Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Son Shines

This morning, around the coffee area at work, two people were talking.  A third person came in and being all peppy, asked how everyone was.  One stated that there was this strange, bright object in the sky.  The peppy person looked perplexed.  The other person said, "You know it's that bright object that we haven't seen in a while."  Then the light bulb came on and the peppy person laughed a bit.  As I walked a way, the first person said, "We are a solar people."  I thought, how true that is.  We need the sun.  We need the warmth.  We also need the Son and his warmth and love to grow.  So today, enjoy the sun, but remember to bask in the joy of the Son, our solar power!

Psalm 108:1-5

  1My heart is steadfast, O God;
         I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul.
    2Awake, harp and lyre;
         I will awaken the dawn!
    3I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples,
         And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
    4For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens,
         And Your truth reaches to the skies.
    5Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
         And Your glory above all the earth.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Deliverer

Who saves you?  When you get in a bind, who do you turn to?  Do you turn to your spouse?  Do you turn to your parents?  Do you really turn to God?  Because, time and time again, the Bible shows that God will save us if we cry out to him.  He saved the children of Israel numerous times when they cried out in despair.  How disparing does it have to get for you?  God wants to help you, but he wants you to feel free and understand that in all situations, he is the only way out. 

Psalm 107:6
  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble;
         He delivered them out of their distresses. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ducks and Go-Betweens

This morning, as I was driving slowly down the road, I saw something I don't see often.  I saw a brown duck waddling across a four-lane street with seven small ducklings scurrying behind her.  I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that other cars were coming, but not too close, so I stopped and watched.  This momma and her babies quickly crossed the road and got to the curb.  She hopped up onto the sidewalk and I saw the babies struggling to do the same.  The curb was so high.  It was like a wall so high to them.  They tried, but the first time they didn't make it.  I then had to start moving, so I did not see the ducklings make it to safety.  I can only hope that they did.  I would have helped more, but thought that Momma Duck may have not been happy by my help. 

That's like our prayers.  Someone asks us to pray for them, or about a situation, and we may never ask or hear about that situation again.  That is fine.  It isn't our place to know what is going on.  God knows and has answered the prayer according to his will.  He has it under control and we just need to put our faith in him.  Just like I have faith that those ducklings are under his care, I have faith that all that I have prayed for, big and small, have happened according to God's will.

When the Children of Israel again and again went against God, someone intervened for them.  Psalm 106:23 tells us what happened.
          Therefore He said that He would destroy them,
         Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him,
         To turn away His wrath from destroying them. 

 And in verse 30,

  Then Phinehas stood up and interposed,
         And so the plague was stayed. 

In verse 43,

     Many times He would deliver them;
         They, however, were rebellious in their counsel

Time and time someone intervened for them and still they would go back to their wicked ways.  Christ now does that for us.  He is our go-between.  His blood is our covering.  Praise God for that! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Via Dolorosa, The way of Suffering

Probably my very favorite song for the Resurrection season is Via Dolorosa.  This song tells the story of someone watching as Christ was going down the streets of Jerusalem to Calvary.  Half of the song is in spanish, but the meaning is still the same.  I cry every time I hear it or sing it.  May your Ressurection weekend be beautiful and you find time to celebrate!

Down the Vía Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street
But the crowd pressed in to see
The Man condemned to die on Calvary

He was bleeding from a beating, there were stripes upon His back
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death

Down the Vía Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King,
But He chose to walk that road out of
His love for you and me.
Down the Via Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.

Por la Vía Dolorosa, triste día en Jerusalén
Los soldados le abrían paso a Jesús.
Más la gente se acercaba,
Para ver al que llevaba aquella cruz.

Por la Vía Dolorosa, que es la via del dolor
Como oveja vino Cristo, Rey y Señor,
Y fue Él quien quiso ir por su amor por ti y por mí.
Por la Vía Dolorosa al Calvario y a morir.

The blood that would cleanse the souls of all men
Made its way through the heart of Jerusalem.

Down the Vía Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King
But He chose to walk that road out of His love for you and me
Down the Vía Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Family Stories

I have always loved to hear stories about my parents, their parents, and generations before.  It has always been fun to hear what struggles they went through, what amazing feats they accomplished, what their beliefs were and what crazy antics went on.  It always gave the the feeling of being grounded.  Being able to say my forefathers were involved in this war, or planted these crops is reassuring and comforting to know.  I can learn from the experiences and I can hand down my knowledge of where I come from to my children and my children's children.

Psalm 105 is like that.  This psalm tells of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Aaron.  It tells of the plagues, the imprisonment that Joseph went through, the covenant God made with Abraham.  The history between God and those whom he chose is a whose who of faith.  He is reminding us of where we have come from and how he took care of his people.  He will do the same thing for you, just follow him.

Psalm 105: 42-45

42For He remembered His holy word
         With Abraham His servant;
    43And He brought forth His people with joy,
         His chosen ones with a joyful shout.
    44He gave them also the lands of the nations,
         That they might take possession of the fruit of the peoples' labor,
    45So that they might keep His statutes
         And observe His laws,
         Praise the LORD!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

God Is Always In Control

A lot has happened to this earth in the last month or so.  Japan is still dealing with the aftermath of that devastating earthquake and tsunami. Conditions have been right all across the United States for tornadoes, floods, and wildfires.  It has been raining here in the Ohio Valley for a while and everything is soggy and saturated.  People joke about building arks and floating away.  But Psalm 104 tells us how God takes care of everything he has created.

Psalm 104:5-7
 5He established the earth upon its foundations,
         So that it will not totter forever and ever.
    6You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
         The waters were standing above the mountains.
    7At Your rebuke they fled,
         At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away. 

Though the rain falls, the ground shakes, or the air is poisoned, God is still here, in control of it all.  The animals trust God to provide for them, and we should too.  Almost every day, Timm asks me, What's for supper?  Most days I have a plan.  Some days I don't.  But I figure it out.  Thank goodness God has a plan and takes care of everything in his time.  

Psalm 104:27
 27They all wait for You
         To give them their food in due season. 

We always have what we need when we need it.  Not when we want it.  But we have to have the faith to trust in God and the confidence that no matter what he is taking care of us.  Praise Him!

Psalm 104: 33-34
   33I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
         I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
    34Let my meditation be pleasing to Him;
         As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD.

Monday, April 11, 2011

SOUL SURFER - A review

 This weekend, the movie Soul Surfer opened across the country.  I had the priviledge of going to see this movie.  During the previews they showed a lot of movies that look faith-based.  That in itself is exciting!  But the most exciting was the movie itself.

Jeremiah 29:11
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
The film is about pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton.  Seven years ago, she was practicing her surfing when a shark attacked her and tore off her arm.  It was a dramatic scene.  If it wasn’t for her coach, and her will to live, she possibly could have died.  This also showed Bethany’s faith.  She and her family are centered in Christ and I was so happy to see how the movie depicted this part of their lives. Bethany, even though she was injured in a great way, didn’t let it this derail her for long.  She questioned God’s plan for her and her ability.
I went in to this movie with high expectations for several reasons.  First, I had been hearing a lot about this movie from K-Love.  Second, I get excited when I hear that a movie isn’t trying so sugar-coat God.  Third, I expected a quality movie from this cast.  What I received was all three items and more!  Soul Surfer was an amazing movie that I cried through.  Let me say, that I didn’t blubber, but for me, this was an emotional movie.  I’m not sure why.  I knew going in what was going to happen.  Bethany probably has spent half of her life in the ocean, so each time they showed her in the water, I was trying to be ready for the attack.  It still took me by surprise.  This movie focuses on Bethany and her family, but it also showed other things, how her best friend dealt with the horrific event, how going to Thailand on a mission trip after her attack, and how hard she fought to come back to competing in the surf world.
This movie is one for the whole family.  It’s not a chick flick by any means, it is a movie that moves you to discuss how overcoming tragedies, set backs, and realizing that God is in control affects each of us.  This movie even has a devotional that you can use with small group studies.  This is one movie that I can whole heartedly recommend.  We had a four year old go to the movie and understood most of it, to 40-something’s who just marvelled and identified over how the parents dealt with their daughter’s attack.  This little movie needs the support of churches and Christians around the world, so go see it.  I insist!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 103 is all about praising God. defines praise as the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation, laudation.  Praising God should be natural to those of us who love God.  When I was growing up, I always thought that praising God was only done in a few ways; singing, praying, going to Sunday school and speaking in church.  I did.  I also thought that most people did not praise God because they seemed to sit stoic in their seats, not doing anything.  But obviously this is not true and it doesn't matter what or how others praise God because their comfort ability zone is not the same as mine.  I can get up and sing or pray in public.  Not everyone can.

One time, I went to a Junior High retreat with kids from church.  There they gave so many ways to to praise and meditate on God.  One was to light a candle for what/who you are praying about.  One was to draw a picture.  One was to write poetry or just keep a journal.  Even when you are praising God, you can act outside the box you put yourself in.  It shouldn't matter if the person to your left isn't singing.  Maybe the song is too emotional for them.  Maybe someone told them once that they can't sing.  God says make a joyful noise!  Noise is not pretty!  Maybe the good singers need to learn that.  If the person in front of you raises their hands to heaven, and you don't who cares?  That is what they are comfortable with.  Sometimes little ones want to dance and jump around to a song.  I love to sway to songs.  Sometimes clapping is appropriate.  But you have to find your way to praise God.  Does it have to be acceptable to everyone?  No, because God made us all different.  I can raise my hands, I can fall to my knees, I can sing.  I can't draw anything but stick figures, but God just wants our adoration.  He loves us and wants us to love him back.

Psalm 103:13 - 22
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.

 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.

   Praise the LORD, my soul.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Psalm 102

There are aspects of Psalm 102 that caught my attention this morning.

First is this verse.

6 I am like a desert owl,
   like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake; I have become
   like a bird alone on a roof. 

Desert owls have uncommon hearing and amazing vision in low-light, like dusk.  They are birds of prey and take over nests that have already been made.  They are more nocturnal too.  This seems to be the feeling of the author of this psalm.  They are alone, probably hiding out.

The author starts praising God and then says in verse eighteen,

 18 Let this be written for a future generation,
   that a people not yet created may praise the LORD: 

They wanted to make sure that we knew about God!  This wasn't written down and hidden.  This was written down and stated that future generations can praise God too!  That's what our aim is.  To praise God, bring the gospel to others and in God's purpose. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Psalm 101

The following is a wake up call for everyone.  We should all strive to live as King David wanted to live.

Psalm 101

Of David. A psalm. 1 I will sing of your love and justice;
   to you, LORD, I will sing praise.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
   when will you come to me?
   I will conduct the affairs of my house
   with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval
   on anything that is vile.
   I hate what faithless people do;
   I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
   I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
 5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
   I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
   I will not tolerate.
 6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
   that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
   will minister to me.
 7 No one who practices deceit
   will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
   will stand in my presence.
 8 Every morning I will put to silence
   all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
   from the city of the LORD.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grateful Praise

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise. 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
   It is he who made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

The beginning of this Psalm says, for giving grateful praise.  We are not always grateful for what we have been given.  I'm guilty.  I remember once, someone gave us a pizza.  A pizza that had mushrooms on it.  I hate mushrooms.  I complained that I didn't want to eat it.  It upset my dad enough that he got in his car and drove away.  That was probably a good thing, because if he had said what he really wanted to say, it would have been terrible.  I just remember that when he peeled out of the gravel driveway, I looked at my mom and asked, "Is he coming back?"  I thank God that he did.  It taught me that no matter what, I should be thankful for what is given me.  Whether it is salvation or a mushroom filled pizza, it is something that I did not earn, could not get on my own.  It was a gift.  Thank you God, for your gifts.  Your love endures forever!

Monday, April 4, 2011

At His Feet

I love how God is not always described as this big, menacing spirit that is watching us as we go about our day.  There is a church sign that Allie and I see on our way to dance class that makes us giggle.  Lately it has said, 'Your undercover boss is watching you.'  When I see that sign, I always think of that coming across as a stalker.  But then I think, Why is God undercover?  If God is undercover, then you never know he's there.  God wants you to know he's there at all times.  He wants you to remember him.  He wants you to know that he is your Father.  And what did you do in the evenings when your father sat down to watch television or read the newspaper?  Well back in the day, I would play on the floor, or lay on the floor and watch tv.    Our living room was small, but we would always have room to be on the floor, reading, coloring, watching tv.  I was at my father's feet.  That is what this verse reminds me of. 

Psalm 99:5
Exalt the LORD our God
   and worship at his footstool;
   he is holy. 

I hope that is what it will be like in heaven, sitting at our father's feet, listening, singing, communing with other Christians.  Maybe God will tell us stories, talk to us about his love and Jesus.  All we need to do is listen and praise him.  Maybe even sometimes now, we need to sit quietly like we are at God's feet and worship. Being on our knees, worshiping with a book, poem, cd, or just in the quiet is sometimes theraputic.  Sometimes it is just what we need.

Friday, April 1, 2011


What a busy day!  It has seemed to go quick, but not quick enough.  As I was driving into work this morning, K-Love was talking about this live, streaming video that these two scientist put up 80 feet in the air.  It is capturing an eagle sitting in its nest, on three eggs.  You can sit all day and watch this video.  It's in Iowa and it is live.  They verified everything, so we know that it is not some kind of April Fools' prank. The scientist think that the eaglets will hatch some time today.  Here is the link that you can go and watch this.

Or you can go to and go to the bottom of the page and click on the link there.  I know it sounds boring to sit and watch an eagle nest, but it is kind of fascinating.  Sometimes the mate comes to the nest and checks on things, and it looks really cold there.  The wind is blowing and it just looks cold.  But watching the eagle parent diligently sit on the eggs, move the grass and twigs around to make the nest more comfortable, is sweet.  But in those eyes, you can see the power, majesty and strength of this animal.  No wonder God used the eagle as an example.

Exodus 19:4
‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.

2 Samuel 1:23
Saul and Jonathan— in life they were loved and admired, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

Job 9:26
They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey.

Psalm 103:5
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Jeremiah 4:13
Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! We are ruined!

Jeremiah 49:16
The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.

Lamentations 4:19
Our pursuers were swifter than eagles in the sky; they chased us over the mountains and lay in wait for us in the desert.

Ezekiel 17 is parable of two eagles and one vine.  Read it.  It is interesting.  As of this minute (4:13 pm) the bird is still sitting, waiting on the arrival of her babies.  God is stilling waiting for his babes to come to him.  Won't you come today?