Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday's Mourning Ministry - Redeemer

Monday's Mourning Ministry


This song, Redeemer, by Nicole C. Mullen was a favorite of Merry Katherine’s. She loved to belt it out, singing along with her stereo in the privacy of her bedroom. And how it ministered to her mommy’s heart as we played the song at her funeral. At the end of the song in the version Nicole sang “in Merry Katherine’s bedroom” and played at her funeral, Nicole sang,

“I know He’s alive; I talked with Him this morning,”

I could literally see Merry Katherine in Heaven, talking with Jesus face-to-face that morning of her funeral, and it brought life to me in my darkest hour…


Nicole C. Mullen

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?

And who taught the ocean you can only come this far?

And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?

Whose words alone can catch a falling star?


Well I know my redeemer lives!

I know my Redeemer lives!

All of creation testifies;

This life within me cries

I know my Redeemer lives!

The very same God that spins things in orbit

He runs to the weary, the worn, and the weak,

And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken,

They conquered death to bring me victory!


Now I know my Redeemer lives!

See, I know my Redeemer lives!

So let all creation testify,

Let this life within me cry,

I know my Redeemer– (Guess what y’all)

He lives to take away my shame; (O TY Jesus!)

He lives forever I'll proclaim

That the payment for my sin

Was the precious life he gave—

But now He's alive and

There's an empty grave!

And I know my Redeemer lives!

(You see I know my Redeemer lives!)

I know my Redeemer lives!

(I know that I know,

I know that I know; I know that I know…)

I know my Redeemer lives!

I know my Redeemer lives!

(See I know that My Redeemer lives

And because He lives I can face tomorrow!)

He lives! He lives!

(O thank You Jesus!

You see the tomb is empty, y’all!

He lives! Can I get a witness that He lives?

He walks and talks; He moves and breathes—

He really lives!

So, we gotta tell everybody,

He lives…

(He lives!

Yeah, yeah, yeah!)


The last verse of the version played at Merry Katherine’s funeral:

And I know my Redeemer lives

I know my Redeemer lives

Let all creation testify

Let this life within me cry

I know my Redeemer

I know my Redeemer lives

I know my Redeemer lives

I know my Redeemer lives

Because He lives I can face tomorrow

He lives! He lives!

I spoke with Him this morning!

He lives! He lives!

The tomb is empty!

{See for this version.}

And because He lives, and He lives in her, I have the promise that my baby lives too...

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.
Romans 8:10-11

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
John 11:25


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Little Lamb, Who Saved Thee?

Little Lamb, Who Saved Thee?

Today, I discovered that John Piper had included William Blake's wonderful poem, "Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?" in today's blog post:

Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?

November 29, 2009 | By: John Piper | Category: Commentary

William Blake was born yesterday, 1757. One of his most famous poems is one of my favorites. It’s a good launch into Advent.

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,

By the stream and o’er the mead;

Gave thee clothing of delight,

Softest clothing, woolly, bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,

Making all the vales rejoice?

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee. 

He is called by thy name, 

For He calls Himself a Lamb. 

He is meek, and He is mild;

He became a little child. 

I a child, and thou a lamb, 

We are called by His name.

Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Little Lamb, God bless thee!


In John Piper's comments, I wrote the following:

Thank you for reminding us of William Blake's wonderful poem; it is one of my favorites. 3 years ago, I lost my 19-year-old daughter; ever since, my Lord has led me to process through the immense grief by writing poetry. After discovering William Blake's poem, I wrote a sequel to it. I would love to share it with you and your readers:

Little Lamb, Who Saved Thee?

Little Lamb, who saved thee?

Dost thou know who saved thee?

Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,

By His living waters lead,

Gave thee clothing of bright white!

To sing His love ‘nd bring delight,

Gave to thee Sweet Spirit’s voice—

Heaven’s angels all rejoice!

Little Lamb, who saved thee?

Dost thou know who saved thee?

Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.

Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.

‘Twas Love Himself who saved thee!

Love’s own Lamb saved little lamb:

God sent down His only Son,

Th’ cruel cross to die upon,

T’ save your soul from Satan’s wrath;

O what Love our dear God hath!

Little lamb, God loves thee!

Little lamb, God loves thee!

Poem - Little Lamb, Who Saved Thee? - Angie Bennett Prince - 7/31/08, revised 11/29/09

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday's Faith - Merry Katherine’s “Talk” with Me Thanksgiving Day!

Friday's Faith

Merry Katherine’s

“Talk” with Me

Thanksgiving Day!

From my journal on Thanksgiving Day:

11/26/09 First time in 30 years (or maybe ever in my life), Tommy and I have spent Thanksgiving alone. Amidst our grief, we needed it and we loved it. And it has been just what we needed—no demands—just rest, relax, and recreate! …And grieve, and cry, and create!


Then, as I began my prayer to God, Merry Katherine was there (in my spirit)… responding to my words, and so I responded back… As you may notice, I cry and cry throughout this dialogue with my precious child…


I miss her Lord.

I’m right here, Mommy.

As I read Romans 8, I am crying over the tender mercies of God toward you. He did things for you that you could not do for yourself. He did things for you I could not do for you either…

I know Mommy. He’s a good God, and I didn’t deserve any of it.

I know precious. Neither do I. He is a good God. He even loves us “in spite” of ourselves. He is so merciful.

Baby, I felt so helpless with you. I couldn’t stop you from your self-destructive path, and it was killing me.

I know Mommy. I couldn’t stop me either. But God did.

He kept you from running too far, didn’t He baby? (More tears) He did for you what I couldn’t. I am so thankful He is such a big God and wise God and loving God. He helped us to allow you to hit bottom, then He wooed you back to Himself. I can never thank Him enough for that. (More tears)

It’s all good now Mommy.

That’s hard for me to climb into because I can’t see any of it! I get stuck in the tragic ending and in all our efforts that were so ineffective to stop you… (More tears)

But Mommy, God calls you to live by faith—to believe in what you can’t see.

That’s why I need to steep myself in Scripture to remind myself of what IS true even though I can’t see it all yet…

Mommy, tell me what He did for me. Write it down to encourage you and to help others too.

You’re right. I know God gets frustrated when we don’t “see” things by faith, and then we miss out on such a blessing. I am tempted to pull away from Scripture, and just want you back here (still want to have my way)—and then I get stuck there.

Faith is not easy Mommy, but you’ve gotta have it or you’re not gonna make it. You’re staying steeped in the sad.

But it IS sad. Four years ago today, you were sitting in my lap at Aunt Dianne’s for Thanksgiving…

I know Mommy and that was sweet, but can you remember too how miserable I was? I had just gotten kicked out of Lee University!

I do remember that. I guess I’ve got to stay steeped in reality and into God’s will and purposes. I know He’s got things He wants me to do in this world, and I’m still so stuck in all my sadness. –You’ve always been such a realist. Thank you for bringing me back to the realities of God’s truth and of your present peace that is such a stark contrast to your struggles here. I guess on this Thanksgiving Day, I need to stay plugged in to the real and the ultimate reality of all that God has done for you, and IS doing for you, and ever praise and thank Him for that.

‘Atta girl, Mommy! You can do it. I’m pulling for you, and God will give you the strength.

I love you baby and miss you so!

I love you too Mommy, and just remember I’m always right here with you!

(More tears) Thank you baby, for your sweet reminders. Happy Thanksgiving, Baby.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mommy! Tell Daddy ‘Hey,’ and I love him!

I will Baby Girl! (More tears) He’s not doing so well either—he misses you terribly and wants to hug you again! Please pray for him.

Tell Daddy I’m pulling for him, and I pray for him ev-ver-day!


(Ev-ver-day was an inside joke she and her Daddy had! When Tommy visited her kindergarten class for lunch one day, he sat by a little boy named Jackson who was a best friend to Merry Katherine. Jackson looked up at her daddy and said, “Did you know Merry Katherine ‘body-slams’ me on the playground?!” Tommy of course said, “No!” And Jackson replied –the now infamous quote we always say— “Yup, ev-ver-day!”

(You must remember, Merry Katherine has two older brothers, so she had to be pretty tough to survive her childhood!)


So, at Merry Katherine’s request, I want to share with you the things I found in Romans 8 yesterday that reminded me of all the many things God has done for Merry Katherine, and many of the things He is going to do for her…

From Romans 8:

Ø Therefore, there is now no condemnation for Merry Katherine who is in Christ Jesus because

Ø through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set her free from the law of sin and death.

Ø For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did for Merry Katherine by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

Ø And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in her (and in us)

Ø Her mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Ø (Since) Christ is in Merry Katherine, her body is dead because of sin, yet her spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Ø And (since) the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in her, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to her mortal body through His Spirit, who lives in her.

Ø …For Merry Katherine did not receive a spirit that makes her a slave again to fear, but she received the Spirit of daughter-ship.

Ø And by Him she cries, “Abba, Father.” (“Daddy!”) The Spirit Himself testifies with her spirit that she is God’s child.

Ø Now (since) Merry Katherine is His child, then she is His heir—an heir of God and a co-heir of Christ, (since) indeed she shared in His sufferings in order that she may also share in His glory.

Ø …(Her past and my) present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in her and in us…

Ø Merry Katherine will be liberated from creation’s bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Ø She who has the first-fruits of the Spirit groaned inwardly as she waited eagerly for her adoption as daughter, the redemption of her body. For in this hope, she was saved. But hope that’s seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what she already has? But if we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently.

Ø …In the same way, the Spirit helped Merry Katherine in her weakness. She did not know what she should pray, but the Spirit Himself interceded for her with groans that words cannot express.

Ø And He who searched her heart knew the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit interceded for her in accordance with God’s will.

Ø And we know that in ALL THINGS God worked for the good of Merry Katherine who loved Him;

Ø She had been called according to His purpose.

Ø For, Merry Katherine whom God foreknew (knew before the beginning of time, before He created her), He also predestined (chose before the beginning of time itself), to be conformed to the likeness of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Ø And those (like Merry Katherine) He predestined, He also called;

Ø Those (like Merry Katherine) He called, He also justified (made them as just and holy as Jesus Christ their Savior);

Ø Those (like Merry Katherine) He justified, He also glorified (brought them into Eternal Glory to share in Christ’s glory).

Ø What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for Merry Katherine who can be against her?

Ø He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for her and all of us—how will He not also, along with (giving to her and to us) His own Son, graciously give her (and us) all things?

Ø Who will bring any charge against Merry Katherine whom God Himself has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Ø Who is he who condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and also interceded for her (as He does for us).

Ø Who (could) separate Merry Katherine from the love of Christ? (Could) trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No!

Ø In all these things she was more than conqueror through Him who loves her.

Ø For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (was nor) will be able to separate Merry Katherine (or us) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


And I say to God's words, Amen and Amen. So be it!

Thank You, Lord, for Your wonders to my child and to me and to all Your children! And thank You for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

May God bless and keep each one of you close to His heart, for He loves you just as much as He does Merry Katherine, indeed, just as much as He loves His own Son!