#oneword · OneWord365 · Pondering

Diligence – One Word 2022

Lisa (@ LisaNotes) suggests each month a few ways to blog our OneWord. After pondering the ones given plus more from the whole list (Lisa Hite, available here) I decided to see how creating a collage with my OneWord in many different languages would create something new for March. I must say it was quite interesting, has given me more questions rather than a better understanding of ‘diligence’ but was fun anyway! Wordclouds.com

No matter what language my OneWord for 2022 is written or spoken in, it still means basically the same – “to seek, seek early or earnestly, look early or diligently for …” with minor cultural and actual language differences.

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 2 Peter 3:14

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13 NKJV

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. ESV

in the diligence not slothful; in the spirit fervent; the Lord serving; YLT

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. NLT

My month has been rather constant regarding diligence in my walk with God:

  • I continue to read the Bible daily along with “Sweeter Than Honey, A 365-Day Devotional Journey” by Patsy Burnette. We are reading the Bible chronologically which I really am liking. Patsy has a beehive of readers on this Facebook page.
  • My Community Bible Group just began Colossians which is our last book of study. We are on a week’s break right now and then will complete the year by the end of April. I hope to be back with them for the next year’s study beginning in September, I believe. Next year’s study will be “Red Sea to the Jordan River” following the Israelites in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers.
  • With Covid numbers decreasing well below the norm since I moved here over six months ago, I have returned to a church I had attended once awhile back. Because of Covid I am going to just go to this one church for now rather than visit unknown churches. And for two Sundays, it is just right! Thank You, Lord.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

I pray that His grace and knowledge will, indeed, penetrate my soul and my heart so that I may praise Him for always. In Your Name, sweet Jesus, I pray. Amen.

@ Lisa Notes / https://lisanotes.com

Diligence One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

WordCloud for diligence in many languages @ Wordclouds.com

One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

Classical Writers · Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering · prayer

Classic Works Woven – Oswald Chambers – 2

I know I posted Oswald Chambers last week, but he has been vital to my Christian growth. I want to spend a bit more time on him this week.

“Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.” —Oswald Chambers

“We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be.”

“Solitude with God repairs the damage done by the fret and noise and clamour of the world.”

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.

On the morning of March 9, 2022, as I read from “My Utmost for His Highest”, I could not have been gifted a more perfect devotional reading for ‘such a time as this’ in my walk with Jesus. I have much to ponder until Jesus returns:

“Turning Back or Walking with Jesus?”

By Oswald Chamber
Do you also want to go away?” —John 6:67

“What a penetrating question! Our Lord’s words often hit home for us when He speaks in the simplest way. In spite of the fact that we know who Jesus is, He asks, “Do you also want to go away?” We must continually maintain an adventurous attitude toward Him, despite any potential personal risk.

“’From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more’ (John 6:66). They turned back from walking with Jesus; not into sin, but away from Him. Many people today are pouring their lives out and working for Jesus Christ, but are not really walking with Him. One thing God constantly requires of us is a oneness with Jesus Christ. After being set apart through sanctification, we should discipline our lives spiritually to maintain this intimate oneness. When God gives you a clear determination of His will for you, all your striving to maintain that relationship by some particular method is completely unnecessary. All that is required is to live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ. Never try to live your life with God in any other way than His way. And His way means absolute devotion to Him. Showing no concern for the uncertainties that lie ahead is the secret of walking with Jesus.

“Peter saw in Jesus only someone who could minister salvation to him and to the world. But our Lord wants us to be fellow laborers with Him.

“In John 6:70 Jesus lovingly reminded Peter that he was chosen to go with Him. And each of us must answer this question for ourselves and no one else: ‘Do you also want to go away?‘”

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS: Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man.   (Disciples Indeed, 388 L)

Oh, Lord, I do not wish to walk away, yet I have certainly toyed with that idea due to this world pulling and pushing me away. Satan has had his grasp upon me, upon my feet and arms and even my neck, so it seems. I watch how others, who call themselves Christians, walk and talk. They have so disappointed and dismayed me. The behaviors of some have made me doubt the faith which I have been steadfastly walking now for 29 years now. YET…Lord, You, the love that emanates from You, calls me back. I pray that I walk in diligence, spending time in Your Word, on my knees, finding a church home now that Covid is mellowing out here, in order to know You more and more, and to remind me of Whose I am. Pull me towards You should I stray. Pull me towards You should I doubt, question my faith, question even You in my ‘rearranged mind.’ Please pull me towards You should I not desire to be in Your sphere, for I really….REALLY…do love You and want to be in the same orbit as You. I do not really want to be far away. Guide my steps. Please keep me close, Lord. In Your Beautiful and Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Oswald Chambers/quote @ AZ Quotes

“Spiritual maturity” quote @ quotefancy.com

Obedience @ quote fancy

Book Cover/”My Utmost for His Highest” @ utmost.org

Devotional @ https://utmost.org

“Whenever the conviction…” @ quote fancy

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

A Weather Report

I love how God has given us weather reports throughout the Bible. He tells us of the actual rains and winds on this physical earth. He also uses weather-related metaphors giving us wonderfully clear word pictures.

The one we are probably most familiar with is Noah and the ark ~

And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:12

And Jonah ~

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1:4

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. Nahum 1:3

Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:23

Wild and gentle are the ways of the weather. Wild and gentle are the ways of God.

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! Deuteronomy 32:1-3

And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. Luke 12:54

From the breath of God ice is made,
And the expanse of the waters is frozen.
Job 37:10

For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, His mighty downpour.
Job 37:6

Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling His word! Psalm 148:7-8

You will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. Isaiah 29:6

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. Revelations 11:19

by Justin Battles

Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Leviticus 26:4

Sometimes, I think that God must have storehouses filled with rainwater, snow, hail for the deluges are so enormous that the areas upon which the storm dumps floods, or avalanches, or all that is in the path of the wind is totally destroyed. But, oh, that is my human imagination. I do not know now. One day!

The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder;
Your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
Your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
Psalm 77:17-18

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12

It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens. When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and He brings forth the wind from His storehouses. Jeremiah 10:12-13

Yet, in the darkness, the light will come. God is so much more than the very circumstances.

I praise You, my Father.

I form light and create darkness;
I make well-being and create calamity;
I am the LORD, who does all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
let the earth cause them both to sprout;
I the LORD have created it.
” Isaiah 45:7-8

Father, God of Heaven and Earth, You have created all. You have placed us in the midst that we would care for Your earth. You provide in ways to water the plants and give humans water to drink. Yet, many of Your ways I cannot understand for so many live without sources of water and many places on this planet are shriveling up for lack of water. And other places (and its people) are flooded beyond recognition. My ways are not Yours, but one day, Lord, will I understand? This earth is such a beautiful place but it was far more so when You first created the Garden of Eden. We have caused must decay and dismay by not being the caretakers You desired from us. I am sorry that we continue to fail You and Your creation. Lord, as I think about the majesty and harshness of weather upon this world, I think of the Ukrainian people for they are never far from my mind and heart these days. They are trying to hunker down or flee their country in the midst of freezing cold with some snow while the country is in the midst of a horrible war. Please hold them closely while some seek safe shelter where they are while others run to other countries. Please keep Mr. Putin and his forces from bombing hospitals and places that should be a safe haven. Please, Lord, stop this awful war. I am usually a peacemaker, but this is so beyond any ability of my own. I cannot even make peace among my friends these days. Only You can do that, Father God…any and all of it. My Prince of Peace, please rain Your peace upon us all, especially this time in Ukraine. The beautiful, although at times, threatening, but also awe-inspiring weather is so filled with You and the amazing God You are. May I look in awe at it and know that You are the God of all this earth…the God of me. Guide my steps to keep me on the path of righteousness. I love You, Lord. In the Powerful Name of Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” John 8:12

rain @ wallpaper cave

waves/lighthouse @ The Inertia

hurricane @ AGU Blogosphere

huge storm @ Wallpapertag.com

Hail @ audiojungle

rainclouds over green hills/barn @ pixelstalk.net

rain storm @ Pixelstalk

Ice Storm @ Vermont Institute of Natural Science

Snow storm @ The Morning Call

Fire @ The National Interest

Lightning @ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Lightning #2 by Justin Battles @ strangesounds.org

Alaska Earthquake damage @ KOTATV

Rain and Hail in Ruidoso, NM @ Ruidoso News

wild clouds @ fanpop

Extreme weather collage @ NASA.gov

Tornado @ Weather.com

mammoth dust storm @ The Washington Post

Storm over boats @ Woodenboat.com

Sea with sunset @ Pixelstalk

sunny day/high clouds @ desktop backgrounds

Classical Writers · Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Classic Works Woven – Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers (24 July 1874 – 15 November 1917) was an early-twentieth-century Scottish Baptist evangelist and teacher who was aligned with the Holiness Movement. He is best known for the daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest. 

Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.”

Born to devout parents in Aberdeen, Scotland, Chambers moved with his family in 1876 to Stoke-on-Trent when his father, Clarence Chambers, became Home Missions evangelist for the North Staffordshire Baptist Association, then to Perth, Scotland when his father returned to the pastorate, and finally to London in 1889, when Clarence was appointed Traveling Secretary of the Baptist Total Abstinence Association. At 16, Oswald Chambers was baptized and became a member of Rye Lane Baptist Chapel.  Even as a teenager, Chambers was noted for his deep spirituality, and he participated in the evangelization of poor occupants of local lodging houses.  Chambers also demonstrated gifts in both music and art.

“The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone”

From 1893 to 1895, Chambers studied at the National Art Training School, now the Royal College of Art and was offered a scholarship for further study, which he declined. For the next two years he continued his study of art at the University of Edinburgh while being greatly influenced by the preaching of Alexander Whyte, pastor of Free St. George’s Church.  While at Edinburgh, he felt called to ministry, and he left for Dunoon College, a small theological training school near Glasgow, founded by the Rev. Duncan MacGregor. Chambers was soon teaching classes at the school and took over much of the administration when MacGregor was injured in 1898.

While teaching at Dunoon, Chambers was influenced by Richard Reader Harris, a prominent barrister(attorney) and founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer. In 1905, Harris introduced Chambers as “a new speaker of exceptional power.” Through the League, Chambers also met Juju Nakada, a Holiness evangelist from Japan, who stimulated Chambers’ growing interest in world evangelism. In 1906, Nakada and Chambers sailed for Japan via the United States.  In 1907, Chambers spent a semester teaching at God’s Bible School, a Holiness institution in Cincinnati, then spent a few months in Japan working with Charles Cowman, a co-founder of the Oriental Missionary Society.

Arriving back in Britain by the end of the year, Chambers found the Holiness movement divided by the advocates and opponents of founding a new denomination and by supporters and detractors of the tongues movement. Chambers did not oppose glossolalia but criticized those who made it a test of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Sailing back to the United States in 1908, Chambers became better acquainted with Gertrude Hobbs, the daughter of friends. They married in May 1910; and on 24 May 1913, Gertrude (whom Chambers affectionately called “Biddy”) gave birth to their only child, Kathleen.  Even before they married, Chambers considered a partnership in ministry in which Biddy—who could take shorthand at 250 words per minute—would transcribe and type his sermons and lessons into written form.

In 1911 Chambers founded and was principal of the Bible Training College in London, in an “embarrassingly elegant” property that had been purchased by the Pentecostal League of Prayer.  Chambers accommodated not only students of every age, education, and class but also anyone in need, believing he ought to “give to everyone who asks.” “No one was ever turned away from the door and whatever the person asked for, whether money, a winter overcoat, or a meal, was given.”  Between 1911 and 1915, 106 resident students attended the Bible Training College. By July 1915, forty were serving as missionaries.

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

In 1915, a year after the outbreak of World War I, Chambers suspended the operation of the school and was accepted as a YMCA chaplain. He was assigned to Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops. Chambers raised the spiritual tone of a center intended by both the military and the YMCA to be simply an institution of social service providing wholesome alternatives to the brothels of Cairo. When he told a group of fellow YMCA workers that he had decided to abandon concerts and movies for Bible classes, they predicted the exodus of soldiers from his facilities. “What the skeptics had not considered was Chamber’s unusual personal appeal, his gift in speaking, and his genuine concern for the men.” Soon his wooden-framed “hut” was packed with hundreds of soldiers listening attentively to messages such as “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Confronted by a soldier who said, “I can’t stand religious people,” Chambers replied, “Neither can I.” Chambers irritated his YMCA superiors by giving away refreshments that the organization believed should be sold so as not to raise expectations elsewhere. Chambers installed a contribution box but refused to ask soldiers to pay for tea and cakes.

Chambers was stricken with appendicitis on October 17, 1917, but resisted going to a hospital on the grounds that the beds would be needed by men wounded in the long-expected Third Battle of Gaza. On October 29, a surgeon performed an emergency appendectomy; however, Chambers died November 15, 1917 from a pulmonary hemorrhage. He was buried in Cairo with full military honors.

For the remainder of Mrs. Chambers, she transcribed and published books and articles edited from the notes she had taken in shorthand during the Bible College years and later. Most successful of the thirty books was My Utmost for His Highest (1924), a daily devotional composed of 365 selections of Chamber’s talks, each of about 500 words. The work has never been out of print and has been translated into 39 languages.

We pray when there’s nothing else we can do; Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”

Father, men and women such as the Chambers were so filled with love for You and for reaching others. We are still able to read his works due to the diligence of many others after them. Mr. Chamber’s widow took the reins to edit and type so much of her husband’s writings. Thank You for each one who steps forward to Your call to guide and reach future generations, then and now. During the narrow span between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Oswald Chambers came to be used by You in order to reach many in his lifetime and then to continue to reach us all the way into the twenty-first century (and possibly beyond). As one of my favorite devotionals, “My Utmost for His Highest” is filled with daily readings that tend to dive to new depths in me. Thank You for this gift even still today. I praise You, Lord, for blessing me with the words of a man who so loved You and so loved those who came to listen to him. Ever so grateful, I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

God's Word · Pondering · prayer

Praying for Ukraine

Before I pray, I want to share these changes to Ukraine and parts of Eastern Europe over centuries:

Source: The Voice of Russia
“Note that the map says Crimea divorced Ukraine in March, 2014. Russians have a sense of humor too.”
“This week (March 22, 2014) Crimea and the city of Sevastopol joined Russia. Or put another way, Russia annexed Crimea and the city of Sevastopol from Ukraine. Regardless of how we look at this, the simple fact is Ukraine lost territory and Crimea is now part of Russia. The only thing left is to make sure that the rest of Ukraine does not fall apart since the economy is in shambles and the Eastern Ukraine wants to join Russia.”
Map of Ukraine @ Ukraine-Accommodation.com
UNC WorldView Supports Ukriane

Oh, Dearest God. My heart is breaking for the people, the children, the soldiers of Ukraine. If the people of Russia were being attacked, my heart would be breaking for them too. Oh, so many are dying, getting wounded. So many trying to flee. So many, Lord. My heart cries. It aches. It is a horrible act of war. About people, each and every person. Each and every soldier who is dying. They are people and they are mothers’ sons. So many trying to get out of Ukraine to Poland and other nations.

Woman and child evacuating via train. @ AW-Journal.com

Women…children…oh, so many children. Father, I lift up each and every one to You. You know them and know just what to do and when to do it. You are in control of this awful war yet I know You are have Your plans for each and every one, for nations across this world. We are all and each affected by this war. I read that people from Russia are even leaving Moscow. Most do not want war either, that is if they even know that it is war rather than a “special military operation,” as Putin has called it. Some Russian soldiers do not want war either. I lift them to You too, Father.

Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv, Ukraine @ Wikipedia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the main Christian cathedrals in Ukraine
Skyline of the Lviv Old Town with preserved medieval urban topography, many fine Baroque and later buildings @ Wikipedia

I want You to reach down into Ukraine and stop this horrible carnage and devastation to such an old and beautiful country. I can see in my mind’s eye Your hand reaching down and Your BOOMING voice saying, “STOP!!!” Yet that has not happened. YET! One day, it will be over. I pray soon, far sooner, then later, Lord. Please! I ask for peace. Peace between these two nations, between all nations and all peoples, and between each and every one of us. We are called to love one another and we have strayed so very far off course. Oh please, Father, rain Your peace upon this world. We need Your mercy and Your grace so dearly. Thank You for hearing my prayers, Lord. In the Strong Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Classical Writers · Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Classic Works Woven – Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray was the second child of Andrew Murray Sr. (1794–1866), a Dutch Reformed Church missionary sent from Scotland to South Africa. He was born in Graaff Reinet, South Africa. His mother, Maria Susanna Stegmann, was of French Huguenot and German Lutheran descent.

Murray was sent with his elder brother, John, to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland for their college education. Both remained there until they obtained their master’s degrees in 1845. During this time they were influenced by Scottish revival meetings and the ministry of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Horatius Bonar, and William Burns.  From there, they both went to the University of Utrecht, in The Netherlands, where they studied theology. Both brothers were ordained by The Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church on 9 May 1848 and returned to the Cape.

Murray married Emma Rutherford in Cape Town, South Africa, on 2 July 1856. They had eight children together (four boys and four girls).

Murray pastored churches in South Africa. He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860.

Through his writings, Murray was also a key “Inner Life” or “Higher Life” or Keswick movement leader, and his theology of faith healing and belief in the continuation of the apostolic gifts made him a significant forerunner of the Pentecostal movement.

Murray died on 18 January 1917.

There are many, many books authored by Mr. Murray. They continue to be read to this day. Here are just a few:

Abide in Christ – 1882

With Christ in the School of Prayer – 1885

Holy in Christ – 1887

The Power of the Blood of Christ – 1894

Absolute Surrender – 1895

Humility – 1895

“Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” 
― Andrew Murray

Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.

A dead Christ I must do everything for, a living Christ does everything for me.”

“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” 

“Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust.”

“Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”

“Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”

“I need to spend time with God even when I do not know what to pray.”

Father God, thank you for men such as Mr. Murray who has left us with a library of profound and deeply-rooted-in-You books. I am overwhelmed at times when I read his works, many needing to be reread in order to gain the depth of the meaning. Yet, I am so grateful to have them to read. Guide and guard me as I read others’ works for I want You to teach me as I grow in You. May I walk rightly in You, my Lord. In the beautiful Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Picture of Andrew Murray with quote @ QuotesGram

“Salvation” quote @ ChristianQuotesInfo

“Just as” quote @ ChristianQuotesInfo

“It is the root…” quote @ pinterest

“Answered Prays…” quote @ quotefancy

Prayer by A. Murray @ Pinterest