Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

It’s been a long day.  And it started funny.

Last night, I was laying in “my bed” (the futon in the living room of my parent’s house) watching “Phineas & Ferb on my iPad.  I’m sharing the floor with my puppy Rigsby, my hamster Reggie, and last night only (I pray)…someone else.  Buster.

I had been hearing a noise for quite some time and assuming it was my hamster but I finally decided that it wasn’t.  So I sat up and watched the room closely.  That’s when I saw him.  Buster.  Buster is a flying squirrel.  Buster was in my house ALL night.  At one point…Buster was even in my bed.  I hate Buster.  I slept in the bathroom floor last night to avoid Buster.

But then…the day quit being funny.

My mom and I had to go to the doctor (everyone’s fine!) and we stopped for lunch on our way home.  We stopped at McDonald’s and I went back to the restroom and passed a television.  The shooting had just happened.  “Shooting” and “Elementary” are two words I never dreamed I would see together.  But now I have.  And it wasn’t in my dreams…it was in a nightmare.

I was devastated.  I’m trying to deal/cope/live with several things right now and this made all of them intensely more difficult.  I was talking with my mom and crying and she said something to me.  She said to me, “Maggie, you don’t have a cure for everyone who has ever suffered…”.  She said more…but I didn’t hear it.

The music faded.  My mother’s voice faded.  My pain faded.  And somewhere in the back of my mind I heard a still small voice reply:

“Yes you do.  Jesus.”

I don’t know your specific question.  I don’t know your answer.  But I know what you can use to help pain relief.

Jesus.
Come and heal our hearts.
Come and heal our children.
Come and give Connecticut,
a Silent Night.

jesus_with_the_children_jekel

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Crossroad Radio

As you may or may not know…I work Friday nights at Crossroad Radio on WBFJ broadcasting live out of Winston-Salem!  You should definitely tune in on Friday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight!  Anyway, Dave and I recently posted on our blog our top 20 Christian market albums of 2012 and you need to go check them out NOW!  Dave has been in the Christian music scene for a long time and has a high standard for Christian music!  You can find mine HERE and Dave’s HERE!  GO CHECK IT OUT!!!

XR

yEP! That’s a good EP.

Capital Kings

So here’s the deal.  On XR Radio, we’ve been doing Christmas and one of our most awesomest songs we’re playing right now is Capital Kings‘ version of the EVER classic “Carol of the Bells“.  I’ve been listening to it and thinking to myself, “Now THIS is what Christian music has been missing.”  But you always have to be on your guard when getting excited about new artists.  There is always the chance that the first song you heard was awesome and the rest is just kind of.  You know… 😛

But last night at XR I received a copy of Capital Kings’ EP “I Feel So Alive“.  And as soon as I got in the car I put it in.

Speechless.

This EP has me even more excited for this band’s first full length album I can’t hardly wait!  I’m also reconsidering fighting Winter Jam crowds just for a chance to see this duo live and in action!  The first track, “I Feel So Alive” has an intense beat, outstanding melody, and the music these boys produce is unbelievable.  The quality is absolutely pristine.  I love these lyrics, “You’ve got me livin’ how I wanted all along.  I feel so alive!”  “Be There” is very different from the first track but with this still outstanding production quality, vocals, melody, and instrumentation.  “Tell Me” is the ‘lighter’ song on the EP (as far as beat goes) but it is still awesome!  And the Telemitry remix of “I Feel So Alive” is indescribable.

 The group is doing dubstep…and then they dubstep the dubstep.

Mind Blown

Capital Kings is most definitely a band to keep your eye on!  Love the music, love the vocals, love the production, love the EP!  Can’t wait for January!

Still That Girl

Britt Nicole is a definite favorite of mine.

I’ve loved her since the first album and I anxiously await every new one since then.  (The latest came out last week and the album review is currently under construction!

My favorite track from this most recent album, “Gold”, is number 10 “Still That Girl”.  I’ve gone through a lot in my 23 years on this earth (biography to come soon) and this song was a refreshing reminder that I’m still “that” girl that I used to be and the girl I thought had been lost through a series of unfortunate events.  But last night, on my way home from an event with WBFJ, I came to a realization.

The girl this song refers to was a girl who can still be the one who wants to change the world.  But I realized there is another “that” girl out there.  I’m the other kind.  The other kind is the one who puts on a facade.  She paints herself happy when she goes out on the town and she laughs and jokes and cuts up with the people she finds herself with.  But when she gets home…when she gets alone…she’s still that girl.  That girl that’s broken.  That girl that’s empty.  That girl that’s wounded.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

Embrace your broken-ness.  Let it be a part of you.  You can’t keep from it.  But don’t let it define you.

UNthinkable

I am currently trying to read through the entire Bible…in 90 days.  I am doing so with the help of an amazing app on my iPad.  Right now I am in the book of Exodus.  Here’s caught my attention this morning:  In Exodus 13, the Israelites have been released from Egypt while the Egyptians are mourning the death of all their firstborns.  God is leading them toward the land that He promised their Father…the magnificent Canaan.  But listen to what the scripture tells us in verse 17…

“It so happened that after Pharaoh released the people, God didn’t lead them by the road through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route, for God thought, ‘If the people encounter war, they’ll change their minds and go back to Egypt.”

Now this is one of those passages that you read over for YEARS and then suddenly the gravity of the situation fully hits you.  Let me focus in on a part of it that really makes the most difference in my personal opinion…

“If the people encounter war, they’ll change their minds and go back to Egypt.”

So God lead Him they way He did (by the way, if He had not He would not have had to part the Red Sea) because He didn’t want the Israelites to face war.  He did not want His chosen people to face war BECAUSE…He was afraid they would want to go back to Egypt.  He went out of His way…and out of their way…to make sure His own people trusted Him and followed Him without question.  To make sure they didn’t want to go back to Egypt.  This is Exodus 13:17…and by Exodus 14:10, the Israelites were wanting to go back to Egypt.  As you well know…this was not the first time and wouldn’t be the last.

Unimaginable

Allow me to be a woman for a minute.

After all…I am a woman.  For all minutes.

But allow me to be a woman looking in on scripture and interpreting it in a way only a woman can for a minute.

I’m in the book of Exodus.  (I imagine “The Sound”.  You know…the sound you hear in an auditorium full of people flipping through the fragile pages of the greatest love letter ever written.  Searching for the words I wish to share from within it’s pages.)  I’m in the first two chapters of the book of Exodus.  “The Sound”.

“So Pharaoh issued a general order to all his people:  ‘Every boy that is born, drown him in the Nile.  But let the girls live.’  […]  Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank.  She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it.  She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying!  Her heart went out to him.  She said, ‘This must be one of the Hebrew babies.’  Then his sister was before her: ‘Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?’  Pharaoh’s daughter said ‘Yes.  Go.’  The girl went and called the child’s mother.”  MSG

Now, I’ve heard this story countless times.  I’ve probably read it even more.  But here is what I had never thought of until today:

I don’t find it very likely that the Egyptians gave the Hebrew mothers maternity leave.
I don’t think that slaves in ancient Mesopotamia were given six months absence after giving birth.

They kept right on building the pyramids, or little brick huts, or whatever it was that the Pharaoh and his people had them do.  They were in so much pain and anguish and torment all the time.  But look deeper at what this story reveals to us when we are operating under this assumption.

A woman, who had just given birth (an extremely painful process), has her child taken from her.  If the child is a girl…she is returned.  If the child is a boy…any fleeting glimpse the mother had of the boy as he was being taken from the room is all she will every see of her baby.  Intensify.  There were no epidurals.  If the “Nativity” move that came out a couple years ago is accurate, there was a rope to pull on and some women who made strange congratulatory noises when the baby had been born.  There is pain afterward…for women who are doing nothing but laying in a hospital bed.  And sometimes there is the deepest kind of pain involved with child birth…and that is the death of the child.  As women in the twenty first century, at best we will deal with one of these pains at their most intense level.

These women were going through full birthing pains…the pain of losing their sons…and then:
they went back to work.

Long days.  On their feet.  Grueling heat.  Drowned child.  Returning home in the evening ready to feed the baby (really think), play with the baby, wash the baby, and then put the baby to sleep in his own bed.  That now lays empty in the corner.  This pain…with modern technology and medicine is unimaginable.  But the story doesn’t end there.

This mother got a second chance.  This mother, just after the pains of birth, put her youngest/newborn son in a basket and placed him in the river.  She kept him afloat in the river he was supposed to be drowned in.  His sister stood by to see what would happen.  And in God’s ever fantastic ways…a miracle.  The baby was found by the daughter of his attempted murderer who knew EXACTLY what was going on!  She says, “‘This must be one of the Hebrew babies.'”  And I can’t help believe, out in the middle of a river, bathing…after having just found a baby in a basket, suddenly a young girl jumps out and volunteers to go find a nursing mother for the child?  She must’ve known this was a relative.  She must’ve known this nursing mother was in fact his nursing mother.  And yet…she allowed it.  That is where this story comes truly and positively…unimaginable.

I Get it Now.

I do so all the time.

Westboro Baptist Church has been protesting soldier’s funerals for some time now.  They hold signs that say things like, “God loves dead soldiers”, “Thank God for dead soldiers”, and then some other ones that don’t make sense.

Now, anyone reading this who has family in the military (myself included) is probably thinking to themselves…”this girl is insane”.  But grant me your attention for just a few more moments.

This morning in one of my Communication courses, we were talking about the Effects of affective communication.  And as I walked across campus this evening…I realized that Westboro, a group I have lethally despised for some time now…hit the nail right on the head.

“God loves dead soldiers.”
“Thank God for dead soldiers.”

I do.
I do thank God for dead soldiers.  I do thank God for the men and women who gave their lives to give me the freedoms to write this post.  I do thank God for the men and women who gave their lives to protect the rights of WBC members to protest.  I do thank God for the men and women who gave their lives…
so I wouldn’t have to.

He does.
He does love the men and women who die for our freedom every day.  He does love the men and women He has groomed as warriors for His children.  He does love the men and women who selflessly lay down their lives because they believe it is the right thing to do.  He does so much…
that He first laid down His own. 

So thank you, Westboro Baptist Church.
Thank you for reminding us to be thankful for the men and women who fight for us.
Thank you for reminding us to remember those who fight on.
Thank you for bringing our attention to their homecomings.

NOW THAT'S A SIGN!!!