My life in 10 (or more) songs

Getting my life in 10 songs (or more) gives you a glimpse of how diverse my music

tastes are. Music is an absolute passion of mine. And I enjoy a variety of genres.

Hip Hop. Rock. Broadway. Pop. Rap. Native American. Celtic. Country. 

Old style hymns and modern worship. Even some metal.

To narrow down a list that I would call the soundtrack of my life is not easy.

Concerts, musicals, oh my!

I think about all of the concerts I’ve taken in over the years.

Alabama. Clint Black. Garth Brooks. Sawyer Brown. Charlie Daniels.

New Kids on The Block. Vanilla Ice. 

TobyMac. Newsboys (with and without Peter Furler). Manifest. Skillet.

The musicals…Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserable, Hairspray.

By no means an exhaustive list. I could easily list two dozen more acts.

So you see my problem, right? How do I pick just a handful of songs to represent my soundtrack?

I thought about the artists as well as favorite songs that really feel like they define parts of me.

My life in 10 songs

My top 10 (or more) in no particular order…other than how I remembered them.

A portion of my life’s soundtrack.

I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt – country was my upbringing and this song always made me smile and dance.

Some Girls Do” by Sawyer Brown – My absolute favorite country band ever! So hard to choose only 1 of their songs, but this particular one was an anthem to my teenage years. I followed them from when they were on Star Search… have been to dozens of their concerts, and I was super excited when I found out that lead singer Mark Miller is the producer for one of my favorite Christian bands, Casting Crowns.

That’s My Job” by Conway Twitty – My father was a huge Conway Twitty fan and I cannot listen to the song without crying. I lost my father when I was just 25. And this song epitomizes the kind of man my Daddy was.

I Cross My Heart” by George Strait – My wedding song. In honor and memory of my brother-in-law who died by suicide the year I got married. The day before my birthday that year in fact. Sometimes I listen to this with fondness. Sometimes I just can’t.

Jesus Freak” by dcTalk – My introduction to Christian rap. And every 90s Christian kids’ battle cry. It felt a bit rebellious, and yet pointed straight to the Savior.

Gone”, “Made to Love”, “Burn for You”, “Till the Day I Die”, “Move (Keep Walkin’) – OK, I know this is more than one song for the century but I am a huge, HUGE TobyMac fan!! I love the rhythm of his music, the diversity both and has a band physically as well as in the instruments utilized, and most importantly the words. I’ve been to dozens of his shows, Jesus freak cruise, and have every CD he’s ever made. His heart for God makes his music come alive.

Phantom of the Opera” by Sarah Brightman & Michael Crawford – My favorite Broadway musical. My senior prom song. We were drama and chorus geeks, what can I say?

He’s Alive” by Dolly Parton – In my opinion one of the best worship songs ever written or sung. It absolutely gives me chills every single time. And every time I hear it I am reminded of the great sacrifice made and the love the Father has for me.

Monster” by Skillet – Skillet my favorite Christian rock band. This song resonates as I often struggle with keeping the ugliness of my humanity at bay when I feel hurt or wronged. It lets me know I’m not the only one and that helps me feel more normal.

Cry for You”, “Welcome to America”, “ Good, Bad, Ugly”, “Tell the World” – Okay, again I couldn’t narrow it to just one for this artist. Lecrae is a phenomenal rapper with a heart for the Lord and for marginalized people. And he isn’t afraid to talk (or sing) about it. He’s bold yet humble…like I hope to be.

So there you have it. Songs that resonate with who I am and seasons of my life that defined me.

What does your life sound like?

Left out of fitting in

Left out Insta post

We have all been there: Left out of fitting in.

As Christians, we know that we will often be left out when it comes to fitting in with popular culture and the secular world.  But what do we do when we are left out among other Christians?  Left out at our own church?

We all long to belong.  We want a place of honor in a circle of friends.  We want to be needed.

Feeling left out

Obviously friendship cannot be forced, yet when we strive to be friendly to others and are rebutted at every turn, it makes one wonder “What is wrong with me?” Being left out of fitting in brings that question front and center.

Please tell me I am not the only one who has felt this way.

I have a few tips to share with you about making friends, but first…a secret:

There is nothing at all wrong with you.  NOTHING.

Okay, you are right, that isn’t really a secret…but it feels good to read that, right?  So own it!  Because it is absolutely TRUTH!

Tips for fitting in

  1. Pray for God to show you your circle.  I used to just try to make friends with any and every woman whose path I crossed.  Well, not really, because I’m an introvert, and well, that’s another story.  BUT, the point is I didn’t seek purposeful friendships.  I wasn’t seeking connection, just contact.  Prayer allows God to speak into my life and show me the women He means for me to build relationships with.  It allows Him to show me my people.
  2. Be proactive!  Don’t always wait for someone else to suggest the next coffee date, girls’ night out, or concert get together.  Suggest plans and come up with creative ways to develop your community.
  3. Don’t get hung up on getting left out.  Don’t let all the invites you don’t get be your focus.  Remember that you have already been made a part of the best circle ever…the kingdom of GodYou’re in my friend!

Let Us Pray…

I for one am definitely tired. Tired of all the pain and suffering in this world. Tired of those who are inflicting it on innocent people in the name of religion and especially in the name of God, tired of those who maybe are not so innocent being killed as well, because no one deserves to have their life just taken from them. I am tired of each side blaming the other. I am tired of there being sides!

Love One Another

Simplistic and kumbaya as it may sound, I really just want everyone to love each other and respect each other and look out for each other. It seems like it is too much to ask, it seems like we are simply bent on destroying each other.

The Bible tells us that many will hate us (those who are Christ followers) because of Him…but that does not mean we have to hate them back.

Righteous Anger

Am I angry at those committing these terrible acts? Heck yes, I am angry!

Yet I am also angry at the husband who verbally or physically abuses his wife and children. I am angry at the alcoholic who gets behind the wheel and ends a life. I am angry at the mother who is annoyed by her precious child who just wants a few moments of mommy time. I am angry at the kids who thought it would be funny to torture innocent puppies.

There is much in this world to get angry about. Instead of just being angry and posting about who has caused this or that, and why America is headed to hell in a hand basket, why don’t we all stop…and pray?

God can and will heal

For those who do not know the reference below: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land2 Chronicles 7:14.

One thing we should remember too I feel is that the Lord’s healing of something does not always look the way we humans think it should. Often it is in the trials and tribulations that healing takes place…yet we want the healing without the hurt. Christ wanted that too when he faced the terror of the cross, yet he prayed “Thy will be done“.

Those four words are hard to get out when you feel you cannot bear the pain of the current struggles any longer…just remember that three days in a dark and dank tomb made the difference between death and life ever after…for Christ and anyone who would believe.

We can all do better

So, get angry, but do not stay there…be vocal, but do not let it be in vain. Let us love the unlovable, pray for the perpetrators, lift up the lonely and help (with hands and feet action) the hurting. If we all will do a little, we can accomplish a lot.

One thing never changes…New Year or not.

As we start a New Year, everyone is talking about change. We have a new President about to take office. Some people are moving to new homes. New jobs. There are new babies. New friends. Resolutions to change their weight, become more educated, or to just be kind.

Not all change is welcomed or deemed positive. Some is downright scary. A bad health diagnosis. A lost job. A lost child or spouse.

One thing that I am so glad never ever changes, is the character and nature of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 tell us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Doesn’t that make you smile??

Let it comfort you my friend if you are dealing with frightening changes in your life…and if things are pretty rosy for you, well then, praise the Lord for your blessings! He will never leave nor forsake us. He will always be right here. And we can always expect the same love and grace that flowed from His death on the cross to meet us where we are right now. Or ten years from now even. Amen!!

#BGBG2 #Hisloveneverfails
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgQ6vWEhH5E&w=320&h=266]

L.O.V.E. means EVERYONE!

When the Bible speaks of love, it’s not just for a few specific groups or people, love means for everyone!
  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

It is easy when it is someone who loves us as well, but what about those who hate us?  Who are rude, condescending, and downright mean to us?  No one wants to be treated like that.

A quick peek at the dictionary gives us the following synonyms for the word spiteful:

  • Malicious
  • Hurtful
  • Vindictive
  • Vengeful

How can we respond kindly when someone is hurling all that nastiness our way?  The only way we can do so is because of the love of God inside us.

It is not in us as humans to respond with blessings and doing good to someone who has been quite the opposite to us.  

But…there is that word again!  With God it is possible. Not just possible, but expected.  Our Lord literally turned the other cheek to his accusers and tormentors.  How then can we respond any differently?

Choosing Love

Just this week I encountered a situation where I had to choose. Am I going to respond with the same negativity that has been projected towards me?  Or am I going to calmly respond in kindness?

It took a short walk and a little prayer. However, God’s love inside allowed me to respond in a way that honored Him. 

L.O.V.E. – Loving others; very encouraging.  Loving this unlovable person encouraged me. It reminded me that I do not have to worry about getting back at someone or getting even.

God is my refuge and hope. He shelters me. And He alone can judge actions.

My job is simply to LOVE.