Sing a NEW song...

Sing a new song to the Lord, for He has performed wonders...
Psalm 98:1

I grew up in the 80's listening to power ballads as I skated around the local roller rink pining over "that" boy.  One of my favorites was Broken Wings by Mr. Mister.  I belted the lyrics at the top of my voice while the disco lights illuminated all of the couple skaters.  

Fast forward 20+ years to my house and a vaguely familiar tune coming from my teen son's room.  I couldn't quite place it because, although the lyrics sounded familiar, the music was all wrong.  Imagine my surprise when my son informed me that the song was Broken Wings!  It seems that another band had remade the song and rather than  a power ballad, it now had a rock/metal feel to it.  I found it funny that while my son would never listen to my "oldies", he was rocking out to this song.

The words hadn't changed, the meaning hadn't changed, but the tune had; it was now a new song.  Honestly, that was the last I thought about it for some time.  It wasn't the last time that I found my children listening to a familiar song with a new twist.  It wasn't until I sat down one day, in the middle of a rut, that God brought it back to me.

You see, God doesn't change. (Malachi 3:6)  His word doesn't change. (Revelation 22:18-19, Isaiah 40:8) His character doesn't change (James 1:17).  But sometimes, just sometimes, our tune needs to change, we need to sing a new song to the Lord.

Sometimes we need a change of tune to shake things up, to open our eyes and help us to refocus on the beauty of our Father.  I had gotten so used to doing the same thing every day: wake up, drink coffee, open my Bible and read, school the kids, take care of the baby, fix lunch, do the household chores, fix dinner, clean up, tuck the little kids in bed, spend time with the hubby, go to bed and start again the next day.  It was the same old song over and over and over again and I lost the beauty, the truth, the excitement of the lyrics.  I had allowed myself to let my song, my unique calling from God, my joy in serving, to fade into the background.  

Psalm 91:1 reminds us that He has performed wonders in our world.  Many of them in our lives and just for us.  And yet they slip into obscurity as we go about our daily lives.  I find that I had stopped looking for them, recognizing them.  THIS is why we are told to sing a new song.  The words don't have to change, our calling may stay the same and we may spend the rest of our lives doing exactly what we are doing now.   But change the tune, just a little bit, open ourselves up to really SEE what is going on around us, and what had been ho-hum becomes new and invigorating again!

How do we change the tune?  Find our new song?  First, ask God to renew you.  Get in His word and pray for Him to speak to your heart, to encourage you.  Second, open your eyes and really look for the wonders He is doing around you.  It can be as simple as recognizing the gift of a parking space close to the door in a downpour, or the beautiful sunset outside your window.  When you see one, stop and thank Him.  And third, look for opportunities to give back.  He has placed you where you are for a purpose.  In your church, in your neighborhood, in your job, you have been placed there to glorify God.  Are you looking for ways to that?  

Do these things and your song will change.  Your life will change, even if nothing you do in your life changes. Are you ready to find your new song? 

Sometimes you have to dig

If you have known me for any length of time, you know that some of my favorite verses are about controlling my tongue.  My father was a sailor and had the mouth to match.  I grew up on naval military bases, which translates to a lot of sailor's children.  I can remember being in 5th grade on the playground with some of my friends who endeavored to "teach" me the proper way to swear.  Having come to know Jesus much later in life, overcoming my mouth has been an ongoing task. 

Recently I was studying Psalm 19.  Last year, Psalm 19:14 was my verse: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.  I said a prayer before studying for the Spirit to speak to me as I read and I totally expected another message on my mouth.  But God is good and gives us what we need.
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. ~Psalm 19:12-13
 You see, life has been throwing some pretty big curve balls at me.  And some of those curve balls revealed some long buried forgiveness issues.  Issues that I thought had been dealt with and that I had moved on from.  The Spirit, however, made sure to show me that I was mistaken, which caused me to examine myself and start addressing my heart condition....again.

Now I am not saying that every one of you reading this has some hidden sin buried way down deep.  But I do want you to ask yourself, when is the last time you asked God to reveal any hidden faults to you?  Honestly, it isn't something that I often do.  It hurts.  It reveals an ugliness that I would rather not see.  It reminds me that I still have a lot of areas that God needs to reform in my life.  But if we don't take the time to examine ourselves, we miss the blessing of blamelessness.

Noah was blameless (Genesis 6:9) in the midst of a world that had turned against God.  That doesn't mean he lived a perfect life, only that he made every effort to follow God.  David, who wrote this particular Psalm, was a favorite of God.  That is astonishing when you remember that he committed adultery and murder.  God isn't asking for perfection.  Instead, He requires us to be honest, both with ourselves and with Him, so that we can be shaped, molded and perfected.  This is why we must address our hidden faults, and doing so leads to living a blameless life innocent of great transgressions.  And that is what I want, even if it means facing the buried ugliness in my heart.   Sometimes, you just have to dig....