Tag Archives: biblical

A New Song

16 Apr

Sunshine upon my face, the raindrops have gone away
It feels so good to be free
With You I’ve found a way, to overcome all the things
That hold me down, that keep me down away from You
~Caleb Rowden

Another plane, another journey.

As I listen to my music on this flight, I reflect on the many flights I would spend with my head pressed against the window, tears streaming down my face. It was dreaded quiet time, forced time in my head, a place I spent as little time as possible in that season.

Reflecting as lyrics of praise lift me up and fill me with my now ever present peace; I realize music has always been here, season to season, from sad songs to dance. These days my genre of choice is christian music, which also reflects where my mind is at these days.

What a journey this has been. What a ride the past 6 years have been. Broken to new, lost to so sure, sorrow to joy.

My heart was broken back then. I had no love in my life. Not even for myself.
How great is the love I found in that loveless state? Crazier still is that I found the Love of all Loves when I fell in Love with Jesus.

To be sure, the journey was still mine to walk, the valleys were still there and I had to walk through them. But! He brought such amazing friendships to walk beside me. Some to challenge me, some to teach me and some to encourage me. The deeper I went in my faith, the deeper those God-inspired friendships went, teaching me about abandon, trust and faith.

Though I knew His greatness and power, though I had walked through great darkness at times only to be so incredibly blessed on the other side. Though I could literally feel the Holy Spirit beside me at time…I still forgot. I still panicked, still doubted.

What I never want to forget is that during the hardest moments, that is when I knew He was beside me; I grew so calm during the hardest moments in my walk. Music is a great reminder. A song can take me back to a place. Like now.

I find it inspiring to look back, to see what I have walked through, how God’s faithfulness never ceases and He fulfills every promise. People cannot do that. We are just not perfect enough.

I didn’t become better, or righteous, I simply surrendered it all; My hurt, my sense of failure, my lack of hope, my disappointment in people, my self-sufficiency, my self-blame and self loathing. I was empty.

It was then that I was able to let go and let God begin to change me. Not the people around me, not my circumstances, not give me everything I wanted but to change the way I saw the world, change the way I processed life and emotion, change my awareness.

I began to have moments of super natural understanding, which goes so much deeper than anything I could do myself.

My sinful nature is still with me. Certain sin fell away when love replaced the destructive lies. I believe without our sin, we would forget our need for humility and Christ. We will never be able to be sinless. Only He could do that.

Singing a new song, listening to a new genre, there are no more tears on planes. There is no fear. There is hope. I am not always happy, but I am always hopeful. Life is really hard at times, but this is temporary. A drop in the bucket of eternity and the fulfillment of the greatest promise ever!

That’s my song from here on out.

Psalm 96
1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.

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Why Faith?

18 Sep

I don’t for one second believe in Karma or in the universe’s ability to sling back to me what I put out there. Why, oh why, would I want to go back to the idea that we get what we deserve? Worse, the lie that we ultimately have control over what happens to us.

Stand in front of a tornado and tell me you can control the path it takes. If it hits your home, did you put something out in the universe that drew that tornado to you? Watch your child die from disease. You would gladly change places, if you could, but you cannot control these things. Tell me that this beautiful child is dying because of something they did wrong. That you or they deserve it, if you believe in Karma.

We are built to worship something. There has to be something we can turn to, beyond the worldly possessions and heartaches. We can try to fill that void with relationships, alcohol, drugs, sex, work, money, popularity… Or is life simply about learning to let go of the illusion we have control and learn to leap into the vast and amazing life of Faith… to lean in to something bigger than ourselves?

The message I learned growing up in the Catholic Church is that constant repentance was called for, but ultimately, you would never really be good enough to achieve Heaven. Pergatory, yes, but not heaven. So if we get what we deserve, (Karma) you can get to heaven by being a good person. How good do you have to be to get in and how bad do you have to be to not get in?

Where does the line of Grace begin, where does Mercy start? If God is perfect (Good) and Satan is Evil (Bad) where is the line between the two? And who has the authority to decide that?

Divorce for me was a catalyst for intense change within myself. I had to want to die, to actually find Him. I had to go through so much loss to lose myself to Him. To give up the idea that I had the ability to steer my life and keep myself afloat. I didn’t…including my sin.

We will all go through suffering; Intense pain and suffering. We will lose loved ones and we will face illness in one way or another. People will let you down and you will screw up. We will have trials beyond our ability to control.

Did you do that to yourself? Maybe instead, it is the realization that it is all bigger than us. It is far more difficult to surrender to God than to simply say.. Karma is a bitch. Surrendering and saying “God..Walk me through this journey of pain, I trust you; Teach me, mold me,make me the instrument of Your love, Your light for this dark world. ”

Surrender: v. without object to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.
n.the act or an instance of surrendering.

The key to faith is surrender,not being perfect;not being good, not being without sin. I reached out to Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior as a young woman. I was saved! I had that kernel of knowledge. That HE was who He said He was. He brought me through all the ups and downs of life without demanding attention. But.. there comes a time when He will shake things up. His timing.

The truth is, I operated from a “good people get what they deserve, bad people get what they deserve” perspective. Sadly, we all have our flaws. So, again… who decides that line, what is good enough?

Jesus had plans for my journey. I was a woman that had things under control. I raised 6 kids. I was strong! He came in and like Job, allowed my life to turn upside down. My world spun out of control. I was scared and lost. It was more than I could bear. And there He was! Just like that. A presence that was felt so near. I could literally feel Him;Intensely.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by strong, loving, Christian women. He made me new. I didn’t repent of all my sins. He removed them from me, He is still removing them or showing them to me. I learn more and more, every day. My idols are shown to me in new ways. He teaches me. I needed Him then and I need Him now. I could not have done that.

When I surrendered, I knew that I had reached the end of hope, the end of my ability to make my life work. I was a good person, I still am. I am also a sinner. I am a person that needs Christ. I can’t be perfect. I can’t do right all day, every day. My thoughts betray me. I am so aware of my need for Christ because I cannot be good enough on my own, to earn all that Heaven holds for me. His Grace and Mercy are absolutes in my life, the cornerstone for who I am and how I walk this world. I have to trust His promises that I am saved or I have no hope. He doesn’t lie.

My journey with Christ is what I know. I know who HE has been with me, for me, near me, beside me, in me. I am not capable to make the changes in my heart that He has made. He dwells there and because I accepted that He loved me enough to die for my sins, the bridge between my sin and God has been placed. I am grateful, reverently aware of Him and my heart overflows with abundant love.

It is not about my sin, because of Grace. It is about Jesus. But God, because I absolutely can’t on my own.

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Lamp For My Feet

17 Jan

Psalm 119:105 (NIV) 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

The Bible.

Skeptics will read the words and say Man has distorted The Bible. For those that have pieced together and studied the Dead Sea Scroll’s (some looking for validation, some to discredit) none can discredit The Bible’s near accuracy. When you translate from Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, there are words that closely match. Only a few words have changed. Not books.

That said, while skeptics argue the validity, believers argue the meaning. We read with our experience and our emotional response to that experience. Trust, or distrust, hope or hopeless, fear or courageous, it doesn’t matter. But the truth is, you will find scripture to inspire you in the exact place you are.

The Bible is a miraculous book. It is the living word, if and when you seek God in the pages. The Bible can be used to hurt, to prove, to argue, to pray, to inspire, to learn, to validate. “Do you see? Do you see what it says here?”

Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,but the word of our God endures forever.”

Here is what The Bible is for me:

The Bible is a reminder. The words are lyrical and remind me of the promises. When I have questions about my faith walk, I find comfort in the knowledge The Word provides for me. The answers are there for me, regardless if I like them or they convict me. The pages contain nothing but great hope in my heart.

Matthew 24:35 (NIV)
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

I love that each Sunday, I get to be in a room full of other Jesus questioners and Jesus followers, even some Jesus skeptics. I love the message that each new teacher brings to that congregation, that class, to give my faith more depth, more inspiration, more conviction and more hope.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP)
16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),

Hebrews 4:12 (AMP)
12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart

I love the connectivity The Bible has to the bond I have with Christ. It creates a place of dialogue or sometimes, the dialogue provides the scripture He intends for me to read. I love that when I need to hear certain words, they come to life and present themselves to me. His words. His promise. How cool is that?

John 1:1(NIV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The words in The Bible, teach me, from sermons, to quiet devotions, or from other’s that study. I do not study in great depth. I long to learn Hebrew, not so I can be learned, but because it is such a romantic idea to me. Hebrew is so enchanting in it’s lyrical, mystical ways. I love language.

The Bible is there for me, when I am feeling alone, when I don’t feel connected in my walk, when I am questioning, or worried, or lonely, or grateful. There is scripture that I can go to, to calm my fears, to reassure my path, to remind me to seek comfort from the Holy Spirit, to bless me. It is not a living being, and we don’t worship The Bible, and honestly, my close walk began with very little time in the pages. My time was spent in conversation with God. Seeking Him, seeking His guidance and reassurance. From there, came The Word.

Romans 15:4 (NIV)
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Eggshells and Landmines

4 Jan

I posted this in a Fellowship page on Facebook. This is fellowship and part of fellowship is accountability. I thought long about sharing this here, but it is truth and it is part of my journey. The part about dating.

It is a difficult journey for someone that was married for a very long time.
(well, probably for all of us that are single). I think not trusting myself to remain true to biblical teaching is one problem I have to face.. though I thought I was strong enough. My belief that God has great purpose for calling us to only be intimate within marriage is founded on scripture. I firmly believe that we are not to bend scripture to meet our weaknesses but be touched by scripture and give our weakness up.

Now..I was created to be this way, as surely as my loving nature and my laughter.. so this isn’t about rules or about being rejected by God.. It isn’t about being bad or good. He isn’t going to throw me out of Heaven.. It is about our journey. And our journey is so difficult to remain faithful and in closeness with Him. By being intimate with someone too soon or to whom I am not married to, I would begin feeling bad about that.. I separate myself from Him and He can’t protect me. That is how I see this.

I find the temptation is great. I went to The Word and of course, to my beloved poetic Message version…to find my reassurance and I wanted to share this with you. It is one thing to talk the talk, it is hard as all get out to walk The Word…. but God created that with our hearts and our best interest in mind. Even though I have begun dating a Christian, I was told that this was too much of a burden. Probably very scary too.. it means commitment. That is a lot to take in from the get go. But.. that is the way it is and I am okay with this.

I learned so much, about me, but mostly about how much God loves me so very much in this moment…

And when we learn and share, we let God pour healing and strength into our weakness. ( so hard to push post)

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5(MSG)
You’re God-Taught
4 1-3 One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.
Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
4-5 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

1 Corinthians 6:18(MSG)

16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

2 Timothy 2:22(MSG)

22-26 Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.

2 Timothy 2:22(NIV)

22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Proverbs 31:30(AMP)

30 Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!