Archive for June, 2014

Better Than a Hallelujah

Posted: June 29, 2014 in Crazy Life of Mine
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I think it pleases God when we go to Him in our brokenness and pour out our heart to Him. Being God, omniscient, He of course knows what we ask before we utter a word or a cry. Although He knows our needs ahead of us, there is an intimate relationship between us as children going to our Heavenly Father for help.

blockquote>the silence when the words won’t come is better than a hallelujah sometimes

God is there in the middle of the night when the silence is deafening.

beautiful the mess we are – the honest cries of breaking hearts

Let’s be real with each other and with God!

Title and Quotes from Amy Grant’s lyrics “Better Than a Hallelujah”

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Insomnia. The beast has moved back in and I’m ready to scream or just take a nap.

I’ve had insomnia bouts many times over the past years and when it appears it’s like a visit from a debt collector or your worse enemy.

I recently started a new medicine to try to boost the effects of another medicine so I can function better. I am feeling better which is good but I’m unsure of the source of this insomnia.

This med is not supposed to trigger mania but I’m wondering here as I lay here AGAIN in the middle of the night. As with any new meds, I’ve learned to give my body some time to get used to it before the jury decides the verdict.

The time in between just stinks. Knowing the subtle differences between anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and med side effects (not to mention life) is no small feet.

I’m listening to “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis chapman on repeat song on my playlist. I’ve now moved to Amy Grant’s “Better Than a Hallelujah”. I know that God is here with me and hurts with me and that comforts me. Without taking in religion speak, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit (God in me) intercedes on my behalf to God. Basically he pleads my case directly to God. Pretty cool really.

Dealing with my life having bipolar disorder is interesting at the very least. Although bipolar disorder doesn’t define me it does impact almost every facet of my physical life. There are days like tonight that I wish that I was “normal” – whatever that is if it even exists!

Having said all this I still choose to be thankful in the midst of this. Lord, help me be thankful.

It’s no wonder people who are outside if the Christian faith are baffled by our lingo. One such term literally makes my skin crawl I’ve heard it overused so much.

Intentional. Good men who I respect greatly use this phrase, men of renown. Yet it makes my skin crawl because although some of the tenets of this concept are good it just comes across often like psychobabble.

This term crosses the faith barrier and is used so much by therapists and counselors that I believe it has lost it’s meaning. I remember this term being thrown around by therapists so much in the last few years. Somehow this good concept of being intentional has gotten wrapped up by “being present”, etc.

When I hear good men, pastors, speak this term it makes me want to say “hold on!” 1. You are over using this philosophical term in ways it was not intended. 2. Do you hear how you sound to those outside your faith?
3. Are you even aware if how that word is used by psychologists and philosophers?

I am not against having purpose, conviction and living your life that way; I am just against the overuse of this word! My choices are filled with conviction and purpose as I live my life through my faith in God but I don’t need to wrap it in a nice package and call it “intentional.”

I realize that my even writing this will alienate me from some within my faith who might read this. That is not the purpose if this post.

I believe that words are powerful as are the way in which we say them. Some churches speak in an internal language that has to turn off those who walk in their doors.

To me the term intentionality seems a little rules based in concept. I think those of us who are Christians should use our language to engage those outside of the church or who are on the fringe.

We are called to speak the truth in love but not to use all the latest Christian buzzwords. If I hear one more person tell me to have a blessed day I might vomit! I am blessed in many ways and certainly I wish that for others but when we go around telling people to have a blessed day I can’t help but think that term as it is used in modern language comes more from Wiccan beliefs and greetings than most realize.

Let us break down the language barrier between those who currently believe in God and those who haven’t found Him yet. Let’s communicate in civil ways toward one another, civil dialogue that is not cloaked in buzzwords and insider phrases. Let’s be real both in the way we live our faith and in the way that we communicate with those who hold different beliefs than ours.

The great adventure.

Isn’t it amazing how when you hear a song it can immediately transport you back to another time and place, bringing back vivid memories, tastes, smells even?

Music has always been a big part of my life. When I was younger I poured myself into the piano, it was a way to express the way I felt without having to tell others how I was feeling. I poured my heart into those ivory keys, hoping that someone could interpret the ache in my heart and the joy. I loved to sing, to compete in music competitions and to accompany our choir and, when I was lucky, my crazy talented violinist friend!

God has used music powerfully in my life over the years. This week I have had one of worship songs from church in my head. When I go out and come back the song comes to mind like a sweet memory. When I awoke twice this week from nightmares it was the first words to mend my heart.

A few years ago I was coming out of my daughters school event, alone. My first school function since my spouse had filed for divorce and I had to move out. I remember the hot tears rolling down my face as I climbed into my ex spouse’s truck as he left with our girls in my minivan. I remember the air conditioning was broken and it was still a hot autumn evening.

As I revved the engine to leave to drive back to my empty apartment I turned on the radio to KLove and Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “the great adventure” came on and as I drove off that night I sang with what little was left of my dignity and faith and I KNEW that God was going to lead me through my journey, my “adventure”.

Growing up, my family was very into music. We drove all over going to Christian concerts. I learned to love music because it allowed me to FEEL, to hurt and to worship.

I am listening to a song now that was played at a funeral of a dear family friend. With the words I am immediately transported back into celebrating his life and his friendship to my dad for their whole lives. How great is our God.

I hit next on my playlist and I’m listening to How He Loves by the David Crowder Band which makes this post come full circle. This is the song that has been playing in my heart the entire week.

I’m the lady next to you at the stoplight singing and you might laugh. I know that I used to laugh at car singers until I became one. Last weekend I had a two hour drive to a dear friend’s house and I quietly sang the whole way with my girls in the backseat. I think they knew that mom just needed to sing.

You can often catch me red handed singing while I cook for my girls. As I wave my wooden spoon I become a conductor in my symphony.

Running through my playlist tonight is like living a lifetime. Each song has a memory or special meaning in my life over the past years.

Like verses memorized, good songs tucked away into your heart can be used by God in might ways too.

Bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine. Love can heal what hurt divides. Mercy’s waiting on the other side.

There is freedom found when we lay our secrets at the cross. -“If We’re Honest” by Francesca Batistelli

This morning I was walking through the halls at church noticing all the people. Sometimes observing folks at church is like watching people putting their best foot forward and I would imagine that I’ve been guilty of that too.

To me church is about the sweet woman who hugged me tight as she spoke from a place of hurt about her marriage. Church is about a dear friend with a dear secret. Church, community, is about feeling free and safe to say this is who I am, these are my struggles, this is my journey…and being loved in return. Church should be a picture of our relationship with God if it functions properly.

Community, the church, should be a place where we can be who we truly are without fear. I’ve found this church! When the body of Christ functions healthily we should be able to lay bare our hurt at the foot of the cross together.

I’m not saying we should reveal our deepest hurts to strangers. I am saying that when you walk through your church next Sunday remember that we are all human. If you’ve been put off by churches I encourage you to try again because when you find a group of believers and leaders who walk life with you it is an amazing thing.

God created us for relationship with Him and with each other. Build a new relationship today or tend to someone who needs you. THAT is being the church to the world.