Show me how to die

I like the poetry and the desire represented in this song.

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in a battle
Put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die

Set me like a star before the morning
Like a song that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I’ll illuminate the path You’ve laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
Oh, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

(“Show Me” – Audrey Assad)

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? Luke 9:23-25

via Anne Jackson (@flowerdust)

How things change

It’s funny how things change. Other night I was reminded how much my taste in music have changed in only a few years. Three years ago if you had asked me who my favorite band was, I would have rattled off a rather length list of hard rock (Disturbed, Godsmack, and Avenged Sevenfold). Today if you were to ask me that the results couldn’t be more different (DecembeRadio, Rick Pino, and etc).

That’s quite a change, and it got me thinking about why I liked those former bands to begin with. What came to mind was chaos, the reason I liked those bands was because when I listened to them they drowned out the mess that was in my own mind. For a few mins their music quieted the storm that was inside of me. Inside I was lonely, depressed, and angry, and listening to this kind of music provided me with an outlet to release or assuage those emotions. But it was never enough the music did little to comfort me when it was off and in reality it was a vicious cycle, of feeding those emotions and the chaos inside.

Today things are different, Glory to God! There’s still chaos at times in my life, but what has changed is how I deal, rather than try to drown it out, I let it go and give it to God. I seek him, for answers to my questions, for clarity in the fog of life. And remarkably the He answers not always in my timing or the way I expect, but He is faithfully by my side even when I am stubbornly doing my own thing.

What Did You Sign Up For?

Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 ad in London’s Times, recruiting a crew to sail with him on his exploration of the South Pole:

Wanted. Men for hazardous journey.
Low wages. Bitter cold.
Long hours of complete darkness.
Safe return doubtful.
Honor and recognition in the event of success.

Sounds like another ad:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (LK 9.23-24)

We didn’t sign up for easy lives.  But afterward there will be glory.

Copied from The Blazing Center

In times like these, it helps to remember that I’m to die daily to my self and my desires, and follow after Jesus. It’s not easy and I don’t see a future where it gets easier, this journey is arduous and it’s supposed to be (with varying levels of difficulty), because it’s supposed to prepare me for an eternal life with my King. In the end victory will come, my flesh, my pride, my own derived self worth, will all be vanquished, and all that will be left will be Him, His Word and His love.

Take God with you

Something that has been on my mind is, how do I avoid becoming someone who only thinks about God when I’m in church, and not just that but how do I develop a deeper relationship with God. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of reading the word (well not just reading it but desiring to read it), while reading God’s word this morning I stumbled upon (or better God lead me) to this verse in Romans. Something I’ve probably read before, but in the Message Bible version it seems to take on new meaning and stunning clarity.

Romans 12

Place Your Life Before God

1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

This would definetly not be an easy thing to do, but its one of those moments where I remember that God’s word can speak directly to me. The Bible is not just a bunch of stories, rules to live by, or condimination. But rather it is life, a rich and full life in God.

And what’s really sweet is, is that theme seems to be the focus of books I just got.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster I’m hoping this book will challenge me to engage more in prayer and meditation.

Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive by John Eldredge I really like John Eldredge’s books I’ve read both Desire and Wild at Heart, and WaH was especially good.

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer I think this book will really challenge me and my views.

Spiritual Amnesia

I have a bunch of excuses, I’ve been busy at work, etc, but that’s all they really are. I listened to this podcast by John Eldredge last night before i fell asleep and realized that they were talking, at least to some extent, about me.