Tag Archive | God

Say It Out Loud

Hands lifted highTalk about convicted.  I was driving home from a worship service this morning and was just thunderstruck by this thought.  Think of the words to this song. They just…convicted is not exactly the right term, but He just opened my eyes in a way that I haven’t seen before.

There’s not many things you can tell me that the Lord says or does that I’m going to go, “I know, I know, I know.”

Every time He tells me something–helps me realize something new, it’s always astounding. Earth-shattering, light bulb-blinking, whatever you want to call it. It’s always exciting.  Then I’m dumb-founded that I was so dense that I didn’t get it before now.

Today it was the words to this simple little song:

“I Love You, Lord and I lift my voice, To worship You, O my soul rejoice,

Take joy my King, in what you hear, May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.”

Now what was that? May it be a SOUND.  Loud.  Out loud. Verbal.  Not a silent thought in your own head.  Take joy my King, in what you hear; may it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.  He wants to hear it OUT LOUD.

I don’t know if you ever had a husband like some people have, (giggling here) I ain’t pointing fingers at anybody,…a husband to whom you’ve had to say, “you never tell me you love me.”  You know what I’m talking about?   And he’ll say, “yeah, well, I was thinking it”… Right!!

If it isn’t verbalized where you can hear the thoughts and intents of that person’s heart, the inflections in their voice, their very tone that speaks their intent–if you don’t hear it, for all intents and purposes, for all the effect it has on you, it just wasn’t said.  If my husband loves me but he doesn’t actually tell me, then how am I supposed to know?

So.  This is not about the husband at all.  This is about the Lord.  And how much he values hearing your praise, hearing your joy.  Hearing your love for him.  Hearing your broken heart; hearing your willingness to be forgiven.  Any, ANY emotions, thoughts, decisions that you are imparting to Father God…yes, He hears you in your head, yes, He hears you in your heart. Yet that’s one of the ways that we are created in His likeness.  He longs to hear that you care. How you feel.  What you care about.  He longs to hear you tell Him that you love Him.  Say it.

Say it. Out Loud.

(Maranatha sings “I Love You, Lord” on YouTube if you’d like to hear it:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5DnUvrxpeM)

Focus, Grasshopper!

Let me know if you recognize this gadget!!

Let me know if you recognize this gadget!!

I  love gadgets. Tools with interesting settings; clamps used in gluing boards together; I loved crushing small things with my Dad’s vise.  More technical tools like his old Brownie camera—I kept messing with the open-close things on the front.  And the tension on my Mom’s sewing machine.  She just couldn’t keep it adjusted right (who, me?)  And her music box just seemed to be overwound all the time, hmmm. Don’t know how the ballerina’s tutu got peanut butter on it…

I used to snitch my Dad’s mechanical drafting set in its black velvet case and readjust all the screws, try to write with the pencil leads in their little case…yes, I’m the cause of the second generation of gray hairs on his head.  I enjoyed the way the lock opened and closed, like a mysterious secret.  Not that I knew how to USE any of these tools.  They were just fun to play with.

Just like his binoculars.  A very finely tuned instrument—at least until I got hold of it.  I would try walking around while looking through them, putting my hand out to touch things as they drew near. How many doorways have you encountered in this fashion?  After a few upsets, I tried turning them around and looking through the other end.  That was frightening.  Do NOT try this at home, you’ll walk out in front of traffic, fall off a ledge…and step in doggy doo, so say the very least.

Sometimes that’s the feeling I get when I’m trying to follow God’s leading.  I want to see things that are meant to come to me in their own time (in HIS time)—yet I want to see them right now.  And when I keep trying to put my hand out and reach them to bring them closer, I only end up running into things that were right there all along; in fact, I should be  taking care of them right now in the present. Yet other times my lack of focus (or actually, my “far-off” focus) has me walking faster to get closer–to something that’s never going to get closer as long as my focus is out of whack.

That’s the cool thing about God that I forget.  Why can’t we learn things ONCE with Him? You see, I do  know that

“ they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  —-from Isaiah 40:31

Nor shall they run into door jambs.

How Wisdom Works

I find it terribly interesting that we call upon bits of wisdom stashed away in our inactive memories all of our lives.  Not necessarily those we sought after and committed to memory on purpose, but those precious grains that were sown by our parents or teachers, those that have proven themselves valuable over years of life and its perils.

Now when I see someone slouching I hear Mrs. Anderson, my 6th grade teacher who would line us up against the wall several times during the day and make sure our shoulder blades were touching the wall, that commanding voice rings loud and clear in my mind, “Stand up straight!”  And  I notice that I’ve already squared my shoulders, back straight.

There’s the obvious learned response of “OUCH, that hurts” when you touch a utensil that just came off the grill. But that’s not wisdom, it’s cause and effect.  Wisdom is knowledge that you knew how to apply.  But how did you learn how to apply it properly?

Whenever I sit down to a meal that I haven’t cooked, I hear my Dad’s voice in my memory  (especially when I see my best friend POURING salt over everything on her plate) “you need to taste each dish first and see what it tastes like; then season it if you need to.”  Sound advice—I’ve ruined a few tasty concoctions by salting or peppering first and tasting second.

And not once have I stepped into a bathtub or shower and begun my ablutions that I don’t hear my mother’s voice (asleep in Christ since 2003) telling me to “scrub those rusty knees!”  60 years I’ve continued to hear this.  60 YEARS!  But I still hear it complete with her inflection and tone.

While I sheepishly admit to singing on Memorial Day or other occasions when they play the National Anthem, right down to the high notes and the last phrase, “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”–that it’s all I can do to not yell, “play ball!!”  That’s just a learned response, I suppose.

I find myself, whenever I finish reading a lengthy passage of Scripture, hearing my father-in-law’s voice whenever he completed reading a passage aloud, “And may the Lord add His blessing to the reading of His word.”  And I add the same blessing myself, word for word.  Makes sense.

There’s an old joke of a younger man asking how the older man gained wisdom…he was told that it came from making good choices.  “But how did you learn that a choice was wise?”  “From making bad choices,” came the reply.

Of course, wisdom is a gift from God, and one that you’re instructed repeatedly to search for, to ask for, and to seek with all your heart.  I suppose it may be that nuggets that I’ve retained throughout the years are those my spirit recognized as wisdom.  What do you think?