God



                               
Feels Like Freedom

Feels Like Freedom

I have my Bible, my journal and a bottle of water. I step into the pitch-black sanctuary and stand still for a few seconds waiting for my eyes to adjust. I am alone in the spacious room and as the door closes quietly behind me, I take a deep breath and let my shoulders fall and relax.

Sometimes I find a seat near the back. Other times I walk through the darkness and sit cross-legged on the floor right in front of the church platform. The darkness envelopes me and I tell myself to leave all concerns and worries outside. I remind myself that this is my special moment to be alone with my God and not to clutter it up with problems, at least not just yet.

After a while my eyes pop open as I hear someone enter the church sanctuary and begin to quietly set up music gear on the platform. My friend, the worship leader notices my presence and we silently nod a greeting to each other. I open my journal in the soft light and talk to God a bit with scribbles on a page.

Before long I am swept away with gentle music and beautiful words that perfectly express what is happening in my heart and mind.

“You surround me… You breathe out and I breathe in, you surround me and it feels like freedom… It feels like liberty. Too wonderful for me… You surround me… Surrounded by your glory, surrounded by your love… Clothed in your grace… I love when you surround me… In you I breathe, in you I move, in you I have my being… I breathe you in and I breathe in you. You take me places I’ve never been before… Feels like freedom, feels like liberty. I love when you surround me… I am surrounded by the sound of your music… I am surrounded by your voice, by the beat of your heart. Your music carries me… I am overwhelmed by your glory.*”(Sacred Space Sessions Vol. 2)
-Bob Book

Soft lights around the perimeter begin to light the auditorium. I stand and walk in a slow rhythm with the music. I am singing the words to the songs directly to God. To my Father. To my Friend and King. I feel surrounded by His love. Surrounded by the beat of His heart.

Others have entered into the worship by now, but it feels like an intimate moment between my God and me. These are my favorite moments. When I am enveloped in His love and it seems that nothing is impossible. Nothing is too big or too difficult for God. I am breathing Him in and basking in His love.

Today I am sitting in my home looking out the window at another rainy day. The music from one of my favorite CDs has taken me on this flashback trip. Back in time, to a season when I worked at a church and slipping into an empty sanctuary was a special treat. Now I am sneaking back into the past and pulling the experience into my present. The music is flowing around me and I am overwhelmed once again with the beautiful freedom of being surrounded by such a great love.

In Psalm 139:5, David is singing or praying to God. “You hem me in behind and before…Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.”

I love the idea that being surrounded by God feels like freedom. Being hemmed in by God before and behind can feel like liberty because of love. Everything comes back to love doesn’t it?

A few verses later David says, “How precious are your thoughts about me O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.”

The rain is falling outside. My coffee cup is full and my heart is full. To be surrounded by the love of God is more than enough for me today. It feels like freedom.
*Music/Lyrics by Bob Book – Brilliant Book House and Bob Book Music



                               

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Clinging to Scripture

Psalm 23.3 -2 -3

“What Scripture verse are you clinging to?”

Years ago, a friend asked me this. At the time, I was dealing with some issues, and in a rare moment of vulnerability, I shared with her what I was struggling with.

“What verse is getting you through this?” she asked.

Although I’d never thought of it this way before, I knew immediately which verse I’d been clinging to for dear life.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NLT

In it I’d found the comfort and strength I desperately needed.

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5 Minutes for Faith : Parenting Slow

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Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it. – William Feather

Just a few weeks into my One Word 365 and I’m certain I made the right choice. I feel it seeping into my heart and mind and almost constantly new revelation on the word slow becomes part of me. This years word complements last years so well. It allows me to continue walking on the path God placed me on last year – minus the self-inflicted stress. Discipline is the result of a slow, methodical, thoughtful life path.

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On Gratitude : Sifting Through the Mess, Getting the Message

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Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy 

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. – Philippians 1 : 3-4 The Message

Wisdom waits. In my twenties, expressions of gratitude were measured by feelings of satisfaction with my life and goals.

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When the Waiting Gets to Be Too Hard

Psalm 62.5I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And birthdays…well, each one is not quite as exciting anymore. The anticipated wait doesn’t drag anymore. Now it flies by.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Unless time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God? It. Is. Hard. Some days waiting on God feels impossible.

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For When You Don’t Ask For What You Want

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photo : flickr cc/ shoothead

 

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.” – ‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭7 The Message 

I shuffled the kids into the park just before dusk. It was a little too late in the day and a little too cool to stay long but we went anyway. It’s beautifully designed – big enough for all my children to enjoy and small enough so I can see the entire park.

I took a well deserved seat on the bench. And off they ran. Tire swings, for the moment friends and structures to climb. I’ll remember this summer as the first in a long while that I’ve actually been able to sit at the playground.

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When Your Efforts Go Unnoticed

Col. 3.23

There are days when it feels like my efforts go completely unnoticed.

It doesn’t matter where we’ve gone, what I’ve tried, or how many errands were run. Someone’s mood is less than desirable. The one thing not accomplished or that was missed on the shopping list is the one thing being talked about. And it seems to get bigger…overtaking everything else.

We tend to focus on the negative, don’t we?

The one thing that didn’t work out instead of all the things that did.

The item we would like to have, ignoring all that we do have.

The unfinished work versus the completed tasks.

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Star-Gazer

Star Catcher MJG

 

Pulling back the curtain that night I answered the moons call. Captivated by the darkness before midnight, it’s star lit magnificence, I stood in silence. The moon is magical and I imagine the God cord of my heart pulling, drawing me to pay attention.

In all my days doing sometimes, it’s hard to hear. The typical sounds of a life at home with children can drown out any thoughts I have of finding time to just be with God. Whether it’s water running in the kitchen sink or a squabble between my tweens brewing in the next room, my focus rarely remains inward…in that space I like to be, to hear from God.

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