sunday’s song – listen to the Wind words–the Spirit blowing

Another year is about to end and I am doing what I always do–assessing. Assessing what worked, what didn’t, what has fallen short and what has overflowed abundantly in my heart. It’s an arduous process, that is, reflecting. It always leaves me feeling inadequate. At the same time, it gives me hope that a new year, (and a new decade in more ways than one for me) will provide just the opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning, and maybe a purer heart.

 Jonathan Edwards at the age of 19, purportedly recorded in one sitting, these 26 resolutions for his life. I am particularly interested in #22:

Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

The thought of living every moment with eternal perspective, in particular, eternal joy, absolutely is beyond my reach, but for a God who grants it by grace. However, a resolve on my part to want and pursue it with all of my being radically changes the paradigm. How badly do you want Him, Annette? How much do you seek Him? The ball is more in my court than I thought. This kind of grace doesn’t just happen haphazardly. It is deliberate and purposeful. My “theme” for 2009 was contentment. I will extend that to not just be a vision, but a working objective in 2010. Resolved, I will seek eternal joy!

If you’re wondering why this post is titled as it is, they were my watchwords in my reading tonight in Revelation 2 from The Message–“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

Blessed Sunday to each of you. May the Wind Words of the Holy Spirit blow through your church today! 

 
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sunday’s song – savior like a shepherd lead us

 

I found myself sitting in a classroom again after all these years, the first day in an advanced math class, of all things. Probably because I slept through most of Algebra and Trigonometry in high school, and Statistics was a foreign language to me in college, fear was rising from within.

The teacher was a familiar face, a German lady that had lived through the Holocaust. She smiled as everyone went around the room talking about what had brought them to this class. One woman stood up and said “I’m tired of living for everybody else, and I want to be more genuine.” Another friend from childhood who had worn a patch over one of his eyes told of having new eyes that could see clearly again after many years. As I wondered why I was there, my fear became gratitude. A song swelled in my heart, and before I knew it, we were all singing, “Blessed Jesus. Blessed Jesus, Thou has bought us. Thine we are…”
The teacher went over and prudently closed the door, but looked up with a satisfied smile on her face. It was in that moment, I turned around and saw three students who were not singing but had an anger about them. The young girl said, “This is evil!” I said, “I’m so sorry.” I felt their sense of exclusion. “But you must see that we are singing from a place of love that compels our thanksgiving to our Lord. Isn’t there something here that you can be thankful to your god for?” But their faces burned with more anger.

This was a dream I had last night.  I awoke singing this song that we sang in church when I was young. I know why it was a classroom but I’ll save that for another post. I remembered the oppression even within the walls of the classroom. Yet there was a freedom for everyone in Christ that is so hard to explain, and a compulsion from inside that demanded our worship and praise. The teacher represented someone who had lived through the oppression–a very real need I have right now to know we will survive the current days of oppression, (though they will get worse before they get better.) Freely worship Him today with hearts filled with gratitude.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
much we need thy tender care;
in thy pleasant pastures feed us,
for our use thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus!
Thou hast bought us, thine we are.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus!
Thou hast bought us, thine we are.