Sunday, July 5, 2020

Am I About My Father's Business?

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.… 
 (Mathew 24:35-37)

Hey Friend,

I don't know about you, but I have had some serious thoughts about us being in the end times.  Scholars will say that first this, then that, and finally this must happen before Jesus returns in glory, but the truth of the matter is, no one knows the day or the hour that Christ will return, triumphantly, to take His people home.  Not even Jesus knows - only God.

I do know this much about God, He is a God of mystery and just when I think I know what's going on, He impresses upon me that I will never be able to fully wrap my brain around His ways.  That's why He is God and I am not.

One thing I DO know is that when the Lord returns, I want to be about His business.

Luke 12 tells a story of the Master who goes away and leaves the manager in charge of His servants.  The manager's job is to give the servants their portion at the proper time.  He's been given His marching orders by the Master.

3Blessed is that servant whom his master finds doing so when he returns. 44Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.…  (Luke 12:43-44)

So what exactly does it look like to be about the Master's business? Consider these aspects:

An earthly son or daughter doesn't usually step into the father's business without first being an apprentice.  Apprenticing involves, learning, training, and preparation.  He/She gains knowledge of the business from the ground floor on up.

Likewise, we need to become apprentices to our Heavenly Father.  We need to be in His word - gaining knowledge about His kingdom, learning His precepts forward and backward, and living out His Word in real life situations. We spend time with Him allowing Him to instruct us. We literally learn how to walk in our Father's footsteps.

Just as we may encounter pain and difficulty from trial and error that comes with learning an earthly business, we, as spiritual apprentices to the Lord, will undoubtedly endure pain and suffering.  As heirs to the throne we are called to participate in the suffering of Christ.

Paul, in the Bible, says, Yes, and all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."  (2 Timothy 3:12)

Eight years ago, God called me to start a Christian school for orphans and impoverished children in the enemy's backyard in the Middle East ( I don't think I had any idea what would be in store for me as I began to be about my Father's business.  

We tend to believe that if we are accomplishing God's will and doing His work, then all will go well for us - how very far from the truth.  You might as well have painted a giant red target on my back when I stepped in to do my Father's work.  The enemy came after me with a vengeance and has done so, in a myriad of ways, for eight years.  Certainly, there have been times of extreme joy, satisfaction, and blessing, but I have also suffered tremendously in ways I never would have thought possible. 

Our commitment and devotion to God is evidenced in how we serve others.  Our efforts don't have to be grandiose in scale.  It could be as simple as becoming a pen pal with an elderly person in nursing care that can't have visitors due to COVID-19.  Whatever we endeavor upon, there will be spiritual forces in the universe working against us.  We don't have to fear, however, because no temptation can overtake us without their being a way of escape provided.  

 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,  he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The best news is that there is a reward for those who are about the Father's business on the day of His return.  We are promised an inheritance which is eternal life.  And, he who is faithful with what is entrusted to him here on earth will be givine even more responsibility in the life that is to come. 

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

So for all of us who are waiting on that glorious day, keep fighting the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith, and be about the Father's business since we do not know the minute or the hour in which He will return.

Dear Heavenly Father, Be with me Lord in these turbulent and uncertain times.  Help me to trust that you are sovereign and You are ultimately in control.  Give me courage to be about your business - serving others and pouring out your love, like water, to a parched and thirsty world.  Let it be my honor to suffer as Christ has suffered for me and keep me from all temptation.  I praise you that you have promised that if I am faithful with the work you give me here on earth, that you will give me that much more responsibility in heaven.  Let me spend time in your presence - learning and practicing your precepts.  Let me be about Your business so that I am at the ready upon your return.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

What about you...are you about your Father's business?  Are you enduring the trials, tribulations, and persecutions of this world to accomplish His will in your life?  What are some practical ways you can serve others?  Do you feel like we are in the end times?  What gives you hope? Will you share?

Be blessed...

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

This World is Not My Home

Hey Friend,

I don't give a lot of credence to dreams, but one I had recently got me to thinking.  

It was late at night.  I was alone, driving in my car.  I was wearing my robe and slippers.  I knew I belonged somewhere, but I kept driving around in search of my home but couldn't find it.  There happened to be a stranger out walking who asked if he could help me.  I told him my plight - that I was searching but couldn't figure out if any of these houses I was passing was my home. I never found my home in the dream...  

Daniel, who interpreted dreams for King Nebuchadnezzar, would have had a field day with this one.

Daniel knew what it was like to live as a "stranger in a foreign land."  He probably would have reminded me that this world is not my home - I am merely passing through.  My ultimate citizenship is in heaven.

I admit that lately, with the world being as it is, I have felt like a foreigner living in exile.  I am trying to reconcile myself with this world, but I can't.  My homesick heart yearns for my true home and the eternal presence of God.

In the various dreams that Daniel interprets for King Nebuchadnezzar, he warns the king against disobedience and especially against arrogant pride in glorifying himself over God. The king doesn't heed Daniel's warning and spends "seven periods" severed from his sanity, living with the wild animals, and grazing on the grass.  At the end of this season, King Nebuchadnezzar is reestablished, by God, over his kingdom and he declares:

"Now I, Nebhuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of the heavens, because all his works are true and his ways are just.  He is able to humble those who walk in pride."  Daniel 4:27

I believe that we have forgotten the God who holds our life-breath in his hands and who controls the very course of our lives.  

God continually says, "Here I am," but we continually turn away to our own devices. 

We put our hope in kings and kingdoms, yet fail to humble ourselves before the King of Kings.

I could get really despondent, and allow the enemy to render me ineffective, but the Lord of Armies has given me my marching orders while I inhabit this earth.  A day is coming soon when the King of Kings will return and will pronounce righteous judgment.  He will wipe away every tear and will establish a new heaven and a new earth.

While we wait, my privilege is to serve others and to be a witness to God's unending faithfulness.  When Christ returns to take His people home, I want there to be more citizens in heaven because I opened my mouth and bore witness to his grace and lovingkindness.  I want to share a message of hope with the hopeless.  This is what God calls me to do.

Even if I am a lone voice calling out in the wilderness, my job is to speak and the Holy Spirit will convict hearts.  My life arrow is to always be pointing toward God.

There has never been a more apt time than this to be God's mouthpiece calling for us to love one another as we were first love others with unselfish love.  We are all God-created and we are all equally loved.  May God shift our perspective to see all His people through His eyes...not our own.  

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.  I am to be about the Lord's business until He sees fit to return and gloriously usher me home.  

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions - is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  1 John 2: 15-17

Dear Heavenly Father,  I thank you and praise you that this world is not my home.  Thank you for making a way for me, while I was still a sinner, to be able to stand in your holy presence.  I look forward, with inner joy, to the eternal home you have prepared for me.  Meanwhile, give me your abiding peace and strength to persevere here on earth.  Give me courage to share the hope that is within me.  Let me love others in such a way that the world would see YOU, not me, and would glorify You over any earthly kings.  Teach me to be obedient and humble in all that I do.  Let your Word be always on my that the world may know You.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Do you feel like a foreigner in a strange land? Do you feel a homesickness that you can't explain?  Do you have hope beyond today?  If so, will you share it?  If not, what might God be saying to your heart?  Will you share?

Be blessed...
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Thursday, June 11, 2020

How Long, O Lord?

How long, O Lord, how long?
(Psalm 6:3)

Hey Friend,

I've heard it said that I shouldn't pray for patience.  "Why?" you ask.  Some might think that if we ask for patience we are asking for a trial through which we will need patience to endure.  

I don't think the Lord works that way:

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him."  (Lamentations 3:25)

I do hope in the Lord, but lately I've been finding myself praying, just like David did, "How long, O Lord?"  You too?

God desperately wants us to call on His holy name.  He will not force himself into our lives and circumstances.  He is at the ready.  All we have to do is ASK.  One thing to keep in mind, however, is that God often doesn't answer in our time frame or in the way we might expect.  He's got the bigger picture in mind.

I prayed for many years for a husband who would love me and cherish me in the way that Jesus loved His bride, the church.  I guess you could say that's a high standard, but that is the model we are given for marriage. I will not kid you and say that I was blameless in the dream not becoming a reality. I'm not. I just knew that I wanted the tender, undivided love of a good man and I couldn't make it happen.

We can pray for years - seeking and knocking at God's door, days on end, and the door still stays shut and locked.  We get duped, by the enemy, into thinking that God doesn't hear or care and that He's not working behind the scenes. 

I have learned a few key lessons about God's answer to our query of, "How Long, O Lord?"

1.  Too often our prayer is outcome or result focused instead of being God focused.  I prayed for a particular outcome instead of praying for my relationship with the Lord to be enhanced and HIS will be done.  Seek HIM first and all the rest will be added unto you.

2.  Instead of trying to help God along in answering my prayer, I need to get out of His way.  My job is to abide in the Lord.  It's not a work that I will do, but one that God will orchestrate.  My job is to abide and wait patiently for what HE is about to perform.

3.  Waiting patiently on the Lord is not a passive or easy process.  When I thought of waiting patiently, I envisioned sitting with no angst, gazing out the window.  Waiting patiently, however, is about actively seeking the Lord while we wait on His answer.  I need to be in His Word, seeking His presence, and turning to Him in prayer.  That's active waiting.

4.  Remember that perseverance through trials produces character, character produces hope, and hope never disappoints.  I can look back on the trials through which I've persevered and I can see just how God came through for me and with me.  Now, looking back on my persevering journey gives me courage and trust that I can face whatever comes my way as long as God and I are in it together.

5.  I need to thank God, in advance, for what He is going to do.  I've gotten better at this new way, for me, of praying.  I KNOW God will answer when I call on Him, therefore, I need to thank Him in advance for the good way in which He will answer.  Meanwhile, I lean on His grace which will be sufficient.

God DID answer my prayer, that I mentioned above, and He did so in a time and way that I could have never imagined.  His timing is perfect.  Great is His faithfulness!

I don't know how long it will be until God answers my prayers for today.  I have personal prayers and prayers for my country and world.  I know that I need others praying for me and others praying with me.  God answers when His people pray and He gives us Biblical examples of what can happen when His people are persistent in their prayers.  Let's pray together and watch God show up in a big way!

Dear Heavenly Father, the prayers of my heart are so many.  I wonder how long it will be until they are answered?  Give me a heart that seeks your precepts and your presence.  Let my focus be on you before it seeks outcomes.  Let me get out of your way so that you can work and let me wait patiently - actively leaning into you. I know you are building my character in the persevering and in good time your sovereign plan will be made known.  I thank you in advance as I abide in you, knowing full well that your answer will be filled with your lovingkindness.  May I be a vessel that encourages others to call on your name.  In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Are you asking, "How long, O Lord?"  If so, what enables you to keep hanging on?  Would you share YOUR struggle and your hope so that we may be encouraged together?  Do you believe God will answer even if He is silent?  I'd love to hear your insights...

Be blessed...

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

When the World's Movement Suddenly Shifts

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful."
(Hebrews 10:23)

Hey Friend,

Have you ever had the trajectory of your life turn on a dime?  It's as if the world was spinning on its axis, as it's done forever in one direction, and then suddenly it reversed and started spinning in the other direction.

Perhaps you feel that way with this recent pandemic?  Wasn't it just weeks ago that we shook hands, gave bear hugs, gathered in groups, and simply went about our lives?  Now we are all distancing guests at an awkward masquerade ball.  We try to dance to the music that is playing but we don't know the steps.

Life can change drastically over weeks, days, moments, and even a split second can cause a seismic shift to take place.

Ten years ago, my feelings about life mimicked what many are feeling now...hopelessness.  I had traversed a year of turbulence brought about by separation in my marriage.  This was the second season of separation, and I knew that this time it would not end with reconciliation.

With my grown children living their own lives, I immersed myself in my work with the precious preschoolers that brought joy to my life each day.  God gave them to me as a lifeline. That was, until the last day of school in June, when the Director called me into her office and told me rather matter-of-factly that she had decided to let me go.  My personal life was obviously affecting my work and she felt it was the prudent thing to do. 

I cried the whole way home in the car.  I had been told, yet again, and in no uncertain terms that I wasn't making the grade; I wasn't needed; and I certainly wasn't wanted.  I felt like a tender shoot of grass, fragile in my stance and desperately leaning toward the light, that was suddenly squashed by the heavy boot called life.  I was back in the muck and mire and the whole world looked hopeless from where I lay.

My fingers scrambled over the buttons on the phone:  Mom? No answer. Girlfriends? No. Relatives? No.  Maybe they'd be on Facebook?  No, No, No.  My world, as I knew it was falling apart and there was no one I was close to with whom I could release my pain.

The only person on Facebook that afternoon was a friend I knew in high school.  The boy I knew, then, was quiet, studious, and shy, but he was kind and a straight arrow.  But, I hadn't really had a meaningful conversation with him in over thirty years ("Likes" for posts don't really count). I couldn't just strike up a conversation, "Hey, how ya been these past 30 years?"  Oh how pathetic, I thought to myself.

But something inside me said, "It's okay.  There's a reason he's the only person available at this moment in time."

"Why is he home in the middle of the afternoon?" I wondered.  "Maybe he works from home...or maybe he is a hermit who lives in his mother's basement?" A quick look in the mirror at my swollen red eyes reminded me that I was in no position to judge.  

An inexplicable force made my fingers click across the keyboard.  "Hey," I typed... silence.  "What an idiot you are," I chided myself.  "Hey," now that's really brilliant  for a Communications major.  "Hey" was all I could muster...

I came to learn later that he hadn't had conversations on Facebook and really wasn't sure if I was talking to him.  We look back, now, and laugh about what we lovingly refer to as "Hey" Day.  In that second, on that day, ten years ago, the trajectory of our lives totally changed for the better.  

Married for over six blessed years, we are trying to think of a pandemic-friendly way to celebrate this day that the world started spinning in the opposite (right) direction.  

Since this is not heaven and life here on this planet is often hard, painful, and ugly, hope must start with God in order for us to endure what life throws at us.

God, you have said, "those who hope in me will not be disappointed," (Isaiah 49:23).  I know for a fact that you are faithful to your promises. 

"You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."  (Psalm 25:5)

In that split second in time, my heart was touched by God's tender lovingkindness and my mind was opened to the wonder of who God is.  My whole world changed direction on "Hey" Day (June 2, 2010).  I can say with confidence that I know the hope to which God has called me and I praise Him with all of my heart.

Just as our world shifted its direction when the pandemic began, it can change direction, again, on a dime.  We will, however, need to put our hope solely in God (not on an outcome or result).  We will have to trust Him with it ALL!  We have to believe that our God is faithful and give him our honor and obedience.

I'll end this post by encouraging you to pray this scripture with me:

Because of the Lord's faithful love we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
I say, "The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in him.

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the person who seeks him.
It is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord."
(Lamentations 3: 22-26)

What about you?  Does your world feel like it's spinning in the wrong direction?  How do you cope with uncertainty?  What do you think God's up to?  Where does your hope lie and your strength come from in the waiting?  Will you share?

Be blessed...

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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Deathless Prayers

Hey Friend,

I know deep in my soul that ANYTHING is possible with God.  Here comes the "but."  But...I've been praying this same prayer for years now and often it feels like it falls on deaf ears.  

Mother's Day, for me, looms on the horizon.  In a way, I'm secretly glad that we are quarantined and I don't have to go to church and hear the "Happy Mother's Day" well wishes.  I know I'm not alone.  

For many, Mother's Day is a reminder of what "isn't."  Women who long to be mothers; mothers who have lost children; children who've lost mothers; children who've had abusive or addicted mothers; mothers estranged from their children...

I know many who are not perfect moms (including me) - who've made many mistakes.  Perhaps you long to be remembered, appreciated, or forgiven, yet the divide remains?

When my children were young, like Mary, I treasured these things in my heart.  My desire, more than anything, was that they would have an intimate relationship with their heavenly father.  I want that for them, even more than a relationship with me. 

I pray that the marvelous seeds that developed in the springtime of my daughter's heart will one day flower.

I am resolved to pray for my son every day, and I take comfort in the fact that God looks forward to the day he grows in his faith, even more than I do.

"The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary."  (Isaiah 40:28)

His amazing strength is able to pursue my children long after my own is gone. Because of His faithfulness, the prayers I've placed before my Father's throne will still be there, waiting to be answered in His perfect will and His perfect way.

E.M. Bounds, a minister and chaplain during the Civil War has this to say about prayer:

"God shapes the world by prayer.  Prayers are deathless. The lips that utter them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them. Prayers outlive the lives of those that uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world."

I take heart that God will receive my prayers, offered in faith, with an everlasting love that never fails.

As much as I treasure my children, God treasures them more.  Their worth to God is incalculable.  And so I bring them before His throne once again.

"Your prayers, dear child of God...shall be answered - some of them, perhaps, during your lifetime on earth, and all of them, certainly, during your lifetime in heaven."  - Samuel Prime

Dear Heavenly Father, I bring before you all the people reading this who have prayers they have prayed over and over again with seemingly no answer.  Give them strength and faith to know that you are always working behind the scenes and never turn a deaf ear.  I thank you and praise you that my prayers and the prayers of those praying this not only meet your ears, but meet your heart.  Thank you for loving those I pray for even more than I do.  May your good and perfect will be done.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Are there prayers you've been praying with no answer in sight?  How does it affect you to know that your prayers continue on long after you are gone?  Do you believe that your prayers will one day, all be answered?  How can you adopt a more eternal perspective?  Will you share?

Be blessed...

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Monday, April 27, 2020

What Would You Do???

Hey Friend,

It's three o'clock in the afternoon.  You've forgotten what day of the week it is because the days just seem to run together.  You are aching to hug someone...anyone, but especially your beautiful new granddaughter.  Her red apple cheeks and tiny fingers and toes beg to be kissed, but they elude you.

In boredom, you've binge-watched all your favorite shows and you've visited the refrigerator and pantry more times than you would care to admit.  Somehow, the ice cream soothes an emotional itch you can't seem to scratch.  

Your kids have each taken turns having seismic meltdowns.  Tears, like hot lava, have flowed down your graduating senior's cheeks for all the memories that will go unmade.  You and your spouse are learning the true meaning of "for better or for worse."  Their little quirky idiosyncrasies are now driving you crazy.  It's a sign of too much togetherness.  Even the dog balks at going for yet another walk.

Or maybe you are going it alone - wishing there was someone to annoy you.  Maybe the isolation just stamps a big exclamation point over your loneliness.  If only your spouse hadn't left...if only your grown children cared...if only.

What if, on top of this, you'd lost your job cleaning sewers?  Your country's government and all the non-government aid groups have said, "We will NOT give you food or humanitarian aid because you claim Jesus Christ is Lord and that is blasphemy." Others on the lowest rung of this caste system have nothing to share with you. Now, more than ever, they call you "the unclean ones."

Your children are starving.  You can't put food on the table.  No one will give you so much as a scrap of bread.  The only way you could possibly have a chance at getting nourishment to quash the hunger is to denounce your faith.  Just say that you worship the prophet Mohammad and Allah is your god.  Say it and you and your family will eat.

What would you do?  

That's where the children of Redeemer Christian School, and their caregivers, are right now.  They live in a dark corner of the world - a third world Middle Eastern country that persecutes and tortures Christians in the most horrific ways.  Now there is a new way to persecute those who claim Jesus Christ is Lord - starve you to death.  That is what is happening.

Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. is committed to go where others won't go to reach the lost and forgotten.  With the help of caring and compassionate donors, we are putting together food and humanitarian aid packages in order to feed those who are hungry and starving. 

We are also sharing food with our starving Muslim and Hindi brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus and hearts are being drawn to Him.  We are walking in the sandals of the Good Samaritan, but we need your help.

If you are out of work, lost your livelihood, or are hungry yourself...please disregard this post.  But, if you are still working, sitting comfortably while riding out this pandemic, we NEED your help.

Every dollar we collect will go directly to starving families in this Middle Eastern country (for security reasons we cannot share which country on public internet).  Nothing will be taken out for overhead, administration, or any other reason.  Your dollars...straight to the market to buy food to be distributed, in the name of Jesus, to those who are starving.  

Even after the social distancing mandates lift, the poorest of the poor will have a very difficult time finding work.  Long after we've gone back to gathering with others and hugging those we love, these brothers and sisters in Christ will still be hungry.  But, YOU can bring them love and hope.

Check our our website:  Click HERE to read more about RCF, Inc.

If you want to feed the children in Jesus' name...Click HERE to make a donation. Any amount will help...  We are a registerd 501c3 non-profit.  The CARES stimulus act now allows a $300 tax deduction per person for those who normally don't itemize.  

And, will you pray?  Pray that the enemy would not prevail in isolating and destroying those who trust in Jesus?  Pray for a hedge of protection to be around those who claim and stick to their faith.  Pray for strength and perseverance in the midst of this crisis.  

Thank you and be blessed...

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Thanks for reading....

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dare To Sing A New Song

Hey Friend,

My birthday dawned and the clouds, like dark grey battleships, moved swiftly across the ominous sky.  The trees bent and swayed with each strong gust of wind.  Just as I pondered not wimping out on my morning walk, the rain started pelting the glass of the storm door then ran downward like tears.  

The COVID-19, quarantine birthday - you couldn't have scripted it any better.  All that was missing was some ominous, sad, creepy music and it would have captured my mood perfectly.  

Perhaps it's still the little girl in me that looks forward to my birthday.  Who doesn't like being "Queen for a Day?" But this birthday?  It wasn't looking too promising.  The one highlight I had planned was skyping with my birthday twin late morning, but the rest of the day was one big blank space on my calendar. 

That was until my husband called up the stairs. He beckoned me to come down. Hair in a ponytail, tie-dyed shirt and yoga pants, I was a vision of loveliness as I bounced down the stairs.  

"Hurry up," he insisted.  "I want you to see something."  

Tripping over the pile of shoes in front of the door, I managed to scramble into some leopard print crocs.  The ensemble was complete.  He opened the garage door and unlike the commercials, there wasn't a shiny new Lexus with a bow on top in the driveway.

"What do you want to show me," I queried with skepticism.  

"You'll just have to wait," he encouraged as he fiddled with the camera on his phone.  Thankfully the rain had let up though the skies were still grey and there was a chill in the wind.

Then I heard horns up the street started honking in an exuberant cacophony.  My husband scooted me out to the curb.  Just then the first car rounded the bend and a caravan of cars followed.  Some had streamers, others balloons.  Colorful birthday greetings covered the windows and doors.  Even a friend's dog had her head out the window - thrilled to be part of this crazy parade.

Maybe it's the HSP (highly sensitive person) gene in me, but the crocodile tears welled up to the surface.  I was so touched by these friends putting together a parade in my honor.  The parade, however, wasn't the finale, but just the beginning.  

Like circus clowns piling out of their cars, the ladies popped out with crazy hats, leis, feather boas, and pretty parasols.  In true rockette style, they danced, twirled, and managed to sing Happy Birthday somewhat in unison.  It was hilariously funny and delightfully sublime at the same time.  I think they had nearly as much fun as I did because this circus had given them permission to get the heck outta the house!     

I've never had a parade in my honor...and I probably will never have one again, but thanks to this crazy, strange, scary, surreal, uncertain parallel universe we'd been thrust into, a birthday parade just seemed like the fitting thing to do. 

Friends and family bombarded me with texts, and Facebook messages, and phone calls.  It was as if they needed to shower me with love as much as I needed to be showered.  Terrifying times made for a powerful out-pouring.

The song in my heart, that had been playing over the last several weeks, sounded more like a funeral dirge.  Yes, people had been dying and people had lost their jobs and livelihood.  The news was oppressive and the uncertainty had exhausted us. We had blamed, hated, pointed fingers, made slurs, and hoarded toilet paper.  It hadn't been pretty.  

Perhaps, that day my friends dared to sing a different song and I needed the serenade.  The one thing that coronavirus couldn't quash was people's need to show and receive love.  This virus has taken some of us back to basics...back to the bible...back to the greatest commandment..."Love one another!"

There's been a certain urgency to tell others that we love them and to show it.  Perhaps that's what led me to pull out an old cd and play this song at the end of the day.  I was thankful that my friends had dared to sing a new song - even with what was going on in the world.

This song by James Taylor isn't a great hymn of faith, but it was an anthem for my birthday.  I'll leave you with this video and the words of the song.  If the news is too depressing, maybe you'll find yourself humming along...shower the people you love with them the way that you feel.  Things are gonna work out fine if you only will....

"For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy."  (Psalm 63:7)

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."  (Psalm 32:7)

"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise."  (Psalm 40:3)

Be blessed...and dare to sing a new can you add to the chorus...will you share?

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