Friday, December 31, 2010

Light A Candle

As this year closes, I ponder on what I did to better the lives of those less fortunate.  I ask myself, did I do enough?  Did I do anything?  Here is a song that will help us remember that we should help others, not just this season, but always.

Light A Candle
Wrtten by Haun, Lindsay
Sung By: Avalon

Light a candle
For the old man who sits staring
Out a frosty windowpane
Light a candle
For the woman who is lonely
And every Christmas is the same
For the children who needs
More than presents can bring.

Light a candle
Light the dark
Light the world
Light a heart or two
Light a candle for me
Light a candle for you.

Light a candle
For the homeless and the hungry
A little shelter from the cold
Light a candle
For the broken and forgotten
May the season warm their souls

Can we open our hearts
To shine through the dark?

Light a candle
Light the dark?
Light the world
Light a heart or two
Light a candle for me
I'll light a candle for you.

And in this special time of year
May peace on earth surround us here
And teach us there's a better way to live
And with every flame that burns
We must somehow learn
That love's the greatest gift that we could ever give.

Light a candle
Light the dark
Light the world
Light a heart or two
Light a candle for me
I'll light a candle for you.

Light a candle for me
Light a candle for you.

Have a safe and happy new year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Old Regrets, New Hopes

As we quickly unwind 2010 and start the winding up of 2011, I have been thinking about regrets and hopes.  Now, personally, I don't have a lot of regret.  I usually stick to my opinions, decisions, and live with the consequences. I try to accept what has happened in my life and deal with it.  I do not fight back, I do get pouty at times, but I try not to lay down in self-pity and doubt.  That is what hope is for. 

Christ gives us the best hope anyone can ask for.  He tells us that there is something more than just this earthly existence.  Some days it is a good thing to remember that.  When your family, co-workers, and friends are driving you batty, you sometimes times want to go sit in the corner and cover your eyes and ears.  But through Christ, many ideas and opportunities happen.

     Galatians 4:7 says "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
     Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
     Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

We can do all, have God's peace, and be heirs through Christ.  What more is there?  So has you celebrate the end of this year, and ringing in the new year, I pray that through this devotion, your studies, and teachings, you will let go of the regrets of the past and turn toward the exciting new hopes that God has to offer!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

One Last Christmas

Wow, I apologize for the lateness of this post. I was hit with the flu and am just getting back to myself.

I found a song during these holiday times that not only looks at the love of parents to children, but the kindness of community that carries on throughout the year. This story is true.

One Last Christmas
Written & Sung by Matthew West

It's the news that no one hopes for,
Every parent's greatest fear.
Finding out the child you love so much
Might not make it through the year.

Now the thought of spending Christmas
Without him just feels wrong
They've been praying for a miracle
Now there praying he can just hold on.

For one last Christmas,
One last time.
One last season when the world is right
One more telling of the story
One more verse of Silent Night.
They'd give anything so he could have one last Christmas.

The middle of September,
Still 70 degrees.
Daddy climbs up in the attic brings down candles,
Hangs the lights on all the trees.

And the neighbors started asking
And pretty soon word got around
First it was the neighborhood,
Before to long they lit up that whole town.

For one last Christmas, one last time
One last season when the world is right
One more telling of the story
One more verse of Silent Night
They'd give anything so he could have
One last Christmas

Twenty seventh of October,
His time was wearing thin.
Friends and family
Even strangers that they didn't even know brought presents in

He was weak but he was smiling
Like there was nothing even wrong
They said he wouldn't make it
Looks like he got to see it after all.

For one last Christmas
One last time
One last season when all the world is right
One more telling of the story
One more verse of Silent Night
They gave everything so he could have
One last Christmas.
One last Christmas.

Dax went to be with the Lord in December of 2009. He was a leukemia victim. I pray for all those families who lose someone during the holidays. But we, as Christians know that there is more going to happen. We know that God lost someone too. He can relate to Dax's parents, to you and even to me. I praise God for the time I spent with my loved ones and for the lives that were touched. This little boy had people from around the world sending in photos of their Christmas lights and decorations. He inspired a whole town to become a kinder, gentler, giving people.

Maybe your life feels harden because of the commericalism of Christmas. But if you went to a church service and watched the little kids try and say their lines, sing sweetly to the Baby Jesus and get excited because of the anticipation, maybe God spoke to your heart and open you up. I pray that each of us keeps Christmas in our heart every day of 2011. Sing a carol, read a story, remember that baby, the wisemen, shepherds and angels. Sometimes it is not hard to forget.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23, 2010

To think that God started the whole thing.  Until I was a young woman, did I think about Mary being seen by her friends and family as a girl who may have done something wrong.  She had to have been looked on as a "bad" girl.  I mean, she was young, pregnant, and looked on as unfaithful to her fiancee'.  But God, used this situation to show us that sometimes it is not what we see.  We have to wait and let everything unfold before we can understand everything.  Judgement is not something we should be proud of and each of us is guilty of judging someone before we know everything. But with Mary, it was something she gracefully went through and didn't say a word.  In fact, I think as Jesus grew, she began to see and understand who he was and what he was going to do, to an extent.  So I leave you with one of the most popular song of our day.

Mary, Did You Know?
Written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene

Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rules the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding, is the great I AM.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

One of my all time favorite singing groups is The Gaither Vocal Band.  They have three of the best song writers on their side, Bill and Gloria Gaither and Mark Lowry.  Together they have written some inspirational songs and some of the Christmas ones are so thought-provoking.  Who would have thought that Mary, Did You Know or He Lives would be some of the most inspired songs of a generation?   I am so glad that they meditate and think on God's word in such a way that we can be given an insight that we wouldn't have thought about.  One song that Gloria wrote can only be written by a mother.  I have often wondered what Jesus was like as a baby.  Was he easy to satisfy?  Was he a light sleeper?  Did he smile a lot, or have colic?  This song tells us that he was an Ordinary Baby. Do not be frightened, because he chose to come and be with us.

Ordinary Baby
Written by Gloria Gaither
Music by Dony McGuire

He was just an ordinary baby
That's the way He planned it, maybe
Anything but common would have kept Him apart
From the children that He came to rescue,
Limited to some elite few;
When He was the only Child who asked to be born.
And He came to us with eyes wide open,
Knowing how we're hurt and broken,
Choosing to partake of all our joy and pain.

He was just an ordinary Baby,
That's the way he planned it, maybe
So that we would come to Him and not be afraid.

He was ordinary with exception
Of miraculous conception;
Both His birth and death he planned from the start.
But between His entrance and His exit
Was a life that has affected everyone
Who's walked the earth to this very day.
And without an air of condencension
He became God's pure extension
Giving you and me a chance to be remade.

He was just an ordinary Baby,
That's the way he planned it, maybe
So that we would come to Him and not be afraid.
So that we would come to Him and not be afraid.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010

Each Christmas week, my father and I go shopping.  We go a few days before Christmas and he complains about how early we are going or the traffic or finding Mom the right gift.  One year, I practiced this song several times in the car as we were going.  I asked him what he thought and he said that it was fine.  So I sang it as an ending to our Christmas cantata.  He cried, which surprised me.  I asked him why he was crying and he said that he never paid attention to the song when I was singing it for him.  LOL.  But this song has more meaning for me because of that memory.

Written by Bannister, Farrell and Grant
Sung by Amy Grant

Up in the attic, down on my knees
Lifetime of boxes, timeless to me
Letters and photographs, yellowed with years
Some bringing laughter, some bringing tears.

Time never changes the memories, the faces
Of loved ones who bring to me
All that I come from and all that I live for
And all that I'm going to be
My precious family is more than an heriloom to me.

Wiseman and shepherds down on their knees
Bringing their treasures to lay at his feet
Who was this wonder, baby yet King?
Living and dying he gave life to me.

Time never changes the memory, the moment
His love first pierced through me
Telling all that I come from and all that I live for
And all that I'm going to be
My precious Savior is more than a heirloom to me.

My precious Jesus
Is more than an heirloom to me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010

Do you believe the Christmas story?  Do believe that a virgin became pregnant?  Do you believe that baby was born in a stable?  Do you believe Angels announced his birth?  Do you believe that wisemen knew of the birth and followed a star to find him?  Most importantly, do you believe this baby is God's child?

I Believe
Writers Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman
Sung by Natalie Grant

In a land far away
Time stood still
Long ago
There were shepherds in fields
Or at least this is how
The story goes

The story goes
Woman with child
And an inn with no room
Born in a manger
For telling it tomb
This is how
The story goes

But it is more than a fable
And it’s more than a fairytale
And more than my mind can conceive

I believe
The Wiseman saw
The baby boy the angels
called the son of God
Heaven’s child
The great I am
Born to take away my sins
through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come
I believe

Two thousand years
Still the story lives on
God’s gift to us
Sent to earth Wrapped in flesh
His only son
His only son
And the heartbeat of heaven
Confounded our wisdom
But it’s still the simple truth
That sets me free

I believe
The Wiseman saw
The baby boy
the angels called the son of God Heaven’s child
The great I am
Born to take away my sins
through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come

And I believe
Precious child
How can it be that
God’s great plan
For history
Would send you to
The lonely tree
That you would come
For one like me

I believe
In a cross
I believe he came
For one, he came for all
Heavens child became a man
Gave his life for me
In spite of all I am
I believe

I believe
Oh I believe
Christmas lives in me
I believe

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010

As a child, you hear the story of this family who had no where to stay and think, 'How sad.'  You hear of how angels announced a baby's birth and think, 'This must be one special baby.'  Then you hear how these Maji bearing gifts from a far away land come searching for this child and you think 'What kind of gifts are those for a baby?'   But as you get older, you understand the meaning of each gift.  In the same way, we should grow in to understanding God's great gift to each of us.  But, it all started with this baby.

One King
Written by Borders, Borders and Alexander
Sung by Point of Grace

Kings of earth on a course unknown
Bearing gifts from afar
Hoping, praying,
Following yonder star

Silhoutte of a caravan
Painted against the sky
Wise men searching
For the holy child

One king held the frankincense
One king held the myrrh
One king held the purest gold
One king held the hope of the world

A star hangs over Bethlehem
A journey ends in the night
Three kings trembling
Behold the glorious sight

Heaven's treasure, Emmanuel
Drawing men to bow down
Tiny baby born to wear a crown

One king held the frankincense
One king held the myrrh
One kin held the purest gold
One king held the hope of the world.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010

After that first Christmas night, the sun rose.  Life seemed to go back to normal.  The business of taking the census continued, chores needed to be done, lives were lived.  But a small few people knew their lives changed that night.  They saw and heard angels, they became parents, and they watched the wonder of the newborn baby.  The little town of Bethlehem became a place that, though once forgotten, would never be just a little town.  It was the birthplace of the King of kings!  But more importantly, even though the world didn't realize it at the time, that Bethlehem morning was different than the morning before.

Bethlehem Morning
Artist:  Sandi Patti

Lift up your heads
No need to mourn
His hand is stretched out still.
For unto us a child is born
His promise to fulfill
Jerusalem! He cried for you
He did not come to you in vain
His loving arms are open wide for you
And He will come
He will come again

Bethlehem morning
Is more than just a memory
For the child that was born there
Has come to set us free
Bethlehem sunrise
I can see Him in your eyes
For the Child that was born there
His spirit never dies
His star will never, it will never grow dim
And it's a brand new dawn, a new Jerusalem
And we, and we will reign,
We will reign with Him.

Bethlehem morning
Is more than just a memory
For the Child that was born there
Has come to set us free.
Bethlehem sunrise
I can see Him in your eyes.
For the Child that was born there
He's the King of kings and the Lord of Lords
And He will come again

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15, 2010

The child that came into the world over two thousand Decembers ago has many names.  God named him Jesus.  He is Emmanuel, Master, Heaven's Child.  The wisemen came to seek him by following a star" and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:2 Have you seen him?  Have you looked up and saw the Light of the World?

Light of the World
Words and music by Phil Johnson & Mark Lowry
Sung by The Martins

Who would have thought that one bright star
Overy tiny Bethlehem
Would bring the light
That shines around the world.
And the light from that first holy night
Still warms the heart today
As we celebrate
We join our hearts and say.

Oh light, Oh light of the world we worship you.
Oh light, Oh light of the world we honor you.
As we journey through this cold, dark world.
We will carry you
To light up the world with the light of the world.

Like a candle in the darkness
The light dispels the fear
Of what is waiting
In the dark unknown
As you shine your light around us
By faith our hearts can see
The road we walk will on day lead us home.

Oh light, Oh light of the world we worship you.

Oh light, Oh light of the world we honor you.
As we journey through this cold, dark world.
We will carry you
To light up the world with the light of the world.

Shine your light in the places
That no one else can see
Holy light of the ages
Shine your light through me

Oh light, Oh light of the world we worship you.

Oh light, Oh light of the world we honor you.
As we journey through this cold, dark world.
We will carry you
To light up the world with the light of the world.

As we journey through this cold dark world
We will carry you
To light up the world with the light of the world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14, 2010

This child that the city of Bethlehem did not pay attention to or welcome, was Heaven's Child.  The Martins, another southern gospel group sang about this child.  He was announced by angels to the lowest class of people, shepherds.  He was soon hunted down by King Herod and worshiped by wisemen from afar.  But still, he was a present to mankind, a gift to all who will receive him.  He is the gift that keeps on giving.  I love the line in this that talks about how God must have been joyful and sad all at the same time because of Jesus. 

Heaven's Child
Words and music by Joel Lindsey
Sung by The Martins

She rocked her tiny baby to warm Him from the cold
Hardly what she pictured in the prophecies of old
It seemed almost impossible to think it could be true
But as she pondered in her heart, she knew

This was heaven's child
This was heaven's child
In an earthen stable
Wrapped in glory, meek and mild
Joseph wept with wonder, as Mary sweetly smiled
Because they knew
This was heaven's child.

The angels must have missed Him as they sang Him to sleep
But they marveled at the promises the baby came to keep.
His Father must have felt at once, great sadness and great joy
As he watched His little baby boy

This was heaven's child
This was heaven's child
In an earthen stable
Wrapped in glory, meek and mild
Jospeh wept with wonder, as Mary sweetly smiled
Because they knew this was heaven's child

Mary's little baby boy, was Joseph's pride and joy
Still they wished the world would see
He was so much more

He was heaven's child
He was heaven's child
In an earthen stable
Wrapped in glory, meek and mild
Joseph wept with wonder, as Mary sweetly smiled
Because they knew
This was heaven's child.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

To see today's devotion, please go to

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10, 2010

What else is there to say about Joseph?  He was a good man.  He must have really loved Mary to go through all that with her.  The courage God gave him and the morals his family had instilled in him came through his character.  But still, he must have had some issues that he kept to himself.  This song says a lot.  It's in our Christmas contata, which is next Sunday, December 19th at 6:00 PM.

Words and Music by Tony Wood and Don Poythress

Joseph, did you want to pack your tools
Head to some place where nobody whispered "There goes Mary's fool?"
Joseph, did you look up and raise your hands crying
"God, you know I've always tried to be a righteous man?"

Joseph, did you lie awake confused,
Thinking 'bout that small town scandal, and what love's supposed to do?
Joseph, if you felt you'd been betrayed, still you didn't walk by feelings.
You chse to walk by faith.  Joseph.

Couldn't take her as your wife, but wouldn't let harm come to her.
You looked beyond the shame, and stood between her and an angry world.
And you made no accusations, so no one could raise a stone.
Did you feel so hurt, confused and all alone?

Joseph, did you wake up and want to screaqm,
"God are you really speaking through some angel in a dream?"
Joseph, did it all just seem absurd
That your wife might be the one to fulfill the prophet's words?

You denied yourself for others, obeyed when nothing much made sense.
You were her strength and shelter on that road to Bethlehem.
And kneeling by the manger, bathed in soft starlight,
Did you know whose face you touched that holy night?

Joseph, I hope to sit with you one day,
Hear you tell me all about the choices you were called to make,
'cause Joseph, it was you and no one else,
God trusted to take of Mary and Himself.
Joseph.  Joseph.  Joseph.  Joseph.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 10, 2010

We don't know much about him, but Joseph must have been a wonderful man.  He had a good job, he wanted to do what was right when he found out about Mary's pregnancy.  But how could he not do anything but trust God.  I'm sure more than once he asked couldn't there have been another way?
A Strange Way to Save the World
Words and Music by Mark Harris, Dave Clark & Don Koch

I'm sure he must have been surprised
Where this road had taken him
'Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
Standing at the manger, he saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come alive
And Joseph said

Why me?
I'm just a simple man of trade?
Why Him?
With all the rulers in the word?
Why here?
Inside this stable filled with hay?
Why her?
She's just and ordinary girl?
Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say'
But this is such a strange way to save the world.

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought

Why me?

I'm just a simple man of trade?
Why Him?
With all the rulers in the word?
Why here?
Inside this stable filled with hay?
Why her?
She's just and ordinary girl?
Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say'
But this is such a strange way to save the world.

Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way
A strange way to save the world.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 9, 2010

Mary was a young teen.  She was only fourteen.  She, at that tender age, didn't know what was in store.  Mary was probably ridiculed for being promiscuous, and her family had to feel dishonored.  But the Bible doesn't tell us about that.  The Bible tells us that she did what God asked, eagerly, without thought to the concequences or outcome.  The Bible tells us that she was first, a servant of God and then his mother.  This song, shows the mother in her.

A Cradle in Bethlehem
Words and music by Larry Stock & Alfred Bryan
Sung by:  Greater Vision

Sing sweet and low, your lullaby
'til angels say amen
A mother, tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem.

While wiseman follow, through the dark
A star that beckons them
A mother, tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem.

A little child shall lead them.
The prophets said of old
When storm and tempest keep them
until the bell is tolled

Sing sweet and low, your lullaby
'til angels say amen.
A mother, tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem.

A mother, tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem.

iFellowship Wednesday


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 2010

One of my favorite song writers is Ray Boltz.  He wrote a song about how even though Christ came to us as a baby, and was destined for greatness, sorrow and kingship, this person was still someone's child.  The song is worth reading.  I feel this is some of the most powerful words ever written.  How can a parent go through life, knowing what was going to happen to their child?  I don't think even Mary imagined Jesus dying.  I think she, like all the others thought he would lead a military rebellion and he would become king that way.  But what is amazing is, Jesus has always been King and Lord!  Praise God.

Still Her Little Child
Words/Music by:  Ray Boltz & Steve Millikan
Sung by Ray Boltz

When she laid him in a manger
He was still her little child
In a city filled with strangers
He was still her little child
Though the in was full and the night was cold,
She held him close and smiled
When she laid Him in a manager
He was still her little child.

When the angels called him Savior
He was still her little child
When the wisemen gave Him treasures
He was still her little child
When the shepherds bowed before Him
A star shone all the while
When the angles called Him Savior
He was still her little child.

When He grew in strength and wisdom
He was still her little child
When He spoke, the people listened
He was still her little child
When He healed the lam and daying
They would follow Him for miles
And when he grew in strength and wisdom
He was still her little child

When the people turned against Him
He was still her little child.
When they shouted crucify Him
He was still her little child
And when they nailed Him to a wooden cross
Then we were reconciled
When she held his broken body
He was still her little child
He was still her little child.

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

This week I am going to focus on Mary and Joseph.  There are a lot of songs about Mary.    The most popular right now is Mary, Did You Know?  I it is a beautiful song that makes us wonder if Mary understood what was going to happen to her son. But then, I found another song that puts in perspective that Mary did know what was happening. I love the chorus of this song because the idea that Mary saw him as a mother first.  When I get to heaven, I want to sit down with Mary and talk about Jesus and her relationship as his mother and the things she saw that put his Godliness in perspective.  Was it hard to discipline Jesus?  Did she have to?  Was he gentle, loving or did he roughhouse with his brothers?  But through it all, as we peek in to her life, she knew that one day he would become our Savior. 

Mary Knew
Words and Music by Gina Vera
Performed by Brian Free and Assurance
An angel of the Lord went out for visitation
Mary's willing heart was this angels destination
He spoke of the one who would be born
To reign as king and lord
Overshadowed by the truth,
Mary knew
Everyone could question the story's validation
Mary's new did not bring a joyous celebration
Even Joseph could not understand
That this was heaven's lamb
but a manager now held the truth,
Mary knew.
Mary knew Him at his best and she knew Him at his worst
She understood the man in Him
But knew that God came first
so she held her little promise
And she watched Him as He grew
But her faith never wavered from the truth,
Mary knew.
She followed all the way to the top of a great hill
Mary watched a silent pain
The Father's plan fulfilled
And at His feet she knelt that day.
As tears ran down her face
For the cross now held the truth,
Mary knew
At the place where they had laid baby down to sleep
An angel told the story of what she had believed
She saw the stone was rolled away
It was just an empty grave
The tomb revealed the truth,
Mary knew.
Mary knew Him at his best
And she knew Him at his worst
She understood the man in Him
but knew that God came first
So she held her little promise
And she watched Him as he grew
But her faith never wavered from the truth,
Mary knew.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to my mom!  She is a wonderful Christian woman who keeps us all on the straight and narrow!  Thanks Mom, I love you!

Last year, I was searching for a new song to sing.  I went in to the Family Christian Book Store and saw that this group I had not really followed, but heard a few of their songs, had their Christmas CD Peace on Earth for like five dollars or something ridiculous.  So I bought it.  I am so glad I did.  The music is really good.  They do their own versions of several songs with a couple of original pieces.  This one that I like the most is called God Is With Us.   I love how this song is from the perspective of someone that maybe isn't apart of the story.  I bet there were rumors flying about the baby born that night and adding to the circus is the shepherds who rushed to find the Christ child after the angel told them to.  What must those townspeople thought of those smelly, uneducated herdsmen, who spoke of angels, and the words that were told to them?   

Maybe someone really listened.  Maybe someone talked further with the shepherds and understood that this was the Son of God.  Someone needed something to believe in that night.  Looking at the shepherds, how their story seemed to match up with that of Mary and Joseph's, the innkeeper, how can we not believe and put our faith in God?  He was the Savior that they had been waiting for.  Thank goodness we don't have to wait!  He is here now with us and we just have to believe and obey him!  During this season of believing, feel Jesus in your heart.  Feel him at your side, surrounding you with peace, hope and love.

God Is With Us
by:  Wayne Kirkpatrick
Sung by:  Casting Crowns

The sky don't seem to be as dark as usual
The stars seem brighter than they've been before
Deep within I feel my soul a stirring
As though my hope has been restored.

The shepherds say they heard the voice of angels
Confirming rumors spread across the land
That a child protected well from Herod's anger
Is our Father's Son, and the Son of Man.

Love is raining down on the world tonight
There's a presence here, I can tell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
He's a Savior we've been waiting for
In our humble hearts He will dwell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel.

I feel compelled to tell all who will listen
That peace on earth is not so out of reach
If we can find grace and mercy and forgiveness
He has come to save, He is all of these.

Love is raining down on the world tonight
There's a presence here, I can tell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
He's a Savior we've been waiting for
In our humble hearts He will dwell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel.

Love is raining down on the world tonight
There's a presence here, I can tell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
He's a Savior we've been waiting for
In our humble hearts He will dwell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel.

You're the Savior we've been praying for
In our humble hearts You will dwell
You are in us, You are for us, Your are with us, Emmanuel.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2, 2010

I love this song by Point of Grace.  I have sang it numerous times during the Christmas season at church and just love the calming affect it has.  I imagine that first night, after the hectic day of Joseph scurrying around, trying to find a place of cover for Mary, as she was in labor, quiet and peaceful as God's child is resting.  I love that most nativity scenes are quiet, as though disturbing the baby would upset something.  I think in reality the quietness is for the the awe that that child is actually God with us, Emmanuel.

All is Calm
By:  Michael W Smith & Wayne Kirkpatrick
Sung by:  Point of Grace

All is well all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love's light
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well
Lift up your voice and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

I am a Christmas Song Fanatic.  If there is a new Christmas song, or a song about Christmas that is interesting or intriguing to me, I'm going to find out about it and try and sing it.  So for the month of December, I am going to do something a little off-beat.  I am taking different songs that are more recent and using them in my daily devotions.  The first one has been on my mind for a few days. 

My cousin's son and girlfriend had a baby in October.  They were at my house for Thanksgiving and we got to hold this precious little boy.  The baby's father posted on his Facebook page, days earlier, that a baby changes everything.  I then found out that a co-worker of mine and his wife are expecting.  His wife is from Columbia and we were discussing the different cultural beliefs.  My co-worker was wondering outloud how different things will be. 

Yes, having a child changes most people's perspective of life and of God.  But, think how much more Mary and Joseph's views changed because they knew that they were going to raise God's son.  The young couple immediately realized that with everything they went through, that first Christmas night of Jesus ' birth, changed everything for them.

And when you give your life to Jesus, you too will find, that this one baby changed everything for you and for a lost world.

A Baby Changes Everything
Songwriters: Nichols, James Timothy; Wiseman, Craig Michael; Wiseman, Kim;
Sung by Faith Hill

Teenage girl, much too young
Unprepared for what’s to come
A baby changes everything

Not a ring
On her hand
All her dreams and all her plans
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

The man she loves she’s never touched
How will she keep his trust
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And she cries ouuh she cries
She has to leave go far away
Heaven knows she can’t stay
A baby changes everything

She can feel it’s coming soon
There’s no place, there’s no room
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And she cries ………….
And she cries …..
Oh she cries ….

Shepherds all gather ’round
Up above the star shines down
A baby changes everything

Choir of angels say
Glory to the newborn king
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything
Everything, everything, everything
Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
Hallelujah (Hallelujah)

My whole life is turned around
I was lost and now I’m found
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

Monday, November 29, 2010

Psalm 52

To be honest, Psalm 52 hasn't inspired me today.  I think I am still in a thankful mood, plus I am in my Christmas mode.    Anyway, Psalm 52 starts with the faults of the evil.

 1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
   Why do you boast all day long,
   you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2 You who practice deceit,
   your tongue plots destruction;
   it is like a sharpened razor.
3 You love evil rather than good,
   falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
4 You love every harmful word,
   you deceitful tongue!

Not very charming to read.  It goes on to say that boaster loves evil and not God.  God will ruin those that love evil.  But the writer states that he is doing well because he trusts in God's unfailing love.  Unfailing love.  No matter what, God will love you.  He will keep you safe and love you.  For that I am still thankful.  What more of a statement is needed?

 8 But I am like an olive tree
   flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
   for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you
   in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
   for your name is good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday - iFellowship


Thanks for...

Psalm 51 seems to be written by King David.  See he had been found out.  He had committed a heinous crime and the prophet Nathan was sent by God to let him know that God knew.  See, you can't hide anything from God.  Verses three and four show that David got the message.

 3 For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
   and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
   and justified when you judge.

David had lusted after Bathsheeba, who was someone else's wife.  The whole plot could be from some made for tv mini-series. This story, though, comes right out of the Bible.  Who said the Bible was clean fun?  It's full of instances of real life and mayhem.  But the one thing that always happens is that God's righteousness comes through in the end.  David, in this case, asks for forgiveness and asks God to take away his sins.

1Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
   blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
   and cleanse me from my sin.

It made me think of the hymn, Whiter Than Snow by James Nicholson and William Fischer.  I love that song and I am thankful for the message of it.  I am thankful for Jesus, who gave his life so when God looks at me, he sees me pure and perfect.  Here are the lyrics.

1. Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

2. Lord Jesus, look down from Your throne in the skies
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself and whatever I know
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

3. Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat;
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing I see Your blood flow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

4. Lord Jesus, before You I patiently wait;
Come now and within me a new heart create.
To those who have sought You, You never said "No"
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank Offerings

I loved reading Psalm 50.  It is like God is speaking directly to the saved and the unsaved.  The writer tells us that God doesn't need our sacrifices.  He isn't like us.  But what he wants from his children is  “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” (Psalm 50:14 - 15)  He wants us to give him thank offerings. 

What is a thank offering?  It may also called a peace offering.  Dr. William Smith says that "The general principle of the peace offering seems to have been that it should be entirely spontaneous, offered as occasion should arise, from the feeling of the sacrificer himself."  I kinda like this, but just when the occasion arises?  I hope thanking God and praising him is a normal, everyday occurrence for us.  But to be spontaneous about it is even better.  When a situation you have been praying about turns out better than you had hoped, stop right then a thank God.  When you are down, or lonely, offer up thanks to God.  Just remember someone is in worse shape.  So pray for them too.

What is your thank offering?  Is it just a prayer?  Can it be an action of love?  Maybe you can be a blessing to someone else.  Then they can have a thank offering of their own.  Just remember that it doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out prayer or a beautifully written song.  It just has to be from the heart and spontaneous.  If you offer up a praise to God, here is what he says in verse 23:  "Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,  and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”

My thank offering is a special prayer for all of you who read this.  May your day be full of peace and joy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seeds of Faith

Today's post is at

Have a great day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am thankful for...

For the next few days, and up until December 1st, I am using Psalms to become aware of things to be thankful for.  Maybe that is cliche', but I hope these will bring some new insight to my thankfulness.

Psalm 49 caught my attention right away and got me thinking about a lot of things.  First the writer tells us to listen up and talks about those who are evil and have riches.  Then the verse that first struck me, verse eight, states this:  "...the ransom for life is costly, no payment is ever enough."  The author is saying that the those who aren't apart of God's children will try and bargin with him for their lives.  They will do what they can to not die.  Isn't that something a lot of people want?  They want to be younger, show no signs of aging, and prove to the world that they are going to live forever.  But God says that the wise and the foolish will perish.

Down a few verses this writer starts talking about being saved from the death.  Verse fifteen says this, "But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself."  I like that.  As a Christian you have the assurance that you are not going to the realm of the dead, but to be with God.  We can be so thankful for that!  Praise God!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

iFellowship Wednesday


His Holy Mountain Home

When passages in the Old Testament talk about God dwelling on mountains, I always imagine in my mind's eye that he is more of a spirit, floating just on the surface, above the trees and in and out of the mist and clouds.  I don't know why, but that is how I have always pictured God.  The writer of Psalm 48 is showing me an different way to view Him in "the city of our God, his holy mountain."  

This city is beautiful, very high, and God is a fortress, commanding and protecting the city.  Kings of the earth fear this city, were amazed by her.  Is this city a retreat?  A place to get away?  No, I think it is a place to run toward.  The writer goes on to described the Lord's power and glory while being the only one that is always everywhere.  The author praises God for building the city and all the city has.  I can't wait to see this city.  I am sure everything I imagine about it is totally clueless.  It makes me eager to see this mighty fortress and God inhabiting it.

Psalm 48

 1 Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise,
   in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

 2 Beautiful in its loftiness,
   the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion,
   the city of the Great King.
3 God is in her citadels;
   he has shown himself to be her fortress.

 4 When the kings joined forces,
   when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded;
   they fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there,
   pain like that of a woman in labor.
7 You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
   shattered by an east wind.

 8 As we have heard,
   so we have seen
in the city of the LORD Almighty,
   in the city of our God:
God makes her secure

 9 Within your temple, O God,
   we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
   your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
   your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
   the villages of Judah are glad
   because of your judgments.

 12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
   count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
   view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
   to the next generation.

 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
   he will be our guide even to the end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Do You Praise?

Sometimes we just need to clap, cheer, sing, stomp our feet and praise God in a not-so-traditional way.  And by "not-so-traditional way", I mean opposite of what you usually do.  In our church, most (not all) people (me included) stand there, sing and depending on the song, may clap.  A lot of people don't.  I stand in front of the congregation, helping to lead singing and sometimes wonder if these people ever are led by anything.

My dad will close his eyes when he wants to get to the meat of the song, or if it is his favorite song.  One person in our group will at times, raise her hands toward heaven.  I will sometimes clap.  The clapping, hand waving, smiling, seems unnatural at church to some.  We want to keep it reverent, quiet, subdued.  What we sometimes fail to realize is that the Israelites didn't do that.  They sang, danced, jumped, yelled and celebrated.  Look at the things King David did.  He danced before God, he led parades, he sang and played instruments.  Did God accept him less because of this?  No.  He doesn't accept you less if you do what you feel comfortable with in praising and worshiping Him.  So, don't feel bad if you are the only one in the group holding your hands heavenward, or clapping along with a peppy tune. 

Psalm 47 would be a good peppy song.  I can just hear (in my head) the song leader singing fast and hitting a tamborine in rhythm with this song.

1O clap your hands, all peoples;
         Shout to God with the voice of joy.
    2For the LORD Most High is to be feared,
         A great King over all the earth.
    3He subdues peoples under us
         And nations under our feet.
    4He chooses our inheritance for us,
         The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.
    5God has ascended with a shout,
         The LORD, with the sound of a trumpet.
    6Sing praises to God, sing praises;
         Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
    7For God is the King of all the earth;
         Sing praises with a skillful psalm.
    8God reigns over the nations,
         God sits on His holy throne.
    9The princes of the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham,
         For the shields of the earth belong to God;
         He is highly exalted.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Praise to God

A popular verse in Psalms is 46:1.  But have you read the rest of that chapter?  It is very short and kinda easy.

1God is our refuge and strength,
         A very present help in trouble.
    2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
         And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
    3Though its waters roar and foam,
         Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.
    4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
         The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
    5God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
         God will help her when morning dawns.
    6The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
         He raised His voice, the earth melted.
    7The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
    8Come, behold the works of the LORD,
         Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
    9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
         He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
         He burns the chariots with fire.
    10"Cease striving and know that I am God;
         I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
    11The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

I love that God is a very present help.  He is right there in the mix of things.  He is protecting you.
  No matter what happens, whether the earth moves, or whatever, it is okay.  God is there.  The earth even acknowledges God. 

God inhabits his special dwelling place, and we know where to look for him.  We know he is with us and is our protection.  We have heard what he can do and we depend on him for such.  But sometimes we limit ourselves in what we think can be done or not done.  Lord, let us give you all the thanks and exultation you deserve.  Amen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Psalm 45

I was reading some commentary about Psalm 45.  Some say that this psalm is about a king and the woman he marries.  Some say that it is about Jesus.  I like how it can apply to both things.

The first part is about a king.  It could be about King Jesus, or some say it is about King Solomon.  The second part talks about a queen or if we are sticking with the Jesus theme, it could be about us, as the bride.  Either way it is a nice tribute.

Psalm 45

1My heart overflows with a good theme;
         I address my verses to the King;
         My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
    2You are fairer than the sons of men;
         Grace is poured upon Your lips;
         Therefore God has blessed You forever.
    3Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
         In Your splendor and Your majesty!
    4And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
         For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
         Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
    5Your arrows are sharp;
         The peoples fall under You;
         Your arrows are in the heart of the King's enemies.
    6Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
         A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
    7You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
         Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
         With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
    8All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
         Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
    9Kings' daughters are among Your noble ladies;
         At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
    10Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear:
         Forget your people and your father's house;
    11Then the King will desire your beauty.
         Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.
    12The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift;
         The rich among the people will seek your favor.
    13The King's daughter is all glorious within;
         Her clothing is interwoven with gold.
    14She will be led to the King in embroidered work;
         The virgins, her companions who follow her,
         Will be brought to You.
    15They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing;
         They will enter into the King's palace.
    16In place of your fathers will be your sons;
         You shall make them princes in all the earth.
    17I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations;
         Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Your Freedom Depended on them.

I see people everyday that are rude, mean, and selfish.  I try very hard not to be, but some days being rude is second nature.  We are in our own little worlds, doing our own thing, just trying to make it.  But if you have never been in the military, or every had a loved own that has served in the military, then you are aware of the sacrifice.

Right now my step-daughter is in the Navy.  She is 23 years old, stationed in Norfolk, VA.  Any time we have with her is short.  A co-worker of mine is in the Army, she is 19 and stationed in Texas.  She just left a month ago.  Luckily, she is planning to surprise her mother by being home Thanksgiving Day.  Both families feel lucky that the girls are in the U.S.A.  We could be on pins and needles every day, wondering if they are safe, healthy or in danger.

Today, I have been asking all my co-workers if they have been in the military.  So far, the answer has been one yes and three no.  I thanked the one and talked to the others about it.  Each time I know of someone, I am going to thank them for their service.  I read somewhere that just that acknowledgment means more to most Veterans than anything else.

Last Saturday, the Retirement Village in our town had a very small and brief service.  The marching band played "The Star Spangled Banner" around the flag pole.  Before that happened, a group from the Corvette Club picked up the grand marshalls and brought them through in parade form.  Then each one was helped out, put in a wheel chair and brought over to the same area.  It was nice to see them honored.  Allie and the other girls were in their white skirts and it was a cold.  One of the sweet, little old lady sat behind them and was asking questions.  It amused Allie a lot.  One thing the little old lady said was "Why are those girls in skirts?  It is cold!  They are crazy!"   Allie giggled at that.

But the band playing just that one song meant a lot to the crowd that gathered to watch the raising of the flag, hear the 21-gun salute, and also Taps.  It is so sad, that so many are gone, but never the less, I am thankful for those past, present, and even future soldiers.  Today, thank a Veteran.  Hug those you know and love.  Your freedom depended on them!

This song I am posting is called Arlington.  Trace Adkins, a country singer, sings this song.  I fell in love with it the first time I heard it.

Arlington lyrics
Songwriters: Turnbull, Dave; Spillman, Jeremy N;I never thought that this is where I'd settle down
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown
They gave me this plot of land
Me and some other men
For a job well done

There's a big white house, sits on a hill, just up the road
The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home
They folded up a flag
And told my mom and dad
"We're proud of your son"

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property
I'm on sacred ground, and I'm in the best of company
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones
I made it to Arlington

I remember Daddy brought me here when I was eight
We searched all day to find out where my granddad lay
When we finally found that cross
He said "Son, this is what it costs
To keep us free"

Now here I am, a thousand stones away from him
He recognized me on the first day I came in
And it gave me a chill
When he clicked his heels
And saluted me

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property
I'm on sacred ground, and I'm in the best of company
And I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones
I made it to Arlington

And every time I hear twenty-one guns
I know they brought another hero home to us

We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done
We can rest in peace, 'cause we are the chosen ones
We made it to Arlington

Yeah, dust to dust
Don't cry for us
We made it to Arlington

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stories from the Past

Do you remember listening to your grandparents' stories?  Actually, they weren't really stories, they were insights into the past.  Your past.  Each stories had a character that was funny, scary or sad.  My grandfather told of farming.  My grandmother told of canning, freezing, illnesses and caring for others.  My point is, that if you listened to the tales your grandparents told, you also learned that their faith in God, each other, and country is what saw them through the lean years and kept them going. 

I learned politics from them.  I learned to love gardening, love my church, and be silly.  My faith in God and myself comes from my ancestors and the strong commitment they had.  Thank you for being a part of that.

My kids sometimes complain that I tell the same stories over and over.  Well, I may do that.  But to get across what I want them to know, I drive that point home.  They may not understand it now, but someday they will (I hope).  I know someday they will remember something I said to them, and take that advice.

Psalm 44:1
 1O God, we have heard with our ears,
         Our fathers have told us
         The work that You did in their days,
         In the days of old. 

iFellowship Link Up


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I had to go a different way to work this morning.  As the kids and I were getting ready for school and work, the newscaster told us that there was a report of a car wreck just below the entrance ramp to the highway, right were I get on.  So I decided to take a back road.  It takes about five extra minutes, but I did miss a lot of the traffic. 

As I passed a church, I read it's sign.  It says, "God doesn't doubt your existence."  So I got to thinking, why do people doubt that my God isn't real?  They were created in His image, they breathe and think and love.  I don't understand those who do not believe.  I have lots of doubts, but have never doubted that there is a God.  I sometimes wonder where He is going with a situation, or how he must feel when we hear of the horrible things that happen to others.  But at the end of each day, I know that he is there, holding me up.

Having that child-like faith is so important to a Christian.  If you started thinking about it and trying to see things from other angles, your vision gets so skewed that you can't take God for the Omnipotent Deity he is.  You let Satan start to come in, like an unwanted vine, choking the seeds that have already sprouted.  So don't doubt, believe.

Mark 12:30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Seeds of Faith posting...

To see today's Lifting You Up, go to

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shoulders Up, Back and Down

Psalm 43

 1Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation;
         O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
    2For You are the God of my strength; why have You rejected me?
         Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
    3O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
         Let them bring me to Your holy hill
         And to Your dwelling places.
    4Then I will go to the altar of God,
         To God my exceeding joy;
         And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.
    5Why are you in despair, O my soul?
         And why are you disturbed within me?
         Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
         The help of my countenance and my God. 

This is such a short chapter, but the last three verses say so much!  I love the thought that God will send out his light and truth to lead us to a place of holiness.  That going to this place will cause me to sing and be joyful and that I can hope in God. 

I was walking in to the building I work in this morning with my purse on my shoulder and it kept slipping off.  Now, I am not usually one to complain about my body.  I love my shoulders, except for this.  They are not wide enough.  No matter what I hang on them, it slips off.  It may sound strange (especially to the men reading this), but I feel that my shoulders do not handle straps very well.  It made me think is my shoulders big enough to handle burdens of other kinds? 

The Marching Band has a little routine that they go through to make sure they are standing as straight as they can.  One of them is Shoulders!  Up, Back, Down!  Are my shoulders up?  Are they set back or down?  Can I be depended on to listen and be there when my friend needs a should to cry on?  Do I carry my load around on my shoulders or do they droop down from the weight?  Is there a chip that I can't seem to get off?  O Lord, please help me be the person that has the big shoulders. That doesn't feel the sorrow and sadness in a way that everyone knows it.  Help me be the one my family and friends can depend on.  Help me hold them up and help them to praise you on your holy hill.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My soul thirsts for You

Have you ever been thirsty?  Honestly, I haven't.  I have always had water readily available to me.  I do not know what it means to thirst.  Dad gave me this book the other day about two men from Romania who ran away from their country.  They would have been persecuted for being known Christians in the army.  So they first went to Italy and then paid someone to put them on a cargo boat in a big box and sent to Canada.  Their story is amazing.  What they thought would be a few days, ended up being weeks.  They ran out of water and started to get dehydrated.  One of them described what his skin felt like when he took a shower for the first time after being in this ordeal.  How his skin was even thirsty and plumped up as the water rained down on him.  I read that yesterday and was struck by those words.  Then today, as I started reading Psalm 42,  I realized I don't know what true thirst is.  Even when it comes to God.  I have never been to a point in my relationship with God like that.  I am not saying that I haven't turned away from him at some point and then turned back.  I think we have all done that in some way.  Every time we sin we do that.  

I am thankful for the fact that I have been able to come back to God time and time again.  He listens to me, brings people into my life that makes me want to follow him, and helps me as I struggle with my times in the valley of life.   God gives me a song to sing.  I try to sing it every day.  Sometimes I don't feel like it.  Sometimes I do.  But every day is a new time to start over and keep his commands.
Psalm 42
  1As the deer pants for the water brooks,
         So my soul pants for You, O God.
    2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
         When shall I come and appear before God?
    3My tears have been my food day and night,
         While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
    4These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me
         For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
         With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
    5Why are you in despair, O my soul?
         And why have you become disturbed within me?
         Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
         For the help of His presence.
    6O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
         Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
         And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
    7Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
         All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
    8The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
         And His song will be with me in the night,
         A prayer to the God of my life.
    9I will say to God my rock, "Why have You forgotten me?
         Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
    10As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
         While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
    11Why are you in despair, O my soul?
         And why have you become disturbed within me?
         Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
         The help of my countenance and my God.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010



You've Got A Friend...

Remember the song "You've Got A Friend In Me?"  That is what you have in Jesus.  He will keep you from harm. He will keep others from hurting you.  You may go so low that you do not feel you have a friend to your name.  Everyone is against you.  Even your friends will turn against you.  You may not know it, but they will.  But consider this:  God will never talk bad about you, complain or turn his back on you.  He will always be there.  Can you say the same thing about you being a good friend to him?

Psalm 41
    1How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
         The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.
    2The LORD will protect him and keep him alive,
         And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
         And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
    3The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed;
         In his illness, You restore him to health.
    4As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me;
         Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You."
    5My enemies speak evil against me,
         "When will he die, and his name perish?"
    6And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood;
         His heart gathers wickedness to itself;
         When he goes outside, he tells it.
    7All who hate me whisper together against me;
         Against me they devise my hurt, saying,
    8"A wicked thing is poured out upon him,
         That when he lies down, he will not rise up again."
    9Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
         Who ate my bread,
         Has lifted up his heel against me.
    10But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up,
         That I may repay them.
    11By this I know that You are pleased with me,
         Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
    12As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
         And You set me in Your presence forever.
    13Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
         From everlasting to everlasting.
         Amen and Amen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A New Song

How often do you want to learn a new song?  There are some great newer songs out there.  Psalms talks a lot about a new song.  Is that a real song that we will just know by the time we get to heaven, or is that a figure of speech?  I hope it's real.  The choir is singing a lot of newer songs now.  Some people like them, others do not.  Some say the songs are too repetitive.  Some say they don't get much meat out of the message in the songs.  I think sometimes the words are the same over, under, back and front.  But there is a lot of verses in the Bible the same way.  I don't look at it as mindless chatter.  I am thankful for the fact that God gave someone the talent to do this and now I can share in it.

Psalm 40
1I waited patiently for the LORD;
         And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
    2He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
         And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
    3He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
         Many will see and fear
         And will trust in the LORD.
    4How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
         And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Think Before You Speak

When I read this psalm, the most obvious verses that hit me was the first and the second verses.  My son is outspoken.  I have always encouraged him to speak his mind, but as he has gotten older, it is like his brain and his mouth sometimes disconnects.  He gets angry and talks back to people.  He has an opinion about everything.  He has yet to learn discretion.  To him, it is important to get it out, instead of hold it in.   The Psalmist has learned what Timm has not,  to guard your voice.  Sometimes you do have let it out.  But using the right words, the right attitude and the appropriate timeliness is smart.  That means you need to think before you speak.

Psalm 39
  1I said, "I will guard my ways
         That I may not sin with my tongue;
         I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle
         While the wicked are in my presence."
    2I was mute and silent,
         I refrained even from good,
         And my sorrow grew worse.
    3My heart was hot within me,
         While I was musing the fire burned;
         Then I spoke with my tongue:
    4"LORD, make me to know my end
         And what is the extent of my days;
         Let me know how transient I am.
    5"Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
         And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
         Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
    6"Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
         Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
         He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.
    7"And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
         My hope is in You.
    8"Deliver me from all my transgressions;
         Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
    9"I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
         Because it is You who have done it.
    10"Remove Your plague from me;
         Because of the opposition of Your hand I am perishing.
    11"With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
         You consume as a moth what is precious to him;
         Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.
    12"Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry;
         Do not be silent at my tears;
         For I am a stranger with You,
         A sojourner like all my fathers.
    13"Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may smile again
         Before I depart and am no more."

Friday, October 29, 2010


Have you ever been upset?  Have you ever been so angry that you can not do anything but sit there and sigh?  Sometimes God is the only one that knows what is going on in you.  He is the only one that hears the jumbles of your mind.  All you can do is sigh and groan.  God knows what that is.  He works with that.  He will make it better if you let him.  I friend of mine lost his wife at a young age.  All he could do was groan.  His dad said that even though that is all he could do was sit there and groan and cry, God knew his sorrow.  God can comfort him like no one else.  Pain that deep can only be comforted by Him.  God sent us the Holy Spirit, but we have to accept what is offered.

Psalm 38
 8I am benumbed and badly crushed;
         I groan because of the agitation of my heart.
    9Lord, all my desire is before You;
         And my sighing is not hidden from You. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Be happy

Psalm 37, verses 16- 19...

    16Better is the little of the righteous
         Than the abundance of many wicked.
    17For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
         But the LORD sustains the righteous.
    18The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
         And their inheritance will be forever.
    19They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
         And in the days of famine they will have abundance

The chapter is long and has a lot of comparison's to being follower's of Christ and those who are not.  Verse sixteen caught my eye and peaked my interest.   Are you satisfied with the little you have?  Do you long for more?  I don't usually.  I feel more like Paul, I am satisfied in what I have.  Sure, I'd love to have a maid, a nicer house.  But I don't, so I just go on.  I would love to be able to buy nice things for my family.  And I do, when money permits.  But, I try hard to be content.  I love that the Lord recognizes what sometimes we do not.  We see people with "stuff", and we think how lucky they have it.  But do they?  We don't see inside their lives.  Just what is on the outside.  We don't know that they are hurting, lonely, and insecure.  Maybe they aren't.  But, maybe they have just been misguided down this path.  God will deal with each of us in His own way.  So don't judge, just be happy with what you have.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

God's Protection

Psalm 36 
1Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
          There is no fear of God before his eyes.
    2For it flatters him in his own eyes
         Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
    3The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
         He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
    4He plans wickedness upon his bed;
         He sets himself on a path that is not good;
         He does not despise evil.
    5Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
         Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
    6Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
         Your judgments are like a great deep
         O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
    7How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
         And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
    8They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
         And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
    9For with You is the fountain of life;
         In Your light we see light.
    10O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
         And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
    11Let not the foot of pride come upon me,
         And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
    12There the doers of iniquity have fallen;
         They have been thrust down and cannot rise. 

The storm hit.  Not necessarily the way we thought or predicted, but it swept through the area, causing havoc, making things hard for a while.  But just as quickly it passed.  But sometimes the damage left behind can be substantial.  Trees toppled over, branches strewn around yards, anything not tied down could be lost.  Just like with the weather, our lives can be damaged.  People can tear you down, words can hit their mark and self-doubt can abound.  If you are not tethered to God and his promises, it could cause major problems.  Depend on God's lovingkindness for all your problems.  His faithfulness and righteousness will protect you in all situations.