Wednesday, May 25, 2016

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Those closest to me know that I have been dealing with a lot this calendar year.  I mean, that in itself is an understatement. 

Most heavily prior to losing our brother-in-law just a few short weeks ago, I've been dealing with a very dear friend whom I love, that is battling personal demons.  These demons are decades of childhood trauma, abuse, substance abuse and rage to name a few. 

The one thing that surprises me each and every morning is the very loud and booming, yet cheerful "Good morning, Sunshine!" when I stumble into the living room or kitchen.  Now, I am NOT a morning person and my first instinct is to want to punch him in the throat......but I don't.....because that would be frowned upon.  

Usually, the next sentence goes something like, "Are you still mad at me about yesterday?" or "I'm sorry about yesterday."  In my sleepy mind, I have to shuffle back through the last 24 hours to figure out, "Wait, what happened yesterday?," only to remember, "Oh yeah, that."  My almost daily response is, "yeah, just don't let it happen again," or something similar. 

The last time I heard this I got to thinking; every day is a new day.  Every day is a new day to try to fix what was done yesterday, or continue the path from yesterday (either good or bad!).  Either way, we forgive each other daily (over and over and over again) because we are called to forgive one another.  

In Matthew, Jesus was sharing knowledge and wisdom with his disciples.  In Matthew 18:21-22 we read:

      "At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”  Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven."

I'm not a math person, but that's a lot of times to forgive!!!  Easier said than done, right?

Lamentations 3:22-23 also reminds us:

     "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed; His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

Did you get that?  "They are new EVERY morning."  So if Scripture tell us that "His mercies are new every morning," (towards US!!), then who are we to not give new mercies every morning?  New mercies, forgiveness, compassion towards family, friends, co-workers (hardest part for me to this day!), people we make contact with on a regular basis and yes, even ourselves!!!!

Do I forgive easily?  Yes! 
Do I forgive enough?  Hardly! 
Do I need to make changes and improve on being more merciful, forgiving and compassionate towards other?  Of course!
Do I need to make changes and improve on being more merciful, forgiving and compassionate towards myself?  You bet!!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

I’m With the Band, Man!

I’m With the Band, Man!
Elizabeth Espinoza
January 29, 2016

No I suppose I’m not exactly with the band. I mean, I don’t play an instrument, at least not any more.  Although, when it all comes down to the core of who we are, we’re all instruments……our voices (although there could be many levels of vocal abilities) are instruments.  Just recently during a personal worship session it dawned on me exactly how many songs I know lyrics to…fluidly…and I quickly blew my own mind.  Yet I lose my keys on a daily basis, go figure. 

But then I went deeper.  I started to think of all the worship musicians I’ve had the honor of knowing, (I actually gave birth to two of them); and how these songs, among many, many other songs are programmed in their brains.  Every intro, every outtro, every vamp, every key change, every groove change, every step up, every breakdown, every……single…… transition……; their brains acutely trained and their overall senses flowing with adrenaline, yet they are still worshipping with their spirit. 

One of my favorite experiences as a mother has been watching my two gifted sons grow as I take a step away from the worship team that bonded us so tightly; and just being amazed at how much energy and visual communication goes on during a full set.  Yet, to see them close their eyes while they play and allow themselves to worship; that has been to this day the most deeply felt, wonderful moments of sheer awe towards God and feeling totally unworthy of being their mom.  But that’s me, He chose me for them.  I wonder if they realize exactly how anointed and gifted they are. 

But I digress (Sophia moment). 

Next time you’re in the middle of a worship session, while you ponder your own heart, take a listen to every instrument; each one has its own melodic lines.  Listen to every voice; listen for the subtle blending of harmonies (or not); the using of a natural gift, a talent, a sacrifice of praise at times (SERIOUSLY!); to bring songs of deliverance and healing to a hurting world. 

"Praise him for all his greatness! 
Praise him with trumpets and horns!
Praise him with harps and lyres!
Praise him with tambourines and dancing!
Praise him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise him with loud cymbals!
Praise him with crashing cymbals!"
Psalm 150:3-5 ERV