Thursday Quote Day: Merle Haggard

For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” and in honor of the passing of Merle Haggard, here is a verse from one of his famous songs:

“Everybody sings the blues sometimes
And everybody knows the tune
And everybody knows the way I’m feelin’
‘Cause everybody’s had the blues” (Merle Haggard “Everybody’s Had The Blues”)

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Sunday Devotional: “I Saw The Light”

“I wandered so aimless life filled with sin
I wouldn’t let my dear savior in
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

I saw the light I saw the light
No more darkness no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

Just like a blind man I wandered along
Worries and fears I claimed for my own
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

I saw the light I saw the light
No more darkness no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

I was a fool to wander and a-stray
Straight is the gate and narrow the way
Now I have traded the wrong for the right
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

I saw the light I saw the light
No more darkness no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light”  (“I Saw The Light”)

On this Resurrection Sunday, there is that great reminder that Jesus is the light of the world.  And when he rose from the grave, the light shown out from the darkness.  Death had no more victory.

Because of Resurrection Sunday, we are able to see the light.  We are able to not live in darkness anymore.  Jesus made a way.  And he loves us so much that He wants to bring us along.  Before Jesus, we are wandering in the dark.  But with Jesus we can live in the light.  We get to have that renewed relationship with the Father.

This week (and every week), let us be thankful that we have the hope of Resurrection Sunday.  Let us live in the light of Jesus.  And let us share the good news that we have seen the light.

Thursday Quote Day: Charles Dickens (and a special Christmas song)

Merry Christmas and I hope that it is a great day for you.  For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” I wanted to share a quote from author Charles Dickens, famous for writing among many things A Christmas Carol.  In the spirit of the season, here is a quote from that book as well as a special Christmas song from Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang:

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”  (Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol)

 

Do You Know Your Enemy?

A few years back there was a song entitled “Know Your Enemy” by the rock band Green Day.  The chorus of the song had the question “Do you know your enemy?”  It’s a pretty good question to ask.  “Do you know your enemy?”

Unfortunately, it seems in this day and age it’s easy to identify enemies and yet not identify the real enemy.  On one end of the spectrum, if someone doesn’t agree with popular opinion with culture, or if someone doesn’t fall in line with “tolerance” or political correctness then that person is the enemy.  On the other end of the spectrum, if someone doesn’t fall in line with views of legalism and all that entails, then that person is the enemy.

Both sides are very contentious and it is very easy to fall into either camp.  However, there is another side.  And it goes back to knowing who the enemy is.  Granted, this tension is nothing new though it may seem as harsh as ever.  Back in the 1st Century, there was this struggle of picking sides and warring against each other.  The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian church about some of this.  In Ephesians 6:12, Paul said “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  The enemy is not the person who disagrees with you.  It is not the sinful person (because remember, you and I have a sinful nature too).  The enemy is Satan, the devil and those that follow Him.

It’s easy to look at the person across from you and make them to be the enemy, especially if they say hateful things or do hateful things.  But they are not the enemy, the real enemy, Satan, is the one who tries to make others out to be the enemy.  For followers of Jesus, we’re called to show grace and mercy to those around us.  This is regardless of whether they show grace and mercy and return.  And if anything has shown us, is that there are times when grace and mercy is met with harshness.  But that doesn’t mean we quit loving and being merciful and graceful.  Jesus never quit showing that to us and if we’re to be followers of Him, we need to persevere in doing the same.

So, do you know your enemy?

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

It is hard to wait.  I think this is a given fact.  No matter what it is, it is hard to wait.  Whether it is waiting for a relationship, employment, event, it is hard to wait.  And yet, we all go through seasons of life where we are called to wait.  It doesn’t matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, we all have to wait.

Sometimes it is a short season of waiting.  Sometimes it is a long season of waiting.  Regardless, it is hard to wait.  But even in those times of waiting, God is still present.  He may seem to be quiet at times but He is still there.  He is still at work and though we may not understand it in the time of waiting, it is for our good.

I keep praying that this waiting that I’m presently going through will end soon.  But in the meantime, I just try to keep trusting in God to provide and get me through this.

There’s an old Tom Petty song that I think about when it comes to waiting.  It is aptly titled “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”.  The chorus goes like this:

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.”

The Hobbit – I See Fire

I finally went and saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  I liked the movie, probably like the first one better but still a good one.  But what really stuck with me was the song that played during the end credits.  It was beautiful and haunting.  It is Ed Sheeran “I See Fire”.  It’s worth listening (and re-listening) too.  The lyrics tie in well to the story.  Check it out:

Oh, misty eye of the mountain below
Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls
And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke
Keep watching over Durin’s sons

If this is to end in fire
Then we should all burn together
Watch the flames climb high into the night
Calling our father hold stand by and we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side

And if we should die tonight
We should all die together
Raise a glass of wine for the last time
Calling out father
Prepare as we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side

Desolation comes upon the sky

Now I see fire
Inside the mountains
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me

Oh, should my people fall in
Surely I’ll do the same
Come finding mountain holes
We got too close to the flame
Calling out father
Hold fast and we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side

Desolation comes upon the sky

Now I see fire
Inside the mountains
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me

And if the night is burning
I will cover my eyes
For if the dark returns then
My brothers will die
And as the sky’s falling down
It crashed into this lonely town
And with that shadow upon the ground
I hear my people screaming out

And I see fire
Inside the mountains
I see fire
Burning the trees
I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze

I see fire (fire)
Oh, you know I saw a city burning out
And I see fire (fire)
Feel the heat upon my skin
And I see fire (fire)
Uhhhhhhhhh
And I see fire
Burn auburn on the mountain side