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Archive for the ‘reprint’ Category

Your Love Never Fails

I felt entitlement and resentment yesterday and God ministered to me all day today with this song: while I was driving to work, driving to the Melee on the Bayou, and when I was finally driving home like Cinderella:

by Newsboys

nothing can separate
even if i run away
Your love never fails
i know i still make mistakes
You have new mercy for me everyday
’cause Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
there may be pain in the night
but joy comes in the morning
and when the oceans rage
i don’t have to be afraid
because i know that You love me
Your love never fails

the wind is strong and the water’s deep
but i’m not alone here in these open seas
’cause Your love never fails
the chasm is far too wide
i never thought i’d reach the other side
but Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good
You make all things work together for my good

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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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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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The Incarnation

by Odd Thomas

what good is the Christmas story
if it’s void of God and His glory
what’s the worth of the words “peace on earth”
if it’s not rooted in the truth of Christ’s birth
what benefit is it for us to discuss the joy of the season
unless we fix our hearts and our minds on the principal reason
that Christ has atoned for us

see, Christmas is more than just a story
about a baby born in a manger
more than a poor fiance engaged to a humble virgin teenager
more than a Magi
more than gold, frankincense, and myrrh
it’s more than a narrative of the nativity scene
there was so much more that occurred

it’s the coming of the Messiah
the fulfillment of all Old Testament promises
the prophecy of the suffering servant and all of His accomplishments
the second Person of the Trinity
commissioned to abandon His position
and literally set aside the independent exercise of His attributes
in full submission
the Word manifested in the flesh
the fullness of God expressed
the self-emptying Jesus poured out at the Father’s request
the image of the invisible God
the radiance of the Father’s fame
holy
but retained His humanness to emphathize with our pain

He was unjustly crushed
chastised
cursed
and shamed
mocked and adorned with a crown of thorns
disgraced
but He still faced the grave
to fulfill the Father’s will
to come and die in the place of sinful men
and receive the full fury of God’s judgment upon Himself instead

the most monumental mark for mankind
made in human history
wretched sinners being made righteous
only by the wounds of the risen King
the condescending of a holy God
made in the likeness of men
a child born to be the Savior
that would save the world from their sins
the offspring of the virgin’s womb
the Christ
God’s own Son
fully God yet fully man
the only theanthropic One

this is what we celebrate
Christ
the newborn King
veiled in flesh the Godhead see
hail! incarnate Deity

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Christmas Must Be Something More

by Taylor Swift

what if ribbons and bows didn’t mean a thing
would the song still survive without five golden rings
would you still wanna kiss without misletoe
what would happen if God never let it snow
what would happen if Christmas carols told a lie
tell me what would you find

you’d see that today holds something special
something holy, not superficial
so here’s to the birthday boy who saved our lives
it’s something we all try to ignore
and put a wreath up on your door
so here’s something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something more

what if angels did not pay attention to
all the things that we wished they would always do
what if happiness came in a cardboard box
then i think there is something we all forgot
what would happen if presents all went away
tell me what would you find

you’d see that today holds something special
something holy, not superficial
so here’s to the birthday boy who saved our lives
it’s something we all try to ignore
and put a wreath up on your door
so here’s something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something more

we get so caught up in all of it
business and relationships
hundred-mile-an-hour lives
and it’s this time of year
and everybody’s here
it seems the last thing on your mind

is that the day holds something special
something holy, not superficial
so here’s to Jesus Christ who saved our lives
it’s something we all try to ignore
and put a wreath up on your door
but here’s something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something
Christmas must be something
Christmas must be something more

there’s gotta be more
there’s gotta be more

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