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He makes me new, He is making me new

Monday, December 27, 2004

Bring it On

Again with the running while worshipping, or worshipping while running...I received a great CD for Christmas and played it this morning while running... It's Steven Curtis Chapman's "Declaration". My favorite song to run to in this CD is called "Bring it On".

I love it because it invokes strength and confidence, not in myself, but in God. The One through whom I can "take" anything or anyone. It resonates with what it means to be a child of God and have access to His infinite wisdom and strength, it is invigorating, strong and powerful.
It makes me FEEL the strength that can be mine if I only call on His name, I can sense, God's power through this song and it just, makes me feel like God and I can truly take on the world, not to mention, I feel like I can run FASTER and LONGER than with any other song! I LOVE IT!
If you have never listened to it, get a hold of it, it's an awesome song.

So, here is the chorus:


"Bring it on Let the lightning flash, let the thunder roll, let the storm winds blow Bring it on Let the trouble come, let the hard rain fall, let it make me strong
Bring it on Let the trouble come, let it make me fall on the One who's strong Bring it on Let me be made weak so I'll know the strength of the One who's strong Bring it on"

It almost sounds arrogant doesn't it? But it isn't, it's all about WHO our confidence is in, WHO we trust to uphold us, WHO has the POWER.
Recently there have been things going on in my life where I have felt like singing "GIVE ME A BREAK" instead of "bring it on" but I have realized that through the difficult things in my past, He has showed me the strength He can give me, He has let the trouble come, He has let the hard rain fall and He has made me strong, I have fallen on Him, and I have known HIS strength.
So now I can say without fear and without doubt ...Bring It On!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Worship

I was running on the treadmill this morning at my local YMCA, and I usually go through "music phases", I find a CD I really like and wear it out while working out and then move on to another one....well, for the past few months it's been Mercy Me's latest CD, "Undone".

I've found that, as I've been really listening to the lyrics while my mind "zones out" and my body works hard, I have experienced some of the most powerful worship moments at, of all places...the YMCA!

I have allowed God to come and talk to me while I run,and sweat, and sing along in my head with these songs, and I have realized that I am truly worshiping on the inside, even though it doesn't necessarily look like it on the outside.
I don't know why but some of the moments I've been closest to God, have been while I've been surrounded by people, but alone in my heart, with just Him, while running, sweating, and looking....looking for Him. So I wanted to PROCLAIM, put outhere, write out, some of the words that have inspired such worship. Although I am not the author of the words below, they reflect perfectly my heart, a heart that is alive with worship, when I am in the presence of My Lord.

So...here they are, just a random "sample":

"I was taught to be practical in everything I do
Holding on to what is tangible, and then came You
That's when I found myself so far away, from everything I knew I took a leap of faith'
Even though You're difficult for me to explainI know I'll never be the same"

"You're everywhere I goI am not alone You call me as your ownTo know you and be known"

"As long as my heart is beating...Where You lead me I will follow Where You lead me I give my life away Where You lead me I will follow Forever and a day."

ONE particular truth stood out to me as I wrote those words and read them again:

"I know I'll never be the same"

Monday, December 20, 2004

COLD

It's so cold today.....It's about 3 degrees....that's just....entirely too cold for any human being....we're not in the North Pole,so
WHY IS IT SO COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD???????

Ok, I think that's it, that's all I have to say, this cold is not human...I'm moving. In my head I have already moved, I live somewhere where the coldest it ever gets is 50 degrees and it's sunny 90 percent of the time. I live near a beach somewhere and I walk my dog daily for hours at a time...yes, I live in a dream, it's very sad.....

and it's cold out...SO cold that my car wouldnt start this morning, so cold that my dog looks at me with this sad face when I tell her to go out to do her business. I don't blame her, the LAST thing I'd want to do out there now when it is this cold, is...THAT!

That's it, it' just, so cold that the word "cold" just doesn't even begin to express just how COLD it truly is....

Friday, December 17, 2004

Christmas Concert

Last night some very good friends of ours treated us to a beautiful Philharmonic Christmas Concert AND dinner! :-)

My husband and I got a chance to dress up, have a delicious dinner and hear a beautiful concert.
It was such an enjoyable evening, we had fun with friends, got into the Christmas Spirit, it was truly a gift.

I laid in bed last night after the evening was over, and felt grateful for having such friends in our lives. And I dont just mean the kind of friend that takes you for an evening on the town ;-), I mean, the kind of generous friend who chooses to spend time with you, set aside a whole evening, laugh with you, eat with you, and hear a beautiful concert with you. I truly felt special, I felt that my company was requested and enjoyed as much as I enjoyed everyone's company.

Come to think of it, people have always been important to me. It's always been important to me that the people I consider to be my friends, the people I care about, enjoy their time when I host them,enjoy my company, and my cooking, but most of all, it is important to me that the ones I care about know that I care about them. Many times in my life I have been left wondering if I mattered to someone, and it's not a nice feeling, if I matter to someone, if someone CARES about me, then I want to know, and at the same time I want the people I care about to know that I care and that I enjoy them being in my life, so I'm going to tell them! :-)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Live like you mean it!

I was watching TV last night, yes, that is a pretty common occurrence for me,and I thought the slogan in one particular commercial was VERY interesting. Granted, the commercial was for Rum, but still.... the Slogan was "Live like you mean it".
Now..Rum or no rum, that's just good advertising! And it got me thinking...that would be a good slogan for Christian Living. In fact, NOT living like one means it would be hypocritical, now wouldn't it? Unfortunately, upon careful scrutiny of my "living" I realized....I have been living hypocritically...I don't mean it(whatever the "IT" may be) a lot of the time...That was a sobering realization.
The realization that sometimes the way I live, isn't authentic, it isn't what I would Do, say, or not do or not say, if I was being TRUE to myself and MEANT it.

I guess, what matters when it comes to "meaning it" is being intentional about our lives, our choices.If we make a choice to NOT be fully honest with others about who we are, it should be clear to US that we are CHOOSING that, intentionally.

I think "Live like you mean it" really means, be a MAN!(or woman), take responsibility for yourself,don't hide, make your choice and stand by it. But then again, what do I know? I don't drink rum and I'm not in advertising ;-)

Monday, December 06, 2004

I am chosen

Yesterday the theme of the sermon was "The joy of being chosen".

For as long as I can remember,and I've been thinking about this since the sermon yesterday,I have never been chosen. I was not chosen for sports teams, I was not chosen as a friend, I was not chosen for anything that deserves recognition.
Then a thought occurred to me. My mom once told me about her pregnancy with me. She said that she had some complications and they ran some tests, and the doctor's told her that there was a good chance that her unborn child(me)would have Downs syndrome and to consider ending the pregnancy.

According to my mom, her and my dad sat down at a cafe, and discussed having me versus not having me, and they decided that they definitely wanted to get to "know" me :-).

So as I reflect on this, I feel I was chosen in more than one way. I was chosen by my parents obviously, but I also believe strongly that God was choosing me, at that moment, He had chosen me at conception and knew who I would be before the doctors knew I was even there, but here He was choosing me...AGAIN!
I am here, and I'm alive, and I am who I am, because God chose me, and so did my parents(what they did after I was born is a whoooooooooole different story!)and that's pretty cool.

I was chosen, and so were you :-)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Laura who?

I was wrong about who I am. I thought I was someone else. Or more appropriately, I always tried to be someone else. Not anyone in particular mind you, just...not ME.
Not the ME I knew. I wanted to be...NOT clumsy, NOT flaky, NOT unorganized, NOT naturally chunky, NOT needy, on and on.

Among other things, I was an underachiever. If ever there was someone trying NOT to succeed, that was me, or the ME I thought I was, I should say.
Now....professionals agree that people like me, adult victims of childhood abuse that is, tend to become underachievers. In my case, it had to do with expectations or the lack of. If NOBODY expects anything from me, then nobody can be disappointed.
If my mom expected an A and I got an A-, she'd be disappointed and angry, and she concluded that even though in her estimation I was smart enough, I was "too lazy, didn't care, not disciplined, etc". So I learned that I was smart, but that after a while people in my life would accept that I was going nowhere with it.
I accepted this about myself, and moved on.well...not really moved on.

I constantly seeked the approval of others because I felt so...inferior. I hadn't accomplished any of the things my peers had, at one time it was a job, at another was education, a certain body shape, a certain fitness level, etc.
And so, accepting that I was an underachiever meant, I had to "make up" for it in any other way possible. This meant...turning myself into someone I was NOT.
I was trying so hard to be "socially acceptable" or even praiseworthy that in my efforts... I kept wearing myself down and NEVER truly feeling accepted, or good enough...Even after becoming a Christian, my tendencies stayed and I never truly understood what it was to be LOVED AS YOU ARE. How could I possibly understand that, when WHO I WAS wasn't...ME, but just a result of very hard work of becoming someone else??? How could I REST in knowing that God loved me for me, when I was so busy working hard at AVOIDING ME??

Slowly but surely God has been working out His love in my life, in ways that have shown me that I don't have to believe I am anything LESS than anyone else, and thus, I don't have to work extra hard at "making up" for it. I can "abandon" the parts of me I had adopted in the effort to be someone people would like, or even LOVE. So I am clumsy, it's part of me. It's probably the same part that makes me fun and funny....So I'm NOT organized,it's part of me,and it's probably the same part that allows me to enjoy life even in a messy house. I guess the point is, for people like me, who grew up with ALL the wrong "messages" being given to us, we MUST challenge it all. We must put it under God's light and refuse what is NOT from Him.

I am NOT an underachiever, I will not accept that message. I am NOT worth less if I don't perform to certain standards, I am NOT defined by my accomplishments OR the lack of. I refuse to believe any of those messages, all of which have been the driving forces behind my stubborn journey into acceptance.
May My Father in Heaven be gracious and give me the love and strength to continue to challenge those messages, and continue to hold onto the ME that He has made, the ME He has made in His image, not the ME I had created in the world's image.

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