"..His Song is with me.."

Psalm42ministries: Musical Devotionals

We ALL idolize someone or something…..

NKOTB

New Kids on the Block: one of the first boy bands of my youth. I remember sitting in front of the tv, calling my friends and going crazy for them….worship, idolizing???

I often forget that the desire to worship is innate. I heard “Clear The Stage” by Jimmy Needham some time ago and promised that it would be a part of my next musical devotion because of how easily idols creep into my life.

The following is my paraphrase of the very real and piercing lyrics: It begins with a challenge to clear your life of your idols. Remove the fluff, the approval-seeking motives…. Remove the busyness, the time-wasters, and get the root of your struggles and issues until you are broken. This calls for bravery, but promises liberation as well.

Before I can go on, the question is, “what is an idol?” Most of the definitions I find have something to do with religion, which is really a repetitive practice of some kind.

The definitions also allude to devotion, admiration, an image of something physical, but without substance and a figment of the mind….

Interesting, in this part of the world and time period in history, we don’t picture ourselves prostrated in front of a person or object. Most of us wouldn’t be caught doing that. Therefore, those definitions match us perfectly. An image, lifestyle, or desire that we project in our own minds. One that might or might not be “real.” Then, we devote ourselves to ‘it’ or ‘them’ religiously with our time, energy and emotions. That is an idol.

So the song goes on….go after God. Pursue the only Being that can be counted on. Counted on to know what is best, so wait for what He has for me. He promises things that nothing this life can promise me. I must place my hope in Him.

(Not an easy thing for people who want to see to believe, people who have counted on themselves for too long…can we really count on ourselves? Our emotions are fickle, how truly honest are we with ourselves….do I really want to place hope in myself? I mess up way too much!)

The song goes on….this is where it really hit home. I can sing, raise my hands up, pray before class begins, pray with my family, read my devotions every morning…etc., but I can still get it wrong because “worship is more than a song.”

I regress to my tween years: pictures of…River Phoenix, Michael J. Fox, Jason Bateman, Ricky Shroder, John Travolta, Kirk Cameron, Duran Duran…all over my walls! (Yes, I am an 80’s Baby) My friends and I talked about them, collected more pictures, role-played that they were our boyfriends, obsessed over them when they were on tv. Do I have that kind of admiration and devotion for Jesus? Am I obsessed or in-love with Him? Why not? Probably because I am wrapped in this flesh that I submit to consistently. I want love now, I want gratification now, it’s all about me.

Living in the Spirit, however, changes your whole perspective, your worship becomes how your life plays out, day to day….not just a song you sing or things on your ‘to do list.’ The song says to forget the plans and sit at home, wait for God to whisper to you. It doesn’t matter how I just messed up a few minutes before when I yelled at my kids, He is waiting for my eyes to turn to Him so that He can whisper to me, to you, whether you believe in Him completely or not.

Ask Him to speak to me, stay on my knees until they blister….I want Him to shine a light into the darkest parts of my heart and soul. Expose them and start to heal and change me so that I can be free. Search and pursue the truth, not just take it for granted. I want Him to shake up my comfortable world.

I find myself devoted fully to my family and work…many times more than my Savior. These things become my idols. Family and work are noble things, but they cannot make the promises that my Savior makes to me. They will not fulfill me as He does.

The song goes on to help me categorize the idols in my life:
*anything I put before my God: work, sleep, food, relationships…
*anything I want with all my heart: good marriage, successful children…
*anything I can’t stop thinking of: having a good marriage,
*anything I give all my love to: family

The fact that my devotionals are all attached to songs is ironic to my devotion today. I love music and it is how I very often express my worship. However, worship, adoration, admiration and devotion for my Savior must seep through me as I walk, talk, observe, read, listen, play, discuss, teach, give, eat, fold clothes, cook meals, make decisions, iron, pay bills, make phone calls, do groceries, laugh, cry, sing and dance!

 

Surrounded by songs of deliverance,

Denise
*I choose to worship–the One I can trust with my life, My Savior
My Savior

 

(Thought I’d include some of the 80’s boy craze for the ladies from my generation!)

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If He holds all my tears….

Image

…then how immense are God’s hands? When I look at the ocean in this picture, his hands are even bigger.

Tears. They flow through the tear ducts and run along my face.  It really doesn’t matter what provokes them.  They all look exactly the same and come from the same place, physically speaking.  But….tears don’t all come from the same place when I think about all the different reasons to cry.

Tears of joy:  I get a tingly, warm feeling in my core.  It almost tickles…. these tears refresh your eyes and spirit.

Tears from laughter:  These are closely related to joy.  Occurring involuntarily.  I think it’s one of God’s little gifts to us.  Your body cannot contain the emotion.  What sets off laughter, anyway?  It must start in the brain, but I feel it in my belly….

Tears of frustration: Those come almost without warning because you’ve held them back for so long….they taste hot.

Tears of sadness:  It depends….sadness for yourself comes from a different place, than sadness, or empathy for others.  I think sadness comes from a place of loss.  Mourning over something you will never get back.  These tears are heavy and painful; they come from a place that you don’t really touch often.

Tears of pain:  Physical pain…how does it help the actual pain when we cry?   Does it help release something?  It just seems to make you look like a “crybaby.”        Emotional pain…that’s different.  These kind of tears seem like they encompass your whole being….but sometimes I think that if you have endured enough emotional pain…your tears dry up.  That’s dangerous; how do you know you’re still alive?  I remember my Abuela, who I knew was very sensitive and wept easily, soon after her husband, my Abuelo passed away, asking her why she didn’t cry anymore.  She told me she was all dry…..the woman she once was passed away.  Will this happen to me, I ask?

But then, there’s God.

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.”  Psalm 56:8

He sees me.  He promises that “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5

I believe Him.  In this picture above is the ocean of my tears next to one of my songs of joy, my son, Andres.  Too many good things in my life.     But, I promise to love Him even if He was the only good thing in my life.   I pray that He breaks me and continues to make me new everyday.  My consolation is that the tears He allows, joys and sorrows, are all for my ultimate good and His glory. 

Surrounded by songs of deliverance,

Denise

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No Fear

photoguides.net

photoguides.net

I’m still at the bottom of this impossible mountain deciding if I’m going to start moving forward at all.  The typical cliches run through my mind: “One day at a time…..One step at a time….”  Tell me what that looks like, and maybe I’ll listen.  How does that translate to my day-to-day struggle.

Then, this morning, I read my “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young:

          Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you.  Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart.  I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you.  Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak.  Someday you will dance lightfooted on the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy.  All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you.  It is truly the path of life.  (derived from: Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 16:11)

Can you believe that?!  It reminds me that our God is not distant; He desires an intimate relationship with His creation; His children.  It was more than cool.  It humbles me….I thought,  “I gotta write this down!”  Then, I went into my Spotify playlists and clicked on the one titled “No Fear.”  The song that God gave me along with His personal words of life is perfect.  All He requires of me, for this first step is that I “Lift My Eyes To Him.”

“I lift my eyes to mountains, where does my help come from?” Psalm 121:1

“…surrounded by songs of deliverance…”

Denise

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