The Gift of Life

cropped-img_2281.jpg

My daughter just finished writing a blog post and quoting Habakkuk 1:5, regarding the work God is doing among us right now.

https://juliechristinepalin.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/foolishness/

Things we wouldn’t be able to grasp if he told us about them. Our lives are just a fragment of the big picture.

The verse was a reminder that God is still in control, even when things don’t make sense, even when we lose friends, and family to death, at what seems to be the strangest of times.

Eccles. 3:1,2 tells us “There is a time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die…”

For our family friends who just lost a wife and a mother in an accident, these words at first glance probably do not bring much comfort.

If we stand back and look at the big picture we see the gift of life God gives us all, and the gift of sharing our lives with others, the privilege parents have, through their love,

which brings more life (children) into this world, and the circle continues.

I thank God for our friend’s mom, and the time we had with her. Her leaving us at this time gives us opportunity to reflect on what we will do with the rest of our life, for however long we are here.

Let us humbly, and gratefully live the life we have left to the best of our ability, in peace with one another, and in God’s strength.

Advertisements

The “Bad Guy”

Once upon a time there was a little family. They weren’t sure how to do life, but like all families – tried to do their best. As the family grew up the mom, and dad realized there were a whole lot of things they could be doing better, and they discussed working together towards common goals, so their children could do the same. However, the one parent who always spoke up, was still the same parent that spoke up. The other parent who was always quiet, was still the same parent who was always quiet. This doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, but eventually the outspoken person became the “bad guy”.

The problem with the “bad guy” scenario is that there isn’t one “bad guy”,  there’s two, the one who wears the label, and the other one who lets it happen.

The good news is, this little family didn’t stop talking. This mom, and dad didn’t stop trying to work towards common goals so their children could do the same. Eventually both parents found their “together” voice and decided to wear the “bad guy” label together, and proudly, because suffering for saying the right thing is the best kind of pain there is.

Remember parents, you are your children’s parents, not their buddies. Always speak the truth in love, regardless of the response, and pray more than you eat, drink and sleep.

To God be the glory

 

 

 

Walking Dead – the New Little House on the Prairie?

I remember reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel around the same time our eldest daughter was expecting their first child. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Had I known how disturbing the book was I probably would have set it aside for another season. The reason being, there is a chapter that describes Jewish babies being murdered. That being said the Holocaust happened, and I wanted to remember for those who lost their lives. I wanted to read it, so I could be a better person. I whispered a prayer of gratitude, that the world in which I lived was not in the grips of evil as it was then, or is it?

When we brought our babies home from the hospital I was in awe, at the overwhelming privilege of nurturing a new life, but mostly I was in awe with God, and why he would entrust us to such a sacred opportunity.

As our vehicle got closer and closer to our children’s home, I tried to imagine what it was going to be like when I looked into my grand-daughter’s eyes for the first time, and when she looked back at me. Nothing can prepare you for what takes place. It’s like the beginning of time starting all over again inside of you, and it swells, and swells until you think you might explode into a new universe. And in some ways that is exactly what happens. Not even the stars look the same.

Today I wonder why we’re doing all we can to snuff life out? Have we progressed since the holocaust, or are we getting better at justifying death?

We weep with families who have lost loved ones in shooting rampages across America. A few days go by, and we go to the movies and watch our heroes shoot up the screen, and tell ourselves we are in no way applauding violence.

We weep, on a cold Monday morning, driving to work as we hear the news about those who have lost loved ones in wars outside our borders. After work we tromp down to the television, and tune into more war, only in the form of a cop show, or a navy seal drama, and our sensitive souls are fed what exactly?

We’ve gotten so use to justifying the story, and the spilled blood that we don’t see the person anymore. Reality and pretend are no longer blurred, they share the same time slot. “Walking Dead” in the near future will be the new “Little House on the Prairie” -guaranteed.

At some point in time something has got to change, and we can start by talking about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Make it Well

In the summer of 2000 I sat down at the piano and penned a plea for God to “Come and Make it Well.” I had questioned my faith and was ashamed. As I wrote I was reminded of a famous hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”, and the writer’s faith amidst the horrific loss of his children. With my lyrical confession complete, my hands began to play the old hymn in response, then back to an ending of my own, where forgiveness embraces the faint of heart.

Make It Well With My Soul

Come O sting of shame for questioning my faith, the penitence has flown.

Tears of salt must pour on the valley floor, for repentance to swell in my soul.

To think you’d ever find me here, sinking in these wounds of fear,

but you know my frame – O God.

Somewhere near my heart, where you won the war a thousand years ago.

False accusers came and built the walls again, but as if you didn’t know,

Come and make it well with my soul.

Make it well with my soul, make it well with my soul.

Make it well, make it well with my soul.

*Insert verse one and chorus of “It Is Well With My Soul”.

Run forgiveness run, down the drawbridge comes,

for your Spirit to dwell in my soul. ©Cindy Palin/2000

You can read about Horatio Spafford’s story, lyricist of “It Is Well With My Soul”, at

www.sharefaith.com

 

 

 

We Are Almost Home

We didn’t meet by chance. I was in the middle of middle age, hosting a dinner for single parents, and he was in the middle of raising two kids on his own, in search of a break. Through a period of time, of questions and prayers, he chose to believe in Christ.

I always want to do more, but there is a distance between us which prevents a closer relationship. We live in different cities. His children are younger, our children are older. We do get together once and awhile, but once and a while is not enough.

More often than not God brings us together at just the right time, and I am so thankful for that.

We’ve had our talks about church and the importance of surrounding yourself in God’s family for growth and support. It has been painful watching many of my new believer friends struggle to find a place where they feel they belong.

Meanwhile there are those friends who have believed for a long time, and don’t anymore. I guess it is the way I’m wired, but it hurts every time I see someone just give up, or walk away. I’m not angry, but I wonder all the time, pray and ponder about why some dig deeper, and others just quit. Cause it’s not about just quitting on a club, or the gym, it is about quitting on “the friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). It is about breaking promises. It is about “forgetting our first love” (Rev. 2:4). It’s about missing out on giving your children the best you can give (Deut. 11:19-21).

I’ve long since stopped accepting excuses. My friend’s life has been very difficult, but life is hard. And no one knows that better than Jesus.

God knows we need each other to run the race of faith together. We can’t do it it without Him, and we can’t do it without one another. Somehow we have got to come together, and isn’t that what church is all about?

 

 

Our friend came to visit this week, and we were delighted to have lunch together. It didn’t take long for me to hear that compromise had come to call. I appreciated his honesty, that way I know how to pray, but I felt a sadness creep over me. I went home and prayed at the piano –

“We Are Almost Home”

It’s not as if we met by accident, God knows when – a heart is ready. I wonder just how many times He’s prayed, hey – to get us where we are today?

I’de be the last one to ridicule your life, but I’ll be the first to sound alarmed. If you forget what He said, and tell Him it’s too hard.

He said, I’ll never leave you or forsake you. No child of mine is left alone. Don’t let the voices confuse you. We are almost home.

The secret’s not about what we can do, that’s the truth – grace is hard to handle. Patience has to be His middle name, hey – He believes that we can change.

You’d be the last to adjudicate my life, but please be the first to take my arm, if I forget what He did, and tell Him it’s too hard.

He said, I’ll never leave you or forsake you. No child of mine is left alone. Don’t let the voices confuse you, we are almost home.

©December 31st, 2015

DON’T GIVE UP – WE ARE ALMOST HOME

 

 

 

 

 

 

God is Near

Merry Christmas to our friends, and our family. The video below is to remind us all of how Immanuel came to be with us. The message also helps us to strive to be instruments of Christ’s love, to think of others before our own needs.baby jesus

Our economy, new government, and tragic world news threaten our hearts with fear, but remember God never changes, and HE IS NEAR. He is no stranger to what is happening around us, and He is still in control.

Matthew 1:23

From Lloyd and Cindy Palin and family

God is Near Lullaby

images are from http://www.heritagemakers.com

Why?

Recently friends of ours have had to go through something no one ever wants to experience. These words (also in song format) are dedicated to their family, and evidence the family of God grieves together. This is my attempt to share their pain, and my intent to join them in asking our Lord – “Why?”.

“Why?”

Cry, wanna cry a river,%22Why%22small

wanna weep an ocean.

Even still justice will remain,

hidden beyond heaven’s plain.

Time, could it travel faster,

or should it make a motion –

Yesterday hasn’t yet arrived,

and second thoughts spared us from this plight?

Oh – oh – oh I can hear your loud accusers

Oh – oh – oh blinded by their own peculiar stains

So let the sun refuse to rise!

Let the earth swallow the skies!

Let a mother’s tears run dry!

Oh – oh – oh …………………..why?

©Cindy Palin – November 2nd, 2015

photo made possible by http://www.dreamstime.com