Thursday, December 27, 2012

If Music Be The Food of Love...Sing On...

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas Holiday and are enjoying vacations if you are so lucky to have one! I went back to work today...then my car broke down..but hopefully it will be fixed in the morning for an affordable price! Today I just want to jot some thoughts, not necessarily in any order (which is pretty rare for me).

First and foremost...if you haven't gone to see Les Miserables, you MUST. A group of us went to see it on Christmas day and it was absolutely phenomenal. Musically there were some things lacking, but aside from that, the acting was pretty wonderful. I honestly think that Anne Hathaway stole the show as Fantine, and I wish her part lasted a bit longer!

We went to Silver Dollar City on Sunday and it was soooo crowded! The lights were awesome, and we had a great time although we didn't get to see everything. Unfortunately we missed It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. :-\ But the train ride was pretty fantastic and we got some delicious homemade Peach Chipotle Salsa!

As I've mentioned a few posts back, I've been pursuing finishing my degree in Music Education. Sometimes I doubt myself (okay...a lot of times I may doubt myself) and wonder if I'm on the right track. I was slowly having feelings of fear settle on my heart questioning myself and if I would be smart/ready/good enough to return to school.

But then at church on Sunday we had Carols and Communion. The very last song we sang was "Joy to the World" and suddenly I was a little girl again...visiting my Aunt and Uncle's farm and sitting at their old piano while everyone else mingled. I was plunking away (and probably making some horrible noise) when by ear I had learned to play "Joy to the World." I was so excited and proud of myself, I had to be sure everyone knew that I could play it.

When I was really REALLY little I had a little toy piano. Then I had a keyboard. Then I had a keyboard you hooked up to the computer and learned how to play. Then I began to sing. Then dance. Then perform in musicals, recitals, competitions, and concerts.

I swear I was born with music in my heart and soul.

So I was given the reminder on Sunday that yes, music is a gift God has blessed me with and I need to use it. He will show me the way.

And I realized that...sometimes in life, you need to take the wrong turns to truly realize the value of things. 

Now I look back and think, "well...that was stupid. But I'm also kind of glad it happened." There is a reason for everything. However, I'm glad that it isn't too late for me. I am so excited for next semester to start! Finally for the first time in 5 years, I feel this true satisfaction that I'm on the right track...returning to my first love: Music.

Lastly, I wanted to share something with you about courage. I found it very fitting. Dreams don't have to be forever lost, because we serve a God who can do anything beyond what we can imagine:

"True courage is just a quiet voice at the end of the day or at the finality of the failure of a great effort that says, "I will try again tomorrow". Many deeply courageous people have simply determined that they will try again. Not quitting requires a great deal of courage. The action of courage is not always a loud roar. It can be a still and quiet voice. A righteous man gets up seven times (Proverbs 24:16). When you see a person fall and get up, you have met a person of courage. So don't give up on yourself because God hasn't given up on you."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Let's Start a Movement!

So I had this idea. I really think there needs to be more love spread around the world.

And encouragement.

Relationships (especially ones lost).

And the lost art of letter writing.

I went onto my Facebook the other day, not sure how many responses I'd get, if any...and asked for anyone's addresses who wanted to receive some love and encouragement in the mail. 

The response I received makes my heart so full, I can't even express to you how happy it makes me! We all need some encouragement in our lives. And I think we need relationship. With the progression of technology these days, you no longer have neighbors who just stop by to say Hi, or call on the phone just to talk. We've lost so much in our relationships with other people! Even for me, there is hardly anyone I talk to from High School. Although I still consider them my friends and still care for them deeply, we hardly ever speak. How sad!

Then my cousin, who has worked at a Post Office in Michigan for over 20 years left me a comment that made me realize that this could serve an even bigger cause. You see, because of the decrease in letter writing and the increase of email and media networking, her job that she has been serving faithfully the last few decades is about to lay off 100s of workers, including her. This was supposed to be her job that offered stability! And after all of the dedication she and hundreds, maybe even thousands, of others have put into it, their repayment is unemployment..which now comes with its limits.

I think letters are great. Yes, they take more time and effort than typing. But think of this: writing a heartfelt letter to someone not only allows us to take the focus off ourselves, but shows that person that we cared enough to take the time and effort for them. How great is it to be reminded that you are valued!

This is my challenge. Write a letter to someone(s) you've lost touch with. Sit down, and take the time to encourage them. Ask questions. Be sincere. Be open. Be loving & selfless. It will feel so wonderful to know that you have spoken positivity into another person's life, expecting nothing in return.

I encourage you to share this post, so that we can start a movement and perhaps even save jobs for post workers everywhere!

GO and be a blessing!! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

No One Blames the Devil

How do you make sense of the tragedy that happened in CT this last Friday? I may never understand how evil can entrap a person so fiercely that it would cause them to steal the innocence of other human beings, let alone children. To fight so desperately for free will and use that very free will as a weapon to abolish the will of others just sickens me. And you know what else is terrible?

People are blaming God.

How can we expect positive results from pushing God out of our nation? We are so far from where we started, so far from when this country was protected and blessed. We have taken the Ten Commandments out of schools, prayer out of schools, there is even an organization called the "God-Out" organization. Yet, these SAME people turn around and ask, "Where was your God during the shooting??"

Are you serious?

If God wanted to control everyone's thoughts and actions, then we would be complaining that God was a controlling entity that doesn't give us any freedom, in which submits us to nothing but an amusing puppetry of his own.

My answer: it is not God's fault that He gives us free will and we choose to abuse it.

But on top of that, you know what's even scarier? No one blames the devil.

He has the world so fooled, so blinded to his schemes he's convinced it to completely ignore his existence and turn to blaming God. 

"The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out." John 12:32

"Come close to God, and God will come close to you." James 4:8a

So even if you don't believe in God, how can you acknowledge his existence and yet refuse to acknowledge Satan's? The above verses alone give us our answer:

Satan rules the earth. And if we want God to intervene, we must ask him to.

But sadly, we've been doing the opposite. Pushing him out and refusing him entry. 

Even if I wasn't a believer, I think the rules that lie in the Ten Commandments are generally positive to be applied. Do not lie. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not kill. The very things that are demolishing our world from the inside out. But they aren't allowed in schools anymore. 

I think that having prayer every morning before classes start are generally good, because they allow us to take focus off ourselves and apply it to the goodwill of our classmates, teachers, districts, and communities. But we abolished prayer, too. 

I even think that having readers with bible verses are a great way of learning to read, because the bible actually consists of almost every grammatically sound rule you could imagine, but seeing a bible in a school is pretty much inappropriate now.

So where was God? ...exactly where we put him: out.
Which allowed entry for the very one who delights in these things and has fooled us to ignore his existence to step in.


Yet, no one blames the Devil.

Whose puppetry are we under?