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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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).

Sacrificial Offerings

Usually every church you go to has a certain way of doing things, a structure to the service. Our church always has someone present special music while the offering plate is passed, but there are many sacrificial offerings going on in a service simultaneously. You need only be still and sensitive to the Spirit to see them.

This past Sunday a lovely woman got up to sing “Breath of Heaven”, which tells the story of the mother of Jesus. Even when the Christmas story gets clouded, most people know Mary was a young person with a scandal to deal with. She accepted her sacrificial call stoically, only to lose her son years later at the hands of an angry mob. She gave birth never really knowing the full extent of what her sacrifice would be.

I closed my eyes and and prayed for our friend who was singing, and the tears began to roll down my cheeks when the lyrics came “breath of heaven hold me together”, because I remembered how the vocalist lost her son years ago. Jesse would have been in his early twenties today.

Once the service concluded I found my eyes drift over to the far left of the church, to the front pew. There I saw another woman sit down to ready herself for prayer in case anyone needed to come to the front and pray. She too had lost a son years ago. Shane was a father at the time of his death, leaving a wife and three children behind.

I marveled at these women, and their sacrificial offerings, pressing on in faith despite their broken hearts, and the fact there will be missing family members at their Christmas table.

Thank you for being real, courageous and faithful, Bonnie and Val. Please know that there are people watching and learning from your example, and people praying for your strength as you continue the journey of faith God has called you to finish.

May the family of God hold one another together in Christ’s sacrificial offering of love, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we look forward to a family reunion one day in heaven.

Merry Christmas!

Cindy

 

 

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

A Red Ribbon Rising Up and Wrapping ‘Round the Penitent Man – The Robe

I don’t know the exact moment, when the revelation occurred, but to be aware of this truth everyday is life changing.

You could say I am a visual person. When I heard the song “The Robe” sung by Wes King, years ago, I was given a visual, and a new understanding of what Christ did for me on the cross.

If you are an unbeliever, and aren’t sure you want to read this, hang in there, it’s very cool. And for believers, it is an awesome truth to celebrate.

When Christ died he shed his blood, he died in our place. Often times you might hear expressions like “we’re covered in his blood”, “we’re clothed in His righteousness”.

Isaiah 61:10 tells us “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Before Christ we were separated from God because of sin. When Christ died on the cross, his act of sacrifice, his blood, covered those who chose to believe.

When God looks at someone who has accepted Christ as their Savior, he sees someone who is righteous, someone covered in the robe of righteousness, someone he is no longer separated from. We can approach God and talk to him anytime, because of what Christ did. We are his children, we are his bride. We belong to him, and He is our Bridegroom and King.

When I heard the lyrics below I could see Christ’s precious blood flowing from his hands and side, forming a red ribbon, rising up and weaving, and wrapping ’round the penitent man.

The Robe

Anyone whose heart is cold and lonely
Anyone who can’t believe
Anyone whose hands are worn and empty
Come as you are

Anyone whose feet are tired of walking
And even lost their will to run
There is a place of rest for your aching soul
Come as you are

For the robe is of God
That will clothe your nakedness
And the robe is His grace
It’s all you need
Come as you are

Anyone who feels that they’re unworthy
Anyone whose just afraid
Come sinner, come and receive His mercy
Come as you are

©Wes King

The Robe music video

As Wes puts it, the robe will “clothe our nakedness.” This gives me a picture of my loneliness, my emptiness and shame before I chose to believe, before I was clothed in his righteousness.

Wes continues, “the robe is His grace, and it’s all you need, come as you are.” He fashioned this robe for us not because of anything we did, but because of his love for us. We don’t deserve it, but he extends this robe to us anyway. Once we choose to accept it, reach out and take it and put him on, we are forgiven. We are at peace, we hear our purpose and meaning whispered on the wind of the Holy Spirit. There is joy!

How many believers today truly grasp that Christ is all we need?

I love how Paul tells us in Romans 13:14, that we are to “clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Believer, when you wake up today, put on that robe. When you fall or stumble, remember you are covered. Repent and press on, in your royal robe of righteousness.

And those of you who are choosing to believe just now – He is all you will ever need from here on. Find a fellow believer who can read and study the Bible with you.