Sermon Notes for Nov. 29, 2015 – “Building Your Life on Values That Last” by Michael Mondragon

Colossians 2: 6,7:

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Truth and Trust, have you ever noticed there is only 1 letter difference in these two words?  Stress is caused by a lack of trust. In what or who do you place your trust?

Is your trust in material things? Money?  Your talent? Or is it your Diploma’s or all of the LETTERS BEHIND YOUR NAME?? Whatever it is, if you place more trust in that thing more than you do in the God who created everything, you are worshipping idols! Be careful!!

I Challenge you to sit down this week and make a list, 1 to 10 of the things that are the most important to you. Be honest! Be truthful! I guarantee you that whatever is in spot #1 is YOUR IDOL!

 

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

If you trust in anything more than God, what do you call that thing? God calls it an idol!

Psalm 25:5, Guide me in your truth and teach me,    for you are God my Savior,

Your Idols shape you and who you are! We create “idols” because we desire a god we can control. We don’t want a god we want a genie! We want God to stay in the church, “Gods House”. We want to assign Him to a specific location. We want to  keep Him in his house so he can stay there, and we can go do whatever we want to do. We want our god to be manageable.

We don’t want to exist for God we want Him to exist for us! We want God made in OUR image! But God is not man made Man is GOD MADE!

Genesis 1:27:

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Don’t misrepresent God  by showing others what God  is NOT like. Don’t disrespect God by our actions or inactions!

Deuteronomy 7-25 25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. 26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

Our character should represent what God’s word says He is. You see, God had a plan when He made us in His image, Right! We are an EXTENSION of God. Not a Replacement for Him! God is sovereign!  He does not need us to justify himself. But the truth of the matter is He Wants us! He desires us. In fact He wants us so much that  He made the greatest sacrifice for us! This is why I believe that most religions and belief systems like scientology really upset God. They promote the idea that we are our own god. That we are in control of our own destiny. That we have power over everything.  What foolish notions. If you believe that you are a god, , or worthy of worship or of a following of your own, you are sadly

 

What a foolish notion! If we feel we are worthy of praise or adoration, maybe even someone to be looked up to, we should really get a reality check! And if you need one just take a look in the closest mirror. Look closely. If you still feel that way, then you have a serious problem and should then seek professional assistance! Although, I guarantee you, 99.9 percent of you will get the mush needed reality check!

 

Exodus 20:5  (NLT)

You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.

 

The Messiah was sent to us by God the Father, because the Father knew we needed a bridge back to Him. He supplied the sacrifice for us. He provided the way, the truth and the life, the way Back to Him! He supplied the lamb for the sacrifice. He provided himself as a living sacrifice as an example of what we need to realize, is the only worthy sacrifice back to him. Ourselves and our lives and everything we possess!

Be encouraged today, There is a God and he loves and cares for you!

Jeremiah 29:11 for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope!

 

Lose your idols, reassess your priorities. Live happy, live peaceful, live grateful!

 

Deuteronomy 4:19 And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven—don’t be seduced into worshiping them. The Lord your God gave them to all the peoples of the earth.

 

Exodus 15:2 The lord is my strength and my song. He has given me the victory. This is my God and I Will praise Him. My Fathers God and I will exalt Him!

 

 

 

THE HEART THE LORD CAN USE

“Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life…Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned; And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”-Proverbs 4:23, I Timothy 1:5, 14

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An open heart is powerful

In shaping lives about us.

An open heart is prayerful

In changing lives before us.

An open heart is priceless

There is no finer gift for another.

An open heart is a priority,

Let’s develop it to the fullest,

So the Lord above can use it.

By:  Joyce E. Watke

DWAYNE

The other day, our family was on our way to the grocery store.  We had no sooner turned the corner, and Mike and I saw a man sprawled out on the grass, his cane lying beside him.  Mike stopped, I jumped out and ran over to the man.  I thought he was dead!  He didn’t twitch a muscle as I approached him.  “Sir…Sir! …Can you hear me?…”  Nothing.  I didn’t know if I should touch him, move him, check his pulse…or just leave him alone.

He must have been lying there for awhile, because bugs from the grass were crawling all over him.  He was so ‘out of it’… he didn’t even try to brush them off.  Finally, in a louder voice, I called out to him again.  “Sir! …Are you ok?”  This time, he opened his eyes, groaned, and said,  “No.”  “Are you hurting?”  I inquired.  “Yes.  I have pain in my arm and my side.” he replied.

We had forgotten our cell phone at home, and had no way to call 911 without one of us leaving and going back home to get it.  Just as we were about to do that, a car drove up behind our truck.  They had no choice but to stop for we were blocking the street.  I ran to them and asked if they had a cell phone.  They did, Thank the Lord, and called 911 for us.

The man on the grass and I talked.  I got his name and age.  The first thing he asked me was this: “Am I in trouble?  I did have a drink…but I’m not an alcoholic and I don’t do drugs!”  I assured him he was not in any trouble, and that I was only there to help him.

He said he hadn’t eaten in eleven days.  “Why?” I asked.  Then, he began to pour his heart out to me.  “I’m de-pleated…no one cares about me!” he sobbed.  I said, “Dwayne!  You do know that Jesus cares about you…He loves you! … You do know that…right?”  He kind of chuckled and started to quote scripture to me; Matthew 28, Romans 6:23.  I said, “Oh…so you DO KNOW that Jesus loves you…huh?”  “Yes…I know…but I feel so alone…don’t leave me…” he said pleadingly.  I assured him, “I’m going to stay right here until the ambulance comes…I’m not going anywhere.”

I was shocked at his first response to me!  I mean…there he was, lying on the grass,hurt, and totally helpless…unable to help himself, and I had stopped to help him, yet…he was afraid he was in trouble!  However, the more I thought about it, it dawned on me that this is how we are with God.  We’ve fallen.  We’re helpless and hurt and can do nothing to help ourselves.  We’re infested with the sins of this life; they crawl all over us, and most of the time, we are in such despair, we don’t even try to brush them away.  Then Jesus comes walking by.  He calls out to us…”Can you hear me?…Are you hurting?”  And our first response to His attempted rescue is…”Am I in trouble?  I do have a ‘few’ sins…but I’m not really all that bad!”  Instead of admitting to Him that we are de-pleated, and we feel unloved, alone, and uncared for…we still try to do it by ourselves.  HOW FOOLISH!  Especially for those of us that know what the Bible says!

Those two ladies that drove up behind us, were like God The Father, and The Holy Spirit.  They were there…in the nick of time and brought the help Dwayne needed!

If you already KNOW Jesus…or if you haven’t yet met Him in a personal way…Just remember this:  WE ARE NEVER ALONE…JESUS NEVER LEAVES US…HE’S WITH US ALWAYS.  HE’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE…HE CAME TO HELP US…TO SAVE OF FROM OUR SINS.  If you will just open your heart…He wants to come in and help you.  He loves you…of that…you can be sure!

By:  Anita Mondragon October 31, 2015

 

Sermon Notes for Nov. 22, 2105. “Gratitude is God Medicine” by Danny Leavitt

 

1 Chronicles 16:7Living Bible (TLB)

At that time David began the custom of using choirs in the Tabernacle to sing thanksgiving to the Lord.

 

“There are two ways to life your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

 

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~Maya Angelou

“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.” ~John Ortberg

 

Gratitude in the Face of Loss

Even in the face of tremendous loss or tragedy, it’s possible to feel gratitude. In fact, adversity can boost gratitude, recent findings show. In a web-based survey tracking the personal strengths of more than 3,000 American respondents, researchers noted an immediate surge in feelings of gratitude after Sept. 11, 2001. read more

Why would such a tragic event provoke gratitude, and what is its impact? Christopher Peterson, PhD, the University of Michigan psychologist who posted the survey, attributes this surge in gratitude among Americans post 9/11 to a sense of increased belonging.

 

The Others

Luke 17:11-19 NIV

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.

12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance

13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?

 

Unexpressed gratitude expresses ingratitude

18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”

19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

 

Gratitude is Healthy

Grateful teens are happier, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association this year. Researchers also found that teens who are grateful — in the study, defined as having a positive outlook on life — are more well-behaved at school and more hopeful than their less-grateful peers. “More gratitude may be precisely what our society needs to raise a generation that is ready to make a difference in the world,” study researcher Giacomo Bono, Ph.D., a psychology professor at California State University

10 Reasons Why Gratitude is Healhy

 

Proverbs 15:13-16

13 A warm, smiling face reveals a joy-filled heart,
but heartache crushes the spirit and darkens the appearance.
14 Those who have understanding hearts hunger after knowledge,
but those with no understanding feast on foolishness.
15 The poor and oppressed suffer hardship day after day,
but those with kind hearts continually feast.
16 It is better to live with less and honor the Eternal
than to have riches and carry the burdens that come with them.

 

 

Show Gratitude In All Things

 

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (VOICE)

It is better to enjoy what our eyes see than to long for what our roving appetites desire. This, too, is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.

 

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NLT)

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

 

Philippians 4:11-14 (MSG)

I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

 

Turn Every Blessing into Praise   

James 1:17The Voice (VOICE)

Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows.

 

Talk About It
 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

 

Entitlement into Gratitude

 

Intentionally Bless Others

1 Chronicles 16:43 NIV

Then all the people left, each for their own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Today’s worship songs

 

 

 

 

A PARADOX

In a few days…it will be Thanksgiving day.  This poem from one of my inherited books gives “Thanks” to Jesus Christ for his profound friendship.  Enjoy!-anita

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I did not seek it,

But I’ve found it,

And I want to keep it.

I did not earn it,

I was given it,

And I cherish it.

I did not grasp for it,

But I gained it

And I grow with it.

I did not long for it,

But I learned to know it,

And now I love it.

I did not covet it,

But I’ve claimed it,

And I’ll care for it.

Perhaps, you ask, “Where is it?”

“It’s in our hearts and lives!”

Need you ask, “What is it?”

“It’s friendship,  in Christ!”

Do you wonder, “Why is it?”

“God gave it,

And I treasure it!”

By:  Joyce E. Watke

 

BEFORE…and AFTER November 20, 2015

We just finished re-storing an old antique table that our kids gave us.  They know my love for re-storing old things, so instead of throwing it out, they asked if I wanted it.  I jumped at the chance, seeing the beauty and craftsmanship in the tired, weathered piece.  It was a mess when we got it!  Dust, cobwebs, spiders, veneer peeling off in spots; dry, colorless…downright ugly and ready for the trash…in most eyes, that is.  But I saw what it once was, and what it could be again with a little TLC.

Mike and I went to work on it.  We first cleaned it all up with mild soap and water…then, we began to sand it.  The old varnish that was left had to come off.  At first, we had to use very gritty sandpaper, but as we neared the end of this process, the sandpaper we used was of the finest grit.  It gave a soft luster to the beautiful wood beneath.  We again cleaned off the dust.  Next, we brushed on a fresh coat of varnish.  What a difference!  The old worn out piece was coming to life!

Since the wood was so dry from neglect, it soaked up the varnish.  It was finally finished…we were done!  Or so we thought.  The legs on the table looked great, but the top was another story.  The top of the table was the heart of the piece…the place were everything had happened.  It had taken years of abuse; dishes, being slid across it, hot cups of coffee leaving rings and spills; homework, leaving it’s imprint of words and math problems, etc.  The top showed the most wear…it still needed something more.

I decided to put Polyurethane on it to see if that would solve the problem, and it needed to be sealed, so I went to work.  Guess what?  The top now has the same rich color and luster as do the legs!  It is beautiful…and it is sealed!

I got to pondering “why” this product had made such a difference, so I read the contents and looked up a couple of words.  The first word I saw, was that the product contained solvents.  Now…I never took chemistry in High School, but I knew chemicals were involved.  Turns out, the word, Solvent, means: able or sufficient to pay all legal debts; dissolves, or can dissolve; something which solves; a solution.  WOW!  Who knew it meant all that?  I sure didn’t!  The next word I looked up was Combustible.  It means: capable of burning; flammable; easily excited.

Finding the many facets of meaning to those two words has opened up my eyes to the verse,  (and I paraphrase…) “any one who is in Christ, becomes a new creature, (creation).  Old things are passed away…behold! (look!), all things have become new!”

When Jesus found me, I was tired, weathered, and worn.  I was a mess!  The dirt of sin was all over me.  I was dry, lifeless, ugly…ready for the trash.  But, He knew what He had created me to be; He saw what I could be again… with His love poured down on me!  He re-stored me…saved my soul, washing me with the water of the Word.  He began stripping away all the old habits that clung to my heart like barnacles on a ship.  Then He put a fresh coat on me…a robe of righteousness.  I was coming to life!  But I had been so wounded; gouged and scarred by careless, demeaning words, forever written upon my heart; rings of sin…spills of bitterness.  It would take more to fix all of that!

He reminded me of the precious Blood He spilt on the cross…The Blood that is able and sufficient to pay all my debts, The Blood that dissolves, or can dissolve all my imperfections.  He solved my situation…gave me a solution; made me His child and now, Heaven is my destination…I am sealed!

But, that’s not all!  He put the combustible power of the Holy Spirit in me!  I’m capable of burning bright for Him…I can catch the world on fire and spread the story of salvation!  I’m now easily excited about the Gospel, and it’s re-storing  power!

If you haven’t yet be re-stored…if you’re tired and weary, wounded and scarred from sin…come to Jesus!  He’s waiting to make you brand new!  He’s in the Restoration business.  If anyone can fix you…HE CAN, and WILL!

If you’ve been re-stored…it’s time to remember that your REAL problems have already been solved by the Blood of the Lamb!  It’s time to spread the Gospel…time to catch the world on fire in Jesus’ name!

By:  Anita Mondragon 11-03-2015

A LOT OF SOMETHING…November 19, 2015

I have been watching some of a program on cable that discusses the “Big Universe” and how it formed. They talk about how the earth had to be precisely where it is in relation to the sun or it would either burn up (too close) or be a frozen wasteland (too far). And the moon had to form and be in just the correct orbit around the earth to maintain gravity for us to live. And on and on. In each case, the commentator noted that it was “a stroke of luck” for each of these things to happen as they did. And I just shake my head. Many in the scientific community would rather talk about chance or blind luck forming the universe than give any credit to the One who actually did it. I find it sad that some people—very, very intelligent people much smarter than me with access to the latest thinking and to the instruments which allow them to see so much of God’s creation in ways most of us never will—can’t bring themselves to honor their God.  And they ridicule those of us who do reverethe Lord and who see his hand in everything around us. They chastise us for placing our faith in something that can’t be empirically seen or proven and then they formulate all of these hard-to-believe explanations for things like the universe while placing their faith in blind chance!Theories like the so-called Big Bang theory – which has lost credibility among some in scientific circles – which postulates that everything that is (by this they mean all the matter and all of the energy which ever will exist anywhere in the universe) was created by an enormous explosion that happened by chance. As I ponder that concept, I came up with my own take on it: There sure must have a been a lot of“nothing” for the “something” that formed from nothing to have room to become a lot of something.  I say that in my slightly clever way because science is telling us that the universe’s radius from the originating point of the big bang explosion is 13.7 billion lightyears. Those of you who took geometry in high school would know immediately then that the supposed diameter of the universe is two radii or 17.4 billion lightyears! And it’s increasing in size since they further tell us that the universe is expanding more quickly all the time in every direction! Note that a lightyear is a unit of distance (not time) and is the distance light travels in one year. Since light travels at 186,000 miles/second, a lightyear is approximately 5.879 x 1012 miles/year. That’s 5,879,000,000,000,000 miles! That’s a lot of space according to my calculations. And for me, it begs several questions.  What was in all that space before the postulated expansion took place? How did all of the matter/energy that exists get constricted into a tiny dot (which would take an unbelievable amount of force assuming that this actually even happened)? Who supplied that force? What caused that tiny dot of everything to explode in the first place? And what are the unbelievable odds that all of the critical events that occurred for the universe to form/exist, the earth itself to form/exist, and for man to form/exist? On the last point, my humble opinion is that those odds are a much bigger number that supersedes even the number cited above for the size of the universe. Rather than place my faith in several “strokes of luck,” I would much rather place my faith in Someone who was there and, as the Bible says in Gen 1:1 and John 1:3, “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” The heavens, the earth, and each and every man and woman who ever was or will be scream out in concerted voice that this whole universe and everything in it was designed and created by a super-intelligence whose name is God!

By:  Lee Pierce

psalm147-4

CAMELLIA…November 18, 2015

Camellia.  What a beautiful name!  Even the meaning of it is grand!  Camellia is the name of a shrub…a member of the tea family.  This shrub has glossy evergreen leaves, and red or white flowers on it that are similar to roses.

Rightly so that this beautiful child of pale blonde hair, bright cornflower blue eyes, and lips as read as a rose should be given this name.  Why!  Everything about her was beautiful…well, everything except for her heart.  There was just something that wasn’t right there.  Her parents realized this and did all in their power to change it; but it seemed of no use, because nothing seemed to work.  The only time she seemd to change at all was after she’d been in Sunday school.

You see…Camellia was like the chameleon lizard that changes colors to hide himself.  This lizard can fit into any situation and go totally unnoticed if he wants to.  Camellia was very good at pretending to be something she most definitely was not!

It was almost like she was three different people living in one body.  At home, she was “Camellia, the ALMOST perfect.”  At school, she was “Camellia, the NOT SO perfect.”  And on Sundays at Sunday school, she was known as “Camellia, the MOST holy.”  When she was around her parents, she was pretty agreeable.  Everyone at church, thought she was a very nice, spiritual girl…never making a fuss…always doing things properly.  But at school…that was a different story!  All of her friends knew her well…they knew the REAL Camellia.  She was anthing but holy or agreeable!  The words that came from her mouth were like venom from a rattlesnake, and her actions weren’t even near perfect.  She lied, and gossiped, and liked to hurt people on purpose with her words.  She was a bully!  Yes!  She knew how to change colors just at the right time.

Her friends at school were just like her…mean and hateful!  Granny used to tell her, “Be careful of your friends dear!  Remember…birds of a feather, flock together!”  That was her way of saying that only the same kinds of peole hang around together.  Instead of listening to granny, and looking inside of her own heart, she ignored her, and stayed with those friends of hers.  She loved being at school the most, because she didn’t have to pretend.

Being at home wasn’t too bad…most of the time anyway.  She had fooled her parents, and congratulated herself on this.  They even had said, “We know that she’s not all that she should be, but…all in all, she is a good child.”  Boy!  If they only knew the REAL Camellia!

Now, Sunday school was another matter.  Her teacher, Ms. Jones, must have done a lot of praying, because Camellia was sure that she could see right through her disguise!  This made Camellia very uncomfortable!  And…then…there was all of that constant tapping at her heart’s door.  Why!  It was more than she could stand at times!  Thank goodness she only had to go once a week!

As the years passed, she found it more and more easy to lead three lives…being pretty good, being not so good, and being most holy.  One day, all of that came to an end.  Daddy began to have family devotions every evening.  He said that reading the Bible would be good for all of them.  After a few times of this, Camellia had her doubts!  Every time he would open the Big Black Book and read from it’s pages, then all of that tapping would start again!  What was that????  More importantly…WHO was that?????  She wondered as a little shiver would go up her spine.

One night, daddy was reading in the book of Revelation, chapter 3, verse 20.  It says, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and fellowship with him, and he will fellowship with me.”  So! …It was Jesus, the Good Shepherd that was knocking!  But…why did he want to come into the blackness of Camellia’s heart?  She pondered on this for a bit.  Camellia knew that her heart was small and empty, and dark.  She had never let anyone come in there before.  As she pondered, she heard daddy say, “Let’s go back and read the verses before this last one…”

You see, daddy and mommy had been praying for Camellia for some time now.  Daddy saw the frown that crossed her face, and he knew that the tapping was getting louder and louder.

He began to read, “I know you, that you aren’t hot or cold”…then he added, “or good or bad.”  He kept reading.  “I wish you would be hot or cold”…”or good or bad.”  “Because you are neither…but you’re just luke warm”…”Or in-between”…”Then I’ll vomit you out of my mouth!  You say I’m rich and need nothing, but don’t you know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked?  I advise you to buy gold from me that’s been put in the fire, so you can be rich; and white robes so that you won’t be naked or ashamed; and put medicine on your eyes so that you can see.  You need to know that the ones that I love, I speak sharply to and punish them if I must; so be sorry for your sins and change your ways!”  With this, daddy hesitated and then looked at his sweet Camellia.  She was crying…and it was real this time, of that he was sure!  She slipped to her knees and called out to the Good Shepherd and opened the door of her heart to Him.

Over the next week or so, everyone that knew her, saw a big change taking place.  She was just Camellia now…NOT perfect, NOT mean or hateful, and NOT holy…just FORGIVEN!  She stopped being ugly with her words, she stopped lying, and she stopped pretending.  She didn’t change colors to “fit in” anymore.  She let her true colors from the love of Jesus shine through her now…and she was like a rainbow…more beautiful than ever!

By:  Anita Mondragon 2000

A Church with Passion

A church that has passion is a church where

Discouraged folks cheer up

Dishonest folks fess up

Sour folks sweeten up

Closed folk open up

Gossipers shut up

Conflicted folks make up

Sleeping folks wake up

Lukewarm folk fire up

Dry bones shake up

Pew potatoes stand up!

But most of all, Christ the Savior of the entire world is lifted up.”

Romans-12-11-NIV-101214

Stay blessed!

Wedding Shoes

Wedding Shoes

I went to a wedding last weekend of one of my former music students. As I walked into the reception hall, Annie and her new husband were seated right in the center of the room with all of their family and friends seated around enjoying Italian food and light-hearted conversation.  It was a beautiful setting.  The bride had asked us to play a song for her first dance. It is a very moving song called, “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman. Take a minute, and watch the video.

Here are the lyrics.
“Cinderella”

Verse 1

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays

Without a care in the world

And I’m sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders

It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do

She’s pulling at me saying “Dad I need you!

There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited

and I need to practice my dancin’

Oh please, Daddy, please!”

Chorus:

So I’ll dance with Cinderella

While she is here in my arms

‘Cause I know something the prince never knew

Oh, I’ll dance with Cinderella

I don’t want to miss even one song

‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight

And she’ll be gone

Verse 2

She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed

She wants to know if I approve of her dress

She says, “Dad, the prom is just one week away

And I need to practice my dancin’

Oh please, Daddy, please!”

Verse 3

But she came home today with a ring on her hand

Just glowing and telling us all they had planned

She says, “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away but I need to practice my dancin’

Oh please, Daddy, please!”
After the song was over I noticed something unusual on the bride’s shoes. There was a little picture glued to each shoe. I wanted to know about those pictures, so when the chance came, I was able to find a moment and ask her about those pictures on her shoes. She said that those pictures were her Daddy. She explained, “He died three months ago. We all thought he would be able to make it, but the cancer took him early. He always said he wanted to walk with me down the aisle”.

Try as hard as I could, a tear made its way out of my eye. I was reminded of this passage in the Bible,

Romans 10:15

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

I thought about how one day Annie would be dancing with her Dad in heaven and how awesome it was that she put those pictures on her shoes to show the world that she loves her Dad. We can proclaim our love for our heavenly Father by proclaiming him wherever our feet may lead.

Stay blessed!

How Beautiful