Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Little Narrow Gate

This song is one you may not have heard often – or at all.  But it is one of my favorites by great gospel singer Sandi Patty.  Music and lyrics like this are nothing short of inspiring!  I trust you will find the beautiful melody and rich lyric line a little lift today – as you find your own little narrow gate.

 

God Bless

Chorus:
There’s a little narrow gate
At the top of a hill
And it beckons my heart to enter in
And follow where it will
Oh, where it will
And the path that leads through this gate of dreams
Takes me away

With the wind at my back
The journey before me
I set my feet on the road that leads to life
And take the hand of the one
Who’ll be my companion
For he will show me the place to begin

Repeat Chorus

All of my life I’ve been waiting
Could this be the place I can start

Repeat Chorus

Mercy Says No

Last night we watched a wonderful story on forgiveness.  It was on Oprah’s new program, “Where are they now”.  Many years ago a brutally raped woman accused and put the wrong man in prison for this crime, due to a mistake on her part.  He had to be in prison for eleven years.

The story was unreal.  Can you even imagine being falsely accused by someone because you happen to look like the real criminal?  It seems horrific.  And yet this story has a powerful ending.  The man was released when DNA tests proved he was not guilty.  When the women found out her mistake she set about to rectify it.  She asked this man face to face if he could ever find it in his power to forgive her.  What he said to her next was so wonderful.  He told her, “I forgave you years ago – I had to let go of the poison of hate in my body so I could continue to live”.

As I watched the two of them who appeared on the Oprah show many years ago telling their story, and then an update to right now – their story did not end there.  They are close friends involved in each others lives today.  Their easy give and take is so genuine.  Truly love and forgiveness of even the most unspeakable things that people do to us CAN win out every time.  But that decision is up to us.

I have heard of people who were able to forgive their children or spouses murderers.  Stories of grace and God-given mercy.  It has to be God – in ourselves we are just not equipped to handle the emotions on our own.  We want revenge and for someone to pay.  But mercy says no.

Love Hope, Grace, Mercy, and Faith

Love Hope, Grace, Mercy, and Faith (Photo credit: nme421)

I think about what I deserve.  It is death.  It is wrath.   And I need to be reminded that if it were not for the grace of God I would be lost.  Because of that undeserved and unearned favor from God – and what he did to save me – I am free.  Freed by love.  Freed by something I could never repay.  Because of that example of total reckless abandon and outpouring – I can love and forgive others.  Oh it doesn’t come naturally to me.  In fact I don’t want to even talk to anyone who has hurt me – let alone invite them back into my life and live as if nothing has happened.  It is against my natural tendencies.  But because of God’s great love for me, I can take baby steps toward understanding this incredible kind of love.  I can take baby steps in showing grace – and in showing mercy.

I have a few people like this in my world.  Where it is an act of my will to just let it go.
I know that God will take care of them in the end.  But it is hard to
wait for that day that seems so very far away.  Where is the justice???  I don’t want to show mercy and grace.  I want them to pay and know how they have hurt me.  It is not a pretty picture.

When was the last time you had an encounter with the unlovely side of yourself?  The side that turns away, runs from conflict and those that have deeply hurt you?  Or the side of you that DEMANDS payment?  When was the last time you had an opportunity to show grace?  They didn’t deserve it.  They never will.  They deserved your wrath and exploding anger.  But you were able to dig deeper and lean on God’s great arm of forgiveness and understanding.  And instead of making them pay – you were able to let it go.  You found the strength to say, ‘mercy says no’.

My prayer for all of us today is that we can find that place to ‘let it go’.  I pray that you will come to that place where you practice the forgiveness that frees and releases.  I pray that you will continue to prosper even as your soul prospers, living happy, healthy and full of grace and mercy.

 

The Puppet

The following writing is by Mexican ventriloquist, Johnny Welch.   A friend recently sent this to me in a beautiful power-point presentation.  I loved it so much – I wanted to share his inspirational writing with you today.

God Bless

 

The Puppet

If for a moment God would forget that I am a rag doll and give me a scrap of life, possibly I would not say everything that I think, but I would definitely think everything that I say.

I would value things not for how much they are worth but rather for what they mean.

I would sleep little, dream more. I know that for each minute that we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.

I would walk when the others loiter; I would awaken when the others sleep.

I would listen when the others speak, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream.

If God would bestow on me a scrap of life, I would dress simply, I would throw myself flat under the sun, exposing not only my body but also my soul.

My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hatred on ice and wait for the sun to come out. With a dream of Van Gogh I would paint on the stars a poem by Benedetti, and a song by Serrat would be my serenade to the moon.

With my tears I would water the roses, to feel the pain of their thorns and the incarnated kiss of their petals…My God, if I only had a scrap of life…

I wouldn’t let a single day go by without saying to people I love, that I love them.

I would convince each woman or man that they are my favorites and I would live in love with love.

I would prove to the men how mistaken they are in thinking that they no longer fall in love when they grow old–not knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. To a child I would give wings, but I would let him learn how to fly by himself. To the old I would teach that death comes not with old age but with forgetting. I have learned so much from you men….

I have learned that everybody wants to live at the top of the mountain without realizing that true happiness lies in the way we climb the slope.

I have learned that when a newborn first squeezes his father’s finger in his tiny fist, he has caught him forever.

I have learned that a man only has the right to look down on another man when it is to help him to stand up. I have learned so many things from you, but in the end most of it will be no use because when they put me inside that suitcase, unfortunately I will be dying.

translated by Matthew Taylor and Rosa Arelis Taylor

A Cure For The Doldrums

This last week I have seen and felt the change in the weather.  No more crisp, sunny days.  But a constant dripping.  Wetness everywhere.  Darkness has come in the early mornings and seems to stay most of the day.  I didn’t think it bothered me.  It never used to.  But sunshine does seem to affect my overall emotional climate.  I’m not sure why – but I know it does.

With this change I have felt a heaviness.  Not a depression per say – not even sadness – but something in between.  The doldrums.

I heard a wonderful message some time back on “giving back”.  Sharing gifts, talents, resources with others in need – and who may just need a little extra love and encouragement.  When we help others and give of ourselves – it does something in our spirit.

I have also noticed that when we “give” instead of holding tight to “what we should get” – there is a release and a lightness of spirit.  Letting go of something we feel someone owes us – and being the bigger person by saying, “My fault” or “I’m sorry – I take full responsibility” is liberating.

This happened to me just this last week.  Even when I know I’m in the right – it does not free my spirit when the other person is held hostage by my insistence.  So – I just let it go.  And freed them.  And me.  And don’t have that weight of “rightness” anymore.  It feels great – even if it’s still raining outside.

And I turned on inspiring Christmas music – all the ‘feel good’ stuff that puts a smile on my face – no matter what.  Fond memories of crackling fires, hot cocoa and snuggling while watching a favorite movie.

A clear conscience and a light spirit – a sure cure for the doldrums.

Take care and God Bless

God Is Still Working

I have been enjoying my devotional time with Joyce Meyer Ministries.  The other day Joyce was teaching on “Asking God” – as taken from these scriptures:

Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)

22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

If you are like me you have heard these scriptures many times.  I had heard them but must admit that I was not really asking.  Somehow it did not seem polite to keep asking for things – like a spoiled child who never thinks about anybody else but themselves.  Me, me, ME!!!!  Mine, mine, MINE!!!  Whah, whah, WHAH!!!!  It just felt WRONG.

So my prayer and communication had taken on a different tone over the years.  Always respectful and thankful, bringing out confessions, my weaknesses and concerns for others, my family and friends.  Walking and talking with God.  But I believe I was missing one important aspect to prayer.  I wasn’t asking.

Not only does God say to ask - but we are told to do so boldly.

Hebrews 4:16

New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So the other night in my prayer time – I took a bold step and just asked.  And because God already knows what I am thinking about I have to believe that the asking is partly for me.  A step of faith.  It helps me get things out and really deal with them.  Rather than shoving them aside – or pushing them down deep where I don’t have to think about them.

Another thing Joyce said was this:  Even if we don’t see the answer to prayer after asking – we need to tell ourselves that God is still working.  That clear statement of faith with drive doubt and negativity from our minds and hearts when the waiting for answers seems long and hard.  To think that when I boldly ask – and then leave it with Him to work it out in His timing behind the scenes – leaves me feeling peaceful and reassured.

For some circumstances it is easy to believe and have faith in the process of God’s timing.  It is maybe even easy to ask.  But there are situations where it is very difficult to ask.  I have one right now – that has actually made me feel guilty about even asking.  But the other night I asked anyway.  I gave it away, and though I’m sure it won’t automatically just go away from my mind and heart – I took the steps to begin that great ‘behind the scenes’ work that only God can provide.

Have you an issue right now that you’re afraid to even ask about?  You can be reassured that God wants you to ask.  He will work out the details.  He is trustworthy to bring only good for your life, peace for your soul and health for your mind and body.

Ask Him today.  And know that He is still working.

God Bless

The “Taboo” Subject

I have recently been introduced to Dan Brennan’s blog  Jesus met Mary – A Sacred Friendship Gathering from fellow blogger Alise Wright  who was so impressed by his writings and upcoming seminar, that she featured him in her blog.  Dan is passionate  to find true meaning and depth in platonic male/female relationships in today’s culture.  Because he is in another state, I am not close enough to attend his seminar,  held in Chicago, IL this April.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed his many articles and research on this topic – considered a sort of “taboo” subject by most Christians today.  And Alise is privileged to be one of the many who will be attending and be blogging about the event.

The article below will make you think – and even have you coming away with more questions than answers on this complex subject concerning men and women – can they really just be friends?  What if your culture, church leadership and other Christians believe you can’t – does it not promote distrust and fear?  Will men and women be robbed of something deeper?  Does sexuality have to be the only motivating force in relationships?  Should we buy into what they tell us – and be afraid that every male/female relationship will result in an affair?  Is that just a given – no matter what?  What if we looked at it from a healthier point of view?

I personally have enjoyed many “friendships” with men over the years – some of my best friends tended to be guys in high school and college.  I still enjoy talking with men and find them interesting – and not at all like me.  I’m constantly sharpened by their humor, honesty and straight forward way of thinking.  I find men to have no hidden agenda – if they like me – they just like me, no questions asked.  In all my years through my many friendships, I have only had one situation that I deeply regret.  It was someone who was motivated by fear and culture as I was.   I believe that if he had believed in the power of friendship, mutual love and respect, and a value in a brother/sister bond – instead of being motivated and influenced by fear and distrust – I believe that in time things would have been different and our friendship restored.  When you care deeply for someone – love covers a multitude of sins, bad choices and regrets.

I only mention the above story to you because when I read Dan’s articles I was able to say – YES!  I CAN RELATE TO THIS!  And was very excited to have someone who has not only been through this kind of situation – but is passionate to change how we look at our relationships – in a more healthy way, without fear – bringing out the best in each other – bringing value and acceptance to others regardless of male or female.

The following article is by Dan Brennan – and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Sexualization of Culture.

I Will Remember You

One of the best love songs from Amy Grant.  Set to this video with a military theme – priceless.

Enjoy and God Bless

Love Song

The following song sung by the legendary Elton John, is one of my favorite love songs.  Somebody put together this wonderful video of couples in love – it is really beautiful and timely as we approach Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy and God Bless

The words I have to say
May well be simple but they’re true,
Until you give your love,
There’s nothing more that we can do.

Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean?
Have your eyes really seen?

You say it’s very hard
To leave behind the life we knew,
But there’s no other way
And now it’s really up to you

Love is the key we must turn.
Truth us the flame we must burn.
Freedom the lesson we must learn.
Do you know what I mean?
Have your eyes really seen?

Day 1 – One Special Night

This movie is one we have owned and watched for several years now.  It is a beautiful story of friendship, love and family.  Julie Andrews and James Garner do an amazing job of bringing this sweet story to life – two people forced together because of a blizzard – and then as they get to know each other – something wonderful happens to them both.

This is a must see for the holiday season.  Below is a music video from some of the scenes of the movie – and below that a behind the scenes look and interviews with Julie Andrews and James Garner.  Please let me know if you’ve seen this – or are now going to put it on your holiday list :)

Enjoy and God Bless!

Answer

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