God’s Banqueting Table is in the Valley!

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows Psalm 23:5
ESV

None of us likes to walk through the valley – But the Good Shepherd not only goes with us. He also sets up a banqueting table for us there in the valley! I hope you enjoy our little time of sharing about that at Sunshine Christian Home. Listen carefully and you can hear the voices singing with me. It may be memory care, but they remember the words when we sing Surely Goodness and Mercy together!

Yes! Jesus Loves Me!

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16 ESV

As we sang, “Jesus Loves Me,” it was strange how I recalled the memory of my mother telling me to “Sit on your bed till your father gets home!” I would groan and head off to my room and plop myself down to wait. I knew the standard operating procedure by heart. First, came the lecture, then the phrase, “This is going to hurt me, more than it’s going to hurt you!” Though I had heard those words many times I was pretty sure that I was the only one who was going to feel any pain!

Some of us think of God like that. We are scared to death of what He will do to us when He comes home. But that simple song, reminds that we have a Father in Heaven who treats us differently than we expect. We are reminded that he never told us to go wait on our beds until we get a licking. Instead, Jesus waited quietly while Pontius Pilate and the religious leaders of His day misunderstood Him, unjustly beat Him and condemned Him as a criminal. Though it was our selfish decisions and actions that had injured others, He took the punishment we richly deserved. When they nailed Him to the cross, it really was hurting Him more than it would ever hurt us. But the good news is that even after all He suffered, Jesus is not angry with us. He is not making us wait for a punishment when He comes home. In spite of all He suffered; the chorus of that simple song is our greatest hope “Yes Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!”

Jesus – Friend of Sinners

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ Luke 7:34 NIV

Several years ago I wrote an article on encouraging aging voices to sing. Little did I realize at the time how much I would need my own advice today. It has been discouraging to me this year to realize I am slowly losing my voice. At first I just chalked it up to a bad day or overuse but it is beginning to be clear that I cannot sing as I once did. Now I have a choice to either, quit, deny the change or make the best of the situation. It is a bit like working through the stages of grief. It hasn’t been an easy thing, but I have accepted the weakness as real and will just do the best I can because in my heart the melodies are still ringing.

This week I share, Jesus What a Friend For Sinners, which is one of my favorite hymns. In the words of John Newton, “Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” May you also be blessed as you remember what a great Savior this Jesus – the Friend of sinners has been for you!