Mary’s Song

Mary’s Song

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My soul magnifies my God,
And my spirit rejoices in the Lord
Because He saw us in a lowly state,
Yet our salvation is assured.

Generations will be blessed
Through His holy, mighty name.
With the strength of His arms,
He scatters those with fame.

As he humbles worldly kings,
He uplifts the paupers.
He fills the hungry with good things.
He calls them sons and daughters.

He did not forget His mercy.
He remembers us so low.
Just as He led our fathers,
He will lead us even now.

Adapted from Luke 1:46-55

He Still Saves

He Still Saves

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I’ve been “saved” since I was a small child.  Ever since one fateful night at the kitchen table, I have known that upon my death, I will spend eternity in Heaven.  Over the years, I subconsciously came to believe that because my salvation was complete, I didn’t need to hear the account of Christ’s sacrificial death.  I was saved from Hell, and that was enough.

But sometimes the battles of this early life are overwhelming.  The enemy’s attacks are ferocious and devastating.  That is when I must recall and claim the victory that Christ won when he rose from the dead.  I must “sing above the battle strife ‘Jesus saves.'”  He still saves.

Sometimes, Often, I don’t claim this victory.  I listen to the enemy’s lies and fall to his schemes.  I think that I must save myself from the trenches.  Before long, I am shadowed with a gloom of justice, and my heart craves mercy.  That mercy can only be found in Christ’s victory over the tomb.  Jesus still saves.

Yes, I only need to place my faith in Him one single time in order to be saved from eternal separation from God and damnation in Hell.  Nevertheless, I need daily faith in Jesus to face the struggles of the world.  I need a constant Friend and a daily Rescuer.

So give the winds a mighty voice…

Let the nations now rejoice…

Shout salvation full and free…

This our song of victory:

Jesus saves!

And He still saves.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

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Today is the last of the twelve days of Christmas.  While tangible gifts are fun to open, my family and friends bring me greater joy than any material item ever could.

On the first day of Christmas, in my family,

  • One ever-growing me.

On the second day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Two gracious parents,
  • And one ever-growing me.

On the third day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Three praying churches,
  • Two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the fourth day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Four spoiling grandparents,
  • Three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the fifth day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Five great-grandparents,
  • Four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the sixth day of Christmas, in my family,;

  • Six handsome uncles,
  • Five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the seventh day of Christmas, in my family,;

  • Seven gorgeous aunts,
  • Six handsome uncles, five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the eighth day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Eight lovely girl cousins,
  • Seven gorgeous aunts, six handsome uncles, five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the ninth day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Nine-teen years of fun!
  • Eight lovely girl cousins, seven gorgeous aunts, six handsome uncles, five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the tenth day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Ten silly boy cousins,
  • Nine-teen years of fun, eight lovely girl cousins, seven gorgeous aunts, six handsome uncles, five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Eleven friends in my class,
  • Ten silly boy cousins, nine-teen years of fun, eight lovely girl cousins, seven gorgeous aunts, six handsome uncles, five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, in my family,

  • Twelve states with my brother,
  • Eleven friends in my class, ten silly boy cousins, nine-teen years of fun, eight lovely girl cousins, seven gorgeous aunts, six handsome uncles, five great-grandparents, four spoiling grandparents, three praying churches, two gracious parents, and one ever-growing me.
When Distracted, Try to–Ice Cream!

When Distracted, Try to–Ice Cream!

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I am distracted.

Severely distracted.  When I sit down to study, I have my laptop, phone, iPad, books, study guides–I don’t focus on any one of them for more than thirty seconds.

My WordPress dashboard is filled with unpublished recipes.  I am in the middle of reading at least five books right now.  There are three Word documents, two PowerPoint presentations, and an Excel spreadsheet cluttering my taskbar.  Rather than reviewing for tomorrow’s exam, I am typing a post that I know I will not publish today (just to prove it: Today’s date is October 6, 2014).

The same is true in my Christian walk. There are a million distractions trying to steal my attention from the Savior.  I wake up in the morning determined pray without ceasing and focus on Christ, but within five minutes, my radar is spotted with other pursuits.

Are these distractions necessarily bad things? No!

I am distracted by school assignments.  I am distracted by my friends.  I am distracted by food.  I am distracted by work.  I am even distracted by church and ministry.

Martha is a perfect picture of being distracted.  She was working hard preparing the meal and cleaning the kitchen; she wanted everything to be perfect for Jesus.  Meanwhile, her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet.  Martha was appalled that her sister was not serving the Savior, but Martha was “cumbered about much serving” (Luke 10:40).  It is likely that Mary and Martha had equal zeal for God.  However, Martha became so engrossed in doing things for Jesus that she failed to be with Jesus.

It is easy to become burdened with God’s work.  We want to make sure that our churches are beautiful and we have good programs for children.  We plan women’s conferences, and the men host work days.  Let us not become so distracted by serving our Savior that we forget to worship Him.