Repost – United Around the Wrong Cause

This struck me as I was trolling through my Google Reader last night.  I thought I would repost it, would love to hear your thoughts.  It is from a blog called The Blazing Center.

United Around the Wrong Cause

Written by Stephen Altrogge

Christians are not united by…

  • Homeschooling, public school, or private school.
  • Republicanism or liberalism.
  • Capitalism, environmentalism, or socialism.
  • Continuation of the gifts of the Spirit or cessation of the gifts of the Spirit.
  • Infant baptism or believer’s baptism.
  • Calvinist theology or Arminian theology.
  • Drinking alcohol or not drinking alcohol.
  • Praise choruses or hymns.
  • Being artsy or being intellectual.
  • Vaccinating or not vaccinating your kids.

We are united by…

  • Jesus Christ and him crucified.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(Galatians 3:28)

My thoughts:

How often do I allow my own personal convictions, opinions, political views, or personality to divide me from the family of faith that God has established?  I have slandered, judged, argued with and avoided those that don’t share my same non-essential opinions.  God forgive me, may what unites me to others (Jesus) be stronger that what divides me (myself).

Jesus said that the world will know that we are His followers by our love for one another.  (John 13:35) How well our we loving each other?  How does the world know that we are Christians?  Probably more for what we are against, than what we stand for.  Probably more for what we hate than how well we love.

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John Wooden 1910-2010

“The years have left their imprint on my hands and on my face
Erect no longer is my walk and slower is my pace
But there is no fear within my heart because I’m growing old
I only wish I had more time to better serve my Lord
But I’ve gone to human prayer, he has brought me inner peace
And soon my cares and problems and other worries cease
He’s helped me in so many ways, he’s never let me down
Why should I fear the future when soon I could be near his crown?
Though I know down here my time is short, there’s endless time up there
That he will forgive and keep me in his ever loving care”

John Wooden 1910-2010

A nightly poem Coach Wooden would recite before bed.

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Song Story and Chord Chart – Awake O Heart of Mine

Isaiah 26:19
…Awake and sing…

Psalm 103
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

I love Psalm 103 because David is singing to himself. In another version it says ” Praise the Lord, I tell myself…”

I will tell myself to worship God.

Much like this Psalm, Awake O Heart of Mine is a personal call to worship God.

I don’t know about you but many times in my life I don’t “feel” like worshiping. It may be a circumstance in my life that takes my focus away God’s goodness. It may be I am tired, or stressed out with everything going on, or it just may be I woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning and am feeling grumpy.

But worship is not about how we feel; it’s all about who God is and what he is done.

I don’t know if David was feeling grumpy when he wrote Psalm 103 but he needed to remind himself of all that God has done. He proclaims:

3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things.

Our God, through Jesus, has forgiven all of our sins, he has healed us, he has ransomed us from death, and surrounds us with love and mercy.

So we sing, “How could I ever repay the death you died the grace you give so free.”

When we look at all the benefits of God, when we choose to remember how amazing He is, our only response is to give ourselves back to Him…

“I give you all I am, and now I live to glorify Your name.”

No matter what we face, where we are, or how we feel we give God all the praise.

Sometimes we just need a little wake up call…

“Awake O heart of mine, sing praise to God above…of His redeeming Love.”
Awake O Heart of Mine Chord Chart

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I’ll Wait For You

Did you know that over 40% of the psalms in the Book of Psalms are laments? defines lament as a formal expression of sorrow or mourning, esp. in verse or song; an elegy or dirge.  The official hymnal of Israel, that the people of God used in their worship services and festivals were expressions of sorrow and grief.  Crazy to think about really, how often do we sing laments in our churches?  In our times of worship and praise as we express our adoration to our great God, how often do they include the human condition?  How we are feeling in the moment, our questions, our doubts, our pain, our despair?  I know why we don’t do this, because we don’t to bum everybody out, we are afraid it will turn into a big cry-fest and we will scare the newbies away. And I do agree that there should be more times of celebration and exaltation than lament and sorrow, but 40% of the Psalms is full of complaints and rage, questions and doubts, cries for help.  I believe that God receives our laments and cries as worship to Him as much as our shouts for joy and declarations of victory.  Because we are still looking to Him to be our help, for Him to be our hope.  Hope is the key, what separates God-ward worship cries of grief and sorrow and just having a big pity party.

So I wrote a hope-filled lament a couple of weeks ago. It is a song that is very much where I have been lately.  A song that was inspired by a Psalm:

Psalm 69: 1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.

It is still a work in progress, this was recorded  with me literally in front of a digital recorder, one take.  I would love your feedback. May you know that God desires every part of you to be worship to Him. Your joy and and your laughter, your grief and your tears.

I’m all alone, crying out Your name
Drowning in a deep sea
I need you now, to come and rescue me
Save me from despair

When all around seems lost
Still You will be my hope

I wait for You, my soul lies in wait
You will be my help, even in the pain
Your perfect love removes all my fear
Even when I’m weak, You will be my strength
I’ll wait for You

The waters rise, flood sweeping over me
I am so weary
My eyes grow dim, searching after You
How I need Your mercy

You mend the broken-hearted
And set the captive free
You give beauty for ashes
And praise for despair
I’ll wait for You

words&music by: jason dionne
© 2010 Battlehawk Music

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Some Good Music for Free and it’s Legal!

I am a music junkie.  Always looking for something new and inspiring to get me through the day.  This is some CampFire Jams* that SPIN Magazine is offering in preparation for a huge music festival called Bonnaroo in the Tennessee Countryside, expected to have more than 80,000 fans attending.  If you are looking for some good, heartfelt rock, this is worth checking out.  And the best part about it is that it’s free.  Some of my favorite tracks include artists like The National, Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, and more.  Click on the image to be taken to the download area and enjoy.

SPIN Presents Campfire Jams Tracklisting:
1. The Gaslight Anthem, “American Slang”
2. The National, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
3. Manchester Orchestra, “Shake It Out”
4. Kings of Leon, “Cold Desert”
5. Local Natives, “World News”
6. Blitzen Trapper, “Heaven and Earth”
7. Phoenix, “1901 (Live in Sydney)”
8. Samantha Crain, “Lions”
9. Bomba Estereo, “Fuego”
10. Tinariwen, “Lulla”
11. Mumford & Sons, “White Blank Page (Live)”
12. Jamey Johnson, “Place Out on the Ocean”
13. The Young Veins, “Change”
14. Dawes, “When My Time Comes”
15. Gossip, “Are You That Somebody (Live Aaliyah Cover)”
16. Chromeo, “Night By Night”

*disclaimer:  none of these artists and songs would be classified as gospel or religious. if you are one of my friends that don’t listen to anything but music that would be played on a christian radio station please don’t download these songs, the last thing i want you to do is for you to compromise your own personal convictions.  with love, jason

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Family Outing

We are going out to get me a beanie to cover my grotesque headwound and then getting some burgers and fries at The Counter.

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