Thursday, April 15, 2010
While I was staying at Nailsworth, it pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost though now... more than forty years have since passed away.
The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.
Before this time my practice had been, at least ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.
The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. When thus I have been for awhile making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but still continually keeping before me, that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.
The difference between my former practice and my present one is this. Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible, and generally spent all my time till breakfast in prayer, or almost all the time. At all events I almost invariably began with prayer. . .But what was the result? I often spent a quarter of an hour, or half an hour, or even an hour on my knees, before being conscious to myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc.; and often after having suffered much from wandering of mind for the first ten minutes, or a quarter of an hour, or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray.
I scarcely ever suffer now in this way. For my heart being nourished by the truth, being brought into experimental fellowship with God, I speak to my Father, and to my Friend (vile though I am, and unworthy of it) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word.
It often now astonishes me that I did not sooner see this. In no book did I ever read about it. No public ministry ever brought the matter before me. No private intercourse with a brother stirred me up to this matter. And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man.
As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that, as every one must allow. What is the food for the inner man: not prayer, but the Word of God, so that it not only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts. . .
I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I ascribe to this mode the help and strength I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials in various ways than I had ever had before; and after having now above forty years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it. How different when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials and the temptations of the day come upon one!
— from Desiring God by John Piper, pp. 132-134
I found a recipe for ice cream sweetened with agave nectar and/or honey, and made it this morning. It's chilling in the fridge right now.
We all just feel so much better when we aren't eating any sugar at all. Mooky makes gluten free cookies every Saturday to take to Sunday School, so the kids do eat sugar about once a week. There are always gluten filled snacks in his class, and being a teenage boy, he is always hungry.
He eats GF corn or rice chex with homemade raw yogurt the minute he wakes up.
Then when I get a nice big healthy protein filled breakfast cooked, he eats that too!
And by the time he gets to church at 9:15, he is HUNGRY and must have gluten free cookies. Poor deprived child. I don't know how he ever survives until lunch at 12:30.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Erinn's ear is hurting her pretty badly. The oak pollen is so bad that our red trucks have turned yellow! Please pray that she will sleep well tonight. She needs good rest so badly. If she doesn't get it, her nausea is almost always a lot worse. But, thankfully, she has not needed to take her prescription for nausea in the last 2 weeks! Thank you GOD! It's still there, but she has been able to deal with it using her 3 bottles of essential oils. She never lets those out of her sight! They are peppermint, lavender, and bergamot. One night I was terribly nauseous in the middle of the night and I sniffed the lavender and almost threw up. Then I sniffed the peppermint and felt a lot better. The next day she told me, "Oh! NEVER sniff the lavender when you're nauseated. Just put it on your wrists. Then sniff the peppermint. Then put a tiny dab of bergamot on the end of your nose." LOL. She has her method all worked out!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Zoe helping feed BarBQue.
God has answered 2 major prayers in the last several days. Praise Him!
On Friday, we made an emergency trip to the chiropractor because Kris had hurt his neck somehow, very badly. We had to use some of the money we had set aside for the house payment, and despite my tendency to worry, I just kept on trusting the Lord to provide what we need. It wasn't easy! When we got home, there was a message on the answering machine. Kris has been hired for a temporary job, starting at the end of April!!!!!! We dont know how long this job will last. Maybe weeks, maybe longer, but anything at all is a major answer to prayer after SEVENTEEN MONTHS of unemployment.
On Saturday a totally unexpected check arrived in the mail. (All I could do for a minute was GASP when I saw the amount!) Enough to cover what we still needed for the house payment, AND that chiropractor visit! Thank you Lord!!