In Memory of My Daddy

My daddy’s birthday would have been this month, but he died when our son was only two years ago.   Our daughter was twelve, and I’m so glad he got to see her grow up some.  He was crazy about both of his grandchildren and loved them very much.

He was proud of Christi, his first grandchild.  When she was little, she would crawl up in his lap and share whatever he was snacking on at the time.   He was also proud of his grandson.  I remember when our son was a baby, he came up to where my daddy was sitting and talked to him in baby jibberish as if he knew exactly what he was saying.  I remember my daddy saying, “How precious!”  I wish he could see the wonderful young man our son has become and that he could see the wonderful wife/mom our daughter has become and see his adorable great-grandsons and the baby due in September.

After all these many years, I still miss Daddy.  He was a true gentleman.  So, this song  is for him.

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Traveling Through Fog

Have you ever driven through fog and couldn’t see where you were going? Probably everyone has. This week on my way to work, I drove though a patch of fog and just followed the road. Once while on vacation in Colorado, we were at the top of a very high mountain pass with NO shoulders and a steep drop-off. We hit a patch of extremely dense fog (like a cloud) and could only see a few feet in front of us. Very scary, but we just followed the center stripe and prayed!
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Sometimes, life is like that. When it gets to the point where we don’t know what’s ahead, we just follow God’s direction and trust He will lead us though the fog of life!
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I like this new song by young singer, Jamie Grace, called “You Lead.” It’s a fun, up-beat song that shares about letting God lead us!
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Laura Story Wins Grammy Award

I loved the song, “Blessings,” the first time I heard it.  Apparently, people all over the world love this song, too, even in Japan after their last tsunami.   It’s only fitting that Laura Story received a Grammy Award for the “Best Contemporary Christian Music Song.”  Laura says that they “pray that any attention the song ‘Blessings’ receives will be used by God to bring hope to others who are walking hard roads. May God’s faithfulness be seen in this above all things.”

By the way, Laura and her husband are expecting their first child later this year.  That is exciting news, especially after all they’ve been through.  You can listen to the song and read the “Story Behind the Song, Blessings” to find out about this.

If you’d like to know even more, you can read the “Story Behind the Song, Indescribable” which was written by Laura Story and made famous by Chris Tomlin, and you can also hear Laura’s new song being played on the radio.

Update on Last Year’s New Year’s Resolution

Last year, I had only one resolution:  “This year, I’m keeping it simple with just one resolution which is to read my Daily Bible through in one year….My main goal through reading the Bible is to have an even deeper relationship with God and to deepen my faith!”

So, how am I doing?  Well, I didn’t make it anywhere near the whole Bible.  In fact, I’m on page 984 out of 1,688 pages, but you know what?  I’m OK with that.  I’m 984 pages closer to my goal of reading the whole Bible.   Several years, I’ve made that resolution but never succeeded in reading the Bible in its entirety.   For this year, my one and only resolution is to continue what I started last year and finish the Bible this year.  I’m over half way there!

Now, how am I doing on the second part, the reason why I’m wanting to read the Bible?  I can answer wholeheartedly that I do have an even deeper relationship with God than I did a year ago.  And a year from now I want to have an even deeper relationship.  Every year until I die, I want to continue growing closer and closer to God.

If there’s anyone who’s wanting to read the Bible in a year, or anyone who’s never read it and is just simply curious about what’s in it,  I highly recommend the Daily Bible.

The Daily Bible: New International Version: With Devotional Insights to Guide You Through God’s Word

The Story Behind the Song: “Yours”

A parent’s worst nightmare, your five year old daughter is hit by a car in your own driveway!  And to make it even worse, the driver of the fatal accident is your teenage son!   People.com  and  ABC’s Good Morning America  shared this story which touched the hearts of thousands of people, people all over the world.
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Some stories behind the song are so sad, yet they reveal such a strong, rock solid faith that no matter what storms come in life, faith remains in the One who carries us through hard times.  Although Chapman wrote and released “Yours a year before the tragedy, the last verse of the song relates to their experience and the video shares pictures of the Chapmans’ adopted daughter.  The Chapmans experienced a parent’s worst nightmare and lost their youngest daughter, but they kept their faith!

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Song Share: Strong Tower

There are so many people hurting emotionally and/or physically right now. So many lost homes and everything in the Texas fires. Hundreds have lost everything in all of the devastating tornadoes plus the hurricanes. There is nothing that we can count on to last in this world…and that’s when we hold on to our faith in God.  He’s our strong tower, our refuge, our Abba (Abba is a term of endearment) Father who loves us!

The band Kutless has a song that means a lot to me.  It’s called Strong Tower.  We all need a place where we can feel safe.  For me, keeping my eyes on God is that safe place, especially when I’m having a hard time.  Please pray for all the many people who are hurting!

Remembering Back Ten Years Ago Today, 9-11: Song “I Will Rise”

Most people will never forget what they were doing ten years ago today. Some of us watched in disbelief! It was surreal, like watching a horrible scene in a movie…only it wasn’t a movie! One thing that seemed so strange that day was that we did not see one plane in the sky, nor for many days to come.
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We took our son out of school (5th grade then) and drove a couple of hours to where our daughter was in college. My husband was planning to drive there anyway that day to take something to our daughter, so we all went. We didn’t talk much. I think we prayed silently most of the way there. When we got to our daughter’s apartment, we all hugged and were so thankful to all be alive and together. But there was a sadness, too, because we knew many, many families were hurting terribly.
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The scenes we saw on TV kept replaying through my mind like some nightmare, only I couldn’t wake up and say that it was only a dream.  I, like many others, feared another attack.  We all knew that our world had changed.  Although I grew up during a time when we had air raid drills in school and feared being bombed, since then our country had developed a false sense of safety and ease that we had grown accustomed to.  9-11 was a wake-up call!
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So how are our lives different now from ten years ago? Mine has changed! I don’t worry like I did back then. Today, I have a friend who married and moved to the states 20 years ago, and a couple of years ago she converted from her Muslim faith to Christianity. Ten years ago, I would have been too scared to be around her. But God has helped me with my fears (and in many more ways than this)!
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I don’t know exactly why, but this song, “I Will Rise,” came to mind to share in this post. Back then, my prayers joined the thousands of prayers for God to ease the pain in the way that only He can! This song maybe sums up those prayers. It talks about peace, victory, overcoming, and no more sorrow or pain for those who are in Christ. Some day, we will all have a wake-up call when our life is over. Hopefully, everyone will have this peace and victory!
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(By the way, Chris Tomlin sang this song at the 2009 Dove Awards.)

Song Share: “My Hope is in You” by Aaron Shust

I won’t be shaken by drought or storm” are words from this fairly new song, “My Hope is in You,” which shares the hope we have in God to take care of us.  No matter what storm we’re going through (loss from an actual storm or drought, illness, loss of job and income, family problems, and the list goes on), God is the only solid rock we have.  Circumstances can change, people can change, but God never changes.  He is our fortress in any storm!

Isaiah 40:28-31
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Song Share: “Hold Me” by Jamie Grace / Featuring TobyMac

This is such a cool song!  Not only is “Hold Me” a fun song to listen to, it also has deep meaning to it.  Whenever I hear this on the radio, I always think of the passage of scripture below that is from the Bible.  This is a song about the heart of God, and it’s a song written from Jamie’s heart, most definitely!  Hope it’s as encouraging and uplifting to you as it is to me:.

Sunday Thoughts: Ecclesiastes

Remember the song by the Byrds, “Turn!  Turn!  Turn!” from the 60’s?  Most of the words come straight from the Bible:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

King James Version (KJV)

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Story Behind the Song: Indescribable

When this awesome song comes to mind, most people automatically think of Chris Tomlin who does a powerful job of portraying God’s majesty as he and his group sing “Indescribable.”  Isn’t he the one who wrote it? I was surprised to find out that he didn’t write it but Laura Story wrote the words and tune to this well known song. She’s the one featured not long ago who wrote the song “Blessings” after her husband, in his early 20’s, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Laura is definitely a gifted song writer!

So what inspired Laura to write such a song as “Indescribable?” She says she was driving in the mountains, enjoying God’s beautiful creation. She just started singing…indescribable…uncontainable…you placed the stars in the sky and know them by name! She finished the song later, using Job chapter 38 with God’s own description of His power and might. And that’s how this great song came to be.

Millions of people now know the words to Indescribable as it stayed #1 for seven weeks. Yet, Laura does not take credit for the song. She says, “I always think the last song I wrote was my last song. Just when my mind is completely blank and I don’t know if I’ll write a song again, God surprises me. The songs are His – I’m just the first person who gets to hear them.”

The Story Behind the Song: I Can Only Imagine

Bart Millard was born in Greenville, Texas, and many years later became the lead singer in the group Mercy Me. What prompted him to write this beautiful song, “I Can Only Imagine,” that is loved by so many people all around the world?  Here is a little background.
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Bart’s father had been an SMU All-American football player, and his brother was a football player. Bart had a dream of playing football, too, until he suffered an injury in a high school football game, braking both ankles which forced him to take choir as an elective to replace football.  He had a great choir teacher who encouraged him to sing solos, and a music minister encouraged him as well. This is when he discovered his singing voice.
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During Bart’s first year of college, his father passed away from cancer. After the death of his father, Bart wrote the lyrics to “I Can Only Imagine” in about ten minutes, although it wasn’t until several years later that the song was released in 2001 and became a hit. The rest is history!
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Mercy Me also performed I Can Only Imagine with the London Symphony which is a beautiful version of the song as well.
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*This is a cute side note:   The group got its name indirectly from Bart’s grandmother. When he was a working as an intern with youth ministry, his grandmother would call to check on him often and would say, “Well, mercy me, why don’t you get a real job?”