Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Good, Better, Best Love

My mother was having a fairly good Alzheimer's day during our last visit.  She remembered some things that surprised me and even came up with a memory I had never heard from her before, the pastor who officiated at my parents' wedding and how she called him to her mother's home that night to marry them.  "Tonight?" he asked with some incredulity.  "Yes, tonight." she answered.  And so they were married.
She has loved and been loved throughout her lifetime; but the one who has loved her best and always will is Jesus.  It's why I uploaded a new Ellie Holcomb song, "You Love Me Best," after that visit, as I thought to the day she'll be the bride running to meet her Bridegroom.  

You Love Me Best - Ellie Holcomb

Rivers & Robots - Lift Up My Eyes (Official Music Video)

Casting Crowns - Make Me a River (Official Lyric Video)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

He Paid It All

Ephesians 4:31-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Isaiah 53:4-5New English Translation (NET Bible)
4 But he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain;
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.
5 He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well;
because of his wounds we have been healed.

Romans 8:1New English Translation (NET Bible)
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Yes, Charlie Brown, that would be a nice document to have; and I think it would be especially helpful any place where blame is spread thicker than love.  I know because I've been guilty both of casting blame and fearful of receiving it.  On a much larger scale, in this country there's been a whole lot of blaming going on, so much so I hardly want to turn on the news anymore.   If only we would turn first to the only truly blameless one, Jesus.  The price for our sins have been paid by the perfect Lamb of God.  He paid it all.  That's good news, indeed.

Jesus Paid It All - Aaron Keyes

Home - Rivers & Robots (Official Lyric Video)

It's Sunday!

Go even if your church isn't filled with impeccably dressed and impossibly attractive people.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Keep On Speaking

Acts 18:9-10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

9 The Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent, 10 because I am with you, and no one will assault you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

I wouldn't make a claim to personal courage, especially when it comes to telling others about Jesus.  Fear rules over faith when I concern myself with rejection and loss: loss of status, loss of work, loss of friendship, and, sadly, loss of pride.  It's not admirable when pride keeps me from sharing the gospel, where I cling to social acceptance more than I cling to the cross.  I do like knowing that even Paul received needed encouragement from the Lord to not be afraid. 
Help me Lord to speak and to keep on speaking.

Pride (Won't Get Us Where We're Going)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sing Along (feat. Christy Nockels) (Live)

Your Will Be Done

Matthew 6:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Giving myself over to the will of God and finding joy in trials are two fundamentals of faith I find most challenging. I usually rebel first and then grudgingly accept what God has planned for me.   I consider joy but choose misery.  Yes, I have some growing up to do.  His will over mine his always the best option.  

Thy Will - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Amen and Amen!

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.

TobyMac - Love Broke Thru

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Big Daddy Weave - The Lion and The Lamb (Official Lyric Video)

No Longer Lost

Luke 15:1-7 New English Translation (NET Bible)

15 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 So Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.

2 Peter 3:9 New English Translation (NET Bible)

9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Tonight I am ever thankful that God has been patient with me, that he didn't leave me as a lost sheep.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Our God of Great Compassion and Love

John 8:7-11 New English Translation (NET Bible)

7 When they persisted in asking him, he stood up straight and replied, “Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground.

9 Now when they heard this, they began to drift away one at a time, starting with the older ones, until Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up straight and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She replied, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

Psalm 103:8-13 New English Translation (NET Bible)

8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.
9 He does not always accuse,
and does not stay angry.
10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
11 For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.
12 As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.

Love You More - Nichole Nordeman

It's Sunday!

Chicago 1041

It's good to worship!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Cure for Pain

John 1:29 English Standard Version (ESV)

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

Hebrews 10:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
10 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.

3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Hebrews 10:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

I visited a new medical doctor this week who suggested I should try meditation,  yoga, even something called laughing yoga, to deal with physical pain.  I tried to explain as a Christian, my Bible reading and prayer times were my meditation.  (I wish I had thought to also mention worship.)  She totally didn't get it.  I wonder if we followers of Jesus seem barbaric to so totally love and embrace a  Savior who died a cruel death, shedding his own blood for our sins.  I don't welcome pain, but I accept it as part of living in this fallen world, as part of sharing in the sufferings of Christ.  We'll never be free from pain in this life, but we can be forgiven; and there's a deep, deep joy in forgiveness that group laughter can't touch.  Jesus, only Jesus, is my cure.

Nothing But the Blood - Natalie Grant & Steve Grant 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kari Jobe - Heal Our Land (Acoustic)

The Lord Knows How

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

This is one of my favorite verses rip out of context. The context is God's deliverance of Lot from the fiery judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. But, I like the four words in large text. I used too print them, laminate them, and give them out. People are often in situations where they don't know how to affect the best outcome. Take a doctor, for example, who may not know the best course of treatment for a patient. No problem. The Lord knows how. the simple acknowledgement of this fact can save us time and stress, because it encourages us to be done with self-reliance and get to God-reliance. The sooner we do this, the better.

Yes, the context is deliverance, not how to lower your golf score. But do this if you must: along with applying this to appropriate situations, realize that He engineers situations just to get us to turn to Him and claim his knowledge and resources. Or, just be like me -- accept the fact the He knows how to do every thing.
Beanscot's husband

Monday, January 9, 2017

Finding That Good Word

Ecclesiastes 12:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

To my husband I've called it "the tyranny of the blog," when I struggle to write something meaningful, when I don't feel like I've anything to say.  Lately I've let the holiday season, my son's visit and my full time job keep me from the blog, or at least those are my excuses.  Today my husband and I had a safe journey to and from an out of town movie theater to watch "Hidden Figures."  It was good and worth the trip.  Also a safe journey alone is reason to be thankful to God, who watched over us.  So even as I sit here struggling for a good word, God continues to sit beside me in the struggle.  

Help me Father, to put myself aside long enough to hear what you are saying, may I not grow weary in the search.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five Sparrows

The young man who lived in our house and doesn't want to be blogged about is back at his dorm today, one of many sparrows in the care of his Father.  It's hard to let our grown children fly away, but fly away they must.  They have their own nests to build.  God has his own plans for them.  Still having the young man home for Christmas was lovely, and I don't think God minds if I scatter a few bread crumbs for him to find his way back.

Jason Gray - Sparrows (Lyric Video)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Beautiful Name

Philippians 2:9-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What A Beautiful Name (Lyric Video) - Hillsong Worship
Hillsong Worship 

Monday, January 2, 2017

May I Also Love

In that my Savior came to show me the Father, may I also live with the same purpose.  May I let the light He has placed within me to shine and willingly let Him snuff out the flames of anger and discontentment.   Because of His great forgiveness, may I also forgive.  Because of His great love, may I also love. 

God Is Love - Ginny Owens (feat. All Sons & Daughters) 

Lauren Daigle - Trust In You

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Now And Forever More

Psalm 121 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.

1 I look up toward the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Creator of heaven and earth!
3 May he not allow your foot to slip!
May your protector not sleep!
4 Look! Israel’s protector
does not sleep or slumber!
5 The Lord is your protector;
the Lord is the shade at your right hand.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
or the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all harm;
he will protect your life.
8 The Lord will protect you in all you do,
now and forevermore.

Kari Jobe - Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest) [Lyrics]

It's Sunday and A New Year!

Jesus says, "Come."