Song List – January 2018

I find that I often gravitate towards specific songs in specific times of my life- I have the habit of playing the same songs over and over again if they tug on a specific heart string. I know it when I first hear it- it penetrates into my soul and doesn’t let go until I’ve really heard it, and been engulfed by it. A few months ago I started making playlists based on the month. It seems like a month gives me time to cycle through it and allow it to settle. Sometimes songs make it from month to month, but for most it seems like the month-long span is perfect. Here’s January 2018’s song list:

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The Reason to Fight

The biggest barrier to living into a full relationship with God isn’t understanding Him, it’s understanding ourselves. Why? Because we change our minds like the winds change direction / we fall apart at the slightest indication of a rumble. But God does not change – His character is constant, and His promises are true. That doesn’t mean He can’t surprise us- oh no, He can do so whenever His will sees fit. But those surprises are always for our good, even when we can’t see it, even when we can’t fathom how. And that never changes. So it’s in understanding ourselves and how we interact and live and breathe that will inform and give way to a full relationship with the Father. An all-encompassing relationship. Fully loved, deeply known.

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on prayer

Prayer should be called “hugs from dad.” A space of complete comfort, complete wholeness. While some of us don’t have the best memories of our earthly Dad’s, those fatherly missteps are redeemed in the time spent with our ABBA, the one who made each part of us, and who wouldn’t change a thing.

Prayer is, at its core, a discussion. A discussion between the created and the Creator, a discussion between the chosen and the Chooser, a discussion between the protected and the Protector.

Prayer changes things, and should ignite change within you.

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Be Loved, Beloved

For as long back as I can remember, if you asked me, “Who are you?”, I would answer back with a response fitting with the life I was currently living at that time, but always the thing that portrayed me in the best light. The earliest I can think back to this was in middle school- who I was was consistently defined by my accomplishments and positive attributes of the time.

“I’m a straight A student.”
“I’m a varsity tennis player.”
“I’m a college student.”

Think about it for a second – if someone asked you who you are, what would you say? If you are anything like me, you’d stutter for a quick second trying to grasp at your most recent cool experience or fish out a compliment someone gave you and weave your identity around that. Here’s where I find the problem:

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the natural pattern of God’s favor

There’s something beautiful about the Way God communicates. He’s active and responsive, not passive and stagnant, and that’s just one of the things that I love about Him. He’s just as invested in my life on this earth as I am, and rather than making it seem like life is a boring prerequisite to eternity, He asks us to live into this life as a vessel for eternity to invade earth, and to invite even more to the party.

We’re all participants in life, it’s just up to us if we want to be passive bystanders or active kingdom-builders.

I’ve chosen the latter option- and my oh my, has it expanded my world beyond imagination.

In engaging a life of serving God, the Bible is considered the handbook to a Christ-centered life. Like God, who’s spirit breathed every word in it, it is an active representation of a life raring to be lived, rather than a passive rule book.

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Called to Respond

One of the greatest misconceptions about Christianity, as a whole, is that we live in a world of regime and discipline, not allowed to make and create our own decisions. And for a large part, I can see why- conversations with God at the center of them in the public eye routinely make it seem like we are under a dictatorship, rather than active in a relationship.

While I understand where that implication comes from, I’d like to counter with this: “..just because a conversation (or a sermon or lecture) has the word “God” in it, does not qualify it has true” (Eat this Book, Peterson). I choose to root my relationship with God in Scripture, in the true telling of who He is, and His character as a whole. And, in that definition, I live in a dynamic and expansive world, propelled by God, not held back.

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Letter to 24, from 23

I sit on the eve of meeting you, and I’m at a loss for words. Speechless to the growth and knowledge and pain and triumph that has happened leading up to you. There is not enough time in the world to explain to you all that has happened this past year- but maybe there is to tell you a bit of what I’ve learned.

It’s been quite the roller coaster. Exhilarating moments, nauseating moments, moments where I wish I was off the ride and moments where there’s no other place I’d rather be.

And on the eve of 24, I feel like I’m sitting in my seat on the ride, waiting for the restraints to be released. These restraints kept me from falling off in the scariest of moments, but now I’m ready for the next, ready to be free – released into a new exhilaration.

I want to go off into the rest of the amusement park, to find my next adventure.

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