Her songs gave me legs and a hope in my youth. Especially this song. I return to it now.
When God Whispers Your Name
Chapter 11 Excerpt
Galations 5: 22
IT’S QUIET. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.
In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.
I choose love …
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose joy …
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical … the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I choose peace …
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose patience …
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose kindness …
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I choose goodness …
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I choose faithfulness …
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I choose gentleness …
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control …
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
From When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1994) Max Lucado
My father always loved blue Christmas lights.
Now light years later,
moons between us,
"you made everything even harder"
"you’re a liar your entire life"
I still can’t help but wonder if he still loves
blue christmas lights.
- Gathering flowers from loved ones to make my bouquet, maybe a word tied to each flower that I read aloud and then place in a box.
- Quaker meeting style: everyone gets to bless us with their love.
- Food can be everyone makes their own pizza! I would love that if we could find the space and time for that!
I’ve been keeping a check list to expand my consciousness and soul. On the check list are items called “listened first before I started talking” or “meditated today” or “I can remember something my partner told me” , and “I did a random act of anonymous kindness.” I find this check list to be very interesting and helpful for keeping me on my toes, but now, after finishing my meditation, I realize that I cannot try to do good for goodness sake. That it will burn me out, exhaust me, make me worry about checks instead of breathing love. It was a neat idea to help me expand my awareness of my actions, but I must remember that love does not keep a record. I notice my patience, love, and gentleness growing when I take enough time to breathe, meditate, move, soak up the stillness that reveals the energy in every cell. May my spiritual practice continue to grow and encompass all acts every day, even the ones in which I do while I’m worried about something else.
1. Had a huge burger at the Pour House and a few sips of a beer (I always waste beer) and took a delicious nap on my couch, heat on, warm yellow light, blankets, my fiancee sleeping on my hip. At one point I woke up into the yellow haze and I had the distinct feeling of wanting to remove myself from the moment. I began to feel edgy. In order to calm myself I asked myself, “okay what’s going on right now that would somehow trigger you into feeling unsettled? Ah, yes, it’s that this is a completely safe and stable moment!” I was able to quiet that feeling of “run” and not act on it because I realize that’s what happens when I feel safe. I can get nervous. So happy I laid through it, fell back asleep into the deliciousness of him, my couch, the warmth, the blanket.
1. Whenever I get irritated over anything in my environment, I am rejecting it. It hears, “who you are is not enough for me, I reject your essence and demand that you change to suit my current state.” I noticed this feeling of irritation arise in me this evening after a long day at work and with almost gentleness I said, “Oh there you are, exhaustion after a long day, there you are.” I find the places that need tenderness in me, and what annoys the crap out of me in others (which is also requiring tenderness), and I love on them.
2. Lead someone in a heart rhythm meditation and they could not stop raving about it: this meditation helped them calm their racing hearts quicker and more effectively than any other self-nurturing technique they tried. So thankful!!!
3. I’m not sure which one of my many projects I should delve into first. And that makes me scared: will I choose the wrong thing? Do I have the energy for it? What if I just jump in, will it be good enough? Everything I do is good enough when I find fullness in the between steps.
There is a British sitcom that popped up in the Netflix suggested titles, that made me ache. Similar to how “I Am Sam” made me sob huge moon tears in the middle of the movie theater, something about the gentleness and unassuming attitude of the main character, Derek, got me in a place in my torso that I’m glad I still can find.
Derek is about a man who works in a retirement center, and does his job with complete and utter joy and thankfulness.
In the first episode of Derek, he speaks about an elderly woman and how his impact on her life after she dies. With tears in his eyes he shares, “She’d say kindness is magic, it is more important to be kind, than to be clever or good looking, I’m not clever or good looking but I’m kind.”
Sometimes when emotion gets me it is very difficult for me to describe how I feel in words. This is one of those times. I am overwhelmed by the immensity of the love within this character: his ability to see through the bull shit of ego, prestige, intellect and rather stand vulnerable and open to complete and utter love. Even when he cries I feel as though I’m being given a gift, more courage to let myself really feel with my clients, and really feel in every moment.
The scene on re-play in my house: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL82I32hG5o
It is more socially acceptable for me to be zoned out on my phone instead of tuned in and meditating. I remember the last time I was on a beach I decided to meditate, and my fiancee commented on how many stares I was getting.
Not sure why I ever strive for normalcy or to be perceived as normal when my soul is pulled elsewhere.
Now that I’m waiting in between meetings, a car pulls up next to me and I quick pull out my phone. I was not meditating!! Dear God think I’m checking my facebook! Or sending a text! Anything but meditating!
May I sink more into my soul everyday no matter how weird I look