Archive for the ‘Just Thinking’ Category
Seasons. Sometimes I just have to think about that. Between seasons is transition. Sometimes one season blends into another. Other times, a season ends abruptly and the next one begins without warning. Not all transition is easy…waiting on the next season to kick in is, in short, sometimes a blessing in disguise. Understanding the blessing may take more time.
Life takes us through seasons. Physical, emotional, spiritual seasons, some say, grow us. I’m not so sure I like growing. But inevitably, the process happens. Not to get too personal, let it suffice to say that our family has experienced a long season, not sure if it’s the grueling hot drought of summer or the cruel frigidness of winter. Either way, deep down we know, because of the grounding of the infallible Word of God, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” This scripture found in Romans is perhaps the one most quoted by my Mamaw Oglethorpe. Well, Mamaw, thanks for instilling this verse in us. The good is on the way.
If your life seems upside down, if your long-time friends have left you alone, if your soul cries for more, just know that God makes the crooked path straight, He will be a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and He is the water for the thirsty. You will meet new friends. Your cup will run over. The good is on the way.
It’s early on a Monday morning. As I was reviewing my blog, I came across an unpublished one that I started writing over a year ago. To start off this spring day, I decided to finish it and share it with all of you. As the birds are happily chirping outside my window bright and early, I am reminded of the song God puts in our hearts when we experience His grace.
The book of Second Corinthians Chapter 12, verse 9 says, “My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” This verse speaks so much into a life…
As I was driving along on a Sunday afternoon, my ipod was on shuffle, and suddenly one of my favorite songs came on. Being that it’s one of my favorites, I have listened to it hundreds of times. However, for some reason today, this one phrase spoke to me, “Your grace, it covers me. Your love, it covers me. Oh God, you cover me.” Yes, I was singing along at the top of my lungs and all of a sudden got choked up. Tears started streaming down my face as I began to think about the beauty of the grace of God.
So many times, we take it for granted. We tell ourselves, “Oh it’s ok if we choose to make this one little mistake…God’s grace will cover me. I’ll just ask for forgiveness when I’m done. Let’s face it…sin is fun. It makes us feel good….in the moment, that is. The world has made it look so attractive. At every turn, we are bombarded with lures and enticements of the “lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.”
But God called us to be IN this world, not OF it.
We are all guilty of taking advantage of the grace that the Lord has afforded us. But we, as Christians have a duty….to share God’s love and His grace with those who feel like they have no hope. My prayer is that the hope of glory wraps you tight on this gorgeous day!
Now I think I’ll hit the snooze button
Hello!! It’s been so long since my last blog! But lately, something has been on my heart very strongly, and I just feel that I should share it with you. Within the last couple of months, I started a new job working with a volunteer program called Americorps at our local community center. Americorps has many different branches, but the branch I volunteer for is called S.E.E. which stands for synergy, education, and enviromemt. Their main goal is to simply reach out to our community and help those who are less fortunate than others. They have an afterschool program called KidTech for grades 1-5 that provides tutoring for these children.
During the first week as part of the team, I was completely baffled by some of the things I heard these young children saying. It made me realize that the battle we face is beyond serious. As Christians, we become so distracted and so worried about our lives and what God is doing in OUR life that we lose focus on what God wants to do in the lives of others THROUGH us. Since I started volunteering, God has fueled my passion to help and reach others. It has also prompted this question: Is the church so caught up in planning the next “big event” that it has lost sight of the importance of the small things, such as reaching out to those who can never repay?
A family that lives less than a block from my church participates in the afterschool program with KidTech. When I realized this, it made me so angry with myself. I was suddenly jolted that I don’t even know the community that has been at my fingertips for the last 7 years. Rather than beat myself up, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity that God has afforded me through this program.
As Bible believers, at times, we are so concerned about doctrine, which is important to salvation, yet we forget about its foundation. Some have even taken these matters to the level of competition constantly trying to determine who is right and who is wrong. Yes, I believe the Bible in its entirety and that it is the infallible Word of God. But I also know that at its core is LOVE.
Why do we worry about God’s calling on our life? Why do we try to make it so complicated? Amen to the fact that we should continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phillipians 2:12) But at the very root of salvation, at the creation of the universe, at the moment of redemption is the main ingredient. It is simply to love. God called each and every one of us to love. When we love others and care for others, then they will see Jesus in us. Then we can tell someone about Jesus and his wonderful mercy, grace, and LOVE.
“For he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” I John 4:8
On my 18th birthday, on a Sunday morning, I was dressed for church and walked into the living room. My mom gave me what I thought, at that time, was the strangest gift. She asked, “Do you know the song ‘Where He leads me, I will follow?” I hesitantly told her that I did. She then asked me to sing it. When I finished, she gave me a hug and said, ” That’s your gift.” I was a bit confused. And then she repeated that the song was her gift for my 18th birthday. I tucked it away because, for one thing, I know my mom well enough to know that I would more than likely need it in the future.
About a month later, on a cold night in the Nashville studio, I was sitting on my mom’s knee. Along with my producer, we were reviewing the songs I had just finished recording. We began to notice a common thread to all of the songs. They were ultimately saying one thing. The words Lead Me echoed among us. At that moment a stillness came into the studio. It was that God moment for which we had all been waiting.
On my 19th birthday, about 4 p.m. I heard a knock on the door. Boxes of the finished product were delivered. The new EP Lead Me was complete, yet just beginning.
Recently, someone shared a scripture with me that has been pulsating through my mind ”…the heart is the wellspring of life.” Since the time I have been able to understand the simplest lesson on human anatomy, I have known that the heart is where all physical life hinges. And, it was right on the heels of that knowledge, that I realized emotional and spiritual well being are veined to the heart, as well. The scripture declares to guard the heart because it is the spring of life. However, not enough of us follow the instruction. Then when emotional battles scar and wounds are open, and the chambers of the heart become clogged with hurt and pain, we wonder why it feels like death. Well, it is a heart attack of sorts. Consider that your heart is the wellspring…and when it has been damaged, life is altered. Just like when physical arteries become blocked, our emotional and spiritual arteries can become obstructed, and we may feel numb. Then our thoughts and sometimes actions run rampant trying to overcompensate for the lack of flow. Is that why the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter? It’s the emotional and spiritual stint. Even more, it is as the pacemaker that can regulate our griefs back to normalcy.
But then we have to come to grips with “…the heart is deceitful above all things…who can know it?” In other words, who can understand the degree of wickedness of the heart? This heart irony, I call it, seems perplexing. For one, we are instructed to keep our heart…yet it is deceitful and wicked. Why in the world would we have a desire to protect something of this nature? Because, of course, it is the wellspring of life…the source of life. Even though we don’t know our own hearts, we should do everything we can to keep it functioning properly. Giving our heart to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, will be the awning of protection, and His shed blood will cover the heart’s wicked deception.
The irony of the heart leads to one place…the cross of Jesus Christ.
What are you searching for? What am I searching for?
Last summer, I started writing a blog about GRACE. I never finished it. Therefore, I never posted it. Then last night, God dropped this bombshell right into my heart. ”Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
I have heard this scripture quoted all of my life. I have heard preachers deliver an entire message from this scripture. I have recited this scripture since I was about four years old. I have even sung the Sunday School song, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Tonight It penetrated the chambers of my heart.
The Bible does not say that Noah found “favor” in the eyes of the Lord. It simply says he found grace. Ironically, grace is the unmerited favor of God. A favor that is undeserved, a favor that has no conditions attached, that meritless favor is grace. So why in the world are so many people looking for FAVOR? If Noah found grace, that must mean he was looking for grace. He found grace before he built the ark, not after. The mentality of most of humanity would have been, “I’ll build this ark, and you can do me a favor…save my hide.” It’s even more interesting that the dispensation of grace had not begun, yet it was already in the eyes of God. The popular stance of “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” unfortunately has filtered into the realm of the church world. But the Bible clearly states that we are saved by grace.
What are you searching for? What am I searching for? Favor? I think not.
I am searching for GRACE. First grace, then the ark of safety will be built around my life.
Do you ever get so caught up living life that you don’t take the time to think about life? From early morning until late in the night, if your days are like mine, they are full of responsibilities, schedules, and deadlines. It seems as if there is little time to dream dreams or think thoughts. But today, I thought about life. I thought about how life is a big puzzle. I thought about how many pieces there are to life. I thought about how most completed puzzles are very beautiful. I thought about how God sometimes moves the pieces of life around before He puts them together. I thought about how I will just trust Him with the puzzle of life.
Here we go…the spring semester has begun. My first day back in the trenches of classes, work, the gym is in full swing. And, I will end it quite nicely with a guitar session with Thomas Culp. We’re going to have some serious playing time as we put together some worship sets. It’s going to be “beyond awesomeness”…
I’m excited about what all is coming in 2011! You don’t want to miss it!!
So my winter break is almost over…I can’t say that I’m extremely happy about that! But I just thought I’d share with you some of the memories I made over the holidays…
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At first, I was a bit amused by the fact that the moment I began a mission to help raise awareness about human trafficking through facebook, twitter, and other social media, I received comments of a sarcastic nature. Actually after trying to ignore these comments, I became sad that in the face of someone trying to actually make a difference, others would make light of it. Can I say I was no longer amused?
Then a few days ago, I received an encouraging word from someone who said they were praying for me and that, through these “awareness” updates, learned that their state was responsible for 25% of trafficking.
It’s worth speaking out…