Tuesday, March 29, 2011

She Must and Shall Go Free

My family (mostly my mom, love you mom!) has told me for years that sometimes it is hard to follow me when I talk because I change the subject of the conversation so many times, it gets confusing to keep up. I think I have gotten better at that I've gotten older, ironically, I married someone who has the same issue (I refuse to call it a problem:)) All this to say is that the following blog goes a million places and I am hoping I can write in such a way that you will follow, here goes nothing...

First, I will start off with admitting that I can be a huge spiritual snob sometimes. What is that? Someone who does not like to give simple church answers to questions, I like to give deep philosophical answers that are SO deep... haha, but seriously I totally got humbled three weekends ago. I was visiting my mom and dad's Sunday school class at church and one of the topics of the discussion was Joy and Joy "busters" (a joy buster being someone/thing that takes away/destroys our joy) and the teacher asked that class what they can do to deal with "joy busters." As I was sitting there in my chair thinking about how we can meditate on God's word and focus on all the good things He has done for us (as you can previously read, I'm big on remembering:)) This lady in the front row said, "I like to sing!" To which the teacher responded with an affirmative towards the lady. Here comes the spiritual snob thought that I am sooooooo ashamed that I thought (I did not say it out loud, only to you right now!): "Singing? What are we in kindergarten? Who really sings when they are upset? C'mon lady, you are like, older, can't you do better than singing????" I am really so embarrassed of myself sometimes... God is so good, tho, He's really into redeeming things. Cut to the next paragraph and about two weeks later...

So about two weeks later, Tim and I get into a little, small, teensy-tiny,"tiff" one morning over the phone and the conversation does not end well and its time for me to take a shower. I did not want to spend the day with my "joy busted" so, do you know what I did?? I brought my ipod into the bathroom and found Derek Webb on my playlist and listened to the CD "She Must and Shall Go Free" and SANG in the shower!!! Do you know what happened? Joy Buster DIVERTED!! HAhaha, I can be so foolish. Here I was thinking that if you can just sit down and focus on God, do you know how hard it is to just sit down and focus? Takes forever for me, and in the process sometimes I just end up focusing on Tim and how mad I am at him! Do you know how easy it is to focus on the Lord when wonderful music is filling the room with praises to Him?? So easy! So, I admit my haughtiness and confess of pride and repent, leaving it hear on this post on the internet... But... Derek Webb leads me to my next paragraph and thought...

So, ever since listening to "She must and Shall go free" that day, I can't get enough of that CD. In fact, if you have been wondering where all my cool quotes have been coming from on my facebook, they have not been my original idea (I wish) they are Derek Webb's and whoever else helped him write those songs. This CD is challenging, in a good way, my friends. Its kind of like, the words are the medicine, and the music is the sugar that helps make it go down! (thank you Mary Poppins) This CD came out "03/"04ish and I mean it could still be re-released today and I feel be just as powerful. I challenge you to get the album from wherever and listen to the songs and the lyrics and really let what he is singing seep in. I mean even today, I can't get enough, listening to it in the shower! (I do want to put a disclaimer in just so you know, two things about Derek Webb and the CD if you are serious about listening to some serious Christian music: 1. Derek Webb is a Calvinist and I believe that comes through in his lyrics, there is nothing wrong with Calvinism, you can look it up yourself, but I just think you should know, and 2. Um, some of the language is strong, in that manner I mean, he uses the word whore on the regular, mainly to describe himself and the church in the light of God's unfailing Goodness. If that kind of language is offensive to you, it's the same way that God refers to Israel in the old testament, then this is not the CD for you.) Good, disclaimer made, however, today I was thinking about my cousin Brenda as I was listening to the lyrics, here they are, some of my favorites:

"Like the Three in One, know you must become what you want to save, cause that's still the way, He takes to the world..."

Challenged yet? If you aren't well... anyway, why it reminded me of my cousin is that she is working for and organization that rescues females who have been sex trafficked. Don't know what that is or what that means? I did not even know this existed until about a couple of years ago myself. You know, we think that when women go missing they were probably killed, sometimes death would be better than what happens to these poor souls. Go to Brenda's Tumblir link I have posted for you, she has all kinds of info on sex trafficking, but in a breakdown, here is what I can tell you it is: 1.Young women are sold continuously into prostitution, drugged, and beaten everyday of their lives. 2. It is evil, and I am almost certain Satan himself is the head of these organizations.

My Beautiful cousin Brenda has become like those she wants to save, no she is not being sex trafficked, she is working at a house and counseling, loving on and literally fighting for the lives of these women, so that they may know that 1. they are not a commodity, they are daughters of a Greater King 2. They are loved beyond the confines of this world. How easy do you think it would be to convey this to a young girl who has been sold to be a sex toy for perverted men at a young age? My cousin is literally charging the gates of hell, and I believe that whether or not you even believe in God or a higher being, you have to admit that this sex trafficking is just evil at its worst.

Did I mention that safety is non-existent when taking in girls like these? We are talking about organized crime, and unlike drugs, these girls can bring in infinite amounts of money, because they can be reused until they are dead. So, if a young girl breaks free who was earning you upwards of (I'll ballpark it here) $1000 a day, do you think they might want her back, and would stop at nothing to get that child? Am I making you uncomfortable? I sure hope so, but you know what makes me uncomfortable, sitting here in my beautiful house writing on my computer hoping to open the eyes of anyone out there to the horrible truth, while my cousin risks her very life to give love and God's truth on the frontlines of spiritual battle.

Derek Webb was right, I cannot reach one lost soul that is being sold into sex slavery on my couch, my cousin will though. She has become like the ones she wants to save, cause that's still the way, He takes to the world. Please join me, in providing support to my cousin, through prayer (it is the MOST important) and financial support. Sending paper towels and batteries is really as easy as it sounds. Or, do you have an extra $25 to spare? Send it to the organization as a donation. A little or a lot goes a long way.

I hope you got my thought process, singing to ward of joy busters, singing Derek Webb to challenge your spiritual walk, Derek Webb reminding me that my cousin is being Jesus to the World, my cousin needing your prayers for safety, support, and encouragement, and ultimately to stop a one billion dollar industry created by satan himself. Yeah... that all make since right?

Thanks for hanging in there with me friends!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A General Musing...

To my friend Rachel who is getting married soon, I am sorry I put your blog title as the title for my post, but it really is a general musing today.

That is me on my wedding day. No, today is not my anniversary and I will not be writing about my wedding or marriage or anything like that...

I just wanted to put a reminder out there for all the internet and me to see, how really, really good I looked at one time. Vain? I don't think so, and maybe its because you don't know how much I really need to remind myself of things sometimes.

Do you lose sight of things sometimes? Isn't it nice to go back and look at pictures and remind yourself of things, sometimes?

The child in that picture was a very scared young lady. I had lived under my parents roof all the way up until I got married. I had never lived by myself, much less try to share a residence with a young man. But I SO looked forward to the future with bright eyes and great expectations. Do I still do that?

Tough question to ask and answer.

Here is to bright eyes and hoping for a wonderful future and remembering that God will take us forward, whether or not we are wearing a beautiful white dress that we hand-picked out for a special day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Come Thou Fount

Since I quit last November, people ask me all the time what I am up to these days. What do I do to fill in those 40-60 hours a week that I was normally spending doing my job?? And that answer to that question is... I don't know? I mean, I can tell you I do not sit around my house all day and do nothing. I could go into a list of things I do, but then I would just feel like I was trying to justify myself to you. I was volunteering at the church, but then I had to take a good look at my life. I was running around trying to do everything I could not only to be busy but to be a good and active member of the church, and one day, I just wound up unhappy and tired and miserable and crying at my friend Emily's house wondering why I feel like a terrible person. And here is what she said to me:

"You have the good girl syndrome..."

And there was a good and amazing conversation that happened after that. I believe I probably have struggled with that all of my life. The problem is, with us good girls. We want so much to DO things for the Lord, we forget to live life WITH God. I know you think that is silly because if you are doing something for God, you must be doing it with Him right? All I can say is that sometimes in my desire to do, I forget as to whom I am doing it for, and I hope I am not the only Christian on this planet that has done that, because if I am, that is so sad...

So, I have taken a step back and started to do things WITH God that I have not been doing that are very basic, for example, reading my Bible. Seriously, I will admit, I neglected it. Not proud of that, nor am I really happy with myself I admitted this on the internet. Moving forward... I started in Judges, I don't know why I just felt a need to read the Old Testament, and the only reason I know that I am reading where I need to be is when I am reading I feel like I am drinking in every word and I can't get enough. Loving these Old Testament stories. So then I come to 1Samuel and I read this Passage

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer (which means stone of help) saying "Thus far has the Lord helped us."

Now, this is where Come Thou Fount Comes in. Come Thou Fount (of Every Blessing) is one of my favorite hymns only tying with Amazing Grace. I have loved to sing the words of this song, I look forward to it whenever I hear the intro. But here I have been singing it for most of my life and not knowing half the lyrics is unacceptable. This hymn is chalk full of Biblical references and here is the Ebenezer reference, right in 1 Samuel. Which got me thinking...

Samuel raised his Ebenezer when he won a HUGE battle, the first of the many battles he won as a judge of Israel. When do I raise my Ebenezer? When was the last time, I looked to God and said "Hither by thy help I've come!!" The first Ebenezer in any Christian's life is Salvation, for Salvation is from the Lord. There have been many Ebenezer's in my life. I don't want to name them, cause I'm sure you have Ebenezer's too. But in the Old Testament, the judges were always putting up literal images of reminders of where God had brought/helped them. That they may never forget, still seems as if Israel had a bad case of amnesia anyway.

All in all, this has taught me that, I need to raise Ebenezer's in my life. I need to be more intentional about remembering and having some type of literal image to raise when I can recognize a time where God Helped me. I want to build my life around God and the reminders of where He has brought me, because to be embarrassing honest, I guess I suffer from amnesia a lot myself. Because the next time I sing those beautiful lyrics "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I've come!" I want to be able to pin-point the most recent victory in a hard fought spiritual fight. Something just to chew on today friends!