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Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Time to Laugh – J.R. Miller

laughing“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:13

“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12

“There is a time to weep–and a time to laugh; a time to mourn–and a time to dance” Ecclesiastes 3:4

There is no inconsistency between holiness and laughter. It is no sin to smile. Indeed, a somber religion is unnatural. Gloom is morbidness. Our lives should be sunny and songful. Christ’s religion is joyous, even amid sorrows. We hear songs in the night.

There is a flower which is most fragrant after the sun has set, and in the darkness pours its richest aroma on the air. Just so, true religion grows in sweetness–as the shadows deepen. He misrepresents Christianity and the likeness of the Master–whose piety is cold, dreary, cheerless, joyless, or who frowns upon innocent gladness and pure pleasures.

Sanctified wit has a blessed mission. Life is so hard, so stern, with so many burdens and struggles–that there is need for all the bright words we can speak. The most wretched people in the world are those who go about in sackcloth, carrying all their griefs in their faces and casting dark shadows everywhere. Every Christian should be a happiness-maker. We need a thousand times more joy in our lives, than most of us get. We would be better men and women, if we were happier.

“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” Proverbs 15:30

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

The Founders of the Second Amendment – David Barton

2nd-amendment1NOTE;  If you are not familiar with David Barton I encourage you to go to his website located in the side bar under Archives “Wall Builders.”  If you want to get to the truth he knows it well.  The following is a blurb off his website:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution has become a target for Progressives and Liberals, who are determined to dismantle it. The Founders recognized the “right to keep and bear arms” as an inalienable right of self-defense to be protected by government rather than infringed or abridged by it. As Constitution signer John Dickinson affirmed, inalienable rights such as self-defense were rights “which God gave to you and which no inferior power has a right to take away.”

Significantly, the Second Amendment did not grant or bestow any right on the people; instead, it simply recognized and provided what Constitution signer James Wilson called “a new security” for the right of self-defense that God had already bestowed on every individual.

Numerous Founders affirmed the God-given right to self-defense and personal safety:

[T]he said Constitution [should] be never construed . . . to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms. Samuel Adams, Signer of the Declaration, “Father of the American Revolution”

The right . . . of bearing arms . . . is declared to be inherent in the people. Fisher Ames, A Framer of the Second Amendment in the First Congress

[T]he advantage of being armed [is an advantage which] the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . . [I]n the several kingdoms of Europe . . . the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. James Madison, U.S. President, Signer of the Constitution, a Framer of the Second Amendment in the first congress

[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. Richard Henry Lee, Signer of the Declaration, A Framer of the Second Amendment in the First Congress

To learn the history of this historic Amendment and the Founders’ clear views on it, see our short book The Second Amendment. Also, The Founders’ Bible shows not only the Founders’ position on self-defense and the Second Amendment but it also gives the Biblical basis for that right — as in Exodus 22, which helps explain the “Castle Doctrine.”

A Time to Laugh – J.R. Miller

biker babyA happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:13

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12

There is a time to weep–and a time to laugh; a time to mourn–and a time to dance” Ecclesiastes 3:4

There is no inconsistency between holiness and laughter. It is no sin to smile. Indeed, a somber religion is unnatural. Gloom is morbidness. Our lives should be sunny and songful. Christ’s religion is joyous, even amid sorrows. We hear songs in the night.

There is a flower which is most fragrant after the sun has set, and in the darkness pours its richest aroma on the air. Just so, true religion grows in sweetness–as the shadows deepen. He misrepresents Christianity and the likeness of the Master–whose piety is cold, dreary, cheerless, joyless, or who frowns upon innocent gladness and pure pleasures.

Sanctified wit has a blessed mission. Life is so hard, so stern, with so many burdens and struggles–that there is need for all the bright words we can speak. The most wretched people in the world are those who go about in sackcloth, carrying all their griefs in their faces and casting dark shadows everywhere. Every Christian should be a happiness-maker. We need a thousand times more joy in our lives, than most of us get. We would be better men and women, if we were happier.

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” Proverbs 15:30

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

The Grace of Forebearance – J.R. Miller

amazing-graceYou have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39

There are at least two motives which should be sufficient to lead us to cultivate the grace of forbearance. One is that no insult can do us harm–unless we allow it to irritate us. If we endure even the sorest words, as Jesus endured His wrongs and revilings–they will not leave one trace of injury upon us. They can harm us only when we allow ourselves to become impatient or angry. We can get the victory over them and utterly disarm them of power to do us injury–by holding ourselves superior to them. The feeling of resentment will change to pity–when we remember that not he who is wronged–but he who does the wrong, is the one who suffers.

And to help in bearing with disagreeable people or those with unamiable qualities, there is nothing better than a sincere wish to do them good.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

God Has Three Axes! – J.R. Miller

increaseourfaithGod has three axes! One He uses in pruning His trees, that the fruitful branches may bring forth more fruit. The work of this axe is not judgment or destruction–but mercy and blessing. It is the good, the fruitful tree–which feels its keen edge. “Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2

Then God has another axe, which He uses only in judgment in cutting down those trees which after all His culture of them, bring forth no fruit. “The axe already lies at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit, will be cut down and thrown into the fire!” Matthew 3:10. The picture is very suggestive. The axe at the tree’s root, or raised in the woodman’s hand to strike–shows that judgment impends, hangs ready to fall. At any moment, the tree may be cut down! “Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil!” Luke 13:7

The axe of death really lies all the while, at the root of every life. There is not a moment when it is not true–that there is but a step between us and death! Life is all very critical. There is not a moment in any day, on which may not turn all the destinies of eternity. It certainly is an infinitely perilous thing, for an immortal soul to rest an hour with the axe of judgment waiting to strike the blow which will end the day of mercy forever! Only supremest folly can be blind men to such vital interests!

The Questions Should Rather Be – J.R. Miller

slide-02Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33

True victory is not found in escaping or evading trials–but in rightly meeting and enduring them. The questions should not be, “How can I get out of these worries? How can I get into a place where there shall be no irritations, nothing to try my temper, or put my patience to the test? How can I avoid the troubles which continually harass me?” There is nothing noble in such living. The soldier who flees when the battle approaches, is no hero; he is a coward.

The questions should rather be, “How can I pass through these trying experiences–and not fail as a Christian? How can I endure these struggles–and not suffer defeat? How can I live amid these provocations, these reproaches and testings of my temper–and yet live sweetly, not speaking unadvisedly, bearing injuries meekly, returning gentle answers to insulting words?”

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son!” Revelation 21:7

Life Comes To Us In Such Little Bits – J.R. Miller

Daily_Bread_2-960x641Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

As your days–so shall your strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25

We should be thankful that life comes to us in such little bits.

We can always live one day well enough.
We can always carry one day’s burdens.
We can always do one day’s duties.
We can always endure one day’s sorrows.

It is a blessing that one day is all that God ever gives us at a time. We should be thankful for the nights that cut off our tomorrows from our view, so that we cannot even see them until they dawn. The little days, nestling between the nights like quiet valleys between the hills, then seem so safe and peaceful.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own!” Matthew 6:34

Family Devotions – J.R.Miller

worshipHearts that are drawn together at God’s feet every day in family devotions–cannot drift very far away from each other.

The domestic frictions of the day are forgotten–when all voices mingle in the same heavenly song. As the tender words of Scripture fall with their gracious counsels–all feeling of unkindness melts away. The family altar in the midst–wondrously hallows and sweetens the whole home.

Besides, the family altar . . .
puts new strength into every heart,
comforts all sorrows,
is a shield against temptation,
smooths out the wrinkles of care,
inspires strength for burden-bearing,
quickens every holy sentiment, and
keeps the fires of devotion burning on every heart’s altar.

Work Out Your Own Salvation – J.R. Miller

anongoingprocessWork out your own salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12

Each one’s battle must be a personal one. We may decline the struggle–but it will also be declining the joy of victory. No one can reach the summit–without arduously climbing the steep mountain. We cannot be carried up on another’s shoulder.

God does not put virtues and graces into our lives–as the jeweler sets gems in a ring. God does not automatically remove and replace our unholy and sinful elements–with holy ones. Through personal efforts, each must win his way through temptations, struggles and difficulties–to all noble attainments. The help of God is given in cooperation with our aspiration and energy. While God works in us–we are to work out our own salvation.

To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!” Colossians 1:29

Stand By Me

My professor shared this with my class to help relieve some of the stress! Definitely worth passing on – please watch and relax!! If you are a musician you will love the way they connected so many folks to this video.

Our Best Striving – J.R. Miller

Confessions_Durer280Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on” Philippians 3:12

The highest reaches of holiness which we can attain here on earth, are but broken fragments of the full Divine beauty. At the best, we can only become dimly transfigured; only faintly does the beauty of the Lord appear in us.

The last design made by the great painter, Albert Diirer, was a painting showing Christ on His cross. It was all completed, except the face of the Divine Sufferer, when the artist was summoned away by death.

Just so, at the end of the longest and holiest life–we shall have but a part of the picture of Christ wrought upon our soul. Our best striving shall attain but a fragment of His matchless beauty. We cannot reproduce the glory of that incomparable Face. But when we depart from our little fragment of transfiguration, we shall look a moment afterward upon the Divine features, and, seeing Jesus–we shall transformed into His lovely image!

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is!” 1 John 3:2

Think About Such Things – J.R.Miller

philippians_4_8_by_trueandreal-d4ijr7tThe cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15

We pretty much see just what we are looking for. If our mind has become trained to look for troubles, difficulties, problems, and all gloomy and dreary things–then we shall find just what we seek. On the other hand, it is quite as easy to form the habit of looking always for beauty, for good, for happiness, for gladness–and here too we shall find precisely what we seek.

It has been said that the habit of always seeing the bright side in life, is worth a large income to a man. It makes life a great deal easier.

None of us are naturally drawn to a gloomy person, who everywhere finds something to complain about–but we are all attracted to one who sees some beauty in everything. Joy is a transfiguring quality. Its secret is a glad heart.

“Finally, brothers,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable–
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–
think about such things!” Philippians 4:8

Black Seeds Without Beauty – J.R.Miller

whats_next_god_blog_powerpntFather, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

Lord, what do You want me to do?” Acts 9:6

The first condition of consecration, must always be entire readiness to accept God’s will for our life. It is not enough to be willing to do Christian work. There are many people who are quite ready to do certain things in the service of Christ, who are not ready to do anything He might want them to do.

God does not send us two classes of providences
–one good, and one evil. All are good. Affliction is God’s goodness in the seed. It takes time for a seed to grow and to  develop into fruitfulness. Many of the best things of our lives–come to us first as pain, suffering, earthly loss or disappointment–black seeds without beauty–but afterward they grow into the rich harvest of righteousness!

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Our Plans and Dreams – J.R. Miller

1603aIn his heart a man plans his course–but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Many are the plans in a man’s heart–but it is the LORD’s purpose which prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

There are few entirely unbroken lives in this world; there are few men who fulfill their own hopes and plans, without thwarting or interruption at some point. Now and then, there is one who in early youth marks out a course for himself–and then moves straight on in it to its goal.

But most people’s lives are very differently from their own early dreaming. Many find at the close of their life, that in scarcely one particular, have they realized their own life-dreams; at every point God has simply set aside their plans–and substituted His own. There are some people whose plans are so completely thwarted, that their story is most pathetic. Yet we have but to follow it through to the end, to see that the broken life was better and more effective, than if their own plans had been carried out.

We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

Whatsoever Ye Will

god-is-in-control_t_nvIf Ye Abide in Me, and My Words Abide in You, Ask Whatsoever Ye Will, and it Shall be Done Unto You—John 15.7

The Whole place of the branch in the vine is one of unceasing prayer. Without intermission it is ever calling: “O my vine, send the sap I need to bear Thy fruit.” And its prayers are never unanswered: it asks what it needs, what it will, and it is done.

The healthy life of the believer in Christ is equally one of unceasing prayer. Consciously or unconsciously, he lives in continual dependence. The Word of his Lord, “You can do nothing,” has taught him that not more unbroken than the continuance of the branch in the vine, must be his asking and receiving. The promise of our text gives us infinite boldness: “Ask whatsoever ye will and it shall be done unto you.”

The promise is given in direct connection with fruit-bearing. Limit it to yourself and your own needs, and you rob it of its power; you rob yourself of the power of appropriating it. Christ was sending these disciples out, and they were ready to give their life for the world; to them He gave the disposal of the treasures of Heaven. Their prayers would bring the Spirit and the power they needed for their work.

The promise is given in direct connection with the coming of the Spirit. The Spirit is not mentioned in the parable, just as little as the sap of the vine is mentioned. But both are meant all through. In the chapter preceding the parable, our Lord had spoken of the Holy Spirit, in connection with their inner life, being in them, and revealing Himself within them (14.15-23). In the next chapter He speaks of the Holy Spirit in connection with their work, coming to them, convincing the world, and glorifying Him (16.7-14). To avail ourselves of the unlimited prayer promises, we must be men who are filled with the Spirit, and wholly given up to the work and glory of Jesus. The Spirit will lead us into the truth of its meaning and the certainty of its fulfillment.

Let us realize that we can only fulfill our calling to bear much fruit, by praying much. In Christ are hid all the treasures men around us need; in Him all God’s children are blessed with all spiritual blessings; He is full of grace and truth. But it needs prayer, much prayer, strong believing prayer, to bring these blessings down. And let us equally remember that we cannot appropriate the promise without a life given up for men. Many try to take the promise, and then look round for what they can ask. This is not the way; but the very opposite. Get the heart burdened with the need of souls, and the command to save them, and the power will come to claim the promise.

Let us claim it as one of the revelations of our wonderful life in the Vine: He tells us that if we ask in His name, in virtue of our union with Him, whatsoever it be, it will be done to us. Souls are perishing because there is too little prayer. God’s children are feeble because there is too little prayer. We bear so little fruit because there is so little prayer. The faith of this promise would make us strong to pray; let us not rest till it has entered into our very heart, and drawn us in the power of Christ to continue and labor and strive in prayer until the blessing comes in power. To be a branch means not only bearing fruit on earth, but power in prayer to bring down blessing from Heaven. Abiding fully means praying much.