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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Rhythm of God




                    

Think of music as a language.  Language has phonetics, tempo, rhythm.  If you have trouble understanding someone speaking your own language who has an "accent", then subtle variations in the above properties of language throw you off.
Same is true in music.  Rhythm is one of several characteristics of music that allow us to "understand" it.  A steady, regular beat is pleasurable to most ears.  4/4 (2/4)  and 3/4 (6/8) time are quite common and listeners can follow it, tap their foot or snap their finger in time with the music.
Anything outside of these rhythm structures is quite difficult to understand and follow.  Not that they wouldn't be interesting, just different from normal conventions of music.
 
Ultimately, rhythm is the mathematics behind music.  Beautiful music is beautiful math!

See for your self:  Play a song,  your favorite song, something that you know all the lyrics and melody too. Sing the song as best you can.  At the same time tune your radio onto another song, different beat, turn the volumn up a tad higher.  It will be hard to stay on the melody of the song you are singing since the rhythm is different. Try singing any song  and tap your hands to another rhythm it just doesn't sound right.  Rhythm is  what makes the song flow.   

My rhythm has certainly changed in the last year,   I now wear a partial plate to replace some missing teeth which I do not like because I cannot chew gum.  Gum is important to me because due to new meds my mouth gets dry a lot.  These new meds are to help my heart stay healthy since it had three blocked arteries, two of which now can boast of bypasses.  I take a ton more medicine to keep blockage from happening again.   Also I  now wear hearing aids...plus a knee brace since I need a knee replacement.  On top of that I use a cane to keep me from falling till I get the knee replacement. Yep, my rhythm has changed a lot.   One thing is sure, I am appreciating the "rests" that is inserted in the rhythm  of my life much more than I ever did.




metronome is a device that produces an audible beat—a click or other sound—at regular intervals that the user can set in beats per minute. 
When God is the metronome of my  life  His steady beat will calm my mind and there will be a peace despite whatever the rhythm of life brings my way.   I am learning to released unrealistic expectations, seize opportunities, anticipated what's next and paced myself.  Keeping eternity in view as I adjust to this new rhythm makes all the "new" worthwhile.  


This is a prayer of Solomon   
 “May God . . . keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down”                  I Kings 8:56-61

Monday, July 24, 2017

WAIT FOR IT...

Those who know me, know I am a southern country/bluegrass gospel girl down to the bone.  In fact it took me going to the jungles of Papua New Guinea to expand my music appreciation.  

Related imageMaybe it was listening to the drum beat coming from the village every morning that got old, or maybe it was the songs being sung by people with red teeth from chewing betel  nut mixed with lime powder that turns it red.    Hard to enjoy a song when the ones who sings has a mouth full of red stuff.  

    There were times I just wanted to hear something from my music. Out would come my country/bluegrass gospel with its pure harmony and the pure story of Jesus.   Those songs brought joy to my heart and ease the struggle of living so remote.  Well, that is when there was electricity.  

Unless you have lived without electricity or on a limited supply as we were you can never appreciate all electricity brings.  All missionaries take their favorite music to what ever country they are ministering in, praying they will have electricity at least half of the time.   My missionary neighbor brought El Divo with her and played it the only way it should be played, LOUD.  

I remember the first time I heard these guys...cold chills ran all over me. Four powerful beautiful voice blending in harmony.  If I learned anything living in two third world countries where songs are sung in another language its that you do not have to understand the words, just the heart of the music. Those four Italian men who make up the group El Divo along with my country/bluegrass groups were instrumental in encouraging me to keep on for the Lord.     


Never have I appreciate music more then when we lived  overseas.     

But I will let you be the judge of what I am talking about.  
Crank it up and
 Wait for it.
  


                  

I want to put this piece in , " Five Minute Friday blog link-up link up, so I must say something about the word "collect."  Years ago the piano player at our church gave me some great advice for singing. She said, learn a new song every month, one for a wedding, a funeral, a revival, church and then one that just for you.  I took her advice and now have a great collection  of sound tracts that I use when I sing.  

Music is so often the jumping off for my next post just as this one was.  I listen to El Divo and memories started flowing of  sitting at my desk in Papua New Guinea listening to music and singing along with whoever I was listening to.  I not only have a great collection of music but also a great collection of memories surrounding music. 

                                                       What do you collect?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Blessing Sunday

There is nothing more of a blessing then when God does something special for one of our children. Such was the case today as we ate dinner with our son and his three children after church.  His wife was off on a ladies retreat and we had just return from a long trip so none of us were up for cooking.

Related imageI notice this older couple sitting in the booth next to us but did not think about them being able to hear us talking. Our son was telling us about their upcoming vacation and how he was hoping to find good hotel rates.  They are not going far but far enough it requires about four nights in a hotel plus gas and eats for five and hopefully some extra to do some fun things with the kids.  We had finished our meal and was just waiting for our check when the gentleman and his wife who was seated near us came back to our table.  Honestly we did not even know they had left.  He lean in toward our son and shove some money on the table in front of him.  He said, for your vacation...our son was sort of stunned and could not say a thing, it was done and over with in a matter of a few minutes.  We all just sit there for a while soaking it in what had happened.  Did we hear the man right?  Did he really say, for your vacation?  Our son had not even counted it yet...but when he finally did it was around 150 some dollars.  It took a while for our minds to wrap around what just happened. 

God has been blessing our hearts through our children for quite some time.  Last January He provided the funds for our daughter to fly from Mn. to California to be with me during my surgery and recovery.  I had the opportunity recently to thank the people in a church in northern Mn. for helping her.  To know God cares for your children actually more then we do is a comfort and one that got us through the years of being separated during our time living overseas.  Each time God does bless them through someone besides us we are reminded they are not ours, God claims them as His, bought and paid for at Calvary.  Our part is to just trust Him for their care.  


"God will bless you and your family for honoring God by glorifying Him throughout your life"
 "The Godly walk with integrity, blessed are their children after them." Proverbs 20:7  






Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Aaron Tippin - Where The Stars & Stripes & The Eagle Fly



The line in this song, "I've seen enough to know we got it good" resonated with my heart this morning. Ace and I have lived for a few years in two different countries and folks we got it good despite all the issue our country faces now. You don't see thousands of people fighting to get out of this country, people are not flooding the visa office to leave the US. We got it good folks. I would like to send those who spit and burn our flag, throw rocks and other things on our police and military to a country where the freedom doesn't flow. They would be doing all they could to get back to where the red, white and blue stands for something besides hatred. 



                       
Proud to be an American...Happy Fourth of July 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Green Pastures

Image result for pictures of sheep grazing in green pastures
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want 
He leads me beside the still waters
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He restores my soul
He leads me to paths of righteousness
For His name sake. 
                                                                                                        
On our trip from California to northern Minnesota we saw  many sheep grazing in green pastures which is how I pictures Psalm 23 to be. Lush green grass with a stream near by.  And even though I have been to Israel and seen sheep grazing I still thought of the  picture such as the one above when I read this passage.  

Until 

I watch the video below from, "That The World May Know" ministry founded by  Ray Vander Laan.  He is the creator of Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family.   Give it a listen and tell me what you think of his take on Psalm on 23.  


                   


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Big Picture/Little Picture

I take very few pictures with my phone because they never seem to give justice  to what I snap.   Take this one on the left. You can get the big picture easy enough, man looking over the rock formation  to the valley below.  Inside that big picture is some very amazing images that were pointed out to me or I would have missed them.


 As we were coming up the winding road to where this picture was taken there was several times we were much closer to the tall rock formation. In fact it was easy to see it was really three formations reaching to the sky.  And on top of the tallest one was a ton of people who had climbed, without ropes to the very top.  In fact I notice something red close to the top. Our friends pointed out it was a rock climber and sure enough in a few minutes that red dot was on top of the formation. As we climbed higher and higher, to about 7, 500 feet that rock formation looked kind of little and we could not see the people on top, I had lost sight of the red dot which was the shirt on someone back.

It was breathtaking beautiful at the top with the valley spread out before us and being able to see the canyons that wind and rain had carved out through the years.  Seriously I could have pitched a tent right where the picture was taken and feasted on the site as the sun came up and went down.  And if I was much younger I would have liked to  rock climbed those pillars of century old rocks.

Every turn we took gave us a different view of the beauty of the park and I was reminded how life is like that.  God brings turns that help us see clearly a certain aspect of life.  Sometimes He brings us close enough to see details and sometimes we just see the big picture and each one is enough for He is in both.

I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will. Isaiah 46:10


Monday, May 22, 2017

Jerusalem



A little history:When Rome destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E., only one outer wall remained standing. The Romans probably would have destroyed that wall as well, but it must have seemed too insignificant to them; it was not even part of the Temple itself, just an outer wall surrounding the Temple Mount. For the Jews, however, this remnant of what was the most sacred building in the Jewish world quickly became the holiest spot in Jewish life. Throughout the centuries Jews from throughout the world made the difficult pilgrimage to Palestine, and immediately headed for the Kotel ha-Ma'aravi (the Western Wall) to thank God. The prayers offered at the Kotel were so heartfelt that gentiles began calling the site the “Wailing Wall.” This undignified name never won a wide following among traditional Jews; the term “Wailing Wall” is not used in Hebrew.

Watching the news today, seeing our president walk up to the wailing wall in Jerusalem made my heart yearned to be right there.  Oh, I don't mean with the president but there at the wall.  There is a pull to go back once you have been to see the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem.  Like most visitors you write your prayer request on a little piece of paper and tuck it into the cracks of the wall, women on their side, men on theirs.  

Two of my fellow bloggers wrote on music today, Floyd theregoi.com:  and Bill grandi.ovcf.org/wordpress/ , so thought I would add my two cents of music to theirs.   This Gaither video was filmed at the    Tower of David inside the old city of Jerusalem.
   

                             


John sees a glimpse of it in his vision: “The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). This is the city that Abraham looked for in faith (Hebrews 11:10). It is the place where God will dwell with His people forever (Revelation 21:3). Inhabitants of this celestial city will have all tears wiped away (Revelation 21:4).

The New Jerusalem will be fantastically huge. John records that the city is nearly 1,400 miles long, and it is as wide and as high as it is long—a perfect cube (Revelation 21:15–17). The city will also be dazzling in every way. It is lighted by the glory of God (verse 23). Its twelve foundations, bearing the names of the twelve apostles, are “decorated with every kind of precious stone” (verse 19). It has twelve gates, each a single pearl, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (verses 12 and 21). The street will be made of pure gold (verse 21).

The New Jerusalem will be a place of unimagined blessing. The curse of the old earth will be gone (Revelation 22:3). In the city are the tree of life “for the healing of the nations” and the river of life (verses 1–2). It is the place that Paul spoke of: “In the coming ages [God] might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). The New Jerusalem is the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises. The New Jerusalem is God’s goodness made fully manifest.

Who are the residents of the New Jerusalem? The Father and the Lamb are there (Revelation 21:22). Angels are at the gates (verse 12). But the city will be filled with God’s redeemed children


The  pastor who I was saved under use to say, if you want to know what God is doing, watch the land, Israel and watch the clan, the Jewish people.  It may seem like it's all about our president and Israel but God wants us to see beyond the wailing wall to His Son returning and the coming of the New Jerusalem.