Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Fall’ Category

With Clear Vision

I sit in my office this morning – listening to my Spotify playlist while working at my desk.  I look out my window and see the incredible colors of fall – the trees in our front yard being the last of the trees to turn color in our neighborhood – and am in awe and filled with wonder at the incredible beauty – just outside my window.

This is behind glass.  A window that separates me from the outside – and from seeing this picture with clear vision.

What separates you from seeing something with clear vision?  If this life we are living – is just a picture – a dim picture of reality – as though looking through a dark mirror, then what is reality?   Are things sometimes not as they really seem?  When was the last time you wondered about something like this?  When was the last time you wished you could see a situation with clear vision?

 

God Bless

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Can You Smell The Fall?

Soarin' Over California

Years ago we took our children to Universal Studios and California Adventure in California.  We decided to hit these theme parks and Knotts berry Farm because a few years before this we had done Disney Land and only Disney Land.

On this special trip (the last where we would share a room with our two children in a hotel)  we found the ride “Soarin’ over California“.  If you have been on this – you will immediately know of what I am referring.  Those of you that have not – this is similar to an IMAX experience – only you are strapped into seats that move up and down – high in the air, giving the feeling of actually being a part of the action on the HUGE screen in front.

What’s so special about this ride is this:  To enhance the enjoyment of all the senses they spray things into the air to make you feel like you are there smelling them in person.  On this particular trip they sprayed pine into the air during the part where we were soaring over pine trees.  It was an AMAZING sensory experience and like a wide-eyed little kid – I excitedly said to my kids, husband – and yes everyone around me, “Do you smell the PINE?”

I loved that ride so much – we did it again that afternoon.  It wasn’t until later in the day, on our way back to our hotel room that my own dear SWEET children decided to have a good time (at my expense) and tease me UNMERCIFULLY about my, “Do you smell the PINE?”  – imitating my voice in a much higher pitch than their own, all the while collapsing into fits of giggles.

Needless to say, they have NEVER let me forget about that trip – even though it’s been at LEAST 10 years since we took it.  And I’m so glad to be able to offer amusement to my now GROWN-UP children, every time they remember that trip to California.

I must admit though, I’m pretty much like a kid again when the leaves turn in the fall and when the first snow of the season happens.  If I have students here – I will be the one to stop what we’re doing and look outside, saying, “Look at the weather!  It’s SNOWING!!!”  And even though it has not happened yet – the fall weather reminds me that the seasons change and it will come around again – just like last year.

And like that trip where I smelled the pine – I can tell by the smell of the air that it’s going to rain, breathe in the cold, crisp air of fall and feel something else is coming – and LOVE the smell of snow in the air.

What do you love about this time of year?

Can YOU smell the Fall?

God Bless

A Splash Of Color In A Black And White World

 Have you ever felt like you were seeing things in a “black and white” way – and then suddenly – you see some color?

When was the last time you stopped to just look?  And really – noticed?

How does a little splash of color change your perspective?

God Bless

The Devil Made Me Do It

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Image via Wikipedia

Our pastor had a great message yesterday.  The subject was “Why do bad things happen?” – a very timely topic in light of the recent events in Japan.

As he spoke and listed the possible reasons why things happen – I was reminded of the journey that I have been on – and the many people who I have encountered along the way who have also had bad things happen to them.

Sometimes bad things DO happen to good people.  It’s called LIFE.  We live in a fallen world where things are going to happen.

We ourselves are fallen creatures – capable of making choices that are not always the best.  Many things we do to ourselves – and although the Lord forgives us – people aren’t always so kind – and worse than that – there is the fall-out and carnage from those choices that can follow us for the rest of our lives.

Our choices, therefore – can lead us down a path of unresolved issues, guilt, despair, hurt and frustration, separation from loved ones and good friends.  Or they can lead us to reconciliation, understanding, forgiveness and love.  I want to be in the later group – and I want all those that I have wronged to also be in that group.  Ah – but that is not always possible.  My husband Greg – calls this, “Cindy Land”.

And of course when touching on this subject – my childhood teachings come in to play.  Certain scripture verses come to light when talking about ‘temptation’ – or ‘failing’ or just simply  a ‘mess-up’.   Scriptures that would cite the Devil or at least demonic activity as the culprit for why we mess-up – why we are tempted to do wrong – or get involved with wrong people and wrong choices.  Things like, “The Devil is crouching at the door”  or “The Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy”.   And although I buy into some of that to a certain extent – (I cannot argue with scripture after all) – I also have to accept responsibility for my own choices. I do know people who blame the Devil for everything saying, “The Devil made me do it” – instead of accepting personal responsibility for their own actions.  And almost always, those same people point fingers and blame others – instead of looking inside of themselves and taking the responsibility for themselves.  This makes me sad – because I know they will never heal properly while trying to “run from the devil” or run from those “bad people” who tempt them into doing wrong.  The answer is almost always inside ourselves and  has to do with our own heart.  Can the Devil take advantage of us when we are weak? – Yes.  Does he tempt us?  Yes.  I do believe that.  But he cannot force us to do anything – we are capable of making those bad choices without any help.  The heart of man is deceitfully wicked and prone to wander – without any help at all.  “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you”

I know for myself – that I am almost always aware when I make a choice – good or bad.  There comes a point of ‘no return’ – where I blow past all the red flags – and intentionally do something – because I want to. I can admit that.  I think everyone would be better and healthier if they could just admit it too.

Like my pastor, Stephen – I do not believe that the earthquake and tsunami of Japan and a couple of years ago the earthquake in Haiti – is the result of God’s judgment.

I believe that the world is fallen – it has been fallen since sin entered the garden through Adam and Eve.  And yet despite this fact – I believe that God is good.  He sent His son Jesus to rescue me from myself, to validate and identify with me.  I believe that He loves me.  He came – He got involved.  He forgives and He is with me through bad things that happen to me.  He walks with me and gives me the ability to get through it.  He is very aware that I am fragile and that I blow it.  He is slow to anger and covers me with love and mercy.  And one day – things will be perfect again – when He returns and we see Him as He is.

Until then – we are here – living with fallen people – and in a fallen world.

When you have had something bad happen to you – either by a mistake and wrong choices that you have made – or just because you’re living in a fallen world with fallen people – I believe that you have a choice – just like I do.  A choice to quit and say, “I’m done” – or you can take that bad thing and use it to help other people – becoming a softer and more compassionate person who understands God’s amazing grace.  Someone whom others will come to when in trouble – who need an understanding hug and word of encouragement.

Be that person today.

As we journey together…

God Bless

Here is a little Flip Wilson – enjoy!

We Are NOT Broken

Broken Heart

Image by Gabriela Camerotti via Flickr

The other day while teaching a piano lesson – I fell out of my chair in my office.  I’m not kidding.  I have a new office chair with a really high center of gravity – and I was innocently leaning over to my right to pick something up off the floor – when all of a sudden – my chair slipped on the hardwood slippery floor – right from underneath me.  My natural instinct was to put out my hand to stop my fall – unfortunately it was my THUMB that took all the impact.  I heard a nasty ‘popping’ sound like a knuckle cracking – and thought to myself, “That can’t be good”  – but I was really in no pain so I kept on teaching the rest of the afternoon – even playing the piano for a few more voice students.

My 19-year-old son LAUGHED AND LAUGHED when he heard about it later that day.  And it would’ve been really funny to me too – if I did not have to use my thumb to play the piano.  But like any injury – it creates great drama – and a wonderful story for later.  My daughter Ashlee used to love  the saying, “It’s not funny until someone gets hurt – and then it’s HILARIOUS!”

Because there was no real pain – but was quite swollen – even turning black and blue yesterday – I kept icing it and then Greg fashioned a bandage to keep it immobile while I was teaching.  Last night it looked worse – so we called our 24 hour nurse hot line and explained the injury to a nurse.  She was very thorough and asked me a lot of questions about my thumb – the type of swelling – where it was sore – if any place.  By the time I was off the phone with her – I was confident that I had just sprained it.  I slept with a bandage on it last night – and this morning there is hardly any swelling at all!  So relieved!  The things we do to ourselves, right?  Nothing like self-induced injuries!

I also tried Acupuncture on my back for the first time yesterday and really liked it!  I’m going to go again – as well as keep my regular chiropractic  and massage appointments.  Getting older is not very fun.  And tomorrow I enter into a new decade.

Injured but NOT broken. Kind of like – life.

God Bless

Finding Balance

The canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke &...

Image via Wikipedia

Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Long before we were born – in ancient days of old – man was struggling with the same things that we are today.  His sin nature.

From the beginning – we were all subject to the human condition – because of the ‘fall of man‘ – and like King Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun’.

Today’s temptations and stresses are nothing new.  Man has been facing them since the beginning of time – and just about any sin you can think of – is listed by example in the Bible.  No one is immune to temptation and his sinful nature.

Jesus promised to bring rest from ourselves. He brought it in a new way.  He gave himself.  As long as we ignore and deny Him – His rightful place in our lives – we will forever be slaves to our dark sinful natures.

I’m not talking about religion.  Religion is ritual and duty.  Born out of guilt about our condition – and as a way to ease our bruised conscience.  That sounds very motivating to me.  NO WAY!  The more you push – the more I’m going to pull – again the sin nature rearing its ugly head.

But Jesus came to bridge the gap of ritualistic religion for religion’s sake.  He came to bring Himself – to offer forgiveness because He Himself IS God – and He came to offer relationship with Him by offering that forgiveness.

You want to live a life of balance and of joy? – then He is the key.  He promises a life of rest and promise. Nothing too heavy will be hoisted upon you.  He will carry you in the tough places.  And He will bring the ‘lightness’ to your everyday world.

There is so much heaviness today in our world.  Those of us that have that relationship with God through Jesus – have a different world perspective.  We have a hope that others do not.  We have a life of meaning and purpose while others live lives of quiet (and not so quiet) desperation.   All sorts of issues today, politically, relationally and economically.  And because it seems that the real enemy of our souls is busier than usual to get us to trip up – just remember this:  Satan has been around a long time – spinning the same lies.  There’s nothing new here.

It comes down to a life of balance. When I am off-balance – this is when temptation and trouble can find me – and I can find it.  A life built on the Word of God and a relationship with Jesus will help to protect me from that temptation of just following  my own sinful nature – that lurks in my heart.  And we all have the ability to be off-balance.  It’s very easy to do. We are stressed, busy, lonely, prideful, independent, etc.  These all can lead to unhealthy habits in our lives.  And take us down a road of temptation that starts out in an innocent way.

This is why we need Jesus to help bring back the balance to our lives.  And He promises to do that.

So walk with Him today – listen to what He is calling, ‘unforced rhythms of grace’.  The many things He allows as part of your journey – and the many times He covers you with much-needed grace and mercy.  And if you’re tired and ‘burned out’ – this is the place you need to be.  Bringing balance and order back into your crazy life.  Walk with Him – watch how He handles it.   Learn from Him.  Watch how he transforms your hard unforgiving heart – into something soft and pliable – and shows you how to apply grace to your life with others.

He will bring that balance back into your worn-out and weary life.  Teach you how to live lightly and freely.

God Bless

 

 

Another Winter

Autumn fallen leaves of Zelkova serrata

Image via Wikipedia

The chill in the air feels familiar

and yet

there is always something missing at this time of year

I wait for something

I sense the anticipation

Leaves hang on

as if they too

are waiting for something

and then they fall

surrendering to their time

surrendering to the cold

And like the leaves

I too – hang on

waiting for something

But in the end

I too surrender to the inevitable

perhaps an echo

of past things

a glimpse of something

from long ago

in this time of the year

when chill and thoughts of snow

fill the air

Another winter season

when something was lost

and something else found

And I realize

I am the leaves

that have fallen

surrendering to the cold

and the winter

and yet…

I am getting up again

crushed but not broken

Another ‘winter’ came

to steal my joy

rob my spirit

and I was lost

But I survived

got back up

and here I am

to face another winter

that feels familiar

but is so different

And I smile

another season

more progress

on my journey

regrets that lessen

with time

and healing

in all things that matter

and I am content

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