About Marie

Happily married to the same awesome guy for 43 years. Love God, reading, cats and travel. Avid crafter, especially counted cross stitch and crochet.

5-Sentence Friday 1 Corinthians 16:13

I decided to take the Strong, Brave, Loved 21-day Challenge with Holly Garth.  Today’s verse and devotional were both powerful and convicting for me.  Through many of my life experiences, it has been necessary to have strength and bravery as part of my arsenal.  Things like surviving a tornado that landed on the patio of our first home, surviving a t-bone crash, standing up for those who have been wronged, and many more of the uncertainties in this life, have required my dependence on the strength and courage that is given by God.

  1. Choose your battles carefully.  You don’t have to fight every one.
  2. Know that the evil one is always trying to get through your guard.
  3. Know God’s Word and use it to determine what He expects of you.
  4. Stand and persevere when you know it’s right.
  5. True strength is knowing where your power really lies.

I’ve discovered that sometimes we lose the battle, or it appears that way.  If we know it’s the right thing to do we should be doing it.  God is always the final judge.  Wouldn’t you rather hear why did you than why didn’t you?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Best Friend Forever

Have you ever thought about God as your Best Friend Forever?  I think that’s part of how He wants us to see Him.  Think about some characteristics of your earthly best friend.   Do words like encouraging, honest, trustworthy, strong, available, loving, caring, compassionate, kind, gentle, patient …, top the list?  God is already all of this and more.

God is always there, always available, always loving, always forgiving, exactly who He says He is.  Not only that, He never changes. (James 1:17)  I always know where I stand with Him.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like this?

Can we find a friend so faithful?  Who will all our sorrows share?  These words, from a much-loved hymn,  popped into my mind while writing this.  We may have the most awesome friends on earth but…  Are they always faithful (always wanting what’s best for us)?  Do they share our sorrows or even know what they are?  My BFF knows my sorrows.  He knows my every care.  He knows what I need when I need it.

My best Friend loves me so much that even when He finds it necessary to discipline me I still know and feel His love.  Those of us who have earthly friends like this are incredibly blessed.  (Proverbs 27:5-6)

Develop your earthly friendships.  They really matter.  But never forget to continue to mature in the relationship you have with the One and Only.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Psalm Hymns: Book Review

Psalm Hymns by L.L. Larkins

I was delighted to have the opportunity to review a collection of Psalms set to well-known hymns and carols.  The musician in me has been waiting for a long time to see and perform something like this.  All-in-all in I enjoyed the time spent reading and singing.

Things I liked most:

  1. Using melodies already known to the Believer to enhance the Word.
  2. Having this collection at my fingertips to use in the worship service.
  3. A smaller set of Psalms set to Christmas music and carols was included in the package. (Caroling Through The Psalms by L.L. Larkins)
  4. The author included the opportunity to send the reader/performer’s recording to them personally for possible inclusion on a future digital release.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. Matching known melodies to these psalms sometimes resulted in awkward rhythmic patterns.
  2. The message of some of these psalms was lost in the wordage.

I think there is great potential in this collection.  I give kudos to the author for the incredible amount of work it took to create this set.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash/Capture Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Verse of the Year – – 2018

I have been giving a lot of thought to what word will I use to ‘guide’ the year 2018.  I had it narrowed down and even had a specific verse chosen.  I knew what verse but the word of the year was eluding me.  Then it crossed my mind…  No one word this year, use the entire verse.

Now, before I reveal the verse I want to give a bit of the process I used.   First,  I gave some real, prayerful thought to what I wanted to accomplish this year.  How I wanted to grow and become more like my Jesus.  I also thought over the past year and ways I had just started to break through or, yes, even ways I had failed.

I knew I really wanted and needed to work on both words and thoughts.  Now, God has a way of planting the things He wants for us into the normalcy of our days.  (Doesn’t He?)  While reading my Bible I happened to be in Psalms and one verse jumped right off the page at me.  It was precisely what I needed to focus on for the year to come and many more to follow.

I’m sure you can see why it was so hard to choose just one word for the year.  It was much more than that.  I could have chosen WORD or MEDITATION or ACCEPTABLE.  But none of those were enough.  It had to be all of them.  It wasn’t just words or thoughts, every part of my consciousness has to be acceptable to my Jesus.

Big challenge?!  Yes!  I can do all things through Christ!

Achievable? Yes! It may take more than one year.

It would be interesting to know if any of you have chosen a verse for the year.  Be sure to put it in the comments if you have.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS – HEAVEN’S VERSION

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Heaven‘s house,
All the angels were stirring, the Saviors birth to announce!
The Heavenly Host’s were getting ready to sing,
In the hope that their anthem would let True Freedom ring.

The shepherds were keeping their sheep late that night,
While the Provision from Heaven hung just out of sight.
Mary was weary from traveling all day,
While Joseph was searching for a place they could stay.

A decree from Caesar made travel a must,
Mary’s feet were now cold, tired, and covered with dust.
Yet, in her heart she quietly remembered,
That the Angel of the Lord said, She was highly favored!

All Joseph could find was a room in a barn,
But at least for the night Mary’s feet would be warm.
The time of her delivery would be here soon,
As the light of the day, gave way to the moon.

The Son of the Highest he shall be called,
A Horn of Salvation given for all.
He will sit on the throne of his father David,
And one day all men will sing his praises.

The Mighty God and Everlasting Father,
Whose Government alone will rest on his shoulder.
A Wonderful Counselor, and the Prince of Peace,
Whose Government over time will only increase.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him;
He is anointed to heal all who are broken.
He will set at liberty them that are bruised,
Mistreated and jailed, and by power, abused.

The promised Messiah from a time long ago,
Was now ready to be given to the world down below.
The promise of His Kingdom reigning on Earth,
To govern our hearts, and to show men their worth.

The shepherds were resting; the sheep were silent that night,
When the Angel appeared, and caused them great fright.
Fear not, said the Angel, I bring tidings of great joy,
Which will be for all people, so all may rejoice!

Your Savior has been born in the City of David,
Which is Christ the Lord, who has come to save us.
He will make the dark places lighted within,
Take away all guilt and do away with all sin.

Peace on Earth! The Angel said, All is well with mankind!
For the Father has sent his Gift right on time.
The Gift of forgiveness for all to enjoy,
His salvation and blessings for you to employ.
You’ll find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
His name will be Jesus, and he is God’s love exposed.

Then the Angel was joined by the Heavenly Hosts,
Giving glory to God in the Highest, as together they rose.
The shepherds heard them exclaim as they rose out of sight,
God’s forgiveness to all, and to all, a very good night!

By Elizabeth McAndrew
Merry Christmas 2010

Permission given by author to share at http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=125540

Fulfilled Prophecy

I was reading Deb Wolf’s blog Counting My Blessings and she included this interesting fact/quote.

The chances of 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Only Jesus! (from Biblical Prophesies Fulfilled by Jesus)

Is that amazing or what?  BTW that long number with all the zeros is a quintillion.  10 to the 157th power… is one and one-half+ googols or 157 zero’s after the 10.  It’s fun to think about but it definitely becomes mind-boggling, doesn’t it?

There are 8 specific prophecies that are connected to the birth of Jesus.

  • He would be born of a woman.   Found in Genesis 3:15, fulfilled in Matthew 1:20
  • He would be born in Bethlehem.   Found in Micah 5:2, fulfilled Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:4-6
  • He would be born of a virgin.  Found in Genesis 12:3 and 22:18, fulfilled in
    Matthew 1:22-23 and Luke 1:26-31
  • He would come from the line of Abraham.  Found in Genesis 12:3 and 22:18, fulfilled in Matthew 1:1
  • He would be a descendant of Isaac.  Found in Genesis 17:19 and 21:12, fulfilled in Luke 3:34
  • He would be a descendant of Jacob.  Found in Numbers 24:17, fulfilled in Matthew 1:2
  • He would come from the tribe of Judah.  Found in Genesis 49:10, fulfilled in Luke 3:33
  • He would be called Immanuel. Found in Isaiah 7: 14 fulfilled in Matthew 1:23
In the beautiful Christmas Hymn by Charles Wesley, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing, are these words:
Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord.
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the virgin’s womb.

Govert_Flinck_-_Aankondiging_aan_de_herders

Veil’d in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th’incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Throughout this song, and many of the other Christmas hymns, the prophecies are repeated, reminding us that Jesus is who He says He is.

None of this should be mind-boggling.  It is what it is.  God’s Word is the truth.  Yet, there are millions who are still in the darkness.  Who believe only what they want to believe.  Who limit the beauty of this season to what’s going to be under the tree.

Let’s be different.  Let’s quit thinking and focusing on what we’re going to get and move on to what are we going to give.  Will you be the one to share the Story for the first time?  Will you be the one that shines light into the darkness?  Will you be the one, like Mary, who was called blessed because she believed? (Luke 1:45)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Do You Hear What I Hear?

The first time I sang this piece was when I was in the High School Choir.  I thought it was one of the most beautiful pieces of the season ever written.  It is!  But my repertoire has broadened and there is so much to listen too that I might put it in my top ten at this point.

Many of the Christmas Carols that have stood the test of time have an interesting background.  Do You Hear What I Hear? is no exception.  It was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a plea for peace.

It’s always been amazing to me that when our world is at its worst people put out their best.  The group singing this is Home Free.  If you’re not familiar with their music check them out on YouTube.  They’re another of the many acapella groups that fit my need for pure musical sound.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Away In A Manger

Another of my favorite Christmas carols is often considered a children’s song.  That might be partly because it first appeared in print in 1885 in a Sunday School Bulletin published by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America.  It has long been attributed to Martin Luther but it is highly unlikely one of his writings.  It is first seen in Germany in 1934 as part of a private collection of songs and is clearly a translation from English to German.  All of that aside the song has stood the test of time.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Of the 3 verses the last speaks most fervently to my heart.  Sometimes the words pop into my mind even at other times of the year.  It says some very important things to me.

First, Jesus is always with me.  I don’t have to ask for His presence.

Second, He loves me and will continue loving me forever.

Next, I receive blessings upon blessings because it’s what He wants to do for me.

Last, I will be with Him in heaven for eternity.

What more does one need?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Information in the first paragraph is found at this address: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-away-in-a-manger

The Holly and The Ivy

I would be hard-pressed to name one Christmas song or carol that I really don’t like.  As a vocalist, there are some that are hard to sing or are written in keys that are not good for me.  I could listen to Christmas music all year long.

As a student of Music History, I learned that the carol was originally a Greek word that meant a circle dance with flute accompaniment.  Later on, the dance was accompanied by singers.  Somehow those singers began using songs with religious meanings and these became carols.

There are very few known Christmas Carols before the 1800’s.  One of these is a favorite of mine called “The Holly and the Ivy“.  The religious reference in this early carol is “…and Mary bore Lord Jesus Christ to be our Sweet Savior…”  (Luke 2:6)  The chorus of this carol is a reference to everyday life and the God-created world around us.  “The rising of the sun and the running of the deer the playing of the merry organ sweet singing in the choir.”

Heavenly Father open our eyes to the mystery, beauty, and miracles of this Holy Season.  Thank You for the greatest gift of all, Jesus. 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Article first published on 12-7-11.

Five Sentence Friday – Luke 6:40

Do you have a favorite teacher?  Someone who has had a direct impact on your life?  Someone you could sit and listen to for hours without tiring at the sound of their voice?  I know you do.  We all do.

This verse spoke loudly to me.  So much so that I decided to use it for this post.

  • My ultimate teacher is Jesus.
  • I will never be greater than my Teacher.
  • I will become more like Him as I learn more from Him.
  • My training is directly from God because His Word is my manual.
  • No one knows more than my Teacher.

And there it is.  For everyone who is a teacher, myself included, it’s really important to remember that we don’t know everything.  Only God does!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie