Shopping with HEART and making SMART choices at Christmas Time.

Shopping with HEART and making SMART choices at CHRISTMAS time.

  1. Make your large purchases with small business, and your small purchases at big box stores. That way you are spreading the love around where it is needed the most.
  2. Buy second hand for yourself when you can, and treat yourself to a brand name product once a year (if you absolutely have to).
  3. Write and wrap gift notes for others, and then buy the actual product after Christmas when it is half the price. The amount saved could be given away to a neighbour, or charity.
  4. Decide to watch programs over the holidays that have zero violence.
  5. Boycott watching anything with guns or shooting.
  6. When you realize that means you can’t watch anything – go outside for a walk or call up a friend, and make a snowman together.
  7. Instead of playing a computer game by yourself, get together with a friend and play a board or dice game.
  8. Shut your phone for off for a whole day, and listen to your family. No cheating.
  9. Instead of giving someone money, give them your time and attention.
  10. Invite someone over for tea and dessert, you don’t always have to cook a fancy menu.
  11. Write a list of people you want to get to know in the New Year, and write an annual intentional date on the calendar.
  12. Support home grown talent by buying their music.
  13. Promote purchases and not pirating.
  14. Smile and make a point of wishing everyone you see a “Merry Christmas” (out loud, and not under your breath).
  15. Make time to look up inspirational vignettes on youtube, like Linus’s recitation about what Christmas is all about.
  16. Set up a nativity scene on Christmas Eve.
  17. Purchase a special Children’s Christmas book each year to read on Christmas Eve, even if all the children are grown up.

Have fun adding to this list. Make it your own. And may we truly strive to uphold what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8 and 9).

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

Babylon is Not My Home

I walked past the piano on my way to bed last night, and noticed a layer of dust. I pulled out the bench, clicked on the desk lamp, and sat down.

Prayers for a friend were heavy on my heart. I was reminded how a veil of dust can cover many things in our lives, and I began to write.

Verse One: “The dust had covered my beloved, futile thinking had come, but not for long, not forever, Babylon is not my home.”

I then remembered my journey in my twenties, dating a fellow whom I loved very much, but going about our relationship in a very different way than what God commanded. There was a picture of Jesus in his bedroom, and every time I looked at it I was reminded of my Saviour, and what He did for me on the cross.

Eventually I shook the dust of deception from my spirit, and stopped pretending to be someone I was not. I didn’t belong in that relationship, I belonged to Jesus. My joy would never be full without trusting Jesus, and obeying Him.

Scripture tells us of a time when the Israelites had forgotten God, and went their own way. As a result God exiled them to a foreign country, Babylon. At one point the captors ask the musicians of Israel to sing, and their reply is:

“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? Psalm 137:1-4

My relationship with my boyfriend was like living in a foreign land. I tried to talk to him about my faith, but eventually it drove us further apart.

I wrote verse two: “By the river, I hung my harp up, no more reason to sing, but not for long, not forever, I’m the remnant and He’s my King.”

The bible tells us, “A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. A remnant will return; yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God” Isaiah 10:21.

My eyes began to get heavy as I worked on the chorus portion of the song. I couldn’t finish last night, but before I put down my pen and paper, another scripture verse came to mind.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13.

If you have heard the voice of God call you into a relationship of faith in Jesus Christ, and have made a decision to follow Him, then everything you do thereafter will be subject to God’s will for your life. If you are living outside of His will, as the Israelites were, you may feel as though you are in exile. Your joy is hanging on a poplar tree, and you cannot breathe let alone sing, because you are in a foreign land where you do not belong.

God sees you, His love’s relentless, and he desires to see your relationship with Him restored.

When We Choose Love (in memory of Kayla and….)

W020080520589007879218I was in an uber taxi in Washington D.C. when I heard of Kayla’s death.  I did my best to find a news clip or paper to read about who she was, and how and why she died.

When I got home from our trip of visiting our son, I stayed in my pyjamas all day long and wrote and recorded this song in memory of Kayla (whom I don’t know personally), and all the others who readily give their lives on the battle front, for the innocent.

 

 

When We Choose Love – by Cindy Palin ©February 15th, 2015

Everyone has heard your name, your cruel claims to fame

Can’t hold a candle to, the lights who dare defy you

Headlines used to fuel your fear, intimidation’s here

But when the body dies, love cannot help to shine brighter

I am unafraid to leave this place, at the hands of those who choose to hate

The blood of innocents has seen enough – to know that life is lived when we choose Love.

Underneath the battle cries, something louder comes to life

The power of a prayer, the victory is here

You can draw the border lines, emancipation’s mine

‘Cause when the body dies, love cannot help but shine brighter

I am unafraid to leave this place, at the hands of those who choose to hate

The blood of innocents has seen enough – to know that life is lived when we choose love.

 

 

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

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

 

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?

Should We Dare Expect the Joy Without the Sorrow?

Who am I that you are mindful of me?

I’m not the first to see the thirsty scorn your living water.

I’m not the only one, to wrestle or to question,

the mysteries of life, our groanings under heaven….

I just learned a couple of days ago that my song “O Morning Star” is on the shortlist of finalists, in the Word Guild Awards, Write Canada 2014, under the best song lyric category.

This song is very personal, they all are, but this one in particular, because it was written to prepare and equip for an agonizing time, for me, my family, and our church family.

Our daughter had come home for a sick day in November to let us know that a friend of hers had just lost her mother, after a long battle with depression and insomnia.  We were heart-sick, racked with tears and pain, but not without hope.  Our daughter brought her friend home shortly thereafter during a snow storm and we were all able to hunker down by the fireplace and hear the young lady tell us all about her mother.

A friend, and mother whose children were around the same ages as mine, had just been diagnosed with cancer, and aggressive kind.  Her family, and our church family as a whole – were devastated, but not without hope.  She died a week before Christmas, and her funeral was held just days before our Christmas Eve service.  Never has Christmas been so sacred or more meaningful. It was as if she was giving us a special gift, a reminder.  After all, that is why Jesus came to a manger, to identify with our sorrows, and sufferings, and eventually put an end to our eternal death sentence, by dying on the cross, then conquering death on the third day.

I had found out on a snowy Wednesday before Christmas that my brother was not recovering as we had hoped he would, from his stroke and related ailments.  I stood before a judge just five days before Christmas begging the Judge to grant me a warrant to get my brother further help.  The Judge granted the warrant but the Doctors would not comply.  We tried.  Did we fail?  Maybe, but….

Who am I that you are mindful of me?

Should I accept to dare expect, the joy without the sorrow?

You are the Holy One, my peaceful revelation.

The certainty of death is swallowed in salvation.

O Morning Star, you are life and light unto my soul, and still I sing….

©Cindy Palin, October 2013

The interesting and profound revelation is; this song was given to me right before any of the above mentioned, happened. Almost as a foreshadowing of what was to come.  I sang it throughout the months of November and December, as well as at our friend’s funeral, and felt God’s comfort and assurance through the journey.  He is  my Morning Star, and He is light and life unto my soul!

O Promised Love

When I witness one more abandoned soul, one more broken promise , one more casualty of love, I ache inside.  I long for justice.

For one fleeting second I wonder – does God see the injustice?  Does God care?  Why isn’t He doing something?  And then I remember.

God did not reach down and yank the whip away from Christ‘s flogger.  God did not reach down and tenderly lift the crown of thorns off of his son’s head.  God did not reach down with might and fury and prevent the hammer from driving the large spikes into Christ’s flesh but he did do something.  He reached down and intervened for his son’s killers by letting his son die because God knew that only that kind of love would save us from ourselves.  The innocent for the guilty, the grace for the undeserved.

Thousands of years have fled the earth like falling stars flee the sky,

since they lashed their claws to bare the bone

And he let them – for you, O promised love whom we discard

Thousands of years have passed overhead like wisps of clouds gone by,

since they crowned his brow in broken glass

And he wore it – for you, O promised love whom we molest

Thousands of years have circled the earth as the earth chases the sun,

since they drove their teeth into his veins

And his wrists burned – for you, O promised love whom we leave for dead

Love chose our name when he poured out the seas

Love called our name when he writhed his last breath

Love carried our name in the fold of his arm, near the song of his heart

When he marched from the tomb, and he did it for me, he did it for you

O promised love – whom we adore!

We are not abandoned!

©May 4th, 2013 Cindy Palin