Monday, September 30, 2013

I Want to Go To Heaven But I Don't Want to Die

Virgilio Tojetti (Italian, 1851-1901), The Bee Sting (1898)

1 Corinthians 15:55-57
New International Version (NIV)
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[a]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tonight a yellow jacket came in through the slider door and landed in my hair.  I felt it land first, freaked out, and shook it out of my hair onto my computer keyboard.  My husband took care of it for me;  (Yes, men are ever so useful in killing bugs.) but I'm still a little freaked out.  Bees I get, but yellow jackets not so much.  In fact I'd like to know WHAT GOOD ARE YELLOW JACKETS ANYWAY?  I've been caught in one of their swarms and so has the young man who lives in my house but doesn't want to be blogged about; and thankfully, not allergic, we have lived to tell about it.  

Well, my yellow jacket visitor, you've got me thinking about stings, especially the sting of death; and how Jesus, a little like my husband, swooped in to rescue me from it.  The prospect of death will always be a little scary.  I'm one of those people from the old gospel song, "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die."  Still I know because Jesus died, I will also share in his death, but, better still, I will also share in his resurrection.  
Alison Krauss & The Cox Family
"Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Believe I Will...

...say my prayers and call it a night, especially since falling asleep at my keyboard is off putting to some.  

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.

"Be Still and Know" from Scripture Lullabies

Amazing Grace

It's Sunday!

Even if you've never ever or never will look like this, bring your family to church anyway.  

Because It's Raining Outside...

...and raining hard, with more rain expected, some Peanuts wisdom seemed in order.   Of course there should be some inspiration from the Scripture as well.

James 5:18
English Standard Version (ESV)
18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
Isaiah 55:10
English Standard Version (ESV)
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
I admit to having mixed feelings about rain; but I have learned to expect it. living as I do just east of a rain forest.  In the same way I have mixed feelings about life's rains and storms.  If God can bring fruit in my life through challenges and struggles then I should be glad for the rain.  The next step is turning my should be into an I am.  I may whimper about it, but ultimately I know it is God working in me for good.  So the game hasn't been called, and I'm ready to play.  As Charlie Brown says, "A little rain never hurt anyone." 
Mercy Me - "Bring The Rain"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Josh Garrels - Pilot Me (from "The Sea In Between")

How Long?

Psalm 6:2-3
New Living Translation (NLT)
2 Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
    Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 I am sick at heart.
    How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

Psalm 13[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

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.
There are some times when God seems so far away; but He isn't.   He's as close as my next breath.  He is my next breath.  Tonight I'm hurting from the Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I shouldn't fret or wonder where God is in all of this, because he is ever faithful and worthy of my trust.  How long must I wait for God?  God's timing is not mine.  I will wait however long it takes.
Right now, however, I just need some sleep.

Since I've Laid My Burdens Down Mississippi John Hurt

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Carry Me Through - Dave Barnes

Facing Giants

1 Samuel 17:44-47
New King James Version (NKJV)
44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
I don't think it's possible to get through life without facing a giant or two, or three, or four and even more.  When I'd rather run away from giants and often try to do so, I need to remember that each giant is another chance to let the earth know there is a God in Israel.  That's reason enough to fill a sling with stones and stride out into the battlefield.  
Until the whole world knows...

A Good Prayer

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Better Day...

Jeremiah 29:11-13
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Deuteronomy 31:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” coming, O Child of God.  Always remember a better day is coming.  For now just keep walking the path God has laid before you, always aware who is walking beside, ever knowing the path leads Home.   
Casting Crowns - "Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)" - Live

"Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)"

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me


One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again


One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine


Glorious day, Oh, Glorious day

MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dogs In Heaven

I've got a cat snoring in a box at my feet while one of our dogs is noisily eating from her bowl.  Sometimes I call them livestock, but I'm afraid our pets are part of the family and an endless source of amusement.

A friend's dog fell sick and died this last weekend.  I am so sorry for her loss.  

I like this quote by Billy Graham:

God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.

Make Someone Happy - Jimmy Durante

A Smile for Fall

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Washed In the Blood

Isaiah 53:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

1 John 1:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 1:9
New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When it feels like I'll be forever doing laundry, I need to take time to be thankful for my God's laundromat.  No matter how many times I fall down into mud, mired in sin, He picks me up and dresses me with a freshly prepared garment.  It's a whole lot of confessing; it's a whole lot of laundry, wholly paid for by the blood of the Lamb, no quarters needed.    
"Are You Washed In the Blood?" - Chris McNeill

It's Sunday!

The church ladies will be waiting for you at the door, and you really don't want to disappoint them...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Ever Moving God

Genesis 1:10
English Standard Version (ESV)
10 God called the dry land Earth,[a] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

Amos 9:6
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
    and founds his vault upon the earth;
who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
the Lord is his name.

Micah 7:19
English Standard Version (ESV)
19 He will again have compassion on us;
    he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our[a] sins
    into the depths of the sea.
We took our dogs down to the beach for their walk tonight.  I like living near water, because it reminds me of the wonders of my Creator God, His eternal nature, and the boundless expanse of His love.  He is a deep and wide God.  He is ever so much bigger than I could ever imagine, yet not too big to care for me.  Like the ocean, He is ever and always will be moving in my life.  
Forgive me, Father, when I make you too small.
"Sometimes" - David Crowder Band

Way Down In The Hole by Tom Waits (Ukulele/Harmonica COVER)

Loving the Weaker Sex

1 Peter 3:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
My introduction to a fainting couch came with my first adult job.  The ladies room had one, a leftover from the times when women would get the "vapors" or any of those ailments that were associated with the weaker sex.  I thought then, flush with youth and stamina while coming of age during the women's liberation movement, that the whole idea was absurd and kind of funny.  Like many of my peers I missed out on the chance to be cherished, without shame, as the weaker, fairer sex.  Now when I am older and blessed with auto-immune diseases, I would pay someone, if I only could afford it, to cart around a fainting couch for my own personal use, ever ready for any attack of the "vapors."  
I know love requires sacrifice from both men and women; but I want to say, "Man up, men.  Kill the bugs, do the heavy lifting, gas the cars and, look after your elders, and love your wives and children.  Hold your wife's purse if necessary, while she's indisposed.  God will hear your prayers."
"This So Called Love" - Mercy Me

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rich Mullins, October 21, 1955 - September 19, 1997

“I am thinking now of old Moses sitting on a mountain - sitting with God - looking across the Jordan into the Promised Land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly bitter longing sweetened by the company of God...

And then God - the great eternal God - takes Moses' thin-worn, thread-bare little body into His hands - hands into whose hollows you could pour the oceans of the world, hands whose breadth marked off the heavens - and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses' pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial.

I don't know if God wept at Moses' funeral. I don't know if He cried when He killed the first of His creatures to take its skins to clothe this man's earliest ancestors. I don't know who will bury me -

...Of God, on whose breast old Moses lays his head like John the Beloved would lay his on the Christ's. And God sits there quietly with Moses - for Moses - and lets His little man cry out his last moments of life.

But I look back over the events of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering I go back to these places where God met me and I meet Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.”
― Rich Mullins
I've been remembering Rich Mullins today and working on a song to upload.  Since it's just been uploaded it will have to be in my next post.  He is with his Father in Heaven, and I expect he's still singing.

I Will Sing - Rich Mullins

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

State Fairs and Scones

Joel 2:25
New International Version (NIV)
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm[a]—
my great army that I sent among you.
Psalm 100:1-5
English Standard Version (ESV)
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2     Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

I've been trying to be a brave soldier tonight, but it isn't always easy being the one left at home.  My guys are at the state fair tonight; although, as I look at the clock, I'm hoping they're on the way home.  I wanted to go, I really really did; but I knew my rheumatoid arthritis would likely make me miserable. So I waved goodbye and told them to have a great time, at the same time reminding them to bring home scones.  I won't be denied all pleasures in life.  In the meantime I'm trying to be thankful for all the pleasures God does give me in the house of the level path.  Disappointment happens.  There's going to be a grand fair in Heaven one day and I'll be there.  
State Fair - 1962 - Opening Song

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God-Made Men

Psalm 37:23
English Standard Version (ESV)
23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;

Numbers 6:24-26
English Standard Version (ESV)
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.
The young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about had his close group of friends from boyhood over tonight.  The first one will be leaving town this week for college.  He's not even my own child but I still find myself weepy tonight.  My own wants to go so badly; but, since he's determined not to mire himself in student debt, he is still raising his college funds.  I'm proud him.  I'm proud of all of them, not so much because they are self-made men in training but because they're God-made men in training.  God bless our children.  May they ever follow after you.
Proverbs 4:26
New International Version (NIV)
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.

Yes, I did torture myself tonight by watching the ending of Toy Story 3.

BEST VERSION Lay My Burden Down - Will McFarlane

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jesus Paid It All - Aaron Keyes

Jesus Paid My Debt

Colossians 2:6-15
New International Version (NIV)
Spiritual Fullness in Christ

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[b] was put off when you were circumcised by[c] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[e]
2 Corinthians 5:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

It's been suggested to me that Jesus died for His own sins.  Where or how they came to that conclusion, I don't know; but it's wrong and terribly tragic for the non-believer.  It's a foolish person, indeed, who denies his only redemption.  A sinner needs a Savior; and only a sinless, spotless sacrifice could possibly be the one.  Jesus did pay it all.  

Before Starbucks, Before Espresso Stands

There was someone out there bringing the coffee to you.   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Master's Calling - Thad Cockrell

The Master Still Calls

His Master's Voice Ad, The Theatre c.1910. Francis Barraud (1856-1924)

John 10:27-29
King James Version (KJV)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
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.

I'm old enough to remember the RCA dog listening to the recording of his master's voice.  I also remember well how my grandpa's dairy cows responded to his call at milking time.  My own ears still pick up the voices of every child crying, "Mom!"  Whom am I listening to and whom am I listening for?  I pray that my own ears will be ever be tuned to hear the voice of my Master and the cries of his people, until He returns or calls me Home.  

It's Sunday!

Psalm 122:1
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 122

A song of ascents. Of David.

1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

I Can Praise God by Myself
Some churches have all the fun...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Because I Still Love Cows...

A Parting - Marianne Preindlsberger Stokes heart just melted.

Getting More Than I Deserve

Romans 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

2 Corinthians 5:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 John 3:5
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

Hebrews 4:15
English Standard Version (ESV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Romans 5:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

Ever so often I come across a well written phrase or well spoken quote and wish it had been mine.  This quote by R.C. Sproul, Jr., a man that a cursory internet search would show he has his flaws and detractors, is one of them.   Still, I like this.  Why God allows suffering is a mystery to me and will probably remain so while I walk this earth; yet I know my suffering is not undeserved.  He did save a ungodly wretch like me, and I am so glad that my puny goodness wasn't a measuring stick for my redemption.  Because Jesus sacrificed Himself in my place, I am and know I will continue to be truly eternally grateful.  
"You Are My King" - Newsboys

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Terrible Kiss

Judas Conscience by Nikolaj Ge
Luke 22:1-5
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Plot to Kill Jesus

22 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

Judas to Betray Jesus

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.
Luke 22:47-53
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Arrested

47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

John 3:18-20
New International Version (NIV)
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
Until tonight I had never before seen this painting by Nikolaj Ge of Judas and his conscience, and it stopped me in my tracks.  How terrible it must have been for Judas to believe that all was lost including himself!  If only he had gone to Jesus for forgiveness for his betrayal of the One who had so loved him, maybe both his life and soul would have been saved.  How sad it was to have died in darkness for someone who had walked so close to the Light!  As the thief on the cross taught us, as long as someone yet breathes there is still hope for his sou; all one has to do is run to the Light.
"Surely We Can Change" - The David Crowder Band

Because This Sweet Boy...

...makes me think of my dad, he earns a place in this blog. 
"Simple Life" - Ricky Skaggs

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11

John 1:5
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Psalm 27:1
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation
Of David.
27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?
Matthew 4:16
English Standard Version (ESV)
16 the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”
"To The Only God" - David Crowder & Shane&Shane

It Is Well With My Soul - The Innocence Mission

9/11 Tribute - Missing Person Posters

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beautiful Things - Gungor

Living A God-Breathed Life

George Frederic Watts - "She Shall Be Called Woman"
Genesis 1:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:7
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Genesis 2:23-24
New International Version (NIV)
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
I learned today that a medicine I took today for rheumatoid arthritis, Methotrexate (MTX) is also used for non-surgical, or medical abortions.  It's an unpleasant drug and every time I take it I pray first that God might make me tougher than it is.  This has me questioning once again, as the news is full of the atrocities in Syria-and they are terrible-when my own country will stop the legal but brutal methods of killing our own children. 

There was a time when I was willing to defend pro-choice, while conceding, as a Christian, that I would never make that choice for myself.  I was a young college student with a desire to be a forward thinking woman as the second wave of feminism was sweeping our country.  Now I know that I was just plain wrong; even though, at the time I would have passionately argued otherwise.  A mother's womb should be the safest place for a child, and it is a child and not a clump of cells, but it's not.  It's a national tragedy that we so callously dispose of children created in the image of God and given life through His very breath.

There was a time when I learned the hard way the value of life, when after struggling many years to become pregnant, suffering a miscarriage, and finally enduring a high-risk pregnancy before delivering a miraculously healthy child.  Yes, he's the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about.  

So, I take my Methotrexate plus a host of other somewhat toxic medicines, so that I can live and love the people that God has given me to love.  My life is a small one, often limited by pain; but it's my life, a gift from God and not to be wasted.  Besides, someone in this house of the level path, has to be here to let the pets in and out and in and out, and that's me.

My newest upload is "Everything Beautiful" by Gungor.  Since I just uploaded a short time ago, I'll have to upload it on this blog in my next post.  My Jesus can make any life beautiful.
"Beautiful Things" - Gungor
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are

Monday, September 9, 2013

Righteously Dressed for a Righteous Battle

Ephesians 6:10-18
New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I've been reading River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candace Miller chronicling his perilous journey exploring an uncharted tributary of the Amazon River.  I haven't gotten far into the book but what I've read is fascinating.  He may truly have been our toughest, manliest president ever.  There was no need to tell him to put on his big boy pants!  I do want to go back to reading the book, but I had to take time out to check to see if I was wearing the full armor of God.   I'll never charge San Juan Hill, give a 90 minute speech with a bullet in my chest, or explore the darkest Amazon, but God has still challenges me to suit up and stand firm.  I may have to stand a little funny because of the Rheumatoid Arthritis but I'll gladly stand for my Lord.   It's also kind of cool that I wear the same armor that Teddy wore.  

"Forward Christian Soldiers" - Owen Uriah

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Yet Will I Sing - Audra Lynn

When Life Goes Wrong

Job 13:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
    I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
I've been working on uploading a song to Youtube, but meeting with obstacles at every turn.  I prayed wondering why I just couldn't get this one right. The almost last straw was when I had to force close the program I was using, at the moment I thought I'd add just one more picture.  Well, not only was that image lost but several others as well.  I wanted to whine like a spoiled toddler over that one, stomping a petulant foot and crying on the inside, because, of course, I only wanted my adult exterior to show.  In the midst of my whining to God, he reminded me of the song I was working on. "Yet Will I Sing," by Audra Lynn, is all about persevering in faith even when God seems not to be looking.  I want to hold onto my faith even if it seems as if I'm getting nothing from it in this life.  Yes, this is my desire, yet I fold with a hard day's work.  God knows.  It's probably why He wanted me to do this song anyway.  
"Yet Will I Sing" - Audra Lynn

Let this be the only love song I write
May You be the only Love in my life
I asked You to draw me, I said I would run
So though I walk through the valley, yet will I trust
I asked You to call me, I said I would come
So though I go up the mountain, yet will I run


Though my song be taken from me
Yet will I sing; yet will I praise You
Though the joy be taken from me
Yet will I laugh; yet will I shout unto You
Though the light be hidden from me
Yet will I walk; yet will I run after You
Though my heart be slain within me
Yet will I trust; yet will I follow You


‘Cause I know whatever You do, You do through the eyes of mercy
And nothing can be added to it, nothing can be taken away
There is a time for every purpose under the heavens
So though my weeping may last for the night
Oh how Your joy, it comes with the light

"Train Song" Josh Garrels

Shame on you, shame on me
Lord he took all our shame and pain, and set men free 
And I’ve got that fire on the mountain 
Fire in my soul 
It’s been a long time coming, long time 
And ready to go 

I’m stepping out the door 
Doing what feels right 
Following my Lord, through the darkest night 
And when the path gets narrow 
I’ll follow him 
And when the world comes down, around 
I’ll follow him 

He said, sing it on the mountain 
Or in the valley low 
He’s my God, and he never let me go 
He said, sing it on the mountain 
Or fight in valley low 
Every mans going to see, and everyone will know 

That peace runs deep in him 
I said peace runs deep in him 
Peace runs deep in him.
from Over Oceans, track released 23 May 2006 
Jay Kirkpatrick - accordion, background vocals 
Mark Guinn - Background vocals 
Jen Reed - violin 
Josh Garrels - vocals, guitar, bass, electric guitar, djembe, tamborine

It's Sunday!

Go ahead and make a joyful noise!

When the Prince Became a Pauper

Hebrews 2:9-12
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Christ became man, not angel, to save mankind

9-12 What we actually see is Jesus, after being made temporarily inferior to the angels (and so subject to pain and death), in order that he should, in God’s grace, taste death for every man, now crowned with glory and honour. It was right and proper that in bringing many sons to glory, God (from whom and by whom everything exists) should make the leader of their salvation a perfect leader through the fact that he suffered. For the one who makes men holy and the men who are made holy share a common humanity. So that he is not ashamed to call them his brothers, for he says: ‘I will declare your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to you’.

My Jesus shared in my humanity, becoming fully human and yet fully divine.  Is that love or what?  He shared our common  humanity that we might share in his uncommon holiness.  The Prince became the pauper so that the pauper might one day be a prince, or, as the tale went, a "ward of the king."  We are truly His children, heirs to the Kingdom.  

Galatians 4:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[a] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
1 John 3:1
New International Version (NIV)
3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

John 1:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
"Orphans of God" - Talley Trio