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HE’S HERE! (CHRISTMAS WEEK)

MERRY CHRISTMAS MY DEAR SISTERS!

I MADE A SPECIAL GREETING FOR YOU,

TO TRY, IN MY SMALL WAY, TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU MEAN TO ME!

WE ARE GOING TO PONDER EACH DAY THIS WEEK,

AS MARY DID,

AS THE SHEPHERDS DID,

AS THE WISEMEN DID…

WHAT IT ALL MEANS

THAT HE’S HERE!

pondering

This song from Francesca Battistelli touches me so deeply. Here the lyrics and the you-tube version to begin your Christmas Day!

Hold on now, I gotta take a deep breath
I don`t know what to say when I look in your eyes
You made the world before I was born
Here I am holding you in my arms tonight
Noel, Noel, Jesus our Emmanuel

You`re here, i`m holding You so near
I`m staring into the face of my Saviour, King and Creator
You could`ve left us on our own, but You`re here
Don`t know how long i`m gonna have you for
But i`ll be watching when You change the world
I Look at your hand, they`re still so small
Someday you`re going to stretch them out and save us all
Noel, noel, God with us Emmanuel

You`re here, i`m holding You so near
I`m staring into the face of my Saviour, King and Creator
You could’ve left us on our own, but You`re here you`re here
Someday i`m gonna look back on this
The night that God became a baby boy
Someday You’re gonna go home again,
But you leave Your Spirit and flood the world with joy

You`d be here, i`m holding You so near
I`m staring into the face of my Saviour, King and Creator
You could’ve left me on my own, but You`re here You`re here
Hallelujah You`re here hallelujah
You`re here

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2xxqRm3Hyg

Christmas Day!

1. What reflections on the above do you have for today? What does it mean to you that He’s here?

Monday

2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?

Tuesday

3.  In what ways has Jesus been a light to you, a wonderful counselor, in 2016?

Wednesday

This is another Christmas-time favorite. Listen, ponder, and share your reflections.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCVnuEWXQcg

4. Share your reflections from the above.

Thursday

T. S. Elliot’s poem was inspired by a poem from the 1500’s by St. John of the Cross, entitled “Dark Night of the Soul.” The Magi’s Journey was long and hard, but led to transformation. In the same way, we each have had some hard journey’s in 2016, and yet, if we press into Christ, they will lead to transformation.

5. What “journey” in 2016 was hard, but also led to transformation?

6. Read Isaiah 12 — see if you can find the reference to a hard journey that led to joy in Israel’s past. (If you need help, you can find the same verse in Exodus 15:2.)

7. When we are in the midst of a hard journey, what is it important to reflect on past hardships that led to transformation and joy?

Friday

8. As you face 2017, what do you think Jesus would have you pray for, seek for, long for?

9. Would you share a prayer for your sisters here on this blog for 2017?

Saturday

10. What is your take-a-way, not just from this week, but from Isaiah 1-12 or the Advent season?

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121 comments

  1. 1. What reflections on the above do you have for today? What does it mean to you that He’s here?  Oh, first Merry Christmas to you too, Dee and all my “blog sisters!”  I agree with your greeting, it is amazing and wonderful that the Lord will use even the internet to connect Believers with one another, and accomplish His purposes in our lives.  The song is truly precious.  He is HERE and where He is there is LIFE, eternal and abundant…even in a broken home, even in widowhood, even with prodigal children, even with a “terminal” cancer diagnosis….HE IS HERE!
     

    1. This is precious to my heart, no matter what our situation he is here with us

  2. Wishing you all a most blessed Christmas day…indeed, He is here with us…oh the love, care, insight, etc. He provides in and through. Love to you, dear sisters… thank you, Dee, for the lovely Christmas greeting and providing this place.
     

  3. OH DEE! To wake up Christmas morning–coming here and seeing YOU–what a BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS GIFT! Oh I have too many tears now to type! LOVE you Dee, LOVE you all my true sisters! Praying for sweet fellowship with Him for all!
     
    “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

  4. What reflections on the above do you have for today? What does it mean to you that He’s here?
    The line that touches my heart today comes from the song, You’re Here: “You could`ve left us on our own, but You`re here.” As I think about Christmas day, I think about where I would be if it weren’t for Jesus being born to die for my sins. I would be in darkness. I would have a withered spirit. I would be left to my sins. Jesus could have left me on my own, but his love is so great that He came to Earth to save me, a sinner. Because I believe, I have Life. Hallelujah, Jesus is born today! He is here!
    Dear “Blog Sisters,” I learned of this blog at the start of Advent. It was just what I needed. While I haven’t shared much on the blog, I have followed it daily. Because of your thoughtful questions, Dee, and the insightful comments of what I have come to call my “Blog Sisters,” I have been drawing closer to God. I still have a long way to go on my faith path, but I am headed in the right direction thanks to all of you. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present! Merry Christmas!

    1. Welcome Laurie your post reminded me of my reading today in “Streams in the Desert” hope this link works.
      http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/desert/

  5. Oh Laurie, i joining you in this thought, “I think about where I would be if it weren’t for Jesus being born to die for my sins. I would be in darkness. I would have a withered spirit. I would be left to my sins. Jesus could have left me on my own, but his love is so great that He came to Earth to save me, a sinner.” -Yes, where would I be w/out Him?!  So glad to “see” you here today! Merry Christmas! ☺️

  6. Merry Christmas, Dee and friends! It is truly a blessing to have each of you share your wealth of insight and love on this blog.
    Oh the beauty of the song, Yes, you’re here! You came to save each of us from our sins. I am so grateful for the gift, Emmanuel, God with us. Yes, the beauty of the song and scripture. John 3:16, 17, I praise God for the gift of eternal life, and that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
    May each of you be blessed this day and looking into future studies together in the New Year, as we learn about the holiness and joy in his presence.
     

  7. Oh bless u all dear sisters in Christ! Thank you Dee for your wonderful heartfelt greeting. The poem was beautiful Lovely to see your face again! 😉   Work has been super busy but the Lord is giving me moments of joy & His Presence as I work, & I got to church inbetween my patients today. Praise God for His indescribable gift. Plas pray for my husband, son & daughter as they have a few more days in Mexico before coming home Wed. Sounds like there is some division & strife going on. Oh Holy Spirit descend upon them & open their eyes to Jesus! Light & Life to all He brings!  Thank you & love to u all. Merry Christmas!

  8. Merry Christmas to you all, and especially to you, Dee. Thank you so much for that special video greeting and the lovely poem by Lucy Shaw. This is such a “God”-kissed place for me. I cherish you all and your wisdom as well as hearing and praying for your struggles.  God bless you all.

  9. I want to wish all of you a very blessed and merry Christmas!   Dee,  thank you for that wonderfully sweet and heartfelt greeting!   Thank you for so faithfully tending this blog — frankly I just don’t know how you do it so consistently. We are so blessed — all of us whom God has drawn to this very special place  Such delightful fellowship we share here!

  10. Dee, thank you so much for the wonderful greeting! It is good to see you on video and to hear your voice! I love the salutation from Luci Shaw! I appreciate your sharing Francesca’s song “You’re here”. I have listened to it several times in the past. Indeed, Hallelujah He is here with us and someday, He will be here again and as the song goes  I (will) be staring at the face of my Savior, King and Creator! Oh what a day that will be!
    Merry Christmas to all and Jesus be praised!

  11. What does it mean to you that he is here ?   
    That He is in all the unexpected places of darkness, pain, and confusion in this life……in all the broken messiness.  It means I can call out to him or whisper his name and that he always brings mercy in some way.  And that his nearness helps me recognize his mercy.   Needing to recognize that mercy for a loved one tonight.

  12. Merry Christmas Dee and to all of this beautiful blog family! Your greeting was so special. I see so much of His love in you and in this place. The time you put into this and the contributions of women on this blog is a blessing to me and to many I am sure.

  13. 1. What reflections on the above do you have for today? What does it mean to you that He’s here?
     
    Thank you for the sweet greeting, Dee! It is fun to hear your voice and see your face ?.
     
    I am late checking; Merry
    Christmas everyone! He is here indeed! I’m with Laurie on the line in the song, “you could’ve left us on our own but your here.”
     
    He is with me when I am cooking, washing dishes, playing with my grandson, talking to my sister, feeding the cats, and working with students at school. He is here. 
     
     

  14. I, like many others, thought how lost in darkness I would be without Christ coming.  I’m so thankful for his willingness to come for me, for each of us. I saw a church sign that read ” without Christ Christmas is just a mess”. How true! Dee, I loved the Lucy Shaw poem. Merry Christmas to you and everyone on this blog!

  15. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
    I felt His presence strongly at Christmas Eve worship singing with fellow worshipers; the words of the songs and hymns were “hitting” me, there were times when I needed to stop singing and simply contemplate the message of the words; it was quite emotional for me (typically I keep my emotions pretty well in check; I’m not an emotional person)…it is difficult to put into words what I was feeling/sensing…God’s love, His provision, His grace, an immense amount of gratitude…  I remember a time years ago when I didn’t want to think about the cross at Christmas, and now I can’t think of Christmas aside from thinking about the cross, the sacrifice of Jesus, and saving grace.

    Early Christmas morning (4:15?) I was alone in the living room, only the lights of the Christmas tree and the light in the nativity were providing light…I had such a desire to be alone in His presence and bask in His stillness…it was a lovely union.  John 1:5 is one of my most favorite verses and it came to life yesterday morning once again with the darkness of the morning prior to sunrise and the glowing of the nativity candle and Christmas tree lights reminding me that although the world is dark with evil and sin, the light of the Lord shines in that darkness and His light has not and will not be overcome.
     
    I am grateful for SO many things and ultimately everything I am grateful for is a gift from His hand.  I am grateful for the Lord’s love and care for me; I am completely and utterly unworthy, yet He calls me His beloved and provides for me what I cannot.  He has blessed me with a loving husband, kind parents, joy of children, grandchild, and sweet puppy-girl, fellowship, faith communities (you, ladies), food for my stomach and soul…  I even give thanks for a storm of life that has taught me forgiveness and God-sufficiency…not easy, but beneficial in my faith journey. 

    1. Love this, Nanci.  ” I even give thanks for a storm of life that has taught me forgiveness and God-sufficiency…not easy, but beneficial in my faith journey.”  

  16. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
    I had the opportunity to sing Francesca’s “Born in Me” as part of our Christmas Eve church service. In the week following the evening, I meditated on the words and soaked in the passage of Jesus birth in Luke 2 and Matthew 1 as it was being read by our pastor. How it must have been scary for Mary-chosen for the very role of being the mother of God. Her humility is palpable in the written Word. That evening, I was keenly reminded that in God’s mysterious ways and unmerited favor and divine mercy, I have also been chosen, for His perfect reason. In perfect time on this earth in my different capacities-wife, mother, teacher, friend, etc. I give Him praise that “He included me” as one of my favorite hymns say. That I am included in “His”tory and He has determined the times set for (me) Acts 17:25-27
    And “he is not far from any of us” since He lives in us! Thank you, Jesus that you live in me. Make my heart your Bethlehem…always.

    NIV he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

    KJV and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
    27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
     
     

  17. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
     
    I ended up up alone with my 1 year old grandson on Christmas Eve, while others were at work and doing some last minute shopping. It was raining and dreary for a few hours and then the sun (!) came out. Cooper and I were inside with the fire going, the Christmas lights on and the carols playing. It was really peaceful and I felt Him with us. When the sun came out we went for a walk! 
     
    The other time was that our entire family came to church with us! Well, the ones who were home (2 of the 4) went….the service was not well attended, but those there were committed! We had a Christmas Eve service as well that was well attended (or so I hear). I spent the day cooking mostly, and my daughter actually asked if she could help me clean everything up! That’s a first ?. I felt a sense of peace the entire weekend. That’s a first too! “Christmas” can be so exhausting, but this year was different. I expected His presence and there it was. No rushing for anything. Enjoying everything; every little thing.

    1. Laura, I love your post! I can just picture you and Cooper, the fire, and the carols. I love this from you: “I expected His presence and there it was. No rushing for anything. Enjoying everything; every little thing.” The fact that you didn’t experience the usual Christmas exhaustion, with all that is on your plate, speaks volumes.

  18. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?  I can’t say that there were any major, overwhelming ways this year… but little things.  For example, so many Christmas songs (like those we sang at my church’s Christmas Eve and Christmas day services) just stir my heart with awe at His coming.  I experienced that this year.  Also, knowing what has just transpired with the UN wanting Israel to get out of the West Bank (voting that it’s illegal for them to be there, and in East Jerusalem) has caused me to wonder how many more Christmases we’ll be celebrating in this fallen world!  That has actually been on my mind this year, because, as always, there is the longing for the righting of every wrong, for the fallen world to be made new.

  19. It’s been a long time since I have commented, but since it is the Christmas season I felt you should know how much I have enjoyed your studies online. You have always been special to me, Dee, and I have so enjoyed your ‘company’ since the Falling in Love with Jesus series which I facilitated in my church for a few years. It is still one of my favorites. I also enjoyed Friendships of Women, and Idol Lies. Walking through the journey of your girls, your husband’s illness (oh, how I prayed for you…), and your grands. And then I got to met you when you came to Chattanooga! 
    So to reflect on this study – so dear of you to give such a beautiful personal message. 
    Growing up Greek Orthodox I wasn’t familiar with the need to have a personal relationship with the Lord. As I grow older, and having lost my Dad earlier this year, I am so blessed to know how He saved me, my husband, my children, my Dad, but burdened for the many friends and relatives that don’t understand the need for a savior. We are always praying, reaching out, but the separation, burden, and prayers continues to grow.
    I love the sweet spirit of Francesca, and her song. 
    Blessings to you and yours in 2017.
    Much love, 
    S. Stephanie Toombs

    1. What a sweet testimony, Stephanie. I have never met someone who has a Greek Orthodox background! I, along with you, long for my extended family and friends to know the Lord. Yes, let us keep on praying.

  20. 3.  In what ways has Jesus been a light to you, a wonderful counselor, in 2016?
     
    hmm, it’s hard to think back over the year, I’m getting old! Nothing really sticks out to me other than the relationships within my family and family members, and how they are “conducted.” He has spoken to me to help me know how to react and behave with my close family. It has drawn my family together. I have had to learn how to be patient though; not an easy thing for me. I ask for His guidance, and then I wait for His plan. Sometimes it comes quickly, and I know it’s Him. Other times it’s slow and it forces me to marinate over the issue. Not a bad thing either! I LOVE waiting to see what He suggests now. 

  21. 3.  In what ways has Jesus been a light to you, a wonderful counselor, in 2016?
    The following verse in Isaiah has been my experience this year 2016. Although I have messed some things up and is far from perfect on listening, Jesus has been gracious to pick me up from the dust and to say, “I forgive you, let us start again!” He has never forsaken me and has continued to peel the layers of hardness in my heart to make known the full import of His love for me. Dee,thank you for your steadfastness in leading us in this Bible Study blog and in pointing us to Jesus. The hard work that you have invested is truly a tribute to what God can do in the life of a woman surrendered to Him. I praise God for you!
    Specific counsel from Jesus this year were related to how to respond to my daughter, Ruth Ann, students and colleagues. Materials for Sunday School and my new curriculum at school just to name a few. How to support my husband as the pastor of our church. (smile)
    Isaiah 30:21
     21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” NIV
    Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” The Message
     
     

  22. Laura:  I loved your” I expected His Presence & there it was”! I want to live moew with alert experctancy…looking for Him & finding Him!  Thank you all for your honesty & words from the heart.  What does it mean to me that He is here? He is Life, Light, Joy, Peace & comfort; my greatest encourager & tender Shepherd…life without Him would be empty, dark & futile & impossible!!  In what ways did I experience Him this Christmas?  Church before work on Christmas Day was so joyful & I felt His presence as we sang out the songs & proclaimed HIM! I was able to encourage one patient & wife in particular & felt I had shared His goodness 🙂    Then that night, I watched Prince Caspian from Narnia Chronicles. I was home alone & able to shout out at times, cry & praise the Lord. Every time I saw Aslan I cried & fely the nearness of Jesus, our Lion of Judah! Aslan said to Lucy “every time you grow, I grow”…something like that & I thought it was so profound, that as I grow in maturity in Christ He grows bigger & greater in my vision of Him…more mysterious yet closer.  In what ways has He been my Wonderful Counselor? I think just living moment by moment & day by day with Him, He leads me one step at a time. Wisdom in all my complicated relationships & how to love & encourage the people He brings to me. When I have felt the darkness of opression or helpless to “fix” relationships in my family, He has reassured me that all the outcomes are in His mighty hands & He will fight the battles for me. He is my Light & Salvation, whom shall I fear? ! Sorry if this was too long, but I’m home sick today & actually have time to blog for once! haha..Love to u all

    1. Jenny, sorry to hear of sickness (my husband stayed home today, sick, as well). However, I am so glad you have had the chance to join us here! Don’t be a stranger because we glean so much from each other, right? I think Dee is making our studies two weekers beginning in the new year. That might help stretch things out a bit more. I’m glad you are here ?!

    2. Welcome Jenny I am in and out so not sure I have met you. I loved what you shared here and not feeling good is not fun but glad you had time to blog.

  23. Jenny, praying for your recovery. Love what you shared from the Narnia Chronicles. ‘…Aslan said to Lucy “every time you grow, I grow”…something like that & I thought it was so profound, that as I grow in maturity in Christ He grows bigger & greater in my vision of Him…more mysterious yet closer.”  Yes, mysterious indeed but definitely, closer.
     

  24. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
     
    I thought it was very meaningful for Christmas to fall on Sunday.    Because the pastors thought attendance might possibly be low, our church and a sister church worshiped together (in our building).    It felt good to have a larger congregation for one Sunday (both of these churches have declined in attendance).   The sanctuary had been decorated throughout Advent, but there was a great influx of poinsettias for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   It was my privilege to serve as Elder for the combined Christmas Day service and it was served by intinction.    That always seems special, as we give the words of institution separately for each person as they come forward (“the body of Christ broken for you,” and “the blood of Christ shed for you.”)     After worship was over, we had cookies and cocoa before we left, which gave the two congregations a chance to mingle.     The offering that day was two-fold; envelopes of money could be placed in baskets as we entered the sanctuary, but also they passed around a Christmas-wrapped box,  and each person was to place in it a slip of paper promising their gift for the Christ Child in the coming year.  
     
    Also at our Christmas Eve family gathering (about 19 people) a few of us were just talking after we had finished eating, and my younger daughter piped up and commented “There have just been sooo many times when I have known the Lord was watching over me.”    That warmed the cockles of my heart to hear her say that.   

    1.  
      Deanna, Your experience as your church joined with another and the joy you experienced is so beautiful. I love when churches can build one another up in that way. Also your daughter’s comment is a blessing, and “warmed the cockles of your heart.”
       thanks for the beautiful description of the service.

  25. 3.  In what ways has Jesus been a light to you, a wonderful counselor, in 2016? 
    In so many ways!  Knowing Him puts all of life into perspective.  He has reassured me many times that I have no reason to fear the future, that He is and will be with me, that the very best is yet to come.  He speaks truth to me even when an earthly counselor might now…telling me when it’s time to get the focus off of me and onto serving Him by serving others, even if “serving” at any given time means just praying, or whatever I am able to do to follow Him.   

    1. Mary, you are inspiring…your perspectives are such a gift to us all.

    2. Mary E., Yes I want to say Amen to your comment about Jesus, the wonderful counselor. I have a similar thought and yes, the focus is on Jesus and serving him in any way that brings glory to him. Praise God for your beautiful words.

  26. I want to say I experience his presence by his being with me and allowing me to get through the day, Christmas day and Christmas eve, and actually have joy in his coming. He does bring me light in the darkness of my life right now and I am ever thankful that he is with me. My daughters were present with me for Christmas and my sweet new granddaughter who is almost 3 months old was baptized on Christmas day. I managed to get to both Christmas eve service and Christmas morning service because they and God were with me. It has been very hard not having my husband at my side. But with you ladies encouragement and God with me I have made it this far.

    1. Donna I am happy for you to have the blessing of a 3 month old granddaughter bringing you joy as you walk this new path of not having your husband by your side.  

  27. 3.  In what ways has Jesus been a light to you, a wonderful counselor, in 2016?
     
    There have been many, many instances of God’s guiding hand in 2016, but specifically as “wonderful counselor” I am reminded counsel from Leslie Vernick late this Fall. She talked about 3 lies that women tell themselves that keep them stuck. The 3 lies are: I am not doing enough, I am not getting enough, and I am not enough. The lie that really struck home the most for me is: I am not getting enough. 
     
    I can look back at difficult events in my life that I have believed “I am not getting enough” without realizing it. When things go seriously wrong, not as I hope or expect, I can get bitter, convincing myself that God is not really caring for me and doesn’t have my best interests at heart. I realized that I really am thinking I can do better than God. I have carried on and have done my duty obeying God; but feeling unloved and hurt.  This realization of my deep-seated sinful attitude toward God has really sent me to the floor. 
     
    But I understand that God’s revelation of my sin is “for my own good”. It amazes me that God could love me after how I have mistrusted him so much for so long. I sense He intends to take me deeper, to reveal his Love for me in a way I can now more fully understand because now I am ready.
     
    Related to This. From Ann Voskamp:
    “…these disappointments we can’t even talk about —
    they might just go ahead & try to make us bitter,
    and these banged up expectations of ours,
    of all that we had expected things would look like — but don’t — might keep on trying to make us guarded & hard…
    and the dreams we can’t even tell anybody about, but feel pretty bruised right about now, they might be trying to convince us to just give up… we can feel You touch us, how You lift our chins slow, how You speak right into us:
    “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jer. 29:11MSG
    And Your Word touches us. Touches us like a gentle salve tonight in the sorest places… And we feel it: Hope is the salve that keeps our broken hearts soft.
    Believe it: When you can’t touch bottom is when you touch the depths of God.”
     

    1. Oh Diane, how I can relate to what you have shared here!  I (in the not so distant past) was exactly the same as you, “I have carried on and have done my duty obeying God; but feeling unloved and hurt.  This realization of my deep-seated sinful attitude toward God has really sent me to the floor. ”  Yes!  I lived in that place as a Believer for more years than I’d like to admit!  I was saved at age 5, but it wasn’t until about age 43 or 44 that I finally came to a totally new perspective/understanding of my relationship with God:  He owes me nothing (no matter how hard I have “tried to live the Christian life” and He loves me deeply, whether I try or not!  And that new understanding makes me want to press in to know Him more and live a transformed life, in HIS power, by HIS Spirit.  Thank you for being so transparent here, Diane, as I feel certain many others can relate to this as well!

    2. Diane Wow Thank you for sharing and the Ann Voskamp piece is so good. I hear such hope in what the Lord has shown you and such expectation of where He will be taking you deeper and revealing His love for you now that you are ready! I can say in different ways but your wording is perfect here He has been showing me things this year as well and I praise God for the Truth that sets us free!!! 

    3. Diane–I agree with the others, this is just gold:“It amazes me that God could love me after how I have mistrusted him so much for so long. I sense He intends to take me deeper, to reveal his Love for me in a way I can now more fully understand because now I am ready.”
      AMEN!

    4. Oh, Diane, how much you share here that is so pertinent. Leslie Vernick’s words and Ann Voskamp’s words.
      Yes, we have expectations that disappoint and yet God has a plan and He is my all in all. I understand. I have moments I call melancholy, and must nip them as I feel bitterness starting. The scripture from Jeremiah is my encouragement. Thanks

    5. Diane, thank you for this post. Leslie Vernick is so practical in her teaching, and those 3 lies often ring true in our ears. Ann Voskamp’s words are profound. I am glad God counseled you through the wisdom of these ladies, and that He is showing you the depth of His love for you!

  28. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
    I LOVED having Church on Christmas. I it were up to me, I’d  want Christmas always on a Sunday, like Easter. So that was such a blessing to praise Him with my Church family Christmas morning. We also went to a Christmas Eve service, at the Church where I work. At one point in the sermon, the pastor picked up a newborn from his mother in the congregation—as he continued to speak from Luke 2, I was overwhelmed by the real-life picture of Jesus, as an infant, that He purposefully cam in such a dependent, HOLDABLE, state. 
    It sounds strange, but I can’t say I feel Him closer at Christmas than other times—but it’s a good feeling, truly, for Christians, Christmas is a celebration for EVERY day.
     
    3.  In what ways has Jesus been a light to you, a wonderful counselor, in 2016?
    This last semester I studied 1 Peter, and the assured reality of my inheritance really changed me. I have made it a habit to continually remind myself—we have an inheritance, promised, kept safe by the Spirit—and this connected-ness we have to Christ, impacts my daily life, my thoughts—my future plans. I have definitely sensed Him “counsel” me this year. I feel less fearful about health trials, and the unknown. I feel less anxious, and even more aware when I start to try to control a situation (or a loved one!) I felt Him guide me when one night in April I honestly went from talking with my husband about saving up for a vacation condo…and the “freedom” of kids getting older, to just a few nights later asking him if we could adopt again, at 45! And still, daily in that decision, I release it to Him—I only want to please Him, His will, not mine, be done. I think I’m rambling—so I’ll stop here!
     

  29. 2. In what ways did you experience His presence Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
    Well Christmas was a lot smaller this year for our family on my husbands side. Some family had moved and both of my daughters were not there one had gone out of state to be with her boyfriends family and the other right now is at a place where she does not celebrate. I had a few days previously been down about that but caught myself and confessed to the Lord I was heading down my self pity road. I began to at that point praise Him! My marriage is still in limbo and the Lord has me in a place of waiting. We are still separated but spent Christmas together. My nephew every year plays Christmas carols on the piano and we sing. Most of the songs are not the Christian based ones. I was sitting down and my brother in law kindly motioned to me to stand up next to him by the piano and sing and at that moment my nephew started Silent Night. I was so overwhelmed at that moment. That song in certain settings has given me that same reaction and I could not make it thru the song but tears just came. It honestly was right at that moment I just had a strong sense of the Lords presence. Immanuel God with us.
    I can give thanks and praise for my family all of them just where they are at right now. I can give thanks and praise for my marriage even in this waiting. I can give thanks and praise Jesus came to bring light into this dark world and He is my Hope! Nothing can separate me from His love!

    1. Oh Liz, I can sure learn a lesson from you. How often I head down the self-pity road! And you have very hard things you are dealing with….your marriage being in limbo, and both your daughters were absent. I’m afraid I would have sunk. What I learn from you is at that moment, you confessed to the Lord and began to praise Him instead. And how wonderfully He met you while singing Silent Night!

  30. 1. What reflections do you have on the above do you have for today? What does it mean to you that He’s here?
     
    I am getting a late start this week….I did come to the blog very early Christmas morning but only saw last week’s post and then didn’t have time to check back! How wonderful to see YOU, Dee! And to hear your voice! It brought back memories from when you came to Ashland, OH, and I was able to see you. When you said that seeing Jesus in others makes your heart turn-over, it made me think of those of us who were in Ashland having dinner together, and as I sat at the table, and looked into your eyes across the table, I felt such a sense of belonging, as if the Lord Himself was encouraging me that I belonged at His table.
     
    2. In what ways did you experience His presence on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For what can you give thanks and praise?
     
    I experienced a lot of mixed emotions this Christmas. We always spend Christmas Eve with my husband’s parents and his brother. My oldest son just got engaged about a week ago. He is the one who is in med school and in the Navy. This may well be the last Christmas that he’ll be able to be with us for a while, as he will graduate in May and then will be doing his residency at the naval hospital in Jacksonville, FL. He will then have to request leave to go anywhere, and may very well be working next Christmas. After a year there, he also may be deployed. He had told me that he wanted to spend this Christmas (eve and day) with us….his fiancé’s family celebrated Christmas Eve as her mother had to work Christmas Day and he told me that she would also be joining us on Christmas Day at our home, as I was hosting it this year for my side of the family. Well, the first thing he said to me when we met together Christmas Eve at my in-laws was, “What time is dinner tomorrow?” I said around 4:30, and then he told me that he and Nicole wouldn’t be able to stay for dinner because they had to be with her family to eat at 6. I was rather stunned because he had given me the impression that they were spending the entire day with us?? But, the plans were now that they were going to her great Aunt’s house with the extended family on Christmas Day as well. He sort of made me feel like it was my fault that they couldn’t eat dinner with us because I wasn’t eating early enough! I was upset and a little angry for a bit….my mother-in-law, perhaps trying to be helpful, told me that when you’re the mother of boys (as she is), you’re always on the “outside track” as the girl’s family gets precedence. OH. (I guess I am happy that I do have one daughter!)
    Adam later did apologize to me and I got over it, not wanting to let this ruin Christmas Eve with tension. On Christmas Day, Adam came early in the morning and the five of us had a nice morning, opening our gifts and having breakfast together. His fiancé, Nicole, arrived around 1, and then all my family a short time later. I had gotten up early Christmas morning to make a pot of potato soup so I’d have something for Adam and Nicole for lunch as everything I’d made was for my dinner. Before Nicole got there, I did try to “bring up” Jesus….I couldn’t believe it, but my husband who isn’t a believer tried to help me out, but both of my sons grumbled, and one said, “Come on mom, why do you have to ruin a perfectly nice morning?” I had wanted to read a short devotional by Max Lucado. It is in those moments, when I want to talk about Him but nobody else does, that I have a very hard time feeling His presence….what I feel is that HE is absent from our home.
     
    I had my parents, my one sister and her husband, my niece, her husband and their 18 month old daughter for Christmas. My mom, who has Alzheimer’s, was a little confused about what was going on….she told me that she was going to get my dad and they were going to go home because I had a house full and had enough to do! I reminded her that it was Christmas and she and dad were spending the day with us! A blessing came….and I couldn’t help but think of Jacob in the Bible, at the end of his life, blessing all of his children….my mom hugged me and with tears in her eyes, said, “Thank you for a beautiful daughter….GOD”.  And then when everyone was standing in the kitchen getting ready to leave, my tiny little mom said, “I would like a moment of silence, please!” And then she blessed us with words of saying how much she loved us, how grateful she was for our love and care, and what beautiful families we had. I give thanks and praise for this!

    1. Dear Susan,
      Yes, I know the angst of trying to make Jesus the focus to others who are not, and it is so difficult when children grow up and have other commitments. Your dear mother’s words are definitely a gift.  May you be blessed reflecting on the surprises that come in unexpected ways.

    2. Susan sounds like a beautiful Kiss from our King. Oh how He loves us!

    3. I love your entire post, Susan! A glimpse of a real family; what we go through to connect to each other. I know this probably doesn’t make much sense, but I think many of us have similar situations during the busy days of Christmas. I had two different people tell me how they were hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas and how certain children had to be at the other house at a certain time and they were both upset about the timing of it all. I suppose it’s a common problem if you have family near by. We don’t have that situation so it is less to worry about for us. My sadness came in the way of no phone call from our oldest son. So sad. Normally we would call him if he didn’t call us, but we never seemed to get to it this year. I am sad he didn’t think it was important to talk to us on Christmas ?. 
       
      I love the story of your mother too! How sweet that she made everyone be quiet to say those words ?. Sounds like a grand time (even though they wouldn’t let you read your devotional….). 
       

    4. Susan, so glad for the gift of your mother’s words.  God bless you, sister.
       

  31. In what way did you experience Him Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
    This year I did not have any family time, yet God came in some special unexpected ways. On Christmas Eve my husband’s friend prepared a meal and brought it and we shared time with him and his friend with  food and conversation! It was a blessing for all of us.
    I have had expectations that could not be met, but the surprises more than made up. I, too, love having Christmas on Sunday and enjoyed the friends, the music and the message of the fulfillment of scripture. Emmanuel, God with us was a carol I chose to play and my husband loves to sing the responses. We had an invitation to share Christmas dinner with friends we have known for many years and it  was a delight to be with them.
    I am praying for my family to have unity, but it is all in God’s time and in his way, not mine.

    1. Shirley this is beautiful. I see Gods hope and strength in you! Trusting in Him  and dropping our expectations brings such peace

    1. Oh this is wonderful, Dee, will pray right now!

    2. Such exciting news about Bonnie, Dee. Definitely praying!

  32. Oh  Dee the Lord is moving ; believe It. I cherish the glimpses He gives us. But I cherish Him more!  Praying for Bonnie.

  33. Sorry I am only just now jumping into the comments.  It is the first time since the 23rd that I’ve had time to even look at the blog.  So a belated Merry Christmas to each of you!  It has been a thick stew of spiritual food for me to read all your comments.  And Dee, I cannot thank you enough for the poem by Lucy Shaw.  When you said “my heart turns over when I meet Jesus in you”, my heart did a big jump!  Thank you for all your efforts, and for this place.  It is a balm and lifeline for me.
     
    1.  What does it mean that He’s here?  Before He was here, He was hidden.  People had to search for Him by their obedience to the law and by the temple worship.  But with only a few exceptions , people couldn’t know God.  But He’s here now, no longer hidden.  Right out in the open, making it not just possible to know Him after searching, but He pleads with us and pursues us to know Him.  I am the recipient of that grace, and my spirit sings out in joy and praise.  He is here, in me!
     
    2.  Experiencing Him over Christmas Eve and day.  Such a deep peace and joy.  So many things change in corporate worship over the years, (we sang mostly new songs at church) but He does not change.  He is the eternal God.  No matter what else, that remains true.  And I give thanks and praise in that. 
     
    3.  During 2016, in what ways has Jesus been my wonderful counselor?  My mind immediately races to the months spent pouring Him and His desire and design into a friend in a marital crisis.  He counseled her through me and some godly women.  And He healed the marriage.  What a joy it is to get to participate with Him in what He is doing.
     
    4.  T.S. Elliot reading Journey of the Magi.  While not quite Biblical (Matthew tells us they stopped in Jerusalem for directions) it hits the heart.  The idea that birth is a kind of death.  In a way, Jesus died to His life in heaven by being born a man.  And then the ending, that this Magi would be glad of death.  So secure in faith that the Babe was God, and that by having his heart fixed on the true God, he would be saved for eternity.  Beautiful!!

  34. This is the first time that I’ve been able to get to the bible study this week. Thank you, Dee for that personal and touching Christmas greeting!!!

  35. 4. Share your reflections from the above.
     
    I don’t recall studying T.S. Eliot in high school or college.   In general, I always found studying literature difficult, as I was never quite sure what I had read.   Or if it was just my imagination, or if the author really wrote it.  Sometimes I would fail to see things that my professor or my classmates declared were obvious.   So giving this disclaimer:  I find myself wondering about that final line “I should be glad for another death.” I’m left wondering if Eliot is speaking of Christ’s death or of his own.  He has described a hard journey and an unfavorable environment, so I’m thinking he is longing for a better place for himself.  I’m thinking he is looking forward to a death that would take him from this world and into heaven.  Obviously Christ’s birth and death makes it possible for us to reach our destination to be with him.  

    1. Deanna, I’m with you, finding “literature difficult…never quite sure what I had read” and failing to see what was obvious to others.  I think it is how my brain is wired…:)

  36. 5. What “journey” in 2016 was hard, but also led to transformation?
     
    A little better than a year ago, my neighbor I loved so dearly decided to move into assisted living.  Our new neighbors moved in, a couple with a Yorkshire named Teddy. They wanted to put up a fence for Teddy’s sake, and we agreed they needed a fence.   However, when the fence went up, we were shocked to see that our air conditioner condenser and our outside faucet were sitting in our neighbor’s yard.  In the 12 years that our previous neighbor had lived there, it had never occurred to either of us that the builder had put those items in our neighbor’s yard. Putting up the fence had brought this to light!  At first I thought our new neighbor had done something wrong, but then it became obvious that it was our builder who had caused the problem.   The builder refused to admit to any error and would not help in any way.   Our two families had to find solutions on our own. I prayed God would help us to find a way to work this out.   My husband and I paid to have the condenser and faucet moved from the side of the house to the back of the house, removing them from our neighbor’s property.  Our neighbors said we could come over into their yard at any time to do maintenance or wash our office window or clean gutters.  However,  I was concerned that if we died, our daughters would have a tough time selling our house unless something were put into writing to show that the buyers had clear access to that side of the house.   So, in the last month we finally had a legal easement drawn up which was notarized and taken to the county recorder’s office to be attached to our deed.   It was a long and expensive journey, but we made it through without either side calling the other names or expressing anger.  Both families are relieved to have it over.  It was also a journey made difficult due to the husband-neighbor working 12 hours shifts 7 days a week (never home, and when he was, he was asleep), and the wife-neighbor has her mother in a nursing home (spends a lot of time tending her mother).  Since we seldom saw them, it took longer to get acquainted and feel neighborly.   But now when I am out in my yard, Teddy comes over and sticks his nose through the fence for me to pet him.  On Christmas eve day, we and this couple exchanged our special Lebanese pastries for their lava-cake cupcakes (both scrumptious enough to die for!) 

    1. I remember this story Deanna, and how worried you were at the time. It seems like it was just beginning. I’m so glad it all worked out and you have been able to keep the lines of communication open! I have a friend who says,”If money can solve the problem then it isn’t a problem.” She isn’t wealthy either. Happy New Year!

    2. Deanna–love how this story ended! 

  37. 4. Share your reflections from the above.
     
    I love the voice; is it really T. S. Eliot? I think it’s funny how he describes the camel men; something like “…groaning for their women and wine…” I wondered if they really did that back in those days? The other thing that I found interesting was the way the sounds really made me feel like I was there with them. It was surreal. I liked when he said that when they arrived it was “satisfactory.” It made me think of when something you do is very hard and after you are finished you have that satisfaction of doing it. 
     
    When he talks of being glad of another death, he has said prior to that, that birth and death are not very different. I guess I agree with that because they are times when the body takes over and you have no control over what is happening. The Holy One is in charge and we go with the flow. Another death (to his flesh) to him might mean being born again?
     
     

  38. 5. What “journey” in 2016 was hard, but also led to transformation?
     
    I am still in the throes of one difficult journey and don’t know when it will shore itself up; maybe March? Another is just beginning for me. The waves of “life” can be exhausting to jump, but I am still aware of His presence. One thing I want to work on though, is continuing to pray through the storms. Since these journeys are longer, they aren’t always on the forefront of my mind. There isn’t something always going on (daily) in regards to these journeys so I tend to forget. I don’t want to because they need attention every day.

    1. I guess I didn’t address the part about transformation. I am more reflective and turn to Him before anything else. I am learning how to lean on Him before taking action myself.

    2. Laura–this is good “pray through the storms”–some are longer, and it’s easy to get weary. praying for you this morning

  39. 6. Read Isaiah 12 — see if you can find the reference to a hard journey that led to joy in Israel’s past. (If you need help, you can find the same verse in Exodus 15:2.)
     
    Reading just the Isaiah verses made me think that the Israelites had been far away from the Lord and then they came back to him with joy. After reading the Exodus verse (and the one before it) I realized it refers to when Moses is allowed to lead the Israelites out of their “prison” in Egypt. They are, indeed, praising Him for saving them from their “hell.”

  40. 7. When we are in the midst of a hard journey, what is it important to reflect on past hardships that led to transformation and joy?
     
    Well, I know what the correct answer is, but I am not sure it is very comforting, knowing that the journey will be painful; it’s like that pain overshadows the beauty of getting through the past hardships. When looking back, those hardships don’t seem as hard even though they were. Isn’t the old saying “time heals all wounds?” It’s true. Is this because God wants us to forget? Or, is it because we can use them to look back and know we can make it through as we have done before? I haven’t used them as you suggest; to reflect on the present and know I can make it through this time as well. I suppose the journey will be different, but the end result (with God’s help) will be similar perhaps…I will look back on the hardship and think, “that wasn’t so bad after all.”

  41. Wednesday
    This is another Christmas-time favorite. Listen, ponder, and share your reflections.
    “There were times we regretted, the summer palaces on slopes…
    A hard time we had of it…
    With the voices singing in our ears that this is all folly…
    So much so has my journey been on this earth. There are times when I struggle with my faith and the truth (is this all folly?) or long for earthly pleasures which always turn out empty.
    But there was no information and so we continued…”
     
    So despite my faltering faith at times, I continue. And have found Christ radically changing my life, “no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation.”  In the process of beholding Him (just as the Magi beheld Him literally) I am finding His ways are just beyond my expectations. There is no explanation other than that God is here, He lives in me and working out His purposes in my life!

  42. **posting this here because I want to be sure all see it–pray for Mary E.–she’s having a procedure done this morning to remove fluid that has built up in her lung–they do not know yet if it’s cancer related–pray it’s not related to new cancer growth, protection from infection and that they not puncture her lung. 

    1. Just seeing this prayer request for Mary E. Praying now.

    2. Thanks for posting, Lizzy…praying for Mary.

      1. I updated on the FB page-but the procedure went REALLY well! PRAISE!!

  43. 5. What “journey” in 2016 was hard, but also led to transformation?
     
    This is hard, my 2 hardest journeys are not resolved. But maybe there is some transformation in my heart. In both situations, I’ve had no choice but to lay these relationships down at the altar, and I do this sometimes several times a day. But there has been more peace within me, an acceptance that I cannot fix—and that He does not want my thoughts consumed with trying to. There is a loss, a sadness, but not the heavy guilt. I think in the past, my efforts to fix were rooted in guilt, and not wanting to be wrong or have “messed up” or be thought of a certain way…but I don’t feel that anymore. Definitely with my daughter, there is still the sense of not wanting to be out of line with what He calls me to do—and yet, there is also a peace that He knows my heart, and that He understands my struggle, and that He is at work. In one of my “talks” yesterday, my son, overhearing, said ‘you’ve gotten really good at explaining that gospel stuff’. I do feel like a hidden blessing, maybe?, has been that God has used this to make the Gospel more clear to me—this balance of truth and grace. I was always so heavy on the truth, but I feel His love for me, so deep and real—even with these messes in my life, and I trust He is greater than me, than my mistakes, I have to. As I’ve released more, I’ve felt more joy, and more assurance of His leading me. 
     

  44. 6. Read Isaiah 12 — see if you can find the reference to a hard journey that led to joy in Israel’s past. (If you need help, you can find the same verse in Exodus 15:2.)
     
    “The Lord is my strength and defense, he has become my salvation.”   It would seem that Isaiah has included this line from the song of Moses and the Israelites.   This may be the oldest recorded song in the world (according to  commentary in my Life Application Study Bible).   After they had been delivered from great danger, they were able to sing with joy!     The Hebrews had definitely been on a long journey, and the Lord had saved them several times over.   However, in Isaiah it would seem to indicate the people’s joy when Jesus Christ comes to reign over the whole earth.   Verse 1 says “In that day you will say….”    It occurs to me that in both cases,  the point is to praise God for his deliverance and not keep it a secret — let others know about it!
     
     
    7. When we are in the midst of a hard journey, what is it important to reflect on past hardships that led to transformation and joy?
     
    It is almost ridiculous how fast we can forget the great number of times we are saved from disaster by the Lord.   Time after time — just like the nation of Israel — we are the recipients of His mercy  — often just in the nick of time.  How can we keep forgetting these things??!!   We are so over-joyed when these events happen.  We are momentarily so grateful!    So when the next tough time comes along, it is very important that we take inventory of the events in our personal history — times He has rescued us.  It is important that we acknowledge that He is powerful and capable, and that with Him nothing is impossible.    Wonder?   Would it help if I had this tattooed on my chest?       Then I could just look down, and see it,  and say, “Oh, yeah — that’s right!!”  😀 

    1. Hahaha! Deanna, now you have given me a reason to have a tattoo- “Would it help if I had this tattooed on my chest?       Then I could just look down, and see it,  and say, “Oh, yeah — that’s right!!”  😀 ”  I have a tendency to forget as well and I need to find ways to remember “His goodness in the land of the living”. Scripture Memory will be a great tool for me and keeping a journal.
      7. When we are in the midst of a hard journey, what is it important to reflect on past hardships that led to transformation and joy?
      Reflecting on past hardships that led to joy and transformation-yes, Lord. Help me remember and see how faithful you have been and how faithful you are and will be. 

  45. Dear Heavenly Father,
    I lift up my blog sisters to You today. As 2017 swiftly approaches, please keep watch over these women. Bless them abundantly. Please put a hedge of protection around them that will keep them safe and healthy. In the new year, help them draw closer to You and see You in all they do. Let them trust in You completely. Let them feel the joy You have in store for them this coming year. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

    1. Thank you, Laurie for your prayers for us. Yes, joy, your joy, Lord this coming year!

  46. 8. As you face 2017, what do you think Jesus would have you pray for, seek for, long for?
     
    I suspect Jesus would want me to help others see Him more; through me. I need to get better at that for sure. I think He would want me to focus on my family; to remind them of His love.
     
     

  47. 5.  My journey of dealing with my excess weight started long before 2016, but it is the one that comes first to my mind.  I kept crying out to God for help, to change me on the inside, and to flip a switch so that I would quit feeling helpless over my eating habits. (As Jeremiah said, the sinful say it is no use.  I’ll run after my lovers.) I can’t explain how He changed me, but He did.  I still need help moment by moment, but little by little I am seeing food as fuel rather than as reward, favor, or comfort.
     
    6&7.  Is 12:2 The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.  It is the song of the Israelites after the Exodus and Red Sea.  It seems to me that the greater the hard thing and the longer the journey, the greater the joy.  That is why I hesitate to pray for people’s happiness.  If we are always living a happy life, we don’t grow.  It takes fighting against our sin nature to grow spiritual muscles.  And it is when life jostles us that we are most confronted with our sin nature.
     
    8.  Pray, seek, long for in 2017.  I really want my husband and I to find a place where we can serve the Lord together with passion, especially when we are retired in 3 yrs.
     
    9.  Lord, You know each of our hearts.  You know where we come from and where You want to bring us.  I pray that You will orchestrate our circumstances to bring us the opportunities we need to grow into the women You planned for us to be.  I pray that in our journey, You will fill us with Your joy and peace, and arm us with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  I pray that You will send the oasis as You know we need them, but do not let us get too comfortable there.  Call us out deeper into You.  May our praises be loud and clear.  Amen.

  48. Sorry I have fallen off the radar the week.  I have been a bit exhausted the past few days.  I wanted to thank everyone for your prayers.  I had 1.25 liters of fluid pulled off my left lung yesterday and I feel like I’m breathing with more ease but I’m so tired I just keep laying around!  The Lord was so good as to allow my lung to fully re-expand in the area where the fluid has been.  The nurse in the procedure room had emphasized to me that most likely, because the fluid had been there for over 2 years, my lung would never re-expand to fill in that area.  As soon as the post procedure X-ray was done the doctor can in the room and said, “your lung FULLY re-expanded!”  (he was even smiling big.)  So grateful!

    1. Mary, God is sooo good to you and to us in answering prayers in your behalf. Audrey Assad’s song You are good to me-just for you, Mary. And for us as we enter 2017.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-vSGoJtB0M
      I put all my hope in the truth of Your promiseAnd I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodnessWhen I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your nameAnd the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joyBecause You are good to me, good to me I lift up my eyes to the hills where my help is foundYour voice fills the night – raise my head up to hear the soundThough fires burn all around me I will praise You, my GodAnd the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joyBecause You are good to me, good to me Your goodness and mercy shall follow meAll my lifeI will trust in Your promise

      1. Beautiful song, Bing!  Thank you for sharing it!