2019 NC FEW Conference

2019 NC FEW Conference

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. – John xv.viii

The North Carolina Family Encouragement Weekend has been a highlight for many families for several years now. By God’s gracious leading and provision, this year was no exception as we gathered for a short but packed 1.5 days to fellowship together around the Word of God.

The conference began with a charge to meditate on Scripture. This small but significant exhortation to obey Joshua 1.8 truly set the tone for a sweet and precious weekend with God’s people.  To Him be the glory!

 

Sessions were an immense blessing as speakers expounded on Biblical truths flavored with personal testimony to our Lord’s mercy, grace, and love.

Families from all regions and stages of life came together to encourage one another in the ways of righteousness.

Children’s Hour was a delight!

Hungry souls were fed from the Scriptures.

Discipleship Gametime! We saw God clear up the rain for this day, just as He has kindly and faithfully done for years past.

Music, food, fellowship, and hearts overflowing.

To God be the glory, great things HE hath done.

The Fruit of Christ’s Work

The Fruit of Christ’s Work

Christ’s finished work on earth and Calvary are still bearing marvelous, incomprehensible fruits in the lives of believers. All we have and are we owe to the blessed Trinity and to Christ Himself, who, “though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8)

Oh the sweetness, oh the rest

Of leaning on the Father’s breast,

Of lisping “Abba,” precious name:

To give me this my Jesus came.

When nought but tears are like to flow

And to my Father I would go,

But weakness hinders, folly blights:

Christ dwells with me on these dark nights.

When I see the Word so clear

That speaks to me of One so dear

I call to mind: ’twas Christ that sent

The Holy Spirit down to men.

And when I fall at Jesus’ feet

Rejoice in hope of heaven sweet

That “God is love” comes soon to mind:

He sent His Son to save mankind.

 

The Supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ

Lord, You know the sins of my heart, my rebellion. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.- Isaiah 1:18

Lord, You know the unbelief that keeps plaguing me. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – Isaiah 26:3

Lord, You know the fear I have when thinking of Your return; the fear of failure or of not having a “repentant enough” heart.  Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. -Psalm 25:8 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: – Philippians 1:6

 

Does He really care about the small details in my life? Oh, Yes! What about that final math test which had a score of one hundred percent? Does that not count for a Creator and Savior who walks beside me as my faithful Friend? Will He not stay by me all the way? He has promised to never leave nor forsake. What about the time my family went into a church to sing, and on the wall was the very verse that had been my anchor to overcome the struggle I was in? Or the time I was struggling in the car and He brought that same verse back to me? Or the time I woke up with tempting thoughts on my mind and my dad quoted that same verse to me? The Lord is so good. These are a few of the ways in which the Holy Spirit has dealt with me, bringing me to Himself. But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; – Philippians 1:12

 

Stay in the Word of God. Its truth is precious, and the more one stays in it, the more they find it so. The Lord is faithful. His Word is true. Jesus will be enough for you. Only turn to Him. Trust Him.  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. –  Hebrews 2:17-18 [emphasis added] This makes me want to praise Him.

Trust and Distrust

Distrust thyself, but trust His grace;
It is enough for thee!
In every trial thou shalt trace
It’s all sufficiency.

Distrust thyself, but trust His strength;
In Him thou shalt be strong:
His weakest ones may learn at length
A daily triumph-song.

Distrust thyself, but trust His love;
Rest in its changeless glow:
And life or death shall only prove
Its everlasting flow.

Distrust thyself, but trust alone
In Him, for all – for ever!
And joyously thy heart shall own
That Jesus faileth never.

-Frances Ridley Havergal

Jesus, I Come

Jesus, I Come

There is one group of people in the Scriptures that rarely receives any attention, and when they do, not very much. These people left a small but distinct mark on the pages of our Bibles; we would do well to observe and learn. The example they offer us to follow is profound, and perhaps many Christians today are walking in their footsteps without even realizing it. Who was this obscure band?

They were the disciples of John the Baptist.

By their faith, this group of believers offers encouragement for those who are unsure of their spiritual direction. These men listened to the one who they knew was sent from God to prepare the way for the Messiah. As questions arose, they often came to Christ to seek the answer, and at least once we see the wisdom of John sending them for this purpose, perhaps for his own reassurance, but also likely as a means of increasing his disciples’ understanding and faith. There is one instance that stands out to me stronger than all the rest, and here this lowly group could not have improved their actions.

John the Baptist had recently been killed to meet the demands of an ungodly woman and her daughter. In a final act of esteem for their master, John’s disciples take up his body to give it a respectful resting place. But what happens next?

Matthew 14:12 states it with a quiet simplicity that pierces our hearts with the wisdom of their action.

“And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” [emphasis added]

With hearts no doubt breaking, minds confused, souls in despair, they went and told Jesus. One simple choice: to rise and go, to tell the Lord what had taken place.

Go to Jesus – tell Him the struggle, the sorrow. Tell Him the hardness of your heart, the lure of the world. Tell Him all. Simply go to Jesus.

 

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night, Jesus, I come.

Into Thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus I come to Thee.

Out of my sickness, into Thy health, Out of my want and into Thy wealth,

Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss, Jesus, I come.

Into the glorious gain of Thy cross, Jesus, I come to Thee. 

Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm, Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm, 

Out of distress to jubilant psalm, Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride, Jesus, I come.

Into Thy blessed will to abide, Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of myself to dwell in Thy love, Out of despair into raptures above,

Upward for aye on wings like a dove, Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb, Jesus, I come. 

Into the joy and light of Thy home, Jesus, I come to Thee. 

Out of the depths of ruin untold, Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,

Ever Thy glorious face to behold, Jesus, I come to Thee.

-William T. Sleeper

 

 

The Christian Life

This short poem summarizes three key elements of the Christian life: our salvation, our pilgrimage, and life everlasting with the LORD. Though written several years ago, I have found the truths to be just as encouraging now as they were then, for indeed, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

If I would seek for lasting peace on which my soul to rest

I’d run into the Savior’s arms and think myself so blest.

To think on all His love for me of which I’m ignorant

Is but to find completed joy for what I need and want.

 

To walk along in life’s rough way with naught but work and toil

Would yield but poor reward for pay when my form rests in soil-

But here I may not stop to dwell on all that’s sad and dim,

For work and toil are part of life, and Life is made of Him.

 

So when someday I cross the tide which mankind doth resist

I’ll seek the One who died for me—in constant praise, persist.

For there on the eternal side I’ll know for once and all

That here is my most perfect rest, my peace and joy, my all.

I’m Going Home.

Going home.

As the words began to sink in, my heart did a double-flip. I had enjoyed my time away; it really was very refreshing and I was glad the opportunity had come and that I had, in God’s sovereignty, taken it. But three weeks is a long time to be away, especially for a home-body who craves normalcy. Now I was going home and I couldn’t help feeling at least a little ecstatic.

I have very good news for every child of God. We are going home. This world is not our home. We look for a city who’s Builder and Maker is God. That isn’t all there is to it, however.

Probably the best part about being at home is being with those you love most. How is it with you? Who do you love most? Does your heart leap with an uncontrolled and uncontrollable happiness when you think of heaven? Heaven is wonderful, but it is nothing without the Trinity. The best part of heaven will not be the precious stones and gold clear as crystal and the everlasting day. The best part of heaven will not be the jasper walls and the gates of pearl. Dazzling, inconceivable, beyond all imagination these things are. I do not doubt it for an instant. But what would heaven be without the Lord? Actually, it would be hell. Hell is eternal separation from God the Father, God the Son, the God the Holy Spirit. The best part of heaven will be to bask in the Light of the Lamb’s Presence; to be with Him, and to be with Him for ever. 

Look for His coming and live like it will be your highest delight, because it will be. Once in heaven, you will surely wish you had longed for it more; longed for Christ more.

Going home. There’s a comforting warmth in the words. There’s a spring beneath the surface that’s gurgling with happiness. Going home… going home… I can’t wait…

GSD Litter Coming!

GSD Litter Coming!

For those of you who like to follow the adventures of our miniature breeding operation (disclaimer: the dogs are not miniature; the operation is), we have a litter of purebred German Shepherd puppies scheduled to be available in Spring 2019.

Ajax Ferguson
Neely’s Valiance

We’re preparing for the arrival of Ajax and Valiance’s family soon; be sure to check back for more pictures!

Visit our Gallery to see photos of our previous productions, and click here to read more About Our Dogs.

Wisdom from Mrs. Spurgeon

This writing from Mrs. Susannah Spurgeon ministered greatly to me a few days ago. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me!

“Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.” – Jeremiah 32:17

Your difficulties and trials may not be comparable or similar to those of the Weeping Prophet, but they are very real and seemingly insurmountable to you. It is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither overcome nor endure them, so I want to remind you that the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time is as certainly true today, and that whatever present hardship may press upon you or whatever burden may be weighing you down, you – yes, you – may look up to Him with confident faith and say, “There is nothing too hard for Thee.”

Oh, the blessed peace that such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular sorrow or hardship may be, but I do know that, whatever its nature – cruel, bitter, or hopeless – it is as “nothing” to Him. He is able to deliver you as easily as you can call upon Him for succor. An old writer says, “Our God delights in what men deem extremities. He waits for extremes, He tarries for crises. And why? In order that He should be looked up to for wisdom, strength, and deliverance, and that when deliverence comes, He should have all the glory.”

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life – hard circumstances, difficult duties, grievous pains, sore struggles, bitter disappointments, hard words, hard thoughts, a hard heart of your own, a hard heart in others. Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another till you have one great mountain of affliction. Your God still calmly asks the question, “Is there anything too hard for Me?”

 

Faithful

Faithful

We have begun the year 2019. What are you thinking when you hear that sentence? Are you thinking of how slowly 2018 went by, or that you wish time would tick by faster? I am sure you are not. Most likely you are saying something like, “this year has absolutely FLOWN by,” or “It seems as if we just began January of 2018!”

Every year, I am reminded of how quickly time is ticking. Even our lifespans, which may seem like a long time, are only a vapor. What will we do with our time this year? Will we spend it on our own personal dreams and desires? Or will we seek God daily for wisdom to know each step of the day, for each day of the week, each week of the month, etcetera? Will you look back when we are beginning 2020 and wish you had spent your energies on something better? Something more profitable? Something eternal?

Live each day in constant communication with the LORD, listening to His voice, and following His commands. Seek Him through His WORD daily, and trust Him with all of your heart. Don’t lean on YOUR understanding, but acknowledge Him in every choice you make.

May God allow each one of us, as His children, to be faithful in the small things, as well as the big things, that He calls us to do. May we, at the end of our lives hear HIM say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy LORD.” (Matthew 25:21)

“Standing at the portal
Of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us,
Hushing every fear.
Spoken through the silence
By our Father’s voice,
Tender, strong, and faithful,
Making us rejoice.

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the Day!
For His word shall never,
Never pass away!

“I, the LORD, am with thee,
Be thou not afraid!
I will help and strengthen,
Be thou not dismayed!
Yea, I will uphold thee
With my own Right Hand;
Thou art called and chosen
In my sight to stand.

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the Day!
For His word shall never,
Never pass away!

“For the year before us,
Oh what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy
Living streams shall rise;
For the sad and sinful
Shall His grace abound
For the faint and feeble
Perfect strength be found.

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the Day!
For His word shall never,
Never pass away!

“He will never fail us,
He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant
He will never break!
Resting on His promise,
What have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient
For the coming year.

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the Day!
For His word shall never,
Never pass away!

-“Faithful Promises” by Francis Ridley Havergal

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas story is well known to many of us, but I’m reminded again this year of how infinite our God is, and so merciful, to bring fresh truths to our attention from history that we know so well.

Our pastor was reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 last week. It’s easy to breeze through a familiar passage and think, “Yes, I know what happens in this story.” But try to read it as if you’ve never heard it before. No matter how many times you’ve heard and read the same Bible verse, our infinite Lord can still speak new truths and timely encouragements to our finite minds.

Such was the case last week.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

“Fear not” is a command that needs to be heeded on a daily basis, for our feeble selves often become burdened and worried, even in the littlest details of daily life.

But what really jumped out in a new way to me, was the adjectives in verse 10. “Good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The news of Jesus’ birth is not just news (we hear plenty of news on a daily basis), but this is good news. This is news that gives hope; it brings peace to those who believe. It fills hearts with joy, and not just some joy, but with great joy. Joy that is beyond words. Joy that is contagious. Joy that is independent of troublesome circumstances because it is founded upon the character and love of an unchanging Savior. 

Sometimes, though, “good news” for one person has little or no effect on other people, and very little news spreads it’s touch to the entire world. But the impact of Christ coming to earth touches everyone, and it’s good news of redemption for all people

So in this Christmas season, may we all come to adore and love more the Christ of Christmas, Who came to earth to bring good tidings of great joy for all people!

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