Category Archives: Music

Lessons From Life: My Everything

 “Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
   you hold my right hand.
 You guide me with your counsel,
   and afterward you will receive me to glory.
  Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
  My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
   you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
   I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
   that I may tell of all your works.” (Psalms 73: 23-28 )

 These verses have been ones that God has been putting on my heart lately so heavily that they are not ignorable. He keeps asking me the question, “Olivia, am I the strength of your heart? Am I your portion forever? Am I your all?” I wince as I respond to Him, “Lord, I love you, you know I do.” He gently yet sternly asks again, “How much do you love me?” I wince again. “God, I’ve given you my life, what more do you want?” He is persistent. “Are you willing to give me those little parts of your heart that you’ve kept back? Those places in your life that you want to hold on to?” I start to panic… He knows about those things?! “God, what do you mean? I’ve given you my dreams, I’ve given you my heart and life.” He shakes His head. “Not all of your dreams. Not all of your heart and life. There are still those things that you want to be in control of. Give them to me. I wont let you down.” We continue on. Me in my hesitation to surrender these parts of me and Him in His gentle and yet strong pursuit of me and my everything. Until finally I came to my breaking point.

 A few nights ago God got through. I’ve been having some daily joint pain in my hands and fingers that has been concerning me because it’s been going on for about three weeks. The things that seem to make it worse are typing (though only sometimes) and playing piano and violin (again this is only sometimes) which really worried me. The use of my hands and fingers are pretty much my life. I’ve always said that I could never live without my hands. The very idea that the pain in my hands could be an actual reason for concern (and not just my wild imagination) scared me. The thought of not being able to use my hands as easily as I would like made me scared. God gently yet firmly kept telling me to surrender it to Him. I complained, I protested, I objected, but in the end I had no choice but to let go. I had to put my hands into God’s hands.

 Earlier this week He had me weeping over the above passage. In more areas than just my hands, He has been showing me that I need to surrender, that HE needs to be my everything. He needs to be my strength, my beauty, my portion, my all, my desire, my life, my everything. I have been begging God for months to show me that. To let my heart truly know the words of this Psalmist and be able to sing the words of “Enough” by Chris Tomlin or Barlowgirl’s song based on Psalms 73 and know that I mean them with my entire being. Though in my brain I might of realized it would mean me coming to a breaking point first, it really didn’t set in until it was happening.

 In the last two weeks God has just been blasting me with the message of faith, surrender, and His wondrous sovereignty everywhere. From a theological note in my study Bible, to the Jerry Bridges video we watched for Sunday school, it’s been everywhere. God has really been trying to get His point across… that just shows you how thick sculled I am most of the time. I am so glad He finally got through to me. Wrestling with God isn’t enjoyable, and you don’t win, so it’s time to wave the white flag. I will leave my ramblings over what God is showing to me with the words of the song “Let Go” by Barlowgirl. These words mirror my heart so perfectly that it almost scares me.

Yeah I trust in You
I remember times You led me
This time it’s bigger now
And I’m afraid You’ll let me down
But how can I be certain?
Will You prove Yourself again?

‘Cause I’m about to let go
And live what I believe
I can’t do a thing now
But trust that You’ll catch me
When I let go
When I let go

What is this doubt in me
Convincing me to fear the unknown
When all along You’ve shown
Your plans are better than my own
And I know I won’t make it
If I do this all alone

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, Jesus, Music, Passion, Psalms

“The Motions”

 Are any of you like me in the way that certain songs have this way of gripping your heart with a strange intensity? Do they seem to speak to your very soul in ways that words alone can’t and make you want to break down crying, raise your arms and praise God, fall to your knees in adoration, grip your fists in some sort of fiery passion that goes through your entire body? For me, songs have had such an impact on my spiritual life. Now the Bible is the most important thing for our growth, obviously, and I am not for a moment taking away from written words, but there is something about words put to music that is powerful.

 Certain songs encourage me, some songs inspire me, some songs make me want to praise my wondrous Jesus with every ounce of my being, and some songs even remind me to pray for certain people. I have really been ministered to by songs like “Psalms 73 (My God is Enough)” (Barlowgirl), “In the Light” (DC Talk), “Enough” (Christ Tomlin), “Beginning and the End” (Leeland), “Hands and Feet” (Audio Adrenaline), and a new song I just discovered, “The Motions” by Matthew West. These are the amazing lyrics to this song:

“This might hurt, it’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care if I break,
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

No regrets, not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way (’cause I don’t wanna go through the motions)
take me all the way (I know I’m finally feeling something real)
take me all the way”

 Chew a little on these amazing words and let me know what you think.

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Entertainment, Everyday Life, Faith, Music, Passion

Destiny of the Manger

Something has been demanding my rapt attention in my mind lately in this Christmas season. I feel captivated by a single thought and amazed by it. It has a tight hold on my small brain and wont let go, but that is a good thing. I think this Christmas I have been struck by the true meaning of Christmas more than ever before.

Christmas is all about Christ coming down as a human to save our souls, even if we try to make it about Santa and warm feelings and such, we can’t change it. Without Jesus there would be no Christmas. Plain and simple. But I am being even more so by the destiny of the little babe in the manger.

Christmas is more than just celebrating the birth of Jesus, it’s celebrating that because he was born, and because someday he would die, we can have eternal life. For Christians, Christmas should be a celebration of salvation. We should be celebrating that we now have life. That Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died the death we deserved, rose from the dead three days later, and now sits in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God. Because of the death he died we can have a relationship with God and we have become his children. In reality, Christmas is all about the cross. Without that beautiful cross there would be no Christmas. Without the cross Jesus would of just been another good man. Without the cross there would be no reason to celebrate.

Have you ever noticed how the baby in the manger is not the one that offends people but it is the man hanging on a cross that does? It’s His claims that He is the only way to heaven. It’s His perfection and His deity that confuses and angers people. People like the baby in the manger, it’s not offensive. But the manger is not where the story ends.

I think these few lines from Relient K’s Christmas song “I Celebrate The Day” sums this all up the best.
“To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life”

6 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Entertainment, Faith, Holidays, Jesus, Music

Jesus Paid it All

 The last few days I have had a certain song stuck in my head, and it is a very god song to have stuck. I have been singing it constantly and it has been actually filling me with joy, or should I say the words to the song have. These are the lyrics to the chorus/refrain.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin has left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

 It is such a true and beautiful hymn. Through the blood of Jesus we are white as snow. God no longer sees our sin, but His son Jesus’ holiness. Isaiah 1:18 says,  

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’
says the LORD.
‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.’” (NIV)

 It is such a wonderful promise, that Jesus wipes out all of our sins. Every bad or careless word that we have ever said, every wrong thought, every selfish motive, everything has been made white and pure by the blood shed on the cross. Those who are Christians (and I don’t just mean going to church, reading the Bible, etc. but those who have been truly redeemed by Jesus and are putting their faith in him and love him) are totally forgiven for their sin. Though we will have consequences, we are forgiven. It is such a beautiful and liberating thought.

 But that doesn’t mean we should keep on sinning knowing that Jesus will forgive us. To the adulterous woman that Jesus forgave in John 8:1-11 Jesus said to her, “go, and from now on sin no more” (ESV). A truly repentant heart will be striving to change. As that second line goes, “all to Him I owe”. We owe our all to Jesus, not just some, not just most, all. We owe our obedience and love to the one who loved us first (1 John 4:19) and died for us while we were still wretches(Romans 5:8).
 I want to leave you with the following verse from Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (KJV) Soli Deo Gloria
 

5 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Faith, Music