Another Love Song...

Another Love Song...

I've been thinking about the true love that we all crave in our heart of hearts. It's a love that we only get glimpses of in this life in this broken world.

So here's another love song (remember the last post?)...one that we usually connect romantically and emotionally to that favorite someone. But again, truly...if we listen to the words...can we really sing it to another human being? I suspect that if I really honestly sing a song like this one to someone on this earth, then I would probably be making that someone a "god" in my life.

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A Love Song to Jesus

A Love Song to Jesus

When my husband John and I were seniors at the University of Arizona, the Carpenters were at the top of the music charts.   We embraced them as our group who sang our songs as we were "a-courting."  Their mellow sound and rich melodies fed our romantic feelings toward each other and toward life in general. At our wedding, we danced to, you may have guessed it, "We've Only Just Begun." Lyrics like "White lace and promises, a kiss for luck and we're on our way" made it the perfect song to start out a new marriage...or so we thought.

But as the years have rolled by and reality and maturity have set in, so has the realization that the romantic expectations of youth are so unrealistic and can only truly be fulfilled by an Almighty God.

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Findings in the File: Memoirs from days gone by

Findings in the File: Memoirs from days gone by

A few years ago, I did a series I called "Findings in the File." As I was making an attempt to clean out files (which still hasn't totally happened), I found treasure after treasure buried there. And  just the other day, I had another "finding in a file"... ok, notebook, hidden in one of those infamous files. It was such fun to find. 

Since I'm working on sharing my spiritual journey with a new Bible study group soon to begin, it was a delightful "trip into yesteryear" when I found this -- a "life story and favorite things." It was a presentation done with a small group of precious friends back in 2007, who shared their memoirs also. And then we celebrated each other's lives. What joy!

And so now I thought maybe I would just share my "outline"found in that notebook, in that file...just for fun of it and to encourage you to think about your own life with the "mind of Christ" and gratitude for the treasure that is YOU!

But first, something that came at the end of my outline, but I don't want you to miss if you have just a few minutes to read -- truths still most precious to me. I hope they encourage you too.

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This Day, This Bread

This Day, This Bread

I'm receiving Christ's fullness as my daily portion, morning by morning, day by day.

Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
John 1:16 NIV

And so as I embrace HIM for my day, moment by moment, I'm also revisiting some of my previous meditations.

Would you like to join in and relearn with me? I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded often of that which I already know. But I need to know it today ... in my real life ... now.

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Grace upon Grace ... Bread upon Bread

Our Father ... give us this day our daily bread.

I love my word for the year, daily bread. (You can read the story behind it here)But it wasn't always so. In fact, would you believe that after embracing it as perfect for the stress I was feeling, I began to feel cheated. 

Cheated? How could that be?

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"Daily Bread" in the Words of Babes

"Daily Bread" in the Words of Babes

For the past almost three weeks, my husband and I have been with our daughter Beth, her husband Nate, and their three lively sons, Kaden, Eli, and William. The plan was to celebrate Christmas together, make a quick dash north for a family wedding, then back to Beth & Nate's to help with a move. 

But one by one, we "were dropping like flies" into a viral infection that just wouldn't let go. We all pushed through as much as possible and somehow it all got done.

But in the midst of it all, I was able to enjoy my usual treasured practice ...

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A New Word for the Year ... a renewed confidence for each day!

A New Word for the Year ... a renewed confidence for each day!

Have you heard of choosing a word for your year? Several years ago, there were some well known authors who encouraged the practice. But to tell you the truth, no matter what I chose, it wouldn't "stick." I had to work too hard to remember it and why I even chose it in the first place.

Until last year, 2016! Bingo!

 

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Facing the New Year without Regret

Facing the New Year without Regret

Another year, another 365 days to accumulate regrets! Loved ones have passed into eternity; opportunities have flown by because we have delayed too long ... and on and on. So I'm sharing this, one of my most visited blog posts over the years. May we all be able to face the fresh regrets of 2016, many of which are valid, and place them in the loving arms of our Savior. Amen.

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Enter Their World ... I Entered Yours!

Enter Their World ... I Entered Yours!

I'm reflecting now that the Christmas dust has settled. Reflecting on the whirlwind that just occurred. And again I've learned a precious lesson ... all through a precious grandson, my 10 year old Kaden. I've written of other spiritual times with him, but this one contained lessons for my own life right here, right now.

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Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven (A Children's Carol)

Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven (A Children's Carol)

There's a song that's been going through my mind and heart these Advent days.  I even find myself bursting into a line of lyric here and there. The thoughts I love most in it are truths that have become more and more precious to me as I reflect Advent after Advent -- that our Emmanuel came to earth from heaven, not just to pay for our sins (as crucial as that is), but also to give us His divine eternal LIFE...deity indwelling our humanity.  We can become children of Almighty God!!!

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4th Week of Advent: I Wonder as I Wander

4th Week of Advent:  I Wonder as I Wander

My friend Penny is a walker (a very serious, fast walker, by the way).  But Penny doesn't just walk for exercise, she also "walks" closely with the Lord.  So when Penny shares, I listen. And when she shared about a favorite Christmas carol, it made me take notice. Why?  Because while walking, Penny has been doing what this song describes.

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Advent Devotions: the WITH-ness of our God {His Presence in prepositions}

Advent Devotions:  the WITH-ness of our God {His Presence in prepositions}

Isn't it wonderful when someone wants to spend time with us?  Not just a token, obligatory, "showing up" to either fulfill an obligation, salve guilt, or ask for something...a real wanting to be with us.

As special as it is in human relationships, think how amazing it is when we realize that the Sovereign God of the universe has wanted to be with us!  Yes, US!  and according to the Bible words used, we see that in Jesus, our Emmanuel, He is with us on every level possible.

In the original language of the New Testament, there are three Greek words that can be translated with.  With is one of a group of many words we call prepositions.  Don't worry about the grammar of it all.  Just keep in mind that the key idea with prepositions is relationship.

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3rd Week of Advent: EMMANUEL, Our God is WITH Us...

3rd Week of Advent:  EMMANUEL, Our God is WITH Us...

If ever we needed to know God is WITH us in every possible way, it's NOW, after another year of the unanswerable "why's" of life.  We struggle to make sense of all the violence, suffering, and injustice we see all around us.  Though we can't know the answers, we can turn afresh to the One Who has us in the palm of His Hand. The God Who became One of us...flesh and bone and joint and sinew...who experienced every emotion possible, raw and gripping, tender and affectionate!  He felt it all!  And He feels our current struggle with us too!

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Advent Devotions: Hail, the Incarnate Deity!

Advent Devotions:  Hail, the Incarnate Deity!

We would give up everything we've ever written to have penned this one verse, a stanza that comes as close as is humanly possible to capturing the splendor of who Jesus is. 
Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ, by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola, p. 173-174

What is that one verse? that one stanza?  Authors Sweet & Viola are referring to the last stanza of the well-known carol, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.

In my opinion, however, it isn't just the last stanza that is all glorious with the splendor of Christ...it's the entire song. In fact, even the stanzas that were removed* from the older version are splendid indeed.  But I'm getting ahead of the story.

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2nd Week of Advent: the Really Good News -- GOD with US!

2nd Week of Advent:  the Really Good News -- GOD with US!

"The Good News isn't just that Jesus died for our sins.  The Good News is EMMANUEL...GOD WITH US!"  So declared Deb at the end of our Bible Study.

As John and I drove home that evening, we reflected on her statement.  We recalled a conversation we had had years before when we were discussing what the heart of the gospel ("Good News") is.   The Good News isn't just that our sins are forgiven so we can go to heaven someday (and now we just do the best we can in the meantime).

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