Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Mercy


I know it's not Music Monday, but I just can't help myself.  I read these precious words in Lamentations this morning and knew I had to share them with y'all.  I LOVE these verses, which is also why I LOVE the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  I'd dare say that it is my favorite. 

I mean think about it- the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. Steadfast as defined by Merriam-Webster: very devoted; firmly fixed; not changing; immovable.  That is the very love of God.

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
And on top of that- His mercies never come to an end! Mercy: kindness, compassion, blessings, forgiveness given when it is undeserved.  Ephesians 2 paints a wonderful explanation of God's mercy. It starts by listing many deplorable things we as sinners do: following this world, and walking in darkness...verse three says: "we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."  But here is the good part- in light of all of that wickedness and sinfulness that we all live, God is still merciful to us.
  "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ..." Ephesians 2:4-5a (ESV)
And that abundant mercy is given to us, brand new, every morning.  We don't just receive God's mercy and grace once in our life for salvation, it's a continual process.  EVERY DAY I need God's mercy and his grace and his love.  Because EVERY DAY I am still a sinner.  The difference though is that before I was saved I was a sinner in need of a Savior, but now I have a Savior who has completely paid in full the debt I owe because of the sins I commit.  So where does mercy fit then?  Well mercy is still needed every day, because every day God is still sanctifying me--  meaning He is setting me a part and making me holy; more like Christ.  He is still giving me mercy when I act un-Christlike and He doesn't give up on me.

Because Great is HIS Faithfulness







Verse 1
 “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
 
Verse 2
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
 
Verse 3
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
 
Chorus
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
 


Are you celebrating every morning the great mercy and love that God gives or do you take it for granted?

Are you seeking him daily so you can be more and more like Christ?

Or do you feel like you have fallen too far?  God is faithful and steadfast- seek him today!


Love in Christ,

Alyson

Monday, July 28, 2014

Music Monday- "A Mother's Prayer"









I take my responsibilities as a mother very seriously.  I've written before on the important job we have as parents to train our children.  And added to that, something that I think is CRITICAL for all parents to do is to PRAY!

I encourage you every day (multiple times a day) to pray for your kids. Your own kids, your nieces and nephews, the kids at your church- all the kids! ;-)  And one of the ways I love to pray, because I love music, is to sing the prayers.  There are several prayer songs that I love to sing over my son - my favorite is one I make up as I go along, but this one by Keith and Kristyn Getty is just so sweet and has such a great lullaby feel.  Here are the lyrics:


"A Mother's Prayer"

Before you close your eyes to sleep
I have a promise still to keep
As I hold you in my arms.
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hold while you are young;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I'll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
May you trust Him ‘til the end.
May you trust Him in the end.

This world is not as it should be,
But the Savior opens eyes to see
All that's beautiful and true.
Oh may His light fill all you are
And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I'll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
He is with us ‘til the end.
He is faithful ‘til the end.

You'll travel where my arms won't reach
As the road will rise to lead your feet
On a journey of your own.
May my mistakes not hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through;
This is my prayer for you.

Take His hand
And go where He calls you to.
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart;
This will be my prayer for you.
mmmm Father, hear my ceaseless prayer;
Oh keep them in your care.

Dún do shúil (Close Your Eyes)
Dún do shúil, a rún mo chroí
(Close your eyes, oh love of my heart)
A chuid den tsaol, 's a ghrá liom
(My worldly joy, my treasure)
Dún do shúil, a rún mo chroí
(Close your eyes, oh love of my heart)
Agus gheobhair feirín amárach...
(And you will get a gift tomorrow)

Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Fionan de Barra; © 2012 Gettymusic and Fionan de Barra (adm. by MusicServices.org)


I have been blessed my entire life with praying parents, who are still praying for me.  Prayer is important throughout all seasons of life.  My first prayer and the most important is that I pray for my son's salvation. And this song encapsulates that so well and the continued process of seeking Christ and taking his hand.  Below is supposed to be the video.  If it isn't, you can see it here.  (PS-Their little girl is adorable!)

Hope you enjoy.











Love in Christ,

Alyson

Monday, July 21, 2014

To God Be the Glory

Hey everyone!  Things have been crazy busy this summer and I hope to tell you all about it when I actually get a minute to type it out...

Until then, I will simply tell you that God has been moving in my heart this summer and I have really loved my "You Are Loved" study from Good Morning Girls.  It is so refreshing reading God's word and learning more and more about him and his character.  And I have really been focusing on loving others.  Here are some verses that really struck me the last couple of weeks and I want to share them with you:





If you can't see the picture the verses are 1 Peter 4:8-11.  And they are just wonderful.  The first part gives such weight to love and how it covers a multitude of sins- so we need to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE each other.  We are also to be hospitable without grumbling!  Okay, I'm not going to repeat each verse, but just read each sentence and take a moment to let it sink in... Then make sure you really meditate on the last part- "In order that in EVERYTHING God may be GLORIFIED through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."  The End. Done.

Our life's purpose is to glorify God in everything we do.  In every act of service.  In every act of hospitality and in every act of love.  It's not to us be the glory- to God be the Glory!

Amen!


Love in Christ,

Alyson

Monday, July 14, 2014

Are You Trusting the Promise Maker or the Promise?

Yesterday, my Pastor said something that really resonated with me.  He was preaching out of Genesis 22 on the story of Abraham and Isaac.  It's a story I have heard hundreds of times.  God tested Abraham and Abraham went out to do what God had asked him. And when God saw that Abraham was fully devoted to Him he stopped him and sent the lamb.  There are SO many wonderful nuggets in this passage, but the statement that Pastor Billie made yesterday, "Abraham had more trust in the Promise Maker than in the promise."

*Picture was edited on picmonkey.com.
See God had promised Abraham that through Isaac, he would be the father of many nations.  So I imagine it would have been easy to cling to that promise and give in to the desire to say no when God asked such an incredible thing.  But Abraham knew that nothing was impossible for God except to break the promise, so somehow the promise would be fulfilled, because God had said it. (Another lovely nugget from Pastor Billie. Though seriously the whole sermon was excellent.  Assuming it recorded correctly, you can listen to it here: http://wmbcnc.com/resources/sermons/)

Have you ever trusted in the promises of God more than in God, himself?

Are you so focused on the future plans and hope that God has for you as mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11, that you miss the very presence of God working in your life now?

Are you so excited for the future of heaven because of the promises about it (no hurting, no tears, no sickness) or because God is there?

God has made many great promises through his word.  And we can believe every single word of them.  But we can't let the promises be our entire focus. We need to trust in God, the maker of the promises, more than in the promises themselves.

So how's your trust level?  Are you resting in God or just in his promises?


Love in Christ,

Alyson