You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘The Soundtrack’ category.

One of my biggest struggles with my faith is the voice I’ve always given God.

I’ve always struggled to understand the tone of Gods voice.  I’m guilty of placing Gods word into the tone and delivery method that my father used.

When I did that, God became a stern, aloof, shell of a being that was present physically but absent mentally and emotionally.  When I did that, life became empty, devoid of any hope and drained of color, excitement and any and all things that made life beautiful.

Realization

A few nights ago, I read Hebrews 11.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

-Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

I’ve heard this verse countless times.  And each time, I’ve always imagined my dads voice telling me I had to be diligent, that if I wanted to please God, it was all up to me.

I always interpreted that to mean I could never seek enough.

I knew that if there was no pleasing my earthly father, then why even bother trying to please the Almighty?  If I couldn’t be diligent enough in my homework, penmanship, exercise routines or mowing the lawn, how was I ever going to please the Creator of the universe?

My dad’s voice was always what I heard.

That evening something changed.  What I read, changed.  The voice I heard started to sound less like my father and more like a real Father.  I began to hear love when I read:

It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 (Message)

Suddenly it wasn’t about my being good enough, or trying hard enough, or being diligent enough.  It wasn’t about me, or what I could do.  Suddenly, it was about a Father who cares enough to respond.

Fathers

We know what one looks like when we see him.

We know the hopeful expectation of a childlike heart, faithfully waiting for dad to come home from a long day in battle (or at work).

We know the heart of a true father drops his keys, briefcase and sport-coat at the door, and in a moment he transforms from a fearless slayer of office-dwelling dragons into a cowboy, indian, storm trooper, or fixer of broken bikes and skinned knees.

We know the heart of a true father cannot wait to get home and see his kids.

We know he works not to find his purpose, but to provide for his family.  Yes, he gives his all every day, but you don’t see him at his fullest until he’s tackled at the backdoor and in minutes has a grass stain on his trousers.  You may see the employee in his office, but you see the man, when he bends over, picks up his son who’s been waiting, seeking his father all afternoon and says

I’ve waited all day to see you.  And I am so glad I’m home.  I love you.  Now, let’s go play!

At that moment, though dad may not realize it, he’s building in the heart of his children the very foundations they will need for the rest of their lives.

And in that moment He is showing his kids the very heart of a true father.

A heart that cares enough to respond to those who wait at the backdoor, to those who seek him.

Passion – Waiting Here for You: 

We shortchange ourselves and the lives we could live if we chose to wait for the perfect, when the good enough is staring us in the face.

We won’t dance as often as we should or tell that girl how pretty she looks, we won’t risk as much but we will also see less reward.  Our relationships won’t be as deep, friendships won’t be as sincere and love won’t be as strong.

When we chose to wait for the perfect moment instead of capitalizing on the moments given to us, we miss out on drops of beauty that life rains only on those who chose to risk.

This past weekend I witnessed the interweaving of two stories, two lives, into one.  Two people who learned the joys of risk, who’ve felt the pain of loss but who didn’t wait for the elusiveness of perfect when love knocked on the door to their hearts.

And now a new story is now being written, one full of hope, of life, and I’ve no doubt that in time, a new family as well.

A new story, not a perfect story, not one without risk, without pain.  Not a story that wasn’t at one time bathed in tears, but a new story all the same.  One bathed in beauty, wrapped in grace, and filled with dreams coming true and new dreams being birthed in the hearts of those brave enough to not wait for perfect.

This weekend reminded me that finding courage to dream requires action, it requires a guy be aggressive and chase after what he wants, what he dreams of.  But most importantly, this weekend reminded me that life comes to those who step out in risk, who share their heart, who are open and who chase after the dreams written on their hearts.

Future of Forestry – Slow Your Breath Down: 

There is the joy of having someone save a place for us. We walk into a crowded room at church or at a dinner party and someone across the way waves us over, pointing to a chair he’s held on to especially for us. For a moment we feel a sense of relief, a taste of being on the inside.

Now consider Jesus’ words in John 14:2-“I am going . . . to prepare a place for you.”

Christ promises that he is saving a place in heaven especially for each of us.  When we walk into the crowded excitement of the wedding feast of the Lamb, with the sound of a thousand conversations, laughter and music, the clinking of glasses, and one more time our heart leaps with the hope that we might be let into the sacred circle, we will not be disappointed. We’ll be welcomed to the table by our Lover himself. No one will have to scramble to find another chair, to make room for us at the end of the table, or rustle up a place setting. There will be a seat with our name on it, held open at Jesus’ command for us and no other.

John Eldredge
Sacred Romance 

I’ve been on both ends of what John writes about.  I’ve been welcomed to the inner circle, made to feel like I belong, and I carry the memories of being left out and excluded.

Tonight I am reminded that in this life, in this dance, in this journey to find beauty, we are not alone.

I know I’ve written before about this.  About the wonder of the truth that we do not walk this road alone, but tonight I needed to be reminded of it.  Tonight, I needed to refocus.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Meetings, reports, projects, more meetings, deadlines and preparations for change.  Tonight however, is the end of the sabbath, the end of our day of rest.  And tonight, my heart yearns for His presence.  For the rest, grace and joy that flows from time spent here, realizing, remembering, and reminding myself that I am not alone.

So if tomorrow doesn’t turn out the way we hope or if the changes that are in your future aren’t small, be reminded that this truth doesn’t change.  We do not walk this road alone.

We belong.
We are His.

One Sonic Society – Just to be with You:  

Today was a Monday.

Not just Monday on the calendar, but one of those Mondays.

Today would have been a Monday if the calendar said it was Thursday.

And it was my fault, I didn’t start today as I should have.

It was going to be a busy day filled with important calls, meetings and deadlines.  I had my first dance lesson scheduled for this evening.  And my quiet time, the time that centers me, helps me find the path I should follow, and speaks peace into the situations I face, was all but glossed over this morning.

And Monday ensued.

I had things that to get done.  And I got them done.  Because I was so important.

I arrived early for the lesson.

In the parking lot I took a moment and reviewed the Groupon confirmation.

For Arthur Murray’s dance studio.

I was at Fred Astaire’s dance studio.

Monday.  

Next Monday, things will be different.  Because in that parking lot, I realized what I’d forgotten.

I was rescued from an eternity of Monday’s not to meet or attend meetings, to get things done or arrive early.

I was rescued to rescue.

Hillsong United – Aftermath 

Last Sunday was quickly drawing to a close and as it was one of the few remaining cool spring days we would see in the DFW metro area, I did what any coffee addicted adult does.

I went to Starbucks.

On the way, my car simply acted odd.  When I pulled into the driveway I noticed an odd smell emanating from it.  It wasn’t until after research online, reviewing the owner’s manual and some small panicking on my part did I realize it was most likely the cheaper gas I’d used.

It was just a car.  But by the way I reacted, by the way my heart panicked, you’d think I’d forgotten to give a patient his medicine.

It was just a car, not life or death.  So why the fear?  Why the panicking?

Because I still stubbornly cling to the idea that I must perform.  That this unfailing, unearned, unmerited, perfect love is something I must somehow be good enough for.

I never will be good enough.  That is why it’s called grace.

Even if the odd smell is something worse than cheap gas, even if it’s something worse than just a car, even if I fail, that Love will still be there.

In the midst of the storm, and surrounded by a lot of unknowns, I cling to this.

I don’t have to earn it.

I will never have to earn it.

I cannot earn it.

I am loved perfectly.

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.  Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to Him than birds.  –Matthew 6:26 

Brooke Fraser – Flags 

Earlier this week I received an email from a friend that shook me.

We’ve known each other for years and simply fell out of touch. We only reconnected a few weeks ago and as I read her email, my heart broke.

Although I glimpsed only a shadow of what she had fought through, the pain and heartache she endured, I could see clearly that something had changed.  There was something new, something that didn’t exist the last time she and I talked.

There was deep hope.

There was this rare, amazing beauty.

There was a strength in her words, tempered steel behind her eyes and in her voice, and a profound confidence in her heart and her God that was beautiful, matchless, and radiant.

And in that, I began to hear the echoes of an ageless truth.

God restores.

As I read and reread the email, I could see it. I could see restoration was there, healing was there. Through the pain and the hell she fought through, the plan was always restoration. Restoration of her heart, of her life and the life of her son.

I will always question why we have to face the battles we do, why horrible things happen to amazing people and why God sometimes seems so distant.  But in each battle and in spite of the many questions, I am beginning to see the same truth. The heart of a Father, her Father broken far beyond anything I could ever understand.  And through the breaking of His heart, love flows.

A perfect love from a perfect God loving an imperfect person perfectly.

And in that love, restoration.  The plan was and is always restoration.

.

Hillsong United – Take Heart 

Our God Reigns by Delirious just started and I’m stuck, unmoving beyond today’s devotional from John Eldredge:

Every woman is in some way searching for or running from her beauty and every man is looking for or avoiding his strength. Why? In some deep place within, we remember what we were made to be, we carry with us the memory of gods, image-bearers walking in the Garden. So why do we flee our essence? As hard as it may be for us to see our sin, it is far harder still for us to remember our glory. The pain of the memory of our former glory is so excruciating, we would rather stay in the pigsty than return to our true home. We are like Gomer, wife of the prophet Hosea, who preferred to live in an adulterous affair rather than be restored to her true love.

We are the ones to be Fought Over, Captured and Rescued, Pursued. It seems remarkable, incredible, too good to be true. There really is something desirable within me, something the King of the universe has moved heaven and earth to get….

If your heart skipped a beat, if your soul ached when you read Johns devotional, then you are like me.  You know there is more.  And whether you are running away from your strength or beauty or towards it, you know it is there.

Could it be that we carry in our  hearts the essence of our Creator?  Is it possible that as creation, something of beauty exists inside of us?

We are the ones to be fought over.  You and I.  Prized so much, valued so highly, worth enough to be fought for and over, precious enough to be pursued.  You and I, our hearts are valued, valuable, worthy of love.  And if they are worthy of love then they must be capable of loving in ways we’ve not yet understood.

So go forward, run after your strength, your beauty.  Stumble towards the you that you can be, that you need to be.  Learn about your heart, this amazing love, and never be the same.

ive been thinking lately, about being thankful.

for the things i have, and in some ways, for the things i dont have.

so many of my friends, people my age, have already settled down.  they have a wife, kid(s), dog.  they’re already rockin’ the white picket fence american dream.  and while part of me wants that, yearns for the evident completeness they’ve found, part of me hungers for something more.

john eldredge describes that unsettledness, that desire for something more as the call of God for us to follow Him.  john says “According to the part of the story God has allowed us to see, the Haunting we sense is His calling us forth on a journey.

i wont begin to pretend i know what this journey is or where it will lead.  but i am realizing that it’s not something i’m waiting to start.  it’s something i have already begun.  and thats something you need to realize too.

this, right here, this moment in time, is part of journey.

st. augustine said that the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

you are already on your journey.  as am i.

and im suddenly realizing that part of me was waiting for something to happen.  for someone to come along and give me permission to live life, to chase after my dreams.

i was waiting for something that will never happen.

and if this is true, that right now, im living my story…. if its true that the first pages have been turned, and that the book is already dog-eared, then i need to do everything i can, right now, to live life fully.  to explore, fight, become a better me.

i need to learn to love.  to walk through the fires before me.  to face fears, to dance.  i need to learn not just to tread water, but sail.

i need to learn to be thankful for where i am and for where i am going.

yes, eventually, i want what my friends have.  i want to look into the eyes of my beloved, my betrothed, my bride, my (eve) and see our stories intertwining as one.  i want to see our futures, together.  i want to see hope, abundant life, and love ive not known reflected back in those eyes.

i want to see two books, two stories, two, becoming one.

and even if on the horizon of our future lie gray skies full with the promise of storms, i will look forward to the rain, to the thunder, to the tempest.  because one day, i wont be sailing alone.

hillsong united – aftermath

what would you do, how differently would you look at life, would you live life if you knew that your heart was the treasure of the kingdom?

thats the question ive been struggling with.

the bible is rather clear about the value of our hearts.  Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts proclaims proverbs 4.

all too often, when i read the bible, or when its preached, its done so with a word of caution.  a warning.  something to heed.  it’s almost like we take every verse as a stern thou shalt not! and when we read about this God of abundant life, it never makes sense.  we never see it.  it never comes to fruition.  so we chalk it up to something we have to trudge through ‘by faith’, and we give up on that beautiful life we were meant to live.

but what if that verse wasnt a warning.  what if that verse wasnt meant to chastise or correct?  but to tell us, show us the value of our hearts?  what if the intent was to show us where that abundant life starts?

john eldredge in waking the dead says: “caring for our own hearts isnt selfishness; it’s how we begin to love.

yes, we care for our hearts for the sake of others.  does that sound like a contradiction?  not at all.  what will you bring to others if your heart is empty, dried up, pinned down?  love is the point.  and you cant love without your heart, and you cant love well unless your heart is well.

when it comes to the whole subject of loving others, you must know this: how you handle your own heart is how you will handle theirs.

and

“what more can be said, what greater case could be made than this: to find God, you must look with all your heart.  to remain present to God, you must remain present to your heart.  to hear His voice, you must listen with your heart.  to love Him, you must love with all your heart.  you cannot be the person God meant you to be, and you cannot live the life He meant you to live, unless you live from the heart.”

wow.

what if that verse wasnt meant as a warning?  but as a promise?  as a road sign?  what if its there to tell us that the abundant life He promised, is available?  and that its tied to the dreams that were etched on our hearts before we were born?

what if that life is out there?  if only we’d take care of our hearts?  would i realize that the life i want to see is there?  inside of me?  and that if i cared for my heart, listened to it, lived from it, that this life would flow out?  that id see my dreams come true?  would you?

would you realize that life is there?  inside of you?  etched into your heart by the perfect One?  would you realize that there is a reason your heart beats for antiques?  or art?  or music?  or engineering? or dancing? or fashion? or photography?  or woodworking?

what if we didnt give up on our dreams?  but instead chose to dust them off, pry open the pages of stories long since forgotten and begin to read, again, the words that are etched on our hearts?  what then?

what would our lives look like?  how would life be different?  how much more abundant would life be, if i honestly believed that my heart was a treasure?  that abundant life was out there, was available for me?

would it be real?  would this abundant life be real?  would you see it if you looked at me?

i dont have the answers.  but i’m going to challenge myself to find out.

because i believe there is a bigger story out there, bigger than im living.  and these echoes we heart in our hearts, the yearning for something more, the ache deep inside that tells us we are not yet complete, they are all telling us that there is more.  that we were destined for more.  and that our path to this life, begins within our hearts.

your heart was created.  by the Creator.  with purpose and beauty.  a destiny all its own.  and you will only find that destiny, that fullness, by following the calling placed on your Heart by the one who traded His life for yours.

so follow Him.  find your heart.  and live from it.

future of forestry – sanctitatis

i hate being alone.

no, its not that, because i cherish time away from the world.

i am afraid of ending up alone.  and i think, if we were all honest with ourselves, we all struggle with this fear.

and if we were to think about it, if we were to really think about it, i think we’d begin to understand that its not being alone that we fear.  it is that we fear we’re not worthy of being pursued.  that there is nothing desirable inside of us.  we do not fear being alone, but what being alone tells us.

that we’re not worthy.  that we dont belong, dont fit.  that somehow we didnt pass the test.  that the sum of our parts didnt add up to a high enough value.

we fear not being loveable more than we fear not being loved.

and that fear hits home.

we cover it, we do our best to hide it.  some of us throw ourselves into a hobby, work, our careers, kids or current significant other.  we look for answers to that doubt, that fear, in everything and anything we can control.

it’s almost like we were born with a deep-seated knowing that there was, is, something valuable inside of us.  something precious.  something deserving of love.  its like we know, even if we refuse to admit it, that our hearts are valuable.  that they are precious, unique and achingly beautiful.  its like we understand that there is something of value, rare and matchless, inside of each of us.

and that knowing, because of our past experiences and past wounds leads us to fear ever letting it be seen.  so we cover it.  and we look for the fulfillment our heart longs for, in the people, jobs and things we surround ourselves with.

and we are never fulfilled.

we were never meant to fill the desire of our heart, to love in a way and be loved in a way we’ve never known, with a career, a relationship, or a hobby.  our hearts were designed, created, for something great.  to love unconditionally and be loved unconditionally.  to be free.  to create and love and make music, paint, throw pottery and dance.

our hearts were created for us to find life.  true, abundant, beautiful life.

and when we hide our hearts, when past experiences, mistakes, pain, disappointment and fear cause us to lock our hearts away, we become shells of the lives we were meant to live.  we become puppets.  life becomes a routine, empty, stale unfulfillable.

we need to be reminded of how we were created.

we need to be reminded that we were not created to find our fullness in things, or people.  but in a real relationship with the One who sculpted our hearts and knows their scars, better than we ever could.

we need to be reminded that we were destined to live, to find life fully.  and to be shining examples of a heart fully alive.

so i challenge you, as i challenge myself, to slow down, to ask the hard questions, to feel the aches that our hearts hide, to fight through them.  to learn from our mistakes….

and find ourselves running back home.

to let ourselves, our hearts feel.  to be real, honest living people and not the shells we’ve come to believe equal life.

we are not promised that it will be easy.  but we are promised that if we hang on and dont quit, that if we follow the One who has created our hearts, then we will find that life, that true, real, pure, brilliant life.

we will get there, we will know life.

and it will be beautiful.

Future of Forestry – Slow Your Breath Down

if you leave I’ll still be close to you
when all your fears rain down
I’ll take you back a thousand times again
I’ll take you as My own

I will sing you songs of innocence
till the light of morning comes
till the rays of golden honey cover you
in the sweetness of the dawn
but you’re always on the run

history

Follow Me on Twitter

Subscribe and be alerted to new posts by clicking the button below!

Join 286 other followers

Visitors from…