House Shopping and the Solace of God’s Sovereignty

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Thou art the blessed God, happy in Thyself, source of happiness in Thy creatures, my maker, benefactor, proprietor, upholder. Thou hast produced and sustained me, supported and indulged me, saved and kept me; Thou art in every situation able to meet my needs and miseries.

-Divine Support, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

My wife and I are in the middle of shopping for a house to buy. We have been pre-approved and have been searching out listings via realtor websites. Today was the first day we went out with a real estate agent to look at houses. We (me, my wife and our five kids) went to look at five different places and at least one we really like to the point we are praying about and thinking about making an offer on. Facing a mortgage is so very surreal, however. It’s a commitment one ought not to take lightly. The foreclosure rate during the last housing market crash still is fresh on my mind (and I have never had a mortgage before). There are many “what-ifs” and uncertainties in life, and taking steps towards any substantial life-altering decision is more than slightly daunting.

Recently, I had a chance to converse through texts with a good friend of mine, who has a wife and three children and currently lives in Nebraska. We both expressed witnessing the very stark and important truth of God’s sovereignty in each of our own lives. “Man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps,” my buddy texted, quoting Proverbs 16:9. I found solace and freedom in that reminder. God made the Universe, galaxies, stars, planets (even one’s with debatable statuses like Pluto), and He upholds all of it! It isn’t a long shot, then, to trust in God’s provision for temporal needs. In fact, His unfathomable free grace bestowed to His people laden with the wages of sin is more than enough to sing praise for all eternity even if He did nothing but that.

That will be my meditation during this time of seeking the right and wise thing to do while house shopping and facing mortgage terms.

 

Road Eats: Dutch Apple Pie in Missoula, Montana

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RIVER CITY GRILL, MISSOULA| Drove from Elko, Nevada up to Twin Falls then east to Pocatello.  North, from there, to Butte then west through Deer Lodge and along the Clark Fork river, settling at a Pilot truck stop for the night.

Trying to be true to the budget, I still wanted to try something from the red brick diner. Boasting homemade pies and other fancies, I settled with an apple pie (a good standby). Trying out different takes on universally loved foods is something which speaks to my own sensibilities. It’s always interesting.

Despite the fact that my job gets me out on the road often, rarely are there opportunities to try a food that isn’t a mass produced commodity. I sat down at the bar and the waitress handed me a glass of ice water and the menu. I passed on ordering a meal and ordered a piece of pie instead. After taking my menu, she opened the glass case behind the counter and cut a piece and put it on a plate to warm up in the back. Minutes later, I sunk into the dessert, enjoying the crumbling conglomeration of crust, sugar and cinnamon layered over thinly sliced apples within. Not even close to the quality of my wife’s pie, but a pleasant change from a preservative-laden pastry in a plastic wrapper. Actually, it wasn’t half-bad.

Pen Drawing: Charcoal Ovens

These kilns, located northwest of Pioche, Nevada, were once used in the production of charcoal, which was in turn used in the smelting of various ores mined in the region. I had the chance to stop and check these out during one of my transport jobs last week off pavement. I used a 0.35 mm Pigma Micron 03 pen on a small cahir Moleskine notebook.
These kilns, located northwest of Pioche, Nevada, were once used in the production of charcoal, which was in turn used in the smelting of various ores mined in the region. I had the chance to stop and check these out during one of my transport jobs last week off pavement. I used a 0.35 mm Pigma Micron 03 pen on a small Cahir Moleskine notebook.

Evening Praise

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Evening Praise

Giver of all, another day is ended and I take my place beneath my great redeemer’s cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that Thou seest in me no spots of sin. Yet a little while and I shall go to Thy home and be no more seen; help me to gird up the loins of my mind, to quicken my step, to speed as if each moment were my last, that my life be joy, my death glory.

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this worldthe refreshing air, the light of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the flowers’ sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs over. Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies. Thy hand bestows blessings: Thy power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of faith, the cheering presence of Thy Spirit, the strength of Thy restraining will, Thy spiking of hell’s artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord!

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett

Thanks to Old Landmarks for the online resource!