Songspiration: Because He Lives

“Because He Lives”, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither in 1971, is one of my all-time favorite songs to sing on Easter Sunday. According to Wikipedia, a majority of the Gaither songs have been sung and recorded by Christian artists such as the David Crowder Band, Carman, Sandi Patty, The Cathedral Quartet, The Speers and the Heritage Singers; and country singers such as The Statler Brothers; and pop artists such as Elvis Presley. Their songs are known worldwide.

The Gaither Trio has received a number of Grammy Awards and GMA Dove Awards, as well as other honors such as ASCAP “Best Gospel Song of the Year”; Christian “Songwriter of the Century”; and they were named among the top 75 American entrepreneurs in “Entrepreneur Magazine” in 1997.

Since Gaither first began singing with the Bill Gaither Trio in the 1950s, he has constantly been performing. The Bill Gaither Trio originally consisted of Bill, his brother Danny Gaither and his sister Mary Ann Gaither. In about 1964, Bill’s wife, Gloria, took Mary Ann’s place. They founded the Gaither Music Company, which includes a record company, concert booking, television production, copyright management, retail store, recording studio, and telemarketing for the Gaither organization, as well as a retail center called Gaither Family Resources.

Gaither’s Homecoming Tours, which began in 1991, brought together major stars of the southern gospel and CCM industry, such as Gary McSpadden, Steve Green, Lee Young, Jon Mohr, Mark Lowry, Larnelle Harris, as well as others.

This Sunday is Easter Sunday and this holiday will be celebrated around the world. The purpose: to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. A number of churches, various denominations, will sing this renowned hymn and will sing it with fervor. It is a song that speaks of Jesus’ love, death, and resurrection, and it is because of this that “we can face tomorrow and life is worth living because He lives.”

As you celebrate Easter resurrection Sunday with your family and loved ones, let us all remember the words in Hebrews 7:24-25:

“But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood; therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you all.
Blessings,
Yvonne

Coffee Inspiration: Pour A Cup of Kindness

The Oxford Dictionary states that “kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

Psalm 63:3 – “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.”

Hugh Mitchell wrote the song, “Thy Loving Kindness” using Psalm 63:3-4. The words are as follows:

Vs. 1: Thy loving kindness is better than life, Thy loving kindness is better than life.
My lips shall praise Thee, thus will I bless Thee: I will lift up my hands unto Thy name.
Vs. 2: I lift my hands, Lord, unto Thy name, I lift my hands, Lord, unto Thy name.
My lips shall praise Thee, thus will I bless Thee: I will lift up my hands unto Thy name.”

The Scripture is filled with words of wisdom about kindness and how we should act toward one another. Some of these words are as follows:

Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I Corinthians 13:4 – “Love is patient, love is kind….”

Isaiah 63:7 – “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us–yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.”

When I read these words, I see that kindness then is actually an act of faithfulness. If we truly love, then we will show this kindness towards one another and in doing so show our faithfulness to Him.

In “Thank Heaven for Coffee (and other little pleasures)” an Arabian Proverb is stated as follows:

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

This is the type person I want to be: someone who listens with a kind heart. May the Lord help all of us to be like Him and show kindness to those whom we come in contact with each and every day.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Coffee Inspiration: Pour a Cup of Love

Crosscards.com

On Tuesday, February 14, we will be celebrating the “love holiday”–Valentine’s Day. We have heard that “love makes the world go round”, “love and marriage come together like a horse and carriage”, and “all we need is love”; but what does the dictionary have to say about love: The Oxford Dictionary gives the following definitions:

“Love:
1) An intense feeling of deep affection
synonyms: fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy
2) A person or thing that one loves
synonyms: beloved, loved one, love of one’s life, dear, dearest”

Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and family and friends try to surprise one another with a special gift on Valentine’s Day in order to try and show/express their deepest feelings of love for that person or persons.

In Corinthians 13:4-8, Christ shows us His definition/teachings of what love truly is:

“Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude
It is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”

He sums up the chapter by saying (verse 13):

“And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.”

I don’t know about you, but whenever I read Jesus’ words regarding what love actually is and what it means to me as a Christian, I am immediately examining my heart and life so that I can truly show this kind of love to others each and every day. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I let the “little things” bother me and I am not thankful for all that Jesus has blessed me with. However, I get down on my knees and ask His forgiveness if I have wronged someone or said something rude. We are not perfect. We are on a journey in this world and if we show the kind of love that Christ has shown us, then this world would be a better place. All we need to do is remember to ask for His help.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this coming week, remember to show our family/friends/loved ones that we love and care about them and how we can always “protect, trust, hope, and always persevere” because “love never fails.”

In “Thank Heaven for Coffee (and other little pleasures)” published by Barbour Publishing Inc., we are reminded of the following scripture:

A CUPFUL OF LOVE
“God has poured out His love into our hearts”–Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Since we have been so loved, let us not neglect sharing that love with others even in the simple offering of a cup of joe.”

Blessings to All,
Yvonne

Coffee Inspiration: Pour A Cup of Joy

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”–Nehemiah 8:10

“Clap your hands all peoples! Shout to God with songs of joy.”–Psalm 47:1

How many of you remember the coffee jingle from the ’60’s, “Chock full of nuts is that heavenly coffee” or the expressions “pour me a cup of joe” and “…good til the last drop?” I was recently reminded of these expressions and my heart was full of joy.

During the holidays, I ordered two special mugs and added a personal touch with the individual’s name on each one. They didn’t come in time for Christmas but I sent them a few days later. The individual text’d me and said they loved them, and that she was “pouring a cup of joe” in her new mug. I text’d back saying, “Now you will always think of me.” She replied, “I think of you all the time. I don’t need a mug for that.”

As soon as I saw her message, my heart was full of joy at her words and we agreed to talk on the phone at a time that was convenient for her. When we did talk, I had my cup of coffee in hand. My cup has the words, “Be strong…the strength you need comes from God.” Nehemiah also reminds us of being strong and that the “joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Right now, everything is going along smoothly; but I have no doubt that my faith will be tested by life’s circumstances and that God will continually remind me that the joy we need to have in our hearts comes from Him. Joy plus an attitude of gratitude is my new motto for this coming year. It is a reminder that God is with us–that our lives matter–and that we can make a difference in others’ lives as well.

“Coffee is best served…black
…or with cream
…or with sugar
…or flavored with vanilla, chocolate,
hazelnut, peppermint, spice, etc.
…or with dessert
…or with breakfast
…or with a SMILE.”–From “Thank Heaven for Coffee and other little pleasures” by Barbour Publishing, Inc.”

May God richly bless and keep you in His loving care and enjoy your special “cup of joy” each and every day.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Father’s Day, 2013: The Measure of a Man

Tree

Public Domain

How do you measure a man who…

Today as I was walking my dog, Buddy, I began to think about Father’s Day and of course, began thinking about my husband’s life and then these words, how do you measure a man, began to flood my thoughts. Thinking about the special qualities that a man should possess, my thoughts turned to the following:

A man is measured by:
. His character–consistent, loyal at home and at work
. His attitude–towards life and others in general
. His love for God and his community
. His love for others–lending a helping hand to a friend (i.e. family/friends, spouse’s family, his children, and church family) or to a stranger in need
. His love for his spouse: unconditional love; encourager/supporter

As I listened to God speak to my heart about the above-mentioned traits, I thought of an unfamiliar, god-given saying: “A man is like a ship who, when sailing on rocky waters, learns to remain calm and trust in his God to help him sail through it!” (Yvonneism)

The stories I could share here about the love of my life of almost 45 years, my husband Roger, would undoubtedly fill a book, but it would also tell of a man who is not measured by his wealth or fame but by the grace and spirit of God living in his life on a daily basis.

I’m reminded of another famous quote by a man who stated that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we celebrate Father’s Day in a couple of weeks, let us remember that the true measure of a man is his love for God and how the light of His love comes shining through in everything that he does.

Blessings on you,
Yvonne

June reading: “Life After Art” by Matt Appling; purposeful creating!

Blogging Course

http://www.decor8eclasses.com

Blogging Course


Button courtesy of http://www.decor8eclasses.com

This week I begin a four-week journey to help me find and develop my voice in the blogging world. This is truly an adventure that I am looking forward to and feel that this course will help me fulfill my heart’s desires: to write from my heart as the Lord allows and to reflect “the beauty of Jesus” in my life to everyone that I come in contact with. This is what it is about; not to puff ourselves up but to listen to His voice so that He can speak through us.

If any of you have ever watched “The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That”, you will note that there is always a jingle that the cat and his two friends sing as they begin their adventures which simply says, “go, go, go, go, go on an adventure.” At the beginning of 2013, I prayed that the Lord would give me many new opportunities throughout the year and to do something different that I have not done before. This blogging course is one of the many opportunities He has planned for me, and it will definitely be a new adventure.

Perhaps you have always wanted to go on a new adventure but haven’t had the courage to begin. There is never a right or wrong time to start–just do it and begin! He has so many adventures waiting for each and everyone of us; and once we recognize them and begin the journey, He will bring more opportunities along to help us grow and mature into the persons He wants us to be.

Happy adventures to you today!

Blessings,
Yvonne

Fall Forward or Backward

With the end of the summer months, the leaves have already started to change to their brilliant fall colors.  The clear, crisp, cooler air slowly beckons the beginning of the fall season.

If we fall forward, then the fall season is the beginning of what is to come–anticipation of what we are to expect for ourselves next spring.  It is a time of reflection, quiet, and rest on what has taken place in our lives over the heated months of summer–a look back at the past, but continually falling forward towards the future.

If we fall backward, that reminds us of the what if’s, could haves, and should haves that we missed on our life’s journey.  When we fall forward, we have so much to be thankful for and we are filled with an attitude that we can, we will, we are determined, and we are blessed.  And even in the midst of the winter months, we can continue to hope, dream, and anticipate greater opportunities so that we can truly morph into what God has created us to be.

Forgetting the past, we look to the future.  We can dare to dream and hope, anticipate only the good from lessons we will learn, create a new beginning, and forge ahead to bigger and better heights of lasting love, hope, and dreams.

Let us continue on our journey, anticipating what is to come, so that when spring does arrive, we will emerge refreshed and be changed for the better.

Blessings on you.