Big Love, Small Moments

  • Post comments:1 Comment

I really love listening to music. I have an emotional connection to it in ways which my wife thinks is strange. I will often ask her to listen out for a tiny little change in a song or the moment an instrument comes in which I get really excited about! Music has made me cry more times than I can count but is also something I derive a lot of joy from.

 

One of my favorite features of the music app Spotify is the Discover Weekly playlist where the app suggests music based on what you like. One day while listening to this playlist a song called Big Love, Small Moments by JJ Heller came on. As soon as it started I knew that this was an artist and style which I would enjoy and it has been a song which I have listened to numerous times since discovering it. The more I have listened to it the more I have become connected with the beautiful message it is communicating. This is a message I want to share with you today as it is applicable for the current situation we all find ourselves in. You can simply read the lyrics or listen along with the song below.

Heartbeats only happen one at a time, one at a time
You can’t rush a moment so don’t even try, don’t even try
There’s a symphony you’re missing
If you only listen you’ll find…

Big magic in the mundane
The big picture in a small frame
Everything is sacred when you take time to notice
Big love happens in the small moments
Big love happens in the small moments

There’s no use in chasing nickels and dimes, nickels and dimes
Riches all around you, open your eyes, open your eyes
You can’t buy the piece you’re after so don’t even try
‘Cause you’ll find…

Big magic in the mundane
The big picture in a small frame
Everything is sacred when you take time to notice
Big love happens in the small moments
Big love happens in the small moments

Feel the rain on your skin, feel my hand in your hand
You can’t do it all, so just do what you can
Feel the rain on your skin, feel my hand in your hand
You can’t do it all, so just do what you can

Feel the sun on your face (Feel the sun on your face)
Bare feet on the ground (Feet on the ground)
I know you’ll see beautiful things if you look around, yeah
Just look around
And you’ll find

Big magic in the mundane
The big picture in a small frame
Everything is sacred when you take time to notice the…
Big magic in the mundane
The big picture in a small frame
Everything is sacred when you take time to notice
Big love happens in the small moments
Big love happens in the small moments

Much Love,

Luke

Continue Reading Big Love, Small Moments

Here’s My Heart Lord

  • Post comments:0 Comments

In digging through some old papers today I came across a printed out copy of Psalm 119 that I had made a few years ago to reflect on the content of the psalm stanza by stanza. As you know it’s a pretty long psalm so there we quite a few pages, and the majority of the pages were covered in hand written notes with my observations and reflections on each section. I was actually quite impressed with the amount that I had written on each page! Another thing I noticed was that I hadn’t written notes for all the sections – looks like I’d lost motivation about two thirds of the way through. So maybe it’s time to get going on that again…

There was one other thing that I noticed – and this my focus for this blog post – at the top of the first page I had written the song title Here’s My Heart Lord and jotted (Casting Crowns version) next to the title. 

This brought me back to when I did this exercise of working through Psalm 119, it was during my sabbatical leave in 2018, and one of the things that God was teaching me about was the concept of meditating on His word. I had found myself asking, what does it mean to meditate on God’s word? How do I do it? And one of the methods I had arrived at was to incorporate worship into my time of reflection on God’s word. Before I’d read through and write notes on a stanza of the psalm each day, I’d play the song, Here’s My Heart Lord, using the words to help me focus on the Lord and what He had to say to me. The song is a bit repetitive, but that actually works well as a meditation, the lyrics also remind you of the truth of who we are and what we have in Christ. Here’s a section of the lyrics:

Here’s my heart Lord,
Here’s my heart Lord,
Here’s my heart Lord,
Speak what is true

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

Here’s my heart Lord,
Speak what is true

Have you taken some time today to stop and turn your full attention towards the Lord? So often we go to Him with a whole lot to say from our side and we forget the importance of just sitting and listening to His voice as He speaks into our hearts. Let us recall and learn from the account of Mary and Martha as Jesus visited them:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42)

God Bless

Graham

Continue Reading Here’s My Heart Lord

Imitating the One We Love

  • Post comments:1 Comment

Yesterday afternoon, after playing with Seth in the garden for a while, we sat down and ate some chips together. This will be a moment I will always remember as there was something special about just sitting together, sharing some chips, and being in each other’s company. While snacking, I noticed Seth start leaning backwards in a relaxed manner on the step we were sitting on. This is something which I hadn’t seen him do before and I then realized that I was leaning back in the same way. My son was imitating what I was doing and this was such an amazing reminder of the fact that we imitate the ones we love or admire.

But imitating the ones we love or admire is not always beneficial to us. I am an avid YouTube viewer and there are certain people that I watch on a daily/weekly basis. One day while having a conversation with a close friend, I ended up responding to something he said with words that were not my own. I used nearly the exact response of someone who is known to be controversial and I realized that I was now imitating this person to my detriment.

While I didn’t say anything offensive I responded in a manner that was not normal for me (which I could tell based on my friends expression to hearing these words). In that moment I realized what had happened and later that week I unsubscribed from this person’s channel and made a concerted effort not to be influenced in the same way again.

While imitating others can sometimes be detrimental there is someone who exists who is only beneficial for us to imitate and His name is Jesus. In Ephesians 5:1-2 Paul writes the following:

1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

We can only find benefit from imitating Jesus as He shows us how to live in the way in which humans were designed to live. And when we strive to imitate Jesus this is also a way in which we can know that our faith in Him is authentic:

This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked – 1 John 2:3-6.

Just as a child imitates their parents so should we be childlike in our faith and imitate our incredible God.

Much love,

Luke

Continue Reading Imitating the One We Love

“Fake News”

  • Post comments:4 Comments

In his letter to Timothy, a fellow Christian worker who was in a pastoral role, Paul wrote the following to urge him to oppose teachers of false doctrine in Ephesus.

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.  (1 Timothy 1:3-7 NIV)

It is interesting to note what Paul says is the result of such false doctrines, myths and genealogies (spiritual pedigrees) is that it promoted controversial, or meaningless and empty, speculations. Instead of making things clearer, these things caused uncertainty, more questions and arguments.

In his commentary on 1 Timothy, theologian A.D. Litfin remarks that “Such speculations were to be avoided because they did not further God’s plan, which is grasped and implemented not by human imagination, but by faith. By contrast, human speculations tend to lead off down endless blind tunnels which serve only to confuse and obscure God’s truth.” Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of that going on at the moment. Thanks to social media, we are bombarded by a host of opinions and declarations from random people who claim to have the truth. We know nothing of these people’s character, beliefs or agendas aside from what they choose to show us. The problem of “fake news” is not merely a secular, worldly problem, so much of it comes from those who claim to be Christian, or who are in fact genuine believers but are misguided.

Paul sees the job of opposing false teaching as an important one. The goal of commanding people to stop with the speculations was so that they would have love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. I have seen how false teaching or misguided “revelations” have caused much grief and doubt in the hearts of sincere believers. Now, more than ever, we need to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves as we go among the wolves (Matthew 10:16).

We need to oppose “fake news” with the Good News of the Gospel. Let us measure every word against Scripture and where we lack the knowledge to evaluate a certain message, reach out to someone you trust, someone whose character you are sure of. Let us pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit and instead of getting caught up in the speculations and conspiracies, let us ground ourselves in simple, sincere faith, having a pure heart and good conscience before our God.

God Bless

Graham

Continue Reading “Fake News”