Do not promote guilt
When I died to set you free
Who decides which sin is worse
When this wasn’t even clarified by Me?
It is the condition of the heart
That only the Father can see
And He deals with it in grace
Not in condemnation to imprison thee
1 Samuel 16:7
“…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
“Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
I’ll wait for you, I’ll wait
Won’t do it as in the past
Won’t go my own way
Won’t jump in too fast
Your eyes see ahead
Your hand holds all the cards
You’ve made and erased all the rules
You’ve let me taste your heart
So I’ll wait, I’ll wait for you
Lest I err in my own way
I’ll take it slowly, let it unfold
And keep waiting on you today
People will let you down
They’ll disappoint you, fail you,
misunderstand, mistreat and leave you.
And when they do, turn to Me.
Turn to me in your hurt,
your sadness, disappointment and fear.
Turn to Me to learn forgiveness
To gain understanding
Turn to Me to be healed.
I forgive and love like no one else
I’ll teach you to do the same
It won’t always make sense
but My way is the best
not just for you
but for everyone here.
When it comes to things
I don’t understand
I give them to You
and trust what You say
When worry is tempting me
To care what others think
I remember your thoughts
Are all that matter anyway
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I don’t just want to rhyme
I want to find You
I want to use my life
To know and define You
I’m walking on invisible ground
Unseen by those around
But it’s proven sturdy
A faithful friend
I’ll choose it again
Let it all
Let it all
Let it all go
Holding onto daylight
Just trying to live right
Waking for tomorrow
Hoping You’ll show
You were in front of me
Proving You’re true
Then You hid and allowed me to be tested
My blinders came on
And I forgot all I knew
James 1: 23-25
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Stillness takes discipline
Waiting when I want to go
Pausing to take things slow
But it’s so good when I do stop
When I stop to look for You
When I stop to remember truth
Rest me not on my laurels
My good looks, fortune or fame
If I shall gain the whole world but not have You
I’d have nothing to my name
No applause shall appease me
No friendship, lover or affection due
My heart would be left cold and empty
Without the fulfillment of You
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Yes You are God of the past
But You are God of the future too
So electronics, texts and flip flops
Are not too much for You
“I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet
I wanna seek You now
Even though I’m tired
I wanna seek You now
And let the mystery unfold
I wanna seek You know
And be filled with wonder
I wanna seek You now
And trust all I’m told
May I never be so high That I fail to look up
May I never be so content
That I stop asking You to fill me up
May this world never answer
all of my questions
That I would stop bringing
all of my wondering to You
May my heart always long,
my hands ever reach,
my eyes always search
To experience You
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Pride quiet yourself
You will not be entertained
Suffer silently through
your offense and inflated pain
Regret you’ve been replaced
This is no longer your domain
You ruled uselessly for years
Now turn and go on your own way
And last but not least
I am abandoning you fear
For all the missed opportunities
You caused me while here
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I long to follow
my own dreams
Hoping my fairytales
will come true
But I’m concerned
That way of thinking
to the truth of You
Culture says I can have it all
It says to follow my heart
Your Word says my heart is deceptive
To not trust in myself but in who You are
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lifef will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
You know who’s hurting
You know each one’s needs
You know who’s heart is hardened
You know who needs some peace
“…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you only love those who love you, what reward will you get? …”
Where’s the depth?
My spirit feels dry
I need some resuscitation
Bring me back to life
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a]enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
You hold my hand
And walk with me
You know everything on my mind
And see my heart
You’ve plans in your own time
If what I want
Is beneath Your desire
I submit my will to Yours
You know better
And my vision is limited
So my wanting I’ll endure
Let my faith be my patience
Let is rise above the rest
Let it be the loudest voice
My heart hears
As I’m tempted by trials and tests
You are inscribed on my palm
Your name is before me day and night
Your soul calls out and I hear it
Your heart has needs and I want
To move the mountains to meet them
For you are precious in my sight
For who can express the great love of God… unrelenting, unequivocal to anything else. Grab hold, see it, feel it, hear it, it’s yours.
How deep is Your grace
Can it renew my faith
When I have no seeds left
Will it reveal Your face
2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
I can tell you what I believeBut cannot prove to you it’s true
I can rest in my beliefs in peace
And not expect you to believe them too
Because I’m still trying to figure it out
Day after day, year after year
And I still have questions and doubts
About all that I’m learning here
I can tell you I believe in a Creator
One that everything makes sense to
I believe He made me and knows me
And He wants me to know Him too
I believe in my moments of failure
He’s the only safe place to run
And when He saw my chosen path
He rescued me with His Son
I believe He pulls life together
Gives me significance and a place
I believe He holds all power
Yet is humble and full of grace
I believe He reveals just pieces
Letting me see just what I need
Until one day He’ll reveal it all
And by my faith in Him, I’ll be free
Simply turnToward open doors
Toward cleared paths
Toward His kind voice
Toward your destiny alas
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Here I am safe
Keep me in your arms
As I clean out the messes
That cause me nothing but harm
Here I am loved
Let me never forget
As I keep walking further away
From a broken past and regret
Here I am hopeful
Fix my gaze on You
As I search to know You more
Align my thoughts with Your truth
They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Pain taught me to self protect
And it built its own defense
But now when I try to walk in faith
I’m trapped behind this fence
I push some people away
And hide away with You
Until I’m reminded hiding
Is not what You intend me to do
Exercise faith with courage
By loving without fear
Some of these people I’m turning away
Are blessings You planned for me here
Here in this discomfort
You work out your will
Wrestling with my desires
You call me to be still
Watching and waiting
Trusting Your heart today
Your hand to lead the way
We rented a paddle board. I put my 4 year old in front, my 7 year old on the back and I stood in the middle paddling us out into the deeper water. Just around the side of the mountain the water opens up to a larger part of the lake and it’s beautiful and serene and most importantly (for a home full of 3 boys) quiet. The boys had never been on a paddle board before. They had been playing with their friends close to shore most of the day and I really wanted to get a chance and show them what it was like to go out deeper and see the calmer, even more beautiful parts of the lake on the other side. So off we went. Noah, my youngest, is scared of anything that’s not a perfectly solid ground. So he was hanging on for dear life to the roping on the board. Caleb who is rambunctious and cannot sit still was turning around, sticking his feet in the water and dipping his water gun in the lake to fill it up. My main goal was not to fall. But every time Caleb moved, he’d rock the board. So I finally said “look, I want to show y’all something really beautiful and the only way we’re going to get there is if you sit still and let me paddle.” And they did! And it was such a wonderful time with my boys. Of course as soon as I said it, I thought I bet God has asked me to do the same thing but I keep squirming and rocking the board. And if I would just sit still and be patient and let Him do the paddling, I could experience a blessed ride and see the beauty on the other side of the mountain.
“Be still, my soul,
The Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God, to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul,
Your best your heavenly friend,
Through thorny waves leads to a joyful end.”
-Be still my soul song lyrics
(This version by Ginny Owens)
I asked for years how to find itI searched, pleaded, implored
Imposters came and went until
One day it arrived at my door
It came in unannounced
Hidden by the storm outside
It learned it’s way around
Waiting for me to recognize
So when the storm ended
I looked to see where it went
And standing right beside me
There it was, true contentment.
…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Nearer and dearer each day
Until finally Your face is seen
Tiptoeing closer and closer to You
Until I’m caught in Heaven’s beam
Because of You
I have stability, security and strength
I know where and to whom I belong
Storms are used to strengthen me
Heartaches turn into song
Because of You
All troubles find their purpose
All questions are met with grace
All sins are cleansed and forgiven
There is hope in each new day
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
When I reach emptinessIt’s time to look up
When I find myself searching
It’s time to be reminded of Your love
I come to You empty handed
So You can pour into me
I find fulfillment in none other
So I can be reminded it’s You I seek
And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.
I needed a new pictureOne of truth
One that would not deceive
You grabbed Your brush
Painted new dreams
And brought real hope to me
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
4May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
5May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.
My hope points in the wrong directionIt’s simplistic and misguided
Turn my hope toward the things You want for me
And my hope will guide my feet.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
He came to me again
He showed me His hand
in the things I’ve been experiencing
He helped me understand
He loves, He frees,
He relentlessly loves.
He heals me
He is bound to no man. He is subject to no law.
He destroys boundaries, He is above it all.
The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Where do you run when your heart is searching?
I’ve looked to friends
Looked to family
Looked to religion
Looked to destiny
I’ve played nice
I’ve taken revenge
I’ve taught peace and love
I’ve found my zen
They all lead me back
To the same dead end
In my heart, in my mind
When I give things to You
You change them
You change me
And You become the only One
I ever want to run to
Journal entry from years past…
The first 10 years of my growing relationship with Christ was spent learning and absorbing. I absorbed everything there was to hear or read about the Bible. I learned lessons, I was fed spiritually, I grew in my faith by seeing prayers answered and I came to trust in God’s love and grace. It was the time when every sermon on the radio filled my heart and head with joy and peace and my sustenance each day was hearing from the Lord. I was blessed. I was blessed with an abundance of answered prayers. I was blessed with marriage and children and church and friends. Sin still caused disturbances from time to time but God’s grace always prevailed. I was forgiven, I was cleansed and I was held in his arms.
The next season began to creep in. This next season didn’t feel quite as pleasant. I became aware of 2 distinct parts of my life. The one and most important part of my life rested in this bubble above my head. This bubble contained everything I had absorbed in the last 10 years. It was filled with biblical truths and godly wisdom. I’d reach in the bubble and grab ideas out to use when appropriate. I’d reach in there to remember God’s grace when it was needed. It was an awesome and useful bubble. But down below, I walked the plain of life in another category. I walked in my emotions. I saw life’s circumstances through my emotions. I acted on them and looked to them for truth and for guidance. The two bubbles, I thought, had always been aligned pretty well, co-existing in harmony until some differences began to appear.
My emotions began to lead me one direction while my Christian knowledge was leading me in another. How could this be? Can I no longer trust my instinct or emotion? “Serve your neighbor” but “I don’t like my neighbor”. “Be patient with your husband” but “he’s wrong!” and the list goes on…and on….and on. My growing awareness of these two spheres of influence brought forth the question “which one do I now follow?” Will I surrender all and follow Him no matter where He leads even if it is against my own desires? Will I allow my faith to become victorious over my feelings?
You are Lord of the heavens and the earth and over this heart and life of mine. I pray that You would wash away the parts of me that still fight You and oppose your leading. I pray I would be surrendered completely to your guidance and your will. Thank You for never giving up on me and always loving me passionately. Thank You for making me your child, forgiven and free. Thank You for having a plan for my life and the means to carry it out. Thank you that your plan is so much better than mine. Strengthen me to choose You every day. Amen
Certain things I’ll never understand
And some of them cause me pain
But when I place them in Your hand
They never quite feel the same
The sting is dulled, hope gets brighter
Faith feels renewed and restored.
So I’ll keep placing life in Your hands
And keep my torn heart at Your door
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
You are above my emotions, above all that I think or feel.
My future is not dictated by my circumstances, but by your will.
Elevating my beliefs to your truths requires turning away from lies
Lies that say life’s only goal is reaching self satisfaction
That all must be well around me before following through with godly action
Earthly troubles are my perimeter, all that my earthly eyes can see
Looking beyond to the heavenly is what You are asking of me.
Scripture says your ways are above mine and your thoughts are not as my own
That You surpass all understanding, that You sit on your royal, heavenly throne.
This earthly plain I so clearly see.
Let me leave it behind to rest beside Thee.
And when He gives the signal
And it’s time for the trumpet to blow
The walls will come down crumbling
And you will see, you will know
All that had been a mystery
All your mind couldn’t grasp
All your pain and suffering
Will lose power and collapse
1 Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
I was following my heart
And my heart was deceived
Truth that was staring at me
Was still hard to see
I tried to piece it together
Tried to satisfy this heart
But it kept leading me wrong
Deeper into the dark
Heart, what have you done?
I thought I could trust you
But you are wavering and selfish
Your guidance will no longer do
I need a higher guide
One not tainted by sin and desire
One who will lead me right
And keep me safe through this mire
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”
There are times we come to a place
Where a decision needs to be made
Our natural self leans a certain way
But You tell us to stop and wait
Past my inklings
There’s your voice I think
When I don’t follow me
But I wait and trust in You
You give me the answers
And show me what to do
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Is your love
Thank you for including me
For counting me as your own
For not rejecting me
Or leaving me to do life alone
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave younor forsake you.”
I’ve been told about You
I’ve seen glimpses yet only a few
In certain seasons, You’ve held me close
Now as I see more, I realize how little I knew
You are more than I thought
More loving towards me
The following is a condensed excerpt from “The Jesus I Thought I Knew” by Philip Yancey
“The more I studied Jesus, the more difficult it became to pigeon-hole him…..He urged obedience to the Mosaic law while acquiring the reputation as a lawbreaker. He could be stabbed by sympathy for a stranger, yet turn on his best friend with the flinty rebuke ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ He had uncompromising views on rich men and loose women, yet both types enjoyed his company. One day miracles seemed to flow out of Jesus; the next day his power was blocked by people’s lack of faith.”
And then there comes a time
You have to rise above it all
Renew your vision
For greater things, a higher call
Step into the shoes
That are waiting there for you
Shake off the dust and see
These stepping stones are brand new
There’s hope ahead
The road has turned
There’s a reason for everything
You just struggled to learn
I have a few blind spots
Where my vision’s unclear
I look and I squint
Still clarity is not there
Strength here is gone
Self will won’t heal my sight
These are the places
I must surrender the fight
I must surrender my will
In the places I can’t see
And trust there’s a Savior
Looking out and caring for me
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
When I feel led by You
I have to follow through
Despite what others may say
It may sound foolish
The path I choose
But I’m following it anyway
I won’t do this perfectly
I’ll deny You
and I’ll fall
But this is the way
I want to go
This path is worth it all
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.