Friday, March 28, 2014

The Light

Spoken Word piece I performed at the Grace Covenant Church 2014 Re:fresh Women's Conference

I am the light
You are the light
We are the light

Illuminating the darkness
Providing hope to the hopeless
Igniting the power of change
Testifying about the great exchange

Joy for pain
Forgiveness for sin
Death for life
Darkness for light

But do you live in the light?
Find it hard to live in the light?
Something blocking your light?

Is it sin?
Is it unforgiveness?
Negative thoughts?
Feelings of inadequacy?

No matter what don't hide your light!

Because if you don't shine, who will guide them?
Let me say that again, if you don't shine who will guide them?

I mean if YOU don't shine who will guide them?
Those in fear, hurting and walking darkness

Though you may feel like a tea light: weak and and barely capable
To someone you are a searchlight: God's best and surely able

Could it be
That He
Has trusted these imperfect vessels to carry and reflect His perfect light?

Yes, that's right!
We are the ambassadors of His love and Daughters of His light!

The true light
Drawing all men to the truth, to the light

Not like those neon lights on Broadway
Where they say
That dreams can come true...

But the true light
Of the only God who gives men true life
and reveals true dreams that DO come true

I am the light
You are the light
We are the light

Refresh and rekindle your flame
Fan the embers
Spark the fire


Shine, shine, shine
By living in the light

Shine, shine, shine
Tell of His Goodness
Share your journey

Because we bring glory
To His story
With our story
Reflected in His light


I am the light
You are the light
We are the light

So
Be the light
Be the light
Be the light

Friday, February 7, 2014

Out of Focus






I've become so accustomed to High Definition (HD) television that when I am in places with normal projection I get slight headaches.  It seems like something is just not quite right and my eyes are working extra hard to see through the grainy image.  When I think about how far television has come in my lifetime it pretty amazing.  From black and white, limited fuzzy channels, and even more limited viewing (remember when TV went off at midnight?) to the seemingly limitless and sometimes waste of energy options available to us now.  Some of it I don't want to see as clearly, but that is another whole topic.    

Again, watching regular television appears to be out of focus to me because I have been blessed with HD television for many years.  My slight headaches are a sign that my physical eyesight has been adjusted to expect to see images on screens with crystal clarity.  And because  of quality the electronic devices and televisions in my possession I know that I will only have to endure the out of focus viewing for a limited time.  If my head hurts too much, I can choose to look away or turn that subpar source off and resume my regular viewing when I return to my home.

So how can we apply this our spiritual lives?  What do you do when things are out of focus?  Do you stay in a state of blurred vision and succumb to the aches and pains of confusion?  Or do you remember that you belong to the King of Kings and He has your life in His hands?  We must know that the reaction we are experiencing to these adverse and out of focus moments is directly related to our status as God's children.  Our minds and hearts have been freed and our vision has been made clear before.

We can easily regain clarity and focus from the Lord by meditating on the last time that He brought us through the fog and clutter into a perfect solution or outcome.  Even in those situations in which we just blew something (I know I have) and created our own blurry mess, God helps us find some redeeming quality in the situation and makes our character all the better for it.  So if things are out of focus for you right now stop trying to figure it out and begin to look to the Lord.

Scripture to stand on: 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Friday, January 3, 2014

iSmile

I've been told that I have a beautiful smile, one that lights up a room.  I used to be quite embarrassed but I have come to embrace it as well as other things about my physical appearance over the years, but that is for another post.  I have always been a person who tries to smile as often as I can.  Not in in a plastic, creepy way that makes people wonder if the lights are on upstairs.  But in a genuine and authentic way that says, "hello" or "you're special" without me having to utter a sound.  I also read once that frowning and furrowing your brow will give you wrinkles very early in life and I'm not trying to mess up these perfectly good genes that I've been blessed with.  So, I usually choose to smile more often that not. 

Last month I was in the airport retuning home from three days in San Antonio.  The travel was the week after Thanksgiving and it was a pretty intense trip.  I was exhausted.  My evening flight home had been delayed, then we boarded and didn't take off for another 45 minutes, so it was quite late when I finally landed and began making my way from the gate to the baggage area.  I had to catch a tram to the baggage area and wouldn't you know it-- the tram was halted almost as soon as it began to move; I was waiting again.   Just as I was about to grumble and complain to myself I glanced at an older woman.  She looked weary and tired.  She appeared to be gathering her arms and her small bag as tightly as she could into her lap.  She was looking down and seemed to want to make herself invisible.  I looked closer and saw two large scars on her face.  My heart ached just a little.  I became intrigued by this stranger and that is so unusual for me.  I began to pray silently with my gaze remaining intent upon her.  I imagined her life, a hard one.  Perhaps she immigrated/escaped to America from a treacherous life in foreign land.  Her hands were hard-working hands and her clothing was worn.  Her bag was a clear plastic one and then I realized that she was probably employed at the airport.  Was this the life she had hoped for?  She had the look of someone merely existing. 

The tram began to move again and all I could think about was this woman.  I knew the ride would soon end and I wanted to do something, say something, but what?  So I continued to pray and stare, yes I was staring at this stranger (again so unlike me).  She shifted her weight and caught my gaze.  At first she quickly looked away but then back at me and held eye contact.  There was my chance: I smiled.  She looked over her shoulder and back at me with my smile still upon my face.  I saw a flicker of something: hope, acknowledgement, connectedness.  She looked as though she were surprised, like no one ever notices her, like she didn't matter.  But for that moment she did matter.  She gave me what I would say was counts as smile in return though she barely turned the corners of her mouth up, like it didn't happen very much.  Still, I hoped my smile was yelling to her, "you are beautiful, you do matter, you are loved." 

I would like to encourage anyone reading this to choose to spread joy and hope whenever you have the opportunity.  Most of us are so extremely blessed that anything we could complain about would seem silly to 90% of the rest of the world's population.  The week that I encountered the woman on the tram I literally did a happy dance because I found great eyeliner at Sephora.  I mean, sub par eyeliner was an issue for me.  C'mon man!!    So iSmile every chance that I get.  I offer the world the light that is on the inside of me.  iSmile because it can instantly remove barriers and defuse situations.  iSmile at most people but particularly those who folks frown at because I am always cognizant that if it were not for the grace and mercy of God I would be in their same situation.