It’s Not About Me

Satan wants you to quit praying. He wants you to believe God isn’t paying one whit of attention to you. That He’s moved on without you. That you don’t matter. There’s only one thing to do with that. Pray twice as much. With twice the faith. And a thousand times the thanks. -Beth Moore

This is one of those mornings that my mind is all over the map, but everything in it is screaming at me to pray. Focus on others. What is God calling me to? The song in my head is Start A Fire by Unspoken.

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever?

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

At the same time, I had words in my head that prompted me to write this verse…

It’s not about me
It’s not about me
It’s not about my fears and failures
It’s not about my hopes and plans
It’s not about what I want or need
It’s not about my desires or dreams
It’s not about who I want to be
It’s not about me

Cause if I know you, Lord
You know my every thought
And if I love you, Lord
Your love fills up my heart
If I remember You
You will remember me
And fill my every need

The above quote from Beth Moore came from an email I received this morning, after being awakened by Start A Fire and writing the verse. In that blog post, she also said, “Intercession for others becomes a guard against the narcissism of this present culture.” If I pray for others, it keeps me from thinking too much of myself, because it’s NOT about me.

It’s so incredible to me how God has thrown all this at me at the same time this morning!!! I can’t ignore it. Pray! Pray now. Keep praying. Pray for others. Pray for myself. Pray continually. Pray with thanksgiving.

Start a fire in me, Lord, because it’s not about me. Don’t let my prayers or my love for others grow cold, dull or boring. Light me up!!! Set my heart on fire for others who need You so desperately. Though it’s nearly overwhelming, thank You for throwing it all at me this morning. Help me not to let You down. Amen.

Click here to listen to Start A Fire by Unspoken.

Click here to read the full blog post on Prayer from Living Proof Ministries.

I chose the featured image because it reminds me of Matthew 6:26… “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” It is oil on 140 lb paper, 2.5″ by 3.5″, artist trading card.

Start a Fire

We left the city of Copenhagen today for a few days visit north at the shore of a fjord. Aside from being stunningly beautiful, it is windy and chilly. After days and days of rain, we finally have a hint of sunshine, but the chilly wind cuts through. Back at the house after a long walk, my son-in-law lays a fire in the stove in the corner of the living room. After just a few minutes, the cold and chill of rainy damp days is gone. Warmth fills the room, and suddenly we are cozy and drowsy.

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

This song, Start A Fire from Unspoken, has been in my head for days now, singing out a prayer for a God to start a fire in MY soul. I’ve started this same post three or four times and only after our adventures today does it become clear to me.

No matter how far we go outside our own territory, no matter how beautiful or stunning the scenery before us, no matter how tempting the world and all it has to offer, it can be cold. And bitter. And chilly, windy, damp, and downright insufferable at times. Only when we come home to The Lord, home to the truth of God’s word and permit God to “start a fire” in our souls are we able to get warm and dry. To feel the warmth of the Holy Spirit and relax into the coziness of Jesus arms. To crawl up in His lap and be renewed and restored.

But we aren’t meant to stay there – all cozy and warm. We come in from the cold, bitter world to get warm by the fire of God’s love, and then head back out into the World again so that others will see Jesus in us and want to come and stand by the fire of the love of God.

Click here to listen to Start a Fire by Unspoken.

Featured image: the fjord in north Denmark. We don’t have these in Kentucky, y’all.

 

Instincts

Copenhagen is a beautiful city and seems to be fairly easy to navigate by foot. We’ve walked all over the city in different directions, but (so far) I have managed to find my way back to the apartment. And if I do happen to get turned around or lose my bearings, I don’t have to wander aimlessly hoping for rescue… I can ask for directions or look at my map. Or I can trust my traveling companion. If I’m walking with my husband or my daughter, I can trust that they know where they’re going and how to get there.

These were my thoughts this morning when I woke up to Unspoken singing Who You Are in my head. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far
That you can’t get back. When you’re lost,
Where you are is never too late, so bad, so much
That you can’t change Who you are.

The Holy Spirit is my traveling companion in this life until I find my way Home. It doesn’t matter where I walk or how far I go, I can always get back. It’s never too late. What I’ve done or said is never so bad or so much that I can’t change who I am and be what God wants me to be. I’m never alone in this life as long as I’m walking with and trusting The Lord to guide me. I can ask for directions from His holy word… I have the Bible as my guidebook. It’s all mapped out for me, if I’ll take the time to look.

My newborn grandson is snoozing close by while I write this morning. I’m watching closely and listening for his precious newborn noises, ready to pick him up and hold him close at the first sign of distress. He isn’t aware that I’m here, but he instinctively knows that I will care for his every need and he trusts me. I believe God is right here with us as we walk through this life, watching and listening for any opportunity to pick us up, hold us close, and comfort us. We just have to trust… From the deepest, most instinctive part of us.

Click here to listen to Who You Are by Unspoken.

I posted about this song in early June from a different perspective. Just like music you love to listen to, God sometimes lets me hear a song more than once, and teaches me new things. Click here to read Who You Are.

Who You Are

I live in the heart of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State. It’s always too hot, too cold, too humid, too dry… And never the same for long. We have a saying in Kentucky that “if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will change.” And it usually does, though not always for the better.

Sometimes, it’s like that in our own lives. We don’t like who we are, but we are stuck there… Like it’s too hard to change who we are. It’s takes too much effort to try to be the daughter they want, or the husband she needs, or the friend, sister, fill-in-the-blank. Is it too much trouble to want to be the person God intended us to be? Maybe we’re not looking in the right place.

This morning, I woke up with Unspoken singing Who You Are in my head.

You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far
That you can’t get back when you’re lost
Where you are is never too late, so bad, so much
That you can’t change Who you are…

Come back from wherever you’ve been
To the foot of the cross
To the feet of Jesus

We can change who we are. We just have to turn around and run to the One who stands with arms open wide, waiting for us to notice that He’s there, at the foot of the cross.

Sometimes it is SO painful to make that change. Even small changes are hard for me sometimes. I read this morning that sometimes pain and beauty can be tangled in a big knot called HOPE. I’d rather place my pain in the palm of His hand where it is safe, sheltered, soothed, and given time to heal, than to leave it locked in my heart to destroy everything around it.

Thank You, Lord for Your forgiveness. I can’t earn it. It’s a gift, pure and simple, if I just turn around.

Lift My Life Up

Sometimes it’s really hard for me to see things that aren’t right. I always wonder where God is in that situation. Most of the time I can get there, but sometimes I’m just left wondering, and praying. Sometimes it leaves me humble and thankful.

I woke up this morning with the band, Unspoken, singing Lift My Life Up in my head.

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord, I leave it in Your hands

This song is a new take on the old hymn, Take My Life and Let it Be. Listen to the acoustic version of this song here.

I love what Max Lucado says about worry… It means to “divide the mind.” Anxiety splits us right down the middle, creating a double-minded thinker. Perception is divided, distorting our vision. Strength is divided, wasting our energy. It wears me out just thinking about it!

I don’t think there’s room in any life for both worry and peace. If I’m worrying, then I’m not trusting God! If I’m at peace, then I know that God is in control, and I don’t have to be. Lifting my life up to The Lord also lifts all the burden off of MY shoulders and places it squarely on God.

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you… Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” This is what I want. The peace that Christ offers me here, the peace that passes all understanding. Like my song this morning says, “if peace is a river, then let is sweep over me.”

Read all the lyrics here.

Waiting and praying

You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far
That you can’t get back when you’re lost
Where you are is never too late, so bad, so much
That you can’t change Who you are
At the foot of the cross you can change who you are

Who You Are by Unspoken. This was the song in my head this morning, though it was muddied with others… Snippets and lines from several songs were running through my foggy skull when the clock went off. Foggy because I didn’t sleep well, spending most of the night clutching my phone in my hand, waiting for it to ring again.

It was one of those nights when someone I love was hurting, in pain, needing someone to talk to, a pivotal night for them. A breaking heart sounds worse on the other end of a phone line sometimes. So I stayed up, praying and waiting, just in case… Sleeping intermittently, praying some more when I came awake. Waiting and praying.

This morning, the sky is getting lighter and the birds are waking up. It reminds me of all those nights as a young mother, up with a newborn or a sick child, watching the sun come up and praying… For sleep to come for the baby and for me. For God to make my child well, to take away the fever. Waiting and praying.

It makes me wonder if God does the same with us. How many sleepless nights has He spent on me, watching and waiting for me to call on Him, come to Him? At the ready with His phone in His hand, ready to talk to me any time. His heart breaking because He knows He is right there, waiting to hear anything I want to tell Him and willing to bring the Peace that passes all understanding. Waiting and praying.