A New Song

001Do you ever wake up with an annoying song stuck in your head? Or some silly little TV advert? Worse yet….some children’s nursery rhyme on auto-rewind?!!

Well for the past week, I have started each day  with a new song that is lovely, comforting and ever-present with me as I go about my rather ordinary life. Now this could have presented a problem once upon a time because I rarely know ALL the words to any one song. That in itself can be torture to my feeble mind but then again years of such experiences have made me quite creative as I replace my own words to fill in such gaps in the repertoire that is my mind. But for some months  now  and I suspect every day from here on in, the words and music are clear and concise;  the melody is sweet; the music unforgettable. And I rest assured even  Bach could not compete.

I remember one day not so long ago, when my heart was heavy and my thoughts were troubled. You see, though I had been a Christian for many years, I had come to a place where I was not being fed and nourished Spiritually. I was attending a church just for the sake of duty and I was surrounded by nominal lukewarm believers. I thought that I would ‘get by’ feeding myself here and there with little tidbits of Scripture when I could make time. A dangerous game I was playing. The time became less and less and I allowed worldly matters to consume my days. Oh I wasn’t out bar-hopping or creating a ruckus but worse perhaps, I allowed myself to be satisfied with less than I  deserved and certainly less than God did. I knew I loved Jesus and I knew, without a doubt, that He loved me. I knew I was His child and was safe even, under His wings,  but I was settling for second best. In all of this,  depression crept upon me and tears flowed daily. I was putting blame everywhere but where it belonged. I had taken my eyes off the prize. I had set standards according to my feelings and attitudes.

Then came the day when I walked through the doors of a gathering that was serving up a great feast. The banquet hall set before me that day was made up of serious children of God worshipping Him freely with joy abounding! As I looked through my own tears, I began to recognize each and every person there as a long-lost brother or sister. I began to realize that this was the family God intended me to be a part of. Having been surrounded from my youth with ten loving brothers and sisters, I knew that they were just the beginning of a real family God had in store for me. And I did not have to wait until eternity to know the true love and joy of such fellowship. As the Praise  music faded, the Pastor came forth and began that morning, a year or so ago, to bring me into his fold. He and the other Godly Pastors taught that to be a Christian itself is not enough. It was never intended for any of us to rest on our laurels. God never meant for us to settle and stay in one place. At any age, He still had plans for us to prosper, not in the worlds’ ways but in His ways. He wants to use a lady in her 60’s as much as a man in his prime. He wants to see us grow daily. He wants to heal us and make all things new. He wants to bless us with His mercy and grace every morning and He wants to give us a new song in our hearts.

As I write this, I reflect on my new time of prayer and praise, my learning more and reaching farther. Still, there is much to be done. I still must place one foot in front of the other; I still fail too often but belonging to a family such as I have discovered on this small island of Bermuda, in this tiny church, with God’s dear people, has made me sing anew each day!

“I call upon your name Lord, the name above all names….You are the One Jesus…”cropped-2323232327ffp35-nu326-577578wsnrcg32359363955-nu0mrj.jpg

Freezing Bermudians

snowy car
We should have known when in the early dawn, this was the site that greeted us in our Vermont driveway……
But we are BRAVE Bermudians. And yes, to clarify, though I have lived all my adult life in Bermuda (ahem…more than 43 years), and I was born and bred in North-Eastern Canada, this little girl is totally Bermudianized and I do NOT care for temperatures below 40 degrees!
So at four o’clock in the afternoon, my adventurous husband and I set off for Foxborough, just outside Boston to enjoy an NFL game…specifically the New England Patriots versus the Denver Broncos, a promise of an exciting game for sure. Did I mention that this stadium which seats close to 100,000 people is OUTDOORS? and that the only tickets my darling husband could procure were in the nose-bleed section? IN THE WIND? Yes but we dressed warmly….I mean, we were so prepared, what could a little arctic freeze do to spoil our fun? In preparation for this, I even stopped shaving my legs for two days, telling Ray those few little scraggly hairs would add to my blanket of warmth. But I digress and I am once more sharing too much information. But honestly, with three pairs of socks, tights and two pairs of warm slacks, boots, a heavy wool blanket etc etc, well…..you will understand….
Snowy Game
ya see? It is not a pretty site!
To shorten this rather wordy report, I lost feeling in one foot after a half an hour but I was courageous as I huddled against the gale force (???) winds. The game itself started off very badly if one was a Patriots fan so the mood around us was not pleasant. Both Ray and I were blown away at the foul language and hateful snide remarks shouted at the top of drunken (at least that is my explanation) voices all around. Perhaps Ray was not as shocked since he had been to several such games throughout the years but I was saddened and disgusted. The game continued to go downhill and other parts of my body began to ice up. My fingers did not belong to me but rather were encased somewhere in the woolen mittens I wore. At least I hoped at the time that someday that’s where they would be found. Thankfully my back and head were warm but my face was as frozen as a new Botox recipient. Hey, maybe there was a silver lining here? by the time the second quarter was well underway, I was trembling. I no longer reacted to the foul messages being sent forth around me. Instead I spoke the love and warmth of Jesus over myself and all my loved ones, should this be the way I would be finally leaving this earth. They say just before you freeze to death, you get very very sleepy. I tried yawning a few times to test the expected time of my impending doom but once too often my jaw stayed that way and Ray had to force it shut! Well, this IS my blog and I can exaggerate if I feel the need to draw in any readers. The point was, I would not die seated in row 15 at the second to top tier of that massive stadium. I began to feverishly make plans for another day on this earth. Hurray….Perhaps tomorrow I would sit all day by a blazing fire in our cute pot-belly stove? hmmm
OK the 2 minute warning sounded and Ray promised that since it was such a terrible game anyway and I had suffered enough penance to earn 1000 people their way out of purgatory IF I were still a catholic so I perked up and peeped from under the blanket. Did I mention that most football players played the game in SHORT sleeved shirts???? I was aghast! By the way, any of you who may watch NFL games know that TWO MINUTES on the clock do NOT mean two actual minutes. I would have cried but any moisture in or around my eyes had long since frozen solid. I looked at my darling, handsome, protective husband and without a complaint, he smiled angelically (well that is how I saw it), took my arm and said, “Come on honey, let’s go home!” I fell madly, deeply and passionately in love AGAIN!

A New Song

Do you ever wake up with an annoying song stuck in your head? Or some silly little TV advert? Worse yet….some children’s nursery rhyme on auto-rewind?!!

Well for the past week, I have started each day  with a new song that is lovely, comforting and ever-present with me as I go about my rather ordinary life. Now this could have presented a problem once upon a time because I rarely know ALL the words to any one song. That in itself can be torture to my feeble mind but then again years of such experiences have made me quite creative as I replace my own words to fill in such gaps in the repertoire that is my mind. But for some months  now  and I suspect every day from here on in, the words and music are clear and concise;  the melody is sweet; the music unforgettable. And I rest assured even  Bach could not compete.

I remember one day not so long ago, when my heart was heavy and my thoughts were troubled. You see, though I had been a Christian for many years, I had come to a place where I was not being fed and nourished Spiritually. I was attending a church just for the sake of duty and I was surrounded by nominal lukewarm believers. I thought that I would ‘get by’ feeding myself here and there with little tidbits of Scripture when I could make time. A dangerous game I was playing. The time became less and less and I allowed worldly matters to consume my days. Oh I wasn’t out bar-hopping or creating a ruckus but worse perhaps, I allowed myself to be satisfied with less than I  deserved and certainly less than God did. I knew I loved Jesus and I knew, without a doubt, that He loved me. I knew I was His child and was safe even, under His wings,  but I was settling for second best. In all of this,  depression crept upon me and tears flowed daily. I was putting blame everywhere but where it belonged. I had taken my eyes off the prize. I had set standards according to my feelings and attitudes.

Then came the day when I walked through the doors of a gathering that was serving up a great feast. The banquet hall set before me that day was made up of serious children of God worshipping Him freely with joy abounding! As I looked through my own tears, I began to recognize each and every person there as a long-lost brother or sister. I began to realize that this was the family God intended me to be a part of. Having been surrounded from my youth with ten loving brothers and sisters, I knew that they were just the beginning of a real family God had in store for me. And I did not have to wait until eternity to know the true love and joy of such fellowship. As the Praise  music faded, the Pastor came forth and began that morning, a year or so ago, to bring me into his fold. He and the other Godly Pastors taught that to be a Christian itself is not enough. It was never intended for any of us to rest on our laurels. God never meant for us to settle and stay in one place. At any age, He still had plans for us to prosper, not in the worlds’ ways but in His ways. He wants to use a lady in her 60’s as much as a man in his prime. He wants to see us grow daily. He wants to heal us and make all things new. He wants to bless us with His mercy and grace every morning and He wants to give us a new song in our hearts.

As I write this, I reflect on my new time of prayer and praise, my learning more and reaching farther. Still, there is much to be done. I still must place one foot in front of the other; I still fail too often but belonging to a family such as I have discovered on this small island of Bermuda, in this tiny church, with God’s dear people, has made me sing anew each day!

“I call upon your name Lord, the name above all names….You are the One Jesus…”cropped-2323232327ffp35-nu326-577578wsnrcg32359363955-nu0mrj.jpg

Hearing That Still Small Voice

God really wants to be in a personal relationship with us. It is absolutely astounding that the Creator of the Universe cares for every one of us to such a degree that He desires to be in touch with us in a powerful way. While He is a God who wants to be praised and honored and glorified and rightly so, He also wants to just hear from us.

Any of us who are parents can relate to this in that we too desire our children to tell us about their thoughts and plans and feelings. When we collect them from school, we wait to hear about their day with their classmates, teachers and even the mean little girl in their class. We imagine waging wars on their behalf but soon realize this would be the worst thing we could do….for our child. They need to learn to deal with these issues and unless we sense real danger, we try to teach and equip them to forge ahead.

Once these children become teenagers, we truly are in war mode or we ought to be. Because we have to fight to keep them on the straight and narrow. We have to fight to know what is going on in their minds since suddenly we are the enemy all too often.

What must it be like to be God? I shan’t even try to go there but I will share a real experience I had with my own teenage daughter some years back. She is our eldest and now well into her thirties so we have made it through….thank you Lord.

Anyway, here in Bermuda, because our island is so small, there is a law that allows only one car per household. So, the norm here is to ride motorbikes. The mild weather helps and all kids get to ride their own motorbike at the age of 16. My daughter, was 17 years old and not exactly the easiest child to rear. (again normal).  My husband was away on business and she came to me about 9 pm one evening and said her friend’s dad could get them backstage at some Reggae thing and she wanted to go. She knew it was a school night and the rules were….no going out but she also knew how to play me. I was weary of the battles and so before she actually came to me, I  had been  praying for God’s direction regarding her and my other children. I had been particularly concerned about her. When she came to me, she expected me to flat-out say no and to engage in the usual battle. I felt the Lord speak to me in that still small voice, “Trust me. Do not say no.” I was shocked. I knew she ought not to go out at that hour on her bike. I started to sputter and the voice again spoke to me, “Do you trust me?” So I calmly turned and said, “Yes but don’t be late” She was as surprised as I was and ran to get ready to meet these well-known singers. My heart was racing and I began to argue with God. Why would you ever tell me to do this? His answer was simple. “Take her helmet and anoint it with oil.” I flushed and felt foolish. Was I imaging this? Again, that quiet voice in my heart, “Trust me. Anoint her helmet and keys” They were lying on the table. I self-consciously got out the olive oil and in obedience, I quickly made a sign of the cross on her helmet and keys and spoke God’s anointing over them and my daughter. I quickly turned away hoping no one had seen me. They would be sure I was nuts. About 15 minutes later, my daughter rushed into the room. She was all prettied up, hair done, make up perfect, and in a cute little outfit. Her face was filled with such excitement. I was fighting with God in my mind but He reminded me to trust Him. She happily said goodbye and started walking to the door, grabbing her helmet and keys. As soon as she put her helmet on her head, she stopped short. She turned and looked at me and with extreme surprise on her pretty face, she said to me. “Mom, I am not going. I am staying home tonight but thanks anyway.” She called out goodnight and leaving her helmet and keys went to her room. I was just about frozen in place I was so amazed. Tears started to pour down my cheeks as I began to thank my awesome God.

I didn’t tell this to my daughter until about 5 years ago. God was just teaching me to trust in Him in ALL things. He knew there were some major hurdles coming in my life, as in everyone else’s and I needed to practice that trust.

God is GREAT…………….