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Listening to music always speaks to my heart in ways that seem to break through even my most grumpy, tired, or distant flesh.  I have a current favorite right now that I could listen to non-stop, and whenever I hear it I feel like my emotions explode to the surface. 

"Peace, bring it all to peace
The storm surrounding me
Let it break at your name..."

If you've listened to Christian radio or worship in a place in with contemporary music at all you've probably heard the song "Tremble."  It's not new.  Nor is it filled with a truth I have not heard before.  But something in these lyrics touches me deeply in this time of my life.

Right before we left Kenya I spoke at our church ladies retreat.  One of the things we talked about the first night was how we are in a battle.  We so often and so easily believe the lies that are whispered to us from Satan and shouted to us from the world about who we are, our worth, and our identity.  The longer we allow these lies to sink in, the deeper the roots they grow and the harder the battle becomes to see truth again.  We began our battle that weekend by worshipping our living God. 

Because when we worship, we confess and proclaim that the blood of the Lamb is our saving, purifying grace.  We acknowledge that the death of Jesus overcame anything that Satan can send our way.  We exclaim that the resurrection brings new, eternal life and power to those who believe and who surrender their old life and truly die to self.  One of my favorite passages about this is in Revelation 12:11 "They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony; they did not love their loves so much as to shrink from death."

It's hard to live in truth when you are so entrenched in the lies and hanging on tightly to the life we think is the best.  To surrender, to die - it can be very painful.  It makes us feel raw and vulnerable.  But we are not powerless when we die to self and live in Jesus.   

There is power in the blood and we battle with the word our testimonies about his truth. 

"Jesus, Jesus you make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus you silence fear."

This is not just a poetic lyric to make you feel good in the moment.  I think sometimes I forget that the same Jesus who  commanded the storm to stop with just a word is the one I serve.  The same Jesus who makes the demons tremble at his name is the one working in and through me each day.  He has given us the Spirit, and through Him we have power and authority when we call out in his name for his work to be done. 

"Your name is a light that the shadows can't deny
You name cannot be be overcome
You name is alive, forever lifted high
You name cannot be overcome."

1 John 5:4 says, "For everyone who is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith."

So as we start this new chapter of life here in DC and as we get to know our new family with whom we will be doing life here, I am excited to hear the stories of these people.  I want to rejoice in the victories, and weep together in the hard, the raw, the ugly.  I want to proclaim the power of the resurrection over the dark places that we are ashamed of and take back the freedom from the slave driver who bombards us with lies.  I want to live life together and know his lavish love and abundant power in the daily and mundane.  I want to be real and authentic about the struggles we have and the places we feel enslaved, because pretending those places don't exist only feeds the lies more.  I want to remind each other of the paradox of being safe in His peace and presence, yet still aware of how we should be trembling in front of His holiness.  I want to know and be known without judgement and without fear because we are all just jars of clay. 

"Breath, call these bones to live
Call these lungs to sing
Once again I will praise..." 


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