Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays (kind of...)

I have been diligently reading Unceasing Worship by Harold Best for our Worship Arts family at church. We are all reading this book to get us on the same page or at least asking the same questions.

This morning I was challenged by the call to see witnessing as life. I should back up. The premise of the book, a la Romans 12, is that all of life is an act of worship to someone or something. Now the author is saying that all of life is also a witness to which ever god you worship.

Aha. So I can no longer claim that I do not have the gift of evangelism.

Am I living my life in such a way that all of my being, thoughts, actions, expenditures of time and money, attitudes, and desires testify to Christ? Can the watching world know, just by looking, that I serve a different Master? A good and loving Master? An all-powerful, entirely worthy, sovereign Master?

My selection today comes with a paranthesis. There are two incredibly wow-ful women in this ensemble, but they are not highlighted so well. Still, in light of what I am working through this week, no other song seemed to fit quite so well.

Here is Testify to Love by Avalon. All of earthly creation points to Christ. Do I?

All the colors of the rainbow
All of voices of the wind
Every dream that reaches out
That reaches out to find where love begins
Every word of every story
Every star in every sky
Every corner of creation lives to testify

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
With every breath I take I will give thanks to God above
For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love

From the mountains to the valleys
From the rivers to the sea
Every hand that reaches out
Every hand that reaches out to offer peace
Every simple act of mercy
Every step to kingdom come
All the Hope in every heart will speak what love has done

Colors of the rainbow
Voices of the wind
Heaven reaches out where love begins
Word of every story
Star in every sky
All creation testify

Mountains to the valleys
Rivers to the sea
Heaven reaches out to offer peace
Simple act of mercy
Kingdom come
Every heart will speak what love has done

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Look at me blogging two days in a row...

Alright. So there are lots of tangents off of today's video and I'll try to keep them all nicely wrapped up and tied with a bow so as to not make this long and messy.

This is Sara Groves. The song was used in a movie called "The Ultimate Gift" which are the clips in the video. You really really really should go rent it. Really really. I loved it even before I knew this song was in the final credit piece. Really really. And when you do, invite me over to watch it with you so we can sit and eat snack and cry a little together.

Okay, next tangent. Our pastor is doing a series called The Real Jesus and I have been walking away from each of these messages feeling like I am standing in a door way about to break through some invisible barrier into a great vast unknown. THe Lord has been challenging me (daring me?) to "Come Out" in certain areas and certain ways and I've been essentially ignoring Him. (how noble and godly of me). However, it is getting harder to do in the face of a 6 month sermon series and a life of circumstances that are calling me to step up and come out already.

So I pray that this something that is changing inside of me will be real and lasting. And that I will see that the healing will be worth fighting for and resting in. In the deepest part.

Something changed inside me broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed

Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine

Something so amazing in a heart so dark and dim
When a wall falls down and the light comes in

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome to My Brain

I have been noticing today just how many things are worth telling someone. Well, not really of great worth, but kind of "huh. I could bring *that* up in conversation".

For example, I have shovelled more this winter than quite possibly ever. I know, we all have a tonne of snow, and shovelling is not a new thing. But I've actually done the shovelling. And I've actually liked it! There is even a lesson in it for me. When you stay on top of a project, it is consistently easy to maintain. Now, you should know, Chris is a brilliant shoveller. I am doing it not because he is unable or unwilling. My doing the shovelling has become a part of his "engedi". (You need to search for the Peasant Princess sermon series to get all of what that means). He really appreciates it and I really like that so it is well worth the few minutes to get out there every so often.

Next, I think it is totally cracky that my 9 year old thinks that "Amy Grant is such a great singer. I just love that new song. You know, Angels Watching Over Me?" Cracks me up. She is a total singer freak like her mother and is constantly singing her guts out. Hearing these "Christian classics" coming out of her mouth like they are Saturday's Top 20 is a hoot. Retro pop songs. Love it. I'm tempted to pull out my circa 1991 Michael W. Smith VHS. You know, the one where he is wearing a geometrically decorated, highly colourful, dare I say, Painter's shirt? It's a classic.

Also, my brain is consumed with my 2 year old's vision. Ahhhhh. Too much to say. I need wisdom Lord. That's all I have to say about that.

And HURRAY!!! I have all my laundry washed and dried except for what we are wearing this very instant. Love that. Mind you I need to sort and fold the Everest-like pile tonight, but that is what movie rentals and laptops are for. I'll be spending a couple of hours watching some movie I've never heard of whilst folding myself in to a tizzy. good times.

And I almost forgot to tell you! I had a pound of bacon in the fridge and I had to cook it before it went bad (well, like I would let that happen) and I did the smartest thing EV.ER. I baked it in the oven.

WHAT!?!?! did she say she baked it in the oven?

Oh, yes. Yes, I did. Lined my cookie sheets with aluminum foil, turned the oven on to 425F and after a leisurely 20 minutes of blog reading, my bacon was crispy delicious! Then I proudly stuck it all in the freezer for "some day when I want a bad for me omelette" and threw out the foil. Didn't even have to wash the pans. I will never cook bacon in a frying pan again. (mind you, I can't remember the last time I did cook bacon really...)

Also, my wee baby boy just learned to clap. :-) Happy happy momma.

Plus, who decided that the metric system was a good idea? I clearly remember being in school and thinking that all those milli, centi, deci, whatevers were kind of complicated. I know, it is just counting by 10's for the most part, but in the words of Manuel on Fawlty Towers "For you, is easy. For me, is difficult." And then I have to go and try to make it not seem difficult for my Arithmetic 4 girls....although 5280 feet in a mile doesn't make a lot of sense either. (is that even right?)

Finally, I have a confession to make. This is serious. Hard to admit. Ready?

I *heart* Facebook.

I really tried not to like it. First I tried to be the girl who bucked the trends and didn't sign up. Then I just avoided it out of fear. Then, I really tried to be that cool kid who plays along with all those folks who just jump on every trendy bandwagon just to sort of patronize the poor addicts. And that was true of me for sometime, actually. But then something changed. And now. Here I am. Celebrating when I climb the WordTwist Ladder and when I emerge as the victor in Pathwords. Not to mention the constant, incessant, status planning that goes through my head. I haven't resorted to referring to myself in the 3rd person in real time conversation, but I imagine it is only a matter of time.

So for those of you who are equally "in like" with Facebook, here is a great funny little video. Remember the Buffet Song? Oh yes. They have LOTS of videos.

Thanks for bearing with my random happenings today. And enjoy the video.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Strangers

Without overstating things, I am a bit of an ingrate. I mean, how exactly does one ever fully convey to someone else the gratitude they feel for a kindness bestowed upon them?

Over the last few months, I have become highly aware of my highly inefficient displays of gratitude.

Here's the thing: My primary love languages are Encouraging Words and Physical Touch, with Quality Time as a close third. I love to be verbally praised and I love to be hugged and high-fived. Better yet if we can do those things while having a deep heart to heart about how life is going. And I love doing those things to you. I'll probably gush to you about how great something you did was all the while grabbing your knee or holding your elbow. And if your love languages happen to be the same, you probably think I'm a highly grateful person. You feel thoroughly loved up and appreciated. We have a super, mutually fulfilling relationship.

But somehow over the last few months, it has become apparent to me (as if I shouldn't have already known) that for you gift giving, act of service kind of people, I must seem like a real jerk. You're likely thinking words are cheap and wishing I'd keep my hands to myself! :-)

I like gifts. I do. And I like being served. But when I think about showing gratitude, those two things never come to mind. I worry that you will think I'm buying your friendship with a gift. Or if I do something to help you out, what if you feel accused or inadequate by my "taking over" and doing?

And so I don't do those things. But I really need to. I want you to feel loved and appreciated. I never want to be seen as the girl who doesn't need anyone, and doesn't even appreciate the help she gets. Lord, I do not want to be an ungrateful pig.

So here's my start: I am going to try to watch a whole lot closer for how you love me and then I'll try to love you back in the same way. If you could all just leave a comment with your primary love language listed, maybe that would help :-)

In the meantime, if you know me for real, please hear me: I am so thankful for all the help and love and prayers and gifts. I truly don't know how to adequately repay for some of the kindness shown to me and my family over the years. And I am deeply sorry for ever miscommunicating my gratitude for the gift that you are in my life.

And so I begin again...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

In 1996, my biggest fear, one that kept me up at night, was that someone from my B.C. (before Chris) days would come to my wedding, walk right down the aisle, interrupt Pastor Mike and say, "Do you have any idea who she is? Do you know what she has done? You let her lead worship here? You let her work with the Youth? Are you crazy?" and then they would proceed to itemize all my failures and sins as one by one all those I'd invited to the wedding shook their heads and left the room, wondering how they ever thought they could trust me and like me.

Fast forward to now. I haven't changed. Except I have no wedding to be ruined. What I fear now is coming together with the Lord, and, in those moments of intimacy, the accusations of my enemy regarding my past and present attitudes and actions finally being enough that He walks away from me, shaking His head and rolling His eyes wondering how He has tolerated me for so long.

This holds me back from being a sold-out, continuously outpouring, unceasing worshipper of the Lord. If I get that close to Him, then He'll see me for real.

What a lie! The maker of the Universe not only sees and knows, but He made me and keeps me. Not only will He hold me and "tolerate" me, He chose me. He gave His Son for me, how would I expect Him to reject me now.

The line in this song that gets me everytime is the call to stop pretending that I can deserve what I already have. He isn't expecting me to earn it or deserve it. It is a gift. And that gift is there for me, for you. The call is to pick it up, open it, and then use it for goodness sake.

BarlowGirl - I Need You to Love Me

Why? Why are You still here with me?
Didn't You see what I've done?
In my shame I want to run,
And hide myself.
Yeah, but it's here I see the truth,
I don't deserve You.

But I need You to love me,
And I, I won't keep my heart from You this time.
And I'll stop this pretending that I can,
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need You to love me

I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing You away from me.
I just never saw how You
could cherish me.
Cause You're a God who has all things,
and still You want me.

And I need You to love me,
And I, I won't keep my heart from You this time.
And I'll stop this pretending that I can,
Somehow deserve what I already have

Your love makes me forget what I have been.
Your love makes me see who I really am.
Your love makes me forget what I have been, oh-oh.

Friday, January 9, 2009

For the Moms Especially

So here I am procrastinating from blogging about the weightier issues on my heart.

This is a great video. It reminds me of when 4 good looking men in suits and tuxes sang to me (and Chris) at our wedding. They sang "For the Longest Time" with some alternate lyrics.

This song has only 3 men in suits, and I don't know who they are, but they are entirely right and, like the guys at my wedding, this song makes me cry (seriously? Don't ask...).

Any time I get called "A looker" is a good thing: Here we go...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Oh this is the most beautiful version of this song I've ever found. Love it. Love her. I'm absolutely just in this place this week.

Nicole Nordeman: Holy