Memory full. Unable to complete backup.

OUR MINDS. They’re recording devices, aren’t they? Tape recorders. DVR’s. They take it all in and keep it. Whatever “it” may be. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel as though my brain can’t possibly hold more! Sometimes, I want to dump some of the old information just so I can take in the new. Unfortunately, some of the deleted info is stuff I should keep, and some of the new info is stuff I really don’t need.

Either way, the tape recorder in our minds is constantly running, recording new information or replaying old information. Memories. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it only played back the good stuff? Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. At least not if the Devil has anything to say about it.

Hit rewind, click delete
Stand face to face with the younger me

This is the line running through my head this morning. Words from Fix My Eyes by for KING & COUNTRY. And that’s exactly what Satan would have us do every day of our lives… Hit rewind and re-live all the “terrible, awful, horrible, no good, very bad” things we’ve ever done. Click delete and get rid of the positive in our lives… The good we’ve done, the blessings we have, the love in our lives.

What happens when we “stand face to face with the younger me?” Our human-ness condemns us. We see the flaws. We remember the wrong we did. Or the wrong done TO us. Some of us see a person we never want to be again. Others see a person we wish we could be again. Any of these scenarios are exactly where Satan wants us… Living in the past. Afraid to move forward in Christ. Afraid of the freedom we have in our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

NO condemnation. It doesn’t say there is some condemnation. It doesn’t say there will be condemnation. THERE. IS. NO. CONDEMNATION. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. If we are in Christ, we can stand face to face with our younger selves or look forward to our future selves with full freedom and assurance, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” we must “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

I love how God shows me his love and guides me through the music. Often I get something completely different from the same song. Click here to read Fix My Eyes from May 30th

Click here to listen to Fix My Eyes by for KING & COUNTRY

Eyes on the Prize

The sun shining through my studio window belies the sadness I feel. I can’t explain why I feel sad today… I don’t really have a reason. Maybe melancholy is a better word, but it’s there nonetheless.

I woke up with Love & The Outcome singing in my head. The song is King of My Heart, and it, too, is falsely cheerful in my head. The line I’m hearing is

You are
Bigger than any battle I’m facing
You are
Better than anything I’ve been chasing

While I know that this is indisputably true, and I will always believe that God can and will do more than I ever could think or ask, I somehow have gotten to mid-afternoon and I’m still “blue.”

I miss my kids. I know that’s part of it. They’ve been heavy on my mind today, and I’ve been praying for them all. I’ve been working on the quilt for my newest grandchild who should be making an appearance sometime in the next 3 or 4 weeks. They live around the world in another country and it’s been hard for this momma to NOT be with her daughter through all this. She’s doing great, and everything’s going according to schedule. But I miss her anyway.

God IS bigger than anything I’m facing. He IS better than anything I’m chasing after in this world. I think he placed this song in my head so he could remind me of these things, and keep it in the front of my mind. It’s as if The Lord is saying, “Keep your eyes up here!” Eyes on the prize!

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Click here to listen to King of My Heart

There’s a Downhill Waiting

I absolutely love riding my bike. It makes me feel like a kid again! No matter how tough the hill, or how long it takes me to get up, there is nothing that compares to the downhill ride… The wind in my face and my hair, the feeling of pure abandon and delight… Freedom. Joy. If it weren’t for the prospect of the downhill ride, I don’t think I’d ever make it up the hills at all!

Yesterday, while I was riding our little country road between old shade trees and corn as high as an elephant’s eye, I was thinking how life in general, and our Christian walk specifically, are like a bike ride. We struggle uphill with illness, debt, landlords, and so much more. We walk through a “wilderness” time spiritually, feeling as though God is nowhere to be found. Uphill. Slow. Painful. Low gear. Barely moving. We want to get off and walk, or turn around just to go downhill for a little while.

But we crest the hill and the pedaling gets easier. We can see past the pavement in front of us to the beautiful fields and ponds beyond. And then we start our downhill descent. Finally! Our muscles relax, we breathe deeply and freely, enjoying the wind in our faces and the freedom and joy that is worth the uphill climb. The pride we take in our children, the love we feel for them. Ice cream cones. New babies. Promotions. When the doctor says, “I can’t explain it, but the cancer is gone.”

When I feel as though everything is right in my world, even when it isn’t… When I know that God is in control and he has my back, then I can relax and enjoy the downhill ride. I am free to praise him and give him the glory for all of it. I can rest in him and trust his word. In Matthew 6:34 Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I can let go of the worry and fear, the struggle and the pain, that go with the uphill fight. Because I know there is a downhill waiting for me.

The lyric in my head is “would you dare to believe that you still have a reason to sing? That the pain that you’ve been feeling, it can’t compare to the joy that’s coming. So hold on, you gotta wait for the light. Press on, and just fight the good fight. Because the pain that you’ve been feeling, it’s just the dark before the morning.” Wonderful words to a song by Josh Wilson called Before the Morning. click here to listen.

The featured image is a snapshot along my bike ride. We live in a gorgeous place to ride!

Press On

A couple of days ago, I wrote about living with abandon and what that means for me in Surrender and an Apology. Living with joy and freedom in Christ. Stop all the lid-sitting and let the joy overflow. So… How am I doing with that??

Every time I woke up last night, and again this morning, I had Building 429 singing these two lines in my head…

I am a mess, I am a wrecking ball
I must confess that I still don’t get it all

I love these lines from their song, Press On, because sometimes I don’t get it all… But I’m trying, I’m working on it. I Press On. I’ve spent a couple of days saying “YES” more than often than “no.” Not taking things personally. Letting things go… And that’s really hard for me to do on my own!

Philippians 3:13-14 says this.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I know that I will continue to be a mess and a wrecking ball because I’m a human being living in a messy world. But I will press on. I will continue to walk with Jesus every day, to learn all I can, to PRACTICE. I’ve spent a lifetime practicing on a piano bench. I know how to do that.

Life goes on, life goes on
But Your love will prove
All I need, all I need
I will find in You

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.