Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Thoughts on God’ Category

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

Adam’s Rib

Adam and EveI read that God took something from the man

carefully fashioned it

and created the woman

I don’t often think much about it

but lately I’ve begun to wonder

do I have an extra one?

You know – that extra rib

Is it this one that gives me trouble

throws off my normal alignment?

Simple movements

that are not so simple

now that I am reaching

a certain age

A back that used to work for me

not against me

even with strenuous movements

one that would bounce back after exercise

But alas, it is not so

I have to blame that rib

that extra one

the one Adam gave me

It appears I’m stuck with it

a little pain

no gain

but maybe much is to be gained after all

For it is in the pain

and restriction

that cause me to pause

reflect

and appreciate the times

when everything works

just as it should

When my ribs don’t hurt when I breathe

when I can turn over in bed

without pain

and reach down for things without a sharp stabbing

But for now

I will stumble along

with my extra rib

that rib from Adam

and keep doing it

in spite of that hinderance

that certain encumbrance

the unwanted rib

I will do it

by trimming down

moving more

eating less

and finding a new normal

and in time

I will adjust

extra rib and all

Hey Adam!

Thanks ever so much

you shouldn’t have

I mean that.

Can I give it back?

Today good for you?

Tomorrow?

Oh I get it

without that extra little “gift”

I would not be here

I guess it stays

it is my reminder

my visual

and my choice

And I choose to work through it

and not take anything for granted

when everything works so well!

 

 

 

 

Little Narrow Gate

This song is one you may not have heard often – or at all.  But it is one of my favorites by great gospel singer Sandi Patty.  Music and lyrics like this are nothing short of inspiring!  I trust you will find the beautiful melody and rich lyric line a little lift today – as you find your own little narrow gate.

 

God Bless

Chorus:
There’s a little narrow gate
At the top of a hill
And it beckons my heart to enter in
And follow where it will
Oh, where it will
And the path that leads through this gate of dreams
Takes me away

With the wind at my back
The journey before me
I set my feet on the road that leads to life
And take the hand of the one
Who’ll be my companion
For he will show me the place to begin

Repeat Chorus

All of my life I’ve been waiting
Could this be the place I can start

Repeat Chorus

Eat Pray Love

I just watched this movie again. I know what you’re maybe thinking, especially if you’re like my husband, “such a cheesy and farfetched movie”.   But when I watch it I see so much fun, self discovery and adventure in it.  The lead character (played by Julia Roberts) goes on a journey of self discovery.  Her adventures take her all over the world.  So exciting!   Going overseas to Italy, India or Bali and really experiencing a different culture.  Not like a tourist.  But like someone who really joins in, becomes a resident and puts down roots.

For most people this is an impossible dream because of those pesky little things like time and money.  But what if it weren’t a consideration?  I actually don’t know where the lead character gets all her money.  I mean, aren’t things kind of expensive overseas?  Just the airplane fare, transportation and food would be too much for most people.  But supposing it wasn’t a consideration?  What then?  Would you travel and experience things like she did in the movie?  I know I would.

There are other things in the movie that make actual sense to me.  Because I’m a Christian I see things through that lens.  I understand that we have a great deal to benefit by what happens to us – the good and the bad.  The pain and loss of our lives is how God teaches us valuable lessons.  Our own personal journey of pain and loss, triumph and victory.  They make us or break us.  We go on a journey.  We dig deep.  We pray.  We seek.  And sometimes in that process – we find ourselves.  At least we come close to understanding our purpose for the “why” questions we all have.  Because God made us all unique and understands how we all think and process, I believe He works within us and reveals things to us during times of helplessness and vulnerability.  Those times when we know we can’t do it on our own.  Without a supernatural revelation and help, we are lost.

The lead character goes on this journey to try to find answers for her restlessness and pain.  She discovers that people cannot fill her up – so important to live with forgiveness and no regret – just love.  In one scene she is taken to an old abandoned ruin called the Augusteum in Rome.  This is what she says about it…

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC)

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

 “It’s one of the quietest and loneliest places in Rome.  The whole city has grown up around it over centuries…like a precious wound – like a heartbreak that won’t let go, cause it hurts too good…I looked around at this place, at the chaos it’s endured.  The way it’s been adapted, pillaged, burned and built itself back up again.  And I was reassured.  Maybe my life hasn’t been that chaotic – it’s the world that is….Ruin is a gift.  Ruin is the road to transformation.”

I am still trying to make sense of that ruin in my own life.  My ability to push beyond fear.  Even now.  For things in the past – and in the present.  Do we ever get over being afraid to face certain things we don’t understand?  Or of things we can’t even see yet?  Those things in live that have tried to steal our joy and beat us down?  Ruin and regret are all a part of life – as much as joy and happiness.  Finding a peace and sense of purpose for each new day in spite of all life has to throw our way  – is a gift.

If you know the Lord as I do – it doesn’t mean you don’t still have questions and doubts.  It just means that together with Him, you can work it out and He will be that strong arm to lean on.  That together you can make sense of ruin, loss, discouragement and doubt.  That there is a greater hope and a deep joy regardless of circumstance.  And I believe – a supernatural way of looking at a problem, sizing it up and finding the beauty in pain.  We need to discover who we are – in Him – how He made us – and flow with our natural gifting.  I believe that this is the true secret to Eat Pray Love.

God Bless

Treasures In Heaven

Last weekend and this have been a fun time for Greg and me as we are sorting through all of years of “stuff”.  Having a garage sale is the best remedy to hoarding and having too much of that stuff.  I’ve seen those “hoarding” programs and I’m sure you have too – you maybe even know a friend or two who has WAY too much – and you wish they would give some of it away – or take it away yourself!  A big problem we have in this country is the accumulation of TOO MUCH.  I mean – how many pencils, pens, pictures, purses, folders, shoes, jackets, plates, cups, clothes, electronics and other things does one really need?  Good grief – we even have FOUR TVs!!  (At least until our garage sale last week)  Um yeah.  There are TWO of us who live here.  The dogs don’t watch TV.  It’s pretty crazy.  I’m selling or giving away purses – I don’t really use them – so WHY would I have so many?  And what we don’t sell this weekend we are going to give away – no one needs so much.

I’ve learned a great deal about myself and the “stuff” I posses in the last few months.  In an effort to downsize it just is not practical to take too much – so – what do I really need?  Can I be just as happy with 3 less bookcases?  Do I really need that cabinet sitting under the window in my office?  Why?  So many pillows?  So many shoes, clothes, jackets??  REALLY???  No.  We are stopping the madness.

And we may not get it right – but at least we are moving in a direction that will allow us to lighten the load – not become too dependent on material things.  Reminds me of that passage of scripture which reminds us to keep in simple.

But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.    Matthew 6:20  Holman Christian Standard Bible

My Precious Jewel

My Precious Jewel (Photo credit: cammy♥claudia)


 

And I believe the whole purpose behind this particular scripture is to gently remind us – that while having material things is not in itself wrong or bad – if our focus and only source of happiness comes from having them – GET RID OF THEM.

What does it mean to “collect treasures in heaven”?  I know what it means down here on earth and for me personally.  It means the things I love and hold onto in my heart.  The things I dwell on and think about.  The things that overwhelm my thoughts.  They are desires, people, pets, things that bring comfort and much, much more.  To “collect treasures in heaven” must mean that God wants my thoughts and desires to be focused daily first and foremost on Him and what is important to Him.  His words of love in the written word tell over and over again how he loves so much that He sacrificed everything – not withholding His only son to save us.  He is concerned for lost people.  He is concerned with showing love and compassion because it is what he provided as an example for each of us.  When we love, show compassion, are kind, gentle, generous and forgiving – we model the very behavior that He came to earth to show.

I don’t know about you – but I am “collecting treasures in heaven” by showing love.  By dwelling on thoughts of being an encouragement and by being kind and generous.  I want others to see what Jesus looks like – by seeing me.  I want others to collect those treasures for themselves too.   And in heaven you don’t have to have a garage sale to lighten the load – up there it will be THE MORE TREASURES THE BETTER!!  I want my treasures to be the people I have influenced and loved.  I want to see them all represented – all the years and investment like shining jewels sparkling and bragging about me!  And I want you to have just as many if not MORE than I will have!

 

God Bless

 

 

My Prayer

I trust that you too will feel fresh inspiration well up inside you as you hear Chris Rice sing his prayer.

God Bless


Fresh page, new pen

Where do I begin?

Words fail, tears come

I need someone

To take the thoughts I almost think

And carry them to God for me

Deep breath, exhale

Breathe in deeper still

Long sigh, I’m still numb

Is there anyone

Who can find the things I’m barely feeling

And give them wings beyond my ceiling? 

Right heart, wrong place

It’s too far to outer space

Sorry, I forgot, You’re right here

I cup my hands around Your ear

I feel you smile,

You feel my breath

You listen while I whisper non-sense

Simple exchange Your will,

I’m changed

And now my prayer ends

Thank You,

Amen,

Amen

Words and music by Chris Rice

The Happy Uncertainty

Happy Smiley Face from Urine Samples

Happy Smiley Face from Urine Samples (Photo credit: epSos.de)

If you have ever been in a state of flux, that precarious place between certainty and doubt – then you will understand where we are at right now.

The older I get, the more comfortable I become.  Comfortable with myself, my husband, friendships and my surroundings.  Having a home and “things” have provided a feeling of being settled and being safe.  But the things I own  –  do not own me.  I am thankful for that.  I have watched many beloved things come and go throughout our life in ministry together.  Whole households of furniture bought and sold – filled up then emptied again.  Many times.  And it does not define me to be with or without.

We are right back to that place between not knowing and knowing.  I don’t much like this place.  But as with any pain and testing – it is also a great place to grow and learn many valuable life lessons.  Here are a few things I’m learning along the way:

 

#1 – Let God be God – He will lead and direct if we will listen and are open to it

#2 – Keep a loose grasp on material things that are here today and gone tomorrow

#3 – Be happy as you Live in the moment

#4 – Be grateful and thankful for the little things

#5 – Embrace each new experience as an opportunity to learn

 

There are many more things I’m bound to learn along this ever changing journey I am on.  So for now I will say that I am still learning, still open to new possibilities and still becoming.

And so as things are walking out of our home once again – I’m finding myself back at this same place.  Uncertain, struggling to make things work, trying to be okay with an unresolved future and place to land.  And strangely – it’s all right.

I am uncertain about the future – but I am happy and confident that He will lead us…Ever been there?  Are you still here?

 

God Bless

 

 

 

 

Another Time Another Place

Watching this video today brings back so many memories!  This duet and song is one of my FAVORITES from back in the day – (look at Wayne Watson’s long hair!) and both of these artists are still touring, writing and singing today – 20+ years later!  Sandi Patty and Wayne Watson are the real deal and this is just one example.   Truly an underrated song with wonderful lyrics, melody and incredible voices – hope you enjoy going down memory lane today as much as I did.  Parts of this song gives me chills!

 

God Bless!

Lessons From Our Journey

Last Sunday Greg had the privilege to speak in a small church while their pastor was on vacation.  And while Greg speaks all the time doing weddings and funerals,  speaking at a church is something he feels out of practice, having been away from pulpit speaking for a number of years.  Still he took on the challenge – and did a wonderful job!

He decided that the only way to really be effective was to take the congregation with him on the “Lessons learned from our Journey”.  He told personal stories of things we had gone through, all the different places we had lived and walking through “open doors” to get to the next place.

These 3 points are taken (borrowed) right from Greg’s message:

1.  The “decision” to move and the subsequent preparation seems much more difficult (at least emotionally) than the move itself

(So true.  We mulled this over and whether or not it was the right thing to do.  FOR YEARS.  Once we came to the conclusion it made sense to explore other areas, everything else fell into place.)

2.  The Longer you stay in one place, the more “stuff”, the more “baggage” you accumulate.

(Wow.  Isn’t this the truth!  As Greg started cleaning out the garage for one of MANY of our Open House events, he found boxes we didn’t even remember having!  And cobwebs and all sorts of dust and junk all the way up and back on shelves high up in the rafters.  Do we really need all this stuff?  Especially when we didn’t even know we had it?  But you never know, right?)

3.  When you make the decision to move (or just to downsize, or to “spring clean”), it sets a whole lot of things in motion.

(Yes and Amen.  One thing leads to another.  One empty shelf cleaned out to sell – leads to 3 others that aren’t.  Selling one piece of furniture leaves things uneven in a room.  Must sell.  We have way more than we need.  We found out that we can live in about half of the space we live in and it really makes sense to rent to a larger family needing our space and going somewhere else.)

And so he talked about the cobwebs and junk that we all carry around and how necessary it is to clean and remove them.  Things we don’t even realize we carry around.  It makes sense to lighten the load, let go of it and begin again.  Sometimes in life – you just need to do this.

After the service several people came to him and told him that he spoke right to them and their particular situation.  So many people on a similar journey.  So many finding themselves at a crossroads of sorts – waiting on the “next step” and that “open door”.

I believe, as does Greg – that if we are healthy, have our priorities right and the main things are in correct alignment, such as character, integrity, faith in God and kindness towards others, that it does not matter where you live and what you do – those things are secondary.  If we stay “open” to hearing what God is telling us, as we believe He does by working through our personality and gifts, then He will bring opportunities our way.  It is up to us to either seize the moment or pass it by.  And to be honest – when people ask me if we’ve heard what our next step it – I just laugh and say, “we don’t know anything – except who we are”   We are staying busy – preparing for the “unknown” and enjoying each moment.

It is much easier to steer a moving car than a parked car

Parked cars in San Francisco California

Parked cars in San Francisco California (Photo credit: Wouter Kiel)

What about you?  Are you also on a journey?  Does it take you out of your comfort zone?  Have you kept busy and in motion?  What lessons have you learned?

 

God Bless

God And Dog

Today Greg found this wonderful video by Wendy Francisco.  This darling song has also been made into a children’s book by the same title, “God and Dog”.  You can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.

If you have and love dogs like I do – then this is for you today.  Watch it and smile 🙂

 

God Bless

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