Saturday, 27 March 2010

Rise Up

Well, I was there when you were torn apart
Now a piece of you is gone
Somehow you wish that you could only find
A little strength to carry on

You've tried so hard to make it on your own
That your heart has come undone
So I am here to prove that I alone
Have the power to overcome

Don't let your heart be troubled
This world will never keep you down
It will never keep you down

So rise up, my friend
No, this will never be the end
So rise up, my friend
And live again

I didn't want you to feel this way
It's not what life was meant to be
And so for you, my friend, I'll take your shame
You can give it all to me

'Cause you've wrestled demons every day
And they've dragged you to your knees
But in your weakness you will learn to find
That I will always be your strength

In life or in death
Through joy or regret
And all of the secret things you have done
No matter what comes, my friend
Nothing can keep you from the love of God

These lyrics are from a song by Third Day called Rise Up. It's the song that has had the most influential impact on my life, not only years ago, but also again in present times. How often I fall into the trap of living life in the mindset that I can do it on my own - you just burn out. But thank the Lord for grace, and thank the Lord that despite his continual reminders he always says, "for you my friend, I'll take your shame, you can give it all to me ... no matter what comes ... nothing can keep you from the love of God"

The song is further complimented by a great tune! Check it out!!

Sunday, 14 March 2010


I wonder in life, if things ever really leave us? Recently, the same old things keep cropping up with me, the same frustrations, the same difficulties, the same struggles. It's not new stuff, it's not exciting stuff, it's not any more difficult than it was, but it's not any less easy - and I'm tired. So tired.

Lay it down at the cross I hear you say ... that phrase, I know it so well, and not for its out-workings in my life, rather, the wrestling in trying to find out what it actually means! To say the least... I still don't know.

I'm getting burnt out and it worries me. Been there before.

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) Are you tired? Worn out? Burnt out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

I love that bit of scripture, well I used to anyway. It's so romantic, hopeful ... easy. But, does it really work out that way? I'm tired, I'm worn out and I'm getting burnt out. But, I pray, I sing, I talk, I read, in Christian world, I'm ticking all the boxes. I need a rest, and I aint getting it and not because of an active social life, or poor time management. Somewhere, I'm doing something wrong and somehow I'm missing out on the unforced rhythms of grace, and with a painful sigh, I confess ... I just don't know. Maybe, it's time to rewind.

The Israelites screwed up so much because they forgot who they were and where they came from. Maybe I need to remember to.
God had been pestering me for months, through his subtle convicting ways ... people, tv, books, dreams ... you know how he works. He finally got me through Take That, a song that literally changed my life. You may be laughing as you read that, but, let me show you some lyrics.

But you're stuck in a hole and I want you to get out ...
But I know it's time for you to leave
We're all just pushing along
Trying to figure it out, out, out.

All your anticipation pulls you down
When you can have it all, you can have it all.

So come on, come on, get it on
Don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming don't be late, hey hey
So come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine
Just let it shine
Let it shine.

Stop being so hard on yourself
It's not good for your health
I know that you can change
So clear your head and come round
You only have to open your eyes
You might just get a big surprise
And it may feel good and you might want to smile, smile, smile.

Don't you let your demons pull you down
'Cause you can have it all, you can have it all.

Hey let me know you
You're all that matters to me
Hey let me show you
You're all that matters to me.

Hey let me love you
You're all that matters to me
Hey so come on yeah
Shine all your light over me.

I don't know how to lay my life down at the cross, I don't know how to 'trust' God and I don't know when I'm going to be free. I don't know.
But, God got me, he poked at me and he saved me. I'll never understand, apart from one thing - I got hope.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Unspoken Prayers

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for,
But everything that I hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

(A soldiers prayer from the 1860's American Civil War)