Monday, January 31, 2011

Amazing Grace

I love the words to this hymn

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

 What a wonderful God  we have that accepts us the way we are and loves us anyway! Grace is a real gift from the Father that loves us. We didn't do anything to deserve it, and He paid for it so we didn't have to.

Webster's Dictionary defines grace as

  unmerited divine assistance given humans 
for their regeneration or sanctification 

It makes me think about  the gifts we give each other. Sometimes we go crazy buying gifts to show people how much we love them. But the real gifts we can give each other are far better and much less pricey! Patience, understanding, unconditional love, hope, support, compassion, encouraging words... I could go on and on. All of these gifts are much needed by everyone. It is surprising the reactions you will get when you give them freely. 
Then there are the gifts we think we are giving, but will end up  at the return desk. 
Unasked for advice, guilt,  control... you get the picture. 

So what are the differences, and how do we know which ones we are giving?

One word.

All of the "return desk" gifts are spontaneous. We give them NOW with not a lot of thought. We have good intentions, we think we are doing/saying the right thing. 

All of  the needed gifts are  filled with patience. The same patience God our Father uses with us daily.  He could easily jump right in and tell us what we are doing wrong, but He is waiting for us to realize what we are doing and ask for His help. And He is always there. ALWAYS! Even when you don't think He is, He IS.

The gift of grace is often overlooked and forgotten.  Make sure you always remember that He has given you the ultimate gift. Make sure the gifts you give are unforgettable, too. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Am A Rock, I Am An Island

Right now I am searching for God's infinite wisdom and guidance. Oh, and a little peace would be wonderful!

I am so grateful for the people God has put into my life to support and pray for me. People I have know for a lifetime, and people I have never personally met. That alone floors me. Wow. I have always been someone who prays for others, but knowing that people you don't even know are praying for you is quite a humbling experience. Amazing, and inspiring, but humbling.

It is so funny, because I have been in the marketing business most of my life, and have been told I am quite good at it. But when it comes to marketing myself I fall short. I am not a boastful person, and I feel that if I am telling everyone about ME it is bragging.  How do I send off a CD to a record label? Is it offputting to send a CCM artist a request online? (not in front of everyone)

I know that if this is what He wants me to do, it will happen, but I also know I can't just sit around and wait for it. Can I?

I have been listening for God's voice, but I think I am getting in the way.  Please pray that I can get out of the way and let Him do His work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Can I Do

I wanted to share my new video with you. One more step in the process :) I wrote and recorded this song, and am working on a new song as well.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's All About You

Life is hard sometimes, but take a moment and think.... who am I doing all of this for? It's not about me - it is about my journey and my relationship with my Savior. What I have here on earth will not matter to me when I am gone. Who I have impacted will matter. Who I have loved will matter. Who I have shared God with will matter. I have come to the realization that my first priority every day should be my time with God, cultivating our relationship. He is always there, waiting to spend time with me. It is I who chooses to do other things, get caught up in Life.

I long to be more like a child. Loving, trusting, knowing all my needs will be fulfilled by those who love me. No worries, no stress... but Jesus says I need to be more like a child.

 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 18:3

Trust is an issue for me.  How can I tithe when I don't have enough money to pay my bills? How can I stop worrying about my adult children? What if something happens to them?

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! ~ Luke 12:24

 “Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient." ~  Matthew 6: 31-34

God tells me that He will always take care of me and my family. That is all I need to know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let Go of What You Think You Know

Have you ever given someone advice and then realized that you were telling yourself what you really needed to hear? A friend of mine is trying to lose weight, and someone that he respected told him how he was going to fail and why. I told him that he will do what he desires, and that there will always be people who will try to drag him down. I told him not to give those people the power to do that.

Wow!  Hello??? Did I just say that? I truly meant what I said to him, but my own words resonated in my brain. God will decide what will happen in my life. I just have to do what I can on my end. If it is meant to be, He will make it happen ~ but I can't sit around waiting for something wonderful to happen. I have to be proactive. Yes, God opens doors, but I am the one who has to walk through it. I have to be paying attention! I have to work hard, let go of what I think I know, and let God work in my life, and not give other people the power to make me question what I truly want to do and feel is my calling.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What If.....

What if......

I had more money?

I was thinner?

I had more confidence?

I had a nicer house?

I looked younger?

When something doesn't go my way, I assume that either I have failed or it's not what God wants for me. Usually the first one. I am personally competitive.  But as I look back through my life, I see that God has put me in different places and with different people for a reason.  At the time I had no idea that where I was at that moment was where I was supposed to be, to travel where God is leading me.

It is difficult, as a human, not to ask "what if" in so many situations in our lives. People have spent years of their lives dwelling on the "what ifs". It does no good to do that. It is not productive, and we waste precious time thinking about things in the past. I really don't think God wants us to look back. I think He wants us to live today, because He tells us that He will take care of tomorrow. It is alright to have wonderful memories, but we needn't dwell on things we cannot change. Take each day as the gift that it is, and instead of burying yourself in the past, use that time to spend more time with God.

What if.....

We truly Let Go and Let God?

We saw each day as a day closer to God?

We loved everyone?

We could really forgive?

We saw each milestone as a step closer to what He wants?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

While I'm Waiting

I know that this is going to be a long journey. It won't be easy. There will be a lot of rejection. I am gathering material to send out. That process alone makes my heart pound just thinking about it. But I know that He is with me throughout this whole adventure. This is such a huge step for me, but He is with me ~ while I'm waiting.

Now, let me tell you. I am probably one of the most impatient people I know.  I am not road-rage-y or anything like that. I am just not good at waiting for things. So this is a test of epic proportions for me. It's probably a really good thing I wasn't born during the Old Testament times. I would not have wandered through the desert for 40 years. I would have gone off on my own and died, not realizing that God was taking care of His people. It is so difficult for me to let go and let Him control my life. I know I am supposed to, and my life would be so much easier if I did. I guess putting it out here helps hold me accountable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Will Not Be Moved

One of my favorite Christian artists is Natalie Grant. I have loved her music since the beginning, and have sang many of her songs at church. Her passion for Jesus spills out in each song, and every one seems to be speaking directly to me. I chose "I Will Not Be Moved" as the title to this post, because this song to me is an anthem every Christian should take to heart.

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartaches
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

If I am going to take this journey, this needs to be my guide ~ to always remember that He is there with me, and as long as I stand on His Word, I will be okay, no matter where life takes me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It Is Well

Music has always been an enormous part of my life. As a child I would play my parents albums over and over and over again and write down all the lyrics. My musical background is quite eclectic. I grew up listening to Sly and the Family Stone, The Animals, Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Doors, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jesus Christ Superstar. A song can take me back to a time and place in my life - good or bad - and I feel propelled, like an invisible time machine. I can tell you exactly where I was in the adventure of life when I hear certain songs. I can feel summer in the middle of January when I hear anything by the Go-Go's, or despair and loneliness when I hear "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by YES.

I sang as a child, and as I grew, I knew it was something I was called to do. I have no vision of being a superstar. My dream is to travel and lead people in worship, like on the Women of Faith tour. The last time I came home from a Women of Faith event I cried for 3 days. My husband was baffled. The time with other women was supposed to refresh me, renew me. Not leave me in a puddle. He asked me why I was so upset. When I could finally speak, I said, "because those women are doing what I am supposed to be doing!" I long to sing "It is Well With My Soul" and help hundreds of women come to know Jesus.

I got a taste of leading worship a few years ago when I was interim worship leader at my church. For over 8 months I led my church family in worship. It was difficult, it was amazing, it was trying, it was awesome.

I still sing with a local band who sings secular music in local establishments. Our show is family friendly, with no swearing or bad lyrics. It is so much fun, but it is not what I was called to do. So why am I not doing what I am called to do?


Ok. That's it. Nuff said. I am a 46 year old grandmother who wants to sing for Jesus and I am scared to death to try it. It won't be easy. I have written a song or two, I have material to send out, but that haunting voice "you're not good enough" still stings my ears.

I know in my heart that God will decide, but Satan is sitting on my shoulder whispering and chiding. "You're not young enough - you're not pretty enough - you're not good enough"

So I sing. I listen to the music of the Lord that feeds my soul, and pray that I can gather the guts to actually try and do what I have been called to do.