A Mystery Miracle of Love – the soldier, the preacher, the prayer.

Last night I had to sleep on the couch propped up with pillows, because I am getting a bad cold.  I fell asleep rather quickly only to wake up in the middle of the night to a song lyric running through my heart “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world”, which is actually from 1 John 4:4. I took that as a signal from the Lord, to pray for my children.

There have been nights where I’ve been in a worried state, but last night was different. Very peacefully I whispered each of their names to Jesus, in faith – that He would accomplish, and complete what he began in them.

Then a strange realization came to me, a memory from the past.  There was an elderly man, and his wife that came over from England and moved in across the street from us.  He told me one afternoon over tea that he and his wife prayed for our children regularly. I could see the snow that day, and the window they looked out that framed our front yard, where our children played.   He told me of when he was a soldier.  He took messages to the front lines in World War II.

Suddenly, propped up in the dark, in the middle of the night, in a small humble living room, I felt like royalty.  I felt so loved, that God would choose to put my children’s well-being, on the heart of a soldier and his wife.

Just as soon as I had thanked God for that memory, another couple came to mind. The man had told me of how when he was a teenager, he agreed to take his mother to an evangelical tent meeting, and there he accepted Christ.  He had been part of a gang and was in deep trouble, but once he accepted Christ his life was changed. He grew up to be a preacher and fell in love with a nurse who originally came from Canada.  She was in love with him too, but felt called to Africa. He followed her to Africa, where they married.  Eventually they moved to Canada, near my hometown.  One night they went to a banquet at a country school and saw one of my children’s names on a book mark at their place setting.  From that time on, nearly twelve years ago, they began praying for my son everyday.

There in the dark I saw an ancient yellowed map of England.  My husband’s grandparents came from England, and a red dot appeared.  My mother’s Grandmother came from England, another red dot appeared.  I wasn’t sure of my father’s ancestry, but know that his name, (my maiden name) – is English and means shelter.  I could see red dots all over the map, representing families, strangers unaware of the other, and yet through accepting Christ, over time, across an ocean, through a window, at a table, spirits converged.

“What a heritage we have through you O Lord” I whispered.  “Who am I that You are mindful of me, and my children?” I asked him in the dark.

As I chose to pray for my children in faith, He chose to show me His handiwork, and how He too pursues them, and prays for them.  And it isn’t that he needs to use us to accomplish His will.  He could accomplish what He wants on his own, but he involves us in one big mystery miracle of love. I saw His love in the middle of the night, the soldier, the preacher, the prayer.

The map faded, my breathing became louder, and my eyelids grew heavy again.  Sleep returned, but not before I whispered “You are great indeed O Lord!”

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A Thousand Love Songs, a Million Words

A new song, roughly compiled and recorded on garage band.  My new entry into the Word Awards 2015.

A THOUSAND LOVE SONGS

A thousand love songs, a million words

and yet there’s always room for one more verse,

’cause everyday you paint the sky,

and every night’s my lullaby.

We sing you worship, we bring you praise,

and yet there’s always need of one more phrase,

’cause what you’ve done to reach my heart,

can’t be explained.  Where do I start?

You could have whispered someone else’s name,

but I’m so glad you whispered mine.

You took me and washed away my shame,

and gave me someone else’s life.

A thousand love songs, a million words,

will never say what you deserve.

But just because it’s hard to do,

here’s one more song – ’cause I love you!

sound file on facebook

 

©Cindy Palin, October 2014

 

To Bind up the Brokenhearted

This past week while preparing songs for the second Sunday of advent, I couldn’t help but feel inadequate.  Yes, those feelings hound us all from time to time.  My thoughts kept drifting to extended family situations, those which happened long ago, and some more recent, even though I was rehearsing words like….

“Come thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free”

Sunday came and our worship practice was rushed.  Some of us had arrived late due to freezing rain the night before. Everything had been frozen over with a thick sheet of ice.  My entire vehicle was imprisoned in a hard glossy shell. As I yanked on the handle to try to open the door I heard….

“From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee”

My husband was away, and I sat alone near the front.  As the church filled for the first service I kept wondering, “why God, would you want to have anything to do with someone as weak as I?

“Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art”

In the middle of a song I looked out and saw a friend, who had just returned to town from her Mother’s passing.  I had wanted to have her over for dinner right after she arrived home, but the time had slipped away. Another song and another face, a man who had  said goodbye to his wife last Christmas, due to a sudden serious illness.  “I need you” my heart cried.  “We need you”.

“Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart”

In between services I spied a new friend and slid into the pew beside her.  I had remembered she had told me something in passing – months ago, and It kept ringing in my ears.  I sat down and cautiously asked if I could inquire about her health.  She graciously shared about her illness and the necessary medications required. She went on to tell me a bit about her family and where she came from.

“Thank you for coming Jesus” I whispered under my breath, for taking on human form and walking among us to feel our pain”.  For sacrificing your life  in order to release us from the icy grip of despair and death. You alone, are our strength, and hope!  As we celebrate your birth in a manger, and long for your return –  may You be our desire and our joy!

 

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives” (Isaiah 61:1).

Lyrics from “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” Text: Charles Wesley, Music: Rowland H. Prchard, Arranged by:  Robert Harkness

 

 

 

Believe and Go Deeper

Life is short and full of mystery.  Unfortunately it is also full of pain, and distraction.

All I can think of lately is how I want to go deeper.  How do we make the most of the time we have?  There’s so many unanswered questions.  They don’t make me distrust my heavenly Father.  Instead they bring me to the never-ending crossroads of life, where we can either accept what is around us or change it.

Even having noble desires like changing the world can get in the way.  And so for this morning, I am going to focus on asking the Holy Spirit to change me.  Take me deeper!  Settling for that which keeps my spirit eyes horizontal is not my goal.

So how do I go deeper, or higher?  How do I rise above my circumstances, what ever they may be and see a spirit’s eye view? How do I live in the moment with the power of Christ surging through my veins, in order that each moment that follows will reveal more of His glory?

I believe.

I believe in God and that He sent His one and only Son to die for me, and I will fight every distraction not to forget it. I will embrace every joy and sorrow because He asks me to.

I believe.

The Bible is truth and records history in order to help us not repeat it. God’s Word can take us deeper, and higher and keep our eyes fixed on Him.

It’s very simple, but because He asks us to come to Him, that He may give us rest – we run away all the more and try everything else, just in case we might miss out on something…sound familiar?

Do you want to understand the mystery of life?  Lift your eyes towards heaven and dig deep into His truth.  Get to know Jesus more.  Believe, and put on your boxing gloves.  Believing is not for cowards.  Then the fight really starts.  Every distraction you could possibly think of will try to pull you away – but don’t give in.

Believe and go deeper.