Notes on Continuance in Prayer

Well-Trodden“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” James 5:13

Another book I’ve started reading for school is “George Muller of Bristol” by Pierson. Here’s a short segment that is very insightful.

“One is constantly reminded in reading Mr. Muller’s journal that he was a man of like frailties as others. On Christmas morning of this year, after a season of peculiar joy, he  awoke to find himself in the Slough of Despond, without any sense of enjoyment, prayer seeming as fruitless as the vain struggles of a man in the mire. At the usual morning meeting he was urged by a brother to continue in prayer, notwithstanding, until he was again melted before the Lord — a wise counsel for all disciples when the Lord’s presence seems strangely withdrawn. Steadfast continuance in prayer must never be  hindered by the want of sensible enjoyment; in fact, it is a safe maxim that the less joy, the more need. Cessation of communion with God, for whatever cause, only makes the more difficult its resumption and the recovery of the prayer habit and prayer spirit; whereas the persistent outpouring of supplication, together with continued activity in the service of God, soon brings back the lost joy. Whenever, therefore, one yield to spiritual depression so as to abandon, or even to suspend, closet communion or Christian work, the devil triumphs.

RSS Feed Reader

ComradesSince I follow several blogs, as many of you probably do also, checking each website individually can take quite a bit of time. Almost all blogs have a method for notifying readers of new posts called RSS. RSS feed readers will regularly check all the blogs you follow for updates, so you only have the website of your RSS feed reader to visit in order to view the updates from multiple websites. I use Thunderbird as my email and my RSS client, but there are many other options available. Feedly is one of the more popular, but requires a previous Google or Facebook account. There are other options available too. Click here for a review of some of the best.

Either way, if you enjoy multiple blogs, I would highly recommend you start using an RSS feed reader so you can stay updated on your favourite websites, but not spend the time of checking them individually.

Winter Coziness

People are constantly changing in their expressions and appearances. Landscapes are slowly changing. Cats are somewhere in between. While cats change more often than seasonally, they are normally ready to enjoy the little things in life – such as a good nap. There is a lesson of contentment to be learned from cats.

In this case, Nutmeg (our cat) was quite happy to watch me take pictures of her. For this picture, I set up a flash on the side of the bed and aimed it at the joint between the wall and the ceiling. This lit up the background. To light up the cat, I had one flash to the camera right, and another flash that was reflected with a golden reflector from the camera left. This helped enrich the colors of Nutmeg’s fur. 

Winter Coziness

Christi’s 15th Birthday

On Saturday night, we celebrated Christi’s 15th birthday.

 I am so thankful to God for my sister. She is always ready to give cheer when cheer is needed; she is ready to help when assistance is needed, and she is ready to be there when company is needed. May God continue to grant you grace to keep growing in Him this next year.

 Here are some pictures!

Ice Cream Cake!

Ice Cream Cake!

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Opening Presents

Opening Presents

Dad Testing out my Camera

Dad Testing out my Camera

IMG_1629

Very tasty!

Very tasty!

 

It’s Okay

Rejoice in that God has Given

 

A small little girl
Asked her content, waiting mother,
Why do we stay today,
When you said we would go
 
The mother replied
It tis your father’s design
But it is okay to delay
For it is nice to stay
 
While this may seem simple,
The power is ample
For to say okay
Displays character inside
 
By the passing of okay
We say that we are fine
With the way that is ours
Granted by the Father above
 
So next time you are tempted to complain
say that its okay
be content with your day
Grateful for all God’s supply

 

Dealing with Pride

Icy PillarsI was having a good day. Having previously spent some fun time with friends, I went for a short bike ride by myself. After mounting my bike and starting to ride away, my thoughts quickly focused on myself and my bicycling abilities. With these thoughts going through my mind, I started taking a sharp and fast turn. I was on the ground before I knew it. Due to the angle of my turn, my pedal caught on the ground and sent me and my bike to the ground. I had aching and painful reminders of my pride for the next week and a half.

 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

 Satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride. Yet despite seeing the consequences of his and many other’s example, we often forget. Pride spurs an host of other sins. Thankfully, God’s word provides aid on conquering this evil foe.

 By looking at the specific examples of Satan and Nebuchadnezzar, we see that pride is the result of thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought. We have a tendency to claim the good things in our lives, and blame the bad things on others. The opposite is actually true. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Clearly, the faults in our life are not because of God. An additional section of James explains this further. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:13-15)”. To those who have accepted Jesus’ gift, God has given the power to overcome sin (Romans 6-8 and I Corinthians 10:13).

 After looking at these passages, we can determine the following; the good things in our life are from God; the wrong things in our life are from ourselves. While this may seem depressing, it actually gives us greater reason for rejoicing. Instead of rejoicing in ourselves, who are but sinful people, we can rejoice in Christ (see Philippians 4:4) and what He has done for us. I Thessalonians 5:18 says “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” This is a powerful solvent for pride. By genuinely expressing our thankfulness to God and others for what they have done in our lives, we can dispel pride through God’s grace.

 Be alert for pride in your life and through the power of God conquer it.

 “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”  – Daniel 4:37

Afternoon Silence