“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”
This Psalm of David is the longest of all of the Psalms, and the longest chapter in the whole Bible. Here, David is saying to the Lord that he finds his refuge and safety in the Lord. When Saul was searching for David, it was the Lord that told him where to Hide, to help protect him physically, and spiritually.
Likewise, we should find our refuge in the Lord. When we are being trialed and tested, we should look towards the Lord, we should put our hope in his word. We should trust in the Lord to hide us, to give us refuge, from the temptations of the world, and to shield our mind and soul from the harmful things that we often come across.
Today I’m putting the focus on my friend’s blog, 365 Days of Kindness. Daena is an incredible young lady, and one of my close friends. Last year, she started Project 25, encouraging people to do random acts of kindness.
This year, she decided to expand, and challenge herself to do a random good deed every day for a year. She’s writing them down in a journal, and slowly uploading them to her blog. She’s a bit behind (having only recently uploaded the ones for January), however it is a fantastic project, and a wonderful challenge.
We find this mentioned in the gospels of Jesus.
“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Matthew 22:36-40 (MSG)
The second commandment that Jesus lists here – love others as you love yourself – is just what Daena is practicing here, Loving others, whoever they may be, as she loves herself. Wouldn’t the world be an amazing place if we all followed Daena’s lead and looked for ways to show love to others?
I was asked by a friend on Facebook recently what my thoughts were on whether everything was planned or whether there was the possibility of coincidence.
I believe that God is omnipotent, knowing everything that has happened, is happening and will happen. He has a plan for our lives: “for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.” However, God also have us Free will. He gave us the ability to choose for ourselves. My picture then is of God watching a sporting match. While he knows the result, he’s there, surrounded by all his angels cheering us on, rejoicing when we choose the right path, and consoling us when we make a mistake.
Does that leave any room for coincidences? I think so. I’ve heard the phrase “god-incidence” used to describe those situations where it could only have been influenced by God. I truly believe these happen.
So does everything happen for a reason? For has a plan for our lives – it’s up to us whether we follow that plan.
I was thinking the other day. Liesl tells me that it’s never a good idea. But I was thinking that there’s a lot of really bad music out there, and a lot of it is Christian music. Take this video for an example:
Take a real good listen to those lyrics. “He is like a Mounty, he always gets his man, and he’ll zap you anyway he can. Zap!” I’m sorry Sonseed, but you really can’t get much more cheesy than that.
See, that’s the problem with bad Christian music – they try to write a “Christian” song, and it ends up being cheesy, kitschy and just plain wrong. However, there is hope. There is a multitude of musicians out there, who are Christians, who write fantastic music that is up there with “secular” music.
Take for example this little band. They’ve got some great songs, and are really deep in faith.
U2 are fairly well-known as being a very spiritual group, with Bono having a deep Christian faith, but also an understanding that to get his message out to the world, it can’t be shoved down people’s throats, but coming through every facet of their music and lives.
Naturally 7, if you’re not aware, are a band that only use their voice. Liesl and I saw them opening for Michael Bublé, and were amazed. Their version of Can you feel it in the Air tonight is amazing.
And they write their own songs too, like Bless this House.
And remember, every sound they make is made with the human voice. And they’re Christian too – they’re headlining at Easterfest 2011, a massive Christian festival being held in Toowomba.
For something a bit heavier, why not try Underoath? This Christian metal band have played at the big heavy rock/metal festivals such as Soundwave, and are not shy in hiding their faith at those events either.
One of my favourite bands at the moment is New Empire. They’re currently touring with Good Charlotte, opening for them. It’s very much a pop-rock sound, but if you didn’t know they were Christian, it would sound very much like any other band out there.
And there’s heaps more out there too. Everything from Metal to A capella. Ska to Soulful, it’s all there, and it’s all brilliant. All you need to do is go searching for it.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)
Have you been to the country recently? Just recently, I headed down to Margaret River for a weekend away. We were driving, and there were no lights anywhere. We looked up and saw the stars. Having escaped the light pollution that cities normally give, we could see all these stars lighting up the sky. It was really amazing. Continue reading “Let your light shine”