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Monday, October 16, 2017

TMSDay Highlights, Anxious Christians, Nightingale Music

#TMSDay Highlights

On October 10th, The Master's Seminary had an online event where people could watch classes, a Q & A, Chapel, etc. (live-streaming).
I loved it!
I shared about it in a previous post.
The Q & A had Nathan Busenitz asking questions of John MacArthur that people had posted online.
Well, you can actually watch that, the chapel, & the faculty discussion by going HERE.

For The Anxious Christian

Do you have a tendency to be anxious?
I do.
My family heard some messages by Don Green the past couple of Sundays, and he explains how Jesus dealt with anxiety.
We probably need to hear them again.
Don Green reminds us of a part of God's character that some of us need to remind ourselves of over and over.
I recommend listening to or watching these!

Why Are You So Worried?

From Anxiety to Rest

Music To Enjoy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Upcoming Hymns of Grace Album • Excitement Rising

I was watching the live-streaming from The Master's Seminary this week and heard the recording of men singing before and between sessions.
Later I saw them posting on the stream about an upcoming album.
This album should be well-received.
There is something special about hearing a group of men singing worship music!
I know that the men who have attended the conferences enjoy singing together.
I searched and found the song they were playing online.
While this isn't the version from the upcoming album, you can see the lyrics of the song they were playing for #TMSDay!

I want to thank The Master's Seminary for blessing many of us with a sample of teaching from the seminary as well as Q & A sessions. 
I have been blessed in the past with pastors who either taught at or who graduated from The Master's Seminary. 
I hope that we may get a pastor from there in my area of Tennessee in the future.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Standing Up In The Face Of Danger - Las Vegas Shooting

They stood up. They protected.  They went into the face of danger.
The police in Las Vegas acted like good soldiers in a time of horror.
Some protest the police and/or bend their knee to complain about this country and authorities (instead of giving thanksgiving for their blessings).
While the police draw from the same fallen human race as the rest of us, most of them will risk their lives to save the necks of the people of this country.

When I heard about the police standing up and risking their lives, it moved me.
We are so stirred up by heroic efforts of humans to save others and rightfully so.
Yet, it reminded me of something our family has been reading.
Does the prisoner in war love the man who, at the risk of his own life, breaks through the enemies lines, rescues him and sets him free?  Does the drowning sailor love the man who plunges into the sea, dives after him, catches him by the hair of his head and by a mighty effort saves him from a watery grave?  A very child can answer such questions as these.  Just in the same way, and upon the same principles, a true Christian loves Jesus Christ.  - J.C. Ryle (from the book "Holiness") 
I struggle with whether I love Christ like that, but when I think about it that way - it reminds me how thankful I should be to Christ and how it should make me love Him like that.
I feel so wretched that I don't love Him the way I want to.
His death means more than even heroic policemen, soldiers, or firemen.
He died for the sins of those who were His enemies.
He chose to rescue sinful humans by taking their sins on Himself to suffer the punishment for them by dying - shedding His blood for them on a cross.
His perfect righteousness is placed on those to whom He gives life to - to whom He grants repentance and faith in Him.
And He is also fully God as well as fully man!

How little I can rely on my feelings and my own thoughts.
No matter how I feel, I am His.  He has made me want Him, and I won't give up even though I have to keep fighting my own thinking and the doubts due to my own feelings and thoughts.

Do you love Christ?  Are you His?


Friday, September 22, 2017

A Fitting Ending & Beginning! • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 6

Joelle had been in Ireland several weeks already, and while she was there she was able to spend quite a bit of time with the church family. 
One of the men that she met at church was named Brandon. 
He was actually planning to go to the U.S. very soon to attend The Master's Seminary! 
His desire was to come back to Ireland and be a part of a church plant. 
Joelle loved the idea, and the two began to get acquainted. 
She knew that she didn't have a lot of time left before she was scheduled to head back to the U.S., so they spent quite a bit of time together.

The news of her ancestry finally came back. 
Yes, she was related to James and Jane Russell!
She would have a share in the inheritance of the ring, although it might be a small portion.
The letter that was found in the Bible at the crypt was enough of an inheritance for her.

This is what it said.

Dearest Eliza and John,

My dearest desire for you is to love and serve the Lord all of your days.
Read His Word dear ones, because there you will find the truth to get you through the darkest of times as it has me.  
It is far more precious and valuable than any jewels I can leave you, though the love of dear James in giving me the gift of the ring is a sweet memory.
Beyond the inheritance of these jewels, you have been deeded some land near this church.
The deed is enclosed.  

Aunt Jane.

Joelle dearly wished that the property could have a church built on it that taught the Word of God accurately, but she would have to wait for the inheritance to be settled to see if that was possible.

Before she left to head back to the U.S., Brandon proposed marriage to Joelle, and she accepted!
They planned to marry in the U.S. shortly before he would go on to seminary.

The rest of Joelle's family had decided to stay in Tennessee and start over.
They would move near Maryville where there was a good church that they could be involved with.

Joelle would one day be able to go back to Ireland and serve the Lord with her husband and see the friends that she had grown to love.
She had a rich heritage, and one day she hoped that many people in Ireland would hear the Gospel and turn to Christ.
The God who is Sovereign over storms and over us all can still change hearts, and He uses His Word and those who proclaim it!
What had started out as a nightmare with a hurricane had become a blessing that had surely worked for the good of Joelle, Brandon, and for Ireland!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Rich Heritage • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 5

The next day Joelle was so excited to attend the Bible Study and Prayer group in the garden.
She was welcomed and cared for, and people even prayed for those affected by the hurricanes and earthquakes in other parts of the world.
They were going through a portion of Matthew 5 that week.
She followed along, reading from her NASB translation.

Later on that day, she searched out her Mc Intyre ancestry, and she discovered an Eliza and John were the parents of her ancestor who came to the U.S. sometime before 1880.  A DNA sample might prove whether she was actually related to James & Jane Russell.

On the weekend, the family obliged her by going back out to the old Dunlewey church which was near the "Poisoned Glen."
There were differing stories as to why it was called that, but whatever the reason, it was rather intriguing.

Once they got to the church, she walked through the opening and tried to imagine how a jeweled ring could ever be discovered there.
The family found a place to picnic, and they discussed how they could go about finding out about the ring.  It was a lovely day, and Joelle felt at peace.

Weeks went by, and finally, they were rewarded with hearing that permission was given to search for the ring.
Meanwhile, Joelle had a DNA sample taken to see if she could be related to the Russells.
She knew that soon she would have to go back to the U.S., but she had hopes that she would learn about the ring and her heritage before leaving.

They carefully found a way to get into the crypt beneath the church ruins.
The coffin where James was buried was discovered, and an old rusted metal box was found above it.
Joelle was notified, and quickly she and her host family went out to the church again to see what was inside.
An old Bible and a jewelry box were indeed found!
There inside was the beautiful diamond and emerald ring!

The Bible was carefully opened, and Joelle noticed that it was well-worn.  Could James have truly loved reading God's Word?  Was he actually a true believer?  She would like to hope so.
An envelope fell out.  It was addressed to John and Eliza Mc Intyre!
What did it say?  Was this her heritage?
She hoped so.  She now loved Ireland and its people.
She loved the family who had taken her in.
Would Ireland become her new home, or would she go back to America with a new appreciation for both her heritage and her wider spiritual family of brothers and sisters who would inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Surprising Discovery • A County Donegal Mystery ♦ Part 4

Joelle set down the intriguing letter she had found and picked up the book she had discovered it in.
She looked in the front of the book for a name. There it was!
It was inscribed to an Eliza Jane Russell in 1847.

1847?!  Jane Russell was the name of the lady who had the Dunlewy church built in honor of her husband James!
Joelle had just visited the old church ruin the other day!
James was supposed to be buried under where the church was. 
Before James' death, he had been a landlord for the estate.
Jane could very well be the aunt of Eliza Jane!

Why, the Great Famine in Ireland was at its worst in 1847 when Eliza received this old book!
Joelle had read a little about the famine. 
Many people had left the country even before that time while others died of illness and starvation during it.
She had also read that some of what could have been eaten by the people of Ireland had been exported instead.
It was a terrible time, and some of those who left died in the ships never making it to their destinations.

Joelle wondered if Jane had been a help for those still struggling after the very worst of that era (following her husband's death in 1849) by her employment of the people to get the marble and blue quartzite.
People were also able to prepare bricks locally for the church.

Could the ring that Jane had written about in the letter still be hidden away?
She really must find out if the Gaelic held any more of a clue as to where it could have been placed.
She looked for Briona and asked her if she could read and translate the postscript of the letter into English. 
She would be more accurate than an online translator.

It said, "Faoi marmar agus cloch, ós chionn chroí mo ghrá gheal, aimseoidh tú bosca taisce."

Here is what she learned that it meant in English:
Under marble & stone above the heart of my dear one, a box of treasures you will find.

She would have to go and explore the old church again, and she would likely need permission and cooperation from those in authority to see about searching for the ring (if they agreed that it was likely the right place and person).

Meanwhile, she would search out her own ancestry to see if she could be related to John and Eliza Mc Intyre!

(This is what the Dunlewy Church ruin looks like from above.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

HIdden Jewels? • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 3

Joelle was able to read most of the letter she had discovered in the old book despite its fading and age.

My Dearest Niece Eliza,

How time has flown since your father and I played in the gardens of each others' homes.
And now his daughter is grown and about to be wed.
I dearly appreciated how you lovingly ministered to me after my dear husband passed away.
I'll never forget your gentle compassion and kindness.

I am elated you have found the man of your dreams, the man God prepared to be your husband!
Soon you will be Mrs. John Mc Intyre.
Thank you for the invitation to your wedding.

I regret I shall not be able to attend due to a recent decline in health, but I want to tell you of a special wedding gift for you & your descendants should you ever be in great need (above and beyond the gift I plan to send along for you wedding reception). 
The special gift is an exquisitely lovely ring I could never bear to wear, as my husband (your uncle) died before he could give it to me for our anniversary.
It has an emerald just the shade of your beautiful eyes and is surrounded by diamonds.
I hid it in a place close to my husband's heart.

I hope you and your husband-to-be will always look to Christ in your marriage and that you will be as happily married as my husband & I were.

Aunt Jane

Joelle saw a postscript written in another language.  She guessed it must be Gaelic.
She would have to ask her new friends what it meant.

It was very interesting that Eliza's future husband's surname was the same as Joelle's.
Perhaps she should look further into her genealogy.  Could she be related?

(This portion of the story has been contributed mostly by my sister TJT.)