Empty or Full?

Are your sails empty or full?

And while we’re at it, how’s your tire pressure?

Have the tires that help you navigate the rocky roads of this life become deflated? Has the wind in your sails become so seemingly non-existent that you’re sitting out in the middle of the lake of life with no way to get to your destination? Want a fresh breeze to begin to blow, filling your sails and propelling you almost effortlessly to exactly where Jesus wants you to be?

Today’s topic was again inspired by random events in this life that leave me scratching my head sometimes. Let me tell you a little story from real life, turn to a couple of scripture passages for some insight, and then at the end, I’ll give you info about where to find one of my songs called “Spirit” that will amplify my points in this discussion.

Again, this story hearkens back interestingly to an earlier episode. If you heard episode number 9 called “Flames”, you may remember me saying that a common theme in my actual dreams is vehicles, and the truck fire mentioned in that episode, in many ways shouted to me in that real life situation. Well, this story is similar, because it entailed a real life car getting me to where I was about to sing live.

Ministry Memories

I was headed to an open mic night for which a friend had asked me to sing. It was a beautiful evening, and while driving along, I had popped in a personal CD given to me by a dear friend who leads a ministry with which I’ve been involved for years, and even several decades. On that CD, he had put together a few songs that I had shared at events, retreats or elsewhere over the years. These songs went so far back that I barely remembered recording them at all, and one of them I didn’t even remember WRITING until he refreshed my memory!

So, on this gorgeous springtime evening, the words and melodies refreshed my soul, nearly making me cry, as the lyrics focused on knowing that God would be faithful, as the One who holds my future. It made me hearken back to the years and decades over which He HAS been so very faithful, and it filled my heart with gratitude.


Now, a few weeks prior to this, I had needed to get one of my tires replaced because a screw had gotten lodged in the side of it and was deflating my tire. Now, as I drove along on THIS night, heading to the open mic night, after having this beautiful, worshipful moment with the Lord, suddenly my “check your tire pressure” light came on. Now, being quite far from home, pretty much the best option was to continue driving until reaching the church where the open mic was being held. What a blessing that the music had just encouraged me about the Lord’s faithfulness! So, thankfully, my heart was at peace.

Upon arrival, the tires appeared to be fully inflated. Of course, I let my friend know about the situation, and unfortunately, it didn’t seem as though anyone there was particularly good at “car” types of things… I called my husband, but at this point I was a half hour away from home. My plan was to try to wrap things up as soon as possible and head home a bit earlier than originally planned.

The open-mic began with a few members from the church playing together a few folk-type songs. Then, the time came for me to sing. I did a few of my songs, and then put my guitar away so that I could leave as soon as possible, and especially as the evening began to set in, it seemed prudent to leave before dark, in case my tire actually went flat on the road.

Now my songs tend to be pretty focused on Jesus, and the songs before and after mine were more “cover” songs that would be known, like Beatles songs, etc. Since I became more convinced that leaving early was the best plan, I don’t know what the rest of the evening’s songs were, whether, simply pop songs to entertain, or anything deeper about walking with Jesus, etc.

Surely, many such outreach events are geared to be more “entertainment” based, and this particular night was also a fund-raiser of sorts. Who knows if my songs hit the mark for anyone, or if it just went over the heads of those at the event? It was hard to tell, and due to my leaving shortly after singing, there was very little feedback from interacting later, that would have naturally occurred if I had stayed.

Almost There

So, I went out to look at my car while it was still a little bit light out. All of the tires appeared to be full, but of course, the alert popped up again immediately when the car was started. I decided to call my husband again to let him know that I was heading home early. When he answered, he said something like “I’m almost there”. And I thought, almost WHERE???!!! As far as I knew, he didn’t know where the open mic was happening, and my imagination had him heading over to our church or something…. But apparently, he had checked my social media and found the address…. (God bless my hubby! His first inclination was that he had to get there to check out my tires and help.)

It took him a while to get there, because apparently when he had entered the address into his GPS, the auto fill function had changed the address slightly and sent him to the wrong place! But after a couple more phone calls, he safely arrived in the parking lot where my car sat. Of course, he could see nothing wrong with my tires either. So he re-calibrated the tire pressure program and figured at least if it began deflating, that would become apparent.

Although I would gladly have driven home alone (knowing that I am never truly “alone”, since Jesus’ Holy Spirit is with me always), it was a sweet comfort that he was driving right behind me in his car, watching over me (like the hands and feet of our Lord).

So, the rest of that strange little story is that since that time, the “check your tire pressure” light has not come back on, and the car has been driven for many miles. Who knows if it WILL come on, but I have my doubts about that. My husband checked the tire pressure when we got home, and it was OK. Again, this unique little story illustrated some things to my heart, and once that happened, the thing that caused my “heads up” disappeared. Sort of like when that little rattle stopped once my heart had gotten the meaning of the word picture, back several weeks ago, about our need to be quiet before the Lord (in episode 6–Listen).

On this evening it seemed like the Lord was reiterating some things for me. They may be quite personal, so whether they apply to YOU, who knows? You can be the judge of that, knowing what the Lord has been speaking to your inner spirit lately.

For me, the “interesting” occurrences of that evening, of feeling led to go to this open mic in the first place (after being invited to sing), having to leave so quickly, and not getting a whole lot of response from the people… It was all different than my usual experience. Not quite sure how to put this, but something seemed to say “these aren’t the people for whom your songs are intended”. I realize there MAY have been people there who LOVED my songs, so I even hesitate to say that… And I know that Jesus loves all those people. And I know they love Him….

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Work, Ministry, Effectiveness

At the same time, the tire pressure thing got me thinking, largely because of all these strange word pictures coming to life lately… If you heard episode number 9 called Flames, you may remember about the “vehicle” theme in my literal dreams? For me, that often comes up when my heart is pondering things about work, ministry, effectiveness, etc.

And because in my life, since Covid pretty much put an end to most of what I USED to do as my “work” as a Music Therapist, now, a lot of what I consider my true “calling” from the Lord from my earliest days (sharing HIM, His music, His words, Jesus Himself with others) has begun to take precedence in my efforts and life… It’s almost as if all the years of doing therapy and focusing on other things has prepared me for NOW. Reminds me of the book of Esther (verse 4:14) when Mordecai encourages Esther to consider whether she may be in the position in which she finds herself “for such a time as this”.

True Joy

Over the years, doing all sorts of Music Therapy, often the focus was on bringing joy, but not necessarily speaking of the true source of MY joy (Jesus) unless the situation was appropriate. While getting ready to leave that open-mic on this particular night, listening to the types of songs that are so familiar at secular events, and after singing some straight up “Jesus music”, these thoughts resonated for me. That specific event may have been GEARED for those who don’t know Jesus, as an outreach of sorts, maybe not wanting to “offend” those in the audience. I really don’t know. At the same time, lately my heart has been focused strongly on the Church’s need to speak the truth in love.

This culture has been so very corrupted (as mentioned in episode 11, “Wake Up”), and it’s time for us all to wake up (as in the song played at the end of that episode, called Follow Me). And funny thing is, this open mic happened on the day after posting that episode about us needing to wake up. And, one of the songs I happened to sing that night was “Follow Me”. So it was all fresh in my mind.

All Hands on Deck

It reiterated to me that we as the Church are all too often afraid to offend those that we desire to draw to Jesus, so we don’t TELL them about Him. Maybe we shy away from using His name, or we don’t speak openly or clearly, but rather use platitudes. Preaching to the choir as far as I’m concerned, because that has been a failed attitude in my life over the years. Regardless, the culture has declined and become so very corrupted partially because we as the Church have failed to shine His light in the darkness, which now is greatly increasing. So right now seems like a really good time to shout from the rooftops that we need ALL HANDS ON DECK!

There are confused, hurting, despairing people all over the place, all over the world. It can be downright disheartening to those of us who want to help. And please don’t let THIS blog post cause you to despair. Rather, may it inspire us all to redouble our efforts to tell the world the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY answer, and our only solution to what is tearing people apart right now.

In Ephesians 6 (verse 15), as part of our spiritual armor, we are encouraged to have our “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”. His gospel IS peace. Jesus came here, God in the flesh to reconcile us to Himself. Lord knows MANY people are estranged from Him right now. The world has whispered so many lies into hearts all over our culture and beyond, not only outside the Church, but in many cases, inside as well. So much so, that now the Truth is often spoken of as being a lie, and vice verse.

It’s time that we allow the Holy Spirit who indwells our very hearts to reach out to the broken and let them know that He is truly THE answer. He can fix their broken hearts. We can NOT do that on our own. All of the singing soft songs in their midst to ease their pain won’t do them any eternal good if His truth is not somehow spoken. Of course, He is creative, and will allow us to minister uniquely to each heart as they need, for surely, He is the One who made them in the first place, so He knows exactly what will help them.

So, speak His Truth in love, and allow His Holy Spirit to fill you and empower you, with words, thoughts and deeds that honor Him.

The Great Physician's "Therapy"

Of course, when the situation warrants it, old folk and pop songs may be shared by me to encourage weary hearts. But by FAR, my desire now is to share the music He has placed within, to communicate His love, the true joy that He gives, His peace that passes understanding. Oh, how this weary world needs THAT type of “therapy”… From the Great Physician Himself.

Somehow, His words from Matthew 9:12 resound in my ears: “…It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” This world is indeed sick. Funny that Jesus spoke those words to judgmental Pharisees who were critical that Jesus was spending time with and reaching out to tax collectors and “sinners”. Poignant to realize that yes, those “sick” people needed His touch…. But so did those who THOUGHT they had it all together. They needed Him just as much, for they were “sick” in their own way. Each of us is spiritually “sick” without Him, and we need the deep and eternal touch from the Great Physician to bring true inner healing.

So, on the highway of Life, let us not be driving on deflated tires, ready to be stranded on the road. Let us not be lifting our sails on the lake of Life, expecting that we can blow with all our might to move our boat along the water. Let us depend on Jesus to fill us with His Holy Spirit, to bring a fresh breeze to fill those sails and bring us right to where He needs us to be … in the center of His will.

I’ll include a link below for my song called “Spirit” (which is also played at the end of the associated podcast linked below). As you listen, may He remind you of this passage in John 3:5-8 when Jesus used a word picture to help Nicodemus understand what it meant to be “born again”.

“…I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

May the fresh breezes of the Holy Spirit fill your sails today and move you to do His will almost effortlessly as you watch events and circumstances occur in perfect timing and succession, as planned by the One Who would breathe His Life into your spiritual lungs this day.

Listen to "Spirit":

This blog post  is associated with the “Manna From My Father’s Hand” podcast episode 13 called “Filled”. You may listen on my YouTube channel, or find it here (if you don’t see the full “play” button, it’s at the bottom right of the thumbnail picture, like a half blue circle…):

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