Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Song - The Armor of God

After putting together a little song to help remember the names of God, called Jehovah is His Name!, I had wanted to do something with the armor of God, which over the last few years has become more of a focus in Sue and my spiritual walks.

Here is the Scripture text I used:

Ephesians 6:10-18:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

I had a tune I had already written called "I Hate Cockleburs", in honor of the time spent pulling them out by hand in our 11-acre north field, and since, continuing to sweep that field, clearing them twice yearly before they seed out. The "lyrics" went like this:
I hate cockleburs, yes I do
I hate cockleburs, how 'bout you?
I hate cockleburs, I hate cockleburs,
I hate cockleburs, yes I do!

(On a doctrinal aside, I don't "hate" them as I hope I hate sin. And actually, I recognize weeds and the like as a reminder of God's hatred of sin when He cursed the ground [see Gen 3:17-19] and His perfect wisdom and goodness in bringing them forth. And so, I use the word "hate" as something of typical usage, and because it fit with the tune's meter. :) But, to return...)

The cockleburs were indeed a pain. But, the effort in pulling them paid off, and there are very few now every year. And each time I try to remember to ask God to weed the gardens of our hearts, so there will be good soil, and no thorns or weeds. See Matt 13:1-23

Also, the tune is in a minor key, and I thought that would work well with a song about armor and battles.

And so, over a fairly long period of time, the Lord did grant I finally finish working out the lyrics with the cocklebur melody, and adding the harmony parts. With this one, as with when I did Moses' Song of the Sea from Exodus 15, I attempted to stay as close to the actual Scripture verses themselves as possible, trying to use only minimal artistic license to make it all work out. :)


This is the sheet music:

The Armor of God


And a PDF:
The Armor of God (PDF)


And an instrumental audio version:


The Armor of God - Instrumental (MP3)


Here, Sue and I sing it with the accompaniment:


The Armor of God - Vocal (MP3)


May God grant us His armor daily so we might resist the devil, and his and the world's distractions and temptations, and we thank the Lord for His armor and His blessed word, the Bible!

-- David

Saturday, June 27, 2020

New Pig Pen Fencing - Update I

One thing out here is things seem to go much more slowly than anticipated. :) God's providence as first cause -- His bringing about all things according to His will and plans -- but, by means of other priorities becoming more important, other things to fix, etc.

Well, back in 2016, I started replacing our old pig fencing in the main pig pen with new cinder block/cattle panel fence sections I started making as part of an extension to the original pig pen back in 2014.

Last year, I started getting back to working on this main pig fence area, and recently finally finished all the panel sections and got them in place! Yea! :D

In the 2016 blog post above, I show in the video the first few sections being done. And here is a picture from 2017 of the whole one side being done:

New Pig Pen Siding, Side 1 Complete


And here are some more ready to haul over using our goat shack caddy:

2 New Pig Pen Cinder Block Cattle Panel Sections Ready for Hauling


Once there, I opened the previous fence line:

Opened Pig Pen Side


And started dragging them in, sliding one end at a time back and forth:

Sliding Section

More Sliding Section


And stood and scooted them into place:

Siding Section in Place


It's like a parade! ;)

Sliding More Sections


And here's that whole back side done:

Pig Pen Side Two Done

Pig Pen Side Two Done, Other Direction


Then, it was off to the short sides. After cleaning out the previous fencing and t-posts, I slid the panels in place, and here's the first short side done. What's nice about these cinder block cattle panel sections is you can curve them around, which helps when trying to join with another fence line where there is no corner post:

Pig Pen Short Side Done

Pig Pen Short Side Done, Other Direction


This is the last side before cleaning out the previous fencing...lots of previous hacking at it to try to keep it acting as a fence: :)

Old Dilapidated Fencing

More Old Dilapidated Fencing


And here's that last side, finally done!

Final Pig Pen Siding Done

More Final Pig Pen Siding Done


I just have to wire them all together now, and then Lord willing we'll perhaps test it all out with a new piggy or two! :D


Always we are thankful to the Lord for His provisions, and safety in working with these things -- even though one person can move them, they're still pretty heavy, and I have strained my back before, but God mercifully granted that I not this time, and I am thankful!

-- David

Monday, June 15, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2nd & 3rd 2020 Chick Hatchings

The Lord graciously granted our next two chick hatchings of 2020, the 2nd and 3rd so far!

This mommy was in the barn loft, and so we grabbed her and her eggs and put her in the brooder barn (formerly known as the summer kitchen), and she hatched out a bunch of them! I think only a few eggs didn't hatch, and all her hatchlings are still there, except for one...

At night, I put lanterns with the hens and chicks to give them at least a better shot at defending against small intruders, like snakes, which we've had a lot of problems with, in that, they get in there and eat or try to eat the chicks. Well, one night as I went in there to set them up for the night, one of the chicks already had a small snake attached to its head, and that snake had basically just suffocated it because I don't believe it could have swallowed the chick. So, sadly, that's the one chick we lost of the bunch, and there's one less snake now too :) , but we are thankful for the ones God has granted to continue:

2nd New 2020 Chicks

More 2nd New 2020 Chicks


And here's group 3 I believe. Sadly here too, the day after I took these pictures and video below, one of the chicks was very sick, and died just a few hours later. And, there's one chick that seems to have neurological or vision problems, but is able to maintain itself, so we'll see how that little one fares in the end, and we pray the Lord might help it, and help it to be a productive member of the flock, if He might grant:

3rd New 2020 Chicks

More 3rd New 2020 Chicks


Finally, here's the video of the two groups:




As always, we are very thankful to the Lord for these provisions, the eggs He grants from them, and the meat as well!

-- David

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Garden - Spring 2020

After taking a land sabbath last year, and doing lots of land prep, it was time to get back to planting and by God's graces growing a garden!

And here is where things are as of a few days ago. When I'm watering each plant, I think how each one is a little miracle from God! A little seed, in the ground, a little tender bud, the plant growing, and then being fruitful if God wills.

Can I make these plants grow and make a bean? No. It's God that gives the increase.

And it's the same spiritually:
1 Cor 3:6-7 - "6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."

Both in the garden, and in the garden of our hearts, truly miracles of grace from the Lord!


But now, back to the garden on our homestead...

Here it is overall:

Garden Spring 2020


And sweet potato plants:

Sweet Potato Plants


Green bean plants:

Green Bean Plants


Zucchini plants and zucchini:

Zucchini Plants

Zucchini

More Zucchini


The first haul!

Still More Zucchini


And okra plants:

Okra Plants


And a few years ago, we were given a Goji berry plant, and it has hung in there:

Goji Berry Plant

With some berries!

Goji Berries


One of the valves on our cistern spigot drips slightly, and all Winter we had it dripping on this Goji plant. We heard they send off root shoots, and boy, did it shoot them off! The main plant is on the left, and all the rest of the offshoots. It's starting to spread out nicely!

Goji Berry Plant Spreading Root Shoots


Here is a volunteer sweet potato plant from, I assume, plantings of a couple of years ago!

Volunteer Sweet Potato Plant


And here is one of two black berry plants that were given to us I believe the same time the Goji was. One hasn't come back, but this one has "died" back a few times, but is still going:

Black Berry Plant


Finally, this is our compost pile. That square is probably a couple of feet longer than the length of a shovel:

Compost Pile

After "processing" our over-aggressive roosters here, we put the remains in the compost pile, but something has discovered that free lunch and digs them out, and you can see left-overs strewn about:

Compost Pile Chicken Parts


We are very thankful to the Lord for granting us the opportunity and provisions to plant a garden this year! And we pray for and are grateful to Him for any increase He might grant, in our garden, in our hearts, and in the hearts of our families, friends, those we know, and even those we don't. We pray the Lord grant a great increase in His kingdom, and may He guide and use us in what small ways He might in the planting and watering of people's hearts to that end!

-- David

Friday, May 22, 2020

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: Christ Is All

In the recent past as I read an excellent book from Puritan Thomas Brooks called "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", I saved snippets throughout to share on the blog, with the hopes others might benefit from them being highlighted, and we've been doing some of that over the past months. Why is this all important?

The Bible warns of one of our greatest adversaries of our souls:
1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

But we are to resist...
James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Ephesians 6:11 - "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

...but only with God's help:
Psalm 28:7 - "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."

The following below are a couple of points ([9] and [10], although I list 1-8 for some context) against a device Satan uses to keep souls in a sad, doubting and questioning condition by suggesting to them that their graces are not true, but counterfeit. Now, there indeed must be true graces in the heart, which will show evidently in someone's life, with the fruit of the Spirit and other good works, but even those the devil can try to use against a person by swinging the pendulum the other way. Mr. Brooks puts it like this:
Says Satan, All is not gold that glitters, all is not free grace that you count grace, that you call grace. That which you call faith is but a fancy, and that which you call zeal, is but a natural heat and passion; and that light you have, it is but common, it is short, to what many have attained to that are now in hell, etc. Satan does not labor more mightily to persuade hypocrites that their graces are true when they are counterfeit, than he does to persuade precious souls that their graces are counterfeit, when indeed they are true, and such as will abide the touchstone of Christ, etc.

[Footnote: Yet it must be granted that many a fair flower may grow out of a stinking root, and many sweet dispositions and fair actions may be where there is only the corrupt root of nature.]

For the full device and remedies, you can listen to it here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


From Thomas Brooks:

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, wisely to consider, The differences between renewing grace and, restraining grace, between sanctifying grace and temporary grace; and this I will show you in these ten particulars.

[1.] True grace makes all glorious within and without.

[2.] The objects of true grace are supernatural.

[3.] True grace enables a Christian, when he is himself, to do spiritual actions with real pleasure and delight.

[4.] True grace makes a man most careful, and most fearful of his own heart.

[5.] Grace will work a man's heart to love and cleave to the strictest and holiest ways and things of God, for their purity and sanctity, in the face of all dangers and hardships.

[6.] True grace will enable a man to step over the world's crown, to take up Christ's cross; to prefer the cross of Christ above the glory of this world.

[7.] Sanctifying grace, renewing grace, puts the soul upon spiritual duties, from spiritual and intrinsecal motives, as from the sense of divine love, that does constrain the soul to wait on God, and to act for God ; and the sense of the excellency and sweetness of communion with God, and the choice and precious discoveries that the soul hath formerly had of the beauty and glory to [sic] God, whilst it has been in the service of God.

[8.] Saving grace, renewing grace, will cause a man to follow the Lord fully in the desertion of all sin, and in the observation of all God's precepts.


[9.] True grace leads the soul to rest in Christ, as in his summum bonum, chiefest good. It works the soul to center in Christ, as in his highest and ultimate end. 'Whither should we go? thou hast the words of eternal life,' John vi. 68. 'My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest of ten thousand; I found him whom my soul loved, I held him and would not let him go,' Cant. v. 10, iii. 4. That wisdom a believer has from Christ, it leads him to center in the wisdom of Christ, 1 Cor. i. 30; and that love the soul has from Christ, it leads the soul to center in the love of Christ; and that righteousness the soul has from Christ, it leads the soul to rest and center in the righteousness of Christ, Philip, iii. 9. 1

[Footnote: Grace is that star that leads to Christ; it is that cloud and pillar of fire that leads the soul to the heavenly Canaan, where Christ sits chief.]

True grace is a beam of Christ, and where it is, it will naturally lead the soul to rest in Christ. The stream does not more naturally lead to the fountain, nor the effect to the cause, than true grace leads the soul to Christ. But restraining grace, temporary grace, works the soul to center and rest in things below Christ. Sometimes it works the soul to center in the praises of the creature; sometimes to rest in the rewards of the creature: 'Verily they have their reward,' said Christ, Mat. vi. 1, 2: and so in an hundred other things. etc., Zech. vii. 5, 6.


[10.] True grace will enable a soul to sit down satisfied and contented with the naked enjoyments of Christ.
  • The enjoyment of Christ without honor will satisfy the soul;
  • the enjoyment of Christ without riches,
  • the enjoyment of Christ without pleasures, and without the smiles of creatures, will content and satisfy the soul.

'It is enough; Joseph is alive,' Gen. xlv. 28. So said a gracious soul, though honor is not, and riches are not, and health is not, and friends are not, etc., it is enough that Christ is, that he reigns, conquers, and triumphs. Christ is the pot of manna, the cruse of oil, a bottomless ocean of all comfort, content, and satisfaction. He that has him wants [lacks] nothing; he that wants [lacks] him enjoys nothing. 'Having nothing,' saith Paul, 'and yet possessing all things,' 2 Cor. vi. 10.

[Footnote: Said Seneca, a contented man cannot be a poor man.]

Oh! but a man that has but temporary grace, that has but restraining grace, cannot sit down satisfied and contented, under the want [lack] of outward comforts.

[Footnote: Charles the Great his motto was, 'Christus regnat, vincit, triumphat. And so it is the saints.' St Austin [Augustine] upon Ps. xii. brings in God rebuking a discontented Christian thus: What is your faith? have I promised you these things? What! were you made a Christian that you should flourish here in this world?]

[The man with temporary grace continues:] Christ is good with honors, says such a soul; and Christ is good with riches, and Christ is good with pleasures, and he is good with such and such outward contents. I must have Christ and the world, or else with the young man in the Gospel, in spite of my soul, I shall forsake Christ to follow the world. Ah! how many shining professors [of religion] be there in the world, that cannot sit down satisfied and contented, under the want [lack] of this or that outward comfort and content, but are like bedlams, fretting and vexing, raging and madding [going about as mad], as if there were no God, no heaven, no hell, nor no Christ to make up all such outward wants [lacks] to souls.

That a soul truly gracious can say, in having nothing I have all things, because I have Christ; having therefore all things in him, I seek no other reward, for he is the universal reward. Such a soul can say, Nothing is sweet to me without the enjoyment of Christ in it; honors, nor riches, nor the smiles of creatures, are not sweet to me no farther than I see Christ, and taste Christ in them.

[Footnote: Content is the deputy of outward felicity, and supplies the place where it is absent. As the Jews throw the book of Esther to the ground before they read it, because the name of God is not in it, as the Rabbins have observed; so do saints in those mercies wherein they do not read Christ's name, and see Christ's heart.]

The confluence of all outward good cannot make a heaven of glory in my soul, if Christ, who is the top of my glory, be absent; as Absalom said, 'What is all this to me so long as I cannot see the king's face?' 2 Sam. xiv. 32. So says the soul, why do you tell me of this and that outward comfort, when I cannot see his face whom my soul loves? Why, my honor is not my Christ, nor riches is not Christ, nor the favor of the creature is not Christ; let me have him, and let the men of this world take the world, and divide it amongst themselves; I prize my Christ above all, I would enjoy my Christ above all other things in the world; his presence will make up the absence of all other comforts, and his absence will darken and embitter all my comforts; so that my comforts will neither taste like comforts, nor look like comforts, nor warm like comforts, when he that should comfort my soul stands afar off, etc., Lam. i. 16.

Christ is all and in all to souls truly gracious, Col. iii. 11. We have all things in Christ, and Christ is all things to a Christian.
  • If we be sick, he is a physician;
  • if we thirst, he is a fountain;
  • if our sins trouble us, he is righteousness;
  • if we stand in need of help, he is mighty to save;
  • if we fear death, he is life;
  • if we be in darkness, he is light;
  • if we be weak, he is strength;
  • if we be in poverty, he is plenty;
  • if we desire heaven, he is the way.

The soul cannot say, this I would have, and that I would have; but says Christ, it is in me, it is in me eminently, perfectly, eternally.

[Footnote: Luther said, he had rather be in hell with Christ, than in heaven without him. None but Christ, none but Christ, said Lambert, lifting up his hands and his fingers' end flaming. (This is the Lambert to whom he is referring: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lambert_(martyr))]


May God grant that Christ indeed be our all! None but Christ, none but Christ!

-- David

Monday, May 4, 2020

Cookbook Review: "Traditional Meals for the Frugal Family"

Traditional Meals for the Frugal Family Book
Our dear friend and neighbor, Shannon has released yet another really great cookbook: "Traditional Meals for the Frugal Family: Delicious, Nourishing Recipes for Less."

A little background...I have known Shannon and her growing family for, wow, going on 10-plus years now. She.is.the.real.deal. I have great respect for her as a Mom, wife, friend and sister in Christ. All of her cookbooks have been written as a result of looking to find ways to feed her family while meeting diet and financial restrictions, without skimping on quality or nutrition. She is MacGyver in the kitchen :))

Today's western diet, as most everyone knows, is full of ingredients that, let's face it, do not lend themselves to a strong, healthy body, especially growing children. Some cookbooks are very niche oriented, or "fru-fru" with ingredients. This cookbook is very mainstream, and anyone who buys it will truly benefit, in my opinion.

Shannon includes really great tried and tested information and tips all throughout, and the recipes are easy to understand and made with healthy, yet, very obtainable ingredients. On a side note, the pictures alone will make your mouth water, and I believe Shannon took all of the photos herself. The whole presentation is very classy.

The contents include a philosophical and real-life approach to "Making Traditional Foods Work on a Budget", providing a sample weekly shopping budget and list, what to buy and why.

And the recipe sections include:
  • "Thrifty Mornings" (Soaked 100% Rolled Oat Pancakes, Greek Fauxgurt, Sweet Potato & Greens Breakfast Skillet, and much more!)

  • "Frugal Broth & Beans" (Soaked Grain-Free Garbanzo Bean Pizza Crust, Soaked Mexican Taco Pizza Bake, Real Food Copycat Tomato Soup, and much more!)

  • "Economical Pastured Proteins" (Tamale Pie, Crispy Oven-Baked Salmon Burgers, Spiced Thai Coconut Chicken, and much more!)

  • "Sensible Accompaniments" (Sheet Pan Hash Browns, Roasted Vegetables, Soaked Gluten-Free Artisan Bread, and much more!)

  • "Prudent Sweets & Treats" (Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie with a Grain-Free Crust, Soaked Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Raw or Dairy Free Mexican Sipping Chocolate, and much more!)

  • "Penny-Pinching DIY's" (Broth-Based Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce, Better Sunflower Seed Butter, Easy and Traditional Homemade Corn Tortillas, and much more!)

Oh, my goodness, I wish my intermittent fast ended sooner than 2:00 pm today - this is making me hungry!!

Dave and I have been on the receiving end of some of Shannon's recipe experiments in preparing for her cookbooks, and they have all been delicious. Shannon and her husband have six children, with another on the way!, and we are very blessed to know and love them.

I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone, especially if you are looking for ways to feed your spouse and family delicious, nutritious food on a budget, or just because the recipes are really cool on their own.

Susan

Friday, April 17, 2020

Goodbye Nessa

We had to say bye to our border collie Nessa this week. Earlier in the year, we had tumors removed from her mammaries, but a tumor started growing back. The vet wouldn't operate again, so we tried some natural things for her, and the tumor seemed to start to dissipate, but she ended up with 3 swollen legs, and a fairly large swelling on her inside back leg. She recently seemed to turn a corner in a positive way, but a few days ago, she couldn't lay down or sit anymore, and it seemed because of that she hadn't slept in at least a couple of days, and she was falling asleep standing while we would hold her. She just seemed to take a turn for the worse, and seemed to be suffering, and it seemed basically an impossible quality of life. So, we made the difficult decision.

She had been a real trooper through it all, and it was crushing to have to put her down.

We will always have fond memories of her. In fact, she will always be remembered as having been part of the initial inspiration for the little song I put together, Jehovah Is His Name.

And then there are the memories of her with Brodey, who thankfully seems to be ok as of right now with Nessa missing, even though they had been together with each other for their entire lives...

Here's when we got them back in 2009:

Brodey & Nessa, 2009

More Brodey & Nessa, 2009


In this video from 2010 from this blog post, she seemed to prove what I thought, which was Nessa kinda had a screw loose: :) (The video has no thumbnail, but you should still be able to play it; or you can go to the blog post link.)

Nessa our Border Collie Digs in a Puddle


Here are brother and sister again, 2013 and 2017:

Brodey & Nessa, 2013

Brodey & Nessa, 2017


And here's a final video from back in January, soon after Nessa's surgery. We had a double cone on her to try to keep her from the stitches, and a "diaper" wrap to try to keep her from the open wound:




Goodbye Nessa bo-bessa....we'll miss you lots....

Nessa Grave

Nessa Headstone


....and we thank the Lord for the gift that you were, and for the time He allowed us to have you!

Nessa, 2013


-- David

Friday, April 10, 2020

David's Digest: Lovest Thou Me?


This....

"Man," said a thoughtless, ungodly English traveller to a North American Indian convert, "Man, what is the reason that you make so much of Christ, and talk so much about Him? What has this Christ done for you, that you should make so much ado about Him?"

The converted Indian did not answer him in words. He gathered together some dry leaves and moss and made a ring with them on the ground. He picked up a live worm and put it in the middle of the ring. He struck a light and set the moss and leaves on fire. The flame soon rose and the heat scorched the worm. It writhed in agony, and after trying in vain to escape on every side, curled itself up in the middle, as if about to die in despair. At that moment the Indian reached forth his hand, took up the worm gently and placed it on his bosom.

"Stranger," he said to the Englishman, "Do you see that worm? I was that perishing creature. I was dying in my sins, hopeless, helpless, and on the brink of eternal fire. It was Jesus Christ who put forth the arm of His power. It was Jesus Christ who delivered me with the hand of His grace, and plucked me from everlasting burnings. It was Jesus Christ who placed me, a poor sinful worm, near the heart of His love. Stranger, that is the reason why I talk of Jesus Christ and make much of Him. I am not ashamed of it, because I love Him."

If we know anything of love to Christ, may we have the mind of this North American Indian! May we never think that we can love Christ too well, live to Him too thoroughly, confess Him too boldly, lay ourselves out for Him too hearty! Of all the things that will surprise us in the resurrection morning, this, I believe, will surprise us most: that we did not love Christ more before we died.


So humbling, so Christ-elevating and adoring!


May we forever, from now to eternity, be thankful for God's mercies and so great salvation toward us, in the Father's great love, the Son's great atoning work and sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit's great work of application in our hearts and lives!


We are all this poor worm -- full of sin and not far from God's eternal wrath -- without Christ. If you are not affected yet by God's work of salvation, come to Him recognizing your sin, ask Him this day to save you -- to grant you repentance from all your sins and to forgive you, and to cleanse you from the dirtiness of sin, and keep asking Him until He does, to save you from that everlasting ring of fire all men are in until brought out by His gracious hand into His bosom. Please, seek Him now, while you still have today, as tomorrow -- even the next heartbeat -- is not guaranteed.

Consider this promise:
John 6:37 - "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

May God grant us understanding of who we are without the Lord Christ Jesus, who He is and what He has done, and may He apply His salvific work to our hearts! Amen!



The above quote was from JC Ryle's book "Holiness" (chapter 15) from Chapel Library, which you can get various e-versions for free or order a hardcopy for free here:
JC Ryle's "Holiness" from Chapel Library


Also, you can listen to our audio recordings of chapter 15 entitled "Lovest Thou Me?":



Or listen to the whole audio book here:
JC Ryle - Holiness


-- David

Friday, April 3, 2020

Lullaby - Thank You, Our God, for All Your Care

As it's been with our other cats, it seems to me their names, or things I call them, lend themselves to musical tunes. And so, I put together lullabies for William and Mimi. Tuscan got a whole hymn. :)

Anyway, with our latest addition, Leila, her name seemed to lend itself to a melody as well, something rather lilt-y as it happened...

Her lyrics were simply her name repeated, "Leila, Leila...", but since the tune also sounded like a lullaby, I attempted to put some lullaby-ish words to the melody, and here is how it worked out:

Thank You, our God, for all Your care
And for Your love and for Jesus there!
If You should grant we see the morn
Help us live lives that will you adorn!

Thank You, Our God, for All Your Care

Here's a PDF:
Lullaby - Thank You, Our God, for All Your Care PDF


And this is a musical audio of the arrangement:


Lullaby - Thank You Lord for This Day of Care MP3 (instrumental)


And a vocal version:


Lullaby - Thank You Lord for This Day of Care MP3 (vocal)


As always, I'm thankful to be able to take the little tune and put a little something to it that hopefully glorifies God. :)

May we always be thankful for God's care, and for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

-- David

Thursday, March 26, 2020

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: The Glitter of the World, Part 4

This is continuing from part 3 from Puritan Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where the devil draws people from holy duties and service using the allurements of the world.

You can listen to it here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


From Thomas Brooks:

The first device that Satan hath to draw souls from holy duties, and to keep them off from religious services, is,

Device (1). By presenting the world in such a dress, and in such a garb to the soul, as to ensnare the soul, and to win upon the affections of the soul.

He represents the world to them in its beauty and bravery [finery], which proves a bewitching sight to a world of men.


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these,

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the vanity of them as well as upon the impotency of all worldly good.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against the device of Satan is, To dwell much upon the uncertainty, the mutability, and inconstancy of all things under the sun.

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That the great things of this world are very hurtful and dangerous to the outward and inward man, through
the corruptions that be in the hearts of men.


Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That all the felicity of this world is mixed.

Remedy (6). The sixth remedy against this device of Satan is, To get better acquaintance and better assurance of more blessed and glorious things.


Remedy (7). The seventh remedy against tins device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That true happiness and satisfaction is not to be had in the enjoyment of worldly good.

True happiness is too big and too glorious a thing to be found in anything below but God that is a Christian's chiefest good.

(Footnote: True happiness lies only in our enjoyment of a suitable good, a pure good, a total good, and an eternal good ; and God is only such a good, and such a good can only satisfy the soul of man. Philosophers could say, that he was never a happy man that might afterwards become miserable.)

The blessed angels, those glistering courtiers, have all felicities and blessedness, and yet have they neither gold, nor silver, nor jewels, nor none of the beauty and bravery [livery] of this world. Certainly if happiness was to be found in these things, the Lord Jesus, who is the right and royal heir of all things, would have exchanged his cradle for a crown; his birth chamber, a stable, for a royal palace; his poverty for plenty; his despised followers for shining courtiers; and his mean [low] provisions for the choicest delicates, etc. Certainly happiness lies not in those things that a man may enjoy, and yet be miserable for ever.

Now a man may be great and graceless with Pharaoh, honourable and damnable with Saul, rich and miserable with Dives [the rich man in the rich man and Lazarus story], etc.: therefore happiness lies not in these things. Certainly happiness lies not in those things that cannot comfort a man upon a dying bed. Is it honours, riches, or friends, etc, that can comfort thee when you come to die?

Or is it not rather faith in the blood of Christ, the witness of the Spirit of Christ, the sense and feeling of the love and favour of Christ, and the hopes of eternally reigning with Christ? Can happiness lie in those things that cannot give us health, or strength, or ease, or a good night's rest, or an hour's sleep, or a good stomach? Why, all the honours, riches, and delights of this world cannot give these poor things to us, therefore certainly happiness lies not in the enjoyment of them, etc.

(Footnote: Gregory the Great used to say, He is poor whose soul is void of grace, not whose coffers are empty of money. The reasonable soul may be busied about other things, but it cannot be filled
with them.)

And surely happiness is not to be found in those things that cannot satisfy the souls of men. Now none of these things can satisfy the soul of man. 'He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loveth abundance with increase; this is also vanity,' said the wise man, Eccles. v. 10. The barren womb, the horse leech's daughter, the grave and hell, will as soon be satisfied, as the soul of man will by the enjoyment of any worldly good. Some one thing or other will be for ever wanting [lacking] to that soul that hath none but outward good to live upon. You may as soon fill a bag with wisdom, a chest with virtue, or a circle with a triangle, as the heart of man with anything here below. A man may have enough of the world to sink him, but he can never have enough to satisfy him, etc.


Remedy (8). The eighth remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, Of the dignity of the soul.

Oh, the soul of man is more worth than a thousand worlds! It is the greatest abasing of it that can be to let it dote upon a little shining earth, upon a little painted beauty and fading glory, when it is capable of union with Christ, of communion with God, and of enjoying the eternal vision of God.

Seneca could say, 'I am too great, and born to greater things, than that I should be a slave to my body.' Oh! do you say my soul is too great, and born to greater things, than that I should confine it to a heap of white and yellow earth.

(Footnote: Plutarch tells of Themistocles, that he accounted it not to stand with his state to stoop down to take up the spoils the enemies had scattered in flight; but said to one of his followers, You may, for you are not Themistocles. Oh what a sad thing it is that a heathen should set his feet upon those very things that most professors [of religion] set their hearts, and for the gain of which, with Balaam, many run the hazard of losing their immortal souls for ever.)


I have been the longer upon the remedies that may help us against this dangerous device of Satan, because he doth usually more hurt to the souls of men by this device than he doth by all other devices.

For a close, I wish, as once Chrysostom did, that that sentence, Eccles. ii. 11, 'Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do, and behold all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun,' were engraven on the door-posts into which you enter, on the tables where you sit, on the dishes out of which you eat, on the cups out of which you drink, on the bed-steads where you lie, on the walls of the house where you dwell, on the garments which you wear, on the heads of the horses on which you ride, and on the foreheads of all them whom you meet, that your souls may not, by the beauty and bravery [livery] of the world, be kept off from those holy and heavenly services that may render you blessed while you live, and happy when you die; that you may breathe out your last into his bosom who lives for ever, and who will make them happy for ever that prefer Christ's spirituals and eternals above all temporal transitory things.


Amen, and may the Lord grant us all that protection from Satan's devices, and that the things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!

-- David

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: The Glitter of the World, Part 3

This is continuing from part 2 from Puritan Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where the devil draws people from holy duties and service using the allurements of the world.

You can listen to it here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


From Thomas Brooks:

The first device that Satan hath to draw souls from holy duties, and to keep them off from religious services, is,

Device (1). By presenting the world in such a dress, and in such a garb to the soul, as to ensnare the soul, and to win upon the affections of the soul.

He represents the world to them in its beauty and bravery [finery], which proves a bewitching sight to a world of men.


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these,

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the vanity of them as well as upon the impotency of all worldly good.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against the device of Satan is, To dwell much upon the uncertainty, the mutability, and inconstancy of all things under the sun.

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That the great things of this world are very hurtful and dangerous to the outward and inward man, through
the corruptions that be in the hearts of men.



Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That all the felicity of this world is mixed.

Our light is mixed with darkness, our joy with sorrow, our pleasures with pain, our honour with dishonour, our riches with wants [lacks]. If our lights be spiritual, clear, and quick, we may see in the felicity of this world our wine mixed with water, our honey with gall, our sugar with wormwood, and our roses with prickles.

(Footnote: Hark, scholar, said the harlot to Apuleius, it is but a bitter sweet you are so fond of. Surely all the things of this world are but bitter sweets.)

Sorrow attends worldly joy, danger attends worldly safety, loss attends worldly labours, tears attend worldly purposes. As to these things, men's hopes are vain, their sorrow certain and joy feigned. The honours, profits, pleasures, and delights of the world are true gardens of Adonis, where we can gather nothing but trivial flowers, surrounded with many briers.


Remedy (6). The sixth remedy against this device of Satan is, To get better acquaintance and better assurance of more blessed and glorious things.

(Footnote: Let heaven be a man's object, and earth will soon be his abject. Luther being at one time in some wants, it happened that a good sum of money was unexpectedly sent him by a nobleman of Germany, at which, being something amazed, he said, I fear that God will give me my reward here, but I protest I will not be so satisfied.)

That which raised up their spirits, Heb. x. and xi., to trample upon all the beauty, bravery [livery], and glory of the world, was the acquaintance with, 'and assurance of better and more durable things.' 'They took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing in themselves that they bad in heaven a better and a more durable substance.' 'They looked for a house that had foundations, whoso builder and maker was God.' 'And they looked for another country, even an heavenly.' 'They saw him that was invisible, and had an eye to the recompence of reward.' And this made them count all the glory and bravery [livery] of this world to be too poor and contemptible for them to set their hearts upon.

The main reason why men dote upon the world, and damn their souls to get the world, is, because they are not acquainted with a greater glory. Men ate acorns, till they were acquainted with the use of wheat. Ah, were men more acquainted with what union and communion with God means, what it is to have 'a new name, and a new stone, that none knows but he that hath it,' Rev. ii. 17; did they but taste more of heaven, and live more in heaven, and had more glorious hopes of going to heaven, ah, how easily would they have the moon under their feet.

It was an excellent saying of Lewis of Bavyer, emperor of Germany, Such goods are worth getting and owning, as will not sink or wash away if a shipwreck happen, but will wade and swim out with us.

(Footnote: There is, saith Augustine, goods of the throne; and there are goods of the footstool. When Basil was tempted with money and preferment, saith he, Give me money that may last for ever, and glory that may eternally flourish; for the fashion of this world passes away, as the waters of a river that runs by a city.)

It is recorded of Lazarus, that after his resurrection from the dead, he was never seen to laugh, his thoughts and affections were so fixed in heaven, though his body was on earth, and therefore he could not but slight temporal things, his heart being so bent and set upon eternals. There are goods for the throne of grace, as God, Christ, the Spirit, adoption, justification, remission of sin, peace with God, and peace with conscience; and there are goods of the footstool, as honours, riches, the favour of creatures, and other comforts and accommodations of this life. Now he that hath acquaintance with, and assurance of the goods of the throne, will easily trample upon the goods of the footstool.

Ah that you would make it your business, your work, to mind more, and make sure more to your own souls, the great things of eternity, that will yield you joy in life and peace in death, and a crown of righteousness in the day of Christ's appearing, and that will lift up your souls above all the beauty and bravery [livery] of this bewitching world, that will raise your feet above other men's heads. When a man comes to be assured of a crown, a sceptre, the royal robes, etc., he then begins to have low, mean [low], and contemptible thoughts of those things that before he highly prized. So will assurance of more great and glorious things breed in the soul a holy scorn and contempt of all these poor, mean things, which the soul before did value above God, Christ, and heaven, etc.


Go on to Remedies 7-8!

-- David

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: The Glitter of the World, Part 2

This is continuing from part 1 from Puritan Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where the devil draws people from holy duties and service using the allurements of the world.

You can listen to it here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


From Thomas Brooks:

The first device that Satan hath to draw souls from holy duties, and to keep them off from religious services, is,

Device (1). By presenting the world in such a dress, and in such a garb to the soul, as to ensnare the soul, and to win upon the affections of the soul.

He represents the world to them in its beauty and bravery [finery], which proves a bewitching sight to a world of men.


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these,

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the vanity of them as well as upon the impotency of all worldly good.


Remedy (3). The third remedy against the device of Satan is, To dwell much upon the uncertainty, the mutability, and inconstancy of all things under the sun.

Man himself is but the dream of a dream, but the generation of a fancy, but an empty vanity, but the curious picture of nothing, a poor, feeble, dying flash. All temporals are as transitory as a hasty headlong current, a shadow, a ship, a bird, an arrow, a post that passes by. 'Why shouldst thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?' said Solomon, Prov. xxiii. 5. And said the apostle, 'The fashion of this world passeth away,' 1 1 Cor. vii. 31.

(Footnote: 1 Cor. vii. 31 intimates, that there is nothing of any firmness, or solid consistence, in the creature.)

Heaven only hath a foundation, earth hath none, 'but is hanged upon nothing,' as Job speaks, xxvi. 7. The apostle willed Timothy to 'charge rich men that they be not high-minded, nor put their trust in uncertain riches,' 1 Tim. vi. 17. 2

(Footnote: Riches were never true to any that trusted to them; they have deceived men, as Job's brook did the poor travelers in the summer season.)

They are like bad servants, whose shoes are made of running leather, and will never tarry long with one master.

(Footnote: A phrase meaning, he is given to rambling about.)

As a bird hops from tree to tree, so do the honours and riches of this world from man to man, Let Job and Nebuchadnezzar testify this truth, who fell from great wealth to great want [lack]. No man can promise himself to be wealthy till night; one storm at sea, one coal of fire, one false friend, one unadvised word, one false witness, may make you a beggar and a prisoner all at once. All the riches and glory of this world is but as smoke and chaff that vanishes; 'Asa dream and vision in the night, that tarrieth not', Job xx. 8. 'As if a hungry man dreameth, and thinketh that he eateth, and when he awaketh his soul is empty; and like a thirsty man which thinketh he drinketh, and behold when he is awaked, his soul is faint,' as the prophet Isaiah said, chap. xxix. 8.

Where is the glory of Solomon? the sumptuous buildings of Nebuchadnezzar? the nine hundred chariots of Sisera? the power of Alexander? the authority of Augustus, that commanded the whole world to be taxed? Those that have been the most glorious, in what men generally account glorious and excellent, have had inglorious ends; as Samson for strength, Absalom for favour, Ahithophel for policy, Haman for favour, Asahel for swiftness, Alexander for great conquest, and yet after twelve years poisoned. The same you may see in the four mighty kingdoms, the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman: how soon were they gone and forgotten.

(Footnote: The most renowned Frederick lost all, and sued to be made but sexton of the church that himself had built. I have read of a poor fisherman, who. while his nets were a-drying, slept upon the rock, and dreamed that he was made a king, on a sudden starts up, and leaping for joy, fell down from the rock, and in the place of his imaginary felicities loses his little portion of pleasures.)

Now rich, now poor, now full, now empty, now in favour, anon out of favour, now honourable, now despised, now health, now sickness, now strength, now weakness. Oh, let not these uncertain things keep you from those holy services and heavenly employments, that may make you happy for ever, and render thy soul eternally blessed and at ease, when all these transitory things shall bid thy soul an everlasting fare-well.

(Footnote: The pomp of this world John compares to the moon, which increases and decreases, Apoc. xii. 1.)


Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That the great things of this world are very hurtful and dangerous to the outward and inward man, through
the corruptions that be in the hearts of men.


Oh, the rest, the peace, the comfort, the content that the things of this world do strip many men of! Oh, the fears, the cares, the envy, the malice, the dangers, the mischiefs, that they subject men to!

(Footnote: Henry the Second hearing Mentz his chief city to be taken, used this blasphemous speech: I shall never, said he, love God any more, that suffered a city so dear to me to be taken from me.)

They oftentimes make men carnally confident.

(Footnote: When one presented Antipater, king of Macedonia, with a book treating on happiness, his answer was, I have no leisure.)

The rich man's riches are a strong tower in his imagination. 'I said in my prosperity I should never be moved,' Ps. xxx. 6. They often swell the heart with pride, and make men forget God, and neglect God, and despise the rock of their salvation. When Jeshurun 'waxed fat, and was grown thick, and covered with fatness, then he forgot God, and forsook God that made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation,' as Moses spake, Deut. xxxii. 15.

Ah, the time, the thoughts, the spirits, that the things of the world consume and spend! Oh, how do they hinder the actings of faith upon God! how do they interrupt our sweet communion with God! how do they abate our love to the people of God! and cool our love to the things of God! and work us to act like those that are most unlike to God! Oh, the deadness, the barrenness that doth attend men under great outward mercies!

(Footnote: That four good mothers beget four bad daughters: great familiarity begets contempt, truth hatred, virtue envy, riches ignorance; a French proverb.)

Oh, the riches of the world chokes the word; that men live under the most soul-searching, and soul-enriching means with lean souls. Though they have full purses, though their chests are full of silver, yet their hearts are empty of grace. In Genesis xiii. 2, it is said, that 'Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.' According to the Hebrew it is 'Abraham was very weary;' to shew that riches are a heavy burden, and a hindrance many times to heaven, and happiness.

(Footnote: Ponacrites bestowed five talents for a gift upon one Anacreon, who for two nights after was so troubled with care how to keep them, and how to bestow them, as he carried them back again to Ponacrites, saying, they were not worth the pains which he hud already taken for them.)

King Henry the Fourth asked the Duke of Alva if he had observed the great eclipse of the sun, which had lately happened; No, said the duke, I have so much to do on earth, that I have no leisure to look up to heaven. Ah, that this were not true of most professors [of religion] in these days. It is very sad to think, how their hearts and time is so much taken up with earthly things, that they have scarce any leisure to look up to heaven, or to look after Christ, and the things that belong to their everlasting peace.

Riches, though well got, yet are but like to manna; those that gathered less had no want [lack], and those that gathered more, it was but a trouble and annoyance to them. The world is troublesome, and yet it is loved; what would it be if it were peaceable? You embrace it, though it be filthy; what would you do if it were beautiful? You cannot keep your hands from the thorns; how earnest would you be then in gathering the flowers?

(Footnote: A recollection of Augustine. -editor)

The world, may be fitly likened to the serpent Scytale, whereof it is reported, that when she cannot overtake the flying passengers, she does with her beautiful colours so astonish and amaze them, that they have no power to pass away, till she hath stung them.

(Footnote: Sicily is so full of sweet flowers that dogs cannot hunt there. And what do all the sweet contents of this world, but make us lose the scent of heaven!)

Ah, how many thousands are there now on earth, that have found this true by experience, that have spun a fair thread to strangle themselves, both temporally and eternally, by being bewitched by the beauty and bravery [finery] of this world.


Go on to Remedies 5-6

-- David

Monday, March 23, 2020

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: The Glitter of the World, Part 1

If you've been following our blog for any time, we've been posting a few snippets from an excellent book from Puritan Thomas Brooks called "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices".

The Bible warns of one of our greatest adversaries of our souls:
1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

But we are to resist...
James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Ephesians 6:11 - "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

...but only with God's help:
Psalm 28:7 - "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."


The following is another of those devices, where Satan works to draw people from being the Christians they should be, this time capturing the soul by the allurements of the world, and Brooks' remedies against that device.

You can listen to it here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


From Thomas Brooks:

The first device that Satan hath to draw souls from holy duties, and to keep them off from religious services, is,

Device (1). By presenting the world in such a dress, and in such a garb to the soul, as to ensnare the soul, and to win upon the affections of the soul.

He represents the world to them in its beauty and bravery [finery], which proves a bewitching sight to a world of men.

(Footnote: The beauty of the world foils a Christian more than the strength; the flattering sunshine more than the blustering storm. In storms we keep our garments close about us [as in the fable of the sun and wind. — editor])

(It is true, this took not Christ, because Satan could find no matter in him for his temptation to work upon.) So that he [Satan] can no sooner cast out his golden bait, but we are ready to play with it, and to nibble at it; he can no sooner throw out his golden ball, but men are apt to run after it, though they lose God and their souls in the pursuit.

Ah! how many professors [of religion] in these days have for a time followed hard after God, Christ, and ordinances, till the devil hath set before them the world in all its beauty and bravery, which hath so bewitched their souls that they have grown to have low thoughts of holy things, and then to be cold in their affections to holy things, and then to slight them, and at last, with the young man in the Gospel, to turn their backs upon them.

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the spirits, the hearts, the souls, the duties, the services, that the inordinate love of this wicked world doth eat up and destroy, and hath ate up and destroyed.

Where one thousand are destroyed by the world's frowns, ten thousand are destroyed by the world's smiles. The world, siren-like, it sings us and sinks us; it kisses us, and betrays us, like Judas; it kisses us and smites us under the fifth rib, like Joab. The honours, splendour, and all the glory of this world, are but sweet poisons, that will much endanger us, if they do not eternally destroy us.

(Footnote: he inhabitants of Nilus are deaf by the noise of the waters; so the world makes such a noise in men's ears, that they cannot hear the things of heaven. The world is like the swallows' dung, that put out Tobias his eyes. The champions could not wring an apple oat of Milo's hand by a strong hand, but a fair maid, by fair means, got it presently.)

Ah! the multitude of souls that have surfeited [consumed too much] of these sweet baits and died for ever.


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these,

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.

They are not able to secure you from the least evil, they are not able to procure you the least desirable good. The crown of gold cannot cure the headache, nor the velvet slipper ease the gout, nor the jewel about the neck cannot take away the pain of the teeth. The frogs of Egypt entered into the rich men's houses of Egypt, as well as the poor. Our daily experience doth evidence this, that all the honours, riches, etc., that men enjoy, cannot free them from the cholic, the fever, or lesser diseases.

(Footnote: The prior in Melancthon rolled his hand up and down in a basinful of angels, thinking thereby to have charmed his gout, but it would not do. Nugas the Scythian, despising the rich presents and ornaments that were sent unto him by the emperor of Constantinople, asked whether those things could drive away calamities, diseases, or death.)

Nay, that which may seem most strange is, that a great deal of wealth cannot keep men from falling into extreme poverty: Judges i. 6, you shall find seventy kings, with their fingers and toes cut off, glad, like whelps, to lick up crumbs under another king's table; and shortly after, the same king that brought them to this penury, is reduced to the same poverty and misery. Why then should that be a bar to keep you out of heaven, that cannot give you the least ease on earth?


Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the vanity of them as well as upon the impotency of all worldly good.

This is the sum of Solomon's sermon, 'Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' This our first parents found, and therefore named their second son Abel, or vanity. Solomon, that had tried these things,
and could best tell the vanity of them, he preached this sermon over again and again, 'Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' It is sad to think how many thousands there be that can say with the preacher, 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,' nay, swear it, and yet follow after these things as if there were no other glory, nor felicity, but what is to be found in these things they call vanity.

(Footnote: Gilemex, king of Vandals, led in triumph by Belisarius, cried out, 'Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.' The fancy of Lucian, who placed Charon on the top of an high hill, viewing all the affairs of men living, and looking on their greatest cities as little birds' nests, is very pleasant.)

Such men will sell Christ, heaven, and their souls for a trifle, that call these things vanity, but do not cordially believe them to be vanity, but set their hearts upon them as if they were their crown, the top of all their royalty and glory. Oh let your souls dwell upon the vanity of all things here below, till your hearts be so throughly convinced and persuaded of the vanity of them, as to trample upon them, and make them a footstool for Christ to get up, and ride in a holy triumph in your hearts.

(Footnote: Oh the imperfection, the ingratitude, the levity, the inconstancy, the perfidiousness [treachery; traitorousness; breach of faith] of those creatures we most servilely affect. Ah, did we but weigh man's pain with his payment, his crosses with his mercies, his miseries with his pleasures, we should then see that there is nothing got by the bargain, and conclude, 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.')

Chrysostom said once, 'That if he were the fittest in the world to preach a sermon to the whole world, gathered together in one congregation, and had some high mountain for his pulpit, from whence he
might have a prospect of all the world in his view, and were furnished with a voice of brass, a voice as loud as the trumpets of the archangel, that all the world might hear him, he would choose to preach upon no other text than that in the Psalms, 'O mortal men, how long will ye love vanity, and follow after leasing? Ps. iv. 2.

Tell me, you that say all things under the sun are vanity, if you do really believe what you say, why do you spend more thoughts and time on the world, than you do on Christ, heaven, and your immortal souls? Why do you then neglect your duty towards God, to get the world? Why do you then so eagerly pursue after the world, and are so cold in your pursuing after God, Christ, and holiness? Why then are your hearts so exceedingly raised, when the world comes in, and smiles upon you; and so much dejected, and cast down, when the world frowns upon you, and with Jonah's gourd withers before you?


Go on to Remedies 3-4!

-- David

Monday, March 16, 2020

Introducing Leila

Once again, we had a little visitor show up and start hanging around the homestead, like she always lived here...

A very friendly one, she hung around me while I put up chickens at night, let us pick her up almost immediately, and it wasn't too many days and she had moved in already. :)

Introducing Leila


In deciding what to call her, "Leila" popped in my head, and what do you know but that means "night" in Arabic -- perfect given her black coloring! And so Leila it was!

Leila in the Cat Box



She's like a little monkey at times, crawling up and down the sides of the bed, or up one of our legs. :)

Leila Crawling Down Wood Stack


And, she and Tuscan get along well and play. Mimi's starting to warm up to her, and William, our king cat, puts up with her, kind of like he does all of them. :)


And here's her introductory video:




We thank the Lord for the new little gift, and for the resources to care for this little stray. We pray God might use us to care for and help His "strays" in some way, spiritually and/or temporily.
1 Pet 2:25 - "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
-- David