We interrupt your regularly scheduled program

for this country song.

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Between the Cracks – John Mark

Hope grows between cracks in the asphault
In the downtown ghetto streets that contour
The government housing intentions of my heart
No one notices the daisies don’t care
About gang related violence
As long as they get enough air and water and sun
They’re all just fine
Who would’ve thought it but life is finding a way
Through this wasteland of cynics, concrete, and pain
There’s a man down here somewhere between
The Saturday cartooons and the dirty magazines
He’s raising the dead in the graveyards
Where we’ve laid down our dreams
His name is Hope
Hope stands high on the 15th floor
On a Christmas tree perched about the ledge of a fortress
A steel that’s trying to hard to be somebody’s home
As it sees my attention from I-85 though the throws of the day
Were still writhing inside
I lifted my head as I drove home that night and knew
Everything was gonna be fine
Who would’ve thought it but life is finding a way
Through this wasteland of cynics, concrete, and pain
There’s a man down here not worried or afraid
That some politician forgot all the promises he made
And he’s raising the dead in the graveyards
Where we’ve laid down our dreams
His name is Hope
Can you hear him outside he’s been singing all night
He’s saying when you gonna come out from behind
These paper thin walls, your cardboard box realities
Who would’ve thought it but life is finding a way
Through this wasteland of cynics, concrete, and pain
There’s a man down here not worried or afraid
That some politician forgot all the promises he made
And he’s raising the dreams in the graveyards
Where we’ve laid down our dead
His name is Hope

The Anchor Project

I am currently 80% done downloading a FREE CD from my favorite songwriter. Austin Roberts is many things; artist, dreamer, stranger on the earth, talented musician and singer as well as the oldest of 13 children, faithful servant of the Lord and an old friend of mine.

I used to listen to him sing while playing an old and very out of tune piano in the Intern cafeteria at IHOP. His spontaneous songwriting was well worth staying up late to listen to and the content would leave me thinking for days.  Years later I convinced my parents to bring their old piano to my living room and spend many evenings listening to him developing songs. Tonight he released the FREE downloadable version of his first album. I can’t say just how proud I am of him and how far he has come as an artist and a man of God.  Get it here!

Soul Breath

I believe that music is the product of our souls breathing. When my emotion is at a peak, words fail me and thoughts only come in melodies. The current song playing softly from my speakers is “Break every chain” by the United Pursuit Band. After listening to “Fill me up” on repeat I opted for a break.

This week, I’ve only truly spoken in music and tears.

To say the last 7 days have been hard would not do justice to any of the members of my little household. An already difficult monday was wrapping up with a pastoral meeting , I was the one BEING pastored this time, that is until Katrina called weeping. The hours of 1am-10am were spent in the emergency room…… again. Seriously I’m not pointing fingers but someone hates us.

Thursday I brought her home with a diagnosis of Endometriosis, her left fallopian tube was crazy enlarged and her left ovary had been stuck in a tunnel of tissue caused by the Endometriosis, creating a feeling she described as “being stabbed by knives from the inside of my stomach.” All this was discovered during a laparoscopic procedure which she is to take  5 days of rest to recover from.  It is sickly ironic. Today I found her literally bored to tears, and shook my head at the memory of literally one year ago crying in frustration at my post-surgery bed rest.

I’ve wept all week from the turmoil with Katrina, and because I’m tired of my heart being sick.  I am still desperate for a breakthrough, and the pain of it was multiplied this week at wounds of misunderstanding and painful responses from a trusted friend.

And Dani received word last night that her mom has breast cancer.

Whew. Long week in the Styles house.  After a long work day, lots of tears, and a long conversation with my East Coast brother, my tired feet found themselves standing outside the volleyball courts at FSM tonight, surrounded by sounds of dodge ball and teens chatting excitedly about receiving their acceptance into SMI this summer…… and I didn’t know who HALF of these kids were.

Tonight was a foretaste of every Saturday night for the rest of the summer. Next week at least 300 teens are pooling into KC for Main Session One of ATC 2010. I have no idea what I’m in for.

But somehow tonight I found myself sprinting through the parking lot, driving to the Cataldo’s and jumping in their pool fully clothed, only to be back at FSM 15 minutes later. A 15 minute break was all we needed to see the night through.  That spontaneous drive across grandview to jump in a cold pool completely destroyed the residue hanging on me from the week.

The Lord knows just what I need for this summer, I have no reason to doubt He will give to me generously.He is going to provide for all of our needs according to each of our hearts. He is not surprised by the tension that we feel, by the rising water levels around us, by that which grabs us by the ankles and pulls us under. And He knows just what to do.

For me, this week, it was to jump into a pool with one of my best friends, only to drive back and finish out Late Night. Aaaaand it was the hot dog I ate right after. I don’t know what I will need to get through next week, but I’m sure He’ll give that to me too. I think my favorite thing about Him is that He is my friend, the kind of friend who knows how I think, how I work, and just how to pour out love on my heart. And I never have to walk out any of these bad weeks alone. I love not being alone, and I love getting to sing a new song.

Fill me up God.

Desert Father

When we were young we walked where we wanted to, life was ours.

And now we’re grown old we go where we’re told, the Lord’s spirit calls.

He’s singing “follow my road to sorrow and joy, be intertwined and find all things are under My wings and rise given time”

Oh my, brother sun, sister moon, all children of light fly around the world and let the glory be unfurled all things are made new.

We’re marchign on to a spirit’s song that no man can cage. In lands of dead wood that reject the good from our old Father’s hands.

But we run free and weep gracefully in a world dark and cold. Hold on, all you who wait by the blue shores for Him to part the water. Desert Father show us a new way, the impossible dream through the deep and the unseen; carry us home

-Josh Garrels

Not Alone

At arms length you held your spouse and children
Your lack of grace so nearly killed them
Forgivness still breathes but he may not wake for years
He’s promised me still this won’t end in tears.

‘Cause we’re not alone, no we’re not alone now honey
Save our own ’cause we’re not alone

Bakc home to find the garden as you left it
Roses in full bloom, so glad you invested
So you found this room couldn’t hold you donw
Stepped through these walls and taste life to the fullest

Not alone no we’re not alone now honey
We’ll make it home ’cause we’re not alone
Not alone no we’re not alone now honey
Save your own cause we’re not alone

Hold us close, it meant so much
Maybe more than you knew
Laugh awhile, burn like fire
Love us again just like you used to
Sing so loud, make us proud
Please say just what you heard
Listen closer, hold your tongue
Your tired eyes speak louder than words

Not alone no we’re not alone now honey
We’ll make it home cau’se we’re not alone.