I'm not the most disciplined person in the world. It really is sad. I think of all that could be accomplished if I was. This past week was a great tool in my life to get me focused in one direction with a goal and purpose. Write 7 songs, in 7 days.
I started the Monday before the 1st day (Thursday the 10th), fasting. Not a full on "don't eat anything" fast. I just picked a few things I would like to see less of in my diet. I have a REAL sweet tooth, worse than anyone else in my family, so obviously, I picked sugar as one of the things to avoid this past week. I found such a blessing in seeking the Lord when I was tempted with eating a candy bar, or whatever. I called out to Him and almost immediately I would forget about it. Every time.
John asked me last night about what I learned. So I'll write down a few things. The first thing I learned is that something important has to be prepared for and thought over. "Great" things don't just happen. I had looked forward to this time and had prepared for it. Prayed over it, thought about it.
The second thing I learned was to finish the course, whether or not you are receiving any input or feedback. I did get some encouragement from family, but there were times I was thinking, "Why am I busting my butt? nobody cares." The truth is, God cared. I needed to finish what had I started, regardless of what others are doing or saying, or not doing or saying. If we spend our lives consumed with feedback we drain our relationship with God. We start replacing communion with God for communion with others. People fail, God does not.
Lastly, I learned a little about walking by faith. Honestly, I went to bed the first night with anxiety in my heart. I thought, "What if I wake up tomorrow and I can't write songs anymore." I was scared. Well, here's the newsflash, I can't write songs, not a single line. God met me every day, for seven days with songs to write.
Now that I am on that subject, I totally battled with "whether or not it is right to 'perform' in the name of Jesus." Oh man have I been up and down this road. There are so many opinions about this subject. I recently started to help lead music at our women's Bible study. I can just feel that some are offended when I get up there and sing out harmonies and really get into it. To them it's a show and it's distracting. I wish they could stand in my shoes. I wish they could realize how inadequate I feel before hand, how I don't dare do it without prayer, how that, if I don't show faithfulness to practice, I usually fail, how that when my eyes close I'm really thinking about the words, thinking about God and my heart's true desire is that the ladies would think about Him and sing to Him too.
This is the complexity of this issue, these are, to our mind the "difficult" things, when they really aren't. Too often we just choose to divide. Too often we just think we can't get along with THOSE liberals, or those conservatives. However, scripture only teaches us to separate over unrepentant sin, which would include bad doctrine (lying about who God is). I hope to strive for unity, first, separation, last. Is this a battle? Yes. Have I failed? Yes.
I hope that the songs encouraged you, built you up, strengthened you. I just wanted to let you know what was going on behind the video. The dependence on God (I have a long way to go), the stretching of my discipline muscles, and a walk of faith to see God meet me every day. He is good!
Below is one of our Christmas pics. I think, since we live so far away, we are going to do a web letter again this year. It's kind of a hassle to send Christmas cards to my mom and then on to everyone else, but if you would like a picture, a real one, just let me know.
I promise not to send one with sunglasses.