Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our Secret Place

“I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing

My hands float up above me
And you whisper you love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place”

…and that’s why I love music…

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Just a few short years ago, I was one of the normal people. You know...the ones sitting with dignity and reverence each Sunday trying hard not to stare at the people brave enough to raise their hands during worship. I held back tears as I watched those that were obviously lost in the moment and apparently “feeling” their worship. I wondered why I couldn’t muster up the emotion, the desire, the boldness to experience worship in the same way. I don’t like to stand out in a crowd…as many of my friends would tell you. I’ve always chosen the safe fashions, been reluctant to ask questions in a crowd and feared being perceived as different in a weird way. And yet, I found myself strangely drawn to the very people who stood out in these worship services. I wondered what was different for them? Some said that it was a personality thing…they were also the ones more apt to be enthusiastic at a sporting event. While I don’t like to stand out, I cannot deny my emotions when watching one of my children at a sporting event or at a concert. My love and admiration for them takes over and it feels as if it would be impossible for me to sit quietly and observe. I usually experience an almost out-of-body experience. I know I’m hollering and laughing and being much more animated than usual. It’s just that I don’t care because my love for my kids overrides my desire to appear dignified.

And, deep down, I knew why I was inhibited in worship. My love and admiration for my Savior wasn’t strong enough to override my desire to be dignified…especially in a large crowd of other “dignified” Christians. I feared what they would think of me. God knew. As I asked Him to help me step out of my lukewarm spiritual walk, my circumstances started to change. My church comfort was stripped slowly, but completely over the next two years. Eventually, I started to feel that I needed Him desperately…in fact, He is all I knew for sure. Slowly, I felt the restraints loosen on my arms and the inhibitions begin to dissolve…until one Sunday, in my brokenness and pain, I heard the same worship songs I’d heard a hundred times before, but I couldn’t control my reaction. No longer worried about what others thought of me, my love for the One who continues to save me overrode my desire to appear dignified. And just like that, I lost my dignity…

“I will dance
I will sing
To be mad
For my King
Nothing Lord
Is hindering
This passion in my soul

And I'll become
Even more undignified than this
Some may say
It's foolishness
But I'll become
Even more undignified than this
Leave my pride
By my side
And I'll become
Even more undignified than this”

David Crowder Band (Undignified)

2009 01 30 092

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Resting in the Shadow

“Life is full of light and shadow
O the joy and O the sorrow

When darkness falls on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When all seems lost
When we're thrown and we're tossed
We'll remember the cost
We're resting in the
Shadow of the cross”

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wasting Time

“I believe that the greatest trick of  the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God.”  -Donald Miller (in Blue Like Jazz)

2009 01 30 052

Thursday, January 17, 2013

You’re Everything That’s Fair

“In this life I'm stubborn to the core
In this life I've been burning after more
We both know what these open arms are for
You're everything that's fair”


I have to keep redefining “fair” and I think I’m just now beginning to see what “fairness” really means “in this life”.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

We Said Goodbye…Again

For the third time in 4 months, we said goodbye to a wounded and scarred minister and his family as they move on and try to rebuild their lives in the wake of the trauma caused by their “brothers and sisters in Christ” (aka our church). The pain continues to grow when I think it’s impossible for it to become any deeper. And, still, we wait…and wait…and wait. For the truth about how these families were treated to be spoken out loud. For the untruths that were said about the character and actions of these men to be addressed.  For someone to be held accountable for the damage. Sure, God will hold us all accountable…I know that. Does that mean that we are not to be held accountable now? Do we tiptoe around when someone is caught cheating on taxes or assaulting another citizen and hope they will feel God leading them to apologize? Do we give them a lifetime to think about it with no consequences? How can we say, “It’s done and in the past. We’ll do better in the future.”? It’s certainly not “done” for these families. They will be feeling the effects of what we’ve done and allowed to be done for a lifetime. The pain is excruciating for those who experience it firsthand and for those who watch it unfold (daily) on those they love. For others, the pain seems to be somewhat sincere but short lived because they choose to see only the amount of pain they can withstand without it disrupting their own lives. It has definitely disrupted our lives. I beg…

What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.” Ephesians 4:25 (MSG)

And here’s my biggest struggle…I’ve been fighting the foothold daily for 11 months and I’m growing weary…

“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG)

2009 01 30 044

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Prayer for the New Year

My true feelings going into 2013 are hardly something I want to admit. They are feelings of loss, anger and betrayal. I want desperately to fight the urge to spiral deep into the abyss of disillusionment because I’ve been there before and it’s not pleasant. I know how long it takes to climb back up and see the light of day. On the other hand, I feel the urge to indulge my feelings and experience them in their rawness in an attempt to begin healing. I’m exhausted and vulnerable…the perfect place for me to begin evaluating myself honestly and allow God to work in me if I can fight against the cynicism I harbor. My prayer for 2013:

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)

2009 01 30 011