Tag Archive | peace

Your Presence, Like Rain

Oh my…the rain is refreshing after the intense heat lately.  The grass seems greener, bird’s songs are sweeter, and the air carries a cool comfort that I forgot I even missed.

Refreshed

But sweeter than the rain to my soul, is the very Presence of the Lord.  Through Him, my dry heart is softened, my mind cleared, and my voice can carry songs and encouragement not present within myself to utter.

I’ve posted a song today, that might bring a little refreshement, like rain, to your thirsty soul.  It has to mine.  Holy Spirit is a deeply worshipful song, by Bryan and Katie Torwalt.  I can’t promise rain wherever you live, but I can promise, that if you quiet your heart, shut your eyes for just five mintues, and listen to this song, the Lord will minister comfort to you…with His Presence.

~~~~~~

Holy Spirit

by Bryan & Katie Torwalt

There is nothing worth more
That will ever come close
Nothing can compare
You’re our Living Hope

Your Presence

I’ve tasted and I’ve seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone

Your presence Lord

Holy Spirit
You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by
Your presence Lord

Your presence Lord

There is nothing worth more
That will ever come close
You are our Living Hope
Your presence Lord
I’ve tasted and I’ve seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart is set free
And my shame is undone

Holy Spirit
You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by
Your presence Lord

Let us become more aware of Your presence
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness
Lord

Holy Spirit
You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by
Your presence Lord

~~~~~

This song is available for download at Amazon Music, Itunes, and Jesus Culture. 

Peace in every way

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all!”
2 Thess. 3:16

~~~

My devotional today…one verse.

The Lord of Peace

Himself

continually

give

you

PEACE

at ALL times

in

Every

Way.

Matthew Henry comments on the wonder of this prayer and promise:

The apostle prays for the Thessalonians. And let us desire the same blessings for ourselves and our friends. Peace with God. This peace is desired for them always, or in every thing. Peace by all means; in every way; that, as they enjoyed the means of grace, they might use all method to secure peace.

We need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire any thing better for ourselves and our friends, than to have God’s gracious presence with us and them–no matter where we are, if God be with us; nor who is absent, if God be present. It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we hope to have peace with God, and to enjoy the presence of God. This grace is all in all to make us happy; though we wish ever so much to others, there remains enough for ourselves.

I pray that you may have peace in every way today…from the Lord Himself, the Lord of Peace and Grace.

 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
2 Thess. 3:16 (NIV)

~~

[Brief disclaimer for my blogging absence the past few months.  Many new travels, places, battles, faces…and little discipline to write through it all.  Your patience is appreciated as I press on with writing, albeit, with small steps.]

Don’t Fear Their Fear

How do we face the news in this world around us?  What do we feel or think when we wake up to news like today’s, that an 8.9 magnitude earthquake in the western Pacific region just caused death, destruction and devastation in Japan, and tsunami warnings have been issued all along the Pacific Rim? [1]

Even before we get out of bed, we awake to a battlefield of fear and anxiety, whether real or imagined.  Do we just ignore those fears?  Jesus says to face them…His way:

“In the world you will have tribulation.”

but

“Take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He didn’t mince words and say everything was going to be rosy or carefree, but He said, He has overcome the world–He is the ultimate triumph, beyond any fear or dread we face.  We can get so wrapped up in all the issues swirling around us, but God calls His people to think differently than others (Isaiah 8:12, 13):  

“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’  in regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.’

When the Lord tells us not to fear, He always gives the reason why:

It is the LORD of Hosts whom you should regard as holy.  And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread.  Then He shall become a sanctuary..”

Jesus has overcome the world.   When we believe in Him and fully surrender to Him as our sovereign and merciful Lord, He becomes a place of rest and peace for us–a sanctuary.  Isaiah describes a sanctuary as: 

“…a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection (a hiding place) from the storm and the rain.”  Isaiah 4:6

Jesus is our Hiding Place. 

“For in the day of trouble, He will conceal me in His shelter, in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.”  Psalm 27:5

We have a shelter, a hiding place, in our loving Saviour whom the world does not seek.  We don’t have to fear their fear.  Jesus is with us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

~~~

Dear Lord, You know that as soon as we awake, our minds take us to fearful places.  Some of these places are real, and many more, imagined.  We submit our thoughts and fears to you today, and trust in You.  Lift us above their fears–the ones shouted from the media and all around–and be a barrier, a hiding place, where we can enter into Your rest.  Our hope is in You.  And after you comfort us, help us to take this Hope to others whose hearts are failing them for fear.  We know and are known by the Lord who has overcome the world!  In His wonderful name, Amen.

~~~

“…Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, with gentleness and respect.   I Peter 3:14, 15

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are so many encouraging Scriptures to explore regarding the peace we can have in Jesus as we journey through this troubled world.  Please come back every Friday to learn more!

 

[1] And please pray for Japan, and all the lives affected by this awful event!

 

 

God of This City – The Song

“And they will call you the city of the Lord!”  Isaiah 60:14

“And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”  Revelation 21:24

We are the city of the Lord…and He is Lord of our city!   The following song by Chris Tomlin can take on many meanings;  it can apply to the geographical city in which we live, the spiritual city He has made us to be in Christ, and the eternal city to come, the place He has prepared for us.

For “Part One”, I simply want to give you another song of worship!  More thoughts on this will follow later this week!  I uploaded this in the Blue Music Box so you can listen, worship and sing to the Lord!  Blessings to all of you! 

 

God of This City
by Chris Tomlin

You’re the God of this City
You’re the King of these people
You’re the Lord of this nation
You are

You’re the Light in this darkness
You’re the Hope to the hopeless
You’re the Peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

There is no one like our god
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here.

 

Come as You Are

Last week, as I found myself stuck in traffic and my schedule completely shaken, a song came on the radio that brought me both to tears and worship.  The song grabbed me in the first five words, “He’s not mad at you.”  

Maybe you need to hear this today, too.  If so, click on this link to see and hear them play a beautiful acoustic version:  “Come As You Are” Acoustic | Pocket Full of Rocks, or listen to the song in my Blue Music Box to the right.

 

Come As You Are

He’s not mad at you
He’s not disappointed
His grace is greater still,
than all of your wrong choices
He is full of mercy and he is ever kind
Hear his invitation, His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Louder than the voice that whispers your unworthy
Hear the sound of love,
that tells a different story
Shattering your darkness and pushing through the lies
How tenderly he calls you,
His arms are open wide

You can come as you are,
with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

You can come as you are

You can come as you are with all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart,
bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are!

Written and sung by Pocket Full of Rocks, from their third CD, “More Than Noise.”    

The Great Exchange

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become  the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”  2 Cor. 8:9

 

Sin. Poverty. Condemnation. Alienation. Death.  All we have, all we are, all we can look forward to, apart from Christ.

Righteousness. Justification.  Spiritual riches.  Grace.  Love. Eternal life.   All, and much, much more transferred to us in Christ–from the moment he said, “It is finished” and we received His sacrifical exchange.

We can’t begin to fathom the glory, the goodness, the blessings and riches which this great exchange means for us, but a poem from The Valley of Vision touches on a few:

 

…at Calvary
There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son,
made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;

There the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy fellow;
There thy infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.

Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy
that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst,
that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkenns that I might have eternal light.

My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might for ever live.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou might spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;

Help me to adore thee by lips and life.

O, that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight, as I see
my enemies crushed,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell’s gates closed,
heaven’s portal open.

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross,
might to subdue,
comfort, and save
!

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

This wasn’t always one of my favourite tunes of the season.  What I perceived as a plodding pace and dark minor key, didn’t express Christmas exuberance as I once preferred.

However..

That all changed when I listened to Johnny Cash’s recording of this song, and heard bright hopefulness through deep pain.

And so goes the history of this original poem by American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Longfellow’s fairly pleasant life turned upside down in 1861 when the Civil War began.  Only one day later, his wife died tragically in a home fire.  Then in 1863, he learned that his oldest son, Charles, was critically wounded in battle.   Longfellow’s journalings reveal a broken heart and despair, stating that his holidays were ‘inexpressibly sad.’

However, on Christmas Day, 1864, Longfellow truly Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and penned this poem.   Several stanzas of his original writing aren’t included in modern day hymnals, probably because of their specific references to the Civil War.   That’s regrettable, because each verse is part of a complete story.  What begins with obvious despair and grief, continues with a thread of hope, and concludes with the triumphant message of God’s faithfulness–He is NOT dead!–and only in Him is found peace on earth, good will to men.

I’ve included all the original verses, and uploaded two terrific versions of this song in the blue Music Box; one by Johnny Cash from his CD, The Christmas Spirit,  the other, by Casting Crowns on their Peace on Earth CD.

 

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

 
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
 
 
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
 
 
Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
 
 
Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
 

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

 

Fresh, Full, Free Mercies

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!”

 Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

 

New babies.  Old friends. Travels.  Rest.  Weddings.  Cancer.  Answered prayers.  Unanswered prayers.   Strength.  Weakness.   Faith.  Wavering.  Trust.  Waiting.   Evening fears.  Morning mercies.

  = My mind at a glance.

That’s why I have to read and reflect on the Word every single day.  If not, my musings and anxious thoughts would overwhelm me and prey on my mind and spirit–and eventually my health!   Today, the Lord reminds me/us of His mercies, which are new every morning! 

The following is an excerpt from Spurgeon’s devotional, Morning by Morning:

“Meditate a little on this mercy of the Lord.

It is tender mercy.  With gently, loving touch, He heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds. 

It is great mercy.  There is nothing little in God.  His mercy is like Himself: it is infinite.  You cannot measure it.  His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then, it gives great favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God.

It is undeserved mercy..as indeed, all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. ..

It is rich mercy.  Some things are great, but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is an encouragement to drooping spirits; a golden ointment to bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to broken bones; a royal chariot for weary feet; and an embrace of love for trembling hearts.

It is manifold mercy. As Bunyan said, ‘All the flowers in God’s garden are double.’  There is no single mercy.  You may think you have but one mercy, but you will find it to be a whole cluster of mercies.

It is abounding mercy.  Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted, it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever.

It is unfailing mercy.  It will never leave you.  If [God’s] mercy is your friend, mercy will be with you in temptation to keep you from yielding, with you in trouble to prevent you from sinking; with you in living to be the light and life of your countenance; and with you in dying to be the joy of your soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.”

So take comfort, O my soul, and lean on His mercy for today, while the sun yet rises.

Hope for More

I haven’t written a post lately, with the intent purpose of keeping the last post on the Lord’s faithfulness foremost on my heart and on the blog.  This beautiful assurance, can comfort us through most anything in this life!

But I still forget!!  Why?!  Probably because I’m focusing on THIS life and not the ultimate plan the Lord has for me, my family, and every single person that has ever lived.  I’m trying to make sense of all the sufferings of others or myself, the trials, pains, difficulties, tragedies, and bad news all around me.  But it doesn’t make sense.  It only confuses matters more when I look for satisfaction, peace, and ‘good feelings’ in this life and bruised world.

Then I recall what I’m supposed to do:

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down the the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless.”  2 Peter 3:13,14

It’s not about all that I have or don’t have, the successes and failures, or as Spurgeon says, “the losses and crosses”… for as Peter said,

“…[be] firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”  I Peter 5:9,10

“…He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away…”

“and He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold I am making all things new.’  And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.‘”  Revelation 20:4, 5

What a Hope we have!!

The song that comes to mind as I determine to keep an eternal perspective, with hope for something much more than this life is, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.”  I know, I’ve posted it before ( Look to Jesus – 2), but it bears repeating.  If not for anyone else, at least, for me.  🙂

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

[Chorus]
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Chorus

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Chorus

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

 

This is in the Blue Music Box…#19…sung by Mary Barrett!!  Listen and be at peace, knowing our Lord holds us, and this fallen world, in His gracious and loving hands!   Hope!!

Psalm 23 – Scottish Psalter

Over the millenniums, many writers have used their talents to put the Psalms to music and metric verse.  The Church of Scotland published their version in The Scottish Psalter of 1635.  My husband has a very tiny, pocket-size KJV Bible which contains all these Psalms in rhyme.  Here is Psalm 23:

The Lord’s my Shepherd, Ill not want
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green: He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E’en for His own name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill:
For Thou art with me, and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me:
And in God’s house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.