The inspiration for this website came from a Scripture song I heard over 10 years ago at a ladies retreat:

Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
A word fitly spoken shall be,
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
Let my life bring glory to thee.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Although some of the "stories" listed are made up, the Scriptural truths they illustrate are very real and can be of great benefit in a Christian's walk with the Lord and as illustrations for the lost.

It is my heart's desire that amongst the pages of this website, the Christian find words of encouragement and be spurred on to service for our Lord, and that seekers of the truth find Salvation in the timeless truths of God's Word for these troubled times.

- Angela

Death

It Is Well With My Soul

It Is Well With My Soul

Horatio G. Spafford             Phillip P. Bliss

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Chorus

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet,
though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Chorus

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Chorus

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound,
and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so”, it is well with my soul.

Chorus

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

by John Newton
Arr. by E.O. Excell

Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we First begun

Thank Him for Your Thorns

Praise Him for the Roses,

Thank Him for Your Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like spring breeze.

Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease.

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren’t enough, her husband’s company threatened a transfer.

Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.

“She has no idea what I’m feeling,” thought Sandra with a shudder. Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? she wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

“Good afternoon, can I help you?” The shop clerk’s approach startled her.

“I….I need an arrangement,” stammered Sandra.

“For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving “Special?” asked the shop clerk. “I’m convinced that flowers tell stories,” she continued. “Are you looking for something that conveys ‘gratitude’ this Thanksgiving?”

“Not exactly!” Sandra blurted out. “In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.” Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, “I have the perfect arrangement for you.”

Then the door’s small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, “Hi, Barbara…let me get your order.” She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses.

Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.

“Want this in a box?” asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer’s response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!

She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

“Yes, please,” Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. “You’d think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn’t be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again.” She said as she gently tapped her chest.

“Uh,” stammered Sandra, “that lady just left with, uh….she just left with no flowers!”

“Right, said the clerk, “I cut off the flowers. That’s the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.”

“Oh, come on, you can’t tell me someone is willing to pay for that!” exclaimed Sandra.

“Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you feel today,” explained the clerk. “She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery.”

“That same year I had lost my husband,” continued the clerk, “and for the first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.”

“So what did you do?” asked Sandra.

“I learned to be thankful for thorns,” answered the clerk quietly. “I’ve always thanked God for good things in life and never to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I have always enjoyed the ‘flowers’ of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God’s comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we’re afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others.”

Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. “I guess the truth is I don’t want comfort. I’ve lost a baby and I’m angry with God.”

Just then someone else walked in the shop. “Hey, Phil!” shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

“My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement…twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!” laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

“Those are for your wife?” asked Sandra incredulously.

“Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?”

“No…I’m glad you asked,” Phil replied. “Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord’s grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from “thorny” times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems.

My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific “problem” and give thanks for what that problem taught us.”

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, “I highly recommend the Special!”

“I don’t know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life.” Sandra said to the clerk. “It’s all too…fresh.”

“Well,” the clerk replied carefully, “my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God’s providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love.

Don’t resent the thorns.”

Tears rolled down Sandra’s cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. “I’ll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please,” she managed to choke out.

“I hoped you would,” said the clerk gently. “I’ll have them ready in a minute.”

“Thank you. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year’s arrangement is always on me.” The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra.

“I’ll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first.”

It read:

My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain.

Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.”

Praise Him for your roses, thank him for your thorns .

The Sparrow Has Flown Home

The Sparrow Has Flown Home

She’s just a little sparrow,
A weakened vessel made of clay;
Yearning for the day break,
When the shadows will flee away.

Looking for the Sun of Righteousness
To arise with healing in His wings.
As the Saviour waits with open arms,
This little sparrow begins to sing.

Her Heavenly Father numbers each little hair;
Not one of them can come to lasting harm.
Not a sparrow can fall apart from His will –
She is safely resting in His everlasting arms.

Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of one of His own.
Her Father waits to receive His child –
Into the loving arms of Jesus she has flown.

Now she is flying near God’s Heavenly altar,
Forever to worship before His throne;
Dwelling in the Lord’s presence –
This little sparrow has flown home.

Jerry Bouey
August 30th/04

This poem dedicated to my mother-in-law,
Carol Ann Trenholm,
who died of cancer, August 26, 2004, and loved Jerry’s poetry.

Her memorial page can be seen here:

Carol’s Memorial Page

Jim Checking In

Jim Checkin In

A minister passing through his church
in the middle of the day,
decided to pause by the altar and
see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened,
a man came down the aisle,
the minister frowned as he saw
the man hadn’t shaved in a while.

His shirt was kinda shabby
and his coat was worn and frayed,
the man knelt, he bowed his head,
then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed,
each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment,
a lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew,
with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him,
“What are you doing here?”

The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunch time was his prayer time,
for finding strength and power.

“I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away;
as I kneel here talking to the Lord,
this is kinda what I say:

I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT
THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY.”

The Minister feeling foolish,
told Jim, that was fine.
He told Jim he was welcome
to come and pray just anytime.

Time to go, Jim smiled, said
“Thanks.” He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar,
he’d never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
he repeated old Jim’s prayer:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I
THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY.”

Past noon one day, the minister noticed
that old Jim hadn’t come.
As more days passed without Jim,
he began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
but he’d given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them,
brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn’t understand
why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came,
not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
he voiced the nurse’s concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up
and with a winsome smile;
“the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know,
that in here all the while

Everyday at noon He’s here,
a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
leans over and says to me:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM,
HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS
CHECKING IN TODAY.”

May God hold you in the palm of His hand and Angels watch over you.

(Author: Sonny Salsbury)
Jim Checkin In’ is a song written by
~Sonny Salsbury~

If you cannot claim God’s promise of forgiveness
because you do not have Jesus Christ as your Saviour,
please read:

God’s Simple Plan of Salvation

I’ve Gone Home

I’ve Gone Home

I’ve gone home to see my Father,
I’ve gone home, so don’t you cry
I’ll be waiting for you in Heaven,
In my mansion prepared on high.

No more sickness, no more sorrow,
No more pain, and no more grief.
I’ve gone home to be with Jesus
Though my sojourn here was brief.

I’ve gone home to live in Heaven
With all the blessed saints of old,
Here with Abraham and David
To stroll through streets of gold.

But there’s something else more beautiful,
So precious, beyond this crystal sea,
As I wander through realms of glory
I find my Saviour walks with me.

I’ve gone home to be in Heaven
Where there’s no sadness, and no night.
There is joy and peace unending,
In this blissful land of light.

I’ve gone home to be in Heaven,
Though you miss me, and tears abound,
Just keep believing in God’s promises,
And listening for that trumpet sound.

Because one day in God’s timing
When the Lord calls out your name
Look to the skies in awe and wonder –
We’ll see each other again.

Written August 1st, 2000.
Gerald Bouey.
(Dedicated to Tammi Dawson)

************

This poem was later turned into a song to the tune of

I Know Who Hold Tomorrow

by Leann Rimes

I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
And I don’t borrow from the sunshine
‘Cause the skies might turn to grey.

Chorus

There are many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
Yes I know who holds my hand.

And I don’t worry about the future,
‘Cause I know what Jesus said,
And today I’m gonna walk right beside him
‘Cause he’s the one who knows what is ahead.

Chorus

There are things about tomorrow
That I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Chorus

And each step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb.
And every burden is getting lighter
And all the clouds, their silver line.

Chorus

And, I’ll bet the sun it’s always shining
And no tears will ever dim the eye
And the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains, they touch the sky.

Chorus

If you were to die today, do you know for sure, based on God’s Word – the Bible, that He would allow you into His Heaven?

This poem could be written of Tammy Dawson because she had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. She knew she had a home in God’s Heaven based on God’s Word, not her feelings, or her church, or being good enough, or because she “thought” she “might” go there. She had complete assurance of being God’s child.

Do you? If not, please visit God’s Simple Plan of Salvation. There is no other decision in your life that matters more than where you will spend eternity.

***********

Click  Here to download the sheet music to “I’ve Gone Home” in Adobe pdf format.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Viewer for .pdf files, please click below:

(This link takes you to a website outside of EarnestlyContending.com)

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    The link to the Daily Blessing provider is given for credit purposes only. I cannot endorse all content on their website. - Angela

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