Charles Spurgeon; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. -Jeremiah 31:3

A beautiful devotional I read recently:

The roaring thunder of the law and the fear of the terror of judgement are both used to bring us to Christ, but the final victory culminating in our salvation is won through God’s loving-kindness. The prodigal son finally decided to return to his father’s house out of his sense of need, “but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Thus, his last few steps to his father’s house were with that kiss still warm on his face and with his father’s gracious welcome still resounding as music in his ears.

Law and terror do but harden

All the while they work alone,

But a sense of blood-bought pardon

Will dissolve a heart of stone.

                       Joseph Hart, 1712-1768

The Master came one night and knocked on a man’s door with the iron hand of the law. The door shook, trembling on its hinges, but the man piled every piece of furniture he had against the door and said to himself, “I will not let Him in.” So the Master turned away, yet sometime later He returned, this time knocking with His own gentle hand. Using the very part of His hand the nail had pierced, He knocked again – oh, so very softly and tenderly.

  This time the door did not shake, but strangely enough, it opened. And there on his knees was the once unwilling host now rejoicing to receive his guest. In humbleness he said, “Come in, come in, for Your knocking has turned my soul toward You. As You knocked I could not bear to think of Your pierced hand leaving the stain of Your precious blood on my door, and then of turning You away without a house in which to reside. I could not bear for You to have to say, ‘Open to me…. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night’ (Song 5:2). I surrender! I surrender! Your love has won my heart.”

  Thus, in every case loving-kindness wins the day. What Moses’ stone tablets of law could never do, Christ does with his pierced hands. This is what so aptly characterizes the doctrine of God’s powerful and effectual calling. Can I say, however, that I understand this and have truly experienced it? Can I say:

He drew me, and I followed on,

Glad to confess the voice divine.

     Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751

If so, may He continue to draw me until at last I will sit down at “the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Rev. 19:9).

Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892

From the devotional Morning by Morning.

Charles Spurgeon; the coming wrath. Matthew 3:7

I am in love with these devotionals. Now and then I read one and think more people need to read this. So here’s one from last week:

  It is quite pleasing to our senses to walk through the countryside shortly after a rainstorm to smell the freshness of the grass just after the rain has stopped and to observe the pure drops of rain glistening like clear diamonds in the sunlight. And that is the place of a Christian. He is traveling through a land where a storm has vented  its fury upon the Savior’s head, and if there are a few drops of sorrow still falling, they are distilling from clouds of mercy, while Jesus assures him the rain is not intended to bring about his destruction.

Yet how unnerving it is to witness a terrible storm approaching – to see the warning signs such as birds drooping their wings for protection, cattle keeping their heads low in fear, the sky growing black and blotting out the sun, and the heavens seemingly becoming sad and angry! How fearful it is to experience the approach of a tropical hurricane – to wait in terrible anticipation of the wind’s full fury and force, powerful enough to rip trees up with their roots, force huge rocks from their foundations, and quickly destroy people’s homes!

Sinners, that is your present position. No hot drops have yet fallen on you, but a shower of fire is coming. No fierce winds are yet howling around you, but God’s tempest is gathering its fearful artillery. Thus far the floods of water have been dammed up by God’s mercy, but soon the floodgates will be opened. God’s thunderbolts are still in his storehouse, but beware! The fearful storm is coming and how awful will that first moment be once God, robed in vengeance, finally marches forth in fury!

Where – where – where, O sinner, will you hide yourself? Where will you flee? Oh, may the hand of God’s mercy lead you even now to Christ! He has been freely set before you in the gospel – His pierced side is your rock of shelter. You know you need him. So why not believe in Him and cast yourself upon Him?

Then the fury of the storm will be gone for eternity.

- Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892

From the devotional Morning by Morning.

Painted Coat Rack

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IMG_6116I’ve been wanting some more coat hooks in the entry way for a while. Might as well make it pretty… I haven’t painted a lot of birds before, so I looked up painted birds on Pinterest. They mostly look like colorful blobs with beaks. So these are my Cardinal blobs. I like them. My son said they’re cute…

Paintings…

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I’ve really been feeling the urge to paint lately. It started over the Christmas break with this sorta random one that really doesn’t have any planning or theme…

IMG_6050I told my husband it’s fire, and I feel like it sorta is… It’s a purely emotional painting, so I like it for that. The street light in the corner I actually painted a year or two ago and then abandoned. So after the fire I added the white light and went over the black bits again. Then I really felt like having a hawk in the corner. So I did that.

My next two are painted over cheep dollar store prints that I bought to hide the thermostats in our house (because they’re everywhere and they’re ugly.) The dollar store didn’t have enough variety though, so that’s why I painted over them.

The first one is for my room. I was going to paint some bright red poppies, but then I painted a tree.

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And the last one is for my son’s room. I wanted it to be something he’d like, so I made him a shooting star.

IMG_6048I used a cookie cutter to get the shape for the star. And I accomplished my mission. He likes it :)

Celebration of Lights 2014

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For New Year’s Eve we took our son to the Celebration of Lights at the Railway and Forestry Museum. They’d obviously done a lot to decorate, and I got some decent pictures.

They had a whole room dedicated to a Christmas Village. This is maybe half of it:IMG_5867

I took a lot of pictures outside. These are my favorites:  IMG_5885IMG_5893IMG_5894IMG_5900

And they had a really nice living room setup. Unfortunately someone had left their stuff piled in the middle of it…IMG_5922

I shot all of these with my iso at 200, my aperture at 11, and my shutter speed between 8″ to 30″ depending on the amount of light.

Black Rose Pillows

IMG_5857I’ve been thinking of making these for months. I have a really bright orange body pillow that I got when I was 18 and it was cool… and it doesn’t go with anything in my house. So I reused the stuffing to make these, because I like pillows, that match stuff… And instead of using matching thread, I used the pretty purple and pink thread I just bought. Just ’cause.