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"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Steamer Trunk


For some idea of what's been keeping me so busy lately . . . cleaning.

Steamer Trunk

Memories packed
In crumbling packages,
Stuffed into
A basement closet.

Someone comes
To clear out the cobwebs
And stumbles upon
Years enclosed in boxes.

Someone once had
A steamer trunk
With their name carved in the side,
But who knows whose
Trunk it was;
The name has been erased by time.

Strands of Christmas lights
Arranged in cups,
She remembers her father
Made it for her mom.

Well, it's been seven years
Now since he passed,
Easily-forgotten memories
Are all we have left.

Someone once had
A hat and glove,
Someone once wore them to go out,
But now they're stained
By layers of dust,
No, no one wants to wear them now.

And isn't time
The worst enemy
Of our natural desire?
'Cause all we want
Is to always be remembered.

And maybe God
Made cobwebs and dust
To remind us this life is not about us,
'Cause one day
Someone will throw away
Our hats, our gloves, and our steamer trunks.

Someone once had
A steamer trunk
With their name carved in the side,
But who knows whose
Trunk it was;
The name has been erased by time.

Someone once had
A hat and glove,
Someone once wore them to go out,
But now they're stained
By layers of dust,
No, no one wants to wear them now.

Someone once had a steamer trunk.

Someone once had a hat and glove.

Someone once had a steamer trunk.


©2013 Mary Schieferstein


Reasons 4122-4196 today,

(Oddly enough, working on this as 10,000 Reasons is playing on the radio)

Counting whenever I get a chance,

Because it's not about me at all -

It's all about Him:
  1. His love is great, higher than the heavens (Psalm 108:4)
  2. His faithfulness reaches to the skies (Psalm 108:4)
  3. He has rejected His people (Psalm 108:11)
  4. He no longer goes out with His people's armies (Psalm 108:11)
  5. He tramples down His people's enemies (Psalm 108:13)
  6. He stands at the right hand of the needy (Psalm 108:31)
  7. He stands at the right hand of the needy to save their lives from those who would condemn them (Psalm 109:31)
  8. He makes His enemies a footstool for His feet (Psalm 110:1)
  9. He will extend His mighty scepter from Zion (Psalm 110:2)
  10. He will rule in the midst of His enemies (Psalm 110:2)
  11. His troops will be willing on His day of battle (Psalm 110:3)
  12. He has sworn (Psalm 110:4)
  13. He will not change His mind (Psalm 110:4)
  14. He is a priest forever (Psalm 110:4)
  15. He is a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4)
  16. He is at His right hand (Psalm 110:5)
  17. He will crush kings on the day of His wrath (Psalm 110:5)
  18. He will judge the nations (Psalm 110:6)
  19. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead (Psalm 110:6)
  20. He will judge the nations, crushing the rulers of the whole earth (Psalm 110:6)
  21. He will drink from a brook (Psalm 110:7)
  22. He will lift His head high (Psalm 110:7)
  23. His great works are pondered by all who delight in them (Psalm 111:2)
  24. His deeds are glorious (Psalm 111:3)
  25. His deeds are majestic (Psalm 111:3)
  26. His deeds are glorious and majestic (Psalm 111:3)
  27. His Righteousness endures forever (Psalm 111:3)
  28. He has caused His wonders to be remembered (Psalm 111:4)
  29. He provides food for those who fear Him (Psalm 111:5)
  30. He has shown His people the power of His works (Psalm 111:6)
  31. He has shown His people the power of His works, giving them the lands of other nations (Psalm 111:6)
  32. The works of His hands are faithful and just (Psalm 111:7)
  33. All His precepts are trustworthy (Psalm 111:7)
  34. The works of His hands are established for ever and ever (Psalm 111:8)
  35. All His precepts are established for ever and ever (Psalm 111:8)
  36. The works of His hands are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness (Psalm 111:8)
  37. All His precepts are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness (Psalm 111:8)
  38. He provided redemption for His people (Psalm 111:9)
  39. He ordained His covenant forever (Psalm 111:9)
  40. Holy is His Name (Psalm 111:9)
  41. Awesome is His Name (Psalm 111:9)
  42. All who follow His precepts have good understanding (Psalm 111:10)
  43. To Him belongs eternal praise (Psalm 111:10)
  44. Those who fear Him are blessed (Psalm 112:1)
  45. Those who find great delight in His commands are blessed (Psalm 112:1)
  46. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, His Name is to be praised (Psalm 113:3)
  47. His Glory is exalted above the heavens (Psalm 113:4)
  48. No one is like Him, the One who sits enthroned on high (Psalm 113:5)
  49. He sits enthroned on high (Psalm 113:5)
  50. No one is like Him, the One who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth (Psalm 113:5-6)
  51. He stoops down to look on the heavens and on the earth (Psalm 113:6)
  52. He seats the poor with princes (Psalm 113:7-8)
  53. He seats the needy with princes (Psalm 113:7-8)
  54. He seats the poor with the princes of His people (Psalm 113:7-8)
  55. He seats the needy with the princes of His people (Psalm 113:7-8)
  56. He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9)
  57. Judah became His sanctuary (Psalm 114:2)
  58. Israel became His dominion (Psalm 114:2)
  59. He turns the rock into a pool (Psalm 114:8)
  60. He turns the hard rock into springs of water (Psalm 114:8)
  61. To His Name is the Glory (Psalm 115:1)
  62. To His Name is the Glory, because of His Love and Faithfulness (Psalm 115:1)
  63. He is in heaven (Psalm 115:3)
  64. He does whatever pleases Him (Psalm 115:3)
  65. He is the help and shield of the Israelites who trust in Him (Psalm 115:9)
  66. He is the help and shield of those in the house of Aaron who trust in Him (Psalm 115:9)
  67. He is the help and shield of those who fear Him and trust in Him (Psalm 115:9)
  68. He remembers His people (Psalm 115:12)
  69. He will bless His people (Psalm 115:12)
  70. He will bless His people Israel (Psalm 115:12)
  71. He will bless the house of Aaron (Psalm 115:12)
  72. He will bless those who fear Him (Psalm 115:12)
  73. He will bless those who fear Him - small and great alike (Psalm 115:12)
  74. The highest heavens belong to Him (Psalm 115:16)
  75. The earth He has given to mankind (Psalm 115:16)


(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Looking Back


I've been looking back this week,

Looking back on months and years past,

Chords and microphones,

My chicken scratch filling piles of composition books,

Selecting . . . and which ones?

The best?

Which ones are the best?

The ones that touch me?

The ones that inspire me?

The ones that came from my heart?

Yeah, that really narrows down the pile.

They're all like that.

(Well, almost . . . like 99.2% . . .)


I've been listening this week,

To recordings made one,

Two,

Three years ago,

Songs I wrote two to three years ago,

Just to make sure they play

After hours of fighting with Noisetrade,

Reuploading to divide my songs into albums.

I remember that they didn't turn out well,

Polished, like studio albums,

That I'm not the best at accompaniments,

Maybe not terribly great with melodies, either.

And I hate listening to my own voice,

My own recordings.

All I hear are the imperfections.


I've been looking ahead the past week,

Month,

Year,

Trying to decide what to do next,

And it's a big step

And I have to admit that I'm a bit nervous and afraid,

But maybe it's time?

I think God told me a long time ago that it is,

I'm just too stubborn, lazy, and foolish to listen.

And, in looking ahead, I've been looking back,

Typing in paragraph tags and pasting in line breaks,

Eyes skimming words that I wrote so long ago,

Words that are as familiar to me as a treasured keepsake,

Words that came, some out of simple, passing thoughts about life,

But most directly from my own pain,

My own struggles,

My own wrestleings,

My own emotions,

And I poured my heart and soul into these songs,

And I've always thought that they weren't really that good . . .



But I'm drawn to them.

These songs -

Even the first one I ever wrote -

They all mean a lot to me.

They've done more than express the feelings in my heart,

In turning around and going back, they've touched my heart,

Made me see where I was,

What I was struggling with,

How God's been faithful,

How I still have a lot to learn.

A lot to learn.

I've been looking back.

Such grace in looking back.


Reasons 4122-4164 today,

Looking back at what I've read,

Digging deeper to really understand,

Or, at least, trying to.

So much to learn.

Counting:

  1. His love is great, higher than the heavens (Psalm 108:4)
  2. His faithfulness reaches to the skies (Psalm 108:4)
  3. He has rejected His people (Psalm 108:11)
  4. He no longer goes out with His people's armies (Psalm 108:11)
  5. He tramples down His people's enemies (Psalm 108:13)
  6. He stands at the right hand of the needy (Psalm 108:31)
  7. He stands at the right hand of the needy to save their lives from those who would condemn them (Psalm 109:31)
  8. He makes His enemies a footstool for His feet (Psalm 110:1)
  9. He will extend His mighty scepter from Zion (Psalm 110:2)
  10. He will rule in the midst of His enemies (Psalm 110:2)
  11. His troops will be willing on His day of battle (Psalm 110:3)
  12. He has sworn (Psalm 110:4)
  13. He will not change His mind (Psalm 110:4)
  14. He is a priest forever (Psalm 110:4)
  15. He is a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4)
  16. He is at His right hand (Psalm 110:5)
  17. He will crush kings on the day of His wrath (Psalm 110:5)
  18. He will judge the nations (Psalm 110:6)
  19. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead (Psalm 110:6)
  20. He will judge the nations, crushing the rulers of the whole earth (Psalm 110:6)
  21. He will drink from a brook (Psalm 110:7)
  22. He will lift His head high (Psalm 110:7)
  23. His great works are pondered by all who delight in them (Psalm 111:2)
  24. His deeds are glorious (Psalm 111:3)
  25. His deeds are majestic (Psalm 111:3)
  26. His deeds are glorious and majestic (Psalm 111:3)
  27. His Righteousness endures forever (Psalm 111:3)
  28. He has caused His wonders to be remembered (Psalm 111:4)
  29. He provides food for those who fear Him (Psalm 111:5)
  30. He has shown His people the power of His works (Psalm 111:6)
  31. He has shown His people the power of His works, giving them the lands of other nations (Psalm 111:6)
  32. The works of His hands are faithful and just (Psalm 111:7)
  33. All His precepts are trustworthy (Psalm 111:7)
  34. The works of His hands are established for ever and ever (Psalm 111:8)
  35. All His precepts are established for ever and ever (Psalm 111:8)
  36. The works of His hands are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness (Psalm 111:8)
  37. All His precepts are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness (Psalm 111:8)
  38. He provided redemption for His people (Psalm 111:9)
  39. He ordained His covenant forever (Psalm 111:9)
  40. Holy is His Name (Psalm 111:9)
  41. Awesome is His Name (Psalm 111:9)
  42. All who follow His precepts have good understanding (Psalm 111:10)
  43. To Him belongs eternal praise (Psalm 111:10)


(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:


Sunday, May 12, 2013

All I Need to Know


Note to self:

When the homework pile waxes and sleep wanes,

When rooms feel utterly empty,

When long good-byes aren't long enough,

When part of me stays and part of me leaves,

When he pokes my exhausted body during my nap just to annoy me,

When all I say is misunderstood,

When the state of my hair is a reflection of the state of my heart

And there just aren't enough hours in a day,

And, for whatever reason, there just aren't meant to be.

Slow.

Breathe.

Ponder.

Read.
"Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD." (Psalm 107:43, NIV)
"The loving deeds of the LORD" . . .

"Loving deeds" . . .

His deeds are loving.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Yes,

At this moment,

This is all I need to know.


Reasons 4010-4121 today,

Still counting,

Holding on to all I really need to know -

Him:

  1. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make those who despised the pleasant land fall in the wilderness (Psalm 106:24-26)
  2. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make the descendants of those who despised the pleasant land fall among the nations (Psalm 106:24-27)
  3. He swore with uplifted hand that he would scatter the descendants of those who despised the pleasant land throughout the lands (Psalm 106:24-27)
  4. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make those who did not believe His promise fall in the wilderness (Psalm 106:24-26)
  5. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make the descendants of those who did not believe His promise fall among the nations (Psalm 106:24-27)
  6. He swore with uplifted hand that he would scatter the descendants of those who did not believe His promise throughout the lands (Psalm 106:24-27)
  7. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make those who grumbled in their tents fall in the wilderness (Psalm 106:25-26)
  8. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make the descendants of those who grumbled in their tents fall among the nations (Psalm 106:25-27)
  9. He swore with uplifted hand that he would scatter the descendants of those who grumbled in their tents throughout the lands (Psalm 106:25-27)
  10. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make those who did not obey Him fall in the wilderness (Psalm 106:25-26)
  11. He swore with uplifted hand that he would make the descendants of those who did not obey Him fall among the nations (Psalm 106:25-27)
  12. He swore with uplifted hand that he would scatter the descendants of those who did not obey Him throughout the lands (Psalm 106:25-27)
  13. His anger is aroused by the wicked deeds of those who yoke themselves to the Baal of Peor (Psalm 106:28-29)
  14. His anger is aroused by the wicked deeds of those who eat sacrifices offered to lifeless gods (Psalm 106:28-29)
  15. A plague breaks out among those who arouse His anger by their wicked deeds (Psalm 106:29)
  16. He is angered by rebellion against His Spirit (Psalm 106:32-33)
  17. He is angry with His people because they did not destroy the peoples as He had commanded them (Psalm 106:34-40)
  18. He abhors His inheritance because they did not destroy the peoples as He had commanded them (Psalm 106:34-40)
  19. He is angry with His people because they mingled with the nations (Psalm 106:35-40)
  20. He abhors His inheritance because they mingled with the nations (Psalm 106:35-40)
  21. He is angry with His people because they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs (Psalm 106:35-40)
  22. He abhors His inheritance because they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs (Psalm 106:35-40)
  23. He is angry with His people because they worshiped the idols of the nations (Psalm 106:35-40)
  24. He abhors His inheritance because they worshiped the idols of the nations (Psalm 106:35-40)
  25. He is angry with His people because they worshiped the idols of the nations, which became a snare to them (Psalm 106:35-40)
  26. He abhors His inheritance because they worshiped the idols of the nations, which became a snare to them (Psalm 106:35-40)
  27. He is angry with His people because they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods (Psalm 106:37-40)
  28. He abhors His inheritance because they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods (Psalm 106:37-40)
  29. He is angry with His people because they shed innocent blood (Psalm 106:38-40)
  30. He abhors His inheritance because they shed innocent blood (Psalm 106:38-40)
  31. He is angry with His people because they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters (Psalm 106:38-40)
  32. He abhors His inheritance because they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters (Psalm 106:38-40)
  33. He is angry with His people because they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan (Psalm 106:38-40)
  34. He abhors His inheritance because they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan (Psalm 106:38-40)
  35. He is angry with His people because they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood (Psalm 106:38-40)
  36. He abhors His inheritance because they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood (Psalm 106:38-40)
  37. He is angry with His people because they defiled themselves by what they did (Psalm 106:39-40)
  38. He abhors His inheritance because they defiled themselves by what they did (Psalm 106:39-40)
  39. He is angry with His people because they prostituted themselves by their deeds (Psalm 106:39-40)
  40. He abhors His inheritance because they prostituted themselves by their deeds (Psalm 106:39-40)
  41. He gave His people into the hands of the nations (Psalm 106:40-41)
  42. He gave His people into the hands of the nations, and their foes ruled over them (Psalm 106:40-41)
  43. Many times He delivered His people (Psalm 106:43)
  44. Many times He delivered His people, but they were bent on rebellion (Psalm 106:43)
  45. Many times He delivered His people, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin (Psalm 106:43)
  46. He takes note of His people's distress (Psalm 106:44)
  47. He takes note of His people's distress, though they are bent on rebellion and wasting away in their sin (Psalm 106:43-44)
  48. He takes note of His peoples' distress when he hears their cry (Psalm 106:44)
  49. For His people's sake He remembers His covenant (Psalm 106:45)
  50. For His people's sake He remembers His covenant and out of His great love He relents (Psalm 106:45)
  51. He causes all who hold His people captive to show them mercy (Psalm 106:46)
  52. He redeems from the hand of the foe (Psalm 107:2)
  53. He gathers from the lands (Psalm 107:3)
  54. He gathers from the lands, from east and west, from north and south (Psalm 107:3)
  55. He delivers from their distress those who cry out to Him in trouble (Psalm 107:6)
  56. He leads His people by a straight way (Psalm 107:7)
  57. He leads His people to a city where they can settle (Psalm 107:7)
  58. His deeds for mankind are wonderful (Psalm 107:8)
  59. He satisfies the thirsty (Psalm 107:9)
  60. He fills the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9)
  61. Some sit in darkness because they rebel against His commands (Psalm 107:10-11)
  62. Some sit in darkness because they despise the plans of the Most High (Psalm 107:10-11)
  63. Some sit in utter darkness because they rebel against His commands (Psalm 107:10-11)
  64. Some sit in utter darkness because they despise the plans of the Most High (Psalm 107:10-11)
  65. Some are prisoners, suffering in iron chains because they rebel against His commands (Psalm 107:10-11)
  66. Some are prisoners, suffering in iron chains because they despise the plans of the Most High (Psalm 107:10-11)
  67. He subjects those who rebel against His commands to bitter labor (Psalm 107:11-12)
  68. He subjects those who despise His plans to bitter labor (Psalm 107:11-12)
  69. Those who rebel against His commands stumble, and there is no one there to help (Psalm 107:11-12)
  70. Those who despise His plans stumble, and there is no one there to help (Psalm 107:11-12)
  71. Those who rebelled against His commands cry out to Him in their trouble, and He saves them from their distress (Psalm 107:11-13)
  72. Those who despised His plans cry out to Him in their trouble, and He saves them from their distress (Psalm 107:11-13)
  73. Those who rebelled against His commands cry out to Him in their trouble, and He brings them out of darkness (Psalm 107:11-14)
  74. Those who despised His plans cry out to Him in their trouble, and He brings them out of darkness (Psalm 107:11-14)
  75. Those who rebelled against His commands cry out to Him in their trouble, and He brings them out of the utter darkness (Psalm 107:11-14)
  76. Those who despised His plans cry out to Him in their trouble, and He brings them out of the utter darkness (Psalm 107:11-14)
  77. Those who rebelled against His commands cry out to Him in their trouble, and He breaks away their chains (Psalm 107:11-14)
  78. Those who despised His plans cry out to Him in their trouble, and He breaks away their chains (Psalm 107:11-14)
  79. He breaks down gates of bronze (Psalm 107:16)
  80. He cuts through bars of iron (Psalm 107:16)
  81. Those who cry to Him in their trouble, He saves from their distress (Psalm 107:19)
  82. He sends out His word and heals those who cry to Him in their trouble (Psalm 107:19-20)
  83. He rescues from the grave those who cry to Him in their trouble (Psalm 107:19-20)
  84. His deeds in the deep are wonderful (Psalm 107:24)
  85. He speaks and stirs up a tempest (Psalm 107:25)
  86. He speaks and stirs up a tempest that lifts high the waves (Psalm 107:25)
  87. Those who cry out to Him in their trouble, He brings out of their distress (Psalm 107:28)
  88. He stills the storm to a whisper (Psalm 107:29)
  89. He stills the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea are hushed (Psalm 107:29)
  90. He guides those who cry out to Him in their trouble to their desired haven (Psalm 107:28-30)
  91. He turns rivers into a desert (Psalm 107:33)
  92. He turns flowing springs into thirsty ground (Psalm 107:33)
  93. He turns fruitful land into a salt waste (Psalm 107:33-34)
  94. He turns rivers into a desert because of the wickedness of those who live there (Psalm 107:33)
  95. He turns flowing springs into thirsty ground because of the wickedness of those who live there (Psalm 107:33)
  96. He turns fruitful land into a salt waste because of the wickedness of those who live there (Psalm 107:33-34)
  97. He turns the desert into pools of water (Psalm 107:35)
  98. He turns the parched ground into flowering springs (Psalm 107:35)
  99. He brings the hungry to live where He turned the desert into pools of water (Psalm 107:35-36)
  100. He brings the hungry to live where He turned the parched ground into flowing springs (Psalm 107:35-36)
  101. He blesses the hungry He brought to live where he turned the desert into pools of water (Psalm 107:35-38)
  102. He blesses the hungry He brought to live where he turned the parched ground into flowing springs (Psalm 107:35-38)
  103. He blesses the hungry He brought to live where he turned the desert into pools of water, and their numbers greatly increase (Psalm 107:35-38)
  104. He blesses the hungry He brought to live where he turned the parched ground into flowing springs, and their numbers greatly increase (Psalm 107:35-38)
  105. He does not let the herds of the hungry He brought to live where he turned the desert into pools of water diminish(Psalm 107:35-38)
  106. He does not let the herds of the hungry He brought to live where he turned the parched ground into flowing springs diminish (Psalm 107:35-38)
  107. He pours contempt on nobles (Psalm 107:40)
  108. He made the hungry He brought to live where he turned the desert into pools of water wander in a trackless waste (Psalm 107:35-40)
  109. He made the hungry He brought to live where he turned the parched ground into flowing springs wander in a trackless waste (Psalm 107:35-40)
  110. He lifts the needy out of their affliction (Psalm 107:41)
  111. He increases the families of the needy like flocks (Psalm 107:41)
  112. His deeds are loving (Psalm 107:43)


(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:


Sunday, May 5, 2013

In Case You Were Wondering if I Was Still Alive . . .


Hello, friend!

I know it's been awhile.

My fault.

These last two weeks were so busy it was difficult to find a second to breathe.

A little better lately, since Thursday.


I don't have anything extremely profound to write at the moment,

But I do have something to share with you,

Maybe a few words to offer a glimpse into the mind of the songwriter.

I spent almost the entirety of last weekend writing a lengthy paper applying theory to reality,

The specific "reality" being "charitable contributions".

I chose to focus on human trafficking.


After an entire day of writing a paper applying this theory to the issue of human trafficking,

I finally sat in my room,

At about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning,

Opened my composition book

And stared at a blank page for a long time.

I think this is called writer's block.

I just couldn't think of anything to write about.

After sitting like that for several minutes,

It occurred to me that I could write about human trafficking.

And I kept staring at the paper.

See, I've tried writing about this before,

And most of my previous attempts were relatively unsuccessful.

It's just such a difficult topic to handle.

I didn't think I'd be able to write anything decent at 2 A.M.

I wrote anyway.

And I couldn't fall asleep because I thought that maybe this was actually a little bit good,

And how would I record it,

What would the accompaniment sound like?

I shared,

I rewrote,

Shared again,

Rewrote again.

I changed the second verse two times,

Almost entirely rewriting it in both cases.

Thursday, I sat down at a piano,

A friend (who is much more talented than I am) came in with his guitar,

And we worked on it for two hours.

By the end, we were both in agreement, that,

If this ever were recorded,

It would sound sweet.


So, much of it has been crazy and fun.

Other times, I wonder how I can actually sing this?

When I wrote it, I didn't think I'd be able to.

The first time I sang it, my voice caught a bit, and I was close to tears for a fraction of a second,

But after that I was pretty much fine.

It makes me wonder why my heart's so hard,

Why I care so little,

Why I'm so detached from the suffering of others.

I know there are actual reasons,

Primarily my lack of understanding,

The inability of my imagination to get anywhere near reality,

But, still . . .

Sometimes I think I write the emotions I can't feel

(Or can't feel as well as I'd like to)

In the hopes that the music will help me to feel them.


Anyway, that was my rant about songwriting.

If you'd care to read? (And/or share thoughts?  Comments & criticisms always welcome.)

Hope Now

She looks at the man who rules her life,
Knowing he doesn't care that she's screaming inside,
She's an object, and his for the taking.

She wishes that it was all a dream,
But this nightmare's as real as it seems,
Day after day, her heart is breaking.

And where is hope?
Where is hope now?
Where is hope?
Where is hope now?

He looks down at the rice running through his hands,
Seeing all his dreams slipping from his grasp,
He's an animal, working for another's gain.

He thinks of years spent trying to pay his debt,
The long hours and nights of little rest,
But he's no closer, feels caught and he can't escape.

And where is hope?
Where is hope now?
Where is hope?
Where is hope now?

If I believe
That this is wrong
I must believe
That there is a Reason.

And if the Reason's Him,
And He is Just,
Then their suffering is mine
And I am taking this fight up,

'Cause it's already been won,
Oh, it's already been won,
It's already been won,
He's already won.

And He is hope.
He is hope now.
He is hope,
It's time for me to live it out,
Time for me to live hope out,
'Cause He is hope now,
He is hope now,
He is hope now.

(fade out, choir fades in clapping on offbeats)
He is hope,
He is hope now.
He is hope,
He is hope now.


Reasons 3782-4009 today,

Still counting

In the hopes that this will keep changing my heart

And drawing me to love Him (and others) a little more like I ought:

  1. He is God (Psalm 100:3)
  2. It is He who made us (Psalm 100:3)
  3. We are His (Psalm 100:3)
  4. We are His people (Psalm 100:3)
  5. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3)
  6. His faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5)
  7. His people's days vanish like smoke because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  8. His people's days vanish like smoke, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  9. His people's bones burn like glowing embers because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  10. His people's bones burn like glowing embers, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  11. His people's hearts are blighted and withered like grass because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  12. His people's hearts are blighted and withered like grass, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  13. His people forget to eat their food because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  14. His people forget to eat their food, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  15. His people groan aloud in their distress because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  16. His people groan aloud in their distress, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  17. His people are reduced to skin and bones because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  18. His people are reduced to skin and bones, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  19. His people are like a desert owl because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  20. His people are like a desert owl, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  21. His people are like an owl among the ruins because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  22. His people are like an owl among the ruins, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  23. His people lie awake because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  24. His people lie awake, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  25. His people have become like a bird alone on a roof because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  26. His people have become like a bird alone on a roof, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  27. All day long, His people's enemies taunt them because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  28. All day long, His people's enemies taunt them, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  29. All day long, those who rail against His people use His people's name as a curse because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  30. All day long, those who rail against His people use His people's name as a curse, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  31. His people eat ashes as their food because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  32. His people eat ashes as their food, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  33. His people mingle their drink with tears because of His great wrath (Psalm 102:1-10)
  34. His people mingle their drink with tears, for He has taken them up and thrown them aside (Psalm 102:1-10)
  35. He sits enthroned forever (Psalm 102:12)
  36. His renown endures through all generations (Psalm 102:12)
  37. He will arise and have compassion on Zion (Psalm 102:12)
  38. He will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her (Psalm 102:12)
  39. He will arise and have compassion on Zion, for the appointed time has come (Psalm 102:12)
  40. The nations will fear His Name (Psalm 102:15)
  41. All the kings of the earth will revere His Glory (Psalm 102:15)
  42. He will rebuild Zion (Psalm 102:16)
  43. He will appear in His Glory (Psalm 102:16)
  44. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute (Psalm 102:17)
  45. He will not despise the plea of the destitute (Psalm 102:17)
  46. He looked down from His sanctuary on high to hear the groans of prisoners (Psalm 102:19-20)
  47. From heaven He viewed the earth to hear the groans of prisoners (Psalm 102:19-20)
  48. He looked down from His sanctuary on high to release those condemned to death (Psalm 102:19-20)
  49. From heaven He viewed the earth to release those condemned to death (Psalm 102:19-20)
  50. His Name will be declared in Zion (Psalm 102:21)
  51. His praise will be declared in Jerusalem (Psalm 102:21)
  52. His Name will be declared in Zion when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship Him (Psalm 102:21-22)
  53. His praise will be declared in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship Him (Psalm 102:21-22)
  54. His years go on through all generations (Psalm 102:24)
  55. In the beginning He laid the foundations of the earth (Psalm 102:25)
  56. The heavens are the work of His hands (Psalm 102:25)
  57. The foundations of the earth will perish, but He remains (Psalm 102:25-26)
  58. The heavens will perish, but He remains (Psalm 102:25-26)
  59. The foundations of the earth will wear out like a garment; like clothing He will change them and they will be discarded (Psalm 102:25-26)
  60. The heavens will wear out like a garment; like clothing He will change them and they will be discarded (Psalm 102:25-26)
  61. He remains the same (Psalm 102:27)
  62. His years will never end (Psalm 102:27)
  63. The children of His servants will live in His presence (Psalm 102:28)
  64. The descendants of the children of His servants will be established before Him (Psalm 102:28)
  65. He forgives all His people's sins (Psalm 103:3)
  66. He heals all His people's diseases (Psalm 103:3)
  67. He redeems His people's lives from the pit (Psalm 103:4)
  68. He crowns His people with love (Psalm 103:4)
  69. He crowns His people with compassion (Psalm 103:4)
  70. He satisfies His people's desires with good things (Psalm 103:5)
  71. He satisfies His people's desires with good things so that their youth is renewed like the eagle's (Psalm 103:5)
  72. He works righteousness for all the oppressed (Psalm 103:6)
  73. He works justice for all the oppressed (Psalm 103:6)
  74. He made known His ways to Moses (Psalm 103:7)
  75. He made known His deeds to the people of Israel (Psalm 103:7)
  76. He is compassionate and gracious (Psalm 103:8)
  77. He is slow to anger, abounding in love (Psalm 103:8)
  78. He will not always accuse (Psalm 103:9)
  79. He will not harbor His anger forever (Psalm 103:9)
  80. He does not treat His people as their sins deserve (Psalm 103:10)
  81. He does not repay His people according to their iniquities (Psalm103:10)
  82. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him (Psalm 103:11)
  83. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed His people's transgressions from them (Psalm 103:12)
  84. As a father has compassion on his children, so He has compassion on those who fear Him (Psalm 103:13)
  85. He knows how people are formed (Psalm 103:14)
  86. He remembers that people are dust (Psalm 103:14)
  87. From everlasting to everlasting His love is with those who fear Him (Psalm 103:17)
  88. From everlasting to everlasting His love is with the children's children of those who fear Him (Psalm 103:17)
  89. From everlasting to everlasting His love is with those who keep His covenant (Psalm 103:17-18)
  90. From everlasting to everlasting His love is with those who remember to obey His precepts (Psalm 103:17-18)
  91. He has established His throne in heaven (Psalm 103:19)
  92. His kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19)
  93. The angels do His bidding (Psalm 103:20)
  94. The mighty ones do His bidding (Psalm 103:20)
  95. The angels obey His word (Psalm 103:20)
  96. The mighty ones obey His word (Psalm 103:20)
  97. His servants do His will (Psalm 103:21)
  98. He is very great (Psalm 104:1)
  99. He is clothed with splendor (Psalm 104:1)
  100. He is clothed with majesty (Psalm 104:1)
  101. He wraps Himself in light (Psalm 104:2)
  102. He wraps Himself in light as with a garment (Psalm 104:2)
  103. He stretches out the heavens like a tent (Psalm 104:2)
  104. He lays the beams of His upper chambers on their waters (Psalm 104:3)
  105. He makes the clouds His chariot (Psalm 104:3)
  106. He rides on the wings of the wind (Psalm 104:3)
  107. He makes winds His messengers (Psalm 104:4)
  108. He makes flames of fire His servants (Psalm 104:4)
  109. He set the earth on its foundations (Psalm 104:5)
  110. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved (Psalm 104:5)
  111. He covered the earth with the watery depths (Psalm 104:5-6)
  112. He covered the earth with the watery depths as with a garment (Psalm 104:5-6)
  113. He covered the earth with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains (Psalm 104:5-6)
  114. At His rebuke the waters fled (Psalm 104:7)
  115. At the sound of His thunder the waters took to flight (Psalm 104:7)
  116. The waters flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place He assigned for them (Psalm 104:7-8)
  117. He set a boundary the waters cannot cross (Psalm 104:7-9)
  118. He set a boundary the waters cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth (Psalm 104:7-9)
  119. He makes springs pour water into the ravines (Psalm 104:10)
  120. He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains (Psalm 104:10)
  121. He waters the mountains from His upper chambers (Psalm 104:13)
  122. The land is satisfied by the fruit of His work (Psalm 104:13)
  123. He makes grass grow for the cattle (Psalm 104:14)
  124. He makes plants for people to cultivate (Psalm 104:14)
  125. He makes plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth (Psalm 104:14)
  126. He makes wine that gladdens human hearts (Psalm 104:14-15)
  127. He makes oil to make human faces shine (Psalm 104:14-15)
  128. He makes bread that sustains human hearts (Psalm 104:14-15)
  129. His trees are well watered (Psalm 104:16)
  130. The cedars of Lebanon that He planted are well watered (Psalm 104:16)
  131. He made the moon to mark the seasons (Psalm 104:19)
  132. He made the sun know when to go down (Psalm 104:19)
  133. He brings darkness (Psalm 104:20)
  134. He brings darkness, it becomes night (Psalm 104:20)
  135. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from Him (Psalm 104:21)
  136. His works are so many! (Psalm 104:24)
  137. In wisdom He made all His works (Psalm 104:24)
  138. The earth is full of His creatures (Psalm 104:24)
  139. He formed the Leviathan to frolic in the sea (Psalm 104:25-26)
  140. All creatures look to Him (Psalm 104:27)
  141. All creatures look to Him to give them their food at the proper time (Psalm 104:27)
  142. When He gives all creatures their food, they gather it up (Psalm 104:27-28)
  143. When He opens His hand, all creatures are satisfied with good things (Psalm 104:27-28)
  144. When He hides His face, all creatures are terrified (Psalm 104:27-29)
  145. When He takes away His breath, all creatures die and return to the dust (Psalm 104:27-29)
  146. When He sends His Spirit, all creatures are created (Psalm 104:27-30)
  147. When He sends His Spirit, He renews the face of the ground (Psalm 104:27-30)
  148. He looks at the earth, and it trembles (Psalm 104:32)
  149. He touches the mountains, and they smoke (Psalm 104:32)
  150. He has done wonders (Psalm 105:5)
  151. He has done miracles (Psalm 105:5)
  152. He pronounced judgments (Psalm 105:5)
  153. He called down famine on the land (Psalm 105:16)
  154. He destroyed all their supplies of food (Psalm 105:16)
  155. He sent a man before those experiencing famine (Psalm 105:16-17)
  156. He sent a man before those experiencing famine – Joseph, sold as a slave (Psalm 105:16-17)
  157. His word proves people true (Psalm 105:19)
  158. He made His people very fruitful (Psalm 105:24)
  159. He made His people too numerous for their foes (Psalm 105:24)
  160. He turned the hearts of His people's foes to hate His people (Psalm 105:24-25)
  161. He turned the hearts of His people's foes to conspire against His servants (Psalm 105:24-25)
  162. He sent Moses His servant (Psalm 105:26)
  163. He sent Aaron, whom He had chosen (Psalm 105:26)
  164. His servant performed signs among His people (Psalm 105:24-27)
  165. The one He had chosen performed signs among His people (Psalm 105:24-27)
  166. His servant performed wonders in the land of Ham (Psalm 105:24-27)
  167. The one He had chosen performed wonders in the land of Ham (Psalm 105:24-27)
  168. He sent darkness (Psalm 105:28)
  169. He made the land dark (Psalm 105:28)
  170. He sent darkness because they had rebelled against His words (Psalm 105:28)
  171. He made the land dark because they had rebelled against His words (Psalm 105:28)
  172. He turned the waters into blood (Psalm 105:29)
  173. He turned the waters into blood, causing the fish to die (Psalm 105:29)
  174. He spoke (Psalm 105:31)
  175. He spoke, and there came swarms of flies throughout the country (Psalm 105:31)
  176. He spoke, and there came swarms of gnats throughout the country (Psalm 105:31)
  177. He spoke, and the locusts came (Psalm 105:32)
  178. He spoke, and the grasshoppers came without number (Psalm 105:32)
  179. He struck down all the firstborn in the land (Psalm 105:36)
  180. He struck down the firstfruits of all their manhood (Psalm 105:36)
  181. He brought out His people (Psalm 105:37)
  182. He brought out His people, laden with silver and gold (Psalm 105:37)
  183. He brought out His people, and from among their tribes no one faltered (Psalm 105:37)
  184. Egypt was glad when His people left (Psalm 105:38)
  185. Egypt was glad when His people left, because dread of His people had fallen on them (Psalm 105:38)
  186. He spread out a cloud as a covering (Psalm 105:39)
  187. He spread out a fire to give light at night (Psalm 105:39)
  188. His people asked, and He brought them quail (Psalm 105:40)
  189. His people asked, and He fed them well with the bread of heaven (Psalm 105:40)
  190. He opened the rock (Psalm 105:41)
  191. He opened the rock, and water gushed out (Psalm 105:41)
  192. He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed like a river in the desert (Psalm 105:41)
  193. He remembered His Holy promise given to His servant Abraham (Psalm 105:42)
  194. He brought out His people with rejoicing (Psalm 105:43)
  195. He brought out His chosen ones with shouts of joy (Psalm 105:43)
  196. He gave His people the lands of the nations (Psalm 105:43-44)
  197. He gave His chosen ones the lands of the nations (Psalm 105:43-44)
  198. He gave His people the lands of the nations, that they might keep His precepts (Psalm 105:43-44)
  199. He gave His chosen ones the lands of the nations, that they might keep His precepts (Psalm 105:43-44)
  200. He gave His people the lands of the nations, that they might observe His laws (Psalm 105:43-44)
  201. He gave His chosen ones the lands of the nations, that they might observe His laws (Psalm 105:43-44)
  202. His people fell heir to what others had toiled for, that they might keep His precepts (Psalm 105:43-44)
  203. His chosen ones fell heir to what others had toiled for, that they might keep His precepts (Psalm 105:43-44)
  204. His people fell heir to what others had toiled for, that they might observe His laws (Psalm 105:43-44)
  205. His chosen ones fell heir to what others had toiled for, that they might observe His laws (Psalm 105:43-44)
  206. No one can proclaim His mighty acts (Psalm 106:2)
  207. No one can fully declare His praise (Psalm 106:2)
  208. His chosen ones prosper (Psalm 106:5)
  209. His nation has joy (Psalm 106:5)
  210. His kindnesses are many (Psalm 106:7)
  211. He saved His people for His Name's sake (Psalm 106:8)
  212. When His people gave no thought to His miracles, He saved His people for His Name's sake (Psalm 106:7-8)
  213. When His people did not remember His many kindnesses, He saved His people for His Name's sake (Psalm 106:7-8)
  214. When His people rebelled by the Red Sea, He saved His people for His Name's sake (Psalm 106:7-8)
  215. He saved His people to make His mighty power known (Psalm 106:8)
  216. When His people gave no thought to His miracles, He saved His people to make His mighty power known (Psalm 106:7-8)
  217. When His people did not remember His many kindnesses, He saved His people to make His mighty power known (Psalm 106:7-8)
  218. When His people rebelled by the Red Sea, He saved His people to make His mighty power known (Psalm 106:7-8)
  219. He rebukes the sea, and it dries up (Psalm 106:9)
  220. He leads His people through the depths of the sea as through a desert (Psalm 106:9)
  221. He saves His people from the hand of the foe (Psalm 106:10)
  222. He redeems His people from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 106:10)
  223. When His people put Him to the test, He gives them what they ask for, but sends a wasting disease among them (Psalm 106:14-15)
  224. He says He will destroy those who exchange Him for an image of a bull, which eats grass (Psalm 106:20-23)
  225. He says He will destroy those who forget Him, the God who saved them (Psalm 106:21-23)
  226. He says He will destroy those who forget Him, who had done great things in Egypt (Psalm 106:21-23)
  227. He says He will destroy those who forget Him, who had done miracles in the land of Ham (Psalm 106:22-23)
  228. He says He will destroy those who forget Him, who had done awesome deeds by the Red Sea (Psalm 106:22-23)
  


(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

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