Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's a New School Year!

Proverbs 1:1-7 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Introduction to the Book
1 The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 To learn wisdom and moral instruction,
and to discern wise counsel.
3 To receive moral instruction in skillful living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity.
4 To impart shrewdness to the morally naive,
and a discerning plan to the young person.
5 (Let the wise also hear and gain instruction,
and let the discerning acquire guidance!)
6 To discern the meaning of a proverb and a parable,
the sayings of the wise and their riddles.
Introduction to the Theme of the Book
7 Fearing the Lord is the beginning of moral knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

It's September and the men in my life have both gone back to school: one to learn, one to teach.  I loved this video made by a first year teacher, Dwayne Reed, for his 4th grade class.  I wish him well and God's blessings in his teaching career, for, whether he knows it or not, he is doing God's work. 
Welcome to the 4th Grade - Dwayne Reed

Sandra McCracken - Gods Highway (Song Story / Live Performance)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Planned to Blog...

Nikolai Mikhailovich Kol'Ĩickij, (1907-1979) - The Children's Room, 1952 (Postcard)

Psalm 55:6 King James Version (KJV)

6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.

...but now I'm just too tired to do so.  Sleep well.  Fly away and rest.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fairest Lord Jesus

Elouise Wilkins

Fairest Lord Jesus
1873 translation by Joseph A. Seiss [5] [6]

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.

Into My Heart/ Fairest Lord Jesus - Selah

Sunday, August 28, 2016

About The Father's Business

Luke 2:48-49 New King James Version (NKJV)

48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

My, but Jesus knew how to answer a question with another question, teaching as He did so what really mattered.  His purpose was to do His Father's business, and such is our purpose, and our children's purposes also.  It can be hard to let a child go, but Mary did. I find myself thankful tonight for my mother who brought me to my Savior.  The night she gathered her children around her dining room table and explained why Jesus died for our sins, she may not have known so; but she did it for me, because before I fell asleep I had done business with my Lord.  So, thanks, Mom, for giving me to the One who loved my soul.   

Earlier today I uploaded Christa Well's song for mothers and children, "Oh, Your Love."  
Oh, Your Love 

I know that you knew 
You raised us to leave you 
Raised us to run with a torch in our hands 
I know that you knew 
What your love would do 
You sent us out sailors with the wind at our backs 

I know that you gave 
Without keeping record 
Except to be certain you had nothing left 
I know that you gave 
Til it hurt though you never 
Admitted anything but the joy and gladness 

Ooh, your love always carried us 

I know that you followed us 
Late in the darkness 
Pulled up the blankets, covered us in prayer 
I know that you followed 
Our paths to independence 
With a great deal of patience and a little bit of fear 

But ooh, your love always carried us 

I know that you see us 
The way we were back then 
You can’t let go, you can’t really let us go 
But I hope that you see how 
You took those little children 
To the light that leads us all to our true home 

Oh, your love always carries us 
Oh, your love will always carry us
released November 19, 2012 
Co-written & Produced by Wade Baynham in Durham, NC. 

Oh, Your Love - Christa Wells

Matthew West - UNTOLD

It's Sunday!

·The ever present · William Fergusson Brassey Hole (1846 -1917)

Psalm 46:1 King James Version (KJV)
46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble

Matthew 18:20 King James Version (KJV)
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Gather together, He will be there.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wanted Wall Builders

 I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.  Nehemiah 5:16 NLT

Nehemiah is speaking in this verse. The context preceding this verse is the poor Jews coming to Nehemiah, complaining about their being taken advantage of by their countrymen of means. They've had to borrow money from the rich, sell their fields, and even pawn their children to the wealthy to stay alive themselves. You can picture Nehemiah hearing this, and calling together the leaders of the people to chastise them. It doesn't even say in the context that he paused to pray. I can see him with hands on hips, palms out, indignantly calling out those exploiting the poor. He says that they just got out of enslavement to another nation. Need they do it to each other?

For his part, Nehemiah also leads by example. Although a leader, he doesn't use his position to his advantage. He even feeds a considerable number of people out of his own pocket. He could pursue land acquisition for himself, but he refuses to be distracted by material gain, in order to focus on his mission -- rebuilding the wall. He has his sleeves rolled up, and expects his cabinet to do so as well.

Nehemiah avoids the subtle allure of secular, material stuff of earth. This stuff can be a distraction to us also. It isn't that the stuff is so bad, but the distraction from true purposeful living is the problem. Our energy only goes so far, and property or other wealth is to be a tool as well as an enjoyment, but shouldn't be a siphon of our energy in the wall building God has set us to do.
Beanscot's husband
Nehemiah and the wall

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yes, You Will Suffer...

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Isaiah 43:6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 I will say to the north, Give up,
    and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the end of the earth,
7 everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

...But there is yet a reason to hope for everyone who is called by His name.  
So call me Christian, a daughter of God, redeemed by the Son, created for Glory.  

Hymn - Brooke Fraser 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Just A Smile...

James 5:18 English Standard Version (ESV)
18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

...because it's been hotter than what than expected here in this corner of the country.  I'm not complaining because I know the rains will come.  But I'll pray now for those who are fighting fires in my state and for those who have suffered losses.  The work of fighting fires is much appreciated.

We Won't Be Shaken - Building 429  

Phil Wickham - The Secret Place (Acoustic Performance)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sometimes You've Gotta Hold a Dead Cat

John 13:34 English Standard Version (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Luke 6:31 English Standard Version (ESV)
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

I answered the knock and my door this morning and there stood our tearful  neighbor boy, just 12 years old, asking if he could borrow my phone.  He was afraid his cat had just died.  I made a quick call to bring my husband home then handed the phone over to him, while I got my shoes.   Then I followed him across the street and sat on his front steps while he went inside to get his cat.  He brought him out, wrapped in a towel, and reverently laid him in my arms.  So I held his cat, cooed and stroked its body, and closed its eyes for the boy.  With him crying beside me, we waited for my husband and his grandmother to arrive. 

Sometimes, loving your neighbor means you've got to hold his dead cat.  As I write this, tears are coming to my own eyes, for the honor and privilege of being there for this boy.  It truly is the greatest commandment.

Casting Crowns - One Step Away (Official Lyric Video)

Diamond From the Dust

Genesis 37:23-26 New International Version (NIV)

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

Genesis 50:20 New English Translation (NET Bible)
20 As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?

It's late on a Sunday for me.  I've been working on a video for Youtube, "Diamonds" by Hawk Nelson.  It's had me thinking of Joseph, a hero of the Old Testament.  His life was a good example of how God can make a diamond out of dust.  So cruelly treated by his brothers, he still was able to accept God's purpose in it all.  I don't gratefully, gracefully receive suffering from my Lord.  I fight it instead, wasting much effort in the process.  Thankfully, God still works in my life, bringing beauty from the ashes, a diamond from the dust.

Diamonds - Hawk Nelson

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It's Sunday!

'A Church Picnic' - by artist Arthur Sarnoff - (summertime, illustration, art)

Bring enough to share.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Peace that Passes All Understanding

2 Corinthians 5:17 New English Translation (NET Bible)
17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!

Isaiah 43:18-19 New English Translation (NET Bible)
18 “Don’t remember these earlier events;
don’t recall these former events.

19 “Look, I am about to do something new.
Now it begins to happen! Do you not recognize it?
Yes, I will make a road in the desert
and paths in the wilderness.

John 11:25 English Standard Version (ESV)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[a] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

John 14:26 Living Bible (TLB)
26 But when the Father sends the Comforter[a] instead of me*—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.

Philippians 4:7 New English Translation (NET Bible)
7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

My mother had called me one evening because she had found a purse in her room she didn't recognize and in it were pictures of people she didn't know.  It was her own purse and the pictures were her own family.  Alzheimer's disease can be truly frightening, even for a redeemed child of God.  There is much I don't know about what happens to follower of Christ with a brain that is losing its way; but I do know some powerful truths.   I know that God Presence will remain in her life, even if she can't recognize Him.  I know the same God that can make a road in the desert and paths in the wilderness can make new paths in her brain.  I know the Holy Spirit is fully capable of reminding her who she is in Christ.  I know Jesus redeemed her soul, not her brain, made her a new creation, and gave her the hope of resurrection.  And I know Alzheimer's disease can't touch that.  God truly gives a peace that passes all understanding.  

Light of A Clear Blue Morning - The Wailin' Jennys 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Because Walking in Righteousness...

Proverbs 20:7 New English Translation (NET Bible)
7 The righteous person behaves in integrity;
blessed are his children after him.

3 John 3 New International Version (NIV)
3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.

...blesses your children, continue to walk that way.  Remain faithful, because you are not just living for yourself.  Time to listen again to Steve Green's "Find Us Faithful."

Find Us Faithful [Live]

Rend Collective - Every Giant Will Fall (Campfire II)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

And Just Like That He's Gone!

Psalm 144:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 May our sons in their youth
    be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
    cut for the structure of a palace;
Again!  People don't warn you when your child goes off to college just how many goodbyes you'll have to say; but it does make saying, "Welcome home!" especially sweet.  My husband and I spent the last weekend taking that son who doesn't want to be blogged about back to the university.  Actually he took himself.  We just followed in our car full of his stuff.  I'm a little said, again.  Knowing that God is in the process of making him into His own man, helps... Sigh... At least the water bill will go down.
God Be With You - Selah 

Matthew West - Every Tear

Monday, August 15, 2016

Yes, The Battle Is the Lord's

1 Samuel 17:47 New King James Version (NKJV)

47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

Bill & Gloria Gaither - Just a Closer Walk With Thee [Live] ft. George J...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's Sunday!

It looks like you may need a convincing reason to miss church...

Friday, August 12, 2016

In His Hands

I don't think there's any way for those of us who don't have Alzheimer's disease to understand what it's like, just as there seems to be no way for those afflicted to explain it.  My mother said as much on our last visit to her home in the memory care facility.  This woman who loved taking her large brood on road trips, managing the maps and serving as navigator while my father drove, who loved just loading us in the car and taking Sunday drives, now struggles to find her way to the dining room.  Her new maps are directions on post it notes, that she tucks in the sleeve of her sweater, just in case.  When my brother tried to treat her to a car ride she only wanted to return to her new home, "I just can't explain it!" she told me.  
She knows her Lord and He knows her and that is enough.  The God who has kept her safe thus far will surely lead her home.

Alan Jackson - Amazing Grace

Ed Sheeran - Wayfaring Stranger (Live)

I Liked This...

...and this also, because I do like to read.   

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Sheep of the Shepherd

Robert Doisneau

Psalm 46 Good News Translation (GNT)

God Is with Us[a]
46 God is our shelter and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken
    and mountains fall into the ocean depths;
3 even if the seas roar and rage,
    and the hills are shaken by the violence.
4 There is a river that brings joy to the city of God,
    to the sacred house of the Most High.
5 God is in that city, and it will never be destroyed;
    at early dawn he will come to its aid.
6 Nations are terrified, kingdoms are shaken;
    God thunders, and the earth dissolves.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done.
    See what amazing things he has done on earth.
9 He stops wars all over the world;
    he breaks bows, destroys spears,
    and sets shields on fire.
10 “Stop fighting,” he says, “and know that I am God,
    supreme among the nations,
    supreme over the world.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

There will be a day when I will enter my Shepherd's house and at last ask of Him the answers to the things of life that amaze me, confound me, and even frighten me.  Until that day, I have His Word with its wisdom, its promises, and its mysteries.   
It can be a scary world.  Stay close to the Good Shepherd.  

Sheltered in the Arms of God - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Matthew West - Mended (Lyric Video)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Show Goes On

The elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying. They built and brought it to completion by the command of the God of Israel and by the command of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 They finished this temple on the third day of the month Adar, which is the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. Ezra 6:14 NLT

This is a culmination of highs and lows of the rebuilding efforts of the Jews after they had been exiled. It began with Cyrus, a secular ruler, being moved by God to decree that the Jews needed to go back to Jerusalem and get it rebuilt. For two periods of time it came to a halt, partially by political opposition as well as by indifference on the part of the Jews. What could have been done in a few years took 21 years. This is chronicled in the opening chapters of Ezra, as well as in Haggai.

Ezra 5:5 states "Their God was watching over them." And so this is indeed the circumstance that supersedes all others. After this statement,  work did come to a stop, but not permanently. God was the idea generator, placing His idea into a secular ruler's mind. No wonder it got done! People were involved -- fallen humanity. No wonder it got delayed!

God is often behind the scenes, as He was here. He is the director of the show from behind the curtain. We are on stage. He watches over us, and the show goes on.

Beanscot's husband

Monday, August 8, 2016

Because Someone Is Afraid Tonight

Psalm 61:1-4 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 61
For the music director; to be played on a stringed instrument; written by David.

1 O God, hear my cry for help!
Pay attention to my prayer!
2 From the most remote place on earth
I call out to you in my despair.
Lead me up to a rocky summit where I can be safe!
3 Indeed, you are my shelter,
a strong tower that protects me from the enemy.
4 I will be a permanent guest in your home;
I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. (Selah)

There was a king, named David, who was also afraid, even though he had already slain a giant.

Wanting Jesus To Walk With Me

Deuteronomy 31:6 New English Translation (NET Bible)
6 Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!”

Matthew 10:29-31 New English Translation (NET Bible)
29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. 31 So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

I recently read this novel by Jane Kirkpatrick, A Light in the Wilderness, and liked it.  The main character was actually a real pioneer woman, Leticia Carson, once enslaved, who traveled across on the Oregon trail.  She migrated to a place that wasn't welcoming to a black woman not legally married to her white husband.  Then when he died, she and her mixed race children had little legal standing, forcing her to turn the courts and legally fought for an equitable portion of her husband's estate.  The song I just uploaded, I Want Jesus to Walk With Me, appeared in the narrative more than once and has had me singing it too.

I Want Jesus to Walk With Me - Eric Bibb

Friday, August 5, 2016

Because It Was Just...

Calvin and Hobbes

Philippians 4:13 New English Translation (NET Bible)

13 I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.

...a really hard day at work.  And now I must go because my husband wants to watch the parade of nations.  

Lauren Daigle - Power To Redeem

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Precious Memories...

Daniel F. Gerhartz - Artist

2 Timothy 1:5-7 The Message (MSG)

5-7 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

...serve to kindle your heart's fire.   This painting by Daniel F. Gerhartz reminds me that I have been blessed with both a faithful grandmother and mother. 

Precious Memories - Patty Loveless 

Brian Doerksen, Faithful Father

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Doves Soaring As Eagles

Since I'm finding myself especially sleepy at this moment, I'm really liking this verse.  Unfortunately, wishing doesn't make it so.  It's well and good  to desire rest, but if God still has you in the battle, then battle on.   We may want to be doves, but God says we're eagles.  In due times, He will give us rest.  Until then trade your strength for His.  You will be sustained; in fact,  you will soar.

Isaiah 40:31 
New Living Translation (NLT)

31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Because We Have Reason...

John 1:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, dance and to sing.  Love is passing by.  

Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Monday, August 1, 2016

We Will Rise

Romans 8:11 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Ain't No Grave - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family