Sunday, November 30, 2008

All About the Wordplay

1. Put your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THE SONGS TITLE DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!

1)IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Stoppin the Love (KT Tunstall)

2)WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Tumbling After (Starfield) 

3)WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY?
Gold (from Once)

4)HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Who Am I? (Casting Crowns)

5)WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
River Kiss (Nancy Wilson/Elizabethtown) 

6)WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Lessons Learned (Carrie Underwood) 

7)WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Julia (The Beatles)

8)WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
I Just Love You (Five For Fighting) 

9)WHAT IS 2+2?
Many Rivers to Cross (Joe Cocker) 

10)WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Nothing Left to Lose (Mat Kearney)

11) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
On Fire (Switchfoot)

12)WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Sing to the King (Candi Pearson) 

13) WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Reprise (David Crowder) 

14) WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Don't Worry Baby (B.J. Thomas) 

15) WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Good Vibratioins (The Beachboys) 

16) WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Never Loved You More (Nichole Nordeman) 

17) WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Boston (Augustana) 

18)WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Free Bird (Lynyrd Skynyrd) 

19) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Sugar Daddy (The Jackson 5) 

20)WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Dirty Second Hands (Switchfoot) 

21) WHAT IS THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Hello, Goodbye (The Beatles) 

22)HOW WILL YOU DIE?
In Repair (John Mayer)

23) WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Black Horse & The Cherry Tree (You're not the one for me) (KT Tunstall) 

24) WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Air on a G String (Bach) (AND IT DOES HAHAA)

25) WHAT MAKES YOUR CRY?
Slow Dancing In a Burning Room (John Mayer) 

26) WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
Sunny Days (Jars of Clay)

27)WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
You Really Got a Hold On Me (The Beatles)

28) DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Mellow Yellow (Donovan) 

29) IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
All in Love is Fair (Stevie Wonder)

30) WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
You Don't Have to Believe Me (Eric Hutchinson)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Still in Need of a Savior

We have a problem in the American Christian Church. Not "those" Christians, but you and me. We are so uncomfortable with hurt... not the hurt of the "sinner", but the hurt of the Christian. We somehow fool ourselves into believing that once we're saved, nothing bad will ever happen, and for those of us who are unfortunate enough to have misfortune fall upon (or for those of us who don't pray hard enough) we're just supposed to grin and bear it and pretend like just because we know of God's grace, it doesn't hurt as much. Because God can't possibly use a hurt messed up Christian, can He? Sadly, I think many people parading around in the Church as Christians would say yes. 

We expect our brothers and sisters to be just as pretty and picture perfect--inside and out--as we are in our happiness and "blessings". We are so afraid to admit that our "family" could be anything other than God's perfect and chosen people because that means someday WE could possibly be like them (heaven forbid). We are so afraid to admit that they are, and we by association, are still... sinners.... weak... fake.

But that's just what we are when we're so afraid to admit we're weak... we're fake. We try our best to be like Jesus, but we'll never ever admit that we need Him (after our initial conversion experience). We'll find a Bible verse to justify the circumstance or action and move away. We work so hard to pretend like there is nothing wrong-- but really it's Christians who should be the MOST willing to admit when something is wrong--because we KNOW what is wrong, and we know it is DRASTICALLY wrong. We won't help. We won't call other Christians out. We won't mourn. We won't do anything to admit that there could be anything wrong with a fellow Christian, and this begins to convince us that WE (that YOU and I) don't have anything wrong with us. 

I honestly wonder how differently our lives would look, how different the Church would look, if we weren't so concerned with convincing people we are just like Jesus and started admitting that we really NEED Him. 

"I'm scared to wander outside major keys
So I sing a song that I wrote just to please
The fools and the fakes afraid just like me to be honest

So I play pretend with my smile painted on
At best I'm a clown and at worst I'm a con
Convincing the crowd and myself nothing's wrong to be honest

My soul is trembling
Knowing they're listening
But all that I need to be
Is all that You're making me

I'm leaving the stage
You can turn my lights down
The curtains are closed
And I'm taking my bow
Lord help me remember
Cause I forget how to be 
Honest

And I rewrote my story without tragedy
Left out the lines that reveal I am weak
Erased every reason for You to save me
To be honest

My soul is trembling 
Knowing they're listening
But all that I need to be
Is all that You're making me

I'm leaving the stage
You can turn my lights down
The curtains are closed
And I'm taking my bow
Lord help me remember
Because I forget how to be honest" 




Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for the Blessing and the Lesson

Recently, I was talking with a friend about prayer life and I noted how often I find myself telling God how I'm going to do things. For example, I often catch myself saying things like, "God, please help me to show X person love by doing X" or "God, please help me to be more loving and patient by doing X." However, as he suggested, I'm finding it so true that God doesn't make you more loving or patient or anything like that, but give you the opportunity to be more loving, patient, etc. 

Another thing I've noticed lately is how reluctant I am to share my "life story" with people--not because I'm ashamed, but because, frankly, it really is sad! And I just hate when people feel sorry for me and try to help me or feel they need to fix me. To be honest, I just wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I'm so thankful for every disappointment and scar I carry because they have taught me to love and to know joy in a way I feel lots of people just can't understand. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is I think I'm a happy person, not because I am always in a good mood, but because I have been blessed with opportunity after opportunity to find happiness and light in the dark :-) and I'm just so thankful. 

"It was when I was happiest that I longed most... The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing... to find the place where all the beauty came from" - C.S. Lewis 

Monday, November 24, 2008

The death in goodbye

I think the weirdest part of a break up is not saying goodbye, it's not the loneliness, it's not anything like that. 

The weird part is finally realizing that there's something better out there than what I previously thought was perfect. No, maybe the weird part is when I write love songs... and none of them are about you. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Forgiveness... "And then he put down the rock"

My friends back home love to tease me about my tendency to tell really, really long stories that build and build until I reach the ever-intense climax and end it with a depressingly short and disappointing end. I always feel like they have a very deep and meaningful point, but if you're just listening to the story for the plot, I suppose I can understand why you'd be disappointed. 

My friend Laurissa in particular loves to remind me of a story I told in front of my youth group. I love Shaun Groves and I listened to a Podcast of his where he told about a night in college when he felt like he hadn't forgiven someone and wanted to feel, physically, what his soul had been feeling by harboring unforgiveness for so long. So, he went outside got a rock. I think it was probably like 4 or 5 pounds... which isn't that big. So he went into his dorm room and took in in his hands and raised this rock above his head. And he stood there... and stood there... and stood there... for hours. 

I don't know if you've ever held your hands above your head (even without a rock) for very long, but I'd encourage you to try it and see how long you can hold your hands up there before your arms hurt and you begin to shake a little.

Anyway, poor Shaun was standing there, with this rock in the air, shaking, sweating, and concentrating ONLY on keeping the rock up in the air until something huge happened...

He put down the rock. 

Disappointing ending, I know, but if you really look at it, this story is just so deeply profound.

Sometimes we have a little grudge we hold onto (or sometimes it is a huge hurt), but as we hold onto it, just like the rock above his head, it turns into something much greater than it ever was in the first place. Your soul begins to shake, sweat, and it becomes the only thing you can even concentrate on. It seeps into every aspect of your life and it keeps coming back again and again. 

In my own life, I know I hated someone for the longest time. I thought I was fine and I was in God's presence and a good Christian. I knew I hadn't forgiven this person, but in my thoughts and prayer times it's almost as if I said to God, "No. You don't understand. This person has ruined my life. I'm going to have to carry scars for the rest of my life on my heart and soul because of this person. This person has hurt the people I love. I deserve to hate this person because that's the only way this person will know how much the actions this person made hurt me. No God. You don't understand this hurt and I need to hold on to this to feel safe." 

I just feel like God has to either laugh at us for saying that or maybe just feel so frustrated--maybe He even pities us. (I always wonder how God feels about my thoughts in life). 

And I suppose that sometimes we confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. We think if someone comes to us and admits their "evildoings" suddenly the "rock above our head" will disappear and THEN we can forgive someone. However, having held a rock above my head for far too long, I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is. I feel like I may never have "this person" come to me and admit and trespasses. In fact, I KNOW that won't happen. But after I forgave this person, I looked at him with new eyes. I'm fully aware of mistakes, past decisions, hurtful words, and a crooked heart, but once I forgave this person I couldn't help but look upon this person with a heart only filled with love. It was so strange. I no longer hated. I no longer hurt. It was ridiculously simple... I just put down the rock. And I could only feel the (metaphorical) blood rushing back into my fingers and marvel at the ability to use my hands for what they were created for, instead of holding onto that rock. 

Putting down the rock doesn't negate its existence, but it does free your soul.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light." -Matthew 11:28


 



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sometimes a light surprises

Sometimes a light surprises
The christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises 
With healing in His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God's salvation,
And find it ever new; 
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say-
E'en let the unknown morrow
Bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing,
But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,
Will clothe his people too:
Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed;
And He, who feeds the ravens,
Will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit shall bear;
Though all the fields should wither
Nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet God the same abiding,
His praise shall tune my voice,
For, while in Him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

We do not lose heart

"Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness" made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ. 
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus Christ, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus; sake, so that his live may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: "I believed, therefore I have spoken." Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believed and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

-2nd Corinthians 4:1-18

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All about those words, over numbers, unencumbered, numbered words

I love words. I truly believe that language makes up who we are. Without language, there is no sense of self. There is no meaning to love or pain. Nothing.

However, as much as I feel that literature is important to understanding life, ourselves, and those around us, I once heard someone say,

"A book will never make you feel as good, as fast as 'I've got sunshine, on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May.'"

And it's true. There's something about music that touches the deepest part of your soul, but without words, it means nothing.