Soul Safe … “It is WELL with My Soul!”


Grieving over the recent death of their four-year old son to Scarlet Fever, the family was further devastated by the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed much of  their holdings.  The father decided to get away with his  wife and four daughters on a ship back to England where they were to join up with Moody in his evangelistic meetings.  At the last-minute the father had a business complication and sent the wife and daughters on ahead.   Their ship collided with a French ship killing 226 on board.  Nine days later Horatio G. Spafford received a telegram from his wife that read, “soul survivor”.   He booked passage  to join his grieving wife and while passing over the spot where the ship had gone down with his daughters, he penned the following hymn that we sing.

Soul Safe

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well,
with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Refrain:
But, Lord ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain

There is nothing new under the sun … nothing has changed since Job’s time in the Bible … day in and day out good people suffer.  Our children should be raised to know that no matter WHAT happens, once we are Christ’s, “it is well with our soul”.  NOTHING can take that away from them … from us .. EVER.  And that is all that matters.

This was true for Job, it is truth on which we can stand.  The Psalmist penned:

Psalm 46: 1-3  ” 1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found  in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple  into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”

What happens when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?  When the end is not in sight?  When it DOESN’T get better.  How fair-weather is our faith?  Is our faith dependent on our circumstances? 

Twice yesterday I heard “It Is Well With My Soul” played on the radio.   And then at church we sang, ” Great Is Thy Faithfulness” .  The Chorus of this great hymn is also a truth on which we can stand.

Chorus
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Our needs are provided … the problem we have is that we let our wants get in the way.  Acceptance of Christ =  SOUL SAFE.  That alone is all anyone needs. God, however, provides our needs.  When you look at your life, and when you teach your child to look at their life, each of you realize that you have your needs met and provided for … Know Christ = it is well with YOUR soul.

Influenced or Influential?


How can we be an influence?

Every day I come across parents making hard choices.  They do not want their little children influenced by the world.  We talk about it in S.S., at my job, with family members.  The world has gone mad, it is crazy, it is evil.  How do we protect ourselves, much less our little ones?  Decisions, decisions … what do they watch, read?  Who can they play with and where do they go to school?  Christians are taking their children into protective environments.  If they all leave where will the Christian influence be in PTAs, Boosters, Athletics?  Will we be able to influence them if we are not there?  Will they lose double influence by not seeing our children and ourselves as we interact with the world daily?

The Bible says in Mark 16:15:

Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

It is the same prepositional word battle throughout all the ages.   IN the world and not OF the world.  If we and our families are only where we are safe, then how will the world hear?  How will they see the difference in our lives that Christ makes?  Yes, our children are small and innocent and we are responsible for what they see and hear.  But, do we remove ourselves from the world until they are five, six, ten, sixteen?  In protecting our young from being influenced are we becoming influential?  Are we loving the sinner and not the sin or putting a wall between us and them?  Is that what Jesus did?  Jesus walked with all types as Jesus, not as they walked.  Yet He was where they could see Him and how He walked.

We are told in Proverbs 22:6 to:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Have we forgotten that evil is WEAKER and that satan* has lost?  Do we live like he is weaker and lost the battle?  What do we fear and why?  Training ourselves and our children in the ways of the Lord while IN the world will only make us stronger.  No one would go into a championship game with years of training yet not one game under their belt.  It is the day to day interaction in the world that God uses to influence HIS world (it is NOT satan’s* world even if he is running around like he is in charge).  We can complain all we want about politics, school boards, etc. but, if we as Christians are not in the arena, how can we complain about what went on at the fight or the outcome?

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. ~ Matthew 16:18

Nothing is more powerful than God.  You have nothing to fear of the world.  Let us get out there and be an active influential part of the community where you live.  Be the ‘trouble maker’ that takes back the ground surrendered to satan* in the public venues.  One Nation Under God, NOT under satan*.

“Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” ~ C.T. Studd

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

G.R.I.T.S.


My sister-in-law from Chicago taught my niece and nephews to call me “Aunt Scarlett”.  Being raised in Atlanta, you were considered a Georgia Peach, a Southern Belle … and the fact my last name was “Belle Isle” added to the stereotype.  I enjoy being Southern … the gentile way of life, the courteous speech, the hospitality and the way the men treat the ladies.  It is a sign of respect to be called “ma’am” and “sir”, to open doors for ladies and the elderly, to remove your hat in a woman’s presence or stand when she enters the room.  I think in today’s hustle and bustle, we have lost so much and I believe the lack of respect for others stems from our lack of respect for ourselves, which is simply disrespect of God, the creator.  It is funny to me that the ‘spell check’ wants me to change my word ‘ladies’ to ‘women’.  Even the computer wants to do away with gentile-ness.

As Christian parents we need to raise our children in the gentleness of the Lord; teaching them respect for others and themselves.  We have to teach them to respect God first though.  To do this we need to understand all that He gives us.  We need to get down to the basics, the nitty-GRITS-y.  With that in mind I would like to submit for your consideration another meaning for the acronym G.R.I.T.S:

Grace – God’s grace is sufficient.  Teach a child that and they have security for a lifetime.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Righteousness – God’s righteousness is infallible; you cannot hedge on righteousness.  Things are righteous, or they are not.  There is light or there is darkness.  There is right and there is wrong.   Teach a child that and they have integrity and wisdom to take them through their life.

Romans 3:9b-12
“There is no one righteous, not even one;  11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Intercessor  = God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guide and Jesus as our High Priest.  You need nothing else.  Once you teach them this truth, they can face life’s circumstances in His Power, not their own.

Hebrews 4:14
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let hold fast our confession.”
1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”

Talents – EVERYthing they have is from God.  Just as they are God’s gift to you, your children need to be taught they all their talents, spiritual gifts, material processions …. EVERY thing they have in this life, IS FROM GOD.  We are stewards, raise them to be stewards.  When they learn this truth they will allow GOD to be in control of their life with no strings attached.  Take care of what He gives you and give back your first fruits.

Psalm 24:1
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
Deuteronomy 26:1-15
First Fruits; tithe.

Salvation – God sent His son … a gift of salvation given freely.  When you lead your children in the ways of the Lord and teach them about Jesus, you have not only given them a lifetime of truth and guidance, you have given them eternal life.

John 3:15-21
“15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

I am a G.R.I.T.S. girl and proud of it and I pray that God uses me in my husband, children, grandchildren’s lives, as well as all those I come across, as an example of God’s G.R.I.T.S. of spiritual living.

And the house went ‘splat’!


 

And The House On The Rock Stood Firm

 

Step back in your childhood and sing with me:
The Wise Man Built His House
The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
And the rain came tumbling down
Oh, the rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
And the wise man’s house stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
And the rain came tumbling down
Oh, the rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
And the foolish man’s house went “splat!” [clap hands once]

So, build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ
Build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ
Build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ
And the blessings will come down
Oh, the blessings come down
As your prayers go up
The blessings come down
As your prayers go up
The blessings come down
As your prayer go up
So build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I love the songs of my childhood … simpler times … simple faith.  Oh, that we all would remember that simple, childlike faith in our lives today.  We tend to get wrapped up in circumstances, problems … OK … disasters.   Sure life is hard, sometimes beyond belief, but we make it even more difficult when we focus on that part of life and refuse to build on Christ and lean on Him.  Each day we focus on our problems, each day we give in to life, we teach our children to do the same.  It does not matter if they are toddler or young adult, they need to see us building on the Firm Foundation … Christ our Lord.  The more you look to Him, lean on Him, love Him, and learn from Him the less you see of the world, problems and circumstances.

Matthew 7:24-27 (HCSB)
The Two Foundations
24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

It may be raining or snowing where you are today … in your life there may be tumult from all of life’s storms.  This is when you, your kids, friends, family and others see where your “house” is built.  Focus on that which is good and pure (Philippians 4:8) and start looking for your blessings, counting them … one by one and you will see what God has done (another song, another blog :-D)

What do you fear?


What Do You FEAR?

What do you FEAR?

Face it … we all have FEARS! However, we do not come here with fear … we learn it from others and/or events.

My daughters were 10 and 14 when my brother’s plane crashed.  We all were gripped by fear of flying from that day.  Mine was debilitating to the point of being tranquilized so I could fly (a funny story for another day).  There came a point where I had to face my fear or not see my daughters.  Fear is an evil spirit you can vanquish.  My mother always said, “God is in control, on the throne, loves you and cares for you, is all-knowing … NOTHING surprises Him.”  Kinda sounds like what the Bible says doesn’t it?  Then why do we live in fear?  Why do we allow fear to cripple us?  Why do we teach our children our fear?

I will not say it is easy to get on a plane.  I had to send my oldest daughter and precious granddaughters on a plane Friday.  She has the memories of her uncle’s crash and she does not like to fly, but she does.  She always asks me to pray.  I then had to put my husband on a plane to an interview.  He needs the job … he had to fly.  I cannot and will not let satan* rob me of God’s blessings because of a spirit of fear.  I will not allow satan* to rob me of His joy in my life because of the fear of the unknown … jobless, foreclosure, what is going to happen next?

Fear is what YOU LET IT BE!  What fears are you facing today?  Do not allow satan* to lie to you?  Does he tell you that you are alone? You are NEVER alone, you have the Holy Spirit … YOU HAVE THE VICTORY!  Will your walk today be victorious or will you pass on a new set of fears to your children and those around you?  God is in control – always has been, always will be! Are you walking like He is in control of your life today or are you walking in FEAR?

Isaiah 41:10:
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” HCSB

Romans 8:15:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” ESV

1 Corinthians 2:12:
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” ESV

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.