Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Song of the Week

I missed the Song of the Week last week simply because life was crazy. There are times when life makes me feel like breaking out in song. Do you ever feel that way? If I had to choose a song for last week it would definitely be the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. My husband and I got to take a long weekend together…by ourselves…with no kids…alone for our anniversary. Hallelujah! Then my son finished school for the year, which deserves another rousing rendition of Hallelujah!

The song of the week this week is much more subdued. With today being Memorial Day, I wanted to encourage you to take a moment and remember all those who have lost their lives fighting so we can have the freedoms we have today. Yes, there is much to complain about because of what is happening within our country and government, but we still live in the greatest nation on earth and there were those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friends for a Season

Can you remember your first best friend? All of us can think of at least one classmate we considered our dearest friend. For me it was Eileen. We met in first grade and hit it off the very first day. I was the new kid at school and she shared her snack with me. We did everything together at school and away from school. We remained best friends until several years later when her dad’s job transferred him and the family to another city.

Over the years people have come in and out of my life. Have you ever wondered why people come and go so quickly? I have often wondered why God allowed me to get close to someone when He knew we would lose contact two weeks later.

Friends are often in our life for a season; for some purpose that needs fulfilling. There was a girl I grew close to while we were going to the same school. We ended up going to different high schools, but kept in touch because the guys we dated were relatives. We even kept up with each other for a while after we were married. During that time, I was able to help her cope with the loss of her mother. This was something I had already been through and knew what to say and what not to say. It was shortly after that we lost contact with each other and rarely spoke. I believe helping her cope with that death was why she was in my life for a season.

There was a young lady that I was mentoring. I looked forward to spending time with her at my house and taking her to church with me. After only a year, she too was gone. Once again I mourned over the loss of a close friendship. I remained disappointed until I received a letter from her in the mail thanking me for taking her to church. She told me she had not heard about God before and because of my invitation and my friendship she accepted the Lord as her Savior and was soon to be baptized. I believe her salvation was why she was in my life for a season.

There was another woman that I saw every week at church when my husband and I were newlyweds. I was having trouble dealing with one aspect of my marriage. When I voiced my concerns to her one day, she gave me one piece of advice that I have kept close to my heart to this day, as well as passed on to other young married women and now to my own daughter as they are contemplating marriage. She helped me through a difficult time. Now, even though we still live in the same town, we hardly ever speak and see each other even less. I believe saving my marriage was why she was in my life for a season.

There were a couple of friends I had in my life for a couple of years. I had been friends with both of them, but then all three of us got together and became extremely close, sharing some of the most intimate details of our lives. It wasn’t until our friendship grew and we really got to know each other that we realized how much we had in common. During those few years we wrote a devotional book together to help encourage others. After the book came out, we kind of went our separate ways for various reasons; certainly not that we meant to grow apart. While we do still speak to each other occasionally, we don’t talk on the phone and email everyday like we used to. Both of those friends were in my life for a season.

Then there have been friends who have come into my life, spent a season and left due to my convictions. These were people who realized the depth of my convictions on some topics and didn’t think they wanted to be my friend anymore. There have been friends that have come into my life and because of my convictions I have terminated the friendship, not wanting them to have any kind of ungodly influence over me.

I do believe that as Christians we need to have some friendships, or even acquaintances, with non-Christians. It is those relationships where we are truly needed. No, we don’t need to cram the Bible down their throats every time we are together, but maybe we could stand up for what we believe in by choosing not to see a particular movie or choosing not to have an alcoholic drink with our dinner. Our quiet testimony can sometimes speak volumes, more so than any words we can say.

There have been people in my life just for a season of fun or for reasons I may never know why until I am in heaven. Every one of us could think of similar examples from life. When a good friend does come into your life take advantage of it. Get to know them as well as you can. Teach them what you know. Let them to teach you a few things. Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you help them. Sometimes they help you. These people also come in all different seasons of life.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother’s Day Song of the Week

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It’s always bittersweet for me. I got to spend the day with all of my children which was wonderful! It’s not very often we all together around the same table anymore. (Letting your kids grow up, move out, and make lives of their own is hard!)

I enjoyed seeing all the posts my friends made about what they were doing with their moms, and I was a bit jealous at the same time. You see, I haven’t been able to spend Mother’s Day with my mom in more than 20 years. For those of you who still have your moms with you, don’t wait until Mother’s Day to let her know how much she means to you. Tell her daily; she won’t always be there.

The Song of the Week is all about moms and what a blessing they are from God. Whether your mom is still here on earth or not, think about her while you listen. Dredge up some old memories from when you were a child. It’s okay to laugh and/or cry. I know I will do both.

You have to follow the link for this song as I wasn't able to embed it, but it's well worth it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Song of the Week - Do You Not Know?

Have you ever noticed that by putting the words of Scripture to a tune they are much easier to memorize? I grew up memorizing verses: some stuck, some not so much. However, the ones I learned as a song have stayed with me throughout the years.

When I was in college, on Sunday nights we had what was called Celebration. This was just a time to get together and sing worship songs. Many, many of us would crowd into one room, most of us sitting on the floor. The couple that led us had simple guitars. Those evenings at Celebration were some of the most worshipful moments I have ever known.

This week’s Song of the Week is one I learned there. Whenever I hear it, or read Isaiah 40:27-31, the song stays with my for days and I catch myself humming it as I go through my daily routines. I hope it helps you focus on God this week.

Side note: I had trouble finding the song to share with you, but when I did I was pleasantly surprised. The couple that led our Sunday evening worship apparently also put the words to music. Here they are at a college chapel. I hope you enjoy!