Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

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

One Thing Remains

We sang this song yesterday in our worship service – led by our new music minster, Ben Sorte.  The song is from “Jesus Culture” and it’s a great one. The lyrics have been with me from then until now and just had to share this song with you.  The amazing grace of Jesus that never runs out and never gives up on me.

I stood there – letting the words and music pour over me.  It is a mind-blowing concept of perpetual grace going on and on and on.  I don’t think we humans can grasp that kind of love – I don’t think I will ever be able to wrap my mind around it.  The things I’ve done – or ever will do are covered in a limitless amount of payment that I neither deserve or can repay.  It’s a childhood teaching – and something I had heard my whole life – and if I ever get to the point where hearing about His grace is just “ordinary” or “old news” then I have lost something in the true beauty and mystery of it all.  I don’t think I really understand grace.  If it were up to me – there would be a time limit – an expiration date for all the stupid people who keep doing stupid things.  But I’m not God.  Instead – His is without time – there in abundance for those who cry out to Him.  Willing and able to be that constant thing – remaining

in our lives.

Are you ever afraid that His grace will run out?  That He will give up on you?  I encourage you to listen to this song today.  No matter what you’re going through today – I trust that you will remember His amazing grace.   When all else in your life fails – His one thing will always remain.

Enjoy and God Bless

Do You Have The God-Factor?

As a musician and teacher – I like to keep my thumb on the pulse of today’s music.  My favorite programs, not to be missed (thus I LOVE my DVR) are:

The Voice

The Sing-Off

American Idol

America’s Got Talent

and last but NOT least:

X-Factor

 

Because the X-Factor is entirely based on talent, judging from recording artists and producers – it is more realistic in nature – and does not go on “popular vote”.  The sole purpose is to find the next popular recording artist.

 

I have enjoyed seeing the talented singers – and the choices in music that the judges/mentors choose for them.

Two things that have been interesting to me:

1 – I love how people with extraordinary talent can be “discovered” on this show.  Those that come from extreme poverty or just hopelessly lost in a middle class system that does not allow for other areas of talent to be explored.

2 – So many hopes and dreams are associated with these programs.  Almost every one of them says, “This means EVERYTHING to me – it’s ALL I want”  or “I don’t know what I’ll do if they send me home – I have NOTHING else”.

So although I love the idea of a program that finds those that are deserving of a “break” – there are also some flaws in it as well.

It can be exploitive and extreme.

Many have said that everything in their  life is pinned on the hopes of winning a 5 million dollar prize.  No kidding.  Everything.  Yes – that’s BIG money – but really?  Nothing else to look forward to – nothing else at all?  Seems a little extreme.  How about a happy fulfilled life with family and friends, children and grandchildren, hobbies and work that gives a purpose.  A reason for being here – faith in God and His purpose for your life?

I realize that life is empty without a spiritual reason to exist – and that people will literally throw themselves into a passion – and often abandon EVERYTHING else in their life.  But I do think that often times when a  sacrifice is made – it is often a lonely one – and in the end leave those feeling lost and broken – even if they gained “the whole world” with their talent.

I would like to think that all of us already have the X-Factor.  Some of us just don’t know it.  But made in God’s image – we are all special and unique – made with special gifts and abilities and purpose.  We are designed to reflect God’s nature and His light in our lives gives us that special little extra something.

Whether or not you can sing, dance, play an instrument, or speak eloquently in front of a HUGE crowd – you have something special and God made you just the way you are.

I encourage you to find that special something that makes you unique in God’s eyes – special and loved, carefully crafted and shaped – to have that wonderful God-Factor.

The God-Factor is God’s unique and special gift to each of us – His stamp of love of each of our lives – made to be a reflection and a testimony of His purpose and plan for a lost and dying world.

And when you have the God-Factor – you already have what others search their whole lives to find.  And you don’t even have to win any talent contest.

When was the last time you felt special?

Do you like to watch music programs like me?

Which is your favorite?

X-Factor

Image via Wikipedia

 

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 }

Holy One

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I have this song on my iPod in my iPhone.  I’ve heard it before – it’s one of my favorites – but I heard it with fresh meaning the other day as I was taking a walk.  The song is sung and written by Mark Schultz with Chris Rice on some of the vocals.  If you are familiar with Mark’s music you will know that he writes very honest and moving lyrics that have a universal appeal – making them something that you and I can identify with.  I just knew I had to share them with you today – someone needs to be reminded once again of that gentle friend that came to save all who are lost.  And teach us what real love is all about.

I was thinking about this as I was walking along.  Friends come and go in our lives – but Jesus was special.  He came – got involved – saw his disciples for what they really were – and who they really weren’t – but gave himself anyway.  And in that same way – he sees you and me for what we really are.  There are no secrets from Him.  He wants to be involved – wants to have a special relationship with us.  He wants to be that friend who will not leave – will not disappoint – will not dismiss – will not be temporary.

How many friends do you know like this?  One who will not desert you?  One who is not easily miffed, confused, unfeeling or uncaring?

Jesus is the only friend who sees the good and bad of character – all the flaws and dark things that lurk around the heart –  who is merciful – does not judge with anything but love – does not shame but who shows grace and is willing to restore.  He loves you just as you are and sees only the best in you.  This is a true friend.

I want to challenge you today – get to know the “Holy One” – He is the greatest friend you will ever have.  His influence and presence will make such a huge impact on your life and others around you.  Link up with Him and find purpose in life and one who loves and accepts you just as you are.  His friendship will bring life and hope to you today.

God Bless

Gentle friend
You knew my name
Yet with Your hand You calmed the storm and healed the lame
As You spoke
People came
And as the crowds would gather ’round they called out
Holy One, are You the Holy One, who was sent by God to show the way

I wasn’t there
The night they came
Those who saw and feared the miracles you made
You took the nails
You bore the pain
And as they hung You on the cross and mocked you
Holy One, if You’re the Holy One let your God come save You from the grave

I just heard the news today
I just came to find you but they said You’d gone away
I just wanted to hear You say that you had to go
But that You’d be back again

Early morn
Break of day
Came in time to find the rock You rolled away
I found Your robe
An empty grave
And as I fell upon the ground I cried out
Holy One, You are the Holy One, and You came and gave Your life away

Holy One, You are the Holy One and You came and gave Your life away

I am the life, I am alive, I came to show the way

Where There Is Faith

I came across this song yesterday when looking through some old “4Him” songs on youtube.  Someone put together a beautiful slide show with this song and I wanted to share it with you.  This song has always moved me – the lyrics are amazing – and I find myself inspired by them.  It is amazing the love of our Lord Jesus – and the faith that it instills in me.

On an interesting side-note:  I learned yesterday that a friend and former co-worker from Renton Christian School, Melodee St. Clair – lost her 24-year-old son a few days ago.  Her daughter, Chelsea is also a former student of mine years ago when she was in junior high.  I had already chosen this song and written a few notes about it.  Even more I am convinced that this song is one of those ‘perfect timing’ moments that is more than coincidence.

There are times in our lives where having simple faith is hard.  It writes well and sounds good – but if we’re honest – faith is sometimes just – faith.  You can’t see it – or touch it – and sometimes you can’t even feel it.  It just simply – is.  The longer I live and see God’s hand on my life and in my shortcomings and circumstances – I am more convinced than ever that this simple faith – is enough.  It is our simple trust and dependence on God – that makes Him smile.  And I know that it is He who sustains me – watches over me and love me unconditionally.  “It is a peace like a child sleeping…”  and much, much more.

I pray you will enjoy the following video as much as I did – and that it will build up  your faith today.

And for Melodee St. Clair, Chelsea and the rest of your family – this is for you.

God Bless

Changing Me

I pray because I can’t help myself.  I pray because I’m helpless.  I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping.  It doesn’t change God – it changes me.

Signature of CS Lewis.

Prayer.  Something happens to me when I pray.  I gain perspective that I am very small – and He is very big.  I have no control – and He sees the big picture – and all events from beginning to end, all at once.  And somehow – there is great comfort in this knowledge.  When I know that my problems, stresses and circumstances do not catch Him off guard – that nothing surprises Him about my life – then somehow I feel better and can relax – knowing He is in control.

I know for me – I need to hear this because I am weak and fall short.  I also tend to compare God’s love for me with other people in my life.  Others who have failed me – when I have failed them – or judged me when I have been in the wrong.  Even turned away instead of sticking it out.  God’s love is not like this.  He wants me to come to Him with my concerns and needs.  He will not be shocked – or turn away – even judge or talk about me, like others in my life have.  He knows everything about me before I even say anything.  He knows it – even before I think it.  He knows it – even before I do.

We are safe with Him.  God is constant and will not change.  He is always the same.  It is me that changes by knowing Him better.  It is me that changes by praying.  It is me that needs the changing – not Him.

Dear Lord – help me to come to you – not to hesitate because I am afraid you will turn me away and say, ‘Straighten up!  What’s wrong with you anyway!  Have I taught you NOTHING!’ – you would never do this – you are peace, love, joy and mercy.  Help me to realize this.  Help me to humble myself and invite you to walk along beside me – on my journey.  Help me – change my heart as I release the deepest parts to you.

God Bless

To Stand Alone

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders por...

Image via Wikipedia

When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.   Eleanor Roosevelt

What does it mean to ‘stand alone’ and be counted?  Does it mean to be obnoxious about it?  Or isolate yourself?  Or be self-righteous or judgmental?

No.

We all have to come to the place where we have a conviction – either personal, social or spiritual – and we must decide for ourselves just what that conviction will mean for us.

Sometimes it means alienation from family and friends – sometimes it goes broader than that – in the political or social arena.  And we find ourselves ‘standing alone’.

Is it wrong to stand out – be all alone in what we believe and what we have decided is right?  How can we do so without being accused of forcing our personal opinion on another person?  Or being obnoxious?  Too opinionated?

I’ve had many interesting situations when I was trying to do the right thing – much opposition and many diverse reactions over the years.  I recently had an interesting situation in an email from a former close friend – who insisted that my ‘friendly and even humorous email was ‘forcing my opinion’ – when I was merely stating what I thought was the obvious – and in fact – the truth.  Let’s just say – the truth is subjective at best.  We all have a way of seeing our version of it.  And it is easy to get swept away into settling – for fear of opposition.  It is easier to just go along – to forget what the truth is – and choose an easier and less rocky road – even believe something that is not so. This friend should know me – but sadly has chosen to look and walk away – even when truth is right there.  That is the easy road – the one of least resistance and criticism.

I used to believe this – and I used to do this.   Not anymore.  Nor do I have a lot of respect for those that do.

I’ve had many interesting situations in this life of mine.  Nothing is harder than having a differing opinion with another human being – especially a good friend – who ought to know you better – but for some unknown reason – will not own or acknowledge it.  Even when doing the right thing.

And so, like Eleanor who knew what it was like to face controversy in her lifetime – I too have not only faced it – I’ve lived through it and even learned great things about people while going through a difficult time.

I wish I could say that people always understand my side of the story – or even listen to my side – but sadly, my side is often not even consulted – much less met with any understanding or dignity.  And yet – I still stand in my own ‘opinion’ or yes, my own convictions – and because I believe I am doing the right thing – standing up for truth and all that truth demands – I am stronger each day.

And I expect controversy – I even welcome it.  Jesus himself had plenty of it.  They didn’t like what He had to say – what He stood for.  He was ready and able to ‘stand alone’ and in His final hours – that’s exactly what He did.  Never compromising what He believed in – even when going to the cross.

And like Jesus – I want to live a life of graciousness.  A heart that freely and without reservation, embraces and loves.  Having a non-judgmental attitude – full of compassion and forgiveness.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

My prayer for you today is this:  That you will be forgiving of those that differ in their opinions from yours.  That you will decide what it is that you believe in – and not be afraid to be counted – and to stand alone.


God Bless

Reactions

HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

Image via Wikipedia

I have a heaviness in my spirit today.  I usually do not add a preface to my articles – but today I really feel that this is for somebody out there.  Someone who has felt condemnation and judgment from others.  I trust that this will help you today – this is for you.

I’ve always been fascinated by reactions of people when given a certain situation to navigate through.

Everyone responds differently.  It is not wrong to respond differently – it is just that we can’t all be put into a ‘box’ and be expected to look at things in the same way. Although – that is exactly what we do.  Expect people to look at things the right way – our way.

My husband used to use an illustration in some of his messages.  He would talk to Christian people and explain how the Holy Spirit can cause a reaction in our lives much like someone touching a live wire.  Here are a few ways people may respond:

1.  Jumping up and down, screaming and shouting and holding onto their hand that was hurt.

2.  Some might feel something but then deny they even felt it.

3.  Others may feel a tingle and say ‘ouch’.

In the same way when something  touches our life – especially the negative painful things – we have a few different ways to react to it:

1.  We jump around, scream and shout and coddle our hurt heart.

2.  We say, ‘You hurt me ‘  And never move on.

3. We say, ‘ouch’ – and move on – and never  touch that painful thing again.

I’ve seen this – and I’ve lived it. Even after doing everything to ‘bare my soul’ so to speak – and to do the right thing after something negative – sometimes the reaction from another person is still  negative. There are always going to be those in life that choose to see others in a negative light – even when we are all fallen, sinful creatures – and can hardly hope to redeem ourselves by casting the first stone. I suppose people do this because it makes them feel better – but I’ve never understood it.

And I am well aware that people see things and events differently too.  And like the above  – they are as varied in reaction as the people who react.  There have been those people in my own life who are quick to point fingers at me and tell me how sinful, terrible and unrepentant I am.  Never knowing the hard long journey that I have taken in efforts to keep my own heart right before God.  And the long soul-searching spent in much prayer asking God’s forgiveness and direction.  I’m sure we all have people like that in our lives.  I sure have in mine.  Those who would try to muzzle me from telling things in my own words – or those that even have the audacity to tell me how I feel – and more horrible than that – not only how I feel (or felt) – but they love to paint and dark and scary picture of what could have happened – based on nothing but speculation and supposition.  It’s insane – and only God has the inside track to who I am – what I’m thinking and just what my motives are for thinking or doing them.  Again these are reactions to their own pain, hurt, confusion and frustration.  And I can only pray for them and feel sorry.

My husband knows more than anybody how I have wrestled with criticism – founded and unfounded by those who at one time were my friends.  And how I have done the long hard work of keeping my heart clean from resentment from those who would still judge me without really knowing me and try to hold me hostage for my past mistakes.  I am guilty as charged.  I’m graciously forgiven by my Lord and Saviour.   I have had to be broken before God to make sure that everything is right inside of me.  And I learned something.  Even when you do this – even when everything is forgiven and covered by God – there are those that still will not believe it. And never will.  Therefore the only reaction that I really care about is God’s reaction to me –  and God’s alone.

There is such amazing freedom in this – He loves me.  He forgives my many mistakes.  He has covered all the sin in my life as He promises to do.  He is gracious and full of mercy – and does not react in a bad way – making me pay somehow.  Nor does he remind me of the past – and just how sinful and terrible I am.  I am then free to love you – with no apprehension – with no hidden agenda – just pure motive of wanting a right relationship – insomuch as is in my power to do so.

And those that continue to react badly – those are the people you feel sorry for – assign them an ‘outer orbit’ and you cut them loose – hoping and praying that others will be kinder to them – then they have shown kindness.  And that they will someday learn that it’s just not worth it to point the finger of blame.  And much better to just let it go and forgive – especially themselves.

I am praying for you

God Bless

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