[noteworthy] “Trademark”

In honor of Relient K’s newest album Collapsible Lung, I’ve been rocking some classic Relient K tracks. One of my favorites is “Trademark” from the album Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right…but Three Do. It’s one of those songs where every time I hear it…it’s all I can think about for a while. One of the lyrics that plays on repeat in my head is, “It seems if my ties with You get severed I can’t seem to hold a thing together/I just fall apart, ’cause that’s my trademark.”

I have a really bad habit of doing this yo-yo thing with Jesus. That sounds like some kind of fun game, but really it’s a miserable cycle with lots of me disappointing myself. I get comfortable and complacent with where my relationship with Him is, then it’s like I forget that faith is a work in progress. It’s like any other relationship – it takes nurturing and time…time spent together…time in confidence. When I get in the place of realizing that I’m slipping away…I always think, “There you go again, Caitlyn. Classic you.” It’s my trademark move.

“It’s my, my trademark move/To realize I should improve
And sometime soon after that You’ll see me come crawlin’ back.”

Sing it, Relient K. Sing. It.

I always catch myself in a moment where I don’t feel like myself. I realize I can be better…that I AM better and go crawling back. I have this image of God standing there with His arms out and this look on His face. The look isn’t disappointment or annoyance…He’s not angry with me. It’s more like a “we’ve been here before” look. I don’t even know how to describe it.

So, what is it?

“I’ll kill the thing that turns me away/Amputate the arm that will disobey/Withdraw from everything that’s hurting me/Until You finish Your work in me”

There comes a point in everyone’s faith walk where they can identify what it is that pulls them away from God. It’s different for everyone. Sometimes it’s temptations and addictions. Other times, we find idols and other ways of trying to replace God in our lives. We realize that there’s nothing big enough to outweigh the place God has in our hearts and lives and we run back home. There’s this stuff that’s weighing us down and pulling us away from Him.

So, we cut it out. When I was a youth intern, we talked about cutting out the bad influences (music, movies, TV shows, etc.) Sometimes these things are hard to quit cold turkey. Been there, my friends. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can handle it because it’s just that entertaining. This is something I cycle with, too. If I’m listening to music and watching movies or TV shows with bad influences all at the same point in my life it can be overwhelming and I have to cut a few things out. Again, that’s something that’s different for everyone. I have friends who won’t watch anything that’s not honoring God and I have other friends who don’t even understand the concept of honoring God with what you watch. I’m not going to tell people that God doesn’t want them listening to bad music. I don’t know what God wants. I think it’s what we do after we listen to it or watch it that matters…the effect it has on our minds.

So, that’s my trademark move. Slip away, come back, repeat. Sure would be easier if I could cut out the slipping away part, huh?

Work in progress. No one’s perfect.

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[noteworthy] “Like an Avalanche”

First of all, I’m from Texas. I’ve always lived in Texas. I am completely unfamiliar with avalanches. The closest I come to one is when I’m watching “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and they cause a racket which brings down a whole bunch of snow.

But I know what it’s like to be caught up in grace like an avalanche.

“Like an Avalanche” is probably one of my favorite Hillsong United songs. I love all of their music, but this song is so moving to me.

This song was written by Joel Houston and Dylan Thomas of Hillsong and when I was researching the lyrics and where the song came from, I found out that this song came after they’d given up on writing for the evening. They were writing song after song and all of a sudden, they’d written “Like an Avalanche”.

It’s almost as though this song wanted to be written.

I love the pictures that this song paints. Trading Your righteousness for shame, despite all my pride and foolish ways. What a vision! No matter how many times we mess up, it doesn’t erase the everlasting love that abounds in His righteousness. Praise God for that!

I love the overwhelming sense of being small. That may seem like a weird statement, but think about it. I have to be reminded that He is big and I am small. And I find myself here on my knees again, caught up in grace like an avalanche. On my knees AGAIN. Not, on my knees this one time because I’m so fantastic. Not, on my knees a little bit this one time. On my knees once again, here I am and Your love overwhelms me. Wow.

This is one of those songs that I listen to almost daily. I allow this song to consume me. The lyrics are so lovely, you know? They’re just…lovely. The words are so incredibly powerful.

Beautiful God. From darkness into light. King for a slave. Infinite embrace. This love..burning in my heart. Savior and friend. Your Word is the lamp unto my path. Forever I’m humbled by Your love.

Take my life, take all that I am. With all that I am, I will love You.

Take my heart, take all that I have. Jesus, how I adore You.

Every once and a while we all have to be reminded how to confess our love. Why is that so hard to do sometimes? Jesus, how I adore You; how I love You.

Nothing compares to this love, love, love – burning in my heart. 

[noteworthy] kids in the way.

I’m kicking it old school for this music post. Kids in the Way used to be my favorite band. They have some really amazing songs. I’m all about lyrics, so even if their music isn’t so much “my style” anymore, I love their lyrics.

“Lay me down in fields of green/This heart has seen things I never should have seen/You’re breaking my legs and teaching me”

There’s a theory that back in the day, when a sheep wandered away from the flock, the shepherd would track it down and break one of its legs to teach it a lesson. Some stories say that the shepherd would make a splint to put on the sheep’s leg and that he would carry the sheep over his shoulders back to the flock.

Matthew 18:12-14 says, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”

Although the leg-breaking theory isn’t in the Bible, it makes you wonder. Is the Good Shepherd one of these? Does he “allow” things to happen so that we learn? Is “allow” even a good word to use? The God I know is one that teaches lessons. I think some of our lessons hurt Him, especially when we’re making the wrong choices. But I don’t believe that He forces bad things to rain down upon us to “show us.” When bad things happen, we often say that “God hates us” or that “He’s punishing us.” God knows what’s best for us. Sometimes what’s best for us doesn’t feel so “best” to us.

According to this theory, after the leg heals, the sheep will stay beside the shepherd for the rest of its life. It won’t ever go astray again.

After we go through a trial and God brings us out of it and into the light….do we stay beside Him forever? Do we stay loyal?

Job 5:18 says, “For He wounds, but He binds up; He shatters, but His hands heal.”

I love that this song makes me think. I love the thought of God finding me in my wandering and bringing me home. That’s why I love this song.

Kids in the Way albums are a staple in my road trip playlists.

-Caitlyn

Other favorites from this artist: “Phoenix With a Heartache”, “Scars that Save”, “Apparitions of Melody” and “Stars Fall On.”

[noteworthy] christy nockels.

[Don’t be fooled. The video says it has the lyrics…but it doesn’t.]

My favorite song this week was “By Our Love” by Christy Nockels from her album “Life Light Up.”

I’m sure this won’t be the last you’ll see of Christy Nockels on my blog.

I actually own this album and recently decided to put it on shuffle and enjoy. Man, did I enjoy! Christy Nockels has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard. Her voice is beautifully clear and passionate. I especially love her live tracks on the last few “Passion” albums.

The lyrics and melody for this song are both really simple, yet really powerful. I love simple songs; sometimes they have the most effect.

“The time is now/Come church, arise/Love with His hands, see with His eyes/Bind it around you/Let it never leave you/And they will know us by our love.”

I think one of the main reasons this song impacted me is because of how it relates to my latest post. The church is meant to LOVE God’s people! The church has a reputation of  blatant hypocrisy, strict rules and uptight morals. People should look at the church and see the love of God being put on display! The church is more than a building; the church is a body of believers.

What are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them to judge and look down upon non-Christians and even our brothers and sisters?

I hope they’ll be known for their love. The time is now. Come, church – arise.

-Caitlyn

Other favorites from this album: “A Mighty Fortress”, “Song of the Beautiful” and “Hosanna.”

1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God…”

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

*I needed something to do every week. I have a few people that I send my favorite songs to or that ask me for some good music suggestions, so I thought this would be a good place to start! Let me know if you like the idea of posting a song every week.

[noteworthy] i know the rain is coming.

After spending the weekend at the corner of No and Where, I was unbelievably aware of the heat. Yes, I know it has been hot all summer. For some reason, while spending the weekend at a camp ground with my fellow campus tour guides, telecounselors and admissions assistants, the heat was ridiculous. I started thinking about the drought those of us in the South have suffered this summer. I thought about how our land is dry and aching for rain, how crops are dying and animals are coming into towns in search of water. It made me think of the drought in our souls. Then, I heard these lyrics from Jesus Culture, “I believe You will come like the rain”.

We are both figuratively and literally in need of rain. Our souls are dry and weary, send Your healing rain, Father! Fill us with Your love and mercy so we may pour out on Your people! I’ve felt empty and dry before and when His love abounds, it’s like smelling rain on the wind.

“I believe You will come like the rain!” After months of staring at the clouds, the first drop of rain made me want to run outside and bask in the glory of the Lord. He is faithful! “Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
let the earth cause them both to sprout;
I the LORD have created it.” [Isaiah 45:8 ESV]

I love this verse in any variation. God commands the rain to fall and revive our thirsty land and hearts! That revival brings salvation and righteousness that spreads like wildfire…except…a good kind of wildfire! From our hearts, passion arises! As Christians, the Holy Spirit resides in us and when we are revived and renewed, He moves and shakes! God is a prime example of a mover and shaker, for sure.

“My soul longs for You/Nothing else will do”. Is there any replacement for a good rain storm on our lands? No. We can use sprinklers all day, but that’s not going to have the breadth to cover every patch of grass, all the time. What’s something in your life that you use to temporarily fill that void? The void that only the Father can fill. Beg Him to come like the rain and fill you up!

“So let it rain!” This was the first week of the semester for me and a new ministry has come to campus called InterVarsity. I’ve never been more excited to be apart of something like this group in my entire life. God’s going to bring the rain. He will come in love and mercy. He is faithful to every promise. My cry out to God is just that, “Let it rain!” I believe He will come like the rain. He is mighty to save.

-Caitlyn

Listening to: