Sunday, May 26

it is time, to let God rule

life is hard at times
but it can get harder too (and it will, it always does)
so I have made a decision
to let go of some things
as hard as they are
it is time
and to let GOD rule ...

this decision is one that will take lots of prayer
and plenty of journalling for me
but it is time
to let God rule ...

I have wrestled with it
closed the book on it
cried over it
prayed over it
ignored it
justified it
but it is time
to let God rule...

with God as my strength
and with the Bible as my guide
and people I love as encouragers in this process
I am going to tackle
what I have been trying to ignore
but it has become out of control, ugly and NOT life giving
it is time
to let God rule ...

in all places
in all things
good or bad
old or new
sporatic or consistent
hard or easy
it is time
(you know it)

just a note:  this is totally about letting God rule in ME, MY life ... I know it is cryptic, but it is just the early thoughts of something God has had on my heart for a very very (did I say very) long time!  And well ... it is TIME.  NOW.  to let God rule

Saturday, May 25

close to you

last night I got to either rub the back of, hold one in my arms, tell a story to, (individually) some of my grandkids
as the light was off, with just the early evening dusk coming through a peep in the window
and stories read, bathroom routines done, prayers said and covers tucked up around sleepyheads
I could not help but gaze on the little faces with absolute love, and overflowing thankfulness
for these little ones
who light up when we come
and who laugh with us
hold our hands
trust us with decisions
let us kiss them better
make up funny stories
forget the times we have to correct
but remember the teachable moment

I could not help but gaze on the little faces, and look at their little profiles
a combination of mommy and daddy
sometimes leaning more to the other
and often a combination of us as grandparents
how does that happen
.... fearfully and wonderfully made

after gazing
and planting one last kiss on a cheek
and saying good night
i wander out
still in awe at the gifts God has given to us
wrapped up in little packages
that we call grandchildren
and I am so thankful.

today the lines from this song ran through my memory (guess it is the week of going down memory land with music .... what DOES that say about me?)

these are the lyrics
the ones in read - are especially for my grandkids (we won't worry about all the girls in town following them around ... yet :)

"(They Long To Be) Close To You"

Why do birds suddenly appear, ev'ry time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.
Why do stars fall down from the sky, ev'ry time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.

On the day that you were born the angels got together.And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold,
And star-light in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you...

On the day that you were born the angels got together.
And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold,
And star-light in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you...
Just like me, they long to be close to you...

Thursday, May 23

experiencing prayer at the "One Heart Prayer Summit" last night

Last night I had the great joy of being a part of a prayer summit in advance of the One Heart Church service at the new Investors Group Field, this coming Sunday.  I felt called to go.  And oh my goodness, what a blessing it was to be a part of a group who were petitioning God on behalf of the One  Heart service.

I think the part of the joy was the fact that I was able to pray alongside of other people from many churches, many denominations.  I was able to pray out loud, sometimes all of us praying at once (just like I experienced in Thailand) and other times just praying around our tables for specific things.  I was blessed by the way others came before the throne of grace with boldness!

We had alot to pray for, but the center of it was the One Heart service that is taking place in our city - at a brand new stadium - One Heart is the opening event!!  We came and we prayed for every detail, every volunteer, the sunshine, and the lack of rain on that day!!

It was right at the beginning that God gave me something. I know enough about my God, that He speaks, and I need to be ready to respond.  And, he did speak.  And also, as he often does, he also gave me a "picture".  It happened together.

When I heard the word, I grabbed a pencil and wrote it down on a piece of paper so I would not forget.
The words was Shekinah.

And then, I got the "picture" -  If I could draw it, it would be a picture of the stadium, and all around it are golden rays extending up toward heaven.  Bright.  Golden.  Totally surrounding the stadium where the service will take place.

The word Shekinah - I was not sure what it meant, although I knew that it was also accompanied with the word "glory".  I also had the strong sense that  it was about God's presence - it was  going to fill that place.    I also got the words, "take off your shoes, you are on holy ground."  I have to tell you - this Sunday is going to be exciting!!

So today, as I am sitting here babysitting, and since the babes are in bed, I have a quiet house, and lots of time - so I googled the word He gave me:  Shekinah
This is what it means:  taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ShekinahShechinahShechina, or Schechinah, (Hebrew:שכינה‎) is the English spelling of a grammatically feminineHebrew ancient blessing of God. The original word means thedwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of thedivine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.


World English Dictionary
Shechina or Shekinah  (ʃɛˈkaɪnə, Hebrew  ʃəxiːˈna, ʃɛˈkaɪnə, Hebrew ʃəxiːˈna) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
— n
1.the radiance in which God's immanent presence in the midst of hispeople, esp in the Temple, is visibly manifested
2.the divine presence itself as contrasted with the divine transcendence
[C17: from Hebrew shĕkhīnāh,  from shākhan  to dwell]
Shekinah or Shekinah
— n
[C17: from Hebrew shĕkhīnāh,  from shākhan  to dwell]
I can hardly wait to attend on Sunday.  I think my time there will also be as an intercessory prayer person!  I know that it will be a little taste of heaven, as we worship the one TRUE GOD - Jesus Christ - together - all nations, all denominations, all people together - One Heart under the cross of Jesus!!  It is going to be so exciting!

check it out for details!  don't miss it.

Monday, May 20

Celebrating Together!

Celebrating Leah Michelle

Yesterday was Leah's birthday.  We celebrated today.  It seems like we have celebrated many birthdays together - and Lord willing, anticipate many more to come!  Tonight the house was abuzz with conversation, family, and good food.  Like usual, I usually get a menu suggestion from the birthday kid!!  So we had some tasty chicken and veggie kabobs, rice, and a brand new recipe for coconut cake.  I think it all went well!!

I really love Leah - and I thank God over and over again for having her as a daughter (married to my son) and having her in our family for many years now!  So, like I have been doing so far this year, I want to write an acrostic for her name - and tell you a bit about her!!  (Alvin was sitting here on the couch when I was doing this, so I have his two cents on a few letters too!!)

Loves wholeheartedly:  Leah loves Jesus with all her heart.  She also loves her husband, her sons, her family (includes us) and her friends
Exceptional or "extra mile" :  Leah has so many amazing qualities and I see how God has created her truly exceptional as a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend and also when she was a teacher to kindergarten kids.  Alvin chose the word "extra mile" because he feels she always goes the extra mile for people)
Admirable or accepting:  There are many things about Leah, that have been admiring her.  I am constantly learning from her wisdom and her input into my life, and ministry.  Alvin chose the word "accepting" for Leah, as he has seen that in her.
Humble or Helpful.  She is a humble woman of God - her life and actions - give Him the glory.  Alvin chose the word helpful!

Mommy or "Many things to many people" :  Leah is an amazing mommy to her boys!  There is just no words to express that.  She has taken what she has learned first of all as a teacher, and makes each day a learning/teaching moment for her kids.  Alvin picked the words "many things to many people" which also describes Leah.  She can be found not only being the wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend and neighbour but she also reaches out to many, helps out with many things, plans, hosts, and on and on.  Leah is a gift to us all.
Ingenious:  I have seen many things that she has made for her kids, and also many ideas she has put into her home, and helped us in our new home too.
Caring.  Need I say more.
Humorous or Happy:  together Leah and Josh make quite the pair and can get us laughing!!  Alvin chose the words Happy.
Embraces Life or energetic:  Embraces Life to the fullest!! Leah loves life.  Yes sometimes it is overflowing, and sometimes it is crazy, and sometimes it is laid back, and sometimes it is go-go-go ESPECIALLY with her boys.  But she takes it and embraces it.  Alvin chose the word energetic.
Loves to learn:  Leah is an amazing teacher, and I think that she is so amazing because she herself loves to learn!!  Leah often researches things that she does not know about, so that she is fully aware of the topic, and able to apply what she learns.  She is an avid reader too!  She is pretty amazing at helping her sons learn new things - whether it be saying words or climbing or riding a bike or any other new skill.
Loving:  plain, simple but profound.  Leah LOVES and is LOVING.  That is her nature!
Elegant:  I love Leah's sense of style, but when she dresses up for instance to go to a wedding - she is so elegant!  Absolutely beautiful!  No two ways about it.

Leah, I love you.  
I am so glad you married my son, and became my "daughter".  
I am also so thankful that the partner I prayed for (for my son) from the time he was a little babe 
and that the partner is YOU.  
You have brought so much beauty and joy into our lives as a family!  
We love you!
I hope the year ahead is an amazing one
 and that God continues to be your strength, 
your guide, 
your strong arm, 
and that He continues to bless you sweet One!! 
This mom, loves you!!
Happy Birthday Leah.

Mom K.

Friday, May 17

Mom, do you miss Audrey?

The other day, my daughter Leah asked me, "Mom, do you miss Audrey" to which I replied "yes" ...
I miss her.
and I wish she was here - to talk to, to laugh with
I wish she was here to give me some help planting and doing the garden
She loved gardening alot
And her garden was beautiful.
She told me about the flowers, and I wished I knew as much as she did!

Last Sunday, we headed out to Sunnyside Cemetery, to put some flowers on my grandson's grave
but I also wanted to take some flowers for my friend
I know - neither my grandson, or my friend know that I am laying the flowers.
It is just something that I like to do ...
something that brings me peace and comfort
Sunnyside is a beautiful and peaceful place

I also however had this experience this past week, and I really thought of Audrey.
I had a vitamin C intravenous infusion.
And as I laid there, with a small bag of vitamin c and b12 and other minerals dripping through an iv bag and into my vein, I thought of my friend.
It was a very strange feeling.
No, I was not having chemotherapy, but just the technique made me think of her.
As soon as the drip began, I could smell and taste vitamins.
The doctor said that would happen and it did.
When I used to go with Audrey for her chemo, or even for her blood work for that matter,
as soon as they wiped her port, she could taste alcohol swab.
as soon as they flushed it, she gagged, as there was a awful taste that came into her mouth immediately
I bought her some strong Altos (mints) to try to help her combat that!
I sat with her a few times.
I held her hand while she had chemo inserted into her spinal fluid.
I sat there and could not imagine what she was going through.

On Tuesday, when I laid on the bed, for the 20 minutes or so for the vit C drip to go through, I thought of my friend.
It was such a reality that she is in Heaven
I thought again of the last hour and a half I spent with her.
I thought about her love for her husband and son
I thought about her love for her friends, of which I was one.
And oh, I miss her.

I am thinking about her alot this week - especially on a weekend when alot of people go camping.
Her and her husband were avid campers with their new trailer.
I know she was hoping that her husband would continue somehow, to still go camping.

Mom, do you miss Audrey ...
Oh yes, boy do I miss her.
Audrey - you will be forever loved, forever missed ... until we meet again in Heaven.
I love you my friend.

Monday, May 13

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

Okay ... so I remember oldies.  Actually it was a little funny, cause yesterday, after spending some time with my grandkids, a song was running through my mind.  It is an old one, sung by Lesley Gore.  My sister Heather and I shared a room for a while - and I remember that she had an LP by Lesley Gore.
So first of all - well and "LP" is likely something of such an ancient past!  (when we were moving, Michael wondered what we wanted to do with all of our LPS which we kept, but I am not sure why!!)
Something nostalgic I guess!!

I played that LP alot - something about the song "It's My Party" and "Judy's Turn to Cry", and I - being a young girl just only about 12 .... those songs are indelibly written in my memory!!  ANYHOW ... back to yesterday.

I realized that the song that was running through my mind, or should I say the LINE was Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows everything ...Not sure if I believe that life is just all that ... but hey yesterday, I just felt alive and loved!  Sometimes a gal my age needs those reminders from Lesley Gore songs!!  (now do I sound shallow??)

I thought, for old times sake - I would just play you a YouTube - from the 60's ... Lesley Gore.
Have a listen - smile - sing a long - and just for a few moments - head down memory lane to the 60's (for those of you who loved the 60's).  For the rest of you younger peeps - either just close this post and go on about your day OR humour me and sing along!!  I posted the lyrics at the end!!  (oh, and check out her back up - pretty funny too!!  But all in all - pretty wholesome next to some of what happens today!  At least the suits are all matching!!)

Wishing you Sunshine today!!  Hope you are experiencing LOVE!!

Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows
Lesley Gore

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together,
Brighter than a lucky penny,
When you're near the rain cloud disappears, dear,
And I feel so fine just to know that you are mine.

My life is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
That's how this refrain goes, so come on, join in everybody!

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
Everything that's wonderful is sure to come your way
When you're in love to stay.

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together,
Brighter than a lucky penny,
When you're near the rain cloud disappears, dear,
And I feel so fine just to know that you are mine.

My life is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
That's how this refrain goes, so come on, join in everybody!

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows,
Everything that's wonderful is sure to come your way
'Cause you're in love, you're in love,
And love is here to stay! 

Friday, May 10

summerberry tea and brokenhearted conversation

     I was having a quick cup of tea with a friend tonight.  QUICK being the word - as she stopped by for about half an hour - enough time to hug her, hug her son, show her around, pour her a cup of tea and have a very quick visit.  But, quick or not - it was good.  Very Good.  It had been too long.  I miss her visits!
     But our conversation went toward talking about what is happening within our circles ... especially within marriages.  
     And after she left, I just could not seem to shake those thoughts. The brokenness happening within our community, our families, our friends, and our church family.  It seems that things are in a downward spiral, and very out of control  in some ways.  Longtime marriages are disintegrating and falling apart left and right.  Families are fracturing all over the place and children are caught up in the mix.  The things that used to be so black and white have become muddy and murky and greyer than grey. We just heard some statistics about Christians who have walked away from church going.  And church attendance is whittling down to about one Sunday out of four.  People we held in high regard are walking away from their faith, or are justifying what they are doing, as if to convince us that we are the ones who are now judgmental because how dare we think that what they are doing is wrong? At the time I was being raised, (whether right or wrong) things like movie going and card playing were wrong, let alone smoking, drinking or swearing.  Now we just laugh at those things, because they are really the least of our worries, except for families who have loved ones caught up in the addictions of drugs or alcohol. (our extended family deals with this) Now sin has become justified, alluring, exciting and yet they are still saying it is all good, they are more in love with Jesus than ever before .... why do Christians think it is okay?  What has happened.  Seriously, I don't buy it.  It is all just a matter of time I think, until God steps in and puts an end to some of the things I see happening.  He has a way of bringing the reality of sin to our surface.  
     These days, it seems it is all we can do, to become aware of the calamity all around us.  We weep for what was and now what is.  We stand in numbness when we see someone and hardly recognize their new life, even though they are trying to convince us that they are happier than they ever were before.  We stand and watch family units break down, and some limp along for years before a final severing takes place.  We suggest names of counsellors, and perhaps spend hours sitting alongside, wiping tears and holding hands.  Sometimes we just stand in utter fog - seeing and yet not really believing.  Hearing but not comprehending.  Weeping inside at what was, and what we hoped would be, and what it now is. And we stand there in our shock, not knowing what to do, or not do.  What to say, or not say.  How to enter in, or stand back because the walls are too strong and high around a person.
     I will be the first to admit that life is very hard.  It is hard with Jesus, and I can't imagine how people do the hard part of life without him.  I will also say that often I do not know what to do when there is pain, or hardship.  When there is breakdown of communication.  Muddling through the aftermath, the carnage ... is hard work, and often NOT for the faint of heart, or weak kneed!  Nothing is harder than entering a room where it feels like a bomb has just gone off and blown the hearts of the people into pieces.    It is hard to know how to bind up the broken hearted.  Or to stand alongside of the emotionally injured.  It is hard to know how to carry the wounded, especially when you feel wounded yourself.
     Sometimes it is hard enough to work through our own junk - let alone trying to walk alongside of someone else who is waist deep in their own quicksand of emotional, mental and spiritual stuff.  I know, because Alvin and I walked through stuff that seemed like it was going to suck us under.  We wept more tears than I could believe we would have.  We separated ourselves from people who we felt were responsible for pain in our lives.  We at times were angry.  We wept with our counsellor.  We allowed people to walk with us and were thankful when they listened, and when they sometimes asked the hard questions, or spoke words to us that perhaps we didn't want to hear at the time. It was hard to work through our stuff - our "hurt" while at the same time trying to live a "normal" life.  Normal - ha, ha ... I heard it said that "normal is only a setting on a dryer".
     Back in 2005 and 2006 when I had my near-death experience and serious hospital stays I took on the new motto for my life - "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  Yep, it does.  Why do you think diamonds shine ... or gold is so brilliant.  Because of heat and high pressure .
     During those times going through our stuff (our hurt, heartbreak, grief and despair) I learned alot.  I learned that I will only tell someone about my stuff, if I feel safe with them, and this usually means that I have some kind of relationship with them.   I have also learned that it is sometimes easy to just shove everything inside, or put it out of sight, out of mind ... but sooner or later - it rears its ugly head!  I have come to value honesty in relationships, and transparency.  That usually give way to vulnerability.  Hmmm... authenticity and vulnerability - not very inviting for the most part! (But so necessary)
     More than anything however, I have come to see the part that Jesus plays in my life.  In the most vulnerable places - he is there.  We really could not do life without HIM.
Since the hardest part of my life happened - that being the death of my grandson in 2008 - I learned alot about what I value in my life, in my walk with the Lord and in my relationships with my family and my friends.  I sometimes have laughed about not having a filter any more.  I have tried to temper the things that I sometimes say - perhaps sometimes I come across a little too off the cuff.  I know that I hate pretending.
     Our lives are packed full these days - certainly it can be all good stuff - but the thing is - I want to invest in relationships that are life giving and growing.  We can not be all things to all people - and honestly, no one has the time to be that way.  I once said to on of the guy pastors that I was working with - that he was a "smoozer" because I watched him flit through the event saying a word here, a word there and moving from one to the other but only spending a minute or two if that, in conversation with people.  He acknowledged that yes, he was a smoozer and seemed to be fine with that.  However, I knew from my personality type, that I did better in the small group, spending time with one person at a time - making some quality time.  I have also come to value looking into the eyes of someone as I talk.  The eyes are the window to the soul they say.  I am always a little concerned when someone talks and tell me how they are, yet doesn't look me in the eyes.  Something seems amiss.
     I value the fact that people will take the time to talk but also take the time to listen.  We need to give and take in conversations.  I value honesty.  Don't try to pull the wool over my eyes ... I am older and more experienced in life, and I am onto you!  If you don't want to answer - tell me.  I will respect that.  If I am pushing you on something - tell me - all I ask is that you are honest with me. If I am asking you, I really hope you know that I just want to care for you, but I need to know really where you are at.  I used to love that about my friend Maxine.  When I was going through my hardest times of my depression, she would usually say, "how are you?" and well, depending on that day - I would sometimes say, "fine" to which she would stop me and say, "how are you REALLY" to which I knew it was time for some heart to heart - eye to eye - pull up a chair conversation.  I learned alot from her during those times!
     I think that when I was in pastoral ministry and since, my eyes have been opened to the need for us to turn our chairs towards one another and engage in caring for each other.  Just like in a family - and I thank God for the husband and kids we have.  I am not trying to brag, forgive me if it comes across like that, but I am glad that we can read one another pretty well - and are brave enough to call each other out on things, or to just hug when it seems just a hug is needed, or to ask the hard question at times.  I am thankful we can be open and honest. And there is no pretense.  Life is far too short for pretending!  I have heard Dr. Larry Crabb say that the church is the most underused resource for caring for one another - for doing the SoulCare as he calls it.  Why is that?  Because perhaps we are too scared to ask or to hold one another accountable?  Or are we too scared to care for someone because then we may have to say the hard thing?  Or are we too worried that we are inadequate in knowing how to care.  Or perhaps we are just too busy TO care.
     So then ... we sit over a cup of tea, and share with one another the heartache we are feeling about the pain within our circles of family, of friends, and our church community.  Why do we feel like there is more brokenness in the world?  Is there actually just that much more?  Or is it because people are just not hiding it any more?  Someone actually said to me today ... is it a sign of the end times?
     I am not sure - all I know is that it is all around us. Pain.  Deception.  Hurt.  Anxiety.  Divorce.  Brokenness.  Sickness.  Death.  And sometimes the illusion of peace when peace is no where to be found. All of these things - has invaded all our circles. But people are acting like it is all okay.  But somehow God gives us eyes to see through that facade, and we weep over the brokenness.  And even as we sit and drink tea with friends that we love - we become brutally aware of the fact that our hearts hurt.

O Lord, hear our prayers on behalf of those who are disillusioned, who are walking away from following you, who are in pain and brokenness.  Lord, bind up the brokenhearted.  Be with those who mourn.  Restore the joy.  O Lord, repair relationships.  Open the eyes of those blinded by sin. And Lord, in your mercy, bring us to our knees over the sin in our life - sin that separates, that breaks relationship with you, and with one another.  And Lord, please give me a heart that cares.  Please give me ears that listen.  Please give me a heart that breaks with them - but a heart that is also willing to reach out, and to help to bind up the brokenhearted with your love, your mercy and your grace.  Show us Lord, please show us - how to be an extension of you - in all ways.  O Lord, please, hear my prayers.

Wednesday, May 8


Last Sunday was a bittersweet day
of remembering
of missing
of tears
of laughter
of song
of spoken words
of hugs
of shoveled mud
of flowers
of helium balloons set free

Last Sunday
it was 17 years since I said good-bye to my mom
oh how I miss her so
and because my niece (as the firstborn)
had a special love for Granny
they intentionally chose May 5th as the burial date
this was the back of the stone
words could never be more true!

Last Sunday
I stood at the open grave in a quiet country cemetery
and performed the service of my niece
and we laid her ashes to rest
oh how we miss her so too!

the place where remembering love
and big smiles
warm hugs and
sweet words
remembering laughter and joy
but also all too present sorrow and sadness

Her sister brought balloons
and as each one let go of theirs
as a tribute towards our sweet niece
we watched
as they scooted past the trees and up over them
and towards the lake

We are constantly reminded
that life is but a vapor...
that our days are ordained for us
before even one comes to be

We are constantly reminded that this world
is full of joy and sorrow
of happiness and sadness
of completeness and of brokenness

We are constantly reminded that God -
Sovereign God
knows all
and is in charge

And as we left that day
walking across the field towards our cars
i knew that while this portion was completed
the rest of the journey is one that will last our whole lives
until we are together again
in heaven
with those we love, whom Jesus has called home.

And i was reminded again
that we grieve
but not as others who have no hope
Jesus is our hope.
And in my heart
I smiled

till we are together again in heaven sweet one ...
I miss you
I love you
always will

Monday, May 6

Compromise and Erosion

My husband and I get emails each morning - from Insight for Living (Charles Swindoll's ministry) and lately, they have been our lifeline as we have been speaking into others lives.  The truth of the matter is - we are NOT the only individuals that speak into someone else's life!  We all speak into lives - not just our families, but others, be it friends, workplace associates, acquaintances who come into your home or your business, etc.  Alvin and I have sensed a very strong call on our lives over the past couple years especially.  I won't get into all of that - but thing is, we have come to realize the importance of grounded, and about being in the word (and we come at that in different ways, like each of us studies the Word of God differently, yet we all receive a blessing and the words of truth!!), and the importance of prayer, and also the importance of confession daily, as none of us are without sin!

ANYHOW ... for the past little while, we have been looking forward to each morning, as we check our email, whether on the computer or on the ipod - to see what we have been sent today!!  Alvin checked his ipod this morning while he was getting ready to leave for work, and then told me he had left it open for me to read as "it is such a good one" were his words as he kissed me good-bye.

This email - called Compromise and Erosion spoke into our hearts today.  This is the life that I want to lead.  This is the life I want to call others to.  (Oh Lord, help me to live a life that is of wholehearted devotion to you!!)  Help me Lord, to live a life of NO COMPROMISE in regards to you and my faith journey.

I hope it is okay for me to post it here.  it says that we can share it - so here it is.  Perhaps it is for you today too.

Compromise and Erosion
by Charles R. Swindoll
The Hebrews' ancient hymnal begins with a song that addresses one of life's most common grinds: compromise. Please understand, I'm not referring to those give-and-take times so necessary for living in harmony with one another. Without that healthy kind of compromise, nations could never find a meeting ground for peaceful coexistence and family members would forever be at each other's throats.

I'm thinking, rather, of compromising with wrong, allowing the slow-moving tentacles of evil to wrap themselves around us, squeezing the joys and rewards of obedience from our lives. It happens so silently, so subtly, we hardly realize it's taking place. Like an enormous oak that has decayed for years from within and then suddenly falls, those who permit the eroding grind of compromise can expect an ultimate collapse.

I recall reading years ago of the construction of a city hall and fire station in a small northern Pennsylvania community. All the citizens were so proud of their new red brick structure---a long-awaited dream come true. Not too many weeks after moving in, however, strange things began to happen. Several doors failed to shut completely and a few windows wouldn't slide open very easily. As time passed, ominous cracks began to appear in the walls. Within a few months, the front door couldn't be locked since the foundation had shifted, and the roof began to leak. By and by, the little building that was once the source of great civic pride had to be condemned. The culprit proved to be a controversial coal extraction process called "longwall mining," deep in the earth beneath the foundation. Soil, rock, and coal had been removed by the tons so that the building sat on a foundation that had no support of its own. Because of this man-made erosion, the building began to sink.

So it is with compromise in a life. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, one rationalization leads to another, which triggers a series of equally damaging alterations in a life that was once stable, strong, and reliable. That seems to be the concern of the psalmist as he composes his first song, which encourages us to resist even the slightest temptation to compromise our convictions.

The Passage and Its Pattern

The First Psalm is brief and simple, direct and profound. Even a casual reading of these six verses leads us to see that it is filled with contrasts between two different walks of life---the godly and the ungodly. A simple yet acceptable outline of Psalm 1 would be:
I. The Godly Life (Psalm 1:1-3)
II. The Ungodly Life (1:4-6)
Written between the lines of this ancient song is evidence of the age-old battle in which all of us are engaged: compromise---the erosion of our good intentions.

Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved. 

Saturday, May 4

she knew the song

I had a sweet little moment tonight.  I had gotten my little granddaughter diapered, and changed into her sleeper for night.  The instructions are - once she is changed, sit with her, sing a song, pray and put on her sleep sack and tuck her in for night.  Well, since she is 5 months, she didn't protest at all .. and I came upon a very sweet moment.  It happened when I sang to her.  Now, it wasn't my voice!  It was the song.  Ashley had mentioned that they sing "I Love You Lord" and so I thought I would sing the same one.  As soon as I started to sing it, Mattie quieted and looked up at me while I sang.  She obviously recognized the song.  I mentioned that to Ashley in a text, and she said that is usually the song she sings only at bedtime, so that is likely why.

5 months old, and she knows the song.  Of course, she didn't sing it - but I have no doubt that she will, once she is old enough to sing.

I loved how the words calmed her.  I loved how she stilled.  I loved how she looked at me while I sang.  She knew.

The words are beautiful - perhaps I need to start singing this more often - to still my heart in those times when it needs to be stilled!!

I love you Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you, O my soul rejoice
Take joy my King, in what you hear
May it be a sweet sweet sound, in your ears.

O Lord, yes!  I love you.

Friday, May 3

feeling out of sync - feeling messy

it happens easily ...
or that is how it feels
when my emotional, my physical, and my spiritual get out of sync
it is all so intertwined
when I don't eat right - I have pain (and man, do I have pain these days)
when I have pain - I sometimes feel emotionally messy
when I am emotionally messy I eat for comfort
when I eat comfort foods, I end up having more pain, and also feeling the reality of it becoming
more of a spiritual battle (in regards to filling my needs with food)
and then ...
well you get it.
feeling out of sync
feeling messy

in my life lately
there has been so much awareness of brokenness
in my circle of friendships and acquaintances
there has been so much grief
within that circle
broken marriages
walking away from christian values
loss of babies
physical health issues
parent/child issues
struggling relationships within families
within church families too
my heart aches

and right about this same time,
as my heart is broken for others
it also breaks for me
and I realize how much MORE
my heavenly Father's heart knows, and breaks, and loves ...
my friends
my acquaintances
the ones who feel downtrodden
the ones who, like me - are perhaps feeling messy
because we feel out of sync inside
because we have our own stuff to bring and lay down before the feet of Christ
let alone our brokenness over others

feeling messy
is nothing new for me
in fact,
i usually can tell right away, almost upon waking
when i am in a funk (which is what I call it)
and it usually means
that i need to cry out even more often
to the one who knows all
hears all
answers all
sees all
and still loves me!!

He is my maker - my God - the great I AM.
And oh my heart -
I love him
My Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ.

This song has been running through my heart this morning - thought I would share.