Fuzzy Faith?

“Not that one… It’s blurly.” My three-year-old granddaughter has been using my phone to snap pictures early this morning. I told her that it was okay… “I’m kinda blurly myself this morning.” A little out of focus. A little fuzzy around the edges.IMG_0758.JPGI think that’s how our faith can get sometimes. Blurry. Out of focus. Fuzzy around the edges. We know we believe in God. We go to church. We pray. But maybe we’re on autopilot, just going through the motions. Maybe that’s why it’s called “practicing” our faith. Like this picture, we know what our faith is supposed to look like, but we have to squint to try to see it clearly. We fear that some of it is our imagination.

The Bible says otherwise!! Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Romans 8:29 says that God’s children are “conformed to the image of his Son.” Somehow, I don’t think our faith can be “blurly” if we are made in HIS image. Jesus is not a fuzzy, out-of-focus, ethereal concept floating out there somewhere. He is real. He lived! He died, and He rose again. He will come back and bring us to himself!

Until that day, we must keep the lens of our minds focused and sharpened on God’s word. Live out our faith every day in the words we say and the things we do. Love above all things, so that our edges don’t have time to get soft and fuzzy. “Blurly, Grandmomma!”

The song in my head this morning is a very old choir anthem called With a Voice of Singing. “Declare ye this, and let it be heard, Hallelujah!!”

Make His praise glorious!!!

You’ll Love It

The moment I wondered about has come… That moment when I sit staring at a blank screen thinking, “I can’t write about that song again!” That moment when I’m faced with choosing something else, because there are always songs running in my brain, or being true to my mission here, and trusting The Lord to give me the words. With my tongue in my cheek I’m wondering if God is trying to tell me something, because I’m hearing the harps eternal again. Again.

Different line, on a loop… “Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb! Sing Glory!” I love that my spirit sings praise to The Lord even while I’m sleeping. And I don’t mind that it’s the same song, because didn’t my own kids do that with me? “Read it again, mom!” The same story, over and over. Same thing with a song… Singing it over and over. And I love that the musician in me is listening, not just hearing. I’m listening to all the vocal parts and the way it’s all put together, even in my head.

Mostly, I love the fact that one day God will call me to himself, and I will truly hear the harps and the angel songs and add my voice to the myriads singing praise to the Lamb and to the King. When it’s time. In His time, not mine. Which reminds me of an old worship chorus we used to sing…

in His time, in His time
He makes all things beautiful
In His time
Lord please show me everyday
As your teaching me your way
That you’ll do just what you say
In your time

Not sure I got all the words right there, but He does make all things beautiful in His time. Not mine. A little like a child waiting for Christmas… Anxious, worried, nervous, fretful… And all the while mom or dad have it all planned and prepared and they know it’s going to be wonderful and you’ll love it!

The featured image is my great-niece, Julia (left) and my granddaughter, Molly (right) waiting for Christmas. It’s gonna be awesome!!!!

REDEEMER

The song in my head this morning is Nicole C. Mullins singing I Know My Redeemer Lives… one of my favorites! Have a listen here. What a voice!!! I’ve been listening to this song for many years, and every time I hear it, I have to sing with her. Only trouble is, my voice range just can’t get there anymore. So, like any self-respecting musician, I try to harmonize. Either way, it’s the words that speak to my heart.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning
Who told the ocean you an only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive
And there’s an empty grave

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

MY Redeemer lives! My REDEEMER lives! My Redeemer LIVES!!! This word can be one of those “churchy” words… We use it and don’t think about what it sounds like to someone who hasn’t heard it before. The word redeem comes from the Latin redimere – to buy back. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, paid for my life with His own. Period. He redeemed me. Bought me back. Cancelled my debt. And because He did, I owe Him my life.

So I will continue singing with Nicole at the top of my lungs (in harmony when I have to) that My Redeemer Lives!! Because if I fail to praise Him, “even the very rocks will cry out.” ALL of creation testifies. Hallelujah!!

Noisy morning

As I write this morning, there is a cow in the neighbors pasture bawling for her calf. Over and over she cries out, persistent. Freckles, my dog, is out there on the trail of a rabbit or fox this morning, baying and chasing. It’s a noisy morning out there and the sun is not up yet! So noisy, that I can’t hear the song birds I usually hear outside my window every morning.

It’s noisy in my head too.

You’re the one who conquers giants
You’re the one who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the one who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the one Messiah
You are I AM

These words have been rolling over and over in my mind this morning. Nothing more. Loud and persistent like the cows (now there’s more than one) and the dog right now. And though I’d love to have something profound and clever to say about them, I don’t. But I wonder where the quiet, sweet music of the “song birds” went this morning. Those tiny morsels of sweetness I feel in the quiet hours of early morning.

C. S. Lewis said that God shouts to us in our pain. In all the turmoil of my life, big or small, God is in the thick of it. In the cacophony of cows bawling, dogs barking, birds singing, and Mercy Me singing in my head, He is there. God, the great I AM, is able to conquer giants, walk through fire, call out kings, shut the mouths of lions, tell the dead to breathe… And he is able to do far more abundantly than all I could ask or think. My problems in this life may seem giant-like, king-sized to me, but not to Him.

Hallelujah He lives in me
Hallelujah He lives in me

As the sun comes up, I can see one of the cows in the pasture, standing in the pale gray light of early morning, calling out, searching, anxious for her baby. I imagine God doing the same thing. Standing there in the early morning, calling out to me, searching for me, anxious for me. Shouting to me in my pain.

Featured image is my dog, Freckles with my granddaughter, Molly.