Be Hospitable, Love the Body of Christ, Look Up -Pursuing the Intentional Life-

I am enjoying this series of letters on pursuing the intentional life so much. I pray you will be encouraged to make a commitment to live an intentional life, to start counting your days, to live fully in Him and for Him.

You can now read Melissa’s response here…

 

Have a blessed day,

Becky

Letters On Pursuing the Intentional Life (part 1)

Our dear friend Trisha recommended us a book that I read with much gusto. Jean Fleming’s words are exactly what I needed in this season of my life.

And because we are on the same season, but in totally different circumstances, my friends, Trisha, Melissa, and I thought that it would be wonderful to write each other letters to converse about this book.

Would you like to join us? Please, go ahead and read Trisha’s introduction and first letter here.

 

Becky

A Poem by Jean Fleming

“At ninety-seven, will I be able to write a poem capturing the scaffold of my life? How would I want it to read?”

 

Vermeer, The Kitchenmaid Commons

 

Old woman, keeper of a house,
Keeper of her heart,
Lover of one man.
Her life a scaffold of discipline and creativity:
Morning after morning: Jesus.
Her heart Bible-bent.
Prayers rise.
Every day an offering of various-sameness:
One hour of exercise (Oh, I wish!),
Dishes washed, laundry hung,
Generations welcomed,
Fed.
A good book, read.
Art made life,
Life made art.
Preparation made forever.

Praying that we will live well the week ahead of us,

Blessings,

Becky

Prayer and Battles

I just finished reading -again- Douglas Wilson’s book, Standing on the Promises: A Handbook on Biblical Childrearing, and I have to say that this is the one book I most recommend on the subject. In one of the last chapters Douglas Wilson writes about parenting teenagers, and says that we need to pick our battles carefully and prayerfully.

Now, that is a phrase that struck me, because it is not only true when we are talking about childrearing. It is true about every battle we face.

As Christians we face many opportunities every day to pick battles not only in our home, but with our brothers and sisters in Christ, our close friends, and our fellow believers in social media: these are battles that call us to stand for the Truth, to say the right thing, to do the right thing, to expose lies, to confront sin, to ask the hard questions, etc. But we must learn that the fact that there are many opportunities for us to pick a battle every hour doesn’t mean that we are responsible to fight every battle.

We must learn to carefully and prayerfully (that is the key word!) discern when when are we supposed to do or say something. We must resist the temptation to react before praying to see if we are indeed called to do something more than praying for that particular person or situation. have you considered why do we so easily forget -in a very practical way- that the effectual prayer of the righteous man availeth much (Jas. 5:16)?

Some other women may face the temptation of never picking up any kind of battles, they never leave their comfort zone, and are always afraid to stand for the Truth, they are never willing to do and say the right thing, to expose sin, to deal with it. This exhortation is also for them. We all need to learn to pick our battles carefully and prayerfully. We all need to learn to live this.

Picking up our battles carefully and prayerfully will help us grow into more mature Christian women who can rest knowing that the Lord is Sovereign and uses pastors, elders, deacons, parents, professors, husbands, etc. to keep His people from going astray and make the Church even more beautiful.

Under His sun and by His grace,

Becky

Time to Do What the Lord Wills

 

Photo Print by Laura Evans on Etsy

Some encouraging -and convicting- words from the pen of Elisabeth Elliot on the Discipline of Time:

“My times are in thy hand…” has become a part of my life. When the Lord has left me in agony of waiting over some decision, these words have put me a rest. His timing is always perfect, though it seldom seems to me, for my temperament longs for previews of coming attractions.”

 

There is always enough time to do the will of God. For that we can never say, “I don’t have time.” When we find ourselves frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed and “hassled,” it is a sign that we are running on our own schedule, not on God’s”

On our way too long to-do lists:

“But the lists must be reviewed daily with the Lord, asking Him to delete whatever is not on His list for us, so that before we go to bed it will be possible to say, “I have finished the work You gave me to do.””

Are you feeling frustrated and worried about your endless lists of things to accomplish and places to go? Maybe it will be a good idea to be reminded of these simple truths:

“Frustration is not the will of God. Of that we can be quite certain. There is time to do anything and everything that God wants us to do. Obedience fits smoothly into His given framework. One thing that most certainly will not fit into it is worry.”

 

“Direct your time and energy into worry, and you will be deficient in things like singing with grace in your heart, praying with thanksgiving, listening to a child’s account of his school day, inviting a lonely person to supper, sitting down to talk unhurriedly with wife or husband, writing a note to someone who needs it.”

 

“People wish they had more leisure time. The problem is not too little of it, but too much of it poorly spent.”

On our time spent with the Lord:

“Time management…begins for the Christian with time set aside for God. Other things cannot fall into a peaceful order if this is omitted.”

All these quotes come from the book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender.

Becky

A Family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Morning

Matthew Henry wrote a family prayer for the Lord’s Day Morning   a beautiful and rich prayer that will sure bless your heart today. O what a blessing it is to prepare our hearts in prayer before we go come to the Lord’s house to worship Him among the saints!

Moms, let us wake up earlier,  with a happy heart and set, with our readiness, a peaceful tune in our home before we come Church. Let no bitterness or resentment, or selfishness take hold of us. Let us serve gladly our Lord this day by serving those we love the most.

 

@Katie Lloyd Photography

Because this is a lengthy prayer, I am only sharing here some excerpts* from it:

Most gracious God, and our Father in our Lord Jesus Christ; it is good for us to draw near to Thee; the nearer the better; and it will be best of all, when come to be nearest of all in the kingdom of glory.

 

We bless Thee for the return of the morning light, and that thou causest the day-spring to know its place and time. O let the day-spring from on high visit our dark souls, and the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing under his wings.

 

We bless thee that the light we see is the Lord’s: That this is the day which the Lord hath made, hath made for man, hath made for himself, we will rejoice and be glad in it. That thou hast revealed unto us thy holy sabbaths, and that we were betimes taught to put a difference between this day and other days, and that we live in a land in all parts of which God is publicly and solemnly worshiped on this day.

 

Now we bid this sabbath welcome: Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest. O that we may be in the Spirit on this Lord’s Day; that this may be the sabbath of the Lord in our dwelling; in our hearts, a sabbath of rest from sin, and a sabbath of rest in God. Enable us, we pray thee, so to sanctify this sabbath, as that it may be sanctified to us and be a means of our sanctification; that by resting today from our worldly employments, our hearts may be more and more taken off from present things and prepared to leave them; and that by our employing our time today in the worship of God, we may be led into a more experimental acquaintance with the work of heaven, and be made more meet for that blessed world.

We confess we are utterly unworthy of the honour and unable for the work of communion with thee, but we come to thee in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is worthy, and depend upon the assistance of thy blessed Spirit to work all our works in us, and so ordain peace for us.

 

O Lord, we bless thee for thy holy word, which is a light to our feet and a lamp to our paths, and which was written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope; that the scriptures are preserved pure and entire to us, and that we have them in a language that we understand. We beg that we may not receive the grace of God herein in vain. We bless thee that our eyes see the joyful light, and our ears hear the joyful sound of a Redeemer and a Saviour, and of redemption and salvation by him; that life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel. Glory be to God in the highest, for in and through Jesus Christ there is on earth peace and good-will towards men.

 

O that our hearts may be filled this day with pleasing thoughts of Christ and his love to us, that great love wherewith he loved us. O the admirable dimensions of that love; the height, the depth, and length, and breadth of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge! Let this love constrain us to love him and to live to him, who died for us and rose again. O that it may be a pleasure and mighty satisfaction to us to think that while we are here praying at the footstool of the throne of grace, our blessed Saviour is sitting at the right hand of the throne of glory, interceding for us. We earnestly beg that through him we may find favour with thee our God, and may be taken into covenant and communion with thee.

 

We humbly pray thee, for his sake, forgive all our sins, known and unknown, in thought, word, and deed: Through him let us be acquitted of guilt and accepted as righteous in thy sight; let us not come into condemnation, as we have deserved; let our iniquity be taken away and our sin covered; and let us be clothed with the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness, that the shame of our nakedness may not appear. O let there be no cloud of guilt to interpose between us and our God this day, and to intercept our comfortable communion with him; and let our lusts be mortified and subdued, that our corruptions may not be as a clog to us, to hinder the ascent of our souls heavenwards.

 

Let thy presence be in all assemblies of good Christians this day. Grace be with all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; let grace be upon them all. In the chariot of the everlasting gospel, let the great Redeemer ride forth triumphantly, conquering and to conquer, and let every thought be brought into obedience to him. Let many be brought to believe the report of the gospel, and to many let the arm of the Lord be revealed. Let sinners be converted unto thee, and thy saints edified and built up in faith, holiness, and comfort, unto salvation. Complete the number of thine elect, and hasten thy kingdom.

 

Now the Lord of peace himself give us peace always by all means. The God of hope fill us with joy and peace in believing, for Christ Jesus’ sake, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer, who hath taught us to pray, Our Father which art in heaven, etc.

Grace upon Grace,

Becky

*You can read Matthew Henry’s: A family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Morning in full here