Like There’s No Tomorrow

We habitually sum up people at first glance, but listening is where it’s at. Today I kept listening. When something didn’t make sense I listened some more. I left work dragging my heels to the car, wearing all her words on my shoulders, but only temporarily.

As I drove home my spirit questioned God, and while I questioned answers began to formulate on my lips. I got in the door and went right to the piano…

“I’m here standing on the edge of the battlefield”

I know that is where I am supposed to be, fighting for others with God’s strength and wisdom.

I continued…..

“but let’s get real, it doesn’t look too good, you never said it would, and so I kneel” (John 16:33, Ephesians 6:18).

I continued to tell God what I saw…

“Right here, I survey the carnage of selfishness, it’s quite a mess, and yet the rose still blooms among the thorny tomb, and so I rise.”

I paused. Wasn’t Jesus telling me that he stood where I am a long time ago? And didn’t he find a way? And didn’t he rise from the dead? Was it not possible for myself and for others to get back up and keep on going, with His help? The key was to keep Him in focus and not the circumstances. As usual God was showing me a way through, not a way out, and not a way to feel sorry for myself or others, but a way to grasp the mystery of the Gospel-the truth.

“To life and all its imperfections, to live and suffer as you suffered, to love like there’s no tomorrow.”

So I didn’t have a quick fix for the dilemmas of the day, but I had something even more tangible – the love of God.

“You’re here pouring all your comfort and holiness upon our heads (John 14:16). O death where is thy sting (1 Cor. 15:55), O my Lord God and King and so I sing!  And so I sing! To life and all its imperfections, to live and suffer as you suffered, to love like there’s no tomorrow.”

“Like There’s No Tomorrow”©Cindy Palin, July 17, 2018 Dedicated to all of His beloved who are struggling. Let us struggle side by side.

In Mourning Over Our Nation’s Folly

A Nation founded on Biblical principles now rejecting them? Those professing Christ are THE minority, and soon to be without a voice?

I don’t have to be a Bible scholar to know that believers in Canada are facing new challenges to say the least, “terrible times in the last days” (2 Tim. 3).

I know that Paul in 2 Timothy reminds us to be kind and not quarrelsome (2 Timothy 2:24).

Our opponents must be gently instructed for repentance and the knowledge of the truth to follow (2 Tim. 25).

Instead of being overwhelmed with sadness, let us pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

We can be sure that when there is persecution, there will be growth in the church. Just look at what happened in the New Testament after Christ’s death and resurrection.

In closing, we can mourn over our nation’s folly. I found an older song by Switchfoot, called: The Blues, just right for the state of my heart tonight.

And I am going to mourn as I listen to this song, but we are not without hope.

 

 

The Day After the World Held its Breath

(Dedicated to the young men saved from a cave in Thailand, and to all who risked their lives to save them, and to all who offered prayers to God on behalf of them, and to the medical staff attending them, and to God be the glory, July 11th, 2018)

Hush.

Let us keep our lips silent and our eyes lifted towards the mountains.

Anything we dare speak now will only ruin this sacred moment,

The day after the world held its breath.

They are alive! They have been rescued!

Let the tears of relief shower, and the wails of reunion swell.

Strangers from around the world gathered.

Minds strained and hearts ached, and humankind chose to risk everything to save them.

Prayers from every Nation cried out to God and He heard us and sustained them.

An invisible cloud of witnesses looked on and wept from the heavens for their souls,

That the frigid, grueling, merciless, murky trek to the depths of the earth be conquered.

They emerged cocooned in courage and passed on into wisdom and healing,

To feel the light of day, to meet endless possibilities, a future, a hope and a love bathed in oxygen.

So please…..be quiet, don’t shatter this hallowed, historic hour.

Don’t Hollywood it, or analyze it, critique it or complain this away.

Shhh

Don’t wallow in what could have been done differently.

Shhh

Don’t cheapen this triumphant feat.

Shhh

Don’t try to understand it with your finite mind.

Just stand in awe, or kneel in reverence and listen for the whispers of gratitude in a thousand languages, fill the skies.

They will never be the same, we will ever be the same.

Mothers and Fathers have had their sons returned.

My chest rises and falls as sleep draws near,

But my soul will continue to sing His praises over them,

Even in my dreams.

 

 

 

 

Living Differently, or Dying a Slow Death?

Recently I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Tim at the Prairie Tabernacle in Three Hills, Alberta.  He was talking about the early church, how they were cut to the heart with the truth of the Gospel (Acts 2:37), and because of the Truth they began to live differently.

When people commit to something new for the first time there is always a huge learning curve. Why should choosing to believe in Christ be any different? How do we live differently after deciding to be a Christian? Who is going to help us understand what living differently looks like?

Acts chapter two tells us that one of the first things we do is get baptized (v38). Going under the water means dying to self, coming out of the water is living as Christ (Romans 6:4), but how do we live that out after the baptismal service is over and the tank is drained dry?

Many people call themselves believers or Christians today, but there is no evidence of their faith claim.

Pastor Tim continued in Acts and reminded us of the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). Many new converts believed and their actions and speech aligned. They were hearing what was being preached, and living radically different. Ananias and Sapphira liked the looks of the early church, but thought they could believe in Christ and mix a little of their own agenda in the pot. They wanted God’s way and their way at the same time. They said one thing and did another. Does any of this sound familiar?  Their decision to believe and yet do what they wanted resulted in their death. Their death was immediate. Today many so called believers are dying a slow death. They have accepted Christ and the freedom He promises, but are not experiencing that freedom. They are not living their faith out.

This phenomenon has got me asking how we the church can help new believers immerse themselves in the Truth, and experience new life? We could ask, “Do new believers want accountability in their life?” but I think the better question is, “Do we the church understand part of living differently is understanding our responsibility to disciple and teach and hold one another accountable?” It isn’t enough to simply celebrate someone’s faith decision. We are called to walk along side one another and live differently – together.

But guess what?  It means work (Phil. 2:12). Peter warned and pleaded! (Acts 2:40). And if we don’t warn and plead? Well then perhaps we don’t love Him, or love others. After all ‘love’ today means something far different than the love Christ displayed through his death on a cross for you and me.

-Cindy Palin

 

Here Comes Hope

The other day I was contemplating the pain of another, and how we go through things so we can identify when someone else walks through the valley, how ultimately the Son of God did the same thing and then went one step further…..

“Here Comes Hope”

I’m here to tell you I’ve been there

O shattered heart of yesteryear

But I believe I cried those tears

to cry today

My Father wasn’t always loving

so I left home in search of meaning

And I believe my sorrow then

was for today

So I’d understand where you are

So You’d comprehend

You will never be alone again

Now that I know, my prayers echo

and here comes hope

I’m here to whisper weary soul

our brokenness can make us whole

I believe we have to fall

to stand today

Our Father God who is in heav’n

sent His Son down to walk with men

I believe He came to earth

just for today

So He’d understand where you are

So you’d comprehend

You needn’t ever be alone again

Now that you know, why not leg go?

‘Cause here comes hope

©Cindy Palin, June 24th, 2018

Dedicated to a dear friend

The Marsh of Mental Maladies

This past week I met with a community fraught with challenges. Specifically I trudged through the marsh of mental illness, offering hands and weathered shoulders to hold and lean upon. My ears strained in the shadows for a familiar comforting voice. I watched from a shelf on the wall to get a bird’s eye view of it all, holding my tongue and wringing my heart.

One by one I met the soldiers standing at their gates. Each one equipped with a different shade of red tape. Soft tones, methodical words, plastic masks, yet no direction.

“We haven’t always been here” I told myself. It has taken a thousand years or more for the callouses to form, and the politically correct lingo to roll off our lips.

The marsh is too thick now, too deep, too ‘muck and mire’ for freedom to ever reign again. We treat the symptoms, but not the sickness. We make a list, we dial, we write, and go home to bed, to start all over in the morning.

But sometimes we pray. Sometimes we hear that mysterious voice whisper with the wisdom from before the earth was formed. And we’re lifted above the fog. All the papers, protocol, pomp and circumstance disappear, and the answer shines out of the mist. There is a path to take, there is a line to cross, there is a truth to stand on.

One prayer at a time, one day at a time, one heart at a time, the children of the living God can move, can heal, can love one another to wholeness, in His name. O the precious name.

“Dedicated to my family, friends and neighbours who struggle in their spirit and their soul”. There is hope.

It’s The Little Things

So I have been trying to take care of myself. Sounds kind-a-like-a no brainer, but we wives and moms, tend to forget that skill while we’re learning how to take care of everybody else.

I had to make some big steps through a Doctor, a nutritionist and trainer, but don’t worry, if you can’t do that – its the little things we add to our daily routine that keep us moving forward.

The water bottle one of my adult children bought me really makes a difference to my water intake. The water tastes so good in ‘Swell’.

The natural thyroid and enzyme supplements I take every morning seem to be helping.

Today I smiled when I decided to get extra water in by drinking a small glass with each supplement, and vitamin. It was a slow process but I purposefully made it that way, no need to rush.

Three or so years ago I cut out specific food groups, which may not be for everyone but it definitely helped me.  One of new favourite cookbooks is called: “Against the Grain”.

Two years ago I made a point to not buy or drink alcohol in my home, regardless if it is considered an acceptable social trend. Who knows I may be able to cut out coffee soon too.

Yesterday I smiled while I took the time to rub cream on my arms.

Last night I smiled while I rubbed essential oils on my face and feet.

I am getting better at making protein drinks when I don’t necessarily feel like eating a meal.

Out of the blue I decided to grow my hair longer.

I bought my first belt in ten years, about one month ago, and now I am on the third notch.

There’s a shirt I wear that now hangs like it was meant to, rather than bunching up on top of my hips.

I am able to lift things easier, and my energy has improved.

Oh yes I bought a diffuser and run lavender oil beside my bed all night long.

Now when I exercise I enjoy the stretching at the end of the workout the best. Several years ago I really enjoyed the fellowship at boot camp, but this time ’round I am enjoying solitude and concentration, at my personal pace.

I keep a journal of the food I eat, and sometimes I forget to write in it, and that’s okay.

I don’t get on the scale and I won’t for at least a year – maybe never.

And goals, I have BIG goals, but I have a distinct feeling success is in the little things.

How to Pray When You are Hurting…..

…specifically when you are suffering for taking a stand for Christ.

  1. Get on your knees “…pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:28).
  2. Identify who or what has hurt you (what does it look like spiritually?)
  3. Ask God for help on how to pray
  4. Sit quietly and reflect on someone who may have been in a similar situation (someone written about in God’s Word).
  5. How did they respond?
  6. Look up the related scripture that comes to mind through the Holy Spirit’s leading.
  7. Continue to wait on God, and listen for His response

2 Corinthians 10:4 talks about the ‘weapons of our warfare’. Followers of Christ have effective tools to use in spiritual warfare, tools that are not of this world.

I wondered to myself, the other night as I knelt in the dark, “what are those weapons?”.

The verse goes on to inform us our weapons have “divine power to demolish strongholds”. Verse 5 continues “We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.…”. 

2 Corinthians 6:7 opens the window of clarity a bit further, “in truthful speech and in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.”

But again what are those weapons of righteousness? Ephesians 6:10-18 gives us more insight. Verse 12 (in context) reminds us insults may be hurled from human lips but “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against….” (Eph 6:12).

Find a Bible, a Bible app, or use www.biblegateway.com and read on for yourself. A study guide Bible is the best because you are provided with extra explanatory notes below, and other verse references.

The remaining verses in Ephesians 6:10 – 18 continue to describe our weapons, (the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, sword of truth…)

As I waited in the dark I asked God to show me how these weapons demolish strongholds and tear down arguments? I lifted my arms and pulled down an invisible wall in front of me, trying to see if further understanding would come. It did.

I recognized my accuser as someone I loved. Suddenly I understood as we pray God’s power transforms us. We begin to see the situation through His eyes. Just as God forgives, we  forgive. In love and forgiveness we are able to see through the circumstances. We are able to take our thoughts captive and submit to God’s purposes (2 Cor. 10:5).

I recognized I had a choice to wear the false accusations and allow the curse to linger, or to pray and clothe myself in Christ (Romans 13:14).

 

 

 

 

 

Live TRUTH, and combat UNTRUTH

The choice to focus my thoughts on Christ is very personal, and an effective way to live with purpose and meaning, within the relationship we enjoy together. I get very disheartened when friends, and family abandon their faith for some new teaching, introduced by the latest, and greatest guru.  It is perfectly normal to keep our ears open, to listen and learn – but watch out if the teacher’s motivations and messages do not measure up with scripture.

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Tim. 4:3, 2 Tim. 3:7, Eph. 4:14).

 

The Gospel is still the message I choose to believe in, and the person of Christ has made himself known to me in many ways throughout my life thus far. My new worship song is entitled: I Love You Jesus. The lyrics are very simple, but the message means more than meets the eye (discussed below).

You’re so good to me, Jesus (Jesus)

So good to me, Jesus (Jesus)

I give you my whole heart, mind and soul. I love you Jesus.

You’re truthful to me, Jesus (Jesus)

So truthful to me, Jesus (Jesus)

I hide your Word within, You’re life to these limbs. I love you Jesus.

I lift your name on high before all men.

Never to turn away from our covenant.

You’re faithful to me, Jesus (Jesus)

So faithful to me, Jesus (Jesus)

And I have a faithful heart, because of who YOU are. I love you Jesus. ©CindyPalin/May 2018

The first stanza “You’re so good to me Jesus” are words of honour and gratitude, acknowledgement of God’s goodness regardless of my circumstance.  My choice to worship Jesus for His goodness is not based on material wealth and health, but on who He is, what He has done for me, and how He continues to grow me.

“I give you my whole heart, mind and soul” are words of obedience to Christ’s command in Matthew 22:37.

The second stanza declares “You’re truthful to me Jesus, I’ll hide your Word within, you’re life to these limbs, I love you Jesus.” Check out what Randy Alcorn writes about Jesus and the truth… He begins by quoting “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), and continues to say “Jesus is the reference point for evaluating all truth claims.”   http://www.jesus.org/is-jesus-god/names-of-jesus/how-is-jesus-the-truth.html

The third stanza shouts “You’re faithful to me Jesus, and I have a faithful heart because of who you are, I love you Jesus”. Our faith does not depend on us, but on God’s faithfulness to us.  “So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:5).

The words “I love you Jesus” are significant. Even believers can struggle saying these words, but they are not based on feelings, or whether we’ve had a faithful day or not. Again these words are a choice. The more we say them, the more we are shaped by them, and the more we reflect Him.

The chorus is a declaration of unwavering commitment.. “I lift your name on high before all men, never to turn away from our covenant.” I am tired of all the psycho-babble out there. To quote another songwriter – “Just Give me Jesus” – Jeremy Camp.

We need to speak our faith in Jesus out loud (and sing it). This is not something I do to convince myself of what my heart already knows, I do it to LIVE the TRUTH, and combat all UNTRUTH.

Song Sample to be posted shortly – Cindy Palin

“Surprise, it’s Me”

Well, it is only halfway through the day and I now know what God had for me today. I arrived at the ‘School of His Presence’ presentation with Eric William Gilmour at CAPSS Conference 2018 in Niagra Falls.  After his first segment we set aside time to focus on Christ, to worship and listen for His voice, to enter into His presence.

I saw the picture of the little girl again (you know the same little girl that jumped out of bed like it was Christmas morning), only this time I was sitting on a beach, and my little hands smoothed out the sand in front of me with expectation.

I waited to see what God was going to say. Perhaps he was going to write something in the sand for me? Maybe a burning bush? A new assignment?And then I saw the feet of Jesus and looked up.

“Surprise” he said, “it’s me”.

How many times as Christians do we leave God out of the picture completely? We go ahead into the fray expecting great ‘things’ from God, when it is HE who is great! We look around us watching and waiting, but we don’t look for HIM specifically.

Listening to Eric’s message reminded me of a time when I was aching inside, and I didn’t know why. I went to the piano (my prayer closet) and sat still. I began to play and enter into Christ’s presence and Jesus answered me with these words…..

“When the silence shouts inside I know I’m overdue, for a cup of water and a living word from You. Oh just for once you’d think I’d meet you halfway, but You’re always first in line for me.”

Jesus knows we need Him. When you are feeling restless and can’t put a finger on what is wrong, it is really your soul missing His presence. If you are constantly aching and feeling like something is not right, it is time for you to call out His name. He will respond.

Today I want to be first in line for You Lord.

You are my surprise everyday, and You are everything to me.