Taking a Stand

We have been watching a video series at church that is completely and totally rocking me to the core.  I listen to these words and while my heart is cheering, "Yes, this is what I believe!   I agree!"   The other part of me is weeping wanting everyone to hear this message, embrace the truths, and love.   Just love.   Love despite differences.   Love without abandon.   But I know the controversy that these messages have created, you don't have to search the web very far to know that.   And so, my heart weeps.   Weeps for a love that is lost.  

We are so quick to get on our soap boxes and "stand up" for what we believe.   What we claim a "right of free speech" has become proverbial yelling to anyone who will listen.   Even if we don't want to listen or don't agree, we have no choice but to see the "free speech" filling the different feeds of social media we choose to use.   Love is not splashing our views of everything bad out on the web, intolerant of another.   Love is not telling people who they are, what they believe, or what they like is wrong and immoral.

Aren't we called to love others?   To bring them into the love that God has for us?   What I read on my facebook page is not compelling.   Rather it is completely the opposite.   Why would someone want to come to know Jesus, when people who claim to follow him do nothing but hurl insults and condemnation?   I know Jesus and I am turned off by it.    I am ready to turn off the social media or do some serious cleaning out of those whose opinions I do have filtering into my feeds.  I doubt He is very pleased with it either. 

No, my heart is weeping because of the lack of love.   He showed us how to love.  We, of anyone should know what it is to live in grace.   Did He, perfect in every way, accept, love, and forgive me, a sinner?   What right do I have then, as a sinner, to condemn anyone else?   If nothing else, I should be walking along side those who are far from him, supporting, loving, forgiving, and offering grace.  I know how sweet that gift is, why withhold it from others? 

Is the parable of the king forgiving the debts of a man, who immediately upon pardon runs to another demanding his money, so quickly forgotten?   The debt that I have been forgiven is no less important than the next person's debt.   Our struggles may be different, but they are all sin.

Today, I am not taking a stand on any political or social issues.   The only stand that I am taking today is the stand of loving others.   That each person, no matter who they are, deserves to be loved, forgiven, and shown grace because in truth, there is only one who can claim to be perfect.   The rest of us fall short and need forgiveness.


Celebrating Ten Years

Ten years ago a friend of mine asked me if I would teach her daughter piano lessons because she was having trouble finding a teacher that would take someone who was so young. 


I haven't touched a piano in four or five years!

What on earth could I possibly teach someone about piano?

Where do I start?

What books do I use? 

I'm. so. scared!

"Sure, I'd love to!"  And thus without my knowing it began a new chapter in my life. 

I thought this was just a short term commitment until my friend's daughter was old enough to be accepted by another teacher.   God saw it differently.   Starting with just three students, it quickly grew to five students, then six and seven.   I had no idea what I was doing and was learning as I was going.    In less than a year, I had enough students to fill the time I had available with Mark working full time and a one year old running around the house. 

God has used these ten years as a faith journey: 
  • Stepping outside my comfort zone
  • Overcoming the childhood fear of playing in front of people
  • Trusting Him to provide for our family 
  • Discovering new talents and joys I didn't know I had

I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with many students, and have learned from each of them.   I have learned about myself and what it is to be patient and understanding.   I have learned about life in general and how to relate to different people.  They taught me how to love music, wasn't that supposed to be my job?!  I am grateful for the people who have sat at the piano with me as we learn and grow together.   I appreciate the parents who have trusted me to work with each student, many of you have become close friends as well. 

To each of my students and their parents, present and past, I thank you.