Easter and everything else…

Everything is all wrong I feel like I am just doing it all wrong. Nothing feels the same this year. We’re in a new city. Still no church to call home. Not a single feeling of Easter going on in this house.

That makes me sad. But my daughter wants ham. Well…having ham does not make it a celebration of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Ham is ham. And no amount of culinary tradition can truly honor Him the way we should.

And where is our son? That is a whole different situation. I’ve never dealt with something like this. A missing person. My brain didn’t seem to want to wrap around the thought. But as I was calling hospitals in the city where we believe him to be…my heart began feeling heavier and heavier. As a mother…not knowing where your child is may be one of the worst feelings in the universe.

Lord, please help!

Help is needed in other areas too. I’m doing it wrong. My whole walk with Christ. Has it been untrue…insincere…fake all this time? But I was just following what I thought was right. Worship style. Preaching style. Too much music. Not enough music. Serving a version of God and Jesus that we have made up to make ourselves feel good. Am I truly following and doing the will of the One true God?

“I need a ‘do-over.'” I told my friends. Like I just need to start again with Jesus.
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So I started this post 2 days ago…I’m back now.
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It’s Easter morning and not a thing going on.
No church.
No nice brunch.
Still no word about our son.
More “stuff” at former church.
And junk…

I just feel…

Honestly I don’t know how I feel.

But like I have learned…don’t rely on my feelings. That is not reality. You know? Rely on God.

While we may not be doing all that “Eastery” stuff…God is still God. Jesus STILL rose from the grave and became the King of Kings! Those are the awesome and comforting things I know!

k

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what is “normal” really?

So maybe it was just a moment of feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I just wanted to complain…even if just to myself. It was all in my head after all.

I want things to be “normal” again…or for once…or just want to feel like it.

I want a stereo in the living room because I love listening to music and I haven’t had one in the living room for so many years. I want my own living room…in a house I will share with my husband and two youngest kids. I want the privacy that comes with that house. I want to work a normal job so that I can make dinner each night. (Well…almost every night) I don’t want to be in physical pain when I come home from work. I want my husband to be free from the physical pain that he has been dealing with for so long…emotional pain too. I want a job where the management wannabes aren’t treating the employees like sled dogs at the Iditarod. It’s ridiculous. I want this. I want that. I want…I want…I want.

Really? Get over yourself girl!

Nowhere does it say that the world revolves around me and what “I want.” In fact…Life is not about any of us. No matter how much it hurts to admit that…it’s true.

It’s about what God wants.

What I think is “normal”…such as having a perfectly healthy family…a $45k/yr. job, and a nicely furnished house is all in my head. The reality is this – Normal is all relative. Right now my normal is nothing like I “want.” My normal is what God has given me to deal with.

And to be absolutely honest…I’m struggling. A lot.

I need to get back to church. I need to connect with other believers. I need to get involved so that I can be reminded of what it means to be a servant of the Most High God. I miss it. God gave me gifts and talents. I need to put them to use to glorify Him.

Normal…I guess it’s normal for us believers to struggle sometimes. I get that. Now it’s time for me to get back to normal…Normal being a regular church goer and servant of God.

If that’s what “normal” is.

k

 

waiting…

I won’t cry.
The answers are not clear.

Fear is there.
Some things are unavoidable.

My wildest dreams could never have included this again.
Again, what is “this?”

It’s a crazy time.
I feel so far away.

But that is my fault.
Not His.

As I do every day,
I need Him now.

I need Him to hold me up.
The strength only He can provide is my hope.

So I sit here.
Waiting…

k

shut up!

I could not fall asleep last night. My brain just would not turn off. All I wanted to do was yell, “Shut Up!!” But what good would that have done? None. And I would have freaked out all of my family members.

There is just so much on my mind lately. That happens a lot I guess.

Our family is packing it up and moving to a different state. There is a group of people that I love going through some really hard stuff and it makes me sad. To have to say good-bye to them during this turmoil is a bit heart breaking.

And my mind won’t shut up about it.

Then I see a post on facebook…something about writing. Paraphrasing here…it said, “write about your fears, things you love, things you hate. Write without holding back.” That kind of thing, you know?

So here I am.

This move is huge for us. My youngest will have to change schools and make new friends. I have no doubt she will, but it’s just a big adjustment. My oldest daughter will have to find a new job. I have to find a new job. And my dear husband will have to find something to do to stay occupied. Being on disability is not a fun thing.

Will the church I found turn out to be a good one or not?

Will we make enough money quickly enough to move into our own house. And yeah…I’m totally looking forward to moving AGAIN within a year or so.

etc. etc. etc…

And what about my friends…the group of people in turmoil? What’s going to happen to them?

You know…I think that is what’s bothering me the most. So much has happened. So many hurt feelings. So many opinions. And I understand. That’s my problem. I see the situation through the eyes of various individuals. Yet, I try to figure out what the purpose is…what God’s will is.

That is not for me to know. I know God’s will is always good. And I’m not happy that things have gone the way they have by any means. But I know that God wasn’t surprised. He knew.

I take it back. That’s not what’s bothering me the most.

My friend is angry. And she has a right to be. My fear? If I open up completely about my opinion, she’s going to be mad…disappointed…maybe even not want to talk to me. Are my fears substantiated? Probably not. But I don’t know. And that’s what I’m afraid of.

Psalm 73 (click link) is a Bible passage that was shared with me. I read it. And re-read it. Several times.

I know that some people did things the wrong way. I absolutely understand that and it makes me sick.

Verse 21 says, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.”

Am I/was I harboring bitterness in my heart over this situation? I believe so. Are others? Quite possibly.

Over two days, as I mentioned, I kept reading Psalm 73. I felt as though the Lord was putting something on my heart.

The last several verses reminded me that when angry, I/we have a human tendency to act foolishly. As if God’s very words to me were,

“Don’t be foolish in this situation. Who is in control here? I understand your frustration. But this is something that had to happen. Let me guide you and those affected to your glorious destiny.”

I can forgive because God gives me the gift of forgiveness. Does it excuse the behaviors? Not a chance. A quote from a friend…”Trust and Integrity – once lost is hard to regain.”

It was 1:30am when I finally got up out of bed. I went to the kitchen to get some milk…I’ve heard it helps you fall asleep…and my ibuprofen…maybe if my joints didn’t ache so much I could fall asleep. Right? Then I grabbed my phone and earphones. Music is always helpful in relaxing…at least for me.

Pandora was my music app of choice last night. Or should I say this morning? LOL Anyway…I turned my light off once again, laid back with my headphones in place, and hit play. (Figuratively speaking)

What was the first song to play? It was “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong. That’s the song/video I have at the beginning of this post. Great song. It nearly caused me to burst into tears.

The song says it all. At least for me in this situation.


A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
Still I’m caught in your grace
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out


I will continue to fail in my reactions. That’s a given. I’m human.

But God’s grace is everlasting.

His light will shine even in the darkest of times.

His will before ours.

My purpose is to give Him praise…give Him control. Right?

Lord, my soul cries out to You.

Consume me from the inside out.

k

my place in this world?

It wasn’t long ago that the thought of leading a Bible study crossed my mind.

A dear friend left my church. Not many months later another friend…a BFF if you will…also left. I was feeling lost. Maybe I was feeling like I had to do something to feel like I was needed. Who knows.

Yet another friend who has let me cry on her shoulder numerous times and listened to me ramble told me something that I have not forgotten entirely…paraphrased… I just feel like you need to figure out where you belong before you try to lead.

Fast forward to now…or at least the last couple of months I suppose.

I have questioned just where exactly do I fit in? There have been many times in my life that I felt strongly about the fact I didn’t fit in certain situations. For instance…cliques turn me off completely. I get along with lots of people. There’s no need to group myself with a handful of the “popular kids.”

As I’ve grown and matured…as I’ve pondered the question…I think God is trying to tell me something. He will put me where He wants me for as long as He wants me there. With my newest little adventure (close friends will know what I’m talking about… La La La La) I’m in a place where I really didn’t think I’d be. But I mustered up the courage and took a friends’ challenge 😉 and there I am…for a season. I’m doing something I enjoy. Maybe I’m not the best at it, but my heart is in it and that’s what matters!

As for leading a Bible study…who knows? Maybe I will one day. That is actually something I would like to do.

I’m overjoyed that I have a family who didn’t totally laugh at me when I told them of my newest adventure. They’re supportive and for that I am blessed. ❤

Where do I belong? Only God knows. I look to God’s light to guide me in finding my place in this world.

k

music and worship…

So… lately the subject of music has been on my mind. Mostly praise and worship music. There also seems to be a lot of talk about it. Facebook, radio, blogs, etc.

I was reading a post on Facebook from Hillsong United. They are a group from Australia. They have become quite popular. With that popularity has come controversy. I don’t know all of the ‘ins and outs’ but apparently some think they are “selling God” with their music and ministry.

The comments were not offensive, per se, they were more accusatory…claims of idolatry and such.

My feelings on the subject of music have been pulled in many directions over the course of my Christian life.

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Ok…I need to stop here. I’m attempting to write a nice “thought out” blog about this subject. However, what I really want to say is this…

I love music in general. Praise and worship music is my favorite because I can praise, pray to, and worship my Lord and Savior while listening and singing along. Is that so bad?

Do I “feel” anything while singing? Yeah. I guess I do. Sue me. I don’t know if it’s the Holy Spirit. I don’t know for sure if when I’m singing a prayer like song that the Lord hears me. Is the Spirit interceding for me? Again…I don’t know.

My problem is this…several times I’ve heard/read that worship music before a sermon isn’t biblical. Worship music is a form of paganism. And just today in that post from Hillsong, a person declared that they were “selling God.”

Should secular music be cut out of my life? I don’t know. There were times that I thought it should be. As a new believer I sold dozens of my cds in my collection because they were not Christian. Now I wonder if that was the “right” thing to do. Now folks are questioning other folks for owning cds by Christian artists.

Is music and singing biblical? Yes. The Bible speaks of people singing and dancing before the Lord. The Bible speaks of singing and worshiping God in heaven for all of eternity.

So where are we/am I going wrong? I’m confused.

Honestly, so many of the songs I love tell a story…they’re prayers. It’s as if someone else wrote exactly what I am feeling or have felt. I can relate to the lyrics. If the song is more prayer like, it’s as if I am praying to God just as the author of the song is.

And so many others who are listening.

Help me out. Anyone reading this. Help me to know exactly what is or is not biblical about enjoying praise and worship music.

k

Contrarian Christians

I’ve never re-blogged before…but this one is a good one! Take a few moments to read.

Restoring Kingdom Builders

“You’ll never be popular.”

That’s what a retired policeman told me after I had preached a sermon early in my pastoral career.

He told me that my sermon was great, but that if I preached that way in the future, many churchgoers weren’t going to like it.

He was probably right.

Some Christians … and I count myself as one … do not always agree with certain popular teachings or practices in the Christian church.

In fact, just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re right … or even wise.

When you think outside the mainstream, you might just be a contrarian … even if you’re a follower of Jesus.

Let me give you several illustrations of what I’m talking about:

*The words to a well-known chorus state, “An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.”

Is that true?

I hear that phrase “the empty grave” used as evidence of…

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