Musings From A Musical Mind

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Trusting God

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand (Photo credit: Jenn Durfey)

The other day I walked and talked with a friend.  I felt safe.  There was a quiet understanding and acceptance there – a  freedom to be all I am supposed to be.  A human touch and validation can soothe in the dark and gray areas that lurk in the corners of our heart and mind.  Especially true if you, like I have known the sharp betrayal of trust from a ‘friend’.

Sometimes we can talk more freely to a trusted friend – and not feel that same freedom when we talk with God. Even when we know He will not betray us – or hurt us in any way.   I don’t know if it’s because saying things out loud to Him makes us feel silly, and seem unnecessary – as He already knows it all before we utter a single word – or if in saying things out loud confirms just how foolish, jealous, prideful, secretive, malicious and self-serving we are – even in what we feel are the best of circumstances.  But I do know this:  just because He already knows – does not discount His absolute validation and understanding, His stubborn acceptance and love.  As I learn to trust more – with all my feelings, no matter how silly they seem to me – I find no condemnation there.

I once heard a powerful message on the subject about being truthful with God.  We can hide from those around us – and even ourselves – but we cannot hide from Him.  We may fool ourselves into thinking that He will not know if we do not speak of it – yet scripture and everything we know about God would say otherwise.  And still He wants us to come to Him and confess it – say it out loud.  I like to think of it like this:  If I’m walking and talking with a good trusted friend – I would not hold back in expressing myself.  How much more should I trust the one who made me?  The one who has a unique “take” on my multifaceted personality – who is not surprised when something is difficult for me to get over – or I cannot seem to ‘get it’?  Who lovingly understands when things are frustrating for me.   He patiently waits for me to finish my rant when all I want are answers to questions when there are no answers.  How much more confidant should I be to bring all to Him – the things He has asked me to walk away from – the things that still bother me – the tears that no one sees?  And the absolute feeling of failure because I am still ‘going there’?  The fear of betrayal.

If you are on a similar journey – learning to open up and empty out your heart to God – and you’re finding it difficult knowing where to start, remember what it is like talking to your very best friend – someone you trust with your secrets, private emails and conversations.  You know they will not betray you – no matter how crazy you sound.  They will keep it to themselves and only want the very best for you.  God is much more trustworthy than your most trusted friend here on earth.  He will not turn you in, ‘rat you out’, embarrass or humiliate you.  He will listen.  He will quietly wait for you.  And then He will lovingly show you what to do next.  He is on your side – in your corner and has your back.  Forever.  Trust Him today.  Start that conversation with this:

Dear Lord – I know I’ve blown it big time in the past.  I’ve been a big failure and disappointment to others, myself and to you.  I don’t want to live that way anymore.  I’m tired of feeling bad, guilty and tired all the time.  I need you to replace all the icky stuff in my life with your forgiveness, peace, joy and love.  I believe you came to earth, died for my sins and rose again to give me eternal life.  I believe all I have to do is accept you into my life and that you and I together can begin a new life.  I need you as a trusted friend to help me through my many problems and decisions.  I am going to start today to trust you.  I believe that nothing is impossible with you.  Help me to come to you whenever the going gets tough – I am going to talk with you everyday and together we will figure it out.  Thank you so much for loving me.  Amen

If you sincerely prayed that prayer above – you’re ready to have daily conversations with Him.  Let Him into your thought life – your daily circumstances and everything that touches and affects you.  Nothing surprises Him – nothing takes Him off guard.  He is willing and able to be your support and help in time of need.  And because He made you and formed your unique personality – He knows just how to help, comfort and support you – like no one else can.

God Bless

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On A Clear Day

Driving to Seattle on a clear day is very revealing.  It shows me what I’ve been missing all the other days of the year.  The things that are there, yet hidden.  The Cascade Mountains, for one.  Suddenly I’m aware that my world isn’t so small after all – and just beyond my ability to perceive them lies untold beauty.

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing ...

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing towards the North East from Queen Anne, Seattle WA. The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge is in the background with a backdrop of the University of Washington and the Cascade Mountains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times are we like a cloudy, rainy day in our thoughts – going along through the day with all the correct motions and intentions, and yet perceiving our world as much smaller than it really is.

I was challenged to take a lesson from nature – open up my eyes and LOOK around me – for things I cannot see with my natural limited senses.  I want to reach far beyond the box of “normal” and see with God eyes all the beauty I’m missing.

I thought of the song “On a clear day you can see forever” and was reminded that it is clearness in both our eyes and thoughts that can give us that unique perspective on things around us.  And I want to always remember what is invisible when the storms of life close in on me and I cannot see.

Dear Lord – help me to hang on to that clear vision from those clear days – and to use it when those tough times close in around me.

When was the last time you saw things with “clear vision”?

I heard the following song on Spotify today from a local Seattle band – and have been writing this article with this tune in my head.

Enjoy and God Bless

Tell me somethin’, give me hope for the night
We don’t know how we feel
We’re just prayin’ that we’re doin’ this right
Though that’s not the way it seems

Summer gone, now winter’s on its way
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
Oh, I’ll miss the days we had

Loving, leaving, it’s too late for this now
Such esteem for each has gone
Has time driven our season away?
Cause that’s the way it seems
In the world of the speech that is new
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay

Faithful

English: Image for BBVA EAGLEs article

Image via Wikipedia

 

My puppy puts me to shame

She is loyal

Faithful

She will not leave my side

even in the early morning when she’s hungry

She waits for me

to have my devotions

and coffee

and to fully

get up

and put my slippers on

even though it takes me

several minutes

to finally go downstairs

She does not get upset

or anxious

she trusts

and waits

 

How faithful am I?

How patient?

Can I wait?

Do I run ahead?

Anticipate?

Set my own course?

Am I willing to wait

on God

for the things

He says I must?

Can I sit

and  quietly contemplate

drink in

calm my scattered mind

and just

be faithful?

I’m tired

and need strength

I complain

fuss and fume

I need

to relax

stop the spinning

sit back

and wait.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. 
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired, 
   they walk and don’t lag behind.  Isaiah 40:31  Message Bible

What about you?  Feeling weary?  Need some fresh strength today?  I know a source of strength that will not only renew – but help you to soar like an eagle.  Imagine running and not getting tired, walking and not lagging behind?

Yes – I think I can – I know I can – Lord help me to...wait.

God Bless

The “Taboo” Subject

I have recently been introduced to Dan Brennan’s blog  Jesus met Mary – A Sacred Friendship Gathering from fellow blogger Alise Wright  who was so impressed by his writings and upcoming seminar, that she featured him in her blog.  Dan is passionate  to find true meaning and depth in platonic male/female relationships in today’s culture.  Because he is in another state, I am not close enough to attend his seminar,  held in Chicago, IL this April.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed his many articles and research on this topic – considered a sort of “taboo” subject by most Christians today.  And Alise is privileged to be one of the many who will be attending and be blogging about the event.

The article below will make you think – and even have you coming away with more questions than answers on this complex subject concerning men and women – can they really just be friends?  What if your culture, church leadership and other Christians believe you can’t – does it not promote distrust and fear?  Will men and women be robbed of something deeper?  Does sexuality have to be the only motivating force in relationships?  Should we buy into what they tell us – and be afraid that every male/female relationship will result in an affair?  Is that just a given – no matter what?  What if we looked at it from a healthier point of view?

I personally have enjoyed many “friendships” with men over the years – some of my best friends tended to be guys in high school and college.  I still enjoy talking with men and find them interesting – and not at all like me.  I’m constantly sharpened by their humor, honesty and straight forward way of thinking.  I find men to have no hidden agenda – if they like me – they just like me, no questions asked.  In all my years through my many friendships, I have only had one situation that I deeply regret.  It was someone who was motivated by fear and culture as I was.   I believe that if he had believed in the power of friendship, mutual love and respect, and a value in a brother/sister bond – instead of being motivated and influenced by fear and distrust – I believe that in time things would have been different and our friendship restored.  When you care deeply for someone – love covers a multitude of sins, bad choices and regrets.

I only mention the above story to you because when I read Dan’s articles I was able to say – YES!  I CAN RELATE TO THIS!  And was very excited to have someone who has not only been through this kind of situation – but is passionate to change how we look at our relationships – in a more healthy way, without fear – bringing out the best in each other – bringing value and acceptance to others regardless of male or female.

The following article is by Dan Brennan – and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Sexualization of Culture.

A Touch Of Nostalgia

Yes that’s me.  My senior picture taken in the summer of 1978 for my year of graduation – 1979.

This morning I received an invitation on facebook from a former high school class mate – to join “schoolFeed” a website somewhat like “Classmates.com”.  Naturally I was curious and was surprised to see many people I recognize (well, at least I recognize their names) from high school.  It is a website that allows you to post pictures, interest, bio and stats, including a senior photo – so others can tell it’s really you.

I’ve never been too interested in this kind of stuff before – because frankly – I keep in touch with those I want to and have never sought out the others I did not have relationship with past high school.   Usually for most of us, high school is a time of dark murky waters of self-consciousness and humiliation – mixed in with some of the best times of our lives.  For me – an old boyfriend or two has a tendency to pop up on sites like this and although amusing – it’s sometimes better to leave the past in the past.  Heartbreaks and relationship issues – especially in high school are dicey at best.

My good times in high school revolve around my musical and dramatic involvement – NOT the academic arena.  In fact – I can hardly remember what I learned back them – don’t remember ever having homework but managed to pull “A’s” and “B’s” in most classes.  But I remember almost every play I was involved in and every piece of music I sang in our concert and Jazz choir.

But when I look back on high school  – it is not with all fondness.  It was an age of awkwardness, not being sure enough of myself – to really be myself and mostly a time of great regret for me personally.  As one of the few Christians in my high school – I know I could have spoken up more – and tried to make more of a difference, but I didn’t.  I know I did not handle a couple of situations in the right way.  Who really acts in a grown-up way before the age of 18?  But still – it is something I think about.

I have this weird recurring dream too.  I’m back in high school – can’t remember my locker combination – can find my class, etc.  When I finally do find a schedule for classes – I’m in one (after roaming the halls forever)  too late in the quarter and don’t have any idea what they’re talking about – and there’s a real possibility I won’t graduate.  Now in the light of day this is a silly dream (if there really is such a thing)  I not only graduated, but went on to be a college graduate as well.

The only explanation that Greg and I have ever been able to come up with is this:

Somewhere deep down – I have the feeling of “unfinished business”.  And this is something I have never been able to shake.

So finding some of these people online whom I have not had a face-to-face conversation since 1979 – is surreal.  Gotta love facebook for bringing past people back into our present.  What we do with them is our choice.

And because we can never go back – I have to believe that those circumstances, pain and regret have made me who I am today.  Without them – I would not have learned how to handle heartbreak and regret, or to be able to find a long-lasting relationship – and know the difference.

But I do want to reconnect with those from my past that make me smile.  Those I’ve forgotten about, as they went on their way to “do life”.  Share wonderful memories of fun things we did – remember teachers and events and talking about how old and mature we thought we were.  But most of all – I would love to take what I know now about people and life in general – and walk those high school halls again, find those people whom I hurt and who hurt me – and make things right in person.

What are your best and worst high school memories?  Do you like connecting with others from your past?  What would you do if you could go back with what you know now?

God Bless

Yes I Really Do Have 700 Friends On Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The other day I attempted to “cut my friend list” on facebook.  You know how it goes – you have an account for a while, and pretty soon people just start “appearing” on your friend list until you have near 1000 people!  This happened to me a few years ago.  I heard the snickers and taunts from my other facebook friends, “no one has 100o friends!” and set out to cut it back and only have people there I actually knew in person and had a connection with.

That was 2 or 3 years ago.  Then over time it crept up again as I slowly added those that were “late adopters” in joining the social media world.  Students, former students and people I had a relationship with on some level all came on board and asked to “friend” me.  Usually I did – because I knew them, or a friend knew them.

And like you, I have also been forced to eliminate some who I don’t need to be seeing every little thing they do, have contact with – or who for some reason have made me feel uncomfortable by status updates, pictures and comments.  And some people I do not feel comfortable with them seeing every little thing about me either.  But luckily this number is very small.

The other day I noticed my numbers were climbing up there again.  “NO ONE has 800 or 1000 close friends”, I said to myself.  I went through my list of “friends” and started eliminating based on whether or not I ever had a conversation with them.  As I was cutting back my list – I noticed something.  Most of these people are students, former students, past ministry life, or current friendships and church connections.  And because I love being connected with those I have had a part in the investing process – I don’t want to cut it loose.  Students grow up, get jobs, get married and have children – how much I would miss if I didn’t have them on facebook.

I guess the bottom line is this:

Yes I REALLY DO have 700 friends in my life.  I would not have known that until I went to look at them closely, individually, one by one.  Each face is a reminder of an event in both our lives that made that special connection.  Some are people I know only through the blogging community and many of them I have been able to talk with on Skype, although I have not met them in person.  They are daily contributors to my world of writing – and we have a common faith in Jesus Christ.

For those of you who are not aware who is on your friend list – I encourage you to do the same thing.  Look at your list and for each person you keep, remember why they are in your life and what brought you to this point in time.

I love making new friends – but mostly the people who I remain in contact with are the relationships that have stood the test of time and have meaning in my life today.

I am thankful for facebook.  It has allowed me to stay in touch and be a part of those I love as we share pictures, love and laughter together, encouraging and praying for each other – it helps to fill in those times when we can’t be together in person 🙂

As a teacher – facebook has been a great tool for keeping students and parents informed.  I have a page for my music studio as well as one for my blog.  These have both been great tools of communication!

And I’m a sucker for former and current students “dropping by” my page and saying “hello” to me 🙂

How many “friends” do you have on facebook?

God Bless

Humor by Fred Klett

On a couple nights of our recent cruise to Alaska we had the privilege of having the very clean but HILARIOUS humor of Fred Klett.  I laughed the first night until my cheeks were sore.  And no kidding – one woman in the front row got TICKED OFF at his style of poking fun at those in the audience that weren’t laughing and she actually WALKED OUT!  I think that might have been even more funny!  He was doing a “reverse heckling” to the front row (and a few rows back too) and put the microphone in front of a couple of women to see how their laughing was.  You had to be there – it was pretty funny.  This next bit about the funny ways that different cultures speak – was one of the bits he did on our cruise that night.  Our cruise director, Mike – is from ENGLAND so you can imagine what grief the ENTIRE cruise gave him after that – EVERY time anyone saw him in public – such an easy target – and SO MUCH FUN!

Hope you enjoy – and if you like this one – be sure to catch his other bits on youtube.  He did most of these on our cruise too.  Clean humor is THE BEST!

God Bless

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