“It doesn’t matter!” -Grace

I hear a voice, and He calls me “redeemed” when others say I’ll never be enough.

This line from the MercyMe song, Greater, woke me up this morning. Just this line. Isn’t it a wonderful thing that God calls us “redeemed” no matter what anyone else says of us? Even ourselves. As this line played on a loop in my mind while I went about my wake-up routine, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said those same words…. Even ourselves.

I am my own worst enemy. I am self-everything… -Critical, -absorbed, -serving, -deprecating, -fillintheblank. Insert the word “self” in front of each of those words and many others. I have always been too quick to tear myself down. But that’s not what God says of me.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1

Like the song says, “there will be days I lose the battle. But Grace says that it doesn’t matter because the cross already won the war!” I love the full definition of the word redeemed at Merriam-Webster.com. Please read it and know that Christ has done this for you. And me!!!

Full Definition of REDEEM

transitive verb
1
a  :  to buy back :  repurchase

b:  to get or win back

2
:  to free from what distresses or harms: as 

a:  to free from captivity by payment of ransom


b:  to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental


c:  to release from blame or debt :clear


d:  to free from the consequences of sin

3
:  to change for the better :  reform
4
5
a  :  to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby

(1):  to remove the obligation of by payment <the United States Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand>

(2)  :  to exchange for something of value <redeem trading stamps>

c:  to make good :fulfill

6
a  :  to atone for :  expiate <redeem an error>

(1):  to offset the bad effect of

(2)  :  to make worthwhile :  retrieve

Please have a listen to this wonderful song, be prepared to dance. Greater.
Please click here to read Greater from a different perspective written in August last year.
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Word of God SPEAK!

It is Sunday morning, and before I get ready for church and all the chaos there (being a working musician equals a busy Sunday!) I want to share one of my favorite songs with you. This song touches me at the deepest core of my being. When it comes on the radio, I have to stop and listen. I have no choice. It’s like the Holy Spirit compels me to stop whatever I’m doing and listen to this song.

Word of God Speak From MercyMe…
I’m finding myself at a loss for words and the funny thing is, it’s okay.
The last thing I need is to be heard,
But to hear what You would say.

Word of God, speak.
Would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty?
To be still and know
that You’re in this place?
Please let me stay and rest
in Your holiness. Word of God, speak.

And there it is. That’s why I must stop. I want to stay and rest in His holiness. It’s my safe place. It’s where I’m most relaxed and at rest and it’s hard to leave it for the real world.

More lyrics…

I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise.
All that I need is to be with You and
In the quiet, to hear Your voice

This song makes me feel more connected to God than practically any other song. (That’s hard for me to say because I don’t have a favorite.)

So here I am in the quiet of my studio this morning, and I stop everything to listen and write down these words and my thoughts. On this Sabbath when I know I won’t have much rest, I want to be still and know that God is in this place. I can stay and rest in His holiness any place. Any time.

Click here to listen to Word of God Speak

Featured image: one of my favorite places here, an early spring view at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, Kentucky.

No More.

Y’all, my struggle with low self-esteem has been the thorn in my side my whole life, along with food (though I think they go hand in hand.) Just when I think I’ve got a grip on it and things are going well, something or someone comes along and shakes things up, stirring up old feelings and fears. No more.

The song in my head this morning is from Greater by MercyMe. Maybe God is trying to build my self-esteem while I sleep!

Bring your doubts
Bring your fears
Bring your hurt
Bring your tears
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed.

Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
A mistake
Well, that’s ok

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

One thing I know without a doubt… I matter to God. My husband may get busy and preoccupied, my kids may be busy living their lives in other places, my friends may be working or dealing with their own issues, and it doesn’t mean they don’t love me. They do… so very much! But GOD…

🕑Always has time for me
👂Wants to hear what I have to say
☺️Waits patiently for me to come to him
❤️Understands my pain even when I don’t understand it myself
👓Knows where I hurt
🌷Cares about me, the real me
👼Places people in my life just when I need them most
💔Protects my heart

I want to be a person who can be used by God to do those things in some small way for other people. After all, I am holy, righteous and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I put my “self” in His hands, because he “esteems” me as his child, and loves me with an everlasting love. Even when I don’t love myself very much at all!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1

Click here to listen to Greater by MercyMe

I wrote about this song a few weeks ago from a completely different perspective. Click here to read Greater.

Featured image: Sunny Side, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20. I painted it originally as a 4 x 6 inch piece on the lid of a box. Definitely one of my favorites.

Who Do You Think You Are??

Did anybody ever ask you that question? It’s so confrontational! “Who do you think you are??” Sometimes I know exactly who I am. Other times, I wonder about that myself. “Who are we that You would be mindful of us? What do You see that’s worth looking our way?” Sometimes I ask the exact same questions as this first line from a MercyMe song, God With Us. They’re the lyrics in my head this morning.

Lord You know
Our hearts don’t deserve Your glory
Still You show
A love we cannot afford

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified
Emmanuel
God with us

My heart sings a brand new song
The debt is paid these chains are gone
Emmanuel
God with us

The Psalmist asked the same questions, though much more eloquently.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him? Psalms 8:3-4

Who am I? I’m a tiny insignificant nobody in the grand scheme of this world. I’m just a woman in love with The Lord. I’m the crazy lady who hears music in her head and feels called to share it with anybody willing to listen. My heart and my spirit sing songs to The Lord… Sleeping, awake, working, resting, painting, sewing, cooking… Doesn’t matter. All for the One who paid my debt, and broke the chains.

Click here to listen to God With Us by MercyMe.

No Surprise

My niece had her baby girl yesterday, two weeks early. My daughter’s baby was due three days ago, and we’re still waiting for that precious new life to show his or her face. We don’t know what it is… They wanted to be surprised.

I love surprises, but I’m very hard to surprise (much to my husband’s consternation.) I’m a very intuitive person, and I usually know in advance what a surprise will be. Sometimes I wish it was otherwise, because it can take the joy right out of the whole situation.

That’s how God is… Impossible to surprise. He sees and knows the who, what, when, where, why and how of our lives long before we are aware of it ourselves. So why do we try to hide from God? We hide our true feelings at church and pretend our world is just fine. Isn’t church the one place we should feel free to express our sadness, loneliness, sorrow, grief, happiness, joy? With the body of Christ? Why don’t we freely express what we need to those in the family of God?

God is not surprised that I am lonely at church. He knows what’s in my heart. He sees me sit behind the piano during the sermon, trying to hide the tears in my eyes and look as though I’m intently listening to the pastor. God is not surprised that the only people on our prayer list are those who are ill or have lost a loved one. What about those suffering from depression or loneliness, even when there’s no explanation for it? I find it impossible to believe that every single marriage within the body of believers at my church is in perfect condition… That nobody is relationally challenged, at least occasionally.

Maybe, people feel as though they must hold some of that back or keep it locked inside because, if they let it out even a little, it will be impossible to stop the flood! I’ve been there. Keep it together, Keep it together, Keep it together, Keep it together… Maybe it’s because we don’t feel our personal situation is as important or as worthy as someone else’s. NOT TRUE!!!!

1 Peter 5:7 says to cast “ALL your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” ALL. It doesn’t say to cast SOME of our cares and worries on him. It doesn’t say “cast your important issues up here, but you take care of the rest.” ALL!!!! No matter what we are concerned about, no matter how petty we think it might be, God wants it all. Because when we bring it all, we bring ourselves. And that’s really what God is after, you know… Ourselves. Us. All of us. Not just the parts we think he needs to have.

We do it with our best friends or our spouses, don’t we? We make sure they’re aware of every little issue we are dealing with, or every feeling we need to talk through. That’s what God wants us to do. Cast it all on him. Bring it to him every day, all day. Lay it at His feet and know without a shadow of a doubt that God’s got this!

Click here to listen to the song in my head, God With Us by MercyMe. Emmanuel. God is WITH us!!

Who am I?

Self-esteem. My estimation of myself, how I perceive myself, what I think of me. My struggle with low self-esteem has been the thorn in my side my whole life, along with food (though I think they go hand in hand.) Just when I think I’ve got a grip on it and things are going well, something or someone comes along and shakes things up, stirring up old feelings and fears.

I’ve had this song in my head for two mornings in a row. The same lyric from Greater by MercyMe. Maybe God is trying to build my self-esteem while I sleep!

Bring your doubts
Bring your fears
Bring your hurt
Bring your tears
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed.

Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
A mistake
Well, that’s ok

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

One thing I know without a doubt… I matter to God. My husband may get busy and preoccupied, my kids may be busy living their lives in other places, my friends may be working or dealing with their own issues, and it doesn’t mean they don’t love me. They do so very much! But GOD

Always has time for me
Wants to hear what I have to say
Waits patiently for me to come to him
Understands my pain even when I don’t understand it myself
Knows where I hurt
Cares about me, the real me
Places people in my life just when I need them most
Protects my heart

I want to be a person who can be used by God to do those things in some small way for other people. After all, I am holy, righteous and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I put my “self” in His hands, because he “esteems” me as his child, and loves me with an everlasting love. Even when I don’t love myself very much at all!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1

Click here to listen to Greater by MercyMe

I wrote about this song a few weeks ago from a completely different perspective. Click here to read Greater.

Greater

Today is “Throwback Thursday” in Facebook world. TBT. I love seeing all the old pics and remembering people way back when. My sister used to say “in the olden days.” Thirty years ago isn’t really the olden days, but from my perspective this morning, it was a long time ago.

The featured image is my TBT picture today. My son, my niece, and my nephew taken in 1983. Aren’t they adorable? Precious? I just want to eat them up! I look at this picture and see all the love we lavished on them when they were little, all the promise in those little faces, all the hope embodied in their small selves. And when I look at them today, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God!

All have had major obstacles to overcome in their lifetime thus far. But all three are healthy and strong, praise God! All three if them are excellent parents with (almost) 9 children between them. All are well-educated and have excellent careers, all have strong and loving marriages to wonderful people, and they’re all serving others. And I still think they’re adorable!

I look at their kids now and see these three little cherubs in their children’s faces, and I wonder if God feels the same way about us. Does he look at his children here on this planet and see his face in us? Does he recognize his smile, his eyes, himself in the way we love others? The song in my head this morning is Greater from MercyMe. This song makes me get up and dance! I love these lines…

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

He IS greater. And if he’s living in me, then he will see himself in me. Just like these precious children I’m so proud of and whom I love so much. From generation to generation. Psalms 79:13 says “But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”

There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the cross already won the war

He’s greater!!

Please have a listen to this song… Just be prepared to dance! Greater

Stay and Rest

Back to work this morning… I could stop right there, because obviously I’d rather stay on vacation! But I have a job to do and it’s waiting for me. I woke up this morning asking God to go with me to work, to go before me because I know what’s waiting there. As I climb the stairs to my studio with coffee in hand, I ask Him to open His word and speak to me.

Word of God, Speak!” This MercyMe song touches me at the deepest core of my being. When it comes on the radio, I have to stop and listen. I have no choice. It’s like the Holy Spirit compels me to stop whatever I’m doing and listen to this song.

I’m finding myself at a loss for words and the funny thing is, it’s okay.
The last thing I need is to be heard,
But to hear what You would say.

Word of God, speak.
Would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty?
To be still and know
that You’re in this place?
Please let me stay and rest
in Your holiness. Word of God, speak.

And there it is. That’s why I must stop. I want to stay and rest in His holiness. It’s my safe place. It’s where I’m most relaxed and at rest and it’s hard to leave it for the real world.

More lyrics…

I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise.
All that I need is to be with You and
In the quiet, to hear Your voice

This song makes me feel more connected to God than practically any other song. (That’s hard for me to say because I don’t have a favorite.)

So here I am… First thing in the morning, and I stop everything to listen and write down these words and my thoughts. Here in my studio before dawn, I want to be still and know that God is in this place. Later this morning at work when the chaos of returning after vacation is more than I can stand, I want to be still and know that God is in that place. I can stay and rest in His holiness any place. Any time.

listen to this song

Untitled Blog

When I woke up this morning, the sun was peaking over the horizon, checking to see if I was ready to play. More than ready, I jumped out of bed, almost giddy with anticipation and excitement. My studio waits patiently, like a long-lost friend, as I make a cup of dark French roast coffee and head up the stairs.

Watching the familiar sunrise from my studio window, I think of all the sunsets I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks. Amazing Technicolor displays over mountains, the piedmont, the ocean… Stunning! And yet. And yet, nothing compares to the sun rising over the farmland and treetops right here in central Kentucky. Because it’s home.

As I fell asleep last night in my own bed in my own house, I was thanking God for safe travels, a chance to rest and relax, time away with my husband, beautiful places to visit, dear friends and family who provided for us during this time… and so much more. As I awoke this morning, this one line of lyric and music is running through my head…

How will I ever declare my love for You?

Because I feel that, no matter how I try, I will never be able to express to my precious Lord Jesus how much I love Him. How grateful I am to God for His blessings beyond measure. Words cannot express how my heart feels at this moment on this Lord’s day to be here, in my home, in my studio, with my Bible and my coffee, writing this love letter to God. And I can only imagine that this is a teeny tiny, itty bitty little piece of how I will feel when I finally make it Home to Heaven and see Jesus face to face.

Have a listen to a couple of songs that popped into my mind as I wrote… Both are MercyMe songs.

I Can Only Imagine

Finally Home

I chose the title for this blog because none others seemed to fit. The featured image is our home in Kentucky.