His Embrace

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When we search His call, abide in love,

as we open all to God above

in our praise and prayer, we worship and declare

our God none to compare,

we feel His embrace, feel His embrace.

 

If we see neighbors through Father’s eyes

(neighbors – those heirs who we may despise),

it’s not “them” we see, but seeds of Diety

Who made us family.

We feel His embrace, feel His embrace.

 

And He loves without prerequisite

even though we doubt and won’t commit.

There’s plenty of space to make enough mistakes;

He gives mercy and grace.

We feel His embrace, feel His embrace.

 

His command: we are to love bar none

no matter what our likes, says Savior Son.

We have a choice, yet His will remains unmet;

in this will we regret?

We feel His embrace, feel His embrace.

 

Open hearts and heads to Life and Light;

His lavish grace will spread to all in sight.

As we pass kindness along, we become blessed,

have moved to His likeness.

We feel His embrace, feel His embrace.

 

 Luke 10:25-37

Whom do you Worship?

Okay, this seems a simple enough question – when you pray in your home, to whom are you praying? When you worship in church, whom is your church worshiping? Why, God, of course! Are you?

We believe in a Triune God – Father, Son, and Spirit. So, I will ask again – Whom do you Worship? To whom do you pray?

This answer should also be simple, and immediate: the Father, and the Father alone. It is to the Father that worship is due. Not the Son, nor the Spirit, but the Father alone.

Jesus is very clear on this, yet I often hear people, pastors, congregations saying how they worship Jesus, or pray to the Spirit. Jesus never advocated us to pray to him (or the Spirit) quite the opposite:

Matt 6:6 “But, when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father…”

Matt 6:9 “Pray like this: Our Father who…”

John 15:16 “whatever you ask the Father in my name…”

John 16:23 “If you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.”

Jesus’ every will and act was done, not for His own glory, but for the Fathers:

Matt 5:16 “…give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matt 16:27 “For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father…”

John 4:23 “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth”

John 5:19 “the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing.”

When Jesus prayed, it was to the Father; when He taught us to pray, it was to the Father. Jesus tells us of the Spirit not that He will send the Spirit, but that the Father will send the Spirit in Jesus’ name. Everything comes from the Father, all worship is due to the Father alone. While Jesus tells us that He and the Father are one, as is the Spirit, He has made it clear that it is to the Father alone that we are to pray and it is the Father alone to whom worship is due.

 

So, again, I ask: Whom do you Worship?

Honesty and Truth

I have always loved music. I have always been searching for the music that touches my heart in honesty and love in the deepest way. Music and words that speak truth and human emotions.

That is one reason that I have always related to David of the bible. Particularly, I have always loved the raw honesty in the Book of Psalms.

I came across this article and video today. It is truthful and honest. No religion in it just pure relationship.

I happen to like Bono very much. His spiritual journey has been an inspiration over the years. And Eugene Peterson of The Message translation fame has been a breath of fresh air in bible reading for me.

This video touched my heart. It speaks of thoughts and expressions I have felt for a long time. Please watch it and hear it with openness and not judgement.

I’ll leave you with that……….. my heart is joyful.

Cate B

More, Please

I’ve been thinking about what I have. I have a great family and wonderful friends. I have a relationship with a living God that is fantastic.

I feel loved. I feel accepted by my God and by my closest friends and of course, my family.

But what do I have? Particularly, what do I have in the relationship I have with my God, Jesus and Holy Spirit?

I could list what I potentially have, but do I use those things to the fullest? I do not. Ashamedly, I do not. Most of what I have I am most likely not aware of.

Here’s a true story that happened to me along the lines of what I possess as a Christian. We lost our daughter, suddenly, in 2005. It was the worst of times and the best of times. I needed my Father God to bring out all of His power to get us through this time, this life.

He did. He does. I never knew grace until this tragedy. I thought I did. But when I found myself in a place of total weakness He came and picked each of us up and held us tight and carried us through. It truly is amazing grace.

But did you know that there are some of us who do not believe that for themselves? I’ll tell you how I know this. A friend talked to me during this horrific time in our life and said, “I don’t know how you do this. I don’t know how you go through such a thing. I couldn’t do it.”

I was shocked at what they said. This was a person who hears from God on a regular basis. A person who received a miraculous healing from God when medical professionals saw no way to fix them.

Now I was in heavy grief at the time and shock of what happened to our family. But do you know what I wanted to say? I wanted to ask if they knew Jesus? If they actually knew what He did for them at the cross.

What are we doing? Are we just thanking Him for salvation on the cross and His resurrection, etc? Just? And then taking that gift of salvation and not opening it? Putting it on the shelf somewhere hidden within to only open when we need it or saving for a rainy day or perhaps, never opening it and seeing the fullness of His gift to us?

Come on Dear Reader. He has given you so much more than a mansion in heaven. So much more than eternal life with Him. It doesn’t begin when we pass this life and go to His arms. It begins here. In this life. He has mysteries to unravel in that gift you didn’t fully open. He has dreams and blessings on this earth for you to open now. Life isn’t just to survive until we get there.

I want it all. I want as much of Him that I can possibly get. I fall short of this every second of my day but I know He is still with me. He knows I fall short. He knows I can only handle so much at a time.

The beauty of His love is that He waits for us. He waits with gentle prodding and I  believe anticipation. He loves and longs to spend time with us. To walk with us. To be part of our decisions (even when it involves insane presidential candidates – LOL). He wants to be a part of all our decisions. He wants to be one with us.

But we have to allow Him. Welcome Him in. Let’s do it. I’m sure you all want a fuller life. A closer walk with God. It’s scary. I think mostly it’s the hardest thing to do – to let go and let God. Yet, it’s the simplest. Find kindred spirits so you don’t walk alone. Easter is coming and it’s a great time to turn around and open the gift of our Savior.

Love you guys.

Cate B

“I will get through this”

This is a hard time of year for many of us. But other times have been hard too, like the one in this post, and our Faithful Father is always there with the right words at the right time.

Esther's Petition

woman-looking-out1Since I’ve been re-reading and studying Philippians, some things keep coming back to my mind. Memories of other lessons from this book, some quite a while ago… like “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13 KJV)

Alone in the apartment, I stood in my bedroom and yelled at God. Out loud. I raised my fists and shook them at him. I called him names. I said, I don’t like you! I don’t believe you! I don’t believe in you! I don’t believe anything in your Bible. You don’t love me and I don’t love you! You didn’t take care of me.

It was early evening and my children were off somewhere with their friends. I had no friends.

There was no place I could go, or wanted to go, because somebody I knew might be there and they would go out of their way to…

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You Are Listening

“I don’t want to talk about you like you’re not in the room….”

Please God…….I do that too often.  I want dove’s eyes, undistracted devotion for only You…….

I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room

I want to look right at You I want to sing right to You

I believe that You are listening
I believe that You move at the sound of my voice

Give me dove’s eyes

Give me undistracted devotion for only You

Enjoy!

Cate B

 

Throne room

One more about worship…

Speaking of heaven

It wasn’t the throne room. I thought it was at first, because of the raised platform with several large throne-like chairs in the center. The platform stretched across the rear of the building, resembling a theater in its structure.

As the focal point of my vision was changed, however, I realized that the huge auditorium was more like a cathedral; a sanctuary. Broad and deep, a multitude of rows filled the room, arranged stadium style in an arc facing the platform.

On the platform were seated the recipients of the worship about to begin. Father. Jesus. Holy Spirit.

Worshipers soon took their seats in the sanctuary: musicians of many instruments, enough to fill a multitude of orchestras; singers and dancers. Men and women and children, every race and culture were represented.

So many different instruments! Some I had never seen before. Trying to take it all in, I was an…

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Create in Me…Secret Santa Worship Day

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Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51

This psalm, for me, defines what worship is all about.  It is through the process of “creating” that He inspires me to worship, drawing me closer to Him.  My love for God compels me to create (sing, write music, poetry, take photographs) and as I worship, He is at work within me- renewing me, purifying my heart, and filling me with joy!

Worship is how I connect to Him. I pour out my heart to Him and seek to know Him more. Worship is loving God, and allowing His love to flow through me in my everyday life. I am learning how to love Him more every single day…and that all begins with worship.

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1

Worship in itself is an act of obedience. He is worthy of our praise- no matter how we feel or what our circumstances are because He is God!  I worship Him by allowing Him to use all of my life for His glory.  As someone who is a creative person, it is a challenge to “create” when I do not feel inspired…but it is through that process that He fills me.  Even though worship is not based on emotion- there is no greater joy for me than feeling His presence when I am sitting at the piano creating music.

For we live by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

This is a song I wrote based on Psalm 51 last week. Singing and creating music is a huge part of how I worship and connect with Him. Last week, I was not feeling very “joyful”- but through the process of creating music, He was at work- restoring the joy of His salvation within me.  And praise the Lord, today I can honestly say- He has restored my joy!

 

The Key of David – Secret Santa Worship Day

Worship. This is a great subject to write about. My heart just loves the thought of worship in song.

I have been a lover of music since I was born.  Music means a lot to me.  I am constantly humming or singing or listening to music.  Or even tapping out a beat – which can drive people crazy around you.  My kids are all musicians.  I’m a self taught guitar player and chords on a keyboard.  Recently I took up the Ukulele – the happiest instrument I know!

David, the King, is one of my favorite men of the Bible. He knew how to worship. He learned music does indeed sooth the savage beast. He could war with worship to God. He could commune with God in deep intimate ways with music. I do believe it was his lifestyle. It was the key to his relationship with God – The Key of David. He even had a scribe follow him to write down the lyrics he heard. A lifestyle of worship.

I want that.  I want to be so wrapped up in my relationship with God the Father and Jesus, the son and Holy Spirit that my battles are more bearable and the enemy flees and the harassment becomes tiny whispers that I can ignore, or not even hear anymore.  I want to be so caught up in worship that I can hear God more clearly and see more of His perspective.  So caught up that my life will be filled with His joy and therefore, His strength.

A lifestyle of worship.

I wrote a bit about that on another post.  About worship being what you do, who you are.  The act of carrying out your task or life work being your worship to God. I just love that.

So, for me, what is worship to me? It is intimacy with the Creator and all that entails. He is the ultimate artist and He did well to create me. To worship Him is to commune and dance and walk and hike and sing and laugh and listen and serve and love others and joy and sing and love myself and laugh and love Him and sing and laugh – oh, and eat!  LOL

Here is a song that can speak volumes if you hear……

Enjoy!

Cate B

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