Sunday, April 30, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 30

Feeling: Happy, relaxed.

Doing: Church, a potluck, hanging with friends, eating sushi, chatting with a waitress about BlimeyCow, taking down fair photos/decor, watching Maleficent.

Listened to: Hymns at church!

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus by my guide,
And hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.

"Thy Word", by Amy Grant

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 29

Feeling: Frustrated, proud, excited, exhausted, happy, thankful.

Doing: Supervising my fair section, hiking in the Wallowa mountains, falling into snow drifts (and laughing as my Texan friend fell into them. It was his first time seeing real snow), driving long winding roads, enjoying God's creation and chatting about how well He has provided.

Listened to: Veridia

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

Ink stained green paper
Fast cars, soul chasers
Pretty pretty lies
Pretty pretty lies
Make-up, smoke eyes
Won't hide cries behind
Pretty pretty lies
Pretty pretty lies

- "Pretty Lies", by Veridia

Listening to this song in the car with my hiking buddy brought out some great conversation. He pointed out how the song was describing the standards that we all stress about living up to rather than pleasing God. It then launched into a talk about trusting God rather than trying to handle everything on our own and take all the credit for the blessings he sends into our lives. I love when music can spark a good conversation!

Friday, April 28, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 28

Feeling: A little tired, exhilarated, adventurous, relaxed, happy, and a tiny bit frustrated (but just because sometimes the internet doesn't always have what I want :P )

Doing: Eating at a local specialty waffle house, hiking on an abandoned railroad.

Listened to: ... Well, oddly we didn't do music today. So I heard the sound of my friend's voice and The Aux Cable Podcast (which we had fun replying to in the car, even though the hosts can't hear us. Haha)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

No music = no lyrics. Though I learned a very visual lesson while hiking today that sometimes God knocks out a bridge when He wants you to explore other options. It all worked out - while we didn't get to follow the abandoned railway nearly as far as I'd hoped, we explored a lot of nearby territory that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

A post shared by Sarah Iddings (@adventureofsair) on

The CCM Experiment: April 27

Feeling: Excited, happy, exhausted, glad, thankful.

Doing: Visiting friends, swing dancing, eating bagels at midnight.

Listened to: The Brilliance

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Love has a way of finding us
Just when you think that all is lost
So if you feel like giving up
Know love is never too far off."

- "Love Has A Way", by The Brilliance

In general, I just really love this song. It reminds me of being blessed with friendships just when I need them.

Burning Christmas Trees & Bearing Fruit

A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. - Matthew 7:18-19
My pastor was recently going over this passage, which likens the produce of trees to the producing of spiritual fruit in the life of the Christian. Suddenly, an ironic thought struck me: at the end of the year, millions of Christmas trees get burned up. 
For many, these trees get put up for decoration in homes as part of the celebration of Christ's birth. They are pretty, enjoyed by many, and make for a festive atmosphere. They seem great for a time, but they yield no fruit. When their short season is over, they are completely useless and are cast into bonfires for disposal. 
If we continue reading Matthew 7, the passage on fruitfulness is followed up with this:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:21-23
The lives of these trees are given up, supposedly to celebrate Christ (at least, in many Christian homes). In the end, they were nothing more than a temporary decoration, there for people to enjoy. Despite all appearances, they were never truly there for the sake of Christ.
Pray to the Lord that your life may be like that of a heavily-producing fruit tree rather than the celebrated but fruitless existence of the Christmas tree that is for Him by name only.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 26

Feeling: Happy, relaxed, a little sore from hiking.

Doing: Hiking, driving, blogging, playing UpWords.

Listened to: Adventures in Odyssey, Twenty One Pilots

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I'm alone
But I know, we've made it this far, kid"

- "Migraine" by Twenty One Pilots

I love this word picture they created for having an internal battle. It's a catchy reminder that we all have a war going on inside of us, and for Christians that means flesh against the Holy Spirit. Though it feels as if we are alone, we can take heart that we aren't- we have both our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are waging similar internal warfare, and we also have Christ inside us, enabling us to keep pressing on.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 25

Feeling: Thankful, exhausted, busy.

Doing: Supervising the fair judges, hanging photos, decorating, managing the photography department, a library meeting, getting pulled over by a traffic cop, passing out awards, and hanging with Tim (who I am so grateful agreed to help me at the fair all day!)

Listened to: Shane & Shane, Veridia, Turning Circles.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Your passion is a fire
An all consuming fire
I can't get enough
Furious love"

"Furious Love", by Veridia

You'd have to hear this song to get the full effect, but I really like the way that it captures the intensity of God's love, rather than portraying an almost hippie-like love story.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 24

Feeling: Happy, tired, relaxed. Tiny bit stressed about coming fair stuff, but not too bad.

Doing: Watching Tim sign a million papers to buy a house, lunch with a friend, entering stuff in the fair, taking people's fair entries (no worries, I am the superintendent, not some jerk ;) ), organizing fair entries, decorating for the fair.

Listened to: Jordan Taylor

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"I know I shouldn't search for feeling
'Cause when that search is all that consumes you
All this intentional living
Turns to thoughts of only you"

- "Waiting", by Jordan Talyor

It's easy to get consumed in the search for good feelings. But in the end, feelings are fleeting, and continuously trying to keep a stream of good feeling highs can become all consuming if one isn't careful.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 23

Feeling: Happy, excited, exhausted.

Doing: Church, hanging with friends, 6.5 mile walk through town, and more church and more friends!

Listened to: Shane & Shane

Lyric that stood out the most to me:"Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who's all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I'll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I'll know every tear was worth it all"

"Though You Slay Me", by Shane & Shane

It's not every day you come across a song that portrays intense pain and struggle while still worshipping God. This one was based off of the life of Job. When there is so much talk about God giving you "your best life now", people tend to forget that book of the Bible in which God did not give Job his "best life now", but rather allowed him to suffer affliction and test his faith.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 22

Feeling: Excited, happy, thankful, exhausted.

Doing: Picked up one of my best far away friends from the airport today! We then proceeded to spend near all afternoon hiking. His FitBit said we did around 83 flights of "stairs" in 3.6 miles, haha.

Listened to: Wintergarten (their song Star Machine 2000 has been my mood-theme-song today), Shane and Shane.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"I chose my pride instead
Of the glory of Your name
All the wrath of God that I
Deserve with every breath
Fell upon Him"

- "You Loved My Heart To Death", by Shane & Shane.

Man, how often do we do this? I don't know about you, but I feel like this is a recurring theme in my life- choosing my own pride over His glory. Very striking lyric.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 21

Feeling: Productive, happy, exhausted.

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping work, library shelving, a walmart run, discussion time with my Praxis "mastermind group".

Listened to: The Phil Vischer Podcast

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

I'll be honest, at this point I am so sleepy I can't recall anything from the podcast episodes I heared. But I did write down some quotes that I thought were great in the book that I am reading, so I will share one of those instead:

"Attention, success, and comparison hold my soul hostage until they get what they want. Spoiler alert: they want everything. And they are never satisfied. They will never let you go."

- Emily P. Freeman, "Simply Tuesday"

The CCM Experiment: April 20

Feeling: Tired, happy, grateful.

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping work, blogging, chatting with friends, Bible study group.

Listened to: Wintergaton

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

Well, the only music I listened to today was instrumental. I keep coming back to Wintergaton. Really enjoying these tunes! Learned today that you can pick them up on Bandcamp for basically $8 for the entire discography, as long as Bing added up the exchange rate correctly. Check it out here!

Misconceptions about Bible Reading

This week, I am going to give you a somewhat lengthy but impactful quote that I read from Joel R. Beeke. I thought about trying to write a post based upon it, but I honestly can't put it better than he did, and I feel you should read the original:

"If you are an unbeliever, reading your Bible, in itself, will get you no closer to God. Don't think that you can feel a little bit safer on days when you've read your Bible. You can't. And if you are a believer, reading the Bible will not make you any more acceptable or pleasing in God's sight. Not reading your Bible will not make you any less acceptable or pleasing in His sight. The difference between a believer and an unbeliever is Jesus Christ; it's grace, and nothing else.

Until you see that reading your Bible gets you no points with God, you will never be able to enjoy it. Why? Because you will always fail in reading it. You will fail to read it as often as you should; you will fail to read it as carefully as you should; you will fail to understand its meaning; and you will fail to see its wonder. You will fail again and again. So if you are hoping that your Bible-reading performance is earning you points with God, you are going to be one of the most miserable people on earth. You will be constantly losing points and losing heart until you finally give up in despair and quit reading the Bible altogether.

But the good news of the gospel- the good news of this book you're trying to read- is that you don't have to earn God's favor by reading your Bible. Jesus Christ and His righteousness is the only way to God, and unless you are trusting in Him for all your forgiveness and all your acceptability with God, you will never find joy in reading your Bible. So turn to him; trust in him, and come see the joy that can be found in reading the Word of the Lord, the Word of Jesus, the Savior."

- Joel R. Beeke, How Should Teens Read The Bible? 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 19

Feeling: Exhausted but satisfied.

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping, library shelving, bookbinding, blogging.

Listened to: The Aux Cable Podcast, Welcome Wagon (folk), The Jazz Typhoons (Jazz...duh)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Those are my best days, when I shake with fear"

- "My Best Days, Parts 1 & 2", The Welcome Wagon

This repeated line at the end of their song is not only an oddly happy tune, it causes you to stop and think. Is it true? It may not seem like it in the moment of fear, but looking back on those days when I've been fearful, in the end God has carried me through.

I also will add that The Welcome Wagon is one of my favorite bands that I've discovered this month. Their music is so chill and pleasant to listen to. The vibe makes me think of firefly-lit nights spent in Nashville and their lyrics range from fun and a little quirky ("Rice And Beans (But No Beans)" ) to thought provoking and reminiscent of the book of Psalms ("My God, My God Parts 1 & 2"). Their album is only $8 on Bandcamp. Check them out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 18

Feeling: Happy, exhausted, productive, social.

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping, blogging, hanging with friends, prepping for the county fair (I run a department out there).

Listened to: BarlowGirl

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

I can't believe that I'm here in this place again
How did I manage to mess up one more time?
This pattern seems to be the story of my life
Should have learned this lesson by the thousandth time.
'Cause I promised myself I wouldn't fall
But here I've fallen
I guess I'm not as strong as I thought
All I can do is cry to you.
Oh God you have to save me
You're my last and only hope
All my right answers fail me
I can't seem to make it on my own.
Always thought that I would be strong enough
What made all of them fall couldn't take me down
Yeah, did I think that I was above it all?
I have learned that pride comes before the fall

This is so relatable. One of my favorite things about BarlowGirl is how accurately they capture both the joys and the hardships of life in their songs.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 17

Feeling: Sick and exhausted, yet also relaxed, satisfied, and thankful.

Doing: Spending a LOT of time in bed, messaging friends, laundry, blogging.

Listened to: Scott Blackwell (90's techno hiphop...?), Relient K (rock/pop), Hillsong Young & Free (worship/electronic)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to try and never become that way again
'Cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

- "Who I am Hates Who I've Been", Relient K.

This is the story of the Christian life. Our reborn, Holy Spirit-influenced spirits hate who our lusting sinful flesh has been. It is a constant process.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 16

Feeling: Happy, relaxed

Doing: Gathering with church people, visiting a friend, painting rocks

Listened to: Hymns at church... otherwise, I was too busy chatting with people to play any music on my own.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

I have to tell you the truth, I don't remember any lyrics really hitting me today. Which I guess goes to show that just because someone is singing at church does not mean they necessarily comprehend what they are saying in the song. It's a sad thing to have to admit. I'd like to think that when I am attending the church assembly that I am worshipping God, but if I'm being brutally honest, I'm not always 100% there. Seriously focusing on God, both on my own and amongst the church is a continual struggle that takes a lot of prayer.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 15

Feeling: Happy, relaxed, excited.

Doing: Nursing home work, hanging out with friends on my "Friday" night.

Listened to: Random stuff on the Christian radio station, Everyday Sunday (pop-punk), Officer Negative (Didn't know what they were...turns out its growly screamo. Great if it's your thing, but it's not really mine), Philmont (pop/rock), Wavorly (rock).

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"I've walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I've felt the pain of heartbreak
And I've seen the brighter days

And I've prayed prayers to Heaven
From my lowest place
And I have held Your blessings
God, You give and take away"

- Tauren Wells

This song is a nice reminder of the truth that while yes, God is the great provider of all things, He also can and does take things from us too. Life won't always be perfect, but the fact is that He is working all things to end in us glorifying Him at our fullest potential. Though the choruses of this song are somewhat cliche and repetitive, the verses scattered throughout are really great.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 14

Feeling: Happy, creatively energized (but not physically energized).

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping work, library shelving, a call with a Praxis advisor, 

Listened to: The Afters

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

And all the things we think of as eternal would come undone
So all I have to say is when I'm praying
Is "Thank God I'm not the one"

- "Thank God I'm Not The One" by The Afters.

This is a song of gratitude to God, that while we face our own struggles, it could be so much worse.

Productivity: It's Not What You Think.

I was introduced to a challenging thought on Sunday: "your success is not rooted in your productivity..."

Some of my friends might call me a workaholic. If I'm not laboring at one of my two jobs, I am writing and promoting blogs, researching various things, or creating some form of art for either myself or others. If I am not getting something useful done, I often kick myself. So much of my life is focused on productivity. It is what makes me feel successful. 

The above statement follows up with "...Success is rooted in faithfulness to Christ."

It all goes back to the simple truth that our existence is meant entirely for the glory of God. If we are honoring him, living to know him and bring him glory, then by the standards of the Creator of the universe, we are a success. This success, however, is not one that we can just make happen for ourselves. It requires a work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, which will naturally work its way out into our lives and actions.

Success by the world's standards is temporary and will only last until we die. Success in God's eyes is tied to what Christ is doing in us, and will last through eternity.

Where do you find success?

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. - Galatians 6:14

And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go. - Jeremiah 45:5 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 13

Feeling: Motivated, energetic, happy.

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping work, journaling, career research, chatting with friends, audio editing.

Listened to: ... Well... I heard like two songs on the radio while driving to and from work. It wasn't a very music filled day!

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

Since I didn't hear any outstanding lyrics, I will leave you with a Bible verse that I read this morning instead. It gave me some good food for thought (if you'll pardon the pun!)

"The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want" - Proverbs 13:25.

Why do you suppose this is? I'll have more thoughts on this passage coming up in one of my Friday devotional posts in the next several weeks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 12

Feeling: Happy, motivated.

Doing: Nursing home housekeeping work, library shelving, journaling, learning to use Audacity, talking to friends.

Listened to: Wintergatan (Swedish acoustic machine band), The Phil Vischer Podcast.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

Since Wintergatan is an instrumental group, the most outstanding things I heard were spoken on the podcast and also a tidbit I heard from a radio preacher as I drove home from work:

"Christianity doesn't end when you're converted; you're always growing and learning." - The Phil Vischer Podcast, episode 247.

"Do you really believe God? Or do you just talk about belief in God when you are around Christians?" - radio preacher on Moody this afternoon.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 11

Feeling: A little sick, relaxed, happy, slow.

Doing: Blogging, dancing to piano covers, reading an old journal, messaging friends.

Listened to: Twenty One Pilots (hip hop/indie pop/electronic), Peter Bence (piano), Cooper Holzman (piano, video below)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

And I will say that we should take a day to break away

From all the pain our brain has made, the game is not played alone
And I will say that we should take a moment and hold it
And keep it frozen and know that life has a hopeful undertone

- Migraine, by Twenty One Pilots

It's easy to get caught up in all sorts of thoughts that aren't glorifying to God or good for us. Our thoughts can cause us pain. We have to realize that we aren't alone, and that though life can drag us down, there is hope beneath it all. The struggles we face in life are to draw us nearer to God, causing us to rely upon Him more fully and prepare us for a life of worship in His presence.

Also, on the non-lyrical front, I feel obligated to share this gorgeous piano cover of "The Judge" with you. I am absolutely loving it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 10

Feeling: On the verge of getting a cold, relieved (my friend who went to the hospital last night was told that contrary to the original prognosis, they now believe they will be able to successfully remove the tumor and the cancer isn't spreading), a little mood-swingy.

Doing: Decluttering, laundry, blogging, reading.

Listened to: Oddly, I did not listen to any music today.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

Well, hard to have outstanding lyrics when you've not heard or read any songs. I did however have an absolutely fabulous conversation with a good friend this evening. She and I were discussing reasons why people don't want to come to church or be involved with Christianity. Most of the reasons we've heard aren't because of God, but because we do a poor job of representing him to the world though our actions. Are we displaying peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, love, and self-control in the way we live our lives? 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 9

Feeling: Stressed in morning/early afternoon, relaxed late afternoon, distraught in the evening (found out a friend has a potentially life-threatening brain tumor)

Doing: Housekeeping work at the nursing home, reading at the park, church

Listened to: Under The Radar (Christian music podcast- super great. I highly recommend it!), swing jazz covers of pop songs.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Fear not the terror that comes at night
Nor flaming arrows by morning light
His truth is always our sword and shield 
Against His power, all foes must yield"

- Lyrics by R.C. Sproul, music by Jeff Lippencott

I love the way this portion of the song is a display of how we should take comfort in God's power. Really though, to appreciate this to it's fullest extent, you need to see the video of it performed below. This was shown at church tonight.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 8

Feeling: Stressed in morning/early afternoon, then energetic and determined.

Doing: Housekeeping work at the nursing home, library shelving, and skating at the roller rink.

Listened to: Decypher Down (rock), Jeremy Camp (rock/worship), Shine Like Stars (pop-rock/acoustic), the Christian Music Podcast, The Aux Cable Show, a whole ton of msc. stuff played at The Rollaway (skating rink)...mostly hip hop and pop.

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

I'll admit, I'm glad I am writing this late. While I was working today things were so busy that I didn't get a chance to make note of particular lyrics. Tonight's outstanding song hit me at The Rollaway:

"You're the judge, oh no

Set me free
You're the judge, oh no
Set me free
I know my soul's freezing
Hell's hot for good reason"

- Twenty One Pilots

It makes me think of one standing before God someday and suddenly being hit with the fact that there will be judgment placed upon them that actually matters- it is a (eternal) life and death thing. The most important question we can ponder is whether our soul is so frozen towards God that only Hell would thaw it out, or if the Holy Spirit is stirring a work in our hearts that we should draw near to the Lord. Being a "good person" by earthly standards means nothing when we are cold towards God.

PS: Really not sure if Twenty One Pilots counts as CCM or not, but I recently learned that I quite enjoy them. Their lyrics often make me think.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 7

Feeling: Drained

Doing: Nursing home work, library shelving, blogging, 

Listened to: Matthew Parker (pop/electronica), Jonathan Thulin (pop/electronica), The Almost (pop-punk)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Life's moving faster now
I'm older here
But younger somehow
Head full of fear
And it makes me break
Please let me find you
Please let me know
Just what you want
Please let me see
What you need me to be"

- Hand Grenade, by The Almost.

Pretty much the story of being in your young adult years and trying to figure out life and what exactly faith in Christ looks like. As a whole I do not agree with the theology presented in this tune (they refer at the start as God simply waiting on us and later seem to allude that God doesn't see everything that we are), and I also think the imagery in the chorus is a little strange. But, that said, this particular snippet of it really resonated with me. 

Death is Beautiful

As we drove through Yellowstone National Park one fall, I glanced out the car window, exclaiming "Wow! That field is gorgeous!" as I pulled out my camera. "It's dying," my mom replied. Living or dead, it is still one of the prettiest fields I've ever seen. 

That exchange got me to thinking; could our deaths be beautiful, too? I believe they can be, both for us as Christians and even potentially to those around us. Romans 14:8 says, "If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Being someone who has worked in a nursing home for the past several years, I've had occasion to witness what this can look like. A man from a church that I attend was in on hospice care; I heard people in the congregation talk about what a wonderful and godly man he was, and at work I watched as a constant stream of friends and relatives would come to read him scripture and sing to him through his last days. Though he never said a word to me, what I heard and saw of his life and death was an incredible testimony of someone who lived for the Lord. May we live in such a way that the same can be true of us when we come to our end!

Revelation 14:13 - "Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 6

Feeling: Drained

Doing: Nursing home work, blogging, 

Listened to: Matthew Parker (pop/electronica), Jonathan Thulin- particularly his album "Science Fiction" (pop/electronica, also does some worship music style stuff. Varies depending on the album)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"I am drifting, a hundred million thoughts spent on the wrong thing
My connection, a hundred million miles the wrong direction

Endless stars and endless space
The arrows are pointing all over the place
I’m an aeronaut
Navigation lost
Trekking through the universe
Never thought that I would be the one to give up first
Yeah, I must confess
Here’s my S.O.S.

I know that you’re my constant
Even when I lost it
I’m chasing after you like a compass

I have done this, terraformed my own sense of what truth is
Like a black a hole, crushing everything inside this black soul

Never been this lost before
Gotta find my way back
Back track some more

I’m chasing to see what’s next
Staring at my life like a map
Trying to figure out where you're at
Siri can you tell me how to get to the point where my future meets His best"

- Jonathan Thulin

Sometimes we reach points in life where we have, whether intentionally or not, distanced ourselves from our relationship with God. It will happen. The important thing is not what our feelings are, but that we diligently seek the Lord again so that we may rekindle the relationship and live for him.

What is the CCM Experiment?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 5

Feeling: Relaxed, busy, sociable.

Doing: Laundry, bookbinding, drawing, library volunteer work, walking at the park, meeting up with friends, watching videos.

Listened to: Salt of Sound (ambient/electronica), David Thulin (EDM), Urban Rescue (Contemporary Worship), Code of Ethics (80s-ish rock-ish techno-ish...? I don't quite know what to make of them, but they can be cool if you're in the right mood), Matthew Parker (pop/electronica - definitely my fave artist of the day).

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

Your fantasy of me isn't real
I don't even come close, You're in love with a ghost"

- Matthew Parker

A similar thought to yesterday- how often do we project a false image of ourselves and our lives to others? And how often do we project our own ideas and ideals onto other people and assume that is who they are? It's easy to piece together our own ideas of people and then lift them up in our minds as someone who is next thing to perfect, because deep down, due to being made in the image of our Creator, we desire perfection. But perfection cannot be found in people- not even the best people. Perfection can only be found in God. Placing imaginary screens over the people we like will only lead to a let-down when we realize they have their faults.

What is the CCM Experiment?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The CCM Experiment: April 4

Feeling: Relaxed, happy, excited, exhausted.

Doing: Blogging, household chores, then took an afternoon adventure with a friend in which we took a wrong turn and made the trip an hour longer, explored an abandoned barn, hiked a good number of miles around a lake, and ate frozen yogurt.

Listened to: The Almost (pop punk)

Lyric that stood out the most to me:

"Truth works just like it needs to...

I can't take this down
I don't need it
No, I don't want it
God, I don't want it
I want to feel proud
I won't let them see
Won't let them see me
Won't let them see me now
It should be easier"

- Want To, by The Almost.

This song is reminiscent of discovering the truth of your sins in the scriptures. It isn't fun and it isn't pretty, and we want to fight it. It feels good to be proud of who we are, to assume we are good people. When we stumble upon Bible passages that show us we are otherwise, it will cause us to feel ashamed of the things we've done before God, and it can hurt. It is supposed to hurt ("truth works just like it needs to"). 

We want to feel proud, and therefore we can't let our sins and our struggles be known by our fellow believers. They all seem so good, living such upright lives. But the fact is, no matter how good any of us try to appear, deep down we all have our struggles with particular sins. If someone comes to us and says what sin is plaguing them, is it right of us to look down on them for it and assume a moral high ground? No. Because while their sins may be different from ours, God views all sin as sin. The one who hates his brother and the one who murders him are equal in God's eyes.

Let's find ways to support, pray for, and encourage each other to pursue godliness, rather than making our fellow believers feel like they have to hide their struggles from us.