Friday, September 30, 2011


I love the sound of the rain.  Last night I was on my way home from picking up some groceries, and it was starting to sprinkle.  By the time I got myself in the house, it was full out raining.  And before I even put the groceries away, I threw open the sliding patio door so that I could hear the rain as I puttered in the kitchen.  This has been happening all summer.  Sitting down to read a book with the windows wide open, hearing it.  Crawling into bed after opening all the bedroom windows, letting the rain be my lullaby.  Sometimes even standing under the overhang of our roof on the front steps a few minutes before going inside the house, to listen and rest in the sound.

There is something about the sound of rain.  It makes me feel alive.  It makes me feel safe.  It is peaceful and exciting at the same time. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Come, Lord Jesus

I've always been told that when you hear a word or theme repeated it means you should probably start paying attention.  For example, in a Bible passage, if the word Love is in it 10 times, it probably means its pretty important.  Or in my daily walk with God, sometimes the same theme will come out in the Sunday morning sermon, my Monday time of reading the Bible, and through talking to a friend the next day.  Obviously the Spirit is trying to get my attention on the topic.

Lately I have been listening to a lot of new music from a variety of artists and groups.  And a theme has emerged, one that has struck a chord inside.  Here are some of the key lines that have caught my attention:

Aaron Keys:
We are longing, Hope is dawning, Heaven's falling, Come Lord Jesus

Jesus Culture:
My soul longs for you, my soul longs for you
Nothing else will do, nothing else will do
I believe You will come like the rain
I believe You will come like the rain

I have decided, I have resolved to wait upon You Lord
My Rock and Redeemer, Shield and Reward, I'll wait upon You Lord
As surely as the sun will rise, You'll come to us
Certain as the dawn appears
You'll Come, Let your glory fall as You respond to us
Spirit Reign, flood into our thirsty hearts again
You will come, You will come

The first word that kept catching my attention was "Come."  Usually when I hear the phrase "Come Lord Jesus" it is refering to Jesus return, as in Come back and get us and take us to Heaven.  But these songs are expressing longing and asking Jesus to come to the singer within their present circumstances.  Come Jesus, be present with me where I am, fill me up with you, with hope, with strength. 

Then what caught my attention was the waiting, the longing.  My soul longs for you.  We are longing.  I'll wait upon You Lord.  Right now I'm not going through anything particularily hard myself.  But something inside still resonates so deeply to these thoughts.  The picture of someone facing trouble, facing heart ache but choosing not to loose hope when it feels like God is far away - but choosing to have hope, to long, to pray, to wait, to know that Jesus will come to them.  Jesus will come.  Come like the rain - oh how that would feel to someone living in drought.  Come like the dawn - of how that would feel to someone living in darkness. 

Is it ok for us to express these feelings?  To say to God - where are you?  I need you, please come!?  Are we not supposed to trust that even when we cannot feel Him, He is right there with us?

When I looked for this concept in the Bible, I discovered the Psalms are littered with cries just like this. 

Ps 6:3 - My soul is in deep anguish.  How long, Lord, how long?
Ps. 13:1 - How long will you hide your face from me?
Ps. 22:19 - Come quickly to help me
Ps. 31:2 - Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue, be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress for me
Ps. 71:12 - Do not be far from me, my God, come quickly God to help me

And then this well known promise in Isaiah

Is. 40:31 (KJV) - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

And Lam 3:25-26 "The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

So it is good to wait, to hope.  It is good to cry out to Him.  And He will come.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today's Blessings

Today I am thankful for...

  • The way music can influnce me, motivate me, move me, draw me in, inspire me
  • My husband, who can do all those same things to me; he is my support and encourager
  • The feeling of completing a long term goal, and still feeling up for the challenge of the next goal
  • Experiencing first hand how the human body can heal itself
  • Advil
  • The urge to bake... and the anticipation of eating that baking!
  • Being able to pray to my God knowing that He cares and is listening and wants to walk with me through this day

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Music Theory is to Playing Music as...

...Israel is to the Reading the Bible.

OK, I admit, I am a nerd because I do like music theory.  My sweet husband actually said this the other night.  And to me it made complete sense... Music theory is to playing music as visiting Israel is to reading the Bible.

Let's start with Israel.  Two friends of ours recently did go to Israel.  And on their return you could tell they just experienced something very significant.  One of the comments from them afterwards was that reading the Bible will never be the same.  That before this, they loved reading the Bible - learning from it, wrestling from the tough parts, gaining comfort and strength from God's Word.  But before the Bible was still black and white words written on the page.  After seeing, hearing, walking, experiencing and learning in the context that the Bible was created in - Now the Bible is alive to them.  Full of colour and action and life.

Music theory is the context in which music is created.  Not nearly as significant as the Bible, but I feel it does apply.  You can listen to music and even play music without understanding why it sounds good.  It can be beautiful and move you inside.  Music theory adds the context that allows you to know why it sounds so good, and I believe that enhances the beauty.  It's the difference between "That sounds cool" and "That was amazing because..."  Music theory also adds the context that allows you to know if and why music sounds bad.  Without theory, if you play something that sounds awful, all you can say is "I hope I don't do that again!"  But with theory you can figure out what just happened and make a new musical choice.  Music theory for a player changes it from needing to be told what to do, to having the ability to think about what music expression you want to make, and give you the tools to do it.

And yes, I just found an online music theory exam to do for fun....

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The business where I work is a parts and warranty company for a few high end European appliance brands.  On the warranty end this means a good chunk of my day is spent on the phone with wealthy individuals who have a broken down appliance that needs repair.  These are not always happy conversations.  And I actually enjoy my role of showing genuine concern and doing my best to get them taken care of quickly and professionally.  But every so often there are conversations that just irk me.  Someone will call in with an over-inflated sense of entitlement about a problem that is truly insignificant like a broken bracket or a missing screw and they will be yelling and going on as if the sky is falling.

A few weeks ago I had a call like this.  I can't remember what the exact issue was.  But I do remember that on that same day I had been reading up on what was going on with the drought and famine in Africa. Kevin and I have a sponser child in Ethiopia and my heart was wondering if he was being affected at all.  And as I hung up the phone from this irrate customer, I just felt angry that someone in a fancy high rise condo could feel so upset about a broken appliance while there are thousands of people in desperate need of water and food right now.

The next morning I was going through my normal morning routine, which includes a short bike ride on our stationary exercise bike.  Lately the bike has been developing a loud squeaking noise that I cannot seem to get rid of with any amount of tightening.  Perhaps I need to oil it.  Regardless, on this morning, I was getting very annoyed at this squeak, even to the point where I was going to stop biking for the day. But suddenly I realized I was being just like that customer on the phone.  I have a home, a job, more than enough food, running water, a closet full of clothes - and a squeak in my bike is making me this upset.  That is not who I want to be.  I stopped biking, thanked God through tears for the blessings I enjoy each day, and prayed for Africa.  I haven't fixed the squeak yet, but when it starts up when I bike each day, it reminds me to pray.  I haven't figured out what else I could do to help, but to start, I don't want to have an attitude of entitlement or a presumption that I deserve the safe and healthy life I have.  Everything I have is a gift from God and I need to be open and obedient to joyfully give of it to those in need.  Care for the poor, the orphans, the widow.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lots of fruit

Today I am thankful for...

Peaches and pears laid out all over my house in preparation for canning
The mingled flavours of peach, yogurt and granola
Hot temperatures in Sept that make it feel like summer is not over
The hint of a few leaves turning that signal fall is not far away
When it becomes apparent God is working from both ends of a situation
The lingering reminder that we are God's masterpiece... Eph 2:9-10