Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Delighting in You

When I graduated high school I had a little over seven years of French Horn under my belt. I had always planned on playing in college and stuff but then I just didn't. I guess it wasn't something that truly meant something to me, if it was I would have found a way. Music was always something that I felt I had to do and I guess that turned me off of listening to music in general. Now I can't imagine life without music! It all started during that awesome freshman year of college... I had met some pretty awesome girls at the ministry group I had started attending at my college. Both of them just happened to be music majors. As the three of us became closer and closer, the more time I spent listening to music naturally. And I found that I really loved listening to, what we called, Jesus Music. Which is a mixture of artists like Chris Tomlin, Josh Wilson, Matthew West, Britt Nicole, Natalie Grant, etc. A third awesome girl that we were growing closer to was particularly fond of Lecrae. For those of you who don't know who Lecrae is, he is a Christian rapper. :) Whenever I hear the song "Dum Dum" I am instantly transported back to all four of us driving down the road, bass turned up full blast, singing at the top of our lungs. :) Certainly a memory I will cherish forever. My point to walking down memory lane is simple. Music was a tool that God used to bring me closer to him. It is a tool that he still uses to this day to bring me back to him. Life right now for me is uncomfortable and I have been wandering back and forth frequently because of it. It seems to me that most every time that I have started to wander away, I listen to a Chris Tomlin or Francesca Battistelli song that I have not heard in months and BAM. I'm back. Like today, for instance was the last straw for me with work. I have been not loving my job lately at all. Other things were mentioned after I came home that are particularly sensitive right now as well. I was overloaded and feeling eight million pounds of guilt and shame. Something compelled me tonight though to listen to some "Jesus Music" and the the first song that I heard was Worn by Tenth Avenue North. Bam. I'm back Jesus!...You know, to me it only makes sense that this is a way God speaks to me. All of my friends are musically inclined, many of them are in their respective church's praise bands. God took the wrong things out of my life and surrounded me with everything that would draw me closer to him. He will do the same for you too if he hasn't already! He will ALWAYS fight for you. He loves to delight in us!

Zephaniah 3:17 
"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. 
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
 but will rejoice over you with singing."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

About Our Hearts...

Flip through the pages of my bible and you will find lots of pen markings. Some of my latest markings take up residence in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs was mostly written by Solomon and tells how Godly wisdom is entwined in every day life. So much good stuff in there!!!!! I highly recommend it. ;) Here are some of my notes and what stood out to me personally.

From the book of Proverbs (NIV)

4:1 "Listen,  my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding."
I am easily distracted. Whether it be at home or work or wherever, it happens. This world is distracting, sooooo distracting and that makes it really hard a lot of the time to focus on God. How can you counteract a lack of focus?

4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
When a jealous person tries to congratulate someone for an award they wanted, its hard. Just like this verse says we need to guard our hearts above all else. Anger, jealousy, lying all hardens a heart. When a heart is hardened it is hard to feel love. God is love. If we have no love, then life is a very hard and sometimes impossible thing to live.

7:2 "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye."
(Side note: Remember this is King Solomon talking)
If something needs to be guarded that implies that thing is important/precious/holds value. A king has knights, a bank has a security alarm system, we have locks on our front doors. With something of that nature someone else will see the value in it too and many will try to steal it. This is exactly how the Enemy is. He tries to steal our hearts so that we cannot get closer to God. Now that I'm typing this up, this verse and verse 4:23 above really go hand-in-hand. I see what happened just there ;) The enemy will do anything to push you further and further away from God. For example, last year I went on a mission trip to India. RIGHT from the beginning there were problems. I had the hardest time raising all of the money to go. I struggled with lots of doubt on whether or not I should even go and why I even wanted to go. Then, more than halfway to the airport I could not find my wallet, I had my passport but no wallet. To make matters even worse when we went to board the plane, my ticket was the only one that wasn't working and I had to wait until everyone else had boarded to see what was happening. I was ready to turn and go home. But, my ticket cleared. I found my wallet when we landed in India. And most importantly, I saw some of the purest forms of worship in my life. Nothing but them and Jesus.... The point is, The Enemy tried very hard to prevent me from going. Going to India was a major step in my relationship with God. He'll do anything to push us away from God. But here is the thing, while we do need to be on guard for what the Enemy will try and do, God has already won. So we don't need to have any fear. None of it. God has our backs!! Amen!