An Analogous Portrait in Words

The rain had fallen heavily the evening before, and as she stood enjoying the warmth of the July sun, a beautiful sight caught her eye. Her attention was captured for the moment, as she gazed into an unsightly puddle not far distant. Unsightly indeed to the casual observer, for it is puddles like this that muddy the skirts and damage shoes. But oh! how lovely it was to an eye sharpened to keen observation of artistic comeliness. For in the puddle was reflected the summer sky, brilliant with large, white clouds of the most airy appearance. And to add to the lustre of the scene, small rainbows flitted at the edges, always evading direct attention, but there, nonetheless.

What a scene, rich with an analogous truth of God’s mercy! For though she gazed toward the ground, her eyes were soon dazzled with an unmatched view of the heavenlies.

Jesus Loves Me

Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Do you face difficulties in life? Well, I certainly do. Whenever those struggles appear I need to remember that Jesus always loves me. If there are family problems, Jesus loves me. If I am doubting my salvation, Jesus still loves me. If I am struggling, Jesus loves me. No matter what I face, Jesus will always love me. If I want whatever He deems best, even if it seems to be the worst for myself, I can still trust Him. He is using this problem in my life for MY good, and HIS glory. I must give him my struggles, my hurt, my desires, my relationships…EVERYTHING. When I focus on the fact  that He is by my side in this battle, and that He loves me no matter what, I can face anything. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ” May we all focus on Christ’s love as we strive to share it with others.

Help Me to Trust You!

Help me to trust You, Omniscient God!
You know my future: bad and good,
You planned the valleys, trials, tests,
So help me, LORD, in You to rest.

Help me trust you, Omnipotent One!
You are Power: all battles have won;
You conquered sin through Jesus’ blood,
And walk with me through any flood.

Help me trust You, Omnipresent LORD!
You promised, You’re near, in Your Word.
Help me know You’re nigh all my days,
And teach me to trace all Your ways.

 

Called to Remember

“…thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee… to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear him. For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land…. A land wherin…thou shalt not lack any thing in it…. When thou has eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee…

Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God…” –excerpts from Deuteronomy 8

At the edge of the promised land, the children of Israel were given a charge: a charge to not forget. Not to forget Jehovah, His workings on their behalf, and His commands for their lives in the Promised Land.

Many of you have probably already read a post from three years ago, A Legacy, A Trial, A Harp, and the Sovereignty of God. Well, today I would like to offer a brief sequel, specifically centered on “a harp.”

Following years of harp lessons and prayers, the Lord graciously provided a lovely pedal harp for me. This harp has been a special gift, opening up doors of opportunity for learning that have been barred in the past. But far more importantly, this harp has become a reminder of God’s everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and never-failing mercy (Psalm 86:5).

As written so beautifully in Psalm 103, “…who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies… the LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy…He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east if from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust…the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him…bless the LORD, O my soul.”

Each day, the mercies of the LORD are new (Lamentations 3:22-23). How has He demonstrated this to you? And how do you plan to remember His gracious acts? “That the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:” –Psalm 78:6-7

So with thankfulness to the LORD and my family, I have named this blessing in my life Merci Morgen. Merci is French for “Thank you;” Morgen is German for “Morning.” I am filled with gratitude to the LORD for His mercies; they are new every morning.

I want to remember, and not forget.

May you, also, be blessed as you call to remembrance the faithful loving-kindness of our God!

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Happy 30th Anniversary!

With hearts full of gratitude to the Lord and our wonderful parents for His faithfulness to them and their faithfulness to each other, we Neely siblings decided 30 years of marriage was an occasion to celebrate! Plans began to form as the Lord directed our steps, and the surprise party was a delightful success!

We started the surprise by having our extended family at our house for dinner after church. That itself was shocking when Dad & Mom walked into our dining room and found family from far and near!

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But then we added another layer to the surprise, and invited several close friends for a dessert reception following. What a blessing it is to celebrate the faithfulness and mercy of God with so many loved ones!

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We love you, Dad & Mom, and are so thankful for you! May the Lord give you many more wonderfully sweet years of serving Him together!

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