Ah, Christmas carols! I love them. Many of us can sing these songs from memory, memories that go as far back as kindergarten or first grade! I sang them for years and they always make me feel happy. I remember going caroling and singing in kids choir up in the loft of St. Joseph’s Catholic church. Great memories.
“O Holy Night,” is my favorite Christmas song and this is the most beautiful rendition (above) I have ever heard. I am in awe of God’s love for mankind and His desire to be with us once again, as it was before the Fall, most arduously, that He should suffer and bear the sins of this world even unto death. He loves you THAT much.
It’s easy to lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas with hectic schedules, parties and shopping. As I grow older and crave time to slow down I have been paying more and more attention to the Christmas songs I have sung for years. A year or two ago the words of “Little Drummer Boy” spoke to my heart, stopped me in my tracks. It was not one of my top ten songs but it was one that I sang along with belting out the “rup pa pum pums” with the best of them. This year, when I hear it, I pause to listen to it… really listen.
Often times I have wondered what I could possible give God. Sure there’s the Sunday school answers, “my heart,” “my devotion” but come on I can’t put a bow on it. It’s the age old question, “What do you give a man that has everything?” literally. The words of the Little Drummer Boy suddenly opened my eyes. It really was a revelation and it seemed like an “aha!” moment for me.
All the little boy had to give was his drum and his talent to play it. He was like the poor woman with only a penny to give, and she gave it. He was like one of the saints before the throne casting their crowns at God’s feet. The boy gave the baby Jesus everything he had, his talent and it pleased Jesus. Perhaps it didn’t seem much to the boy, maybe even insignificant, but to Jesus… that was everything He wanted. View full article »
A mother and her young son sit alone in a near empty sanctuary in the midst of a sea of country blue pews. I notice that both of them are sobbing almost uncontrollably. Faces are red and splotchy and washed with rivers of tears.
I don’t remember talking to them but I think I did because I found out why they were crying. The mother was just told by the departing Youth Minister that her youngest son was not ready for baptism. They were crushed. Her oldest son had just made the decision to be baptized and as expected her youngest wanted to be baptized as well.
It’s an image as fresh on my mind as it was almost eighteen or nineteen years ago when I came upon it. Now, here I was facing the same crossroads. My oldest son just announced his decision to be baptized and my youngest wanted to follow suit.
In my gut I knew why Carsen wanted to be baptized. What six year old would want to miss out on possibly the last chance to be in a pool of water? Summer was at an end and school was about to start the very next day?
Carsen heard the jubilant phone calls being made to grandparents and invitations for coffee and cake after the event. He wanted to be a part of the excitement. He wanted the party to be for him too.
We questioned Carsen and tried to finagle the true reason for his decision. I was careful not to lead him in his answer but he couldn’t say why he wanted to be baptized or why we are baptized. We had just sat in the baptism class to explain our church’s belief. The kid forgot to take notes.
There’s only so much you can explain in the car while talking over your shoulder. I felt this conversation needed undivided attention so it would have to wait until we got home. View full article »
The LORD roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.
Is it strange that I find God in the thunder and the crack of lightning? I am in the midst of a storm and my first thought is to gather the black clouds around me like a wild blanket. I want nothing but to hear the deep groaning’s and explosive thunder in my ears. I find comfort in that. I find God in that. Come near to me oh Lord.
I searched for scriptures that referenced thunder and found seventy, perhaps there is more, I don’t know. A lot of verses liken the sound of thunder to God’s anger and wrath. It is a display of His terrible might. People tremble, some even flee. Heaven and earth tremble. Thunder, to most, is to be feared and at times it causes me to flee under the nearest blanket.
When I was nursing my youngest son in wee hours of the night (although often my clock said it was 2AM) I would be the only one awake. Even Carsen was sleeping while he nursed. It was the loneliest time for me. The house was utterly silent. Nothing stirred. Then one night while I was nursing a distant thunder rolled. It was a lazy lingering roll. My ears latched on to it and in my desolation I asked, I prayed for it to come closer to keep me company. View full article »
A brand new Life
Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
August 25th, 2013, on our way home from church, my oldest son decided he wanted to be baptized.
He had expressed interest in the past, asking about why we get baptized, why is it important and how long do you have to stay under water.
So, when our church announced they would be baptizing anyone who wanted to follow in the steps of Christ they could do so at our church picnic that afternoon. They were offering a short class on what our church believed about baptism and they would be available to ask any questions.
As a family we decided to go. It was great to learn our church’s mission statement on such a monumental decision in a Christian’s life. We are baptized because Jesus was. We are baptized because God commanded us. We are baptized because we want the world to know that we identify ourselves with Christ and that we are His followers. I. Am. A. Christian. View full article »
I woke up Tuesday morning, made coffee and when I went to pour a cup the cup already had coffee in it. I had found the last place I set my coffee cup down, from the day before.
Yesterday, my neighbor and I, and all four kids, went to Sonic for drinks after biking in the park. The heat was rising off the asphalt parking lot in ghostly ripples but thank God for the shaded picnic table and a good breeze! It was only 95 degrees.
Came home from Sonic only to discover someone had jumped my curb, obliterated our mailboxes, my side fence, my neighbor’s adirondack chair and ornamental lawn art. Her Mexican, stone water well was in pieces, strewn across her lawn and her neighbors drive way. No car in sight. No note.
We filed a report with the local police, who ventured a guess it was someone texting. Said neighbor and I sent the kids in while we cleaned up the mess under the relentless sun. We were thankful we weren’t home and thankful the kids were not in the front yard playing. It could have been tragic.
By the time I got out of the shower my neighbor was knocking on my door. The woman who damaged our property had returned. She was an older woman, painfully walking with a cane with obvious health issues. She explained she had just come from the doctor when her leg cramped up and she hit the accelerator. She couldn’t get her leg off the pedal. She came back because she felt horrible and couldn’t live with herself. My faith in humanity is restored.
We had decided to let insurance handle it but having talked it over with my husband we’ve decided to take care of it ourselves.
BUT WAIT! There’s more. View full article »
What if we’re already there?
What if I close my eyes here on earth and the next time I open them I’m in heaven and you’re there and our forever begins?
What if there’s no waiting for you to join me or I join you and we’re already there enjoying eternity with Him?
Revelation 20 talks about the White Throne judgement and John sees the dead, great and small, standing there as the Book of Life and the Book of Judgement are opened and I think… that’s me. I’m in that crowd.
I’m already there.
(Just a thought)
How Great is Our God – Chris Tomlin and Friends – YouTube.
How awesome will that day be when every tongue of every tribe and every nation gathers together, in His presence, and sings the same praises to our King?!!!
I don’t know about you but this song seizes my throat and my heart soars and I can’t help but smile till it hurts when I hear the different languages singing the same song to MY God, our God.
What a glorious sound that must be to God! It’s like that time when your child and his classmates are called before the church to sing a song of praise to God. You couldn’t slap that smile off your face it you tried. You smile so wide and your eyes well up with tears and your heart swells with pride because there’s YOUR child singing to YOUR God and telling Him how great he is. It’s a proud moment to say the least.
“Look God, my child loves You like I love you!” THAT’s exciting stuff. Now imagine God, looking at this sea of faces, His children, together in unity, singing of their love for Him. How can the universe contain that sound and that joy and not explode?
To hear this song, How Great is Our God, makes me feel that way. It’s got to be an infinity times more for God.
Sing His praises! Get carried away. He loves it.
I haven’t used this blog for book reviews but I could NOT pass the opportunity to do so after having read “Iscariot,” by Tosca Lee.
This is a book I was hesitant to read but I am so glad I did.
First, I say first as if there will be a second but there really isn’t, I admire Lee’s extensive research that went in to writing this novel. I love to read historical fiction. So, her time dedicated to getting details right is impressive. I think I read she spent about 3 years but I could be wrong. I simply don’t recall at the moment.
I can also appreciate it when she said she ran away from writing this book but I’m glad she did. I felt the same way about reading it. Some old, stodgy, paranoid Christian in me said I shouldn’t entertain such thoughts that Judas just might be in heaven or that he could be forgiven. I grew up believing Judas was in hell for selling out Jesus but…
I am Judas.
My sin killed Jesus. I put Him on the cross just as much as Judas did. View full article »
Today is Easter, a day that believers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not only did our Savior die on the cross but he overcame death and rose to life on the third day. There is hope for all people that death is not the end of this life but a greater one still awaits.
It is an eternal life with no more tears, no more death or disease. God doesn’t force this hope on you. It is a free gift offered to everyone, even those that hate Him.
I tried to explain to my boys that Jesus is the Son of God and that he came to earth as a human, took the blame for all our wrong doing that we would ever do in our lifetime and paid the price by dying on the cross just so we could be with Him in heaven.
Sure, it was a lot to understand. The best way to condense the message was by example. One day, my oldest son did something that warranted a “time out,” which meant standing in the horrible corner with his face to the wall for a few minutes. Torturous for a then four year old. View full article »
SO, I have survived the hosting marathon of last week or … has it been two?
Deliriously tired of decorating.
Thrilled with the results but this cuppy will NOT get a cacti flower.
I had spent all day, and I do mean, ALL day Friday, baking and decorating the cake and cupcakes.
I had plans for more elaborate cupcakes but THAT wasn’t happening or else Mommy was gonna git cra-Z.
I had already kicked the kids out of the kitchen for daring to talk to me.
When I finally said, “I AM finished.” I was seriously delirious, giddy that the cupcakes came out better than I had hoped.
They actually looked like cactus, sans the flower. The world and Pintrest would just have to deal.
My husband and I love to host parties. We love having people come over to enjoy good food and a fun and sometimes relaxing time. Every week we host at least ten families for a bible study. It is our gift. Todd and I dream up ways to make our backyard, our home – heck every inch of our space an atmosphere of Welcome to any and all who would grace us with their presence. View full article »