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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shelter Me

Have you ever been caught in a situation where you needed to find shelter? A long hike, a thunderstorm approaching, not being familiar with your location and a bit of anxiety would certainly be one situation in which physical shelter would be needed. Seeking shelter would be the logical thing to do in order to find proection against the approaching storm.

I first heard the song, "Shelter Me" by Bruce Carroll a few weeks ago as I was listening to Pandora Internet Radio. It really struck a chord with me because many times in my own life I have needed to find shelter from the storms that raged around me. Thankfully, I have always been able to have physical shelter--a safe place that I call home. Rather, my need at times has been to find spiritual shelter. Sometimes, I wandered out in the storm before seeking the familiar shelter that I know all too well. But, eventually, I would round the bend in the road and there it was--a beautiful sight--a place to rest and be safe and comforted. My personal shelter. 

On the many occasions that I have desperately sought the comfort and shelter of God's presence, I have never been disappointed. His Word gives me hope and strength and peace. I am so thankful for this! The deep love that I have for my heavenly Father and for Jesus Christ, my Savior has made such a difference in how I handle difficult situations. The ability to go to Him in prayer and share my hurts and fears gives me the assurance that He is listening and that He answers according to His will for my life and for those around me.  

If you feel the need to seek God's shelter due to situations that are presently surrounding you, or if there are circumstances in your life that seem to be beyond your control, just remember that you have a Savior--Jesus Christ, who wants to bring you peace and hope. He will shelter you from any storm that you may face now or in the future because He specializes in calming the storms. 

PRAYER:  Father God, thank You for sheltering us from the storms of life.  Through Jesus, we have the ability to rest safely in the Shepherd’s arms at all times.  Help us to trust You always, knowing that You love us beyond comprehension.  I pray this in Jesus name.  Amen.  

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!  For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.  Psalm 55:1 (NKJV) 

A Shelter In The Time of Storm

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A Shelter in the time of storm.
A shade by day, defense by night,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright,
A Shelter in the time of storm.
The raging storms may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm.
O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.
Words: Vernon J. Charlesworth, circa 1880
Music: Ira D. Sankey, circa 1885 
 *It was said that this was a fav­o­rite song of the fish­er­man on the northern coast of Eng­land, and they were oft­en heard sing­ing it as they ap­proached their har­bors in the time of storm.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be Still My Soul

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

I LOVE MUSIC! It speaks to me in many ways. It refreshes me and calms my soul. Music makes me happy and joyful, lifts my spirits, and heals any hurt that I might be experiencing at any given time.

Because classical music is something that my husband and I enjoy, for a number of years we held season tickets to the local symphony. Once a month, we looked forward to dressing up, going to dinner, and then spending a relaxing evening at the symphony. It was always exciting to see and hear such talented musicians who were affiliated with the symphony, as well as an array of wonderful guest soloists.  Symphonic music has always been much better than a tranquilizer for me!  And, yet, there is another type of music that motivates my soul in ways that cause me to be amazed and extremely thankful. 

More often than not, much of the inspiration that I receive to write my blog comes as a result of a lyric and/or melody of a Christian song. Most of the time, the melody is secondary to the lyric, because words and their meaning are very powerful. Whether the song is an old hymn that I have known since childhood, or a much “younger” contemporary Christian song, music always offers inspiration and strength in my walk of faith in Jesus Christ.   

The song and beautiful slide show which is posted above entitled, “Be Still My Soul”, sung by Amy Grant, spoke to me tonight. In fact, it caused me to stop what I was doing and led me to focus totally on God.  And, the neatest thing happened! In the stillness of thinking about what an awesome God I serve, focusing on His many attributes, the blessings given so lovingly to me and to my family, and my desire to be all that He wants me to be, my soul was refreshed and renewed.  I was reminded that in my busy days, extra effort should be made to use my time more wisely for Him--to keep singing His songs. 

How is your soul doing tonight?  Are you so rushed and distracted with the things of the world, that you don’t give God the time He deserves?  Of all the things I may or may not know about Him, the one thing that I do know is that He overwhelmingly loves you and me! He created us in His image. He wants to spend time with each of us so that we might know Him and our Savior, Jesus Christ more fully.  He desires a relationship with us like that of a father to a child.  He wants an intimacy with us that will only come when we are still before Him.  He won’t force any of us to come to Him, but if we do, we will find peace, safety, deep joy, and true happiness that will fulfill us not only for the present time, but for eternity.  His love is boundless.  Tonight, why not take time to be still before God.  Think on Him.  Talk to Him. Abide in Him.  He’s there and He is waiting with open arms. 

PRAYER:  Father God, we love You and are so thankful for the opportunity to be still before You.  To know that You are God.  You alone are worthy of our praise.  Thank You for music that soothes our souls. Thank You for songs of faith that lift our hearts and give us inspiration.  Thank You for those who were inspired to write these songs.  In these perilous times in which we live, please reach the world with Your Son, Your Spirit, Your Word, Your music, and Christlike love which can only be exhibited through those of us who profess Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord.  I pray this His name, the name above all names. Amen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Through It All

What a powerful thought as I am reminded that amidst trials and hardships, Jesus has been my source of strength.  It has been through these times that I have learned to depend upon His Word and more fully rely on Him as my help.  God does not always bring us around storms, but walks with us through those times so that we might learn to trust Jesus more fully.  As the words to the song posted above say: "If we never had a problem, then we would not know that God could solve them, nor would we know what faith in Him could do."
At this writing, I am still learning to lean on Jesus, and to trust Him as He directs me in ways that I could never have imagined. He is my total source of strength.  I pray that He is the source of your strength today as well.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:2-3
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

PRAYER:  Dear God, thank You for staying beside us through the tough times.  Help those who may be going through such a time to fully rely on You for their strength.  May they place their trust in Christ alone.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.