Monday, October 24, 2011

You are my Lord

You are my Lord

You are my Lord and I worship You
Bow down before Your throne
You are my Peace, my Strength and my Comfort
And I'm so in love with You

When I am weak, You lift me up
I find my strength in You
When I am lost I'm found by You
You never let me go

Sometimes I find myself in the position of discouragement. I forget who it is that holds me. I forget how amazing the One who wrote out my days really is. Sometimes I need to remind myself of these things so that I can have the courage to walk throughout my day as I believe I have been called to do...

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

It can be difficult sometimes to be all we were meant to be, but, at the end of it all, I have to remind myself that the reason I am who I am, the reason I choose what I do is not because I have to, it's because I have fallen in love with my Creator. Being in love with Big Daddy and my family, to me, means that i think about them throughout the day. It means sometimes i have to do difficult things, sacrifice for their sakes, but it's worth it, so worth it, because I love them. I want to see their smiles, ease their troubles and overall just be good for them.

I am in love with my Savior as well. I want to be who and what He wants me to be because of that love. The really awesome thing, the thing that makes me love Him as I do, is that He is in love with me! He gives me strength, comfort, hope, joy. He shows me in a million small ways every day how much He loves me. And just like it is sometimes hard to remember how much I love Big daddy when we don't see eye to eye, or my kids when they get on my last nerve...(esp. when it seems on purpose)...I can forget exactly who it is I have chosen to follow, and what that means for my life.

Songs like this one encourage me to simply reconnect with my Father. Strengthen that connection with words of love as I would my other relationships. It reminds me who He is, my Savior, my Jesus, the Lover of my soul. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

my All in All

You are my All in All by Dennis Jernigan

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the Treasure that I seek
 You are my All in All
Seeking You as a precious Jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my All in All

Jesus, Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God worthy is Your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again, I bless Your name
You are my All in All
When I fall down You pick me up
When I am dry You fill me cup
You are my All in All

Jesus, Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God worthy is Your name

I looked out at the sunset tonight and was amazed as always. It's my favorite time of day. Most of all it's my favorite time to be outside. I cannot fathom what kind of power, intellect and creativity it took to set into motion the scientific laws that govern the sunsets. It is too much for my finite brain to grasp ahold of. Somehow, God, in His omniscience was able to not only set the sun in it's place, but perfectly orchestrate every law of nature to create the ever changing beauty that is a sunset. It's so vast! No matter where I look I have missed something from the part of the horizon that my eyes cannot see. This portion has turned pink, that portion is periwinkle, now this portion is orange and then, there is a cloud, reflecting varying hues of reds and oranges and purples all on it's own, but only for a moment, then it changes. God! what magnificence!

This morning I was blessed to have this song in my head. So many times I don't allow the music in my head to really  penetrate my actual thoughts. This morning I think I was just ready to hear from God, and this was what my heart was saying without my mind having the choice. :)

I know that to seek first His kingdom is what life is all about. (Matthew 6:33) I have written plays, stories and poems about how wonderful it is when we seek Him first and allow who He is to sink into our hearts and change us. It's not an ugly thing, it's not a painful thing, except that we sometimes have to face parts of ourselves that we may be ashamed of. In fact, when we choose to let go and seek Jesus as our All in All we come to this place of peace that fills our spirits with a joy that isn't explainable (Philippians 4:6-8). There's a beauty that is indescribable in His presence. There's a hope that just isn't shaken regardless of what happens because our focus isn't on our circumstances, our abilities or our selves any longer, it's all on Him. 91Peter 1:13-14) We've taken up His "yoke" and found Him to be true to His word. (Matthew 11:29-30)

If you get nothing else out of your weekend, may you receive the hope that comes from putting your trust for each hour into the hands of the One who is able to orchestrate the universe into a vast and beautiful display of magnificence for us, mere humans, behold and wonder. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

1 Pet 1:13-19 & Phil 4:8

My life Verse for this year is 1Peter 1:13-19. I spent 2 months breaking down and studying this portion of scripture. I am amazed how God's word intertwines and connects. So many different authors, different locales, different times even and it all flows like an amazing tapestry of Light. How I love His Word!

Something I learned in studying this scripture is that my thoughts and my conduct are inexplicably linked. Therefore, when I consider what I am supposed to be mindful of, I must accept that it is this that I am to do also. That being said, I have used 1Peter 1:13-19 and Philippians 4:8 as the inspiration for this prayer. For me, this is my foundation prayer. You ever get that feeling that you are just off kilter? Do you ever just feel like you can't catch your balance no matter how hard you try? This, for me, is my ground. May it inspire you to find and embrace your connection point; your life verse and God's personal challenge to your spirit. I pray that you are encouraged to accept and respond exuberantly to that challenge and that you feel, as you pray, God's empowering Spirit flow through you, filling you with life, light and fire! :)

Today I will wrap Your word around my mind as a shield.
I will be mindful of Your truth.
I will think on what is honorable and in a respectful manner.
I will consider justice and fix my mind on what is clean,
  what is modest and what is morally faultless.
I will meditate on beauty.
I will choose to think kindly of others and
  focus on the manifestations of Your power all around me.
Today I will shepherd my thoughts with Your praise.
I will choose to keep my thoughts grounded in reality
 and not indulge in vain fantasy.
I will rest my hope for all things on Your grace and
  be watchful as You reveal Yourself to me today.
I will choose obedience,
  submitting all of my thoughts to Your scrutiny,
  and Your will.
As You are the perfect Savior, I give my mind to You
  a perfect example of the sanctifying power of
  Your Blood, Your Word and Your Spirit.
Search me and know me Lord.
Try me and know my thoughts and ways.
Reveal to me any anxiety or wickedness within me.
Show me they ways that my life does not fall in line with my beliefs.
Today I will call upon Your name Lord.
I will walk in the light, forsaking the darkness i come from.
I will behave honorably and respectfully.
I will choose justice.
I will keep my way clean, choosing modesty and
  morally faultless desires, speech and behaviors.
I will believe in the beauty of Your handiwork
  and respect my body as Your temple.
I will endeavor to speak with kindness.
I will embrace the manifestations of Your power
 both in and through my life.
I will not steal Your glory or deny Your grace with
self focused or self depreciating behaviors.
I will choose Freedom.
I will believe in my intrinsic value through the sacrifice
  of Your precious and holy blood.
I will be Your ambassador today.
Fill me, Sweet Spirit, with Your power.
Cover me, Blessed Savior, with Your blood.
Show me, Holy Father, Your ways.
I look to You to be my Strength today.

Prayers intro.

Good morning :)

I don't know about you but I like to write out my prayers. Not every one, but those that are based in scripture especially. I have a number of them that I've written, and I use them from time to time as a "conversation starter", so to speak, with the Lord. It's not that at any point I feel like He and I are strangers, it's more that I sometimes just don't know how to intelligibly form what I want to say. I really shouldn't be surprised; I have been writing my thoughts as long as I can remember. I will say that I find these prayers to be powerful for me. I find in them my reminders of who I am and what my Father expects of me. I believe that if God expects it He also enables for it. They encourage me.

My Pastor and friend, Steve, brought back from England a small book of Celtic prayers for me. It was such a sweet gift. They were basic prayers designed to help the one who had gotten a little lost on the pathways towards prayer. I was at the end of a very difficult time in my life; my heart was broken, my Spirit, dry. I was struggling to get the intimacy with God that I had once enjoyed back into my daily life. The prayers are simple and sweet. They have the familiar Celtic cadence to them that seems to speak directly to my soul. I was very grateful. He was worried that I would be offended, because it says quite directly at the beginning of the book that it is designed to get one back on track towards daily prayer. I wasn't offended in the least. I was relieved that someone could see my emptiness and reach out to try and help rather than simply judge me for it.

This is one of those lovely little prayers:

Christ, risen in glory,
scatter the darkness from our path.
Christ, risen in glory,
lift the heaviness from our hearts.
Christ, risen in glory, dispel the troubles from our minds.
Christ, risen in glory,
take the weariness from Your world,
and we will serve You in love, in joy and light and peace. Alleluia. Amen

May the road rise up to meet you today and may God's face never cease to shine on your life.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh Lord Your love...

By Caedmon's Call

Oh Lord I give You all I have
But it seems so little
When You've given me so much
I come to You with empty hands
and a heart that's fragile
You come to me with a wealth of love

Oh Lord Your love
is new with every morning
Your faithfulness
it gets me through the night
You bid me come
You know that i am weary
You're yoke is easy
Your burden is light

And now I sing Your songs of praise
But your greatness is beyond me
I know I cannot comprehend
How You, Ancient of Days
Stoop Yourself to call me
To be Your son, to be Your friend

Oh Lord Your love
Is new with every morning
Your faithfulness
It gets me through the night
You bid me come
You know that I am weary
Your yoke is easy
Your burden is light

Good morning.

It's so cool the way the music can help. Sometimes it is a catalyst for something God is trying to help me understand. Sometimes it is an encouragement. This morning it was a sobering comfort :) I had a nightmare just before I woke up. It was intense and left me feeling betrayed and angry with, of all people, Big Daddy. Terrible way to wake up. I was mulling over the details of the nightmare even as this song was playing in my head..the chorus was. I could hear it, but i wasn't "hearing" it. I let it get louder and my own thoughts get quieter. As i did, the words of the song just kind of washed over me, smoothing out my feelings so that i could see them for what they were...not based in fact...not worth choosing to be upset over. The words made me smile, reminded me of His love, His gentle way. I'm really blown away sometimes by how faithful He is to me. I know I do not deserve such care, but what less should I expect from a real Father?

Thank You Father for being concerned about my inner peace as much as my physical needs and my daily walk...You give so much more than I could ever understand.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My chains are gone...

You ever feel like you're just a space cadet? I do, daily, at one point or another. This morning that moment has already come and it's only 5:51. Does this bode good or evil for my day...who knows. Regardless, my very blond moment will be shared here because it is directly related with this mornings song.

I grew up in an abusive environment surrounded by lies. I was abused by caregivers, my mother, boyfriends, a neighbor...I seem to have been a magnet for mistreatment and shame. All of that led to a difficult to break adult mindset; that I am not worthy of love, I have no value and I am ugly, inside and out. All of my self-worth has come from my abilities over the years. What I do determines my value as a human being. I judge others harshly because I judge myself even harsher not to be mean or cruel or to lord it over them. I compare myself to everyone and avoid people I think are of higher value so that they don't humiliate me. It's a strange and pathetic cycle for a Christian.

God tells us that we are wonderful, unique and beautiful in His sight. He didn't make us to be subjugated, but to rise up and be strong. As women we are compared to the marble pillars of the temple that are adorned with golden pomegranates and palm fronds. They are strong, essential, beautiful. God sees us that way, He believes in our value and our beauty. He loves us.

I have experienced so much freedom from my past it's truly amazing. I have, through the Spirits work, broken the cycles of abuse, escaped from the occult, sought after God's will for my life, and here I sit, hopefully fulfilling, at least part of, my purpose. I am free from my past and the resulting drug and alcohol addictions. I am free from the anger and the unforgiveness I felt for so long towards my mother and the rest of my family for not knowing what I was going through with her, and not believing it when it finally all came out. But I have not been able to let myself be free of those self demeaning behaviors. I am still tied to that judgement, that fear of being humiliated, of losing those I love because I wasn't good enough.

We talked about some of this during our devos this morning; everywhere we look there are people, Christian and non Christian, who are dragging behind them the pain of their past, subjugated by the behaviors acquired through abuse, uncertainty, insecurity etc... Like an emotional ball and chain their every move is affected by the weight of the stigmas developed during times of great trial. God offers freedom, He breaks chains, He binds up broken hearts..and yet sometimes we do not realize that we are still conducting ourselves as slaves. Just as a person with a heavy weight is less likely to take on the challenge of a tall flight of stairs, a person carrying the weight of their past is less likely to undertake new challenges because the concept of bearing that weight is too much and the unknown is frightening, especially when ones past has been fraught with injury and abuse.

Today, after 15 years of being a Christian and much deliverance from addiction, pain and demonic oppression, God took the barest sliver of a moment to show me my chains..the ones I chose to carry. They consisted of these behaviors, these stigmas and misconceptions determined, about myself, during times of stress to cope with the lies being fed to my soul. The truth is; I am free. I don't have to carry those behaviors with me anymore. I don't have to earn love, I don't have to work for acceptance, I do not have to justify every moment of my life, every breath I breathe or feel I am somehow wasting time.

My chains are gone, I've been set free. My God my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood His mercy rains unending love, amazing grace. ~ Chris Tomlin

May the Spirit of the Living God teach me to walk unbound, to love unfettered, to

May He do the same for you.

P.S. the movie depicted in the video is called "Amazing Grace" it is about William Wilberforce the abolition of slavery in England.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Every day music

Every morning I wake up with music in my head. Every single time I wake up in fact, no matter what time, regardless of how long I was asleep, there is a song in my head. Some days it is a secular song. That doesn't bother me unless it's something stupid like "California Gurls" (even though I am one) or "Black and Yellow" (even though those are my high school colors, Go Jags!). I don't know if these songs have any cohesion, or if they actually have to do with the day I have ahead of me, but not believing in coincidence, I want to keep track so that I can see if there's anything to keep track of :)

This morning it was a song that came directly out of my dream and made no sense...great. I finally decide to blog about the ongoing phenom of music in my head and I get a jingle my mind made up to promote a huge, end of summer concert at an abandoned hanger that I was organizing with a former co-worker, in my dream. Terrific.

All is not lost though. During devos this morning with my wonderful kids the real music began :)
We talked about worship and how in Psalm 150 there is a grocery list of instruments to praise God with. The whole point, I believe, is to free the reader to worship God with anything that connects his or her heart to their Creator. Worship is loving, praising and honoring God for who He is to the individual. It's not about what is proper, what is ritual or even what is reverent. It's about what is real.

The Scripture doesn't say, let everything that is grateful, happy or well adjusted praise the Lord. It does say, if it breathes, let it praise Him. We were created for worship because worship comes from a heart filled with love and gratitude. These things are a byproduct of a genuine relationship with a loving Father/Creator/Savior. To be close to Him, to be in His presence, it is impossible not to feel the draw, the connection.

About a year ago I read an interesting article about DNA and music. It suggested that if you turn the DNA strand on it's side, and relegate it to the laws of theory (5 lines, 4 spaces etc...) each individual human beings DNA is a masterpiece waiting to be played by a symphony of instruments. This amazes me. I cannot find the article but I shared different one that seemed to explain the concept if you're interested. 

There's a saying that a best friend is someone who, when you forget your song, can sing it for you. It seems that God has done much more than that. He not only knows your song, He wrote it; something beautiful and unique and amazing.  The Bible says He rejoices over us with singing. Perhaps, He is singing our individual songs. Perhaps, when we are lost, we can seek His voice, and hear the love that went into the unique composition that is us.

Here is today's song; Casting Crowns "Lifesong" enjoy. Be encouraged. Be well.

this is the DNA/Music site