A New Song by Gabrielle Guthrie

Gabrielle Guthrie

Someone once taught me a valuable skill. In times of trouble, always stop and ask yourself, ‘so what do I need in this situation?’ What do I need emotionally, spiritually, physically? Put your oxygen mask on first, or you won’t be of any help to the others.

There have been times of such chaos and confusion that I could not answer that question. I was so rattled and disconnected I could not identify a single need. “We have not because we ask not,” but sometimes we don’t even know what to ask for any more. Sometimes what we need is simply “more of Him and less of me,” as the saying goes. Often what we need is to simply set ourselves down and to breath Him in.

Not long ago, while dashing about, burdened by all the world’s cares, I prayed, a bit tongue in cheek, for a song, for a theme song, for some background music in my life that didn’t sound so much like the theme song to Jaws. I’ve lived in shark-infested waters for far too long, and the music from Jaws was starting to play in the back of my mind. Although somewhat comical, the theme song from Jaws was not cause for rejoicing.

I need a new song, Lord. I just need you. No sooner had I said it than I heard it on the radio, a new song, my song, the song my heart didn’t even know it needed. Toby Mac’s, I just need U. I snatched that song right up, received it, let it wash over me. What a perfect song for me.

You know how when you’re teenager, and your brain is all soft and mushy, and you hear a song, and it becomes your song, and immediately every word is yours, and snatches of those lyrics are now so deeply embedded in your soul, so implanted, someday you’ll be sitting on the porch at a rest home, still singing love songs and hits from the 70’s?

Science has a name for that, a well documented and observable window of opportunity within our teenage brains, where music slips in and touches our very soul, never to be forgotten again.

Well, science is wrong because I am 53 and now totally crushing on Toby Mac’s, I just need U. Praise the Lord; I’ve now lived long enough to become an embarrassment to my children. Mom! Turn that down! Mom, do you have to drive around with your windows down and the music on? Mom, this is like…rap??!

As if I did not just spend the last 30 years saying those very things, kissing the last vestiges of my pride away, enduring the shame, wringing my hands……

Revenge they say is a dish best served cold.

What can I say, I am simply without excuse. All I know is that I just need U.

When You pull me closer, I come to life
When You pull me closer, I come to life
When You pull me closer, I come to life
When You pull me closer, I come to life

 

 

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John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


Gabrielle Guthrie blogs about faith,culture, politics, and humor with an emphasis on biology because biology is all about life and life abundant.  Her popular blog my be found here https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com

“So you see, there’s this thing called biology….”

A Blessing In The Pocket Rots by Susie Duffy Buehler

I met an angel this weekend. It’s quite a story. It started with an ad on Craigslist: “Very comfortable old chair. Fabric is worn but has no rips or tears. Heavy, solid, well-made wingback. Free for pick up. Location near Central Market.” Within a half hour I had a text, “Hello. Saw ur CL and would like to get the chair. Available anytime.” I replied back “Hello there. Can you pick it up tomorrow?” Reply was “Yes. Or right now. Either one.” Since this was midnight on Friday I suggested 10:00 the next morning, and she replied “10 is perfect. See u then. I’m Bobbi by the way.” I explained the chair was a little too heavy for me, and on the second floor, and she might need to bring someone to help, and she replied, “My husband is just going to love being my surprise helper 🙂.”

At 9:30 I texted to confirm the pick-up and she said her husband was coming without her but he had a dolly. At 10:00 I opened the door to a well-dressed, sophisticated young man who held out his hands and said, “I don’t know if it’s your style but my wife makes leather purses so we wanted you to have one to thank you for the chair. I’m Bob by the way.” Touched by the purse gesture, and tickled by him and his wife having a common name, I thanked him and led him to the chair. He stopped to study it. “This is really beautiful, are you sure you don’t want it?” I explained I’d had it for 25 years, always meaning to recover it, had never gotten around to it, and it was time to let it go. He said he and his wife restore things really just for the enjoyment of doing it. “Tell you what, I’ll send you pictures after we restore it and if you want it back we’ll give it to you for free.” Surprised, I told him if I liked what they do to it I’d happily buy it back from them. He said, “No, my wife and I are incredibly blessed. We’d give it back for free. A blessing in the pocket rots.”

A blessing in the pocket rots. “Like fruit” he said.

He started to load the chair on the dolly and I commented on what I thought were carpal tunnel braces on his arms. “No” he said, “My wife and I caught an autoimmune disease while traveling the world. We’re disabled. We received a financial settlement which allows us to do the things that are important to us. The disease is terminal. We’re focused now on only those things that create joy.” As the conversation progressed he shared that they were in fact leaving Austin next weekend, their home all their lives, to retire to a very small town in the Pacific northwest. They both like grey cloudy weather so they had googled “dreariest place in America”, found and visited the dreariest small town, bought a house for $40,000 cash, and were planning to live out their lives as they wanted, whatever time they had left, without interference. “We’re moving from one heaven to another” he said.

He mentioned he’d prayed for patience, and God responded by sending him a lot of irritating people so that he’d learn patience. I told him I was at one time pretty satisfied with my life and had prayed for humility and God responded by sending me several humiliating experiences until I prayed “I got it, thanks”. “He’s a really good parent” Bob said.

He loaded the chair into his car and I asked if he meant Austin and the new dreary town when he said one heaven to another. “Yes” he replied. “We are so blessed; our regrets are so small.” By now I’m overwhelmed and tell him I’d like to hug him, and he lets me. It was such a blessing to meet him.

Chair secured, he held out his hand to shake mine and said, “I’ll see you in Heaven” and drove off. I know he meant Heaven on the other side. Not just Austin or the new town.

John 1: 1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

 

 

 


Susie Duffy Buehler is an Austin based writer regularly seeking to see people through God’s eyes. Sometimes the challenge is harder than others but there is no shortage of practice opportunities.

I Love To Tell The Story by Gabrielle Guthrie

Gabrielle Guthrie

There’s an old hymn that begins,  “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true; it satisfies my longings  as nothing else can do.”

I’ve always been a storyteller, one born of some harsh beginnings, the oldest kid in a family where stories were not valued, they were perceived as lies, as vain imaginings, as delusions, as totally useless in the world. I grew up believing imagination was a guilty pleasure, story telling a sin. We worshiped at the altar of reason and science alone……and also chaos, confusion, and brokenness.

But as Nathaniel once said in the bible, “Nazareth? Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” And  Philip simply says, “Come and see.” I love how God tells a story, one that always turns all our expectations on their head.  We never even see Him coming.

A King….born in a stable.

I told stories to encourage people, to give them new eyes to see through the darkness around us. A tree is never just a tree. Those who can imagine things can see a child on a swing on a summer day or perhaps the lumber for a house. Our eyes are everything and what we see tends to shape our worlds. We are the narrators of our own stories. When circumstances are bad, when dark things come our way, the stories we tell ourselves matter, what we believe, where we place our eyes, can make all the difference in the world.

I met the Lord when I was about 3 yrs old, in a bright, warm light, in a flash of awareness and communication that is still more real to me today than yesterday was. I was wearing a pink checked dress and there was a scab on my leg. God smelled like fresh-baked bread, but unlike any bread I had ever smelled before. A bit funny, but some 50 years later, I still long for the smell of God, a smell so unlike any other. He smelled like home.

That was a baby faith of course, but a seed so firmly planted, it soon rooted and began to grow. I knew He would never leave me or forsake me and that someday we would be together again. I long for that day, but do everything I can to delay it too, because as the saying goes, “Jesus Christ didn’t die just to get us into heaven, He died to get a bit of heaven into us.”

Heaven is not in me yet, not all the way.  There are still too many stories to be told, stories of hope and redemption, stories, “of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.”

John 1: 1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Gabrielle Guthrie blogs about faith,culture, politics, and humor with an emphasis on biology because biology is all about life and life abundant.  Her popular blog my be found here https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com

“So you see, there’s this thing called biology….”