Thursday, June 13, 2013

Picture Perfect Love

The word "Love" is thrown around in our society as a word to describe both the shallow and the built-up marriages. It also is tossed around in dating relationships that may fall apart. It's used by parents when they hug their children; parents who may leave and abandon their children thinking "it's the right thing to do for their kids at the moment." I can tell you right now, that is not the love God has for us. His love is sacrificial and self-denying. It endures, forgives, and fully satisfies.
In the Old Testament the hebrew word used to describe Gods love is Hesed. It means: faithful commitment, chosen, and without regard for the lovableness of the object loved. That seems "unfailing" to me. In the New Testament the Greek word is Agape. It is best described by John 15:13.
It's a love that will stop at nothing to express itself to the other. The dictionary states it as: unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love; a love feast. It involves loving people who are lovable, but also people who are unlovable. God planted in everyone a longing for that love.
Our relationships are supposed to mirror that love, especially our marriage. We can't express that love all by ourselves though. We will need to ask God for help.  So, with Gods help let us all show the world what true, unfailing love is!
(I thought "Stolen" from Brandon Heath summed up God's love quite well)

Heartland..a place of healing

      For the past two weeks I've been watching a tv series regularly. I just finished the sixth season, which is the most recent. The tv show is called Heartland, and it's based on a book series by Lauren Brooke.
      The one thing that drew me toward the books were the horses. Every cover had a horse on it and at that time they were my favorite
things to read about. Maybe I went a bit overboard when I was younger, but it was an easy way to escape to a world that I wished I could be part of. Don't get me wrong though...I still love horses and wish I could be a part of that make-believe world I dreamed of as a young girl. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll own a my dreams.
      Anyway, I was overjoyed when I found out about it airing on tv. Then I saw it was on CBC, which means it only airs in Canada. But, that isn't totally true-it airs on GMC. I looked it up on google and found a website where I could watch all the episodes for free, which made me happy.
      There are themes that wind themselves through the episodes. Trust is the biggest one, along with compassion, patience, and love. The actors fit the roles very well. Amy is forgiving and patient. Ty is protective, but troubled. Jack is caring, but stern. Mallory is opinionated and impulsive.  Lou is organized and creative. The variety of characters and traits combine to make a drama series that I will never forget.
      Ty and Amy are the two main characters and by the end of the sixth season are engaged. Their relationship goes through a lot of bumps and at one point they even break up. One of my favorite episodes is when they finally realize that they can't live without each other just after Ty almost dies from a motorcycle accident. I believe that their relationship has taught me that every relationship is built on trust and that forgiveness can wipe all the past away and help us look toward a brighter future.
      The main point of this show is to show the healing of horses and humans. Heartland is a ranch for horses that need some sort of healing, either physical or behavioral. Marion, the mother of Amy and Lou, who dies in the first episode also would help to heal humans. She had signed Ty's probation papers so he could serve it on the ranch, not in a prison. Ty eventually does heal and with Amy's help, learns to trust and love again.
      I recommend this show to anyone old enough to watch PG. Some of the scenes are a bit gory because of the physical damage to a horse or person. There are some episodes with mild language. Otherwise the show is great for families or individuals. It'll make you laugh, cry, and maybe you'll even yell at the screen as if the actors can hear you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Striking Songs...

1. Worn by Tenth Avenue North (lyrics)
This song has been such a blessing to me. When I first heard it I was driving in my car and I started to tear up. I know that everyone, at one point in their life, feels worn and tired. This "worn" they talk about in the song is more than just physical weariness though. It takes on a spiritual meaning. Our souls get crushed under the influence of the world's' temptations. sometimes it feels like you won't be able to get past this temptation, but God can help you. He is always there to help us rebuild our relationship with him. He alone, can lift us up to create a song of redemption. He is our rest and redemption, no matter how torn and tattered we are.

2. Hello My Name Is and Forgiveness by Matthew West (lyrics for Hello.. and Lyrics for Forgiveness)
Just look at that smile..
Hello My Name Is is a great song. It reminds us whose child we are. Regret and defeat are very real things that can consume us and block out Jesus from our hearts. But, they are lies that we believe. With a strong chorus, we become God's child. A child of the ONE true king.
Forgiveness is a song with a most stirring message. This excerpt is taken from something written by a mother who was involved in the sad, but touching story: "May 11, 2002, 24-year-old drunk driver, Eric, killed one of my twins, Meagan, and one of her friends, Lisa, both girls 20 years old. This was devastating for all three families involved, and countless friends that mourned the loss of these precious girls. But this is also a story of forgiveness and healing. My family and Lisa’s family chose to forgive Eric. We even appealed to have his 22 year prison sentence reduced to 11 years."
A little side note: During the Klove Fan Awards I heard Matthew West host, sing, and talk live a few times. He is by far the funniest artist that I know and was always making me laugh and smile. He could be a stand up comedian, I think. 

3. Words by Hawk Nelson (lyrics)
The words we say can have different effects and this song goes through them. They can bring us or others down and they can bring us back up, higher than we've ever been. So, in the chorus, we ask God to help us have words that heal and are always truthful. We should only want to say words that bring the world back to God. We should always speak words of love and life, bringing light to a dark world. 

4. Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli (lyrics)
The first time I heard this song I didn't really like it, but boy has that changed. I absolutely love it and I know all the lyrics by heart. It talks about how we, as humans, have our life planned out. We are gonna get married, have kids, graduate college, have a great career. But, God has the reins, not us. He may change our plans in a few seconds and make us wait for our purpose to be fulfilled. When we fix our eyes on Jesus alone, everything grows dim: our plans, our worries, our doubts.

5. Every Good Thing by The Afters (lyrics)
I was listening to the radio and when this song came on, the young lady broadcasting said "Want might to watch your speed on the road..this song may cause you to go faster." I laughed as I looked self consciously at my speedometer. I don't think it made me go any faster, but I did roll down the windows and turn up the volume. God is the reason for everything good. The lyrics are pretty much self explanatory. The second verse talks about how God is in control of the bad times, and will always be there to make them better and comfort us. The family we have is a gift from God, and so are the troubles, because he is always there to turn trials into gold.

6. We Won't Be Shaken by Building 429 (lyrics)
This song was written right after the school shooting in Newtown, CT last December 14th. I remember hearing about it all over the news, such a devastating piece of news. Surrounded by tragedy, the town pulled together and just a few days later Building 429 wrote this song. This song will always remind me of that tragic event, but it's for every day. This song is a call out to all christians that we should not be shaken by the devil's schemes or the worlds prejudices. We should stand strong in Christ, and not be shaken. 

7, Me Without You by TobyMac (lyrics)
Always wearing an awesome hat!
I thought this song was a bit too upbeat for me, but it wasn't. I learned the lyrics and now I sing it all the time as I listen on the radio. The strong and fast beat, well..that explains the jumping sometimes upstairs..LOL. Where would we be without God in our lives? We would just aimlessly be walking around without any purpose. All our dreams would fade, and we would be chasing anything that looked appealing. As TobyMac states it "You rescued me/ You are mine, I am yours/ You rescued me/ And I am yours forever /You saved me, remade me/ And where would I be/ Without You."

8. All This Time by Britt Nicole (lyrics)
God's been with us every day of our lives and sometimes its just amazing to stop and think about that. This is a true song of thankfulness and worship. It talks about the day when Britt gave herself to the Lord, how she felt love and peace. He's been there through every heartache and every dream come true.  I will never leave us, nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).