Praise You in The Storm

Erin Browning

I absolutely love Casting Crowns. One of the songs they sing is “Praise You In The Storm”. They wrote this about a young girl named Erin Browning (10 yrs old) who was going through cancer. She praised God during her storm. Right around the time the band connected with Erin and her family was when she was found to have cancer. Erin died on November 1, 2004. According to Mark Hall, “Watching Erin’s mom walk through this really showed him the truth about his worship. Watching her walk through a real storm showed Mark Hall that his worship was extremely situational . Mark Hall began writing the song before Erin’s death and told her about it, but was not able to complete it before she died You can read more about her story and other songs on the Lifesong CD. The book is also called Life Stories (Amazon) and it is very touching. It took me a while to read it because I was in tears most of the way through it.

ImageI wonder how many times we tell ourselves how we can’t do something.  It’s easy to point out all the things I can’t do, but that isn’t going to make things better.  Plus I think it would be unhealthy to do that. I want to be like Erin and her family. I want people to look at me and see Christ in me. At the same time, I think it is a good thing to show where we are weak and vulnerable.  If we were strong all the time and could do it along, then there would be no need to rely on Christ alone. Even though I do find it easier to concentrate on the good things and those things I can do or choose not to do, because I don’t want to. If all we do is talk about the can’t do things, we are destined to be miserable and unhappy.

ImageI have been through my share of storms in my life. Many that know me personally knows what I’m talking about.  There are many Bible verses I could quote. In ” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18- “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

ImageIt’s easier said then done to be thankful if all we see is the things we can’t do. I’m pretty sure there are many in our lives that have no problem pointing out those things either. For myself, it is mostly my Dr’s or family that is a constant reminder of those things. For me, I’m not good at listening to all their advice. If I did, I would do nothing and be in bed all the time and that is NOT a good thing to do.If you listen to everyone who says you can’t, then you won’t do it or even try to do it. So you might as well just roll over and die.

I did have one Dr that told me to do what I wanted, just be sure to be smart about. Too many use their illnesses or circumstances as a way of dying while they are alive. And this is something that I choose not to do. I honestly believe that we all have things we are better at doing. We may not know how we are going to get through the storms, but I do know that God is the beacon in the storm. All I need to do is look at the light and trust in Him.

What does it mean to stand strong in the midst of a storm? It’s hard and may sometimes seem impossible to smile when we are going through the storms of life. I know for myself I have had those moments where I concentrated on the storms, not on the protection of Christ during those storms. Being strong as we face problems is something we can not manage on our own. God is my rock and in Him I receive strength and peace.
ImageIsaiah 40:31:Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Video to Praise You in The Storm (Erins Song)

Life Stories- Finding God’s Voice Book

Praise You in The Storm Lyrics
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Stronger by Mandisa

Mandisa from American Idol

In recent posts I wrote about some of my favorite hymns. I want to move forward a couple generations. There are so many wonderful artists playing on the radio. One of my favorite Christian artists is Mandisa. She started off on American Idol, and got voted off because she stood by her faith. After she sung the song ‘Shackles”, she was gone. But not gone forever. She may have lost American Idol, but she is a winner in my eyes.

Mandisa has had many struggles. Most of them were her weight and finding the right person to share her life. She hasn’t had it easy by all means. I guess in so many ways, I can understand her struggles.

When she caImageme out with the song “Stronger”, I was in tears. This song spoke to me at a time when I felt that God was very far away. I was angry and feeling like Job. It was one thing after another. There was family living with me that was driving me crazy and my life was out of control. And most of the out of control was my own fault because I didn’t trust God enough to handle all the things going on around me.

I had to get to a point where I gave it totally to Him. I knew I needed to get my sister Denise out of my house. My niece was living with us. She is my sister Denise’s daughter. And it was a full grown toxic relationship. And all their toxicity was pouring over into my life and making my health worse. Thankfully, they no longer live with me. Well, my sister Denise doesn’t.

Health wise, the best thing to do was get away from them and turn to God. Mandisa’s song helped me keep in check and reminded me daily that God is there. It was this song that I listened to every day when I got up. I needed that assurance that God was there. Many would tell me they needed to go, but it was through the gift of music that I heard it loud and clear.

I think anyone who is going through a rough patch can get something out of this song. If you listen to it, really listen to the words. Mandisa has had her share of bad moments and I guess knowing that, I can see that there is hope, even in despair and the cycle we call life.

ImageThankfully things are much better and got so much better the moment we moved and left them there. It was such a relief to have peace in the house. It was at that point when I realized family or not, it isn’t good to live in toxic relationships. And when they use the fact that as a Christian you never turn your back on family or those in need, I realized it was for their own purpose and gain, not mine and not Gods.

Stronger by Mandisa – Watch the Video –
Stronger by Mandisa – Lyrics

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain’t right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you’re asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you …

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even when you just can’t feel Him
I promise you that He still cares


‘Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this


In My Heart There Rings A Melody/Joy Unspeakable

heart-musicI really like singing and listening to songs that are happy and full of joy. With all the bad things going on around us, we need more of that. Well, at-least I do. With these two hymns, I love them because of how they make me feel. They are upbeat and fun. They are full of hope and love. Those are all things that seem to be missing in our world.

I went to youtube to try to find a good version of this song. I’m guessing not many churches sings this song and not many artists do because it took me a long time to find a version of this that wasn’t instrumental. Which this is a shame that this song isn’t sung as much as it should be. I think people would be happier if they sang happy and joyful songs that speak to the heart.

I hardly ever hear is “Joy Unspeakable”.  I had to make a video for this song since I couldn’t find many on you tube that isn’t instrumental. I can’t help but wonder if we the human race has lost our joy and happiness because we are listening to the news and a lot of bad stuff. We forget what it’s like to be truly happy. When I think of all the bad things in our world, I can’t grasp what it would be like without knowing that Jesus Christ saved me and that I know where I will be going when my work on earth is over. And my relationship with Christ gives me a lot of peace because I know through all my stupid moments in life and bad choices. And I have had more than my share of those moments and it’s awesome to know that there is going to be a place that will be overly joyful and happy.

Here is a video of some kids singing ” In My Heart There Rings a Melody”  and I put the video together of Joy Unspeakable-

In My Heart There Rings a Melody Lyrics

I have a song that Jesus gave me,
It was sent from heaven above;
There never was a sweeter melody,
‘Tis a melody of love.

In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody with heaven’s harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody;
There rings a melody of love


I love the Christ who died on Calv’ry,
For He washed my sins away;
He put within my heart a melody,
And I know it’s there to stay.


In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody with heaven’s harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody;
There rings a melody of love!


‘Twill be my endless theme in glory,
With the angels I will sing;
‘Twill be a song with glorious harmony,
When the courts of heaven ring.

In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody with heaven’s harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody;
There rings a melody of love!

Joy Unspeakable Lyrics

I have found His grace is all complete,
He supplieth every need;
While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet,
I am free, yes, free indeed.
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.
I have found the pleasure I once craved,
It is joy and peace within;
What a wondrous blessing, I am saved
From the awful gulf of sin.
I have found that hope so bright and clear,
Living in the realm of grace;
Oh, the Savior’s presence is so near,
I can see His smiling face.
I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll;
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

This is another part of my series on favorite songs. I’m covering the Hymns first and then going into other songs.

ImageI have listened and sung ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus” since I was very small. And have always loved it. Even though I have to say that for a long time it was just a song I sang at church. The words didn’t really mean alot to me until I was driving down the road and I was alone in my car.

I was having a rough time and not in a good place emotionally or physically. I was tired of Dr’s and life in general. I was feeling like God forgot I was here and that all the things going on in my life was for nothing. I was in a pretty dark place on this particular day. I prayed out loud as the radio was playing in my car. Really it was more of a frustration and I raised my hands in the air and wondered what in the world was God thinking. I was tired and not wanting to deal with anything more on my plate. At that moment, the song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, started playing on the radio.

ImageI had to pull off to the side of the road and was bawling by this time. I was so overwhelmed with emotions and peace that I couldn’t drive. While doing this blog post, I have been listening to different versions on youtube and what an awesome reminder and feeling knowing that Jesus is the most loyal and best friend I could ever have.

At that moment the words I heard many times and even hundreds of times became real to me. I seen Jesus in a different light. It was at that point when my prayers became more like conversations and I realized that not only was Jesus my Savior, He is my friend. I have never taken for granted the song since this. It was a answer to my prayers at a time when I needed it.If your having a really hard day or just the reassurance that Jesus loves you and He is there, it may be a good time to listen to this song. And listen with your heart.

Video of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by Alan Jackson

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Lyrics)

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

History of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

Wikipedia– “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s.[1] The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn. The hymn also has many versions with different lyrics in multiple languages, such as the Japanese version “Itsukushimi Fukaki” (いつくしみ深き?, lit. “Deep Affection”), or a version sung during World War I with the line “When this bloody war is over” in place of the original title.The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal notes, “In spite of the fact that this hymn, with its tune, has been criticized as being too much on the order of the sentimental gospel type, its popularity remains strong, and the hymn retains a place in modern hymnals.”

Trust and Obey

ImageI don’t know how many will remember the song ‘Trust and Obey”, but I do. I absolutely love this hymn for so many reasons.

When I was younger, our pastor during the summer would let the congregation choose the songs. He would call on the congregation and whoever he called on could choose a song.  Pastor Myers knew what song it would be if he chose my hand flinging in the air. it was pretty obvious that he better call on me, or I may make a scene, haha. Now Pastor Harry didn’t call me every Sunday, or we would be singing this all summer long, lol. But every now and then he would. His daughter was my best friend and when I would visit him, he knew I wasn’t content in not singing the song. I guess for me since there wasn’t Christian music or discussions in our home, church was the only place. Well, also at their house. His daughter Diana was an awesome singer.

ImageI have talked about my little church in Willcox, AZ. I loved this church, because it was a safe haven for me. There was so many things going on in my life and around me and I found peace there and in this song. My sister tonight made a statement that was pretty much dead on. She was saying that on the outside our family was happy and normal. But in truth it wasn’t anything close to that. I won’t go into all the ugly details, but it wasn’t remotely close to happy. But when I went to church, that all changed. It’s hard to describe that feeling and freedom when I entered the church and I could sing songs and talk about God.

Trust and Obey really described what my life was like at home and church. These lyrics became real to me. I knew that all I had to do was trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. How can those words not speak to a hurting heart of a then teenager and a now adult?

ImageGod is there for us during our burdens and sorrows. He loves us and we can know the joy that comes from trusting and obeying. I find myself humming this hymn every now and then and it has a way of calming my soul. It brings me a sense of peace that only God can offer. Life can be very difficult and things may seem like they will never get better. But that isn’t true. The second verse of this song is what I would say is my favorite in this song;

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

When I hear these words they tell me that God is there. He is there in the good and the bad. He makes everything better and all we have to do is trust and obey. Trusting and obeying isn’t always easy to do. I know I have a bit of a rebellious side. But I have seen that when I don’t trust and obey God, things go wrong very fast.

Click Here to listen to Trust and Obey

Trust and Obey Lyrics

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

History of Trust and Obey:

ImageOne night at a Dwight L. Moody(Pictured) evangelistic meeting in Brockton, Massachusetts, a young man stood up to testify about his confidence of salvation.  He said, “I am not quite sure,” meaning that he wasn’t really certain that God would save him from his sins –– and then he continued, “But I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey” –– meaning that he planned to trust God for his salvation and to do what he could to obey God’s will.

“I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.”  Daniel Towner was the song leader for that meeting.  He was so impressed by the young man’s testimony that he wrote down those words and stuck them in his pocket.  Later, he wrote a friend, John Sammis.  In his letter, he told about the young man’s testimony and included the young man’s words:  “I am not quite sure, but I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.”

Sammis quickly transformed those words into a hymn chorus:  “Trust and obey, For there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.” Soon he had five stanzas to go with the chorus, and he sent them to Towner, who composed the tune that we still sing today.

Athletes Adopt Sochi Dogs

Gus Kenworthy

It warms my heart to read all the stories about how athletes are helping the dogs of Sochi. When the news broke that the government was killing these dogs because they would be in the way and have taken over the streets, it gave me a nasty taste towards the government in Russia. I can understand them needing to get the dogs and puppies off the street. Hundreds of dogs are being poisoned every day to lower the overpopulation. But the whole mentality and hatred towards these dogs that was abandoned by owners and borne in the streets upsets me. It isn’t the dogs fault the human counterparts decided they were no longer wanted or needed.

I normally watch the games. But this time around they have been clouded by all sorts of negative things. These athletes train all their lives and to be welcomed in the way they have been in Sochi is disheartening. From rooms that are something out of a horror movie to finding dead dogs laying in the streets is sickening to me. If nothing else, the Olympics being played in Sochi, Russia has brought awareness to the need to the animals that are roaming the streets. Most of these dogs were once loved by someone and from the statements, most have been left to fend for themselves. To think that dogs can have around 10 puppies or more in a litter and multiply that by hundreds of dogs, I can see why it is out of control. If people want to have pets, they should be responsible.

I have a number of rescue groups on my Facebook page. And if everyone would adopt instead of buying from puppy-mills, more lives could be saved. In just one of the shelters in Phoenix, AZ, there is around 300 dogs and cats killed each month because there aren’t enough homes for them. Most of these dogs are pit bulls and Chihuahuas. I hear all the time that when the dog people have has puppies, they have a good home for them. Tell that to the hundreds of dogs that grow out of the puppy stage and are killed because they can’t keep them or they got too big. And the mentality that people think that its bad to not let a female dog have at-least one litter is wrong. Out of those puppies she has, there is a good chance a couple may live a full life. But most will die. And it is the same thing that is going on in Sochi. People throw them away like they are garbage. Thankfully, there are kind hearted people.

ImageI have been keeping up with the news of medals given out in Sochi. But mostly I have been watching the love and warmth these athletes have towards the dogs and puppies of Sochi. Here are some of the athletes that are turning the games into something to be proud of. Homeless dogs are being smuggled out of the area to save their lives. For me, these are people who are making a difference to these animals lives.

Lindsey Jacobellis

Hoping to prevent the killings of stray dogs who are roaming the streets of Sochi, a Russian billionaire has funded the creation of a shelter where the animals can find new owners.

My niece and I got into a discussion about how there are many dogs, cats and other animals that needs to be rescued in our own country. And Bridgette is right about that. But at the same time, it shouldn’t matter where the dogs are. They need help from anyone that is willing to help. I’m pretty sure these dogs and puppies don’t care what country the athletes are from or what language they speak. They know that there is someone there to help them. Dogs love people no matter what part of the world someone comes from. These athletes are raising awareness for all dogs, no matter where they are. There is a huge need when it comes to adopting pets from shelters and rescues.

Some of the Athletes Helping:

  • American snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis’s tough luck in the snowboard cross has adopted one of the strays in Sochi. Instead of a gold medal, Jacobellis will be taking home a lucky Sochi stray.
  • Skier Gus Kenworthy is hoping to bring a whole litter of little guys back to the States as well. Not only is he bringing the puppies back with him, he is bringing the momma dog and staying a couple extra days to make sure they can come back with him.
  • Amanda Bird, U.S. bobsled and skeleton press officer, also plans to bring home a dog home with her. Amanda Bird said that she didn’t go to Sochi to adopt a dog. But she couldn’t ignore the presence of the stray dogs. She is working on getting the dog brought home with her.
  • David Backes and the U.S. men’s hockey team got in on the whole “Olympic athletes adopt Sochi strays” and are hoping to bring a few dogs back with them. David Backes is a dedicated animal activist. While they are in Russia, they are hosting a few dogs at the hockey house they are staying in. The athletes are networking and helping each other secure paperwork, shots and transportation to bring them home.
  • Backes, a dedicated animal activist, and some of his teammates are hosting a few dogs at the hockey house — and it might be a permanent thing.

It seems like with the Winter Olympics, I have been more interested in saving lives instead of who gets the gold medals. In my eyes, all of these athletes and others that are out to make a difference deserves a gold medal. To these dogs, they are more than athletes, they are hero’s.

You don’t have to be a millionaire or an athlete to adopt a dog, cat or other animal from the shelter. You just have to be willing to open up your heart and let them into your life. They don’t care what you look like, how much money you have. They just want to be loved and love you in return. Why not be a hero to a homeless pet?

List of Shelters/Rescues in Southern Utah were I live:

God Speaks Through Songs

ImageI’m going to do a little series on my blog about my favorite songs and how they speak to me and they can to you too. There will be a wide variety of songs from some of my favorite artists (Mandisa, Toby Mac, Third Day, JJ Heller, etc… ) and little known artists as well. I hope you enjoy this series of blog postings. And you are invited to share your favorite songs in the comment section.

When I hear a song that speaks to me, it’s because there is something in the song that I can relate to. There may be times I have listened to the same song, and it didn’t strike a cord with me. There have been times I was driving down the road, hearing a song a hundred times before, but at that point the message is clear. God is speaking to me and assuring me of His presence.

If we look at the Book of Pslams, we will see that David wrote many songs about his life experiences. We read them and at times we forget that those words are used in the songs we listen to today. My favorite Psalms is Psalms 46:1. God is our refuge and strength, ever present in times of trouble. Refuge and Strength Song

When ever I’m having a bad day, I like to listen to music. I guess I should say that I listen on good and bad days. The Christian genre is my first choice of music. KLOVE radio station is my music station of choice.  Music has a way of getting through to me more than any other way of listening to God’s Word. If I’m at church, I’m OK with sermons. But I have a difficult time hearing preachers on the radio or the TV. When I learn new things, it is usually to a beat or to music. I have a hard time buckling down and reading and listening. My mind wonders in all kinds of directions and doodle art takes over, lol. I have never played an instrument or sang in public. That would be a scary thing for those who listen and love music. But I can appreciate the talent and gifts of others. 🙂

sick_patient_in_a_hospital_on_a_gurney_getting_an_iv_0515-1104-2203-3220_SMUThere was a time when I was in the hospital for close to 6 weeks in 1998 or so. I was having a very hard day and just tired of being in the hospital and not wanting to hear anything about why I had to be there. I had a bad heart infection. When I’m in the hospital, three things comes with me. My fan, radio and books to read. One night before the nurses were making their rounds, I was saying my prayers and was reading my Bible. I wanted assurance that God was listening and that I was beyond frustrated. I turned my radio on and in the next ten minutes the answers came. They came through songs. There were three songs that came on and by the time the third one was done, I was in tears. Then my nurse came into the room to do my vitals and all that stuff to bug ya before going to sleep, or so they want you to think you will sleep. She was wondering why I was crying and all upset. I told her, she gave me a funny look and kept doing her thing.

For me, I know that when my mind is going in all directions or having a hard time, He assures me He is there through the messages of songs. I did find that after that night in the hospital the nurses would come in and it took them longer to do the vitals. I found out that one of the nurses was Christian and she enjoyed listen to the music I played all night long. They could hear the radio even though I tried to keep in down in through the hallways. If I feel asleep before turning it on, they would come in and turn it on. I’m guessing it was them at-least. I was asleep and didn’t see anyone come and go. But that is my assumption.

Jessica-Flute1Like I said earlier I’m not musically inclined, but I can appreciate music. Well, unless there are no words to it. Then I can honestly say I don’t like it. There has to be a message or words to a song. Classical music is pretty low on my list of music choices. My daughter Jessica tries to get me to go to some of the things she likes. I may go, but then I’m kicking and screaming inside, lol.

One of my favorite old time hymns that still touches my heart are, ‘When the Roll is Called up Yonder”. For me, this song is all about standing before God and hearing your name called out. God knows my name and I’m on the list. This song speaks about the Imageresurrection and how when our work on earth is done, we will be with God.  There is something about this song that brings peace. When someone has gone to be with the Lord and to know they are there, it is as if they are on the best vacation ever. And if we are listed on that roll call, we will get to have the very same reward and vacation of a lifetime. the cool part is that we get to stay there.

Revelation 20:12- And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

ImageI included a video link and you can also read the lyrics. This version is by Dolly Parton, Alison Krous, Suzanne Cox and a few others and includes part of the song, ‘Power in the Blood”. There so many people that have recorded this song, but I guess for me, I like the old country ones. It just seems right to hear it from those that have that twangy sound, lol. My parents watched a lot of Hee Haw and this song was sung on there every now and then by Buck Owens. I’m not big into the whole country music thing, but some songs just fit and sound better with a guitar, banjo and piano. Besides it is better than rap, lol

When the Roll is Called Up YonderListen to Song

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.

Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

ImageHere is a little history on the song…

James M. Black, 1893 – James Black was a Methodist Sunday school teacher in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. James Black was calling the roll for a youth meeting. A young girl named Bessie was the daughter of a drunk. Bessie didn’t show up, and he was disappointed that she wasn’t in attendance. James Black visited the child’s home and calling on a doctor to attend her for pneumonia, he went home and wrote the song after not finding one on a similar topic in his hymn collection. The thought of someone not being in Heaven haunted Black.  He made a comment to the effect, “Well, I trust when the roll is called up yonder, she’ll be there.” He tried to respond with an appropriate song, but couldn’t find one in his song book:

According to Cyberhymnal– Black start­ed his mu­sic­al ca­reer with John How­ard of New York and Dan­iel Town­er of the Moody Bi­ble In­sti­tute. He moved to Wil­liams­port, Penn­syl­van­ia, around 1881, and was an ac­tive mem­ber of the Pine Street Meth­od­ist Epis­co­pal Church from 1904 un­til his death, serving as a song lead­er and Sun­day school teach­er. Black al­so found time to ed­it a doz­en Gos­pel song books, write al­most 1,500 songs, and serve on the com­mis­sion for the 1905 Meth­od­ist hymn­al.

Being Caught off Guard

ImageOne of the most interesting things I find about the Bible is the books about prophecy and the end times.

There is this one video that is on Youtube and Godtube. It has this pastor doing a sermon about the end times and how Christ could come at anytime. Every now and then I see the video coming across the feeds on Facebook. I will post the link that video at the end of this blog post. Those familiar with the pre-trib point of view knows that Christ will take those who are believers and the rest will be left behind. For me, that freaks me out big time. To think that I’m talking to someone or at church and all the sudden everyone is gone. Or worst yet, I’m left sitting there and maybe a few others. As a Christian, I would have known what happened. And that would be a horrible thing to happen.

There are a number of different theories out there. A few are the pre-trib, mid trib and post trib. No matter what or when it happens, I want to be sure I’m ready and prepared so I don’t have to be left standing there.

Then I think about some of the “what if’ kind of thoughts. What if I was doing something I know I shouldn’t be doing? I thought about this not so long ago when my husband and I were in Mesquite Nv. We weren’t gambling. But we were at the casino eating dinner since I had to pick up some wine for a party. OK! So now here is my thought. First I go over the border to a liqueur store and then go to the casino to eat dinner. As a Christian, I know that we need to be careful who and what we associate with. I don’t believe it is a sin to drink a drink as long as it isn’t overly done. But we need to be careful and not indulge to the point of drunkenness. Which I don’t do. I’m not big on drinking.

As I was sitting at the dinner table at the Virgin River Casino, I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the moment when Christ would come again. Would the believers be taken at that time and would I want to be at the casino when that happened? I do feel that Christ would go to where the sinners are and we are all sinners. But still that voice in my head told me that I’m where I shouldn’t be since it was weighing on my heart. It bothered me for some time and obviously it does now.

I am very excited for the second coming of Christ. I don’t want to be left unaware or sleeping. I know many times I make bad choices and I need to keep myself in check.  One of the biggest compliments anyone can give me is that they can see that I am a believer in Christ and a Christian. As a Christian, I strive to be like Christ, but I sure fall short a lot. Everyday I have those thoughts or things that come up that makes me fall short. There are moments I have to make sure what my motivation is. Is what I’m doing, saying or taking part in for my own good or is it for God?

One of the main things I do worry about when Christ comes again is the unsaved. The only ones who will be saved and live eternally are those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and repent of your sins.

Romans 10:9 : If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

There are many that I know that don’t believe, and if they do it is in the sense that they know who Jesus is and that He was a great teacher. Jesus isn’t real to them and there is no personal relationship with Him. Which breaks my heart because I know that they may be one of those left behind. And if they die before Christ comes, they are still going to be standing before God and be judged.  In Hebrews 9:27 is says “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,”.

ImageWe don’t know the day nor the hour of Christs return or when we die. It could happen at any moment, and for any reason. So whether Christ comes today or we die today, we will face our judgment one way or another. Don’t be caught off guard. because it is a matter of life or death. I can’t even wrap my brain around how horrible it would be for those who were left behind or those who never accepted Christ as their Savior.

For me, I would like to say that I want to be sure I know who I believe in and that is Christ! I want to be sure to know where I will be going if Christ came today! I want to know for sure where I would be if I died today! For me nothing is more important than sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. I do believe we are living in the end times. It is up to the person if they decide to listen or not. But I don’t want to be caught not going about Gods work. Even when I have one of my days when I’m not in the best moods and thoughts that aren’t very Christian like. Thankfully God has a way of putting me in check during those times. 🙂

Video Mentioned Above- Will You be Left Behind?

Website : Signs of the End Times

God Knows What’s Best!

God has a plan, Imagebut sometimes it may not be as clear to us as we would like.

I started this blog post a number of months ago and forgot that I started it. That was until last night when I was listening to JJ Heller and her husband Dave in concert at Calvary Chapel. My daughter Jessica found out about an hour before the concert that she was going to be here in St. George. I love JJ Heller. Her songs are simple and they speak to my heart. One of her songs that comes to mind and she sang was “Your Hands” .

Your Hands Lyrics (partial)

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

I have gotten into this conversation many times over the past few years. I have some pretty tough diagnosis’s medically. My medical diagnosis is the CIPD form of Guillian Barre Syndrome, Myasthenia Gravis and residual effects from these two diagnosis’s. My blood pressure is pretty much out of control and they have decided to name it Malignant Hypertension. Which is basically really high blood pressure that is out of control. My muscles get weak throughout the day and things can be a mess off an on through the day. I have been on home health and IV medicines for what seems like forever. If you want to know more about the diagnosis’s you can Google them. There are many sites you can learn from.

I don’t want this post to be about my medical problems and all the prognosis stuff. I want to share how it is that I get through the difficult days and moments that can change on a dime.

ImageDuring many conversations people will ask me why I don’t get depressed or want to run away and hide from life. Because if they had to deal with the same things, they would want to do that. And I have to say it is only because of God. If I didn’t have God and my faith in Him, I would have no hope that things can get better. God has a purpose for my life and I have to just trust Him. Getting upset and dwelling on the negative is something that is no option for me. If I did that I would curl up in a ball and not really care about anything or anyone. I would be a hopeless and miserable person.

A friend of mine named Chris, was very helpful in understanding that we need to trust God even in difficult times. I think I pretty much did, but I wanted to hold back a bit when it came to trusting fully because I was just seeing the now moment, not the Wow moment that God had and has in store for me. When I was and still going through rough patches it is hard to see God working in my life. 

I’m very much a control freak. Those who know me really well, that I can get a bit anal over things. It has to be done right and I’m not very good at trusting others to follow through on doing things the way I would do them. I have gotten a little bit better at doing this, but it is very much a work in progress, lol.  When it comes to my medical things though, I have no choice but to trust God in all things. It wasn’t an overnight thing, but it is the right thing to do. Really the only thing to do. Because I can’t control those things in my life.

Because of my life experiences I have had some wonderful opportunities to share my faith with people who are hurting and have no hope. They see my struggles as something that is horrible. I don’t really see it this way though. Because of my struggles I have to depend on God more. I have to depend less on my own way of doing things, because it backfires on me everytime I do that.

Over the past few years, the people I have gotten the opportunity to meet, share and pray for and with is because of my struggles and medical issues. They( Dr’s and nurses) know that things are pretty grim for the most part and when they enter the room to give me test results and change my treatment plan, they look grim. They don’t want to deliver the news or tell me they don’t know if there is much more they can do. But through these discussions, I get a chance to let them know that God has it covered. None of us knows how many days or minutes we have. We are all under Gods rule and timing.

ImageWhen someone asks if they can pray for me, I have no problem with that. I don’t always share my prayer needs because it can be difficult to explain to the multitudes what it is I need. But God knows what they are. And He does answer prayers. They may not be in the way I may want them answered. But He does answer. And He does know what is best.

My favorite verse in the Bible and it brings me hope and reminds me that God is ALWAYS there is; God is our refuge and strength, ever present in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1,,, I find so much hope and peace in this verse. I use it as my daily affirmation. God never breaks His promise and I know this to be true.

ImageA number of my friends pray for complete healing. When they say that I know that God has already answered this. Because He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for me. I know that even if it may not be in this lifetime, He will heal me and anyone else who comes to Him and asks. Besides, there is not one of us that can be 100 percent healed while we are flesh and bones. All are hurting in some way. Even if we don’t see it. The moment we were born into this world, we were destined to die because we are all born into sin.

When I think about the song “Your Hands”, I can’t help but think about how God has been a part of my life. He loves me and would never leave me. There are days when I want to throw my hands in the air and give up and yell. And yes, sometimes I yell at God. He knows I can throw a pretty good temper tantrum and get overly stressed. But during those times, He lets me vent and carry on, and brings me back to reality, lol.

And this may sound strange, but my illness and medical things are a blessing in disguise. Because of these things, God has been able to use me to talk to others I would have never gotten the chance to meet. A medical technician is someone I think about. I will be brief since I get long winded, lol

One of my Drs is in Las Vegas. I had to do a lot of testing for my neurologist. Overall the testing took over 4 hours. They were all kinds of nerve conduction, SSEP and some other ones that was time consuming. The technician I had was having a hard day. In 4 hours, you can talk about a lot of things. As she was doing the tests, I found out her husband had terminal cancer. They weren’t Christians. As she was reading my test results, she said at one point that I should not be walking and how she has seen worse results, but not many. Normally those results would be for a paraplegic. She looked confused. I didn’t feel the shocks of the nerve test. I could feel tingling when the nerve shocks were at the highest. She didn’t understand how I wasn’t feeling what I should be and why I was still walking this earth. And all I said was simply by the Grace of God. During that visit, I was able to witness to her and tell her how God has been there for me. Only because of Him can I do what I do. God has a bigger and better plan than any Dr’s. He understands the test results and knows all. This technician did contact me and we talked a bit ever now and then. Her husband eventually died. But she shared our conversation and I have a feeling He was given some kind of hope that there is a better place and that God loves him.

Cancer Awareness Day

Cancer use to be called the big C word and people would be afraid to say it out loud. Not sure if that is because they thought they would get it our they didn’t want to offend. My personal thoughts is that I think we need to be talking more about cancer and bringing awareness to this horrible disease. Everyday I pray for those who I never met and for those in my life that are fighting cancer. They need all of our prayers and support. Cancer isn’t selective. It doesn’t matter how pretty, how much money or where you come from.

More than one million people in the United States get cancer each year. Whether you have cancer or are close to someone who does, understanding what to expect can help you cope.

Jessie Rees in the middle with her parents by her side. She is now an angel and in God’s arms and her parents continue with her dream and vision.

ImageA couple years ago, I joined a Facebook paged called ” The Jessie Rees Foundation”. This foundation was formed because Jessie Rees had a vision. She wanted to make other kids like her smile. She wanted to give them just a little bit of joy. So she started putting together Joy Jars. Each jar is filled with toys and goodies. They are given to children and siblings of those fighting cancer. It really upsets me that there has to be something like this. The reason I say that is that nobody should have to be going through this. There needs to be a cure, Click here to learn more about Jessie Rees.

Just recently a young man that is related to someone in our church passed away. His name is Matthew. He was a young man who fought for our country, had a wife and two young children. Matthew fought for his life and eventually cancer took his life.

Then there is Steffanie. I met her for a brief few minutes while she was in my home doing an assessment for my medical things. She just finished chemo and has young children and a single mom. Even though she is fighting this disease, she still keeps going on.

I don’t understand why there is no cure. And my opinion and I’m sure many may disagree is that while we are sending all this money all over the world, why aren’t we using that money to save lives? With all the technology out there, why isn’t there a cure? I do question our government and our scientists. Because there has to be more they aren’t telling us and holding out treatments. More has to be done.

1461432_600206696713052_1345715276_nThen there is this women Abby. I first seen her video on Faithtap. Then I joined her Facebook. Abby wasn’t very old, but had unshakeable faith. This is a little about her that was posted on her Facebook page. Her testimony had me in tears and I can only hope to be as strong as she is.  Her personal journey will touch you in ways that you won’t expect. I don’t have cancer, but I do hope that others can see God in me. Even though I mess up alot.

I challenge anyone to listen to her video and if you aren’t moved, I would wonder what would move ya all.  Amazing Abby’s Testimony

Abigail Rachel Ruth Smith went home to be with Jesus Christ on December 7, 2013 at 6:09 a.m. She was 24 years old and a professional photographer. She impacted more people in her short time on earth than many do in much longer lifetimes. Her bright red curly hair and friendly personality made her everybody’s friend. Abby was diagnosed with Synovial Cell Sarcoma (a rare cancer) in 2012 and underwent surgery and 37 radiation treatments. When her doctor gave her the diagnosis, he told her some life-changing words: “Everyone is dealt a deck of cards. We don’t get to choose the cards, but we do get to choose how we play them. We can either be bitter or thankful.” Abby chose thankful, even when she found out that the cancer had metastasized. Instead of going through chemotherapy (which only had a small chance of slowing down the cancer), she chose instead to live life to the fullest.

To all of those who have lost a loved one or are going through this journey, you are in my prayers.