January 30, 2013

Safe in the Arms of Christ

My 14 yr old daughter has been writing songs that the Lord gives her.  Our neighbor let her plug her guitar in to their amps and sing in a microphone for the first time. 

Thought I'd post it to share with you.   She's not had any voice lessons, yet.  Hoping that the Lord will enable us to provide lessons for her, in His time.  She's definitely a diamond in the rough!  :) 

Safe in the Arms of Christ

by Alysa Yates

In the morning I see Your beauty
Painted in the sunrise.
In the night I see Your glory shining in the night sky.
The same  hands that hold the world are holding my life.
The same God Who made the heavens knows my name.

And I'm safe in Your arms;
You never will leave me.
You're right by my side, You are all that I need.
The same hands that hold the universe are holding my life.
And I know...that I'm safe in the arms of Christ.

Oh oh oooh.  Oh......Oh oh oooh...(2x)

Every day I see Your power all around me.
The colors of a rainbow & all of the birds that sing.
The same hands that hold the world are holding my life.
The same God who made the heavens knows my name.

And I'm safe in Your arms; You never will leave me
You're right by my side; You are all that I need.
The same hands that hold the universe are holding my life.
And I know...that I'm safe in the arms of Christ.

Oh oh oooh . .. Oh ...... Oh oh oooh....(2x)

Every day I see Your endless love all around me.
'Cause You sent Your Son to die on a cross at Calvary.
The same hands that hold the world came down to save us.
The same hands that  made the heavens bled for me.

And I'm safe in His arms  -- the God Who saved me.
Who sent His Son
Just to save my soul.
The same hands that hold the universe came down and died for me.
And He rose again, and He set me free!

I'm safe in Your arms
You never will leave me
You're right by my side
You are all that I need
The same hands that hold the universe are holding my life
And I know that I'm safe in the Arms of Christ.
By Alysa Yates
age 14


January 18, 2013

STAR Quality

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.  Daniel 12:3

Earlier today, as I was putting on my makeup, I began to think of the pressure young people (or older people for that matter) have to "be or look a certain way"...then I pondered the question of how many people are aspiring to be a "star" and to have a "star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."  I'm sure there's many people, young and old, who have that aspiration.
Then my thoughts turned to a scripture in Daniel that speaks about being like a star that shines for ever and ever.   Hmmmm.   Hollywood has seen many "stars" come and go; and they will keep coming and going, but one thing remains certain:  their star quality dims and eventually dies as soon as they take their last breath.  No more will they enjoy the satisfaction of making another movie, entertaining another person, singing another song, or performing another comedy act on this earth.  Their star quality will fade away.

What does a person have to possess to have God's "Star" quality?  

  1. Those who are "wise."  Wise (Hebrew: "sakal") means "cause to consider."   What a "wise person" says or does causes the people around him or her to stop and consider what they are saying.  Psalm 111:10 sums it up here: " The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." 
  2. A leader or "guide".  Someone who leads others to have a change of mind about their sin, and turn to God (and His righteousness) which can only be found by accepting Jesus' payment for sin.
Today many cars are equipped with OnStar  ~ a built-in Safety, Navigation & Communication system.  OnStar's services are: Emergency, Safety, Navigation, Diagnostics and Connections.  But even without OnStar, we have Polaris, The North Star.   It hardly moves in the northern sky, while all other stars in the Northern sky revolve around it.  Steadily shining its light as a point of reference, Polaris has guided many a lost traveller to safety. 
Stars trailing around Polaris (time lapsed photo)

Do others look to us for answers to life's toughest questions?  More importantly, do we lead them to God when they do?   A wise person, of "star" quality, will do just that.  Millions of people are lost and can't find their way.  Because of the "gravitational pulls of sin in this world," so many people are lost and on their way to an eternity without God.  It's extremely important for a child of God to serve as a point of reference and point them to God! 


Eternal Shine

I used to read Daniel 12:3 and think it meant if we were wise and led others to Christ during our time on earth, that we would shine in eternity.  But He says if we are wise, we will shine  on earth by telling others about Him; and if we direct others to get back on the right course by turning them to God, then God will keep our light shining for ever and ever.    

If you think about it, what's better:  A "star" on the Walk of Fame, where hundreds of people trample over it daily ~OR~ to shine for all of eternity, as the stars in the heavens? 


I think I'd rather follow Christ's example, so that I can safely point others to Him, especially in their time of need. (I Cor. 11:1 "Follow my example as I follow Christ's.")

Be God's S.T.A.R. !!

Be a Shining example
        Turn others to Christ
      Arouse others' interest in God
      Reach out to the lost

January 15, 2013

Rock Bottom

If You're at Rock Bottom

Ever felt like your life circumstances have brought you to an all-time low---like you've reached "rock bottom" ??   I understand.  It's totally okay to feel that way. 
Last night, after seeing a comment someone posted on YouTube about how they have hit rock bottom, my heart began to ponder the idea of hitting rock bottom.  
What would you do?    Well, of course, hitting rock bottom makes us feel totally discouraged and almost about to give up hope, right?   Then it would make sense to "LOOK UP".... I mean, after all, when you're at the very bottom---"Rock Bottom"---that's just about all you CAN do, is look up.  Right?   Well, yes, and no.     Of course, LOOK UP---Look up to GOD....He's our only hope and deliverer. . .
What if when we've hit that lowest point, we make a conscious choice to "not look up" but remain discouraged, and in a sense, "look down"  (FACE down).    Well, think about it for a minute.  Instead of looking up, we turn our face down, almost in a sense of defeat right? 
But look again.

II Samuel 22:2 says, "He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer..."    The LORD is my what?  My ROCK.     So, if we can truly claim this...if Jesus really is OUR LORD, then HE is also our Rock.....   So what if we've hit "rock bottom?"     It would seem that if we turn our faces down, we will find none other than our ROCK, holding us up!      Oh my goodness.  Even if we get discouraged, and just waller in our sadness, choosing not to "LOOK UP" to Him, we will still find that He is there, no matter which way we turn.   The Lord is my ROCK...and I'm at "rock bottom"-- so it seems here we have a sweet picture that He has never left us, even in the trials and storms.  He is all the more nearer simply because we HAVE "hit rock bottom."   

The Lord is close to the broken hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
Psalm 34:18

Just wanted to share that quick little thought (and lesson) that He showed me last night.  Share it with someone you know that may feel as if they're at "rock bottom."   This will truly give them a new perspective on their circumstances.   I know it did for me! 
Thank You, Lord!! 
Until next time,

January 13, 2013

What to do with Memories?


Some are sweet.  Some are painful.  Some cause our hearts to race just at the thought of seeing that special someone's face one more time, if only we could. 

Even though memories can be a cherished treasure, sometimes the memories from our past can keep us chained in our present, unable to be free, if we allow them the chance. 

No matter, God has allowed us to have memories.  He wants us to look back and remember what He has done for us, how He has delivered us in our times of need--so that we can apply His faithfulness to our current situation.   Yet He also says we should forget the past and press forward, straining towards the goal of His high calling.

God doesn't want us to be held captive by the memories of our past.  He wants us to let go and look forward. 

Last year was very difficult for our family, true indeed; but it's a New Year, and God willing, I am only five months away from graduating from the ultrasound program.  Instead of looking back, wishing "if only" or "what if," I will look forward to the new day that is dawning.  . . knowing that He is the One Who holds each sun rise in His hands.

Here is a song that I recorded over the weekend as a tribute to this lesson.

God bless you all as you serve Him.

January 5, 2013

It's Okay to be Beaten

The past year has been the most difficult year for me & my family.  The first big UNEXPECTED storm was Bryan's kidney cancer and surgery, and him being out of work six weeks.  Then another hospitalization just recently for another dear loved one.   Mix all that in with the obvious demands of life in general, and being enrolled in the ultra-intense ultrasound program, and what we have is a recipe for exhaustion and discouragement. 

But there is a lesson from 2012: It's okay to be Beaten.


2012 Theme:  "Trials and Storms" 

....in fact, too many to write, caused me to collapse at the Savior's feet on New Year's day. 
However, during that time of sharing my heart with the Lord, and telling Him how I felt beaten beyond belief from the past year's storms, the Holy Spirit brought a Bible verse to mind:  "He (Jesus) was beaten beyond recognition as a human."  Isaiah 52:14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him[a]his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness  I began to wonder if perhaps the purpose for my 2012's trials and storms were to "beat me beyond recognition" so that others would no longer see "Tammi" but rather Him ???? 
That's when I looked up the definition of "beaten."


1: hammered into a desired shape
2: much trodden and worn smooth
3: being in a state of exhaustion
Of course, the #3 definition is how I was feeling.  But after looking up the definition tonight, I wonder if  #1 definition is what God has been doing ??   

He is allowing these storms to "hammer" me into a desired shape:  His purpose for my life.  


It's Not About Me

During times of distress, it's very easy for me to become self-absorbed, "bogged down," worried & even question God. . . my eyes are turned inwardly, and I fail to remember that God loves and is concerned for every single human being on the planet, and wants everyone of us to know Him, to be freed from our struggles with our sinful nature, and to experience His power, victory and love!  

If I turn my eyes upwards, I will gain a different perspective of the situation.

How can the lost and hurting souls around us know that God is love, full of compassion, patient, kind, merciful, strong, tenderhearted, faithful, true, (and the list could go on...) unless His children are reshaped into His image and used by Him to reach others?


But It Hurts!

Because of our inherited, fallen nature, we are all born with a predisposed "shape" ~ one bent naturally to do wrong ~ maybe not all of the time, but enough that we're unable to accurately serve His purpose for our lives.  
Think of iron being  heated white hot, then hammered relentlessly into shape, then tempered in cold water and reheated  and hammered again.   If the iron doesn't stand the test, it is thrown into a scrap heap.   
This "business" of being tried by fire, hammered by storms, and plunged into icy cold waters of despair serves a purpose of The One Who created us ON Purpose, WITH a Purpose God's. 
Is it imperative for us to be reshaped?  Yes, because our sinful nature has predisposed us to being disfigured and unusable in God's holy hands. 


Beyond Recognition

No matter how painful and overwhelming life's storms can be, I'm so thankful that I will not have to suffer the agony that Jesus willingly endured as payment for my sin.  Because He was beaten beyond recognition, died a brutal and humiliating death on the cross ~ all for the purpose of reconciling my relationship with Him, why would I not allow Him to reshape me? 

A Promise and a Purpose

Even though life's circumstances can sometimes be very painful, it's comforting to remember God is in control.  Romans 8:28 says as long as I am willing to serve His purpose, He has promised to turn everything (including the painful storms and bad times) into something good.
In doing so, He uses our lives to reach out to others as shining examples of what He longs to do for them! 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 
Jeremiah 29:11