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2016’s Resolution

Last Year’s New Year’s Resolution.  Pass or Fail.  I’ll let you decide.

Backstory:  I determined after about a decade+ of the same new year’s resolution (not putting myself in a situation I was not strong enough to resist).  I was going to stop doing resolutions.  Goals are important.  Yes.  But tying them to a day on the calendar I think can sometimes be more stressful than good.  Anyway… I had a well meaning (I think) person ask me about my new year’s resolutions.  I told her I didn’t have any.  She looked at me like I had three heads.  “Bbbbut you have to have new year’s resolutions.”

Um.  No.  I don’t.

But the conversation continued until I said fine….my new year’s resolution is to learn the actual lyrics to Bennie and the Jets by Elton John.

I believe there was eye rolling involved by one or both parties…but it was a year ago so I can’t be completely sure.

So did I in fact learn the lyrics to Bennie and the Jets?  Well….let me type them out and see how I do.  This is without listening to the song in a few weeks.  And without it on now.  Just memory.

Hey kids, shake it loose and listen.  The spotlight’s hitting something that’s been known to change the weather.  We’ll kill the spotted calf tonight so stick around.  You’re gonna hear electric walls of souuuuund.

Oh Candy and Ronnie have you seen them yet?  Ooh but their so spaced out.  Bbbbennie and the Jets.  Oh their weird and their wonderful.  Oh Bennie she’s really keen.  She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit.  You know I read it in a magazine, oh ohhh.  Bbbbennie and the Jets

Hey kids….. something something something…

hmmm.  There’s another part here la la la la la 

We’ll fight our parents out in the streets to see who’s right and who’s wrong.

Oh Candy and Ronnie have you seen them yet?  Oh but their so spaced out.  Bbbbennie and the Jets.  Oh their weird and their wonderful.  Oh Bennie she’s really keen.  She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit.  You know I read it in a magazine, oh ohhh.  Bbbbennie and the Jets

Okay… I’d give myself a C+ if these lyrics are correct because I can only remember the first and last lines of the 2nd verse.

Now I’m gonna listen to it and see if I can get them all….hold briefly.  Or maybe you listen too. (The video is classic 70’s Elton…my personal favorite Elton).

Ok…so I missed a few words. electric music solid walls of sound. In my first attempt.  Fatted calf.  Not spotted.

Chorus.  Yes. Yes.  Pretty Solid.

2nd verse with the music…not perfect but close.  This is what I sang… Hey kids welcome to the faithless uh uh blinded  but Bennie makes them ageless.  We shall survive let us bring ourselves along.  We’ll fight our parents out in the streets to see who’s right and who’s wrong.

Full Lyrics to Bennie and the Jets by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight’s hitting something
That’s been known to change the weather
We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You’re gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Uh but they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets

Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they’re blinded
But Bennie makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who’s right and who’s wrong

Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Oh but they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets

Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Oh but they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie and the Jets
Jets, Jets
Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, Bennie
Bennie, Bennie and the Jets

So I did pretty well, not perfectly…but pretty well.  I listened to three times in a row and got it about 99% right, so I am checking the box to 2016 New Year’s Resolution Complete.  If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution or need one to get someone off your back.  Give this one a try.  It was a fun one for me over the year.  I tried to get other people to learn them with me.  My 12, now 13, year old nephew.  My roommate.  You know.  Share the fun.

Point to Ponder While You Wander… Don’t let people pressure you about your goals.  You determine where you’re headed. So you should set your own goals that lead you in the direction YOU want to go.  Don’t be pressured into being or doing something that just isn’t you.  You be you.

Also…not all goals have to be life or death serious, people.  Jesus came to give us abundant lives…that includes joy and laughter.  And this NY’s Resolution thing has been really funny to me all year long.

PS…Do you sing “Hold me closer Tony Danza” instead of “Hold me closer Tiny Dancer” too?  Or is that just me? Ha ha

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I Wanna Go Back

I’ve been walking around singing the chorus to an Eddie Money Song, “I Wanna Go Back.

You know the song right?

I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can’t go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I’m feeling so much older
But I can’t go back I know

How many times in life do we wax poetic about the past?  How often to we think that a previous season was just so much better than the one we are in?  Especially when we’re in a stretching time, waiting on the Lord, or being required to step out in faith.

That’s when we begin to practice the art of selective memory.  “Welllll…I may not have been appreciated at my old job, and I had to work unpaid overtime, but at least it paid well.”  “I know my dream is to live in the BIG CITY but I’ve lived here my whole life.  I am comfortable here.”  “I know God is calling me to step out and do __(fill in dream here)___ but I just __(fill in excuse here)__.”

It’s so easy to just remember the good and filter out all the rough stuff.  Or vice versa to remember only the bad and filter out the good.

The truth is usually somewhere in between.

Every season has positives and benefits and also opportunities to learn patience and grow.

My current season is all about letting go of the past and completely embracing all the new things.  I’ve given away, sold, and donated most of what I owed.  Couch. Bed.  TV and DVD Player.  All gone.  I reduced my library to the bare minimum.  I pared down my DVDs to the essential favorites.  I’ve pretty much got a car, clothes, shoes, an inherited storage bench, jewelry, and a whole lot of artwork.  And it’s all chilling in an 8 X 10 area of my Mama’s basement.

I’ve been working out of state on a work engagement.  And I felt like the last time I went home, that I had to let go of home.  I know that I need to be open to what is coming next.  So I moved out of my comfortable home that I shared with my roommates with the affordable rent.  And got rid of the above mentioned stuff and moved the remaining into la basement a la mama. (Thanks Mom!  You’re the best!!)

Where am I going to live after my work engagement is over?

I literally have no idea.  But God does.  And I need to just trust that He wouldn’t tell me to let go of something, if He didn’t have something better for me.

Is that scary?

Yes.  Yes it is!

Is this easy?

No.  No it is not!

And I’m singing…I wanna go back go back and do it all over but I can’t go back I know. 

But I really don’t want to go back.  I want to move forward.

I know in my gut that God’s doing something amazing.  And I have peace that I am right where He wants me to be.

I’ll be honest though…there’s a part of me seeking to hold onto the comfy security of the season I was just in.  It was a relatively calm, peaceful season after the 2 tumultuous years of suck I lived through.  I could wax poetic about how good that season was.  And it did have some really great benefits!  But I’d be lying if I said it was an easy season.  Because it wasn’t.  It was a season of the greatest losses I’ve ever experienced in my life.  In 5 months lost my Papa, my Nana, and my Dad.

Like I said…every season has its perks and its drawbacks.  Perk-great roommates and cheap rent.  Drawback-loss of my people.

A part of me would even love to go back to the two years of suck…because I had my people.  I spent so much time with my grandparents during that time.  They needed help, and because of continual unemployment I was available to help them and just be there.  But I can’t go back.  I can’t go play scrabble or dance with Nana on her deck.  I can’t go watch tv with Papa or take him out to a movie or a museum.  I can’t call my Dad, and tell him about the stupid thing I did that day, so we could laugh together about it.

I’m really learning to appreciate that each season is a mixed bag.  Some wonderful moments.  Some challenging events.  Always an opportunity to grow and change.  And reasons to be grateful abound.

So even though we cannot go back and do it all over again, we can take the lessons and the memories with us as we go forward as a reminder to enjoy the current season.

Point to ponder while you wander…

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’” Numbers 11:4-6 NIV

This is the epitome of selective memory.  The Israelites were poorly treated slaves, that their male babies were slaughtered by the Egyptians.  They were on their way to the Promised Land, and yet they wanted to go back to being slaves again so that they can eat some cukes and garlic.  Really?

Don’t despise the journey.  Learn from it.  Grow from it.  And trust God.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!”  Psalm 27:14 TPT

Musical Monday: Alive in You

I went to She is Free, a conference in NYC, in October.  There we sang a song that resonated in my spirit.  Didn’t thing to get the name of said song.

Got home.  Couldn’t remember song.  Was super sad about it.

Today I went online to buy some new tunes.

Found said song.  Only took 2 months.

It’s called Alive in You.  It is sung by the incredible Kim Walker Smith and Jesus Culture.

Point to Ponder While You Wander…Why is it that stupid songs get stuck in your head, but when you find one that  feeds you on the inside you cannot remember it?  Feel free to discuss with your people.

Musical Monday: No Longer Slaves

Today is Monday. Monday is a day some actually dread. But I John 4:18 in the Amplified Version tells us in God’s love dread does not exist.

 “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].” 1 John 4:18 AMP

In that vein, today’s musical selection is, No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. 

Point to ponder while you wander… You may have heard this song before, maybe many times before. But take some time today and really listen and declare who you are. And who you are IS A CHILD OF GOD. The rest is just details. 😉

Star Spangled Banner 

When I was young, like 7 or 8, I read the story of Francis Scott Key and his poem “Defense of Fort McHenry” written in 1814. It inspired me, and I memorized the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner.

Can you imagine watching and waiting all night? Only being able to see the flag flying by the glow of a bombs shelling the fort where your people are fighting, knowing many of them won’t survive the night?

The video Our National Anthem is well done. If you’ve never heard the story, even if you have, I recommend it. 

Here are the full lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner, which became our National Anthem in 1931.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Musical Monday: Thank you

A plane flew over head while I was on the beach in Miami recently. I started singing the Golden Girls Theme Song immediately. I could not stop myself. I love this song and that show is still one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.

GG Trivia for you…

-They are over 100 cheesecakes over their 7 year run. Bea Arthur  (Dorothy) actually hated cheesecake.

-Not one thing Rose says in “Norwegian” is real. It’s mostly gibberish and usually adds to the humor when seen as a subtitle. However in her accent and pronunciation, it comes off as genuine.

-Estelle Getty (Sophia) is 1 year, 2 months and 12 days younger than Bea Arthur (Dorothy), even though Sophia is Dorothy’s mother. It took 45 minutes to make her look older.

-The first episode of The Golden Girls attracted more than 25 million viewers and was the #1 show that week, beating out the NBC powerhouse, The Cosby Show.

Musical Monday: Hakuna Matata

Monday again. Let’s kick off this wonderful week with an important reminder…Jesus is interceding for you, God is for you, and Holy Spirit is with you, ready to empower you. So stop dreading the day! Stop working!

In other words, Hakuna Matata!!

If you were a kid in the 1990’s or had a kid in the 1990’s, you’ve probably heard this song before. Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that when translated means “No worries.”

Now where besides the Disney cartoon have I heard that before? Hmmm. Oh yeah! The Word of God! Do not fear is in the Bible 365 times. And yes, worrying, like dread and stress and anxiety, is a type of fear.

Hakuna Matata, God’s People! Hakuna Matata!!

Point to ponder while you wander…”Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need & thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6