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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

Late Night Talkin’

Digging through my files I find “Late Night Talkin'”, written in the summer of 2009.

As I read through the lyrics it isn’t hard to remember what event inspired me to write.

When your kids are small, and they scrape their knees, you get the colorful cartoon band-aids out and then follow it up with a barrage of tender kisses.  All is forgotten and healed in a matter of seconds.

When they’re not so small, and their first love rejects them, no amount of mama’s kisses will do.  So I spent a lot of late nights talking to Jesus.

“Late Night Talkin'”

Use to be I spent a lot of time dreaming, who would I fall in love with?

What would his name be and how many children, would God choose to give?

Well the wedding was sweet and my lover so fine,

and our children are better than best,

So why does the pain never leave? Band-aids to heart-break it seems.

Falling down never was good, at least I could kiss ’em better again.

If it wasn’t for late night talkin’ asking Jesus, precious Jesus,

please be with us – where would we be?

Now we always tell them to never stop dreaming, nothing is too far to reach.

Trust in the Father, and honor your parents, and be the best you can be.

Well the journey starts sweet but the world isn’t kind

and we all end up put to the test,

So why does the pain never leave? Band-aids to heart-break it seems.

Falling down never was could, at least I could kiss ’em better again.

If it wasn’t for late night talkin’, asking Jesus, precious Jesus,

please be with us – where would we be?