Say Goodbye To Self!

“Say Goodbye To Self”

(By: Janet Chestnut, 10/30/08)

Say goodbye to “Self…”

And from her ways depart.

She cannot rule your life,

when Jesus owns your heart.

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“Self” thinketh she knows best,

and she will fight to win…

But her lack of wisdom…

just leadeth her to sin.

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“Self” seeketh her own gain,

but all she finds is loss.

She wants to have her way…

HE needs to be the boss.

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God calls each one of us

to open up His Word.

Don’t listen to just “Self,”

but let HIS voice be heard.

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So say goodbye to “Self.”

You have to tell her “No!”

You cannot fill her wants…

Her ways have GOT to go!!

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Copyright 2008, Janet Chestnut, Daily Provision

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**Note: Below are links to four of my other poems:

Everlasting Love

Look to Jesus

You Mock What You Don’t Understand

The Dusty Bible

The God Who Holds The Universe…

…is the God who is holding you.

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“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” —Luke 15:4-5

“He shall dwell between His shoulders.” —Deuteronomy 33:12

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Last week, I was getting frustrated with myself that I wasn’t more productive. I had so many things I needed and wanted to get done, but I just couldn’t seem to muster up the energy. Of course, after a couple of days, I realized that I had been “fighting” getting sick, and I finally lost that battle. I was sick with a stomach virus and a cold virus there for 2-3 days. I’ll spare you any more details than that.

Well, I was starting to feel soooo run-down physically, that I wasn’t up to doing much of anything. However, I realized that I could NOT ignore the spiritual side. I’ve actually become aware that when I’m down spiritually, everything else starts to fall apart too! You see, when my soul is neglected, I’m bound to become physically ill. When I don’t spend time alone with my Lord, I begin to worry about things again. Then, the stresses of life easily overtake me and quickly take a toll on my body.

Of course, not only does spiritual malnutrition affect me physically, it also affects me mentally and emotionally. Without the constant loving guidance of God’s Word, I’m an easy target for the enemy’s lies. It only becomes that much harder to avoid succumbing to the devil’s taunts, ridicule, and tricks.

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You know, as Christians, we’re on a journey…one that can be perilous and treacherous at times. Often our vision gets hazy, and we can’t see the way. The surroundings are rugged and cruel. With the heavy fog, we can only see the big, scary obstacles right in front of us. We’re not able to see any way around them…They seem unsurmountable.

Each morning, as we set out on the road of life once more, we MUST check in with our “Tour Guide.” He knows the territory…His vision is always clear. Our Guide is also very mighty…He will go before us and be our protector. The “obstacles” are nothing to Him…”mountains” are merely ant hills. Furthermore, He’s not intimidated by or subject in any way to any foe who seeks to harm us or lure us off the right path. He knows the road better than anyone and will never be sidetracked by deceptive bypasses that look like short-cuts.

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Yes, like a little child must cling to his mother when crossing a busy, dangerous street…We must always hold on to our Savior. We must stay close to Him at all times. Sometimes on this difficult journey, He will even have to carry us. However, we need not worry, because His strength will never run out.

Not only does He know how small the obstacles really are (with His help), but He also knows all the many joys that lie ahead, along the way. No matter how hard this road of life may seem at times, there’s always more good times ahead as well. In fact, if we stay close to Him, we can find joy all along the way, even in the “midst of the storms.”

Of course, the greatest rejoicing comes at the journey’s end…a time at which we will definitely know it was all worth it!! We will spend our days praising our Savior forevermore…the One who led us safely Home.

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Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you—
He will carry you through. —Palmer

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**This devotional was inspired by “Our Daily Bread,” and you may also read it here.

A Joyful Noise?– *Updated*

Today, the kiddos got to try out their new tin whistles for the first time. They just started their six weeks of music class with Mrs. Donna. Although I’m glad the kids are so excited, I must say, tin whistles aren’t exactly “headache friendly.” ;-)

This new experience for my children takes me back quite a few years. You see, my husband and I both played the clarinet for 7 yrs. through middle and high school. While my kids were testing their instruments today, I received a glimpse of what my parents experienced when I was a kid. During my evening practices at home, my clarinet and I usually found ourselves outside on the carport. My parents were happier that way…though the neighborhood pets…not so much. ;-) While I squeaked out “notes” on my instrument of torture, everywhere around, there were dogs howling in protest…expressing their great displeasure. (Poor dogs couldn’t catch a break either. Just one street up from my house, lived 2 more clarinet players and a flutist, to boot! -D )

Unfortunately, it actually took me the full seven years of Band to become a half-way decent clarinet player. Even though I love music, and I’m a pretty good singer, the clarinet was just not my forte. …And no, believe me, I’m not being hard on myself…just honest! -D While my husband Scott was consistently one of the best…I was…well…NOT!

But, ya know what? As I ponder these memories, I’m struck with an interesting and wonderful revelation. At our own appointed times, when each of the saved reach Heaven, we will witness glorious, majestic music…Like none we’ve ever heard before. As we sing beautiful praises to our King forevermore, there will be no howls of protest! All that we’ll hear for eternity, will be but “a joyful noise!”

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  • Psalms 95:1 KJV

    O come , let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

  • Psalms 98:4 KJV

    Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise , and rejoice , and sing praise.

  • Psalms 98:6 KJV

    With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

What I Need Most

Well, as usual, I find what I need most is a good quiet time with the Lord (see previous post). Today, the key verse in “Our Daily Bread” says:

“Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” —Ephesians 5:15-16

The ending caption reads:

When you find time on your hands, put them together in prayer.

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Well, not that I often have a lot of time on my hands. It seems there’s always plenty I could be doing. However, the last couple of mornings, the kids have slept in a little later since it’s turned colder. They must have slept especially well last night…all snug in their warm, little beds. This morning, once they got up, they actually dressed promptly. Before long, Sarah was bundled up in a coat, hat, and gloves and asking if she and Kerry could go outside. [ O.k., how could I argue with that?! I wasn’t moving too fast this morning, and I certainly don’t get much quiet time to myself nowadays! Besides, that IS one of the major perks of homeschooling…having a flexible schedule! ]

Anyway, with this “extra time on my hands,” how would I spend it? Was sitting down to reading the Bible the FIRST thing I did? Well, quite honestly…”No,” but that’s what I always NEED to do foremost! You know, it’s quite often a great indicator when we don’t feel like opening God’s Word…Well, that’s when we definitely need to more than ever!! [ Why should we EVER go by feelings anyway? I mean, talk about fickle, unreliable, and deceiving!! ]

With the mood I woke up in this morning, what better message could I have read? What better use of time is there than spending time in God’s Word and prayer? Yes, my friend, the flesh is still weak, but HE is strong. When we feel we don’t have the strength to face the day, we haven’t yet tapped into our greatest source of strength!

Wait and, in waiting, listen for His leading;

Be strong, thy strength for every day is stored.

Go forth in faith, and let thine heart take courage;

There is no disappointment with the Lord. –Anon.

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**To read today’s devotional from “Our Daily Bread” in its entirety, you may click here.

Daily Dose of Doggies

Oh, what can I say…it’s just one of those kind of Mondays. I need a good quiet time, a decent cup of coffee, and a dose of doggy cuteness. (And maybe a good, swift kick in the backside wouldn’t be a bad idea either! ;-) )

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I just found these pics I’d saved…(some from several months ago). Here’s some funny ones:

dog

dog

dog

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…And here’s some cute, precious, and funny ones:

dog

dog

dog

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**Previously found above pics, as once displayed at: ihasahotdog.com

Wrong Assumptions About Homeschooling

I am writing this post in response to the following article at:

http://www.votetheday.com/society-18/homeschooling-309

There are some assumptions made about homeschooling that are totally incorrect. The couple of paragraphs prior to the voting poll describe disadvantages of both public schools and homeschooling. The following is stated concerning homeschooling:

On the other hand, homeschooling has disadvantages as well. Children, who are educated at home, usually have less friends and may have communication and socialization problems later. Moreover, parents have to be education professionals, if they want their child to get the same amount of knowledge, as he would get at school. And even if you hire home teacher, it would be hard to give the child everything, that school can; for example, excursions, possibility to compete with classmates, participate in sports team, debate club, cooking or craft lessons…

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Personally, I have to strongly disagree with the entire paragraph above. I know that there are statistics on homeschooling that also show the fallacies in these perceptions. (I may add and cite some of these later.) For now, I will respond to each assumption from my own experience:

(1) One would be hard-pressed to find a kid with any more friends than my Sarah. Anyone who has even met my daughter knows this to be true. Sarah’s one of the most out-going, confident, friendly kiddos I’ve ever seen.

(2) I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Education…not Teaching Education, specifically. I’ve taken many teaching education courses though. I’ve also worked in the public school system for 5 yrs. (which has greatly affected my view of public education).

However, I do not evaluate my ability to teach and guide my children based on my education and professional experience. Furthermore, I do not believe that parents have to be educational professionals to teach their children. I believe that homeschooling is a calling from God. When God calls a person to do something, He equips him/her to fulfill that task. (There are many examples in the Bible of God equipping people to fulfill extraordinary callings. God also tells us in His Word that He will help parents to instruct and guide their children. In addition, all parents have a God-given responsibility to protect, nurture, and teach their children.)

(3) The kids have the opportunity to participate in several field trips with our local homeschool group. This group also offers many different clubs, sports, and activities. My children also attend Classical Conversations that offers various classes, field trips, and activities.

Sarah is 7, and she has played soccer with our town for two years. She has also played t-ball with our homeschool group and my niece’s church. In addition, this year, Sarah will be playing basketball and softball. My son, Kerry is 5, and he will play t-ball this spring. In a couple of years, Kerry will be playing baseball.

The kids have had several chances to do arts and crafts as well. They have participated in church art/craft contests and homeschool exhibitions. Sarah and Kerry also attend a class in arts and crafts every Thursday. Of course, we also do arts, crafts, and even cooking at home. My daughter never lets me neglect these areas because she loves them so much!

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Anyway, I don’t care for the mistaken conclusions mentioned in the article. However, I do appreciate the voting poll. I also LOVE the results! So far, the results are as follows:

89.47% think homeschooling is an excellent idea, while only 10.53% think otherwise.

Me and God

My Sarah Beth LOVES music and LOVES to sing. She has many favorites, and lately, one of those has become “Me and God” by Josh Turner. In fact, she’s already had it playing on the computer early this morning. Sarah and Kerry were singing the song and doing sign language as a supplement.

When Sarah picks a new favorite song, she’ll sing it over and over and over and then some more. I must admit, I usually get more than a little tired of her latest fave. However, I don’t see me growing weary with this recent pick of songs. In fact, every time I hear my girl sing this song, I think to myself, “Sing it Honey, sing it!!”

It’s a laid-back, simple kind of song, but the basic message is clear, and it’s one I try to live by. As a matter of fact, I think this one makes a great theme song. So…“Sarah Beth you sing it each and every day if you want…you sing it, girl…sing it and live it. Yep, that’s my prayer for you.”

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“Me and God”

(By: Josh Turner

and featuring Ralph Stanley)

There ain’t nothing that can’t be done
By me and God
Ain’t nobody gonna come in between me and God
One day we’ll live together
Where the angels trod
Me and God

Early in the morning talking it over
Me and God
Late at night talking it over
Me and God
You could say we’re like two peas in a pod
Me and God

He’s my Father
He’s my friend
The beginning
And the end
He rules the world
With a staff and rod
We’re a team
Me and God

I am weak and he is strong
Me and God
He forgives me when I’m wrong
Me and God
He’s the one I lean on
When life gets hard
Me and God

He’s my Father
He’s my friend
The beginning
And the end
He rules the world
With a staff and rod
We’re a team
Me and God

He rules the world
With a staff and rod
We’re a team
Me and God

We’re a team
Me and God

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**Note: You may listen to the above song here.