Hold Me In

For the second installment in my series where I explain songs that I have written I am going to cover a song called “Hold Me In”. First off, the lyrics…

cover up the scars that mark your back
pretend I’m not here and I don’t see
we both know the truth of who I am
we both know I’m not leaving by your hands

this is how I know you
you hold me in
this is how I know you
you hold me in

crawl into the hole inside your heart
make believe that your free and not hostage
we both know the truth of who I am
we both know I’ve got you in my grasp

this is how I know you
you hold me in
this is how I know you
you hold me in

don’t believe that He could have felt the same
don’t believe that He ever felt your pain
never realize the calling for which you were made

This song basically summarizes many of the struggles I go through with my personality and how I think. I am quite often ruled by anxiety, depression, and anger. I often let these emotions stay bottled up and I keep them to myself thinking that I should be able to handle it and fix it myself. Many times when I do this if deeply affects many relationships I have including my marriage, my relationship with my kids, and most importantly my relationship with God. And so the verses both talk about this conscious knowledge that I am sometimes ruled by these emotions, but that I try to ignore them or fix them myself, and quite often I fall flat on my face in failure. The chorus, “this is how I know you, you hold me in” is kind of a statement from the perspective of the spirit of depression or anxiety that the reason I continue to struggle with it is because I hold it in. I keep it to myself thinking I can fix myself. I don’t reach out to God for help to deal with the issue. I don’t seek God in the matter at all, nor do I seek help from others, but I try my hardest to deal with it myself. This has classically been a downfall in my personality that leaves me completely incapacitated every once in a while. Shut up in my bedroom not wanting to talk to anyone, doing anything, go anywhere, see anyone, etc.
In the bridge.. “don’t believe that He ever felt the same, don’t believe that He ever felt your pain, never realize the calling for which you were made”… Basically just restating the idea of forgetting who God has called me to be and letting myself be ruled by these powerful emotions, instead of being ruled by the Spirit of God. Two scriptures stick out to me that have helped me through dealing with these issues…

Romans 8:12 – 17
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Hebrews 2:10-18
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Free Lands

I decided that I would try something new with this blog. I am going to have a little series here where I explain some of the songs I have written. My main goal with writing music is essentially the same as the reason why I write this blog. I want to express something that I have dealt with or experienced. So the first song I will be going through is one I call “Free Lands”. First the lyrics…

UPDATE: To hear the songs go to http://www.rickhopkins.com/

a million miles from here where the trees don’t bend in fear
where histories don’t exist, nor memories of the past
where relationships come fast and go slow

and finally I’ll rest within your hands
breathing deeply the air of these free lands

where time has come to end the lives of business men
where all there is to do is throw ourselves at you
and dream of brighter days away from here

breathe deep, breathe deep

in moments all the more real, in waiting patiently to feel
in hopes of whats to come to bring us safely to our home
where pains and angers fade away from me

At the time of writing this song I was dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety from my job and just life in general. When the anxiety would hit it was like I couldn’t breathe. I still have this issue occasionally. I have this overwhelming feeling that I need to get away, or a longing for a place that is free from all these worries and stresses. So a lot of this song really just reflects that desire I have, or this longing to be in the presence of God where there is no fear, no anxiety, no stress. Where I can breathe deeply and freely an air that is distinctly absent of these negative elements.

Are you listening? Wooooooooooooo

Ok, so I am nearly positive that no one has ever read this blog. Be that as it may, I can’t let that be an excuse for not keeping it up to date. So to all one of you out there reading this, that includes me, I apologize. My original intent was to use this site as a way to get stuff out that is developing within me. Ideas, beliefs, plans, family stuff, work stuff, etc. Basically the definition of a blog. I have failed at doing this, much as I feared I would. It’s actually much more work than I thought it would be to write something at least once a week. I am the kind of person that before I go to write something, I need to feel like I have something to say. I don’t want to turn into just another blog out there that has meaningless ramblings of somebody who has nothing to say really, whether it be good or bad, helpful or harmful, etc. I want to have something to say. That’s kinda the goal for my life in general right now. Have some sort of impact on somebody. Hopefully in a good way.
Until that time when I actually do have something to say I shall again resort to Oswald Chambers. Here is a few excerpts from the January 31 reading that I find especially great…

– Our calling is not primarily to be holy men & women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God.
– The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor heaven, nor hell; but Redemption; and the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today.
– Personal holiness is an effect, not a cause, and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes.
– As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness, we shall never get near the reality of Redemption.

That seems like an old message, but it should be the only message. That the point of all that matters is the Redemption we have through Christ. The Gospel. Realize that and embrace it. I have always struggled with trying to fix myself. However, just as Oz says here, that personal goodness, or whiteness, has let me down every time.
I saw this again today as I was in charge of all three of my kids while the wife was away. I resolved myself this morning to staying self controlled and infinitely patient with the kids no matter what. Yeah, that lasted for about an hour until two of them had crapped themselves, they were all complaining incessantly of hunger despite clearing out our cupboards of all food items, and the volume level in my house was beginning to make my ears ring. Then it came out. That personal whiteness turned black real quick and I blew up. The rest of the day was an up & down roller coaster of me trying to stay controlled, but eventually always losing it. I never once took the time to pray for help, or even just step out for a sec, calm down and get my bearings or re-align myself with God.
We are proclaimers of the Gospel. Not proclaimers of how good of people we are now that we have redemption. Derek Webb says on his cd “The House Show” that he wished his sins could be put up on a big billboard that everyone could see, so that he would nothing to hide about himself, and nothing to hold onto but the Gospel message of Redemption through Christ. I am going to make this blog my billboard. I know that isn’t too brave since really no one reads this, but hey it’s a start.
Don’t place any hope or faith in the effects of your redemption. Place all your hope and faith in Redemption itself. You are saved despite yourself.
That’s all for now. I will try to keep this updated a little more often.