Monthly Archives: March 2013

20/80

Okay, anyone who sits near me in church knows how much I can get into the music.  I clap.  I snap.  I wiggle and yes, even jiggle.  Sad but true!  I tap my feet to the beat.  I take the “joyful noise” verse in the Bible serious.  I’ve cried tears of shame and joy.  You get the picture.

But, something happens to me every year when this concert arrives in Little Rock.

wj2013

Winter Jam!  Not only do I seriously scream out a “joyful noise,”  BUT everything I do in church is like turned up.  Seriously, I dance my heart out.  I sing my voice to oblivion.  I pump my arms and fists just as if I was back in my 20’s.  I head bang to the heavy metal.  I hip hop my hands.  I just make a fool out of myself.

And I don’t care!!

My partner in all this jamming is 19.  Her mother and I can keep up with her!  I know we look like two old silly women head banging with our grey hair but it feels good to go back to the day!!   At intermission, my partner had purchased the new Red CD.  I couldn’t wait to check out the cover and the photos.  We had just witnessed their part of the concert.  Fire and all!  The deep bass and the drumming kept us head banging through 4 songs.

So anyway, I am looking at the cover and the members of the band are roughly my age.  I snapped it shut and said, “It is nice to know someone my age can still rock!”  The lady below me….. in her late 20’s, might I add…… shot me the craziest look.  I could read her mind cause it was written all over her face.  “Some your age shouldn’t be rockin out!”

Ahem….. whatever.

When Toby Mac enter the stage, the crowd, as did I, went nuts!  My partner’s mother and I screamed as if The Beatles were there…… Oh my, now that I think about it…… we must have…… not going there.  Toby Mac, I know for a fact, is 48.  Ahem….. older than me!  So anyway, I went nuts right along side every teenager in the room!!  I think I was cheering mainly for the fact that a 48 year old man could dance the way he dances!  He gives hope to all of us 40+ peeps.

Making a fool out of myself just comes naturally when great music fills the air!

The concert ended and we headed home.  All seven (5 of which were under 20) of us recapped and still danced to the CD’s we had purchased.  It was awesome to relive my younger days.

I climbed into bed feeling 20!  Closed my eyes and like a school girl with a crush dreamed of the night’s concert.

When I opened my eyes the next morning, the muscles in my eyelids were the only part of me that wasn’t sore, stiff, or out of sync.  My feet hurt.  My back tight.  My knee swollen.  My voice hoarse.  My arms stiff.  Ugh!  I went to bed at 20 but woke up at 80!

Was it worth it?  YES!  It isn’t everyday I can praise God with Toby Mac, Matthew West, and Red!!  It is a time when I can share a wonderful dancing worship fist pumps and all with my daughter and friends.  Oh and my partner’s mom…… all I have to say is that…… Yea, we may be feeling our age with aches and pains at the moment…. but girl, we still got it!!

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Measure

Something stuck from Sunday’s sermon.  My pastor talked about putting another person or thing before God.  He went on to explain that we love others only as much as we love Christ.

Loving people is measured by loving Jesus.

That has been rolling over in my mind for two days now.  I never really thought about relationships in that way.  I’ve heard that someone can’t love others until she loves herself.   Hmmmmm, so this idea of loving Christ first then being about to love someone else sheds a new light.

But then again, does it really??

I look at the people in my life.  The love I feel towards Mark and the kids grows deeper with every moment.  Could it be that since my love for Christ has deepened that caused that growth?  Yes, I believe so.

And to think that I thought it was related to me learning to love myself and losing weight.  I just thought because I felt better that I loved better.  Then, I got to really thinking.  The reason I have been succeeding is simply because I am allowing Christ in and to heal.  The more He is involved; the more I love Him.  Then a chain reaction happens……more love for Him–the more I learn to like (possibly love) who I am–and in turn the more I want to love others.

Look at it this way, my heart grows with God’s perfect love and the bigger it grows the more room I have to let people into it.  God’s perfect love fills me up and makes me whole.  He’s bound up the shattered and tattered pieces of my broken heart.  He’s the reason I want to improve, to get involved, and to incorporate Him in everything.

And that one statement that my pastor said must have stuck in a lot of people’s minds.  While in Sunday School, our teacher highlighted the sermon like he does every Sunday.  We found ourselves camped on that one idea.  I slipped my arm around Mark’s and pulled him close to whisper, “Well, I guess I really love Jesus a whole lot!”  That “school girl in love” giddiness swept in as I smiled at Mark.

Yep, I do love Jesus bunches!!

Without You

Can you imagine a world without God?

Think about all the stories in the Bible.  If God wasn’t there, what would have happened with Adam and Eve?  Or Noah? According to Genesis, the world was so corrupt everyone and everything needed to be wiped out except for Noah and his family.  How corrupt do  you think it would be in present times without the flood?

Or would David even be king?  Would the people of Israel have been annihilated after the first attempt?  Or would they be still in captivity?  There wouldn’t be any plagues to convince the Pharaoh to release them.

There wouldn’t be Jesus.  Without the Holy Spirit, Mary would not have become pregnant.   That means no Christmas.  Can’t necessarily have any healing miracles or ANY miracles if you stop and think about it.  There wouldn’t be Easter.  We wouldn’t have a savior.  Would there be ANY good in the world?  How about love?

It really makes you stop and think doesn’t it…..

Now if I think about my life in terms of not having God…… There was a time in my life that I knew there was a God….. this unattainable, unreachable supernatural being that was the puppet master of this world…… and yet, I was living life without Him.  Outwardly, I drank way too much.  I smoked.  I did a lot of things that I regret.  I said things that hurt people.  Inwardly, I was a jumbled mess of self-loathing, self-hating, self-destroying feelings.  I cared really about nothing but how to seek self pleasure.  It’s a wonder I lived.

As I am sitting here pondering about how my life used to be a total wreck.  Yeah on the outside, it looked like I was having fun.  But to tell the truth, I was really hurting inside.  I was alone….. afraid…… and ashamed.  There was no peace about me.  Just me aimlessly seeking and “going through life”.

Little by little, I allowed God into my life.  I straightened up and settled down.  I matured; I guess.  Maybe it was the people who influenced me and surrounded me that caused me to stop and think about how big of a mess I had created.  And when tragedy struck, I found myself seeking harder for God than anything else.

I don’t know how I survived thinking God was this being that controlled things and people.  Boy did I have it wrong.  It shocks me to think of what kind of a person I would be without Him.  Without this personal relationship, I don’t know if I would truly be living today.  Yeah, my body might have still been here but spiritually….. there wouldn’t be this peace and deep down joy.

Ewwww….. I don’t even want to go there anymore.  I am personally grateful I have God.  I am grateful that the world has God.  Grateful for no longer wandering aimlessly in search of something or someone to satisfy the lonely, fearful, and shameful hole in me.  This little exercise has really made me stop and think about how I take this personal relationship for granted.  Yeah, I may not stop and really thank God like I should.  And man, I really need to show others more of Him in my day to day encounters.  He is so good to me.  Why not share it more each moment of the day.

Hmmmm…. guess I better take this moment and really thank Him.