Friday, June 28, 2013

My God, My Shepherd

Counting Sheep, Rosebud County, Montana
Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV)
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

John 10:7-10 (NIV)
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:27 (NIV)
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
It's amazing that we don't all look alike to God, as I imagine sheep would all look alike to me, but not to a shepherd and never to The Good Shepherd.  Jesus knows me and counts me as one of his flock.  I'd be foolish to not follow the One who is so attentive to my care; so I am thankful that God yet loves His foolish sheep, such as me.  
"Heart & Soul" - Josh Fox

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Be Still My Soul

Psalm 62:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.

Pictures of lovely young ladies in fields are so romantic, but after living in Texas, I want to protest, "What about the chiggers?  Fire ants?  Have you got sun screen and bug spray?  Is this going to get you all stuffed up?"  Distractions can make it so hard to still a soul.  Today my own soul wasn't still, distracted by aches and pains both physical and emotional.  I've found it easier to turn on the television than open my Bible.  Sigh.  God loves me yet.  I'm also pretty sure there won't be any no-see-ums in his green pastures.  
"Be Still My Soul: What A Friend We Have In Jesus" - Selah

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If My People Pray

Matthew 7:13
English Standard Version (ESV)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

Isaiah 41:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 4:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

"If My People Pray" - Terry Blackwood and the Imperials

Troubling times in my country make the narrow gate seem even narrower and the way ever harder.  We've had it easy compared to our brothers and sisters who have suffered persecution.  It's time to be stronger Christians.  It's time to pray to our God, the source of our strength.  
1 Chronicles 16:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.
"Shadows" - David Crowder Band

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Mindful God

Psalm 8
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 8[a]
For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] A psalm of David.
1 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[c]
5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
    and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 139:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
My God is mindful of me!  Amazing!  I don't need to climb the heights of knowledge do know this is true.  My body may not be dancing for joy but my soul sure is.  
"This I Know" - David Crowder Band

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My God, Lord of the Starfields

Psalm 8:4-6
New International Version (NIV)
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[a]
5 You have made them[b] a little lower than the angels[c]
    and crowned them[d] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[e] feet:

Psalm 147:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.

I'm up late tonight because the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged has a late night at work.  I just feel better when he walks in the door.   You would think that a mother could trust the God who put the stars in place and knows them each by name could take care of his own precious child.  Still, my mother's heart worries.  I'm about to go lay down on the couch where his worried dog waits as well.  I don't know if I'll still be awake for him, but his dog will give him a joyous welcome.
"Lord of the Starfields" - Ali Matthews

Lord of the starfields

Ancient of Days
Universe Maker
Here's a song in your praise

Wings of the storm cloud

Beginning and end
You make my heart leap
Like a banner in the wind

O love that fires the sun

Keep me burning.
Lord of the starfields
Sower of life,
Heaven and earth are
Full of your light

Voice of the nova

Smile of the dew
All of our yearning
Only comes home to you

O love that fires the sun

keep me burning 

My God of Small Things

Zechariah 4:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone[a] in the hand of Zerubbabel?”

Colossians 3:23-24
New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Micah 6:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

I live a small life, made even smaller through illness.  Sometimes, just getting the dishes done is an accomplishment.  Contrary to the song, I can't climb every mountain or ford every stream, follow every rainbow, until I find my dream.  It's a good thing my God doesn't require that of me.  I will live the life God has given me to live, walk the paths He directs me to walk, and love as He would want me to love.  It may be difficult, it may not be my choice, I will fail more than I succeed, but these are God's plans for me and that is enough.

"A Living Prayer" - Alison Krauss & Union Station

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My God Who Sings, Loudly

Zephaniah 3:17
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
My God sings over me.  Yes, He sings loudly over me.  I'll have to let that truth penetrate my heart, soul and mind, for I am ever so prone to doubt, to shut my ears to His singing.  I feel unworthy to sit in His Presence, even though it's my very unworthiness that has given me a place at His side.  I'll never be worthy on my own merit, but, I because of the sacrificial love of the Son, I can hear my Father's song.  I can even join in singing.
"I Believe" - JJ Heller

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dreamland Ahead

Proverbs 3:24
English Standard Version (ESV)
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
This looks like a good place to go!  Funny how we missed seeing it on our road trip.  Beds on the road aren't always the best.  I'm glad to now be back in my own bed in our house of the level path.  Rheumatoid arthritis does give me an appreciation for physical comfort.  It's not always attainable but always welcomed.  
"Prayer" - Hayley Westenra

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Tree Planting God

I did move this week, taking my first trip since the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.  Yes, I couldn't do everything I would have liked to have done, but I was there and I participated.  Yes, my pain was amped up a bit, but I managed.  Now I'm ever so glad to be back in my house of the level path, but I learned that God could still make my paths level even so.  I just need to keep my focus on my Lord and I can be a tree planted wherever He would like me to be, even if I'm propped up with medications.  

"I Shall Not Be Moved" - Johnny Cash


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My God of the Greenest Pastures

"Hymn" - Brooke Fraser
If to distant lands I scatter
If I sail to farthest seas
Would you find and firm and gather
'Til I only dwell in Thee?

If I flee from greenest pastures

Would you leave to look for me?
Forfeit glory to come after
'Til I only dwell in Thee


If my heart has one ambition

If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision 
'Til I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
'Til I only dwell in Thee

Monday, June 17, 2013

My God Who Searches Me

Psalm 139
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
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.
15 My 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.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
Does God ever feel too big and too far away to be concerned about you?  It will never happen.  He knows me inside and out.  That comforts me and also convicts me.  That's okay about the conviction.  I never want to lose the need to be cleansed from my seen, and I won't.  God has me.  He loves me.  He wants the best for me.  He is both the beginning and the end of every longing in my life.  He is the one my soul loves.
"Here I Am" - Emmylou Harris

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My God for Father's Day

She Rose When He Called

We sang Chris Tomlin's song, "I Will Rise" in church this morning.  A few days ago, It was also sung in worship around the bedside of the precious soul who had just departed her body.  How fitting!  I've been getting to know more  about this remarkable young woman as I've read through posts on her website, "Christina, Cancer, and A Walk of Faith."  She loved to worship here on earth and is now worshipping her Lord and Savior in Heaven.  
"I Will Rise"  - Chris Tomlin
Here is a video posted by a friend of Christina Neville in worship with a company of friends and loved ones after hearing of her diagnosis of her fourth and final tumor.  I don't know that I could have so joyfully sung, "Yes, Lord!" as she did.  I am humbled and in awe of the miracle of her life and faith.
Christina Ahmann Nevill

It's Sunday!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My God Who Fathers Our Children

Jeremiah 6:16a
New International Version (NIV)
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.

I got to watch as the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about reached another milestone today.  I'm so very proud of him.  I'm also thankful for the way he is following after his Heavenly Father, because he's turning out so well in spite of his parents!  I know the day is coming when he will no longer be living in our house because God has given him his own path to walk.  I place my trust and confidence in my God who never loses one of His own.  
"You Cannot Lose My Love" - Sara Groves

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Dad Beyond Measure

Romans 8:38-39
New International Version (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 16:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
There are bad dads and there are good dads and dads that fall in between.   There are very few dads that wouldn't do whatever they could for their child, even if by the world's measure it's very little, while other dads bask in the spotlight.  There is only one unmeasurable  Dad, our Father in Heaven; and if He measures dads at all it, would by by how well they brought their own children to Him.  The dads that model the divine love of the Father are the best dads there are, then, of course, there's my dad, the absolute very best dad in the whole wide world!
These are just some Father's Day thoughts from my house of the level path.
"For You" - Josh Garrels

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My God Who Leads Us

Isaiah 41:10, 13 
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand … For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

John 14:1-4
 "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” (Jesus’ words)

A lovely young wife and mother, stricken by brain tumors, is at home with her Lord today.  Now it's time to pray for the ones who loved her so.  Before learning of her death, I was listening to a song I've haven't heard in a while, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," written by Thomas A. Dorsey, following the death of his wife in childbirth and then his precious child.  This video has both the song and his testimony.
Thomas A. Dorsey: "Precious Lord"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thank a Teacher

Deuteronomy 32:2
English Standard Version (ESV)
2 May my teaching drop as the rain,
    my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
    and like showers upon the herb.
John 15:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

The young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about is taking his last final for the school year tomorrow.  My husband, an educator, will end his school year this week.  It has had me thinking about all the innocent children who were in peril this last school year and about the brave teachers, para educators, and the bus driver who put their children's lives before their own.  
I'm thankful for the educators who stand in the gap for our nation's children.
"Stand My Ground" - Johnny Cash

My Walking God

"Carrying Her Shoes Home From Church":: 7.1936 Photo by Dorothea Lange
Revelation 19:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
As strange as it sounds to me, depression era dresses, are now dust bowl chic worn by young women wanting to display their quirky fashion sense.   I would suspect my grandmother, upon who's shoulders I'm standing, would probably probably smile at that while throughly enjoying wearing the fine linen designed by her Savior.  Grandma fared better than many women of her day having lived on a farm far from the dust bowl.  Her family was fed and clothed.  She didn't turn away strangers from her door without feeding them first.  As I think about the photo above, I have to marvel at how glorious it must have been for the woman who saved her soles for church to find her soul saved for eternity by the Savior who walked her all the way home.  
"God Walks the Dark Hills" - Iris Dement

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Good Verse

My God Who Has His Hands Full

Matthew 6:19-21
English Standard Version (ESV)
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This is a good quote for those times I'm lamenting (Yes, I still do.) the things lost in our foreclosure.  Not only did I lose a house, I lost things I just could no longer hold onto and even some things that were brazenly taken by people preying on our desperation.  Not everything made it from our lovely house do the little house under the weeping willow tree.  I lost that what I was too weak to hold onto.  What I've given to God, however, will never be lost.  He keeps for me that what will follow me into eternity, more than enough, more than I deserve, in hands overflowing with grace.  Grief but gain, loss but love, sorrow but satisfaction, are all aspects of this diamond called Salvation.  
These are just some late-night thoughts from my lovely house of the level path.

"Ecclesiastes" - Tim Hughes

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Feeding the Flock

John 21:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
The gospel song, "Feed My Sheep," will always be dear to me because my husband often sang it in church services by request back when we were newlyweds.  The great Marion Anderson sings this so much better than my husband, and I know he'd agree.  
Marion Anderson sings "hear de lam's a cryin"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My God's Laundry

Isaiah 1:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.

Revelation 3:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

Sometimes I'm amazed by how today's women romanticize clothing hung on a line.  I remember my grandmother's wringer washer and she probably remembered her grandmother's washboard.  Then there was my mother-in-law who never had a dryer.  Every rainy day, and we get plenty of rainy days here, meant her clothing had to be hung up on lines stretched across her small laundry room.  She never complained at least out loud.  I would have.   I love my washer and dryer with the permanent press and fluff cycle settings!   Even so, I still find it impossible to still turn out spotless garments and usually settle for close enough.  It will truly be a Heavenly miracle to see all of God's children dressed in spotless, white garments.  I also don't believe there will be a laundry room in my heavenly mansion, or it wouldn't be Heaven to me.   My Jesus has done it all.  Still if God wants me to be His laundress I will be. Paraphrasing Psalm 84:10, It is better to be a laundress in the house of the Lord then to  wear the clothes of the wicked.  
"Are You Washed In the Blood" - Alan Jackson

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My God Who Keeps His Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17
New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Psalm 119:11
King James Version (KJV)
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:105
King James Version (KJV)
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

I must be missing you, because I find myself listening to Johnny Cash's music lately.  I remember how you and Mom used to watch his TV show and how much enjoyment you got out of it.  I hope you've been getting some Johnny Cash music in Heaven now that you're both there.  You like June too, didn't you?  I uploaded a Johnny Cash song today that reminded me of how you faithfully read your Bible.  Your habit of licking your fingers in order to turn a page was evidence of a Bible well used.  Thanks, Dad, for hiding God's word in your heart.  You unashamedly believed in the words written there.  I do to, Dad.  I do too.
"Seal It In My Heart and Mind" - Johnny Cash

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Great, Big God

Romans 8:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.”

I remember comparing my dad to the dads of my friends and cousins.  My dad always, always, came out on top!  That is how it should be for children and their fathers.  It is also how it should be for children of their Heavenly Father.  I can in all truthfulness say my Abba, Daddy, is bigger and stronger than any other pretenders to the throne.  There is only one true God and He is mine.  

Israel Houghton - "Our God is Greater"

Monday, June 3, 2013

My God of Suffering and Joy

1 Corinthians 13:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Peter 5:10
English Standard Version (ESV)
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 4:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

I have to admit I'm sometimes grumbling instead of rejoicing when I get to participate in the sufferings of Christ.  I won't fully understand suffering this side of eternity but I will on that day when I see my Savior face to face.  In the meantime I must trust that His grace is sufficient for me.

"Come To Jesus" - Gaither Vocal Band

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nearer My God to Thee

"Nearer My God to Thee" (for 9 cellos) - The Piano Guys

Nearer My God To Thee Hymn

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.


Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God to Thee.


There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.


Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.


Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.


There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

See You In Church Tomorrow

Sleep well tonight.   Unless you're like me and get some of your best sleep in church.  I don't want to sleep in church, really; but it can be so hard with both fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis to get the needed sleep at night.   Then there is my pastor and his lovely, melodic speaking voice, so I sleep until my husband nudges me awake.  
I like this song by Fernando Ortega, "Jesus, King of Angels."  The video, done by another Youtuber, HisReknown2,  is so good I wish I had done it.  

Because I Want To...

...crawl back into bed, I thought I'd post this note.