Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Rising Glory

Today at church, the pastor made a point about how the sunrise slanting through his windshield this morning reminded him of the glory of God. It is beautiful and radiant, but at the same time it makes you squint and wince. You have to get beyond that initial blindingness, and wait to be able to see God’s glory fully, to let it illuminate and light up your life like the sun lights the day. (Okay, those last thoughts are mine, but it all ties together.)

This song came to mind while he was talking, so I thought that I would share it with you all!

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What Lies Beneath

Last night at work I went to my sarcastic place.

I’m not proud of that fact. While a sarcastic me is a funny me, and my coworkers appreciate the laughs, it doesn’t leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. However, last night I found myself pushed to the edge of my reserves, and I had two choices:

1. Be as silly, goofy, funny, and witty as I could muster at short notice, or

2. Burst into tears.

I think I speak for all when I say that humour-ish statements were preferable to tears. Besides, I had already been crying earlier in the night. Now, allow me to explain. In the almost two years I’ve worked at Starbucks, I’ve only been brought to the point of tears three times (this is a pretty good record):

1. By a former coworker who would be awful mean to me when we were working alone, but sweet and wonderful if any other coworker was around. *rolls eyes* It got reeeaaallllyyy old.

2. By a customer’s story of the death of their parent. Sad, sad, sweet story.

3. Tonight. Enough said.

Now, I’m a Christian. For some of you, I’m sure you involuntarily shuddered at that statement. Christians often have a stigma attached to them: aloof, condescending, self-righteous, holier-than-thou. I hope that I am not like that. I strive to not be like that.

However, the people that came in tonight were, sadly, acting like that. The thing is, I have a history with these people outside of the store. I’m not just some random barista, they aren’t just some random fellow Christian people. We know each other. I do my best to treat them well; I call them by name, ask about their lives, and am just generally friendly to them. Friendly, even though I know what the outcome is going to be, how they are going to treat me. Not that they are horrible, but they aren’t exactly nice either. Last night it was too much for some reason. It hurt. I ended up in the back room trying to wipe away traces of tears.

Would someone remind me why I wear mascara to work?

So, like I said before, I went to my sarcastic place. I really, really hate that about myself. I hate that their poor behaviour impacted me so much that I felt the need to alter my behaviour. That’s not good, healthy, or right.

Earlier yesterday we held our first meeting for a 40 minute Kay Arthur Bible Study. The topic is “Living Like You Belong to God“, and the key idea of the study is that of “holiness.” My favourite university Bible teacher describes holiness as “being set aside for special use.” It’s not that there’s anything inherently different about something holy from something that isn’t; rather, it’s mainly how this thing is used.

These people tonight decided to not act holy. That’s fine; it’s their decision to make.

I, however, don’t think that I ultimately responded in a holy manner. Not that I was mean to them or anything like that, but I allowed my hurt at their behaviour to turn into biting humour later on.

*sigh*

No one is perfect, right?

So, that’s one of my goals for the summer. I’m going to take what I learn in that study and work on not letting other’s behaviour influence mine. By the end of the summer, I hope to be able to just shrug off customer issues and keep on keeping on. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes! As my new manager says, “It is what it is.”

Until then, let me leave you with this thought: 6 months until Christmas!

Yeah, coworkers and customers weren’t overly thrilled with this news either. Peace; out….

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Give Me Words

This song has been coursing through my brain for hours. Listen to the lyrics, and enjoy.

Blessed Sunday, dearest of readers!

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Arise!

This is one of my favourite Easter songs. A few years ago I had the privilege to perform it with one of my music groups, and the words really hit your heart hard. “Arise, My Love” by Newsong:

The words are on the video, but in case you don’t have the time to stream the song (and I really encourage you to do so!), then please at least read the lyrics.

Not a word was heard at the tomb that day.
Just shuffling of soldiers feet as they guarded the grave.
One day, two days, three days had past.
Could it be that Jesus breathed his last?

Could it be that his Father had forsaken him?
Turned his back on his son, dispising our sin.
Oh hell seemed to whisper, “Just forget it, He’s dead.”
Then the Father looked down to his son and he said..

Arise, My love.
Arise, My love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you
No more death sting
No more suffering
Arise…Arise…my love.

The Earth trembled and the tomb began to shake, and like lightening from Heaven
The stone was rolled away.
And this dead man the guards they all stood there in fright
As the power of love displayed its might
And suddenly a melody filled the air
Riding wings of wind, it was everywhere
The words of creation had been longing to hear.
The sweet sound of victory, so loud and clear.

Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you.
No more death sting no more suffering
Arise…arise….

Sin, where are your shackles?
Death, where is your sting?
Hell; has been defeated. The grave will not hold, the king.

Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
Arise….Arise….Arise

Happy Easter! Christ is risen indeed!

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:5-7

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Hungry and Broken

I haven’t thought of this song in ages. After yesterday’s post I think that it answers just how I have survived the past few years, and how I will continue to thrive. He’s all I need, He’s all we need. I’m not alone in losing my church home- there are countless others in the same place that I am.

We are strangers in a strange land. We know this when we come to the cross. We expect the world to hate us; we expect to fight.

We don’t expect to have to fight our own. We don’t expect to be hated by those who share our beliefs.

We long for fellowship. We long for acceptance. When we can’t find it with fellow believers, it is all the more painful, all the more discouraging.

Yet, be encouraged. In the end, the pain will be worth it all.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” Hebrews 12:1-2, NASB.


hungry I come to You
for I know You satisfy
I am empty
but I know Your love does not run dry
so I wait for You
so I wait for You

chorus
I’m falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

broken I run to You
for Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life
so I’ll wait for You
so I’ll wait for You

I’m falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for
Oh, I’m falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

and I wait for you
and I wait for you
and I wait for you
and I wait

I’m falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for
Oh, I’m falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

hungry I come to you,
for I know You satisfy

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You Can’t Go Home Again

Perhaps a short preface is needed here. I wrote this a few weeks back and posted it on a private forum. I think, though, that it needs to be on this blog- it reflects my heart more accurately than anything else I’ve written on here. Forgive my anger; know that it flows out of a profound sadness. –Miss Woodhouse

Death has a way of bringing people together. This past week a dear older friend of mine passed on suddenly. We weren’t amazingly close, but nonetheless his death threw me into sadness and despondency.

His funeral was held at the church I once called home; the church I belonged to for thirteen years, the church that baptized me, the church that nearly destroyed my relationship with God.

Nearly three years removed from my leaving, I found it interesting that the reasons for my departure at first seemed negligible. I sat in my old pew, looking around at familiar face after familiar face. I decided that the old saying was wrong- you can go home again.

Then the service started. In a curious blend of repulsion and nostalgia, for the next two hours I relived what I loved about my old church and what I hated about it. The music was glorious; the congregation manipulation was not. The eulogies were heartfelt and emotional, honouring of the man who had gone Home all too soon; but the sermon was selfishly centered on another person’s wishes and opinions on life.

Face after face. Person after person. Life after life. People I walked away from when I walked out on the hypocrisy and lies. People- many of whom are growing old. People- many of whom will not live to see another president. People- many of whom will go Home all too soon.

My time with them is brutally ripped away from me. My friend who died, I missed two years of seeing him every week. I missed two years of hearing him sing in the choir. I missed two years of letting him know what a great man I thought he was.

I’ll never get those two years back.

I made my choice. I chose to follow God and His standards, and not the ways of man. I walked away from the church in order to walk into the arms of my Father. Salvation may very well be free, but it will cost everything. It is costing me the chance to glean wisdom from the older generation, the chance to worship in perfect freedom of expression. I am richer in eternity for my position, but I am the poorer here on earth for it.

I miss my home; I miss my family. I miss the joy and love that flows from them into me.

But you can’t go home again.

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A Reformation Too Far

Today, for those of you who don’t go to Lutheran churches and thereby may be in ignorance, is Reformation Sunday. Having never been in Lutheran circles before, I didn’t know until last week that such a day was observed in America. I remember when Psalmyary came to our area, and talked about having Reformation day in Belarus- but here in America? We weren’t even founded at that time, so why should we even be concerned with this? Anyway, Psalmyary had a great song about the Reformation, and if I could find it on YouTube, I’d share it with you. Belarus apparently hasn’t hit the interwebs too hard yet. But I digress….

Martin Luther, Lutherans, Reformation, Wittenburg, Theses… oh yes, it all makes sense now. The Lutheran church we are currently attending changed up its routine, and did a “traditional” service, complete with singing only hymns written by the great Martin Luther. It all made perfect sense.

I’m not against hymns, but I don’t get a chance to sing many; consequently, I knew only one hymn of the nine set up to sing this morning going into the service – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. It was placed nearish the end, and I was looking forward to it. At this point it may be helpful to explain that when I say “know”, I mean hand-me-a-violin-I’ll-play-it-from-memory-while-singing-the-words-because-I-watched-Davy-and-Goliath-growing-up. I had this one covered. So the organ starts, and proceeds to play the verse once through before we all started to sing. The first few notes I thought “oh dear, the organist  is fumbling”. The next few lines I thought “oh my, the organist must be a frustrated Jazz musician. This has a little beat to it.” By the time we started singing I looked down at the hymnal and realized “oh my word; they’ve change the words and the music!”

Reformation itself, by definition, is “an improvement (or an intended improvement) in the existing form or condition of institutions or practices.” This hymn was no such improvement. The congregation couldn’t keep up, the words lost all meaning, and the majesty of the music was turned into a breakneck display of syncopation. It left me and my family speechless. I understand improvement, I understand change. This was no improvement, and an unwelcome change. Excuse me now, I have to go listen to the real hymn….

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