Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Fear of God’ Category

What About The Love?

A song that was written 30 years ago – but is still relevant today – the lyrics are hauntingly real and VERY convicting.

 

God Bless

What About the Love?
Written by Kye Fleming, and
Janis Ian

I went to see my sister.
She was staying with a friend
Who had turned into a preacher
To save the world from sin.
He said, "First deny your body,
And then learn to submit.
Pray to be made worthy,
And tithe your ten percent."
I said, "Is this all there is,
Just the letter of the law?"
Something's wrong.
I went to see my brother
On the 32nd floor
Of a building down on Wall Street;
You could hear the future's roar.
He said, "Here we make decisions,
And we trade commodities;
If you tell me where there's famine,
I can make you guarantees."
I said, "Is this all there is,
Power to the strong?"
Something's wrong.
Something's wrong in heaven tonight.
You can almost hear them cry.
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, "What about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love?"
I went to see my neighbor.
He'd been taken to a home
For the weak and the discarded
Who have no place to go.
He said, "Here I lack for nothing;
I am fed and I am clothed.
But at times I miss the freedom
I used to know."
I said, "Is this all there is,
When your usefulness is gone?"
Something's wrong.
Something's wrong in heaven tonight.  (Something's wrong.)
[From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/a/amy-grant-lyrics/what-about-the-love-lyrics.html]
You can almost hear them cry.         (Cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, "What about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love?"
(Yeah, yeah, yeah....)
(Yeah.)
(Yeah.)
I looked into the mirror,             (Yeah.)
Proud as I could be,                  (Yeah.)
And I saw my pointing finger          (Yeah.)
Pointing back at me,
Saying, "Who named you accuser?       (Yeah.)
Who gave you the scales?"             (Yeah.)
I hung my head in sorrow;             (Yeah.)
I could almost feel the nails.
I said, "This is how it is
To be crucified and judged
Without love."
Something's wrong in heaven tonight.  (Something's wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry.         (Cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, "What about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love of God?"
Something's wrong in heaven tonight.  (Something's wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry.         (Cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, "What about the love?"
What about the love?
What about the love of God?"
Something's wrong in heaven tonight.  (Something's wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry.         (Cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, "What about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love...?"
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HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

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I have a heaviness in my spirit today.  I usually do not add a preface to my articles – but today I really feel that this is for somebody out there.  Someone who has felt condemnation and judgment from others.  I trust that this will help you today – this is for you.

I’ve always been fascinated by reactions of people when given a certain situation to navigate through.

Everyone responds differently.  It is not wrong to respond differently – it is just that we can’t all be put into a ‘box’ and be expected to look at things in the same way. Although – that is exactly what we do.  Expect people to look at things the right way – our way.

My husband used to use an illustration in some of his messages.  He would talk to Christian people and explain how the Holy Spirit can cause a reaction in our lives much like someone touching a live wire.  Here are a few ways people may respond:

1.  Jumping up and down, screaming and shouting and holding onto their hand that was hurt.

2.  Some might feel something but then deny they even felt it.

3.  Others may feel a tingle and say ‘ouch’.

In the same way when something  touches our life – especially the negative painful things – we have a few different ways to react to it:

1.  We jump around, scream and shout and coddle our hurt heart.

2.  We say, ‘You hurt me ‘  And never move on.

3. We say, ‘ouch’ – and move on – and never  touch that painful thing again.

I’ve seen this – and I’ve lived it. Even after doing everything to ‘bare my soul’ so to speak – and to do the right thing after something negative – sometimes the reaction from another person is still  negative. There are always going to be those in life that choose to see others in a negative light – even when we are all fallen, sinful creatures – and can hardly hope to redeem ourselves by casting the first stone. I suppose people do this because it makes them feel better – but I’ve never understood it.

And I am well aware that people see things and events differently too.  And like the above  – they are as varied in reaction as the people who react.  There have been those people in my own life who are quick to point fingers at me and tell me how sinful, terrible and unrepentant I am.  Never knowing the hard long journey that I have taken in efforts to keep my own heart right before God.  And the long soul-searching spent in much prayer asking God’s forgiveness and direction.  I’m sure we all have people like that in our lives.  I sure have in mine.  Those who would try to muzzle me from telling things in my own words – or those that even have the audacity to tell me how I feel – and more horrible than that – not only how I feel (or felt) – but they love to paint and dark and scary picture of what could have happened – based on nothing but speculation and supposition.  It’s insane – and only God has the inside track to who I am – what I’m thinking and just what my motives are for thinking or doing them.  Again these are reactions to their own pain, hurt, confusion and frustration.  And I can only pray for them and feel sorry.

My husband knows more than anybody how I have wrestled with criticism – founded and unfounded by those who at one time were my friends.  And how I have done the long hard work of keeping my heart clean from resentment from those who would still judge me without really knowing me and try to hold me hostage for my past mistakes.  I am guilty as charged.  I’m graciously forgiven by my Lord and Saviour.   I have had to be broken before God to make sure that everything is right inside of me.  And I learned something.  Even when you do this – even when everything is forgiven and covered by God – there are those that still will not believe it. And never will.  Therefore the only reaction that I really care about is God’s reaction to me –  and God’s alone.

There is such amazing freedom in this – He loves me.  He forgives my many mistakes.  He has covered all the sin in my life as He promises to do.  He is gracious and full of mercy – and does not react in a bad way – making me pay somehow.  Nor does he remind me of the past – and just how sinful and terrible I am.  I am then free to love you – with no apprehension – with no hidden agenda – just pure motive of wanting a right relationship – insomuch as is in my power to do so.

And those that continue to react badly – those are the people you feel sorry for – assign them an ‘outer orbit’ and you cut them loose – hoping and praying that others will be kinder to them – then they have shown kindness.  And that they will someday learn that it’s just not worth it to point the finger of blame.  And much better to just let it go and forgive – especially themselves.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Self-Control

Inside my mind

I am who I am

living a life

unguarded and real

Fighting a battle

with myself

that all must fight

The right to have

the right to decide

the right to control

Many decisions

daily

hold me back

or push me forward

I play a game of chance

I love the thrill

and the rush

the intoxicating darkness

that whispers and calls

it is so easy to go there

But the pain

of choices

past

ruin

hinder

hold back

and rob me

of freedom

and joy

I tremble

and wait

for another unkind word

knowing it is well deserved

hiding

pulling away

from everyone

and myself

it is guilt

it is shame

I want to resist

for a while I am strong

I can do it

no trouble

no inward battle of my will

and then…

I am slowly seduced

by a memory

or a thought

or a ‘what if’

and the game begins

and I am the loser

once again

And so the song

echoes in my head

“I’m never going back again”

and I am firmly resolved

to be weak

and frail

helpless

and undone

It is only

with Christ Jesus

I am set free

I am in full control

my weakness is made strong

when I do not try to do it alone

He teaches me

that my self-control

is the secret to my happiness

the key to my future

the mystery of saying no

and resisting

I am the winner

Sin makes you a slave

Grace sets you free

gives you self-control

peace in your heart

and makes you strong

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city. Proverbs 16:32

I am praying for you today that you too will learn the secret of building ‘self control’ in your own life – so that your sin nature will not ‘own’ you – promising things that cannot be delivered.  In resisting and saying ‘no’ you embrace freedom – in surrendering to your weakness and losing your will – you will find it again.

God Bless

Big Enough

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

I would like to think that my ultimate measure will be how I reacted in times of struggle, challenge and controversy.  I know I often fail that test and do not react the way I should – but I would like to think that I have the integrity and strength to handle whatever comes my way.  I fail.  I have failed.  No one ever said that life was easy and smooth all the time.  It is hard at times – beyond incredibly difficult to understand why things happen as they do – but I want to be able to stand – learn something from each test and live as an example to others.

The older I get – the more questions I have.  And oddly, I’m not as concerned about the answers as I once was.  Oh I still wish I knew – but it seems that part of the mystery is also part of the journey.

Finding the secret of being content – even amidst strife, difficult things and unanswered questions – seems to be the key.  Knowing I don’t have the power or wisdom to change things.  I don’t know how many times I have reminded people who have strong regret about decisions or circumstances of their past – feeling like they would go back in time and “fix” things if they could – that it is those very things that make them who they are today – yes – even the really bad things.  And God places the right people in our lives as we journey down that road of regret and pain – to identify with us and give us just the right encouragement for that moment in time – to carry on.  I firmly believe this.  This has been my experience – to look back and see the people put in my path to watch over me and will me to continue on.  It is a daily choice to be content – not to fret – and reach past – but to just be content.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:11-13

Below are the lyric to a song by Chris Rice entitled “Big Enough”.  I was listening to it on my pandora radio this morning and thought, “how appropriate!”  These words are what many of us can relate to.

None of us knows and that makes it a mystery
If life is a comedy, then why all the tragedy
Three-and-a-half pounds of brain try to figure out
What this world is all about
And is there an eternity, is there an eternity?
God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough
Lying on pillows we’re haunted and half-awake
Does anyone hear us pray
“If I die before I wake”
Then the morning comes and the mirror’s the other place
Where we wrestle face to face with the image of Deity
The image of Deity
God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough
When I imagine the size of the universe
And I wonder what’s out past the edges
Then I discover inside me a space as big
And believe that I’m meant to be
Filled up with more than just questions
So, God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough
‘Cause I am not big enough

I pray you have a day ‘peppered’ with many questions – and that you will be content in any and every situation you find yourself in today.

God Bless

Psalm 77

“Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” Soren Kierkegaard

Heard an excellent message this morning on Psalm 77 – written by Chief Musician Asaph.  Here is the Psalm:

1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.

2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
Selah

4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.

5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;

6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?

8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?

9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Selah

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?

14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Selah

16 The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.

17 The clouds poured down water,
the skies resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.

19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

What is interesting to note – Asaph being a musician and writer of Psalms – much like David – had a melancholy temperament and a creative mind – which was expressed in song writing and poetry.  He felt things.  He expressed his heart.  He was not afraid to be real.

Being real is sometimes very hard.  It seems like we do everything to hide what is really going on.  And let’s face it – when someone asks how you are – you do not usually say to them, “my life is falling apart!  I’m drowning”!  We have to keep up appearances and paste a smile on our face – even in difficult times.  But as Christians it is important to show others that we are real.  We are authentic – we go through things.  We have bad days – terrible experiences – life goes sideways on us – we are NOT perfect.  How can others relate with us and learn how to make it through – if we pretend we never have any problems or challenges.  Maybe you were raised in a home where it was not the thing to do to “share” too much of yourself or your feelings with others.  Maybe it is difficult because of who you are.

Our executive pastor was the speaker today and said he comes from a Norwegian family where appearance is important and if asked why they never show emotion, the response is always, “I’m laughing on the inside”.  And while we may think that is humorous – it is true of so many of us when we try to hide our real selves from those around us – from God and most of all ourselves. God himself made us with emotions and ways of expressing them.  It is important to acknowledge this – and not think of it as self-indulgent or as some sort of “weakness” to have problems.  To think there is something wrong with us – or maybe we are not “living with the victory” if we do.

1.  Be REAL about your WEAKNESS – in doing so we release something and allow a healing to begin.  When we express that we aren’t perfect to a trusted friend we allow them to be less than perfect also and we build trust by encouraging and showing them how we are processing through a difficult time.  We have accountability – so we do not fall through the cracks.

2. Be REAL – but don’t stay in that difficult time of sadness or depression permanently.   There is a time to have troubles – to stop and reflect – but then you MUST NOT STAY THERE.  Allow God to heal you.  Keep holding on to Him through difficult times.  Hold on to trusted friends who daily give you encouragement and council.  Surround yourself with positive people in your life that agree to walk with you – not condemn you – but accept you just the way you are – flaws and all.

When Asaph cried out to God out of a broken heart – he was then able to remember all the wonderful things that God had done.

3.  Maybe the solution to your problem is in remembering what God has done.  No quick fix.  No thunder bolt from heaven.  No “feel good” therapy – just a time of reflection and looking back.

I was challenged by this simple straight forward message today.  And I want to encourage you too.  Find someone today you can be real with.  Be real with God.  Be real with yourself.  And most of all – remember what He’s done.

God Bless

Making Marriage Better

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:3

Today Greg and I were having one of our “discussions” in the “talking room” over coffee. We were discussing a very heavy topic – “Christ and the Church” which led to the topic of how it says in the Bible that “marriage” is to be a model of that concept. However – it is a poor example – especially in light of all the bad marriages in our world today. It would be like trying to explain how God is like our “loving Father” to someone who has been abused by her earthly Dad.

But I believe this is a “picture” – just a glimpse, if you will – of how God intended for marriage to be – even though we are imperfect and fail at His model – over and over again. Why do we fail at it? Because we are flawed human beings – everyone of us at the core is selfish and wanting our own way. Our hearts are incredibly wicked – holding in them, secrets that pull us in directions that are in direct contradiction to what was intended for us. We are “prone to wander” – and we do.

Because of this selfish, willful nature – we become imperfect mates to our spouse and vise versa. It goes against our nature to “submit” – or put our own desires aside and prefer our mate’s desires and wishes – over our own.

We have all seen this happen – either in our own relationship – or in someone close to us. Feelings are marginalized. People are not validated. A marriage that may have started out full of life and passion – loses something over time – feelings change – life happens – people grow apart doomed to lead very separate lives. Lifeless, dry and empty. We have all heard the saying if we have been Christ followers all of our lives – “we don’t believe in divorce – MURDER yes!! But not DIVORCE!” And life continues on that “happy” note – lives of “quiet desperation” – seeking fulfillment and understanding from somewhere else – or from someone else – people of like minds – who validate us and encourage us in our daily journey to try and understand the life that has been “tossed” at us – and the “feeling” that may have changed for one reason or another.

But to “regard others as more important than yourselves” takes an act of my will. A daily discipline of my heart and mind. It means I still may want to have my own way – even hold things in my heart as a “secret” – but still – I will honor you – because I value you. I will even try to let go of those things that I want – and concentrate on loving you in the best way I can demonstrate it. And the “secret” things that I hold onto – the things I “stuff” so that you won’t see them – in time will not have as much of a hold on me anymore. And in time – by leading my heart – I will be able to let go of it entirely.

Ephesians 5:21,22

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

This is such a key scripture. We do it because we reverence Christ – not because we always feel like it. And in doing so – we become more like that model that He originally set up for us. Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her – how much more should we be willing to at least make an attempt at it?

Now do marriages fail in spite of this great principle? Yes. Usually because people lose sight of this model – are simply unwilling to submit to one another and give themselves – all of themselves – heart and mind in preference of the other. In those cases – there is usually no hope for that couple. And they usually live in a “cold war” situation – leading very separate lives – finding fulfillment elsewhere – or leaving the marriage entirely.

I want to challenge you today – just like you must be willing to be a friend in order to have friends – you must also be willing to prefer your mate over your own desires. It does not mean that you will hit the mark every time – that is impossible because we are human – but if our hearts are right – and we make the attempt to value that person in our lives – be the very best mate that we can be – then this is a start to making a better relationship – and a better marriage. Learn your mate’s “love language” and speak it to them every day. You will see a turn around very quickly in your own heart and attitude as you “serve” the other person in love – and you will find a sweet surprise of your own – that what you give away – will soon come back to you. And you will be blessed.

Have an AWESOME day – as you prefer one another.

God Bless

Blessed

James 1:12

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Ever feel like you’re “under trial”? – You’ve had to face some great “test”? And that there is no help – even “silence” from God himself? Take heart – the teacher is always silent during the test.

Something is changing in my spirit in the past few days. I feel a heaviness is lifting – and a real deep joy is taking its place. Oh nothing specific – I just feel happy. Even playful – and can’t stop smiling or giggling. Did I pass the test? I’m sure it’s not over yet – probably not even close. Just when I think it’s behind me – there’s something else to remind me. And I know – I’m not over it yet. But when I have days where I am happy and can’t stop smiling – then I know I’m going to be one of the ones that has “persevered” and stood the test without “giving in” to sadness or depression – temptation and even sin.

And I am very lucky. I have such good positive people in my life. A rich and happy family – a husband that loves me for me – and good friends that daily walk with me and encourage me with their presence in my life – I am blessed

I feel a little like Mary Tyler Moore in the theme song from her TV show in the 70’s – “You’re gonna make it after all” – it’s great to know. And I smile just thinking about it.

God Bless

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