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Friday, October 28, 2016

Be Not Blind

Be Not Blind to the Shining of His Face
by Amy Carmichael

Far in the future lieth a fear;
Like a long, low, mist of gray,
Gathering to fall in dreary rain;
Thus doth thy heart within thee complain.
And even now thou art afraid, for round thy dwelling
The flying winds are ever telling
Of the fear that lieth gray
Like a gloom of brooding mist upon the way.

But The Lord is always kind;
Be not blind, be not blind 
To the shining of His face,
To the comforts of His grace.
Hath He ever failed thee yet?
Never, never. Wherefore fret?
O fret not thyself, nor let They heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.

Near, by thy footfall, springeth a joy, 
Like a new-blown little flower
Growing for thee, to make thee glad.
Let thy countenance be no more sad,
But wake the voice of joy and health within thy dwelling,
And let thy tongue be ever telling,
Not of fear that lieth gray, 
But of little flowers beside the way.

For the Lord is always kind,
Be not blind, be not blind 
To the shining of His face,
To the comforts of His grace.
He hath never failed thee yet.
Never will His love forget.
O fret not thyself, nor let Thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Max Lucado: My prediction for November 9

We are really ready for this presidential election to be over. We’re ready for an end to the rancor and tackiness.
Voters on both sides feel frustrated, even embarrassed by it all. There is a visceral fear, an angst about the result. What if so and so wins? When we wake up to November 9, post-election, when the confetti is swept away and the election is finally over, what will we see?
I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty.
He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016. “The LORD can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).
On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple.  On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in “detention” for seven years.  “The kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” (Psalms 22:28).
Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can then choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.      
    Jeremiah did this. He was the prophet to Israel during one of her darkest periods of rebellion. He was called “the weeping prophet” because he was one. He wept at the condition of the people and the depravity of their faith. He was so distraught that one of his books was entitled Lamentations. But then he considered the work of God. Note the intentionality of his words:
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
(Lam. 3:21-23)
Imitate Jeremiah. Lift up your eyes. Dare to believe that good things will happen. Dare to believe that God was speaking to us when he said: “In everything God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
Many years ago, I spent a week visiting the interior of Brazil with a long-time missionary pilot. He flew a circuit of remote towns in a small plane that threatened to come undone at the slightest gust of wind. Wilbur and Orville had a sturdier aircraft.
I could not get comfortable. I kept thinking that the plane was going to crash in some Brazilian jungle and I’d be gobbled up by piranhas or swallowed by an anaconda.
I kept shifting around, looking down, and gripping my seat. (As if that would help.) Finally, the pilot had had enough of my squirming. He looked at me and shouted over the airplane noise. “We won’t face anything I can’t handle. You might as well trust me to fly the plane.”
Is God saying the same to you? If so, make this your prayer:
Dear Lord,
You are perfect. You could not be better than you are.
You are self-created. You exist because you choose to exist.
You are self-sustaining. No one helps you. No one gives you strength.
You are self-governing. Who can question your deeds? Who dares advise you?
You are correct. In every way. In every choice. You regret no decision.
You have never failed. Never! You cannot fail! You are God! You will accomplish your plan.
You are happy. Eternally joyful. Endlessly content.
You are the king, supreme ruler, absolute monarch, overlord, and rajah of all history.
An arch of your eyebrow and a million angels will pivot and salute. Every throne is a footstool to yours. Every crown is papier–mâché to yours. No limitations, hesitations, questions, second thoughts, or backward glances. You consult no clock. You keep no calendar. You report to no one. You are in charge.
And I trust you.
Circle November 9 on your calendar and write upon it the words: Our good God rules the world.

Max Lucado is a San Antonio pastor and best-selling author. His latest book is Because of Bethlehem: Love is Born, Hope is Here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railway

We don't go on bus trips very often because we are too independent. No bus load of people wants to go the same places we want to go and see the same people we want to see. But yesterday we broke the code and joined a bus load of people on a day trip. We left home at 6 a.m. and got home at 10:30 p.m. It was a long day and one I don't care to repeat on a regular basis, but we did have a good time. It was a nice group to travel with and we saw some nice scenery.

We traveled in a comfortable coach to Romeny, West Virginia, where we got on a passenger car of the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railway.

Our tour group nearly filled one of the cars.

We took a three-hour ride through the mountains and spotted some eagles along the way. The leaves were not as colorful as I hoped but still mostly green. The train went through a gorge that was just wide enough for the river and railway.

It was not as sunny as I hoped but at least it didn't rain on our parade and we were able to ride in an open car through the gorge to look for eagles.

One advantage of a bus trip is that someone else did the driving and we could nap on the way home. It was interesting to see who was on the bus. I didn't know everyone but was surprised to see an old friend and able to catch up with her over our meal in the restaurant. Elvin and Elaine Martin are capable tour leaders and if you like bus trips I'm sure you'll enjoy travelling with them.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Milestone Weekend

We reached another milestone in our lives this weekend when we witnessed the marriage of our grandson. He is not our oldest grandson but is the first to marry.
Joshua Steve Miller was born January 2, 1996, exactly two years after our son Steve died in a traffic accident. His mother did NOT want him to be born that day but God knew what He was doing. His birth changed January 2 from a day of sadness to one in which there was happiness. And every year since we have said "Happy Birthday!" The years passed by so quickly and before we knew it Josh was dating and engaged to be married to Angie Mast. 
The wedding was held in Ohio (where they both live) on Saturday, October 8. The theme was a mixture of his outdoors hobbies of hunting and fishing with delicate flowers and other feminine touches. I'm no decorator and would not have thought burlap and deer antlers would go with peach roses and Baby's Breath but it looked very nice.

Josh and Angie Miller

 This welcome display (on a pallet) stood under a fishing rod arch outside the church sanctuary.

Josh's only sister, Arianna, was one of the bridesmaids and these are her flowers.

Josh made the bridal and serving tables from pallets and scrap lumber. The bridal party sat on an assortment of old chairs. Rustic enough to fit Josh but beautified with flowers and greens. 

The table below was the dessert table which held a variety of cheesecakes (a favorite of Josh) and ice cream with toppings. 

Although Josh never knew Steve, he was well aware of his connection to this uncle who was next younger than his mother and why his own middle name was Steve. He wanted to honor Steve's memory at his wedding and did it in two ways. First, Steve's picture was displayed on a memory table everyone passed as they were being seated at the reception.

Second, Josh used Steve's car to drive away from the wedding. Gene has kept the car and was happy to allow Josh to use it. He got it all spruced up and drove it out to Ohio for Josh to drive away. 

Before we headed home on Sunday, we took another picture of the car. Here are our five living children with Steve's car. Behind the car--Cheryl, Gerald, Daryl; in front--Gene and Dale. Cheryl is Josh'smother and by birth order is in the middle of her four brothers. Thanks to both Josh and Gene for making this special memory for us to treasure. It meant so much to me that Josh honored Steve's memory on his wedding day. Steve will live in our hearts forever! Memories never die.