Come Thou Fount

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COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
Oh, that day when freed from sinning
I shall see Thy lovely face
Clothed then in the blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy wondrous grace
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
Take my ransomed soul away
Send Thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day

Missing My Mom

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For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

10 years since my Mom, Jean Snyder Parvin, went home to Jesus. I will never stop missing her. No need to comment… instead call or hug your Mom for me.

Hallelujah

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Easter is my favorite day of the year. For me, it is better than Christmas…as it should be.

Yesterday, my church closed out the glorious Easter service with Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from his fantastic oratorio “Messiah”. What is interesting about this musical piece is Handel’s unrelenting fervor in composing this masterpiece. Handel was nearly broke, old, a stroke survivor and out of favor with the musical community. This did not discourage him. Handel assembled something wonderful which became a classic that lives on in the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It is quite simple magnificent.

It is said that after Handel completed the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant found him in tears saying “I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God”. (http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/bibleandculture/author/bwitherington/) Handel’s wild hair flying about his face and the tears in his eyes were the foreshadowing of a song that would make even King’s stand in awe.

That’s Easter. It’s beyond our ability to put into words really. It’s so outrageous and so divine that to reduce down to mere words is almost impossible.

Music lifts the soul and is a promised part of heaven. Something tells me that the Hallelujah chorus is just the beginning.

He is Risen.

He is Risen Indeed…Hallelujah.

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: Revelation 14:2,3

Falling Back…

home-top-photo-st-marg-church_22I love fall. Just as I watch the sky darken, the leaves change into a variety of majestic colors and the earth prepare for frost, fall signals a time of reflection for the past year and an awareness of the coming Advent season.

In short, fall is my favorite time of the year.

Each Fall I travel to the Blue Ridge and I return to the beautiful mountaintop church where my daughter was married. It was the last time my entire family was together before losing my Mom to cancer. I take a moment to go inside and sit on the very pew I shared with my parents and thank God for loving memories. My favorite is when Dad held my hand as my daughter walked down the aisle to meet her groom. Dad gave me a gentle squeeze as he asked me if I was OK. It was a loving gesture and so typical of my Father.

When I sit in that pew, I can still feel his presence although Dad has since joined Mom and gone home to glory. It’s a great memory of a happy time. If my earthly father was so amazing, how much more wonderful will it be to meet my heavenly Father?

As the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to glide down to the ground, I am reminded of my continual growth and change as I work toward a more mature faith. There is so much sin to release and so much good to reflect upon. God’s grace is sufficient and He guides me like a falling leaf and catches me safely in His arms.

For another season, I soar in His love and I look forward for what is yet to come.

Can I wear heels in heaven?

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I have been thinking about heaven a great deal recently. I find that it is a subject that never bores me and for which I am deeply curious.

So many people have theories on what heaven is like. Writers, theologians and just regular people all have some concept of heaven including how the angels will sound, and when we will meet Jesus. The dimensions of those pearly gates, St. Peter, our loved ones, a book filled with names…so many possibilities. I truly find it so intriguing and illuminating to hear people speak of this mystery.

I have heard writers hope that their version of heaven is like one large Barnes & Noble with comfy chairs, classical music and books galore. Others want heaven to be a golf course. Some hope to wear their high heels. Streets of gold? Lambs book of life? It’s all possible.

But I have my doubts (about the heels of course).

I do know this. I want to go to heaven. I don’t care what it looks like, sounds like, smells like or who I see. I want to walk with Jesus and have him call my name. I want to be told “Well done”, I want to thank Him for unending grace and outrageous love.

So, today, I press on for the prize and I live in the glow of knowledge that God loves us and waits for us. I look in the face of my grandchildren, I watch the birds soar, the rainbows appear and the feel of a loved one’s embrace…and I see heaven. It’s all a brief glimpse of glory for me. It’s that intangible perfect peace and love that can only be gifted by God.

Heaven is for real. This I know.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

I’m walking on sunshine

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I don’t know what heaven looks like and I wouldn’t even venture a guess. The Bible gives us some idea, but really…I think it will be more awe-inspiring than any written word can accurately describe. It is simply beyond our human ability to comprehend.

Today I had a rare opportunity to spend some quiet time of reflection while gazing at the ocean. In my heaven, time and tide will be no more with the never-ending calm of perfect heavenly creation. We will gaze at beautiful things and beloved loved ones who are bathed with the glow of glory and grace.

The ocean calls to me as the waves and the tides work together to create a melodious harmony of sound that calms the senses and soothes the weary soul. For a bliss-filled moment, I’m in heaven…

…and I’m happy. I am filled with a sense of peace. I’m walking on sunshine.

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21

She took the party with her…

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Creativity inspires me. Specifically, I love to collect various kinds of art. I have old traditional paintings, folk art paintings and sculptures in my home. 

One of my favorite sculptures is called “She took the party with her” and I just love this particular piece. It’s a lady with her hair wildly circling her head and she’s wide eyed and happy. She is in full-on celebration mode. To be honest, it is exactly how I feel. Some would say it is exactly how I look.

When I think about what I want on my headstone…I think those words would be perfect. I’m not a sour Christian. I’m a happy, glorious, in-your-face kinda Christian. Life is joy and life with Christ is something to celebrate.

When I crossover into glory, I hope to have my party shoes on with a heart that is ready to rejoice. Can it get any better than that? I think not.

Let’s party!

Is there a car line in heaven?

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I don’t mean to be irreverent but it struck me yesterday after waiting in line for various things (groceries, school pick-up, post office) that there might be a line to get into heaven.

If we were honest, we ALL want a guaranteed spot in heaven, but there are so MANY of us who want the same thing. After all this time in my earthly home, it just struck me funny that there might be a wait to get in. It’s probably not funny in truth.

I hope it is not a long wait.

I’m anxious to see Jesus. I’m anxious to see family. I’m not into delayed gratification. Is that selfish? I can wait my turn but I’m not big on waiting.

But maybe, just maybe, this life is our earthly wait to see Jesus. Maybe we are already in “line” for the King.

It’s what we do while we wait that makes the difference.

Go Rest High on that Mountain.

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I love old cemeteries. I find them peaceful. Death does not scare me.

Near our home in North Carolina there is a small, private cemetery. It holds the remains of soldiers killed during the Civil War.

These three crosses mark the site of soldiers unknown to locals. Their final resting place is marked with a simple cross. Someone took the time to honor them thus and still tend to this small patch of earth.

But it doesn’t matter.

God knows them by heart. He knows their names.

We put great effort into marking our territories which includes our homes, our cars, and our grave plots. But mark your heart. 

Mark it for God.

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3