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

 

 

 

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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

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?

To Bind up the Brokenhearted

This past week while preparing songs for the second Sunday of advent, I couldn’t help but feel inadequate.  Yes, those feelings hound us all from time to time.  My thoughts kept drifting to extended family situations, those which happened long ago, and some more recent, even though I was rehearsing words like….

“Come thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free”

Sunday came and our worship practice was rushed.  Some of us had arrived late due to freezing rain the night before. Everything had been frozen over with a thick sheet of ice.  My entire vehicle was imprisoned in a hard glossy shell. As I yanked on the handle to try to open the door I heard….

“From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee”

My husband was away, and I sat alone near the front.  As the church filled for the first service I kept wondering, “why God, would you want to have anything to do with someone as weak as I?

“Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art”

In the middle of a song I looked out and saw a friend, who had just returned to town from her Mother’s passing.  I had wanted to have her over for dinner right after she arrived home, but the time had slipped away. Another song and another face, a man who had  said goodbye to his wife last Christmas, due to a sudden serious illness.  “I need you” my heart cried.  “We need you”.

“Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart”

In between services I spied a new friend and slid into the pew beside her.  I had remembered she had told me something in passing – months ago, and It kept ringing in my ears.  I sat down and cautiously asked if I could inquire about her health.  She graciously shared about her illness and the necessary medications required. She went on to tell me a bit about her family and where she came from.

“Thank you for coming Jesus” I whispered under my breath, for taking on human form and walking among us to feel our pain”.  For sacrificing your life  in order to release us from the icy grip of despair and death. You alone, are our strength, and hope!  As we celebrate your birth in a manger, and long for your return –  may You be our desire and our joy!

 

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives” (Isaiah 61:1).

Lyrics from “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” Text: Charles Wesley, Music: Rowland H. Prchard, Arranged by:  Robert Harkness

 

 

 

Believe and Go Deeper

Life is short and full of mystery.  Unfortunately it is also full of pain, and distraction.

All I can think of lately is how I want to go deeper.  How do we make the most of the time we have?  There’s so many unanswered questions.  They don’t make me distrust my heavenly Father.  Instead they bring me to the never-ending crossroads of life, where we can either accept what is around us or change it.

Even having noble desires like changing the world can get in the way.  And so for this morning, I am going to focus on asking the Holy Spirit to change me.  Take me deeper!  Settling for that which keeps my spirit eyes horizontal is not my goal.

So how do I go deeper, or higher?  How do I rise above my circumstances, what ever they may be and see a spirit’s eye view? How do I live in the moment with the power of Christ surging through my veins, in order that each moment that follows will reveal more of His glory?

I believe.

I believe in God and that He sent His one and only Son to die for me, and I will fight every distraction not to forget it. I will embrace every joy and sorrow because He asks me to.

I believe.

The Bible is truth and records history in order to help us not repeat it. God’s Word can take us deeper, and higher and keep our eyes fixed on Him.

It’s very simple, but because He asks us to come to Him, that He may give us rest – we run away all the more and try everything else, just in case we might miss out on something…sound familiar?

Do you want to understand the mystery of life?  Lift your eyes towards heaven and dig deep into His truth.  Get to know Jesus more.  Believe, and put on your boxing gloves.  Believing is not for cowards.  Then the fight really starts.  Every distraction you could possibly think of will try to pull you away – but don’t give in.

Believe and go deeper.

 

 

Trust Remembers the Rainbow…

What to do when we are hurting or someone we love is in pain?  Humanity falls so short of who God is and how he responds to our pain.  As believer’s we pull out the trust card, but realize we can’t find it.  The storm has come and the wind has blown our trust away.  All we can see is the fog.  All we can feel is frozen.

We sink into despair.  Despair is close at hand and can be found.  Our minds keep weaving webs of blame, “what did we do wrong?”, when we should be asking “who is God?”  God is faithful, and someone we can trust.

Trust is not searching frantically for our umbrella to keep us dry.  Trust is standing in the pouring rain knowing He is beside us.  Just as the rain grows the fruit of the field, so our pain can grow the fruit of the spirit, if we trust that God is indeed in control.

Trust is knowing He loves us soaking wet with tears, or dry to the spiritual bone.

Trust is not trying to be who we think we need to be, in order to forge a future, but asking God to be our future.

Trust is stepping aside, because His plans are better than our own.

Trust exists in the midst of pain.  Like folded angel wings it waits.  Trust remembers the rainbow, the cross, and Easter morning.  Every pang and sting grows fainter as we….

…”Trust in the Lord with all our strength and lean not unto our own understanding, but acknowledge him in all our ways, and He will direct our path” Proverbs 3:5,6

Who is God?  He is our creator.  If He can give us life, He can sustain us.  If He can raise Christ from the dead, He can heal us.  If He is preparing a place for us in eternity, then he most certainly can help us find our place here on earth.

And so we pray for our beloved who is in pain…

Colossians 1:9  “…from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

I’ve been working on a paper for school.  I share this information not because I am focused on the importance of chasing intellect, but because the subject of my paper and my present heart ache are connected.

I am exploring the importance of remembering God’s saving deeds throughout history and sharing that information with the next generation (Psalm 78).  Ultimately the message scripture is revealing is about maintaining a faithful relationship with God, which brings me to the question “how do we maintain healthy earthly relationships?”

We know if our relationship with God is not healthy and growing, our earthly relationships will also be affected.  If our relationship with God is healthy we are able to embrace others. Perhaps the word ’embrace’ only applies to some, and the word ‘accept’ applies to others?

See what I mean, we are such a fickle people, deciding whom we should love based on what feels comfortable, always so in tune to the immediate and the physical.

Jesus tells us to “love our neighbor as ourselves….but if we show favoritism we are sinning”(James 2:8,9)

What if we are doing everything in our power to maintain a healthy relationship with God, but some of our earthy relationships still remain strained?  We cannot control another person’s response, but we can ask God to help us with our attitude.

I’ve also wondered, why I seem to be harder on people who are believers, when they make bad decisions?  Is it because they know better? Perhaps it is an opportunity for me to see how God feels when I disappoint him.

The Israelites knew better and God was patient with them.  They rejected Jesus and put him on a cross.  Here we see God sacrificing his own Son in order for us to be in relationship with him.  I find it amazing how He loves us all the same too, how his love isn’t based on our height, or weight or smell, or intelligence, or behavior.

Perhaps I have come full circle.  By constantly remembering what God has done for us, our mind has no room for pity or circumstance, no time to point the finger of blame? By constantly talking about what God has done and can do, we are obediently announcing that we trust Him with everything, especially that which we don’t understand, and totally mesmerized with who He is!

That’s where I want my mind right now Jesus; totally off my circumstance and pain, praying for those who have hurt me, for they too must be in pain, and a heart that is totally in awe of YOU.