Running the Race

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

 2 Timothy 1:7

“Running the Race”

Today’s the day I stop doubting everything I do

Second guessing each and every step I’m going through

Putting pressure on myself to be the best I can

So I rest in You because I’m following Your plan.

You’ve called me and I answered

You’ve given me all that I need

I pray for Your boldness, Your strength,and Your grace

I’ve got nothing to prove anymore-

I’m running the race.

I’m moving forward without any fear

because Emmanuel, I know that you’re here

You’ll show me every step and I’ll do my best

and I’ll give it all I got and let You do the rest

The spirit of fear doesn’t come from You

because I know this I can make it through

with the power You’ve given me I’ll be strong

I’ll lift up my voice and proclaim Your song

I wrote this song recently after praying for a Bible Verse to focus on for the year.  I have chosen 2 Timothy 1:7 for many reasons.  At times I have doubted myself and the abilities He has given me, and have focused to much on what other people think.  Then His quiet voice whispers this verse to me-Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

He has equipped me with all that I need.  I am running the race, trusting that He will set the pace, clear the path, and help me jump each hurdle that comes my way.  I am serving the Lord with everything I have and using all He has given me- knowing that I must fully rely on His strength and power.   I’m moving forward, without fear- because He has called me, and He is with me!

  Lord, I pray for boldness as I serve You and for Your Spirit to guide me every step of the way.  By Your grace, may You help me to bring others along on this amazing journey of following You!  

The Word of our Testimony

ImageAnd they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony

 Revelation 12:11

I had the most beautiful thing happen today.  Instead of going upstairs to my office at church, I decided to go into the sanctuary. I sat my laptop on the piano and began to answer emails and that sort of thing.  Someone happened to come in to do some maintenance work, and after a few minutes, I said “hello” in my sing-song voice.   I introduced myself to him, and then he began to talk about his church and his walk with the Lord.

He shared with me how Christ has completely changed him. He shared his salvation experience from 28 years ago, and how the Lord has used him to help bring others into a personal relationship with Christ.  His humbleness and the passion with which he spoke moved me.  He told me to never underestimate the power of prayer, and shared how he had prayed for a friend to receive Christ for over 15 years. He said he never gave up, and after 15 years,  his friend came to know the Lord.   After sharing with me, I asked him what his favorite hymn was.  “The Old Rugged Cross and anything by Fannie Crosby,” he replied.  I quickly took the cover off the piano, invited him to come up with me and we sang that beautiful hymn.   He said “Praise the Lord” and then quietly went about what he came to do.

What a blessing to hear him share his testimony today.  We will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimonies!  May we never forget our salvation experiences- and may we share them with others as the Lord moves us to do so.  What an awesome, impromptu worship service we had today!

Lord, may we never underestimate the word of our testimonies and how You may use it to encourage and bring others into a relationship with you. Give us strength to live for You and to let our lives be a living testimony of Your amazing grace!

A Few of My Favorite Things

Image

My hubby and daughters know me so well…they couldn’t wait to give me their favorite gift yesterday morning-  the anniversary addition of the Sound of Music on DVD!

I remember the very first time I saw it. I was about 8 years old. It used to come on TV around Easter.  The first scene I saw was Liesl and Rolph dancing in a gazebo, in the pouring rain.  I got butterflies in my stomach as I watched them sing- and dreamed that I, too, would one day find the man of my dreams,  sing and dance in the rain, and squeal with delight over my first kiss!

The Christmas I turned 10, I got my very first keyboard.  Another favorite thing of mine.  I can remember my grandfather visiting me and offering me a challenge- he said if I could learn to play the theme song from The Sound of Music, he would give me 20$.  I took him up on the challenge and learned to play it in no time.  My grandfather passed away this August.  I went to see him in his final hours of life, and while I was there, I remembered the challenge he gave me so long ago.  What he gave me was priceless- a passion and a desire to learn to play songs by ear- a gift that I thank God for every day!

A couple of weeks ago, I went downstairs and found my girls snuggled on the couch, watching The Sound of Music on DVD.  “Mom, sit with us!  Watch it with us,” they begged me. You see, The Sound of Music is not a spectator’s sport!  I must sing. every. song. And I must recite every. single. word.  I sat with them and as I sang, they hung on my every note.  “Mommy, you weren’t kidding!”  You DO know every word!”  I left them to finish the movie by themselves and  my heart melted.  They were too cool to sing in front of me, but once alone, they couldn’t help themselves!  I could hear them singing all the way upstairs.

How sweet it is to hear them singing these songs, much like my sister and I used to do so long ago!  It’s not just a movie to me- it’s part of my childhood. Music changed that strict, lifeless household  into a vibrant, joyful family full of passion and love!  I have always loved Maria’s positive, joyful spirit, her whimsical ways, and how she never gave up on instilling her passion for music into the hearts of each member of the Von Trapp family.

Every good and perfect gift is from Him and I could never thank Him enough for the precious gift of music- and how He has used it to draw me closer to Him all these years.  And I thank Him for passing on the love of music to my children!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights

James 1:17

You Take My Breath Away

“You Take My Breath Away”

Help me to see Your goodness in the land of the living

I see the beauty around me and I can’t stop praising

Praising You for who You are, for what You do, for what You’ve done

who am I that I would be saved by Your Son

You take my breath away

Amazed by how You show me that You love me

without Your grace in my life where would I be?

You are my strength, You are my rock

You are my calm in the storm

You steady me and ready me

and You keep me safe from harm.

You take my breath away

And even the rocks cry out

when I have no voice to praise You

when You take my breath away

I wrote this song about a month ago.  I had been dealing with minor health issues- allergies, a cough that wouldn’t quit, inability to sing, and just feeling down-right tired and miserable.  I was so tired of feeling sick.  Singing- the very thing that brings me the most joy was something I was not able to do.   I still spent time with God… but I had to be a little more creative with it.  I prayed, read the Bible more, and I wrote poetry.  Then one day I told God how frustrated I was for not being able to sing- or talk-  for so long.

And that morning, a verse popped out at me-

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

I began praying to God- that He would help me focus on Him and not my circumstance.  That He would show me His goodness and get my eyes of myself and help me to stop having a pity party.  And day by day, I began to feel better.  I was more aware of His presence and less of my own ailments.  It was as if He painted each sunset and colored each mountain top just for me- I would tear up at every little beautiful thing… He literally took my breath away with His creation! He was so clearly working on me to worship Him in other ways.  There is so much more to worship than singing!   He used that time to open my eyes to His beauty around me and to hear His voice.  Time to remember all that He has done for me.  Time to be thankful for all He has blessed me with, and a little more time to be quiet and let Him do the talking!

Be still, and know that I am God-   Psalm 46:10

Thank You, Lord, for never ceasing to amaze me with your unfailing love.  Thanks for opening my eyes a little more, and for helping me to be quiet and listen to You.  Thank You for showing me Your goodness in the most awesome ways!