Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm With You

I've been enjoying this song for months now, sung by Amy Grant and Nichole Nordeman, and recently discovered that it's from a new album called "Music Inspired by the STORY."  It's a compilation of new songs written in the first person about the main characters in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  You really have to check this out at

So this week's song is called "I'm With You" and it's written from the perspective of Naomi and Ruth.  Do you know this story?  I hadn't read this story until earlier this's really short and sweet.  It's a great testament of loyalty, redemption, and love.  This story is found in the book of Ruth.  The story begins with a Jewish woman named Naomi and her family who are living in Moab, a non-Jewish land.  Her two sons marry Moabite women.  Unfortunately, Naomi's husband dies and later her two sons die.  Naomi becomes a very bitter woman and decides to return to her homeland of Bethlehem.  She tells her two daughters-in-law(Ruth and Orpah) to go back to their families.  Ruth refuses to leave Naomi and says:

Where you go I will go,
and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people
and your God my God.
Where you die I will die,
and there I will be buried.

Naomi and Ruth travel together back to Bethlehem.  Ruth is later rewarded for her loyalty and faithfulness by meeting Boaz who helps her find food for herself and Naomi.  Ultimately Boaz and Ruth are married and give birth to a son, who ends up being the grandfather of David. What a sweet happy ending!

Imagine the love that these two women must have had for each other as you listen to this song, "I'm with You."
One of my favorite lines in this song is:

We could shake our fists
In times like this
When we don't understand
Or we could just hold hands
Ooh...that's a good lesson there.  When things are going wrong instead of getting mad and frustrated, maybe even taking out our frustration on the people around us, we should cling to the ones that love us and accept their support.

My other favorite set of words comes towards the end:

In the way you've always loved me
I remember He does too

I really do believe that God puts people in our lives to show us or remind us of His love.  The love that we show each other can be a reflection of God's love.  This makes me wonder about whether I am showing God's love when I interact with my family, friends, strangers....

Go ahead and read the book of Ruth this week, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.  I hope you are inspired by the love and kindness that Ruth shows Naomi, and may it refresh your ability to show God's love to others. I pray that you have someone like Ruth in your life who will stick with you through thick and thin, and keep you from becoming bitter during the dark days of your life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Devotionals from Mark Hall of Casting Crowns

I have to share a new set of 10 daily devotionals that Mark Hall from Casting Crowns has created through KLOVE radio.  It's a great series and it's now available for free on Youtube.  You can see the whole series at:


Sunday, October 23, 2011


This week's song is a love letter from God to you.  It's called "More" by Matthew West.  Listen to this song as if God is singing it to you.

In Psalm 147, we are told that
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Our God is ruler of the universe!  So sometimes it may be hard for us to see why we might be important to him.  I was once in a discussion group where a man said that he really does not think that God cares much about his life, that there are much more important things in the world for God to be concerned with.  This man had a feeling of being insignificant.  Do you ever feel that way?  One person in the estimated 6.97 Billion people on this planet. 

I think this all lies in our inability to understand the magnitude of God's abilities.  In 2010, the estimated number of stars in our Universe was 300 sextillion....that's 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! And God knows the real number and calls them each by name!  So since God created mankind in His image, why isn't it possible that he could know each and every one of us?

In Matthew 10: 29-31, Jesus tells us:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Jesus is clearly telling us that God is more able than our minds can comprehend, to follow our lives, and love us.  You are not insignificant.  God loves you MORE.  And never forget, God loves you so much that he sent his Son to die an excrutiating death for you.  That is a love that we can't truly comprehend in human terms.

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more

May you come to understand that God loves you more than you can imagine.  Now it's time to shine for Him.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do Everything

This week's song initially grabbed my attention when I first visited my local Christian Bookstore in Derby last week.  It's by Steven Curtis Chapman, from his new album called "Re:Creation."  The title of the song is "Do Everything" and it's just so uplifting and encouraging for me.  I would guess that many Christians find themselves in the routines of life and wonder how what they are doing day-to-day is serving the Lord.  I am reminded by this song that everything we do in life, even doing the dishes, can give God glory.  It's all about our perspective isn't it?  By doing the dishes, I can be rejoicing in the fact that my family is blessed by God in having food every day.  By doing the dishes happily, I glorify God in my role as a parent taking care of the needs of my family. 

The song starts off with the mundane tasks that so many parents get sick of doing.  And then to the working Dad, the student, the missionary, the musician, etc.  There is something in this song that everyone can identify with.  But what if we did these things in a way that brought a smile to God's face?

You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost
Cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips
and head out the door
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you

Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

I once met a 17-year old girl that really exemplified this message.  In my former life in the U.S., I was a volleyball coach for teenage girls.  One of the big events at the end of the year for the State Championship finals in New York State, is a banquet before the tournament.  At that banquet, there are about 20 teams from various parts of the state and each team selects a representative to get up in front of all 400+ people to talk about their team, their school, and their home town.

To give you an understanding of the setting, there wer 19 Public School teams represented there, and 1 Christian School...Loudonville Christian School, a very small school, and this was their first time making it to the State Finals.  When it came to be time for Loudonville to talk in front of the group, the team captain stepped up to the microphone.  She is this bubbly girl, that appeared to be so comfortable speaking in front of the group.  She talked about her teammates and her school, and then I was so amazed and proud when she talked about God.  She spoke of how her team believes that by playing Volleyball, they are giving glory to God.  She compared it to how parents watch their young children playing with toys and feel joy to see their children having fun.  She explained how God looks down on her team playing a sport they love, playing to the best of their ability, having fun, and He smiles.  Watching us play volleyball makes God smile. 

Watching us be kind to someone in the supermarket, makes God smile.  Watching us help a coworker, makes God smile.  Watching us greet our children at the bus stop, makes God smile.  And the list goes on forever.  What will you do today to make God smile?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

May you find ways to take what might now seem to be mundane, and turn it into something that glorifies the Lord and makes Him smile.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I mentioned last week that I would soon be sharing another song from Casting Crowns....well, you don't have to wait any longer!  This is another powerful song, calling us to action.  Some background here...this song was written for the recently released movie, "Courageous" which I am so excited to see.  It's playing now in the US, and hopefully it will make it to the UK by November.  This movie is about 4 police officers that learn to be courageous in their home lives, by growing closer to God and raising their children in a way that honors God.  It is an action packed movie with a strong message for men as fathers and leaders in their families. 
While this song and movie are definitely targeting men and their roles as fathers, I think mothers and all Christians can be motivated by this song.  When I listen to this song, I am reminded of how hard it is sometimes to be a Christian in this world.  Of course, my life as a Christian is no where near as difficult as those courageous missionaries around the world proclaiming the Gospel in lands where religious freedoms do not exist.  But I am witnessing how being a Christian in the U.S., and even moreso in the U.K. qualifies me as a minority.  My pastor mentioned today that in the UK, only 6% of the population attends church on a Sunday.  This fact was made known to me when my daughter was invited to a birthday party that was scheduled for today, a Sunday, at 10:30am.  Sunday mornings are not Holy here for most people. 

And whether I'm in the US or the UK, I've always struggled with how to share the love of Jesus with my friends and aquaintances outside the church family.  Gosh, it's so hard.  Even today, when we had friends over for dinner, I felt myself wondering should we pray, should we not?  Why am I so nervous about the reaction of others, so afraid that by me mentioning Jesus I will offend or hurt a good relationship.  Why am I so afraid of the rejection of my beliefs, the rejection of my God.  Why is it so awkward? 

I so enjoy the fellowship, learning, sharing and support that comes from a church family, from Bible studies, and other church activities.  Sometimes I just long to be able to share those wonderful experiences with my friends.  So I will invite them to "Guest Sunday" or to our next Bible study, but then I am saddened when they don't come.  Making it harder for me to invite someone again.  Unfortunately, I take the rejection personally...but it's not about ME! It's about my friends and their relationship with their Creator, their life here on earth, their life after this earth. 

This is where the courage comes in.  To share Jesus Christ in a world that worships other Gods like money, career, power, and self.  To keep Jesus at the center of your life with all these distractions tempting us.

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were made to be courageous

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we're watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

So may you be courageous to create a life for your family that honors God.  May you be a blessing to those around you and overcome that fear of rejection that holds you back from spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.  I pray this for you and also myself, let's get back to the front lines.

For more information on the "Courageous" Movie, visit

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Glorious Day

This week's song takes us back to the story of the Gospel.  I don't know about you, but I've been finding myself focused on God's love for me, His compassion, His plans, etc., but not reflecting as much on Jesus, the gift he gave us all, and the fact that without him, I wouldn't really know my God.  So this week's song is the story of Jesus...who he was, how he was, what he did, and what was done to him.  It's a song called "Glorious Day" by Casting Crowns.  This band is very likely my favorite Christian Band.  I just love the harmonies that they create in their songs, but also there are some serious messages in their music.  I'm really quite shocked that this is my first Casting Crowns song on the blog.   There are definitely more to come....likely soon.

Sometimes as Christians we may forget how blessed we are to have full access to God, we can talk directly to Him...and this is only because of the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are able to do so.  This is the Good News!  By believing in Him we are promised life with God forever....without deserving it at all.  Our sins are forgiven, no matter how bad they are. Therefore, there is nothing that stands between us and our Lord, the debt has been paid.

So for all of us who have truly accepted Jesus Christ in our hearts, we can look forward to reuiniting with him our death from this life on earth, when Jesus returns to Earth, or perhaps some combination of the two.  I don't know when or how that will be, but I have faith that someday it will be, and until then we can work to enable God's "kingdom" to come, His "will to be done," here on "earth as it is in heaven." 

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified, freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

So may you remember how Jesus changed the world and changed your life.  Remember His life, what He taught us, and His purpose.  Be filled with joy in this knowledge and let that joy pour out of you into this world, his creation.  I hope to see you on that "Glorious Day."

God Bless!