Thank you Lord, that You are our shelter. Thank You that Your blood covers our sin. Thank You that I am hidden in You and that I am protected from the enemy by the great I Am. Majesty and mystery are Yours and Your deep secrets past our finding out. Yet you reveal Your love to us and draw us near.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:11
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Psalm 91 contains many things worth meditating on. As you think in your heart, so you become. (Proverbs 23:7, Romans 12:1 – a bad example and a good one.) Let these transform you.
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
I am grateful for the protection afforded us by the armor of God, that You Lord, are our defense.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:12-13
Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? – Psalm 27:1
In my last post, I offered to give a description of the process of making a doll bed (crib) for my grand daughter, so here goes…
Her doll is nearly two feet tall, so that sets the basic scale for the project. You might notice that the mattress is a queen-size pillow. The head- and foot-boards are 1″x2″ oak assembled with mortise and tenon joints. The inserts are 1/8″ oak plywood. The basic tools are a table saw (including a dado blade set used to cut the tenons), a plunge router for making the mortises, and for rabbiting the grooves to hold the plywood. I also used a drill press to make holes for dowels used in the crib rails
The more non-obvious part of the process comprises making and using a jig to guide the router, so that is what I will concentrate on here.
The mortising jig has the simple function of guiding the router so that you can end up with mortises in the center of the edge of the 1×2 bed posts. Centering is critical, so that the cross members align with the upright ones. In the picture above, you can see the workpiece clamped in between two scrap lengths of 2×8 lumber that I had laying around. On top of those are other scrap pieces carefully aligned and screwed down to limit the travel of the router. There is no vertical movement, and only enough freedom for horizontal movement to get the correct width of the mortise. The upper and side limits are only attached to the top 2×8, so that when the clamps are loosened, the work piece can be moved or a new one inserted.
In the second photo, you can see the router in position in the jig, and the limited freedom to move sideways. It always takes me some trial and error on some scrap pieces to get the jig-fine tuned to give a good result.
This third photo shows the finished mortise. Using a 3/8″ router bit gives the right proportion for 3/4″ stock. Note the alignment marks on the jig. These are needed to get the vertical spacing right on each post when clamping the workpiece. Many passes are made with the router, each slightly increasing the depth. As long as the jig is a snug fit, this process will give a nice mortise with a snug fit and avoid overheating the router bit.
The cross pieces have a tenon cut to fit into the mortises on the bed posts. I did this cross-cut work with a dado blade in my table saw. (A dado blade set consists of two saw blades separated by a group of “chippers” that remove the material between the two blades.) I used the full 3/4″ width of my blade to minimize the number of passes. The material removed is controlled by the height of the blade, set to exactly 3/16″, leaving a 3/8″ thick tenon. Passing through the saw has to be done carefully to get all four cuts to align exactly. I clamp a block to my guide fence to serve as a starting guide for the length of the tenon. This is much safer than allowing the end of the tenon to drag along the fence while going through the blade. A little sanding is all that is required to get the square tenon to fit in the round mortise made by the router bit.
I took the picture above to demonstrate the fit while the bed post was still in the mortising jig.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4
I would tend to think of “testing of my faith” being perilously close to “struggling with doubt”.
However, the Spirit – who is sent to guide us into all the truth – prompts me to think of it more this way: If I have no trials, how would I know that I have faith that holds steadfast under strain? I would become spiritually flaccid without any opportunity to exercise my belief in Him. As for endurance, when one first starts to exercise, he is very limited as to what he can do. After much practice, though, staying power vastly improves. “Trials” are testing experiences that are more than we have tackled before. As our physical muscles were designed to improve with increased training, so our spiritual muscles with increasing trials.
All of 1 Peter 1 is an incredibly rich tapestry of the Life prepared for us: conceived and planned by the Father, purchased in blood by Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, stretching across history, predicted by prophets, and announced by first-century preachers; concerning grace, peace, fullness, mercy, hope, protection, salvation, eternal life, joy, praise, honor, love, glory, revelation, belief, faith, angels, and mysteries.
I am grateful for the grace that enables us to enter in to this magnificent journey with God, and to stay the course, if we are willing.
I am grateful for being a new creature! I thank you for opening the way to beholding this promise more clearly.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
As I meditated on this verse, I became mindful of all the (many) times since “accepting” Christ as Savior, that I have engaged in bad behavior. I was reminded that at no time does the Lord override my free choice. I have to recognize that “in” is not a state that is permanently imposed upon me, it is an invitation. He has done His part. Will I come in? Will I stay?
“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; (Luke 21:34)
The price for my freedom has been paid. Choosing to stay free requires vigilance.