Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Watch-It Wednesday: Hold Me Jesus

Music has such a power. It can give continuity to words that are otherwise stuttered and simple.

He is our Comfort and Prince of Peace.
Live in the will of our Savior this Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Goal is Not to Be

Some time ago, I struggled through a difficult phase - specifically in regards to relationships - in which I was forced to come face-to-face with a hard, Henry-Higgins reality: the world didn't need me to spin. Pathetic and humiliating as it is to admit, this was a bitter pill for me to swallow. I wanted to be wanted. I craved appreciation. I desired to be needed and valued.

While there may be nothing wrong in these yearnings, seeking their fulfillment in people is not only a symptom of messed-up priorities, but a danger. What energies will be sacrificed in fulfilling tasks to be appreciated by ___? What must I do, or who must I become, to be wanted by ___? The valuing of these perceptions quickly and silently cold-shoulders the most precious thing we can seek - Christ's approval - and leaves us, the ones for whom Christ died, feeling worthless and rejected. I had reached that point.

And yet, even as I realized this, even as I bowed in tears one night, acknowledging my misplaced priorities, even as I promised to give them up, and begged for strength, even as I knew that this was not who I wished to be - it hurt. Hurt that I wasn't this list of things to the people I knew. Hurt that, beyond not being needed, life would continue just as cheerily without me. Hurt that, apart from God, I was worth less than dirt.

The truth cuts deeply at times.

But truth is also the no-fail "bustin' outta here" plan for spirits held captive in cramped cells of darkness, depression, and rejection.

So, to see the truth, I wrote. Carefully, painfully, I noted each and every "what-I-want-to-be" desire, and then went back over them, prayerfully considering what God's approach to each of these qualities would be. Some wishes were more frivolous than others, but the overwhelming lesson I learned from that evening was that each of my yearnings were simply cheap versions of the plans God has for my life. He had placed the desires there, I had simply warped them. He had given me goals, and I had misapplied them. He alone valued me, even though He alone saw how little I, on my own,  was worth.

This list is a reminder of that night-gone-by, but it is also an encouragement for all the times to come.

~ My goal is not to be loved, but to love selflessly and unconditionally.
~ My goal is not to be needed, but to notice and meet the needs of others.
~ My goal is not to be appreciated, but to encourage others by being appreciative of them.
~ My goal is not to be known, but to know God and His calling upon my life.
~ My goal is not to be successful, but to 'lead a quiet life...that {I} may walk properly..."
~ My goal is not to be wanted, but to have such a relationship with my Savior as to want nothing else.
~ My goal is not to be accomplished, but to die to self and experience the unsurpassable joy of seeing God accomplish much more through me.
~ My goal is not to be beautiful, but to daily seek and behold the beauty of the LORD.
~ My goal is not to be knowledgeable, but to listen quietly and learn from the knowledge of others.
~ My goal is not to be popular, but to stand alone: quietly, contentedly, and fearlessly.
~ My goal is not to be stylish, but to lead a lifestyle defined by a deep relationship with God.
~ My goal is not to be funny, but to laugh daily with the joy of the LORD.
~ My goal is not to be athletic, but to run the great race of my spirit, tirelessly.
~ My goal is not to be strong, but to glory in weaknesses.
~ My goal is not to be right, but to be confident in Jesus' righteousness.
~ My goal is not to be competent, but to have a confidence in my Leader.
~ My goal is not to be memorable, but to be one who remembers the forgotten.

My goal is not to be me, but Christ's servant. Only in loosing the desire to make our own names will we be able to find our real identities.

May our goal be Christ, today and always.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Her face was warm, her light, a balm
That cold October night.
Bright comfort in a black of calm,
When my soul needed light.

Chilled, quiv'ring sparks before her bowed
Above, in sky's great hall,
And I - I lay upon the ground,
'Midst wooded sent'nels, tall.

Away, her black and glassy dome
Arched far beyond my touch.
Like pains & fears in my heart, home,
That troubled me so much.

And there it was, her gentle rays
Whispered-reminders sent.
As long as wander'rs seek a way
She guides the heaven-bent.

Magnificent, and glowing high,
Her duty is to raise,
Her light against a light-void sky
And voice in pure-white praise.

Silence and peace, in harmony,
Entwine against the fears.
And when the dawn's dew fell to me
It met with thankful tears.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Watch-It Wednesday: Let It Go!

You don't have to have watched the wonderful new "Frozen" (although, seriously, if you haven't - do it) to appreciate the dazzling qualities of the soundtrack. This specific single has absolutely exploded in the musical world.

...And the not-so-musical-but-equally-adorable world.

Just let it go this Wednesday. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: A Drama

Scene I
Sarah: Mindlessly mouthing off.
Other Person: Offended.
Sarah: Well, seriously!

Sarah huffs to herself about how easily people are offended, muttering phrases such as "Obviously it wasn't mean that way," "Why did he have to become so offended?" and, "Good grief! Is all this reaction really necessary?"

Sarah self-righteously inserts space between herself and offended Other Person.

Sarah become convicted about attitude.

Sarah pouts about having to apologize.

Scene II
Sarah: Half-way apologizes for responding in an irritated way to Other Person's being offended.
Other Person: Unfooled. Still offended.
Sarah: Well, seriously!

Scene III
Sarah grouches through an undocumented amount of time, discontented with the lack of resolution, but fighting the acknowledgement that what was said was offensive.

Conscience: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Apologize all the way or not at all, but don't fool yourself that such a measly half-way, half-hearted offering was actually an attempt at making things right.
Sarah: Oh, I do wish you would hush! I don't need that right now. What I said was not meant the way he took it! If I apologize completely, he'll think it was, and if I apologize completely with the disclaimers and explanations, it won't sound or be sincere.
Conscience: I'm just saying...
Sarah: Fine! But I'm not sorry because I it wasn't my intention to offend, and how can I apologize for that?

Sarah sits on the floor of her room, arms crossed, fighting conscience. Finally, she gives in, only to discover that, even though she now wants to apologize, she really is not even sorry yet. Realizing that prayer is her only answer, she then begs the LORD to change her heart and emotions and give her His perspective on the situation.

Scene IV
Sarah: Appropriate, miraculously heart-felt apology.
Other Person: Forgiveness.

Resolution has come once again to the relationship, as the LORD shows that it is only He who can provide the desire and the way of peace among people. This small snippet reminds us of the larger truths: that it is only through the LORD that peace can be attained between us and Himself, and that a half-way, "sort-of" apology is useless. "Close" obedience doesn't work like horseshoes and hand grenades.

{The End}

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