“To Know You” on youtube

Something that is likely quite easy to guess about me is my love for honest, introspective work. I mean, I don’t try to hide it much, do I? 🙂

So..safe to say, when it comes to music, when I can feel someone’s heart in their voice and their words, I am most generally sold.

Such as it was when I first heard Nichole Nordeman on my WOW CD back in the day….

Loved the rawness. Loved the honest observations.

But, I feel I must freely admit some things:

At the time I discovered her, I had also discovered another female singer/songwriter that was on the rise at the same time that compelled me just a touch more. Maybe it was because she was from my home state. I don’t know. 😏

Anyway…that meant I didn’t rank Nichole as my absolute favorite then, but rather, as just someone I dug her style and a few of her tunes enough to listen to and relate.

One of those tunes was once found worthy to hunt the split-track cassette of (Oy. Showing my age again! 😏) in order to do it for special music one Sunday back when I was less petrified to do such.

But, when that lifetime got pushed aside by divorce, some of those cassettes and CDS also got put away.

Or trashed.

A couple of them smashed, to be honest.

Oh, I had my tried and trues I’d always cling to, yes. My comfort songs. My nights tuned in to the radio so I could get a shred of sleep.

But, others? Well, they were more or less just painful reminders of the hopes and dreams that had vanished, so away they went with old photos and my first wedding dress.

Even that other home state girl? My slightly more beloved singer/songwriter?

Well, she proved to pick up her guitar and vanish from the scene herself, only to come back years later professing a sinful lifestyle in the name of Jesus. I won’t say her name, but the story lays heavy on my heart and my prayer is she will recognize her folly before it’s too late.

But, back to Nichole and why I chose to share this song today.

In my year of introspection, I have begun to revisit many things. Many times, many places, each flavored with its own sound.

This one, this which I once sang with every ounce of emotion I had, came back to me recently.

And I realized more deeply than ever the beauty of it.

That it remained the cry of my heart.

To lay it out so bare as Nichole’s lovely lyrics and voice do. To admit, yes, I struggle. I doubt.

But, above all, I really want to know You, God.

May this be the cry of all our hearts, dear friends. Have a listen and be blessed. Much love and many prayers. ❤

A Time to Refrain

Had to dig waaaay back in my archives for this one, friends. It touched on a situation that was rather painful.

Then, it actually faded away for a time. I thought it was done.

Ah, but, now, in this last year, it has come back full force.

I find myself alternately weeping to God and aching inside with bitterness as I watch the one dearest to me, my second chance at life and love, put others ahead of me.

Not helpful in my depressive state, to say the least!

Perhaps, another major contributing factor, truth be known.

For my discernment still screams caution in big red letters while his seems to say plunge ahead. Way ahead.

And either drag me along or abandon me to my unkind little self.

Oh, just that word “abandon”…😔

My every fiber shakes at it.

Now, I fret at moments that it all does just boil down to my social anxiety and massive struggles to trust.

My dear one seems to attribute all to that, too.

Yet…there are things and situations clearly and not-so-clearly crossing boundaries that I feel I should be assertive enough to say are just not cool to me without accusations of inhospitality.

I have received advice from a dear friend or two stating as much, leading me to believe maybe it’s not just that I am crazy or antisocial.

Maybe there is something to it.

But, as the situation drags on….

And on…and my feelings feel more and more back-seated….

I find I am feeling too weary to fight and to try drawing more lines, knowing they will only be erased….

At any rate, enough jabber. Click the link and read on if you’re so inclined. And keep me in prayer as I continue to navigate this incredibly tricky season.

And my apologies if I seem really vague. I just can’t spell it all out here. It’s just…too much.

Anyway, thank you. Blessings and prayers as ever, dear friends. ❤

https://alwaysajesusgirl.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/a-time-to-refrain/

Rich Mullins – Hold Me Jesus (with Introduction)

Went looking for this song tonight. Really, really needed it.

Actually, I have more than one CD with it on there, but, the phone’s in the hand and the CDs are way over there…😏

Anyway, I stumbled on this version with a short clip ahead of it where Rich explains this beautiful song so… beautifully.

In such a way my heart feels reminded of His truth just when I need it most.

God always, always has a way of meeting us where we are. 🙂

Wherever you are and whatever you are dealing with, know Jesus is here to hold you, friend.

Listen and be blessed. ❤

At the Well

It’s been a long while since I really spoke of my hurt.

It occurred to me recently that many of you newer readers may not even know that much about it beyond snippets still given here and there.

A dig through the more distant reaches of my archives would enlighten, of course.

And I can make it more convenient by indicating that you may click here for perhaps the best rundown, if so inclined.

But, overall, there are reasons I resist touching too much on it.

I haven’t wanted to feel as though I am eliciting sympathy or sinking down into the past and staying there.

I also don’t want to dip into any unfair comparisons from past to present.

Insecurity has a way of painting everything in dark, foreboding shades.

What may, in fact, be unintentional on the part of a loved one now looks like the same heart-shattering experience as before when glimpsed through the lens of an oft-wounded soul.

Still, I am nothing if not honest here.

The fact is, though I speak often of “Be still and know that I am God”-something I am truly striving to live in the light of every day-there is a growing melancholy weighing on my heart at present.

A deep-seated sadness settling in that is stealing at my ability to rightly express it.

Depression has long been with me, mind you. We are certainly not strangers.

More than once, it nearly snuffed the life out of me, in fact.

Now, it is something that hovers in the background and makes itself known by turns.

Right now? It’s a “making itself known” season.

I fight to go to sleep with this heaviness these days, reawakening frequently, an unidentifiable fear cloaking me in the midslumber haze.

Where it is coming from, I can cast about a few ambiguous notions, but, where there are some aspects of my life to definitively point to as a source, I can’t necessarily call too much of it concrete.

Is it all rooted in my past, so littered as it is by abuse and abandonment?

Or is it my ever-present anxiety over signs that such pain, real or no, is or is about to revisit me?

Angry shouts do ring in my head long after they have ceased and have an unfortunate tendency to visit me in my dreams.

It’s quite the challenge to rest my soul in any “it is well” feeling, even when life is managing fairly pleasantly, let alone when it is not.

For there is the nearly constant question mark in my head:

“When’s the next time the wounding will come?”

How will it come?”

And-“Will I be able to sustain myself following it?”

Now, there are days I can rightly shove this aside and recall to myself just Who my sustainer is.

Most days, in fact.

But, other days?

Ah, other days, I find myself forgetting.

Perhaps, it is the old recordings in my head getting louder, stating in dismissive tones how try as I might, I’m still just no good.

A loser.

A wimp.

A tramp.

Unwanted.

Unworthy.

Unable.

And I know that I know that that is most emphatically not true-not in God’s eyes!

But…circumstances make my hands slow to switch off the tape sometimes.

So…what do I do?

Dig myself further in one way or another.

Either into deeper wells of sorrow, cranking up that ugly noise and feeding upon the slow death of it.

Not a good thing!

Or…the better part-

I dig in deeper to prayer.

To worship.

To His words-to me and for me.

The far superior well to spend my time in by far!

Full of Living Water ready for the drinking in.

Bread of Life to feed upon.

Brothers and sisters that come alongside and nourish you even further in encouraging words.

And, of course, The One who intimately knows sorrow to carry the burden of it beside me.

It doesn’t mean I don’t still feel what I feel.

There’s a funny little truth about hurt.

It does not disappear in a snap.

Painful memories are long and thoughts often remain reactionary.

Trust is a shaky rope bridge at best.

Time to heal is key and, even then, some scars are prominent.

But, in that gift that is time, wounds can be eased, joys resurrected, trust finds firmer feet, and life continues on…

With all its seasons of delight and grief, smooth planes and blessed bumps alike.

Not absent of hurt by any means.

But, perhaps, richer for it.

Whatever season you find yourself in, dear friends, may you find the well full of the riches of life in the Lord! Blessings and prayers! ❤

Our Job

I could say a lot of things today. There remains so much…unrest. Not the first instance, of course, and certainly won’t be the last.

But, I don’t think this particular bout will leave us anytime soon, sadly. And I believe it grieves the Lord’s heart.

Contrary to popular belief, His intent for us is not to stand on harsh rhetoric and self-righteousness.

Rather, it is truth- in love.

Again, I could say a lot of things. But, I won’t.

That whole truth in love thing…it’s really important.

So….I will be obedient to that.

All He really desires of me today, it seems, is to point out one key thing:

We are all so frail.

So terribly, remarkably…human.

Far too prone to pick up the hammer in our unskilled hands and make a mess trying to fix this broken world ourselves-as if it’s our job!

Far too prone to forget there is One who already came along, gathered our shambles, and did it better -did it completely, in fact-with three nails and two rough planks of wood…😉

And demonstrated to us just why this job is not ours, but His.

So, with a snippet of humor here and a sly dig there (trust me, I feel some elbow in my ribs, too 🙂), plus a fair amount of His amazing grace to soothe it all, let me remind us what our job really is…

We are such carnal beings,

In slouchy suits

And muddy boots,

Everything seeming such vital things,

But how easily we forget all but one is temporary!

And we are ever so wrong

When we flex muscles

And throw about colorful verbiage in a tussle,

Daring to call ourselves strong-

There’s ample evidence to the contrary!😏

And woe to us when we pretend

It is within our puny power

To save the world with all its myriads of trouble!

Let me just gently but decidedly burst

That particular bubble:

It’s not.

Psst.

It’s not even our job. 😮

“But-but, I must!

It’s on us!” comes the sob.

Yes, the price of sin is ours;

No doubt, it’s our degradation the air sours,

But, remember, friend, our salvation’s

Already been bought!

For Jesus Christ paid it all,

With all that is most dear.

With each precious drop of blood

He answered our anguished call,

Taking on our fight

And making it so we might

Face eternity without fear!

If only we’d lay down the unwieldy

Hammers of our fumbled sense

And just accept our job is to accept His love fulfilled!

For, the cross is full of evidence

Of just how agonizingly,

Yet so perfectly it was unfurled!

And, then, the task becomes to go

Share this happy truth with others,

Let His love and joy in every corner of earth spill,

Shining light to both friend and foe,

And, thereby, let Jesus be the One to

Save this broken world…

Remember, Jesus is still Jesus, my dear friends! We may be fallible, but He is mighty to save and that never changes no matter what else does! Let Him be your strength this day and every day! Blessings and prayers! ❤

The Onus

Hello, there! I had jotted down the first few lines of this one quite some time ago but could not find a finish till now.

It is easy to despair the state of our world and allow these cares to distract us from the mission we all have as His children. I pray we do not abandon His call to share the gospel, especially in this season where hope and healing are so desperately needed. May these few simple lines stir our hearts…

Why should we be surprised

When lost people act lost?

When their blinded eyes

Don’t recognize Calvary’s cost?

It’s dismaying,

The things they’re doing and saying,

There’s no doubt.

Yet, these heartwrenching things

They are displaying?

It’s often the inclination they know

The most about.

Never to excuse, mind you.

God’s truth is in every bit of creation

Calling out to draw and to woo.

But, believers, I feel I must say,

The burden to share Jesus

Is on us;

The onus is on us to point the way.

And, then, it is for us to stay,

Not to neglect to disciple and to pray,

But, rather, with humbleness of heart

To be a willing part,

Of seeing His filling impart,

Springing new life out of the decay.

May we indeed be about His business, sharing the truth of Jesus with those in need! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! ❤

A Better Gratitude

Hey, there, friends! Gratitude on the brain for obvious reasons, but also in how it relates to how we spend our precious time-on what and, especially, on Who. Too much is wasted on futile pursuits and disputes, not near enough on sharing the good news of His love. Or, on the sometimes very necessary silence we ought to have before Him.

Time.

It ticks on, draws taut,

Gratitude all but forgot

As we all scramble to do what we think we ought.

Yet, minutes, precious and few,

Are too often frittered away

As comes forth from us the

Sad and endless spew.

Maybe if we all just for a while STOP THE TALKING,

The incessant talking,

The insistent, the maddening, elbow-jabbing bicker

And show even just the tiniest flicker

Of a Christ-like recognition for others,

Let His love truly be our ignition in

How we relate to one another,

Perhaps there could be less seconds

Shed like water down the proverbial drain

And instead the mindless jabber could

Bend

To become a much sweeter, more

Purposeful refrain…

Or maybe even, dare I say a blessed

Silence

When with Him we are at last in twain?😏

Ah, but is this hope of mine

None but a wistful dream?

Looking around at ever errant

Humanity’s darkening signs,

So it would seem…

Yet, I know a God who is greater than

We deserve

Who amazingly is yet extending to us

A grace we could never earn!

And patiently He seeks to guide us in

A better gratitude,

To infuse our attitude with the

Promise of life eternal,

To grow in us a beautiful garden from

A single willing kernel.

Would that we would pay heed to His

Instruction

Before we reach that final junction!

For time spins ever forward,

Well-spent or no.

May we still our wandering

Voices,

To Him look toward…

Tune our thoughts to become

Mindful of our forevers

And our choices,

And let the cross alone point which way to go…

Blessings and prayers on your Thanksgiving, friends! This year proves to be different but all the more reason to be mindful! ❤

Good Grief, Charlie Brown or The Red Baron Strikes Again

Fair warning: I feel a bit like a cranky old lady tonight. It isn’t that this is not true to form, but it may sound a tad more sarcastic than my more poetical side. But, when He lays it on my heart, what can I do but speak it? Besides, I always remember Apostle Paul had a fair amount of sarcastic wit when he had a piece to speak. So, if the author of a good portion of our New Testament could do it, I figure God can utilize it in me, too. 🙂

So…that title might stir some supposing on subject matter….

But, no...this isn’t truly about Apple’s decision to snatch away childhood memories, though the greed that appears to be behind the decision to hold the Peanuts specials more or less captive and the price-gouging of DVDs by some that has followed does play into the broader picture I wish to speak of:

Rampant self-centeredness.

In a world consumed by pandemic, it is the real plague, or to pull out the Charlie Brown analogy a bit, the Red Baron of our existence.

Always has been, honestly, though this easy access age seems to put it endlessly in our faces.

It’s what causes the all-too-abundant parade of posturing that comes out of so many walks of life:

Be it Hollywood, Washington, or-dare I say- our own neighborhood.

Far too often, in countless ways, everything boils down to “looking out for number one”.

If I get my piece of the pie or heck, the whole pie, I’m good. 🙄

Forget the other guy because the other guy ought to be looking out for himself.

Because, really, isn’t life about saving our own hides?

Covering our own respective hind ends?

Getting our faces in whatever limelight is afforded us?

Staking our claims.

Pressing for what we want and when we want it.

Stacking our wallets!

Getting the job, the car, the suit, the house.

The Life!

Oh, and the rep. Mustn’t ever forget the proper, politically astute, carefully couched, self-righteous posing that allows for your rep.

Most important accessory of all!

So, when you have all that together, who gives a flying fig for the other guy?

Unless, of course, the other guy can provide a photo op for your “charitable cause” or especially, as more often the case in our virtue signaling culture, if he dares to cramp your style.

Then, you care about him.

Or at least, in case of the latter, about what he’s doing wrong.

Then, he must hear about it and hear about it from you. For only you can say it right.

Not to mention all the likes you’ll accumulate from your followers or how much more you can amass for your brand when you verbally or textually take him down.

That much more power to wield from atop the tower you rest yourself upon!

Hurrah!

After all, it’s your life, right?

It’s all about yourself, is it not? 🙄

Ummm….no.

Ok. Not loud enough.

Ahem. Again:

Noooooo!

None of this life-I repeat-none of it is meant to be about ourselves.

No…despite so much pumped into us from birth on to the contrary, it’s really about one thing and one thing only:

Christ and Him crucified.

Rejoicing in the amazing fact He did it for us self-serving folks and seeking to instead serve Him.

And what does that often look like here on this earth?

Well… looking out for the other guy.

After all, there’s this from the Savior himself:

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matt. 25:40.

Now, this is emphatically NOT so you can look good on social media.

Nor so you can put the other guy “in his place”.

*Cough.* Plank in the eye. 😉 *Cough*.

Rather, it is so you can have the joy of sharing the love of Jesus with another human life without regard to what you can get out of it and, prayerfully, point the way to salvation through Him.

That’s it. Really.

God’s generosity to us lending itself to what should be ours to others.

Funny how that nasty Red Baron of self-centeredness has a way of complicating a truly simple matter, isn’t it?😏

Oh, may we defeat this tendency for self-centeredness! May the Lord press on our hearts love and concern for the other guy!

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Much love, many blessings and prayers to you! ❤

Newsboys – Joy

Hi, friends! I have been sitting here waiting on deeper inspiration again.

So…in the meantime, an update, a song, and perhaps a bit of a ramble. 🙂

Things are progressing pretty nicely on most all fronts in our world.

School has thus far remained a safe and happy go-to for my younger ones as the pursuit of music, performance, and friends tops their list. And for one, a big shocker is added-cross country! (Seriously, folks…athleticism is not in the genes. At all. So, the fact my 16 year old boy has determination to push through majorly sore ankles to try this is awesome.😊 )

And my college boy? Well, he is stepping forward in self-management and relationships, each step precious proof autism has become his fuel (As well as increasing evidence I’m getting older! Acck! 😳🙂).

Let’s see…what else?

Business is busy. Right now, my husband is on the remodel that never ends, but hey, that is job security right there! 😏

Oh, and Community Youth Group has begun again as of last Wednesday! I was thrilled to make cookies and spend some time in worship and study with our dear kiddos! ❤😊

And, beyond the usual allergy invasion and the nose-blowing fest that naturally follows, I am actually finding some fairly decent days physically speaking- between the creaky joints, of course. 🙂

Life is still with its various shades of differences and challenges, no doubt, but there is a joy that rises…and not just because things are well at present.

Don’t get me wrong-it’s great things are well at present!

I’m so grateful.

But, joy is not found in whether all’s well or not-so-well.

No…rather, it is found in waking up and abiding with Jesus.

Every day I get to roll out of bed and know my sweet Lord is right beside me, ready to help me face whatever comes.

And that bubbles up in me a song that has been one of my go-to’s-from another band that has long been a go-to in of themselves…

Newsboys-in particular, their earlier years.

Hmmm…maybe it’s the 90’s-early 2000’s kid in me. 😉

Don’t get me wrong. I still love what the newer incarnation of the group does now, but, oh, my…the exultant bounce to this one!

The effervescent, intricate lyrics!

It really takes me back.

I can’t help but rejoice with this one….

Have a listen and see if you don’t rejoice with me. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❤

Get it Together

Been pondering what I wanted to say today to honor 9/11, knowing this day in history rightly deserves something. In reading dear friends’ words and tossing around thoughts of my own, all I keep landing on is how much this time is in contrast to then. Those were scary times. Hard times indeed. And I won’t pretend sin wasn’t rife in our nation then. Yet, there was also such a period of solidarity that sprang up out of tragedy that unfortunately faded far too quickly and hasn’t been seen since




Was it really so long ago

Devastation rolled across our screens?

Did the skies really tear open and explode?

Did the buildings crumble ?


Did our high hopes tumble

As city streets began to fill with  screams?

Has it really been that many years

Since we met the challenge with prayerful tears?

Has it all faded from memory

The way we united on bended knee

And shared in the burdens and the fears?

I am loathe to think we have forgotten.

Yet, I must acknowledge the pledge

To stand hand in hand has gone rotten.

Did I know this would happen?

With a twinge, I have to admit I saw it somewhere down the road.

I cringe at the way humanity

Slips away so casually,

Our ardor toward our Lord grown so quickly cold!

Oh, Father, that remembrance would stir!

Oh, that useless rants would cease

And peace in Christ would be allowed to occur!

Oh, I know our downfalls,God.

Yet, I also know You can lift us beyond.

Though we too often neglect to

Do as we ought,

Guide us yet to Your truth

And teach us again to forsake You not.

Oh, disentangle us from this tether of sin,
And help us to come together again!