Greetings and Welcome!
My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.
You are welcome to download a free copy of:
- Walking Through the Fire (a grief recovery article)
- Ten Days of Encouragement (for anyone who is depressed)
- Ten Ways to Say “I Care” (to encourage grieving mothers)
- The Russian version of See You Later, Jeffrey
May God bless you in your journey of faith.
This Month's Message
Have You Lost Your Song?
“By day the Lord directs His love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.”
(Psalm 42: 8 NIV)
By Fran Caffey Sandin
After the recent ambush in Dallas, Texas, the city planned a memorial service to grieve the deaths of five police officers and to express compassion for the families involved. People from many different walks of life, some churched and some unchurched, gathered at the Meyerson Symphony Center to sing in a huge choir. They had not seen the arrangements beforehand and may not have known anyone else attending; but the love of music and singing brought them together. One participant said, “I wanted to do something to help, and the one thing I could do was sing.” The musical selections and combined voices brought solace to families of the fallen heroes--and also to the huge crowd of supporters, police officers, and dignitaries.
The recent sinful acts of violence and terrorism across our nation and the world have caused the deaths of many innocent men, women, and children. We are horrified, disappointed, and grieved. We cannot watch the evening news without feeling the emotional pull of families coping with the devastating loss of their loved ones. When our neighbors hurt, we hurt as well. Pain runs deep, tears flow.
The Psalmist turned to God. “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in Him. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust…” (Psalm 40: 1-4a NIV). We do not trust in music, but rather in the One who gave it.
A recent edition of the Harvard Women’s Health newsletter featured an article describing the benefits of music in calming anxiety, easing pain, and providing a pleasant diversion during medical treatments or hospital stays. Some musicians have become music therapists who specialize in finding the right sounds for the specific need. Some are assisting patients with dementia because the ability to engage with music remains intact late into the disease process. Music therapy can help evoke memories, reduce agitation, assist communication, and improve physical coordination.
This brought to mind the Biblical example of the disturbed King Saul requesting David to come and play his harp to soothe Saul’s spirit. God’s invention of music has a useful purpose-- “Music speaks what cannot be expressed. Soothes the mind and gives it rest. Heals the heart and makes it whole. Flows from the heart to the soul.” (Quote Shared by Alice Brawand)
Singing praises back to God lifts us from the pit because we are reminded that He is Sovereign, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the One who loved us unconditionally. He gave His only son, Jesus, to die on a cross. When we repent and receive the gift of His shed blood as covering and payment for our sins and believe in His Resurrection, we have Eternal Life. Music is a great way to express praise and thanks for His mercy and grace, and His unspeakable gift—Jesus, our rock, our salvation.
Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of music, whether instrumental or vocal—an uplifting way to express our love and praise to You, especially when words fail. Thank you for always knowing what we need. Thanks that according to Zephaniah 3: 17, you sing over us, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.