Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This Is A Street...

Jeremiah 29:11 English Standard Version (ESV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 15:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

...that I want to live on.  If I'm not there yet, I really need to get going.  If I am there, then I need to be pushing someone else that way.  

Sheri Rose Shepherd's Story

Monday, September 29, 2014

Of Men, Fathers and Sons

Genesis 2:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Colossians 3:23New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

I have a picture of my grandfather as a young man posing with a group of men  standing on a cross cut saw embedded in a tree, the result of their labor.  They all look strong and lean, with sinewy muscles from hard work.  It's good for men to be proud of their work.   My husband knew that when he gave our son an ax for his eighth grade graduation.  He presented it to him with appropriate bible verses taped to the handle.  Our son loved it and used it often, even chopping firewood to sell.  I never would have thought of such a gift and would have been more likely to have spent money on something he liked but didn't really need.  A boy does need a father, and, if not a father, a man who loves him enough to walk beside him on the road to manhood.  

NEEDTOBREATHE - "Brother" (Official Audio)

I'm Going Free (Jailbreak) [Live Performance Video]

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Skype and The Empty Nest

Isaiah 54:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.

Isaiah 54:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.

I still really love Skype, because I was able to see and talk to the young man who used to live in my house but now lives in a dorm.  It had been too long for my mother's heart but not likely too long for him. I'm thankful he's willing to indulge me as I fling out my apron ties hoping one will yet catch hold.  So I got my Skype fix, and now this empty nest doesn't quite feel as empty.  

It's Sunday!

The saints are marching in.

Of Mistakes and Sins

Jessie Wilcox Smith
Romans 3:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 John 1:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

James 4:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Romans 6:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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.

This is beautiful illustration of a child saying his prayers at his mother's knee has me wondering if todays parents have failed to teach their children the difference between a mistake and a sin?  A child may sin and sin again thinking all they have to do is say "sorry" to excuse their behavior.  Adults to it too.  We've seen a public figures confessing mistakes, in actuality sins, choices to do evil in the sight of God.  A mistake is an error, like mistaking a tablespoon for a teaspoon and ruining a recipe.  An acknowledgment and apology is desirable and polite but a confession and seeking forgiveness is not.  We don't need to confess mistakes and doing so cheapens the grace and mercy bestowed at the cross. Jesus didn't die for our mistakes.  Jesus died for our sins.  Mistakes are human.  Forgiveness is divine.  
Nothing But The Blood - Kathryn Scott 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Sheep and God's Blessings

Psalm 103:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,

It's late.  The sheep are lining up outside my window and I have some counting to do.  Better yet I should count my blessings.

"Counting Your Blessings" - Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Made In the Image of God

Psalm 139:13-16 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

2 Corinthians 12:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Matthew 10:31 English Standard Version (ESV)
31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Tonight I got to visit a precious family member, now living in a nursing facility, who is more helpless than most of us can imagine.  There is a great temptation to ask God, why. Why would he do this to such a good man? Then I am reminded of how His own Son, the only perfect Man, suffered to redeem us for Himself, His sacrifice making the life of this dear man ever more valuable.  How to value a life?  We can't, only the Creator can; and He is the one that made him in His own image.  

Image of God (music video) - Christa Wells and Nicole Witt

When I Cry [Live]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lay My Shovel Down

Matthew 16:24-27 English Standard Version (ESV)
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Psalm 55:22 New International Version (NIV)
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.

People like me always keep a shovel handy to dig back up what was buried at the cross.  It's amazing how fond I can be of pet sins and worries.  So I dig them up and assure myself that, yes, they're still there.  It can make it hard to sing the hymn, "I Surrender All," with complete sincerity of heart.  It's so foolish of me to fight for what's not good for me, like a rebellious little child who doesn't believe the wonders her Father has for her.  I am reminded of the song by the late Rich Mullins, "Hold Me Jesus."  There is hope yet for all of us to lay down our shovels and take up our crosses.

Rich Mullins - Hold me Jesus
"Well sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

I'm singing hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace "

Selah - You Amaze Us (Acoustic Performance)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Something to Think About...

Romans 10:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[a] And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

…and to act upon…

Big Daddy Weave - If You Died Tonight with lyrics

for KING & COUNTRY - "O God Forgive Us" (Official Audio)

Monday, September 22, 2014

On The Potter's Wheel

Psalm 138:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Hebrews 10:36 English Standard Version (ESV)
36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Philippians 1:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Because we were given a dog grooming kit and because we are stretched for funds, my husband and I have been trying to groom our little shaggy dog.  It isn't pretty but he's been a good, complaint dog as we clip away his curly fur coat.  My husband is meeting his goal to cut it off faster than the dog can grow it back, but we haven't yet managed a fresh from the groomer's look.  Besides giving me a fierce admiration for professional dog groomers, grooming at home has had me singing the hymn, "Have Thine Own Way Lord," because it does seem like we are molding and shaping the dog after our will while he waits yielded and still.  I wish I would be as obedient as this dog as I wait on God.  It's so hard to yield to the Lord's timing when, according to my perception, He seems to be moving at a glacial pace and at other times cutting too close for my comfort.   He is God and I am His.  I'm not required to understand but to endure, better yet, love the hands that shape me.  

"Have Thine Own Way Lord" - Johnny Cash

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Go Hawks

Century Link Field, Seattle, WA
A big Seahawks game this afternoon found most of us inside our homes in front of the TV.  I even heard a hushed "Go Hawks" this morning in church and wondered how many near this person were silently adding their "Amens."  Tonight my husband is watching the recorded game because work put a hitch in his viewing.  I'm now charged with not spoiling the game for him. 
You know, this colors of the Northern Lights over Alaska could suggest that God, Himself, is a Seahawks fan.  I know Alaskans are. 
Now back to the watching the game...again. 

I Liked This...

It's Sunday!

The line for dinner on the grounds is already forming...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

To The Hills

My dear, tired husband was working one of his three jobs today giving me time to upload another song to Youtube by Julie Lee, an artist that is new to me.  I did love her song based on Psalm 121, but I spent so much time working on it that I neglected to go outside on this beautiful day and look up to the hills, mountains really, in my town's backyard.  I really should have torn myself away from the computer to do so.  One needs to look up to keep from looking down.    When I was a girl I used to be told to get my nose out of a book and get outside and play.  For that reason I usually sought out private places to read, a hard thing to find in a large family.  As I write my husband is trying to entice me away from the computer to watch a football game he had taped earlier to watch tonight.  Perhaps I should because it would please him; and that's reason enough.  

Unto the Hills - Julie Lee

It's so much easier now that we have tablet computers!

Because I Still Love Cows...

…and kittens.

for KING & COUNTRY - "Without You (feat. Courtney)" Official Music Video

Let The Children Come

Ruth Sternfeld, orphaned in the Holocaust at the Displaced Persons' Camp, Zehlendorf, Berlin, 1947.

Matthew 19:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 139:15-16 New International Version (NIV)
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.

Isaiah 64:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
The images of these two children always make me pause and sometimes make me cry.  It's not right that children should be called upon to be so brave but still they are; because man is intent on doing evil; and always the children suffer.  I've heard it said that because of abortion the most dangerous place for a child to be is in his mother's womb; and I'm afraid that it may be true.  We demand a choice that was never ours to make; and in doing so we are killing our own children, God's own children.  Consider the value of a life and seek to honor, cherish and protect it.  It is what Jesus would do.
1945 - Little boy in liberated Nazi concentration camp smiles in the camera and starts to cry. BBC WW2 in color

Thursday, September 18, 2014

May We All Love...

Ephesians 4:32 English Standard Version (ESV)

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

…like this little one.  

Love Me Tender - Beth Nielsen Chapman 

America's Soldiers Singing "Days of Elijah"

I believe these are actually Marines in a worship service at Camp Pendleton.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

For Those Who Hurt...

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 New International Version (NIV)

15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Philippians 1:New International Version (NIV)

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

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.”

...Scripture and a song.  Please, please don't give up. 

He Will Not Let Go - Laura Story

Colton Dixon - More Of You

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hope Beyond the Suffering

2 Corinthians 12:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

John 16:33 English Standard Version (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The March of Dimes polio poster children were all so beautiful that it was no surprise if they tugged at your heart strings.  I remember gladly bringing my dimes for their care and participating in walk-a-thons to raise funds for the cause.  Today I visited a loved one who is now suffering in a nursing facility from the cascading effects of post-polio syndrome.  He has taught me through the years the meaning of boasting in the sufficiency of God's grace.  The power of Christ has and still is resting upon him.  His poster child beauty has been replaced by the beauty of one who has shared in Christ's sufferings.   I came home tonight with a song running through my head, "When My Heart is Torn Asunder" by Phil Wickham.  It could be this dear one's anthem.

Phil Wickham - "When My Heart is Torn Asunder" (Live at RELEVANT)

When my heart
Is torn asunder
And my world
Just falls apart
Lord You put
Me back together
And lift me up
To where You are

There is hope
Beyond the suffering
Joy beyond the tears
Peace in every tragedy
Love that conquers fear
I have found redemption
In the blood of Christ
My body might be dying
But I'll always be alive

You have turned
Mourning to dancing
You have covered me with grace
The struggle here
May last a moment
But life with You
Will last always

There is hope
Beyond the suffering
Joy beyond the tears
Peace in every tragedy
Love that conquers fear
I have found redemption
In the blood of Christ
My body might be dying
But I'll always be alive

When the age
Of death is over
And this world
Has been reborn
I'll be there
Beside my Savior
This is our grace
And rich reward

There is hope
Beyond the suffering
Joy beyond the tears
Peace in every tragedy
Love that conquers fear
I have found redemption
In the blood of Christ
My body might be dying
But I'll always be alive

Jenny & Tyler - In Everything You Do - Lyric Video

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Lord Remembers Me

Paul in Prison, Rembrandt

Romans 6:18 English Standard Version (ESV)
18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Romans 8:1English Standard Version (ESV)
Life in the Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a]

Hebrews 13:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Luke 23:41-43 English Standard Version (ESV)
41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

There is more than one kind of chain that can enslave an individual; but it is always a chain of sin, whether it be the sin of the captive or the sin of the jailer.  The only release from sin is through the forgiveness offered by Jesus  Christ.  A body may be imprisoned but never a soul pardoned by our Lord; and like the thief on the cross, He does remember us.

"Lord Remember Me" - Ruthie Foster

Oh Lord remember me
Oh Lord remember me
When these chains get broken, set my body free
Oh Lord remember me

Days get long, I call your name
Days get long, I call your name
Days get long, can't see right from wrong
Oh Lord, I call your name

Guide me on to do your will
Guide me on to do your will
When trouble move me, keep me standing still
Guide me on to do your will

Oh Lord remember me
Oh Lord remember me
When chains get broken, set my spirit free
Oh Lord remember me

When these chains get broken, set my spirit free
Oh Lord remember me

I'm So Glad [Live]

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wake Up O Sleeper

Ephesians 5:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Isaiah 40:3-5 New International Version (NIV) 
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

When the Lord returns, will He find me sleeping.  Well, He might, if He returns during my Sunday morning church service.  This morning I was without the two guys who have been prodding me awake so many years.  My husband had a Sunday morning shift at work and then the the young man who no longer lives in my house but in a dorm is now attending church miles away from me, so I slept on.  Now my husband has just walked in the door, home from work.  I sure hope he doesn't ask me what the sermon was about.  Sigh.  I'm so glad I have a God who doesn't sleep.
This afternoon I enjoyed creating a slide show for this song by Karla Adolphe about the Lord's return.
Get Up & Dance - Karla Adolphe

It's Sunday!

Guess who was in church this morning!

Church In The Wildwood sung by Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, Robert Emhardt

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sailing the Gospel Seas

Psalm 89:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.

Today was a perfect late summer day, and we had a lovely time celebrating the 90th birthday of a precious family member.  We did cut things closely, however, trying to get my husband to his scheduled shift at work.  There was a long backup of cars to board the ferry home, and we were one of the last loaded on the ferry for that sailing; but we did make it; and there is such sweet relief in knowing you didn't miss the boat!  I am thinking tonight about the old Southern Gospel song, "The Good Old Gospel Ship," because the one boat you never, never want to miss requires a ticket paid for by the blood of Jesus.  The relief I felt today will pale in comparison to my final sail to Heaven's shore.  
Carter Family - The Good Old Gospel Ship
Album: The Carter Family In the Shadow of Cinch Mountain
I'm going to take a trip in that old gospel ship
I'm going far beyond the sky
I'm gonna shout and sing til heaven rings
When I bid this world goodbye

I have good news to bring, and that is why I sing
All my joys with you I'll share
I'm going to take a trip in that old gospel ship
And go sailing through the air

I can scarcely wait, I know I won't be late
I'll spend my time in prayer
And when the ship comes in, I'll leave this world of sin
And go sailing through the air

If you are ashamed of me, you ought not to be
Yes, you'd better have a care
If too much fault you find, you will sure be left behind
While I'm sailing through the air

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's Never All Bad...

Jeremiah 31:26 New International Version (NIV)

26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

…for those who have Jesus.

Fernando Ortega - Give me Jesus

Coat of Many Colors

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Zephaniah 3:17 New International Version (NIV)
17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Ephesians 6:12  English Standard Version (ESV)
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Isaiah 48:22 English Standard Version (ESV)
22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

2 Chronicles 20:15b New King James Version (NKJV)
Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

My husband took this picture of our country's flag as it hung from a fire truck's extended ladder in front of our town's fire department.  It's beautiful, isn't it?  As we remember 9/11 this Patriot Day, may we also remember that God is in control as our country continues this fight against terror.  May we, who are redeemed of the Lord, be strong Christians as well as strong patriots.  This battle we are in belongs to God.

How Firm A Foundation - Michael Card

End of the Beginning [Live]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Happily Ever After...

1 Peter 5:6-11 New International Version (NIV)

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

…is yet to come.  It's not always easy to remember that even a daughter of the King won't come out of every grief and trouble smelling like a rose.  We will fight battles.  Life won't be fair and our happily ever after will take an eternity in coming.  I was reminded of the biblical story of the great general, Naaman, of the Syrian army.  A man of wealth and power but still a leper, he tried to buy his healing from the prophet Elisha.  He wanted a showy cure, a little magic for all his trouble.  It wasn't until he humbled himself and did as Elisha had instructed, bathe seven times in the Jordan river, before he was healed of both body and soul.  I'm not sure how Naaman's life played out afterward but I know he was exalted in God's good timing, and so shall we all be who belong to the Lord.  

Find Me In the River - Delirious?

Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please

We've longed to see the roses
But never felt the thorns
And bought our pretty crowns
But never paid the price

Find me in the river
Find me there
Find me on my knees with my soul laid bare
Even though you're gone and I'm cracked and dry
Find me in the river, I'm waiting here

Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please

We didn't count on suffering
We didn't count on pain
But if the blessing's in the valley
Then in the river I will wait

Big Daddy Weave - Overwhelmed [Official Music Video]

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

And So We Should Also Pray...

Liberian minister prays on the beach during the Ebola crisis.
James 5:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Ephesians 6:18 New International Version (NIV)
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.

1 Timothy 2:1 English Standard Version (ESV)
Pray for All People
2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
…for those suffering during the Ebola crisis.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Dogs Know Better Than Their Humans...

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 New International Version (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

two are better than one.

NEEDTOBREATHE - "The Heart" (Official Video)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

How's Your Heart?

Ezekiel 36:26 English Standard Version (ESV)
26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Ephesians 4:32 English Standard Version (ESV)
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Proverbs 4:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.

Psalm 10:17English Standard Version (ESV)
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

1 Corinthians 12:26King James Version (KJV)
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

During the church service meet and greet this morning, there was one who thought to ask of another, "How's your heart?"  It wasn't the usual exchange of How are you and Fine, Thank you that we so often hear, because the greeter knew of the other's sufferings and joined her in them.  It's amazing how such a small exchange communicated such love and compassion.  

If I was bolder I may have wanted to pump my fist and shout, "Now that's the way to do a meet and greet!"  But I wasn't and didn't.  Instead my own heart was pricked by the knowledge that I would just as soon hide out in an introvert's corner during the meet and greet rather than show such compassion to another member of the body.  I really need to work on my own meet and greet skills.  I want a heart both strong and tender. 

I Find Your Love - Beth Nielsen Chapman

It's Sunday!

Psalm 122:1 King James Version (KJV)

122 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

Sometimes our gladness needs a little work...

The Apple of His Eye

Zechariah 2:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—

Deuteronomy 32:10-12 New International Version (NIV)
10 In a desert land he found him,
    in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
    he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them aloft.
12 The Lord alone led him;
    no foreign god was with him.

My grandmother had a keen interest in Israel and studied well its place in God's plans.  She loved Israel because her God loved Israel.  It is the apple of His eye; and, as such all believers should care about Israel.  I may not always understand or even like Israel's actions;  but I have to trust that God, whom I imagine is weeping over what He sees, is even so keeping Israel in the apple of His eye, because this is what He said and what He has done.  Though His tears may fall and His anger be kindled, He yet protects them.  As God is with Israel, so He also is with each of His children, those redeemed by His Son.  He protects what He values; and, we who were bought at such a high price, can know we are also the apple of His eye, loved beyond measure.  It's a good place to be.  

Hear O Israel - Kristyn Getty