Friday, May 23, 2014

The Wall

Your iniquities have separated you from God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

One day a visitor came to my house and made a comment about my décor being unique. Then, she added, “But why the ugly little rock on that desk?”

 I explained that the rock was not just any rock, but actually a piece of the Berlin Wall that was taken down in 1989.

I have always treasured this little rock more than all the unique relics that have landscaped my décor. When I hold it in my hand, I think of freedom and how the Berlin Wall kept people from freedom— much like the walls of sin that keep us from experiencing the fullness of Christ’s love.

Jesus knew the consequences of a wall. When Jesus hung on the cross atoning for our sins the curtain of the Holy of Holies was torn in half, no longer separating God from His people. Sometimes, we do not recognize or even believe that our sinful nature creates this wall that separates us from God. We believe our sins are small and insignificant like that ugly little rock.

At times, we build our own Berlin Wall—a graffiti of sins stacked so high that we cannot see beyond it.

Praise God for sending His Son to tear down our walls!

Thank you God for Your mercy and forgiveness for without it I am lost behind the wall.

©2014 Kimberly Clayton

Friday, May 16, 2014

I Write the Songs

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. Psalm 40:3a (KJV)

Driving to work over the holidays, my morning rock-out sessions were probably different from most. “Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!” Music is powerful. Handel said that as he wrote the Hallelujah Chorus, he saw all heaven before him. I believed him. I navigated rush hour, one among millions doing the same, but God was there.

God wrote songs of love, grace, mercy, comfort, and wisdom—even instruction and warning—in His Word. Learning the lyrics helps us grow in the knowledge of God. But He also created music, which travels straight to the heart and carries with it the emotion of His message. Words communicate, but music moves, encourages, makes us search for God, lifts our souls, and leaves us speechless.

Three notes make up a chord. Most songs use major chords, which create anticipation and excitement. Minor chords also serve a purpose, expressing sadness or melancholy by lowering the chord’s middle note. “O Come, O Come, Immanuel,” is an example, conveying Israel’s anguish while awaiting the Messiah.

God is amazing. Not only did He write the song, He became the song. The Trinity is a chord of supernatural power. Jesus, the middle note of the Trinity, lowered Himself, dying in our place so that we could be raised with Him to sing an exciting, new song. “And He shall reign forever and ever! Hallelujah!”

Lord, you became our reason to sing. Write your song on our hearts. Keep your praise on our lips even when life rages. As we lift you up, shield us in battle, strengthen in weakness, comfort in sorrow, and be our joy every morning.

© 2013 Katherine A. Fuller

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Where is My Momma?

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

My parents loved to sing. My dad led in a clear baritone voice and my mom would harmonize with her sweet soprano tones. They entertained my sisters and I with golden oldies that still stick in our memories.

Mom had married at a young age and moved three states away from her hometown. I know she missed her mother. She spoke of her often and would get misty eyed when she sang the song about mothers beginning with, “M is for the many things she gave me…”

Dad liked to take a seat and gather his children around as he sang a song about a sad little girl who’s Mother had died. It began--“Where is my momma?” We always got weepy when he sang that song.

The Bible teaches us to honor our Father and Mother. Both of my parents taught us to honor our mother by their example through songs, conversations and deeds. In doing so, we also learned to honor our dad.

My parents have both passed from this life into eternal life with the Lord. They have left us with a wonderful legacy and memories of a loving childhood.

On this Mother’s Day I especially remember and am thankful for my “Momma”—her smile, her sweet disposition, her warmth, her giving nature, and the song in her heart.

Thank you Lord for the gift of Godly parents. I pray that all of us who love you will respond to this commandment and teach this lesson through their own actions.

© 2014 Christy Struben

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Gift

Nevertheless, each one has his own gift from God...1 Cor. 7:7b NWT

"Pray, Barbara, and ask for a gift, whatever it may be. If poetry is the gift you want, ask for it explicitly. Be sincere and thank Him in advance. Keep praying until you receive an answer."

Barbara called several months later. She was excited. "I got my gift, Evelyn. God gave it to me while I was showering. Beautiful words began forming sentences in my mind. I got so anxious I asked God to help me remember what He was telling me until I got out of the shower so I could write it down. I hurried as fast as I could and grabbed a paper and pencil and started writing. It was as if the words were being written on a blackboard and I copied them. When I was finished, I read them and it was written in four line stanza's. I realized it was a poem and it rhymed! My first poem. I've got a gift, Evelyn, just like you!"

I was so happy for Barbara, my darling younger sister. God had answered her prayers. What a joyous revelation for her and me.

"I think I'm going to need some help with my poems," Barbara said timidly.

"Call me anytime. I'll help if I can." And that is what I did for all of her forty nine poems she wrote before her death on March 2, 2012, two days before her 70th birthday. Rest in peace in God's love, Barbara.

Thank You, God, for answering prayers and giving so much joy. 

(c) 2014 E. Bonnie Ryan