Since this is the *First* post, I wanted to start with a song about *Finishing*.
So I chose "Finish Well" by my dear friend Julia Schmidt.
I picked this particular song because, as a (uh-hum) middle-aged Christian woman I remember thinking while I was in my my 20's, why are so many of the older women in church so burned out and crabby? What happened?
I remember saying to myself, " I'm not going to let that happen to me."
So, now years later
At the end of our lives we want to hear the encouraging words spoken by our Savior to the Church of Thyatira.
Revelation 2:19 "I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first."
We don't want to hear the rebuke of The Church of Ephesus.
Revelation 2:4 "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first."
So we need to be reminded to Finish Well.
Hebrews 12: 1(b) - 2(a) "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
I don't want this as my epitaph.
Definitely NOT this
Julia is a dear friend and I've had the pleasure of hearing her perform at such diverse venues as a Womens Shelter on skid row, Several coffee houses, and Retreats. Often I find myself humming and singing her tunes especially when I'm alone. I think her unique gift is that she pairs complex challenging themes with simple singable melodies. Her bio is as follows:
"Julia has been performing original songs both nationally and internationally for over 30 years. Her songs have been called refreshing and honest and cover topics from God’s grace and compassion, to our struggles with sin, to living authentically. Her sense of humor sometimes shines through in songs that are tongue-in-cheek, yet pull no punches. She uses music as a way to talk about emotions and topics that people tend to avoid discussing and desires to encourage people to look honestly at themselves and turn to Christ with the areas in which they struggle.
As a young adult, Julia toured the U.S. and Canada with Youth With a Mission and subsequently performed private concerts in North America and Europe. Today she lives in the Greater Los Angeles area with her husband and four children and continues writing songs from a Biblical worldview out of her experiences as a wife and mother."
She had this to say about "Finish Well"
"When I was in my pre-teens, there was an older couple at church, Mr. & Mrs. Willis. It was a fairly young church, so they were our token "gray-hairs." They must have been in their 80s, and whenever either of them spoke, everyone would stop and listen. They had been in full-time ministry together for their entire adult lives, and even though they were "retired," showed no signs of slowing down. When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say, "Mrs. Willis." It's still true today -- I want to hit the finish line at full pelt, sprinting for the end, not looking to the left or right but keeping my eyes fixed not on the finish but on the prize that waits on the other side."
You can listen to more of Julia's songs HERE and purchase them by sending an e-mail HERE
I would love to hear about what you are listening to. What is on your iPod, radio, or CD that means something to you? Or has encouraged you in the past? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below, with a brief explanation of why you love it. Perhaps it will turn up in an up-coming Monday.