Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Advent

I stepped out on our kitchen patio one morning this week to take the above photo.

The valley was blanketed under a thick fog but the snow capped mountains rose up above it glistening in the morning sun.

As I stood gazing at the view I thought about a scripture in Col. 3:2 "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

How easy it is to become 'blanketed' by the cares of this earthly life - to allow the disappointments, the worries, the endless duties to completely hide from our heart-view the glory of the things above.
The people of the valley had no idea of the beauty above them that awed my heart.
Where I saw blue sky and snow capped peaks, they saw only fogged shadows.
Where I saw the promise of the rising sun, they sat in shrouded uncertainty.
Where I saw the heavens , they saw only the earth beneath them.
Hope - the theme of the First Advent. No matter how deep our dispair, no matter how heavy our burdens or our doubt.. there is always HOPE.
Hope that is real ! Hope that will not disappoint any one who puts their faith in Jesus.. the promised Messiah.
Jesus, the Light shining into a dark world, melting the fog of doubt and fear!
Whatever earthly thing weighs you down, shine God's hope upon it and view it from above!
"Now may the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in HOPE! " Rom. 15:13

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Little Child

I love the tender heart of God .
We see it in so many places. It is reflected in the delicate beauty of a Mandevilla bloom and the gently falling snow flakes I'm watching outside my window.

I also see God's tender heart in the story of Jonah. While Jonah wished judgment on the people of Ninevah and destruction of their city, God's tenderness reached out in mercy to the little children and even the animals.

Perhaps you have seen the video of the little girl telling the story of Jonah, but if you haven't, the link is here .... . She recites the narrative so well... and her childlike innocence catches the heart of the story. Being able to memorize it all is one thing , to tell it with such natural expression is another!

One of my favorite verses is in Luke 10:21 - the words of Jesus - "I praise You Father, Lord of heaven and earth that You have hidden these things from the wise and prodent and revealed them to babes. Even so Father, for so it seemed good to Your sight."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Song in the Night

A few nights ago, I lay unable to sleep.
Searching for a way to turn off my mind, I tried to think of a song.

While I love music and have a fairly good memory, I am not like some who can remember songs and lyrics with ease.
In fact, when I tried to remember a song well enough to sing it to myself, my mind remained blank!

I let my mind drift back to my childhood and immediately "Blessed Assurance" flashed across my memory - a hymn I have not sung or heard in years.
The words and melody drifted through my mind and I was so surprised that I remembered the lyrics. The beauty of the song in my heart carried me into a restful sleep.

Before I share the beautiful words with you ... let me tell you about the author in case you have forgotten or perhaps never heard of her.

Her name was Fanny Crosby -- She was born in America in 1820 and died in 1915.
She is known for her poetic lyrics - she wrote over 8,000 hymns in her lifetime. The words flowed from the bubbling over love in her heart for her Savior.
But Fanny's life was not 'perfect'. Some time after she was born, her parents were forced to face a parent's heartbreak. Their beloved baby girl was born blind!
She must have had very wise parents because she did not spend her life feeling sorry for herself and what she missed.

A preacher once sympathetically remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you."

She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?"

"Why?" asked the surprised clergyman.

"Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"
Are your troubles really as big as you think they are? Have you given them to the one who offered to carry all our burdens ? Have you considered that what you view as your greatest obstacle could actually be a gift in disguise?

Read the lyrics of 'Blessed Assurance' and let the depth and meaning and beauty of the words sink deep into your heart. May they encourage and bless you today !!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.