Tag Archives: Last Words

Worship Wednesday – To the Ends of the Earth – Hillsong United

Blog - To the Ends of the Earth - Jesus I believe in you - Worship Wednesday - Hillsong - SlideplayerPhoto Credit: Slideplayer

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, Selah, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You! – Psalm 67:1-3

 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb… – Revelation 7:9

What would possess us to have life-altering, death-defying good news…and then keep silent about it? Does fear motivate us? A lack of love? What keeps us silent?

How does one keep to herself the most beautiful truth and person ever encountered in life? With both freedom of speech and freedom of religion, how is it that I speak so little of Jesus? This Jesus who turned my life around so many years ago…and continues to transform me in ways beyond imagination.

I want to be done with that kind of silence.

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, and, some 40 days later, just before he ascended to the Father, he spoke a powerful charge to his followers:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20

I’ve always loved that sending of Jesus’ followers. It was given to those with him that day…and every one of us since. Simple and clear, we are called to:

  1. Go. [next door and to the nations]
  2. Make disciples. [give witness in word and deed to the truth of the Gospel]
  3. Baptize them. [as an expression and witness of a life surrendered to Christ]
  4. Teach them to observe/obey all Jesus commanded us. [in word and deed, life on life, following Jesus]

Then he gives this wonderful promise at the end:

“I am with you always.” His great declaration of “I AM”.

This week a documentary debuted around the US. The film The Insanity of God was taken from the book, by the same name, authored by Nik Ripken with Gregg Lewis.

It follows the lives of a missionary couple, Nik and Ruth Ripken…and then the focus turns to people they meet, from many nations, who chose to follow Jesus. Often against great resistance.

Ripken tells the story of a Russian pastor named Dmitri. This pastor, refusing to recant, was imprisoned for his faith for 17 years. Every morning, Dmitri would come off his cot, look toward the eastern sky, raise his hands, and sing to God. It was his own heartsong, asking for strength for the day. Blog - The Insanity of God - Dmitri

On the day his execution was set, and the guards walked him out of his cell, the prisoners all around him stood at the door of their own cells, raised their hands and sang that very song. Dmitri did not die that day but was miraculously released and restored to his family.

[Also watch Todd Smith’s story-song of Dmitri’s life [“Dmitri’s Heart Song – Jesus Is Alive“]

“”For us, persecution is like the sun coming up in the east. It happens all the time. It’s the way things are. There is nothing unusual or unexpected about it. Persecution for our faith has always been—and probably always will be—a normal part of life”…Those who number themselves among the followers of Jesus—but don’t witness for Him—are actually siding with [the persecutors]…of the world. Believers who do not share their faith aid and abet Satan’s ultimate goal of denying others access to Jesus. Our silence makes us accomplices.” – Nik Ripken, The Insanity of God

Watching that film and hearing story after story of people who loved God more than their own lives…rekindled the fire in my own heart. I do love God…grateful for his forgiveness of my sins, and the love He showed me in the person of his son, Jesus. He is worthy of both our worship…and our witness.

Worship with me to Hillsong United‘s “To the Ends of the Earth“.

Love unfailing
Overtaking my heart
You take me in
Finding peace again
Fear is lost
In all you are

And I would give the world to tell Your story
Cause I know that You’ve called me
I know that You’ve called me
I’ve lost myself for good within Your promise
I won’t hide it
I won’t hide it

Jesus, I believe in You
And I would go to the ends of the earth
To the ends of the earth
For You alone are the Son of God
And all the world will see
That You are God
You are God*IMG_8531Movement Church

*Lyrics – To the Ends of the Earth – Hillsong United

Blog - The Lord Bless You and Keep You - in Arabic and English

5 Friday Faves – Scholarships, Dr. Seuss, Mt. Airy, the Last Words of Joey Feek, and Spring

Blog - Friday Faves

Friday Faves posted on Saturday this week – that’s how fast the week flew by. So here they are – would love to hear about your favorite finds or passings of time…

1) Scholarships – Christopher Gray has a success story which he wants to make possible for all students who want a college education. Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, he had no money to pursue education past high school. He then began the tedious, tiresome work of applying for every possible scholarship that he might be a qualified recipient. He ended up with over $1 million in gifts. He obviously was able then to complete his college education. Blog - Scholly - Christopher GrayPhoto Credit: My Scholly

While still in school, Gray developed an app he called Scholly to make a scholarship search much easier for other students. Learn more from Christopher Gray through his website and Twitter pages (@cgray91 and @myscholly). Also take a look at the Youtube video produced by Cadillac in its #DaringGreatly series.

2) Dr. Seuss – March 4 is the birthdate of  Theodor Seuss Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, as we know him. He wrote so many great children’s books that we adult readers love as well. My favorite is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Chris Martin wrote a 10-favorite-quotes blog commemorating this special day. Of his favorites, mine is: “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!Blog - Dr. Seuss - foxnewsPhoto Credit: Millennial Evangelical

Blog - Dr. Seuss

3) Mt. Airy, North Carolina – There’s this tiny town in North Carolina close to the Virginia stateline. It’s renowned as the inspiration for the town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show of the 1960’s. I loved that old TV show and had the privilege of visiting Mt. Airy recently. It was so lovely. 2016 Feb March - Blog, Sadie, Birthdays, Mt. Airy, Family 234

From the townspeople (we met two elderly sisters who manage their late father’s novelty shop “now onto 65 years”) – to the window displays of quilts and other crafts, to reminders of that old TV show, to bakeshops.

Blog - Mt. Airy - Barney FifeBlog - Mt. Airy - QuiltBlog - Mt. Airy - Miss Angels Heavenly PiesBlog - Mt. Airy - Miss Angels Heavenly Pies - piesAngela Shur‘s pies and other baked goods are a feast for the eyes and the tummy…Blog - Mt. Airy - Miss Angels heavenly Pies - muffins

4) The Last Words of Joey Feek – Hard to put this in a favorite except to honor the passing of this remarkable woman… Joey Feek died yesterday…or better said, she went Home. Joey was half of the Grammy-winning country duo Joey + Rory. She is this beautiful, classy, Godly woman who will break your heart in two with her country-deep voice. I actually hadn’t heard of them until sometime last year when the news of her cancer coming back made it into my newsfeed. Her husband Rory writes a poignant, strong-loving blog about their life and this journey through cancer. His writing helped me know her and I’m so grateful.Blog - Last Words - Joey Martin Feek - daily entertainment newsPhoto Credit: Daily Entertainment News

He writes about her last words: One of the last things Joey said before she drifted into the deep sleep she’s been in for a few days now is, “I have no regrets… I can honestly say, that I have done everything I wanted to do and lived the life I always wanted to live”. At the young age of 40, with this man she loves and her darling 2 y/o daughter to leave behind, that is an amazing testament of a life well-lived. [Scroll to the bottom of Rory’s blog for a slideshow of Joey, to their song In The Time That You Gave Me.]

Joey Feek was one who recognized the extraordinary gift life is and the extraordinary nature of God and His love for us, Sometimes, people like Joey do things that, looking back, seem very much like a premonition or foreshadowing. They see something that others don’t see. Joey Feek’s singing of When I’m Gone came before her cancer diagnosis…but has that feeling of knowing what was ahead…for all of us, in one way or another…

Rory’s Blog the Day Joey Died – So Beautiful with a Video of Joey

5) Spring – Spring is near…as Joey Feek anticipated the blooming of flowers in Tennessee and wanted her husband to be there for them…we can’t do anything but rejoice in this, another, coming of Spring. Thank You, God, for this life…2015 March American Idol & Spring Blog 002Tulips 2Blog - Early morning countryside - Lois MartinPhoto Credit: Country Road by Lois Martin