The Sweetness In Vinegar, The Promises In Suffering

"Him I covet, Him I seek, and naught but Him." - The Cloud Of Unknowing

"Deficiencies are mirrors of perfection; the vilest things are mirrors of His glory. For opposites make known their opposites as honey’s taste is known in vinegar." - Rumi

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promises preserve my life." -Psalm (NIV)

Vanity.
Answer vanity with “naught but Him.”
The sick person cannot heal himself.
The broken bone cannot mend itself.
The table cannot build itself.
       I endlessly struggle with depression.
       Many of the good things I do in life
       are direct responses to this struggle.
Empathy.
Kindness.
Writing.
Art.
Music.
Participation in community.
Physical training.
Balanced diet.
Gentleness.
       (all a direct response to struggle.)
       I cannot heal myself.

Your promises keep me alive.
Please heal my broken longings.
       I don’t have anything to offer in return.
       But friendship, kindness and charity.
       Amen.

He Raises, He Lifts

"In one little time, as little as it is, may heaven be won or lost." - The Cloud Of Unknowing

"As I am not myself, this breath is His." - Rumi

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap [….]" - Psalm (NIV)

Lift me from the dust, God Most High.
Turn these ashes to make this garden
   bloom, grow and be fruitful.
Thank You for Your kindness and grace.
Thank You for Your care and providence.
   Direct this life to Your ways
   and fulfill Your vision within me.

There is struggle.
There is suffering in the world.
Bring us peace.

There is hatred.
There is hostility in the world.
Teach us loving kindness.

There is desperation.
There is famine in the world.
Give us our daily bread.

Continue Your redemptive work in my life
   and all the lives and souls dwelling on this Earth.
       Amen. 

The Horse & Camel

"It is a rare being who is restrained by self-direction, who does not invite reproof, as a good horse does not invite the whip." - Buddha

"How should the camel’s being be slimmed down except by means of discipline and practice?" - Rumi

”[…] who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion[….]” - Psalm (NIV)

The sermon today was about listening.
   ”Speak Lord, for I am listening.”

It is not easy to retain self-control.
I am undisciplined.
My life: a falling leaf,
   caught up by the wind.
If I listened carefully,
   could I become the tree limb?

Father,
Speak into my life.
I am listening.
Breathe redemption into this year.
Tame me.
Correct me.
Love and guide me.
Thank You for Your constancy and redeeming love.
Thank You for Your forgiveness and understanding.
       I love You.
       Amen.

I remastered this track this week as I’m planning to include it in my next album. It was the first project I’d done using Reaper and my new laptop (my other computer died tragically) so the original mix wasn’t great. I’m happy with how this turned out the second time around! :)

The Generous Quaking Earth

"Avoid rash action. Be restrained in speech. Giving up wrong deeds, exercise right action." - Buddha

"We thought the round moon was a disc of bread, and so we held our hands up to the sky." - Rumi

"You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking." - Psalm (NIV)

Rebuild upon this quaking Earth.
Mend bridges and boundaries.
Fearlessly reconcile yourself to your life.
Be intimate with Fate and Destiny.
You gifted children, be generous with your gifts.
A heart that tightly holds its gifts
   leads to the body’s slow death.
Take correct views.
Move in wisdom and peace.
Don’t be afraid.

I love you.
I will help you.
I will protect you.
       Selah.

The Cold - Lyric Video

I made this nice little lyric video on $0 budget for my original song The Cold. I must say, glitter paint is not the easiest medium to work in :D But, cutting the snowflakes and playing with different art supplies is always fun.

Buy the track at danielml.bandcamp.com/track/the-cold - it’s only a dollar and it would really help out!

Thanks for watching, listening, liking and sharing!

Lyrics:

There is a cold dark cave underneath my heart, 
And there’s a cold north wind blowing over my doorway, 
There’s a fire upstairs but the snow’s blowing inside, 
My God, I swear, these nights are hard to get by. 

Cover me in Your unfailing love, 
Warm me with Your grace, 
Carry me to the steeps of Your village. 

I am a poor excuse for a wayfaring stranger, 
the love I had to give I borrowed from some old manger 
if I could just dig out of this hole where I’m planted 
then I would move someplace warm where we could fall in love. 

Cover me in Your unfailing love, 
Warm me with Your grace, 
Carry me to the steeps of Your village. 

I want to feel the sun peaking over Mount Zion, 
I want to walk with you under pillars of fire, 
At least it’d be warmer than this old blanket, 
And I could reasonably keep out the cold.

Form & Spirit

"Like lions from the bush, form springs from spirit, or as the voice and words emerge from thought." - Rumi

" … to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." - Isaiah

My thoughts wander and swirl.
Amidst chaos, chaotic thoughts.
Form springs from spirit.
Words spring from the heart’s overflow.
   Doubts. Uncertainties. Trouble.
   Joy. Love. Peace.
Gather me under the shelter of Your wings.
Replace my willfulness with Your divine will.
Redeem this turbulence.
Use the energy of conflict for transformation.
Make me an instrument of Your grace.

You give.
You give in the taking.
You redeem in the shaking.
You pull us from wayward paths.

I am blessed though I am troubled.
You guide so gently.
Thank You.
       Amen.