Each Journey a Chorus

There’s power in the music,
Listen close.
There’s power in the silence,
Missed by most.
Life is filled to the brim,
With the wrong kind of noise.
Filled with meaningless words,
Empty messages,
Posing as poise.
Most follow a catchy tune,
Search for what’s new,
An endless cycle,
Leading to their ruin.
Beauty can be found,
Not sold,
Not boughten,
Remember they fought,
An endless cycle,
It doesn’t work to recycle,
What was already rotten.
Yet they still tune the dial,
Dialed into their own demise.
Blissfully unaware,
They’ve been here already,
When you’re blind by choice,
You’ll never see light,
Until you are ready.
Once they do,
Beauty does the rest.
I used to be blind,
I must confess.
Now the power surrounds,
The power in the music,
The power in the silence,
It’s all around.
This life is a song,
Each journey a chorus,
I stand here to implore us.
To not waste a note,
Or build a regretful reprise,
Each journey a chorus,
For each of us to seize.
So go forth with powerful motion,
In music,
In silence,
With utmost devotion.
Write the notes of your life,
Share the music from the page,
The music,
The silence,
Each beat is what you gave.

Darkest Moments

by Lynn Kuhns

2012/07/16 Canon EOS KISS X5 & Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Photo by Kazuhiro Keino on Flickr

It feels like there is a fog and everything is shrouded by a veil.  It’s like I can’t see clearly and miss the vividness in the colors. I can’t truly enjoy what’s happening around me. I can’t feel anything but heaviness and oppression. I can’t easily shake the feeling. It feels as though I am drowning and can’t catch my breath. Every time that I think I am moving forward, it feels like I get beaten back ten more steps.  At times it makes me feel numb and like it’s never going to get better. It feels like I will never be happy or feel joy again.

Sometimes it makes me want to cry uncontrollably or scream and kick. It makes me want to run away and forget everything that I have worked to overcome.  Sometimes it’s a feeling of emptiness and hollowness. Sometimes it is a feeling of weight and heaviness creeping into every inch of my soul. It’s such a darkness that I feel like I will never get out of it. It’s as though I will never be able to escape this loneliness and brokenness. It’s an incredible sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

This is what depression looks and feels like. If it’s not something that you have experienced before, it may not make sense. It may not seem real. But I assure you, it is real to the person that is experiencing it. And it’s not as easy as saying “snap out of it.” It can be a daily battle. It can be an hourly struggle. It can take away hours, days, weeks, months, and even years of a person’s life.  It can control your whole life if you let it.

Quite honestly, at the moment, I’m not sure why I am sharing this. I realize this is getting pretty vulnerable, but I felt led to share it. And part of what I am working on is getting past the idea of feeling that there is someone else who can more effectively say what I need to say.

As someone who has and does deal with depression and anxiety, I want people to be more aware of it and open to talking about it. Yes, it can be (and has been) crippling for me. It isn’t something that I even readily talk about, but it’s a very real part of my life. It’s something that I have realized that I have been dealing with since middle school.

Christians are not immune to depression and anxiety.  More Christians probably deal with it than they want to admit. Honestly, it’s not something to be ashamed of or swept under the rug. I think it’s something that we must talk about more. It’s something that deserves more attention. And it’s not something that has a single fix or silver bullet to resolve it. Each person must deal with in their own way.

It’s not something that I have been able to stave off on my own. I have had to learn to recognize the signs and triggers. It is something that requires knowing what I need to counter the negative thoughts. I have to  constantly give it over to the Lord and remember that He is in control. And it doesn’t mean that my relationship with Jesus is broken because I struggle with it. We have to rid ourselves of that preconceived notion that just because you are a Christian, depression and anxiety aren’t a thing. They can be.

It’s not something to ignore or pretend like it’s not a real thing. Many people suffer from anxiety and depression for many different reasons. For anyone else who deals with these things, you’re not alone.  There are others suffering through it, some probably silently. Please don’t let it break your spirit. Take each thing one step at a time, and keep seeking after the Lord to help carry the burdens.  It’s an essential part of the process.

Garbage Day

by Brandon Kauffman

Trash

I’m taking it out
I’ve left it at the curb
The plastic cans are full
Rich in things I can go without
I hope the animals won’t disturb
The scraps of what I’ve left behind
Or pick at those that I once held close
The disgusting filth I formerly found superb
Folks walk by on their ways to work and school
They don’t know what’s hidden just a few feet away
It’ll all be gone tomorrow when that big truck comes
It will all be taken away – each and every bagful

Photo by Paul Sableman on Flickr

He Shows Up in the Little Things

by Lynn Kuhns

864146366_185875567c_o

I personally get so fascinated by the other people’s stories of the big and small blessings in their lives that I often forget to think about how the Lord has really showed up in my life. I forget to share what He has done for me as testimony and encouragement for someone else.  I easily get caught up in a woe-is-me kind of situation.

For instance, I was having a conversation with someone about how they wanted a certain kind of shirt at a certain price and in a certain way. It may seem simple, but they firmly believed that they were going to find that. Oddly enough, they found exactly what they were looking for. They believed, in that moment that they were looking for the shirt, that they were going to find it, and that the Lord was going to provide it for them. Sometimes, it’s okay to ask for the little blessings. Trust him in the little things. It’s too easy to focus too much on the big things and forget that He appears in the little things, too.

The next day, I said I wanted good coffee. I didn’t want the same, tired coffee that I had at the office. I wanted something better. I wanted a treat. As it turned out, I had a free drink on my Starbucks card. I was able to use that to get a venti drink with the extra shot of espresso, so not only did I get something other than the coffee at the office but I got it for free. He wants us to trust him with the little things.  And if He is going to show us that He can provide us with the shirt that we want or the coffee that we crave, how much more can and will He keep doing if we keep going to Him in prayer?

Why do we so quickly forget what he has done for us and that he is always looking out for us? Why do we so quickly forget that he loves us? He is the God of everything and can do anything. We have not because we ask not. Let the Lord take care of you, even in the things that may not seem so important. Let Him love you and take care of you. Let Him show you how much you mean to Him.

Photo by Todd Huffman on Flickr

Four Letters

A poem by Kyle Dunham in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week

Hope: four letters.
Fear: four letters.
Life: four letters.
Death: does not have to be your forever.
Your screams,
Though silent,
Are heard,
Believe me.
I was there,
I felt alone.
No matter what,
How lonely you believe you are.
You are known.
Salvation is real.
Rescue is possible.
You are never,
Too far gone.

Don’t Deny Them Their Blessings

by Lynn Kuhns

Photo by dreamsailors on Flickr

The person offered to pay for my lunch. We both fought for our wallet and were eager to take care of the bill. We both wanted to share a blessing to the other person. Neither one of us would back down. It probably made things awkward for a moment with the cashier, as she had an uncomfortable look on her face. She eventually took one card, as I skulked at the fact that it wasn’t mine. I was sure to say that the next time I would get the bill. Relieved that I didn’t have to pay, sad, and at the same time feeling overwhelmingly blessed, and – for a split second – angry. It was a wave of emotions in the span of approximately 30 seconds.

Read More

Who You Are

I’ve never viewed myself,

As very much at all,

Never thought people,

Would want my time,

To be by my side,

To stand with me at tide,

Not very much at all,

I’ve never viewed myself,

As very worthy of love,

Never thought people,

Would care that deeply,

Would in times of need seek me,

I just never thought I was,

Very worthy of love at all,

I’ve never viewed myself,

As deserving of Grace,

Never thought God,

Would want this child,

Even cared about my smile,

Didn’t see my many lost miles,

Lost and wondering,

If I’m deserving of Grace.

Now I know who I am,

I am very much indeed,

Because you desire my time,

Yearn to be by my side,

Have stood with me at the tide,

I see how you care deeply,

By how in your times of need,

You have chosen to seek me,

Through your presence in my life,

I can see God’s view of me clearly,

How much He wants this child,

Loves to see each time I smile,

Was there on every single mile,

Times on this road have been rough,

But I don’t wish to change the path,

I love God and myself more and more,

Each day because of who you are,

Who you are,

Is so much more than I could ever ask,

I know you have your fears too,

But I promise each day,

You know God is there every mile,

Loves to see all of your smiles,

Desperately wants you as His child,

And know in times,

I have no idea what to do,

I will always choose to seek you too,

And when the waves crash,

As you stare at the rising tide,

Know I will be by your side,

Holding you in safety,

Is a perfect way to spend my time,

There you will see,

God’s perfect love,

Through this imperfect soul,

I promise to fill all that I can,

Then hand you over,

To the One who will make you whole.

Do You Remember?

Do you remember me?

Do you remember when?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long it has even been.

Do you remember my face?

Do you hold onto my smile?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

But it has been a while.

Do you miss the warmth of my hug?

Do you remember the way we would dance?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

But long gone are the times of being entranced.

Do you remember the day?

Do you remember saying yes?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

I will always see you in that white dress.

Do you remember me at all,

Do you even see me this time,

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

I have never left your side.

Do you know I still love you?

Do you know that won’t ever change?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

No matter what the dementia takes,

I will always remain.

Do you remember the vows?

Do you remember what I swore?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

Till the end of time,

I will always be yours.

Do you remember?

I do.

Remembering B.E. Taylor

This past Sunday, the musical world lost a legend that, I believe, many didn’t know existed. B.E. Taylor, of “Vitamin L” and, more importantly for me, Christmas music and tour fame, passed away on August 7, 2016 due to complications from a brain tumor.

William Edward (or “Billy Eddy”) Taylor was a singer-songwriter who was born in Aliquippa, PA, just a stone’s throw from where I grew up, and was one of my favorite artists of all time. He was an inspiration as a musician and as a person. He loved his fellow man and loved to entertain. More importantly, he was a devoted follower of Christ and was never afraid to make it known.

Read More

Contemplating Compassion

All we see all over the news anymore are hurting people who are in need of compassion. There is so much hurting and aching going on. Whether it’s on a grand or small scale, there is no shortage of people who need to experience love and compassion.  From the international terrorist attacks to the domestic concerns over justice and racial inequality, we are dealing with things we naively thought would have ended by now. However far we have come, we still have much further to go.

I recently did a devotion at work on compassion.  We’ve been exploring it the past couple weeks and we talked about having compassion on others and the ultimate compassion Christ has for us. As it says in Matthew 22:39, Christians are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. We regularly talk about loving others and having compassion on others, but I got to thinking: How does that translate if I don’t accept Christ’s compassion for me, or if I don’t really love and have compassion on myself?

We can act like we really have compassion and go through the motions while not really having compassion on others. Are we truly treating them as we yearn to be treated? Are we just paying them lip service, or do we sincerely see them for who they are in Christ? Do we see them as Christ sees them? In order for us to truly show compassion and love to one another, we have to truly accept that same compassion from Him. We are only giving a portion of the love and compassion that we can if we have not fully accepted it ourselves.

It’s not a selfish thing to examine how you think about and see yourself. It’s a necessary thing. You have to come to terms with God and you must believe that He has created you in His image. You are worthy, loved, and bear His image. This is true of everyone, no matter how different they may be from you. They are just as worthy of love and compassion as you are. Sometimes it’s easier for us to show compassion to others over ourselves, as it feels selfish to be so introspective. In order for us to truly show compassion and see others as Christ sees them, we have to come to terms with that in ourselves.

I am a perfectionist and beat myself up over everything. I get frustrated if things don’t go how I want them to go. I get down and discouraged with myself when bad things happen to me. I have given up on things more often than I would like to admit. I have failed to ask for help or accepted help when I needed it; partly out of pride, but also because I hadn’t fully accepted the love and compassion of Jesus has offered me. It’s a tough thing for me to accept and something that I am learning to grow through.

There are some very practical and obvious ways to show compassion to others, and I am not negating those by any means.  They are important. Jesus was compassionate to everyone he met. We should be compassionate too. But we need to accept Christ’s compassion and reflect that onto ourselves. We need to see who we are in Christ. We need to love ourselves in order to truly love our neighbors and see them as Christ sees them. This way we can see everyone for the image bearers that they truly are. If we can’t love ourselves and forgive ourselves, how are we really able to do the same for others?

Page 1 of 6

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén