Underneath Are the Everlasting Arms

UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS
CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 1
I’m traveling with Jesus
He keeps me day by day
The Lord is here beside me
To guide me, Come what may—

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 2
The way gets steep and winding
And can be very rough
Wherever life may take me
The Lord’s more than enough

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 3
Sometimes the path is rugged
And sometimes smooth and clear
Wherever His hand leads me
I’ve nothing now to fear

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

Verse 4
I’m going on with Jesus,
My Savior and my friend
He promised to go with me
Clear to my journey’s end.

CHORUS
Underneath are the everlasting arms;
I’m safe, secure, free from all alarm.
There’s nothing to fear for I know
That underneath are the everlasting arms.

©2008 Patricia A. Hunter, All Rights Reserved. 4.24. 2008

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Why Christmas?

WHY CHRISTMAS?

The closing line of a movie caught my attention. I quote: “GIVING IN ITS PUREST FORM EXPECTS NOTHING IN RETURN.” I got to thinking. While that may be so, what joy it brings when that same love flows reciprocally back to you. It may have been an act of kindness or an item given that you know your loved one is fond of. Whatever the gift, the love that prompted it is the true and lasting treasure. And certainly if we love someone, we want to protect them, so we give them our attention, our care, our nurturing, our best counsel and encouragement.

Before time began, God thought of us. He knew us entirely, and loved us completely. He knew what we would experience, yearn for, reject and respond to. He knew what we would gladly embrace; He knew our hidden thoughts and deepest feelings. Before we were, He was aware of what would be our insecurities and hopes, our failures and joys. He knew what dangers and temptations we would be susceptible to. Knowing us as He did, and loving us as only He can, He gave us His most prized and priceless treasure, His love gift; the gift of His only Son, Jesus.

Giving in it’s purest form “expects nothing in return”? Perhaps. But does not the heart long for acknowledgment from those it loves? Is there not pain when love is not returned? Is there not a sense of loss and sadness when a gift of love is overlooked, or worse yet, refused entirely? God loved. And because of that love, He gave. God so loved you, He so loved me, that He gave His one and only Son Jesus, to die for our sins. Why? So that anyone- you, me, whosoever would believe on His Son should not perish in eternal payment for our sins, but might have everlasting life.

But how much greater it is, when love is returned. God loved, so He gave. Does He demand we accept His gift and give Him our love in return? No. But what joy we can give Him by returning His love. Loving and giving, expecting nothing in return, is selfless and can be fulfilling. How wonderful when love is reciprocated, shared. And of course there is the benefit of eternal life rather than eternal punishment for us by receiving His gift!

Have you accepted God’s gift to you? Do you return the Lord’s love? He knows you in minute detail, and loves you infinitely, with a non-stop, regardless of us love, an everlasting love.

And that, my friend, is why we celebrate this holiday. That answers the question “Why Christmas?” Because, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. (John 3:16 New King James Version -NKJV)

What love! What a gift! Accept His gift of Jesus, who paid the price for forgiveness from your sins. Love Him back! It’s a win-win situation. We receive His love, He receives our love. Return that love He has given you, and pass it on to others needing to learn of and accept this awesome gift.

Gifts of Life

It was Good Friday 2016 when our youngest son came home to his family to heal from a surgery that saved him from much illness, pain and misery…and potentially much worse. My heart ached for him thru these past two years…month after month of ever increasing suffering. What a gift this successful surgery has been to our son, his wife and two children, my husband Bob and I as his parents, to his siblings and their families, to his church family, his friends and fellow classmates and yes even to those whose lives he will touch in the future by being a better nurse for having had this experience.  What a beautiful gift being made whole is to so many!

Going back in time, there was another and oh so much greater gift of life given.  It was given on Good Friday over 2000 years ago.  For you. For me. God’s only Son laid down His life for us because He was the only one who could pay the price required for us to be forgiven.

Forgiven of what?  Of our sins.  God is pure and holy.  He cannot look upon sin.  Yet He loved us and wanted a relationship with us.  He actually made us for that purpose!  But when Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey Him in the Garden of Eden, a curse of sin was passed down on all people to come which blocked us from God. So while we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus, who was not a sinner, gave His life so that all who would accept His gift of forgiveness could be in right relationship with God… all because of what Jesus did.  A GIFT … to make us whole.

Oh, the heart of the Father!  With mind-boggling love He loved us!  And oh the love of His Son!   He willingly, knowingly not only suffered, but DIED so we might receive the gift… a FREE GIFT … of forgiveness.  It cost Jesus everything.  It hurt the Father horribly.  But their love that looked beyond their pain, gave us this opportunity to love and be loved by God.

Let’s talk about gifts for a bit.  A gift is something given (obviously), but think about this: it also must be received, or it does not belong to the one intended to own it.  It must transfer from the giver to the receiver.  The giver can hold out the gift to give it away, but if the one intended to get the gift does not take the gift, the transfer didn’t happen and the gift was not received.

Have you received God’s gift?  Have you admitted you need a Savior to remove the curse of sin from your life?  It is not something you chose to have…just like my son did not choose the illness that came upon him… but there it was.  Sin is imposing its’ rule over you and forcing pain on you that you don’t have the ability to get rid of, no matter what you do.  The curse is on you, but wait!  The gift is here for you, ready–“just for the taking”!

What if my son had refused having surgery?  What if the surgery was scheduled, the nurses, anesthesiologist and surgeon were standing by ready to start the life-changing surgery, but he said,  “No thanks, I’ll pass.  Not interested.  I don’t need help from any doctor.  I know I can expect increasingly worse pain until I’m debilitated for the rest of my life, but that’s ok.  I’m good.”

Will you receive it?  Don’t make Jesus death for your freedom from the curse be for nothing!  He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.  He bore our sorrows and sicknesses so we might be free from them.  For what?  To be rejected, spurned, treated as if it was nothing?   That is what rejecting salvation does.  It dooms us to a life without hope and a hopeless eternity without God.  It is an automatic choice of death and damnation.

Rather, choose the gift offered! If you have not already, please pray this prayer with me. “Lord, I’ve done wrong.  I have sinned and need forgiveness.  I believe you are the Son of God, and I believe you shed your blood and died for the forgiveness of my sins.  I believe you rose again on the Third Day and are alive in heaven.  I accept Your gift of salvation and thank you for coming into my heart. Be my Lord and Savior I pray.  In Jesus Name and with thanks I pray.  Amen.

Oh what boundless love!!! How GREAT God is! Amazing, Ever-loving, never-abandoning us — the true lover of our soul has Given Us Eternal Life!!! What now? Read His Word, Talk to God (He knows your heart, so share it freely with Him…no regrets, just joy of forgiveness!) Get into a Bible-believing church family and grow strong in your spirit. Share the good news of this awesome, FREE gift with others!
 

Reality Smackdown!

Matthew 1:18-20. I would like to know Joseph and Mary if they lived in my community. She was favored of God, and he was a just man. Even though Joseph at first thought Mary had been unfaithful to him, he was considering “putting her away privately, not willing to make a spectacle of her.” This he considered and thought upon, rather than rashly acting out in a fit of rage and bitter hurt. Verse 20 “but while he thought about these things,” the angel of the Lord brought assurance of her faithfulness to him and their betrothal.

Matthew 1:21-25. Again I am touched by and made aware of what a Godly, honorable man Joseph was! He was smacked in the face with reality. No longer was he awaiting the fulfillment of the prophecy that some virgin lady would bear God’s Son, but his very own fiancee is said to be pregnant yet a virgin. That takes faith! Even with hearing it from an angel, that takes faith! But God’s spirit must have borne witness and rang with truth in his heart…something like “your lady is pure and honorable and has humbled herself to whatever lies ahead. She knows she very well might be scorned, face rejection from her beloved as well as local communities…” Talk about a smackdown…SMACK!!! Reality just hit! HELLO!! God WITH us, God changing our lives! God intercepting our day to day plans and wishes for a greater good. SMACK!!! MIRACLES upon miracles!!! Oh the tongue wagging and finger pointing and shunning by RELIGIOUS folks Mary and then Joseph agreed to by saying YES to God! WOW! Think about it! But thank God for their willingness to deny self and accept God’s challenge-filled blessings. Eternally grateful here in Idaho for the deep, life-changing faith of Mary and her fiance Joseph so many years ago. Point to ponder: Is my relationship with God such that I know hear and know His voice AND willingly obey?

COME UP HIGHER

COME UP HIGHER

“Come up higher!” God calls us to draw near
Leave the noises and distractions, His simple message is plain and clear
Read His Word, Heed His call, give thanks and believe—
Come up Higher, fully alive in Him—there’s so much to receive!

Come up higher. Do not focus on the bad;
The hard things in life, things that anger, confuse and make you sad
The things that you don’t understand—do not dwell on them so long
But rather give them all to Me; let me fill your heart with song.

Come up higher, why fight your way through life
Trying to force things to turn around—why live a life of strife?
My peace I’ve come to give you, My strength is for the weak
Lay aside your heavy burdens, Come to me – I’m all you seek.

Come up higher! There’s joy beyond compare
When you look to Me you’ll find refuge; My love with you I’ll share
I’ll wash away your sorrow, give guidance, peace and hope
You do not walk this road alone; let My Spirit help you cope.

Come up higher! It really is your choice
To struggle or live fully, follow the world or heed My voice.
Set your face like flint, keep the eyes of your heart on My Son
Veer not to the left or right from My truth so My will on earth can be done.

“Come up higher!” God calls to you and me
Let My Spirit lift you; come, child—live in Me and be free.
Rise above the cares of life and all that would ruin your day
Come up higher! Follow My voice, I Am the Truth, the Life, the Way.

Matthew 11:27-29 King James Version (KJV) 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

© 2012, by Patricia A Hunter

LORD, WHEN?

We sit alone and wonder, “Lord, when will my turn be?”

When all the while He’s calling, “Child, come; spend time with me.”

“Seek ye first the Kingdom,” is what we’re called to do

“And then,” He says, “these other things will be added unto you.”

We want the Lord to hear us, when we turn to Him and cry,

Yet to yield and do His bidding, we only weakly try.

There’s so much to distract us: our daily work and play–

That to our heavenly father, we seldom stop to pray.

We mean to do His bidding, and answer to His call,

But easily lose focus.  Our strength indeed is small.

Oh Father please forgive us.  Cause us to understand

The importance of obeying, and fulfilling our Master’s plan.

For souls about us are dying without a shred of hope.

They have no faith in Jesus, they don’t know how to cope.

They’re lost without a compass, so tired — in need of rest.

They do not know God loves them, and offers them His best.

That’s why we need God’s power to live His love each day

To shine God’s light upon the path for those who have lost their way.

His strength in us is perfect when our weakness we give to Him

He takes the foolish of this world to confound those who need Him.

Let’s lay aside the habits and things that now sidetrack

That keep us from God’s purpose, let’s to His will turn back.

It takes an effort on our part.  God does not do it all.

“Lord, we repent and turn to You.  Be thou our all in all.”

by Patricia A. Hunter/Pat Hunter, 1-7-2007

Like An Eagle

Found a treasure and wanted to share with you!

We’ve had a guest speaker in Sunday School subbing for regular teacher last week and this. Topic: Like An Eagle. It has been inspiring and informative. The Teacher researched eagles and compared them to our Faith Walk. Instead of just using Isa. 40:31, the Lord instructed her to include vs. 27-31. I started jotting down thoughts as she read the verses last week. After I shared my notes with her, I was asked to share them with the class today.  I woke up this a.m. to print notes and instead started typing   The Lord blessed me with COME UP HIGHER as well as, from the Sunday previous, the notes.   All are included here…I’m sharing in hopes you’ll be blessed as I have been by these.

Sunday AM, March 4/2012
PITY PARTY or FULL STEAM AHEAD?  The opening verses in Sunday School caught my attention and got me thinking.
“Why do you say, oh Jacob, and complain, oh Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord;
My cause is disregarded by my God?’
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints, nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall;
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint…”
Isaiah 40:27-31
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
To say “My way is hidden from the Lord,” to say “My cause is disregarded (not even seen) by my God” is to speak against the very essence of who God is, to ‘make Him less”, to actually belittle and limit Him.
For God, the “One, True God” with a capital G, knows all, sees all, cares about all. Is He not omnipresent, as in He is everywhere? Then why say my ‘way is hidden’? Not possible! He is there! He is in my presence, on my trail, walking my personal path of life.
Is He not omniscient, all-knowing? To say “my way is disregarded by my God” is to imply that God does not care enough to look my way and see my plight. God is love. He cannot “not care”!
To complain is to be untrusting. To complain is to show lack of trust. Our lack. Yet we put the blame on God. We lay the fault at His door.
Verse 31 calls us to come above the place where we are, the place of doubt, mistrust, fault-finding and blame. Against Almighty God, no less! Who are we to raise our wishes and wants up in the face of God, accusing Him of abandonment, of not caring, not bothering to notice us?
He calls us to let Him renew our strength. He has made the way–His way—for us. It is this: use your time in a God-ordained way to focus your attention on God, to wait on Him, to mount up (arise) using that renewed strength He has for usto come up higher, above the land of “poor me, I’m all alone, unseen, unloved, uncared for.”
Run! Don’t stay here moping—be strengthened and run! Run to the Rock whose ways are higher than our ways. Run on in life, knowing that in Him we will be freshly renewed again and again. In Him we’ll be able to walk and walk and walk on—not fainting along the way, but living strengthened.
Those who trust God, believe Him to be who He says He is, who He is, will turn to Him in their weakness and be empowered (eventually at least, even if we have to stop and correct wrong reaction at first), rather than accuse Him of not seeing, not being with them. To say such is to dispute who He is and take Him from His rightful place of authority and power. To turn to Him is to respectfully acknowledge who He is and give honor by trusting and relying on Him. By obeying and taking Him at His word. Trusting.
By doing so, we benefit. It is for our own personal good and our gain, this obeying and relying on Him. He is with you. He cares. Turn to Him.
It’s your choice. It’s your call. The God of the universe, the Creator, gives you the choice of running your own life or letting Him be in control. We can call the shots and be weak and unhappy, hosting our personal pity party and blaming God of not caring, not seeing our situation; or we can turn to Him and have our strength renewed, be able to run, able to rise above. Which will it be?

Poem written Sunday, March 11, 2012

COME UP HIGHER

“Come up higher!” God calls us to draw near
Leave the noises and distractions, His simple message is plain and clear
Read His Word, Heed His call, give thanks and believe—
Come up Higher, fully alive in Him—there’s so much to receive!

Come up higher. Do not focus on the bad;
The hard things in life, things that anger, confuse and make you sad
The things that you don’t understand—do not dwell on them so long
But rather give them all to Me; let me fill your heart with song.

Come up higher, why fight your way through life
Trying to force things to turn around—why live a life of strife?
My peace I’ve come to give you, My strength is for the weak
Lay aside your heavy burdens, Come to me – I’m all you seek.

Come up higher! There’s joy beyond compare
When you look to Me you’ll find refuge; My love with you I’ll share
I’ll wash away your sorrow, give guidance, peace and hope
You do not walk this road alone; let My Spirit help you cope.

Come up higher! It really is your choice
To struggle or live fully, follow the world or heed My voice.
Set your face like flint, keep the eyes of your heart on My Son
Veer not to the left or right from My truth so My will on earth can be done.

“Come up higher!” God calls to you and me
Let My Spirit lift you; come, child—live in Me and be free.
Rise above the cares of life and all that would ruin your day
Come up higher! Follow My voice, I Am the Truth, the Life, the Way.

Matthew 11:27-29 King James Version (KJV) 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Pat Hunter