Sunday, June 29, 2014

Of Sins, Grace and Ice Cream

Philippians 4:8English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
2 Chronicles 7:14King James Version (KJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
My husband had the news playing on the TV as I sat down at my computer.  In a very short time I could hear stories on right-to-die, same-sex marriage, and legalized marijuana.  Sigh.  I do live in one of the more liberal states in the Union.    It makes me long for a time when the citizens of this country tried to be good according to God's laws, instead of writing laws to accommodate their own desires.  I know that all theses things took place even back in the good old days, but at least it wasn't celebrated.  We even felt shame; and it's not a bad thing to be ashamed of sins, because it makes us so deeply and profoundly  grateful that those sins are forgiven by God's amazing grace.  As I'm so often in rebellion against God myself, I will be forever thankful that Jesus paid for my sins.  
So let us think on good things, things worthy of ice cream.  The news also just told me it's going to be a warm day tomorrow so ice cream will indeed be lovely.  
Chris Tomlin - Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Michael W. Smith - Sovereign Over Us (Live)

It's Sunday!

Of Horses, Chariots, and Texas

Psalm 20:7New International Version (NIV)
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
We're still in the car repair business here in the house of the level path.  I'm not sure when we will all have wheels again, but we're learning to share, which is good.  It's not as bad as it can get when we're all trying to use the one bathroom that we now have; although I think it would be less of a problem If my family would understand that the oldest and only woman in the house should have priority.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this post but I'll finish what I started.  I'm thankful to have something to share and people to share with.  So I am reminded of Psalm 68:6: 
6 God sets the lonely in families,[a]
    he leads out the prisoners with singing;
    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
I have no desire to live in a sun-scorched land.  I've been there and done that. We called it Texas. 
Gene Autry - Deep in the Heart of Texas (from Heart of the Rio Grande 1942)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where Could I Go, Indeed?

Psalm 46:1
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 46[a]
1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
I looked at this image yesterday from the Great Depression of a desperate man outside a gospel mission and could only think of the song, "Where Could I Go But to the Lord."  It wasn't a fresh hymn for me or one I had sung so often I had it memorized, but still it's question came.  I'm learning to go with something that hits me so strongly, so today I uploaded the song to Youtube. 
Where Could I Go But to the Lord - Emmylou Harris 
Living below in this old sinful world 
Hardly a comfort can afford 
Striving alone to face temptations call 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Where could I go where could I go 
Seeking a refuge for my soul 
Needing a friend to help me in the end 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Neighbors are fun I love them everyone 
We get along in sweet accord 
But when I pass the chilling hand of death 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Where could I go where could I go 
Seeking a refuge for my soul 
Needing a friend to help me in the end 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Life here is grand with friends I love so well 
Comfort I get from God's own Word 
But when my soul needs manna from above 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Where could I go where could I go 
Seeking a refuge for my soul 
Needing a friend to help me in the end 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Where could I go where could I go 
Seeking a refuge for my soul 
Needing a friend to help me in the end 
Where could I go to the Lord 
Where could I go to the Lord 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Give Me Gas for My Ford

Matthew 25:1-13
New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
There is major car repair going on at this house of the level path.  My husband and the young man who lives in my house but doesn't want to be blogged about are replacing the clutch in his car.  They're teaching themselves how to do it through the internet and Youtube videos.  I'm praying, really really praying, that all will go well.  Life was easier when he drove a Cosy Coupe and needed only his feet to make it roll.  It's had me thinking of the old church camp song of my youth, "Give Me Oil For My Lamp."  It was kid-hilarious when we sang, "Give Me Oil for my Ford."  As an adult the Bible parable for this song is ever so  serious.  Yes, be ready because we do not know the day or the hour the bridegroom will return.  
For those of us with fading memories, I did find two of the extra verses to that song, for the times when Chevrolet and Fords were the cars we all knew.  Give me gas for my Japanese import is not quite the same. 
Give me gas for my Chevy
Keep my testimony heavy
Give me gas for my Chevy I pray: Hallelujah!
Give me gas for my Chevy
Keep my testimony heavy
Keep it heavy till the break of day

Give me gas for my Ford
Keep me truckin' for the Lord
Give me gas for my ford I pray: Hallelujah!
Give me gas for my Ford
Keep me truckin' for the Lord

Keep me truckin' till the break of day

I Liked This...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Andy and Barney Explain A Capella

Going With God

Mark 16:15
King James Version (KJV)
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” 
― Frederick Buechner
“Go where your best prayers take you.” 
― Frederick Buechner
I've been saying goodbyes to people who are off on their summer vacations and I wish them well, all the while wishing I could be the one taking the trip, the irony being that we live in a place that where other people migrate to for their summer trips.  Vacations aren't excuses for taking time off from God, although I know I've tried to do so.  While we may not go out as boldly as the driver of the converted bus in this picture, we do go out with God and for God, because we belong to Him and He lives in us.  Who knows who God will put in your path for His purposes?  So go with a prayer and a blessing and be refreshed.  
Benediction - The City Harmonic 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Where My Feet May Fail

Psalm 136:6
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” 

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" is such a brave song.  Sing take me deeper, make me stronger, and God just might do so.  My fearful self than asks what will that take, what will it mean?  Ocean front property is purchased at a high price, and I'm far more comfortable dog paddling in a public pool than plunging into an ocean.  Fearful Christians will never walk on water.  I pray for courage to know the depths of God's great grace and the daring to walk where my feet may fail.  
Oceans Where Feet May Fail - Hillsong UNITED

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Something to Cheer About

Psalm 118:14-16
New International Version (NIV)
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
Hyland - "This Love Is Free" (Official Lyric Video)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Keeping A Heavenly Mind In An Earthbound Body

Galatians 2:20
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and [a]the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
John 16:33
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Colossians 3:2
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 [a]Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

I don't live an enviable life.  I don't have the wealth, health or beauty that society tells me I should have; and there have been griefs, some known only to God, that I call my joys unspeakable.  What the world would see as a lack, I expect God calls it my gain, because it keeps me from being too fond of the life I live on this side of eternity.  My desire is to live for Jesus who lives in me and is keeping me until that day I see Him face to face; and I pray that I can be used in this life to bring others into His kingdom.  I think the that old saying should be reversed.  We should be so heavenly minded that we are of earthly good.  I like the Toby Mac song that asks, "Where would I be without you?"
TobyMac - Me Without You (Official Lyric Video)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I'm Reading...

Psalm 27:3
English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet[a] I will be confident.
1 Corinthians 16:13
English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
1 Peter 5:10
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

…and would highly recommend.

"Fearless" Book Trailer by Eric Blehm // Story of SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Monday, June 16, 2014

Looking to Jesus

Hebrews 12:2
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Because I needed to focus on what is real and of most value in my life, my Jesus, I uploaded again to Youtube the chorus to "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"  by Selah.  Since I first uploaded it in February of 2008,  it's not soon enough to do it again in June of 2014.  It's been a good day, but one where it can be hard to hear Jesus over the noise of trivialities.  So it is good to turn my eyes upon Jesus, and not just the Jesus of artist's renderings but my sweet Jesus, the One who holds my heart.   
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Selah 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Sunday!

Take the whole family to church!

Because It's Flag Day...

2 Timothy 2:1-6
English Standard Version (ESV)
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus

2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men[a] who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
The Star Spangled Banner - Isaacs

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Go Where the Service Is Free

Isaiah 55:1-3
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Free Offer of Mercy

55 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no [a]money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
2 “Why do you [b]spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
3 “Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that [c]you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies [d]shown to David.
Last night I mourned my broken iPad but that was before my husband turned it over and gave it a hard smack on its apple startling it back into working order.  Tonight, in gratitude, I wanted to post a photo taken with it. Sometimes it takes a jolt to get me back in working order, fully satisfied with my God.  I wish it didn't because spiritual jolts can be painful.  Why I live a landlocked life when I'm surrounded by the waters of God's abundant grace, I don't know, because it's foolishness on my part.  I'm glad my Savior offers free repairs and keeps 24/7 service hours.  
Broken Things, Julie Miller 

'Brave German Woman' Rebukes Islam's Lie World CBN News Christian ...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rich Beyond Measure

Luc-Olivier Merson - Rest On the Flight to Egypt- 1880

Matthew 8:20
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the [a]air have [b]nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Hillary Clinton's has backpedaled on her recent comments about being "dead broke" when she and President Clinton left the White House and rightfully so.  I think she has yet to know what it really means to be dead broke as do I, although I somewhat righteously think I probably understand it better.  By this country's standards, my family and I are poor, but by God's standards, I am rich beyond measure.  I don't always remember that when I'm wondering where the grocery money will come from; and, after losing our home during the Great Recession, paying our rent now is a cause most dear to me.  God's provision isn't always what I want it to be or believe it ought to be.  Today my iPad broke and already I am missing it.  It's been my crutch, my entertainment, since the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.  It keeps me company when I'm waiting, something I often do now that illness has slowed me down.  So now I'm bemoaning that there is no money to replace it now or in the foreseeable future.  Today I saw a picture of homeless children in India being taught in a free school under a bridge.  Dead broke?  No iPad?  I am rich beyond measure.
Sigh.  I know I'm still going to miss my iPad.
You Did Not Have a Home (feat.Shane Bernard) - Bethany Dillon

Citizen Way - "Should've Been Me" Official Lyric Video

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Leaving Your Boats, Nets and Dad

Safely Home by Ron Dicianni
Matthew 4:20-22
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, [a]James the son of Zebedee, and [b]John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
I'm trying to learn from the disciples who left everything, their nets, their boats, their family and followed Jesus.  I'm likely to first make reservations, cancel subscriptions, fill prescriptions, overpack, and say tearful goodbyes before I'd leave in obedience to the Master's call.  It's not so complicated as all that.  It's obedience in the present things and committed obedience to the future.  It takes trust, which is always difficult for me, difficult but not impossible.  I tend to worry myself into catastrophic thinking and overpack my mind with anxious thoughts.  Following Jesus isn't an easy life but it is a good one, good in that it is both terrible and beautiful.  Still, I will follow Him to infinity eternity and beyond.  
I Will Follow (Live Performance Video) - Vertical Church Band

I Will Follow
Worship Leader: Jon Guerra
(Jon Guerra, Jacob Sooter)

When the sea is calm and all is right
When I feel Your favor flood my life
Even in the good, I'll follow You
Even in the good, I'll follow You

When the boat is tossed upon the waves
When I wonder if You'll keep me safe
Even in the storms, I'll follow You
Even in the storms, I'll follow You

I believe everything that You say You are
I believe that I have seen Your unchanging heart
In the good things and in the hardest part
I believe and I will follow You
I believe and I will follow You

When I see the wicked prospering
When I feel I have no voice to sing
Even in the want, I'll follow You
Even in the want, I'll follow You

When I find myself so far from home
And You lead me somewhere I don't wanna go
Even in my death, I'll follow You
Even in my death, I'll follow You

When I come to end this race I've run
And I receive the prize that Christ has won
I will be with You in Paradise
I will be with You in Paradise

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Because Jesus Led the Way...

Matthew 4:18-20
21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers.
19 And He said unto them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20 And they straightway left their nets and followed Him.
Luke 9:23
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Deuteronomy 31:6
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
…I will discard my own puny courage to take up His and will follow.  
Follow Me - Casting Crowns

Crowder - Come As You Are (Lyric Video)

Monday, June 9, 2014

As To The Least of These

Matthew 25:35-40
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
1 John 4:19
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 We love, because He first loved us.
I think I could be a kinder person. Actually I know I could be a kinder person.  I   throw up walls between me and the least of them rather than break them down.  I hope that the kindness a family member has shown could somehow be credited to me by virtue of shared blood, forgetting that my Jesus shared His blood with me first.  Being His hands and feet in this life, is truly the least I could do and to not do so would make me even lower than the least of these; but I can and I will love because He first loved me.  
Benediction - Jars of Clay 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

But I Really Am Sick!

Psalm 34:17-20
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
Deuteronomy 31:6
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
I was given an opportunity yesterday to defend my invisible illnesses, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.  It's hard for others to understand what can't be seen leaving me wishing I could wear my joints and muscles on the outside of my body to prove that I'm really sick.  I don't fake being sick but I must be pretty good at faking being well.  Sigh.  I need to just accept that I'll have to explain without expecting that I'll be understood.  God knows.  It is enough.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Remembering D-Day

Psalm 33:12-22
English Standard Version (ESV)
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
    and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
    and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.
Gone Home - Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Witherow - Love You Better

Thursday, June 5, 2014

He Was There

I've been watching the news coverage of the shooting at Seattle Pacific University that took place earlier today.  It was and remains a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy.  We wonder where God is when such suffering occurs but it was clear to me that He was there, present at this Christian campus in the lives of the students who were willing to lay down their lives for their classmates.  There was the student building monitor who, much like David before Goliath, used pepper spray to disarm the shooter when he had stopped to reload.  There were the other students who didn't run away from danger but joined the monitor to subdue the man, saving lives and quite probably even the killer's own life.  I could have been much worse; but it wasn't because Christ himself provided the example when he suffered the Cross for us; and, because of the Cross, He was there.  
And He is also here in our present grief over yet another campus shooting.
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross - Bigstuf Band

Tenth Avenue North - The Struggle (with lyrics)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Just Liked This...

May Queen J. C. Leyendecker 
Song of Solomon 4:7
English Standard Version (ESV)
7 You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.
…even though it's June.  


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Of Death, Life and Roses

1 Corinthians 13:12
King James Version (KJV)
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
New International Version (NIV)
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[a]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A red rose has bloomed on the other side of my frosted bathroom window.  Even distorted by the glass it is beautiful.  Still I can't touch it, smell it, or see it in its glorious beauty as long as I remain separated by a window I don't open for the needed privacy the glass affords.  In this life I am separated from fulling seeing my Lord in all His glory, and He will be glorious in a way incomprehensible to me with my puny, mortal imaginings.  So I look to that day when I will see my Jesus face to face.  He will shatter the glass and secure my victory.  

You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley

Monday, June 2, 2014

Deep and Wide Love

Today I found myself wanting to reflect on the great depth and width of God's love, impossible to measure yet very real and intimate.  By this love I am sustained.  Amazing, it is truly amazing.  

How Deep the Father's Love for Us - Sarah Sadler 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Called to Love

John 13:34
New International Version (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Matthew 28:16-20
New International Version (NIV)
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Ephesians 6:10-12
New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Living in a culture that decries moral absolutes, where sin abounds, and righteousness pales, I too often find it easier to judge than to love; and this is contrary to what God asks of me, to love as I have been loved.  God's laws can't be put to a vote and what He calls sin will always be sin.  There is no exchanging the whole armor of God for a rainbow gown, because the armor is needed to stand God's ground when Satan attacks.  What I need to remember is this: I'm fighting the devil and his forces, not flesh and blood created in the image of God.  I am called to love and make disciples, or, as TobyMac sings, "to speak life."
TobyMac - Speak Life

It's Sunday!

We've got a story to tell to the nations!