

It IS:
1.  patient - passive - not retaliatory in nature but emotionally calm in provocation.
2.  kind - active - moves actively to bestow blessings
1.  envious - wanting what another person has (Proverbs 27:4 - Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?)
2.  boastful - self-display; show off
3.  arrogant - self-inflation or exaggeration of self
4.  rude - seek not to offend
5.  insisting on its own way - doesn't demand its own rights
6.  irritable - grumpy or crotchety
7.  resentful - doesn't keep a record of wrong-doing.  Can remember and still forgive.
8.  rejoicing in wrong-doing but in truth - not tolerating sin.  We don't rejoice when someone "gets what they deserve."

I was convicted that a lot of times, I don't have God's kind of love towards others!  Thank You, Father, for showing me some areas I need to work on!  I want to love the way Jesus loved!

Tonight was an evening of celebration for the church.  There was a meal before hand and then a time of watching a slide show of happenings throughout the year, followed by a time of testimony of what being a part of the Calvary Baptist church family meant to you as an individual.  That was followed by observing the Lord's Supper.
Watching the picture show from the past year.

Early to bed for everyone tonight!  Thank You, Lord, for the blessings of the day!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Just Plain Silliness

Another busy Saturday in the Jones household!  I told Jessica this was exactly why we didn't let her and her siblings do sports, etc.  Just too much activity!

I took Araya to gymnastics because Jessica attended a memorial service for a baby who only lived 16 minutes.  Please pray for this family as they grieve!  Terry took Thad to swimming.  Later in the afternoon Jessica took Chance to gym ninja and then to a birthday party.

Tonight we played silly games.  The first one was "Say it, don't spray it!"  The second one was "Loopy something or another" which was like pictionary but you had to draw using distorted glasses.

The "Say It, Don't Spray It" game

A cute foam decoration for Thanksgiving we put together tonight

Another week went zipping by!  Have a great Lord's Day tomorrow!

Friday, November 17, 2017


I love making connections with Tim's family members.  We all have a special place in our hearts for him that is now filled with only memories!  But, memories are good!  My mom died without her memories because she had Alzheimer's.  What a sad disease!

Today, I connected with Tim's mom.  I picked her up and we went thrifting.  She goes to "hers" regularly and everyone wished her a Happy Thanksgiving in case they missed seeing her before that time.  After we went to a few, we met Jessica for lunch at Applebees.  It was nice to just sit and chat.  We will be gathering at Jessica's for Thanksgiving.  Tim's whole family will be there.  It will be a hard day.  Tim's mom told us today that she enjoyed talking about football with Tim.  This year she is not even interested.  She said, "what's the point?"

I took Tim's mom home after we ate.  She always takes a nap in the afternoon.  Jessica had to go back to the job site to pick up her things and then we met and did some more thrifting together.

Tonight we worked on the Christmas tree.  Jessica wanted to have it up for Thanksgiving.

Connections.....Make sure the holidays do not interfere with your spiritual connections!  Don't leave the Lord out of your holidays!  Celebrate the season with Thanksgiving to the Lord for the blessings you enjoy as a child of the King of kings!  And then worship Him and praise Him for coming to redeem you from your sin!

Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings on me!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The All-Sufficiency of Christ

I was going through some of the things I have saved from the process of Tim's home-going; cards, newspaper obit, funeral items, etc.  While I looked through the items, I remembered something that was said to me that made me sad at the time and still makes me sad when I remember the statement.

Some people believe there are many ways to heaven.  They will say, "We are all headed to the same place, we are just on different paths."  One path includes being a good and decent person to your "neighbor."  Another path includes being a member of a church, while another includes being baptized, and many other things.  But Jesus was very clear in His statement in John 14:6 when He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life:  no man comes to the Father, except he come through me!"  (I paraphrased just a bit.)  Anything else is works of the flesh and nothing we do in the flesh will justify us (Galatians 2:16).  Being justified means that you are "just, as if you had never sinned" in God's sight. You can only be justified IN CHRIST!

It is stated plainly in Ephesians 2:8-10 (let's break it down verse by verse): 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

We are saved by (God's) grace through faith (in Jesus).  And the faith we have is not something we can produce.  It is the gift of God.  Nothing in salvation is "of yourselves."  It is ALL "of God!"

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  

This says what it means and means what it says.  It is referring to the gift of faith from verse 8.  You could put verse 8 and 9 together this way:
For by grace are ye saved through faith and not of works, lest any man should boast.  And faith is not of yourselves,  it is the gift of God. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar that if WE had anything to do with our salvation, we WOULD boast about it!  Pride is what put our whole race to death in the first place (think Garden of Eden!)!!

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." 

The Greek word translated "workmanship" is ποίημα (Greek) poíēma (English), poy'-ay-mah (pronunciation).  Do you see the word "poem" in the English translation?  Don't you love poetry?  We are God's poetry.  He created us in Christ Jesus FOR the purpose of good works.  Those good works were prepared before our salvation for us to do AFTER our salvation.

We cannot do "good works" before our salvation.  "There is none (no one) that doeth good" before salvation.  Psalm 14:3 and 53:3 and Romans 3:12 tell us this.  Oh, sure, we can do some good things.  We can cut our neighbor's grass while they are on vacation, or collect their mail for them.  We can take cookies to a new neighbor.  But who are we doing those thing for (before salvation)?  It all boils down to the fact that we are doing them for ourselves so that we feel good about ourselves!  And, anything done outside of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  Doing it for ourselves is not doing it for God!

Ask yourself this question:  If we are required to "do" something in addition to what Jesus did when He died on the cross for our sins, then what He did was NOT complete payment and did NOT satisfy God's requirement.  So, now, this question needs to be answered:  Why, then, did Jesus have to die?  And doesn't it seem unfair that God would allow His Son to go through the suffering He did if it wasn't going to be enough to satisfy His requirement?  My God is bigger than that!  He doesn't start something only to do it half way!

God's requirement has always been and still is the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22).  It is why the Israelites made animal sacrifices in the Old Testament.  It is why they sacrificed in the New Testament, until the final sacrifice was made when Jesus, once and for always, was sacrificed on the cross.  That ended the requirement for animal sacrifices, which was a picture of the final sacrifice made in Jesus (Hebrews 10:18).  Jesus' sacrifice brought a "new and living way" (Hebrews 10:20).  No more animal sacrifices required.  That means no more priest required to go to God on our behalf.  Read Hebrews 10 to find out about the new and living way!  It is great!  We can go to God (not Mary) on our own behalf!  He has given us permission to "go boldly to the throne of grace" in prayer (Hebrews 4:16).

I've said all of this to say that the only requirement for us to obtain salvation has been met, IN CHRIST!  Baptism won't help.  Church membership won't help.  Doing "good" won't help.  The thief on the cross was not baptized.  And he wasn't a church member.  And he certainly wasn't known for his good deeds!  Yet, Jesus told him, "Today, you will be with me in paradise!"  (Luke 23:43)  Salvation is IN CHRIST and Christ ALONE!!

How BIG is your God?

Some More Verses on "The All-Sufficiency of Christ:"

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Ephesians 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

"In Christ Alone"
Natalie Grant

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

I've had one of those headache days.  Just a dull, nagging ache that would not go away.  I took my shower for church.....a nice and hot shower, hoping the headache would ease up!  I also took some tylenol.  The headache lingered for awhile, but by the time church was over the headache was gone.  Thank You, LORD!

Jessica's dad was on her mind today, as well as mine.  We talked and cried on our way to church about him.  We have always said that we hoped he was not in much pain before he died.  But, listening to a recording I made while caring for him in the hospital two days before he passed, I think he was in more pain than we realized.  I wanted to share it with you, but the file is too big.  It is precious to me because it is the last time he was alert and thinking clearly enough to tell me that he loved me.  Thank You, LORD, for the years you allowed me to share with this wonderful man!  His pure, sweet love that I didn't deserve, was totally mine!  Thank You for the mercy, love and grace You bestow on me every single day of my life!
One year before he passed, August 8, 2016.  We were attending the Pastors and wives retreat in Boone, NC.  He looks so wonderful!

Spending time in the cabin reading.

More reading and relaxing.  Thank you, Brother Dale and Sister Juanita for acting on the vision the Lord gave to you in giving pastorate couples a time of refreshing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Eternal Day

I was reading the poem included on the picture of Tim that I got from the Cemetery.  One stanza reads:
"This isn't grief, its having
My last tear wiped away.
It's sunrise, it's the morning
Of my eternal day!"

I can hardly wait for that eternal day!  The day God takes me home to live with Him for all eternity!  Oh!  How marvelous!  Oh!  How wonderful!  What a day that will be!  No more aches and pains!  No more troubles and sorrows!  No more tears!  No more night, only eternal day!  I get chills listening to this song (click on the title to hear it on YouTube):

By David Phelps

The timeless theme, Earth and Heaven will pass away
It's not a dream, God will make all things new that day
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell
Evil is banished to eternal hell

No more night, no more pain
No more tears, never crying again
And praises to the great, "I AM"
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

See all around, now the nations bow down to sing
The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King
Slowly the names from the book are read
I know the King, so there's no need to dread

No more night, no more pain
No more tears, never crying again
And praises to the great, "I AM"
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb

See over there, there's a mansion
Oh, that's prepared just for me
Where I will live with my Savior eternally

No more night, no more pain
No more tears, never crying again
And praises to the great, "I AM"
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb
All praises to the great, "I AM"
We're gonna live in the light of the risen Lamb

We had a busy day today.  Jessica worked from home.  After she worked, we went to Olive Garden and had soup and salad.  Then we went to Ollie's.  Then she picked up the kids from school and we took them roller skating this evening.

This looks impressive, but it didn't end well.............


We took a break and ate pizza.

A good time was had by all!

Thank You, LORD, for family time!  Family makes life much sweeter!  Thank You for Your earthly blessings!  Can't wait for the heavenly ones to begin!