Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stay Tuned...

I have talked about how much music speaks to me repeatedly in my blogs. I have talked about how awesome it is to hear God and feel what He is saying through the music. Well, He can also convict you through it as well.

I felt the Lord calling me to check my heart when I listen to music. It was one of those things where I didn't really feel it was affecting me too much but the more I listened to certain things the more I felt myself falling into my old thinking patterns.

This may sound completely rediculous to people who aren't into God or people who aren't willing to change and that's okay. Not everyone goes through the same transformation of heart at the same time. Mine just happens to be the right time and I bet when convictions happen to you, it will be at the right time as well.

If you think about it, we all have this desire to sing and sing loud! I sing loud everyday and it sounds a little like this..."the wheels on the bus go round and round" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Children love those songs. They love to do motions to them, dance to them, and sing loud to them. Music moves people.

When I run and workout I like to listen to any and all kinds of music, but my favorites are Enrique Iglesias, Katy Perry, and Pit Bull. If you listen to any of these types of music you will know that the rhythm pumps you up. But as the rhythm speaks to you, so do the words..."My girlfriends out of town and I'm all alone," "You're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no," "Baby I don't care, I don't care what they say" and I could go on.

This past week I have been struggling mentally with things and I kept feeling the conviction on my heart that it is rooted in the music I am listening to. The crazy thing is, it's not related to the ones I listed above, although those have played a part in my attitude at times. It comes from the songs that make me feel blue, on purpose.

After today's message about asking God what exactly it is that I need to change and what it is exactly I need to do...I now know.

For the time being I have to say good-bye to an artist. This artist doesn't really offer much but broken hearts and sadness.

Bono (from U2) once said, "it's okay to sing the blues" and I agree. I think there are times in our lives when we have to. I also think that when those times pass, not to relive them time and time again by feeding into the sorrow.

Why does music have such an affect? Because we were meant to worship. Our hearts yearn to rejoice and be glad. That is why when we hear songs to lift up the Lord our souls get so excited and overwhelmed because we are singing to our King.

So, why would we want to relive and go back to tough times? If our God has delivered us from it....stay away from it.

Are you having a hard time with what goes in your mind? If not for sadness' sake, how about prides' sake? What about lusts' sake? How about angers' sake?

I am not saying that all music is bad or that any is. I LOVE music! I LOVE concerts! I LOVE anything that makes my soul move. I just think that it has ways that can speak to the soul and its time to start feeding it right. I am not sure how I will be on this road to conviction but it was freeing to hear the Word speak directly to the thorn in my flesh. I am ready to sit still long enough to allow God to remove it and bandage it up. I am so thankful His mercies are new everyday.

"All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts..." Ephesians 2:3

"For out of the heart come evil thoughts..." Matthew 15:19

Don't feed the evil thoughts and desires. Stay tuned...into Him!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's oFEETcial!

Well, it's official...the warmer weather is approaching!

It is normally this season that my feet go through the terrible training torture.

The heat, swelling, rubbing, peeling, and sweating of my feet make these "dawgs" look horrible. Why do we have toenails anyway? I seriously could go without them!

My original plan was to try and run 2 marathons (in different states) a year but with Jeremy deployed, Maddy in school, and knowing that there is life beyond running-it didn't work out. I know everything has a purpose and I have enjoyed the journey of rediscovering what I am physically made of. I have decided to wait until November to feel the joy of completing that 26.2 again!

I have also been training with my good friend, Sarah, and getting her prepared for her first half-marathon on May 1st. It is amazing how "breathing life" into others can change who you are. I have enjoyed our talks on every run. I am so thankful for her and how completely honest I can be and not feel judged. I mean, isn't that what the Lord would want? He already knows our hearts. So, why not share the depths of it with someone who can uplift, encourage, and be honest back with you?

There was a runner who once said to me, "you never stop training" and he was right. You are always life.

How is your training going? Are you encouraging others? Are you uplifting others? Are you giving to others? What about those that you feel are less deserving of God's love? Are you harboring bitterness? Are you being prideful of your relationship with the Lord? HE is for EVERYONE and you can't fully receive what God has for you if you aren't helping others in the sport.

Training won't always look pretty. You may get discouraged, you may have setbacks, and you may, at times, feel defeated. Keep going! When you reach the goal, you will look back and see how hard you trained and the prize will say it all...official!

"All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize."-1 Corinthians 9:25

Are you ready to experience some sweat, swelling, blisters, "loss of toenails," calluses, pain, and all that ending in joy? Get up and lets go! It's time to make this oFEETcial!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Here Comes the 'SON'..."

Man, a day like this would happen the day before Valentines Day.

Valentines Day is day designated to show your love for someone you hold so close to your heart. A day that feels like the whole world celebrates this one thing...LOVE.

I had/have this blog in mind and couldn't/can't wait to publish it on Valentines Day. A day and blog post dedicated to my one true LOVE...Jesus.

My mom loved/loves to listen to oldies. At the time I was embarrassed but as I got older I learned to feel and appreciate music. I now know why that era was known for good tunes. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hall and Oates, and of course...The Beatles. Wow, I can feel the way their songs moved me, especially The Beatles. If ever there was something I was going through I could always turn to Paul, John, Ringo, and George to uplift me.

I struggled a lot growing up. I struggled not only with feeling like the "oddball" but I struggled with not feeling loved. You always "know" you are loved but how do you "know" you are loved? I didn't and it took many years for me to truly know what love felt like.

I remember a time when my mom was going through some emotional abuse from my step-dad, the radio was on and "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles came on. I remember feeling a roller coaster of emotions for my mom. Hurt for her that she had to go through an emotional beating. Angry at her that I couldn't get a heartfelt hug from her. Love for her because she was my mom and I was drawn for her approval. Even still when I hear this song I get taken back to my teenage years and the emotion that was put into this.

It wasn't until I was 23 that I realized that Jesus was EVERYTHING. He is your dad, mom, best friend, husband, beloved, commander, etc. Anyone you have ever relied on will eventually let you down (because they are human and faulty)...not HIM.

Well, that was today. I felt I reached out to someone many times this weekend and didn't get any feedback. I began to sink down into the depth of sorrow and darkeness. I started to reflect on the all the "bad" things that I had been through in the past and started to feel "justified" on those thoughts.

Then it hit me. The song He played when I felt my moms hurt. He came to my rescue yet again and showed me who WAS and IS the only one who truly knows, loves, and rescues me.

"and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you ,and you will honor me."-Psalm 50:15

The Beatles were right on when they sang, "Here Comes the Sun." I just think they mispelled it.