More Fire

I recently had the privilege of going down to LA to a worship conference with my husband.  I would like to say that I was all pumped up and excited to go… you know, like I was one of those “super Christians” who are ready for this this great mountain-top experience. To be quite honest, I was behaving in the exact opposite manner.  I resisted in every possible way.  I can’t exactly tell you WHY I was resisting, it was really just a little of everything.  I have small kids, I have a lot to do, we just got back from a trip, do I really NEED to go? On and on and on… the excuses were plentiful and basically pretty darn lame.  And then, on the morning we were supposed to take the kids to school and make the four hour drive (yet another excuse not to go), BOTH kids woke up with sore throats.  That was it for me, my FINAL and VERY REAL excuse.  Eric asked me: “what do you think we should do?” and since I was so grumpy, tired, and irritated with myself that I had even thought this whole shebang was a good idea in the first place, I wanted to say: “stay home!!”  But something stopped me.  Instead, I prayed about it.  I had that nagging and annoying feeling that all my excuses were quite wrong and that I very much needed to go.  And so, we did.  All the details were worked out, and I obeyed, albeit semi reluctantly as I often do!
During the very first worship set that evening, I knew why I needed to be there, why I had felt so much resistance to go, and why the Lord had asked me to obey and do it anyway.  Because I need to be more passionately in love with Jesus.  Have you ever felt kind of apathetic about something, or felt like “yeah I love it, but I’m not gonna jump around or anything. I mean, come on, I don’t have to do that to really LOVE something…” Then you get around someone who is PASSIONATE about that thing?  It does something to your spirit.  You go from checking your daily boxes: read a chapter in the Bible, done. Prayed for a friend who doesn’t know Jesus, done.  Did my time, then got on Instagram or Facebook, for the rest of the day and now I’m concerned for the state of the world…I mean, have you SEEN the news??  I’m sorry to say that I just described a little slice of my life for you right there!  It’s embarrassing to admit because I’d LOVE to tell you that I’m some crazy Bible scholar who stays in a place of love and peace and joy constantly.  But MY reality has consisted more of Instagram, tolerating people who I am supposed to love, and anxiety.  And yes, I love Jesus.  Deeply.  However, when I got in a room full of people worshiping and heard speakers talk about who Jesus is, who He has called us to be, and His infinite POWER…I think my spirit woke up.
I know, it’s easy at a conference or retreat or at church to have these moments where you feel that passion burning again…and then just as easily let that flame die out again.  That’s actually one of the reasons I told God I didn’t need to go this time around!  (I love how confident I am in telling God things, don’t you?  Like I know better or something…) The truth is, it is now up to me to keep pursuing Him, to really KNOW Him, and to stop letting the world (or social media!) tell me about life.  It’s like when Paul says in Ephesians 2 in The Message version: “You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.”  But how much of a contrast is it when earlier in the letter he prays that Jesus would help us to “grasp the immensity of the glorious way of life He has for His followers.”  To sum it up, Jesus has GLORIOUS life, we just gotta grasp it.  Mission received.
So now, back to daily life.  But not, life as usual.  It’s time to let Him speak to me MORE than I allow the world speak to me.  Life, and life ABUNDANT is His gift to us if we grasp it.  And how much more infectious is this if we ALL pursue Him together!  It’s up to us, His church, to show life to those around us who don’t have it.
Thank goodness He never grows weary, and if you’re tired and don’t feel like you have any fire left in you, He’s got it for you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer, to seek out a small group, a conference, or any place that is really seeking more of Him.  We can’t light the fire on our own, we need Him!  And our fire grows bigger when we get with our family and worship together!
Bless you today!

Rock Steady – Behind the Song

Change is inevitable and often in this life.  And to be quite honest, I have not been the poster child for dealing with it well.  In fact, I would definitely put myself firmly in the “doesn’t deal well with change” category.  And that’s something I’ve been working on.

It seems like there are two types of people:  the people who dive in headfirst to change, who crave it almost, and see every new opportunity as an adventure.  And the second type are those who are more like me: they tend to tread carefully into new territory and get fearful when they don’t know what the new season ahead will be like.  After going through many situations where I didn’t know what was going to happen or how life was going to look in the future, I can definitely say that being fearful did not make anything better for me.  In fact, I think if I had been able to see the difficult times as adventures (and remembered that “this too shall pass”!), I would have been able to find enjoyment even in the hard times.

I love James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  I love that it talks about the goodness and generosity of God… coupled with His unchanging nature.  Gosh, that is such a comfort in times of uncertainty.  I love this verse because it flies in the face of those questions we can ask like “did God stop loving me?” or “why has God left me?” and instead, confirms the nature of our incredibly loving Father.

Our church has gone through a huge amount of change over the past few months.  It’s been difficult in a lot of ways, because losing people we love is probably the hardest thing we can endure here on earth.  The thing that has stood out to me the most however, is the amount of joy and newness that I can sense coming out of our church body IN SPITE OF the tragedy and change we’ve been through.  I can only attribute this to that beautiful, good, and unchanging nature of God, who has decided once again, to create beauty out of our ashes.  He has given us a declaration of joy, that our church is now going to go on to do even bigger and more things filled with an even larger presence of God.  Because our God is triumphant over all things, even death.

The phrase “rock steady” stuck in my mind for a few days, and then it  eventually turned into a song.  And when God puts something in my mind that sticks like this one did, I know it’s for us, for our family.  Even as I write this I can feel that sense of wonder that God is SO GOOD that He would cause so much strength and rejoicing (we make a lot of joyful noise on Sunday mornings!) to come out of our little church.  We are loud…and that’s the way God made us

Rock Steady

There are times when it feels like shifting sand’s beneath my feet
Nothing ever shakes You God
People come and people go, there is one thing that I know
Nothing ever shakes You God

You bring beauty from the ashes
Strength and hope for every day
When the waters rise around me
You are my sweet hiding place

You’re rock steady, You lead me
Through the dark times when I cannot see
Rock steady, You are to me
I will not be afraid, for I know that You never change
You’re rock steady through all my days
You never change

Beauty for Ashes – Behind the Song

In a continuation of a small series called Behind the Song, Katy explains where the song Beauty for Ashes comes from and how it ministers to her heart.

The Father’s love. It’s something that is irrevocable and unexplainable. And so true and pure. And yet, how hard is it for me to accept it at times? It’s so funny how as humans we create entire religions around working hard and just trying, trying, trying, to earn something that is already ours. We already own it. But we still stress and strain ourselves attempting to deserve it. Why? I don’t feel worthy a lot of the time, so I’m quite sure that is how the rest of humanity feels too! The thing is, is He loves us, period, end of story, that’s it. He loves me, He loves you, and there’s nothing that could ever change that. I’ve read it so many times that neither height nor depth nor angels nor demons could separate me from His love…but it doesn’t always sink in. (more…)

I Trust In You – Behind the Song

Sometimes it puzzles me where the songs I write come from.  I mean, I know they came from God of course, but I often wonder how on earth He can use me to deliver these songs.  I remember once years ago talking to a woman who I knew and loved about some of the stuff I was struggling with.  I told her how I felt like I had very little faith…and sometimes like I had none at all for some of the things God had said to me.  She looked at me and said: “Katy, your prayers and songs are so filled with faith…I think it’s very clear that how you feel is not in reality how you are.”  Wow.  That really made me think. (more…)