Unchanging – Part II

I promised you some song details so here they are!

It all started during a conversation with a friend.  We were discussing the wide variety of names and descriptors applied to the Trinity in Scripture.  The more we talked, the more we focused on the meanings of those names and what they revealed about God’s character.

The conversation with my friend ended, but the topic continued to occupy my thoughts for the next few days.  Somewhere, somehow, my thoughts shifted from simply thinking about the names or titles and their meanings to dwelling on one simple yet startling realization – all of those names?  All of the roles they describe?

God is ALL of those things simultaneously.  He FUNCTIONS in all those roles simultaneously.  Effortlessly, perfectly, eternally.

Let me explain this another way – I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a grandmother (just four weeks ago!).  While I’m always each of those things, I cannot simultaneously function in those roles.  I may be able to shift quickly from texting with my daughter to chatting with my husband and back again.  But I cannot successfully do both at the exact same time.  I miss pieces of conversation or lose my train of thought.

But with God, nothing ever gets missed or lost.  No one is ever neglected.  He can be everything He is to everyone all the time.  Redeemer, Healer, Comforter, Lion of Judah, Lamb of God . . . every facet of his character functioning perfectly at the exact same time.  Whichever part of his character you need to be touched by, he is that for you while being whatever every other believer needs at the exact same time.

But my thought process did not stop there.  As I began writing the lyrics for “Unchanging”, my focus shifted from this “simultaneous functioning” concept to the most overwhelming thought yet – this God, who is everything that anyone could need all the time, this Creator, Redeemer, and Savior . . . loves me.  Lyrically, I expressed it this way –

Beyond the names and titles

One truth rings out so clear

I was always known,

Always loved

You are always standing near.

As He is wrapping me in the peace I need, He is providing comfort for another, healing someone else, and gently correcting one more.  And it doesn’t stop there.  It doesn’t stop ever.  He’s always touching, reaching, enveloping, and redeeming.  Because of love.  We do nothing to earn it and will never be able to repay any of it.  It’s all because He CHOOSES to love.

It’s that simple and the profoundly beautiful.

Unchanging – Part I

I finished a new song.  That always feels big to me.  I rarely ever – almost never – sit down and say “Today, I will write a song.”  Usually, I experience something or come across a thought-provoking piece of scripture or devotional writing.  This causes me to mentally devote a stretch of time to a thought, a concept, an idea, a phrase . . . you get the idea.  When I have a line or two of lyric stuck in my head, I jot them down in a notebook specifically designated to hold all my “songs in progress.”

Then the actual writing process begins.  I revisit the lyric snippet, seek out relevant Scripture to ponder, start crafting possible melodies, play around with chords and their progressions . . . you get the idea.  Eventually, a song comes together.

Sometimes, I get all the lyrics in one breathtaking creative burst.  I’m almost grateful that doesn’t happen often because it’s emotionally draining!  There was even one time (ONLY one time, thank heavens!) when I got the whole song – lyrics, melody, and accompaniment – in less than 30 minutes.  Talk about an overwhelming experience!  Intense and exhausting.

I tell you all of this in the hope that you’ll understand something. I have a personal connection to each of them.  Each one reminds of specific moments or lessons learned.  Each song is a reflection of some part of my personal journey.  When they are finally complete, there is usually a huge piece of head space that gets cleared out and the next moment of inspiration can move in and take up residence for awhile.

So when I tell you that this new song I just finished won’t move out . . . this is new.  Different.  Uncharted territory.  It wants more time; it wants to occupy my thoughts a bit longer and I have no clue why.  I’ve gone back to see if, subconsciously, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the song.  Was I maybe, subtly, telling myself it needed to be re-worked?  Were there lyrics I wasn’t happy with?  Maybe a piece of the melody I think could be better?

Nope.

Every time I sit down and play/sing through it, I’m impacted even more.

Based on past experiences, I should be freed up to move on to another one of the “songs in progress” waiting in my notebook.  But I keep dwelling on the concept that first inspired the song.  It just keeps spinning through my head, refusing to be ignored or pushed aside.  So I thought I’d share it here and see if maybe that helps me to move on to another creative project!

What is this thought-dominating concept you ask?  That’s what Part 2 is for.  But I’ll leave you with this hint (pay special attention to the bold-faced type!) –

Every good thing is given 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 

 

New Skill

Had some fun playing around with some new (to me) software.  I’ve learned how to create lyric videos for my songs.  Look out, YouTube!  I’ve only done a couple and I keep getting better with each trick I learn.  But this song is one of my personal favorites so . . . here it is!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owk7JISFMl0&w=560&h=315]

 

A New Thing

Finished a new song today.  That’s not only exciting, it’s a huge relief!  I’ve got another 5 or 6 in the works that need some attention so completing this one – titled “Unchanged” – moves it from “To Do” to “Done”.

Hubby’s last day in the pulpit at First Baptist Church of Fort Dodge was Easter Sunday.  (I promise this seemingly random statement holds relevance!)  There were a variety of reasons behind the move.  But the one that matters for this story is the fact that he and I were feeling called – pulled?  maybe pushed a little?! – into a new ministry venture that combined his preaching and my music.  Sort of a “traveling package deal” if you will.

So we’ve started working through the organizational details and “Legacy Ministries” is slowly coming to life.  There is still some paperwork to do – seems like there is ALWAYS paperwork to do! – but we have a website, a Facebook page, etc. so we’re on our way!  (You can check out the website HERE and the Facebook page HERE.) It’s exciting and scary all at the exact same time.

It seems fitting that I finished a new song on the day that we started creating the web presence for the ministry.  Especially this particular song.

It’s all about God’s unchanging nature.  It focuses on the names, titles, or descriptions for God.  Sounds simple.  But it’s a recent focus for me – exactly what do the names and descriptions of God mean?  What impact should they have on my life?

It all boiled down to one thing.  He doesn’t change.  He never has.  His methods might change.  Scripture itself says so –

Isa. 43:19 – “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

But even when he is doing something new, his inherent character never alters.  Not even a little.  So while hubby and I are being called into a “new thing”, the message is unchanged.  So, while the path we’re on has taken a major turn, the one guiding our steps is the same.

Heb. 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Only In You

I would like to tell you that recurring themes show up in my songs because I’m really good at focusing on concepts until I perfect them.  I would LIKE to tell you that but I’d rather be honest.  The existence of recurring themes in my songs is due to the simple fact that I can be a little hard-headed when it comes to learning lessons.

“Only in You” is a reminder that joy comes from exactly one source – my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  Period.  When that relationship is being nurtured, inner joy is palpable.  When I am setting aside time to be with my Abba my sense of purpose is well-defined and the next step is crystal clear.  It’s when I start worrying about what others think, when I allow my focus to be misdirected, that I find myself struggling.  I start to doubt my calling and purpose.  I start to second guess what I’m supposed to do next.

So this song draws my focus back to the ONLY source of joy and the only being able to confirm my sense of purpose.  It’s that simple and that difficult.

I find my greatest sense of worth
In the presence of my King on bended knee.

You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.  ~Psalm 16:11