Can We Trust God Enough to Say “Thy Will Be Done?”

Thy Will Be Done PicI hope what is written here and the song that follows will encourage you today.

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

That’s exactly what I need. Peace. A safeguard from dark, negative thoughts and a gateway to joy.

Matthew Henry, in his commentary of this passage, writes:

“Observe, It is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in him always; at all times, in all conditions; even when we suffer for him, or are afflicted by him. We must not think the worse of him or of his ways for the hardships we meet with in his service.”

I’ve been thinking about the statement at the end of that video I shared in my last post…the part about how if he loses his sister, he knows he will get angry with God, but that basically God would understand. (I’m very much paraphrasing and summarizing here.)

I think he is trying to express his belief in God’s relentless love for us in spite of our doubt-ridden hearts. I get that. At the same time, in case anyone is unclear, I think we all understand that turning away from God in our despair is never a real option, because He is our ONLY hope.

I’ve heard it said that our suffering does not nullify the goodness of God. He is unchanging, after all. So, may our grieving cause us to hold tight to Him, to the truth of His word and to the faith He has given us. May we trust Him enough to say, “Thy will be done,” just as Jesus taught us to pray.

This journey the Lord has me on right now is not easy. My surgery is scheduled for this week and It seems fear and anxiety are popping up at every turn. But Jesus promised that he would never leave me and, with His help, I can do this.

Rejoice. Pray. Ask. Give Thanks. Find Peace.

Life is hard but God is here and He is my hope. I’m thankful that, even when things look bad, I can choose to dwell on the good.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

I’m listening to and loving this new song by Hillary Scott! It’s a timely message for me and anyone else out there who is facing a challenge in their life. If that’s you, take a moment to watch this and be blessed!

Part of the lyric says this:

I know you see me;
I know you hear me, Lord.Your plans are for me;
Goodness you have in store.
So, Thy will be done…

Are you discouraged? I pray the Lord gives you the peace you are seeking right now. Reach out to Him. He sees you. He hears you. He loves you.

How Christians Party on St. Patrick’s Day… or any day

Photo Source

This weekend, people around the world will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, a day which has become known for pints and pubs and partying.

What many may not realize is that the holiday began as a way to honor the man who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. St. Patrick. The man who wrote these words.

May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us. 


And I know why the meaning of a holiday gets lost, buried by leprechauns and pots ‘o gold. It’s because the enemy of our souls wants to keep us in the dark about what really matters.

He convinces us that some feverish pursuit of fun and revelry will bring us happiness. But, the truth is, only God can give us the eternal joy we seek.

We read in Acts 2 where the apostle Peter told the gathering crowd on the day of Pentecost that the new believers were ” not drunk, as you suppose.” He went on to explain that what they were seeing was the outpouring of God’s Spirit. 

And, in Ephesians 5, we are given these instructions:

 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The rest of the world will be displaying their definition of “party” this weekend, but Christians have another definition altogether.

Below is a song by Ceili Rain. I’m a long-time fan of the music of this Christian band whose name is a giveaway of their Irish-infused sound. Their website explains:

The Gaelic word “Céili” (pronounced kay-lee) means “party”, specifically one with live musicians, dancing, and general merriment for an all-ages crowd. “Coeli” is a form of the Latin word for “heaven”. Rain is English, meaning downpour. Thus, Ceili Rain is a “downpour of heavenly partiness.” 

I’ll admit. This may be an unusual worship song, but nonetheless, it is just that.  And “heavenly partiness” is just a quirky way of saying that our joy comes from the Spirit of God. So all our celebrations should be God-honoring because He has given us a real reason to celebrate.

I hope you enjoy the following video with song lyrics included. The pictures are pretty and you can pretend you’re in Ireland for a few minutes!

One thing though…some words were mistyped such as “body” which should be “party” and “heartiness” which should be “partiness” and a few others but you’ll get the idea.

If you have trouble viewing the video below, click here.

And, since I’m feeling a little “Irish-y” today, I thought I would bless you with this familiar Irish Blessing!
May the road rise up to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields. 
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand

Here Comes The Sun!

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3

 

Yesterday, after two full days of rain, the sun appeared. We needed the rain, but it’s so good to see light washing over the earth, feel it warming the skin, soaking the soul in hope for a new day.
 
It’s amazing what a difference that makes. How, right in the middle of the gray and gloomy, joy can rise up.
 
And it takes you by surprise, all over again.
 
Makes you want to applaud God and say “Thank you!”
 
Hope your weekend is full of happy surprises.

People in the Unemployment Line Get An Encouraging Surprise! from alegator21 on GodTube.

Restore The Joy – It’s About Giving

My husband and I attended a dinner last week where we met this nice couple who began talking about their four kids and how they wish they could turn back the clock and do Christmas differently.
In fact, they said they are trying to simplify things this year and preparing their kids to enjoy the holiday more – with less. But they are running into opposition from the younger two who say that it’s not fair that their older siblings have been able to get more over the years. Sigh.
Those parents are struggling. And I feel their pain. Right or wrong, it’s hard to untie the traditions we have established and grasp hold of new ones. But we have to try.
Because this is Christmas. And we have to get this right. Not only for ourselves but for the little eyes watching and learning from us. 
The Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
So we tell them this about Christmas. It’s not about how much you can get, not about greed. It’s about giving. And that is true, but we need to share with them about the receiving part as well because the two go together.
Through the symbolic giving of our gifts to one another, we celebrate the most precious gift of all – Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.
And when we open our hearts to receive from Him, we are filled with joy.
Because He brings us what we desire most. Life. Hope. Peace.
Gifts that never disappoint.
Gifts that will last forever.
Gifts that humble us because we know we have been given
something we don’t deserve.

And the result is, or should be, that all of this blessing turns us from grateful receivers into grateful givers.

So why do we sometimes get so wrapped up in the trappings of the holidays that we forget it is a holy day? Does joy have to be something we just sing about but have little acquaintance with during this stress-filled season?
Many of us are tired of watching the true meaning of Christmas get tossed around in that mangled mass of shredded paper torn from treasures we bought on November 26th and the credit card company still owns on December 25th. It hurts to see ribbons of regret running all the way through our self-made piles of twisted expectations. 
We know what we have to do. We have to stop draining our bank accounts hoping to fill the empty spaces, these hidden holes in our hearts that cannot be named or seen, only felt.
Mary Hunt wrote a book out of her own painful experience called How To Debt-Proof Your Christmas. She talks about what she learned in this interview. Here’s an excerpt.

“We want people to love us. I’ll be honest. I wanted my children to love me and have the best memories and to be the parent of the year and for my friends to think i was wealthy. All of these crazy things. It was about me, wasn’t so much about them.”

“It was about me.” Those words keep ringing in my head like a Salvation Army bell, demanding my attention. I have to ask myself what I’m doing to keep Christ at the center of Christmas.
To put Him first, and others before myself.
Maybe it’s as simple as this. If we keep our focus on how Jesus paid our spiritual debt we will not feel the need to acquire more monetary debt.
Because we’ll realize we really do have everything we need.
I believe it’s possible to change. To do Christmas differently than we have in the past and enjoy more with less. It might not be easy. We might meet with some resistance. But God, the Great Giver, will show us the way and grant us grace in the process.
 Lord help me remember that when I light the candle of gratitude, greed melts away, the flame of joy burns bright and I learn again what it really means to give. Amen!
Next week, I will be writing more on this subject and sharing unique ways to restore the joy in our gift-giving this season.
Meanwhile, here is one fun idea –
Go catalog shopping with your family and pick out a gift to give to someone in need!

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. ~ Deut. 16:17 #itsaboutgiving

Burdens and Bubbles

Girl_blowing_bubbles

I haven’t posted in a long while. Haven’t been able to keep up with reading any other blogs either.

I got busy and life turned crazy and suddenly I found myself in a bubble.

A bubble that consisted of all work and no play.

But now…

I am praising God for a day of rest.

No obligations.

No to-do list.

Just time to contemplate the goodness of the One who breaks chains and brings freedom to those held captive.

When we bind ourselves to Him, we are not bound by anyone or anything. 

He rescues us, just like He rescued the Israelites in days long past.

“I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you…” Psalm 81:6-7

When we call on His name, like a child blowing bubbles into the air, our prayers rise to heaven.

And we know we’ve been heard because the One who makes the sun to rise and set, gives us days like this.

Days of pure joy. When we are released from the cares and concerns of this life.

Hearts set free.

Watching our burdens drift far, far away.