…the bread crumbs

It never ceases to amaze me, the way He supplies our every need, and clears a path for us to grow.

This past week I felt like Gretel, following the bread crumbs.  Only, I found myself at the door of something much better than one built of candy.

I have been attempting to follow in my Savior’s footsteps for years, but only really left the boat just recently, became the fisherman, jumped on the sand with both feet. But the leaving continues, the shedding of my skin, the slippery scales of our society sliding off my eyes that I might see – the soul.  Not just my own, but others.

The woman who sat across the table and shared her heart, as well as humor.  The other who sat nearer so I could read every wrinkle and crinkle of her smile, the lines of suffering, and the glow of triumph.

Then another, on a different day, at yet another table.  My ears applauded her thick raspy tone of voice.  My eyes celebrated the meticulous waves, and curls of her salt and pepper hair, as I looked into her beautiful eyes.

And then the question on the exercise sheet; “What do you think of when you see the word “soul”?”

She left it blank.  She said she wasn’t spiritual, but I beg to differ.

Then the question; “What comes to mind when you think of heaven?”

She hoped there was a heaven, but wasn’t sure.

All the handouts, the paperwork, then a book my husband brought home.  What was God trying to tell me?  Where will all these breadcrumbs lead?  One paper said “self-care”, the book screamed “abandonment”.

“Jesus, sort it out for me, and keep helping me see what you want me to see”.

Help me to live with “…an uncompromising vision for the world as God sees it,….having the attitude of Jesus.” – Phil M. Wagler (from his book Kingdom Culture, Growing the Missional Church)

Philippians 2:5-11

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More Bitter than Sweet

There are days that seem insurmountable because of the pain that surrounds us.  On those days I imagine myself climbing up on God’s lap and leaning my head on his shoulder, and singing something like this newest song of mine.

 

I just want to crawl on your lap, you must be busy

but if there’s anyone who cares, It’s gotta be you.

Life as we know it has turned out to be,

tougher than nails, more bitter than sweet.

 

I appreciate your answers, but I just want your arms.

Wanna hear your heart next to mine.

 

Can I come and rest at your feet?  The world’s gone crazy,

and there’s nothing left that’s fair, except for your truth.

Love as we’ve shown it,  has turned out to be,

colder than steel, more bitter than sweet.

 

More bitter than sweet.

More bitter than sweet.

©Cindy Palin/October 20, 2014

THE PROMISE

When we make the promise to follow Christ, our lives no longer belong to ourselves.  The decisions we make are based on truth, and not feelings.  In a world where everything is watered down, let us remember our faith doesn’t have to be.

It’s your life, and you decide

So why am I here bleeding?

I looked behind in hopes to find,

the reason I should care.

It’s not about our DNA,

although that should be reason enough

to ache this way.

It’s about THE PROMISE.

We both took an oath,

that the road would be all about Him

until the end of time.

Where’d ya go, pick up the phone?

It’s not just me here bleeding.

You can run, but you can’t hide,

the Truth will find a way.

It’s not about our DNA,

although that should be reason enough

to ache this way.

It’s about THE PROMISE.

We both took an oath,

that the road would be all about Him

until the end of time.

Who flipped the switch on you?

How did he get to you?

What kind of lie soaked through your skin?

You can’t prevent His love,

Nothing will be enough,

until you lay it down again.

Come on lay it down again.

©Cindy Palin/October 3rd, 2014

Weak is the Strong

WEAK IS THE STRONG

I pity the child who searches in vain

who strives to be strong

man’s approval to gain

who hangs on his words

her purpose and worth

and builds on his walls

to honor man’s call

 

I pity the child whose body is grown

but mind left behind

man’s bars of control

She built on his praise

so twisted and tough

but we are all grass

and strong’s not enough

 

I pity the child who misunderstood

for weak is the strong

and humility good

to work for approval

annihilates grace

and crushes the spirit

and shadows God’s face.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9,10

copyright Cindy Palin, October 19th, 2014

 

….at a dance?

A swing band from Calgary called The Rhythm Barons came up to the College Campus Hotel – The Pomeroy.  The event “Swing Back in Time” was an Olds Hospice Society fundraiser.  I was invited to sing my original written to support the Hospice, called “The Dance of Life”, which by the way is available on iTunes, and on the Hospice website:  www.oldshospice.com

What struck me as so fitting, was the young swing dancers who came up from Calgary as well, who taught us swing steps during the band’s break.  A delightful instructor from the college had remembered one of her students had mentioned he loved to dance.  This connection proved to be very beneficial for those of us at the dance.

Here I was singing about “every moment shared is music for the final journey, every tender offering means all of us are learning one more step to the dance of life“, and I was learning dance steps.

To my surprise, even though the band was playing music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and I was born in the 60’s, I knew several of the pieces from my music study days.  Some of my favorites “Missed the Saturday Dance” by Nat King Cole, and “Satin Doll” by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, as well as “Route 66”, another by Cole.  I had learned these classics while singing in a jazz choir.  Soon I remembered one of my recent goals; to relearn one jazz piece per week, on the piano as well as practice the vocals.

I was able to see and visit with people from our community that I usually don’t get to bump into, some of whom had recently lost loved ones and hence connected to the Hospice Society, others drawn by the music and the cause.

Unfortunately, my husband was unable to attend the event as he was away, and some might think going alone rather uncomfortable, but the joy and the privilege of serving others with a song is certainly a God moment to me.  One of which I am thrilled I did not miss.  I look forward to watching the connections made last night, grow into long-lasting friendships, as we all continue to learn new steps to the dance of life – together.

*(Comments for the band:  smooth and true vocals, bass parts superb, loved the brushes, and the horns we just couldn’t do without, job very well done guys, everyone – sound, everything, and thanks for the sound system, and friendly help.)

*(Comments for the dancers:  Taylor and Craig and Chelsea, just three of whom I met personally last night, thank you for the steps, the patience and I hope to come down to Calgary soon.)

…..raking leaves

My plan was to use the treadmill and have breakfast before starting work in the studio.  That plan changed when I walked out into the unusually mild fall weather and saw the dancing leaves.

Many of my neighbors had been sweeping the leaves off their driveways and raking them off their yards, while I had left them carpeting our property with their festive yellow hues.  I marveled at their color and the sound of their voices whispering to me as I swished through them ankle-deep.

The forecast for the next day was rain.  Dry leaves are a joy, wet leaves get really messy.  My morning plans shifted.

As I swept large piles of my yellow friends from the sidewalk into the gutter, I noticed a lady out walking her dog.  To my surprise she waved and crossed the street towards me.

She called out to me by name, and I nodded.

She had seen me leading worship on Thanksgiving Sunday, and recognized me from across the street.  She and her husband were new in town and were attending our church.  She was very pleased about living in the area.

While we chatted she noticed a bird, a white breasted nut hatch, is what I think she called it.  The bird was peeking at us from a nearby branch.  As I listened further, I learned they can go backwards down a tree, and their call sounds like a “sick duck”.  Her words, not mine.

Our conversation shifted to her family.  Sadly her adult sons had suffered issues at Bible School.  Her children shared the same gift and love for music I did.  One of her sons was finding life quite difficult, in a city nearby.  I asked for his name.

I briefly told her about a pattern that had been developing as of late.  I pray for one of my framing customer’s sons, and she prays for mine.  All young people experience challenges as they move out into the world and find their place and purpose.  If it was alright with my new neighbor, I would pray for her son as well.  She nodded and commented on the importance of prayer.

We both embraced on the end of my driveway, and waved goodbye.

I didn’t tell her how my Grandmother’s prayer had saved my life thirty-three years ago on Thanksgiving day.  That’s another major God moment story for some other time.

….at the bank

Returning from a week break, I began to prepare for our worship team practice among other things.  I decided to rally the troops and call in extras in case my voice did not return in time for Thanksgiving Sunday.  After calling a couple of friends and finding out they were going to go home for the Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to leave things as they were.  I had done everything in my power to be responsible, the rest was up to God.  I wasn’t the first worship leader to sound like a croaky frog recovering from an illness, and I wouldn’t be the last.

I put away the church phone directory and whispered a small prayer of trust to Jesus, then off to the bank to run an errand for our daughter.

As I explained to the teller that I was depositing something for my daughter, she made conversation by asking where my daughter was.  Briefly I explained that she was away in another country studying the Bible.  The teller beamed and relayed that she had just finished Bible School in a nearby town.  I was delighted to hear that the new young woman at our bank was a believer, and newly married.  I asked her if they had a home church.  In no time we both found out we were attending the same one!

I croaked out that I would be seeing her the next day, as I was leading worship.  Excitedly she asked about choir.

“Could it be she liked to sing?” I asked myself.

“Would you be interested in singing on the worship team tomorrow?” I asked without hesitation.  In the same spirit, she responded with a jubilant “yes!”.

It never even dawned on me that she might love to sing but not have the ability at all.

“I love hymns!” she chirped.

She didn’t have a problem with the 8:00 a.m. practice either.

I leaned across the counter and said “two strangers in a bank, who’d have thought?”

She leaned in closer too and replied “we’re not strangers anymore.”

I walked out of the bank feeling as if it was meant to be, and do you know why?

Because it was.