Just As I Am

I have long loved the hymn “Just As I Am.” Although it was often overused at the Christian school that I attended as a child, I loved the simplicity of the melody and the message.¬†As we sang the lyrics this past Sunday during worship, one of the verses jumped out at me, and I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed the refreshing honesty in the words before.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fighting and fears within, without
O Lamb of God, I come, I come
.

It’s unusual to find such conflicted feelings about faith tucked inside an age-old hymn, but it immediately connected me with the writer (Charlotte Elliott). Despite all of my shortcomings, it’s comforting to know that Christ accepts me just as I am.

Are You Sure?

Are You Sure?
By The Staple Singers

Are you sure there’s nothing you can do
To help someone worse off than you?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure it’ll be a waste of time
To stop and let your love light shine?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure that it will be in vain
To show some love for your fellow man?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure that it’s not your place
To help someone whose lost their way?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure it’s not your concern
When you see a neighbor’s home is burned?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure that there will still be time
When you realize that you’ve been blind
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Be Here Now

Be Here Now
By Ray LaMontagne

Don’t let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still; don’t try.
Don’t let your heart get heavy, child
Inside you there’s a strength that lies.

Don’t let your soul get lonely, child
It’s only time, it will go by
Don’t look for love in faces, places
It’s in you; that’s where you’ll find kindness.

Don’t lose your faith in me,
And I will try not to lose faith in you.
Don’t put your trust in walls,
‘Cause walls will only crush you when they fall.

Be here… be here now… be here now…

Leave It There

The following song is on an album I bought by gospel singer Tanya Goodman Sykes. Although I’ve had the CD for quite some time, Honey and I have fallen in love with it over the last few weeks.

Leave It There

If the world from you withholds of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember in His Word, how He feeds the little bird;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care;
He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Picture board

I have a cork board hanging beside my desk at work that is covered with photos of friends, family, places I’ve been on vacation, and my partner. It has pictures of my parents, my sister and I when we were very young children, photos of the children that she went on to have, and even little sayings that have spoken to me over the years.

“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” – Ghandi
“The person willing to give up freedom for security deserves neither.” – A modern take on Benjamin Franklin’s quote.
“Where governments fear the people, you have liberty. When the people fear the government, you have tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

I also included a lyric from a song by American-Indian artist, Jana, which always reminds me of exactly why I’m at work.

So be aware of all the things you want
Prepare to pay for what you need
Nothing in the world is free to take
That’s the price of life we have to pay.

There’s even a slip of paper that I got out of a fortune cookie that says, “Stop searching forever. Happiness is right next to you.” And, yes, I was sitting right next to Honey when I opened it.

I recently printed the verses from 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 and posted them on the wall beside the board, as a constant reminder of the importance of love.

I think that’s the main reason I enjoy this picture board so much; when I’m stressed out or just tired and ready to go home, I can glance over to see all the faces and places that represent love to me. And then, in some strange way, I realize that I am already home.

La fin

I am retiring from blogging for the foreseeable future. My heart just isn’t in it anymore.

Through
By George Michael

Is that enough?
I think it’s over
See, everything has changed
And all this hatred may just make me strong enough
To walk away

They may chase me to the ends of the earth
But I’ve got you, babe
And they may strip me of the things that I’ve worked for
But I’ve had my say, babe

So hear me now
I’ve enough of these chains
I know they’re of my making
No one else to blame for where I stand today
I’ve no memory of truth
But suddenly the audience is so cruel
So God, hey God, you know why I’m through

I guess it’s tough, I guess I’m older
And everything must change
But all this cruelty and money instead of love
People, have we no shame?

They may chase me to the ends of the earth
But I’ve got you, babe
And they may take away the things that I’ve worked for
But you’ll pull me through, babe

It’s so clear to me now
I’ve enough of these chains
Life is there for the taking
What kind of fool would remain in this cheap gilded cage
I’ve no memory of truth
Suddenly the audience is so cruel
Oh God, I’m sorry

I think I’m through
I think I’m through
I think I’m…
I know I’m…

So empty, so estranged

Empty
By Ray Lamontagne

She lifts her skirt up to her knees
Walks through the garden rows
With her bare feet, laughing

I never learned to count my blessings
I choose instead to dwell
In my disasters

I walk on down the hill
Through grass grown tall
And brown and still
It’s hard somehow
To let go of my pain

On past the busted back
Of that old and rusted Cadillac
That sinks into this field
Collecting rain

Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?

And of these cut throat busted sunsets
These cold and damp white mornings
I have grown weary

If through my cracked and dusty
Dime store lips
I spoke these words out loud
Would no one hear me?

Lay your blouse across the chair
Let fall the flowers
From your hair
And kiss me
With that country mouth
So plain

Outside the rain is tapping
On the leaves
To me it sounds like
They’re applauding us
The quiet love
We’ve made

Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?

Well I looked my demons in the eyes
Laid bare my chest
Said do your best
To destroy me

I’ve been to hell and back
So many times
I must admit
You kinda bore me

There’s a lot of things
That can kill a man
There’s a lot of ways to die
Yes, and some already did
That walk beside me

There’s a lot of things
I don’t understand
Why so many people lie
It’s the hurt I hide that fuels
The fire inside me

Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?