Tuesday, February 10, 2009

sticks & stones

sunday night I got to do one of my favorite things... I went to a concert! I went with some of my favorite Austin friends to stubbs bbq to hear dave barnes play. and oh, it was good. really good :)

I've been a big dave barnes fan for awhile now, and I thought I had all of his albums... until I realized sunday that I didn't have his very first ep. he is one of the best live acts I've seen in awhile... if you haven't seen any of his youtube videos, you have GOT to check them out. he's hysterical, and that's putting it mildly. anyway, I loved every minute of the show... stubbs is an incredible venue... it was standing room only, and we got there early, so there were just a few people between us and the stage. love it!

dave shared his heart about africa and the mocha club, and sang some of my favorite songs. the best part of the night though, was his last song. he said he was going to get off the stage and come sing in the middle of the audience, which happened to be literally right in front of me.  if you don't believe me, check out this picture:

dave barnes' head
dave barnes' head
see what I mean?

anyway, he sang a song that I've heard maybe once or twice, but it's off of his first ep, and the track title is "sticks and stones." I downloaded the song when I got home and haven't been able to get it out of my head since then. the words are so simple, but so true.

there have been so many times where sharp words from someone have been incredibly hurtful.  it does leave a scar.... one that's much more painful than any physical pain I've had to endure. it really does feel like "they beat the life from me." it's not easy to walk through, and definitely not easy to forgive, but I've forgiven those who've spoken words that have hurt, and I have to say it's much easier than not forgiving.

in light of that, I try to make my words the kind that are encouraging and uplifting, rather than ones that leave a scar. I know I'm not always successful at doing this, but it's something I really try to do because I know how much it hurts on the receiving end.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb,

sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Proverbs 16:24

all that to say, here are the lyrics of dave barnes' song "sticks & stones." if you're not a fan, you will be after you take a listen.

You would have kept those words on your tongue,
If you had known the hurt they had done.
While your fists stay there, right by your side,
Your words they bruise me deep inside.

I'd rather have sticks and stones and broken bones
than the words you say to me.
'Cause I know bruises heal and cuts will seal,
but your words beat the life from me.

Sometimes your words are thick as lead,
You swing them strong upside my head.
But what hasn't killed has made me strong,
So I'll take my scars and move along.

I'd rather have sticks and stones and broken bones
than the words you say to me.
'Cause I know bruises heal and cuts will seal,
but your words beat the life from me.

Goodbye is the best way that I know,
To forgive and still be letting go.

I'd rather have sticks and stones and broken bones
than the words you say to me.
'Cause I know that bruises heal and cuts will seal,
but your words beat the life from me.

this isn't my video, but it's of dave (on the right) and matt wertz (on the left - who I also love) singing the song.

Monday, February 02, 2009

loving God

as believers, we are called to love God.

this means in everything, not just some things.

surrender was a topic we sat on for awhile tonight in the high school girls small group that I lead.  I've been meeting with this group for several months now every monday night.  we sit around my apartment, eat cookies and talk about what God is doing. we're going through the book "lady in waiting" by jackie kendall, and it's a fantastic book. I really think they're digging in and starting to get it. tonight's chapter was titled "lady of security." we talked about how we all long to feel secure, and about the things that make us feel insecure.  that's when the room got quiet.

we don't want to admit our insecurities because then we feel even more insecure (duh).

it's easy to see the insecurities of others around us, but we don't want people we know to know where we are weak. it really was a tough chapter this week, but we finally got down to the heart of it. although we may not like sharing our insecurities, they are what they are.  if we're ever going to allow ourselves to love God the way we were born to, we have to begin to surrender those insecurities to Him. because at the root of it, they are things that are holding us back from knowing Him more. if we're insecure about something, it means that we don't trust God with it, and we're trying to handle it on our own.

my desire for our girls ministry is that each girl finds their security, value, worth, and identity in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone.

if our identity and security is not in Jesus Christ, it's in things of this world. I don't know about you, but I don't want the world defining who I am. I was reading USA Today a couple of days ago and saw that more people were searching for information on Jessica Simpson than any other woman in the world, because she gained a few pounds. people are scrutinizing pictures of her and making all kinds of crazy remarks, when I'm sure she's still a size that many girls would kill to be. she's still smaller than what people call "average" but yet she's been made fun of in a way that is completely uncalled for. (I'm not a Jessica Simpson fan, but just noticed this trend last week)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" -Hebrews 13:8

what truth. the world changes its mind every day on what is popular, cool, or taboo.  Jesus Christ never changes.  His character was, is, and will always be the same... because He is God. our security must be found in the one who never changes like fashion trends and fads. once we know what His word says about us, and we claim it for ourselves, we are able to approach our insecurities with confidence.

all of this requires a great deal of surrender. it's not easy to give situations, things, people, feelings, emotions, problems, or anything else over to God, but once we do, we live in freedom. He is ready to take on our insecurities and fight our battles. we just have to surrender and trust.

I wish I could say that I have this all figured out, but I'm on my way... what a journey! I'm so thankful that God has placed this small group of girls in my life.... I feel like I'm learning so much from them. I hope we can all learn better how to love, serve, and honor God.

here's a passage that really spoke to me on this subject....
Isaiah 43:1-7

But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."