Monday, April 16, 2012

When life hands you lemons...make lemonade - and then SPIKE it! ;-)

Just kidding, of course...sort of.

The title of this blog reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my dearest friends. I won't mention her first name, but it is spelled and pronounced exactly the same as mine... and she used to be my boss - other then that...I'm not saying ANYTHING....oh....well, except for that both of our names were inspired by this really random one-hit wonder.....

bahahaha that is just so funny to me....imagine hearing this song and thinking...."Wait a minute...Yep.....YEP.....THATS IT, there's the inspiration we were looking for...and her name shall be called Julie, because of Bobby Sherman's deep, inspiring lyrics!" The chorus repeats our name 12 times in it over and seems as though the choosing of our name was the automatic response to a mind trick rather than because of the awe-inspiring lyrics of a song :-)

So this unnamed friend and I talked about a specific scripture verse concerning giving alcohol to those in despair to "forget how poor and miserable they feel"....probably because we were both feeling a little poor, with a heaping side of miserable :-/
Now before anyone gets their undergarments in a wad, the purpose of this post is not to interpret this scripture, neither is it to make an argument that condones or condemns drinking alcohol- I am just making a point...

Hmm OK so you know how they call the 5:00 hour, "happy hour"....and lots of bars and restaurants will give half-price drinks and what not?  So around this time, many hard-working men and women will make their way from the office to one of these establishments in search of some relief from the stress of the work day...and/or the trials of daily life in this lovely, fallen world we live in.  There is no doubt that we all NEED relief and something to help us cope...even if just for that one blissful hour of forgetfulness.  So it seems to me that, because we Christians are just as human-y as all of our other fellow homosapiens, we are not somehow exempt from this need for relief, right?
So while I am not suggesting that we all have a big Christian Woodstock, where we get drunk and forget our woes (and listen to Bobby Sherman and decide to name our children), I am making the point that we are in need of a....Happy Hour...A time to, say, "cast our cares".....or to get some of that sweet peace that "transcends all understanding".....or to be free from inhibitions, in faith, "like a child"...

I am going to take a bit of a risk and be vulnerable here, but most of you know this about me already.  I have battled, almost my entire life, with an eating disorder.  It has been explained countless times that it is, "not about the food, but about using the food to cope."  This can be applied to all of us - eating disorder or not.  Just fill in your sin or struggle here:

Hi, my name is _______ and I get my relief, (though momentary and fleeting), from ________ .... and it always leaves me wanting.

I think that our Christian lives should be one big oxymoron if we would just let them be!  Let me explain...
Think about it- how much did Jesus, by our human standards, "make sense" - and how much did He say things that either...pissed people off or boggled their minds?" Because we are so earthly-minded, many of the things that Jesus says are so offensive to us and do not "make sense."  So, which should we trust as a rock to stand on, our finite brains and roller coaster emotions, or the Creator of the heavens and the earth? Picture how some of the kiddos in Africa jump and dance and sing in worship to the King while simultaneously, they may be starving, sick, or even dying....amazing, right? doesn't seem to make much sense. It shouldn't make sense, the kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom. So here is some encouragement to live in contradiction.....the tug-of-war between flesh and spirit. If we weren't living in this battle, we would be in Eden before the fall...but we're not - we went our own way and we were in desperate need for an offering to bridge the gap.

So I am charging myself, and you too- if you want to be charged, to receive His offering.  I am going to spike my drink with some of THAT and let it make me happy....let it bring me relief. I am going to believe that the Lord is my Shepherd....and in having Him.....I shall not be in want. I am choosing to believe that He breathed life into my lungs so that I could do just that - live.  Not so that I could be bound by the ________ that we filled in above.

So the friend I mentioned in the beginning, she shared with me yesterday just how much she sees in my heart and what I have to offer the world...and I am making it a point to trust her and receive her compliment that God has made me special...and so has He done with you.  I will not let _______ steal my joy or steal His worship.

I recently, so thankfully, stumbled upon the wonderful singer/songwriter, Jimmy Needham.
So take a few minutes and listen to this song and let it make you Happy...because music has a tendency to do that :-)
And if you don't like this style of music...well then, I will pray for your soul ;-)

Did you know that you are Dearly Loved?

I plan to play and sing some of his songs, and as soon as I can figure out how to post them here from my phone, I will. I really want to pursue a desire I have to play and sing music like this. Maybe not even in a "worship" setting -how we would normally think of it, but just in any venue to provide a place to allow God to restore hearts to Himself.  I want to be a vessel through music by fostering the Spirit of the one who brings true relief.  Who knows? Maybe I'll have a cafe' called "Happy Hour," where I sing and worship like this at 5:00 pm and all are welcome ;-) We will serve lemonade and "spike" it with some Godka....ridiculous - I know. I already have ideas for a drink list, or a list of Spirits: instead of a bloody mary, a Virgin Mary... A Godka tonic.... :-)

"So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun."
                      -Ecclesiastes 8:15

OK- quick question....nothing against Bobby Sherman, but - seriously....after hearing both of these guys, who do you think would win in a fight?  Bobby Sherman or JIMMY NEEDHAM? You know my answer. Jimmy....God bless him and his extremely blessed wife! :-)

If no one has told you today, you are worthy of love...because God has given you breath.

Much, much love from me to you.