Birthday blessings

Instead of counting candles,
or tallying the years,
contemplate your blessings now
as your birthday nears.

Consider special people
who love you, and who care;
and others who’ve enriched your life
just by being there.

Think about the memories
passing years can never mar;
experiences great and small
that have made you who you are.

Another year is a happy gift,
so cut your cake, and say,
“Instead of counting birthdays,
I count blessings every day!”

~ Written by:  Joanna Fuchs ~

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Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, (Psalm 67:1, Psalm 122:6)
comfort for family, protection while we sleep; (Matthew 5:4, Psalm 4:8)
We pray for healing, for prosperity, (Mark 5:23, Psalm 118:25)
we pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering… (Psalm 9:13, 2 Chronicles 6:32-33)

And all the while, You hear each spoken need…  (2 Chronicles 20:9, Exodus 3:7)
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.  (Ephesians 3:19-20)

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?  (Psalm 56:8)
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?  (Hebrews 13:5)
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? 

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear;  (James 1:5, Hebrews 3:15)
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near…  (Psalm 27:7)
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love  (Matthew 14:31, Matthew 28:17)
as if every promise from Your Word is not enough!  (Joshua 23:14, Hebrews 10:23)

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea  (Exodus 22:23, Psalm 40:1)
and long that we’d have faith to believe…  (Mark 5:36, 9:23, 11:24, John 11:26)

Chorus

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win, we know  (Luke 22:48, John 3:19)
that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home!  (Hebrews 11:13-16)
It’s not our home!

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life  (Proverbs 13:12)
is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?  (John 4:13-14)
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
are your mercies in disguise?

~ Written and performed by:  Laura Story ~

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Further reading:  Heavenly perspective

For all that You have done

(Rend Collective’s beautiful adaptation to the traditional New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne”, with timeless hymn-style lyrics)

Your grace will never be forgot;
Your mercy all my life
Will be my source, forever song,
My story and my light.

From mountain top to valley low,
through laughter and through tears,
surely the goodness of my God
will follow all the years…

For all that You have done for us,
for every battle won,
we’ll raise a song to bless Your heart
for all that You have done!

You know our failures and regrets,
You always led us home;
Redemption’s arm has raised us up:
Our triumph in the storm…

(You’re faithful through the ages!)
Instrumental

In unity we’ll stand as one,
as family we’ll go…
Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand
into the great unknown…

~ By:  Rend Collective
Album:  Campfire Christmas: Vol. 1 (2014) ~

Count your blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost…
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.  (Psalm 143:5)

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?  (Matthew 11:28, 1 Peter 5:7)
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?  (Matthew 16:24)
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
and you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,  (Proverbs 11:28)
think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.  (Matthew 6:20, John 14:2-3)
Count your many blessings:  Wealth can never buy  (Acts 8:18-20, Ephesians 2:8)
your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
do not be disheartened, God is over all…  (Ephesians 1:21-23)
Count your many blessings:  angels will attend,  (Psalm 91:11)
help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

~ Words:  Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Music:  Edwin O. Excell ~

Because I love Him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFzaP1t7mno

I want to walk and talk with Jesus each and every day
I want my life to be an example for Him in every way
I want to treat my brothers the way that Jesus wants me to
Because He said do unto others as you would have them do unto you
I want Him to shower me with His blessings from up above
and then rock me and rock me and rock me in the cradle of His love.

I want Him to lead me and guide me in everything I say and do
In His service I want Him to choose me and use me as He would to
What a wonderful Counselor, Mighty Prince of Peace is He
All I want each day is just a closer walk with Thee
Because, I love Him, I love Him, I love Him
And I know, yes, I know He loves me.

You see,
I love Him (I Love Him) (x 7)
And I know, yes, I know He loves me.

~ Performed by:  Sarah DeLane, Marshall Hall, Kim Hopper, Joyce Martin McCollough & Jason Crabb

Gaither DVD & CD:  Journey To The Sky ~

2 Chronicles 20: Victory in praises

1  It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2  Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, “There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.”
3  And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4  And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5  And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6  And said, “O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
7  Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
8  And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,
9  If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
10  And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;
11  Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.
12  O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”
13  And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
14  Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation;
15  And he said, “Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16  To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
17  Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”
18  And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.
19  And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20  And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
21  And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22  And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
23  For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
24  And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
25  And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.  (What army takes such abundance of riches and precious jewels with them to battle except the LORD made them do it?)
26  And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
27  Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
28  And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD.
29  And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
30  So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

Psalm 3

1 A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.  LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

2 Many there be which say of my soul, “There is no help for him in God.”  Selah.

3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me;  my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill.  Selah.

5 I laid me down and slept;  I awaked;  for the LORD sustained me.

6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

7 Arise, O LORD;  save me, O my God:  for Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD:  Thy blessing is upon Thy people.  Selah.