Unchangeable

You know who I’m super envious of this time of year?

Those people (you know who you are!) who wake up two days after Christmas and all signs that Christmas ever took place… gone.

The tree is kaput.

The decorations are all packed away.

The stockings, once hung by the chimney with care, are now neatly folded and tucked away in the attic until next year (where, coincidentally, they will be easily found). 

As for me and my house, the Christmas pack-up fairy never seems to stop by.  It is now 2013, and as I write this, to my immediate right stands my 2012 Christmas tree in all its glory. (The Stauffer family stockings, on the other hands, are still packed away from last year.  I never was able to find them in the attic.  Oh well!) 

If I’m being honest, I almost hate to part with my Christmas tree this year.  I don’t remember ever having a tree more magnificent than the one Alex picked out this year.  For only being six years old, my son has awesome taste in Christmas trees, but that is besides the point.

Perhaps what it all boils down to is I don’t like change.

Change, at least in my opinion, sucks, but the sad truth is, change is all around me.

Everywhere.

Nothing ever really stays the same, at least not for very long.

In the last month, picking up the newspaper, turning on the radio or watching the television news provided an opportunity to turn everything I believed to be true about the world we live in up on its head.

I think the reason I have such a strong aversion to change is that change is scary.  A lot of the time, but not always, change is the result of bad people doing bad things in the world.  Frequently, change is something you can’t plan for or control–it’s something that happens to you, whether you like it or not (and for the record, I like it not.) 

So today as I was driving along in my car, I was thinking about change, particularly about how much I dislike it, and I remembered a saying I used to hear all the time when I was growing up.  At first listen, the old adage, “Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes,” seems to be pretty accurate.  I mean, death and taxes are unchangeable.

For certain.

You know they are going to happen.

There’s no avoiding it.

For someone who doesn’t like change, I was beginning to think it might be better to become a fan of change just so I wasn’t stuck liking the only two things in this world that are unchangeable.

Then, in a serendipitious turn of events, I received my daily “Uplifting Text Message” from a service that I’m subscribed to.  Today’s text?

“God is unchanging in His love.  He loves you.  He has a plan for your life.  Don’t let the newspaper headlines frighten you.  God is still sovereign, He’s still on the throne.”  ~Bill Graham

God has many, many attributes but I never really stopped to consider that perhaps one of the most reassuring facets of his nature is the fact that He is unchangeable.

He doesn’t change His mind about things on a dime like we are prone to do.

His truth, and His laws, don’t change willy-nilly like our laws and truths do.

His love for us doesn’t change, ever, unlike our love for one another that sometimes does.

He is constant, immutable, permanent.

My Christmas decorations may come and go, and countless other things in my life and my home may change, but the one thing that will always remain is that my unchanging God will reign.

For someome who doesn’t like change, knowing that my God won’t ever change is the best news I’ve heard all year!

How priceless is your unchanging love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 36:7

New Music Monday: Matthew West’s Into The Light

Into The Light–Matthew West

It’s time for another edition of New Music Monday here on Spin: The Blog!  Technically, this week’s musical selection has been out for a few weeks but it is sooo good I’m going to have to go ahead and write a little about it today anyway.  (In my defense, there has been so much good new music released lately that I’m almost to the point that I need to win the lottery to be able to afford my iTunes habit; so, please bear with me if I run a few weeks behind on my New Music Monday entries!)

This week, my selection is the latest project from Matthew West entitled ‘Into The Light’.  As you might expect from any Matthew West project, ‘Into The Light’ is exceptional.  Exceptionally good.  Matthew West is nothing if not consistently one of the best singer/songwriters around, and I’d venture to say that’s true of any genre of music, not just Christian music.

Jason Mraz who?

My top four favorite songs on ‘Into The Light’ are, in no particular order, Do Something, Hello My Name Is, Forgiveness, and Unchangeable.  With that being said, I honestly think anyone would be hard pressed to find a bad song on this album.  Yep, it’s that good.

I want to share one of my favorite moments that happened while I was listening to Do Something.  The opening lyrics to Do Something sound remarkably similar to a conversation I routinely have in my head with God and are as follows:

“I woke up this morning

Saw a world full of trouble now

Thought, how’d we ever get so far down

How’s it ever gonna to turn around?

 

So I turned my eyes to Heaven

I thought, “God, why don’t you do something?”

Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of

People living in poverty

 

Children sold into slavery

The thought disgusted me

So I shook my fist at Heaven

Said “God, why don’t you do something?”

 

This next part of the song, a lyric I never saw coming, really got me:

He said, “I did, I created you.”

Somewhere far, far away, Matthew West smiles and says “Gotcha!” every time someone listens Do Something for the first time and has the same reaction I did.

Now, it’s my turn to encourage you to do something.  Obviously, I think you should go buy a copy of ‘Into The Light’, but if you are in or around my locale of Fort Wayne, Indiana, you have an opportunity to do something a little bit more.

For $15, you can pick up tickets here to Operation: Rock the Boxes on November 9th at IPFW’s Auer Hall and help spread the love of Jesus Christ this Christmas by supporting Operation Christmas Child.  Can you guess who will be appearing at the Operation: Rock the Boxes kick-off concert?  Well, if you guessed Matthew West, Mike’s Chair, Lindsay McCaul, and Everfound, you’re right!  For $15, I’m thinking that this concert is a steal!

I hope to see you there!  In the meantime, here are some other links you might find interesting:

Matthew West’s Website

Operation Christmas Child Info

Operation: Rock The Boxes Kick-Off Concert Information