Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rest For the Soul

Matthew 11:29 English Standard Version (ESV)
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Summer brings thoughts of childhood days on my grandparents' farm, lovely, lovely days of play, good food, animal friends and quiet.  The old farmhouse clock chimed hours not passed by television viewing.  The gentle whoosh of milking machine in the barn set our hearts to a quieter rhythm.  Grandma would wash our hair under the outdoor  pump and let us dry it in the sun.  Knowing the cows would be milked in the morning and at night, we woke to Grandpa heading down to the barn and slept after his return.  Those memories are behind the choices of images I used for the song by the Robby Seay Band, "Slow Me Down."  It's a prayer, really, for God to slow us down so He can wake our souls to Him.  May we rest in Him no matter the season.

Slow Me Down - Robby Seay Band 

Monday, May 30, 2016

It Was Worth It

“It was worth it, Abe,” read the notes on the back of this U.S. Coast Guard photo from the 1940s, “so that … ‘freedom … shall not perish from the earth …’ A fighting Coast Guardsman, who gave his right arm in battle pays Memorial Day tribute at the Lincoln shrine in Washington, D.C. He is Coast Guardsman Thomas Sortino of Chicago, who participated in the North African invasion.” Photo from U.S. Coast Guard

May this country be worth their sacrifices.

Because Some Served...

John 15:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

...and because some gave all.

Carry Your Troubles (Intro) - Jordan Feliz

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Yes, I Know [Live]

It's Sunday! We Remember!

A painting depicting Christ, The Prince of Peace, consoling a battle-weary Marine, provides an appropriate background in the Korean tent, Dec. 15, 1952 where Lt. Karl Ernst leads First Division leathernecks in prayer. The painting was executed by one of the marine in the outfit. Lt. Ernst, a Protestant navy chaplain, is from McLean, Texas. (AP Photo/FW)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Am Glad

Philippians 4:11-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Rheumatoid Arthritis ran me over today.  It's not pretty, it's downright painful; but it happens.  Enjoying life in the middle of a flare is my present challenge. It's why I enjoyed Swithchfoot's song, "Live It Well."  

"Live It Well"

(I wanna live it well)
Yeah, yeah
(I wanna live it well)

Take the burden from my arms
Take the anchors off my lungs
Take me broken and make me one
Break the silence and make it a song

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you're the one I'm living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah

I wanna sing with all my heart a lifelong song
Even if some notes come out right and some come out wrong
Cause I can't take none of that through the door
Yeah, I'm living for more than just a funeral
I wanna burn brighter than the dawn

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you're the one I'm living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah

I got one life and one love
I got one voice, but maybe that's enough
Cause with one heartbeat and two hands to give
I got one shot and one life to live
One life to live, yeah
And every breath you take is a miracle

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell (one love)
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you're the one I'm living for (the one, yeah)
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you're the one I'm living for

(One life) One life, one love
(One love) One life, one love
(One voice) One voice, yeah
(And that's enough) And that's enough, oh
(One heartbeat, two hands to give)
I got one shot and one life to live, one life to live

Live It Well (Acoustic Version)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My God's Delight

Ephesians 1:11 Living Bible (TLB)

11 Moreover, because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that he delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be his, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.

As I walked to the employee entrance this morning at my place of work, another 
employee sought to question my right to enter that door.  Granted, I didn't know him either, but he seemed so confident in questioning me that I could wonder myself about what I was doing there.  I am very, very low on the company's totem pole, too young to retire but too old to consider career advancement, too poor to leave this job and too old to find another.  Yes, I may be a speck of dust, but I'm God's speck of dust.  He not only chose me, but He also delights in me, and I in Him.  
Fields of Grace (Acoustic) - Big Daddy Weave 

Newsboys - You Hold It All (Every Mountain) [Official Lyric Video]

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cling to Christ

Psalm 63:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Cling to Christ [Official Lyric Video]

Monday, May 23, 2016

My God Who Satisfies

Isaiah 58:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.

Satisfied - Jordan Feliz 

A Monday Smile

Friday, May 20, 2016

When a David Saves a Saul

The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power; for you are the Lord's anointed one. I Samuel 26:23

This is the second time that David has spared King Saul's life. A similar event is recorded in ch.24. Both times David had stealthily gotten to Saul and had opportunity to kill him, but he takes an almost unduly noble route and refuses to carry it out. Even after being hunted like a wild animal, even when he has already been anointed to take over as king, David regards Saul as someone special (currently still the king) and lets him off the hook.

I dare say most of us would do something more retributive than David was. He even gave Saul his spear back. Where is justice in that? The nobility, the taking of the high road in these circumstances is, to me, a striking case of personal greatness.

God is good. God is loyal. David was being Godlike. It is really a big challenge to show such mercy when people have broken rules, taken cheap shots, or generally mistreated me. Sometimes I can only hope to have correctly blended justice and mercy. I would like David around to advise me.
by beanscot's husband

Use Me Too (Acoustic)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Whiter Than Snow

The young man who doesn't want to be blogged about is back living in our house for the summer, and I find I've been doing a whole lot more washing.  It's work, but it's not like my grandmother's work, or her grandmother's either.  It's also love, making my family's clothes clean again, but not like my Savior's love. His atoning sacrifice on the cross was both a great work and a great love.  His blood washes away our filth and sin making us pure, holy, and righteous children in our loving Father's care.  
Jesus Paid It All - Aaron Keyes 

"Immeasurably More" from Rend Collective (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Even You Louise...

...You matter to God.  I don't know Louise, but I know what it's like to feel invisible.  Film may fade but not God's memory.  The same God who knew her so well when she was still in saddle shoes, knows her still.  He knows her name, her mind, her heart, her soul.  In that same way, He knows each and all of us.  Do you know God?  Do you know His salvation?  There's an ongoing celebration of the redeemed in Heaven, will you be there?  

Walk Over God's Heaven, Alison Krauss

UNASHAMED (Official Live Video)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sweet Salvation

Psalm 119:103 New English Translation (NET Bible)
103 Your words are sweeter
in my mouth than honey!

   Psalm 34:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

I uploaded a song to Youtube today by Jared Anderson, "Sweet Salvation."  It's good to remember that such a sweet salvation was dearly paid for by our Savior.    He is indeed my refuge.  His word is true.  Sing the song of the redeemed. 

Sweet Salvation - Jared Anderson

Jeremy Camp - Christ In Me

Friday, May 13, 2016

One God, One Savior, One Way, One Truth

John 14:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 1:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 He was in the beginning with God.

Brian Doerksen, Everlasting

From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God

In holiness You stand secure
Through culture's shifting sands
Unchanged by all the vanities of man
And as the nations rise and fall
Your sovereignty remains
You are, You are, You are the one true God

From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God

In faithfulness Your love extends
Through times of turbulence
Adopting those who call upon Your name
And every generation joins
In songs of grateful praise
You are, You are, You are the one true God

From everlasting to everlasting You are God
From everlasting to everlasting You are God

Eternal, immortal, invisible God
Eternal, immortal, invisible God

Why are you so afraid of subjective moral reasoning?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

When Culture Invades the Bathroom

Genesis 1:27 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 3:22-23 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings[a] have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.

The transgender debate over bathrooms became personal for me last night.  I went with my family to the theater to watch a movie and found it heavily attended by an unexpected crowd, transgender men dressed as women.  They were there for a special showing of a documentary movie about their lives and issues, while we were there to watch the Avengers movie.  Between the pop I drank and the length of the movie I found myself needing a bathroom, but I didn't want to use it.  I just wasn't ready to go with the flow of this cultural battle and doubt that I ever will be.  I'm not that brave and not even all that comfortable sharing a bathroom with anyone, let alone stylish turned out men.  So I held it.  
The great consequences of the fall require a great Savior.

Crimson - Nichole Nordeman  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Eutychus, A Hero...

Acts 20:9-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below. 10 Paul went down, bent over him, and took him into his arms. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he’s alive!” 11 Then they all went back upstairs, shared in the Lord’s Supper,[a] and ate together. Paul continued talking to them until dawn, and then he left. 12 Meanwhile, the young man was taken home alive and well, and everyone was greatly relieved.

...after my own heart.  After falling asleep once again in church on Sunday morning, I had to reacquaint myself with this hero of the faith.  

Moriah Peters - I'll Wait For You (Official Lyric Video)

It Is Well

1 Peter 3:15 New Living Translation (NLT)

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.

I heard a story from the pulpit about an elderly woman in our congregation who had just undergone surgery.  In the recovery room she overheard someone not speaking well of the God that she knew.  From her bed she spoke, "Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  I love my God."  Her body may still be recovering, but it is well with her soul.
It Is Well With My Soul - Audrey Assad
Audrey Assad 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Divine Restoration

1 Peter 5:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Ephesians 2:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Rend Collective - You Will Never Run

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Teachable Hearts

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still. Proverbs 9:9a

Some surfaces are difficult to paint on. The paint doesn't want to stick, or so it seems. Better, the paint  isn't being absorbed by the surface. Try to paint on glass versus wood. Glass won't absorb paint, but wood will.

The "surface" of our heart, or attitude, either absorbs wisdom, or it won't, to varying degrees. You can have the wisest man on earth as an instructor, but some people have a sealed surface -- nothing soaks in. I think pride is often the sealant. Recall the Jewish leaders in Jesus' day, hearing but not understanding. They were sealed against believing Jesus. His parable of the soils is similar in that it stresses the condition of the heart.

This verse implies that humility is a prerequisite to becoming wiser. It is the opposite of pride, and connotes an openness, a teachableness. A wise person is also at least somewhat humble, hence he can gain more wisdom. Of course, one can be open to anything and everything -- too open, and absorbs untruth. But I think that is what being called "simple" in Proverbs alludes to. The cure is discretion, which starts with one's willingness to revere God.

Would that we all would have open, absorbent surfaces toward wisdom.
beanscot's husband

Jenny & Tyler - Beloved One (Official Video)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Because I Was With My Sisters Today...

1 Corinthians 11:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.

Proverbs 16:31 English Standard Version (ESV)
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.

Matthew 10:30 English Standard Version (ESV)
30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

...and we talked hair.  We really do have our crowns of glory now, but we've learned to keep them colored.  

Steven Curtis Chapman - We Believe (Live)

Just Give Me Jesus

Matthew 6:19-21 New International Version (NIV)

Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Mark 8:36 New International Version (NIV)
36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

I'll puzzle and pray over what song to upload next to Youtube, sometimes fretting that I've run out of ideas.  Then when I finally give up, God gives me a song.  This time it was Fernando Ortega's "Give Me Jesus."  I've had it in my song library for years now, but it wasn't until this weekend that God brought it to the front of the line.  
Maybe I just needed a sign.

Give Me Jesus - Fernando Ortega