Hymns of Joy

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I sell real estate for a living.

Recently, while leaving a closing, the rain started to come down and the buyer looked at me and said “showers of blessings.” I loved it. An old hymn I hadn’t remembered in so long but I still know by heart.

There is sunshine in my soul today…what a glorious delight. These words bring back so much to me and flood my mind with loving memories.

40 years later, I still remember sitting in church with my parents and singing the standards. I’m glad I have that memory. I’m grateful for songs of joyful praise.

I’m grateful.

 

Be Thou My Vision

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With age come certain realities that affect how one should view life.

Whatever you might be worrying about today, won’t be remembered tomorrow. Work hard at worrying less and realize that God provides. Walking through the trials of life with confidence is part of the plan. Sadness is inevitable but succumbing to fear, anger, hatred and despair are not.

We are all heading “home” and it is unavoidable. This isn’t maudlin when there is no fear of the future. As believers, our future is certain and reflected in a wonderful old hymn:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;

Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;

Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:

Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,

Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,

May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Don’t put value in things, put your heart and soul into people. It pays off. Family and friends are irreplaceable and add a depth of joy that is indescribably wonderful.

Worship is not about the church. Anyone who depends on a pastor, teacher or religious institution will surely be disappointed. A personal relationship with God is meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling. Open your Bible, talk to God, worship with friends…but worship God. There is a difference.

God provides daily blessings – don’t be too busy and miss them.

I promise this to be true.

Have you been called?

Path of life sculpture garden, Windsor, VT, October 9th, 2010

Path of life sculpture garden, Windsor, VT, October 9th, 2010

I sell real estate for a living. It is my calling.

Everyone is “called” to do something. It is the wise person who listens to that voice directing you on your life’s path and leads you to success if done right. You must know with absolute certainty that this is what you were meant to do.

If you feel like what you do is work, an obligation or drudgery, it is not your calling.

When you love your job, look forward to work and the day’s journey; you have found your calling. If you can’t wait to help others, then you have found your calling.

Some people might call it passion. But you can be passionate about something and it is not your calling.

Martin Luther King said it best:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Whatever you are called to do…do it well.

Do it with conviction.

Do it diligently.

Do it with persistence.

Do it.

God will bless you for it.

I see the moon…

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Everybody has seen it. The nightly moon has been unusually luminous and beautiful. I find myself staring at the night sky glowing in the light of this moon and marveling at its beauty.

How can we ever deny an existence in God? Beautiful moons, singing birds, precious loved ones, and so much more. It’s all a vallidation to me of the existence of One who loves us more than we can imagine and created something stunning for us to enjoy. 

I see the moon and the moon sees me…a famous rhyme for children. But I see the moon and I see God. I see wonder. I see stars. I see something greater than man.

I see hope. Forever, amen.

I see the moon and the moon sees me
God bless the moon and God bless me
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the one I love

Right turns…

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Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

We have been on vacation this week and it has been an interesting trip.

The home we are renting near the ocean has a unique entry…the road splits into two as you enter the village. Cars turn right to enter through a longer route while the left lane is reserved for drivers leaving the complex. It is always tempting to cheat and take the shortcut and turn left when there are no cars in sight. But, that doesn’t make it a good decision.

Last night my husband and I were returning after an evening drive and the road was free of traffic. But, Ken took the right turn and the long way home. It was a small decision but I have thought about it a lot today. My husband is a rule follower. He is the kind of person who makes good choices in life. He doesn’t cheat or take shortcuts. I admire that about him.

I think we are led or in some cases, misled to believe that everything will come easy if you only believe in God. Popular and best-selling authors challenge us to simply think, wish or expect riches and material blessings will pour down upon you. While I do believe that God wants the best for us – I believe that you also need to work hard and make good choices.

It may seem easier to take the shortcuts. But don’t shortcut God. He wants you to seek Him and that requires effort. It requires some prayer, study, reflection, and more.

Learning to do the right thing may cause you to take a longer and more arduous journey but in the end…it’s the best thing to do and I believe it’s a journey that God will bless.

 

You’ve Got Mail

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My email is often filled with “blessing” messages from friends that come with a caveat – pass them on to ten friends or I’ll suffer some dire fate. I have five minutes to do so or misfortune “may” arrive at my doorstep.

While I love blessings and some do arrive on particularly difficult days…I also know that email doesn’t trigger blessings from God. I enjoy the reminder of these sometimes beautifully written posts, but I know that I can find real blessings without threats if I simply open my Bible.

I believe each day is a blessing and God wants to shower blessings upon us. When it doesn’t happen as expected, it is often because we aren’t following Him  or the timing is just not perfect. When I look back on my life, I can see the blessings and it astounds me. In the moment, I am sometimes not so appreciative.

I love my friends, I love to be blessed, but I’m not going to be blackmailed into blessing others. I believe that the God I love carries me daily through life’s troubles and turmoil. That’s something I want to share.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

Pass that on!

A Princess Never Cooks


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I saw a t-shirt today with the words, “A princess never cooks.” If you knew me, you would know how much that statement would apply to this princess.

On Mother’s Day, I would like to remember the men in my life.

Beginning with my grandfather to my dad, husband, brothers, and son-in-law, I have been treated like a princess my entire life. I have been ridiculously blessed which is  not a term I use lightly.

The benefit of strong male influences has made me a better daughter, sister, wife, and mother. These men have not granted or permitted me to do anything. They have not ruled my life but have encouraged me and loved me. Love is more important than anything.

Having strong men in my life has made me a strong female. In turn, this gives me the freedom to share my hopes, dreams and desires with others. As a Mom, I want my daughters and granddaughter to know this is unique to our family and to most families. These great guys make my life happy and peace-filled.

It is also a daily reminder of our Father in heaven who calls me and all women “daughter” – what a joy, what a gift, what a comfort!

We are all daughter of the King. The Lord encourages us, walks with us through this earthly life, and waits for us in glory.

On this Mother’s Day, I give thanks for the men who have been so present in my life. But, I especially thank the Lord for being a heavenly Father who will never disappoint me and who guides and leads me daily.

I’m a princess, indeed.

“…and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

The Lord’s Prayer

Schnur and Lily at Beach 093

It is in the sweet, simple moments of life that we often get a glimpse of God’s glory. That happened for me last night.

As we prepared to eat our evening meal, my four year old granddaughter began to lead us in prayer. But, instead of the regular singsong pre-kindergarten based melody typically spoken, Lily recited the Lord’s Prayer. She did this without prompting and without any of the adults assembled around our table being forewarned. I am assuming that they have been working on this at school.

Lily spoke the Lord’s Prayer from memory and I was astounded.

Life comes full circle. From grandparents, to parents to children of the next generations, we lead our loved ones to a closer walk with Jesus. Today, I was reminded of that fact. What started long before my own beloved grandparents continues today with their great-great Granddaughter. I am a living witness to the power of a Savior who continues to love my family through Lily’s blessing of our meal.

The sweet prayers of a child reached deep into the heart of an aging grandparent and reminded me of God’s tender mercies.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.