Monday Music Mash-Up

I have always wanted to see/hear a flash mob.  Whether it be music or dance I would love every moment.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been at a mall, in a restaurant or on a plane when one happened.  I guess my timing just hasn’t been right. So I listen and watch everyone that comes out on Facebook.  Perhaps one day…

Honestly, you can find videos of them in every musical and dance genre.  Check out the ones I’ve included here.

download (1)Riverdance in Australia https://youtu.be/7auErQnU6fU I was transported to a world of Celtic imagery in both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.  Can’t wait to see Heartbeat of Home.

 

05_m40_maastricht-modiCarmina Burana https://youtu.be/PJNp5UKRtbQ One of my favorite classical pieces of all time.

 

 

 

 

download (2)Straight No Chaser sings Stand By Me to a Hardees restaurant worker. https://youtu.be/46e85PzCnAo  Just one of my favorite acapella groups.

 

 

imagesDo Re Mi https://youtu.be/bQLCZOG202k.  Bet you’ll be singing along to this one.

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these videos.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sugar Coated Lives

donuts-431863__180On the road, into town, I pass a small donut shoppe that has donut-related quips and quotes on its marquee.  The current one is – “The only thing I need sugar-coated are my donuts.”  I’ve rolled this over and over in my mind and have realized that there is so much sugar-coating in life that we may be missing out on the deep richness within.

 

Haven’t we sugar-coated sin with making it legal?  Abortion?  Homosexuality? Euthanasia?

How about sugar-coated parenting? Giving our children so much ‘stuff’ that they relate getting it to how much we love them.  Or, using the excuse – ‘They’re only children’ when they get into trouble.  No consequences, just excuses.

We sugar-coat conflict by refusing to get involved. Doesn’t that give the message that because we’re not standing against an injustice, we agree with it?

Oh, how we’ve sugar coated the Cross.  We’ve gotten so far from the incident that it has become a Christian Cliche.  We put bunting and flowers and gold plating and… The icon of our Savior’s love for us has become jewelry, t-shirt material, wall-art… The cross is mocked by our use of it.  We no longer see the pain and suffering of an innocent man to prove His incredible, undeserved love for us.

Although Mark 8 is most often used to prove Jesus is who He says He is.  It is also a beautiful picture of Jesus transparency.  When He asked Peter who do you think I am Peter answer with a list of what others were saying about him (the sugar coating).  Jesus wanted Peter to dig deeper so He says, ‘But who do you think I am?’ .  This is the point where Jesus opens His mind and soul to them and tells them His deepest thoughts. Jesus talks about what is about to happen on the way to the cross and at the cross.  He breaks through the sugar-coating and shows His followers Himself.

Underneath the sugar, frosting, and filling is the sweet, succulent, simplicity of a plain donut.  It provides the foundation for what is on it.  It is not hidden under layers of sprinkles, icing, or powder.

As I continue rolling this concept around in my mind I can’t help but relate it to life.  Am I recognized by the sugar coating or is the plain donut me there for everyone to see? How about you?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Friday Faves

It’s Friday again.  Yep, that happens every seven days🙂 .   Check out what I’ve been reading this week besides books.  Enjoy!

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Have you given much thought to how you welcome others into your home or life?  This great article from Lifeway Women shares some basic hospitality etiquette.  I’ve practiced not answering the phone and turning off the television when we have company for many years.  My grandparents did this when we visited and it has always stuck with me.  We always felt welcome and loved in their                                                          home.

SurpriseIn We’re All Worth A Second Look, Holley Gerth (one of my favorite writer/bloggers) tells us second best is not a bad thing.

 

 

 

10-New-Christian-Blogs.-MarriedbyHisGrace.com_I really enjoy visiting Blog Hops/Linky Parties around the Internet.  Check out the page I have on this site of some of the parties I visit.  I learn so much and love finding new bloggers to read and follow.  Carmen, at Married By His Grace, has been following several new blogs and has made a list for us.  For me, it was a great way to see what’s new in the Christian blogging world.

 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

To Follow Her Heart – Book Review

To-Follow-Her-Heart-Rebecca-DeMarinoRebecca DeMarino has once again lived up to my expectations in the third book of The Southold Chronicles.  To Follow Her Heart is a delightful story of two people who have been in love for a long time and the many obstacles that have come between them.

In this story, based on true family history, you’ll read of a shipwreck with no known survivors – War – Love lost and found – How European illnesses wiped out most of a Native American tribe – A dreadful fire and much loss – An ‘on-again’ ‘off-again’ wedding – A long sea journey

Even some excellent advice that holds true in both the 15th and the 21st centuries from one of the main characters to another… Life is uncertain and we can’t let fear control our decisions.

If you like Christian Romance I highly recommend this book and its prequels.  Book 1 – A Place In His Heart and Book 2 – To Capture Her Heart are excellent stories that stand on their own and are definitely worth your reading time.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I was provided a copy of this book by Revell Publishers for the sole purpose of review. The words and thoughts are entirely my own.  I receive no remuneration in any form except for the print copy.

Why I’ve Given Up On Forgiving Myself

 

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Whenever I read or hear someone saying, but you have to forgive yourself, I ask, why. There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that says forgive yourself.

We are told to forgive others but never ourselves. (Matthew 6:12b) Why? Because we are not God. We cannot judge ourselves. Only God knows the reasons or motives behind our actions.

God chooses not to remember our sins. He doesn’t forget them He just doesn’t want to remember them. Perhaps that’s what God wants us to do. Move on, get over it, quit rolling it around in our minds…just forget it. If we are dredging up the past in our thoughts, we are recommitting the sin. Yes, that is Biblical. Take a look at what God says about lusting in Matthew 5:28. Basically, even if you’re thinking it, you’re doing it. Look at Proverbs 4:23. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.

Another way to look at this concept is through the eyes of one who is forgiven. Do you believe that you are forgiven? Do you understand that when Jesus went to the cross He took every one of our sins on Himself? Aren’t you basically saying His death doesn’t matter?

The evil one loves this thought pattern. When we minimize what Jesus did by saying I must forgive myself, satan has a door to enter our thoughts. The second we try to make forgiving about our own ability we have made ourselves God, or at least tried to.

Paul says in Romans 8:1, there is no more condemning for those who believe in Jesus. If you believe that is true, then there is no reason to be concerned with forgiving yourself. Jesus already did the hard work. We are cleansed, washed clean and totally forgiven because of His never-ending grace. We’ve got to get over this need to do it ourselves. He did it! Let that be it!

I must add, however, that we cannot assume that we can go on sinning. It should be our greatest desire never to sin again. Even though we have been ‘made new’ we are probably going to fall into the sin pit again. The Bible is quite clear on the process at that point… Ask for forgiveness from the One and Only… Accept His loving response (Go and sin no more-John 4:1-42)…Do not return to that sin in thought, word or deed… Move on, walk away, give it up…

Heavenly Father, it is my greatest desire not to sin against You in thought, word, or deed. Yet I do. Forgive my bent to thoughts, words, and actions that do not reflect You to the world around me. Help me to listen for the ‘voice’ of the Spirt in everything I think, do, and say. Teach me Your word so that I will know what You want. Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I have been greatly honored to write this article for Blogs for Christian Women.  Click on the highlighted words and see what others are writing about it.

 

Survivor

 

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The most difficult words I have ever heard from a doctor are, YOU HAVE CANCER.       At first, I’m not sure I really heard what he said.  I had been ill for several years and was told by my doctor he could find nothing wrong, it was just a woman ‘thing’.  The problem was he wasn’t looking in the right place for the answer.  A dear, dear friend watched me go through days of terrible pain each month, saw my abdomen swell like I was pregnant, knew that it was very difficult for me to stand from a sitting position, and said this has to stop.  Please make an appointment with my doctor for a second opinion.  So I did.  The doctor’s first words were are you pregnant?  I knew I wasn’t but she determined to do an ultrasound.  During the ultrasound, where I could see the screen, the specialist asked if I could see the surface of a very large tumor.  Yes, I could but I didn’t really know what I was seeing.  He explained that what looked like chicken fat was actually cancer growing. Still numb from that experience, I got dressed and sat down in his office with my husband and waited for more information and a plan of action.

Life changed rapidly for me in the next few minutes.  His first question was, is your life in order?  Do you have a living will?  Will your job allow 3 months off?  On a Tuesday I went for a simple ultrasound so see what was going on.  The next Friday I would have major surgery.  I had 3 days to prepare.

After Ray and I digested, discussed, and yes, denied, we contacted our pastor, family, and close friends to let them know what was happening and to start lifting us up in prayer.  At 5:30 AM, that Friday, I was at the hospital, ready to go. (Well kind of…) The surgery lasted around 5 hours and when all was said and done he came out to speak with Ray. His sense of humor was evident when he said he had successfully delivered an 8 and 1/2 pound tumor and the patient was doing well.

I’m not even going to talk about the pain from that type of invasive surgery.  Let’s just say it was intense.

The next morning I was ready to start recovering.  That my friends was a long, slow, road. Lifting anything heavier than a glass of orange juice was forbidden for several weeks. Since the pressure had finally been released from my spine I would have to begin the process of walking.  Since we live a small community, the neighbors would wait and congratulate me as I was able to walk to another driveway each week.  I was not allowed to be alone for long periods of time and driving was out of the question.

God allowed me to go through this so that I could help others who would face the same diagnosis.  Here are some things I learned in the process of healing.  A listening, non-judgemental ear is an awesome, healing gift.  Don’t tell someone you understand unless you’ve experienced the same struggle.  Sometimes, your presence is all that’s needed. Silence can be the greatest gift of all.

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Bad things do happen to good people, but God really doesn’t give us more than we can handle together. More than 20 years ago I discovered His strength is there when I have none of my own.  Our God is an awesome God!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Friday Faves

Friday Faves

I’ve found some really great posts for you to check out this week.  I’ve been jetting all over the internet.  Can’t help myself.  There’s so much good writing out there!🙂

10-Tips-to-Teach-True-Contentment-post-e1467123813358My word for the year is content and I was delighted to find this post at the Little Light On A Hill blog.  I’m very much a proponent of writing down my blessings, thanks to reading Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”, and that’s just one of the 10 tips.

 

 

downloadRay and I have been hand holders from the day we met.  After many years of marriage, we still hold hands at every opportunity.  Sometimes it’s because we want to connect through touch, others it’s to show support.  This sweet article, HOLDING HANDS is a delightful story of a sweet couple who have been holding hands for many more years than we have!

 

 

 

 

4-640x823I came across this article in the Grace and Truth Link-Up at Like A Bubbling Brook.  I’m always looking for encouragement in my prayer life and this short article fits the bill perfectly.  From making time to choosing a journal it’s definitely worth the read.

 

 

My heart is breaking for the people of France.  Please lift a prayer with me…

Heavenly Father, it’s such a scary time we live in.  Give us strength and courage to move forward and share the Gospel of Peace.  For those who have lost loved ones, let them know Your Presence as the grieve.  For those who are injured, heal them completely.  Give the leaders of France and of other countries around the world wisdom and discernment in dealing with terrorism.  Soften the hearts of those who would harm the innocent.  Oh, LORD, You have promised to be always there for us and we know You are. Keep us safe in Your loving arms.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus.             Make it so!

 

 

 

 

 

If My People

praying-1319101_960_720One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It calms my heart every time I hear a new report of violence, shooting, terrorism, election rhetoric, job loss, sickness… I fully believe that God can do what He says He can do.  In this verse, He gives us the privilege of knowing what He will do if we follow His command.

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We are His people, called by His name.  He wants us to humble ourselves, to remember that we are not God.  We cannot do anything without Him.

We are to pray.  That’s the one thing He desires most by those called His.  He wants us to communicate with Him.  He really doesn’t care how.  He simply wants to hear from us.

We are to seek His face.  Every nuance of facial expression tells the listener what the speaker intends.  Since all scripture is God’s (2 Timothy 3:16) it stands to reason that He wants us to know His word.  Unless we know His word we cannot know what is sinful or in the words of this verse, wicked.

Once these are part of our life fabric we can expect some really powerful things to happen.  Remember, God can do what He says He can do.

First, He will hear us.  Is your prayer for healing…He hears it.  Is your prayer for no more violence…He hears it.  Is your prayer for forgiveness…He hears it.  No matter what our prayer is, if we are humble, turn away from our sins, and seek His guidance HE HEARS IT!

Second, He will forgive our wickedness, our sins, any way we fall short.  It really doesn’t matter to Him how big or small our sin is, He can and will forgive it.

Then, He says, “(I) will heal their land.”  With our country in the condition it’s in, with families falling apart, with trust at an all-time low, with…  He will heal this land.

It’s definitely time to get on our knees, to humble ourselves, and to pray (fervently) for his forgiveness and healing.  He, alone, can do what no human can.  He, alone, can forgive.  We can totally trust Him.  He loves us!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

church-768613_960_720Check out this beautiful song that uses the words of this scripture.  (Just click on the picture.)

 

10 Quotes by US Presidents

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It is the USA’s 240th birthday and I’m finding myself wanting to share some famous words by some equally famous people.  I find it interesting that the words of leaders of the past resonate so strongly with the circumstances and situations of current events.

american-flag-1311744_960_720It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.                                                                                         ~George Washington

american-flag-1311744_960_720Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side, my concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.       ~Abraham Lincoln

american-flag-1311744_960_720When you have read the Bible, you know it is the word of God, because it is the key to your heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.                                                                                                                             ~Woodrow Wilson

american-flag-1311744_960_720Make sure that you are doing what God wants you to do, then do it with all your strength.                                                                                 ~George Washington

american-flag-1311744_960_720The Lord prefers common-looking people, that’s why He made so many of them.                                                                                           ~Abraham Lincoln

american-flag-1311744_960_720Piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.                                  ~Jimmy Carter

american-flag-1311744_960_720If your actions inspire to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.      ~John Quincy Adams

american-flag-1311744_960_720The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.                                                                                    ~John F. Kennedy

american-flag-1311744_960_720Each day millions of our citizens approach our Maker on bended knee, seeking His grace and giving thanks for the many blessings He bestows upon. us.      ~George W. Bush

american-flag-1311744_960_720The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.                                                                                                                                ~Calvin Coolidge

As you read these words know that throughout the history of the USA God has placed people in leadership at the right time and the right place.  He will do so again!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie