>TUESDAY TUNES – "You Are the Woman"

>I know – I missed last Tuesday. I’m sorry. Last week was CRAZY! Here’s what our week looked like: Gatlinburg, Lexington/Wilmore, Indianapolis, Veedersburg, Noblesville, Veedersburg, back to Noblesville, back home to Veedersburg. WHEW! Throw in my trip to the emergency room in Noblesville Wednesday night, and you’ve got yourself a BUSY WEEK! I’m sure this sounds like a bunch of excuses, but get over it. It’s my blog, and if I want to miss a week, I can do that. 🙂

Today’s song is really special to me for a lot of reasons. This is a song that I remember hearing a lot when I was growing up. My mom would sing this song to me when I was little, and I remember hearing this album playing often at our house.

A couple years ago I took part in a spritual direction retreat led by my friend Peg in Wilmore. I signed up for the retreat without knowing a lot about it. I showed up not knowing a soul. I was the only woman there who wasn’t a student at the seminary, and I felt COMPLETELY out of place.

I’m not sure I can put into words exactly what this retreat was like. I imagine it was different for all of us. At some point during the weekend, we each got a chance to “work” through issues that God wanted to deal with, and we were guided by Peg (and the Holy Spirit of course) through this process in a loving way. It was totally amazing. I know it sounds wild and a little crazy, but just trust me on this one.

I was the last girl to “work” that weekend. I remember sitting through the whole retreat, and wondering what it was that God wanted to work through with me. My marriage? My family? My discipline (or lack therof)? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something inside of me was stirring – I knew God had an issue He needed to bring to my attention.

I sat down in that circle of women – nervous as anything – and I tried to steer the conversation towards the issue I finally decided I wanted to work on. We talked for some time, and sensing that this was the wrong topic, Peg asked me to close my eyes, and ask Jesus what He wanted to work through. I closed my eyes, and the memory of a familiar photograph flashed in my mind. It was a photograph I had looked at thousands of times before, but I hadn’t seen it in years. It was my high school boyfriend’s sophomore yearbook picture.

I remember squinting my eyes and shaking my head – almost as if I was trying to push the memory away. Peg (she’s just so intuitive) asked what I saw, and when I told her, she knew that we had to found our issue.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here about what happened. He’s not a caveman – he knows how to use the internet and he may someday find this little blog of mine. We have a lot of mutual friends still, and I don’t want to dredge up old drama. I won’t even give his first name, because honestly, you don’t really care.

We dated for a little more than 18 months. We fell in love (as much as 15 year olds can), spent all our time together, had lots of fun, and made a LOT of mistakes. He ended the relationship, and I really did not take it well (understatement of the millenium). He ended up dating a really good friend of mine not too long after that, so that threw our group of friends into a tailspin of drama; sides were chosen, people felt victimized, and we all felt like our little world was crashing down on us (or maybe it was just me). We continued a physical relationship – even though we both were dating other people – and I continued to believe in my teenaged brain that we would be together in the end. Young love is so brutal, isn’t it? Oy – if only I knew then what I know now. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and I definitely see how God worked in my life to bring me through that muck and mire to the point I am today. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, and I only knew Matt as a friend, but God used this situation to bring Matt and I together as best friends, and used Matt to steer me towards the Lord. I am so thankful that God works in every situation for good.

Anyway – back to the retreat. We worked on lingering issues I had from this tumultuous relationship. Issues that seriously affected my sexuality, my self-esteem, my relationship with my husband, and my relationship with God. It was an amazing time for me – so healing and wonderful!

After we had finished, we were praying together as a group. As these women came around me to pray over me, God brought this song to my mind. I remember hearing the lyrics, “You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of. I knew it from the start. I saw your face, and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart.” It was almost as if God were singing it to me!

I remember thinking that no one would ever love me as much as that boyfriend once had. Then – years later – I discovered that Matt loved me more. That day, as I heard this song playing in my head, I knew that God loved me even more than Matt could ever dream. He really is the lover of my soul, and although He began wooing me years ago, that day was the day I realized that THIS was the romance of my life. This is like, OUR song…God’s and mine. I really think that when I get to heaven, Jesus will be there waiting to dance with me to this one!

With that being said, enjoy “You Are the Woman” by Firefall. This is from their first album, and if you don’t own it, you should! This isn’t the only good song on the album.

You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart

It’s not so much the things you say to me
It’s not the things you do
It’s how I feel each time you’re close to me
That keeps me close to you, woh oh

You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart

It’s not so much your pretty face I see
It’s not the clothes you wear
It’s more that special way you look at me
That always keeps me there, woh oh

You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart

It’s hard to tell you all the love I’m feelin’
That’s just not my style
You got a way of send my senses reelin’
Every time you smile, woh

You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart
(I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart)
Of my heart, oh, of my heart

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>TUESDAY TUNES – Discover your own!

> I have been away at a conference for work, and will be leaving tomorrow for vacation with Matt’s family. I have hardly had time to listen to myself think lately, let alone listen to music! I hate that I don’t have a Tune for you today, but I want you to go out and discover your own Tuesday Tune today!

Have you heard of Pandora? It’s a great website – especially if you like to discover new artists. It’s so easy: go to Pandora.com, enter the name of an artist you enjoy, and a station will be created just for you according to your tastes! You can tell Pandora if you like a song (thumbs-up) or not (thumbs-down), and Pandora will continue to hone the station for you. I love it! Because of Pandora, I have discovered the Wailin Jennys, Sugarland, Mick McAuley, and lots of others.

Go there. Enjoy some Tunes this fine Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll be back with a fabulous road trip song for you. I’ll be looking for inspiration as we drive to Gatlinburg and back this week!

>TUESDAY TUNES – "What If"

>Last week my brother was telling me about the Thomas Jefferson Bible. The Wikipedia article says this: The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was Thomas Jefferson’s effort to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.

I had never heard of this until last week, so I asked my super-smart theologian hubby about it. He hadn’t heard of it either, so he decided to do some research on it. Apparently this book is public domain, so he easily found it for free download. You can read Matt’s review about the TJB here.

I have heard more than a few people say that Jesus was a great teacher. That his lessons of love and peace are what we should take away from his life. I have to respectfully disagree.

The point of the Thomas Jefferson Bible is that is strips the gospels of content that points to the divinity of Christ. The TJB isn’t exactly incorrect – just incomplete. You see, thinking that Jesus was just a good man or just a great moral teacher is like worshiping the Jesus in the Thomas Jefferson Bible – it strips Jesus of his divinity.

Was Jesus a good man? Yes. Was he a great moral teacher? The best! Was he so much more? Absolutely.

Jesus didn’t come to wag his finger and tell us to play nice with each other. Jesus didn’t come to gather us together for a big group hug. My hubby said last week that, “Jesus didn’t come to make us all hippies!” Peace, love, happiness – these are all good things, but let’s not patronize Jesus by thinking that’s all he came to do. Jesus came to redeem us…to reconcile us to God.

Here is a C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity that I really love. Matt used this in a sermon recently, and it stuck with me.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

The divinity of Jesus is what makes him special. It’s what makes him more than just a great moral teacher. It’s what makes him my LORD.

So today (yes, I know it’s late…sorry – I’ve had a busy day!) I want to Tune Nichole Nordeman’s song “What If.” What if Jesus is more than we ever thought he was? I’m fairly certain He IS more…and then some! Enjoy…

Nichole Nordeman – What If
From the album Brave

What if you’re right?
And he was just another nice guy
What if you’re right?
What if it’s true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it’s true?

What if he takes his palace in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then?

(Chours)
But what if you’re wrong?
What if there’s more?
What if there’s hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

What if you dig, What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-minded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions inside
That’s all you find

What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Then folklore that must be told and retold

(Chours)

You’ve been running as fast as you can
You’ve been looking for a place you can land so long
But what if you’re wrong?

What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?