A Prayer for Humility

The women’s ministry at our church has begun a new Bible study based on Andrew Murray’s small booklet, “humility: The Journey Toward Holiness.” At the end of the first lesson is a challenge for us to pray this prayer:

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

Deliver me, Jesus,

from the desire of being loved,

from the desire of being extolled,

from the desire of being honored,

from the desire of being praised,

from the desire of being preferred to others,

from the desire of being consulted,

from the desire of being approved,

from the fear of being humiliated,

from the fear of being despised,

from the fear of suffering rebuke,

from the fear of being forgotten,

from the fear of being wronged,

from the fear of being suspected


And Jesus, grant me the grace to desire

that others might be loved more than I,

that others may be esteemed more than I,

that in the opinion of the world,

others may increase and I may decrease,

that others may be chosen, and I set aside,

that others may be praised, and I set aside,

that others may be praised, and I unnoticed,

that others may be preferred to me in everything,

that others may become holier than I,

provided that I become as holy as I should.

–Author unknown

Oh Lord! Forgive me of my sin of pride and teach me not to think of myself more highly than I ought!


From My Kitchen: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I first had the desire to make these treats because one of my sons is allergic to milk! He’s never even had a chocolate candy bar in his life. I finally found some vegan chocolate chips at Whole Foods grocery and I use them in this recipe. They cook and melt just like regular chocolate chips! I also substitute the butter with non-dairy margerine spread, and these peanut butter cups turn out just fine. My kitchen always looks like a disaster zone when I’m finished making them, but it’s TOTALLY worth it! So yummy!


  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs


  1. In 1-quart saucepan combine chocolate chips and shortening. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth (3 to 5 minutes).
  2. Loosen top paper muffin cup from stack, but leave in stack for greater stability while being coated. With small paint brush, coat inside top cup evenly with about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate to about 1/8-inch thickness, bringing coating almost to top of cup, but not over edge. Repeat until 30 cups are coated; refrigerate cups.
  3. In 2-quart saucepan combine butter or margarine and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted (4 to 6 minutes). Stir in confectioners’ sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Press about 1/2 tablespoon filling into each chocolate cup.
  4. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate on top of filling; spread to cover. Freeze until firm (about 2 hours) carefully peel off paper cups. Store refrigerated.

photo by Taste of Home

At Week’s End 1/20/12

I’m all set for a hunker-down weekend. They say an ice, sleet, or snow storm is a-coming this way tonight. Thank God for Friday. Random notes:

  • This week, in our homeschool my two older boys had monumental struggles with fractions and looooong division. We pushed through.
  • I discovered that the perfect time to shop at Costco is on a weeknight right before closing time, and I don’t have to play bumper cars with other people’s carts and can actually do all my shopping in 20 minutes! (with the kids!)
  • We’re having an oldie but goodie for dessert tonight, Tollhouse pie.
  • I heard a great sermon this week on Sermonaudio.com on digging out the root of bitterness, found here.

This weekend, this child TURNS 5!

She’s the “baby”, the 5th child. She’ll get lemon cake with sprinkles and pizza for her birthday. She adores Elmo and tries to convince everyone that she’s really turning six!

Lastly, lovely words from today’s Bible reading, Psalm 47:

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!

Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

For the LORD Most High is awesome;

He is a great King over all the earth.

He will subdue the peoples under us,

And the nations under our feet.

He will choose our inheriance for us,

The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah

The LORD Most High is awesome, indeed.

A Habit for Bible Devotions, Part 2

I do not believe that the Bible is too hard for children to understand at early ages. In Christian homes, parents need not dumb down the Bible for their children. There are many ways to include the children in devotions, even before they can read, and it need not be tedious or frustrating. Here are some of my thoughts on training children to participate in family devotions:

  • Make the time spent in the word substantial but brief. You will know when the length of the devotions is exasperating your child.
  • Choose short passages for memorization. (Even if your children can’t talk!) Passages recited over and over will stick in their minds, year after year.
  • Read whatever passage you are studying to them.
  • Pray with them together. If you like, teach them to close their eyes and fold their hands. This isn’t necessary for prayer, but we taught this posture to our children to know that it was prayer time.

There are a mulititude of ways to have Bible study in your home. We chose to begin right from birth. We would read to our children, and pray with them while they sat in their little bouncer seat. When they were old enough to sit up without falling over, we bought them little children’s sized Bibles to hold in their laps. Since each of our 5 children have what you would call “life verses”, we had them memorize these passages, along with the ten commandments. My husband catechizes them each week with the Baptist Catechism and memorization of the Apostle’s Creed. While it may seem like a lot, it all doesn’t really take that much time. The 3 oldest of our five children can read (ages 11, 10, and 8) and they read their own Bibles each morning. In our homeschool each day, we go over the daily passage and pray. If they have questions about the passage we read we go over that as well.

We are careful not to weary our children during our Bible study times. We consider this training a part of their child-rearing. It’s nonsense to believe that children cannot tolerate sitting still for devotions…if they can sit still to watch a t.v. show or play a video game, they can certainly learn the discipline to sit and contemplate God’s word each day. Salvation comes through the hearing of the Word.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

A Habit for Bible Devotions Part 1

I have seen many plans for “how to read your Bible in a year.” We had one book on our shelf that split up the Bible into 3 parts to read each day, one section from the Old Testament, one from the Psalms, and one from the New Testament.  May I suggest a simple way to read through your Bible?

Start at the beginning and read through to the end.

Okay, well, not all at one time! In the spring of 1997, (during our 1st year of marriage) my husband and I realized that although we said we were Christians, we didn’t take reading the Bible seriously. We went to church regularly and thought our boxes were checked for the week. Once we started regular Bible reading every day, the Holy Spirit opened up God’s word to us and gave us understanding. Not to say that we understood everything we read, but we persevered and finished reading the Bible in 3 1/4 years! Now you may be saying that that is a long time, but the reason why it took a little more than 3 years is because our method is to read one chapter a day. It is so funny now to think about our first reading through of the Bible. I remember when we got to all the genealogy lists of names we couldn’t pronounce…thinking how dry it seemed. Now I can read the list and think of God’s miraculous providence to preserve a remnant through which the Messiah could come. When we got to the Levitical laws, we did not want to eat “unclean” foods” until we read in Acts where the Lord tells Peter “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” There were so many stories all throughout the Bible that we had never read, because pastors don’t preach through them very often, if at all.

After cycling through the Bible, we started over, and over again. The second time and third time through gave us more revelations. The stories began to intertwine, and we would read together and say “ah.” We could see it! Fallenness, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and redemption! You miss so much by not reading straight through. As a family, we’ve read it through nearly 5 times now, and we have no plan of stopping. Right now we are in Psalms. Since David wrote a good number of the Psalms, it is helpful to understand what he was going through as he wrote them. For that, you’d have to go back and read a pretty good portion of 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 Chronicles. It all goes together.

I would not say that it is easy to read the Bible. It is a discipline. But a worthy one. It will never be a waste of your time. Sometimes it is not easy to understand what is written. (Do any of us understand it all?) Ask for God to grant understanding, at least as much as you need to know, for the edification of your soul. Then pray for enough understanding to be able to give an answer for the reason for the hope that you have. He will not fail to answer. He has not failed us yet.

New Year’s Resolutions from the Bottom Up

Every year, we try, try, again. According to USA.gov, top resolutions made for the New Year include:

  • eating healthier and drinking less alcohol
  • getting a better job/ education
  • getting fit/ losing weight
  • managing debt
  • managing stress
  • quitting cigarette smoking
  • volunteering to help others

This time of year, my local library has self-help books showcased on the endcaps and sitting on the display tables near the check-out stations. Is it really that easy to change your life? Just by “declaring” resolutions or reading a how-to book? Lives don’t change from the top down, but from the bottom up. What I mean is this: we must have a firm foundation.

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like the man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently, and immediately it fell, And the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:46-49)

Of course there is room for self-discipline and attention to areas of our lives where we see have been negligent. We should strive to do our best, with diligence and energy, in all that God has given us to do. But as we attend to these matters with care let us not forget where our strength lies, and in whom it lies. Let us be sure our spiritual foundation is rock-solid. We should work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

I originally planned to post about how I like to do a deep seasonal cleaning of my house in January, purging items I don’t need anymore, and about organization in my home, etc. But I decided that while those things do matter, in the end,  they don’t really matter that much. What matters most is, do I know God? Do I endeavour to glorify Him? In saving us from our own sin, we get a spiritual fresh start, with new mercies each day. Praise God!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

He makes all things new.  He is the God of all our Januarys.