Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology – “I Saw Him” – Part 9

Today, is the year anniversary of a person dear to me entering into heaven. I have been thinking of my Uncle John, and all my family who have gone on to Glory.

My uncle was a wonderful man, a Man of God, a preacher of the Word for decades. A great husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. I have two terrific uncles, and I feel my life has been blessed by both.

Family is so important to me. When I was young, along with different combinations of sisters and cousins, I spent several weeks each summer with grandparents. Today, the paragraph from Spurgeon’s message is reminding me of my paternal grandmother through the words, I SAW HIM. Granny lived a spirit-filled life, and she taught us the same by being a great witness. She was also fun, a great cook, but instead of heating up the kitchen in the heat of mid-day, every afternoon for lunch we would have watermelon and ice cream Sundays for dessert. I have so many good memories of those hot summer days in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

One of my favorite memories is reliving the times I sat near Granny in church. Oh how my attitudes have changed! When I was a child I wasn’t all that thrilled about spending Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night in church service, but now I look back and wish I could sit there again and say hello to Sister Crowe, Brother Gibbons, and others who were kind and welcoming to my sister and me.

For some reason, I remember quite clearly sitting near my grandmother when the church sang the congregational song of, ‘My Savior First of All’, by Fanny Crosby. Granny would shut her eyes, blocking out the world, and honestly, when I think back, I almost remember her face glowing as she sang the chorus. I like to think of her spirit shining in just that way when she met her Savior as she left this world. Because of her wonderful witness to me, I know that she SAW HIM first of all.

“I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.”
~ Fanny Crosby

For Granny’s Home-going service one of the suggestions for a hymn was ‘My Savior First of All,‘ and that is what we sang.

JOHN’S DOXOLOGY – C.H. SPURGEON

So, too, if we are “kings and priests,” it is Jesus who has made us so.

“Round the altar priests confess:If their robes are white as snow,
’Twas the Saviour’s righteousness
And his blood that made them so.”

Our royal dignity and our priestly sanctity are both derived from him. Let us not only behold the streams, but also consider the source. Bow before the blessed and only Potentate who doth encrown and enthrone us, and extol the faithful high-priest who doth enrobe and anoint us. See the divine actor in the grand scene, and remember that he ever liveth, and therefore to him should we render perpetual glory. John worships the Lord himself. His mind is not set upon his garments, his crowns, his offices, or his works, but upon himself, his very self. “I SAW HIM, says the beloved apostle, and that vision almost blotted out the rest. His heart was all for Jesus. The censer must smoke unto him, the song must rise unto him;— unto himself, unto his very self.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology/Part 8 – Pardoning Mercy

Lent began this week. I was raised in a denomination that didn’t keep Lent by sacrificing a favorite item or changing a habit. Nevertheless, I decided this past week that perhaps it would be good for me to try to change a bad habit during Lent, and for me, it is negative words. I’m sure most of you living in the U.S., and all over the world, are able to understand my negative words in the current circumstances of pandemic, virulent politics, right turned into wrong, and wrong turned into right. Add into that everyday stresses and it is a heavy burden for all of us.

I wish my sincere commitment had translated into a successful attempt at keeping my words positive. I lasted only three hours into Wednesday, the first day of Lent, before I missed the mark. By noon, I had blown it big time. The trigger – I was made to feel inadequate. My failure most likely traces back, as does all sin, to Satan in the garden with Eve. He appealed to her pride, but perhaps before pride caused the fall into sin, Eve believed herself inadequate.

The trigger of implied inadequacy caused me to say things, that while true, should have remained within for Jesus to help me deal with in His time. I thank him for his pardoning mercy. I’m still trying to keep my words positive through the rest of the Lenten season, but with so many satanic attacks flying toward us all it’s hard not to become a bit dour and grumble.

I know perhaps my words aren’t uplifting, but perhaps you can relate to them. I would be false if I put out the impression that I never fail, or don’t get the blues, or have struggles of my own. Through it all, I am glad for the pardoning mercy of him who has cleansed us from our sin. He will show me the path through this time. Amen.

Jesus und der Gang nach Emmaus (Jesus and the walk to Emmaus) – Gebhard Fugel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (turn of the 19/20th century)

C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology

So, too, with the washing from sin. It is enough to make us sing of pardoning mercy for ever and ever if we have been cleansed from sin but the center of the joy is to adore him “that washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Observe that he cleansed us, not by some process outside of himself, but by the shedding of his own blood of reconciliation. It brings the blood-washing into the highest estimation with the heart when we look into the wounds from whence the atonement flowed, when we gaze upon that dear visage so sadly marred, that brow so grievously scarred, and even peer into the heart which was pierced by the spear for us to furnish a double cleansing for our sin. “Unto him that washed us.” The disciples were bound to love the hands that took the basin and poured water on their feet, and the loins which were girt with the towel for their washing; and we, brethren, must do the same. But as for the washing with his own blood, how shall we ever praise him enough? Well may we sing the new song, saying, “Thou art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” This puts body and weight into our praise when we have realized him, and understood how distinctly these precious deeds of love as well as the love itself come from him whose sacred heart is all our own.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Part 7/Grateful for Love

“I am very grateful for love, but more grateful to him who gives the love.” ~C.H. Spurgeon

As I write this, upstairs on the oak chifforobe wait seven Valentines, signed, sealed, and ready to be taken out the door to be delivered to children I love. My heart is full of grateful love for the presence of family in my life, but most of all, I am grateful to the Creator of love who makes this joy possible.

C.H. Surgeon – John’s Doxology

“He makes us see Jesus in every act of which he speaks in his doxology. It runs thus: “Unto him that loved us.” It is not “Unto the love of God,” an attribute, or an influence, or an emotion; but it is “Unto him that loved us.” I am very grateful for love, but more grateful to him who gives the love. Somehow, you may speak of love and eulogize it; but if you know it only in the abstract what is it? It neither warms the heart nor inspires the spirit. When love comes to us from a known person, then we value it. David had not cared for the love of some unknown warrior, but how greatly he prized that of Jonathan, of which he sang, “Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women!” Sweet is it to sing of love; but sanctified hearts delight still more to sing, “Unto him that loved us.”

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 4 – No Darkness

Our hearts should be like beacons made ready to be fired ~C.H. Spurgeon

Did you know a flame casts no shadow? I didn’t want you to be in the dark, as I was, over this strange but true fact.  I enlightened my husband, and we experimented with a candle flame. Sure enough—no shadow, just a dancing reflection of light where the shadow would have been.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5

Our Father in Heaven is light, there is no darkness or shadow in Him. He lights our pathway to eternal life in heaven through His Son Jesus Christ. His invitation is for you—and for me—“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. ”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6


The Words of Charles H. Spurgeon in John’s Doxology:
“Our hearts should be like beacons made ready to be fired.
When invasion was expected in the days of Queen Elizabeth, piles of wood and combustible material were laid ready on the tops of certain hills, and watchmen stood prepared to kindle the piles should there be notice given that the ships of the enemy were in the offing. Everything was in waiting. The heap was not made of damp wood, neither had they to go and seek kindling; but the fuel waited for the match. The watch-fire was not always blazing, but it was always ready to shoot forth its flame. Have ye never read, “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion”? So let our hearts be prepared to be fired with adoring praise by one glimpse of the Redeemer’s eyes; to be all on a blaze with delightful worship with one touch from that dear, pierced hand. Anywhere, wherever we may be, may we be clad in the robes of reverence, and be ready at once to enter upon the angelic work of magnifying the Lord our Saviour. We cannot be always singing, but we may be always full of gratitude, and this is the fabric of which true psalms are made.”
Read the full sermon here: John’s Doxology

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology Part 3 – Pray Without Ceasing

I don’t know when I have prayed more than in 2020, and now I have carried the prayer over into 2021. This is a good thing, although the good has been prompted by a lot of bad. I combine my prayer with praise, with singing, sometimes with deep sighing for want of Jesus to meet us in the air. I pray as I go about my daily tasks. I pray when I wake up in the night. I pray when I walk around the block. I pray because the condition of the world concerns me—sometimes even frightens me, and I go to Jesus first for I know there is no other way. As Spurgeon says in this third paragraph of ‘John’s Doxology,’ “we may ‘pray without ceasing,’ if our hearts are always in such a state that at every opportunity we are ready for prayer and praise; better still, if we are prepared to make opportunities, if we are instant in season and out of season, and ready in a moment to adore and supplicate.”

Have you ever startled a bird at rest? They startle us right back with their instant uplift of wings and flight. I love Spurgeon’s analogy that tells us this is how our prayers should take wing. At the slightest nudge, good or bad, in this time of worldwide sickness, unrest, and rapid changes, we must see ourselves as Christ’s First Responders here on earth. When a flock of birds takes to wing the sky is filled with them. If we all pray together, if our prayers take wing heavenward, we will be in one accord.

Here’s a sweet oldie for your Sunday.

Paragraph 3 of John’s Doxology:

“This explains to me, I think, those texts which bid us “rejoice evermore,” “bless the Lord at all times,” and “pray without ceasing”: these do not mean that we are always to be engaged in devotional exercises, for that would cause a neglect of other duties. The very apostle who bids us “pray without ceasing,” did a great many other things beside praying; and we should certainly be very faulty if we shut ourselves up in our private chambers, and there continued perpetually upon our knees. Life has other duties, and necessary ones; and in attending to these we may render to our God the truest worship: to cease to work in our callings in order to spend all our time in prayer would be to offer to God one duty stained with the blood of many others. Yet we may “pray without ceasing,” if our hearts are always in such a state that at every opportunity we are ready for prayer and praise; better still, if we are prepared to make opportunities, if we are instant in season and out of season, and ready in a moment to adore and supplicate. If not always soaring, we may be as birds ready for instant flight: always with wings, if not always on the wing.

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the ‘Prince of Preachers.’ A terrific biography of him can be found on the Spurgeon Center’s Blog: Who is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

This photo is part of Skywatch Friday.

Quote – Bridge of Grace

“The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.”
                                               ~ C.H. Spurgeon

This photograph, taken amid the glorious trees of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is part of Sunday Trees

Quote – Rest Time – C.H. Spurgeon

rest-time

Yesterday was a “glitchy” day. Anyone who uses technology, whether it is a computer, cell phone, tablet, etc., has had a day when you suddenly hit a technological brick wall. I walked away, eventually resetting my computer. Thankfully, I don’t think I lost any of my files.

In the midst of the computer aggravation, and the setting to right of the house and kitchen after the holiday feasts; I found myself at a loss for a Sabbath Day post. I gazed out the back window at the dreary weather and spied this little Junco perched in the wind-swept branches of a backyard pine, at rest, regardless of the strong winds wildly swaying the boughs. His stance was the perfect object lesson for my moment of turmoil. I’ve made up my mind, that today, and hopefully in the next few weeks too, I’m going to be as serene as that small bird no matter what blows my way.

A perfect reminder for finding rest is in this wise quote of C.H. Spurgeon, a well-known preacher in the 1800’s. Here is his quote again, a little easier to make out than craning one’s neck to read the words around the photograph.

“Rest time is not waste time.
It is economy to gather fresh strength…
It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.
In the long run,
we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”

~ C.H. Spurgeon

Perspective – Grace Amid the Chaos

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(This photo is terrific used as desktop wallpaper)

Christmas day is a week away. If you are like me, most of your shopping is complete, but perhaps you also suffer from the disease that takes hold of me at this time of year, “The Second-Guessing of Gift Choices,” disease.

“Will so-and-so like this color? Will this gift seem too thoughtless? Should I have given a ‘real’ gift instead of a gift card?”

I’m sorry to say that sometimes I give into the agonizing thoughts and run out to buy “Just One More Perfect Thing!”

This is the time of year when it is hard to maintain a gracious demeanor and mindset: terrible traffic, lack of parking spaces, rude and pushy shoppers, endless spending, too many cookies to bake, too many cookies begging you to eat them. (Did you know home-baked cookies are delicious even when eaten right out of the freezer?) This year, I’m going to audibly remind myself to be gracious and repeat the word ‘Grace’ until I can maintain it in the midst of stressful situations, even if I have to growl a little bit first: “Grrrrrrace! I think I can…I think I can…I think I can!

Here are a few wise words from Charles Spurgeon on grace towards other Christians, but we can easily substitute grace toward all mankind.

““We shall, as we ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians. Bitter-spirited Christians may know a great deal, but they are immature. Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart.

He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it.

~ C.H. Spurgeon

Quotes – Something Inspirational?

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It’s growing colder here in the Mid-Atlantic states. We’ve had several weeks of very brisk and breezy weather. The northern portion of our area has already received a good amount of snow. The little squirrel who lives in our oak tree has already had enough of the early winter. He left his cozy nest of leaves one day to escape the pelting rain. An old bird house, remodeled by the incisors of several generations of squirrels, was the perfect shelter in the wintry rainstorm.

Feeling at a loss today as I wrote a post that I hoped would be uplifting on the Sabbath day, I said to my husband, “Think of something inspirational I can say in my blog post.” He didn’t even think about the request. After spending hours raking up many piles of fallen leaves, he said, “Finally the last of the leaves!”

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In a lifetime, we go through many seasons. Some enjoyable, some not so much, but like the little squirrel, we all need to find a place of solace and comfort in the storms. I like these wise words of Charles Spurgeon on where to turn when life drenches you in the freezing rain of earthly trials and tribulations.

“You may readily judge whether you are a child of God or a hypocrite by seeing in what direction your soul turns in seasons of severe trial. The hypocrite flies to the world and finds a sort of comfort there. But the child of God runs to his Father and expects consolation only from the Lord’s hand.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

May you find joy on this Sabbath day, but if it is one of those drear times that drench your spirit in trouble and trials, find solace in the shelter of the Heavenly Father’s love.

Perspective & Quotes – Wisdom on Wednesday/Newspapers & Spurgeon

newspapers

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)

A terrific quote to remember in any age.

“No one knows who is listening, say nothing you would not wish put in the newspapers.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)

If C.H. Spurgeon had lived in our time I am sure he would have included the Internet in his sermon about what to say or not say.

Promise – The Bride of Christ Jesus

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

old bohemia church

Old Bohemia Church Warwick, Maryland

Christ Jesus might come today, he could come tomorrow…or it could be many, many years before He comes again. The Bible is clear that no one knows the timing but God the Father.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

Though no one knows the exact day or moment, so many signs of our time seem to be pointing to His arrival. Prophecies are being fulfilled on earth and in the heavens. Each day brings us closer to his coming. When he comes I will meet him in the air, rising from my place of rest if I have passed on, or taken suddenly from this earth in less time than it takes for an eye to twinkle.

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”  I Corinthians 15:51-52

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
I Thessalonians 4:16-17

Are you ready for Christ’s coming? If not, will you ask Him to save you from your sins today? It is as simple as this…”Yes, Lord Jesus…come into my heart. I repent of my sins. I am yours, you are mine.” Believe in him and you will dwell with him for all eternity.

A few words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Christ’s relationship to his bride; we are that bride, we who have opened our hearts to Him are his church.

“Art thou, beloved one, with Christ Jesus? Does a vital union knit thee to Him?

… Come, my soul, if thou art indeed His own beloved, thou canst not be far from Him.

If His friends and His neighbours are called together to see His glory, what thinkest thou if thou art married to Him? Shalt thou be distant?

Though it be a day of judgment, yet thou canst not be far from that heart which, having admitted angels into intimacy, has admitted thee into union.

Has He not said to thee, O my soul, “I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness?”

Have not His own lips said it, “I am married unto thee, and My delight is in thee?” If the angels, who are but friends and neighbours, shall be with Him, it is abundantly certain that His own beloved Hephzibah, in whom is all His delight, shall be near to Him, and sit at His right hand.

Here is a morning star of hope for thee, of such exceeding brilliance, that it may well light up the darkest and most desolate experience.”