Babylon


God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it (Hebrews 4:1 NLT)

Sometimes God is revealed through a song. This is one of those times for me. It makes me realize that although we try to always be doing things, our spirit needs to also be able to be still and receive. I get so busy sometimes I forget how good it feels to let someone else witness to me.
Below are the lyrics to Casey Hurt’s Babylon. Sit back, relax and let the song really witness to you. I posted the words only for convinience, but dont spend the whole song reading. Again, we always are doing. Let this post do something for you for a change! Be blessed


Song Lyrics-Babylon
Casey Hurt

Baptize the river with tears until it floods, how many years will it’s banks receive our blood. How many nations will deceive our ranks in occupation ‘til this generation wakes up and shakes off the mud. Begotten not modeled got jobs bottling Molotov cocktails for Babylon, consuming the same. Lost but not forgotten, the desert is hot and awful, but it’s awesome to exclaim- I’m just a pawn in your game crossing the 6th brook. I can’t remember Zion but this fishhook in my heart remembers everything. So let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable ‘til I learn how to sing. And it sounds like-

Down by the river where we sat and wept. That great river, Babylon. That great river we hung our hearts and heads. That great river Babylon. And how can we sing in a foreign land?

Fall on the rock and be broken. Follow me close ye the chosen that knew my voice in the moment that you remember. I am the poetry spoken over a motionless ocean at both the beginning and ending. I’m the inverse. Bring me your cinders. Gather me your kindling timbers, scattered ash and your smoldering embers. And behold, I will send a wind through the trenches they littered with your skeleton splinters- to mend and reassemble your members. Remember. But don’t receive your vision once again from the blind. Repent your senses and administer mine. Oh my children don’t be ignorant of signs of the times when the bitter and resentful shun the gifts and turn to sinister minds. Even this I have intended. It was written- both the vengeance and the vinegar’s mine. When the chrysalis dies, in an instant I’ll be given my most intimate prize- the glitter of my infinite eye.

Down by the river where we sat and wept. That great river, Babylon. That great river we hung our hearts and heads. That great river Babylon.

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Relapse: The Familiar Fall


A man should never put on his best trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom and truth. – Henrik Ibsen

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” -Meister Eckhart

Faces covered in mud, knees scraped and covered in blood.
Minds spinning like a DJ, while our focus fades away.
The way we are left when we run before we should,
The way we refuse to listen even though we could.
Groove slam work it back, one slip up and our world’s off track.
Where was our reverence when the hunger returned?
Why did we choose to repeat the lessons already learned?
Oh that’s right, we are but fools,
Dangle disaster in front of us and our mouths drool.
So much grace God, so much time,
Yet here we go playing ourselves one more time.
Help us to stop this track on repeat,
The melody of our old selves and our defeat.
With eyes full of tears, our ears are closed,
To your wisdom and to you telling us how not to end up below.
Tricky is the trap and we waltz right in,
Only to have You come and untangle us once again.
Help us to fall, but into Your peace,
To free us from the enemy’s grip only You can release.
Groove slam work it back, seek You first so we don’t relapse.
-Erica D

But You, Oh Lord, are a shield for me, My Glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.

Psalm 3:3-4

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

Song Lyrics to the featured video of Freedom by Josh Garrels

Professional or beginner doesn’t matter
Every sinner is a prisoner in a body that is subject to time
Now my entwined mind tries to form a straight line
Not like twisted scoliosis of the spinal chord

Construct
Cross eyed carpenters are cuttin’ crooked lines
Can’t construct
Man-made shrines when the winds and the water move sands of time

Many minds on a deadline yet live life like a live wire
I’m not tired!
Of blood and fire
Spirit’s moving higher than the green grass ever lifted me

Spirit’s moving higher…
Than anything else ever lifted you
Mm see

We got spirituality
It’s living in us like one in three
Injustice is concerning me
In the non-linear eternity
I’m speaking paradoxically
But you can nod your head now when you understand me-e-e-ee…

This is for my free men
Whose backs wont bend in the lions den
Now with their eyes on the ending

This is for my free women!
They fight with their love
The bearers of our children

Free men whose backs wont bend in the lions den
Now with their eyes on the ending

This is for my free women
They fight with their love
The bearers of our children

We shine like lights exposing
What lies underneath decomposing
Unearth those chains that are rusted
My sweet Lord is that what I trusted in?
That sin? that tomfoolery? ugh!
What it is, is mental jewelry that I adorned myself with

The enemy’s gifts the man-made myths the ignorant bliss
Of marijuana spliffs and alcoholic fifths
I got so sick and tired of it

Delivered and redeemed
By Christ I mean
It’s time to start livin’
And get a reason for the rhyme

I don’t wanna be dead-wrong on the deadline
Standing on the dark side and all out of time…
Like a blind pantomime’s fantasize
Climb up his own ladder to the sunshine

Nothin’s mine
That hasn’t been given
No ones alive here
That hasn’t been risen
For 19 years i was trapped in a prison

Feeding my escape by means of derision
But every man-made attempt just failed
When trapped in a jail
Of my own guilt shame and iniquity

I was looking for freedom
How’d I find freedom?

Oh! oh freedom…
From all of this

He said believe
He said believe

Who are you telling me to belei-e-eve… yea
‘said I’m the Christ

Oh!
…He said I’m the Christ

So i believed.

Freedom!

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My Message Radio Now Available


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God has put it on my heart to give My Message and my readers a voice by extending my blog to the radio! Please tune in to blog talk radio every Thursday at 3:30pm PT for my new show called

Turning Your Mess Into Your MESSage.

I will be reading selected blog posts from right here at My Message and discussing the main idea behind each one. Guests will be sharing their own faith based motivational testimonials and callers are welcome at any time to share as well! I am also sharing my personal testimony and stories behind the blog.

 

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Turning Your Mess Into Your MESSage

Please support the show by visiting the link above! You can follow the station, listen to the pilot, and even set a reminder to listen!

I appreciate all of you and hope to really get to know you more through this opportunity!

Be Happy Be Bright Be You!!

Erica

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Caught Red Handed


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“He who chooses to be a master never does just enough to get by; nor does he cut corners or attempt to cheat the system. He who chooses mastery lives his life asking, ‘How can I do more, give more, be more, and thereby accelerate the achievement of my ultimate destiny?’.” -James Arthur Ray

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Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me. The war against trickery seems to be fought on a daily basis. My favorite book, the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, not only addresses such deceit, but the very worst kind….The lies we tell ourselves!

We have an awful way of breaking our own hearts with some of the things we convince ourselves of, however, when another person takes it upon themselves to do the breaking, it seems much harder to recover. There is nothing worse than coming to find out the truth you very much believed in was all the while a fraud. I am not a stranger to this tragedy. In fact, I may as well have written it myself. I have been both the liar and the lied to and can confidently say both are just as painful. Thank God I was blessed with the opportunity to rebuild the bridges I burned with the fire of my tongue, but sadly there are people who are completely content in watching the cinders burn. People who lie for sport. People who simply do not care what they have to do or who they have to hurt in getting what they are after.

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But no, the people are like crafty merchants

selling from dishonest scales –

they love to cheat (Hosea 12:7 NLT)

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Honesty is the foundation of all relationships whether they be with others or ourselves. One cannot plant strong roots in weak soil. When we lie, cheat, and manipulate in order to satisfy our wants, we forfeit our ability to attain true happiness and simultaneously destroy the idea of that happiness for those we hurt when they realize what we have done. It is so much easier for everyone if we say what we mean and mean what we say. God sees all the things we do when we think no one is watching.

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The sick feeling that accompanies being a fake is actually discernment. We know very well what we are doing in the midst of dishonesty and that it is not okay, but money, lust, and fear have brilliant ways of convincing us otherwise. Regardless of the temporal gain we may feel we achieve via cutting corners and the hearts of others, the long lasting outcome is loss of much more than we realize. In an instant all the things the devil promises you will fade and you will be left empty handed and full of regret.

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Do not get caught red handed in the cookie jar. If you know you shouldn’t be eating a cookie then don’t eat one! If you want a cookie that badly ask for one! God would rather you ask for help than see you take matters into your own hands despite the consequences. He knows your desires and He knows much better than you whether or not what you crave now will be satisfying to your long term happiness. Trust Him and be trusted by others. Eventually someone will notice they are low on cookies and you will be the only one around with chocolate on your face and
a tummy ache!

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A Beautiful Disaster


Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.-

Harriet Morgan quotes

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Top 25 CS Lewis Quotes

Disaster strikes again!
Just when you were finally running at a steady pace, you trip over yourself and end up dead last in the race.
With your head in your hands you begin to analyze,
Why you tried in the first place and how you actually believed it was worth a try.
Tears swell up in your eyes, but you won’t let them see you affected,
You pretend it’s no big deal while inside you feel utterly dejected.
Before you know it you’ve been lapped by other runners and not one has yet stopped to see that you are okay,
You are actually quite relieved since they wouldn’t really care if they asked anyway.
After your ego has recovered you prepare yourself to stand,
But before you can pull yourself up off the ground someone has already reached for your hand.
Squinting from the sun in your salty seas of eyes, you try to identify this philanthropist,
He shades your view with His free and and soon you realize it’s Jesus.
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You get to your feet and finally begin to cry,
Not because of sadness, but because you realized you fell for the enemy’s lie.
You tell The Lord you are sorry and that you never meant to doubt in,
The fact that with Him on your team it’s a guaranteed win.
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Life is a trip and we are all in a spiritual race,
However do not allow the devil to slow down your pace.
He will use your thoughts, your friends, and even your belief to distract you from the finish line,
He will tell you that no matter how hard you work at it, things will never be fine.
We are surrounded by liars, by imposters and by fear every where we turn,
But when we allow Jesus to lead we see the flames before we feel the burn.
He winks at you and once again dusts the dirt on your face,
He takes your hand and together you rejoin the race.
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“Time is swift, it races by; Opportunities are born and die… Still you wait and will not try – A bird with wings who dares not rise and fly.” -A.A. Milne

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2012 in review


I just wanted to thank all of those who have supported My Message and my efforts in bringing God’s love to those who need it! Please check out My Message’ s year in 2012 report to see just how blessed I have been to spread encouragement to 100 countries! Glory to God! Thanks to all of you!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

We Will Rise


I John 5:4, 5 NKJV

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Better to be miserable with her than happy without her. Let our hearts break provided they break together. If the voice within us does not say this it is not the voice of Eros. C. S. Lewis

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No Guts No Glory


Christian friends, your voices raise
Wake the day with gladness.
God himself to joy and praise
Turns our human sadness.
Joy that martyrs won their crown
Opened Heaven’s bright portal.
When they laid the mortal down for the life immortal.

– Song of Stephen The Martyr

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“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.” –Martin Luther

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Stephen the Martyr has not always been on my top 5 most adored biblical figures list, but after researching his story in depth, I have discovered just how important his role was then and his story is now. (Click HERE to read his story in detail ). Stephen was the first Christian martyr to die for his faith, but he certainly was not the last. Stephen represents the very boldness we are to have as brothers and sisters of faith. Looking a very painful death in the face, he stayed true to what was right and even prayed for the men as they stoned him to death. Stephen knew that death was not to be feared, but anticipated because it meant he would be reunited with God.

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Since Stephen’s death, countless Christians have died for their witness to the gospel. They set their eyes on Jesus and not on the world. They did not value the approval of people over the approval of their Savior. They refused to disown Jesus and because of their courage to stand up for the truth, Jesus promised to acknowledge them in the presence of His father in heaven.

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,  but whoever denies me before men,  I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.- Matthew 10:32,33

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So many times I have watched people suppress the truth of a situation to avoid a confrontation or involvement in a problem that does not concern them directly. Very much like Judas, people are so quick to turn their back if it means they will dodge the bullet. Ironically one cannot dodge the bullets of truth by using false as their shield. Truth always finds a way and God is all that is true. Although we would like to think we have gotten away with something for a moment without being caught, that simply is not true. We were caught way before we even realized we were being chased. God is not absent in the moments you feel that no one is watching. He sees all we do and He has known our hearts before they even had a beat.

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The book of Acts tells us that right after the violent death of Stephen, Saul continued the persecution of the faith by chasing down it’s members and sending them to jail for similar charges. Others were later persecuted by the Roman Emperor Nero so he could blame them for a fire which destroyed most of Rome.

Sound familiar? Have you ever felt that no matter how good you are, people will not give up in trying to prove you are rotten? Have you ever witnessed something very wrong, but rationalized  why it was not your place to try to make it right? I HAVE. I used to lie all the time and so much that I started to believe my own, very twisted versions of the situation were true! I felt the knot in my stomach when I looked my family in the eye and told them I was doing great. I tried to dodge the bullets of the truth, but later when looking at myself in the mirror,  they hit me dead on and it killed me. Literally, I did not know who I was looking at, but God knew that was just what it would take to destroy my version of reality and respect Him and His.

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When we accept that we will face challenging times and people in regards to our faith, it becomes a huge demonstration of our trust and faith in God and what He has told us. When we cut corners and skip out the back in times of persecution, it reflects the opposite and it appears to God as if we think we can out smart Him or out run the truth of things. WRONG. We cannot hide from the One who attends to everything and is the power sustaining and guiding our destiny. Prepare yourself for these tests of faith so that when they arise you do not find yourself in a state of fear and regretting your choices later. If you hold tight to the truth, in any given situation, you will be holding on to God and cannot lose. Be like Stephen while fighting the good fight. Team Jesus! Guaranteed KO!

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I Know You Are But What Am I?


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Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For  in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man – you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself – that you will escape the judgment of God? – Romans 2:1-3

Don’t Pass Judgement E-Bible

Mere C.S. Lewis: Judgement in the Psalms

One of the most powerful weapons of destruction in today’s world is judgement of others. It has the power to take lives, shatter dreams, and end relationships. It has the ability to cause anxiety, depression, and self loathing. The unfortunate part is that it is preventable and most always unnecessary. Pride is judgement’s best friend and together they are the enemy’s dynamic duo used to rob you of God’s goodness. What we think about people does not make it true. What people say about us is just as unreliable. When we learn to silence our ego we learn to hear God. God is the truth and when He speaks the lies of the enemy are forced to flee. You are not to be concerned with the petty projections of people. God is for you so who cares who is against you??

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People underestimate the impact of their decisions when it comes to the things they say and do. One glance in a critical way at someone suffering inside can lead to them taking their life. One disrespectful remark to someone at their wits end can provoke violence. It is the thoughtlessness of the one who is always “thinking” things about everyone else that seems to be the latest weapon of choice. More and more we are seeing people who, in their own selfish quest for acceptance, sabotage their neighbor’s shot at it. People who believe they are advocates for God, but actually turning people against Him with picket signs, bad attitudes, and whispers in the back row at church.

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Why anyone would believe that their judgment of others is either required or acceptable in any denomination is beyond me, but never the less,  there are a growing number of people who seem to think otherwise.

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We all have faults. We all have made mistakes and we all have things in our lives we need to work on. We are not any better than anyone else no matter how much we would like to believe so. I have a steady following of “haters” and always have. I can bet anyone reading this has also been on the receiving end of undeserved disapproval at some point in their life. It is awful when you try to be the best you can yet be treated as if you were the exact opposite. It is very discouraging to be the only good thing about a bad person’s gossip. It is a challenge to stay true to your faith when someone is trying desperately to convince you that you have none.

God has already told us that we will be tried and tested by the world and that as followers of Jesus, we will share in His sufferings as He did. He has also made it very clear that He is the only judge and He is our safety from the sad games people play to make us think we are unworthy of His love and grace.

His love for us is not dictated by others. It is not conditional or containable. It is beyond our understanding and it is available to everyone that searches for it. His judgement  is very much coming. His account of our lives is what will ultimately seal our salvation. Do not waste your blessings by breaking people down to build your ego up. Love others and love God. It is that simple.

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I know that it is tough to maneuver through this life when people, possessions, and power are used by the enemy daily to grab at your feet, but the Lord is with those that allow Him to be. He will always deliver you from your trial and He will always carry you over the things that try to stop you from being who He created you to be. Do not let people fool you into thinking unholy acts are the way to being holy. God will hold those that hurt in His name accountable just like He will all of us. Live life like you mean it. Treat everyone with love because you believe it! Life is tough, but God is enough.

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Every Party Has a Pooper


Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:  And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (Jonah 4:10-11)

I will be the first to admit that I have, many times, been the pooper of the party. I walked in with a sour attitude and left others with one due to my ungracious heart. It is so easy to feel like the world is against you and when you believe it, it shows in your outward actions. We get caught up in our own head and create a very negative and false sense of reality. We snap at the any and everything, become ungrateful,  and there is nothing anyone can say or do to get us to change our mind when we are in self-destruct mode. Very much like walking nightmares, it is probably best to stay far away from us in this kind of mood.

We usually regret the things we say and do in this state once we realize the foolish way we have behaved. I have made many mistakes in life due to my own bad attitude. Failed relationships, lost opportunities, and lonely nights are a few of the results of my selfishness. It is the enemy’s favorite game: You against you!

Pity-Wikipedia

Jonah is a great example of the contrast between an angry heart and the kind heart of the Lord. Jonah-EBible.com. Our behavior is the the polar opposite of  the way God is to us. We forget sometimes how much we are loved and how blessed we are to have the lives we do. The love of God is a great deterrent from mistreating ourselves and others when the enemy picks a fight. The reminder of the grace, the second chances, and the eternal peace we receive from God are enough to knock the nasty right out of your thinking. He loves all He has created from the flowers to your worst enemy and we are to respect that when we go about our daily lives. If He can pity us after all we do then surely we can sympathize for others versus judge them or ignore them. If He can forgive us for the things we do then we can forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. If He values the world and all in it then we are to value what He values.

God So Loved The World

The next time you find yourself at the pity party, remember the love God has for you and the power that goes with that love. In Him, you are unstoppable. You are intended to be happy, successful, and free of worry in times of trial. He did not sacrifice what He has for failures, pessimists, or haters. He did it for the humble, the honest and the faithful.With Jesus, we all are free of the struggle with the world, but we are the ones who control the struggle with ourselves. Don’t forget who you are and don’t stop others from being who they were born to be either. This life is God’s party. Don’t be the pooper.

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