Going Forward

We are living in an exciting time to be a Christian! We are also living in a terrifying time to be a Christian. One of my favorite authors and teachers has written a timely and pointed blog post that I think is a must-read for anyone who calls themselves Christian. Please read Going Forward by author and teacher Beth Moore. And then go forward to church. Forward to scripture, forward to prayer, forward to loving the way Jesus loved and still does.

 

Because He Lives (Amen)

I woke up to daylight and birds singing this morning. I love that early morning quiet sound of the house before its business as usual. I heard the sound of planes soaring overhead and my dogs anxious to go outside. And in my head, Matt Maher was singing this verse to his song, Because He Lives (Amen).

I WAS DEAD IN THE GRAVE
I WAS COVERED IN SIN AND SHAME
I HEARD MERCY CALL MY NAME 
HE ROLLED THE STONE AWAY

Mercy called my name. I love how God sings over me while I sleep and gives me a thought that will stay with me all day. Today “Mercy called my name” will stay in my heart and give me light and hope when I need it.

AMEN
AMEN 
I’M ALIVE
I’M ALIVE
BECAUSE HE LIVES
AMEN
AMEN
LET MY SONG JOIN THE ONE THAT NEVER ENDS
BECAUSE HE LIVES

I am alive because Jesus lives. I know we are not yet to Easter and He is Risen, but HE IS RISEN! As Christians, we must let the whole world see the joy of the risen Lord written all over us!

BECAUSE HE LIVES
I CAN FACE TOMORROW
BECAUSE HE LIVES
EVERY FEAR IS GONE
I KNOW HE HOLDS MY LIFE MY FUTURE IN HIS HANDS

Amen. Amen.

Click here to listen to Because He Lives (Amen).

 

Wait for it…

I’m not a good waiter… As in “one who waits.” Patience is NOT my best thing. I’ve gotten better at it through the years, but there’s not as much to wait for! As a kid, we waited for everything… Christmas, birthdays, dinner, dessert, play time, school to start, school to end, and (dare I say it given the last few weeks in Kentucky?) snow days… How often we were told to be patient! 

Easter is my favorite holiday and my favorite day in the church year. So the Lenten season seems interminable for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Lenten hymns and their sorrowful beauty. I love the lyrics and all their meaning as they carry us toward the cross. But Easter morning? Nothing compares. So this Lenten time of waiting for the joy of the resurrection is hard for me. I’m not supposed to sing Alleluia, yet my heart still sings “He Is Risen!” I know I’m supposed to select songs of the cross for prelude or offertory, but can I help it if I’m drawn to jazz arrangements??

For me, one of the joys of being a Christian is knowing the end of the story!! Yes, Lent helps me remember Jesus and the sacrifice He made for me; but since I’ve accepted His precious and gracious gift of salvation, I am His. My future is secure. I know my final destination and Home is where my heart is. I cannot be sad during this time of Lent. I can only look forward to Easter morning when we finally, unabashedly, and with our whole hearts can say HE IS RISEN!!! ALLELUIA!!!!!! 

Click here to read Easter Thoughts, another post about the joy I feel at Easter time… There are many ☺️

 

For Glenda

Friends. What would we do without them? It makes me sad to even think of the possibility of losing people I love and who I know love me. People who care about my welfare and make a difference in my life. But sometimes we do. And it hurts. Sometimes she walks away and I never know why. Sometimes she’s too busy or absorbed in her own life to have time for me. Sometimes one or the other of us had to move, but we are still friends forever because The Lord is the Lord of us both. And, sometimes, God calls her home to be with Him before I’m ready to let go.

And right there is where I get stuck. Nothing else comes to mind, because I get stuck thinking about my friend who went home to be with The Lord this week. About her sharp tongue and beautiful heart. About the intense way she loved others. About her teapots. She must have had a thousand of them! And about the roses. She grew little tea roses and, while they were blooming, she would bring me (and many others) one every week and say, “I love you.” I believe she showed up in heaven with a perfect rose in her hand, and an “I love You!” ready to give to the Rose of Sharon when she met Him face to face.

She was a friend of Jesus. And so am I. The song in my head as I woke up this morning was Friend of God by Phillips Craig & Dean. And wow, did it ever get my mind thinking about my friend, about friends in general and what it means to be a friend.

Who am I that You are mindful of me?
That You hear me when I call
Is it true that You are thinking of me?
How You love me
It’s amazing
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

Jesus calls us His friends. It’s right there in John 15:15…”No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Jesus knows us, He loves us, He trusts us. And if we are Christians, true believers, we know Him. We love Him. We trust Him. He is always there when I call. He’s never too busy for me. He never moves away. He never walks away leaving me to wonder what happened. Friends. Forever.

Click here to listen to Friend of God.

I painted the featured image on paper and mailed it to my friend to cheer her up. I’m glad I did.

Speak Life

I woke up in a fog this morning. One of those times when the clock went off, but I didn’t, trying to catch the smoke and mist in my mind. I lay there waiting for the fog to clear, in and out of dreaming, waiting for that still small voice. Mornings like this my head is full of disjointed random thoughts, images, sounds. Like being under water and swimming to the top for air, I listen. And behind all the din of tinnitus and wispy remnants of dreams I hear “Speak Life.”

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…
Speak life. Speak life.

Gotta love Toby Mac… Resilient, enduring. He has been blessing people with his music for a very long time. And he’s right, of course. When I was a little girl it was more, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” “Speak life” is much more positive.

My daughter is the first one I can recall using this phrase. It’s an instant change in conversation, in thought process. It stops me in the middle of my current train of thought and makes me choose another path. One that is less about me and more about the other person. It builds up rather than tears down.

Isn’t that what we are about in this life, on this Christian walk? Building others up, esteeming others as more important than ourselves?

Raise your thoughts a little higher,
Use your words to inspire,
Joy will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the things you say.

Thanks for the reminder Toby.