Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

A City Weeps

This last week Seattle lost long time anchor woman Kathi Goertzen.  After a long battle with brain tumors and many attempts to remove them, her compromised body had had enough.    But it was pneumonia that finally took her.

Kathi Goertzen

Kathi Goertzen (Photo credit: Steve Lacey)

Those of us living in Seattle followed her story and her courage through her long battle.  She lost her smile on the outside only – her courage never wavered.  She was a role model for grace under pressure to all of us who watched with horror as the brain tumors increased with ferocious intensity.

When we learned that she was only 54 – we were stunned.  Not that she had brain cancer and had struggled for more than 12 years with this – but that she was so young.

Greg is 52 and does weddings and funerals for a living.  It is not unusual for him to perform a memorial service for young adults and those more than 10 years younger than himself.  It seems to be a growing epidemic for men and women to struggle with things like cancer and heart issues to die while only in their early forties.  On rare occasions it happens even earlier.

I am reminded of what the Bible says in James 4: 13-14

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Our bodies are temporary and meant to break down and eventually die.  The body is not who we are and we cannot be defined by it.  Our real self is much deeper than just our body and will live on past this life.  I am grateful for this, as I have had people I love already pass on into the next life.  And it is especially comforting to read in Romans 6:23:

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A gift from God.  No matter what happens to me while I’m here on earth.  No matter what battles physically I have to fight.  A place where there will be no more fighting.  No more long battles with things like cancer and heart disease.  No more sickness of any kind.  No more loss.  No more weeping.

I am taking many long moments of reflection in this last week to truly be thankful and live in the moment.  Because we are not promised tomorrow – any of us, it is important to stay in the present and live in an eternal state of contentment and thankfulness.

My prayer for you and your family is this:  That you may stop and reflect today on the many reasons you have to be thankful.  For contentment and courage in all your present circumstances.  And for the love of Jesus to be an ever-present compass as you embrace your life and others around you.

God Bless

The Wonderful Cross

Cover of "The Passion of the Christ (Defi...

Cover via Amazon

Last night Greg and I had the privilege to see a dramatic presentation of the last few hours of Jesus’ life here on earth. It is always difficult for me to see it played out, with all the betrayal, hypocrisy and cruelty – and I must admit, watching “The Passion Of The Christ” a few years back was a very hard movie to watch.


It forces me to face the bloody slaughter of an innocent man – at the hands of the Roman guards, notorious for their torture and brutality.  It forces me to come to grips with the fact that there was nothing about it pleasant, easy, or inviting.  I want to run away – put my hands over my ears to stop the chanting and mocking.

Like you, I want to think of pleasant things surrounding Easter weekend, not betrayal, blood, torture and death.  I want that cross to somehow be neater, cleaner, more civilized, more cultured, more dignified and easy to watch.

But I realize that it is in that brutality, pain, torture and blood shed – that my freedom was bought – and there was no other way.  And I must accept this in faith, as I don’t really understand it.

Why did it have to happen this way?  Isn’t God, God?  Can’t He just snap His fingers and take sin away?  Why the cross?  What is the back story that no one knows?  Why this complicated process to bring us back into right relationship with God?

I don’t know.  I’ve had many explain it – theorize it – surmise from scripture – but it still leaves me wondering about the great mystery of God’s love.

And I am speechless.

And humbled.

The Cross.

The Wonderful Cross.

Our ticket into eternal life.

If we accept it – just as it is – the mystery, the blood, the gore, the torture, the betrayal, the mocking, the shame, the agony – all of it.

And though I do not understand it – I accept it by faith.  And am eternally grateful.

The song below was playing the morning after I first saw “The Passion Of The Christ” in the theater.  I will never forget how it made me stop in my tracks and reflect – and I knew I would never again look at the crucifixion of Christ in the same way again.

May you too, discover the mystery and wonder of God’s great love this Easter.

God Bless

God So Loved The World

I have had this great a cappella piece of music on my Spotify list for months now and every time it plays I stop what I’m doing in awed and reverenced silence.  I have sung in choirs before where this was a featured song, and everyone loved singing it. It is breathtaking when it is done right.

I looked until I found just the right group of singers to post it for you – and found to my great pleasure, a men’s choir from St. Paul’s Cathedral with men of all ages, from little boys with soprano voices to grown men who sing deep bass.

What is most impressive about this group of singers is that they do not care how silly they look when they sing.  They are quite mesmerized in their music – and the result is a beautiful blending of voices.  The diction is so clear and distinct – I can hear every word ending, even from the smaller boys.  It is sung in a cathedral with high ceilings and AWESOME acoustics and so the result is a rich and velvety tone like bells ringing and stopping in mid-air.  The true voice of heavenly angels.

English: I took photo in Lubbock, TX, with Can...

Image via Wikipedia

The last couple of chords at the end of the piece are stunning and perfectly in tune – as they reach the climactic high point creating a feeling of well-being in those of us who have an appreciation for good music.  Watch it all the way through and you’ll see what I mean.  The little boys especially are wonderful to watch.

I am praying that this song will encourage you today and that it will cause you to stop and listen to the truth of the scripture, “God So Loved The World”.  And give you fresh perspective on the great love of our God who sent His son…

What’s Your Story?

English: Motivational speaker Tony Robbins at ...

Image via Wikipedia

Greg and I watched a very interesting interview the other day on OWN about Life Coach and Motivational Speaker, Tony Robbins.  We’ve been enjoying all of Oprah’s in-depth interviews with people she admires and this one with Tony was no exception.  If you missed it – try to catch it on a rerun or online somewhere.  There is a reason why Tony has been successful for many years – and has sold out seminars around the world.

What was the most interesting to us as we watched and heard what he said to empower people with their God-given strengths and gifts – was the humble past that he himself had come from.  Because of that neglect and abuse from family members, he decided that he was going to be different, whatever it took – and change his life for the better.  He found the key was in giving to others.

He also said something very important – we are defined by the story that we tell ourselves.

We may have had abuse, neglect, failure, disappointment or a list of other things be a part of our past – but if we keep including that narrative into our present – we will never  write a new chapter.  Those things will hold us back – frighten us and keep us from exploring the gifts that we have been given – as we tell ourselves, “you can’t do that”.

Our story need to remember what we’ve been through – but then we need to write that new chapter and leave it alone.

Here’s my story:

I am a redeemed child of God.  I am not perfect.  I have been involved with sin.  I have flirted with deceit.  I have failed many times.  But I am loved by God.  He sees me as worthy despite my sinful nature and lack of faith.  He sent His son Jesus – for me.  I have an advocate when I slip and fall.  I can look the enemy squarely in the face and say, “you thought you had me – you tried to trip me up – destroy my life – and ruin my chances at peace with God – but you did not succeed – so GET LOST!”  I can look at my failures and challenges as a way of giving of myself for others who may be hurting or lost in a failure and challenge of their own.  I can say that I am nothing except for the stubborn love and grace of Jesus.  And if I receive any praise for my accomplishments, attitude or gifts – it is solely because of the one who created me, and works in me.  His love will never leave me alone.

How about you?  What’s your story?

God Bless

Say The Name


A more sweeter sounding word
These lips have never said
A gentle name so beautiful
My heart cannot forget
Just a whisper is enough
To set my soul at ease
Just thinking of this Name
Brings my heart to peace

CHORUS
Say the Name
Say the Name that soothes the soul
The Name of gentle healing
And peace immutable
I’ll say the Name that has heard my cry
Has seen my tears and wiped them dry
From now until the end of time
I’ll say the Name

May I never grow so strong
That my heart cannot be moved
May I never grow so weak
That I fear to speak the truth
I will say this holy Name
No matter who agrees
For no other name on earth
Means so much to me

(repeat Chorus)

With all the honor I can find
With all my heart, my soul, my mind
I will say the Name
Without defense, without shame
I will always speak the Name
Of Jesus

(repeat Chorus)

From now until the end of time
Say the Name

{ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/m/margaret-becker-lyrics/say-the-name-lyrics.html }

A New Kind Of Peace… (Repost)

Description unavailable

Image by Griffin Matthews via Flickr

From my blog 2 years ago – August 31, 2009

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

Do you ever feel troubled?  Unsettled.  You don’t know why.  You just do.  I believe that we all feel this way from time to time.  A deep peace comes from God.  And from knowing God.  If He says – “don’t be afraid” then you can trust in His words.  And He gives peace “not as the world would give” but a lasting deep peace that comes from another place entirely than any outward circumstances.  You see “peace” from the world may mean no struggle in finances – no strife in the office or at home – seemingly peaceful situations that could “lull” you to sleep – or even keep you “off your guard”.  No trouble sometimes can be a precursor to a “wake up” call.  And a peace “from the world” may be the wrong kind of comfort – a temporary “feel good” moment not based in reality and may be just an illusion.

I believe that the peace Jesus talks about here is an eternal peace even in the midst of pain, hurt or confusion.  Or even just a topsy turvy schedule where our world seems out of whack.  The knowing that we have peace and security – despite the things going on around us.  Trusting in something you can’t see.  The invisible arms that reach for you – supporting you through some of the toughest days of your life.  Peace that has no explanation in the natural.  No reason for being there.  And yet it is.

I know that I cannot explain God’s peace in my life.  But I do know that it was there in great supply for me – in some of my darkest hours wrestling with pain and hurt.  I just knew it would be okay.  I would be okay.  The situation  – though far from healed – is in His hands and that gives me great comfort and peace.  I can let it go – and feel good about it.  That’s real peace.

What are you carrying around today that you need to have some peace?  What do you need to let go of?  Do you trust in another kind of peace to sustain you – the wrong kind of people – and the wrong kind of circumstances that seem like the real thing?  I encourage you to let go of what would hold you back in finding God’s real peace. Ask Him to fill you with another kind of peace – another kind of meaning to your life that’s real and lasting.

Do it now.  Do it today.

I am praying for you

God Bless

My Truth

A father and his daughter, 1923

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been watching the reality show about Ryan and Tatum O’Neil on the OWN station – the tumultuous father and daughter relationship resulting in a separation and silence for the past 25 years.  They both agreed it was time to put the past behind them and try to begin again to rebuild their lost relationship – through this series on cable.

It has been very interesting and heartbreaking at the same time.  To get a glimpse into someone’s pain is never easy – to feel hope for them as they talk and uncover much of their difficulties – and why things went so bad for them.  Through counseling, alone and together, they are getting to the deep issues which caused their separation in the first place.

But what I’ve noticed is this:  We all have our own truth.  It is ours.  

Truth cannot be negotiated or argued.  It is different for everyone.  It is something that we believe about ourselves, others and our situation.

In having my truth – I am not saying that you do not have yours as well – but my truth – is my truth.  It is my version of the story – it is what I believe in my heart of hearts.

We do damage to ourselves and others when we try to rewrite their truth for them.

When two people have different “truths” – and will not validate the other for having their own unique truth – there can be no settling of accounts – no matter how much counseling they have.  And at the end of the day – their personal truth will be all they have.

I really believe with all my heart – that all people just want to be recognized and validated for having their own truth.  No matter how weird it may sound.  Even if you think you know better and think they are ALL MESSED UP.  We want someone to say to us, “I understand.  I get how you could feel that way.  I see you”  So often we never get that response that we are seeking.

All Ryan needs from his daughter, Tatum is this:  “I see you Dad – I’m just as much to blame as you are”  And Tatum needs to hear Ryan say, “I take ownership in my part of our separation.  I made many mistakes and I’m sorry you felt abandoned”  Isn’t it too bad – they will probably never be able to really say those things to each other – too much history – too much blame – too much sadness.

I am glad to know this:   The only solid place for me to go when regarding the “truth” is Jesus. The Bible tells me that He IS the Truth and the Life.  And with so many personal “truths” out there – varying with every person on the planet – He is the only constant who never changes.  I can run to Him – feel that acknowledgment and validation from the source – the creator – who holds My past with all of its regret – the present with all of its unanswered questions – and the future with all of its secrets, not yet revealed to us.  When others shun, devalue and withhold from us – He is there holding out loving arms of truth to me.

Do you allow others to have their personal truth?  Do you feel validated from others?  Have you acknowledged Jesus to be the only real truth in your life?

God Bless

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