Sunday, July 3, 2011

Not Without Love

I am finding that I love almost everything that this artist writes. I was listening to two of his albums today and in both he had a track that was just spoken word poetry. This was one of those poems. I'd encourage you to read it aloud. It's beautiful, especially as we consider celebrating freedom tomorrow.

Not Without Love (Benediction)
By Jimmy Needham

I tried Lord
I tried Lord
I tried hard to be Your good little boy
Chin up, head high
All zeal and no joy
Thinking all my good deeds could please Jesus
Boy, was I wrong
Though I knew the right songs, all my cymbals and gongs played the melodies wrong
And it wasn’t long ‘til I saw my disease
A life spent wanting to please
On hands and knees
To make right, to appease
God help me please
This can’t be Christianity, it can’t be
The whole thing’s like insanity
Where’s the rest of eternal security?
Where’s the hope of a God big enough to cope with all my hang-ups and insecurities?
Certainly this isn’t breathing
My chest burning and heaving
It’s like my pulse is ceasing
Like my heart quits beating
Yet this I recall to mind and therefore I have hope:
You died, Lord
You died, Lord
Assuredly, like the coming of the dawn, the Father’s love song goes on
Drowning out my bitter songs
And breaking through walls and barriers
Christ swoops in, removes sin, picks up His bride and carries her
So I can sing in agreement with the King this thing:
There’s only one thing that pleases the Father
The God-man on the tree in the midst of the scoffers
Now I finally see that Christ is what Christ offers
And I’m finally free in the love of the Father

Friday, July 1, 2011

Catching Up

My last post was quite awhile ago, because my BROTHER GOT MARRIED!!! :) It was a beautiful God-filled wedding that impacted many lives with the power of truth and love. I am so thankful for my new sister!
I am also refreshed in my own marriage as Ev and I review the last four years, and what God has done in and through us during that time. I LOVE being married! Sometimes, my husband can be a selfish butthead, sometimes I can be the worst person in the world to live with. But most of the time, he is a wonderful reflection of Christ's love for me in the grace he shows me every day.
I have also been TRYING desperately to make my home into an environment that can foster a healthy family lifestyle. I'm about halfway there, but every couple days, I feel like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back.
ALSO, I have been reading Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. This is a book that I've heard recommended by many people and started reading probably five or more times, but I just could get past the first chapter. I'm happy to report I am now on Chapter 2!!! Pretty cool, huh? And it is very good! I think that I haven't gotten through it before because I needed to read it now.
I think it's amazing that in our families God has given us such a powerful microcosm of his love for and relationship with us. In a marriage, we can see Christ's undying, pursuing, warrior/poet/kinsman-redeemer LOVE for the church and with our children we are faced on a daily basis with God's love as a father and our curious ridiculousness as His children. It's so amazing to me that regardless of your family's religious beliefs or affiliation, the way you treat each other will forever impact the way that the others in your family view God.
I had a mentor. Her son was about 7, her daughter was about 4. The daughter was being irritating and attention-seeking which annoyed the son, so he responded by calling her a name and storming out. My mentor followed him, looked him square in the eye and told him that he could never do that to his sister again because the way he treated her would impact how she viewed herself, other men, and God for the rest of her life. I thought "WOW! That's quite a burden for a 7 year old to bear!" But then I thought about all the research I had read about attachment and views on God and the like and then I thought, "WOW! I'm so glad she told him that."
I'm still working on courage, gracefulness, and endurance, but it's funny how those mean different things to me now than they did in January when I committed to growing in them.
If you're reading this...thanks! :) I'd like to hear from you and what you're learning this summer, what's challenging you and what is just plain silly. Thanks for bearing with the ramblings!


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