I fell

My back is jello. WAS jello… until Dr. K. fixed it through two different spine surgeries within 18 months. Discs have been replaced, arthritis cleaned out, scoliosis straightened up, a broken vertebrae pinned down… He did a fabulous job! Three years later, I can do almost anything I want and I don’t think much about my back at all except to respect the weightlifting limits, and to “listen” to the signals I get from my spine. 

But last week, one of my worst fears was realized. I fell. I’m not a runner and never was. I have been a walker, but it’s not my favorite activity. While I go to the gym because it’s necessary, I’m not a gym rat. My husband, on the other hand, is a charter member of our gym and should have a gold key!  No… For me it’s the sheer joy of riding my bike in the outdoors. Struggling up the hills, and coasting down them with the wind in my face and the sun on my back. For a little while, everything is right with the world. I’ve been working on building my stamina and endurance, and had doubled my miles. 

But I fell. In my own yard. I hadn’t even sat down good on my seat yet! I prepped like always, took off like always, but the grass was wet and the wheels slipped to the right. I fell left… Onto my left side. The good news is that I fell into the grass and not the gravel. The bad news is that I broke a rib. The shoulder and clavicle are just bruised and sore. I will be fine, but I had no clue how painful a broken rib could be!! 

But isn’t that the way it is for all of us?? We are going along in our lives, doing what we always do the same way we always do it, and then we slip. We fall. We hit a slick spot on our journey and our spiritual and emotional wheels slide out from under us. We find ourselves careening toward the hard ground at an alarming rate with no way to stop ourselves, knowing it’s going to hurt when we finally land.

We’re all broken but we’re all in this together
God knows we stumble and fall
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all 

These lyrics from Matt Maher’s song, And All The People Said Amen, were singing over me when I woke up this morning. It’s funny… When I fell off my bike, I laid there in the wet grass on my back doing a body check. The first thing I thought about was my back and how falling is NOT an option for me. I made sure all the parts of me were still moving and not in pain… Feet and legs? Check. Arms and hands? Check. Neck okay? Yes, I can turn my head both directions without pain. But I couldn’t get up. The wind had been knocked out of me and that rib pain was searing through my side. I’m thankful and grateful for soft grass instead of gravel. That someone was there to help me up. That I was in my own yard rather than out on the road several miles from home. 

God knows we are going to fall sometimes. But He so loved this world that He sent His only Son to save us, if we believe. When we crash and hit the ground, Jesus is there to pick us up. Maybe the big thing is to fall INTO the arms of our Savior, and let Him catch us. It’s a much softer landing than the cruel hard ground of the world. He will lift us back to our feet, brush us off, heal our wounds, and bring us back to Himself.

And all the people said Amen
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said AMEN!!

Click here to listen to And All The People Said Amen.

Because He Lives (Amen)

I woke up to daylight and birds singing this morning. I love that early morning quiet sound of the house before its business as usual. I heard the sound of planes soaring overhead and my dogs anxious to go outside. And in my head, Matt Maher was singing this verse to his song, Because He Lives (Amen).

I WAS DEAD IN THE GRAVE
I WAS COVERED IN SIN AND SHAME
I HEARD MERCY CALL MY NAME 
HE ROLLED THE STONE AWAY

Mercy called my name. I love how God sings over me while I sleep and gives me a thought that will stay with me all day. Today “Mercy called my name” will stay in my heart and give me light and hope when I need it.

AMEN
AMEN 
I’M ALIVE
I’M ALIVE
BECAUSE HE LIVES
AMEN
AMEN
LET MY SONG JOIN THE ONE THAT NEVER ENDS
BECAUSE HE LIVES

I am alive because Jesus lives. I know we are not yet to Easter and He is Risen, but HE IS RISEN! As Christians, we must let the whole world see the joy of the risen Lord written all over us!

BECAUSE HE LIVES
I CAN FACE TOMORROW
BECAUSE HE LIVES
EVERY FEAR IS GONE
I KNOW HE HOLDS MY LIFE MY FUTURE IN HIS HANDS

Amen. Amen.

Click here to listen to Because He Lives (Amen).

 

Hold Us Together

“Even in the dark, you can still see the light. It’s gonna be alright.” Matt Maher singing these words from his song Hold Us Together (listen here) woke me up at 4:30 this morning. It’s Saturday!! Granted, it’s not just any Saturday. This is the first Saturday in May in Kentucky, and that can only mean one thing. The Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby! A very big deal around here, and festivities have been going strong for days all leading up to post time today when the three-year-old thoroughbreds will run the longest two minutes in sports.

Or is it the fastest? I forget, and it really doesn’t matter to me. I love to see the horses, and we always have a derby breakfast at work the day before. But I’ve never been to the derby or to Churchill Downs. I don’t know all the horses that are running, and I don’t have a derby hat.

As Kentuckians, the Run for the Roses pulls us together. Unites us in a way that other things can’t. Much like basketball in March, though in Kentucky that can polarize us a well. And isn’t that what every community needs? To be united by something? To be connected? That’s what makes us community. You can read all the lyrics here, but the chorus to the song in my head this morning goes…

And Love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I’ll be my brother’s keeper
So the whole world will know that we’re not alone.

Unity. That’s what Jesus prayed for in the garden. Unity in the body of believers. That Christians will be one in Him. And He said He is in God and God is in Him and they are One. And we know that God is perfect Love. LOVE will hold us together. They will know we are Christians by our Love. If we are going to be kept together, Love is the best way to do it! And maybe it’s loving others in the middle of the things that make us a community, like the Kentucky Derby or basketball.

I’ve been praying for the people in Arkansas this week after the tornadoes on Sunday, and I have read and heard so many stories about how that community has gathered together to weather the aftermath of the storm. In love and unity and faith. Holding each other up, being a “brother’s keeper” in all the chaos and loving on other people. Because if God is my Light, I can still see Him, even in the dark. It’s gonna be alright!

Still humming

I’m still on an Easter high! Still humming with resurrection joy in my heart, even though it is spring in Kentucky and I’m battling allergies like crazy. Still so thankful the stone was rolled away from the tomb and Mary found it empty. The song in my head this morning fits right in…

Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake,
come and rise up from the grave.
Christ is risen from the dead.
We are one with Him again.
Come awake, come awake.
Come and rise up from the grave.

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

This is a Matt Maher song from his album Alive Again. I love the way this song begins…

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us

I love to play with words, to take a phrase an out emphasis on a different word each time to see how the meaning changes. It also helps my heart to hear it better.

CHRIST is risen from the dead.
Christ IS risen from the dead.
Christ is RISEN from the dead!
Christ is risen FROM the dead.
Christ is risen from THE dead.
Christ is risen from the DEAD!!

It happened. It’s not a fairy tale or a myth. It is one of the most documented facts in history. And if He is risen from the dead, then He is alive. And if He can open that sealed tomb, then He can open a sealed and bruise heart.

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim… CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!!

I am the church, I am part of the body of Christ, I am His bride. And my heart is singing this morning that Christ IS risen from the dead!

Listen to Matt sing this song at the K-Love studios.

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