Tuesday, October 31, 2023

A break, and a goodbye

 I just wanted to do a quick post letting everyone who reads my blog that I will be taking a break from blogging...I'm not really sure for how long. I just feel a need to step away from it at this time. I thank each one of my readers who through the years have been regular readers and leaving me many kind, encouraging comments...they have each meant a lot to me! I hope this is just a season for me, and that I might return someday in the future, but for now in this time of my life it seems best for me to put it aside. Thank you all for the blessing you've been.  

Friday, October 20, 2023

The Blessings of Winter

 These thoughts about the positive and necessary effects of the cold of winter on the production of fruit in trees has been such an encouragement and comfort to me during some hard times in my own life, as I thought on the spiritual truths it could be applied to for our lives and bearing fruit, that I thought I would share it here...just with the hope someone else out there who might be going through some trials might find it a comfort to them also. 

I first learned of this when my family and I lived down in the south for many years...and came to find that our apple and pear trees were very weak growing, and simply would not produce any fruit no matter what we tried. I wrote some details about it in a small journal I kept at the time...and when I came across it recently again while I've been in some hard times...it honestly brought me to tears and gave me such comfort as I thought of the way it could be applied spiritually to God's children. The cold, hard times might be very unpleasant...but God can and does promise to work it for the good of His own (Romans 8:28). I wish I could say that I always remember this, and always walk by faith rather than sight...but I need this constant reminder...it is so easy to forget, and be weighed down by difficult times!

"A mild winter may be pleasant, but it can diminish our future harvests. Warm winters can result in delayed foliation and prolonged blossoming, but the buds deteriorate or drop, yielding few flowers or fruit."

"Fruit trees and certain bushes must go through a dormant period each winter in preparation for producing fruit the following spring and summer. This rest period, also known as a chilling period, is directly related to the temperature. For many varieties of trees, the most efficient temperature for chilling is 45°F, with little additional chilling effect at temperatures below 32°F. Brief warm spells in winter have a negative effect — temperatures above 70°F for four or more hours offset any chilling that happened in the previous 24-36 hours."

The amount of hours needed at or below 45°F varies with the type of tree:

Peach: 400 to 1050 hours

Apple: 800 to 1100 hours

Cherry: 1000+ hours

Once chilling is complete, the trees prepare to wake up from dormancy and bud after a certain amount of warming takes place."


"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." -John 15:1-2

 "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." -John 15:8

This is a poor quality photo...but it is a handwritten note that my sister's mother-in-law (who passed away earlier this year) kept on her fridge. It always made me stop and think...and especially more so as going through times of suffering. It says:

 "Suffering in a believer's life is never pointless. It tests in order to strengthen, OR It chastens in order to correct."

"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." -Philippians 1:9-11

The sweetest rest is at even,
After a wearisome day, 
When the heavy burden of labor 
Has been borne from our hearts away;
And those who have never known sorrow - 
Cannot know the infinite peace
That falls on the troubled spirit
When it sees at last release. 

We must live through the dreary winter
If we would value the spring; 
And the woods must be cold and silent
Before the robins sing;
The flowers must be buried in darkness
Before they can bud and bloom.
And the sweetest warmest sunshine 
Comes after the storm and gloom. 
-Unknown Author

"Who understands the thrill of seeing the first 
bright flowers of spring so clearly as one who has just gone 
through the long, hard winter?"

-Darlene Deibler Rose

 "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." -1 Peter 5:10

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Hope in God


  "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."
-Psalms 31:24

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
-Psalm 43:5

Monday, August 28, 2023

In Loving Memory

I wrote this several months back...but it sat in my drafts for a long time. 

"Recently I came away from visiting a lady for the last time who was special to me...my sister's mother-in-law. She was lovingly known as "Gramma" by her grandchildren.   Over the years that I was able to get to know her, maybe because I never was able to have a close relationship with either of my Grandmothers, she seemed to fill that place for me. She radiated joy and love to others...but most of all to the Lord. She was very often speaking of the Lord Jesus her Saviour. Some of the very last words I got to hear her say while she lay there in bed, declining rapidly with only a matter of days left to live, and struggling to have the strength to speak were about the Lord her Saviour. 

This happened as I went on one of my visits to her, bringing along one of her granddaughters with me. Her 12 year old granddaughter (my niece) took her hand and said to her "You've always been such a good example to us." Her Gramma was very weak, and lay there a short time before responding "All because of Jesus!", with an expression of perfect peace on her face. 

I miss her...she was always someone with a listening ear and ready heart to help, and willing to give of her time to pray for others.  As I've thought about her passing on to be with the Lord, and it seems that the thought of the swiftness of eternity coming for each one of us is so often on my mind, and the thought of those who do not know the Lord is heavy on my heart today...I wonder, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Will you be able, just as peacefully as she did, to pass from this world to the next when it's your time to go? We should never be afraid to seriously ask ourselves this question....whether we've considered ourselves to be saved for five years, ten years, or 40 years. Is it real? Do you really know the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you trusted in Him, and let go of all self-righteousness?" 

It's not a prayer that will save you
It's not reforming your life that will save you. 
It's not having morals and right principles. 
One may have all of these, and still be lost.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation

   "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." -John 14:6

   "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." -Acts 4:12

How do we come to Him? By faith. This faith is not a head knowledge of certain facts...but a genuine trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. According to God's Word, this faith will have fruit...evidenced by contrition over sin.  It is good to pray, but one might pray over and again in sinful unbelief, without trusting in Christ, and still be lost.  "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18.  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." If you have not this faith, and contrition over your own sinfulness, will you begin asking the Lord for it? 

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." -Luke 11:9-10

"And...should there be any present who are not yet believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, 
they should give themselves no rest in asking God to show them that they are sinners, and that they need the Saviour; and when they are brought to know this, then to ask God to enable them to put their trust in Jesus. And what they will obtain will be the forgiveness of their sins, and peace to their souls, and hatred of sin and love for holiness. God grant this blessing to all of us, for Christ's sake." -George Mueller

The Lord has promised to be good to those who seek Him! (See Lamentations 3:25). He has been very good to me when I sought Him, and He was found of me...and I humbly ask you, if you have not already - will you seek Him with all your heart too? You will find Him if you do, for He has promised

Are you trusting in Him, and in Him alone? Have you experienced the wonderful change of becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus? This faith will have evidence!

"You may know the true grace of God by this — it brings salvation, and teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. My fellow-sinner, have You received salvation? Have you experienced a change of heart, and a change of life? Nothing but the grace of God can bring you to Heaven, and it only brings those there who possess it. To be in a graceless state, is to be in a hopeless state; and to be in a hopeless state, is to be in a most dreadful state."- James Smith, 1842

"Here is Divine consolation. Christ pronounces "blessed" not those who are full of righteousness, but those who "hunger and thirst" after it." -selected

"It is not the absence of sin, but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors." -A.W. Pink 

Have you ever known what it is to hunger and thirst after righteousness? Or what it is to mourn over your own inward corruptions? If not...will you ask the Lord to show you your sins, and give you a truly contrite heart? 

   "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." -Psalms 34:18

 "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." -Matthew 5:4

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." 
-Matthew 5:6

  "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." -Acts 3:26

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freeely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" - Romans 3:19-25

Have your sins been washed away, and have you been made white by the precious blood of the Lamb? (See Revelation 7:14). 

Have you truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and has He therefore become precious to you?

"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:" -1 Peter 2:7a 

I posted this poem once before awhile back...but I would just like to share it again: 

Come and See! 

If there is anyone reading this who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ, 
I pray that you, too, will "come and see" as Philip once said to Nathanael. 

And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing 
come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 
John 1:46

Oh friend, I'd like to tell you
Of One so dear to me.
He is the only Saviour;
Oh, won't you "come and see"?

I cannot taste for you
Forgiveness full and free;
But, Oh! I'd like to urge you,
My friend, to "come and see"!

You'll find in Him a Refuge
If you will only seek
With all your heart and mind and soul
The Shepherd of the sheep.

Don't linger at the portals
But flee to Him Who died!
He rose again, and now you'll find
A Refuge in His side.

His blood was shed, the debt to pay
For all those who believe;
Each one of those who comes to Him
Eternal life receives.

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, 
and love one another, as he gave us commandment." -1John 3:23

The Lord Jesus said: 
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." -Matthew 11:28-30

Here, in my sister's mother-in-law's very own handwriting, is the question I know she would want you to ask yourself: 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Careful and troubled?

I found this poem a long time back... It has been such a help to me that I thought I should share it here, to hopefully help and encourage others as well. 
By: Unknown Author

"Careful and troubled," Is that true of thee?
"Careful and troubled," Why should'st thou be!
Faith in His wisdom, thy Savior desires;
Trust in His guidance, He always requires.
"Careful and troubled," but that is not "trust";
"Trust" means to leave it all, happen what must
"Trust" means to live free from worrying care,
Casting on Jesus thy burden to bear.
"Careful and troubled" dishonors His love;
Do not His past dealings all faithful prove?
"Careful and troubled," dishonors His power;
Will not His strength hold out, hour after hour?
"Careful and troubled" just means "unbelief";
Thou wilt not trust Him, and that gives Him grief.
"Careful and troubled" just means "disobey";
"Bring here thy burden!" "I will not," you say.
And yet "He careth, He careth for you";
Have you not tried it, and found it is true?
Have you known one of His promises fail?
Have you not proved that His Strength does Prevail?
Alter thy motto: then, "trouble" no more;
Go to the Old Book of heavenly stores.
"Careful for nothing," there written I see,
Savior, I thank Thee; make that true of me.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. -Philippians 4:6

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Rest and Hope


And we know that all things work together for good to them 
that love God,  to them that are the called 
according to His purpose. 
Romans 8:28

The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, 
to the soul that seeketh Him.  It is good that a man 
should both hope and quietly wait for the 
salvation of the LORD.
-Lamentations 3:25

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Sure Stepping Stones for Life (Part Two)

 I was not intending to make a part two of my last post "Sure Stepping Stones for Life", but it turns out that I was searching for this quote that I wanted while making my last post...but was unable to locate it. I found it a few days later by accident, and decided perhaps since it didn't make it into the post I intended it to...I should use it to make a second part! 

“One word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men to relieve a distressed soul.” John Flavel, England 1627-1691

"Blessed the man who is not staggered by God's delay or silence or apparent refusal, but 
is strong in faith giving glory to God. Such faith perseveres, importunately, if need be, and cannot 
fail to inherit the blessing. " -Andrew Murray

Hebrews 6:11   And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

  Hebrews 6:12   That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

"Trials make the promise sweet; Trials give new life to prayer; Trials bring me to His feet, Lay me low, and keep me there." 

"Trials make the promise sweet."

One there is above all others, 
O how He loves! 
His is love beyond a brother's, 
O how He loves! 
Earthly friends may fail or leave us, 
One day kind, the next deceive us;
But this Friend will never leave us, 
O how He loves! 

Tis eternal life to know Him,
O how He loves! 
With His precious blood He bought us, 
In the wilderness He sought us, 
To His fold He safely brought us, 
O how He loves!

We have found a friend in Jesus, 
O how He loves!
How our hearts delight to hear Him,
Bid us dwell in safety near Him;
Why should we distrust or fear Him? 
O how He loves!

Blessed Jesus, wouldst thou know Him? 
O how He loves!
Give thyself this moment to Him, 
O how He loves!
Best of blessings He'll provide thee, 
Naught but good shall e'er betide thee, 
Safe to Glory He will guide thee, 
O how He loves!

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sure Stepping Stones For Life

  "What is a better tonic against discouragement than the 
promises of God, His faithfulness, and a glimpse at what we truly have in Christ forevermore?"

Be still, my heart, for faithful is your Lord, 
And pure and true and tried is His Holy Word; 
Through stormy flood that rages as the sea,
His promises your stepping-stones shall be

I will not seek to know the future years,
Nor cloud today with dark tomorrow's fears;
I will but ask a light from heaven to show
How, step by step, my pilgrimage should go. 
-Author Unknown

"Regarding all the numberless promises which God has been pleased to make...we
have to exercise faith concerning them; and the comfort, support, and blessing intended 
by them to our hearts, will be enjoyed by us." -George Mueller

"Hence, let us learn, my brethren, the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore miss its comfort." -C.H. Spurgeon

  "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, 
and that your joy might be full." -John 15:11

"The reason why the children of God are so frequently overpowered by difficulties
and trials is, because they attempt to carry their burden themselves, instead of casting it upon God, as He not only graciously allows them to do, but commands them to do; and therefore they lose the promise which is coupled with the command; they find themselves not sustained."

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee." This does not mean simply to pray to God in our trials and afflictions, but that we should exercise faith in the power and willingness of God to help us under our trials; and by this we know whether we have only used words in prayer, or whether we have in believing prayer, exercising faith in God, spoken to Him about our trials. If the latter was the case, then, though the trial lasts, the burden thereof is gone, because we have laid it upon God...but if we have not exercised faith in God, we are still carrying the burden ourselves. 

All these matters are so deeply important, because if we do not walk by faith we cannot be happy in God, and therefore cannot bear such a testimony for God as we should bear were we indeed happy. Our very countenances should testify of our peace and joy in God, in order that the unconverted may be stirred up to seek for themselves after that which makes the children of God so happy." - George Mueller

"Let me cheerfully submit to affliction, and carefully endeavor to be profited thereby."

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." -Hebrews 12:11

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." -Romans 5:3-5

"Beloved, "It is well!" 
God's ways are always right, 
And perfect love is o'er them all
Tho' far above our sight." 
-G. Doane, 1833

These are all quotes that I saved or wrote down because they were what I have needed to remind myself of during hard times I've been going through. They have been such an encouragement to me to continually take my burdens to the Lord, and find comfort from His promises and rest in the Lord, that I wanted to share them here with the hope and prayer they bless someone else as much as they have me. 

Doubt not the Lord when tempted and tried;
Worlds pass away, His Word shall abide!
He is almighty, in Him you may hide, 
Keep on believing in the promises of God. 

Tho' you should walk in darkness awhile,
Over the thorns for many a mile, 
Watch for the dawning, and sing with a smile, 
Keep on believing in the promises of God. 

"His promises your stepping stones shall be."

Some of my favorite promises

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." -John 16:24

"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us:" -1 John 5:14

"He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him." 

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." 1 Peter 3:12

"O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him." -Psalm 37:

"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." -Romans 8:28

"But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." -1 Peter 5:10

Monday, February 6, 2023

At all times

At All Times Praise the Lord
By Johann S. Howson
At all times praise the Lord;
His promises are sure;
What if thou doubt? His steadfast Word
Unchanging shall endure.

Praise Him when skies are bright,
And gladness fills thy days;
Heav’n shames thee with its glorious light,
And calls thee to His praise.

Praise Him when clouds are dark;
True faith waits not to prove;
Tho’ hope no bright’ning gleam may mark,
His meaning still is love.

Praise Him when drear and lone
The shadows ’round thee fall,
No eye upon thy sins but One—
Fear not, He pardons all.

Praise Him when home is sweet,
As tho’ we ne’er should part;
But pray—while kindred spirits meet—
Pray for a thoughtful heart.

Praise Him when far away
On mountain or on sea;
Each place is home to them who pray;
The Father guardeth thee.

Praise Him when joyful songs
The saints on earth unite,
In sacred chorus, with the throngs
Of angels in the height.

At all times praise the Lord;
His promises are sure;
Fear not, doubt not; His steadfast Word
Unchanging shall endure.

"I will bless the Lord at all times: 
His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Psalm 134:1

Saturday, October 29, 2022

All These Things...


  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  -Matthew 6:33

A friend of mine was reminding me of this promise recently...and it was such an encouragement to me to be reminded of. I hope it might be a blessing to someone else today as well. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

God Meant it Unto Good Poem

 GEN. 1. 20

“God meant it unto good,”—O blest assurance
Falling like sunshine all across life’s way,
Touching with heaven’s gold earth’s darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.
‘Twas not by chance the hands of faithless brethren
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance which, after years of suffering,
Brought him before the monarch’s throne to stand.
One Eye all-seeing saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And, through the weary days of prison bondage,
Was working towards the great and glorious goal.
As yet the end was hidden from the captive,
The iron entered even to his soul:
His eye could scan the present path of sorrow,
Not yet his gaze might rest upon the whole.
Faith failed not through those long dark hours of waiting
His trust in God was recompensed at last;
The moment came when God led forth His servant
To succor many, all his sufferings past.
“It was not you, but God that sent me hither,”
Witnessed triumphant faith in after days;
“God meant it unto good” no second causes
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.
“God means it unto good” for thee, beloved;
The God of Joseph is the same today,
His love permits afflictions strange and bitter:
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.
The Lord, who sees the end from the beginning,
Hath purposes for thee of love untold;
Then place thy hand in His and follow fearless,
Till thou the riches of His grace behold.
Then when thou standest in the Home of glory,
And all life’s path lies open to thy gaze,
Thine eyes shall see the hand which now thou trustest,
And magnify His love through endless days.
F. H. A.