Monday, July 30, 2012

The Origin of the New Blog Name

I suppose some of you may be wondering why the blog has changed it's style and name.  The answer is simple:  I don't live in Tennessee anymore, so "Down in the Tennessee Hills" didn't quite work :)
I'm so excited about the next stage of my life, and am eating up these last couple of weeks at home in Waynesville, being with friends and family, and breathing in the smell of fresh air and summer in the mountains! 

A Psalm and a song have been playing through my mind for the past month, and was the source of the new blog name: 

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

Do you know what really struck me about the line in verse 6?  A sacrifice, in itself, is something you give up.  More than that, in biblical times, it meant that something died.  And Christ calls us to die to ourselves daily, and to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.  So this concept of offering sacrifices with shouts of joy struck me.  It speaks of something deeper, something fuller and more real than the brief life that we live here on Earth.  We offer sacrifices, we suffer loss of what is temporary, with joy, because we know that it is an investment in something eternal.  I hope that my life looks more and more like that - pouring out sacrifices with shouts of joy, living in the reality of my true life, which is beyond this world. 

And the song that has been playing through my mind, based on this psalm:  Fellowship Church's "Everlasting God"  Enjoy!

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