Archive for April, 2008

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“a broken hallelujah…” -leonard cohen

April 23, 2008

ok, yes i know this song is old and has been covered by everyone… BUT it’s till an incredible song full of heart broken and restored. and this one… is a heart wrenching version. go to phil wickham’s blog and watch him play leonard cohen’s hallelujah in the first video. is good!

http://philwickham.com/blog/

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“just as i am, without one plea…” -charlotte elliott

April 21, 2008

saturday was incredible. what a day. and i truly needed it. i had already resolved to spend the better part of my day just soaking God in. talking to Him, listening to Him, enjoying His creation, looking for Him, laying in His arms very contently. and that’s exactly what i did. put on the sunscreen for the first time this season, and went to lay in the sun at a hidden secret pool i know of. sneaky, i know. and no one was there all day, it was perfect. i laid and enjoyed the beauty of the day and the warmth of the sun and just talked to God. we catch up everyday, but there’s something different about just enjoying His company. setting aside time to just laugh with Him. 

so there’s this book. it’s called the shack by william p. young. now, i know that there are people who are going to read this and may or may not excommunicate me from the church for saying this, but i’m a risk taker. i haven’t been able to really get into it. i don’t read much fiction, so maybe that’s it, but i’ve kept my mouth relatively shut about it. until i was greatly liberated by a post on carlos whittaker’s blog about how he felt the same way about this book that seems to be changing every life around me these days. i was beginning to wonder if i have no soul or if my heart is black or something. but i’ve kept reading, in faith, that God is always at work and can move in anything as long as you look for Him. (yes, even in cheesy 90s worship music if need be.) anyway… i took this book with me to the pool on saturday and continued reading, and got almost all the way through it. i’m not sure if i got better or if i just let my guard down a little more, but there are certainly things that God has shown me as i’ve read it. maybe not because of the book… maybe but maybe not. but they’re at least things i wouldn’t have thought about unless triggered. and i had a great revelation that has revolutionized everything. 

this is going to sound simple and much like something we’ve heard since we were kids, but knowing a truth about God and realizing it are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT things! holla if ya hear me, yo. so here it is… God doesn’t just love me despite my quirks and my humanity, He loves me for my quirks and for my humanity… and He love them about me. and that makes such a difference when it comes to identity and insecurities! 

as a chick, we grow up hearing the stories and watching the movies where the guy goes off about the little things he loves about a girl. about how she laughs like a 4 year old, how she rubs her feet together as she’s falling asleep, how she dances in the living room when she thinks no one is looking, how many different smiles she has. and somewhere along the way, we secretly long for someone to come along and love us for the things that make us “weird” to everyone else. garth brooks even gave us chicks hope that our craziness will be endearing to someone one day…  “she’s sun and rain, she’s fire and ice. a little crazy but it’s nice. and when she gets mad you best leave her alone. ’cause she’ll rage just like a river then she’ll beg you to forgive her, she’s every woman that i’ve ever known.” 

and saturday i realized that God watches me and loves the way i may be messy but i know exactly where i last saw what i’m looking for. He knows how much i love to drive with the windows down and let my hair fly in my face and look like a wreck when i get out. He is fond of the way i just wash my bangs when i’m trying to get away with 3rd day dirty hair. He chuckles a little when i put 2 different socks on with my cowboy boots, because who’s going to see them anyway? He loves that i’m unpredictable in how i’ll let you pick on me for a long time and then without rhyme or reason all of a sudden stop laughing and say “hey wait a minute here.” 

it’s pretty darn satisfying to know that the only One who won’t ever disappoint me loves me more than anyone else. if you ask me, that’s a pretty great setup. one i’m overwhelmingly grateful for these days.

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“keep us from just singing, move us into action…” -tim hughes

April 15, 2008

i was thinking, as i often am caught doing, about the idea of justice. trying to wrap my head and my heart around the truth behind it. the word itself. and then the ideal behind and beyond that word. then i tried to brainstorm all the words that are commonly linked to “justice”. this is what i came up with (in no particular order of importance): david (ok, that’s a joke), blind, lady, court, judge, equality, fair, balances, scales, power, abuse, punishment, God, objective, honesty, morals, retribution, the list went on a bit, but you get the point. the word “equality” really stuck out to me, so i thought on that one for a while. then i thought of the “lady justice” depiction used in most courtrooms. as i looked at different pictures of paintings and sculptures and images of this famous woman, i noticed one thing in particular- the scales she held. they are balanced equally. one is not towering over the other. and so, i thought about the idea that justice is truly the evening out of the scales, the balance and equality of separate sides. 

as i looked back at my first list, i noticed the words retribution and punishment and the like on it. maybe that’s not what justice is. maybe it is… but maybe not completely. when i think of the term “brought to justice” punishment is immediately indicated in my head. but, when i see the hurting and broken people of the city God has called me to, i can’t help but wonder if justice is about evening things a bit. 

i heard francis chan speak the other day. that’s always challenging. but that day he brought me back to this idea. he talked about his church, and how they decided to be each others’ support, to hand their possessions and lives over to each other without a thought. if you need something and i have it, then you have it too. and then i was watching a movie called “cinderella man” for the first time. it takes place during the great depression. there’s a scene of people who have nothing and in the midst of it are folks who are extremely wealthy and have more than everything they could need. 

it just seems to me, at the risk of sounding like a communist, that as the body of Christ, when we have more than we need of something and we see someone who has less than they need of that same thing… that we share. it breaks my heart to see the individuals of our society self-implode. the worst part of it is seeing it happen among the church. in fact, if i’m honest, that’s probably where i see it the most. 

God is a God of justice. and we claim that so conveniently when someone wrongs us. we claim that God will have justice on that person. but i don’t think we’re using that word correctly sometimes. sometimes, i fear, that we’re looking for retribution and depending on God to give it to us. and that’s not who God is. He hasn’t demanded penance for what He did at the cross, why should we expect Him to demand it from those who wrong us? no, God longs for His children to see Him hungry and give Him something to eat, to see Him thirsty and give Him something to drink, to see Him a stranger and to give Him shelter, to visit Him in prison. i can’t help but believe that i’m called to that completely. and i don’t give myself to it NEARLY enough. but i long to. i really do long to. 

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“where do you go when you need a helping hand?” -john archer

April 10, 2008

so my good friend carlos whittaker (www.ragamuffinsoul.com) challeged us to a question: “I want us to post on where it is that we go to find our personal creativity. And it HAS to be outside the office. And Tell Us Why…”

me? there are a few actually…

1) i have the raddest porch known to man. my dad’s old cozy chair and ottoman are out there and it overlooks a very soothing fountain. it’s one of my favorite places

2) any real piano. in pensacola, my hideout was undeniably the yamaha baby grand in pleitz chapel. these days it’s the old upright in danny’s old office at buckhead church. you can often find me there after work. 

3) funnily enough, i’ve found great inspiration just riding marta. i love to watch people, and this is a great place to do it. more songs have come out of walking to and from and riding marta lately than anywhere else! 

WHAT ABOUT YOU????

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“going back to nashville, thinking bout the whole thing…” -david mead

April 6, 2008

what a glorious sunday afternoon! sunday afternoons are my favorite time of the entire week. today i got home after lunch and changed clothes, and went straight to my porch where i’ve been ever since. i’m sitting here with my computer, a good book, my Bible, 2 old hymnals, and about 3 old journals and 1 new one. our porch overlooks a tiny lake with a fountain which is the most relaxing sound. my dad’s old comfy chair and ottoman are out here too. and the softest blanket in all the world. perfect. 

so i’m sitting here with garage band open, listening back to voice notes i’ve left myself on my phone trying to capture song ideas that i’ll inevitably lose if i don’t make sure to record them. and a song i started over a year ago popped into my head. so naturally, i went looking for whatever journal i wrote it in at the time. found it in a black marble composition notebook. the cool thing about doing that is finding all the other things you’ve written in your journals. then you realize why you write in journals in the first place. for moments like this. been thinking about and truly missing nashville, tennessee these days. and in one journal i reminded myself all the reasons why. this is something i wrote at jj’s the day i left nashville from visiting friends over a year ago…

“there’s something about nashville you’ll never find anywhere else. sitting in a van with friends experiencing johnny cash’s last album for the first time together watching lightning bugs dance to the tun outside. hearing patty griffin’s ‘moses’ in a local coffee shop. the bluebird. anticipating the release of thom yorke’s album coming out next week the same way a child anticipates christmas morning. the fashion. the conversations. the village. knowing you’ll see your friends later because they’re in the studio for the next several hours. ernest tubb. the great escape. good people. good music. good coffee. satco. the fact that the music in nashville’s starbucks would make the perfect playlist for your ipod. the earthtones. the browns and greys. old houses and vintage shops. the goodwill superstore. i left my heart here a long time ago and only fully realize it when i come back and find that it’s still here. God has me in atlanta, but my heart is here.”

is there anywhere other than where you are now that you miss? that is a refuge for you. comfortable and familiar? a perfect fit? what do you miss about that place?