Friday, October 30, 2015

Loving the Hardest to Love

1 John 4:19New International Version (NIV)
19 We love because he first loved us.

It isn't easy to love like Jesus, but He did it first to show us how.

Natalie Grant - Clean (Live)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

For Everyone Who Still Loves the Milkman...

...even though he's home in Heaven.  You know who you are.  

Autumn Beauty

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Gaither Vocal Band - Sow Mercy (Live)

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart [Live]

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Steal Away to Jesus

Luke 5:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

I was first introduced to the idea of an actual prayer closet by an enthusiastic college friend who had converted a hall closet into one.  Now I know that I'd seen one years earlier, when my non-driving mother used to take her books out to our park cared to sit, read and pray.  Even then it wasn't the perfect option as we children could look on and wonder.  With a house full of children, though it was what she could do.   So should I do what I can do.  May I never lose my desire to spend time alone with Jesus and may I purse that time with a passion.  I'd rather get to know Jesus now and not wait for Heaven to become acquainted.  I found a fragment of a song, an African American spiritual, recorded by Russ Taff in 1987 to share on Youtube.  The full lyrics are below. 

Steal Away- Russ Taff
from The Books of American Negro Spirituals
by J. W. Johnson, J. R. Johnson

Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus
Steal away, steal away home
I ain't got long to stay here

My Lord, He calls me
He calls me by the thunder
The trumpet sounds within-a my soul
I ain't got long to stay here

Green trees are bending
Po' sinner stand a-trembling
The trumpet sounds within-a my soul
I ain't got long to stay here  

The Cure For the Sin Sick Soul

1 Peter 2:24English Standard Version (ESV)
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

I take meds upon meds to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, yet there is still no cure; but life goes on as well as the pain.  As I was thinking on this (pitying myself too, I'm sure), I was reminded that my body may be sick but not my soul.  The blood of Jesus cured my once sin sick soul.  It's the only healing I have ever really needed.

From childhood I have loved the old spiritual, "There Is A Balm in Gilead,"  It was one of the first songs I uploaded to Youtube. 

There Is A Balm In Gilead - Deborah Liv Johnson 

There Is a Balm in Gilead
By: African American Spiritual
Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus and say, "He died for all."
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend;
And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;

There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

God Alone Stands

whilst every knee bows before the Son.  Jesus Christ is Lord!  Glory to God the Father!
You Stand Alone [Official Lyric Video]
You spoke and time began, light dawned at Your command 
And by Your Word the earth began to move 
Carved mountains with Your hands, breathed life into all men 
You made it all and saw that it was good 

There is no rival to You, O God 
All kings and idols will one day fall 

Who among the gods is like You? 
Who could ever measure all You’ve done, O God? 
Creator, Sustainer, Merciful Savior 
Forever on Your throne, You stand alone 

Your Spirit gave the Law in kindness to us all 
And though we never kept it, You were true 
Lawmaker, You have saved lawbreakers from the grave 
And by Your Son our guilt has been removed 

Your endless glory shines through Your Son 
There is no story of greater love 

There is no one like our God (You stand alone) 

Music and Words by Neil DeGraide, George Romanacce, and Dale Bischof. © 2015 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)

Monday, October 26, 2015

He Gives More Grace

1 John 2:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
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.

James 4:6English Standard Version (ESV)
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
I found myself struggling yesterday with an unwarranted sense of entitlement, once again failing to honor Christ with my thoughts and actions.  I hope, at least, that the time between sin and repentance is growing shorter and that some day the right thing will also be my first thing. I will never get what I want from this world, but that's okay, because I am here to represent Jesus; and He is more than enough.
He Giveth More Grace [Live]

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Still and Small” by The City Harmonic (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)

It's Sunday!

Yes, it is a privilege!

The Lord Knows How

Lot leaving Sodom with his family by Urruchi
King Nebuchadnezzar had told Nebuzaradan to find Jeremiah. "See that he ism't hurt," he had said. "Look after him well, and give him anything he wants." Jeremiah 39:11-12

So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment. II Peter 2:9

I find these verses comforting. The first is an irony. Why would strangers and pagans treat Jeremiah better than the "people of God?" Jeremiah had been imprisoned by the leaders of Judah for his unpopular prophesies. God uses the Babylonian ruler to get him out of prison and into a better situation. It shows how God always knows how to get something done, if by a way only He might use. Jeremiah's faith is rewarded and is given a reprieve.

The second passage, II Peter, refers to Lot, who in my mind is shown to be somewhat inactive in his faith in Genesis. But God noticed his displeasure in the prevailing morality and protected him from the destructive judgment cast on Sodom and Gomorrah.

I feel that this can be legitimately expanded to imply that God knows how to do all sorts of things we humans can't figure out. I used to take this verse with me when visiting a hospital for followup appointments after an auto accident. I gave it to hospital staff because it can be a comfort to reckon that God can transcend science and our expectations and do whatever needs to be done, because He always knows how.
beanscot's husband

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Trust In the Lord

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

I suspect that God included Proverbs 3:5-6 in His Word, because He wanted to reinforce what goes against human nature: trust in God and not in ourselves.  It's such a simple request, trust and submit; still, if I were to look back on my life and count all the crooked paths I've taken, I'd be to embarrassed to repeat the total.   I am thankful that my loving Father turns me in the right direction when I finally wear myself out running down rabbit trails.  

The newest song I uploaded to my Youtube channel, "All Is Well," has had me thinking about the steady paths my grandfather walked.  As I remember, he was calm and sure, working hard but without wasted effort.  

Yes, Father, make my paths straight.

All Is Well - Ricky Skaggs & The Whites

Blessed Assurance [Official Lyric Video]

It Shall Be Well...

...with those who labor, should you need any inspiration for the day ahead.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Domino's Effect

Proverbs 22:1 English Standard Version (ESV)
22 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    and favor is better than silver or gold.

Tonight I'm thankful for Domino's Pizza, because its online ordering allowed me to send a pizza to the young man who now lives in a dorm doing the starving student thing.  I was able to mother from miles away!  So, tonight, kudos to Domino's!  This smother mother thanks you!

Phil Wickham - This Is Amazing Grace

Scripture To Start the Week...

...because we never know what's coming our way.

Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us)

"We Are Waiting" feat All Sons & Daughters | The New Hymns of Fanny Cros...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's Sunday!

Don't make the pastor bring church to you...

Good Night, Sleep Well

Psalm 116:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

The Lord Has Been So Good To Me - A cappella

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Future and a Hope

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

One can only guess how many fridges display this verse. I didn’t realize that this verse is sort of a lightning rod of controversy until I did an online search prior to writing this. Of course, the controversy centers around its application to us today. Much has been written already, so I will briefly comment here.

First, the verse isn’t a fill-in-the-blank for the kind of future we want. God says the plans and purposes are His for Israel in the immediate sense, and so they likely are for us too.

Second, God says He is not out to harm Israel. It is almost overlooked that surely it is true that He is not out to harm Christians either.

Third, we want desperately to see this verse guaranteeing a custom tailored future for us. I am the same, and I think it is safe to say that that is indeed true for the believer. If I or someone else needs to cling to this verse to feel the concept true, go ahead, I say.

Fourth, Christ has purchased a redemptive future for us —that is a special thing. It may involve the creature comforts we desire as well as suffering. Likely it will be both. The point to take away is that God’s love is active in your life, and He will do whatever to pound that point home The fact that he bought this redemptive future makes it valuable and prosperous in God’s eyes. Hopefully it will be in ours also.
beanscot's husband

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pray For Christ's Fools

1 Corinthians 1:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25 New International Version (NIV)
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 4:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

I do pray for open doors to declare the mystery of Christ and for open hearts, able through the power of the Holy Spirit, to hear.  I pray for a holy boldness in declaring the message of the cross even if I should should be thought a fool.  I pray that I would be courageous enough to be foolish for Christ.  

Crowder - SerialBox Presents: Ain't No Grave

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Lift High the Cross

John 12:31-33 King James Version (KJV)

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Lift High the Cross [Sovereign Grace Music]
Verse 1
A wasted life, a brutal death 
To the blind a tragic story 
For they could not see God’s glory 
Was on display 
Yet beautiful to all the ones 
Given eyes to see the Savior 
Objects of the Father’s favor 
Bought by His grace 
Hope of all the earth and our salvation 

Lift high the cross 
Here is the Father’s love revealed to us 
Lift high the cross 
Proclaim to a dying world 
There’s life in Jesus Christ 

Verse 2
Now You’ve enabled us to be 
Hands that reach out to the broken 
With the love that makes hearts open 
And come to life 
So by Your power may our lives 
Like the moon reflect Your radiance 
Be a sweet and holy fragrance 
Revealing Christ 
Hope of all the earth and our salvation 

There is no other name 
By which we must be saved 
Only Jesus, only Jesus 

Music and words by George Romanacce and Steve & Vikki Cook 
© 2011 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

He Will Make It Plain

Isaiah 55:8-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

1 Corinthians 13:9-12 King James Version (KJV)
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
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.

O my soul, patiently wait for God's mysteries will be revealed.  

God Moves in a Mysterious Way (feat Jeremy Casella) - Indelible Grace

"Oh What Love” by The City Harmonic (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)

My Story and My Song

Daniel 4:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.

Acts 4:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

This age of social media sites, texting and selfies encourage us to put ourselves on the throne of our lives and kick Jesus off.  Our very lives, given to us from God, become more about us and very little about Him.  Even the Christian songs we listen to on the radio emote about the things our Savior does for us.  (Does Jesus give us "an unforeseen kiss" or "a sloppy wet kiss?")  Still, I enjoy these relationship songs as much as anyone and am happy to worship on horizontal hold.  I'm glad to insulate myself with fellow Christians who brag about our faith being a relationship and not a religion. I identify as a life-style evangelist,  because I'm really both embarrassed and convicted by those who are openly about the work of winning souls to Christ. 

Those of us who still want to rescue the perishing, we really can.  All we have to do is tell our real story, the story of what Jesus and His love.  May Jesus be our only true story and song.

Big Daddy Weave - "My Story" (Official Music Video)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

This is True

1 John 4:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

And God Remains God whether you believe in Him or not.  I pray that you will believe and receive his love.

Andrew Peterson - Be Kind to Yourself (Official Lyric Video)

It's Sunday!

Saddle up!
Cowboy Camp Meeting - Statesmen Quartet

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

His Everlasting Love

Jeremiah 31:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

I uploaded a song by The Innocence Mission tonight after this week of loss.  They are always good when I'm feeling a little melancholy.  Karen Peris has a voice that can touch a soul where it needs to be touched.  Yes, God loves me with an everlasting love.

I Have Loved You - The Innocence Mission

I'll Take It!

Thanks, Jesus!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Weep Like Jesus

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.

1 Timothy 2:4 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Hebrews 13:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

An unexpected death this weekend of someone I cared about has left me 
wondering if I was a good enough witness for my Lord Jesus.  I know I can trust her with God and know that even my own shortcomings wouldn't have stopped the Savior from redeeming her for Himself.  Still I feel stymied, if not defeated, by this culture that wants those redeemed by the Lord to live in the closets that have been vacated by unrepentant sinners.  Because of the places where I'm not allowed to share my faith, I find an easy comfort in those safe zones where I can sing to the choir rather than preach to the lost.  I'm sure God wants me to be brave rather than safe, to be a light in the dark places, even if my light is prone to trembling.  
I like this old hymn recorded by Indelible Grace Music.  It tells me that Jesus wept that we might also weep.  

Did Christ Over Sinners Weep (feat Matthew Smith) - Indelible Grace
Henry Lyte
Blake Mundell
1. Did Christ over sinners weep, 
And shall our cheeks be dry? 
Let floods of penitential grief, 
Burst forth from every eye 
Burst forth from every eye

Chorus: Behold the Son of God in tears, 
The angels wondering see 
Hast thou no wonder, O my soul? 
He shed those tears for thee!

2. He wept that we might weep, 
Might weep over sin and shame 
He wept to show His love for us, 
And bid us love the same 
And bid us love the same (Chorus)

3. Then tender be our hearts, 
Our eyes in sorrow dim 
Til every tear from every eye, 
Be wiped away by Him 
Be wiped away by Him 
Be wiped away by Him (Chorus)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dogs and Their Boys

Revelation 4:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 “You are worthy, O Lord,[a]
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist[b] and were created.”

We lost one of our two dogs this last week; and  while I am writing, our little survivor is barking at the door trying to keep us safe until my husband returns from work.  I know that God created dogs for men and I am thankful.  A dog turns a boy into a man and a man into a boy.  A boy learns responsibility and a man remembers how to play.  How can that not be from God?

Heaven Is The Hope

The Digital Age - Rehearsals - "Never Grow Old"

A Good Word

Job 23:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It's Sunday!

Back when the stores closed on Sundays, you could expect callers after church.
 Thessalonians 5:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Jesus The Captain of My Soul

Matthew 16:24-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

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

Casting Crowns - I Surrender All (All To Jesus)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Because Some Super Heroes...

...are real.  
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.