Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


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Jehovah Shammah

hand touching the Bible Our great God has numerous names, especially in the Old Testament. Almost for every event in the lives of His people, He revealed an aspect of His character with a new name. But this one is a little different

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Blessed with Joy

I noticed that Write Integrity Press set their focus for the year as Joy. What a GREAT idea. And imagine my surprise and delight when my Dear Boy wrote about this very thing on his blog!

Joy can be such a misconstrued concept. With so much input, I had to chime in! Continue reading


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Thinking about Heroes

I didn’t plan it this way, but this topic ended up being perfect for me this semester. I direct the children’s music program at our church and this April they are performing The First Action Heroes. Yes, I’ll share pictures! Continue reading


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Can We Magnify the Lord?

So many songs use this word in praise of the Lord, but does this word have anything to do with praise? Webster’s defines it to increase in size; to enlarge it in fact or in appearance. Continue reading


The Name

Our choir is singing a song I fell in love with decades ago. The music and arrangement are beautiful, but the words. …

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Holy Terror

I know. This is scary season. I’m reminded of the Bill Cosby bit about how he wasn’t supposed to listen to the Horror stories on the radio. “Scare me to death. Scare me to death!” Next week I’ve got some articles about fear and its negative effects, but for today, I want to share about the fear that Christians are supposed to keep at all times.

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God of the Impossible

At choir tonight, we sang a new song by this title. It defined the situations in which I find myself.

The first part spoke of how the worst storm that would ever rage against me is nothing but a raindrop to the Lord. How the most difficult mountain I climb is a prairie. Continue reading


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When Do You Pray?

You ever watch Happy Days? I remember one episode when Fonzie prayed. Richie had been injured, and lies in a coma in the hospital. The Fonz speaks to God. This section is in the Youtube video below beginning at 6:20.

Hey uhh, Sir? We gotta have a little chat here. It’s about my best friend Richie. He’s in really bad shape. I know you know that, but the world’s kinda goin’ a little wacko, ya know? [breaking up] Ya need people down here like him, and if you don’t, I do!
[breaks up even more] I can fix alot of things but um, this one’s all yours …

Even as a kid, that prayer reduced me to tears. As a believer, I understand the depth of joy the Father has when someone who doesn’t know Him surrenders to Him, conscious of his own weaknesses.

But is during an emergency the only time we pray? And if God knows all of our needs, do we even have to talk to Him about them?

I think the biggest thing to remember about prayer is, like so many of the things the Bible instructs us to do, it is for our benefit, not God’s. He doesn’t need us to tell Him what is going on down here; He is here with us. He initiated prayer as an opportunity for us to communicate with Him, to experience the Father relationship He wants to have with us.

When we make talking to our Father a regular event, or better a constant attitude, we enjoy a deepening relationship with Him. It’s why Jesus spoke about prayer so often and gave specific examples of how to pray and how not to pray.

We’re not supposed to:

  • Constantly repeat words over and over. Matthew 6:7
  • Only pray “in tongues.” 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
  • Pray to impress the ones around us. Matthew 6:5

Instead, we’re supposed to pray without ceasing. I think that means to engage God often, acknowledging Him asPrayer, like so many other instructions from The Bible, is for our benefit. an ever-present companion, because He is! We’re also supposed to pray when we’re worried or upset about something. That isn’t the only time we should draw near to God, but He is definitely the source of our peace and strength when “sorrows like sea-billows roll.”

Prayer defines our place as desperately loved, but hopelessly helpless in the face of our need. It exalts God’s power to make changes that human hands and minds can’t make. It establishes Him as a strong tower where we can find safety in the middle of storms. Just the act of bowing our spirits before Almighty God puts us in a place of submission where He longs to work on our behalf.

My suggestions:

  • Wake up with a prayer or praise on your mind.
  • Set aside an early time of prayer with Him.
  • Talk to Him silently or aloud throughout the day as you think of things you’d like to say to Him or ask of Him.
  • Spend a few minutes reflecting on His presence through your day. Thank Him and, if necessary, repent. (Oops!)

Your turn: What habits of prayer do you have and how has your prayer life strengthened your relationship with God?


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Childlike

My 12-year-old daughter inspired me this evening. “Mom, I think I’d like to go visit a poor area and set up some play times like a Vacation Bible School. Can we go next summer?”

At first I chuckled at her innocence. Me the much more mature totally missed the point. God had touched her heart, lighting a fire of compassion for children less fortunate than she and igniting a deep desire to tell others about Christ.

That’s the essence of faith like a child.

So first I slapped myself upside the head for thinking I had anything on her. Then I encouraged her to learn as much about God as she could. “Having feet shod with the PREPARATION for the Gospel of peace.” I reminded her that we didn’t really know when God might open a door, so we had to study His Word and be ready to share when He needs us to.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me again that You are the one who does the work and can use anyone, anytime for Your purposes.


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B is for …

Balancing ActIf A is for Appetite, B is for Balance.

The Bible speaks about appetite. In Philippians, Paul writes that those who live as enemies of Christ are led by their
bellies. "Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their

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