Archives for category: God’s love

Each member of the Confirmation class has to write a “statement of faith”—including the youth leader, apparently. So I sat down to think about what I believe, and it struck me that there are several songs that sum it up a lot better than I ever could.

You can listen to each song by clicking on its title. (I think. I have faith in God, but not so much in my own technological abilities. Go figure.)

No Other Love (Rush of Fools)

God loves us. Really.

This isn’t ordinary love, either—it’s not limited and incomplete the way that human love is. It’s not dependent on what we do or even on what we believe. It’s just there, surrounding us no matter what.

 

Drivin’ Nails (Forbes Family)

The Bible stories about Jesus aren’t just fairy tales.

 

Moving All The While (Sidewalk Prophets)

God’s Holy Spirit helps us live.

It’s as close as our breath—and as important to our spiritual life as breathing is to our physical life. This Spirit is moving all the time, everywhere—and yet it’s within each one of us, too.

 

You Don’t Know What Love Is (White Stripes)

Sometimes we don’t get it.

This song seems harsh at first—but listen closely: It’s not judgment so much as pointing out that living apart from God doesn’t work very well and ultimately doesn’t make us happy. It’s not what we’re made for.

 

At Calvary (The Link Family)

Jesus helps us restore friendship with God.

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense how the Cross works, exactly. But this song reminds us that it works: “mercy there was great and grace was free.”

 

The Horse Nobody Could Ride (Joey + Rory)

God doesn’t force us to follow him. It’s called “free will”: God waits patiently for us until we’re ready to accept Love—and the best ride of our lives.

 

All Are Welcome (Agapé)

Church isn’t just a social club: we’re meant to support each other on our journeys.

 

As Is (Peder Eide)

No need for perfection, here—God can use us just as we are to reach out in Love.

 

Gentle Arms Of Eden (Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer)

Sometimes we get caught up in debates about how life began or whether we should talk about Divine Truth as “he” or “she”—or which religion is “right” when others are “wrong.” That stuff is interesting, but we need to be careful not to miss the point:

God just wants us to come home to Love.

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I’ve been doing a “Lenten Log” on the youth group’s Facebook page. Someone suggested I post a few of them on my blog, too. You know, so both of my readers can see them…

Jenny’s Log

Lent

Day 1

When I was kid, I had Catholic and Lutheran friends (yeah, that’s right, I had friends) who “gave up” things for Lent, like chocolate or pop or movies or whatever. I never really got into this practice, but I did think it was kind of cool to “give up” something in order to “make room” for God.

Then several years ago, I heard about another Lenten practice: instead of giving up something, you could ADD something extra for those 40 days: prayer time, walks, read a religious book, etc. This is another way to “make room” for God.

So this year, I’m re-reading the Gospel of John, a little bit every day. I’m hoping it’ll help me think about Jesus and the things that Jesus did while he was on earth–and help make the resurrection celebration at Easter more meaningful.

Today is Day 1. I’m starting off slow, just reading chapter 1, verses 1-5. Verse 5 is actually one of my favorites: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Darkness can mean a lot of things: death, suffering, sorrow, poverty, sickness–all the stuff in life that really sucks. This darkness tries to beat out all the good things–love, hope, faith, joy, truth. But it can’t. The light is always stronger.

Always.

It’s been a long week for me—lots of meetings, lots of work to do, lots of looming deadlines.

It didn’t help that I was still recovering from being up all night last Friday for the youth group Lock-In (it was a lot of fun, but apparently I’m not as young as I thought I was). Then I briefly lost my credit card, the hot water stopped working in the shower, I had a wicked headache for 2 days, I didn’t realize I was out of dog food and had to give Ellie cheese for breakfast…

So. I’m happy it’s the weekend. And I’m happy to dig out some of my old standbys, the songs that always help cheer me up after a long week. Here’s 5 of them, in no particular order (and I think I’ve even managed to upload/link them correctly here):

1. Old Joe Clark by Mike Snider String Band. I ran into this guy a few times when I was living in Nashville—and now he’s a regular on the Grand Ole Opry. Naturally I think I should get some credit for this.

2. My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors by Moxy Früvous. My BFF in high school, Joy, gave me the CD of this independent Canadian group several years ago. I’ve never heard them anywhere else—but it always makes me laugh that the “Authors” song is my favorite and Joy is now an English teacher.

3. Gentle Arms Of Eden by Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. I use this song with my college students when we talk about Goddess traditions and Earth-based religions. It refers to evolution and a female divine spirit—but don’t let that distract you from the prettiness of the song. For me, it’s a reminder that whatever name you use for God, he/she/they loves us, and we feel best when we find our way home to him/her/them.

4. Suds In The Bucket by Sara Evans. Come to think of it, there’re quite a few female country artists with great songs that help put me in a good mood.

5. No Other Love by Rush of Fools. The Christian band from last fall’s Youth Convo rocks out. And who doesn’t like a good kazoo?

So, what song makes you feel better after a long week?