Line In A Song

“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity”

We sing this in church every few weeks when Hosanna makes the rounds in the worship run. It sounds really nice, and it’s probably my favorite worship song, but what does that really count for? How can I takes these lyrics and turn them into a lifestyle? What does it look like when a line in a song becomes a way of life?

Our society is getting more and more selfish. We don’t like to watch the news because other people’s problems depress us. It’s not that they move us into action, they just make us feel sad, so we choose to ignore them. But at the same time, people get into political activism over trees. One of my favorite CCM Artists, Jimmy Needham has a song that says “The city closed the shelter down the street, we’d rather pay to save a tree than give our brother something warm to eat.” How sad is that? In Seattle, we are no longer allowed to feed the homeless out in the community. Apparently many people subscribe the to “you feed’em they’ll flock” school of thought. No one cares about the well being of our fellow man, just the unsightly inconvenience that they bring to the neighborhood.

Last week, while I was watching Glenn Beck’s radio program, I was crying over this story out of Rose City, Michigan. If it wasn’t enough that their son was molested by a teacher at age 13, the mom now has cancer and it is spreading, and they have been the victims of violence because they want the teachers who are standing by this sicko to be fired. Not only that, but the CHURCH posted bail for this guy. I am so heartbroken over this, which I guess is a good thing, because I have been driven to my knees in prayer.

Loving people and doing good always costs something. Sometimes it’s money to help out someone in need or buying lunch for someone. Other times we pay in time, like volunteering or even taking the time to pray for people. Love is a sacrifice, but I truly believe that the cost is not an issue when the price has already been paid. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to live free from condemnation, worry, fear, doubt, sadness, even from our past… He has redeemed us and he can redeem all aspects of our lives. That is what love looks like, that’s the kind of love that can move mountains.

So what’s the point? We need to keep watching, even when it’s painful to see or hear. We need to love one another, whether we feel like it or not. We need to do what we can, even if it’s inconvenient. We need to keep going, even when we are tired and discouraged. Why? Because if we really want to live out the songs we sing every week in church, it’s going to mean that our lives are no longer about doing what we want, but they are about doing what is right.

When I started writing this, I had thought about weaving in lines from different songs that have moved my heart, but maybe I’ll just ask you to think about a song that has moved yours. Think about it, and then act on it, and maybe little by little, the light we shine will save the world.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16



I like the book of James in the Bible… It’s probably in the top 5, outside of the Gospels. It’s one of the books that sorta just flips open automatically now because I’ve read it so much. I love that it’s a book about doing the Word, rather than just knowing it. Today I didn’t even have to open it, I already knew the verse I needed to act out. James 1:2.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”

I don’t know about any of you, but that’s not my first reaction when I face a trial of any kind. I like to complain or worry or cry. Giving into the natural response to hardship somehow makes me feel… justified. I used to tell people that I love the rain because it’s the only type of  weather where you can ever just feel how you feel. If it’s sunny out and  you’re sad then you look like a jerk. If it’s rainy and you’re happy, you look like an optimist. But if it’s rainy and you’re sad, it just fits…

Well, it started raining this week.

I started another post on Sunday night, expecting a different outcome to some routine tests at the doctor I was going in on Monday for… But then on Tuesday I had to go back in for a biopsy. (I know this sounds vague, but I’m still hoping to post the other blog shortly). I have to wait a whole week to hear back from the lab.

Everyone who knows me, knows that I’m a hypochondriac. I worry and I let my imagination run wild to the point where I’m wondering what people will say at my funeral… ok, I’m not THAT bad… but close. When I am attacked physically, my faith hits a wall. I guess satan knows me pretty well, too.

So when James told me to consider it “pure joy” when facing this trial, what does that really mean? What does that look like? Well, for one, it means to lay hold of the promises of God. The Bible says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” so I guess I have to remind myself what God has promised me, which is to have perfect health, and to be the head and not the tail. But more than just knowing those promises, I can have pure joy in the fact that I know who holds the victory in this battle. For every trial I’ve ever faced in my life, when I give it over to God, He’s batting 100. I also know that ultimately, satan doesn’t win.

I called my campus pastor on Tuesday afternoon, almost in tears, and explained to her what was going on. I told her that I was sure I was going to be fine and that I just needed prayer for the faith to take captive every negative thought. All she said was,  “Even if it’s the worst, trust God.” She knows me well. Even if it’s as bad as my wild imagination thinks it is, I still need to trust God… and I’d even go further and say I need to praise God. Maybe that makes me sound like a crazy Christian, or some kind of fake Bible-thumper that’s always telling people what they should do, but never doing it themselves… and maybe that’s true. I know the Word, but how often do I do it?

If I’m honest… not until it’s “the worst.”

Maybe this next week, waiting on the results, is God’s wake-up call for me. Maybe He is using this time to see what I’m going to do. Am I going to be like Job or like Job’s friends? Am I going to face this trial with the joy of the Lord in my heart, so that I can grow to maturity in my faith? What good is it for me to know God and what He can do, if I never have to trust Him to actually follow through? Isn’t that when we get into trouble as Christians? When we become hearers of the Word, rather than doers…

So tonight, I’m deciding to be thankful for the opportunity to test my faith. I know that I can smile because I already know who holds the victory.

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

                    –James 1:2-4


Shy as a Shark

Ok, I’ll bite. It’s shark week, and even though I am so confused about why it’s so cool, I guess I’ll use it as a tag.

My mom has super long hair, and I spent most of my childhood holding onto it like a lifeline or hiding behind it to avoid talking to people. My dad used to say that I was “shy as a shark” because I had to circle a few times before I’d go in for the kill. I think all the times my mom brought me to the fire station for their “stranger danger” presentations really made an impact on me. Or it could have been the fact that I didn’t talk until I was 3. I didn’t have the need to. I had 3 older siblings who did enough of that for me.

So, no one was as shocked as I was when I started being an outspoken Christian conservative. For one thing, I’m shy, and for another, I live in Washington. I think when I made the decision to withdraw from school, I started educating myself and realizing I had been lied to. I was so mad about all the time that had been wasted while I was being indoctrinated by the public school system. It wasn’t fair. I was also ashamed at the time I had spent fearing people’s opinions rather than God.

I watched this really great movie called, “Beware of Christians.” In the film, these four bros get out of the social culture of going to church and find out what it really means to follow Jesus. It’s a really good film, it’s on Netflix, so if you have it, I recommend it. One question they asked that wrecked my heart was if it was worth it to deny Jesus just so you can “fit in.” If you had asked me that in high school, I would have said yes. Even though I have always believed in God, I would have given anything to fit in. One of my sisters is not much older than me (22 months) and so I kind of grew up in her shadow. She was beautiful and popular, and people wanted to be my friend just to have access to her. I was on the total opposite end of that spectrum, so I coveted her position on the high school totem pole. I held on to a lot of unhealthy relationships because I thought I couldn’t afford to go any lower. I learned how to keep quiet so I didn’t upset people, even though I knew what they were saying was wrong. So instead of listening to what the One who made me said, I listened to the ones who broke me down.

Again, I’m rambling because I’m blogging at midnight, but my point is this: I circled around who I was made to be for a long time, but now I’m ready to go in for the “kill” and step out in faith. Now, I am more concerned about what God thinks of me, than what people think. I have a burning passion to pursue liberty and justice that takes away the fear of being criticized or ostracized. I don’t want to be anyone else because I finally know who I am and what my value is. People may not listen to me or like what I have to say, but they don’t have the power to stop me from saying it anymore.

Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands.
 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
    for I have put my hope in your word.

                       Psalm 119:72-74


I love, love, love this song. So beautifully written and sung. God is so good and I always love to hear worship in other languages. God is on the move all over the world, and this is just a small reminder that we’re all connected! ❤ Below is the youtube description with lyrics and translation. Enjoy! 😀

Uthando, Zulu for love, is a song written by Tikae Mabelane, Njabulo Kunene and Langa Mbonambi of We Will Worship. The song is going to be in the upcoming album YHWH. Enjoy.

Vocalist: Njabulo Kunene
Pianist: Tikae Mabelane

Lyrics and English Translation:

Chorus 1:
Simbona ngo thando lwakhe. Simbona ngo thando lwakhe,
(We see him by His love, We see him by His love)
Uthand' oladel' ukufa, Simbona ngo thando lwakhe,
(The Love that embraced death, We see him by His love)

Verse 1:

Wangikhip' ekufeni, Wanginika impilo
(He snatched me from Death, He gave me life)
Manje sengingumtwana, okhululekile
(Now I am a child who's been set free)

Chorus 2:
Simbona ngo musa wakhe. Simbona ngo musa wakhe,
(We see Him by His grace, We see Him by His grace)
Umus' ongena mkawulo, Simbona ngo musa wakhe,
(His grace that never ends, We see Him by His grace)

Verse 2:
Ungibamba ngesandla, ungihol' endleleni
(He holds my hand, guides me on the path)
Uyagcin' izwi lakhe, Unobhubele
(He upholds his word, He is filled with kindness)


Wamuhle uJehova, uthando lwakhe, lumiphakade
(The Lord is good and His love endures forever)