Sunday, January 27, 2013

Worship Song Sunday -- Your Name, by Phillips, Craig & Dean

And it will come about that whoever calls on the Name of the LORD will be delivered ~ Joel 2:32 (NASB)

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high because he has known My Name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him see My salvation. ~ Psalm 91:14-16 (NASB)

El Shaddai 
Yahweh or YHWH
Jehovah Shalom
Jehovah Jireh
Jehovah Rapha

These are just a few of the many names with which we can call upon the One, True God, be it in our times of worship and praise; in our joy and thankfulness; in our sorrow and pain or doubts; in our need for deliverance and restoration.

Call upon His Name and He WILL answer, for He is faithful, and His love for us is unfailing!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Noble Visitor

Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar and spread its wings toward the south? ~ Job 39:26, NLT

My family and I live in New Jersey, nicknamed 'The Garden State,' sometime back in the late 1800s. While our house is situated in a more urban area, located on the borderline of the city of Trenton (our state capitol), we do have many parks and wooded areas nearby, enabling us to enjoy seeing some of God's beautiful and majestic creatures -- like this one here. 

Surprisingly, this regal looking hawk has been making frequent visits to our backyard lately, and yesterday stayed long enough for my husband to grab these snapshots while it struck a pose or two on, of all things, our back gate!

And would you just look at those piercing eyes! Kind of gives new meaning to the term 'watching something like a hawk, doesn't it?

It's moments like these that I am so in awe of the beauty of God's creations. I think of what His Word says in Genesis 1:31:

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good

I hope that you enjoy seeing this beautiful bird of prey as much as we have!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Worship Song Sunday -- Abide With Me, by Indelible Grace (feat Matthew Perryman Jones)

"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life...." ~ Psalm 27:4

This week proved to be yet another full scale, flurry of activity, which is turning out to be the new normal for me.  While my goal for this year is to simplify, I cannot say these activities complicate or clutter up my life. They just keep me busy, in a good way for the most part:  appointments that need to be kept, people that need my attention, tasks to which I need to attend as a wife, a mom and a homemaker.

I do find myself physically and emotionally exhausted by the time the end of the week rolls around, especially when my arch nemesis, Madame Depression, decides to make an unwelcome and unappreciated appearance in my life, as she did this week.  So my body, mind and soul could use some rest and comforting.  

I found this song, ‘Abide With Me,’ in a post on ‘One Thousand Gifts’ author Ann Voskamp's blog site.  It’s a remake of an old hymn with which I’m not familiar, but which instantly captured me and brought me into that place of peace, rest and holy worship that I so craved, even as I sat at my kitchen table, with a sink full of dishes waiting anxiously for me nearby. The lyrics are beautiful and provided on the video. They are a true cry of the heart to the Lord for Him to come and abide with the worshiper.

My hope is that as you listen to this song, the beauty of the words and music will become YOUR heart's cry and will help to bring you into a place of sweet and tender worship to our Lord God, in spite of any physical exhaustion, mental anguish, heart aches, brokenness of spirit, or dryness of soul that you may be experiencing in your life.

For the next few moments, ask our faithful and loving Lord to help you to empty yourself of all the clutter of life, so that there is room in your heart for Him to dwell…to abide… with you. 

I need Thy Presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Worship Song Sunday -- Father, Spirit, Jesus ~ by Casting Crowns

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit."  ~ Romans 8:1-4 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beauty All Around

Today on Facebook, the Mercy Ministries page issued this challenge: 

Look for beauty in today, take pictures of what you find.

So I did!  I do hope you enjoy them!

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Simplify - Time To Refocus

"We do not have to spend 24 hours a day in church to give our time to God. Instead, He simply asks that we constantly refocus our attention on Him, in even the smallest details of our life." ~ Sr. Theresa Noble

Peace Be Still, by C. Michael Dudash

Earnest Prayer, by C. Michael Dudash
"Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end." ~ Hebrews 12:2, (GNT)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Worship Song Sunday -- Grace Like Rain, by Todd Agnew

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB

Bring On The Rain! by steeleAcooper

And Hallelujah, grace like rain
Falls down on me;

And Hallelujah, and all my stains
Are washed away
They're washed away! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Keepin' It Simple In 2013

Uh, oh, here I go, wading through a lot of stuff you know, 
Juggling it all while I’m balancing on a wire; 
Slow down, I have found, seems that every time I turn around, 
Got one foot in the muck and another foot in the mire;
Well, I’m scaling down, pulling back
Got to try to simplify ~ Wes King

A few weeks ago, a rash of One Word buttons began popping up all over my Facebook page and on my Blogger Reading List.

For those of you who haven’t the foggiest notion what in the world I’m talking about, the One Word concept is to focus on a particular God inspired word for the whole year, rather than wrestle with a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions you just KNOW will be broken by the third week of January (I’m being kind here. Usually, I’ve bombed out on most by January 2).

Melanie, over at Only A Breath, designs these marvelous One Word 2013 buttons to display on your blog, your Facebook page, your personal website or wherever. I first became aware of this last year when my friend Dawn Paoletta, over at Beneath The Surface:Breath of Faith, had one on her blog.  So, I decided to give it a shot this year.

Those of you who don't really know me, here's a truth: I’ve created a career out of making things in my own life…and the lives of others…more complicated than they need to be. What could be said in 25 words or less, I will say/write in 250 words or more. I fear blank calendars and Day Planners: empty blocks or pages just SCREAM for me to fill them with something. Or many somethings. And honestly? I’ve tried to accomplish so many things at once, I could be a professional juggler.

While I am far from reaching hoarder status, I do have a lot of stuff in my house. Too much stuff. Unnecessary stuff.

I feel as if I have….no, I KNOW I have so much clutter in my life – literally and figuratively – and the clutter and the complication have become a constant distraction from what is most important, or SHOULD be important to me:

  • Jesus
  • My family
  • My health

I can no longer continue on this cluttered, twisted, rock strewn maze, because frankly:

It’s burdensome
It’s exhausting
It’s stressful
It’s ugly

So yes....Simplify is my One Word for 2013. 

Jumping onto the dictionary bandwagon, here are some definitions that resonate with me personally: to reduce to basic essentials; to make more simple and less complex; to eliminate those things that we don’t need.


It came as a gentle, yet persistent, God-breathed whisper in my ear, that turned into a stirring in my soul.


When Jesus traveled, to say He traveled extremely light is an understatement because as far as I know, Jesus didn’t have much of anything TO TAKE. He didn't even own a house. Jesus did and said only what was necessary. So He is Whom I look to as my example of simplicity. All through the gospels, Jesus found Himself in the middle of ridiculously large groups people. Yet, He focused on and tended to each matter, each need, each precious person at hand. Jesus kept it simple.

Simplify. I don’t know what this is going to look like for me this year. I doubt it will be pretty, swift or easy. Sincere and deep life change never is. And I sure don’t know how God is going to work this out in my life for 2013.

But that’s not my job to figure it out. That’s a job I’ll gladly pull from the juggling sphere and hand over to Him.

Just tryin’ to simplify. 

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