Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do Not Lose Heart

I remember my father exclaiming, "Growing old is hard work!"  And it is.  I believe it is especially difficult for those who have no relationship with Jesus, no Comforter for their souls, and no Father's house in which to reside.  How sad!   Jesus loves you little children now grown old.  Invite him in.  He makes old hearts eternally new.

I've Just Seen Jesus featuring Lana Ranahan and David Phelps

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yes, Who Shall?

Isaiah 61:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Who shall wear the robe and crown? I pray that it might be you.

Down to the River - Dustin Kensrue

I Am They - Make A Way (Official Music Video)

Christian Living in a Post Christian World

Romans 14:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.

Matthew 10:39 English Standard Version (ESV)
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

I recently watched a documentary on the Vietnam War and was reminded of another time that our country was deeply divided, although I suspect it may be worse today.  It certainly has been ugly.  What I do know is that Jesus is not an American, and that America is not Christian.  It is post Christian, as we have embraced secular, world values over the faith of our fathers.  That doesn't mean God has left us, He won't; but it does mean that God may not protect us from the consequences of leaving Him; and it also means true believers will further join in the sufferings of Christ.  Our salvation may be secure, but our physical safety isn't necessarily so.  Then again there are many who identify themselves as Christian without ever having made Jesus their Lord and Savior.  They may have an easier go in this life where moral relativism substitutes for God's truth, but their eternity is in jeopardy.  Who reigns on the throne of your life, yourself or Jesus?  I pray that it will be Jesus.   

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Called to Love

2 Corinthians 5:20  New International Version (NIV)
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Mark 12:30-31 New International Version (NIV)
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

2 Timothy 1:7 Living Bible (TLB)
7 For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.

Since terrorism has been in the news this Easter week, I've been thinking about a Christian's role in these world events.  It is hard to love a neighbor that frightens you, but God has placed us here to do so.  Like refugees the redeemed are not home yet; but, until that day, we are to represent Christ on earth.  I confess that I do a poor job of it.  I'm not sure that I love well my near neighbors let alone my far ones, so I look to Jesus to be my help.   We have not been called to fear but to love.  
Jesus, Guide us by your wisdom and help us to love.

All Ye Refugees - Sandra McCracken

It's Easter Sunday!

Say cheese and go to church!  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Yes, It Can

Matthew 12:40 New English Translation (NET Bible)

40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

O Sacred Head Now Wounded - Michael Card

Friday, March 25, 2016

Old Music for My Old Soul

I attended a rock and roll Good Friday service tonight that made me realize that I'm both old and old fashioned.  While my husband is busy with March Madness,  I took to Youtube tonight to listen to the the old hymns I grew up on.   I'm truly thankful for our faithful and talented young people, but I'm also grateful for the traditional music of the church.  So I believe I'll still cling to it.

Alan Jackson - "The Old Rugged Cross" ((Live))

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dickens Got It Right...

Hosea 6:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
    his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Proverbs 16:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 In the light of a king's face there is life,
    and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. least about March.  He summed it up so well that I find myself wishing I had written it.  
MercyMe - Bring the Rain

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Lifetime of Moments

Rembrandt van Rijn - Head of an old man (Study)

Leviticus 19:32 English Standard Version (ESV)
32 “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

Genesis 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Psalm 139:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Hebrews 9:27-28New Life Version (NLV)
27 It is in the plan that all men die once. After that, they will stand before God and be judged. 28 It is the same with Christ. He gave Himself once to take away the sins of many. When He comes the second time, He will not need to give Himself again for sin. He will save all those who are waiting for Him.

I sat next to an old man today and spend some time helping him with paperwork.  Ninety years old, he reminded me of a precious rare book to be handled with care and treasured.  Although I couldn't ask him at the time, I wondered if he, who was made in his mother's womb and in the image of God, knew how important he was to the Savior.  Did he know his Maker?  Did he know the One who shed his blood for him?  Did he know this great love?   I pray so.   God, who knows his every heart beat, still has a plan and purpose for his life.  
No one is promised the gift of years.  No one knows how many chapters have been written in their book or when their story ends.  Each moment is a gift.   Don't wait to accept Jesus as Lord.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pray For Brussels

2 Corinthians 5:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Romans 14:7-8 New International Version (NIV)
7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 5:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Pray for Belgium.

for King & Country "Dreamers" (Official Live Room Session)

Monday, March 21, 2016

For He Gives...

Proverbs 3:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Psalm 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 127:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep. his beloved sleep.  Go to bed with enthusiasm and great joy, for it is a gift of God's grace.  

Tonight (feat. All Sons & Daughters) - Francesca Battistelli

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Narrow Door, His Blood, His Righteousness

“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail." Luke 13:24

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:27

According to Matthew's account the narrow way was contrasted with a broad rode leading to destruction, which is considered relatively easy to get and stay on. Contrarily, effort needs to be expended to get on the narrow road, which leads to heaven. Our own pride, Satan, and the world make it a difficult task, but as Paul said in Acts, God sets things up so that people could find this way.

The key, I believe, is to accept the narrow way because it is God's way, the one He provides. One might say that the broad road is a combination of humanity's way to do it their way. Good works, memberships, achievements, all human activity may be commendable, but one must come to God on His terms. To invent a religion or formula, and being tolerant in views of what God wants from us, are only our version of what God wants -- they don't count.

People seek to make a connection with God, pitifully, using man-made materials. They "sew" a fabric, often large and eye catching, but it is a weak fabric which tears loose and doesn't connect us to God, no matter how impressive it looks. However, while acceptance through Christ is a small connecting thread, it is exceedingly strong. And we go through life that way, with a life dependent on a thread that is small but the only one that holds.

As the hymn implies, our hope is built on not only nothing less, but also nothing more, than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

beanscot's husband

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less - Deborah Liv Johnson

Nichole Nordeman - Be My Rescue (Lyric Video)

It's Sunday!

Hold onto your hats!

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Week That Started With Great Joy...

Isaiah 35:10 New International Version (NIV)
10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

...ended today with a sigh and much barking, for the young man who doesn't want to be blogged about has returned to the dorm.  As I write his little dog is barking at the front door so that it might open and return his master to him.  There's only so much staring at a front door that a dog can do.  Sometimes dogs have to bark and moms have to sigh.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wearing of the Green

Ephesians 4:32 English Standard Version (ESV)

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

I was looking for green garments tonight to wear to work tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day; and I had to stop and be thankful for my sisters.  We children on St Patrick's even would also prepare for the day, especially my older sisters for their younger siblings.  I can remember them cutting out paper shamrocks and coloring them green for us to pin to our pajamas, to keep us safe from getting pinched when we awoke the next morning.  It was very helpful and especially thoughtful considering my older brother would use every opportunity to pinch his extra helping of sisters that was his lot in life.  It was tough surrounded by so many girls with only a baby brother to claim for himself; and it was a lesson to me, the baby sister, in both kindness and forgiveness.  

When Trials Come, Margaret Becker 

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Fine Son

Gracia - Sandra Bierman

Isaiah 54:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
    and great shall be the peace of your children.

Psalm 113:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

The young man who lives in a dorm but doesn't want to be blogged about has come home for spring break.  Even though he takes multiple showers in a day and eats food I had put aside for myself, I am ever so content.  He is a fine son, and he is home.  He will take flight again soon enough; until then I will be thankful.  

Just A Smile...

...for someone who's celebrating a birthday!

Amen, Abraham, Amen

Psalm 19:1-6 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 19[a]
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Ahead

Here's a song for all of us who are lamenting the sleep we'll lose tonight.

Before This Time - Big Stuf 
Before This Time - Big Stuf 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Because Sometimes I Need Reminding...

2 Corinthians 12:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
...that God's love is enough.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hands Up

Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Ex. 17:9-13

Just thinking of Moses doing this makes me wonder if I could do what he did for very long. The use of the staff reminds me of the staff Moses used earlier in Exodus that turned into a snake, an ordinary object God made into one of His wonders. However, I think two other things are going on here.

First, the holding of his hands is a way of praying to God. It is nonverbal communication. I will at times use my hands in gesture to God, especially when I want to acknowledge something He did for me. You see football players doing this after a touchdown. This is body language.

Second, Joshua's troops, battling the Amalekites, could look up on the hill and see Moses in this pose.  It was a reminder that victory rested in God. The swings in their fortunes coincided with the non-verbal "prayer" of Moses, with Aaron and Hur in supporting roles. More prayer, more results.

I don't think it wrong to have activities that remind us of God's ability to work on our behalf. "In all your ways acknowledge Him" goes Prov. 3:6. As long as we don't vest supernatural power in the object or activity, we should be OK.
beanscot's husband

Switchfoot - When We Come Alive (Official Music Video)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

He is Risen

Matthew 28:6 King James Version (KJV)
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

He is risen indeed.

Tonight my husband and I went to see the movie, "Risen," and we can't recommend it enough.  It may not be perfect, but it's compelling.  The acting is good (Joseph Fiennes is excellent), as well as the production values.  There is even some humor, although Mary Magdalene gets portrayed once again as a loose woman, something not found in Scripture, and Bartholomew seems like a hang loose, goofy sort of guy.  Overall it is still worth seeing.  

Yes, He is risen.
He is risen indeed.

RISEN - Official Trailer #2 - Now Playing!

My Unshakable God

Monday, March 7, 2016

Help My Unbelief

Psalm 116:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 116
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

Mark 9:23-24 New English Translation (NET Bible)
23 Then Jesus said to him, “‘If you are able?’ All things are possible for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

You wouldn't think it would be so, but it is.  It is possible for both belief and unbelief to reside in one child of God, actually most children of God.  We know God's mercy is all and completely for us, but fear we may be overlooked when he's passing it out.  God knows and understands.  My portion of mercy hasn't fallen off the back of God's wagon and lost to someone else.   When I cry out, therefore, for both mercy and belief he listens and answers.  I like Sandra McCracken's song, "Have Mercy."  

Have Mercy - Sandra McCracken

No More Night [Live]

For My God...

...who will see me through the night and still be there at the break of day.   Even should I fall down on earth, I will stand in Heaven.  It is a blessed assurance, indeed.

The Digital Age - Rehearsals - "Blessed Assurance"

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Dad Was a Good Father

Proverbs 14:26 English Standard Version (ESV)
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
    and his children will have a refuge.

Psalm 103:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

My dad was not a perfect father, but he was a good one; and we loved being around him.  He would tease, but he wasn't mean.  He was up early every morning for work and home every evening.  He was a constant presence in our lives.  Even if he was snoozing in his recliner, we knew where to find him and also weren't afraid to wake him.  I understand that our fathers model God for us; and there are many who struggle, therefore, to view God in a good way, because their own fathers weren't good.  It makes me thankful for Dad and mindful of the future generations in our family.  May we all be good fathers and mothers, not perfect, as only God can be, but good.  There's been a song playing on my radio that has had me thinking of Dad, "Good, Good Father."

Chris Tomlin - Good Good Father ft. Pat Barrett

VERTICAL CHURCH BAND feat. Mia Fieldes - Spirit Of The Living God: Song ...

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Words That Come Out of Your Mouth

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Mt. 15:10-11

Here Jesus is addressing the stress the Pharisees placed on dietary laws, as though adherence to those laws made them superior in God's sight. Jesus' reply, of course, is that holiness isn't achieved that way.  The foods we eat are inconsequential to God in the sense that in themselves they are not capable of destroying human relationships. However, our words and actions are potent builders or destroyers of relationships.

It is impressive how backwards we can get things. How we emphasize correct nutrition, and dieting is  big business. While not necessarily wrong, we often make them the priorities, while we underemphasize the need to curb out tongues. We swear and cheat freely, as though they don't matter. Jesus would say, even today, that we can get as backwards as the Pharisees.
Beanscot's husband

Joey + Rory - "Softly and Tenderly"

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Behold The Lamb

Henry Ossawa Tanner, (American, 1859-1937) | Behold! The Lamb of God, 1891.

Isaiah 53:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.

John 1:29
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

VERTICAL CHURCH BAND - Lamb of God: Song Sessions

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It Is Well

Psalm 146:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 146
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

The last song I uploaded to Youtube, I had to take down per the owner's request.  That's fine and good as I had told him I would do so before hand.  Still I found myself bothered by losing the time and work invested in the video.  I needed to see that it wasn't a loss, if it was God's gain; and I had gained in my own soul what God had intended through the creative process.  So tonight I used some of the images I had collected in a new video, "It Is Well With My Soul" sung by Daniel Martin Moore.  My keys may sometimes get stuck but God still plays a beautiful song in my heart.

It Is Well With My Soul - Daniel Martin Moore