Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Crank it up....

 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.  

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Maybe 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.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Just like Job


At the end of Ted Dekker book, "Heaven" he says this, "we are all Job's one way or another".  We belong to God and declared righteous not for what we do but because of our belief in Jesus and His shed blood on the cross. The whole book is about God and Satan battling for the souls and minds of man.  Dekker is able with words to paint a vivid picture of what  that battle looks like in the heavens and also here on earth.  No matter what Satan throws at Job, he never deny God.  I am sure Job must have felt like dying many times but God had put a hand on Satan and kept him from killing Job.  The book is a great picture of the love of God for His creation and the length He will go to bring us to redemption and back into a relationship with Him.  

I came away from the book encouraged that God has done and will do the same for me.  I have been sifted and found want wanting several times yet God did not let Satan take my life.   He set up barriers and hedges to keep me safe.  And there are times I felt that safety net of love surrounding me.  But more important then feeling it is I know it, deep down in my soul and that knowledge  help me understand why God put the story of Job in the Bible.   I have believed God's Word even though at times when the evil in the earth  makes me want to scream at God to stop this madness in our world.  To put an end to the pain we suffer and bring peace.   I believe without a doubt He will end it someday and until then I need to understand the battle going on for the sake of my testimony.  

I read this recently on a blog post while I was reading Ted Dekker book and it ran true in me.  

"If you don’t do anything about your mental garden, your mind and spirit will continue to war against each other. This is usually an unconscious pattern. For example, God’s word will tell you to give, but your mind constantly tells you to hold on to everything you’ve got. Your mind tells you to always get the last word, but God says to turn the other cheek and a soft answer calms the situation. Again, your mind tells you to work hard and strive for success, yet the Bible says, seek God’s kingdom first and everything you need will be added unto you.

If you don’t address the false thinking that contradicts God’s word, you’ll continue to be what the Bible calls “double-minded” and because we continue to waver in our desires and beliefs, we can’t receive anything from God. 

Job was not a double minded mind and even when his friends and family told him to deny his God he did not give in because he knew in whom he had believed in.  

The battle always starts in the mind.  My former pastor use to say, you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your head.  

For sure there are battles between good and evil we can see all over the world.  Watch TV for five minutes and you will be made aware of it.  It's easy to allow the things we hear outside what the bible teaches us to cause us to drift from His Word. 

2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from
your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

How is your mind it consumed by fear of the virus or whether or not to wear a mask?  Is it tossed on issues brought to us from the media or does it stay on the things of the Lord.  What times we live in, we have so many more choices to chose from because of communications, so many tools for Satan to use against us, to keep our minds frustrated.  

Just as Job's so called friends confused him so the world voices confused us. Clarity for living today comes from God's Word.  Set you minds on Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern (conditioning) of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”