What you will find here

This is a place to examine plans filled with hope; plans which promise a refuge from chaos; plans which will shape our futures. Veterans with and without PTSD, Pentecostal Presbyterians, Adjudicated Youth, and Artists-Musicians-Writers: I write what I know. ~~~ Evelyn

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When the World says, "Big boys don't cry"

John 11:35
Jesus wept.

Who the hell came up with that stupid statement, "Big boys don't cry"?  And who is hardened enough to perpetuate this belief?

Well, obviously, a lot of people.  This generation - for all its enlightenment - tends to hold its emotions tightly sealed behind masks of pseudo-happiness.  It's embarrassing to laugh (joyfully) too loud.  It's civilized to keep your temper.  Honesty must always be couched in socially-acceptable terms.  Sorrow, grief, and mourning are consigned to the funeral home and graveside only.

The truth is - if we ever opened up and cried or laughed or sang or danced - we might never stop.

Don't cry but don't smile too much either.
Don't be depressed but don't be too happy either.

This world is so stupid sometimes.

Tears chemically detoxify your body.  Ever notice?
Jesus knew this.  Jesus cried.

If it is OK for Jesus to do something, surely it's OK for us to cry.  
Let sorrow and grief and pain exude from your body in each tear.

When the world says, "Big boys don't cry,"
God says, "Jesus wept."

My God, my heart is broken.  My heart is broken.  My heart is broken.  Heal me.  Please, God.  Wash away this agony with my tears.  Let me weep like Jesus wept.  Only then can my heart be healed.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Comfort Ye My People

Taylor Davis (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. ejr

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When the world says, "Killing is unforgivable"

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Nicodemus the Haggiorite said that there are seven classifications of sin:
Near the Pardonable
Near the Non-Mortal
Between the Mortal and the Non-Mortal
Near the Mortal

Each sin should be conditional according to
1.      Who is the doer of the sin
2.     What sin was committed
3.     Why was the sin committed
4.     In what manner was the sin committed
5.     At what time/age was the sin committed
6.     Where was the sin committed
7.     How many times was the sin committed

Well, that sure is clear.  Right?

Here’s some more lists to help. 

A Pardonable Sin is the same thing as a Deadly Sin.  It’s a “sin of excess” which causes the sinner to sin even more and weakens the tie between the sinner and God.
Sloth (more precisely – failure to utilize talents and gifts)

That leaves the Mortal Sins.  They ‘threaten eternal damnation’ because, rather than just weakening the tie between the sinner and God, it severs the tie. 
Breaking any of the Ten Commandments can be considered a Mortal Sin.


I like how Proverbs describes the things that God hates by body parts:
Proud look (eyes)
Lying tongue (mouth)
Hands that shed innocent blood (hands)
Heart that devises wicked plots (heart or mind)
Feet that are swift to run into mischief (feet)
A deceitful witness that utters lies (combination of eyes and mouth)
Him that soweth discord among brothers (hands)

No where does it say that any sin is unforgivable.  NO WHERE.

Confess your sins.
Repent of them.
Ask God to forgive you for these sins.
It’s that simple.

When the world says, "Killing is unforgivable,"
God says, "He who confesses his sins is forgiven."

I look in the mirror, Lord, and I can't stand what I see!  I am so sorry!  I know it had to be done for my country, for my fellow soldiers.  But sometimes I just hate myself.   Help me..  I know there may be repercussions for what I did; let me face those as bravely as I faced battle. Forgive me.  Wash me clean.  Take this guilt away from me.  Make me whole again.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Communion Invitation

Larry Shackley (Composer), Herb Frombach (Author)
SATB, Piano
“You are forgiven”
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. ejr

Saturday, April 16, 2011

on Leadership - by David Lloyd George

Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated.  You can't cross a chasm in two small steps.

David Lloyd George
British Prime Minister during WWI

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When the world says, "Sh^t happens"

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.


When the world says, "Sh^t happens,"
God says, "There's a time for everything."

God, it’s really hard right now.  I don’t know that I can do this.  Please, sweet Jesus, give me the strength I need to face what lies ahead.  Everything was so easy just yesterday!  I trust that things will be easier in a little while.  Just don’t let me stop loving You.  Don’t let me stop serving You.  It is so tough right now.  But You are my strength.  I know You will see me through.  Thank you.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Come, Now is the Time to Worship

Larry Shackley (Arranger), Brian Doerksen (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. ejr

Saturday, April 9, 2011

on Leadership - by Henry Ford

If you think you can do a thing or that you cannot do a thing, in either case you are right.

Henry Ford

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When the world says, "I'm alone. I'm all alone."

Genesis 28:15 (New International Version, ©2011)

15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

You're not alone.  There are people all around you.  This planet is swarming with people.  Even if you live thousands of miles from the nearest human, you have contact with people via technology.

However, being surrounded by, or even being shoulder to shoulder with people, you can feel alone.


It's like a cancer creeping in slowly, cell by cell until it engulfs you and nothing can heal it.

Sometimes it's easier to shove people away than risk them rejecting you.

Being alone can be a choice.  \
Being lonely can be a choice, too.

But the reality is that you are not alone.  God is with you.  He promised He'd never leave you.  You can ignore Him like you do other friends and families.  But He's not going away.  Even if you don't acknowledge His presence, He's still beside you.

He's not going to leave you alone.  He's not going to leave you lonely.
He promises.

When the world says, "I'm alone.  I'm all alone."
God says, "No you're not.  I'm right here.  I won't leave you."

Dear Jesus,
Sometimes, especially when it is quiet around me, I feel so alone.  Sometimes, when something wonderful happens, I look around to share it with a friendly face, and there's no one there.  
Wrap your arms around me, Lord.  Lift this loneliness from my heart.  Thank you for never leaving me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Over in the Glory Land

Mary McDonald (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. ejr

Saturday, April 2, 2011

on Leadership - by Henry Kissinger

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.

Henry Kissinger