Archive for May, 2010

Song to listen to: “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfiel, Danielle Brisebois, & John M. Shanks                        (I recommend either opening another window with the lyrics or printing them out to follow along.)

Okay, this devotional is for all of you who were worried that this blog might be all obscure music you didn’t know! This is one of my absolute favorite songs, and in fact, many of my closest friends claim this is my theme song. It always brings a smile to my face and makes my day just a little more bearable.

You know those moments, those days, those weeks and months when you want to shout (like the TV commercial): “Calgon, take me away”? This “Pocketful of Sunshine” is for you!

As I listened to this song a couple of times and got past the “feel good” part of the lyrics and music, I realized how much this was like one of the psalms of David. So many times David would be going through a rough patch and was looking for his “pocketful of sunshine” to get him through.  There are a plethora of Psalms where you can see the sentiment of this song, and if you have the time this week, glance through the book of Psalms to see what you can find! For those of us whose plates are beyond full, just go to Psalm 91. Today the link is to the New Living Translation because I liked the way it was worded, but you are welcome to use any version of the Bible you choose:

Read (or listen) to the lyrics of “Pocketful of Sunshine” carefully then read Psalm 91. Although they are not identical messages by any means, notice some of the amazing similarities!

I got a pocket,

Got a pocket full of sunshine

I got a love and I know that it’s all mine

Oh, oh, oh

On those all too frequent rainy, dreary days where we feel like the sun will never come out, where life never seems to get better, where there seems to be little hope and life is feeling somewhere between blah and outright desolate—these are the days you wish you could reach in and pull out that “pocketful of sunshine”.  You want to be able to find that ray of hope, that beam of light, that assurance from God that everything will be all right. There are many days (I know for me) when it is hard to have that hope and faith that the sun will come out again. But we can have that pocketful of “SONshine”—the reassurance that God is there for us—a glimpse of heaven that lives in our heart, He is the “love that I know is all mine”. I love singing the lyrics and imagining reaching into my pocket and there He is–waiting for me with a love that is beyond my comprehension.

Do what you want,

But you never gonna break me,

Sticks an’ stones are never gonna shake me

No, oh whoa, oh

Wish that you could,

But you ain’t gonna own me

Do anything you can to control me

No, oh No-o

When rainy days come, when we wonder where the sun/Son went, we are so very vulnerable, and that’s when the enemy moves in. He wants nothing more than to break us, to make us feel as though life is hopeless, helpless and full of despair. He wants us to feel worthless, unimportant, apathetic and alone. He wants to assail us with arrow after arrow—to make us believe that we have no value and that there is no reason to have faith. His “sticks and stones” are designed to make us powerless and worthless, so therefore we are not a threat to his mission to destroy God’s creation.  He wants to own us, control us—more so since we are God’s beloved children.

Take me away (take me away)

A secret place (a secret place)

A sweet escape (a sweet escape)

Take me away (take me away)

Take me away (take me away)

To better days (to better days)

Take me away (take me away)

A hiding place (A hiding place)

But dear ones, we have HOPE!!!! There IS a place we can go. Our heavenly Father makes a way of escape for us so that we can find refuge and healing. There is a secret “hiding place” under His wings where the rivers of life flow in us and through us. We are revived and refreshed. His angels take charge over us and minister to us, so we can face those rainy days with renewed strength and power. (Psalm 91:4-6, 11-12)

There’s this place that I go

Where nobody knows

Where the rivers flow

And I call it home…

And there’s no more lies

And the darkness is light

And nobody cries

There’s only butterflies…

Not only that, but we have an eternal future. Our future is in the One who has promised us a home in heaven with Him. It where our Living Water dwells and we will never thirst again. God promises there will be no more tears or crying or pain. The old things have passed away and the new has come! (Revelation 21:1-6)

Do you remember the old song “Bullfrogs and Butterflies?” It is a children’s song from the 80’s (do I dare date myself?) and the chorus went like this: “Bullfrogs and Butterflies, we’ve both been born again.” It describes the metamorphosis that frogs and butterflies experience when they change from tadpoles and caterpillars into their new creation. When we become a child of the King we are new creations in Christ. We have changed from lowly caterpillars to beautiful butterflies. I can just see it now—the fields upon fields of all us beautiful butterflies in God’s heavenly kingdom! Now THAT is something to REJOICE about!!!!

The sun (SON) is on my side

And takes me for a ride

I smile up to the sky

I know I’ll be all right…

Please let this “modern psalm” comfort you today. There is hope, there is life and there is joy to be found in Him.  He has promised us unconditional love, a sweet hiding place, victory over our enemies, better, sunnier days, and a future as beautiful butterflies. So remember—when your days are rainy and grey, and your life seems sucked away, that there’s no need to cry or whine, when you have a pocketful of SONshine…..

(I can’t help myself—it’s the poet in me…)

Be blessed today!

We would love to hear your song suggestions or requests! Post them here and we will happily consider them for future devotionals!

Although this should go without saying–please–no songs with inappropriate words or messages.

I look forward to getting some new music!

–Joa Jane

Songs to Listen to: Superman soundtrack (specifically “Can You Read My Mind? instrumental), Star Wars soundtrack (specifically “Throne Room/End Title”).

I thought I would begin this blog with one of my earliest personal devotions. As a high schooler, I was a huge fan of music soundtracks. (I know…I was a GEEK, but I still love them!) One of the first ones that I had was “Superman”, and I found myself thinking so much about God when I was listening to it. In my mind, He was Superman. Strong and powerful, yet gentle and true. Superman could stop a speeding bullet or a powerful earthquake, yet he was still willing to rescue a stranded kitten from a tree, or make sure that everyone, even seemingly insignificant people, were safe. Often when I would listen to the track “Can you read my mind?”, I would imagine the scene from the movie where Lois Lane and Superman were flying through the sky, I could see Lois, tightly clutching Superman’s hand as she looked around her—both fearfully and exuberantly. Although she knew Superman would never let her fall, she was still a bit apprehensive. It was so high! They were so far off the ground! The “what ifs” of her situation hung with her, even though she knew she was safe. Yet she was excited. Her hero was holding her hand.  He was looking at her with a teasing and indulgent smile. She was flying through the air, seeing everything from his perspective and experiencing his joy. And I could visualize myself in her shoes, fearful, exuberant, as I grasped my beloved God’s hand and beheld the world below me–safely in His arms. My God. My hero. My Superman.

I know that sometimes people have a difficult time listening to music with no words, but I believe that oftentimes it lends itself to even more intimate worship. Our minds are free to put any thoughts or images or meditations to the music, and it is a powerful and beautiful thing. One of my favorite ones was the ending song from the “Star Wars” soundtrack—the one where Luke and Han Solo receive their medals from Princess Leia and everyone in the room is applauding their valor and heroism.  I remember being at camp one summer and walking through a wide and lush path in the forest. It was an uphill climb, but the way was covered with long, wavy grass and flanked on both sides with huge majestically royal pine trees that seemed to reach to the sky.  I would trek up that hill listening to that song, imagining myself walking up the hall of heaven to the throne of God. Angels lined the path, cheering me on and applauding as I walked up the hill to “finish the race He had set before me.” (Hebrews 12:1-3) I always reached the top full of joy and hope, knowing that when my “race” was over, I would make that trek for real and see my Savior face to face.

Pick a soundtrack or instrumental piece to listen to today—either something from “Superman” (like “Can you read my mind?”), the “Throne Room/End Title” from “Star Wars” or any other music you find inspiring. Think about your relationship with God—your personal, intimate relationship with your Creator, your Beloved, and see where the music takes you.

To God Be The Glory,

Joa Jane