Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Call the Midwife

“Was it love of people?' I asked her.
'Of course no,' she snapped sharply. 'How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don't even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people.”
― Jennifer Worth, The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
Psalm 139:14
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 I will give thanks to You, for [a]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
I'm currently in love with a BBC show I found on Netflix called, "Call the Midwife," set in poverty stricken east London in the 1950's and based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth a midwife and nurse.  It has had me thinking of my maternal grandmother, who didn't live into old age.  She had sixteen pregnancies that and 14 children, two with disabilities.  My mother was child number eleven.  After watching this show, she suddenly seems much braver than I ever thought her to be.  The miracle of life has become dearer.  And, yes, if you're wondering the show is also romantic.   
Call The Midwife Cast (Laura Main & Stephen McGann) -- When I Fall in Love

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Repeat the Joy

Ecclesiastes 1:9
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
9 That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 12:10
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.
Sometimes, I just got nothing.  I look at my computer screen and wonder what in the world to write about.  My husband who's working nearby says, "Just start writing!"  I think he got that line from a movie.  I'd love to have an original thought, I'd really, really love to have even one; but I think they've all been taken.  But that's okay.  I can be good to repeat the sounding joy.  So I will declare the Lord has come.    He will reconcile men to God.  He is our Savior and our everlasting joy.  He reigns.
Newsboys - He Reigns

MercyMe - Shake (Official Music Video)

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Savior's Prayer and Sorrow's Sleep

Luke 22:39-46
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[a]

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
I'd like to think I wouldn't be like the disciples who couldn't stay awake, but I'd likely be worse.  I'm guilty of trying to sleep away sorrow.  I'm also pretty sure that I've never gotten through a lengthy prayer meeting without snoozing, so this one would not have been an exception.  That my Jesus, God's own Son, would have to make due with flawed followers the night before the He was to be crucified says much about His ever patient, long-suffering love.  The old hymn "Lead Me to Calvary" has been playing in my head tonight.  I did find a Youtube offering that I liked.  
Billy Gaines "Lead Me To Calvary"

O My Soul, Arise - Sovereign Grace

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Wretch Like Me

Revelation 3:17
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Romans 3:10-11
English Standard Version (ESV)
10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11     no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
Ephesians 2:1-3
English Standard Version (ESV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b]
Matthew 1:21
King James Version (KJV)
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
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.

“Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”
― John Newton, Amazing Grace

On this last night of Olympic Games coverage I am again struck how today's culture celebrates the worth of an individual and the worth of a people over celebrating the worth of our Great God.    Culture has shifted to where the most important knowledge we can pass on to a child is they are wonderful and special just as they are.  What to do with Christians that believe in death to self and life in Jesus Christ?  Self affirmation is empowering only to those who have no expectation or desire for an eternity with Jesus.  My parents and my grandparents never talked self esteem.  Instead I was taught early in life that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  I was taught of the great love of Jesus who died on the cross for my sins.  I was taught in God's eyes my worth was of such astounding value that He exchanged the life of His only Son for mine.  While I still live in the flesh I'm always going lose battles over my insecurities, but I'll never lose the security of my salvation.  That's enough, truly enough, for me.   

Chris Tomlin - Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

It's Sunday!

Your mom no longer can tell you how to dress for church.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My God Who Sees Me

Luke 12:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Sometimes it's just good to remember this truth.

He Knows My Name (Christian Music Video)

I Liked This...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Of Sports and Enduring Love

Figure skaters at the 1924 winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, 30th January 1924. Left to right: Herma Planck-Szabo of Hungary, Ethel Muckelt of Britain and Beatrix Loughran of the U.S.A. Planck-Szabo won gold, with Loughran and Muckelt taking silver and bronze respectively.
1Corinthians 9:24-27  
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we van imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1Timothy 4:8 
for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1Timothy 4:12 
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
2Timothy 2:5 
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

I'm looking forward to the end of the 2014 Winter Olympics and the television coverage.  Some of it I've enjoyed; but when I'm married to someone who'll even watch curling, I'm reaching the end of my own endurance.   I've just received a summons from my husband to watch yet another event.  Sigh.  We all must carry on, especially for those we love.  

Mumford and Sons - After the Storm - live at Eden Sessions 2010

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Welcome At the Throne

Hebrews 4:16
New Living Translation (NLT)
16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Ephesians 2:6
New International Version (NIV)
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
John 1:12-13 
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

I spend enough time on the internet to start thinking all great spiritual warriors should be beautiful or handsome, strong and brave, but they're not, not at least with human eyesight or by pop culture's measure.  Truth be told most of us are a whole lot prettier on the internet then we are in real life, but not to God.  We non-pageant winners, we stumblers and misfits, we who are God's redeemed are more than welcome to come boldly into the throne room of God, because He sees us as heirs of His kingdom, His children, and, He might even say, royalty. 

I write this after doing my own upload of Joni Eareckson Tada's song, "Alone yet Not Alone."  I filled it with images of beautiful warriors, but I think true heroes of the faith look more like she does.  She is truly lovely with an strength and courage that this world cannot measure. 
Alone yet Not Alone - Joni Eareckson Tada 

Lucy: "Oh I wish I was braver" Aslan: "If you were any braver, you'd be a lioness."

Rich Mullins (Live) - Calling Out Your Name

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Yes, Everything

Colossians 3:17
I was at work today sitting in front of a stack of papers to be folded into pamphlets, feeling like a very small cog in a wheel and over educated for the task.  What's worse is that I'm terrible at folding.  Sigh.  I'm not always good at being humble or thankful.  This song, "Do Everything," by Steven Curtis Chapman is a good one for me today and any day.
Steven Curtis Chapman - Do Everything

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All Creatures Great and Small

Proverbs 12:10
New Living Translation (NLT)
10 The godly care for their animals,
    but the wicked are always cruel.
Sometimes I think my biggest work in this life is to care of the animals under my roof.  Today I hung out one town over with the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about while his dog was being groomed. Sheared might be a better word for it.  He went from looking like an old dust mop to a shorn lamb.   He wasn't happy going in but he looks pretty pleased now, especially since he can lick himself in places the fur had covered.  We have a cat who seems to have grown senile in her old age.  She cries frequently and with great alarm until someone comes to be with her.  I suspect she doesn't do this when we're out of the house, but when we're home she's like a wailing car alarm that someone, usually me, needs to shut off.  I call her my little Clingon.  My husband's dog, a rescue dog, has never quite gotten over her earlier life and I think she'll always be a little skittish over any unexpected noise and, unfortunately, I make unexpected noises, feeling just terrible when I see her jump.    When we moved into this house of the level path we pleaded for and were granted the right to keep our pets for their natural lives.  I feel sad for those who were also foreclosed on during the great recession and had to give up their pets.  Much like the lost home, it's a responsibility, once taken on, that no one wants to fail.  So today I'm thankful for our landlord that has given shelter to both my family and our livestock.  
All Things Bright and Beautiful, John Rutter

for King and Country - "Light It Up" (Live)

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Shout Out to My Favorite President...

1 Timothy 2:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Proverbs 29:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
    when the wicked rule, the people groan.
…on President's Day.  In the eighth grade at Roosevelt Junior High no less (We were the Roosevelt Teddies.) my history teacher broke the class up into groups and assigned a period of American history to each group.  We were to totally immerse ourselves in the assigned period to culminate in a class presentation.  My group got the Roosevelt years and I'm been a fan ever since.  He was totally cool, carrying around that big stick.  I understand now that he was also an ardent Christian.  It's good when a righteous man holds the office of the President, but it's really good when the righteous pray for their President.  It's always better to rejoice than groan. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Breath to Praise

Psalm 150
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 150
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

Hebrews 13:15
New International Version (NIV)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Maybe it's because Obama Care has made my asthma medicine unaffordable, that I've been thinking about breathing lately.  My new state health care is requiring proof that I need to take the medicine that I've been taking for the last seven or eight years.  So while I am waiting breathlessly on paperwork,  I'm most definitely considering the gift of breathing.  Is it just me, or does it seem like nearly every image of someone praising God has them out in the middle of a field with their hands raised in rapturous worship; and, if not a field then the top of a mountain?    If I tried either, I'd be an allergic, asthmatic mess likely soon to be headed to an ER for breathing treatment.  Then there would be the problem of the dancing and playing musical instruments.  Between the untreated asthma and my rheumatoid arthritis, I really can't blow a trumpet or dance.  It may not be pretty, but I'll have to just do what I can do.  So as I am and where I am I will praise God with every ragged breath He gives me knowing I am blessed.  
"Praise Him" -Shane & Shane

It's Sunday!

Matthew 19:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Worshipping From God's Footstool

Hebrews 12:28
English Standard Version (ESV)
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
Philippians 2:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
Isaiah 66:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
66 This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
    Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things,
    and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
    those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
    and who tremble at my word.
Psalm 99:5
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Exalt the Lord our God;
    worship at his footstool!
    Holy is he!
I felt a need to step away from watching the Olympic winter games, a celebration of all things human, to spend some time with the Creator who breathes life into every being.  The games try to elevate a world that is but God's footstool; and they will always fail unless this is realized.  Still an Olympic flame will not out shine Jesus, the light of the world, not while those who follow Him are in attendance.  They are His shining stars.  
Enjoy this worship song by Rich Mullins, who is now abiding in Heaven, God's throne.  
Rich Mullins - The Color Green with words

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Clean Heart

Psalm 51:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Jeremiah 29:13
New International Version (NIV)

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Matthew 5:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Ephesians 3:17
New International Version (NIV)

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
I so often see the symbol of a heart repeated in nature that I'd like to think it is part of God's creative design, His wanting me to consider the condition of my own heart as it is a vessel for Him.  After asking Jesus into my heart as a child, I believed that was just where He was, even if I couldn't quite figure out how He fit.  While I know there's not a tiny Jesus walking around my heart, it's still a divine mystery how Christ dwells within; but He does and He even fits.  What's more amazing is His grace that keeps it clean!  
Happy Valentine's Day.    
Jon Foreman - White as Snow

Carry Me Home ~Ali Matthews

Thursday, February 13, 2014

For The God...

Psalm 34:18
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are [a]crushed in spirit.
Psalm 147:3
New International Version (NIV)
3 He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
Revelation 21:5
New International Version (NIV)

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Who owns my heart.  Thank you accepting it just as it was and as it is.

"Broken Things" - Julie Miller

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Following The Script

There are some mornings when I wish God would just give me a script to follow for the day so I don't put my foot in my mouth or say any words I'd regret later.  He doesn't but then again He does give prompts; and I only have to open my Bible to find them.   So, if you read your Bible today, take a bow.  You've done well.  

Alone Yet Not Alone (Song) Performed by Joni Eareckson Tada

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

He Gives More Grace

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size.”

― Mark Twain
James 4:6
English Standard Version (ESV)

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
I was thinking today of my own griefs and selfishly bemoaning that no one, apart from God, ever really understands, but then again isn't God enough?  For that matter, who am I to think that my pain is any worse than someone else's? Unless I'm living their life, I couldn't know; but God does and He supplies his grace for every sorrow.  Twice-orphaned and crippled with arthritis from young adulthood until she was released from pain by death, Annie J. Flint wrote the hymn "He Giveth More Grace."

Bill and Gloria Gaither - He Giveth More Grace
"He Giveth More Grace"
Annie J. Flint
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again. 
Annie J. Flint

Monday, February 10, 2014

Diamonds in His Crown

2 Timothy 1:4-5
New International Version (NIV)
4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Psalm 61:5
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
1 Corinthians 15:58
New International Version (NIV)

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I've borrowed the ancestors for this blog post.  They do look like lovely ladies, probably a great blessing to someone's family.  My own grandmother had two sisters, all women of sincere faith.  I learned of Jesus through my mother's faith and took Him for my own Savior while still a little girl.  I owe much to my godly heritage, and I am thankful.  We do not labor for the Lord in vain.
Diamond In My Crown - Patty Loveless 
As each long day rolls by and falls behind me
In the lonely night there's a peacefulness I've found
Though I'm weary even then when I rise to start again
There'll be a diamond, a diamond in my crown

I have wasted all that life has laid before me
I have watched as all the green fields turn to brown
But I shall not disavow all these ties that bind me now
There'll be a diamond, a diamond in my crown

Shinning down someday I know brighter than all their streets of gold
When the burdens that I carry I will lay down
And the sorrows I have known I'll see them all be overthrown
There'll be a diamond, a diamond in my crown

Then the closer I will be to my sweetest victory
There'll be a diamond, a diamond in my crown

Tenth Avenue North - Love Is Here

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Contagious Courage

2 Peter 3:3-4
English Standard Version (ESV)
3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
Mark 16:15
English Standard Version (ESV)
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
1 Corinthians 16:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 1:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
I don't think I'm very courageous; and if I'm called to be, it would only be by the power of God that I would be so.  This morning I was taken aback by a comment on one of my slide shows of a gospel hymn.  Someone called me out on the fact that I put one image of Jesus on the cross in the video.  They thought it out of place and defended the singer's right to be an agnostic.  Rather than defend the images, I thanked the viewer for commenting.  Sometimes I just don't like to fight.   I'm also not sure the cross needs defending.  It's the greatest event in mankind's history and a mystery so wondrous that even angels long to look; and, try as you might, the cross cannot be ignored.  I prayed for the viewer and I continue to pray for the singer.  God knows their spiritual state.  He also knows mine.  I'm not going to take my Jesus out of one of His songs.  
"Give Me Jesus" - Northland Church

Great Rejoicing - Thad Cockrell

It's Sunday!

There are pot roasts in the oven...

My God Sings!

Since I'm often picture God doing a face palm over me, this verse sounds lovely.  He'll rejoice over me with singing?  Amazing!  His love in boundless, indeed.  May He always be my delight, my love, and my song.
Sky Full of Angels - Patty Green 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Of Earthly War and Heaven's Peace

Revelation 22:1-5
English Standard Version (ESV)
The River of Life
22 Then the angel[a] showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life[b] with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants[c] will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 21:4
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Matthew 13:43
English Standard Version (ESV)
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

I'll look at pictures of World War 2 troops and wonder, "Dad, are you in there?"   I wish I could have known more about his war experience, but men from that era weren't always forthcoming.  I know a little of the in between but I'd also like to know what it was like to leave for war and what was it like to come home.  So I look at these pictures and try to imagine, try to understand.  I wonder if the throne of Heaven is a little like this, surrounded by troops happy to have finally laid their weapons down.  I have a friend who will be going home to Jesus soon and for him the mystery will soon be clear.  This is a good song by Thad Cockrell, "Great Rejoicing."
Thad Cockrell "Great Rejoicing"

There's gonna be a great rejoicing
There's gonna be a great rejoicing

The troubles of this world
Will wither up and die
That river of tears made by them all
Someday will be dry
There's gonna be a great rejoicing

There's gonna be a great joy river
There's gonna be a great joy river

Questions of this world
Someday will be known
Who's robing you of peace
And who's the giver
There's gonna be a great joy river

Someday you will find me
Guarded in His fortress
Open heart and wings 
That never touch the ground
Someday we will gather
In a grand reunion
Debts of this old world
Are nowhere to be found
Nowhere to be found

There's gonna be a great rejoicing
There's gonna be a great rejoicing

There's gonna be a great rejoicing
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Because I Love Baptisms...

Acts 22:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’
“A man who knows that he is saved by believing in Christ does not, when he is baptized, lift his baptism into a saving ordinance. In fact, he is the very best protester against that mistake, because he holds that he has no right to be baptized until he is saved.”  ~ Charles Spurgeon

“Baptism separates the tire kickers from the car buyers.”  ~ Max Lucado

“Baptism is faith in action.”  ~ Watchman Nee

Wade In the Water - Eva Cassidy

Wade In the Water - Eva Cassidy

Natalie Grant - In The End (Official Video)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Of The End of the World, Plumbing, and Philadelphia

1 Thessalonians 5:18
English Standard Version (ESV)
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
It's funny how when you think your world has come to an end it still keeps spinning.  There's still laundry to be done, meals to be cooked, bills to be paid. Being thankful in all circumstances is a challenge.  I've been sitting at my computer waiting for our one bathroom to be freed, an exercise in patience and self control, trying to remember that there are many people in the world who don't even have one bathroom to call their own.  I'm also remembering the bathroom wars of my childhood, including a memorable breaking of hinges on the bathroom door.  My father perhaps wanting to teach us a lesson didn't fix that door right away either; and if we wanted any privacy at all we had to lift it up and prop it in place.
Earlier I thought it too cold today, before remembering that it could be worse; and yes, it could be worse. I could be in Philadelphia.  I do not doubt they're really cold there, because I survived Philadelphia's blizzard of 1978.  Lessons from the past still teach me gratitude for today and without those lessons my faith in God would be a puny one.  I like this song by Amy Grant, "How Mercy Looks From Here."
"How Mercy Looks From Here" Amy Grant Music Video 2013

Yes, things could be worse.  I like how sure and steady this family looks, and they don't even have electric heat and indoor plumbing.

The Civil Wars - From This Valley (Lyric Video)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Of the Sea, Wind and Birds in Flight

Matthew 11:28-30
The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
John 3:8
English Standard Version (ESV)
8 The wind[a] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Psalm 136:6
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psalm 55:6
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
I uploaded Brian Doerksen's song, "Enter the Rest of God" in an effort to define for myself what are God's unforced rhythms of grace.  It seemed to come together in a combination of the wind, the sea and birds in flight, all better appreciated than understood…much like grace.  
Enter The Rest of God - Brian Doerksen

Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tears, Love, and Spinach

Proverbs 23:22-25
English Standard Version (ESV)
22 Listen to your father who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it;
    buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
    he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and mother be glad;
    let her who bore you rejoice.
The Super Bowl is about to be replayed in my living room, since the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about had to work yesterday while it was on.   He just finished lifting weights and running with his dad and now they'll watch the game together, the second time for my husband.        He also just finished covering his leftover spinach from his dinner to refrigerate for another day.   That spinach had my husband asking earlier today as he lifted the can, "Who bought the spinach?" a question never raised in this house before.  My son may look like me but he's his father's son too.  Good for both of them.  
This song by Natalie Grant, "When I Leave the Room," has made me cry today.   My son may have had to learn to enjoy vegetables of his own accord, but he still has his mother's love.

Natalie Grant "When I Leave The Room" // SiriusXM // The Message
"When I Leave The Room"

Good night
Looks like we made it through the day
The moon sighs
And I know that we're okay

Sleep tight
I love to watch you drift away
I would come with you but on my knees I'll stay

Good night
Five little fingers holding mine
Take flight
Into your dreams and lullabies

There's nothing more that I can do
But just fall more in love with you
And ask the angel armies to stand by
When I leave the room

I'm gonna fail you
I already have
Ten thousand times
I will fall down flat

You'll have a seat in the front row
Of everything I don't know
And all I'm trying to be
You'll see

Good night
There will be storms that we come through
In time
We will slay dragons me and you

I'll always wanna hold you tight
Keep you safe with all my might
So I will leave Jesus next to you
When I leave the room

And you will run ahead
As if you know the way
And I will pray more
Then one should have to pray

There will be words we can't take back
Silences too
And I'll be on my knees
You'll see

One night
When I am old and unsteady
You'll want me to fight
But I'll tell you that I'm ready

When there's nothing left to do
I will still be loving you
Then you'll fold your fingers into mine
And I will let Jesus hold you tight
When I leave the room