Thursday, December 31, 2015

Silent Night - Witherow (Christmas Songs) Music Video

No Worries In Heaven

Matthew 6:34 English Standard Version (ESV)
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Philippians 4: 6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

John 14:27 English Standard Version (ESV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

I'm trying to remember what I was worried about earlier today when I started this blog post, but it no longer seems important.  Today a loved one went home to Jesus.  He has no more days to count, no more worries to bear, no more pain to suffer, no more tears to shed.  He's traded it in for all the more joy, all the more love, all the more peace, all the more grace, all the more glory than he could ever have hoped.  Well done.  Well done.  Well done.

Kingdom Come - JJ Heller    

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

If You're Wondering What Happened to Your Package Delivery...

Psalm 50:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

...wonder no more.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The December Love

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.”

December is becoming a season of loss for my extended family; and, unless the Lord returns before the end of this year, another cherished family member will join those who have gone before us.  I gave a portion of my day to uploading a poignant song by Alison Krauss and Natalie MacMaster, "Get Me Through December."  I find the only way to get through times of trouble in my life is through knowing Jesus, the lover of my soul; and it's a love that can warm the coldest heart.

Get Me Through December
How pale is the sky that brings forth the rain
As the changing of seasons prepares me again
For the long bitter nights and the wild winter's day
My heart has grown cold my love stored away
My heart has grown cold my love stored away

I've been to the mountain left my tracks in the snow
Where souls have been lost and the walking wounded go
I've taken the pain no girl should endure
But faith can move mountains of that I am sure
Faith can move mountains of that I am sure

Just get me through December
A promise I'll remember
Get me through December
So I can start again

No divine purpose brings freedom from sin
And peace is a gift that must come from within
I've looked for the love that will bring me to rest
Feeding this hunger beating strong in my chest
Feeding this hunger beating strong in my chest

Get me through December
A promise I'll remember
Get me through December
So I can start again

Get Me Through December - Alison Krauss

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thirst No More

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well

John 4:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

John 4:28 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

John 4:39-42 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Savior of the World
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ,[a] the Savior of the world.”

My husband and I pulled a U-Haul trailer, heavily packed with all our belongings,  to our new home in Texas, a second floor apartment, on a hot August midday.  Neither of us had ever felt such heat before.  Still we proceeded to unload that trailer bearing every item we thought important up those stairs.  Oh, my!  I was probably as thirsty as I have ever been or ever will be in this life.  A large lemonade drink later on never tasted better.  If someone had come along in the middle of that move to show us a better way or even to help with the heavy lifting, I would have been most thankful; and I'd still be telling the story.  Like the Samaritan woman my first thought would have been for myself.  Like the Samaritan woman, I hope my next thought would have been others, so that they might know Christ and thirst no more.  

The Well - JJ Heller

"Kyrie" by Emmylou Harris with John Paul White from "Mercyland: Hymns Fo...

Basic Gardening Instructions

I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.' Hosea 10:12

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. Psalm 26:5

Don't be misled--you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Galatians 6:7

Planting seeds is the start of a process. Harvesting is the end of that process. Planting is the work that isn’t necessarily fun. In fact, starting any process or project is often difficult, even tear generating. I am impressed by how many amateur gardeners spend a lot of money to buy plants that are well established, and just plant the partially-grown plants, without saving money by buying a whole lot of seeds for a little money. Why not? It saves a lot of work! Skip the trouble, the pain, the affliction, if you can. Just enjoy a little of the growth process, and have fun reaping the harvest.

In God’s economy, planting isn’t optional. As Galatians implies, we plant a wide variety of seeds, some more worth growing than others. Serving God may have a difficult beginning packed with resistance and affliction. So is character development. So is dealing with sin. But, as the above verses show, the harvest can be really abundant.
by beanscot's husband

Friday, December 25, 2015

When Christmas Hurts

Psalm 42:5 New English Translation (NET Bible)
5 Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.

Psalm 147:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

Jeremiah 29:11 New English Translation (NET Bible)
11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.'

Mark 10:45 New English Translation (NET Bible)
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

1 Peter 1:3 New English Translation (NET Bible)
New Birth to Joy and Holiness
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

A hurting heart seems to hurt every so much more during Christmas.  Joy or pain, love or loss is all amplified during this presumed happiest time of the year.  This past week my drive home was twice blocked by someone who needed to be talked down from the railing of a bridge.  Don't let momentary melancholy lead to an irrevocable ending.  Find your joy in the birth of the one who died to save you.  The perfect, blameless Son of God took the punishment for your sins on the cross.  So stop punishing yourself.  Jesus willingly laid down his life to give us all a living hope.  So step away from the ledge and live.

Michael W. Smith - Peace (Lyric Video) ft. Michael McDonald

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Silent Night - Mannheim Steamroller (Official Music Video - 1984)

Linus Christmas Speech

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yes, Let Us Come

Psalm 33:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Psalm 95:6 King James Version (KJV)
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

O Come Let Us Adore Him - Shane & Shane

MercyMe - Our Lullaby (Official Lyric Video)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

So Why Are They Celebrating?

Jude 22 English Standard Version (ESV)
22 And have mercy on those who doubt;

Luke 7:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

I grew up with The Flintstones, loving that a cartoon was actually showing on prime time television.  I don't think that it ever occurred to me to wonder why a stone age family even celebrated Christmas.  Why, who wouldn't celebrate Christmas?  These days I find myself wondering why people, who don't believe in God and look askance at those who do, celebrate Christmas.  When did Christians let go of Christmas?  When did we give the holiday away, or as some would say back, when they point to pagan roots?  It has, sadly, become a cultural rather than spiritual holiday, a mid-winter break, a time to enjoy family and friends, to give to each other and to those less fortunate.  None of those are bad things.  Christians don't hold the market on goodness and mercy.  We are all capable of love for others, even those of us who don't love God.  You could even say that we are all able to do so because of how God created us, in His image.  You could even say we were all in darkness until the Light of the World, Jesus, was born.  That light still shines.   You could even say He glows.  

Born In Bethlehem - Third Day

Monday, December 21, 2015

Because I'm Not the Only One Who Likes Cows...

David Stoecklein - Winter Save - Cowboy & Calf in Snowstorm

I believe the parable of the lost sheep still works for this western painting.  

Luke 15:1-7New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Rend Collective - Simplicity

Sunday, December 20, 2015

More Than I Could Wish

1943 Sears Christmas Catalog

John 15:7English Standard Version (ESV)
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Matthew 1:23New International Version (NIV)
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”).

John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In 1968 the Sears Christmas catalog became The Wish Book and I have to wish it hadn't.  We received all our hearts could possibly need when Jesus our Savior was born.   Yes, gifts are fine and good.  I confess to spending hours pouring over the catalog in my childhood home, circling what I wanted and putting my name to it less another sibling received it instead.  I even remember helpfully totaling the items for my parents' convenience.  Yes, it was still all about me and my own wishes.  When I think that the Son of God came to earth in the lowliest of circumstances to save a wretch like me, I am humbled and thankful.  Our Messiah has come.  In a land of happy holidays it cheers my heart just to say, "Merry Christmas!" God is with us.  All wishes have been granted. 
All Is Well - MIchael W. Smith 

The Digital Age - "Midnight Clear"

It's Sunday!

And I'm remembering when the stores closed on Sundays.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Better Than Hallmark

John 1:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

My husband called to me tonight to see a house on a Hallmark Christmas movie, "It looks like your old house!" And it did.  It was as if the large white Victorian house from my childhood was made over into a Christmas card, complete with the three bay windows perfect for showcasing the Christmas tree.  Christmas did have a way of making that drafty old house beautiful.  My childhood home is only a few blocks away from this house of the level path, but it stands empty, taken off the market for now, looking ever so lonely.  It reminds me of how a soul looks without God dwelling within.  This Christmas invite Him in.  It will be even better than a Hallmark movie.  

Christmas Is Coming - Jason Gray

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Don't Turn Him Away

Luc Olivier Merson, The Arrival in Bethlehem (1897)
Isaiah 7:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]

Luke 2:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

I'd like to think that I'd be the one not forgetting what the prophet foretold; and because of that I'd give Joseph and pregnant Mary a room, and even give them my own bed.  Surely I'd choose to sleep in the stall for their comfort and honor, but maybe not, I enjoy my own comfort so that I'm more likely to be the one to go back to my bed and miss that first Christmas.  Prepare a place for the Savior in your heart and you'll never miss Christmas again.

Rest (The Song of the Innkeeper) - Official Lyric Video - Jason Gray

Because the Internet Can Be a Minefield... your steps and guard your heart.

Finding Favour - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hope Lives

Before the shepherds show up. Painting by 19th century American, Geri Melchers.

Isaiah 9:2  King James Version (KJV)
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Ellie Holcomb sings of our great hope, Jesus,  in her Christmas single, "Hope Is Alive."  Now that I've uploaded it, the song has been running through my head; and that is a good thing.  Hope is alive.  Light has pierced the darkness we can see our salvation.  Live that truth and we, like Mary, can feel the beat of God's heart.  

Hope is Alive - Ellie Holcomb

The lyrics:
Hope Is Alive
By Ellie Holcomb & Ben Shive

After the silence of waiting so long
We hear a baby’s first cry
And into our midnight
A heavenly song
Whispers that hope is alive
Oh joy to the world on this holy night

So sing with the angels that fill up the sky
Heaven broke through and now hope is alive
He is right here among us
Our god is with us tonight
And hope is alive

In an old stable beneath the bright stars
A young mother is holding her son
Oh the beauty of feeling the beat of God’s heart
That tells us that we are not alone
Oh, our Emanuel has come

So sing with the angels that fill up the sky
Heaven broke through and now hope is alive
He is right here among us
Our god is with us tonight
And hope is alive

Into our aching , into our breaking
Into our longing to be made whole
Your arms are reaching, Your love is holding us close
Into our suffering , into our weeping
Into this need we have to be known
Your arms are reaching, Your love is holding us close

So sing with the angels that fill up the sky
Heaven broke through and now hope is alive
He is right here among us
Our god is with us tonight
And hope is alive

So sing with the Angels that filled up the sky
Those in the shadows have seen a great light
He is right here among us
Our god is with us tonight
And hope is alive

Hope Is Alive - Ellie Holcomb

Home Free - O' Holy Night

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wonders of His Love

Psalm 31:21  New International Version (NIV)
21 Praise be to the Lord,
    for he showed me the wonders of his love
    when I was in a city under siege.

Psalm 40:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,

    they would be too many to declare.

Luke 2:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

As I was driving home from work tonight, I half listened to the carol "Joy To The World," playing on my radio, until the words, The Wonders of His Love, bore into my consciousness:  
The wonders of His love!
The wonders of His Love!
The Wonders, the Wonders of His Love!
Wow!  It is a wondrous love, indeed!  As I recall the many wonders God has shown me through my lifetime with the sure knowledge of more wonders to come, I rejoice to celebrate the birth of the Savior of my soul, the Savior of us all.  There is evil in this world but as the angels said, "Do not be afraid!"  He is Lord and there is no other.

Joy To The World - Third Day

Travis Cottrell LIVE Max Lucado Event: "In the First Light"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Just A Smile

Mark Schultz - Different Kind of Christmas (Official Lyric Video)

Because I'm Sleepy...

"The Nativity" by Georges de la Tour (1593-1652)

Luke 2:7 King James Version (KJV)

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

John 16:33 New King James Version (NKJV)

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

... and have stayed up too late,  I'm ready to hit the hay like baby Jesus.  Though the world be in turmoil, may we all sleep in heavenly peace.  Take heart!  Christ the Savior is born.  
Silent Night - Third Day

Sunday, December 13, 2015

BarlowGirl - Hallelujah (Light Has Come) [Official Music Video HD] Lyric...

It's Sunday!

Come join the flock!

This Is The Time of Year...

Reginald Bottomley (1856–1933) - A mother and child looking at the virgin and child.
Luke 1:38 New International Version (NIV)

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
...when I consider Mary.
Gabriel's Message - Jars of Clay 

Friday, December 11, 2015

All For Your Glory (Acoustic)

She Looks Amazing!

1 Peter 3:3-4New  English Translation (NET Bible)
3 Let your beauty not be external—the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes— 4 but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.

Psalm 45:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord.

Yes, the beauty found in the heart of a gentle spirit is what lasts; but it's nice to let your light shine.  When my father was a young man, one reason he had for not wanting to be a Christian was that all the women dressed in black and had their hair tied in a bun.  When my mother looked great, he appreciated it, and told her so.   You could say he delighted in her appearance.  
Lord, help me to be beautiful from the inside out.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Treasures of the Heart

Luke 2:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

My husband and I watched last night an almost too real episode of "The Middle" featuring an epic meltdown when a computer snafu deleted seven years of digital family photos, followed by the realization that the real snapshots were in a box that couldn't be found.  Afterwards, I found my husband digging out our stash of pre-digital, film snapshots, including the ones of the young man who doesn't want to be blogged about when he was a little lamb in the Christmas program.  In this age where so called bad photos can be easily deleted, cropped and photoshopped; the old film snapshots are sweet, funny, often embarrassing, and almost always wonderful.  In the photo above, the solemn faced sisters with their dolls, the youngest almost completely out of the picture, makes me smile.  (As the youngest daughter myself, I can really identify.)  So I'm glad we watched "The Middle," because it's good to know where those memories were kept.  
It was important to Mary also, who kept those things not in a box but in her heart, the best place of all to store what we treasure.  

That Spirit of Christmas - Sidewalk Prophets 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Midnight Clear (Love Song)

I'm Nor Sure What to Write...

Hebrews 13:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. instead here's a picture of a cat, a Christmas cat too!  It's not the least I 
can do; but it's close, and it's yours.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Still Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.

Philippians 3:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Philippians 4:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Joshua 1:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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.

I really like this picture of these Christmas sisters.  I don't know who they are, but they remind me of the joy of having sisters.  It's been a long time, though, since we were that cute.  Sigh.  It's not that easy being old.  Tonight I caught my son's senior dog jumping up and down in our kitchen trying to get at the roast still on the counter.  You could imagine him thinking, "If only I was 10 years younger, that roast would be mine!"  

The "if only's" can sink a soul.  It's not good to spend more time is spent dwelling on what could have been rather than what will be.  I don't believe there are any age limits on the above verses and there are no age limits on God still working in our lives. We are still fearfully and wonderfully made.

Maybe I should give that old dog a bite of the roast...

Carol of the Bells / Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) [Offi...

Glorious Impossible [Live]

Monday, December 7, 2015

He's Still Working

Philippians 1:6 King James Version (KJV)
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Tomorrow starts my first official day of full-time employment, or at least the first day in a very long time.  As a survivor of the Great Recession, I wondered if I'd ever see it again.  As a rheumatoid arthritis survivor, I wondered if I'd even be hirable.  As an aging Baby Boomer, I've had my doubts and fears.  But God knew, and I am grateful.  It's true that He isn't finished with me yet.

Steve Green - He Who Began A Good Work In You [Official Music]

For My Husband's Side of the Family

Merry Christmas, you Swedes!

Casting Crowns - Just Another Birthday

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Can You Hear the Bells?

Casting Crowns - I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day Live

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Civil War background)

It's Sunday!

O come all ye faithful!

Fear No Evil

Matthew 10:28 New International Version (NIV)
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Psalm 23:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

I was listening to a newscaster tonight trying to explain yet still calm our fear of terrorists.  It's too bad he couldn't bring the Word of God into his telling. Fear of terrorists could be a rational fear, though, because they're...well...terrorists; however, we who have been redeemed by our Lord know our mighty God has us in the palm of his hand, a fearfully wondrous place to be.  

Heart & Soul - Josh Fox

Friday, December 4, 2015

I Blew It Today...Sigh...

Proverbs 31:26 English Standard Version (ESV)
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Lamentations 3:22-23English Standard Version (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

...but tomorrow is a new day.  When God gives me duct tape, it's probably for my mouth.   I've  got a ways to go before I'm a Proverbs 31 woman; thankfully, God still loves me, his work in progress.  

All I Want Is You (Official Lyric Video)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Never Forgotten

Isaiah 49:15-16 New International Version (NIV)

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.

Philippians 4:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

This week I have been given, and I am choosing to see it as a gift, full-time work.  Even though I'm in a cubicle, I'm thankful that my new cubicle has a window.  Even though I still hurt from Rheumatoid Arthritis and other issues, I'm thankful for my paid health insurance.  Even though it's not an exciting or enviable job, I'm thankful that it's a job, something hard to find at my age.  Even though it doesn't pay well, it does pay.  Finally, even though I'm located in the farthest recess of my company, My God doesn't forget me.  I'm engraved on the palms of His hands, and my cubicle walls are ever before Him.
You can call me Cubicle Princess.

MercyMe - Joy (Official Lyric Video)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

O Astonishing Grace!

John 1:1 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Colossians 1:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Hebrews 2:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Isaiah 7:14English Standard Version (ESV)
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.[a]

I worked on my first song today of this Christmas season to be uploaded to Youtube, "O Astonishing Grace" by the Summit Church.  It was unknown to me until today but I know it now.  To think of God being a child is truly astonishing...astonishing, amazing grace!

O Astonishing Grace
Charles Wesley 1745
     O astonishing grace, 
     That the reprobate race 
     Should be so reconciled! 
What a wonder of wonders that God is a child!

     The Creator of all, 
     To repair our sad fall, 
     From heaven stoops down; 
Lays hold of our nature, and joins to His own,

     Our Immanuel came, 
     The whole world to redeem, 
     And incarnated show'd 
That man may again be united to God!

     And shall we not hope 
     After God to wake up, 
     His nature to know? 
His nature is spotless perfection below.

     To this heavenly prize 
     By faith let us rise, 
     To His image ascend; 
Apprehended of God, let us God apprehend.

O Astonishing Grace - Summit Church

Summit Worship - Go Tell It On The Mountain (Official Video)

Just a Reminder

Monday, November 30, 2015

I Am They - From the Day (Official Music Video)

Before Getting Swallowed Up In Christmas Shopping...

1 John 2:15-17 English Standard Version (ESV)
Do Not Love the World
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[a]—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Hebrews 13:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Luke 12:33-34 English Standard Version (ESV)
33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

...consider what the Bible says.  Since Cyber Monday is nearly upon us, I thought I should look up some pre-shopping Scripture.  Even as I was looking at Scripture, though, I found myself sneaking a look at the Amazon site.  God has good reasons, I fear, for including the love of money in His Holy Word.  Other things, not nearly so important, He let's us just wonder about, such as our Thanksgiving dinner guest did over whether angels have wings.  (Cherubim and Seraphim are described as having them but no others; and, yes, I was curious and looked it up.)  Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, a lack of liquid funds will keep me from going overboard; but I still need to guard myself from being more in love with Christmas things than Christ Himself.  

Christmas Flash Mob by Journey of Faith at South Bay Galleria - official video

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Love Does No Wrong

Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God's requirements. Romans 13:10

In Bible study today we were discussing the need for love to be the underlying disposition of our lives. It should be the response we tend to exhibit in a given situation. 

For example, if a family heirloom plate falls and breaks, how do I respond? 
(This did recently happen.) It is amazing how events can bring our underlying attitudes to the surface, like a submerged buoy that has been pushed underwater no longer, but rockets to the surface and beyond.  Possibly worse yet are the mistakes on which we can blame no one but ourselves, thereby surfacing self-dislike.

As in I Cor. 13, Paul pushes love to the foreground, saying that if we can major on it, other commands and even other qualities fall into place, which is, in the background.

by beanscot's husband

“Shout" by The City Harmonic (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

When It's Hard to Be Thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New International Version (NIV)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Be thankful still.  When we lost our home to foreclosure, I tried to reassure my then teenaged son with more conviction then I had saying, "Don't worry!  God will not leave us homeless."  
He answered me then with a certain conviction, "We may be living under a bridge somewhere, but we will be together."  
Sometimes I am astounded by him, thankfully convinced that God is raising him in spite of his parents.  Today as we enjoyed Thanksgiving in this house of the level path, I remain deeply thankful.  We are still together.
And, yes, I know he doesn't want to be blogged about, but sometimes my gratitude just spills out. I have a good son.

Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Come Ye Thankful!

Philippians 4:8-9 English 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. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

The young man who lives in a dorm and doesn't want to be blogged about made it safely home for Thanksgiving, and I am thankful.