Bumper Stickers and Vanity Plates or What’s Your Agenda?

truthI have an artist friend who works in the same building as I, just a couple of blocks down the hill from our state’s Capitol building.   She also lives out in the country not too far from me, so we carpool whenever one of us is in need of a ride to work.

She has a bumper sticker on her car (just one) that makes me smile every time I see it:

“Truth has no agenda.” 

That is  great statement! How could anyone possibly take issue with that?  But she tells me that on one particular day she returned to her car to find a note. Someone was so bothered by her bumper sticker that they left a post-it note with a message that asked, “What’s your agenda?” LOL! My first thought was, “what’s your problem?” But after giving it more serious thought I would have to say my agenda is to always be seeking the truth, and when you do that, you can’t really be swayed or manipulated by the hidden agendas of others – and they’re everywhere.

One day this past summer we were sharing a ride and as usual, enjoying lively discussion – encouraging one another through laughter and tears over matters we don’t typically discus with anyone else.  We got talking about how blessed we are and how we didn’t know what we’d do or where we’d be today without the Lord when a car drove by with a license plate that read:

“MY SAVIOR.” 

Later on, after a rather challenging day at work, we met again for the evening commute. This time our conversation turned to the creative lifestyle and the frustrations we both face – she, as an artist, and myself, as a songwriter.  I shared with her how the Lord had led me every step of the way and no matter how difficult things seemed, whenever I felt overwhelmed and confused about the direction I should take, I would cry out to the Lord and he always revealed the next step at the right time. Just then, as though to accentuate the point, another car drove by with a license plate that read:

 “MY SHEPHERD!” 

I don’t know about you, but we both thought that was highly unusual! I know I’ve never seen anything like it before or since and the memory of it still warms my heart. What a reminder: My Savior, my Shepherd – Jesus – has rescued and redeemed this life of mine, and he guides and cares for me every step of the way, like a tender shepherd caring for a little lost lamb lifted from the brambles.  He IS the Truth and he guides me WITH his truth, and if there is an “agenda,” it is his divine purpose – one that is never crooked or deceitful, and one that will be fully revealed to us one day. It emanates from his loving heart – and it’s all for good!

 

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Put It Together

Life is fragile – handle with prayer!

Sometimes you have to start at the end of the story to gain proper perspective – like putting all the straight edges together first and working your way toward the center of a giant jigsaw puzzle.

“We’re getting married Augiss firthieth!” she announced, with hands on her hips and eyebrows raised, her friend nodding enthusiastically in agreement.

IMG_3856The two little dark-haired beauties were excited with all the wedding plans — dresses and shoes and parties — but they didn’t really see it as a romantic day set aside to celebrate the marriage of one’s girl’s Mom to the other girl’s Dad. In fact, they weren’t impressed with that at all. One seemed most taken with the prospect of having a Daddy — the other, with having a sister. In their minds, it was a family affair, so they told everyone they met that they were getting married and would soon be sisters!

Neither one had any idea of the loneliness their own parent had endured, the brokenness that crushed them or the daily challenges they faced as a single parent – alone with feelings of inadequacy and failure, alone with the heartache and tears.

I knew their story well and had begun singing this song from the moment her parents received her desperate call for help, driving hundreds of miles to bring their broken little grown up girl back home. So when the bride-to-be asked me to write a song for her wedding, it was like déjà vu:

Can you put this together, Daddy?
I don’t know what to do;
I only know that whenever this happens
I run right back to you!

My heart ached for her as she began collecting the remnants of what used to be a young girl’s dreams, attempting to create some stability in the process for the little baby girl she would soon bring into this world. I prayed she’d find hope and healing, with a measure of happiness and strength along the way.

I am so happy to report that she did find all of that and more. Oh, and by the way, so has the young man who was waiting in her home town for God to do the same for him.

As for me, in order to finish the song I had to start in the moment and look into the shining eyes of those precious little girls to fully appreciate the miracle that was taking place. I was reminded that to God, we are all as little children and our grownup problems must seem mighty small in His capable hands. We bring them to Him on a daily basis (sometimes the same thing over and over) but He is never preoccupied, never too busy, never unwilling to help the child He loves so dearly, for He knows what we are made of.

You take all the pieces that lie shattered
Or a picture torn in two
And you put it together,
But sometimes make it new!

Only God can put your life back together. Only God can make things new. Only God can make it safe for you to become that trusting child again, so run to Him! Run to your Heavenly Father and let Him do what He alone can do!

He sees. He knows. He cares.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. I Peter 5:6-7

Heidi

I walked a mile with Pleasure, she chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser for all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow, and ne’er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her when Sorrow walked with me!
– Robert Browning Hamilton

harpNearly ten years had passed since Eli died and Nancy and I had only seen each other a couple of times. We had a lot of catching up to do, so while our husbands discussed a remodeling project we covered a decade in a matter of minutes.  She showed me a lovely assortment of goats milk soaps she had made, beautifully wrapped and ready for gift baskets.

We cried as she described the day of the accident and spoke of the faithfulness of God through the days and weeks that followed. We laughed as she introduced me to the three beautiful children the Lord had blessed them with since that time. Her eyes sparkled as her oldest son entered the room. Zach, who had suffered for months in the hospital, was now a handsome young man who had managed somehow to find his smile again.

And then there was Heidi.

She was almost four years old when it happened, and she was there at the scene of the accident: old enough to know that something terrible had taken place, old enough to be traumatized and feel her family’s pain, but not old enough to understand the depth of that loss or why Eli wasn’t coming home; old enough to be told he had gone to live with Jesus but not old enough to know what forever meant – certainly not old enough to have a full-sized harp, which is exactly what she wanted for her next birthday.

Her parents didn’t understand her request and frankly, were puzzled by it. After all, they weren’t that musical and couldn’t imagine why, of all instruments, she would have her heart set on that one!

Years passed and with every birthday that rolled around, Heidi reminded them of her request. The autoharp they gave her was nice but she wanted a real harp for her birthday. So finally, once she was big enough to carry it, Heidi got that harp, even though her mother had to drive her 40 miles to the city for lessons. And now, this beautiful young lady with strawberry blonde hair and shining eyes was standing in front of me, smiling shyly as I voiced my surprise in seeing her walk in with a full-sized harp.

“This is nice,” I thought, completely unprepared for the rush of emotions that would wash over me as she began. That girl could play!

I stared hard out the window, hoping to get control of that huge lump in my throat, but to no avail. I trembled as I fought to stifle the sobs erupting uncontrollably as a picture flashed through my mind. It was Eli running through a field of flowers and sunshine – smiling and waving, mischief in his eyes as he called for Heidi and the rest of us to join him.

It took me quite awhile to regain my composure after that, for in that moment, the mystery of eternal life didn’t seem mysterious at all – it’s promise, once distant and unimaginable, seemed well within our reach.  It was almost as though the windows of heaven had opened up to our curious gaze and the angels strained to listen as a young girl took the stage and stormed my heart at a little-known country venue in a once-in-a-lifetime exclusive Concert for One.

Music is a gift from the heart of God, given to bless mankind; mend the broken heart, heal the wounded spirit and soothe the restless soul.  He sings over his children and quiets us with His love. He sends us special moments of inspiration when we least expect them and need them the most.

People Need People and Friends Need Friends

friends2Sometimes it’s what’s written on the inside cover that speaks volumes – long before you ever read the book.  For my high school graduation, our youth pastor presented me with a devotional book. “That was nice,” I thought, but I was so busy and preoccupied with the usual teenage angst and drama that I never read it.  After that, time accelerated as I went on to Bible college, got married, moved to Florida, had three babies and when the youngest was just 9 months old, moved to Sicily for two years with my U.S. Navy sailor husband.

We jumped right into ministry with the American church in a quaint little town at the top of a hill overshadowed by Mt. Etna, and I was soon recruited to help the Italian congregation with music as well. They had no musicians, so I played the piano for their afternoon services, accompanied some of the teens who loved to sing, and gave guitar lessons.  Then some new missionaries moved in across the street and a lovely friendship developed as Linda and I began singing for the Italian church’s weekly radio broadcast. How I wish I had a copy of those recording sessions from Pastor Vincenzo’s living room!

Our time in Sicily soon came to an end and my friends presented me with another book – this time an Italian hymn book that I cherish to this day. The kind words written in delicate European penmanship on the inside cover evoked torrents of tears at the time, but warm my heart and conjure up sweet memories of our time together. I can still hear their beautiful, heartfelt singing.

Circumstances and directions changed. We moved – again and again. And then I found myself in what felt like a wasteland to me. Oh, I was surrounded by family and friends, ministry, busy-ness, and lots of snow (2 feet for our first welcome-to-NY storm). But I was lonely. I missed my southern friends. I missed our church. I missed the recording studio in Jacksonville, FL, grieving for all the opportunities and dreams it represented to me as a songwriter.

That’s when the devotional book reappeared.

I had forgotten all about it but there it was, after all those years and moves, sitting at the top of an unpacked box, waiting to comfort and challenge me as I read the words that a young college student and servant of God from Lebanon (by way of Liberia) had written on the inside cover:

People need people and friends need friends,
And we all need love, for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or worldly fame,
But just in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers.

For only the knowledge that we’re understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life’s greatest need,
When we “lock up our hearts” and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind

Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows, and to make us aware
That life’s completeness and richness depends
On the things we share
with our loved ones and friends.

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Let’s save discussion of the devotional book for another time (it’s still my favorite and the impact on my life has been huge) but the point is this: our lives have become a constant whirlwind of activity.  We are filled to capacity with things to do – some necessary and worthwhile, others not so much – pressures, obligations, mindless diversions and distractions all competing for our attention and affection. Technology is great and social media has its place (I’m sure thankful for you, Facebook Friend), but let’s not forget that people still need real people and friends still need true and faithful friends.  God has already placed the people in our lives, so let’s go out and be that kind of friend to someone today!

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller

A New Song

That moment you realize it’s not about you.
The gifts you’ve been given were meant to share.

6Blessed by the generosity of a family of gospel singers and a couple of dear friends with a penchant for road trips, I found myself in the middle of a week-long songwriting school at Lee University in Cleveland, TN.  Thinking I was in pretty good shape with several of my best songs, my heart sank as the instructor informed us on Day 1 that he didn’t want to hear anything we had previously written.  Of course he didn’t – ’cause that was just one more frustration to add to my growing list.  Recently unemployed, I was disillusioned with ministry and feeling like I’d been drop-kicked to the curb. I was also recovering from surgery and had been on complete vocal rest for six weeks. To be honest, I was unsure as to how well (or if) I would be able to sing after that.

“They meant it for evil but God meant it for good.”

These words were etched in a stone monument in front of the dorm where I would stay that week. The original building had been destroyed by arsonists but a new one triumphed in its place.  Choking back the tears, I reflected on the Old Testament story of Joseph and was reminded that God had a way of turning things around.  The same God had promised to continue (and complete) his good work in my life – no matter how it hopeless it seemed at the time.

Our assignment for the week was to write a completely new piece by adhering strictly to the instructor’s very methodical (and might I add, boring) process.  I labored over it, every word an effort and every effort a drudgery.  I felt completely out of place with this group of professionals and chastised myself for spilling my guts on the first day when asked to write out what we hoped to accomplish in his class. My, I had some lofty goals! I was embarrassed and wished I could retrieve that paper, hit the road and pretend this never happened.

Rip it up in pieces – the song I tried to write; I know I’d never sing it anyway!

Returning to my room after a deeply moving chapel service with the Voices of Leeon Wednesday night, I panicked at the thought of presenting my song in class the next day. Disappointed with myself and a little mad at God, I tore the lyrics into tiny pieces, throwing them on the floor in my frustration.  “I’m not singing that! I hate that song!”

So why pretend it’s working when the words don’t seem to fit?
The rhyme and meter move to different times.

Self-condemnation, feelings of inferiority and fear of humiliation were followed by my usual litany of questions. “What was I thinking? Lord, why did you bring me here, anyway?” Moments passed. He reminded me of the prayer I had prayed months earlier, asking him to show me what was holding me back in my songwriting. In my heart I knew that God had ordained the time and place, and had chosen and prepared the instructor well in advance and, while many others benefited from it, it seemed that week was just for me (I’m not spoiled, just blessed).  The tears of doubt subsided and I realized after a while that the struggle had quietly crept away in the face of God’s peaceful calm.

So what if I didn’t have the latest songwriting software or laptop computer with all the bells and whistles? The Lord had always managed to use me just as I was –  a simple singer with a classical guitar and handwritten lyrics on a legal pad.

So what if no one else ever recognized my potential or validated my songs? It didn’t seem to matter anymore as my heart rejoiced in knowing it was his validation, his approval, his anointing that I needed and without them, I wouldn’t want to sing anyway.

What mattered most was the condition of my heart and my relationship with him. This was his work, these were his songs.  His gifts and calling are irrevocable and were never intended to be admired like trophies on a shelf. They are more like relief planes dropping supplies across enemy lines to the starving, war-ravaged masses; first responders heralding a message of hope and healing.  They have a purpose – they are given to bless others.  I picked up my guitar and began singing softly through tears of gratitude, without a single thought as to what anyone else might think:

Someone’s waiting for my new song;
Are they longing for peace and harmony?
It’s worth waiting when a new song
Brings new life and sets you free!

And then I knew – everything was going to be all right.

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. – Phil. 1:6

It’s Not About You, It’s For You!

7Losing a loved one is devastating. Losing a loved one around a holiday can destroy your ability to enjoy the festivities for many years to come. Losing a child around the holidays is devastating and it’ll change you and the holiday forever, casting a shadow of darkness that separates you from everyone else and all the joyous celebrations that take place that time of year. Many people exist in that dark and lonely place but unless you know their story, you might get the wrong impression.

If I knew you and you knew me,
If both of us could clearly see,
And with an inner sight divine,
The meaning of your heart and mine,
I’m sure that we would differ less,
And clasp our hands in friendliness;
Our thoughts would pleasantly agree,
If I knew you and you knew me.
 – Nixon Waterman

I knew my friend was carrying some deep hurt. I could see it in her eyes. I could feel the sadness surrounding her when she entered the room. I longed to find a way to help her but didn’t even know what was wrong. So I asked the Lord for wisdom.

I prayed and yet I was caught off guard the very next day when she began to vent. For years she had carried this burden but for some reason, on this day, she needed to talk about it. And there I was.  She was angry with God and didn’t understand why she had to go through such a painful loss. She’d had all she could take of well-meaning people using faith and the Bible to explain the why’s or offer their condescending “you-should’s” and “you-need-to’s,” as if they actually knew how to soothe the pain in her soul or satisfy that longing in her heart. My spirit was crushed with her sorrow and all I could do was offer the assurance of God’s love and understanding as her eyes filled with tears and she exited the room.

I was stunned. My heart ached and I fought back tears all day and for the next several days as I replayed those five minutes in my mind. They would not leave me alone. I felt compelled to write and the verses literally fell into place as I recalled our conversation.  The chorus was my response and the prayer of my heart that day and for many days to follow.

 

Months later, once I was sure the song would be included on the next album, I shared the news with my friend.  She looked pleased and said, “I’ve never had anyone write a song about me before!” Without giving it a second thought I replied,

“It’s not about you, it’s for you!”

She smiled, eyes shining, and we shared a quiet moment of understanding as God reminded me that my life, my gifts and abilities – and my songs – do not exist for my pleasure and enjoyment, but for the benefit of others.

Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for others.
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others
 – Charles D. Meigs (1917)

You’ll Be – Listening?

image1

My Dad, Rev. George Whitman

Growing up as a preacher’s kid in a small country church that was surrounded on all sides by dairy farms, I suppose it was rather unusual to have vivid memories of a radio broadcast, “Echoes of Faith,” being recorded from our Sunday evening services (choir, special music and all), but that was exactly what took place. My Dad delivered an evangelistic message every week. We even had a small orchestra, led by my Mom. During the week, she would faithfully listen at home while preparing school lunches and rounding us up for breakfast. The messages have long since receded into my long term memory bank, although I suspect they are living out their truths in my life. However, I can still hear the choir’s opening hymn:

Encamped along the hills of light, ye Christian soldiers, rise!
And press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below shall all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know, that overcomes the world!
– John H. Yates, Faith is the Victory

I have to tell you – we had some pretty good musicians in that little congregation! They loved the Lord and you could hear it in their singing, which my Dad often explained was the spiritual thermometer of the church.  But even more remarkable to me was that humble, unassuming servant of God, whose main objectives in life were to bring as many souls to heaven with him as he could, and to train and equip the next generation to go out and do the same. And I can still hear him signing off each week with,

“This is Pastor George Whitman speaking. Until next time, you’ll be – listening?”

He was never famous, although his children can hardly go anywhere in the world without running into someone who knew him or sat under his ministry that extended well past his 53 years of pastoring churches. His early childhood and upbringing were very simple and ordinary: raised on a farm in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, a mischievous lad who walked with his sisters to a one-room schoolhouse. His family was so poor he had to sell homegrown popcorn to buy his first bicycle. He even brought a cow along with him to his first week of Bible camp – you know, to pay his way by providing milk for the campers that week! Wouldn’t our health inspectors have a cow over that?

What was it that compelled such an ordinary young man to go out and accomplish such extraordinary things? What was it that inspired a young farm boy to set his sights on eternity, planting seeds throughout his life that would bear fruit in the Kingdom of God? It was the soft prompting of the Holy Spirit calling him out and leading him on to do great things — things that most likely seemed ordinary and mundane to him as they played out in his daily life.

“There’s no sense in going further — it’s the edge of cultivation,”
So they said, and I believed it — broke my land and sowed my crop –
Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop:
Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated so:
“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges –
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!
. . . Anybody might have found it, but his whisper came to me!”
– Rudyard Kipling, The Explorer (1898)

And his whisper came to me, too. I shall never forget it and I cannot quit. I must forge ahead even though I most often feel undeserving – inept, inadequate and incapable. I know that when he calls and where he leads, he will provide and he will keep. I am reminded that as long as you and I have breath, there is work for us to do.  It may not look glamorous to us and at times may seem far too difficult and costly to complete. But “it will be worth it all when we see Jesus,” and we must allow the Lord to accomplish his creative and redemptive purpose in our lives.

We are continually retreating behind our limitations and saying, “Thus far and no farther can I go.”  God is ever laying His hand upon us and thrusting us out into the open, saying, “You can be more than you are; you must be more than you are.”  
– Lettie B. Cowman, Springs in the Valley

So my friends, as we begin yet another year by the grace and mercy of God, let me remind you that the Lord is still seeking open minds, tender hearts and willing spirits to do His work in this world while there is time.  Our Heavenly Father is speaking.

Until he calls us home, you’ll be – listening?

Ribbons of Goodness

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” – James 1:17

I love Christmas – the joy and festivity in the air, the lights, the music and friendly smiles. I love the way people can go out of their way to be cordial and neighborly, extending kind gestures in ways that are often unexpected, giving gifts that, whether they recognize it or not, point back to the birth of a baby boy over 2,000 years ago. A baby boy whose advent had been predicted and anticipated for hundreds of years and yet, whose sudden appearance in an obscure place seemed to take everyone by surprise.

cmas2God’s people had been waiting and longingcmas2 for his arrival but they were expecting more of a conquering king; a political savior and religious leader who would play by the rules. Mary and Joseph held their firstborn son, not in the comfort of their home with adoring family and friends, but huddled in a cold and lowly stable they shared with some animals and a few shepherds who had just received a celestial invitation. Not exactly what the young couple might have expected, but far beyond their wildest dreams. The heavens erupted in praise. The angels looked on in wonder.  The shepherds knelt in reverence as the tiny Prince of Heaven locked eyes with his earthly parents, and Mary and Joseph rejoiced.

I love to watch the pure excitement on children’s faces as they gather around the tree. My younger grandchildren can hardly contain themselves. In fact, they have forced me to become more creative with the gift wrapping because the little urchins will gang up on me and somehow figure out who got what, thus spoiling the surprise. I have been known to employ riddles, numbering systems, color coding and themed gift wrap to help preserve the suspense and while they’ve never met a gift they didn’t like, they are naturally drawn to the biggest, brightest and most colorful packages, mesmerized by the possibilities contained therein.

Although I wouldn’t accuse my Heavenly Father of resorting to such trickery,  I realize how very childlike I have been in my expectations and yes, demands. For I desired only the gifts that looked like blessings to me – the brightly wrapped presents that everyone else would admire and crave. The exciting and noteworthy things that would announce to the world that I somehow deserved the goodness that had come my way.

“Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God; not only by unbelief, but by thinking that you know what he can do.  Expect unexpected things ‘above all that we ask or think.'” – Andrew Murray

I blush at my youthful dream of becoming a songwriter. I knew that God had gifted me. Surely the songs would flow effortlessly and pain-free from my pen and paper to the ears of eager listeners who would anticipate with enthusiasm each new offering. I was naive in expecting that my songs would be recognized and sought after, that I would be “discovered.”  Well, they weren’t, but I was – discovered, that is, by a God who could see through all my delusions and superficial requests. He knew exactly who I would become, where I needed to be, and how he would get me there.  With utmost patience, he continued to surprise me with a lifetime of unexpected gifts.  Some actually looked like blessings and I shared them with excitement, while others came wrapped in heartache and I stared at them in disbelief from a lonely, impoverished place, not understanding until much later that all were tied with ribbons of goodness and given in the fullness of time to carry out his perfect plan.

So this Christmas, whether you are rejoicing over the many good things the Lord has bestowed upon you or struggling under the weight of an unexpected circumstance too difficult to carry, remember – they are all good in the Father’s gift-giving plan.  Take a moment to look for those ribbons of goodness and let his sweet presence fill your heart with comfort and joy.  Though born of humble means, these gifts can lead your soul to greatness.

“…and I thank you, Lord, that when everything’s put in place,
 out in front I can see your face and it’s there you belong!” – Dan Burgess

Have a blessed Christmas!

Becki

Lift Me Up

2This is a little story about a day in the life of a starving artist who has to work to support her music habit.

I would love to tell you that there was some grand spiritual moment, a great awakening that prompted the writing of this song. But it wouldn’t be true. I was rushing around to get ready for work and there was a good chance I might be late. But when I pressed the nozzle to put on a little perfume, nothing happened. I looked at the empty bottle in shock and dismay and said out loud, “I’m fresh outta Happy!” Frantically, and slightly annoyed, I searched the vanity for another bottle that may hold a drop or two of my favorite fragrance but to no avail. I got nothin’! Then I began to chuckle as my mind repeated the phrase, “fresh outta happy!”

What a great track that provided for my train of meandering thoughts! I began to revisit many of the extreme circumstances of my life and realized that even in times of deepest despair, I could not recall one single moment when I didn’t know that God loved me.  He had never failed and had always been there for me. I began to wonder what life would have been like had I not known Him and how it must be for the multitudes who don’t. My heart broke for others  – the loneliness and hopelessness they must feel, the alienation when Christians get all joyful and singing Love Lifted Me all the time. Without Jesus, that kind of deep abiding joy is foreign and unattainable.

I thanked God then and there for all the times I had cried out to Him and He had faithfully lifted me out of the depths and set my feet on higher ground. An old hymn from my childhood (Higher Ground by Johnson Oatman, Jr.) kept inserting itself into my thought process, seeming to want to climb aboard at every stop.

“Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven’s table land;
A higher plane than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground!”


I don’t remember much about the rest of the day except that even as I worked, this song was on continuous play in my mind as it sought to find the right words to express itself, and by the time I got home that night, it was complete.

“I shoulda known you would provide along the way
All that I needed to get by another day.
Now I can sing and shout about how your love lifted me;
I want everyone to see!”

Hear “Lift Me Up” and all the songs on the new album by Becki Bice, “Color Me Love”. Click here.

 

The Colors of Love

BeckiBice_ColorMeLove_r3-1If it’s true that every singer has but one song to sing, and they sing it all their life, mine would have to be the love of God: vast, unmeasurable, unconditional, extravagant – its power completely underestimated by his prized creation, the very object of that love.

“Did you ever find the song that sang of itself  in the quiet of your closet, when you heard His ‘Yes’ to your prayer for His glory to come on earth? When nothing was seen of His working for you or your loved ones, did you hear the sweet strains of the song that sang?”  – Lettie B. Cowman, Springs in the Valley

It is my motivation, my compelling force, my guiding light and ultimate source of all the good I can do in this world. All humanity craves its comfort, cries out for its healing touch. It is the birthmark of true believers, the one characteristic that identifies me as a child of God.

It has been a golden thread weaving its way over and above, around and through the fabric of my life.  As a child, I was an unwitting and oblivious recipient. As a wayward teen, I ran from and resisted the love I was so desperate to find, knowing in my heart that it was there all the time.

From the moment I began following Christ in earnest and loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, its recurring theme began showing up in my songs like some rogue musical photo-bomber, seemingly out of turn, yet strategically poised, ready and waiting for that look of surprise when I found it front and center once again.

So when I read the following phrase in a blog by Dr. Charles Ware about this time last year (thank you, sir), I started smiling because I knew I’d have to sing it again. I could already hear it easing into the next refrain:   just “color me love!”


May my life present a portrait of His love in living color – His peace, my frame!

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can.  In all the places you can.  At all the times you can.  To all the people you can.  As long as ever you can.”  – John Wesley

Hear clips from all the new songs from Becki Bice’s new CD “Color Me Love” at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/beckibice2