Why Does a Heart Need Guarding?

This is the study that I’ve been doing the last few days. I thought I might as well put it online in case anyone out there in blog-land needs encouragement from the Word of God…specifically,

Prov. 4:20-23 ~ My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, & healing to their whole body. (amp: healing and health to all their flesh).  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

I have an example of letting God’s Word penetrate deep , so it brings life and healing Continue reading

Rubberband (my love song to Ricky)

Rubberband (my love song)

Written May-June ’09. Posted by: chelan on: July 22, 2009

vs.1

D                                      G

Your love is a rubberband, I’ve just come to understand

D                                              G                                 A

That whenever I go away I obey… its law of attraction

D                                      G

I need more than audio; sign in to Gmail video – oh, no…

D                                                               G

But that won’t even cut it close when I think of your hand

A

On the small of my back (and I whisper…)

Em                                                          A

Ooh,Ooh-Ooh,Ooh-Ooh,Ooh-Ooh,Ooh-Ooh! Can’t get enuf of u

Em                                          A

Oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh! You smell like work and espresso

Em                                          A

Hey, h-hey, h-hey, h-hey, h-hey /

Em

Until we’re old & gray…

A

Till our last living……Day

vs.2

The night we broke up, I went limp in your vice

You begged & I saw right through your disguise

But we cried & slow-danced until 5. We didn’t care

In the parking lot of Washington Square

vs.3

Remember our freshman year – that first day?

All the flirty games we used to play

They always built up to New Year’s Eve

When our lips would join forces again (and I’d say…)

Chorus


(rotate A & Em)

Till our babies’ babies… have lots of babies

Till our last living day

Till all of our senses (just) fade away

Till we haven’t the strength to reach out &

Join our wrinkly hands

And our souls are one voice that rebound to

Heaven like a rubberband

(finger-pick  ”Em/A pattern” for one more bar)


Turn off your cell phones and…pagers?

I read this request from time to time on movie screens, or hear it before a church service or performance. And every time, I’m like, “why do they still say ‘pagers’?” …unless they’re addressing all the doctors in the house (?!) It always brings me back to the days before cell phones – when I had a pager of my own.

It wasn’t mine, though. Ricky & I were 19 – he was madly in love with me, in ’96, and as a token of that love, he gave me a pager- so that he could page me – or page messages to me from his pager. I know we weren’t the only ones to do this back in the day, but that was some fine, primitive texting, right there…with a bonus feature ~ unravelling the mysterious code.

See, the typical message we’d send to each other was of course, in all numbers. So whenever I got a message from my boyfriend, I’d stop what I was doin’, pull over, or go somewhere semi-private (which i recall many times being “The Donut King” by Papa Murphy’s on Boones Ferry Rd. in Tualatin, OR), then pull out my little cheat-sheet for decoding, and finally, read his message with a sense of satisfaction & a giddy smile.

What was the code? Well, pure genius; the numbers would correspond to the numbers on a phone pad (1 was never used, 2 was A, B or C, 3 was D, E or F…) so with each number … came 3-4 letters to choose from.

I’d skillfully line up my 3-4 ltr choices, one under the other, so that each word would be solvable vertically – kinda like a word-search, but…well, this is getting to hard to explain. I think I’ll just get him to manually demonstrate! He just sent me the following message:

588 8 69 382426

And I had to figure it out on paper, so here it is!

pager-code

(and a close-up…)

pager-code-zoomed

Awwwe! That’s been his name for me since way back then – it’s short for: “Dubian Princess”. I don’t think that’s a real word. I think he coined it – but I’m pretty sure he got it from the similar term, “Nubian Princess” which after looking it up in the Urban Dictionary, I just realized means: “A luscious A-town chick who gets more booty than a toilet seat.”

Um…well, that’s cool…cuz I’m not his Nubian. I’m his Dubian. And I just IM’d him to ask what that means to him, & he said “Precious Princess”.    ; )

Also, a little coding side-note: our patented sign-off was 143 – betcha couldn’t guess that one – OK, I’ll help you out. These correspond to how many letters are in ea. word:

1  = I

4 = love

3 = you

…and to that, the other would always reply, “1432” (2 = “too”), & usually end the message with: 4L (4L = “for life”). So that was our archaic secret messaging system. (Again, ours as well as thousands of other couples, I’m sure). But I think I’d rather stay in my dreamy romantic denial…so don’t tell me if you did it too.

motorola-pager

 

The Way You Are ~ a song for a princess

The Way You Are (Princess)

By, Chelan Rene’ Russ

2/ ‘09

Dream, little one, of castles and kingdoms

Of sparkling crowns and colorful gowns


You’ll get on your horse and ride on the hills

You’ll follow a stream, and drift into sleep


Princess, you’re a princess

Splendor & grace (how they)

Dance in your face


Princess, you’re a princess

Near or far (you are)

Loved just the way…

You are


Your Daddy, the King will see just how far

You’ve wandered away to ponder and play


With servants and prayers, danger and love

He’ll rescue his daughter, right next to the water


(Chorus)

Loved just the way you are loved just the way you are loved just the way you are…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inspirations:

“Captivating” by, John and Stasi Eldridge

Luke 15:22-24 ~ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

Jeremiah 50:6 ~ “My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

Jeremiah 31:3-4 ~ Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel…”

I May Not Have Much of a Following

…but that’s totally ok with me. Last year I wanted needed people to subscribe to this blog. I used to have a need for people to like me or my writing so much that they kept coming back for more…of me. I used to desire a following. But in the last 4 or 5 months, that desire has been slowly dying. Once in a while, it’ll take a random gasping breath (like in the movies when you think someone’s dead, but they’re not), but those are probably days I’m hungriest for attention, affirmation & assurance that people like me. Well, guess what;  it’s not about me. I guess (or really hope) that means I’m sort of dying to myself. 

I was never called to be liked. I was never whispered to by God to have a blog with a huge following or have tons of friends. I’m not much of a leader. I don’t even think I was whispered to by God to have a blog. I do know that what I’m called to do is follow Jesus, and if my living, singing, working, writing…  will help anyone else follow Him too, I’m doin’ what He wants of me.

I’ve been convicted this week of spending too much time & energy consumed with technology. Technology’s not a bad thing. I use it mostly to keep in contact with people I care about. But it dawned on me that I still must have this huge “need”, especially since moving 2k mi. away from family last yr., to KNOW and to BE KNOWN. Maybe it’s a girl thing. Maybe it’s a human thing. Yet I’m constantly thinking of how I’d love to get away by myself…well, with a good cup of joe & some quiet time with God.

I was thinking the other day, that I could seriously do some damage (in a good way) by using my time & energy to direct people to Jesus – with that same technology. Instead of feeding my own hunger for acceptance & contact, I will start redirecting…

…and maybe some who (by design) stumble on my sites in the future, may come into contact with and accept the God who created them – a God who is crazy about them.

Yeah, I may sound like Ms. Spiritual at first; my site rating might drop to like 4 million, but I don’t care. What people need (including me) is not another “friend” added to their contact list…or another shallow conversation.

what people need is grace. 

to hear the truth.

forgiveness.  

unconditional love.

a touch when you are hurting.

…all in the form of a Man & His Words.

compassion is…touching childrens’ lives from across the globe

i’m writing once a month about a fave & trusted organization (compassion international) to help spread the word, so that we can spread the hope.

the first time i heard about it was years ago from mac powell himself, lead singer of third day (who just landed a gig on ‘the tonight show with jay leno’, on july 29th! -mark your calendars!!). it happened to be about when i remember praying, ‘enlarge my territories!’ from the ‘prayer of jabez‘. well, we finally got to trusting God enough to supply us the funds to support this cause, & it turned out to be pretty darn easy. we don’t even miss the $32…in fact, God has been really rewarding our efforts to give, in ways we never thought he would! i’m not kiddin’. we’ve seen major increase. you test it out & see for yourself! here’s all we did:

i just sat at the computer w/braylon, & together we picked a child his exact age. i signed up (choosing auto-withdrawal). soon we got a welcome packet w/the basics, wrote our 1st letter including a picture of braylon & a picture he colored for his new friend, & ba-da-bing! a few weeks later, how special did my little boy feel when opening a great lil surprise in the mail – his first letter back (translated from spanish by a tutor) & a picture drawn by his sponsored kid/penpal! it’s been wonderful.

today we get to send him a birthday package (we were able to choose a boy whose 6th birthday is the same week as braylon’s!) ~ ‘jhonatan’ will be opening up a gift: spiderman stickers & a card game to go with bray’s hand-written birthday wishes & verse. i am so thankful for this new way to share w/my kiddo how compassion & perspective can change lives.

a scripture & more

isaiah 65…and me

1“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.

i didn’t ask because i had too much pride to. i thought i could handle my bad habits and secret sins and stressful days without any help, from anyone. or i was too ashamed to talk to you about it.

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.

I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.

i know. you could’ve delivered me. but i was too busy. too wrapped up in my own selfish wants. instead of you, i looked for other things to sustain & calm me, even for a minute ~ a hershey bar, a latte’, a “comment”, sex, a new purse, an insanely good musician, my own family, gossip…

2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.

i know. my Bible next to the couch laid open with promises and grace and truth to find again. to rediscover. it was right by my son’s pirate treasure box. that was fitting. i remember the prodigal son. such a powerful image of open arms.

your spirit whispers in my ear all the time.

3 All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols…

i look in the mirror & i think i actually make self image & body image my idol. as well as public opinion. some days, the computer or movies can willingly & easily take your rightful place

5 Yet they say to each other,
‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
I am holier than you!’

like sunday morning in church when i thought that black usher was looking me up & down, but he was probably just looking to see if i needed a Bible or bulletin. i don’t want people that aren’t like me to invade my personal space. at times i think i’m somehow holier, without a word exchanged.

“holier”. if i drift from reality, i can actually convince myself that my good deeds & gifts to charity are worth holy-points to you, kept on a celestial dry erase board

These people are a stench in my nostrils,
an acrid smell that never goes away.

forgive me. please forgive me. you are my first love. your worth to me is greater than any of these things. i do need your help to react to everyday life, even the good days.

i see you. i call on your name. i run into your arms. i want my life to be an offering, one of a sweet smell that never goes away. i love you.

eye to eye ~ the importance of showing love with your eyes

a cheerful look brings joy to the heart – Proverbs 13:30

braylon (5) was walking around a corner & decided he’d belly-push angel to the ground. ricky & i both just looked at him for 6 sec.s as angel cried. we were shocked he’d try this stunt after so many reminders. but i suppose we also did it as a way of showing our disappointment. what followed was interesting:

braylon’s look turned from satisfied to almost angry, ‘what. why are you staring at me? why is everybody staring at me?!’ he inquired. his lip started quivering. we looked a couple seconds longer & he exclaimed w/a tear dropping down his cheek, “why did you yell at me?!”

ricky & i exchanged a glance of revelation. we never said a word to him. it got me thinkin’.

an area in which i think i harbor a ton of pride, is my parenting. i think moms want to believe deep down that they’re the best. to be complimented as such by another mom is the ultimate up-lifter. conversely, to be called a bad mom or even if someone criticizes our discipling, this seems like the lowest, most degrading insult!

i had to face a weakness. i’m not the ‘bestest mom in the whole earth’ as bray would have me believe. there are things i can & should take more time to work on, but don’t. each day presents with it a new way to improve. it’s discouraging and challenging. i pray for the determination & the strength & the wisdom to become the best mom i can. like the wisdom my brain has soaked up from reading “how to really love your child’. dr. campbell wrote a whole chapter explaining ‘how to show love through eye contact’. with statements that seem so simple, i wonder why i need reminding. just take a look at a few excerpts:

The more a parent makes eye contact with his/her child as a means of expressing love, the more a child is nourished with love and the fuller is his emotional tank.

It is easy for parents to develop the terrible habit of using eye contact primarily when they want to make a strong point to a child, especially a negative one. We find that a child is most attentive when we look at him straight in the eye. We may do this mainly to give instructions or for reprimanding or criticizing. This is a disastrous mistake.

Remember that eye contact is one of the main sources of a child’s emotional nurturing. When a parent uses this powerful means of control at his disposal in a primarily negative way, a child cannot but see his parent in a primarily negative way. And though this may seem to have good results when a child is young, this child is obedient & docile because of fear. As he grows older, the fear gives way to anger, resentment, and depression.

An even worse habit parents may fall into is actually using the avoidance of eye contact as a punishment device. Consciously refusing to make eye contact with a child is usually more painful than corporal punishment. It can be devastating.

What we must understand at this point is that parents must use eye contact as a continuous love-giving route, and not merely as a means of discipline.

the Lord has gently shown me this week that I may not be the ‘most’ beautiful woman or the ‘bestest’ mom on the whole earth, but in me ~ is God’s image. in me ~ is the power to do all things. in me ~ resides beauty & strength (insert my girl, christina‘s song, ‘beautiful’ here).

seriously…i want God to help me use my eyes to communicate love, not disappointment! even yesterday, i started a new phrase to be a better example ~ i get up in my son’s face when i want to say something in love & i start with, ‘eye to eye’.

Lord, look at me in the eye & work out the kinks (psalm 139:23). forgive me. i need grace; new opportunities. show me how to show them that my love, too, is unconditional.