Song: Katy Perry ‘Unconditionally’

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Scripture: Revelation 3:20 – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

 

If someone knocked on your door today and said “I love you, I want to give my best to you” I am sure the door would be shut in haste and words along the lines of “nutter” would escape your lips, in anger at the unnecessary disturbance to your day. If however the person persisted and you heard the rest of what they had to say, and you then noticed this individual was not in anyway mentally unhinged or deranged but was in fact completely lucid the question that would follow would be “What’s the catch?”

In a world where there is no such thing as something for nothing such a notion seems completely absurd, particularly to unbelievers…..or does it?

As foreign as the concept is in this dog eat dog world it is very interesting that people nevertheless find it a comforting idea that somebody could love them no matter what. Katy Perry’s power pop ballad  ‘Unconditionally’ sings of this exact love. The sort that God shovels on us by the ton. And the good news is there is no catch! It really is a love that can never be deserved, earned or lost. As revelations 3:20 states, the Lord stands at the door knocking, so the question is, will you answer?

Katy Perry ‘Unconditionally’

 

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Song: Alesha Dixon ‘Breathe Slow’

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Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:9

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

 

If the search was on for a picture of someone who epitomised the expression “motor mouth” I am pretty sure my mugshot would stand an extremely good chance of being chosen.

 

I cannot count how many times I have been asked the question “Do you not think before you speak?” Though I know I should engage brain power before mouth action begins, I tend to find myself speaking the thoughts that are entering my mind before they have fully had a chance to take shape. The result, as I’m sure you can imagine, is a worsening of whatever situation has stirred up frustration within me. Yet more than that, at times, I myself am surprised by the cutting remarks that are able to push their way past all rationality and out of my mouth.

 

Needless to say, writing this post felt a little too close to home as I very much struggle with being slow to speak (James 1:19). Refraining from blurting out my piece of mind is something that I struggle with daily and it is probably the reason why I loved Alesha Dixon’s pop track ‘Breathe Slow’ as soon as I heard it.

 

It has been a few years since she released this track, right after finding out that her husband had had an affair with someone she had dared to call a friend. The lyrics are not particularly profound, with the chorus being the exact sort of thing mothers say to little girls to calm them down. However that is probably also the beauty of it.

 

It doesn’t just apply to females; taking that extra breath before offering a response could make all the difference between saying and / or doing something you live to regret. Dealing with a situation as a rational person who speaks not as they find but as is fitting and beneficial to the circumstance you are faced with.

I don’t know about you but I certainly have my work cut out. Here’s to many a deep breath!!!!

Click here to listen to Breathe Slow.

Other useful scriptures on this topic are:

Proverbs 18:13

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Proverbs 29:20

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Song: Lovelite – ‘All fair’

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Scripture: Songs of Solomon 4:7 – “You are all fair, my love; there is no spot in you.”

Imagine you’re world renowned, recognised the world over for your incredible talent and beauty; and you’re on your way to a ceremony where your greatness is going to be praised. Dressed all in white and looking immaculate you are walking down the red carpet with adoring fans screaming hysterically, simply because they have had the privilege of catching a fleeting glimpse of you. Suddenly a man, filthy and distressed pushes his way out in front of you. He approaches slowly at first then picks up the pace. His face filled equally with desperation as it is with fear he opens his arms wide and stops in front of you. He wants a hug!

Would you stop to hug him, or would you be more preoccupied about the fact that you look flawless but hugging him could change that? If you are at all like me then the latter would have been your first consideration.  Yet, listening to the chorus of Lovelite’s atmospheric pop track ‘All fair’ it is clear that we are the filthy ones pushing our way out before God, desiring to be embraced. He is pure, holy and ever merciful; so in spite of constantly having choirs of angels singing his praises he always stops to hold us in his arms whenever we take ourselves before him.

Just as in Luke 15: 22 the father was so willing, not only to embrace the prodigal son, in spite of him probably smelling like one of the pigs he had been sharing lodgings with, but also to get him cleaned up and celebrate him! So it is with our God. He is spotless, so pure we cannot begin to fathom it yet he still embraces us, washes us clean and celebrates every time we come to him. Our father, God almighty calls for a new robe which is his covering over us eradicating all that has gone before, and as if that was not enough he also gives us a ring signifying his power so we are free to operate in his authority. Is it not awesome that our blemish free and holy God would not only let into his presence as filthy as we are but that he takes the time to clean us up and then goes a step further to allow us to operate in his power here on earth? I don’t know about you but to me it is wonderful!

Check out Lovelite’s incredible shoegazey track ‘All Fair’ here.

NB. It’s totally random but the analogy I used kind of reminded me of lady and the tramp and being an avid Disney fan I couldn’t resist the chance to add a bit of Disney sparkle to this post.

 

Song: Emeli Sande ‘Breaking the Law’

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Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:27 – But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

 
It seems somewhat oxymoronic to discuss God and breaking the law in the same sentence let alone having a whole blog post dedicated to the idea. However the more I listened to Emeli Sande’s beautiful ballad which she wrote for her sister, the more apparent it became that the love Emeli describes is just like the love our Lord has for us.
God does in fact break the law just to ensure that we his children are well catered for. This notion forms the very fabric of our faith, and there are countless testimonies and stories in the bible to prove that the natural order of things have been disrupted by God in order to place his children exactly where he wants them to be.
Take Joseph for example, he was an imprisoned slave and yet still managed to rise to Prime Minister in the same nation he had been enslaved in. You might argue that there is no modern day example of such things happening but then Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long walk to freedom’ springs to mind. After 27 years imprisonment he rose up to be the leader of the same nation he had been protesting against. The bible says that God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and this literally means God disrupts the order that the world has prescribed in favour of his plans.
However in order for the principle to operate fully in our lives we must as the song so rightly states ‘ignore the alarms’. In the context of God being at work and turning our hopeless situations around that means not looking at the present circumstances and letting that inform our next move but trusting that he has a plan and obeying whatever instructions he gives. No story demonstrates this better than that of the Israelites exodus from Egypt. Standing with the red sea in front of them and pharaoh’s army hot on their heels, Moses epitomised the idea of ignoring the alarms and the police. Picture it, the thundering sound of Egypt’s army approaching in the behind them, coupled with the murmurings of the people he is leading to safety. I am sure he thought ‘it’s all over’ and then God spoke and told him to hold out his staff. If it were me I would have thought ‘really?!’. Moses however went along with it, irrespective of what he thought and God defied the laws of physics to deliver his people from the hands of their oppressor. His is a love that has defied laws for centuries and will continue to do so. Click here to listen to Breaking the law.