Sunday, November 27, 2011

Your Hand is Open

I wrote this song earlier in the month after reading a selection from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts-

"Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. [...] The moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out. Anger is the lid that suffocates joy until she lies limp and lifeless." 

Voskamp writes about how we clench our fists trying to control the circumstances of our life, as we try to hold on to that joy, that moment, and it really pricked my heart as I know I am so very guilty of this.

Your Hand is Open
Mandy M**** ã 2011

Your hand is open, my hand is closed
In attempt to grasp some sense of control
Fist tightly bound, heart tightly wound
And I’m holding on to nothing at all.

Your hand is open, my hand is closed
You offer blessings, and I say, “Lord, no.”
Fist clenching still, tho’ I desire Your Will
Yet I’m holding on to nothing at all.

Your hand is open, my hand is closed
Shutting out joy that I could have known.
I’m crying inside, dying inside
’Cause I’m holding on to nothing at all.

Your hand is open, my hand is too
Receiving Your grace, Your mercies anew.
Fingers uncurled, heart unfurled
I’m letting go in the arms of Jesus.

I’m letting go in the arms of Jesus.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Radical Charity

Give your life away in exchange for many lives, give away your blessings to multiply blessings, give away so that many might increase, and do it all for the love of God.  ~One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp

For many of us, the great obstacle to charity lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in our fear- fear of insecurity. ~ C.S. Lewis

Sometimes our pride also hinders our charity; we are tempted to spend more than we out on the showy forms of generosity (tipping, hospitality) and less than we ought on those who really need our help. ~ C.S. Lewis

We are just a vessel for Christ to live His life through. ~ Terry Stanley

The point of your life is to point to Him. ~ Crazy Love, Francis Chan

Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually. ~ David Goetz

We need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him. ~ Crazy Love, Francis Chan

True faith holds nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity.  ~ Crazy Love, Francis Chan

God didn't just give a little for us; He gave His very best. He gave Himself. ~ Crazy Love, Francis Chan

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and gave everlasting comfort and good hope by means of undeserved kindness, comfort your hearts and make you firm in every good deed and word. ~ 2 Thess 2:16,17

"Taking up the cross"... is a call to radical faith. Jesus is calling us to be willing to suffer anything and forsake everything for the sake of the gospel. [...] His call is to consider everything a loss for His sake. His call is total surrender. ~ Forgotten God, Francis Chan

In charity there is no excess. ~ Sir Francis Bacon

The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation. ~ William Hutton