The Best Thing

Posted: November 11, 2014 in Music

Today’s song lyric post is dedicated to my awesome wife. She is (apart of salvation of course) the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love her and cherish her so much.

Following are the lyrics to “The Best Thing” by Reliant K off their 2007 “Five Score And Seven Years Ago” album. At the bottom (under the lyrics) is a link to the video on Vimeo.

It’s been a year
Filled with problems
But now you’re here
Almost as if to solve them
And I can’t live in a world without you now

All my life
I’ve been searching for you
How did I survive
In this world before you
Cause I don’t wanna live another day without you now

This is the best thing
The best thing that could be happening
And I think you would agree
The best thing is that it’s
Happening to you and me

All I’m gonna have
Is all that you can give me
And I’ll give right back
Everything I have in me
Cause nothing ever felt as right
As this does right now

I’ll go back to before we met
Try and erase the past
Try harder to forget cause
Nothing will ever be as good as here and now

Cause when I looked into your eyes
And you dared to stare right back
You should’ve said “Nice to meet you, I’m your other half”

And this is the best thing
The best thing that could be happening
And I think you would agree
The best thing is that it’s happening
This is the best thing (the best thing)
The best thing that could be happening (the best thing)
And I think you would agree (whoooaaa whooaa)
The best thing is that it’s
Happening to you and me

Always knew
I’d find someone
I never dreamt
It’d be like this
You’ve surpassed
All that I’ve hoped for (and ever wished)
And I’m tryin’
So hard
With all my heart and mind
To make your life
As good as you’ve made mine

This is the best thing (the best thing)
The best thing that could be happening (the best thing)
And I think you would agree (whooaaa)
The best thing is that it’s happening to you and me

The best thing is that it’s happening to you and me
The best thing is that it’s happening to you and me

(The best thing) The best thing that could be happening
(The best thing) I think you would agree
The best thing is that it’s happening to you and me

Watch the video of the song here: http://vimeo.com/6491327

Beautiful Lord

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Faith, Music

The following are the lyrics to the song “Beautiful Lord” by Leeland. These lyrics have impressed themselves upon me lately and brought me to place of worship and adoration of my God and Savior.

When the storm is raging all around me
You are the peace that calms
My troubled sea
And when the cares of this world
Darken my day
You are the light that shines
And shows me the way

Oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me!

Beautiful Lord
Awesome and mighty
I’m captured by this love I see
Beautiful Lord
Tender and holy
Your mercy brings me to my knees
It’s Your mercy that has made me free
Beautiful Lord

When my sin is all that I can see
Your grace remains the shelter that I seek
And when my weakness is all I can give
Your gentle Spirit gives me strength again
And oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me

And I am lifted by Your love to sing!
It’s Your mercy that has made me free!

You’re beautiful, my Lord
You’re beautiful, my Lord

Confusion: Relevant or Relative

Posted: November 8, 2014 in Faith, Life, Music

I’m confused by something. Over the last month I’ve several instances of Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” almost like a worship song. There are too many covers of the song, and even more versions of the song (oddly enough) than covers. At least one appears on godvine.com website. At the end of another rendition one can hear one of the vocalists saying “Thank you, Jesus” at the end … but the songs lyrics have nothing to do with Jesus … at all.

Now, I love the song, personally. I have several different covers of it in my iTunes playlists and most of them have five stars (oddly enough Cohen’s own version is not one them – one of those weird situations where someone else performs a writer’s song better than the writer himself, in my opinion). Nor am I opposed to Christians singing “secular” music. At least half of my own compositions have nothing to do with faith or Christ or church (and I’ll confess that a few would need an “explicit” label if they were ever produced).

Maybe I’m completely off base but it seems to me that the Christian sub-culture hears a soulful utterance of the word “Hallelujah” and goes bonkers, treating it as some sort of worship song. The song (which, again, I enjoy very much) seems to be a passionate, sensuous, almost sexual song about relationships, love, heartache, betrayal, etc. All the muck of life which makes for great art.

When I hear or see a cover of the song in which the anguish of the content can be heard in the voice and seen in the artist’s expression I am moved and appreciate the longing and pain of the moment. But when the vocal tone is worshipful and expressions rapturous as though the artists were leading a worship set in church, something in my gut twists.

I’m confused by this and I wonder if this is another example of the loss of biblical understanding, orthodoxy and truth in the Western church’s teaching and preaching.

To completely steal a line from one of my favorite films: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

When and Why Do You Rejoice?

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Faith

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Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
– Habakkuk 3:17-18

A note to myself:

Hey self (the psalmists would probably say something poetic like “oh my soul” but we’ll just stick with “hey self”). I have a question. Forgive me if I come across a bit confrontational, but sometimes I think it’s best just to take the proverbial bull by the horns.

Why do you rejoice in the Lord? Or maybe I should ask instead, when do you rejoice in the Lord? I ask because I’m looking over the past and I see a lot of rejoicing when the fig tree is in bloom and fruit is on the vine. And yet at the same time I’ve noticed you have a tendency to also be waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m trying to be gentle here, but I need to call it like it is. There seems to be an undercurrent of fear even during times of plenty.

I need to ask you another question. What do you really want? This might not make sense to anyone else, but I know you’ll understand. Do you want God himself, or is your desire for the good things he gives? I gotta say, if it’s for the blessings, then you’re settling for too little, setting your sights too low.

Lately you’ve made some amazing strides in rediscovering the amazing love of Christ, and simply basking in and returning that love. Let me encourage you to stay that course. The Psalmist said to delight yourself in the Lord and you will receive the desires of your heart. Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the other things of life will be taken care of. You’ll have what you want because what you want more than anything else is simply God. Then, when there is no fruit on the vines, no food in the field, and no herd in the stalls you will still be able to rejoice because you have God.

So, hold on to that, self. Grab ahold of that because, I gotta tell you, God’s already grabbed ahold of you and he ain’t lettin’ go so you might as well just give in and gravitational pull of the Divine suck you in.

Most sincerely,

Me

Keeping the Wonder

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Family, Life
Tags: , ,

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One of the most horrible things about growing up or growing older is the loss of the sense of wonder. One of the most wonderful things about being a parent is rediscovering that wonder through ones children.

There was a time when people saw the gods in every aspect of their lives. Scientific discovery is wonderful and each new discovery elicits new wonder. But what that which is wonderful losses its shine when it becomes common place.

I’ve flown so many times I no longer even think about it … unless, that is, I’m traveling with my children. Flying with them I recall my first time on an airplane at the age of six. It was a wonderful, magical experience. Watching my children finally figure out theIr balance and how to ride a bicycle I’m transported back to the day when all of that clicked for me and the sense of freedom and exhilaration it engendered.
Recently I was challenged to pause and allow the wonder of life and the universe to impress itself upon me. My children are the catalyst and conduit for that regaining wonder. Each day I walk my children to school. They have a unique way of sing things. An ordinary branch becomes a set of antlers when picked up by my soon and held atop his head. My daughter points out how deep blue the sky is directly above us and how it gradually fades to a light blue (and then a brownish smudge) on the horizon. I sit with my infant son in my arms at four in the morning and watch him breathing, marveling at this little life and laughing at the contortions of his facial expressions.

Wonder and miracle is all around us. Stop and take a moment to see it, to appreciate it, and to marvel.

An Open Letter of Encouragement to Shia LaBeouf

Dear Mr. LaBeouf,

I read recently that you have become a follower of Christ. Allow me to say, “Welcome to the family!” I also read a bit more recently that some in the family have questioned or even scoffed at your declaration of faith. Please allow me to share an insight gleaned from sixteen plus years of ministry and mission work; some of our brothers and sisters can be a real pain in the ass. Don’t allow our grumpier family members to harsh on your mellow, my brother. (Or, to use more religious terminology, don’t let them kill your joy.)

I could quote you verse after verse about not worrying what people think about you, particularly as it concerns your relationship with and faith in Jesus Christ. I could, but I wont. Rather I will share a single verse which has recently taken on a deeper application to me personally: “But God demonstrated his own great love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Bank on this one thing; Jesus loves you.

Forget the haters, mockers, nay sayers, scoffers, and those with sticks so far up their backsides its poking their brains. Jesus loves you. Don’t let nobody tell you otherwise.

Sincerely,

Jason P. Franklin (a brother in Christ)

Casting Aside My Idols

Posted: November 4, 2014 in Faith, Life

“What profit is an idol
when its maker has shaped it,
a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
when he makes speechless idols!
– Habakkuk 2:18

Where in my life do I have idols? I know I must have some. What of my own devising am I trusting in? I don’t think ambition is necessarily evil, but it is often fueled by pride and has as its end goal personal fame and prestige. What are my ambitions? What motivates them? What is their end? There are my stated core values…and then there are the things I truly value. How can I tell the difference? Do my wallet and schedule line up with my mouth? Sadly, I must confess, they too often do not.

What profit are my idols of ability, talent, skill, knowledge, etc.? First off, these are all gifts of God, undeserved and unpaid for. Any profit which has come to me through these things is also a gift of God.

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

Everything I have is a gift given by God’s grace alone, not my own effort. Why trust in my own creation, or powers of creation? The flip side of that coin is why worry about anything either.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?…And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
– Matthew 6:25, 27, 31-32

I’ve found a great deal of peace and experienced more joy over the past few weeks as Christ has taught me to cease from my striving and simply rest in him and trust him.