Starting the Day off Right

One of things I’ve tried to focus on the last couple of months is just being grateful for what I’ve been given and blessed with and trying to keep a positive mental attitude.

Something I started doing about a month ago was to kick each day off with some worship music. Not a big thing to add into my day but when I wake up and am checking e-mail, getting ready to run, I throw some worship music on in iTunes and let that play. It’s a simple change in my morning but it’s made a difference. Starting my day off in praise and worship has been great.

I’ve also made a change to my daily run. Pastor Mark has talked aout redeeming small, every day things and I’d like to think that I’ve “redeemed” my runs. I normally just watch NHL on the FLy while I run. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with watching hockey highlights. In fact, that part of my run still happens. But I have started muting the tv and instead have started to listen to worship and uplifting music while I run. Again, a small change that I’m noticing is making a big difference.

Happy Thanksgiving

2011 has been a great year and there is so much to be thankful for and praise God for. But I think what I’m most thankful for is my friends. I am so rich with friends and have been surrounded by so many fantastic people over the last 6 months. It’s been awesome. I have meet, connected with, and befriended so many wonderful people lately and my life is better for it.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Let Go of the Good Thing

One of my favorite Pastor Markisms is “I’d rather have one God idea then a thousand good ideas.”

While I was running this morning the phrase ‘Let go of the good things and chase after the God things’ kept running (no pun intended) through my mind. It’s really an answer to prayer for me as I’ve been wrestling with certain situations in my life but the idea has stuck in my brain this morning.

There are a bunch of people I know who have given up good jobs and comfortable lifestyles to pursue the dreams and passions God has placed on their heart. I know people who have been ridiculed and outcast for the convictions God has given them. But I think the idea can be applied in every day life. I know sometimes I will settle for things because they’re good and when things are going good, I know my tendency is to think that God is blessing me. And sometimes He is.

I know in the last two years I’ve really struggled with where my life is going and what it was that God wants for me. I’ve felt pretty directionless over the last two years. It sucks. And while I’m still not sure what my next step in life is, God has begun to show me snippets of where I’m headed. And while life might not seem “good” from the outside, I have a God sized dream I’m starting to chase that’s more important then anything else.

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I wrote a song in Berlin called Perceptions. Walking the streets of Berlin and witnessing the prostitution really struck me and I knew that it was an idea I wanted to wrestle with in some form. Perceptions is a two fold song.

The song is a first person perspective of a prostitute. The first aspect of the song is just in how she is perceived. Each verse deals with how a different person views her, from herself to people passing by on the streets to other prostitutes on the street, to the guys she’s sleeping with and ending with her dad. Her dad wishes his little girl, who would innocently climb up his knees and just sit in his lap would be the girl she was again. It’s the idea of no matter what happens in life and where we currently are there is always someone who loves us and is willing to embrace us and accept us, even when it feels like the entire world is judging us.

The second part of the song is the chorus and bridge that talk about freedom. In our debrief conversations the idea of finding freedom and false freedom kept coming up. We think we’re free because we have the freedom to do whatever we want and and choose whatever sort of lifestyle is available to us but we become slaves to drugs, alcohol, sex, jobs, etc… The chorus of this song is a cry for help. It says I could be anything I want but I don’t know how to be free and the bridge just echos this idea of not actually being free.

“What do I see when I look in the mirror?
Just a dirty old whore getting down on her knees
Trying to make a dollar so that I can eat
Well that ain’t so bad.

What do they see when they’re passing by me?
Just a dirty old whore who can’t get off the streets
That I should get a real job and have low self-esteem
They don’t know me.

I could be anything I want but I don’t know how to
If I could be anything I want but I don’t know how to be free

What do they see when they’re laughing at me?
Just another old whore working the same street
Trying to take work out from under their feet
They’re just jealous

What does he see when he’s lying with me?
Just a dirty old whore getting down on her knees
So he can forget about his wife and kids
He’s just using me

I could be anything I want but I don’t know how to
If I could be anything I want but I don’t know how to…

Am I free?
What is free?
Can I be free?
Am I Free?

What does he see when he’s thinking of me?
Just daddy’s little girl climbing up his knees
Wishing I could have my innocence back
Where’d his girl go?”

Give Thanks

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

I’ve been back from Germany for a week and a half now and life is back to what is passes for normalcy. Well, the new normal where the are now 8 people in my life who I need to see and talk to all the time… But that’s for another post.

The problem with being back to normal is that my normal is filled with financial struggles, workless days, a lack of self motivation, discouragement, disappointment, etc…

Of course I have great friends, a loving family, a home to stay in, food to eat, and God has always provided a way for me to pay my bills. But I’ll be honest, that’s not always my focus. The negative stuff always overshadows the good.

So I’m trying to focus my prayer life on being thankful for all that God has given me. And there’s a lot to be grateful for. Being grateful in prayer helps me see more of God’s blessing and goodness in my every day life and keeps me praising God throughout my day and it helps me keep a positive mental attitude.

Give thanks for what you have and don’t fret about what you don’t.