Mary’s Song (Short Version)

By Diane Virginia

“Sing unto the LORD a new song.” Psalm 149:1b KJV

 As shoppers hurried into the mall to escape the winter winds, I was acutely aware of one man who was ambling towards the entrance methodically tapping his cane. He sat, pulled a flute from his tattered jacket and played Silent Night, The First Noel, and Drummer Boy. Passersby paused, and then returned to the scurry of activities that so easily defines the Christmas season

I remained.

A mother dropped a coin in the man’s overturned hat. A teenager handed the flutist a water bottle. It was my chance to talk to him.

“Excuse me, sir, why do you play?”

“Fer Him.”

“For Jesus?”

“Uh huh.”

“Does anybody ever take your money? You wouldn’t know it seeing as…”

“I sees them with me ears. But, if all they wants is coins, they can have ‘em. I play ‘cause I want ‘em to have a song in they’s heart like I’s got in mine.”

“I’d ask you to play another song, but I don’t have…”

“Set yerself down. I’s playin’ fer ya.”

As the flutist played Mary’s Song I felt a warmth erase the wind whipping onto the sidewalk from the nearby alley.

I learned something that day. Although the gentleman was blind and poor, the song of the Lord residing within gave him a joy no one could take.

Let’s talk about Mary. Why did God choose her to birth the Savior? She, as the flutist, had a song in her heart no one could take away. Her song, The Magnificat, also known as The Canticle of Mary, is a declaration of her trust in God. (see Luke 1:46-56) What did Mary sing? She sang about her surprise to learn she was highly favored and chosen to birth the Savior. She glimpsed the impact of Christ’s birth—that it would bless not only her generation, but ours as well. Expectedly, she sang about God’s sovereignty.

Mary’s faith reminds me of the flutist: He had no sight—he used hearing as a substitute. His coat was threadbare—he didn’t focus on the weather. People stole his offerings—silver was not his motivation. Rather than focusing on these outward things, the flutist expressed the song within his heart. And perhaps the flutist, like Mary, is chosen, favored, and blessed. And, may I suggest to you, that when our focus is on King Jesus rather than on our circumstances, God’s favor descends upon us?

Would Mary have a difficult journey? Sure, she would, and she knew that. But, she kept a song in her heart when the challenges came. As gossip-mongers talked about her premarital pregnancy, she kept singing. When she and Joseph fled from wicked King Herod, I imagine Mary whispered lullabies into her child’s ears. When her Son lie upon the cross, beaten, and dying a horrible death, blood pooling at her bended knees, I am certain Mary had at least one chord from her Spirit-song residing within her wounded soul. When Jesus arose, the whole world sang, as did Mary.

Christmas is a time to resurrect the song of the Lord that He’s placed within you. Do you hear it? Listen closely…. The Great Flutist has written a melody on the recesses of your heart that will touch generations. Allow Emmanuel—God with us—to overtake your soul.

*          *          *

Father God, help me to focus on Jesus’ presence in my life, and to

sing the melody He is writing on my heart.

Copyright © 2019: All rights reserved: VineWords Stories and Devotions Inspired by the Vine: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name, Diane Virginia: Mary’s Songwww.vinewords.net

Mary’s Song is a work of fiction based on real life events.

About the Author

Diane Virginia Cunio is the author of The Kiss of Peace: An Intimate Exploration into Song of Solomon and Behind the Veil: Becoming the Bride of Song of Solomon (both awaiting publication). She is passionate about sharing Beloved Jesus’ divine love for you, His bride, as allegorically portrayed in the vignette, Song of Solomon.

She has developed the model for motion-activated musical prayer-stations for use in the garden retreat, themed to the places you as Beloved’s bride travel to in Song of Solomon.

Diane is a regular contributor for Christian Broadcasting Network, Faith Beyond Fear, and HeartWings. She has also written for Pentecostal Publishing House, The Secret Place, and other ministries.

To schedule Diane as a speaker, please contact her via her website: Stories and Devotions Inspired by the Vine. You may find her on Facebook or contact her via email at email@vinewords.net.

Mary’s Song

by Diane Virginia

While shoppers hurried into the mall to escape the winter winds, I was acutely aware of one man who, instead, was ambling to the entrance, methodically tapping his cane. He touched the door. Then he paced ten steps away. Dropping to his knees, he placed his hat on the ground for tips and pulled an instrument from his tattered jacket. With flute in hand, the man played Silent Night, The First Noel, and Drummer Boy. I was enthralled by his passion, and the angelic sound resonating from his instrument. Passersby stopped long enough to listen.

As people returned to the scurry of activities that so easily defines the Christmas season, I remained. A mother dropped a coin in the man’s overturned hat. A teenager handed the flutist a water bottle. It was my chance to talk to him.

“Excuse me, sir,” I said, “Do you play secular songs, too?”

“Naw. They don’t interest me.”

“I thought you’d say that. So, why do you play?”

“Fer Him.”

“For Jesus?”

“Uh huh.”

“Does anybody ever take your money? I mean, you wouldn’t know it seeing as…”

“I sees those that takes with me ears. But, if all they wants is the coins, they can have ‘em. I play ‘cause I want ‘em to have a song in they’s heart like I’s got in mine.”

“Thank you, sir. I’d ask you to play me another song, but I don’t have cash…”

“Set yerself down. I’s playin’ fer ya.”

With that instruction, I sat. The flutist played Mary Did You Know. I felt a warmth erase the cold wind whipping onto the sidewalk from the nearby alley.

I learned something that day. Although the gentleman was blind and poor, his spirit was free. The song of the Lord that resided within the flutist gave him a joy no one could take.

Let’s talk about Mary. Why did God choose her to birth the Savior? She, as the flutist, trusted God to direct the course of her life. She believed God sent the Angel Gabriel who appeared to her during her prayer time. She permitted the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit as He placed a Son within her virgin womb; “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35bKJV) She believed Gabriel’s report and made haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth who also was with child.

Because of Mary’s reliance upon God, the Bible records her as being the most highly favored woman; “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28bKJV)

There is one more characteristic about Mary that made her God’s choice. She, as the flutist, had a song in her heart that no one could take away. Her song, The Magnificat, also known as The Canticle of Mary, is a declaration of her beliefs about God. (see Luke 1:46-56)

What did Mary sing? She sang about being surprised to learn she was God’s humble and favored servant who would give birth to the Savior. She glimpsed the impact of Christ’s birth—that it would bless not only her generation, but ours as well. Expectedly, she sang about God’s sovereignty.

Mary’s simple faith reminds me of the flutist: He was not concerned about the troubles around him. He had no sight—not a problem. His coat was threadbare—not an issue. People stole his offerings—silver was not his motivation. Rather than focusing on these outward things, the flutist concentrated on expressing the song within his spirit. Sharing his talent with others brought him satisfaction. And perhaps, this humble flutist is—like Mary—chosen, favored, and blessed. And, may I suggest to you, that when we focus on King Jesus rather than on our circumstances, God’s favor descends upon us?

Would Mary have a difficult journey? Sure, she would, and she knew that. But, she kept a song in her heart when the challenges came. As gossip mongers talked about Mary’s premarital pregnancy, she kept singing. When she and Joseph fled from wicked King Herod, I imagine Mary whispered lullabies into her child’s ears. When her Son lie upon the cross, beaten, and dying a horrible death, blood pooling at her bended knees, I am certain Mary had at least one chord from her Spirit-song residing in her wounded soul. When He arose, the whole world sang, as did Mary….

Christmas is a time to resurrect the song of the Lord that He’s placed within you. Do you hear it? Listen closely…. The Great Flutist has written a melody on the recesses of your heart that will touch future generations. Allow Emmanuel—God with us—to overtake your soul.

+          +          +

And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb,

and bring forth a son,

and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luke 1:31

Copyright © 2017: All Rights Reserved: VineWords Stories and Devotions Inspired by the Vine: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name, Diane Virginia: Mary’s Song: http://www.vinewords.net

Mary’s Song is a work of fiction based on real life events.

Published: Christian Broadcasting Network: Senior Editor Beth Patch: December 12, 2018: http://www1.cbn.com/spiritual-life/marys-song

Published: Faith Beyond Fear: Editor Alynda Long: December 2018: (Linked to VineWords)

About the Author

Diane Virginia Cunio is the author of The Kiss of Peace: An Intimate Exploration into Song of Solomon and Behind the Veil: Becoming the Bride of Song of Solomon (both awaiting publication). She is passionate about sharing Beloved Jesus’ divine love for you, His bride, as allegorically portrayed in the vignette, Song of Solomon.

She has developed the model for motion-activated musical prayer-stations for use in the garden retreat, themed to the places you as Beloved’s bride travel to in Song of Solomon.

Diane is a regular contributor for Christian Broadcasting Network. She has written for Faith Beyond Fear, Pentecostal Publishing House, The Secret Place, and other ministries.

To schedule Diane as a speaker, please contact her via her website: Stories and Devotions Inspired by the Vine. You may find her on Facebook or contact her via email at email@vinewords.net.

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Thanksgiving: A Common Bond

Hello Friends,

During Thanksgiving at our home, we pause to thank Jesus for the many things He has done for us throughout the year that is drawing to a close. It centers us on the focus of the holiday. The pilgrims had much to be thankful for; we have built on their foundation, and are thankful for much more. But, as Christians, we have Jesus Christ as our common bond.

Consider the trials our Lord knew He would face, and yet, He remained positive. Even when His time had come to be crucified and He knew He was facing imminent death, He gave thanks.

Don’t permit the enemy to steal your joy! If Jesus could thank Father God for the privilege of dying on the cross to save humanity, we can give thanks. Jesus sees us through, and He is there for you in good times and in trials. Choose to be a worshipper, praising our Savior at all times.

Savor these words of thanksgiving from our Savior…

Our Savior is the Communion Cup. When He was about to die on the cross, Scripture records:

“And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26:27-28

Our Savior is the Resurrection and the Life. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, He said:

“Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 11:41b-42

Our Savior is One with the Father. When His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He began by teaching them to have a thankful heart:

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…” Matthew 6:9b

Let’s take time to thank Jesus for the gifts He gave that far exceed provision, or even family and friends. Let’s thank Him for these, but also thank Him for His willingness to give us eternal life, divine love, and His everlasting presence as our constant guide.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Diane Virginia

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A Comment on: “Healing for the Brokenhearted”

Here is a beautiful message I received from my friend, Teresa A Montgomery in response to the devotion, Healing For The Broken hearted. She speaks into a translator to type, thus there are few capitals or periods. Please hear her heart on today’s subject:

“No matter what you’ve gone through in your life… there is nothing impossible for our wonderful Heavenly Father. There is no damage so bad there is no pain so deep there is no hurt but he cannot tenderly and gently take away. You are so valuable to him you are a treasure. Much much more awesome than the Hope Diamond much greater than anything you can imagine that’s how he sees you if there had been no one else on this Earth but you he would have hung on that cross and suffered the beating that he suffered just for you. His grace and his Mercy endures forever and all the weeping may endure for the night joy cometh in the morning all because he is so wonderful and he loves you so much God bless you each and every one”

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Guest Blogger: Harry Wood: Redeeming the Time

By Bishop Harry Wood

Have you ever at the end of the day said, whew, where did this day go? Furthermore, you think; what did I get accomplished? Well, thinking on this for a moment, let us look at it in a positive way. Sometimes this thought, indicates displeasure in how we measure our labor, daily tasks, and appointments.

Let me encourage us to plan our days, and prioritize what’s most important. Here are some things to think about: We all have responsibilities that are important, but sometimes a period of rest is appropriate too. Balance, with all the activities, and responsibilities is a must.

Think on James 4:14, which reads, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Yes, life is short! Each day truly is a gift of God to us, so let us do as the Apostle Paul instructs, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16). Paul says: “redeeming,” which means to rescue from loss.

As believers, we should live our lives wisely, investing our time in what matters most. Our daily communion fellowship with God has to be our first priority, just as water or food is to our natural man.

As we redeem the time of each day, let the statement we propose help us to stay focused so we may be about Kingdom work! This means we are sensitive to the Spirit; and that all we do, we do for His glory, and to bless others. Surely, our lives are for a purpose; we are not running a rat race with negative venting.

Redeem your day, each day; seek Him first; and seek His guidance with your plans. He will assist us!

________________________________________________

Written by Bishop Harry L. Wood: February 19th 2017, in His weekly church newsletter, From the Pastor

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On Criticism

By Diane Virginia

Criticism. Each of us has endured it. Perhaps we’ve even countered it with a tongue lashing of our own and then regretted the words as we’ve seen them fuel the flame for the offender.

What is the biblical answer to responding to our critics? Let’s look at Romans 12:19-20. Paul writes, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, rather overcome evil with good.”So, what do we learn from this verse?

First, notice how Paul addresses you. You are “dearly beloved.” That address alone should comfort us. It is reassuring to me, and I am sure to you also, that we are Christ’s beloved.

Second, wait on God’s timing. If a correction needs to be made in a person’s life, God will do it. He is patient, and His loving kindness works salvation of spirit, soul, and body in an individual, including the one criticizing you. Since only God knows the heart motive, He alone can bring correction, and He alone can bring judgment.

Third, perform acts of kindness no matter how small. The reference to “coals of fire” is a hidden gem. In biblical times, fire was ignited by coals and carried in a container on the head. One of the kindest acts a person could do was to rekindle a person’s lost flame. Kindle your enemy’s lost flame.

Jesus demonstrates for us the best example of being kind during extreme duress. Even so, He countered criticism by offering the gift of salvation.

Let’s examine the Scriptures:

“And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, he saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him… And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.” Mark 15:29-32, 37-39

The passersby, the religious leaders, and the thieves criticized Jesus as He hung on the cross. Did He hate them and free Himself, as He was able to do? No. Jesus stayed on the cross, completed His mission, and loved the critics. By this act of compassion, the gift of salvation was brought to fruition. Because Jesus died, paid the penalty of sin, and rose again, salvation is available to all who trust Him and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.

While His critics railed, He extended mercy to one of the two thieves who died alongside Him as the thief asked for forgiveness. One of the soldiers who guarded the cross came to salvation by witnessing Jesus’ act of compassion. This guard noted that Jesus spoke with a loud voice, which was possible only with supernatural strength, for in Christ’s crucified state, the lungs would not be able to push air across the vocal cords with enough strength to shout loudly. Jesus did the impossible, and spoke loudly from the cross as He gave His Spirit into the hands of His Father. The soldier saw the veil of the Temple, that was torn from top to bottom, as the Son of Man submitted to His Father’s will. Thus, Jesus became for us the Living Temple we now come to.

Nothing stopped Jesus from completing His mission. Remember that, so that nothing your critics do can stop you from completing your God-given mission. You are loved by Jesus. You are His beloved. Let that be enough. In gratitude, give love to others at all times, even to your critics.

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Worthy One

By Diane Virginia

Let’s remember the Scriptures that remind us that Jesus is worthy.

When we tuck these treasures in our heart, we become the worshipers the Lord desires us to be. Allow the Spirit of God to be your reality.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

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Grief Care

By Diane Virginia

Jesus wept, moved by Mary of Bethany’s grief. Then, He brought her through to victory. In like manner, He cares for you. He is moved by your grief, and He will come alongside you. Lean on Him, grasp His nail-scarred hand, and allow the LORD of Glory to walk with you as your Shepherd and Friend. He is the only One who truly understands.

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

“He hath made everything beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Unwavering Trust

By Diane Virginia

In your toughest times, press toward Jesus rather than turning away from Him.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me [Jesus].” John 14:1a NIV

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Jesus Does Mighty Works

By Diane Virginia

Unwavering trust in Jesus as your Healer is the catalyst to receiving your miracle/healing.

Contrast Mark 6:2b with Mark 6:5-6a. In an atmosphere of faith, healing comes…

Mark 6:2b: “And what wisdom is this which is given unto him [Jesus], that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?”

Mark 6:5-6a: “And he [Jesus] could do no mighty works, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and he healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief.”

Be the one who believes God is Healer.

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