Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter Music for Your Enjoyment

These hymns and gospel songs are special to me. Over time, several years ago, I sang in choirs in two different churches to which I belonged.  These are some of the songs I think of when I think of Easter.

Due to some stresses in my life, I felt the need to share these with those who may be going through times of uncertainty and stress.  I was led to list these in this order.  Now, I know that God wanted me to list Because He Lives as the culmination. 

I will be taking a blog break until April 30th. I will begin to do some things I couldn't get done while I was fighting respiratory illnesses last month. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Man of Sorrows

I am rerunning a post from 2018. This caught my eye as I was searching for something to share with you as a part of Lent.

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hid their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)

This verse speaks of Jesus Christ and what he endured at the end of His time here on earth.

The rulers and teachers loathed him and plotted to rid their world of Him. These ‘holy’ men shunned Him and brought trumped-up charges against our LORD.
The truth is, Jesus let himself be dealt with like this because he knew it was His Father’s plan. Yes, He was to take the sorrows of each of us upon Himself. He also took on our regrets and our grief. No one else will ever do this for us.
The Pharisees stirred up the people present in Jerusalem to become a mob bent on ridding their people of this ‘infidel.’ 

At the end of His life on earth, people treated Jesus as if he was a pariah, a persona non- grata.
The last phrase and we esteemed him not, almost breaks my heart. The people of that time did not value Him. I wonder, do we value Jesus today, as we should? Do we value him when we use language that demeans Him? Do we honor Him when we speak unkindly about someone else? Are we honoring Jesus when we carry a tale and maybe embellish it? What about when we have bad thoughts? One day we will hear from God whether we have been disrespectful to God and to His Son.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Book Review:The Grace Table: Your Faith Legacy,by Julia Melatis

I won this book at the author’s launch party on Facebook. I can’t say enough about it.

Julia Melatis shares from her heart about the Lord Jesus and how we can model him before those we meet in our daily lives.

At the end of each chapter, Julia has two important sections, ponder and prayer and journaling prompts. She recommends each reader use a journal or a notebook “to answer the questions I pose during the reading and the Ponder and Pray and the Journaling Prompts.” 1. She shares scripture throughout her work. In the back of this book, she includes a mini-concordance with scriptures on fear, courage, worry, hope, and confidence. Throughout the main part of the book, when she quotes various passages, she relies upon several different translations to help us better understand the message.

Julia writes of women having times of fellowship with one another as a part of a way of ministry and fellowship. She also guides those readers who are in unevenly yoked marriages how to examine their own hearts and attitudes in the process of witnessing to their husbands.

I see how Julia’s book could be utilized in a small group setting. She includes a section on tips for hosting a retreat for small groups or even larger ones. Ideas for gift bags, crafts and some pointers to keep the participants focused on the reason for being on retreat.

I would recommend Julia’s book for Women’s Ministry Leaders, for small study groups, and for those who want to create new and deeper friendships.

For more information about The Grace Table: Your Faith Legacy, go to Grace-Table-Your-Faith-Legacy


1.Page vii

Monday, April 8, 2019

Thoughts on Psalm 51

See the source image

As a part of my Lenten devotions, I have studied Psalm 51. I have gained some insights into this chapter. Below are the thoughts that came to me. This post covers verses 1 through 6.

Have mercy on me,  O God,
 according to your steadfast love;

David pleads with God for mercy- God’s love that he and we don’t deserve. He asks this not because he believes he deserves it but because of God’s great love for His children.

according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.

David asks, even begs, God to remove his sins from his heart and from his mind. He believes God will do this because of God’s abounding love.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

David realizes that his sin has made him dirty, to the point of filthiness. He beseeches God to remove the nasty junk from him. He wants all that sin removed from him.

and cleanse me from my sin!

The word cleanse implies a deep, down to the root, cleaning. Not just a surface rinsing but a thorough removal of dirt or sin. David recognizes his ownership of his action-- he could have blamed Bathsheba, the enemy his people were fighting, and Uriah but he chose to call it as it was—his sin.

For I know my transgressions,

David knows his sins. Did we notice that he wrote transgressions? He must have taken some time to reflect on what Nathan, the prophet, told him. Either that or God revealed each transgression he committed through visions.

 and my sin is ever before me.

David knows that, although he is a king, he can’t get away from his sin on his own. He realizes that only through God can he move on. Something a lot of us who live today need to face.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
 and done what is evil in your sight,

David realizes that God was the ultimate ‘injured party’ in what he has done. Those sinful acts involved others but, when all things were said and done, God was the one who was hurt.

so that you may be justified in your words
 and blameless in your judgment.

David sees his discipline coming from God. He felt the need to allow God to deal with him for His words and judgment to be appropriate.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

David reminds God, not that he had to, that he was brought into this sinful world. Why does David state this?

 and in sin did my mother conceive me
David confesses his sinfulness has been in him as long as he existed.

 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

David realizes God seeks the truth from us, complete and whole truth, not lip service.

 and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

David acknowledges that God teaches him through his very being, his soul.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Book Spotlight: Hello, Beautiful: Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes of Love

*     Wish you had a different body, face, or personality?
*     Feel less than adequate compared to others?
*     Wonder why God created you?
*     Often criticize your choices and decisions?
*     Long to see yourself through God’s eyes of love?
*     Want to live confidently in spite of your shortcomings?
*     Realize how valuable you are?

In Hello, Beautiful, Jeanette Levellie and Beth Gormong lead women on a hopeful journey to find lasting beauty in the eye of the beholder: God. This inspirational gift book contains 40 stories based on some of the authors’ most vulnerable moments, highlighting how God redeemed the pain and taught them how to love themselves. Each chapter of this 40-day soul makeover begins with a Bible verse describing God’s view of us, His precious creation. Chapters end with a special feature, a journaling prompt giving readers the opportunity to apply the principles.

Hello, Beautiful is designed specifically for women who feel the familiar internal pressure to perform without the satisfaction of hearing “Well done.” We find it too easy to think and speak hurtful words about ourselves while building up other’s self-esteem. Hello, Beautiful strives to point out those lies, and replace them with the Truth. Learn the secrets of seeing yourself through love’s viewpoint and shake off feelings of inadequacy. Finally find the courage to look in the mirror and say, “Hello, Beautiful!”

Beth, a former editor, and recovering perfectionist is learning to speak as kindly to herself as she does to others. Recently fired from her job as a full-time mother by her college-age daughters, Beth is discovering God’s definition of her is broader than her own limited perspective. She wants to share the nuggets of truth God has taught her about His love for her and for other women.

Jeanette is an award-winning author and sought-after speaker who enjoys sharing her funny flaws and hard-earned lessons to encourage people from all walks of life. She’s published hundreds of newspaper columns, articles, greeting card verses, and poems. Jeanette is full of wisdom for discouraged and broken women. Hello, Beautiful is her 5th book.

This book is available at  Hello, Beautiful

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

An Interview with Jesus’ Mother

Quiet Spirit: Hello. Today we have with us Jesus’ mother, Mary. She has quite a story to share with us. Welcome, Mary. Thank you for coming to Following My King. Would you please share some of these tender memories with our readers?

Mary: I would be glad to. What would you like me to share?

Q. S.: Anything you feel led to.

M.: As I stood and watched my son and Savior as He struggled to carry his cross, that instrument of torture, along the road, I revisited the scenes of His life.

Q. S.: Can you please give us some background about the marriage customs among the Hebrew people at the time of your betrothal?

M.: As a young girl from a poor family, I was pledged to Joseph, a local carpenter. He was learning his trade from his father, as he would teach our future sons if God would bless us in that way. There were three steps to marriage for Hebrew young couples. First, the parents met and discussed the possibility of a union. Then the couple became “pledged”, the only way a pledging could end was through the death of one of the couple or through a divorce. The final step was the marriage ceremony.

Q.S.: You received a very special visit from the angel Gabriel? How did that make you feel? How did you react?
M.: An angel brought me a message that changed all our plans. It brought pain, ridicule, and rejection by my peers, I might have lost my beloved Joseph. I wasn’t certain that I could follow God and do that. However, I chose to obey God. Do you understand that? I chose to obey God.

Q.S.: How did Joseph react to this news.

M.: At first, Joseph was bewildered by what I told him. When word got around to the community, we lost friends and he lost some business. But the angel went to him and told him that what I had told him was true. My baby was conceived by God. He took me into his home as his wife and assisted me as he could.

Q.S.: What happened after your son was born?

M.: Some shepherds came to the stable where we stayed. I sat quietly and listened to them jubilantly tell the story of how they heard of the birth of my son. They told me of the angel and then the angel host and their message. One of those angels must have been the one who carried the message to me and told Joseph that he was to continue with our pledging. These lowly workers were thrilled to know that they saw angels from God. All I could do was sit, listen, ponder their words, and record them in my heart.

Q.S.: When Joseph took you and your baby to the temple, what happened?

M.: When Joseph took me and baby Jesus for the purification rite, Simeon, a man devoted to God, met us in the Temple When Simeon asked to hold the baby, he praised God. He told God he was ready to go to heaven in peace because he had been allowed to see our babe. Simeon called our baby Jesus God’s salvation for His people.
As we departed the Temple with Jesus, Simeon gave us a blessing and said; “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul, too.” Could this be what he meant?

Q.S.: Do you have anything else you would like to share with our readers?

M.: As I stood there at the foot of the cross, watching my son as He breathed his last breaths, He entrusted my care to John, the only one of His followers who was loyal to Him through His ministry and through the trial and tribulation my son suffered. I have always remembered this wonderful act of love my son did for me.
Q.S.: Thank you, Mary, for stopping in and sharing these personal thoughts with us.

M.: You are welcome. Thank you for inviting me.

Friday, March 29, 2019

March Reflections


March has been a slow month for me. I have been trying to recuperate from respiratory issues. Due to complications from antibiotics, I had to start over with part of my meds. Hubby dealt with the same stuff only he had them a week before I caught them. I have been housebound this month. Going to the doctor and the pharmacy was one day’s excursions. My other day out was to go to the grocery because I had to, I was out of almost all my gluten-free supplies. I had a birthday this month and hubby and I went out to eat.

When I could, I have spent my time reading three different books, two of which I will review here on my blog. I spent a quantity of time watching the tube, not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes, I couldn’t sleep, so I watched things way up into the wee hours of the morning.  Other times, all I could do was sleep.
A year ago, Christmas, Hubby gave me a vaporizer. I have given it a workout this past month.

When our son came home to help us celebrate my birthday, on Sunday morning as I went out the door to get to his car, I noticed a penny lying in the dirt. As I reached down to get it, I noticed another coin laying near it. I picked them both up and dropped them into the pocket of my coat. After church, I noticed a dime on the floor. I picked it up as well.

At our church, we have a custom. Each Lenten season, we receive these small bags we call Lenten bags. Throughout the season, each person with a bag places coins for an offering. I decided to put that penny, that quarter, and that dime in my Lenten bag. What I didn’t realize until later was I had some dollar bills in my coat pockets. I felt I should place them in my Lenten bag along with the change I had found.

I have had a tussle with our grocery store. That store cannot carry the gluten-free crackers I have been purchasing for several years. I talked to the woman who works in the Deli, the area where we always found them. The product is no longer on their order forms.  She knows I must have gluten-free products. She told me she would check at Gordon Food Service to see if they have them. I told her I was awaiting a response to my email to the store and I would consider going higher if I had to. She is such a dear.

 My email response came. It was a bunch of business language. I have almost concluded that those crackers are a product I have to do without.

One bright spot this month was that a long-standing prayer request received God’s honor. A dear writing friend’s daughter will be moving closer to her family.  I praise the LORD for that.

Easter Music for Your Enjoyment

And Can It Be Up From the Grave He Arose Hallelujah, What a Savior He's Alive Because He Lives Th...