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Music is Powerful

This morning before pulling out of the carport to head to work, I decided it was time to take out the Christmas CD and put something different in.  I shuffled through the stack of playlists burned on to CD’s and found one that had nothing written on the front.  I popped it in the CD player and immediately recognized the first song, and the second and so on.  I thought for a moment about where this CD came from and then I remembered – my closest college pal had put the playlist together for me.  She chose songs that the two of us listented to often; songs with special memories attached to them.  The whole way to work, I sang along, laughed, reminisced and ultimately, felt like I had just gotten a great big hug from Marisa.

This scene made me think about the power that music has.  It can make our emotions soar joyfully, or all but pull tears from our eyes.  It can soothe, comfort, inspire – the list goes on.  And then I started thinking about why music is such a powerful tool when we use it to worship the Lord.

We know that worship and music went hand-in-hand during biblical times.  Psalms 95:1 says, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” (emphasis mine).  There are many MANY more examples of singing and praising God with music.

But what about those times when you come to church, feeling distraught, anxious, upset?  You hear the first few notes of a song and something stirs inside of you.  You begin to sing, to remember that God is powerful and good.  And the heaviness begins to lift.  While looking for scriptures about music, one really caught my attention.  It appears in the story of Saul and David, right after David becomes an armor bearer to Saul.  1 Samuel 16:23 reads, “And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.”

I think God created music with a special plan in mind.  Music has this way of easing our spirit and helping us open up to worship God and listen for His voice.  It reminds me of water – gentle enough to wash the most delicate skin, yet strong enough to carve the Grand Canyon.

music

I’m so curious to know your thoughts on this idea.  Please let me know what you think!

Blessings,

Beth

 

Moving Forward

One thing that’s easy to forget about? Sometimes, there is ice utterly hidden under a soft, innocent-looking blanket of snow. I happened to find one of these places the other day. It went like this: step, step, wobble, slip, wobble, THUNK. I landed on the pointiest part of my hip, and boy oh boy. Ouch.

So why on earth am I telling you this story? There are two reasons:

1. So that you know that you’re not the only one who falls on hidden ice (unless I’M the only one…)
2. While laying in bed that night, a thought-provoking idea came to mind.

And I had to share.

For those of you who know me or have read any of my other blogs (most recently, here) you know that I’ve fought, and somewhat overcome Anorexia.  I say “somewhat overcome” because I still fight it, or at least parts of it – and here is where the rubber meets the road with my little story.

So I’m laying in bed, purposefully on my left side, so as not to cause unnecessary pain.  I feel sleepy, but a thought jolts me back awake.  This pain I feel in my hip, laying here in bed, isn’t much different than the pain I felt in my hips during my worst days of Anorexia.  I remembered the nights of finding just the right position to sleep in that wouldn’t be uncomfortable to my ill-padded hip bones.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been struggling more with my body and accepting it as it is.  Some of those ED (Eating Disorder) thoughts have surfaced. I try to push them back down to where I laid them to rest nearly two years ago.  But they can be like dandelions – until every last bit of the root is gone, it keeps growing back.  Yuck.

The good news?  God always brings to mind bits and pieces of his word to encourage me.  1 Peter 1:14-15 came to mind:

“Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance.  Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct”

In this passage, Peter encourages the reader to be prepared for the time that Christ is revealed by not returning to their old, “ignorant” ways of living.  We can all relate to this – regardless of the age we became a believer, there was a time in our life when we had to intentionally choose God.  There is an old way that we turned from.

1 peter 1 14

Have you slipped back to some of those old ways?  Mull that over.  And know that God is the only one who can pull you from that pit.

Blessings, and a Happy New Year!

Beth

A Christmas Heart

Hey guys, how’s it going?  I’m so sorry I haven’t written here for ages.  I could make a zillion excuses…most of them work related.  But the reality is that in all the busyness that is life, I just didn’t feel like writing.  It made me feel dry again – much like I did when I began writing this blog months ago.

In a moment of despair over feeling a sense of distance from the Lord, my sweet man said “You know, it seems like you always feel closer to God when you’re writing your blog.”  I think he has a point.  So I began to think about what I would write.  One idea keeps coming back to me.  Maybe one of you dear people needs to hear it as much as I did!

Driving home from work.  It’s dark, snowy, cold – and my mood matches (well, maybe minus the snowy part…).  Working retail during the holidays often means an interesting schedule, and it was just getting me down.  Christmas this year felt so different than ever before, and I felt robbed.  I fumbled around for a Christmas CD, put it in and skipped a few songs in until I came to a melody that sounded soothing.  Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie… Tears sprang to my eyes as the song continued.  The last bit of the first verse prodded deep inside my heart.  Yet in thy dark street shineth, the everlasting light.  The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight

In a dark world, Christ, born of a virgin, came to rescue us from that darkness – the fears of all the years.

Isaiah 9 6

In that moment, I realized that feeling “robbed” of my Christmas was has more to do with my heart and attitude than my job.  Working on Sunday morning doesn’t prevent me from reflecting on the truth of Christmas and singing songs of the season.  I can still worship and be excited about the reason I celebrate Christmas.

I choose to ask God to set my heart right so that I can celebrate this Christmas.

Blessings,

Beth