Tag Archive | Bible

A Joyful Noise

Psalm 100:1 – “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.”

How do you make a joyful noise? Do you sing? Do you play an instrument? What is the noise you make that is joyful to the Lord?

I find the giggle from a baby makes me smile…that’s joyful. The chirping of birds outside on a sunny day….that’s joyful. The splashing of a trickling stream or a roaring waterfall….another joyful noise.

Personally, I love to make a joyful noise to the Lord with my voice. I love to sing (and those of you who follow this blog know that!) and most of all, I love to sing praises to God. I also enjoy playing the piano. Though I’m not at all an expert at it, I do spend a lot of time expressing myself through my piano music as well. To me, it’s a joyful noise.

Tonight, I got to enjoy hearing a joyful noise from my daughter! She performed in her first musical instrument concert….a recorder concert. I fully expected to go and have my ears assaulted. After all, how good could a fourth grade ensemble of recorder players sound? I fully expected to hear the occasional squeak from misplaced fingers on the holes or a note played out of rhythm, but I didn’t notice much of that this evening.


These kids were having fun up there! They didn’t care if it was perfect. They didn’t care if they missed an occasional note. All they cared about was if their parents were watching them from the audience and seeing them applaud at the end of each song.

I couldn’t help but think about what God thinks when we attempt to make a joyful noise to Him. He doesn’t care if we’re off-key; he doesn’t care if we forget the words and just hum the tune. All He cares about is the fact that we are trying to show our love to Him by praising His name.

God loves joyful noises. I know this is true. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have given us so many beautiful things to hear!

When was the last time you made a “joyful noise?” There’s no better time than the present!


A Prince of a Dad and His Princess

I thought it was time to get an entry on this blog! I can’t believe how many days have passed since I’ve done a post!! Life gets busy and time flies….you all know those cliche’s.

This weekend, I had the privledge to be part of Joy El’s Father/Daughter Connection. (No, I wasn’t a participant….I don’t meet the age requirements for the retreat!) I got to help as a staff member. What a delight to see these daddies and daughters interact with each other!

The theme of the weekend was “A Prince of Dad and His Princess”. The royal theme was carried out all weekend long. Dads and daughters alike were issued sparkly foil crowns to wear. Some dads were really into it and wore their crown all weekend long (my hubby did)! I was glad that my husband and daughter were able to be a part of this special time together this weekend. They couldn’t go last year due to Dave being head coach for Katie’s softball team.  This year was different and they were both excited to be able to come.

This is not from this weekend, but I thought this showed their "royal" status quite well!

This is not from this weekend, but I thought this showed their “royal” status quite well!

The very first evening as the speaker spoke and gave his testimony, the dads had his full attention. During the course of the weekend, I never saw this change. He had them interested in hearing what he had to say about this all-important relationship. That first evening, Prince Scott (the speaker) asked his princess wife (Fran) up to the stage to share her testimony with the girls. Soon, everyone was dismissed for some free time before bed. I went to run the camp store. As a Development Coordinator for the camp, part of my job is to interact with our guests and donors as much as possible, so I was chatting with each one who came into the store. One dad and his daughter came in, and I asked the little girl how she was liking the retreat so far. She smiled at me and said, “I like it a lot.”

Her daddy said, “Tell Miss Miriam the special thing you did tonight.”

She looked at me and grinned, the smile lighting up her face, and very shyly she said, “I asked Jesus into my heart tonight!”

Her dad explained that after the evening session, she asked him if they could talk and she shared that she wanted to ask Jesus to be her Savior. What an honor this princely dad had to lead his princess to the Lord!

Of course, being the emotional person that I am (I get that honestly from my prince of a dad), I immediately got tears in my eyes as I thought just how special that moment was and how neither of them will ever forget it. (I’m getting all teary just writing about it again!)

The weekend wasn’t all about speakers and learning sessions, there was a great amount of fun involved too! The dads and their daughters got to ride go karts, canoe, archery, play games, mini golf, and my husband’s favorite….gaga ball. Now gaga ball is just that….”gaga”. It’s crazy! It’s like a mix of dodge ball, volley ball and foursquare all rolled into one. Everyone is “gaga” for gaga ball.

Dave the "king" of gaga ball!

Dave the “king” of gaga ball!

The pic of Dave playing gaga ball is courtesy of my boss who also attended with his two princesses.

Saturday evening was the highlight and culmination of my purpose in being here for the weekend….the Royal Banquet. What a delightful evening! The “princes” picked up their “princesses” at their cabins, gave them a flower and escorted them to the Royal Banquet where they enjoyed a lovely candlelight dinner. The food was awesome and I had the privledge of being the one to decorate and plan the flow of the evening. I greeted each prince and princess as they entered the Royal Dining Hall and they were escorted to their tables. I truly think each dad appreciated the ambience of the evening and the time spent to make it special for them. I sort of felt like Cinderella at the ball….I didn’t want the evening to end. 🙂

Royal Father/Daughter Banquet!

Royal Father/Daughter Banquet!

This weekend wasn’t just about having fun. It was about building the father/daughter relationship. It was about giving them time to connect and bond away from the hustle and bustle of the world. It was about giving the opportunity for them to share their hopes and dreams. It was about the chance to work on issues in their relationship. It was also, and most importantly, about these men and young ladies being able to connect with God.

I really think that happened this weekend. Seeds have been planted, relationships strengthened, love has grown deeper.

Our theme verse for the weekend was I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” No one will be able to leave here this weekend not knowing that they can be royalty in the kingdom of God. He is our King and we are His princes and princesses. I know that one little girl came out of darkness this weekend…I can’t wait to hear how many more did the same!

I’m so glad that Dave and Katie got to be a part of this. I’m so thankful for my “prince” of a husband who has proved to be the best dad a girl could ever hope for. I’m thankful too, that my dad has been a “prince” as well throughout my life. He has given me a godly example to follow.  God bless all His princes and princesses of this world! Can’t wait to get my royal crown one day in heaven….and I’m sure it will be much more wonderful than a simple paper crown. It will be so wonderful that none of us will be able to comprehend it’s glory!


Thy Word Have I Hid…

As part of my job, I had the priveldge of attending my daughter’s Released Time Bible Program today. She was excited that I was coming.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all it has been around 33 years since I was a Released Time student. Surely, it was different than it was then. But, you know what? It really hasn’t changed all that much! All the children still recite bible verses, they all still hear a bible lesson, and they still sing songs.

imagesCAWCRD17I observed as the children recited their verses. One sweet little girl was struggling with her verse. Her listener was patient and helped her learn the verse. Within a few moments, she was able to recite it three times in a row, unassisted. “Phew,” she said as she looked at me. “I wasn’t sure I’d ever get that one!”

Today was awards day too. Katie was thrilled that her name was called not just once, but twice! She got two prizes today and I learned that she’s just a handful of points or so away from earning her bible! With a little determination, she could accomplish that this year yet! There were many who received bibles today. Some of them cradled them as the precious possession it is. Others put it in their bag they brought to class. Hopefully, they realize what a real treasure they have!

There were 3 children in 5th grade who had the required points to earn free camp! There were congratulations all around for this accomplishment! (I get to see these kids again this summer!)

I saw a young boy who was rattling off verses left and right. You could tell his parents help him learn verses. He had them perfected!

One listener was telling her two students about a Mother/Son retreat this weekend. I heard the one boy say, “Money is really tight right now. I don’t think Mom would bring me.”

My ears perked up and I asked the listener if I could talk to him. I was able to tell him about the Campership Fund we have to help children who can’t afford to go to camp. “I doubt if I could get money from that. I won’t be going to camp either, but I’d really like to go!” I told him he could use funds from this account for both things if his mother would let him. “She won’t if she has to pay it back.” he said.

“She wouldn’t have to pay it back; it’s a gift to you to come to camp!”

“Wow, that’s cool! Am I allowed to tell my mom?”

“Of course!” I replied. “That’s why I told you!” I wrote down the information for him, because we all know 10-11-year-old boys aren’t real good at remembering things!

“You made my day, lady!” he said.

I was amazed to hear these children recite so many verses! I recalled the first verse I ever learned….Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That was in kindergarden.  When I got to Released Time, it was Psalm 119:11 – “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”

It’s wonderful to think about how these verses will be forever a part of these kids lives! What verses do you have hidden in your heart?


Hoping to Catch the Book “Bug”

Everyone around here is sick. Viruses are running rampant. Fortunately for us, they have not visited our home as long as they have others. But there is one “bug” we’d like to catch here…the book “bug”.

Getting Katie to read is like asking a cat to take a bath. (Oh yeah, I forgot….our cat does take baths!) Okay, getting Katie to read is like asking the pope to convert to Judaism. (How’s that for impossible?) It’s not that she can’t read, she can! (And she does it well, I might add!) This little munchkin was hiding a little known fact from us that her teacher shared with us this week at our parent/teacher conference. She can read so well that she’s reading and comprehending at a 9th grade level! Pretty impressive considering she’s only in 4th!

Now, here’s what I don’t get about this. Her homework every night (and this is about the only homework she has) is to read for 30 minutes. I would love to take 30 minutes or more a day and just dedicate it to uninterrupted reading time. There was once a day that you couldn’t get my nose out of a book! Now, I don’t have time to get my nose into one for more than a few minutes. I get books read one chapter, one day at a time.

My favorite childhood author (that I still love to read!).

My favorite childhood author (that I still love to read!).

I’ve tried introducing her to my favorite books that I read over and over again at her age. Beverly Cleary books were always a part of my collection. When the bookmobile would come to my neighborhood, the librarian would already have her newest Beverly Cleary books ready for me because she knew that’s what I’d want. I don’t think there’s a Beverly Cleary book I haven’t read! Besides Beverly Cleary, I’ve attempted to introduce her to the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Certainly, she would love these books as I have. After all she likes watching reruns of “Little House on the Prairie”.  This is a series I’ve read time and time again as well, almost to the point of memorization. But did she fall in love with them? Nope, not a chance.

982e8da92bc425703b7968575d5c413e_galleryimage_galleryWe’ve tried Nancy Drew. We’ve tried Judy Blume. I thought maybe I’d even stoop to trying the Captain Underpants series (no, that’s not going to happen!). Nothing seems to spark her interest in developing a love for reading. So, each night, like a torture session, this child sits down to get in her manditory half hour and stops every 4-5 minutes to say, “Am I done yet?” Which then makes that half hour more like 20 minutes of actual reading time. Ugh!!

Now that we know she can read on a higher level, I have a whole other world of books I want to introduce her to! I am hoping, and praying, that one of these books or authors will spark her interest. I want her to get the bug! Goodness knows I’ve exposed her enough. Did someone sneak her an anti-reading vaccine? I’m beginning to wonder!

During our parent/teacher conference, her teacher and I tried to stress to her that if she has this ability to do well, she should continue to develop it. In other words, the more you read the more you know, the more intelligent you become.We just want to see her do well.

II Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” More than just reading some of these inspirational and fun to read authors, my hope is that she would enjoy reading the Bible. She’s a new believer. Again, we’ve tried to guide her and point out how important it is to spend time in the Word. That’s a struggle as well. She continually starts in Genesis, gets bored part way through and quits. No matter how many times we’ve told her to try a different book of the Bible, she insists she should start at the beginning. How many of us as adults get stuck in that frame of thinking?

I used to think it would be best to start at the beginning of the Bible too. But, like Katie, would get frustrated by the time I got to Levitcus and would slowly stop reading on a daily basis. Now that I’m older (and hopefully a bit wiser) I pick a book of the Bible, read it, and then go on to another. I find I get through the Bible more frequently this way than doing it “in order.”

So, I pray that the book bug will make it’s way to this house. Better yet, the Bible bug!


♫Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to camp I go!♫

Katie loves camp! Katie would live at camp if we’d let her! She wants to spend all her free moments there, experiencing all the activities and fun that can be had.

This weekend, she gets to learn about being a “princess” in God’s Kingdom. I think she’s most excited because the speaker for the weekend is also a balloon artist and makes really cool stuff out of balloons.

Katie at camp this past summer. She was seriously having fun...she just likes to make goofy faces!

Katie at camp this past summer. She was seriously having fun…she just likes to make goofy faces!

One thing that I love about her being at camp so much is that she is getting good solid biblical teaching while she’s there. I’m excited that she loves camp so much, especially when I think of all the options for kids out there and how many of them aren’t really good choices. Things aren’t like they were when we grew up.

That's Katie in the red shirt making the goofy face!

That’s Katie in the red shirt making the goofy face!

Katie told me she’d like to work at camp someday. She has ideas of taking over my job! Well, sure, if she thinks she can handle it! As I greeted parents coming in to register this evening, she insisted on standing with me. “I want to help,” she said.

I told her she couldn’t do my job. She said, “Sure I can. I just say hi to everybody.” (Well, it’s a little more than that Katie!) I explained that if she did that when I was supposed to do it and if she did it better than I did, then I wouln’t have a job. “Nah,” she said. They’d let you do it till I was old enough to do it for you.” (Really? She does have this all figured out!)

I won’t discourage her if she’d like to pursue a camp career when she’s older. I just hope it will be at a camp close to home! I wouldn’t want her to go to camp permanently and I’d never see her! Meanwhile, until she is old enough to work full-time at camp, I’ll let her go as much as she wants. It’ll only help her as she grows in her walk with God!

Katie and her friend Rachel

Katie and her friend Rachel at Camp Joy El.