A Song for Sunday–We Are

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We Are–James Tealy, Hillary McBride, Chuck Butler, Ed Cash

Every secret, every shame
Every fear, every pain
Live inside the dark
But that’s not who we are
We are children of the day

So wake up, sleeper, lift your head
We were meant for more than this
Fight the shadows, conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left

Today felt like one of “those” days, for no good reason. On the surface, all was well. I got to sleep in. My husband made breakfast for the family. We got to spend time together as we did a few things around the house and the yard. But in spite of how smoothly the day was going, I was a bit anxious and edgy, although I couldn’t say exactly why.

Since I am now the music director for the evening Mass every Sunday, I grabbed my phone and listened to “We Are” on YouTube while tackling the laundry and a few other chores. This was the new song for tonight. I know myself well enough to know that sometimes, the anxiety just needs to be pushed aside, so I worked away at the song and hoped that it would go well–not just for my sake, but for the people I would be leading.

Once we arrived at the church, I was finally able to calm my mind and settle into the prayerful atmosphere. As I listened to the readings, and as I led the music, I felt that wonderful, familiar peace come over me. In spite of all the worries that had been hanging over me all day–worries that I couldn’t quite identify, but still couldn’t chase away–I felt calm. As I played and sang, I felt like I was exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing. I can’t say I always know that I am doing what God intends for me, but when I do, there’s nothing like it, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

Whatever your light for the world is, don’t hide it. Push aside the uncertainty, the doubts, the obstacles that might be in your way. Let your light shine, because that’s how God’s work gets done. However small each of us might be, we can all make a difference in our own way, a way that no one else can quite duplicate.

And with all the challenges out there–watch the evening news for a few minutes, on the off chance that you don’t know what I mean–it would seem that the world really needs more light right now.

We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

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For Diane, With Love – The Other Side

In March of 2015, Diane Van Bommel, a beloved friend and relative, suspected the return of her cancer. Soon after, this was confirmed, and while still hopeful, she started to prepare, not knowing how much time she would have left. She asked me to write a song for her funeral, to celebrate her new life on “the other side”, and to comfort her family and friends with the knowledge that she was safe and not so far away. She passed away on December 26, 2015. It was an honour and a privilege to sing for her. For those who have asked, here is the video, along with the lyrics.

The Other Side                                                  (c) Tina Pumfrey, SOCAN, 2015

I’m on the other side, no need to cry for me, I’m safe and I’m sound, I’m home

My suffering is done, my forever just begun, and you know that I’m here singin’ praise

In God’s goodness and faithfulness, He never turned His back on me,

I spent my days in His hand

Now I’m singin’ Hallelujah with saints and angels all around

I’m on the other side, yeah, I’m on the other side

He measured out my days, He sure did make them full, poured out so many blessings over me

No one’s future can be told, trust in Him, let it unfold,

and thank Him for the love along the way

In God’s goodness and faithfulness, He never turned His back on me,

I spent my days in His hand

Now I’m singin’ Hallelujah with saints and angels all around

I’m on the other side, yeah, I’m on the other side

And you know, He kept me safe, I never lost my way,

And no matter how lonely the valley, He’ll bring you home

I’m on the other side, no need to cry for me, I’m safe and I’m sound, I’m home

My suffering is done, my forever just begun, and you know that I’m here singin’ praise

In God’s goodness and faithfulness, He never turned His back on me,

I spent my days in His hand

Now I’m singin’ Hallelujah with saints and angels all around

I’m on the other side, yeah, I’m on the other side

And I’m singin’ Amen, Amen, Hallelu – u – jah!

To read Diane’s many words of wisdom, visit http://www.divbblog.wordpress.com and http://www.godgivesblessings.wordpress.com.  Her legacy will live on through her writings.

A Song for Sunday–Beyond Me

Beyond Me — Toby Mac

Oh, this song was timely for me when it came on the radio a few days ago. Some of my goals really do seem too big some days, and it was another of those days. So often, I feel like can’t keep up to the everyday stuff that needs to get done, let alone invest time and energy in what I really want to do.

Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe

That You gave me the stars, put them out of my reach
Called me to waters a little too deep
Oh, I’ve never been so aware of my need
You keep on making me see
It’s way beyond me
It’s way beyond me
Yeah, it’s out of my league
It’s way beyond me
It’s way beyond me
It’s way beyond

But every one of us has something to contribute, something that no one else can bring to the world. If I remember to rely on God, the one who gave me my own mix of talents and opportunities, I can take another step in the direction I’m supposed to go.

concert on the commons 2015 2You take me to the place where I know I need You
 Straight to the depths that I can’t handle on my own
And Lord I know, I know I need You
So take me to Your great
Take me to Your great unknown

What’s your dream? What have you been contemplating, but maybe afraid to attempt? Do you talk yourself out of it, telling yourself that it’s too much to take on, or maybe even silly? (I do, more often than I would like to admit!!) The world would be a much better place if everyone put their dreams into action, even if only a little bit at a time.

“The challenge life presents to each of us is to become truly ourselves–not the self we have imagined or fantasized about, not the self that our friends want us to be, not the self our ego would have us be, but the self God has ordained us to be from before we were in our mother’s womb.” —Matthew Kelly

Photo courtesy of my friend Lois. Yes, we look a bit like bugs with our sunglasses on, but we were thankful for the beautiful summer weather and the happy crowd of listeners. 🙂

Weakness As Strength

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“Your weaknesses are the key to the unimaginable bigger future that God has envisioned for you. Your strengths are probably already bearing all the fruit they can. They will continue to bear those good fruits in your life, but at some point they will begin to plateau. Your richer, more abundant future is intimately linked to your weaknesses.” Matthew Kelly

A Song for Sunday–Do Something

Do Something–Matthew West

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 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?”
He said, “I did, I created YOU”

I’d heard this song before, but one day recently, it hit me between the eyes. Five minutes before the start of morning classes, this song came over the school PA system, and it was what I needed to kick-start my attitude and my outlook–not just for the day, but in general. Yes, there are bad things happening in the world, whether far away or in our own homes. Yes, there are discouraging stories on the news every day. But we can’t let that stop us from trying to make a difference in our little corner.

I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

We are all here for a unique purpose. We’ve heard it so many times, but do we believe it? Do we live it? We all have something that makes our light shine, that gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning, that makes us feel alive. I know I need to refocus regularly, because sometimes it’s easy for me to lose sight of the bigger picture. If you haven’t found your purpose yet, pray on it. Think about it. Look for it. When we find that purpose, and let that purpose animate us, we feel better, but we also improve the lives of others around us. When I heard this song, I realized I’d been letting the day-to-day drag me down, wear me out and leach the enthusiasm out of me, not enough to make me really feel down, but just enough that I wasn’t feeling excited about much of anything. I decided that I needed to pick myself up and get back at it. Ten days later, I’m still feeling more motivated, more positive, and more upbeat about what’s ahead. It’s time for me to DO SOMETHING! I love how the video is packed with ideas and actions that anyone can take on. It’s not beyond us to change the world, one little bit at a time.

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to DO SOMETHING!