Worship Resources!

Welcome to your weekly round-up of resources to help you prepare for worship!

Let’s start with this exultant version of “Onward Christian Soldiers,” by the youth of Fountainview Academy (this hymn has been, perhaps, not as popular in recent years due to the military imagery used….but we must remember that Jesus subverts the norms of our world, so that a Christian Army becomes not a force of violence, but one that spreads care, love, peace, generosity, feeds the hungry and clothes the poor and includes all):

This wonderful affirmation found on the re:Worship blogspot:

A couple of thoughts on why doing good is important to our life of faith:

This beautiful song by Audrey Assad, “Lead on Kindly Light,” which seems apropos in the midst of this long, dark winter:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, may the light of God continue to light your path.\

Faithful…

As we continue to weather a difficult year, our faith may be on shaky ground. It wouldn’t be terribly surprising. But the very good news is that when we are tired, shaken, doubtful, God is not.

God doesn’t grow weary or doubt whether we are worth it or get shaken by the turbulent times we are in.

He is – always – faithful.

That’s good news because it means we don’t have to rely on our own failing strength. We can rely on the One whose strength never fails, whose love is steadfast, whose faith is unshakable.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, may you know the God who is always faithful.

Brave Enough…

It was, I think, the poem heard ’round the world. When Amanda Gorman stepped up to the microphone at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden yesterday, the air was electric. I wept, when I got a chance to watch her recital on a rerun. She was not only eloquent in her delivery (and another public speaker who battled a speech impediment up until even the last couple of years), she was also absolutely prophetic. Casting a vision of America as it could be, as it should be.

There were so many brilliant turns of phrase in her work – the ‘just-is/justice’ bit and the ‘quiet is not always peace’ and the ‘victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we made.”

But what I loved best was that she called it brave to see the light, and to be the light. She is absolutely correct. It is brave to be kind. Brave to be generous. Brave to open your heart to love others, because an open heart can (and will) get hurt.

Jesus calls us to be brave. As He was: brave enough to teach the truth, even though it would anger his enemies to the point that they would have him betrayed, arrested, and executed; brave enough to endure pain that is beyond imagination, because bringing peace between God and humanity required sacrifice; brave enough to love those who would ultimately hurt Him; brave enough to see his mission through to it’s bitter end because that end was only a beginning, after all.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, I encourage you to be brave, to see the light and to be the light.

(And of course, here is a link to Amanda Gorman reciting her poem because it bears watching again and again!)

Only light, only love…

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day in the States. And I found myself with mixed emotions – sadness at the racial divides which continue, fear over what might happen around the inauguration tomorrow, hope at the continuing conversations that at are happening around racism, and as with all things at this point in the pandemic, a tinge of exhaustion.

In trying to fend off fear and exhaustion, I hold to this, one of my favourite quotes by MLK:

And that’s the thing. When I focus on love, when I focus on light, I find the fear and exhaustion retreat. They may not entirely flee from me – the world is a dark and scary and tiring place right now – but when I focus on the light and love of Jesus, I find hope and peace. And I need those things to make it through.

So let’s commit to love, to light. To pushing back against fear, sadness, exhaustion, and most of all, hate.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep focusing on love and light, and always on the One who is The Light of the World.

Meme Monday!

More 2021 jokes are on the menu for today:

(That one actually made me cry as well as laugh!)

Even the cats have the blues right now:

I might have yelled this at the tv when a certain order came down from the Premier this week:

Pro tip for all those looking to make Zooming easier:

This lovely piece of advice:

And this one, too:

I haven’t stopped giggling about this take on what I’d look like as a dog. This is 100% me in the morning or in the winter. Cute and fuzzy and annoyed! HAHAHA!:

This is a little too true:

And finally, this blessing for your day:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep laughing and thinking and drawing closer to God!

Worship Resources!

As we continue through difficult days in Ontario, I hope these resources will bring some joy and hope to you.

Let’s begin with this thought about faith (also, being ok doesn’t mean never being sad, hurt or confused):

And on that same point, here is Kristene DiMarco singing “It is well,” a song that reminds us that when we fix our eyes on God, all is well with us (and then morphs into the hymn It is Well With My Soul!):

This lovely reminder of what God says:

This lovely version of Amazing Grace by For King and Country:

This poem-prayer found on the re-worship blog:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep your eyes fixed on God and it shall be well with you!

Hold on…

As I’m travelling through various social media feeds, I’ve learned to save anything that might be (as one of my friends puts it) – blog fodder. Early in the pandemic, I lost a couple of things that I’d really wanted to blog about. So now, anytime, even if there’s just the slightest chance that I might want to us it in the future, it gets saved. I end up with a lot of stuff on my phone. And sometimes there are themes.

Recently both of these were things I saved:

In light of the storm we’ve been in all year, and the worsening mental health that many may be experiencing, I thought both these reminders were timely.

God is still here, no matter what other (unhelpful) voices are whispering in your ear.

And this will not last forever. (I tell myself that regularly, and it really does help.)

Hold on, dear friends. And when you hold on, hold on to God – not to negative voices, anxiety, depression, fear, stress, and doubt. God is greater than all those other things combined.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, remember that our God is the Everlasting God.