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Gift of Strength; Peace to Bless (Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook)

From Charles Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook”
Gift of Strength; Peace to Bless
December 7
The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

David had just heard the voice of the Lord in a thunderstorm and had seen His power in the hurricane whose path he had described; and now, in the cool calm after the storm, that overwhelming power by which heaven and earth are shaken is promised to be the strength of the chosen. He who wings the unerring bolt will give to His redeemed the wings of eagles; He who shakes the earth with His voice will terrify the enemies of His saints and give His children peace. Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours? Jesus, the mighty God, is our strength; let us put Him on and go forth to our service. Jesus, our blessed Lord, is also our peace; let us repose in Him this day and end our fears. What a blessing to have Him for our strength and peace both now and forever!
That same God who rides upon the storm in days of tempest will also rule the hurricane of our tribulation and send us, before long, days of peace. We shall have strength for storms and songs for fair weather. Let us begin to sing at once unto God, our strength and our peace. Away, dark thoughts! Up, faith and hope!

From the Faith’s Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app – http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb

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The Reach of Almighty Grace (Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook)

From Charles Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook”
The Reach of Almighty Grace
September 7
It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. (Hosea 1:10)

Sovereign grace can make strangers into sons, and the Lord here declares His purpose to deal thus with rebels and make them know what He has done. Beloved reader, the Lord has done this in my case; has He done the like for you? Then let us join hands and hearts in praising His adorable name.
Some of us were so decidedly ungodly that the Lord’s Word most truly said to our conscience and heart, “Ye are not my people.” In the house of God and in our own homes, when we read the Bible, this was the voice of God’s Spirit in our soul, “Ye are not my people.” Truly a sad, condemning voice it was. But now, in the same places, from the same ministry and Scripture, we hear a voice, which saith, “Ye are the sons of the living God.” Can we be grateful enough for this? Is it not wonderful? Does it not give us hope for others? Who is beyond the reach of almighty grace? How can we despair of any, since the Lord has wrought so marvelous a change in us?
He who has kept this one great promise will keep every other; wherefore, let us go forward with songs of adoration and confidence.

From the Faith’s Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app – http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb

 

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Jk’s Homeschool Choir End-of-the-Year Concert

 

The Beginning of the Concert, Presentation of flags, and Christian Patriotic Music portion.

Last night we attended my daughter Jk’s Homeschool Choir End-of-the-Year Concert.  Their focus this year has been on Missions, and spreading the Gospel.  Every Monday this year she and many homeschooled children meet with the Homeschool Choir Director at our church to learn about music, work on singing and learning to play instruments, and they also have P.E. in our church gym.  They perform many concerts during the year, perform for mission conferences, pastoral conferences, and perform at nursing homes and other churches as well.   They have different groups that they are broken down into such as the elementary age choir, preschool choir, youth choir, mens ensemble, and womens ensemble, along with special groups such as quartets, trios, duets, bell choir, and instrumentals.  Jk has been part of the youth choir which is made up of 5th through 12th graders, womens ensemble, and bell choir.

Jk has a beautiful voice, but is often shy when singing by herself, even though when I led the Children’s Choir at our old church, she would sing solos and duets if I needed her to.  Her Homeschool Director has been working on getting Jk to come out of her shell and have confidence in her abilities, and tonight I saw some of that confidence shine through. Jk loves to sing for Jesus, and I hear her all the time singing in her room, or in the shower, but I think that knowing that mom has a degree in music makes her feel that she won’t measure up, even though I often tell her that I think she has a beautiful voice but that her heart for Jesus makes it an amazing gift that she could use for the glory of God.  She has often seen me sing in church and other things and I think she is afraid that she isn’t good enough.  But she is, and so I have hoped being with another encouraging music teacher would let her see that she is good enough to share her gift with others and use it for God.

Well, tonight was their last concert of the year, and Jk was excited and nervous about it.  I reminded her to look up and smile when she sang, that people want to see her heart for Jesus in her singing, and shining from her beautiful little face.  I was so proud of her, because she worked on her music for a couple of hours today to make sure she had all the words memorized, including the Spanish translation for Via Dolorosa.  Tonight she was focused, smiled, and kept her focus on the director, and the audience, and not only did her growing confidence show, but her love of the Lord Jesus.  I think this year she has taken giant steps to overcome her shyness.  It’s funny because if you give her a script for a play or sketch, she has no lack of confidence.  She loves to act, and is so silly, much like JoAnne Worley, who is a distant cousin of mine (my 5th cousin to be exact.)  Jk does slapstick, loves to do funny voices, and when she is acting on stage she shines, but when it comes to singing…she’s shy.

Well, by now you can tell that I am proud of her, not only for her talents, but because she really has a heart for God, and has since she was born, even more since she gave her heart to Jesus at the age of 5 right in our livingroom, kneeling at our sofa.  She tries always to live following the example Jesus sat, and of all my daughters Jk has a joyful heart, rarely ever looks sad except when she doesn’t feel good.  For the most part, Jklyn is my little angel child, with a few of the normal kid quirks like a messy room, or forgetting to do her chores when I tell her to.  But even then she doesn’t have the normal tween attitudes that are so prevalent in kids in the public schools today.  She is helpful, and basically I’ve been blessed by God to be her mom.  So, yes I am a proud mom of a little angel of God, named Jk.

Here are some of the pics that I wanted to share of her End-of-the-Year Homeschool Choir Concert.  I only wish I could download the video shorts of some of the concert, so you could be blessed by their singing.  Those will go up on my facebook page for the rest of my family to see.

The Homeschool Choir Director welcomes everyone to the Program.

 

 

 

The program began with all the choirs carrying flags from different countries in, following the U.S. flag, the Christian flag, and the flags of all the military branches, while two students in the Homeschool Orchestra played their instruments with the director on piano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were given a surprise when a video link from Afghanistan was projected on the wall. This active reservist is a member of our church, whose children are also in the Homeschool Choir. Before he left for Afghanistan he sang in the Adult Church Choir, usually standing right next to me...yep, we are both tenors...lol. It was wonderful, because although we could not hear him, he was able to enjoy the whole program...at 3.a.m Afghanistan time. He looked tired, but seemed thrilled to get to see his children sing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a couple of songs by the combined choirs, our elementary age choir took the platform to perform a short musical program. The included a couple of quartet numbers, a duet, and a song with sign language, and did a beautiful job. They were joined by our preschool choir for their last 2 songs. Those preschoolers were adorable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right after the Elementary choir, the Mens Ensemble took the stage with a surprise, one of the young ladies from the elementary choir joined them to sing a solo along with one of their own soloist. I'm telling you this young lady has a beautiful soprano voice, and she is one of Jk's friends. I had never heard her sing a solo, and I was blown away by the gift God has given her. The mens ensemble followed this song with a few more numbers, including "A Few Good Men" which I love to hear them sing. Imagine if all young men were like these young men of God. What a future this country would have!

 

To transition from the Mens Ensemble to the Womens Ensemble, we were treated to a trombone solo and vocal solo from this young man. He did a wonderful job, and the music was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jklyn took the platform with the Womens Ensemble. Unfortunately they left the music stand on the stage and Jklyn was standing right behind it, so you can't really see her face in this picture. This choir of young Christian ladies really share their love of God through music. The great thing is the Choir Director assigns older teens as mentors to the younger girls in this choir, to help them learn the music, and to make them feel welcome in the group. Jklyn looks at some of the older girls as if they were her big sisters, which in Christ they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the end of the concert the whole youth choir took the stage, along with a guest director, while the main director played the piano. Jk is the second girl to the right of the director with the black hair. They did a wonderful program with a mixture of southern gospel and contemporary Christian numbers and some hymns. There were solos, accapella numbers, and a whole lot of musical talent and love of God shown.

 

One of the acapella numbers with the full youth choir.

I didn’t get a picture of the orchestra because it was too dark where they were sitting to the side of the platform, and since the battery on my camara died at the beginning of the program and I was  limited to my cell phone, it was too dark to really get a decent picture.  But they did a wonderful set of Christian instrumental numbers under the direction of our Homeschool Orchestra Director.  At the end of this program they called the parents and grandparents up to join their homeschool child in singing a chorus of “Thank You For Giving to the Lord” and we were all told that they were making a video of this whole concert to send to all the missionaries our church sponsors, to say “Thank You” for giving their lives to the Lord and to Missions.  It was a wonderful program and a great way to close out this year’s mission theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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