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My praise

Was feeling defeated.  Then this song:

[Chorus:]
If this life has anything to gain at all
I’ll count it loss if I can’t hear you, feel you, ’cause I need you.
Can’t walk this earth alone.
I recognize I’m not my own, so before I fall
I need to hear you, feel you, as I live to make my boast in you alone.

[Verse 1:]
With every breath I take, with every heart beat,
Sunrise and the moon lights in the dark street.
Every glance, every dance, every note of a song.
It’s all a gift undeserved that I shouldn’t have known.
Every day that I lie, every moment I covet
I’m deserving to die, I’m just earning your judgment.
I, without the cross there’s only condemnation.
If Jesus wasn’t executed there’s no celebration.
So in times that are good, in times that are bad
For any times that I’ve had it all I will be glad.
And I will boast in the cross. I’ll boast in my pains.
I will boast in the sunshine, boast in his reign.
What’s my life if it’s not praising you?
Another dollar in my bank account of vain pursuit.
I do not count my life as any value or precious at all.
Let me finish my race, let me answer my call.

[Chorus]

[Verse 2:]
Tomorrow’s never promised, but it is we swear.
Think we holding our own, just a fist full of air.
God has never been obligated to give us life.
If we fought for our rights, we’d be in hell tonight.
Mere sinners owed nothing but a fierce hand.
We never loved him, we pushed away his pierced hands.
I rejected his love, grace, kindness, and mercy.
Dying of thirst, yet, willing to die thirsty.
Eternally worthy, how could I live for less?
Patiently you turned my heart away from selfishness.
I volunteer for your sanctifying surgery.
I know the Spirit’s purging me of everything that’s hurting me.
Remove the veil from my darkened eyes.
So now every morning I open your word and see the Son rise.
I hope in nothin, boast in nothin, only in your suffering.
I live to show your glory, dying to tell your story.

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]
Glory was solely meant for you.
Doing what no one else could do.
With All I have to give, (With all I have to Give)
I’ll use my life, I’ll use my lips. (My Lips Yeaaah)
I’ll only glory in your Word. What gift to me I don’t deserve.
I’ll live in such a way that it reflects to you, my Praise.

“Boasting” by Lacrae

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Held

“Daddy, when it get’s scary, will you hold me?”
John M

My children and I enjoy watching superhero cartoons together.  Two of our favorite shows are Super Hero Squad and Justice League.  The kids like to mimic the characters and sing the song during the introduction sequences.  However, along with each superhero comes a super villain, and the battle against the super villain can often be scary.  My youngest child James wants to watch with his older sisters.  However, some parts may get scary for him.  Rather than go away and do something else, he asks “Daddy, when it gets scary, will you hold me?”

James’ question made me think of my life and my attitude to God.  Many times our life can be difficult causing fear and anxiety.  We can face trials and disappointments such as uncertainty with school or work, relationship issues, or health problems.  God does not promise a life without trials.  In fact, as Christians, He tells us to expect trials.  However, God also reminds us He has overcome the world.  When life gets tough and trials come my way, do I run away to somewhere I perceive that it is safe?  Or do I face my fears and run to God’s arms and ask Him, “Daddy, when it gets scary, will you hold me?”  God, our Father, welcomes us with open arms.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  [John 16:33]

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  [Deuteronomy 31:6]

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Father

“Forever Reign”
Hillsong

You are good You are good
when there’s nothing good in me
You are love You are love
on display for all to see
You are light You are light
when the darkness closes in
You are hope You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace You are peace
when my fear is crippling
You are true You are true
even in my wandering
You are joy You are joy
You’re the reason that i sing
You are life You are life
in You death has lost its sting

[Chorus]
Oh i’m running to Your arms
i’m running to Your arms
the riches of Your love
will always be enough
nothing compares to Your embrace
light of the world forever reign

You are more You are more
than my words will ever say
You are Lord You are Lord
all creation will proclaim
You are here You are here
in Your presence i’m made whole
You are God You are God
of all else i’m letting go

[Chorus]

my heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus
Jesus

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The Prayer

by Saraliza Anzaldua
Praise be to the Father,
Who loves us so well.
Glory be to the Son,
Who for our sake went thru hell.
Thanks be to the Holy Spirit,
Who fills our lives each day.
May the Lord grant peace
to each of us I pray.

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a poem by Rubem Alves

God as father.
God as mother.
God as wind.
These are metaphors.
Attempts to put into words that which is beyond all words.
God as gardener.
God plants a garden.
The universe is destined for Paradise –
joy, pleasure for God, for women and men, for all beings.
God destined us to be partners –
put tools in our hands, pruning hooks and ploughs;
put words in our mouth,
and invited us to name all created beings in the garden,
so that they may become our brothers and sisters.
Words – they are of two kinds.
Some are produced by the brain:
they serve as tools.
With them we build boats, bridges, wings.
These are the words of knowledge, science, and technology.
We cannot survive without them. They give us the means to life.
Alone they have no power to create happiness:
Boats, but not the vision of unseen lands;
Bridges, but not the vision of the garden beyond the abyss;
Wings, but not the vision of paradise to which we should fly.
They can break the chains of oppression,
but cannot provide the vision of freedom.
For vision, a different kind of word is needed.
A word which no brain can produce.
It comes with the wind.
It is given to the heart.
It is grace.
When the heart hears it, it begins to dream.
It is power to see beyond the visible.
Those who dream are those who provide direction
to boats, bridges, and wings.
They give reasons to our lives.
They are the prophets, the poets, the seers.
The words the community of the spirit is called to give,
these words are of a very special kind.
They have the colours of the rainbow,
the music of laughter and crying,
the perfume of flowers,
the hands of a lover,
the taste of bread and wine.
God speaks and life blossoms.
God’s Spirit is constantly at work re-creating the world.
In Jesus, God dwells among us holding all things together.
To live in communion with the creative word of God;
To say the words which re-create:
That is the mission of the community of faith.

Women’s rights are human rights [Hillary Rodham Clinton].  Happy International Women’s Day.

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Happy birthday, Lincoln

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

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Share when you were most in love with Jesus

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.  [Ephesians 6:10-20]

Satan will not take my joy away!

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

   “For your sake we face death all day long;    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  [Romans 8:26-39]

Amen!

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