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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of a Decision

Growing up, my mother made sure we got to visit all our relatives on a regular basis. Every once in a while Dad would come too.

I didn’t know it then, but family ties have a great deal to do with how we live our lives, whether it is immediate family or extended. As a youngster I looked up to a lot of cousins, and aunts and uncles, especially those who emulated Christ’s character.

I’ve always wondered what the phrase “family ties” means. At first glance you might visualize all your first and second cousins tied to each other, and to you with one big long invisible thread. Or you may think of the less literal interpretation, the genealogy connection.

Lately I’ve been thinking of “ties” in terms of how our decisions affect the ones we love. Our decisions resemble a rock falling into a pool of water. The circular ripples echo outwardly and touch everyone from our inner circle onward. We forget about how people watch and learn from one another.

I believe that is why Jesus taught us so much about love. If we act out of love for God, for ourselves and others, our ripples are going to create joy, encouragement and generally build one another up (in the faith I hope). If we act out of selfishness our ripples can cause pain, concern and genuine discouragement.

What decisions are you making today that will spur your family on to greatness of character? What choices have you made lately that will strengthen your faith and your family’s?

We cannot hope to be the best we can be for ourselves, and our family without help from God. He gives us grace as we grow, and we must extend that same grace and patience, and prayer generously.

Making sound decisions (based on biblical principles) is a challenge. It is easy to give into status quo.

May I conclude with a sincere warning to those people who are near and dear?

Please watch what you say and do, someone’s future faith depends upon it.

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.)

Where are the Mentors?

Now that we’ve seen something disturbing, what should we do about it?

Did the NFL offer help to Mr. Rice on previous occasions?

Is this an instance where one person’s life is going to be used as an example for others?

Where do our lives stand under the lens of our Almighty Father?

How would we handle this situation had we been the owner of the video clip?

Is there room for grace?

Has the situation already been forgiven?

We should be careful and pray for this man and his wife, lest there come a day we fall.

Where are the mentors these men are needing?