A SUMMER OF PSALMS

In nearly every church I’ve attended, there was a SINGSPIRATION service on the 5th Sunday night of the month.  So, today we’re going to have one too.  If we were all together in a room, I’d have you prepare to give your testimony in a POPCORN TESTIMONY time.  Since we can’t do that, you can just think about the time when you gave your heart, soul, and mind to the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.  OH, HAPPY DAY!

I know – it’s a really old song – but hey – it’s good!  This passage of Scripture does tell us to sing a NEW song – although I highly suspect that has nothing to do with the age of the song – lol.

As Christians, we don’t always live on the mountaintop.  This song has helped me in times of trial so many times.

God didn’t want Heaven without us.  Ponder that for a minute or two…

Sometimes the praise just overflows in the strangest places…  I GO TO THE ROCK.  Dottie Rambo’s timeless lyrics resonate even though the great lady is no longer with us.  I know she’s already heard WELL DONE from the Father – but now I want to tell her THANK YOU!

I’m more than convinced that some of the children in my Sunday School class had never heard Christian music in their home.  Every song they learned in our class was the only exposure to Gospel music they’d ever have.  I was so careful to teach the kids just a few songs that I knew they would remember when they needed it.  It’s amazing what God will bring to your mind when you need praise on your lips!

Giving kids a happy beat and the Gospel truth is a good thing, eh?

Even though we call the 5th Sunday service “Singspiration”, not everyone sings.  Some of the people read aloud a short story or poem they’ve written.  It’s that way in our Singspiration blog post.  Lucinda has written something perfect for us about this Psalm.

So, go INTO the world…  praising the LORD all the way!  🙂

A SUMMER OF PSALMS

We used to sing that chorus every Sunday of the world!  I remember looking out at the congregation as we sang – and people were smiling!  It’s very difficult to sing that chorus and not feel joy!  Have you thanked God for this day?  Will you rejoice and be glad in it?

So, when a Sunday School teacher is late getting to church because her curling iron accidentally melted her hair clip and she had to find a replacement at the Dollar Tree on the way to church, and she feels all bummed and stressed out and knows she won’t have time to set her classroom up the way she planned to, does that mean she is not rejoicing and being glad?  Well…  yes.  Yes, it does.  And yes, that really happened.  You can’t make that up!

How about those times when you’re sitting in church service trying to concentrate on the sermon, but you keep thinking about all the paperwork that is waiting for you at work on Monday morning?  Oh, don’t tell me that’s never happened to you.

This verse does not tell us to dwell on anything that happened last week.  It doesn’t tell us to think about things that haven’t even happened yet – but will next week.  This verse is saying THIS is the day the LORD has made.  Today.  Now.  Present.  Live in this moment and rejoice in it.  Yesterday is over and tomorrow isn’t promised.  Leave all the rest of the days where they belong and rejoice.  Praise God because He inhabits our praise.  He delights in our praise.

We rejoice because of the blessings of grace, peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation.  None of these things have anything to do with us, and everything to do with God.  He gives us His grace.  He is our peace.  He offers us pardon.  He is the root of righteousness.  He alone is the path to salvation.

This is the day the LORD has made.  Here.  Now.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Look in the mirror and know that you’re seeing salvation from the hand of God.  You have to feel joy when you realize that truth!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.  – Psalm 98:1

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I can’t sing” – I’d be so rich!  If God gave you a voice, sing to Him a new song – not because you have a good singing voice – but because He has done marvelous things!1

Has He blessed you in your life?  Is He worthy of praise?  If you answer yes…  you gotta sing His praises!  If you aren’t comfortable singing in front of people, that’s okay.  Hop in your car and pop in a praise and worship CD – and sing along!  Just don’t close your eyes, cuz…  ya know…  you’re driving.2

I had a praise and worship cassette tape that I walked to for many years.  It had a song on it that was based on this Scripture.

You know what I’d love to see happen???  I would absolutely LOVE to see a Christian Planet Fitness.  I like working out – except for the music.  The new techno-babble “music” that is played is not particularly inspiring while I’m walking on the treadmill.  I know – earbuds and an ipod…  well – yeah in a perfect world I could do that.  Trouble is, it’s not a perfect world and I don’t have earbuds or an ipod.

I have a cassette player and headphones.  That’s how far behind I am.  If you think I’m gonna walk into Planet Fitness with my Walkman and headphones – you are cray cray.  Ain’t happenin’!

beautiful

Let’s start the new year by singing to the Lord!  Sing to Him a new song – a joyful noise – it may be off-key or out of tune, but I don’t see anything in the Bible that says it has to be perfect – just joyful.  🙂

 

 

 

O HOLY NIGHT

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For it is written, “Be Holy for I am Holy.”  – 1 Peter 1:16

O Holy Night was not a song at first, but a poem.   In 1847 it was written by Placide Cappeau, a wine merchant, mayor of the town, and an occasional poet, who was asked by a parish priest to write a poem for Christmas mass.

It most certainly was a blessed Holy night, when Christ was born.  You might say, it was the birth of Salvation.  Actually, that’s exactly how Lucinda referred to it.the-birth-of-salvation

The birth of Christ was just the beginning – for Him and for mankind.  He came to offer us more than we could imagine – and surely more than we deserve.  He came – He gave – He made the ultimate sacrifice for God’s creation.  Was it easy?  No it was not.  I cry when I read about how He prayed and sweat drops of blood in Gethsemane – no it was not easy!  He asked His Father if there was some other way – some easier path that could be taken to save man.  He would not have had to willingly give His life for us.  He could have said no and gone back to Heaven with mankind lost for all time.  He chose to take those nails and die for us.

Heaven’s Lamb is worthy of all honor and praise.  Let’s celebrate that most Holy of nights.

She’s only 7 years old!  Isn’t that great???  When I was 7 I was playing in mud puddles…  true story.

A birth of joy, peace, light, love, hope and everlasting life for you and me.  If that’s not a good reason to give praise and worship to the King – then I don’t know what is.  He came to earth as a baby, was raised as a human, was ultimately given a death sentence and was tortured in a horrific manner before being hung on a cross.  He went through with it – because He loved us.  He loves you more than anyone ever has or ever will.holy-night-prayer

Is living a life of holiness too much to ask?  It’s probably the least we could do in return for all He went through for us.  He wants us to live for Him and to love one another.  With His help, we can do that.  🙂

 

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What would life be like without music?  I have one word for you…  BORING!!!  We’d all be yawning constantly and people would have to drink twice as much coffee to stay awake!  Have you thought of thanking God for music?  I guess I have because one of my favorite songs is called, “We Thank You, God, For Music” – !!!

Music plays an instrumental role in my life.  Arr arr arr…  music geek humor.

On that NOTE…  let’s pray.a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.  – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

my-thankful-basketMy thankful basket is filled with love songs…  to my Savior!  He first loved me and He’s the only one who died for me – that’s for sure!  He alone is worthy of the highest praise I can give Him.

I wish for you the amazing peace that comes from handing your life…  lock, stock and barrel – over to God and letting Christ lead you.  I can’t explain it, but you just know it’s gonna be okay.  God’s got you and that’s enough.  Praise Him with song.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.  Raise your hands and sing praises to God.  He won’t laugh if you sing off-key…  but I guarantee He will smile.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

When you think of the grace of God, how do you respond?  Do you sing?  Pray?  Praise?  Smile?  All of the above?  God’s grace is truly…  well – amazing!!! 

WHEN I THINK OF YOUR GRACE

When we perceive our spiritual blessings on a conscious level, it’s okay to take a moment to let God know how grateful we are for those supernatural gifts from Him.  Precious moments make us feel closer to God too, don’t they?  The other day, I was working on something in the living room while my husband was cooking in the kitchen.  I just had to take a moment to thank God for my blessings!

The more we thank God for blessings, the better our lives get.  How about giving your significant other a bear hug?  It’s a tiny act of love, but when you’ve been presented with a fantastic meal or a sweet compliment out of the blue – it’s a good idea to recognize such positive behavior.  We want it to continue, don’t we?  😉

God’s grace is the greatest of all blessings for all of mankind.  If not for His grace, we would be lost – literally.  Eternally lost.  So when we feel a flood of gratitude because of it – it’s a good thing!

Sometimes expressing thanks to God for all He’s done is like popping an anti-anxiety piece of chocolate after a stressful day at work.  It’s really better because the chocolate isn’t going to last, but when we sing, pray, praise and smile because of what God has done for us, it’s a lasting experience.  It seems to make every aspect of life that much better, doesn’t it?

Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to begin thanking God for His grace, mercy and love.  No one will ever love you like He does!  Count your blessings – big and small.  God has given us so much to be thankful for – and it takes more than just one day out of the year to thank Him sufficiently.  🙂

 

REVELATION 4:11 ON 4/11

REVELATION 4 11 ON 4 11

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.  – Revelation 4:11

Today let’s celebrate our religious freedom and sing WORTHY IS OUR LORD AND GOD, TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER!

1-16 FREEDOM TO PRAISE HIM

There is so much symbolism in the book of Revelation, I don’t pretend to understand all of it.  This is one of the few passages that seem to be fairly straight forward and easily understood.  Sometimes we get so busy making a living – or let’s face it – just living, that we overlook the need to praise God.

I know many folks put on a praise and worship CD in their car for the drive to work.  That’s a good idea – and I used to do the same thing.  This is a post to give us just one more opportunity to look up and thank God for all His blessings to us – His benefits.

Let God’s promises shine on your problems.  – Corrie Ten Boom

No matter who runs for the office of president in 2016, Jesus Christ will be LORD.  He is our Savior, our provider, our sword and shield in life.  He died for our sins and was raised by God the Father.  He sits at the right hand of God and the Holy Spirit of God lives in our hearts.

Yes – He is WORTHY of praise!

I’m going to find the most high place I can and stand at the tippy top of it.  Then I’m going to raise my hands to the sky and praise the Lord.  I may even sing.  God won’t howl like some people do – it’s a beautiful sound to Him.

The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.  – William McGill

Since I live in Kansas, I’m not sure how HIGH the place will be – LOL…  I mean, let’s face it, it’s not like Colorado where there are mountains!  Maybe I’ll drive to Coronado Heights today.  There’s just something about being outdoors on a mountain (or even a hill) – singing praises to God.  He inclines His ear to us when we make that extra effort I believe.  He hears us anyway, but it’s just more special somehow.  🙂

 

 

 

THREE KINGS DAY

TL 1-6 THREE KINGS DAY

 

ABG WE THREE KINGS

1-6 TWELFTH DAYHa!  You thought Christmas was over, didn’t you???

Remember the Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”?  Well, there are twelve days of Christmas and contrary to popular belief, they begin on Christmas Day and end on January 6!  Today is THREE KINGS DAY, known as the day of the Three Kings (a.k.a. wise men or magi).  If you watch “Touched By an Angel”, you will know their names – Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  Their names are in the Bible too – but I retain more information from TV shows.  Anyhow, they saw the bright star of Bethlehem and followed it to the place where Christ lay in a manger and presented Him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

So how do we celebrate this last day of Christmas?  If there are goodies on your tree, it’s time for the kids to eat them – this is known as the “plündern”  (raiding) of the tree.  These days we don’t use many sweets to decorate, but I know some kids who will be happy to eat the candy canes they find!   Then it’s time to take the Christmas tree down and dispose of it.  People used to burn their trees in a big bonfire, but I don’t suppose that’s going on much anymore, especially in America.  I think nowadays, the trees are left on the curb and they come along and make mulch out of it – and you get the bag of mulch.

When December 25th was finally adopted by the Western Christian Church as the date of the Feast of Christ’s birth in the fourth century, it’s believed that this change in date brought about the traditional “12 Days of Christmas.”  While it’s not at all my favorite song (I refer to it as the Redundant Christmas headache song), it’s still interesting to know the history – it helps me cope better.  So technically, we should not begin singing this Carol until Christmas Day – ah HA!!!  Now we know! 

The Western Christian Church celebrated the Feast of Christ’s birth on December 25th and the Eastern Christian Church still recognized January 6th as the day of celebration of the nativity.  January 6th was also kept as the physical birthday in Bethlehem.  In the Teutonic west, Epiphany became the Festival of the Three Kings, or Twelfth day.

I guess it’s like a RIGHT TWIX /LEFT TWIX THING.  The two factories make the same product but refer to the process in different terminology.  But they make the same thing – Twix!  I must be hungry – I’m using food analogies. 

The point I’m making is that we know the birth of Christ took place, and no matter what day we honor the birth, it’s the fact that we honor it that counts – not when we honor it.

The evening before Twelfth Day, prayers are said and dried herbs that have been blessed are burnt, their aroma filling the house.  Entryways are sprinkled with holy water and the master of the house writes C + M + B (first initials of the wise men) and the year above the front door of the house and the barn door – and write “Protect us again this year from the dangers of fire and water”.  Usually the words “Christ bless this home” are written as well.

In Austria and Bavaria, the custom of the Star Singers is still very much alive.  It is to signify the travel of the Three Kings and begins on New Years Day through January 6th.  Children dress as the kings and hold up a large star.  They go from door to door, caroling and singing a Three Kings’ song.  In return they receive money or some sweet treat.  In the old days the collected donations were given to unemployed craftsmen or veterans.  Today they go to organized charities of the church or the Third World countries.

Some older folks still remember when Three Kings Day was celebrated.  The evening of January 6th used to mean a big gathering with Christmas foods, Christmas carols sung around the piano and grandchildren eating the goodies off the tree before it was taken to be burned.

 

The standard tune now associated with The Twelve Days of Christmas is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin, who first introduced the now familiar prolongation of the verse “five gold rings” (everyone’s favorite part)!

So…  NOW Christmas is over – let’s sing the song together one last time…  on the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me…  (take a DEEP BREATH…)

12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING, 11 PIPERS PIPING, 10 LORDS-A-LEAPING, 9 LADIES DANCING, 8 MAIDS-A-MILKING, 7 SWANS-A-SWIMMING, 6 GEESE-A-LAYING

FIVE GOLD RINGS…  (take another DEEP BREATH)

4 CALLING BIRDS, 3 FRENCH HENS, 2 TURTLE DOVES…

AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!!!  Along with that – maybe a good pair of earplugs.

Just because I cannot sing does not mean I will not sing.  😉

 

ABG WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM

GO CAROLING DAY

TL 12-20 GO CAROLING DAY

 

12-20 LET'S GO CAROLING

Back in my day we didn’t have big shopping malls – but I think this would have been really cool – I mean, it’s like singing in a great big shower – listen to the acoustics in there!!!

 Just because I can’t sing doesn’t mean I won’t sing.

I wish I could sing – when I open my mouth to sing praises to God, I truly and quite literally make a joyful noise.  I can play the piano ’til the second coming of Christ – but my singing lacks oomph.  I’m a quiet little alto – I sing on pitch but I have absolutely no volume!  As long as God can hear me, that’s all that matters, right?  Yep – that’s what I thought.

It’s GO CAROLING DAY!!!  Some of the most fun times I remember in church was when we were outside the church, ministering to others.  I enjoyed going to see the shut-ins and singing Christmas Carols to them with fellow choir members.  I remember arguing with the other altos about who would have to stand next to the soprano – no one wanted to get thrown off their part.  I always got stuck standing next to the soprano with an earplug in that ear.  Sigh – good ol’ Linda!

We used to go see the shut-ins, then visit the deacon’s houses.  One couple always invited us inside for hot apple cider, hot chocolate, cookies and candies of all sorts – all homemade!  That was such a treat, especially if it was really cold outside!  I think we sang better when we knew we’d be invited inside for goodies!

K – it’s bad when the one listening has to prompt the one singing…  yeah – awkward caroling – LOL!  What do you mean you don’t know the lyrics to the songs?  You got some ‘xplaining to do!!!  This is funny!

Of course we know that caroling is meant to be a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Christ!  We have fun with singing and the awkward caroling and the secular songs – but really the idea is to remind others of the hope and peace that IS Christ.  We all know that without Christmas we could not celebrate Easter, right?

Warm a few hearts today.  Go Caroling! 

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

 

 

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY

TL 8-21 SENIOR CITIZEN'S DAY

A SHINY DISPOSITIONhttp://youtu.be/GLzRAHWAqA8

Today is SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY!!!  I’m not one yet, but I’m fast approaching the starting gate.  Of all the attributes needed to be successful in life, I believe two are most important:  a good attitude and disposition.  I’m sure we all recognize a good attitude, but we don’t hear much about disposition anymore.

What is a disposition?

dis·po·si·tion noun \ˌdis-pə-ˈzi-shən\ : the usual attitude or mood of a person or animal : a tendency to act or think in a particular way.

The other day I was in the grocery store and saw a T-shirt that said “I love my attitude”. Of course we all know it’s a statement about a BAD attitude, a sort of declaration that although the attitude is not good, there are no plans to do anything about it – except brag about it.

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
– Roald Dahl

How times have changed. When I was a kid, we did not brag about a bad attitude, or disposition. I was encouraged to have the best disposition I could have, and told that with God’s help it was possible. When did we give up and begin bragging about the bad in us? It makes me sad that we choose to give up, give in and surrender to negativity. Life can be so much better. God wants to help us make it the best life with love and peace from Him.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. – Emory Austin

It’s possible to have a shiny disposition with God’s help. God, our loving heavenly Father. We need to ask for His help. He knows where you are, the pain you feel (physically and emotionally), and He calls you by your name. Take a moment to call on God at the beginning of each day. Ask Him to guide and direct your path, give you strength and courage to face the day ahead.

I’ve decided that the stuff falling through the cracks is confetti and I’m having a party! – Betsy Cañas Garmon

Celebrate a positive outlook, a good attitude, a shiny disposition! 😀