Thursday, January 31, 2013
Ah, the meat. The help. The final installment of notes which are so practical. Hope the notes have been encouraging. Many thanks to Burroughs!
Chapters Twelve and Thirteen
How to Attain Contentment
1. Consider the great mercies you have and the little you lack. Above all, you have salvation.
2. Consider how you have been blessed with mercies before.
3. Consider how vast the sea of mercies is. A pail of affliction into a sea of mercy is swallowed.
4. Consider the vicissitude of all things in the world: light to dark to light.
5. Consider how all creatures (food sources and animal assistance) suffer for us, ought we not be willing to suffer for God?
6. Consider how little time you have in the world.You will only suffer here. It will be over soon.
7. Consider others who had little: Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Luther, Christ.
8. Before, you were content with a world without grace. Now be content with grace without the world.
9. Think how little glory you gave to God when you had all things. Let that quiet you now.
10. Think on the abundance of good that God brought through your past afflictions.
What Course to Take
1. Have a good temper through grace.
2. Do not grasp too much of the world.
3. Be sure of your to call to your business and then go about it with good conscience.
4. Walk according to the rule of the Word, and you will likely be blessed with peace.
5. Exercise much faith in God and his Word. God is careful for you. In the sea storm, let faith get on the shoulders of reason and spot land, saying good will come from this tempest.
6. Labor to meditate on the things above. A heavenly conversation is the way to contentment.
7. Don't promise yourselves too much beforehand. Rather, aim high for spiritual growth.
8. Labor to have hearts dead to the world. If you are dead, your bones need not be broken by afflictions.
9. Don't dwell too much on your afflictions. Think of comforts instead, things which stir us to thankfulness.
10. Make a good interpretation of providences: maybe God is trying me, protecting me from sin, this will better my soul, this will exercise grace, this will prepare me for work. This is opposed to the worst interpretation: this is his wrath, he delivers evils to me. Remember, Love thinketh no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:5 God makes the best interpretation of our efforts and calls us saints.
11. Don't regard the fancies of other men and let them belittle your own blessings and state.We may not even count ourselves afflicted when others do.
12. Don't be taken up by worldly comforts when you have them. Their loss then will be less.
You may live happy lives in the midst of storms. There is an ark where you may live comfortable, cheerful, and contented. It may take many, many years to learn these lessons. Persevere. Do not be content until you have obtained better skill than before at being content.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
These are spot on. Onward!
Chapter 11: The Excuses of a Discontented Heart
1. I'm not discontent; I just have a sense of my condition.
Answer: If the sense of your affliction takes away the sense of your mercies, it is out of bounds.
It should not hinder you in your duties.
It should not breed envy of others.
2. I'm not discontent, but I am troubled by my own sin.
Answer: Is it really your affliction, rather than your sin? Were you troubled before the affliction came?
Are you really just increasing your sin with this lie to yourself?
If it is true that sin is vexing you, submit to God's hand in the affliction.
3. I am discontent because God has withdrawn from me.
Answer: Just because you are afflicted does not mean God has withdrawn.
Be content and you will find God's presence. Disquiet drives him from you.
Is the answer, really, for you then to depart from him?
Make after God with all your might.
4. I can be content in affliction if I can see God's hand but not when affliction comes from other men.
Answer: They are God's instruments.
Pity them. It is better to bear wrong than to do wrong.
5. But I never looked for this affliction.
Answer: The Spirit witnesses that bonds and afflictions shall abide me everywhere.
We have many mercies we never looked for as well.
6. Oh, but the affliction is too great.
Answer: It is not as great as your sin.
You might have been in Hell.
It may seem worse because you murmur so.
7. I'm sure my affliction is so much worse than others.
Answer: Your discontent may be making it worse.
Why should you be discontented when God is gracious to others?
You have the opportunity to honor God more than others.
If the sorrows of the world were divided equally among all men, your portion would be greater than now.
8. If the affliction was of a different kind, I would be content.
Answer: We don't get to choose our own rod.
God has chosen what is suitable for you. Other affliction might not suit your disease.
You should be able to manage your ship whichever wind blows.
God exercises you in a variety of ways for various rewards and crowns.
9. Oh, but the condition makes me unserviceable.
Answer: You are in the Body and a member of the Body.
Even if unserviceable because of affliction, you have a higher calling than even the angels.
You are called to faith, which is glorious despite mean circumstances.
It is more obedience to submit to God in a low calling than to submit in a higher calling, for the motivator is sheer obedience without a hint of self-love, riches, or credit.
10. But the affliction is so unconstant and unsettled.
Answer: Man in a settled state grows to rely and depend on himself.
God sees it is better for you to live in a continual dependence on him.
Often, the worse your outward estate, the better your soul.
You soul and eternal welfare are settled.
11. If I had never been in a better condition first, this wouldn't be so hard.
Answer: Is your eye evil because God has been good to you before?
It was to prepare you for the affliction.
Prepare for your coming afflictions. In the calm, prepare for storms, and they will be less.
Consider how much sunshine God has blessed you with in your life. And now you murmur that it rains? Bless God that you have had so many comfortable days.
All God gives you is from his love. Pledge obedience.
12. I'm thwarted by this affliction.
Answer: The greater the cross, the more obedience and submission required.
Be open-handed in your release of possessions and comfort which you were gifted freely.
13. At least I keep my discontent to myself.
Answer: God hears your discontented heart even if no one else does.
The tongue and soul must be silent
Friday, January 25, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
So excited to learn of Reach Out and Read and then hear my work was chosen for the program. Check it out and visit the drive.
Reach Out and Read prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. In the Greater New York region, we provide new, age-appropriate books and literacy guidance to over a quarter of a million children.
Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish is one of 11 books included in the online Virtual Book Drive. www.reachoutandreadnyc.org/
This year the celebration is the 14th Anniversary of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, on May 6, 2013, at The Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in New York City. Susan Kaufman, Editor of Time Inc.’s People StyleWatch Magazine will serve as Auction Chair.
Pediatrician Dr. Leora Mogilner
Thanks for taking a look. And thanks to Scholastic for their contributions!
Here are the notes for Chapter 10.
The Sin of Murmuring
1. The more mercies you have, the viler is your sin of murmuring. There can be no afflictions greater than the mercies you enjoy. (breath, regeneration, preaching) Job 2:10 Shall we receive good at the hand of God and not evil?
2. What sin it is to murmur for small things not received.
3. Murmuring is even more odious in the one blessed with abilities and wisdom.
4. Consider, all that you have has been freely given to you. We are at God's table daily, and it is free. Who are you as a guest to complain ?
5. So often, when we do receive mercy, we remain discontent.
6. What shame to murmur when God has raised you already from such a low position.
7. Consider what a sinner you were and how you have been raised. How can you then murmur?
8. If you are of so little service to God, why would he be serviceable to you?
9. Maybe God is humbling you. Observe it and be humbled.
10. Seriously consider the affliction if it seems a remarkable, extraordinary providence. It is best to fall down before God and not resist.
11. If the affliction has run long, it is more noxious to continue in discontent. A new cart may creak and make a noise, but after it has been used awhile, it will not do so.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Here are the notes to Chapter 9.
The Evils of a Murmuring Spirit, Part Two
1. There is evil in it.
F. Murmuring undoes your prayers. Pray for "daily" bread.
G. Murmuring has woeful effects.
i. You lose a great deal of time.
ii. It unfits you for duty by its distraction.
iii. Bad resolutions are made in a discontented fit.
iv. Unthankfulness breeds from murmuring.
v. Murmuring makes you liable to other temptations.
H. Murmuring is folly.
i. It takes away the present comfort you do have.
ii. You gain nothing by it.
iii. It eats out the good and sweetness of a mercy before it comes, like a worm-eaten nut.
iv. It makes your affliction heavier.
I. There is great danger in murmuring because it provokes God's wrath.
i. It may cost you your life, like the Israelites in the wilderness.
ii. It slights God's mercies.
iii. It is contrary to faith, as you aren't believing God's word.
iv. It may tempt you to murmur more and bring even greater wrath upon you.
v. Murmuring is a wrangling and contending and striving with God himself.
J. There is a great curse of God on murmuring and discontent, so far as it prevails in one who is wicked.
i. They shall grudge and not be satisfied.
ii. They will lose perspective of reality.
iii. The curse is threatened because they didn't serve God with joy for the abundance of all things.
K. There is much of the spirit of Satan in a murmuring spirit.
L. A murmuring spirit brings disquiet your entire life.
M. God may withdraw his care and protection.
N. Humble yourself to break the pattern of discontent.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Logo from this blog.
I was just ready to post that my second round of prednisone broke my flare, and I had a lovely December after stepping down the dosage. Stepping involves a withdrawal, but eventually, there's a day where I recognize myself again.
In the wake of prednisone, with a compromised immune system, I found staph and strep in my finger and massive decay in one of my teeth. An unexpected, traumatic extraction followed. The following day, an oral surgeon determined that rheumatoid arthritis in my jaw is going to make soft foods my new normal. The day after, lupus erupted again.
So, here I am back in the predni-ZONE. At the high level, I'm working until 2 am and starting my day at 6:30 am. I've revised a novel, am writing another, while working on an amazing project with Dia Calhoun, and reading a pile of good books. The pace is amazing. A dear sister in CA is flaring at the same time. She recently posted this quote from C.H. Spurgeon.
"God in His providence, limits the time, manner, intensity, repetition, and effects of all our sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour predestined, each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit foreknown, and each sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes the ordaining hand of Him who numbers the hairs of our head. In Him I rest."
Sweet truth. That's the update. Thanks for your interest, encouragements, and prayers. Onward in grace!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Happy release day, Justina Chen! May your beautiful words fly.
Celebratory Twitter Party at #LBSchat at 5 PT, 8 ET!
Return to Me
by Justina Chen
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Here are the notes to Chapter 8.
The Evils of a Murmuring Spirit, Part One
1. There is evil in it.
A. Murmuring reveals corruption in your heart. (like a septic sore) It is more grievous than any affliction you are under.
B. Murmurers are listed in the forefront of the ungodly in the Word.
C. God counts a murmur as rebellion.
D. It is contrary to Grace.
i. View your sin and murmurs will quiet.
ii. Think of the excellence of Christ.
iii. Know afflictions disengage your heart from the world.
iv. Look to Christ for all good.
v. Think of Christ as king.
vi. Think of the covenant.
E. Murmuring is below a Christian.
a. Think of your relationships.
i. You are a king' s son.
ii. Christ is your husband.
iii. You are flesh of his flesh.
iv. Christ is your brother and coheir.
v. You are the temple of the Holy Ghost.
vi. Angels minister to you. Christ joined the principalities and powers to his church.
vii. You stand with the saints.
b. Death is your servant and slave. Don' t bow to afflictions with a murmur.
c. Do not have a fretting, childish spirit when weaned from the world.
d. You profess to live dead to the world, so don' t murmur.
e. God never promised comforts but faith.
f. You have the promises of God for hope.
g. It is below what God expects.
h. Others have suffered more and been content.