Monday, March 31, 2014

Jason Mraz -Man gave names to all the animals

Adam's Animals

Genesis 2:19-20
New International Version (NIV)
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found.
This time of caring for our pets has me thinking of the Genesis story.  Yes, Adam needs Eve, if for nothing else to take care of the animals when he's away; and Eve needs Adam, if for nothing else to kill the bugs in the house…and to do the heavy lifting.  Our rescue dogs have their quirks.  One barks until I give in and sit with him on the couch while he waits for his master's return.  At least it's restful.   The other doesn't think she can take care of business if she's not leashed and on a walk.  (I'm not sure what she thinks the back yard is about.)  Then there's the cat, who in her old age wants someone to drop whatever they're doing to hold paws with her.  She cries like a fire truck siren too until someone attends to her.  It's especially disconcerting to hear that cry in the middle of the night from where I've fallen asleep on the couch with the dog who's now sleeping across my middle and the other dog at my feet.  As  I write I'm realizing that I never turned off the lights in the room with the fish who've now have probably gone all sleepless in Seattle.  Sigh.  It's still good to love all that God has given me to love.    I think I'm wanted back on the couch.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Glory Bound

How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.
Johnny Cash
John 14:6
New International Version (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Acts 4:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

The Cathedrals - Boundless Love (unedited)

It's Sunday!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Children of the Promise

John Everett Millais, The Return of the Dove to the Ark
Hebrews 11:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
Genesis 6:8
King James Version (KJV)
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Acts 2:38-39
New International Version (NIV)
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
I don't plan to see the movie, "Noah," that just came out in the theaters, because I don't want to replace the story that God has taught me in His word with the one Hollywood wants to sell.  I am thankful, however, that the movie has called me to make this decision, because it has had me rereading this beloved story of God's mercy and His blessed promise.  Tonight I find myself the keeper of all the animals in this house of the level path: two dogs missing their masters, a senile cat crying for attention, and fish that I have to keep alive for the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about.  It's been raining and the dogs don't want to go outside.  I'm not complaining, though, because my house isn't afloat and the animals aren't multiplying.  I'm a child of the promise as are all of us.  God is good.

Come People of The Risen King by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Hope As Bright as Yellow

Friday, March 28, 2014

Armed and Righteous

Proverbs 30:30
English Standard Version (ESV)
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
    and does not turn back before any;
1 John 4:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
James 1:13
New International Version (NIV)

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
Hebrews 2:18
New International Version (NIV)

18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
James 4:7
New International Version (NIV)

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Romans 6:18
New International Version (NIV)

18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Because I know that God is real; I know the devil is also real; and only God has my good in mind.  While the devil can't make me sin, he can certainly encourage me and that is all he can do.  I'm fully equipped to resist him, because God has armed me to do so.   Yes, I sin, but I'm no longer a slave to sin.  I am happily and gratefully a slave to righteousness.  Satan will never, never be my master because God has claimed me for His own.  
"Way Down In the Hole" - The Blind Boys of Alabama
When you walk through the garden, you gotta watch your back
Well, I beg your pardon, walk the straight and narrow track
If you walk with Jesus, he’s gonna save your soul
You gotta keep the Devil way down in the hole

He’s got the fire and the fury at his command
Well, you don’t have to worry if you hold on to Jesus’ hand
We’ll all be safe from Satan when the thunder rolls
We just got to keep the Devil way down in the hole

All the angels sing about Jesus’ mighty sword
And they’ll shield you with their wings, and keep you close to the Lord
Don’t pay heed to temptation, for his hands are so cold
You gotta help me keep the Devil way down in the hole

Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Down in the hole

Down in the hole

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tender is the Road Home

Psalm 139:7-12
New International Version (NIV)
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.
1 Corinthians 15:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Philippians 3:20
New International Version (NIV)

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

John Denver was a favorite singer from my youth.   His was the first big concert I attended.  I went with friends to the big city of Seattle to see him.  I grieved when his life was cut short and wondered where he stood with God.  He was lost to us but never to God, who is a God of both mercy and justice.  He can be trusted with his eternity. I like this song "Tenderly Calling."  When I listen to it, I  am assured that God had made himself know to John, and what John did with that knowledge is between him and the One who loves him so.
Tenderly Calling - John Denver
The lyrics:
Home, come on home
Ye who are weary come home
Softly and tenderly calling
Home, come on home

Sometimes when Im feeling lonesome
And no one on earth seems to care
Im all by myself in the darkness
With no one and nothing to share

Just when it feels like its hopeless
And Ill never make it alone
I hear the voices of angels
Tenderly calling me home

Home, come on home
Ye who are weary come home
Softly and tenderly calling
Home, come on home

I try to keep it together
I never let on that Im scared
Still sometimes I fall to pieces
Scattered and lost everywhere

Just when it feels like theres no one
To mend all my broken down dreams
I hear a voice deep inside me
Tenderly calling to me

Home, come on home
Ye who are weary come home
Softly and tenderly calling
Home, come on home

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Love Like A Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37
New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

There's been a huge disaster in my state, the Oso landslide.  It's not near me, but then again it is, because they are my neighbors.  The rain that falls on me has also fallen on them and continues to fall.  Pray for all the Good Samaritans that are literally digging with their hands to pull neighbors from the mud.   Pray that the lost will be found.  Jesus, who pulled me out of the muck and mire, desires that I do the same for my neighbor in whatever state they have fallen. This great love that I've received from Jesus is for me to give away with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength and all my mind.
The Good Samaritan Ferdinand Hodler

Take Away Show - "Counting On"

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just A Song To Share

Follow Me There - Third Day
The lyrics:
"Follow Me There"

You need a place where you can find some shelter
Follow me there, follow me there
You want a hand to hold, someone to help you
Follow me there, come on, follow me there

Where love, like a river, flows
Peace like you've never known
And joy never ending lives
A place where faith can find
Hope that will never die
Follow me there, come on, follow me there

You need a place to be your sanctuary
Follow me there, come on, follow me there
Where you can lay down all those burdens you carry
Follow me there, come on, follow me there

Where the lost can find salvation
And the lonely finds a friend
Where the sinner finds forgiveness
Won't you follow me there

"Strength Of My Heart" from Rend Collective (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)

The Little Dog...

…who's been entertaining me, while I've been sick.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mom's Potato Soup

Proverbs 31:25-30
English Standard Version (ESV)
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
 I made potato soup yesterday, not knowing how much I'd need it.  When my mother made potato soup for all of us, it usually meant that payday was still too far away.   I didn't like Mom's soup.  I never appreciated how far she had to stretch a meal to feed us.  Now our own payday is too far away and like my mother I made potato soup.  It surprised me that I liked it.  In fact, I'm still enjoying that pot of soup.  It's especially good for the cold I'm sharing with my husband, who just got back from buying juice for me at the store.  He's a good man, but he's not my mom.  There's just nothing like a mom's comfort when you're sick, and I have a good mom.  

Rock of Ages

Psalm 63:7-8
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
7 For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings [a]to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
Rock of Ages - Newfound Road

National Anthem of Ukraine translated into English

Friday, March 21, 2014

More Than You Think

1 John 4:4
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
2 Timothy 1:7
English Standard Version (ESV)
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Galatians 4:6
English Standard Version (ESV)

6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Tenth Avenue North - You Are More

I Just Liked This

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Of Old Records and New Songs

Psalm 47:7
English Standard Version (ESV)
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm![a]

Psalm 98:1-8
English Standard Version (ESV)
Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord

A Psalm.

98 Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
    let the hills sing for joy together
I celebrating the first day of Spring with a new song by Rend Collective from their new album, "The Art of Celebration."  It puts a spring in my heart and possibly even my rheumatic joints.  And, yes, I'm old enough to remember records.  
Create In Me - Rend Collective 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bright Wings - Marching To Zion

Never Designed to Make Our Pleasures Less

Psalm 71:23
English Standard Version (ESV)
23 My lips will shout for joy,
    when I sing praises to you;
    my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Psalm 70:4
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 May all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
    say evermore, “God is great!”
John 15:11
English Standard Version (ESV)
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
My dad used to say he didn't want to be a Christian when he was a young man because all the women wore long black dresses with their hair pulled back tight in a bun.  His heart must have smiled every time Mom put on lipstick.

Yesterday I came across a phrase and wondered who wrote it.  It was "Religion was never designed to make our pleasures less."  So I googled it and to my surprise discovered it was a line from the hymn, Marching to Zion, written by Isaac Watts.  As often as I've sung that hymn over the years, I had never sung that stanza or even read it in a hymn book.  Was it one of those verses song leaders would skip?  I think I've skipped over pleasures on my march to Zion or at least felt a little guilty about them.  My thinking about Christian joy has been that it comes through or after suffering.  Dare I hope for pleasure?  Isaac Watts did.  So march to Zion with a happy heart and enjoy the journey.
I did find one version of the hymn on Youtube sung with those lyrics sung by Bright Wings.  It will be my next post.  But first I've got to find my lipstick.  

Isaac Watts, Hymn Writer, 1748
Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.

The sorrows of the mind
Be banished from the place!
Religion never was designed
To make our pleasures less.

Let those refuse to sing
Who never knew our God,
But children of the heavenly King
May speak their joy abroad.

The God that rules on high,
And thunders when he please,
That rides upon the stormy sky
And manages the seas—

This awful [awesome] God is ours,
Our Father and our love;
He shall send down his heavenly powers
To carry us above.

There we shall see his face,
And never, never sin;
There from the rivers of his grace
Drink endless pleasure in.

The sons of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.

The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry!
We're marching through Emmanuel's ground
To fairer worlds on high.

Bright Wings - When He Passed Over

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Remember Grandpa

A Grandfather's Comfort
Isaiah 46:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
My grandfather smoked a pipe and still today I love its smell.  My grandmother eventually helped him to quit by leaving a dish of lemon drops by his chair.  Either one, lemon drops or pipe tobacco, bring my grandfather to mind and the memories are sweet.  I'm so blessed to have them.
Remember Me - Mark Schultz

"My Lighthouse" from Rend Collective (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO) (+playlist)

john walton's advise to his son

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm Not Going Back to Egypt

Exodus 16:3
The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
Exodus 17:3
But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?"
Numbers 11:4
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat!
Numbers 11:5
We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.
Numbers 14:3
Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"
Numbers 16:13
Isn't it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us!

I've been shaking my head over Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine so that they can align themselves with Russia.  As an American baby boomer, celebrant of the 4th of July, child of the Cold War with memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I don't get it.  I had a professor in college, who was himself a Hitler Youth, warn us not to sacrifice our freedom for security.  So, as I watch the news, I want to shout, you've walked out of Egypt, surely you don't want to go back!  Maybe they do.  I do know that sometimes security seems like the greatest richness one can possess, but I never want to be enslaved again.  Sin is no longer my master.  Just give me Jesus.  
Romans 6:14
New International Version (NIV)

14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
John 8:36
New International Version (NIV)

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Give me Jesus - Fernando Ortega

Johnny Cash-daddy sang bass

Taking Up My Cross

William Bouguereau 
Luke 9:22-24
New International Version (NIV)
22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Galatians 2:20
English Standard Version (ESV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
My pastor spoke on the meaning of taking up my cross and following Jesus.  Guess what?  It's not all about me!  My cross is not my ailments, financial worries, a crummy job or relationship difficulties, it is denying myself for the sake of Christ.  It's being willing to exchange my personal desires for the cause of Christ.  It's about death to self.  How far am I willing to follow my Lord?  Can I let go of what I want in order to do so?   Can I do so without making it a matter of personal pride, self aggrandizement of courageous suffering? 
May it be so, Lord, may it be so. 
Wherever He Leads I'll Go - Alan Jackson

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jesus, The Sweetest Name

Acts 4:12
English Standard Version (ESV)
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[a] by which we must be saved.”
Philippians 2:9-11
English Standard Version (ESV)
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hebrews 13:15
English Standard Version (ESV)
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
I wouldn't have thought it would be, but I found myself in an unfamiliar church today longing to hear the name of Jesus.  I know He was there, as it was His house; maybe I just needed to listen better.  Jesus walks among the familiar and the unfamiliar also.  Still, there's just something about that Name...
There's Something About That Name - Isaacs 

…and Jesus is the sweetest name I know.

Olso Gospel Choir - Sweetest name I know(HD)

Blue Highway - Wondrous Love

Friday, March 14, 2014

Meeting God on Higher Grounds

Deuteronomy 32:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
    and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
    and with oil from the flinty crag,
Psalm 18:33
New King James Version (NKJV)
33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
James 1:17
New International Version (NIV)

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Job 2:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[a] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, higher ground can be a street curb.  I will no longer climb physical mountains, but I will climb spiritual ones.  I am learning that even life in the lowlands, the valleys of sorrows, can be higher ground if received as from God.   You may not like it, but it's yours; so stop fighting what can't be changed and pursue what can be done.  God is waiting on higher ground.    
"Higher Ground" - Claire Holley

Higher Ground

Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1898

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Of Man's Foolishness and Christian Counsel

Proverbs 20:5
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Proverbs 27:9
English Standard Version (ESV)
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
    and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.[a]
Galatians 6:2
English Standard Version (ESV)
2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Proverbs 12:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
English Standard Version (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.
John 14:26
New International Version (NIV)
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
I'm one of those who will google symptoms and try to self diagnose before seeking out a doctor.  Perhaps that makes me a fool.  Actually I'll google just about anything I'd like to know even in spiritual matters.  So call me a googling fool.   I have a Bible, actually more than one.  I even have an online Bible.  So I am without excuse when it comes to bearing another's burdens.  I should be so well versed that I'm always prepared with Godly wisdom to disperse.  But I'm not.  Call it foolishness, call it laziness; but fellow Christians are often the reason why so many of us need to seek professional help.  We like giving our job over to the pros.   In truth we are better equipped than we think, because we have the Holy Spirit.  
Please, though, if you need a Psychiatrist or a Counselor, go see one, especially the ones who are Christians.   I know from experience that they are good, if not perfect, helpers in a time of need.  Sometimes we need their medical know how and specific training.  A person representing Christ in the flesh will always be better than Google.
Take Time to Be Holy

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I'm Reading

Hebrews 11:16
New International Version (NIV)

16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
2 Timothy 4:18
New International Version (NIV)

18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I've almost finished rereading this book by Lauraine Snelling, an historical drama of a  Norwegian family who immigrates to the Red River Valley of North Dakota enduring hardships and sorrows in the process.  It's good and is being offered right now for free on Amazon's Kindle store.  I always like free.  If I'm ever tempted to romanticize prairie living this book chases away those notions. I remain thankful for this house of the level path and ever so thankful that I never had to live in a sod house.

Tenth Avenue North - Christ Is Risen (Official Lyric Video)


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Time of Singing

Spring Song by Mabel Rollins Harris
Song of Solomon 2:11-12
English Standard Version (ESV)
11 for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing[a] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
It's warming up a little.  Buds are appearing on our bushes outside our front door.  Today the pets wanted to go outside and take in some sun.  My body's clock is still suffering from Daylight Savings Times, but I think I could get used to this and even like it.  Maybe it's time to scour the house and make sure all Christmas decorations are finally put away.  I don't know what other people's Spring rituals are but this one needs to be done.  The bucket of straw that made do as our blow mold Baby Jesus cradle is still out front.  Perhaps my husband is waiting to put Easter eggs in it, so I can admire his foresight instead of begging him to carry it out of sight.  All is well.  It's time to sing of Spring.
Morning Has Broken - Michael Card

Keith Green - When I Hear The Praises Start (live)


Monday, March 10, 2014

Abide With Me

Rembrandt, Christ at Emmaus, 1629
Luke 24:29
New King James Version (NKJV)
29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
Rembrandt's painting captures the moment the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus realized who He was.  One falls on his knees and the other simply looks dumbfounded.  It makes me wonder how I would react if  it were me.  There are so many truths about Jesus that don't always reach from my head to my heart.  Would I stress out over the death of the one I thought would redeem Israel?  Probably so.  I want immediate relief and can't accept that it's not forthcoming.  Would I worry less if I could see Him face to face?  I hope so, but how much better it would be if my faith alone was sufficient assurance?    I don't see the bigger picture but my Jesus does.  How kind and patient He was to explain this to these men.  How amazing it must have been when their eyes were opened and Jesus was revealed!  Of course, it was Jesus all along!  Some of us are just a little slow to realize it.  I can so get the disciples pressing Jesus to abide with them.  I would do it if I could.  We could share an appetizer at Applebee's and just talk.  It would be lovely to hear Him speak what I know to be true and have it fall comfortably and completely down into my heart.  
"Abide With Me" - Hayley Westenra

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jesus Lives!

John 3:16
English Standard Version (ESV)
For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:36
King James Version (KJV)
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
And I'm so glad!  My salvation was sure and real for me even at a young age, because I had asked Jesus into my heart.  A sister and I once practiced a special number for church, "He Lives!"  I loved it, even though my talent for singing was dubious.   Something happened and our song was cancelled but it's probably just as well.  I may have embarrassed my sister terribly, since she could carry a tune.  My singing in church since then has always been done in the pews; although, I've done plenty of singing in my car or at home alone.    I still love the hymn, so I'll sing it along with Alan Jackson.   And if you ask me how I know He lives, I'll answer with all sincerity and certainty, "He lives within my heart."
Alan Jackson - He Lives

Christos Anesti - Jimmy Needham

It's Sunday!

Leaving Church in the Fifteenth Century, 1864 Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Dress accordingly.  (I'm so glad it's the 21st. century.)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Because We Spring Forward Tonight...

…I really like this now.  My husband has turned our clocks ahead, so an hour of sleep is already lost.  It's time to sing a lullaby.
Slumber My Darling - Alison Krauss 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Because Sometimes a Body Just Has to Rest...

Isaiah 40:28-30
English Standard Version (ESV)
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
2 Corinthians 3:5
English Standard Version (ESV)

5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
…God gives strength to our souls.  He is our sufficiency.  He is all that we need and more.    
Chris Tomlin - Everlasting God w/lyrics

"Though You Slay Me" (featuring John Piper)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

God's Oceans

Psalm 93:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.
Psalm 29:3
New International Version (NIV)
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
Psalm 139:9-10
English Standard Version (ESV)
9 If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me. 
God is mighty and yet tender with His children.  This I know.  I am never out of His Hands.  
Hillsong United - "Oceans" (Live at RELEVANT)
"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine