I Sing Because I'm Free

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View from Above

The morning sun rises high in the sky

It’s radiant light illuminates

the snow drenched trees

How I long to float on a cloud 

and see His view from above

When I was a school girl, I remember standing in our little corridor kitchen looking up at my mom.  She seemed so tall!  I wondered what it would be like to see the world from her eye-view.  I remember asking her one day if she ever felt like she was going to fall from being tall.  As a child, I couldn’t wait to be big enough to see the countertops in the kitchen, to reach into the cabinets with my own hands and to be as big as my mom!

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”- Isaiah 55

 I couldn’t wait to grow up, because it meant you could do what you wanted to do- and that you knew everything!  The funny thing is the more I know, the more I know I’ll never know it all…I still feel like that little girl- except now I am looking up to my Heavenly Father- helpless at times, and desperately wanting to know more of Him… and to see things from His view!

Lord, I long to know You more and to see others as You see them.  May my thoughts and my ways be completely surrendered to Yours today.     

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Without You

I take a deep breath and look around

to see all the ways that You are found

around me

Want to wipe away the day to day

want to put my cares away

Cause You are worthy

So I’m singing my praises to You

Cause that’s just what You’ve made me to do

and I worship You

You are the painter of the sky

and the composer of my heart

I worship You

You are the Savior of the world

and there is nothing I can do

without You

I’m putting aside the time each day

to be alone with you and pray

Pray my heart away

because you know my every thought and need

before I get down on my knees

each and every day.

So let this be my prayer to You

Cause that’s just what You’ve made me to do!

Hurry up! I’m gonna be late again!!

This was my morning song for way too long.  My life had gotten  too busy.  I was having a hard time balancing the things I needed to do with the things I wanted to do.  I  was rushing around every morning and one day, I realized  that what was really suffering was my time alone with God.

I prayed for months about what to do. We had a missionary at our church a couple of years ago who said something that really hit home for me.  She said we can be doing lots of good things, but that doesn’t mean they are “God” things.  Do what God is calling you do to.  When I finally knew what “good things”  He wanted me to stop doing, I began to let go… and like He always does- He made all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

I wrote this song shortly thereafter.  I made a promise that I would set aside the extra time I had to spend with God.  If Philippians 4:13 is true, then we can also say that the reverse of this is true- we can do NOTHING without Him and His power!  I needed to make Him my top priority -to put Him first and to give Him the best part of my day- which just happens to be the morning- because He is worthy of that precious time!

You are the Painter of the sky, the Composer of my heart, the Savior of the world…

and  I can do nothing without You!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

 

 

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praying for the desires of your heart

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Praying for the desires of your heart just might change you!

Praying used to be something that was way out of my comfort zone.  I felt like I was talking to thin air, and many times I questioned if He was really listening to me. I thought there was no way He really cared about the desires of my heart.  I mean, there are starving people all over the world, people who have far less than I do… why would He care about my desires?  

This all changed for me the day a friend told me she would pray for me.  No-I wasn’t sick, and I didn’t have any earth-shattering problems.  I simply mentioned that I had wanted a baby grand piano since I was a little girl.

“I’ll pray that you find one,”  she said matter-of-factly.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

But I already had a piano.  I didn’t really need it.  Why on earth would He care about this desire I had?  Nevertheless, I prayed that if it was His will, that I would find one.  Surely this would be a miracle to a) find one that was dirt cheap and to b) get my husband to actually agree to let me bring a second piano into our home.  Yes, it does sound a bit crazy, doesn’t it?

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

I searched for one on craigslist, and lo and behold, I saw the most beautiful antique baby grand piano.  We really didn’t have the money for it, but I kept an eye on it for several months.  One day I looked it up, and the price had been reduced to almost half of what it was before!  I asked my husband if I could go look at it.  He agreed, and gave me a ridiculously low price that I could offer.  It was a long shot, but I went anyway.

The owner said it belonged to his mother-who had recently passed away, and he needed to find a new home for it.  I knew this was the one.  I offered him my ridiculously low price for the piano.   He smiled at me and said, “It’s yours!”

I would have never dreamed how the Lord would use this simple prayer to change my life! Through prayer, God began to show me that it was His presence, not a piano, that was my ultimate desire.  I certainly don’t believe He will always give us the tangible things we pray for, but I truly believe He knew this was something that He would use in my personal life to glorify Him!  He taught me how to let go of music and to truly worship.  In fulfilling my life-long desire, He also changed the desire of my heart- to live for Him and to worship!

“And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  John 14:13-14 

I have kept a prayer journal for several years now. Prayers for others, prayers for my family, acquaintances… I now pray without any doubt- but with anticipation.  Romans 8:29 says And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. He may not answer in the way we expect, or as quickly as we’d like, but He always answers!  When we seek Him with all of our heart, with all of our mind, with all of our soul, there is no doubt that He knows what is best for us and answers our every prayer!

pray without ceasing- 1 Thessalonians 5:17

I thank You, Heavenly Father for Your abundant blessings!  I praise You for every prayer answered, and for those that will be answered in Your perfect time.  To think that You not only provide our needs, but that You also care for the desires of our heart is simply amazing.  You are amazing, God!

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Anytime, Anywhere

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Snow-covered landscape

Compels me to worship You

 I sing Your praises

Last week I was in a mad rush to get myself and the girls out the door to begin the day.  As I was driving in the car, I began to pray and asked God to slow me down.  I  looked all  around me- the fresh snow covered the hills and the sky was the most brilliant shade of blue.  I praised Him for the time alone in the car- to sing, to worship, to pray, and to take in the view!  I got to my destination and my friend joined me as we carpooled to our next stop.

I handed her my phone and turned on the camera.  “Isn’t it gorgeous?” I said as we began to drive out in the country.  She smiled as she looked out the window.  “Would you take pictures for me?”  I asked her.  I was driving and didn’t want to jeopardize our lives by taking them myself!  I think she thought I was joking at first.  “This is worship, girl!”  I exclaimed as I held out my phone to her.  She took my phone and snapped a few pictures- including the one above.

Isn’t it awesome that worship is not confined to a church building, a place, another person, or any other thing?  We can worship Him any time, any place, anywhere… because His Spirit is here with us.  He does not limit the ways in which we worship- we can get lost in wonder singing His praises, we can spend quality time with Him by reading the Word, or we can simply rest in the shadow of His wings-sitting in complete silence… He is always with us!

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 1 Corinthians 3:16

Thank You, Lord, for slowing me down and reminding me to worship You!  I am in awe at how You meet us right where we are at-and that I can worship You anytime, anywhere.  Thank you for my lovely friend who joined me in worship that morning! May I never be so hurried that I miss hearing Your voice, and miss seeing Your glory all around me!    

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The Perfect Pair

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Socks, socks, everywhere

and not a match is found

whatever shall I do with them?

I’ll pile them in a mound

to think the dryer ate their mate

is more than I could bear

but even more, I ponder- 

what shall my tootsies wear?

Oh, what to do with mismatched socks?!  I have a laundry bag that I have labeled “The Sock Bag”.  When we do laundry, the unmatched socks go here to live with the other misfits.  Once every so often, I get the girls to dump out the bag and make matches- 10 cents a pair is what I pay for these perfectly paired socks.  In the mornings before school, if the girls can’t find socks to wear, I tell them to go to the sock bag and pick out a pair of mismatched socks.  It’s ok to be different.  Besides, when they wear boots, no one even sees their socks!

This morning, my husband happened to see this sock bag and looked inside.  “Why are my socks in here?!”  I told him it was because one of them did not have a match.  “But I found it in the bag with the other socks!”

I smile inside and say “So, the sock bag is working perfectly!”

He earned his 10 cents fair and square.  And the chore of matching socks is carried by all!

for each one should carry their own load- Galatians 6:5

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For I know the plans

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 

How many times have you made plans, only to have them cancelled by some seemingly random thing?

Being a care-free type of girl, I have never been fond of making plans. Planning takes all the fun out of life!  For years I have called my husband our “activities coordinator” because he loves to make plans and see them follow through.  Sometimes they change by the minute, and I tell him to inform me when the plan is “set in stone”.  I love how God brought us together- completely opposites, yet alike in so many ways… he completes me and excels at everything I do not.

We had all sorts of plans made for the weekend- and they have changed by the minute.  As I sat with my husband this morning, I said, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we just woke up and God told us what to do each day- no advanced notice… we just wake up and go?”   “How do you know that doesn’t already happen?” he asks.   He knows our plans already… what if these changes are just bringing us back to what He intended all along??

Deep thoughts for an early morning…

I quickly get the girls to the bus stop, and I look up and see a full moon setting low in the sky.  Girls!  Look!!  I tell them.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “moon set”!  I get home and quickly grab my phone to take a picture of this strangely beautiful setting moon, and as soon as I go outside, it is gone.  Timing is everything.

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As I walk my dog, I take a new direction. Was this God telling me to do something different? Or did I just change my mind?  I look around me and see the most beautiful clouds where the moon set in the sky.  To think that God created everything in the entire universe- and yet He knows every detail about His plan for me today just boggles my mind.  I don’t know what my plans are yet for the day…they are changing by the minute- but He is in it!  I know God has a better plan than I could ever come up with.  I’m just walking along today, worshipping Him, and  waiting for Him to guide my steps.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

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He’s calling

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“He’s Calling”

Sitting with my cup ‘o love  (coffee)

I hear a song sung loud above

the news and all the mindless chatter

and my puppy’s paws of pitter-patter

It beckons me to quickly find

the bird that sings on this deck of mine

amid the frosty trees and dew

I’m thanking God for this day anew

Yes, it took a bird loudly chirping for me to turn off the news, to take out my devotionals and spend time with God.  My day is always brighter when I spend it with Him.  When I went to the window by the deck, I heard many birds singing- almost as if it were spring!  I grabbed my camera and couldn’t find the birds. As soon as I took the picture, the birds flew from their hiding places in my ceramic pots on the deck… funny how I don’t hear them at all now.  I think He simply wanted me to hear His song-and to remind me to give my morning to Him- and Him alone!

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”   Zephaniah 3:17

Lord, thank You for Your song this morning!  Lord, help me see Your light today.  Help me shine light in this dark world, loving others as You love me.  Help me to hear every note of Your song today!

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All He makes is good

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It never gets old-

gazing at His handiwork

All He makes is good!

I was beginning to cook dinner and my youngest daughter said “Mom, mom!  Look outside!  The sky looks like cotton candy!”  I stopped what I was doing, put on some shoes and told her to come outside with me.  We looked up and smiled at the cotton candy-colored sky.  Gazing up at a sunset never gets old.  What a beautiful way to end a rainy day!

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands- Psalm 19:1

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Running the Race

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

 2 Timothy 1:7

“Running the Race”

Today’s the day I stop doubting everything I do

Second guessing each and every step I’m going through

Putting pressure on myself to be the best I can

So I rest in You because I’m following Your plan.

You’ve called me and I answered

You’ve given me all that I need

I pray for Your boldness, Your strength,and Your grace

I’ve got nothing to prove anymore-

I’m running the race.

I’m moving forward without any fear

because Emmanuel, I know that you’re here

You’ll show me every step and I’ll do my best

and I’ll give it all I got and let You do the rest

The spirit of fear doesn’t come from You

because I know this I can make it through

with the power You’ve given me I’ll be strong

I’ll lift up my voice and proclaim Your song

I wrote this song recently after praying for a Bible Verse to focus on for the year.  I have chosen 2 Timothy 1:7 for many reasons.  At times I have doubted myself and the abilities He has given me, and have focused to much on what other people think.  Then His quiet voice whispers this verse to me-Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

He has equipped me with all that I need.  I am running the race, trusting that He will set the pace, clear the path, and help me jump each hurdle that comes my way.  I am serving the Lord with everything I have and using all He has given me- knowing that I must fully rely on His strength and power.   I’m moving forward, without fear- because He has called me, and He is with me!

  Lord, I pray for boldness as I serve You and for Your Spirit to guide me every step of the way.  By Your grace, may You help me to bring others along on this amazing journey of following You!  

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The Word of our Testimony

ImageAnd they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony

 Revelation 12:11

I had the most beautiful thing happen today.  Instead of going upstairs to my office at church, I decided to go into the sanctuary. I sat my laptop on the piano and began to answer emails and that sort of thing.  Someone happened to come in to do some maintenance work, and after a few minutes, I said “hello” in my sing-song voice.   I introduced myself to him, and then he began to talk about his church and his walk with the Lord.

He shared with me how Christ has completely changed him. He shared his salvation experience from 28 years ago, and how the Lord has used him to help bring others into a personal relationship with Christ.  His humbleness and the passion with which he spoke moved me.  He told me to never underestimate the power of prayer, and shared how he had prayed for a friend to receive Christ for over 15 years. He said he never gave up, and after 15 years,  his friend came to know the Lord.   After sharing with me, I asked him what his favorite hymn was.  “The Old Rugged Cross and anything by Fannie Crosby,” he replied.  I quickly took the cover off the piano, invited him to come up with me and we sang that beautiful hymn.   He said “Praise the Lord” and then quietly went about what he came to do.

What a blessing to hear him share his testimony today.  We will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimonies!  May we never forget our salvation experiences- and may we share them with others as the Lord moves us to do so.  What an awesome, impromptu worship service we had today!

Lord, may we never underestimate the word of our testimonies and how You may use it to encourage and bring others into a relationship with you. Give us strength to live for You and to let our lives be a living testimony of Your amazing grace!

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