Swirling Clouds and Songs

thoughts and songs

Great is Your Steadfast Love

Psalm 86 — A Psalm of David

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are…

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Making Cozy: Twinkle Lights

Twinkle lights add a certain charm and warmth to a room, especially during cold winter months when the sun sets early in the evening.

When I was in high school, I had the multicolored lights (80s child) outlining the walls in my room. I loved the soft glow it gave. Since then, I’ve come to enjoy the warm, golden white lights and have been looking for ways to use them this season to brighten up the chilly evenings.

I’m finding they are quite versatile. They can outline door frames and windows.

They can be draped over tops of furniture and curtain rods to create a sense of whimsy.

They can also be placed in a container or contained space to create a condensed, brilliant glow.

The confessions of a New Year’s Scrooge

thoughts and songs

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I’m about to confess something that may make me wildly unpopular, but here goes: I don’t really like New Year’s Eve/Day as a holiday.

Author’s note: Please filter this post with the understanding that as I write this, I am by turns smiling, laughing, and teary-eyed.  I am by no means sitting on my couch with a soured frown and permanent crease between my eyebrows. Thank you.

I think I gave up on making resolutions in high school.  Why make more goals (read rules) for myself when I struggle and then fail to keep them? Why, yes, I think I’ll start my new year off by setting myself up for disappointment. (Okay, I don’t really feel that strongly about it.  But, in all fairness, I think there are enough self-help articles about actually keeping the New Year’s resolutions one didn’t manage to keep last year to support my point…

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Spurgeon: the Lord shall guide thee continually

“And the LORD shall guide thee continually.” — Isaiah 58:11

“The Lord shall guide thee.” Not an angel, but JEHOVAH shall guide thee. He said he would not go through the wilderness before his people, an angel should go before them to lead them in the way; but Moses said, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Christian, God has not left you in your earthly pilgrimage to an angel’s guidance: he himself leads the van. You may not see the cloudy, fiery pillar, but Jehovah will never forsake you. Notice the word shall-“The Lord shall guide thee.” How certain this makes it! How sure it is that God will not forsake us! His precious “shalls” and “wills” are better than men’s oaths. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Then observe the adverb continually. We are not merely to be guided sometimes, but we are to have a perpetual monitor; not occasionally to be left to our own understanding, and so to wander, but we are continually to hear the guiding voice of the Great Shepherd; and if we follow close at his heels, we shall not err, but be led by a right way to a city to dwell in. If you have to change your position in life; if you have to emigrate to distant shores; if it should happen that you are cast into poverty, or uplifted suddenly into a more responsible position than the one you now occupy; if you are thrown among strangers, or cast among foes, yet tremble not, for “the Lord shall guide thee continually.” There are no dilemmas out of which you shall not be delivered if you live near to God, and your heart be kept warm with holy love. He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God, and you cannot mistake your road. You have infallible wisdom to direct you, immutable love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you. “Jehovah”-mark the word-“Jehovah shall guide thee continually.”

-Spurgeon, Evening December 27

Song of Comfort

“Now that you’re with Jesus, I can’t imagine how you feel/‘Cause he’s the one who bled and died upon the tree for you and me… You’re with the Son of God/You’re with the Prince of Peace/You’re with the One we’re celebrating and that thought amazes me”

Thankful for this song’s reminder of true hope that transcends even death. This song reminds me not to settle for the marketed ‘feel-good-ness’ of the holidays, but to dare to dwell on and in the deep joy that rules over deep sorrow.

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15

The Sweetest Gift. By The Piano Guys