Musings From A Musical Mind

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Furious

This morning we visited a local church.  This was the first song of the morning – and it made a lasting impression on me, I could not shake the lyric all through the morning session.  I knew I had to find it and post it.  I pray it will speak to you and bless you as well as you continue through your day.

 

God Bless

 


Furious:
By Jeremy Riddle

Nothing can tear us from
The grip of His mighty love
We’ve only glimpsed, His vast affection
Heard whispers of, His heart and passion
It’s pouring out…

His love is deep, His love is wide
And it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong
It is furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild
And it’s waking hearts to life

The Father loves and sends His son
The Son lays down His life for all
He lavishes His love upon us
He calls us now, His sons and daughters
He’s reaching out…

… and its waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life

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Courage

enhanced-buzz-7499-1382729142-22We recently saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” based on the true events surrounding the making of the movie “Mary Poppins”.  After we saw the movie I googled the author of the book Mary Poppins and was fascinated.  While I’m sure her story is supposed to be the main focus of this movie, I found myself very keyed in to the story of Walt Disney himself.  To wait twenty years to get permission for the rights for this special book, as a promise to his young daughter – takes tenacity, patience and yes, courage.

The author, P.L. Travers was shown as difficult, picky and snobbish.  She insisted on every session being recorded so there would be no misunderstanding of exactly what she wanted.  She blocked many of the creative moves of Disney’s writers and musicians, and it was a very slow process to get her to agree to the movie.

Walt Disney, portrayed by a very talented Tom Hanks – was a man of high ideals, quick mind and tons of creativity.  He was also used to getting his way.  But he knew what he wanted and he could see it completed in his mind years before it was ever a hit musical.

I love dreamers.  It takes courage – real courage to look defeat in the face and hear “NO” said over and over again, yet not falter in either belief or commitment.  Disney was a dreamer.  Not just the kind to dream his life away with nothing to show for it.  But a man of principle and blind faith in dreams coming true.  I want to be that kind of dreamer.  With that kind of courage.  To see beyond my present circumstances in life.  To know that there is something better for all those friends and family of mine who are struggling with health, hopelessness or grief.  Enough faith to never doubt again.

This is my prayer: “Lord shine your light in this dark world and the deep dark crevices of my mind.  Help me to see beyond with childlike faith.  To believe and stand firm.  When life throws me a few curves and I am tempted to doubt, have self-pity and give in to negative – give me YOUR strength to have courage and stand tall.  Even through the storms of life, even when everyone makes light of my dreams or says NO over and over – help me to keep hanging on to the dreams that are from you.  To know when to hold on and when to let go – and the courage to know the difference.”  (with apologies to the serenity prayer)

Amen and God Bless

The Geese Know

You’ve all heard “when you see the Canadian geese flying south – then you know it’s winter”.  I’m just not sure I’ve witnessed this occurrence like I have this last week.  Ive seen movies about the geese flying south for years.  Even saw a documentary on them one year, but have never seen the phenomenon  up close and personal.

We were out on Thanksgiving day taking a walk on a nearby famous hiking and biking trail.  We heard a loud HONKING noise, looked up and there they were – about 25 of them flying in a V-formation and heading south.  We said to each other – “NOW we can know for sure that winter has officially begun”.  But today while getting ready for the day – I heard them outside my window and down the street.  Noisy little creatures, aren’t they?  And I thought to myself, I guess winter hasn’t come?  It’s sure COLD enough!CanadianGeeseFlyingInVFormation

What makes some of them leave and others stay?  I was recently reading an article about a town up north where the geese had already migrated and very early – like August 1st kind of early!  It is a mystery.  Maybe it was lack of food.  Maybe it was already too cold.  Maybe it was just pure instinct and you and I will never be able to predict it.  But the geese know.

God our Heavenly Father and creator of the universe – made those crazy noisy geese.  He created them with a built-in instinct for survival.  They who have nothing – can take care of their young and themselves.  They can fly up to 1,000 km in a single day.  They are content and happy wherever they land.  And they are resilient leaving early when it still is warm – or leaving when it’s so cold that my fingers and toes get numb when standing outside for too long.

If you are one of those who wonders if you matter, if you’re seen or if your needs will be met – take heart and remember the Canadian geese.  They do not store or gather and yet their Heavenly Father takes care of them.  How much more important are you than one of them?  Don’t you think God is able to supply all your needs?  (Taken from Matthew 6 – my own paraphrase)

So when you hear those geese up overhead you can be reassured that their creator is helping them get food and care for their young.  It should make you smile at the wonder of it.  At the great mystery.  All of creation turns and moves in their seasons and rightful order.  Birds fly south, trees shed their leaves, water freezes, the ground prepares for the cold chill.  And you and I – are here to observe the majesty of the creation – one more time.

God Bless

What is Life?

You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.

James 4:14   God’s Word Translation

 

Years ago we saw the movie “The Grinch” based on the beloved old story we all grew up reading and watching on TV.  This movie brought the animated characters to life.  But it was the beginning and ending of that Ron Howard movie that captured my attention.  It started off by showing millions of snowflakes falling to the ground, and then the camera zoomed in on just one of the many – closer and closer, until magically a whole city is revealed.  This teeny tiny little town on a teeny tiny snowflake, was the land of Who-ville.  At the end of the movie, the camera fades back after following the story to completion – showing again the very small town on a tiny little snowflake – one out of millions of snowflakes.  Mind blowing.  It was hard to wrap my brain around it.

Last week when watching one of our favorites, “The Big Bang Theory” – we saw an episode where Larry is explaining to Penny the holographic images he is working on.  He has her put on special glasses then shows her how objects appear to fly.   Then he brings a holographic 3 dimensional world spinning around and he says something like this to her, “we may all be just someone’s holographic world on another far away planet – it’s an interesting thought”.

I remember years ago having a discussion with my Dad on the subject of “seeing through a glass dimly” from 1 Corinthians 13 and how what we have always assumed was the “real thing” – may only be an illusion.  The real life is something we have not had a glimpse of – yet.  We may be the illusion – the holographic image – the existence that seems so grand, large, and profound.  But what if the things we thought and truly believed are wrong.  Not just wrong – but hugely exaggerated.  Our own importance – the things we do, what we think about and  spend our energy on – what if we’re misguided and sadly off base?

This last week we mourned the life of 16-year-old Teagan McGinnis who was killed in a car accident.  Who can make any sense of this?  If you are like me – you have struggled with it, even while realizing that God is still God.  Even good people die.  Death at any age is no respecter of persons.  And yet…if the Bible is really true – then the verse at the top brings great hope.  If you are like me, and no doubt the family members of Teagan, hope brings comfort, helps to lessen the sting of loss and even begins to bring clarity to the great mystery of death.  Not only death – but what is beyond death.

If our life here is a “mist” here today and gone tomorrow – then we do have that great hope!  Our real life begins after we die.  The many things we plan for, struggle to buy, takes years to cultivate and think are so important – if they are really just a “breath” of time – just IMAGINE what is in store for us beyond this life.  This beautiful life that God made for us – complete with family to love us, friends to sustain us, health and purpose, laughter, tears, joys, music, scenery that takes our breath away, babies, puppies and the many other unexplainable wonderful things that happen every day – and over a lifetime,  if God took that much time on this temporary mist of a life – that is here today and gone tomorrow – how much more will He take care of you when life is denied?  When we lose something or someone?  When we struggle with health, age, troubles, love and finances?

For those of us who understand these things – we understand that for those of us who have a faith in Jesus Christ – there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God – and each other.  Even in death.

That is my hope.  That is your hope.  For every motherless child, for every parent who has lost a child, for all those alone and suffering – it can be your hope too.  And someday, like Teagan – we will have the eyes to really see.  We will start living our life.  After this one is done – and we will mourn no more.

God Bless

October Baby

Tomorrow you turn 22.  I remember this day so well, 22 years ago today.  A beautiful sunny crisp October day in Northern California, much like the day here in Seattle.  A day like any other.  The day before my life changed forever.

It’s funny how the seasons come and go – yet some things stay constant and perfectly formed in our memory.   Sometimes those moments that drastically change who we are forever are more clear to us than things that happened yesterday.

According to Dr. Phil, you can trace who you’ve become in this life to three types of external factors: 10 defining moments, seven critical choices, and five pivotal people. But first it’s important to understand the following terms:

Ten Defining Moments: In every person’s life, there have been moments, both positive and negative, that have defined and redefined who you are. Those events entered your consciousness with such power that they changed the very core of who and what you thought you were. A part of you was changed by those events, and caused you to define yourself, to some degree by your experience of that event.

Seven Critical Choices: There are a surprisingly small number of choices that rise to the level of life-changing ones. Critical choices are those that have changed your life, positively or negatively, and are major factors in determining who and what you will become. They are the choices that have affected your life up to today, and have set you on a path.

Five Pivotal People: These are the people who have left indelible impressions on your concept of self, and therefore, the life you live. They may be family members, friends or co-workers, and their influences can be either positive or negative. They are people who can determine whether you live consistently with your authentic self, or instead live a counterfeit life controlled by a fictional self that has crowded out who you really are.

 

As I reflect over those 10 defining moments of my own life – getting married and having each of my babies certainly ranks up there with the most important and most life changing.  No matter how old I am, or where life’s journey takes me – I am forever changed by the birth of Ashlee and you.  You are part of those seven critical choices and definitely one of my five pivotal people.

And so Shawn – it is with very sweet and sentimental memories that I remember today, the day before you.

09_27_4You made your entrance on October 5th, 1991 at 8:26 pm.  You filled up an entire room – even back then.  You were laid back, shy, sweet, calm and peaceful.  As you grew you developed a slow and steady manner and a great ability to make and keep friends.  Your sense of humor has sustained you even in the tough times of relationships and finding your own way.  Your deep faith in God continues to guide you and be your compass.  You are one of the things that forever changed me.

I could not have dreamed you up in a million years.  Shawn means “gift of God” and you were that for me.  It was a privilege to be your Mom and I am proud of who you are and all that I know you are still becoming.  It is in the letting go that we truly find.  And I have always known that you were on loan and that you would need to find your own way.  I’m so glad you are learning all those tough things while realizing your family loves and supports you in the background.  You are learning to rely on God’s help and have deepened your faith in those things that are really lasting and important.  Money, fame and even friends will come and go.  Love, family and faith in God lasts forever.  And I pray every day for that special young woman who will change your life forever.

Until you have finally found your stride and your place stay strong and firm in your faith.  You are loved and thought about each and every day.  You are special and have a special purpose.  Don’t give up, never lose heart – for a part of the end result is the journey you’re on right now.  And these times will be what you look back on as one of your defining moments.

I love you…Happy 22nd!

 

 

 

 

The Mouse In The Corner

Yesterday I drove with Greg on one of his many road trips.  He does weddings and funerals for a living and has numerous meetings throughout the week for these weddings and funerals.  It was raining the whole way there.  He dropped me off at a local Starbucks – then went on to his meeting.  It was a day much like any other.  We have done this hundreds of times before.

 

 

 

But yesterday was different.  Fall is in the air.  And, so it seems – tempers and grumbling – at least where I was.  I had chosen a table in the middle of the coffee shop and noticed 3 little girls sitting in the back next to what appeared to be their mother and grandmother with a baby in a car seat on the floor beside them.  It is a little unusual to see children in a Starbucks, so I was curious and smiled at them as I sat down.  My back was to them and I was very quiet – at my own little table with my iPad – reading and playing games, trying to mind my own business.  However as I sat there I became increasingly aware of two very different conversations going on around me.  The children’s “mother” was agitated the whole time.  They were there a good 1/2 hour after I sat down – there’s no telling how long they were there before I came in.  Ahead of me were 2 young females in their early 20’s.  One had her back to me and I couldn’t hear what she was saying – if in fact she was saying anything at all.  The one facing me seemed to be doing all the talking.  It was really quite humorous and hard to concentrate on what I was reading.  The young girl – though not unattractive, was certainly drawing attention to herself by talking in a raised voice – so that everyone there heard her rants about a “stupid guy that would not call her back” – her disgust and hatred of children – (she called them “kids”) and how amazed she was that she couldn’t get anyone interested in her!  I smiled while looking down at my iPad.  I felt like raising my hand and saying, “I know – pick me” but somehow I don’t think my comment or any remarks would be welcomed.

Roller Girl yelling

Roller Girl yelling (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter)

Behind me the woman with the baby and 3 little girls kept yelling in an attempt to keep order.  I felt sorry for these girls.  How could they be expected to just sit there for so long?  When one had to go to the bathroom – I thought the woman was going to have a stroke!  Such language and rude comments!  I couldn’t hear if the older woman with her was giving her any good advice – or even talking at all – because the  mom dominated the conversation the entire time.  I couldn’t even imagine what it would have been like for the young woman in front of me doing all the talking, to try to have a conversation with the young mom behind me!  Who would listen?

 

 

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have witnessed rudeness in restaurants in much the same way.  Someone doing all of the talking at a nearby table and talking louder than normal to draw attention.  I have witnessed young moms in grocery stores who are out of control and I genuinely feel sorry for the baby or young child throwing a fit or crying incessantly. I know that the mom is to blame.  There is always a way to diffuse a volatile situation with children.   Yelling and being cruel – embarrassing them or finding a way to humiliate them in public is not the way.

 

 

 

As I sat there and heard the sniffling from these little girls – I felt so bad for them.  They are trapped.  Trapped with a mother who is overworked, tired and fed up.  I’m sure that her temper and exhaustion is taken out on them.  And too often, those little ones grow up to be exactly the same way.

 

 

 

I wondered if that young girl ahead of me doing all the “trash talking” was one of those.  She had not had good classy role models in her life and would never attract the right kind of man.  Was she doomed to a mediocre life where everyone else is to blame and there is not empathy or humanity?  Where simply being courteous would never occur to them?

 

 

 

What a crazy world we live in.  It’s hard to even wrap my brain around it some days.  And yet I always try to see the best in everyone.  It rarely changes anything – but still I try to never lose hope.  And I always wish there was something I could do.

 

 

 

As this young family walked out of the door in front of me I stole a glance at the  mom’s face.  “Why – she was really young!” ,   I said to myself.  She looked about 25 or so – funny.  She had sounded so much older in her anger.  I think she used to be very pretty.  But now she was just tired and angry.  The “grandmother” looked the same way.  No hope there.  No help for her.  Her life was probably over.  I whispered a little prayer for her little family.  That God somehow would be able to make a difference, shine hope in a dark place and that they would be able to call upon Him.

 

 

 

Can simple kindness, compassion and love really make a difference?  Jesus thought so.  That is why He chose to come to our crazy mixed up world.  To give simple hope to the hopeless and show compassion to the lost and hurting.  Help me Lord.  Help me be in a place where I can really make a difference and help others that are struggling – not just overhear a conversation or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

 

My Redeemer

The song I featured today is by well-known Christian artist, Matthew Ward.  You may remember him in the wonderful group “Second Chapter of Acts” back in the day.  His smooth vocals have always been a favorite of mine.  I read recently that Matthew has really been through it – struggled with his health and cancer – and in his suffering he wrote many songs that are such a blessing to many today.  I’m sure you will agree if you like acoustic guitar and a beautiful vocal.   Here is Matthew all grown up and still sounding AMAZING!  And if you are struggling with something – take a moment and listen to this – sit back and close your eyes.  Draw from that peace that is deeper than any pain you may be experiencing today.

 

Enjoy and God Bless

Here I go again
I’m thinking of the time when I will stand
and look into the eyes
of my Redeemer

Words won’t come my way
And deep inside my silent accolades
I’ll find my voice to sing of my Redeemer

And I know upon this earth I’ll never find
The words that can express my heart of mine

When with His words of life
He spoke and pulled my dark soul from the night
How can I repay my Redeemer

With His wounded hands
He held my broken heart to understand
I never can repay
My Redeemer

And I know upon this earth I’ll never find
The words that can express my heart of mine

Here I go again
I’m thinking of the time when I will stand
and look into the eyes
of my Redeemer
of my Redeemer
my Redeemer

Words and Music by Matthew Ward

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