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He is my Rock

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We we have quite the rock collection in our backyard.

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Gray, blue, brown and gold– what’s your pleasure?

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I’ll be honest with you…rocks aren’t today’s topic…. Or, I guess I should say, just one Rock in particular is.

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“He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” -Psalm 92:15

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Psalm 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

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You’ve heard God called our hiding place, our strong tower, our refuge. When we use the term “Rock” we mean something similar. He is our protection. He’s the foundation of our lives like the rock that the wise man built his house upon to protect himself from the floods.

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Perhaps you’ve heard the hymn “Rock of Ages” before, where the author cries out to God, “Rock of ages, cleft for me! Let me hide myself in Thee!” A cleft, as my Sunday school teacher once told me, is sort of an opening in the rocks, like a little nook to hide in.

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Another hymn boldly declares that “Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,… A Shelter in the time of a storm”.

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Now, these rocks I’ve been showing you pictures of? They’re simply mere stones. Pebbles. A vapor in the wind. Even these will be done away with. The rain comes and they get washed away in the flow. But God isn’t a pebble or a vapor or a stone. He’s an Eternal, Mighty Strong to Save Rock, that we may run to and find safety in. image

Psalm 18:31, “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God,”; Psalm 95:1, “O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.”

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Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”

Hide yourself in the Rock of Ages today. Don’t wait for the storm. In the words of Nicole C. Mullen in her song, “When Heaven Calls”: “we must be ready”.

-Abigail


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If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

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…God will provide you the strength to endure it.

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“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13

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Ever face a very tough choice?

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The weight of the world on your shoulders, and you know exactly what you have to do.

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But you’re scared. Because you can’t face it alone.

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But you’re not alone. Listen: in the book of Daniel, we meet Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. King Nebecusnezzer commanded them to worship his idols, but they refused when everyone else bowed down. “Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”” -Daniel 3:13-15

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Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Perhaps some future day Lord, Thy strong hand will lead me to a place where I must stand utterly alone. Alone, O gracious Love but for Thee; I shall be satisfied if I can see- Jesus only. I do not know Thy plans for years to come. My spirit finds its perfect home sufficiency. Lord, all my desire is before Thee now, Lead on, no matter where, no matter what– I trust Thee.”

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Just three young guys trying to follow God’s command, and now they find themselves looking into the flaming face of death and burning pain. What would you do?

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“Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”” -Daniel 3:16-18

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This made king Nebuchadnezzar so mad, that he instantly  ordered the three to be tied up and thrown into the fiery furnace. Since it was such a spontaneous thing, the furnace was extra hot– so much so that it scorched the men who carried the three to the furnace, so that they died.

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But what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego?

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“these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” –Daniel 3:23-25

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“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.” -Daniel 3:26-30

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The choice is clear when you know Whose side you’re on. He will be with you in the flames. When you’re in the midst of suffering, remember that “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.” -1 Peter 2:21.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for The Lord your God goes with you.” Think about those words. The LORD GOES WITH YOU.

 

“Ponder anew! What the Almighty will do! If in His love, He befriend thee!” (“Praise to The Lord, the Almighty” hymn)

 

Is your anchor in Christ, or are you building a house on sinking sand? Trust in Him today.

 

-Abigail


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Pepper Your Life

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Ever notice how the salt shaker has fewer holes (or smaller ones), than the pepper shakers do?

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Or maybe you thought that was the extra holes meant it was for the salt, since you like it better and want more on your dinner (been there, done that).

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Since the salt is finer than the pepper (generally speaking), it comes out faster. Have you ever been warned by your host at dinner that their salt shaker pours “a little fast”?

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Well, the pepper doesn’t get as much of the lime light as the salt, and that’s really too bad.

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As a child, I was very picky and didn’t like a number of things: mustard, pickles, crust, potato chips, and most importantly, pepper.

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So I’d heap on the sodium and pass on the spicy, sneeze-inducing seasoning.

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It wasn’t until recently that I even gave pepper a second look. What’s so good about black spicy flakes?

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For one thing, you can SEE them. Unlike salt, you don’t have to taste as you go to ensure you don’t overdo it. You can paint your platter with the same desired amount every time without any measurement except that of what your vision deems acceptable.

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Another plus to pepper is that it has substance. Unlike salt, it won’t dissolve into your food. It doesn’t just add flavor, but texture (depending on how much you use, and how course it is).

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In a similar way, when you become a Christian, you find you must pepper Christ into your life. It doesn’t just make your life more interesting, but gives substance. Jesus illuminates how you see absolutely everything and makes His way into every aspect of your life, adding depth to things you’d never looked at as much of anything before. Every moment has substance. The dictionary defines substance as: the quality of being meaningful, useful, or important.

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Part of peppering your life with Christ, really means to put on the full armor of God (see: Ephesians 6:10-20). These keep Christ at the center of everything and in turn, give you a life full of interest, meaning and flavor.

 

Also like pepper, everyone around you ought to see Christ living in you. Because much like the sprinkling of pepper, the works of Christ will definitely show.

Get shakin’!

Abigail


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New Galleries

Hey everybody! I’ve been collecting up some new material to post here! Lots of “Rocks and Trees and Skies and Seas…”! Okay, not seas…mostly flowers and trees, and maybe a lake or two. I will be working on getting these ready for posting so you’ll probably start seeing them up in a few weeks! Till then I’ll keep posting older photos I’ve taken.

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“He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” -Psalm 92:15

 

Abigail


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The Knitter Knows

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My mom has this thing for woven baskets.

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Oh, and flowers. Namely, faux flowers (can I call them that?)

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Look at the basket weave here– I think it’s pretty. Perhaps you’re not impressed. I tend to appreciate things more when I’ve had a peek at the efforts that go into them. Many years ago, my mom took my sister and I to take a basket weaving class at the library…mine turned out something like a vase/pencil holder…but I definitely appreciate these type of baskets now!

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When I saw these pictures and began to think about what to talk about today, I immediately thought of  Psalm 139:13-14, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”

Remembering that God made us, and not just ‘zapped’ us into existence, but WOVE US together in our mother’s womb, how can I NOT be impressed? I’ve tried my hand at crochet, and let me tell ya, you have to plan, pay attention, and have some time on your hands. Every stitch must be done by hand– if you miss it, you miss it. Furthermore, the Word goes on to say that we are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. This description doesn’t just apply to models and celebrities who look perfect on magazines, but this applies to you, and me, and every other normal seeming Joe out there. God knit you together Himself– He didn’t hire anyone else to do it– He did it. And you are fearfully, and wonderfully made.

Thank You God, for making me! I shouldn’t complain about my hight or eye color… God MADE my eyes, which can see! He also made me small in stature for His Devine purpose. Of course God always knows and does what’s best, and I am no one to question Him and how He does things.

He keeps your tears in a bottle, knows what you’ll say before you say it, knows your laying down and rising up, and the number of hairs on your head.

He wove you and He knows you.

Abigail


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Trusting and Resting

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This is a squirrel.

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We tend to get many, many, MANY of these in our yard. And they have quite the “squirrelly” personalities (pun intended).

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This particular squirrel apparently is very trusting.

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“Trusting? What do you mean by trusting? He looks more like he’s sleepy to me” you may be saying right now. Let me explain.

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It takes trust to rest on some random wooden swing set. For all the squirrel knows, it could be loaded with termites or be improperly built, which could result in some danger on his part. But no, he doesn’t seem worried at all, does he? He took one look at that beam and said “I’m gonna take a nap there– looks comfy to me!”

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Every time we do something, we’re trusting. When we walk around, we’re trusting that the floor won’t cave through, and when we sit in a chair, we trust it will sustain our weight. When we wake up, we trust that the sun will rise, and when we go to sleep we trust there will always be a tomorrow. We trust the TV and lights and microwave will work when we turn them on, and that our food will nourish our bodies. We trust in a lot of things, and like the squirrel, we find comfort and rest in that assurance.

 

In the same way, when we trust in Jesus Christ, believing He died for our sins and paid them off perfectly as only He can, we find rest for our souls.

 

“Jesus, I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou Art! I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart” -the hymn “Jesus I am Resting, Resting”

 

“Trust in The Lord God, He is unfailing! He is the strength of my heart evermore!” -(not sure of the hymn title)

 

Abigail


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When Normal Is Wrong

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Most of us would admit we’re all pretty normal people. Sure, we have our talents and unique qualities– but at the end of the day, we’re all just doing the normal thing. Work. Eat. Play. Rest. Repeat.

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As a Christian, I realized that you can’t stay normal and live for Jesus. You just CAN’T. As Christian author and speaker, Leslie Ludy put it, “When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we exchange the normal and comfortable, for the radical, extreme, and foolish. Normal Christianity means never being normal again.”

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Take a look at this flower. I like to call it our “Exotic Flower” because it’s well…different from our other flowers. It sprouts up for a week or few, and then it’s gone. Oh, and it looks even more insane in person.

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It isn’t the normal, run of the mill little daisy in the garden. I don’t even know what it is… but I get really excited when I see it come out!

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In the same way that this flower is well… Not normal, neither should we be.

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Later in the article, Leslie Ludy went on to say, “Amy Carmichael sacrificed her right to be married and chose instead to spend her life rescuing 1,000 children from being sold into temple prostitution in India.” This is only one example of the very un-normal life a true Christian can take up when they believe.

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If you think you can be a Christian and still be normal, you’re wrong. You can’t keep one foot in the pool and the other in the hot tub– eventually, you’ll leave one for the other.

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So don’t be normal! Be what some would call crazy for Christ and dedicate your thoughts, soul, time, life, body, and all you have to God. That’s what believing is.

 

“Love will come to save us, if we only call. He will ask nothing from us, but demand we give our all.” -Love is Not a Fight by Warren Barfield

 

Abigail

 

P.S.- here’s the link to the full article by Leslie Ludy called “Normal Christianity”:
https://setapartgirl.com/magazine/article/09-1-10/normal-christianity