Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's March But April's Coming

As the sound and fury of college basketball's March Madness permeates every corner of this little house under the weeping willow tree, threatening to over take me as it has my husband, a line comes to mind, "It's March but April's coming!"  I had to look to see if Tony Compolo's famous Easter sermon was on Youtube and it was.   Rejoice!   It's Friday but Sunday's coming!  There is  hope.

Tony Compolo

What I'm Listening To...

"The Kingdom" by Starfield

Isn't He Beautiful?

Is it audacious or idolatrous to depict an image of Jesus?   I know many believe it to be so.  I believe we experience grace when we appreciate an artist's rendering of Jesus.   The many likenesses prepare the way for the day we experience Him face to face, a face we will never tire of seeing.   They tell His story to those who struggle with His words.  We are reminded that God did become Man for us.  We see loving eyes, tender expressions, and the terrible beauty of His sacrifice.   Don't worship the image, however, worship the One who redeemed us for Himself.   He is worthy of all glory, honor and praise.     My latest upload to Youtube is "Beautiful  Jesus" by Jeremy Riddle and features the lovely voice of TaTa Vega.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Precious Memories

I was watching a news show tonight about a little family video that went viral and became a family money maker.   I did feel a twinge of envy and a wish that the young man, who lives with me and doesn't want to be blogged about, could be small and cute again just long enough for me to make my own viral video.   Well that's not going to happen, although there is a possibility that he could make money filming his strange, aging parents.   I do fear that with all the recording devices available that one day we will miss the fun of oral storytelling, those family stories that get better with every telling, allowing for extra funny flourishes and embellishments.   I do so enjoy gathering around a table and laughing over the shared memories and "do you remembers" that I hope it will be a part of my Heaven.    I'm sure Noah would have some good ones to tell about what happened on the Ark!   It would have been terrific to have recorded a cousin laughing so hard at the kids' table over my brother's joke story that milk streamed through his nostrils in a wide arc, but it's still a lovely, amusing memory, even if it can't be monetized on Youtube.   Then again now that I've discovered how easy it is to record with my iPad,  I'm keeping it handy.   You just never know with my family...

Precious Memories - Patty Loveless

What I'm Listening To...

"It Is Well (Instrumental)" by Josh Wilson from his See You album.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Because He Lives

Rembrandt - Raising of The Cross
Rembrandt - Descent From The Cross

Rembrandt painted himself into both of these works.   He is the man in the blue cap helping to raise the cross of Jesus, and he is also the penitent man sobbing as the body of his Lord is lowered from the cross. It makes me believe we will be enjoying Rembrandt's newest works in Heaven, perhaps in the mansions Jesus is preparing for us.  Can you imagine how good they'll be?  It's a bit mind blowing.   As we approach Easter, it helps to remember that our lives don't end here.  We will live an eternity with our Savior.   Because he lives, we can face tomorrow.   The thing is to live our tomorrows prepared should Jesus say, "Come Home."

Because He Lives - David Crowder Band

What I'm Listening To...

"Beautiful Scandalous Night" by Sixpence None the Richer and Bebo Norman from 
 City On The Hill: The Gathering album.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Mercies Will Come

Lamentations 3: 22-23 (NIV)
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

I had my feelings hurt this morning, and I'm still feeling prickly about it.   I can't trust feelings but I can trust our faithful God.  Our Lord has promised He tomorrow will bring new mercies, and He will do as He has promised.   We are so dearly loved.   I have been coming to the Lord all day to try to cast off these quills but I think I've been a little too fond of them to do so.   It's time to let them go, to love God more than myself, and to love others as He loves me.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Fernando Ortega

What I'm Listening To...

"Song of Hope" by the Robbie Seay Band from the Give Yourself Away album.

Monday, March 26, 2012

He Didn't Pass Me By

Hughes Merle, "A Beggar Woman"

This painting of A Beggar Woman has me singing Fanny Crosby's hymn, "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior."  I came to Jesus with nothing of my own to offer and He gave me abundant grace and mercy, and continues to do so as I live out my salvation.    It's humbling and gratifying to hold out my hands and have them filled to overflowing with the goodness of God.  It's truly amazing grace!  But that's another hymn, for another day, or maybe after I finish posting.  I do love the hymns!   He didn't pass me by and he won't pass you by either.   He will hear your cry.

Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
Fanny Crosby
Red Mountain Church

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
  1. Hear my humble cry;
    While on others Thou art calling,
    Do not pass me by.
    • Refrain:
      Savior, Savior,
      Hear my humble cry,
      While on others Thou art calling,
      Do not pass me by.
  2. Let me at a throne of mercy
    Find a sweet relief;
    Kneeling there in deep contrition,
    Help my unbelief.
  3. Trusting only in Thy merit,
    Would I seek Thy face;
    Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
    Save me by Thy grace.
  4. Thou the spring of all my comfort,
    More than life to me,
    Whom have I on earth beside Thee,
    Whom in Heav’n but Thee.

What I'm Listening To...

"Sweetly Broken" by Jeremy Riddle from Vineyard Music's Sweetly Broken album.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our Eternal God

I'm taking the commercial break on "The Amazing Race" to start this post, and I've also got an exciting Ted Dekker book on hold on my iPad.   How did I ever get along without electronics?    I'd be reading books printed on paper and would have to find an encyclopedia to look up information on Azerbajiani, the country where the racers were tonight.   Were the good old days good or just a variation of modern life?   Do the flickering shadows of candlelight beat the flickering shadows of a television set?  I don't know, but I will stop to be sincerely thankful for home appliances.   At times I'm amazed by the changes in this world in my lifetime and reassured that some things won't ever change.   My Jesus, the Starkindler, is God eternal, never changing, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

Hebrews 13: 8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

The Starkindler - Michael Card

Lyrics to Starkindler by Michael Card:

A billion bright and holy beams

Of a light that’s traveled far
Began the trip from His fingertips
The wonder of the stars
Affirm the signs and seasons
So silently they sing
Of the wonder of their kindler
Of the power of their king

Oh the fiery suns above us
In the vast veil of the sky
Are your servant flames of fire
Are your silent holy guides
And like the star lit magi
May the guide our souls to you
As they shine the light of awesome love
Into eyes that see anew

A billion bright and holy beams
Of a light that’s traveled far
Began the trip from his fingertips
The wonder of the stars
And like the star lit magi
May the guide our souls to you
As they shine the light of awesome love
Into eyes that see anew

What I'm Listening To...

"Fragile" by Ten Shekel Shirt from their Fragile, Video Version release.

A video that honors survivors and inspires engagement. (By Lamont Hiebert: Co-Founder of the human rights organization Love146 and front man for the band Ten Shekel Shirt.)

Enjoying A Place In The Sun

Malachi 4:2
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

The sun was out today and warmed our bodies and souls!   We grinned, shed our coats, and thought about our yards and gardens.   I wore my sunglasses!  The Seattle TV weatherman just described us as sun-starved people, and he was right.   It was only our natural reserve that kept us from skipping like calves released from the stall.  However, the young man, who lives with us but doesn't want to be blogged about, did take us for a road trip in his first car.   I have had the old hymn, "There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today," on auto play in my head.   I'll post a YouTube video with the lyrics so you can sing it too.  In the sunshine or the rain, God remains good, as I continue to occupy this little house under the weeping willow tree.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

In God's Waiting Room

Psalm 13 (NIV)

1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? 
   How long will you hide your face from me? 
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts 
   and day after day have sorrow in my heart? 
   How long will my enemy triumph over me?

 3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God. 
   Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” 
   and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; 
   my heart rejoices in your salvation. 
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise, 

   for he has been good to me.

     I've been in God's waiting room for many years now.   I have waited both patiently and anxiously.  I have accused the Lord and have found Him guiltless.   I have accused myself and have found forgiveness.   I have rebelled and surrendered, grumbled and given thanks.   I've offered up my own plans instead of seeking His.   I've questioned without listening. I've sought the counsel of man rather than God.   I've been so busy in His waiting room that I have spent little time waiting.  Still, He has remained ever merciful and gracious to me, His petulant child.   It is good that God is God and I am not.   He knows who and where I am, and He has not forgotten me.  

Psalm 13 (How Long O Lord) - Brian Doerksen

By Request...

This is an image requested by a youtuber after seeing it in one of my videos.   I believe it's called "Prayer Warrior."  I found it on photobucket.

What I'm Listening To...

"Yours To Take" by Jimmy Needham from his Nightlights album and played this morning on Praise 106.5 fm.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Shout Out to Mom

I've seen my mother's world shake, but I've never seen my mother's faith in God shaken.   She encourages me when I need encouraging.   I spoke today with her and came away sure that our God can do anything.   I know He can do anything, such as when I whine, "God, you could have saved our house but you didn't!"   Mom lets me know that God didn't want us in that home because He has better things for us.   He does?   Wow!  Thanks, Mom!   When one of her babies was close to dying from whooping cough and she was being warned to prepare herself,  she chose to listen to God instead.   This baby that she considered a gift from God, because she was born on her spiritual birthday, would not be taken from her, and she wasn't.   She recovered, thrived, and blesses us all.   When God saw fit to move  them from a cramped house into a large Victorian era home even though they had no money for a down payment or a bank loan to offer, she thought the house had room for another baby, perhaps a boy.  It wasn't long before she was bringing home her seventh baby from the hospital.  As it says in Isaiah 54, Mom enlarged the place of her tent, lengthened her cords and strengthened her stakes.   
God bless my mother,  who has set her feet on your path and has never turned back.

He Rescued Me - Red Mountain Church

What I'm Listening To...

"Remind Me Who I Am" by Jason Gray from his A Way To See In The Dark album.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Praise The Lord With Dance

Psalm 150:4 (NIV)
Praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,

I was raised in a very conservative church where dancing wasn't allowed.   Actually, quite a few things weren't allowed.   That can happen when one neglects how grace transformed the law.   The moment I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I was raised from death to life in Him.   If that isn't a reason to dance, I don't know what would be.   To be sure dancing for our Lord is different than dancing for the world.   I've grown very tired of the TV show, "Dancing With The Stars, " and have long stopped watching it.   Twirling in the kitchen, however, for the joy of the Lord deep in my heart is quite fine.  

Dancing - Joanne Hogg

What I'm Listening To...

"Beauty For Ashes" by Shane & Shane from their Carry Away album.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life on the Rainy Side

This is a picture for my siblings and anyone else who has ever enjoyed playing with kittens in a barn.   I'm thankful for being raised around animals.   I'm thankful for our landlord who allowed us to keep our pets in this little house under the willow tree.   I'm sure the pets are happy that the only place for my computer is near the front door where I can easily let them in and out, and in and out, and in and out.   It was a long, wet winter in this little house and the advent of spring has brought more rain and even snow.   Still, God is good.   We are crowded together but we are together.  

When The Rain Comes - Third Day

What I'm Listening To...

"Washed By The Water" by Needtobreathe from their album,  The Heat.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Will Provide

I was giving in to the sin of worry over our finances today so I sought out Scripture on God, our Provider.  I've known the Bible stories from childhood: the sacrificial lamb for Abraham's Isaac, the exodus from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna in the wilderness, the pillar of could by day and the pillar of fire by night, Ruth and Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, and as in the picture above, the prophet Elijah being fed by ravens.  There are so many stories that I have to remember that these were real people not just stories.   If I think enough about it, I could give you my own stories of God's provision.   Still I worry.   I am thankful God forgives.   I will remember His name, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide.
Jehovah Jireh
An excellent video by

What I'm Listening To...

"Battle" by Chris August from his No Far Away album and played this morning on Praise 106.5 fm.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

God's Lullaby

What a thought that the Lord will rejoice over me gladness and quiet me with His Love!   The prophet Zephaniah  is referring to the repentant remnant of Israel, but I believe it is also tells us how God treats any repentant soul, any prodigal child.   There will be a day when I hear God singing and that is almost to wonderful to imagine.   I say almost because I try to imagine it anyway.   I used to sing over the young man who lives in my house and doesn't want to be blogged about, but I believe he remembers.  I miss it, singing over the child that I love.    I was caught up this past weekend with the loveliness of the Irish Lullaby, and wishing I could stop and put it on a Youtube video.   Maybe I will yet do so.   Now it's late, the Sabbath is nearly over and a new week is about to start.   Enjoy the lullaby.

An Irish Lullaby
Over in Killarney 
Many years ago, 
Me Mither sang a song to me 
In tones so sweet and low. 
Just a simple little ditty, 
In her good ould Irish way, 
And l'd give the world if she could sing 
That song to me this day. 

"Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li, 
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don't you cry! 
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li, 
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that's an Irish lullaby." 

Oft in dreams I wander 
To that cot again, 
I feel her arms a-huggin' me 
As when she held me then. 
And I hear her voice a -hummin' 
To me as in days of yore, 
When she used to rock me fast asleep 
Outside the cabin door.

What I'm Listening To...

"Holy God" by Brian Doerksen on his Holy God album.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Be Thou My Vision

"Sense of Sight"
Annie Swynnerton

The Irish hymn, "Be Thou My Vision," is what I want to post this Saint Patrick's Day and is my desire for my relationship with my God and King, that He be first in my heart,  the shelter for my soul.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Be Thou My Vision - Selah

What I'm Listening To...

"Learning To Be The Light"  by Newworldson

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Irish in Me

When Irish eyes are smiling,
'Tis like a morn in spring.
With a lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
~Author Unknown

My maternal grandfather, long gone from this earth, left home at the age of 12 after a confrontation with his strict father, who thought him too young to speak at the table but not too young to do the work of a man.   He then travelled across this country doing whatever work was given.   He fell in love with my grandmother and sired his own large brood of children, providing for them even during the Great Depression.  He died too soon for me to know him well, but I do know that I never heard my mother speak ill of him or my grandmother, only words of honor, love and respect.   He made my mother happy to claim her Irish and Scottish ancestry.   So the eve of Saint Patrick's Day brings my grandfather to mind.   I can't hardly imagine a boy of 12 on his own, but apparently he could and did.   I believe that fathers give their children an image of God.  It makes me weep for the boy who couldn't speak at the table; but it also  makes me proud of the quiet man who loved his wife, raised his children and worked to provide for them all.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

"Long Time Traveler" - The Wailin' Jennys

What I'm Listening To...

"Hold Me Jesus" by Rich Mullins from his Songs album.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Romance and March Madness

Frederic Wilhelm Burton, Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting On The Turret Stairs

I am looking at this painting on photobucket while my husband sits nearby watching with excitement the latest March Madness basketball game.   He stops the TV to have me look at a play; and then I look back at the romantic painting and think that the only way this became art because it was painted long before the invention of basketball and certainly not in the month of March!   Then I read an English translation of the tragic Danish poem .   If I understand it correctly, Hildebrand is about to slay her father and six of her brothers before she intercedes to save the life of the seventh.   That brother then turns and kills Hildebrand.   Hellelil dies soon after.   One line stands out to me, "none knows my grief but God alone."
Such tragedy!  It was March Madness from an earlier time!   Hellelil, you were one of a long line of women forced to endure men enjoying their inner warrior.   I may not know your grief but I sort of get it, as my husband shouts at the TV set one more time.   God made them for us to love.

Judy Garland - Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart

What I'm Listening To...

"The Silence of God" by Andrew Peterson from his Love & Thunder album

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God Bless, Sister

Another sister is having a birthday.   All my sisters are special but this one is especially mine, since we shared our babyhood.   She may think I took her babyhood coming so soon after she was welcomed into the world, but she still showed me undeserved selflessness, mercy and grace.  I do want to apologize for that Christmas when Mom put both of our names on that toy kitchen she so wanted, trying to make a fair division of gifts.  Mom and Dad always tried to spend equal amounts through our growing up years: but I still compared every gift received with what this sister was given, keeping a silent score over who got the best gift.   I envied her social life while she envied my grades.   I played and watched while she claimed our father's lap.    She played and watched while our mother nursed me through bouts of bronchitis.   Even yesterday, while looking at old family pictures, I noted that she had a new Easter outfit while I was wearing her previous year's hand-me-down dress.   A sister can be the yardstick by which you measure your life, the keeper of her memories as well as your own, a constant and sometimes unwanted companion, the divider of the spoils, the multiplier of the fun, and the one who loves you more than you'll fully realize.  I pray, dear sister, that our Heavenly Father will bless you with a year of boundless love and grace.   You deserve it . . . even if I find myself envying your bounty.   

Love Never Fails - Brandon Heath

What I'm Listening To...

"Alive" by All Sons & Daughters from their Season One album.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When Dad Was a Boy

"When I Grow Up" 
Jim Daly, Artist

I've been thinking about you today.   This picture has me wondering what your dreams were when you were a boy.   They probably didn't involved WW2, a wife, and a a cascade of kids.   You went with the flow and I'm thankful, especially since I'm number six!   Still,  I'm wishing I had asked you what you had wanted to be when you grew up, before responsibilities forced you into adulthood.  Maybe someday in Heaven we can talk about it, if things of the world still matter.   I'm just curious, as you know.  
Your ragamuffin children still miss you.

He Knows My Name - Sheila Walsh

What I'm Listening To...

"What If" by Jadon Lavik from his Moving on Faith album.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory

"Christ and the Sinner" 
Vasily Polenov

I've been working on a Youtube video for the song, "When Love Sees You,  Jesus" sung by Mac Powell from the album,  Music Inspired By the Story.  It has had me looking for images from the life of Christ and, in doing so, I found this painting by Vasily Polenov, a Russian artist, who lived from 1884 to 1927.   It's an amazing painting, this masterpiece.   Most of our stories will never be put in writing let alone in art.  This woman, caught in adultery, has a story preserved in Holy Scripture.   When Jesus said whoever is without sin can cast the first stone, all of her accusers left.   There is none of us, not one, without sin, but Jesus is our grace.  If the woman had not been so prominently set before the Jesus,  she would have been stoned to death, her story known only to God.   It is the way most of our lives will be lived,  our real stories, not the just the one we deem presentable,  known only to God, the half not told, the joy unspeakable, the unrecorded words that Jesus wrote in the sand for this woman.  "Joy Unspeakable" by Barney E. Warren was written about the same time that this artist lived, "Joy Unspeakable" by Curt McKee is a contemporary version.

Joy Unspeakable 
  1. I have found His grace is all complete,
    He supplieth every need;
    While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet,
    I am free, yes, free indeed.
    • Refrain:
      It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
      Full of glory, full of glory;
      It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
      Oh, the half has never yet been told.
  2. I have found the pleasure I once craved,
    It is joy and peace within;
    What a wondrous blessing, I am saved
    From the awful gulf of sin.
  3. I have found that hope so bright and clear,
    Living in the realm of grace;
    Oh, the Savior’s presence is so near,
    I can see His smiling face.
  4. I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
    How its waves of glory roll;
    It is like a great o’erflowing well,
    Springing up within my soul.

    Joy Unspeakable - Curt McKee

What I'm Listening To...

"Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" by For King and Country from their Crave album and played on my ride home this morning on Praise 106.5.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Letting The Chains Go

Acts 12:7 (NIV)
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.

I sat down at my computer tonight feeling disappointment in someone else's sin and wondering what to write.   The Charles Wesley hymn, "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" immediately came to mind crowding out all other thoughts.   Bound by sin but released from my own chains, I am forever grateful for the mercy and forgiveness shown to me.   It is an amazing love that my God should die for me!   It's amazing too that His concern is for my relationship to Him.   It's where my focus should be.   May it never be that I try to wear the chains again!  Leave them behind and rise, go forth, and follow.   I am covered by the blood of the Lamb and His grace is more than sufficient.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

And Can It Be - The Enfield Hymn Sessions, Resolved Music, Vol. 1

What I'm Listening To...

Hillsong's "Made Me Glad" which we sang this morning in during our church worship service.