The Thoughts of SES Blog

Grits cover of U2’s “With or Without You”

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

With or without you
With or without you

Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And Im waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

My hands are tied
My body bruised, shes got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you

With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you
With or without you

Lyrics obtained through http://www.justsomelyrics.com/677297/Grits-(Featuring-Jadyn-Maria)-With-Or-Without-You-Lyrics

Jesus, I wait for You. I wait for Your comfort. I wait for Your return. I wait for You.

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The Dance of God

The story behind this is that Tuesday, I was helping with VBS decorations at the church and had just taken a break to go find my music director to ask him a question. Only when I got to where his office would be I learned he was not in at that moment. So I was heading back down the hall with the windows and noticed it had just started raining. Upon arriving back in the church lobby where we were working on the decorations, I announced that I had to do something, that my momma wouldn’t let me do it, but that I just had to. When asked what it was, I announced, I just feel like I have to take my socks off and go run in that rain. Everyone said, well do it. So I did. I got into that parking lot at the church and just started dancing in the rain, arms lifted up, and I looked toward Heaven and just let God wash away my fears and my worries.

I am no longer afraid of having a rare, incurable disease. I am no longer afraid to serve God in whatever way that will be. And thus begins the dance of God.

The Dance of God

All it takes is one heart, one mind, one soul, one life. All it takes is one breath, one hope, one prayer. All it takes is one small child, one new believer, one young life. All it takes is that to really know and experience the dance of God. The dance of God is not necessarily about the steps, the motions, the choreography because the dance of God is whatever is in the heart. It starts in the heart, moves through the veins, the arteries, the muscles, the brain. The next thing you know, the feet start moving, the arms start moving, the body starts moving. There doesn’t have to be music because the music is in your heart. An onlooker may think it crazy, but you don’t care. All you know is you have to dance, dance, dance. Dance like you don’t care because you don’t. All you care about is praising God, worshipping God. For the small things, for the large things. For the beautiful things, for the not so beautiful things. For all of creation. For all of mankind. And that is the dance of God.
-Written by SES, 2 June 2010

The little girl climbs on the daddy’s feet for a father-daughter dance. There doesn’t have to be music. The music is in the heart. I’m climbing on God’s feet and I’m hanging on for the dance and for the ride. God’s song in my heart is the music of the dance.

Psalm 149:3
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

“Be Glorified”
By Chris Tomlin

Your love has captured me
Your grace has set me free
Your life the air I breathe
Be glorified in me

Your love has captured me
Your grace has set me free
Your life the air I breathe
Be glorified in me

You set my feet to dancing
You set my heart on fire

In the presence of a thousand kings
you are my one desire

I stand before you now
With trembling hands lifted high
Be glorified

Your love has captured me
Your grace has set me free
Your life the air I breathe
Be glorified in me

Oh yeah

You set my feet to dancing
You set my heart on fire
In the presence of a thousand kings
You are my one desire

I stand before you now
With trembling hands lifted high
Be glorified

Be glorified in me
Be glorified in me
Be glorified in me
Be glorified
Be glorified in me
Be glorified in me
Be glorified in me
Be glorified in me
Be glorified

You set my feet to dancing
You set my heart on fire
In the presence of a thousand kings
You are my one desire

I stand before you now
With trembling hands lifted high

Be glorified

Linkin Park’s “Numb” and a spiritual application

Lyrics are from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/linkinpark/numb.html

“Numb”

I’m tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don’t know what you’re expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can’t you see that you’re smothering me
Holding too tightly afraid to lose control
Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me with someone disappointed in you

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I’m becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

[Chorus]
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be

The spiritual application I found in this is not only how sometimes in friendships, we have older, wiser friends who we look up to, but then something happens, and we start to question that person about everything. But see life is not perfect, people are not perfect. If we were perfect, then Jesus would not have needed to come to the earth to die for us.

But the hope is that things can be resolved and not fall apart.

The other spiritual application, and this is important, sometimes in conflicts we want to run away and hide, not just from the conflict, but from God as well. An important lesson that is getting reiterated for me right now is that God pursues His children.

So, the objective at that point is to accept God’s love and to not become so numb-to Him or to the person who you may have a struggle with. Because if we become numb, we may miss the opportunity for restoration.

A Deep Thought Response to Some Questionable Statements

From Pastor Bob Flayhart’s blog at http://www.bobflayhart.com:

The scariest and most evil principle Machiavelli puts forth in The Prince is that “the whole idea of being good…is rather naive,” and that what is important is not “being good, but appearing good.” Another principle is that you can get away with anything if you are able to “appear religious.” Machiavelli asserts that if you can “appear” religious then people are more likely to trust you and think you are moral and good and it is then easier to deceive them so you can get what you want.

Machiavelli rejects the Christian world view and despises it by saying that Christians will think of heaven and it makes people ineffective in working in the world. He also wrote that Christianity “ties our hands” by limiting what we want to do with all kinds of rules.

There’s the summary…but here’s the scary part…how do Machiavellian principles dwell within my own heart? First, how often am I more concerned about appearances than the actual condition of my soul? How often do I set up my posing self in oder to appear moral or good or righteous before others? How am I often one person in public and another completely different person when no one else is around? How often do I put forth the appearance of “loving God” when my heart is cold? How often do I walk into Church on Sunday mornings as nothing but a poser?

How often am I a complete pragmatist? How often am I thinking about how I can control my life, my circumstances, even people in my life to “get what I want” in the most effective and necessary way and fail to consider the way of the Gospel which is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? Let’s be honest…love is not often very pragmatic…and it’s never easy.

The saddest thing of all, perhaps, is that Machiavelli completely missed the point of the Christian life…we’re not to be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good! The hope and vision of heaven is to be in our sites so that we work toward bringing the Kingdom of God into reality on this planet NOW! Certainly many, many Christ-followers miss this, but the Christian is not only concerned about the eternal destiny of the souls of people. We are concerned primarily about the glory of God…and God is glorified as suffering is alleviated, evil oppression is eradicated, people are educated, widows and orphans are taken care of, and yes, even nature is cared for…in addition to being concerned that all the nations hear the Gospel!

The Christ-follower who truly knows Christ and His word knows that the end NEVER justifies the means, that love must always win over pragmatism and that we are to work with all our strength to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God, in all it’s beauty and goodness, to bear upon this planet in our every sphere of influence, including all our vocations and all our relationships.

My thoughts are this:
“The scariest and most evil principle Machiavelli puts forth in The Prince is that “the whole idea of being good…is rather naive,” and that what is important is not “being good, but appearing good.” Another principle is that you can get away with anything if you are able to “appear religious.” Machiavelli asserts that if you can “appear” religious then people are more likely to trust you and think you are moral and good and it is then easier to deceive them so you can get what you want.”

I would agree with Machiavelli’s assertion though….

“There’s the summary…but here’s the scary part…how do Machiavellian principles dwell within my own heart? First, how often am I more concerned about appearances than the actual condition of my soul? How often do I set up my posing self in oder [sic] to appear moral or good or righteous before others? How am I often one person in public and another completely different person when no one else is around? How often do I put forth the appearance of “loving God” when my heart is cold? How often do I walk into Church on Sunday mornings as nothing but a poser? ”

These may be good questions, but should not then actions be taken to make sure these things are not happening? Strive to be perfect like God, yes, but if in one’s pursuit of perfection, one fails to show love and grace and mercy and forgiveness and compassion to everyone, then it seems the questioning is moot.

“How often am I a complete pragmatist? How often am I thinking about how I can control my life, my circumstances, even people in my life to “get what I want” in the most effective and necessary way and fail to consider the way of the Gospel which is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? Let’s be honest…love is not often very pragmatic…and it’s never easy.”

Okay, so what’s so hard about it? If a person is a Christian, love SHOULD come easy, easier than it often does. But honestly, think about it. If God is a God of love, and a person really is walking with God, then every part of him/herself will begin to be peeled away (like that onion of reference) and it should become THAT much easier to love!

And by the way, love may not be easy, but what about it would be unpractical? Christians are supposed to be like God. God is a God of love. It seems to me that by the very nature of God alone, love would be the most practical thing of all. If everyone would just start being loving toward everyone else they encounter, then oh how sweet and easy so many things would be for everyone around.

“This is why we need to flee to Christ continually…only the power of His death and resurrection and the sin-defeating might of His amazing grace can rid my own heart of Machiavellian leanings. ”

A heart of duplicity? Perish the thought. But people are duplistic in nature. But this I can probably agree whole-heartedly on.

“The saddest thing of all, perhaps, is that Machiavelli completely missed the point of the Christian life…we’re not to be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good! The hope and vision of heaven is to be in our sites so that we work toward bringing the Kingdom of God into reality on this planet NOW! Certainly many, many Christ-followers miss this, but the Christian is not only concerned about the eternal destiny of the souls of people. We are concerned primarily about the glory of God…and God is glorified as suffering is alleviated, evil oppression is eradicated, people are educated, widows and orphans are taken care of, and yes, even nature is cared for…in addition to being concerned that all the nations hear the Gospel! ”

That last part pertaining to God being glorified…seems even the best of the so-called Christian population tend to forget this overall. It’s one thing to be concerned about all these things, but the best way to show that concern? DO SOMETHING! Words alone won’t do in many of these cases, and actions speak a whole louder when it comes to this whole glorifying God thing. But first start in your (generic) own heart, then reach out to family and friends and the neighbor down the street. Then and only then, is one really and truly ready and able to show concern for the world around them.

As to the tidbit about nature being cared for? Why is this an afterthought? If Christians (and everyone else for that matter) are being good stewards like they are called to be, caring for nature should NOT be a second thought. It should be something that comes naturally and seamlessly-like recycling and not letting anything potentially harmful leech out in the environment? Corrupt environment oftentimes yields corrupt people.

“The Christ-follower who truly knows Christ and His word knows that the end NEVER justifies the means, that love must always win over pragmatism and that we are to work with all our strength to bring the reality of the Kingdom of God, in all it’s beauty and goodness, to bear upon this planet in our every sphere of influence, including all our vocations and all our relationships.”

Agree in part. “Love must always win over pragmatism…” Maybe, but maybe not BECAUSE in the Christian life love should ALWAYS be practical.

So, my question: What’s so hard about loving everyone when we are commanded to so? Seems like there is not a good enough reason to do anything but.

_________________________________________________________

By the way, I did have to look up some definitions and synonyms and stuff…http://www.merriam-webster.com/ is what I used although I normally use dictionary.com, but either way….

Reflections on Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”-Did the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present Read the Bible? copied from Facebook Notes

Posted in Thoughts on Christianity, Thoughts on Church, Thoughts on God by ses31 on February 13, 2010

I hesitated on seeing YET another version of the same old tale. They’re all the same. Boy, was I wrong! Disney did such a great job on the special effects, and that was just the 2D! But I dare not venture the 3D. I wish I could remember the exact lines, I was too enraptured by the special effects, but I plan to revisit the old classic book version at the end of the semester at any rate, but there were some lines spoken by the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present that speak to the nature of mankind as sinners. I mean, you take the transformation of Scrooge. It correlates with the transformation of the believer. Perhaps the Ghosts in the Dickens’ tale represent in some part that act of questioning, revelation, belief, faith, acceptance, repentance, and transformation which seem to pretty much describe the steps the new believer takes to get to the point of accepting Jesus. Or at least, it does me. Of course, the challenge is finding other believers who can help keep us steady. But it is an interesting thought.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlk63UeRfCs&feature=related