Posts Tagged ‘Worship’

Notes Sung Sweetly Over Seas

What a blessing, to share an hour of conversation with my son, who is overseas…and to share a harmony or two.
Thank you, Lord.  

__________________

“Mom, I’m leading worship tomorrow.  Got any ideas for songs I should share?”

“Ooooo, you know I like ‘Forever’, that’s still my favorite.
I know it’s an old one, but it speaks to me.”

“Yeah, I know, but I need songs that are well-known, not ones I’ve written.”

“Oh, okay, like  ‘How Great is our God’?
Mr. Ed lead us in that song this morning.
I love that song!”

“I like that too, but I don’t know if that’s well-known over here.”

“How about ‘Mighty To Save’?
That’s a good one, too.”

“I’m thinking more like hymns, that would be more well-known.”

“Okay, the first one that comes to mind is ‘Satisfied’,
and you know that one.”

“But that’s not one that’s familiar to many.  Something more traditional.”

“‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face…

“Yeah, more like that. But not that one.”

“Gosh, hard for me to just think of hymns right off.
And there are so many that are used in contemporary worship songs these days.
Like ‘Nothing But The Blood of Jesus’.
I think that’s in a Tomlin song, or maybe someone else.
But that’s a good one.
What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus…”

Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.  
That’s a good one.”

“Oooo, or how about ‘Victory in Jesus’?
There’s victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
That song is so uplifting.
You know, that was the song we all sang at the
beginning of Mr. Philip’s service.
It was perfect!

“That’s a good one, too.  Yeah.
He sought me, and bought me, with His redeeming blood.
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him, and all my love, is due Him.
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.

I like that one.  Okay, what else?”

“Well, wait a minute.
I’ve got a little hymn book right here.
You know, those kind that tell you the history of the songs?”

“I love those.”

“It’s like the one I gave you before you left.
I’m keeping this one here for you.
Let’s see…’Little Is Much When God Is In It’.
I don’t know that one.
And there’s ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’.”

“Not that one, ma.”

“How about that!
It was written in 1922 by a woman.
I didn’t know that!
She was 55 years old when she wrote it.
Says that when she became blind, her husband left her.
She said that when she heard a statement that deeply impressed her,
she stood still, and there was singing in  her soul and spirit. “

“That’s cool, ma.”

“The verses of the song were written within a week’s time
and in ‘their usual manner of composition,
but nonetheless dictated by the Holy Spirit.”

“Wow!  I can relate!”

“That’s so awesome.
I always liked that song, and now I just like it even more!
Anyway, what about  some song that goes
...and He walks with me, and He talks with me,
and He tells me I am His own?

“I don’t know that one, ma.”

“That was grandma Flossie’s favorite.
It’s more like a song you hear at funerals.
This one makes me think of Kristen, ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’.
Remember her singing that one at Aroma?”

“Yeah.  She’s getting married soon – it’s crazy!”

“I know!  Love them.
You should try to see them when you’re home.
Maybe on your way to Alabama.”

“I should.  Man, there’s so many places I want to go when I get home.”

“Yep, I know.
Hey, how about  the one that goes
…here I raise my Ebenezer…”

“...hither by thy help I come.
And I hope by thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home.
..”

Jesus sought me when a stranger
wandering from the fold of God…

“…He to rescue me from danger
interposed His precious blood
.”

“That’s such a good one!”

“Yeah, ‘Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing’.
I like that one, too.
I think I might use that one.”

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Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

It’s been one of those days, you know?
One where you get up late and spend the rest of the day trying to get back those lost few minutes, certain that it’s their absence that has made life overly-frustrating today.

Hurry up!  We can’t be late to school again.
Do you want overnight suspension?
You owe lunch money.
Do I have any change in the bottom of my purse?
How about on the floor?
Deadlines to meet.

A budget to tweak.
The dog threw up on the new carpet.
Nothing in the fridge for dinner.
I need gas in the car & it’s pouring rain.
What do you mean, the washer’s not working?
Who left the garage door open so the dogs can get to the litter box?
Piles of laundry.
Did you feed the iguana?
I said, DID YOU FEED THE IGUANA!!!???
5th grade project due tomorrow.
Do we have any poster board?

Just life.  All of the things on that list above are not normally tasks or responsibilities that freak me out and leave me winded.  I’ve learned to take things one at a time and check off boxes.  BUT, with those few minutes from the morning missing, normal tasks and responsibilities seem amplified and too many and mighty to deal with today.

Enter 5th grade son (the one who waited until this very afternoon to mention that he has a project on the USS Arizona due in the morning, in less than 14 hours).

He carries his little CD player/boom box combo with the broken antenna into my bedroom, where I’m putting clean sheets on my bed.  Without saying a word, he plugs it in and tunes it to WMHK, 89.7.

In that very second, the missing minutes from the morning come crashing down on me.  They are heavy, heavy, heavy…like lead.  I don’t even recall now what song was playing, but I do recall the face of my precious, all too understanding eleven year old as he hugged me and said, “The music always seems to make you feel better, momma.”

Yes, the music does, this particular music.  Songs of worship and praise.  Rhythmic, soul-filled scripture, brought to life in lyrics and stories.  Melodies so beautiful, so uplifting, so inspiring…bringing the face of Our Heavenly Father into focus.  Worship.

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!  The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” Psalm 118:14-16

I am so thankful for how my son reminded me in a quick, sincere gesture of what is really important.  When you hold up a very bad, terrible, horrible day to the light of the Savior, how easy it is to see what’s important in comparison.  Just like the hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus…and all the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

No, I am not smarter than a 5th grader, but I sure am glad to have one living in my house.  He makes me happy when skies are gray.  🙂

The Blessing of A Kitten Named Turkey

Meet Turkey.  She is the latest addition to our family.  How did we get her?  Turkey actually found us.  She was screaming (meowing) early one morning for us to let her in, so we did.  We were amazed right away by the mighty big voice she had for being such a tiny kitten.  It was obvious, upon first glance, that she was not someone’s pet.  Dirty, boney, flea-covered, and appearing to be missing an eye at first, we knew we couldn’t turn her back out onto the street.  So here we are, about 2 1/2 weeks later, and this tiny kitten has us smitten with her!

The Day She Found Us

Like any other healthy kitten, Turkey is rambunctious and busy every single second she is awake, but she is still a baby, so she has several catnaps a day and knows when it is bedtime for the rest of us.  Without being taught or encouraged, she’s learned to jump onto the foot of our bed as we’re turning in for the night. It’s a neat routine.  We get into bed.  Moments later, we can feel the tiny bounce of her massive 1.5 pound body, and she immediately turns on her purr.  When we call to her (“Turkey, good little Turkey, sweet kitty Turkey….”), she turns her purr up even louder.  And if we rub her beneath her chin, she purrs even louder still!  It’s funny, because when she’s running around the house all day, you won’t hear a purr out of her at all.  But at bedtime, in her contentment and seemingly gratitude, she offers us the warmth of her happiness through a purr. She appears to offer us “the purr” as a means of thanksgiving for taking her in.  For loving her. 

This past Tuesday, like most days as I’m driving to work, I was reflecting on the morning devotion and thinking about the scripture it was based upon.  Before I knew it, I was singing praises to our Saviour – belting it out! – unscripted words on paper, but definitely scripted in my heart.  Don’t you just love that when it happens?!  I was singing praises of thanks for the many, many blessings God has shown me, and for those that I knew He has in store for me yet to come.  Hallelujah, He knows my past, present and future!  As I was singing, I became aware of this warmth, building inside – almost as if some nurtured energy was about to unfold – like a daisy opening it’s petals beneath he morning’s early dew.  And as I continued to sing praises, that warmth became greater, and greater, until I was filled with such enormous joy!  Immediately, I began to think of Turkey, our newest feline family member, and an understanding of this joy came to me in the very simple, tangible definition of this tiny beast. Just as Turkey lands on the foot our our bed, offering her warm little purr that grows a little louder with some praiseful cooing, and then even louder with the anticipation of an outstretched hand coming toward her……..so was the warmth, the radiation of the Holy Spirit within me.  The more I praised, the more I poured my heart out in Thanksgiving, the more I could feel the love and satisfaction of my Father.  Thank you, thank you, sweet Lord for giving me a glimpse of  the happiness you must feel when we glorify you and praise your name, in terms that I can understand.  Thank you for showing me this…..yet another blessing!

So maybe not everyone would understand it if I compared the warmth of the Holy Spirit to the instinctive purr of a cat…..but that’s okay.  Our wonderful Saviour has showed me in a way he knows I can understand.  He will reveal things to you, too, in ways you can understand them best. Our Father knows each of us, loves each of us, and is ready to reveal things to you in your language – way you can understand.  All you have to do is believe with all your heart, and listen for his gentle way.    John 14:  16-17

2 Weeks After Finding Us

A blessing in the making:  The night Turkey found us, we were in the middle of singing praises to our Saviour, literally.  We were at a recording studio with our oldest son as he was working on the final tracks for a song titled “Magnify”.  It was when taking a donut break at 2:00am that Turkey came-a-callin’.  Praise God for all the blessings, big and small, known and yet to come!

Be magnified
As we sing your praise and lift your name
Up higher than the mountaintops you made

                                  Magnify
                                 (c) 2011 – D. Johnston