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You are God. That's just the way it is.


I told myself, told God, that I’d say yes.

Whatever He brought me to, however He needed my heart, my talents, my being - it was His.  I have said this often throughout my life, since my eleven year old church camp conversion,... and back-peddled some and then recommitted some more.  I recently said it, strongly, a few months ago when it came to the topic of me singing.  Bring me to it, I’ll do it, Lord!  And then I sweetly chickened out (a few times) and basically God had to stop me in my tracks and hog-tie me and toss me in - but hey, we conquered that.  Him and me.  

And since that day I’ve been wondering and waiting and ready.  What’s next?

I had a strong gut feeling that my worship minister would call me out eventually.  I’ve been sitting tight.  Anxious.  Longing.  A bundle of nerves and “Not sure I want to.”, coupled with massive, “Have to.”  The call came through late Saturday night.  And I knew.  I knew somehow it was him.

And I let it roll straight to voicemail.  

Yeah.  I’m a little slow on this “Yes.” business, apparently.

But I did finally respond, called him back, and said, “Yes, what do you need me for?” and went from there.  I tossed and turned a bit that night, but more from excitement than anything.  Would morning never come?  I was getting another chance to stand and proclaim and sing truth.  Could anything be better?

And Sunday morning and practice with the band and how, suddenly, did I get roped into a mini-solo?  No big deal.  I was ready.  My hands may have shook so hard I could barely control the mic, and I may have messed up my intro with 1st service, and I may have battled demon voices, hateful hissing, in my head - but I said yes to God and I wasn’t about to go back. I wasn’t about to go down.  I sang strong.  I tried hard.  Because  I felt I owed my God that much.  What little I have - it has to be all His.

I hear it again.  Have been for weeks.  Another question, "Will you?" and another chance to respond.

I’ve felt the conviction for awhile when it comes to owning up to what I allow to distract and own.  I’ve seen blog after blog recently, articles all pointing to a seeming epidemic of parents and leaders and teachers and friends who can’t put down the iPhone to spend time with people right in front of him.  More focused on taking pictures and Instgraming than having relationship.  My cell phone has been up for an upgrade for over a year, and still I sit here with my basic phone.  An extra $40 for a fancy phone?  I don’t know.  Worth it?  Would I use it?  Should I use it?

A long discussion with a best friend about her own internet use and we collectively admitted to using it as an out on those days (all days?) when it’s too long until Daddy gets home and the naps are elusive and the walls close in a little too snug.  We recognize the problem, just as real as any disorder and addiction - but so easy to justify.  If you got up at 5 a.m., wouldn’t you zone out with Facebook, too?!  If you put in 18 hour days and had an audience every time you did anything - private or otherwise - wouldn’t you justify the extra coffee, the Pinterest clicking, the trolling and searching and online shopping?  Wouldn’t anyone?


But that’s not really the point, is it?  

A lot of times, a yes to God means you’re willing to give up what makes sense to you.  What’s comfortable.  What’s justifiable.  What everyone else is doing.  I’m not saying online activity is evil.  Heck, hello, I’m blogging right now!  Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.  

But when grown women and grown men are admitting a problem - when they can’t put down the Blackberry when their kid is at t-ball practice or we can’t stop focusing on someone else’s life instead of being involved in our own (or we can't drive our vehicles safely because we're too busy gossiping with the click and tap of our fingers)... hello, red flags.

If we can’t form parameters - boundaries - for our adult selves and our internet and phone usage, then how do we expect to ever impact our children or instill in them the importance of relationship and service and hospitality?  Hard to do any of that if you’re just posting updates about what you ate or what sector of people is currently annoying you or some random picture-of-the-day of a cat in a super hero costume.  I mean, really?  Is this the substance of our days? Of our lives?  Is all of that more important than doing a puzzle with a toddler or reading a book or having a playdate with friends or a trip to the library or sitting in the sun and talking about how cool God is to have created everything?

And just as I surrender my singing voice to God and embrace whatever doors or sanctuaries He brings me to, I have to surrender my habits, my impulses.  We are called to renew our minds.  To think on holy and beautiful and beneficial things.  To love things like mercy and to focus on walking humbly.  I’m not saying you can’t do that with Facebook, Pinterest or a smartphone.  But the question is: are you?  Am I?

Or are these just your toys?  Your fun things to distract, to own, to keep you from getting vulnerable and real with your spouse, your kids, your church, new and old friends?  Easier to Twitter and to follow than to really lead and talk real and dial a number and have an actual conversation.  Totally old school, I know.  I mean, why not just text for two hours?  

Sad.

We don’t even care to hear voices of loved ones anymore.  

We want easy.  Easy contact, easy relationship, even easy convictions.  Oh sure, Lord, I’ll do whatever you want.  But only if it jives with my schedule and my personal comfort level.  I mean, hey, I’d rather not get embarrassed here.  We’re okay with sacrifice if we come off looking streamlined and perfect and as long as it’s as painless as possible.

I’m done with all that. 

My foray into public singing, finally, has opened me up again to the overwhelming truth of how amazing, freeing, and ultimately trust-building it is to say, "Yes!" to a holy, powerful and faithful God.  I have not regretted it.  I may have been terrified.  I may have felt like puking.  I may have screwed up and missed my cue.  I may have had plenty of reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t have to or hey, let someone else who has a better voice, a better talent, a better grip on being bold than I do.  

That’s crap.  I’m telling you right now that’s such a load of crap.  

It’s plain shameful and it’s tying us all down.  It’s keeping us behind computer screens and long streams of texted conversations and sitting firmly in our seats on Sunday mornings.  It’s keeping us from embracing and rushing in to love.  It’s keeping us from counting blessings and logging God’s goodness.  It’s keeping us trapped.  It’s keeping us small.  

We think we're being so real, but we're honestly being pretty fake.

We have fancy contraptions, but empty thoughts.  We have plenty of ‘likes’ and ‘friends’ but we’re lonely and disconnected.  We have tons of nice pictures, but we walk around feeling bad about things.  We are so public and so out there and yet we’re more hidden than ever.  Just message me, ok?  Don’t call or stop by or sit at my table for dinner.  Just send a message so I can deal with you on my time.  

It’s hollow and it’s broken and it’s plain not good enough.  

I can’t shake the truth that saying “Yes!” to the God of Abraham, Moses, Job and me is so deep and intoxicating and heavily beautiful.  I can’t get out from under the blanket of promise and the reality of Christ.  And I don’t want to.  More vulnerability, more real, more messy.  That’s what I want.  More sweat and more kneeling and more loving you for who you are - not for what you could bring to my life.  Just love to love.  Love because I am so loved.  Share what I have - voice, table, resources, arms.  Because in the end, that’s what is going to add up and matter.  Not Facebook statuses, not blog posts, not apps and games and chronic busy.  

And I’m keeping that beautiful, perfect, basic phone.  For the record.

"Therefore, get rid of all
moral filth and the evil that is
so prevalent and humbly accept
the word planted in you, 
which can save you."
~  J a m e s   1 : 2 1


This video was shown at  my church yesterday.  Very thought provoking and it matched up a little too perfectly with what had been on my own heart and mind lately... Give it a go.  Let's be honest with ourselves and each other.

And let's change this.  Starting now.  Today.



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