Hillsong College has been booming with end of semester presentations and performances lately, which has been great fun mixed with a little nervous excitement. The first year songwriters had their performance this week and as I sat at the packed out café and listened to their beautifully composed songs I began comparing (as you do). But it wasn’t a negative comparison or even a “me against them”. It was more reflective of my first year songwriting self – I began to wonder if there was a difference between my time before college, last year and this last weeks performances and the caliber of songs that I was producing. I think this was Jesus – because I am not this clever – but I felt in my heart that it wasn’t a measure of “are my songs better” but:
“Am I better? Am I better at being a songwriter?”
I got stuck on the thought that if I haven’t improved in my discipline of songwriting, then, I haven’t improved. I feel the same can be said of my character and life. I question a lot if I’ve changed much year to year being at a Christian Leadership college and spending most every day at the church. We are invested into almost hourly and are exhausted by the second week of school. It’s beautiful here and it is hard. This has been the most demanding semester I’ve been a part of and I have felt stretched and sometimes broken. I didn’t address my infrequency of writing this semester in my previous blog because I didn’t want to.
But just so you know, I KNOW.
In my questioning if I have changed, if I’m the same, if I’m different but revert quickly back to the worst of me, I again felt that drop of a discipline thought – If I haven’t improved in my discipline, I haven’t improved. I can’t actually gauge how I’m doing by how I feel because that changes every time I change my diet. If I don’t see my journals filled, if I have more books to read than books that I’ve read, If I have more abandoned coffee dates than friends then I am no better.
But tomorrow, I get to start a new journal, I get to start reading Joshua, I have a coffee date with a good friend and I get to choose to believe that He who began a good work in me will carry it out unto completion. I’ve learned more this semester than ever about getting into the Word of God and APPLYING it to my life. Technically there is a model to look at them, us, me – but that’s more of an in person conversation and it’s my blog so naturally I’m talking about me.
The Word of God is active and is most useful when it is USED. Of all my disciplines I pray this increases the most.
My life isn’t about the caliber of my accomplishments but the consistency of my growth – and I pray that yours never becomes about what you produce but the daily producing of fruit and great things to build your community and to grow you closer to Christ.
This blog is brought to you today by the letter ‘P’ and by conversations with Krysia.
Hillsong College and Church is as inspiring as it is challenging. My faith has been polished and solidified in many ways, one of which is my belief in creation and heaven. This week my goal for writing was to order my thoughts enough to explain some things that are dear to me and invite you to share your thoughts as well.
I find several of our favorite verses to quote from the Bible are often the beginning of beautiful passages that we remove from their context; not always, but sometimes we do; and sometimes we miss the point.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (Such a pretty verse, often quoted to make you feel good about life when you’re going through crappy times)
But then we look a little further down…
“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” Romans 8:19-21 (NIV)
To this passage my friend posed the question, ‘what does it mean for creation to wait for G-d’s children to be revealed? Is creation waiting on US, do the trees know more than we do?’ (ish). I responded instantly but I don’t think I knew what I was talking about until half way through what I was saying. I told her that I think it means creation itself knows who the worshippers are and when they will be born. I think some foliage might be waiting for the right photographer to be born so that it can start growing because it knows at some point they will collide and together create an image that will draw multitudes to worship. I think some birds hum specific songs in worship to G-d in front of specific people, songwriters, who will notice and translate it to human terms. I think heaven is a lot closer than we think. We know that we will worship fully there – but maybe creation has already figured out how to worship fully HERE.
“All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah” Psalms 66:4 (ESV)
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Psalms 19:1 (ESV)
In Teamnight Thursday we saw images of snow being blown over the road by the wind. The question asked to US is, do we dance when no one is watching? The snow dances across the road and I can’t help but believe it is in praise to the One who created it uniquely, and not for a show for man but for G-d alone, not for instagram. Nature in many different forms has found it way to praise G-d.
If a tree falls down in the forest and no one is around to hear it, is it still worship?
Have WE dulled down the cries of creation to a human sound? When a tree falls is it because it is so moved at what G-d is doing in the earth that it has to bow before Him? An avalanche is nothing more to us than the sound of a mountain shifting and snow falling at 200 miles per hour (320KM) but is that really just the way the snow knows how to cry out?
I’ve always veered more towards the side of being a hippie and I know that… but something inside me likes to believe that just maybe heaven isn’t this far off place in the clouds but possibly it looks more like a redeemed earth. Maybe heaven looks like US joining with an ALREADY CONSISTENTLY PRAISING creation to be with G-d and give Him all the praise He deserves.
What does a redeemed earth look like? What is dirt when it is no longer dirty?
I believe we are here now in this beautiful place to get glimpses into what an environment of praise could look like. Next time you get woken up by a bird singing or get annoyed at how hard it’s raining stop and think about the last time you were moved to sing or overflow with what is inside of you. What if all the dirt on the earth was redeemed – and became soil – and we saw life all over the earth?
This is open to opinions obviously, this isn’t theology just thoughts. I’m a tree hugger of sorts and I feel like that is clearly reflected here.
I just figure if the Bible tells me that creation is waiting on me for something – I might as well be aware of it.
So for the first 50 days of my #100daycreativechallenge I allowed myself to be a little lax in what I was creating. I did anything creative and a lot of days and would also write a small section of lyrics on my phone or something. I’ve kept up with my Instagram if you want to check out any of the days so far.
I’ve decided the last 50 days are to be dedicated to Songwriting. Today I had the honour of writing a Christmas Song with my BEAUTIFUL cousin Renee.
Hang your stocking and Wrap your gifts cause it’s Christmas time once again //// Gather family and Hold them tightly it’s Christmas time once again //// Sing it now sing it loudly As angels gather around to hear Hold your loved ones closer For times like these can be so rare //// Hark the Harold the Angels sing now it’s Christmas time once again //// Come Emmanuel Come and here the sound It’s Christmas time once again
I won’t post each thing I do on here, I’ll just stick to insta, but feel free to share, join the challenge (a little info on it), follow or think through your life choices and the amount of creativity you’re producing 🙂