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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Please pray for Dan Parkins!

This life of faith simply brings me to my knees. My soul cries out!
Please read about the Parkins family journey and join me in intercessory prayer. Their trials go beyond any human understanding, but Dan's story is the most beautiful testimony of God being glorified through trials that I have ever seen. Go onto his blog and read it in his own words. You don't want to miss out on what God is doing in this place. You really dont!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mom, me, a new Mac Book, and old email, and Praise!

     I have been blessed in my own precious time with the Lord lately, but to see Him show himself to my Mom simply fills me with joy. Her life is the stuff of movies. The hard and sad, yet beautiful and redemptive kind. It is a picture of God's protection over her and His plans for her life. She is finally writing it down for me. She is telling me her story. 
     We've talked three times in the last hour and I have her permission to share her words from an email. 
     But to clarify, An email I sent to her in Nov. 2006 simply appeared in her new Mac Book. It was in a file called "Pages" where she is transferring her story. 
     Her Mac Book is new, a gift from my sister, and although Mom is probably the most techno-savvy great-grandmother around, the transition getting her story from PC to Mac has had it's challenges. I hope you are blessed and encouraged by what happened next...

  • My Mom is giving me the most amazing gift of her life story. 

  • Wow Mom! I so love this. You are a natural writer. Truth is, I'm a little jealous. I worked long and hard to learn a little of what comes so easily to some. ❤. Thank you for doing this for me.

  • Dear Pam,
  •      Just read your recent On The Glory Road post about the hymn books you found.  Beautiful, simply from God that He would show this to you now.  I enjoyed it so much.  I have been struggling with my story and spent all day yesterday and today working on it.  Thank goodness for the pages you kept sent me back, for I had no recollection of writing them.  I finally discovered  how to merge it into the original document.  
  •      A very interesting thing happened  while I was in a twit trying to figure out the MacBook way,  when suddenly, an old email from you popped up in my "Pages" which is a MacBook Doc.  
  •      I opened it, and it was dated 2006.  There were many Bible references in the email. I was stunned. Where in the world did that come from? Did you send it to me?  And if you did how did it end up in Pages?   When I came back to it later it was gone.  Was this a message from the Lord?  I have been struggling with some issues lately and when that appeared I felt peaceful, and then it disappeared.  I love you,  Mother 

     After I got this email, I called her and we talked and I wept. After two more phone conversations within that hour, she located the original 2006 email, and forwarded it back to me. 
     So much has happened since I Ieft. Such good news about Bill. What a blessing for you to be able to have that new hope as a birthday gift and to spend that special time with him.  God' loves you so much, Mom, and wants to give you all the desires of your heart. He wants you to walk in the joy and peace that comes with being in his presence. I will be praying for you as you begin this new journey of faith, and I am proud of your decision to take this step.  I  know that God is going to meet you there. He will bless you in your obedience, and give you all that you need. All you have to do is give him your heart and humbly ask. He created you perfectly and has great plans for you. He has given you awesome gifts, Mom, and so much life experience and wisdom that you can share with others. Just continue to listen to what God lays on your heart and He will show you what is next. I am so proud of you.  After we hung up the phone today I prayed for you and Jim and all that is going on with Lori and the kids. And appropriately, because this is what God does, the lesson in my Bible study today was a teaching about the power of praying for people using Scripture. I have done this before, and have seen God work in amazing ways. I want to leave these with you. 
   3 John 2 and Isaiah 41:10   I pray that Mom and Jim will enjoy good health and that all will go well with them.  Do not let Mom and Jim have fear for you are with them. Let them not be dismayed for you are their God. According to your word, Give then strength and help and hold them up in your righteous hand.

     Ephesians 1:17,18, and 19 and Phillipians 4:6-7  According to your word Lord, I ask that you give my mother the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that she may know you better and that her heart be enlightened to your calling and your glorious inheritance as your believer.  Let her not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, and with Thanksgiving, always remember to present her requests to you. And let your peace, which transcends all understanding guard her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

     After reading my old email I sent her this one.

     So funny....that I don't remember writing this.  I think that God want us both to know that sometimes,  when the Holy Spirit is at work, our flesh simply disappears in His presence.  But I went into my email file labeled "Mom" to find it.  There are 138 emails between us that I have saved. They start in April 2006.  This one was not there. How precious it is for me to have it back.  I am weeping. 
     God must have wanted to remind us both what He is doing. In us, with us, and through us. 
     He wants us to remember that He is the same God that parted the Red Sea and placed every star in the sky. To put a piece of paper on the floor by my bed and bless me, or place an old email into your Mac to bless you,  is nothing for our God.  
     Funny how these things still astound us though, huh? 
     I think He knew that you needed a little reminder that He is trustworthy. 
     I just love what God did today.  It is such a beautiful example of God's presence and promises.  I hope it encourages you and builds your faith. It certainly does mine. Thank you for sharing this! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Then Sings my soul." part Two

     I knew God would have some gems for me and he did not disappoint. As I went through the index of songs, (300 total), I searched for the ones I grew up singing. My excitement grew as I found them one by one.
     Paul listened to me sing a few more stanzas of my favorites, and let me share some stories. This one made me laugh.
    The song, "A mighty fortress is our God," was written by Martin Luther. This surprised me, (not really sure why), but my smile came in the knowledge that this song was a staple in the Catholic church I grew up in. (Still smiling.) He based it on the 46th Psalm and reflects Luther's awareness of our intense struggle with Satan.  As I sang the next line to my audience of one, it carried all the passion I'd had as a child. "A bulwark never failing." Then I laughed as I realized I had absolutely no idea was a bulwark was. I don't think I ever asked anyone, maybe I did. If I did, I don't remember, so I looked it up. ("Bulwark: a wall of earth built for defense) Makes perfect sense now, right?     
     The next song that struck a deep chord in me, "Now Thank We All Our God," is based on 1Thessalonians 5:18 and Colossians 3:17. The next line says, "With heart and hands and voices." Wow, Lord. This was written by a Lutheran Pastor in 1636, and is considered one of the few but rich hymns devoted exclusively to thanking God.
     The song, "Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty," was written 1826 and based on Revelation 4:8. "Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee."
     "Crown Him with many Crowns, the lamb upon his throne. Hark how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake my soul and sing, of Him who died for thee. And hail him as thy matchless King, Through all eternity." This was written in 1851 and based on Rev. 19:12.
     "Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ the royal master, Leads against the foe, Forward into battle, See his banners go." Written in 1865 and based on 2 Chronicles 20:17.
     I will end with the song that makes me weep. I can't remember getting through it without tears. The story behind this song is great and long, so I will leave you with just one thing. In the New York Crusade of 1957, (this is the year I was born) it was sung by Bev Shea ninety-nine times, with the choir joining in the majestic refrain. "Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, How great Thou art! How Great thou art!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Then Sings my Soul."

     I have a story to tell in spite of the fact that I owe a friend a phone call. I probably should have done that first but I know she'll understand.  The story comes about from my love of Hymns. I grew up singing them and many of them go deep in me. So deep in fact, that a few make me weep just hearing them.
     Sometimes a particular song will come into my mind and I spend the whole day singing the words I remember and them humming the tune over hoping to remember more.
     On Thurs. I walked into work and found a sack in the office with my name handwritten on the front. I grabbed it, smiling. I love surprises. Inside it were two books of old Hymns. Oh my Gosh, I love this, I thought as I opened one of the books and looked inside. It got better when I saw the what else was inside. The left side pages held the music and lyrics, on the right were the stories of how the songs came to be. Wow, I thought.  It doesn't get much better than this. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love a good story. I love reading them and I love telling them. I had just hit pay dirt. This was the most amazing gift. I couldn't stop smiling.
     There wasn't a card but I was pretty sure I recognized the writing on the bag. It was a friend that I hadn't seen in quite awhile. I knew she was back in the area and I had been thinking about her. We had talked about getting together for lunch, so I picked up the phone to call. When she didn't answer, I decided to take a chance and thank her for the books, so I left a message. In it, I went on about how much I loved Hymns and stories and what a great gift it was. I said I'd been thinking about her and hoped to get together with her soon. Before I hung up, I laughed and said something about if the books were not from her than at least I got to tell her she'd been on my heart, or something like that. Then I said goodbye.
     All afternoon I thought about the moment I'd be able to dig into the books searching for all the songs that I couldn't quite remember. I couldn't wait to read the stories. I knew God was going to have something for me in there.  When I got to my car I laid the books on the front passenger seat and glanced at them, as I began to head home.  
     Here's the crazy part. Sometime during the 40 minute drive home as I glanced at the books on the seat, I had a flashback of picking the books up in a bookstore.  I remembered seeing the piano music in them and buying them for my friend, Vernita. She is a gifted piano player and has a sing-a-long Carol party every Christmas.  I remember grabbing them at the last minute as a second thought.  Almost selfish on my part because I know I pictured a great Hymn sing-a-long, (starring me ) with Vernita behind the piano bringing the songs back to life. 
     I suddenly felt embarrassed and foolish remembering the phone message I had just left her about this great gift and remembered that she was preparing to move. I pictured her going through things and making the decision to give me back the books.  Oh Boy.
      Before I got home though, God reminded me that my excitement in receiving them was genuine and that nothing had changed other than I was feeling embarrassed and forgetful.
     God also reminded me that Vernita was a precious friend and that she would most likely laugh about this with me later.   
    I don't think I ever noticed or realized the songs stories were in the books when I gave them to her. At that moment in the gift store it had been all about the sing-a-long. At this point, God reminded me of my other friend Lisa who, like me, is a lover of old Hymns. She sings worship at church and in our small group.  I also knew that she would love reading the stories behind them. 
     I decided that I would give Lisa the books at small group on Wed. night even though one of my hands might still be clutching the pages. I told Paul to be prepared to pry it loose if necessary. 
     At home, I took the books upstairs and found all those old songs that were buried in my spirit.  I squawked with joy and sang with gusto while my gracious husband lied beside me in bed.  He smiled during the first few renditions, began to frown a bit around number seven, and then somehow, managed to fall asleep. 
     I'm still reading the stories, but God did have something very sweet for me.
     I'll share it with you tomorrow...and Vernita...I owe you another call.