Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rejoice Always

The reason I didn't post my Multitude Monday list is because our dear friends (we LOVE you guys, Deanne and Brian!) surprised us by taking us to a Todd Agnew and Building 429 concert last night! We were thrilled! But that meant no blog. So first you have to read my excuse (it was a good one) and then I will add to my list!
Ever since we heard Todd Agnew for the first time at Spirit West Coast 2004, Bob and I have been fans. Back then, Todd was barefoot, simple, and truly worshipful. Having an awesome fiddler and cellist with him on stage sealed the deal. He hasn't changed a bit--still barefoot and honest with moving worship. So even though I have heard Building 429's music before, I was mostly excited about seeing Todd in concert again. Another surprise was in store for me last night!

For my record here, Bldg 429 gets it name from Ephesians 4:29:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths. But only what is helpful for BUILDING others up according to their needs, that is may benefit those who listen."

I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the concert of these four younger guys. They were encouraging! Their rendition of "O Happy Day!" was terrific. Too bad they didn't include it on their new album. I wasn't prepared for the wallop from their song, "Always". I have the song playing now on my playlist if you want to check it out. It isn't the same as listening to it with just piano accompaniment and a room full of other people--but it'll do. At least if you sob, no one will see you! Here are the lyrics that moved me:


Building 429

Friend I don't know where you are
And I don't know where you've been
Maybe you're fighting for your life
Or just about to throw the towel in
But if you're crying out for mercy
If there's no hope left at all
If you've given everything you've got
And you're still about to fall

Well hold on, hold on, hold on
'Cuz I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all faith is gone
God knows our pain and
His promise will remain
He will be with you always
He will be with you always

As I was listening to the lyrics, I was telling God in my heart, "I am holding on to You, God. I am!" And I sensed His reply (not in words--how could I hear it over the sound of those speakers!) was, "No, I am holding on to you!" God spoke to my heart last night. Has He been speaking to yours?

I sometimes wonder what He was saying to my brother in the last days or hours of his life. This time last year, Bryan was on the fast track to physical peril, and ultimately death. It was a scary thing to witness; athough he did not allow us much opportunity to see him. But I cling to the belief that Bryan was His, and He was with him. Even at the end.

Since the gal who inspired this newly formed habit of mine--to list what I am thankful for on Mondays, to count my blessings, to be mindful of His movement in my life--I have had no trouble adding to my list the easy stuff, the good stuff, the fun stuff, the yummy stuff. But I have yet to include the ugly stuff, the hard stuff, the painful stuff, the confusing stuff, the inexplicable stuff. If you read here, you remember that our family has been reading Pilgrim's Progress, an old tale written centuries ago but still so relevant, so true to the path He has me on this year. I said I couldn't wait to read what John Bunyan's solution was for Christian being entrapped in Despair's Dungeon.

Well, the answer, the key, the way out was to REJOICE! In ALL things, despite our temporal, this-side-of-heaven view of our circumstances. To thank Him and sing His praise. Even when we don't feel like it. And with that obedience, Christian remembered the key of Promise, which opens any door in Doubting Castle! And he was free. Since I want to be free, and I want to obey, I will add some ugly things to my list today:

191. missing brother

192. no pumpkin seeds

193. one less person who will STAND with me here in the battle

194. crying momma

195. crying daddy

196. aching heart

197. missing piece of long-practiced traditions

198. songs that make me sob

199. missing socks

200. quarreling siblings

201. failing again

202. missing the mark, again

203. crushed little heart by my less-than-gentle response

204. mounds of laundry

205. piles of dishes

206. lost history book

207. lost notes with important numbers

208. lost shoe

209. lost library book

210. lost mind

211. lost moments

212. lost family

213. lost friends

214. lost neighbors

215. missing bear hug

216. hungry children in faraway places

217. little girl paralyzed

218. friend losing home

219. husbands struggling to provide for their families

220. lonely, hurting, despairing people alone at Christmas time

221. family celebrating their first Christmas without their beloved Marilyn

222. one woman, the weight of the world--so many burdens for Suzie, all at one time

223. little boy who tries so hard but just can't

"Lord, bring beauty out of these ugly things, somehow. Give me eyes to see Your beauty in them. If not here and now, then someday when Your "I'll Explain Later" becomes NOW. "


K_KD said...

Good Morning Kelly! (It's early here...)

I just wanted to let you know that your blog continues to be inspirational and uplifting every single time I log on to see what you've gifted us today. Because what you're doing is a gift for all of us. You're letting us into your heart and mind and sharing precious memories, old and new, and sharing with us a very special man in ways we never knew him. You've inspired me to catalog my own adventure of starting school, and for that I'm grateful.

Thank you, for every day, every memory, and every smile you've given me since you began this wonderful work.

God bless you and yours always.


Anonymous said...

DITTO!!!!!Peace and Love always.....Aunty Ingy

WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!