Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Keep A Quiet Heart

Psalm 131

131:1 O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor do I have a haughty look.
I do not have great aspirations,
or concern myself with things that are beyond me.
131:2 Indeed I am composed and quiet,
like a young child carried by its mother;
I am content like the young child I carry.
131:3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
now and forevermore!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Symphony

Tonight I am doing something new and different. I am going to the Meyerson Symphony in Dallas. I have not considered myself a fan of classical music, nor of the symphony, but I think it will be fun to do something different and experience a change of scenary.

My friend, Denashia, won 2 tickets on the radio and invited me to go with her. Isn't that sweet? So, we will get to go on this new adventure together to the symphony. I have secretly envied people who can play a musical instrument. If you think about it, truly music is amazing. How do all of those sounds come together and blend so beautifully?

At the wedding last Saturday, the liturgical praise dancers danced to a song by Fred Hammond called, "You are My Symphony." It was a beautiful testimony of how God is the Orchestrator of our lives, blending everything in harmony, making a beautiful song.

Like a conductor, God's invisible hand is moving, instructing things to go in a way which blend together in perfect harmony. Our job is to be seated and to follow His lead, trusting His guidance.

Tonight when I'm at the symphony, I'll be thinking of God in that way. I'm glad to be going, but I'm even more excited to have an excuse to get dressed up!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Bigger Picture

Well, the wedding bells have stopped ringing, the cake has been eaten, vows exchanged, the bouqet has been tossed (which, by the way I caught ), and I am happy to report there were no wardrobe malfunctions! This is a picture here of me in the dress that almost had me breaking out into hives. My friend with me is Natasha who sang a beautiful trio in the wedding.

It's hard to believe the wedding is over. Where does the time go? It just seems like yesterday my two friends Jonathan and Kanika were engaged, and now they are husband and wife forever. It truly was a beautiful, meaningful wedding. Now they are on their way to their honeymoon destination!

We got a chance on Friday after the dinner rehearsal to reflect upon the biblical meaning of marriage. I must say, that is some deep stuff there. Just think about it: marriage was the first institution created by God, and it is the longest lasting institution! Adam and Eve were the first family of creation, and God has been uniting men and women together ever since! Wow!

In the New Testament believers are shown as the Bride of Christ, whom Christ will return to receive for Himself. So, if you are single you are already a bride! A marriage between a man and a woman is a physical representation of Christ's love for believers. So that means the world should be able to look at Christian marriage and see how God loves us!

I wonder if that is what the world sees when it looks at Christian marriage?

This weekend I was brought to tears as I was reminded of what GREAT love the Father has for His Bride--the Body of Christ. It truly is amazing love; a love no one can comprehend. However, I desire to better understand it, and to better give it, and exemplify it for others. I cannot say I have ever been to a wedding that left me pondering about God's love for me and gave me a desire to know Him even more. It truly was a worshipful experience because when I think about the great love the Lord has for me, it produces a grateful heart, and in return leads me to want to worship!

So, despite all of the drama leading up to the wedding in regard to the dress, God blessed my heart tremendously by showing me the bigger picture. It's not about the dress, the flowers, or the reception. Christian weddings are a commencement of two lives joining together as one, to manifest the beauty of Christ's love.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Zipped Off!

Q: Have you ever heard of a bridesmaid who got more stressed out than the bride?

A: Me

Yep, that's right. I am a bridesmaid in a wedding on Saturday, and I have been a wreck! I have found myself stressed out over everything, most of which has been mundane, but last night something happened that put the icing on the well--wedding cake! (sorry I couldn't resist)

I'm trying on my beautiful, red satin dress last night and for some ungodly reason, the zipper got stuck and would not unzip. It was horrible. My mom and I were pulling on that zipper like we were in tug of war contest. Finally, after we broke a sweat, I decided we couldn't play that game all night and to just cut me out of the dress. So, my mom took a pair of scissors to the zipper and with one snip I was out, and with one snip my dress was officially ruined!

It's just a zipper. No big deal, right? Just put another one in there and it will be all good. I took my dress over to David's Bridal and they agreed to put one in for $80. I'm sorry, but that is just ridiculous! Perhaps what is even more ridiculous is that I started crying in the store. The tears hit me right as I was swipping my credit card and I realized I was paying almost as much to have a zipper put in as I paid for the entire dress!

Needless to say, I'm zipped off!

I know there are other things in this world that are much more crucial, for example, the situation in Darfur, world poverty, and the threat of terrorism. But $80 to replace a zipper? Come on, now! They know that's not right!

Yet & still it amazes me how God knew this was going to happen. He knew I would be in this situation. It's not an accident, it was a part of His plan, and He says He works ALL things together for good. Even a zipper gone bad.

I told the story to a friend, and she e-mailed me back a great verse I had so easily forgotten in my time of being zipped off:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Friday, June 09, 2006

I got published!

Everyone worships something or someone. Whether it is a career, possessions or one's body, no one can escape it. I discovered one Sunday at church that I had begun to worship the music. You see, I attend a mega-church where the music is phenomenal every Sunday without miss, until one Sunday when the music director introduced a new song, and I became irritated. I thought to myself, “What is he thinking? We don’t sing this song!” I’m afraid within all of the debates concerning "praise and worship" music styles that we have forgotten to answer one important question: What is worship?

My worship of the Father had become confined to one location (church), to one day (Sunday) and to one function (music). While music and singing are acceptable to God, this is only one facet of worship God desires from His children. Through study in the Scriptures, I believe God is looking for two kinds of worship: that which is expressed by our lips, and that which is expressed by our lives.

Numerous Psalms command us to sing praises unto God, to bless His name and to speak well of the Father. This is our lip service. We worship the Father by declaring with our lips His goodness and faithfulness, because He truly is an awesome God. Our worship does not stop here though. Because He is good and faithful, how do these translate into our everyday lives? Consider Luke 4:8:

“Worship the Lord your God and serve him only” (TNIV).In this verse the verbs "worship" and "serve" cannot be excluded from each other. Therefore, our lip service to God should reflect our life service to God. He not only deserves our adoration, but our very lives as an offering of service to be used by Him and for Him. Read the plea Paul gives believers in Romans 12:1:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (TNIV).

This is an image of a lifestyle of worship lived out daily in the life of the believer. Because we live and move and have our being in God (Acts 17:28), we can offer everything in our lives as a form of worship unto the Lord, whether it is taking care of an elderly relative, ministering out on the mission field or working in a job that is not all that exciting! So, the next time you are at church singing your favorite song (or not), worship the Father with your lips because He is worthy to be praised, but when you leave, make sure you are worshipping the Father with your life.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blank Pages

Last night I went to Barnes & Noble to buy a new journal. I have always kept a journal since I was a little girl. Although back in the day I called it my diary. I still have my Dear Old Diaries too. It's funny to go back and read them and see my horrible handwriting when I was just learning cursive! I've grown much over the years.

I usually pick a journal that has some pretty design on the front. This time, however, I picked a simple journal with nothing on the front except for the word: Journal. I like it a lot and I think it is a refletion of my character and how I strive to live my life these days in simplicity.

I haven't started writing in it, but last night I was looking through it, and I wondered what words will fill these blank pages?

What will life bring?
What joys, what sorrows will these pages describe?
Will there be tears from my face that drop to the pages as I write?
Will there be tradgedy, triumph, and trials I will write about?
What will those blank pages reveal about the days to come?

I don't have any of the answers to those questions. I will have to wait and see what will fill the blank pages of my journal. I take comfort in these words from the Lord:

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34

What about you? Do you keep a journal? If so, what do you wonder about the blank pages of your journal?