Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”
When I was around seven years old, I made a mental list of some things I wanted to do some day when I was older. Three things I badly wanted to do someday was ride on a boat, fly in an airplane, and ride a train. Since then, I’ve been able to do all three, and each was exciting (although I think flying is the best of the three!).
In our spiritual life, there are certain things that we have expectations and hopes for. Things we want to accomplish one day, but maybe our hopes aren’t realized yet. We can envision ourselves doing things for the Lord, in the future, when we’re “older”—older in faith, or older in years, or maybe both. Sometimes I wonder, though, if I don’t over-plan my future—thinking of all the things I hope I can be and do later when now is the time that I have been given to live and work.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to plan to do things in the future—no, I believe dreams and plans have a very real and correct place in our lives. What I am saying is that sometimes we tend to plan to do things in the future too much, and are neglecting those things that we have been given to do here in the present. If that’s the case, then you and I have a problem!
Let me give you a little example. I hope to one day (if the Lord wills) to become a nurse, and possibly a midwife. After the training I’ll receive that way, I hope to go into active service as a missionary somewhere. One of the gifts that the Lord has blessed me with is a love of taking care of other people.
The problem comes in when I spend too much time dreaming about all I’ll be able to do to help others later on. And that means I miss at least some of the chances I have now to bless others. In being caught up in the “tomorrows”, I miss the “todays”. And while that isn’t exactly sin, it is wrong to be believing that I have to wait for a certain time (when I’m more able, more educated, etc.) before I can do a certain thing.
Take advantage of the moments now—this may be the only time you will be able to help that person the way you can now. Dream big—riding airplanes, taking care of old people, or whatever you want to do one day—but don’t let your dreams get in the way of your example and walk with the Lord here and now.
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” —Proverbs 27:1
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
"Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. We do." - Alex and Brett Harris
Our family has been making these forever and they are really, really, really, really good!
Mix eggs, milk, onion and seasonings in a bowl. Add potatoes and flour. Mix well. Fry spoonfuls of mixture in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. They’re best if served hot. :) Enjoy!
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby….”
—1 Peter 2:2
My mom recently weaned my youngest brother. Even though I’ve seen it done to all my siblings, it is still hard to see him wanting to eat but not being allowed to. He still begs, but he is slowly learning to eat like a “big person” at the table with everyone else.
My dad has used the illustration a lot of a baby who is just born and doesn’t want to eat. The parents are very worried about the baby, aren’t they? And so God is about us when we don’t actively seek Him and turn to Him day by day, second by second. It isn’t just us who need this, though—its the world. Let us, each one, turn to the Lord and ask Him to guide our footsteps in the “way of righteousness” (Proverbs 12:28), so others can see His light and desire Him as well.
“We all profess that we are bound for heaven, immortality, and glory: but is it any evidence that we really desire it if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of the world, which we must leave behind us, and have only occasional thoughts of things above?”
Be the jewel He’s called you to be!
It’s a gorgeous morning. The sky above the mountains is a vivid blue, with streaks of white clouds stretching above the blue haze of mountain peaks. The breeze is cool and invigorating, and feels good as it brushes against my cheeks. I’m so glad to be alive—so happy to be the person God created me to be.
Last night, however, I was feeling blue and lonely, and so mad at myself. I had just been to a youth gathering, and although I had a good time with my friends, I was struggling against worthless feelings. We had been playing volleyball, like usual, and I am one of the worst volleyball players. The ball doesn't seem to cooperate with me very often, flying to the side or hitting the net. I hate messing up my team, and when sides were chosen, I of course was chosen last. (Thankfully we usually number off. :) ) Also, I felt mad at myself for being so quiet and introverted. I am a deep-thinker and a quiet personality by nature, so when the young people are talking in a group I like to just sit and listen, and smile, maybe add a little comment here and there. I do better one on one, but I’ve never been much of a talker unless I know someone extremely well, or feel really comfortable.
And last night, I was mad at myself all over again. It seemed like no one really liked me. Sure, they were my friends, but they didn’t really miss me if I was gone or really care if I was around. I was just the quiet Abigail, and I didn’t really matter that much. At least, it was easy to think that way.
After a long talk with my dad, I felt a lot better, but it was this morning at the youth’s prayer meeting that God really hit the truth home to my heart. Our youth leader was talking about peer pressure, and one statement struck my heart like a dagger. “Don’t let peer pressure define the person you are.” Suddenly, I got it. (again :) ) God had created me quiet. He had made me not such a big talker. I wasn’t very charming or especially smart, or good at volleyball. But I could smile. I could love others and genuinely care about them. I could splash God’s love over to others who were hungry for it, and I could be an encourager. God had given me gifts, and after all, I do talk a lot sometimes.
It wasn’t about me. I was nothing. But Christ had made me something. He had created me good, given me His very nature, put Himself inside me, and given me the ability to become a beautiful young woman, radiant with love and joy. And right now, I feel so happy I could burst. Because I’m free to be the person HE created me to be. He made me myself…and has awesome plans for me!
For all of us.
I am a 17-year old daughter of the King, living in Montana with my parents, five younger brothers, and little sister. I love living here in this gorgeous place, and every day God shows me a little more of how awesome He is. I have a passion for Israel and the Jews, and it is my dream to live in Israel and help God’s people someday. My interests include writing, art, piano, swimming, volleyball :), flower gardening, working with moms and babies, poetry, reading biographies and writing novels, and spending time with friends and family in the great outdoors.
What is the chief end of man?
Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
(Westminster Shorter Catechism)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) together and set aside. Unwrap the mints. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and mint extract. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Add green food coloring until evenly colored. Fold in the chopped Andes mints. Roll round teaspoon of dough into balls. Flatten and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheets for 2 min. before moving them to wire racks to cool.
Note: These cookies are for those that like mint!
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” — Psalm 28:7
“I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” — Psalm 9:2
I work in a local business, doing some general cleaning two afternoons a week. One afternoon, as I swept the floor, I whistled, only half thinking about what I was doing. Someone walked in, and as my usual custom I continued sweeping, ignoring him. Usually, I only talk after I’ve been talked too. Being an introvert does have its helpful sides at times—I dislike trying to start conversations. My mind wandered onto what I would be doing later, when suddenly the man’s words cut into my thoughts. “Are you happy?”
The question was so startling that I stopped whistling and continued sweeping for another second or two before looking up. My mind busily sorted out an answer. For a long time, I was longing to be truly happy. But now? The answer to the question almost surprised me when I found it. “Yes, I am happy.” I said, looking at him. Then I began sweeping again, before a nudge (from God?) made me ask, “What about you?” I glanced up once, then continued with my job.
“I’m trying to be.” He responded. He soon walked out—probably done for the day. But his question—and my answer—made me very thoughtful.
Happy. Something that I long to be. And, with a stranger’s question, my view on life suddenly changed a little. Yes, I am happy—whether or not I’ve ever noticed it before. I’m content. And I believe that’s because of God.
Now I’ll turn the question to you:
Are you happy? Or are you just trying to be happy?
It’s a thought-provoker, I’ll admit! But it’s a good question to answer. And, if you are truly happy, I believe with my whole heart that others will be able to see that. They might not say anything. But they’re watching. They want happiness, too. And when they see it in you, they start to wonder.
P.S. I don’t like to mention things like this, but Cosette told us a couple weeks ago of her decision to leave the writing team. Her life has recently gotten much busier, so although it’s sad to see her go we understand. However, I would like to ask—would you please join us in praying that someone will either come to take her place or else that there would be enough submitted posts to fill in her day (the second Friday of each month)? Thank you! -Esther, for the JOJ team