Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm excited about this week's song!  After several weeks of very serious songs, dramatic and moving, this one is just a lot of fun.  This week was emotionally a tough week for me...still dealing with homesickness.  One morning, this song came on the radio and got me ready for a new day.  This is a fantastic "wake up in the morning" song, it will get you excited for a new day despite your ongoing challenges. And to top it off, the video includes an appearance by one of my favorite British actor/comedians....Mr. Bean!  The song is called "Move" by MercyMe.
So my main reason for choosing this song is that I just want to put you in a great mood today.  This song is a great reminder to not get "bogged down" by our situation, to not dwell on unfortunate circumstance...."there's gonna be brighter days."  That is a promise our Lord has given us.  There are seasons in life that may feel like we are in darkness, and we need the Lord to light the way, to bring us out of our darkness.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105

I'm not about to give up, because I heard you say
There's gonna be brighter days, there's gonna be brighter days
I won't stop, I'll keep my head up, no I'm not here to stay
There's gonna be brighter days, there's gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but I won't break, as long as I can see your face
When life won't play along, and right keeps going wrong
And I can't seem to find my way, I know where I am found
So I won't let it drag me down, I'll keep dancing anyway

So I hope this song lifts you up today, and if you are experiencing any darkness, I hope this song pulls you out of it and makes you dance.  Just remember, life's challenges may bend you, but they won't break you if you have God to light the way.

Have a joyous, Spirit filled week.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Call on Jesus

This week's song choice is inspired by a recent bible study discussion on the Beatitudes.  We were discussing the first of eight:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3

For me, this is a tricky one to understand...what does "poor in spirit" mean? My study Bible says it is "in contrast to being spiritually proud or self sufficient."  So my current understanding is that to be "poor in spirit" is to acknowledge that you need God for everything.  Your sustinence, your achievements, your survival, your strength, your abilities, everything.  Someone who is "poor in spirit" has learned to give credit to God for everything and doesn't try to handle life's challenges on his/her own.

For people like me, who like to be in control, this is hard to do.  My first reaction is to try to figure things out on my own.  Quite often, I don't give my problems, my worries to God until I've struggled with them on my own for a while.

So back to the song...this week I've chosen another Nicole C. Mullen song called "Call on Jesus".  The first words of the song, I think reflect what "poor in spirit" means.  Here we have this beautiful, phenomenally talented, woman singing "I'm so very ordinary, nothing special on my own."


This song reminds us that we need to turn to Jesus with our problems, challenges, choices, fears.  Though so often in my life I try to solve things without asking for help from God, those times that I did ultimately turn to the Lord...he did show me the way.  Some answers were immediate, some have taken time, and there are still other challenges that I'm awaiting guidance from Him on.  The more I choose to rely on Him, the easier it is to have patience for his plan to become visible to me.  I have more trust in Him, and I am much less anxious...and less anxiety can only be a good thing.

A while ago, when I was stressed about something, my mother pointed me to a passage that she uses to provide her comfort.  It's now one of my favorite verses that I turn to frequently for a reminder of this message:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4: 6-7

So whatever is troubling your heart today, may you give it all to God, right now.  Trust Him to guide you, give you strength and bring about solution according to his plan.  I hope you will find some peace in this.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lead Me

I got an email from a friend a few days ago with sad news that his marriage is in trouble.  He told me that the song "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real has been a constant prayer for him during this difficult time.  Since this song has been very meaningful to me in my life and I've seen it have meaning in several other people's lives regardless of the strength of their marriage, it seems like a good time to share this with you. Perhaps you'll learn something from it like I have...

I've found myself on both sides of this song.  First, the wife who needs more from her husband, and second the parent that is so caught up in her own life that she disappoints her family while pursuing her own interests.  The second side is the one that I can control, but it can be so hard to change.  It's a really tough balance isn't it?  As adults we are driven to succeed in whatever we do, but sometimes our view of success can come with a cost to our family life.  Knowing what cost your family can afford can be very challenging.  Or maybe we're so consumed by our own desires that our priorities shift away from family commitments we've made.  There are plenty of opportunities in this world to be led astray and lose focus on what's important.  Unfortunately, we don't always realize that we're on the wrong path until after someone gets hurt by the choices we make.

My favorite part of this song is when the lead singer Matt asks God to lead him.  As parents and spouses we have this responsibility to lead our children, lead our spouses, during times of struggle, but also in everyday life. How often do we think to ask God to lead us in that effort? 

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh Father, show me the way
To lead them

Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me 'cause I can't do this alone

This is one of those songs that was written from personal experience, and the lead singer of Sanctus Real made a video with this wife about why he wrote this song.  They are both so open and honest about their failures and challenges, they make it so easy to relate to them.

May you find guidance in this song, perhaps learn lessons for yourself, and know that if you let Him, God will lead you and your loved ones down the path that he intends for you all. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You

In remembrance of September 11th, I'm writing an extra post this week.  I feel compelled to share a wonderful song written by Alan Jackson.  You may have already heard it, but perhaps its been a while.  This song is called "Where Were You", but I remember it as "Faith, Hope, and Love." 

To be honest, I haven't thought much about the anniversary of that horrible day much.  It was just a couple of days ago that I began to really remember the emotion of that time in America's history.  I was having coffee with my neighbor from accross the street, a wonderful English woman in her 60s who visited New York City and Ground Zero last spring.  She spoke of how her hotel was right next to a fire station, and she got the chance to speak to some of the fire fighters and see the wall of their station that memorializes their brothers who died that day.  She got choked up when she talked about all the children that lost their fathers.  And then it all came back to me.

I won't go into the details of where I was that day, but one of the things I remember most was waking up on September 12th and feeling like the the world was a different place, I didn't understand this world.  In this song, Alan shares a variety of the reactions that many of us had during those days.  But in the end, for so many of us Christians, we had to turn to God with all of our fears. He reminds us of God's gifts...Faith, Hope and Love. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

So amidst the shock, sadness, and anger, we are reminded to have faith that the Lord is with us, have hope for a better future in God's plan, that our God loves us more than we can imagine, and he wants us to love Him and love the people of this world.  This is a comforting reminder to us now, 10 years later, as we remember and relive those emotions, again with terrorist threats not letting us forget that the world is still a scary place.  We still need this reminder. 

I pray that you all have a peaceful day on Sunday.  Even though I'm not home in America, I will be remembering with you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm Letting Go

This week's song is from another one of my favorite artists...Francesca Battistelli. The song I've chosen is one that I've considered to be my "theme song" for the last few months.  It's called "I'm Letting Go," and it's from her album "My Paper Heart."

OK, so why is this my theme song?  As a stay-at-home Mom who recently left home to live in England for 2 years, I feel like I'm living the words in this song.  As I look back, I've "felt like I'm falling" on many occasions. One time that I can remember is when I made the decision to stay home after working 9 successful years as an Engineer.  I was so proud of myself, being a strong female engineer, making lots of money...but there was something that just wasn't quite right for me.  And it took several signs from God, including my pregancy with my 3rd baby to make me change my course.  I "let go" of my dreams of being a leader in the company that I worked for, I "let go"of my identity that my career had provided for me.  I had to start over, and build my new identity. 

Those were really tough times for me mentally.  The hard part of "letting go" is not knowing what God's plan is.  I believed there is a plan, but I wanted to figure out what it was.  I loved being a mom, but losing the career portion of my identity did leave a hole that needed to be filled.  I needed to discover a new dream.  So I had several dreams come and go as I tried to figure out God's plan.  Lots of brilliant ideas that would fade with time.  But over the last couple of years, I've found myself building my identity in the Church, even considering a new dream of being a youth leader.  This was a wonderful plan that I was formulating...I had the passion and love for Christ, I just needed experience and education to be able to succeed in a new mission.  I almost had it all figured out, when I found out that my husband had been offered a temporary assignment in England. I was "letting go of my dreams" once again.

I'm letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I'm losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I'm falling but that's what it's like to believe.

I do feel like I'm falling sometimes.  I keep telling myself that there must be a purpose for this change of course.  I believe that God has a plan, and I need to watch it unfold.  Pray that I will be patient and allow him to guide me along the way.

Today in church, we said goodbye to some missionaries in our church who had returned home for 2 months and are now going back to their mission in Tajikistan.  This family of 4 is very similar to ours, similar age parents, slightly younger children, and they are doing Christian Mission work in a country that is 98 percent Muslim.  Before we prayed for them, the Pastor interviewed them in front of the congregation and they shared their feelings, hopes, and needs for prayer about their journey and mission work.  I couldn't help but identify with the Wife and how she felt leaving her home and church again.  But I was also truly humbled by the sacrifice that she and her family were making...the "giant leap of faith" that is so much greater than that of my family. What a wonderful gift to the world this family is.  They are a shining example of faith in God's plan, service, and discipleship.

Well, as I "give in to God's gravity", I hope you will be able to do the same when the time comes.  These times come for us all at some point.  May you find peace in knowing that God is holding you in the palm of his hand no matter where life takes you.