Religious Tunage

“We’re going down to the river
Down to the river, down to the river to pray
Let’s get washed by the water
Washed by the water and rise up in amazing grace
Let’s go down, down, down to the river (You will leave changed)
Let’s go down, down, down to the river (Never the same)”

  • The River

“There’s a war between guilt and grace
And they’re fighting for a sacred space
But I’m living proof
Grace wins every time”

  • Grace Wins

“You are loved
If your heart’s in a thousand pieces
If you’re lost and you’re far from reason
Just look up; know you are loved
Just look up; and know you are loved
When it feels like something’s missing
If it hurts but you can’t find healing
Just look up, know you are loved
Just look up, know you are loved
Ooh”

  • You Are Loved

“So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held”

  • Just Be Held

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These are choruses from the four most popular Christian songs today. Really, they sound like one song if you string them together.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t absolutely hate Christian music.

But honestly….. They’re all the same.

God is there

He is with you.

You are loved.

No worries.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, Christian songs and shallow puddles of acoustic guitar and keyboards playing the same four chords in every song.

The Bible is deep. There is so much substance there. And so many old hymns portray that so beautifully.

But nowadays contemporary Christians music is like spoon-feeding a baby. Here is the bare bones of Christianity: Jesus loves you.

And of course, it’s true. But can’t you ever sing about anything that has to do with real life? I wanna hear the song about God helped you out of an abusive relationship. I want the grit of real life, the angst, the depression, the pressure.

NOT “I was going through all this hard crap but I was fine because God is with me.”

False.

No one is ever fine going through break ups, addictions, mental illness, death, depression. No one. It doesn’t matter how devout you are, how many times you go to your church during the week. It doesn’t matter who you study the Bible with or how you pray.

Saying that you are ok going through all of that is bullcrap.

You’re lying. You are lying to non-Christians about what faith means.

Faith doesn’t mean you are ok. Faith doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time.

Faith means you have somewhere to go to. Faith means there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Faith is not flowers. Faith is a coach while you struggle through an obstacle course. Faith is your best friend. Faith is not some prescription medicine you take to feel good about yourself.

That’s why Christian music pisses me off. It’s not real. It’s not what people struggle with. It’s so candy-coated.

Step it up, people. I would love some substance.

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Anniversary Musings

You know that moment when you lock eyes with someone for the first time and you just… know?

There’s this shiver crawling in slow motion up your spine. Your mouth twitches into a smile. You find so many hidden things in those eyes.

And you want to know more about them.

It’s been two years since Golden Boy and I went on our first date. Of course, we didn’t know it was a date until he dropped me off. That’s when we decided it had been a date. He met my dad for pity’s sake.

That first date was the most nerve-wracking experience. The entire time we were desperate for non-awkward conversation. I kept staring at his hands, wondering if they were brave enough to hold mine on the first date. I swear we hardly looked at each other.

Two years later we can’t stop looking at each other.

I want to tell all you girls out there (and boys) that there is no problem WAITING. When Golden Boy and I started dating, we had already been friends for a year and we just had this feeling that things were going to work out. I don’t know about him, but I was positive that I could spend the rest of my life flirting with this man.

There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you are sure.

We have something so special, him and I. We are each other’s first and only relationship. First date. First kiss. First everything. And that is not something that is common these days. I’m so glad that he is getting all of me and that I am getting all of him. No one took any of me as theirs and kept it. I was able to tell him that I waited for him. And he waited for me.

There is nothing glorious about being a heartbreaker. There is nothing special about burning through boyfriends or girlfriends. Slow down. Wait to fall in love.

I was in love with my man long before we went on our first date. The great part is that love gets so much deeper with time. Every day I love him more.

I hope that everyone reading this gets that chance. It is the best feeling.

Have a fantastic day everyone.

The Midnight Society {part 3}

My Monday schedule: wake up, eat breakfast, worry that I didn’t get all my projects done. Go to math class, worry that I didn’t get all my projects done. Read for an hour, worry that I’m forgetting something. Eat lunch, talk to phoebe, worry… well you get the picture.

            It’s not that I’ve ever actually forgotten an assignment or haven’t finished in time. I just worry about it. A lot.

That particular Monday however, I had an evening appointment.

            The mansion looked so different in the daylight. It was well-kept but the magic of the classical music and lanterns was gone. Phoebe and I hesitantly approached it, senses tingling. Her heels clicked against the stone walkway while my Converse remained silent.

            I was about to knock but the door was opened before my closed fist made contact with the splintering wooden door.

“Come in,” Branden himself ushered us inside. Phoebe and I exchange a wary look, but she followed closely at his heels.

“So what’s going on? You didn’t give much of an explanation last night,” Phoebe said. Branden gave her a mysterious smirk, but remained silent.

            Jason walked by us in one of the halls. I almost didn’t recognize him, if hadn’t been for those eyes. His hair was a wavy mess and he wore jeans and a V-neck tee. He glanced at Branden quickly, but other than that he remained stoic, not acknowledging me or Phoebe.

            I tried not to be bugged by it. Honestly, we had only talked for like three minutes. But we had kind of flirted. Well I flirted. Maybe he wasn’t flirting. Ugh. Whatever.

            Branden led us to the overly-large living room. It was still devoid of the usual furniture and there were nine other people there. They all gave Phoebe and I an odd glance, but then continued whispering among themselves.

            Branden gestured for us to join the tiny crowd and we did so, as he moved to the front like he had last night.

“So I’m guessing you’ve heard of the CIA?” He started.

Um, was this a trick question?

“And the FBI. And the NSA. And MI6. All those?”

Those of us in the crowd nodded warily, not positive where he was going with this.

“Well you probably don’t know that they’re constantly recruiting college kids, such as yourselves. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, which I’m sure you have or else you wouldn’t be here, my job is to seek out those worthy of recruitment.”

Ok, this had to be some sort of college prank. Branden couldn’t be serious. This was too ridiculous.

“I see your faces, your expressions of disbelief, of doubt. Rest assured, I am very serious. I am an agent for one those agencies, as is almost everyone at the gala last night.”

Jason was a secret agent? A spy?

I glanced at Phoebe to see if she was buying this. Not only was she buying it, it looked like she was stocking up on it, eyes glued to Branden. There would be no dragging her away from this.

“So, why don’t we get started. If you’ll look to the back,” All heads turned simultaneously. “You’ll find a table with a change of clothes for you. You should have no problem finding your size.”

It was obvious that was our cue. As the eleven of us headed back to find whatever he was talking about, he told us that there were plenty of rooms upstairs to change in.

On the table, there were uniform workout clothes, grey sweatpants with dark blue tanktops. Sure enough, it wasn’t hard for Phoebe and I to find the right sizes. We headed upstairs together to get changed.

 

The Midnight Society

Here’s a glimpse into one of the many projects I’m working on. It’s really just a concept, not too much more than what I’ve posted. If you’ll kindly look past the grammatical errors and awkward sentences, that would be fantastic. It’s just a rough draft. But please, please, let me know if you like it and want to read more 🙂

 

“Floor-length gowns and four inch heels were not my style. But what else do you wear to a mysterious midnight gala that was by invitation only. We were almost to the antique mansion, and my best friend Phoebe and I could hear the classical music. I touched her arm.

“Are you ready for this? Because, this is super weird. Seriously, think about it. What if we get involved in some sort of criminal activity or something?”

“Lyric, this is the chance of a lifetime. I can smell the adventure. Now come on. We can only take fashionably late so far.” She grabbed my hand and dragged a stumbling me to front door.

            A guy, probably around twenty years old and wearing a sharp looking tux, was at the front door.

“Invitations.” Was the only word that man ever said to us. It wasn’t even a question. It was a demand. We handed the small cardstock squares with fancy calligraphy to him. He simply nodded politely and opened the door for us.

And that was the last time I ever saw him.

            I think it was Vivaldi wafting through the air, but I’m not positive of anything about that night. Everyone looked perfectly comfortable there, probably around fifty people. Young men in suits and women in ball gowns floated effortlessly around the room. I wondered if any of them had been invited the way Phoebe and I were.

            I gently touched my blonde hair, hoping the French twist I had worked so hard on would stay.

“Come on, there’s Branden,” Phoebe led me to the handsome man who had given us the invitations.

“You made it,” He observed politely. I didn’t even know what to say, but Phoebe was already taking charge.

“Did you think we would pass up the opportunity to attend a gala hosted by Pacific University’s elite?”

“Touché,” Branden gave Phoebe a half smile. “Well, girls, mingle, eat, and dance. Enjoy yourself.”

He walked off before I could ask why we had been invited.

            Phoebe turned to me, positively giddy.

“Oh my gosh, I handled that ridiculously well. Did you see his face? I was so cool, too, it was just like BAM response!”

I tried to quiet her down, but I couldn’t help but laugh. “Ok, ok, I get it. Now shall we mingle?”

“We shall.” And it was all I could do to keep up with those strappy red heels of hers.

            She was a sight to behold, completely at home in her attractively cut red dress, and her elegant hair-do. Her alluring smile caught every male’s attention.

Me? I’m afraid I’m just slightly more awkward in social situations. I wouldn’t go so far as to say outcast, or wallflower, but small talk has never been my strong suit.

            There was a single person besides Phoebe there that I knew. A girl named Kira Drake. I had my writing class with her. She was friendly and we talked a second about our creative writing assignment due on Friday. One thing about college is that there was always something due, even worse than high school. Seriously, it kept you on your toes.

            A waltz started about half an hour in.

“May I have this dance?” I turned to my right to see where the voice was coming from. A guy, around my age, possibly older, was holding out his hand, peering at me with piercing eyes. For some reason he reminded me of old black and white movies; the tux, gray eyes, black hair combed neatly in an old fashioned way.

“I’m afraid I don’t know how to waltz,” I apologized, hoping he would take it as a no. Instead he took my hand and led me to the dance floor.

“Nonsense. I’ll teach you.”

“Oh, um, okay.” I tripped after him. He led me in a simple 1-2-3 pattern that became natural quicker than I had imagined it would.

            “My name’s Lyr-“

“Lyric Anastasia Romanoff. I know.”

I blinked at him, but I realized he must be a member of the party that invited us. “That leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage. You know my name, but I don’t know yours.”

“Jason. Jason Clyde.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Jason,” I remarked. He gave me a quick smile.

“It’s nice to meet you too.”

Were we flirting? I’m 76% positive we were flirting. “