Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Giggle...

I've been really thinking back to my childhood lately. I have some great memories. Most of them include my sisters and brothers playing in our foyer...it wasn't like most foyers in houses today. In fact I'm sure it was probably supposed to be some type of living room or family room. It was really fun playing records...yes you read that correctly. We had a record player. Not a CD player...eventually we had a record player and Cassette with also an 8-track player. Man...I'm so old. LOL!!! Anyway...one of the things I would do is play music and pretend to be singing in front of lots of people. I never picture millions. My dreams were just to sing without people knowing that I did. I was sorta backward when it came to singing.

I didn't sing my first solo in church until I was a senior in high school. The first song I sang was "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus." It was the Amy Grant version of the song. I remember I was trusting in Jesus during that whole song, because I was SO nervous. I still get nervous when singing in front of people, but it's a different type of nervous.

One of my favorite artists back then was Amy Grant. She was new to Christian music and I was there at the beginning. Her first record titled "Amy Grant" is a special one to me, because we actually had the very first one with the screened print photo of her. It wasn't the greatest cover for a record, but for her first record having that one was very special.

I remember getting her second one "Father's Eyes" for my birthday. We were visiting my sister Becky and had gone to the Christian bookstore. It was on sale there, and my parents bought it for my sister Mary and I to share. Funny how it was closer to my birthday yet I had to share the record. LOL!! Anyway...one of the songs on it was entitled "Giggle." It was one of my favorite songs. I remember I used to sing that song and think of how I would put the music to a "video"...videos to music were just beginning a little later, and I would picture a lot of the songs that I listened to into videos in my head.

Thinking back this week to that time, I started singing the song "Giggle"...and was surprised at how much of it I remembered. I was also reminded in these simple words of a young girl that there will be situations that I must go through and God's love will help me along the way.

Here are the lyrics to "Giggle"...I hope you enjoy them too...

Giggle.
Giggle if you want to.
But I know it's still true.
That He's always gonna love me.
So just laugh out...
If you think I'm uncool,
Playin' the part of the fool,

'Cause I love Him!
Don't you know how I love Him?
Oh, well, I do!

When I see somebody cryin',
Some person who's real mean.
I want to quickly walk right by him,
But I'll stop for You.
Dear Lord, but
Must I hug him real tight now?
He smells so bad, I'll faint.
What will my friends think if I kill my pride, I can't.

Well, giggle.
Giggle if you want to.
But I know it's still true.
That He's always gonna love me.
So just laugh out...
If you think I'm uncool,
Playin' the part of the fool,

'Cause I love Him!
Don't you know how I love Him?
Oh, well, I do!

When I'm in a sticky situation,
Sitting in a class at school,
Everyone is talking evolution,
No one talks of You.
My hand goes up,
I don't want to be too pushy.
My arm, it feels like lead,
But there's such a joy they're missing saying, "God is dead."

So giggle.
Giggle if you want to.
But I know it's still true.
That He's always gonna love me.
So just laugh out...
If you think I'm uncool,
Always playin' the part of the fool,

'Cause I love Him!
Don't you know how I love Him?
Oh, well, I do!

*"Giggle" from the recording "My Father's Eyes" by Amy Grant.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let's Build a Bridge *Updated...



This is a favorite performance by Michael English.

So...I wanted to talk more about this performance, but didn't have a lot of time when I first found the youtube video. When I first found the song I was thinking about we need to build a bridge to those people in our lives that we are trying to reach with the love of Jesus, but after being in the services Sunday I can look at this song in a different way.

Missionary Hal Large was visiting our church yesterday and he brought a two messages (I was able to hear) about what we are missing in our life.

When we come to Christ at the time of salvation...we bring him with the things we have done...the sins we have committed and such. But have we ever taken the things that have been done to us to the blood of Jesus. There may be situations that we are holding onto...some we know for sure...others we may have buried deep inside of...but they are there. We must take them to the blood of Jesus and lay them at the cross. God will work in our life and be able to live through us. I hope to get a copy of the notes he gave pastor, because some of this I was able to grasp while other things I wasn't able to take hold of...

There was a separation between us and God and God sent Jesus to die on the cross to bridge that gap of separation.

These situations we are not taking to Jesus' blood are building walls around us...but taking them to the blood of Jesus, we are able to build that bridge again.

I know this isn't the way he presented the message, but with the idea of the song too...it just made me relate to it that way.

*Let's Build a Bridge from the CD "Michael English." Performance from the 1994 Dove Awards.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Greatest Story...

Your life woven day by day
Is a new design of the glory God displays
On the canvas of creation
Through the poem of history
In the pattern of remdemption
Running through the tapestry
Your life in Christ can be
The greatest story ever told


So today and yesterday evening I was able to lay out my color scheme for the quilt I'm making. My mom has made a particular quilt for several people in my family. She said she would make me one too...but after I got married. Since I don't see any prospects in my life, I asked her last year, if she would help me make a quilt. Of course...with my busy life (which I really don't know why is so busy...since I don't have an active social life) it has never been started. Anyway...this week, I decided to just at least get the material cut and get it laid out of the color scheme. Mom has several pieces completed and said for me to use as many as I can. I have chosen quite a few, but there are still quite a few I will have to put together myself.

Since I've been working on making something out of fabric, the chorus of "The Greatest Story" has been running through my head. My dad has preached a sermon about how God works in our life like an artist creating a masterpiece, or a seamtress creating something out of different materials. Take for instance someone doing a needlepoint pattern. The underside of it has many colors of threads and the design is all distorted, but when you turn the piece over and see the beautiful picture...it's understandable why the other side is all messy.

Our lives may seem messy at times...difficult times crashing into our so called normal lives. These times are there for a reason...they bring the dark threads that really bring out the detail in the final masterpiece. It's all needed, and God is seeing the ENTIRE picture and the finish product...knowing just want to bring into our life at just the right time. It's good that we have these crazy times, so we can see His hand in them too.

I have an incredible praise to also write. I know that the God I serve is a God who can heal. He is the Great Physician. In December of last year, I went to a new eye doctor. This particular eye doctor thoroughly test each patient in different ways. Not just your "puff" pressure test, but also x-rays the eye, and does other types of pressure tests. In doing this sort of testing, they can really catch problems in the beginning. At this first eye appointment, my doctor differences in my optic nerves. They are different sizes. When they first see this, they become concern and consider a person a suspect for glaucoma. The next step is to do a visual field on the person and see the results of that test. My first test was scheduled a few weeks later. Due to the results they wanted me to repeat the test. I did and was immediately put on drops for glaucoma. It was one drop in my right eye twice a day. I tried to do this regularly, but a few times I did forget one or a couple of days both. Anyway, about 4 months ago, he checked my pressures again and the pressures seemed good, so he set an appointment to do the visual field again. Today was the test day. I wasn't too concerned about the test, I figured it would be the same results and I would continue on the drops as I had been doing these past 10 months. Well...to my surprise, my visual field results came back clean. I have stumped my eye doctor (he is a Christian) so he called it a miracle. He wants me to go off my drops for 6 weeks and then he will check my pressures. He has already taken the label of "glaucoma" off me. Praise the Lord! He says that my optic nerves are still asymmetrical, but that it may be normal for me.

I walked out of the eye doctors office today in amazement. I serve a God who can heal anything. It's interesting because I never really worried about being label a person with glaucoma, because it was just a matter of putting drops in one eye...it was a pain when I didn't remember before I had climbed into bed...or if I had forgotten to put them in before I left for work, but as far as the label "glaucoma"...I never was frustrated about it. I think it's interesting how this wasn't something I prayed for God to "take away," but yet He has. How awesome the God I serve is!

Those dark times in our lives that we accept because we know God is using them...He puts them there to makes us the person He's creating us to be. I wish I could accept "everything" He brings into my life this way. I know my life would be a lot smoother, if I didn't fight Him sometimes.

Until next time...

_______________________
** "The Greatest Story" recorded by Avalon from the CD "Avalon" Released 1996.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Slow Fade (Continue)

God is good! I really enjoy how when He's teaching a lesson...He really makes sure His point is clear.

For the past several weeks, Pastor has been preaching from the book of Genesis on the life of Isaac.

This morning, Pastor's sermon was from Genesis 26. It was entitled "Isaac's backsliding." All throughout the sermon I kept thinking about the song "Slow Fade." I had just heard the song yesterday, checked out the youtube videos with the lesson to go with the song, and wrote a blog about it...and then today hear about Isaac's backslidden condition. The outline is in the car right now, or I would include it in this blog.

Drawing back from yesterday's blog with Psalm 1:1-2...the second verse is "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."

I've noticed that one thing that causes a person to lose focus is to not concentrate on the source. For example to lose focus on God, you do not concentrate on His Word. Devotions has always been a struggle for me in the fact that sometimes reading one verse or a passage of Scripture can give me more than reading a certain number of chapters a day.

The point of it is...everyday we have choices presented to us. We can make a choice that will bring us closer to God or a choice that can allow us to fall into a back slidden condition. Which choice is going to win? Some days my choices are good, while other days I struggle to make the right choice. Some days I'm able to be in God's word without interruption, while other days I struggle to find a quiet moment.

This evening service we sat at the Lord's Supper...while sitting there reflecting on what God has done for me...with salvation, with provision of needs, with the finer details of my life...I wanted to stop and just say thank you. It was good that I did it then, because right after church...it seemed that my thoughts began to quickly get distracted...needs began to arise, prayer requests spoken, etc. If I hadn't taken the time when I did...I would have lost the moment to thank Him. I became distracted after church. How many times before have I lost that moment? I'm sure it's been more than I want to admit. That's why I believe God has brought this idea of the "Slow Fade" to me. He wants me to be aware...on guard in my everyday life to not lose opportunities for Him to speak with me.

I ask that you pray for a few friends of mine. God knows the specific requests, and we are believing that He will work in His time.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Slow Fade

I was on my way to clean the fellowship hall this morning. Usually I listen to my ipod on my car stereo, but today, I had my earphones already plugged into it, and I endedup having the radio on K-Love. Listening to the countdown, I heard the artist spotlight on Casting Crowns. This group is an amazing group. Their songs are really touching the Christian community...not just by being good songs to listen to...but also being songs that prick the heart and possibly cause conviction.

In past blogs you have read me state that music is a backdrop of life...and if you don't have music that can really touch you to a point of drawing you closer to God I think there is something missing. Preaching of God's word is needing, but I also think that songs that speak God's word can reach further. Music in the service can prepare the heart to hear what the Pastor or speaker will be saying. If you have something that is just "entertaining" it may end up distracting from God's word...instead of drawing someone to repentence.

Most of the songs by Casting Crowns are written in a way to help with this preparation of the heart to hear God's word.

While listening to the interview, I began to think of ways that I have allowed the "slow fade" to catch up with me. Back before I started going to the Bible Institute...I was running with some friends who were not the strongest Christians. Even though my choices were still "good", I had allowed a "slow fade" in my life. Thus the reason to get out of that scene was needed for God to get my attention.

Other times, can be when I don't take a stand while hanging with friends. If I see wrong doing and just turn my head instead of taking that stand on the Word. Most times I think we, as Christians don't take stands against sin because we don't want to be accused of being a "judge" of someone else...Or we don't want to hurt feelings of others...Or worse, we don't have a conviction to even take a stand. God's Word is here to guide us. We are under grace and not the law, but because of our position in Christ...I believe there is a way to live my life as to not be a bad testimony. Psalm 1:1 "...nor standeth in the way of sinners..." We need to be careful what our eyes see, our ears hears, our feet go, our hands move, and our mouths say. We have a Father who is above ... watching over us in love ... He wants us to be a GOOD representative of His. Am I? Are you?

I have attached two videos from Casting Crowns youtube page. One is the video of the song "Slow Fade" the other is a teaching lesson from Mark Hall (lead singer). I hope both will be enjoyed and helpful.






**- "Slow Fade" recorded by Casting Crowns from the CD "Alter and the Door"