Posted in Music

I Am Enough

I cannot reiterate enough to the ladies out there and myself that we are enough. No matter who has told us with words or actions that we’re lacking something, God says that through Jesus, we are enough. We are loved. We are beautiful. We are strong.

Lauren Daigle’s song “You Say” puts it perfectly. Just believe it.

“You Say”

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the song of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, You have every victory, o-ooh

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

Oh I believe, yes I believe
What You say of me
I believe

Posted in Music

Anthem Song

“This is how I fight my battles.”

You want to know how I fight battles? Prayer is my weapon, the Bible is my sword, and my faith is my shield.

My battles are mainly mental battles of worry, insecurity, and frustration, but my God is bigger than all of that. He gives me peace and quells the lies of the devil.

“It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you.”

Even though the battle rages all around me and threatens to overcome me, God has me wrapped up in him, so I can’t be defeated. He fights for me. He’s the best warrior of them all because he’s already defeated death. Astounding. I’m humbled that he’s on my side. The God who created everything and knows everything takes time to listen to my insignificant babble. He doesn’t need my praise, but he deserves it all the more.

The word says
For the spirit of heaviness
Put on the garment of praise’
That’s how we fight our battles

Song lyrics are from Michael W. Smith’s song Surrounded (Fight My Battles).

Posted in Music

My Own Pocketful Of Sunshine

I don’t think Natasha Bedingfield meant her song “Pocketful of Sunshine” to be a song of praise to God, but I’m going to take it that way anyway.

The song begins by saying “I’ve got a pocket, a pocketful of sunshine”, and the overall message of the song is that one can escape her sorrows and stress by going to a hidden place. Well, I’ve got a pocketful of sunshine in my soul as well because I have a relationship with God. That hiding place she talks about? Well several Psalms talk about God being our hiding place.

You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

She says “I’ve got a love and I know that it’s all mine”. Oh yes! I do have a love from God and I know that nothing can take that love away from me. It’s a love that I still haven’t fully comprehended, but just to give you glimpse, it involved a completely innocent man dying because God knew I wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with him otherwise. This love surpasses anything I can do wrong or right, and it is completely free to me. It causes me to sing, dance, and smile. It urges me to love others just a bit more because I am so so thankful for the love God has given me.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 35-39)

Bedingfield’s claim is that “you’re never gonna break me, sticks and stones are never gonna shake me”. As a Christian, I know that to be true because God has armed with a full armor of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6). With that kind of armor, mere sticks and stones don’t stand a chance. With God, I am stronger than any army.

I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

To her enemies, she proclaims “wish that you could but you ain’t gonna own me, do anything you can to control me”. That’s what I yell at the Devil. When the devil tempts me and tries to control my mind or actions, I can rebuke him with scripture just like Jesus did in the garden. Because of God’s reign in my life, the Devil has no place in my life. God is bigger than the Devil.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

The bridge to the song says “There’s a place that I go that nobody knows, Where the rivers flow and I call it home, and there’s no more lies and the darkness is light and nobody cries; There’s only butterflies”. My place that I go? Into the arms of God. I can hide in his words and his comfort. In that place there are rivers of life (John 7:38), no lies (Numbers 23:19), and the darkness is made into light (John 8:12). There may not be butterflies, but the fact that Jesus is there is greater than anything. The presence of God is truly somewhere I can call home.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

As I walked home this afternoon listening to this song, the line “the sun is on my side, I smile up to the sky, I know I’ll be alright” caught my ear (and led to this post). I’ll take a little liberty here and replace the word “sun” with “Son” referring to Jesus. That Son is on my side, so on rough days or good days I can look up toward heaven and know it will be alright because God has a great plan that ultimately ends in my eternity with him in heaven. Praise God!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

So if you see me walking with my earbuds in bobbing along with a smile on my face, I just might be thinking about how I have a pocketful of sunshine. For me, this will be a song of worship.

Posted in Life, Music

Pushing on a Pull Door

“Pushing on a pull door”

It’s a phrase, a song (For king and country) and feeling that I think I might finally understand. For a while now I’ve been trying to find peace and contentment by making my own plans. I decide that something is going to happen a certain way and that will make me happy. Then it does not and I am disappointed, feeling worse than I did before. The problem with many of my plans is that they involve other people, and I just cannot predict how other people will respond or act. I cannot decide for other people. That’s why my plans fall through. You know what they say, “the best laid plans of mice and men…” (Actually I don’t even know what the rest of that phrase is but I feel like there has to be more.)

My plan making needs to stop. It’s just like pushing on a pull door. The song says:

You made a plan. You think you’re in control. Yeah you’re flying. But you’re way too high to fall. And hey man, check around the corner because it’s coming. Here’s your wakeup call.

I make plans that I think will succeed but then I fall and it hurts. The opposite of making plans is to let life happen, keep my focus on God, and the pieces will all come back together. God’s been at this whole plan making business a lot longer than I have so leaving it to the expert sounds like a good idea this time.

The good thing is that God has plans that are good for me. He’ll reveal them to me in the right time.

If only I didn’t have to get to the point where I feel like life is upside down and broken at the same time in order to come to this conclusion. Now to just remember this…

I’m not going to ever get somewhere by pushing on a pull door.

Posted in Life, Music

I Never Knew Jesus Til I Knew You

Last night at church, Annette Herndon came and sang during the service. She sang several songs but “I Never Knew Jesus til I Knew You” really stuck out to me.

She sang a song about appreciating people and the Christ-like influence that people can have on us.  She encouraged us to use that time to go to someone that has been that influence on our lives and thank them by giving them a hug.  At first, few people moved, but when she sang the song a second time there were hugs and tears and smiles everywhere.  It felt good.  Why? It felt good because people were showing appreciation for each other.

All too often, I don’t show appreciation to the people who positively influence my life and I don’t think I’m alone in this boat.  As humans we do not appreciate each other enough. No man (or woman) is an island entirely unto himself (that’s a quote from John Donne that I memorized for Spanish 3 in high school).  We all need each other.  We all need to show appreciation for each other.

I encourage you and me to consciously show appreciation for the people who influence your life.  It may feel uncomfortable at first but give it a try.

Posted in Life, London, Music

Everything Rides on Hope

“Everything rides on hope now…”

The past couple weeks have been a bit of a rough transition back into life here in the States. I knew I might have some stress jumping straight back into classes and work, but I never imagined how stressful and how purposeless I would feel. There have been times I just feel like I’m moving through life with no purpose. Most of this feeling is just because I have been exhausted and tiredness always messes with my emotions, but part of this emotion is true. My life in London had so much purpose on a daily level, but here at school it’s harder to see the purpose of everyday life. I have been frustrated with the idea of sitting in classes and writing papers just to get a grade. It feels so pointless compared to the work I did in London. Last night was one of those nights, but my friend reminded me that I have to look at the bigger picture. Sitting in classes and writing papers does have purpose in that it is preparing me for more. Also there are little things in life that I can do that have daily purpose and serve a goal of sharing love.

“When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I’ll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm”

Hope is what will pull me through this transition back to the daily grind here. Hope that God has it all figured out. Hope that He will reveal my heart’s questions in the right time. Hope that God knows what I desire and how and when to best fulfill those desires. Hope that it will feel better soon. Hope that I will make it through.

There’s nothing I can do to make life slow down a bit.

Hope.

“Everything rides on hope now.

Everything rides on faith somehow.”