Have you ever found a scripture that took your breath away and made your life richer the minute you read it? Here is mine for the day…

11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying,

“I will proclaim Your name to My brethren,
In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” – Hebrews 2:11-12

In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise…

In the midst of the congregation…

I will sing Your praise…

Can you just see Jesus standing next to you as you worship? Can you just imagine Jesus sitting next to you on that pew as you offer up praise to God? Can you see him standing next to the worship leader with His hands held high to God? Do you see him dancing along with the dancers?

Here, close your eyes and just imagine….imagine Jesus praising our Father with us…

His Rescue Mission

Redemption…have you ever really given that word much thought? Have you ever been redeemed? Do you need to be redeemed? Do you know anyone that could use a little redemption? Have you ever tried to redeem someone? Have you ever tried to redeem yourself? Uh, did you realize YOU can’t actually redeem anyone? Not even your closest family or friends? Not even yourself or your own flesh and blood?No matter how hard you try?

This is how dictionary.com defines redemption:

1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.

2. deliverance; rescue.

3. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.

4. atonement for guilt.

Here are a few things God has to say about it in His word:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace – Ephesians 1:7
Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,
Even those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?
No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him—
For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever—
That he should live on eternally,
That he should not undergo decay. – Psalm 49:5-9
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name. – Psalm 111:9
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption. – Psalm 130:7
Here is Big Daddy Weave’s take on Redemption:

Yes, redemption has been on my mind today. I am in need of rescue. I have close friends and family who are in need of rescue. I know I am not alone even though some days it feels like I’m the only one who ever makes mistakes that need to be covered and redeemed. Some days those aren’t even mistakes. Some days those are on purposes.

I can’t do it myself, no matter how hard I try. No matter how well I behave. No matter how many prayers I pray or scriptures I read or even commit to memory. I can’t rescue anyone else no matter how many great speeches I make. I can’t rescue anyone with a great blog post. I can’t rescue anyone by beating them over the head or begging them to reach out a hand. Even if they reached out a hand, I am not the one who could redeem them.

Maybe I should stop trying and place my hand in His and allow him to do his thing. Maybe I should stop trying to drag others up out of their pits and make room for Him to reach down and grab their hand.

Music Monday: Shining in the Shadows

This song has been playing in my head for a few days. Well, the lyrics, “The shadow proves the sunshine.” I suppose you could prove the sunshine without a shadow. You could feel the warmth on your skin. You could see the squint in someone’s eyes from the blinding sun. You could see the flowers blooming that only bloom in the sun. But, maybe those are just other things that prove the sunshine like the shadow.

What if proof is the way we humans learn the best? It seems like needing proof is as old as that tree in the garden. Will that really happen if we eat the fruit from that tree?

I’m into my 15th year as a parent and I can tell you it has been my experience that kids need proof. I’m also learning that sometimes I don’t know what is inside them until I can see what is lurking behind the shadows…or shining thru them. Sometimes I can’t see them clearly until I see them in someone else’s shadow. Sometimes I don’t know what they will do until they are staring face to face with darkness that they have never faced before. Sometimes they just won’t believe me until they have seen a shadow for themselves. Sometimes the proof they need that the light I have been sharing with them is real is the contrasting darkness.

Are you afraid of the dark? Do you try to protect your family from the dark? What if the only way they will begin to trust the light is to see the contrast? What if a cleaned up and protected environment is doing less to teach them about the light than you think it is? Do you know how much light you have managed to instill in your kids? What if the only way to find out is to allow them to get a little closer to the shadows than you thought was safe? What if that is when you get to see the light glowing from within them? What if that is when you find out where the cracks are that need to be repaired so that they can hold the light and shine more brightly?

How will they really know how bright the light is without being exposed to a little darkness? How will you know how bright their light is?