fortydaysojourn

Just another WordPress.com site

Forgiveness is key to a freer life …..

“You’re only human.
Let’s break free of this gravity of judgment
And fly high on the wings of forgiveness.”
India.Arie

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Should You Choose To Accept Your Assignment….. (Day 29)

I’m a James Bond movie fan, particularly those with Sean Connery and Roger Moore.  They played the role to a T.  Pierce Brosnan was pretty good as 007, too.

As I read this latest chapter in The Purpose Driven Life, I thought about Mr. Bond.  We each have assignments that God has called us to fulfill in our lifetime.  Like the assignments given him in over 20 movies, we too have the choice to accept the assignment of engaging in the full-time ministry of adding life to those around us. 

God placed us here to contribute the gifts, abilities and talents He’s given us to give to the world.  We’re blessed to be a blessing, and saved and called to serve God.

In classic James Bond fashion, ‘M’ gives him the details of the assignment.  The Bible does, too:

“Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you.  Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.”  (Jeremiah 1:5, NCV)

“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was his plan.” (II Timothy 1:9,LB)

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” (I Corinthians 12:27, NLT)

“If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it.  Only those who throw away their lives for my skae and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.” (Mark 8:35, LB)

As we fulfill these assignments of service, we’re also preparing for eternity.  Each time we use our God-given abilities, we’re fulfilling our calling, whether we’re singing in the choir or cooking a meal for a bereaved family.  Like ‘Q’ and his team of scientists, they too were a part of fulfilling 007’s assignment.  Every ministry matters because they’re inter-connected.  (I Corinthians 12, NIV) 

Just as the ministries are connected, so are our spiritual muscles.  They must be worked out daily in order for them to grow and be strengthened.  When we don’t, spiritual atrophy sets in, hindering us from true blessing and true life significance.  We shine when we’re helping others.

Go ahead, make a difference in the world around you.  Should you choose to accept your assignment, allow God to work it out.

2 Comments »

This song has been on my mind today…..

As we draw closer to God and understand what our assignment is, we must forever be kingdom-minded.  Canton Jones always makes sure the music he produces conveys this message.

Leave a comment »

The Circle of Life

In my work as a volunteer engagement professional, I run into many great quotes, and I’m on a number of listservs and e-mailers pertaining to volunteerism and service-learning.

Every Friday I receive a mailer from Youth Service America, and in recent weeks the staff has selected songs that speak to the spirit of service.  Today’s song is Elton John’s Circle of Life from the movie The Lion King, and thought it appropriate for how I feel this morning.  I pray you’re blessed by the lyrics, too.

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place…

Leave a comment »

You Are Here To Lift Me Up!

The Afters’ Lift Me Up is a beautiful testimony to how the Lord catches us when we’re falling, when we’re lost or feel utterly alone.  I came to admire this song last year when I took the 30-Day Challenge on K-LOVE last February.  I’m still rockin’ K-LOVE in my car 14 months later, and whenever I hear this song I sing it to my top of my lungs!

This song also speaks to my next blog about growing through our temptations, and how God is right there to lift us up and help us do the right things. 

I know I’m not perfect
I know I make mistakes
I know that I have let you down
But you love me the same

And when I’m surrounded
When I lose my way
When I’m crying out and falling down
You are here to

Lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I’m letting go
You lift me up when I can’t see
Your heart is all that I need
Your love carries me so I’m letting go

Leave a comment »

I Have This Song On My Mind Today……

You Loved Me, Karen Clark Sheard and Kierra Sheard’s take on Jill Scott’s 2000 song of the same name.  The past few days have been those of shedding, purging and getting to the heart of things.  This song is an expression of my celebration for what God’s continuing to do in this season.  I’m thankful for the breakthroughs taking place and the yokes being destroyed.  He is AWESOME!

Leave a comment »

Talking About The Comfort Zone Takes Me Back…..

The title track is one of my faves on the album.  My husband used to tell me that if I were a singer, I’d probably sound like her. 

I used to sing quite a bit, even sang in two choirs for a few years.  Experienced burnout, though; it happens.  I’ve been thinking about singing again, get the cobwebs off my vocal cords! 😉

Leave a comment »

Becoming More and More Like My Father Each Day (Day 22)

  One of my favorite album covers is Vanessa Williams’ The Comfort Zone.  I’ve always admired her.  Former Miss America, mother, actress, singer and now at 49 years old, she still looks ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  However, she’s also been through scandal during her Miss America days, gone through two divorces and a number of life’s calamities, and yet, she comes back on top time after time.

And how does Vanessa keep herself looking like a million bucks?  According to an article I read about her a couple of years ago, she appreciates her life journey, takes care of her temple with pilates and strength training, loves on her children and takes every day step by step.  That’s a great recipe for this soon-to-be 43-year old to follow!

As we travel day by day in our faith journey, our Lord’s recipe is for us to develop the mind of Christ.  He desires us to become in His likeness, to bear His image and to become godly.  This sanctification process happens quietly by the power of the Holy Spirit.  His work is accomplished through inhabitating our hearts, minds and souls, and we must be cooperative, even when we don’t agree or understand it.  Definitely one of sanctification’s many growing pains.

And let me add this disclaimer: this life-long process takes hard work!  There are days when I ask God a ton of ‘why’ questions or yelling, “Really, Lord, are you serious?!”  Yet, each step of faith we take strengthens God’s Spirit in us that much more.  These steps also require us to get out of our comfort zones – letting go of old ways, changing old ways of thinking and developing new godly habits. 

Going through this metamorphosis doesn’t mean we become drones and lose our personality, either.  Instead, He blesses us to develop in grace and character, becoming spiritually enhanced in our living and thinking with each new day.  God also uses our circumstances, His Word and other people to shape our character.  The Apostle Paul said “as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.” (II Corinthians 3:18b, NLT)

Reflecting on The Comfort Zone album cover, I think about the transitions I’ve gone through since this album came out in the Fall of 1991.  Many struggles, many triumphs, many lessons learned.  If you’re fighting and negotiating with your soul, let God have His way.  Aim to develop the mind of Christ.

Leave a comment »

He Lives In You!

The first time I heard this song was when my family and I saw The Lion King play in 2008, and I just about cried liked a baby.   It has such a beautiful message.

A few years later, one of our resident ministers had the idea to coordinate a inter-generational dance group to perform the song for Pentecost Sunday.  It was a pleasure for me to serve as the lead dancer for this piece.  I’ll admit, some days it was hard for me to keep it together because dancing to the words became that much more powerful and moving to me.

What’s also powerful is thinking about the ones who went before us, which is what this song speaks about.  Although this message has personal meaning for those who listen to it,  it’s also very befitting to relate this song to the Divine One:

(Chorus)
He lives in you
He lives in me
He watches over
Everything we see
Into the water
Into the truth
In your reflection
He lives in you

As we approach the joy of Easter Sunday, remember that Our Risen Lord lives in us.  He is no longer in the tomb – let’s celebrate!

Leave a comment »

As I reflect on Good Friday, this came to me in an email…..

Jason Mraz’s The World As I See It 

The world as I see it, is a remarkable place
A beautiful house in a forest, of stars in outer space
From a birds eye view, I can see it has a well-rounded personality
From a birds eye view, I can see we are family

Yeah the world as I see it, is a remarkable place
Every man makes a difference and every mother’s child is a saint
From a birds eye view I can see, we are spiraling down in gravity
From a birds eye view I can see, you are just like me

It’s not hard for me to love you…

Unconditional love. Compassion. Fellowship. Unity. Community. Worship.  Thanksgiving.  All wonderful words to describe and celebrate our Lord with.  Let’s reflect on the One who enables us to be who we are because He is.

Leave a comment »