June 2014 Live

FEELING OVERWHELMED:
2nd – Devotions
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.” ~ Psalm 69:1
“Summon Your power, O God; show us You strength, O God, as You have done before.” ~ Psalm 68:28
“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, to Him Who rides the ancient skies above, Who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God, Whose majesty is over Israel, Whose power is in the skies. You are awesome, O God, in Your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to His people. Praise be to God!” ~ Psalm 68:32-35
Feel like I’m slowly sinking. Got to keep my eyes on You, God, not on my surroundings. Gotta “sing praise” and “proclaim [God’s] power” and trust God to give me His power and strength.

3rd – Devotions
“But I pray to You, O YHWH, in the time of Your favor; in Your great love, O God, answer me with Your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O YHWH, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me.” ~ Psalm 69:13-16
My enemies are a fear of failure, apathy, anxiety & stress.

10th – Office Devotions
The battle has to be won in the heavenlies for us to claim ground here on earth.

SEEKING ESCAPE:
7th – Devotions
“I gave your master’s house to you, & your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel & Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the Word of YHWH by doing what is evil in His eyes?…” ~ II Samuel 12:8-9
What keeps me from asking God for what I want rather than turning to YouTube and other forms of distraction? Does God not understand wanting to hide? Why else would He call Himself a refuge?! Jesus hid Himself (John 12:36).

18th – Worship and Prayer Service
What am I hiding from when I turn to these online games and absorb myself in them?
Excitement, nervousness about what the future holds, uncertainty over interactions with others.
Song: Just As I Am

GIVING GOD THE CREDIT:
3rd – Devotions
“They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron & said to the king, ‘Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to take your life. This day YHWH has avenged my lord the king against Saul & his offspring. David answered Recab & his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, ‘As surely as YHWH lives, Who has delivered me out of all trouble, when a man told me, “Saul is dead,” & thought he was bringing good news, I seized him & put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house & on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and ride the earth of you!’” ~ II Samuel 4:8-11
David makes it very clear his deliverance comes from God and not through any wicked means. Do I?

4th – Worship and Prayer Service
Lay everything down before Him & see if He will not return a hundredfold.

13th – Devotions
II Samuel 17 etc. – David gives credit to God all the time. However, far from being a sign of weakness (due to his apparent inability to handle things by himself), he appears even more dangerous and is respected because God is obviously pleased with Him / he bears God’s favour. And such a man is surely undefeatable.

18th – Worship & Prayer Service
Song: You Deserve the Glory
But God won’t get the glory if I keep turning to games to help me cope, instead of allowing and inviting Him to intervene in my life.

22nd – Sermon
I Thessalonians 5:4 ~ “Faithful is He Who calls you & He also will bring it to pass.”
I Thessalonians 5:23 ~ “…sanctifypreserved completely without blame…”
Philippians 1:6 ~ “…He who began…”
II Timothy 1:12 ~ “…He is able to guard…until that day.”
God is faithful to sustain, keep, forgive, cleanse; He will sanctify.

RESTORING A FRIENDSHIP:
4th – Worship and Prayer Service
Will you rend your heart for others and their concerns more than for Me?

8th – Sermon
Song: Draw Me Close to You
Realized that I don’t ‘feel’ God needs me, or ever could, like a friend.

25th – Worship and Prayer Service
We used to be partners doing everything (from teaching and mentoring to picking out jewellery!) together.

FOR THE FUTURE:
3rd – Office Devotions
Leaders make things happen; managers take care of those things.
Is it possible to be/do both for the same organization? For different ones, I think so. Is it just a matter of changing one’s mindset, then?

I may have potential, but if not willing to take the opportunities that come, it lies dormant and is wasted.

4th – Worship ad Prayer Service
Choose / find out what you want to do. Outside of the sphere you’re currently in.

8th – Sermon
“But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” ~ II Timothy 4:5

14th – Office Devotions
You trust someone who has their own moral standard, even if it’s not the same as yours.

15th – Sermon
Do I want to serve God, but feel like I don’t have the time? Bring it to God and He’ll give you the time.

Part I

I remember you so free
Heart on your sleeve
Dancing with the wind

Did I do that?

Is it cuz of me your eyes be so dry
That perpetual smile
Lips pouring lies

Baby, band-aids don’t heal
& masks only cover
Life isn’t a war, though it has its battles
& wounds from a lover
Run deep,
Y’know I’d rather
Protect you from the world we see
Of hate & pain & misery
But years they pass & finally
Your hand it’s letting go of me

‘fore you go,
Something you need to know
Band-aids don’t heal
& masks only cover
& remember when you lash out
It’s your soul that suffers
Life ain’t gonna pick you up & dust you off
Every battle’s gonna leave you its scars
& possibly it is “you against the world”

But who ya fooling, you just ain’t that strong
Not when it’s your own gun taking you down

Came across a site bashing the song “O-B-E-Y, Obey your Mom & Dad”, talking about how it’s conditioning children to robotically & blindly obey their parents with a façade of mirth. I saw it yesterday, but my soul has been disquieted since. I can’t seem to get rid of the memories of their spite in talking about something that is such a precious childhood memory for me. What they have twisted to mean something cruel & perverse, is something I have often been so thankful to my parents for. In a world where frankly, I often struggle to “…if anything is excellent & if anything is admirable, focus [my] thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, & all that is worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8), I love that my parents made it easier on me by giving me edifying songs that I find comforting even today, not so much for the principle of obeying one’s parents, but that there is right & wrong, there is a way things should pan out, God created a world of order for me to thrive in.

They pinpointed a line in the song that said, “When [your parents] say you’ve had enough, don’t cry.” Now, I was not raised in an environment of blind, robotic obedience, nor was I always told to “put a happy face on it” regardless of my actual feelings. Rather than feeling emotionally suppressed, I saw it in the light of character development to prepare me for the rest of my life. In many roles I’ve filled (performer, teacher, asst. manager, sales rep, exec. asst.), I’ve encountered times when I *did* have to put a happy face on it, because that was not the time to deal with a situation on an in-depth level, & so I would have to function with a smile even when I didn’t ‘feel it’ until later when I had time & opportunity to properly deal with whatever the trouble was.

II Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Isn’t it conceivable that God also wants us to obey Him minus the expressions of gloom & doom? I doubt He expected or meant for Abraham to go skipping & singing up the mountain with Isaac–that’s not what I’m talking about–but I know how much I appreciate & love the trust it shows when a student / team member chooses to follow & comply even when I know they don’t yet understand why (& I have no problem with them saying it doesn’t make sense, and us hashing it out together, as long as I can rely on them to follow my ultimate decision & obey promptly in the heat of the moment).

So yes, I do feel better now that I’ve at least said my piece & laid out what has been weighing heavy on my heart.

War & Peace in the Arena of Dance

In Song of Songs 6:13, the Shulamite woman’s dancing draws the attention & gaze of others in pleasure. What separates our dancing from anyone else’s? As a Christian, when I dance for God, it’s a war – the spiritual realm is involved. When we prepare for a dance, we have to not only prepare physically, but spiritually, as well – we need to have both aspects covered. The dance of Mahanaim / two armies to which they liken the Shulamitess’ dance, is otherwise referred to in Eph 6:10-19 (put on the spiritual armour of God daily), Gal 5:17 (flesh against Spirit), Rom 7:23 (law of my mind vs. law of sin in my members) & Gen 32:2 (Jacob has just seen Laban off in peace & has set out on his way to meet his brother & hopefully make peace when “the angels of God met him…he said, This is God’s host: & he called the name of that place Mahanaim.” )

I have purposely drawn attention to the aspect of peace in Jacob’s story in Gen 31:54-32:5, because according to Strong’s Concordance, the word ‘Shulamite’ means “From [the word] shalam; peaceful (with the article always prefixed, making it a pet name); the Shulammith, an epithet of Solomon’s queen: – Shulamite.” In fact, Peterson paraphrases Song of Songs 6:13 this way in the Message: “Dance, dance, dear Shulammite, Angel-Princess! Dance, & we’ll feast our eyes on your grace! Everyone wants to see the Shulammite dance her victory dances of love & peace.”

Walking the invisible path

I’m doing an in-depth study of dance in the Bible, and looking at version after version of I Samuel 21:11, one thing that’s stood out to me (unrelated to dance  :p ) is how outside of Israel, David was seen as the king of Israel, even though Saul was still on the throne, and David was essentially a fugitive. When God makes a promise, you know He’ll come through. It’s a reminder to me that even when from my perspective things don’t seem to be falling into place, God is ever faithful and as long as I let Him direct my course, will lead me to the place He has promised. & just because I don’t see progress, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.