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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Last Amen

by Gina Welborn

Since last summer, I've been haunted by a Christian song with a vibe reminding me of drug-induced music from The Doors crossed with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Only problem the radio station never stated the name of the band or the title of the song. And I'm quite skilled in not getting lyrics right.

For the longest time on Sunday morning when the youth worship service began, I sang along with the welcome song. Finally the gal (Deanna) who ran the Power Point said, "Gina, what in the world are you singing?" I answered, "The song, Act of Late. Why?" She pointed to the screen and said, "It's Activate. The lyrics are up there...and you're nowhere near the actual words."

Mmmm. Who knew?

So after the fourth or fifth time of hearing that Christian-Queen song on the radio, I googled it. Or googled what I thought was it. Nope, couldn't find it. I gave up. Months went by. And more months. The radio station quit playing song. So I really gave up.

Then Sunday as I was getting ready for church, it came on again. I hastily wrote down the lyrics. Come to find out (after a bit of googling) the song title wasn't "My Lasting Man" or "Everlasting Man." 'Twas "My Last Amen." So I have a hearing problem.

Still, jotting down the lyrics as quickly as I could forced me to forget about the awesome music and listen to the words.

I could swear I have two hearts
One to stay, one to depart
This sad, tragic kingdom

And it burns me down to the core
Because I know there's so much more
It's just a pale reflection

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like an outcast waiting to belong

And while the thrills are fading
The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It's good be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope a little more alive

Everyone, wake up because Peter just stepped outta the boat!

It's GOOD to be unsatisfied?!?!
[Because] it keeps the faith and hope a little more alive?!?!

No! That's not what I've heard in church, in Sunday School, in numerous Bible studies.

I'm supposed to be content.
I'm supposed to be satisfied.
I'm not supposed to want more.

Yet I do. Yet you do. Why, though? Why can't we be content?

Read more HERE!
He has planted eternity in the human heart. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

In his book Epic, John Eldredge explains it this way: "Christianity, in its true form, tells us that there is an Author and that he is good, the essence of all that is good and beautiful and true, for he is the source of all these things. It tells us that he has set our hearts' longings within us, for he has made us to live in an Epic." (emphasis mine)

Don't you see? This world and all in it will never bring us contentment, no matter how much we strive to be content. We will yearn for more because we were created to long for something else. For something greater. Something new.

I will create a new heaven and a new earth. ~Isaiah 65: 17
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. ~Revelation 21:1
Behold, I will make all things new. ~Revelation 21: 5

Right now we're in the midst of summer. Soon the colors will change. Leaves crunch...or become soggy mush. Until the non-evergreen trees are bare. Then the temps dip even more. Winter blankets the ground and us. I'm shivering just thinking about it. Hot cocoa, anyone?

No matter how much my husband and kids love sledding and skiing (and missing school), they wouldn't want to live forever in snow. Narnia understood the joyless desolation of winter.

"Sunshine, warmth, color, and long days of adventure together. The garden blossoms in all its beauty. The meadow soft and green. Vacation. Holiday. Isn't this what we most deeply long for? To leave the winter of the world behind, what Shakespeare called 'the winter of our discontent,' and find ourselves suddenly in open meadows of summer? The restoration of the world played out before us each spring and summer is precisely what God is promising us about our lives. Every miracle Jesus ever did was pointing to this Restoration, the day he makes all things new." ~Eldredge, Epic

New. Means change. Means something different. Better, perhaps?

I tend to think so.

So today, the last day of Inkwell's First Year of Life, I say goodbye to her old self. And I welcome the new her. Hey, girlie!

We've changed her clothes (consistent weekday themes instead of varying weeklong ones).

We've added new accessories (pages, such as bios and poetry).

We've simplified her purpose ("responding to life with a Christ-colored pen").

One of the new features I'm giddy to tell you about is our monthly Backlist Promotion (which will have its own page). On the first Saturday of the month, we'll share a list of books, generally, written a year or more ago that have a common theme. The glitter of a new release often blinds us to the gems written a year, five years, even ten years ago.

Check them out! Who knows what Sparkling Delight you'll find.

~*~

Since we're talking past and future, what's your favorite "old" thing and favorite "new" one? One random non-Inky commenter will be chosen to become a guest blogger for a day.

25 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm happy I got in here early today, because I wanted to tell you all that the first poem on the poetry page really goes well with yesterday's and today's posts. It's called "Trapped In Time." I just grabbed the first three poems from my book when I saw the empty poetry, but it fits great with this weeks topics. So go check it out.

    Gina, who sings that song? Very beautiful. Thanks for inspiring us today. It's fine balance between "finding contment" and "pressing onward." We need to have peace in the moment, but keep believing for more.

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  2. The band is called Downhere.

    http://www.downhere.com/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuhZZMNtBI0

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  3. Gina, I think you may have actually scared off commenters with the threat...um... promise of being a guest blogger!

    I'm finding that our change from homeschool to public has been a good thing. Of course it's only week two...

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  4. Wow! This was exactly what I needed. I was wondering why the prospect of Fall wasn't making me happy, just kind of nudgeyish... I loved your process of "working it out" in spite of funky lyrics etc.

    I feel so much better!!!

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  5. *snort* Lisa, I was thinking, "Gee, no one wants to comment outta fear of being chosen as a guest blogger."

    Maybe I should have added the stipulation, leave your e-mail addy if you'd like to put your name in the drawing.

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  6. Cheryl, I like fall because it's a relief from the steamy summer. My liking usually lasts 'until late October. Crunch becomes mush. Then I'm yearning for summer again.

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  7. Louise, that's so sweet of you to say. And kinda funny.

    See, this past Sunday, youth worship service was entirely student led. The gal who did the sermon got to talking about spiritual gifts. She said something like....

    "I could look at Lizzy and say 'she's so awesome and outgoing, i want her spiritual gifts.'"

    I turned to teh gal sitting next to me. "So when did awesome and outgoing become spiritual gifts?"

    "Good question."

    Still, to think one could have teh spiritual gift of awesomeness....

    Nice.

    Not sure I'd like the spiritual gift of outgoingness.

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  8. Hey, Lisa, I forgot to ask: What made you switch from homeschool to public?

    I've never felt led to homeschool, though I respect those who do. In fact, I think homeschooling parents and those who put their kids in private schools should get a tax credit. Why should they pay into public education when they're kids aren't attending?

    I'm guessing the government fears if they gave a credit, the number of homeschooled and private schooled kids would skyrocket.

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  9. Niki and I were talking about blogging on homeschool, public school type issues next week within our new daily themes.

    Gina, I could actually see the video on my email in the comment. How cool is that. Song reminds me of a worship song we do sometimes. I know it starts, "The whole world's spinning with the love of God." They tend to get the flashing lights going with that one. You'd probably think my whole church was just one big youth service, which is appropriate since most of the "old" people are former hippies in their late 50's and early 60's. One older couple comes in tye die every single week. I absolutely love that.

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  10. Dina, I'm looking forward to reading those posts. :-)

    Ahh, spinning and flashing lights. Reminds me of being in a highway patrol car this past Sunday.

    Fortunately, it was for a good reason.

    Car ran out of gas. So I was walking with my three girls up the interstate ramp on our way to a gas station to buy gas. Then the friendly neighborhood Hi-Po officer stopped us and offered a lift.

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  11. I think we can be both unsatisfied and content at the same time because life is too big to contain one word.

    content with where we are in the things we can't do anything about, but unsatisfied in where we are in the things we can.

    favorite old thing: that could be any one of my friends. ha ha. But I'm also thinking about the lake I live on. It's old. well, depends on your view of the glacial age, I guess.

    favorite new thing: I hate to choose one grandchild over another but the newer one will have to be my answer. And -- I love the idea of our new 'backlist' day that we'll have every month.


    so, Cheryl, what are you guest blogging about? We already know we'll have Louise back again!

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  12. content with where we are in the things we can't do anything about, but unsatisfied in where we are in the things we can.

    Nice, Deb, very nice!

    So, Cheryl, would you like to guest blog sometime in the next couple months?

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  13. Well Gina,
    I am too outgoing sometimes and it scares people away.I am the social butterfly and tend to thrive in social situations.However, not so much at home.At home I can have days that I barely talk.

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  14. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

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  15. Louise, you impress me.

    We had a party at our house two weeks ago. Not including my children, 70 adults were in attendance. Too every ounce I had to not flee upstairs.

    I'm good in smaller social settings.

    Large groups of people I don't know....uggh.

    While I did have a good time, after everyone left, I was exhausted. Didn't talk much the next day.

    I like befriending social butterflies so I someone to do the socializing for me.

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  16. We popped up to 172 followers with Ron. Don't we get to have cake or something if we make 175 by the end of the week?

    I guess I haven't quite got over those cake photos I put up on Saturday.

    Louise, did you have a final project in Ms. Sleiman's class?

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  17. OMG, I totally forgot about Dina's writing class. Uggh.

    Sorry, Dina!

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  18. Deb, do we really need a reason to break out the cake?

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  19. Gina and Debra, thanks, I'd be honored to "guest" sometime! For some reason I didn't think the offer would pertain to me... don't ask me why...
    I'm one of those older homeschool moms... I even have a "lucky tie dyed skirt"... I'll try not to ramble...

    In the meantime, I'll enjoy tagging along with you.
    Blessings!

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  20. Deb, all Ms. Sleiman's writing assignments were optional, last one being go write your book! I know Louise has been working hard, though. And she started a blog while in my class. In fact, I think three of my regulars started blogs and at least two, including Liz, started novels. Pastor Rob, who visited us last fall, was one of my students too.

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  21. Yes, I vote cake at the end of the week. I just finished my post for Friday and it includes a pic of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and now...well, now I'm very hungry for them. 'Nuff said.

    Speaking of "new clothes" for our blog, it isn't exactly "new" but I love Lisa's backgrounds. Every single one. This new one is adorable. Thanks, Lisa!

    Favorite new thing? Old thing? Um, I'm still thinking about those cookies so I'm hungry. I'll just let it go for now because my answer will be Cookies.

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  22. Deb,

    I did do my homework during Dina's classes.Currently I am placing together a book of devotional writings.I feel that is where the Lord is leading me at the present moment as I continue through the novel process.

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  23. The new "outfit" is adorable!
    I'm refusing to think about the fact that Inkwell Inspirations is a whole year old, because I'm exhausted from working and absurdly emotional, and I don't want to drip snot in the cake.
    : )

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