Friday, December 17, 2010

My Christmas wish

*Please scroll down and pause player before watching video*





Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever!
Psalm 106:1 NKJV

Monday, December 13, 2010

Celebrating Him

Jesus came into the world so we could know, once and for all, that God is concerned about the way we live, and the way we believe, and the way we die.
Billy Graham

For the Son of Man has come to save the lost.
Matthew 18:11


If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us."
John MacArthur


Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. Luke 2:11

Begin to know him now, and finish never.
Oswald Chambers

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8


So Jesus came, stripping himself of everything as he came--omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence--everything except love. "He emptied himself" (Philippians 2:7), emptied himself of everything except love. Love--his only protection, his only weapon, his only method.
E. Stanley Jones


And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all. 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Christmas is about a baby, born in a stable, who changed the world forever.
John Maxwell

Choose for yourselves today who you will worship... As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.
Joshua 24:15


The star of Bethlehem was a star of joy. "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy." All true joy comes from Him.
D. James Kennedy


"And they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

All quotes from the book Celebrate His Birth, Freeman-Smith, LLC, 2010

Did you enjoy these quotes? This is a sweet little book - perfect to flip through this time of year. I have a few extras that I'd love to share. Leave me a comment now through Thursday and I'll draw names in the usual fashion and get them out to you in time for Christmas.


Have a blessed week...
Let us not forget to take time to reflect on the why and the Who of the season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I love pretzels...

Or is it dogs just shaped like pretzels that I love? I get confused sometimes...

May you find something to laugh about today...even if it's my dog!

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Job 8:21 NLT

Friday, December 3, 2010

What's in a Name?

I read a number of blogs on a daily basis. Some can be found on my side bar...others I come across in the course of conversation or find mentioned in an article I may be reading. The majority are Christian-themed, others are just about life in general and some are topic specific.

The one thing that always fascinates me is the name of the blog. Some are quite ingenious and clever...maybe even a little word play going on! Some are tongue-in-cheek or a bit whimsical. And others are downright funny! I love it! There are times when I see a blog name and say, "Man, I wish I'd thought of that!" And just as quickly I think, "No..."

Because the truth of the matter is I'm quite happy with the name of my blog. Now, understand - I had NO big dream of writing a blog, no intention of starting one. But here I am...going on two and a half years later. And that day that I sat down and this blog came into being? I knew in an instant what it was going to be called. Here's how it happened...

You see, my Sweet Hubby and I had just recently begun The Truth Project at our church. It was to be our church-wide Wednesday nights Refuel summer project and would span 10 weeks. We had been seeing promos for weeks during every Sunday service and we were so excited to get started! Finally! Week one arrived and we entered our church's Sanctuary and the air was alive with voices filled with just as much excitement as we were feeling! The lights dimmed...

And then - it seemed the first lesson was over just as quickly as it had begun...oh my friends - it was fabulous! If you have the opportunity to participate in this wonderful series, I strongly encourage you to do so. Your life will be richly blessed for it!

But there was something at the very end that Dr. Tackett said that first Wednesday night that stuck with me...has stuck with me to this very day. And you'll find it in the video below. I'm going to apologize for the quality right now! I had to play the CD on my laptop and video record with my cell phone and then upload it to YouTube (I won't tell you about the blood, sweat and tears that took!). So it's not the best, but here it is:

*Please scroll down and pause player before viewing video*





Did you catch it? That image he spoke of was so powerful for me that I couldn't get it out of my head...still can't. In fact, when I pray now that is exactly the picture I have in my mind. Oh how much more personal my prayer life became that very moment! What a great gift I received that night!

And now you know the origin of my blog's name!

If you have a blog, how did you come up with the name? If you don't have a blog, but were to start one today - what would you name it? Leave me a comment...I'd love to know!

Oh - speaking of names! The winning numbers/names for the Counting My Blessings Giveaway were:

13 - About Nancy

10 - Janice

Thanks so much to everyone for the comments...I wish I had enough books for everyone who entered! I loved reading how God has blessed you - I felt blessed through you, so thank you!

About Nancy and Janice, if you'll contact me through my profile email and let me know where to mail your book, I'll get it out to you this week...I pray that you will be blessed by them!


Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the middle of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it on my mouth, and said, See, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isaiah 6:5-8 AKJV

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Blues

I got 'em. No matter how hard I try to fight them off. Then I hear this song...

And I feel better.


*Please scroll down and pause player before watching video




Word of God speak...

What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
Matthew 10:27 NLT


**Still a few days left to enter ItTR's Counting My Blessings Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Counting my blessings


I have been richly blessed in my life. Abundantly so. Starting from my very beginning. But maybe not in the way you might be thinking...

You see...I'm adopted. By these two right here...they chose me! ME!!

My Mom and Dad. My first blessings.

++++++++++

Then there's that special, wonderful man that I shared my life with. I know the Lord hand-picked him just for me! And what a blessing he was...each and every moment of our life together. And while it is my life's greatest sorrow that he is no longer here, I treasure what we shared and I await the day when I'll see that precious face once more and hear the words, "Hi Sweetheart..." Oh...

My Sweet Hubby...My Prince.

++++++++++

Our children! Nothing is ever the same once you add children to the mix - it's like even the quality of the air is different somehow! Days are more magical and the mundane is once again fresh and new! And grandchildren? Well, don't even get me started!! I well remember the day each of our grandsons entered the world and how my Sweet Hubby and I could not stop smiling with sheer joy!

Blessing upon Blessing!

++++++++++

My Lulu. It's no secret to those who know me that I love dogs. I love them. Dare I confess it here? There are some days I even like them more than people! Why? Gosh, just look at the news headlines! Because they don't lie, they don't hurt. They are pure, devoted and loyal. Yeah. I love dogs. And I love this one in particular!

My girlie...

++++++++++

My friends. I can't count them in the hundreds like maybe some can, but the ones I have are tried and true. They have seen me at my worst. I hope they have also seen me at my best. I won't be posting any pictures because I'm afraid if I do, I'll have to take a recount! But you know who you are and I hope you know how very much you're loved, appreciated and prayed for every single day!

++++++++++

My faith. I don't have words for this, so I'm not even going to try. Just suffice it to say that without it, I'm nothing at all. Nothing. With it, I'm still standing. Thank you, Jesus - to you be all the glory - always and forever! By the way, if you don't know my Jesus...drop me an email (you can contact me through my profile) - I'd love to introduce you to Him - He's been waiting your whole life to get to know you!

++++++++++

**In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to have a little giveaway.
Won't you indulge me, please?!**

++++++++++

Remember a while back, I attended an Extraordinary Women conference with my friend JJ? Well, as always, you - my bloggy friends - are never far from my mind!

These are for you!


The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian signed by Stormie, just for you.

And yes...I truly bought it with "you" in mind. And I will be praying over this book until it leaves my home for yours. I hope it richly blesses you as you find power, strength and the love of our Savior as you read through His Word.

++++++++++

As well as A Woman's Path to Emotional Freedom by Julie Clinton, also signed by Julie.


Julie is the President of Extraordinary Women and the host of the conferences. She is so soft spoken yet uplifting and absolutely charming! I love the question on the back cover of this book: "Do your emotions sometimes control your life?" HA! Well, I don't know about you, but I can sure raise my hand! This book was not available at the conference - it hadn't come out quite yet...but I ordered copies soon after. Again, I ordered an extra copy with one of you in mind. And just like with Stormie's book, I will be praying that the recipient of this book will find, as it says on the cover, "God's Promise of Hope and Healing."

++++++++++

Here's how to enter:

1) Simply leave me a comment about how you've been blessed in your life.
2) One blessing per comment please, but no limit on comments! Let the blessings flow!
3) Wanna link to your blog? Great, be sure to leave a comment telling me you did so!
4) The same goes for Facebook...just be sure to leave me a comment that you linked my blog!
5) Just started following my blog? Be sure and leave me a comment!

++++++++++

Comments will remain open through December 1st and I'll select two winners sometime Thursday, December 2, 2010. As always, I'll be using this.

**Note: I would like the books to go to separate people, so should the same name be drawn twice, I will use this to draw again until I get a different name for the second book. :)

++++++++++

May God richly bless each and every one of you and yours this Thanksgiving. If you're traveling, I pray His mercies over you both going and coming. Don't forget to offer up an extra prayer of thanks for the men and women of our Armed Forces who are away from their families taking care of our Nation's business and keeping us free.


Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.
~ William Law

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
Galations 6:9
NLT

Saturday, November 20, 2010

He's brings me great joy!

Our youngest son, Matthew, just returned from attending this conference in San Diego. If you've been reading here for a while, you know that Matthew is finishing up his Ph.D. (May 2011!!) and neuroscience is his thing!

I love how he honors his Dad, always...he's wearing the "Purple Ribbon" pin because November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

His Dad used to sit for hours and question him about this...or that...hanging on every word, listening intently. And would then ask for more. What always surprised me was that "science" was so not his thing (my Sweet Hubby was a "numbers" guy!) but where this child of ours was concerned - you'd have thought "science" was all that mattered because his Dad could not get enough! Those were special times, for both of them, and I know those conversations are deeply treasured and sadly missed by Matthew every day.

I, too, love to listen to him talk about his research (because science is my thing!) and even though I don't understand the application of all the science, what I do understand is very exciting! But I'm not Dad, you know? I listen differently - I know that. It'll never be the same...and I feel inept and like I'm failing him in some way that I can't "fix." Oh - how a mother's heart hurts for her children.

Anyway. Sorry. Where was I?

Today, we were having a chit chat about San Diego and his experiences at the conference. Specifically, the presentation of his research data on the last day of the conference. It's always a nerve wracking time for him, even though he always does really, really well! (Hey, I'm his Mom - I'm allowed to brag! Expected to, even! After all, our Heavenly Father set the precedent of a proud parent, remember?)

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy."
Matthew 3:17 NLT

This trip, just as in the past, he made some excellent connections. In fact, he was approached by someone in particular and had a conversation with this individual that I have been thinking about a great deal. Now this was no one that you or I would know by name (unless you're in that field of research too - and then, wow - what a coincidence!), but someone that left Matthew with a LOT to think about. Important things. If there's one thing I know about my son - those wheels won't stop turning! Oh talk about Jeremiah 29:11...Matthew - He has such plans for you - 0f this I am sure!

For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
NLT

As I drove home in the waning sunlight from running my errands, I couldn't help but think back to 26 years ago, to that tiny little baby that I snuggled so tightly. Let me tell you - I was overcome with thanks to my God Who saw fit to bless me with such an amazing son! Because he has, each and every day since the day he was born, been an incredible blessing! Oh, and after what I heard today...I have a feeling that one day, perhaps not that far off in the future, he's going to be a blessing to many. And I am already in tearful thanksgiving for that.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
Hebrews 13:15 NLT

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reflections on clarity

This morning, one of my devotional readings was about clarity. I have now been thinking about it all day. I love when written words resonate so profoundly that they clatter around in your mind - like an object you can't get enough of, turning it over and over in your hands to look at it from every angle! Just as a kaleidoscope is different with every turn, so have my thoughts been...yeah - it's been that kind of day.


God's Word does that for me.

Here's one of verses that was attached to my devotional today. I typically read in the New Living Translation, although I have many translations here at home and an app on my phone that gives me instant access to them all. This passage moved me to read it in multiple translations...I offer it to you here in the two that made me close my eyes and breathe in deeply.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT


We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message


Looking forward to clarity. But in the meantime, enjoying my walk with Him in the mist.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For my Dad...

Well, my Mom’s graciously allowed me to hijack her blog to share some words about my Dad on this very difficult day. Although today has been filled predominantly with feelings of sadness and emptiness, I’d like to focus my attention now recalling some happier times…

My Dad was a remarkably selfless person who defined his happiness not by what he owned, but by the love he shared with his family. He found great joy in some of life’s simplest treasures. Believe it or not, some of the biggest smiles I ever saw light up his face were precipitated by placing a large (we’re talking dinner saucer large) stack of pancakes in front of him. Combine that with bacon and fried eggs, plenty of butter and piping hot maple syrup and you had yourself one very happy man. And I do mean combine as in layering eggs and bacon in between discus-sized pancakes served to him hot off the griddle by his adoring wife. I never quite understood it, as I only ate eggs scrambled and preferred some separation on my breakfast plate. But to each their own, right?!?


Well, in honor of my Dad’s birthday this year, I decided to remember him in a way that was uniquely his. Above is a picture of my first “Dad’s breakfast” at Cracker Barrel. Although not nearly the same size as the beloved hotcakes my Mom regularly churned out for her Prince on weekends, CB features some rather tasty buttermilk pancakes that come out slightly crispy on the outside while remaining light and fluffy on the inside. They were his favorite pancakes away from home, so coupled with my recently found love for a great fried egg, I was eager to take part in something that was so special to him.

When the food arrived, I slathered the crispy pancakes in butter, carefully tucked my eggs and bacon in between, then finished it off with steamy syrup. I carved a wedge out with my fork as creamy golden yolk spilled out around the sides. The first bite was simply magical, a wicked amalgamation of sweet syrup, savory bacon, crispy, tangy pancakes and rich, buttery egg. The connection I felt at that moment between he and I was palpable. I fought back swelling tears as I worked on that bite, savoring the physical sensations hitting my palate as well as the countless fond memories of sharing breakfast together as a family. I was hooked.

The overwhelming emotion of today has left me with little in the way of an appetite. However, I managed to put away “Dad’s breakfast” for dinner, along with several cups of black coffee (his standard, opposed to my cream and Splenda). I ate every bite. I had to. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Dad, I desperately miss this and everything else that made you so uniquely you. The void left by your departure from this world to the next, and final, adventure is simply unbearable most days. Until the sweet day when we’re reunited again, I’ll cling to all the indelible memories you’ve left behind.

Love Always,

Your baby boy,

Matthew

My Prince


~ In loving memory ~
9/3/48 - 11/9/08

No words will ever describe the emptiness; no ocean could contain the tears.
I love you. I miss you. Always.

Forever...then Rome

Monday, November 8, 2010

Focus


2010 is rapidly coming to an end (can you believe it?!) and my thoughts have begun creeping into 2011...

You may remember that I chose a "focus word" for 2010.

H O P E

What a wonderful word...and oh how I have clung to it this past year! I have read Scriptures over and over and over again...especially this well-known one:

For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
And this one:
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Romans 12:12 NLT
And this:
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through patience and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NLT
And here:
Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.
Job 11:18 NLT
And oh yes:
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Psalm 39:7 NLT


You see, God's Word is full of HOPE...and I have turned to it again and again, over and over, day after day this past year to help me through some pretty dark days. Days that I have not shared here.

So. A new year is coming and I have been thinking about a new focus word. Did I even want one? I really liked having one this year...I like having that - well, focus! I decided that yes, I did want a new word for the New Year. And so...

I have come to a decision. I have a new word in mind. I've kind of been "living with it" in my head for the last week to see how it feels. So far, it feels pretty good! I think I like it...

I believe that words have power, don't you? After all - God spoke everything into existence!

I already know that there are plenty of Scriptural references for my potential focus word...I can hear them rattling around in my brain as I type! And my hope (ha! no pun intended, but I like how that happened!) is that by having my focus be on this new word and the Word of God surrounding it, that it will be made manifest in my life. Yes...I'm liking this word more and more!

How about you? Do you or will you choose a focus word for the upcoming year?

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 NLT

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Unexpected jewel

In April of this year, I went down to Savannah to visit the friend I spoke about in this post. We always have the best time together - the days pass much too quickly - and I wish she lived closer so that we could see each other more often...sigh...

Where was I?

Oh yes! My visit! Anyway...one afternoon while I was there, we spent hours (literally hours) in her local Lifeway store. We were specifically looking for a Beth Moore study that we could do together via IM/phone (we chose this one!) and that took the longest time because you know how I love Beth Moore...how do you pick just one?!

We finally decided that we had been in the store an embarrassingly long amount of time and that we should probably haul our purchases up to the register and check out.

And that's when we found this waiting for us:


This beautiful little devotional was being offered for $5.00. Yep, you read that right...$5.00

We each grabbed one. I mean - for $5.00, why not, right? I love a good devotional and the sales clerk said this was an excellent devotional! I figured that was high praise coming from someone who deals with hundreds of devotionals!

So how come I got home and this excellent devotional was forgotten until recently? I don't know...maybe I wasn't ready for it. Or maybe the entries that I missed are better suited for next year for me...whatever! I believe everything happens for a reason.

What I do know is that what I'm reading now is ah-mazing. Truly. I'm thinking this is maybe the best devotional I've ever used. Just maybe. What I can say for sure is that the sales clerk was right...this is an excellent devotional! And for $5.00! Truly an unexpected jewel!

Want a sample? Here was my reading for yesterday, November 5th:

YOU CAN LIVE AS CLOSE TO ME as you choose. I set up no barriers between us; neither do I tear down barriers that you erect.

People tend to think their circumstances determine the quality of their lives. So they pour their energy into trying to control those situations. They feel happy when things are going well, and sad or frustrated when things don't turn out as they'd hoped. They rarely question this correlation between their circumstances and feelings. Yet it is possible to be content in any and every situation.

Put more energy into trusting Me and enjoying My Presence. Don't let your well-being depend on your circumstances. Instead, connect your joy to My precious promises:

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.
I will meet all your needs according to My glorious riches.
Nothing in all creation will be able to separate you from My Love.

Philippians 4:12; Genesis 28:15;
Philippians 4:19; Romans 8:38-39
from Jesus Calling Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

I needed that yesterday. In fact...it was good to read it again today as I typed it. Such treasure.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow -- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below -- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NLT

Have a blessed weekend, my friends...I pray that we'll remember to connect our joy to His precious promises!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guess who's back?!

It's BabyMac!!!!

Guess I should have titled this post Fabulous Friday!


Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
Psalm 103:2 NLT

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for


my Sweet Hubby's iMac since my MacBook is in the Apple hospital...hopefully, I'll have her back by the end of the week (that's what I was told on Monday during my appointment at the Genius Bar anyway).

Until then, I'm thankful I've got DaddyMac to see me through!


And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall


I love this season...the air that seems cleaner somehow, the bright blue of the sky, the smell of wood fires burning, the color of the leaves turning on the trees, the sound of leaves falling and then rustling in the breeze, that chill in the early morning air! I love it all!

The days are getting shorter (don't forget - next Sunday, 11/7, we "fall" back and get an extra hour of sleep before church!) and soon we'll be turning lights on in the late afternoon to push back the shadows...Okay - I have to admit - I don't like this part so much...but ya gotta take the bad with the good, right?!

It's time for stews and soups and chilis and warm comfort foods! I don't cook much anymore, so I sure appreciate this product - shake/open/heat/eat/yum!


I will say though - I make a mean crockpot chili! My Sweet Hubby loved it! Who doesn't love chili?

Pot after pot of hot tea becomes my companion. I especially love using this teapot...a gift from a dear friend. That's my favorite mug for tea - so pretty and delicate (I love it so much I have a spare in case I break this one! Yep, I'm paranoid like that.). And that's a tea cozy in the background, in toile-esque fashion, my favorite! I bought it here a number of years ago. In fact, my Sweet Hubby and I were there visiting the friend who gave me the teapot! Well, not "there" in that spot specifically, but in Savannah (although we did enjoy several pots of tea there "in that spot" as well as a light snack if I remember correctly)! It was a wonderful time...memories...


How do you celebrate Fall? Do you rotate your closet, packing away summer-wear and exchanging it for heavier (and warmer) togs? Do you rake and rake and rake mountains of leaves to be bagged and hauled away? Do you perfume the air by baking breads filled with the spices of the season - cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger? Do you look forward to that first cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick stirrer? Do you decorate the house or yard for the season? Share in the comments...I'd love to know!

While you're gathering your thoughts I'll go put on a pot of tea...and in case you're wondering - it's this and yes, it's from there!


For everything there is a
season,
a time for every activity
under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A little Beyonce and a mystery revealed

How's that for a title?! Just a warning before you get started: today's post is l-o-n-g and full of videos...I hope you'll watch them all! If you only have time for one right now, please make it the last one. But promise you'll come back and watch the rest - you won't want to miss them! Seriously!

If you've been reading here this past week, you know that last Saturday evening my friend JJ and I went to a praise and worship event led by Jeremy Camp. Well...he brought some friends along!


*Please scroll down and pause my player before viewing videos*


One was the man featured in this video - you may have seen it as it "went viral" on YouTube awhile ago. I love the looks on his daughters' faces! Dad, you are soooo busted!



And no...he didn't sing any Beyonce songs!! But he did sing this one and it was great!




So...are you ready to learn about this man?


Well, his name is John Mark McMillan and I really, really loved his music that night! It was different from the praise and worship music I normally listen to...but in a good way! Here's a song I particularly liked:



We want your blood to flow inside our body and
We want your wind inside our lungs...
We just want to love you
We just want to love you..yeah
lyrics excerpted from Skeleton Bones by John Mark McMillan 2010

I don't know...something about those lyrics just moves me to tears. Isn't that crazy? But I really like that song!

And this next one. He prefaced this next song by telling us how it came about.

It seems he was in a hotel in Los Angeles...unable to sleep and decided to get up and see if he could be productive. He said he got to thinking about King David and his friendship with Jonathan...and how the King one day inquired if Jonathan had left any children behind. Which, as we know, is how he found out about Mephibosheth. Now, remember - Mephibosheth had been dropped by his nurse when he was little and as a result, was left crippled in both legs. So, this crippled man is summoned to the King's table. He said that this Bible story reminds him of how we today - as Christians, through a fall we were not responsible for - have been left crippled. And that one day, we too, shall be summoned to the King's table. AMEN!!!!!



While John Mark was performing, I looked over at JJ and said, "He reminds me so much of David Crowder..." They do share something in common! I'm sure many of you are familiar with the following song. And now you know the sad story and "the mystery man" behind it (if you watch the video, that is). If you watch no other video on this blog post, I do hope you'll watch this one...



I remember hearing David Crowder talk about the first time he heard this song. He said he was on a flight and listening to a CD someone had sent him. Maybe of possible songs to record? Who knows...Anyway, he said that this song had him in tears...crying on the airplane. He made the rest of his band listen to it because he knew if it had that kind of effect on him he knew it would be meaningful to others as well. Yeah, I think he "got it." And as we know, he and his band did, in fact, record that song. So maybe that's why I said John Mark reminded me of David Crowder!

Mystery solved!

You have shown me the
way of life,
and you will fill me with the
joy of your presence.
Acts 2:28 NLT

Friday, October 29, 2010

Two it is...


The giveaway is now closed - and no need to use this! Dawn and Nancy...thanks for sharing some of your favorite praise and worship music!

Please email me via my profile and let me know how I can get your Jeremy Camp We Cry Out CD to you.


Still to come...

His perfect timing

The LORD says, "I will guide
you along the best pathway
for your life.
I will advise you and watch
over you."
Psalm 32:6 NLT

Exactly what I needed. Exactly.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pick one, any one (or two)!

Just a reminder that there's still time to enter the giveaway going on here at In the Throne Room...all you have to do is leave a comment here sharing the name of your favorite worship song. It can be a contemporary song, traditional hymn, gospel song...whatever (note: it does NOT have to be a song by Jeremy Camp)! And if you can't pick just one - no problem - there's no limit on entries...so leave as many comments as you like! I'll be using this to pick the winners sometime later this week. What's up for grabs? One of these:


So come on...please share!!

In the meantime, here's one of my favorites! And (in my opinion!) no one sings it better than this man...it puts me away every. single. time.


*Please scroll down and pause my player before watching video*





I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10
NLT

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Lulu

I love this girl...and I just want to say thank you, Jesus, for letting her remain with me just a bit longer! Every day is a blessing...yep - even when she stares holes in my head!


Just a few short (long) months ago, we spent a week here, at the Veterinary Emergency Center, where Lulu was ultimately diagnosed with Lyme Disease as well as not one, but two rare complications of the disease: an autoimmune disorder which attacks the joints known as Polyarthritis and Lyme Nephritis which attacks the kidneys. Lyme Nephritis. Those two words have caused me a lot of anguish over the last 3 months. I'll tell you what you won't find if you google it: hope. You won't find hope. And I certainly didn't hear "hope" from the vets at the hospital* during her week-long stay...but I looked in those eyes and I saw hope! And here we are, 3 months later! *But let me codify that statement by saying that I truly believe Lulu is here today because she spent that week at VEC where she had 24/7 around the clock specialist care! They were fabulous in their treatment...it's just that Lyme Nephritis is a very bad diagnosis with a very poor prognosis. sigh...


About a month and a half ago...she was at her lowest weight - 38 pounds, down from about 54 when she first got sick. You could count every rib, every vertebrae, every cranial bone and she has a bald spot on her bony bottom because she favors her left side when she sits and the pressure from her tailbone rubbed the hair away. I worry about her skin integrity there - but so far, so good! These next two photos show the effects of the Polyarthritis (see her front right "elbow" or hock as it's properly called)? Pretty misshapen and at times, very painful for her...


The bandage on her right rear leg in this next photo is where she actually did develop a pressure ulcer from where her bony legs rested atop one another when she slept...wound care healed it up and since she's put a little meat back on her bones (up to 42 lbs at the last vet visit!) it's no longer as big an issue. For now.


My sweet hubby and I have used the same amazing veterinary practice here for more years than I care to count - they are a fantastic group that have provided our pets with wonderful, quality care throughout the years. But I knew when I brought Lulu home from the hospital in Richmond (yep, we were out of town when she got sick!) that she was going to need critical care. And so while she was still in the hospital, I did my homework and found the Internal Medicine veterinary specialist that has been seeing her weekly (we've just *graduated* to every two weeks!!) since I brought her home. This vet only sees sick animals...no routine visits here and that's good, because there's been nothing "routine" about her care! There is attention to detail at every visit. Many is the time that Lulu and I have been there for hours (literally)...and she is being attended to for every minute of that time. I am so thankful this man has been a faithful advocate for my girl! She surprises him (and delights him!) and perplexes him all at the same time! When he calls to give me lab results, he always prefaces it by saying, "Well, this is Lulu we're talking about...!" That's because it's always a mixture of good/bad news. Usually more bad than good. Ugh. The long and short of it is that Lulu is in kidney failure. Unfortunately, dogs don't have the availability of dialysis. Trust me - I've asked. It's only provided at some veterinary schools on a limited basis...


And meds? Don't even get me started on meds! But I will say two things: Lulu is on dramatically fewer medications now than she was. Thank you, Jesus! And a big shout out to the makers of these: They have made med time a real pleasure for both Lulu and I. Seriously. You have no idea.


In fact, they will have to pry Greenies Pill Pockets (or "Chicken Pills" as we call them around here - long story!) away from me if for some crazy reason they ever decide to recall them!! If you have a pet on medication - dog or cat - I can't recommend them enough! Lulu's vet approved of them and I buy them (in bulk!) from this site. Thanks to my friend, Christa, for passing on that tip! I was paying over $8 a bag in the local pet megamart...now I pay $5.19 a bag! Amazing!! When you go through them at the rate we do - well, at the rate Lulu does - that $3.00 a bag savings really adds up fast!

So, in a nutshell, that's how things have been going with my girlie. I'm grateful to all of you who have remembered her in your prayers - please don't stop! As I tell people when they ask about her: on paper (lab wise) she looks a mess! But to see her "in person" - well, that my friends, is a dog of a different color altogether! She's back to sunbathing in the backyard, running up and down the stairs, not coming in when she's called (this does not earn cookies, by the way you naughty girl), and the aforementioned staring holes in my head. Usually when I'm trying to blog. Like now.


And I'm thankful and grateful and oh-so-blessed to have her. Each and every day. But I'd really like it if you'd stop staring at me...umm, now would be good.

God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us -- an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
Romans: 8:14-21 The Message

Monday, October 25, 2010

Worship



Saturday evening, my friend JJ and I worshipped together.
And we had a very special worship leader...


Why yes...that IS Jeremy Camp! Sharing from the Book of Colossians...

It was a night of praise and worship!
You know how I love praise and worship music!



It was wonderful and it was exactly what I needed.


After this past week, I found the theme "We Cry Out" very comforting.
Okay...and a little ironic.


Would you take the place of this Man?
Would you take the nails from His Hands?



And like I said on my blog a few weeks back:


Just give me Jesus.


Oh, it was wonderful. But I've already said that, right?! I wish you ALL could have been there with us. Really! But since I'm always thinking about you (it's true...ask JJ!), I just may have a few of these to give away:



If you'd be interested in one, leave me a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite praise song is. Contemporary, traditional hymn, gospel...whatever! How do you like to praise our Lord in song? I'm going to be relaxed about this one...comments will close (without notice) sometime this week and as always, I'll be using this to select the winners. Be sure to provide me with some way to contact you in your comment, okay?

Can't choose just one song? No problem...there's no limit on entries! After all - it's Music Monday here on In the Throne Room!

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see--such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross.
Colossians 1:13-20
NLT

Oh...and coming up this week I'm going to tell you about this mystery man:





Friday, October 22, 2010

Holding on

Ever find yourself weary and just needing to be held up? Ever feel like maybe it's just too much effort to keep putting one foot in front of the other? I have. It's been that kind of week...sadness and overwhelming grief have been my constant companions. I know it will pass - but it's sure hard to live through.

I learned through my bereavement group (just yesterday, in fact) that there is a name for what I've been experiencing. It's called a "grief burst." And just like mine, it comes at you from left field and may or may not have a trigger. Call it a grief "sucker punch" if you will...

I hope (I love that word!) I'm coming up for air now...I had the nicest visit from my Sweet Hubby last night in my dreams. I was leaving a store in the pouring rain and I saw him coming to meet me with an umbrella. So like him - even though he knows I hate umbrellas! I think that was his message that it's time to come out of the rain of this grief (cloud)burst. I'm trying, honey...

But you know, there is always comfort, hope, promise and solace in God's Word. Always. And today, for me, it was here:

The Lord says, "I will rescue those
who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation."
Psalm 91:14-16 NLT

I have a great day planned tomorrow...I'll tell you about it next week sometime! JJ, are you ready?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't bother me

Someone shared this song with me recently and I wanted to share it with you here. I hope we never stop caring enough about our lost brothers and sisters that we stop "bothering them."


*Please scroll down and pause my player before viewing video*





I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 NLT