Welcome

cupboardI’m glad you stopped by my blog.  Make yourself at home.  Start meandering by scrolling down…and you can peek into all my cupboards and closets by clicking the side bar.  I know you’ll find some strengthening articles, encouraging resources, fabulous-but-forgotten hymn texts, and perhaps a heartening smile or two.  Most importantly, I hope you’ll be strengthened in your walk with the Lord for the time you spend here with me.  If you do not yet know Him, please click here for a beautiful invitation.  To learn about how He changed my life, click here, and by clicking here you can find out a few more fun and forgettable snippets about me. :)

If I can do anything to be a further blessing to you, in prayer, or by improving my site, please let me know…or just write to say “Hi”!  Please click here for an email form.

Blessings ~Diane

Daily Valley

valley-of-flowers…thou wilt not condemn me, for he died in my stead,

thou wilt not mark my mountains of sin,

for he leveled all…

O my God, I bid farewell to sin by clinging

to his cross,

hiding in his wounds, and sheltering in his side.

Daily Valley

valley-of-flowersI am reading through the Valley of Vision every day. If you would like to walk with me, I’ll post the portion that I find meaningful each morning here on the blog.

The preface to this treasure reads thus:

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold
Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter
Thy stars shine;

Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty
Thy glory in my valley.

This gives you a good feel for the book.  Today I read THE DIVINE WILL, and was touched by these words:

“Help me to honour thee by believing before I feel; for great is the sin if I make feeling a cause of faith.”

Whenever I feel afraid…

christianflagI’ve had lots of exposure to musical theater in my lifetime. The title of this post comes from “The King and I,” and the advice given in the song from which it came suggests that we should “whistle a happy tune” to overcome our fears. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve got better advice, though.

I am currently reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians every day. I kept coming across verse 28 in the first chapter and feeling a sort of road block. I had to research to find out what it meant.

King James: “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

ESV: “and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”

Looking it up in a modern, conservative translation helps a great deal. What this is saying is that in spite of whatever our adversary (the Father of Lies, the Accuser of the Brethren) or his cohorts may throw at us, we can stand strong.

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him. ~Luther

Our assurance and confidence that “his doom is sure” (and the accompanying boldness and courage which is the result of standing on the firm foundation of His truth) will be clear, convicting evidence to our enemies of the futility of their attempts to fight against Him.

How do we equip ourselves for this? The troops and artillery of the adversary seem to be growing every day. The force of them seems intimidating.  We need to grow our faith by remembering Whose banner we rally around.

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34

We must remind ourselves of the bigness of our God, His power, His might, His immutability (He never changes), His omnipresence (He is everywhere), His omniscience (He knows all)…all of it. Praise Him for who He is, often and continually…because this not only gives us perspective on His bigness, but also our smallness. Both are needful if we are to do valiantly. (Ps 60:12)

We are coming into a time when we will be made to stand. There will be no more muddied lines. We are not a “Christian nation” as many claim. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve” will be uttered once again, and we must be ready. The price for being the “bought ones” (1 Cor. 6:20) will be raised as the days progress. Just one more way to enter into the “fellowship of his sufferings”.

Be ready to rally and contend for the faith. Remember that our weapons are not carnal (2 Cor. 10:4)…our mission is not to kill, but to give life. Our “sword” is truth (Eph 6:17). Know it. Grasp it. Trust it. Wield it. Love it. Live it.

Sound the battle cry!
See! the foe is nigh!
Raise the standard high
For the Lord:
Gird your armor on,
Stand firm ev’ry one;
Rest your cause upon his holy Word.

Rouse, then, soldiers!
Rally round the banner!
Ready, steady, pass the word along;
Onward, forward,
Shout aloud, hosanna!
Christ is captain of the mighty throng!

Strong to meet the foe,
Marching on we go,
While our cause we know,
Must prevail;
Shield and banner bright,
Gleaming in the light,
Battling for the right
We ne’er can fail.

O thou God of all,
Hear us when we call,
Help us one and all
By thy grace;
When the battle’s done,
And the victory won,
May we wear the crown
Before thy face.

The Manicure Legacy

Soul searching going on. Proceed with caution.

I remember many years ago when I was teaching classes of freshman girls at BJU, one student came up to me at the end of the semester to say goodbye.

“I’ll really miss your class, Miss Cannon…” she began.

I then prepared to hear of some fond memory, a lesson learned, a nugget of truth brought to light, some sort of lasting inspiration or impression.

She continued, “…you always looked so together, and your manicures are so pretty.”

You know that needle-scratching-across-an-old-LP sound? I think I heard that.

Really? This is my legacy? Dress stylishly, girls…and don’t forget to coordinate your polish.

It made me feel sick. Was that it? Oh, God forbid.  Please…no.

It was humbling. Even if that student had not been “catching what I was throwing” all semester…her compliment still stung my spirit and rang in my ears long afterwards.

It still does.

What am I teaching to my current “class”…our three kids? What do my words and actions each day say to them about priorities?

“Cleanliness is next to godliness”?

I talk about cleaning up a lot. Yes, it is about stewardship…but there is so much more I want as a takeaway from my life.

When I am gone from this place, what will be that last image they have in their minds? Me, standing there with one hand on a hip, and the other on the Swiffer? Ugh. How much will dust and a few footprints matter then?

So, that God may be glorified… I’m reading. I’m studying. I’m memorizing. I’m trying to love people. Praying God will help me live the fruit.

When you pray for stuff like that, look out. Oh, the opportunities I’ve had to test the love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and patience in this fragile life of mine!

I’ve been reading Paul’s epistle to the Philippians every day for about a week. I will continue to do so for many months. I highly recommend this kind of approach. These things are already burrowing deep into my thought processes:

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death...Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain...Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus...Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you...”

God, make me worthwhile for you. Let me show by my life that loving You, wanting You most, is worth it.

“Let us so live that when we die, we live on, like Abel, who being dead yet speaketh. The only way to do this is to live in the power of the Immortal God, under the influence of his Holy Spirit: then out of our graves we shall speak to future generations.” (Excerpted from “Bought With a Price“,  a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon)

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