“Maybe it’s because music is about as physical as it gets: your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We’re walking temples of noise, and when you add tender hearts to this mix, it somehow let’s us meet in places we couldn’t get to any other way.”—Anne Lamott, from “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” in Traveling Mercies
“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”—Stephen King, On Writing
Chapel was powerful today. Between “How He Loves” to Dr. Jeroncic’s message related to Acts 18, I was really blessed. I wish I had more to write, more profound things to say, but for now, I suppose I just wanted to say that. I may or may not elaborate later; We’ll see. I asked God for a blessing in chapel and I was most definitely given more than an abundant portion. I am thankful for theologians like Dr. Jeroncic and I am thankful that I am able to attend a university where I can hear people like him speak.
“As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God. While the spirit is awed, the soul is invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strengthen as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things.”—E.G. White, Desire of Ages (Ch. 7)
• (of a person’s constitution) not easily affected by disease or hardship. • (of a person’s nervous or emotional state) not easily disturbed or upset • (of a person’s character) showing determination, self-control, and good judgment • (of a belief or feeling) intense and firmly held. • (of a relationship) lasting and remaining warm despite difficulties.
“We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom.”—E.G. White, Desire of Ages (Ch. 5)
Gungor had their Live USTREAM chat. You could go on and ask them questions in the chat and they would answer the questions in a live video broadcast. I had been doing homework/studying, but the second I heard about this I had to go check it out.
They answered three of mine :) :
Michael’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 8 (the whole chapter),
He plays a Harvest guitar,
and Lisa’s favorite color is blue, just like me!
They also did an impromptu “Vous êtes mon cœur” performance as well as a “Crags and Clay/Beautiful Things” medley.
This definitely made my night. Thanks, Michael and Lisa! :) And thank you, Ben, for bringing this broadcast to my attention and for being my mediator for questions. (NO THANK YOU, USTREAM, FOR BEING TRIFE WITH ME ON CHAT!)
Today I read chapter four of Desire of Ages and Psalms 6-13. (I ended up re-reading some of the Psalms I’d read yesterday because I realized I hadn’t really absorbed them much.)
Mrs. White begins the chapter with these reflections:
He shunned all outward display… Jesus purposed that no attraction of an earthly nature should call men to His side. Only the beauty of heavenly truth must draw those who would follow Him [43-44].
Why should I be any different? If Jesus is my example of how to live and behave as a human being and ultimately as a Christian, why should the standards be any less for me?
Ellen White discusses the coming of Jesus — about how it was the leaders who were not prepared for the coming of their long-awaited Savior; instead it was the lowly shepherds. As I read this, the question occurred to me: Which of these two groups do I fall under? Ultimately? On a daily basis? Why am I doing what I am doing - devotions, going to church, striving to be like Christ? Is it out of selfishness - I want people to think I’m a good person (self-righteousness)? Is it because I am afraid of the alternative - eternal separation from God?
Psalms, as always, fill me with comfort and reassurance. Even though I remain unsure about different facets of my life, David’s songs remind me that if I only focus on Christ, the rest will fall into place. Sometimes I get so action-oriented (“I must do something about this. It’s up to me to do something about this RIGHT NOW…”) that I forget that it’s really not up to me to figure out what to do — only to act on what God reveals to me to do.
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. — Psalm 9:9-10
But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. — Psalm 13:5-6
Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity
On the lips of the found
And gravestones roll
To the rhythm of the sound of you.
Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity
On the lips of the found
So separate those doors
And let the Son of Resurrection in.
Oh let us adore the
Son of Glory drenched in love
Open up your gates before him
Crown Him, stand Him up.
The last few days have been rough. I haven’t posted a devotion on here since Thursday because I was in Portland, Oregon for Foundations and chose not to use the internet for the duration of the seminar. However, even if I had used the internet, I don’t know how great the posts would have been.
I read Psalms because David gets it — he gets me. This was a man who knew how to cry out to God, who knew how to bring his case before the only One who would understand. I read Psalms because they comfort me; because they give me hope and reassurance that God is in every trial, every tear, every heart pang.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears…The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. — Psalm 6: 6,9
At the suggestion of a friend I read the story of how “Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son.” I had not read this story before, or maybe I have only didn’t remember it. Reading this story, it’s easy to think that this woman was robbed — She didn’t even ask for this blessing of a child and yet when she was blessed, it seems that God just took it away from her. When I think about God and his love for us, though, I remember that He never does anything without a plan - without a reason. God knows what we can and cannot handle — what will bring ultimately bring us closer to Him.
I can’t speak for God when I say what I think He intended in this woman’s life, but I can say that I believe that He knew that by allowing the child to die, it would strengthen this woman’s faith in Him; it would draw her closer to Him. Because of her faith in the Lord, this woman was rewarded. After reading this story, it’s hard not to assume that God will give us what we want if we act in faith. It’s true — God will give us what we want, as long as it’s in line with what He wants for us; as long as it falls in line with His ultimate plan for us. Sometimes that means having our heart’s desire, sometimes it means waiting, sometimes it means not getting it at all. The important question always remains: Do I want what I want, or do I want what God wants?
Right now I can honestly say that I want what God wants. Is that easy? No, not really. Does it always make me feel great? I’d be lying if I said it does. But does it bring me peace? Do I not worry because I know it is what’s right? Am I comforted and reassured knowing that God is working in my life and that He is in control? That He has a plan for my pain? These remaining questions are those that are met with a resounding “Yes.”