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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Radiant



Spring is supposedly here, yet even this past week another winter storm hovered over us...However, I took advantage of one beautiful evening some days ago for a run outdoors, since I have been quite the coward, staying away from the cold as much as possible, trying to only run on the treadmill over the past several months...I was so glad I spent the time outside. When I'm out in God's world, His voice often seems so much nearer and clearer. 

It was not yet sunset, but the brilliance of the warm sun was waning, and shadows began to fall. It was that time in the evening when glistening reflections of the sun's glory touch down on branches and certain angles bring out the most beautiful patterns of light through the trees. There was one particular plant with dozens of its shining leaves reflecting such marvelous light.  Immediately my thoughts were taken to Psalm 34:5, "Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."  I saw in those sparkling leaves' faces the light of the sun, beaming off, radiating and reflecting it's splendor in a vibrant golden-green hue.  I thought of my own face...do I reflect the SON's light and glory?  Do I look to Him and seek His face? 

Another one of my favorite verses is Psalm 105:4, calling us to "Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always." I was reminded by the Holy Spirit in that moment, with a gentle nudge, to seek His face only, to look to His light and salvation, and through gazing upward to Him, this promise holds true: My own face will be transformed by His radiance.  This is not the radiance of which the world speaks, with flawless Hollywood skin, masked and covered to hide any imperfection. No, this is the type of radiance that is uncovered, barren, unashamed, nothing hidden, because in the light of the Savior's grace and glory, all fears and flaws are stripped away. Our weakness and darkness and imperfections drive us to His face, where we find eternal radiance and perfection beaming down on us, in heavenly kindness.

I think of the balm of Gilead, healing our wounds and soothing our skin. I think of the message to the church in Laodicea: "You say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see." (Rev. 3:17,18)

I want to see with eyes that have been anointed and healed, to gaze into the Son of Glory and soak in His radiance today. I want to rest in awe of His splendor and majesty. I want to be like those golden-green leaves, blowing in the spring wind, light dancing on my face, reflecting the brilliance of the Son's light. I want to live a radiant life...and I'm learning that a radiant life is only one which is hidden in the life of Christ.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lilies before Easter

New friends were so kind to give me a gorgeous bouquet of lilies the other night after my concert. The fragrance of these blossoms is incredibly sweet and brings in the hope of spring to the kitchen where they sit in a vase. I've always loved lilies, and have wondered at the imagery throughout Scripture of these incredible flowers. We read about them in Song of Solomon, Hosea, and the Gospels. 

The ancient writer, Pliny, considered the lily the tallest flower that grows and next to the rose in splendor, yet all the while, hanging it's head low... As we near Easter, we can see the face of Christ in the lily. The Son of God's extraordinary greatness shines forth in magnificent glory, yet He is the perfect model of humility, taking on human flesh to experience life among our brokenness and offering His life in suffering so we might be healed and live eternally. This dichotomy is wrapped up in the mystery of the gospel, as we read in Philippians 2:6-8, "Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross."

As we begin to see blossoms and signs of Easter, let our hearts be awakened to this mystery and beauty of Christ. Next time you see a lily, as spring dawns, still your heart for a moment and remember the majesty and humility of Christ. The glory and the sacrifice.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

"UNBORN" Sheet Music Now Available!!!

Thanks to my dear friend in New Zealand, Marilyn Price, the sheet music to UNBORN is now available!!! This is how the body of Christ works around the globe :) It's just beautiful.  I wrote a song, but Marilyn is the one who had the talent to transcribe the song to sheet music. Then my friend at church, Ruth Ann, was able to sight read and play it back to me on piano so I could hear it.  I love seeing the many talents of different individuals come alive and work together, even across oceans.  It is a testimony to God's creativity- the unique ways in which He has designed and gifted each person!

Many of you have requested this song, so it is an honor to share it with you!  If you would like a copy, please send a request here, and it will be emailed to you as a gift! 

Our prayer is that this song will be played and sung in as many venues around the world as possible, to be a voice for truth, life, and God's incredible love.  I pray you can play and sing it at church, at coffee shops, at prayer vigils, at schools...As my favorite author, Dostoevsky wrote, "Beauty will save the world."  So let's begin sharing beautiful music and let God save lives, one beating heart at a time!

Ad majorem Dei gloriam!  (For the greater glory of God!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

STAY

Two verses in Psalms captured my attention a few weeks ago in February.  I'd like to share them with you.

Psalm 119:54
"Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning."

Psalm 43:3-4
"Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your
dwelling!  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God."

I began thinking of how God's Word, His law, is so consistent, so true, so steadfast and comforting throughout a lifetime of "sojourning." Wherever I might be a stranger, or even just feel like a stranger, in unfamiliar places or even places I recognize and I am recognized, that longing for my true eternal home wells up within me... When the ache comes, the weary ache of sojourning, I rest on His Word. I remain. I just...stay.

God sends out His light, His truth, to lead me. Every day. Not a day goes by where He is not drawing me unto Himself and His holy altar. Sometimes I am not quick to go to His altar or follow His light, but He continues to beckon.  Each day is an opportunity to worship, to abide in Him. To soak in His songs and let them lead my life. Can you feel Him sending out His light and truth before you, to lead you? Can you feel Him drawing you unto Himself and calling you to stay there? To stay for a moment. For a lifetime.

A dear friend recently sent me a note and wrote at the bottom, before signing it, "Stay."  It was one word, so small, yet with a message so profound. In a world where we are urged to go and do and conform and control and perform and change, sometimes it is just a good reminder to stay. To be still and know that God is God. To stay upon His Word and Truth and let those gifts be our guiding light.


So here is a song I wrote inspired by those two verses in Psalms. I encourage you to meditate upon those chapters and to stay there for a moment. To be still and just stay in God today, and for a lifetime. This song was birthed out of weeks asking God for a worship song that would bless His holy bride, the church. I continue to pray that this song does just that.

The Lord has a sense of humor, too.  We had planned 5 songs to record on video during this session...and none of the 5 we had prepared came out as we had hoped. This one was spur-of-the-moment, never practiced with just guitar...but we felt the Holy Spirit's leading.  The other songs were mostly only for fun. But God desired this song of praise, of truth, to be recorded that night.

Here's the video...and below it are the lyrics. May you, in His grace and truth, ever stay.






STAY
By Caitlin Jane © BMI 2014
 
Your statutes have been like songs to me
Wherever I have lived like a stranger
And Your voice, it calms the storm in me
Whenever I’ve been tempted to despair
 
I lift my eyes to You above the night
I lift my voice in praise, amid the fight
You’re reaching down to me with exceeding grace
I am Yours, and on Your Word I will stay
 
While the clash of angry nations war
The disarray of my soul does not compare.
But when the mountains and the hills are made low
I come to find it’s Your mercy standing there.
 
I lift my eyes to You above the night
I lift my voice in praise, amid the fight
You’re reaching down to me with exceeding grace
I am Yours, and on Your Word I will stay
 
I will stay
I will stay
I will stay
 
Send out your light and truth that they may lead me
Bring me to your altar of holiness
Send out your light and truth that they may lead me
Bring me to your altar of holiness
 
I lift my eyes to You above the night
I lift my voice in praise, amid the fight
You’re reaching down to me with exceeding grace
I am Yours, and on Your Word I will stay

I lift my eyes to You above the night
I lift my voice in praise, amid the fight
You’re reaching down to me with exceeding grace
I am Yours, and on Your Word I will stay
I am Yours, and on Your Word I will stay