Tag Archives: Casting Crowns

God of All My Days

“Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.” 

                                            ~ Alexander Pope

 
 I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.
                                               ~ 1 Corinthians 1:10
 
     Have any of you ever felt alone?  You’re sitting in a group, you see others sitting with friends, and week after week, you find yourself outside of that circle?  Maybe not just at work, but at church, at play, in group activities? You are welcomed…as you walk by but no seat is saved.  You sit down, and others sit around you, not with you…and you’ve taken a shower!?
     I recently described a situation to a writing group to which I belong and one of the women nearly leaped over the counter and said, “You’ve been called out by  God!”
    I found this article, and it seems to be spot on. I would love your responses. 
 
A Heart that is Set Apart for God.
 
    It is hard to consider getting along with each other when one does that and still feels alone. 
 
     Lord, you are the God of all my days, help me to see You in all, even separation.
God of All My Days
 
    Because of Him,
    Linda
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Where My Help Comes From

“Everybody hurts.
Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts. Don’t throw your hand.
Oh, no. Don’t throw your hand.
If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.”
Michael Stipe
 
  I look up to the mountains;
    does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
    who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
                                  ~Psalm 121:1-2
 
     I visited two friends yesterday, albeit briefly, who just got released from the hospital. They were just happy to be alive and home. We have been through alot together, as I have known them for most of my career.  I am so thankful for their influence in my life and the lives of many here on Long Island.
     The scripture reminds us that in the midst of storms, horrible circumstances, loss of relationships, difficult change, international incidents, that it is the Lord, who is the place to look for comfort.  
      Like a child, I want to bury my nose in his shoulder, feel his loving arms around me, and know that it’s all going to be okay.  I want to un-bury my nose and look into the eyes of love and be comforted.
     And I am. Because I know where my strength really comes from.
 
     Today, be strong, thank God for ordinary things, and for the extraordinary things. He’s making diamonds. Out of dust. He is still with us in every storm.
 
Praise You In This Storm
Because of Him,
Linda

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Who Am I?

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world. 

                                           ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
 
So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.
                                            ~ 2 Timothy 1:8-10
 
     I lovingly call our Pastor “Second Timothy,” as our Director of Music also bears the name and Pastor Tim became a part of us after the first Timothy.  2nd Timothy has a call and response greeting often in our service.  He calls “This is the day that the Lord has made,” and we respond “Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  OR he greets us with “I was glad when they said unto me,”  and we respond “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”  I don’t know why, but this morning, in my head, I heard him say, “The grass withers and the flower fades, ” and we responded “but the word of the Lord shall stand forever.”  Then I heard this song.  Pastor Tim celebrates being flowers and fading grass along with us with his humor, his caring, his love.  Today, enjoy this song by Casting Crowns, and pray for your pastor and his or her family.  Let us celebrate in this garden together!
 
Because of Him,
Linda
 
   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTQTcasa2S8
Who Am I? – Casting Crowns
 

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you told me who I am
I am Yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you told me who I am
I am Yours

I am Yours, I am Yours
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
‘Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Songwriters
HALL, JOHN MARK

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Royalty Network

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Just Be Held

Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. 
 
     ~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969
 
God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.
   ~ Hebrews 4:12
     
     I serve some amazing children.  They come from affluence and poverty, joy and pain, struggle and flight.  When I sit in the choir loft on Sunday and look out at them, my heart is full.  They are kind and fidgety, compassionate and curious and they explode in joy at the most unusual times.  I am amazed at how they come up smiling after seeing, or knowing what they go home to every  night…what you go home to every night.
 
     I think my pastor chuckles at me for wanting to go and sit with the children every Sunday, and I know that it comes from an honest urging to go because I am a child of God. I see the child of God in him, in the congregation aging and otherwise.
      You are a precious child of God.  A God who knows the secrets, who knows why you blame yourself for things that you had no control over, a God who see the jewel you are, and the shine you are developing.  Sometimes, one just has to let go and be held.  Today, let the arms of God enfold you.
Just Be Held – Casting Crowns
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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Just Be Held

Sorrow makes us all children again — destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing. 
                                                        ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory.
                                       ~ Romans 15:7
 
     My Aunt, my favorite, most faithful aunt, my only remaining relative from that generation, is gone to be with the Lord.  We spent some glorious time together in this life.  She was there for my very first day in the world.  And she will be there for my very first day in the next, standing with the rest of my family.
     My Uncle and my family have been in touch every day.  We are telling stories back and forth, laughing, crying and being together as we can.  The best thing about this whole experience is this:  the Lord is present in every conversation, as are open hearts, open minds, pure love.
    Letting of her is hard.  Then I heard this song on K-Love yesterday.  Just Be Held by Casting Crowns.
 
     Just be held. Relax into the love, the tender mercies, the everlasting arms of the one who keeps you, who lay down His life for you, the one who knows you from before time began.  Just be held.
     Because of Him,
Linda
    Here are the lyrics:  
“Just Be Held”

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who wont let go

 
 

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Praise You in This Storm

Laughter is an instant vacation. 


          ~Milton Berle

 

Sing hymns to God;
    all heaven, sing out;
        clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
Enjoy God,
    cheer when you see him!

Father of orphans,
    champion of widows,
        is God in his holy house.

 ~ Psalm 68:4-5

     Sometimes, it is beyond possible to contain oneself when one sees God at work.  The joy, the laughter, the tears of realizing what God has done.  It is far more difficult to see how God is working when you in the midst of the struggle, the center of the storm, ten years in to believing for the miracle.  

     The tide seems a bit too high, the sun is a bit too hot, the season lasts a bit too long.  In short, it is hard to laugh, let alone cheer.  And yet, this is precisely when we must.

     We must praise Him in the midst of the storm. Casting Crowns does a beautiful job of directing us in this effort.  Hold on church.  God is truly as close as breath.  Take a deep one, down to your toes.  In fact take three.  God will raise you up at the most unusual moment.  And then you will laugh, and cry and praise and yes, cheer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUWbmtbzDno

I will Praise You in this Storm

Because of Him,

Linda

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God Has Control

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”


      ~ Alexander Graham Bell
 
 
“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

 
          ~ Isaiah 55: 8-9
 
     Why is it so hard to remember that God’s ways are not my own?  Or your own?  I work it all out in my head.  I employ Vulcan logic to see if the event serves the needs of the many or the needs of the few, or the one…and still I do not understand.
 
     God does.  God’s thoughts intents and deeds are focused.  God’s got it all in control. Some space must be given for the realization that God does have it all in control.  Not control- freak control, God control.  Praise Him in the storm.  That is where our control can be focused.  Praise Him no matter what.  It worked for Corrie ten Boom’s sister in a concentration camp, it can work for us.  Take control right now! Praise Him in this storm.
Praise You In This Storm
      
Dear Lord,  Praise you.  Praise you in the snow, in the hurricane, in the rain, in the emotion, in the middle of a living nightmare.  Praise you for being the safe haven in whom I can set anchor. Help me to praise you every day. You have control.
 
Because of Him,
      Linda

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