The Sermon on the Mount

I have  stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. ~Psalm 119:11

I have decided to join Ann in memorizing the Sermon on the Mount.

I need to sow the Word into the recesses of my mind and heart.

God’s word replacing my wayward thoughts.

Meditation on all that is good.

Following her lead, I have opted to document this with a simple video post.

While Ann’s videos have been in beautiful Canadian snow, I thought I might try the sunny, sandy beaches of Florida. Today however, the setting resembled the nursery rhyme,

One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather…

Visit here if you would like to download materials to memorize the mount with us.

Thank you for reading and visiting This Temporary Home! You are a welcome guest.

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A Look at the Lenten Season

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ~John 1:29

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As we prepare our home for foster children I keep reminding myself that this will only be temporary. Yes, we hope that one of the children will become our forever child. However, going into this I need to remind myself that that may not happen soon, nor honestly, even at all.

Jesus too knew that his time on this earth was temporary. He reminded Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18-32-34). To his disciples, “a little while and you will see me no longer” (John 16:16).

Jesus came on a temporary basis so that he could prepare an eternal home for us in heaven.

He came to crush his heel on the serpent’s head. He came to redeem us by paying the death penalty for our sins.

What is Lent?

Lent-among Christians originally the period of prebaptismal preparation, later of public penance. Finally it became a forty-day devotional preparation for Easter traditionally based on Jesus’ wilderness fast:

And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. Mark 1:13

~Harper’s Bible Dictionary

Traditionally, the observance of Lent calls for a 40 day fast from some thing or food of your choosing. Yet the overriding message of Lent is repentance that leads us to the cross of Christ.

This is what the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your GOD, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before.  ~Joel 2:12-14

Today as we embark on the season of Lent that will lead us to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, may we spend some time in repentance. Confessing our sins before Jesus and asking Him to give us a heart of righteousness.

Perhaps you will choose a food to abstain from during this period leading to Easter Sunday. Each time the cravings overtake us we can use this to remind us that heaven is our real home, Christ is the giver and sustainer of life, and remind us of our utter dependence upon the Lord.

Lenten Resources:

Ways to Intentionally Celebrate Lent and Easter as a Family by Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking.

Uprooted for Good  by Danice at Beautifully Rooted.

How to Prepare a Family for Lent by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience.

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Fair Enough

 Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Today was a time for fun and family. I pray, Lord, we would show wisdom in discerning time for everything under the sun.~Amen.

The first family trip to the fair wins out as a Friday Favorite every time…linking with Rachel:

friday favorite things | finding joy

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My First Valentine

It is not a dozen red roses, heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates, nor balloons and pink and red cards that I remember as my first Valentine. Rather, a simple heart shaped stamp with an adorable dalmatian puppy affixed on top.

My daddy gave me this precious Valentine many years ago. Perhaps my mother should be credited with this purchase instead, but somehow I remember this being one of the gifts that my daddy purchased for his girls himself.

In the fall, Ron and I were reading Charolette’s Web to Emily and what do I find in the back of the book? My early elementary school signature beside my very favorite stamp from my first memorable valentine.

Phases and stages in the home come and go, but memories are forever stamped on our hearts.

Such a simple and sweet treasure.

I love you mom and dad and thank you for all the love you have given me.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my precious husband, children, and family… and of course, you readers too!

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 John 3:11

What do you remember as your first Valentine?

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Truth Hits the Spot

My choices reveal more of the inner woman than I usually care to decipher.

Meditating on the motive behind my desires or frustrations with self and in relationships may become a new practice. This is necessary because, don’t all troubles really start with some stronghold that needs to be overcome?

It was for me on Sunday morning. Emily was ready wearing the dress of her choice and with her hair combed in the most obedient fashion… or at least that is what I am presently recalling. As I was gathering all the necessities for church I noticed that Emily had chosen her worn play-clothes flip flops as the final accoutrement.

I did what any caught in the temporal mother would do,”Emily, are you sure you want to wear your play shoes instead of your nice flip flops to church?”

I had planted the seed of doubt and want without thinking of the consequences to my daughter’s view of how a woman should adorn herself.

Do not let your adorning be external– the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:3-4
I then reaped what I sowed, a beautiful little girl standing her ground in her choice. That is… until… it was time to buckle-up. Then, she wanted to wear her beautiful new Yellow Box flip flops!
Already hopelessly upset over such a trivial matter I gave way to the crying and whining and muttered unnecessary words while retrieving the more desirable flip flops.
It was the picture perfect start to Sunday worship of our Creator in packaging alone.
Amidst worship and soul-searching, I remembered a valuable nugget, it is not about the condition of our clothes, but the condition of our heart before God. I humbly expressed this truth to my daughter and prayed that I will choose more wisely the next time.
Sometimes a difficult and challenging experience ushers in the teachable point we so desperately need to grasp. Like a well timed refreshment to my soul, this truth hit the spot.
Another well-timed refreshment? So glad you asked. Our visit with Nana and “Do Daddy,” upon which we visited the local Yogurt Spot for a Sunday afternoon treat Yellow Box flip flops and all!
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For Emily, On Your Birthday

I Remember You

I remember you puddled in pink, taking your baths in the kitchen sink.

I remember you, flowers in your hair, waking up to your daddy’s loving stare.

I remember you with your eyes shut tight, balling fists and toes in the long dark night.

I remember you, Nana’s little shadow, following her and carrying horses’ red apples.

I remember you all words and whys, becoming more wise in this present world’s eyes.

I remember you pedaling tricycle in the warm morning sun, then pushing your baby carriage just like I had one.

I remember you covered in pink, pedaling your bicycle with a smile and a wink.

I remember you dancing and singing, putting all your dolls to bed like a good mommy in training.

I remember you holding brother at first meeting, gazing at the present and blessing counting all I was seeing.

I remember you reading books in your bed, replacing them under the mattress stead.

I remember you teasing you had no more kisses, and throwing them away in the waste basket like the tissues.

I remember you as the little girl you are for this present day as you turn four.

Happy Birthday Emily Elizabeth!

Love,
Mommy

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A Canvas of Thoughtfulness

Our days are fleeting like a blank canvas soon full with the artist’s desire.

One moment fresh and new we enter the world, and a few breaths later the Gallery Cathedral of the Great I Am.

It is silly for me to even think I have a sense of measured control in life.

I have control over my responses to events and the pursuits that I so choose. However, so much else is much like grasping water in my hand; impossible to control.

Laying in bed last night this thought struck me, “I cannot control my death.” Startling is it not? I sometimes fool myself into thinking I am assured of my next breath.

The last two days with the children have been as ideal as it gets with this mama’s limited patience combined with that of a two and four year old.

In the surprise moments of revealing in God’s created world, thankfulness for gifts each morning have been so sweet.

As the brush holds midair awaiting it’s next stroke, I pause to tell God thank you for this moment and this moment and this moment.

Then the next moment, when I forget and hasten to sigh, roll my eyes, clench my fists, and demand my own way.

The brush strokes black.

Next movement, the ultimate Artist’s Son’s blood washes it clean in the cup of everlasting life and brushes a vibrant color onto this canvas in it’s place.

So thankful that the Gallery awaits wretched sinners turned saints like me. Thankful for His brushstrokes. Thankful that I have this family painted on.

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Happy Birthday Beloved

How many candles press into a cake before you stop adding them? Hopefully some form of celebration never stops, but sometimes the candles do.

When my husband became a daddy, it was only a few weeks after his 30th birthday. Then two years later he was sandwiched in with Joshua’s birthday just one week before his. Emily’s a mere two weeks after.

 

Maybe all fathers who truly live up to the title of “dad” find themselves sandwiched between children in some way: reading books on the couch, tickle monster times, stooping low to teach a huddled crowd of eyes and ears.

The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.

Proverbs 20:7

Today marks the 34th birthday for my beloved, Ron. The very first time I saw my husband, little did I know that we would share in this marvelous love. Not everyday, nor every moment, would either one of us describe our marriage as marvelous, but we would marvel that God brought us together and has redeemed us both.

Today I celebrate your birth, Ron. I thank God for the man that you are and that you are striving to become in Christ Jesus. Thank you for being the ‘sandwhiched’ kind of dad that you are. Emily, Joshua, and I love you past the moon to the sun and back!

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of you hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward  us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places

Ephesians 1:17-30

 

Linking with Rachel.

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A Prayer Practice for the New Year?

Two weeks ago I was hit by a driver who fled the scene. When the police called him and he returned to the scene of the hit and run accident, the young man told me he was sorry. However, upon questioning from his father, “Did you know you hit her? You must have felt it.” The offender did not take responsibility, but said that he was not sure he had hit me.

What kind of sorrow or apology is one that does not confess guilt?

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

A true spirit of humility; to be contrite is to recognize my sinful state before the Holy God in whose presence no evil can stand.

The only way that I can approach God, is to not only say that I am sorry, but also come to Him with godly repentance that leads to everlasting life.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

2 Corinthians 7:10

Worldy sorrow says, “I am sorry that I am caught in my sin.” Godly sorrow conveys, “Against a Holy God I have sinned and I ask you to forgive me and lead me in Your paths of righteousness.”

This year I would like to propose two new practices for us.

First let us, like the man in the video below, confess to Jesus our sins and the sins of our people and ask Christ to have mercy on us.

Secondly, would you join me in praying for the nations via Operation World? Click here to subscribe for the 60 day prayer e-mails that will be delivered to your inbox. The prayer prompts feature Prayercast videos that can guide your prayers for the nations. They also highlight unreached people groups within each country. Unreached means that less than 2% of that population has ever heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you will join me.

Let us all learn from the humble prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus around the globe.

Linking up with:

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Things I Should Know

As I re-wipe counters that were morning clean, fold and put away the same shirts and underwear as last week, and re-sweep floors that were a few days ago Swiffer fresh, I should know…

Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, everything here on planet earth is temporary.

Man is like a breath, his days are like a passing shadow. ~Psalm 144:4

That I like Moses should pray,

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

~Psalm 90:12

Feet will not always dangle from seats too high.

Imaginative play lasts only for a season.

Even tantrums, the “no” stage, and time-outs will eventually fade away.

Then the little girl and little boy stand up and take their place in God’s world.

Time on earth is temporary and fleeting. Eternity lasts forever.

Shouldn’t I work for the eternal? See my children and their fleeting days till adulthood as a gift and a heritage to be cultivated in tiny hearts? Seek to serve the poor and the persecuted?

Indeed.

I should know that each assignment the Lord gives me on this earth will last, at most, only a lifetime. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to the quote in a Joan Walsh Anglund book this week:

Where is the yesterday that worried us so?

I should know that today is a gift, yesterday a memory, and tomorrow is a hope yet unrealized. I want to be a good steward of today and the resources God entrusted to me within it.

There is pressure in this knowledge, but also freedom.

Dear Father,

Please teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Help us to live for the eternal, hold onto things loosely, and work for Your glory and fellow man’s good. Help us to seek the things that are above and remember that all victories or defeats in this life are but fleeting. Help us to delight in You and spread your fame through all the earth. Help us to be rich in good deeds and pursue a godly and peacful life. Let us do the work you give us with joy and sow a godly heritage in the children you have blessed us with.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

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