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Hope

I am not really one who likes to talk about politics. Not at all. I definitely have my own thoughts and opinions about things but I do my best to try to look at situations with an unbiased view. I happened to watch the news the other day, and I was heartbroken.  Heartbroken at how our country is so completely divided and how we refuse to even consider where people on the “other side” are coming from.  Instead, we immediately villainize others as the enemy.

I believe that most people (including me) generally have the desire to see justice served- to see wrongs made right.  I also believe that there are people in power who use other people’s sufferings to promote hidden agendas… which makes it nearly impossible for us to know the truth about anything!

As heartbroken as it makes me to turn on the news, I still believe that God is on the throne and He is a God of justice and mercy.  If we put our hope in people and politics, we will be let down every time.  God is faithful and He is Lord of all.

This is a song I wrote about putting aside our political opinion and fully trusting Him.  Are we honoring Him with the words we speak on these matters?   I am hopeful, and I am praying for a Holy Spirit revival to sweep across this country!

“Unwavering”

Caught in between 
A lie and a sympathy
What to believe?
The world is a mockery
When I can’t trust 
What I see 
I  still  believe 
You are God and 
You are king 
You have won the 
Victory 
You are God of 
Everything 
And my hope is 
Unwavering 
Everyone’s got a side
Fighting for their right 
But what if we’ve all been blinded by 
The filter of our pride 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful- Hebrews 10:23

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All Things New

“All Things New”
I wish  
some things 
in my  life  
had been 
just a little  bit
 different 
when I take time to 
reminisce
wax poetic 
with my pen 
it’s then I see that He 
has made all things 
work for His good 
every little dash and line 
brush strokes 
with His hands of time 
He’s making all things new
every regret 
I’d like to forget- 
all things led me 
to You 
every day 
A new lesson learned 
touch the burner 
you will get 
burned 
forgive me Father 
for I have sinned 
a new creation 
then begins 
Now  I see that 
He has made all things 
Work for HIs good
“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43 
Now that I have two teenage daughters, I think a lot about my own teen years… the decisions I made, the things I did.  Now I can look back and see how He has taught me so many important lessons over the years from the not-so-great decisions I’ve made.  I am grateful for God’s grace, and how when we surrender our life to Him completely- he takes ALL THINGS, even our regrets- and uses them for His glory.
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Help Us Accept Each Other (a hymn remake)

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,  but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails-  1 Corinthians 13

If I have faith, but not love- I am nothing.

If I give to the poor, but do not do it out of love- I gain nothing

God is love.

I am nothing without God.

I am nothing without His love.

If I do anything that is not out of love– it is meaningless.

How many times have you done the right thing because you knew that was what you were supposed to do? I have done it for years!  But if I really love Him, I have to do everything out of love. Without love in our hearts, “doing the right thing” still doesn’t cut it!

For many years, I have “done the right thing” when it comes to certain situations.  But we aren’t supposed to just do the right thing- we are called to LOVE.  When we LOVE, when we love with God’s love– His love compels us to do the right thing- each and every time- without fail!

And without reciprocity.

No strings attached kind of love. Because that’s what His love is like.

We don’t deserve it.

We can’t earn it.

But when we accept His love, He compels us to give it- freely.   And His love changes people.  I know, because it sure has changed me!

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8 

A dear friend showed me this hymn a while back.  These words have resonated with me for quite some time.  I set it to new music and also added a chorus to it.  May He give us a passion to love those who hunger for the kind of love only He can give!

 

“Help Us Accept Each Other”

Help us accept each other

as Christ accepted us

teach us as sister, brother

each person to embrace

be present, Lord, among us

and bring us to believe

that we are ourselves accepted

and meant

to love and live

to love as You have loved

to give as You have given

to die to our own desires

so we may do Your will

and love as You have loved us 

Let Your acceptance change us

 

so that we may be moved 

in living situations 

to do the truth in love 

to practice your acceptance

until we know by heart

the table of forgiveness 

and laughter’s healing heart 

Lord, for today’s encounters

for all who are in need

who hunger for acceptance

for righteousness and bread

we need new eyes for seeing

new hands for holding on

renew us with Your Spirit, Lord,

free us, make us one

*original text by Fred Kaan 

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Amazing Grace (House of the Rising Son)

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
When we’ve been there, ten thousand years
bright shining as the son 
we’ve no less days, to sing God’s praise
than when we first begun 
Several years ago, one of my friends from church mentioned that we should try singing the words of Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Son.  I sat down at the piano the other evening and that conversation from years ago came to mind…I finally tried it 🙂
I will sing a new song to You, O God;
Upon a harp of ten strings
I will sing praises to You
–  Psalm 144:9
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All In

excuses wearing thin

tired of hiding in my sin

Your Spirit stirring from within

I’m all in

no more wasting time

with this fleeting life of mine

I’m signing on the dotted line

I’m all in

I’m all in

head over heels

I’m all in

wanna give my life

for something real

I’m all in

sold out for You

I’m all in

I’m living proof

no more scattered thoughts

I’m clinging to the cross

everything I count as loss

I’m all in

knowing what is true

want to honor You in all I do

fall helplessly in love with You

I’m all in

Last Sunday, as I played the piano at church, I watched  two people come forward to receive the Lord and embrace the cross of Christ at the close of the service.  It was a powerful, beautiful moment!  All of the congregation was invited to join them at the cross, and we came together and prayed as a “family”-  brothers and sisters in Christ.

That night, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I thought about what it means to embrace the cross- to be “all in” for Him.   I wrote this song that night as I thought of the two courageous people who stepped forward to “embrace the cross”, and also reflected on my own moment of surrender.

I thought of all the times I felt quickened in my spirit to go to the altar to pray, to raise my hand, to publicly declare my need for Him… and I held back for so long.  But there comes a moment when you can’t hold back any longer.

And once you go “all in”- it becomes a daily decision… daily seeking Him, laying down your own will and desires for His.  Acknowledging that His ways and thoughts are far better than yours could ever be.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ  and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death…

Philippians 3:8-10

 

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The Holly and The Ivy

“The Holly and the Ivy”
The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown 
The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour
From the rising of the sun
Unto the going down of the same
The Lord’s name is to be praised 
The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good
The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.
From the rising of the sun
Unto the going down of the same 
The Lord’s name is to be praised
I have always loved this old Christmas carol!  The beautiful sing-song melody, combined with the lyric’s rich symbolism have always intrigued me.  I added a chorus to it and changed up the accompaniment. 
Hope you enjoy- 
and Merry Christmas!
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. 
Psalm 113:3
https://youtu.be/eO2tdXC9C5g
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Steadfast I Walk

every day’s 

another battle 

trying my best 

staying in that saddle 

everywhere I look I see

another roadblock staring at me 

but steadfast I walk with You

I will not be moved 

even though I might be shaken 

I will trust in you 

I’ll never be forsaken 

even when I cannot see 

keep me on the path 

in front of me 

steadfast I walk with You 

even when it seems 

like nothings changing 

help me stay the course 

never wavering 

doesn’t matter how fast the pace 

slow and steady wins the race 

steadfast I walk with You  

I wrote the song Steadfast recently as I prayed for the Lord to help me keep my eyes on Him.  It’s not always easy to stay on the right path because there is temptation all around us.  As most of you know that are reading this- one of my biggest temptations is food.

I have always wanted a healthy relationship with food.  I wish I didn’t have to think about it, but unfortunately we HAVE to eat every day, so there’s no avoiding that one!  And even though I make good choices, for years I have seen no physical changes- despite calorie counting and exercising.  I loathe counting calories, and I have done it for years.  Even the days when I didn’t actually record my calories, I would still keep a running tally in my head.

But today I am praising the Lord and giving Him VICTORY for FREEDOM from this struggle.  It has been since New Year’s Eve- almost 2 months now that I have finally found something that is working for me!  It’s called Trim Healthy Mama and heres’s a link to their website- http://www.trimhealthymama.com.  It’s not a “diet”- it’s a different way of eating for life.  And PRAISE THE LORD- I have found food freedom! No more counting, no more thinking of food as a reward or punishment…just sticking to the plan and focusing on Him!

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:36

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Brick by Brick

What do you think of me?
Wonder what do you see?
When I open up and let you in.
Fearing what you might say.
Afraid you’ll run away
If I open up and let you in
So brick by brick I build up walls
Till I cannot see at all
Take those walls and tear them down
every wall I’ve build around
me
Take those walls and tear them down
tear them down
let those walls come tumbling down
let those walls come tumbling down
Feeling like I can’t breathe
Thoughts like a movie screen
They’re paralyzing me
And I wish I could make it stop
I wish I could turn it off
Jesus is the only thing saving me
‘Cause brick by brick I build up walls
Till I cannot see at all

This is a song I wrote recently about praying for Jesus to help me STOP those anxious thoughts that run through my head.  When I was a kid, I was always worried about what other people thought of me. I was so afraid that people wouldn’t accept me that I didn’t even try to make friends.  It was easier to build up walls around myself than it was to be “me” and allow people into my life.

And even as an adult, I still struggle with wanting to put up walls to protect myself- because sometimes letting people “in” is scary. But it is so worth it!

I am so thankful for the many friends He has brought into my life.

He continually helps me to put my hope and trust in Him and in no other person- because people WILL let you down!  He is helping me love everyone-

even those…

who don’t like the Christmas movie Elf (gasp!!)

who don’t like dogs 

who voted differently than I did in the presidential election

who don’t look or think the same way I do 

who don’t share my interests 

even those who don’t love me back

And by His grace, He can help us see each other- and even ourselves– through His eyes.   Loving other people doesn’t mean we won’t be hurt at times, but that is what He calls us to do. And that all begins with letting Jesus into our hearts and allowing Him to tear down those walls we create to separate us.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

John 4:7-11

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a heart like you

Burn bright in my life
Burn away the things I hold tight
Give me eyes to see
Your kingdom the way You want it to be
What can be worth more than You?
What do I have I wouldn’t lose
If it means You and I look more alike?
That’s what I choose

I’d give up the world to find my soul
Pour out my life, give You control
I just want to be what You want me to be
I just want a heart that’s true
A heart like You (a heart like You)
I just want a heart like You (a heart like You)

As Your ways take shape
All my guilt and shame start to fade
And Your love takes their place
I become a well of Your grace, Your grace

I’d give up the world to find my soul
Pour out my life, give You control
I just want to be what You want me to be
I just want a heart that’s true
A heart like You (a heart like You)
I just want a heart like You (a heart like You)

I don’t mind the price it costs
I will count all I have as loss
When this fades away, what’s true remains
What can be worth more than You?
What do I have I wouldn’t lose?

by Love and the Outcome

 This song has become one of my favorites!  Click here  to see my cover of “A Heart Like You”.

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ-  Philippians 3:8

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace –  Acts 20:24

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship –Romans 12:1

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only love

 

I catch myself 

over and over again 

holding on to my anger, my judgement, 

my sin 

keeping score, putting up a fight 

but I’m desperately trying to do what’s right 

so take it all till all that’s left 

is only love 

only love 

take it all till all that’s left

is only love 

only love 

love keeps no records of wrongs- 

so You say 

but the pain is so strong

sometimes I pray 

for the memories to fade away 

until all thats left 

is love 

sometimes I look in the mirror 

and I see

my old self staring back at me  

so unworthy 

but how can I begin 

to love someone else 

if I can’t even love myself?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  

1 Corinthians 13

I wrote this song recently as I thought about what it means to really love unconditionally.  I am as guilty as anyone for hanging onto the past and allowing it to color the way I see people.  It is so hard to let go of past hurts and rejections- and even harder to truly love someone unconditionally when we still harbor those feelings.

My prayer is for Him to help me continue to let go and to see others- including myself– the way He sees us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

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