Saturday, June 4, 2016

"His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the other dwelling place of Jacob.
Glorious thing are spoken of you,
O city of God."
"Holiness is  the strength and stability of the church:
it is this that will support it and keep it from sinking;
not so much that is built upon mountains
as that it is built upon holy mountains --
upon the promise of God."
The Lord loveth the gates of Zion of the temple,
of the houses of doctrine
more than all the dwelling of Jacob,
"I have sanctified this house,
that my name may be there for ever..."
(II Chronicles 7:16)
"It is the spouse of Christ,
the purchase of his blood;
it is a peculiar people,
a holy nation, a royal priesthood,
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew Henry

I love holiness and holiness people with the sweetness of holiness in their souls and on their faces.  Out of everything in this world, I hold this dearest as the one thing I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren.  The spouse of Christ, His Church, is a peculiar people.  Hmm, maybe not popular, maybe a little weird to those without understanding, but there is a beauty of holiness that is unsurpassed in this world.  Holiness churches may not be known for the finest buildings, but hopefully they will be known by our love and joy.  That is the challenge and privilege.


Speaking of those saints, a couple of weeks ago, one dear one dropped the offering basket and the contents flew and rolled everywhere.  The usher almost had to belly down to reach under the chairs and to gather it all back.  This caused some of the other dear saints to get the giggles.  It was a joy to see these of the older generation laughing in church hardly able to contain themselves.  Scripture does say that the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
"'I shall mention Rahab and Babylon
among those who know Me;
Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia:
This one was born there.'
And  the Most High Himself
will establish her.
The Lord shall count when He registers the peoples,
'This one was born there.'"
(verses 4-6)

(It may look like dark threatening clouds over the city on the hill,
but we know the end of the chapter and how it turns out.)

"Some supposing that it is a prophecy. God says,
"I will reckon Egypt and Babylon with those that know me."
I will reckon them my people as much as Israel
when they shall receive the gospel of Christ,
and own them as born in Zion, born again there,
and admitted to the privileges of Zion as freely as
a true-born Israelite."
"Those that were strangers and foreigneers became
fellow-citizens with the saints,
 (Matthew Henry)

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are fellow citizens with the saints,
and are of God's household..."
Ephesians 2:19

"Then those who sing (as leading up to a dance)*
as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
'All my springs of joy are in you.'"
(verse 7)

Springs of joy, of course, after being able to join as Gentiles
"all the privileges God dispenses, every blessing:
Every sincere and upright soul rejoices in opportunities to wait on God...Such an one can sing, 'All my springs are in Thee.'  All other fountains are muddy;
this alone is as clear as crystal.  Worldly springs bring no pure delight:--
all there, are mixed and turbulent;
all here are refreshing, satisfying, and delightful."
(Adam Clarke)*

Hank's graduation was outside in the late afternoon of 104 degrees, no shade.  By the time he received his 8th grade diploma, I was as red as a beet, which meant I was heading for heat stroke or heat exhaustion as I've had in the past.  I slipped out before the crowds dispersed to go home and get some icy cloths on me.  Hank wanted to stay for the 8th graders dance after that.  Hmm.
I could barely stand the music blaring on the speakers as parents gathered beforehand with lyrics not suitable for those of such tender ages about things I don't want to mention here.  Yet, he wanted to go mingle, with one particular girl in mind, where I was sure more of such suggestive music would surround them.  I've never been to a dance and held his siblings to the age of 16 before I let them choose to attend dances.  I allowed him the free choice at age 15 just thankful that he prefers mostly Christian music at home.  At least the school choir sang a song by a Christian artist, "Gone, Gone, Gone," by Phillip Phillips, while I sang along in my folding chair before I was gone, gone, gone.
Hank and his sister Tifani

By the time I got out of there, I was ready for a crystal fountain, a spring of joy to bubble up and cool me off.  He went one way, his song leading to a dance, while I went the other to something cold and refreshing.   But you get the gist. 

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