Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The night Mandisa nearly got me killed

It's dark. I'm tooling along the path. Got a later start on my walk than I'd planned, and I'm totally zoned into my iPod music when, from out of nowhere, this HUGE boxer is charging straight for me. Six feet away at best. I have no idea how loud I screamed because my earbuds were in and all I could hear was Mandisa belting out "What if we were real..." And I'm thinkin' real nothin', I'm about to die!

Look at this ferocious creature! Just look at him!


Well okay, that's not really him but mine was much meaner looking. And bigger. Much bigger. And his jowls were flapping and he was barking and–– Well, it was scary. Thankfully, the lit end of a cigarette butt appeared close behind him (attached to the beast's owner) and all turned out well. "Oh he's really friendly," the guy said. Uh-huh... He looked really friendly as he was eying my jugular.

But that's the night last week that Mandisa nearly got me killed...

God's been introducing––and reintroducing––a theme in my life over the past few months, one that I didn't notice at first. Not even when writing A Lasting Impression. The true theme of that book wasn't truly clear to me until after the first draft. Then God revealed it. And He's had my attention ever since.

One of the songs I was listening to repeatedly that night is from Mandisa's newest album and is entitled The Truth About Me. Here are some of the lyrics...

You say lovely, I say broken
I say guilty, you say forgiven
I feel lonely, you say you're with me
We both know it would change everything
If only I believed the truth about me.
I would sleep better at night, wake up with hope for another day
I would love...even if it costs me
Take a chance and know I'm gonna be okay
I would dare to give my life away...

Give my life away. That's the theme God's been repeating to me recently.

On another walk this week (in broad daylight, thank you very much!), Kathryn Scott joined me (in my earbuds) with her song You Gave Your Life Away, and in listening to her words about how Christ gave His life away, I was struck again by how little of my own I've really given away thus far. And how much I want to change that.

Then as I read a couple of days ago, Paul "whisper shouted" these words into my heart,


For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.


Oh to be able to say that. "I am already being poured out..." To live with that kind of conviction. That kind of surrender. And it makes me question, Where am I being poured out like that in my own life? What parts of my life––and heart––are still tightly corked and hidden away, kept greedily on the shelf?

It's a theme God keeps "whisper shouting" into my heart, and I'm listening. I've got such a long way to go, but I'm listening. He's shaping me, slowly but surely.

Where are you being poured out today? And into whose life or lives? If you hear a "whisper shout" too, share if you'd like and we'll encourage each other in this journey.

Blessings on your day, friends!

P.S. Have you ever googled images of adult white boxers? Well, suffice it to say, don't forget to put the word "dog" in there when you do, k?

9 comments:

  1. Hi Mrs.Alexander,

    I live in Holland; and I had your book "Further along the road" borrowed from the library. When I just went to the kitchen to get coffee, started my son (15!) To read this and he was so engrossed in the book he has read it all.(492 pages) He loved it! He had never read a novel. I liked it so much and just wanted to share with you. Blessings, Margriet

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  2. Bless you for your comment, Margriet! Wonderful to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words about my book and please give your 15-year old son my thanks as well. So glad he enjoyed it.

    I'm curious.... Which book is "Further Along the Road?" I'm not always sure what the translated titles are in foreign languages, but I'm guessing at the length of that one (492 pages!! what troopers you guys are!) it has to either be James and Molly's story (BEYOND THIS MOMENT), or maybe Jack and Veronique (REMEMBERED). ??

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  3. Dear Tammy...I appreciate your openness to share about what God is doing in your heart and life! It's such an encouragement! God has been speaking to me about pouring my life into others, too, especially those who are new in the faith or not Christians yet. I have been blessed to have so many people in my life who have helped me in my walk and I want to do that with others. There are many Christians who fall away because no one takes the time to help them grow and learn. I'm starting in my own home with my children and their friends. I'll be praying for you and that the Lord will keep fanning that spark in your heart! I look forward to seeing what He does! Love and blessings~Stacey

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  4. @ Tamera Thank you for your kind words about my son. I'll pass it to him. I was surprised too, but so glad that you've written a good Christian book. So I could with confidence to let him read. I think that's important. Yes, it was "Beyond this moment". I am planning read more books of you in the future.

    At the moment I'm reading a book by Philip Yancey on Prayer. And that's what keep my busy.
    (Sorry for the language i am not good in English)
    Love and blessing! Margriet

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  5. Bless you for sharing, Stacey, and I'll be praying for you too, friend. Loved your thoughts.

    Margriet, your English is fabulous, lady! I'm so glad we connected and I hope our paths cross some day.

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  6. When I opened my email this morning from Goodreads, I didn't expect to be blessed. (Isn't that just like God?)
    I saw that I had some blog updates on favorite authors, but usually I don't take the time to read them in my hurried life! But I saw the note about Mandisa, who I love, so decided to check it out. WOW Thanks so much for sharing from your heart about what God is doing in your life. So many times it takes months or years to see what God has done through trials, joys and changes. But I do know He is calling me to give more life away to Him. As the tears rolled down, I was touched by your story and what He is doing in MY life story. May God continue to bless your journey!

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  7. What a wonderful message from both Mandisa and you! I am in my 40's and it's taken me nearly this long to even grasp what this means, no less believe it as truth. We have a daughter who is newly-married, a 21-yr-old son, and a 10-yr-old daughter and this is our prayer for each of them - that they believe they are truly and unconditionally loved so that they wouldn't be afraid to pour themselves out for Christ.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Becky

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  8. We never stop learning, do we Becky? God is so faithful to seek us out and meet us where we are. Broken and spilled out...that's my prayer too. Much love, friend.
    Tammy

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  9. Kathy, your post from last fall blessed me so much. Praying for you, dear friend, and am asking God to draw us both closer to him. Much love!

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