My Verse For 2021~~~Philippians 4:4

I was listening to a devotion from Philippians a few weeks ago when I found my verse for the year. 

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 


Philippians 4:4


There was no big revelation or deep thought process, just the knowledge that when I praise God and rejoice in Him everything else falls into place. Philippians has always been one of my favourite books of the Bible and I've been spending more time there lately, often listening to an audio version while doing things around the house. 

I always enjoy reading Spurgeon's messages. Today, I thought I'd see what he had to say about this verse. I think he expresses far better than I could what we can learn from Philippians 4:4.

I've taken these excerpts from one of his sermons, Joy, a Duty.

"Further, brethren, notice that the apostle, after he had said, "Rejoice in the Lord alway," commanded the Philippians to be careful for nothing, thus implying that joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for the trials of this life. The cure for care is joy in the Lord. No, my brother, you will not be able to keep on with your fretfulness; no, my sister, you will not be able to weary yourself any longer with your anxieties, if the Lord will but fill you with his joy. Then, being satisfied with your God, yea, more than satisfied, overflowing with delight in him, you will say to yourself, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." What is there on earth that is worth fretting for even for five minutes? If one could gain an imperial crown by a day of care, it would be too great an expense for a thing which would bring more care with it. Therefore, let us be thankful, let us be joyful in the Lord. I count it one of the wisest things that, by rejoicing in the Lord, we commence our heaven here below. It is possible so to do, it is profitable so to do, and we are commanded so to do."
~~~
"You are commanded to rejoice, brethren, because this is for your profit. Holy joy will oil the wheels of your life's machinery. Holy joy will strengthen you for your daily labour. Holy joy will beautify you, and, as I have already said, give you an influence over the lives of others. It is upon this point that I would most of all insist, we are commanded to rejoice in the Lord. If you cannot speak the gospel, live the gospel by your cheerfulness; for what is the gospel? Glad tidings of great joy; and you who believe it must show by its effect upon you that it is glad tidings of great joy to you. I do believe that a man of God—under trial and difficulty and affliction, bearing up, and patiently submitting with holy acquiescence, and still rejoicing in God—is a real preacher of the gospel, preaching with an eloquence which is mightier than words can ever be, and which will find its secret and silent way into the hearts of those who might have resisted other arguments. Oh, do, then, listen to the text, for it is a command from God, "Rejoice in the Lord alway!" "

You can read the full sermon on the Spurgeon Archive site, Joy, a Duty


Many years ago, I started out to write a song called, A Reason For Joy, but it took a slightly different direction and became, My Reason To Sing. Still, the sentiment is the same and I thought it was a fitting song to begin the year with. 

My Reason To Sing


© Deborah Bolack 2003
BIAB Rendition
(ignore glitch at end!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(intro)
God laid the Earth’s foundation,
and set the world in its place;
raised up majestic mountains,
carved valleys, and spread out the plains.
God made and garnished the heavens,
 and set the stars in the night;
designed the morning sunrise,
bestowed on the world his light.

And yet he thought of me,
with a love that spans all time and space.
Yes, created me with a special plan for all my days.

God sent his Son to save me,
forgave me all of my sins.
He gave his word to guide me,
his Spirit to dwell within.
God made my heart to hold him,
before my life had begun,
Then gave me breath to praise him,
and whispered, “There’s songs to be sung.”

And now he lives in me, and he gives me a reason to sing.
Yes, abides in me; my Creator, my Saviour and King.

To God be the glory, he is my reason to sing!
My reason to sing!
~~~

Yes, HE is my reason to sing and my reason for joy!


And so I start the new year with no resolutions, no big plans, no set goals. I step into 2021 with nothing more than a desire to rejoice in my Lord and again I say, Rejoice!

Reflecting On 2020

 

2020 Review


1. What were the highlights or accomplishments of the past year?

  • I guess the biggest highlight came right at the end of the year when Brian left his position as Maintenance Manager at the hotel to take the job of head Custodian at the school here in town. It should be a little slower pace...at least once he has everything on his to-do list completed, possibly by next fall! haha
  • With covid causing layoffs at the hotel, Daniel went in search of a new occupation and found it at Alternative Landscaping. While others collected CERB or EI, he worked from spring through to fall when he was again laid off. He's looking forward to going back in the spring.
  • Springtime brought more family to our new town, with Dennis and Dana deciding to move here as well!
  • In July we had a visit from our daughter in law, Naomi and the grandkids, as well as Naomi's sister. We all enjoyed a nice get together at Dennis and Dana's home, but missed seeing Lorne.  We were thankful for the summer reprieve from covid!
  • During a summer teen day camp, one of our granddaughters accepted Christ as her Saviour. That's a highlight worth mentioning! 
  • In the late fall, Jeremy moved back to Manitoba in preparation for a new job at a gold mine in Snow Lake MB,  starting in January. It's a 2 weeks in and 2 weeks out job so we're looking forward to having him around...it's been a long 2 1/2 years of him living in Nova Scotia!
  • Another year end highlight was our son Justin getting engaged to Ruth, a wonderful lady and welcome addition to our family, as well as news of a new grandbaby coming in May 2021.
  • It seems the highlights all came at the end of the year. Justin started a course in taxidermy in December and hopes to start his own business when he's done. He also has the opportunity to use his videography skills doing some work for the college.
2. What were the major themes of the past year?
  • The main theme of 2020 has been dealing with Covid 19. For me, life has not changed a lot except that for most of the year we've been doing online church because we aren't able to gather.
  • Change seems to have been the other main theme for our family members...jobs/career, location and church. Besides those listed in highlights, our daughter Nicole ended her stint in the banking field and returned to healthcare. Two grandkids also started new jobs. Although we haven't been able to attend church much since summer, we've been enjoying online services.  
  • And everyone would be surprised if I didn't say renovations! I'm not sure we've had many years when working on a house wasn't a theme. haha, We managed to complete most of the projects we wanted to do here...adding insulation and drywall, getting rid of a lot of the old panelling. What can I say? we love working on houses! 

3. What disappointments or regrets did you experience?
  • I don't think disappointment or regret are the right words, but losing Mom in February was a difficult time. I miss her terribly, but I know she's home with our Saviour and one day I'll see her and Dad again. I can picture her there enjoying the most beautiful gardens and her very own waterfall.  
4. What was missing from the past year?
  • For most of the year....spending time with friends and family and attending church.

5. What did you learn from the past year?
  • This probably sounds strange, but I realized how little my life was changed when covid caused us to have to keep our distance from other people. Of course, I missed spending time with my family, but much of my communication with people is via text and the phone. For so many years my time was spent caring for children...it was easier to just stay home, and I got used to that. I know the same thing happened to Mom until it got hard for her to leave home. I know I have that tendency and it's something I need to be aware of and work to overcome. I need to make the effort to get out in our community and meet people, and to be more connected. Something to keep in mind when the covid restrictions are lifted.

It would be nice to think that when we awake on January 1, 2021 everything will be changed and we can all go on with life, covid19 just a bad memory, but it's going to be a while before we're out of this. And will life ever return to the way it was? Probably not...and maybe that's not a bad thing. God has allowed this situation; surely He has a purpose or many purposes. He has a plan for each and every life and uses such circumstances to bring about His will...drawing the lost to himself, calling the wanderers back, giving opportunities for growth and learning to all of us. 

The only question is, "What does God want to do in my life as 2020 comes to a close and I step into 2021?'


Promises From Psalms; Psalm 37:39

This week's promise once again comes from Psalm 37



Meditating on God's promises from Psalm 37:39


God IS my strength in the time of trouble. 


Though my flesh is weak and I struggle in difficult times, my God never fails me. He is my strength! 

For when I am weak, then am I strong


1 Corinthians 12:9-10

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. I could think of no better hymn to portray the truth of Psalm 37:39.






Join me again next week as I look at another promise from Psalms.

Meditating on God's promises from Psalm 37:39

Read our previous Promise: Psalm 37:23-24

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Promises from Psalms; Psalm 37:23-24

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord



Meditating on God's Promises from  Psalm 37:23-24



As believers, we're held in Jesus' hand and kept by the power of God, and when we delight in God's way, even though we may stumble and fall, he holds us up. No matter what circumstances, sorrows and trials come our way, we can trust the Lord to direct our steps.

A Mother's Love, Steadfast and Sure

A mother’s love is steadfast and sure, and come what may, it will endure.


trusting God to work out His will and His way in their lives.

    
The time we have with our children is so fleeting and sometimes we mothers wish we could turn back the clock and perhaps take better advantage of every passing minute. But as much as we would like to keep our children under our protective wings, we understand the necessity of letting go and trusting God to work out His will and His way in their lives.