Monthly Archives: August 2014

Give me Your joy

May the overflow of my heart reflect your glory
Let the fire of your love overwhelm inside of me
Like a mighty volcano that must be released

Make my soul restless for your beautiful presence
Envelop me with the embrace of the Spirit
Give me the faith to stand for your justice

Make all my desires be only from you
May I pray not merely for happiness, but for joy
For Your joy is so much greater than this world’s happiness

May the peace of Christ be so intertwined with my soul that nothing can take it away
May the love of Jesus be so completely filling
That the conflict with the flesh becomes nothing but a distant memory

My God, I ask that you would use me,  fill me and mold me
Lord, may my life, in spite of me and all my failings
Glorify your perfect, wonderful, loving Holy name

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What Are You Feeding?

I recently read a post from Mel Wild (http://melwild.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/working-from-rest-part-one/ ) on “why we should work from rest, which is simply abiding in Christ when you’re busy doing other things”. One of the main things that I got from it was a notion  that I felt I had slipped recently from living a life of worship into more trying to find time slots for God. This is a message I have heard several times before & something I have tried so hard to implement over the years, especially the past few years. The thing is, it is difficult, very difficult. It takes an initial conscious discipline that I am not always very good at.

In a way the most difficult part is rationalizing my life in my mind. I am without questions my harshest critic, often times I focus only on what I perceive to be the negatives of my life & behaviors instead of recognizing and embracing the good.

The problem with this way of thinking is that when we focus on the negative, we feed the negative and when we feed it grows, it becomes bigger, it becomes all you can see when you look at yourself. All of a sudden you are beating yourself up form not reading enough or meditating enough or praying enough or whatever it is that you’ve convinced yourself you should be doing more of.

It is the same with most of our struggles, struggle with working too much or drinking too much? The more you think about it the more it is all you focus on & invariably the more you do if it regardless of the fact that you know you need a better balance in your life.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of our life, not just the perceived negative. For me that is almost always initiated by a moment from / with God. Following these moments I always find myself focusing on God more & life in general just works better when I am living that way. When I focus on Him instead of the rest, the rest sort of just fades away.

This past weekend I had one of those moments, actually several. Following on from Mel’s message last week, there was a powerful sermon at my church on Sunday which taught on being patient, waiting for God to do what He has promised. To surmise, we were looking at when Joshua was walking around Jericho, six days they marched around with only trumpets playing, yet nowhere does it say that Joshua ever told his army why they were walking around this seriously fortified city & then going back to camp without saying a word.

What do you think the soldiers were thinking as they sat there in the evening? What were they saying to each other? Yet they prevailed, they trusted & on the final day the walls came tumbling down. Sometimes we have to remember that we may only be on day 2 or 3 of what God has planned (in this context). We have to trust, keep going, keep believing, keep pressing.

Sure, maybe you’re not who you think you should be yet (I know I’m not), but you are a work in progress & God, unlike us, is not in any hurry, so be gentle to yourself, be kind to yourself & trust that in His time, your struggles will pass away. The struggles or doubts or fears that you may be going through now are just a small part of your much larger journey. They are an opportunity for growth, and opportunity for faith. Hold fast, keep believing, he will see you through the whole journey, not just this one part.

Prior to this message on Sunday though was a real moment of God speaking identity to me through someone (I love it when He does that). A moment that confused me slightly at the time, yet has caused me to look a little differently at myself this week. Maybe I need to stop focusing on my perceived lack of time management skills that makes me feel somehow less devoted and instead live out of this identity that was spoken to me. Somehow I feel that my failings and struggles will seem less significant if I do this (it always has in these seasons in the past).

So what happened? On Saturday I was at Solomon’s Porch leading worship as I usually do once a month. In between sets a young lady came up to me and asked if I was the worship pastor. She asked as she wanted to thank me for leading worship and offer some edification. My initial reaction to the question was, no, that’s not me, I’m just a guy who plays guitar and sings here some times.  I’ve been called many different p-words before, but never a pastor, lol. Yet, in that moment at least that is exactly what I was.

Later in the day another person asked if I wrote songs, when I explained that I write many but finish few she strongly encouraged me to get working on them & to finish them. She told me I had a gift & that God would use it to help people if I would let Him.

Now, here’s some absolute honesty, I really wasn’t feeling it that morning. I felt physically a little under the weather, dehydrated or something, also my allergies were messing with my throat. To me I wasn’t doing that well, but to everyone that spoke to me during or after I brought the gift of beautiful worship.  Leading worship is not about the leader, I get that, yet in those moments I think it finally really sank in. Even when I am not “feeling it” personally, genuine love, devotion & worship will still be heard.

In these few simple moments, my loving Father spoke to me, He spoke to my true identity in Him. Yes there are some wonderful titles that people used, but that is not what I am referring to, He showed me once again that He loves me & He sees & loves my affection for Him. I need to stop looking at what I am “doing wrong” and get back to just focusing on loving my Father, for when I do, the rest will fade away regardless.

Focus on the good my friends, not the bad, feed your love, not your fears. Your life will be better for it, I promise you , my Daddy told me

 

Be blessed

 

 

PS Part 2 of Mel’s post came online this week while I was (slowly) figuring out what I was trying to say here J you can find it here: http://melwild.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/working-from-rest-part-two/

 

 

RIP Mary Frances Turner

Just as the flame flickers
Then sizzles to extinguish
When it’s time is done
So must our days
On this earth sadly end

95 glorious years
A blinding light of strength and honor
Humility and Sacrifice
A family matriarch
Moves on to eternal glory

I did not know you well
But I remember you well
A light of pure beauty, an example to all
The last of a generation
It is my privilege to call you family

Lord please comfort us in this time of grief
Bless this family for generations to come
May her community celebrate
An amazing woman and an amazing life
Rest In Peace dear Aunt Francis

A Light Went Out

Sometimes I wonder if we give entertainers too lofty of a place

In days gone by it was explorers and warriors that got the praise

Inventors and philosophers, doctors and teachers

Today a half talented “musician” or “artist”

Can climb their way to the top of some strange fortuitous mountain

 

Yet, for the many that should not be idolized

For all the “role models” that should be working a “real job”, there are the amazing few

There are the ones who give something so beautiful to the world

That we fall madly in love with them and their art

Their genius skews the balance of perspective so much

That we expect greatness from anyone even close to their field

 

The magnificent Robin Williams

Was one such person

His gifts have illuminated my life for as long as I can remember

A man I never met, who yet was a significant figure to me

Brightening the timeline of my history

He made me laugh, he made me smile, he made me think & wonder

The depths of his talents were sadly only matched by the depths of his troubles

One more beautiful depressive soul for me to relate to when others cannot comprehend

Yesterday a beautiful bright light when out

 

I pray for your grieving family, friends and fans

I know not the answers to the rules of afterlife,

While I have certainty that my faith in Christ is well founded

The grand scheme is well beyond my comprehension, as it should be

Anyone who claims to fully understand God is drowning in their own arrogance

All I know is that I am certain there are tears of laughter in heaven today

For a gift like yours and a heart like yours, should never die

Thank you for the memories, may you rest in peace my friend