Thank You for Your Prayers

 

Suffering For Christ Scripture Painting © SDH

My Dear Friends,

 I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me during the past several months.

You can’t imagine how much your prayers have meant to me during my recent illness.

The Lord knows who you are and I pray that He will give you a crown of glory someday for your faithful intercession.

 One of my medical team remarked when he saw the level of pain I was enduring each day, “Either you must pray a lot or there are a lot of people praying for you.”

“A lot of both!” I told him.

 This medical professional witnessed your faithfulness in prayer and gave glory to God!

 I want you to know that your lives are beautiful blessings to me, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to all whose lives you touch each day.

 May you know that you have continued to be in my prayers daily. Even though I have not been able to post or visit you for many months now, you have always been in my heart.

 Just before I became so ill with a severe flare up of the auto-immune illnesses that I suffer from, the Lord had given me a beautiful song, “Eye Has Not Seen.”

It was inspired by a beautiful scripture: “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

 The song is about what the Word Of God promises.

Not long before I’d recorded it, a person had written to me that I should not “quote platitudes that were not true.”

 A platitude is a beautiful, usually moral statement, that has been quoted so often it has lost its meaning.

 How could I tell this person that the promises in the Bible were not platitudes~that all of the promises of God in Christ Jesus were true.

I believed this because the Bible said so and I had experienced God’s faithfulness to His Word many times throughout my life. Yet I had no way of convincing anyone of what it takes faith to believe.

 The Word of God reveals that all faith, if it is genuine, must be tested.

 “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 -NLT

 These Scriptures along with many others, teach us that God tests our faith through trials and suffering.

 “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT

 Our suffering and trials also bond us together with our Lord Jesus in a special way, so we should rejoice in them, Peter wrote.

 Not long after I had written “Eye Has Not Seen” and all of the songs for my Easter Album “Paths Of Grace,” it was as if the Lord took me to “God’s School of Affliction,” and then I literally felt like I had died and gone to hell. 😦

 Many times I felt like Jesus crying out on the cross, “My God, my God, Why hast Thou forsaken me!”

The good news is, despite my long dark sojourn in the worst pit of my life (so far) ~ Jesus never failed to comfort me in my pain and agony.

And I have every confidence that He will be with me no matter what nightmare I have yet to endure. God truly IS in control!

For He has taught me through my trials and suffering, that as long as I have Jesus, though I might lose everything else, I have everything when I have Him.

 To have Jesus Christ is to have Heaven right here on earth. Though I may lose my health, possess no wealth, no prosperity, lose my ability to work, live in chronic pain day and night, my Jesus is still with me and He won’t ever leave me. He won’t give up on me.

Though I may be able to do nothing for Him, He still loves me and He will go on loving me because He suffered and died on the cross to ransom me to become His very own. And when I suffer, I am sharing a bond with Him that I would never have known otherwise.

This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Philippians 1:29

 Again, I can’t thank all who prayed for me enough. You will never know this side of eternity what you mean to me.

 May God bless you all with a thousand reminders of His immeasurable love for you, and meet your every need, in Jesus’ name, amen.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you again for your prayers!!!

Love Always & Forever in Christ,

Suzanne

 Here is the Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” May the Lord use this song and video to bless and encourage you today!

Original Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” © ℗ 2018 SD Harden All rights reserved. All Glory to God.

Angel Song © 2018 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Painting © 2018 SD Harden All Glory To God. Original Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” © ℗ 2018 SD Harden All rights reserved. All Glory to God. Scripture references: King James version Bible, New Living Translation © 2007 Tyndale House Foundation All Rights Reserved.

 

The Angel of the Lord Encircles Me

Angel-of-the-Lord-Scripture-pic

My prayer song ” The Angel of the Lord Encircles Me” was inspired by Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them.”

According to the Strong’s Bible Concordance, the “angel of the Lord” often referred to the “theophanic angel” ~ a divine visitation of God appearing in the form of an angel.

Many bible scholars believe that the theophanic angel was the pre-incarnate Christ.  The word means, “messenger of God, an angel, prophet, priest, or teacher.

The words “encamp about” mean to “dwell in, or all around as in a circuit, on every side.”

The words in the definition convey the idea that the angel  (the messenger from God who is a teacher, priest, and prophet) is building a strong fortress all around the person he is guarding.

If a person fears the Lord, (by fear, the Psalmist means, honors, is morally reverent, and afraid to dishonor or offend the Lord), and if they abide in God’s strong fortress with the angel, and if that Angel is the Lord Jesus Christ, then something truly wonderful is going to happen.

That Angel is going to deliver them.

According to the Strong’s Bible Concordance, the word deliver means: “to remove, to draw out, equip for war, rescue, be armed, to make strong, to brace, to be saved.”

What are we going to be delivered from?

  • Jesus is going to deliver us from whatever overwhelms, overcomes, or oppresses us.
  • Jesus is going to remove whatever hinders us from advancing toward fulfilling His purpose in our life.
  • First, Jesus saves our souls and forgives all our sins, washing them away as far as the east is from the west when we invite him into our heart to be our Lord and Savior.

“Therefore Jesus is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:25

  • Jesus is going to heal us from whatever soul sickness that blinds us and keeps us from knowing and growing in Him.

“He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.” Psalm 107:20

  • Jesus is committed to equipping us for spiritual battle; God is on our side~ He wants us to succeed:

“God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.” Psalm 18:32-34

  • Jesus make us strong through helping us to read and understand His word, and giving us the grace and power to obey it:

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” ~Philippians 2:13

  • Jesus delivers us so that we can overcome temptation.

“And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

  • Jesus is going to give us victory over what had formerly overcome us:

“For this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4

  • Finally, Jesus delivers us from our enemies when we put our trust in Him. He is committed to making us strong and whole.

“To them that have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending Thy Son Jesus Christ to by my Protector and Guardian, Savior, Redeemer, and Friend, who ever guards me night and day through His Holy Spirit who lives inside my heart. May You help me to truly understand all of the wonderful things my Lord Jesus does for all who trust Him as their Savior and Lord, in Jesus holy name, amen. 

The Prayer Poem and Illustration are from “Paths of Love Illustrated Prayer Song Book: Prayer Songs Celebrating God’s Love” ©  2015 All Rights Reserved.

“The Angel of The Lord Encircles Me” is a comforting, inspirational 2 minute 45 second Video featuring my prayer poem and original piano solo, “The Angel of the Lord Encircles Me,” from my Album and Prayer Song Book, “Paths of Love.”

Video Produced, Directed & Narrated by SD Harden with additional videography by MC Harden © 2018 All Rights Reserved.

Original Piano Solo “The Angel of The Lord Encircles Me”featured in the video is on the album “Paths of Love: Songs for Worship and Meditation” © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

WHERE ANGELS DANCE

PRAISE-YE-THE-LORD
Praise Ye The Lord

 

If someone had said to me back in 2008 that in the next nine years I would publish nineteen music albums of original music I would have told them that they were insane.

Yet unbelievably I have just published my nineteenth music album.

“Where Angels Dance,” features vibrant worship instrumentals that were all inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Music was never one of my gifts growing up, nor did I ever want anything to do with any of the performance arts.

I was passionate about Art. I never sat down without a pen and sketchpad.

I had taught art, worked as a freelance artist, written and illustrated my own books, and earned my college degree in art & writing. I was certain that God had called me to be a children’s book author and Illustrator.

One day I fell asleep after taking my dog for a walk.

I dreamed I went to Heaven.

There I saw angels and saints dancing before Christ’s Throne.

They were joyfully worshiping the Lord.

Beautiful music was playing in the background as they danced.

When I awoke from my dream, the music was echoing in my mind.

The Lord spoke to my heart, “You can play that song.”

The keyboard that my sister had given us was in front of me.

I felt compelled to try even though there was no reason I should have any hopes of playing that beautiful song from my dream.

Except that the Lord had said I could. And if God said I could, it must be true since He can’t lie.

But what if I was just imagining that God said it?

The only way to find out would be to try…

I sat down and played that song. It was amazing but somehow, I just knew how to do it.

My version wasn’t as lovely as what I had heard in the dream, but it sounded similar.

When the Lord taught me how to play the piano, it was purely by faith. All He asked of me was that I believed His word to me, “You can play that song.”

After I played that one song, He said, “From now on you can play any song I teach you. Just believe.”

“He spoke and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:9

Though I had never wanted to be a musician before, suddenly, I loved worshiping God with this beautiful new gift.

Then the Lord asked me to SHARE the praise music He’d taught me to play.

I froze. It was one thing to play these songs that sounded amazing to me just for the Lord in my worship time, but quite another to make them public.

FEAR & DOUBT reared their ugly heads and whispered, “You know absolutely nothing! These songs only sound good to you because you don’t know anything at all about music. You are only an artist, you aren’t really a musician. No one will listen to this music from God and everyone will make fun of you.”

It was then that I decided, “Maybe the Lord wants me to take piano lessons.”

However, after going through three piano teachers and never being able to quite finish even one beginner book because reading notes was such a challenge for me, I finally realized it was not what the Lord wanted for me.

 “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

One teacher looked at a printed musical score from an original composition from the Lord and just shook her head, mystified. “This is way beyond you.”

“But I created it, I mean, God created it through me,” I said.

One great thing did come of my piano lessons though. I loved learning the music scales! Somehow that is the one thing that I could master and the Lord helped me use this knowledge to compose many prayer songs.

Yet my music from the Lord sounded very different from other contemporary Christian music.

I had to come to terms with the fact that its true Creator, the risen Lord Jesus Christ who lives in my heart, was composing His music through me just the way He wanted it.

I had to trust Him that it was good enough.

This was going to take a significant leap of faith and courage.

When I had been working as a professional artist, I would never submit anything unless it rose to my “perfectionist” standards.

To me, my piano prayers were a beautiful gift from the Lord that I played back to Him in worship. They did not have to measure up to any human standard of musical taste or preference for I knew that Jesus had made them, loved them, and accepted them.

Now the Lord was asking me to share His songs with the public who did measure its music to a standard. I had no idea what those musical standards or preferences were. I had absolutely no musical knowledge. It was not something the Lord told me to study or learn about. He just asked me to play His songs~then share them.

“Oh Lord, I’m just an artist, not a real musician. Do You really want me to share Your songs?”

Suddenly I realized I could say, “Yes or no, Lord,” to His beautiful gift.

But then, He had laid down His life for me. He had said to His Father when faced with a humiliating, agonizing death on the cross just to bear all my sins, to be made a curse for me so that I might have eternal life with Him, “Father, not My will but Thy will.”

He knew people would make fun of Him, scorn Him, reject Him, that He would even have to face the cold dark waters of death, the stench of hell where His beloved Father, from whom He had never been separated could not come. He faced all of this to pay the ransom for my soul.

How could I, if I truly loved my Savior, not lay down my life, my will for Him? How could I not share His songs, come what may?

True love lays down its life for Jesus.

I realized then, it’s not about me, or my will, but what God wants to do through me, even if I end up looking like a fool.

Love obeys her Lord and Savior no matter what He asks her to do for Him.

The most amazing thing I’ve learned through this experience is that God would choose an ordinary sinful woman like me, saved only by the almighty grace of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and say, “Here is a gift. All you need to do is receive it by faith.”

Just like the gift of salvation He offers each of us in Christ.

And then it terrified me that He would take that same ordinary Christian woman, and say, “Now use that gift for My glory!”

I’m not perfect, far from it, nor is any of my music.

But God uses imperfect vessels.

God up and turned me into a musician for HIS glory-not mine.

He put in me a gift I knew absolutely NOTHING about.

How I thank the Lord for the way He has used the gift of music to lovingly humble me in all of my other gifts.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21(The Message Bible)

Most of the music the Lord gives me is inspired by the Bible.

The songs all begin as prayers, and I will praise the Lord forever for giving me this wonderful way to worship Him.

This music is very special for it truly is a gift from God. It never ceases to amaze and humble me how He plays His music through me.

My fervent prayer is that many people  will be  blessed and encouraged by this gift of God’s music. For all of the songs are essentially prayers ascending to heaven in a musical form breathed into life by the God who lives in me.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, may You use this music and story to bless and encourage someone today to step out in faith to trust You and believe that with God all things are truly possible, and that when we walk by faith, we honor and glorify You, even as Abraham did so long ago, who, “staggered not at the promises of God…” Thank You, Lord, In Jesus name, amen.

 

He Staggered Not

 

 

 

 

 

The Cherished Of The Lord


THE CHERISHED OF THE LORD

The cherished of the Lord

Shall dwell within His heart,

And God shall cover them with grace

And from them not depart.

They shall dwell between

God’s shoulders like a child,

And there shall they find peace and hope

Through every stormy trial.

God who robes Himself with light

And dwells in clouds above,

Will hide them from the wind and rain

And shield them with His love.

The cherished of the Lord

Will ever sing God’s praise

Extolling Him who gave them life,

They’ll worship Him always.

(Prayer Poem & Scripture Painting) Copyright 2017 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Psalm 68:4 (KJV) “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah, and rejoice before him.”

Psalm 104:1-3 (ERV) “My soul, praise the Lord! Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with glory and honor. You wear light like a robe. You spread out the skies like a curtain. You built your home above them. You use the thick clouds like a chariot and ride across the sky on the wings of the wind.”
Deuteronomy 33:12 (KJV) “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, may You bless all who read this prayer, poem, and bible verse to know that You cherish them beyond anything they could ever imagine. 

Your word says that Your thoughts toward us outnumber the grains of sand by the sea in Psalm 139: 18, and Psalm 40 says You are always thinking about us. 

You don’t ever forget a single one of us though sometimes we may feel forgotten in our pain, loneliness, trial, or whatever challenge we may be facing. You are with us. The Bible is true. 

Isaiah 49:16 reveals that You have engraved a picture of us on the palm of Your hand and that “our walls” are ever before You. You see all our needs and the challenges that we are facing. You will never fail or forsake us. 

You love us without measure and that love is unconditional. You forgive all our sins and wash them as far away from us as far as the east is from the west according to Psalm  103: 12. 

That same Psalm declares: “The Lord has always loved His followers and He will continue to love them forever and ever!” Psalm 103:17 (ERV) Lord, thank You for Your great love for each of us! 

Lord, thank You for Your grace and mercy, and for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we could be saved and given eternal life with You. We love You. In Jesus name, amen.

 

Angelsong © 2017 SD Harden All Rights Reserved. “Cherished Of The Lord Prayer Poem” & Scripture Painting © 2017 SDHarden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Quotations from The King James Bible (Public Domain) and The Easy To Read Version Bible © 2006 Bible League International; Paths of Hope, He Loves Your More By Far, © 2017 SD Harden  All Rights Reserved. All Glory To God

Make A Joyful Noise

Make A Joyful Noise

In my painting “Make A Joyful Noise” the flute player’s hands are large, and seem clumsy as she plays her instrument. 

In God’s word, the Psalmist tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. It does not matter whether we are talented singers or musicians. 

He just says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…” Psalm 100:1

God loves each of us. He created us to worship Him just as we are with whatever skills and talents we have.

It brings God joy when we accept ourselves for who He created us to be. We honor Him when we don’t compare ourselves with others. We may feel clumsy and awkward, as if we don’t measure up in some way, but God says, “Make a joyful noise!”

Jesus said, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” ~Matthew 5:5 (The Message Bible)

In my painting, the Flute Player is playing her flute anyway, even though she seems unsure, unsteady, with her large awkward hands.

Sometimes God will ask us to do something that we don’t feel we have the right skills for, are incompetent to do, or that we might fail in. 

Yet God asks us to trust Him anyway, to walk by faith. “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

He asks us to believe His word that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

He asks us to trust in the power of His grace to help us with every challenge.

Each one of us are very important to God’s plan, though we might not realize our importance to God this side of eternity.

We may feel awkward, unsteady and clumsy like the flute player in my painting. But we must walk by faith, trust God, and obey Him, and do whatever He asks of us anyway.

For in the end, He will make a lovely song out of our joyful noise we have made unto Him whether or not we were competent in the thing He called us to do.

For God does not base His calling on our talents, skills, or appearances. All He asks is a willing, humble and faithful heart. 

Jesus said, “You did not choose me. I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit—fruit that will last.” John 15:16

May it be our prayer to have a willing, faithful heart that will humbly obey the Lord, no matter what He asks of us each day.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of my life, and that You created me to be just exactly the way You wanted me, and that when I am myself, I glorify You. Thank You that I bring You great joy when I am satisfied with who You created me to be and believe all the wonderful things that You say about me and not listen to doubts and fears. I love You, Lord! In Jesus name, amen.

“Make A Joyful Noise” Original Fine Art Print Is Available in my Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/257925019/original-art-print-make-a-joyful-noise

 “Make A Joyful Noise” © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Angelsong ©2017 SD Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture References: King James Version Bible/The Message Bible: Copyright 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson All Rights Reserved./ New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson All Rights Reserved. / New International Version Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Story Of The Song “Oh Holy Night”

oh-holy-night-the

(Lord) Everything remains today in keeping with Your laws, for all things exist to serve You. ~ Psalm 119:91 (The Voice Bible)

 The Story of the Song “Oh Holy Night”

 Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure (1808 to 1877) was a wine merchant who lived in a small French town in the 19th century.

He enjoyed writing poetry and had developed a local reputation for his poems.

In the year 1847, the local Parish priest asked Placide if he would write a Christmas poem for the Church’s Midnight Mass Celebration of Christ’s Birth.

Although not known as a god fearing man, or as one who attended church regularly, Placide must have been honored by such a request, for he agreed to write the poem.

 Once he’d finished “Contique Noel” he asked his friend, the composer Adolphe Charles Adams, who was well known for composing ballets, to create music for it so that it could be sung by the congregation.

Although neither Placide nor Adolphe were Christians (Adolphe was of Jewish ancestry), these two men somehow created and composed one of the most beautiful Christmas Carols of the Christian Faith; one that especially brings great glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ…

*To Read the rest of this fascinating story, please follow the link to my music website.

http://www.peacefulprayersongs.com/messages_of_hope/the_story_of_the_song_o_holy_night

The Story Of the Song “Oh Holy Night” © 2016 SD Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture References: The Voice Bible © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc., New Living Translation Bible © 2015 Tyndale House Foundation/ Art by Suzanne Davis Harden © 2016 All Rights Reserved.

 

Our God Is Coming

god-is-comingOUR GOD IS COMING

Our God Is Coming!

 Soon our God is coming

Oh see the Holy One!

The Alpha and Omega,

Christ, God’s only Son.

 His glory covers the heavens

His praise fills all the earth

The stars all bow before Him

Who made the universe.

 Light shines all around Him,

He wears a robe of stars;

His hand is full of power~

Our everlasting God.

 He is the Lord Almighty

Who loves all that He made

He’s coming back for His redeemed;

For all the souls He saved.

 The Alpha and Omega

Who rides the Heavenlies

He’s coming back to claim His own

For all eternity.

 Prayer Poem Copyright © 2016 S. D. Harden All rights reserved.

Jesus said,  “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”  Matthew 24:42

 maranatha (1 Cor. 16:22)

Maranatha consists of two Aramean words, Maran’athah, meaning, “our Lord comes,” or is “coming.” Maranatha was a greeting often used by believers in the early Church who eagerly watched for and awaited the return of their Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord admonishes His disciples to watch and wait for His return in many of His parables and sayings. We are to always abide in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be ever watching for His return. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:1-3,

“ If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (ESV)

Jesus said to His disciples that wherever are treasure is there are hearts would be also. (Matthew 6:21)

If Jesus is our treasure, then our eyes and our hearts will be on Him and we will be abiding in Him regularly. (John 15:4)

 PRAYER

Heavenly Abba Father, please draw our hearts ever closer to You and to our Savior Jesus. Help us to abide always in Thy word, and fill us more and more with Thy Holy Spirit. May we always be ready and watching for the day when Thy Son returns, for no one but You, Abba Father, knows that day, nor the hour. In Jesus’ holy name, thank You, Lord, we love You, amen.

  “Our God Is Coming” (Prayer Poem ) © 2016 SD Harden All Rights Reserved.  Scripture Illustration ~SD Harden/ Scripture Reference © ERV Bible Translation / Angel Song © 2016 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. All Glory To God!

Walking By Faith

Angelsong.Shepherds
Peace, said the Angel to the Shepherds. Source/Internet

Sometimes it’s difficult to walk by faith. God’s word says that He “calls
things that are not as though they are” and He asks us to trust Him. He asks us to see beyond what our eyes can perceive, beyond what our ears can hear, or our minds can comprehend as real.
God gives us promises that seem impossible to come true yet it is impossible for a holy God to lie. His word declares, “For no word of God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37

ANGELSONG.GOLDEN.Shepherds
Angel Choir Sings to the Shepherds/Source:Internet

 As Christmas approaches I think about the people to whom God chose to reveal His Son more than 2000 years ago on a starry night in the hills of Bethlehem.
Shepherds were among the lowest ranking groups in society yet God opened up the heavens and gave them a concert led by a host of angels from His own royal courts. The world may not have thought much of those shepherds, but God highly favored them.

AngelSONG.Shepherdsat night
Angels sing to the shepherds/Source:Internet

They were so important to God that they have been forever engraved in His holy scriptures, while the lives of almost everyone else who lived back then have been written in the dust.
Every year almost since the church began children and adults have dressed up as those shepherds to re-enact the Christmas story. The drama has been played out in movies, operas, plays, pageants, songs, stories, and sermons.
There is no end to the references to the common shepherds whom God elevated that night on the Judean Hills when He opened up the heavens and sent an angel choir to sing the announcement of the birth of His Son to them.

Those humble shepherds had a choice to believe the angelic vision or
disbelieve. Filled with the glory of Heaven they followed the shining star over the
humble manger and found everything the angels sang about to be true.

ANGELSONG.Shepherds. Manger
Shepherds Find Baby Messiah

Everyone was looking out for a Savior to deliver Israel from her oppressors. But an infant born into poverty was not the type of Savior King they expected. The shepherds, Mary, Joseph, even the Magi who were to enter the Christmas story later all had to accept by faith God’s word that this Baby was God’s Messiah.

What is faith? The author of Hebrews 11:1 writes, “Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see.” The bible says of Mary that “she treasured all these things up in her heart.” And Jesus later asked His disciples to hide His word in their hearts. Why? Because “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

Mary, Joseph and the shepherds would have to wait 33 long years for the angel’s promise to bear any fruit. For Jesus had to grow up before He could become the Messiah. Then He would again defy appearances and challenge their faith because He was not going to be the kind of Messiah they expected.

ANGELSONG.Starry Night Sky
Bethlehem Star/Source:Internet

 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,”
~was the song the angels had sung to the shepherds that first Christmas night. (Luke 2:14) Jesus was not just going to save Israel but the Gentiles too. He was going to save people spiritually not deliver in a political way. When Their Promised Messiah was sacrificed on the cross don’t you know their faith had to be severely challenged!

The people God chose to bear His Son were normal people like us with fears and doubts who struggled to believe God’s promises just like we so often do. But God gave them the grace to keep going forward because they kept saying “yes” to God. They kept trusting Him despite appearances. They kept choosing to walk by faith even when all hope seemed lost, even when it posed a risk to their very lives and reputations. They never gave up.

Elizabeth said to Mary when she came to her, “Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you! You believed this would happen.” (Luke 1:45)

It is not easy to walk by faith. That is why God downloads a portion of Himself in the Person of His Holy Spirit into our hearts when we accept Jesus as our Savior. The minute we say “Yes” to Him, Christ gives Himself to us and then helps us to believe one day at a time. We just have to keep on choosing to say, “Yes, Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief.”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for understanding us so well, and for giving us Thy own Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. Help us to walk by faith, knowing that You will never leave or forsake us, nor fail to keep every promise You make to us. We love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

8.ANGELSONGShepherds
Shepherds on Judean Hills/Source:Internet

 Merry Christmas to all my readers! I’ve made a Christmas video just for you from one of the songs from my Christmas album, “*Christmas Joy.” I hope you will enjoy & be encouraged by “The Shepherds’ Song”! God Bless you with a Beautiful Christmas!
I love you all! ~Suzanne ♥

*All profits from the sales of my albums “Christmas Joy” & “God’s
Rainbow Promise”
go to ministries that benefit the homeless & survivors
of Abuse. Thank You for your support of my music & for these
ministries. God Bless You Always!

AngelSong: Walking by Faith: © 2013 Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved. “The Shepherds’ Song Music Video created by Suzanne Davis Harden, Music & Lyrics © 2013 Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved. / Picture credits: Internet

The Rusty Nail

Detail, Worshiper, Painting by S.D. Harden © 2013 All Rights Reserved
Detail, Worshiper, Painting by S.D. Harden © 2013 All Rights Reserved

The Rusty Nail

A few weeks ago I posted a blog and music video based on Psalm 51:10, the Psalm King David wrote after he’d committed adultery with Bathsheba, gotten her pregnant, and then murdered her husband to cover up his sin.
God sent Nathan the prophet to confront the king and David repented, praying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” ~ (Psalm 51:10-11)

For those readers who did not have an opportunity to read my original post about this beautiful psalm and how David repented of his sin, I encourage you to take a moment to do so.
I took down my music video a few days after posting it with the promise that I would repost it again for you soon.
I created my original music video for my prayer song “Create in Me a Clean Heart” as a worship aid for a special prayer night at our church. The Lord gave me the song the day of the prayer service!
Our Lord is very generous with His gifts! I had not asked Him for the song; in fact the worship leader and I were planning to do a different music video I had already created.  But the Holy Spirit had a different plan so I got busy preparing the song and video the Lord gave me. I had only 3 hours in which to record the song and create the video that day.
I am not a trained videographer. All my training is in art and writing. I never sought to be a musician, a singer, or to create videos. One day a few years ago, I went to the altar at church to pray about some burden I had. The Lord spoke to my heart and asked me if I would sing for Him.
“My Suzy, will you sing for Me?”
This request had nothing to do with my issue I was praying about. And besides that, to sing for anyone was the LAST thing I wanted to do, having a terrible phobia of public performance of any sort.
I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the Almighty, but I couldn’t help but think He HAD to be joking. I like to draw cute little dressed up animals. If I were to draw myself as an animal I would be a shy little, timid mole hiding behind her little art desk painting and writing and drawing. Never singing.
“Lord,” I said, to Him, “not to be disrespectful, but I don’t think You are remembering who I am…I can’t sing, I’m an artist.”
He only said, “My Suzy, won’t you sing for Me?”
I peeped around as I knelt at the altar wondering if anyone could see how exasperated I was.
“Lord,” I said, “Have You forgotten how bad a singer I am…so bad that when I sang “Jesus Loves Me” to My child when he was 6 years old he HOWLED?!”
I felt like crying because I had once sung praises to The Lord in my quiet times up until that had happened. Many years had passed and I no longer sang to Jesus because of that incident with my little boy. The enemy used it to make me think I had a terrible voice and I kept silent after that.
When Christian grew up he said, “Mama, I only howled because the dog across the street was howling with the wind that night. I was howling with him. I loved your singing.”
But when I was at the altar that day I didn’t know that.
I only knew that I believed I had a terrible voice and that there was no way I wanted to sing for God because I was so ashamed of my voice ever since that day.
“My Suzy, will you sing for Me?” Jesus asked me for the third time.
I knew it was God’s voice. And I could not say no if I loved Him.
Then He said, “My Suzy, will you trust Me?”
I knew I had to lay down something. I had to lay down my fear, my pride, and give God my will and allow Him to make me what He wanted me to be.
Singing was the last thing I wanted to do because I never believed I could be good enough.
Though I never trained to be a musician, nor did I ever sing until I became a Christian and then only in my quiet times, yet God has blessed me with many beautiful songs inspired by His word. Whether piano solos or prayer songs, The Lord continues, ever since that day at the altar when I reluctantly said yes, (though I was terrified) He has given me over 350 pieces of music for His glory. I have recorded them all.
My new video includes my worship painting based on Luke 7 that I’ve been working on for the last several months. It was not finished yet when I made the first video. That video made heavy use of a lot of images pulled from the Internet that may have been copyrighted and I did not have time to get permission or check the copyright status of all those images I used.
My new video includes more original content and makes use of some classical works of several great artists from the past and present whose works are in the public domain.
I’ve always believed that God can anoint a rusty old nail if He chooses to use it for His glory. So it does not matter what I have to give Him, as long as I give it by faith in humble obedience to His will, He can bless it and use it to bless others.
My prayer is that this music video will bless and inspire you, and draw you closer to the God who died on the cross for each of us in order to create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us.

Heavenly Father, Help us know that you do not desire perfection from us in what we give You, just trust & obedience. You will supply all the rest.
Create in us clean hearts that serve You & worship You in sincerity & truth. Thank You Lord. In Jesus name. Amen