There are many things in life that make my heart sing....a quiet snowfall, sitting around a fire roasting marshmallows, listening to the birds in the early Spring, smelling grass after it's been mowed, the smell of impending rain, and on we could go. There is such much in life worth the singing of my heart. However, my biggest blessing is coming home from church with Miss Lucy (my granddaughter) and hearing all about what she learned about God. Those lessons are so dear to my heart.
Recently while she was visiting, I had the opportunity to read to her before bedtime. After we read, we began to sing and slowly she cuddled under the quilt and fell asleep as I sang the same familiar songs of faith I had sung to her mother and uncle thirty years before. Oh, Jesus, how wonderful to sing of your goodness and mercy in tunes a child can understand and quietly fall asleep listening to....may your Name be praised forever!
I continually think that God has a timetable that is truly on the slowest speed imaginable. I want so much to see the evidence of His Hand in everyday occurrences. I pray and often find tears rolling down my cheeks as I call out for answers. And you know what? God is answering, but in His time. I experienced a few moments of a clock being turned back, the remembrance that Jesus hears and sees, that songs that I learned as a child being sung to my grandchild are the sweet words of a Lord that cares. Yes, my heart sings. My prayers are being heard. My blessings are many, and God will answer in perfect time.
My granddaughter, Lucy.....please continue and listen to Travis Ryan's song, "The Goodness of the Lord".....take time to listen and praise the Lord's Holy Name!!!
I didn't grow up Catholic, therefore I was ever taught the concept of giving up something for the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. After marrying Gary, who grew up Catholic, I found out quickly all about the "giving up" along with eating fish on Fridays during Lent.
Honestly, the fish on Fridays doesn't bother me, but when I tried giving up peanut butter for that period of time....well, the going got rough! But, as a family (now adding children when they were old enough to understand), we decided to individually give up something we truly enjoyed in order that a sacrifice might be made. At times I wonder if the emphasis of the "giving up" is overshadowed as a rote practice while the reason behind the sacrifice not given a full explanation.
Personally, why give up anything if it's just for the period between Ash Wednesday and Sunday morning? Shouldn't we be continually displaying our lives as "living sacrifices" in honor of what Christ did and continues to do for us? Now, don't misunderstand, I know a lot of individuals who are still carrying out this tradition. However, instead of chocolates, peanut butter, ice cream, or as my father-in-law used to give up...watermelon, why not make a commitment to read your Bible daily? How about spend time in prayer each morning? Or do something for the unfortunate? Why not think outside the box this year and do something that will benefit others?
In fact, my Protestant friends, let's all make a commitment to do something that will honor the King of Kings and be a blessing in our own lives! God bless!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Our assistant pastor, Dusty Adkins, is currently teaching us from the book of Genesis. Although he is a preacher, I find he continues to enlighten me and teach me through his God-given teacher abilities and visual examples. Today he shared three statements that aided to his summation from Genesis 16. This story has to do with Abram and Sarai stepping ahead of the Lord and taking matters into their own hands when the promised son seemed to be taking too long for God to fulfill.
It was a brilliant message, but I must share (with Dusty's permission) these three concluding statements. Quite a lot to think about....ponder over them this week.
"Our personal disappointments and unmet expectations have the potential to lead to a series of decisions that hurt other people, damage relationships, and distort your view of God."
"Some of our biggest mistakes and greatest regrets begin when we limit God's influence in our lives, or trade His influence for another."
"Because God sees everything, you are never alone, you are never forgotten and you are never unloved."