Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘mercy’ Category

Damaged Perfection

A few days ago I was commenting on a guest blog article and the guest asked a question:

What is your graffiti tag?

I didn’t have to think about it too long before the words “Damaged Perfection” came out on the comment.  And since he too agreed that it was pretty cool – I decided to write an article about those two words and why they have meaning for me.

I am damaged

Most of us are.  I have failed, missed the mark over and over again, have hurt and disappointed and turned in rebellion to do things my own way.  Because of this it has left me feeling broken, inadequate, hurt and full of regret.

It has caused me to see other “damaged” people in my world around me.  I am ever sensitive to the hurting and broken-hearted around me.  I have noticed how celebrities like Michael Jackson and even recently Lady Gaga can be brilliant in their craft as talented performers but then lead such sad and unfulfilled private lives.  This is why the “high” of the applause only lasts so long and then – comes the painful part of feeling empty as they are left with nothing but themselves.  This is why alcohol and drug abuse is so prevalent – and you have to feel intensely sad for them.  They are damaged.  We all are.  Without Jesus – at the end of the day – they have nothing.  Without Him – neither would I.

I am His Perfection

Created in His image.  The wondrous and flawless work of His hands.  He takes my brokenness and makes something new and beautiful.  He’s the only one who can.  Taking something damaged and discarded – and shaping it into a perfect vessel – again – because He can.  And before I sinned and missed the mark – doing damage to myself and others around me – and was going to be forever separated from His presence – there was a plan in place – a mystery – an intervention on my behalf.  He came to save what was lost – and to redeem me.  He covered my broken, sinful self and restored me  – doing a work deep within me and for me – something I could never earn or be worthy.  He did it because He loves.  We would not have done that – we would have tossed aside, destroyed and started over with another creation – but God does not work that way.  He makes promises that he does not break.  He is a covenant God – working in ways that seem backward to me.  He brings life from death and gives strength to weakness – dignity to failure – and makes a perfect finished product from ruin and despair.  He snatched death from the enemy and freely gives back what should have been taken from me long ago.  He does it – because He is God and I am not.  He sees me in a different way than I see myself.  He sees me as His Perfection.  Worthy of that second chance and more.  Worthy of a life that I do not even think I deserve. 

And so this is a life long journey and process for me – to simply trust and believe that His work in me is enough – even when I don’t feel like it – even when I continually fail.  To walk in this love and grace – making me who I ultimately will be.  The me that He sees.  I am still learning it.  I am still amazed by it.  I am still damaged.  And I am still perfectin His eyes.

I am always and forever

Damaged Perfection

God Bless

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I Know Nothing

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The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

The longer I live I realize the simple truth.  I know nothing.  Oh I know many things experientially – but those things learned by experience only left me wiser and more sure of myself  I didn’t really gain any knowledge about those things – any more than before I was touched by them.  Therein lies the mystery – how can we experience – and yet still not know?

I find myself surrounded by those who claim to know – go on and on about subjects they have no idea about – any more than I – and I am fascinated by their self-proclaimed ‘knowledge’ – knowing they know nothing either.

And those that have the most to say on subjects they know nothing about – know less than the rest of us.  It’s sad – but true.

So – if this is the case – then why do those same people assign themselves as judge and jury for the rest of us who know nothing?  It is a mystery.  And it is irritating at best.

I would love a place in which people would admit their failures, shortcomings and short-sightedness – be ready to take blame for more than their share – and be ready to offer the same graciousness to those around them.  I would love to live in this place where people could admit – they know nothing.

But you see – it takes a big person to admit, ‘I’m wrong.  I may have misjudged you.  I may have believed something that wasn’t true.  I have made  bad choices too – so I can understand how easy it is to do.  I am not perfect either – so I can understand how you must feel – and it’s okay.  It does not define who you are.  I have NO IDEA how this will work out – but I know someone who does.  His name is Jesus – and He is the only one who KNOWS everything about this and everything else.’  He accepts my lack of knowledge – does not judge me – He accepts me exactly the way that I am. I am changed because of His love and wisdom.  He knows just what to say – and when not to say it.  He knows everything about me – and I am still loved.

What an awesome world this would be if everyone could love like Jesus does.  There would be no pressure to know anything.  We could relax in the fact – that there truly is wisdom in  becoming foolish, weak, and knowing nothing.

I pray for you today – that you will come to that place where you can truly say, ‘I know nothing – therefore I can love you and let God take care of the rest.  I don’t have to educate you, blame you, try to fix you and stand in a position of ultimate authority over you, making myself feel better because I’m right – and you’re…wrong.  It isn’t my job.  We are all sinner’s saved by grace and it is all level at the foot of the cross’    Amen

God Bless

Heaven’s Rain

The best thing one can do when it's raining is...

Image by Krikit ♥ via Flickr

Tonight, Greg and I watched the incredible true story as told on ‘Dateline’ about the horrific murders in October of 1979 of an Oklahoma Baptist pastor and his wife – while their two teenage children watched and amazingly – although wounded themselves – survived.

It is incredible and heart wrenching.  It is also a story of forgiveness. Some 15 years after the murders – the older of the two children, Brooks Douglass faced the  man who had shot his parents, serving life in prison at the time.  As he told the story on Dateline – he was very emotional when he told this part of the story.  He said he made a decision to forgive the man.  When he did – something inside of him broke – and all the years of pent-up anger and emotion – were released.  All because of being willing to forgive.  He did it for his parents, his sister – but mostly he did it for him.

It is powerful.  Raw and Gritty.  And I was amazed at his courage – and the courage of his young teenage sister who repeatedly had to testify in court over the next 15 years to have the men put away for good.

Brooks eventually ran for Oklahoma senate – and won – passing a bill that would usher in new ‘victim’s rights’.  And he began to write his story – and  eventually wrote the screen play for the movie of these events called ‘Heaven’s Rain’ – due to come out in February.

The subject of forgiveness is a difficult one.  Especially when we have been wronged.  I have a difficult time with it – and I have never had anything so hideous done to me personally or any of my family members.  But it doesn’t matter.  If we withhold forgiveness from another person who has wronged us – it is like poison and will eat us up inside.  The bible says to ‘forgive’ – not for them – but for us.  And showing mercy and grace to others is so necessary for our own personal healing – that’s why there is so much emphasis on this in scripture.

I encourage you to watch the special about this amazing true story as told on Dateline.

Below is the movie trailer in which Brooks – now in his 40’s plays the role of his father.  Very moving.

God Bless

With God’s Help, I Shall Be Myself

Cover of "Funny Faces"

Cover of Funny Faces

‎”Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that…Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
–Galatians 6:4-5 The Message

 

Found this passage of scripture yesterday on a page that I subscribe to on facebook.  I love The Message Bible because it speaks with everyday language that I can understand and more easily, apply to my life.

With life’s cares, burdens, stresses and other things – it becomes difficult to even remember who I am – what my calling is – and just how to do it.  And yet I am instructed to – BE WHO I AM.

Being who I am is difficult.  Not so much in my own head – although that can be a problem too after years of masking who I am – in order to fit it – get along with – or remain with the status quo.  Mostly it is hard because the image I project is sometimes very different from who I really am.  And my responses are carefully guarded after so long of being careful not to offend – and not to be rejected for being different.

But in this scripture I am encouraged to be me.  To do a thorough inventory of myself. Not what others see me as – or want me to be.  Not what I have carefully tried to conceal from people and even myself – but to break free from other thoughts and ideas that others would try to project on me – and just be me.

I have many stories from past ministry life that would raise the hair on the back of your neck – how others tried to muzzle me or tell me what was right for me – how to act – what to say – how to dress etc. etc.  It made me very cautious – it made me very conflicted inside.  I wasn’t sure for many years – who I was – or even if I was satisfied with being different.  Even as recent as two years ago I had a situation where again I felt free to be me – only to be blasted because I was expressing that part of me that had been shut up for so long.  I was once again muzzled and felt humiliated for my words  – by someone I thought understood and encouraged me to be me!  What a concept.  I was wrong – and my attempt at being myself and breaking free was met in the end with lack of understanding and rejection.  But the last couple of years have taught me something.  I like who I am.  I like being free to say and do what I like – without having to fit in to anyone else’s agenda or protocol.  And I have lost my fear.  Others cannot hurt me anymore in the same way.  Or silence me.  I have found myself.

And once I was satisfied with who that someone was – something great happened – the most truthful and honest me came out – I then began to evaluate my gifting according to what I had been equipped for and possess – and I began to sink into that work.

When I think about sinking into something – I think about my nice comfortable bed.  Settling in, making myself comfortable and staying a while.  In the same way – I am encouraged to settle in and make myself comfortable – stay for a while with the things and gifts that God has equipped and given to me.

Being an artist and musician – I love the next part of the verse.  I am instructed to do my ‘creative best’ with my own life – the responsibility rests inside of me.

Thank you Lord for creating me with unique abilities and gifts.  Help me find the courage to be myself – lose the fear of rejection, betrayal, and disregard from those who did not like – or did not agree – with who I am.  Help me find the freedom and safety in your warm and loving regard.  Knowing that you are smiling and cheering me on!  As I come closer and closer to being the one who you created with your purpose running through me.

With God’s help – I shall be myself.

 

God Bless

 

A Solid Resting Place

Sunset - 6 Feb 2008

Image by rachel_titiriga via Flickr

I am always comforted by scripture – the many passages that speak to me and help me find that solid resting place for my weary mind – as I am surrounded by the cares and sorrows of this world.

As I look ahead at the new year – I am reminded once again of God’s faithfulness and love shown to me over the last year and all of my life.  I have gone through things and have watched those around me be touched by sorrow, joy, happiness, pain and regret.  But in the midst of all of it – good and bad, He was always there.  That still small voice that always covers me and won’t let me go.  And I am so thankful that I know Him – and that He is a merciful God.

My prayer is that you too will find Him a solid and reliable friend – in times of joy and in times of trouble.  That you will find a reason and purpose for your life – and that you will allow Him to show you and help you with all those unanswered questions.

Below are some scriptures of comfort and hope – as we look forward to the new year.

 

God Bless

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

“You crowned the year with Your bounty and goodness…”
Psalm 65:11 (Amplified Bible)

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

I Belong

It’s so nice to know.

God Bless

Mercy

Two candles in love. The flame is inverted hea...

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My heart is stirred today in much emotion – a heavy heart over events and situations that have lately affected my life and made it difficult to press on.  A difficult season of life – with many things out of my control – leaving deep sadness,  remorse – and resignation.

Our pastor, Stephen Collins, spoke on the subject of ‘Mercy’ today.  And although it is a subject that is not new to me – or any people of faith  – I believe  I heard newness in this simple message today – things that I will continue to ponder in the coming weeks.  I found myself very emotional.  This is a subject that is close to my heart and life.  And so with tears streaming down my face – I sat there and took it all in – and allowed the Lord to minister sweet words of comfort and blessing.  I was touched and moved beyond words.

I’ve noticed something about people who are merciful. – they are the first ones to forgive, love, embrace and welcome back,  those who are lost or fallen away.  They have no trouble accepting forgiveness or giving it.  They do not accuse and blame.  They have tender hearts – and they understand the value of mercy – because God has shown mercy to them.  They are also the happiest and most positive people in the world – with many friends.  Their friends trust them – and turn to them when they are in trouble – with no fear of judgment of alienation.  These are people who have been forgiven.

We’ve been watching ‘A Christmas Carol’  – I was noting how Scrooge shows no mercy at the beginning of the story – and then after being shown his life by the ‘spirits’ – he begins to see others and himself in a new light.  The Scrooge story is a story of mercy.  A story of second chances and a new lease on life – a valuable reminder to all of us to remember that when you show mercy to others – others will be merciful.  And it is interesting to note – that the nephew and employee of Scrooge have merciful hearts and embrace him without question – at the beginning of the story – when he is NOT merciful – and later as he is transformed at the end of the story.  No questions – no judgment – no criteria.  Just open arms of love and mercy.

I want to be one that shows mercy – even when I feel as though others have judged me and not understood me – or shown mercy to me.  I want to be the first to say, ‘I understand, I forgive, I love’.  And leave it at that.  No questions asked.  No hesitation.  No disbelief.  Just love and mercy.

Help me Lord to be that kind of person.  Help me to get over myself, my pride, my hurt and pain.  Help me to let go of others that have wronged me – those who have no understanding that their words and actions have wounded me more than they will ever know – and help me to forgive them and show mercy. For I am very aware that if I do not show mercy to others who have failed – or not done what I think they should, then you will not show mercy to me.  Help me to walk with a pure clean heart – free of agenda – free of revenge.  Help me to see others through your eyes.  Amen.

God Bless

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