I haven't done very well in consistently posting what I'm thankful for, using Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare prompts. It's not that I am ungrateful! Sometimes it's difficult to personalize the prompts. Ann has such a gift of expressing herself in a unique way and it has carried over into these prompts. At times, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around them. But, I have renewed my determination to thank God for three things each day and share that journey here woven in and through other posts.
Today's prompts: three old things seen new (gifts 26, 27, and 28). I just finished a post in my family history blog and that subject matter is definitely something old seen in a new way for which I am extremely grateful. But it sort of seems like cheating to use it. Then I thought I could reference my parents, because I am so very thankful for them. But even though they are seniors, I don't really like referring to them as old. I am also very thankful for having discovered the past projects of Richard Armitage. I am making my way through these shows and am immensely enjoying that journey. I'm not quite sure he would appreciate them being referred to as old, but they are new to me, and I am thankful for them.
As I mulled the prompt over, I thought back to the music I discovered when I was a teenager. One of my first vinyl LP's I bought was by Tom Howard entitled, "View From the Bridge." Thanks to a friend from college who I reconnected with on Facebook (ah, yet another old thing new) who sent me mp3's of it, I am able to enjoy it again. This is my favorite song from that album:
Towards the end in the harmonizing, the unmistakable voice of Randy Stonehill can be heard. Twenty years after "View From the Bridge" was released, Randy released his 18th album, "Thirst". I was in the midst of divorce and clung to the truths shared in those songs. I could not find my favorite song "Hand of God" on YouTube, but I did find a recording of it live with Phil Keaggy (another of my favorites) on guitar and Randy on vocals:
In those dark days this song ministered to my heart over and over again. The phrase that was burned into my soul is highlighted below in red:
Can you face your fears up close?
When you look them in the eye, you'll see they're just a lie, an imaginary ghost,
Can you embrace your sadness, taste the salt of your tears?
Start laughing when you cry, 'cause it means that you're alive; and thank God you're standing here.
Can you confess your darkness?
Gaze in the mirror of your soul, then rise above the shame, for mercy is a
flame and its light will lead you home,
Will you lay down your anger, ah, the wayward sons of Cane?
And fall upon your knees, for truth will set you free and forgiveness kills your pain.
Jesus is standing before every man, shining bright as the sun,
All of creation cries out his name; from the stars in the heavens, the blood in our veins,
Only one glimpse of his face - the whole world has changed.
And there's a road through the mountains high,
There's a boat that can take you across the river wide,
For every heart love has healed, every hope faith makes real - in all these things, oh, I have seen the hand of God,
In all these things, oh, I have seen the hand of God.
I have struggled so long on this strange pilgrim journey
And the wild wind has cut me as the sands of time blow
But it all will be worth it when I kneel before Jesus
And His face has been carved in the stone of my soul