Day 28: When longing for approval

Hopefully by now, you’ve identified which of the four root idols is your stumbling point, having used the reflective questions from last week. Thank you to everyone who commented with such openness about the root idol you see in your life.

Zephaniah317

Here’s mine: approval. Big time. Maybe 90% of what I do is done in light of what someone else will think of me. How I dress, what I buy, my ever-so-witty statuses and tweets. I blog (sometimes) so you, reader, will be moved to comment or like or share.

If you’ve ever said something nice to me in person, I probably treasure it and mull it over again and again. If you’ve ever had a negative or harsh word to me, well, like a cow chewing its cud, I ruminate on that hurt repeatedly. I worry almost constantly about whether or not someone likes me.

Here’s a ridiculous example from this week:  I grew up listening to Christian Contemporary Music. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons here; I would posit there’s good and bad CCM. Today, I listen to a mix of music with some CCM still thrown in, though frankly not much. In my car, I typically listen to music on my iPod connected to the stereo though bluetooth. When my iPod dies because I forget to charge it, I tend to default to a CCM radio station, for lack of anything better. This past Sunday, my car needed to be moved, so I handed over the keys without thinking that my iPod was in my purse. What that meant is that once the car moved far enough away from the iPod, the bluetooth disconnected and the radio turned on. Tuned to a CCM station. With the volume on loud.

*cringes*

See, I go to a rather hipster-y type church, with a lot of artists and musicians. Of whom I have great respect. Some of whom, at times, have been vocal about their disdain for CCM. And, so, I’ve been mortified since Sunday to know that one of two people might think I was jamming to CCM. Because I care about what others think of me. Because I find my worth by being loved and respected by people I love and respect. Because I have an idol of approval.

(The amusing thing is that just yesterday I posted two songs here, one of which is by a popular CCM band.)

The thing I need to learn is that I will never find my worth by being loved or respected by _____ people. At best, it’s like drinking salt water when you’re thirsty. It seems like it will satisfy as it touches your lips, but it only further dehydrates your body.

Instead, I need to focus my heart on finding love, respect, and worth from God – the living water that truly satisfies. As Zephaniah 3:17 says,

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

This is who I should cling to for affirmation. This is who I should desire to admire me. Oh, how I like that idea of someone rejoicing over me, loving me, and exulting over me with loud singing. And I would bet it won’t be to CCM.

~~~

We’re winding down the series on Crushing Your Kingdoms. You can catch up with all the posts in the series here:

crushing your kingdoms

 

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Day 9: Reflections on glory

This is a post I wrote a little over a year ago. I was reminded of it as we sang All Creatures of our God & King today in Karis Church. I’m sharing to focus on God’s kingdom today.

sky

Since the temperature has dropped a bit, I slipped out on the back deck tonight with a drink and my music to practice for Sunday morning.

If you’re at all like me, when you find yourself in a quiet space outdoors and the sky begins to kaleidoscope in hues of blue, purple and pink with the setting sun, you’re gonna look up and watch the sky at some point.

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along

These are the words that floated through my ear buds as I watched a drifting cloud.

Thou rising moon in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening find a voice

And then I realized fireflies were dancing around me.

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship him in humbleness

Now the rhythms of the cicadas and crickets catch my ear.

Oh, doesn’t your breath catch sometimes with a glimpse of God’s glory?

I know there are times when God feels distant and you think your prayers don’t go past the ceiling. I know that sometimes there are hurts and pain that are mountains high and healing seems or is unreachable this side of eternity.

But the in-between times, when you just glance around and see a bigger picture than the one you usually focus on?

Glory.

Can you join me? If not now, then later today, or this week? Stop and look for God’s glory that is shining out around you.

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O Praise Him!
Alleluia!

20130629_195854 (640x358)

Praise! Praise the Father! Praise the Son!
And praise the Spirit, Three-in-One!

O Praise Him.
Alleluia!

Alleluia.

Want watch/listen to the whole song? Find it here.

What did you notice? Would you like to share it in a comment?

bold_crushing

You can read all the posts for this 31 day series here.

His Peerless Worth

This song has been on repeat for the last day. Different bits of the lyrics hit me each time.

…Joyful choose the better part…

…Let his peerless worth constrain thee…

…What can strip the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth?…the sight of peerless worth…

It’s so easy to focus on things of this world, even good things, and take our eyes off that which is peerless worth. God is beyond compare. There is none comparable; no one to be considered his peer.

And suddenly the things that have occupied my time and attention seem flat and shallow compared to his peerless worth. Soak in that as you listen to this song.

 

Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him;
Joyful choose the better part.

Captivated by His beauty,
Worthy tribute haste to bring;
Let His peerless worth constrain thee,
Crown Him now unrivaled King.

What can stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty,
But the sight of peerless worth.

’Tis that look that melted Peter,
’Tis that face that Stephen saw,
’Tis that heart that wept with Mary,
Can alone from idols draw.

peerlessworth

Day 28: Tired and Heavy-Laden

I’m afraid I didn’t plan my time well and don’t have time today to do more than share this song. It’s by one of my favorite Canadian bands, Downhere, who are unfortunately taking a break from the full-time music scene. One of the guys, Marc Martel, is currently touring with the Queen Extravaganza as the lead singer. His voice is incredibly like Freddie Mercury’s voice, so he’s perfect for the role.

Without further ado…

Come to me you tired and heavy-laden…
Come to me with all your weariness…

I will give you rest.

Rest.

31Days_Rest_thumb

Day 2: Rest in Worship and Praise

credit: rossignol12 (deviant art)

credit: rossignol12 (deviant art)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes resting for me is dwelling on God through music. So spend some time soaking these in. Come back later when you have a quiet moment and rest here.

A new tune to an old hymn:


You are a Savior and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful.


As the deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for you. And when I behold your glory, you so faithfully renew.


Though you ruin me, still I will worship. Sing a song to One who’s all I need. (This one is so worth the 6 minutes.)


And I will call upon your name and keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace. For I am yours and you are mine.


The full 31 days of Rest series can be found here. 31Days_Rest

Seeing God’s Glory All Around

sky

Since the temperature has dropped a bit, I slipped out on the back deck tonight with a drink and my music to practice for Sunday morning.

If you’re at all like me, when you find yourself in a quiet space outdoors and the sky begins to kaleidoscope in hues of blue, purple and pink with the setting sun, you’re gonna look up and watch the sky at some point.

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along

These are the words that floated through my ear buds as I watched a drifting cloud.

Thou rising moon in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening find a voice

And then I realized fireflies were dancing around me.

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship him in humbleness

Now the rhythms of the cicadas and crickets catch my ear.

Oh, doesn’t your breath catch sometimes with a glimpse of God’s glory?

I know there are times when God feels distant and you think your prayers don’t go past the ceiling. I know that sometimes there are hurts and pain that are mountains high and healing seems or is unreachable this side of eternity.

But the in-between times, when you just glance around and see a bigger picture than the one you usually focus on?

Glory.

Can you join me? If not right now, then later today, or this week? Stop and look for God’s glory that is shining out around you.

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O Praise Him!
Alleluia!

20130629_195854 (640x358)

Praise! Praise the Father! Praise the Son!
And praise the Spirit, Three-in-One!

O Praise Him.
Alleluia!

Alleluia.

Want watch/listen to the whole song? Find it here.

What did you notice? Would you like to share it in a comment?

 

Day 2: When Everything Is Taken Away

In the middle of an afternoon of baking, I suddenly dropped to my knees, overwhelmed by the meaning of this song.

It’s Job, the guy who had it all – land, wealth, children, respect. And, in the space of a breath, everything is ripped away.

Job mourns, he even questions God; but he refuses to curse God or blame him. He finally gets to the point where he gives God all the praise. Imagine, in the middle of complete loss, with loved ones gone, possessions gone, and health taken away; he can say, “May the name of the Lord be praised!”

And I think I have it hard. (more…)

Grace: A Gift for Easter and Every Day

Grace blows me away.

I can’t fathom the fullness of it. I can’t manufacture grace for my own failings, but there’s sufficient grace for whatever depths to which I’ve fallen.

Jon Acuff posted this on Twitter today, “The only thing I’ve found bigger than the depth of my own sin is the cross Christ died on for it.”

And as Tracee Persiko said so well in her Good Friday blog post, “I am feeling the weight of grace today. I am feeling the weight that grace extended to me by God was unmerited, undeserved, and unearn-able.” (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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