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Musical Monday: Pieces

There’s a line in “Pieces” by Amanda Cook that gets me every time. Every time I hear…

“It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed. Your love is proud to be seen with me.”

My mind is filled with an image of me at my worst. Then Jesus in white extends His hand to me to help me up. I’m muddy, scraped up, and bloody…but Jesus holds His arm to me, and escorts me through the crowd. He puffs His chest out like I’m the most gorgeous gal in town, and escorts me like a gentleman. Proud.

Not pride in a bad way. But in a way that says, “I know this woman. I love this woman. And I don’t give a damn what you think of her, because to me she’s worth everything. Even my life.”

Then my heart melts into a gooey blob…and I get teary. Leaving me all a fluttery and reminded that I am loved.

So thank you Amanda Cook for this amazing reminder of His love for me.

The link to lyric video is above…or you can read the powerful words here…

U

nreserved, unrestrained
Your love is wild, Your love is wild for me
It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed
Your love is proud to be seen with me

You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Uncontrolled, un-contained
Your love is a fire burning bright for me
It’s not just a spark, it’s not just a flame
Your love is a light, that all the world will see

You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us
You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Your love’s not fractured
It’s not a troubled mind
It isn’t anxious, it’s not the restless kind

Your love’s not passive
It’s never disengaged
It’s always present
It hangs on every word we say
Love keeps its promises, it keeps its word
It honors what’s sacred, cause its vows are good
Your love’s not broken
It’s not insecure
Your love’s not selfish, Your love is pure

Point to ponder while you wander…You are loved. Right now. Right where you are. Period.

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Life Awry

Who or what do you run to when life goes awry? David went to God…

I love you, God-You make me strong. God is a bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God-the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout.” Psalm 18:1 MSG 

David made mistakes. Big ones. People died because of him. Yet God called him “a man after my own heart.”

Why?

Personally I think it’s 2 reasons…

1) David sought God first. He didn’t turn to wine, his friends, or anything else when life hit the fan. He took his mess to God every time.

2) David turned his rants into worship. “God the king is trying to kill me!! I’m hiding for my life in a cave! I am hungry! I an cold! But I know what You promised me. I know you’ll turn this around for my good. Because you are good. I love who you are. You are worthy of all worship, simply because you are God.”

Point to ponder while you wander… Life is not always a bowl of cherries, sometimes it is a bowl of pits. Sometimes we are the person responsible for that bowl of mess, sometimes not. Either way…when we are God seekers and God lovers He works on our behalf to turn that mess into something good. Only God can do that. That fact alone makes Him worthy of worship.

PS “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:27-28 NLT

PSS “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:5-6 NLT 

Birds at the Bus Stop

Saw this little bird at the bus stop this morning, and my first thought was gratitude. God is my provision. Not my paycheck. Not my intelligence or talent. God Himself.

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!” Luke 12:24

Point to ponder while you wander…Nature is created. It isn’t to be worshipped. But should invite you to worship The Creator. Like today with that little bird at the bus stop.

Gifted and Talented

Music.  I love it.  It is one of the greatest gifts God gave us.  And the people who make the music, they are gifts too.

I’ve always desired to be musical.  I joined band in elementary school.  Probably the worst flutist ever to pick up the flute.  I begged for a keyboard and piano lessons.  I got the keyboard, but that whole two hands doing two separate things at the same time thing.  Yeah.  I cannot do that.  I was in elementary school choir.  I was in junior high choir too.  In eighth grade, I was directed to sing so softly that I couldn’t be heard at a concert.

I realized then that maybe music wasn’t in the cards for me.  Didn’t stop me from singing, I sing all the time.  I also dance (AKA flailing) and paint (AKA creative therapy).  But those are stories for another day.

What’s the my point?  There is only one Kim Walker Smith.  There is only one Martina McBride.  There’s only one Natalie Grant.  There’s only one Loretta Lynn.  There’s only one Aretha Franklin.  There is only one Doris Day.  And there’s only one Jill Nicholson.

Jill Nicholson?  Who’s that?

That’s me.  I am Jill.  I have gifts and talents chosen by God and entrusted to me to cultivate and grow.  But for years I felt that because I couldn’t sing like I wanted, that I wasn’t talented at all.  That is a lie straight from the enemy.  Unfortunately, I believed it for too long and wasted years I could have been tending to the natural abilities I WAS entrusted with.

I believed the lie.  So I took my ball and went home.

The parable of the talents comes to mind here because I did bury what I had inside and hide the talents I did have.  I didn’t take photography classes because I was afraid I’d be told I wasn’t good at it.  Then I couldn’t take photos anymore.  I didn’t want a repeat of the choir concert incident.  I only wrote for class assignments.  Research papers and essays essentially.  When I did write other things, I didn’t let anyone read them.  I still struggle with letting people read my creative stuff.

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24-25 MSG

I know the context of this verse is Jesus speaking about His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection.  But this is what Jesus woke me up at 3:30 am to show me…If we take the gifts and talents that we have been entrusted with by God, both spiritual and natural, and we keep them to ourselves they are wasted.  But if we take the time to develop them, and sow them into His kingdom, those gifts are multiplied beyond what we could ever imagine.

Nothing given to Jesus is ever wasted.  It’s always multiplied in some way.  I’m still chewing on this, because I know there’s more here, but this is initial revelation.

Point to ponder while you wander…Appreciate the gifts and talents in those around you, not be envious or jealous of them.  Be grateful for the abilities YOU WERE given and be good stewards of them.

PS:  Parable of the Talents is found in Matthew 25.

 

 

 

God’s Will For You

For all of you struggling with what God’s will is for your life…here you go:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Wait. What?

Will here is the Greek word thelēma.  It means what one wishes or has determined shall be done, will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure, commands or precepts (per Strong’s Concordance).

So what does God wish for you? Desire for you?

He wants you to have joy and continually rejoice.  Not just when times are fun and everything’s easy breezy.  All the time.  Even on Manic Mondays, Hump Day, and days full of suck.  Why?  Joy is strength.

He wants you to continually be in prayer.  Why?  Because God needs you to invite Him into your situation, and the situations of those around you.  He cannot move without being asked.  He is not invasive.  Also, He wants to have open communication with you.  He wants you to talk to Him, and listen to Him in return.  Consistent prayer leads to partnership with Him.  And we all need Him.

He wants you to have an attitude of gratitude.  To verbally express thankfulness. Why? Thankfulness is a testimony of God’s goodness.  It creates an atmosphere of worship.  It creates an atmosphere of belief.  It reminds you that God is good.  It reminds you God is for you.

This is what God wants for you.

Point to ponder while you wander…I Thessalonians 5:16-18 is not about faking anything or pretending to be okay. Strong people know how to cultivate and maintain joy, prayer & an attitude of gratitude, it’s how they stay strong.

Monday Motivation: Some Days Suck

Let’s face it…some days just suck.

​There are days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Days when the traffic is not just bad it’s ridiculous and stupid. Days when your head is pounding or you stub your toe, not once, not twice, but three stupid times. Yes the exact same toe. Days when you didn’t get enough sleep and they won’t let you nap at work. Days when you lock your house keys in your house or your car keys in your car. Days where your dreams were dashed, or you realized the thing you were hoping for just isn’t going to happen.

Those are the days when you need to stand strong. Play your favorite worship song and dance like a fool until you smile.  Better yet, declare outloud who you are and your promises until you are fully convinced!  Remind yourself that you are the beloved child of God & He is for you not against you. Declare that He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called by His name. If it’s not good yet, then God’s not finished yet. The Lord is faithful TO ME.  He LOVES ME.

His promises can lay dormant until you declare them in your life. DECLARE TRUTH! 

Point to ponder while you wander… You’ve survived 100% of the hard days you’ve previously encountered. Don’t let a rough day steal your joy, your peace, or your promises.

Here’s a little tune by Sugarland to help you Stand Back Up.

Under the Backyard Tree 

After weeks and weeks of  hiding out in my room, I finally remembered I have a lovely backyard.

So I am laying on a blanket under a huge maple tree listening to worship music. The sun is shining. A breeze is blowing. So lovely.

Point to ponder while you wander…

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see 

A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 

And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in Summer wear 

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 

Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 

But only God can make a tree.