Thursday, October 29, 2009

High Places

God setteth the solitary in families... (vs. 6)

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (vs. 19)

-From Psalm 68

Ponder that for just a moment. Let it fill you up inside. The Almighty God of the universe doesn't leave us alone. He places us in families. He gives us brothers and sisters. He doesn't want us to wander through this world alone. Our pilgrimage is not to be isolated. We have a family. Families, to be exact. I have families sweetly settled in Jasper, Tuscaloosa, Akron, Birmingham, Orlando, Dallas, all throughout the U.S., the Phillippines, Kenya, Tanzania...EVERYWHERE!

And not only does he bless us with families, but he daily loadeth us with benefits! I cannot begin to comprehend the innumerable blessings the Lord grants me each and every day, from the seen to the unseen.

What a mighty, merciful God we serve and love because he first loved us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Music to Motivate

As I was flipping through my ipod Sunday evening on the way home, listening to an assortment of songs, I decided it was time to make use of my playlists in iTunes. There are several songs I flip to on a regular basis to get motivated, praise Jesus, and renew my inner man. Thus, tonight, I created the playlist, "Christian Motivation". (Although, I've decided I like the title I gave this blog post even better. So, I might have to change it.)

I'm a HUGE fan of Christian music from the late 90's and early part of this decade. I think I have almost every Point of Grace CD, and several CDs from Third Day, Jars of Clay, Audio Adrenaline, Twila Paris, etc. I'm constantly adding to the collection. Because you can never have too much Christian music, right? Right.

So, I thought I would share my newly created playlist in its current form. It may change, but this is how it looks right now. If you have never heard some of these, I highly recommend you do so. Let me know what you think, and be sure to share your favorites with me.

Song Name - Artist - Album

1. Who Am I - Point of Grace (Steady On Album)
2. I've Always Loved You - Third Day (Time)
3. By His Wounds - Various (Glory Revealed)
4. Son of Man - Eden's Bridge (The Best of Celtic Praise & Worship)
5. Ocean Floor - Audio Adrenaline (Greatest Hits Album)
6. Because You Are - Point of Grace (How You Live)
7. Nothing Compares - Third Day (Offerings II)
8. I Surrender All - Clay Crosse - (WOW: The 90's Album)
9. What If His People Prayed - Casting Crowns - (Casting Crowns)
10. You Are the Answer - Point of Grace - (Life, Love, & Other Mysteries)
11. God of Wonders - Third Day - (Offerings II)
12. In Remembrance of Me - Cheri Keaggy - (My Faith Will Stay)
13. The House That Mercy Built - Point of Grace - (The Whole Truth)
14. All the Heavens - Third Day - (Offerings I)
15. What Did He Die For - Twila Paris - (Where I Stand)
16. Waters Gone By - Shawn Lewis - (Glory Revealed)
17. Crucified with Christ - Phillips, Craig, & Dean - (WOW: The 90's Album)
18. Sometimes By Step - Rich Mullins - (WOW: The 90's Album)
19. Jesus Freak - DC Talk - (Jesus Freak)
20. Any Road, Any Cost - Point of Grace - (Life, Love, & Other Mysteries)
21. Good Life - Audio Adrenaline - (Underdog)
22. Better Days - Point of Grace - (Steady On)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Color of Leaves

The leaves have turned magnificent shades of yellow, orange, and red just overnight it seems. It began about two weeks ago, but with this sudden cold snap this weekend, the colors just burst forth. It is so easy to overlook when we see it every year, but it truly is marvelous. This past week we had the great privilege of not only hearing Elder Martin Onyani from Kisii, Kenya, preach to us, but he also stayed in my parents' home. The equator runs through Kenya, and Elder Martin has never been outside Kenya or Tanzania until this past week. He was amazed at the colors of the leaves. He asked Dad, "What makes the leaves change color?" Dad's reply: "God." (As Elder Harold Hunt has said, "The Gospel is simply profound, and profoundly simple.")

So, I started thinking about Elder Martin's question. Usually, we tie the seasonal changes of the leaves to the time periods in our life. In the spring, new life buds forth, and full growth is in the summer. Then, in the fall the leaves fade, just as we grow older, and in the winter, the leaves die and fall to the ground. And, we even take that further. Some leaves fall "early", just as some of us leave this earth at tender ages. And some hang on until the very last days of winter. I was pondering all these things this afternoon, and then I took it another step.

I decided that perhaps the color of the leaves represent something, too, about our "older" age. For example, the brown leaves are the crusty, bitter older people who always seem to be in a sour mood. Not very pretty, nor fun to be around. Then, you have your red leaves - those people who are firecrackers. Always telling you exactly what's on their mind. Or the orange ones, the mellow ones, cool and content. And let's not forget the yellows. Bright and cheerful, bubbling over with excitement and energy.

I'm hoping to be more yellow and orange when I get older. How about you?