Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prosperity and Adversity

I took a break from reading Spurgeon during my devotions for awhile, but I recently picked up my volume of Morning and Evening and have resumed my perusal of his writings.  He was a man tempered by suffering, resulting, I believe, in a depth of insight and understanding of the Word that is amazing.  To say nothing of "fitting him for heaven," this Prince of Preachers.  In the midst of my own personal sufferings, this passage is one of those that has ministered to me.

"Does Job fear God for nothing?"
Job 1:9

This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, but there are many in the present day concerning whom it might be asked with justice, for they love God after a fashion because He prospers them; but if things went ill with them, they would give up all their boasted faith in God.  If they can clearly see that since the time of their supposed conversion the world has gone prosperously with them, then they will love God in their poor carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord.  Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house.

As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. (!) Remember Christ's words: "Every branch in Me that bears not fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit" -- What? He prunes it,that it may bring forth more fruit.  If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction.  "Alas!" you say, "that is a terrible prospect."  But this affliction works out such precious results, that the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulations, because as his tribulations abound, so his consolations abound by Christ Jesus.

Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod.  Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire.  Fear not, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from the earth and made fit for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you.  When you feel that as regards the present you serve God for nothing, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.

Charles H. Spurgeon
Nearly 6 years ago, on the day my mom died, a group of women prayed over me, prophesied over me, and spoke words of promise from the Lord.  Among them was a word that there was much seed that would come from me -- not seed as in babies -- and that there would be much fruit in my life.  After reading the above passage from Spurgeon, I am getting a glimpse of what that might mean.  Much fruit, much affliction.  Hmmm.  Perhaps my current affliction is part of that promise.

And would that these afflictions result in the kind of depth manifested in the Prince of Preachers.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Year at Innisvale

Two posts in one day is an anomaly for me!  I just finished putting together our yearly calendar and wanted to get it into my blog for my own benefit and that of posterity.  If you happen to read along occasionally, I hope you enjoy a glimpse into our year here at Innisvale.

"This is where the wasteland ends
and Love and Life and Joy begin.
This is where our God doth lend
the Power and Grace to see Eden again."
Dale MacInnis




The Band




Fourth of July






"I will help you," says the Lord.

Isaiah 41:14

Right now there are so many things that are difficult.  It is a season of that for us.  As I talk to the Lord morning by morning, I am hearing more and more, "It's all about Me, not about you. My Glory."  And then, in the midst of that, He gave me this from Spurgeon this morning:

"This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: "I will help you."  It is but a small thing for Me, your God, to help you.  Consider what I have done already.  What! not help you?  Why, I bought you with My blood.  What! not help you? I have died for you; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less?  Help you!  I made the thing I well ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more.  Before the world began I chose you.  I made the covenant for you.  I laid aside My glory and became a man for you; I gave My life for you; and if I did all this, I will surely help you now.  In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already.  If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it to you; you require little compared with what I am ready to give.  It is much for you to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow.  Help you?  Fear not!  If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat; and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency.  "I will help you."

Oh my soul, is not this enough?  Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity?  Do you want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifested in the influences of the Spirit?  Bring here your empty pitcher!  Surely this well will fill it.  Haste, gather up your wants, and bring them here: your emptiness, your woes, your needs.  Behold, this river of God is full for your supply; what can you desire beside?  Go forth, my soul, in this your might.  the Eternal God is your helper!

Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed! I, I am your God, and will still give you aid.

Thank You, Abba, for your lovingkindness.  Always.


Friday, January 14, 2011

The Gifts God Gives

Okay, with all the response to the picture of my "new" double oven, I'm thinking it would be good to give credit where credit is due!

Last week, the element in the lower oven of my double wall unit kind of exploded.  Boomer noticed fire-like symptoms and we ran to shut it off.  The element had burned through in one spot and was spouting fire.  So.

I felt rather bound by having only one oven.  Now, I would imagine that could sound strange to some of you, but I have functioned with two ovens for a long time and I cook A LOT.  Not just for us, but for the band, and extended family, and anyone who happens to show up at our place.  In planning Maggie's birthday party, we actually planned the menu around ONE oven, because we couldn't be sure that there would be any alternative.

So, I decided to put a request out on Freecycle for a double oven wall unit and see what happened.  The next morning there was a response, and I was able to go and pick it up -- in Onalaska! -- and bring it home.  That was Tuesday.  My dear husband called his brother who is an electrical genius, and he came yesterday, Thursday, and between him and Maggie and Boomer, they took out the old one, installed the new one, and I am back in business!  Awesome.  And to add to that, I Freecycled the old one and have two takers!

Oh, and did I mention that it's white?  That means it matches the fridge and dishwasher.  I wouldn't have cared if it were green.  But it's white. :-)

I'm sharing this as a tribute to my loving Abba Father who, in the midst of all else, gifted me with a new set of ovens.  He didn't have to.  But He did.  I love that.  I love Him.

Thank You, Jesus.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Clan Christmas

Well, 2010 has come and gone.  Wow.  WHAT a year.

It ended with a precious family gathering at Jessie's and Dale's home on December 27th at which we celebrated Christmas and Daniel's birthday.  It was a good day.

I am so grateful for my family, for the expanding of the clan, and the joys of being the matriarch.  That was a new thought to me the other day.  Matriarch.  More on that another time.  Here are some photos of our day.

The Clan

Maggie reading the Christmas Story

Boomer and his bale of drum sticks! :-)

Jessie & Dale

Uncle Boomer and Xander

Daniel, Xander and Sarah with the sign Maggie and I made for them:
"All your sons will be taught of the Lord
and the well-being of your sons will be great."
Isaiah 54:13

Xander flying!

Taking pictures of each other.  :-)

Poor little guy was tuckered.  He slept through dinner
but joined us for birthday cake!