Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday reflections

This morning I read from all three of the prayer guides that I have from the Upper Room books: A Guide To Prayer For Ministers and Other Servants (blue book), A Guide To Prayer For All Who Seek God (green book), and A Guide To Prayer For All God's People (red book).

Several things spoke to me in the readings that I will share.  There has been heaviness that remained with me throughout the morning and into the day.  Maybe it's because today is Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday and the day before the Resurrection.  Maybe there are burdens on my heart, mind, and soul beyond those of which I'm aware.  I'm not sure. 

A peaceful respite during the afternoon was during my daughter's piano lessons during which I was able to hold a beautiful 6-week old child while she slept.  She woke up toward the end of the lesson, yawned several times, became slightly agitated, and fell asleep again in my arms.  Watching her sleep took me back to the days when my own child was so young, so tiny.  How precious are the moments we have to gaze upon the face of a child, to hold it tight. 

Life.  It is wonderful.  It is amazing.  It is challenging.  It is difficult.  It is heartbreaking.  It is all these things and more.    Most of all, it is truly an adventure.  Life continues to teach me new things, to broaden my horizons, to allow me to explore and to unfold. 

As I reflected this afternoon on this beautiful child and her life at this moment, I listened to my "child", now a teenager, play her lesson on the piano.  She is an incredible gift of life.

Tomorrow, I will reflect more on the resurrected life of Christ so that I might have life.  This life that I have.... I continue to desire to live it with abandon, following the example of the One who surrendered His will and His life so that I might know the freedom of grace.   I continue to fall, to fail in my attempts to live as my Mentor.   Yet, I allow myself to be lifted up by the surrounding community and my Creator and continue on. 

Both the red (149) and the blue (146) prayer guides had this reflection from the Mozarabic Sacramentary:

"The Day of Resurrection has dawned upon us, the day of true light and life, wherein Christ, the life of believers, arose from the dead  Let us give abundant thanks and praise to God, that while we solemnly celebrate the day of our Lord's resurrection, he may be pleased to bestow on us quiet peace and special gladness, so that being protected from morning to night by his favoring mercy, we may rejoice in the gift of our Redeemer.  Amen."

[Since I quoted from the Mozarabic Sacramentary, that may have raised some questions.  The Sacramentary is a collection of prayers, a prayer book, the book of prayers.  The term "Mozarab" refers to the multiplicity of groups (Christians that remained under Muslim rule when the Muslims took over) who lived primarily in Toledo, Spain.  The prayers, chants, and liturgies that came from this time period are still used today.  More about the Mozarabic Rite can be found at the Catholic Encyclopedia link here.  An Order of the Mozarabic Rite can be found here.  (It's a PDF and is in Latin.)]

Why does this interest you?  It might not.  At all.  Why does it interest me?  I studied abroad in Spain in 1984.  I traveled throughout Spain and visited Cathedrals and Castles.  Spanish is my 2nd language.  At one time I knew more about the history than I do now.... Think back brain to those classes I took in undergraduate studies on history and for international studies! ☺

As Holy Saturday comes closer to dusk, I close today's post with some information on Holy Saturday.

Today is a day of silence, darkness, waiting, unknowing, reflection.  What just happened?  What will become of all of us?  What does this mean for us now. 

At the time of the crucifixion and burial, the questions centered around whether or not the man that was killed was truly the Messiah that had come to save them, because if he were, then why hadn't he saved them?  Why hadn't he saved himself?  People were confused, afraid, uncertain, grieving.   There were family and friends that had lost a close companion.  There were others that had lost a mentor and a leader.  Others lost a teacher.  Many lost hope. 

They didn't know what we know today.  That after the burial, there was an empty tomb.  That death did not hold the Messiah.

But, that's tomorrow.  For today, we wait.  We reflect.  We grieve.  We wonder. 

Ah.... maybe this is what today's burden has been all about.

Blessings on your journey into the Easter Season,

Debra

P.S.  Here's a reflection on Holy Saturday for you by Barbara Brown Taylor-- Learning To Wait in the Dark: A Holy Saturday Reflection.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sisterchicks in Gondolas.... other nuggets from the book

I've already shared with you the biggest nugget I received from the novel Sisterchicks in Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn-- the expression "grace on you".  Have you used it yet?

I thought I would take a moment this afternoon to share some of the other nuggets I received from the book.  I doubt I will be able to find them all since I didn't mark them in any way.  But I hope to find a few to pass along to you.  Maybe something here will encourage and/or challenge you.  Maybe you will want to pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself.  Who knows?!?!

Here we go.

As I open the book, there is a familiar Scripture passage (Psalm 23) that simply breathes life into me.  Maybe it seemed more refreshing to me because of the unfamiliar words of The Message:

"God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word, you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction....
My cup brims with blessing."
Psalm 23:1-3, 5B
 
One nugget that will be hard to give just one example for is simply the story line and how lives and situations are woven in and out of each other to create a beautiful tapestry.  It may not seem beautiful as the situations are being lived out in the moment or may be difficult to see and understand, but then there comes a moment of clarity in which you realize how things have worked together 'for such a time as this'.  Those things are beautiful to me.  They remind me that even though I can rarely see what the great Artist is doing in my life's tapestry, there is something going on bigger than I can imagine and much more beautiful than I could ever dream. 
 
Another nugget woven throughout the book is that of friendship.  In the book there is the friendship of sister-in-laws and a band of brothers in Christ who meet together for a time period.  New friendships are born out of daily contact with vendors or situations and old friendships renewed.   That is a great reminder to me that we are not on this journey of life alone, but rather we walk it with others-- past, present, and future.  I have been super blessed to walk my life journey, my faith journey, with many who have encouraged me and supported me along the way.  I could not have done it.... I could not do it..... I would not be able to continue to do it..... without each and every one.  I am blessed!
 
Besides the term "grace on you", another term came from the book: "victims of grace".   Jenna, the main character writes: "Sue now has a term for what happened in Venice.  She says we were "victims of grace." I like that.  Both of us had been victims of a lot of other stuff over the long years.  How sweet of God to make us victims of grace when we were old enough to appreciate what the gift cost Him." (15)
 
Good stuff.  I am thankful to be a victim of grace.  It was tough to accept grace.  At times it still is.  It isn't easy to accept something free, undeserved, wonderful, something that will free you up and send you soaring.  Yet, that is what grace is and does.  Grace is transformational.
 
Though I've been to Italy on a mission trip, I have not been to Venice, Venezia.   Reading this book was fun to put me back into Italy and into a part of Italy I haven't had the chance yet to experience.  The nuggets here involved language and culture.  I'm not recommending the novel over a travel guide or a language guide, but if you're planning to go to Venice or if you've been, what I am saying is that you will likely relate to what you read.
 
In addition to the "grace on you" phrase, here is the opposite one: "shame off you".  They are different sides to the same coin, but maybe someone needs hear the "off" before they can hear the "on".  The "shame off you" phrase is introduced in the book on page 70.
 
Here are two paragraphs that spoke to me of God's working in God's time, place, and space: (Jenna is writing)
 
"What I sensed in the kitchen that morning was the Spirit of God refreshing my sister-in-law through everything around us.  We had been washed with the Word as Malachi read from the Psalms, then all the new experiences, tastes, encounters, and small challenges were displays of how God could care for Sue more than I ever could.  My job wasn't to diagnose her or counsel her or try to teach her anything.  We were students together.  Equals in every way.  Sue and I were fellow victims of grace.
     I felt as if I'd just been shown my place--a clarification of my role in our friendship in this new season of diving into the deep end and experiencing the refreshing that comes from such a plunge.  I had places deep inside me that I needed to examine and that needed healing, too, but Sue wasn't trying to fix those in me.  All I had to do was be here and receive the grace as it fell on me." (124)
 
Going deeper and deeper on the faith journey, growing in grace and healing, and willing to walk it with others.  That continues to be my path.  As I walk it with others, I attempt to listen to the Spirit's guidance along the way, to know what to say, to know when to be silent, to know when to simply "be".  I don't always get it right.  But, there is grace for those times.  Life is too short to not seek to live intentionally in love and grace and to grow through the pain that leads to healing.  That's what I've learned over the years.  And, more recently, I've seen a young life exhibit boldness of God's love exuding from him to everyone as he followed the example of Christ.  I will write more about this incredible person at another time.  To live and love boldly while allowing the space of grace for healing and growth.... this is part of my calling as a guide through the wilderness.
 
Telling our stories to one another often allows for healing as we see the workings of grace in one another's lives.  There were such stories in this book.  Again, I won't share the details, that's for you to read.  But I will share this quote with you because it speaks to us being present to one another in order to be able to share our stories.  Sam, the leader of the men's gathering says: "I'm beginning to think that 90 percent of what we should be doing as believers is just to show up." (197)  Sometimes we are hesitant to share our stories because of the shame we still carry and the fear of what others will think or say.  Yet, when we have accepted the grace for ourselves, it is easier to share and others can hear and see the grace in our stories.  Then, they can likely find it easier to share their stories if they haven't been able to yet.  It becomes a ripple effect of grace and freedom.  
 
Jenna writes: "I remembered every word those two men spoke over me on that balcony.  I'm sure I will remember every word for the rest of my life.  They blessed me and empowered me to "go," even though I still didn't know where I was supposed to go or exactly what I was supposed to do.
     The beautiful part was that I didn't need to know those specifics yet.  What I did know was that I was free.  I, at long last, had put on the grace God had given me.  It was real.  Very real.  And I had a feeling it looked even better on me than my swishy new skirt." (201-202)
 
Where do you need grace in your life?  How can you show grace to someone else?   Are you ready to put on the grace that God is ready to give you so that you can extend it to others?  You need not know your next steps, ever.  My friend Thomas Merton reminds me of that too. ☺ It's not about the "going" and "doing", but rather about the "being".  Yet, there comes a time to "go" and "do".  And, when that time comes, walk into the light of the next clear lit step that you can see. 
 
Who knew that one could glean so many nuggets from a Sisterchicks novel?!?!  Thank you Robin Jones Gunn for sharing your gift of writing and God's grace through these books.
 
Wherever you find yourself at this moment on the journey, I pray that you might know grace and that you will take some time to rest in the meadows, drink from the quiet pools, catch your breath, and then move onward, sent, in the right direction.
 
Blessings on your journey,
 
Debra
 
 
 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sisterchicks in Gondolas... grace on you


I think this is my third "Sisterchick" novel to read and my 2nd to reflect upon in a blog.  Since I borrowed this book from the same person who loaned me the others, there was no underlining or taking notes physically in the book.  I came close to grabbing the sticky notes and marking some pages though.  I was struck, once again, by the spiritual nuggets that grabbed me as I read this novel for "light" reading.

The biggest nugget I got out of the book is the phrase, "Grace on you".  Instead of "shame on you" in a myriad of circumstances and situations, there is instead the beautiful "grace on you".  I simply loved that phrase.  So much that I used it LOTS last week as I encountered people in different situations.  Now the truth is out, I got that phrase from a novel by Robin Jones Gunn. ☺  But I imagine Robin would quickly note that the concept of this grace and the phrase came from none other than the Creator, the Father who loves all creation and desires each of us to grow in grace.

Grace was a tough concept for me to accept for myself from God and others when I knew what I had done.  In several situations in my life, people were kind and compassionate and gracious enough to extend grace to me.  I carried enough shame on myself for all of us.  As I learned to live into grace, I learned the freedom that grace allows.  It is truly amazing. 

Grace is something John Wesley spends some time on.... prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace.  If you've been on an Emmaus Walk, read some of Wesley's sermons, been through Disciple's Path study (or a similar new member study in the Methodist Church), taken a seminary course, etc., you may be familiar with these terms.   If not, I imagine you are familiar with the song Amazing Grace.  There is also a hymn with the words "Grace, Grace, God's Grace" entitled Grace Greater Than All Our Sin.

The second song is the one that comes to mind this morning as I write.  It is the words in the chorus that come to mind-- "grace, grace, God's grace".  You can click on the video below to listen to it.  Lyrics are included in the video and below.


Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

REFRAIN:
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

REFRAIN

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Because I wasn't sure where this hymn might be found, I looked it up on hymnary.org.  The song, Grace Greater Than All Our Sin, is found in 103 hymnals.  Sometimes it is entitled Marvelous Grace. It was written by Julia Johnston in 1911.  Click on the highlighted link in the first sentence of this paragraph to learn more about the author and the song.

Building 429 has a song that uses that same chorus in it.  Their song, Grace That Is Greater, is on the "Iris to Iris" album that was released in 2007.

 

LYRICS:

Search me O God
And know my every thought
Discern my every way
And speak into my soul
Point out to me my wrongs
Convict me until
I follow down the path
That leads me to your will

Because my heart
Sometimes can wander
And my faith
at times can stray
But I know
That when I fix my eyes on You
That I will always remain
Safe in the shadows of Your

Grace, grace
God’s grace
Grace that will pardon
And cleanse within
Grace, grace
God’s grace
Grace that is greater
Than all my sin

I praise You because
I am fearfully made
You formed my frame
In a secret place
All of my days
Ordained before I breathed
Written in Your book
Before I came to be
Because Your love
I stand and wonder
You know I come to Thee
And knowing that
When I fix my eyes on You
That I will always remain
Safe in the shadow of Your

Grace, grace
God’s grace
Grace that will pardon
And cleanse within
Grace, grace
God’s grace
Grace that is greater
Than all my sin

God’s grace
Grace that will pardon
And cleanse within
Grace, grace
God’s grace
Grace that is greater
Than all my sin

Grace that will pardon
And cleanse within
Grace, grace
God’s grace
Grace that is greater
Than all my sin

Grace that is greater
Than all my sin

Is greater than all my sin
Is greater than all my sin
Is greater than all my sin


Out of curiosity, I did a search on hymnary.org for hymns with the word "grace" in them.  There were 11,518 listed.  Check it out for yourself here.  You might find some new favorite hymns or be re-acquainted with some former ones.

Grace is abundant!  We read about it in the Scriptures (check out this link from Biblegateway.org of a listing of "grace" verses).  We sing about it.  We talk about.  The most difficult part is accepting it and allowing it to penetrate into our lives. Living into the grace is hard.  Why would this be harder than hearing about it, singing about it, or talking about it?  In my humble opinion, it means that we must let go.  We must give up control.  And, it means we must accept something that is given to us that is a gift, undeserved.  Most of us struggle with that in some form or fashion, at some time or another.  Yet, by letting go and giving up control and by accepting the grace offered to us, we will know freedom like never before.

Grace on you as you continue your journey,

Debra


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lessons from creation... the Creator speaks

I walk daily, well most every day.  My walking partner and I have spent lots of mornings over at the Greenway Farms to check out the trilliums, trout lilies (that I keep calling tiger lilies), tooth wart, phlox, etc.   Today I saw columbine.    It was nice to see the new life of the columbine in light of the trout lily blooms going away.

Nature, creation, is one of my go-to places and spaces when I need to fill up.  I am in awe of the Creator's handiwork and rarely can look up, down, or around without seeing something that points me to the Creator.  Not only am I pointed to the Creator, often there is a lesson in what I see, hear, or experience. 

Yesterday afternoon I saw the sun breaking through the clouds after all the rain we had received.  As I crested the hill and looked over to my left, I was struck by the sight of the light piercing the darkness.

On this morning's walk I could hear the trickle of water flowing long before I could see it.  When we got to it, the water running down the rocks was minimal, yet it was flowing.  And flowing onto the walking path and along the path for a ways.  That struck me. 

The sun has attempted to come out today, even though the clouds have fought to hide it.  I've been outside to capture the dogwoods "on film" in the front yard  because we have pink and white ones.  I have also captured a few tulips.  But what captured me most was the dandelion blowing in the breeze.  There it was, swaying in the breeze yet not losing its seeds. 

I posted the following pictures and thoughts on my Facebook page yesterday and today.  I share them with you today as a collection of lessons from creation.

Maybe something will touch you where you are in your journey and speak to you.... or maybe you know someone who needs the pictures or the words. 


There is darkness in our lives. There are heavy burdens. There is pain and sorrow. Even so, the Light will make a way through. It will shine in us, on us, and through us. Peace and grace on the journey.


A waterfall where there normally isn't one because of all the rain. For me this shows that beauty can come from extreme situations.

 
The breeze is blowing this tiny creation around, causing it to dance to and fro with the movement of the wind. Yet it remains intact. For now. It reminds me of the verses from 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NKJV)--"We are hard-pressed on every side,... yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." When the breeze does win and send the seed flying, life will be spread out to who knows where. Another life lesson from creation. Thanks be to the Creator.
 
Blessings on your journey,
 
Debra
 
 
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Walking toward Palm Sunday... a word of encouragement for those in ministry (which means all)

This morning I knew I needed to make time to "fill up" before I did anything else in the day (after getting the kiddo off to school).

I wondered what would fill my tank today.  Yesterday was the 5th Sunday in Lent.  Next Sunday is Palm Sunday.  Last week was a beautiful, yet difficult week poured out for family and others.  This week will likely contain more pouring out as there are needs, even beyond what I can imagine.

I picked up A Guide to Prayer For Ministers and Other Servants and turned to this week's readings.

The title: "The Wounds and Sorrows of Ministry"

Invocation:

"Almighty God, you are the light and life of every soul and my only source of hope.  Grant that in this time of worship I may experience your transforming power preparing me for the ministry of this day.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen."

Psalm 56 is the Psalm for the week.  As I read it, there were several verses that stood out to me.  I don't know what will stand out to others as they read it. 

verse 1-- "Be gracious to me, O God"
verse 3--"when I am afraid, I put my trust in you."
verse 4--"In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid;"
verse 8--"put my tears in your bottle"
verse 13--"For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life."

Ministry (whether one is clergy or a lay person) can be demanding.  Simply because there is always something going on.  Then, add communication or miscommunication to the mix.  Or add in folks with varying ideas and agendas.  It can get wild.  I speak from observation and experience.

A reminder that we are ALL in ministry as we are all called to use our gifts to the glory of God and for the Kingdom.  We have different gifts, different callings, etc. But we are all priests, all ministers, all called into ministry into the lives around us.  Don't take my word for it, check out 1 Peter where it refers to the priesthood of all believers.  Do some searching on your own to verify that we are all called into ministry, to use the gifts God has given each of us for the Kingdom. (Maybe I'll write another post another day in more detail on this.)

And, because we are human, we all at one time or another are that person in Psalm 56:1 who tramples or oppresses someone else.  Therefore, verse 1 in Psalm 56 is a reminder, a prayer, not only for protection from others, but for ourselves, so that we won't do that to others.

I know I need filling up daily and even more frequently so that I can be the light and love of Christ to others and not my natural, nasty self.   I am grateful for silence and solitude and times of "being" that fill me up as well as times of reflection and study.  Listening to music that uplifts my heart, mind, and soul fills me often to overflowing. 

What fills you up so that you can minister effectively as you are called?

In the readings for this week, one in particular grabbed me this morning.  It is by Henri Nouwen from The Living Reminder.  It is found on pages 139-140 in the Guide.

"The minister, as a living memory of God's great deeds in history, is called to heal by reminding people of their wounded past and by connecting their wounds with the wounds of all humanity, redeemed by the suffering of God in Christ.  But what are the implications of such a viewpoint for the personal life of the minister?  The temptation is strong to ask the "how" question: How do I become a living memory of God; how do I accept and connect; how do I lift up the individual story into the divine history?"  These questions are temptations insofar as they avoid the more basic question: "Who am I as a living memory of God?"  The main question indeed is not a question of doing, but a question of being.  When we speak about the minister as a living reminder of God, we are not speaking about a technical specialty which can be mastered through the acquisition of specific tools, techniques, and skills, but about a way of being which embraces the totality of life: working and resting, eating and drinking, praying and playing, acting and waiting.  Before any professional skill, we need a spirituality, a way of living in the spirit by which all we are and all we do becomes a way of reminding.
     One way to express this is to say that in order to be a living reminder of the Lord, we must walk in his presence as Abraham did.  To walk in the presence of the Lord means to move forward in life in such a way that all our desires, thoughts, and actions are constantly guided by him.  When we walk in the Lord's presence, everything we see, hear, touch, or taste reminds us of him.  This is what is meant by a prayerful life.  It is not a life in which we say many prayers, but a life in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is done, said, or understood independently of him who is the origin and purpose of our existence."


Yes, I realize that is a very long reading.  But, I quoted it in its entirety because it was solid and meaningful in its entirety.  What speaks to you today?  What can you take with you into this day, into this week of life and ministry?  Remember, whether you are clergy or a lay person, you are a minister.

Here is the benediction from the Guide... as you continue your journey.....

Benediction:
"Go forth into this day with the strong name of Jesus Christ to sustain you.  Amen."

~Debra

Monday, March 31, 2014

Persevering to the end..... my first 5K experience



This past Saturday, I did my first 5K.  I say "did" because I didn't run the entire time.  I started off running.  I ran off and on in the middle.  I finished running.  Okay, jogging.  I walked at other times.  Walking and running (jogging) was my intention.  Finishing was my intention.  I didn't really have a time to finish under in mind, other than I really wanted to finish in under an hour.  Well, truth be told, a friend did her first 5K a few months back and did around 45 minutes, so that was in the back of my mind. ☺

I started walking October 1st of 2013.  Back then, a 5K wasn't in my vision as a goal.  But, fairly soon, it became a goal.

When I learned about the Operation Outreach 5K that was helping out the Soddy Daisy Food Bank, I checked my calendar and found out I would be in town.  I check with the race organizers to see if walkers were allowed for the 5K and it was all good.  So, Operation Outreach became my first 5K race goal.  I used Runkeeper to count down days to the race, March 29.

On March 29, race day, it was raining slightly (drizzling) when I headed over to the starting point at Mile Straight Baptist Church.  Though I didn't know it until race time, they had decided to alter the route due to the weather.  That wasn't a big deal really, except that I later learned a friend had come out to support me and had place herself along the original route.  OOPS.  What dedication to come out on an early Saturday morning in rainy weather.  And, then to have the route changed.  I remain grateful for the effort and show of support!

I'm still sore from Saturday.... shins, quads, hams... but the soreness will work itself out eventually.  I haven't run that much in decades.  I ran track my senior year in high school (and enjoyed it), but I was primarily a swimmer throughout my life.  I marched in the band.  I rode bicycles.  I hiked (and still do).  And these days I walk 5-6 days a week. 

Even with all the walking since October.... and increased walking and hiking in March (over 50 miles and 25 hours), I still found myself worn out at the end of the race and coming close to vomiting at the very end.... the feeling where you've given it all you can give it and your lungs are coming up your throat.  But, thankfully, my lungs and my stomach stayed in place and I didn't puke, upchuck or vomit at the end of my first 5K.

Results from the race?

There were 89 people in the race.  I came in 78th overall (I was #1886).  My time was 47:21.  My pace was 15:16. 

In my age category (40-49), there were 17.  I came in 14th.  I was the oldest in my age category! ☺

These are decent statistics, especially for my very first 5K.  But it wasn't about these numbers.  The best statistics are the numbers that reveal how much food was donated to the Soddy Daisy Food Bank: 2,491 pounds of food!  Now, that's what makes this a successful 5K in my opinion!  It was the first "Operation Outreach 5K" and that's a great start to a yearly race!

The Soddy Daisy Food Bank is an organization we have helped out as a family through different churches and through BI-LO, a local grocery food store.   It was good to catch up with several of the volunteers with that organization that I know from days gone by.

Walking and doing a 5K are part of my preparation for my year of jubilee that begins in October.  I don't know when my next 5K will be or what it's mission focus will be.  But I don't think this past Saturday was my 'first and last' 5K.  I look forward to more adventures on the road.

Speaking of adventures, I am enjoying this pre-jubilee year.   If my pre-jubilee year at 49 is so wonderfully freeing, adventurous, and growth-producing, I simply can't imagine what the year of jubilee is going to be. 

Blessings on your adventures and your journey,

Debra



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our God Saves-- Paul Baloche. Another song with a Trinitarian message.

This morning I heard these words on the radio:  "in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, in the name of the Spirit" and my ears perked up.  A contemporary song with a Trinitarian message. 

Ever since we were challenged in our worship class (WO 510) to listen for / to pick out contemporary songs with a Trinitarian message, I've heard almost a handful.  As I was looking for the lyrics for this song, "Our God Saves", I found a link that listed songs with a Trinity theme.  I was shocked and surprised to find 295 songs on that list.  Does that shock or surprise you?  Check it out: Songs with Trinity Theme.

I am fairly certain I've heard "Our God Saves" before today.  I've heard the artist's name before too, Paul Baloche, but he isn't someone with whom I'm very familiar.  This song is from the Our God Saves album (2007).

Yet, I'm familiar with his songs.  It turns out that he has written quite a few songs I know, some of which are: "Open the Eyes of My Heart", "Above All", and is co-author of "A New Hallelujah".

                                            OUR GOD SAVES with scenery from Brazil

                                            OUR GOD SAVES-- live with interview

Lyrics and chords:

Verse 1                             D
In the name of the Father, in the name of the Son
                            Gmaj7
In the name of the Spirit Lord we come
               Bm
Gathered together to lift up your name
                         Gmaj7
To call on our Saviour, to fall on your grace

Pre-Chorus
                D
Hear the joyful sound of our offering
                A
As your saints bow down, as your people sing
            Bm7
We will rise with you, lifted on your wings
            G2
And the world will see that...

Chorus
                D                    A
Our God saves, our God saves
              Bm7                  G2
There is hope in Your name
              D                        A
Morning turns to songs of praise
               Bm7                        G2
Our God saves, Our God saves

Checking into Paul Baloche, I learned that he sings some in French.  For those who speak French and/or are learning French, check out this link to 3 worship songs in French: Sing French with Paul Baloche.

You can also check out Paul Baloche on MySpace for music, etc.

As usual, a song on the radio has taken me deeper.  Not only has it spoken to me spiritually and ministered to me, but it has allowed me to go deeper in exploration and learning.  In my exploration this afternoon, I found several "who knew?" gems.

I hope you find something here that allows you to go deeper in some aspect on your journey. 

Blessings as you travel this adventurous life!

Debra