The Gift of Life


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

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.

It’s Summer Everyday, and Christmas at the Same Time!

This morning I heard a car drive up. I was expecting them. Our children were driving to a wedding in the States, but stopping by first to drop off some items and stretch their legs.

I opened the back door and there she was. Our first grandchild, just one year old, standing between her mommy and daddy’s legs in her pyjamas, blonde curls dancing in the breeze.

Her little finger points and she utters a greeting in toddler jibber jabber. I laugh, and she mimics me back. I watch her teeter in and look around, and think “this has got to be the best way to start my day!”

When our children were born, we kept our heads down and noses to the grindstone, concentrating all our efforts on getting through the sleepless nights, learning all the do’s and don’ts. Now that our grandchild is here, it is like our heads are lifted – heaven has opened, it’s summer everyday, and Christmas at the same time. My prayer list has gotten longer, but my cup runneth over, Oh yes, and my videos, and text messages:)

My daughter reminds me of the toys in the spare room, and I rush to pull them out. Willow follows behind and is delighted to meet her old friend Bear, and Fisher Price Shapes.

I put the coffee on, and pull out a watermelon from the refrigerator, slice it up and watch her Daddy put her in the new high chair we bought. There’s even a bib still hanging there from their last visit. I perch on a chair nearby and marvel at her little fingers, how they pick up, and push the fruit in her mouth. She hums as she chews, and I melt.

They’re back on the road, and the flurry of excitement is now silent and still. I could pick up the toys like I use to, keep the living room all neat and tidy, but instead I’m going to leave them scattered down the hallway. I’ll leave her bib untouched on the table too. Want to keep the moments fresh. Signs of life, signs of joy, and the promise of a bright tomorrow.

God knows just what we need in the middle of our lives to press on towards eternity with purpose and joy!

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?

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 the bank

Returning from a week break, I began to prepare for our worship team practice among other things.  I decided to rally the troops and call in extras in case my voice did not return in time for Thanksgiving Sunday.  After calling a couple of friends and finding out they were going to go home for the Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to leave things as they were.  I had done everything in my power to be responsible, the rest was up to God.  I wasn’t the first worship leader to sound like a croaky frog recovering from an illness, and I wouldn’t be the last.

I put away the church phone directory and whispered a small prayer of trust to Jesus, then off to the bank to run an errand for our daughter.

As I explained to the teller that I was depositing something for my daughter, she made conversation by asking where my daughter was.  Briefly I explained that she was away in another country studying the Bible.  The teller beamed and relayed that she had just finished Bible School in a nearby town.  I was delighted to hear that the new young woman at our bank was a believer, and newly married.  I asked her if they had a home church.  In no time we both found out we were attending the same one!

I croaked out that I would be seeing her the next day, as I was leading worship.  Excitedly she asked about choir.

“Could it be she liked to sing?” I asked myself.

“Would you be interested in singing on the worship team tomorrow?” I asked without hesitation.  In the same spirit, she responded with a jubilant “yes!”.

It never even dawned on me that she might love to sing but not have the ability at all.

“I love hymns!” she chirped.

She didn’t have a problem with the 8:00 a.m. practice either.

I leaned across the counter and said “two strangers in a bank, who’d have thought?”

She leaned in closer too and replied “we’re not strangers anymore.”

I walked out of the bank feeling as if it was meant to be, and do you know why?

Because it was.




…on the street corner

Recently my husband and I decided to take one week away from it all.  We arrived in a city after our eight-hour journey and asked the hotel clerk for restaurant recommendations.  After we dropped off our suitcases we took her advice and enjoyed gourmet at its best and an all around class act at RauDZ in Kelowna, B.C.

After finishing our dinner we intended to go right to our vehicle and go back to the hotel.  Leaving the restaurant we noticed a motley crew to our right, and turned left instead.  As we rounded the corner I saw a young man bending over a tri-pod.  Rather than walk by, I felt as though I should stop.  Seconds later the photographer lifted his head.

I came face to face with a young man I’ve been praying for, for over a year.

When you pray for someone you become connected.  I had forgotten that the young man had moved to Kelowna, but God hadn’t.  And that is the whole point, when he puts someone on our heart, and asks us to pray, he also orchestrates surprise updates, so we can see for a fact He is answering prayer!

Thanks Jesus, you’re the best!


Change the Message to Fit the Problem, or …

There’s a bird singing a rather complicated series of notes outside my bedroom window.  It’s not the melody that has captured my attention and stirred me out of bed, it is the consistency of the intervals.  I can count to five between every whistle, almost as if the bird call was an automated drone.

I want to be like that bird, granted I want to write many melodies, not just one.  But I want to be consistent!  I don’t want to quit seeking the truth, and living the truth.  I want to be faithful.

That bird call takes faithfulness to a whole other level.  I don’t think God expects me to stay in one place, just like He doesn’t designate one branch for that bird to sit on the rest of its life.  Thank God I don’t have to sing the same song, in the same key, every five seconds, but I do want to get the message right.  I want to say the same thing for as long as I live.

That’s where life can get really tricky, when life gets hard.  Many times we are tempted to change the message to fit the problem, or we can ask God for help and decide to be FAITHFUL.

Dear God,

Out of your great love for us, please give us the strength to be faithful.


I Am With You

Yellow Balloon I Am With You

Yellow Balloon
I Am With You

The yellow object caught her attention out of the corner of her weary eye.  End of day and one more job to do.  Lot check.  A few more moments and out into the twilight to make her last rounds.  “Check all the vehicles, every last one, make sure they’re locked” her mind repeated like a broken record.

Hand on the door, she turned instead and picked up her new friend.  She felt as though it had been calling to her.  “Take me with you”, it bubbled.  Left over from last week’s sale, still with well-worn string, she fastened it about her wrist and disappeared into the shivering darkness.

The ground crunched and the highway buzzed, and yet a holy silence pervaded.  She heard him whisper, “see this yellow balloon.”  She felt his presence. “I am right here with you, I am everywhere you are” he reminded.

She had just returned home and taken a job to save up to leave again.  Her year had been a whirl wind of mystery from the shores of Australia to the Philippines and India, to a snow laden camp in a northern forest, to a car lot in Alberta, and God was with her.

She needn’t worry or question, but rest in knowing that he would never leave her or forsake her.  She wondered why she had been privileged to be called in the first place, to see what she saw?  She grieved.  No matter how varied the cultures were – man was the same.  No matter the beliefs of man, someone could always make her feel small.

But he said, “be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.  For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.  He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 31:6)

She paused and looked up at the night sky.  The yellow balloon, as if filled with his spirit gently swept her forehead.  She crunched towards the shop and pressed her face to an office window.  She smiled at her co-worker inside, and wondered if they recognized who she had with her?

Busy Neighborhood

One of the most profound truths I have come to learn is how “doing” in our own strength, and “doing” without asking God what He wants first, can lead to nothing but disillusionment.  Disillusionment lives right next door to Discontentment, and right next door to Discontentment, lives Pride.

We can have all the good intention we can possibly muster and still end up running on empty, and all because we didn’t ask God what He wanted.  It is important to note that we may have to ask God what He wants, several times a day, and read from his direction book often.  This is called seeking.  There is plenty of Discontentment’s cousins around, and one of them is Distraction.  Distraction lives on the same block as well, the neighbor who’s constantly jumping up and down trying to get your attention, hoping that you’ll stop from gazing and STARE instead.

God makes things pretty simple.  The more we lay down our own desires, the more purpose and meaning we enjoy.  The more we stop to be still and stand in awe of God, the more He moves, and the more content we are to just be whoever it is He is shaping us to be.  Just to know He loves us is enough.  By “being” in his presence with an attitude of gratitude we see who we are and how much He has blessed us and how He wants to bless us more.  But blessings don’t all look the same and sometimes we misread blessings as stuff, position or power.

The minute we begin to think that He has forgotten us, or He didn’t make our dreams come true, is the moment we’ve lost sight of Him.  We have placed ourselves at the center, blocking our Beloved from view. If we find ourselves thinking thoughts like; the world has abandoned us, nobody loves us, nobody cares, then we’ve moved further away from His light.  When we entertain those pitiful types of thoughts, we have welcomed Discontentment in for tea.

Discontentment is cunning and clever.  He reveals himself in subtle ways, and tugs at our heart-strings and dresses up in all kinds of disguises.  He has a way of turning our head to everything on the other side of the fence, so that in time we can’t see what we already have, who God was shaping us to be, what God had already given and the path we were meant to take.  We forget that we’ve been called by name, that we have been chosen for a very special assignment – to glorify God.

Discontentment spreads his arms like a television game show host and promises glorious fulfillment if you just start this, or if you just go there, or if you just get, blah, blah, blah.  Discontentment fogs your brain and fades out the promises you’ve already made, and convinces you to live bigger, better, and make new promises.  Discontentment clouds out the ‘once upon a time’ you invited Christ over, and made a covenant with Him, a promise that you would follow him no matter what, that you would do what He wanted.  After-all, He paid the price, He purchased you with His very life.  He rescued you from Meaningless, who lives at the end of everybody’s Disobedient Street.

None of us can be faithful without God’s help.  We might as well not even get up in the morning if we think we can be Christlike without His help.  Discontentment argues with this truth, and goes so far as to convince you that you don’t need help, that you are the only one who can make your life into what you want, that no one else is going to do it for you.  Discontentment is a close friend to Pride.  And as soon as Discontentment has moved in, Pride starts whining to be your  room-mate as well.  Pride never asks anyone for help and his job is to convince you that you don’t need to either.  Pride’s middle name is Doubt, and soon you start doubting that you can trust God with anything. Soon Jesus becomes a stranger, and Meaningless becomes your soul sucker.

Soon you are nothing but busy in a very busy, busy neighborhood.





I Hear Your Love Song

Since time began the universe has ebbed and flowed with the language of love.  The first syllables spilled forth from the lips of God like a trillion music notes falling from a roofless sky.  And the music, can you hear it?  The stars appeared with epic, thunderous explosions, but from afar may have sounded like a spray of xylophone keys.  The oceans poured forth and lapped on the first shore like a rolling timpany.

I came into the world with a melodic cry, a pitch found somewhere on the soprano end of the piano.  The music of life.  Where would I be without the life-giving refrains that surround my eyes and fill my heart?  It is a language of love that connects the Lord and my soul.  In my sorrow and joy, a song for every moment, every uphill climb, every deep dark valley.  Bursts of joyful horns and strings of cello tears.

As I ponder the rhythm of breathing in and singing out, I realize that for some the melody plays but never reaches the ears of their heart.  The majestic symphonic whispers of a relentless, romancing Savior – never heard.

Is this not the saddest, darkest, most silent realization?  Some will never hear the love song, written in red, drummed out with a hammer mallet on an iron nail, reverberating against the floor of heaven, blasting over the walls of hell – for me, for you!

I hear your love song Jesus – play on!