Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flying Sparrow Ahead

Matthew 6:25-26(NIV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

It's been a little more than a year since we lost our house to foreclosure and moved into this little house under the weeping willow tree.   I think I should be over the loss by now but I'm not.   I am yet sad.   Still, I know, I really know that God is watching over me and that should be enough.   I look out the window, however, waiting for the bluebird of happiness to settle in my yard and see only sparrows and blackbirds.   Child of God, remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength.   Fly away, little sparrow, to your Savior.

"His Eye Is On the Sparrow" - Selah

What I'm Listening To...

"Rise Up" by Matt Maher from his The Love In Between album.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

II Samuel 14:14 "But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him." The context for this verse is King David's son, Absalom, had banished himself from his father after having David's other son, Amnon, murdered. David was willing to have Absalom back, but wasn't proactive about communicating this to Absalom. Here he is admonished to get with it. And, in so doing, he would be like God in character. God, so says the wise woman to David, is proactive. He is actively taking down walls, opening doors, communicating to his children, that He is willing, even wanting, to have them back. This should speak to us on a couple of levels. When a relationship rift occurs, it is often difficult to make the first move to repair it. However, if we are proactive, we are more like God. Second, we should avoid the tendency to assume people can figure out for themselves that God wants them back. One interesting aspect of this event is that the wise woman goes to David, not Absalom. God is devising, even scheming, how to get His invitation across. He likely wants us to be the invitation bearers. He may ask us to devise the ways to do this. Sometimes people have found the doorway back, but need someone to assist them through. Remember, Satan is trying to block the doorway. But surely God will honor the sincere effort to stamp out estrangement. Are you willing to devise ways to communicate His love?

A post from beanscot's husband also occupying this little house under the weeping willow tree.

What I'm Listening To...

"Love Song for a Savior" by Jars of Clay.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doc's Amazing Grace

 Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson
March 3, 1923 - May 29, 2012

Intimacy comes from being yourself on the stage and making the audience feel, without trying, that you're sittin' down there with 'em, playing, and that can happen in a big hall, if you have a good audience that want to listen.

I'm like an old dog, I hate to be run off from home
Doc Watson

I was saddened to read of Doc Watson's passing today.   He's been a favorite of mine when it comes to bluegrass music.   He had an amazing talent and gift for the guitar.   I don't know enough about guitar playing to comment on his style, but I did enjoy it.   It's when he laid down his guitar, however, and lifted his voice singing the old gospel hymns that I would be most captivated.   The conviction in his voice as he worshipped his Savior could give me chills, the good kind, the feeling that makes you want to stop everything to join in worship, even in a recording.   I wish I had seen him in person, but it looks like that will now have to wait until Heaven, but that's okay, it's an Eternity, far beyond the 10,000 years, bright shining as the son, as John Newton wrote in his hymn, "Amazing Grace."   Doc's Home now and he won't be run off.  
Although God did not spare Doc's physical sight, he lost it when he was only one, He did open the spiritual eyes of his heart.   Doc was introduced to the hymns when he was a child.  Parents remember that the gospel songs will stick with your children the rest of their lives.   Here's Doc singing "Amazing Grace."

What I'm Listening To...

"Courageous" by Casting Crowns from their Come to the Well album.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dance With Who Brung Ya

Exodus 20:14(NIV)
14 “You shall not commit adultery."

This funny picture brought to mind my favorite theologians, the characters from "Veggie Tales."   In the Moe and the Big Exit video we have the tale of the exodus from Egypt placed in the old west.   When I first watched this I wondered how they would translate the commandment on adultery in a way suitable for children.  They nailed it by saying, "Dance with who brung ya."   That's so very true.  God expects us to keep our vows.  It's a truth even children can understand and hope their parents will practice.  

Here are the Veggie Tales Ten Commandments, good for all of us to follow:

. Y'all have no other gods b'fore Me.
2. No makin' idols.
3. When y'all use my name, y'better mean it.
4. Lay off the trail one day a week.
5. Mind yer ma and pa.
6. No killin' folks.
7. Dance with who brung ya.
8. No swipin'.
9. No lyin'.
10. No hankerin' for things that ain't yours.

Veggie Tales - Moe and the Big Exit 6/6

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blowing Taps

"Taps" - US Army Ceremonial Band
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.

I uploaded "Taps" today to my Youtube channel to honor those who have served their country.   I understand that there is no greater honor for a bugler than that of blowing taps.   As a Christian I want the honor of blowing taps for Jesus, my Savior, announcing that His work on the cross was finished and hope  began with his resurrection.   We will rise with Jesus.   Easter was our reveille!

"It Is Finished" - Red Mountain Church

A Time To Remember

With a wrist that still needs healing,  I'll just give a picture and a song for this time of remembering those who've sacrificed their all.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My God, My Hope

Matthew 7:24-27

New International Version (NIV)

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

My hand is numb today from too much time on a keyboard, but it's work and I'm thankful.   I'll let the Scripture, the pictures, and the hymn tell the story.   God bless.

"My Hope is Built On Nothing Less" - Deborah Liv Johnson

What I'm Listening To...

"White Flag" by Chris Tomlin from the Passion 2012 album.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Jesus I Love You

1st Timothy 4:12(NIV)
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

The hymn, "My Jesus I Love Thee" has been playing through my head today.   I do love this hymn and will always associate it with the funeral of a dear friend of ours, a friend so dear we named our son after him.   The lyrics could have been the testimony of his life   I was astounded to read today that it was written by a Canadian boy, only 16 years old, not astounded that he was Canadian but that he was only sixteen.    He lived a short life dying at 27 years of age, but what a legacy he left behind, this profound, straight forward love letter to his Savior.  When I was sixteen my greatest desire was acquiring my driver's license and/or a boyfriend.   I did get the license.  

"My Jesus I Love Thee" - The Joslin Grove Choral Society

My Jesus, I love Thee
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
William Ralph Featherston, 1864

What I'm Listening To...

"Stronger" by Mandisa from her What If We Were Real album.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Dad,

Matthew 4:16(NIV)
he people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
I've been thinking about you tonight.  Your son-in-law and I celebrated another anniversary.   I've been remembering how we stood arm in arm at the end of the church aisle, me in my wedding gown, and you poised to walk your last daughter down the aisle.   You looked at me and said, "You know it's not too late to back out of this."   My jaw dropped open under my bridal veil, then the organ music played, and off we went!   Even though there have been times when I wished I'd taken you up on it, there is so much I wouldn't change for anything.  The product of our union, the young man who lives in our house and doesn't want to be blogged about, has just been talking my ear off about the things so important to him.   There were so many times I did that to you!  I thought education made me so smart, when it was so little compared to the knowledge you gained serving in World War II.   He enjoys so much what he's learning and the heady power of knowledge!   Today he finished a macro economics paper and wryly commented that he could now solve the country's economic crisis.   What is macro economics anyway?   
Well, economics isn't a worry for you now.   You don't have to run around Heaven turning off lights to save a little money, or remind people to close doors behind them, because they weren't born in a barn.   That would be sort of funny if you did, though, because the King of Heaven, the Light of the World was born in a barn!   
Your bride is doing well, still living a life of obedience to the Savior.   This song reminds me of growing up with you and Mom, who taught me to appreciate songs by Perry Como.  This version of "Catch A Falling Star" is by Neal and Leandra from their "A Dreamer's Holiday: A Tribute to Perry Como" album.

What I'm Listening To...

"Your Love" by Brandon Heath from his Leaving Eden album and played this morning on Praise 106.5 fm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No Greater Love

John 15:13(NIV)
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 5:8(NIV)
 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
John 10:11(NIV)
 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

The national news tonight covered the one year anniversary of the devastating and deadly Joplin, Missouri tornado.   I was especially touched by the story of a young wife whose husband gave his life for hers, when he covered her with his own body as the tornado passed over.   His sacrifice was of one of no greater love, the love that compelled Jesus to die for his own bride, the church.   One day he will present us spotless before the throne of God, because He has been our covering.
I was glad tonight to see that the young wife was living her life as her husband would have wanted.   Here is the story from a year ago.

Martyr's Song - Todd Agnew

What I'm Listening To...

"Just Another Birthday" by Casting Crowns from their Come To The Well album.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Mostly Happy Mother

Psalm 113:9 (NIV)
He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.
Okay,  I admit it, I'm not always a happy mother, especially not like this one as she washes dishes by hand.   If I had my way, we'd be eating frozen meals or take out on paper plates just to avoid the dishes!   I really, really miss a dishwasher.  I do like being a mother, gratefully so, after years of infertility.  As the young man who lives in my house and doesn't want to be blogged about marches towards high school graduation, I want to wail at losing my baby!   We will still have his dog, though, when our son goes off to college, and he has a pretty good baying cry.   We will be able to cry in chorus, I suppose, as we both suffer from empty nest syndrome.  

I came home the other day and found the dog baying on the front porch stoop.   He had somehow gotten left outside after his master left for school.   I called his name as I approached him but I don't think he heard over his whooooooooing.    I called his name one more time as I stepped up to the porch and he nearly jumped out of his fur!  Did I scare him into believing he'd have to be a guard dog for real?     His shaggy fur has grown over his eyes again, so I'm not sure he could really see me.   He's getting clipped next week.

I do love this loyal dog who helped raise my son perhaps more than his parents.  He came to us from the pound after my son and I spent much time in prayer for a dog that would be his very own dog.   He has been beside him since the day we brought him home, love at first sight, and a clear answer to prayer.   My son has been a good master too taking responsibility for his own.   

Just a mother's ramblings tonight as I continue to occupy this little house under the weeping willow tree.

This song, "Prayer" is by Hayley Westenra.

What I'm Listening To...

"You Won't Relent" by Misty Edwards from her Relentless album.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Sanctuary for my Lord

John 14:23(NIV)
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

I was stumbling through Scripture today when I came upon a number of verses that speak to the truth that God will make His home with me.   If God should be willing to live in this tiny little house under the weeping willow tree then so should I be willing.   Still I rebel against the confines of this house and long for a bigger, better place to live.   Could it have a dishwasher, Lord?   Please?   What about a hot tub for my fibromyalgia?   Bigger closets, too, I'd like bigger closets.   "There's just no place to put stuff!" I cry and I recoil from the clutter.  Perhaps it's time to do a little spring cleaning in my own heart to make more room for my Savior's comfort.   He deserves no less.
I also came across a song I haven't heard sung for a long time, "Sanctuary," as other songs have come into vogue in corporate worship.   There's no reason, however, I can't make it a part of my personal worship.  I found a video for it.

Who's Your King?

S. M. Lockeridge
March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000

"That's My King"

What I'm Listening To...

"Salvation Station" by NewWorldSon from their Salvation Station album.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My God, My Protector

Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by.” (Exodus 33:21,22)
"He Hideth My Soul - Brian Fee and Assurance

What a comfort!  My soul is safely hidden in the cleft of the rock and covered by God's own hand.  Just as Moses in his imperfect state had to be protected from seeing the glory of God, so must I be protected.  One day I will see the glory of God, but until that day, I am allowed to see where God has been.   Even this little house under the weeping willow tree was prepared for my family to live in, before I knew it would be needed.  I suspect that I still won't know all the ways He has protected me while I walk this earth, but I'm thankful that He does.  

He Hideth My Soul - Fanny Crosby

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.


A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.


With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!


When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I'll shout with the millions on high.


What I'm Listening To...

"Oh the Glory of it All" by the David Crowder Band from Passion: Live from Passion07,  Pt.2.

My God of Compassion and Grace

Psalm 103:8-12 (NIV)
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love.  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve nor repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he has removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103 gives me another reason to be thankful that God is God and I am not.   He does not harbor his anger forever or give me the cold shoulder when I have sinned, unlike someone I know so well in the kingdom of me, myself, and I.  I stubbornly cling to my supposed right to justice when I've been wronged, and become angry when justice isn't served.   It wasn't justice that sent Jesus to the cross, it was love.  He, who knew no sin, bore my sins for me, receiving what I deserved as he hung on the cross.   He is my redeemer and my deliverer.   I remain gratefully his, here in this little house under the weeping willow tree.  
I find a spoken Psalm beautiful.   Here is a reading of it from Hillsong.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What I'm Listening To...

"Lead Me" by Sanctus Real  from their Pieces of a Real Heart album.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

God of Glory

Early Will I Seek Thee - Cliff Hawley

Psalm 63:1(NIV)
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

My soul is always touched by this picture.   It reminds me of the father of a severely disabled but dearly loved daughter.   Every morning of her short life he had his quiet time next to her crib.   Her life was of such great value that she brought a grown man to his knees.   Was she made in the image of God?  Yes, she surely was.   We all are made to live out our lives to the glory of God.
Even if it is pain and sorrow that brings glory to God, we yet live for Him.   

 Christa Wells - How Emptiness Sings
How Emptiness Sings
Brother, he's suffered like a tree taken down
Wept as he witnessed his dreams carved out
And how can a man just keep walking around
With his heart full of holes

But ooh,
His bow is on the strings
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:

Glory to God, Glory to God!
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song,
My life for the glory of God.
Hmm, hmmm

Sister carries her loneliness
In a hidden hollow inside her chest
And sometimes all that she wants is an end
To the long, long night

But ooh,
Her bow is on the strings,
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:

Glory to God, Glory to God!
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song,
My life for the glory of God.
Hmm, hmmm

I haven't been asked yet to walk the hard roads
Still there's a sense of deep loss in my soul
In the middle of a party, I'll just want to go

But ooh,
My bow is on the strings,
I'm beginning to learn where to find the words
To the song that emptiness sings
Ooh, bow is on the strings:

Glory to God! Glory to God!
This is how emptiness sings, oh,
This is how emptiness sings
Hmmm, hmmm

What I'm Listening To...

"Everything Falls" by Fee from their Hope Rising album.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My God, My Leader

Psalm 23:2
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
The old hymn, "He Leadeth Me" has been playing in my head today.  It's late and time for bed but still the hymn plays.   Jesus leads me.   He leads me even when I think I'm leading myself.   I am never out of his sight and always in his hands.  So safe,  I'm really ever so safe.   Thank you, Jesus!

"He Leadeth Me"  The Martins
  1. He Leadeth Me - Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862
  2. He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
  3. O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
    Whate’er I do, where’er I be
    Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
    • Refrain:
      He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
      By His own hand He leadeth me;
      His faithful foll’wer I would be,
      For by His hand He leadeth me.
  4. Sometimes ’mid scenes of deepest gloom,
    Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
    By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
    Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
  5. Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
    Nor ever murmur nor repine;
    Content, whatever lot I see,
    Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
  6. And when my task on earth is done,
    When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
    E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
    Since God through Jordan leadeth me.

What I'm Listening To...

"Long Way Home" by Steven Curtis Chapman from his Re:creation album and played this morning on Praise 106.5fm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My God, My Maker

Psalm 139:13-15(NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

I well remember the moment my son turned from a crying, wrinkled, little stranger, who was keeping me up nights to the most beautiful baby ever, and I mean ever.   I leaned over his bassinet and to pull him into a more comfortable position; and, as I did, he looked at me with such intensity that he took my breath away.   It was a moment of awe and wonder, a gift from God through this tiny child.   I am thankful for every such moment I've received since then and hope for more to come.   
Are there are moments when I take God, my Father's, breath away, when he can look at me and see the beauty in this imperfect vessel and be thankful?  It is my hope and my prayer. 
This is today's YouTube upload, "My Love Goes With You," by the Innocence Mission.   Karen Peris gives voice to his lovely lullaby.