Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Am Not Skilled to Understand…

This morning, I’m remembering a beautiful song written by Dorothy Greenwell, “I Am Not Skilled to Understand”.

I am not skilled to understand
What God hath willed, what God hath planned;
I only know that at His right hand
Is One Who is my Saviour!

I take Him at His word indeed;
“Christ died for sinners”—this I read;
For in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Saviour!

That He should leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die,
You count it strange? So once did I,
Before I knew my Saviour!

And oh, that He fulfilled may see
The travail of His soul in me,
And with His work contented be,
As I with my dear Saviour!

Yea, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this Spring;
That He Who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Saviour!

This song became especially dear to me right after we moved here to New Zealand. Some of our friends had come with us, and they came two months before us. When we got here, we soon found out that during those two months they had changed some of their doctrines. We did not believe the same as they did, and they were not willing to work with us if we had different doctrines. In the end, even though we were willing to work with them, they moved away.

During that turbulent time, we began going to a gospel assembly an hour north of where we live. This was one of the songs that we sang a lot during that time. We sang about “I am not skilled to understand/What God hath willed, what God hath planned…” while the upheaval over clashing doctrines was going on. We couldn’t understand why God had willed this to happen. We were new to a country, half way around the world from home, and experiencing difficulties hardly two months into our stay.

Looking back, though, I can see (at least partially) why God allowed it. We learned a lot during that time. Most important of all the things we learned, I think, was the fact that if we trust God, He is well able to bring us through. But it takes faith. Faith in the fact that God does have a plan for our lives, a reason for why He’s letting us go through the thing that we’re going through.

The only reason He lets us go through the valley is so we can praise Him—and trust Him more—on the mountain.

You know the really neat thing about this song, though? While we were going through that time, we sang it a lot. Since then, we’ve only sang it a few times. I think God had us sing that song, at the perfect time, as an encouragement.

Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever had a song affect your life like this? In what way? What did God teach you through that? Share it in the comments; I’m sure it would be encouraging for other people as well as me!

Because of Him,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Kite

Once on a time a paper kite

Was mounted to a wondrous height,

Where, giddy with its elevation,

It thus expressed self-admiration:

“See how yon crowds of gazing people

Admire my flight above the steeple:

How would they wonder of they knew

All that a kite like me can do!


“Were I but free, I’d take a flight

And pierce the clouds beyond their sight.

But ah! Like a poor prisoner bound,

My string confines me near the ground.

I’d brave the eagle’s towering wing

Might I but fly without a string.”

It tugged and pulled while thus it spoke,

To break the string-at last it broke!

Deprived at once of all its stay,

In vain it tried to soar away;

Unalbe its own weight ot bear,

It fluttered downward through the air; Unable its own course to guide,

The winds soon plunged it in the tide.

Ah, foolish kite! Thou had’st no wing;

How could’st thou fly without a string?

My heart replied, “O Lord, I see

How much this kite resembles me!

Forgetful that by Thee I stand,

Impatient of Thy ruling hand,

How oft I’ve wished to break Thy ruling hand,

For something more or something higher!

And, but for grace and love divine,

A fall thus dreadful had been mine.”

             -John Newton

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Next Magazine

Hi, friends!

I’m working on compiling the next magazine (#8). Thanks to all you writers, we have enough articles to fill it! Thank you!

There are two things, though, that we still need. I’d like to have a recipes page. We still have two recipes from last time, but I thought that maybe if we have one more that will fill the page nicely (if you submit more than we need to fill the page we’ll just save it for next time). So if you’d like to submit a recipe, comment below or send it in via the form here:

Also, I’d like to ask you for your help for the encouragement page this time. Rachel took this on as her responsibility not too long ago, and that’s been great because I don’t have to come up with the things for it. But this time around she isn’t able to do it because her Mum is in the hospital with some problems (if you think about it, please pray for her!). So I wondered if maybe some of you wouldn’t mind helping us find things for the encouragement page? We’re looking for poems, special Bible verses, and inspiring quotes to go on there.

If you can think of (or find!) some, please send it in here (or you could comment below; it doesn’t matter):

Thank you for your support!

In Christ,
For the JOJ team.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Simple Things

(reposted from my blog)

Today, I’m very thankful for the “simple things” of life. Recently, an older friend back in the States died of a heart attack.

On Sunday he had been at church, and they took a group picture. The day before he died.


It was a shock to hear that he had died.

These last few months, I’ve been pondering on the fact that we don’t know—any of us—when our time will be up.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…
” –Ecclesiastes 3:1-2


So today I’m very thankful for each precious moment I get with my family. Being with them could be considered a “simple thing”, but in my eyes it’s a big privilege. We don’t know when one of us may be gone—for ever. I’m delighting in each moment as it comes.

Savouring the special moments.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Duty and Pleasure



“Duty first, and pleasure afterward,” wrote Amy Leslie in her copy-book one fine morning.
Line after line she penned, making many a mistake, for her thoughts were far away. At last her mother, who was sitting near her, said, “Amy, this is the third time you have spelled pleasure without a ‘p,’ and left out the ‘f’ in afterward. Put down your pen and tell me what you are thinking about; for I am sure it is not of your copy.”
“I was only thinking,” replied Amy, “how glad I should be if my copy said, ‘Pleasure first—duty afterward.’ It is very hard always to have the disagreeable part first. I wish I could have one whole week with no duties at all! How I should enjoy myself!”
Mrs. Leslie remained silent for a moment; then she said, while a quiet smile played round her lips, “Well, Amy, for once you shall have what you want. For a whole week you may amuse yourself; no duties, mind, my child,—none at all.”
“There is no chance of my wanting any, I assure you, mama,” said Amy, joyfully; “I shall be so happy, you’ll see!”
“Very well, then,” said Mrs. Leslie; “you may begin to-morrow. To-day I shall expect you to do as usual.”
Amy said no more; she finished her copy, learned her lessons, then went to the nursery to take charge of her little brother while the nurse was busy with other work. Afterward there were socks to mend, and an errand to run, and buttons to sew on to baby’s shoes, and a letter to write. And so the day passed, and the next morning dawned on our pleasure-loving little friend.
“No duties” she said to herself, as she woke at seven, which was her usual time for rising; “so I can lie in bed as long as I please.” She turned over, and as she could not sleep, began making plans for the day, and thinking what a delightful time she would have. About half past nine she came down stairs, to find her breakfast on the table; milk, toast, and egg, all as cold as possible. “What a wretched breakfast!” she said, as she took her seat.
“Well, dear,” replied Mrs. Leslie, “your breakfast was ready at the usual time, and of course is cold now.”
Amy said no more. She ate with only half her usual appetite, and, finishing in about five minutes put away her chair, and left the room. As she went up stairs to fetch her hat, baby in the nursery stretched his arms for her to take him; but she hurried past, and left the little fellow crying with disappointment.
Soon she came down again, with a fairy book in one hand, and a box of chocolate drops in the other. The sweets had been a present, but hitherto her mother had allowed her to have only one or two daily; now, however, she might do as she liked, and at present her idea of perfect bliss was the combined charms of chocolate drops and fairy stories.
[Illustration: "<i>Carried it like a baby</i>."]
For about two hours she sat in the garden; then she grew tired, and a little sick from eating too much chocolate, and was returning to the house, when her pet kitten ran out to meet her. For a short time she amused herself by playing with it, dressing it up in her pocket handkerchief and carrying it like a baby; but Miss Pussy wearied of this, and at last jumped out of her new dress and her mistress’ arms, leaving a scratch as a keepsake behind her.
Altogether, the morning was hardly a successful one, nor was the afternoon much better. After dinner, one of Amy’s little sisters tore her dress, and was running to Amy to ask her to mend it; but Mrs. Leslie said:—
“Don’t go to your sister, my child, come to me;” and little Jessie, wondering, let her mother darn the rent. Amy felt very uncomfortable, for she knew that Mrs. Leslie’s eyes were not strong, and were probably aching with the effort of such fine work; but she shrank from offering her services, and made her escape from the room as soon as she could.
In the evening she was about to draw her chair to the fire and read the newspaper to Mr. Leslie, a duty of which she had always felt rather proud; but her father gravely took the paper out of her hand, saying quickly, “No, Amy, this is a duty; remember you are to amuse yourself and do nothing else.”
Amy’s eyes filled with tears, and she ran up stairs to her own room. She had no heart to read the fairy book, or to make clothes for her doll, or to play with the kitten, or even to eat the rest of her chocolate drops.
“I shall never be able to bear another day of this,” she said to herself; “I thought it would be so delightful to have no duties, but somehow my play does not seem half so good as it did before.”
The next day brought no real pleasure and comfort. Listlessly Amy wandered about, having no zest for any of her former amusements, and feeling thoroughly unhappy. She began to long for the very duties which had seemed so irksome to her; she could hardly keep from tears when she saw others busy over lessons, or her mother doing work which had formerly been hers.
At last her misery ended in a fit of crying, and shutting herself up in her own room, she gave way to it. Sob followed sob so quickly that she did not hear her door open, until her mother’s arms were round her, and her hot, aching head was pillowed on her mother’s shoulder. Not a word passed between them for a few minutes; then Amy sobbed out, “O mother! mother! the copy was quite right, ‘Duty first, and pleasure afterward;’ for without duty there is no pleasure at all.”                               
[Illustration: "<i>Her mother's arms were around her</i>."]

The End
source: The King’s Daughter and Other Stories (various) 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Anxiety and Faith

Photo found on Flickr.

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
― George Mueller

This would be very good to remember, especially when we’re struggling to try to get everything done and afraid we won’t find time to do everything.

Keep trusting Jesus!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Wallpaper!

I want to apologize for not posting a wallpaper for September. With the giveaway going on, it slipped my mind until it was near the middle of September! 

Here it is...the October wallpaper! :) 

(Click and save image to your desktop and enjoy all month long!)
Please do not use these images for any other purpose other than personal enjoyment on the desktop of your computer!!!

Enjoy this month's wallpaper! If you enjoy using the wallpapers, please tell us! :)