Do you have a word, or a life verse for the New Year?

I desperately wanted my word to be “abundance”, and I really thought that’s the word that God gave me, so I doodled it into a blotter for my doodle notebook, ready to be laminated…absolutely perfect!

Or not.

Today, the Lord impressed on my heart that this year, He wanted my “yes” to whatever He was asking. He gave me Luke 1:38, along with a wonderful example of how to say “yes” to Him, and in a reckless moment of complete abandon to Him and His will, I said with Mary “be it unto me, according to your word”.

be it unto me 2

Later, I was driving (job hunting) putting on my garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness with Robin Mark’s Revival in Belfast, laying it all out there to the Lord, and the song “All for Jesus” came on.

Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have, and ever hope to be
All of my ambitions, hopes, and plans, I surrender these into Your hands.

I was immediately reminded of my early morning resolve, and I received the word that God was singing in my ear, whispering into my spirit:  Surrender.

I believe that may be the most frightening word in the world.  It might mean poverty, it might include letting go of everything I hold dear, it might mean putting lifelong dreams behind me to embrace my reality…surrendering my rights, my love of control, my pride…surrendering what I want in this “now” to the One who promised me a hope and a future; surrendering the old thing, for the promised new thing; surrendering all, in exchange for the One who wants to be my all in all.

I found this beautiful prayer  that says it better than the words I could find, and have made them my own heart cry for the new year.

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my whole will.

All that I am and all that I possess You have given me:
I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.

Give me only Your love and Your grace;
with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.

~St. Ignatius of Loyola


Beneath the Cross of Jesus

My love for hymns is genetic, I think.  I can remember my dad expressing love for certain ones, and singing at the top of his lungs, those he especially held dear.  Momma was always humming or whistling a tune, and most often, it was a hymn.  Somewhere along the way, the words made their way into my subconscious, and have visited me this morning in this beautiful hymn.

I woke up with this song in my head.  I don’t remember dreaming of it, or thinking about it yesterday, but this morning, there it was, playing in my brain, and the words, that I didn’t know I knew, impressing on my heart.

God knows I love word pictures…and he gave me several today, you can know I’ll be busy scribbling them down in my journal and meditating some more on them.

“…the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land…”

“…a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way…”

“I take, O cross, thy shadow, for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face…”

“…my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross”

As I continue to think about these images, there is a strange convergence of Scripture happening in my wee brain.  Some of these images are familiar, and I saw them on Highway 95 nearly three years ago. 

…dwelling in the secret place, abiding in the shadow of the Almighty

…making the Lord my refuge…dwelling in Him…how do we do that?  The cross of course!

Prayer Journal – Let Thy Kingdom Come

kingdom comeWhen Mary and Joseph “lost” Jesus, and “found” him in the synagogue teaching the teachers, they asked why he would behave this way and cause them anxiety.  If we want to follow and imitate Him,  His answer should give us a clue to our mission.  He answered;  “didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2)

As His followers, we need to be about our Father’s business.  When we pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we are recognizing that His will in heaven is our business here on earth, and when we pray for His Kingdom to come, we are lining ourselves up with and agreeing with His will for His Kingdom.  If we are boldly praying for His Kingdom to come, it would behoove us to know what His kingdom looks like.  I think we get a great insight into this by the example Jesus set for us in His prayer  in John 17.

According to this passage, His will is:

  • …that He be glorified in me so that He can bring glory to the Father.
  • …that I know Him.  And as a result of knowing Him, I have eternal life in Him.
  • …that we (His followers) be one, as He and the Father are one…His will is unity in the Spirit.
  • …to have His joy made complete in me.
  • …that I would be sanctified in His word, that is truth.
  • …that the world will know God loves them and will believe Jesus was sent from God by looking at me, and seeing my relationship in Christ.
  • …that God’s love will be in me, and that Jesus Himself will be in me.

thy will

Here I wrote out my favorite answer to the question “What does God want me to do?  What is His will for me?”  I actually learned to sing this Scripture when I was young, and it has never left me.

You can read more of my thoughts on this here.


I was meditating on this part of the verse as John 17’s words about unity and oneness with the Father, Son, and one another reverberated through my mind, mingled with parts of the Apostle’s creed.  His will (according to John 17) is that we be one…and according to this model of prayer that He gave us, we are to pray that His will be done on earth, as in heaven.  He has one body, and we are all part of one another, here on earth as well as in heaven.

This is a vivid picture of the communion of the saints that is taught and professed in the apostles creed.  Though they have gone from this life on earth to REAL life, eternal life in heaven, a departed saint is still part of the “body of Christ”.  Dying has not disconnected them from Christ’s body of believers, otherwise, where would they go?  Christ only has one body, and it is comprised of those here on earth, as well as those in heaven.

I believe they are part of that cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12 that is watching and cheering us on in our journey (the race), and they can and do continue to pray to the Father for us.  They haven’t left or been removed from His body, they are still active participants in His will at the feet of “our Father in heaven”, just as we are present in His body, the church, here on earth.  We are still one body, and we are held together, connected in purpose and spirit, by the Son, in whom we find unity one with another, as He prayed we would.

Our Father



 Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s unchanging love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

I love this hymn.  The melody is catchy, and oh, how the words minister to my heart.  Isn’t it just like a prayer?

You might already know what an ebenezer is, or you may not.  I was informed a few years ago, but had to go look it up again, as I had forgotten.  According to, ebenezer comes from the Hebrew;  ebhen ezar “stone of help,” from ebhen “stone” + ezer “help.”  It is mentioned in 1 Samuel 7,    read it, the story is fascinating.  After I looked this up and re-learned it, I realized I needed to blog about it, because unknowingly, I have raised some of my own “ebenezers”, but I never knew they had a name.

In the past, I’ve kept a prayer journal, and recorded God’s answers to my prayers.

My own blog “New Things” is an ebenezer.  It is named for a word that the Lord gave me, prior to my need for it.  It comes from Isaiah 43, and has been a constant reminder of God’s help and goodness to me.

Mile marker 91 on Idaho’s Highway 95 is an ebenezer.  I wrote about it here, and here.

I have a prayer card with a relevant verse of Scripture that was given to me by my niece at just the right time.  That is an ebenezer.  (And I see it every day, it is perched above my kitchen sink).

Anniversary dates, patron saints, even children appropriately named can be an “ebenezer” of sorts.  Remember the story of Isaac’s birth?  Isaac means laughter, and he was so named as a memorial to his mother’s response to God’s promise to her of a child born in her old age.  My son’s name with his birthdate (Joshua 1:9) has become a life verse for him.

Why an ebenezer?  Because we are forgetful.  When the children of Israel were preparing to enter the Promised Land, Moses warned them not to forget (Deuteronomy 4).  We need reminders.  Look again at the story of in 1 Samuel from above.  “to remind the children of Israel of the Lord’s aid in defeating the Philistines, the prophet Samuel built a monument, named it Ebenezer and said ” “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (1 Sam. 7:12)”  I need reminders.  I need a place that I can look back on, and I need something concrete that I can show my children, and their children; “THIS is where God came down and helped me, THIS is where I saw the hand of God in my life.  “THIS is a memorial to Him for the mighty work He has done”. 

Do you have Ebenezers?  I’d love to hear about them.

Were You There?

Good Friday, a reblog from last year. Blessings!

New Things

For your listening pleasure on this “Good Friday”:

Good Friday.

When I was a little girl, I used to ponder how “Good Friday” got it’s name.  What a horrible day, I thought, when an innocent man traded places with a guilty man and died a horrible death at the hands of those He came to teach and heal and love.  As I grew, the Lord taught me, about goodness in the face of evil; a perfect sacrifice made for sin.  And as I continue to grow, He continues to teach me about life through death, growth through obedience, and joy in suffering.

In the name of the Father (who gave His only Son), and the Son (who was obedient, even to death on a cross), and the Holy Spirit (who bears witness of the Son, and draws us to Himself).  We are grateful.


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I’d Rather Have Jesus

  1. I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
    I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
    I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
    I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
  2. Refrain:
    • Than to be the king of a vast domain
      And be held in sin’s dread sway;
      I’d rather have Jesus than anything
      This world affords today.
  3. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
    I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
    I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
    I’d rather be true to His holy name

Have you ever sung this treasured hymn?

I have.  And I meant it…when I sang it.

That was when I had house and land…and money to afford to pay the monthly bills and keep a stocked pantry.  Those were the days when my children were gathered around me, and I decorated our home with the treasures I had accumulated.  When my parents were still living, and the gas tank was easy to keep filled.

Some days, I am challenged by these lyrics, and I have to do a soul search, to see if I still believe the words I carelessly tossed around.  Is Jesus really enough?  If I never get my few precious household goods back…is He enough?  If my health falters, or if any more of my loved ones pass on…will He still be enough then?  Would I really RATHER have Him that all of these?  The cry of my heart is much like the father of the child that Jesus raised to life “I believe, Lord.  Help my unbelief”  Because, if I’m honest with Him, and with myself, my feelings don’t always line up with what my mouth proclaims.  More often than not, I want Him, but I don’t want to let go of the other.  He knows my heart, and because He does, He purges things that were coming between me and Him…things/people/ideals that I had placed on or above Him.  And He tests me…”Can I have this, Lyn?  If I take this, will you let me be enough?

Until today, I don’t remember ever seeing verse 4 of this song.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;

He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;

He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;

I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

And, I find in it a beautiful picture, and a deep reassurance that He is, was and ever will be.  I find myself giving  all my hopes, dreams, and ambitions to Him again, and allowing Him to determine what I need.

Sunday Psalm

Be Not Afraid by Bob Dufford
Based on Isaiah 43:2-3 and Luke 6:20ff

1…. You shall cross the barren desert
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety
though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words to foreign men
and they will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid. I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

2… If you pass through raging waters
in the sea you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames
you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the power of hell
and death is at your side,
Know that I am with you through it all.

3… And blessed are your poor
for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn
for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you
all because of me, blessed, blessed are you