Whisper to a riot

The words of Dave Grohl,  “whisper to a riot” (Song called “Walk” from the band, Foo Fighters) create a dichotomy of audible discernment interpreted by many in different ways.  For some, it speaks simply of the musical style of the Foo Fighters, which often starts with a catchy tune or lyric and eventually explodes into less melodic screaming synonymous with grunge or punk music.  For me, its symbolism reflects growth from someone shy or intimidated who comes into their own and is no longer afraid but stands boldly to proclaim something they’re passionate about.   More specifically, it accurately describes my journey in faith. 

People are often surprised when they hear me say I’m shy and introverted but truthfully, I’m perfectly content when I’m all alone.  Some say it’s because I’m seldom all alone, and that if I were, I would feel differently – I’m not sure about that.  As a very little girl, I was painfully shy and terribly awkward.  In school, I hated to be called on, even if I knew the answer.  I preferred  (and still prefer) to be largely unnoticed despite the fact that my deepest desire is to make a strong positive impact on people.  My favorite opportunities to play music for people occur when I can simply be background music out of the limelight.

As it relates to my faith, for most of my young life, I kept my belief’s to myself.  I didn’t really see a reason to share my thoughts or beliefs with others.  Something’s changed, however, over the course of my life, and more specifically last summer when I felt as if God asked me if I’m willing to share my story.   At first, I wondered out loud what story I could possibly have to share, but as I’ve stepped out in obedience, I’ve realized that God has done some amazing things in my life and the lives of people around me that it excites me to share the good news.   Truly, the more that happens to me, the more I want to share with others.  I’ve truly become part of the “go bold or go home” club.

This reminds me of a verse in Luke 12:8
“I tell you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will also confess him before the angels of God.”

My challenge today to each of you is move from whisper toward riot. Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to share your story with someone. Who knows, you may discover or unleash a new passion.

Be blessed, my friends!

SB

Copyright 2018. Journey for life. All rights reserved.

Song of the day: rooftops

Lyrics:

Here I am before You
Falling in love and seeking Your truth
Knowing that Your perfect grace
Has brought me to this place
Because of You I freely live
My life to You, O God, I give
So I stand before You, God
I lift my voice ’cause You set me free

[Chorus]
So I shout out Your name
From the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

[Verse 2]
All the good You’ve done for me
I lift up my hands for all to see
You’re the only one
Who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth
The beauty of Your holy word
So I kneel before You, God
I lift my hands ’cause You set me free

[Chorus]
So I shout out Your name
From the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am
I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours

Gym playlist #8. Walk. (Foo Fighters)

Immediately following the most hellacious 3 minutes of my treadmill routine, I consider this song my “recovery” song. A slower pace, but good beat and message, “walk” is one of my favorite Foo Fighter songs.

Written by Dave Grohl, it’s been speculated to symbolize his own recovery after the death of friend and band member Kurt Cobain (Nirvana).

I highlighted the lyrics that speak most to me in this song below. First and foremost, the recognition of being lost is the first step to finding your way back. The uncertainty in the statement “I think” paints a gut-wrenching familiarity of knowing something is missing but not quite sure what or how to fix. I’ve felt this and I feel other people feeling this, and pray they find their way as I have found mine.

“Getting good at starting over every time that I return” paints vivid imagery of the prodigal’s son. The most vivid message I ever heard on this biblical account was by Judah Smith at Calatyst Convention a few years ago. Judah pointed out that when the son returned, the father didn’t wait for him to get cleaned up before running to him and hugging him. In truth, the son was probably filthy. That didn’t stop the father from meeting him exactly where he was and bringing him back home

So, too, the Fathers love for us. No matter how many times we’ve strayed, or how far we’ve gone, He always welcomes us back.

For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24.

For the whole account, read here Prodigal

A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I return

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Do you remember the days?
We built these paper mountains
Then sat and watched them burn
I think I found my place
Can’t you feel it growing stronger
Little conquerors

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?

Now,
For the very first time
Don’t you pay no mind
Set me free, again
To keep alive, a moment at a time
That’s still inside, a whisper to a riot
The sacrifice, the knowing to survive
The first decline, another state of mind
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign
Forever, whenever, I never wanna die

I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I’m on my knees, I never wanna die
I’m dancing on my grave
I’m running through the fire
Forever, whenever
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
I’ll never say goodbye
Forever, whenever
Forever, whenever

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?

Daunting Doubts

In my sophomore year of college, I signed up to be part of a Co-Op program between local companies and the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering.  I was pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, and, though the program added 1-2 semesters to my overall college career, it provided an awesome opportunity to do hands-on work in the field of engineering, gain experience and create good networking contacts.   The program was designed to have students work full-time for a company during their second-semester sophomore year instead of attending classes, then attend class full-time during the next semester – and continue this rotation right through graduation.  Not all students who signed up were hired by companies, but the university did its best to ensure all applicants had a fair shot at interviewing.  The students were subject to candidate competition just as in the “real world”. 

On the day before my interview in the Test Engineering department of a local manufacturing company, I learned that one of my classmates was also interviewing with the same company.  He was a better student than I was.  He would surely get the job.  The insecure part of me told me that perhaps I should cancel the interview, but the rational part of me told me I should interview if not just for the experience of it.  I was positive Tom would get the job; there was no way I could compete against him.

I approached the interview much as I approach everything in life – by just being me; open and honest and just myself.    When the  Test Engineering manager asked me what motivates me, I answered with the only honest answer I could give:  “Fear of Failing”.   A few days after the interview, I was surprised when I was offered the position.  I accepted, and became the only female in the test engineering department.

During my first semester working there, I created schematics for black-box testers they used but didn’t have documentation for in case they ever needed to recreate, and designed and built some additional test equipment.  I also worked on a process problem that they were having, which involved gathering and evaluating data on their combustible gas sensor manufacturing process.  At the end of the semester, I had to give a presentation to the CEO of the company (along with my boss and managers in between).   Within the first few minutes of the presentation, the CEO discovered that I was left-handed – and so was he, so he made a few comments which helped to put me at ease.   After the presentation, my boss told me I had done a great job. I mentioned that, though I was finished with the “project” itself, I wanted to follow through with the process changes that were made, to see how they were performing during my school semester.  I asked if they could continue to send me data during the semester.  He was so surprised by this that he went to HR to ask if I could simply work part-time during my school semesters; so, until I graduated, I worked for that company – sometimes full-time and sometimes part-time. 

Sadly, as I approached my graduation time, the company had a hiring freeze because it was closing a plant in another state and relocating people to Pittsburgh, so they were unable to offer me full-time work after graduation.  During my exit interview, my boss told me two things that really impressed him about me.  The first was that comment about being motivated by fear of failing during my interview.  He said he’d never had anyone be so honest in an interview before – that was the single moment that secured the position for me – brutal honesty.   

The second thing that impressed him was how well I fit in with his male-dominated department.  Most of the guys in the department were in their mid-late twenties (I was 20-22 at the time), although a few a bit older, and all of them respected my work, were able to kid around with me.  We all had a great working relationship  (some of them called me “cupcake” – LOL – that was before people got so uptight about everything).    I’ve actually kept in touch with a few of them for all these years. 

Thinking back to my own moments of self-doubt, when I thought for sure Tom would get the position over me. I could have crumbled in the face of competition, but I didn’t allow my insecurities to deter me. Instead, I just was myself, and I happened to be who they were looking for. When you’re feeling insecure about something, just remember that sometimes you can’t see the big picture. Keep your faith and be yourself Be blessed today, my friends

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved

The Gym Playlist: Back on the Chain Gang

As my motivation to keep going on this journey-for-life, I will share with you my playlist.   I am still tweaking the playlist, so it may evolve over time, but as it is right now, the song below is first on the list. Because the tempo of the song dictates my pace of my run/walk, I start with a not-too-aggressive pace – quick enough to get started.   This song is listed at 154 BPM (beats-per-minute for the non-music junkies out there) and is 3:48 min long.  For me, it’s about a 3.8 MPH.  I’ve noticed that I  adjust my stride length to the beat of music as well – this works well (at least for me) because by adjusting my stride length, I work different muscles –so the change is good in a long treadmill workout.   At 3.8 MPH and a medium stride length, this is a good song to start my treadmill workout. 

One thing you’ll probably notice about my playlist is most songs will have a strong bassline. Next to keys, bass is my favorite instrument. Often understated and overlooked, it is actually the bass guitar that adds both rhythm and depth to music we hear. That which we sometimes overlook may actually be what we’re looking for…

DISCLAIMER:  Please note, I am by no means a fitness expert – I am experimenting with what works for me, and sharing with you that I may somehow be an inspiration to someone along their journey.

Enjoy

Be a blessing today!

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved

Back on the Chain Gang

The Pretenders – written by Chrissy Hynde

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh 
What hijacked my world that night 
To a place in the past 
We’ve been cast out of? Oh oh oh oh 
Now we’re back in the fight 
We’re back on the train 
Oh, back on the chain gang

A circumstance beyond our control, oh oh ohoh 
The phone, the TV and the news of the world 
Got in the house like a pigeon from hell, oh oh oh oh 
Threw sand in our eyes and descended like flies 
Put us back on the train 
Oh, back on the chain gang

The powers that be 
That force us to live like we do 
Bring me to my knees 
When I see what they’ve done to you 
But I’ll die as I stand here today 
Knowing that deep in my heart 
They’ll fall to ruin one day 
For making us part

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh 
Those were the happiest days of my life 
Like a break in the battle was your part, oh oh oh oh 
In the wretched life of a lonely heart 
Now we’re back on the train 
Oh, back on the chain gang

Songwriters: ChristineHynde

Back on the Chain Gang lyrics © Sony/ATV MusicPublishing LLC

Two kinds of people…

When you live your life expecting miracles, you see them unfold right before your eyes. It’s like opening a Christmas gift!

With the highs and lows in life, sometimes simultaneously, we can get caught up in distractions that keep us from blessings that unfold before us.

I have discovered, though, that there are people who cannot see the miracles even though they happen right in front of them. I think to myself, “are they blind?” Yes, truly I think they are. Blind to the Spirit, I suppose.

Perhaps there was a time in my life, too, where I missed the miracles and wonderful things God was doing in my life. If so, I don’t ever want to return to that state. My desire is to continue being the person that sees miracles everywhere I look.

I pray that you see miracles today, my friend. Today and every day.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved

Blessings and Bikes

Blessings and Bikes – 2016

This post was originally from 2016, but tomorrow morning is the 2018 Blessing of the Bikes  – and my son just called to say he and a friend are driving all night from Minnesota to be present for the blessing – so say a prayer for their safety, will ya?


Last Sunday, our church hosted the 20th annual Blessing of the Bikes.  It’s an event that started when 4 bikers from the church approached the pastor with an idea to bring their friends to church. The first year, there were 162 bikes, and the town of Murrysville wondered what in the world was going on as they all rolled through.  Over the years, that event has blossomed, and is very well-known in the area.  The town of Murrysville actually sends the Mayor and emergency workers now, and even shuts down traffic for a while, to allow the event to be held.  It’s a completely free event, because, in the words of Pastor Dan, “so is gift of salvation”.   This year, on the 20th anniversary, we estimated approximately 15,000 bikes piled in – to our parking lot, and the adjacent blessing_bikes.jpgstreets, and the parking lots along Rt 22.  Figuring many bikes had 2 riders, we’d say there were A LOT of people who turned out for the event.  For the past 13 years, I have had the privilege of participating in the music for the service.   This year, our good friend Dave Smith, sang a song called “Jack Daniels & Jesus”.   I’m pretty sure there wasn’t another church in the country that sang that song on Sunday.

(By the way, I think there’s a message in here somewhere about starting a “movement” – it doesn’t take something BIG to make something BIG – it just requires someone to dream it and make it reality).

“Jack Daniels & Jesus”

Lately I’ve been trading
A good sermon and some praying
For a stranger in my bed
And a night that needs explaining
I’ve opened more bottles than I ever have my bible
This dirt road communion sure won’t lead me to revival

Between the black label and the letters in red
I felt what livin’ is
And what it’s like to live dead

I’ve taken a ride in the devil’s Cadillac
I’ve been so high I thought I wasn’t coming back
And just when I think I’m too far gone
Ringin’ in my head’s the 23rd psalm
I’ve seen the light
I’ve seen the darkness
Only God knows where my heart is
I’ve got my strength
And Lord knows, I’ve got my weakness
Oh, I’m lost somewhere between
Jack Daniels and Jesus

It’s my fault that I ain’t called
My momma in a month of Sundays
She’ll smell the whiskey through that phone
I can’t stand to hear her heartbreak
Next week, I see my brother Casey for the first time
Since it all went down
And I blacked his eye the night after our daddy died

I ain’t afraid to admit I’ve hit rock bottom
You wanna see a lifetime full of sins
Just look at me
I’ve got ’em

I’ve taken a ride in the devil’s Cadillac
I’ve been so high I thought I wasn’t coming back
And just when I think I’m too far gone
Ringin’ in my head’s the 23rd psalm
I’ve seen the light
I’ve seen the darkness
Only God knows where my heart is
I’ve got my strength
And Lord knows, I’ve got my weakness
Oh, I’m lost somewhere between
Jack Daniels and Jesus

blessing_people.jpgblessing_bikes_2.jpg

This is what 25,000 bikes looks like from the Medic One Helicopter.

Wall to wall people

blessing_people

blessing_shirt.jpg

(can’t see the killer boots from here, but they were awesome.. lol)

I am watching life unfold for several young adults – some of them are making some very good life decisions, and some of them are making some incredibly bad life decisions, some of them very, very public, and some of them very private.   And my heart breaks.   In almost all of the cases, I say to myself, (and I’ve heard their parents say), “but they were raised differently than that”   and then I remember the words, “somewhere between Jack Daniels and Jesus” and remember that we’re really ALL somewhere on that journey.   I haven’t had Jack Daniels in over 30 years  – one REALLY BAD experience with it all those years ago, and I can’t even smell the stuff to this day…. And I was raised differently than that…. And still, I made some poor life choices along the way – hopefully ones that I have learned from, and that have made me stronger.  By the grace of God alone, He brought me through those poor choices and gave me a second chance, or maybe a third and fourth.   And, by the grace of God, He will bring those folks through their choices as well, allowing U-turns to correct their course.   Pray for them, will ya?

 

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life – all rights reserved

Seeing miracles

When you watch for miracles, you see miracles. Friends, God is still in the miracle business! He has a sense of humor, and it is fun to watch miracles unfold before our eyes.

I’ve been praying for someone close to me for a very, very long time. You all know I’ve been praying for some rather large miracles. On Easter weekend, I confided in several friends that I was “letting go” of the dream because it was more important to me that this person meet Jesus. In my heart, I let go of what I was praying for and began praying for this person instead.

In that one weeks’ time, I have seen ridiculous things happening in hay persons life, things that I know are because of God. Last night this persons said to me, “well He’s got my attention”

Thank you, Jesus.

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved.