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Have a wonderful week, my friend.
Testimony of the highs and lows of hiking : this one is from one of my worst yet most memorable experience, taken after two days of hail storms and shower rain, getting blisters the size of a continent, having only taken a couple of eggs and dry apricots, raising concern on locals's faces anytime I would have passed by one of them.
This blockhouse was built during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and used mainly during the Battle of Jarama (February 1937).
Esta casamata fue construida durante la Guerra Civil Española (1936-1939). Se utilizó sobre todo durante la Batalla del Jarama (febrero de 1937).
:copyright: Reuters. Canadian dollar at 1-week highs before Yellen testimony
Investing.com – The Canadian dollar rose to one-week highs against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday ahead of congressional testimony by later in the session.
touched lows of 1.3025, the lowest level...
:copyright: Reuters. Dollar touches day’s highs on Powell testimony
Investing.com – The dollar rose to the day’s highs against a currency basket on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress the central bank remains on track to gradually raise...
Todays testimony is brought to you by an anonymous friend, she has been a great encouragement to me and is an inspirational woman of faith.
My siblings and I were raised by a single mother and the occasional step-dad (around three years in total with that guy). We moved a lot and rarely stayed in one place too long; I think four years may have been the longest. We were always either in trailer courts or government subsidized housing in the urban, inner city or suburban ghettos.
We were rarely supervised so life was free and without rules, so trouble and/or bad choices seem to ensue where ever I lived. I can now laugh with my siblings and proclaim that we were truly feral animals.
Due to this environment I learned a lot about how to survive mentally and physically. I did a lot of fighting growing up to keep the boys at bay and survive the streets, along with fighting my siblings when a disagreement arose only because we were never taught how to resolve issues or even cultivate and/or appreciate what relationships we had together. You had to fight to get what you wanted because no one was going to give it to you otherwise. This has created a lot of problems between the three of us as we've grown and are still trying to overcome that childhood.
By the time I was a teenager I had experimented with cigarettes, pot, alcohol, sex and other hardcore drugs to dull the ache inside. I was abandoned by the time I was 16 to raise myself and survive the life that was created. I had to drop out of high school, continue to work (I stared working at the age of 12) and carve a life out of the chaos of that world.
Now that I've painted a brief picture of the beginning of my journey let me tell you that I was baptized at 8 and attended church with friends or when my mother felt like I should go. By the time I was a teen I no longer listened to what my mother thought and didn't step foot inside a church until I was around 23. I remember enjoying parts of church but dreading so much more. Not having a father growing up left me feeling like God was this distant entity that couldn't possibly care about me, and religion was nothing more than people grasping on to a set of laws in order to keep themselves in balance, give them the security they needed to live their lives. I thought it was such a bunch of crap.
I met my now husband when I was 23. He grew up in the church and had a wonderful relationship with his family. I was accepted by them all and shown how to love by their actions and not by their words. By the time we got married (in the church even though I wanted to elope to Las Vegas) I'd made the jump by joining his denomination of the church. I joined half heartedly but so desperately wanted to be a part of this amazing family that I would have probably done anything. Fast forward to the birth of our first child and something inside of me exploded. The experience of child birth is a miracle in itself, but the love I felt was so overwhelming. At that moment I started my search for Christ and His love. If I felt this way about my child then wouldn't that mean that Christ loves me just as much?
I am now in my forties, married to the same wonderful man (and his family) and we have this amazing family. Sometimes I hurt for the lost little girl that wanted to be loved so badly but most of the time I'm just thankful that somewhere in that journey He decided I was His and that I will know Him and I will feel His love.
I have come to realize that to know Him is to have a relationship with Him, and just going to church wasn't going to cut it. I now attend regularly in order to plant the seed of love in the hearts of my children because I believe that is exactly what kept me from falling as a youth, but I find Him in scripture, worshipping, prayer and photography. He is omnipresent, just look through your lens and you'll see.
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Evidences of Salvation
by James Smith
Many real believers are often distressed and troubled, on account of . . .
the weakness of their faith,
the strength of their fears, and
their mistakes in reference to their interest in Christ.
They look for too much in self, and for too little in Christ.
To avoid soul deception — they are apt to run into gloom and despondency. They look for certain evidences in themselves, and because they do not find those they look for — they conclude they have none; and giving way to the temptations of Satan, they . . .
distress their own souls,
dishonor the Lord Jesus, and
reflect badly on the grace of God.
They doubt not the ability of Christ — but they question his willingness to save. If the testimony of scripture assures me he is able to save — it is to encourage me to approach him and cast my soul upon him — and if he assures me he will never cast out — it is to disperse my fears, remove my doubts, and draw me to his mercy-seat with confidence and courage. There is no saving religion in doubting — though many who are truly godly do doubt. Slavish fear never honors a God of love — yet many who desire to honor him give way to groundless fears.
1. One evidence of true salvation is CONVICTION OF SIN. Conviction of sin in the conduct — and of sin in the heart. We are all sinners — but only a few know what sin is, and what a fearful thing it is to be a sinner. Sin is . . .
the breach of the divine law,
an insult offered to every one of the divine attributes,
and that horrible thing which God hates.
Sin . . .
is rooted in our nature,
grows with our growth,
strengthens with our strength,
flows from our hearts as naturally as water from a fountain, or light from the body of the sun.
Every action we have performed,
every word we have spoken,
every thought we have conceived—
has been defiled by sin, and deserves eternal death!
The nature of sin is most dreadful, and the effects of sin are most fearful. But man untaught of God has no such views of sin, or of himself as polluted by it; but when the Holy Spirit quickens and enlightens the immortal mind, when he brings home the law as the standard of holiness and the rule of conduct — then the sinner discovers his state, and fears the consequences. He is alarmed, distressed, and inquires, "Who, what can save me?" He fears his sins are too numerous and aggravated to be pardoned, being ignorant of the extent of the grace of God, and the infinite merit of the blood of Christ. He fears presumption — and he dreads despair. He cannot laugh at sin or longer trifle with eternity; he can no more dare the justice or slight the mercy of God. He is concerned for his safety, being conscious of his danger. He longs for a pardon, being convinced of his guilt. He trembles at the thought of justice — but hopes when he hears of mercy. Sensible of his lost condition, he presents the heartfelt prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"
But we are not to judge our conviction of sin by its depths — but by its nature. If it drives us to despair, then it is natural. But if it drives us to Jesus, then it is spiritual. If your conviction . . .
leads you to see your need of a Savior,
prevents your resting on anything but Christ Jesus,
leads you frankly to confess your crimes before God,
and to seek for salvation solely by the grace of God—
then they are spiritual convictions, and the evidence of spiritual life. None could produce them, but the Holy Spirit; and none ever experience them, but those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life!
2. In close connection with conviction of sin, is hatred to sin, loathing ourselves on account of sin. If we see sin in the light of the Lord — then we must hate it. If we see ourselves as polluted and defiled by sin — then we must loathe ourselves on account of it. Finding sin to be rooted in our nature, and seeing it occasionally break out notwithstanding our striving and watching against it — will stop our mouths from boasting, and prevent our excusing ourselves. We shall see sin as our fault — as well as our disease; as our crime — as much as our misery. And feeling inclined at times to favor it, and secretly wishing we were at liberty to indulge in it — will make us abhor ourselves and repent in dust and ashes! The former is from the corruption of nature — and the latter from the principle of divine grace.
The Christian hates sin in all — but mostly in himself; and while he wishes the world to be freed from it — he would give a world if he could but get rid of it! It is sin in himself, which grieves him:
sin in his prayers,
sin in his praises,
sin in his purposes,
sin in his duties,
sin in all he does!
And seeing no hope of complete sanctification on this side the grave, he cries, "I loathe it, I loathe it, I would not live always!" As sin is forbidden, he dares not indulge it. As the object of his hatred, he naturally forsakes it. He cannot but lament that sin is in his nature, and grieve before God when it appears in his conduct. If sin is the object of your hatred, if self is loathed because it is sinful — then it is evident you are born of God; for except a man be born from above — he cannot loathe self, hate sin, and forsake it. In order to do this, he must have a new nature, and that nature must be holy and divine.
3. An appetite for divine things is a scriptural evidence of grace. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness — for they shall be filled." If we can find satisfaction, pleasure, and delight only in the things of the world — then we are dead in sin; dead while we live. But if instead thereof, we are thirsting for God, to . . .
enjoy his presence,
feel his love,
receive his blessing, and
walk in the light of his countenance —
if we are hungering for Jesus as the bread of life,
and if nothing but Jesus himself can satisfy us —
then we are certainly blessed.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness — for they shall be filled." This promise is plain, positive, and certain; and every hungry soul may derive comfort therefrom. When Jesus is the chief object of our desire, and the blessings he communicates are the principle things in our estimation — then there is divine life in the soul. For dead men have no desire or appetite for natural things; so people spiritually dead have no appetite for spiritual things. If nothing but Christ can satisfy us — then we "have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God!" 1 Peter 1:23
4. An entire willingness to be saved in God's way; that is, by free grace through the blood of Jesus — is an evidence of divine life in the soul. No man in a state of nature is willing to be saved as a poor debtor by a Surety; as a miserable sinner by a gracious Savior. Man would rather perish in sin, than be saved in this way! Hence our Redeemer testified, "You will not come unto me that you might have life." "The carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
Self, works, and merit — must be entirely renounced! We must heartily surrender ourselves into the hands of Jesus to be . . .
washed in his blood,
clothed in his righteousness,
and sanctified by his Spirit —
or we reject God's method of salvation.
But if we are willing to do this, there can be no doubt but God has been working in us, to will and to do of his good pleasure. The promise in our experience is then fulfilled, "Your people shall be willing in the day of your power." Fallen human nature will not approve of God's plan, which makes man nothing — and Christ all in all. Nor will the carnal mind accept salvation on any such terms. Consequently if we are willing, heartily willing to be saved from wrath through him, and prove that willingness by our conduct — we doubtless have the Holy Spirit in us.
5. If in addition to this, we are made honest and SINCERE; and being sensible of the ignorance of our minds and deceitfulness of our hearts — we come to the light of God's word, and to his glorious throne, praying, "Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way!" The sincere Christian dreads deception, and desires to make his "calling and election sure;" he shuns presumption, and would avoid the possibility of mistake. He therefore, bares his conscience to the word of God, and would not play the hypocrite upon any consideration.
Honesty and sincerity of heart in reference to our eternal concerns, is a most important blessing; none possess it but those who are "called, and chosen, and faithful;" and if we are made honest in this sense, it is the grace of God which brings salvation that has made us so, and it is clear we are called with a holy calling.
6. FAITH in Jesus is an evidence of salvation; not believing that he is my Savior, that he "loved me and gave himself for me;" for this is rather the effect of faith than faith itself. Faith is the eye of the soul which discovers the blessing which Jesus has to bestow; and the hand which is stretched out to receive it. Believing in Jesus is . . .
venturing my soul upon his work,
trusting my whole self in his hands,
committing myself to him to be saved in his way, to his glory, as he is revealed in the everlasting gospel.
I feel that I am a sinner, and subscribe to all that God says in his holy word, respecting man as a sinner. I hear of Jesus as both able and willing to save, and I go to him in the exercises of my soul and cry, "Lord, save me!" I gather his answer from his word, and am enabled to lay hold on it by the Holy Spirit.
It requires no depth of wisdom, or mighty effort of mind to believe in Jesus. We simply . . .
credit his word,
confide in his faithfulness,
trust his atonement, and
look for the mercy of God unto eternal life.
Believing in him — we confess him as the Savior God has appointed, the Savior on whom we rely; and if we "confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in the heart that God has raised him from the dead — we shall be saved."
Reader, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved, for "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life — but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." John 3:36
Are you afraid? Do doubts arise in your mind? The difficulty in your mind arises from misapprehension. You needed a Savior, the gospel informs you of Jesus, who is just suited to your need, and assures you that he will receive and save you. And what is faith? Just receiving this statement and acting upon it. It is . . .
going to Jesus as directed,
receiving Christ as he is presented,
looking to him as invited, and
trusting in him as you are exhorted to do.
Every looking Israelite was healed, and every looking sinner shall be saved — the very looking to Jesus is faith, and proves your saving interest in the promise, "whoever believes shall receive remission of sins."
7. Love is an evidence of salvation.
Love to JESUS is an evidence of interest in the covenant of mercy — love flows from faith. If I believe what the Scriptures say of Jesus, as to the glory of his person, the tenderness of his heart, and the fullness of his grace — then I shall go to him to prove the truth of these important statements, and proving the truth of these precious declarations — how can I do otherwise than love him. If I question his loveliness or his love to me — then I cannot love him; and this is the cause why many of the Lord's little ones droop, and doubt, and fear. They question the truth of his word, and consequently the love of Jesus to them; this contracts and hardens the heart, and if they would give a world to feel love to Jesus. They cannot feel it, until brought cordially to admit the truth of what the scriptures testify in reference to the love and loveliness of Jesus — and then their frozen hearts will melt, and they will love him, because he first loved them.
But we must not always judge of love by warmth of feeling. There has been much warmth, where there has been but little sincere love. We must judge by the habitual state of our heart toward him.
Do you desire above all things to love him, and to be conformed to his will? Are you willing to part with all things for him, and unreservedly trust yourself with him? This is love; when I can trust my eternal interests in his hands, and endeavor constantly to keep his commandments.
Love to HIS PEOPLE because they are his, and are like him — is an infallible evidence of the new birth. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." If I love the picture — it is because I know and love the original. I could not love saint as a saint — if I did not know and love Jesus as the Savior of his people. If saints were more like Christ, then we would love them more. But as it is, though they are surrounded with infirmities, we love them; and are consequently entitled to be numbered with them, and to participate in all their joys and sorrows.
If we love Jesus supremely, and saints affectionately — then it is clear that we are created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works.
8. Humility proves we are the blessed of the Lord. If we are humbled under a sense of our sin, ignorance, and desert — we shall . . .
flee for refuge to the Lord Jesus,
receive with meekness the engrafted word;
and ascribe all our salvation to grace!
Nothing but the power of the Spirit of God can effectually . . .
humble the proud heart of man,
shut his mouth before God,
cause him with self-abhorrence to cry, "Guilty, guilty!"
and bring him to receive the kingdom of God as a little child.
Man will be something — but grace makes him nothing. It is the greatest mortification to proud nature, to be indebted to another for salvation, or to go to Heaven as a poor pauper, entirely dependant on the work of Jesus.
To renounce our own judgment,
to submit to be taught of God,
to believe the Word because God speaks it, and
to cleave to Jesus with full purpose of heart —
is genuine humility. The man has nothing to say against the demands or sentence of the holy law; and nothing to object to the provision or requirements of the glorious gospel. But he casts himself entirely on the . . .
rich grace, and
promised compassion of Jehovah.
To this man, will Jehovah look with pleasure and approbation, and with him will he take up his abode. He walks humbly with his God. "Though the Lord is high — yet has he respect unto the lowly." "Blessed are the poor in in spirit — for theirs is the kingdom or Heaven."
9. He who is truly humbled under a sense of sin — pants, prays, and seeks for HOLINESS. He is as much concerned to be sanctified, as saved. He sees . . .
a beauty in holiness — and longs to possess it,
deformity in sin — and seeks to be delivered from it.
He mourns over the sins of others — but more over his own sin. Sin and Hell are always associated in his mind. He views . . .
sin as the root — and Hell as the tree;
sin as the fountain — and Hell as the stream naturally flowing from it.
Every man creates his own Hell — but no man can create his own Heaven. The true Christian must long to be holy — the precepts require it, and the principle of life within him pants for it with inextinguishable ardor. If he could but be holy, he would be happy, therefore he cries, "I shall be satisfied when I awake up in your likeness!" He avoids sin — and desires to be arrayed in all the graces of the Spirit, in all the beauties of holiness. He would be the personification of faith, love, humility and godly zeal. This desire for holiness is a certain evidence of godliness; for "without holiness no man shall see the Lord."
10. Godly FEAR is a covenant blessing, and a proof that we are of God. If we fear God with a filial fear, we fear to offend him and desire above all things to please him. It is not what will men say — but shall I hereby please God? We are taught in his word how to walk and to please him, and godly fear always prompts us to aim at this end. We shall fear to dishonor him in the world, the church, and our families. God is jealous of his glory — and so is a godly man. He desires to glorify him in the body, soul, and spirit, which are God's. He does not run at random — but prays, "What will You have me to do?" He does not make excuse for infirmities — but sighs out, "O that my ways were directed to keep your statutes always!" His motto is, "No peace with sin — no truce with Satan — no friendship with the world!" because these would lead him to dishonor God. He would rather suffer pain, than . . .
grieve the Holy Spirit,
dishonor his heavenly Father,
or wound the Savior.
And when he sees others careless, loose, and licentious; indulging their lusts and giving way to temptations, he says, "I do not do so, because of the fear of the Lord." He startles at sin with, "How shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God!"
11. Attachment to the WORD OF GOD is a proof that we are of God. Real believers always prize the bible — they love to read it, to think over its contents, and to enjoy its communications. It is as necessary for their souls — as food is for their bodies; they often esteem it more than their necessary food. They would sooner part with all their dainties, than with their bibles. They read it as truth, they believe it as containing the mind of God; and when tempted to think differently, they are grieved and distressed. If the word of God is neglected, they condemn themselves, mourn over their folly before God, and crave his forgiveness. They stay themselves upon the word of God — when assaulted by Satan. They look to it for direction — when bewildered in their path. It is to them as Goliath's sword was to David, for they all say, "There is none like it."
They love the Word because it . . .
sets forth Jesus,
reveals the mind of God,
marks out the path of duty,
affords rich consolations,
and contains a mine of wealth.
They live . . .
believing its doctrines,
trusting its promises,
walking by its precepts, and
deriving encouragement and caution from its histories.
"O how I love your law, it is my meditation all the day. Except your law bad been my delight, my soul had almost dwelt in silence."
12. DISSATISFACTION with everything worldly on account of the imperfections discovered, is another evidence of real spirituality. Nothing under Heaven can satisfy the Christian. Having gone the round, he turns away with disgust and exclaims, "Whom have I in Heaven but you, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you!" He can find full satisfaction only . . .
in the presence of God,
in the enjoyment of his Savior,
and in the duties of Christianity.
Everything besides appears empty, polluted, and vain. He may be occasionally attracted, and for a season led away from his resting place; but feeling dissatisfied, uneasy, and grieved, he says, "Return unto your rest, O my soul. There's nothing here deserves my joys — there's nothing like my God!"
If nothing can satisfy us but God, he will never put us off with less than himself. The wisdom, justice, the grace discovered in such a state of soul, is from himself; and he will never forsake the work of his own hands. We may learn from, and profit by, his works — but we can only rest in, and be satisfied with
himself. "The Lord is our inheritance. He is our portion forever!"
13. A spirit of PRAYER is from the Lord, and is a proof of our saving interest in his love. "Behold he prays!" If desire for prayer is produced, and the throne of grace is frequented — we are the blessed of the Lord. Prayer is the Christian's breath — he prays as naturally and as habitually as he breathes. And we would as soon think of a man living without respiration — as of a Christian living without prayer.
But do not mistake, prayer is not a form of words — but a sense of need, and a petition for supply. The believer often prays without speaking — while many speak in a form without praying. He goes to Jehovah as naturally as a child to his Father, and as frequently as he feels his wants. He lives in constant fellowship with Heaven. Sometimes he can only sigh or groan — and at other times he can plead with liberty and power. Sometimes he can only look towards the throne of grace — and at others he can wrestle with God and prevail.
His heart inspires his petitions,
the Word of God regulates his desires,
to Jesus he looks as his Intercessor before the throne, and
he continues in prayer notwithstanding discouragements.
He often feels . . .
his heart hard,
his thoughts perplexed,
his mind bewildered, and
his spirit lukewarm.
He is tempted to believe that it is no use for such a one, in such a frame to attempt to pray; but he must confess his faults, tell out his fears, and entreat for mercy in a Savior's name. And though often persuaded that he does not pray, that his attempts cannot be accepted, and that he has neither the gift nor the spirit of prayer — yet he still attempts to find access, and to breathe his sorrows there.
Mere formalists are generally satisfied with their prayers, and too often rest in them. But the real Christian sees his to be so impure, imperfect, and worthless — that he dares not trust in anything but Jesus, his righteousness, and blood.
Can you live without prayer? Can your discouragements make you give over attempting? Are you satisfied with your prayers? Or do you see that they, even the best of them, need to be washed in the precious blood of Jesus? If so, you have light, life, and spirituality; and surely you are one of those whom Jesus loves. Private prayer, from a sense of need, continued under all discouragements, is an evidence that we are the children of God.
14. The CONFLICT between the flesh and the Spirit, is an evidence of grace. If we have a daily exposition of the seventh chapter of the Romans within us — then we are as Paul was. This most Christians have in a greater or less degree: they would do good — but evil is present with them. They would serve the law of God — but are led captive by the law of sin. They hate what they often do — and love what they cannot attain to. They would be holy — but they sin; yet they never excuse sin in themselves, or endeavor to quote scripture to cloak it.
The flesh and the spirit carry on a constant warfare, so that the believer often feels wretched and longs for deliverance. He cannot do the things that he would. Sin will fight when it cannot reign. The warfare will only cease with death.
We daily discover how the flesh misleads us, and we find it spoils all we attempt for God's glory. It creeps into our motives, or turns us aside from our rule, or puffs us up at the end. Thus we feel . . .
the daily need the open fountain,
the renewings of the Holy Spirit, and
a fresh pardon from the hands of Jesus.
The flesh would make us truly miserable — but the riches, plenitude, and permanence of grace prevents it. The love of Jesus is the same — he witnesses the conflict, sympathizes with the sufferer, and cheers him with the assurance, "My grace is sufficient for you!"
The spirit desires only to be devoted to, ruled by, and employed for the Lord; and longs for the happy deliverance promised in God's word. Therefore, the flesh and spirit will strive against each other until the day of death!
15. Separation from the WORLD, from a discovery of its vanity and enmity to God — is an evidence of grace. The world will love its own — but saints are not of the world, even as Jesus was not of the world. They see that it is opposed to God in its spirit, maxims, and works; and that all the cry is "No God for me!" They cannot join with the ungodly world — they become strangers and pilgrims, and desire to leave it. They . . .
pity its state,
condemn its spirit,
protest against its practices,
and yet seek its good.
They witness for God in it, and to it. They sigh and cry because of its abominations, and long for the period when the earth shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and there shall be no more curse!
A worldly spirit indulged and enjoyed, is the evidence of a worldly man. But deadness to the world, sympathy with Jesus who was persecuted and crucified in the world, and living above the world in fellowship and communion with God — is the evidence of a spiritual man. The world knows not, loves not the Christian; and the Christian loves not the world, knowing that if any man is in friendship with the world, that he is an enemy of God — "if any man loves the world — the love of the Father is not in him." The whole world lies in the wicked one, how important then to be delivered from the present evil world; and to have our affections set on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
"Those who are in the flesh, mind and enjoy the things of the flesh; but those who are in the Spirit, mind the things of the spirit."
16. The Lord's people are CHASTENED FOR SIN, and cannot go on in transgression without correction. An enlightened conscience armed with God's word will smite them, the ministry of the word will pierce and penetrate their hearts, and they prove it to be an evil and bitter thing to wander from the Lord their God. Providence joins with Scripture in reproving them for their folly, and the Lord follows them with the rod until they fall at his feet, acknowledge their transgression, and crave his forgiveness.
Mere professors may be allowed to go on and escape the rod when they sin — but "those whom the Lord loves — he chastens; and scourges EVERY one whom he receives." And the Christian will justify his God in using discipline, though it may be sharp — and will bow and listen to the rod, though it speaks against him.
To lay low at the Lord's feet while he smites,
to cleave to him when he frowns,
to plead with him when he speaks against us —
proves that our principles are divine, that we have the Spirit of God, and are heirs of glory!
O for much of that meek humility which . . .
closes the mouth from speaking against any of God's ways,
opens the ear to listen to all his communications,
lays the heart at his feet, and
covers the face with holy shame before him, on account of conscious unworthiness!
The lofty mountain of a proud heart will be dry, withered, and barren; but the low valley of an humble soul will be watered with the dew of Heaven from above, and bear fruit to Jehovah's praise.
"By humility and the fear of the Lord, are riches, and honor, and life."
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God."
"Despise not the chastening of the Almighty."
17. Looking, waiting, and longing for the SECOND COMING of Jesus, is a scriptural evidence of saintship. Jesus has promised to come again and receive us to himself, he has commanded us to be ready for his glorious appearing, and he has assured us that "to those who look for him, he will come the second time without sin, unto salvation."
Love must desire the presence of the beloved object, and must desire his glorification; and he is coming "to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all those who believe." He is now in the Heavens, waiting until his enemies to be made his footstool. The Heavens must retain him, "until the times of the restitution of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets." Faith believes the statements;
hope expects their accomplishment; and
love looks and longs for the time; crying "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"
He will certainly come, to the joy of all such — but all his enemies shall be ashamed. There are some things connected with the coming of Jesus, which may make our flesh tremble — but . . .
to see him as he is;
to be like him; to be with him;
to swell his train and his triumphs;
to witness his glories; and
to participate in his blessedness —
is certainly an object of desire to every believer. We wait for him at the Son of God from Heaven, who has preserved us from the wrath to come!
18. But after all is said, there is no evidence like HABITUAL FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. To walk with God as our Father, communicating to him all that we fear, feel, and desire; and receiving from him vigor, comfort, and daily preservation — is an evidence which can never be questioned. We walk by faith, that is,
believing his word,
trusting his grace,
and doing his will.
And though darkness and gloom may occasionally surround and even distress us — yet we know that we are of God. It is as natural to us to feed on his word, desire his presence, and seek his love; as it is to the natural child to believe the word, enjoy the presence, and be happy in the love of a kind and tender parent. Our God is love, and believing this, we rely on him, walk with him, and look for his mercy unto eternal life.
Beloved reader, endeavor to realize the truth and importance of scripture; to live and act as in the immediate presence of God; and to refresh the mind daily by a view of the perfect work of Jesus, on the ground of which God justifies the ungodly, and walks with poor sinners in peace and love. Stand out from the world — be separate; live by faith, believing God's gracious testimony; lay humbly before the Lord, under a sense of unworthiness; and endeavor to realize daily, your union to Christ, and relation to God as a Father through him. So shall peace be with you, and love with faith from our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our only hope.
But a caution may be necessary; these pages may be read by a self-assured professor, one who has light in the head — but no grace in the heart; who substitutes notions — for divine operations; and a sound creed — for a converted soul.
My fellow sinner, unless your heart is broken for sin, and broken from sin; unless your religion leads you to Jesus as a poor, wretched, hell-deserving sinner; and unless you are united to him, and his life is manifest in you — your religion is but like the dream of a night vision! It may he pleasing — but it will prove a fearful delusion. Nothing but heart work in religion will stand! Mere head knowledge will vanish away, every false covering will one day be stripped off, and unless you are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, and internally sanctified by the Holy Spirit — a dreadful sentence will be passed on you, never to be repealed. O fearful case, to be dreaming of happiness — and to find misery — misery as deep and lasting as the desert of sin, and the existence of God!
Is it a poor thoughtless sinner that is reading these pages? I have a message from God unto you. "Except you are born again, and converted to God — you cannot see the kingdom of Heaven." If you have not the Spirit of Christ — then you are none of his. If you love not the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth — then you will be accursed when the Lord comes! Unless you are found in Christ — your death will be melancholy, and your eternal destiny indescribably dreadful!
There is mercy to be obtained NOW — this is emphatically "the day of salvation!" But the day will soon close — and a tremendous night of darkness, anger, and woe will set in upon you. A neglected bible, a slighted gospel, a rejected Savior — will all witness against you! And through eternity, you will condemn your present course and curse your folly.
Satan is seeking your destruction, your own hearts are deceiving you, and perhaps the conduct of some professors may cause you to stumble; but remember, "Every man must give an account of HIMSELF to God; and receive according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil."
Look well to the foundation on which you build your hope; dig deep and lay that foundation on a rock — even on Christ Jesus. And then you may be happy in time — for you are safe for eternity. "Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed." He will appear to their joy, and their enemies shall be confounded. Hear then the warning voice, act upon the directions given you in the gospel, make sure work for eternity, and all shall be well.
The temples of Chettinad stand testimony to the spiritual beliefs of its denizens. Scattered over the whole place, each temple has its own tank called oorani where water lilies are grown, and used for holy rituals. Even today much of Chettinad's daily tidings are centered around the festivities around the temple.
Nagarathars are a Chettiar community, which originated during the medival era, in Kaverippompattinam during the reign of the Chola dynasty. Chettiars are worshippers of Lord Shiva and Lord Muruga, renowned for their hospitality, and legendary for their financial dealings.
The Chettiars are part of a prolific business community, which, even in olden days adventured out of India to distant lands like Burma, Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. They have influenced and contributed to the cultural diversity of these regions.
Considered as the Pioneers of Modern Banking; they are considered the first to have introduced "Pattru (debit), Varavu (credit), Selavu (expenditure), Laabam (profit), Nashtam (loss) " which are all, collectively, known as " Iynthogai (trial balance). "
Well known for their philanthropy, they have built and maintained temples and schools throughout Asia.
They are the only community in the world to be divided on the basis of Lord Shiva Temples. The entire community is classified (Pirivu in Tamil) on the basis of Nine Temples, popularly referred to as the Nagara Kovils.
The 9 main temples of Chettiars are as
God : Kailasanathar Goddess : Solnithya Kalyani Siru sethur udayar
God : Innutreswarar Goddess : Periya nayaki
God : Jayang konda soleeswar Goddess : Soundara nayaki
God : Aatkonda nathar Goddess : Sivapuri Devi
God : Marudhueswar Goddess : Vadamalarmangai
God : Thanthodrieswarar Goddess : Soundaranayaki
God : Desika nathar Goddess : Aavudaiya nayaki
God : Valar oli nathar Goddess : Vadivudai Ambal
God : Kandeswar Goddess : Kamatchi Amman
This Nemam temple is consecrated by the then Chola King, Jeyangonda Cholan, the Nemam Kovil is an architectural marvel, with sculpted pillars, each of which portray and reflect the diverse aspects of Hinduism. More than 125 sculptures are found in the Temple, each of which are narrative of a mythological legend.
Nemam Temple is a magnificent shrine located in Sivagangai District and is 12 km from Karaikudi.
The Temple is administered by the the Nemam Kovil Nagarathar Charitable Trust.
Text sources : Wiki and other Nagarathar Pages.
I dedicate this shot to my friend # Light and Life -Murali முரளி a famous photographer, artist and vivid art lover,
while clicking this temple and visiting this temple I really missed him,
Todays testimony is brought to you courtesy of Dave Berryman, he is one of the many wonderful people that I have had the privilege of meeting on Flickr. I take much inspiration from him, from both his style of photos and the awesome messages he includes with them. The idea of sharing others testimonies was actually from Dave and I would like to thank him for allowing me to share his with all of you. If you have a testimony that you would like to share, please send it to me and I will be happy to post it :)
Isaiah 44:22, I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, or I have redeemed you."
I grew up in a Christian home all my life, but I when I left home I became addicted to porn. I would go to church every Sunday but I could not stop my insatiable appetite for porn. I was on the church board, but I could not let go of porn…it had its hooks in me good! I led small groups but for some reason I didn’t have the ability to stop looking at porn on my computer.
I went to the seminars, I read the books, I counseled with pastors and other Christian mentors. My wife was supportive, but after a while even she lost faith in me.
I worried that God had turned His back on me, that He decided to let me go. I read somewhere in the Bible how He has done this before.
Then one day I picked up a great Christian book that turned my life around. I learned that I would never beet my addiction and it made me feel pretty helpless, which is exactly what God wanted all along.
You see, the battle is not ours to fight! God, through the Holy Spirit, wants to fight the battle for us. We can’t win against Satin, but Jesus already defeated him when he rose from the grave!
What I learned was that you and I can never break the bondage that sin has on us, no matter how hard we try, or how many books, seminars, and friends we talk to. This is a fight that the Holy Spirit has to fight!
When temptation would come my way I imagined that the Holy Spirit was standing next to me and I envisioned running behind him for protection from Satan’s flaming darts of temptation. I could see Him protecting me at that moment….guess what? IT WORKED!!!!!!!!
I’m free from the power porn had on my life, and now God is free to work on other things. Amen?
Isaiah 44:22, I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, or I have redeemed you."
#NWGA #Fox5 More testimony from state's star witness in Tex McIver murder trial t.co/jkQzJuY4hm (via Twitter twitter.com/RedneckGremlin/status/976505075140038656)
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Today I have a testimony to share with you from Emma Nation. Emma describes her life and the miraculous journey that the Lord brought her through. Her life’s journey got so rough that suicide looked like a perfect way out, but God had greater plans for her! The image, depicts the gravity of her depravity without Christ....
Zhiwen, a Christian, Narrates Real Experiences of Cruel Persecution by the Chinese Communist Party
He had followed his mother in believing in the Lord since childhood, and in 2000 accepted the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God. In 2005, when he was spreading the gospel, he was surrounded by the Chinese Communist police, and although he escaped successfully, he suffered an injury to his foot which left him with after-effects. In 2012, he was beaten into a coma by thugs working with the police, and was taken to the police station where he was released because his injuries were too severe to continue. After that, he has lived the life of a fugitive …
The Testimony of Emma Nation reflects the pain and depravity that we face outside of Christ and the ultimate plan that the devil has for all humans which is death! But thank God that He has a better plan for us, a plan for life everlasting! Emma wraps up her testimony, with a revelation on how God is continuing to heal the scars in her life.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:6-10
:copyright: Reuters. Dollar climbs against currency basket ahead of Yellen testimony
Investing.com – The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday as markets awaited testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the week.
The , which...
Fatehpur Sikri bears exceptional testimony to the Mughal civilization at the end of the 16th century. It offers a unique example of architectural ensembles of very high quality constructed between 1571 and 1585. Its form and layout strongly influenced the evolution of Indian town planning, notably at Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi).
The 'City of Victory' had only an ephemeral existence as the capital of the Mughal empire. The Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) decided to construct it in 1571, on the same site where the birth of his son, the future Jahangir, was predicted by the wise Shaikh Salim Chisti (1480-1572). The work, supervised by the great Mughal himself, was completed in 1573. In 1585, however, Akbar abandoned Fatehpur Sikri to fight against the Afghan tribes and choose a new capital, Lahore. Fatehpur Sikri was to be the seat of the great Mughal court only once more for three months in 1619, when Jahangir sought refuge there from the plague that devastated Agra. The site was then finally abandoned, until its archaeological exploration in 1892.
This capital without a future, some 40 km from Agra was, however, considerably more than the fancy of a sovereign during the 14 years of its existence. The city, which the English traveller Ralph Fitch considered in 1585 as 'considerably larger than London and more populous', comprised a series of palaces, public buildings and mosques, as well as living areas for the court, the army, servants of the king and for an entire population whose history has not been recorded.
Only one tiny part of the city (where the large buildings are concentrated) has been until now, studied, visited and relatively well preserved. Fatehpur Sikri, constructed on a rocky plateau, south-east of an artificial lake, created for the occasion and today partially dried up, is bounded on three sides by a 6 km wall, fortified by towers and pierced by seven gates (the best preserved is the Gate of Agra, the second from the north). This spacious enclosure defines the limits of the new foundation rather than assuring its defence.
The majority of the important monuments are found to the north of the road from Gaza to Agra; constructed of red sandstone, they form a homogeneous group, even if the eclecticism of their style is evident and is based on borrowings from Hindu, Persian and Indo-Muslim traditions. Among the numerous palaces, gazebos, pavilions, etc., may be cited in particular:
Diwan-i-Am, the Hall of Public Audience, is encircled by a series of porticos which are broken up by the insertion of the imperial box where Akbar, surrounded by his ministers and officers meted out justice. This box communicates directly with Daulat Khana (Imperial Palace), flanked to the north by Diwan-i-Kas (Hall of Private Audience), called the 'Jewel House', a monument known for its central plan, which comprises an extraordinary capital surmounted by a circular balcony: the 'throne'.
Other monuments of exceptional quality are the Ranch Mahal, whose elevation of four recessed storeys recalls certain Buddhist temples, the pavilion of Anup Talao, or the Turkish Sultana, the palace of Jodh Bai, the palace of Birbal, the caravanserai and the problematic 'stables'.
Owing to the piety of Akbar, many religious and votive monuments were constructed at Fatehpur Sikri. The great mosque (Jama Masjid), one of the most spacious in India (165 m by 133 m) could accommodate some 10,000 faithful; it was completed in 1571-72 and according to the dedicatory inscription deserves no less respect than Mecca. It incorporates, in the centre of the court, the tomb of Shaikh Salim, an extraordinary Christian masterpiece of sculpted decoration, further embellished under the reign of Jahangir.
To the south of the court, the Buland Darwaza, completed in 1575, commemorating the victories (the taking of Gujarat in 1572) to which the city, their monumental symbol, owes its existence and its name.
Testimony of Transience (Steve the "Queer"), Tim Lowly :copyright: 1985, egg tempera on panel, 14" x 14", collection of Calvin College.
This is an early and disturbingly blunt painting. Unfortunately it still seems topical.
My elation at the election of Barak Obama is tempered by the familiar shadow of homophobia in our recent elections.
Eflatun Pınar.....bears unique testimony to a major cult monument of the Hittite Empire. The Hittites secured the political unity in Anatolia, existed in these lands roughly between 1620 BC and 1200 BC and acquired a very different and significant place in the Anatolian history. The Hittites built their temples nearby sources of water as they thought water was elixir of life. The spring sanctuary of Eflatun Pınar has a great importance within the water cult having a significant role in the Hititte religion. Integration of water in the architectural and religious concept is a unique feature of the site. As the Hittites had a theocratic understanding of religion they often established their cities and erected their temples nearby the sources of water which is elixir of life. These sources of water and rivers were sanctified and good deal of importance that attached to the cult of water by performing a lot of rituals. In lots of places of the Hittite Empire territory, foremost Hattusa, basins, dams, weirs, especially rock monuments were built nearby water were unearthed. For usually Hittite spring sanctuaries had been carved everywhere in Anatolia in the natural rock, but in this case obviously Eflatun Pınar was erected artificially in order to be able to mount the relief. Thousands tons of stones had to be transported from an andesite quarry about five kilometres away from the construction site that is an impressive logistical achievement. No inscriptions were found at the site, but based on its proximity to Yalburt and Köylütolu Monuments this monument may be dated to the 2nd half of 13th century BC. A Hittite cult basin is also preserved in Yalburt, a place that is only 60 kilometres away from Eflatun Pınar. Yet the water structural arrangements of this monument are very simple and cannot be compared to those in Eflatun Pınar. In one point, the two structures are nevertheless similar the basin of Yalburt is erected of large ashlars, that are stacked up in several courses. There is no relief existed on the monument of Yalburt and as a result of its drain spring, it has lost its original function currently.